Tuesday, March 30, 2010
12 items at a feast for Henry the Eighth: I'm especially amazed by facts like this "Historians estimate that 600,000 gallons of ale (enough to fill an Olympic-size swimming pool) and around 75,000 gallons of wine (enough to fill 1,500 bathtubs) were drunk every year at Hampton Court Palace. "
7 Banned foods: Maggot Cheese anyone?
The world's most expensive foods: Diamond-encrusted fruitcake? Really?
45 common foods and their calories: A little scary sometimes, but a useful resource to keep around.
Favorite pizza toppings in 10 countries: Russia's favorite seems especially vile, but a Curry Pizza actually sounds really good.
20 things you don't know about popcorn: Makes me want some popcorn now...
Monday, March 29, 2010
But right now, I want to take a few moments to talk about diet. Not a diet, but diet. Lately, we've been eating horrifically because we've all been working so much-- there have been a few wonderful breaks from that, but mostly we-- and especially I-- have been giving in to the Fast Food Fairy and eating far too much of it. And recently, H and I gave up High Fructose Corn Syrup. I gave it up pretty successfully a few years ago and dropped ten pounds without trouble, but it's everywhere, and my love of sweet bbq sauce, sweet and sour sauce and rootbeer combined to let it back in.
Shame on me. Especially since the problems with it have been proven, and I knew all of them* beforehand**.
So I haven't been losing weight, my stomach's been a mess, and I can feel gall-bladder issues coming on. And it's really all my own fault.
So I'm trying to clean it up again. It's classic entropy-- you get a collection of meals you like and can easily make and they're healthy and lovely, and then you get busy at work and eat a burrito from Taco Bell or whatever, and the next thing you know, it's two months later and you're hardly eating any real food at all. After I get to the bank, I'm portioning out monies for staples. We're way low on the sorts of things that make good food, and I, personally, haven't gone grocery shopping in ages. I wish we had a real grocery (not just a boutique over-priced grocery) closer to home so I could just bike down each day and shop European-style. I hate having to plan a week or two in advance; how am I supposed to know what I'm going to want to eat a half-month from now? Or waht veggies and fruits will be perfect then? Or what my schedule will be like?***
I think I've lost the point of this post.
So I'll try to salvage something out of it:
I want more veggies, and the time to turn them into good, wholesome food without having to only eat it raw because I don't have time to cook. I'm craving a salad like woah. Seriously like woah. That's a real level of measurement.
I want to make my own bread. It's not hard, it just feels like a lot of work because of the whole rise for three hours thing.
I want to shop as much at real markets as I can, and I'm sad that the farmer's markets are only open twice a week, and that it's almost impossible to get to one of them because of foodtail's need of weekend work.
I'm going to wean myself back off the fast food and up the activity level. The weather's great, and I need more exercize anyway, especially since it will be almost impossible to move once the heat sets in. D's necks cut is hydrogenated oils, which pretty much leaves us with home-made food only. We'll have to set up, like, days for cooking ahead-- days when we can make a whole bunch of granola bars or prosperity-cake breakfast bars (that's one of the posts I need to post!) or cook up chicken and freeze it so we can just thaw and toss it into a salad or something.
I still have tons of miso. That stuff really doesn't go bad, and, actually, it sort of ages into something with more complexity of flavor. Best of all, it's super-healthy. Even the salt is better than regular salt (it's been fermented, and it breaks down better in the system. And I'm pretty sure I could use a little higher blood pressure anyway).
So yeah. That's where I'm at.
*They are the following:
- HFCS makes you fatter, faster
- The specific forms of fat are the worst kind to have
- It's technically like table sugar, but by breaking it up, it absorbs into the body faster and it doesn't trigger the 'full' feeling, making you eat more
- It damages the organs, either through direct action or through secondary action
** I looked them up when D went off the HFCS and I read some frothing-at-the-mouth crazies blaming it for the fall of western civilization to see what was truth and what wasn't. I try to stay what you call grounded in fact, especially with info I get off forums on the interwebs.
*** These are more things that are to be addressed in my Life Makeover as I look for a better job out of the retail / hospitality / foodtail business. Fixes to them count as part of a good job.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
The second experiment — the first long-term study of the effects of high-fructose corn syrup consumption on obesity in lab animals — monitored weight gain, body fat and triglyceride levels in rats with access to high-fructose corn syrup over a period of six months. Compared to animals eating only rat chow, rats on a diet rich in high-fructose corn syrup showed characteristic signs of a dangerous condition known in humans as the metabolic syndrome, including abnormal weight gain, significant increases in circulating triglycerides and augmented fat deposition, especially visceral fat around the belly. Male rats in particular ballooned in size: Animals with access to high-fructose corn syrup gained 48 percent more weight than those eating a normal diet. In humans, this would be equivalent to a 200-pound man gaining 96 pounds.
Monday, March 15, 2010
Saturday, March 6, 2010
The Momofuku Milk Bar Compost Cookie
recipe by Christina Tosi
(Courtesy of Regis & Kelly's website)
1 cup butter (that's two sticks, unsalted)
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 Tbsp corn syrup [Note: I left this out; not because I'm against corn syrup, I just didn't have it. The cookies came out fine, though may have had a nicer sheen with the syrup.]
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tsps baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsps Kosher salt
1 1/2 cups your favorite baking ingredients (options: chocolate chips, Raisenettes, Rollos, Cocoa Krispies)
1 1/2 cups your favorite snack foods (chips, pretzels, etc.)
Note: as said above, I used chopped up bittersweet chocolate and crushed pretzels. Next time I'd definitely add potato chips.
1. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter, sugars and corn syrup on medium high for two to three minutes until fluffy and pale yellow in color. Scrape down the sides with a spatula.
2. On a lower speed, add eggs and vanilla to incorporate.
Increase mixing speed to medium-high and start a timer for 10 minutes. During this time the sugar granules will fully dissolve, the mixture will become an almost pale white color and your creamed mixture will double in size.
3. When time is up, on a lower speed, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Mix 45 - 60 seconds just until your dough comes together and all remnants of dry ingredients have incorporated. Do not walk away from your mixer during this time or you will risk over mixing the dough. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl with a spatula.
4. On the same low speed, add in the hodgepodge of your favorite baking ingredients and mix for 30 - 45 seconds until they evenly mix into the dough. Add in your favorite snack foods last, paddling again on low speed until they are just incorporated.
[Note: eating this cookie dough raw is dangerously good.]
5. Using a 6 oz. ice cream scoop (I'm not sure how many ounces mine is, but it worked well), portion cookie dough onto a parchment lined sheetpan.
6. Wrap scooped cookie dough tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of one hour or up to 1 week.
DO NOT BAKE your cookies from room temperature or they will not hold their shape.
7. Heat the oven to 400 F. Take the plastic off your cookies and bake 9 to 11 minutes. While in the oven, the cookies will puff, crackle and spread.
At 9 minutes, the cookies should be browned on the edges and just beginning to brown towards the center. Leave the cookies in the oven for the additional minutes if these colors don't match up and your cookies still seem pale and doughy on the surface.
8. Cool the cookies completely on the sheet pan (good luck!) before transferring to a plate or an airtight container or tin for storage. At room temp, they'll keep five days.