12 February 2011

Food words I dislike

The LA Weekly blog has two interesting articles (here and here) about words they think should be obliterated from the food lexicon and they start w/one word, I would really like to see gone gone gone - Foodie. What a stupid word. Sounds like something a 3 year-old would say. Ugh. As the LA Weekly says, "Get a better word. Preferably one that sounds like it wasn't coined by a kindergarten teacher."
Bounty - now I know this is from a rise in interest in farm fresh produce, but you know what comes to mind? Paper towels. Not kidding. 
Alfresco - LA Weekly says it best, "It's called outside."
Mixologist - It's not rocket science, it's a drink. How hard can it be to pull a pint?
Food Porn - What? Really, Ewww. 
Mouthfeel - hateful word, just as bad as unctuous.

Serious Eats also compiled a short list (here). These are a little less annoying to me, excepting Nom Nom. I have no idea why that is even listed as a food word - the only reference I have to that baby phrase is as a food truck. Nom Nom, from LA, that serves Banh Mi. They were on some show w/other food trucks and did well, if I remember correctly, and were cute kids, but I just thought it was a S.T.U.P.I.D. name. Seems I really have a problem w/baby-sounding names. We're all grown ups here (at least I hope so), so talk like one. 
I'll add one of my own - the use of the words home made to describe a restaurant item. It's a restaurant - not a home, ergo it's NOT home made. Please stop.
And no one mentioned sammie - another stupid baby word to be used in the place of sandwich. That must have made last years list and therefore was ineligible this year.
I have all ideas this is a rant that won't end. 

February Challenge - 12 February

12 February - socks

11 February 2011

Recipe Wrap up - 11 February 2011

I caught up on some long neglected Food Network shows I had recorded on the DVR. More and more, excepting Nigella of course, I'm finding that Food Network shows for new idea/recipe purposes are not holding my interests. It's like the Food Network has morphed into something that seems a little LCD. My friends would say this is the Food Snob in me ... and perhaps they are right, but I'm just not finding a whole lot of satisfaction in most Food Network shows.
There are still some shows I watch because the hosts seems to be normal people, like Alex Guarnaschelli's show, Alex's Day Off. I would hang out with her on her day off. The food looks good, she seems normal, sounds like fun.
There are several "celebrity chefs"I would run the hell the other way from: Paula Deen and her weird sons, Sandra Lee, Duff Goldman, Robert Irvine, Rachael Ray, Aarti, Guy Fieri, and Marcela.*
There are some shows I watch out of interesting in the cooking, but not the host, sorry: Ina, Giada, and Claire. I find you slightly annoying, but past good recipes has kept me loyal despite that. 
Obviously, Valentine's Day, a totally made up holiday for the card, chocolate, and flower industries, has had an influence on most of the food blogs this week. Unfortunately. 
So here's what I came up with this week. First a recipe from Worst Cooks in America. It's Polenta Cakes with Quick Sausage Sauce. Sounds good and it's from Anne Burrell, so I'll give it a go. I've been looking for a recipe involving polenta lately and this looks like a good candidate. 
This next recipe goes against some of my thoughts about using packaged items to make a recipe - it's got the "semi-homemade" thing to it, but I have used Jiffy mix before and it's pretty good, especially in a pinch - Giada's Scallion and Mozzarella Cornbread. I will not be using olives in it - no matter what. blech. 
Another Giada recipe - two in one week. This one sounds like something our catering company used to do when I planned events. It's good, but it's time consuming to make (for the multitudes) and therefore expensive to get a caterer to do, but I'll happily make these at home. Walnut and Blue Cheese Grapes - three of my favorite things combined, nuts, cheese, fruit. 
Another cheesy recipe - seems to be a theme this week, this one from Ina. Penne with Five Cheeses looks pretty simple and quick, which makes it a logical choice for weeknight dinners. A salad, perhaps some bread and that's a good dinner. 
Finishing up this week with something I will be making sooner rather than later since it's going to be a fricking 25 degrees tonight (Winter, please go away!). From one of my favorite celebrity chefs Alexx Guarnaschelli, Charred Tomato Soup with Melted Mozzarella
* Coming up with list wasn't hard -- and that's sad, but it did set me off. See this post. 

Food Network Rant

I started my Recipe Wrap Up for the week (11 Feb) and got totally side tracked on a rant about the LCD* of the Food Network. I didn't belong in the Recipe Wrap Up, so here it is. 
Where did she go?
Paula Deen - what has happened to that nice southern woman - where did she go? I liked her. Deen's turned into a fake version of someone imitating (not by flattering) a southern woman. What's with the teeth? The hair? The "tan?" The "husband?"*** The sons? I realize that we (Southerners) are the last people it is politically correct to make fun of, but does she have to help everyone on. Sad. Is the money really worth it? That's just too bad. I would like to like you, but I can't. Turn away from the dark side. 
Lucky people of New York State

Sandra Lee - I just can't like you. The recipes are insipid.  Tablescapes - what the hell does that have to do with cooking? Ewww. There just isn't enough Eww in a day. And now she's "first lady" of New York state - I feel sorry for you all (ya'll). You have a lovely state, but ... please make her go away. But then again, I've heard your Governor talk (lord, that accent! and ya'll make fun of us?), perhaps he deserves her. 
Cupcake Wars (I know it's a show, not a person, but...), really? a war over cupcakes? really? Let's just insult all the people involved in real wars  - you know the US Military, the local police and sheriff departments, the fire department, the US Border Patrol. What a useless bunch of hyperbole.

