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It honestly seemed like a good idea at the time…….

So in the whole spirit of low carbing, sometimes I get these……..um…… “brilliant” ideas. Yes my dear readers, let me introduce you to “breaded” low carb mozza sticks!!

Yummmmy!
Easy Peasy, right?
Let me show you how!!

In one container large enough to fit your average mozza stick, place a few tablespoons of almond flour.

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In another container, one beaten egg.

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In the last container, place a few tablespoons of coconut flour, and season it really, really well. I used seasoning salt, pepper, and other seasoning that suited my fancy at the time…. cuz I AM fancy.

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In a nice, super hot pan with oil (don’t let it smoke), place your “breaded” mozza stick and keep an eye on it. Keep flipping OFTEN, so it can brown nicely on all sides.

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Yep. Goooooooooood idea on paper folks.

But really?………………………..

BIG FAT FAIL.

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JUST DON’T DO IT..
Back to the drawing board.

Welcome to the PUFFIN.

I successfully married Pork and Stove Top Stuffing into a cute little … muffin.

I know, right?

Pork – meaty, savory, porky, protein rich.
Muffin – bready, sweet, moist, and good with strong coffee.

Separate, they are wonderful. Together? Initially, a conceptually difficult union to wrap your sweet pretty head around. OK.. I’ll speak for myself. It took me a bit to wrap MY sweet head around it. I mean, come on’ – What do you call it?

A Pork Muffin?

A Porkfin?

A Puffin?

Regardless of what one might call it, – it’s strange. But hey, how can you go wrong? Pork, and stuffing. Who doesn’t like that combination, and besides, we ALLL know what strange means to me.

It mean’s I gotta try it.

Plus, they said it was easy, and I like easy.

So… without further adieu, I give you………. a porffin?

Whatever.

Here’s what you need to make this wildly creative, culinary masterpiece:

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That’s right. A muffin tin, two eggs (three, actually. I’ll explain later), ground pork, and a box of good ole’ Stove Top Stuffin’. Try and match the flavors people, k? I mean, if you get ground pork.. use Stove Top Stuffing for pork. If you get ground turkey, (which is perfectly acceptable protein choice in this situation for all you skinny-minnies), use the Stove Top for turkey.

Yessssssssssssssssss, you don’t have to point out the obvious fact that I combined ground pork and turkey Stove Top Stuffing – but ground pork was what my freezer had, and turkey Stove Top was what the store had. No big deal. I’m comfortable flying that kind of flag out there for everyone to see.

You know, the REBEL flag.

So, because I can’t just be normal and go along with direction, I like to “doctor” things up. That would the Stove Top Stuffing that I’m talking about. If you have extra “aromatics” in your fridge folks, doctor that crap up. I started sauteing celery (and lots of it because celery and I have had an intense love / love relationship for many years), and onion with a touch of garlic.

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That particular day, I decided to live on the edge and add some hot chili flakes to the party. I added about a tablespoon and half.

It turns out I’m not as edgy as I thought.

Dial down the chili flakes folks.

Learn by my mistakes. Especially if you’re not too adventurous on the whole spicy thing. Start with half a teaspoon.. you can always add more (One of Mom’s favorite expressions)

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So at this point, when the aromatics are soft, make the Stove Top Stuffing according to the box instructions. Easy Peasy right? Once that’s finished, and slightly cooled, add your pound of ground pork (or chicken, or turkey) and THREE eggs. I realize I had previously said two, and I actually did only use two, but I found the finished product SLIGHTLY crumbly, so an extra egg would hug up all those ingredients and make them stick together much better.

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When the mixture is thoroughly mixed, spoon it into your greased muffin pans. My muffin pan has muffin cups for giants so I got six from the whole lot. However, if you are of the regular human race, I can say that normal muffin pans are acceptable, if not desired over the bigger ones.

Spoon them into the tins at the fullness that you want, as they don’t puff up, obviously, like a cake muffin would.

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Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes. (All depending on what size of muffin tin you used. I used a longer cook time because of the muffins for Giants that I was making.) Use your logic okay? We are dealing with ground pork (or any ground meat), so it’s imperative that it’s thoroughly cooked. If in doubt, use a thermometer and cook them till you have an internal temperature of 160 degrees for pork and 165 for turkey or chicken.

FYI – At the very end of cooking time, turn on your blast broiler for a  minute or two. It creates this mildly crunchy top that is FANFRICKENSTASTIC!

I highly suggest you try that.

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These bubba’s are awesome with a side salad for a lunch, or even for a quick breakfast heated up in the microwave. Ok, listen, you can have them for ANY meal because they’re just that good. The batch I made are at the TOP of my spice tolerance so next time, I’ll go a bit kinder on the chilies. Lastly, these freeze like champions!!

