Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Back at it

Back from a blogging vacation; one of my favorite analogies about life is also one of my favorite analogies about food. Variety is the flavor of life, too bad I don't have time to try everything. Summer just rolled into town I've been loving my local farmers market, commuting to work on my bicycle and obsessively grooming my work in progress yard; also had a little time to enjoy a little sun and a little beer from time to time to time. Aka, the blog, my guitar and for that matter my house plants go to the bottom of the maintenance pile. Never fear I have been cooking and chasing down more random knowledge and no house plants were harmed in the process...  Irreparably...

Random find #1, the Tank Drum. Somewhat of an odd musical instrument but considering you can make one for free why not give it a shot. I built a tank drum this week; it sounds cool, I know my backyard guests are going to have fun playing around with it and I've already had a blast playing it myself. So, check it out, build something. 

# 2, the Matador. A friend of mine carted over a bottle of tequila, pineapple juice and a bag of limes and mixed up a cocktail he found in a book of old man drinks. Old manish or not this sipper is amazingly refreshing and I've always loved to enjoy tequila rather than punish myself with shots. Also found the DrunkMansGuide's Weblog holy alcohol batman, you could get drunk reading it. Check it out.

# 3 I love wood fired pizza, although this isn't a new revelation. Ran into quite a few restaurants who do wood fired pizza lately and I can't help but order it. I love most of all the idea, of the wood fired pizza and the wonderful ambiance that the fire gives to any restaurant or bar. I love the care that goes into combining creative ingredients like goats cheese, pine nuts, grilled chicken, and fresh pesto, all on a thin crisp crust. If you find yourself in the area, the local City Cafe makes great wood fired pizzas for lunch as well as a slew of other amazing baked goods like croissants and bagels.  Find them here.
However, if you get the chance and are looking for something a cut above please visit the Salty Caper in Lake Norman, NC. This place has two really great, really important aspects. Authentic wood fired pizza and an amazing and thoughtful beer assortment; really they don't even need dining room seating just one big bar lined with taps surrounding a wood oven. I loved this place and will absolutely make it a must stop whenever I'm down there.

Anyway, that's all for now have to put together a menu for tomorrow's meeting. Fun recipes to follow including Ham Bone and split pea soup.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Peanut Butter Balls

Quitting sugar is hard, I would say harder in fact than quitting smoking. I've smoked and never been able to say to myself I need to keep doing this every day of my life, then again cigarettes are gross... Sugar on the other hand I could consume until it kills me; although if cigarettes contained sugar I'm sure big tobacco could kill a lot of smiling people. Side note, I wish I could market a product that is know to kill and be comfortable with the outcome; like poison pops, once you pop... you're dead... Not sure that will get off the ground though... Oh well teens can't spell emphysema anyway so I guess tobacco is the only poison they'll gravitate to for its coolness factor.

Anyway, coming to terms with the reality that I can't shake sugar I've come up with / found some easy ways to get it into my life. Eat fruit, duh... We all know fruit contains sugar, lots of it and it's natural. But for those days when you want a sugary treat, not too big but loaded with sugar try the following. At least you can say to yourself that there are far worse things out there for you.

Peanut Butter Balls,

These aren't your grandmothers peanut butter balls, there is no chocolate or smooth processed peanut butter in here... Steer clear the additional chocolate and sugar added peanut butter, this is a hippy friendly treat...

1 cup of natural peanut butter (the PB ingredients should be as follows: Peanuts.)
1 cup chopped dried dates
1 cup chopped dried apricots
1/4 cup toasted unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup chopped nuts, toasted almond slivers are nice, cashews are a also nice but more fatty

Mix it all up in a large mixing bowl and then form golf ball sized balls, then place them on a sheet of wax paper and put them in the freezer. Let them sit for a few hours and enjoy. If you're having a swanky hippy dinner party give everyone a peanut butter ball in a Chinese soup spoon, chic!

Monday, May 2, 2011