Calling All Cheeseburgers (Food Cop)

We have eaten salad for the last four nights. Our daughter, the vegetarian, approves. I’m glad and it’s healthy but I cannot go another night eating just salad.

Salad

Salad (Photo credit: SliceOfChic)

I need a cheeseburger.

I’m not kidding, I really miss red meat and I haven’t had any in months. You would think this would be the time to turn off my craving for red meat and stick to vegetables but why really?

We eat so little of it that I don’t think I should blame myself for having a little red meat when I want, it’s like my blood is calling out for iron. Okay, it’s basically because I am craving the cheeseburger and the french fries, I admit it.

English: Homemade cheeseburger with french fries.

English: Homemade cheeseburger with french fries. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tomorrow, my husband and I are going to get cheeseburgers at a small place in the neighborhood. Their burgers are absolutely divine, their french fries are thin crispy and salty. My cholesterol is fine and my weight is wonderful. I exercise. I look good.

Why am I rationalizing this treat? I have no idea. I guess it seems like I should. Partially because I know our daughter will look down or be disappointed at us but then that happens often she is turning twenty very soon. I can deal with that.

Tonight I ate eggplant with tomato sauce. I had to have a snack at midnight, the salad and eggplant left me starving at 11:30 pm.

eggplant with fresh tomato sauce

eggplant with fresh tomato sauce (Photo credit: Endless Simmer)

I am looking forward to biting into a medium cooked juicy cheeseburger, crisp fries dunked in ketchup and the small salad that comes with it (which I may or may not eat.)

I can’t wait.

 

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Mild Fish And Peanut Butter Ice Cream (Food Cop)

Cupcake that tasted exactly like a Reese's Pea...

Cupcake that tasted exactly like a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Oh stop, even I wouldn’t eat those two together although a light peanut sauce may go very nicely on filet of sole.

My point here is that I have become a different person and my husband doesn’t know what has happened to me and where I have gone. The trouble is I totally agree with him. Who am I?

I have “hated” fish all my life, the smell was repugnant to me and I would not even try it. We all know the “forced salmon” story that I wrote about when “my friend’s mother lied and told me it was tuna fish and FORCED me to eat it” and I don’t see that changing but mild fish is now a must-have. It’s opened up a whole new world of eating experiences. So much more to choose from, it’s exciting.

It started out with a tiny bite of my husband’s file of sole with lemon, butter and caper sauce he ordered at a restaurant. I had ordered a cheeseburger and we always exchange bites or share. I gave him my too- bloody cheeseburger. He cleverly offered me a taste of his dish. He said he liked mine more than his when he saw me eying his delicate dish, I fell for it. Love that man, loved the fish. Afterwards he grinned and laughed like a  6-year-old. Of course he said our favorite 28-year-old saying “sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.” He won.

Now, I don’t skip past the seafood section I look at it first. It feels so light in my stomach, the only disadvantage is that in two hours I’m hungry again but that’s what snacks are for. I don’t eat very much red meat at all but when I do, I want it to be small and good quality. After that, it will be back to fish, chicken, salad, eggs and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with pleasure.

Sometimes there are things in our world that just don’t make sense. Texture can play a big part. I love my hot cup of strong cup of coffee every morning but coffee ice cream or mocha, edible coffee beans? I wouldn’t go out of my way to order it. I do not like peanuts but love smooth peanut butter, chunky if I must. So when my husband’s dessert came with peanut butter ice cream instead of our beloved hazelnut, discontinued, we were not happy. My husband tried it and liked it and well, of course I had to keep him company.

I put the spoon of ice cream in my mouth, just the tip and it wasn’t….dreadful. It was like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups that I once assumed (again, another stupid assumption) that I thought I didn’t like but do. A little went a long way but I have to admit that ice cream was very, very tasty.

