Friday, August 05, 2005

These are a few of My Favorite Things

Favorite Things
Originally uploaded by
Food Fanatic.
When you move from one part of the country to the other, there is a whole new world of tastes and products available to try.

But sometimes you find yourself wishing for things you used to get easily that don't seem to be available in your new locale.

We did eventually find Malt-o-Meal. But it was in single-serving pouches in a grocery store we don't use.

The Spring Grove pop is a Southeast Minnesota thing. It's even a little hard to find in Minneapolis. Spring Grove is a tiny town in SE MN and they have a small company that makes this pop. It comes in orange, root beer, creme soda and lemon sour.

Texas Sting Buffalo Wing sauce. I was really surprised to see we couldn't get that here. We've been using Texas Pete instead.

The dills. Gedney is the "Minnesota Pickle" but I really didn't think that meant we wouldn't find it all over the country. But it's not the brand name we miss ... in fact my husband says he always preferred Vlasic. What we miss is dills that are not kosher. I don't know why they taste different from kosher dills, but they do. And we miss them.

I did not bring back any Hormel Wrangler hot dogs. We missed them like crazy until someone turned us on to Nathan's. We are so over Wranglers now, I suspect we'd have to ship Nathan's if we ever moved back to Minnesota.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Fresh Tomato Salsa

Originally uploaded by
Food Fanatic.

4 large, ripe tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped onions or scallions
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (optional)
1 Tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped oregano or basil or dash of dried herbs
Pinch of sugar
Salt and Pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a serving bowl, adjusting ingredients to your taste. Cover and set aside for several hours for the flavors to blend. Before serving, drain off excess liquid.

Note: At first, the salsa might seem mild. After it sits for a while, the salsa will get spicier and spicier. A good general rule of thumb is to make the salsa about half as hot as you want it, allowing for the heat to build as it sits.

For The Lancaster News

Monday, August 01, 2005

Back to Cooking & Blogging

Well, I'm home now, and I have some food blog fodder for you, but not today. I picked up a couple of cool culinary items at the Lodge Cast Iron Store in Tennessee, so I'll tell you about those and my first attempt to use them. I also have a tomato article that was in the newspaper on July 20 to put up here for you. I thought I'd saved it to my laptop, but I guess not. So once I get my desktop from the computer guy, I'll upload that for you.

I'm also writing an article today on "Healthy School Lunches" to be in the paper Wednesday. My heart is not in it. I've started to write it once and today I just have to. I also have to get my pizza on the grill experience written and tomorrow night I'll hang with the local boy scouts so I can do a feature on their cobbler. They will be making it for our annual "National Night Out" event.

I'm also responsible for the paper's "Sugar and Spice" column this week, which is a series of food tips down the left side of the B section. Anytime you have tips or interesting trivia, send it to me and tell me I can use it. I usually give them 4 or 5 blurbs. Some examples of past items are: Storing Spices, Keeping Cutting Boards Clean, Care and Cleaning of Garbage Disposals, Where to Pick Your Own Blueberries. I've also included nutrition info on some the fact that pineapple is an excellent source of vitamin C and may be good for asthmatics because it's a source for the enzyme Bromelain. If you do send some tips, and you got the info from somewhere like a magazine or website, let me know the source.

So come back soon. Like tomorrow.