Burns My Bacon: Cranberry Garnish

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Cranberries are taking over the world. Not the band, I wouldn’t mind that as much. More specifically, cranberry garnish is taking over. We recently attended a wedding where cranberries were in our champagne glasses. Only weeks later, we had cranberries in another one of our drinks. Why? What does it add to the drink?

I’ve had strawberries in my champagne – sliced up and infused into the champagne. I’ve had mint in my mojitos, basil in strawberry drinks – all garnishes that I could taste. But cranberries? You can’t get flavor out of a cranberry unless it is cooked! Garnish is fine if it has some kind of use…but just to throw it on there for the hell of it? For who’s benefit?

1) FREEZE the cranberries

At least you can use them as ice cubes in the drink. I would argue that the cranberries will at least keep the drink’s original constitution rather than watering it down with ice cubes.

2) Cook the cranberries

Boil the cranberries first and muddle them in a new drink. Your hipster friends will be more impressed. Although, I can guarantee you that at least one hipster will ask where the garnish is.

3) Infuse with cranberries

You see, the key here is to COOK them first. Cook on medium heat in a sauce pan. Then let it sit in your favorite booze for a few days.

THERE. Something useful for cranberries in alcoholic drinks. At the least, you can use them as ice cubes if it’s that important that the drink look “pretty”.

Pokeworks Sushi Burrito

Wanted: The Sushi Burrito!

The ‘Sushi Burrito’ has hit NYC and it’s amazing.

Posted by INSIDER food on Friday, March 4, 2016

WHY do I live in Austin where almost nobody makes good poke, let alone a sushi burrito?! I want this damn sushi burrito that is taking NYC by storm… so bad! And, maybe a better question, WHY do I even want one of these damn sushi burritos so badly when I know fully well that it’s just one giant log of sushi cut in half instead of into rolls? I worked for a Japanese restaurant group for years, I’ve had more sushi in my life/body than most people I know, yet still, I WANT MORE. I want this giant sushi burrito in my mouth.

I wasn’t personally affected by the exclusivity of the cronut or the internet-wide fanfare over the ramen burger but this one is really hitting a chord with me and my stomach. I guess because sushi and burritos are two of my very favorite things to eat, my dumb self just can’t resist.

There’s plenty of sushi burrito chatter floating around the internet, but the above video from INSIDER Food is what really got me going. (Yes, even with its in-your-face flute jam.) Like I said, I totally realize there are very few burrito-esque qualities to this monstrous tube of deliciousness (no tortilla, no beans, just the rice and avocado aspect, which is also present in Japanese/Hawaiian food). I don’t care, though. I want to hit up Pokeworks and order this sushi burrito (or as they call it, “Pokiritto”) and order all the raw fish in the world. Preferably in burrito form.

If you’ve had the joy of experiencing a sushi burrito in your life, tell us about it! Worth the hype or totally overblown?

Pokeworks Sushi Burrito

(Image: Pokeworks Facebook)

Burns My Bacon: Oreo Thins

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The skinny Oreo. Yes, you heard it right, Nabisco is giving in to the effed up health-conscious world to bring you “Oreo Thins.” Supposedly, Nabisco is not trying to offer a healthier option than their Crisco-filled counterparts, but they project sales to increase from offering this wafer-like substance formerly known as an Oreo. Yes, these are more sophisticated snacks “for adults” according to the Associated Press. Nabisco claims that adults don’t want to twist or dunk their Oreos. Instead, adults want to chomp down on some thin piece of cardboard that does not have nearly enough sugar-lard filling and claim that they are satisfied. I call BS.

Let’s be real. First off, since the dawning of the Oreo, debates among young and old centered around the question: to dunk or to twist? “I prefer to eat my Oreo dry, with less filling, and untwisted” – said nobody. Further, when given the choice between a regular Oreo and Double Stuffed, I am willing to bet that 9/10 people will choose the double-stuffed. I mean, I’ll take two double-stuffed Oreos, twist off precisely so that all of the cream is on one side, and then sandwich the two double-stuffed sides together. I am not alone. And yes, on most days, I am an adult.

Finally – let’s talk about the Oreo brand. Oreo makes their money off of the “twist vs. dunk” debate. Endless advertising highlights the debate – even including adults. I recall an ad with a father (adult) and his son (to be an adult some day) by which the father teaches his son “the proper way to eat an Oreo.” I believe he actually followed the twist and dunk technique. What a simpleton.

PHOTO: Associated Press

Chew on This: Pistachio Rum Mini Bundt Cakes

Pistachio Chewy Bite Mini Rum Cakes

In one of those epic which-ice-cream-to-buy battle of the minds, a friend recently called me an “old man” for wanting to choose pistachio. Is this warranted? I mean, I know it’s not chocolate chip cookie dough, but it’s not rum raisin either. So maybe pistachio isn’t the most cutting-edge of all dessert flavors, but it’s freaking delicious. I was stoked to discover this new recipe from Heather Goldberg and Jenny Engel of Spork Foods, who combine the nuttiest of nuts with lots of wintry spices, yes, a little bit of rum, but yay, no raisins, for what they call Pistachio Chewy Bites. Yes, please.

