April 29, 2004

Monument to processed cheese

from brian:

The following appeared on Boston.com:
Headline: Monument to processed cheese planned
Date: April 29, 2004

"Moscow, not short of monuments, will soon boast one to a Soviet-era processed cheese."

I love my friends. They know me so well.

Posted by foodnerd at 11:08 AM | Comments (2)

April 27, 2004


While on a rampage at the den of temptation known as the Whole Foods Cheese Department, I acquired a hunk of sheep's-milk cheese from France: Etorki. It's just wonderful: it's creamy, yet nutty and slightly pungent and ever so faintly sheepy. Mild-cheese lovers like it, stinky-cheese lovers like it, and it's a perfect eating cheese. Good on bread or plain.

Posted by foodnerd at 06:20 PM | Comments (0)

April 26, 2004

best food in Waltham

There is always a scallop dish on the menu at Tuscan Grill, and it is always sublime. They get lovely fresh sweet scallops, and sear them so they're barely cooked inside but all crunchy, golden and salty on the outside. They put good stuff on the plate next to them too, but those little bivalves, man, they rock.

Posted by foodnerd at 04:34 PM | Comments (0)

April 21, 2004

the holy grail

the holy grail of chips, while we're on the subject, is Herr's Hot Cheese Curls. These things are fucking transcendent. They are the best snack EVER. They are everything a snack should be: crunchy, salty, spicy, cheesy, savory. I get chills just thinking about it. (And while on the Herr's site, I noticed they make/sell the Glenny's Soy Chip line, which strangely doesn't suck -- they're good for you, protein/carb balanced, and deliver full doses of flavor crystals. Good for those times you need salty goodness but feel virtuous.)

hmm, and these are good too, but I have no idea where to buy them in these parts.

Posted by foodnerd at 10:20 PM | Comments (0)

While we're on the subject of chips

Check out Taquitos.net. The site is a bit cluttered, but their hearts (and stomachs) are in the right place.

I initially thought it was a commercial site, (I must have been thinking of Tostitos® corn chips) but that misconception was quickly corrected with a quick peek at the FAQ:

Q: Do you manufacture chips?
A: Nope. Mainly, we eat chips.

Well, there you go.

Posted by tallasiandude at 07:09 PM | Comments (0)

A Chipfest of sorts

Check out this article on Slate where the author runs a head-to-head comparison of the Häagen Dazs vanilla ice creams of potato chips. They evaluated 8 types of "gourmet" chips, although only 5 different brands: Lay's (2), Kettle (2), Boulder, Terra (2) and Cape Cod.

My only real issue: where's the control sample?

Posted by tallasiandude at 06:54 PM | Comments (1)

spring is here!

Roasted a lamb leg tonight, with all the trimmings: mint sauce (New Zealand style, made only of mint, cider vinegar, sugar, water and salt), yukon golds roasted in goose fat, asparagus, and rhubarb frozen yogurt cake. And champagne cosmopolitan cocktails, left over from littlelee's family easter dinner. (Tasty, as were the pear-nectar and champagne cocktails.)

Firstly, GOOSE FAT. Damn. Makes those taters perfectly brown and very crunchy. Do it the british way. I got my can o' fatty goodness in London, and I must find a source here.

Lamb was excellent, nice flavor, very moist, and littlelee & spleen are turned on to the NZ mint sauce. And the rhubarb frozen yogurt is what finally pushed me over the edge and caused me to buy an ice cream maker. I couldn't stand reading another amazing recipe that I couldn't make because I didn't have the damn gizmo. Thirty bucks on Amazon for a refurbed Cuisinart machine, and I couldn't be happier.

It was a nice simple dinner, absolutely delicious, and oozing spring from start to finish. Thank god winter's over.

Posted by foodnerd at 12:34 AM | Comments (0)

April 20, 2004


I am a tad strapped for cash so I made a dinner last night largely based on what was aready in my fridge. I had pork chops marinating in curry ketchup (no joke! I figured it would be like BBQ sauce and had to use it b/c it's about to expire), a snack box of dried apricots left over from Amy's wedding in October, chicken broth (one can of which has been blocking the mouse hole under the sink), ghee that I made for Indian food early last September, a half-used onion and lentils. I bought pine nuts, raisins, onions and bulgur. It all turned into a bulgur pilaf worthy of Lala Rokh, sans the shitty service!

Posted by littlelee at 03:39 PM | Comments (0)

a wee taste of England

went to the boozer just now to fetch some champagne (more on that later) and out of the corner of her eye, littlelee spied a rack of Herr potato chips... and in there we found a new treat: Steak & Worcestershire flavor chips. Oh yes. Yum yum. Full authentic worcestershire flavor, with undertones of meat. Mmmmmm....

Posted by foodnerd at 03:37 PM | Comments (0)

April 19, 2004

take that!

The bake sale netted $2283. Not bad for a few people clustered around some folding tables on the sidewalk. Baked goods kept materializing all day from random contributors, cars pulling up on the street, etc., and most of it disappeared within an hour of arriving. It was so cool. People brought rice crispy treats, pecan pies, an amazing walnut/cinnamon/caramel tart, chocolate cakes, brownies of all sorts, cookies up the wazoo, banana and pumpkin breads, two hot apple pies (i wanted one of those but didn't act fast enough), a coconut cake, some apple crisps...

