Sunday, November 29, 2009

Holiday Gift Idea: Cook or Be Cooked


Last night rather than actually cooking, I ate Chinese take out and played Cook or be Cooked, a new game for the Wii where you virtually cook actual recipes. Now, as someone who cooks in real life an awful lot, I wouldn't say that pretending to cook was the most relaxing way to spend an evening but once we got the hang of it, it was fun. The game play is more realistic than it is in the Cooking Mama games (which I didn't really enjoy), you move the remote and nunchuck as you would an knife or other kitchen utensil and you have to do things like peel an onion before chopping it, rinse food off, preheat the oven, turn a skillet to coat in in oil, smash garlic with a bit of salt to make a paste etc. Everything happens in real time (although you can speed it up as needed, no reason to sit for 15 minutes while something bakes) and you have to multitask and make more than one recipe at once while making sure they are all done at the same time and served at the appropriate temperature. Making multiple dishes at one time kept the game play varied and engaging and we ended up playing a lot longer and making more recipes than we would have expected.

The recipes that you make in the game are actual recipes that you can make at home. I was impressed by some of the recipe's nice touches like adding peeled broccoli stems to your chicken and broccoli rather then throwing them out and making you cook them first because they take longer than the rest of the food. The "hosts" also give you cooking tips that have real world application rather than just virtual. I also liked how if you unlocked a recipe in single player mode (or vice versa) it would also be available to you in multiplayer mode. I thought it was great that multiplayer mode allowed you to pass a single remove with nunchuck back and forth (we only have one nunchuck)rather than requiring everyone playing to have a remote with a nunchuck. There is also a cook off mode (where I think you do need two nunchucks) where you compete to see who can complete a recipe the best. The recipe are included in the game booklet so you can make them in real life.

The only issues we had with the game were minor. I couldn't figure out how the game decided it was time to pass the remote to the next person. I think it must have to do with which recipe you choose to make in which order but occasionally the the game seemed very uneven in terms of what you were allowed to do before your turn was over. For example, I would preheat the oven for recipe A and rinse off strawberries for recipe B and my turn out be over. Then Matt would chop the berries, chop a banana, measure things and stir it all together, finishing recipe B, before his turn was over. Also, once I had a problem where I was supposed to turn on the oven to preheat. I didn't turn the knob all the way to the right temperature and then accidentally pointed the remote away. There was no way to go back, it moved me on to the next task and away from the stove. Luckily a task for a different recipe came up that required me to put a skillet on the stove and once at the stove I was able to turn on the oven for the first recipe. Additionally, while some of the feedback was helpful (leave lumps in the pancake batter for fluffy pancakes) negative feedback about adding pasta to boiling water a couple of seconds late or tilting the pan too slowly to spread the oil, neither of which negatively effected the recipe, seems unnecessary. I didn't particularly enjoy the the minigames where you had to say assemble burgers by clicking on a stream of patties, lettuce and cheese at the correct times instead of assembling them in a more realistic fashion. The games themselves weren't bad but they did seem out of place in a game that focused so much on realism. I also wish there were more recipes to make. While the box says there are more than 30 recipes, the recipes are bundled together (you make bacon, pancakes and fruit salad-3 recipes-all at once)  so you get through them rather quickly and once you make them well there is no compelling reason to revisit the same recipes again and again.

The game was a lot of fun: easy to play but still very realistic. I think it would be perfect for someone who wanted to pick up some cooking skills in a fun way or for families to play together. The issues I had were very minor and didn't affect game play.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

New Find

The LA public library website has vintage menus available for viewing. Very fun.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Spoon Restful

I bought this spoon rest that is shaped like a pillow and it is great! Easy to clean and the spoons don't slip off. Our old spoon rest was bigger but ceramic and one day Matt dropped it or bumped it off the rack and because of the odd shape, it fell on an angle and it broke. Since they do need to be cleaned rather frequently, it made sense to get one that if dropped, wouldn't break. This one silicone and apparently, stain-resistant, I had cranberry sauce on it for hours and it wiped right off. Although it is smaller than our old spoon rest and doesn't have a sort of tray for the handle, it accommodates any spoon and the texture keeps them from sliding off.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Oikos Giveaway

My entry into the NaMooSte Giveaway is my delicious herb potato salad. Oikos yogurt is a favorite of mine and works well in so many recipes.




