Tuesday, November 22, 2005

food memories

this is the most wonderful article. People recalling their greatest food moments. I can't even finish reading it right now. It's making me so hungry.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

groovy garlic gift

'Tis the season for roasted garlic and gifts. Now, Alton wouldn't approve, because it only has one function. But that function is a good one...a garlic roaster! It's really quite cute. Would be a great gift *wink wink nudge nudge* :)

link swiped from ljc blog.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

weekend cocktails and cookies

Just a quick weekend food update. IÂ’m trying to update more, really I am. Okay, okay, I'll try harder :)

Friday we were in the mood for tacos and alcohol. The tacos were easy enough, some shells, some meat (expertly seasoned with spices from our cabinet by my sweetheart. who needs that sodium-ridden taco seasoning packets? Not me.) and course some cheese. I was up for any kind of drink except wine (I have a cold, it wouldn't taste right!). He didn't want beer. Margaritas sounded good, but too much work (and I don't like the pre-made mixes so much). Then we saw a display of cute bottles of assorted cocktail mixers, one of which was this Mojito mix I had my reservations, but it's actually quite yummy. We did add some fresh lime juice, just a wedge to freshen it up a bit. But it wasn't too sweet, like margarita mixes tend to be, and it had a very nice hint of mint I know, I know, how hard is it to mash up lime, mint and sugar? Well, we were feeling exceptionally lazy that night. So there.

Saturday I baked these cookies for the second time. I baked them last weekend, and they were good, but not quite sweet enough. This week I packed the brown sugar so there was more of it, I added the right amount of mlasses (don't think I measured right last time) and replaced most of the oil with applesauce, which added extra sweetness. I also sprinkled the tops of the cookies with some of the raw sugar for extra sweetness and crunch. They turned out great. Sweeter and more moist than the first time. Mipmup's right, these are a mean fall cookie.

I wanted to make this curried chickpea soup this weekend, but Jack's making chili instead. It smells delicious, and should be ready as soon as I'm done with laundry. He used chunks of chuck roast instead of ground beef, and also some ground venison we've had in the freezer for awhile. Should be hella tasty.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

homina-homina-hominy soup

Over the weekend I made some spicy chicken & hominy soup. It was based on This recipe with some changes.

For one thing, I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead of breasts. They were cheaper and I was worried about the breasts getting dry. I also used a can of golden hominy and a can of white hominy. I don't know how much of a difference this made. Besides the chili powder and flavored tomatoes, I added fresh garlic, cumin, cayenne pepper, black pepper and onion salt. Finally, to make it more of a soup than a ragout, I added a couple of cans of chicken broth.

It turned out really good. It had a tortilla soup kind of flavor to it, because of the hominy. The chicken was super tender and the broth was spicy and kind of thick. So good in the fall weather. I made jalepeno cheddar corn mini-muffins to accompany the soup. I simply used a little box of corn muffin mix, added in some fresh chopped jalepno, filled the muffin tins a little more than half way and put some shredded sharp cheddar cheese on top of each one. The results were sweet, spicy little gems with crusty cheese tops.

I will definitely be making soup alot this fall & winter. It's so versatile and foolproof. And it makes everything warmer.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Thursday, October 13, 2005

corny and blue

Last night I made blue cheese corn mini muffins based on this recipe. It was so easy. I didn't follow the recipe exactly, I just followed instructions on the corn bread mix box (4 for $1!!!), which were preheat oven to 400º, mix in milk and bake. I just made 3 boxes worth, added a crumbled up 4 oz. block of blue cheese and snipped in some green onions. I added plenty of fresh pepper and a bit of salt, too. They turned out so yummy. We're having a food day at work today. I wish I would have gotten stuff to make more, but It was kind of experimental, so I didn't want to go overboard. I hope everybody likes 'em.

I'm not much of a baker, but I love taking box mixes and adding stuff. I do this a lot with fat free brownie mix, but I never really considered the corn bread route. I think I'll be eating alot of corn bread this winter :)

I came upon the idea because a friend mentioned quick breads, so I did a search and that one caught my eye from this list.

Here's a list of fat-free quickbread recipes. With lots of vegan options, too!

The same pal who put the thought of quickbreads in my little head also turned my on to King Arthur Flour's website, which has a great recipe section. Check out the quickbreads section.

Monday, October 03, 2005

sidney street

Thursday night I joined my cousin's fiance, her friends and family for a bachelorette dinner at Sidney Street Cafe. It was a place I had heard from several sources was very good. So, although I probably could have used the money for practical things, like bills and groceries, I decided that it was an opportunity to splurge. Plus, you know, get to meet new people, and spend time with some of my favorite people at the same time!

One of my aunts picked me up from work, and we ended up being a little late, so we missed the bread. But wine was offered right away, as were both of our plates of appetizers, which everyone else had already gotten. The individual appetizer plates included a lobster turnover, a barbequed shrimp and a veal dumpling. The lobster turnover was good...quite spicy, actually, and very rich. The shrimp was okay. The veal dumpling was my favorite. It had a great texture and fantastic rich flavor. mmm.

