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Monday, May 30, 2011

American Soil

This Memorial Day, Jen Eats Food honors each and every soldier for their service to our incredible country.

I will always celebrate food grown on American soil provided to us by The Good Lord and protected daily by the men and women of our Armed Forces.

May God continue to bless America, her dedicated soldiers and those who farm her land. 

Especially the grape farmers.  C'mon, I had to throw one in...

Have a beautiful Memorial Day filled with family, friends, gratitude and as always, good food!  Cheers!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Love and Food

I have eaten at some of the countries best restaurants with food created by some of the most amazing chefs. (Don't worry, there is clearly a blog in the future douche-bag-ingly letting you know each of them)  But in all of the world, out of all of the chefs, I choose one.

When I met and fell in love with Rob, I had no idea that he had the ability to create one of the only other things I am obsessed with, other than him...good food.  (For those of you rolling your eyes because you know me well enough to know I am compulsively obsessed with many things, just give me this one.  I don't want all of my blog readers to know the level of my craziness...or at least not this early.)

I told Rob that I would never critique his cooking on my blog, and I won't.  But I do feel that no blog, book (hint hint) or show (HINT HINT HINT) I have about food would be complete without me telling the entire world (clearly the audience I deserve) how amazing my husband is.  From grilling a steak to rolling homemade cannelloni, my husband is a culinary genius. 

So, I raise my glass to a man who works harder than anyone I know, is bad ass enough to pull off a white suit and Panama hat, is mafia loyal and can emulsify a bechamel with one hand with a bourbon on the rocks in the other.

No one person is more perfect as my partner (or...most likely more accurate, the one person who will put up with my quirkiness...yeah, we will go with "quirkiness").  Here's to the man who feeds my love of food and always keeps my glass full!

Tonight, I wish you all your perfect partner!  Well, that, and some really great food!

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Greasy Breakfast

In an obviously appropriate follow up to my hippie bashing, I will sing the praises of greasy diner breakfast food.  Well, not so much singing but grunting.  After eating this kind of breakfast, I can't be bothered to move let along sing.  After a night of wine "tasting" with one of my favorite people in the world, I needed a hearty breakfast.

So, off to Sandy's Country Junction in Clovis we headed.

If the following picture does not make you want to deep fry the closet edible item next to you, then you may be dead inside.  (And you are tap dancing on the reminder of the little red "x" in the top right corner of your screen.)

Scrambled eggs, hash browns, bacon and biscuits and gravy.  It was amazing.  Although, the best part of this restaurant was that the milk came in a glass cowboy boot. 

So, this got me thinking.  I love greasy breakfast food.  Okay, technically I love most greasy food, but greasy breakfast food deserves a shout out.  Because it is, as my kid says, boss. 

A list of reasons greasy diners are the best place for breakfast:

  1. It is real food.  There is no truffle oil, no vegetarian "ham" substitutes and no egg whites. 
  2. They have white gravy.  I don't want to get into the difference between white and brown gravy so I will just say that white gravy is amazing and we will leave it at that. 
  3. You can go looking like you just rolled out of bed (probably because you did) and you fit right in.
  4. The coffee comes in a mug and it just keeps coming.
  5. You get more food than you need, but you will certainly not need to eat again until dinner (unless you are my husband or one of my four brothers).
A list of reasons people should be kicked out of a greasy diner during breakfast:
  1. This is not French Laundry and nobody cares who you are.  In fact, the only people who get special treatment here are the old ranchers that have been coming here for 30+ years.  So take your Ed Hardy shirt and your spray tanned wife and wait with the rest of us.  Quietly.
  2. Ordering fruit instead of hash browns.  If you wanted brunch, you should go to brunch (in fact, I am a huge fan. Brunch = mimosas.)  But do not come to a diner and try to "healthy up" the food.  You ordering an egg white omelette with organic veggies just got you an eye rolling from the waitress.  And I will most likely make fun of you and write about you in my blog.
  3. Yes, the coffee sucks.  It is part of the experience.  Either have your Starbucks on your way there, or take the approach I do.  Embrace the nastiness of the are in a freaking diner!!!  What on earth do you expect?  But most importantly...shutty.
  4. The management is aware that the waitresses are rude.  They do not need to hear it from you because they are too busy to care what you think.  But more importantly, with foods like bacon, hotcakes, chicken fried steak and white gravy sitting in front of you...why on earth are you paying attention to the waitress? 
  5. Undertipping a greasy diner breakfast waitress.  If anyone deserves a 20% tip (don't be a douche and tip less than 20% when your waitress is working hard) it is the greasy diner breakfast waitress.  She is up at 5 am on a Sunday to serve you eggs and pancakes at 10 am when you finally roll out of bed.  It is a hard job.
The only thing that sucks about this blog post is that it is Monday night and I need to wait until at least Saturday before I can go have another greasy diner breakfast.  And do not give me the "suggestion" of getting up an hour early so I can go to breakfast before work.  That is ceratinly not an option...I am super lazy. 

Here is to bacon and white gravy...and if you are lucky enough, bacon bits in your white gravy.  Cheers!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The "O" Word

Anyone who knows me knows my aversion to anything related to the "Hippie" movement.  Included in that are the myths of Organic food.

Please do not mistake this for an aversion to keeping God's green earth pure and preserved.
***Please hold while I pull out my soapbox*** 
It is the self-righteous and judgemental attitude of most "green" people. (I know, I know, not you.)  You are clearly better than me because you have your reusable bags in the back seat of your Prius. Yes, we see you, and yes, we get it. Now stop waving your arms around before your tie-dyed shirt gives me a seizure. 

Okay...enough of that. This isn't Jen Hates Hippies, it is Jen Eats Food. Geeze, folks...stay focused!

Back to Organic food.

Let me preface the awesomeness of the following words with this:  There are certain health conditions where the individuals with those conditions would actually be harmed by hormones or pesticides that may be present in non-organic food.  And for that reason, we here at Jen Eats Food salute the farmers who grow and raise organic food.  I will always raise a glass to good health!

Now, for the rest of you who are clearly wealthier than me if you insist on buying organic food because you have been convinced by Whole Foods that it far superior than non-organic food, I say this:
I am a huge supporter of growing your own food, supporting local farmers and eating fresh, clean food.  Especially for children. Fresh fruit and vegetables are the main reason I love California in the summer! You can make fun of Fresno all you want...but you better also give them a little shout out every time you leave your grocery store with (a lot of) your fruits and vegetables.  However, if we tried to grow all food organic, we would starve.  It would simply not produce enough.  Wash your food well when you get home and call it a day.  Plus, if you drink enough wine, I am about 98.3% sure that the alcohol in it will kill the trace amounts of bad stuff you might be ingesting.

And can we all stop pretending that organic food tastes better? Seriously. In fact, I once bought organic cranberry juice (I was in college...I was just experimenting) and it was awful. Just awful.  Watch the episode of Penn & Tellers Bulls#!t about organic food.  The "survey" they did on organic vs non-organic is classic.
My final request is that we all band together and agree to stop using the term "green".  I am talking about the term in general, but certainly for food.  Green fruit is unripened fruit and green food usually means moldy. So, to the green food truck I saw outside of the Riverside courthouse, no, thank you.

I am not saying organic food is bad. Let's just be honest about what it is.  There is no need to protest against or picket non-organic farmers. many trees died to make the sign you are holding or the flyers you are handing out? Organic food for thought...