Thursday, July 31, 2008

Macaroni and Cheese Crayons...are bland now

You might recognize that Crayola color...but did you know they have roasted red pepper, eggplant, bleu cheese and florentine at Macaroni Grill?

I didn't, until midway through my meal. Interestingly enough, looks like the colors are regular red, purple, blue and green, just customized for the restaurant. Which seriously bums me -- I want crayons of my own. That is, crayons named after my needs, desires and cravings. Also, my friends.

In the meantime, I found another thing Macaroni Grill might consider as an extension of the Crayola domain:

"Now there is a fun, flavorful alternative to sugary soft drinks that makes it easier to get children to drink the water they need. Crayola Color Coolerz! is a naturally fruit flavored purified water – with NO sugar, NO calories, NO carbs, and NO caffeine. Fortified with the vitamins kids require."

Mmm, because your kids can't deny themselves essential vitamins of the form "Screamin' Green" and "Purple Pizzazz." Sounds like a good time for an experimental review...

Sunday, July 27, 2008

And to think I almost deleted this one...

...but I knew, after all, that there must be some reason why I subscribed to too many email lists.

Secretly, I always wanted to be part of a food themed musical -- Calvin and Hobbes got to do it, and so did Hey Arnold! But in this hypothetical situation, I could never decide what I wanted to be, and anyway, in my fifth-grade play, I played a rabbit that was addicted to sleep. Instead of being a carrot, I ate carrots.

It's confirmed: my love for Kitchen Kaberet and Food Rocks has reached a new generation...albeit by Italian commercial. In the Parmagiano Reggiano, my favorite part is the tomatoes bobbing from side to side in the very beginning -- what's yours?

Friday, July 25, 2008

"A wall of cheese. You will crash. It will not be pretty."

I recently discovered McSweeney's from a link; the humor site, while a little difficult to navigate, is hilarious. It got even better when I found their food reviews:

They're just as stickily vivid and nourishing as personal essays, yet make for a light read. Kind of like dim sum.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Froyo metropolis update

The Crimson reviews frozen yogurt in New York.

Meanwhile, I haven't caught up on redcherry, Leeann Chin's new brand of frozen yogurt. I have to say their logo isn't very appealing, though - a little too cutesy-retroish for me. Meanwhile, CityPages beat me to the punch, offering a brief review.

DC bloggers have been waiting for froyo for a while, and they've got it at Mr. Yogato, where my friend has her "amazing summer job." It's more like the area's Berryline, rather than Pinkberry: Mr. Yogato's original name was Berry Line (two separate words) when it advertised for employees on Craigslist. From what I've heard, apparently Mr. Yogato's owners know those of Berryline.

From what I've said so far, it'd seem like this post would end on a relatively sad note for Minneapolis froyo...except Fruitgurt (available at Dayton's -- oh wait, I mean Macy's -- locations) has been going strong since I was a kid. It also happens to smell amazingly like vanilla when you stop by, so you should probably do so.

But please, someone get more sour-er yogurt here!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

But if baby I'm the bottom, you're the top!

Slightly less discreet than Cole Porter's lyrics, but I stumbled onto Piper's picture of Japantown and realized it pieced together with my picture (from a Bay Area 99 Ranch) pretty well.

Consider it a melding of the two California halves...or maybe of the corporal type.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Power of Ambivalence

Well, not really. (Please vote, kthx.)

Some of you may have seen my online status during the last month, even though I'm not cool enough to twitter: "Call 1.800... and ask for Tazo lotus tea to be put back on!"

The fact that I forgot the last seven digits of that Tazo number might show the fact that I'm forgetful. It also might highlight the (unfortunate) fact that I never called, myself. Maybe I'm just that awesome to simply delegate tasks to my Facebook friends (but I'm not, and I actually kinda think delegation stinks. Most of the time.) And in an effort to defend myself, here's my Tazo lotus story.

It was senior year in high school when we suddenly realized the amazing Tetley drawstring tea bags had suddenly been taken from the cafeteria, probably because the seniors were drinking the teachers' stash. Grumbling about the lack of a minor caffeine pep and of the entertainment of tightening a drawstring (yes, lunch was often boring), we found Tazo tea a few months later on a caddy above the coffee machine.

Luckily, in spite of my short stature, I also have a hidden talent: I am really good at getting tea bags from caddys a foot above me. Just ask the really tall lady who refused my help the first time. (The trick is to tippy-toe and grab a tea bag between your index and middle fingers, crossing them as you pull the tea bag down from the caddy. I promise it works.) This began my daily lunch habit: a bag of Tazo lotus tea, occasionally sprinkled with a bag of rock sugar.

