Kristy’s Family Restaurant

Yesterday, my granddaughter, Leana, and I went to Ridgecrest – and we stopped at a local restaurant called Kristy’s Family Restaurant. It was a nice place. The portions were substantial (neither of us completely finished our Fries), the food was good, and the service was good, as well.

We started with some Buffalo Wings – which were amazing. They were not super hot – but incredibly tasty.

Then, for the main course, Leana had an Avocado Jack Burger, and I had a Mushroom Swiss Burger. Leana’s Burger had a bunch of Avocado on top of the patty – and Jack Cheese.

My Mushroom Swiss Burger was pretty self explanatory – some Sautéed Mushrooms, with Swiss Cheese – and it was cooked to perfection. The buns were very soft – and had a good flavor to them. The French Fries had a nice “crunch” to them, and not over-cooked.

It was a nice experience – a nice, local restaurant – with good food and service. If in Ridgecrest, I would highly recommend Kristy’s Family Restaurant.

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Chocolate Profiteroles

Well, yesterday, I tried something new again. I saw these Chocolate Profiteroles on TV – and I thought “they look good” – so, I gave it a try. To start with, I gathered my ingredients – AP Flour, Cocoa Powder, Sugar, Butter, 2 Medium Sized Eggs, and Water. I put the Water and the Butter in a saucepan on medium heat until the Butter was melted. While that was on the stove, I combined the dry ingredients. I then added the dry ingredients to the saucepan, and stirred with a wooden spoon until it had all pulled together and away from the edges.

I removed the pan from the stove and let it cool some – not totally cool – but enough that it doesn’t cook the Eggs when added. Then I added this dough to the Stand Mixer, and started the mixer. As it was running, I added in the 2 Eggs and let it mix for a few minutes – until thoroughly mixed.

Then the real fun began – trying to create the little pastries with the pastry bag. I found out that my dough was too thick – and I blew the side out of the bag.

Then, it was time to life them. I was mediocre, at best, in this part of it, lol. Part of the problem was that I blew out the side of the first Pastry Bag – so we had to go get some more. By then, the Profiteroles were a bit harder than they should have been. But, here is my attempt.

First, I made some homemade Whipped Cream with just Heavy Whipping Cream and Sugar. The Whipped Cream was amazing – very smooth, yet full of flavor.

Here is where it gets interesting – the way I saw them made on TV was that they were covered with melted White Chocolate. I’m not a big fan of White Chocolate, so, I decided to cover them with a Glaze – made from Powdered Sugar, Milk, and Vanilla Extract. I thought they were good – but my wife thought the White Chocolate would have been better.

All in all, I would call it a success – but definitely not perfect, lol. I will make some changes next time – like maybe going with some White Chocolate – or maybe some Powdered Sugar – time will tell.

I definitely learned that it takes a bit to get used to using a Piping Bag – but, I will work on it.

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Family Get-together

This past Saturday, July 6th, we had a nice family Get-together – our Son Robby, Daughter-in-law Salina, and Grandson Malachi, were here from Montana – so, we all got together. We made some BBQ Chicken, Pork Chops, Corn on the Cob, Baked Potatoes, Green Salad, and French Bread.

I started by Marinating the Chicken Thighs in Beer, and putting my own rub on the Pork Chops and putting them in the refrigerator.

Then, we removed all of the husks from the Corn on the Cob and wrapped them in aluminum foil, and rubbed the Potatoes with Olive Oil, and sprinkled them with Salt and Black Pepper.

I put 2 Tri-Tips in the smoker, with Apple, Hickory, and Oak wood. I by those in bulk (when on sale), season them (with Montreal Steak Seasoning, Seasoning Salt, and Cayenne Pepper) – wrap them individually, and freeze them. I smoked them for about 2 hours.

I put the Baked Potatoes in the oven at 425 degrees for about an hour – and they were absolutely perfect – fully cooked, tender, and add a little Butter, Bacon Bits, and Cheese – amazing!

I put the Corn on the Cob on the top shelf of the Smoker (what wouldn’t fit, I put on the top shelf of the Gas grill) for about an hour. That was some of the best Corn on the Cob that I have ever eaten.

