Lucky Supermarket, the Save Mart 350 Tailgating Party, and a Heart Healthy Recipe!

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There’s a big Nascar race coming to Sonoma, CA on June 23rd. It’s the Save Mart 350, part of the Nascar Sprint Cup Series, and my local Lucky Super Market is selling tickets. Yay! This is the 25th year the race visits the Sonoma Valley. The Save Mart 350 is one of the most exciting races on the racing circuit, and one you don’t want to miss. Be sure to visit Lucky and purchase your tickets asap!

Save-Mart-San-Francisco-350-Race

Anytime there’s a race or a big game, we like to tailgate. It’s always a lot of fun hanging out with friends and family, cooking up a ton of great food. This year, I’ve been trying to not only eat healthier, but cook healthier. I usually like to fry up some chicken for our tailgate parties, but not this time. I knew I’d be able to find everything I needed at Lucky’s to make a heart healthy recipe for my family. First thing I did was look in my cabinets to see what I already had. There’s nothing worse than going to the store and buying something, then realizing you already had it in the cupboard! Check those cupboards! Now let’s go shopping!

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Instead of frying the chicken, I decided to grill it instead. Grilling is a lot healthier than frying, and I’ve been grilling as much as possible. I was able to find some organic strawberries at Lucky’s and everything else I needed to make my meal. You can see more pics of my trip to Lucky’s on my Google+ album, located here.

SONY DSCWEDGE SALAD WITH GRILLED BAR-B-Q CHICKEN THIGHS

2-3 lbs chicken thighs

2 C. bar-b-q sauce

1 container organic strawberries

1 container blue cheese crumbles

2 heads romaine lettuce

4 T. extra virgin olive oil

1/2 C. walnuts

Cut the chicken thighs in half lengthwise. Marinate them in the bar-b-q sauce for 1-2 hours. Fire up the grill and grill the chicken. Once the chicken is done, it’s time to grill the romaine lettuce. Cut the head of lettuce in half lengthwise, then drizzle one tablespoon of olive oil over the flat side of the lettuce. Place the oiled, flat side of the lettuce down on the grill. Grill for 3-4 minutes. When the lettuce is done, place one of the halves on a plate, grilled side up. Add 3-4 pieces of grilled chicken on top of the lettuce. Slice the strawberries and add them to the chicken. Sprinkle blue cheese and walnuts atop the chicken. Repeat this three times, you should have enough for 4 plates.

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I must say, hubby LOVED this meal! So glad I was able to find everything I needed at Lucky Super Market. Follow Lucky on Twitter and FB. I hope you liked my heart healthy tailgate meal. What’s your favorite tailgate meal to make?

4th Annual SF Weekly Dish Event in San Francisco! OH-EM-GEE!!!

As promised, I went to the SF Weekly Dish event in the city over the weekend (SFWeekly.com). It was like no other foodie event I have ever been to. First, it was the only inside foodie function I have attended, all the others have been outside. It was also the first one where I only had to pay one fee to sample all the goodies. Usually I pay per food item. From the moment I stepped inside, I felt like “I had arrived”. If the other foodie events I have been to were high school dances, then this was the Prom! I was surrounded by “my people”, other foodies… and it felt so right!

 This was a three-hour event, and we used every bit of that time sampling tasty morsels from over 30 different establishments! It was foodie heaven, 4 (YES 4!) floors of foodie fun! Take a look!

 The event was very well-organized… you walked in, checked in at the front table, your name was checked off the list and you were handed a plate and glass…for food and wine. (Recyclable of course!) Then you were off to explore all four floors of culinary delights!  I tried just about everything did not try the “Live Sushi” only because by the time I reached it on the top floor, it was all gone! I did however, get to try some Halibut Ceviche, courtesy of La Mar (www.lamarcebicheria.com)! I had never tried ceviche before and I must say, it was fabulous!

