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Showing posts from October, 2007

Sustainable Seafood

Oh, another thought I've had when shopping, or especially eating at restaurants, regards seafood. I've always heard of various groups promoting "dining guides," which are wallet-sized lists of sustainable and not-so-sustainable seafood lists. If you love seafood, and want it to be around for a while, check out this site.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium (Mom, all those trips there as a kid paid off, I learned something!) features regional seafood guides (I set this page to Southeast, for all us Lowcountry Boil fans and shrimp/crab enthusiasts).

http://www.mbayaq.org/cr/SeafoodWatch/web/sfw_regional.aspx

Eat up, and feel good about your choices when you reference these cards.

Organic vs. local? Conventional vs. organic?

Every time I go to the grocery store, etc. I wonder, "Since I'm not a millionaire, what should I buy that's organic vs. not?" Also, I'm a big fan of farmer's markets, and Nashville's is pretty cool. Still, my questions led to some interesting web searches.

If you, like me, have ever wondered, what are the foods that are MOST important to steer toward organic on, check out these sites, the first being very informative and featuring a wallet-sized guide to "Top 10 Produce to Buy Organic":

http://www.foodnews.org/
http://www.deliciousorganics.com/Controversies/toptobuyorg.htm
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1594/is_n5_v8/ai_19926797/print
http://www.thegreenguide.com/doc/54-55/organic

I read about the first web site in an interesting environment/cook book, http://www.eatgrub.org/book.cfm, which Erin found at the library (score!). "Grub: Ideas for an Urban Organic Kitchen," is interesting because it compiles all the usual bad-booky (pe…

Thai Me Up, Thai Me Down

A big "Halleloo-yer" for the best Thai place I've had here yet in Nashville, Sukho Thai, at 2450 Music Valley Drive, Nashville.
Jenne introduced it to me this week and Scott and I had dinner there again last night - I just can't stay away.
Despite it's unfortunate location, attached directly to a Go-Cart "fun zone" (I kid you not - as you slurp your Tom Kha Gai soup you can also enjoy the sounds of carts zooming past your window), the place has it going on! Excellent fresh spring rolls - the non-fried kind that are translucent wrappers with loads of cilantro, carrot, lettuce, and shrimp/crab, and a tasty peanut dipping sauce.
My first time I ordered Panang Curry with chicken; the next time I had the Angry Beef. It was vicious, as I needed many a water glass refill! Scott did not care for his Pacific Noodles, but you can't always win.
It's nice to know the place is there, as so far we have been a little ambivalent about Siam Cafe, Siam something else…

Chattanooga Choo Choo, Music Fesival Mayhem, and Southern Foodways

When you have two days and a weekend to kill before you start your new job, what do you do? You hit the road, honey, with your mom and your two aunts to Chattanooga, Tenn., and then on to the most whacked-out Woodstock-wannabe music festival, the Echo Project, in Atlanta, Ga. (Not with the family in tow, though).

My mom and her two sisters, my aunts Pumpkin and Raisin (sidenote: I was into food even at age two when I gave them these nicknames in honor of the shapes of their heads! How weird is that!) went on a Kentucky and Tennessee fall trip, starting in Louisville where my grandfather went to Baptist Seminary and also worked for the Southern Atlantic Railroad.

The Traveling Sisterhood came through Nashville, picked me up, and we headed down (or over) I-24. Chattanooga has a great aquarium and the steep Lookout Mountain Incline is great fun also. We enjoyed ice cream at Clumpie's and had dinner at Tony's in the Bluff Arts District. Awesome Italian food - the bread is incredi…

It's me, the missing writer..Breakfast for Dinner

Okay, I know, I know, I've been slack about getting onto write here.

This evening, I had a variation on a favorite meal from my childhood: Breakfast for Dinner! Yes, my parents were twisted enough to convince my sisters and I that it's normal to cook up a pot of grits and bacon at 7 p.m. : )

Looking back on it, Breakfast for Dinner makes sense from a number of standpoints.

When you've run through pasta, rice and meat n' three variations, plus your usual repertoire of dishes, there's always breakfast as a refreshing change from "dinner foods."It's easy to make, and ingredients are almost always on hand (milk, eggs, some kind of bread = French toast, the same for pancakes, grits, etc., and bacon's always something good to have on hand)Okay, I quickly exhausted my rationale, but I pulled off a breakfast dish this evening that I've tended to bungle-up: omelets. I opened the fridge, saw our scant leftovers (small tupperware container of marinara sa…

Foodie Dispatches from Augusta, Ga.

Scott's sister Molly just e-mailed the following post about a classic fall meal she and Adams Papa Rob enjoyed this week. Let's hope the weather soon turn a bit more autumn-appropriate. As my coworker Nikki says, who feels like purchasing pumpkins when you can't spend more than five minutes outside before breaking into a sweatfest? It's just wrong.

