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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Dates Shakes and Anthony Bourdain

Not until I watched Season 4 of No Reservations (with Anthony Bourdain) did I have any idea that Palm Dessert was the home of the famous Shields Date Garden and there amazing Date Shake. Oh and an interesting movie about the "Romance and Sex Life of a Date"...that is something you will have to see for yourself.
On a recent trip out to Palm Dessert I had to stop and try one, and I am so happy I did.

Quick note: Shields has recently opened a Cafe in the court yard of the gift shop, it is ok. For the true date shake experience you need to belly up to the old fashioned soda fountain.

For some the thought of a milk shake made with dates may not sound all that good. But I am here to tell you it is delish! I fell in love from the very first sip. So much so I had to buy some of the magic date crystals used to make this shake so I could make shakes at home.

Date Crystals are dates that have been air dried and the natural sugars have crystalized. They are hard as rocks!

The recipe for this tasty treat is pretty simple.

Shields Date Shake

Makes a 16 oz

To make Date Paste:
1/4 cup of Shields Date Crystals
1/3 cup Milk
To make Date Shake:
1/4 cup Date Paste from above
1 cup Vanilla Ice Cream
1/2 cup of very cold Milk

Blend with a drink blender and enjoy.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Battle Crab Cake with Baja Crab from Catalina Offshore Products

Recently my favorite fish monger (Tommy Gomes at Catalina Offshore Products) introduced me to his newest product, Baja Crab. A flaky, sweet, lump pacific stone crab meat.
You can imagine my excitement, I could not wait to get home and play with crab cakes and crab salad (let's be honest, just standing in from of the fridge eating directly from the tub).
I one question to ask myself;  "should I make a Maryland style crab cakes or a Southern style crab cakes." That is where battle crab cake began.

Southern Style Crab Cakes (left) and Maryland Crab Cakes (right) with coriander pickled corn and blanched green beans.

The results, they both won. That is we love the flavor of the Southern style crab cake, with its bell peppers and Creole Seasoning. While we agreed that the light texture of the Maryland crab cake was amazing. The next step is to buy another tub of crab meat and perfect a recipe for the marriage of the two.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Perfect Vodka Tonic

To know me is to know that I love Stoli and Tonics. It is my go to drink. If you have never had this amazing cocktail it is as simple as Vodka and Tonic with a splash of lime. The perfect refreshment for really hot days!
Sounds easy enough to make, but it is surprising how many people do it wrong!
I recently want to take my cocktail to the next level. With only 3 ingredient I did not have to go far to perfect it.
First is good vodka is KEY!! Cheap vodka will add nothing to the drink. I love Stoli (Stolichnaya), but most premium vodkas will do.
Second is tonic water.

My choice is Q Tonic, "the world’s best tonic water ", clean and crisp it really enhances the flavors of the vodka and the lime. This stuff is made by someone who really loves tonic and want to sell you the best product they can make. Made from the finest ingredients like hand-picked quinine from Peruvian Andes and organic agave.
Add a few limes from a back yard tree and some ice! Heaven awaits!!


2 oz vodka
4 oz tonic water
Lime wedge

Fill highball glass with ice.
Add tonic and vodka, stir gently to incorperate
Squeeze lime over the glass and add into glass.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


I have said it before and I will say it again "Run Don't Walk To Catalina Offshore". Hands down the best, freshest seafood in San Diego. And of you go, go see this guy (Tommy Gomes). Remeber to be nice. As the price changes based on you additude.