All posts for the month May, 2009

Hey everyone, really quick I wanted to let you know that I have finally done it. I’ve finally written my first eCookbook.

It’s a collection of earlier posts entitled “How to Make Tofu Not Suck Parts 0-5” along with a few goodies, tips, recipes, and pictures that I threw in to make the whole thing um… well done.

It’s totally free. Just click on the link to the right or fill out this form!


I know, Where Life Meets Lunch is my Sunday series, but BlogWellDone, Jr. had a surprise for all of us when he invited himself down to see Grandma WellDone which in turn necessitated that I drive an hour each way for a quick dinner.   Sort of like the $100 hamburger…without the airplane.

Anyway, here’s to playing catch up!

I don’t think it will come to anyone’s surprise that:

  • The economy isn’t doing so well
  • In turn, a lot of restaurants aren’t doing so well

And, of course, “isn’t doing so well” is a euphemism for we’re in a bad way.  Perhaps as bad as we’ve seen since the Great Depression.  Still, “isn’t doing so well” seems to induce less indigestion that the other term and will hopefully keep you in the mood to eat something.  I mean, this is a food blog after all.

Anyway, I’ve been relatively lucky.  Most of my friends have kept their jobs and those who haven’t have landed in better situations than when they started. 

Also, most of the places I like to frequent for food and drink aren’t out of business, either.  At least not yet.

I just have this distinct feeling that that is coming to an end.  I don’t want to name names or anything, but the last couple of times I’ve been to two of my favorite restauants have been downright depressing.  Where there used to be people waiting to get a table, people packed into seats, and patrons staying around to enjoy after dinner cocktails, now there are  only empty seats, empty glasses, and empty cash registers.

Even worse, if you really look, most restaurants are going about their business differently.  Portions are subtly smaller.  Where once salads came swimming in dressing, now they barely have any at all.  Rice bowls which used to be heaped to overflowing  are now filled only to level and more rice costs $1.50.  Even hot sauce is starting to cost money.

Sadly, the over-attentiveness of the wait staff, used to serving ten tables at once, is not a good thng when you’re the only full table in the section.

I wish I had a solution.  There’s one place in Kansas City in particular I am more than a little worried may not be around much longer.  This is the place where I celebrate my special occassions.  If I am on my deathbed tomorrow, my wife knows to go get me a meal from this place.  And tomorrow it may be gone.

All I can do is stand by and wait and hope that nothing happens to it.  I go there when I can, but the economy has affected my family just like it has affected everyone else’s.

So, yes, there is frustration in these words.  I wish I could do more.  But more importantly, there’s caution.  If there’s someplace you love to have a good meal, go there now.  While you can.

Nothing stays forever.  Especially not in a bad economy.

Dancing Deer Brownie Wrapped in Phyllo DoughWell, this series has come to an end.  After many days and many delicious recipes, today will be our last day talking about Dancing Deer products.  For now.  Even before I blogged them, I was a fan.  Nothing has changed that!

As you probably know, Dancing Deer CEO Trish Karter rode more than 1,500 miles to promote awareness for Family Homelessness.  She has done a great thing.  She talked with people, shared with them, and fed them.  I only wish my blogging efforts could compare.

To celebrate the final day of blogging about Dancing Deer products, I want to end with the first idea I ever had about what to do with Dancing Deer brownies:

Dancing Deer Brownies Wrapped in Phyllo Dough

We used to go to a restaurant called Coyote Grill here in Kansas City where my wife always ordered the brownie wrapped in phyllo dough.  I couldn’t not let this series end without sharing it with all of you.

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Mom…Happy Mother’s Day, even though I don’t think you read this blog, nor am I terribly sure you know what a blog is exactly.

Today, we’re going to celebrate the fact that 30 years ago (give or take a day or so) you, in a rush of horrible puns, gave birth to a strappling young baby boy who would later grow into a strapping young lad who somehow turned into me.  In order to celebrate this act, we’re going to be going to Heroes for brunch.  (For those not in the know, Heroes is probably the finest non-Mexican restaurant in all of Warrensburg, MO and was a natural choice for a Mother’s Day brunch.)

Ah the Mother’s Day brunch.  The culinary institution of Mother’s Day.

I have to admit, I’m jealous of the Mother’s Day brunch.  As a father, I am quite sore that there’s no Father’s Day brunch.  I mean I totally understand that the idea of the Mother’s Day brunch is to give busy moms a fantastic meal so she can take at least one meal off.

On Father’s Day…nothing.  Is there a Father’s Day buffet?  No.  Instead, I’m supposed to get a new grill implement and I’m supposed to stand over the grill and cook.  What’s up with that?

I want a Father’s Day buffet.  I want the meats I am to have grilled all in a line for me buffet style.  I want variety.  I don’t want to have to work for it.

I mean I’m not saying I do the same amount of work as my wife does…but I still don’t want to have to cook!

