Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Blind Tiger Oakland, CA.


 

 

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If you follow my blog you know that I post what I call the “food tale of two cities”. I reside in Orlando and Melissa in the Bay Area. When either of us visit a restaurant, where we’ve had an awesome experience, I share it with you. If you happen to be visiting either Orlando or the Bay Area. I hope you’ll check out some of the places I posted under the “Let’s Dish” category labeled, Orlando Information, or San Francisco Information.

The Blind Tiger is a pan-Asian inspired tapas and craft cocktail bar. My daughter, Melissa, and a few of her friends had dinner there and loved it!!  She took these pictures and I thought I would share them with you. Located in the Bay Area across the bridge in Oakland at 2600 B Telegraph Avenue Oakland, CA. 94612. More detailed information available at Info@BlindTigerOakland.com.  Here’s a peek at the menu..

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Creamsicle Cupcakes And Creamsicle Frosting Topped With Candied Oranges


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Do you remember that distinct musical sound that came from a loud speaker proudly displayed on the top of a white truck? You could hear them, those wonderful musical tones, before even seeing anything coming down your street. I believe they planned it that way, giving you, just enough, time to run in and ask your parents for money to buy and ice cream! Those were great childhood memories. I would always get the creamsicle, it was my favorite! Today I relived those memories with my creamsicle cupcakes topped with candied oranges.

I do want to let my readers know, in the pictures,  I made 3 boxes of cake mix, yielding around 72 of these cupcakes, celebrating two birthdays, for co-workers. My recipe below is for 24 cupcakes, 1 box. It’s really important to note, anytime you want to make more than one box, only mix one box mix at a time. After the completion of the box mix then you can combine them together in one large bowl. The frosting you can mix all the ingredients at one time together, no problem!

I’m start with the candied oranges.

 

Creamsicle cupcakes:
Equipment: cupcake pan, paper liners
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes ( follow the cook time on the back of the cake box)
Total Time: 30 minutes
Yields: 24 cupcakes

Ingredients:
For the cupcakes:
1 Box Duncan Hines French Vanilla
3  room temperature egg whites ( large eggs)
1/3 cup of vegetable oil
1 cup of Orange Crush soda ( this replaces the water from the box instructions)
1/3 cup of room temperature Ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons of Orange Jello Mix

Ingredients for Creamsicle Frosting:
2 sticks of room temperature unsalted butter
3 cups of powdered sugar
1-3 tablespoons of Orange Crush Soda
2 tablespoons of Orange Jello Mix

Directions for Creamsicle Cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pan with paper liners. In one large bowl mix egg whites, Ricotta cheese, vegetable oil, jello mix, and Orange Crush soda. Once all these ingredients are well combined, slowly add in the dry cake mix, stirring ( do not over mix) until just combined. Fill the liners 3/4 of the way full and bake 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely on sheet pans with cooling racks.

Directions for Creamsicle Frosting:
In a stand mixer or an electric hand mixer, whip butter until light and fluffy. Add in jello mix. Next, gradually add in the powdered sugar a little at a time. Finally, add in the Orange Crush Soda as needed to reach the desired consistency. Pipe the frosting ( using piping bag and preferred tip) on the cooled cupcakes.

Candied Oranges:
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 1 hour (stove top)
Bake Time: 2 hours @ 200 degrees F. (leave in the oven 1 extra hour with oven off)
Total Cook Time: 4 hours
Equipment: 3-1/4 sheet pans with racks, aluminum foil

Ingredients:
1 orange yields:  around 25 triangles
3 navel oranges sliced into rounds around 1/8 inch thick. Discard seeds and ends.
Large bowl of ice water
3 cups of granulated sugar
3 cups of water
6 tablespoons of orange juice
Turbinado sugar

Directions for candied oranges:
Fill a large bowl with ice water and set aside. Bring a large sauce pan with water to a boil and add in orange slices. Boil for 1 minute then place the orange slices in the bowl of ice water to shock and stop the cooking process. Once the orange slices have cooled, drain and place them into a large container and set them aside.

