Tag Archives: cereal

Weekly Menus on the Road: Week of 7/14/2013

Gentle Readers, this post will break traditional format as we at Team Practical Cook gear up for a week of field research. Many of you probably have similar experiences of needing to shut down a kitchen for a week during summer break, winter holiday, etc. How do you plan for both absence and for road eating?

Cafe con leche: Breakfast of champions

Cafe con leche: Breakfast of champions

Here’s The Practical Cook Method:

1. Stop shopping. This may seem obvious, but it’s my best tip. There’s more food in your house than you think. Stop buying more interesting things, and face up to whether you’re going to eat that rare Asian noodle snack pack from the 80s.

The Practical Cook's Cereal Warehouse

The Practical Cook’s Cereal Warehouse

2. Eat at home. The best way to prepare for time away is to commit to eating what you have. I’ve not been doing so well at that, but I did have 22 CheezIts and 1/2 a cupcake for lunch yesterday. Not my proudest moment.

Can you blame me for eating my babysittiing payment on the spot? Cupcakes for lunch, not recommended. #sugarcoma

Can you blame me for eating my babysittiing payment on the spot? Cupcakes for lunch, not recommended. #sugarcoma

3. Turn home snacks into road snacks. What can you take with you? If it’s a road trip, your options expand. On a plane, I heart Biscoff cookies, but sometimes one is stuck with just the pretzels. That’s not cool. I love Trader Joe’s Almond bars (like a granola cookie), dry cereal in any form, and trail mix. Do not be without food on a plane. Trust me.

Trail Mix Melted and Reformed = Trail Bark (Yum)

Trail Mix Melted and Reformed = Trail Bark (Yum)

4. Make a plan for road meals. I’m not advocating mapping your entire trip according to Yelp, but establish some targets for food while you travel. Are you going to eat breakfast out for every meal? Can you do sandwiches for some of it? What kind of food is the regional specialty? Are you allergic to the local fare? Do some research, ask friends, and open yourself to possibility, but avoid either eating fast food you could get anywhere or going 4 star everywhere and then entering the poorhouse afterward.

Barbecued pork bahn mi on homemade bread. Wow. Just wow.

Barbecued pork bahn mi on homemade bread. Wow. Just wow.

5. Don’t go it alone. If you’re traveling with family, no matter the age of the offspring or relations, run a benevolent dictatorship. If you’re going to a beach house, don’t agree to cook every meal, distribute the wealth. If you’re going to a destination, find out from each person what constitutes a food win. For instance, we’re going to try Burmese food, a birthday request from the Youngest (yes, TPCs Jr are awesome, thanks for noticing). We’ll also do CalMex for the world’s biggest taco fan, The Eldest.

The Jrs take on the Big City!

The Jrs take on the Big City!

Last tip: if you have a chance to eat an avocado in the wild, buy tamales from someone selling them in a back alley, or try ice cream flavored with foods you can’t identify, do it. And then send me a picture. This is vacation time!

Got ideas, suggestions, or can’t-miss eats? Post in the comments, Tweet me, or email! I look forward to sharing the adventure with you. Perhaps even a stray video review or two. 🙂

Restaurant recommendations, bacon samples, and good ideas can be sent to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today! Also, follow the food pictures on Instagram @amylewi.)

Follow practicalcook on Twitter

**Team Practical Cook is taking a rare break and leaving the laptop behind. Follow our field research on Twitter and Instagram! We’ll be back, recipes at the ready, Wednesday, July 24, 2013.**

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Weekly Menus

Scary Cereal Challenge: BooBerry vs FrankenBerry

Gentle Reader, the Practical Cook does not back down from a challenge, even when she would very much like to do so. Though I felt my childhood was shortchanged by a lack of sugary cereal, my annual quest for BooBerry and FrankenBerry cereals ended years ago. TPC’s Mom would simply never purchase them for me.

BooBerry and FrankenBerry Taste Challenge: Scary Cereals

BooBerry and FrankenBerry Taste Challenge: Scary Cereals

I hadn’t thought of them, and had never eaten them, until this week. Challenged by The Dealer, lured by the wonderfully retro art and the clever food marketing, I bought a box of each. Let’s roll the tape, shall we?

My very favorite line from the Eldest Practical Cook Junior: ” I can read whole grains first, then sugar, and I can’t read anything after that.” Well said. The Juniors noted that the cereal “smelled” (and not in the good way) when the box was opened. Here’s what was left after the test:

Remains of the scary cereal challenge: not very appealing.

Remains of the scary cereal challenge: not very appealing.

Not one of us wanted to finish it. Perhaps I will try again someday. Until then, I’ll stick to Lucky Charms and Life cereal for a sweet hit. What’s your go-to dessert cereal? Do you remember the spooky cereals with fondness? Post a comment below or Tweet #cereal at me!

Look inside the hearts of darkness.

Look inside the hearts of darkness.

