Monday, July 30, 2007

Bacon Stickers Mystery

I've seen these bacon stickers a few times around town. I can't figure out where they come from. Is it a vast vegan conspiracy trying to encourage people to throw out their bacon? A bacon gang marking their turf? Anyone else seen these?

Friday, July 27, 2007

Attn: Baltimore Food Bloggers

I was thinking about hosting a Baltimore food blogger meet up at my house. Email me @ coconutlimeblogATgmailDOTcom if you want in. I was thinking a cocktail tasting party? I've been to them before, everyone brings a bottle of something fun, and we make cocktails with it.

Thursday, July 26, 2007


I was wondering: what do you all do for lunch? Eat leftovers? Eat out? Order in? Where do you eat it?

When I go into work, I normally take my lunch but there are quite a few yummy sandwich shops around I occasionally go to. And since my workplace doesn't have a breakroom, I always leave to go to lunch rather than sit at my desk. There is a little park nearby that I sometimes go to or else I sit in the car. How about you?

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Backyard Bugs Cakelet Pan

My birthday is less than a month away and I am wishing for this cakelet pan. I love the detailed shapes and how the whole pan is shaped like a leaf. The only problem is that I wonder if the finished cakes will look cute without icing (maybe just dusted with confectioners' sugar?) and decorating. I do not have the steadiest hands for that sort of thing. Also: do I have enough cakes I like to make without icing that would make it a worth while purchase? Maybe I should add some extra things to my cooking and baking wishlist just in case.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Virtual Tupperware Party!

I have had a life-long love affair with Tupperware. As preschooler I had my own miniature Tupperware pitcher, cup and bowl set in lovely avocado green, harvest gold and burnt orange. Now that I am an adult, my love of Tupperware had only grown stronger. However, the idea of having a Tupperware party (or even attending one) holds little allure.

Luckily, you can now buy Tupperware online and host virtual Tupperware parties I'm hosting one right now, so if you are in the market for some high quality food storage solutions, click here and join the party.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

First Tomato of the Year!

I picked my first (large) tomato of the year was picked today! I love eating homegrown tomatoes. Our garden is heavy with tomatoes this year (5-6 plants maybe? for 2 people) so I am sure this is the first of many. The cherry tomatoes are ripening as well. It seems a little early in the year for tomatoes, doesn't it?

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Food Wishlist Update: Red Currants!

While I was at Trader Joe's during my lunch break (and after going to the Towson Farmers Market) buying Greek yogurt, I noticed something new in the refrigerated section: fresh red currants! I was pretty excited, I've been wanting to try them for years but have never been able to find them fresh. Now I just have to figure out what do with them all. Pancakes? Muffins? Sauce?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Vanilla in the Wild

While at in town for the Mango Festival, my group was lucky enough to have a private tour of the Fairchild Botanical Gardens. One of my favorite things that we saw was this vanilla plant growing on the side of a tree. I've always known that vanilla cames from a variety of orchids, but I have never seen it in "in the wild" before. It one of the highlights of my trip.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Mango Festival!

As some of you know, I was in Miami for the past few days at the International Mango Festival. It was amazing! I have plenty of fun things to post, so check back soon.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

FAQ: Comments and E-Mails

These FAQ have been posted at Coconut & Lime and have been in effect for both sites since 2006. I am posting the ones pertaining to comments and e-mails here for ease of use.

I left a comment and now it is gone/it never appeared on the site. What happened?
I generally don't delete comments. However, if it is spam, very unclear/incoherent, not relevant to the post, abusive, asks a question covered in the FAQ or if it appears to be made in duplicate, to be solely self promotional or made in error, it may be deleted. Comments and/or questions that require a response are best e-mailed to me directly.

I may on an extremely rare occasion respond to a comment in the comments section if I have no other way of contacting the person and then delete it and my response after I feel comfortable the original poster saw my response. However, I have disabled anonymous comments so if you do not have an OpenID or a Google/Blogger log in and have a question you will need to e-mail me directly or contact the company concerned.

