Wednesday, April 23, 2008

PETA wants what?!?

I've always joked that PETA stands for People Eating Tasty Animals. Granted, I didn't make it up, but I'm not really offended by it, that's for sure. Well, it turns out that I wasn't exactly that far off. Only, in the case of the recent news, the Animals part of my preferred acronym derivation should really be "Animals".

PETA is offering a $1 million prize to the first company to produce lab-grown meat that is similar in taste and texture to the real deal and can be sold in at least 10 states at a cost comparable to the real McCoy. Now, since when is PETA trying to promote eating meat?

The part that really irks me, though, it the fact that the organization is promoting Frankenfood. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, given the number of vegetarians and vegans who eat things like tofurkey, soy cheese and just about any other look-alike (but definitely NOT taste-alike) "food" products made from doctored soy, but I really can't stand fake foods that are processed beyond the point of recognition. I've even written about it before.

Here's a novel idea: If we learn to eat normal amounts of meat and from small producers as opposed to the large commercial producers, we'll be healthier and PETA won't have as much animal cruelty to complain about. Just a thought...

Monday, April 14, 2008

Eggs in a Bag (Couldn't resist...)

I'm not going to add much, but thought this was definitely wrong enough to call out. Yes, I was beat to the punch, so I must give Gizmodo credit. Oh, and read the comments, too. They're the best part.

Hard Boiled Eggs in a Bag ... If You Dare

My thoughts:

Why 9 to 10 eggs? Why not go with an exact number of a specific size egg?

Agreed.. That HAS to smell like ass!

Oh, and to the person who pointed out that the "bagged egg" market couldn't possibly be big enough to require special marketing to the hippie sector: great observation. Frankly, I'm shocked. The hippie, locavore, organic, ethical foodies are the LAST I'd expect to go for this concept...

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Lemon Tea Soda

Now, I'm not a big fan of super sugary sodas. I can't stomach anything non-diet from Coca-Cola or Pepsi. In fact, about the only mass-produced sodas I drink are Diet Coke and Fresca (also a Coke product), but I've seriously cut back on even that in the last couple years. Sometimes I'll try something new (I think I have an addiction to trying new things...), and most recently I tried GUS, which is short for Grown Up Soda—how cute! My favorite thing about it is that it manages to be sweet, but not too sweet. It's also natural, caffeine free and comes in a variety of interesting flavors. But enough about that. I actually like making my own "soda."

For now, I have to settle for adding seltzer water or unflavored soda water to my flavors, but eventually (read: When I have a bigger kitchen) I hope to carbonate my own water with the Soda Club so that I can just use tap water and some refillable bottles. Today, after having an orange-ginger iced tea with my lunch at Hampton Chutney, I was inspired. That iced tea would have been great with a little carbonation, I thought. So, with the lemons languishing in my crisper drawer, I whipped up an original recipe.

Lemon Tea Soda
(makes approximately 1.5 liter)

2 lemons (zest removed and juice reserved)
1/2 cup sugar (superfine will dissolve easiest)
2 cups water
3 Lemon Zinger tea bags
1 liter seltzer water or club soda

1. In a saucepan, heat the water, lemon zest and tea bags to a boil. Turn off heat and allow to steep for a few minutes. Remove zest and tea bags then add sugar and stir to dissolve. If you use a coarse or unrefined sugar, you may need to heat it further to dissolve everything.

2. Combine the heated mixture and lemon juice in a pitcher. Add the seltzer to top off the container or to taste. If you prefer a more subtly flavored drink, but your container is full, simply treat the mixture as a concentrate and add more seltzer or ice water when serving.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Engagement Chicken?

The idea of "engagement chicken" apparently came from a Glamour magazine editor 26 years ago. She had given the recipe to her assistant, who cooked it for her boyfriend. A few weeks later he proposed. As the story goes, this happened two more times to girls who tried the recipe. The thing I find funniest about all this? It's a simple roasted chicken with a couple lemons stuffed inside. Big freakin' deal!

(Photo borrowed from Glamour's Web site)

Roasted chicken is so easy that it's my go-to meal when I'm feeling too lazy to properly entertain friends. I throw it in the oven along with some new potatoes and let everything roast while I relax with a magazine and await my guests. They think it's a great meal and I'm not stressed from cooking some elaborate meal. (There's also fewer pots and pans to wash when that times comes.)

I'm thinking engagement chicken could only work on guys who haven't eaten much other than fast food, take out and suburban chain restaurant fare since leaving home for college. Maybe I'm wrong, but I just don't see anything that special and magical about roasted chicken.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Pancakes in a can?!?!

I'm hijacking a post from A Hunger Artist because it had me uncontrollably laughing out loud. You can read his entire post and the humorous comments at his site, but I'll post the YouTube video here for your convenience.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

A Culinary To-do List

This list was inspired by one I saw by The Wednesday Chef, another (much more widely-known) food blogger. Now, I took a few from her list to get me started, but they would have made my list eventually anyway. This list is by no means complete and finished. I'm sure I'll triple it in size in the next year alone, but the point isn't to cross off everything, it's to keep reaching for new goals and accomplishments. Here's the first draft of my list, but I'm interested in what everyone else would include in theirs.

• Spend a month in Tuscany working on an olive plantation
• Write (and publish) a cookbook
• Get published in Gourmet magazine
• Get published in Food & Wine magazine
• Teach cooking classes
• Host Thanksgiving or Christmas for my family (cousins and all)
• Go to Darjeeling to harvest tea
• Hunt (and safely eat) wild mushrooms
• Grown all of my vegetables for a year
• Brew my own beer
• Make and sell something at a farmer’s market
• Join a CSA (subscription-based produce delivery from a local farm)
• Visit a “grass farm” like Polyface, Inc. a la Michael Pollan in The Omnivore’s Dilemma
• Prepare a complete, seasonal meal solely from foods that I’ve personally grown, foraged and/or hunted (again, like Pollan did in The Omnivore’s Dilemma)
• Make turducken (or perhaps something smaller using game birds)
• Make bread using wild yeast collected from the air
• Go clam digging (and cook them right there on the beach)
• Make cheese (other than paneer, which I've already done) from scratch
• Eat at The French Laundry (Thomas Keller)
• Eat at Chez Panisse (Alice Waters)
• Eat at Babbo (Mario Batali)
• Eat at minibar (José Andrés)