May 2010

National Vinegar Month

Boy, did I used to hate vinegar. I’m talking a deep, lasting loathing that was epic—a Capulet/Montague hatred. The smell alone turned me off, and I think I can trace it back to childhood when vinegar was used on my sunburn. It’s funny how such things stick with you and really affect you from such an early age.

Today, however, I love vinegar. We use it to clean, cook, and yes, to relieve sunburns (though apple cider vinegar is preferred in that area!). I can trace this love back, too—to the first Subway sandwich I had with it. Too afraid of it, I always ate my veggie sub with ranch dressing until my husband (then-boyfriend) told me to try his (not telling me there was oil and vinegar on it). I took one bite and was hooked, not knowing what that delicious substance was!

How to Make Homemade Yogurt

Another stop on my quest to reduce my grocery bill was making my own yogurt.  Smoothies are a great way to get a good portion of fresh fruit and protein, but that much yogurt can get really expensive!   Plus, my county doesn't have recycling for big plastic yogurt tubs, but we can recycle plastic one gallon milk jugs.  Less packaging, less money, fewer additives - and it's really simple!  


I like to say it like that.  "Frittata!"  Ideally, with Jazz Hands.  Why?  Couldn't really tell ya.

A frittata (Fritatta!) is an egg dish, sort of like a quiche without the crust.  Think of it as a casserole made with eggs instead of pasta.  As such, it's ideally suited for a low-carb, high-protein diet.  And since it takes a lot of eggs, it's perfect for those of us who own pet chickens.  I'm besieged with eggs right now, which is why I started researching frittatas!

For Reals, Kellogg? Pop Tart Ice Cream Sandwich!

The video isn't online, but a friend recently emailed me about the newest Pop Tarts commercial, which pushes Pop Tarts ice cream sandwiches to kids.  People, this is insane!  

I'm already annoyed at Kellogg for pushing Pop Tarts as a breakfast food.  They are marketed as breakfast, sold in the cereal aisle, the whole thing.  Surely this is the greatest marketing anti-nutritional coup of the past few decades, second only to Cookie Crisp cereal.  Walk down the breakfast food aisle and you'll find a panoply of Pop Tarts and Pop Tarts clones, right there alongside the oatmeal and granola.  What's next?  Snickers as a "breakfast bar"?

More Bread Success!

Yesterday I produced my best loaf of bread so far in my bread-making adventure.  I've only been making bread by hand (as opposed to the breadmaker) for a few months, and I have really learned a lot.  Mostly, I have learned that there is no substitute for experience.  The best way to make bread is to make bread, and to keep making bread, and take notes, and remember what worked and what didn't, and continually improve your process and your observations.

Boring, but true.

Get Your Money's Worth Out Of That Blender!

My last blender died a few years ago, and I vowed not to replace it.  Too much counter space, too much money, blah blah blah.  But this weekend I ran across an awesome blender on sale and snapped it up.  Naturally I swore to myself that I would really use this one, really really, and make it worthwhile.

The obvious use for a blender (for me anyway) is for smoothies.  I have trouble getting enough fresh produce, and as a vegetarian I felt like I could use a protein supplement.  Enter the smoothie!  Every morning I blend half a cup of fat free plain yogurt, a quarter cup of fruit, a tablespoon of protein powder, and a whole banana.  Delicious, nutritious, and thanks to the protein powder, surprisingly filling!

But aside from smoothies, what will I use my blender for?  I went online to find some great blender usage tips.  This thing is really handy!

Salmon and Sole- Not a Delicious Combo

As a relative newbie in the kitchen, I have been willing to experiment with a large variety of food combinations and surprisingly, the results have been much more positive than negative. Let's just say that my Infamous Dishwasher Chicken with Rosemary was not my only success. Unfortunately and despite my best efforts, yesterday's dinner wasn't quite as good as some of my others.