Monday, April 28, 2008

The worst thing ever produced in my kitchen...

...not including what the cat has coughed up, of course. The cornbread I made last night. Terrible. Embarrassingly terrible.

As I've mentioned before, I usually make cornbread from Weisenberger's mix. I add a little more milk and a little more cornmeal to stretch it out a bit. It's always been good. But I recently received a copy of The Cornbread Gospels and felt like I should make my own.

First, let me say that this book is very interesting. It's first neatly divided among regions here in the States and followed by global versions as well as all sorts of other cornmeal breads and sidedishes that are traditionally eaten with cornbreads. It's got notes on the various types of meal as well as stories to go with each recipe. Unfortunately, there was not a recipe for sweet potato cornbread like I had at Food For Thought in Williamsburg. There is a recipe for (sweet) sweet potato muffins, however.

I couldn't find a recipe that was quite like my mother's, though. And as much as I love her cornbread, it's generally pretty dry grainy. Usually around bite two or three, a little will get caught in my throat and make me cough. So I was hoping for a more moist version. So I came up with my own recipe that was a combination of several recipes (with my mom's as a base). Usually, this works out great for me. Not this time.

I used two eggs in my version. Well, not eggs per se, but the generic version of Egg Beaters. This was my first mistake. And maybe my baking powder was past its prime? I do keep it in the freezer, but that stuff doesn't stay good forever. And I added soda despite the fact that I wasn't using buttermilk, but I don't think that was a problem (I used just a teaspoon each of soda and powder). I also cooked it at 400 degrees instead of 450.

The result was a dense, spongy, oily, dark mustard colored hunk of nastiness. I couldn't even distinguish the feel of the grain. I didn't use very much oil, so I think the egg products were a huge part of the problem. The SO actually ate some of it, saying that "it wasn't bad," but I wouldn't let him eat much. The texture was so incredibly foul.

On the upside, I didn't take a shortcut with the black-eyed peas; I started with dry peas, did the quick soak (actually soaked a few hours) and then simmered them for an hour and a half. They were quite good.

I also roasted some (organic) carrots. These actually turned out quite good. I got the idea from some carrots I had at Whole Foods. I sliced them on the bias, thinly coated them in olive oil, drizzled on some lemon juice and sprinkled them with salt and pepper. I roasted them for about 20 minutes at the aforementioned 400 degrees in a glass baking dish. Anything that will make a carrot more palatable to me is a good thing.

I will try cornbread again at some point. But not soon.

UPDATE: I neglected to write that right after I ate the edible portions of my meal, I called my mother to tell her about the cornpucks. She was kind but said, "If you want to make my cornbread, you have to make it my way." That's a mother for you.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Great Del Taco Disappointment

First of all, I'd like to say that I actually have cooked recently. And when I have the energy, I will tell you about the citrus honey glazed "ficken" that I made for The Momster when she was in town. But there are more pressing matters.

Yesterday, I had a lovely lunch over at Jackson's in Hillsboro Village (no website, Jackson's? Seriously?) with my wonderful new co-workers. I had the Capri Torrado, which is a chopped grilled portabello mushroom with tomato and avocado in a spinach tortilla wrap. And a whole lot of fries, which are lightly battered and very tasty. So by the time of dinner, I wasn't really hungry, so the SO requested I drop him by the nearby Del Taco/Captain D's combo restaurant.

First, the good news. They have macaroni and cheese.

And now the bad news. There is no Veggie Works burrito. And, if you remember, I love that Veggie Works burrito. There's a "1/2 pound bean and cheese burrito" (with your choice of red or green sauce) for $1.19, but no Veggie Works. Beans and cheese on a tortilla with some sauce is, quite frankly, nothing to get excited about (or a good reason to leave the house). So I got a snack of a side order of macaroni and cheese from the Captain D's section of the menu. I don't know if they had the crinkle fries, but this post (also by someone slapped in the face with the Tennessee version of Del Taco) indicates they do have them.

