Monday, March 30, 2009

Lunch tomorrow

Oh yea and I'm really excited for my lunch tomorrow.

Avocado, bleu cheese, bacon, roasted mushrooms and red pepper hummus on whole wheat sourdough. I may have trouble concentrating the class before. Forget those english notes.

2nd Round part 1

1 potato versus 8 broccoli
I love broccoli, and I feel great eating it cause it's so goshdarn healthy, but potato is too versatile. Anything that can be latkes, french fries, and mashed at the same time deserves to win.

11 sweet potato versus 4 strawberry
I just prefer sweet potatoes gosh darn it, especially when roasted under a chicken so they glaze in chicken fat and juices mmm.

3 apple versus 12 avocado
I absolutely love avocados. I always say I could eat them like an apple, and I can, but unfortunately, I can't eat them like apple pie. Apple wins.

10 mango versus 15 shitake
My sweet tooth gets the better of me here. Mango wins.

On to the carb region

1 pizza versus 8 lasagna
Pizza really is everything that lasagna is, except pizza's toppings are limitless and you can buy it on every street corner. Pizza is the victor.

11 cornbread versus 4 waffles
Ah this one went down to the wire. Cornbread only comes around once a year, and can be made with bacon fat, but waffles are the ultimate sunday morning food. Leggo my eggo. Waffles win.

3 pancakes versus 5 bagels
Bagles get cream cheese, but pancakes get maple syrup and butter, and fluffiness. Pancakes take this one.

7 muffins versus 2 mac and cheese
Mac wins. If the creamy, cheesy, heart-warming deliciousness isn't enough. Try it fried. You'll understand.

Friday, March 27, 2009

1st Round part 2

Continuing with the first round action in the meat region...

1 bacon versus 16 beef jerkey
I don't need to answer this one.

8 corned beef versus 9 pastrami
Pastrami smokes corned beef in this match up, for the simple reason that pastrami is, well, smoked.

6 Lobster versus 11 smoked salmon
Lobster had a tight hold on salmon early in the game but salmon is both smoked and cured, and they therefore prevailed.

4 hamburger versus 13 short ribs
Followers of this blog will know that shorts ribs easily pulled off the big 13-4 upset here. Short ribs maintained the team connection throughout the game, despite the fact that all their connective tissue was in fact turned into gelatin during the braising process.

3 hot dog versus 14 pork belly
The big pork throwdown baby! Or maybe not, considering I really have no idea what goes into the majority of hot dogs I've eaten. Pork belly is just too fatty and meaty and flavorful, and though fat probably won't help you out on the court, pork belly gets the W here.

5 Rib Eye versus 12 duck confit
This was tough... before we cooked the duck legs in duck fat for 8 hours. My appreciation for food that has a sort of process in creating it (rather than juts slap a steak on the grill for 5 minutes) gives duck confit the edge.

7 fried chicken versus 10 pulled pork
Pork pulled out all the stops for this came, but fried chicken's shot was like butter (milk that is). Ultimately a really close game, but fried chicken gets the edge, kinda just because I have a strange affection for it.

2 Fillet Mignon versus 15 prosciutto
Fillet Mignon, you're boring. I can never get excited to eat a fillet. Prosciutto had problems early in the game, but they were "cured" come second half. Also, like one commenter said, prosciutto is 10X more flavorful.

Onto the desserts!
1 Vanilla Ice Cream Versus 16 Carrot Cake
Can is really happen? Is it possible? Yes it is, a 16 beets a one for the 1st time in history. Carrot cake, notorious for their great full-court vision, sends vanilla back to Tahiti with a 15 point rout.

8 soft serve ice cream versus 9 cinnamon bun
I love soft serve, but ever since I was introduced to your scent, cb, in the bathroom of a highway roadstop, we've had a special connection.

6 apple pie versus 11 cupcakes
America is rooting for you apple pie, and you just creamed those cupcakes in this 20-point rout.

4 brownies versus 13 pecan pie
This was the equivalent of that Uconn-Syracuse 6 OT thriller in the big east tourney. Like in that game, the lower seed wins. "Oh fudge" was the only response from the brownie coach.

3 Choco Chip versus 14 pound cake
If you think pound cake should win, you haven't tried this cookie recipe. Great Job ccc's, give me some brown sugga.

5 doughnuts versus 12 cheesecake
Doughnuts are unsubstantial, but cheesecake is rich and decadent and filling. Oh yea, and it's made of cheese. Cheesecake wins.

7 reese's versus 10 fudge
You're delicious reese's but ever since I realized that I could make a better version of you at home, you've lost your appeal. Fudge, since I never eat you unless I'm on the Ocean City boardwalk, I always want you. You win.

