Monday, November 29, 2010

Food Safety Bill Coming to a Vote

In Sunday's New York Times, Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser co-wrote this op-ed urging the Senate to approve the proposed FDA Food Safety Modernization Act. Here are some excerpts from their column:
The bill would, for the first time, give the F.D.A., which oversees 80 percent of the nation's food, the authority to test widely for dangerous pathogens and to recall contaminated food. The agency would finally have the resources and authority to prevent food safety problems, rather than respond only after people have become ill.

The bill would also require more frequent inspections of large-scale, high-risk food production plants.
And if you believe food safety worries are a thing of the past, consider this egg scare, this nut scare and this beef scare -- all within the last 18 months.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Right Pies to Make

I am on "pie duty" for Thanksgiving, so I need to figure out which pies I will make.

Someone else is planning to bring an apple pie, so that base is covered. My plans for the moment are:
  • cherry pie
  • pumpkin pie (it is Thanksgiving after all)
  • lemon chess pie
But I have never made lemon chess pie before. Sure, I understand that it's pretty easy to make one, but I'm finding different recipes that call for varying amounts of corn meal or lemon juice. There is this recipe from, and then there is this one from the Food Network. Even the amounts of sugar are different.

Decisions . . . decisions.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Turkey Tips

In this New York Times article, Bobby Flay and other celebrity chefs offer some tips for Thanksgiving Day cooking. One of Flay's tips is incredibly simple:
Have an abundance of chicken stock on hand, bubbling warm on the stove all day. "You slice the turkey and put it on a platter to serve it," he said, "and then right before you go out to the table, you ladle some stock over the top to warm it and give it a little moisture, too. You do the same for the stuffing. You make the gravy with it. You go through a lot."
Sounds like a smart approach to me.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Who Does Paula Enjoy Cooking for the Most?

This is from a column that Paula Deen wrote for Esquire magazine in September 2009:

Men use food to try to outdo one another. It's okay for a man to say, "I ate that whole damn pie." Now, a woman isn't gonna want to say that, but for a man it's a badge of honor: Look how tough I am. It's almost like an attack thing, the way they eat.

I'll tell you what it comes down to for me: I would rather cook for a man than for a woman on any day. It's those noises [men] make.

... men dive in without guilt and enjoy their food like there's no tomorrow. And that feels good when you're the one who cooked it.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Triple Berry Muffins Don't Taste the Same

Both Au Bon Pain and Caribou are coffee chains that sell something called the Triple Berry Muffin. Both advertise that their muffins are low-fat.

But does either one of these muffins taste good? In my experience, the answer is "yes." Au Bon Pain's Triple Berry Muffin is quite tasty. But the version of this muffin sold at Caribou is terrible. Last week, I tasted Caribou's version for the first time, and it was pretty inedible.