March 31, 2007

Happy Taco Day! Feliz Día del Taco!

did you know that today was Dia del Taco?

Buen Provecho!

My Word with Douglas E. Welch: Foodie Q&A with Chef Joanna from BarCampLA-3

Douglas Welch has been kind enough to send me a link to the MP3 recording of the session I presented at BARCAMP-LA last weekend.

Sorry I didn't repeat the questions, as any good presenter should, but I sat on the edge of the stage and spoke loudly enough that didn't even use a microphone. (yeah, if you know me personally, you'd have a comment to insert here, I'm sure. :-P)

Also, I didn't know that this was going to be made available to me later, I thought it was for his own personal listening... but I'm delighted to be able to share it with you!

...Anyway, Douglas is quite the charming fellow. He has four podcasts that he produces regularly, each worth checking out.

My Word with Douglas E. Welch: Foodie Q&A with Chef JoAnna from BarCampLA-3

Beware, April Fool's day is tomorrow, lest you forget and stir salt into your coffee!

March 27, 2007

Ethnic Paris Cookbook - a book review. PLUS *contest* *prizes*

I recently received another book to review, and I'm happy to share the wealth with my blogs' readers, through a little contest.
The woman who is doing the promotions for this cookbook has got to be one of the most savvy people in her industry. You can't spill your champagne without having it drip on something that's referring to The Ethnic Paris Cookbook Link goes to the SuperChef Blog, and Juliette's review, since hers is very thorough already (yeah, I know it's kinda cheating but I'm certain she won't mind the traffic)... but I'll add my comments here, too.

First of all, it's CUTE! As in "OMG ponies!!1!one!1!" cute. Totally belongs on a coffee table, not on a shelf in the kitchen. Maybe display it on your kitchen island in a decorative book stand. The graphics aren't glossy, food-porn photography, but you know what? YAY! Because you can plate and present and display and serve like you want to, without fretting over how much it doesn't look like the photo in the book.

Second, it's got lots of interesting text. Each section has a few pages of background and history about how this cuisine got into Paris anyway, with anecdotes about how the cuisines became intermingled.

This gives me the opportunity to tell you a little story, too. Once upon a time, when the ink was still wet on my diploma, I worked for a Japanese Import-Export company. The bosses (both Japanese of course) would surprise us on a rare special occasion by taking our little 3 person department (me, Jeff & Paola) to a restaurant. Of course there were grand sushi experiences, mostly focused on "let's see what things can get the American girls to eat." One of the places, however, was a French/Japanese fusion restaurant called Yoshi's Cafe. The Chef trained in France, so his cooking had a Japanese flair. I have always been a foodie...and I was quite excited to go there. It's one of those places that you want to go to, but at 21, you could never afford.

The bosses (Mr. Ouchi & Mr. Asaba: I'll never forget those two) spoke in Japanese to the chef and his staff, and then we we 'kids' ordered. Paola ordered a Vichisoisse as her first course; She whispered to me that it was kind of cold. She didn't know. Jeff ordered the Tuna Tartare...although I'm certain he only chose it because that was the most expensive thing on the menu. He was absolutely blown away that it was raw when it arrived. I can't remember what I chose, probably lamb or fish or duck or something that wasn't beef or chicken...but I do remember that I was thrilled with my choice, and devoured it while Jeff and Paola poked at theirs. I didn't know enough then to appreciate it as fully as I might now, but I've always "ordered well". It was my introduction to fusion cuisine, and luckily it was a very good one. I think most people are against 'fusion' because their first experience wasn't very good.

You'll totally want to curl up with a yummy drink and a pack of post-its. Read through the rich stories, and mark off all the things you want to make on the first go-around. It might be good to have the computer close by so you can shop for local places where you can find esoteric ingredients, like konbu, nuoc nam, or kaffir lime leaves, and for things you must mail-order, like Djansan and Argan Oil. Los Angeles readers, you can just ask me!

You can also find more about this book at the book's official website.