Ingredients:
1 1/2 lb red skin potatoes, cubed
1 1/2 lb purple potatoes, cubed
2 stalks celery, diced
1 bunch scallions, greens and white parts, diced

for the dressing:
150 g (5.3 oz) Greek yogurt
3 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/3 cup chives, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1/4 cup chopped tarragon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon celery seed


Directions:
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add potatoes and cook until fork tender. Drain and set aside. Meanwhile, gently stir together all of the dressing ingredients. Pour over slight warm potatoes and the celery and stir to evenly distribute. Serve chilled or at room temperature.


*I used the wonderful Oikos organic Greek yogurt. It is rich, creamy and fat free.


Leave a comment here and have a chance to win a spa/Oikos gift pack.





Monday, November 09, 2009

Tea Top Brew Mug


When I first lifted this travel mug out of the box I couldn't quite see what made it special. Then I looked carefully and realized that it is designed to allow you to pull the tea bag through a hole in the lid after the tea is done seeping, squeezing it and keeping it out of the tea you're drinking. No more too strong tea or having to wait for your tea to seep before you pour it into a mug to go. Added bonus: no having to find a place to dump your wet tea bag on the go.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Coconut & Lime on the Kindle


You can now subscribe to Coconut & Lime on your Kindle. Just click here.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Greg's Bagels, ick!

I finally tried Greg's Bagels today. I had heard great things so I hoped for the best. Unfortunately, I was sorely disappointed. The "colossal" bagel (their version of the "everything" bagel) tasted solely of cumin. Cumin has no place on a bagel. The texture was off as well.

In retrospect, I should have know it wouldn't be very good; what kind of bagel shop has chocolate chip bagels on their menu?


Anyone know where in Baltimore I can get a good bagel? Or do I have to stick to getting them in NYC?

Greg's Bagels on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Back from Belgium!

Excuse my absence, we've been in Belgium for most of September. We had lots of fun and even had a cooking workshop with a chef! Pictures are here if you are interested.

Friday, September 04, 2009

B & O Brasserie


I had the opportunity to dine at the new B & O Brasserie downtown recently and let me tell you, it was an experience to remember. While it is in a hotel, the restaurant doesn't have that generic hotel restaurant vibe, it was simply yet stylishly decorated and had great, comfortable seating that felt intimate despite the size of the space.

The best part was the food and drinks. The drink menu was varied and all that we tried was tasty. The chef even went so far as to suggest a drink other than the one I chose because he thought it would taste better with my order!

The bread was made off the premises (something I think they plan to change) and was very tasty. I appreciated the butter with the sprinkle of basil salt, it was a nice touch that set it apart from other bread & butter samplers I've had.

For an appetizer I had the cornmeal encrusted oysters. They had a great oyster flavor but they were a little on the small side. Matt had the watermelon, tomato and chipotle salad which was delightful. Perfect level of spice/smokey flavor and the tomatoes and watermelon were an inspired combination.

Then we had an in-between course of the smoked trout. The portion was very generous and perfect for sharing. I liked how it kept the smoked theme of our meal going and the salad and dressing it came with was delectable.

For a main course I had the rockfish with a smoked shrimp risotto. The risotto was creamy without being too rich or heavy and the rockfish had an amazing crust on it from being panfried. Very, very good. Matt had the coulette steak with duck fat fries. The steak was one of our favorite cuts and the fries were crispy and hot.

After all that, we barely had room for dessert! I was intrigued by the creme brulee with different toppings but went with the coconut panna cotta which was the perfect size. It was light and creamy and the roasted pineapple paired well with it. Matt had the "wicked pissa" mini cupcakes which were rich and chocolatly.




All in all an excellent meal! The staff was top notch as well, not intrusive but available and very knowledgeable about the menu.

