July 2010

Thai Steak Salad- MMMMM!

Martha Stewart saved me the other night. I was in need of a good salad to make using the over-abundant lettuce that resides in the potted garden in front of my place. In desperation, I turned to one of my Martha Stewart post-prison cookbooks for a suitable recipe and found a great recipe for a Thai Steak Salad. Although I’ve been to Thailand and have never eaten nor seen a Thai Steak Salad, I thought it would be my best bet.

I So Want a Coke Freestyle Machine

Let me say this first: I know coke is bad for me. I know it like I know my own name. In fact, I know that when I drink too much of it, or depend on it to keep me awake, I can get very, very ill. I’ve even seen family and friends experience ill health effects from too much soda. It’s bad, it’s not an everyday drink, and I just shouldn’t love it…

But I do!

And not just any coke, but fountain coke. I can’t stand the stuff in aluminum or bottles—I can taste both. Glass is okay, but what really tickles my fancy is a nice, freshly iced fountain coke (or cherry coke, or any other flavor available) when I’m craving it. And no, I don’t drink coke every day; I usually reserve that experience for the one, maybe two times a week we eat outside the house. (Or if we order in—one of my favorite pizza companies delivers fountain sodas.)

10 Reasons to Love Food Network, Part II

5. You Empathize with People

On Chopped, when people explain why they’re on the show, or tell a bit about themselves, it’s one of my husband’s and my favorite parts. We pick our favorite that way and then root for him or her. On The Next Food Network Star, every time someone screws up or makes something you think will be brilliant but ends up sucking, you empathize with them. I don’t know how many of Tom’s dishes I had my fingers crossed for that just blew it!

4. They’re Something to Look Forward To

Pumpkin Crisis 2010!

Recently, a f

riend off-handedly mentioned that "everyone's out of pumpkin, you know.  There's a national shortage."  I didn't know, actually!  

As a big fan of pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, pumpkin soup, and pumpkin muffins, you would think I would have noticed. In fact, I hardly believed her, and had to look it up myself.  But it's true: America is experiencing an unprecedented shortage of pumpkin.

At grocery stores nationwide, the pumpkin puree spot on the shelves lies empty.  Most of us probably won't notice until fall (when the market for pumpkin-based foods starts cranking up for the season).  Those who need pumpkin immediately are having to turn to alternatives, or simply do without.

This recent article from the Washington Post explains the situation.   Libby's, the nation's primary producer of canned pumpkin puree, has an inventory that totals precisely: six cans.  

The problem is weather.  Three years of bad weather has pushed the commercial pumpkin crop to its breaking point.  The record rainfall and flooding in the Midwest has caused pumpkin fields to become all but impossible to plant and harvest.  

And to compound the problem, pumpkins are a crop that do not like to get overly wet.  In fact, here in the Pacific Northwest it's taken as a given that pumpkin plants will fall prey to powdery mildew and other "too wet" diseases.  The question is whether it will happen before or after you get your pumpkins harvested.

So what's a pumpkin-hungry public to do?

Ode to Little Caesar's Pizza: Greasy! Greasy!

Does every Little Caesar's have the "$5 Monday" special, or is it just ours?  They're franchise stores, so it's hard to tell.  There is a Little Caesars store in the next town over where all day Monday you can get a large pepperoni pizza for five bucks.  

Of course, despite the fact that the offer applies to their "Hot-N-Ready" pizza which is theoretically always ready to go, you often have to wait a few minutes, because they have trouble keeping up with the parade of people through the door.