Posted by foodnerd at 03:17 PM | Comments (0)

fish sauce and excellent houseguest

this weekend, our friend K came to stay with us, and she cooked us a swell vietnamese dinner. She had gotten her mitts on a few bottles of Phu Quoc fish sauce, widely reputed to be the best there is -- and it really is nice stuff. Much fishier than others, in the best possible way, and sort of nutty and rounded in flavor. (K agreed with our previous intelligence that Three Crabs brand is the best available in the States.)

Since K lived in Vietnam for 4+ years, she has a few recipes up her sleeve. One she got straight from the cooking queen of Phu Quoc island, involving squid, chilies, garlic, shallots, turmeric, fish sauce, and a truckload of chowdered-up lemongrass. Yum. She also made cashew chicken which was a far cry from most restaurant versions, a simple saute of collard greens, cabbage salad, and tom yum goong, the spicy lemongrass shrimp soup. All dreamy. Black sticky rice with coconut milk for dessert. Sigh.

Posted by foodnerd at 03:13 PM | Comments (0)

April 16, 2004

Victoria Organic pasta sauce

Found this stuff at CostCo, and I figured anything organic and on discount was worth a shot. And turns out it rules. It's delicious in that thin, old-skool red sauce way, hovering somewhere in a hazy area between what an Italian mama makes in Somerville and what you get at the Chateau. Comes in marinara and tomato basil flavors.

I had some Muir Glen sauce around the same time, and I figured that their canned tomatoes are so superior, their sauce would be good too. And it is, but merely good. It was very useful in a veggie lasagne, but I don't think I'd dig it just over pasta.

Posted by foodnerd at 08:28 PM | Comments (0)

pretzels that don't suck

before i forget, thanks to gurleygurl for tipping me off to the pumpernickel & onion pretzel made by Snyder's of Hanover. Normally hard pretzels are just boring and I don't bother -- but these have flavor! Nummy.

Posted by foodnerd at 06:12 PM | Comments (0)

and the kitchen's not even trashed

ok, so I ran out of butter and eggs. I guess that's a sign I should stop baking. ;-P The final tally:

cranberry upside down cake
chocolate afghans
pumpkin cranberry nut bread
espresso hazelnut brownies
banana bread
no-pudge chocolate chip brownies

and one substandard loaf of beer bread, which i'm eating myself b/c it's a little weird and overdone.

The tallasiandude will be psyched at how good I was at cleaning up after myself given the rampaging nature of this baking bender.

Posted by foodnerd at 02:31 PM | Comments (0)

eat pastry for democracy

I'm not much of an activist -- lazy, self-conscious, distracted -- but I can bake. And if I can help kick George Bush out of office by baking, then by god I'll do it. MoveOn.com's nationwide bake sale is the best idea I've heard in a long time. So tonight I made beer bread, chocolate afghans, pumpkin cranberry nut bread, and no-pudge brownies (from a mix, *gasp*). Have a look here for more info: http://action.moveonpac.org/bakesale/

Those damn brownies are awfully tasty for no fat. They're goopy-fudgy inside, which is rather nice. I made mine with plain yogurt rather than vanilla as instructed, and to make up for the lower sweetness I chucked in some semisweet chocolate chips. Hoo, baby! I never suspected they'd actually be good, but they are.

And chocolate afghans... mmm... sigh. Pride of New Zealand, the cookie found in every tea shop and truck stop in the land. Crunchy chocolate cookie with thick fudgy icing on top, with a walnut to crown its glory. Thought those crunchies were coconut for the longest time, but they're really crushed-up Weetabix. Americans lacking Weetabix (which is delicious itself as a cereal) can use corn flakes smashed to smithereens instead, but I find Weetabix has a crisper, lighter texture. I also suspect that these would be better if I used unsalted butter. Normally, I can't be bothered to buy unsalted butter, and frankly I won't use anything but salted butter on bread, trendy NYC bistros be damned. But I think these cookies end up with a slightly funny undertaste with salted butter. Not that I won't snarf down any and all within range.

And pumpkin cranberry nut bread has gotten rave reviews at parties, especially with a schmear of cream cheese.

Tomorrow we'll assay the espresso hazelnut brownies, frangelico truffles, and cranberry upside down cake. Heh -- take that, George!

(ps Weetabix available at Porter Square Star Market!)

Posted by foodnerd at 01:18 AM | Comments (0)

April 15, 2004

Welcome to FoodNerd!

Yeah, so the kitchen's a mess, the dishes are dirty and the floor hasn't been cleaned in months. But I wanted to get this thing off the ground. Hopefully coming soon will be places to discuss that cool new recipe, that freaky restaurant you found on your last road trip, or just somewhere to shoot the breeze.

I'm tellin' ya, this is the start of something big! Big, I tell you!

Stay tuned, it can only get better!

Posted by tallasiandude at 08:43 PM | Comments (0)