School Lunch Project

Nasty school lunch

I think we can all agree that school lunches are notoriously Nas-tay with a capital N. And now one (anonymous) teacher has said, “Enough.”

Mrs. Q, as she calls herself, has decided to eat a cafeteria lunch every (school) day in 2010 and document each meal on her blog Fed Up: School Lunch Project. The blog will draw necessary attention to the problem of nutrition (or lack thereof) in school cafeterias.

I see a book deal and possibly an Oprah guest spot in Mrs. Q’s future–if she ever reveals herself, of course.

I just asked her if she’d be up for an anonymous “interview” via email for a Sweet Tater feature. I’d love to hear more about the motivation behind her project and how it is affecting her physically and mentally. Stay tuned…

Baked Oatmeal

Little love pot

I had no real intention of blogging about my baked oatmeal from yesterday. But I’m like 500 hits away from breaking my record traffic for a month and I need hits like a crackhead needs… you know.

The whole blog traffic game is a sick addiction. I don’t care. Judge me. Now click on this post again.

Anyway, yesterday I made a lovely mix of oats, cinnamon, GF flour, baking powder, chia seeds, ground flax, almond milk and agave and baked it up in a cute little ramekin because all the other bloggers keep baking their oatmeal and it makes me drool.

It took about 20 minutes to bake which was apparently 18 minutes too long because I kept opening the door and poking it and burning myself. I eventually hollowed out the middle and put Nuttzo inside.

Heart of Nuttzo

Delicious.

The Lazy Goat

Lazy Goat lobby

Last night Stew and I ventured out in the snow/ice storm to grab dinner at The Lazy Goat. They’re part of a family of restaurants in town owned by Table 301 and they’ve been running this brilliant Restaurant Stimulus Plan over the past year. Simply add your name to the list and you’ll get a $25 gift certificate good at any of their restaurants. Each time you use your gift certificate to pay for a meal, you’ll immediately get another one to use at another one of their restaurants. Looks like we’ll be eating at Soby’s in February…

That’s it. No gimmicks. You have to order two entrees, but who wouldn’t? With a $25 gift certificate at Lazy Goat you’ll get one entree free and then some. Their prices are very reasonable–my pizza was $10.

So let’s talk food…

Stew thought he ordered a glass of wine but he totally got a half carafe.

Stew's not glass of wine

It was a Vitiano Cabernet and much to my dismay appears to run about $8 a bottle. Restaurants rob you on wine prices. At least now we know we can stock up on it because it was fantastic.

We started with fried goat cheese with a pistachio dust drizzled with honey and our favorite grilled red onion salad with polenta croutons.

Fried goat cheese

Grilled red onion salad with polenta croutons

The goat cheese was so right. I don’t really even like goat cheese but this one was really mild and the breading was perfect. The salad is still one of my favorites but last night the polenta croutons were way over salted.

Stew ordered the Lazy Paella, one of their signature dishes. It’s on the higher end of their menu price range at $22 and so was a perfect choice for a night out with a $25 gift certificate.

Lazy Paella

He tried to make me look away when it came time to eat the two tiny squids. I said I didn’t mind but then I pulled the onions off my pizza because they looked too much like calamari.

I had the tomato and mozzarella pizza but added the grilled veggies from the pesto pizza.

Perfect pizza

My pizza was perfect. Lazy Goat does pizza right. I don’t know what it is–something about the tangy sauce, real cheese and crispy but doughy crust just does it for me. Perfect, perfect, perfect.

I am very much looking forward to the February trip to Soby’s. But if they didn’t make me pick a new restaurant each time, I’d just eat at Lazy Goat every month.

1st Annual EPIE Awards

Epic Portions announces Epie winners

Epic Portions announced the “winners” of its 1st Annual EPIE Awards last week and I can’t help but wonder if “winner” is perhaps the wrong word to use for some of the categories–ie Worst Show, Worst Male/Female Personality. Basically, if you love Giada de Laurentis and her obnoxious pronunciation of all Italian words and her in-your-face cleavage and her fake “home” that’s really a set, then I suggest you avoid the Worst Female Personality award.

I, for one, do not love Giada. Not at all. So I was thrilled with that winner/loser.

I don’t hate Bobby Flay as much as the guys over at EP do, but they were justified in their reasoning–he probably is a jerk… and loves himself.

I did, however, have to stand up for Guy Fieri when the nominations were first announced:

“it goes against everything i stand for, but–damnit–i love guy fieri.

i know, i know. the wristband. the sunglasses. the hair. the hot rod. the shirts. the… vocabulary. DY-NO-MITE.

i just can’t help it. maybe it’s the incredible food featured on the show or the allure of the great american mom and pop shop or my need to defend the underdog.

could we replace him with aaron sanchez? come on guys.”

So there. I said it. I am a Guy Fieri fan. Please don’t lose respect for me. But do watch his show. It will make you so hungry.

Head over to Epic Portions to check out the other winners/losers

Hot Dog DNA Tested

Don't worry. They're surprisingly clean.

Two high school seniors in New York City recently completed a unique science project in which they tested the DNA of several different food and home items to determine what they’re really made of.

Brenda Tan and Matt Cost–with the help of Rockefeller University professor Mark Stoeckle and the Natural History Museum of New York–used a technique called genetic bar coding to test the DNA in some 200 different samples, including a New York City hot dog.

Hot dog lovers will be pleased to find that the test came back clean–pork, beef, etc. One surprise, however, involved a cheese labeled as sheep’s milk that returned DNA results indicating it was created with cow’s milk only. Whoops.

And the biggest surprise of all came when the duo submitted what they thought was an everyday NYC cockroach only to find that it differed genetically from every other cockroach species in the database by 4%. A new species can be indicated by a genetic difference of as little as 2%. So it seems as though the two have discovered a new cockroach species. Here’s hoping they get to name it something awesome… and that it never shows up in the DNA test for any food products.

Watch a video interview with the students or read the NPR transcript.