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August 27, 2010

88 GIANT Burgers

Is well worth the stop if you are in the area.
Be prepared to eat in your vehicle....because this place is small.
They've got room for 4 at the bar and 4 outside. 
There is always a wait!
This place is full of locals, ski bums, bikers & campers stopping on their way to the lake.

Don't miss it as you drive by....here it is......
Located in Amador County. In the town of Pine Grove.
About 15 minutes "down hill" (west of) Pioneer or 10 minutes "up hill" (east of) Jackson CA. 
Directly across the street from the fire station & Pine Grove Park.


This place is a classic hamburger joint...and a total dive.
But its SO good.


Order a shake! They're made of real ice cream!!!
Strawberry is our favorite.


Juicy ALL Beef Patties are pounded out in front of you for each order and slapped down on the sizzling flat top grill along side the buns! No salt or pepper is added. Pure unadulterated, cow flavored, red meat is on this big guy.

Cheese is layered on at the perfect time....American is the ONLY cheese available.


Burgers are topped with mayo, mustard, lettuce, thick slices of FRESH onion & tomato. But they of course are all made to order for picky guys such as my hubby...no onions and mayo for him.
If you want to purchase a whole pickle they will slice it and add it to your burger.

You can order a single with cheese like mine, which is pictured above.
OR 
Order a double burger with double cheese like my hubbies below.......



Let me share that drippy cheesy goodness with one more picture.

August 19, 2010

Cookie Disappointment

We haven't been to a certain "local specialty cookie bakery" in months. I know its been at least 6 months, but thinking back now its probably been closer to 9. Well I've been trying to "recreate" a cookie from this place and hadn't had one in so long I needed to try another to see how close I may or may not be getting. I'm close. This cookie is my favorite (at this bakery) its half peanut butter cookie & half chocolate cookie....swirled together. I know it sounds like a simple cookie to make. However, its actually many things that make recreating a recipe (especially a baked product) hard to do.
  • First the proportions of dough. On this they seem to be 1/2 & 1/2. But sometimes its more peanut and less chocolate.
  • Second the amount of chocolate in the chocolate cookie dough.....thats actually part of the problem.
  • Then the consistency of the cookie itself...the peanut butter is creamy and so is the chocolate and this bakery makes a large cookie and manages to keep it soft all the way through, with just a slight bite at the edges. No crispy on this cookie. Peanut butter cookies tend to fall apart if baked too soft and dry out if baked even 2 minutes too long.
On to my disappointment...the cookie I'm trying to recreate is amazing. It still is amazing. I decided to splurge and buy a cookie we'll call a "chocolate crinkle"....yeah hush if you know the real name. It was disappointing. I've had it before and never noticed the lack of cocoa. No really, there wasn't enough chocolate flavor...and the powdered sugar honestly was killing what little chocolate I could taste. Blah. So the problem is that most people assume this chocolate cookie is the other half of the 1/2 peanut & 1/2 chocolate yumminess. After tasting it again...and being disappointed with the chocolate cookie itself I am convinced otherwise.

Ya never know what you aren't missing till you go back and try it again. Darn my memory and giving it another chance!

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

8 potatoes (peeled & diced)
1 large yellow onion (chopped)
1lb bacon
2-3c cooked broccoli (i used leftovers from last nights dinner...it was covered in shredded cheddar cheese)
2ish qts of milk (2qts of water/chicken broth plus 1.5c powdered milk)
2c shredded cheddar cheese
Roux....made from bacon grease & flour.

Put potatoes in the crock pot.
Add broccoli.
Add milk.
Sautee onion & add.
Bake bacon in oven & chop into pieces once crispy.
Add bacon.
Add cheese.
Cook in crock pot for a while.
Add roux to thicken.

I know...lack of directions and real measurements. Whatever! Its the basic concept.
Ladle into bowls and top with cool sour cream & chopped green onions...plus fresh cracked black pepper. Yum.

August 9, 2010

Dutch Oven Ooey Gooey Rocky Road Cake

1 stick butter
1 bag chocolate chips (regular sized bag)
1 devils food cake mix (prepared via box directions!)
Marshmallows!
Nuts! (pending any allergies)
Whipped Cream!

