Posts for October 25th 2007
Vending machines aren't exactly renowned for their variety, with choices pretty much limited to chips or candy and soda or water. But according to the Chicago Sun-Times, the National Automatic Merchandising Association held its vending-machine expo in Chicago last week, and there are plenty of cool, if slightly bizarre, developments on the vending-machine front.
Among the innovations mentioned in the article:
- A new vending machine that dispenses grilled hot dogs and sausages "snuggled in soft, warm buns."
- South Beach Diet vending machines that will sell healthy, diet-approved snacks, including sugar-free Jell-O, Wheat Thins, Crystal Light, and lunch wraps.
- An Internet-connected machine that will let parents log on to limit the number of snacks their kids can buy.
Can you imagine trying to sneak a second bag of chips at lunch and being denied by parental controls? Geez. Still, my favorite has to be the hot dog machine. At first, it sounded gross, then I thought: If hot dogs from a cart are tasty, why not a vending machine? So tell me, would you eat a hot dog from a vending machine?
Which came first: the chicken or the egg? That question will always be debatable, but the role of chickens and eggs in the food world is well-established. Just take a look through our very own Yum Market on TeamSugar, and you can see plenty of poultry-related gadgets and accessories. Take this omelet pan that Amh678 found, for example. It allows you to create a perfect omelet with one easy flip. This unitasking tool is great if you love omelets, but if you prefer your eggs another way, browse the finds below.
To learn more about bookmarking, please refer to geeksugar's easy how to.
Last week JessNess shared her favorite recipe for chicken tortilla soup over in Kitchen Goddess. She inspired me, and I sort of had the spicy soup on my mind all weekend. When I asked my older brother and his roommate what kind of soup they wanted for dinner on Sunday night, they begged me to make chicken tortilla.
This soup is easy to make and wonderfully flavorful. Don't use store-bought tortilla chips and do take the time to fry the tortillas. The fresh, fried tortilla strips really make a difference in the soup's texture. My fabulous brother gave it a 10 and has been raving to everyone about how delicious it was! To make it for the men in your life, read more
Chicken Tortilla Soup
Modified From Muir Glen
6 (6-inch) corn tortillas
1/4 cup grapeseed oil, peanut oil, other high smoke-point oil
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 medium jalapeño , veins removed, chopped
4 cups chicken broth or homemade chicken stock
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained (recommended Muir Glen fire-roasted)
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt (kosher or sea salt)
1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 ripe medium avocado
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (2 oz) (or other mild, melting cheese)
1 teaspoon chopped chipotle in adobo
3/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Chopped fresh cilantro
1 lime, cut into wedges
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook onion in oil 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garlic and chile; cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until vegetables are crisp-tender.
- Stir in broth, tomatoes and salt. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 15 minutes.
- Add chicken; heat until hot.
- Meanwhile, fry the tortillas. Cut tortillas in half; cut halves into 1/4-inch strips. In 3-quart saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Fry strips in oil, 1/3 at a time, until light brown and crisp. Remove from pan, sprinkle with salt; drain on paper towels. Reserve.
- Mix the chipotle in adobo, sour cream, and fresh lime juice in a small bowl. Stir to combine.
- To serve, peel and pit the avocado. Cut into 1-inch slices.
- Divide half of tortilla strips among 4 individual serving bowls; ladle in soup. Top with avocado and cheese; garnish with remaining tortilla strips and cilantro. Serve with chipotle sour cream and lime wedges.
While the Boca brand makes a pretty decent frozen veggie burger, it's not that difficult to make your own version at home, so why not whip one up tonight? In this recipe, tempeh is mixed with toasted walnuts, dijon mustard, and soy sauce to make a flavorful meat-free patty. Garnished with a tangy mayonnaise and the usual burger accompaniments — lettuce and tomatoes — this makes for a filling and tasty meal. To experiment with this dish, read more
Last night, I stopped off to buy a fresh baguette for dinner, only to get home and realize that the bread, having been baked that morning, wasn't exactly fresh anymore. If you've ever been stuck with a loaf of "fresh" bread, or if you want to get more mileage out of a baguette you bought the day before, try this simple trick.
Heat your oven to 250 or 300 degrees, and splash some water on top of the bread — not too much that it's soaked, but just enough that it's slightly damp on top. Then, pop the moistened bread in the oven for no more than five minutes. When you take it out, the bread will feel warm and fresh, with a crispy outside and a soft middle.
Got your own tips for dealing with old bread? Share them in the comments below.
At a blowout bash, like the costume party I am hosting this Saturday where the guest list tops 50, it's important to get a large amount of alcohol. I'll be buying a keg of easy-to-drink beer — Miller or Bud Light — that both guys and gals can enjoy.
Along with the beer, I'll serve a friend's recipe for deliciously dangerous punch that tastes so good you can hardly tell it's alcoholic. When my guests ask me what they can bring to the party, I'm suggesting they bring one of the alcohols used to make the punch. Lots of water and ice are also necessary to ward off evil hangovers. To ensure that the party flows smoothly, the keg and punch will be set up in different rooms.
For my tips on purchasing kegs and to get the recipe for the dangerously delicious punch, read more