Oh, and for The Dealer: the leftovers are yours, but we’re keeping the box tops. 🙂

Send your spare milk and spoons to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

Follow practicalcook on Twitter

Up next, Sunday Weekly Menus!

6 Comments

Filed under On the Table, Snacks

Cereal Review: Weetabix Is Not Just for Vampires

Gentle Readers, in case you were not aware, Team Practical Cook, as a unit, loves cereal. We are committed to trying all of it. Yes, all of it, one box at a time. Okay, many boxes at once. In this quest, we get a new cereal almost every week.

Weetabix Takes the Stage for Cereal Quest!

Weetabix Takes the Stage for Cereal Quest!

Feel free to join the quest, submit suggestions as we go. We’ll highlight some favorites, and acknowledge the lows as well. As a long-time Buffy fan, I can’t believe I had never tried Weetabix before. (Bonus points for my fellow Whedon-ites who can name that scene that references Weetabix’s textural properties.)

The Practical Cook's Cereal Warehouse

The Practical Cook’s Cereal Warehouse

I digress. It’s a cereal, it’s a biscuit, it’s relatively healthy, woohoo! Except, it dissolves into mush. The Practical Cooks Junior, ever adventurous, took the challenge, and both dismayed over the texture in milk. Warned by them, I added way less milk and ate fast. The flavor is not bad at all. The Eldest Practical Cook wisely ate her second biscuit dry.

Cute little Weetabix biscuits.

Cute little Weetabix biscuits.

But I’m left wondering–how is this cereal traditionally eaten? Is mush part of the appeal? I really like the simplicity of the cereal, and will probably convince TPCs Junior to consume the rest sans moo, but it was unappetizing in milk in a matter of seconds.

So send in your Weetabix ideas, I’ll keep trying. Post a comment below, or Tweet #cerealquest at me! And it’s Reader Question time on Friday. Submit yours today!!

Send your garlic, actual questions, and good ideas to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

Follow practicalcook on Twitter

On Friday, Questions from you the Gentle Readers!

4 Comments

Filed under One Ingredient Three Ways, Snacks

Think Outside the Box: Combining Cereals for All-New Taste Sensations

Gentle Readers, as those long-time readers know, The Practical Cook has a deep and abiding love for cereal. It’s great year-round and all day long. Dry or with milk, atop a parfait, in a trail mix, so very versatile. However, there is one thing I do not do: combine cereals.

The Practical Cook's Cereal Warehouse

The Practical Cook's Cereal Warehouse

The Practical Cook’s Mom and the Youngest of the Juniors do. With abandon. Ad nauseum. Emphasis on the nauseum. As I am trying to be more open minded in my old age, here are a few of their favorites, as observed over the years.

1. Raisin Bran + Anything. Often combined with Cheerios, I think this started because we usually had both in the house and TPC’s Mom wanted to finish off the box.

Raisin Bran Muffins Cooling

Raisin Bran Muffins Cooling

2. Grape Nuts + Anything. In theory, the crunchiness would work well with a plethora of cereals. In practice, at least for me, the toasty malty goodness I like so much on its own make the milk a liability for other cereals.

All Clusters (aka, cereal candy) plus Autumn Wheat (aka, hay bales)

All Clusters (aka, cereal candy) plus Autumn Wheat (aka, hay bales)

3. Clusters + Hay bales. That actually has some appeal, because the textures are so different. We just got a box of “only clusters” from Trader Joe’s to try. I read the sugar content after I got it home. I’m just going to dice up some Snickers and put them in with the Shredded Wheat next time.

A Pyramid of Sugar Cereals

A Pyramid of Sugar Cereals

Where do you stand in this heated debate? Do you like your cereals pure as the box they came in, or do you find yourself experimenting like the Swedish chef in your bowl? For anyone needing refresher work in cereal, don’t forget to visit our helpful How to Cook Cereal and How to Cook Sugar Cereal videos.

Post a comment below to pick a side. You’ll find me eating one at a time, rinsing the bowl between.

Email ideas, questions, and compliments to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today to stay current on all of The Practical Cook news!)

Follow practicalcook on Twitter

Tomorrow, it’s time to talk Turkey, as we review Bosphorus in Cary!

2 Comments

Filed under Kitchen Philosophy, Snacks

What Not to Eat When You’re Feeling Green

Gentle Readers, this subject is not so gentle, and The Practical Cook will do her best to be mild in the language used regarding the enemy of food lovers (and people of all ages): the upset stomach. Having recently faced down this beast in the household (the stomach bug is running rampant right now), this topic is timely.

For authenticity purposes, let me also state, this is an area of unfortunate expertise for me, courtesy of my body’s reaction to pregnancy. So I can tell you what not to eat when you’re feeling green, and what you might want to try when an encore presentation is possible.

Let’s start with the “not to eat list”:

1. Granny Smith Apples. OMG, I literally almost died on this one. I remember thinking, so this is what happened to Joplin, Morrison, etc. . .

