Monday, July 30, 2007
The Pedant and I stumbled out of the and I went to ChinaBlock this weekend and enjoyed some good food. We had a good veggie soup with tofu that was a clear broth (but surprisingly tasty), spring rolls, and the best part: General Tso's Chicken. The catch: The chicken wasn't real! And it was so well done, I made TP check it before I continued to eat it. We both really enjoyed it. Super tasty and super spicy. Also, don't get a "flaming volcano drink for 2" from a Chinese restaurant. I think we had half a bottle of rum in this drink, because it was not for 2, but rather for 5. Needless to say, TP and I stumbled out of the restaurant even without finishing the drink. We did get super long straws which made it worth it.
Part the Second: Sandra Lee's Drunkenness
Saturday night, TP and I watched an Iron Chef and then stayed for the "Sandra Lee Grilling Show" which was an excuse to make fun of Sandra Lee and her drunken revelry. Basically, she grilled some meat that was way too rare, was super perky and made an iced-tea beverage that was so alcoholic. It was a perfect way to poke fun at Sandra Lee. The potato salad looked good, but not enough jalapenos.
Part the Third: Crock Pot
TP a cookbook for and I received several gifts from my fantastic Aunt and Uncle, one of which is a crock pot. We are super excited to use it, and while perusing Barnes and Noble yesterday, we came across a cookbook: vegetarian crock pot recipes. Mostly because the non-veggie one all included trief or mostly meat, which neither of us cared about. Now we are excited for winter to come to cook crock pot meals! Yay!
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Other people use Dr. Pepper, hot sauce, and tomato paste. It doesn't sound too bad, although it might be more of a risk with textured vegetable protein than the ketchup/mustard recipe.
This article caught my eye. Although I enjoy kid's books (I may even still have my collection of the Bearenstein Bears, and when I frequently reread The Babysitter's Club I lament Ann M. Martin's use of contractions! Formal writing, damnit!) I have never heard of this series and the debate poses an interesting question. Should we just let our children read these books with bad grammar or fight the man! Looking at the ALA's website for banned books (prompted by the article), this I would assume is the only one that has to do with incorrect grammar. The others are all content-related, spurred by middle American close minded Fundies.
In other news, I saw Hairspray last night with Smel and it was ohsogood! I loveded it!
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Sadly, I am not surprised; I am the kind of convenience store-goer with poor impulse control that would be the prime market for the Weekly World News, and yet, of late, I haven't had the interest.
I think it's because the newspaper was no longer the crazy paranoid dreamworld of the red-state heartland (my favorite: "KKK Skeleton Found in Titanic Life Preserver," intimating that the KKK worked with the Nazis to sink the Titanic). It became more like The Onion, a paper of fake news with a leftward bent. And The Onion has a better staff.
On the menu:
Tehini (the underdog and under appreciated, mostly because it is high fat and ohsotasty)
Moroccan Eggplant Salad
Tabuli (not my favorite)
Falfel (I like anything fried)
Burekas (fried and cheese filled: even BETTER)
and a new favorite...
It's a middle eastern rice and lentils dish that is really good (mostly because there are caramelized onions on the top). It's super tasty.
Also, I have a new found love for homemade baklava. Mmm...
Monday, July 23, 2007
However, Dr. Pepper is, domestically, the Dr. Pepper/Seven Up Corporation, a subsidiary of London-based drink maker and clucking bunny purveyor Cadbury/Schweppes (how do I know this? It's at Dr. Pepper.com, folks!). Sadly, this may mean that they are locked into a franchise deal with one of the two Atlanta-based vaguely sinister megacorporations (Ted Turner founded the other before he started trying to rip people off with not enough buffalo at Ted's Montana Grill - I won't go back to your Atlanta restaurant again, Mr. Jane Fonda!).
Still, for those of you willing to hope against hope, the 7-Eleven webpage offers the following succor:
Sell to Us: If you have a unique product or service that would appeal to 7-Eleven customers, we want to know about it.
P.O. Box 711
Dallas, TX 75221-0711
I could not find an equivalent address for Dr. Pepper; their site is limited to a feedback form. You could try that form, or you could write Cadbury-Schweppes:
Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages
5301 Legacy Drive
Plano, TX 75024
Sunday, July 22, 2007
I was mildly disappointed. Anticlimactic, I felt.
Ah, well. Patrick Rothfuss is due for a sequel to his debut novel any time now; I find Kvothe a far more interesting superpowerful wizarding student than Mr. Potter.
Friday, July 20, 2007
Now, for what I've been thinking about since Thursday evening: Dr. Pepper salad dressing. I think it might work, along the lines of a raspberry balsamic vinaigrette dressing. I think there's a way that Dr. Pepper, apple cider vinegar, and olive oil could work together.