OK, now the contest:

Send me a list of food items (by e-mail, not in the comments!) where each letter of the alphabet is represented by one food item. One point for each letter. Entries must be received by 8:00pm PST on April 1st. Points will be tallied, and the winners will be notified that they've won!

Sounds easy, don't it? it would be, if I didn't kick it up a notch (giggle)

  • 1. Is it food? It must be a solitary component of "food", that you can eat as-is, or cooked. That is to say, not a spice, like Vanilla; not a condiment, like Ketchup, not a 'dish' like Kung Pao Chicken, or a brand name like Zachary's Famous Barbecue Sauce... if there is such a thing.
  • 2. Is it English? It must be in commonly understood in daily American English. It's gotta pass the Husband-of-a-Chef test* No cheating by using Haricots Verts or Phú Quoc. Couscous would be ok, so would Phyllo. Get it? If you aren't sure, there's no penalty (or bonus) if you add a backup word.
  • 3. No specifications! Holstein cow, Waygu beef, Golden Carrots, Navel oranges... all will be disqualified.
  • BONUS POINTS!!! You will earn 6 bonus points if your list is based on a theme. You can choose the theme: all orange-colored foods, all pastry ingredients, all vegan foods, all root vegetables... whatever you like.
[* My husband will be roped in to help me judge. He's become foodie enough to know what couscous and phyllo is, but not so 'damaged' that he knows what haloumi or manioc those wouldn't count.]

So there you go. On one hand, it's a bit more work than /F makes you do, but on the other, WAY less competition. If there's five valid entries, then all five entries get a book. Winners' lists and point totals will be posted on this blog.

Good luck!

March 24, 2007

People want to know: what do I need in my kitchen!?

I just gave a mini-presentation at BarcampLA. a Q&A on cooking and culinary stuff. I found it surprising that most of the questions were about cooking implements!
  • what kind of knives are the best knives? if you cook a lot, spend money on good knives, like wustof or henckles... if you don't, buy stainless steel ones from the asian markets, and consider them disposable.
  • which is better, cast iron or non-stick? If you're making crêpes or omelets, use nonstick, just keep it at a low temperature. I will always endorse cast iron!
  • what's the minimum set of cooking equipment that I should have?one 8" nonstick, one 12" stainless (or anodized) one 3qt saucepan, one 5 qt pasta/stock pot. nonstick is kind of a plus. and a silicone spatula and a flattened-tip slotted spoon. (I've gotta figure out what those are officially called!
  • Where do you buy the best veggies when you're not going to a farmer's market golden farms, or ethnic markets, like Jons or 99 Ranch.

if you ever have a chance to go to a barcamp, go for it. you learn a lot and you meet a lot of interesting people.

Last thing I ate or drank: wow... Can't remember the last time I ate an oreo - note to self, check teeth before talking to other people...

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March 23, 2007

"I had 'A Chef's Kitchen' cater for me, and it was terrible!"

I'm aware that there are several other women named JoAnna out there in the world, and that a good handful of them are also chefs... but wouldn't it be weird to discover that another chef named JoAnna was doing business in Los Angeles?

ARTICLE: A Chef's Kitchen sues 'copy-cat' business over use of name (The Virginian-Pilot - "The plaintiffs are seeking an injunction against the use of the name and that the upstart business surrender to the court all infringing materials such as signs, business cards, letterhead, fliers, labels and logos. They also want the business to disconnect phone, fax and internet lines for 'A Chef's Kitchen,' and arrange for the lines to be forwarded to the Williamsburg business."

but yikes, look at all these domains:

Would you be surprised to realize that NONE of them belong to the either of the litigants! In fact the established company the newer company

Ah, but the clincher, is that they're only an hour's drive from each other. _
click for the google maps page.

How can someone start a business, and go through all the trouble of filing paperwork and creating letterhead, registering domains and forming corporations... and then later discover that, OOPS, someone else already has been using the same business name, for the same business model, in the same area!