B&O American Brasserie on Urbanspoon

Monday, August 24, 2009

Salad Crazy

I have been a little salad crazed this summer. Part of it is that I have been working on a huge recipe development project that not only takes up a lot of time but leaves me with a lot of main courses to eat. The other part is that the weather here in Baltimore has been so humid and so changeable, I swear it has ruined my appetite for anything other than cold salads.

What are you craving this summer?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Nescafe Dolce Gusto




I recently acquired a Dolce Gusto single serve coffee maker. So far, we love it! It has been a little warm for hot beverages (they have an iced cappuccino flavor I am looking forward to trying) but the mocha, cappuccino, latte macchiato (frothy milk with a shot of coffee) and the chococino (hot chocolate) are all very good. The milk is actually frothy and tastes like fresh milk. They don't have that powdery or "off" taste that we've encountered in some single serve coffee machines. The package says that the machine delivers the same amount of pressure (15 bars?) as coffee shop machines and I'd believe it because it really delivers a cup of coffee on par with what I've had at coffee shops. The pods are maybe slightly pricey (a tiny bit more expensive than other coffee pods I've seen, especially if the drink needs a coffee and a milk pod) but certainly much, much cheaper than getting a coffee out and Amazon has some good prices on them if you are willing to buy multipacks. Amazon also allows you to schedule regularly occurring shipments of the coffee in their "subscribe and save" program.


The machine is very easy to use and while it takes up a bit of counter space, it is attractive and interesting looking. I didn't care for the instruction manual, it was pretty much just in pictures and I prefer written descriptions (with diagrams as needed) but I was able to get the machine together and use it fairly quickly after taking it out of the box.

It is as tasty as coffee shop coffee and you just pop in a pod and in about a minute, you have coffee! Perfect for me because I work from home and I can just make as much as I would actually drink rather than having to make a whole pot. I also really like the cups that came with the set, a glass mug and a cup and saucer set, they make it easy to gauge when to stop adding the coffee or milk. The Dulce Gusto website has a rewards program where you can type in codes from coffee boxes and redeem them for more pods or cups. And right now, you can get some free coffee sent to you by registering your machine.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Heatwave!

It is times like this I wish I was a person who liked beverages more. It is just so hot and humid, I feel like drinking something cool but end up feeling waterlogged from club soda overload. I don't want summer to be over but I wouldn't mind less humidity. It really hasn't been terribly hot but the humidity has been pretty bad every day. Cooking has become excruciating.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Farm City

I read Novella Carpenter's book Farm City yesterday. It was a fascinating look at a woman's quest to create an urban farm in Oakland, CA. She went from just fruits and vegetables to adding poultry, bees and then eventually rabbits and pigs. I like how it was realistic without being graphic although I have to admit the dumpster diving for food to give the various animals made me a little queasy. I appreciated how much she cared for the animals and how much respect she gave to their deaths. It was a quick read but really brought together the urban experience and the farm experience in a clear, detailed way. Who knew it was possible? It also made me grateful that I although I live in Baltimore City, I have a large yard where I can raise fruits and vegetables without squatting on someone else's land. It reinforced my interest in bees but I can't imagine forcing my neighbors to deal with noise and smell that come with raising pigs or poultry. Perhaps because I am a homeowner.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I wish

I had an excuse to get one of these fancy, detailed gelatin molds made.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Big Sur Bakery Cookbook


I have to admit that I was first attracted to the book not because I have been to the Big Sur Bakery but because the name "Big Sur" always stuck in my mind from references to it in books particularly Helter Skelter which describes Manson driving around Big Sur. But I digress. The cookbook, although murder and cult free, is well written, focusing on the workers and producers of the food they sell seasonally. The recipes are easy to follow and the stories behind them compelling. I think it would make a great present as it has great pictures, stories and recipes--a more complete package than most cookbooks.

