October 2010

Anyone care for a Delicious Piece of “Pie?”

I love pies. I am especially a huge lover of cherry pie. I have been eating pies since I was a small child and love the fresh, smelling home-made pies. During special holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas, it is always a great holiday dessert treat after dinner. For whatever occasion it may be, pie is always a lovely dessert treat.

The creation of pies occurred during the ancient Egyptian period. During this period, stone tools were made by this ancient civilization along with the establishment of plants and animals, villages, and art crafts such as pottery and weaving. At this early time, pies were considered flat crusty cakes, by wrapping a sweet substance such as honey as a treat inside grounded oats, wheat, rye, or barley bread. These flat cakes later became sweet pastry or desserts. The Egyptians introduced pies to the Greeks, who then formed their own pie pastry technique into their culture. The Greeks were known to add meat to their pies by cooking the meat, and carefully sealing the juices inside, which provided as a staple food diet for men on long work journeys. This knowledge was then transferred to the Romans.

Watch Out for High-Calorie Drinks!

Washington State just imposed a bottle tax as a way to gain revenue to make up for shortfalls in the budget; the soda lobbyists are angry, but I think the American people should be angry about what Americans pass off as a healthy beverage in this country. Men’s Health--who truthfully write much more than just health pertaining to men only--just ran a piece describing the Top 20 Worst Drinks in America. I didn’t include the entire list here, primarily because it is too disturbing for the average person to take. Not all the beverages are supposed to be healthy, but some of them have a much higher calorie content than you could ever imagine.

The Custard Apple

The custard apple is a fruit which is a completely common, everyday item to most of the world.  But I had never heard about it until I ran across a mention of it today.  "CUSTARD apple?"  I thought.  I understand those two words, but not together.

The custard apple is not an apple.  Nor is it custard.  It is the fruit of a tree, Annona reticulata,  which grows in tropical parts of the world.  Originally a native of the tropical islands of the West Indies, it has spread (both in cultivation and as a feral semi-invasive species) throughout Central and South America, from Mexico all the way south to Brazil.  It is also found in South Africa, southern India, southeast Asia, and the Philippines.

Weird Egg Recipes

Bored with the same old fried, poached, boiled, or scrambled eggs?  Try some of these unusual egg dishes on for size!

Tea Eggs
These are a savory treat, commonly served in China as a late-night or afternoon snack.  They are so common that 7-11 stores stock them, and according to Wikipedia sell 40 million tea eggs a year.

To make a tea egg, you essentially hard boil an egg, lightly crack the shell, then marinate the egg in a tea concoction for a few days.  The tea stains the egg brown in a craquelure sort of pattern, as well as giving it a complex taste.

The tea marinade is the key in this recipe.  The classic recipe is black tea, plus a dash of Chinese five-spice powder, and a dash of soy sauce.

Rice Milk

          Oh yum. Rice milk is one of my ultimate favorite non-dairy milk beverage added to my refrigerator. I fell in love with rice milk about a year ago. I learned about this yummy drink through a former friend whom introduced me to this healthy non-dairy product. I decided to head to the nearest grocery store to try out a carton of this oh-so-good rice milk. For a 64 oz size carton of Rice Dream rice milk, I paid about $4 at the store. I also picked up a box of raisin bran cereal too. Since I am a club member at my local Safeway store, I scored a sweet deal since the rice milk was on sale as well.

Chocolate Hazelnut

            Yummy. Chocolate hazelnut. Oh not the chocolate hazelnut candies, but believe it or not, the famous chocolate hazelnut spread. This favorite chocolate hazelnut spread is pure deliciousness! I have heard of people tasting the famous Nutella hazelnut spread. I’ve never tried Nutella before, but happened to be at the organic produce store one day and picked up a bottle of Rapunzel’s Choconut chocolate and hazelnut spread. I was picking up food for breakfast in the morning and thought this yummy spread will be great with toasted bread and coffee.

Koreans Suffer as a Result of a Kimchi Shortage

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away-South Korea, I lived in an apartment with multitudes of pots of fermented, (rotting) spicy, salty, fishy cabbage known as kimchi on the roof. In South Korea, kimchi is more than a “national food”, the fermented cabbage is served with every meal, is believed to have mysterious health properties that don’t quite yet seem documented by science, and is the “life blood” of the Korean people who consider themselves to be the “Italians of Asia.” For these reasons, the high cost of kimchi in South Korea as a result of a national cabbage shortage is likely akin to panic of severe proportions for the entire homogenous population.

Will a Twinkie last forever?

Since 1930 Hostess has been making Twinkies and has since then turned them into an American icon. Images of children munching on the sponge cake in the school play yard come to mind with yellow crumbs on their bright, gleaming faces as they lick the delicious white gooey insides…

Now here’s an image of a Twinkie you probably couldn’t imagine… Out in the woods, where your footprints simply retract into a lush, woodsy environment. There is no cell phone reception, dinner is caught riverside and bears populate the area. Perched atop a high branch of a tree, there lays a Hostess Twinkie sponge cake.

News Flash: Expensive Food Tastes Good; Is Better For You

A newspaper in St. Louis held an interesting experiment: they took the same menu list to four different stores, then cooked up the results and ran a taste test.  Perhaps unsurprisingly, the more expensive food was better, and better for you as well.

The results of this experiment were as predictable as they were depressing. 

The bargain supermarket store's chicken was cheaper, but injected to the bursting point with water and artificial flavors. The end result was a bland, chewy bird. 

The farmer's market chicken cost twice as much, but produced locally, raised and slaughtered humanely, and turned out absolutely delicious.

Shelf Stable Tamales & Pupusas Direct From El Salvador?

I don't know about this whole idea, but I figured someone might be feeling adventurous enough to try these shelf stable Tamales & Pupusas. They are shipped directly from El Salvador to your door and require no refrigeration, or added preservatives. How is this even possible? The miracle of retort pouches - and a little encouragement from who the plant workers in El Salvador like to call "diablo blanco". Allegedly.