Cookbook Giveaway!

While I’m away at the beach this week, I wanted to get ready to celebrate the blog’s 3rd birthday!  26 May will be three years since my first food post.  The blog has changed a little over the years, hopefully for the better, but I often come back to the same cookbook over and over again, the source for my first post. Although the Muffin Cookbook is out of print, I managed to procure three copies in very good condition to give away at the end of the month. All you have to do is a leave a comment telling me the name of your favorite muffin at the end of this post and you will be entered to win! I’ll use a random number generator to select three winners. Thanks for reading!

Just Call Us ‘The Apple Dumpling Gang’

Hopefully you’ve see the movie, but I’m talking about something else. 😉 Saturday night Lisa of Champaign Taste, under the sponsorship of FoodBuzz for their 24, 24, 24 event, hosted a dinner for a few Champaign food bloggers at The Apple Dumpling in Urbana.

I had never been to the Apple Dumpling before, so I was looking forward to trying out a new place. They specialize in Midwestern home-style food. I had the fried chicken, a baked sweet potato (with brown sugar, mmm!), the salad bar, and, of course, the name-sake dessert, which was oooh, so gooey and delicious but I couldn’t finish either the main course or the dessert and even The Husband was too stuffed to help me out, as he usually does.

So, go check out Lisa’s post, complete with videos and photos (I’m hiding in the back and The Husband is sitting at the end of the table). You may find yourself saying, “Mr. Donovan, I gotta goooooo!” (get an apple dumpling, that is!) 😉

Just Like Grandma’s

Today I point you toward How To Cook Like Your Grandmother for an interesting blog visit. Drew has lots of step-by-step instructions for basic foods, detailing the recipes and the techniques.

Wandering West

Vegan Lunch Box is a blog I used to frequent and even listed on my blogroll for a while, but then Schmoo stopped going to school and the lunches stopped being packed, but this summer Jennifer is back with all sorts of beautiful things. I know I’m NOT a vegan (in case you thought I was confused about the definition), but I don’t have to eat meat at every meal and, even when the food isn’t something I’d choose for myself, Jennifer packs a beautiful bento.

Southern Wanderings

This week I wandered to the southern hemisphere. I recommend you visit Arfi’s blog HomeMades. Her photography is gorgeous and her recent post on chocolate orange custard is droolworthy.

Omnivore? Maybe Not

This week I went to visit Mary’s blog The Sour Dough and found this fun list from Very Good Taste. I think I am not so much an omnivore, since I am repulsed by the thought of eating blood, organs, intestines, etc. Depending on how you count, I’ve tried at least 45 of the items on the list, possibly 49. There are at least 8 on the list that I would like to try at some time. There are 14.5 that I would not eat.  Not in a house, not with a mouse, not here, not there, I would not eat them anywhere.

Since I had to look up some of the Indian and Asian foods that were literally foreign to me, I gave links from Wikipedia for most, only to realize later that VGT had done that work already. Nothing like re-inventing the wheel, or the menu of unusual foods as in this case.

Feel free to play along.

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment here at www.verygoodtaste.co.uk linking to your results.

The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:

1. Venison (word to the wise — not in a crockpot. eeewww! I’m scarred for life. )
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile (could I count the alligator I tasted?)
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich (one of my least favorite foods)
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart (why not at an auction or county fair?)
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns (this is one of my favorite foods — I need a Chinese Grandma!)
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries (huckleberries, thimbleberries, raspberries, and blackberries)
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper (I prefer not to be seared from the inside out)
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo (I always order this at the Great Impasta)
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects (not intentionally, anyway; I’ve definitely swallowed bugs before, though)
43. Phaal (I prefer to still have the ability to taste after I eat a food, thank you, see Scotch Bonnet pepper)
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu (Not what I’d pick as a last meal so I’d really have to trust the chef!)
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut (I love to watch them making the doughnuts!)
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin ?? clay? as in Kaopectate?
64. Currywurst
65. Durian (the stories are fascinating but I’d much rather try mangosteen)
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini (but after reading what it is, I want one!)
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare (but I have raised and eaten rabbits)
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam (I remember it as Click on a trip to Canada c. 1972)
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

Wednesday Wanderings

I bring you the first edition of, hopefully, a recurring theme in which I introduce you to a food blog that you might not have seen yet, is relatively new to me, or is just so darn fun and interesting that it deserves a shout out even if it’s already on every foodie’s blog roll. I’m starting with Bon Appegeek. I’ve visited a couple of times before, but earlier this week I followed a trail of links to her blog and found myself snorting my lemonade and spewing it over my computer monitor. Annie gives a hearty review of the NY Times cookie recipe, and I’ll have to remember the rule about never using the word ‘morgue’ on my food blog. Wander on over and check it out yourself.