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HeartofGlass

I started my blog to talk about food. Food is powerful because it is interconnected with so many of the important stories we tell about our lives. So read my blog, if you like--and leave a comment!

Best brands for veggie products?

@Royce S--I enjoy the Morningstar chik'n patties myself! You might also like the breakfast sausage patties in the Morningstar line.

Gardenburger's barbecued ribs and meatballs are good, but I would stay away from their burgers.

Quorn is great used in almost any way you might use plain chicken or turkey--not tasty on its own, but a great vehicle for flavor.

Avoid vegetarian hot dogs and vegan cheeses.

Video: Fluffernutter Commercial

Robyn--you always find the best commercials! They don't make 'em like they did back in the 60s and 70s!

I love how the presence of the ubiquitous kid on a skateboard makes every food automatically 'healthy' in the 80s and 90s.

How to use up two bags of marshmallows?

You could use the chopped up graham crackers to make 'indoor s'mores' just like you would with Golden Grahams (I posted a recipes for Golden Grahams s'mores several weeks ago).

Actually, almost any cereal can be made into bars, by subbing the cereal for the Rice Krispies.

Cooking for My Mom

Like others have said, I'm so sorry for your loss. My mother and I spent a period of caring for my aunt when she was pretty much 'shut-in' and my mother is not a cook. When shopping for her (and I'm modifying to make things a bit more 'home-cooked' than the stuff my mom bought), a typical list might look like this:

One or two roast chickens, cooked in two different ways (can be used to make chicken salad, or shredded with vegetables as well as eaten plain)

Lettuce (pre-prepared) with salad greens--put in a bowl, undressed, cover and leave it to be 'served' when needed.

Pasta salad, coleslaw, macaroni salad, potato salad, or shrimp salad--if you make it yourself, use slightly lower-fat mayo, or a more vinegar and mustard-based dressing to make it healthier.

Sliced cheese (either by yourself or bought pre-sliced from a deli). These can be used for sandwiches (grilled cheese) or melted on white potatoes.

Bag of white or sweet potatoes--can be microwaved or baked in the oven

Oatmeal--ideally steel-cut, but if your brother's cooking skills are really sub-par, you can get some plain instant stuff. Dried fruits, honey can spice it up and even make a quick dinner.

Cooked turkey breast--from deli or made by yourself.

Frozen, bagged vegetables in single-serve, or two-serving containers. Make yourself and pre-package, or buy in freezer section.

Fruit of various kinds.

At least two loaves of bread.

Peanut butter, cream cheese, and jelly for sandwiches and toast.

Cottage cheese and/or yogurt to be eaten with fruit and cereal.

Cans of tuna and salmon (your brother can simply mix with mayo, chopped celery).

Eggs to be scrambled or hard-boiled.

Applesauce.

Lots of times older or sick people can't manage a whole meal. Getting something she can 'pick' at like a chicken, a bowl of salad, and so forth, might be the best way to get her to eat.

Got Leftover Bagels? Turn Them Into French Toast

@Emily H--I will pass that info onto my friend!

@seriousb--you might like these, if you don't like a 'fluffy' interior for French toast.

And I love the idea of English muffin French toast! A great way to 'work' those nooks and crannies!

Got Leftover Bagels? Turn Them Into French Toast

@dhorst--a Croque Monseiur/Madame would be a true blending of culinary traditions, and might even take the edge off @shoneyjoe's bacon craving!

@arm1970--with mini-bagels (although they tend to be a bit tough and would require a longer marinade, probably 30 minutes, rather than 15-20), you could even make a breakfast bento!

5 Ways To Eat More Apple Salads

@CJ McD--and I always adore YOUR recipe 'round-ups' too! Apples and hazelnuts sound like a perfect, overlooked combination--and I will put fennel, carrots, and different types of slaws--along with brie--on my apple 'bucket' list this fall!

@tcbpdx--that's so horrifying--I would almost put it on a 'extreme foodie' experience list. And on Thanksgiving, as well!

Maple Bacon Biscuit from Huckleberry in Santa Monica, California

I've always loved maple oatmeal scones--given how yummy biscuits are with butter and honey or maple syrup, having the maple infused in the biscuit seems like one of those 'why didn't I think of that first' food concepts!

