Sunday, August 31, 2008

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Now Serving Hot Links

Repeat After Me, Food is Not a Moral Issue
Michael Phelps is going to endorse Frosted Flakes. The food police object. (story here) Sheez. One more time, people. It ain't the food. It's what you do with it. I like this comment:
After all, when it comes to figuring out what's good for you, whom are you going to believe, a pasty-faced "nutrutionist" or a guy who can swim faster than a motorboat?
Butter Sculpture Gallery

Amazing work is being done in butter these days. Serious Eats has a nice round up of photos.

Wine Spectator Gives Fake Restaurant Award of Excellence
Looks like a certain publication has really taken their eye off the ball.
[Robin] Goldstein, the author of The Wine Trials has a posting up on his new website describing how he invented a restaurant name, Osteria l’Intrepido, a riff on “fearless.” Then he typed up a menu (”a fun amalgamation of somewhat bumbling nouvelle-Italian recipes”) and then put together a wine list, and submitted both to Wine Spectator–along with the $250 fee. The list was approved and given an Award of Excellence.
The best part is that Mr. Goldstein included "the lowest-scoring Italian wines in Wine Spectator over the past 20 years."

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Wow, Bob's Sauce Really Is All Purpose!

I was in the mood for some salad dressing made with balsamic vinegar. I saw the bottle of Bob's All Purpose Sauce and thought, "Hey, that was kind of strong, and a bit sweet, and had a reddish tinge. It might be like a sassy French dressing if I tossed some in.

I did.

And, lo, it was good.

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
4 tablespoons virgin olive oil (I use Colavita ... the price is right and the taste is dandy)
A dash of Bob's (not sure how big a dash ... less than a tablespoon)

Whisk together, toss with salad greens for four.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Guess Why We Had Waffles for Dinner Last Night?

Homer: Why do you mock me, God?!

Marge: Homer, that's not God, that's a waffle Bart tossed up there last week.

(she gets a broom and scrapes the waffle off the ceiling, then leaves)

Homer: I know I should not eat thee ... but ... (chomp) ... Mmm, sacre-licious.

We saw that episode a few days ago and Hannah and Rose both began longing for waffles. Though none wound up on the ceiling, thank goodness. I used a basic recipe, similar to this one.

This was called to mind as I read through this article which my friend Tammy, knowing me so well, about 25 lessons we can learn from The Simpsons about cheap, healthy eating. Enjoy!

Pacman Sugar Cookies

Both funny and creative! See how to make them at Snack or Die. Via Miss Cellania.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Product Review: Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce

We're not big steak sauce users in our family.

Truth to tell, we don't even own a bottle of steak sauce. So I guess you could say that we generally ignore the product altogether. Not from dislike. We just never think of it.

However, I received a very nice email a week or two ago offering some of Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce to try out. Never being one to look a gift horse in the mouth I promptly agreed and a few days later received two bottles.

Intrigued, I immediately bought some ground chuck and we grilled burgers, one pound of meat seasoned with 1 tablespoon of sauce.

Everyone agreed, even picky Hannah, that the burgers had a certain ineffable deliciousness that they had never had before.

So far, so good.

Next I was making Hamburger and Rice ... a favorite in our household for all its extreme simplicity ... and thought I'd try out a tablespoon of Bob's Sauce in there.

The consensus was that it provided an enriching flavor which slightly changed the overall feel of the dish but that everyone approved.

I am going to be trying out Country Bob's All Purpose sauce some more. For one thing, I am extremely interested in their Swiss Steak recipe. I noticed that they use all fresh ingredients in their recipes for the most part ... and this one has plenty of mushrooms. Mmmmm, mushrooms. I imagine that some of Bob's Sauce is going to make it a very flavorsome dish indeed.

Red Cooked Beef

This originally was from a food newsletter that I subscribed to. I can't remember the name of the newsletter now, however, immediately recognized it as a sort of variation of Chinese Red Cooked Beef and thus I dubbed it in our household.

I do remember that it was made with round steak. It never seemed to me that round steak held up to the long simmering time so I changed it to chuck.

Other than that, it is unchanged. Simply scrumptious for a winter day I must say. I post it now so that y'all have a frame of reference for my Hamburger and Rice recipe.

Step 1:
2 pound chuck steak, in 1” cubes
2 tablespoons oil
Brown beef over high heat. Remove meat and juices to a bowl.

Step 2:
2 large onions, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 heaping tablespoon sugar
Cook onions with garlic and sugar until golden. Push onions to the side. Dump meat back into pan and pile onions over it.

Step 3:
3 tablespoons dark soy sauce
Add soy sauce and water (enough for the meat to simmer in). Let meat simmer, covered, until tender (1½-2 hours). When tender, uncover pan and cook a little more to thicken and intensify juices.

Hamburger and Rice

It is somewhat embarrassing to admit that this is one of my kids' favorite dishes and one of the very few that I created myself. It is a bastardization of Red Cooked Beef which developed as I was cooking weeknight meals and didn't have time to go the whole nine yards on the original ... which is also much loved in our household.

Step 1:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, pressed
In a large nonstick skillet cook until softened.

Step 2:
1 pound ground round
Add and sauté, until lightly browned.

Step 3:
1 tablespoon flour
Soy sauce
2 cups chicken broth
Sprinkle in flour and stir to combine. Sprinkle in lots of soy sauce, then stir in broth fully. Simmer until mixture thickens slightly. Correct seasoning. Serve over rice.