On long drives, the temptation is always to go eat at some place you know, which usually means McDonald’s or a Whataburger if you can find one. The last place I wanted to eat, driving through the central part of Arizona was a McDonald’s. Fortunately, the central part of Arizona is free from likes of McDonald’s, at least on the road between Winslow and Payson.
Last night, I had to go to the grill. I didn’t want to go make another sandwich. I was ready to step out into the back yard, passing the tricycle, the Tonka truck, the plants that needed watering. I needed to venture out there, and reclaim it as mine. It’s been a while since I fired up the grill and last night I couldn’t put it off any longer.
I had already been encouraged by Elliott and my brother, Stokely. Elliott encouraged me to bake the potato and not nuke it. He told me to rub oil into the skin, then wrap it in the aluminum foil. I added crushed sea salt as well.
NOTE: This piece is a light, humorous, off-the-cuff piece about lunch and is not intended to spark any deep thoughts other than the thoughts of what we will have for lunch today. Bon appetit!
“We are eating Chinese this week.” This is what I told Jody on Sunday as we planned for our weekly luncheon.
I got a real hunger for carbonara a few days ago and went searching on the internet for a good recipe. I came across the a recipe put out by Tom Cruise via the Oprah conglomerate It seemed liked a great recipe by reading it and one that I could put together without the aid of the real cook in the family. I was so excited to give it a shot.
I learned about carbonara when I was living in Italy back in the early 1980s. Carbonara to southern Italians is like chili to Texans, every family has their own recipe and every family believes theirs is the best. I got to try lots of recipes while I was there and really developed a love for it. However, it’s been years since I had any that I liked. Olive Garden offered it on their menu years ago, but it wasn’t anything like I remember from Italy.
This brings me to Cruise’s recipe. It looked like it might be right, so I tried it.
Nope! If you like fried onions and garlic on noodles then you will love this recipe. But that is not carbonara like I remember it or like the Italians cook it. Given that, I think Cruise’s recipe is like everything else he does, mediocre. I would give you the link to it, but alas, just don’t care to go looking for it again. It’s not worth it.
Now, if I can just get Nunzia or Antonella, my friends from Italy, could just send me a couple of stellar recipes!
Possible next recipe.
I have a confession to make. I love Oreo cookies. Of all store bought cookies, Oreos are at the top of the list. In fact, if they are store bought, more than likely I won’t like them. I will eat them because they are cookies, but I would rather have Oreos than say… Chips Ahoy!, or… Pepperidge Farms. I admit that Pepperidge Farms are better than Chips Ahoy!. But if given the choice, I would rather take Oreo cookies, especially since the people at Nabisco have done such a great job of keeping the product fresh and new.
I must not be the only who feels this way since Oreos are celebrating their 100th Anniversary this year! That is a lot of cookies over the past 100 years, and I’ve done everything I could to eat my share over the past 50 years!
Since this is a Top 10 list, let me start with ways to eat the cookies, followed by the different Oreos that are provided by Nabisco.
- For instance, we all know the best way to eat Oreo cookies is by dipping them in milk. I love to let them soak in the milk to the point that they are about to fall apart. This gives maximum saturation of the milk and just as the structural intergrity of the cookie is about to break down, I take it out and eat it.
- Soaking them in hot coffee is almost as good. I learned this one from a former elder who boasted that he ate 4 Oreo cookies with his coffee for breakfast every morning. To me, it was a revelation! Oreos are breakfast food!
- Who can deny tearing apart the cookies, eating the cream in the middle and then finishing off the cookie. This is Joey’s favorite way to eat cookies, and he learned it all on his own.
- Grinding up the cookies and putting them in ice cream.
- Number four leads to number five and six, which was accomplished by the good folks at Dairy Queen. The best is the Blizzard with mint ice cream and Oreo cookies. Ninety percent of the time when I visit DQ for a Blizzard and I don’t get the French Chocolate Blizzard, I get this one. It is also why the Oreo cookies with mint cream are at the top of the list for the ways that Oreos are made.