Fluffernutter S'mores

@hmw0029--how funny you said that! When I was playing around with the recipe, I first used a mix of chocolate, butterscotch, and peanut butter chips! However, I found the butterscotch a little bit too sweet with the Golden Grahams. But you could certainly give it a try--perhaps a mix of butterscotch chips with the darkest chocolate chip you can find might be yield a better result.

Fluffernutter S'mores

@Feedmillgirl--oh no! I wish they would make different nut butter chips! I don't have an allergy and I'd be 'all over' cashew butter chips!

The best suggestion I could offer would be to use 2 cups of chocolate chips. Then, after the bars have cooled, heat up 1/2 cup of almond butter and a tablespoon of honey (you made need more, given that almond butters vary greatly in consistency) and drizzle the mixture on the finished product in swirls.

You could try substituting almond butter for the peanut butter chips, but I haven't tried that--yet--so I can't officially say it will work.

Quote of the Day

During one food phase of my life, I ate quite a bit of Lean Cuisine, Healthy Choice, and Stouffer's French bread individual pizzas, all averaging around 350-450 a 'slice.'

For some reason, despite the fact I was reading a great deal of French deconstructionist philosophy, it never occurred to me to mentally deconstruct the frozen dinner and put cheese and tomato sauce on a piece of French bread myself.

Graduate school will do that to you.

Grilled Lazy Day Summer Sandwich Bread

It's amazing how evenly it's colored, given that it was cooked on a grill! No signs of uneven heat at all--that's really cool!

@dhorst--no doubt Santa's elves are at work as we speak ;)

End pieces of Bread Loaves

@sheri1970--perhaps Sir Mix-A-Lot got his name 1990s because he made lots of breads, cakes and muffins and I misheard the lyrics to his most famous song all these years. Hey, he did also say he liked buns--hon--right?

End pieces of Bread Loaves

I love bread butts and I cannot lie!

An Ode to the TMT: Tomato, Mayo, Toast

Hurray for the tomato--but the Jersey tomato in particular! And although I always enjoy reading the Food Lab, no matter what is on the menu, it's nice to see something even vegetarians can enjoy!

I can't resist adding that Harriet the Spy, the famous children's book heroine, adored tomato sandwiches.

@CJ McD--I've heard about radish and butter sandwiches many times, but I'm embarrassed to say I've never had one--that has to go on my sandwich 'bucket list.'

Recipe Goofs - Where are the Proofreaders?

The answer is clear--both of those books were published before Kenji was born!

Seriously, especially in older cookbooks proof-reading was much less rigorous, especially books like Christmas annuals which, regardless of the publishing house, may have been released in a slap-dash manner.

Those books were also published when it wasn't uncommon to see recipes published with instructions like "cook until done," because it was assumed that the reader or the cook had enough knowledge as to what 'done' was....

Finally, in very old cookbooks and recipes (like the 19th century) the equipment would vary so much from household to household (like the temperature of a fire or oven) that cooking times would be less useful than they are today.

In the first example, it probably just wasn't caught, and when it was they thought, "oh, the cook will know when it put it in anyway," and they didn't bother amending it.

Market Scene: Cumberland United Methodist Church Farmers' Market in Atlanta

@chiff--I wish I could send you some! It's funny, I never appreciated how much people long for Jersey tomatoes until I started reading food blogs and SE and realized how they were coveted all over the place. They say you don't miss something until you haven't got it...you do have a longer growing season in the south, though...

Even if roadside markets aren't worth 'traveling to,' necessarily, it's nice to see people sell their wares even if they aren't really gardeners by trade!

This Week at Serious Eats World Headquarters

How cool that Erin Zimmer got to eat at Zimmer's seafood! And Ed looks fantastic in that photo--very fit and trim.

I love the moose. Cute cartoons + pancakes = perfect Saturday morning comfort food associations.

Market Scene: Cumberland United Methodist Church Farmers' Market in Atlanta

@chiff--I LOVE that sign--Farmer's Market, Tai Chi, and church services!

