Fillyjonk, Food


For the second time in as many months, I’m on a medication that knocks out my desire for food. This is incredibly annoying, especially on a day like today, when we have just stocked up with all sorts of exciting veggies. Dinner was going to involve roasted potatoes AND roasted cauliflower. Instead dinner involved a piece of bread and a beer, because I just. Wasn’t. Interested. It was tasty bread, and really tasty beer, but I wanted to want to eat something more… food-ish.

That means it’s time for me to live vicariously through you all. Tell me about something really lovely you’ve cooked or eaten recently. And here’s the key: Don’t apologize for it. Don’t apologize for ANYTHING about it. If it’s loaded with fat, if it’s pretentiously fancy, if it’s made from a mix, if it’s bought at Wendy’s, if it’s got 2000 mg of sodium, if it’s vegetables and you don’t think it’s sufficiently indulgent, if it’s cheap, if it’s spendy, whatever, don’t even mention it. Just rhapsodize.

Here’s something I love (and just ate): Green & Black’s Maya Gold chocolate. I L.O.V.E. really dark chocolate — it gets too dark for me above 80%, usually, but I like to skirt that line. Before I discovered Maya Gold I had been buying Green & Black’s 70%, which is also lovely. Maya Gold is only 55%, but it’s like a whole other level of dark chocolate. According to the link I just posted, it’s flavored with orange, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla — I didn’t even identify all of those when eating it (though the orange is fairly obvious), I just knew that it was an incredibly deep and warming taste. I want to curl up and sleep in that taste. Seriously, I cannot get enough of this stuff. I just bought four bars, and I need to find a way to buy a gross.

I see from the website that Green & Black’s makes a bunch of flavors I can’t get at my coop, like butterscotch and espresso and CHERRY. (We are cherry fiends in the Jonk household; we can go through several pounds of fresh ones at a sitting, though we try not to because they’re wicked expensive!) So I may have to cheat on Maya Gold in the future. But not until after November. It’s a perfect fall sweet… cinnamon and nutmeg are very autumnal. In fact, I may try putting them in cocoa for a really good chilly-weather drink.

Your turn, everyone — tell us about the tastes that drive you wild.

173 thoughts on “Food-positive”

  1. Aww, you just got me as I was lamenting about how crappy the food is where I now live. Last night I was almost crying because I just wanted a comfort sandwich — a mozzarella, tomato and basil sandwich from Cosi and a big steaming cup of decaf chai.

    This week, the obsession has been mushroom/tomato pizza with a salad. Pizza is probably the worlds most perfect food and I can’t get enough of it. And while I used to subscribe to the theory that pizza is like sex: even if it’s bad it’s still pretty good. Except around here, the pizza is so damn nasty. So I make my own.

    Tonight I was absolutely craving something mexican (which is really odd because I normally hate mexican.) So I finally peeled myself out of my PJs and bought the stuff for a weird taco salad thing. Some awesome yellow corn chips crushed with black beans, diced tomatoes, a little spring mix, some shredded carrots, some shredded sharp cheddar, some lean browned ground beef with lots and lots of spices and a little light sour cream (I keep things low fat because my stomach just doesn’t handle fatty things.)

    Oh baby.

    While I don’t want to see another morsel of food tonight, I’m anxiously awaiting some fresh pressed apple cider from the orchard tomorrow. And I might even make another taco salad thing for dinner.

    I also live on homemade chicken teriyaki (with real teriyaki sauce, not the pre-made stuff you get in the store — just mirin and high quality soy sauce and a little raw sugar) and veggies, lots of really intensely flavored homemade stews (personal favorite is my chicken/okra curry thing over spelt/brown rice,) more pizza and bagels with cream cheese. Oh, and bison burgers.

    If I were in Philly right now, I’d be alternating with sesame ginger chicken sandwiches from Cosi, afghani pumpkin and chicken kabobs, chicken/vegetable pot stickers, all kinds of fun sliders, sweet potato fries with sweet chili sauce, anything from Metropolitan Bakery (you know, like nectarine upside down cake, almond croissants, plum tomato foccacia, sour dough bread and all sorts of incredible cheese), fresh-pressed granny smith apple juice and pretty much anything from Capogiro.

    Of course, I live in the food sink of hell, where if it isn’t deep fried and covered in gravy, it likely doesn’t exist.

    As for hot cocoa, try the Lake Champlain cocoa. Aztec (which is dark chocolate plus cinnamon and cayenne) and the old world are just spectacular. I even put a tablespoon or two into my oatmeal if I want something other than banana/cinnamon. Nothing better than chocolate oatmeal on a cold morning when you don’t want to get out of bed :-)

  2. For dinner tonight (and leftovers all week) I made a box of quinoa/corn pasta and tossed it with a can of tomato sauce, 1 giant caramelized onion, a head of garlic and a bag of frozen spinach. So good, and the first gluten-free pasta I’ve had that actually tastes real.

    I’m partial to the Green and Black’s Ginger bar, myself.

  3. One thing I’ve been really enjoying recently is Amy’s Thai Coconut Soup. It’s incredibly soul- and tummy-warming and doesn’t have MSG in it (which makes me sick.) The best thing of all is that there is actually a Kafir lime leaf in each can! Such a gem in the generally gross world of canned soup. I have yet to try it over rice, but I’m betting it will be fantastic.

    Also, I am totally addicted to Seattle Chocolates Cool Mint Truffles.

  4. Al’s getting sick and wanted comfort food, so I tried my hand at beef stew tonight. I’ve done a crappy version of it before in the Crock-Pot, but I didn’t have time for that tonight, so I found a real recipe that involved a couple hours of stovetop stewing. Lots of red wine, oregano, garlic, and thyme. I considered an apple cider version (and might use my leftover stew meat for that, since they apparently only sell it in Feed an Army size) but went with the wine instead and was quite pleased.

    It wasn’t divine — I always underestimate how hot my stove gets, and I should have cooked it right on Lo the whole time, ’cause leaving it on 2 for an hour made some of the beef and gravy burn. But all things considered, it turned out pretty damn well. Since I’m generally a lousy cook, that was exciting. Looking forward to having the leftovers tomorrow.

    I ate some panang chicken curry in D.C. last week that gave me the heartburn to end all but was SO FUCKING GOOD. And I recently met Fillyjonk for Indian food and sucked down a huge mango lassi in about 30 seconds, because it was just that good. Rest of the meal was excellent, too, but the lassi really stood out — probably because it’s something I never think to order when I go for Indian on my own. Thanks, FJ!

    Speaking of curry and (although I wasn’t actually speaking of it) chocolate, the Vosges Naga bar is one of my favorite things in the world.

  5. Today I went to the local tourist-y open market and had the most amazing sandwich. It was a Reuben: corned beef, Edam cheese, sauerkraut, kosher dill pickles and dijon mustard, on dark rye, toasted. Amazing!

    Of course, it doesn’t take much for food to impress me. ;)

  6. Yesterday I took myself to Brians’ American Eatery for dinner. I had Teriyaki Chicken with Mashed Potatoes. It was sooooo good, and I had leftover chicken for a great sandwich for lunch today!

    I live by myself and don’t like cooking for one (and I HATE dishes), so having a nice hot meal was so awesome. Plus, the waiters at Brians’ are all gay and adorable *squishes them* and don’t look at me like I’m a loser for eating alone.

    Then, when it was time to go home, I ordered a brownie to go, so when I was sitting and watching Most Haunted, I was able to enjoy the most amazing chocolate thing in existence. YUMMMM!!!!

  7. Oh, and I almost forgot to rhapsodize about food I haven’t had yet (not recently, anyway). It is officially autumn in the midwest, which means it’s time for bratwurst and onions cooked in beer, served with spicy brown mustard. I’m putting that on the agenda for this week.

  8. I made butternut squash ravioli tonight and it was divine. I made it entirely from scratch — the pasta dough is just eggs, one egg for each half cup of flour, and you just roll it out real thin and cut it up and put a little dollop of filling and seal it up and let it dry about 15 minutes on each side before cooking it. The filling is made from butternut squash, bucheron goat cheese (you can also use cano de cabra, it’s pretty much the same and sometimes it can be had cheaper), olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. So simple. Soooo good. You can have it with a real simple tomato sauce (as I did tonight), or with butter and sage, or garlic and olive oil. The leftover filling also makes a lovely cracker spread. YUUUUUMMM.

    And I am drooling over the prospect of dim sum tomorrow. Oh man, those seafood dumplings, pot stickers, sesame balls…

    (wiping up saliva from keyboard)

  9. Well, what I’ve been having (for dinner last night, and for lunch today – yay leftovers) is a Spanish-style garlic chicken dish. Lots of garlic (6 cloves), an onion, and lots of paprika, all marinated for a day with the chicken, then popped into a casserole dish and baked slowly. The original recipe is a tapas recipe, designed for use on chicken wings, but I’ve varied it a little (added some smoked paprika, tossed in a bit of extra chilli, doubled the vinegar) to make it a casserole. I serve it with lots and lots of rice, and it tastes delish – and what’s more, it smells gorgeous when it’s cooking too. I’ll be having me a big bowl of this stuff, with lots of rice, for lunch today, and then dinner is another lot of leftovers – this time, a vegetable Vindaloo curry. This one is basically all the veges that were in the fridge at the time, chopped up with a couple of onions and a tin of Vindaloo sauce, then simmered. I threw in some chick peas I’d been soaking for a couple of days as a bit of protein, and some lentils for extra bulk, and I’ll probably reheat this lot with a tablespoon or so of barley in there to soak up some of the excess liquid.

    Himself (my partner) is on a Jenny Craig diet at the moment, so he’s busy eating microwaved whatever, or reheated something else.

  10. Corn pudding with cheese & sage. Eggs & cheese & milk & corn &, yeah, sage & salt & pepper, and top it with more cheese & bread crumbs. Nuke leftoevers for breakfast. Used sweet white corn because the texture’s a little better (the corn’s less chewy). Yum…

  11. Phở. Oh god, I love phở. From a certain place in town that slices the beef paper-thin and has gorgeous stock, and never skimps on the dish of fresh chili. I love the self-assembly part too: tearing up the basil, putting in the bean shoots, adding heaps of chili, and then the final squeeze of lemon. And I love dipping the beef slices in the hoisin and sriracha, and then taking a big slurp of noodles and broth. I had it but two days ago and I’m craving it again.

    And satay. Satay = frabjous joy! Chicken bits marinated in pungent spices and grilled and dipped smothered in peanut sauce. One of the best peanut sauce recipes is this one. (Ignore typo – they mean crunchy peanut butter not crunchy peanut sauce as first ingredient.) You can also use it for something almost as good as satay: param longsong. Slice beef very thin, stir-fry with some soy, chop green veges (Chinese broccoli, and the like), stir-fry with some oyster sauce, put the veges on a plate and the meat on top and top with lashings and lashings of peanut sauce. It’s divine with jasmine rice. Actually just the peanut sauce on jasmine rice is a taste orgasm.

