My Wife Can’t Cook, But She Can “Assemble”

That is her word, and it is actually fairly accurate. I am unsure of the boundary between cooking and assembling, although the margins are pretty obvious. For instance, she can make a mean grilled-cheese sandwich — just don’t ask her to make a Croque-Monsieur; the béchamel is far beyond her capabilities.  But a few days ago we picked up a great looking eggplant (I guessed correctly and got a male with no seeds) although without any idea what I was going to do with it. I thought about slicing it thin and grilling it, and my lovely wife ran with that idea and suggested a sort of eggplant Napoleon, with tomato and mozzarella. So I did the heavy lifting at the grill, and she assembled the little Continue reading “My Wife Can’t Cook, But She Can “Assemble””

Van Dyk’s Ice Cream, Ridgewood, NJ

I got a small, half cinnamon-caramel and half cappuccino-oreo. I will freely admit that the flavors are odd, but I will fight to the death for the right to eat them! great stuff. And as far as I can tell, locally owned, so it can’t be beat. The ice cream is fresh, creamy, screaming with flavor, and the smart-assed high school kids serving the stuff are amusing as hell, and deserve large tips. Perhaps my perspective is skewed by the large quantity of Edmeades Zinfandel that I consumed before adjourning to this ice cream palace, but damn, this stuff is good! And, there were five of us, and everyone was happy with his (or her) choice. So toss my opinion out and trust the teenagers who live and die by the ice cream they eat.

Update 9/1/2008

Because no study is valid with only one sample, I heaved my carcass off the couch and into the car for another trip to Van Dyk’s. All indications are good that there was no radical change in the quality of the ice cream, but the line was longer. And that is a good thing, because I want this place to stay in business for a very long time.

Time Flies When You Are Eating Too Much

It has been more than a week since I last posted, and my only excuse is that I have been eating far too much and couldn’t haul myself to the keyboard without stopping for a snack. The highlights were:  excellent heirloom tomatoes with mozzarella and basil, duck quesadillas with goat cheese and sautéed corn (best in show), and my always excellent barbecued pork ribs. The lows include the honey-Dijon chicken and bacon pizza that, while tasting quite good, is probably the most significant contributor to my impending demise from overeating. Oh, the three egg-bacon-cheese sandwiches (homemade, and delicious) didn’t help.

Don’t Order The Halibut

They say that hope springs eternal. They also say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing every day and expecting a different result. Continental Airlines did an excellent job of transporting me to and from Europe. Everything worked well, including the security checks at both ends. But…the fish was overcooked. Impressively overcooked. The other food was tolerable, bordering on “not bad.” So on the flight back I did the only thing that made no sense and ordered the halibut again. My rationale was that it was a different preparation, so it would be cooked perfectly. It wasn’t. Maybe I should stick to the chicken.

In A Few Days…

I’ll be able to report breathlessly on some excellent food, and probably some not-so-excellent stuff. I expect both.

A Modified Batali Pasta Recipe That Was Great!

Okay, I don’t like radicchio. Specifically, I am not enamored of cooked radicchio and, for that matter, most cooked lettuce analogs. So when my lovely wife found an interesting pasta recipe (that included radicchio) in Mario Batali’s Molto Italiano: 327 Simple Italian Recipes To Cook At Home, I was intrigued but suspicious. I graciously allowed her to suggest using arugula instead of radicchio, so that she could feel empowered in her position as sous-chef. And it turned out very, very well. I will further modify it when I next make it, but this Batali fellow knows how to cook. Continue reading “A Modified Batali Pasta Recipe That Was Great!”

Another Great…Err…Interesting Combination

I wanted steamers, but my wife is not a big fan of the little alien looking buggers. So I picked up a small piece of yellow-fin tuna, but with no particular plan in mind. When I got home, via a travel softball game (don’t worry, there was plenty of ice piled on the food), I was no closer to a coherent idea. So I did what I usually do…and punted. I marinated the tuna in my gold medal, patent pending, world-class tuna marinade. As I cooked the steamers I seared the tuna in a hot pan, and then let it cool slightly before slicing it into bite-sized pieces. I had a great avocado so I whipped up a simple guacamole, again with no coherent plan. But it all came together as my wife looked on and quietly pulled out some great tortilla chips and suggested that tuna, guacamole and chips would be a perfect compliment to the impending Yankees win. Continue reading “Another Great…Err…Interesting Combination”

Food Hell

Well, maybe purgatory, but certainly not heaven. I just got back from Orlando. Specifically, Universal Studios, where no food goes unfried. I’ll describe it in excruciating detail soon, but suffice it to say that in the last several days I have eaten enough frying oil to last a lifetime. But the rides are great!


A Negative Correlation Between Wine Price And Perceived Quality

Wow, another study that says that people are impressed by expensive wine, but that when they don’t know the price, they don’t have any idea of…the price! I’m mocking this paper just a bit, but the point is pretty basic. People tend to choose less expensive wines when they don’t have price information. It’s not a huge difference, and then only if you toss out the outliers.

I don’t think that this is anything particularly newsworthy; people will obviously tend to choose wines they like. Many people choose particular wines because they have found that, for instance, Dry Creek Valley Zinfandels have a peppery characteristic that is pleasing. But when you eliminate the more generic wines within the varietal, the remaining wines will be more expensive. Continue reading “A Negative Correlation Between Wine Price And Perceived Quality”