Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Americans Hate the Concept of Food

The Associated Press has an article out about the new product-branding of fruits and veggies, and the same scolds who were so unhappy that licensed characters were selling sugar-coated starch are now unhappy that something wholesome, like fruit, is yoked to the merciless hand of commerce. Now veggies are promoting TV, which is bad.

Generally, anything with a cartoon face on it is not as good as the original, but honestly: if you can't resist buying Disney carrots, you have a serious impulse problem or child control problem.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Wholesale Madness

The Pedant and I visited our soon to be abode this weekend and then visited our soon to be neighbor, COSTCO. Now, I don't know if I have declared my love for Costco yet on this blog, but I have an enormous affection for the wholesaler. I remember the first time I went: all these huge jars of my favorite things, taste tests, clothing, electronics! It was a dream come true. TP and I expect to visit this store often, since it's closer than the supermarket. What's good about this is not only fun taste tests, but cheap wine, good produce and fun activities. And, cheap and tasty pizza. Bring on the 3 pound coffee containers, 5 gallon tubs of peanut butter and more toilet paper than TP and I could use in a year! YAY!

Monday, August 20, 2007

The State of Fashion

So, this doesn't have to do much with food, but white The Pedant and I saw something fairly ridiculous this weekend. In Macy's, Calvin Klein is selling a nylon trench coat for $225. It was squishy and ugly. I tried it on, just for fun and to make TP feel like I was in The Matrix, and it was the worst waste of fabric, resources and advertising. In fact, with the $225 we saved, TP and I can go on dates to either Costco or the Ikea food court about 50 times.

Mixed Food-Like Liquids With More Than Dr. Pepper

Weirdest Dr. Pepper recipe concept so far: "root beer jelly" with Dr. Pepper substituted in. Pectin makes any beverage a spreadable treat!

In more palatable foods, evidently Elvis Presley liked a tablespoon of beer mixed in with his maple syrup while it was being heated. I think the earthy taste of beer syrup would go well with whole wheat or buckwheat pancakes, although I'd still like to put a giant unhealthy pat of butter (or a moderately-sized pat of I Can Believe It Is Simulated Butter) inside the stack to melt milk-fatty goodness throughout.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Better or worse than Dr. Pepper foods? You be the judge.

I saw in the Washington Post's free newspaper, the Express, that a company called Vosges is selling a milk chocolate and bacon candy bar.

There are two people whom this candy bar brings to mind:
  1. Rachael Ray, who puts applewood-smoked bacon in everything, and
  2. a friend of mine who likes to tweak people with restricted diets. In front of me, he tries to pile up the various kinds of treif (although he doesn't like shellfish), and in front of another friend with a peanut allergy, he eats Reese's Pieces and other peanut products.

I'm not sure whether this will be tasty or not. I do know I'd probably prefer it with dark chocolate.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Yesterday, I pointed out that some consider the tomato-and-mayonnaise on white bread the best sandwich ever.

Today, the Washington Post released the winners of its tomato recipe contest. The first place winner was for a frozen tomato appetizer with crystals of frozen tomato layered with marscarpone and topped with olive bits.

It sounds super-tasty.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Tomato and Mayo - "World's Best"?

A commentator on the Huffington Post says that a sandwich of thick-sliced tomatoes, white bread, and mayonnaise is "the world's cheapest and best sandwich."

Neither of these claims are necessarily true (PB&J is cheaper), but the sandwich does sound tasty. However, I still stand by thin-sliced tomatoes, served open face on toasted pumpernickel spread with hummus.

My Fellow Alumni Raise Another Useless Fuss

At one point in time, I went to the College of William & Mary. It was okay, but Williamsburg is a dead town with basically nothing going on. There are three "bars," i.e., mediocre eating establishments with liquor licenses that are open late. They're all on the same intersection right across from George Preston Blow Memorial Hall.

One of these establishments is the College Delly (note to people who live or have lived in New York State: do not confuse this establishment with a deli). Of the three places on that block, I think I appreciate the food at the College Delly least. But my fellow alumni, who look fondly upon the dull, fetid swamp where they survived four years only through mind-expanding academics and a sense of shared tribulation with other students, have saved the Delly from becoming a Starbucks.

