Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Saying that something is an acquired taste usually means that it is disgusting. Such it is with dates. First of all, a dried date looks like a cockroach. Second of all, it tastes like rotten sugar. But take that same nasty date and blend it with vanilla ice cream, and you come out with something magical. Ah, Hadley's, home of the date shake.
I must admit that when my Gammi (my dad's mom) took me there when I was a kid and told me she was going to buy me a date shake, I was less than pleased. Not being one to turn down food though, I reluctantly tried it. Then I asked for a large. Then I asked for another.
I have probably only had three date shakes in my entire life...probably because Hadley's is out in the middle of nowhere. I had one on Sunday when Al and I were on our way back from the Palm Springs Film Festival. After going to Hadley's for a date shake, we went to A&W for burgers and root beer floats, because my logic tells me that the only thing to do is follow ice cream up with more ice cream. My logic is incorrect. My logic next tellls me that Tums are my best friend. It was correct on that account.
This blog was not made possible by funding from the Al foundation

After deciding to start a food blog....well, let me go further back. After discovering food blogs existed, and starting down a cycle of addiction where I no longer worked at work, I took the advice of a wonderful foodblogger at The Delicious Life and took the next step...I started my own food blog. I had a blog blog before this, and it was funny, and I even had a couple of fans. I thought that combining my two loves, food and speaking (that includes writing) incessently, I would achieve a new level of comedic genius. Alas, no. I was re-reading my blog posts today and I have to say, the whole thing is very unfunny.
Perhaps this is because I have limited myself to the subject of food, and there really aren't that many funny things to say about food.
I consulted my old blog for answers. Let's see here....a post about Pop Tarts, a post about dinner with my parents, a post about dinner with Al....
Damn! The idea that food was limiting my funny potential was completely crushed by the fact that most of my posts on my old blog are about food.
Well, there must be an answer. I'm sure it is that I have been working too much. I'm totally drained by the time I get home...there is no funny left. I guess I'll just have to quit my job.
"Al, you have to pay all the rent and all the bills!" I'm guessing from the look on his face that's a no. Damn.
Well, I guess everyone will have to deal with an unfunny blog...and you all have Al to thank for it.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Best Experiment Ever!

The chocolate-covered mint Oreos at the store are almost $5 a box! So for much more than $5 we made our own. It started as an experiment in saving money, but we quickly ditched the whole "saving money" issue when we saw the mint Ghiardelli chocolate bars. Al's reasoning was that if we were going to make something, why not use the best chocolate available. For almost $13 we made our own damn chocolate-covered mint oreos, and they were delicious.
Oh Bread....I'd be in trouble if you left me now

Bread is good. Homemade bread is great. Need I say more?


* 1 1/8 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
* 3 tablespoons honey
* 1/3 teaspoon salt
* 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
* 1 1/2 cups bread flour
* 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
* 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast


1. In a large bowl, mix warm water, yeast, and 1/3 cup honey. Let set for 10 minutes, or until bubbly.
2. Mix in 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and salt. Pour that mixture into Kitchenaid standing mixer with dough hook attachment. Stir in foour 1/2 cup at a time until the dough sticks to itself and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat the surface of the dough. Cover with a dishtowel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled.
3. Punch down, and divide into 3 loaves. Place in greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pans, and allow to rise until dough has topped the pans by one inch.
4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 25 to 30 minutes; do not overbake. Lightly brush the tops of loaves with 2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine when done to prevent crust from getting hard. Cool completely

Sunday, August 20, 2006

I have only ever eaten rhubarb once before today, it was in a strawberry-rhubarb pie, and I hated it. At the farmer’s market yesterday I decided to buy a bunch of rhubarb on a whim. For some reason, even though the outside wasn’t that red, I expected the inside to be….because I’m silly and I expect things like that. Needless to say it wasn’t red like I had expected it to be, so I dyed it to meet my rhubarb expectations.
The muffins are actually pretty good.
Al refused to try them at first because he asked me what rhubarb was, and not being able to think of an answer right away I just said, “I don’t know, but it looks like celery.”
“Well,” he answered, “I don’t want to eat muffins made with celery.”
I was forced to use the “would I ever give you something bad” line, which inevitably always backfires on me, because according to Al I eat many awful and horrible things that people have no business eating, which is sometimes true, but we can’t take Al’s judgment at face value since he also puts zucchini and olives in the “gross and inedible” category and I believe those items to be of the gods.

Rhubarb Muffins
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg
1 cup sugar
4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 1/4 cups sour cream
1 1/2 cups rhubarb, sliced

Preheat oven to 350. grease muffin tins.
whisk together flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. Whisk egg until combined. Add sugar and whisk vigorously until thick. Add melted butter in three batches, whisking after each addition. Add sour cream in two additions, whisking just until combined. Now, this is the part where if you are me, you put the rhubarb on the stove and cook it for just a couple of minutes with some sugar and red food coloring. I didn't measure either, cause I'm a rebel.
Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet until smooth. Fold in technicolor rhubarb. Spoon into muffin tins. Bake 20-30 mins.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


If I died tomorrow I can only hope that I have lived a good life and deserve to go on to a better place.....a place with every kind of sugar I can think of.
I was in New York over the weekend with Al and his friends and family.
I should preface this story by saying my family doesn't go on vacations, we go on eating adventures. The agenda of the day isn't "what can I see here that I haven't seen before" it is "what can I eat here that I haven't eaten before?"
This trip, the never-before-eaten item was a frozen hot chocolate from Dylan's Candy Bar. Oh, sure, I ate a lot of thing there that I had eaten before...indeed I ate my way through New York City...but the culinary highlight of the trip was the frozen hot chocolate.
I had been planning my trip to Dylan's before I even got on the plane. I had tried to go there once before, but didn't make it until after closing. Us West-Coasters like to truly imagine that nothing in New York ever closes, so when something actually does close it kind of shatters my whole perception of the city.
After dinner my boyfriend, his parents, his friend Ed, Ed's girlfriend Chris and I all started the several-block hike to Dylan's. With complete disregard for the fact that I was completely full, I walked briskly toward it. It was then that I heard, "Gee, we better hurry, it's 10:45 and they close at 11." Without a moment of hesitation, Chris and I broke out into a full run. We ran the rest of the way there (did I mention it was really hot outside?). We saw the promised land, and it's name was Dylan's. We ran inside and took our place in line, sweating profusely.
I took the liberty of ordering for everyone, despite what they had actually asked me to order for them.
My dad always told me, "Honey, don't go to a steak place and get fish." The same must be true for all places. You get what they specialize in...and I wasn't about to go to one of the only two places on earth that I know of that serves frozen hot chocolate and get something besides that...and I wasn't going to let anyone else do it either.
Turns out that frozen hot chocolate is just like a thin chocolate shake, but that wasn't the point....the point was that I had never had it before and now I have, plus they had this crazy looking candy sundae that I'm really going to need to try next time I'm in town.

Apologies, as the picture above is not mine. I was far too busy sucking down my frozen hot chocolate to worry about pictures.
The picture below, however, is mine. The caption should read, "Last night I watched my girlfriend run the farthest she has ever run in her life in the pursuit of dessert. Well, at least the girl has her priorities. Her belly is touching me. I'm pretending that's cute."