There are lots of roadside farm stands like that in Jersey--you see hand-painted signs that say "Jersey Tomatoes: 99 cents a pound." Tomatoes. Corn. Maybe some zucchini. That's it. In the fall they switch to pumpkins and mums.

No-Bake Orange Slice Candy Cookies

@BananaMonkey & GinkoDante--I've been putting off buying a new digital, SE-quality camera for quite some time--this weekend I should (really) finally have time to get one!

Another common no-bake are cornflake cookies with cherry 'centers' or halves pressed into them (very common around Christmas)--this is an oatmeal version using orange candies.

Jersey Shore-Style Pizza: Dorian's on the Beach in Ocean Grove

I live about 20 minutes, tops, from this place and have never visited it!

Jersey Shore represent! @pizzasnob--you're so right that Jersey Shore pizza deserves its own 'regional pizza' category--Pete and Elda's offers the classic example of the matzoh-think crust in the shore area.

http://www.peteandeldas.com/

Breakfast Cereal Marshmallows: Yea or Nay?

@gargupie--I think you're right! Kind of like a 'contact high' from the sugar!

@moonlyt--you're so right--Calvin of Calvin and Hobbes would be all over these!

Breakfast Cereal Marshmallows: Yea or Nay?

Up until the age of seven or eight, I would have been all over this stuff like a sugary film over an empty Lucky Charms bowl.

Now, not so much, but they do bring back happy memories!

I wonder when someone's going to come out with raisins that taste like the raisins from a box of Raisin Bran. Is it just me, or do they taste....different...with that sugar coating...

Poll: Do You Buy Store Brands More Often Than Name Brands?

I suppose I'm the weirdo or the exception, because I'm Wegmans all the way: I can't recall the last time I bought a store brand, when the cheaper, just as (if not better) Wegmans version was available.

I swear I don't work for them, even though it seems like I'm always posting about my Wegmans' love!

Serious Salad: Summer Squash Ate My Garden

@carol--haha! Thank goodness we didn't know one another when we were 12, though--I think more girls 'like me' plus the squash would have been more than my mother could have endured! I know you garden and would get a kick out of that story--I have to admit, although I love squash now, I'd be a bit hesitant to plant it....

@janaatwg--the red streaks were actually supposed to be blonde originally...not only was my hair over-processed, but I wasn't that good at dying it!

Why are professional cooks and bakers so poorly paid?

Recently, there was an article on pricey trade schools in the NY Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/14/business/14schools.html?scp=1&sq=trade%20school&st=cse). Not surprisingly, culinary schools, which charge high tuition, but don't often result in high salaries for graduates, featured prominently in the article.

The 'to go or not to go' debate has often been hashed out here, but regardless of whether a cook or a chef has a degree or not, I've often been shocked at how little money trained cooks receive: I include experienced, excellent cooks who have worked their way up in this category of great, talented artisans as well as people with degrees from the CIA, btw.

I'm not 'in the industry' except as a writer, so I was wondering: plumbers and other trained tradespeople make 'decent money.' Why not professional cooks? Is it just what the market commands? Is it the lack of respect for food in our society? Is it the high overhead costs of many food establishments?

Paul Rudnick's Candy Diet

There is a rather charming and seasonal article in the NY Times about the playwright and screenwriter Paul Rudnick's diet for pretty much his entire life:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/28/dining/28Rudn.html?_r=1&ref=dining

Rudnick's diet pretty much consists of no vegetables, few fruits, no real meals, and is mostly composed of processed candy, snack cakes, and the occasional handful of Cheerios.

Health-wise, his doctor and dentist says that he seems to be fine.

My reaction: through portion control (his typical daily diet seems to clock in at 1200-1500 calories--a bit of a bagel, a pack of Yodels, handfuls of cereal, candy) he seems to maintain a healthy weight. As a kid,he would have been my 'hero' and like Rudnick, even today I'm a grazer, not a bit meal person, which helps keep my own weight stable. Personally, the types of cakes, cereal and candy he eats aren't that tasty to me any more, though.