The SO ordered the bean burrito and, as a result of a "discussion" between us, a fish taco. I assumed because of the co-branding, that the fish taco would be a mini version of Captain D's fish on a taco, but he said that the breading and the fish were different (though, for the record, it looked the same to me but I sure as hell didn't taste it). So he was a little disappointed as well because I'd talked him out of getting a fish dinner. I don't think that Baja Burrito/Blue Coast Burrito has much to worry about with regard to Del Taco knocking them from their perch at the top of the local fish taco heap. Speaking of Blue Coast, I was happy to discover a location over on Sam Ridley Parkway not too far from my office. Good news for my stomach, bad news for my pants. But at least I don't have the 600-calorie Veggie Works burrito calling for me from around the corner. So I can save some room for a little Maximum R&B.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Product Review: Canada Dry Green Tea Ginger Ale

A while back, I stocked up on bottles of Celestial Seasonings green tea fortified with vitamin C when they were on closeout at Big Lots. Could I make my own green tea? Yes, but I really liked the flavor in these bottles and liked that they were fortified. So I've been rationing them. But now I have a replacement. Almost.

I took a wrong turn at the Krosher Kroger and ended up in the beverage aisle instead of the "natural foods" aisle and immediately spotted Canada Dry Green Tea Ginger Ale. The packaging really caught my eye. So I just had to buy some (the SO loves ginger ale).

The flavor is similar to the Celestial Seasonings product, but it's got the ginger coupled with carbonation to give it a little bit of a kick. It tastes really good. The big difference (other than the carbonation and ginger, ahem) is that this beverage does not contain caffeine [5/13/08 Update: reader Rose sent me an email indicating she spoke with a representative of Canada Dry who said that the product does contain caffeine--28mg per liter, which is roughly 1/5 the amount of caffeine in Mountain Dew]. That's both a good and bad thing. Good in that I can drink it any time but I do occasionally need a tiny boost of caffeine to get going. So I will continue to ration my Celestial Seasonings teas and save them for when I really need them. Which is every morning right now.

The next step that Canada Dry needs to take, though is making a reduced sugar and/or sugar-free version. I'm not a huge fan of diet drinks, but the SO prefers sugarless beverages (so he can consume the sugar cookies and ice cream, for example). And if they're going to push a drink for its health benefits (antioxidants! vitamin c!), then they need to cut back on the high fructose corn syrup. I think they could easily cut the sugar content in half and still have a very tasty beverage.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Working nearly 25 miles from my home in an office that's located in a small town/suburb is going to really pose some challenges to my diet. I brought my lunch today--a salad. It's good, but I really wish my bread was toasted. It tastes so much better warm and with a hint of toastiness.

My co-workers recently discovered a "Thai" place nearby. I saw it today and it's billed as "Chinese-Thai." I am dubious. Perhaps there are some hidden gems to be discovered, but most likely I need to plan for time in my morning routine for preparing a lunch. Perhaps I need to get used to preparing and eating sandwiches. Is it just me or are sandwiches always better when someone else makes them?

Or perhaps I'll look into this Bento Box thing. But that will require planning ahead and making pasta and bean salads and buying decent food which is becoming not only short in supply, but very expensive.

Too bad I don't like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Passover Pepsi

Alright, some of you guys have been holding out on me. I'm just now getting on the Serious Eats train, so I just learned about Passover Pepsi and Coke. Hooooo boy, I'm going to skip right over to the Krosher in my neighborhood and see if they've got it in the Passover section. Two liters of sweet, wonderful sugar-sweetened Pepsi...

...equals about two pounds.

UPDATE: Sadly, the Belle Meade Krosher does not have Passover Pepsi. And the limited selection of soft drinks (two flavors of Dr. Brown's) lists ingredients including "sugar and/or high fructose corn syrup." Not cool. I guess I'll have to keep going to the bodegas and such to get my fix.


The weather has been so nice here for the last few days that I've been taking advantage of it and eating lunch out al fresco. One of my favorite places to do so is PM on Belmont Boulevard nearby Belmont University. The patio is rather large--there twelve or so tables in the front and more around the side--and being on Belmont Boulevard, there's a fair amount of foot traffic and not as much car traffic so there's plenty to keep yourself entertained without having a side dish of exhaust fumes and traffic noise with your meal.

As suggested by the name, PM was at one time only open in the evenings, but has been open for lunch a couple of years now. It's about the time they started opening for lunch that they also added sushi to their mostly Thai-inspired menu. One of my favorite rolls in town is their asparagus tempura roll. I don't think I have to explain why.