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Give them a try and tell me what you think! What changes did you make to “doctor” them up?

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Is Common Ground Cafe……. common?

Common Ground Cafe
50 Brentwood Blvd Sherwood Park, Ab

My friend and I decided to try out Common Ground Cafe on a recent friday for lunch. She had already eaten, so it was just me who would try out the tasties.

The decor is SUPER cute.  A cute little “foyer” of sorts greets you when you arrive and they have on locally made crafts for sale.  QUALITY stuff, folks.  Btw, the purses/bags they have on display there are KICKASS BEAUTIFUL! I wish I would have got the name of who makes them, but I didn’t. You’ll have to just get your ass in there to check them out yourself.

Tables are topped with re-claimed barn wood, all rustic and warm feeling, and even the chairs have little crocheted socks on them!

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Yeah, ok, who cares that the little socks are so the feet of the chairs don’t scratch the floor, it’s a cute touch!  The art on the walls showcase local artists that incidentally, like the purses and jewelry, are also for sale. Trust me when I say (cheap ass that I am) they are selling them TOO CHEAP! The art is really, really reasonably priced people. I was impressed with both the quality and the price.

Art

The menu is somewhat limited, (they don’t offer everything under the sun), but that being said, there are plenty of things to choose from. You can have everything from healthy rolled oats or a bagel with cream cheese, biscotti (regular and gluten-free), muffins, cookies, brownies, etc. They usually feature 3 or so soups for lunch and offer a nice selection of coffees and teas, along with locally made specialty drinks (Honey Spice brand) and sodas.

So I ordered a London Fog tea. This is a newly re-discovered beverage for me.  I remember drinking them back in my twenties when I thought I was more awesome than I’d EVER be when I was my …. 40’sh… age now.

Turns out, I’m crazy awesome now. (Take THAT, 20-year-old me!)

Anyway, this drink is Earl grey tea made with steamed milk, and a dash of vanilla syrup. Simple, but ohhh SO good! I’ve seen recipes where they recommend steeping the tea with a few lavender buds, but I have yet to try that. The tea that was made for me had a perfect sweetness to it, a nice vanilla hint that didn’t overtake the taste of the tea, and a nice thick, milky foam on top.

Comforting like a blankie hug.

You know what I’m talking about, don’t you.

So comforting in fact, I had two.

I ordered their Lazy Perogy Casserole soup. Yeah.. I know… casserole or soup?? Hey… I’m always up for a mystery, so I tried it.

Here are the photos, take a peek:

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Doesn’t look that appetizing does it? Looks thick and heavy.  Well let me tell you, I’m half Ukrainian people, and a self-professed Perogy Snob, so that automatically extends to a Lazy-Perogy snob. That being said, this ……. soup?, was INCREDIBLE.  The rich flavor of a super cheesy casserole with pasta was dilectable! There was a slight crunch from onions that were cooked, but not strong tasting that added a nice textural component.  I was really surprised at just how much flavor this little bundle of happiness possessed. (AND FILLING – Don’t let the portion size fool you!)

If it were me making it, the only changes that I would do to make it out of this world, insanely good, would be to loosen the mixture a tiny bit more with cream… (listen, calories/shmalories, go big or go home), a dash or two of dill, and upon serving, a nice little sprinkle of bacon. But that’s just me and my snobby ways.

I WILL order this dish again.

I have to add, everything on their menu is REASONABLY priced, ($4.50 for the soups WITH a biscuit!). It’s almost bordering on stealing.

Ok… NOW to the best part.

The special part about this little sweet gem of a cafe people, is that they are a not-for profit establishment.

I KNOW RIGHT????

The whole concept is to build a stronger sense of community within Sherwood Park and it’s run by volunteers.  This is a whole new idea that Sherwood Park hasn’t seen before, and really goes against the grain of what most businesses are all about. However, not only are they providing Sherwood park with a greater sense of a community connection, I think unknowingly, they are also selling an experience within the cafe. When you normally spend your money in any other establishment, you really don’t think anything  about it. But with Common Ground, the prices are so reasonable, it’s not for profit, so you actually FEEL GOOD spending your money there. The food and goods they sell are quality products, the volunteers are charming and sweet, there are lots of opportunity to share community ideas and events at the front foyer. The chairs and tables are comfortable with some sofa chair type seating as well that’s perfect for that catch up convo with your friends, they have a stand of game boards and children’s books if your interested, AND they have a free wi-fi.

What more can you want?

So how common is Common Ground Cafe?  Turns out, not common at all.

And it’s a very good thing.

Get out there, meet your neighbors, and at the very least, support this truly wonderful cafe.

It’s worth it!