The (tongue-in-cheek) article seems to suggest that perhaps nutrition is overrated and the human body is very adaptable. I definitely at that way at times, but because portion control was a problem, I had to redefine my diet. Any thoughts? Know anyone on an all-refined sugar diet who is flourishing?

Chris Kimball's NY Times Editorial

I'm surprised no one has posted his "Ship of Fools" editorial yet:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/08/opinion/08kimball.html?_r=1

Adam at the Amateur Gourmet posted a respose:

http://www.amateurgourmet.com/2009/10/a_response_to_c.html

Even if you don't read the AG response, scroll down towards the end of the comments, which includes some gossip about what Kimball is like in real life.

I posted this on FB but am reposting here--basically, I like ATK and CI's recipes, especially for baking, but the proprietary attitude towards their content makes me very uncomfortable, not just as a beginning cook, but also as a civil libertarian.

For fun, reading the editorial in a really snooty voice can be entertaining. Or at least, I entertained myself while doing so.

Sometimes editorials to the NY Times can be tough, dense and chewy. Our test writers tried writing 3,456 different versions before we produced one that was acceptable to send in...

For KitchenAid fans: An NPR segment

For those obsessed with KitchenAids (I don't have one, but perhaps someday...) this segment is full of humor and fun facts, like the fact they date back to 1919 and the original would have cost something like $2,000 in today's inflation-adjusted dollars

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=112620794

WNYC radio call-in on trayless dining halls

I know there are many college students on the board, so I thought some might find this short radio podcast interesting:

http://www.wnyc.org/shows/bl/episodes/2009/09/08/segments/140156

Basically, it is about Sarah Lawrence College converting to 'trayless' dining halls to reduce food waste (and the cost of washing trays).

While the loss of sleds to use on snowy campuses might be harsh, in general I think this trayless concept is a good idea. You can only take what you can carry, and have to go back for more.

Personally, if colleges could do away with cafeterias and have mandatory points buy-in plans (if there has to be a meal plan) I think that is better as well--that is what they had at my university more than (gulp) 10 years ago (I am 35) and the only time I saw serious food waste was when freshman had to go to the cafeteria. It seems like having massive all-you-can eat vats of food is bad for the environment, food weight, and the waistline.

Complete French Chef Episodes on PBS Website

Forgive me if this has been posted before, but PBS has expanded its complete episodes online of Julia's French Chef and other Child series like Baking with Julia:

http://video.whyy.org/program/1073557581/

I haven't seen all of them, but I have to give 'props' to the French Chef Spinach Turnover episode, with great Julia quotes like: "you CAN add milk instead of cream--if you are on one of those AWFUL DIETS" as well as a guest appearance from the very imposing, very intimidating Simone Beck, who unlike Julia says 'non' under all circumstances to ready-made pie crust.

If anyone watches any episode that is particularly good on the site, btw, give it an added 'heads up!' Or should I say, Bon Appetit!

How did Ed's 'pie challenge' go?

I remember a few days ago, Ed was (half-jokingly) considering a pie mono-diet for the 4th. I remembered when I was strolling through Wegmans yesterday, and they were offering tastes of their (surprisingly good) store-brand apple pie in tiny shot glass-sized cups.

So I am curious--did Ed go through the 'pie challenge' he set for himself, or did he confine his pie indulgence to a few portion-controlled bites?

Sex is like pizza...or is it...

I didn't particularly like the 'treatment' but this article:

http://www.cracked.com/article_17521_like-pizza-even-when-its-bad-its-still-pretty-good.html

...brought up the old cliche:

"Sex is like pizza--even when it is bad, it is still pretty good."

Which raises the question--is that the only way sex is like pizza?

Perhaps not.

1. Some people like it late at night, some people like it early in the morning.

2. Some people get burned because they just can't wait, other people wait too long until it's gone cold.

3. There are many different definitions as to what it 'really is'--as in former President Clinton's definition of what is 'really' sex and the controversy as to whether deep dish Chicago pizza is 'really' pizza or a casserole.

4. Everyone thinks they know 'the best,' but are always on the look-out for something new...

5. People are willing to wait insanely long for it, even when they want it right now.

6. You look back on your experiences with it in college, and say 'what was I thinking?'

Cash, credit, check, or other: How do you pay for food?