I have comment moderation enabled, your comment will only be posted after approval so there might be some delay between when you post the comment and when I get a chance to approve it. Keep in mind that I have the ablity to schedule posts to appear in the future. I am not always in town or available when a post goes up and as a result it might take longer for me to moderate your comment. There is no reason to post the same comment more than once in a 24 hour period.

I'd also like to point out that the comments section of a recipe are not the place to lecture me or my readers on fitness, nutrition, or health issues. Please keep comments as positive and relevant as possible. Everyone has a right to their own opinion, but sometimes someone else's blog isn't the best place to express it.

Why do you have comment moderation?
I am not “screening” my comments per se, I am trying to eliminate spam and unrelated comments from the blog. It also helps to keep duplicate comments made in error or unrelated questions from appearing on the site.

I e-mailed you and didn't get a response. What happened?
I try to reply to every email within 24 hours. However, I get upwards of one hundred blog related e-mails a day and it can be difficult to keep up. If a number of days have gone by and you still haven't received a response, feel free to e-mail me again; I might not have received it or it might have been accidentally filtered out as spam. Please do not e-mail me the same question or post the same comment twice in a 24 hour period. I am the only one running this blog and it can take a while for me to moderate your comment or respond. Food Maven is the place where I post simply for fun, my full time job is developing recipes for Coconut & Lime and my clients, my recipe columns, food writing and my public speaking. Occasionally I have to put Food Maven on the back burner to deal with my paying work and clients. Again, I have the ablity to schedule posts to appear in the future and as a result I am not always in town or available when a post goes up and it might take longer for me to respond to your e-mail.

I asked a question in the comments section and it wasn't answered. What happened?
I get so many comments and e-mails between the two blogs, occasionally I miss that a comment has a question in it. That is why I always suggest e-mailing me directly if you have a question that needs to be answered.

I have a question about a product...
I do not work for the companies that make the products I post about and thus have no "insider information" as to where to buy them or what ingredients make up the product. I am also not a spokesperson for any company. Food Maven is a blog I created for fun where I can post short profiles of products I personally have tried and enjoyed enough to share with the general public. I am not necessarily an expert on the products posted or interested in spending time debating their relative merits. What I post is generally either the only information I have about the product or what I felt was the most interesting or relevant.

If you have questions or concerns about a product, it is best to contact the company that makes the product directly. Again, I have no special connection to these companies and only know what any consumer would.

A quick note about questions:
Google is your friend! A lot of the more general questions I get (what's the address of that store you mentioned, where can I buy XXX, what are goji berries etc) can be answered via a quick Google search. While I try to answer these questions and will try to get back to you, I do get a tremendous amount of comments and e-mails each day, so it will quicker to look for the answer yourself.

You can look and see what store sells a certain product in your area just the same (better, even, because you know where you live and what stores you like to shop in) as I can. I frequently travel and purchase new products to share with you all over the East Coast and frankly I don't always remember where I tried or bought something. I also might try something many months before I post about it which makes it even more difficult to remember exactly what restaurant or store I found it in.

Most companies have a website and when possible I link to it so you can click through for further information, use their retail locator, shop at their online store or contact the company directly about their products or where to buy them.

You can also call around to your local stores (as I do!) for help in locating specific items. If they don't currently carry it, many stores will special order a product for you. While I do like to help, it can be a bit much to respond to each and every "where did you buy this" question when you can find the answer in less time then it takes me to respond.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Movies on the Move: Diner

Heads up to my Baltimore living, food movie loving readers. Netflix is hosting a free screening of Baltimorean Barry Levinson's debut film, Diner, which was filmed right here in Baltimore. The event is July 15th at 7PM.

Diner stars Kevin Bacon, Steve Guttenberg, Mickey Rourke, Paul Reiser, Ellen Barkin, Tim Daly and Daniel Stern.

In addition the free movie screening, before the movie is a special, free concert by the Bacon Brothers, fronted by Kevin Bacon.

The screening is at the West Shore Park in the Inner Harbor. Click here for more details.

As an added bonus, three Food Maven readers will be randomly selected to win a 6 month subscription to Netflix. Just leave a comment here.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Ale Mary's

On Saturday night we met up with Simone and her boyfriend at Ale Mary's for dinner. We've been wanting to go there, mostly because of the name, and because we heard the food was good. The kistch factor was in full effect with lots of Catholic school pictures and confessionals.

