Sunday, April 20, 2014
Having a sweet tooth, curse or never ending pleasure? I choose the latter. Cakes, cookies, pies, and especially pecan pies are foods that I adore. Whenever we come across a new or special bakery we like to explore. 'Gregory's Gourmet Desserts' is our latest find. This may be categorized as an 'Underground Bakery' literally. Gregory's is located on the edge of the inner downtown Oakland California. It is tucked away on a side street by numerous parking structures. There only is a small sign to indicate your arrival. Even then you will not be sure there is a bakery. There is no storefront but only a short flight of stairs leading to a unmarked door. Gregory's is only open two days a week and for only a couple of hours. Yes, this is an 'Underground Bakery"
Our parking karma was present, sort of. Gregory's is located around numerous parking structures. These lots offer all day parking for the local downtown workers. It did not seem prudent to pay fifteen dollars to pick up some sweets so we looked for the very few metered spots on the street. We circled the block and decided that I would get out while Ms. Goofy revved the engine double parked out front. While I was inside a spot did open up on the same block. The streak lives on.
You descend a short flight of stairs and open the door. I was not sure what to expect. I was wondering if you needed a password. The door opened to a familiar odor of sweet baked goodies. I had to be careful opening the door because there was another person inside. We did the dance through the door and entered a very small hallway. This hallway had a table and a couple of racks with numerous baked goods. That is all she wrote,this place is tiny. A very helpful clerk excitingly told me about the products and offered a couple of samples. It may of been unfair to offer these samples because of my sweet-tooth weakness.
Gregory's is known for their decadent cheesecake. I can personalty vouch for that. Cookies are just like mom used to make. We had a chocolate cupcake that would satisfy any chocolate fiend like myself. Ms. Goofy had a lemon bar that was great but she longed for a little more lemon sweet goo. We plan to return very soon. There are so many more sweets to try. I just hope our parking karma has not run out.
Gregory's Gourmet Dessets
265 23rd Av.
Wednesdays and Fridays 11:00am till 4:00pm
Friday, April 18, 2014
Come to the kitchen and take a Caribbean taste vacation with us. Miss Anna's Hot Pepper Sauce will be our vehicle to take us on our journey. We had a lot of fun trying this new sauce. Check out our latest review on Peppers & More.
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
What a surprise when Ms. Goofy told me she picked up some special bacon from our local store. Jalapeno bacon has gone mainstream. Combine two of my favorite ingredients to create possibly a marriage made in heaven. The constantly burning light-bulb above my head was shining bright with this new product. We immediately broke out the black iron for a lashing of fire. When we opened this package a wonderful jalapeno aroma filled the room. The bacon crisped up very nicely. It had a good meat to fat ration. It was crisp, salty and (drum roll please) had a distinct, pleasant, mild, jalapeno flavor. This is when I started to dance, cry and celebrate the wonderfulness of life.
Our first meal was of a juicy bacon burger. This special hamburger was sourced from our butcher friend Angelo. A dollop of home made mustard and all was assembled on a jalapeno cheese roll made to create a fantastic burger. We then made some candied bacon. This is a simple process of baking the bacon with a sprinkling of brown sugar. Bacon candy with a mild jalapeno twist rocked our world. Jalapeno bacon is here and we are happy.
Sunday, April 13, 2014
'The Great Tomato Plant Sale' was held yesterday by the 'Contra Costa Master Gardners. With over forty different varieties of heirloom tomatoes to choose from, guess which one beckoned out to me. 'Bloody Butcher' was put in our cart. How could I pass this by. Now I just have to be patient until that first bacon, lettuce and 'Bloody Butcher' tomato sandwich of the season.
Friday, April 11, 2014
Another familiar product has jumped on the bacon band wagon. Ritz crackers, everybody's favorite snack cracker has cashed in on this bacon phenom. This time I refuse to read the ingredient list because of past disappointments. They do have a smoky bacon like flavor. They are just as addicting as the original flavor. Let's make them into a sweet, salty dessert bar called 'White Trash Bars". The ingredient list is simple and the only variation is the substitution of bacon for original Ritz crackers. These bars are decadent, sweet, salty and yummy delicious.
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
We had some little visitors in our yard the last several days. Ms. Goofy spotted this swarm of bees perched on one of our compost bins. What should we do? Run for the hills, grab a garden hose or do what most Americans would? We chose the later and Ms. Goofy checked her phone. According to the World Wide Web they would leave on their own. Well they did. I kind of wish they had stuck around. The honey pot is a little low.
Monday, April 7, 2014
This was the scene at the judging table at the “10th Annual Western Days CattleWomen Rib Cook-Off in Colusa California. This was a huge offering of some of the most scrumptious beef ribs ever presented to this judge. We were offered the opportunity to sit in on this feast and review of beef & pork bones. Normally Ms. Goofy and I judge KCBS sanctioned contests and are accustomed to the four meats consisting of chicken, pork ribs, pork shoulder and brisket. As some of you may know, I LOVE beef ribs. We felt privileged to don our shiny “Master Judge’ badges and enter this arena. The rib cook-off was held at the three day ‘Western Days’ event located at the county fairgrounds. This contest was only a small part of a wonderful community event.
Western Days is a celebration which embraces the heritage of Western cowboy culture. Cowboy hats, blue jeans, and maybe a pinch of chew was the required garb to stroll these festive grounds. This Mad Meat Genius and certified city slicker purchased a hat to blend in with the crowd. I may have had the right attire but I need to work on my swagger. There were plenty of participants on horses. They were contestants in the many arena events such as; ‘calf branding, sorting, and penning, team roping, and of course the parade.
A Dutch Oven cook-off was held Saturday. I have already penned next years date on the calendar. My team of the “Meatmen” will have a year to get ready. A hallway was set up with vendors selling products with a Western theme. The ‘Pickle Man’ was one of my favorite stops. I may have sampled his various offerings twice they were so good. I picked up a custom set of tongs from a blacksmith vendor. This was a colorful market that was unique and fun.
There were 17 teams present at this rib cook-off. They paid an entry fee and were provided beef and pork ribs to cook. They submitted an entry to the judges and the rest was offered to the public for lunch. This lunch was a site to see. For a nominal fee the public was given a huge and I mean huge plate of bones, salads and dessert. The hallway was packed with rib eating festival participants. This plate was so good looking I was tempted to get one. Using my better judgment and the fact that I had already burst my shirt buttons during judging I will wait till next time.