Recently, I was listening to a feature on NPR about credit cards, and one 'financial expert' mentioned how with 'problematic' cardholders, one red flag for the company is when the holder begins charging groceries and other basic necessities.

It popped into my head that unless I have to (like I haven't had a chance to get to the bank) I almost always pay cash for groceries and other basic necessities, like gas. On the other hand, I know some people who always charge necessities as a way of keeping track of how much they spend (and pay the balance off, needless to say, and the end of the month, to make this system work in their favor).

However, growing up, my mother ONLY paid by check in the grocery store--it was her rule you could NEVER charge groceries. I guess on the same principle of never charging basic necessities.

I also only pay cash in restaurants, unless it is avoidable--I hate being the one who charges the meal, and then takes other diners' cash in payment. Usually ends up not working out in the card holder's favor, if you know what I mean.

So, maybe this is an unserious question, but just out of curiosity--how do you pay for food? Cash? Credit or debit card? Or are you the little old lady who is always in front of me in the Express 7 or Less aisle when I have to go to the bathroom, who makes out a check, balances her checkbook, and then gives the cashier a check to pay for her stuff?

And of course, any interesting 'others'--like bartering garden produce with neighbors, mooching free food at work, is always interesting to hear about!

Some potluck etiquette questions...

I've been fascinated by all of the recent potluck questions, because I haven't been to one since I was age eight or so--perhaps SE is spotting a new trend!

But I have a few questions:

1, Is the hostess obliged to display all of the dishes that are bought?

I only ask because I have attended numerous family dinners and because I feel that it is good manners to bring something I have bought (on different occasions): heart-shaped chocolate-dipped shortbread, bread, wine, chocolates, candy, and flowers all of which were 'circularly filed' by my stepmother. Obviously, I was hurt (especially since the other women had their stuff served).

But it would seem that at a potluck everyone's dish would have to be served--am I right?

2. Are there any dishes that are not 'okay' to bring--like things that require lots of refrigerator space/reheating?

3. Beyond general guidelines like 'bring an appetizer' how controlling can a host/hostess be regarding what people bring (food allergies, dietary restrictions and beliefs and so forth)?

4. Is there a certain limit to a number of people who can be asked--for example, some guests might be intimidated about cooking for large crowds.

I can't help chuckle because I vaguely recall my mother--who hated cooking--would always bring the same thing when there was a potluck at my Brownie troop--antipasto salad from the local pizza place (lettuce, salami, provolone, olives, peppers--all high quality) and so forth. At work, during 'enforced' potlucks she would bring paper plates, and mightily complain about the imposition. So as a final question:

5. Is it acceptable for a 'non-cooking' person or non-foodie to bring a store-bought item?

Costco and Big Box stores for food: way or no way?

I know that this is a controversial stance, but as a single gal, I'm kind of anti-big box stores. I like to buy produce, spices, and even most other goods in small amounts. It is fresher, and I tend to get sick of something--or sick at the thought of eating--something in a can or box the size of a Volkswagen.

I also like lots of variety, and these stores tend to be pretty limited. I guess I tend to like specialty stores as well, rather than overwhelming warehouses. And I feel I find just as good deals at Wegmans.

Plus, of my friends who are fans, I notice a suspicious amount of piles of boxes of cookies, crackers, and so forth with only one or two missing in their crowded garages. So I'm not even sure if they are that much of a savings for people with big families.

I know Costo is a pretty decent company with ethical practices, but for buying in bulk and paying a fee to shop at big box stores--no way.

I do not like 'sponsored' talk topics Sam I Am

I realize that SE does need sponsorship. However, I think that invading the Talk section, which is an open forum for general readers, is a bit beyond the pale. How can we collectively strive to eliminate spam and shilling and then accept 'sponsored' talk topics?

I realize that I can't 'do' anything, but I will not respond to any Sun Chips like threads, and truthfully, as much as I love the SE staff, I kind of hope that everyone else does the same.

Passover Q&A

I'm not Jewish (well, my great-grandfather was, but that is another story) but I've studied religion/am fascinated with different cultural and religious traditions around food.

