So Nicholas calls me at the office this afternoon.
“I want to go to a restaurant, Mama.”
“You do? Which one?”
“The Costco restaurant!”
Nice. The Costco restaurant. I think the word “restaurant” might be a bit of a stretch for their Snack Bar area, but I’m sure they’d appreciate the high praise it’s illiciting. He loves their hot dogs and their Berry Sundaes. We did go out to dinner, but negotiated for a nearby pizza joint instead. The Costco restaurant is on the weekend agenda though.
This month’s Supper Club has a Mexican theme. I finally decided today on what I’m taking. In keeping with the theme, I’m bringing Beer Margaritas, Spicy Tortilla Strips and a Mexican Chopped Salad with Honey Lime Dressing. In addition, I also made a Chocolate Scream! cake with Caramel Sauce. Got the cake, sauce and the strips done tonight. I tried the Spicy Tortilla Strips when they came out of the oven and they were quite tasty … and quite addicting! Had to put them away quick. Tomorrow when I get home from work, I’ll make the salad, and then do the Beer Margaritas when I get to the host’s house. I’m in good shape. Not bad considering the plan came together late this afternoon.
Martha Stewart is on the move again, this time sending out an e-mail introducing a new magazine she’s launching. A complete departure from her food and domestic front, it’s all about taking care of y-o-u. From Martha herself:
body + soul, our new magazine, is not about taking care of your home or your garden. It is about taking care of your self.The most important how-to is not how-to take care of things, it’s how to take care of your spirit and how to take care of your health. Plus in taking care of your self, you also have so much more to give to those you love.
Better health. Better body. Better mind. Better skin. Better cooking. Better relationships. And a healthy, natural home. That’s what you get from body + soul. It’s practical, clear, down-to-earth, inspired, uplifting, delicious, nutritious, resilient, refreshing, and sensuous.
Could be interesting.
Gotta run … American Idol results show on in a few minutes. Gotta see who goes.
Tune in tomorrow to see Supper Club pictures and hear the menu rundown. Until then…
Chocolate Scream! Cake
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, cut into pieces
8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (about 1-1/2 cups)
1-1/4 cups sugar
1 cup sifted unsweetened cocoa powder
6 large eggs
1-1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup water
1-1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
Vanilla ice cream
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 10-inch-diameter springform pan. Line bottom with waxed paper. Stir butter and chocolate in heavy large saucepan over low heat until melted. Mix sugar and cocoa in large bowl. Add eggs; whisk until well blended. Whisk in chocolate-butter mixture. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool cake completely in pan on rack. Run knife around pan sides to loosen cake. Release pan sides. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
For caramel sauce:
Stir sugar, water, and lemon juice in heavy medium saucepan over low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat; boil without stirring until syrup is deep amber color, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat. Add in cream (mixture will bubble vigorously). Return to low heat; stir until any bits of caramel dissolve. Add butter; whisk until smooth. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.)
Cut cake into wedges. If desired, arrange wedges on baking sheet and rewarm in 350°F oven 10 minutes. Rewarm caramel sauce over medium-low heat, stirring often. Place 1 cake wedge on each plate. Drizzle with warm caramel sauce. Serve with ice cream.
Makes 10 to 12 servings.
Los Olivos Cafe & Wine Merchant, Los Olivos, CA
SPICY TORTILLA STRIPS
1/4 cup vegetable oil plus additional for brushing
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly brush 2 large baking pans with oil. Whisk 1/4 cup oil with spices and salt and brush 1 side of each tortilla with it. Make 3 (4-tortilla) stacks and cut stacks into 1/4-inch-wide strips. Arrange strips in 1 layer in baking pans. Bake, switching position of pans halfway through baking, until golden and crisp, 12 to 15 minutes. Season with salt and cool completely in pans. Makes about 6 cups.
MEXICAN CHOPPED SALAD WITH HONEY-LIME DRESSING
2-1/2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
1 can (15.5 oz) black beans, rinsed and well drained
3/4 cup chopped seeded tomato
3/4 cup chopped peeled jicama
3/4 cup fresh corn kernels, uncooked (or frozen or canned)
3/4 cup thinly sliced radishes
Half a ripe avocado, diced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro (or more to taste)
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
1 tsp chopped jalapeño pepper (use canned for less heat)
Toss all salad ingredients in a large bowl. In separate bowl, mix dressing ingredients. Pour dressing over mixture and toss again. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Makes 4 servings.
Isn’t the Costco restaurant great? *laugh* I had to chuckle at the cute story.
I love their mocha granitas, churros, pretzels…everything. It is so junky but so good! Nicholas and I must think alike.
Hey – I want to go to YOUR Costco Restaurant! We don’t have Mocha Granitas OR Churros! Must be a regional thing. We have the Chicken Bake, pizza (of course!), pretzels, hot dogs, the berry sundae, a berry smoothie and soda. That’s it.
I wish we had a Costco close by, *pout*, but I do enjoy the berry sundaes at Sam’s club. The recipes for the tortillas and the salad look very good, thanks for sharing and I will be making these for a mexican cook-out day soon!