It should be no surprise if you’re a regular reader around these parts that I enjoy spicy food. Normally, I turn to Southwestern food when I’m in the mood for some heat, but sometimes I’m not in the mood for something like a burrito or nachos.
These days I’ve been experimenting a lot more with Asian flavors which, trust me, pack plenty of heat. A few weeks ago I made a soba noodle dish with a fairly standard spicy peanut sauce. I mixed the soba noodles with lots of fresh veggies and some seared tofu and tossed everything in the peanut sauce.
It doesn’t look spicy, but it’s got some kick to it.
I think one of my favorite things about this dish is that it was pretty good at every temperature. On day one I had it at room temperature. On day two I had it cold for lunch as kind of a noodle salad dish. On day three, I brought it back to life in a super-hot pan with a touch of oil and stir-fried it. It was great all three ways! Continue Reading »
I think the first installment of Guess the “Food” was pretty easy. Too easy actually. So I’ve kicked it up a notch for this post. The packaging is pretty bland and there aren’t a lot of hints here. This one should be tricky.
I subbed out the actual serving unit for widgets as it would completely give it away. Also, I think that the amount of “widgets” in any given container is always the same. The say “About 8″ but I’m pretty sure that they are always identical if that’s any help.
The first thing that stood out to me when I checked out the facts of this product is the huge list of fats that they listed. Most of them are zero grams except Polyunsaturated Fat.
Polyunsaturated Fat isn’t actually bad for you in moderation. It’s found a lot in fish and nuts and seeds. When used instead of Saturated Fats and Trans Fat, it’s been shown to actually lower cholesterol.
Of course, any 2nd grader can tell you that something doesn’t add up with the fats here. 0 + 0 + 0 + .5 grams = .5 grams. But the total fat is listed at 1.5 grams. Where’s that missing gram?
Betsy and I have a few other couples that we like to hang with on occasion. Usually we just get together, make some dinner, and drink copious amounts of beer and wine. Apparently though this was not ideal for the ladies in the group because a few weekends ago they scheduled a “Lady’s Night” and they made it a point that we were very NOT invited.
So we decided it would be a good idea to have a guy’s night mainly with the goal of making them jealous. I spent a few hours braising some pork butt to make some carnitas. I figured that would a good guy’s night dish. I was right.
I might be wrong, but I’m pretty sure the ladies were jealous of our carnitas.
Before I get too far into the carnitas though, I also made up a batch of my new favorite salsa. It’s really simple, but very tasty.
Every other weekend, I review a cookbook in an attempt to lend some guidance in a field that has become overrun. These days everyone is writing cookbooks and it’s incredibly upsetting to buy a dud and have it sit on your shelf for years – staring at you, mocking your poor judgment.
I think this book, “The River Cottage Cookbook” by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is a bit mislabeled. By my count, there’s just a little under 100 recipes in this book (a very good amount), but it’s over 400 pages long! So what’s going on here?
In similar fashion to his Meat book (my review), Hugh goes deeper than just the recipes in almost every case. By deeper I mean that he encourages us to all get closer to our food.
The Oscars are this Sunday and honestly, I probably won’t watch them. I’m usually a pretty big movie buff and try to see a good number of Oscar-nominated movies in any given year but I’ve never really loved watching the actual award shows. Just a bit too much hoopla for me to handle.
This year though, I was really bad about watching movies. I haven’t seen most of the movies nominated this year including Avatar. It appears that I’m the only person on the planet to miss it… I’ve just been too busy.
But don’t think that won’t stop me from predicting who will win all the awards! So without further ado here are my awards predictions based on practically nothing. Let’s see how I do.
Best Picture: Avatar Best Actor: George Clooney (Up in the Air) Supporting Actor: Matt Damon (Invictus) Best Actress: Gabourey Sidibe (Precious) Supporting Actress: Penelope Cruz (Nine) Animated Feature: Up Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker) Documentary: Food, Inc. (or The Cove which I haven’t seen yet, but looks shocking and scary.) Adapted Screenplay: An Education Original Screenplay: The Hurt Locker
Avatar will win all the art-themed awards because OH MY GOD IT’S AVATAR!
For the poll this week…
And a few links as always…
10 Surprisingly Unhealthy Kids Foods – A list of things that are marketed as being pretty healthy for kids and it turns out maybe not so much. Shocking I know. As with many things, it looks like it comes down to reading the nutritional info before you buy. Some great healthy alternatives are given as well. (@ Walletpop)
What’s One Cookie – A really interesting article discussing tactics for weight loss. May people think that making small changes to daily routines can have a big impact on your weight (positive or negative) but if you’re trying to lose weight with baby steps it might not get you the results you’re looking for. (@ NY Times)
How to Make Eggs Taste as Good as Bacon – One of my fave bloggers gives a very quick tip that I’ve never tried, but will be trying this weekend. It’s a simple spice combination but I can already tell that with a good egg and some toast, it’s going to work out nicely. (@ Summer Tomato)
Gluten Free Sandwich Bread – I have a fair number of gluten free readers I think based on some emails I get. This is an epic post which shows how to make what looks to be very tasty sandwich bread using gluten free products. There are also some great variations to try out as well. (@ King Arthur Flour Blog)
I was a bit worried when the eggplant Parmesan rolls won last week’s poll. Not because they didn’t look delicious. Oh no. They looked very delicious. But they also looked kind of difficult.
The idea of rolling roasted eggplant (kinda flimsy) around a cheese filling seemed a bit advanced, but I figured I’d give it a shot. And I’m really glad I did. It turned out to be more delicious than I thought it would be and definitely easier.
It’s sometimes hard for me to express how good a dish is in a post because I just have these small little words and photos. I mean there are no smells. No tastes! But, in this case, I can try a different approach. You see Betsy keeps a running tally of Macheesmo dishes. This dish, after she tried it, narrowly bumped off Chicken and Dumplings for best comfort dish.
When people ask me about Macheesmo, one of the first questions I get asked is how I don’t weigh approximately 400 pounds. I think I’ll save my philosophy on healthy eating for another post, but generally I eat a lot of fruit and vegetables with the occasional heavier meal.
I try to post delicious and interesting things on Macheesmo so I spare you all the boring daily salad and breakfast smoothie (although I am working on a master smoothie post). That said, I wanted to share this mushroom and barley stew because not only is it really delicious, it also happens to be very healthy.
Very healthy... minus the beer in the background.
The mushrooms and barley in this recipe produce a very filling stew. In fact, I definitely don’t miss meat when I’m eating it. Everything has a great texture to it and tons of flavor. Plus barley is hugely underrated so it’s worth posting on. I think you can find it boxed in the cereal section or definitely loose in the grain section.