In another large sauce pan over medium heat, bring 3 cups of water, 3 cups of sugar, and 6 tablespoons of orange juice just to a boil. Heat until sugar has dissolved stirring occasionally. Turn the heat down to med-low and place the orange slices into the sugar-water. Simmer ( do not boil) the orange slices for 1 hour, until the rinds are slightly translucent, turning the slices over every 15 minutes.

Place racks on sheet pans lined with foil and lay the orange slices in single layer on the racks. Sprinkle each of the orange slices with Turbinado sugar. In a preheated 200 degree oven F., place the racks of oranges into the oven for 2 hours. This process will dry the candied oranges out so they are not so sticky. Turn the oven off and do not open the oven for an extra hour.

I’ve made extra candies oranges in this recipe and that’s because I want to use only the best looking ones as toppers and, at the end of the day, the cooks needs a treat too! Once the candied oranges have come out of the oven after the 3 hours, slice the candied oranges into triangle. Do this by using a paring knife and start at the center of the circle using the segment lines within the circle, cut into triangles.For appearance reasons, use only the best ones to place on top of each cup cake. Each circle yields around 5 triangles.

 

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TR Fire Grill


 

It’s been 8 years today, August 20th, since Steve and I went on our first date together. In many ways we are so different. My weaknesses are his strengths and vise versa.  I suppose that’s what makes our relationship work. This year I chose the restaurant. TR Fire Grill is described as an industrial-chic American restaurant serving rustic fare. They also offer an amazing variety of wines and bourbons. Locate at 1035 N Orlando Ave #101, Winter Park, FL. 32789. Here’s a peek into our night out at Tr Fire Grill.

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A look at the menu.

Here are the dishes we sampled.

We started with a twist on a classic, egg rolls.They weren’t your ordinary egg rolls. These were filled with caramelized onions, Wisconsin cheddar, and prime rib. Served with a side of horseradish Aioli and pickled vegetables. Next, a Margherita Flatbread, topped with roasted tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, fresh basil, and a balsamic glaze. Our main course was their bacon wrapped smoked meatloaf with a leek and onion gravy. Served with Yukon gold mash potatoes and roasted Broccolini. Everything was simply AMAZING! Here are a couple of other dishes they offer.

Salmon and Zoodles, and for dessert, their Buttery Seared Lemon Pound Cake with blueberry sauce and vanilla ice cream.

Together, we’re looking forward to many more anniversaries and food adventures.

 

 

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Heirloom Tomato Salad


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The Heirloom Tomato goes back generations. When in season, you’ll see them in many colors as well as multi-colored. Unique because they are beautifully misshapen. If that wasn’t enough, they now come in cherry size! I love to have present them, in different ways. I’ll cut a few into wedges, and the cherry size I like to leave whole. It gives a beautiful contrast to the dish.

Bocconcini are small mozzarella cheeses shaped into small balls. They come in a container and the cheese in set in whey or water. They add a creaminess to the dish. To finish, fresh herbs, basil and tarragon.

Yields: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Ingredients:
4 heirloom tomatoes cut into wedges
2 pints of heirloom cherry tomatoes
6-8 whole basil leaves
3 tablespoons of  chopped tarragon leaves
1 tub of Bocconcini drained and dried and seasoned
1-1/2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper
E.V.O.O. to taste

Bocconcini Seasoning:
1 tub (18-20 ct.)  Bocconcini that have been drained and dried well
2 tablespoons of E.V.O.O.
1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon of dried basil
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper

Directions:
In a small bowl mix together all the ingredients for the seasoning of the Bocconcini. Place the drained, and really well dried, Bocconcini into the seasoning mixture and toss really well. In a large bowl add the tomato wedges, cherry tomatoes, and seasoned Bocconcini. Add the Kosher salt, black pepper, and chopped tarragon leaves. Toss everything together gently. Lastly, place the whole basil leaves throughout.

When plating, drizzle each serving with E.V.O.O. ( A splash of red wine vinegar is optional)

 

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