Monthly Archives: February 2012

Too Bad TP & Paper Towels Aren’t Edible

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I held out as long as I could before going to the grocery store. The list was long and I knew I’d be spending some bucks. But $146? I was out of almost all paper products and other useless non-food or drink items. It struck me when I got home and unloaded that it’s a shame toilet paper and paper towels aren’t edible. If they make these things biodegradable, why not make them tasty? You could make a wrap with a couple of sheets of Bounty and deli goodies. TP could be used in baklava instead of those skinny layers of pastry dough.

One Square Per

That reminds me of something Sheryl Crow said on Oprah (or maybe it was Madonna since it sounds like her). Sheryl said that there was no reason anyone should use more than ONE square of toilet paper at a time. Seriously. Who could make that up? That’s about the time I stopped watching Oprah (that and the Dr. Phil phase).

Here’s what else I bought:

  • cat food – of course, HRH was tired of the selection in the 24-pack so I had to mix it up
  • asparagus- (which I douse w/ some olive oil, salt and pepper and put under the broiler. Try it w/ some grated Parm when it comes out.)
  • coho salmon – I know the farm-raised stuff is cheaper, but this is so much better for an extra $2/lb.
  • white and red wine – It’s tax season, need I say more?
  • afore-mentioned paper goods + foil
  • yogurt – Again, I have to wonder about that fruit on the bottom thing??
  • pastrami – not the good kind. This is some store-brand formed product w/ pastrami essence. Hey, it was on sale.
  • olives – I may devote a whole post to olives soon. I have avoided the olive bar lately because they’re pricey. I probably could live on olives, cheese and wine. LOVE!
  • mayo – realized mine was dated 11/15/11.
  • chocolate – bought Scharffen Berger because I’m going to make a foofy chocolate dessert for friends next weekend. If you bake w/ chocolate, you NEED this. Forget that brand that starts w/ “g.” Trust me, I may not cook much, but I make some mean desserts.
  • more stuff I can’t remember – but not meal-worthy fare

Hey, weigh in on that TP thing. One square??

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Purple Leopards and Chemex Paraphernalia

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I posted last week about my adventure into a higher level of coffee-snobbery. As a quick follow-up before returning to foodstuffs, I had to order a new coffee grinder for the Chemex. My old one wasn’t cutting it – literally. The grind was too uneven and it caused the Chemex too much anxiety. Let’s put it this way, if you bought this coffee maker something for Valentine’s Day, it better be from Tiffany’s. It likes nice things. So, a burr coffee grinder is en route.

Creative Leftovers

I’m still on my austerity, lower-the-food-budget program and trying to be good about using up what’s in the house. I am feeling a little cheese-challenged as I’ve been out of blue and Brie for too long. But I did make another apple pizza with the last of the Gorgonzola and feta. It’s my new fave tasty.

Online Bargains

Maybe because I’m feeling deprived of gourmet cheese and treats, I’ve been shopping online for bargains. The best score so far is my Vera Wang p.j.s from Kohl’s. You have to see a visual to fully appreciate this find.

Are they not fabulous? That’s the pocket on the top. Okay, normally I wouldn’t choose purple and blue faux leopard clothing items, but it was the last color available in my size. Originally $50 (I know!), I got them for $20. The material is kind of a shag fleece.

When it warms up, I might sit out on my porch in these babies. Out here in the country, there are no fashion police so it’s cool.

Am I in the Chemex Cult Now?

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I will confess to being a coffee snob. I order whole beans from exotic locales and yes, I can tell the difference between these and Grocery Store Brand. I don’t like Starbucks coffee at all unless it’s disguised under mocha, caramel or foofed up cream. That’s how snobby I am.

So in my quest for even better-tasting coffee, I bought a Chemex coffee maker. Now, if you don’t know it, you might think this is some commercial-grade model that costs roughly that of a Lamborghini’s monthly payment. Nah, this is the most basic coffee device – an open hourglass-shaped glass carafe thingy. I got the six-cup model. It was $36.00 on Amazon. But then things got complicated…

Because The Chemex wants certain things:

  • Expensive, oxygenated squares-that-turn-into-a-cone filters
  • A burr-type coffee grinder (these suckers can run over $200!)
  • Coffee ground exactly right (not too fine!)
  • Filtered or spring water (sorry, my water-softened well water will have to do).