There was even a DJ present for our listening pleasure:

 All proceeds benefitted La Cocina  (http://www.lacocinasf.org/) a non-profit that helps low-income entrepreneurs start their own restaurants.

 The lines for the food, if you could even call them lines, were all very short. The longest lines were for wine, and since I do not drink, that did not affect me. (I must add, I did try a sip of white wine…it burned my throat! LOL!)  But enough of the small talk, I know y’all want to see pics of food, so here they are!

 Shrimp from Sol Food Puerto Rican Cuisine (www.solfoodrestaurant.com)

 Mr & Mrs Miscellaneous ( 699 22nd Street, SF) dishing up ice cream!

 Chef & Owner, Dontaye Ball, of Good Foods Catering (twitter @goodfoodcaters) above & his Organic pork belly, smoked tomato jam, spicy mayo, micro organic field greens & pickled onions slider below!

 Are you drooling yet?! Chef Dontaye’s got a good thing going with these sliders!

I’m not a tomato person, but the ones below have me rethinking that decision! You are looking at Sonoma Grown Cherry Tomatoes w/Bell Weather Farms Ricotta Cheese, 3 Salts, Basil Pesto & Extra Virgin Olive Oil, courtesy of Cliff House (www.CliffHouse.com). Mighty tasty!

  Chabaa Thai Cuisine (www.chabaathaicuisinesf.com) had two samples available (below), I tried the Massaman Curry and the sauce was delicious! I wanted more, much more! Here’s a close-up of the curry sample:

Alfred’s Steakhouse (www.alfredssteakhouse.com) was handing out little cupfuls of Zinfandel Braised Tenderloin Stew. Full of flavor & hearty, I can see myself eating a big bowl of it on a cold winter’s day!

 Look at that potato! Yummy!

By now, I was thirsty & needed a cold beverage… yes, beverages were included in the admission price… here’s my coke!  

Next stop: Turtle Tower Restaurant Vietnamese Cuisine (www.TurtleTowerSF.com) for some of their Chicken Noodle Soup… which I thought was really Pho!

 Close-up below. Great flavor, but a bit more salt than I am accustomed to.

 Papalote was there with their salsa, but what I really wanted to try was one of their Burritos! 😉  Below, we have Wing Wings Lower Haight (www.wingwingssf.com) with what else? A Chicken Salad Sandwich! 😉 Not sure why they didn’t have any wings, but the sandwich was good (according to hubby)…they also had a homemade punch that was off the hook good! I had three little cups of it! (Great thing about this function, you could have more than one sample, it was great! Since I did not try the sandwich, I filled up on punch!)

The venue was not too crowded, plenty of room to move around, everyone was enjoying themselves!

Any idea what these are below?!

Answer below!

Yep, organic gummy slugs! Courtesy of Heather Young, at Rock Candy Snack Shop! (rockcandysnackshop@gmail.com) Remember that wine glass I was given when I first walked in the door? Well, I did manage to smuggle a handful of these gummi’s home for my little one in that glass! 😉

There was a plethora of cupcakes upstairs, to satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth. I really liked the Carrot Cake cupcakes from Let’s Cupcake (www.letscupcake.com).

I tried the Truffle Oil Infused, Caviar topped Deviled Eggs below, and Loved them! Thank you, Linda, for letting me know these tasty gems are from Kuletos!

The next tasty morsel was a Bruschetta, I believe. It was from The Plant Cafe Organic, (www.theplantcafe.com) It was vegetarian, & had figs & some type of mushroom, I think! All I am certain of is that is was awesome…I wanted to go back for another, but I was good and continued on my merry way! 😉

 The Cookies below were delicious, they were from Goody Goodie (www.goodygoodie.com) but what I really wanted y’all to see, are the tiny little glasses of milk they gave out with the cookies! Genius! Way to go!

