Thursday, January 04, 2007

Adventures in Food

Credit: Pinky Blinkies

Okay, so many of you won't consider these items particularly adventurous (and some of you will consider certain items dietary staples), but this is *seriously* branching out for me. Getting me to try anything new, especially if it involves unfamiliar ingredients, is a challenge. I am an extremely picky eater, and the dietary restrictions related to my kidney stones don't help any (though they do give me a good excuse not to eat some things, like broccoli, that I never liked anyway). And if I hear one more person say "you've never had that?!!!", especially about the first item, I'm gonna have to hurt you! LOL

  • Risotto - OMG, YUM!!! Why have I never eaten this before??? Sheesh! It was phenominal. In this case, though, it was never really having the opportunity to try it (and being way to chicken to try and make it), not that I thought I wouldn't like it. I'm afraid I may never forgive my brother for showing me how to make it. Too too good. So good, in fact, that we chucked out a side dish for a later meal and had it again! I'm drooling just thinking of it.
  • Artichokes - Not so much. I was brave, I did try them, even though I didn't like the way they smelled. And I was able to swallow it without issue (didn't have to spit it out), but that half of one artichoke heart was enough.
  • Schnecken - Eh. It just reaffirmed my opinion that I don't care for sticky buns. There is just something off about the flavor. And these were definitely NOT worth the 3 hours they took to make (most of that while rising, but still). I much prefer cinnamon rolls (yes, there is a difference!). Or, instead of plain cinnamon rolls, how about....
  • Gorilla Bread - Way too yummy, and thankfully way too much work and way too much food to justify making just for our little family of three. And I don't even like cream cheese (I like it mixed in things, but not plain, even on a bagel), but I loved this. Think cinnamon rolls stuffed with cream cheese and then baked smothered in pecans, butter, and brown sugar. To die for! Once or twice a year is good, which will be much friendlier to my figure.
  • Turtle Dessert - Okay, so we discovered this particular recipe at Thanksgiving, but it is so good (and easy!), it is worth mentioning. It is just ice cream sandwiches, Cool Whip, caramel sauce, hot fudge sauce, and pecans, but the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
  • Kielbasa Toastettes - This was not as good as I hoped. I didn't see how it could go wrong with the ingredients (mayo, Worchestershire sauce, cheddar cheese, green onion, and turkey kielbasa, baked on sliced baguette rounds), but I didn't care much for it. My parents seemed to like it, though.
  • Brie en Croute - Fabulous! Yes, this was also my first time having brie. (Stop gaping at the screen, please.) Not because I thought I wouldn't like it (it's cheese, what's not to like?!), but because my only chance to try it (without buying it myself), I was pregnant, and you aren't supposed to eat soft cheeses like that when pregnant. But when the recipe called for brown sugar and nuts on the cheese inside the puff pastry, I was skeptical. Why ruin perfectly good pecans with cheese, and perfectly good cheese with brown sugar? LOL But it was way yummy! Again, too much and too rich for a frequent thing, but perhaps for the occasional special event.
  • Hummus - Okay, stop rolling your eyes already! No, I had never had hummus before either. And I'm not impressed. There was some sort of flavor in it that I didn't care for, but I cannot for the life of me figure out what. Chick peas, sesame seeds (tahini), garlic, lemon, and olive oil. How can I not like that? Just not my thing, apparently. I'm starting to think that all Greek food in general is also out for me, since I've never liked any of it that I've tried. (Same goes for Thai, for that matter.)
  • Croquetas - Hey, my brother lives in Miami, and I think he is the only non-Latino/non-South American in his office. He's picked up a bunch of ethnic dishes from various countries south of Florida. This is one of them, though we got the frozen ones in ham. They were pretty good. I didn't love them, and I was admittedly a little hung up on the ham thing (long story, but I don't eat ham; maybe we can try the chicken ones next time), but I liked them okay. Not as much as the Tostones from last year, though. LOL
  • Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Dip - Disappointing. Tasted too much like cream cheese for me (remember, I don't care for it, generally speaking). I don't know if it is the eggs or just the baking of a regular cheesecake that alters the flavor and/or texture of it, but I love real cheesecake (it's all Connie's fault, she introduced me to it). This didn't even come close. Ah well.

    And that concludes our 2006 Christmas Menu review. Everything else was either something straight up (like Giada's Chicken), or a well-loved family favorite. We have 32 recipes in this year's collection, and we made a total of 40 different foods (some, like the croquetas and hummus, were pre-made, so no recipe). Can't wait to see what we come up with for next year! Who knows what culinary adventues we'll go on next year. Perhaps something Russian....

    Currently feeling: well-fed

    1. Did you try marinated artichoke hearts or fresh? Marinated are so so. Freshly steamed artichokes are a whole different thing. Delicious.

      WTG for trying all those new items. =)

    2. I haven't had many of the items you listed ever either - guess I'm even less adventurous than you are! :)

    3. Wow! 40 different things!! A lot of things on your menu sound Yummy. I didn't like hummus either. Never tried artichokes. But the icecream sandwich dessert sounds fabulous!!

    4. Hey, it was a great Christmas treat to try all the new foods! You forgot one though. And we went all the way to the Farmer's Market to get it! What did you think of the edamame? Love, Mom


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