So far, I’ve only succumbed to the fancy filters.

Demo Videos

In my research on this baby, I’ve run into a zillion how-to videos. Everyone wants to stand in their kitchen and exhaustively explain how to make coffee in the Chemex. I’ll spare you. Smart chick that I am, I figured it out w/o viewing too many of these.

Amazing Coffee

I have to admit, this simple device makes an amazing cup of coffee. Not bitter at all, just flavorful. I’m a cream freak and I don’t even need to add it.

The Cult Influence

Another confession – I shopped online for a burr coffee grinder. I found one for less than $50. I was tempted, but then I stopped myself before being thoroughly brainwashed. It’s just coffee after all…

Although I’ve avoided indoctrination into Chemex Nirvana, I did order $40 worth of coffee for my new buddy.

Are Apples the New Pepperoni?

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Ha, that title will reel them in! I just made the apple/gorgonzola pizza I said I was going to make Super Bowl Sun. Nothing will replace pepperoni, but this pizza did turn out pretty cool and tasty.

I have to give a nod to Southern Living because the original recipe is from their Nov. issue. It was in the “I’m so sick of turkey, what can I eat?” section of the mag. I changed it up to include stuff I had on hand.

I used a Boboli whole wheat pre-made crust. “He Who No Longer Inhabits” (heh – sounds like Voldemort) used to foof over the crust and make his own. Not me.  Here’s the rest of the goods:

  • 1 granny smith apple (I used another type), sliced thin
  • 1/2 c. thinly sliced red onion
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1/3 c. fig jam (I used Trader Joe’s Fig Butter, which surprisingly has no fat.)
  • 4 oz. of gorgonzola (the recipe used goat cheese, but I mixed feta w/ the blue because that’s what I had and I wanted more of a salty taste.)
  • Sprinkle of Italian shredded cheese blend
  • 1/3 c. toasted chopped pecans
  • 1-2 cups arugula
  • Salad dressing of your choice (I used my own balsamic vinaigrette.)

Saute apple and onion in olive oil until soft and a bit browned. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spread fig jam on crust and top with apples and onion. Sprinkle cheese over apples. Bake 8-10 minutes or until cheese has slightly melted. Sprinkle pecans over the top.  Let cool a minute. Toss arugula w/ a little salad dressing. You don’t have to use dressing, but I wanted a salad-type topping. You can serve w/ the arugula on top of pizza or I put it on the side.

(Not my pizza – too busy eating it to grab a camera.)

It was really good. The salty feta and gorgonzola balanced out the sweet apples and jam. I’m going to do some other variations of this pizza, too. A friend once served a fig and olive tapenade w/ goat cheese. I’m going hunting for that baby. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Oh yeah, serve w/ a red table wine, a bold white or something fancy. I had a Spanish Jumilla w/ it – a bit on the pricey side for me – it was $12.99, but it was worth it. Bon Appetit!

Is Gorgonzola Super Bowl Food?

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As my friend just reminded me, “You’re kind of a boy that way,” when I told her I do like to watch pro football. But the Super Bowl this year doesn’t do it for me. But I’ll side w/ the majority of my friends who don’t like Tom Brady and become an instant Giants fan.

However,  I did buy an avocado to make guacamole to pay homage to the big game. But instead, I’m doing this apple/red onion/gorgonzola/fig jam pizza. I know. It’s so far from football food, it’s almost in a different sport. Maybe figure skating?

In addition to some staples like red wine, fishy cat food and coffee creamer, I bought a few treats at the grocery yesterday:

  • “Chinese” cookies – the quotes are because I would call them Asian. I’ve decided that besides the almond flavoring, their texture is what’s addicting.
  • Light cream cheese – I call this a treat because I use it like a condiment – on a ham sandwich w/ red onion or a bagel w/ raspberry jam.
  • Arugula – I haven’t mentioned this before on here, but I’m a crazy arugula fan. I’ve found that many people aren’t. I’m going to toss it w/ balsamic vinegar and olive oil and put it on that pizza above.
  • Mexican shredded cheese blend – This is one of those totally necessary foods I use to create the laziest meal ever. Cheese melted on tortilla chips. You can’t even call them nachos because there is no other ingredient. This meal takes 50 seconds on 50% power in the micro.

Not the most exciting single people shopping trip report. But I did lose my truck key and that was somewhat interesting…