Monday, April 6, 2009

25 Random Food Facts About Me

  1. Unless it's cooked in sauce for a long time, as in baked macaroni and cheese or lasagna, I don't like dried pasta. Fresh pasta, like in ravioli and tortellini, is fine but not exciting.
  2. I don't mind at all being completely out of meat or even cheese, but if I'm out of any of the ingredients to make my famous brownies, I feel a little off.
  3. I love marshmallows, even plain out of the bag.
  4. I put a splash of vinegar in nearly every meat dish I make. I guess it might be my grandmother's Panamanian influence.
  5. My favorite cooking smell is onions frying slowly in butter. I think it's way better than the smell of bacon (which I also like).
  6. I probably eat red meat once or twice a week on average, and when I do, it's usually a very small quantity, like one slice of beef tenderloin or half a burger. This has nothing to do with a desire to be healthy or a dislike of meat; I just don't want it more often than that.
  7. I love sweet and salty things together. I almost never eat meat or chicken without some sort of fruity accompaniment, like chutney or jam.
  8. I love all kinds of seafood, but lately my stomach doesn't. I seem to be able to eat crab and bivalves, at least in small amounts, and canned tuna, but fresh fish doesn't work well. I'm really, really hoping this is a temporary thing.
  9. I love to bake. The best things I bake are the aforementioned brownies and my lemon bars, but my favorite thing to bake is cupcakes with buttercream frosting. I love experimenting with different flavors of cake and frosting.
  10. I don't own a stand or hand mixer, but my whisk gets a whole heck of a workout.
  11. I love reading cooking blogs, but I never try any of the recipes on them. Ever. Although I bookmark hundreds of them just in case I change my mind.
  12. One exception to that rule is when I have a specific dish in mind, Google it, and find a promising-looking recipe on a cooking blog. So I guess what I should have said is that I never make a recipe because I see it on a blog.
  13. My staple meal is an egg and cheese sandwich on toast with some sort of fruit on the side. I most often eat it for dinner.
  14. I like cereal, but only as a snack.
  15. I have the amazing ability to spend half an hour at Whole Foods and spend less than $30.
  16. I love living alone, but I wish I had more people to cook for.
  17. My favorite food in the world is spanakopita. My parents and I used to go out for Greek food a lot when I was really little, so it's comfort food. My mom taught me to make it, and now I can knock one out in less than half an hour, including messing with all the phyllo dough.
  18. My favorite vegetables are spinach, green beans, eggplant and broccoli. I'm supposed to avoid all of them for health reasons. I sort of mostly do, but man, I miss eggplant parmigiana.
  19. I can only think of a few foods I truly dislike, other than pasta, which I'm just not into. Raw celery, canteloupe, honeydew, beef liver, gorgonzola cheese and olives are the only ones I can think of. Although I'll eat canteloupe and honeydew, I like olives fine if I only eat one or two, and gorgonzola is okay if there's just a little of it mixed with other stuff.
  20. The best dessert I've ever had is the rice pudding at the Duquesne Club in Pittsburgh. It's super-creamy (undoubtedly catastrophically bad for me), and they serve it with whipped cream and blackberries.
  21. I can't stomach any discernable fat on meat. I don't care how delicious it's supposed to be; if the fat's not rendered, I will cut a wide swath around it to avoid getting even a tiny bit of it in my mouth. But I'm fine with burgers and hot dogs, because the fat is mixed in.
  22. I could easily eat a nectarine every day of my life and never get sick of them. I wish they were in season more than a few weeks a year.
  23. I love every kind of capsicum, from pepperoncini to wax peppers to peppadews. Generally, the "greener-tasting" the better, but I do love habanero jam.
  24. I love both lemon and ice water, but not together.
  25. My alcohol preferences in brief: non-yeasty beer; red wine; Bombay gin in the summer; whiskey in the winter. And everything in small quantities.