Wednesday, September 10, 2008


The Mama mentioned a new salad making the rounds in Michigan -- watermelon mixed with onion, greens...and basil viniagrette! This is a refreshing mix of sweet and sour...I've seen tomatoes sliced and mixed in, as well.

This got me to thinking about other 'interesting' foods...including a slice of meat in aspic I gagged down one sunny afternoon in Nuremberg. (It was the cheapest thing on the menu...and I didn't quiiite understand the German translation!) If your penchant is for this sort of thing, you'll find a full list here, including an incredibly revolting Tripe Wiggle. It's all courtesy of Slashfood:

Don't think this isn't real -- it is! My grandma would whip out all sorts of meat jello types, including headcheese. Fortunately, she didn't usually go quite this far...


And on a better note, some very good chocolate chip cookies, courtesy of the New York Times.

Very Good Chocolate Chip Cookies
(adapted from a recipe by Jacques Torres)

Time: 45 minutes (for 1 6-cookie batch), plus at least 24 hours’ chilling

2 cups minus 2 tablespoons
(8 1/2 ounces) cake flour
1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour (for high altititude, make sure these measurements are rounded)
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content
Sea salt.

1. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.
2. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.
3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.
4. Scoop 6 3 1/2-ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day. Eat warm, with a big napkin.
Yield: 1 1/2 dozen 5-inch cookies.

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Could you get by on nearly $3 a day? This teacher vowed she'd do just that --

Could this be a short-term solution for bills you know are coming up soon? Hmmm...

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