Category Archives: food

the yogurt series, iv

I’ve been slacking on the yogurt review series, so here’s an update:

I’m currently living in Seoul, and i am impressed with the yogurt here, though there’s always something missing (i miss the pure, homemade taste of Liberté, and that unforgettable perfection of La Fermière).  Today, i’m going to write about the two Korean yogurts i like the most so far [UPDATE: Maeil’s new organic yogurt mentioned]:

pure by Maeil


viyott by Seoul Milk

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the yogurt series, iii

4x-yoghurtbecher2joghurtbecher © beierle + keijser (via lensculture)

I haven’t found a new favorite yogurt, but i did try some worth blogging about.  First up, Liberté’s Méditerranée line:

liberte-yogurt1

via ZauBEr Hour (click image to visit)

Donna-Lynn Kovic from Liberté left a comment on my first yogurt post notifying me of Liberté’s upcoming lemon and coconut flavors in the Méditerranée line.  As per her suggestion, i contacted Julie Rivest in the marketing department to find out where i might be able to find these supposedly “European-tasting” yogurts in my area of Central Jersey.  I didn’t have much luck finding grocery stores near me that stocked them, but when i went back to NYC for school, i found these everywhere and eventually bought some from my favorite local cheese shop, East Village Cheese.  I’d been reading all over the foodie blogosphere that the Plum & Walnut flavor from this line was jaw-droppingly good, so naturally, i bought one of those, and one of Lemon and one of Coconut, both favorite flavors of mine, though i gotta admit, this is the only brand i’ve ever seen carrying coconut-flavored yogurt.  I normally hate fruit on the bottom yogurts (the water from the fruit purée forms nasty clumps in the yogurt once it’s mixed in), so i was disappointed to find out that the plum+walnut mixture was in the bottom of the cup.  But there was a resurgence of hope when i pulled back the foil lid and noticed that there wasn’t a single drop of that disgusting liquid that forms on top of most yogurts (which FAGE nicely avoids by placing a sheet of fibrous, woven parchment directly on the top surface of each of its yogurts).  I thought, as long as the fruit mixture is similarly devoid of extra liquid, this could turn out to be good.

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A tribute to my toaster oven

I use my toaster oven so much that i feel like it deserves a tribute.  My aunt gave her old Toastmaster to my mom in 1997, and we’ve been using it since.  Actually, my mom uses a toaster because the toaster oven is “too complicated for her” and she still hasn’t figured out how to use it.  I hate toasters because they don’t let you control or even see the cooking process.  I use my Toastmaster for everything, and even though it’s probably 2 decades old, it’s still working beautifully and i would never replace it.  Here are some of the tasks i use it for:

– toasting bread
– reheating pizza
blind-baking 
– melting cheese
– reheating cookies
– keeping food warm

and many more.  I can even multitask with it:  sometimes i put a ramekin of cold condiment or sauce on top of the Toastmaster while baking something in it to heat both at the same time.  The possibilities with a toaster oven are endless.  Even Eric Ripert advocates its use, although i don’t need a fancy $185 Cuisinart “Brick Oven Toaster Oven.”  

If you don’t have one yet, get one now.  It is one of the best investments you can make; trust me.

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the yogurt series, ii

Current top yogurts:

1.  Dannon’s All Natural Lemon

 

(can’t find a picture of lemon, but this is the right product line, though the packaging design has changed)

2.  Wallaby’s Organic Lowfat Key Lime

Since my last yogurt post, i’ve tried several more yogurts, and i’ve found a new favorite (that’s right, it knocked Liberté off the number 1 position, and believe me, it takes a lot to do that).  But before i talk about that, i have to tell you about this amazing yogurt i had in Morocco.

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Morocco: The Lively Land

Itinerary:

  • Fes – 1) bus tour of the town.  2) walking tour of the Fes el Bali medina.  3) cooking demonstration at a riad
  • Volubilis (ancient Roman ruins)
  • Rabat – quick drive-through and lunch
  • Meknès – Les celliers de Meknès, a winery
  • Kenitra – bus tour with lecture by Ibn Tofaïl University professor
  • Casablanca – quick drive-through and pit stop at the Hassan II Mosque
  • Marrakech – the Djemaa el Fna market square

Lively is the first word that comes to mind when i think about Morocco.  It is called the land of contrasts, with its tall mountains and flatland, volcanic rock and sand, cedar and eucalyptus, cars and donkeys, jilbāb and western clothing, sunshine and fog.  Orange and olive trees lined every street, with some beautiful jacaranda and eucalyptus trees dotting the village.  There were cats everywhere, some wandering through medina alleyways, others napping in the afternoon sun.  Stray dogs trotted around the village in small packs, rummaging for food.  Donkeys grazed on the hills under the sweltering sun.  Arabs, Berbers, mixed Arab-Berbers, Jews, and some French went about the town, speaking Arabic and French, carrying plastic bags in their hands and baskets on their heads, and riding bikes, donkeys, cars, and motorcycles.  Everywhere you look, whether it’s an isolated alley or a busy street, there is life, and it is colorful.

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Nonverbal expressions of love

I’ve been told that i’m pretty good at expressing love, but sometimes even i have to resort to nonverbal expression, because i have my shy moments just like anyone else.  Here are the ways i express love nonverbally:

-cooking

-making tea

-impromptu gifts, usually ones that will only make sense to me and the significant other

-sharing beauty, usually in the form of art

I’d say the most subtle way (and therefore the easiest to accomplish, emotionally speaking) would be the last one.  Whenever i see something beautiful, i want to share it with a loved one.  Sharing art isn’t just about sharing taste, and neither is it only about letting someone else express your love for you; it’s about experiencing the beauty of life with a loved one.  It’s a union not only between you and another, but also between you two and the universe.  The most ideal way of sharing beauty would be experiencing nature together, but you have to admit, in our increasingly technological world, finding an untouched enclave of nature, planning the convenient time and method to get there, and finally getting there with your significant other is difficult to do.  But what has become much more efficient is communication, and that’s what makes it so easy to share art, which, by contemplating the human condition, is what comes closest to embodying the universe. 

And now for the inevitable question:  how do you express love nonverbally?

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the yogurt series, i

I hated yogurt until i went to Paris this January and lived there for five months. Every major supermarket there has at least two aisles of yogurt selections, and most of those selections are amazing. France is particularly famous for its “pure” yogurt, in all its thick and fresh goodness:

Google Images

I’m talking about the yogurt in the center of the pile, in the terra cotta pots (the lovely terra cotta pots that are perfect for storing all kinds of ingredients!). It’s made by La Fermière. I wish i had a close-up shot of the yogurt itself. It’s surprisingly firm that you can literally cut it with your spoon; it’s nothing like the runny yogurt we have in the States. It’s not as tart as American yogurt; it tastes creamier, but not at all fatty. It is full fat, but you know what, that’s how yogurt was meant to be. But it’s not like Greek yogurt at all; Greek yogurt is strained, so it’s got a “sticky” consistency–the consistency of acrylic paint. (Pardon the rather unappetizing metaphor. Not hatin’ on Greek yogurt, folks–i actually swear by FAGE when cooking.) Anyway, here’s a pic i found of the yogurt itself; although it’s tiny, you can get a feel for the yogurt’s consistency:

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