Salsa Verde and Tubular Meat


I never say no to tubular meat. I can’t tell you how much money I’ve wasted on overpriced dogs at Phillies games and at concerts when I in no way need a hot dog. Last summer I found myself with an entire freezer full of Ballparks after a sale at Wegmans. It’s become a running joke among my friends that I am a hot dog hoarder (make fun all you want, I ALWAYS have hot dogs). And two weeks ago on a trip to Chicago I FINALLY visited the infamous Hot Doug’s, which remains one of the best meals I’ve ever eaten in Chicago (it was the only meat I had covered in slices of brie, and…..there were cheese fries).

Anyway. To kick off the release of the new book Haute Dogs, a bunch of other bloggers and I were asked to each make a component of the Ecuadorian Street Dog — and I volunteered to do the Salsa Verde. In my opinion, any salsa made with tomatillos is just superior. The flavor, the texture…I could drink this stuff like soup. I don’t, but I could. And sometimes I do throw it in a batch of white chicken chili, because why not? This salsa verde, however, is unique because it contains tomatoes, making it less verde than I prefer, and definitely less picante, but delicious on a piece of meat. It’s better if it makes it on o food, and isn’t just eaten straight from the bowl. Trust me.

 Salsa Verde from Haute Dogs by Russell van Kraayenburg

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Burns My Bacon: Corn Flakes Crumbs


Since food has been “trendy” for the past few years, I feel like there’s now a product there that does everything. I don’t really subscribe to the gadget theory but I understand that some people see the appeal of a microwave egg poacher or an avocado slicer. But you know what isn’t okay? Products that aren’t actually different products.

The other day I was browsing every aisle of the grocery store, because it had started torrentially downpouring outside while I was inside (sans umbrella), and I came across these. Cornflake crumbs. Mmmm hmm. Just in case you are too lazy to take a bag of corn flakes and a) sit on it b) give it to your kids to smash with a baseball bat, or c) roll a bag of corn flakes with a rolling pin, you can buy this product for $3.79.  I thought maybe I was missing something, so I went to the Kellogg’s website to search for a product description. Here it is: “Corn cereal crumbs.” It is LITERALLY, literally, another product that already exists, just crushed up.

I don’t know what I’m more angry about. The fact that manufacturers are making this product, or that there are people supporting the cause.

What. The. Fuck.

Everyday Iced Coffee in 5 Steps: Not Rocket Science


I don’t know when this happened, but iced coffee has somehow become some sort of novelty. Probably because I constantly hear people lamenting about how HARD it is to make iced coffee. It’s HARD when I pour boiling hot coffee over ice cubes and it all melts and makes my coffee watery. It’s HARD to double brew my coffee. It’s HARD to have iced coffee in a travel mug because there isn’t room for the ice! It’s HARD to get sugar to dissolve in cold liquid. Are you listening to yourselves? Seriously.

No. You don’t have to do that. It doesn’t have to be this way.

If you’re a coffee snob and you like your coffee fresh, like I-only-drink-it-within-5-minutes-of-brewing-it-or-it’s-gross fresh, move along. For the rest of us…listen up. Here’s what you want to do.

  1. Brew a pot of your morning coffee, but make a few cups extra.
  2. Add sugar (or sweetener of choice, if you swing that way at all). Sweeten the entire pot of coffee, while it’s hot.
  3. Consume some of the hot coffee. Let the rest cool on the counter.
  4. Fill an ice cube tray with some cold coffee, freeze. Why would you make ice cubes out of water? WHY.
  5. Fill a pitcher with the remaining coffee, stick in the fridge.

In a few hours, you have cold coffee in your fridge to enjoy at your leisure. With a covered pitcher, this lasts a few days. Make a little bit of extra coffee each morning to add to the pitcher. If you run out of the cold, refrigerator coffee, pour hot coffee over the coffee ice cubes that are already in your fridge.

Where’s my James Beard?

