May 30, 2007

Three words: Chicken. Fried. Bacon.

Thought you'd like to check out the video Chicken Fried Bacon.

May 17, 2007

Flickr Photos - finally posted!

easiest thing to do, probably, is just go to flickr:

Click here

May 10, 2007

Scam Update!

I'm so glad to discover that the e-mail i sent to every culinary person i know is getting the word out about this check-cashing scam!

Click here

Click here

Anyone know of any others?

and... who knew that there was an entire directory of this stuff? Click here to research other scams like this:

Whoops! I left a blog in the draft!

I reviewed "Educating Peter" by Lettie Teague but I left it in the drafts section of my blog. So please click & check it out!

Last thing I ate or drank: thai iced tea with rice milk... which, by the way, curdles! It tastes better with sweetened condensed milk, so although rice milk and splenda are a perversion, it's satisfying the craving.

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Yay meat!

Heavy Eaters Against The Enemies of Meat™
* Do you think 'vegan' is an alien race from a sci-fi movie?
* Would you prefer a baloney sandwich to a nature burger?
* Do you love steak, poultry, pork or other meats?
* Are you sick of being vilified for your own private eating habits?
* Do you believe in the freedom to choose what we eat?
* Do you feel that a meatless meal is not really a meal at all?
* Do you believe that humans are at the top of the food chain?
OMG this website is so funny! and

they've got T-Shirts!
It's making me hungry!

May 07, 2007

Book Review: Simmer Down (A Gourmet Girl Mystery)

I haven't been served any subpoenas, nor been contacted by anyone's lawyers, nor has anybody tested the ferocity of my two overprotective pitbulls, so mister preacher man is still at bay. ...and hey, who wants to mess with a chef, really? We have big knives, and we know how to skin things with excruciating precision. My sex-tech expert friend, Regina Lynn knows all about pervertibles, but just imagine what you could do, torture-wise, with a full battery of kitchen implements? Knives aside, there's the Crème Brûlée torch, trussing needles, rolling pins, and a whack on the noggin from a cast iron pan wouldn't do you no good...

And if you are a chef inclined to murder, there are plenty of places to hide the body! I mean, we actually have freezers that big.

Anyway, this is the second culinary murder mystery I've ever read. The first one, Death by Rhubarb written by Lou Jane Temple, I got from a resale shop for 50¢. The link goes to the amazon page, where there are both flattering and unflattering reviews. My review would be included in the latter, but it's not necesary for me to be harsh.

This was written by a mother-daughter team, Jessica Conant-Park and Susan Conant. I was also promised a copy of their first book, Steamed, but i haven't received it yet.

Let's just say my expectations for a culinary murder mystery were pretty low, after having had the rhubarb book as my introduction.

I was pleasantly surprised when I started reading Simmer Down In fact, my sights were set so low that i cracked the book in the middle, which i never do, to see if there was any substance in it before i invested a whole lot of time in it. The page I turned to let me see that this was put together by someone who knew a kitchen, so I gave it a shot, and started from the beginning.
The female lead, Chloe, comes off as kind of a spoiled brat, whining about a lot of mundane stuff, and although she tries to improve, she goes about it so begrudgingly it is uncomfortable. Partly because it's very clear that Chloe is an incarnation of the daughter half of the team. (red hair, social work, etc.)

The food detail, though, and the cooking stuff: very good. If you've ever worked in a pro kitchen, the nuances of an expert's voice comes through in the writing. it actually made me a little 'homesick' for working in a cramped kitchen, filled with people wearing their whites, speaking lots of Spanish and nibbling on the bits and scraps of stuff that can't be served, like the remnants on a sheet pan when circular portions have been cut out if it.

ok, ok, sorry, got a little dreamy-eyed there; back to the review.

I don't think i'd get along with chloe, but i'd love to work with josh. The writing about his intensity in the kitchen really comes across. I kind of imagine him to act like the guy who won the first top chef. The tall dark and handsome one, kind of brooding and quiet, but very focused on his work.