Mini Pistachio Chewy Bite Rum Bundt Cakes

Yields 12 personal bundt cakes

Ingredients:
3/4 cup un-sweetened almond milk plus 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 3/4 cups organic un-bleached all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup evaporated cane sugar
1 tablespoon organic black strap molasses
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup rum
1/4 cup neutral tasting oil (Safflower)
1/3 cup finely ground pistachios
3 Setton Farms Pistachio Chewy Bites
1/2 cup organic powdered sugar
2 teaspoons un-sweetened almond milk

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Burns My Bacon: The Sudden Decline of Pumpkin Spice

Pumpkin Spice Latte

PHOTO: Starbucks

Pumpkin flavored anything is on the top of my list from mid September up until the day after Thanksgiving. Yes, that’s right, I celebrate fall from beginning to end. Apparently, I am in the minority. Approaching a day of meetings, angry co-workers, and tons of stress, I decided to get a pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks. I enter Starbucks, proudly present my Starbucks app (I’m a Gold member), and order my latte with a sprinkle of extra fall. What do I get after I actually order and start waiting? “Oh, we don’t have pumpkin spice anymore.” Day. Ruined.

I’m sorry, did I miss the fall foliage, carved pumpkins, horror movie marathons, trick-or-treaters, and high school football season? Nevermind Thanksgiving – that’s a battle that will never be won. But to take pumpkin spice off the shelves before Halloween?! What is the world coming to? Are we all that ready for Christmas? Do you REMEMBER what last winter brought? Tons of snow! I love skiing, but I’d like to enjoy the full extent of the fall season. That includes the special pumpkin taste of fall. Don’t give me the BS about “your market hasn’t demanded the product.” All that is telling me is that the region I live in sucks. They are a bunch of namby pamby rich snobs that are entitled to the point that they believe they should be showered with gifts and attention even longer. STOP IT. In all fairness to Starbucks and my barista – they did comp my hazlenut latte (said in a dull and drab voice) because of my visible distress given the situation. But that could also be because I am a gold card member.

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Halloween Must-Have: ORANGE Milk!

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Tick or treaters, horror films, American Horror Story, Walking Dead, Hocus Pocus marathons, ORANGE MILK. The list can go on (do I see a Halloween must-have list in our near future?) but for now, let’s talk about this awesome idea from TruMoo: Orange and Scream Milk. The green-dyed milk for St. Patrick’s day is cool, but does it change the flavor of the milk? NO. Orange and Scream is a play on words of…you guessed it – orange and cream. Not only is the milk a kick-ass Halloween orange, but it also tastes like a delicious creamsicle! I’m picturing myself downing tons of Halloween candy with a nice cold glass of orange milk. This could really change things for me…

Parent company Dean foods figured it out – you can get your kids their calcium while also tasting delicious and fitting the theme of the Holiday. More importantly, they even suggest some “Halloween concoctions.” First, there is the Monster Mash Float, which “comes to life by combining the limited edition milk with frozen yogurt topped off with chilled seltzer.” Then try the “Paranormal Pudding.” which “appears by combining instant vanilla pudding with TruMoo Orange Scream and layers of granola.”

I sent several emails to TruMoo and Dean foods to find out where I can get this ghoulish beverage. Unfortunately, the snobs in my region apparently don’t demand the product so I can’t find it near me. They did suggest to ask the local store managers to get some in. Obviously, an email has already been sent. I haven’t given up yet on finding this thing and neither should you. In fact, if you do find it, let us know and tweet us with your best HALLOWEEN milk mustache! Game on. Happy Halloween, Bitches.

Neelys Divorced Food Network

Plate It or Hate It: Fall 2014

Recent food world discoveries the ES crew is loving and hating…

Hate it: Overpriced Food & Drink Festivals

We LOVE that Oktoberfest is sweeping the nation, bacon festivals are occurring on the east coast, and people are excited to experience food. However, some of these prices are ridiculous. For instance, the Philly fest is asking $25 for general admission and THREE samples. C’mon now!

Plate it: Whiskey Wedge

The makers of corkcicle bring us a new and improved way to drink our whiskey without diluting the drink. Review to come!

Hate it: Christmas-Themed Food in OCTOBER

Peppermint Mocha Liquid (seasonal)

Somehow gingerbread flavored creamer ended up in my fridge. We’ve seen candy canes and chocolate oranges in the grocery stores. Apparently the supermarkets and the food corps want to push Christmas on us already. Well… we are not ready. Put the holiday foods/drinks/scents away! At least let us get through Halloween!

Plate it: BOOK IT! Alumni Program

Join the Alumni Program

Remember those buttons we would get in school with the purpose of filling it with stickers to earn your personal pan pizza? As we realize the Book It! program is 30 years old, we all realize that we’re not as young as we think we are. Now you can re-enroll online as an alumni and get a free pizza!. Nostalgia awaits you.

Plate It? The Olive Garden Foodie Strikes Again

Grand Forks Herald columnist Marilyn Hagerty is seen in an undated portrait. Hagerty, a North Dakota newspaper columnist, focuses on local food and...

Merilyn Hagerty strikes again as she reviews Applebee’s and their ground breaking Oriental Chicken Salad. While “lunching” with a friend, she helps us determine whether or not to go with the half or full size salad, and “regular customers know how to order two full sized entrees and one appetizer to share.” While insulting at one level, it’s pretty damn hilarious on another. We give the woman credit for getting by on these pieces. The publication – not so sure.

Hate It: The Neelys are Getting Divorced?!

Neelys Divorced Food Network

WHAT THE HELL IS THIS?!?!?! Love is officially dead. Bye forever, everyone. (Image credit: internet ruiner of dreams, TMZ.com)

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