How To Cook Everything iPhone App – Review

I just picked up the “How to Cook Everything” iPhone app. It’s the full version of the Mark Bittman book! It’s on sale for only $2 (down from $5) until tomorrow (Sunday – Father’s Day)

UPDATED: June 22, 2010: I love this app. I’ve been using it for a few days now, and it works very well. It’s easy to find recipes, although it’s not the same as browsing through a cookbook.

You can save recipes to your “favorites” as well as set up grocery shopping lists. Search by key ingredient, cooking technique, flavor, or recipe type (fast, make ahead, vegetarian, essential).

I can tell that I will be using this app quite a bit. It’s on the front page on my iPhone! And with the new iPhone OS4, I don’t have to keep reloading the app, it’s been updated for multi-tasking.

This afternoon, I was pleasantly surprised with a wonderful feature! I was cooking the recipe for Zucchini Pancakes and I clicked the underlined text link for cook 10-15 minutes and was thrilled to find a timer pop-up for 10 minutes. There’s an option to add/subtract time, reset and stop the timer. These little touches are excellent and make the app such a pleasure to work with!


Oh and I found a great site called “I Heart Cooking Clubs” (IHCC) that sounds really fun. Until October, they are showcasing Mark Bittman recipes so I will definitely have a chance to put the app through its paces!

Meatless Meatballs – Polpette di Lupo Recipe

I am loving the new Cooking Channel and one of my favorite shows is Molto Mario with Mario Batali; I try to watch him every morning at 7:30!

I rarely watched him while he was originally on the Food Network, but I have found a new appreciation for his historic discussions of Italian way of life and what, how and why they cook. I borrowed three of his books from the library, so I can learn more; I really am intrigued by the simple style of Italian cooking!

Anyway, the other day, Mario cooked Polpette di Lupo. Translated to English, it means “Wolf Meatballs” – no, not meatballs made from wolf meat, but sneaky like a wolf, because there’s no meat in the meatballs! I knew I had to try this recipe!

Find the original recipe at the Cooking Channel web site:

My version is altered slightly.

baked meatless meatballs

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Divine Mint Dark Chocolate – Review

Eating clean doesn’t mean giving up rich foods like chocolate! There are some days that I just feel like I NEED chocolate, and as long as I consume in moderation, it’s all good!

And I don’t mean Snickers or Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Have you read the ingredients!? Yuck! I’m talking about REAL chocolate….the “dark” variety if possible 65% or higher, although partaking in rich yummy milk chocolate every once in awhile is okay too.

I have tried several brands, and one of my favorite is Divine Mint Dark Chocolate. It’s different than some of the other mint flavors/brands because when you take a bite, you’re tasting crushed chunks of peppermint stick candy! I love that!

It’s 70% dark chocolate, which is a good amount to look for and it’s made with “fair trade” ingredients, which is very important.

Now, keep in mind, you can’t eat the whole bar in one sitting! Remember, it’s all about moderation! Break off four squares for under 100 calories. Yum! It’s a healthy afternoon snack!

First CSA Share Vegetables Pickup

My first CSA share produce pickup! It was exciting! We got a whole mess of good good veggies.

Here’s what we got (click photo for larger version)

first CSA share pickup

(clockwise from left)

  1. Tatsoi (back left) – similar to bok choy
  2. Romaine Lettuce – I have never seen such a huge head of lettuce. It was gorgeous
  3. Green Leaf Lettuce
  4. Radishes (far right) – I haven’t been a fan of radishes in the past, but these were mild and so delicious. I chopped them up and added them to our salad.
  5. Zucchini
  6. Kousa Squash (similar to zucchini)
  7. Green Peas (mixture of snap peas, more) – I couldn’t stop munching on the snap peas while making dinner. I was addicted!
  8. Garlic Scapes – this will be a cool new veggie for us
  9. Beets – looking forward to the yummy beet greens. Beets are one of my all time fave veggie.

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Unripe Cantaloupe

Darn! I sliced an unripe cantaloupe. What to do with it?

Well, I read online that if you sprinkle a little bit of granulated sugar on it, and allow it to sit for awhile, it’ll sweeten up some. I sprinkled some sugar on the cantaloupe slices (refrigerated) and ate them the following day for lunch. No, they weren’t as sweet as ripened cantaloupe, but it sure tasted better than the day before. The texture was softer and it was a little bit sweeter.

CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) Starts this Week

Our local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) starts this week! So excited! It’ll be my year with a CSA and I am so looking forward to eating all the yummy veggies!

What is a CSA? Basically, during the “off season” a farmer offers a specific number of produce “shares” for the following season. The consumer purchases a share and the fee is paid before the season starts. In essence you are prepaying for your produce ahead of time, hoping that all goes well and it’s a good farming season! Once the farming season starts, every week, the consumer picks up their “share” of fresh produce.

It’s a simple way to support local farmers and let them know you care about local fresh food! It’s also a great way to find new vegetables that you perhaps have never eaten or even heard of!

To find a CSA in your area, check the Local Harvest web site. There are also listings for local “farmers markets” which is another wonderful way to show support for local farmers and eat locally grown fresh vegetables and fruit. Some farmer’s markets also offer meat, poultry, dairy and eggs, which is really fun!

This week, we’re expected to receive

  • Green Leaf Lettuce
  • Kousa Squash
  • Garlic Scapes
  • Beets
  • Radishes
  • Bok Choy

I’m really excited because I have never heard of garlic scapes, but they sound really really cool. Also, I have never been a big fan of radishes, so this will also be a good opportunity to expand outside the veggie box!

Found some interesting recipes:

  1. Roasted Radishes
  2. Garlic Scapes Pesto – also has a cute video about how scary garlic scapes look!

Couch To 5K (C25K)

Well, I semi-started the Couch to 5K program this morning. I was inspired by my sister-in-law who has been walking/jogging; since we have a planned camping trip next month together, I thought it was a good incentive for me to get going too, so I can keep up with her if we decide to jog around the campground.

Anyway, I took one of our dogs walking this morning. I won’t take her every morning because she’s a little distracting, but I figure once a week would be a good change of pace. So, I walked 1.43 miles in about 27 minutes. I did one burst jog during the walk back (5mph). Next time when I am alone, I’ll throw in more bursts.

Then maybe next week, I will start on the official Week #1 for C25K program.

Hamilton Beach Counter Top Convection Oven – Review

hamilton beach convection oven

I love my Hamilton Beach counter top convection oven. It’s definitely on my top 5 favorite, most used kitchen tools!

Back in 2006, my husband surprised me with the oven as a Christmas gift. It was shortly after we moved into our current home and I was rediscovering my love of cooking. Initially, I was hesitant about the Hamilton Beach brand but after reading the reviews on Amazon, I decided to keep the oven. When and/or if this one dies, I will definitely consider purchasing the same oven again!

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Mixing Bread Dough in Food Processor – Best Bread Ever Book

(For Kitchen Bootcamp. The challenge this month is yeast bread)

I found a copy of the book “The Best Bread Ever: Great Homemade Bread Using your Food Processor” at the library. I was intrigued because he introduced a technique for mixing bread dough in a food processor.

The book is currently out of print (it was originally published in 1997), but there are used copies for sale on Amazon and you can also find the original recipe & specific instructions online if you want to try it.

I decided to try the technique today. As usual, I was nervous and hesitant, but I got all my tools and ingredients ready to go before I started.

food processor bread dough

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