Archive for the ‘food’ category

Eating Healthy on $20 a Week

May 21, 2010

Image courtesy of RedJar

Last summer, my younger brother Tim and I tried to devise a way to eat healthfully for $10 a week. We didn’t quite make it, but a year later I’ve figured out a nutritious way to eat for 20 dollars a week, without cutting coupons are going on radically extreme diets. (more…)


Wifi Coffee Shops – Customer Drain and the Cost of Generosity

March 6, 2010

I’m writing this post at what used to be one of my favorite wifi coffee shops in San Francisco. I won’t name the spot, because while I don’t foresee myself continuing to patronize it, I do hope for its continued success.

I’m quite oppinionated when it comes to offering wifi at coffee shops. In a nutshell, if you want my patronage, you damn well better have free wifi. I don’t often spend my Saturday mornings at Starbucks or Peet’s for this particular reason. While both companies offer free wifi sometimes, I’d rather they just not have any at all versus trying to make me pay for on our via t-mobile or some other third party. It makes me feel taken advantage of.


The Mighty Turducken

January 6, 2010

Happy 2010 everyone! I purposefully refrained from doing any “2009 year in review” type posts, so I thought I’d post something fun to make up for it. Yes, it’s a little self-serving (look what I did!), but it’s also by request. So without further ado, I’d like to take you on a little photo journey of one of my family’s holiday traditions: The Mighty Turducken.

Ah, the mighty Turducken. What a fine beast. The boning of all three birds is complete and it's ready to be stitched up. From top to bottom: wild rice stuffing, chicken, andouille sausage stuffing, duck, cornbread stuffing, turkey.

And sew it begins! Get it? "sew"? My stepdad and I regulating this bird. Doesn't their new kitchen look great?


Cava de Cano Quinoa

March 9, 2009
Quinoa, up close and personal.

Quinoa, up close and personal.

Quinoa (pronounce it ‘keen-wah’ and you’ll sound smart) is an important source of nutrition in much of South America. While not quite a grain, it’s often eaten like rice, either on it’s own or as a side, and can be prepared in a myriad of ways. Recently, it’s become my staple side dish because of it’s high fiber and protein content. 1 cup of cooked quinoa has 5 grams of fiber, and 8 grams of protein (source).

It’s not very well known in the states, so it can be hard to find outside of specialty food stores. However, if you have a Trader Joes near you, you should be in luck; they carry it.

This particular recipe was gifted to me by the chef at Cava de Cano Winery in Mendoza, Argentina (pic). Like all talented chefs, he had no idea how much of each ingredient he put into the dish, so it took a bit of experimenting to get the proportions just right. It’s light and zippy, and pairs especially well with salmon and chicken.


  • 1 cup Quinoa
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 1 Lemon (juice)
  • 1 Cup Fresh, Chopped Parsley
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, minced.
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • Pepper to taste


Combine Quinoa and water in a small pan and bring to boil. Immediately reduce to very low heat and cover. Cook for 15 minutes (or follow intructions on packaging). Do not stir. While waiting for quinoa to cook, squeeze the lemon juice into a bowl, taking care to remove any seeds, and combine with parsley, garlic, salt and pepper.

When quinoa is finished cooking, stir in lemon mixture, cover, and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Serve hot or cold.

How many of you have tried Quinoa before? I’m curious.

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20 Minute Dulce de Leche

February 5, 2009

Traditionally, dulce de leche can take anywhere from 2-3 hours – which means a rather large time investment for such a simple yet delicious dessert. I’ve gotten the prep time down to about 20 minutes (less, for most uses). It’s wonderfull what a little experimenting can do!

Cook time: 20 minutes (active) More time for larger batches.

Yield: 8-10 bite size caramels


  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 4-6 Drops of Vanilla Extract, or Vanilla Bean, to taste.
  • Dash of Salt
  • Pinch of Baking Powder


Pour all ingredients into your pot (non-stick) and bring to a rapid boil at high heat. Stir vigorously until the milk starts to condense and darken, 8-10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, and then low as the dulce de leche thickens. Continue to stir throughout to avoid scorching. More time in the pot yeilds a harder candy.


  • The original recipe calls for BAKING SODA, not BAKING POWDER. I substituted to see what would happen, and I liked the results. I would assume using baking powder leads to an end result less dense than mine. Pretty please let me know how it turns out if you make it with baking soda.
  • If you want to make dulce de leche sauce, mix in sweetened condensed milk to the final product while it’s still warm.
  • Darker dulce de leche has more flavor, but it’s also harder and more dense. Experiment with cook times to find your preference. My cook times lean toward a harder, caramel candy.


If you want your dulce de leche even faster, start off using sweetened condensed milk right out of the can (make sure to add the baking powder). It tastes a little different, but practically shaves off the rapid boil stage.

I really want to hear about any experiments with, or different ways to make, dulce de leche. A good friend of mine told me her family used to make it by boiling sweetened condensed milk while still in the unopened can. No stirring, but it could explode! WILD!

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