CTV news came out and did a feature on them. Click the link to check it out!
http://edmonton.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=307720

Lobster King For A Day

Lobster Joint
Greenpoint
1073 Manhattan Ave

Brooklyn, NY 11222

Hello again folks, The CSS here with another guest Forkin’ Foodie review.

On this day my girlfriend and I wanted to try something a little different, at least for us. So we decided to hit this spot in Greenpoint, Brooklyn called Lobster Joint.

Not “The” Lobster Joint mind you, just Lobster Joint.

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Somewhat unassuming from the outside, I would agree. However, the goodies inside were much more exciting.

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As you can see they have a few location in NYC, and serve all manner of seafood, not just lobster. If you can recall from my last submission, I was left clueless at the love affair people have with seafood, in particular lobster, crab, and raw clams. I have to tell you I still don’t get it, but at least my companion and I enjoyed our meals.

So the inside of the Lobster Joint was about as unimpressive as the front . However, they had outside seating in the back. And while it wasn’t dazzling, it was pretty damn cool.

Why?

Because it wasn’t damn cold.

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It topped out at 51 degrees fahrenheit today, and no one is trying to eat outdoors in that weather. But as you can see the outside was completely enclosed and furnished with large heaters to make the picnic style dining very enjoyable. But enough of the interior decorating.

Onto the food.

So I started off with this drink called the Ginger Bread Man. This was made with AppleJack alcohol and ginger beer. I didn’t get much of the apple, but the ginger was certainly present and it tasted pretty damn good. Again, doesn’t look like much but it was really tasty. I flirted with the idea of getting a Bloody Mary that they garnish with a lobster claw just for the visual. But since I’m not getting paid for this, I needed to spend my money wisely. ;-)

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Next up, I had the New England Clam Chowder. Now I will admit that I rarely pass up a New England Clam Chowder. I like it infinitely better than a Manhattan Clam Chowder, even though I love NY (NY Jets fan) and hate New England (it’s Tom Brady’s fault).

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While you may not be able to tell from the photo, this chowder was a bit thin. It took a few spoon fulls, but I decided the taste wasn’t bad. But as I stated a moment ago, it was too thin. I like my Sunday clam chowder like I like my Sunday women. White. Thick. And loaded with clams (not crabs, clams).

I have to preface the next portion of my review with this disclaimer. My girlfriend has a problem with decision making when it comes to dining out. She often can’t decide between two or three dishes on a menu . . . . and just gets them all.

Don’t judge her. :-)

So on this occasion she couldn’t decide between New England Lobster Roll and the Connecticut Lobster Roll. So she got them both.

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To lessen the gastric impact of her two orders, she got the Connecticut New England with a salad and the New England with french fries. The Connecticut was served warm with butter and the New England was served cold with celery and herb mayo. While she enjoyed both of them, I thought the Connecticut had more flavor.

I told you I hate Tom Brady.

I went way outside of my comfort zone and ordered a lobster shepherd’s pie.

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Not only am I not big on lobster, but I have never had a shepherd’s pie in my life. But I am here to say the experiment was a success.

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Inside of this menagerie of ingredients was lobster, spinach, and mushrooms all suffocated in a pan of mashed potatoes. I may be wrong but it tasted liked some cheddar was sprinkled on top and burned oh so nicely in the oven.

So, for a man who doesn’t pinch his nipples with crab claws or uses warm butter as a lubricant, I have to say that I enjoyed my meal at Lobster Joint. As did my girlfriend.

I HATE YOU BRADY!

Lobster Joint on Urbanspoon

Phood at The Phork

The Phork
9710 110 Street Capital Place Building
Edmonton, Alberta

Phunny how things are spelled sometimes.

I owed my incredibly handsome nephew a meal and I had recently came across a Groupon deal for a new restaurant called “The Phork”. Usually, restaurants with spellings like this, or with kitchy names like The Crazy Giraffe or The Pink Zebra, usually make me roll my eyes. I just don’t understand that type of restaurant naming.

The Phork is a new restaurant that’s been open for 3 weeks or so, and had a Groupon “coupon” for $50.00 value if you spent $25.00.  If you’ve been reading my incredibly interesting blog at all, you’d be getting to know that my cheap ass can’t pass up a good deal, regardless of the name of the joint.

They’re located on the main floor of the Capital Place Building and parking is available underground. HOWEVER. Be warned.  If you have a somewhat tallish SUV, the clearance is only 6’1 and unless you want to cause by-standards to run to your vehicle door, flailing arms, mouthing STOP, STOP, and generally making a scene so you don’t slowly and painfully scrape the roof racks off the top of your ride,…. you’ll want to park on the street. Just thought,.. you know.. that I’d mention that.

Ahem.

