Sunday, March 16, 2008

legacy dairy root beer milk

from legacy, or, the angels of hallam (a happy st patrick's day irish musical reference!).

if you've seen this milk at grocery stores in town and been tempted, i must suggest that you try it.
if you haven't seen it, look for the nice glass bottles in the dairy case.

oroblanco. white gold. technician tea.

so, the oroblanco.
i will say this, and you can see it's true from the photo

directly below this section of text:

i have never seen a segment of a citrus fruit from which it is so very

easy to remove the membrane. which made it easy to use in that salad up top, with slivered almonds and blueberries.

i'm sure it would also be lovely in a cocktail or some delicate sort of dessert.
the wiki-something page says it's a grapefruit mutation, but don't expect any bite from this number. oroblanco is much more about texture.
in other words, this fruit works better in terms of structural payoff rather than in flavor. but it's even cheaper than it used to be at super saver. less than two bucks a pound, so a dollar or less per piece of fruit.

take-out review: the cup

first off: the name. 'the' is a word in both french and english.
in french,

it means tea. (the tea selection here is better than anywhere else in town.) so, the phonetic way to spell the name, english-wise, is 'take up.'

and now, back to the food:
the cup is in the old soda bottling plant building over by lincoln high. they have what looks like a fabulous kitchen, and they do their own baking. i can attest that their baked goods are excellent, and that's confirmed by those near and dear to me who like the baked goods more than i do.

their take-out salads, soups, and sandwiches have an enticing blend of components. it's not so fusion as to confound the palate. it's a soft and loose rule, but, generally speaking: anything beyond seven ingredients and five flavors is a waste of all the work and cost that went into a dish. the cup has an imaginative menu, but it's no pipe dream. the flavors they're trying to attain are fully realized.

for all that and nine cents, a bag of pretzel crisps

these are on clearance at the cvs at 48th & van dorn. they were 99c but now they're 90% off which means nine cents a bag. they're not close-dated, just not moving.
i do like a processed food with only four ingredients.
they're not bad, either. taste like a pretzel, look like a cracker. these could work on a cheese plate.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

speaking of asparagus

asparagus has an unusual history in popular american grocery shopping. because

we are now used to responding to long and lean in the world of design, we look for it in food as well...

and while i can't underestimate how much this also has to do with body image, that's fodder for another sort of food blog.

the truth is, fat asparagus is better asparagus. it has a more mature and complex flavor. you might need to peel the lower stalk if it's going to be too tough to cook in the same amount of time as the rest of the vegetable.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

asparagus and adzuki bean salad to go

the organic mixed greens were 4.99# at hy-vee, and the eden

organic beans were 1.50... though i found out today the same brand of organic beans are on sale for 1.29 a can at open harvest all march long. however you spell the name of the bean, it's a nice size to add to a salad.

i sauteed a bunch of asparagus in some olive oil, tossed that into the salad mix with a drained can of adzuki beans, packed up some balsamic vinaigrette, and hit the road.

eau de childhood: pasta circles in sweet, salty broth

recently, i admitted a longtime fondness for spaghettios. it's not about the flavor, per se. i could say "it tastes like many

happy years," but that ends up sounding less than appetizing the second time you read it.

these pictures i took tonight reminded me of another favorite, from an even younger age. do you remember lipton ring-o-noodle soup? here's an image from a really fun website. (he has an image of my other favorite as well.)

Sunday, March 9, 2008

baking bacon? bacon baking.

bacon. oven. degrees. baking.
those were the search words, here's the

skinny (if you want to try the search yourself, i suggest blocking the word "kevin"):

to bake bacon in the oven, first preheat the oven to 375 degrees. you need an oven safe pan or cookie sheet--on top of that, place a baking rack. (alternatively, use an oven safe grill pan, like i did.) if you want to use the bacon grease this process will produce, place the bacon directly on the rack (or grill pan)-- if not, place parchment paper on the grill, then a layer of bacon.
bake for fifteen minutes, then check and see if it's done enough for you... people are particular about their bacon, so you'll need to figure out how your preferences work with your oven. but twenty minutes is a safe outside bet on cooking time.

