Friday, July 17, 2009

Food Processor Processing

So I've been thinking it over, and feel that I am ready for a big commitment. A life-changing decision. Time to step up and get serious, no more flirting with the short-term views.  You know what this huge commitment is centered upon? 
Hummus. Yep, the delicious chickpea-based dip. That, and my love of soups. And dips of any kind. And sauces.
Alas, my friends... my big adult commitment is to purchase a food processor. I feel that this is a large step as 1. we have limited kitchen / storage space in my apartment and 2. these appliances cost a chunk of change. However, upon deciding that hummus is one of the most delicious foods known on Earth, this decision will enable me to MAKE MY OWN delicious hummus creations. 
Ange's recipe (Oh She Glows) for pumpkin + black bean hummus seems delectable! Kath @ KERF's recipe for lemony hummus looks delish. 
Aside from hummus - food processors are great for quick vegetable prep. I find chopping veggies to be very relaxing but sometimes can take a little more time than I prefer when famished. I don't wanna get hangry while cooking! 
It will be awesome to make hummus, dips, soups and more in the processor. Also, I have been hearing about this amazing banana soft-serve "ice cream" recipe from Gena at Choosing Raw, and can't wait to try it out. Again, the food processor is a necessary piece of equipment as it incorporates air into the mixture while handling several frozen bananas at once. I think that would kill my blender!
Back to the hardware discussion. I've reviewed several models and haven't yet decided which one to get... this model from, the KitchenAid KFP740CR, is looking pretty good. The cost is about $150 and Amazon ships for free... it's tempting because it is a 9-cup processor but also comes with a 4-cup mini bowl, it's versatile. Most of the cheaper, "mini-processors" have a 3-cup limit and since I usually cook for at least 2 servings, the larger size will be more of my style. 
So the $150 bones is a big investment, but I know that choosing to make my own hummus, dips, etc. from whole foods at home will help me save money over store-bought products in the long run, and will aid in my goal of knowing exactly what foods I am putting in to my body. 
Tonight at work we've got The National, it is a sold-out show and should be incredible. 
Weekend plans include baking a ton of White Russian cupcakes - a post on that tomorrow as I am attempting to make the recipe a little healthier - for an all-day tiki party at the Jacobsens' on Saturday, which is an annual affair that is much anticipated. My friend Janis and her parents are hilarious and hospitable hosts. Her Dad has been known to wear a hula skirt and other tiki accessories, so I have to find an outfit to suit the occasion! Janis, our friend Melissa and I had a fun time at the Tom Jones concert last Friday, and went to Vegas earlier this year. 
On Sunday, we may possibly be cheering on Zak's sister Jem and her boyfriend as they compete in the Door County Triathlon. Gotta love the race's slogan "Can't Bluff the Bluff!" lol. Jem is an incredible athlete and she's ran something like 15+ marathons, and has gotten into tri's over the past couple years. I really enjoy hearing her training stories and hope that someday I will be as gutsy and ripped as her! Good luck Jem and Kevin :-)
Back to work with me... have a great day!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Happy Cows? Please.

Hello there - been a short while - no worries though! I've been out of town and have a ton of things to talk about... will get to that eventually.
In the meantime - I have a rant - what is up with all of this California Cheese? I think it's crap. Living in Wisconsin, I have a privileged cheese palate when it comes to what's available at the grocery stores. What really 'grinds my gears' (like my Family Guy reference?) is when I see the California Cheese commercials on television, they are so dumb! Wisconsin cows are 'Happy' too... not to mention that with our plethora of WISCONSIN-produced cheese options, we are lessening our carbon footprint by eating locally-produced products. So I think these California Cheese / Dairy Council people should save their freaking dough and market to a state that has a lack of great dairy products. Capeche?
I am a true cheese fan... I love my camembert, brie, smoked gouda, muenster, pecorino (thanks Annie), parmesan, feta, gorgonzola, alpine Swiss... I love 'em all. Fresh cheese curds? You'd better believe I dive in when they are available. I can't always afford to cough up the dough for such pricey cheeses, and that's why when I go cheap... I have my favorites.
There is simply no better value in a supermarket, than Sargento Cheese. I shop at Pick N' Save mainly, and they seem to always have a Sargento product on special, so it's not only friendly on my palate but on my bank account as well. My favorite product is the Reduced-Fat Pepperjack Cheese Slices, which are a great addition to an avocado and tomato sandwhich or just plain on their own aside some apple slices. As the only cheese eater in my house, it's nice to have the convenient slices vs. buying a brick and only eating half before it goes bad.
Sargento also started to market their Salad Finishers, most of them have bacon or chicken however the Cranberry Pecan product looks to be amazing for us vegetarians. I am going to watch for a coupon on these.
Anyway - thanks for reading my random cheese rant... more soon!