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What'd you get/give for valentine's?

i only bake on holidays. i made my boyfriend martha stewart's molten bittersweet-chocolate cakes. not only were they tasty, they combined ease with fanciness and godiva.

What's Your Secret Salsa Ingredient?

i like to add jicama and cumin, but then i add that to everything.

New USDA Report Says You Can Eat Right for $2.50 a Day

as a nursing student, i prepared healthy menus for a family of 4 receiving WIC benefits. i was able to get the cost down pretty low (less than $20 a day for three meals and one snack). in doing this project, i found some of the WIC guidelines, which are written by the USDA, ridiculous. for example, frozen fruits and vegetables are not covered by the allotment, while canned (super high in sodium) are. peanut butter may be purchased with WIC funds, but not whole peanuts. cottage cheese, an excellent, moderately priced source of protein not included, but block cheese is there. with the potato thing, something i think the usda fails to consider is that most of the nutrients are in the skin, which is often discarded. by the way, sweet potatoes were covered by WIC, but not white ones. again, white potatoes can be nutritious but the skin should be left on.
in thinking about price per pound, $1.69 may seem cheap for apples. however, at supermarkets most apples are so large that one can easily weigh a pound.

Savory hibiscus recipies

cranberry or beets with hibiscus sound great! although not savory, i think hibiscus and cranberry semifreddo would be tasty. i like the enchilada idea as well. if the flowers were first boiled then sauteed or fried, the strained liquid could be thickened and made into enchilada sauce with the edition of some other stuff (duh!).

Valentine's Day: Erin's Ideas for Breakfast

i'm with you on breakfast in bed. semi-reclined position + clumsy me + just waking up = soiled sheets. the extra work of more laundry has a way of dampening romance.

Cook the Book: 'Not Your Mother's Casseroles'

i make a ton of casseroles and always have. some of my favorites include:
emeril's mushroom, spinach and artichoke casserole. so good with feta and ricotta.
my mom's recipe for "zucchini casserole." it is more like a lasagna with zucchini instead of noodles and only grated cheese instead of fancy stuff (i.e. ricotta/ bechamel). i've made it fancier as i've gotten older, adding layers of cottage cheese and making the sauce myself instead of using canned.
a very labor intensive vegetable/ phyllo casserole with layers of mashed carrots, mushrooms sauteed with wine, ricotta/ feta cheese mixture, and prepared zucchini. delicious, but takes about 2 hours.
i make casseroles all the time so these are just what come to mind right now.

Food Terms that should be banned from the media

nosh and nibbles irk me. women's magazines are big offenders with the "nosh"-ing thing. i am female and i still say eat just like every one else. nosh sounds like a term reserved for puking. nibbles is baby talk. and gross.

7-Layer Dip Showdown

dial 1-900-mix-alot... damn! that's a triple x showdown

Cook the Book: 'Appetite for Reduction'

classic animal product free item: morning oatmeal. i make it with frozen berries, nutmeg, vanilla, tons of cinnamon. also dig oatmeal with banana and peanut butter. i use water, no milk. so good. so hot. want to touch the heiney

Video: Regular Ordinary Swedish Meal Time

is it wrong that i kind of want to propose to the bearded fellow? or at least ask him on a date

Video: Sandra Lee's Hanukkah Cake

i enjoy the shameless munching on frosting mid-video. may be the only thing i have in common with s.l. what the hell is the point of the marshmellows anyway?

Cook the Book: 'The Sweet Potato Lover's Cookbook'

I enjoy impromptu sweet potato soup with peanuts, coconut milk, bell peppers, black beans, curry powder, cinnamon, ginger and whatever other ingredients i feel at the time. yum yum yum

Video: Cat in a Banana Split Costume Eating a Banana

i am left wondering how the hell the owners managed to get the cat in the costume. no cat i know would stick around for that and the owner would most likely look like a freddy krueger victim.

The Best and Worst of Halloween Candy

i too think dumdums are highly flavored and awesomely delicious. as well as crack-esque. rootbeer is a personal favorite.

Cook the Book: Masala Chai

to make it more like actual chai, i would recommend adding some black pepper or masala. corriander is a good move too.

Video: Cabbage Battle: Capybaras vs. Swan

capybaras unite! you have nothing to lose but your chains.

How to Make Brownies More Exciting

i like to add a touch of raspberry jam. it adds some depth if you put just a bit in. surprisingly not too strong on the raspberry taste.
"special" brownies are definately the best. damn you job hunting!

The Crisper Whisperer: A Savory Take on Grapes

I'm a fan of spinach salad with lentils, grapes and mushrooms.

Video: Cats Morphing Into Croissants

if given the choice between the two, i'm taking the croissant. sorry cats.

Why "Keen-Wah"?

reminds me of my dad and his thing with couscous. when i became a vegetarian at 14, couscous was a staple of my diet. he would go on about how stupid the word was; that couscous is redundant and it should be cous only. when i visit my family, i do most of the cooking, occasionally including couscous. 15 years later, without fail, asking him about the quality of the couscous i've prepared still leads to his pro-cous rant. i have, needless to say, learned not to say "couscous" around my dad.
i enjoy making quinoa casserole in the winter. here is the link for a delightful peruvian potato/ cheddar/ quinoa casserole from food network. i usually use new potatoes instead and add more spice.

What's your "Death Row" meal?

what comes to mind first is the beverages... really really fancy champagne, southern tier mocha stout, bluegrass jefferson reserve stout, dogfish 90 minute IPA, victory storm king.
food... fried plantains, cheese/ ayote pupusas, wheat thins and bleu cheese, fresh-off the tree central american mangoes, zucchini lasagna (with zucchini instead of noodles), vegetable tempura, a massive falafel sandwich.
carrot cake with pineapple and walnuts, lemon bars, ricotta with dried fruit and honey

Is Billy's Pan Pizza in the Stieg Larsson Millennium Trilogy Real? Yes, It Is

i love the random dolly parton photo in the last one. really makes the commercial.

Video: New Baby Carrots Marketing Campaign

seems like these ads were fueled more by hallucinogens than baby carrots.

a Trader Joe's Disappointment

on occassion i buy produce from tj's. the grocery store within walking distance from my house is super expensive and tj's produce is actually cheaper and often better than the grocery store. however, in richmond, va, the closest tj's is far for my car-less behind.
i really like tj's for hippie food... cheap fake meat, inexpensive tempeh, quality whole grain stuff (quinoa, sometimes spelt, tasty israeli couscous mix). some of their canned options are pretty inexpensive too (especially true for hearts of palm and capers). nice selection of dried fruit. i'm a big fan, but i usually don't get the pre-packaged stuff because i love to cook.

bad, random boozy snacks

@arm1970- sounds like an awesome yet lethal combination. i also enjoy making "nachos" out of whatever i happen to have on hand. once, for example, i added chili/ lime seasoning to tomato paste and threw it on some tortilla chips with the addition of parmesan cheese. i was obviously super desperate. drinking brings out the mr. hyde lurking in my taste buds.


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