Friday, April 11, 2008

food obsessed

I have a slight obsession with cooking shows on the Food Network. I record a few on dvr each week and often Ryan likes to watch them with me. My favourites are Good Eats, Barefoot Contessa, Dinner: Impossible. And sometimes I add in Iron Chef, Semi-Homemade Cooking, and Easy Entertaining.

Good Eats host Alton Brown is simply entertaining to watch. Add to that a very scientific approach to the hows and whys of cooking, and it is a very useful show. Plus each episode concentrates on a very simple topic, ie. lentils, carrots, etc. Always included is the history behind each highlighted ingredient, nutritional info, and humor...and of course recipes.
Recently aired was a double-length episode centered on tropical fruits. Filmed on Oahu, it was a silly cross between Survivorman and Cast Away.

Barefoot Contessa is Ina Garten's show named after her food emporium in the Hamptons on Long Island. Though usually only 1 recipe per episode is something I'd use, I enjoy her simple style, and the surroundings remind me of where I grew up on Long Island, NY.

Dinner: Impossible stars Robert Irvine and his culinary team competing against the clock to produce often large volume meals in goofy situations. He's always got lots of shortcuts to make elegant dishes simple.

I needed something fast and relatively non-perishable for 1 adult and 1 child. My husband was taking Ryan with him to work at his booth at the local game convention Havoc and I had to make sure I packed enough for the day: 2 PBJ sandwiches, 1 bag potato chips, 2 bananas, dried aprictos, baby carrots, Garden Harvest Wheat Thins, Veggie Booty, asian rice crackers, Japanese crunchy peas, & a Luna Sunrise bar...not shown: an orange, 2 juice boxes, 2 water bottles.

For my breakfast I enjoyed my favourite (but expensive $7 per 1/2 loaf at Whole Foods) olive bread made by local Nashoba Brook Bakery in Concord, MA (review here), topped with Marmite and homemade Muenster Cheeze from The Uncheese Cookbook (see her revised 10th anniversary edition The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook). Only bad things about this cheeze is a) my kids all love it too, so less for me! and b) it contains raw cashews, so not only is it an expensive recipe, but I cannot send it along to preschool. Amazingly this cheese actually melts better than most commercial vegan cheeses.

Dada was parent helping in Ryan classroom, and Ryan had requested pumpkin muffins (and I added a container of orange slices). Meanwhile AJ's snack: wheat gluten chik'n salad; Veggie Booty, a mini slice of leftover apple strawberry pie.

Ryan: grapes; dried apricots; whole wheat pinwheel wraps spread with Tofutti cream cheeze, Tofurky Deli Slices, shredded lettuce, & grated carrot.

Originally from the Moosewood Restaurant Cooks At Home, this Sweet and Sour Peppers recipe was in our CSA's cookbook. It used up the last of my frozen peppers from the end of last summer. My husband really raved about it. The boys aren't big bell pepper fans, but they liked the baby corn, cashews, and carrots (my addition). There was plenty leftover for 2 more meals too.

Dada was parent helping in AJ's class this time. In addition to pretzels, I cubed some honeydew melon and watermelon and stuck them on frilly toothpicks for the class.
The "food lady" was coming to the class to discuss different "tastes" and had asked me to provide some vegan cheeze alternative for AJ, so again I had to buy some nut-free Vegan Gourmet for him to bring.

Ryan: crackers & soy cheeze; honeydew melon & watermelon.

Friday:AJ & Ryan: baby carrots; Veggie Booty; 3 mini muffins (pumpkin, banana, & blueberry); apple slices.
Not the most well-rounded snack...I would add nuts at home, but can't for preschool...and can you tell I need to go grocery shopping?!