Monday, June 2, 2008

Monday Megalinks: The Kitchen Sink Edition

I was nearly finished washing dishes yesterday when my feet started feeling a bit damp. Fairly certain I hadn’t wet my pants (*sigh* ... again), I glanced downward to find water seeping from the cabinet under the kitchen sink directly on to my sparkly flip-flops. As it turned out, the pipe leading from our drain to … wherever pipes go … broke clean off, causing a minor flood in our humble abode. Good times.

Since no sink = no water = no dishwashing, I didn’t get the chance to cook anything new this weekend. I’m super sorry, and will (hopefully) have a new recipe up soon. With luck, the landlord should today send a questionably qualified plumber/cousin/drunk guy on corner, and we’ll be in full swing by tomorrow.

In the meantime, here are Tuesday's Megalinks, 24 hours early.

Bon Appetit: The Simple Secret to Making Homemade Jam
I know it’s cliché, but I TOTALLY GOT HUNGRY JUST READING THIS. Macerate! (Thanks to Slashfood for the link.)

Chow: Throw My Wedding
Columnist Helena Echlin asks: “Is it OK to ask friends to help with your reception?” Her answer is conditional, but well thought out. Essentially: don’t ask for cash, and refrain from letting them shoulder the whole workload. But wait! There’s more…

Consumerist’s Ultimate Fast Food Nutrition Guide: 2008
Popken’s crew went through the trouble of researching and evaluating every online nutritional guide for American fast food chains. It’s a masterpiece of protein! A tour-de-force of fat! An opus of information!

Culinate: Tropical Fruit
Star fruit and mangoes and papayas OH MY!

Eat Well Guide
Find farmers markets, CSAs, co-ops, personal chefs, butchers, and bakers (but alas, no candlestick makers) everywhere in a designated radius. Internet gold! (Thanks to Slashfood for the link.)

Epicurious: Seasonal Ingredient Map
The big E presents its newest innovation: a handy-dandy state-by-state guide to in-season produce. Valuable! Intuitive! Green!

The Kitchn: Eating Vegetarian More Often
This has become a big issue in the BK lately, as The Boyfriend and I have resolved to have three non-meat dinners per week. It’ll be a challenge, but I think we’ll be healthier for it. Suggestions, anybody? I’m gonna run out of pasta ideas real fast.

The Kitchn: The New Farm Bill – What’s in it?
I’m in the midst of Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food, and this breakdown of the recent U.S. Farm Bill proposal/veto/overriding goes well with the book. Read on for gobsmacking information, including surprising statistics about where government subsidies go.

Like Merchant Ships: Ethical question – sharing meals?
Meredith wonders if she should be allowed to split an adult-sized restaurant meal with her two small children. Lots of folks comment, with the consensus standing as: “Of course! But it might be cool to tip your waiter as if you’d ordered three separate meals.”

Lucy’s Kitchen Notebook: What to Do With Your Strawberries
Dozens (maybe hundreds) of suggestions for the only fruit with its seeds on the outside. (Thanks to The Kitchn for the link.)

New York Times: A Tiny Fruit That Tricks the Tongue
Rumor has it that this minscule crimson berry alters the VERY FABRIC OF REALITY! Meaning? It’ll confuse your taste buds for awhile, making them process vinegar as apple juice and Tabasco sauce as doughnut glaze. Neat.

New York Times: The Rich Get Hungrier
Yes, it’s article #23,284 on the food crisis. But it’s written by Nobel Prize-winning economist/all-around smart guy Amartya Sen, which is why it’s really important.

Serious Eats: Inventor of Pringles Can Buried in Pringles Can
I wonder if they took the chips out first?

Serious Eats: Paula Deen is Trying to Kill Us Part 5 – Butter, Mayo, and Cheez Whiz Spread
OH. MY. WORD. Paula, what in the name of your giant sons are you doing?

SF Gate: Fresh Wave of Home Canners Pump Up the Jam
Is jam-making the new knitting? I’m not sure, but it definitely tastes better on toast. (Thanks to Slashfood for the link.)

Time: Childhood Obesity Rate Levels Off
Hunh. So … this is contrary to everything else I’ve read on the subject. Is it possible – have our kids become as fat as they can be?

Wise Bread: Are Farmers Markets Frugal or a Luxury?
GOOD QUESTION. I adore the Union Square farmers market. I want to dance through it and head-hug all the vendors. But … I straight-up can’t afford some of the food. I want to, and wonder if I should make room for it in my budget. Yet … maybe … no … arg … *aneurysm*

Wise Bread: Drugstore Freebies – More Than Junk Food and Harsh Chemicals
A.k.a. In Defense of CVS Extra Care Bucks. A longer read, but worth the time.

(Photos courtesy of Flickr members la tourtine gourmande, sudergal, and bunchofpants.)

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mollyjade said...

Vegetarian dinner ideas: It's vegetable grilling season. Beyond the usuals like corn or vegetable kebabs (with or without marinated tofu), you can also grill things like pizza or potatoes. And leftover grilled vegetables make great sandwiches or grain or pasta toppings.

Jesse Harris said...

