Archive for July, 2010

Goop Sandwich

Have you ever eaten a goop sandwich? Maybe you call it a melted ham and cheese.  I recently had dinner with someone who made a comment about having too much dressing and sauce.  I not think that there is such thing as too much of those two items.  This also applies to the cheese and mix in the goop sandwich.  The original recipe calls for the mix to be applied to the top of the bread. I prefer to have plenty inside on both pieces surrounding the ham.  The revised recipe is listed below.

goop sandwich

goop sandwich

2 packages of small tea rolls (or hamburger buns)

8 oz sliced ham

6 oz swiss cheese slices

1 stick margarine, softened

1 1/2 tablespoon poppy seed

1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 1/2 tablespoon prepared mustard

1 tablespoon onion flakes

Slice or separate rolls.   Mix margarine, poppy seed, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, onion flakes and spread inside each piece of bread.   Layer ham and cheese between layers of bread.    Place rolls in foil tray or wrap in aluminum foil.   Bake until cheese is melted or heated through.

Cool down with a juicy watermelon.

Watermelon is for everyone all year round. It is sweet, juicy, bright and fun! It’s not just for summer. It’s not just for slicing.  I prefer a cold slice of watermelon on a hot summer day.   Iremember eating watermelon at my grandmothers house and watching her dump a ton of salt on her slice.  I think it’s a southern thing, but I have also I heard that people drizzle balsamic vinegar over strawberries as well.  To each their own.

A watermelon that is ripe will have a healthy sheen, a dull rind and a dull yellow spot on its underside on which it touched the ground. To confirm that the melon is completely ripe, thump it and the sound should be dull and hollow while the weight of the watermelon should be heavy considering its size.

FYI – Seedless watermelons were invented over 50 years ago, and they have few or no seeds.  When we say seeds, we are talking about mature seeds, the black ones. Oftentimes, the white seed coats where a seed did not mature are assumed to be seeds. But this isn’t the case! They are perfectly safe to swallow while eating, and don’t worry – no seeds will grow in your stomach.



Watermelon Facts:

  • There are more than 1200 varieties of watermelon
  • Watermelon rinds are also edible, and sometimes used as a vegetable
  • A watermelon contains about 6% sugar and 92% water by weight.
  • Watermelon is thought to have originated in southern Africa
  • In Vietnamese culture, watermelon seeds are consumed during the Vietnamese New Year’s holiday as a snack.
  • The Oklahoma State Senate passed a bill on 17 April 2007 declaring watermelon as the official state vegetable, with some controversy surrounding whether a watermelon is a fruit.
  • Watermelon is actually a vegetable and not a fruit. It is also related to the pumpkin, cucumber and the squash.
  • The watermelon (Citrullus Lanatus) are the natives of the Kalahari desert found in Southern Africa.
  • Watermelon consists of 92% water and 8% sugar.
  • The watermelons were brought to China across the Mediterranean sea in merchant ships. Incidentally, China is the largest producer of watermelons in the world today.
  • The watermelon was brought into America across the Atlantic oceans by African slaves.
  • As watermelon is about 92% water, early explorers used watermelons as a canteen.
  • Every part of the watermelon, including the seeds and the rind is edible.
  • Watermelons are ideal for the health as they do not contain any fat or cholesterol and are high in fiber content and vitamins A and C and are also a good source of potassium.
  • Over 1200 varieties of watermelon are grown in approximately 100 countries across the world.
  • Watermelons are very fragile and cannot be harvested with the help of machines. Instead they are carefully tossed by workers on a relay that runs between the fields and the truck.
  • Unripe watermelons should be avoided as they can be slightly acidic.
  • The first recorded watermelon harvest was in Egypt and it took place nearly 5000 years ago. This is depicted in the Egyptian hieroglyphics that is found in ancient buildings. As a matter of fact, watermelons were also placed in the tombs of kings to help them nourish in the after life.
  • The largest consumption of watermelon is in the United States when considered by the weight of the watermelon.
  • The first cookbook that was published in the United States in 1176 contained a recipe for watermelon rind pickles.
  • Watermelon is a popular gift for the host In China and Japan.
  • In Israel and Egypt, the sweet of watermelon
  • Bill Carson of Arrington, Tennessee grew a 262 pound watermelon in 1990. This feat found a place in the 1998 edition of the Guinness World Book of Records.
  • Watermelon became a part of the dictionary in 1615.

