Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tea Time!

Free Shipping is on at Teavana again until July 5th.

My latest greatest pairings

MateVana with Rose Roobios

Oolong Revolution & Sweet Fruit Garden with fresh lime juice.

I've brewed the latter combination at night, and then chill it to enjoy it iced during the day. I sweeten it with Splenda during brewing. And since Oolong tea is a delicate tea, brewing is a mere 2-3 minutes. Cooling occurs as I sleep, tasty without being massively time consuming, and saves me 1-2 that I used to spend on Snapple or CokeZero daily.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Ubiquitous Must Have Item #4


Before you go off on the vampiririsms, the smell, the robin leach/garlique references, think about how awesome garlic is. It's a mainstay in food & pop culture! It also has the potential to be sweet, pungent and spicy.

Sweet garlic a.k.a. roasted garlic is an excellent flavor bumper-upper and pretty easy to DIY. Just take whole cloves of garlic, unpeeled, wrap in foil, and roast in oven for 45-60minutes. Upon removal, just unwrap and you're good to go. Excellent for spreading and just all around sweet garlicky goodness. You can also cut off the tippy top of of a head of garlic, drizzle in olive oil and roast in a small pan (muffin pan/mini ramekin).

Pungent! Okay, not tasting sounding, but so fun to say.


Raw garlic. I once made an Emeril dish that required 40 cloves. I got to 20 something before I quit. The dish was surprisingly good and not overpowered. Raw garlic is also great when grated. If you want to add a lot of flavor to a raw (uncooked) sauce, raw garlic can be very helpful. Grab a zester/microplane and get all pungent with it.


I love infusing oil with garlic. Basically, grate or chop garlic and let it gently simmer in the oil. Once the oil lightly bubbles, you have garlic oil. Very easy, very tasty, very---oily. Also, a good swap for butter.


It's a spice, technically. So, garlic can pair up with many spices. Garlic & chili powder. Garlic & nutmeg. Garlic & peppercorn. Garlic & parsley is a really good one. Garlic gets around.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Brine Time

My first brine went super duper well. Foodwise. I nearly fireballed myself in setting up for indoor grilling...but that's another matter!

I was following a very easy weight watcher recipe that called for a brine. Whenever I've seen/read a recipe with a brine, it usually requires tangoing with a large piece of meat and overnight soakage. That takes a lot more resolve and memory power than I can spare at a time. This particular recipe though allowed me to use either boneless or bone-in chicken breast and a combined brine time (part set up-part soak) of 90 minutes. Brine on!

I chose boneless chicken breast because the market had a BOGO Free on it. The freebie sits in the freezer whilst the paid one sitts in my belly.

The success is due to the accessibility of ingredients (chicken, kosher salt, water), tools (bowl, fridge) and time. It's pretty much goof proof. And since I nearly goofed with the pan, it's nice to know something is goof proof.

Brining is also a good cooking method that allows you to maintain juicy texture of your meat on the cheap without loading in up calorie wise. (Here's a nice wiki blurb on it.) It's also not labor intensive, you just need to do a little bit of homework, which is a major mantra when eating for health and eating to fit your lifestyle.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Healthy Obsessions

I'm obsessed with Future Food. Not future food like the Jetsons where you'd push some buttons and out comes a dish of beef tenderloin (that would be awesome) or Soylent Green (not awesome). It's a television show on Planet Green that features to chef's who perform several food experiments from using granola bars & energy drinks to make "junk food" from making edible packagaing peanuts.

What I love about future food is how it constantly makes me re-think about what I can do with food. Most of the techniques and products they use aren't available on the local market, but the idea's are fresh up for stealing, erm, for inspiration. They had another show based on hamburgers and they assemble a veggie burger from ingredients in a cow feed, like corn, and many people found it tasty.

I don't think I'd be one of those people, but I'd like to think maaayyyyybee I could. All in all, it's cool to watch.