Another Reason To Love Carbs

This is a TAD offtopic here, but I think it still relates: Promising Thai fuel cell converts carbohydrates to generate electricity – “Cellennium Thailand, a small research and development company, has successfully developed and commercialised a sugar fuel cell that uses carbohydrates from sugar or tapioca to generate electricity. The vanadium-based fuel cell works by electrochemically converting the chemical energy bound in carbohydrates into electricity. Cellennium chairman Krisada Kampanatsanyakorn said the fuel cell, which has already been patented in Sweden, was able to store electricity for up to 15 to 20 years, or up to five times the life cycle of normal batteries….”

The Good and The Bad

There are some restaurants which seem to do things really well, but other things really poorly, so you only end up going there if you’re in the mood for the ‘good’ things. For instance, there’s a local diner-type place that makes what they call the ‘colossal burger’ – it’s a huge hand-made burger that’s fire-seared and just completely tasty. And their natural cut fries are just plain GOOD. This same place serves breakfasts (all day) as well, but most of what we’ve had there has been disappointing. Flat, thin, and tasteless scrambled eggs, pancake syrup that’s bland and runny… all the breakfast foods just seem to have no flavor at all. Before we stopped trying that place for the occasional breakfast out, we’d always leave feeling like none of the food actually made physical contact with our taste buds.

There’s also another local eatery within a store that we’ve dropped by a few times. They, too, had good burgers and fries, so we thought we’d go back and order their burritos. (It’s a limited menu kind of place.) I’ve never HAD such a horrible meal in my life. The chicken was on the edge of being either spoiled or doused in so much MSG that it tasted like salt gone bad – if that’s even possible. There was no cheese at all, the drop of sour cream had been placed inside the burrito and you couldn’t tell it was there.

Is it who’s cooking? What the cook knows how to do? What the cook LIKES themselves? Do cooks generally TASTE their own food? I guess I’m suspicious that the food that doesn’t taste good was made by those who consider cooking just another job and who don’t really have passion or joy for it. I guess those who aren’t in it for the taste tend to judge it by other critera, such as what the full plate looks like when ‘dressed’, etc. (John had a fellow cook tell him one day that if the food LOOKED good, the customer’s imaginations would fill in the rest. Both of us wondered, why not just make the food taste good in the first place? You don’t eat food with your EYES, right?) Anyway – that’s my rant for today – LOL.

Pink & Purple – The New White?

John and I went to a local, inexpensive eatery today to get some Italian pasta dinners – manicotti and lasagna, specifically. We quickly discovered that they had purchased some new (and cheaper, plasticky, reusable) plates to replace the old, white, ceramic ramekins that they used to use. We certainly liked the old ramekins better overall, but the new dishes would have been at least tolerable, except that they were trimmed with a large border of purple and pink flowers. Have you ever SEEN red-orange colored tomato sauce next to pink and purple? Of course, it may just be me, as I tend to be very attentive to colors in the first place, but let’s just say that this particular combination doesn’t necessarily ENCOURAGE the appetite. (All they were missing was a unicorn in the middle that you discovered upon clearing the plate.)

I AM hoping these cheap plates are just a stop-gap measure before they get new ramekins. I’m guessing they aren’t meant to last very long with commercial use. Hmmmm – maybe the pink and purple border will scrub off in the dishwashers! Well, one can HOPE!

Revenge is a Dish Best Served with Cheese

Revenge is the name we have given our version of Loaded Nachos. Why Revenge? Many moons ago Kristen’s sister made us a recipe called Southwest Fiesta, lots of it. By the 3rd or 4th day of leftovers we started calling it “Fiesta, The Revenge” like it was a movie sequel. From there it just became Revenge, and even though we changed many of the ingredients the name just stuck.

This is one of those recipes you can’t do wrong. You can vary any of the ingredients to suit your own tastes but this is our favorite.

Revenge (or Loaded Nachos) Recipe

1lb lean ground beef
1lb monterey jack cheese
1lb extra sharp cheddar cheese
1 can black kidney beans
1 can corn niblets
1 can diced tomatoes
1 jar salsa
1 medium onion
A smidgeon of vegetable oil
salt
pepper
chili powder
Large bag of sturdy tortilla chips
Sour cream

Dice up the onion. Add the smidgeon of oil to a large frying pan and heat under a medum flame. Add the onion and saute for several minutes until soft and translucent.

Add ground beef to pan, chopping into smaller chunks with the spatula and stirring as it cooks. Cook until done, when no ‘pink’ remains. Drain the excess fat if necessary.

Open beans and rinse away icky bean juice, add to meat. Open and drain corn niblets, add them as well. Add diced tomatoes, then add salsa, salt, pepper and chili powder to taste. (You can also add more spice with things like Cayenne pepper, hot sauce, etc.) Let the whole meat mixture cook together for a little while. (If it’s a little liquidy, this will reduce the amount of moisture.)

Shred cheeses onto a plate and mix together lightly.

Line a large, microwave safe plate with a layer of chips. Use a slotted spoon to sprinkle some of the mixture on top of the chips (don’t overload too much!), then sprinkle a good amount of cheese on top. Microwave for about 1 minute until the cheese is melted. Add sour cream liberally to chips as desired.

I’d like my hair on the side, please…

The less hair you have, the less you pay at Gary’s Uptown Restaurant and Bar on Wednesdays, and you’re also privy to a special menu which includes flat iron steak, filet of snapper, and chicken fettucine. No hair? 100% off! No kidding! 😉 (I wonder who decides what percentage of ‘bald’ someone is?)

You Little Brat!

That’s not a sausage! THIS is a sausage! Bratwurst, to be specific. A 40-foot bratwurst for the Guinness Book of World Records. (I also never consciously realized before that the short form of bratwurst, ‘brat’, is spelled the same as the snotty-little-kid variety.)

Mmmmm Bacteria

Years ago I heard a theory that said if your body needed some particular nutrient, the foods that contained that nutrient would be appealing to you.

I now accept this theory as completely valid. All my life I’ve hated yogurt, the tangy taste would make me want to gag after a couple of spoonfuls. Then I got sick last week, and the doctor prescribed mega-antibiotics.

The antibiotics must have killed every bit of digestive bacteria in my stomach, because it felt like my entire digestive system had just stopped. If I ate something in the late afternoon, I was still trying to digest it the next morning, ugh!

A friend mentioned eating yogurt, which made sense if I could actually keep the stuff down. Amazingly, I found myself enjoying it, the tangy taste which I hated so much suddenly tasted GOOD to me. Of course the real test will be whether or not I go back to hating it in a week or so.