Ralph F. Stayer, who founded Johnsonville Sausage Co., died June 25 in Naples at the age of 92. To celebrate his life, Alice Stayer, his partner in business and in life, organized a party to enjoy her husband’s passion — bratwursts.
* * *
The assembly line started with rolls, then freshly grilled bratwursts, sauerkraut and pasta salad. It ended with soda, water and a friendly greeting by Stayer’s son, Ralph C. Stayer, 64.
“I just love Diet Dr. Pepper,” he shared with a smile on his face. “Here, take this one. You have to try it.”
Or maybe I need more sleep.
Now, it's hard to pick just one, since each candy has their own delicious taste, but I think M&Ms win for the following reasons:
- Different colors make it fun to eat organized (Eat only the reds first, in general or in each handful)
- The candy shell makes it a challenge for those of us who like to savor each bit by sucking on a candy in a creative way
- A whole package can take hours to finish...a candy bar is gone in 5 bites...
- The dark chocolate M&Ms are quite tasty
- They are fun to eat in movies if I choose to buy candy in movies (which is seldom, but when I was in High School....)
Milky Way Midnight
Hershey's Kisses with Caramel or Peanut Butter
I don't tend to like candy or chocolate with nuts. I find it distracts from the taste. Hence why I don't usually get Snickers, M&M Peanut, or the little Mr. Goodbars.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
- 1 bunch of Swiss chard
- 1 bunch spinach
- 1/2 head lettuce
- 3-4 small summer squashes
- 1/2 cup cherries
- 10-20 basil leaves
- 1/4 cup pecans
- 2-3 ounces of cheese, diced into cubes
- Salad dressing
If it were up to me, I'd go with gorgonzola or a blue cheese and a vinaigrette salad dressing. I think that would work best. Also, I'd candy the pecans.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Today, I note that the International House of Pancakes, a chain of stores known for selling mediocre pancakes and sugar syrup in bizarre combinations (and having really annoying ads about same) is buying Applebee's.
Evidently, despite product placement in Will Ferrell's Talledega Nights (best line from the outtakes: "you may think it's a good idea to run around with an empty milk jug full of gasoline...") Applebee's has not been doing as well financially as, say, California Pizza Kitchen. This could be because, as I always note when I see an Applebee's commercial, all they sell is steak with disgustingly viscous cream sauces on top. Their website does not disabuse one of this notion, and raises the bar with an unknown "celebrity chef" who looks like a cross between Jason Bateman and Eddie Izzard, without the charm or cross-dressing. America may have no taste, but I don't think there's a huge market for steak drowned in cream sauce. Just plain steak will do.
The market seems to be cool to the Pancake/Saucy Steak merger. According to the Forbes article I just linked, it's because restaurant investors aren't wowed by the concept of restructuring the same way the rest of the corporate world is. I can understand, especially since I can't stand Applebee's product.
Monday, July 16, 2007
Recently, the Seventh Circuit (the federal appeals court headquartered in Chicago that handles appeals from federal courts in Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin) held that, based on the circumstances of that particular case, Dunkin Donuts was discriminating against an Arab Muslim franchisee who refused to sell their ham-based foods.
While the facts are a little unusual, it got me to thinking. Recently, Dunkin Donuts has been treifing up its previously kosher stores with pig-related products, and while I don't necessarily think a lawsuit would solve the problem, it's interesting to note that when they do it, it may be considered discrimination.
In Dr. Pepper food adventures news, the Dr. Pepper steak marinade (which, as you'd know if you clicked on the link, is primarily Dr. Pepper, lime juice, soy sauce, and "hot sauce") might work if the author told us what "hot sauce" meant. Some people think it means Tabasco®. I, personally, prefer Crystal Louisiana Hot Sauce, which as far as I can tell is basically cayenne peppers and vinegar. However, the more I think about it, the more it's probably a good idea for this marinade to go with a chili paste from your local Asian market.
In my mind, the flavor you'd get then is like the sweet but hot and spicy beef jerky I ate in Hong Kong, whose name I don't think I ever knew. I just referred to it as "Chinese Death Jerky." It had whole hot pepper seeds clinging to the sides, under the sugar crust.
Anyone know its real name?
Thank you for being awesome. I reject any comments that you were not up to par with HP4. Further, the book may have stunk, but you edited out the sucky parts in the movie. And Loony was amazing. As was the dept. of mysteries.
PS: You were a bit frightening at times, so if you happen to see The Pedant, please apologize that I squeezed the life out of his hands at times.
Friday, July 13, 2007
As you may remember, I've done that once. It is super-foul as the Bailey's curdles.
I know the recipe says to shoot it, but still, yuck.
