Archive for the Uncategorized Category

Please Pass the Biscuits

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on March 2, 2011 by Donna Arriaga

Today I received a very sweet email that was forwarded from my husband, Paul. The story is a charming little tale that reminds us about the tenderness of life — despite the bitter stressors that pop up around the corner. Enter: The Burnt Biscuit Story.

After a quick Google search, it appears as though this Burnt Biscuit has been passed around quite a bit. But, it’s a meme worth continuing. So, without further ado, here’s the Burnt Biscuit story…

When I was a kid, my mom liked to make breakfast food for dinner every now and then. And I remember one night in particular when she had made breakfast after a long, hard day at work. On that evening so long ago, my mom placed a plate of eggs, sausage, and extremely burned biscuits in front of my dad. I remember waiting to see if anyone noticed! Yet all my dad did was reach for his biscuit, smile at my mom and ask me how my day was at school.

I don’t remember what I told him that night, but I do remember hearing my mom apologize to my dad for burning the biscuits. And I’ll never forget what he said: “Honey, I love burned biscuits.”

Later that night, I went to kiss Daddy good night and I asked him if he really liked his biscuits burned. He wrapped me in his arms and said, “Your momma put in a long hard day at work today and she’s real tired. And besides… A burnt biscuit never hurt anyone!”

You know, life is full of imperfect things… And imperfect people. I’m not the best at hardly anything, and I forget birthdays and anniversaries just like everyone else. What I’ve learned over the years is that learning to accept each other’s faults and choosing to celebrate each other’s differences, is one of the most important keys to creating a healthy, growing, and lasting relationship.

So…please pass me a biscuit. And yes, the burned one will do just fine!

Fair Food Showdown

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on September 18, 2010 by Donna Arriaga

It’s that time of year when state fairs across the country are coming to a close.  And that means, there’s no end to the number newly developed artery clogging, calorie-loaded fatty bombs that have found their way into our minds, mouths and tummies.

Any discussion of state fairs and fried food must, without a doubt, include the Texas State Fair.  The State Fair of Texas has even registered it’s unofficial tagline: “The Fried Food Capital of Texas.”

True to it’s tagline, Big Tex did not disappoint.  Here are three deep fried sensations that made it onto the 2010 Big Tex Choice Awards:

Texas Fried FRITOS Pie — Winner of Best Taste

Imagine taking a bite out of the Texas Fried Fritos Pie — a greasy, Fritos-battered popper filled with chili and sharp cheddar. Mmm.

The Big Tex site says that this smooth medley of hot, meaty, crunchy, salty, cheesy, oozing goodness will transport you back to the golden age of Fair Food.

Sounds interesting, but I’m not convinced these Pies will transport me back to the “golden age” of fair food.  All it would take to accomplish that feat is to wave a freshly fried corn dog right in front of me.  And no, not those bastard corndogs that you find in the frozen section, but good old meat on a stick that’s freshly dunked in cornmeal batter and deep fried right before my very eyes.

Fried Beer — Winner of Most Creative

This creation is a deep fried, beer-filled pretzel pocket.  Supposedly, one bite into the crisp, golden pocket delivers a gushing, all-in-one dipping sauce for that freshly fried pretzel.

Certainly creative. But I can’t stop myself from obsessing over one fatal flaw… who wants warm, er, hot beer?

Deep Fried S’mores Pop Tart

The base for this concoction is a s’mores flavored pop tart that’s battered and deep fried.  The dish is served up with a drizzling of chocolate syrup and whipped cream.

Out of all eight winners of the 2010 Big Tex Choice Awards, this dish seems most deserving of a “Least Creative Award”.  The only thing that really stands out with this dish is that — once again — someone decided to plop yet another edible item into a vat of very hot oil.  Oh but wait,  it’s also drizzled with chocolate and served up with a dollop of whipped cream.

Garnish or no garnish, this one is certainly nowhere as creative as the fried beer, or deep fried frozen margarita, or Fernie’s fried club salad — all of which made it onto the 2010 Big Tex Choice Awards short list.  Yeah.  You read it right. That last one was fried salad.

It Takes More Than One…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on April 26, 2010 by Donna Arriaga

…dedicated and wildly creative person to throw a seriously magnificent Beast Feast.

Major props to Cat — co-mother of Beast Feast and to Dan — who is the beast and co-planner.

Thanks for joining forces for a terrific 2nd Annual Beast Feast!

Khmer Dessert for a Very Special Birthday Wish

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on January 11, 2010 by Donna Arriaga

Today is Beth Kanter’s Birthday! Beth is a passionate, inspirational leader in nonprofit tech.  Her blog inspires thousands of people working in nonprofits to use technology in a way that helps them achieve their missions.