On one hand, Chef Gonzales chould have just waited for their inevitable failure. Nobody who's that stupid about starting their business can be that smart about running it... but if there is a potential that the other company is going to tarnish his name and reputation in the process, (duh: see above) then yeah, litigation is the way to go.

And, uh, please don't sue ME. :-D

March 20, 2007

THIS is newsworthy?

I'd have to admit, I'd be a little embarrassed about writing a press release for this for MY company...

Chef Mario’s Inc.’s Darcy Brennan ServSafe Certified

... besides, I scored a 93. THPFFFFFFT!

March 15, 2007

"Pesach for the Rest of Us" - a book review

I was raised Catholic. And further, I'm not Jewish. So what business do I have reviewing a book called "Pesach for the Rest of Us" by Marge Piercy?

Well, it was sent to me with the hope that I might review it, and I can be objective, at the very least!
Pesach is a holiday filled with rituals where every action and thought has a purpose. Upon reading the book, it was surprising to me how many of these were about food... What you can & can't eat, how you should eat it, and what you should do with the food and wine during the ceremony. Each portion of the ritual has a distinct and specific reason why it's included in the ritual.

It's not mysterious as to why that would be... Everyone eats, everyone enjoys good food, and it's something that everyone can experience and relate to. (of course, one should never use the word 'everyone' but I'm making a point.)*grin*

If I were into rituals, if I found something moving about poems and singing and symbolic consumption of foodstuffs (and of course, if I were Jewish) Pesach would be THE event of the year. In fact, according to Piercy, many Jews who don't go to temple or practice their religion during the rest of the year find a reason to participate in a Pesach event.

I consider myself pretty well read; I am familiar with the belief systems of many religions. Christmas trees and Easter bunnies, the symbols of THE most Catholic of events, are actually pagan carryovers. The sexy fertility rituals of Lupercalia were replaced with the chaste love-notes of St. Valentine's day. In studying about Kashrus, for the benefit of my clients who keep kosher, I've become rather familiar with many of the Jewish rules about food and holidays.

OK, enough religion, let's talk about the food.

For Pesach, there's a ritualistic consumption of food and wine, each item having a symbolism: parsley, which is dipped in salt water, lettuce, horseradish, roasted eggs, oranges, and of course, matzoh. If you don't already know what the symbols represent, there's probably no need to go into it here. (get the book!) each section includes some history, poetry and the author's personal anecdotes. It was a very interesting read.
Yeah, I actually read the books I'm invited to review (gasp) which is why it takes a couple weeks for me to post these blog entries. Not to mention that this one, with a subject mattern of a specific Jewish holiday full of symbolism, I had to keep referring to wikipedia to figure out what stuff meant. It was enlightening, though it took the better part of an afternoon. I didn't work this hard on book reports in school! But I digress...
There are LOTS of recipes, for matzoh ball soup, matzoh brei, tzimmes, kugels ...and a few recipes for from-scratch gefilte fish, which the author swears even she wouldn't make again. I think that something that may be especially useful is that she includes several ways to 'use up' the extra leftover matzoh.

Cute flash cartoon. Try this link if the youtube wouldn't play.

Also included are several recipes for this curious fruit-and-nut compote called Charoset, which seems kind of like a coarsely-chopped trail mix, with apples, sweet wine and cinnamon. Sometimes ginger, coconut, orange zest, whatever tastes good to you. You're not supposed to say you like Charoset It's intended to symbolize mortar... The ‘Israelites’ (were) fleeing an oppressive situation in Egypt. In Egypt they were slaves, building pyramids with mortar and bricks. Piercy doesn't explain the mortar analogy, (so I gotta say thanks Debra for the info included in the above italics) but acknowledges that it's more of a justification of getting something sweet on the seder plate, to contrast against the other bitter/bland stuff. Anyway, it does sound delicious.

I've been given several books to review, but I only post reviews about the ones for which I have positive things to say. There's enough negativity in the world already, I don't need to add to it.

