Friday, January 30, 2015

FridayFoto Post - Apple Cider Doughnuts

On a visit to see my Mom in Winchester, VA we went to an orchard/farm market on the way out of town- Marker-Miller Orchard. We saw a huge line, and found out that they made fresh Apple Cider Doughnuts and so we followed the line halfway around the store and waited as tray after tray of these warm beauties came out until it was our turn- totally worth it, the smell alone was heavenly!!!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Battle Continues- Organizing the Fridge

A messy fridge posted from my past!
Many of you with an interest in food, particularly ethnic foods may have the same problem I do. 
Indian, Chinese, and other ethnic dishes often require you to buy a number of special ingredients, that you have to refrigerate once opened.  In my fridge harissa, black bean paste, and tapanade fights for space with 5 kinds of mustard, three or 4 kinds of jellies and jams and three nut butters, making for confusion and frustration, particularly when these lesser-used ingredients find their way yo the inner reaches of the fridge and I am looking for them desperately.  It often results in me buying an ingredient I was sure I had but couldn't find, only to find it later, and then I have to find room for 2 of the same things!!!!

Well thanks to so kitchen bins I bought at Costco (so much
cheaper than the same bins at Bed, Bath, and Beyond),  I spent a couple of hours and organized all these ingredients and condiments into bins and I feel like a choir of angels should sing everytime I
open the fridge door! Not only are these ingredients grouped to make it easier to find what I am looking for, I can simply slide the bin out and see all the way to the back without moving things emptying the fridge, etc.

How do you deal with the plethora of ingredients that come with being a foodie?

Friday, January 23, 2015

FridayFoto Post - Sushi Bake

Sushi Bake with crispy shrimp and seaweed salad-My daughter Bridget makes dinner- Pinterest Success!!!
Decided to have a photo post every Friday- here is #1.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

A Crazy Busy Year and the Big Apple

It has been a very spotty year for Play with Food - with some family health issues and an increased freelance workload meant I had to focus on the writing I have to do and left me with little time to do the fun posting that I love to do here. Demands on my time have taken meals and food from a creative expression to quick necessity. However, there have been some notable food-related events, and I want to begin regular posting by sharing one of the biggest-a 40th anniversary trip for my husband and I to New York City.

In trying to think of something to commemorate something as big as being married for 40 years, I
agonized. Neither my husband nor I are big jewelry people, and a party would just be a ton of work for me, but then I had an inspiration- how about a trip? But the question was-to where? We both love the beach, but we go there at least a couple of times a year, and so it didn't seem special enough, but then I thought-why not NYC?  Gavin had been there before with my daughter for the NFL draft but I had never been, and there would be things there that both of to enjoy and a great way to make new memories to carry us into the next several decades. An additional advantage was that I could meet a new client there and explore new freelance options while there.

Now here's the rub-my husband is not a flier, so I needed to find a way to get to New York that did not involve my husband driving more than 8 hours (I was hoping to continue our marriage and stay out of jail).  So I began making arrangements. Amtrak tickets to and from New York, choosing a hotel convenient to midtown Manhattan so we could get to things easily, deciding how long to stay and what we should try to do while there. Except for the travel and hotel the next biggest expense would be food, but I was determined that we could not skimp there - after all, what is an anniversary without an anniversary dinner? I knew there were places Gavin had gone to with Bridget when they were there - Evergreen Diner, Juniors, Toasties - that my husband would want to go back to,but I was motivated to find some special fine dining experiences while there. But how to eat well in the most expensive part of the city? Groupon turned out to be a great resource- I looked to see what was available in NYC in the area of our hotel, and used Yelp and TripAdvisor to select some great options (more details in future posts).

I really wanted to keep this a surprise until the day before we left,but discretion is the better part of valor so about a week before our departure, I set this at his place on the table. Needless to say,he was first mystified and then delighted! We were ready to take a bite out of the Big Apple!!!!

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Green Pasta Boosts Good Cholesterol

I was so excited to see that eating an avocado a day could increase the "good" cholesterol and improve heart health in a post on NPR's blog.

 As a long-time fan of avocados simply because of their taste and texture, and of course because I am concerned about the health of my readers,  I wanted to share a recipe that is an amazing way to get that extra avocado in your diet.  A delicious side dish, Avocado Pasta is a favorite in our home, and is good hot or at room temp for a pasta salad.  I usually use one of the high-protein pastas  like Barilla Plus or  Ronzoni's Smart Taste.

Avocado Pasta (makes 4 servings)

4 servings of your favorite pasta, cooked

1 whole ripe avocado
1/2 cup half an half (you could use low-fat milk if you are counting calories)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 clove garlic, mashed
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (more if you like it cheesy)
1/4 cup chopped parsley or cilantro
1/4 cup olive oil

Cook pasta and toss with oil or butter, set aside.

Blend all sauce ingredients in the blender until smooth, add more milk bit by bit if needed to make pourable.  Toss sauce with cooked pasta, and enjoy.  I usually top with a bit of cracked pepper and fresh grated parmesan.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

3-D Printed Food?

Since I work in a nuclear physics lab I am very familiar with the capabilities of 3-D printing.  They are used at Jefferson Lab to create prototypes and parts for particle detectors and other uses. Seeing these things work is just amazing, but I never thought they would be used to create food, and yet here it is - 3-D printed food.  A little pricey for Nutella Toast, but its a start.

I'd rather have a 3-D printed robot to clean up the mess, how about you?