Next we chose our soup or salad. Although the soup of the day sounded really good (red pepper soup with a blue cheese crisp garnish), I went for the beet salad. Mainly because I really like beets, but hardly ever have them. And I don't think I've ever had fresh beets. Plus, there were yellow beets, which intrigued me. I really liked the salad. It was simple...beets, greens and a light balasalmic vinagrette. Tasted good with my wine, which was a blend of a whole range of reds.

For dinner I ordered Lamb Chops with an apricot glaze. Also, a glass of the house Pinot Noir (I believe it was BV Coastal Estates), which went very very well. I've had lamb before, in the form of gyros and such, but never lamb chops. Let me tell ya, after this meal, I am hooked on those cute little fellas. It came out, 2 chops, rib bones all criss crossed on top of some glorious mashed potatoes with some bright baby carrots and wads of cooked spinach surrounding it. I cut into a chop, which I ordered medium-rare, to find a juicy pink/red heaven. It was grilled, so the outside had a lovely smokey/slightly charred perfect flavor. And the caveman bloody inside was so moist and flavorful. Anf the potatoes...WAY above average. The carrots were even cooked how I like 'em! Crunchy.

The others were all enjoying thier food. Cricket whispered that her sea bass was giving her a food orgasm *snickers*. I knew what she was talking about, too. Oh man. That was one quiet table of ladies, as we all savored our meals.

Yeah, it was expensive. I wouldn't be able to go there but once a year for a special occasion. But it's well worth it. From the service to the exciting menu to the appetizers and salads to the delicious food. You should go :)

Here's a couple of reviews, if you want to learn more.

yuk yuk yuk

I've been gaining back weight, lately. Typical beginning of fall. What with the temptation of red wines and roasts with thyme and bread fresh from the oven...

Monday mornings are tough. My eating schedule is completely different during the weekend. So right around, oh 10, 10:30, I start getting really hungry, even though I've eaten my healthy breakfast just a couple hours before.

It's times like these when stuff like Steve Don't Eat It really comes in handy. Gross out little food adventures that are absolutely hilarious. They cheer me up and rid me of hunger at the same time!

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Friday, September 09, 2005

kansas city here i come!

Well, there I went, anyway. Last weekend my sweetie and I headed out there to visit his sister and her hubby, and to be total gluttons for the weekend.

Saturday, we went to Arthur Bryant’s for lunch. A small, unassuming old place, packed with people and smelling like smoke. It's one of the most famous BBQ places in the country. We'd seen it featured on several television shows, and Jack has a friend from KC who always goes there when he visits home. So it was tops on our list of places to go. And it was a good choice. The 4 of us split two beef sandwiches, an order of fries and a pint of beans. It was very yummy. Different than the sauce I'm used to here in St. Louis, more vinagary and thin. Really good. Sopped it up with my thick slice of bread.

Saturday evening, after visiting the Nelson-Atkins art museum and cruising around downtown in the Plaza and Westport areas, we went home with take-out from Oklahoma Joes BBQ. Being big food network nerds, we saw this place on tv, too, and had to have it. It's a BBQ place located in a gas station! We got a pound of beef and a half pund of pulled pork, a couple bottles of sauce and a pint of beans. Their sauce was more like what I'm used to, but I liked it, too. And Pulled pork, oh my, I adore pulled pork. I liked their beans a little more than Arthur Bryant’s. AB’s did have big pieces of burnt ends in them, though. Oklahoma Joe's beans had 3 different kinds of beans, and some small meat pieces and onions and a tomato-ier sauce. I ate lots of them.

That evening, after a rousing game of Trivial Pursuit DVD edition, we went o Sheridans for late night frozen custard. Oh my bob, was it good! I know I come from the land where Ted Drewes reighns supreme, but I really enjoyed my caramel pretzel concrete more than anything I’ve had at Ted’s. Shocking, I know. What’s more shocking? I found out just yesterday that there is a Seridan’s in town!! This could be trouble.

Sunday we had dinner at a Mongolian BBQ place called Ghengis Khan. I really like the concept of Mongolian BBQ. A buffet of raw goods…veggies, meats, sauces, seasoning, that you pick out yourself. Once your bowl is full with everything you want, you take it over to the guys at eh big hot round platform, where the dump it and cook it, stirring it around with two big wooden sticks. The buffet at Ghengis khan had a bunch of seafood, so I skipped the typical chicken and beef and got myself stuffed on scallops, squid, mahi mahi and shrimp. My first bowl was just a simple mixture of edamame and some other greens, seafood, soy sauce, ginger, garlic and sesame oil. While waiting for my first batch to get cooked, I grabbed some pork satays from the little appetizer bar. One of the sauces for dipping was a peanut curry sauce. I was inspired! For my second plate, I added lots of fresh cilantro, some more seafood, a couple kinds of greens, tofu, garlic, ginger, then, here’s the good part, crushed peanuts & lots of curry powder. What a great meal! It’s hard not to eat too much. So I ate too much. Like it was hard to walk afterwards :)

After that, we went to Cold Stone Creamery. We got it to go, because none of us could fit another moresel of anything into our stuffed bellies. I got the German chocolate cake specialty. The girl messed it up a little and added chocolate chips and forgot the nuts. But basically it was a brownie, some caramel and coconut in the chocolate ice cream, It was so so so so delicious!! It was my second time having Cold Stone. I had it a couple weeks ago when a gal from work and I decided to do an “Ice Cream for Lunch Day.” That time, I cot French vanilla with cake and chocolate and graham cracker crust, and it was a little too sweet. But the germanchocolatecake (however the heck they spell it…) was pure heaven.

