April 21- Burgers! and some Italian.

Dad's Root Beer? Who has that anymore.

So after our ethnic food adventure, I figured I'd take it easy on Dan's midwestern palate. So taking a "damn it, it's raining again" break from the Fremont Sunday Market, we stopped into Blue Moon Burgers.

Much like my oven fries, these only look crispy.

I'm generally a straight up cheeseburger kind of girl, but this particular day I was feeling saucy - and ordered the Southwestern burger. I've never been to the Southwest, but their burgers are bland. It had some kind of powder over the cheese that lent a bit of heat, and breaded/fried jalapenos, and a good dose of pink sauce and it still failed to impress me. Sigh.


Moos ordered the black and blue burger. The blue in the equation referred to the cheese, and the the black must've been. . . the char? The pepper? The void in our very souls? I don't know. It was also pretty forgettable.

It didn't taste black either.

Dan had something with bacon. It got a thumbs-up! Proving the age-old saying, "If thou hast bacon, thou needest not for any other flavor."


That evening we were cordially invited to la casa de David y Diane for dinner and a movie. The dinner? Baked ziti and salad. The movie? No Country for Old Men.

Let me just say, that movie freaked me out. I've never seen Javier Bardem play a bad guy, but damn. He gave me nightmares. And I will forever be terrified of those old people who carry around oxygen tanks. *shudder*

Wine with someone's gramma on it!

Oh yeah, the food! So baked ziti appears to me something like a lasagna if you forgot to pick up lasagna noodles at the store. And ricotta cheese. But its still delicious! Really, how can you go wrong with carbs and cheese? You can't. Well, maybe you could.

Melty cheese = melty heaven.

That ooey gooey mess of Italian called out for something green to make us feel less guilty, so Diane kindly provided us with a lovely salad. How thoughtful.

A carnival of color! and chlorophyll!

Delicious! It was the perfect meal to accompany a movie full of disturbing psychotic dialog and horrible visions of grisly murder!

A (mostly) balanced plate.

After the movie was over and I'd finished crying softly in the corner, it was time for dessert. Lucky for me, it involved a knife and somethings red and juicy!


Actually, it all turned out okay. Better than okay, delicious! Fresh cut strawberries, vanilla ice cream, dark chocolate cake with fudge icing, all drizzled with caramel sauce. Desserty overkill? Maybe, but if that's wrong I don't want to be thin.

Where did the cake come from? I'll never tell.

And the next day I saw Dan off on her long journey back to the Midwest. We may never see each other again, but we'll always have the memories. . . . that, and we'll likely see each other again. You know, probably.

And by request, here is the recipe Diane used for the baked ziti. From allrecipes.com with the following note from Diane: "I use ricotta instead of cottage cheese and to the sauce I also add basil, oregano, thyme, red wine, salt and pepper to taste. That's it. It's pretty simple."


  • 1 pound dry ziti pasta
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork sausage
  • 1 1/2 (26 ounce) jars spaghetti sauce
  • salt to taste
  • 1 (6 ounce) package provolone cheese, sliced
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 (6 ounce) package mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente; drain.
  2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Cook onion in oil until tender. Stir in rosemary and garlic. Transfer to a small bowl.
  3. Place ground beef and sausage in the skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown. Stir in the onion mixture and the spaghetti sauce. Season with salt. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish. In the prepared dish, layer 1/2 of the cooked pasta, provolone cheese, sour cream, cottage cheese, and a little less than 1/2 of the meat mixture. Then layer the rest of the pasta, mozzarella cheese, remaining meat mixture, and Parmesan cheese.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 30 minutes, or until heated through and cheeses are melted.


Susan said...

I tried replicating the rootbeer float for Tal. I think the Dad's rootbeer made a difference- because my Barqs and Diet A&W ones just didn't compare.

Cathy said...

You should ask Diane for her baked ziti recipe:it looked delicious!If she kindly gives it to you:share it with the rest of us.
Also,we went to the Corn Exchange on Tuesday night and had a great meal but coincidentally,one of us ordered a root beer float:home made organic vanilla ice cream(18% butterfat,and organic uncolored Santa Cruz Root Beer)I really liked the clear root beer:it tasted somehow more rootbeery!!!

yen said...

susan - I don't think it matters how you make it - Europeans don't like root beer floats. it's just facts.

cathy - recipe posted! and. . clear root beer? that didn't work so well for pepsi, but I'll have to find that Santa Cruz stuff.