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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Gotta Love Springtime in The Rockies

 As I write this column, I am sitting at my desk, just outside Richmond, VA, having been out here for a little over a week as our Fair & Festival Season has kicked in. It has been in the 90’s the past few days and thank goodness the summer humidity has not kicked in yet!

We did The Central Virginia Wine Festival on Saturday and as I was talking to people there and they found out that I still live in Colorado most of the time, two subjects were coming up a lot. The first was almost always about Colorado’s new law regarding the ‘Green’ and I try to explain to them that I do not live in Boulder or Denver and that the Western Slope is just… a little different than the Front Range. (Gee, ya think?)

The other subject was the snow that was hitting the Rockies and how could I live out there when the weather is like that.. In the Spring!! Smiling, I try to explain to them about our little ‘slice of heaven’, The Grand Valley and while, yes, the mountains around us do get nailed, we seem to have our own little eco-system, which spares us from most of mother nature’s fury. But as most of them seem to keep thinking that all of Colorado is like Denver, they just do not understand.

So, while I continue to grow our VA operations, I still am proudly a Palisidian and a small part of the Grand Valley!

Now that people have survived this last onslaught of our lovely Springtime weather, it is time to start getting ready for the Fairs, Festivals and Farmer’s Markets, some of which have already started, some are this weekend, (Try explaining to people in VA what Mike The Headless Chicken is all about!) and starting up in June, we will have the Farmer’s Markets starting up in Grand Junction, Palisade, Fruita, Rifle, Glenwood Springs and more!

If you have been getting cabin-fever this past weekend, why not come out to Fruita and check out The Mike The Headless Chicken Festival on Friday and Saturday!

When I think of Festivals, I always think back to when I lived in the Almaden Valley in South San Jose. When the wind was right, it would blow up from Gilroy and the garlic that grows there. My first major festival out in California was The Gilroy Garlic Festival, back when they only had a few thousand people show up, yeah, they get a few more than that nowadays,
Now that I got myself thinking of garlic, our ‘Website of the Week is from The Gilroy Garlic Festival and as you may guess, it ‘reeks’ at the Stinking Rose!  (

Our 'Recipe of The Week' is from that same site, Baked Garlic! Talk about an easy and tasty treat!

And don’t forget to come out to Palisade this weekend for the 1st Brews & Cruise Festival!

You can know also follow us on Pinterest; Decadence Gourmet Cheesecakes and Decadence Cheesecakes Cooking Thoughts... Check them out and let me know what you think!

You can now also follow the adventures of Decadence on Facebook at ,on Twitter ( and on Pinterest (

We are loading up recipes and discounts on our Facebook page and will also be letting our ‘fans’ know of upcoming events, sales and the like. There are even videos! Check it out and become a fan!

Baked Garlic
Dried thyme or oregano
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Peel loose, papery skins off garlic bulbs. Slice top of each head (pointy end) so that the flesh is exposed. Arrange in a baking dish or garlic baker and drizzle with oil. Sprinkle with herbs. Cover with foil or baker lid and bake for about 45 minutes until the garlic is soft and golden. Cool before serving.

Squeeze soft garlic out of skins and spread on meat or French bread.

Serve toasts with remaining oil.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Richmond eats...

I do love finding new places to eat when I am on the road and as I spend a lot of time in Richmond, VA with our expansion of Decadence Gourmet Cheesecakes and with such, drive all around the RVA.

Yesterday, I was headed down to a restaurant supply store and made a wrong turn and I saw a place that I had seen before but never stopped. I knew I had a little time and saw that the place was packed, so what the hey...

En Su Boca may not look like much from the outside, but definitely do not let that fool you!

I walked in and asked for a menu and knew almost immediately that I might like this place; a definate South of the Border feel and when I saw that their style was 'San Francisco Mission District', I had high hopes, having lived in SF and Northern California for over 20 years.

Everything on the menu had that SF-Mission Style aire about it and yes friends, they have Tacos and we all know how I love me my tacos!