Our son, Robby, is one of the best Chefs/Cooks that I have ever known – and he said the Tri-Tip was excellent – that it had great flavor, tender, with the right amount of smoke. Coming from him – that was a huge compliment.

The BBQ Sauce that I put on the Chicken starts with a base of Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce, then I add some Beer, and some Chalula Hot Sauce – and I baste the Chicken several times while it is cooking.

The Pork Chops were seasoned with Black Pepper, Garlic Salt, Onion Powder, Thyme, Ancho Chili Powder, and Ground Mustard. I got busy, and forgot to take a picture of the Pork Chops on the grill, lol.

But, here is the picture of my plate as I sat down to eat.

We had approximately 25 pieces of Chicken, 2 Tri-Tips, and approximately 12 Pork Chops – and there was not much left after dinner – which is a sign that everyone liked the food.

Overall, it was a great dinner, and we had a nice visit with the family. They will be here for a few more days – so we will be able to see them some more.

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Peanut Butter Pie

I made this “Peanut Butter Pie” – and before making it, my wife asked I I thought we should make 2 of them. I said that I wanted to make sure that we liked it first, lol. As it turned out, it was very good – but, extremely rich – and 1 pie was plenty.

I started by putting 25 Nutter Butter cookies in the food processor – This is the base for the crust. I added some Cinnamon, Brown Sugar, and Melted Butter – I mixed it all together, and pressed it into a glass pie pan – then baked it at 350 for 10 minutes.

Now, I started on the filling for the pie. The filling is done in 2 parts, then folded together. I made the first part in the Stand Mixer, with Creamy Peanut Butter, Cream Cheese (softened), Sugar, Powdered Sugar, Vanilla, and Honey – I mixed these until smooth.

Then, I added 1/4 cup of chopped Peanuts and 12 Mini Reeses Peanut Butter Cups – and folded those into the Peanut Butter mixture.

Then, in a separate bowl, I put 1 1/2 cups of Heavy Whipping Cream and beat it with a mixer on high until the consistency of Whipped Cream – then I folded that into the Peanut Butter mixture.

Then I put this mixture in the cooled crust that I had made earlier, covered with plastic wrap, and put in the refrigerator for several hours. Then I took another cup of Heavy Whipping Cream, and added 1/2 cup of sugar, and whipped it like before, and spread it on the top of the chilled pie. Then, I added some additional Chopped Peanuts on of the Whipped Cream.

This pie was absolutely “Crazy good” – but super rich. We cut it into 12 pieces, because a small piece is all you need. You definitely need to like Peanut Butter to eat something like this – with the Peanut Butter, Nutter Butter cookies, Peanuts, and the Reese Peanut Butter Cups – it is very “Peanut Buttery.”

Contact me if you want the complete recipe, and I will email it to you.

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Stuffed Zuchinni

We had some Zucchini and a Dutch Oven – so, it seemed like a natural fit. I took the Zucchini, and I cut the ends off, and on the longer ones – I cut them in half. Then I took a knife and hollowed them out.

I then sliced some Mushrooms and some Carrots and took a pound of Ground Beef – seasoned it with some Salt, Black Pepper Onion Powder, and Garlic Powder – then mixed that together with the Carrots and Mushrooms.

I preheated the oven to 350 degree. Then, I took the mixture of Ground Beef, Mushrooms, and Carrots, and stuffed it inside of the Zucchini. I stood them all up inside the Dutch Oven, drizzled some Olive Oil over the top, and added a 1/4 cup of water – then put it in the oven for 2 hours.

While that was in the oven, I sliced some Potatoes and put them to boil – for Mashed Potatoes.

After they were cooked, I drained them, then put them back in the pan, added some Butter, Sour Cream, Milk, Salt, Black Pepper, Onion Powder, and Garlic Powder – and mixed well.

Then I made the Gravy – from a base of Bacon Fat, then water, AP Flour, Salt, Black Pepper, and Garlic Powder.

We served it with some Whole Kernel Corn. When we pulled the Stuffed Zuchinni out of the Dutch Oven – it would nearly crumble under its own weight – extremely tender and flavorful. All of the Veggies were tender, and the Ground Beef had amazing flavor after cooking with the veggies for 2 hours. It was an amazing meal – everyone enjoyed it.

