June 11, 2010
Yes people - chocolate wine. It's the most incredibly great stuff ever concocted!
It's rich and I can only drink a little bit at a time, but it's too wonderful for words.
Our incredibly great local liquor store guy had just gotten some in and he poured a tasting for my husband and me. Naturally I had to have it. Best of all it's only $9.99 a bottle. Too good to be true.
Yes, we live in a wonderful world. Heavenly in fact.
April 23, 2010
In the interest of keeping the government off my back I will state here that the following is a free endorsement. Heh. (like anyone would give me anything to plug their product... right)
I just ordered a bag of trail mix from nutsonline.com. I was looking only to buy roasted salted pecans (because I love pecans but can only find the raw ones in the store and I am too too lazy to roast my own). So I started searching and ran across this site.
I decided - well - why not just create the mix I want instead of buying only the pecans. So I did.
The smallest bag you can mix like that is 5lbs. (Ordering one type of nut you can get smaller bags and they have sample sizes) So I got a mix of roasted/salted pecans, walnuts, almonds, cashews, dried cranberries, and chocolate covered gogiberries.
All I can say is - phenomenal! I have always bought nuts from the grocery store. These are nothing like the ones from the grocery store. Nothing at all. I've never had nuts that tasted so fresh. They are "light" and crunchy. Not dense and dry. It's quite amazing. I may go through the bag in record time.
So, if you like to snack on nuts, I would highly recommend them!
We now return you to our regularly scheduled blog (where I have nothing else to say tonight).
April 03, 2008
Daily caffeine 'protects brain'
Coffee may cut the risk of dementia by blocking the damage cholesterol can inflict on the body, research suggests.
The drink has already been linked to a lower risk of Alzheimer's Disease, and a study by a US team for the Journal of Neuroinflammation may explain why.
Yay - my daily Starbucks is good for me!
But drink quick. You KNOW there will be a new study proving exactly the opposite next week.
March 19, 2008
In a bid to get out of the house at least one time per day, I head to my local Starbucks and I get my daily Soy Mocha. If it's later in the day and I'm getting another drink I'll pick up a Soy Chai or a Mocha Frappuchino (no whip cream please).
At every store I've visited on a regular basis over the years, I have to say that all the people working there have been great. Very nice indeed. Even stores I only buy at one time, I've never had a problem. They may be rushed at times, but they've always been nice to me. I appreciate that since sometimes they have been the only people I've seen all day.
Well, it looks like they've got the original boss man back in the saddle at their corporate headquarters. I am very happy to hear this because it means one of the more detestable changes over the past few years will soon be a thing of the past...
He also said Starbucks would stop selling a line of breakfast sandwiches that were served warm, creating an aroma that overwhelmed that of the coffee in stores.
I laugh at that euphemism "creating an aroma". Ha! Those things stink to high heaven. It's hard for me to believe anyone can actually eat one. I feel so bad for the people who have to stop everything to throw these conglomerations into an "oven" and have to smell that horrid plastic smell all day.
It was certainly not worth the extra work the barristas had to do while lines stretched out the door. And now maybe Starbucks will start to smell like coffee again. (I do love the smell of coffee - even if I don't actually drink the real thing).
I know all the people working at the store I visit will be VERY happy to see those ovens gone! Not a single one of them likes them.
Beginning in mid-April, users of the customer card will be able to customize their drinks — with soy milk or vanilla, for example — at no cost.
Excellent! I've had a card for years now. Periodically they've given out "extras" but I like this one.
I hope their plans all work - I don't know what I'd do if my Starbucks went away. It would be annoying to have to try and make my own drink... not to mention a total bore because then I'd have to sit home and talk to myself... and I do enough of that already.
Good luck Mr. Schultz! I'm pulling for you to succeed.
December 23, 2007
Although I prefer the "wearing of the green" to the "drinking of the green".
I'm just sayin'...
October 18, 2007
It's actually 2 recipes - sorta - combined. The first part comes from one of my new books called The Slow Cooker Ready and Waiting Cookbook by Rick Rodgers. I was immediately impressed that he had written part of his own blurb on Amazon.
Controversial or not, I refuse to pretend that slow-cooked food prepared by the typical "dump in the pot" method is as good as my (admittedly longer) technique. My experience as a professional cook showed that the old method is a sure way to waste groceries and time.
