Tag Archives: Eating Out

Our Great Western Adventure ~ September 2013 ~ Installment #13 ~ Next Up Is Keystone South Dakota

On our way out of Sundance Wyoming we went through Deadwood South Dakota, interesting place for a morning visit.

On to the main event: Mount Rushmore National Memorial.

I know that I’ve said WOW! quite a few times already in sharing our Great Western Adventure with everyone, but WOW!

As we walked towards the granite faces of Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln, I stopped in my tracks, tears welling up and rolling down my cheeks.

I spotted Hawaii’s State flag in the breeze, which reminded me what a lucky little girl from Kaneohe Oahu I am. My husband was so excited, he plowed ahead, getting as close as he could to this National Treasure. This was a place we both had been waiting all of our lives to see…

So let’s not waste any more time dilly-dallying around.

We didn’t bother with our hotel until later that afternoon. We stayed at the park for the majority of the day, got a quick bite in the cafeteria and then found a good spot to watch the Evening Lighting Ceremony.  I don’t have one of those fancy cameras that can take a good night-time photo, but was really awesome to see!

The next day we had breakfast in our hotel, which was once again the usual “continental-plus” fare and then back to the park for the day. Surprisingly, there is a lot to see and do. We had decided that we would end our day early and have dinner at the Powder House Restaurant. You wouldn’t know that this is a restaurant, it looks like a log cabin, but man, what great food. In my research prior to leaving on this trek, I found that the Powder House specializes in local grass fed beef, bison and game.

My husband and I shared an appetizer of game kebabs-venison, bison and elk, wonderful. My supper was the special game of the day, pheasant with a fresh apple relish if you will and steamed veggies. My DH ordered the Prime Rib and the steamed veg as well. It seems that we had just enough room leftover to share a chocolate mousse.

We found a small grocery store in the next town over and replenished our supplies the next day and spent one more day at Mount Rushmore. We both just sat, in silence, looking up at the four faces that helped to forge America.

WOW, just WOW!

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Breakfast Out With Friends

Were we live now, there isn’t much of a restaurant scene.  What we do have is a small place here in our community that is owned and operated by the Home Owners Asociation.  Recently, the Board of Directors finished what I felt was a pricey renovation to the entire clubhouse.  It’s nice and we have not gone to try out the new “Grill”.  When a couple of friends asked if we’d like to join them for breakfast, we figured that would be a perfect opportunity to check it all out.

Image

My handsome husband ordered the Eggs Benedict, sauce on the side please and for myself, the Corned Beef Hash.  Not bad, although my husband’s Canadian Bacon was a little on the crisp side, but tasty with the fresh fruit, coffee and OJ.  Not in the picture of my plate of Hash, was raisin toast, yummy.

Corned Beef Hash

Maybe we’ll go back and try lunch as well as dinner.  It’s nice that they’re open 7 days a week and have a full service bar in a lovely lounge area.  The jury’s still out.

I Really Shouldn’t

…but okay.

Cheeseburger @ Five Guys

My husband was working so I went over to do some bulk warehouse shopping, and what do I spy?

FIVE GUYS!

@ Five Guys

This one is ALL for ME!  A double cheeseburger, sautéed mushrooms, BACON, lettuce and pickle, oh a schmer of mayo, thank you very much.

Now, if I only had a beer.

 

Talking About Cake

A few weeks ago, DH took me to the greater Phoenix area for a mini vacation (I’ll catch you up to speed on that later). One of the places that we went to was Scottsdale Fashion Square, and I found Caketini. We had our very first Cake Pop, well, they call them truffles.

Caketini Coconut Truffle or Cake Pop

This is Coconut flavored cake mixed with buttercream and then dipped in chocolate ganache, WOW!  I mean WOW!

I got to thinking, why does it have to have a stick and can I freeze them (for quantity control, otherwise we’d eat them all in a single go) ?

Ginger Bread-Cake, too dry

I had made my great grandmother’s old fashion ginger bread, using cake flour that I had left in the cupboard, instead of AP flour. It came out way too dry, so I thought, HMMM, this would make a great Cakeball.

the kit

I had been at our local supermarket, and I saw they had a Cake Pop kit for sale, cheap.

So here we go…

I crumbled the cake into a bowl; added 2 heaping tablespoons of canned, yes I said prepared buttercream frosting and gave it a good mix.

I didn’t want it too mushy, I wanted that truffle-like quality. I used a 1 ½ tablespoon disher to create even cakeballs and then into the freezer for about a half hour. There was my first mistake I found later after watching some You Tube ‘how-to-s’, they should have gone into the `fridge over night instead, oh well.

dipped and ready to chill

I melted some chocolate flavored Candy Melts in a double boiler, but it was awfully thick, but hard headed as I am, I plowed forward and dipped the icy cold balls into the candy and placed them onto a sheet pan covered in plastic wrap.

differest sprinkles

Some of them got some assorted sprinkles, cute. Then back into the chill box to firm up.

the finished product, YUM!

Not bad, though the candy coating is a bit thick. That was the second mistake. On the video that I watched AFTER I was done, you’re suppose to thin out the candy melts with some vegetable oil, did it say that on the box the kit came in? NO! Now I know for the next time. I got 14 little darlings to munch on later.

