Monday, May 31, 2010

A Good Memorial Day

To all my American foodies out there:

Have a very good Memorial Day. Just remember that the barbecue you're enjoying was made possible by all those brave men and women throughout American history who gave their lives for freedom. Celebrate but do so with thoughtfulness.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Tea Time Tradition

I've recently gotten into the habit of putting sugar and lemon in my tea. I've always preferred plain but now I'm craving the tart sweet addition. I usually prefer my brew without anything. Now I no longer like the simple strong taste but want to amp up my cup.

Hot tea doesn't always have to have the addition of lemon and plain white sugar. You can sub lime juice for the lemon to make it more exotic . I thought of doing that and it would be refreshing in iced tea. You can also try brown granulated raw sugar too. Lavender infused honey is also a great sweetener and it can be used in both hot and iced teas. Another popular taste is mint. This too goes well in any kind of black tea . Wild mint grows in abundance so you can even pick some during a hike or from your backyard.

What teas go well with flavoring? I found just a simple black oolong goes well. I do like the slightly orange flavored Lady Grey for my morning cup however it doesn't need anything. Red or bush teas just require a simple sweentener like a half teaspoon of honey or sugar. I was drinking this last year thanks to the HBO series .The #1 Ladies' Detective Agency.It is a robust tea more suited to winter than summer.Other teas that require no additions are the soothing chamomile and the sturdy Earl Grey varieties.

Well, for now I'll enjoy my afternoon tea English style. I like the way my oolong mixes with lemon and sugar to create a relaxing drink. All I need to finish it are some scones and clotted cream.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Burger Variations

I saw that the Dining section of Wednesday's Times had an interesting article about non traditional burgers. They were made with pork and lamb but you can use other meats as well. You can stray away from 100 per cent beef and even try chicken or turkey. You can still have a traditional barbecue but with a new twist.

Using different meats also means trying different tastes. You can go with a lamb based patty but you can use spices like cumin and coriander for a Middle Eastern spin. Pork burgers can take on an Asian flair with the addition of soy sauce and scallions. Or you can turn them completely around and serve them with apple sauce German style. Most people usually go with the low cal, low fat turkey burgers which can be dry. Look for the alternative, emu . Yes,you read right emu, that big ostrich like bird.Unfortunately it is expensive with ground emu meat selling for 32 bucks a pound.

What to serve with exotic burgers? Try a potato salad made with roasted yams instead of Yukon Gold ones. Or if you're making pork burgers then go with a cross between kim chee and coleslaw, a spicier cabbage salad with a lot of crunch. Lamb burgers can be accompanied by veggie kabobs and a cold rice salad.

This Memorial Day think outside the bun.Try different meats to spice up your barbecue. It'll make your party not just memorable but tasty!!!!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Seaside Sweets

After a fun day at the beach I stopped at Long branch's Cake Bake and Roll bakery. This is a kind of jersey shore Magnolia Bakery but the offerings were much better and cheaper too. Located int he same block of ultra modern and ultra new buildings as the boutique hotel bungalow this is a fun and cheery place to stop after a day of sun and surf. i really enjoyed it.

When you walk in the bakery divides.To the left there are coffees and teas that you can get(there are also tables where you can sit down). To the right there is a great array of different sweet and savory baked goods.I wanted some cookies to bring home and chose a nice array of butter cookies with various toppings (cinnamon, chocolate chips and colored sprinkles) These are the closest Ive tasted to home made and have a nice buttery homemade taste and crunch to them. The clerk also suggested I try their cupcakes and I ordered one. Despite what I've read on other on line reviews, the cupcake was delicious and better than I've had in some of Manhattan's trendy bakeries.the icing was light and delicate and the cake was fluffy and light. the flavor was a vanilla the icing was an unusual lime.The next time I;d like to try some of the chocolate , red velvet and carrot ones.

Cake Bake and Roll also had tarts, both sweet and savory along with bars, giant cookies cakes and unusual breads (one looked like a vine with ivy leaves). It also makes fresh crepes which I know I will be trying on my second trip back. The mini foccaccios looked yummy too.