On reading his recipes, I admit to nodding my head and agreeing that a little extra work would certainly make many crockpot dinners so much more flavorful.
But - there is not really a chicken soup recipe. (he has stock making recipes, not quite what I wanted, but I wished I had some of that stock when I was finishing up the soup at the end... next time)
That left me searching the internet, where I came across this recipe:
Great Aunt Nina's Chicken and Noodles
After reading through it, and the comments - I started putting the 2 types of cooking together and decided to try it out. To keep this from becoming book length on the front page - I'm putting the recipe below the fold.
October 12, 2007
I'm in the midst of making chicken soup (beloved husband has a cold). I've cobbled together 2 recipes and I'll let you know how it turns out. Also I've made a loaf of "beer bread" that I got from Tastefully Simple when HFS was having her online party. Right now I'm trying to remember why I should wait to eat it... OMG it smells so good!
I think dinner will be pretty excellent tonight.
October 09, 2007
Correlation is NOT Causation.
Yesterday, this article popped up on my news feed.
Diet and Fat: A Severe Case of Mistaken Consensus
Once again it is a case of one person crying wolf and everyone else taking up the cry, with little evidence to back it up.
In 1988, the surgeon general, C. Everett Koop, proclaimed ice cream to a be public-health menace right up there with cigarettes.
As usual, the proclamation came down from on high - the almighty Surgeon General - and few questioned it. Of course this was the days before the internet. This was a time when "studies" could be conducted and "results" touted and the general public had almost no access to the basic information, not to mention the actual study itself and how the conclusion was derived.
...as Gary Taubes demonstrates in his new book meticulously debunking diet myths, “Good Calories, Bad Calories” (Knopf, 2007). The notion that fatty foods shorten your life began as a hypothesis based on dubious assumptions and data; when scientists tried to confirm it they failed repeatedly. The evidence against Häagen-Dazs was nothing like the evidence against Marlboros.
The thing that has bothered me most about all the diet fads over the years is the fact that even though our diets have changed so tremendously over the last 30 years, people are gaining weight, not losing weight. There is still heart disease, there is an even greater onset of Type 2 diabetes.
Yet, even with abundant evidence that "diets" tend to make people miserable and tend to fail at a tremendous rate - those who tout their particular type of eating - never seem to see these little annoyances. It's always the failure of the person, not a failure of the diet.
So, how does a faulty theory become "common wisdom"?
First you get one prominent person with this view in a position to spout his theory to the world as "fact".
The evidence that dietary fat correlates with heart disease “does not stand up to critical examination,” the American Heart Association concluded in 1957. But three years later the association changed position — not because of new data, Mr. Taubes writes, but because Dr. Keys and an ally were on the committee issuing the new report.
Then you get reporters involved - critical thinking is not their specialty:
The association’s report was big news and put Dr. Keys, who died in 2004, on the cover of Time magazine. The magazine devoted four pages to the topic — and just one paragraph noting that Dr. Keys’s diet advice was “still questioned by some researchers.”
Then you get the even more clueless legislators involved (because they get their "scientific background" from news sources):
After the fat-is-bad theory became popular wisdom, the cascade accelerated in the 1970s when a committee led by Senator George McGovern issued a report advising Americans to lower their risk of heart disease by eating less fat. “McGovern’s staff were virtually unaware of the existence of any scientific controversy,” Mr. Taubes writes...
And thus a mindset is born.
Anyone see a parallel here with the Environmental Evangelists? It looks so amazingly similar it's quite disturbing.
However, we now have the internet and we have people who are able to speak up and be heard - even though they are subject to ridicule for actually voicing a dissenting opinion.
In the case of dietary fat, the lone voice of dissent was a brave soul who was nearly completely ignored, because he was not in the majority.
Mr. Taubes told me he especially admired the iconoclasm of Dr. Edward H. Ahrens Jr., a lipids researcher who spoke out against the McGovern committee’s report. Mr. McGovern subsequently asked him at a hearing to reconcile his skepticism with a survey showing that the low-fat recommendations were endorsed by 92 percent of “the world’s leading doctors.”
“Senator McGovern, I recognize the disadvantage of being in the minority,” Dr. Ahrens replied. Then he pointed out that most of the doctors in the survey were relying on secondhand knowledge because they didn’t work in this field themselves.
