A Favorite Quote

erma-bombeckHere’s a quote from the very, very funny writer Erma Bombeck, who made so many of us laugh everday back in the 1970’s (the olden days!). She was brilliant.

“It is ludicrous to read the microwave direction on the boxes of food
you buy, as each one will have a disclaimer: “THIS WILL VARY WITH
YOUR MICROWAVE.” Loosely translated, this means, “You’re on your own,
Bernice.” – Erma Bombeck

Grains of Paradise ??

511105I learned something new today! I was watching the Food Network (my addiction) this morning, and a guest chef on Bobby Flay’s show brought some Grains of paradise spice for his jerk marinade. I had never heard if it before, and here is what I found out.

Grains of paradise is a small reddish-brown, round seed, found on the west coast of Africa. It is a member of the ginger and cardamom family, sometimes called Melegueta pepper, Guinea pepper, or alligator pepper. It packs some heat but also tastes of ginger, cardamom, coriander, citrus and nutmeg.

This spice was popular in Europe in the 13th and 14th centuries, but faded away after that with the availability of less expensive spices such as black pepper, cloves and nutmeg. But today it can be found in some beers, and gins. It can be purchased in some specialty food stores and online.

If you have used it before, let me know!

An interview with my 8-year-old friend Aubrey

aubrey1I am always interested in what other people think or like about food. So, I asked my good friend, Aubrey, one of the coolest dudes I know, a few questions.   Here are his answers.

What’s your favorite food?  Pizza

What’s your favorite special treat?  Brownies

I know you are a martial artist, so what do you eat to make you
strong?  Steak

Have you ever grown any of your own food?  If yes, what?   Squash,
tomatoes, green peppers, lettuce, corn, and lemons.

What’s your favorite desert?  Ice cream

Do you cook? If yes, what? If no, why not?   I make quesadillas,
nachos, pizza, cookies, scones, and cake.

What’s your favorite restaurant?  What do you order to eat there?
Versailles. #2 Plate, fried chunk of pork with rice, black beans, and
plantains.  Flan for desert.

Have you ever had a food fight?  Yes.

Do you ever feed your cat under the table?   (I won’t tell anybody if you do!)    No.

Thanks, Aubrey!

Make Your Own Spice Mix

For those spice mixes that you know you will only use once in a great while, try making your own with spices you probably already have in your pantry.

chinesefivespiceFor example: Chinese Style Five Spice

Mix equal parts (powdered): fennel, anise, ginger, cinnamon, cloves.

Now you have incorporated the five basic flavors of Chinese cooking; sweet, sour, bitter, savory and salty.

Look at you now! You’re a chemist. Put it on you resume.

Quick Bites

Did you know that peanuts are actually legumes, not nuts?  So it is of the plant species, therefore not junk food but good for you!  But they are high in fat, so not so good by the handfuls. 

‘Tis the season for Schnapps!  The word “Schnapps” is of German origin, meaning “mouthful”.  My interpretation of that is “SHOOTERS”!  And since it is made from grains or potatoes, it must be good for you.  (Please note: I am not o doctor or a nutritionist, just a drinker looking for excuses). 

My favorite herb is Sage, and since many of us use it around the winter holidays I though you would like to know that this Mediterranean herb is not only used for culinary reasons but also for its healing powers.  The Latin derivative “salvus” means “safe”.  To me that means, have some sage with your peanuts and Schnapps just to be safe.  (Just trying to look out for you.)