For any of you heading to Long Branch or Monmouth Beach for sun and surf make a side trip to Cake Bake and Roll at the beginning of Pier Village in Long Branch. You'll enjoy a sweet treat after a day of salty ocean fun!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Gutte Pretzels

There was a great article in today's Dining section of the New York Times. It was about pretzels stores in New York. Most of Manhattan's salty treats are covered in salt with really little or no taste. This frustrates me because I love good old fashioned homemade pretzels. I know two place here in Jersey thatt make them. In New York it;s a desert. Luckily the writer Julia Moskin has found a great one in the East Village.

The store featured is Sigmund and it's owned not by a German but a Russian born pastry chef, Lina Kulchinsky. She makes the traditional mahogany ones that are first dipped in a lye water solution to make the salt stick. There is another variation by Sue Torres the pastry chef at Manhattan;s Rusty Knot that makes a pretzel covered hot dog. This is not new The Germans have been eating big pretzels and sausages for breakfast for years. They don't have pretzels with mustard like they have here.

There is even a pretzel recipe that looks good. It seems like a simple recipe that involves lard and yeast along with barley malt syrup.Think I'd like to make homemade ones however it probably would require a lot of practice. There's also the alchemy of ingredients that work , probably the yeast is the magic component in all if it.Even though I'm mostly German I have yet to make these. We have no family recipes for them and none were handed down.
Big pretzels are wonderful. Homemade ones even better if they're done right. I'm looking forward to trying the East Village ones. I bet they're gutte!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Progresso's Hearty Soups

I think I've embraced Sandra Lee's philosophy of using prepared foods to create yummy but quick meals. I've recently discovered Progresso's Hearty Soups. These are comprised of thick broths filled with chunks of chicken , pot roast and steak. Paired with a salad they make a good dinner during those busy week nights.

Tonight I heated up the pot roast one. This was pretty thick and smelled exactly like the pot roasts my Mom used to make. It was a good soup with large slices of potatoes and carrots. The meat was in little chunks and nuggets. The soup itself was big on taste. I paired it with last night's Caesar salad and Target's Archer Farms cheese straws. It was a filling and satisfying dinner. I'm looking forward to trying the steak and noodles one. I may pair it with a tomato or a green bean salad and Parker House rolls.
Even though we're heading into summer there will still be busy days ahead. Finish off the day with a Progresso Hearty soup. You'll have a good dinner without a lot of fuss and bother.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Salad Kits- Really?

Do you really need a salad kit to make a good salad? I mean it's the simplest thing in the world to make., All it takes is a good head of good lettuce, tomatoes and oil and vinegar. If you want some variation then add some rosemary or thyme. For more sophisticated salads then add tunas or a variety of meals, grilled or cold cuts along with hard boiled eggs, artichoke hearts and broccoli.
However I saw a salad kit at the A&P today and thought , well why not. It had everything I needed to make a good Casesar . I couldn't wait to try it.

The company who made the kit was called Et Tu, a humorous reference to Caesar 's murder at the forum. However there was nothing that funny about it. The dressing was a little bit too thick.It came out like toothpaste , too thick to even be poured. I even had to mist in some oil to make it a little more smoother.I then added the bacon bits and croutons and topped it off with the added packet of Parmesan cheese. These last three were fine and they added a lot to simple romaine. I don't know if I'll try this brand again however. I think in the future I'll make my own.

I'll take salad kits with a big grain of salt in the future. I thought it would be a fun and easier way to make a simple dinner. I realize that a great bowl of greens , doesn't start with a kit.It starts with an imaginative cook.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Dinner With A Movie

For the first time in two years I went to see a movie yesterday. I usually wait until a film goes to DVD but the movie was "Shrek, Ever After" and I had to see a corpulent but still cute Puss in Boots. I went around dinner , all the time wondering what t eat. After all theaters aren't exactly known for their meals. Yet I was pleasantly surprised.

The AMC snack bar has a variety to choose from. I settled on a just a hot dog and soda. It was expensive but good.The hot dog rivaled that of Trget's for juiciness and flavor plus it was the width of an industrial pipe. The soda lasted me for two and a half hours thanks to it coming in an almost industrial vat sized cup. Iwould have liked to have tried the pretzel bits in cheese or th epizza butagain these are really for two people. ANy AMC snackbar fare is huge and can be shared. The popcorn alone comes in a small pillow sized sack.