    And pretty much anything from the King Island Dairy. You know how double cream/thick cream/etc has gelatin or something like that added to make it thick? This stuff has nothing added and yet it’s thicker than any of that. All hail the magical cows of King Island. The cheese and the yoghurt are gorgeous too.

    Did someone mention cake? An old-fashioned Swiss roll, please, as made by country nannas everywhere. Sponge! Jam! Whipped cream! All rolled up!

    Or just strawberries macerated in sugar and balsamic vinegar, topped with ricotta. OH EM GEE.

    I haven’t been able to eat much recently (thanks, bronchitis!) but these were my last endeavours before that. And so shall they be my first when I can taste something other than my lungs.

  12. I confess I haven’t cooked or eaten it yet, but I’m jonesing for this beer ‘n’ cheese bread.

    I’m a little stuck on the cheese bit, though. We don’t get “American” cheese here down under, so I’m wondering about the best substitute. Colby? A young cheddar? And I haven’t yet figured out whether American “Swiss cheese” is the same as the Swiss we get here; some sites talk about “American Swiss”, but don’t say what it is or how it’s different. Any international cheese buffs around?

  13. lauredhel, I’ve been informed by a friend from Texas that American cheese can be approximated by using that Kraft cheese in a box, or the processed cheese slices that aren’t wrapped individually. He might be lying though! And reckons American Swiss cheese is probably like the Swiss cheese you get in a supermarket deli or shelf, not fancy actual Swiss cheese from a market.

    Ack, my other comment is lost in moderation, I think.

  14. How funny this post should come up, and someone else made beef stew today! But I didn’t have any likker to put in it. Red wine or even beer would have made it perfect. But it cooked for hours, so it was still pretty awesome. (I had to keep breaking up jamming with the guys, to come back and check on it – but I’m the lead singer and lyric writer, so they have to put up with my eccentricities!)

    LAST weekend, I made chicken rice soup – SOOOO delish. I used an entire bottle of (alcoholic) apple cider in it. Also tons of thyme and rosemary, garlic, onions (plus green onion garnish), carrots, celery, snow peas (yes!), and fresh black pepper. Plus the chicken was already cooked with olive oil and more thyme/rosemary. It was like a taste orgasm.

    I also made this Thai stir fry with peanut butter recently. I buy those envelopes of Sunbird Thai Stir Fry seasoning mix, which you mix up in a measuring cup with peanut butter, oil, and soya sauce. And then you use whatever veggies, meat, tofu, etc., that you want. I did chicken, with snow peas (hence the leftovers in the soup), broccoli, carrots, water chesnuts, and baby corn, and with steam fried noodles. Something about the peanut butter in the sauce is totally divine – I use way more PB than the package calls for, of course. It’s also good with cashew butter or almond butter.

    I actually don’t like cooking very often (got better things to do!), so I make big batches of stuff on the weekends and then live on it during the week. I picked up the habit from my mother, who has a sign in her kitchen that says, “Just Say NO to Cooking.” (She also has better things to do. I have band practice; she has to make art. ;))

    Long post. *ahem*

  15. Indian food. I finally found a restaurant in the nearest city (about 30 miles from here) and while I can’t go to it as often as I’d like, I was there a couple of weeks ago and I think it’ll hold me until next weekend. Doesn’t have all my favorite dishes, either, but they do have saag paneer, which is my favorite dish (spicy spinach with big chunks of goat cheese), and OMG it’s so good. It was a slow night when my fiancée and I went in, and we told the owner we liked Indian food and ate it a lot in Boston. I think she took it as a challenge, and bombarded us with appetizers before our entrées came. No cheese pakora or meat samosa, but everything she brought – and I didn’t recognize half of it, it was sort of an “Indian-plus-general-pan-Asian” restaurant – was so good. I’d forgotten how much I loved spicy food.

    Anyway, I’m going there again next weekend, and I can’t think of anything else that sounds as good right now.

  16. Mmmm…food posts!

    Ok, I went to a game today at my lil godbrother’s college (it was friends and family weekend). So, while I enjoyed the game, I had a Chick-fil-a sandwich (my FAVORITE!) Then, we all went to TGI Fridays…I had a turkey burger and potato skins…and the most fabulous Oreo cake for dessert…and an awesome Mudslide Martini…mmmm.

    What am I looking forward to? Pumpkin pies—no one eats them but me, so I can take a week to enjoy the goodness alone!

    Oh, and might I suggest the Dark Mayan Chocolate International Coffee (y’know, the mix stuff) for a good chocolate fix? It’s creamy and has just a touch of cinnamon.

  17. Oh, one more thing I had to add. Haven’t had this recently, but I was just telling my neighbour about it tonight (as I made him sample the stew), so I am still drooling remembering it.

    Nobody in my family really cares for turkey. And, as we all now know, my mom hates major feats of cooking. So for Christmas dinner, she does a couple of big racks of spare ribs. She partially cooks them in the oven the night before, just plain, without any seasoning. Then marinates them in barbeque sauce overnight. Then finishes broiling them on Christmas day. MMMMMMMMMMM.

    God, I can’t stop thinking about those ribs….

  18. I started demand feeding (first time in five years, last time I was too afraid of food for it to work out well) about six weeks back and at the moment I’m really into delicious sandwiched and filled rolls. In fact, it looks like I’m on a slight modification of the ‘white food cycle’ mentioned in Overcoming Overeating. Apparently it’s really common for new demand feeders. Anyway, today I’ve been all about yummy breads with ricotta cheese (the full fat kind). Yesterday I was having mostly salad pitas and rolls with hummus or cheese, and not so long ago it was breads with fresh roast chicken. Baked ricotta and bread, though, are really my most consistent staples right now. Mmmm.

  19. Oh, Vanilla Mountain Malts from the Pancake Parlour also drive me wild. They contain organic milk, organic cream, organic vanilla ice cream and vanilla. Yummm.

  20. I gotta stop this posting, but…oscah’s bread post reminded me…

    Fresh French bread, torn up and dunked in extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar….

  21. I’d kill for a good espresso dark chocolate bar. Mmmm, bitter, caffinated, and feeds both of the monkeys on my back. It sounds like it’s made of win.

    I’m a complete fool for sushi because of the rice. It’s not just a sticky rice, there’s usually sake or rice wine vinegar in it, not enough to make it bitter just enough to make it sweet. You put it in your mouth and it practically melts. A beautiful fresh piece of tuna on top of that, and a tiny little dab of wasabi, and I’m in heaven. (Too much wasabi and I’m in hell, of course. It’ll burn the hair right out of your nose, I swear!)

  22. Oh, man, reading this while hungry is a special form of torture.

    My food preferences usually go in obsessive phases. First it was spagetti and meatballs, then it was grilled cheese. Then teryaki chicken…Now it seems to have settled on brown rice with turkey meatballs and soy sauce. An odd combination, I know. But it’s SO FREAKIN’ GOOD!!

    I think I might make some right now. Mmmmm…

  23. I don’t seem to do much cooking at home (I have a wonderful housemate who loves to cook), but I work in care/support work, and occasionally I have to cook meals for people, and often get to eat some myself too :) So on Friday I made a halal chilli con carne (two of the clients were Muslim)…. It was way too much fun, and tasted good too. And I also made a lasagne recently, using jars of tomato sauce and white sauce so it was so easy, and really very nice :)

  24. lauredhel, I’ve been informed by a friend from Texas that American cheese can be approximated by using that Kraft cheese in a box, or the processed cheese slices that aren’t wrapped individually.

    Cheers La Di Da. I was wondering about that, but I’m not a big fan of processed non-cheese food, and I gather “American cheese” isn’t always overprocessed junk, but is sometimes a decent quality (if not very sharp) cheese. Hence my wondering about Colby as a substitute, as it’s quite soft and easy-melting, but more delicious than processed Kraft.

    In other good food news: we just ate a big salad with baby spinach and cos lettuce, avocado, tomato, and a pesto-yoghurt dressing, with mashed red potatoes and BBQd ribs. Delicious.

  25. I’m getting a cold, so I’m not hungry and can’t think of anything nice to eat, or summon up any good food memories. My tastebuds are temporarily out of action :-(

    However, fillyjonk, I can assure you that the Green & Black’s cherry chocolate is fabulous! I don’t like the Maya Gold because chocolate + orange = wrong in my book, but the cherry just works. If you e-mail me your address (I’m not a psycho, honest!), I’ll send you some.

  26. Oh, and lauredhel, I usually just use cheddar when it says American cheese. If it says Monterey Jack, or Swiss, I use something like Edam or Leerdammer – something much milder but still firm (and preferably with holes in it!).

  27. I’ve had the shittiest couple of weeks and was today hit by an out of the blue craving for a lamingtonlamington. I’m not a sweets or cake person at all, but by god, the one I got from the corner store bakery was the best thing ever, slighty rubbery sponge cake, stale coconut, fake cream and all.

    (And it’ll be a minor miracle if that link works.)

  28. Oooh you have excellent taste, G&B’s rules! Here in the UK, they sell a Maya Gold hot chocolate which is liquid heaven, I tells ya. It’s nice straight off the spoon too, hehe :)

  29. I had Friday off work, since I had a dentist’s appointment at lunchtime and it was just going to be easier. So I went shopping and picked up some casserole beef and a bag of cubes of swede and carrot, and an onion.

    Has to be the easiest nice meal in ages, all I had to do was chop the onion and some garlic, brown them and the beef a little in some nice olive oil from the deli on the corner. Add the carrot and swede and a jug full of beef stock made up from a cube with a little thyme, a dash of wholegrain mustard and about 1/3 of a bottle of rather elderly red wine kept for cooking with. Then in the oven all afternoon.

    Not only did it taste great (served with frozen yorkshire puddings) but it made the house smell wonderful too.

  30. Ha, I see I’m the third beef stew! Should have remembered I could use beer instead of red wine, haven’t had a nice steak and ale stew in a while. As for today:

    We have a steak pie for tea, having carefully picked out the only version in the shop with shortcrust pastry rather than puff. Probably with carrots, cauli, broccoli, maybe some green beans and most likely mash and gravy.

    In the meantime it’s probably sandwiches and soup for brunch and a bike ride given the mild weather.

  31. Oh, I love Maya Gold! We usually keep a bar in the cupboards and I try to have a piece of 70%+ dark chocolate a day due to the health benefits (and because it tastes wonderful!).

    Yesterday I made chilli con carne for the family. However, I didn’t have enough chillies or a gluten free chilli con carne powder mix, so it came out somewhere between a chilli and a pasta sauce. Served with fluffy white rice, it was delicious! Good warming food to match the chilly season. :) In the evening, I had a major chocolate craving and so ate a few gluten free coconut-chocolate biscuits dunked in Yorkshire tea. Mmmm!

