Previous month:
July 2007
Next month:
September 2007

Watermelon in rose-lime syrup

I was just cruising around some food blogs <read putting off chores> when I ran across a couple of recipes for watermelon in rose-lime syrup.I found one at Travelers Lunch box who found it at Richa's blog As Dear As Salt .Travelers lunch box tweaked it for her taste, she didn't use the black salt. So I got busy and made some. Here's what I did.

The ingredients.


I decided I wanted to use the black salt the recipe called for. All I had was Hawaiian black salt, I don't know how different it is from the kala namak but it worked for me.

The black salt is coarse so I ground some up in a mortar so it would dissolve in the syrup better.


It turned into a gray ashy looking powder. When it was all ground up it made me think of fireplace ashes.


Make a basic simple syrup *
2 cups of sugar to
1 cup of water
then add
lime juice to taste
splash of rose water

 kala namak (black salt)
1 watermelon

* put the 2 cups of sugar and water in a saucepan and heat up over med heat until the sugar is completely dissolved stirring occasionally.

Basically here's what you do.
Dice up the watermelon into cubes in a bowl and add the rose-lime syrup about 6 tablespoons for one small seedless melon or to your taste, I added considerably more.
Add lots of ice, about a cup to a pound of melon and chill for several hours for the flavors to mingle, stirring occasionally.

Iced watermelon


Dished up and delicious. I drizzle the syrup on other fruits also.



A foodie's desk

I was sitting at my desk diligently engrossed in my work. I reached for a snack when it hit me, I have a small buffet on my desk. Not just today, this is what my desk looks like on a typical day.
I do have to say that my partner in crime (and mentor and hero Shelly) contributed to this also.
From left to right. The green box, a gift from a precious fellow employee, contains pieces of ginger candy, dum-dums, assorted hard candies and Hershey's chocolate nuggets. Then there's a bowl of Fritos, under the Fritos is a can of lime and chile flavored Smokehouse almonds. The bowl to the right of that is filled with celery and cucumber slices. Behind the bowl of celery and cucumber is a container of organic peanut butter for the celery. In the foreground in the little white cup is Ranch dressing. Then there are Asian pears on a little paper plate on top of a container of those little sweet tomatoes.
I didn't take a picture of any desk drawers, but I will admit to a package of microwave popcorn and a new, :-) unopened bag of sunflower seeds.


So, what's on *your* desk ;-)

A.M. to P.M. Los Panchos, Old Barn, Sushi Time

We celebrated daughter Vicky's birthday on Sunday. She was visiting her sisters in Colorado on her birthday, so Sunday was the first time we could get together.
Stan and I stopped and had a quick breakfast on our way to Vicky's. We stopped at Los Pancho's off Greenfield in El Cajon.


We've been stopping by here for years for a quick good meal. It's apparently the favorite place of one of our local heros, Nascar race car driver Jimmy Johnson. He reportedly ate burritos in here as a kid and now has burritos flown in to him when he's racing in Fontana, CA



Since we were going to have a late lunch, early dinner type meal, we didn't want to fill up on breakfast so we split an order of Chilaquiles. As I see it, the trick to great Chilaquiles is keeping the integrity of the tortillas while smothering them in an enchilada sauce with <ingredient of choice> and cheese. They nailed this dish. The tortillas are a thicker style corn tortilla. The tortillas were cut into sort of rectangles, and I'm thinking they were baked off in the oven, (There was something about the tortillas in this dish that made me think they weren't deep fried) then layered with scrambled eggs, enchilada sauce and topped with cheese.
Their enchilada sauce is the standard by which an enchilada sauce should be judged. It was deep, rich, flavorful, perfect texture and spice. The beans were good, not outstanding but good. The rice was fluffy, tasteful and had little bits of corn in it, very, very, good. I do wish Mexican food restaurants would start using Cotija or some style of Queso Seco rather than the Cheddar, Jack cheese combination that is so popular. That's one thing I like about La Casa Maria is their use of Queso Cotija.


Los Panchos has a condiment bar that has 3 types of salsa, spicy carrots and a salsa cruda. Half of the condiments bar


Very clean and pleasant place to eat.
Los Panchos
1709 E. Main
El Cajon, Ca
Off Greenfield Dr

We picked up Vicky and went to Fashion Valley Mall. Vicky and I parked Stan in a comfortable spot with a nice breeze, a Starbuck's venti mocha frappuccino and his book, then we shopped 'till we dropped.
We wanted to go out for sushi and I thought Vicky would like to experience Todai for something different. We got there in between the lunch and dinner seatings (4:00ish) and they were closed until 5:30. O.K. That was all I needed to head for Sushi Time in Lemon Grove.
Here we go again, showing up before serving time, jeesh!!!, my timing bites. Sushi Time wasn't going to open until 5:00 so we had about a half an hour to kill. This turned out to be a good thing, right next door to Sushi Time is a nice steak house called Old Barn Steak House.