Oh, I forgot, On Saturday afternoon we stopped by at this place called The Red X on Riverside. It’s this crazy big place with…well, just about everything. They have groceries (we needed Texas toast for our Oklahoma Joe’s), a 99cent section, antiques, Farm gear, etc. But the best part (besides the collection of antique glass eyes and false teeth…eeeek) was the wine section! Believe it or not the selection was really big, and well-priced. And the guy working seemed to really know his stuff. He recommended Syrah to go with our bbq dinner. We ended up with Guenoc Petit Syrah. It was very good wine, and really went well with our pulled pork and beans.

A couple more neat BBQ links... Next time we visit KC, there’s some other places we want to try for BBQ, such as LC’s and Gates. This site has tons of reviews of KC BBQplaces. What about outside KC? This site is all about BBQ styles around the world, with the US broken up. Very interesting.

Monday, August 29, 2005

making it up as i go along

Exibit A:

Last week I had the following: can of garbonzo beans, small leftover nub of feta cheese, Ajvar and some past-thier-prime pitas.

So I mixed up the beans, cheese and some avjar with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper and garlic powder. I cut the pitas into 4 wedges and toasted them in the oven. And had me a delish dinner of garbonzo gunk on crunchy warm pitas!

Exibit B

Over the weekend I had low-fat cinnamon ghraham crackers, honey spread* and some plums. I merely spread honey on a cracker and topped with a plum wedge. It was suprisingly wonderful.

*Honey spread is new to me. There are no ingredients listed, so I guess it's just kind of honey that's been put through some kind of crystallizing process.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

you spin me right round baby right round

Like a chicken, baby, right round, round round!

Last week Jack and I got a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store deli. Instead of just eating it plain, jack shredded off the meat and added a little olive oil and some dried mint, oregano, garlic, salt & pepper. We used that to fill wheat pitas, along with spinach and tomatoes and a sort of Tzatziki sauce Jack whipped up real quick (sour cream, yogurt, dill, pickle juice). It was such a good meal. Healthy, as well, and with plenty of leftovers.

Then I saw this not martha entry about an article for other things to do with rotisserie chicken. So I went on a quest to find some neat dinner ideas for these convenient, affordable birdies.

This article (requires a simple little free registration) has some good basic tips and ideas. It includes some quotes from the author of this book, which is currently "in transit" to my local library branch.

Sara Moulten on the food network apparently had a whole show dedicated to the wonder of rotisserie chicken uses. There's a few recipes, but this Butter Chicken (Indian Chicken with tomato cream sauce) looks especially dee-lish.

Chicken Scarpariello and Chicken soup w/latin flavors, both good ideas from Good Housekeeping.

Another general article featuring some really good tips (like take the meat off the bone when it's still warm...it comes off easier that way) and also some links to recipes.

Chicken chipotle tamales...there's not a thing about that phrase I don't like :)

3 yummy recipes from New York chefs. Yeah, real chefs eat 'em too!

With all these possibilities, I may have to consider getting my own Roncno rotisserie! Set it....and forget it!!!

Friday, August 05, 2005

back on air

for this one meme, at least.

this meme has traveled halfway round the world!

what is your first memory of baking/cooking on your own?   
I used to love making scrambled eggs. Experimental scrambled eggs, especially. I would ad leftover pasta sauces, salsa, mushrooms...all kinds of stuff. I thought I was such the gourmet.

who had the most influence on your cooking?   
My dad was the cook in the family. Mom's specialties were along the lines of hamburger helper and Old El Paso taco kits. My dad made spanish rice, pasta, and when guests came over fried zuccini & eggplant.

do you have an old photo as “evidence” of an early exposure to the culinary world and would you like to share it?
I have the quitessential picture of me as a baby with spaghetti all over me. I'm not sure of a cooking one. Maybe I'll flip through albums while I'm at my mom's tonight...

mageiricophobia - do you suffer from any cooking phobia, a dish that makes your palms sweat?
bread. it's so scientific and precise.

what would be your most valued or used kitchen gadgets and/or what was the biggest letdown?
I'm very low-tech. Not many "gadgets" get used around my household. It's all knives and graters and spoons and spatulas. Does a mortar and pestil count? I use that quite a bit.

needs improvement: We never have use for our toaster oven. The broiler is just as good. Garlic presses don't impress me. I had one completely break on me. Metal shouldn't break! If I'm two lazy to chop my garlic, I just use the cheese grater.

name some funny or weird food combinations/dishes you really like - and probably no one else!
tater tots and sriracha sauce (actually people probably do like this, they just haven't tried it!), Pretzels on ice cream,

what are the three eatables or dishes you simply don’t want to live without?
ice cream

your favorite ice-cream.
that varies greatly from week to week. I'm partial to low-fat ice creams with lots of caramel in them. I liked edy's grand light new slow-turned caramel swirl.

you will probably never eat.
I like to think I'll try anything. And who knows where future travels will take me. Balut eggs are rather scary. I don't think I could handle that. But anything else, I'm pretty open.

your own signature dish.
burritos (black beans, jalepeno cilantro rice, sometimes cheese, sometimes chipotle chicken, always tons of salsa.)

you got tagged by.
No one. I only get a couple hits a week. But I snagged it from mipmup.

three people you'd like to pass this meme onto.
"no tags, but would love to have the link if you do post."...that's what mipmup said. dtto for me.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

an apology & a list

No, I haven't forgotten my little Ironstef. I've had a couple of posts on the brain. Just not much time to get them up.

