Thursday, August 28, 2008

Now this is a fun game!

So I saw this on Very Good Taste and thought it looked like fun, so I'm playing a long. It's a list of 100 food items that this blogger feels should be eaten by everyone. I was surprised by how much I've eaten off of this list.

If you'd like to play along:
1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold or Italicize all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment at linking to your results.

I put my answers in bold and italics, and since I believe in trying everything at least once, I didn't feel the need to cross anything off. Obviously, some of these things I've eaten were in pre-vegaquarian years...

The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue

8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari

12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart

16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes

19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava

30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl

33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float

36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects

43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV

59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads

63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini

73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail

79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky

84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers

89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

Monday, August 25, 2008

Habanero Garlic Salsa

Although I'm definitely a lover of summer, there is something I love about the end of the season. See, I'm a city dweller, which means I have no space for a garden. Thankfully, I have enough friends who love to garden so I'm always standing with open arms for any handouts from their land.

There's a friend of the family who is an excellent gardener and he always supplies us with fresh hot peppers. There are some of your general habaneros and jalapenos, but he always has quite a few other varieties growing. My mother and I, who both love hot stuff, are always ready for part of his garden's bounty. This year, he supplied us with some lovely lovely habaneros, as well as some blood-red and juicy tomatoes. I knew I wanted to make some sort of hot sauce, incorporating both things.

My inspiration came from a jar of habanero garlic sauce I randomly picked up in the grocery store. It was one of those gourmet brands, and oh what a flavor! I immediately came home and tried to recreate it. Not only did I hit the flavor points right on the head, but I think this version is even better! I will warn you this is one of the hottest hot sauces in the 28 Cooks' repertoire, but if you're a hot lover, you will adore this. Although I used 2 cups of mostly chopped habaneros, which I didn't seed, please feel free to substitute peppers that are milder if you want a sauce that won't scorch your face off! This salsa is excellent with tortilla chips and would be perfect served with burritos and fish tacos.

Habanero Garlic Salsa

Habanero Garlic Salsa
Makes 6 cups

2 cups chopped habanero peppers
8 cups chopped and seeded tomatoes
2 cups chopped yellow onion
8 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp Adobo seasoning
1 (15.9 oz) can tomato sauce
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp cumin

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend until an almost-smooth texture. Pour into a large pot and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer uncovered for 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally until mixture has thickened.

Looking for more hot stuff??
*Basil Habanero Pesto
*7-Pepper Hot Sauce*Red Chili Sauce
*Hot Pepper and Garlic Jelly
*Cranberry Jalapeno Spread

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Big Winner!

Wow - it sounds like you guys have had a great summer! There were babies being born all over the place, fresh produce being snapped up from CSA's and farmer's markets all over the world, and plenty of good-sounding road trips! There were even a few trips to Knoebels, one of my absolute favorite places. Even those of you who stayed at home had some adventures of your own growing your own produce in your backyard and just spending time with the people that mean the most to you. Isn't that what summer is supposed to be about anyway?

Anyway, enough chatter. Onto what you're really waiting for - the Winner. Thanks to who selected the 29th comment, which was:

JennyWenny from Foray Into Food! Her fondest summer memory was spent biking through the Elfin Forest in San Diego County. What a great sounding trip!

Thanks to everyone who participated and congratulations to our winner!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Another Giveaway!

So I looked at the calendar the other day and realized that summer is almost over. Sure, there's a few good weeks left in August and September and October haven't been as cold as previous years, but we're getting too close to the end of one of my favorite seasons. And it makes me sad.

But I know that not everyone is dreading the end of summer and are ready for kids to go back to school and the air to turn a bit chillier. And there is nothing more perfect during those cooler fall days than comfort food. That's why this book would be absolutely perfect.

Bake Until Bubbly

Bake Until Bubbly is a cookbook dedicated to one of the most popular comfort foods, The Casserole. And it's not just about your normal Tuna Noodle Casserole or Baked Mac and Cheese. This book runs the gamet from Breakfast casseroles, such as Blueberry Brunch or Stuffed French Toast all the way to dessert casseroles, such as Blackberry and Cream Cheese Crepes Casserole and Cranberry-Apple-Walnut Crisp. There's even some great vegetarian options thrown in there. Probably my favorite section is the "Casseroles from Other Countries" section, which includes casseroles from Greece, France, and Brazil.

For your chance to win, simply leave me a comment with your name and one of your favorite things you did this summer. Leave a comment by midnite on Tuesday, August 19th. Winner will be announced on Wednesday, August 20th.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Community Sponsored Agriculture


I know that Community Sponsored Agriculture has been around for years, especially in places with longer growing seasons and more metropolitan areas. It’s even been around for a few years here in Amish Country on the East Coast. But for some reason, this is the first year that my family has gotten involved.