So I'm giving it four stars, out of five. All the cooking and food-related stuff was spot-on. The relationships between the characters came off as kind of dodgy. Maybe an extra make-out scene or two would be nice, too.

and HEY, btw, don't read the amazon reviews by the pro reviewers. they practically tell the story in their review, and as you can imagine, it rather spoils a murder mystery!

Last thing I ate or drank: licorice jellybeans

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May 06, 2007

a fine line between dedication and obsession

This guy may very well be teetering on the threshold, but BOY HOWDY would I like to discover what maniacal obsession tastes like when the results look as good as this:
 my own mozz, but if I could get my hands on some rennet, I'd probably try. (I make my own butter out of heavy cream if I can't use it up before it would go bad.) When we spend the whole day out, or if Kelly has a hankerin' for pizza on a Friday night, we found Dino's in Burbank, and they do quite well. Best I've found in the area. If you know better, tell me!

I still have to write about my horrific dinner at ¢ele$tino from Saturday night. I am still trying to put some distance between it and myself, though, so that might have to wait.

AND...I've got a couple of book reviews coming up... BOTH were totally rave-worthy, and I want to make sure I can blog about them both in detail.

This is AMAZING! more cool cakes

Keep in mind, this was made by a mom, for her daughter, as a wedding cake!

Discworld Cake

nevermind that she's a professional... it's still pretty amazingly cool!

I wanna play with buttercream and marzipan, now too!

May 05, 2007

you won't believe these photos...

Completely edible artistic sculptural cakes!

The next time someone tells me, "you've got too much time on your hands" when I do something I consider fun or whatever, I'll show them this.

really incredible cake

day-um, these are some amazing cakes!

Fast Food: Ads vs. Reality

Fast food looks like crap. Everyone knows what you see in the photos never looks like what you get on the plate, right?

Fast Food: Ads vs. Reality

Hell, even Denny's, which is famous for it's photo menu, serves food that looks like it's been tossed around the kitchen for a while before they put it on a plate.

What if fast food workers were given food styling lessons?

May 04, 2007

Is that... Venison...?

I saw a dead deer on the side of road, and the first thing I thought was,

"OOH!  is that... Venison?"

I think I was hungry, but not hungry enough to eat roadkill.  :-P

May 01, 2007

Book Review: "Educating Peter" by Lettie Teague

The full title of this book is Educating Peter: How I Taught a Famous Movie Critic the Difference Between Cabernet and Merlot or How Anybody Can Become an (Almost) Instant Wine Expert

I will cheat, just a teensy bit, by posting an excerpt from the amazon page:
Lettie Teague knows wine. She has been the wine editor at Food & Wine magazine for almost a decade. After many years of fielding these questions, Lettie was determined to debunk the myth that learning about wine is hard. She decided to find just one wine idiot and teach him a few fundamentals -- how to order off a restaurant wine list without fear, approach a wine merchant with confidence, and perhaps even score a few points off a wine snob.
If you're so inclined, you can also listen to the Splendid Table interview, which you can find here OK, now that you know the gist, I will offer my opinion, which is why Ms. Teague's people graciously sent me this book: to review it and post it on this blog.

I loved this book. I read it through voraciously, sometimes up to two hours at a sitting while I waited for the rest of the world (well, my world) to wake up. Big pot of hazelnut coffee, spa-type waffle robe, flip-flops, and this book, outside on my back patio. I felt as though I should have been taking notes. As I read it again, I plan to have a pen and paper handy. (and dammit, I have a no-renew-because-there's-a-waiting-list book checked out from the library.)

The book is fun, although as a read a passage out loud to my friend, he said, "it sounds like someone ran it through a thesaurus and replaced all the normal words with longer words, so it sounds more impressive," which is kind of accurate, (I don't think the average reader should have to pull out a dictionary (or to comprehend a book like this, but beyond that i thought it was a fun read.

Anyway, yeah, it's a keeper, and very well worth the price of admission, if you consider that you'll have learned several tricks to avoid bad wine that you'd otherwise pour down the sink. And it's also good to have a few good wine-drinking terms up your sleeve for tossing around at dinner!

My only comment would be that I'd have liked to see her talk about how to actually drink wine before the very last chapter. It sounds as though she let that poor Peter go around like a dolt until he got to the restaurants.