Sunday, March 24, 2013

Raise Your Hand If You Would Taste Expired Frosting

I'm heading down to my Mother's house for Easter, and I offered to bring a cake or cupcakes knowing that I had some cake mix and frosting in the cabinet I recall buying a while back and wanting to use.  It was one of those grocery store specials that was too good to pass up, I snagged a Devil's Food cake and Classic White frosting.

I hop up on the ladder to get into the back of my pantry (yes, this is an Omen that you need a ladder to reach it), and pull the goods down thinking 'Awesome Choice For Easter Cake'.

Unless you are a very close friend, you don't know that my husband does all the food shopping (this is for all of our safety).  This means that I probably get the good luck to food shop a few times a year, and when I go, that's when things like cake mix and frosting end up in the cart. 

Smartly, I checked the expiration date on both the cake mix and the frosting, the 'best by' date was some month in 2011.  If you're frugal like many people, you might think to yourself, now is it REALLY expired, how bad can it taste being 2 years out of date?  I tossed the cake mix first, figuring it wouldn't rise if I made it.  But the FROSTING... everybody imagines the shelf life on goods like this has got to be right behind Twinkies.  I popped the lid, peeled back the intact foil and stuck my finger in.  Smooth texture - not dried at all, smelled OK, so I tasted it.  At first I was expecting vanilla, and semi-surprised that it was flavorless.  Then I realized it's White.  What the hell does WHITE taste like? 

I can't recall what fresh WHITE frosting really tastes like, maybe lard, but 2 year expired white frosting tastes like plastic, complete with an aftertaste of more plastic.  I'm sure the taste is from the can it's in that is no doubt breaking down.  I would rather they say "can expires on this date" because if I was on a desert island, I probably would have frosted a pineapple or palm fronds with it because it was still creamy and decadent.   I like food, and I'm always willing to try almost anything out, and I'm sure I'll do it again.  I've only officially grossed myself out from eating old spaghetti once, you gotta know your boundaries right?  Who's with me?  ; )

P.S.  Don't worry Mom, I threw it out.  It will be Lemon cake instead.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

Greetings Friends!  It's been a while since we've posted anything, but I can't let a food-centric holiday go by without posting something about Halloween.  There's lots of arguments about necco wafers and apples being handed out for trick-or-treat, so I think that everyone can appreciate this great video called "The Guide to Trading Candy".  Enjoy!!

Friday, July 20, 2012

A Confession via Lobster Tracks

I have a confession, I've been on a diet since March, so I have not been able to eat or post any evil food delights for your reading pleasure.  That being said, I did go on vacation this past month and fall off the wagon.  After losing 39 pounds and counting, I decided that eating ice cream from a little rustic general store in Maine would be alright.  Of course, that was the first day of daily ice cream for the week, but hey, at least I have something to write about and have since bravely stepped back on the wagon.

Here's a photo of myself and my girl having ice cream at The Granite Hall Store in Round Pond, Maine, which features Gifford's Ice Cream.  Gifford's Ice Cream was born and raised in Maine, and now stretches as far south as New Jersey.  I've had their ice cream religiously on every trip up North, so I honestly can't tell you how it stacks up against Ben and Jerry's - mostly because when I eat it I'm about 100 yards from a harbor and I'm always on vacation.  This means it will always be the best ice cream on the planet.

This time around, because I hadn't eaten ice cream in 4 months, I tediously examined the many many choices at the ice cream stand and opted for Lobster Tracks.  The description hysterically says (smartly so) "This product contains NO lobster. Vanilla ice cream, lobster-colored chocolate cups filled with caramel all swirled with a unique ├ęclair crunch."  I figured this is something worth doubling my daily calorie count for.  Yes, it was good.  The bright red color was a little distracting, but I thought it was definitely worth trying since they made the effort to match the food coloring to the actual color of a lobster. 

So if you were in my shoes, or on a desert island and walked up to the ice cream order window, what would you get, and... cup or cone? 


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Fabio's Ultimate Donuts

My husband happened to be curious about a recipe for the ultimate donut, as I surfed Facebook I couldn't help but be sucked into watching the hilarious Italian host, and yes, a surprise ingredient in the donuts. Donut fans - check out the video!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Fizz Pop goes the Firecracker Chocolate

My trusted supplier of many culinary adventures, the lovely and talented Dana Isenberg, brought in a Firecracker Chocolate. It's made by Chuao Chocolatier, and consists of premium dark chocolate, chipotle, salt and popping candy (to you normal people that means POP ROCKS). I've been a huge fan of the "dark chocolate and salt with [insert anything here]", so true to form I snapped me up three small sections of the chocolate.