Moving on, let’s chat briefly about the decor. Let’s just say, I loved it. They seated us by the window  with a nice view that sort of overlooks the river valley and the high level bridge with peeks of the skyline. Rich dark woods, a contemporary decor that’s comfortable and impressive at the same time.

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We were seated to the table, and our drink order was taken immediately. Our server came and gave us the info on the specials and what dishes have been popular, which is a nice tip for those who aren’t sure what to order.

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We decided to share a half order of their Crisp Ambrosia Apple and Red Anjou Pear Slaw Salad (gathered greens, Canadian oka, orange and grapefruit & maple citrus vinaigrette) to start, and for our main lunch, I ordered the The Boar Belly Chicken Club (crisp greens, tomato, aged cheddar, bacon mayo) and my nephew ordered The Hand Formed Alberta Bison Burger (Caramelized red onion jam, chiffonade romaine, oven dried tomato, wild mushroom and truffle aioli, water chiabatta bun).

The salad:

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It was crispy and sweet from the apples and pears, and the tartness was nice from the citrus fruit segments. The way they cut the apple and pear in match sticks made it a bit awkward to eat as there’s no way to eat them and still look pretty. Thank God I wasn’t on a date and my nephew thinks I’m awesome regardless of how stupid I look when I eat.

Every bite was different – sweet, tart, and at times you’d get a hit of the Oka cheese, or a salty bite from what I think was finishing salt. All over, the salad was quite nice, but it was BEGGING for some sort of nut. Almonds or walnuts, whatever… please, hear it’s cry and add some nuts!

The Boar Bacon Chicken Club:

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Ok, so first, the crappy news. My sandwich was…….. ho-hum. You know, kinda like when u kiss someone you’re not sure if you’re into. It was nice… but no “wow” factor. The boar bacon was thick and tasty, but when everything was all combined between the bun, it was all one note. Nothing really stood out, the flavors just kinda huddled together and kept to themselves. I’m not saying it was bad, don’t get me wrong. It was nice, juicy, and a popular pick on the menu apparently, but it was kind of the under-achiever of the meal. It should be noted that the fries were damn good, though. Hand cut and not overcooked, sharp, cut-your-mouth-open, little spears – like some places make them.

Ugh.

The Side Ceasar:

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Garrett’s burger came with a side of caesar salad. The romaine was grilled in wedge style and had everything that should be in a caesar salad piled on top of the romaine. He loved it. He said that grilling the romaine added a great flavor and the dressing was rich and flavorful. At one point, he had a larger bite of an anchovy, but it didn’t deter him.

The Bison Burger:

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The burger itself was SUPER moist and juicy, which is impressive being bison – so easy to overcook into a puck. The red onion jam stood up with a nice tarty sweetness against the meatyness of the bison and the bun was soft and chewy. Almost too soft, as both my sandwich and his burger were falling apart as you ate them. No biggie tho. Being as cool as we both are, we rolled with it, and they were thoughtful to toast the bun which ALWAYS makes bread a bit more kick-ass. So honestly saying, with the exception of the fall apart bun, the bison burger was the BEST burger I’ve had in a VERY long time. It’s what burger dreams are made of,  know what I’m sayin’?

It also should be noted that The Phork is open early for us morning lovers (7:30 a.m.) who want breakfast out, and for those who are still awake after 10, they have a late night tapas menu that runs till 2am. Impressive right? Weekends have live music as well.

All in all, I can forgive the kitchy spelling because I REALLY like this place so far. I will definitely be back to check out their dinner menu, see that view at night with all the lights and soft music, and if I drink enough coffee, I might make it to the tapas menu for after ten.

Lastly, this place is perfect for a date night, people. Reasonably priced, great service, good food, and super sexy ambiance. SURELY the recipe to possibly pay off later…. wink wink :)

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The Phork on Urbanspoon

And She Forkin’ Forays….

One of the projects I’ve been wanting to work on deals with the world of frozen food. Whether it be entree’s, appetizers, desserts, etc, I’ve thought about this for a while now. So, without further adieu (ado?), I proudly present to you:

Forkin’ Foodie’s Frozen Food Foray!

Yeah, yeah, so maybe not so proudly, but I couldn’t think of a better name ok? I like the Foray part tho.

So here’s the deal – I select a frozen food item of some sort, and photograph the box, plus the frozen state it comes in. I will then heat it according to the mfg instructions, and re-plate the food in a (hopefully) nicer setting. I’ll photograph that.

Then comes the TWO BITE TASTE TEST!

ONLY two bites, you say?? Yes. Only two. My reasoning is that you can usually tell within the first two bites if you like something or not, and, well more truthfully… I”m sure that with some of them, two bites will be all I WANT to try.

That being said, with my final review, I will give the frozen food either a stamp of approval, which looks like this:

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Or they get nothing, which looks like this:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

.