Tomatoes and watermelon—perfect on their own


Cross-posted from

What’s with tomatoes and watermelon this year? I have seen them side by side at local farmers markets, of course, having both come into season recently. But in an odd development, I started to see them together in recipes, too.

At first, I noticed the usual myriad recipes for watermelon-feta salad sometimes included halved cherry tomatoes. Then came the watermelon gazpacho. Then, as if that weren’t enough, watermelon bloody Marys have now poured into the fray, celery sticks and all.

While I cheer combinations like chipotle and chocolate or peaches and basil, I just can’t get into this one. Continue reading


Disastrously Delicious: Food Writers Get Together and Shake Things Up

The following is cross-posted from The Jew & the Carrot


A group of Jewish food lovers, a spread of delectable dishes, and milkshakes made of laughter. If it were possible for one afternoon to be too good, this is where it would start.

A group of Jew & the Carrot writers, editors, and friends faced the risk—overflowing goodness and all—this past Sunday. Of course, it all started with the food. I arrived at host Avigail’s Clinton Hill, Brooklyn apartment to find hand-layered ratatouille swirling from the center of a clay baking dish, crusty homemade beer bread, a cake topped with the purple velvet of baked plums, aromatic rosemary bread, peach-basil salad, and made-from-scratch yogurt. That alone nearly tipped the scales to the side of the too good. Did I mention that we washed this down with homemade sparkling ginger-grapefruit juice? Spiked with gin? Continue reading

Last day for a free mocha

Today, August 3, is your last chance to get a free mocha at McDonald’s. But you didn’t hear it from me. No, not from your favorite advocate of healthy, sustainable, and local foods! Not from the farmers market enthusiast!

Okay, can I help it if I was a little curious about this whole McCafe menu since it first started? Am I to blame if a McDonald’s jumped in my way as I headed back from my dentist’s appointment this morning? I didn’t think so.

The mocha wasn’t bad, I have to say. It had the sharp flavor, smooth texture, and silty sediment of a real espresso drink. Not too shabby, Mickey D’s. Now let’s just talk about that factory farming…

15 minutes on… healty(er) iced coffee at 7-Eleven

12:09 pm

The Takoma Park Jazz Fest was in full swing today, but my usual iced coffee source was shut down. No explanation in the hand-written note, but I suspected the closing of the Drifting Nomad for the day was connected, if not to the Fest, then to one of a trillion other things more fun than serving coffee and sandwiches inside on a blazingly clear, sunny day.

As readers may recall, I like my coffee. Just one cup a day, but I do love that one cup. I also like finding little tricks to pull it off in different ways. So I ventured into the nearby 7-Eleven, pleased with the change of pace from my usual weekend routine. But I soon found myself standing before an iced coffee utterly at a loss. The choices: artificial mocha, or artificial vanilla.  All jazzed up, you might say. The theme of my day! Processed with who knows what kinds of chemicals and with the use of who knows how much energy. Continue reading

Starbucks getting healthy?

Even if you missed those ads with the ernest burlap backdrop talking about how real and good Starbucks is, perhaps you heard of the ‘bucks’ transition to health food? They aren’t serving acai-goji lattes just yet, but they are pledging to eliminate high fructose corn syrup and expand real fruit and organic options. Check out this summary.

Sweet on you [updated]

“I’d love to try those truffles, but they’d go right to my thighs.”

“I adore chocolate, but it makes me break out.”

“Don’t let my ass see that dessert tray!”

Many people feel that sugar doesn’t complement their bodies. They may even feel — or joke — that their wayward parts (the thunder thighs and pizza faces) plot to lure in sugary sweets to perpetuate their own existence. Yet we’re drawn to sweet things. That makes sense, because they taste damn good! And our bodies do need sugars — just not necessarily the processed kind. 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

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