Monday, July 06, 2009

MojaMix

MojaMix is a custom, build-your-own cereal. You pick a base then other ingredients like dried fruit, nuts and seeds to mix in. It is a lot of fun and while it is more expensive than say buying a box of cereal at the grocery store it is super fresh and of course, since you picked everything out yourself, you are bound to like it! I do think that if you were to source all of your ingredients individually it would come out to much more than what a bag of MojaMix costs. The costs of the custom mixes vary, the fewer ingredients the cheaper it is and some of the add-ins are cheaper than others.


I made a cereal with the coconut crisp base (oat flakes, barley flakes, coconut flakes and rice crispies) and added figs, goji berries, goldenberries, cacao nibs and coconut chips. You can customize the name and label of your cereal. You can reorder the same mix again by entering an unique code at the website so you don't have to create it from scratch each time. The website is very easy to use and you can add and remove items from your cereal at will. The only issue I had with the site was that only place I could find to enter the code to reorder your custom cereal is on the FAQ page which doesn't make much sense. You would think that it would be right on the front page or where you start to choose your mix but it isn't. There also doesn't appear to be log in where you could keep track of your orders or save your payment information. But while the website is a little clunky, it is easy to choose and order your cereal and the product itself is great.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Martha Stewart's Cupcakes




This is really a fun book. While the recipes that are included are pretty basic, there are a ton of great decorating tips and descriptions that could transform even the plainest cupcakes into something special. Even if you don't follow the directions exactly, there are a lot of ideas that can be adapted in different ways to make the perfect cupcake.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Well-Preserved: Recipes and Techniques for Putting Up Small Batches of Seasonal Foods



I have never canned but have accumulated quite a number of books about canning. Maybe this will be the year? This particular book is interesting because it is a combination of canning directions/recipes and recipes that use the items after they were canned. Now I just need to get some equipment and the nerve to can.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Book Review, Let Me Eat Cake

If you are my friend on GoodReads, you will recognize this review, I am posting it here in case you missed it!

Let Me Eat Cake: A Celebration of Flour, Sugar, Butter, Eggs, Vanilla, Baking Powder, and a Pinch of Salt Let Me Eat Cake: A Celebration of Flour, Sugar, Butter, Eggs, Vanilla, Baking Powder, and a Pinch of Salt by Leslie F. Miller


I wanted to like this book more than I actually did. The concept was certainly compelling (a book celebrating cakes rather than simply being about making them) and it was edited by Betsy Lerner.



I think what put me off was how the author kept switching back and forth between personal memories (occasionally not cake related, she writes at length about her mother and grandmother's cooking), cake history, contests, cake shop visits and other cake related topics with little in the way of transitions. This gave a sort of scattered feel to the book. While these events were divided into different sections and chapters, she referred back to events that occurred in earlier chapters/sections fairly frequently so even though the topic changed, the chapters (she cutely calls them layers) really couldn't stand alone as individual essays. She also skipped around a bit chronologically, thoughts on her visit to Charm City Cakes are divided into at least 3 different chapters, which was odd and seemed out of order.



Some chapters (especially the more historically-focused) despite the obvious research that went into them seemed sort of thrown in at the last minute; they were very short and without much of the commentary the rest of the book was thick with. It was almost as if the book was both too large in scope-it is a celebration of cake, rather than a straight up memoir- and too small-she rarely ventures beyond the confines of the Baltimore area. Even the Today show competition she writes about is made up solely of local bakers. While Baltimore is home to several bakeries, it isn't as if Baltimore is some sort of cake capital in the country. When she does discuss cakes from other regions, one is not left with the impression that she actually traveled to these areas or tried most of those cakes.



Despite it being a book about eating cakes rather than making them, she does do a fair amount of cake baking in the book. I didn't get the impression she knew too much about baking before starting her book research and makes a few mistakes (repeatedly referring to vegetable shortening as lard springs to mind) which is fine, she doesn't claim to be an experienced baker, but these chapters take the book into more memoir territory which I felt was at odds with chapters about Marie Antoinette and the history of the cakewalk which were written with little personal interjection. The whole book sort of vacillated between being a personal story about a woman's relationship with cake and book that was more about cake in general and I ended up wishing that she had picked one form or the other. One's life can inform a more straightforward book about a topic and indeed that's what makes more readable nonfiction books stand out but she veered a little too close to the personal on too many occasions for a book that wasn't supposed to be a memoir for my taste.