But I opted for the Tofu Thai Wrap with a side of sweet potato fries for lunch. The wrap is served with a small dish of their peanut sauce which I absolutely love. Inside the wrap, there are delicate crispy fried rice noodles, cucumbers, carrots, lettuce and tomato accompanying the fried tofu. The combination of crunchy and soft works really well. And the peanut sauce adds such a nice flavor. The sweet potato fries are more like chips since they are slices (possibly from the same batch used for the tempura), but they are pan fried with a slight crisp and served with wasabi mayonnaise. Though I don't really care for wasabi, the taste was delicate enough to work well and be a nice condiment for the sweet potatoes.

But PM isn't just good for lunch. For dinner, you can choose from small plates and sushi and eat tapas style or you can choose from several main plates. I never choose a main plate. I love the peanut sauce fondue so much that I always order it with one or two other dishes to share and to add a little color to my meal. I'm obviously not kidding when I say I love their peanut sauce.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Veggie Cafe

I finally--finally!--made it over to the Veggie Cafe for lunch this week. It's quite a haul from West Nashville to their location in Inglewood, but this all vegetarian/vegan enterprise is something I certainly want to support. Though I almost missed it since I didn't see a sign. But that's not really the point of this post.

I started looking over the menu--it's nice to read a menu and be able to look at everything and know it's something I can eat--to choose my lunch. Frankly, I wasn't up for a veggie burger. I can have a veggie burger at home. I was hoping for something a little more creative. The special of the day was veggie loaf. Um. First off, I don't like meat loaf, so if it's made to be reminiscent of meat loaf, I'm not interested. Though I was happy to see butter beans as a vegetable item since I love them and most restaurants season them with critter juice. So I kept looking. I think there was a stir fry, too but that wasn't ringing my bell, either. So I did the smart thing and asked the guy working the counter what he thought.

He cheerfully (everyone there was really cheerful, but not overly so) recommended the TLT--tofu/tempeh-lettuce-tomato. I've only prepared tempeh at home once and I'm not great with it, but he said it was his new favorite thing on the menu. So I asked more questions. The lettuce--is it iceberg or leafy green? Leafy green, he said with a bit of a pshaw that indicated, "Hey, we serve healthy stuff--of course we don't serve iceberg lettuce" and that, of course was the right answer. So I chose the Tempeh-L-T on nine grain bread (I ordered mine lightly toasted) with extra lettuce, a schmear of dijon mustard and a side order of slaw.

And he was right--this sandwich is good. This was not the Wild Oats tempeh that I had at home. This was really, um, meaty and hearty and very tasty. A little crumbly, but that was not a bother at all. I got a nice stack of lettuce and the bread was perfectly toasted (just enough to take the moosh out of bread and give it some warmth). The slaw that came with it is hard to describe. It was cabbage only and vinegary but also creamy but not mayonnaisey. Perhaps this is the result of using vegan mayonnaise? I'm not sure, but it was good. Tasty and not bitter or too tangy. I cleaned my plate.

They're still working out the kinks of having opened a brand new restaurant that's unlike any other place in town, I think (mostly supply issues), but I did not have to wait very long for my food (which is a good thing during weekday lunch hours) and the service was excellent. Unfortunately, I'll only be able to go back on the weekends since I start a new job Monday that will require me to be in the next county for most of my day, but I do plan to go back. I'm curious about the Sunday brunch.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Great Cupcake Taste-Off

Claudia of cook eat Fret hosted a cupcake challenge at her home and I was lucky enough to score an invitation. Four area bakeries plus a mystery entrant that turned out to be homemade cupcakes made from The Cake Mix Doctor recipes. Other bloggers who may report in soon include Fluffernutter from Tupperware Avalanche, Joy who Cooks (and knows a thing or two about dessert, for sure), and Diana from Tempus Est Nunc. Amybakes, a commenter over at Bites was there, too as well as some of Claudia's fans plus the special bonus of local chefs from Ombi and 360 Bistro. This was definitely a crowd that would put the great cupcake debate to rest.

Or so I thought. We had some disagreements and I believe Claudia will be posting results soon, but here's my take.

First up is Gigi's Cupcakes over on Broadway, not far from Music Row. I picked up the cupcakes from Gigi's and paid special attention given that I'd read that the service was less than great. But despite having a brisk business for 3pm on a Tuesday afternoon, I thought that the service was fast and friendly. The display and selection of cupcakes was reminiscent of a Baskin-Robbins, too. Lots of flavors, beautiful cupcakes, great display. So how's the taste? Well, the chocolate with chocolate frosting was one of my favorites. The cake was moist and very chocolatey and the frosting was light and fluffy and not overpowering or overly sweet. But the lemon cupcake with lemon frosting was near the bottom of my list. The flavor tasted unnatural and it was overall too sweet and sugary for my taste. At $3 per cupcake, Gigi's is rather expensive, but I may go back to try the Red Velvet and some of the other intriguing flavors. I think the lemon cupcake may be an anomaly.

