ASK Musings

No matter where you go, there you are.

Food Archive



September 2012



100 Days of Real Food

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Thanks to my friend Ashley 'liking' something on Facebook, I saw this blog and was pretty quickly clicking through all the content. If you know me, you know I find food and health extremely interesting. I recently finished a Peter Singer book on food, and was suckered into buying the lovely illustrated Food Rules by Michael Pollan (thanks Anthropologie). I find the information so fascinating but haven't done much with it other than paying a lot of attention to whether my berries are organic, and continuing to reduce the amount of meat I consume.

But I love challenges – especially ones that build upon each other. I like setting goals and trying to meet them. And since I think of September and Labor Day as a great time to try to reboot habits I hope to have (it's like a new school year starting), I'm going to take a stab at the 14 weeks of mini-challenges. Austin is in it with me, so hopefully we'll be able to improve our eating habits and overall health. Luckily we're both active and pretty healthy to begin with, so none (well, almost none) of these changes are going to be horrific. I think it's going to be fun.

This week we start with eating two fruits or vegetables with every meal. That's not a huge challenge, but the point is to actually REPLACE something that's less healthy. So instead of a Pasta Roni side, have a second veggie side. It'll be a nice way to ease into things, especially because we're also taking this week to sort of scrub out some of the packaged and less healthful food without wasting it by throwing it out. This should help us make better choices as the weeks go on. 

From my perspective, week 6 will be a challenge, as I was raised on things like non-fat milk and low-fat products. I've read many different places that these items really are not better for you, but getting the prevailing mindset out of my head is going to be a challenge. And of course, anyone who has ever met me knows that weeks 9 and 12 may be my downfall (and the latter coincides with Thanksgiving – perfection).

I plan to update the blog each Sunday going forward, so if you care, great. If not, feel free to set up whatever filters you have – I'll try to put "Real Food" in the title each time.



May 2010



Mmm. Potato Crisps

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I’ll call them ‘crisps’ for now just because I’m in England and that’s what they call it.

Anyway, Walkers is doing this promotion timed to the World Cup (although they aren’t technically sponsors) where they introduce 15 new flavors, one for each of 15 countries. Yesterday on a picnic I had a chance to try a few:

Spain’s Chicken Paella – Interesting, with a strong bell pepper finish
Italy’s Spaghetti Bolognese – Odd. Crunch spaghetti? Just odd.
USA’s Cheeseburger – SO GOOD. I could eat a full-size bag all by myself
Australia’s BBQ Kangaroo – Not good. It didn’t taste like what I think of as BBQ.
French Garlic Baguette – Like boursin cheese in crisp form

There are ten other flavors for me to taste, including:

Wales Rarebit
Argentina Flame Grilled Steak
Brazil Salsa
Netherlands Edam Cheese
England Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding
Germany Bratwurst Sausage
Ireland Stew
Japan Teriyaki Chicken
Scotland Haggis
South Africa Sweet Chutney

I really want to taste the Salsa and Teriyaki Chicken Flavors. I think I’ll pass on Haggis.

You can learn more about it here.



February 2009



European Cuisine

Written by , Posted in Adventures

When I reached London, K and R had treats for me, and I’d like to spend a minute talking about the amazing food in London. That’s right, I said London. No, I’m not really talking about the food food – you know, the stuff you eat to nourish your body. No, I’m talking about treats. The stuff that normal people with self control eat on occasion, and that I eat daily, if not more often.

The first is the savory, spicy, amazing Walkers Thai Spice Crisps. These are amazing potato chips (a.k.a. crisps). It’s like bar-b-que, but so much more. So much more. There’s a kick, but it’s not so spicy that it burns. And maybe that’s the problem – I could eat a bag in a sitting. Luckily bags over there are smaller, but STILL.

The next is the Kit Kat. Yes, we have those here. And I love them. But they’re made with milk chocolate – respectable, but not fabulous. However, in the UK, they have Kit Kat made with DARK CHOCOLATE. Oh sweetness and light, they are phenomenal. There’s also an orange variety that I still haven’t tried.

After that comes the Cadbury chocolates. In the US, Cadbury is made by either Hershey or Nestle, but in the UK, they’re made by Cadbury. And there’s a difference. That difference? Year-round availability of creme egg filling. They had the actual creme eggs when I was there, since Easter is a mere three months away, but they also have the Cadbury twist bar, with is a milk chocolate bar with creme egg filling. It’s so sweet, and perfect for restoring some of your energy after wandering the streets of London.

Finally, we come to the Jaffa cake. Now, these are available in the US, if you live in a place like Bay Ridge, with a big Irish community and can make it to a specialty grocery store. Paula was kind enough to get me some for my birthday. They sound nasty – stale-ish orange cake, with this quarter-sized orange gelee on top, and 1/2 covered in dark chocolate. But the burst in the mouth? Totally amazing.

Oh, France had good stuff too. But you all know about how amazing their wine, and soup, and pastries and sandwiches are.



January 2008




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I have some vegan leanings and am always on the hunt for some good options. A lot of these are higher fat than their non-vegan counterparts, but I like to think that the karma of eating a meal that didn’t come from an animal makes up for it 🙂

For example:

Egg replacer – Good (in baked goods)

Tofutti Sour Cream – Good

Vegan butter – Good

Veggie dogs – Super good

All vegan cheese i’ve ever eaten outside of specialty restaurants – nasty

I’m excited to have recently discovered vegan donut holes. Yes, baked goods are probably not the healthiest thing to start buying in bulk, but they taste EXACTLY like the donut holes I used to mainline a few years ago.

It’s interesting how easy it can be to eat in a vegan way, but it can get a little boring out in the world. It basically means “salad” at every restaurant unless it’s a vegetarian / vegan specialty shop or an asian-influenced eatery. Plus, I really HATE some vegan staples (I think sprouts are the devil’s salad). But as I’ve stepped up and re-joined a gym – for a little over half of what I was paying at my former gym – so I feel like I should probably adjust my eating habits accordingly. It’s amazing how much yummier pizza sounds when it’s 25 degrees outside.

Special for my former roommate Reagan – good luck! Keep up the good work – I can’t wait to hear how things go this week.