The candy also caught my eye however I didn't buy a mammoth box of anything. There would probably be enough Sno Caps and Jujubes to last me a month. Maybe the next time I go (although I have no idea when that will be)

There's nothing like dinner with a movie. There's enough to choose from and I can see the AMC chain adding more stuff like egg rolls and tacos to their menu. It's kind of like being at home , eating dinner while watching a Blockbuster rental, Well,except the screen is bigger.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Putting Your Mark On Classic Recipes

I love my family's recipes. They've been handed down to me from generations and centuries of good cooks. yesterday ,as you may recall I wrote about having a slight case of food poisoning from eating at my favorite buffet. It was pompeist ,the Piedmontese version of egg drop soup that came to my rescue .I made a pot of it to satisfy what hunger I had and to soothe a still troubled tummy.

Pompeist, taken from the Italian zuppa di pane pesto or breadcrumb soup is a relative simple affair. It;s just chicken, beef or vegetable broth as a base with a half cup of plain bread crumbs and two beaten eggs tossed in. Cook it until it resembles Chinese egg drop soup (it's kind of a variation really). Sometimes the ingredients work against you. The crumbs turn into sodden lumps with powdery dry interiors while the cooked eggs form floss like strings that get stuck between the teeth. That has happened to me for most of the times I've made it. Not yesterday. The texture was perfect and creamy. I added a cup of breadcrumbs to four and a half cups of vegetable broth. Instead of two eggs I increased to three. My pompeist has a reputation for being bland so I added freshly ground sea salt and pepper .Again this was a great idea It has the right amount of saltiness and bite.

It was also good reheated today. My stomach is still recovering and I just wanted something bland for it. Reheated the pompeist was still perfect.its' texture still was thick and creamy as if I had added milk. The taste was even better, as all reheated dishes usually are.

I' m proud of myself for putting my own spin on this family classic. I can't wait to start on other family recipes. Have I got plans for them!!!!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Careful What You Eat

Today was not a good day foodwise.I wound up with a mild case of food poisoning at one of my favorite buffets.I think the ice cream was slightly sour and the machine was not up to par.I could have also been a case of the cream used being old. I should have guessed when the taste was slightly off. Should have paid more attention to that.

This brings me to the topic of spoiled food in general. When in doubt throw it out. I can't tell you how many times I've tossed out milk because it just wen t bad on me. Or tomatoes that turned rotty overnight.Or bananas that just went black and mushy. Sometimes it's the stores fault for selling old food, sometimes it's ours for hanging on to it to long. That has happened to me with puddings and cheeses. I've kept them well after their expiration date. Not a good thing. My mom's cousin always dates her food and throws it out after a week. Maybe this is a bit excessive but at leas she doesn't have to worry about food poisoning.Bacteria builds up on anything organic and can cause all sorts of problems with a foodies innards.

This has taught me a lesson.Stick to the fruit in your favorite buffet. Hopefully you won't go through the mess I just experienced. Also if it's unnaturally sour spit it out.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Foodie High

I just read a disturbing article in the Dining section of today's New York Times. it was all about how chefs get high in their kitchen. Yes stoners are everywhere, including our favorite restaurant's kitchens. Luckily I know most of the chefs where I eat. I trust them. I know they're not going to get toasted when slicing onions for my soup or grilling chicken for my Caesar salad. However I may now be leery of new places.

The article written by Dining regular, Kim Severson, tells about the chefs who do create dishes when they ;re baked.Some like the chef from the great new York eatery, Momofuku Milk Bar isn't but creates dishes that appeal to the more baked than hungry.The dish in point is the signature dessert - one that involves the milk that's left over from a bowl of cereal. This is served with iced cream and probably does make a good ending. It's probably also reminiscent of a munchie orgy after a few good ones.However there are chefs who relax(fine) and create(not so fine) after rolling joints. Marijuana is supposed to heighten the taste buds . OK, whatever but doesn't salt do the same thing?