Next up is Dulce Desserts on Villa Place at Edgehill, also very near Music Row. They also had a decent walk-in business and friendly and efficient service. Their cupcakes are beautiful and I was very much looking forward to the dulce de leche and Italian almond, but I was very disappointed. The frostings from Dulce Desserts were very oily--like that whipped frosting on cheap bakery cakes. It left a film inside my mouth that took several swigs of soy milk to remove. I will say that the cake part of the Italian almond was very good. And the cherries in the frosting were a good addition, but I just didn't like that frosting at all.

The third bakery was Sweet 16th in East Nashville. I don't have a lot to say about these cupcakes other than they were good. Not great, but good. Bakery standard--definitely good enough for serve at a party, but not as a special treat, necessarily (though I think that's fairly typical and is by no means meant to be an insult). The carrot cake version was very good as was the banana cupcake, but they tasted like mini cakes rather than a special cupcake. They did, however, include a bonus cupcake: a Little Elvis. I didn't try it, though because I don't like peanut butter flavored desserts.

The final bakery was Cuppycakes in Spring Hill. I have now tasted heaven and it is the Sweet Lemon Drop cupcake from Cuppycakes. Wow. Just wow. I'm not a fan of mocha flavoring, but the SO is and he said that their Mocha cupcake was also very delicious. I also tasted the black raspberry (good considering I don't care for raspberry flavor generally) and the chocolate/chocolate (which was good, though the cake was a tad try). Regardless, let's just say that if I ever need cupcakes or a cake for any event, Cuppycakes will be the baker I use. Their cakes were (mostly) moist and the frosting was rich without being oily or too sweet. Great all around. Check out their Cuppy Cast. I'd kill for a Snickerdoodle cupcake right about now.

Last up were the homemade cakes made from Cake Mix Doctor. The first was a chocolate cupcake with chocolate ganache frosting. The cake did taste like it was from a mix but the frosting made up for it--it was very creamy and rich and chocolatey. The other was a vanilla cake (I think) with lemon cream cheese frosting. Many of the taste testers picked it as their favorite cupcake overall. It was definitely very good, but I preferred the delicate flavor of the Cuppycakes version. So if you don't have $2.50-3.00 to spare for a single cupcake, it might be worth checking out some of the Cake Mix Doctor's recipes. But get a pastry bag for the frosting. A beautiful swirl of frosting can make a good cupcake great.

Mmm...snickerdoodle cupcake...mmmm....

Monday, April 14, 2008

Lesley Doesn't Eat

I headed to the pantry the other day in order to satisfy a snack craving. When I have a craving, it's usually for something sweet and fruity. So when I looked and saw a package of Sunsweet Dried Nectarines, I decided they would hit the spot. And, they'd been in the pantry a while and needed to go.

When I picked up the unopened package, I noticed a black and slimy film on the clear part of the bag. Uh oh. I searched it for a best by date. And that's when I realized I have officially turned into my mother. Best by? April 2003. As in, five years ago. As in, they were probably purchased sometime in 2002. Has it really been that long since I was on my dried nectarine kick? I get that way--I'll really like something, stock up and eat it a lot and then get tired of it--sometimes when I still have some supply hanging around in the pantry.

What's worse about this particular package is that not only did I buy it about six years ago, but I also moved this package with me along with a few other pantry items when I relocated from Memphis to Nashville in October, 2004. Even worse, I moved expired food with me; food that was already out of date by a year and a half.

So obviously, I need to throw this package of dried nectarines away. But I can't help but think about how these little guys have been with me through a lot. I bought them when I was still in my 20s. They've been with me through one long-term relationship and, ahem, several short-term relationships. I know far too many people whose marriages haven't lasted as long as I've had these dried nectarines. And people say I'm a commitmentphobe. Ha! I can, at least, commit some pantry space (which is in very short supply) to dried fruit that has passed its prime.

But no more. Just like the unopened container of Bac-Os that I discovered in my mom's house a couple of years ago (which were 12 years past their best by date and had also been moved from one house to another), I'm going to toss them out. But I think I'll leave them in the package. I'm not sure I really want to open it and put these slimy little things on the compost heap.

