Thursday, April 30, 2009

Presidential Snacking

The Kitchn featured a short post about food at the White House. A fabulous picture of President Obama's afternoon snack plate here. You will see that for such a simple snack, the amount of cutlery and china is quite amusing.

Here's the full post.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Homegrown strawberry dreams...

While I do have a small patio space, there unfortunately isn't enough sun exposure for much gardening to be conducted. When I move next, I will definitely put more effort into finding Southerly windows or patios. In addition to growing more herbs and attempting some sort of container potatoes, these strawberry planters look like a must-do. The thought alone of homegrown berries has my mouth watering!

{Photo Credit: Stephen Duckworth}

Friday, April 17, 2009

Realisic Dinner Previews

Thanks once again to Lifehacker, I stumbled across this great comparison of Fast Food Advertising pictures compared to real-life photos of the food product being marketed. While it makes sense that food is styled (and often, not even real food) for photographs in ads, it is amazing to see the contrast between the ads and reality.

Check out this contrast of the Arby's Beef n Cheddar sandwich. The real one just looks so sad. Imagine if food marketers/advertisers had to use actual food products, like what is made in the restaurants. I think a lot more people might make the effort to eat at home!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Grow 100 pounds of potatoes on your balcony!

My gardening skills are at the level that would require the purchasing of an AeroGarden if I want to sustain green life for a period of time longer than a month. I am always impressed with those who have the ability to care for plant life in a way that results in getting to eat fresh produce (opposed to the greenery dying in the garden or being eaten by critters, which would happen to me).

Since I live in an apartment, I thought I had a pretty good excuse for not attempting any gardening of my own. This article on Lifehacker, however, puts me to shame. Someone with a lot of ingenuity came up with an idea to be able to grow 100 pounds of potatoes in 2 X 2 foot space. It reminds me a little of the upside-down tomato garden that I always seen in the SkyMall catalog on planes. But way cooler because 1) it's homemade and 2) it's friggin 100 pounds of potatoes!

It's not too late to plant some tomatoes or herbs on my patio, so maybe if I start small and have success this summer, I can work on growing potatoes next year. But probably not 100 pounds of tubers (though that does sound quite delicious). We'll see what happens! This is something I need to try with baby steps!

{For the planting instructions, see the Lifehacker article or the original article from the Seattle Times}

Sunday, April 5, 2009

One a penny, two a penny, hot cross buns!

As I've mentioned before, I love eating my way through London. On almost every visit, I manage to procure Hot Cross Buns from the grocery store. While this is not gourmet by any means, they're something I enjoy thoroughly for breakfast or a snack or just because. I can easily justify this layman's indulgence to myself with knowledge that even the grocery store variety of Hot Cross Buns in England is far better than any I've had in the States. Furthermore, in the US, these flavorful delights are only available a few weeks in the year (which might actually be part of the problem).

Since it has been two years (gasp!) from my last trip across the Atlantic, I have been eager for Hot Cross Buns to start showing up in my local grocery stores for Easter.

I try to have a grounded perspective on my expectations of US Hot Cross Buns by having clear memories of previous disappointments. However, I do get sad when I eat Hot Cross Buns in the States, and they simply don't taste as good as their name implies they should.

Central Market has a great bakery and is also my Houston source for many hard-to-find grocery items. Unfortunately, I don't think their bakery makes their Hot Cross Buns because they certainly don't live up to Central Market's usual tasty standards. While I will admit, they did satisfy my Hot Cross Bun craving to some degree, I found them lacking. The texture was dry, and there weren't enough pieces of fruit. It was disappointing that the only fruit were raisins, especially because they were also overly dry. While non-traditional (and not necessary for well-made Hot Cross Buns), the icing was the only saving grace. The iced crosses provided a nice level of sweetness and needed moisture to the buns.

Will I buy them again next year? Chances say that I will. But maybe I'll grow enough courage to try making my own instead. Only time will tell...