    Right now, I’m making gluten free chocolate cheesecake with a sweetened sour-cream topping. I’ve never made it before so I have no idea how it will come out but I added some chocolate chips to the mix so I’m hoping it will be quite decadent.

    My mum’s kindly making gammon for us today, soaked in peach juice, topped with peach halves, and slow-cooked. We’re having it with mash and beans.

    The nice thing about staying with my folks is not being the only one who cooks!

  32. I had some wonderful chocolate yesterday. Lately it’s harder and harder to find milk chocolate, because everyone wants dark chocolate (which I personally just don’t see the appeal of), but this was delicious milk chocolate with hazelnuts. It was smooth and creamy, and gone much too quickly.

    I also had some falafel yesterday. Falafel is probably one of my favorite foods, but one I hardly ever have, so this was a welcome treat.

    And I’m having macaroni and cheese for dinner tonight. The kind I love, with sharp cheddar and kielbasa, not the Kraft kind, which tends to make me nauseous.

  33. Last night, after my kids were in bed, Hubby ran off to the local brew pub and got us some takeout. We got these boneless chicken wings that, instead of having buffalo sauce on them, were covered in this sticky gorgeous teriyaki-ish glaze, with this soy-based tangy sauce for dipping. Simply gorgeous. They used to have a similar item that was on skewers, but I guess we were the only ones who loved it, so they changed it. Whatever. So long as it’s chicken covered in that glaze with that dipping sauce on the side? I don’t care.

    And then I also had this giganzor salad, with herby grilled chicken and dried cranberries and Granny Smith apple pieces and gorgonzola cheese and walnuts and OMG, so freakin’ delicious. It’s ridiculous how much I love that salad, seriously.

    Damn. Now I’m hungry again. ;)

  34. Not too long ago, Ben made us some sweet pumpkin cornbread cupcakes; i made the maple cream cheese frosting that went on top of them. They were so good i wanted to slap somebody.

  35. Oh, and since you’re as big a fan of cherries as i am: get a nice big bag of deep red cherries. Take a paring knife and slice around the pit (like you would an avocado). Twist the two sides of the cherry – one side will spin completely free of the pit. Use the paring knife to dig out the pit from the other side.

    So now you have two halves of a cherry, with no pit. What do you do with them? FILL WITH NUTELLA OMG NOM NOM NOM.

    *cough* I’m okay. Promise.

    If you don’t like Nutella, you can put other things in there: a nice sharp cheese, maybe some other kind of chocolate.

    Oooh! If you wanted to get really fancy, you could put some kind of tasty soft thing in between the cherry halves, stick them back together, and then dip that into a hot chocolate sauce (so when it cools to room temp it gets all solid).

    Now i’m all hungry.

  36. OMG Lindsay, I want to slap somebody just reading about them. I don’t suppose you could link to the recipe?

    Yesterday John and I were both feeling under the weather, so we made smoothies and soup (or, as J put it, cold and hot smoothies). The smoothies: OJ, soy milk, vanilla soy yogurt, bananas, raspberries, and honeydew. So good. And the soup was split-pea soup, which looks gross but tastes awesome and is terrifically easy to cook. You basically just throw a ton of split peas in a pot with water, carrots, onions, and celery, and let it cook all afternoon. We have also recently discovered the joys of turkey sausage (it doesn’t make me sick, and seriously it tastes at least as good as normal sausage), so we chopped some of that and added it to the soup when we served it.

    Normally we don’t just eat liquid foods, but yesterday it was totally perfect.

    And hot damn do I want some chocolate now!

  37. Sweetmachine, we didn’t actually use any recipes. I came home with the idea, brought a box of cornbread mix, a can of pumpkin pie filling, cream cheese and maple syrup. I can come up with some really neat cooking ideas, but Ben is a much better cook, so he’s the one who figures out how to make it work. I think he added some of the maple syrup to the cupcake mix, just because when you bake things they tend to lose sweetness – and cornbread sweet is a subtle sweet.

    I did make the frosting, though, so i can tell you exactly how i did that. So easy! Just get a nice block of cream cheese, plunk it into a mixing bowl. Add some syrup, but you want to underestimate how much you’ll need. Get that all mixed up until it’s smooth and has the texture of frosting. If you do it by hand like i did, it’ll take a while – but it’s soooooooo worth it.

  38. Last night we made sweet potato ravioli – the filling is baked sweet potatoes mixed with ricotta, pamesan, and spices (i think nutmeg and white pepper), and ravioli-ized, and then the sauce is a cream sauce with sherry and more cheese, garnished with toasted walnuts, dried cranberries, and fresh chives.


  39. Fresh French bread, torn up and dunked in extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar….

    Somehow, amidst all the food porn here (or food erotica, I suppose, since there are no pics), THAT was the thing that made me swoon.

    And it reminded me that I totally eat brie, baguette and pears or apples for dinner when Al goes out of town. Mmmmm.

    Lauredhel, as far as I know, “American cheese” always means procesed cheese, a la Kraft or (if you have it there) Velveeta. I’ve never heard of a REAL cheese called American cheese, though perhaps it’s just got another name here. Or maybe it’s something along the lines of “Canadian bacon” (a pale approximation of back bacon that only seems to be available here, because everywhere else, you can just get fucking back bacon) — a cheese that mimics something we get here but isn’t exactly the same?

    Anyway. If they do mean “American cheese” the way I understand it, I’d go with your instincts for something softer and meltier than cheddar. “American” usually has a milder flavor, too, although it’s meant to approximate cheddar — so colby or monterey jack would probably be a good call.

    I’ve never heard of American Swiss, but a little googling suggests it’s along the same lines as “American cheese” — either processed or just crappily made, super young Swiss that’s really mild and rubbery.

  40. I went to a Tunisian restaurant with friends last night. We started with harissa, which I’ve had in various forms, but last night was kind of like a spicy tomato pesto with bread to dip in it. We also got a pitcher of lemonade with rose petals and mint. Then I had a chicken and olive tagine over basmati rice. The harissa and lemonade were the highpoints, I think.

    Today, I’m planning on making some kind of version of a Shepherd’s Pie, with chicken sausage, apples, onions, and bacon, topped with mashed potatoes.

  41. Oh, man, are you sure you want to get me started? I regularly rhapsodize on my own journal about what I’ve been cooking and baking and I am completely immodest about what an awesome cook I am.

    I was freaking starving on Friday and we ordered in; I got some battered popcorn shrimp which was good, and a beautiful Greek salad that was even better. I can go on and on about Greek salad and the different ways that different people make it, but the presentation on this was lovely, the way the black olives were grouped in one place, and the red tomato slices layered in another part, the yellow hot peppers in another area, and so on, with the big chunky feta in the middle.

    As far as what I’ve cooked lately, I’ve been making these fruit crisps with oatmeal crusts, and discovering the many combos that work well together; I think blackberries and nectarines (together in the same dessert) have been the winning combo.

    I also made this killer dill potato salad not too long ago.

  42. Today, I’m planning on making some kind of version of a Shepherd’s Pie, with chicken sausage, apples, onions, and bacon, topped with mashed potatoes.

    Can I come over?

  43. Mmmm… brownies. I’m usually a disaster in the kitchen. I hate to cook. But I found this brownie recipe recently and got inspired. I made them, and while they weren’t incredibleamazingwonderful, they were so good! The recipe said that the mixture would be “thick” but it was more like a very dry, clumpy mess – nothing like batter. So I was worried. But they came out great – thick, fudgy, crispy on the edges and soft in the middle, just the way I like them. And the recipe called for Raisinets, so every now and then you’d get a great surprise raisin in there. Mmmmmm.

    I may just tackle apple crisp soon. We have so many apples left over from apple picking!

  44. I’ve been eating apples & peanut butter every day for a week or so. I picked up Macoun apples at the farmer’s market, and they’re just perfect with TJs crunchy, natural pb.

    Yesterday I got some honeycrisp apples, too, for the first time. Wow! Those are nice. Really sweet, but very crisp.

    Breakfast yesterday was really good: an omelet with spinach, ham, and swiss and 3 really tasty pancakes on the side. And a nice mug of coffee. Thanks, Perkins! :)

    Oh, and I made a lovely pork roast the other day, with garlic, rosemary, a bit of oregano, and thyme. Great with some garlic mashed & fresh green beans. I’m loving the produce at the farmer’s market, but it’s only got 2 weeks left. I’ve got a spaghetti squash from there that I’m going to eat with some pesto, and cauliflower that I’m going to roast, and a huge head of broccolli, and more of those green beans. And a small loaf of pumpkin bread from the Amish folks. :)

    I’m contemplating a quickie version of a chicken pot pie with the (unbaked) pie crust in the freezer, some chicken breasts, and some random veggies…

  45. Well, it’s finally chilly here in MO (it went from 80 to about 60 in the course of two days!) so thick warm soup is what I’ve been wanting. Yesterday I made potato soup. It’s simple and easy, just a bunch of peeled and chopped potatoes, butter, milk, cheese, and seasoning. But man was it good.

    Also Meowser I am totally stealing your pasta. :)

  46. Wow, you guys are awesome — I can’t believe TWO people made their own ravioli!! My favorite filled pasta lately has been asiago tortellini, also from the coop. I need to find a way to go to the coop more often. Or find a coop that’s more convenient.

    And it’s funny how many people are making chili and stew — I didn’t check but I assume those were all northern hemisphere. :) Here it’s just gotten chilly, but we made chili last week, for some ungodly reason (I think it was nippy when we went shopping, but warm by the time we cooked it). This week we have a huge pot of my favorite pasta salad — pasta, tomatoes, mozzarella, and pesto or balsamic vinaigrette (pesto this time). Just as good as chili, but very much a summer food, and just in time for fall.

    Lindsay, cherries + Nutella = brilliant. Nutella is a financial disaster for us because it’s not very cheap but we will just eat big spoonfuls all the time, because hlahglahglhalghalgh (Homer Simpson drool). That recipe is a bit work-intensive, so it might slow down the cherry and Nutella consumption to something more befitting their expense!

    Kate, your Al-out-of-town dinner sounds like my #1 favorite picnic lunch (as in, I don’t see any reason to eat anything else): bread, cheese (preferably cut with a pocket knife), and fruit. Who needs more prep than that?

  47. Oh, and the tasty beer was so tasty that I want to tell everyone about it: Buffalo Bill’s Brewery Orange Blossom beer. I assume Buffalo Bill’s is a microbrewery, since only one place in town carries this stuff, and it’s the one with the most variety of unusual beers. But if you have a place that carries a lot of microbrews (and you’re American, or happen to have a place that carries a lot of import microbrews), it’s so good. It tastes like a light ale crossed with a Creamsicle. You have to trust me.