(Source – Wikipedia,,

Ortega’z Southwestern Grill and Wine Bar – Manteo NC

When you first walk in to the the restaurant you cannot tell that the building was an old gas station.  The decor is very intimate and warm.  The food is well prepared and delicious!!!   I would assume that no one has every complained about the prices.   The menu is very affordable and offers a great variety to choose from.

House made flour tortilla chips arrive in a variety of flavors and the salsa is wonderful!   I visited one evening for lunch and ordered the Chicken Quesadillas.  Flour tortilla, roasted chicken, sauteed onions and peppers, mixed cheeses, lightly grilled and finished with salsa and sour cream.  Served in a large portion and very good!

Chicken Quesadillas Flour tortilla, roasted chicken, sauteed onions and peppers, mixed cheeses, lightly grilled and finished with salsa and sour cream

Chicken Quesadillas Flour tortilla, roasted chicken, sauteed onions and peppers, mixed cheeses, lightly grilled and finished with salsa and sour cream

Ortega’z Grill brings some much-needed cultural spice to Downtown Manteo. With a definite southwestern flair, and a relaxed, casual atmosphere, you can enjoy lunch or dinner on the covered outdoor patio or in either of the two dining rooms. If you’re looking for a quick meal or a cold drink, head over to the ‘Wine Bar’ in the center of the restaurant. It’s where people gather – locals and vacationers alike. Inside or out, the restaurant has a comfortable feel and a reputation for delivering exceptional food. –


Popcorn may be one of the oldest snacks still consumed.  According to Wikipedia, Popcorn was first discovered thousands of years ago by the Native Americans. The English who came to America in the 16th and 17th centuries learned about popcorn from the Native Americans.  Althought the methods of popping popcorn have changed during the years, the end result is pretty much the same.

Microwave popcorn is the perfect snack for the “now” era we live in. Who has time to prepare a popcorn popper and the cleanup required afterwards? Throw a bag in a microwave, set the time and within minutes you have near perfect popcorn in a disposable bowl.



The old fashioned way to make popcorn is to put kernels in a pan with butter, oil or fat. The heated oil distributes the heat more efficiently and evenly. Thus, it serves as a better catalyst for the “popping effect” of the kernels. Similarly, microwave popcorn combines the kernels and the carrier source of fat in one package. This makes the reaction much more effective.

A photo spread and research was put together at the request of Sister’s Circle for their April issue of RELENTLESS Magazine.   You can view the photo collection at: Everything you need to know about microwave popcorn

Chicken Parmesan with Fettuccine Alfredo

This dish is probably one of my top 5 meals to eat.  I try to shoot a photo before I begin eating, but this food didn’t stand much of a chance to pose for the camera.  In my opinion, Carrabba’s has the best sauce of any Italian restaurant that I have ever eaten at. It’s never bland and they add plenty of it.  I usually order the regular sized meal and can only eat half of it.  This give me an opportunity to enjoy the second half again a day or two later.  This will probbaly not be the only post of this same meal.  I’ll have to blog about it many times in the future.

carrabbas italian grill Chicken Parmesan with Fettuccine alfredo

Carrabba's Italian grill Chicken Parmesan with Fettuccine alfredo

Breakfast by the lake.

A few years ago I was lucky to have the some time off on a beautiful fall morning and decide to go to Hinson Lake in Rockingham to eat breakfast and shoot nature photos.   One of my favorite fast-food meals is a steak, egg & cheese croissant with orange juice from Burger King.   This is a great meal for under $5.00!  I do not worry what foods are healthy when I am deciding what I want to eat, but the walk around the lake was probably good for me.

hinson lake nc breakfast

hinson lake nc breakfast

Click HERE to view a set of my Hinson Lake photos.  Click HERE for information about Hinson Lake.

How to make a Peanut Butter & Jelly sandwich.

This post was too long and needed it’s own page.  The information and photos below were posted to on January 18, 2006 and has received more than 43,000 views.  Not bad for a food porn spread. (pun intended)

Click HERE to view the blog page.

peanut butter and jelly

peanut butter and jelly

Pasta salad. Summertime or anytime?