I thought I'd start a general Passover Q&A thread, given some people might have some questions about Passover, although mine is rather a silly one (don't know if anyone can answer it).

In most supermarkets (Wegmans') there is a large area with Kosher for Passover foods. I know that Passover foods are supposed to be kept in areas free from contamination from chometz (Passover-verboten grains and other foods). But in a supermarket, what if someone wanders through the area, cutting through the store with a loaf of bread, or a small child drops a box of cereal amongst the matzoh. Does that technically render the food non-kosher for Passover?

Sorry if that seems like a dumb question, but I've always wondered...

Cookbooks: Then and now

Because I'm a single, novice cook I usually cook from recipes from 'this decade' given that they're the best adapted to my circumstances/ingredients/nutritional needs.

But given my love of literature, I adore reading vintage cookbooks, and always have my lit critic's 'hat' on when I'm perusing them.

I love observing how 19th century cookbooks:
-have few very specific directions because they assume people know how to cook
-provide instructions about creating zillion-course dinner parties with huge amounts made to feed much larger households
-the very rich foods during a time when people burned more calories
-insanely long vegetable cooking times
-menus for the sick, in an era where often people convalesced at home not in hospitals
-the assumption in many cookbooks that people had servants
-and the different cooking methods (like over open flames) and ingredients we don't use regularly now, like turtle, pheasant and so forth

With 1950s cookbooks
-the unselfconscious use of politically incorrect 'ethnic' terms like 'Chicken Hawaiian' and 'Oriental Beef'
-the assumption the reader was female
-a refreshing lack of concern for childhood calories--lots of rich 'afterschool' treats
-less processed foods, but when they are used, no apologetic attitude about using them
-great kitschy names and food art, like hamburger buns with olives for eyes and ketchup for a smile
-often smaller meat portions
-more things 'done' to vegetables with sauces
-lots of references to food that will 'please your man' in some cookbooks ;)


So, for those of you more experienced cooks that have used cookbooks spanning generations--how are cookbooks from various era of history different than cookbooks today?

People observing Lent--how is it going?

I hope this isn't an annoying question from a 'non-Lententeer'
But we had a thread about Lent awhile ago, and I thought of it again (enduring yet another ad for Fillet-o-Fish ;)

I was just wondering of those who were enduring life without coffee/sugar/chocolate and so forth how things were going...

Why are there no March Madness foods--and what would they be?

Bruised, bloodied and battered is my bracket--but I'm still watching. I actually enjoy MM much more than the SuperBowl, and I was just wondering that, despite all of the capitalization of the phenom for selling wide-screen and plasma TVs, the food industry hasn't jumped on the bandwagon.

So, let's help them out--or do you have b-ball watching parties and what do you scarf?

What makes the perfect Irish soda bread?

Yes, St. Patrick's Day is over. But after having some wonderful, soft yet tangy Irish soda bread with satsumas and European-style butter at Wegmans' (sorry, I didn't make it myself) it occurred to me how many different ways this treat can be made....

It can be bitter, with caraway seeds....

It can be served soft and warm...or rather hard, like a biscuit...

Plain..or with raisins or currants...

Butter, jam, or naked...

It's such an individual thing, what is 'good' soda bread, so what is your Platonic version of this treat?

I'm partially Irish but American enough to admit that I prefer it softer, with a more crumbly texture, sweeter, and with butter and raisins...

Have you ever been snowed in and what did you eat?

I was afraid that yesterday would be the third time in my life I was snowed in--however, I dug out by afternoon and hopefully will have time to frolic today! Of course, I stopped at the grocery store ;)

However, I have been snowed in--and when I say snowed in I mean GENUINELY snowed in, as in roads impenetrable--twice. I used to debate in college, and in the infinite wisdom of college students, overnight debate tournaments were scheduled in upper MA colleges during the second (coldest) semester.

I got snowed in at Wellsley college. A girl from the host team put my schools debate team for the night. She only had vodka and herbal tea in her room. We made some peanut butter sandwiches from the dining hall, which was cleaned out and serving no hot food because the school was closing up for 'spring' break. I had an argument with her that my addiction to coffee was not psychological, and decaf tea would not suffice. Also, I do not drink vodka. That sucked.