Of course Dr. Ahrens was never heard by the general public. Even though he worked in the field and was a true expert. His problem? He didn't agree with the "majority". Yet, instead of putting his arguments out there and letting the "majority" show why they were right and he was wrong - they simply dropped his argument and plunged ahead.
Because they knew they were right. Now don't you feel so much healthier after reading this?
October 04, 2007
Chelsea Baked Beans
And the lovely Sissy casually mentions that she has dropped 34 pounds with her Cold Turkey Cookbook Recipes!!! 34 in 4.5 months - I am so impressed and the beans sound wonderful.
October 02, 2007
Since there seem to be somewhere in the vicinity of 100,000 different crockpots in the world, I started clicking on brands and reading the reviews.
When I was reading about the Kitchen Aid Slow Cooker - one of the reviews had this tasty tidbit...
...I long for a more variable temp control and a delay start timer...(emph mine --ed)
I kid you not... someone wants to put uncooked food in a crockpot and have it turn on LATER.
The imagination boggles. I have to wonder how the person has survived this long without dying of food poisoning. Good Grief!
October 01, 2007
I realized today (yeah I'm a bit slow sometimes) that it's heading into the cold weather season here. This means I'll be cooking more things inside instead of on my trusty Weber grill - especially when it snows.
Since I loathe my oven and try to use it as little as possible, I've decided that this year I want to do more by way of crockpot cooking.
The problem is, my Crockpot is 28.5 years old. We got it as a wedding present. Yes, it still works, but I have to say it rather worries me.
I have used it over the years on occasion (it generally did NOT make enough food when young son was a teen and it saw way less use then). So while it has been used consistently, it hasn't been used heavily. But it's still really old!
Question: What kind of crockpot/slow cooker should I get?
Here's the thing - even though it is just beloved husband and myself - I often cook for 4 at least and then have leftovers for lunch and even another dinner... so a larger size crockpot will be okay while the tiny sizes will definitely be too small. I'm thinking the 6-7.5 qt size will be good.
There are many out there - I've been reading about them - but nothing jumps out and says "buy me". So, I thought I'd see what others have to say. It can even be a crockpot you would "love" to have, but haven't bought it for whatever reason.
September 18, 2007
Go read. Follow the link. Save the Chocolate!
(forget cheerleaders and heros... this is far more important)
September 07, 2007
Not only has Sissy lost 25 pounds, she's been putting together light tasty recipes and posting them with glorious pictures. Finally Pam requested that she put it together into a book, but Sissy went one better...
Go check them out! There are all kinds of goodies that are kind to the figure as well as beautiful to look at. Happy Eating!
September 10, 2006
May 02, 2006
I looked at the directions sent along on how to put the grill cart together. I am SO glad we had the store do it! Holy smokes we would have been trying to get it done for the next 2-3 weeks. Anyhow, we put it first in the garage and I asked the guy to show me how to put the propane tank on - looks easy enough. Then they left. Even better - major Kudos to the driver for noticing we have low hanging power lines and he had a very large truck. He stopped before he did any damage - whew!
Next thing I did was find a place to fill the propane tank. First place I went only did trading of tanks - I bought this tank I don't want to be trading it around! Besides, I've seen some of the pieces of crap they give out - I wouldn't feel safe with those anywhere near my grill. However, they did direct me to a store only a few blocks away that would fill my tank for me. At the moment we are contemplating getting a second tank for the inevitable time I run out of propane in the middle of cooking dinner.
I get home, it's still raining, but I decide the heck with it and pull the grill out on to the back patio and hook up the tank - no problem. Whew - most complicated part down. Then I took out the grates (heavy suckers!) and washed off the machine oil.
After beloved husband got home - we fired up the burners. Then stood kinda looking at it for a few minutes - I'm sure we made a picture straight out of a sitcom. Then we put the lid down and went inside to wait about 10 minutes. Smoke (light smoke) started coming out from the lid. We're guessing it was burning off excess oils from when they made it. After it hit 500 degrees, we opened it - let it cool a bit - then closed it and reheated.
Tonight - in celebration - we had steak. It turned out wonderfully well! I'll have to work on the timing thing. It seems the cook time was a bit faster than our convection oven. I'm looking forward to doing veggies next to the meat - maybe tomorrow. That will be fun.
End result - an excellent dinner - no fires. I may be able to get the hang of this thing.
