Friday, October 30, 2009

you've got to be fa-reekin kidding me, kraft

4 or 5 years ago I signed up for this free magazine (wait, did I sign up or was it just sent to me unsolicited? I can't remember). Anyway, I usually read it and sometimes I clip a recipe. I should say here that this magazine's definition of a "recipe" is very liberal indeed. A recipe in Food and Family can be a complex as the 5 ingredient "Chicken Pot Pie" or as simple (and frankly silly) as "Macaroni and Cheese Dinner" (the recipe is the directions right off the box). All of the recipes are full of Kraft brand ingredients (of course, no surprise there) and there are lots of ads for Kraft. Basically, it's the Vogue of cooking magazines: mostly ads and then a little content. The current issue even has one recipe (a caramel-topped cheesecake) appearing twice. (A fetching picture of Katie Brown posed with mixing bowl in hand also appears three times, if I'm not mistaken.)

So it is a primarily ad-driven publication and I'm fine with that. It's RIDICULOUS, though, to ask me to pay $7 a year to subscribe to this magazine. I wonder if people who visit the website and pay for the subscription will be disappointed in the content.

It kind of reminds me of "Video News Releases" that so often appear in local news broadcasts. Although it is somewhat entertaining to try and spot them ("Up next... a new diet pill that has everyone talking!"), the blurring of true content and advertising is irritating and troubling to me.

I realize that a food magazine littered with promotions and advertisements is hardly the most pressing issue of our time. I'll think hard about global warming as I whip up a quick batch of "BLT Ranch Hot Dogs."

Monday, October 26, 2009


And they're not from a picturesque tree in the back yard or anything. Just an abundant supply of food storage dehydrated apples that are (theoretically) past their date. I found the following recipe to make pie/cobbler/crisp filling (the quantity is probably a little too small for pie). I made apple crisp with it today and it's quite delicious.

* 1 1/2 cups dried apple slices
* 3 cups water
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 3 tbs. cornstarch
* 2 tsp. cinnamon
* 1/4 tsp. nutmeg and add to apples
* 1 1/2 tsp. lemon juice

Friday, October 23, 2009

wraps! wraps! wrappity wraps!

I've made these for luncheons and baby showers and stuff. One time someone asked me for the recipe. One time someone said, "What is that TASTE?" "Dill." "Oh, dill." Maybe they're not as good as I think they are but my boys like them anyway. And you can make them the day ahead. I didn't take pictures because my pretty dishes are still packed and our internet connection is so.... slow... these... days...


For turkey:

4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup mayonnaise
3 T bacon pieces (small)

For roast beef:

4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 T horseradish (more or less to your taste)

For ham:

4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried dill
2 tsp prepared mustard
freshly ground black pepper

To make the filling, just mix the ingredients together with a hand mixer.
For each wrap, thinly spread 1-2 T of the filling on a burrito-sized tortilla. Leave the top 1/4 of the tortilla bare so no filling will seep out as you roll everything up. Lay about 6 leaves of fresh spinach (and/or other veggies) atop the filling. Place 2 large pieces of turkey or roast beef or ham atop the spinach. Roll up from the bottom (the end that is not bare). Secure each end with a toothpick; cut in half. Makes 7 full wraps (14 halves).

Monday, October 12, 2009

mr. heaven

In a warmer life in Texas I had a wise friend, Micah, age 4. Her parents followed the Southern custom of teaching their kids to address all adults as "Mr." or "Miss." Micah tried to remember dh's name but always settled for a named that rhymed with his. She called him "Mr. Heaven."

The picture above doesn't do Mr. Heaven justice. Well, in a way it does, as it depicts him chugging a sweet, dark liquid (although it's normally Pepsi One and not chocolate syrup). Not to mention that the context of the photo (a very silly moment at the dinner table with the boys) occurs very frequently.

I don't blog much about Mr. Heaven because I'm afraid that such a post would deteriorate into a jumbled mix of Celine Dion lyrics and Hallmark Valentine's Day card sentiments. Suffice it to say that being married to Mr. Heaven--an even-keeled man with a ready laugh and a loyal heart--has made me very happy indeed.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

just what el doctor ordered

I am in urgent, urgent need of a decent, cheap, non-chain Mexican food joint here in Detroit. Until that need is filled, I plan to make these nachos every day for lunch.

Chipotle Nachos

This serves one but is infinitely scalable.

1 cup cooked pinto beans
1/2 of a chipotle chile (from a can, the kind "canned in adobo sauce")
3 T grated cheese (any kind will do--maybe not romano or whatever)

1/2 of one tomato, diced
splash of balsamic vinegar

Microwave the first 3 ingredients. Stir in the last 2 ingredients. Eat with chips. Think about sunny places where food like this is widely available.

Friday, October 02, 2009

axioms for today

*Badminton is the greatest game ever, capable of keeping children busy and physically active for at least 30 minutes. It can be played in wet leaves and it doesn't matter if the shuttlecock goes over the fence, as shuttlecocks are only 35 cents. It is the reason I can write a blog post at 5 pm.

*A person should not listen to sad Death Cab for Cutie songs (redundant, I know) on a rainy, cold day. It will only make a person sad about weather and unplanned moves and other inevitables.

*Do not plan to make complicated Chinese stir-fry dishes after a long day of doctor appointments, school events, and wandering around (on foot) in an unfamiliar part of town. Have a supply of Hot Pockets (or some kind of pockets) on hand for a day like this.

*52 degrees is too cold for the beginning of October.

*Glitter will someday fill the earth. The exotic names Martha Stewart (or some underpaid English major on her staff) assigns to these colors will supplant the names for colors we currently use. Ian Frazier has identified it as a societal problem (an abstract of his article can be found here); the holidays are a truly trying time for glitter-phobes like me.

* Sometimes bing is superior to google. After 4 attempts to find the above-referenced glitter article on google, I found it with one try on bing. I'm still not sure what "bing" is supposed to mean, though.