I would have rather had a straight up memoir about her and her rather obsessive love of cake like Hilary Liftin's Candy and Me or more of a cohesive cake journey similar to Steve Almond's Candy Freak. All in all it wasn't bad exactly, I was just left feeling like something was missing.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Food Music

I complied over 70 of my favorite songs about food here. Do you have any to add?

Friday, May 01, 2009

My New Favorite Cookbook: Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It: And Other Cooking Projects


Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It: And Other Cooking Projects is the type of book I wish I had written. It is sort of a cross between a DIY book and a traditional cookbook; full of recipes for homemade versions of pickles, marshmallows, jam and cured things like salmon that most people just buy at the store. The instructions are all very clear and the pictures are lovely.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Slow Cookers

I have a 4 qt Rival that I love but I was wondering if anyone has any experiences with larger or smaller slow cookers. Any recommendations?

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

My Spice Collection

most of my spice collection



most of my spice collection

I was cleaning out the cabinet the other day and thought I'd snap a picture of what (most of) my spice collection looks like. What does yours look like?

Friday, April 03, 2009

Book Suggestion


I've been toting this book around as my "purse" book-something easy to pick up and read when unexpectedly trapped somewhere with nothing to do- but I've been tempted to take it out and read it ahead of the dozens of library books I have out right now. It is a really interesting mix of essays about food and eating by some of my favorite authors. Totally worth picking up.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Obama Garden

I was happy to see that there is going to be a garden in the White House lawn. I've also heard that seed sales are up 200%. Are you planning a garden this year? Did you last year? I've always grown vegetables from plants, not seeds, but I have since I was a child. Last year we concentrated on about 10 tomato varieties but I missed growing zucchini and eggplants so I might go back to more of a variety.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Eating on the Cheap

I have gotten a lot of emails lately asking me for my tips on saving money on groceries. Generally I am pretty frugal food shopper and rarely have any food waste. I also only grocery shop once a week, some times less.

1. I read all of the local store ads and decide where to shop at by which store has the best deals on meat, seafood and staples.

2. I buy large quantities of meat when they are on sale and freeze them in meal sized portions.

3. I pay attention to cycles in sales, baking stuff goes on sale in December, yogurt about once a month, roasting chickens in the winter etc and stock up the best I can.

4. I plan meals around what is on sale rather than rushing out and buying (full price) ingredients for a specific dish.

5. I only buy and eat in season vegetables and fruit. It is tastier and cheaper.

6. I make a trip to Wegmans every 6-8 weeks to stock up on cheap staples like canned beans (about 50 cents a can), 28 oz cans of tomatoes (about $1) and Cabot cheese in large blocks.

7. When I open a new jar or container of something I add it to a running list so I know to keep an eye for it so I can pick it up when it goes on sale. This helps eliminate having to run out and pay full price for something I am totally out of at the last minute.

8. I keep a mental list of prices and deals. $6 for two jars of mayo sounds like a good deal unless you know that a store frequently has it on sale for 2 for $4.

9. I go to ethnic supermarkets for good deals on spices, sauces, produce and staples like noodles, panko, flours etc. I also try to stock up so I don't have to buy soy sauce at the regular supermarket for twice as much.

10. The farmers market is a great place for deals on produce, dairy and eggs. I always take one trip around before buying anything to make sure I am getting the lowest price. There is nothing worse than spending $6 on squash then seeing it 15 feet away for $2.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Vitamix

I know I have mentioned this before but I love my Vitamix. I am not a smoothie person (I am not a beverage person in general) but this blender makes me want to start drinking them. The peanut sauce I made was so smooth and frothy I honestly was at a loss for words. So, you helped me via comments and email re: the mandolin and now I want to know: what are you making in your blender? I want to use my beatific Vitamix more.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Mandolin


I bought a small hand held mandolin back in December. I've used it occasionally but I'd like to use it more. Do you have one? What do you use it for?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Piece of Cake