Tazo's advertised its lotus tea as "a delightfully subtle tea with the delicate taste and aroma of lotus essence. This surprisingly full-flavored yet delicately floral blend is clean and light-bodied with an aroma reminiscent of freesia." Lotus has a flavor profile of "peach, nutty, flowery, overripe, melon" and an aroma of "tropical fruit, green tea."

Now, I can't say I knew that when I started drinking Lotus. I did taste the nutty and overripe flavors in my mouth, and I can say that it was a delicate flavor (as Tazo's release repeats, "delicate"). But I didn't realize that my particular fascination with this tea was probably from the floral flavors and scent (no way I could have recognized freesia, even though it's my mom's favorite flower). That makes sense, though, considering my enjoyment of lavender Earl Grey and rose petal tea.

In any case, I became gradually addicted to Lotus, finally getting my own stash and drinking at least three cups a day. And yet, upon graduation, as soon as I was cut off from school-accessed Tazo I couldn't find it in a grocery store anymore.

And this is where we (I had gotten my mom hooked on Lotus, too) went into the hunt: we placed custom orders at Cub, Byerly's and Lund's every few months, with no response. We harassed Whole Foods and Trader Joe's. I asked most of the Starbucks I entered if they sold Tazo Lotus (they didn't). And then the Davis Square Starbucks told me Tazo Lotus was discontinued, which brings me back to the top of this blogpost.

And seemingly in laziness-induced limbo.

Until my mom hit up Fresh and Natural Foods randomly one day and found it. Assured by its expiration date (late 2009) we realized that a) Lotus hadn't really been discontinued or b) Lotus activists were looking for the tea too or c) we were just that awesome.

We chose c) and went home with a couple of boxes, satisfied.

Oh, summer.

It's nice to have a little free time:

- Watching Iron Chef America right now. I'm so behind on television consumption that I didn't realize there was a fifth Iron Chef. I wonder who'll he'll replace? My bet is on Flay. Definitely not Cora, since she hasn't established a 'franchise personality' yet. Also, Jeffrey Steingarten appears as a judge again. Whew, since he's really the only judge I trust - the others tend to be a little too nitpicky for me.

- My mouth is still smarting after eating pineapple two hours ago. Maybe it was because my lips were chapped, but honestly, it still stings. There's purple underneath my fingernails from blackberry stains, and they still haven't come off after two days of washing. Thank goodness for perfectly ripe fruit - a rarity in the dining hall.

- I've been fortunate enough to have summer jobs where the cafeterias have been pretty darn good (and probably subsidized). Last summer, I discovered my weakness for sweet potato fries (a good-sized box for around $1.50), my personal rules for them (they must be thin, they must be crunchy, they must be only slightly and vaguely healthy) and garlicky, thick-as-potato-skins kettle chips. This time, I'm living off chicken-salad-with-veggies-on-foccacia, chicken wild rice soup, and an occasional onion ring order. My fellow co-worker did tell me about the transparently-winged bug in his salad though...he said it was crunchy. I say that'd be gross if I saw it.

- On the really good side of things (as opposed to darn good cafeterias) my friend and former lab partner is now experimenting with pizza. I am so stoked in anticipation of his results - he's working on adding different proportions of ingredients to his crust. I'm also quite tempted to make this blurb as science-pun-based as possible in a Foodivia post, but I'm not going to.

Friday, July 4, 2008

One way to up the Fourth of July budget

My buddy A and I have known each other since I was six, she was five and she brought a pair of tiny waterguns to afamily friend's potluck. With that dysfunctional start, you can expect a typical IM conversation to look like this:

A: Dude, check this out.
H: Nope.
A: Why not?
H: Your link doesn't work RAWR.
A: Rawring is inapprops, since you wouldn't be doing that in real life. Check your email...wait, what is it?
H: It's not that hard when it's automatically saved into an address book.
A: My b.
A: The watermelon?
H: Yeah. I should blog about this.
A: Haha, yeah.
H: Obvs?
A: You mean obviously. Get your vocab straight.

The picture in question:

And after a quick Google search for "square watermelon," I found out that
1) Those were real!
2) You, too, could stuff a watermelon plant in a box and quite possibly have it grow square.
3) This Japanese-developed fruit also happens to cost around 10,000 yen.

So you probably wouldn't spend $80 on a watermelon. But you could always cut up your watermelon (no curved rind showing, of course) and say, "This is where it came from." Kind of like how most weddings now use sheet cake, while the official cake is largely Styrofoam decoration.

In short: Weird but cool.