Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Beyond gut busters

IHOP's gut and artery buster breakfast

Holy moly! Center for Science in the Public Interest released its most extreme eating chain restaurant dishes. 

Let's just say Cheesecake Factory, Johnny Rockets and Maggiano's have not, and never will be, on the (KFC) bucket list....See the link here -

Hey, I want four days of fat and sodium in one meal!

Cheesecake Factory's Bistro pasta sodium fest

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Post-holiday happy chowing

We all know we overdo it, maybe slightly, maybe a lot, during the season between (let's be real here, including Halloween) November and January. This is followed by eater's remorse, the whole fake resolution thing and then the dreary march on through the rest of the winter days until we can redeem ourselves outside with exercise and fresh food.

OR you can be strolling through your local market and find on the fast-sell rack three great green peppers and realize all kind of really great fruit is on sale.

The mental cooking computer clicks in pretty quickly and comes up with - stuffed peppers and lavish fruit salad.

Which is tonight's menu. Instead of using rice, Trader Joe's brown rice/black barley/other grains mix that had been lingering in the pantry sprung into action. Not exactly sure if I like the outcome as I added pearl barley as well. But, how bad could it be with ground round, good onions, Worcestershire and homemade tomato sauce tucked into those halved peppers.

Turned out, pretty good. Not totally on the top 10 crave list, but a very decent effort for several meals to go into the freezer. And decent daily cooking after the weeks of feast-making.

The fruit salad is glistening, fresh, delicious and full of all kinds of stuff you should be wanting - antioxidants, fiber, nonprocessed stuff.. and etc., etc.

So let's admire it again:

Best thing is, this tastes really good. Made on a balmy and sunny day that ended with  a feeling of  solid creative, daily cooking.

Pat yourself on the back if you're doing the same...

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A simple fondue makes a holiday

New Year's Eve is never our favorite time to be out and about. Not only is it amateur hour on the roads, but after the warmth of family and friends at Thanksgiving and Christmas it always seems a little like forced fun. So we always downsize the night.

 This year the force for fondue was strong. There were only two of us. So some Emmenthaler cheese, picked up that night, along with a little Gruyere from the house, some white wine and a non-stick pot yielded up a luscious, warm and cheese-y light dinner to graze on. Include some great crusty bread, some crisp green apples, pickles sweet, dill, and hot (and Michigan product or two), eaten on a coffee table with some atmospheric votive candles = one great and simple meal. Add a nice red Beaujolais Villages to enhance the party.

Best of all, it's easy to produce as a hearty appetizer or a light meal when the force calls:

Cheese Fondue 

 1 1/2 lbs shredded Emmenthaler (we added about half Emmenthaler and half Gruyere. Has to be the good stuff.)

 Toss cheese with 3 T flour and 2 tsp dry mustard. 

 Boil 1 1/12 cups dry white wine (best in a good nonstick pot).

 Toss in a handful of cheese mixture - stir with wooden spoon till melted.

Proceed to add the rest of the cheese by the handful.

You might need to add more wine if the cheese seems too thick. Be generous with the vino.

Serve to admiring eaters. You will feel like a genius! (We didn't have a fondue pot. Added smaller amounts to a heavy ceramic bowl, re-heated in microwave if it thickened.) Great the next day reheated as well.