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Friday, October 5, 2012

Fondue Cowboy - Fondue Deliciousness in San Francisco's SOMA

I'd heard about Fondue Cowboy opening up in the city, and as soon as the word fondue was mentioned I knew I'd have to eat there.  I just can't understand why it took me so long.  (I do know, it's because sometimes when you want to go eat and that place isn't far away you still think it is because you live on huge hill in SF and don't want to walk home after a giant meal of cheese.)  Anyway, I finally made it to Fondue Cowboy and I'm pleased to announce it was everything I hoped for and more.

Now, before you "Melting Pot" lovers jump out of your seats and head to Fondue Cowboy let me first tell you that their menu is limited.  This to me is not necessarily a bad thing.  I see a limited menu as a way to show patrons the restaurant is focusing on making a few items awesome rather than many items okay.  There are five cheesy fondue choices and three chocolatey delicious dessert choices.  There are not hot oil, boiling meat choices - go for shabu shabu if you want that.  The other issue I'd like to go ahead and nip in the bud, is the complaint I saw on Yelp about how the portions are small.  Do you really need to be eating more than 5oz of cheese in one meal?  I thought not.

Okay, onto my awesome evening...

I made reservations on OpenTable just in case the place was super hoppin' on a Wednesday night.  Bob and I met up with Jay and Staci for a long-time-no-see dinner, so of course we ended up order two bottles of cabernet throughout dinner, delish.  We ordered two cheese fondues for the table: The Outlaw (Aged Cheddar, Beer, Slow Roasted Tomatoes, Roasted Garlic, Roasted Jalapeno, Cilantro) and The Rawhide (Italian Dolce Gorgonzola, Emmenthaler, White Wine, Bacon, Roasted Garlic).  Both fondues were good, but the Rawhide definitely stood out in my mind because of how rich and creamy it was, plus there was bacon.  Each cheese fondue arrives with dippers like: bread, potatoes, broccoli, olives, granny smith apples and gherkins.  We went all out and also ordered the cured meats plate (comes with honeydew and cantaloupe), the tenderloin plate, and the sausage plate.  It was a meat and cheese extravaganza at our table. 

I thought all the dippers for the cheese fondue were great, but I was especially glad we ordered the sausage plate because that night it was Louisiana Hot Links.  The combination of the hot links with the Rawhide was heavenly, the perfect complements.  

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After we'd devoured all our food, and painstakingly scrapped the bottom of the fondue pots to soak up every last bit of cheese, it was time for dessert.  We went with the Happy Trails (Dark Chocolate with Cayenne).  The dessert fondues come with strawberries, kiwi, banana, pineapple, brownie chunks, marshmallows, and spongy-bready-cookie things.  The one dessert pot was perfect for us, and a couple of us enjoyed a nice French Press coffee to go with our dessert.  

Total came out to about $200, and about $100 of it was the wine, so really we're looking at about $25 a person for delicious cheesy, meaty, chocolatey fondue.  The place is cute and intimate, and the service was great.  I had an overall wonderful evening and can hardly wait to return!

Say giddy-up cowboy and gallop over now!


Garlic Chicken with butternut squash and greek salad

I've spoken about it before and I'll do it again, I'm trying to eat healthier.  This dinner is delicious and only (according to 440 calories.  

What you'll need:

1 4oz chicken breast per person

1/4 cup onion chopped

2-3 garlic cloves chopped chunky

2 tsps butter

5oz of butternut squash per person

1 cucumber

1 tomato

Crumbled Goat Cheese

1/2 tsp olive oil


Angelo's Gourmet Seasoning

2 tsps Habanero sauce, or some other kind of spicy sauce (I personally like Mateo Granados' Ahumado)

2 oven safe baking dishes

Aluminum foil

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Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees while you prep your food.  First use 1tsp of butter to grease each baking dish. Coat your chicken breasts in the habanero sauce and Angelo's Gourmet Seasoning.  (I like to use a sandwich bag to do this, so I can rub the chicken really good with the sauce and seasoning.  Place the chicken in one baking dish and cover with chopped onions and garlic.  Put your butternut squash chunks (I'm lazy and buy mine pre-cut at the store) in the other backing dish.  Cover both baking dishes and place them in the oven for 1 hour.

Clean up your work area.

45 minutes later, or 15 minutes until your chicken and butternut squash is done chop up your cucumber and tomato.  Place both in a bowl (together) and add oregano and pepper.  Cover with your olive oil and some goat cheese and then toss it around so everything is nicely coated.  Clean up your work area again, and voila everything is ready for dinner and your kitchen is clean.

I love baking things in the over with garlic and onions, it's always delicious and moist.  Enjoy your dinner!







Thursday, October 4, 2012

Spicy Pumpkin Gingerbread Muffins

I love pumpkins, they're delicious and apparently a "super food."  I want to have more pumpkin in my life, so rather than bake a pie or make soup I decided I needed pumpkin muffins.  While perusing the internets for pumpkin muffin recipes I found an excellent recipe that required very little work on my part, which is always a bonus.  "Easy Pumpkin Muffins" is a great starter recipe, but I felt like I could better.

The original recipe tells you to use a package or yellow cake mix.  Meh, that's okay if you want boring pumpkin muffins.  I saw someone had commented saying they'd used a spice cake mix and it turned out great and that got me thinking, I could do anything and so I did.  I bought the Betty Crocker Gingerbread Cake & Cookie Mix and used it, along with a can of 100% pumpkin puree, a fair amount of cinnamon, and a dash of Ghost Pepper Powder to kick these muffins into deliciousness!  Oh man, they are really good.  I'm eating one right now, and I'm quite pleased.  The ghost pepper adds excellent kick, but not too much.  The only thing that would make them better would be to add some candied walnuts on top.  My next batch will be chocolate pumpkin with cayenne pepper.

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You know you want them, and now you know they're super easy to make, so what are you waiting for? Do it!!!