Be open to new foods, textures, tastes. Even at my old, ripe age you can discover so many new things to eat and drink (still working on the drink part) but water is best for me anyway. Here’s to new great food and water with lemon, hold the ice please, and as always, definitely leave room for dessert. Every. Single. Time.

 

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Jacquelyn: Were You At “The Taste 2” Finale?

English: Jean Claude Szurdak and Jacques Pepin...

English: Jean Claude Szurdak and Jacques Pepin (right) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Guest judge: Chef Jacques Pepin. In the finals, Marina, Lee and Louise.

The season of “The Taste” is over. As I’ve stated in earlier posts my highpoint of the show was when Jacquelyn exited mid-show, literally walking off stage. She is my Norma Rae. Nigella seriously needs to learn to play with others.

The first test was to make something for the poor and for the rich. It was so uninteresting it really didn’t matter what they made. Basically for the “rich” they added a lot more butter, truffles and caviar. For the “poor,” they all made a stew or soup.

Many past contestants in the audience: I see Cassie and Sarah, Shellie and Don, Audrey and Jay, among others; I am not making this up or exaggerating, I swear, I didn’t know who Audrey was because she didn’t mention “her fans” and she wasn’t complaining.The one person I wanted to see but DIDN’T was Jacquelyn. What, no invite? You people have NO sense of humor.

Final challenge: “Basic cooking: Make me breakfast, lunch and dinner bites that showcase your most dazzling skills.”

They tried. They did TRY.  I didn’t really think anyone made anything over the top that the judges actually swooned over. We’ve all seen good before, the last few episodes missed “stunning and amazing.”The finale did not break the “just ok” pattern. Shame.

Lee: Breakfast: Parmesan flan with bacon quail egg. He forgot that he left his parmesan flan in the oven but remembered at the last second. He saved his behind and put them in the cooler (not his behind, the flan) with bacon, eggs. Pure luck. Lunch: crab cake (he wastes a lot of time trying to get the crabs out of the shell) with avocado. Dinner: strip steak, cauliflower purée..” He was absolutely frazzled,or should I say fried?   Lee plates too soon doesn’t listen to Chef Jacques Pepin who advises him to plate later. Lee is acting cocky, doesn’t listen to the guest Chef.  Poor judgment. Dinner: Strip steak, parmesan tulle, mustard demi glace. Even with his fan favorite girlfriend Cassie giggling (did anyone else notice that rapid fire laugh) nothing could stop him or slow him down.

Marina:  (Chef Pepin looked a little befuddled around her) Marina starts with an (English muffin,?) quail egg, onion, fig and bacon. (“well executed”) :Lunch: Fried spring roll, oyster and pork, deemed (“not that successful.”) Dinner: short ribs, rice, kale, port wine.  She forgets to taste her own food, a definite no-no. Marina won’t take advice from anyone,she listens to no one, she prides herself on that. Marina used chicken testicles and pork blood. She certainly is imaginative. Have you cooked with chicken testicles and pork blood? Me either.

Louise: Breakfast: Fried quail egg with tomato sauce, (similar to Chef Pepin’s model that he displayed.) Lunch: fried oyster po’ boy sandwich, Dinner: steak with red wine sauce (which Chef Pepin salvaged)  potatoes, makes food look beautiful (she is also a food stylist.) She touches the steak and isn’t sure it is ready, Chef Pepin touches it and says 5 more minutes, in it goes. She is more needy and ready to listen to Jacques Pepin and believe me it shows. Her sauce breaks, she can’t use it. Chef Pepin helps her find a teaspoon of meat drippings again. Lousie feels like the underdog (again) and complains about something, was it brioche again? Much to everyone’s surprise, including Louise, she won “The Taste.”  As if she was in “Survivior” Louise flew under the radar, bothered no one, smiled a lot and portrayed herself as the victim.

3rd place LEE, 2nd place Marina, First place Louise

Congratulations? I mean, Congratulations.

The show is over. I’m done. We are all grateful. Would I watch it again? Probably.