2. Dairy. Don’t do it. The medical peeps will tell you it can be an irritant, and I can tell you it is not good.

3. Pomegranates. Or anything that is used to dye clothing in nature. Trust me on this.

What to eat to calm the stomach:

1. Nuts. If you’re at the “am I hungry or feeling unwell” decision calculus stage, these are the perfect test balloon, assuming you’re not allergic.

A Few Cashews: Just what the doctor ordered

A Few Cashews: Just what the doctor ordered

2. Dry cereal. Don’t be tempted to add milk, and choose something basic, like Cheerios, Corn Flakes, etc. Chew very slowly.

The Practical Cook's Cereal Warehouse

The Practical Cook's Cereal Warehouse

3. Baked potato. Easy to microwave, add some salt but nothing else. Sometimes the warmth of the potato will help you feel better.

Thinly Sliced Russet Potatoes

Thinly Sliced Russet Potatoes

4. Popsicles. Cold works. You can freeze anything, just use ice cubes if you have nothing else.

Beautiful Blackberry-Lime Popsicles

Beautiful Blackberry-Lime Popsicles

5. Grapefruit. Okay, that’s probably just me, and best for morning sickness, not the flu. But I craved them, ice cold. And apparently, if you’ve been unwell for a while, something acidic is just your body replacing what has been lost. Point being, take all advice with a grain of salt (possibly literally), and trust your cravings.

The Grapefruit

The Grapefruit

Of course, rice, bananas, plain pasta, all wonderful choices, but if you’re the cook, I’m providing some options that you can try without expending much effort. Though many people swear by ginger ale and soda crackers, they are so guilty by association for me now that they make me feel ill on sight.

So pass the Lysol, take small sips of water, and I hope you all avoid whatever is going around!

What do you crave when you’re unwell? Post a comment, or Tweet!

Send tea and sympathy to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

Follow practicalcook on Twitter

Tomorrow, we’ll move to corrective measures,  Homemade Chicken Soup Recipe.

Leave a comment

Filed under Kitchen Philosophy

Punt! Airport Delays Mean Cereal

Gentle Readers, sometimes life moves fast and in multiple time zones. Though I’ve had the best of intentions, I’ve discovered that New York may never sleep, but Las Vegas is hyper-oxygenated and full of coworkers I don’t get to hang out with often. So the blogs are happening at hours I dare not mention, lest The Practical Cook’s Mom raise the dreaded eyebrow at me.

Speaking of raised eyebrows, TPCM would very likely not approve of the erratic nature of today’s sustenance. Arriving home at 1 am after a rain-soaked flight, a slightly lost car in long-term parking (shout-out to colleague and friend B.Cloud for the tip about using the car alarm to find it), and a truly horrific sandwich from Quiznos, I could not find the strength to post about the elaborate meals of the week.

In a week of excess, I missed one thing. Cereal. For my sister inside the box, @convertiblelife, here’s my dinner.

Recovery Cereal

Recovery Cereal

My bowls are not ginormous, but the milk is from cows I could actually meet in person, er, bovine. And the cereal is a personal fave, laden with enough delicious cholesterol to fell an ox, and lovingly called “purple granola” in honor of its fine Trader Joe’s packaging. Welcome Home.

Tomorrow, back to the kitchen. What’s your recovery food? Post a comment, controversial or nay, or Tweet!

Email your post suggestions and complaints to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading the Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

Follow practicalcook on Twitter

Up next, Celebrity Restaurants, Fact or Fiction?

2 Comments

Filed under Kitchen Philosophy, On the Table, Punt!

How to Cook Cereal: This Time It’s Sugary

Gentle readers, who knew that the humble box of cereal would generate so much passionate discussion? Building on the pantheon of cereal posts (see the Helpful How to Cook Cereal video and One Ingredient, Three Ways: Cereal Edition), and based on reader requests, we shall address sugary cereal.

A Pyramid of Sugar Cereals

A Pyramid of Sugar Cereals

If you found counting to 29 too labor intensive, or if you disdain the Autumn Promise as a breakfast of champions, here’s a video for you (eyes on you Virtual Cook and Kilted Vegan). How to Cook Cereal: Sugar Edition.

There is a variety of cereal choice here in the Practical Cook kitchen, but there is a trend toward healthy. Santa Claus brings the small boxes of the sugar bombs every year as a treat. And yes, fellow shoppers smirk at me when my kids shout out, “look Mommy, those are Santa cereals.”

For me, I just can’t function on sugar fuel in my old age, I have to have balance in the force in the form of protein. Do I miss the feeling of my mouth being ripped up by Apple Jacks, or the delightfully faux chocolate milk that Cocoa Krispies leave in the bowl? Sure. But I’ve shifted those to dessert options.

Is preparing cereal cooking? Leave a comment or join the chatter on Twitter.

Comments, questions, quips? Email practical cook at gmail dot com. Or post a comment here, or connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Like, like, like! Press “like” on Facebook today!)

Follow practicalcook on Twitter

Next up, Somewhere Over the Rainbow Orzo.

2 Comments

Filed under Kitchen Philosophy