Food, Faith, and Other Fabulous Finds

Recipes, devotional thoughts, and other cool things I come across.

New Products, Old Favorites, and a Fabulous Deal September 28, 2011

So, I’ve been trying to think of things to write about so much that I forgot yesterday was Tuesday and, therefore, forgot to blog.  Ironic!  Not a whole lot has gone on this week, but I did remember some new foods that I tried and really enjoyed and some old favorites that I haven’t blogged about yet.

Let’s start with the new foods that I think you’ll love as much as I do.  I love trying new ice cream flavors, and this latest is no exception.  It’s from Ben and Jerry’s and is called Clusterfluff (well, it was when I bought it, though it seems it’s since been re-named, What a Cluster).  Whatever it’s called, it tastes amazing!  The company describes it as peanut butter ice cream with caramel cluster pieces and peanut butter and marshmallow swirls.

Another new product that I discovered (completely by accident) is Honey Wheat Ritz.  Now, don’t worry yourself with thoughts about it being some health food that tastes nasty.  It is as good for you as regular Ritz (read: not very), but tastes somewhat sweet like a combination of Wheat Thins, graham crackers, and Ritz.  They are delicious and addictive, and though they can’t be a substitute for a real Ritz, they are a great addition to the Ritz family.

So much for the new, let’s cover some old ground.  There are times when I could be a vegetarian.  Note that I said times.  I don’t think I could completely give up chicken, bacon, sausage, and hamburgers.  But I don’t need meat all the time, and I often (quite happily!) eat meals composed entirely of vegetables.  Monday was one of those nights, and I remembered a fabulous recipe that I haven’t shared yet.  They are some of the most flavorful sweet potato fries I’ve ever had.  I only make a couple of changes.  I don’t have any fennel seeds, so I sub in cumin.  Also, I discovered that the addition of some garlic powder makes it even more phenomenal.  Try it and see for yourself.

Roasted, Spiced Sweet Potato Fries (from the amazing Smitten Kitchen)

1 tsp. coriander seeds (I use what I have on hand – ground coriander.)

1/2 tsp. fennel seeds (As mentioned above, I use ground cumin instead.)

1/2 tsp. oregano

1/4-1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. salt

2 lb. sweet potatoes

3 tbsp. veggie oil

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Coarsely grind the seeds, oregano, and red pepper with a spice grinder or mortar and pestle.  Stir in the salt (and garlic, if using it).  (If you’re already using ground spices, you can just mix them together.)

2. Cut the potatoes lengthwise into 1 inch wedges.  In a large roasting pan, toss the wedges with the oil and spices.  Roast in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes.  Turn the wedges with a spatula and roast til tender and slightly golden, 15-20 minutes more.

I cut mine smaller because I can’t trust my oven to get that hot without setting off my over-eager smoke detector.   I usually cook my smaller wedges for the same amount of time but at 375 degrees.

Another favorite food of mine to eat is pancakes (in case you hadn’t noticed).  A couple of weeks ago I tried a recipe that claims to have found the secret to fluffy diner pancakes: malted milk powder.  I tried them and have to agree.  Though there’s no noticeable difference in flavor, they were fluffier than my usual pancakes and the edges got pleasantly crisp.  Definitely a tip that I will keep in mind.

Diner Pancakes  (from A Spicy Perspective via Babble)

1 c. all-purpose flour

1/3 c. malted milk powder

3/4 tsp. salt

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. baking soda

3/4 c. milk

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla

3 tbsp melted butter

1. Heat a griddle over medium-high heat.  In a medium bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients.  In a small bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, and vanilla til frothy.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk til smooth.  Whisk in the melted butter and let the batter rest for 3-5 minutes.

2. Using a 1/4 c. measuring cup, pour the batter on the griddle.  Cook  1-3 minutes per side, til golden.

Now for your deal: I thought you might need something to watch while scarfing down some of these treats.  For a short time, Groupon is offering five 1 night DVD rentals from Blockbuster Express for just $2.   Check out the deal here, but I suggest you hurry, there’s only a few left.  Happy Eating!

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