I'm not Jewish! Can I still make Charoset, then? Rather, do I allow my self to make it, knowing it symbolically represents the opression of others? Will it still taste sweet, or (perhaps as intended) bittersweet, such as when tears fall into the batter for the wedding cake in Like Water for Chocolate?

As a hedonist, I'd rather make the Quail in Rose Sauce that stirs passion in everyone who eats it.

Like I said, I don't need to add to the negativity.

That's pretty deep thinking for a food blog!

Last thing I ate or drank: a chicken cacciatore sandwich, followed by cup after cup of Lemon-Ginger Tea over the 3+ hours it took me to research and type up this review.

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March 14, 2007

The Picadillo Challenge (or, "I have issues with poorly made food")

Ok, so you know all about the cassoulet, so I'm glad that's out of the way. [[phew]]

Now I have to tell you about the Fiasco de Picadillo.

On Saturday, Kelly and I spent the whole day running errands, the major one was to find some attractive pots for the three citrus trees I just HAD to have. So, I have a Meyer Lemon, a Mexican Lime and an orange that I forgot the name of, but I do know it's not a navel. Longhorn seems to stick in my mind, but I'm not sure.

Anyway, I digress. We were on a quest for some pots. After the third pottery store, it was feeling kinda like being in Cabo San Lucas, which, of course made me hungry for mexican food. In Cabo, a square meal for me means chips, salsa, guacamole and Coronas. You kinda have your food groups covered, if you have some sour cream with the guacamole.

Anyway, I digress.  AGAIN.  So, we bought the pots (cute, and what a bargain!) and by now, it's getting late, and I'm in the mood for Mexican. We thought we'd head to Casa Granada: It's close, it's REALLY good, but it's also popular, and on Saturday night, that could be bad. We didn't want to wait for over 30 minutes before we got our fix of chips and coronas, so as we drove past a Chevy's Mexican Food, Kelly said, "Hey, that place is big, I bet we can get in there fast." I'm cursed with a husband who doesn't even have an appetite most of the time, but if he says he's hungry, you KNOW he's serious, and you gotta feed him fast. So we tried. 15 minute wait. Ok, what the hell.

Chips and drinks were on the table instantaneously. (Thank Xenu for small favors) but when it came around to the entrées, what the hell was RIGHT ON.

We ordered the combo platters, one with picadillo, and the other with chipotle chicken, with the agreement that we'd trade enchiladas so we'd have one of each. When they came, I was appalled. The rice and beans were slapped on there like it was a prisoner's slop. No garnishes to speak of. It was all hot, at least.

The chicken was plain and the sauce tasted like it had been poured straight out of a can. Upon tasting the picadillo, we both looked at each other and said. "Sloppy Joes!" because that's exactly what it tasted like. Too sweet, too runny, all one flavor. We plodded through dinner, sated but not delighted. I love picadillo and I was let down by the crap they passed off as dinner.

You're a chef who just ate a nasty excuse for a meal.
You were looking forward to eating a favorite food, and they gave you stuff not even suitable for grade school hot lunch.
You know the recipe for this favorite food by heart.
      So, why don't you make it more often, then? Uh, no good reason.
You have an embarassingly well-stocked pantry and freezer.
What do you do?
You go and make a huge batch of picadillo, the RIGHT way, with raisins and bell peppers and capers and tomato and cinnamon and green olives . Man, doesn't that sound like a mess? If you've never had it, it's way better than you'd think: it's simply divine. Salty and sweet and aromatic and rich. MMMmmmMMMmmMMM. It's definitely a 'portion control required' thing, because you can eat WAY too much of it and feel stuffed. I have lots of little containers of Pica-Dee-Liciousness in the freezer, just enough for these DINKs to indulge in a little quick and easy picadillo goodness. Enjoy with brown rice or French bread, and a salad, and you're good to go.

Sometimes it's good to eat out so that you know how lucky you are that you don't have to eat like that too often!

Last thing I ate or drank: a quarter of an avocado, sprinkled with salt, and eaten with a demitasse spoon right out of the shell.