Beth turns 53 this year, and she has a very special birthday wish: Raise funds to send Cambodian children to school.

In celebration of Beth’s birthday and in honor of her special birthday wish, I prepared a Khmer Dessert.

Fried Banana Nuggets (Num Chet Chien)
Fried Banana Nuggets (Num Chet Chien)

These banana nuggets were amazing enough on their own. But they’re even better when garnished with coconut ice cream, a tiny dollop of pineapple preserves, and a drizzling of caramel sauce. Mmmm.

Fried Banana Nuggets (Num Chet Chien)

  • 2 Large Bananas
  • 2 Teaspoons of Sugar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
  • 12 Sheets small-size Spring Roll Shells
  • 1 Cup cooking oil for deep-frying

Cut bananas in half lengthwise. Cut each banana into 12 pieces. In a small bowl, mix the bananas with sugar and vanilla.  Cut the spring roll shells in half. Wrap each banana piece in a spring roll shell.

Heat the oil in a small saucepan.  When oil is hot, drop in the banana pieces. Fry until golden brown. Remove pieces and drain them on a paper towel.

Serve with coconut ice cream, caramel sauce and dollop of pineapple preserves.


And a very happy birthday to Beth Kanter!!!

Fun With Pork

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on October 3, 2009 by Donna Arriaga

The title says it all… it’s a zany video all about fun with pork.

Well, that is, it says almost everything.  It doesn’t prepare you for the pork-loving bunny bouncing around to the sprightly sounds of  7 Seconds of Love (their ska band) .  In this animation, the bacons have eyeballs and the Pork Monster is hilariously disturbing.

Bacon is the Hershey’s of Meat Candy

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on February 15, 2009 by Donna Arriaga

Yes sirree.  There’s no denying it.  Bacon is the candy of all meats.  So say we all!

At, you can find a whole page devoted to “bacon-meat-candy”.  Better yet, the Bacon Freak Club has a line of “Bacon is Meat Candy” t-shirts, hats, tanks and other greasy apparel.

This is all good and well.  But when it comes down to it,

bacon is the Hershey’s of “Meat Candy”.

Let’s face it.  Bacon — like Hershey’s — is one of those good ‘ol reliable staples that can manage to pull you through the next craving.  You go to the market, drop it into your cart (bacon that is — not the chocolate) and think about how well it will go with that burger, or maybe next to a stack of pancakes and eggs.  (If you’re really inspired, you’ll think about how it will add rich depth to your next Puttanesca Sauce.)

But let’s face it.  Sometimes (okay, most of the time),
Hershey’s just ain’t good enough.

Sometimes, you need a real chocolate to satisfy the craving.  Something deep, dark… a luscious 75% Ecuadorian cocoa, or perhaps a spicy blend of chilies and cocoa nibs to tantalize the palate.

…and sometimes,
Bacon just ain’t good enough.

Sometimes, you need a more complex flavor to tantalize the palate.  In these cases, I recommend a time-stopping indulgence in the sweet, salty flavors of a mouth-watering Spanish Serrano or Italian Prosciutto.  And no, pork does not necessarily claim all of the top-shelf real-estate when it comes to meat candy indulgences.  Enter: Bresaola.  Trust me.  You’ve gotta try it.

A Prost to the dandiest of all meat candies:
Serrano, Prosciutto, Bresaola.

Frack! My fat a#% won’t fit into these jeans.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on October 17, 2008 by Donna Arriaga

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That’s what Paulina said after she ingested about 3 weeks worth of calories at the Texas State Fair.  At you can traverse the wide world of a Texan State Fair without even stepping foot near the big 10-gallon hat state.  You’ll also immediately see why Paulina said what she said about her curvaceous rear end.

Of course, you’ll miss out on actually ingesting all the gut-wrenching deep-fried foods littered about the fair.  But not to worry.  With a quick click through to the Big Tex food locator,  you too can at lease lust (or disgust) over foods saturated in way too much fat.

Chicken Fried Bacon – Thick and peppery Farm Pac® bacon is seasoned, double-dipped in a special batter and breading and deep-fried. Served with a creamy side of ranch or honey mustard sauce.   Served at  N30 located on Nimitz at MLK. Winner of Best Taste in the Big Tex Choice Awards competition.

Fried Banana Split – A mixture of banana and honey peanut butter is rolled in balls, battered and deep-fried and topped with assorted, delicious fixings, including powdered sugar, caramel and chocolate syrups, chopped peanuts, whipped cream and banana split flavored ice cream bites then fittingly crowned with the traditional cherry.  Served at the Auto Grill inside the Automobile Building. Winner of Most Creative in the Big Tex Choice Awards competition.