At Amherst, the entire college was coated in an inch of ice. Literally. At least the debate team served good (non herbally infused, incidentally) brownies and we slid to get crappy Chinese food and Subway.

So, have you ever been snowed in (and I don't mean a few hours delay in getting to the store snowed in) for an extended period of time--what did you eat, was it good, and what did you miss?

Lent Fish Specials

I was walking my dog past the local McDonald's and I did a double-take because I noticed that the Fillet O' Fish sandwich was on sale--until Easter, I presume as a kind of 'Lent' special.

I couldn't help but chuckle--not at people who abstain, but that McDonald's saw this as an opportunity to 'cash in.'

I'm not Catholic, but some of my friends who are do eat fish on Fridays during Lent--I also have studied religion and remember reading how medieval cookbooks used to have 'fasting' and non-fasting sections (fish/meat)--and heard about how the Gorton's frozen fish people were mad when the ban on eating meat on Fridays was lifted.

Has anyone else seen any 'Lenten' promotion in their food markets and local restaurants?

A Funny Website "Everydiet": Every Fad Diet Imaginable

Recently, I stumbled across a website I found hilarious and thought some Serious Eaters might as well. It's basically a database of EVERY fad diet (and a few non-fad diets) that have ever existed.

My favorite is the "3 Day Diet," which I remember was passed around my mom's office (on a Xerox copy) when I was a preteen. It's a "magic" 3-day diet that is supposed to produce weight loss if you follow it exactly. One of the meals is

"2 beef franks or hot dogs
1/2 cup carrots
1 banana
1 cup broccoli or cabbage
1/2 cup vanilla ice cream
Black coffee or tea (Sweet & Low or Equal) or water"

http://www.everydiet.org/diet/3-day-diet

Another fad diet I hadn't even heard of is the 'Bread for Life' diet:

"The foundation of the diet is bread; up to 12 slices of bread a day...this must be ‘light’ bread which contains 35-45 calories per slice. Heavier breads and those containing nuts and raisins may have up to 90 calories. These are not forbidden but not recommended for everyday use - and allowed as long as daily bread calorie quota maintained."

http://www.everydiet.org/diet/bread-for-life

My favorite is the pocket diet, which means you have to eat a pita for every meal, and only what can be crammed into a pita.

Anyway, just for laughs. I couldn't believe how long the list was, and how different the diets were!

Convenience (or the Cold) Affecting Your Food Choices?

So, while I was working at my computer I was listening to a podcast of this show, and heard this quote from a segment called 'How cold is it?' (segment was not food-related, only the quote):

“It’s so cold I ordered a pizza from Papa John’s rather than walk the four blocks to the highly superior Gino’s which is pick-up only.”
(http://www.wnyc.org/shows/lopate/episodes/2009/01/16)

Of course, I immediately thought of Serious Eats and Slice--so I had to 'share' the quote, and post the question--has the cold ever made you make similar decisions as that caller--going for what is there as opposed to what you crave?

I have to say, I've taken my crappy 1991 Toyota Corolla out on many a hazardous snowy and wind-swept day to satisfy a craving, so I think (I don't live in NYC) I would have walked the four blocks to get what I really wanted!

"Don't eat dairy when you have a cold"--old wives tale or not?

I know we've done topics about crazy old wives' tales and sickness, like eating a turnip while hopping on one foot during the full moon to cure boils.

But I have kind of a gross question that has been on my mind, as I've been mainlining Sudafed since Sunday (I blame it all on you people, because I clicked on the 'food to eat when you're sick' thread, and then I thought, thank goodness I'm not sick, and woke up like this!).

I've always heard not to eat any dairy products when you have a cold, because it supposedly encourages phlegm production. I've also heard that it's only the fat in dairy products, and fat free dairy products are okay. Also head that both are myths.

I don't eat much dairy but am currently suffering an addiction to fat-free Fage, which I've still been eating.

Just wondering if based on your own experience, or knowledge, if this is true.

Sorry if this is gross and/or has topic overlap (ducks in fear). Blame the Sudafed if you think it's too gnarly to ask?