Wednesday, April 1, 2009

‘Bank’ on fauxtatoes for convincing side dish
I was surprised to learn women at Guarantee Bank have been eyeing me on my daily walk over the past year. I stopped in and Jeanne Young started talking health food, including a recipe she loves for converting cauliflower into something resembling mashed potatoes. She’s a South Beach fan.
I found a South Beach version of this process that called for cauliflower florets, butter-flavored cooking spray, fat-free half and half, a pinch of salt and freshly-ground black pepper. Puree the florets in a food processor. I’m betting garlic would be a fine addition.

Bento box
In our love of all things Asian, my daughter and I would love to pack our lunches in bento boxes. The April issue of Eating Well magazine has a beautiful spread on the concept, that came with this tip: separate food or condiments in the boxes by serving in cupcake liners (good one) or lettuce leaves (great).

C is for cookie
Pepperidge Farm has something new: Pepperidge Farm Granola Cookies. Raisins, almonds, pecans and cranberries in Fruit & Nut fill you up at coffee time. I haven’t yet tried Triple Nut and Dark Chocolate Almond.
Customer feedback drove PF to introduce 100 Calorie Milano cookie packs. These are the crispy, chocolatey ovals we all know and love. Thanks guys.

Back with sugar
Natural sugar is what’s making Log Cabin syrup. They took out the high fructose corn syrup that a health concern topic. It’s good stuff and I’ve tried it on frozen yogurt and as a cookie sauce over frozen bananas. I haven’t had time for actual pancakes, but confidence is high. I recently paid a lot of money for a tiny tin of Vermont maple syrup, and found the Log Cabin to be comparable in quality. Here’s a Log Cabin recipe:

Apple Pecan Baked Pancake
1/2 cup favorite pancake mix
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup Granny Smith apple, peeled and sliced
1/3 cup pecans, chopped
3 cups Log Cabin syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare pancake mix according to package directions; and set aside. Pour melted butter in 9-inch pie plate. Place apple slices in bottom of pie plate; sprinkle cinnamon and pecans and drizzle syrup over apples; carefully pour batter on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until top springs back when touched. Loosen edges and invert onto serving plate. Cut in wedges and serve with warm maple syrup and/or fresh apple butter. Serves 4 to 6. Good served with sausage links.

Do you love garlic?
I was willing to share Frieda’s Garlic Delight with coworkers, but I warned them in a memo they couldn’t just like garlic … they had to love garlic to try it. This dip/marinade/spread is intense, and that’s how garlic lovers want it. I just had pretzels for a dip, but I took it home and tried it on bread, pasta, chips and a potato. The original is a simple blend of canola oil, fresh garlic, lemon juice and salt. Frieda’s also makes the mouths of garlic lovers sing with an olive, sun-dried tomato and chipotle. I don’t know if it keeps vampires away, but it does keep you in garlic-loving buddies.

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