I still eat and drink (a little less, though...bikini purchase...), and still love the subject matter. So I'll try and get on the ball soon.

For now, from The Guardian, a list of 50 things for a foodie to do before you die.

I better start saving for the plane tickets :)

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

nutritious & delicious

The government released a revised food pyramid not too long ago. Therefore, "New Nutrition guideline fun for all" is the theme this week!

Go to mypyramid.gov to see what you should be eating. And you can get more specific by entering your age, sex and activity level.

We could probably all use more veggies in our diets (I'm supposed to have at least 3 cups a day, according to the pyramid). Here's a neat resource to find farmer's markets near you.
What to do with all those yummy fresh veggies you get at the farmer's market? Check out this plethora of Just Vegetables Recipes!

Protein is important, too. Are you getting enough?

Make over your breakfast according to the nutrition guidelines.

Rather just take a magic pill? good luck.

I'm off to shovel sugar babies into my mouth now :)

Thursday, April 21, 2005

start spreadin the news

has it really been more than 2 weeks since my last post here? That time went by in a New York minute!

But alas, I've returned to my little foodie funland. I've been in St. Louis all along. But my good pal Kelly did recently return from a trip to New York City. I've been there once, and LOVED the place. There's so much to do, see and TASTE! So that's my theme this week. I wanna be a part of it New York, NEW YORK!!!

I mean come on, what other place has super-specialty restaurants like a cupcake cafe, a grilled cheese place, a cereal bar, a peanut butter diner, and soup-nazi like little soup stops?

One of my favorite blogs, LJC, recently had a trip the NY, too. She had some great posts about the eateries. Check out this one about her plans. Be sure to check out the comments, which are ripe with suggestions, also!

A blog that's no longer (she moved west and is now called Full Belly blog) called NYEats.

Another neat New Yorker food blog (thanks to Kelly for the link). Great writing.

The Gaigin Girl's guide to Chinatown. A good resource for Asian food info. I loved Chinatown in New York. I'd like to spend a whole day there next time I make it to NY.Or at least go to the China town ice cream factory. Such neat flavors!

Sushi New York. Yay! Sushi!

What's a visit to the Big Apple without some deli action? When I went a few years ago We visited Stages Deli (Huge sandwiches named after famous New Yorkers. I had the Alice Cooper). and Rupert G's Hello Deli, where the sandwiches aren't as big, and are named after Late Show people (I had the CBS Orchestra and my cousin Dan had the Bif Henderson). And yes, we totally met Rupert and got our picture taken with him.

I could go on and on about New York and food, but I think I'll stop now. Surely there will be future New York posts. Hopefully at least one will be from my very own food adventures in the big city.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

island hopping

warmer weather is approaching...well it's pretty much here. not hot weather yet. just warm...perfect really. anyway, i'm getting into that summer mode. swimming, wearing tank tops and flip flops, and yearning for some tropical flava. so this week i go island with a tropical food theme.

How to cut a pineapple like a native.

Bamboo chicken. what a neat method!

An exibit all about edible tropical cacti, like pineapple and agave (yay tequila!).

Information about all kinds of edible tropical plants provided by the Missouri Botanical Gardens.

Lychees online. I've tried Lychee juice and lychee candy. I'd like to explore this fruit some more.

Big list 'o bananas!!

A neat (and pretty!) website about Thai food, with menu translations, pictures, links and more!

An article and some informational links about Cuban cuisine. I never thought of Cuba as a place I'd like to visit someday, but this article makes it sound fun!

How to crack a coconut.

Soak up the sun and the sweet juices of the tropics. summers comin' and there's nothin' better than some island eats and drinks.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

devour a book

I'm just finishing up Anthony Bordain's latest novel (not a book about food, but you can see the chef coming through in certain parts). He's one of my favorite writers, food writers specifically. A Cook's Tour and Kitchen Confidential are definite must-reads for any foodie. I'd like to explore food writing (not cook books) some more, so this week theme is "Food Writing and the Writers who write about food."

Both Bookslut and I Was Just Really Very Hungry have posted recently about writer MFK Fischer. I've read some of her stuff, specifically in a food-writing anthology (name?). After those 2 blog posts, I must read more.

Outlaw Cook is an iteresting food journal.

A zine for food writers...in case you wanna get into it. Good info.

Art Of Eating Looks to be a neat literary food journal (printed). You can read excerpt articles here.

An (long) interesting article about food writing...how it's changed through the years, where it's at now, what it's all about.

A good list of food-related books. Gonna have to check some of these out!

Food quotes (many by authors).

Leites Culinaria's list of the 20 best food books of 2004. I love lists!

Reading and food...two of my favorite things. Both activities than can be ordinary...if you let them. But I find them both to be enriching experiences. So much to learn, and enjoy! Do you have any food book recommendations?

