Tag Archives: peanut butter

An Ode to Fat: Vegetarian and Beyond

Gentle Readers, it is not a well-kept secret that The Practical Cook is overly fond of food. As such, I’m naturally skeptical of any kind of diet craze. At a basic level, I don’t want to give up any category of food. Full respect for people who have found they live better by doing so and maintaining it.

Beef Filet Charring in Bacon Fat

Beef Filet Charring in Bacon Fat

But don’t look for me to go all Paleo or heaven forbid, no-fat. So while I do not judge, I will tell you this: even as a youngster during the height of the “Snackwell” craze, I thought that was crazy. How can foodless foods be satisfying?

The Practical Cook’s Ode to Fat: 3 Reasons to Love It

1. It fills you up. I’ve never understood eating certain things low or no-cal when the point of eating is fuel and being full. In my experience, avoiding this only leads to eating more.

Avocado sliced in the halfshell.

Avocado sliced in the halfshell.

2. It’s necessary to live. I didn’t say you had to eat 3 meals a day at KFC, but stop thinking of fat as the enemy! You are not at war with it.

Sartori Salad with Apples and Walnuts

Sartori Salad with Apples and Pecans

3. It tastes good!!! I will fully admit being the person who eats the fat on steaks and chops when no one is looking. And sometimes when they are. It tastes like sunshine.

Sunflower Yellow Egg Yolk from Farm Fresh Egg

Sunflower Yellow Egg Yolk from Farm Fresh Egg

A Few of My Favorite Fats: Walnuts, Avocados, Cheese (OMG, I heart cheese), Peanuts/Peanut Butter, Olive Oil (the good stuff), Eggs, Bacon Grease, Liver, Salmon

Clusterfluff is shorthand for ice cream peanut butter crack.

Clusterfluff is shorthand for ice cream peanut butter crack.

That is obviously not an exhaustive or even completely coherent list, but you get the drift. I eat a lot of salad, and I prefer olive oil and balsamic over commercial dressing, but I don’t skip the olive oil (or the egg when available). And before anyone heaps health advice on my head, know that while eating this way (again, see a lot of salad and exercise), I’ve dropped many many points off of my lipid panel.

Now is the time to come out of the closet. Raise your hands with me and proclaim your love for fat. The comment area is below, and the line forms here.

Send your high-calorie foods, deep thoughts, and general challenges 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!)

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On Sunday, it’s, wait for it, Weekly Menus, Travel Edition!

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Valentine’s Day Smackdown: Peanut vs Peanut Butter M&M’s (with video)

Gentle Readers, never let it be said that The Practical Cook avoids controversy. Currently there is one brewing in the field of hard-shelled candies, better known as M&M’s. These days, you can get them filled with anything, not just plain or peanut. And, I hope you’re seated, there are those among us who prefer the upstart flavors.

Snacktime Smackdown: Peanut M&M's vs Peanut Butter M&M's

Snacktime Smackdown: Peanut M&M's vs Peanut Butter M&M's

Today’s challenge is a head to head competition: Peanut M&M’s vs Peanut Butter M&M’s. I am not going to lie, I love Peanut M&M’s with a deep and abiding passion. But two people (looking at you Cpt Cranky and Miss Clairol), who love peanut butter like I love peanut butter, claimed the new kid on the block was king. Well, those are fighting words. Or at least snacking ones.

Which M&M won my heart? (Hint: Crunchy is better.)

Which M&M won my heart? (Hint: Crunchy is better.)

Survey says, watch the video:

In the end, I still prefer the Peanut M&M by quite a large margin. However, tasters who dislike chunks in their food preferred the Peanut Butter M&M’s. If you like chunky peanut butter, stick with the original. But mint, pretzel, etc? I’m not even trying those without just cause. Sorry.

Peanut Butter Wars: Crunchy vs Smooth

Peanut Butter Wars: Crunchy vs Smooth

What’s your preference, Plain, Peanut, or Peanut Butter M&M’s? Don’t try to say you don’t like M&M’s, because I will faint dead away. Post a comment below, the world awaits your pronouncement.

Do you have a challenge, food question, or blog idea? Email me at 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!)

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Up next, 3 Things I Love (in the Kitchen).

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Vampire Smiles Snack: Fangs A Lot

Gentle Readers, it was less than a year ago that The Practical Cook was made aware of a simple and fabulous snack, the Apple Smile. Reasonably healthy, extremely fun to make, and endlessly customizable to the teeth at hand. Seeing is believing:

Smile, Apple, Smile!

Smile, Apple, Smile!

And of course, why stop there?

Wife of Bath Apple Smile (the gat-toothed woman)

Wife of Bath Apple Smile (the gat-toothed woman)

Inspired to push the smile genre further, meet Vampire Smiles:

Vampire Smiles with Candy Corn Fangs

Vampire Smiles with Candy Corn Fangs

Here’s the Original Apple Smiles post with simple directions.

Vampire Smile Awaiting Fang Fairy, with Jelly Blood

Vampire Smile Awaiting Fang Fairy, with Jelly Blood

Happy Hunting.

What’s your favorite Halloween Treat? Don’t be scared, post a comment below.

Send your leftover candy 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!)

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Tomorrow, Hard-Hitting Review Time: Is Clusterfluff Worth the Hype? We’ll Taste and Report.

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Making the Most of a Hotel Breakfast

The Practical Cook will return to the usual order of blogging shortly, but indulge her one last piece of wisdom gleaned during her recent business travels. Let’s raise our voices in praise of the new trend of free breakfast and wifi in business-class hotels. It’s a value on a busy morning to be able to work, eat, and get ready all at the same time—all of the multitasking comforts at home. However, not all breakfasts are created equal.

As discussed before, the Practical Cook has the genetic cholesterol profile of a long-haul truck driver, not good. So she must be strategic in her choices. If your goal is, like my friend and colleague Virtual Cook, to eat pancakes in all 50 states, have at it. For me, that would lead to a sugar crash of monumental proportions during the first meeting of the day. Just can’t do it.

The Practical Cook’s Hotel Breakfast Survival Guide:

  1. Survey your options. Take the time to case the joint, see what there is to offer. If you’re going to be there over multiple days, this is especially helpful, and will make you more efficient with each return trip.
  2. Select simple ingredients. Fruit, whole grain toast or an English muffin, cereal, plain oatmeal.
  3. Have it your way. Don’t feel obligated to eat the breakfast served—repurpose it. For instance, I made whole grain toast with peanut butter and banana circles. Another morning I used one element of the fruit salad (blueberries) to mix in with my cereal. Shop the buffet like you would your pantry, be creative!
  4. Don’t forget your room key. Any time a breakfast run entails seeking coffee outside your immediate abode, double-check. I returned to my room laden with cereal and hot coffee only to discover the business card from yesterday’s Afghan restaurant in my pocket where I thought the keycard was. #caffeinefail #jetlag
  5. Ask for what you need. In this competitive environment, hotels know that business travelers compare amenities. If you don’t see something you need or want, ask for it.

Dodge the breakfast bullet, and you’ll have the room and energy to celebrate later:

Celebrating Asparagus in Season!

Celebrating Asparagus in Season!

Special thanks to all of my amazing colleagues  and friends for the many food conversations and fantastic restaurant recommendations during the trip. I look forward to the opportunity to reciprocate. Tomorrow we’re back to the usual with Weekly Menus.

What do you think of Hotel Breakfasts? Does the selection affect your hotel choice? Weigh in at practical cook at gmail dot com.

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