Thursday, May 14, 2009

Some Options for Your Lunch Break

In the last week or so, I've come across a few food related bits of things I thought I'd share with you.
First of all, I'm reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, and wondering why in the world it took me so long to do so. I know it came out right as N. was born, and that probably explains it, but I knew I would love it, as I love nearly everything Kingsolver has written, even her not as good stuff like High Tide in Tucson. Probably because she's literary, but also secretly a biology nerd, which pretty much describes myself. Anyway, I'm only two chapters in, and I'm fascinated. I'll give you a full review when I get done, but so far, I'm really sad I didn't plant a patch of asparagus when I moved into this house. Apparently, you can't harvest it until its fourth season. A. and E., get yours planted in the new house now.

Next, a collection of food related websites that are a nice diversion when you're looking for something new to read on the web, or you're feeling a little in a cooking rut.

Entertainment Weekly highlighted seven of them in this article. I think I like Orangette the best of these, though "This is why you're fat" is hilarious and oddly hunger inducing.

Another "foodie" website I came across recently is I guess it used to be a magazine, but is now purely online. Fun stuff here, a nice mix of basic tips and informative articles and some interesting opinion. For you Office fans, here's my favorite of what I've read so far here. The Top Ten Food Moments from "The Office." What could be better than a combination of television pop culture trivia and food??

Oh, and have you heard about the latest Bravo food show? It's Top Chef Masters, and oh yes, that means it is real "celebrity" chefs competing against each other. Personally, I can't wait to see Michael Chiarello get taken down a notch or two by the likes of Rick Bayless.

And finally, while we're on the topic of cooking, sort of, an update on my adventures in eggless baking. I made some oatmeal cookies. Used the recipe on the Quaker can, not my mom's recipe, not sure why. I used the egg replacer, and they turned out really flat. I had to kind of flip them upside down off of the pan onto a wire rack so they didn't fall apart. But they tasted pretty good, probably because the recipe called for two sticks of butter. Not presentable for entertaining, but tasty for at home.
This week, though, I had a success. Found a recipe for raspberry oatmeal bars in Real Simple magazine. It's weird how many successes I've had from here lately. Usually, I can count more on Cooking Light, but they've had a lot of nuts in there lately.
Not a single egg in the original recipe. It's a shortbread kind of dough, with raspberry jam smeared on top. They were quite delicious, and since berries are always a hit in our house, O. and N. both enjoyed them. My only complaint is that the recipe only makes enough for an 8 inch pan. I was making them to take to friends that I was making dinner for, and thus had to make two batches in order to have any for us. I didn't want to push things by doubling it for a 9x13 pan, but maybe next time. Super easy, too: just whir some stuff together in a food processor, press it into the pan and smear with the jam, sprinkle with berries, and bake. I think I'll go have another right now.

(I can't find the recipe on the website to make a link to it, but email me if you want it.)


mep said...

I would love the shortbread cookie recipe, whenever you get around to it.

How did I not know about the new Top Chef Masters? Have they been advertising it on Bravo while I have been trying to avoid the Real Housewives? Cannot wait. I'd also enjoy a Top Chef Alumni show.

I also saw the list of food sites in EW. Haven't checked them out yet, but I look forward to it. I'm going to be without EW for a few weeks coming up here (let subscription lapse and ordered new one through Amazon to save about $40) so I will need you to keep me posted on the books, movies, and television shows I need to know about. You know what I like.

Don't you wish moms actually had a "lunch break"?

Actchy said...

I will be checking out Top Chef Masters. And E., I will keep you informed of any Tom C. sightings. I actually saw him outside the builidng a few weeks before the article came out, but convinced myself it wasn't really him but that I had conjured his image vis a vis my new enthusiasm for the show. In the article (which you can find if you search his name on the NY Times website), it says he leaves home at 10:30 am every day. My husband called me the day after we read it to see if I could go hang out in the lobby. Sadly, Acey is napping at 10:30.

Not to go on and on here, but the real take-home is that my teeny-tiny kitchen is the same as Tom's. Now, I'n not a math wizard, but I am pretty sure that means I'm just as good of a cook as he. Or, at the very least, that I should have my own show.

E... said...

Yes, SOMEDAY I want a lunch break.
I don't think they've been promoting Top Chef Masters -- I ran across a mention of it on a food blog. Guess they're too busy with The Fashion Show, which judging by episode one, is atrocious.

CaraBee said...

Is it awful at least half of the things on This Is Why You're Fat looks so yummy to me?