Take heed gourmands...
After a good breakfast one may drink a full bowl of chocolate, and digestion in three hours will be perfect, so that one may dine at any hour that is pleasant. ... In zeal for the advancement of the science, I tried this experiment on many ladies who assured me they would die. They did not, though, and lived to glorify the professor.
Those who use chocolate, ordinarily enjoy the most perfect health, and are the least subject to the multitude of ailments which destroy life; their embonpoint is stationary. These two examples any one can verify in society by a scrutiny of those the regimen of whom is known.
The Grocery Critic - Do not buy these for your children. If you want to subject yourself to the adult versions of these snack bars, go ahead, but keep the kids away.
For the sake of taste, if you really want some all-natural organic "energy" bars, make your own. The ones on the market taste like shoe sole (I licked one for comparison's sake). Odwalla, Clif; peanut butter, brownie, cookies 'n' cream, carrot cake: they all look, feel, and taste eerily similar. Plus, without plenty of liquid, you're guaranteed perpetual queasiness.
Oh, and if you happen to pass a bottle of Aguibal Olive Oil, the "Picual" varietal, stop. If you consider yourself a lover of olive oil, you would be a hypocrite not to give this one a try. I got mine at Downtown Cheese in the Ardmore Farmers Market at 10% off, but you may be able to get the same deal down at Reading Terminal.
The Chef - I just received a behemoth textbook in the mail courtesy of Amazon.com.
The new metallic-plated Professional Chef text not only provides an exhaustive reference, but also doubles as a bicep toner - Bowflex: kitchen edition. (I try...I try.)
My purchase assures my dirge into cooking has officially commenced. I am ready to turn myself over to the charms of savoury cooking, CIA-style. I can see that the text espouses a much less warm prose than that of Barefoot Contessa or Moosewood-style cookbooks, but I could use the detached teacher feel. I lack discipline!
Of course, baking will always take top priority, which is why I just made some Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies (recipe here, and yes, that one comment is mine). The only reason I ever saved this simplistic recipe was for its use of steel cut oats. I had absolutely no clue what I was purchasing when I picked up a jar of these tiny pellets. I had heard the name tossed about in terms of it being an unrefined whole grain; I envisioned something along the lines of really old-fashioned oats. alas, I popped the top, sighed and put them deep in the pantry (right next to the manwich can). Well, they have returned...although with questionable success...
New Tools - Taking the advice of Flo Braker, (see Pros Pick the Best Baking Sheets), I picked up a set of these sturdy aluminum-coated steel sheets. Supposedly, they synchronize the best components of shiny aluminum sheets with steels good heat conductivity. I can't wait to put 'em to use. Sadly, I missed a PERFECT opportunity: IMBB # 10 - Cookie Swap. I really wanted to get involved!
Thanksgiving - It seems so commercial this year - maybe it's just me, or maybe it's my area - gourmet grocery and take-out operations. The days of the all-day cook-off have been outmoded by the lure of the many prepared varieties. Where is the fun in that?
I'll be spending my Turkey Day with a 21-pound super turkey. My family sees a bargain, I see McNuggets. At least I managed to cajole them into buying a couple of tarts from Le Petit Mitron as appeasement.
One Last Link - Jake's Restaurant now has a $35, 4 course menu for the chillier months. Now you don't have to wait until the next Restaurant Week for cheap gourmet. Also, Marigold Restaurant is offering a sampling of their Winter menu this week, I advise you check it out. It's $45-a-head.
More to Come - Plan on seeing a review of Khajuraho in Ardmore soon enough. I also stopped by Abyssinia Ethiopean Restaurant in West Philly, after an egregious error on the part of the Walnut Hill Restaurant School. In short, the service sucked, food was meh, and the Restaurant School debacle was just pathetic - they had a French Pastry Class scheduled the same day as their ongoing parents weekend, guess which one didn't occur?