    TOTAL PHILISTINES like Kate in England, who don’t like orange + chocolate, might not like orange + beer. :) (KIE, you are hardly the first person I’ve encountered with that opinion, but it’s so the opposite of mine that all I can say is “more for meeeee!” How do you feel about other fruit infusions in chocolate, like raspberry? If you like the cherry stuff, you are at least not like my friend, who has a hard and fast rule that things he considers “food” and things he considers “candy” should not be mixed. The rule is so strict that he even hates Choco-Tacos!)

  48. I’d just like to say I hate you all, because now I need to go to Whole Foods on a Sunday, when it’ll be a zoo. I would have just made do with what’s around, but now I want to make something good tonight — and apropos of the PB replacement convo, I also want to buy some Futters Nut Butters.

    Oh, I’m also totally impressed that Shapely readers make their own damn ravioli. Yikes. For any Chicagoans who aren’t such keeners, the pumpkin ravioli in burnt butter sauce at Fornello Trattoria is KILLER. I might try making that myself with store-bought ravioli soon, even though it technically violates Al’s No Pasta Rule.

  49. Man, Al needs to get over that no-pasta thing, possibly with the help of a competent therapist. Pasta is not grey flannel pants. It cannot be avoided for your whole life.

    For any Chicagoans who aren’t such keeners, the pumpkin ravioli in burnt butter sauce at Fornello Trattoria is KILLER.

    I think I know where we’re going when I visit! :)

  50. Chocolate and raspberry, love the combination. I made a cake the other day that was really good. German chocolate cake, mixed sweetened condensed milk with chocolate ice cream topping, poked holes in the cake, poured the milk/sauce over it and let it set an hour or so. Topped that with whipped cream and fresh raspberries (more berries than whipped cream).
    Yummy. Have also used strawberries, a white cake, and strawberry ice cream topping in place of the raspberries and chocolate. I make those once or twice a year for family gatherings, since it takes too long for DH and I to eat one by ourselves (and he’s diabetic, so can’t have something that rich very often).

  51. My daughter has strep this weekend. Yesterday, at the height of the illness, I asked what she wanted to eat. I told her I was going out and would get her anything she wanted. ANYTHING. She wanted clam chowder and fresh fruit from the supermarket soup/salad bar. And she practically got up from the couch and danced (even in her fever-induced haze) when she saw I’d included fresh mangos in the fruit cup. (I want to scream, “Take that, Scholastic! The little fat kid was offered anything in the world she wanted to eat and she chose fruit! Without your hateful food-Nazi game!)

    As for me, I’ve been living on the Three-Cheese Semolina artisan bread I bought at the same supermarket outing. This is quite possibly the most perfect bread I’ve ever tasted. The crust is chewy and tangy/cheesy, while the inside is ultra-tender and spongy.

    For dinner tonight, I’m in the mood for something autumn-ish. (The hellish heat wave we’ve been experiencing here in the Carolinas finally broke and we’re down to somewhat normal October temps.) So I’m sauteeing kielbasa with lots of sliced onions and Granny Smith apples. I’ll serve that with Butter Crumb Cabbage (a la Alton Brown of “Good Eats”) and oven-roasted potatoes.

  52. A friend of mine also has a recipe for an angel food cake and fruit bowl that is great. She tears up an angel food cake into 1 1/2″ squares, layers with sliced strawberries, kiwi, and chunked pineapple and whipped cream and caramel ice cream topping (or butterscotch). Layer of cake, layer of fruit, pour topping, layer of whipped cream, repeat (usually end up with 3 layers). This disappeared rapidly at potlucks we had at work, and DH’s step-son will take the leftovers (if there are any) home if I make it for a family gathering.

  53. Well, my favorite gluten-free blogger just came back (a few weeks ago) from her honeymoon in Italy. Ever since, I’ve been eating lots of Italy-inspired salads. I can’t vouch for the authenticity of course ;)

    Yesterday for breakfast I took two pieces of sopresatta (sp?), two pieces of pancetta (cooked), a slice of fresh mozarella chopped up, and a sunnyside up egg and tossed it with a boat load of fresh baby spinach leaves, some olive oil and black pepper. Holy crap was that goooooooooooood. Unfortunately there are no fresh tomatoes worth buying anymore but if there were, it would be heaven :D

    And for a birthday party yesterday I made this cake. With vanilla buttercream icing. Mmmmmmmmmmm. And then for some reason I didn’t want cake yesterday so I didn’t have any (instead of year’s past when I’d be all “there’s cake so I HAVE to eat it”).

    So I had a piece for breakfast this morning :D Along with some avocado sushi.

  54. Fall in Colorado means the green chili roasters are at the farmer’s markets. We make our own green chili which is a pork stew/soup and can be made as spicy or mild as desired. Right now I just want to head for Las Vegas, New Mexico and the restaurant less than a block off the old Plaza. Stuffed sopapillas with green chili – WOW!! That’s about four hours away so I won’t make it this week but hopefully within the month.

  55. so i work at a vegan pizza shop, and workers get free food, which is awesome on my budget, but not so awesome on my organs, cos everything we use is full of processed soy. anyway, after already eating a big soyful calzone, friday night during the quiet hours a co-worker and i made strawberry peach smores brownie* smoothies with some of the leftover tofu from the cheesecake he makes. point being, i was full of soy, and it wasn’t pretty. flash forward to the next afternoon whereupon i’ve still got a soy hangover and mr. coworker decides to treat me to chinese food. i order this amazing kale/mushroom/potato creation, and it was just what i needed. vegetables had never tasted so good.

    *vegan smores brownies are a recent invention of mr. coworker, and they are by far the greatest things ever made. i first tried one when i was majorly on the rag and working with my “boss” who is an incompetent douchehound, and i basically came in my pants upon first bite. goodness gracious.

  56. Jeez. Y’all are really rockin’ the food. I feel so . . . so boring.

    All I have to contribute is my delight over baking Halloween sugar cookies on Friday in all kinds of fun shapes, then frosting them, putting sprinkles on them, and eating a ton of them with friends.

    It wasn’t some special gourmet recipe, the frosting was store-bought cake frosting, but it was wonderful!

  57. Mmmm. Y’all are making me crave all sorts of things.

    This morning I made raspberry pancakes, which I cannot get enough of. I have never in my life eaten as many grapes or oranges as I wanted to before my stomach just got too full. My favorite easy recipe that I never ever get sick of (and that freezes well, too) is vegetarian chili (red beans, black beans, frozen corn, canned tomatoes, garlic, onion, red pepper, hot pepper, and chili powder to taste). Sushi. Good pizza. Stale Peeps. Good milk chocolate. Orange juice. I just discovered a great peanut-butter chocolate bar recipe over at Rosie’s Chocolate Orgasms (best brownie ever–my grandmother loves them, but I can’t tell her what they are really called). Cherry pie. Apple crisp. Rhubarb anything. This has turned into a list of things I really want to bake immediately.

    As a fish-eating vegetarian, there are a few meat dishes that I really, really miss from time to time. A nice, rare steak. Disgusting fast-food burgers. Chicken cutlets. Sigh.

  58. Y’all are really rockin’ the food. I feel so . . . so boring.



    Frosted sugar cookies are awesome. I remember one time when a bunch of us were sitting around the coffee shop having such an intense craving for the really soft store-brand grocery store cookies with frosting and sprinkles piled on them that we called up a particularly malleable friend and basically bribed him to pick some up and bring them to us.

  59. I’ve made a couple of really awesome things recently.

    One is my very favourite pasta sauce of all time. Get the very, very best smoked back bacon you can possibly find. In thick rashers. Chop it up and fry it in a little fat. Sploosh in some double cream and warm through. Then start adding dollops of garlic cream cheese (full fat, thankyouverymuch) and stirring them until they melt into the sauce. I usually buy Boursin and use about half of one to make sauce for two people – can you get Boursin in America? No idea. Anyway, cook your pasta. Mix it all together and give it a good grind of black pepper. FOODGASM.

    The other thing was a really simple stew. Chop two small onions and fry them in a decent-sized saucepan until getting soft. Add diced chorizo, bell peppers (I get these frozen grilled pepper strips that are SO fucking useful, but fresh ones diced up would be fine), and a tin of chopped tomatoes. Couple of cloves of garlic, and some cayenne, cumin, ginger, a pinch of curry powder and a grind of black pepper. Simmer as slowly as possible on the stove for about an hour – this makes such a difference to the tomatoes. Finish off with chopped coriander and serve with sour cream. It came out SO good.

    And right now I’m sitting next to an enormous jar of jelly beans, pawing through them for the popcorn flavour ones. Heaven. Though they make me kind of hyper.

  60. I hate dark chocolate. I think the more pure chocolate gets the more toxic it tastes. I like my chocolate with milk and nuts, and caramel, and liquor and just chuck full of everything else. I like it mild, very mild actually I love white chocolate best of all. Here I like pure and smooth. It’s a taste that I think is heavenly. You should try TCBY’s white chocolate yogurt.


  61. Pulled-pork sandwiches, made in the crockpot. Just get a pork roast, mix together your favorite bbq sauce (mine’s ketchup, brown sugar, garlic, onion, Worcestershire sauce, and a teensy bit of cayenne for the faintest ghost of heat), dump the sauce over the roast, and let it go. About an hour before it’s “done”, I shred it up so the pork can absorb more sauce. Serve on rolls of your choice (I just made a basice white bread recipe and rolled it instead of loaving it). So. Good.

    Oooh, and carmelized onion mashed potatoes, with mushrooms, cheddar, and bacon. Fry up some bacon, remove from pan. In the drippings, carmelize onions and mushrooms. Meanwhile, make mashed potatoes – I like to whip mine with a hand mixer so they’re super-smooth, and I prefer a teeny bit of cream and a whole lotta chicken stock to just cream and butter, or mik. Add shredded cheddar to the potatoes and whip it in until completely melted and smooth. Add the onions, mushrooms, and bacon.

    I also used the leftover potatoes to make an easy shepherd’s pie – ground turkey, peas, corn, mushrooms in a white sauce, under the flavored potatoes – man, was that good.

  62. Firstly, Maya Gold is HEAVEN.

    Secondly, things I’ve cooked. I was particularly proud of the tagliatelle made completely from scratch, and then there was the carrot and coriander soup. And the tomato and aubergine bake. Mmmm.
    My chocolate eggy bread is the best comfort food in the world, particularly made with really dark chocolate.

    I’m so hungry now.

  63. Last night I celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving a week late. I ate bread with fennel, ginger squash, navy bean and mushroom pot pie, green salad with walnuts and dried cranberries, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and apple crisp. Lovely company, great food.