I settled on the Slow Roasted Carintas Taco ($3.00, 4 for $11), which is a Citrus Pork Shoulder with arbol salsa, taqueria onions and cilantro. Almost went with the Carne Asada or the House-made Chorizo, maybe the Marinated Grilled Chicken, but I love a good carnitas. Came with an appropriate lime wedge and yeah, tasty!!

Full Bar too with many, many tequilas, but it was way too early for that.

You can download the menu from their website so if you are around Boulevard and Broad Street in Richmond... definitely stop by!

Peter Chang Update 

I had been to Peter Changs in RIchmond a few times and while I loved the food, I was always wondering where the 'heat' was.

Found it!   Try the Chicken with Ghost Chiles!!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Cooking for the Love of It!

Cooking for the Love of It!

One of the things I love about traveling and finding new food places is having the opportunity to talk with the cooks and chefs, finding out what drives them, why they do they do,

Now, yes, we run into people who do it just as a job (and there is nothing wrong with that), but occasionally and as I frequent non-chain, smaller places, more now than in years past, I am finding people that really just love to cook!

In the past few years, I have had the chance to talk with the chef/owner of Cecelia’s Café in Albuquerque, the owner of Roque’s Carnitas, on the Plaza in Santa Fe, Chef/Owner Maria from Maya in Richmond and yes folks, even people here in the Grand Valley; Joe from the Palisade Brewing Company and we all know how Josh from Bin707 thinks about food.

I count myself in this category and I am lucky to have people working for me that feel the same way. We just love to cook, we love to try some new things and we love to ‘play with our food’! For those of you who have stopped by any of our ‘Pop-Up/Flash’ restaurants, you have seen what I mean. (and yes, we will be having more this summer, keep an eye here and on our Facebook page for announcements.

But this love of cooking is not limited to those of us who cook for a living! Some of the best cooks around are not professional, they did not go to culinary school, and the biggest crowd they have cooled for is their family, they might not know who Escoffier was, but they are good!

A lot of people are not fans of the Food Network, the Cooking Channel or the preponderance of cooking magazine that are out there and yes, I agree that there are dumb cooking shows, elitist shows and such, but I love the majority of them. I like to watch some of the shows, read the magazines, both of which I have a note pad next to me, writing down notes & ideas, tearing out pages that I really want to try (and yes, that shelf is overflowing!), maybe see a new twist, a new flavor combination, a new technique, ya never know!

So for all of you who love to cook, I salute you!! And for those of you who don’t think they have the skills, yeah, you probably do, so as I have said here before… Play with your Food!

Time for a giveaway!! Email me your favorite go-to recipe! If we run yours, you win… An ‘IN-N-OUT’ decal!!
Yeah, our ‘Website of the Week is a neat site I found, That’s My Home ( and has a lot of recipes, home-cooking style!

Our 'Recipe of The Week' is from that same site, Vineyard Chicken!

You can know also follow us on Pinterest; Decadence Gourmet Cheesecakes and Decadence Cheesecakes Cooking Thoughts... Check them out and let me know what you think!

You can now also follow the adventures of Decadence on Facebook at ,on Twitter ( and on Pinterest (

We are loading up recipes and discounts on our Facebook page and will also be letting our ‘fans’ know of upcoming events, sales and the like. There are even videos! Check it out and become a fan!

Vineyard Chicken
(from That’s My Home)
4 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried basil, finely crushed
1/2 teaspoon ground sage
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
4 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar or rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 cups halved red seedless grapes
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
Cut each chicken breast in half, lengthwise.

Mix together salt, basil, sage, paprika, garlic powder, white pepper and flour.
in a Ziploc bag, toss the mixture with the chicken strips. Save any excess seasoned flour.

Heat oil and butter in skillet.

Add chicken and cook both sides over moderately high heat until golden brown.

Add garlic and sprinkle in any leftover seasoned flour from the Ziploc bag. Add broth, vinegar, and lemon juice. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Uncover chicken and add grape halves to chicken in pan and simmer for 5 minutes longer or just until chicken is tender and juices run clear.

Remove chicken and grapes to heated serving platter. Boil pan liquid for 1-2 minutes to reduce, then pour over chicken.

Sprinkle with parsley and crumbled feta cheese.

Makes 4 servings.