Thursday, March 24, 2005

don't ask me i don't give a damn, the next stop is vietnam!

For my birthday a couple weeks ago my mom treated me to lunch at one of my most favorite places...Mekong Vietnamese restaurant on S. Grand. Oh how I love Vietnamese food. I had a spicy beef stew with noodles. It looked a lot like this:

looks good, huh? Well, lemmetellya it WAS. very. We also had spring rolls (of course), and since it was my birthday I got a free order of fried bananas! My first fried bananas, by the way, and they were yummy! Rich and crunchy and covered with honey.

So this weeks theme is the cuisine of Vietnam.

If you haven't read Anthony Bordain's book A Cook's Tour, you should (and the show on the food network was one of the best tv shows ever!). now. It's chapters on Vietnam are wonderful. Makes you want to go there and try all these interesting and delicious foods. From an an interview with Bordain:

Dave: Vietnam, of all the places you traveled, blew you away.

Bourdain: I fell in love with the country. I was enchanted. I was just so gonzo over the place.

Dave: Did you make a number of trips there, or are the chapters in A Cook's Tour part of one extended visit?

Bourdain: One trip. I chopped it up province by province and sprinkled it throughout the book to give it some kind of balance. I was so unrestrained in my admiration for the people, the country, and the food; it was such a disproportionately ecstatic buzz that it would have tilted the whole book had I written it in one piece.

The history of Pho. From a really neat website that has all kinds of Vietnamese food info, like a collection of articles and advice from mama.

I have not seen or tried one of these Vietnamese sandwiches, but OMG they look good! I'm gonna have to keep my eye out.

Vietnam photo essays.

Listmania list of good Vietnam related books to read.

Wikipedia entry on Vietnamese cuisine. Always a good place to start.

I encourage you to explore this cuisine. It's one of my favorites. Diverse, healthy, interesting. And if you ever have a chance to attend a traditional Vietnamese wedding, do it. 12 courses. yes 12. I went to one years ago, and it was one of the best food experiences I've ever had.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

intoxicating haiku

Oi. Running late with this week's list o- links again!!! I'm almost ready, but to hold you over a little longer, how about some more food-related postry? This time it's not by me (I know you're disappointed). But it's still good. Check out the Red Wine Haiku Blog! Great stuff!

Thursday, March 17, 2005

and iran, iran so far away...

To a lovely little Persian restaraunt on S. Grand called Natasha's Cafe. I very much enjoy middle eastern food...I mean c'mon...hummus for godssakes! This was my first foray into Persian food specifically. So this weeks links will be all about Persian food.

First, the food we had.We shared four appetizers; Baba Ghannouj (check out alton brown's recipe), Kashke-Bademjune (like Baba Ghannouj with chick-peas and other yummy additions), Hummus (some hummus recipes with beans other than chickpeas: butter bean hummus, lentil hummus, black bean hummus), Walnut-Olive Feta Cheese Spread. It all came with pita bread, some toasted some not.

On to the main courses...Kelly had the chicken kabob, which was very flavorful. Chris had the Beef Kabob, which was also flavorful and prefectly cooked so it was super-tender. Jack had the Chicken Fessenjoon stew, which was very interesting, and yummy (a recipe). Ron was the adventurer of the night, ordering the Beef Tongue (which I had read was one of the places best dishes). I tried that and was pleasantly surprised. It was like an extremely tender roast beef. I forget what james had. sorry. I had the Lamb Biryani Pilaf, which was pulled lamb meat on a rice pilaf with chickpeas and all other kinds of goodness. Everyone wanted to be me :) (Lamb Biryani recipe).

What's neat is that while researching for this post I found out that Tuesday night was the celebration of the Persian New Year, called Charshambeh Soori. This is the blog where I read about it. More about Iran from this blog. I love the Persian New Years saying she posts ""Zardee-eh man az tow, sorkhee-eh tow az man", which means "Give me your healthy red color as you take back my sickly pallor".

A good source for Persian recipes. Mmmm...stew.

Iranian food culture.

Mmmm...more stew.

I love trying foods from different cultures. It's a beautiful, enriching experience. Eating is more to me then plain ol' nourishment. It's a way of connecting to the world, to your fellow human. Opening you taste buds and opening your mind at the same time. It's beautiful...and tasty!

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

oh, bologna

I'm running quite late on my post for this week. It will be ready soon, I promise. Busy busy. To hold you over, here's a poem I wrote a couple years ago:

Ode to Processed Meat Products

I must have a sandwich, I must have it now
packed with as many pork lips and parts of the cow.

Then I see it, I stop....i stagger
that grayish hunk they call braunshwagger

Roast beef, turkey breasts? those are for snobs
Give me chopped ham and give me gobs!

Oh, that Oscar Mayer, what he does with meat
that olive loaf he brews is truly elite.

and Carl Buddig he fashions a slice so shiny and thin
My Wonder bread begs “Oh Carl, please let me in!”

Ah, Spam...so shelf stable, so spongy so PINK
Into your mucous-like goo let my lips slowly sink.

Please don’t forget the souse and transluscent head cheese
Pretty please with mustard I beg on my knees.

