Thursday, July 16, 2009

This little Dudette went to market.

And I totally cried “wee wee wee” all the way home, too.

Out of excitement, of course! The farmer’s market in my town finally opened at the beginning of July, but today’s the first time I’ve had a chance to go. It’s a once-weekly affair, and last week lazing around the apartment in my pajamas took precedence.

There’s really no grand point to this post, except I hope it motivates you to seek out a farmer’s market in your area. Or, if you live in my old stomping grounds—Big AR—then make it a point to stop and check out the roadside produce stands. After long, hot days swimming at Lake DeGray as a kid, I used to love it when mom stopped on the side of the highway and let us pick out watermelons from the old men selling from their truck beds. Hope you find some yummy, fresh fruits and veggies!

Here are my awesome scores: potatoes, lettuce, summer squash, a cucumber, Portabello mushrooms, blueberries, grape tomatoes and a chive plant.

Monday, July 6, 2009


Ok, so I'm not exactly back with a bang. It's more like... back with a fizzle. Besides, it's the Monday after a bang, pop and explosion-filled Fourth of July weekend, so I'm sure all of you have had plenty of excitement already.

So while you're preoccupied, filled with grilled burgers and just trying to get through the workday, I'm going to slink back into this blog unnoticed. Don't worry, I'll try to dazzle you later, when visions of fireworks have disappeared from your heads.

For now, here are some interesting food tips I've been reading. They come from a Food Network notepad that I received as a parting gift at the end of my short stint there back in the spring. Here are a few that I found helpful.

-"Herbs last longer if you remove bands or ties from bunches before storing. Herbs deteriorate from the inside out and along the tie when bunched. Store hardy herbs, thyme, rosemary, oregano, tarragon and sage loosely packed in a paper towel-lined sealed container."

-"Paper or Plastic? Mushrooms should take the paper route because they become slimy when stored in plastic bags. If your grocer only supplies plastic bags, transfer mushrooms to a bowl and cover with a paper towel before refrigerating."

-"Pineapple's peak is March through July. The sniff test rather than plucking a frond will tell you if the fruit is ripe. Turn the fruit upside down and take a whiff--if it has a full fruity perfume, it is ready. Steer clear of ones with any smell of alcohol. A golden shell indicates a softer fruit, better for desserts, and a greener hue points to firmer flesh, better for savory dishes."

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Getting a slice of that Twitter pie

Ok, I’m not really.


And just in case you don’t know (I’m looking at you, mom), Twitter is the biggest, bangiest thing in social networking sites since Facebook and Myspace. Basically, you have friends who follow your tweets, small 140 character posts about what you’re doing, where you are, what you’re reading, etc. People tweet their daily routines, links to blogs, philosophical thoughts, you name it. It’s like mini blog posts for those afflicted with ADHD. (That’s part of my discomfort with the idea—our nation’s attention span seems to get shorter and shorter every day…)

BUT! I will admit that there are some pretty creative and interesting uses for the site. Some cooking and food tweeters have popped up. And while I’m not sure how I feel about the actual site yet, I think this little slice of Twitter pie is good enough to share.

Back in April the New York Times wrote an article about Maureen, a 27-year-old who tweets recipes through the site on cookbook. Think about that. A recipe. In 140 chararcters. Serious editing skills.

From the article: ‘“I do this as a coffee-break hobby,” she said. “Kind of like sudoku. I really get a kick out of how complex a recipe I can fit into 140 characters.”

(Thanks for the tip, Drew!)

And if you’re a fan of the humor blog, Cake Wrecks, which documents “when professional cakes go horribly, hilariously wrong,” check out the official Cake Wrecks Twitter. It’s a great way to get an extra dose of baked goods (preferably the disastrous kind!), and blogger Jen shares links and content that don’t appear on the regular blog. By the way, if you’re not a fan of Cake Wrecks, you should be. Trust.

Have any of you encountered some fun or interesting food Twitters? If so, I wanna hear about it!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Psssst...hey, you!

Shhhh! I've gotta whisper this; this is delicate information.