Baked chefs? I'm not comfortable with that idea.I want mine to be lucid and clear headed. I don't like the idea of a stoned chef anymore than I like the idea of a drunk one. Cooking is like any other job.It requires responsibility and alertness at all times.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Barbecue Plan B

Somehow this May has not been the perfect outdoor grilling month - or at least not in my area. Right now the temps are in the fifties and there's an autumnal torrent of rain outside. Not the best weather for a barbecue. Actually we've had more chilly days like this than warm ones. What happens when your planned barbecue day turns out like this?

Go directly to plan B.

There's nothing like an indoor summer party. As disappointing as it sounds you actually are creating a healthier meal. Don't forget that charcoal brings out the carcinogens in meat which can lead to various types of cancer (most notably colon) . Also you have the alternative of pan frying in olive oil. You can even roast hot dogs this way or just for the better method of boiling. or steamed. Shish kabobs and chops can be put under the broiler for the same taste more or less. Also cooking the meat indoors also prevents any burning or charring mishaps and the food will takste better.

Even that out door dessert , s'mores can be made inside. You can roast marshmallows over a burner for that toasted quality. An easier, maybe less messy way is make the sandwiches and microwave them for a few seconds . You'll still get that warm , gooey goodness and the same flavor (without the jarring taste of charred marshmallow).Another variation is adding fruit such as sliced strawberries or banana chunks. An indoor barbecue is also a great time to whip up a quick and fun chocolate fondue for your guests and yourself.

If there's rain on outdoor party, don't panic. You can turn it into a fun experience by falling back on plan B - an indoor barbecue. It's still fun and you can still enjoy all your favorite out door foods. - without getting rained on.

Monday, May 17, 2010

There's Oil In My Mayo!!!

This is a short entry today (actually tonight) I just tried Hellman's mayo with olive oil and i have to admit I like it. IT has a sweeter taste , not so eggy really and seems lighter in texture and flavor. Hellman's has varied its' age old recipe with the blending in of Bertolli virgin olive oil. This is a great marriage because the stuff is lower in calories and cholesterol. You can actually make healthier salads and sandwiches with it. Kraft also has a mayo with olive oil in it as well.

I tried mine with what else - tarragon over cold sliced chicken. It was a lot lighter yet still delicious, similar to the other tarragon chicken salads I've made in the past. i thought it would be runny because real mayo is thick and creamy. I figured the olive oil would give it a syrupy texture but no. It held it's own and was perfect slathered on the Italian bread I used. It; will definitely be used in my egg salads and when I make deviled ham salad too. I imagine it would be a nice base for homemade French and Thousand Island dressing and won't have the usual heaviness associated with those two.

This new spin on an old classic is really a great invention. I plan on switching over. It's not only heart healthy but tastebud yummy.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Getting Ready

This is a quick entry due to the fact that I have to get a cafeteria ready for tomorrow's big university event. Right now I have 100 (yup, count 'em 100) cans of soda and water in my basement. I have to lug all them out of there and a few miles over. Tomorrow I have to pick up three trays of veggies and dip along with two specially made brownies and a platter of cookies.

For all of those who love events like this, think twice about volunteering. This is not a dinner party where you can let your specialities shine or you can whiz through a grill menu like Bobby Flay. This is more like coordinating an Oscar party or at best a community get together where you're the one solely responsible for the food and drink. This is not fun , This is torture, pure and simple.

Maybe I'll feel different when the whole thing is over. After tomorrow I think I'll just kickback and not volunteer anymore.There's something to be said about being a selfish foodie.

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Joy Of Event Planning

As I've written in earlier entries, I've been tapped to basically cohost an after party at the university where I teach .I had forgotten how much work these things are, not having done it in a few years. I forgot how exhausting it is, between the running and planning and coordinating.

If any of you foodies are forced to help out at a shower or party , then brace yourself. Also assert yourself as to what you can do and what you can't. Don't volunteer to get all the heavy stuff as I did and wind up lugging one hundred cans of soda around. Divide the duties and chores equally. If you have to , bring some on your committee with you to shop. Two people can cover a store faste r than one can, believe you me . Also get receipts for reimbursementif you're doing this for a company and school for . This has been my problem in the past. I was so overwhelmed with work that I never kept anything and lost out financially.