*any error of description of food was unintentional and due to extreme fibromyalgia tiredness. I still am annoyed at the amount of alcohol on TV, just sayin’ sponsors?

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Glorious Food: North (Armonk, NY)

Sunlight coming in through the window, I lie back in my warm bed and close my eyes. My WindowFeb14left hand is stroking my red dog’s fur, if she could purr she would. So would I. Half of an apple cinnamon muffin with a sugary crumb topping melted away with my strong cup of coffee. A wonderful start to the morning after an even better evening.

I do believe that my calling in life is to go out to restaurants and review them or watching television shows and rating them.  Last night we treated ourselves going out for dinner at a restaurant called North in Armonk, N.Y.

It is something we have not done in months. With no income our dinners have consisted of scrambled eggs, toast, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, home-made chicken soup and pizza. We never complain. Last night was an exception to perk us up.

It worked. We were delightfully grateful that every mouthful “danced on our tongues,” our greatest compliment. From appetizer(s) Flatbread “pizza” with mushrooms and cheese, and bacon, apple, fennel salad, every bite was amazing.

I do not eat fish, usually. It is rare for me to find a fish dish that is acceptable I am definitely picky. I ordered monkfish, in a lemon-butter sauce with tiny grape-size potatoes. I swooned. My husband had swordfish which was almost as good but I definitely won. Though I tasted his swordfish and I even liked it. (That’s never happened before.)

After we finished the meal I felt sad that we weren’t starting it. Sad. Our lovely friend and waitress, Maria, was there, a sweet smile on her face, animated, knowledgeable and sincere. Her helper, Rebecca, was as charming and helpful.

For those who know me I could not leave without dessert, my husband and I are genetically programmed to NEED dessert. Even though we were bursting out of our outfits we, of course, had to look at the menu and decided to share a huge chocolate chip cookie (served in a frying pan) with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Let me say this, I applaud this restaurant because when I ordered a Diet Coke (feeling a bit guilty) they told me that they do not serve anything with artificial ingredients but they asked me if I would like to try a natural soda sweetened with agave. Bravo! This speaks to me, it is the CVS (phasing out cigarettes) of restaurants.

The evening was divine, our date was heavenly and a real treat. After paying and saying goodbye we lovingly clutched the apple crumb muffins they give to each patron after we paid the bill.

If that’s not heaven, what is?

*PS For those who are unfamiliar with my blog this could be the start of another “Gazpacho Chronicles” from last summer.

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A Food Fantasy And Then Some…

Fritos Logo

Fritos Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If I could, I would eat my way through my misery right now. I would start with bags of potato chips, the real kind and not those baked ones that hide anxiously in our cupboards, ashamed to see the light of day. Along side them would be sour cream and onion dip, one entire, big bowl, set right in front of my face and of course, I almost forgot, Fritos too. Fritos were a favorite childhood snack and I believe they would be so comforting to eat now. I’d have a chocolate shake to go with them.

It’s time to switch to pure sugar, trans fat, whatever fat, I really don’t care. My first stop is to get a jelly doughnut or two, and please don’t be skimpy on the jelly either, I just hate that. A lot of sugar on the top, yes ma’am and thank you so much, your smile is making me enjoy this trip even more. Thank you for not judging me. You are so welcome and here is your tip for your kindness. Little things mean a lot.

I hate alcohol so I wouldn’t even bother wasting my calories on that besides, nothing goes better with jelly doughnuts (and I’ve added double stuffed, fudge covered Oreos too) than a tall glass of ice-cold milk. My salivary glands are working overtime, if you must know just dreaming of these delicacies. No hating allowed, this is my fantasy so shut up, oh and by the way, I’ve just won $600 million dollars so whatever you have to say, say it to my accountant and lawyer who will be handling the money flow because we just don’t “do that” anymore.