  64. I recently made some homemade “tandycake”-you bake a thinnish layer of homemade yellow cake on a cookie sheet, spread PB on the still-warm cake and let that set a while. Then you melt a couple hershey bars and spread that over the PB (remembering to cut through the chocolate layer before it gets fully hard so you can cut it into nice squares). It gets even better and moister after sitting in the fridge covered with foil for a day or two.

  65. KH, did I miss something? Why does Al have a “no pasta rule”? Wheat allergy? I can’t picture you with an Atkins-head, so do tell how someone manages to hate ALL pasta otherwise. Me no compute.

  66. Oh, Maya Gold! How I do love thee! They make chocolate Green & Black’s? MUST. FIND.

    My recent food thing is meat pies. I read fantasy books, and most recently I re-read the Wheel of Time series in the memory of its author, Robert Jordan. Several passages mentioned meat pies, and left me wanting one. I figured I could put together some sort of meat filling, so I combined ground, browned turkey, chopped leaf spinach, and feta cheese with some various random seasonings (I love Mrs. Dash). Stirred it all up, made tiny little pouches out of it with ready-made refrigerated pie crusts, and baked. They were AWESOME–juicy & the feta was sharp & startling but brought the turkey together with the spinach perfectly. We ate up a bunch, and still had some left over for lunches the next day.

  67. I went to see a gig last night with a friend, and I can never eat before gigs, so we decided to get something on the way back. We stopped at a cheap, verging on nasty takeaway. It does fried chicked, pizza, curry and donner kebabs. But we both had chips. I had chips (fries, I mean) with garlic sauce. Absolutely smothered, they were. They were delicious – hot, just fried, with a really intense sour cream-like garlic sauce. Mmmmmm. And for £1!

  68. Interesting….I have been on a med like that for many years. Makes a couple of Nutri-grain bars seem like all I can handle . An mindset has developed in me where I forget to eat. Not so good…when you go almost 24 hours without food and realize…, that headache, dizzy feeling is likely from low blood sugar, so I eat a few crackers and a coke. And those are the days when I want to eat. The rest of the time, my stomach just does not go food hunting. Pizza is like sex? Nope…I can do without pizza!~~lol. Dee

  69. Bellyrolls’ pasta sauce and Corey’s tandycakes reminded me of two of my favorite foods.

    My friend Don used to make this thing he just called “sausage dish.” It’s sweet italian sausage simmered in heavy cream, with red peppers and then spinach added later. That’s about it, aside from some black pepper. You pour the whole thing over spiral noodles. Perfect comfort food.

    My friend Joanna makes a thing called “cracker snackie,” which is Saltines, butter, brown sugar, and chocolate. You pour the butter and brown sugar mixture over the Saltines, and it caramelizes, and then you spread the chocolate on top. I think that’s all that’s in it, and it’s fantastic. It’s not normally called cracker snackie, but that was how her dad misremembered Lemony Snicket’s nom de plume, and since “Cracker Snackie” sounded like it should be a food instead of an author and they already made the Saltine thing regularly, it stuck.

  70. My recent favorite has been cold chicken pasta salad. I browned some garlic in olive oil on the stove and then added cubed chicken coated in fresh sage and rosemary and cooked it all until it was done. While that was cooking I boiled a 10 oz. bag of rigatoni pasta and in a small bowl put a few sage leaves (torn into small pieces) and rosemary with about 2 Tbl. of olive oil. When everything was cooked I mixed the chicken, pasta and olive oil in a large bowl and kept it in the fridge until the chicken was cold.

    Along with the chicken was a mixed baby lettuce salad with Honey Balsamic Dressing and baby peas with butter.

  71. Back from Whole Foods. They did not appear to have Futters Nut Butters as promised, though they did have several varieties of nut butter. I ended up with choice paralysis and bought pumpkin butter instead.

    Because it was a zoo as anticipated, I didn’t otherwise linger and browse — just got fresh brats for dinner. They’ll go well with the football Al has devoted his day to watching.

  72. Oh my God, Hillary – I read fantasy novels too and the descriptions of meat pies and the like always make me drool. You make it sound so easy that I’m definitely going to have to give it a try.

  73. Mmmm pumpkin butter.

    One of these days I’m going to make a pilgrimage out to Whole Foods. Trader Joe’s is cheaper and no further away (both are massively inconvenient), but homier — there’s something glossy and almost intimidating about Whole Foods that I really like. It’s fancy. And I hear they have sushi-grade fish.

    And they’re right near the good cake store.

  74. Anybody up for Nanaimo bars?

    Oh, hell yes. One of the things I miss most about living in Canada is that I can’t find them every ten steps here. And I’m way too lazy to make them.

    KH, did I miss something? Why does Al have a “no pasta rule”? Wheat allergy? I can’t picture you with an Atkins-head, so do tell how someone manages to hate ALL pasta otherwise. Me no compute.

    Me neither. And no, I’m definitely not with an Atkins-head, though he does like his meat. :) The official story is that he ate a LOT of pasta growing up, because his parents didn’t have the time/money/skill to make much else, so he’s just permanently fucking sick of it. I’m wearing him down with promises of more interesting stuff than spaghetti and meatballs, though. If he didn’t go out of town so much, I’d definitely say, fuck it, you’re on your own, buddy, and make pasta for myself sometimes — but since he does, making pasta when he leaves has become a ritual.

    Trader Joe’s is cheaper and no further away (both are massively inconvenient), but homier

    I actually like Trader Joe’s better than Whole Foods, but A) it’s farther away, and B) the Futters Nut Butters site claimed I would be able to find their product at Whole Foods and nowhere else. Alas, that was untrue.

  75. I have become entranced with Benihana-style restaurants. My family and I went to a local place called Kampai and holy mother of god…I was in heaven. Filet mignon cooked rare (I love my steak so rare it can crawl over to my plate under its own power), lobster tail covered in a “golden sauce” (I’m not sure what the “golden sauce” is made of, but I would have gladly coated myself in it, it was so good), loads of steamed rice, veggies, and a scoop of vanilla ice cream for dessert…MERCY. MERCY.

    White hot chocolate from Dunkin Donuts. I want to make out with it. The chai latte from Starbucks. Custard-filled donuts. Caesar salad and lobster bisque from the River House in Savannah, GA. A cheeseburger and baked potato from Port O’Call in New Orleans. Hurricanes from Pat O’Brien’s. Frozen hot chocolate from Serendipity 3 in NYC. Sweet potatoes, baked, mashed, or candied.

    A dish I like to make is seafood kabobs, cooked on the Weber grill: scallops, shrimp, and portabello mushrooms strung together on a skewer and marinated in Stubbs original BBQ sauce that is mixed with honey and a smidge of dijon mustard. That marinade also rocks with salmon.

    I made hellaciously delicious brownies a couple of weeks back, involving German chocolate cake mix, evaporated milk, chocolate chips, and melted Kraft caramels.

    I need to stop now before my desktop is awash in my happy, happy drooling.

  76. (I’m not sure what the “golden sauce” is made of, but I would have gladly coated myself in it, it was so good),

    Oh, this reminds me — anyone who lives in Toronto who hasn’t eaten at Golden Thai (Church and Richmond) MUST do so at their earliest convenience. Everything there that has the word “golden” in it has crack in it, I’m pretty sure. The golden basket appetizers are one of my favorite things in the world, and the golden chicken, golden lamb, golden veggies, etc., are all awesome. Like Jane, I have no clue what’s in the golden sauce, but thinking about it is making me want to drive 10 hours to get some.

  77. I would much rather have Trader Joe’s as my local grocery (like Sweet Machine did when she lived in Seattle, the lucky dog), but Whole Foods is so imposing.

    I wouldn’t mind living near a Wegman’s, either.

  78. I lived two blocks from TJ’s, but only like a mile from Whole Foods! Best of both worlds. It was the best grocery location ever. Also Half Price Books and Scarecrow and Noun of India…


    I ate way better in Seattle. Though getting to hang out with Kate in person is, of course, at least a *little* compensation for moving away from that urban Eden. ;-)

  79. I dtto the rueben sandwich!

    I will make the squash ravioli this weekend when my daughters visits from Philly (my college kid).
    Thanks for the suggestion/instructions!

    But right now I am craving kalua pork.
    A smokey bit of heaven.
    It’s pork cooked in an imu (underground oven-Hawaii).
    Served up with a bowl of hot rice.
    It really soothes the carnivore in me.

  80. “TOTAL PHILISTINES like Kate in England… how do you feel about other fruit infusions in chocolate, like raspberry?”

    Chocolate + raspberry is good… chocolate-covered dried cherries better. Chocolate + nuts & raisins = very good. I think it’s a citrus mixed with dairy thing (okay, I know chocolate’s not really dairy, but it kind of is) because also on the JUST PLAIN WRONG list for me are things like lemon curd (eergh) and lemon tart (ick). But you can’t be British and not like Jaffa cakes, so that’s the whole orange+chocolate theory out of the window.

    I don’t even know what Choco-Tacos are!

  81. I like Jaffa cakes too, and even more so Jaffa candies, which I think are solely a NZ/Oz thing.

    I googled Choco Tacos to give you a picture, and the first thing that came up was my friend complaining about them. He’s not explicit about the food/candy rule here but it’s obvious that he has some pretty strong opinions. Me, I think Choco Tacos are awesome, and remember them being one of the most popular desserts in college, ranking somewhere below mudpie (which I can’t recall exactly what was in it, but it definitely involved coffee ice cream and chocolate sauce… when mudpie was on the menu, people would throng outside the kitchen door and snatch them before they were even put out).

  82. I don’t eat out a lot, partly due to budget and partly because I love to cook. Fall is my favorite time for cooking because you can still get fresh, local veggies.

    I made an amazing roast chicken last night. I covered it with tarragon, marjoram and oregano (dried, but from my garden), salt and pepper. Then I cooked it just a little more than one ought, which made the skin crispy and the tips of the wings perfectly crunchy. My husband made smashed potatoes with, I think, sour cream and garlic. There was a salad with home grown tomatoes and a hothouse cucumber (because it’s past season for mine and they sucked this year anyway).

    After dinner, I stripped the chicken of meat and made a stock from the carcass, with even more herbs. I think it’s going to turn into a cream of broccoli soup, which means I have to make some french bread and get out the aged cheddar. Mmmm.

  83. My favorite apples lately have been Jonagolds and Cortlands. So freakin’ good. I’m glad our farmer’s market runs through like November.

  84. The weather went from low 90s to chilly 60s this week, so I broke out the soup pot and made my own veggie soup. I really have no recipe I follow. I mix two cans of tomato sauce with half a can of water, a bunch of herbs and spices, and then throw in bags upon bags of frozen veggies. I used to chop them fresh, but no time anymore. I then add a mixture of Morningstar’s Sausage Crumbles and their Grillers Crumbles, put in on to simmer an hour and voila… perfect fall food that lasts for a week.