This has to be one of the greatest things of all times. Seriously. Let me break it down for those who are unaware of the glory of CSA. Community Sponsored Agriculture is pretty much what the name implies - you purchase “shares” and through your funds, farmers are able to provide organic produce. Here in Lancaster, the CSA season runs from the beginning of May to the end of October. That’s 24 weeks of fresh produce. The cost for a full share, which is a box every week, is $500. 24 weeks divided by $500 equals roughly $20 per week. And what does that $20 get you? Here was this past week’s share:

5 small red slicing tomatoes
5 large red slicing tomatoes
4 green bell peppers
12 ears of sweet corn
2 onions
1 large eggplant
1 sweet dumpling squash
2 yellow straight neck squash
1 bag of fresh lima beans

All organic, all locally grown produce, which is usually picked less than 24 hours before it’s in your hot little hands. You simply can’t beat that, even if you bought all of this at a farmer’s market. And if a weekly delivery is too much for you, you can do a half-share, which is a delivery every other week. Each week is different and is dictated by the growing season. So far this year, we’ve seen plenty of heirloom lettuce and tomatoes, fresh herbs, bok choy, plenty of gourmet mushrooms, and all sorts of onions and leeks.
And not only do they offer vegetables, but during the year, they offer organic and hormone free eggs, milk, cheeses, and honeys, at very reasonable prices.

They also make it very easy for those cooks who aren’t familiar with all the produce and send out emails with recipes and ideas for using each week’s share. It’s a great excuse to try different vegetables and herbs that you normally wouldn’t grab at the grocery store.

Although it’s too late for most places to sign-up, I highly recommend you put this on your list for next year’s offerings. And if you’ve participated in your area’s CSA, I’d love to hear how you are enjoying it and what’s been your favorite part of it.

Friday, August 08, 2008

So Guess What?

I actually started my annual detox on Monday. Those readers who were around last year may remember my "Midsummer's Cleanse" that I did in mid-July. I decided to take advantage of all the lovely produce stands that are all around my town and try it again. I've been doing it for the past 5 days and thankfully made it over the first few "Why did I decide to do this??" days where all I wanted was Mexican food or sushi or Indian or anything salty and crunchy.

Don't worry - I'm only doing this for the next week, but I already have a few posts lined up and ready to go so that you won't be lonely.

And if you'd like to follow along, please feel free to check out 28 Detoxifies, my companion blog.

See you on the flip side!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Behind the Apron

First, the entries for Behind the Apron 2008:

Joy the Baker's post includes a fantastic looking recipe for Raspberry Almond Bread, so you'll want to definitely check her blog out.

Show Me Vegan has a tasty looking beverage on her post and has a beautiful picture of herself in Negril, Jamaica. Definitely makes me wish I was there!

This is a new blog to me, but definitely one to bookmark - Ward Street Bistro. The Crab, Asparagus, and Orange Salad immediately caught my eye!

Head over to Small Space Sweets and check out her beautiful little daughter who already has developed a taste for spinach - I love it!

As a vegetarian (occasionally vegaquarian), I love to hear about how others made the transition to this eating style. Ginger Beat tells us how she made the choice to eat vegetarian and why she started her Denver-based blog.

Although I don't eat turkey, I do love the looks of this recipe for the potstickers included in The Practical Gourmet's Behind the Apron post. I'll have to try and vegetarianize it!

Just the name "Yo Soy" cracks me up and I love it for a food blog. The picture taken by a paparazo is definitely unique.

Shortcut to Mushrooms sums herself up in 5 words for her Behind the Apron post. She also has some great recipes on her site, including one for Eggplant Caviar, which sounds amazing.

Although it was sort of a smaller round-up this year, there are definitely some really good and tasty-looking blogs included. I love getting to know the cooks and chefs behind the blogs.

Since I introduced myself last year, I thought I'd just post a recent picture and give a little intro to some of my new readers. Here I am at a friend's house, right after enjoying some very tasty wild salmon. (Which, seriously, if you've never had it, you really must try it. It is completely different than the farmed stuff.)

Behind the Apron

Since last year, my occupation has changed. I am 2 classes shy of completing my degree and just recently started working for my county's Children and Youth Agency. I am in the abuse unit and spend much of my time going to interview children that have been either physically or sexually abused. It's extremely tough and emotional work, but I absolutely love what I do. There are days that I come home and immediately burst into tears, but there are also days when I see kids that just crack me up and still maintain a sense of humor, despite their horrible lives.

Other than that, I keep myself busy reading and cooking, and am always on the search for more food ideas.

Thanks for joining me in this year's Behind The Apron round-up!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

And the Winner is.....

So although it's a bit overdue, the winner of this great book is.....


Lekkercraft is a new blog to me, but I certainly bookmarked it as soon as I saw it. Congratulations and I hope you enjoy the book!

And the posting of the "Behind the Apron" roundup will happen tomorrow. There were a few scragglers who wanted to be included so I held open the deadline just a bit longer so I could include them. I already added quite a few of these new blogs to my bloglines, so be sure to stay tuned for the posting!