Will I GIVE you money? You are certainly not shy, now are you? To those, who have stuck with me, been loyal friends, have treated me with kindness, you don’t have to worry. You know who you are. So, if I worked with you forty years ago and all of a sudden you remember that we were friends for one week, don’t bother.

The money is in the bank, my husband and I (I guess we’ll take the kids too) are traveling around the world, First Class, I might add. The Food is fabulous and plentiful. Our own chef is with us. My son, the carnivore has the biggest steak I’ve ever seen and my daughter the vegetarian has macaroni and cheese four different ways, one with imported bread crumbs on top. My husband and I dine on shrimp cocktail and I will have a platter of different little things or as we call it in my house “a smorgasboard” and my husband will also have a steak with french fries, extra crispy, please.

We will have our pastry desserts, chocolate for my daughter and husband and vanilla/fruit tarts for my son and myself.

Uh-Oh.

I miss my dog. Oh dear, even being this rich has problems? Darn. Nothing is perfect.Well, I guess I’ll crawl out of my bed, stop fantasizing and wake up from my self-induced dream. The dream is fading, the food fantasy is gone, I haven’t won the lottery. But, my husband is downstairs in his office, looking for a Computer Job, my college kids are home for their break to visit, I’m worried about my mom and my dog is lying across my feet and my troubles seem simple, well, most of them. I’m a home-body anyway. I’ll start my new book. I guess I can handle that, for now. I don’t have any choice.

Eating Key Lime Pie At Midnight With My Hands

Key lime pie

Key lime pie (Photo credit: nebulux76)

Not having utensils does not stop a sugar obsessed person from eating her leftover key lime pie for dessert. Why should it? My daughter had leftovers from her chocolate cake too. “We have no utensils” my daughter mentioned politely. That, as a problem, had never crossed my mind. My mind was on the authentic, Florida, key lime pie, the half sour, half sweet piece of juicy pie waiting for me to take a large bite. The utensil issue was really just a technicality. I grinned at my daughter and said “So? we use are hands!”

It was our first vacation alone together and we were having fun. Seeing me grab my key lime pie, take a big bite out of it and looking quite pleased with myself, grinning widely, she was happy to put her chocolate cake in her hand and take a bite. Isn’t that what vacations are for? To be able to do things like this and not be judged?     (We weren’t in the restaurant, We were alone in our room.)  It was definitely one of the high points of the trip for me. So, I’m a little addicted to dessert, there are certainly worse things, I don’t smoke, I don’t drink (much to the disgust of my two teenagers) and I’m not addicted to crack cocaine. An oatmeal raisin cookie occasionally or a piece of marzipan ( I’m drooling) after a well-balanced meal just makes me happy.

I would gladly give up all potatoes and pasta in the world, ( Sorry Nona) if I could have dessert and generally that’s what I do. I pass on the carbohydrates there, which pretty much don’t interest me, and save it up for what  I really care about, dessert. The only thing I have a tough time with is if there is really good ( son-approved warm) bread on the table, then I’m down and out. Or, if I’m lucky, there will be nothing on the dessert menu that I want to order, that’s a win-win situation. I want dessert but if there is nothing on the menu I want, I don’t order it anyway. I do have my standards. I save those calories and carbs for the next time I really want something and I know, that will be very, very soon.

I  love food way too much to give some things up entirely, so eating smaller portions is key and yes, I am finally forcing myself to drink more water. I really don’t like it any more than I did but I got so sick of every doctor telling me to do it, I just gave in. Is it my drink of choice? No, but it is certainly healthier than any chemical diet soda which I now limit. Lately, if I want something to drink that tastes good I get a mixture of cranberry and pineapple juice. There’s sugar, sure, but at least there is nothing artificial.

It’s Sunday, we all need to love our dinner, it’s a tradition in our house actually it’s been a tradition since I was six years old. It’s been decided, tonight is pizza and salad (maybe some bread too) and that’s okay because there is no cake or pie lurking in the refrigerator. There’s only ice cream which for me is just a source of calcium, so it doesn’t count at all.