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Wood and Glass Display Case

A friend of mine, Joe Buccino, asked me to build a display case. He has a white Golf Hat that was autographed by Professional Golfer Dustin Johnson. Joe is going to auction this autographed hat in a charity auction.

Let give the back story to how I met Joe. Several years ago, I worked for Brian and Terri Fish at Fish Window Cleaning. Brian took the whole crew golfing at Riverlakes Golf Course in Bakersfield, CA. While we were in the Pro Shop, we were asked if there are any Veterans in our group – which I am. He had me fill out this card and place it in this bowl, because a man draws a name once/month and treats that Veteran and a friend to a round of golf and a meal at the Clubhouse. A few months later, my name was drawn by Joe Buccino – which is how we met. Joe Buccino is a “friend to Veterans” – so, when he asked me to build this display case – I was honored to be able to do it.

I started with a couple of pieces of Poplar wood – glued them together and let them cure.

Then I took 4 pieces of glass, cut them to 12 inches x 8 inches, and 1 piece 12 inches x 12 inches (for the lid). I glued the 4 12 x 8 pieces together in a square, and applied silicone to the insides of the corners.

Then I put a nice design around the edges of the base with my router, and cut a groove about an inch in from all sides with the router – for the glass top to set in.

Then I stained the base with a Dark Walnut stain, and applied a Clear Coat.

Then, I ran a bead of silicone in the groove, and set the square glass arrangement into the groove, then ran a thin bead of clear silicone along the outside of the glass enclosure.

Then I added some hinges and a latch system – along with some Felt tabs to keep the lid from having “glass to glass” contact.

This was the first time that I have successfully cut glass on my own – and it went pretty good – I only messed up 1 piece, lol. Overall, I am very pleased with how this project ended up.

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Lasagna and Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yesterday, I tried my hand at making homemade Lasagna again. The last time I made the Lasagna, it came out good – but, as you make the dish more times – it usually comes out better. I also changed some things in the recipe based on thing that my family doesn’t like. For example, they aren’t crazy about Ricotta Cheese – so I left it out. I increased the amount of Parmesan and Mozzarella Cheese. Also, the Italian Seasoning isn’t the most popular in my house – so, I left it out and added some Basil. It turned out better – most notably, it held together more as it was scooped out of the pan. I also made some homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies – which came out good – in fact, they were the best that I have every made.Also, I made a double batch of the Lasagna – there is a lady at our church, Kern Christian Center, that had broken both wrists, and KCC set up for people to bring the family food for a week or so – and I signed up for Monday. When I had my Kidney removed in February, the church did that for us – what a blessing that was – and I was honored to be able to give back.I started out making the homemade Meat Sauce – I started with 1 pound of Ground Beef and 1 pound of Pork Sausage – and cooked them in a large skillet until no longer pink. Then, I added 24 ounces of Tomato Sauce, 12 ounces of Tomato Paste, 2 Cloves of Garlic (Minced), Salt, Pepper, Sugar, and Basil. I let this Meat Sauce simmer for an hour.I cooked a total of 18 Lasagna Noodles (9 for each batch), and then started to assemble the Lasagna. I started with some Meat Sauce, then 3 Noodles, then some Meat Sauce and some Cottage Cheese mixture (Cottage Cheese, Eggs, and Parmesan Cheese), and some Shredded Mozzarella Cheese – then repeat until done. Then I covered it, put it in a 375 degree oven for 50 minutes, then uncovered it for an additional 15 minutes. Then, we added some Whole Kernel Corn.Now, for the Chocolate Chip cookies – I started by mixing the Flour, Salt, and Baking Soda together. Then, in my Stand Mixer, I put the Sugar, Brown Sugar, Vanilla Extract, and Butter.I turned on the Stand Mixer until the mixture was creamy. Then I added the Eggs (one at a time), and when fully mixed, I added the Flour mixture slowly.

Now that everything is mixed – I scooped them on to an ungreased cookie sheet and baked at 375 for about 11 minutes. They were were very good – soft when you bite into them – which is the best.

This “double dinner” was a lot of work – but very enjoyable and rewarding. I really enjoy making stuff like this. Then we had some fun taking pictures of my goofy grandkids after we delivered the food to our friends from church.

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