Thursday, April 30, 2009

Periodic review may be advised

At one time or another, we have all fallen victim to a supermarket trap or two. Many exist to defer the most determined shopper from supermarket success. There's the bag of salad that will soon expire, but the sale is too good to pass up. Been there. The impulse purchase at the checkout - I HAVE to know who that celebrity is on the cover of the tabloid mag who is looking god awful when caught without their makeup on! Guilty as charged. The buy one get one free sale on Ben and Jerry's ice cream. Those two men alone have the power to crumble the strongest of wills. The one trap that any ardent food fiend has succumbed to is found in the condiment aisle. Actually, it's the aisle itself. Marinades, sauces, spice mixes, flavored oils, sweeteners, dressings... the possibilities are endless. What exactly is the allure of a previously undiscovered mysterious jar of goop that inspires a cooking adventure? Browsing the door of my refrigerator, you'd think I would have a good answer to that. At last count it is home to 38 such starters to culinary exploits. It's a little embarrassing really. Who really needs three types of mustard, four curry based simmering sauces and seven bottles of dressing?

I happened upon a link today when browsing
Stumble Upon. I'm hoping it will assist my quest to, ahem, refine my current condiment choices. I thought it was clever and entertaining, and presented in a format familiar to all. Check it out here at Periodic Table. Do read the disclaimers at the end of the page. I hope you all enjoy and it inspires a little late spring fridge cleaning. How many items did you find that were well beyond their expected lifespan? Continuing in the pursuit to help you sustain all things tasty and mold free... over and out.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Inaugural Address

Welcome to my little slice of the blogosphere! I am brand spankin' new to the food blogging world, still wet behind my virtual ears. I've been fortunate enough to come across some amazing food blogs recently and I'm ready to dive in head first *gulp*. My recipe for success includes one part trepidation, two parts excitement, a dash of curiosity and a big old glug of what the heck am I getting myself into. I've developed a deep appreciation for food blogs over the past few months, oohing and aahing over the striking images and shaking my head in amazement over what some of these culinary adventurers come up with. My hope is with time, effort and determination, I will be able to provide a sliver of the inspiration these gastronomic geniuses have given to me. Fingers crossed... here goes nothing!

To introduce this blog as well as commemorate President Obama's first 100 days in office, I wanted to present something worthy of the POTUS. When thinking about what exactly this meant in terms of food, the possibilities began to mount. Being the Senator from Illinois, a Chicago style deep dish pizza is an obvious choice... maybe too obvious. Spam, pineapple or poi serve as tributes to his Hawaiian heritage, but again leaves something to be desired. If I was residing at the White House, having endured the trials and tribulations that comprised the first 100 days in office, what gastronomic delight would I want to commemorate this landmark day? An exquisitely prepared dry aged rib eye, tender and a perfect medium rare? A sublimely fresh Caprese salad with mozzarella di bufala, beautiful heirloom tomatoes and 25 year balsamic?

No, those simply won't cut it. Had I withstood the slashing of cabinet budgets, released the Bush Administration CIA torture memos, ordered the closing of Guantanamo Bay, eased travel restrictions to Cuba, guided the economic stimulus bill through Congress, visited 9 foreign countries, launched a federal budget while puppy training and dealing with the pending swine flu epidemic, mere foodstuff would not suffice.

Mr. President, sir, I think you could use a drink.

In honor of your first 100 days in office and the debut of SoCal Sustenance, cheers to your Mr. President. Here's hoping we can both succeed with our endeavors, no matter how monumental the task at hand. If all else fails, we can both raise our glasses and wash down any doubts with a frosty glass of deliciousness... bottoms up!

This is the go to margarita recipe that is often called on at our apartment as well as when we venture to San Diego on the weekends. I realize the the Russian judge will dock me for my degree of difficulty, or lack thereof, in my first shot at this, but its a risk I'm willing to take. Because these are THAT GOOD. In all fairness, I am not the creator of this luscious libation. That distinctive honor goes to my boyfriend, who tends to serve as chief mixologist at many a social outing we attend. This is a simple but stellar margarita, but fair warning, its not for the faint of heart. This ain't your mama's margarita.

Rocks Margarita (makes two)

4 oz Cazadores Anejo Tequila
4 oz Limeade
4 key limes
1 orange or mandarin

Place cubed ice in a shaker. Add tequila, limeade and the juice of the limes and orange. Shake thoroughly. Pour over ice and enjoy.

NOTE: This is a potent, sipping margarita made with a very palatable tequila. If the liquor taste is too pervasive, add another ounce of Limeade. For you adventurous folks I might suggest a sugared rim instead of salt. Sugar gives a little bit of relief from the tart punch the Cazadores provides.

If this doesn't suit your fancy, here are some alternative margarita ideas, inspired by the contents of my refrigerator.

Mango Margarita - Substitute 2 ounces Naked brand Mighty Mango juice for the lime and orange juice. Add to the tequila and limeade

Strawberry Mint Margarita - Thinly slice 3/4 cup fresh or frozen strawberries. Add 1 teaspoon honey and 6-8 torn fresh mint leaves. Pulse in food processor. Add to the tequila and limeade

Pom-Apple Margarita - Substitute 1 ounce Pom Pomegranate juice, 2 ounces of Apple juice and 1 teaspoon honey for the lime and orange juice. Add to tequila and limeade

For those of you who still have leftover Passover wine, this Margy is for you.

Oyvey-garita - Combine 4 ounces tequila with 2 ounces tequila and 2 ounces of Manischewitz wine. Shake and enjoy - L'Chaim!

Thanks for perusing my maiden installment of SoCal Sustenance! Please feel free to contact me with any comments or thoughts. Have a great day and happy drinking.