It's all Vicky's fault, she suggested we go into the bar for a beer and wait for Sushi Time to open. Considering this day was in celebration of her birthday I felt obligated to accommodate her. Beer schmeer, Vicky had one of the best Bloody Mary's I've <ahem, she's> had in a long time, and I had a killer Margarita on the rocks made by a very talented lady named Kathleen.


Kathleen is bubbly, friendly and efficient. As we were sitting there enjoying our drinks we watched her serve some danged good looking meals.


Thumbs up Old Barn, we'll be back for one of those good looking steaks.
Head Chef from the Mirage in Las Vegas
6954 Federal Blvd
Lemon Grove, CA 91945
Mon-Fri 2 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Open Sundays
Happy hours and dinner specials

Sushi Time opened and in we went for another memorable meal in there. See Girls foodie weekend 

Since our last visit I have learned that it is a good idea to leave it up to the sushi chef to make what he would like for you. WOW!!! am I ever glad I followed this advice. Joe our sushi chef from our last visit was there along with Paul. You can see Joe in the Girls foodie weekend post. Paul was very nice also and spoke Japanese. Ahem! Joe.


Our meal started with a serving dish of wasabi, (yes, I know it's not the real wasabi) ginger and edamame. We've heard that one beverage commonly drunk with sushi is beer, so of course we had to keep with tradition.



After we ordered a cucumber salad which is made with cucumber, smelt roe eggs and mayo, we left the rest of the order up to Joe.

In the background is the cucumber salad, in front is the rainbow roll, it has salmon, halibut, tuna, white tuna, shrimp, avocado with crab meat and cucumber. I wish the close up photo had turned out better. I renamed this "happy mouth" I don't know what to tell you, I wish I could do this justice. It all worked so well, it's one of those, make you want to jump for joy, it's so good dishes.


Then he passed us a roll called the San Diego oooohhh...YEEeahh!!! it's made of spicy tuna, eel, cucumbers, and avocado plated with an eel sauce and spicy mayo. This also was outstanding, I was jumping up and down inside, another "happy mouth meal". My first experience with eel. It tastes like chicken. ;-)



Well, it was in celebration of Vicky's birthday so we had to have dessert. Joe suggested the Banana Tempura Boat, their take on a banana split, only a thousand times better. The tempura bananas were crunchy and still steaming hot when served with a scoop of vanilla and a scoop of green tea ice cream topped with whipped cream and cherries and a drizzling of chocolate. Guess what, it's served with three spoons. ;-)


How lucky are we to have two great places right next to each other.


See you all again soon.

Grilled Dinner

I bought a London broil at Sprouts in El Cajon. It’s organic beef from Sommers Organic. I couldn’t wait to get it on the grill and have a delicious meal. 

I sprinkled it with some Montreal Steak Seasoning on one side and freshly ground black pepper on the other. It was a beautiful lean piece of meat.


I grilled a whole onion also. I took a whole onion and peeled off the outer layer, then using a spoon I scooped out a portion of the top, about a tablespoons worth, and packed that with butter. Then I ground on some black pepper and salt and wrapped it up in foil. Sometimes I sprinkle it with a little beef or chicken bouillon for a change of flavor.
The onion was much larger than it appears in the photo.


They take about half and hour to 45 minutes on the grill. They are especially delicious when put in the embers of a campfire where the outer layers get a little char on them.
Grilling whole ears of corn is a summer must. I threw the corn on when the onion was about half way done. I should have cooked them sooner as they were starting to show some age.


I was worried about the meat because it looked a little dry to me, and as it was sitting it didn’t give off any juices. When I put it on a very hot grill it didn’t sizzle at all and I had no flare ups. I even had the spray bottle with water handy and ready to go.


As I was watching over my dinner I noticed off in the distance a hawk watching over his.


Once the London Broil was off the grill and resting, it still didn’t give off any juices, I thought oh great, a nice dry piece of meat.
I couldn’t have been more wrong. This was probably one of the most tasteful and tender pieces of meat I’ve had in a long time. If I had no other reason to go to Sprouts I’d go there just for this brand of meat.