December 2010

4 Worst Kitchen Gadgets

A lot of things can make a kitchen gadget a useless waste of space, or "kinda dumb."  But it takes a special kind of genius to make a kitchen gadget that really is the worst of the worst.  (And how is it that so many people own these things, but don't have a single decent knife, much less a knife sharpener to keep it that way?)

Total Vision S'more Magic
This is a microwave s'more maker.  You may be thinking, "But I can just stack graham crackers, chocolate, and a marshmallow on a plate and microwave them to make a s'more."  And you would be right. 

Sweet and Spicy Potatoes

Who doesn’t love the delicious starchy, filling flavor of potatoes? In our house, they’ve always been a staple. They’re not expensive, and I can remember times—as a kid, in college, as a young couple, even sometimes these days—when I’d simply warm one or two up in the microwave for a meal. Served with cheese, butter, or sour cream, it was always an easy dish for a vegetarian, and they could even cook while I studied or washed baby bottles.

Extreme Couponing: Accidentally Thought-Provoking

Before the first episode of "Extreme Couponing" aired last night on TLC I wondered aloud, "Is this going to be like Hoarders, but with coupons?"  I was just kidding, but it turned out to be a surprisingly apt description.

Obviously there's more to couponing than it seems on the surface.  Which is partly why I was so eager to watch the show.  It's hard to find how-to advice online, and there is a surprising amount of coyness involved.  When people talk about their couponing, you sense they're leaving a lot out of their explanation.

Boy howdy.

Mexican Mahi-mahi Topped with Chopped Zucchini

 For Christmas Eve, my dinner companion and I decided to make a very special treat. This recipe was again, straight out of Rick Bayless’ cookbook: Everyday Mexican. We made seared mahi-mahi topped with fresh sautéed zucchini, drizzled with a rich garlic sauce and garnished with fresh squeezed lime.

To make this dish, my dinner companion first heated olive oil in a skillet under low and then turned the stove up to medium heat. I washed and prepared the zucchini by chopping it into ¼ inch cubes. He then seared the fish on both sides in the warmed skillet until the skin simply fell off.

Deciding on the Wine for the Main Course

Hello again, hungry bloggers. For Christmas Eve, my dinner companion and I made a special treat. We made seared mahi-mahi topped with chopped zucchini, drizzled in a delicious, rich sauce. This recipe came, again from Rick Bayless’ cookbook: Everyday Mexican.

This was a very simple dish, by definition. Though, when all the flavors blended together, this basic dish created quite a luscious sample of tastes for the palette on such a special night.

Cilantro Recall: Food Fight

Upon hearing the news that cilantro (and parsley) is being recalled in the US and Canada due to salmonella, half the population will cheer with glee.  The other half will sob in dismay. 

Cilantro is a contentious issue in the food realm.  Maybe THE most contentious issue.  I don't know a single person who's neutral or "meh" on the cilantro issue.  People either love it or hate it.  (Full disclosure: I love it.)

The cilantro issue is partly due to genetics.  A portion of the public is genetically unable to taste the deliciousness of cilantro.  They lack the ability to taste the zesty, citrus-y flavor, and are left with simply the flavor of soap.  But it's impossible to say how prevalent the genetic issue is.  A lot of people may taste cilantro the same as the rest of us; they just don't like it.

Zoi Yogurt: "Epic Taste - Fit for the Gods"

After having been eating yogurt that seemed overly sweetened and looks like goo, I wanted something heartier and less sweet yet satisfying so I trotted down to the local grocer to see if they had any good quality yogurt that I was looking for.


There it was – Zoi Greek Yogurt “Epic Taste – Fit for the Gods.” It was beckoning me to have a taste. (Cue heavenly melody.) Since I’ve never tried Greek yogurt before but have heard that it was supposed to be good for you, I picked up their honey flavored one just to check it out.

Totino's Pizza Rolls

Oh my darlings, I don't know what's come over me.  Most of the time I'm really good about eating quality food, made by hand (if not completely from scratch), with maximum nutritional value and everything.

But sometimes you just want Pop-Tarts and Pizza Rolls.

(Any time you're capitalizing the food you had for lunch, you're in trouble.  Usually I would have a homemade "sandwich" or a "salad."  Today I had "Pop-Tarts and Pizza Rolls.")

Pizza Rolls are a special kind of crack.  I can go for months - years, even - without thinking about them.  Then the next thing you know, I gotta have them.  I can trace my most recent Pizza Roll cravings down to a Twitter message from a distant friend.  I think it just said "Pizza Rolls, so gross, so yum!"  And the instant I read her message, I HAD TO HAVE SOME.

Tasty Homemade Tomatillo Salsa

In my last two posts here on Hungry Blogger, I talked about how to make homemade lime cilantro vinaigrette that will make even the most basic salad ingredients delicious! I also talked about how to make authentic Mexican tortilla soup. The process really isn’t that hard at all and the result is amazing! In this post, I’m going to talk about how we made homemade tomatillo salsa. These are all recipes from Rick Bayless’ cookbook: Everyday Mexican.

Branston Pickle

A surprising number of Americans are unaware that a sandwich doesn't necessarily have to include meat.  To most Americans (non-vegetarians, obviously) the phrase "cheese sandwich" doesn't really parse. 

Such was the case when I was a teenager reading Douglas Adam's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy for the first time.  When Arthur Dent repairs to the pub at the beginning of the book, he famously orders a cheese sandwich.

I assumed he meant "grilled cheese" until someone set me straight many years later.  And if Arthur ordered a cheese sandwich in an English pub, then it's very likely that it had Branston Pickle on it.

Adventures in Cooking with Rick Bayless

This weekend, I had the most fantastic meal straight out of Rick Bayless’ cookbook: Everyday Mexican. My cooking companion and I made a truly genuine Mexican feast! We made homemade tomatillo apple salsa with chips, authentic Mexican tortilla soup and a lovely red leaf lettuce salad tossed with homemade zesty lime cilantro vinaigrette.

For a nice wine complement, we paired this delightful meal with a red French cabernet (black bottle pictured). The meal was truly a sample of aromas and tastes; my senses were inundated. The kitchen smelled delicious. This meal made for a definite highlight of my weekend.