Below we have some good ole Fried Chicken from Gussie’s (www.gussieschickenandwaffles.com) When we got there, we were told they had just run out of their Peach Cobbler…NOOOOO!!!  I do not have the restaurant name for the Dumplings & Fried Rice below (So sorry!) but I just wanted y’all to see the portion size! This would be considered a meal at some of the other foodie events I have been to & I would have had to pay at least $5 for it… here at the SF Weekly Dish event, it was given out as a sample! Gotta love it!   My last food photo is one of my favorites! It is Aerated Cheesecake! I never even knew such a jewel existed, but there it is! The top was light & fluffy and 100% cheesecake in flavor…underneath was a fig… My oh my! It was the perfect way to end the day. It was made by Knead Patisserie (www.kneadpatisserie.com) I can honestly say, this was THE best foodie function I have been to, since moving here two years ago. Great venue, wonderful food, friendly people. I will return again & again! Hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed writing it.

I do want to mention Slow Hand BBQ, I did not get any pics of their sample because I was too busy stuffing my face with it! BBQ was tender, 2 different sauces were provided both were outstanding! Cannot say enough good things about them! (twitter @slowhandbbq)

Y’all take care,

The Cookin’ Mama

My Thai Kitchen BBQ House Party & Recipe for General Tso’s Chicken Sliders with Crunchy Slaw!

Last weekend I had my Thai Kitchen BBQ House Party! I am a member of House Party. (www.houseparty.com) House Party hosts many different parties every month, with name brand products. You apply to host a party & if chosen, House Party will send you a box of goodies to get your party started. As you can see, my box was filled to the top with everything I needed to create some delicious meals! (Well, almost everything, I did have to purchase the meat!)

  

This was the third House Party I have hosted. The first one was a DiGiorno Pizza Party, I was mailed coupons for free pizzas and all I had to do was go out and get them. My guests enjoyed trying out all the different varieties DiGiorno has to offer. The second House Party I hosted was for Oscar Meyer Carving Board lunch meats. Again, I was sent coupons for free lunch meats, I went to the store and got them. House Party also sent me several full-size Kraft flavored mayos…which were a total hit with my guests. We made sandwiches and had a great time. The carving board lunch meat is much thicker than regular lunch meat.

While I enjoyed hosting the first two parties, there was no real cooking involved…anyone can throw a pizza in the oven or make a sandwich! This House Party was different! I was actually able to cook for my Thai Kitchen BBQ House Party! Woo-Hoo! And cook I did! I made three different dishes, General Tso’s Chicken Sliders with Crunchy Slaw, Chicken Satay with Peanut Dipping Sauce & Ginger Teriyaki Lettuce Wraps.

  <— filling for lettuce wraps

  <— shredded chicken for the sliders

 <— chicken satay ready for grill

The dishes were all very easy to prepare, the Chicken Satay does need to be refrigerated one hour prior to placing it on the grill…no biggie! Everything else required very little prep time. I was really impressed with the final products! All three dishes tasted very authentic, which is extremely important to me as a cook. I love Lettuce Wraps & I am thrilled that I can now make my own! The Sliders were so tasty…I’m not one for adding cole slaw to my sandwiches-but the slaw made these sliders stand out! And the Chicken Satay & Peanut Sauce were on point! Of course, we also had some fried rice, chow mein, egg rolls, spring rolls, cake pops, cheesecake & smoothies! If you are gonna have a House Party, you gotta do it right! 😉

One of the party guests brought her mom, who just so happens to be visiting from Thailand! She speaks very few English words, but did manage to say “Yum, Yum!” while eating her food! I thought that was the best compliment I could get! Here she is with her plate:

  <— Yum! Yum!

Thanks to House Party for choosing me to host this Thai Kitchen BBQ Party! It is my favorite House Party to date!

At the request of one of my readers, I am sharing the recipe for General Tso’s Chicken Sliders with Crunchy Slaw, you’ll love it!

Until next time, keep on cookin’ ,

The Cookin’ Mama 😀