Molly writes:
So Dad and I went to the French Market Grille last night (great Augusta local) and enjoyed a 5 course meal Oktoberfest-style. The menu was as follows:
- French Onion Soup Au Gratin: Beer: Carlsberg from Denmark
- Bacon Wrapped Quail Appetizer: Beer: Shiner Hefeweizen from Texas
- Potato Salad w/ Beer Dressing: Beer: Heieken Light from the Netherlands
-Veal Jagerschnitzel w/ Potato Pancake & Mushroom Sauce: Beer: Dab from Germany
-German Chocolate Cake: Beer: Woodchuck Raspberry Cider from Vermont

We were both so full and satisfied (everything was delicious)! I don't think I have been that full in a long time b…

Dead man eatin'

So, not to depress anyone, but I found a weird blog about Death Row inmates' last meal requests.

Steak's a popular meal item, but some, such as a vending machine sub sandwich, are puzzling. Plus, Domino's Pizza as the final meal? Ewwwww - it has killing properties on its own, IMHO.

My question: What would your last meal be?
Mine: Sharp cheddar cheese and a Granny Smith Apple to start, with Pad Thai (three-star spicy), washed down with a Mango Lassi, followed by Blackberry Cobbler and vanilla bean ice cream. It's just what I'm feelin' at the moment.

A weekend tasted, not wasted

Scott and I traveled to the Tullahoma, TN area this weekend as guests of friend Jenne, who has a kick-ass connection to a beautiful farm.

Complete with a cute cottage, amazing barn converted into sleeping quarters, a spring-fed wading pool, and even a golf cart to herd the dairy cows, this getaway is the place to go when you want to satisfy your urge to play "farmer in the dell."

Being the fabulous cook she is, Jenne treated us to a variety of gourmet farmhouse goods though we were miles away from the nearest Kroger. Anyone who has not tried cherry pie straight out of a cast iron skillet just hasn't lived. Ditto for homemade ice cream (those ice cream-maker camping balls you see in the L.L. Bean catalog really do produce great dairy products!) and the amazing Pain Pardue (french toast stuffed with cream cheese and topped with homemade strawberry syrup). My God I can't eat ever again. Riiiiiiiiiiiiight.

Scott and I made a side trip to Sewanee, The University of the South…

The $10 Sandwich

Does anyone else find it harder these days to find a sandwich that tastes decent yet won't totally rupture your budget?

I love Bread & Company - fresh, quick, lots of variety of soup/salad/sandwiches, but GOOD GRIEF - $7.95 for a turkey sandwich? Granted, the turkey looks and tastes like the wonderful post-Thanksgiving real turkey we all know and love, not the pressed, processed, and totally unpoultrylike junk served in places like Subway. But, with a drink and tax, it's a $10 meal.

Compare it to a $5 combo at Mickey D's/Burger King/Taco Hell, and sure, the choice is obvious. I just wish eating fresh food didn't come at such a high price.

Those in Asheville should bow down at the wonderment that is Loretta's, a great lunchtime establishment on College Street in Asheville. Hands down the BEST pimento cheese sandwich ever, with luscious fresh chewy bread that just begs to be savored with every chomp. Plus, great soups and the tastiest lemon bars on this earth. Also …

Brand Whore or Whatever is On Sale?

Recently I enjoyed a lunchtime discussion with work colleagues about brand-name food items. Does the name really matter, or is generic just as good?

One co-worker swears by Thomas English Muffins. Krogers or Publix need not apply.

Every Southern cook knows that Duke's mayo is the final word for any food item lacking creamy mayonnaise goodness, be it potato salad or the banana and mayo sandwich (controversial in my circle of friends, but I love it). Side discussion: Miracle Whip - what the hell is that stuff? Thin, too tangy, and just plain weird.

I rarely drink sodas, but I don't see much difference in a generic cola vs. Coke. Sweet and fizzy and will take the corrosion off your car battery, all the same.

Pickles... Klaussen's is a must. They're the only pickle I can find in the store that still remotely resembles a cucumber and retains any crunch/snap integrity. No nasty green dye either.


Scott is OCD about his aversion to generic Cheerios. No Toasty Oats or Cheer-Os wil…

Family Food

Scott's fabulous Aunt Joan of Mt. Pleasant, S.C. e-mailed me a recipe we should all try, especially for all the asparagus lovers. So tasty!
I have not made this yet, but I plan to, pending my next grocery run.
If you try it, come back and share the delicious results. IMHO, anything enveloped in a crescent roll has to be deelish. Plus the cheese...I mean, really. Dairy is divine. - Erin

JOAN'S CRESCENT ESSENSE Steam asparagus and cool in fridge Open package of Crescent rolls (do immediately after removing from fridge...if you let the Crescent rolls come to room temp the results will be flat) and layout on ungreased baking sheet Spread each triangle with your spreadable cheese of choice (mine is Boursin/herb cheese) Put three perfectly steamed asparagus on cheese and roll Crescent roll up Bake your eight filled Crescent rolls as directed on Crescent roll package Serve as a great bread sidedish OR cut each roll into four pieces and enjoy the BEST h'ors d'oeuvre ever.