Teeth gritted, fists clenched
will my thirst for liver loaf ever be quenched?

Copyright 2005, Ironstef

Monday, March 07, 2005

Meatless Monday

Finally some fun for my vegetarian pals! I tried a Boca Burger last night at my brother's house, and was quite happy with it. Less juicy than a real hamburger, but (with a thick tomato slice, some lettuce and mustard) the flavor and satisfaction factor was good! So I thought today I'd look into some meat substitutes and other vegetarian fun!

And I picked a good day for this research, seeing how it Meatless Monday and everything.

Slate reviews soy burgers and veggie burgers.

There are different types of vegetarians, and they have fancy names.

Peata has a "Cheat Meat" contest. Here are the winners. They also have a "World's sexiest Vegetarian" contest. Vote here!

Speaking of sexy vegetarians, here's an article on the best ways to meet other sexy veg singles.

This vegetarian cookbook, The Enchanted Broccoli Forest, is absolutely adorable! All hand written with cute drawings. Sweet!

Tofu Bacon? Tofu Car?

The good 'ol Tofurkey was voted best meat substitute of 2004 in Veg New's Veggie awards.

Play Famous Vegan Memory!

Now for some interesting recipes. Tex-mex veggie burgers...yum! Portobello Wellington...good idea! Mock Tuna salad? That's a little iffy. But it's got chick peas, so it can't be that bad.

Veg Blog. good reading.

And here's some examples of the Opposite of vegetarian eating:
The Lutherburger, named for Luther Vandross, is a cheeseburger served on a Krispy Kreme Doughnut! No, really. The same restaraunt makes the "Ham Dog" which is a hotdog wrapped in hamburger and covered with chili! whoa!
Hardee's Monster Burger has 107 grams of fat!!! ugh.
The 8500 calorie sandwich. yikes.

YAY veggies!

Monday, February 28, 2005

reel yummy

Even though I didn't pay much attention to the Oscars last night (they were kinda boring...even moreso because I saw none of the films), I thought it appropriate that today's theme be "food in film." It took a class in college called food in film. I could have sworn I posted about some of my favorite food movies here before, but I can't find it. So, in the future I'll have to list some of my faves. But tonight, I'll stick with these silver screen links...

ljc's oscar party had some great ideas! And who can resist oscar the pug in a bowtie?

more great oscar party ideas (the recipes won't be any good next year, but the other party ideas are cute!

Here's a really good article about food movies, especially "Big Night" (LOVE that movie!!!)

Trivia quiz about movies with food names. I got a 7 out of 10. I am amazed that one of the options on a question was "The Peanut Butter Solution." One of the oddest canadian after school special-like movies you'll ever see. I have it on video. I won't get into it because it's just too much.

Ever watch TBS's "Dinner & a Movie?" It's a fun idea, and I love some of the recipe names they come up with: New Age Baloney for LA Story, May the Borscht Be With You for Spaceballs and Peter Pancakes with Lost Boysenberry Syrup for Hook. Cute!

This book looks great. Unfortunately the library doesn't have it. I'll have to look for it next time I visit a bookstore. More about it.

Another reason I wish I lived in New York: A Food in Film series!

Here's another food/movie book. A book of recipes from movies! Neat!

A good list of food films with little articles about each one, from the London Food Film Fiesta. I wanna go!

Again, I'll reserve my favorite food films for another post. What are some of yours?

Monday, February 21, 2005

geek food

Cooking is about the only scientific type thing I do. It's fun to experiment with food, using the kitchen as your lab. So tonight's theme is all about edible science.

This restaurant, the Fat Duck, takes food science very seriously, and their website has lots of neat information about the kind of culinary experiments they do. Like studying the relationship of the human brain and taste:

"If you are told that you will be eating crab ice cream, it may appear as a bit of a shock. If, on the other hand, it was described as frozen crab bisque, then it becomes a lot less daunting. An interesting thing however, happens when you eat the ice cream. The brain is pre-disposing the palate to register more sugar than is actually there. This is because ice cream is always associated with dessert."

Cooking For Engineers is a great blog for those, well, engineer types.

An experiment to see if you can make good vodka using cheap crappy vodka and a brita water filter. My kind of science.

To me, it's a scary list of numbers. To smarter people, it's "Common Equivalent Weights and Measures." This would come in useful when watching Nigella or other british cooking shows.

What nerd doesn't love the How Stuff Works website? Check out their thorough section on how food works.

Illustrated food experiments. Fun! I especially like these banana tricks.

A lab schedule for a food sciences class. Interesting.

The CDC's "bad bug list". Scary stuff that lurks in food.

And finally, they've come up with the perfect geek food.

Put on your lab coat and get out your Bunsen burners and beakers! You can hypothesize all you want, as long as the conclusion is tasty.

Monday, February 14, 2005

a yummy history lesson

Struggle In a Bungalow Kitchen pointed to this website, which offers historical dinner party packages. I thought it was a neat idea, and then decided the theme for today will be old old old old OLD skool eats.

Some medieval recipes.

Medieval food clip art...this could come in handy.

Medieval mustard.

Tea from the Tea-Garden to the Teacup with Twenty Illustrations. neat!

A little bit on food and sex throughout history.

The history of pie. Wowsers!

