Burns My Bacon: Where’s My Tomato?


There’s no denying it. When I come across a burger on a restaurant menu I’m tempted: a big fat juicy slab of meat always makes for a great dinner. I’m so tempted that even when I’m in no particular mood I always make sure that whichever restaurant I choose there is a good burger available. We all have our downfalls. I’m still seeking a gym buddy.

A nice fresh tomato and onions along with a little ketchup are what I look forward to on my burger, but you know what Burns My Bacon? A crappy tomato that’s what. I get it, tomatoes are expensive, always have been and always will be, but don’t skimp on the tomato on my burger or any other dish for that matter, slice it off and throw it out, just don’t ever serve it. If there are any other uses for ends of tomato then let us know in the comments.

Infinito Sobbollire: Anticipating Rome


Ladies and gents, I’m in dire need of a vacation and, as luck would have it, that’s just what I’ll be doing at the end of this month.  My last two trips to Europe, which took me to Hamburg and London, certainly left me with a few good food memories, but that’s going to pale in comparison after Mrs. TVFF and I head to Rome.  She’s been there a few times (and studied for a summer during college), but it’s my first trip.  We’ll be looking at tons of artwork, visiting important churches and ancient ruins and gorging ourselves on every type of food we can put our hands on.

It’s funny…I plan on walking something like ten miles a day while I’m there, yet I completely expect to gain 5+ pounds. What, exactly, am I looking forward to most?  I’ve got a shortlist of dishes that have my mouth watering already.
5. Gelato – Yeah, I know you’re probably thinking that this should be a bit higher on the list.  And it would be, except for the fact that (a) I’m going to be there at the end of February and it’s not exactly frozen-desert season and (b)  I work about a block away from what I think is the best gelato this side of the Atlantic, so it won’t likely be the kind of revelation it typically is for Americans raised on bland ice cream.  Still, eating a cup of pistachio while walking through the Campo de’ Fiori will be pretty sweet.

Check out the rest…and help me find the best spots…after the jump.

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SOS Zucchini Boats to the Rescue


I hope everyone has read Westcoast‘s fantastic okra-starring dish, Bhindi Masala with Whole Wheat Dill and Garlic Parathas. And I’m sorry you all could only *read* about it. The day after he made it we met for lunch. He brought his Indian okra leftovers and I brought my Kefir Parsley Pesto with Zucchini, Peas and Udon Noodles leftovers.

He totally fucking won. Especially because the udon noodles sucked up all of the moisture from the veggies and the sauce and, well, it was really bland compared to his spice-heavy mixture.

As we were packing up lunch, he flippantly said he’d be tossing what we hadn’t finished. I clearly was having none of that! I took home some of the masala, one of the parathas and the dill-ed yogurt mixture. But there wasn’t enough for a full meal, which to me is a perfect excuse for some kitchen creativity.

Luckily, it was Monday and I caught Kim O’Donnel’s Meatless Monday post on her new blog, Licking Your Chops, on the site True/Slant. Okay, enough with the plugging for the great KOD.

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All of England on One Bun


Living in the US has taught me one thing: no matter what, no matter where, there is always an ultimate this or ultimate that, the ultimate burger, the ultimate hot dog, the ultimate blah blah blah…

I was watching a show the other week on this very topic, and the host was traveling the country in search of the ultimate/largest cheese steak. This got me thinking — it’s not all about being the biggest (cough cough), it’s about being the best. In my university town of Leeds there is a small cafe called the Crusty Bin. This eatery would serve up the best breakfast sandwich that has ever passed my lips. With this in mind there was only one thing left for me to do: recreate the Crusty Bin breakfast sandwich.

When I first told gansie that I intended on writing a post about a breakfast sandwich that I used to eat during my university life she immediately responded with, “I want it to start with a crazy university days’ story.” I suppose I could tell you about the time I gathered at the Crusty Bin with friends after our university summer ball, when after a night of drinking this was the only place we wanted to be. However, there was one person missing from our group because he was caught only hours earlier doing the dirty with his girlfriend in a portable loo in the grounds of one of England’s finest country estates… I can’t go any further as it wouldn’t be SFW. Or I could tell you the story of how I woke up the day after my 21st birthday, which also happened to be the day I handed in my final year dissertation — with a mohawk and an incredibly painful hangover which was cured by said sandwich. But I won’t.

You didn’t read this post to hear about me, you read this post due to the mouth watering picture above.

A gooey cross-section shot and the full deets on what’s in it after the jump…

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In Praise of Global Warming


In years past, many farmers’ market regulars couldn’t wait for October’s bounty. By then, they had their fill of roasted eggplant, grilled zucchini, and caprice salad—the foods that transform summer’s heat into a satiable experience. When a chill hit the air, seasonal cooks would normally turn to hearty greens and silky winter squashes. But a change in the earth’s climate has altered kitchen plans, forcing many cooks to find new uses for the abundance of summer crops creeping into autumn.

“Go global warming!” shouts Jaci Arnold, the self-described “biatch” of Richfield Farm in Manchester, Md., while selling produce at the Mount Pleasant Farmers’ Market. Somehow, heirloom tomatoes have found their way to 17th and Lamont Streets, NW in mid-October. “We should have had a frost by this time,” Arnold says. “Everyone complains about global warming, but they’re still happy to have a tomato in October.” Although she doesn’t cook extravagantly, Arnold has heard some pretty strange ways people use up the never-ending warm-weather vegetables, most notably a yellow squash ice cream. In fact, funky desserts seem to be the standard among this particular group of farmers and sellers in Mount Pleasant.

Zachary Lester, owner of Tree And Leaf farm in Loudon County, Va., transforms his quick-to-wilt purple basil, Thai basil, and Italian basil into an herbaceous ice cream. Robert Audia, of Carroll County’s Audia’s Farms, says his wife upped the ante at this year’s annual squash festival by presenting a squash cheesecake. Tia Sumler of Truck Patch Farms in New Windsor, Md., meanwhile, suggests a labor-intensive tomato granita: She blends a few tomatoes, sugar, and cherry bomb hot peppers until smooth; places it in the freezer; and every 30 minutes (for a few hours) scrapes and stirs the mixture to create an icy, crystallized treat. Sumler acknowledges it’s a pain in the ass, but “If you’re home anyway, it’s well worth it,” she says.

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