March 9, 2011

I Want You for a Real Men Bake Experiment

Friends, Foodies, and Gourmets, lend me your ears (or eyes in this case)!

I want you to help me in a little experiment that shouldn't be too hard but might take some courage on your part.


So over the years, I have learned to be willing to try any food, no matter how much I may or may not like it. Because of that, I have had many things that I would have never experienced had I not stepped outside of my comfort zone. I have recently developed a new habit that I have learned from my Dad at restaurants when I am not sure what I am in the mood for or what I want to order.

I let the server surprise me.

Unless there  is something on the menu I know I wouldn't eat, I pretty much let them pick. The results can be interesting, not just in the food you get, but in observing how the server reacts in the situation.

Sometimes observing the server is better than the food you get (no matter how tasty). Why? Because you are putting them out of their comfort zone. But why not have them choose? They know the menu and if you know you'd eat pretty much everything, what is there to lose, especially when you don't have a preference one way or another? Also, I find it interesting to see their choice, do they go safe and pick something everyone would eat or go with their own personal favorite or something radical that may be shocking.

By doing this I have had some things I would have never thought to order but were absolutely wonderful.

The Task

Next time you go to a restaurant, try it. Give it a shot and see the results. See how the server reacts, what food you get and your thoughts on it.

Afterwards, post in the comments your experience. If you have done it before then tell me about that.

I know it takes some courage but I'd be interesting to see what happens! If you are unsure if your server would pick something you'd like, ask for their opinion first before you leave the ultimate decision up to them, it gives you a little insight to their tastes and how they might relate to yours.

Good luck! 

February 18, 2011

Dutch Apple Pie Cheesecake

The cheesecake.

It is one of my favorite desserts to make and it's kind of funny that it took me so long to post one on this blog.

All of my cheesecake flavors are based from one base recipe that I originally got from an old friend, Dante, and have modified and improved it over the years.

This recipe is a Dutch Apple Pie Cheesecake. It is basically a mash-up of apple pie and a New York style cheesecake. The bottom layer is traditional apple pie filling covered with the cheesecake filling and topped with a streusel.

I brought this cheesecake to a tailgate at the 2010 Big Game and got some good reviews. Anyways, on to the recipe after the jump.

February 16, 2011

Foodie Adventures: Mission Gastroclub - Japan

This post is way late, but oh well.

A few months ago, Mike asked me if I wanted to join him in the underground restaurant scene. I had heard of these before but really had no idea what they were. For those of you who do not know, the underground restaurant scene in San Francisco is basically gatherings of food and beverage people to enjoy a not-so-normal meal and socialize. The people can range from professional chefs, owners of restaurants, brewers, foodies, people who sell at farmer's markets etc. You get a whole walk of personalities and backgrounds that all enjoy eating and trying different things.

That brings us to the Mission Gastroclub. It is run by two gentlemen (Neil and Eric) who brew their own beer and do have culinary backgrounds. The dinners usually seat around fourteen people and is centered around a theme: Pork, Japan, Southern, Wine Country for Beer Men, etc. The invite list is long and it's a first come first served to get a spot. They now have two dinners each session because it has become increasingly popular. In the past, they have also had all day events where they got a whole pig or goat and break those down. There are several courses and each is paired with a beer, usually one of their own brews.

Neil and Eric do an amazing job. If you need any reassurance, ask any of the others that have attended the events with us: Shannon, Bryon, or K-Dogg.

This evening's dinner was Japan.

February 14, 2011

Lemon Raspberry Sticky Buns

Happy Valentine's Day!


Happy Single's Awareness Day!

Lemon Raspberry Sticky Buns with a Cream Cheese Lemon Glaze.

That just sounds good to me, what about you? What about your sweetheart? Here's a little dessert that might get you out of the doghouse.

This recipe is a modification of my cinnamon roll recipe, which can be found here. I actually got the idea from Natalie who made these. I had never actually thought to swap out the brown sugar and cinnamon for something with a more tart flavor but it just seems to work. While the lemon rolls themselves looked tasty, I decided to add my own touch and throw in my go-to fruit: raspberries.

I ended up taking these to Bear's Lair and Kevin's Tailgate before a Cal game. Based on the way the dish was cleaned out I figured the raspberry add-in was a success. These are totally doable as a nice little treat for your Valentine. And if your single, well, these are a bit better than chalky conversation hearts.

The recipe awaits after the jump.

February 8, 2011

Commentary on the International Service Industry (aka America has a lot to learn)

Yes, Tedford does like to travel too.
Again, life got in the way of this blog and it's been awhile since I have posted. However, I have some free time and a lot of posts to catch up on.

Over my nearing a quarter century of life, I have been able to travel internationally quite a bit.  To my count, seventeen countries covering most of Western Europe, North America and a handful of Asia. I have yet to make it to the southern hemisphere but I'm working on it. In those travels I have made it a point to not just be a tourist and see the sites - I much prefer being immersed in the culture, with the locals, ideally not speaking any English and experiencing all the country has to offer.

Especially the food.*

*Note: see that nice transition to related this post to the blog. Clever eh? No? Well, moving on then...

During those travels I have begun to notice something fairly significant: America, to put it frankly, sucks when it comes to the service industry. There's a reason people think American travelers are rude and pig-heated...

After the jump I will continue on how America has a lot to learn.