A food history/food events calendar. For instance, This day in food history...

"It was not the first cookbook printed in America but was the first written by an American for Americans. All earlier American cookery imprints were reprints from the British repertoire. " And you can see pictures of it's pages here.

The food timeline is a wonderful food resource...both for food history and recipes.

And if you still want more, there's a plethora of food history books out there.

Loosen your petticoats and dig in! Old cheese, old meat, old bread...mmmm...

Monday, February 07, 2005


Feelin' kinda blue today, so I thought I'd cheer myself up with some food fun!

Q: How can you tell if an elephant has been in your refrigerator?
A: Footprints in the cheesecake.
That and other gems can be found here.

Funny food pictures

Penn & Teller have a book all about playing with your food. I must have it.

Speaking of playing with your food, here's a virtual Mr. Potatohead.

I've seen these 1974 Weight Watchers recipe cards plenty of places, but they're always good for a chuckle.

Iron Chef Drinking game.

EEEK! rats ate my cake! gotcha!

Let's play a game! Guess that fast food logo!

McSweeny's reviews of new foods. Hilarious.

And now my tummy hurts from giggling so much, so I'll leave you with my good friend, the Fruit Monkey!

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

My Wine experience

Over the weekend Jack and I (thanks to a wonderful Christmas gift of 2 tickets) attended the St. Louis Food & Wine Experience at the Chase Park Plaza. So my theme this week is a whole bunch of what I can remember from this event. (I'm sorry there's not more tasting info, I didn't take notes, I just remembered what I liked...there was alot of wine to taste ;))
The wines we tasted and enjoyed:
-Ravenswood is an old favorite of mine, and we got to try the old vine Zinfandel. MMMM.
-Mad Dog's & Englishmen Shiraz Cabernet Monestrell I do enjoy blends...and this one was yummy
-Rancho Arroyo wines
-One of my favorite things was finally getting to try some Bonnydoon wines. I have admired the company for their sooper-fun website for quite some time, but haven't had the opportunity to try any of the actual wine. I tried the Cardinal Zin and the Cigar-something (which was only available in the VIP lounge-hoighty-toighty). Very good. Check out their campaign to get rid of corks.
-Also, in the VIP lounge, we tried Ice Wine for the first time (sorry don't recall a maker). It was soooooo sweet. 2 sips was enough. I mean there was a certain green-ness to it, but wow...it was like candy.
-Guenoc Reserve Wines
-Another first...Norton wines. We usually skip over the Missouri wine section at the store, because there's this stigma of being too-sweet grape-juice like wines and the dreaded white zinfandel-esque crowd pleasers. But since we were trying new things, we tried Chaumette winery's Norton, and it was delish! Quite different...very fruity and juicy without being sweet.
-Coppola Wines, which besides being yummy, had this wonderful film-geek item-A giant wine bottle with an apocalypse Now DVD in the base! Oh man, when they come out with the Godfather ones, look out...there goes my savings account.

Okay, on the food part. There wasn't very many food booths.
-There was Father Dominic the Bread Monk, though. He did a presentation and book signing. I love his show...I whish PBS would start it up again.
-The Chef from a new St. Louis restaurant Red Moon was there, too, but we missed his presentation. The restaurant, however gets a hearty recommendation from my good pal (and frequent diner-outer) Kelly.
-McArthur's Bakery provided some divine sweets. We kept making excuses to "pass by" that booth. Tiramisou, Brownies, Strawberry Shortcake....slurp.
-And jack was very excited to touch a real-live Viking range. Our next food field trip will be to the Viking Culinary Center here in town.

I'm probably forgetting things and omitting essential details, but it was a great experience. Like exploring. And can you blame me, I mean it was pretty much a bottomless wine-glass kind of situation...I chose stem in hand over pen in hand. I encourage you to explore your food favorites, whether it be wines or soups or chocolate or whatever. You'll have fun, and probably learn some stuff. Go on an adventure!

Monday, January 24, 2005

food love

Valentine's Day. Yeah, it's kind of a silly hallmark holiday, but the food involved makes all the heart-shaped stuff and glittery teddy bears worth it.

There's wine, of course. I can't think of many things much more sensual than rich red wine. Here's a good guide to choosing wine.

A couple of romantic food books that look quite interesting; Intercourses and Aphrodite.

If you're not up to reading, and would rather snuggle up to a romantic movie, how 'bout a romantic food themed movie? I recommend Chocolat (mmm, Johnny Depp) and Like Water For Chocolate.

Um, yeah guess that brings us to a very important valentine food: CHOCOLATE! Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate, and more Chocolate. And a review of the last one's masala chocolate bar. Sounds interesting, and yummy.

How about a nice date? Find out the most romantic restaraunts in your neck of the woods.

And if you offer to take me to White Castles, all you'll get from me is a paper napkin and some bittersweet heart candies. I mean I'll admit the White Castles candle-lit dinner is a quirky idea, but it's still stinks in there.

Speaking of those heart candies, here's a candy heart generator. fun!

Valentine's traditions around the world.

Back to food:
"The Aztecs called the avocado tree "Ahuacuatl which translated means "testicle tree". "...and other interesting aphrodisiac info.

Oh, and this might just be the ultimate romantic food...bread, chocolate & olive oil...all together. I'm yours!