2 Oreos versus 15 dark chocolate
I'd be a pretentious snob if I picked dark chocolate. Anyway, where's the cream filling? Gotta go with oreos.

I'm really not sure why I gave a lot of those results in 2nd person as if I was talking to the food. Actually, that makes perfect sense now that I think about it.

I'm kinda getting sick of these corny food related jokes, and I'm sure you are too. I'll tone it down in future rounds.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Results comin soon

Hey, listen, I told you I'd have the results up by today, but the reporters are having difficulty getting their hands on all the information because of late-running track meats and a bounty of homework. But don't fret, we will get you the results as soon as possible!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

First Round

Alright, first off, I want to give a shoutout to my good buddy Daniel who came up with the idea for this, and second, I'd like to let you know that I slightly messed up the bracket in terms of where certain games go in relation to others, but it's not a big deal.

1 potato versus 16 olive
Come on. I mean seriously? Blowout match right here. The olives got mashed by potatoes. Ironic no?

8 Brocolli versus 9 asparagus
Asparagus you're a little too bitter, and ever since I discovered brocolli roasted, it has had the edge. 10 point victory for broccoli.

6 corn versus 11 sweet potato
Close match, but sweet potato pulls off the big 6-11 upset.

4 Strawberry versus 13 bell pepper
Strawberry has really been turning it on late in the season, actually, they've been turning it on before their season to be precise. Strawberry with a blowout over the peppers.

3 Apple versus 14 butternut squash
This game came closer than expected, but since there are so many different types of apples, they just kept rotating players in, therefore wearing out the one man show of butternut squash. Apple pulls off the W.

5 Carrots versus 12 Avocado
Avocado is too dang creamy and smooth and wonderful. Blowout for the 12 seeded avocado. Could the carrots see anything out there?

7 Grapes versus 10 mango
Grapes spent the whole game wineing. Victory for the mango.

2 Banana versus 15 shitake
Bananas can be great at times but they didn't bring their A game. Out on the court, these bananas looked like the crappy ones you get from the megamart. What's more, shitake really bruised them up. Big 15-2 upset for the shrooms.

Let's move into the carb region

1 Pizza versus 16 sourdough
Pizza slammed sourdough. The fact that pizza can be made with sourdough only added to the effect. There was this amazing play in this game where one pizza guy through a deep dish to a player on the other side of the court for an alley oop. I'll take that with extra cheese.

8 Lasagna versus 9 garlic bread
I could smell garlic bread from the press box in this game, but I don't care if the Lasagna is Stouffer's, Grandma's, you name it. Ill take that meaty man's meal over a pungent pushover any day.

6 spaghetti versus 11 cornbread
Cornbread sopped up spaghetti's juices and won this won hands down. Spaghetti's coach, that Bob Bertolli, made some poor decisions down the starch.

4 waffles versus 13 brioche
brioche I love you, but you just couldn't rise to the occasion. Waffles' shot was just like butta (and maple syrup).

3 pancakes versus 14 honey bunches of oats
Honey bunches of oats didn't perform in crunch time. Aunt Jemima coached her team to an easy victory.

5 bagels versus 12 baguette
Baguettes are great, but they looked a little crusty out there. Plus, you just can't eat a baguette with cream cheese and lox. Bagels are just too well rounded and they get the W.

7 muffins versus 10 biscuits
Those athletic biscuits had a lot of jams out there, but let's get real; have you ever heard of a bluebery crumb biscuits? Muffins win.

2 Mac and Cheese versus 15 Risotto
Mac and Cheese busted out its best cheddar, and risotto's great, but can you really pick them over Mac and Cheese? MAC wins.

That's enough to tide you over for now. Rest of the games will be played tomorrow and results will be posted tomorrow night.

Monday, March 23, 2009

NCAA Tournament

This is what we've been waiting for folks! Today was selection Monday for (NCAA) Nick's collective assessment of Awesomeness (of foods) Tournament, and the picks are in! The selection committee has worked long and hard on the 64-food bracket and may the best food win!

For the fruit and vegetable bracket

1 Potato
2 Banana
3 Apple
4 Strawberry
5 Carrots
6 Corn
7 Grapes
8 Broccoli
9 Asparagus
10 Mango
11 Sweet Potato
12 Avocado
13 Bell Pepper
14 Butternut Squash
15 Shitake Mushroom
16 Olive

For the Meat and Fish Bracket

1 Bacon
2 Filet Mignon
3 Hot dogs
4 Hamburgers
5 Rib Eye
6 Lobster
7 Fried Chicken
8 Corned Beef
9 Pastrami
10 Pulled Pork
11 Smoked Salmon
12 Duck Confit
13 Short Ribs
14 Pork Belly
15 Prosciutto
16 Beef Jerky

