July 25, 2010

Nutty Whole Grain Pancakes

These pancakes are SO yummy & pretty darn healthy too. Yes, they are similar to IHOP's "Harvest Grain N' Nut Pancakes"....only better.

1 1/2 c oats/oatmeal
1 1/2 c whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2.5 c buttermilk (I use 1 cube of melted butter added to 2 cups of 2% milk)
1/4 c canola oil (you can use regular veg oil...I can't due to soy allergies)
2 eggs
1/4 c sugar
3-4 Tbsp almonds (finely chopped)
3-4 Tbsp walnuts or pecans (finely chopped)

Grind oats/oatmeal & nuts to "flour" in blender or food processor.
Put all dry ingredients in 1 bowl & mix.
Put all wet ingredients in 1 bowl & mix.
Blend wet ingredients into dry ingredients.

Scoop batter by 1/4-1/3c portions onto a hot griddle (lightly greased)
Cook 1-3 minutes per side till desired done-ness.
Makes about 12 pancakes

NOTE: These are slightly heavy and VERY filling. (My hubby only eats 3 of these and is FULL.) I like to serve them with fresh fruit syrup, fresh fruit, applesauce or just butter.

July 23, 2010

Casa Lupe (Yuba City)

Let me preface this review by saying I grew up going to Casa Lupe in Chico and occasionally the Hamilton City location too. I think they existed in Chico & HC since we moved to Chico in 1986. That was the cool place to go! They made their own tortillas by hand and then on their totally cool machine....LONG before Chevy's had "El Machina" or before their was even a Chevy's nearby. To be honest Casa Lupe probably exsisted LONG before Chevy's did at all. They had a seperate bar area, kept things very family oriented, had a neat recessed fountain area in the Chico locale and the fajitas are TO DIE FOR. Simple, but perfect. Their salsa was different and still is. It is watery and chunky in consistency...which throws people off. It has big peices of celery, onions, bell peppers & tomatoes in a semi spicy but yes watery base. Its not authentic at all, but still yummy.

The family owned restaurant had locations in Chico, Hamilton City, Gridley & Yuba City. Slowly the locations closed and they are left with the Gridley location & Yuba City location only. I remember going to Casa Lupe the week before I moved to San Diego in 2002. Then after the move, a marriage, a couple of babies, a deployment, another move or 3 and a trip back to Chico in 2006 I discovered the location had closed. The Hamilton City location was gone too. Up in that area they have been replaced with Casa Ramos. A good mexican restaurant which I will eat at when I'm "home".

Then in 2008 my blooming family moved to Marysville. We haven't gone to the Casa Lupe location in Yuba City all that much in the past 2ish years. Maybe 3 or 4 times. I remember once as a family and twice on date night, just me and my hubby. It seems prices have gone up and quality had dropped....but just a bit. Let me tell you that as of our last "date night" vist this past Wednesday, I would not consider going again soon. Please read on....

-The food is still good! Its pretty much the same as it always has been. I still love the salsa, you can find it odd if you want, but its something about the flavor. The FAJITAS are still where its at. Jesse and I split a Steak Fajita Platter which can feed 2-3 people. They come with fresh corn or flour tortillas (6), rice, beans with melted cheese, sour cream, guacamole and the sizzling hot platter of sauteed steak, onions & mixed bell peppers.

-Service is typically good. I'll be the first to admit the wait staff can be over taxed and spread too thin at points if it is busy. Its best to go in later in the evenings. I still love the wait staffs "uniforms" or shorter black skirts and little white Mexican blouses with embroiderd flowers. The girls are all typically very pleasant.

-The current Manager Antonio leaves something to be desired as he is not a pleasant person and cusses publicly. I will not go back to Casa Lupe due to the experience with him alone this Wednesday. Below is a message I'm sending to every available resource in order to get the problem addressed. It was horrible.
Dirty Mouths At Casa Lupe!
Wednesday evening our service from Martha was excellent. The fajitas were great as usual. The atmosphere....not so pleasant. The entire time we were eating we listened to the foul mouthed MANAGER Antonio stand in the lobby area loudly conversing with 2 of his buddies. Antonio proceeded to harass one of the female employees with words I would not have been comfortable having said to me. He and his friends cursed like sailors. Multiple expletives were used but one in particular was their favorite. A word which elevates even a movie to a rating of which I will not attend. Why use it??? Why in public? Why in a family restaurant??? I was completely disgusted by the time we left and plan to never go back, unless Antonio is gone. I don't care whether he is family or not, but he should no longer be employed at a reputable establishment such as Casa Lupe. I wanted to say something as we left, but knew I could not contain my anger if I had. It was so horrible. There were 8-10 paying customers left in the restaurant when he began his verbal vomiting. Antonio should respect the fact that he has a job right now. The current economic situation is not something to joke about. Antonio’s job should immediately go to someone who respects their position, has a clean mouth and understands a little bit more about appropriate actions in public. He should be ashamed!