Free Bacon is the Best Bacon


Spotted outside Arooga’s in Harrisburg, PA. They may be a little bit late on the bacon trend, but let’s be real. I don’t care what’s cool, I’d never turn down free pork. Bud Light on the other hand…

A No-Fuss Holiday Drink: Candy Cane Martini

I received an email yesterday from one of my best friends, asking me for my opinion on holiday drink recipes. I was appalled—each recipe contained things like schnapps (multiple kinds per recipe), chocolate liqueur and sugar. No offense to Emily and those of you who like these cocktails, but for me, liqueurs are for my morning coffee and all lead to bad hangovers and a lot of vomiting if I consume them in large quantities in the evening.

My drinking plan for the 2012 holiday party season has been as follows: dirty martini, sipped slowly, accompanied by as many olives as humanly possible so I wouldn’t be wasted on an empty stomach (I know—bah humbug). But then Platinum 7x Vodka sent me the best holiday present ever: vodka and a recipe for this no-fuss, no-bullshit martini. It might be hangover-free too; this stuff is distilled 7 times for maximum smoothness. So if you’re hosting a party and want something festive without all the bullshit–throw a candy cane in your vodka. I know I will!

7X-mas Tini

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Doing it Right: (Some) Marathoners Eat Like ES-ers, Too

Now that snebbu and I are “runners” or something, we’ve been thinking a lot about what we are supposed to eat in addition to drowning ourselves in beer after a race. We’ve already expressed how we hate endless food plans,  and I hate fitness fanatics who only eat grass and seeds. I’ve learned that a lot of hardcore athletes are afraid of fat—my ex-boyfriend would only eat egg whites, oatmeal, and sandwiches with no condiments or cheese. What’s the point of all that working out if it doesn’t let you eat like shit without consequences?

I think I’ve found my running idol. After 36-year-old Philadelphian Michael McKeeman won the Philadelphia Marathon on Sunday, he went to Jake’s Sandwich Board, got the Turbacon Sandwich (Slow roasted whole turkey, cranberry-apple spread, smoky grilled bacon, savory brown gravy and crispy potato pancakes) with a Peanut Chew milkshake. For dinner? A bacon cheeseburger with two grilled cheese sandwiches as buns.

Be still my heart.

(Photo: Jake’s Sandwich Board)

Beer Runs: The 2013 Challenge

For some reason, I convinced snebbu and a few of our other, beer-loving friends to sign up for the Stoudt’s Distance Classic 12k on Halloween weekend. Stoudt’s happens to be one of our favorite breweries for a few reasons: highlights include its central PA location, plenty of older, beer-loving folks, and a free shuttle at most events from the brewery to all area hotels, which are usually around $50 a night. No college girls or heels here. We frequent their microfest and figured, why not do the 12k, especially if there’s a free pint glass and a beer at the end?

I should have known this was a bad idea by the words “Distance Classic” in the title, but I kind of thought it was a joke.  Unfortunately it was not. This 7.45-miler was a tad harder than expected; considering the race was, in my opinion, 80% uphill, including one hill that was 1.3 miles long, and 3/4 of the way my legs almost gave out just WALKING up. Also, the water stops didn’t have beer. Thankfully, we made atomic orange shirts to identify us as members of a fake organization, the FYAEA (Federation of Young Alumni Exploring America), which aided in search and rescue efforts.

Although I completed the race, was handed a loaf of bread at the finish line, and was given TWO free beers for coming in last (awesome), I felt defeated. But had there not been beer at the end, I would have given up at mile 2 and hitchhiked home. So,  I’ve come up with a challenge for myself, snebbu, our friends, and whoever else wants to join (YOU?): use beer to motivate yourself to run in 2013.  Run as many 5-10ks as possible in 2013, all of which are either a) at a brewery b) sponsored by some sort of liquor or c) involve free beer at the end. Not only will we a) be in shape b) be motivated and c) get a lot of free booze, I’m sure that many of these runs will raise money to benefit a cause other than my sobriety.

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