For the Carb bracket

1 Pizza
2 Mac and Cheese
3 Pancakes
4 Waffles
5 Bagels
6 Spaghetti
7 Muffins
8 Lasagna
9 Garlic Bread
10 Biscuits
11 Cornbread
12 Baguette
13 Brioche
14 Honey Bunches of Oats
15 Risotto
16 Sourdough

And finally the sweets

1 Vanilla Ice cream
2 Oreos
3 Chocolate Chip cookies
4 Brownies
5 Doughnuts
6 Apple Pie
7 Reese’s
8 Soft-serve Ice cream
9 Cinnamon buns
10 Fudge
11 Cupcakes
12 Cheesecake
13 Pecan Pie
14 Poundcake
15 Dark Chocolate
16 Carrot Cake

Looks like the toughest region may be the fruit and veggies. They've got so many evenly matched teams, it's tough to tell who will come out on top. Watch out for the potato as a national championship contender. It's got such great versatility, and their first round matchup should be an easy game. I'm lookin at the sweet potato as a possible sleeper in that round, but I'm really not sure if it's their season (it's spring).

The meat and fish region is heavy with power players. I mean come on, who can contend with bacon with all that momentum comin off a big win in the conference tournament. I think the selection committee overlooked some fish, I know Tuna and Striped Bass were hopin for a spot, but they really just don't have what it takes to play with the big boys. Duck Confit over Rib Eye could be a big 12 over 5 upset. I see Duck Confit as the Arizona of the food world. Smoked salmon and lobster are two little fish in a big sea, that should be an interesting matchup.

Pizza held that number one ranking throughout the season, and I just can't see them losing anytime soon. Pizza always seems to deliver or DiGiorno in the clutch. But look out for Mac and Cheese, a popular final four pick in this recession. I would call Honey Bunches of Oats as a sleeper but they're up against those powerhouse pancakes. The flap jacks should bisquickly take care of HBO.

Vanilla ice cream really looks like the weakest number one seed. They just seem to melt whenever they get in a pressure situation. If they make it that far, look for the rivalry match between choco chip cookies and oreos and be on the lookout for pecan pie as a possible sleeper.

So there you have it folks. Fill out your brackets, make your bets, and tune back in Wednesday for first round results.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


I'm grounded tonight for yelling at my mom because she bought me bad fish...

True story

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Dutch Oven

My latest toy...

Pretty ain't she? I was able to get this brand new for 10 bucks!!! Yes, 10 bucks! My neighbor and family friend works at QVC, and they recently had an employee sale. I clearly reaped the benefits. What does Le Creuset sells these for? 150? I've already used it for some harissa-braised brisket, and I'm planning on using it for fried chicken in the near future.

I'm very protective though. Nobody's touchin this. It's resting up in my room now until I can find a more suitable hiding spot.

Caramel Corn

Late-night boredom, and a bounty of popcorn results in this...

Chocolate covered caramel corn.

Pop 3/4 cup kernels.

Melt 1.5 tbs butter in a medium heavy saucepan.

Add 1.5 C brown sugar and 6 tbs water.

Stir over low heat until the sugar dissolves, then raise the heat, and cook until the mixture reaches 234 degrees F.

Pour over and mix with the popcorn (you can add a handful of peanuts too if you'd like).

Cook in a 250 degree oven for 45 minutes to drive off excess moisture.

Melt semisweet chocolate then drizzle over.

Now you don't have to make that late night Wawa or 7-11 run!

Monday, March 16, 2009

2009 Bloggies

Wow, I'm feeling really lucky today. A cute girl told me she liked my lemon curd, my harissa-braised brisket that I started yesterday tastes delicious, and I just found out that I won Best Teen Blog from the Bloggies!!! I got to go now. I'm off to buy a lottery ticket.

Much much thanks to all who voted!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

I will cook for you

There are a lot of people who only really talk to me to ask “will you cook for me” and it’s getting to the point where I don’t mind it much anymore. I just accept it. A friend recently told me, “if I had talents like you, I would show them off as much as possible.” I told her first that she certainly does have talents like me, and then I said that once you do have a talent like this, you really don’t feel the need to show it off. As you mature, you grow past that. You begin to want to share your talent, not gloat it.

A few nights ago I cooked dinner for a bunch of friends, and it was I who decided to do it. I wasn’t paying back any promises to cook for them, I wasn’t trying to impress anyone, I was just trying to have a good time with my friends.

I loved it. I was whisking a roux with Jack Johnson playing in the background, and my friends taking pictures of each other, cause that’s just what they like to do. It was the happiest I’ve been in a while. Good food, good friends, good music, what a combo. It almost made me sad, thinking that life couldn’t be contained strictly to times like these. It did make me sad, as a matter of fact, but it was a good kind of sad. Ironic isn’t it, that an instance can be so great that it dampens your spirits.

