Monday, August 25, 2008

Monday Megalinks: Can This Recipe Be Saved?

After flubbing a savory zucchini quickbread earlier this week (thus rendering it un-postable), I was all set to present this Pancetta-Wrapped Peaches recipe from Yumsugar this morning. I made it last night at the last minute, figuring (perhaps stupidly) that stone fruit + pork + basil = couldn’t possibly go wrong.

Alas - ENNNH. Thanks for playing. Please try again later.

What I expected to be a new addition to Mount Appetizemore instead turned out to be a slightly bitter dish with a strange, lingering aftertaste. When solicited for opinions, five of seven visiting friends gave it a resounding, shruggy “meh.” (Note: the other two were a vegetarian and a baby.)

Don’t get me wrong: there were good aspects. Though I broiled rather than grilled the peaches, they cooked perfectly, and the texture had a nifty crunchy-on-the-outside-soft-in-the-middle thing going. Still, based on the ingredients (Fruit! Fancy bacon!), I wanted something better.

So, sweet readers – I need your help. What would you do to make this recipe work? Would you add brown sugar? Try a different kind of stone fruit? Replace the basil? Add cheese? Try it again on the grill? Any suggestions are totally welcome. THIS DISH WILL BE DELICIOUS if I have anything to say about it. (And I do.)

That said, here’re today’s links. Watch for a new recipe tomorrow, and a small surprise in the next week or so.

Chow: How Long Can You Keep Dry Spices?
According to this, my nutmeg should have been thrown out in 1977. (Which is about right.) Good reference for denizens of the spice rack.

Chow: Nectarine dessert at Zuni is just that
Wow. I thought this was a joke at first, but several follow-up articles are corroborating the story (albeit with a $4.50 price tag). Essentially: a customer at Zuni CafĂ© ordered an $8 nectarine dessert, which turned out to be a whole nectarine on a plate. No garnish, no fancy presentation – nothin’. Just a roly-poly piece of fruit. Needless to say … wha?

Culinate: Green Vegetables Kids Will Eat
Kale chips, edamame, artichokes: all these greens and more are waiting to tempt your toddlers. It’s such a neat list, I might even change the title to read “Green Vegetables Kids, Picky People, and My Sister Will Eat.”

CNN: 'Exercise pill' burns fat -- if you're a mouse
Questionable miracle drug may cure obesity. If nothing else, the pictured researcher looks a lot like Kurt Vonnegut. (Thanks to Get Fit Slowly for the link.)

Consumerist: NBC and General Mills are planning on launching a "Biggest Loser" line of food this fall.
… I’m still deciding what to think about this. It might take awhile.

Consumerist: 8 Tips That Will Keep Your Refrigerator Healthy and Your Bills Low
Though I fear what horror #1 (“clean your coils”) will reap, this is still a great guide to maintaining Whirlpool efficiency.

Epi-Log: Cheap Eats - Boston Market and ... Lobster?
Move over, Spam! There’s a new economy meat (economeat?) in town. Apparently, an abundance of the scarlet-hued crustaceans has made them a popular go-to for restaurants and home-eaters alike. NICE.

Holy Taco: The Most Disgusting School Lunches
Beware! Perusing this piece may evoke the following reactions:
1) “AUGH! Why would any right-thinking school district inflict these lunches upon its students?!?”
2) “AUGH! Is that a taco? Is it a burger? I can't tell.”
3) “AUGH! Why haven’t the authorities intervened? Or the parents? Or God?”
(Thanks to Serious Eats for the link.)

New York Times: Thinking Globally, but Growing Locally
Farmers’ markets and backyard gardening have finally hit Eastern Long Island. And here, you thought all they had were fish and lighthouses.

Salon: Our cupboard was bare
“I had a master's degree. I had a job. But to feed my three children, I had to swallow my pride and go to a soup kitchen.” After her divorce, struggling writer Ryan had to provide for her family, and had no way to do it alone. This is her story, complete with heartless commentary from board trolls at the end.

Serious Eats/A Hamburger Today: 12 Burgers in 8 Hours, a Burger Bender
WHOA. It’s neither cheap nor healthy, but man-o-man, does this look good.

Serious Eats: Man Walks 12 Miles for Free Cheeseburger
There’s a fine line between frugality and insanity. This man … walks that line for 12 miles.

That’s Fit: 100 best foods for women
Lots of orange and green items make the top ten, along with a healthy dose of flax seed and dark meat. Mmm … seeds. (Thanks to Slashfood for the link.)

The Simple Dollar: Cheap Supper Night - Hacking One Meal a Week to Save Money Replacing one meal a week with a frugal/nutritious combination of soup and bread can save hundreds of bucks per year. Here, Trent explains how.

YumSugar: 5 Dinners That Improve With Time
See also: anything from Barefoot Contessa . Seriously – that stuff goes from delicious to out-friggin-standing when left alone for a few hours.

(Photos courtesy of Yumsugar,, and Sunset.)


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