Whoopee. I care about as much for this as for the continuation of a ceremonial cross in the Wren building's chapel, another cause the W&M alumni are willing to go up in arms about. In fact, I think I like the Delly cause less. The addition of a Wawa to the W&M campus, with its sandwich shop, immediately improved the quality of food available at night. The College Delly was the problem.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Things that should be mixed, and things that should not.

Some people, desperate for something sweet despite the calorie-counting that they are doing, will make a "float" out of Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper and frozen yogurt. I am not sure that this works as well as root beer and ice cream; I suspect that the chemical differences of the two frozen confections would affect their relative bouyancies and speeds of dissolving, not to mention how the synthetic nature of Dr. Pepper with three extra adjectives might interact with any other synthetic food (in my hope to become the next Stephen Colbert, I'm going to encourage all you "Mixed Drinks" readers to go change the Wikipedia entry for Dr. Pepper so that it says that Diet Dr. Pepper and non-fat American cheese make a powerful plastic explosive).

Speaking of mixing things with yogurt, on Saturday night the Sherbs and I went to a Greek kebab restaurant which had a fabulous dip for the toasted bread and pita chips. According to what I remember from the waiter, the dip was:
  • yogurt
  • garlic
  • crushed red pepper
  • maybe lemon juice

It was super-tasty, anyway. When I have more time I'll look it up on the internet.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Food Network to make you drink

First, another person vindicates my view of Sandra Lee. "Diner Girl" at the blog French Laundry at Home, while discussing the making of a beautiful vegetable tart, also disses Sandra Lee for her clear cultural cluelessness.

I must say, though, that Sandra Lee is infinitely better than Giada de Laurentis, who only acts dumb. On her travel show she pretended not to know how to shell a crab with a mallet, despite the fact that everyone else in the restaurant was visibly doing the same. I think that was her way of flirting with the waiter. It was both phony and creepy.

Which brings us to the next subject: new Dr. Pepper mixed drinks.

Someone recently posted a high-proof rum/amaretto/Dr. Pepper beverage called the "Howling Dingo" which has nothing to do with Australia but will probably eat your baby. My gosh, that's a lot of alcohol in a small package.

Then there is the charmingly simple "Dr. Jack #2": one shot of Jack Daniels into a can's worth of Dr. Pepper. Sadly, Dr. Jack is not the kind of creativity encouraged by Dr. Fad, although one wonders how long one can milk being the inventor of the wacky wall-walker.

Mambo Italiano - Redux!

Yesterday, my commute was hellacious. (Granted, mine and about 1 million other people.) So after spending a day in a city filled to the brim with water and cranky people, my sister made the plea to my mother: "Can we have pizza for dinner?!" The response: "Oh yes!" Granted, my mother didn't have to commute in the craziness that ensued yesterday, but she did have to sit in bumper to bumper traffic and get no where. And we all love pizza. And, it was way to hot to consider cooking. So, we pulled up a menu of a local place (that's super tasty) and ordered a lot of food (you know it's a lot when my dad can't even finish everything):

Pizza (which was really very tasty - better than we expected)
Eggplant Parmigiana (mmm...fried goodness, and we all know I love eggplant...)
Pasta Primevera (with huge chunks of garlic)
Pasta Something with Tomatoes, Olives, and Artichoke Hearts (my sister's fav)

For dessert: Ice Cream. Cause it was that kind of night.

This was a momentous event because: a) we infrequently order take out: because 1) we're kosher; 2) we don't want to seem like the rest of American; 3) it's unhealthy; and, b) we don't eat Italian food as much as we do other cuisines (as a family, not me!) because my dad thinks carbs are evil (they're not! Moderation my dear friend!). But it was a tasty evening. And made up for the bad, cranky day. Viva Italia!