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March 12, 2007

Paying for expertise... Charging for expertise...

This is one of my favorite parables:
A man took his car into a repair shop because his engine was making a funny grating noise. The repairman opened the hood and looked around with a flashlight. Then he grabbed a rubber mallet and banged on the engine a few times. He told the car's owner to go ahead and start the engine, and lo and behold! No more funny grating noise!

When the satisfied car owner went to the cashier to pay, he was astonished to see his bill. $143.00!! He went over to the repairman, and demanded, "Hey, what the hell? All you did was hammer on the engine!"

The repairman calmly replied, "Yes, that's true. Here, let me itemize this for you." Taking the bill from the customer's hand, he explained, "I charged you $3 for pounding on the engine with the rubber mallet... and $140 for knowing where to pound, how hard to pound, and when to stop pounding."

Last thing I ate or drank: chugged a diet pepsi... i feel sleepy, and need caffeine!!

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At last, the Deuling Cassoulet story!

Act One: I'd been reading this book, called "You Can't See Paris From Here" which is the writer's account of taking his family to the south of France. He watches how this small village has been revitalized by it's sole attraction: a restaurant (called La Récréation, which is French for "recess" as it's in a schoolhouse.)  It was a very warm and moving story, about the struggles and the successes of a classical French restaurant, and the local businesses that supplied and supported it. The descriptions of the cooking and ingredients and the people made me wish I was there. But there's no international travel for this girl for a while, so I would have to suffice with books and my imagination. Duck, both as confit and foie gras, was consumed with fresh local vegetables and washed down with the local Cahors wine. Yum yum and YUM!

Act Two: In anticipation of making dinner for myself and my husband, I took out some ground meat from the freezer. I was pretty sure that it was ground beef, but didn't pay much attention. When I went to go make dinner, it was ground pork... and I didn't think he'd go for a hamburger made of ground pork. So I made little meatballs, and sautéed them in a pan, thinking I'd get inspiration. Ground pork is basically unseasoned sausage, right? so I seasoned it like sausage, and the smell made me think of Cassoulet. But I have no duck! I saved some duck fat from a previously enjoyed duck, (for cooking potatoes!) so I used it to sauté the onions and carrots. I had the right beans, though I'd have to compromise by using canned. I had some frozen turkey, from legs that I had stewed for hours in a big rondeau, sealed in vacuum-bags. The dark meat might be sufficiently gamey to pass for the rich flavor of duck. So far, so good. No salt pork for lardons, but I did have bacon! A blob of tomato paste and a few flavor adjustments, and I was satisfied. I toasted up some small cubes of bread in some more duck fat, salted them, and crossed my fingers.

When I served it for dinner, dressed with the croutons, I explained to Kelly that it was 'fake cassoulet'. He really liked it. I couldn't help but ponder whether it was close enough to the flavors of a proper cassoulet, or if it just tasted good, but Kelly said he liked it enough that he could eat it once a week. I then explained about the quantities of duck fat & bacon, and he said with a laugh, "OK, twice a week!"

Act Three: Kelly got an amex gift card from work, for being the stellar employee that he is,  and instead of buying himself some gadget or amusement, he decided we should go out to dinner. There is one restaurant near my home that I just adore. Bistro Provence. It's lovely, comfortable, the food is outstanding, yet still very reasonably priced. I called for a reservation and surprisingly, got a table at 7:30.

As we were offered menus and the wine list, Kelly proposed champagne. (WOOT!) and as I perused the menu, the thing that my eyes landed on was the cassoulet. WOOT!! See, I love duck, I love confit of duck, and I love cassoulet. ...but did I want to eat it two nights in a row? Hell yes! As I said in a previous post I really don't like to eat the same thing in the same WEEK, much less on consecutive nights.

I was too excited at the opportunity to compare the poseur concoction I made the previous night to the genuine article. So I ordered the cassoulet.