Beans are often a great way to enjoy meatless entrees without resorting to everyone's favorite carb. I'm especially fond of lentil soup or even a simple meal of hummus with cucumber slices and pita.

Marianne said...

We eat meatless twice a week and our #1 favorite is the Vegetable and Bean Tamale Pie from Cook's Illustrated's "The Best Make-Ahead Meals". I make the full recipe but portion it out in cheap aluminum bread pans, then chuck them in the freezer. This cookbook has been great for our bottom line because have a ton of frozen meals in the freezer stops us from getting takeout on busy nights.

Kelly Buttermore said...

I totally sympathize with your plumbing issues! If it makes you feel any better, Dave and I haven't been able to use our kitchen sink (and by extension, or kitchen) for a week because our kitchen sink has the Clog From Hell. Stuff is coming back up from our drain that we didn't put there. Like, cigarette butts. And we don't smoke.

Grossest ever! So we've been forced to be creative--and eat a lot of cereal and sandwiches.

Here's hoping your problems are over soon. :)

Jill said...

I agree with you, the jam article made me hungry! I live here in the Pacific Northwest and she is right about the blackberries, they are everywhere. I always make about 8 to 10 batches of freezer jam every year, so I end up with 45-50 containers of strawberry, raspberry, and blackberry jam. Since I have four ravenous children, that jam is usually gone by June or July, about time the berries ripen and I can start over! There is something so frugal-feeling, and motherly-feeling about serving my kids homemade bread with homemade jam for an after-school snack.

I also agree with the more vegetarian idea. My 14 yo daughter went veggie on us a year ago and rather than cook two meals, I just started serving more vegetarian meals to all of us. It is cheaper and healthier (usually!) anyway. Love the links and sorry about the kitchen. My sink stopped draining this year right before 23 people showed up for Thanksgiving dinner. Yeah!


Kris said...

Mollyjade - good call on the grilling. We've fired it up a few times already, but maybe it's time to get it out even more.

Jesse - I've just been introduced to lentils this year (in India!). It's been slow going, but I'm trying to get them into our diets a little more. Good call.

Marianne, that Tamale pie sounds so tempting. I love Cook's Illustrated, and will totally look into it.

Kelly! Oh MAN. What causes that kind of clog? How old is your place? Maybe it's a time capsule stuck in there?

Jill, that is so, so neat. The Boyfriend's uncle gave us a jar of homemade strawberry preserves, and I've been waiting for a special occasion to open it. I hope it's half as good as your jam sounds.

Kristen said...

Regarding the jam...I have to throw out a strong recommendation for freezer jam. Jam made this way tastes so much fresher..the strawberries still have just a bit of crispness to them and the jam is a bright red color instead of a dull burgundy. My mom just gave me 20 pounds of berries and I used a bunch of them to make this jam...SO tasty!

Kris said...

Okay, I have to look into this freezer jam thing now. You guys convinced me.

molly b. said...

Re: meatless meals.

My favorite thing in the summer is to make up fresh guacamole (avocados are cheap and plentiful in my neck of the woods) and serve it with the black bean flautas from the old Vegetarian Times Cookbook (essentially, this one). I served these at playgroup one time and even toddlers seem to like them. Easy to make ahead and bake later, too. They're also really good with Southern Living's Hill Country Salsa.

Another favorite is a big spinach salad, with homemade pita chips and a dip that a friend told us about: black beans and feta in the food processor. Just add some of each until you get the desired consistency. :-)

Ms Meghan said...

If you haven't checked out how it all vegan/garden of vegan or the veganomicon, I highly recommend them for their sheer quantity of recipes.

Grumpy Misanthrope said...

Yes, it’s article #23,284 on the food crisis. But it’s written by Nobel Prize-winning economist/all-around smart guy Amartya Sen, which is why it’s really important.

Except, curbing ehtanol production won't feed hungry people. While there are food shortages, they aren't as severe as you might think...The primary reason so many peoploe are starving (in most areas) is not that food doesn't exist, or even that they can't afford to obtain food, but rather that their corrupt governments are diverting food from the people to feed their armies and cronies.

In essence, until the governments change, the people of those nations are going to continue to starve, regardless the availability of food.

Kelly said...

My favorite meatless meals are Epicurious' Spiced Black Bean Burgers and Cooking Light's Baked Eggplant with Savory Cheese Stuffing (the link isn't working right now, but it's listed on MyRecipes if you do a search for "baked eggplant").

The burgers are amazingly easy and good; the eggplant is tasty and super-healthy, but it takes for freakin' EVER. You have to cook the eggplant, then let it cool until you can hollow it out, then throw the eggplant innards and like 18 chopped veggies into a skillet and cook it some more, then put it back into the hollowed-out eggplants, sprinkle with breadcrumbs and cook it some MORE. But it's an impressive dish to serve company.

Cam said...

For vegetarian meals, I have two words: Nachos grandes. Take a 9x12 casserole dish and fill it about halfway with tortilla chips. Add a layer of sliced avocado. Add a layer of refried beans (we prefer homemade black beans). On top of that, corn, on top of that, salsa, and on top of that, cheese. Cook 15 min at 450. Nom, Nom, Nom. Of course, if your version of veggie involves no cheese, I have just been extremely unhelpful.