What’s in your freezer?

 

This week’s power outages have been a disaster for many people’s cold storage. My street was without power for almost three days…which meant dumping most of the contents of our refrigerators and freezers.

Luckily, I have been conserving money by purchasing only what I need these days, even if it means passing up bulk deals. So my freezer was relatively spared, mostly filled with bread and veggies that made it through.

What about you? Did you have to do a major toss? Do you normally keep a stash of perishables and extra meat in your freezer to have on hand?

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What is ballpark food to you?

It’s baseball time again. When I think Braves, I think dogs…hot dogs that is. For my family and me, when we go to the ballpark (and with a houseful of boys, that’s where I often end up) we find baseball and hot dogs to be the perfect pairing. While I admit Turner Field has its bbq and tacos, they’re still down-to-earth fare. But, that isn’t so all over the nation. Stadium food is going upscale, way upscale.

San Diego has its beloved fish tacos, Seattle, its sushi…and for the truly daring, Rocky Mountain “oysters” at Coors Field. Elsewhere you can chow on Ghirardelli hot-fudge sundaes, ahi tuna and 40-clove garlic chicken sandwiches and ribs. Well-known food restaurateur, Danny Meyer of New York’s Union Square Café and Gramercy Tavern, is catering at the Met’s new Citi Field, offering pulled pork on brioche buns and chipotle chicken wings.

When you go to watch America’s favorite pastime what do you want to eat? Is it a dog or do you want something more unusual? What is the …

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What would help you cook dinner?

I frequently encounter people who hate to cook, or like to cook but don’t like to cook dinner. I always wonder what I, as a food writer, can do to make that process less unpleasant…besides, as a few have suggested… making them dinner every night. Sorry, but that ain’t going to happen.

I often wonder which part of making dinner is hardest to overcome. Is it picking recipes? Are recipes too complicated? Is organized food shopping too cumbersome? Maybe, it’s just the thought of all the cleanup.

Let’s dish freely here. What keeps you from cooking dinner, besides total exhaustion at that witching hour? If you could wave a magic wand, what would you change to make getting dinner on the table easier?

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Do you use your cell phone to help while food shopping?

Between, I-Phones, Blackberries and the myriad other PDAs, food planning and shopping has been forever changed. Not only are you able to search for recipes right in the supermarket aisles based upon what’s on sale, but with the touch of a keypad you can use a calculator to figure out the best value for different sized packages or google conversion tables to help you adapt proportions from a meal for 2 to one for 5.

But that’s only part of it, if you want to find out more about a cut of meat or a type of cheese, all you need to do is do a search on it. Then, of course, there’s also the phone, which lets you call home to check to make sure you have the needed staples when memory fails.

There is no doubt that mobile technology is playing a more dominant role in all parts of our lives. Have you embraced when food shopping it or is a pen and pad still your method of preference? What is the most helpful way an app has served your supermarket experience?

Check out other apps that …

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Are you still avoiding peanut butter?

It seems even though talk about the peanut butter salmonella outbreak has subsided, a lot of people are still avoiding peanut butter. According to Nielsen research, sales of peanut butter are the lowest they have been in the last three years.

I have to confess; I wasn’t that diligent when the outbreak was announced. I don’t buy that much made with peanut butter paste, and while I certainly stopped buying the products mentioned in the news, I didn’t go on the web site to check out the things I had in my cupboard that had peanut butter in them. I guess i figured that anything dangerous was already pulled from the shelves.

But, even now I have it in the back of my mind and I still feel nervous. Just this week I avoided a peanut butter flavored cereal, but, duh, later realized I bought peanut butter flavored granola bars. I guess you can call me Sybil. 

I know it is safe to buy peanut butter products again, but wonder if I am the only one who’s still a little gun shy. Did you …

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What is your favorite desperation dinner?

 

Twice in the last month I found myself in need of making a dinner I didn’t plan for. Watching my pennies, I was hesitant to throw in the towel and order Chinese or Pizza, so I went hunting through the fridge in search of ingredients that could come together quickly and deliciously.

I had recently tested a recipe that only used a couple of strips of bacon so had most of a package left. That’s when I realized that between that and a couple of eggs and pasta I had all the fixings I needed for my favorite “desperation dinner” spaghetti carbonara. Here’s my “go-to” recipe for when the fixings are slim. It’s a hit with my whole family. It makes 4 servings with maybe some leftovers… if you are lucky.

  • 12 ounces spaghetti
  • 8 ounces bacon, diced
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly grated Pecorino or Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Prepare spaghetti according to package directions. Reserve 1/3 cup of the cooking liquid before draining. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over …

Continue reading What is your favorite desperation dinner? »

What is your favorite desperation dinner?

Twice in the last month I found myself in need of making a dinner I didn’t plan for. Watching my pennies, I was hesitant to throw in the towel and order Chinese or pizza, so I went hunting through the fridge in search of ingredients that could come together quickly and deliciously.

I had recently made a recipe that only used a couple of strips of bacon so had most of a package left. That’s when I realized that between that, a couple of eggs and a partially full box of pasta I had all the fixings I needed for my favorite desperation dinner, Spaghetti Carbonara. Here’s my “go-to” recipe for when the fixings are slim. It’s a hit with my whole family. It makes 4 servings with maybe some leftovers… if you are lucky.

  • 12 ounces spaghetti
  • 8 ounces bacon, diced
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly grated Pecorino or Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black peper

Prepare spaghetti according to package directions. Reserve 1/3 cup of the cooking liquid before draining. Meanwhile, in a …

Continue reading What is your favorite desperation dinner? »

What tempts you when buying a cooking magazine?

According to a new report in the New York Times even with the economy going south, the sales of food magazines are still going strong.

Even formally “high minded” journals are reflecting the times by featuring more accessible recipes with familiar ingredients and food costs in mind. In the article, Ruth Reichl, the editor in chief of Gourmet, states, “This is an incredible opportunity. People need help learning to cook again, and they need advice on less-expensive ingredients, and we’re trying to give it to them.”

The article also points out a new trend in food magazines, those that feature celebrity chefs. Rachel Ray’s and Paula Deen’s magazines are especially popular. Even the Food Network has its own magazine which features its on-air personalities prominently.

What tempts you to buy a magazine when you are at the supermarket checkout? Is it more likely to be a cover photo of food or a personality you relate to? How much does the lure of budget recipes tempt you?

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