Easy Banana Fritters Recipe

JONS Marketplace near me, currently has bananas at 3 lbs/$.99 until November 17th! So, why not make some Banana Fritters? 
Banana Fritters
Wet ingredients:
2 ripe bananas
2 tablespoons milk
2 eggs
1 tablespoon margarine, melted
Dry ingredients:
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pinch ground nutmeg
* * *
1 quart oil for frying
1 cup confectioners’ sugar for dusting (optional)
Mix Wet ingredients in one bowl, and Dry ingredents in another bowl. Stir dry ingredients into banana mixture.
Heat oil in a deep fryer or heavy bottomed pan to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Drop batter by spoonfuls into hot oil, and cook, turning once, until browned, 2 to 8 minutes. Drain on paper towels and dust with confectioners’ sugar.

Why McDonald’s Changing To “Cage-Free” Eggs Is Merely A Step In The Right Direction

NPR recently reported, “McDonald’s USA announced that in the near future, it will no longer buy eggs from chickens that live in cages. Those cages are still the industry standard, and 90 percent of America’s eggs come from chickens that live in them.”

For more on this story, see NPR’s “The Latest Scramble In The Egg Industry: McDonald’s Is Going Cage-Free http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/09/10/438934607/the-latest-scramble-in-the-egg-industry-mcdonalds-is-going-cage-free

Cage-Free Eggs, Photo Credit - Dan Charles, NPR

Cage-free chickens in a barn near Hershey, Pa., get to roam and perch on steel rods, but they don’t go outside. This week, McDonald’s became the latest big buyer to demand cage-free eggs.

Also, see why “Cage-Free” isn’t really as humane as they promote it to be; and, why they should be shooting for “Free-Range” or “Pastured” chickens! http://blog.gonzogourmands.com/2014/12/05/all-eggs-are-not-the-same-why-cage-free-doesnt-mean-free-range-more/

Custard Tarts, Chinese Bakeries, and a 178 Year Old Portugese Recipe

Eastern Bakery San FranciscoDahn Tat Eastern Bakery via Yelp
You may have tried the ubiquitous Custard Tart, or “Dahn Tat,” found in almost every Asian bakery. On the west coast of the U.S., they originally appeared in chinese bakeries like the Eastern Bakery, the oldest chinese bakery (1924) in North America located in San Francisco (above) and Phoenix Bakery, the oldest chinese bakery (1938) in Los Angeles (below). These pastries are much unlike the other baked and steamed delicacies from China, and no doubt were the result of influence by the portuguese bakeries in Macau. The chinese version has a delicate golden, flakey crust and custard so light it seems steamed rather than baked.
Phoenix BakeryDahn Tat from Phoenix Bakery Los Angeles Kimberly K. attributed
The portugese version is a bit different, and called Pasteis de Nata. The most famous bakery in Portugal is Pasteis De Belem in Lisbon. Their recipe is over 178 years old – – the bakery’s founder bought the recipe from a monastery in 1837! The pastry chef here (and founder’s son-in-law) started working here at age 15, and dedicated his life to making the “perfect custard tart.” He is now 76 years old, and people make a pilgrimage from around the world to eat his custard tarts – – as evidenced by the long lines every week. They sell 10,000 daily and 20,000 on bank holidays. In contrast to the chinese version, their crust has a light crispy crunch and a richer creamy custard. I hope you put this place on your bucket list and let me know when you try them!
Pasteis De Belem via ExpediaPasteis de Nata from Pasteis de Belem via Delphine Fortin
Watch this short video on the history and how they make (by hand!) the Pasteis de Nata at Pasteis De Belem!

How the Rest of the World Eats Bread

I believe that one of the best parts of travel is learning how people live in other countries. One of the ways to do that is to eat the local food. To help familiarize you, I’ve posted this great infographic showing the variety of styles of bread that can be found around the world, originally posted in Huffpost Taste.

This Is How The Rest Of The World Eats Bread enhanced

Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Oreo Pie

You only need FIVE ingredients to make this Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Oreo Pie
recipe courtesy of Kevin {&} Amanda!