Event planning may require cooking and baking. Don;t be a sap and ask to do as much as you can. This is not the weather for spending five or six hours in a hot kitchen , whipping , berating or frosting anything. if you;re asked to make anything just go with a signature dish that you're known for. This frees you up to enjoy the warm weather. if you don't want to cook or bake, then go to your supermarket an dhave them do it for you.

Events are fun but planning and prepping for them definitely is not. I feel it's a lot of work that goes unappreciated . It's not really a joy but a job.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

How Green Is Your Company Garden?

As I promised yesterday I would write about the second most interesting article in yesterday's New York Times Dining section. It's an interesting piece written by another Dining section regular Kim Severson about corporations who have on site gardens for their employees.I like his idea because it give workers not only a respite from the day's works but also a sense of homeyness.It must feel like a big family farm where everyone pitches in and helps.

The article states that some companies like Google and Yahoo have plots where workers can raise whatever they want. Even corporations like Pepsi which provide the world with sugary sodas and fatty snack foods have an onsite garden full of healthy greens and veggies. some companies allow workers to take home their harvest while others donate them to local food banks,.

A company garden isn 't an easy 1-2-3 affair.Land has to be squared away for it and it usually takes up to a grand to start one,.This includes sheds and water system along with top soil and mulch,There is also the problem of the land being over treated with chemicals becaCheck Spellinguse industrial parks want nice weed free, green lawns.This could ruin any soil that will be designated for gardening. Still major companies like Pepsico, Target ,Intel and Best Buy.

I think every company,large or small, should think about a garden. Hoeing an d planting relieves stress. There's also the joy of the first harvest and sharing it with friends. There's nothing wrong with going green , especially at work.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The White House Pastry Chef

Today's New York Times Dining section is packed with a lot of good articles I 'll write about one today and the other about corporate gardens tomorrow.The one that I'd like to tell about now is regarding the White House pastry chef, Bill Yosses. He has an interesting background and an even interesting job description at the White House.

Yosses was first hired under former First Lady ,Laura Bush. His background is being a pastry chef at the famed Montrachet and Bouley restaurants in New York. However in Washington, he is also the chief bee keeper and tender of the herb garden. It's not like he wants to be uber busy :it;s just that he;sot really needed in the Obama kitchen much. Thanks to our new First Lady's healthier foods campaigns, rich gooey pastries are out at the everyday meals. Not that President Obama and the First Daughters are deprived of sweets. Yosses makes a white sugar free fruit and oat bar made with honey and maple syrup. This is mixed together with toasted sunflower seeds and dried cherries and baked for 25 to 30 minutes.This is a recipe I would love to try because it's a great healthy snack and probably wouldn't be so bad with a cup of coffee.

Yosses does still bake for the White House State dinners. He has also coauthored a book with Dining contributor Melissa Clark (today's article was by regular contributor Julia Moskin)There is an updated recipe for a Mamie Eisenhower cheesecake with a chocolate cookie crust. Now this is somehing I would love to make. It has a sour cream frosting on top and a rich , smooth cheesecake.

Bill Yosses is a White House history maker. He can still create yummy but good for you sweets in the Obamas healthy eating White House. That's a feat that should be copied through tth eUS> He manages to make even the healthiest ingredients the most decadent with his knowledge and flair,

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Taste of Home Magazine

I get a ton of magazines every month, mostly fashion (yes I'm a fashionista too) . However one that I haven;t ordered is being stuffed in my mailbox and to my luck it's a food one.It's Taste Of Home and although it;s not Gourmet, it still has some interesting recipes. it's a relatively thin monthly but it covers the gamut from simple suppers to kitchen redecorating. It's about 80 pages from cover to cover.

What I like about Taste of Home is the fact that ordinary cooks from across the US. There are put into themed articles like Mexican or shower foods or even foods for a particular holiday. I love the fact that they're easy to follow and the ingredients can be bought in any supermarket aisle. In the latest April/May issue there's a cappuccino granita that's caught my eye as well as a mushroom lasagna and a candy explosion cake. Yum.

