Thursday, March 24, 2011


I'm not sure I'm proud to announce this, or thoroughly shocked, but Denny's has just rolled out its new campaign. Baconalia! That's right, seven new items that are built around that saltly, greasy breakfast meat we all love and salivate over: bacon. There is even a dessert that has bacon.

Here's the greasy spread:

Ultimate Bacon Breakfast – Six strips of bacon served with sides
Bacon Flapjacks – Two pancakes with crumbled bacon in them, served with sides
Pepper Bacon & Eggs – Two strips of peppery bacon served with sides
Triple Bacon Sampler – That's right - turkey, pepper and smoked bacon served with sides
BBBLT – A BLT stacked with eight strips of bacon served with fries or onion rings
Bacon Meatloaf –The original meatloaf, just with added bacon. Along with two sides

And... The one that takes the cake...

Maple Bacon Sundae – You read that right correctly. Start with maple syrup, a scoop of vanilla ice cream, bacon, more maple syrup, another scoop of vanilla ice cream, more bacon and more syrup. Yeah, about that...

It really just re-affirms the idea that Denny's is contributing to the obesity of America. Each plate comes with a side of hash browns and eggs for the breakfast plates, fries with the BBBLT and choice of two sides for the dinner, and all items are priced under $8.99. Not only is it a grip of eats, but its affordable. And in this economy, that's a big lure. To be honest I seldom see a plate go to the dishwasher with anything left on it, and that is not counting the people that take home eats for the the next morning.

I love food. Don't get me wrong, I really love my eats, but all this bacon is just going to add extra pounds to the waistline of America's consumers and the wallets of heart surgeons and the various branches of the medical industry everywhere. Too strong a statement to stomach, maybe? But its true, no?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Guest Topic: Splenda

"Because it's kinda food, and it's kinda not." – Nick Rogers

I don't know what's come over me, but I could not think of anything food-related to write about. I was thinking about what I had for dinner, but I didn't think that it was very exciting (I had a pork chop with browned mushrooms and onions with couscous). So, I sought some assistance. I asked Nick to give me any topic related to food. Splenda, eh?

The topic of Splenda got me thinking about alternative sweeteners – being that it is exactly that. People think about alternative sweeteners when drinking coffee, tea or other drinks, but there are other uses for it. There are also a number of cookbooks made specifically for use with Splenda, which benefit people with diabetes or people watching their sugar intake for specific diets.

Personally, I don't use Splenda. The only sugar I have at home is the raw, turbinado sugar. You know the kind that is all chunky and light brown. I decided I liked that particular kind of sugar better just because it wasn't as refined or processed as much as the the typical sugar that adorns our table tops and kitchen cabinets. However, after reading one of Michael Pollan's books, he made the point of mentioning that sugar is sugar not matter what form, and in excess will always be bad for your body.

But, I have seen people use other methods of sweetening drinks or other consumables without the powdery confections that come in pink, blue, yellow, brown or white packets. These alternatives include honey, agave nectar, corn syrup and other similar concoctions. They sell a lot of these kinds of products in natural food stores and places including Trader Joe's or Whole Foods. I've even heard that honey in your morning coffee will help take away from the bitterness of strong, roasted coffees.

Sweet, no?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I heart old beer

It may sound gross, but alas, there is good reason behind saving a little bit of the dregs.

For instance, when cooking some greens, a little bit of beer can make a wonderful difference in the flavor put out by them. Depending on the greens you choose to cook – there are much more than than just spinach and cabbage – some have subtle flavors while others have metallic or spicy flavors. Adding a little bit of beer can dull down the bite and add a little bit of sweetness.

The last few days I've been on a spinach kick. It's inexpensive, good for you and easily made into a side. I bought some fresh packed fish from the local H-E-B and figured I could plan ahead for the week with some cooked brown rice and some veggies. Here's a new favorite of mine, it's quick and tasty.

I'm trying to save my monies for an upcoming trip to Guatemala to visit an awesome friend who is doing documentary work there and pursing personal projects, so I am trying not to buy fast food on my breaks. I only have an hour break, so I have found myself cooking on my break, which helps take the mind off of the deadline grind, and wrapping up a plate to take back to the office. Today, I decided to go with some couscous, spinach with mushrooms and pan-seared salmon.

First, I cooked the couscous. Such an easy side to go with fish, or pork or chicken. Its really light and cooks in just a few minutes. Then in a second pan, I sauteed some garlic in butter and oil and then added some rough-chopped mushrooms to brown. All the while, I seasoned some salmon with salt and pepper and dropped it in a buttered pan skin-side down. I love crispy skin. I think that is the only reason people don't like fish skin, because they don't cook it so that it's crispy.

I flipped my fish, and squeezed the juice of a half a small lemon on it to help it cook and add some flavor. I then added s healthy handful of spinach to the mushrooms and garlic, poured in some old Miller Lite and covered the pan with a lid. This way it steams and cooks the spinach, melds the flavors of the browned mushrooms and garlic too. The beer brings out a nice added flavor note to the veggies. I dig it.

Bon appetite.