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Friday, October 29, 2010

Mexico Chiquito...Dinner With Friends

The other night I went to Mexico Chiquito and had dinner with a dear friend I have known for most of my life. Her sister was in town and first things first for all former residents returning to North Little Rock...eat at Mexico Chiquito! This familiar eatery has been around in some form or another since 1935 when the Donnally family brought their treasured Texas/Mexico recipes to Arkansas. The Cheese Dip and Hot Sauce are famous as well as the quality of food and incredible service. I enjoyed the Steak Fajitas Nachos which were served with generous chunks of tender beef, plenty of real cheddar cheese, guacamole, sour cream, and pico di gallo. We also had one each of their fantastic frozen Margaritas!!! It was a great night...old friends...good food...great service...and booze.

Oh, and I wrote about the famous Hot Sauce recipe on another post a while back...could it be one of the Donnally's prized family recipes...probably not...but it's pretty darn close! And FYI, the Senoritas and Margaritas logo above can be found on all sorts of neat stuff at this cool website http://www.senoritas-n-margaritas.com/ ...check it out too!
Mexico Chiquitos Incorporated on Urbanspoon

Monday, October 25, 2010

Happiness In the Simple Things...like plain cheese cake, vanilla ice cream, brownies w/o nuts and E's Bistro, NLR, AR

Last week me and #3 went On A Quest For this simple little restaurant we had read about in the Arkansas Times called E's Bistro. Did not take long to find this jewel of a eatery in the Lakehill Shopping Center on JFK Blvd. Actually we had passed by many times before and just can't explain why we never dropped in. Oh, the power of suggestion from the Arkansas Times... 

Arriving for lunch, we were seated by a friendly lady who gave us brief instructions on how to order. First check out the menu, order at the centralized table cart, serve yourself with beverage of choice, and wait for the meal to be brought to your table. OK, simple enough...got it! 

Was only a few minutes before we received our Chicken Salad and Pimento Cheese Sandwich...both simply delicious! The Chicken Salad was heartily simple with huge chunks of chicken breast, creamy mayo, toasted almonds, whole grapes, and bits of celery. Served with a tasty herb encrusted slice of toasted bread. The Pimento Cheese Sandwich was loaded with a simple creamy spread on a fresh croissant with lots of crisp kettle chips (my request) and cute little cut up cucumbers. Plenty to eat, but as we watched the waitress carry a slice of fresh Coconut Cake to the next table we could not resist the temptation. Slightly pricey at $6 per slice, but well worth it! Simple, light, and airy thin vanilla layers loaded with fluffy frosting and topped with toasted coconut...simply out of this world! Total tab plus tip came to $28.25.

The food presentation, quality of service, and overall cleanliness of this simply adorable cafe has us aching to experience E's Gourmet-To-Go items in the frozen food section and returning soon to see what the Sunday Brunch is all about! And did I mention the local artwork for sale on the walls? Support your local community...simple enough...my kinda place!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Mrs. Cleaver or Mrs. Wolowitz...You Choose

Gee, I can't believe one of TV world's most perfect moms died a couple of days ago. Mrs. Cleaver was the perfect mom to Wally and the Beave and the perfect wife to Ward. I will miss every perfect thing about her...perfect bouffant hair do, perfect white pearls and snazzy outfits when she cooked her perfect meals, and perfect parenting skills to boot. There was really not much of anything that nobody didn't love about Mrs. Cleaver. I admire her for making something really spectacular out of her ordinary housewife status and especially for overshadowing that perfect jerk of a husband...check out this video...

I salute this character for pioneering the libber road long before libbing wasn't cool. Good bye Mrs. Barbara Billingsley!

And just for fun...don't you ever wonder what could have happened to June's boys if she hadn't been such a perfect wife for Ward?  Seems like one of our favorite geek's father left his mother when he was only eleven...check out this YouTube video with Howard Wolowitz and the Big Bang Theory nerds...Howard's Mother to the Rescue. I really like Mrs. Wolowitz as well...she may scream and yell and be labeled a "crazy old lady"...but somehow she will probably also go down in TV world stardom as one of the greatest TV moms ever and we'll never even know what she looked like. Mrs. Cleaver or Mrs. Wolowitz...which one is your favorite mom?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Spicy Pumpkin Chili

This year we are having a cool, crisp and gorgeous fall in the Natural State and I have been On A Quest For a really scrumptious recipe to serve this Halloween season. I finally found the perfect chili recipe...Spicy Pumpkin Chili! Yes, believe it or not you inflexible fuddy duddys out there, pumpkin puree can be used in a variety of other recipes aside from the classic pumpkin pie. And we also tend to overlook the value of pumpkins as a source of nutrition. In fact, pumpkins are loaded with Vitamin A and fiber while being low in calories. So why not keep some canned pumpkin on hand in your pantry and figure out ways to add it to your collection of priceless recipes! And for that extra Di Touch, serve in cute little hollowed out pumpkin bowls!

Spicy Pumpkin Chili

1 lb lean ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves minced garlic
1 cup each beef broth and water
1 1/2 oz grated unsweetened chocolate
2 tablespoons chili paste
1/4 teaspoon each allspice, cloves, cinnamon
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon each ground cumin, paprika, pepper, salt
3 oz tomato paste
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 tablespoon wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons sugar or Splenda
Sour cream, minced onions, and roasted pumpkin seeds for garnish

Brown the lean ground beef in a large pot. Add the onion, garlic, beef broth, and water
Stir until mixed well
Add the remainder of ingredients, stir, and cover to simmer for about two hours
Remove the bay leaf and serve in real hollowed out petite pumpkin bowls
Garnish with sour cream, minced onions, and roasted pumpkin seeds