If you get the chance pick up your subscribe to this neat , little magazine. It's really good for creating different meals or if you're planning a party or holiday meal. A Taste of Home is like a recipe box full of good ideas and foods.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mister Right

I love my news olive oil mister that I bought through that great site Sur La Table. It is just a neat gadget and I wish I had bought it sooner.There's a lot you can do with it from coating a saute or fry pan to spritzing salads.

It does take some figuring out. I didn't realize the oddly shaped cover was responsible for the nozzle to spray . t has to be pumped up and down so that the sprayer could work. The first time I over filled it by about three tablespoons which was wrong and messy. However once I got the hang of it I found that it's he most fun gadget ever. My new favorite snack is oil misted grape tomatoes. Just wash them, leave them in their container and give them a good misting. Add fresh ground sea salt, shake the container and serve. These are just a yummy go to if you're hungry or a great side with any kind of sandwich.

I'm looking forward to cooking with my mister. I bet it'll be perfect for quick frying or even sauteing spinach. I also plan on using it when I reheat pizza and spinach rolls too. Talk about mister right!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Remember Mom Tomorrow

Tomorrow is Mother's Day. Remember your moms with a nice brunch or buffet out. You can also try cooking too. Some easy recipes are frittata and French toast. If you're planning on a get together later on in the day, think about a simple but great barbecue with some rice salads.

Another fun way is eating out as a family. Most restaurants and even diners have great Mother's Day brunches where there are omelet bars and pasta stations along with carving boards and dessert tables. These are great if there's a large crowd coming. You don't have to spend the day endlessly cooking and cleaning up. End up at home with a special Mother's Day cake (all bakeries and grocery stores have this) along with some fresh made bon bons from your local chocolatier.

However it;s spent, make sure all moms young and old have a day off from cooking and cleaning., There's nothing like some one else making a sumptuous brunch or dinner.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Event Planning

This has been a busy day for me, with housework and shopping and everything. Now I find that I'm sucked into event planning too for a club at the college where I teach. Some people think this is fun. It is in a way. However for me it's a headache , especially when there's a tight budget to deal with too.

This is the season for all sorts of events, from graduations to office showers to everything else. Somehow Spring and early summer is always chock full of parties and get togethers. In these situations I found the best solution is heading to the local grocery. In my case it's the Stop & Shop where I will be ordering a lovely plate of crudites and brownies for next Sunday's awards ceremony after party. This is the easiest and I don't have to spend my weekend cutting up veggies and baking and frosting endless trays. I recommend everyone stuck with some party to do the same. It's just easier and cost wise perfect.

I have an already busy schedule. Now I am stuck with an event that requires legwork and setting up. Luckily , despite the season, this is my only one so far.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Sushi For You

Yesterday's New York Times Dining had a interesting article about making your own sushi. This is interesting to me since I've been doing a lot of cooking lately. Sushi making looks like a lot of fun and requires very little effort. This last alone is a lure.

There were two articles one by the amazing Mark Bittman. He is a regular contributor to The Times and I like his minimalist style of cooking. His spin on sushi is simple. Just roll up the fish and veggies with rice and then wrap seaweed around them. The only complicated part is making the rice.It;s not just a simple boiling . Sushi rice dies require the addition if rice vinegar ,sugar salt and kelp. You also need awasezu and sake to boil the rice. This is what gives the rolls their sweetness and balances the seafood saltiness.

I'm not a big fan
of raw fish (and it would be hard to make with my cats hanging around, loudly demanding a morsel thrown their way). I would sub in hard boiled egg,, avocado seaweed and may be asparagus. I may even put a mash of peas or edamame in mine.

Sushi sounds like an easy challenge but it also sounds like fun.I probably will try it soon. There are so many possibilities and it'll be fun putting my own spin on this classic.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

This Is The Weekend To Cook!

Mother's Day is this weekend and this is the weekend to cook! I've just received my shipment from Sur La Table . I am over the moon about my new olive oil mister (which will definitely be used) along with my tomato savers and the colander ladles. Both Saturday and Sunday will be spent putting new spins on old favorites.Will I have enough time to create the perfect Saturday supper and Sunday morning brunch? I hope so.