Deep Fried S’mores – Marshmallow cream and chocolate chips are sandwiched between two graham crackers, dipped in a feather-light batter and fried to a golden brown.  The campfire-inspired treats are dusted in powdered sugar. Included in the menu at stand N9 located near the Embarcadero entrance. Finalist in the Big Tex Choice Awards competition.

Fire & Ice – A pineapple ring is battered and deep-fried, then topped with banana-flavored whipped cream that’s been frozen in liquid nitrogen. The smoking concoction is ladled with strawberries and syrup.  Fire & Ice is served by Abel Gonzales at the family-run stand on Nimitz Drive. Finalist in the Big Tex Choice Awards competition.

Fried Pop Rocks Fundae Blast – Ignite your senses with this explosion of Tastes.  Fried Ice Cream covered in Hershey’s Syrup and Pop Rocks.  Your fuse is a Twizzler rolled in Pop Rocks.  While you disarm it, you’ll find an Atomic Fireball inside . . .“Fire in the Bowl”! Stand FW-22 located on Fun Way across from Lost Children Building.

Fried Dinner Roll – A savory dinner roll lusciously filled with cream cheese and covered with a sweet batter, placed on a stick and deep fried to perfection.  Stand TB-14 located in the Tower Building.

Green Bean Fries – Fresh Green Beans lightly battered, deep fried, and served with a side of cucumber ranch dressing for dipping!  BW’s Fried Ribs stand TB-1 in the Tower Building.

Texas Bar-B-Que Eggrolls – BW’s Chopped Beef in an eggroll wrap, deep fried to a delicate crispness, and served with BBQ sauce for dipping or ignite your senses further with a splash of Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce. BW’s Fried Ribs stand TB-1 in the Tower Building.

Ignited Moon Pie – The Original Moon Pie, lightly battered and deep fried, then gently sprinkled with powdered sugar! Stand N-9 located near the Embarcardero Building entrance.

Caution: Best Western Spaghetti May be Hazardous to Your Health

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on September 16, 2008 by Donna Arriaga

Not exactly something I’d shovel into my mouth, but this animation is some of the tastiest stuff I’ve seen in a while!

SPAM Cook Off

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on July 22, 2008 by Donna Arriaga

Did you miss this year’s annual SPAM Cook Off?  This wondrous SPAM Cook Off can be found only in the heart of Fremont, Nebraska (and other prestigious U.S. locals selected primarily for their exquisitely refined palates).

And, if you did miss it, fear not.  Nail biting results are just before your very eyes. AND, the number one winner of this year’s annual SPAM Cook Off is… <drum roll>


WTF!??!!! you ask. I know, you’re curious and a little confounded, but not to worry. Here’s the award winning recipe…

First Place Recipe: Spyros

Shirelle loves gyros, so she decided to give this favorite a SPAM twist. She also substituted tortillas for the pita bread. The result was a flavorful, full of good-for-you vegetables, creamy-sauced sandwich that added zest to an old favorite. The judges loved it and deemed it worthy to enter in the national competition.


by Shirelle Flores

1 can (12-ounce) 25% Low Sodium SPAM
1/2 cup finely chopped or shredded onion
2 teaspoons fresh minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried ground rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried ground marjoram
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 large burrito-style flour tortillas or authentic pita bread
1 head lettuce, shredded
4 ripe tomatoes, sliced
1 can (6 ounces) whole black olives
1 package feta cheese
1 large red onion, sliced
Cucumber Yogurt Mix:
1/2 cup shredded cucumbers
1 cup plain white yogurt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon vinegar

Prepare cucumber yogurt mix by combining all ingredients and then refrigerate to chill. In a shallow baking pan add the olive oil and all of the seasonings including the onion and garlic. Marinate 12 evenly sliced pieces of SPAM in the mixture for about 15 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for about five to eight minutes or until SPAM is crispy around all edges and soft in the middle. While the SPAM slices are marinating, you should start preparing your garnish items such as slicing tomatoes and shredding lettuce. Warm your tortillas according to package directions. Take four slices of your baked SPAM and place on tortilla. Garnish with the lettuce, tomatoes, red onion, black olives and feta cheese. Add the cucumber yogurt mix on top. Fold the bottom of the tortilla up and wrap. Now enjoy your Spyro.


Alright. Enough gastrointestinal mayhem for one night.

World leaders enjoy 18-course banquet as they discuss how to solve global food crisis

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on July 16, 2008 by Donna Arriaga

Click to enlarge menu

Perhaps they should’ve invited a few stakeholders to the table.


Full story by James Chapman via MailOnline