April 30, 2006
The grill is a significant piece of equipment for me. That's why I was extra careful. Currently our kitchen has some dandy looking appliances - they were made for house beautiful. Unfortunately, I don't think they were made for actual, real life cooking.
The most frustrating thing, other than the horrific switch from gas to electric (hate it!) , is the "smoking oven". No matter what I do, how I cook, how careful I am, the damned thing belches out smoke whenever I use it to cook. No matter the style of cooking, bake or broil, there will be smoke. I have run the cleaning cycle at least once a month since we moved in. In my last house with a decent run of the mill gas range - I ran the cleaning cycle twice a year - if I remembered. I am so frustrated, I am hoisting the white flag - I give up!
You may wonder why we didn't just get a new oven. Well, the problem is, the original owners (who didn't do much cooking) had builtins of "rare" appliances. Right now, the maker of our oven has a store about 50 miles away. Other stores out here used to carry it, but no more. It's an odd size, so any oven work will also entail cabinet work and very likely a new exhaust fan. Plus I would want to put in a gas cooktop (propane) at the very least while everything is torn up. The price tag on all that is far higher than I want to spend at the moment. Thus the new grill - I'll just cook outside and use gas to do it!
I've never used a gas grill before - only charcoal. I love charcoal, but let's face it, it isn't the easiest thing in the world to fire it up in mid winter. With gas, you just make sure you have propane, and you're good to go. For the summer I'm thinking we'll use the charcoal grill on occasion, but for most cooking I can get back to using gas. Especially nice is the side burner, which I am very much looking forward to using. Yes, we splurged on that - it certainly wasn't absolutely necessary.
We didn't get a huge grill, although it was fun looking at the Viking outdoor oven - it's the Cadillac of gas grills. If I had the money, I'd drop it on that baby in a heartbeat! I love good cooking equipment, I think we've got potential with the nice 4 burner model headed our way. With only 2 people to feed, I can do meat on 2 burners and vegies on the other 2 at a lower temp, plus any extras like rice on the side burner.
But you never know what kind of fun will happen when you mix me with a heated cooking surface. This is why I'm paying a few dollars extra to have the store deliver it and set it up. I can have them show me how everything works and I can make sure that when it catches on fire for the first time - it will hopefully not be my fault for improperly connecting the gas line or some such nonsense.
Stay tuned. Tuesday is delivery day.
December 14, 2005
I’m taking an informal poll. Feel free to leave your answers in my comments. There’s no right or wrong answer.
How many times a week do you cook and how many times do you eat out?
The media makes it sound like Americans eat out whether it be fast food or something, nearly every night and I want to know if that’s true.
Things change over the years. Unlike Bou I no longer have young kids at home... but for the most part I cook every night.
When the kids were young...
we didn't have the money to go out. So, once a week I would order pizza... that was my night off from cooking. I did lots of "easy" stuff to cook as it became available... like precooked roasts so all I had to really cook was the side dishes.
When the kids got older...
I still cooked most of the time - the hard part was deciding how much to cook since I could be feeding 1 to 4 people depending on last minute schedule changes.
About 5 or 6 years ago I figured out that additives and preservatives gave me extra terrible migraines... up to 5 per week. I was living on pain medication... not so good. Then I really went on a rampage - got rid of everything that wasn't fresh in my diet. Now I cook from fresh food only in my house. I don't do pizza or carryout anymore unless it's a special occasion and I'm eating at someone else's place. (BTW - the headaches have mostly disappeared).
Also, now that my husband and I have finally settled down - gotten all moved and everything... we will go out to eat about every other week. Call it date night. I'm careful about the restaurants we go to and I usually try for fish and veggies without sauces - this generally works very well and it's one night that I don't have to clean up dishes (the only thing I really dislike about cooking).
When we were in the middle of moving - we were eating (by necessity) restaurant food every night for about a week. We both felt terrible at the end of that time - and couldn't wait to get moved in to the new place so we could have "real food"... even though the restaurants we patronized were of the very nice variety (not McDonald's! or even TGI Fridays)
Now I'm off to read the comments at her place and see what they are all saying. Interesting poll!
*** UPDATE... after reading the comments at Bou's - I should add that while I was at home alone in Chicago... while my husband was working out here on the east coast - I STILL cooked and ate at home - for that matter I only went out to eat when I was out here on the east coast with him. I am far less likely to go out and eat alone - I'll just stay home and cook.
July 29, 2005
June 18, 2005
June 12, 2005
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