  85. I have a cold and yesterday morning I was very grouchy and stayed in bed for ages. About 12, therefore, I was starving, and the only thing that would do was a Full English. So my boyfriend and I went to the nearest greasy spoon, where we by chance met two friends of ours who had had the exact same idea, and got the Traditional Breakfast: egg, bacon, sausages, beans, fried bread, and a pot of tea. It hit the spot so well: I felt brilliant afterwards. It’s always been my hangover cure of choice but I’m adding it to my ‘cold remedies’ list as well. Beautiful.

  86. Yesterday, I made homemade chocolate pancakes for my family (I adapted the Joy of Cooking’s chocolate waffle recipe) – Around 9 a.m. I ate a few with sugar free pancake syrup and real whipped cream. Around 11 a.m., I had the bottom half of a really good everything bagel topped with regular cream cheese, a bunch of lox, and 4 slices of tomato. Around 2 p.m., a slice of excellent, very think crust pizza (Old School) which had some thinly sliced fried eggplant on top of it. The rest of what I ate yesterday isn’t really worth mentioning.

  87. Oh, and I miss Trader Joe’s something awful. I try not to dwell on it because I love that I live in a place just a tiny bit not urban enough to support a TJ’s (although if they put one in near I-5 I bet they would do better than they think). I grew up about 1 mile from a TJs (it was the closest grocery store) and think of it as where you get food.

  88. I think the spam filter ate (hah) my comment rhapsodising about pho! :(

    Pho: So, so, so, so, damned good. I find it more of a comfort food when I’m ill than chicken soup.

  89. La di Da, sorry about that — I just checked the spam filter and released your earlier comment. Sorry also to Meg Thornton, who had numerous comments in the filter, for no apparent reason!

  90. Mmmm. Last night we went out for a celebratory dinner. Mine was pork tenderloin with roasted pears, gorganzola cheese and pomegranate sauce served with mashed potatoes and butternut squash, green beans and carrots. My husband had roasted salmon with pumpkin seeds and some kind of peppery sauce and we split something insane called “Dueling Creme Brulees” – amazing stuff.

    But today we had soup – nice, homemade stuff, but comparatively light.

  91. Of course, I’m way at the end of this comment thread…

    But oddly enough, I made Maya Gold hot chocolate this morning.

    for the past couple of months, we’ve been eating out and ordering pizza in too much. The problem is that we moved from a big house with an eat in kitchen to a condo with a kitchen so small i can literally turn from my sink and be at the stove without taking a single step. It’s saving us boatloads of money, but I just haven’t quite made peace with the much smaller kitchen yet. Making steps though. I made a menu plan with dinners for every night this week, then went shopping for all the stuff.

    Dinner tonight is leg of lamb roast with baked squash, sweet and sour cabbage and roasted potatoes.

  92. I’ll catch up on the comments in a bit, I promise. ^^

    But first: The Fantastic Comfort Food Dinner, i.e., Southern Supper.

    I made this Friday night, I believe, and I’m still having good memories. pan-fried locally-raised chicken (dreged in beaten egg, covered with equal parts cornmeal and flour), mashed Yukon gold potatoes with white cheddar cheese, braised mustard greens, sauteed yellow squash and zucchini (with caramelized sweet onion), and for dessert, incredibly rich chocolate pudding (ingredients: bittersweet chocolate, egg yolks, sugar, milk, corn starch).

    The chicken turned out perfectly — juicy and tender, crispy golden brown skin. I needed simple food that night, and although it was a bit fancier than the versions I grew up eating, it was simple enough. All done in an hour, too. The warm greasiness of the chicken, creamy richness of the potatoes, buttery crisp squash and tangy bite from the greens complemented and balanced each other.

    I cook a lot, and really enjoy food. No apologies ever! ^^

  93. Mmmm…This was my birthday weekend, so it was full of deliciousness. On Friday night, my partner made delicious tilapia, dredged in flour, cooked in butter with herbs and fresh lemon. He cut an acorn squash in half and filled it with butter and brown sugar and baked it. Soooo good. For dessert he made a homemade pumpkin pie. His crust was made with a ton of butter and a little bit of lard. I was a little skeptical at first, but it was so flaky, so rich, so everything a pie crust should taste like. And no condensed milk…fresh everything in the filling!!!

    For breakfast on my birthday (Saturday), he made homemade cinnamon rolls. I like mine without glaze….hot out of the oven with good coffee!

    Last night a bunch of us had sushi. I love the ginger salad that comes first! If anyone knows how to make that, please tell me!!!

  94. Happy birthday, Kristin! Also: do you know what temp/how long for the acorn squash? My mom used to cook them like that, and I bought one today for that exact purpose but can’t remember the details.

  95. Tuna-noodle casserole, the kind made with cream of something soup (I accidentally bought chicken; normally I get celery; you’re supposed to use mushroom, which I hate), cheese, and mayonnaise.

    I did put twice the recommended amount of vegetables in it (sneaking them in for my boyfriend? not!) because I love celery and green pepper.

    I also had a piece of maple-chocolate cake (which was unfortunately a tad stale, but the frosting was great); lunch was from Boston Market. It all hit the spot, because it’s COLD here (Cleveland).

  96. Yesterday for breakfast: two runny-yolked fried eggs over fried gypsy peppers, toast on the side. I do a big batch of the peppers ahead of time– just cut them up into random strips and let them stew/sautee/fry in some olive oil until some of them start to char around the edges. Decanted into a jar, they keep really well. For breakfast, I just heat some of the peppers and their oil in a skillet, crack two eggs over and cover until the whites are firm and the yolks runny. Salt, pepper, toast, tea. Excellent.

    This afternoon for tea I made an old childhood favorite: jelly muffins. The standard, plain muffin recipe from the Joy of Cooking, with whole milk and the max amount of butter. Put about half the batter in the muffin tins, top with a teaspoon of jam and then the rest of the batter, and bake as usual. I made half of them strawberry and half of them with black raspberry jam. Perfect with a cup of tea at 4pm on a cloudy San Francisco afternoon.

  97. Oh my god I’m so excited. The new Brooklyn Trader Joe’s is on my block. Counting down the days to easily accessible coconut ice creams and cheap chocolate. And tamales.

    Yesterday I made cake-from-a-box, with homemade dark chocolate buttercream frosting, as always. I’ve been eating that since. I even had cake for breakfast. Fresh coffee with cream and sugar and buttery yellow cake with rich chocolate icing. Partner and I keep talking about cooking, but neither of us has bothered yet this weekend. We’ve been watching MST3K all day long instead.

    Ah, Sunday.

    I really want to start cooking again. Stew!

  98. Agh! How could I forget!

    Dinner was potato pancakes made with oregano and cumin, eaten with sour cream, sambel olek, bacon and pepper. My Buscia would totally freak out on me if she could see.

  99. Okay, clearly, we’re gonna need to do a favorite recipes thread soon.

    The brats, btw, were awesome — yay for the Whole Foods butcher. I also made German potato salad, which was less awesome, ’cause the recipe called for WAY too much sugar, and I’m not a good enough cook to have realized that beforehand. With half as much sugar? It would be awesome.

    Crystal, I totally need to make blue cheese scalloped potatoes now.

  100. I went to our botanical gardens today, and they are having a plant sale. One of the vendors was selling fresh farmers cheese, and I am currently eating the most decadent kalamanta olive farmer’s cheese with Kashi TLC crackers right now. I am almost inspired to cook by these comments, but since it is still in the 80’s and 90’s (We live in Phoenix, AZ) I am not ready for stews and chilis yet.

  101. I made potato soup out of homemade leftover mashed potatoes which had sauteed garlic and onions in it. I mixed in a little ham and milk and had an awesome soup from leftovers. I have been making a comprehensive effort to recook my leftovers in other meals. I hate waisting food!

    On the Chocolate Issue: I really love the Endangered Species Bar with the tiger on the wrapper, it is a medium dark chocolate with whole espresso beans in it and 10% of the profits go to endangered species. Although I would probably eat the chocolate either way!

  102. Ohhhhh, Kell…..Nanaimo bars!!!! Yummmmmmmmm. My grandma used to make them every Christmas. Now you can buy them everywhere – flavoured ones, even! Shocking. (Yes, I’m a Canuckistanian too!)

    kate, did you at least pick up the French bread, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil at Whole Foods, too? I used to eat this for dinner all the time after work, when I was too fried to manage preparing anything else….

  103. Sorry for the double post again…but I would just kill right now for a plate of cheap restaurant sausage and eggs (basted), with those crispy shredded fried hash browns.

  104. Tonight for dinner, I made some beef stew from scratch — beef, beef broth, white potatoes, carrots, onions, green onions, celery, salt, pepper, dried herbs and ground coriander. It wasn’t perfect (heh, I’m still learning), but I’m glad I made it myself and I know it’ll be tastier tomorrow.

    However, the thing I really rock, food-wise, is hot sandwiches. I have one of those panini sandwich grills and my fave is so simple but sooooo yummy: fine-herbs havarti cheese, Italian tomatoes, salt, pepper, and mayo.

  105. I just got back from a week at the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite. For dinner on Friday night my mom and I split an heirloom tomato salad – with tomatoes, fresh made bufala mozzarella, orange slices, blood orange balsamic vinegar, good olive oil, and fresh basil. I had a smoked duck carbonara for my entree – house made fresh penne pasta (the real deal, rolled on a dowl, not enclosed tubes) big slivers of smoked duck, shitake mushrooms, snow peas, and a light garlic cream sauce. We finished the meal by splitting an absolutely perfect creme brulee.

    The food was amazing, and the atmosphere was insanely beautiful.

    Now I’m loafing at home eating chicken potstickers from costco dunked in hoisin sauce, and damn if this isn’t pretty good too.

  106. Chocolate-wise I prefer dark chocolate from Europe. Nothing beats some Cote-d’Or or Poulain chocolate. Oh so satisfying…

  107. Man. I’m getting such good ideas for supper tomorrow!

    I second Kate for the blue cheese scalloped ‘tatos. :-)

    Tonight was chicken florentine…pasta (any kind) toseed with spinach and chicken in a garlic cream sauce that I picked up. That, and a cup of strawberry kool-aid…plus a football game! (mmmm…Reggie Bush…)= happiness.

  108. kate, did you at least pick up the French bread, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil at Whole Foods, too?

    I’ve got the balsamic and olive oil but usually wait to pick up the bread until right before I’m gonna use it — and since I was doing the brats and potato salad tonight, I knew I wouldn’t.

    (Also, I would just like to point out that I totally did not eat any real vegetables tonight, and I’m not apologizing for it.)

    I’m having dinner out tomorrow, but I might just have to do French bread and salad on Tuesday.