A Piece of Cake - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever

How cute is this new Threadless shirt? I wish it came in a color other than brown though.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Romantic Cookbooks


Cooking for Two: Perfect Meals for Pairs is a super cookbook full of meals that have been paired down for two. There is quite a variety of foods presented, everything from seafood to paella to chili to desserts all with clear instructions and beautiful pictures. I like this book because nearly every meal I cook is for two and I know how tricky it is to get proportions correct in smaller batch recipes. I normally just plan on having whatever is left the next day for lunch but sometimes it is nice to have a perfectly scaled recipe that doesn't yield leftovers. I especially enjoyed the dessert recipes, it is rare to find a sweet recipe that only yields two servings. I know from person experience how hard it is to finish a whole pie or cake or even ice cream when there are just two of you.



Another fun cookbook is Tiny Bubbles: Fizzy Cocktails for Every Occasion, Using Champagne, Prosecco, and Other Sparkling Wines. It is full of easy and inventive cocktails. That alone is enough to pick up the book but it also includes recipes that use sparkling wines-perfect when you have some leftover the next day.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Reader Question:

What do you order for take-out from a Chinese restuarant? Do you get the same thing each time or do you alternate between favorites or work your way down the menu?

Thanks!!

What do you do to keep healthy?


Click Here



I've been trying the new (to me, anyway) Halls ProHealth Defense tabs. They come in a 18-dop box and each drop is only 15 calories. It comes in blueberry or citrus-pomegranate and both are pretty tasty. I also have been trying to eat even more vitamin-rich vegetables and foods to ward off what seems to be a constant cold threat. Even though I have been sick more this year than I have in a long time, my colds and sicknesses seem to be shorter and less severe than what I've seen other people going through.

What about you? What have you been doing to stay healthy?

Monday, February 02, 2009

Looking for...

Belgian food blogs. Anyone know anyone blogging from Belgium or about Belgian food. Thanks!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Sweet Tooth Tuesday: Yoplait Lemon Cream Pie Yogurt


As I said last few weeks, I've recently tried a bunch of the 110 calories or less dessert flavors Yoplait offers. Another flavor that I've enjoyed it is the Lemon Cream Pie flavor. As I found with the the key lime pie flavor, the smooth and creamy texture really adds to the experience. It is like eating spoonfuls of pie filling or a sweet variety of lemon churd. Like the others this flavor has 20% of your daily requirement of calcium and vitamin D in the 6 oz tub. It really does taste like dessert and makes a great after dinner snack.

Click here for a $1 off coupon for the yogurt.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Reader Contest: Progresso Broth


Three people can win the above prize! All you have to do is leave a comment telling me what your favorite recipe using chicken broth is and your email address so I can contact you if you win. You have until Monday at noon to enter!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Sweet Tooth Tuesday: Pineapple Upside Down Cake


As I said last week, I've recently tried a bunch of the 110 calories or less dessert flavors Yoplait offers (Click here for a $1 off coupon for the yogurt.)and they are all pretty good. I think my next favorite is the pineapple upside down cake. While it certainly has a very different texture than an actual pineapple upside down cake it really tastes like the real thing. Like the others this flavor has 20% of your daily requirement of calcium and vitamin D in the 6 oz tub. This flavor has only 110 calories which make it the perfect choice for a light breakfast or snack. This flavor, like the apple turnover isn't completely smooth, it has little chunks of pineapple spread through out. They provided a nice texture contrast and bursts of pineapple flavor. Unlike the apple turnover, the cake flavor wasn't as pronounced but the pineapple flavor was clear and tasty so I didn't mind.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Healthy Snacking

Lately I've been getting a lot of requests for healthy snack ideas. While you can buy those 100 calorie packs (or just pay attention to lables and serving sizes) of snack foods but there are other options that might be healthier and tastier!
Homemade hummus