Any meal comes down to planning. I know that for the dinner I will be making spaghetti with Bolognese sauce. The twist on this will be adding the chicken flavored soy strips to it .It'll be like a vegan cacciatore over pasta instead of the usual polenta. The"chicken" will add texture and more taste. It'll also be a turn from the usual, heavier recipe.Of course with it comes fresh made garlic bread and a nice crisp salad.

As for Mother's Day, I may make my Mom's favorite, Eggs Benedict. As you all know I made this just last week and it was a great success. I fried the eggs with the bacon as opposed to poaching them. This gave them a richer flavor and the yolks were more well cooked. I could also go the other route and make French toast, much in the style of its' parent pain perdu. This is where you sub in French bread slices for regular white or challah bread.It makes for a nicely chewy and more flavorful French toast.

This is definitely the weekend to cook. You can try to make the classics or try something else. Just plan now for what you'll be doing. It's easier and you can have more time to cook.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Economy of Time

I've been cooking a lot lately. Unfortunately it's simple stuff with a few steps as opposed to more elaborate fare. I would like to create fancy dinners followed by elaborate desserts however I literally have zero time to do this. I wish I could make different and gourmet dishes but let's face it there is no time to do so.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who has this problem. There has to be foodies out there who work a full day and then go home to a crateload of chores. Where is there time to prepare? To core and peel? To puree and mash?. It basically boils down to fast food, deli food and anything pan fried. I only have half an hour to cook and serve. That's it. The rest of the day is devoted to housework and laundry. Once in a while there is the escape of shopping . I can't even devote my evenings to cooking because my work never ends. Luckily the grocery stores have excellent fresh baked products so that takes care of the sweets department.

I wish I had more time to create good , healthy scratch meals. They do taste better and are much more healthier than any of the prepared stuff.Unfortunately they are time intensive and that I don't have the time for.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Sur LA Table An Online Passion

Lately I;ve been doing a lot of ordering on line. Thanks to yesterday's Sunday's Daily News Food section I came across Sur la Table a neat and extensive online and regular cooking themed store. It was when I saw a pair of colander ladles that I just had to have.

Along with the colander ladles, I also bought an olive oil mister. This will come in perfectly when I need to fry or saute veggies or even reheat. It will give me the perfect amount of olive oil (inbstead of just pouring it in and over soaking the food)There were also tomato savers which I had to have. these are tomato shaped containers that can store half cut tomatoes. They also have garlic, onion and lemon containers which I'm sure I will buy.

What else did I love? Brioche tins! I love this sweet yeasty French mini bread and have always wanted to make them.The problem is that they need the exact molds to give them that fluted bottom and puffy popover like muffin top. This may be a future order as well. There are also other molds and cookie sheets that give me a rush. I also love the Tuscan crockery that would go well in any kitchen. There's also a le Creuset braiser that I've only seen on this site. Now this would be perfect for my cooking style, being big on stews and braising.

I have been doing a lot of online shopping only. I know the sites and yes I like them. yet I haven 't been excited by them like I have by Sur la table. This is a foodie's perfect site. I think I will wind up their biggest customer, and probably a loyal one at that too.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Shelling Peapod

I have heard about this new service Peapod,It's a food delivery Stop and Shop that you order on the Internet. Then it;s delivered to your door. A friend of the family uses it even thought she lives in Manhattan. She receives even fresh fruit and vegetables too along with Stop and Shop's excellent array of fine baked goods.

I like this idea very much. One , as we all know, I'm a big Stop and Shop fan. I love their stuff , from the veggies to the meats to their organic brand Nature's Own. They have a wide variety of national brands too and there's always an array of stuff to choose from. I love the idea of food being delivered to my door. This is nothing new. My great aunt used to have this done back in her day. My schedule now is so hectic. I don't have time to head over to my local stores , whether they be the A&P or Stop and Shop. My schedule just doesn't allow it now. There's something infinitely practical about having groceries delivered when you're too busy to do the actual shopping.

Soon I will try Peapod. It just makes sense to me to do this. I have to devote all my time to the house and family.Going shopping will take away from that and force me to work well into the evening. That I can't do. The time I spend away from the house is too valuable. That's why I'll try Peapod.