So, kids - don't try every mixed drink recipe off the internet.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
A blogger named Laurel has been kumquat-infusing vodka. I'm not sure how much I love kumquats, although I haven't had a flavored vodka I hated (although the cheap coconut-flavored vodka I picked up last week for a party was way too strong on the coconut). There was a place in Union Square I used to go to for Korean food (the Sherbs may remember it) where they infused their own rice liquor with lychee or ginger. I preferred the ginger, personally.
Someone else does what I used to do at fast food places, which is pour three or four drink types into the same cup at the fountain. Here, the mix was half fruit punch, half Dr. Pepper. I used to tolerate that, then I realized that it tastes horrific.
Finally, it turns out that commercial maraschino cherries, which I used last weekend to top brownie sundaes, have one of the ingredients of Dr. Pepper. Therefore, the link just mentioned shows you how to make ones that are closer to fruit than lab experiment.
I'm still interested in Dr. Pepper hot wings, though.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Searching the internet, I found the Texas equivalent of a Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte; however, despite the use of Dr. Pepper, the former is far less appetizing due to its combination of yellow cake and JELL-O®. Who makes that more than once?
With all of these Dr. Pepper recipes I'm finding, I could have an entire dinner party consisting solely of Dr. Pepper foods, from Dr. Pepper appetizers to Dr. Pepper soup course to Dr. Pepper dessert. To drink: Dr. Pepper and Diet Dr. Pepper.
No! Just kidding! That would be overkill (back when I was in law school, I had two twelve-packs of Dr. Pepper in my fridge, and you get kinda weird if you drink too many cans of Dr. Pepper in a short period of time). Water would be good.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
The biggest thing I learned today: evangelical Christians, the kind Mandy Moore is not sorry she made fun of, have an alternate MySpace called "DittyTalk." On which they semi-coherently extol/debate the virtues of Dr. Pepper.
Another one of the alerts I have is for "steak diane," a dish which combines both slabs of meat and flambé cooking. There is a recipe on this site which uses both margarine and butter, for reasons I cannot understand. If it just had margarine, it seems, it would be kosher. It wouldn't taste as good, but why use margarine in any part of the recipe if you're not restricted by kashrut? I mean, you'd have your choice of butter or leaf lard, both awesomely tasty solid fats.
Mom: Sherbs, I have some bad news...I found these in the garbage disposal...[Holds up 2 cookie press inserts, all smushed and scratched]
Sherbs: It's ok. Whatever. One was good for cheese sticks, so I'll just use a different one. Oh well.
July 9, 2007, 7:30 PM:
[Cleaning up from dinner]
Garbage Disposal: Clink, Crush, Whirr, Clink...
Dad: Uh...that's not good.
M: Something's stuck. Another WSCP insert!
GD: Clink, Cursh, Whirr, Clink...
D: Uh...Another one?!
S: WHAT? The good ones all fell through...no more heart shaped cookies...God damned WSCP! ARGH!
Monday, July 9, 2007
April 23, 2007:
I fell in love with the William Sonoma Cookie Press
May 1, 2007:
Stoner gives me the WSCP, cause she's amazing
July 5, 2007, 7PM
Mom: Sherbs, let's bake this weekend. You wanted to use your WSCP.
Sherbs: That's a good idea. Sunday work?
Sort-of-Grandma: A cookie press? They're great! I have one of those from my mother! I love it! So Easy!
SOG: Make the Almond Spritz cookies, they're the best.
July 8, 2007, 12 Noon:
S: What do we need for the Almond Spritz cookies.
M: A crap load of butter. But at least we don't need to grease the baking sheets. Your father will get some for us while he's out.
July 8, 2007, 12:30 PM:
M: Ok, I'll make more of the recipe, you start cookie pressing.
S: Ok. Wait, how do you do this? It's not working! ARGH!
Dad [an engineer]: You just put it in and take the press and do it, see? Easy.
S: Hm...[expletive] not working!
M: Let me try. Nope not working. Let's switch inserts. Now, that works.
S: [Takes press, puts against baking sheet, nothiong comes out.]
M: God damned gadgets!
July 8, 2007, 1 PM:
S: Nope, still not working! And we have a tremendous amount of batter left.
M: No, because you've eaten so much raw dough, we only have a crap load left.
S: [Licks fingers, rubs tummy, curses WSCP]
M: Let's just make balls and flatten them.
July 8, 2007, 2 PM:
S: WOW! This things STILL doesn't work!
M: We're not made for gadgets.
S: But it looks so cool!
M: I know...stop eating raw dough!
July 8, 2007, 2:45 PM:
M: Well, the cookies taste good. Probably because for every 30, there's a stick of butter. And that's why they aren't coming out.
S: Yes. I will try again another time. I will conquer the WSCP! Next time: Less butter! Take that William Sonoma!