They all thanked me much afterwards, and it almost made me feel guilty. I had done this just as much for myself as for them.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Do you like coffee? I like coffee. I loove coffee. Coffee makes my morning. I'm told all too often that at my age, drinking coffee really isn't healthy, but I think it might take heart palpitations for me to give up my morning boost.

I drink my coffee black. I almost crave the bitterness to a certain degree. It's almost a test: Foodie at Fifteen versus the dark, black, and bitter. I tend to prevail, and it makes me a happy excited person in the morning. Yea I think that's it. It's not the caffeine that wakes me up in the morning, it's the fact that I've prevailed against a mighty foe.

Espresso presents an even greater challenge, but the tougher the challenge the greater the victory, if you catch my drift.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Cake Batter Ice Cream

I don't know if you've ever been to Coldstone or Maggie Moo's, but if you have, it's possible that you've had their cake batter ice cream; possibly my favorite ice cream on earth. Mix some actual vanilla cake and sprinkles in there, and you will never go back to grocery store ice cream. I won't even let you. Friends don't let other friends buy grocery store ice cream.
I'm actually pretty surprised that cake batter wasn't the first ice cream I tried to make, but nonetheless, it's in my freezer here now, and that's all that matters.

P.S. I didn't really do any research on how to make cake batter ice cream before I did this, so I actually just halved a vanilla cake recipe, using pasteurized eggs, and added a very healthy amount to basic vanilla ice cream. Most recipes that I later found online just required adding cake mix, which is obviously easier, but very artificial.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Ice Cream

My experimenting with cookies led to infusing fats with flavor, which led to where I am now, experimenting with ice cream. Ruhlman's recent post on making Creme Anglaise inspired me to try my hand at some interesting ice cream flavors.

I followed Ruhlman's recipe exactly, except I infused the cream with a whole lotta thyme, along with the vanilla bean. This, I thought, was incredible. I couldn't get enough. The thyme wasn't overpowering, but it wasn't a no-show.
Maple Pecan
Instead of sugar I used the same weight of maple syrup. At the end of the freezing process, I folded in some chopped pecans that I had cooked in butter and brown sugar. This ice cream was solid, though I definitely wanted more maple flavor to come through. I loved having those pecans in there for the texture not to mention flavor.

I infused the cream and milk with three cinnamon sticks in addition to adding a teaspoon of ground cinnamon to the mix. It goes without saying that you have to like cinnamon to like this ice cream, but this stuff is not for the faint of heart. The cinnamon flavor comes through pure and strong. I liked this ice cream as much as the vanilla-thyme because the cinnamon really shines. I can only imagine eating this with some pumpkin or apple pie. yummmmm

More to come I'm sure.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Further Eggsperimentation

It's often the things that are the most pedestrian that impress me the most. Running water amazes me. How they get water from the Delaware river to my house to come out in a thick stream with a turn of a faucet, is beyond me. On a more food related note, eggs astound me. Maybe I talk too much about eggs on this blog, but they never cease to amaze me. They're so innocent, so nonchalant in their shells, almost as if they wish to hide the powers lurking within. Previously if someone asked me my favorite food, I would respond with foie gras, partly because I love it, but also partly to show off. My love for foie gras hasn't diminished, but my need to show off my food knowledge has passed. With its subtle, pedestrian charm, and extreme versatility, the egg has claimed its rightful spot as my favorite food.

When I told my mom to "surprise me" on a recent trip to Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia, I had no idea she would return with something straight outta Jurassic Park. When I ask to be surprised, I rarely am. I can usually expect some stinky cheese or an interesting vegetable, which are always great, but no, this time she brought home an emu egg, and totally blew my socks off!

I kinda hacked at it with a knife to make a big crack, then cracked it into a large bowl. I whisked it up real good, then ladled some into a pan and scrambled it in individual portions. The yolk seems humongous compared to the white, but maybe that's just me. I put it on toast, then took a massive bite, hoping to squeeze as much emu egg flavor into my mouth as possible. To be honest, I didn't love it, but maybe it's just takes some getting used to. That's not to say it was bad, the egg seemed much creamier and smoother in a sense, than a scrambled chicken egg. The rich, distinguishable flavor of a chicken egg however, just wasn't there. It was blander, and not real "in your face." I am very content with it though, and I better be. There's plenty left over.

Natural Chunky Peanut Butter, banana, dark chocolate


That's what I call a sandwich.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

More Short Ribs Sous Vide

See this?

That's short ribs about to be cooked sous vide in brown butter for 72 hours.

See this?

That's what I call a sandwich.