  109. Good plan, kate!

    French bread secret my mama taught me – if you double wrap it in Saran right away, as soon as you get it home from the bakery, then freeze it….when you bring it out to thaw, it will taste just about as perfect as fresh baked. I hate shopping, so I often buy a couple of loaves at a time and do this. I freeze them in half-loaves, though, ’cause you have to eat French bread very quickly and even I can’t manage a whole loaf in a day! (Okay, some days I can. Without one iota of guilt, either!)

  110. Ooh, thanks for the freezing tip, Dorianne! I usually end up either throwing out half the loaf or making French toast the next day. More often the former. Never even thought to freeze it.

  111. One of the only things I miss about living in the States, specifically Seattle, is Trader Joe’s–the U District one (with its PARKING GARAGE FROM HELL) was my local too, Sweet Machine. The other thing I miss is pho from Than Brothers: the restaurant where there are only two things on the menu: (fifteen varieties of) pho and cream puffs, cream puffs and pho. Nothing, nothing, nothing, is better for a cold. Nothing.

    I have been obsessed with sour Greek yogurt for years now–I have had like three servings today, covered with honey, because I just don’t want to eat anything else. My favorite pasta at the moment is just broccoli, sundried tomatoes, and feta cheese: broc and tomatoes done in the pan with olive oil, and the cheese crumbled through the pasta when everything else is ready. I have it at least once a week and can’t stop thinking about it. It’s even better with a little olive paste–and that reminds me of my other favorite pasta, the ultimate comfort food, which also involves feta cheese and olive paste, as well as sundried tomato (of course, because I require almost everything I eat to have sundried tomatoes in it) pesto and regular basil pesto. It’s all stuff that lives in the fridge and is super fast and easy and delicious, especially if you’re feeling sad and mopey when you eat it with the bowl right up to your chin and a big spoon.

    Something I’ve learned to make since I’ve been living in NZ is koko alaisa, which is a very delicious coconut-cocoa rice pudding deal, made with a special kind of freeze-dried cocoa.I think you can make it with finely grated dark chocolate as well but the Samoan koko is so freaking great, especially eaten hot (but it’s great cold too).

    One more thing I miss, this time from Miami: Cuban food, specifically morros y maduros, which is just black beans, white rice, and fried soft plantains (with extra garlic sauce, please). Absolutely amazing, and reminds me of home so much.

  112. This morning we went to the Hollywood Farmers’ Market. This evening I made herbed roast chicken, chanterelle risotto, and pan-roasted asparagus with lemon. There are things I would change if given the chance to go back and recook the meal [different roasting method for the bird, many more mushrooms for the risotto], but on the whole: Yum.

    Oh, and fresh strawberries with whipped cream for dessert. Today it was excellent to be me.

  113. Chiara, you’re living in NZ? I’m a Wellington girl.

    I’ve just been in the US and discovered so many Trader Joes foods I loved, despite never setting foot in one of their stores. Their little chocolate meringues were particularly moreish, as were the black licorice scottie dogs. No TJs here sadly.

    But my food of the moment is pumpkin pie. I tried it once before our trip to the US, years ago, and begged my friend to feed it to me while we were staying in LA, and bought home a can of Libby’s pureed pumpkin to make a pie with. I carried that can through three security checks to get it home safe. Saturday night, and I made the best goddamn pumpkin pie I’ve tasted yet. Homemade sweet shortcrust pastry, cinnamony gingery clovey goodness, and pumpkin. Sooo good. And I’m unlikely to meet many NZers who can make it better than me, since noone I know makes it at all. :) I intend to convert the nation to pumpkin pie – I won’t stop until there are shops on every corner.

    The only food that would drive me more wild right now would be cinnamon pavlova from one of my favourite restaurants. Truly too incredible to put into words. It’s the cinnamony goodness in that too. Spice of the gods, I swear.

  114. Today I had two of the yummiest sandwiches ever. Both were made from organic rye bread, which is heavy, chewy and delicious. Both had generous fillings of creamy baked ricotta, but one had the addition of dried figs and the other had some of my favourite salad vegetables. My body’s content right now.

  115. Right now Brussel Sprouts drenched in strong peppery garlic butter … with maybe a hint of lemon.
    Sweet Apples and Feta cheese salads
    Caerphilly cheese and White onion on Kaiser roll sandwiches~ Just like my husbands Nan used to make in the Pub in Wales when he was growing up.
    Portobello Burger on a Rosemary garlic bun and Mothership Wit beer from my favorite restaurant.

  116. Something really rediculously yummy and completely lazy to cook is roast sweet potato with cream cheese and paprika or pepper. Get one large (or small, if youre not that hungry) sweet potato, brush it with olive oil, bung it in the oven for 60 minutes , until its nice and soft inside(much like a normal baked potato i guess), take it out, open it up, mash in as much or as little cream cheese as you like, sprinkle with paprika or pepper to taste, and grab a fork, sit down, enjoy. Alongside, a spinach, watercress and rocket salad is also DAMN good, with home made balsamic vinegar, mustard and olive oil dressing. yum yum yum yum….

    (also, add some lemongrass to your salad dressings. its DIVINE)

  117. oh, and if you ever come by Cornwall in the UK, grab a cornish pastie. If you dont know what one of those is, look it up.

    ooohhh mama…. the pastry, the beef chunks, the potato and seasoning…

  118. Downside-up, I too live in Wellington (just got home from seeing Kirsten Hersch at SF Bathhouse) and I bet you a gold coin that cinnamon pav you like is from Hazel; I had one there once too and it blew my mind in all the right ways. I am also thrilled to hear about a kiwi that likes pumpkin pie: last year for American Thanksgiving we had both a pumpkin pie (someone’s mom sent the cans of filling from the States) and a pav and the NZers at the dinner were all “Pumpkin in a pie? That’s disgusting, ay!”

    Pavlova, for those who haven’t had the pleasure, is like a big gorgeous cake-size meringue with cream and fruit on top, and it is surely divine. And speaking of divine, I just started thinking about the fig-and-honey ice cream from Kapiti. Oh, man, and the ginger nut flavor too. God I love food.

  119. The best thing I’ve had lately is milk-chocolate covered cashew butter brittle. The nut pieces are tiny, there is a delightful sweet-salty going on, it is very melty in the mouth, and it’s better than the best toffee you ever had. I think the thin-ness of the brittle is the key.

    I’m not a big candy person (more of a cake freak) so this was a lovely find.

  120. I’ve had about 30 fugi apples in the last 2 months! Maybe more! Man, those things are AWESOME!! Also, greek yogurt and veggie soup and hummus from the Greek place down the street. Too much hummus! Yeah!

  121. I made my homemade pizza last night. Every month, I make a batch of pizza dough with mixed types of flour, water, and yeast, divide it into four parts, and freeze three in baggies. So, on Sundays, I thaw out a dough ball, roll it out, put it in a big cake pan, add olive oil, a thin layer of ground tomatoes, half a ball of mozzarella cheese, and whatever odds and ends of veggies and meat we have lying around. Yesterday, it had red, green, yellow, and jalapeno peppers, onions, broccoli, basil, oregano, and salami. The rack was higher up in the oven than usual, and the veggies all came out well roasted, the onions caramelized, and everything all light brown and gooey. It was yummy.

  122. My One True Chocolate as of late is the 71% dark organic Trader Joe’s brand Swiss chocolate. Man, I’ll just break off a chunk of that and it satisfies all sorts of cravings/hungers.

    Food that is just so much love:

    Made mac & cheese with andouille, cheddar, mozzerella for lunch yesterday. Baked in the oven with bread crumbs. Mmmm.

    Made an interpretation of cassoulet- no duck, but Cook’s Illustrated’s version with bacon, chicken, pork, and andouille.

    My mother’s mashed potatoes- I make good ones, but I can never reproduce them exactly.

    Fresh pasta with fresh pesto.

    Fried chicken.

    Fresh, non-pasteurized apple cider.

    Curried red lentils with brown rice- a little yogurt or raita as well.

    Happily, I have leftover cassoulet to eat for lunch after reading all the deliciousness here. Slightly sadly, it’s still a good 2.5 hours till lunch.

    BTW, I just found this blog last week and love it with an unholy passion.

  123. That reminds me that the ONLY thing that makes me miss cheese in my life is the baked macaroni and cheese from the Vegetarian Epicure. Parmesan, Romano, and bechamel… mmmmmmmmmmmm. A staple of my childhood, but would probably leave me in agony now. (Possibly worth it.)

  124. My cheesecake didn’t come out as I’d hoped but it was pretty good for a first attempt and I had three slices. Yes, three! *gaspshockhorror* ;)

    I think it needs more chocolate and a GF biscuit base instead of the GF cereal base. It will be fun to play around!

    Today I have almost no appetite for some reason but I am craving nuts and it’s a great time of year for them, so I’m chowing down on a cup of plain nuts with raisins. Mmmm. . . .I have some salted pistachios for when I get that craving for salty foods, and I’m making a GF brown loaf with seeds right now.

    I’m thinking about maybe toasting some almonds with chilli, salt, and a little olive oil sometime this week. I bet that would make a great snack.

  125. It finnaly started to get cold up here in Chicago. In honor of weather too cold to leave the windows open but too warm to put on the heat we had the first fire in our fireplace.

    And what is a fire without S’MORES!!!!! That’s right, melty marshmallow, amazing hershey chocolate and graham crackers. I know you’re jealous!

    I’ve been making them in the microwave the last couple nights since we ran out of wood an no one is selling any yet. But even sans fire, I LOVE S’MORES!

  126. OMG, s’mores are the best! I forgot to bring the materials for them the last time I went camping. The time before, though, it was pouring the whole weekend, much too rainy to have a campfire, so I made s’mores over a sterno under the tarp lean-to we erected in front of the tent. I wasn’t gonna be cheated.

  127. Yesterday, and the day before, I had garlic bread with spaghetti sauce. Mom took a can of spaghetti sauce (the few things she cooks instead of my dad), and seasoned it up. I made garlic bread with extra garlic and some mozarella/parmesan cheese on top. And we dip the garlic bread in the spaghetti sauce. Mmm. Simple and delicious.

  128. We made s’mores Saturday night at our neighborhood cookout. They were awesome… also awesome was the fact that it was chilly enough to have a fire in our fire bowl at all. It’s back in the 80s today. :-(

    The craving I’ve been indulging here lately though, is Pumpkin Apple Tea Bread from Whole Foods. Yummmmm!!!

  129. Mmmm. I am in a good food haze. My niece has been visiting and we’ve been taking turns cooking. It has been great fun and I have some new recipes that I’ll use when it’s just me again (I’m gonna miss her, and her chicken parmigiana something fierce!) I especially love the leftovers for lunch during the week. A nice change from sandwiches and canned soup all the time.