I'm currently temping for a company that is extremely relevant to this blog. Now, don't wet your pants or anything. I'm just working the front reception desk for two weeks, and no, I don't see Paula Deen or Emeril Lagasse waltz in everyday for work, but still...kinda cool, right?

P.S. Sorry about my absence from the blosgosphere! May has been a busy month. I'm hoping to get back on a regular posting schedule soon. So don't worry, I've been testing out some great new recipes and finding lots of fun stuff to post about so be on the lookout!

Friday, May 1, 2009

My Sadness Leads to Spice Girls, Cake Balls

Liz, my part-time comic-strip artist and full-time bestie, has left the New York Metro Area for greener pastures—well, she will certainly be surrounded by greenery—her far homeland of Connecticut. And since I’ve made, like, two whole other friends after five years in NYC, I’ve been acting like a whiny turd for months. Anywho, I’m drowning my sadness in old Spice Girls songs, specifically:

It’s incredibly apt for this situation, you have to admit.

There was also a wake (errr…going away party) for the departing and beloved Elizabeth. I contributed spinach dip (of course), but I also tried something new—Red Velvet Cake Balls—which you may recognize. Basically, these are the simple version of the Easter Cake Pops from Bakerella. I wanted to make little Liz zombie heads, but I thought I should keep it simple since this was my first attempt. Maybe someday I’ll manage to do more than the basic version.

Word of advice, if you make these—and you should, because census was they were delish—give yourself a lot of time. The directions seem simple, but it is time-freaking-consuming. The cake alone takes about 30 minutes to bake, another 45 minutes to cool. And then there's the rolling of the balls, the chilling of the balls, the chocolate coating of the balls, etc. (Yes, lots of balls. The hilarity of that sentence is not lost on me.) Of course, if I hadn’t started baking at 11pm when I had to get up at 6am the next morning, maybe the time issue wouldn’t have seemed so important. I'm going to blame 2am on the fact that these look a little busted. Thank goodness for sprinkles in the shape of cows, dinosaurs and stars.

Red Velvet Cake Balls
Recipe from Bakerella

1 box red velvet cake mix, baked according to directions on box for 13x9 cake
1 16 oz can cream cheese frosting
1 package chocolate bark (regular or white chocolate)
wax paper or aluminum foil
sprinkles, optional

After cake is cooked and cooled completely, crumble into large bowl. Mix thoroughly with 1 can cream cheese frosting. Roll mixture into quarter size balls and lay on cookie sheet. Chill for several hours, or pop them in the freezer for 20 or so minutes. Melt chocolate in microwave per directions on package. Use a spoon to dip and roll balls in chocolate. Tap off any extra and lay on wax paper until firm.

Makes approximately 40 to 50.

Quote that made my day (creative title this is not)

"They had their cake, loved it, masticated it, chewed it and then became extremely sick from food poisoning."

From Rich Juzwiak, the fabulous blogger at FourFour, in a post about the infamous ladies of 1975 documentary, Grey Gardens, and current HBO movie of the same name starring Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Life Lesson: When cupcakes are involved, it's OK to act like a 4-year-old.

Even though I haven’t had cable TV for almost a year, I manage to spend an inordinate amount of time watching TV shows. I get my fix online, since most networks now provide episodes on their websites. This weekend I decided to catch up with The Gosselins, TLC’s adorable big family. The show, Jon and Kate Plus 8, follows Jon and Kate Gosselin, their twin 8-year-old girls and their 4-year-old sextuplets.

In this episode, the sextuplets turn four and instead of throwing their usual carnival-themed bash, the kids go to a bakery and decorate cupcakes instead. (Btw, I totally have the sprinkles they use. Wut!) The drama doesn’t start until they get home from the bakery (around minute 3:45 in the clip below), and the kids are told that they won’t get cupcakes until they eat their dinner.

Of course, some of the kids—in this case, the three boys—don’t eat dinner and have mini meltdowns when they realize they won’t get their birthday treats. This glorious moment is why I felt obliged to post this clip. Perhaps I’m cruel and heartless but I chuckled to myself when Aaden cries in anguish, “I don’t get my cupcake?!” (at 5:10)

Then again, it probably makes me laugh because I know that in that situation I would scream the exact same words, just with more tears and violence.