Pasta salad is a dish prepared with one or more types of pasta, usually chilled, and most often tossed in a vinegar, oil or mayonnaise-based dressing. It is typically served as an appetizer or a main course.

I like several types of past salds, but am happy with a chilled salad made from the box.  Kraft brand italian pasta salad is easy to make and goes well with the grilled jalapeno cheeseburger.

Pasta Salad

Pasta Salad

The ingredients used vary widely by region, restaurant, seasonal availability, and/or preference of the preparer. The salad can be as simple as coldmacaroni mixed with mayonnaise, or as elaborate as several pastas tossed together with a vinaigrette and a variety of fresh, preserved or cooked ingredients. These can include vegetables, legumes, cheeses, nuts, herbs, spices, meats, poultry, or seafood. Broccoli, carrots, baby corn, cucumbers, olives, onions, beans, chick peas, peppers, parmesan and feta cheeses are all popular ingredients in versions typically found at North American salad bars.

Pasta salad is often regarded as a spring or summertime meal, but can be served year-round. (Source – Wikipedia)

The Bakery At Walmart: Buttercream icing!

I am a sucker for the sweets and cannot resist when they are presented to me.   The Bakery At Walmart offers a large variety of bakery items and my favorite is anything with icing.  Compared to other “chain” bakeries, Walmart’s Buttercream Icing.  I like very sweet icing and could eat it on cookies, cakes, large spoon…etc.  I searched for recipes and learned that Walmart uses icing by Brill.  You can purchase this icing in contaners up to 14lbs at  A 45lb tub is also available!!!!

The Bakery At Walmart: Chocolate Cake

The Bakery At Walmart: Chocolate Cake

I tried to make a homemade cake once and it wasn’t very pretty or tasty. SO, I will let the professionals do the work and I will enjoy.  Below is a recipe that claims to be close to the Brill buttercream icing.  Give it a try and let me know, or invite me over to sample!!


  • 2 cups shortening
  • 8 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons clear imitation vanilla extract
  • 6 fluid ounces heavy cream


  1. Cream shortening until fluffy. Add confectioner’s sugar and continue creaming until well blended.
  2. Add salt, vanilla, and whipping cream blend on low speed until moistened. Add additional whipping cream if necessary (up to 2 ounces). Beat at high speed until frosting is fluffy.

California Grill atop Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

California Grill is a Signature Dining restaurant that serves award-winning gourmet dinners and sweeping views atop Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Venture into this vibrant and charged atmosphere and watch the creation of culinary masterpieces in the on-stage kitchen.

Choose your view—the shimmering Seven Seas Lagoon, the enchanting Magic Kingdom theme park, the fireworks bursting over Cinderella Castle or, perhaps best of all, each other. Linger over the unforgettable vistas as you taste refined flavors influenced by the cultural melting pot of the American Pacific Coast.

The food is just as spectacular as the view. Inspired by classic cuisines from around the world, yet combined in inventive and delicious new ways, the California Grill’s menu reflects the very best of California Fusion cooking.

Valrhona chocolate cake; warm chocolate cake with molten center and house-made ice cream.

Valrhona chocolate cake; warm chocolate cake with molten center and house-made ice cream.

While the menu changes regularly to utilize the freshest produce, the superb attention to detail and quality stays the same. You’ll delight in such exquisite dishes as sushi, brick oven-baked flat breads, handmade Sonoma goat cheese ravioli, oak-fired filet of beef with Teriyaki barbeque sauce, oak-fired pork tenderloin and Valrhona chocolate cake; warm chocolate cake with molten center and house-made ice cream. California Grill is also a great choice for diners seeking tasty vegetarian options. (Source –

Oak Rotisserie Chicken with Baby Purple Artichokes, Ricotta, Caramelized Onions, and Green Garlic Aïoli

Oak Rotisserie Chicken with Baby Purple Artichokes, Ricotta, Caramelized Onions, and Green Garlic Aïoli

Oak Rotisserie Chicken with Baby Purple Artichokes, Ricotta, Caramelized Onions, and Green Garlic Aïoli