People in Texas are already cooking with Dr. Pepper. However, the Dr. Pepper barbecue sauce ("DPQ" in the vernacular of many Texans) predates commercialization, although, after a web search, there seem to be only three major recipes:
- The "large juicy lemon, A1, and Worcesteshire sauce" recipe;
- The wimpy "minced onion, garlic powder, and crushed red pepper" recipe; and
- a recipe involving Dr. Pepper syrup, crushed tomatoes, and liquid smoke.
What I have learned so far:
- Diet Dr. Pepper has slightly more caffeine than regular Dr. Pepper.
- I am not the only person who eats hot wings while drinking Dr. Pepper.
- Chuck Norris prefers "Mr. Pibb to Dr. Pepper. When asked why, Chuck Norris responded with, 'I don't trust Doctors.' Then, he shot lasers out of his eyes, and ate the hearts of everyone in the room."
As you can see, Google Alerts will no doubt further broaden my horizons and the knowledge of you out there in readerland.
Sunday, July 8, 2007
The scientific name for the fallow deer, by the way, reminds me of Culture Club, or maybe Ogden Nash.
Anyway, all of that got derailed when my Google Alert updated me to something more relevant to this blog: the original and oldest Dr. Pepper bottler is still making the soda in Dublin, Texas, with cane sugar, which as everyone who isn't drinking aspartame or sucralose-filled beverages knows makes for a tastier soda. But, due to the franchise agreements, one can only get real sugar Dr. Pepper in and around Waco, Texas. Sad, but temptingly tasty.
I would say a lot of people . . . who make family entertainment dumb it down for kids, and I am completely opposed to that. If you present it in an engaging way . . . it's OK for kids to be a little confused at points and wonder why something is happening. I think too much (family) entertainment is hostile to kids because you assume they are idiots.I am in complete agreement with Mr. Bird. Not just because I want to be entertained as I watch a film that my co-species members in a more larval stage might be watching, but because I spent much of my youth experiencing complex plots, and it didn't hurt me at all.
Also, complex food. One of the joys of Ratatouille (and to be honest with you, I don't like ratatouille very much; stewed tomatoes and squash are just not appealing to me) is the deliciousness of the food prepared and the appeal of making something somewhat complicated. Which brings me back to bechamel. The butter/flour/milk mixture is a major constituent of foods as diverse as Emeril's "Manly Man" Lasagna ("manly man" being Emeril's code-word for "super-treif") and moussaka. It's one of those things that, if you cook, you need to know how it's done in theory, even if you're trying to keep the carbs and fat down in practice. And any movie that gets a person closer to making a bechamel or a mirepoix is a great film in my book.
Friday, July 6, 2007
I think homemade tomato sauce is totally underused and the cans are never as good. Mmm...sauce....
Sadly, it turns out that my standards were too low, and this does not make it one of the 7-Elevens involved in full "Kwik-E-Mart" makeover tied into the upcoming film. As far as I can tell, none of those stores are in any Springfield, not even the important ones.
Also: nothing pizza-flavored that you get off the racks where they put hot dogs is any good.
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
I did, however, find recipes for both items.
The problem with trying the recipe for Kool-Aid® pickles is that, if you don't like them, you've just ruined a jar of pickles.
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune has a good round-up of fun deep-fried foods, including the most intriguing, deep-fried Coca-Cola® on a stick.
Monday, July 2, 2007
Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld. Amazing book, truly wonderful. It kept me captivated, and made me remember how almost everyone hated high school and it's drama. Also, it's fairly chick-litty, but a million items better than Jemima J. I'm also about 2/3rds of the way through her next book, The Man of My Dreams, which has a similar protagonist and semi-biographical trajectory (not that different from a John Irving novel, except he does 600 pages and a whole life and she does 300 pages and 4-7 years).
A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon. Same guy who wrote The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time which was a really interesting book. This was a great book, a bit depressing, but he really knows how to write about people with all kinds of problems and make you pity them. Recommended.
The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells. Mediocre at best. The movie, ironically, was 10x better. Mostly the narrative in the book was weird and although the story of Sidda's childhood and Vivi's parenthood was interesting, the writing was fair and the story could have been told better.
The Father of the Bride. I watched the original 1950 version with Spencer Tracy and Elizabeth Taylor last week with my parents. Basically, less silly than the 1991 remake with Steve Martin and Diane Keaton (although that was a funny one), and made me realize I want a shirt dress like those they wore in the 50s. Tres glamorous.
Ratatouille. The Pedant and I saw this one Sunday and it was amazing. I felt kind of bad eating popcorn at the theaters, mostly cause it was bad for me, and also because we're watching a film about good food in the middle of Paris. Basically, as I've said before, I love cartoon, especially those involving anthropomorphized animals, and I love Pixar/Disney, so uh, this one gets an A+ in my book. Go see it. Not on an empty stomach. It was adorable. And it makes me want to go to Paris pretty badly.