cool the bacon outside the oven and outside the pan, unless you want it to continue cooking.
this is a much tidier and more predictable process than stovetop frying of bacon. you don't even have to flip the meat.

bacon buying hint: it might be slightly more economical in a big package-- but unless you really want to go through that much bacon-- buy a small amount from the butcher once or twice a week, depending on your intake.

the big photo is a bacon, pear, and blue cheese sandwich with spring greens, with greens and pecans on the side. bacon likes blue cheese.

anaheim pepper and avocado sandwich spread

anaheim peppers are much milder than jalapenos, but they do lend a

little bite and crunch to a layer of avocado in a sandwich.
i don't like sliced avocado in a sandwich. avocado slices are slippery, and more

likely to end up in your lap than staying put in the sandwich or burger. i slice the avocado in half, remove the pit, and slice criss-crosses into the avocado flesh. then i invert the shell and pop out the goods, into a bowl with a diced anaheim pepper and the juice of a couple of key limes. (all this photographed produce is from super saver.) i mash the mixture together lightly, just to blend, leaving chunks of avocado for flavor balance.

onion bun from le quartier.
if anyone can guess why i call this the ferragamo spread, post it in the comments. i'll send the first correct response a 5x7 of this lovely burger.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

leftovers looking good

food tastes better when it looks good on the plate. it follows that leftovers taste better when presented well. even a boxed lunch can look appetizing if you put a little thought into it.

i like the shallower, wider plastic containers for this. here, i packed a measuring cup with brown rice so that the rice would retain the cupped shape, repeated, threw in leftover stirfry, and garnished with organic kumquats.

(since you eat the peel, organic is the only way to with kumquats. they are available at open harvest, and they're sold by the pound. so you can buy a few to try without spending a lot of money.)

grill pan, meet potatoes

the grill pan works for potatoes, too. i sliced up two potatoes and one onion, tossed in a bowl with a dash of olive oil, and grilled over medium heat. the starch in the potatoes made the onions brown nicely. after the potatoes browned, too, i tossed on the meat. this was bacon-wrapped steak from cetak's (only $3 ea last week!). served with steamed broccoli vinaigrette.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

for one more day, $2 at ideal will get you...

one pkg of button mushrooms for 99c, one sweet onion at 29c# and two bartlett pears at 79c#.
sale runs through friday 3/6.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

sale ad review: chains, 3/5-3/11

my picks from the ads look light this week. remember to browse the print ads (or on-line ads! links to right!) yourself if you like certain convenience foods. when in the store, always glance for exceptional produce and non-advertised clearance.

sunmart has the following tomatoes for $1.50#: hothouse, on-the-vine, and roma. one of these things costs less than the others. this is expensive for romas and reasonably cheap for the first two.

russ' has asparagus for 1.78#. also, if you like canned vegetables, they have organic canned vegetables for 79c a can. i pretty much hate all canned vegetables except for corn, but you might have a similar familiar at that price.

hy-vee wins the chain ad review. store-brand chicken or beef broth for 44c a can, 1.50/bag salad mix (variety of iceberg and romaine blends only), and $1.25 organic soymilk. that's 32oz of organic soymilk... that's cheap. also, $2 for ten stems of daffodils. not blooming yet, but maybe by the weekend?

all of these sales good through tuesday, 3/11/2008.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

the macaroni defense

such a thing exists, yet has no wikipedia page? who in the what now?

anyway, back to the elbow pasta.
you know the whole idea about matching type of noodle to type of sauce. thin sauces get thin noodles, sauces with chunky vegetables or meats get chunky noodles. but how often do you see macaroni, outside of the cold deli case, even when it's the perfect size for the dish?

macaroni, a fine and practical noodle, is drastically underused outside (and maybe because) of mac-and-cheese. easy to drain, and with a great design of two layers of texture in every bite, it should be freed from its traditional at-home presentation and enjoyed as it could be.

map of grocery stores in lincoln

this map accompanied a recent journal-star article. i don't know if it's going to be kept updated, and some things i would include (like cetak's) aren't listed. but it's still useful. i never knew there were three sunmarts.