YES, his flavors were deeper and more complex. Yes the oily duck was pleasantly satisfying, and yes, the sausages were sublime. But the one I made in about 35 minutes with stuff in my pantry wasn't far off! I was thrilled! Isn't that silly? I had to restrain myself from licking the crock clean.

We polished off the champagne and shared a slice of an intensely flavored but surprisingly light mocha cake for dessert.

Act Four: The next day for lunch, I ate cassoulet yet again: leftovers of the faked stuff, which was still delicious after a rest in the fridge and a slow reheating in the microwave. Even after eating the real thing, I felt my little impostor really held it's own.

I'm done with cassoulet for a while, (hee hee) but it was fun to have that experience.

Last thing I ate or drank: French bread, drizzled with olive oil, spread with labne, sprinkled with mint & chili, topped with thinly sliced yellow tomato.

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March 11, 2007

Advice on going to culinary school - Slashfood

This post was inspired by the Advice on going to culinary school blog entry on Slashfood. My comment got kinda long, so I'm posting it in full here.

If you've ever wondered about going to culinary school, please let me offer you this advice:


GO! GO!! GO!!! Even if you never plan on making it a career. Even if you only intend cook for yourself and your family & friends. Find a way to pay for it, and make the time to go to classes. It will be the best investment you can ever make. You will amaze yourself at how good food can be. You will understand why a fabulous meal at a nice restaurant costs around $50 an entrée.

The best part is that learning how to cook pays off immediately. Eating well is a pleasure you can enjoy forever. Cooking well is a skill you will use for the rest of your life, and each cooking experience builds upon the next. You will never stop learning you'll never stop experimenting. If that's your thing, do it, and you'll never regret it.

The worst part, tho, is that you'll become so accustomed to eating delicious food that is properly made, going to anything less than an excellent restaurant will be a disappointment.

You'll still crave -and enjoy!- going to WhiteCastle, In&Out, or Whataburger (and onion-smothered pattymelts!) but going to a place that offers a $10.99 combo meal that includes soup, salad and dessert will make you want to go back into the kitchen and beat the cooks with their own spoons.

And after your Safety & Sanitation classes, you'll never go near a salad bar again. Ever.

So, if you are considering whether to make cooking your career, yes the hours are long and the work is hard and the pay is meager. But if you love to feed people, and you love to eat well, the rewards are phenomenal.

March 08, 2007

Honey, what's for dinner?

My husband is not a foodie.

Wait, let me clarify that: He would forget to eat if I didn't actively put food in front of him. And he often does forget. He has been known to take a lunch to work, and bring it back home without ever having opened the cooler.

ME, on the other hand... I think about food all the time. After breakfast, I'm planning lunch. After lunch, I'm already anticipating what I'll make for dinner. And at dinner, I'm formulating what I might make for breakfast.

I can't understand how he doesn't find pleasure in food the way I do, but I try to deal with it.

In the past, I used to ask him, "What would you like for dinner?" or "What are you hungry for?" when we'd talk on the phone in the afternoon. I'm not asking him to come up with a formulated plan of carbs, veggies and protein, with complementary flavors and textures and colors. I don't expect him to know what ingredients are required, or how much time it takes to prepare his request, I just want a starting point! something for me to say OK, I can build around that.

"Whatever you want, honey," would usually be his reply, intermittently alternating with "Whatever's easy for you, sweetie."

Uh, no, sorry, that's not a satisfactory answer. I'm really looking for anything descriptive:
  • beef
  • something spicy
  • something light
  • Chinese
  • soup
  • breakfast
He likes breakfast foods at dinner sometimes, because he never eats them at breakfast time.

So, now, I've just stopped asking. I make what's available, I make what's fun to make, I make something that I'll find challenging, or I'll make my favorite thing, if craving something.

Kelly's a good sport, he does eat anything I make for him. I could feed him the exact same pasta dish three nights in a row, and he'd be happy. He knows, though, that this would NEVER suffice for me. I have problems eating pasta again if I haven't already consumed bulgur, potatoes, sweet rice, quinoa, brown rice, bread, dumpings, spaetzle and whatever else kinda starch I can come up with. Variety, yes, but also another reason to cook.