Incidentally, Sunsweet doesn't sell dried nectarines any more. That's a shame. They were really good.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Fried Tofu Chick'n

Yesterday, Claudia of cook eat FRET fame had to make a trip to Whole Foods, so I met her there for lunch. It was a dark and stormy day, so I opted to hit the hot bar instead of the cold bar. Okay, it really didn't have anything to do with the weather; it had everything to do with seeing these nuggets of "fried tofu chick'n"--small blocks of tofu breaded in nutritional yeast and spices and fried like chicken.

I'd had some oven-fried tofu battered with nutritional yeast at a vegetarian potluck, so I was eager to taste the Whole Foods version. And I was not disappointed. They seasoned the batter perfectly. These nuggets are so very delicious. The Colonel has nothing on Whole Foods' fried chick'n.

But I still haven't gotten brave enough to try working with nutritional yeast on my own. I suppose I could try to get a little creative and/or do some research. But in the meantime, I decided to get about a pound of these little guys for dinner. I figured the SO would really enjoy these. And I was right. We even competed to eat the leftover "crispies" on the plate. That's how good these nuggets are.

Since I still have a lot of potatoes leftover from St. Patrick's Day, I made some mashed potatoes (peels left on to get all the nutrients) and also used up the remaining broccolini I had in the fridge. So I got to clean out the fridge and the pantry a bit and we had a great meal.

And as long as Whole Foods has these nuggets around, I don't see myself figuring out how to make them on my own. Though I'm happy to have found a small container to get me started. Note that the Red Star Vegetarian Support Formula nutritional yeast is fortified with vitamin B12--that's good news for vegans and/or vegetarians who aren't getting B12 from dairy products.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Lesley Chews

The SO brought me a big surprise the other day: Lemon-Lime Orbit gum. I haven't had any in a while because I'd not been able to find it. I was afraid it had been discontinued, but it's still available for sale by the case online. But I really have no need for $15 worth of gum.

The review I linked to had some fairly poor comments. It's true that the flavor is very strong at first and dies away quickly, but I like that. It dies away and gets tougher to chew about the time that I should spit it out anyway. And that initial burst is like a big swig of extra-strong Sprite. Sure, I could have a Sprite and get a similar sensation, but the gum is a lot more handy. And has fewer calories.

I'm so happy to have this gum in my life again. Oh, and the SO--I'm glad he's in my life, too (hi honey!).

Monday, April 7, 2008

Nolensville Road

Here's an interesting coincidence...the SO and I spent the weekend in his part of town and after dropping my car off for new brakes, we decided to go exploring on Nolensville Road. There are tons of ethnic groceries, restaurants and bakeries and I was on the hunt for some m'semen for Claudia (okay, for me too). Well, as we were making our way up and down the road, Claudia was blogging over at Music City Bloggers that Good magazine named Nolensville one of the tastiest streets in America! Though, oddly enough, I didn't visit any of the places Good highlighted in their article.

Our first stop was the Monsal Bakery at 5741 Nolensville Road (in the Kroger shopping center at Old Hickory Boulevard). We picked up all sorts of baked goodies, including some kind of creme horn, a cinnamon-spiced biscuit-y thing (so good), a cream cheese and fruit filled turnover and a few other pastries. We also got a flan and a Mexican Coke (ie, sugar sweetened instead of high fructose corn syrup).

After a few bites in the car, we headed much further up the way to House of Kabob at 216 Thompson Lane (just east of Nolensville, past the library in that little shopping center). In its previous iteration (the name escapes me), it was a Persian restaurant and it appears it still is. You can get green rice with any entree (instead of what comes standard), they serve doogh, and there are several appetizers that aren't offered at other Middle Eastern Restaurants.

They start you out with a plate of pita bread, some cheese, butter and cilantro, which we thoroughly enjoyed. For lunch, I ordered a plate of green rice along with a couple of appetizers--the must'mooseer (a yogurt dip with sundried shallots) and some feta and walnut spread garnished with olives and tomatoes to eat with pita (a new favorite of mine). I don't think I spelled that first appetizer correctly (and can find a hundred ways to spell it online) and I can't remember what the second one was called at all. Sorry 'bout that. I can tell you that both were very good, though (the yogurt was a good accompaniment for the rice).