They offered a variety of beer (both local and national brands) and some different wines but think twice about asking if they have any cocktail specials featuring hard liquor, it really seemed to confuse the waitress. They do have a full bar, but don't expect any "house special" cocktails.
They have several appetizers, including the odd sounding Reuben dip. We all had it and it was surprisingly good: swiss cheese with bits of corned beef and sauerkraut, served with crackers and wedges of bread.
For our main courses the men had burgers (I had a bite-yummy and juicy) and Simone and I each had a crabcake sandwich. There was a bit of a bun to crabcake ratio problem but if you smushed it together a bit the crabcake spread out. The crabcake was tasty, but not quite Baltimore style and they didn't use lump crab meat like it was stated on the menu. The finer meat is fine taste-wise but it did have a fair amount of membrane in it (they should have picked it through better, and jumbo lump has less than backfin) and of course you don't have the little pockets of succulent crab that jumbo lump offers. Still, there wasn't too much filler and they kept it simple, which is a good thing. I just wouldn't take an out of towner there to experience a Maryland crabcake for the first time and I probably wouldn't order it again. If this is a permanent change, they should change their menu to reflect that or at least mention it when you go to order it. Baltimoreans take their crabcakes very seriously!

One fun thing was that instead of french fries, they serve tater tots, which I don't think I've had since grade school.

So, would I go back? I would, but I think I'd try a different sandwich. It is a good place to relax and talk with friends and the waitress wasn't too obvious in her attempts to get us to move on when we were done eating. It also wasn't too crowded, there was at least one large table free the whole time we were there, which meant it wasn't too noisy.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

A little help here

Anyone know what kind of peppers these are? The plant is quite prolific and peppers are tasty but not hot at all.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Back to our regularly scheduled blogging

Sorry for the sudden and abrupt hiatus! I've been cooking and trying new things but haven't had the time to post here. Most notably, the Towson Farmer's Market is now in full swing. I had totally forgotten about it- I used to go to when I worked near the courthouse fresh out of college but since it is held during the week, unless you work or live in Towson, it is not the most convenient market.

It is on Thursday mornings in the heart of Towson. The place where I work part time isn't far from there, so I took an early lunch and went. There isn't the variety the Sunday market under 83 has or even all of what the Waverly market has, but there are a number of produce stands, a couple flower/plant stands and some of the neighborhood (independently owned) restaurants have booths selling sandwiches and things, so it is a good spot do a little produce shopping over lunch.

Monday, July 02, 2007

RRC #8: Retro Wobbles But It Won't Fall Down

I'm excited to be hosting RRC #8: Retro Wobbles But It Won't Fall Down. This time around we will be making food that wiggles and wobbles. Think aspic, Jell-O salad, gelatin parfaits, jelly candies or even jam. The only catch? You have to use a recipe that was first published before 1985. For help in finding a recipe, check out the "helpful links" sidebar on the Retro Round Up blog. Once you've created your dish, post a picture of the finished product, along with the recipe and your review to your blog or flickr account. Don't forget to include the year the recipe was first published and its source.

When you're done, send an email to coconutlimeblogATgmailDOTcom by August 10th at 11:59pm EST. In the email, please include:

Your name or blogging nickname
Your blog's name and URL
The recipe's title
The post's URL
Please attach a photo (no larger than 100x100 pixels) and include "RRC#8" in the subject line.

The round-up will posted by August 12th here and on the Retro Recipe Challenge blog.

Ice Cream Sundae Debate

Two clever high school girls did some research in their town's archives and found facts to back up Ithaca's claim to be the home of the ice cream sundae. Listen to the story here. I love stories like this! Way to go, girls!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

The prize!

Simone, the winner of the Coconut & Lime contest turned out to be a fellow Baltimorean, so she and her boyfriend came to pick up her prize yesterday. It was a cookbook, a towel from Anthropologie (with a recipe on it!) and some Haribo fizzy soda bottles. I really enjoyed meeting a fellow food blogger, I've met bloggers before, but not a food blogger. It makes me wonder if we should do a Baltimore area food blog meet up some time.