So I've stopped asking, and he's still eating well, and I'm still entertained. Good times all around.

Yesterday, at around 4pm, I peeked in the fridge and remembered that I had some half-jars of black olives, artichoke hearts & mushrooms [ * ] left over from a pasta dish that also had pine nuts and ricotta cheese. Those jars had to be used up. I also had a leftover japanese eggplant that didn't make it into last week's curry. I thought, "veggie pizza!" so I made a quick pizza crust dough in the bread machine (I love that thing), diced and roasted the eggplant in the toaster oven, sautéed some sliced red onion, made a spicy pizza sauce from some canned tomato puree left over from the Pasta Sauce Orgy of Tuesday night, slapped the dough out and fitted it to my largest screen, sauced it, grated some mozzerella, and put on all the veggies. That and a salad made for a great meal. The pizza easily would have cost over $20 delivered, but it was really a "clean out the refrigerator" dinner.

Let's let that be our little secret, ok?
[*]cute story: several weeks ago, he asked if I needed anything from the store on his way home, and I said, "Could you pick up some mushrooms?" He went to the store, and found these enourmous soup-can sized cans of water-packed mushrooms and bought 4 cans. Then, as he continued on his way home, he thought, "Uh oh, maybe she wanted fresh mushrooms!" and stopped at another store and bought a package of fresh mushrooms. So I've been trying to use up those canned mushrooms. (brown them by sautéing them dry, then adding olive oil and black pepper and they're not too bad)

Last thing I ate or drank: Banana Bread with Walnuts, and an espresso

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March 06, 2007

Pasta Sauce Orgy

One thing I am really proud of is my spectacular pasta sauce...

When I was in culinary school, I used this sauce as a base for a chili contest entry, and it won! It's so good, and it takes FOREVER to do if you do it right. It's best if it's made over 2 days, so you can take the fats off your refrigerated roasted bones, and keep the fond to add back to the sauce.

I had two #10 cans of tomatoes: one of puree and one of chopped peeled. This was gonna be a Big Vat of sauce. I sweated two onions in my biggest rondeau, dumped in my roasted bones and meat, and added all the puree and as much of the chopped as would fit. I scraped the fat off the top of the refrigerated drippings, and added that. I deglazed the roasting pan with madiera, and poured that in. Finally, I added the spices and seasonings, covered it, and tried to keep myself out of the kitchen for fear of "tasting" too much of it by dunking in chunks of French bread. (One of the best treats in my childhood was getting a big spoonful of sauce on a slice of spongy sliced bread, and eating it with a fork!)

When I could no longer stand it, I turned it off, pulled out the bones and larger pieces of meat, and passed the whole thing through a food mill. Checking the seasonings, I hoped Kelly came home from work soon so I wouldn't have to wait too long for dinner.

I had a pot of water boiling for the linguini, which I dropped the minute he walked in. In about 15 minutes, we were at the table, submerging ourselves in this pasta. I joked, "I'm going to have sex with this pasta it's so good" and had to repeat myself once my mouth was emptier. We both dreged up the last bits of sauce with bread. I packaged what was left into 12 containers: the promise of 12 future orgies with a lot less fuss stored in the freezer.

I am still high, and probably will be for the rest of the evening.

Last thing I ate or drank: indulged in above orgy

March 03, 2007

they stole my husband's Pot Roast Candle idea...

As quoted:

"I love the smell of bacon cooking. I fantasize about having bacon grilling on the stove day and night.... I can't grill bacon 24 hours a day."

Click here to

Bacon Candle,

BACON is delicious, but the smell of bacon grease in the air, that's nasty.

March 02, 2007

Mmmmm..... Food Loaf!

"Warden David Riley recently started feeding misbehaving inmates a food loaf, made up of all the offerings at mealtime mixed together and formed into a loaf."

Read the story: 'Food Loaf' Helps Stop Food Fights In Jails