Hope everyone enjoys their dinner tonight.

The Joy of a Good Meal (Food Pop)

Roy's Melting Hot Chocolate Souffle

Roy’s Melting Hot Chocolate Souffle (Photo credit: Mike Saechang)

A third of a steak. Half a plate of small monk fishies, fine, monk fish. Large glass of cranberry juice, no ice but a spritz of seltzer, half of a dinner roll with butter, half of a piece of chocolate molten cake with vanilla-almond chip ice cream. Fine, I know I did it to myself but I fully blame my husband who basically forced me into sharing dessert with him. What could I do? I’m the one who used to say “there is always room for dessert.” I couldn’t let him down and that almond ice cream is not just amazing, its sinful. It’s the one dessert our whole family loves. I asked my husband to take a picture of the dessert before we ate it and send it to the kids and tell them we can come here when they come home from school but apparently we were so excited to eat that we forgot to take the picture until it was half eaten.The cake was warm inside, the ice cream matched the cake to perfection, there was not a crumb left. Yeah, that good.

Ouch, I paid for it when I got home. My stomach was all stretched out and grumbling like an old spitting, cranky man. I don’t eat much these days and for goodness sakes why I ate so much to me is a mystery except that I didn’t have to cook and we were out at a restaurant and I was in the house all day and it tasted SO good and so fresh. I take full responsibility, I am not used to heavy food anymore. I’ve been living on toast, yogurt, eggs, light food. Did I remember that as we were being seated? Hell no. Would I do it again? I’m sorry but yes I would. These tastes were dancing on my tongue. My husband and I agreed this was the best meal we have eaten in a very long time.

Tomorrow, I will go back to plain yogurt with a little honey for lunch and scrambled eggs with toast for dinner. It’s not that I mind eating that at all. Especially when the kids are away at college and I don’t have to be a short order cook. I will happily eat clean food (as we call it) and remember lovingly, the food we ate tonight. What’s a little stomach ache when the flavors did pirouettes in my mouth? The side dishes that accompanied the entrees were exquisite as well. The steak came with some sort of root vegetable minced blend, it tasted like Thanksgiving. The monk fish was nestled on, I have no idea what, but it was soft, creamy and tasted like a risotto with blanched asparagus surrounding it. It was DIVINE and we were both SO happy.

So, while I may suffer a little tonight, it’s okay. Not only do I deserve it, I welcome it. Because a meal like this demands to be eaten and enjoyed. Do I regret eating it and paying the consequences? Be serious. It was worth every single bite and more.

*Where MY Wild Things Are

mischievious max

mischievious max (Photo credit: massdistraction)

Just call me Max, because tonight I live in my own storybook. I’m in a cranky, bad mood and while no one sent me to my room, I almost wished they had. It started off with not knowing where my husband was, he was missing. He didn’t leave a note but he could have left one word on a napkin and that would have been fine. He also left our whining dog, prowling around the house while I was trying to rest and get a little sleep because I felt extra crummy. It wasn’t fair.

It was a bad day for Fibromyalgia and chronic pain, my jaw hurt so much, I had ear pain and TMJ and a headache and no one cared. I wasn’t able to sleep because my dog was annoying me. She wouldn’t even settle down on the bed, up and down, up and down she jumped and I was too tired and achy to get out of bed to put her in the crate. Friends tell me I’m in a Fibro Flare but all I know is that I feel worse, much worse. The weather gets damp and now it’s pouring buckets like my expectations and mood, dumping down on the roof, bypassing the dirty, leaf-filled gutters and ending up in big, thick, muddy puddles. I don’t have rain boots and I can’t play anyway anymore.