-Melt 1/2 stick of butter in DO
-Pour 1/3 of batter in DO.
-Add 1/2 choc chips on top of batter.
-Add some mallows & nuts.
-Pour 1/3 of batter in.
-Add 1/2 choc chips on top.
-Add some mallows & nuts.
-Pour last 1/3 of batter on top.
-Put other 1/2 of cube of butter on top in pieces.
-Cover & bake about 30 minutes or until cake is finished.
-Remember to check that the cake is finished...but there will be gooiness because of the chocolate chips & mallows.

Dutch Oven Peach Pear Crisp

2 sticks butter
2 large cans 1/4 peaches (both drained)
2 large cans 1/4 pears (1 drained)
1 1/2tsp fresh black pepper
3 Tbsp cinnamon (1 1/2tsp in the fruit, other in topping)
2c oatmeal
1/2 bag brown sugar
1 1/2c flour (1/2c in fruit & 1c in topping)

-melt 1 stick of butter in DO
-add peaches & pears, stir
-add 1 1/2tsp of cinnamon, pepper & a few Tablespoons of brown sugar.
-add 1/2c of flour to the fruit and mix
-in a gallon sized baggie add 1c flour, all oats, rest of brown sugar, 1 cube of butter & cinnamon
-mix baggie well...should be sandy looking
-dump baggie on top of peach/pear/juice mixture
-Cover & Bake 30-45 minutes or until bubbly.

Dutch Oven Black Forest Cake

1 Stick of butter
2 cans cherry pie filling
1 box devils food cake (prepared via box directions!)

-Melt 1/2 of butter in DO.
-Pour in 1/2 of cake batter.
-pour in all cherry pie filling.
-Pour in other 1/2 of batter.
-Place of 1/2 of butter on top of batter in pieces.
-Cover & Bake for 30ish minutes.

Dutch Oven Pineapple Upside Down Cake

2 sticks butter
1/2 bag brown sugar
2 cans pineapple
1/4-1/2 c cherry pie filling or maraschino cherries
2 boxes yellow cake mix (not prepared)
1 can of soda

-melt 1 stick of butter
-add brown sugar
-add pineapple (no juice...set to side)
-add cherrys
-mix well
-sprinkle cake mix over
-add 1 stick of butter in pieces to top of mix
-pour pineapple juice & soda over cake mix
-Bake 45 mins to 1 hour.

Cilantro Lime Rice

YES!
Say better than Chipotle!!!

vegetable oil
3 cups of rice
6 cups water
1 bunch of chopped cilantro
2 limes (juiced, juice set aside)

- Oil bottom of pan well.
- Make sure there is about 1/4 inch of oil in whatever pan you use.
- Add rice & water stir well.
- Bring rice to a boil, then cover & reduce to a simmer.
- Once rice is finished, fluff with fork.
- Pour lime juice into rice.
- Sprinkle cilantro over rice.
- Fluff again, while mixing in the lime juice & cilantro.
- You can also cook via dutch oven.

Makes 6 cups of rice!

August 8, 2010

Dutch Oven Verde Chicken Enchiladas

1 cup chopped onion (about 1 medium onion)
ground cumin
ground chile powder
garlic powder
2 4-oz. cans diced green chiles
2 pounds diced chicken breast
shredded cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese (I like all Jack)
6+ flour tortillas (can cut into wedges for small dutch ovens)
Vegetable Oil (enough for cooking the chicken & onion)
2 large cans of green enchilada sauce
Sour cream for garnish

-Cook chicken & onion in a sautee pan with just enough oil so it doesn't stick. (cook in batches if necessary)
-Season chicken & onion while cooking with garlic, cumin & chili powder to your taste.
-You may add some cayenne if you don't mind spicy.
-Add green chiles & mix.
-In 12" dutch oven pour an ample layer of green enchilada sauce.
-Layer tortillas, an ample pour of sauce, then chicken, then cheese.
-Repeat 2 more times.
-After final layer add an extra layer of tortillas & pour remaining sauce over the top.
-Place lid on dutch oven & cook for 30 minutes @ 325 via basic dutch oven directions.
-Serve with more tortillas, cilantro lime rice & sour cream.

This makes 1 12" dutch oven sized batch. You can easily feed...8 people.
Yes its sort of a make to your taste sort of recipe...sorry for lack of measurements.