  • 1 package (about 36) whole Oreos
  •  1 cup (16 tablespoons) butter, divided
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream, divided
  • 1 (12 oz) bag dark chocolate chips


  1. Finely crush the Oreos with a food processor or blender. Stir crumbs together with 8 tablespoons melted butter until well combined. Press into the bottom and sides of a pie pan. Freeze crust for 10 minutes until set.
  2. Combine remaining 8 tablespoons butter and brown sugar in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture begins to bubble. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Slowly whisk in ¼ cup heavy whipping cream until smooth. Cool caramel about 15 minutes. Pour the caramel over the Oreo crust, then return to freezer for about 30-45 minutes until just chilled and set. (You don’t want the caramel to fully freeze.)
  3. Place chocolate chips in a glass bowl. In a saucepan, bring 1 cup heavy whipping cream to a simmer over medium-high heat. Pour the cream over the chocolate chips and let sit for 5 minutes, then whisk until completely smooth. Pour the chocolate over the caramel and freeze for a final 30 minutes, until just chilled and set. OR refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve. Before serving, sprinkle the top with a flaky sea salt like kosher salt or Fleur De Sel.

Makes: 8-12 servings. Note: Store covered in the refrigerator and serve chilled.


You can see step-by-step photos at  http://www.kevinandamanda.com/recipes/dessert/dark-chocolate-salted-caramel-oreo-pie.html#ixzz3indn6TeA

Broken Appliance or Plumbing Problem? Save Money, Call Serviz.com!

Serviz.com Repair Service Tech

Serviz.com Repair Service Tech

Anyone who knows me, knows that although I am a positive person who hopes for the best, I am also a rational skeptic. I consider myself a fair taskmaster, who expects someone to do things the right way using the best possible solution within defined budgetary constraints. I don’t believe in the spending on the top quality for everything, nor the cheapest quick fix either. I want lasting solutions. I also want you to know that I was not paid for this review or given any special discounts in return for this review. That said, I would recommend you, my closest friends and family to check out Serviz.com first for ANY home repairs!

As you may have read in my last blog post, my LG brand, model #LSC27931SB refrigerator had died after 7 years. To save money, I had sifted through the many DIY YouTube videos on refrigerator repair. I found that just to do the simple repairs, I would need to find a YouTube video on how to use a multimeter first. I borrowed a neighbor’s multimeter which he hadn’t used in many, many years, and tried checking the resistance of the compressor’s three contact points. I felt unsure of the readings, and wondered if the accuracy of those things deteriorates with age as a patina develops on the multimeter’s contacts. Since the appliance sites allow returns, I went online and ordered the replacement parts that came to $116.38 including tax, shipping and handling for the capacitor and overload protect.

Unfortunately replacing those parts didn’t get the compressor running, so I figured the compressor had burned out. After looking at the DIY YouTube videos, I deduced that this was now beyond my means because of the special equipment I would need even if I ordered a new compressor. So then I went about calling appliance and refrigeration repair places. That is when I came across Serviz.com. According to their website and Twitter account, “SERVIZ is Home Services On Demand – iPhone/Android App & website with upfront, low prices, custom 2-hour appointment windows, & a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. If you are not 100% satisfied with the services we perform, we will redo the work for free or, in the event we cannot fix the problem, we will fully refund your money up to $10,000.”

When I went to set my appointment Monday August 3rd, I saw they had a window for a promo code, so I started a search to see if I could find one. I did find one (see promo code below) and set an appointment for Tuesday August 4th 12:30pm – 2:30pm. At 11:27am on Tuesday, I got a call from a representative to reschedule because they “don’t have any techs in your area, but we can reschedule for the next possible appointment at 12:30pm – 2:30pm Wednesday August 5th.” The caller sounded a bit hesitant to set the appointment for that time saying, “that is a very busy time and they may run late,” but I pressed him to give me the earliest possible time available. After rescheduling for that time, imagine my consternation a half hour later when I saw there was another appointment available online for 10:00am – 12:00pm! So I figured that I’d take that appointment, and let them know they could cancel the second appointment once they got here.