I ended up eating a tuna sandwich standing up, alone, in the kitchen, with one foot crossed over the other and I ate it so fast that I didn’t enjoy it one bit. I even gave the dog, “the whining one” some of it. Just as I am shoveling down the sandwich, Mr. Last Minute Ambulance Aider comes strolling in with his fake, perky voice and I feel even angrier. I march up the stairs with the rest of my crappy dinner and the dog follows me for food, not for compassion. My only hope at feeling better is getting to eat the two last bites of the brownies that we saved and I am NOT going to share.

The last two weeks haven’t been good at all, okay, they sucked.  I had the hospital procedure and the horrific mammogram both done this week and I know it’s over but maybe not over one hundred percent because now I’m fuming inside like a chimney with an angry orange fire.  A new friend that I met over the summer,” sisters in spirit,” never sent me a birthday card when I thought for sure she would and I miss not having a dad. I believe in the good in people and then they disappoint me. At the same time a new friend thinks I should self-publish my blogs into a book with photographs. What? It came out of left field for me too. I guess we need to learn about balance sometimes.

My daughter is away at college and is sick again and I hate that. I offer to come up there or asks if she wants to come home but she says “No” and I worry, no matter how old they are and then I say out loud ” I wish you weren’t in college so far away.” I probably should have kept my mouth shut too but I couldn’t.

I am going to sneak down to the kitchen and at the end, I do announce taking the two brownie bites because after all, my husband wasn’t exactly doing a bad thing. They didn’t even taste good. I know that this stupid, horrible, unjust day will look much brighter in the morning when the sun shines, when my jaw stops hurting, after a good night’s sleep. All I’ve been doing is whining, I guess my dog and I have a lot in common.

*Based on the enchanting book:Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

PLINKY PROMPT: Breakfast For Dinner: Are you a fan?

  • Breakfast for Dinner
  • Breakfast, Anytime Except For Breakfast
    Syrup & Pancakes I am a major fan of breakfast for dinner, or lunch… just not for breakfast. A cup of strong, steamy coffee is all I need for breakfast to wake me up, with fat-free half and half and a packet of chemical sweetener or Truvia/Stevia, to take the edge off the bitterness.
    Any other time, breakfast is my favorite food group. I’m drooling just thinking about the options: pancakes, soft, buttery, drenched with (real) maple syrup, scrambled eggs, extra crisp bacon, whole-grain toast kissed with butter, eggs benedict, home fries, extra crispy…..Breakfast for dinner, breakfast for a snack: in our house we have cereal together after dinner and before bed, it’s not only comforting, it’s a tradition.
  • Previous Answer

Early Bird or Night Owl

Old?

Elderly Couple – Vintage

Early bird or night owl? Are these the only options? I’m neither. Oh dear, I think I am old. With one child in college and another child a senior in high school, I am able to sleep later in the mornings. Do I stay up late and party? I hate to confess, the answer is no. Maybe, instead of just old I’m also dull. Great…. I used to want to go to sleep before my husband or after for peace and quiet and lately, I love having him near me as we both fall asleep together. He was away for four weeks so maybe I’m just appreciating him more now.

I’m boring too. Gasp! It’s true. I never was a drinker, was always more of a homebody, even as a teenager, so I guess I’m still the same. I write, I read, I am now addicted to Pinterest (which I can’t pronounce.) I used to be much more independent when I was single and lived alone, before I got married. I stayed out late with friends, we went to dinner after work, to the Village, to the movies. We were out late and up late fearlessly taking the subways at all times of the night. Sometimes when I came home late, I then rearranged the furniture in my studio apartment or cleaned until 3am with my music blaring and me dancing like the Jennifer Beals in Flashdance (a movie from the seventies.) When you are YOUNG and living by yourself, it’s “fun.” You would have to have me lifted by a crane to do ANY cleaning at any time except during my normal waking hours. I’m neither an early bird or a night owl. What does that make me? I’m 55 years old and yes, I do have a few chronic illnesses that make me more tired but they are not life-threatening. I’m going to give myself a break (for once) and just say “I’m normal.”

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