Bowl of guac


Okay, I’m going to stop obsessing about the inauguration and Obama-related food news (but what DID they serve at Wednesday’s revival of the White House cocktail hour??) and try to focus on the next big event: Super Bowl XLIII.

Sometimes the tiniest little waves of a major flotilla are the most exciting. Sure, 95 percent of the country will be glued to the TV by Sunday evening, millions will cheer on Arizona, Pittsburgh, and/or The Boss, thousands will buzz over the new commercials  for Coke and But how many will know that Americans are consuming more than 46 million pounds of Hass avocados on Game Day? And how many will realize they can create an edible football field with just a batch of guacamole, sour cream, and a Ziplock? Continue reading


Cheesy math

I love me some Obama, but with the $819 billion stimulus package that the WaPo helpfully calculated to be “larger than the combined total cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan so far,” I’m getting deja vu.  Thanks, dudes, for evoking my favorite thing to bitch about in the Bush administration and making it look small in comparison to what our dear Lincoln incarnate will spend.

That inauguration night Daily Show clip comparing the “prose cheese” of the two administrations floated to the top of my mind today… and kind of sat there like a delicious, crusty piece of cheese toast on a bowl of French onion soup that turns out to be made with icky beef stock.

In case you missed it, here’s the clip:


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Full on passion

Maybe a peck on the cheek is good enough for some people, but why not go full on? Butter is okay, people. And instead of an extract, go ahead and use whole nuts. That’s the new news from the food gurus. Low fat? That’s so Joy of Cooking, 1997 edition!

To show you how it’s done, here’s JoC’s reduced fat, middle-school-slow-dance thumbprint cookie ingredients, followed my a more… R-rated version.

Thumbprint Cookies

Makes about 3 ½ dozen cookies

JoC ingredients:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt Continue reading

Sunday morning tidbits

starbucks cupWhat fun with the ‘bucks! I went to get a prescription filled at the Giant on East-West Highway yesterday, and while I was waiting decided to give a little patronage to a poor, struggling business you may know as Starbucks.  I got my first glimmer that this might make a YaD post when the guy at the counter asked if I’d like two shots (the second one free) in my small (okay, tall) latte.

I inquired about this, and he explained they’ve been doing it since they opened. They offer it every day, unless it’s busy.

Perhaps sensing that I had 30 minutes to kill, the gentleman proceeded to tell me more. He explained that the kind of Starbuck’s espresso machine they have only makes expresso in two-shot increments. So unless someone’s right on a “tall” customer’s heels ordering another something with one shot, that extra shot will languish. Continue reading

Obama and food–in blog form

Oh, mama. It’s!). A blog about Obama and food seems inevitable, but that its stories unfurl with solid reporting and pleasant humor is a sweet dollop on the cake.

Recently, they’ve covered the color of the first lady’s inauguration outfit (the designer calls it “lemongrass”) and the first couple’s resemblance to a wedding cake topper at the inaugural balls. Also, what food bloggers eat while covering food away from home (sadly, apparently not much).

Continue reading

Edible inauguration

Bluegrass BallMONDAY 

The Kentucky Bluegrass Ball: I was there as a so-called photographer. My pictures may yet appear in a Lexington, KY weekly paper. [Update: they did!] But don’t ask me who I took pictures of. Better to ask about the selections on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. I rarely have a chance to try multiple upscale liquors right next to one another. I only tried three out of the seven or so different offerings, but learned quite a bit. I found that Four Roses’ Single Barrel was the sharpest and spiciest, while Maker’s Mark struck me as sweeter and smooth. Bullet Bourbon was the smoothest, I think, but I’m probably just saying that because that’s what the guy serving said. I only had a chance to take one sip before the governor was ready for his close-up.

Photo credit goes to Media Czech of Barefoot and Progressive, a fellow press pass bearer (See mine hanging with the satin cord? Very shwank)

Continue reading

Office Snax??

Office Snax Classic Creamer, Pop-Top, Resealable Lid, 12 Ounce Canister - OSX00020

Another resolution: Do not use this stuff. I’ve been seeing these products around my office lately, and saw their sugar packets over with the coffee at a meeting this morning.

This company’s offerings seem to be proliferating and growing in popularity, while the nutritious value of their offerings–not to mention the asthetic quality of their graphics–consistently declines. Now, as a friend put it when she got fed up with artisan cakes made to resemble burgers and salads, something needed to be said.

Won’t you join me in this resolution? It might be hard, but be wary. Be vigilant. Don’t let a catchy name like Office Snax sway you. Bring your own organic, grass-fed half-and-half for your coffee, and stick with it for the sake of a good new year.


At long last, I’ve decided on my food-related resolutions. Want to hear ’em? I thought you’d never ask!

Here are the first three:

1. Make more stuff from scratch. I’ve had a blast these past couple of weeks with the time freed up by a break in classes. I packed my kitchen with homemade bread, granola, sauerkraut, cookies, and other goodies. I hope I can keep this up even when my schedule gets tighter. Continue reading

Will the unwashed go grass-fed?

The other day, I brought up the new food movement I see emerging with the likes of Michael Pollan and Sally Fallon Morell with my mom. I mentioned that trailing their keystrokes and bean soaks is a sense that meat is okay.

“Really?” she said. “But how can they say that, when meat eating is responsible for so many problems?”

Although still a staunch vegetarian, I felt compelled to defend them. I explained that the new thinking about food advocates small amounts of meat and dairy, and stresses local, grass-fed products. The animals should be treated well, raised on small farms close by, and fed a healthy diet. And raw dairy rocks.

My mom had trouble with this. This is a woman who inspired my love of vegetables, introduced me to CSAs, and hinted that artificial coloring can be fatal. She eats small amounts of quality, sustainable chicken and fish, and occasionally other kosher meaty things. But I guess she didn’t think the Great Unwashed should get the go ahead to eat meat at all. They couldn’t be trusted. Continue reading

Guest Post: Cooking Indian with Jane

Indian food

Thank you to graphic designer, painter, and cook Ellen Cornett  for helping me kick off the new year with this story. Stay tuned for more on resolutions.

All last week I was asking people about their New Year’s resolutions. It was a mix of idle curiosity and looking for some suggestions. I hadn’t yet finalized my own.

As I was thinking about this, my daughter, Jane, and I spent much of a Sunday morning and all afternoon crafting an Indian dinner. We both love Indian food—I think it’s our favorite. We set out to make coriander almond chicken, cabbage with split peas, raita (a yogurt condiment), basmati rice, and naan. Some of the ingredients were difficult to locate and it was tricky finding an Indian grocery store that was open on Sunday afternoon. But perhaps the biggest issue turned out to be my apparent inability to understand what I am reading.

The cookbook we worked from was an impulse purchase from Costco—big and lovely with gorgeous photos of India, of the food and of preparation steps. But it would seem that one photo of a chicken dish looks pretty much like any other. We had decided on this coriander almond chicken, but I managed to read and direct us through the many step preparation of a marinade for cardamom chicken before Jane figured out I was on the wrong page. I hit my head several times, we rinsed off the chicken, and went ahead with the coriander almond recipe.  Continue reading