I do watch a couple of the competition shows on the Food Network including Throwdown with Bobby Flay, because Bobby has the chance to lose and he has to be gracious about it. [smirk] That said, I like Stephanie and Miriam - they give Flay what's for. Why is it so hard to find pictures of Stephanie (not the wife) and Miriam?
Anne is cooler than you.
Worst Cook's in America - it's pretty harmless as the Food Network goes,  but including Robert Irvine is a travisty. How could someone who perpetuated such fraud (lied and made up his credentials -- hello interview committee? Anyone there?), be allowed to be on a show on this network? That says volumes about the network, doesn't it? He can't be that popular. Can he? Oh yeah, LCD* again, I get it. Anne Burrell, for all her strange hair, makes the show work. Poor sad people who can't cook - or who are looking for another reality tv show to be on... you, too, make me sad. 
Duff, um, enough said.
Duff - ah, where do I being? Tool, Fouche (love that phrase). Yikes. Either way, small man - go away. 

So much cooler since she's w/ Oscar!
Rachael Ray - is the name made up? Not sure. We are tired, say it one more time with feeling, TIRED of you! Go away to that strange husband of yours.*** Sad, but true, when you try to find pictures of Rachael Ray you get some things you never expected [pervy] Thank goodness for Oscar. 
Aarti, so sorry. 
Aarti ... we had never watched Next Food Network Star until the season you won. Oh, how sad. Really, and they gave you a show anyway. Well ... you, too, have a strange husband. Join the club.***

Marcela - would like to like you. 
Marcela - I'm sure you're a nice person, but stop with the inflections. They are as bad as Giada's. It's friggin annoying. 

Guy Fieri = tool in white sunglasses 
Gay Fairy ** ooops I mean, Guy Fieri - perhaps I've run out of steam on this rant ... or not. What a total tool. What do you do anyway? Suffice it to say you are not worth a lot of typing. So. Very. Lame. You are laughable, but I salute you for making money while you can. It won't be long until even the LCD* realizes you're a joke. The idea that "Guy Fieri shirtless" is a google search term makes me feel sick.
All this said, there are people on the Food Network that I really like, they are just few and far between - unfortunately. boo. 

* Lowest Common Denominator (yes, all this explanation is necessary.)

World English Dictionary
lowest common denominator
— n
LCD Abbreviation: lcd Also called: least common denominator  the smallest integer or polynomial that is exactlydivisible by each denominator of a set of fractions
Cultural Dictionary

lowest common denominator definition

The smallest number that can be divided evenly into two othernumbers ( see common denominator). When fractions withdifferent denominators are added together, their denominatorshave to be made the same; thus, fractions with denominators ofnine and twelve have thirty-six as a lowest common denominator.Seventy-two and 108 are also common denominators for fractionswith denominators of nine and twelve, but thirty-six is the lowest.
Note The term lowest common denominator is often used to indicate a lowering of quality resulting from a desire to findcommon ground for many people: “This fall's TV programming finds the lowest common denominator of taste.”

** Hat Tip - Food Network Humor
*** What is up with strange husbands? Please please make them go away. please. pretty please.

Dose of Cute

Here is my version of Dose of Cute.*

Bering's imitation of the Sphinx

Duke, sleeping.

* Credit to Farmgirl Fare

February Challenge - 11 February

11 Feb - clothes

10 February 2011

One More Reading Challenge for 2011 - Historical Fiction Challenge 2011

Okay, some of these books may overlap with other reading challenges, but the hosts of the challenge say that's okay. I'm going to come up with my list and see what happens. I plan to review the Historical Tapestry for some ideas of books that can be added to my to-be-read list which seems to increase exponentially. 
So here is my list (in no particular order):

Col. Brandon's Diary - Amanda Grange
Sense & Sensibility - Marvel Illustrated Edition - Jane Austen
Secret History of the Pink Carnation - Lauren Willig
An Infamous Army - Georgette Heyer
The Darcy Cousins - Monica Fairview
There Must be Murder - Margaret Sullivan
Sprig Muslin - Georgette Heyer
Charlotte Collins - Jennifer Becton
Mr. Darcy's Diary - Amanda Grange
Convenient Marriage - Georgette Heyer
A Man of Few Words - Katherine Woodbury
Toll Gate - Georgette Heyer

February Challenge - 2nd week

6 Feb - Twin Set
7 Feb - Tote
8 Feb - Yarn
9 Feb - clothes
10 Feb - pants
So far, so good. 18 days to go.