A stalk of celery+1 tablespoon peanut butter is about 100 calories
A 1/4 cup of roasted pumpkin seeds is 75 calories.
1/2 cup of sorbet is about 100 calories or less
2 cups of cubed watermelon is about 85 calories
1 cup of blueberries is 90 calories
2 large plums are about 90 calories
Campbell's Soup at Hand chicken noodle is only 80 calories
1/4 cup of Craisins are about 100 calories
3 cups of air popped popcorn is about 90 calories
2 large (dill) pickles are only 25 calories
hummus and a small pita is about 100 calories




Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Sweet Tooth Tuesday: Yoplait Light Apple Turnover


As I said last week, I've recently tried a bunch of the 110 calories or less dessert flavors Yoplait offers (Click here for a $1 off coupon for the yogurt.)and they are all pretty good. I think my second favorite is the apple turnover. My husband tried it as well and it is his top favorite out of the line up. While it certainly has a very different texture than an actual apple turnover (and a completely different nutritional makeup, like the others this flavor has 20% of your daily requirement of calcium and vitamin D in the 6 oz tub) it tastes freakishly like an apple turnover. There are small chunks of apple throughout but they are not soggy or gross like some fruit-in yogurt varieties, they are hardly noticeable but for the bits of apple flavor they add. There is also a very definite but subtle taste of crust in the yogurt. I don't know how they do it, but it works. I think this flavor is one of the better ones to have as a snack, the apple flavor is distinctive (I don't know if I have ever had apple yogurt before) and oddly filling. A nice change from the more common strawberry or blueberry.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Kraft Recipe Assistant



Kraft has recently launched a pretty cool tool for home cooks. It is a widget that you can embed in your Facebook, MySpace or other social networking page so you can access your recipes from any computer. The best part is that while it is easy to include Kraft recipes and they have a recipe of the day feature, you can also use it to organize any recipe from any source. For example you could upload a family recipe or add one from your favorite food blog to your personal online recipe box. You can then organize, print, rate, and create shopping lists from your recipes. I find it pretty handy because I am constantly coming across recipes I want to save for later but they normally get lost in the shuffle when I simply bookmark them. I also like sorting them into categories like "quick" or "slow cooker".

Friday, January 09, 2009

Pretzel Rolls

Is anyone else obsessed with pretzel rolls? My mom goes all the way to PA periodically just to pick up a bunch of pretzel rolls made by Smitties Pretzels. They are amazing, not to dense and have a pretzel-y taste. I wish we could find some closer than Isaac's Deli in Hershey. Anyone have an alternative supplier?

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Sweet Tooth Tuesday: Key Lime Pie Yoplait Yogurt


Recently I've tried a whole slew of the new(ish) 110 calories or less dessert flavors Yoplait offers. The idea behind them is that rather than having the actual dessert you can substitute a the yogurt version. This works with varying success. The Key Lime Pie flavor works the best, since the pie is creamy and the yogurt is, of course, creamy it is almost like you are eating Key Lime Pie filling with a spoon. It is sweet but not overly so and has a realistic lime flavor. It made a great sweet snack and warded off hunger more than say a piece of candy would. It is fat-free but has a remarkably creamy mouthfeel that really helps sells the Key Lime Pie aspect. I also like that it has 20% of your daily requirement of calcium and vitamin D in the 6 oz tub. 6 oz is the perfect size for me, a lot of other brands come in 8 or 10 oz sizes and that is just too much yogurt for me to eat in one sitting, especially if I am not trying to use it to replace an entire meal.

As a side note, I wish they were made with 100% real sugar though, sometimes artificial sweeteners give me a bit of a headache, especially if I say, ate more than one yogurt in a day. Perhaps one day they will use agave or stevia? However, the artificial sweetener taste isn't to strong in most of the flavors so it isn't as big of an issue as it is in say, diet Coke.

Click here for a $1 off coupon for the yogurt.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Friday, January 02, 2009

'60s Night

Each year on New Year's Eve we have a night devoted to a different decade. First was '80s night and we watched '80s movies and made pesto pizza and poke cake. Last year was '70s movies, fondue and California rolls. This year it was the '60s which was great because a lot of party food came into existance during that time. The rule is that the food had to have been introduced or invented during in the decade we are celebrating. Look for the recipes I created over at Coconut & Lime over the next couple of weeks!