Was Someone Talking About A Birthday?

 

Yup, even at my age, I still like to celebrate my birthday. My mother likes to take us out to a nice meal for, well any occasion, she just plain likes to go out to eat. DH made the arrangements with her and off we went. Back home in Hawaii on your birthday, someone, or everyone, would give you flower leis or garlands.

leis of all types

Sorrowfully, that is no longer the case for us now that we live in the middle of the desert. I remember my parents’ 25th wedding anniversary, my Dad gave my Mom 25 strands of Pikake or Hawaiian Jasmine flowers. The fragrance is so heady, very distinct and different from other jasmine flowers.

three strands of pikake lei

This year it was just a nice dinner out…

Hauoli la hanau, Happy Birthday to me

ALOHA!

 

Escaping The Heat

Living in the middle of the desert, you try to find ways to truly escape the heat when the mercury starts to rise beyond your comfort level. My husband and I are very fortunate to have good friends that we have known forever that live up North from us, in the high, cool desert of Prescott Arizona, the states territorial capitol. Sitting at some points over 5000 feet above sea level, with oodles of beautiful pines, it’s so much cooler than my hot kitchen, plus I don’t have to cook when we go here!

The food scene in Prescott has grown with the number of tourist it sees. There are so many different, unique and familiar types of cuisines available. On this trip we went to our two favorite places, Prescott Station on Gurley street in the heart of Prescott and Bonn-Fire, over in Chino Valley only a five minute drive away.

We started our trek North early, so I knew that we’d have breakfast on the road. AHA!

Spam Musubi

I had Spam Musubi in the deep freeze outside. A few days before we left, I put the little bundles of my joy  in the `fridge to defrost slowly. Then just as we were about to go out the door, I nuked `em to just barely warm and tossed them into a paper sack for the journey.

We met Mister DF at Prescott Station for lunch. Love this place! The menu hits all of the right notes. Whatever you think you might like to eat, they make it, or they’ll try their darndest to make you happy. We like to sit in the bar area, mainly so that the guys can watch the sports and news while they chat, and yes, men chit-chat just as much as women do, don’t let them fool ya’.

Prescott Station White Sangria

We had a different person serving us at the bar this time, Dave we found out is the local bee-keeper and only works at the restaurant seasonally. Shadow afforded us libations and suggests white sangria, WHAT? I’ll try that. They make theirs with their own recipe of Chardonnay, Muscat, pear brandy, triple sec, apple, peach and pear nectars, YUM-O-LICIOUS! It was so refreshing, and had to grab a hold of myself and not chug it down.

Prescott Station Ahi Salad

DH had the Ahi Salad Oriental with wasabi soy vinaigrette, the large size please.

Prescott Station Shrimo Taco Plate

Both Mister DF and I had the single shrimp taco plate, served with our choice of refried black beans and Mexican rice (which I actually ate, it was very good). The shrimp taco is grilled with Sonoran spices, topped with shredded cabbage, pico de gallo and papaya-mango aioli, that I requested they swap out for the smoked jalapeño aioli, very good!

After lunch, we went to check into our hotel, but our room wasn’t ready yet, so we cruised on over to the Court House were they had a bunch of vendors selling all kinds of goodies. As the heat of the day increased, we found ourselves at Frozen Frannie’s.  We had been there not so long ago with our nephews and really enjoyed it. Love this kind of frozen yogurt shop, serve yourselves, get it weighed and pay by the ounce, perfect on a hot day.

Once we got all settled in to the hotel, we moseyed on over to our friend’s home for a cocktail and then headed out for dinner.

Bonn-Fire in Chico Valley Arizona

Bonn-Fire in Chino Valley is wonderful. And HEH! Guy Fieri, we all sent the Triple D emails saying how you should check out this joint, DON’T!   We don’t want the world coming in, we had a heck of a time this past weekend getting a table! It was just as delicious as ever. We topped off our meals by sharing a piece of Carrot Cake, Oh My GAWD GOOD! As Missus DF said, it has visible vegetables in it; it can’t be bad, right?

Okay! Sunday Brunch, my favorite, especially back at Prescott Station.

As DH and I drove South, back towards the middle of the desert, we both commented on how odd we thought it was that we live in the “Big City” and yet inky-dinky Prescott was it ALL over us for places to eat.

I Don’t Think I’ll Be Making These

I can’t really talk well just now. DH took me shopping way over on the far East side of town. There’s a Whole Foods that opened up back I think it was in January, but we just never made the time.

As I always do, I took snapshots (after having gone to the Customer Service folk and asking them if it was okay) of some of the different items that we don’t see out in our neck of the desert.

In the cake case, I spied macarons! I had yet to try one…

I went to the moon and back again!

Dark Chocolate Macaron

Dark chocolate and I didn’t share! A little pricey at $3.39 EACH!  Is that too costly do you think? Well, either way, it was a small piece of heaven in my hand and one was quite enough to jumble my mind for a few hours. I never understood this whole ohing and ahing  thing over this meager cookie. I do now and it’s a good thing  that Whole Foods so far away from us!

Dark Chocolate Macaron