Also, this event has reminded me to think about the changing demographics, or perhaps in an economist's POV (Thanks, Ty!), because where the local pizza place is, there used to be a Chinese restaurant. We all know Jews eat a lot of Chinese food (well, NY Jews do) and my small, suburban town is no longer as "Jewish." Therefore, a Chinese restaurant will not do as well in an area where no one wants to eat Chinese food (which is sad, because they had really tasty food!!), so in comes a different cuisine, catering to a different group of people. Interesting, eh?

In other eggplant news, Tuesday night for dinner, my mom made a really tasty eggplant mushroom soup. It's good hot and cold, and super tasty.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Hole in the Wall = Good Eats

Move over The Pedant, I have a new blogger love. His name: Tyler Cowen. His rank: Economist and Foodie. His Blog: Amazing. His Write Up: Even More Amazing.

Basically, he eats at lots of restaurants and writes about it. How cool is that?! Since I'm looking for gainful employment, think he might need an assistant?

His theory is to look at restaurants from an economic point of view. He thinks there is no reason to go to a flashy restaurant and spend all the money when you can find a hole-in-the wall that's more authentic, better, and cheaper (less high rent, less glitz, different crowd). Shortly, I will take my real love (still TP, don't worry) to my blogger love's favorite places. And we will eat and enjoy!


Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Dr. Pepper Makes Treif Taste Better

Pregnant Mormons do not want Dr. Pepper in their Mexican pork. I think because it has caffeine. However, Weight Watchers seems to endorse the Diet Dr. Pepper in barbecue pork concept. Others are for "ham in a Dutch oven" with Dr. Pepper.

I'm waiting for the Iron Chef with pork and Dr. Pepper to see how Bobby Flay does.

Also, evidently, three years ago Dr. Pepper fulfilled my anime dreams.

I am right! I am right!

Turns out, I was completely correct about the editorial change at the Weekly World News: toward the end, they switched to humorists, not crazy Floridian ex-journalists. The quality did suffer as a result.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Mambo Italiano

This was a weekend of Italian food! Molto Delicious-o!

First, on Saturday night my sister and I ate at a really nice (and expensive) Italian restaurant. Why? She received a sizable gift certificate so we decided to live it up.

Pre-first Course: Amazing bread. Mmmm
First Course - Shared: Spinach Salad with warm goat cheese. What can be better than that? And there wasn't too much dressing - it was perfect.
Second Course - Sister: Stuffed Chicken Breast with Fontina Cheese and Prosciutto. She thoroughly enjoyed it.
Second Course - Sherbs: Parpadelle with Wild Mushrooms in (I think) a wine-mushroom sauce. Oh my, it was tasty. I think the Parpadelle was a bit too long and should have been cut a bit shorter, but it was really good. And I love mushrooms....mmm...especially with pasta...
Pre-Third Course: Biscotti. The sign of a good restaurant: they bring you a pre-desert cookie.
Third Courses - Sister: Italian Cheese Cake. It wasn't the original desert she wanted, but it was good.
Third Course - Sherbs: Grilled Peach with Cream Sauce and Berries. Wow. More fruit should be grilled and served with cheese.

Although the best part of the meal was having the valet park our (economical and fuel efficient) Honda Civic far away from the other cars (Mercedes, Bentley's, Range Rovers, Escaledes (hisss....), and BMWs). Amazing.

Second, Sunday, I went to a family party upsate (meaning: Rockland County). Best part: praying the Tapenzee wouldn't fall. Mostly cause it was only supposed to last 50 years. And it's 52 years later. Oops.

Real best part: hanging out with family and eating Italian food. They had penne ala vodka and eggplant rolatini which was really good. Real, real best part: Canoli Birthday Bake. Basically, the filler icing was canoli filling. Oh man, was it amazing.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Movie Roundup

Last night I saw The Simpson's Movie. And it was all it was cracked up to be.

I have not been seeing as many movies as I've been expecting to see this summer, but I've seen a lot. Still left to see:

I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry
No Reservations
Evan Almighty
The Ten
The Nanny Diaries

And added to the original summer list: I kinda want to see Superbad. It looks fairly amusing.

Also, in other news, 100 calorie bars are more delicious than I would have expected.