Friday, July 30, 2010

For a Rainy Day


"WOW!" we cried. "Really, Dad?? Today??"
"Yup!" be beamed proudly. "Right this minute! And we're not talking ordinary ho-hum toast, believe you me... we're talking dad's special cinnamon toast!! And I don't want your mom to lift a finger, I'm handling the whole thing!"

from "The Day Dad Made Toast" by Sarah Durkee

The humblest of snacks and breakfasts, toast is often overlooked. Not by me. I think that I eat at least one piece a day. Mostly they are topped with classic butter and jam (apricot and raspberry are my favorites) or sometimes lemon curd if we have it (because I love anything lemon). Often they are butter and cinnamon sugar a la "The Day Dad Made Toast". Occasionally, I'll sprinkle za'atar on for a savory note. When I'm in the mood for something really special though, I have two personal favorite extra-special toast concoctions.

Bea's Tutorial for Super Easy Chocolate Toast!

You start with a piece of bread that you toast and then butter. Sprinkle the toast liberally with chocolate chips. I try to spread them out evenly and press them down a bit into the bread so that they don't roll around in transit.

As soon as you've dropped on the chocolate chips on the bread, pop it back into the toaster. It's not necessary to turn it back on; it should be hot still. Wait just long enough so that the chocolate chips look like this picture. They should be shiny and soft, but not actually melted.

Now spread the chocolate chips with a knife. They should cover the toast with smooth, chocolatey goodness. And look what you just made! Crispy on bottom and sweet on top mmm!

A scrumptious variation: replace the butter with a thick spread of peanut butter for Reese's Peanut Butter Toast!

For people who don't think chocolate is appropriate for breakfast, try my peach toast. Eating fruit for breakfast is healthy! This is a perfect use for very ripe, very juicy summer peaches.

Toast your bread. While it is toasting, slice up a peach. Thinner is better, and peeled is very nice, but not necessary. Once the toast pops, butter it and lay out your peaches in a single layer. Sprinkle on some brown sugar or cinnamon sugar. Put the toast back into the toaster for a full other cycle or until the peaches look ready.

And there you are! It tastes like peach pie, but a million times easier. The bottom is crispy crispy and the top is fruity and buttery and sugary! Now that's what I call toast.

***Note: Both the chocolate toast and peach toast tutorials only work in toaster ovens, not vertical toasters. Sorry to all who don't have a toaster oven!

Not Frozen Yogurt, Just... Frozen... Yogurt

An accident involving a minifridge that functioned as a minifreezer during a debate trip earlier this summer resulted in most of the contents of the fridge freezing. While this spelled disaster for our carrots and grapes and left-over Chinese food, it opened doors for me in the land of frozen yogurt. Apparently, other people have been doing this for a long time, but I was entirely unaware of the simple charm of frozen yogurt. Of course I had had frozen yogurt from stores, but I never thought to just pop a yogurt from the fridge to the freezer. Well that's what I did a few days ago, and today I pulled out my icy Key Lime yogurt. Cold and icy and creamy and very rich, it was a perfect cooling snack on a hot sticky day.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Maple Syrup for Dinner

They're a family thing, and wow, they are good. You start with loads of fresh sweet corn, boiled and cut off the cob, then mix it in with yolks and flour, then add beaten egg whites to make them fluffy. The corn fritters fry up as little clouds that taste amazing with just about anything. I'm all for the classic soak in maple syrup. Who doesn't love maple syrup for dinner?

Orange you glad?

I color code all my info. I wrote gay son in green. Green means go. So I know to go ahead and shut up about it. Orange, means orange you glad you didn't bring it up. Most colors mean don't say it.

-Michael Scott

Ants on a Log

I don't even really like celery that much, but whoever invented this was a genius.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Nothing says summer like ice cream.

It's just one of those Indiana things you gotta love. You aren't a Hoosier if you don't appreciate ice cream stands. And in this respect, I sure am a Hoosier. I highly recommend the Lindy Freeze. The top one is simply amazing, a home made ice cream sandwich with big fat chewy cookies. The two swirly soft serves underneath are from a trip a few weeks ago.

If you are looking for the same type of thing but in Lalaland itself, go to Budgies. The Lafayette classic has very good ice cream. I have failed to capture the glory of my favorite concoction there in an Internet-worthy photo, but don't worry, I will before long.

Oh. My. God. Root beer floats in a cone? Yes, please!

And this is the best for last. Nutella ice cream. Yes. YES. YES!!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

An Introduction

As I sit down to eat, I admire the food on my plate. The aromas wash over me; I lift my fork. My insides are a swirl of hunger and excitement and anticipation and... what's that little dark feeling in the corner? It's the same feeling that appears when I just know I've forgotten something and for the life of me I can't remember what. OH! I jump from the table and rush to my purse. I pull out a camera and unpack it as I stand over my plate and snap a few shots. The food is getting cold as I put the camera away. My dining companions aren't surprised; I've been doing this at every meal and snack all summer.

I started this project on the first day of summer, the day after school ended. I've been taking pictures of everything I eat, all day everyday, and I intend to continue until the first day of school again.

I get varied responses to this project. Most are merely amused. Some tend more towards incredulity. After I took a picture of a delicious dessert at Adelino's, a friend of my mother's questioned me and I began to tell him about my project. I explained that I take pictures of everything I eat. Here's a snapshot of the conversation that followed, just in case anyone else has any questions. "Wait. You take pictures of everything?" "Everything." "So not just dessert." "No, I take pictures of everything." "What about dinner?" "Everything." "Breakfast?" "Everything." "Snacks?" "Everything." "What if you are eating at home?" "I take a picture of everything." "What if your food is really boring?" "Yes, I take a picture of everything."

In truth, thats not entirely true. Since I'm making my own rules, I've written in a few exceptions. First, I'm allowed to try other people's food without taking a picture of it. Second, no taking pictures while at work. I started work at a restaurant where it is part of my job to become familiarized with the food. I can't whip out a camera every time my boss says "try this". Third, I am photographing what I eat, not necessarily how much I eat. I'm not a calorie counter and I don't ever intend to be one.  This rule works in both directions: I'm allowed to photograph an apple slice and then eat three and I'm also allowed to photograph a whole pizza and just eat one slice. 

It's probably fairly obvious that by this point I have amassed quite a few pictures. I eat a lot, and I take a lot of pictures, so it's a bit ridiculous the number of pictures I have. Today, I finally decided that I had had enough with putting all of these delicious pictures away in my summer food folder and never sharing them or looking at them again. So as of today, I will be posting my favorite pictures here! I might also go back and post old pictures, because I have two months of delicious and beautiful photos just lying around my computer. I hope you enjoy my food as much as I have!