After lunch, we headed south again toward the Baraka Bakery. We had a little trouble finding it, even though I knew it was also near the intersection of Nolensville Road and Old Hickory Boulevard. After a couple of tries, we found it way back in the corner of the L-shaped shopping center adjacent to Lowe's.

And though Baraka didn't have the m'semen (he did say he knew a Moroccan man and would check on its availability for me), they offered some great goodies to tempt our sweet tooths (sweet teeth?). Baraka is known for supplying a lot of pita and lavash to area restaurants and groceries, but it also has an extensive international cookies and candies section (as well as other grocery items and a fairly good selection of Middle Eastern cheeses). The candy selection beats the heck out of any place I've ever been. I don't know what it is about a foreign chocolate bar, but I'm drawn to one like a bee to a flower. It was difficult just to choose two. But I ended up with a couple of exotic bars, one of which has some vanilla creme in it. A picture of some sort of vanilla drink was on the label--I'm not sure what it is since the label is printed in every imaginable language except English.

We also got some cookies. I got some orange cookies dipped in chocolate--the SO doesn't like chocolate and orange, so this is the one flavor combination in a snack that will remain unmolested at his home. For the SO, I found some intriguing cookies from Poland: plum-filled gingerbread dipped in chocolate. Wow. These little heart-shaped devils are awesome. A little spicier than American gingerbread which helps to keep from binging on them. The SO remarked that they taste like Christmas cookies. I'm thinking now that I should have the same rule for Baraka Bakery that I have for Bobbie's Dairy Dip--if I want to go there, I have to walk to get there. That little rule helped me cut way back on my ice cream consumption last year. It's a handy device.

Incidentally, I also wanted to check out the Aurora Bakery, but discovered it was closed. If anyone has any idea if it's moved, please let me know. I'd still like to check it out.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Cilantro Lime Chicken, er Ficken

The SO has dubbed Quorn naked cutlets "ficken" (ie, fake chicken). And he actually requested it for dinner earlier this week. He really liked the lemon herb ficken, but I've had the words "cilantro lime" in my head for a while now and decided to try something new.

So I hit up the ol' Google, and found a few recipes that I felt were on the right track, but nothing I felt was complete, so I came up with my own marinade and I'm quite happy with the way it turned out.

Cilantro Lime Ficken (serves 2)
1 tablespoon oil (I used canola)
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 teaspoons soy sauce (I used a light tamari)
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro (be sure to include some stems; there's a lot of flavor in a stem)
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
a dash of finely ground pepper

I mixed all the ingredients and set two partially-thawed Naked Chik'n Cutlets in the dish, covered them in the marinade, and let them sit for about 20 minutes (the lime juice starts to shrivel the Quorn a bit). Then I cooked them for about 15 minutes at 400 degrees (cooking time depends on how frozen the cutlets are--check the directions on the box).

The smell was wonderful, but I'm a huge fan of both cilantro and lime, so that wasn't a surprise. When the ficken was done, I placed a cutlet on a bed of Israeli couscous and drizzled some of the marinade over the top for a gravy and topped it with some fresh cilantro for even more flavor.

The ficken was delicious. A new favorite. The ginger came through quite a bit, but didn't overpower the lime and cilantro taste (though it could have if I'd used more, I bet). It was tangy and sweet and zippy all at once. I served it with some sweet potato hashbrowns and some lightly steamed broccolini topped with a pinch of fleur de sel (all it needs, really). As I learned with the sweet potato enchiladas, a citrus taste pairs well with my little orange tuber friends. The broccolini? Well, I just felt like the plate needed a little more iron and calcium. It's a nice alternative for this broccoli-hater as its taste is much more delicate and the stalks are even palatable to me.

The meal was finished off with a few jumbo medjool dates I picked up at a Mediterranean grocery over on Thompson Lane. It was a very good, albeit "international" meal.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Failed experiment

I wanted to make pancakes Sunday morning. I had no egg. So I tried to sub out the egg for a half a mashed banana. And then I added blueberries.

The result?

In a word, bad. The color was an unappetizing bluish gray. The texture was nowhere near pancake-like. It was overly moist and dense. It took too long to cook, so to get it done, I pretty much had to almost burn the outsides. The taste was okay, but it was hard to get past the texture issue.

However, mixing the blueberry juice with some heated Karo syrup to make blueberry syrup was a win. Gotta take 'em where I can get 'em.