- The other great Dairy Queen Blizzard is the one with vanilla ice cream and Oreo cookies.
- Covering the cookies with my wife’s fudge, letting them cool and then eating them.
- Let them sit in the car in the hot summer sun so that the cream filling is all gooey. This was one of my favorite things about going to the beach when I was younger. The cookies made lunch on the hot-Texas beaches perfect.
- I think the cake is called something like Mud Pie, but it is basically a cake with crushed up Oreos and Gummy Bear’s inside of it, along with cool whip and chocolate pudding. I love the cake, but not the Gummy Bear’s.
- Oreos and bananas. My mother taught me this one. For some reason, both the bananas and the Oreos are much better together than eaten separately.
- Oreos and potato chips. Needless to say, I don’t do this one much any more for health reasons, but if you are into the ultimate in junk food, Lay’s Potato chips and Oreo cookies are great to eat together. It has something to do with the salt and sugar working together.
Now the follow part of the list was what made it so hard to do list in the first place. There are ways to eat Oreo cookies, and there are ways that Nabisco has taken it upon themselves to make Oreo cookies. The following list are my favorite ways they make them, so that I can eat them in the ways described above.
- Oreo Double Stuff Cookies. They got it right when someone noticed that since the cream is the best part of the Oreo cookie, then doubling the cream made the cookie that much better.
- Cool Mint Cream Oreo cookies. This should become a must for those who celebrate St. Patrick’s Day since the cream is that color of green. I love these so much that Elisa recently asked me not to buy them for a while. She wanted something other than mint-green Oreo cookies. Fortunately, they make them in so many ways….
- Oreo Double Stuff Chocolate Cream– the filling is chocolate AND doubled.
- Oreo Triple Cream Chocolate — half the filling is normal cream, the other is fudge!
- Oreo Fudge Covered — They cover the cookie with chocolate fudge.
- Pure White Fudge Covered — They cover the Oreo with white fudge. This is one my favorites at Christmas time… I think it’s seasonal.
- Oreo Fudge Creams — same as fudge covered only it is minus one of the cookies.
- Golden Originals — same cream, vanilla cookies.
- Regular Oreos — can’t forget this one, it’s a staple and what got it all started.
- Chocolate Berry Burst Ice Cream — strawberry cream filling.
Well, I hope you enjoyed thinking about all these Oreo cookies. There is a reason the product has been around for 100 years. We have eaten so many Oreo cookies over the years, it has become a part of our culture.
Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah!!! A new study out shows that eating cake for breakfast can be a good thing. Yup, is says that by eating cake for breakfast, just one piece, helps us feel full and we don’t have the cravings we do throughout the day, which lead to eating less healthy once we get to our next meal.
In the study, obese participants who ate a breakfast high in protein and carbohydrates that included a dessert were better able to stick to their diet and keep the pounds off longer than participants who ate a low-carb, low-calorie breakfast that did not include sweets.
The findings suggest that both meal timing and meal composition play a role in weight loss. Carbs and protein eaten at breakfast may keep us full throughout the day, plus allowing ourselves some sweets helps to stem cravings for these foods, said study researcher Dr. Daniela Jakubowicz, of Tel Aviv University in Israel.
Can you believe this? Eating cake may lead to weight loss. I always knew cake for breakfast was a good thing. After all, cake is filled with eggs, flour, sugar, icing… all four major food groups. So it can’t be bad for us… right?
The cake pictured above is one of Elisa’s works of art. She made it for out potluck lunch for church yesterday. I’m so grateful that the good people of FCC focused on the other desserts that were there so we could bring her cake home. I had a piece shortly before I heard the good news about breakfast. I guess it was my second breakfast!
I was talking with my father in-law, telling him that there were only 4 more Brach’s chocolate covered cherries left to eat when I declared that Brach’s chocolate covered cherries were one of my favorite ways to eat chocolate. No, I won’t say what he said when I informed him of this bad news… news that only 4 were left. Let’s just say that I was caught red-handed with my hand in the Brach’s box. But in view of that, I felt like it was time to put forth one of my valuable Top 10 lists, especially since we are in Christmas cheer, eating and dining, dining and eating. Without further adieu, here is my list.