    Tonight we’re having roast pork. It’s her favorite and I made it for her a couple of weeks ago even though I thought I didn’t really like roast pork. I was sorely mistaken. It was absolutely delish. I’m thrilled she liked my version so much she’s making it for me. I made a lemony chicken and rice soup that was just amazing and will have to be repeated soon. I also baked an apple pie last week that turned out great. I used Braeburn apples instead of my usual Granny Smith and it was a good call.

    At the moment I have chocolate chip cookies without the chocolate chips on my mind. My mom used to make them for me when I was allergic to chocolate. Thank GOD I grew out of that! I guess, technically, that would make them brown sugar cookies, wouldn’t it? Hmmm. I may have to stop by the store on the way home…

  130. Chocolate chip cookies without the chocolate sounds AMAZING. I would feel compelled to do something else to them though…. like ice them or sugar them… or DEVOUR THEM! mmmmmm

  131. OMG, apricotmuffins, pasties are wonderful! I never had a real Cornish one but they are also a very strongly associated regional food in northern Michigan. Homemade (i.e. my grandma’s) are the best but the ones we buy from a local shop in my dad’s hometown are pretty good too. We have taken to buying 20 or more frozen ones when we go up during the summer and taking them home to enjoy throughout the year. For them to really taste right to me they have to have both beef and pork, a flaky crust, carrots, potatoes, and especially rutabagas, and a good amount of pepper.

    I agree with fatgirlonabike, pizza is pretty much the perfect food. I drove miles out of my way on the way home last Friday to pick up a pizza from a certain restaurant.

    At our tailgate on Sat. we made burgers in the style of the Applebee’s bruschetta burger… patties with lots of garlic and Italian seasonings, grilled up with slices of fresh mozzarella and served with jarred bruschetta topping on little split, buttered and grilled ciabatta loaves. They were delicious.

  132. Roasted squash. ‘Tis the season, and just yesterday I cubed two acorn squash and a butternut squash. Brushed olive oil on them all, put in the oven at 375 for 40 minutes. They’re like little squares of heaven. Hot, cold, in salad, with my fingers….

  133. I’m with you on the squash, Pronoia. This weekend my mom made butternut squash and leek soup — it was soo good, I’m going to have to try making it myself soon.

  134. Chocolate chip cookies without the chocolate? Sounds like the perfect opportunity to put tons of nuts in them. Pecans sound good. Or hazelnuts. Or dried cherries would be good with the pecans. I’ve had cookies on my mind for days now.

  135. Oatmeal cookies with dried cherries would be really good too!

    A nut and dried fruit vendor used to sell at my local farmer’s market… I wonder what happened to her? I’m not sure where one would get dried cherries in her absence.

  136. Broke out the sandwich press to make lunch for this week – turkey, prosciutto, horseradish mustard, sliced garlic stuffed olives, jarlesberg, and vermont cheddar on a twisty sesame seed baguette. Everything melted together in this lovely smushy mess that just hit every craving at the moment.

    Last Thursday I was reading an old Martha Stewart Living and was compelled to make homemade baked mac & cheese with broiled tomatoes and roasted asparagus. So satisfying.

    I have extremely severe peanut/tree nut allergies and all this chocolate talk has me absolutely drooling. Thank God for Vermont Nut Free. I’m going home and breaking out the last bits of peppermint bark I’ve got stashed in the freezer.

  137. Oh, I almost forgot – I’ve been eating 1-2 honey crisp apples every day. They’re not in season much longer and they are just the best apples I’ve ever had.

  138. Oh man, the olives remind me — how could i forget muffalettas? A Louisiana transplant friend brought them to my fourth of July party years and years ago, and I thought they had nothing in them that was remotely appealing to me. Then we were left with like a hundred oreos and cupcakes and shit, and after feeling totally sugar-poisoned for a few days, I was like “must eat something else… will eat slice of funny sandwich in fridge.” Instant antidote to a sugar overdose! They’re exactly what you want when you want something that isn’t at all sweet.

    I made a faux muff recently with ham, genoa salami, provolone, and tapenade (instead of olive relish). So salty, but SO awesome.

  139. Chiara, it certainly is Hazel pavlova that I was talking about. That is the most incredible dessert I have ever put in my mouth, at a relatively cheap little neighbourhood restaurant. I keep meaning to write to Cuisine magazine to ask them to get the recipe for their ‘you asked for it’ column.

    You’ll also be pleased to know that all the people at the dinner the other night loved the pumpkin pie once they tasted it. They just took convincing that vege-based dessert was a valid category of food.

  140. I have the “meds what kill appetite” problem right now too, and when I have an abdominal migraine on top of it, forget it – I live on tea and apples for a week because nothing else will go down and stay there. :P

    So after coming off a flare a couple weeks ago, the first thing I had was a McChicken sandwich. Because I wanted the cheapest fried chicken I could find. And it was DAMN GOOD.

    Also, I am SO going to try Maya Gold. Sometimes I think Green & Black’s was put on this planet to keep me from drowning myself in tea and making an end of it.

  141. I had an awesome dessert at a local restaurant Saturday night… some kind of Kahlua-chocolate-toffee cheesecakey thing with a chocolate cookie crust. I just started Weight Watchers to evaluate my eating habits… turns out, they’re not so bad. I see it as a license to eat delicious desserts because I’m not overeating ANYWAY.

  142. Sarah, I’m pretty sure you don’t need a license to eat delicious things. They’ve certainly never checked mine.

  143. “faux muff”

    This made me laugh very hard because I’m 12.

    I’m thirding, fourthing, or fifthing the squash love. Another favorite of mine is Velveeta Shells and Cheese…with chunks of Vienna beef hot dogs thrown into it. AUGH, it’s fantastic. And I used to make this kind of odd rice concoction involving brown rice, peas or corn, chicken, mayonnaise, and barbecue sauce. It’s one of those odd blends I’d never serve to anyone, but I could live on it for days.

  144. Hm. Sarah and Fillyjonk give me an idea. I’m gonna draw up a “Right to Eat Delicious Things” license and keep it in my wallet. Then, when the trolls eyeball my dinner, I can just flash it and give them a bright smile!

  145. Last night, I went to a local sports bar and had the most wonderful appetizer: a large hot soft pretzel with crab dip and cheese melted on top. Yum yum yum.


    If you do come up with that licence, I’d like to post it on my blog (with you given full credit). Email me at carrie [!at !] edbites [.] com

  146. I know it’s totally late to add to this again, but oh man!

    Made a cauliflower soup that is wonderful! And I generally despise cauliflower.

    You saute two cloves of garlic and a chopped onion in olive oil in a pot til they’re soft. Then add a chopped head of cauliflower and a peeled and chopped potato, and a quart of chicken stock (I used chicken bouillon and water because we are cheap) and bring to a boil. Then you bring it down to a simmer, cover it and let it go for about fifteen minutes (til the potato and cauliflower are all soft). Take it off the heat and either use an immersion blender (which we don’t have) or let it cool a while and then puree it in a food processor. Add it back to the pot and heat a bit, add 1/2c- 1c of grated parmesan and stir until it’s smooth, then salt and pepper to taste.

    Best way to get rid of a head of cauliflower on the verge of going off and have it be tasty and wonderful.

    Also we totally do need a recipe thread. Maybe a once in a while “What food owns your soul today?” kinda thing? Yum yum yum.

  147. After reading this post at work I decided to come home tonight and make myself a nice dinner.

    I chopped up a potato, some mushrooms, onion, and a couple of piece of tomato and cooked them with olive oil, salt, garlic, and red pepper.

    While that cooked I took a piece of English muffin bread that my mother made, coated it with olive oil, and sprinkled it with parmesan cheese (the real stuff ;) ) and garlic. Once it was crispy, I used a cup to cut a circle out of the center and I cracked an egg into it. Once the egg was cooked I put a couple slices of onion and some mozzarella cheese onto.

    It was pretty awesome. Usually I just cook myself whatever is quick and easy, but perhaps I will try and spend a little more time on meals from now on, after all, I’m worth it!

  148. Downside: try not to mention the Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks (not that I would go near it when I could go to Fidel’s, but that’s another story) because you will get sarcastic comments about what’s next, garnishing your flat white with a green bean?

  149. Halibut ala Oscar; flaky white fish, garnished with crab meat and aspagrus, then the hollendaise sauce over it. Ummmm. With oven roasted seasonal veggies and a nice glass of Hogue Rheisling.

    Trader joe’s chocolate covered ginger. I dont’ share, to the husband’s dismay.

    My friend Sherry’s easy as anything bisquik brownes. Yes, bisquik, and butter and sweetened condensed milk and an egg and a bit of vanilla. And about 2 cups of chocolate chips melted down and stirred in. I’ve had county fair blue winning bakers corner me and beg for that recipe.

    The soft ginger molasses cookies I learned to make from the Mennonite mother of a school friend many years ago. Actual conversation:

    Me: Hub, if your mother would promise to keep making these cookies for us I would marry you!

    Hub: If my mother would promise to keep making these cookies for me I wouldn’t need to get married!

  150. Kate, how do I love you? Let me count the ways. One: I WAS TOTALLY GOING TO MAKE THAT MERKIN JOKE BUT FORGOT.

  151. While I was on vacation, I found this place in a mall food court that served fresh Mediterranean food. I had taboule salad and hummus every single day I was there. When I got back, I ran off to the grocery store and bought some great produce and this is what I had for lunch yesterday:

    Crispy romaine lettuce, with a spread of garlic hummus, topped with diced tomatoes and spring onions and shaved smoked turkey breast. It was originally going to be a wrap (with provolone cheese!) but I left my tortillas at home. Necessity was the mother of invention – those romaine leaves helped me make a hell of an awesome open-faced sandwich.

  152. What I have eaten that racked my world over the past week:

    Homemade eggplant rollatini with tofu basil spinach ricotta and a shitload of roasted garlic. What is better than eating half the eggplant slices that you salt and pan fry? MMMMMM SALT.

    Oh wait — one thing that is better? Chimichurri grilled tofu, and a big ass pot of mashed potatoes with skins and tons of Eath Balance and sea salt and some red pepper chard.

    Oh and then blackened polenta slices. With a soup of purple potatoes, pink beans, fennel, garlic, swiss chard and parsely!

    Oh and these lentil sloppy joes and mac and cheese with peas. And a bottle of really awesome Chilean cabernet.

  153. My favorite G&B is the kind with crystallized ginger. Fell in love with it when I was living in England for a semester in college.

    I don’t really cook for myself – my roomies don’t really get the whole “shared fridge” thing, which makes it impossible for me to buy groceries. But I had the best lunch the other day: peanut butter and honey sandwich, and a giant Mutsu apple fresh from my dad’s friend’s family orchard.

    Also, my dad will be down here in the next couple days, and I think I am going to make him take me out for Indian food. Nom nom nom.

  154. Just this second i finished eating a pickle spread with Neufchatel cheese and wrapped in a piece of thin-sliced turkey. Yuuuuummmmmmm.

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