Okay, so you’ll see from the calendar that I totally missed May 2nd during Dancing Deer CEO Trish Karter’s ride to raise awareness of family homelessness.  I feel really bad since Ms. Karter can ride 1,500 in two weeks and I can’t blog every day she’s gone.  Yep, I’m awesome.

Pie Crusts Stuffed With Dancing Deer Products

So, the first order of business is to write what would have been the post for that day.  Then on Monday I’ll do a make up post as way of, hopefully, making things up to the truly awesome folks at Dancing Deer.  Anyway, today I’ll be making

Brownie Stuffed and White Chocolate Stuffed Pie Crusts

Like so many of the dishes we’ve been discussing and devouring over Ms. Karter’s ride, this one turns out to be pretty simple.  Dancing Deer does all the hard work turning raw ingredients into delicious brownies, cakes, and cookies.  All we need to do add a few more ingredients and we have an entirely new dessert experience.

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Tanka Bars

Tanka Bars

For those of you still not on Twitter, what are you waiting for?  If you don’t Tweet, you might not have ever heard of:

Tanka Bars

At least I know I wouldn’t have heard of them.  However, it seems like at least half their marketing team has Twitter accounts, so one day I asked Linda, their head of marketing what, exactly, a Tanka Bar was.  To answer, she offered to send me a box.

So before we get into what, exactly, a Tanka Bar is, we’re going to begin a list of all the things a Tanka Bar is not.

  • It’s not a granola bar

I just feel the need to point that out since I thought it was a granola bar until I opened the package and realized either I was either grossly wrong or this was the single most moldy granola bar in the entire world.  Of course, it turned out I was just wrong.

Tanka Bars Are Buffalo Cranberry Bars

Yep, you heard that right.  It’s a mixture of very tender buffalo meat mixed with cranberries.

  • It’s not jerky

So once I got over my initial shock and came to grips that what I was about to eat was not, in fact, a granola bar, I got to thinking maybe a Tanka Bar was buffalo jerky.  Wrong again.

Tanka Bars are far too moist and chewy to be jerky.

  • It’s not bad

So once I finally got the darned thing in my mouth, I figured out these things are pretty good.

Make no mistake about it, a Tanka Bar is absolutely unlike anything you’ve had before (well unless you’ve had Tanka Bars before I guess.)  Somehow, someway the buffalo and the cranberry just mix together very well.  The Buffalo is mild and salty and savory while the cranberries give it an unexpected sweetness and tang.  I enjoyed them to the point that part of me wanted to chop up a few of them to make taco filling because I just wanted to get that flavor into other dishes.

There’s One Caveat…

I can find no fault with the taste of my Tanka Bars.  However, if you decide to buy one, be prepared.  They’re not exactly pretty.  And while everything looks much the same once you get it in your mouth, we do eat with our eyes first.  If I had any complaints about the bar, that would be it.

With that being said, I’d say go for it.  Try one.  Especially because you have two ways to do it!

Way #1: Win a box

Linda was nice enough to give me a box of Tanka Bars to give away to all of you.  All you need to do is be the first person to tall me what Wagie Yutapi means.  Just leave it in the comments and I’ll be in touch!

Way #2: You’ve got a coupon!

Now, if a treasure hunt is not your thing or maybe you just missed out, you can still get Tanka Bars…and you can get them at a discount.  All you need to do is go to Tanka Bar’s website and enter the coupon code BLOGWELLDONE and receive $5 off your purchase of a box of Tanka Bars.  Let it never be said is not hip to bad economic times.

Two easy ways so that you can enjoy!

Dancing Deer cookie coated trufflesSo according to Dancing Deer CEO Trish Karter’s blog, she is finally home after her 1,500 mile bike ride.  Congrats for making it home!!

However, we’re still making delicious desserts with all of Dancing Deer’s mind blowing baked goods.

Before we get to the recipe, I want to do a little housekeeping.  First, today is the last day of Ms. Karter’s ride so we’ll definitely be doing a Dancing Deer recipe.  Then tomorrow, we’re going to take a quick break so I can do a little review of a product I am very excited about, then we’ll come back and I’ll do my make up for the day I missed and my extra special bonus recipe.

Now, with that being said, on to today’s recipe:

Dancing Deer Cookie Coated Truffles!

Who doesn’t love a truffle?  So rich and chocolately and surprisingly easy to make.  Now, add in some crumbled up Dancing Deer cookies and you have a recipe no one will be able to resist.

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Frozen Bananas

So I know we’ve been concentrating on desserts and junk food and candy and all that, so I thought today, the second to last day of Dancing Deer CEO Trish Karter’s ride to raise awareness of family homelessness, I would give you a recipe for something that is healthy.

Frozen Bananas

Actually, that part about this dish being healthy was an absolute and total fabrication. I mean, there are bananas in this dish. But I’m pretty darn sure the white chocolate and the cookies pretty much outweigh the bananas’ nutrients. Then again, you gotta have a little fun, right? Or maybe 15 days’ worth!!

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