- Chocolate covered raisins – after all, there are raisins so they can’t be all that bad for you.
- Chocolate covered cherries – these because they are sooo good, and only found at Christmas time.
- Chocolate chip cookies — by Elisa. She makes the best chocolate cookies in the land. I love these so much because she varies the recipe and they taste great and different all at the same time. Usually, she varies between vanilla and Amaretto extract.
- Chocolate fudge — again, by Elisa. She has a white and dark chocolate recipe. People actually ask for her white chocolate fudge for gifts.
- Dairy Queen’s French Silk Pie Blizzard — awesome. If you have a Dairy Queen in your area, be sure and get one.
- French Silk Pie — how could I leave this off. It inspired number 5, and should actually be number 5. I love it that the French have given us such a wonderful pie.
- Chocolate Mousse — the first time I had one of these, I was deeply disappointed. Since then, I’ve developed a taste for it. This is what makes it so wonderful, a chocolate recipe that requires one to develop a taste for it.
- Chocolate meringue pie — one of my earliest memories of visiting family in Arkansas was eating chocolate meringue pie. I still love it to this day.
- Chocolate truffles — again, what a delight.
- Oreo cookies — the classic cookie from the store, especially when the makers cover the cookies with chocolate fudge, or put mint cream in the middle.
- Snickers bars — yes, this is one of my favorite candy bars and actually led to me getting into hot water when I was in the Coast Guard.
- Hershey’s bars — the classic milk chocolate, Mr. Goodbars, Crackles and the dark chocolate.
- M&M’s — I love the plain ones the best, escpecially when they are slightly warmed up so the middle is gooey. The best way to do this is to put them in the microwave for about 35 to 40 seconds. (This is really the only item that can be improved upon when heated in the microwave. Every thing else, well, better to heat it up in the oven.) Also the peanut butter filled M&M’s has become a real favorite since these are less likely to lead to a migraine headache.
- Bluebell Dutch chocolate ice cream — with Hershey’s syrup over the top, slightly thawed so that the ice cream is more of a cream than ice.
- The Velda Rose Chocolate cake — a recipe by my mother and since tweaked by me and my lovely bride. It’s so good, after I have a piece (or two), I immediately head for the medicine cabinet to deter the impending migraine head ache that is soon to follow.
OK, you can see that I like chocolate. I know one woman that told me I had love for chocolate that supersedes most women. I’m just man enough to not let that bother me. I do love chocolate. But I also hate the migraines that follow if I’m not careful. In fact, there have been times where I have tried to deprive myself of chocolate just so I wouldn’t get a migraine. As those of you who know about migraines, the last thing you want is to realize the white lights are beginning to dance throughout your vision, the fingers start to tingle, and you realize that having that extra piece of chocolate pie, or cake, or candy bar, was just too much.
I guess you could say that the migraine headache is God’s way of saying ‘too much of a good thing, it too much.’
Hope you enjoyed this list. Add you own list in the comment section and be sure to heat those M&M’s next time you get a bag.
I wanted to share this blog with all my readers. It’s put together by Kelly, a cousin by marriage and it is all about cooking and her photography (above picture is hers). She is a lawyer by trade, but a cook by calling. She does this as a hobby and out of love of great food. We have been able to get an excellent barbecue recipe from her as well as our famous chili recipe, which many in the church have experienced. We took chili to our last pot-providence luncheon, and barely made it home with any left overs.
The point is that Kelly is a absolute wonderful cook. So go to her site, spend some time looking for great recipes and try a few of them. I love it whenever Elisa pulls down a few recipes and starts to work.
BTW, the good cooking must run in the family because Elisa is becoming a great cook. She made scrambled-egg pie on Saturday that was absolutely wonderful. (Most people call it quiche). She will probably submit it to Kelly’s blog soon.