At first I started just chewing it, when Dana suggested I just leave it sitting in my mouth and enjoy the show. I think the show was watching the victim eat the chocolate, as she said the best part was watching my face while I ate it. The chocolate was smooth, the chipotle had this subtle kick, the salt rounded it all out. Then came the pop rocks. Fizzzzzzzzzzzzz. I opened my mouth and could hear that signature semi-unholy sound of strange bubbles escaping from a mad scientist's lab. I really could have just eaten one small section. But no, I had three small pieces to see if I could get past the pop rock flavor and see if it melded with the other ingredients. Nope. By the end of the third piece, my throat felt like I had been on an all night vomit-fest, with this weird bitter burning in my throat.

It was time for my afternoon tea, and no one was more surprised than me to drink my black tea and feel like it re-activated the pop rocks in my throat, it started burning all over again.

So, don't you want to run out and try it now? My advice, buy one bar, and share it with 8 friends, you'll be fine! It's worth the flavor experience, complete with the fizzy novelty.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Beware the Recipe Chain!

Here it is, a few weeks before the big holiday season, and in pops an email about a Recipe Exchange from the mother of one of my best friends. Now, I don't know if was before my 2nd cup of caffeine, or after a particularly satisfying breakfast that made my brain complacent, but at the time this seemed like a mighty fine idea to follow the instructions and send a recipe exchange request to 20 of my friends. After all, I need to go to holiday parties, and I might just end up with the killer savory ricotta fritters as an appetizer or bring a tasty Apple Cinnamon Crostada to the brunch. When I heard recipe exchange, this is what was pouring into the inbox in my brain.

My first recipe that arrived was painfully simple, and seemingly includes an illegal amount of sodium, and was probably a favorite of every kitchen in Main Street USA circa 1961:

OK, as it was the first one, I did not make any judgements. I am also fairly positive that for a million dollars, I cannot identify what CHUCK ROAST is when I go to the grocery aisle with all the meat in it. (they really should have pictures of what the stuff looks like cooked so I can ID it). It sounds like a big piece, versus the wavy meat they call hamburger.

The second recipe pops in, with an attachment, and the email reads:

I do not like clams, and I did not open this email.

Still, I was not officially discouraged, after all, I've gotten 2 out of many many amazing recipes to come my way, come on Number 3!

Later that evening, all hell breaks loose when I get this one. I even threw up a little in my mouth while reading it.

I am a veritable well of optomism when it comes to food, so I will be waiting patiently for other fantastic treat instructions to arrive. My goal is to actually read something I would consider making, versus making me lose my appetite. My neighbor's mom always made ambrosia in that huge glass footed bowl, it was great when you were under ten years old.

The hard thing for me is that the only food I have ever made is not one I read about in an email, but one I sampled at a party, freaked out, and begged for the recipe. I am publicly admitting that these recipes in this exchange have a very low chance of ever seeing the light of my oven. At least they see the glory of cyberspace as they are posted here for all to read. If anyone wants the clam recipe, please say so - however, I'd recommend reading Poor Girl Gourmet (the blog or the book) by Amy McCoy for actual real yummy food on a budget. Bon Appetit!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Dinner and a Cup of Coffee? What Were They Thinking?

I was just sitting down to a post-lunch cup of tea and thinking about the movies from that era of Hollywood when people would belly up to the counter and order lunch or dinner with a cup of coffee. Growing up as an offspring of that culture, I never thought much about it... it was in so many movies, plus parents and seniors would still eat meals and drink coffee. As a 40-something adult, I shudder to think of sipping a coffee alongside a ham sandwich, or tipping the java down the gullet next to my spaghetti dinner and salad. On the flip-side, a diner breakfast is not complete without sipping coffee all the way through. Why has drinking coffee during other meals fallen out of favor and habit among subsequent generations such as mine?

Health: we have learned over time that something like water is a better alternative to drink with or after a meal. Here's an article from Raw Food Explained that discusses the impact of different types of foods and liquids in conjunction with each other, some wreaking havoc and blocking the proper ingestion of important nutrients.

Glam: perhaps drinking coffee with meals is falling off the hip charts, like smoking in the movies used to be. I found this neat blog about the history of everything to do with restaurant-ing, if you are a fan check it out. I'm also currently reading Appetite for America by Stephen Fried, about how businessman Fred Harvey invented the chain restaurant business, the chain hotel business, and the chain bookstore business all while building the nation's growing railroad system. I can imagine riding the rails for hours across the midwest, hot and arid, smoke and dust, stopping at this snappy clean eating establishment and eating meals only found in fancy restaurants in Chicago or New York. Harvey exclusively used Boston area Chase and Sanborn coffee. I bet you I'd be drinking coffee with my salmon after that rail tour.

I'd love anyone who does drink coffee with non-breakfast meals to tell me why, what is the allure?

A Cup of Coffee, a Sandwich, and You (1925)