On Wednesday at 10:28am, I got a call about my two appointments that was causing some confusion for the dispatcher. I explained about my  reasoning and they apologized for my confusion. The rep explained that the rep I spoke with yesterday had a better gauge for most efficient scheduling, and that is why they put me in that time slot. She asked if it was okay to go ahead and cancel that 10am appt. and keep the 12:30 appt. I agreed and told her to make sure the tech knew about the make and model of my refrigerator, all the things I had done before calling them, and maybe to bring a compressor with him. I wanted to make sure this was not going to turn into a service call where they prolonged the appointment to charge more money for the repair. She assured me that the rep would get all this information before he arrived at my house. Before hanging up, I revealed that I was doing a review on my blog to share with my followers in LA, OC, and San Diego. The caller thanked me and wished me a good day. Exactly 40 minutes later at 11:08am, the VP of Product Services and Marketing calls to see if everything is all right. He further explained about how they are still refining the scheduling to offer the ideal service experience, apologized for any confusion (or skepticism) I may have experienced, and thanked me for my interest in doing a review of Serviz.com.

Within an hour of my conversation with the VP, our service tech Tom arrived at our door in his clean blue Serviz shirt, and took off his shoes before coming inside. I must say I was surprised not to see a white service truck in the driveway, and then realized Serviz was like an Uber for home repair professionals. I appreciated that Tom spoke to me intelligently about all the things I had done before he started work on the refrigerator. As he went through the diagnosis, he patiently explained about what he was doing and how my worst fear for a new compressor was not the problem. In fact, the parts and labor he quoted for the repair turned out to cost a LOT less than I had expected. He price he quoted me wasn’t much over what I had paid for just those replacement parts I had ordered! You can imagine how happy I was to not only get this low price quote, but that he was done by 12:45pm! If you need something fixed, or if you are an experienced home repair professional for appliances, plumbing, heating, cooling, etc., I whole-heartedly recommend you go online or call Serviz.com 844.815.4541! Here is a  for your repair 529QI1WG and let them know I sent you!

Check Back For My Review of Serviz.com Home Repair Service!

The Frugal Foodie’s LG brand, model #LSC27931SB is 7 years old and has conked out. It was making a clicking sound occasionally before it died, so I’ve changed out the capacitor, the overload switch, and tried to test the resistance with a multimeter to see if the compressor is still good. Not sure of the compressor results, I went online to schedule an appointment with Serviz.com. According to their Twitter account, “SERVIZ is Home Services On Demand – iPhone App & website with upfront, low prices, custom 2-hour appointment windows, & a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.”

On Monday, August 3rd,  I set up an appointment online using their website promoting how they schedule appointments using two hour windows for each appointment, and guarantee the lowest price. I even included information about my brand, model #, what I had already done, and let them know that most likely we needed to have a new compressor, so no time was wasted.

Today at approximately 11:20am, I get a call that there are no techs in my area available, and when I would like to reschedule. So I ask for the next available appointment, and the representative tells me 12:30 – 2:30pm tomorrow, that is the earliest appointment, they are busy that day, and they may be running late. I tell them fine, if that is the earliest possible. The rep hems and haws saying that 12:30pm – 2:30pm is their busiest time. I told firmly, not yelling or getting weird, “Look, this is a refrigerator, not a washing machine, where I can put off laundry or go to a laundramat. I need the soonest possible appointment.” So again I ask if that is their soonest available appointment. He says yes so I book it for 12:30 – 2:30pm tomorrow!

I give them credit for calling over an hour before the scheduled appointment, but I was able to get online after speaking to that rep, to set an appointment at 10:00am – 12:00pm Wednesday August 5th (see below)! So we shall see if they are able to keep an appointment tomorrow even if it is later than scheduled. I will follow up and share the results with all of you, so you can see if you want to do business with Serviz.com!

Serviz appt 8.5.2015


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