So light some candles, throw on something a little more comfortable, pop the champagne, and read mushy love poems. Even if you're spending this one alone, there's still all that chocolate, so don't be sad...Celebrate the holiday that celebrates some fabulous food!

Be mine,

curried lentil soup

This weekend I decided to make lentil soup. I looked through some recipe and found this Curried Lentil Soup recipe on epicurious.com. Of course I had to modify it a bit because, well, that's just how I am. I used the whole bag of lentils, so as not to waste any, so I added an extra can of broth, another potato (I have a major thing for curry/potato combo...perfection) and one more carrot. I also added lots more curry powder and cayenne pepper, plus some garlic powder & turmeric.

It's an easy recipe and it turned out really yummy, and there's lots of it (and it cheap!). I'll probably have to freeze some, because apparently Jacks' not into lentil soup, and I'd have to eat it 3 meals a day for a week to finish it. Even though I do adore the stuff, I think that might get a bit old. Anyway, perfect winter cooking. It's hearty and spicy and rich...really warms you up, and makes your home smell wonderful. And with that little bit of olive oil as the only fat, very healthy, too!

Monday, January 17, 2005

edible art

Food nourishes your body, art nourishes your soul. When you combine the tow, great things can happen. But not always ;) My theme today…."eat your art"

These cakes are unbelievably cool. I especially like the Wine box one, and of course, the sushi cake.

An artist who does amazing things with caramel and pastry.

Ever read a book so delicious you could eat the pages?

Sugar Art. Wow.

Gummy bear necklaces, A map of Iraq made of crackers, cupcake poetry…must be "eat art 6!"

Sushi is an artform in itself, but here it’s taken to another level.

Paintings done entirely with coffee.

Spam carving (not for the sqeamish.) That reminds me, I’ll have to post my "Ode to processed meat products" here sometime.

This woman does beautiful things with eggshells.

Now I’m definitely inspired, but I have to figure out whether it’s to eat or to create.

Monday, January 10, 2005

where've ya bean?

Even though my stomach disagrees, I think that Beans are one of the earth's perfect foods. Healthy, versatile, yummy, cheap. Beans are great!

In fact, they are the theme for the next "My Blog is Burning," which I may have to participate in this time. Here's the info, plus some fantastic bean puns from Too Many Chefs. Bean Martin. that's classic.

Here's a can of beans that's traveling all over the world.

Beans & Crockpots are true soul-mates.

Who doesn't love a good bean tale? A Jack & the Beanstalk database with different versions and illustrations.

Mexican jumping beans jump because they have moth larvae in 'em. ew.

Speaking of ew, we all know beans are the "musical fruit." Blame it on oligosaccharides. But don't fret. There are precautions you can take to lessen the sound effects.

A favorite gulity pleasure (guilty in that it's cheap fast-food) is actually pretty healthy. Taco Bell Bean Burrito Fresco Style. Now, making burritos at home is even better....healthier and probably cheaper, and of course yummier. My favorite way to make them was inspired by the gi-huge-ic burritos at Tomatillo's. All you do is make plain white rice, and when it's done you add chopped up fresh cilantro and jalepeno (about one bunch's worth of cilatro leaves and 1 or 2 peppers, depending on their heat) and mix thoroughly. pile some in a large tortilla, add beans (I like black beans...from a can...flavored with cumin, garlic powder, mexican oregano and hot pepper flakes) and any other burrito fare you desire (cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, etc.). Since you're getting bulk from rice and beans, you can make a dozen burritos easy...burritos for a week!

Vanilla Beans are sexy.

The Bean Bible. Bean praying?

The Powamu Festival is a Hopi Indian celebration of the bean sprout. The Bean sprout represents fertility. and there's flogging!

Jelly Bean art.

Bean art.

Bean fortune telling.

Chocolate covered beans. Coffee beans that is. *drool*

Well, that's enough beans to power a submarine, i think. It's bean real, it's bean fun! (sorry, couldn't help myself.)

Monday, January 03, 2005


Now that the holidays are over, everyone's making thier New Years resolutions. Heck, I made some. But I thought this post-New Years post should go in a different direction...eating lots, excess & gluttony. that's the theme for today.

Eat like a Sumo wrestler. Man those recipes look good. And healthy, too!

While we're in Japan, gotta mention competitive eating, a sport which the country seems to excel at (without getting fat...WTF?). And yes, I said sport.

Planning some excess drinking? Follow thses tips for a feel-good tomorrow.

Excess cooking.

Excess Americanized Mexican dining (and Cartman likes it, too!)

Excess chocolate? no such thing...but this comes close. *drool*

Just want to feel big? Eat little foods.

Want inspiration to actually get bigger? A database of weight-gain stories.

Ananova's list of stories about world record food.

Speaking of which, Have you seen the Discovery Channel's show "Big?" The replicate everyday objects to huge scale. They've done a blender, a pop-corn popper, a bbq grill, a toaster and an espresso machine...plus some non-food related stuff (but who cares about that stuff, eh?).

Sure gluttony is one of the 7 deadly sins. But heck, I guess I'm a glutton for punishment (harr harr). So, go overboard once in awhile! You can live a big life but have a big heart at the same time.