Archive for October, 2012

31
Oct
12

Cake vs. pie preferences among Obama vs. Romney supporters

According to Decide Your Side, Obama and Romney supporters do have one thing in common: they both prefer cake to pie by a 3-point margin. That’s right, we’re just 3 weeks out from the ultimate pie holiday, and the American people have spoken!

Obama and Romney supporters agree on one thing: cake beats pie!

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27
Oct
12

Miniscule fruits that I’ve tried

Unlike many Asians, I don’t consider fruits a dessert per se. But these Lilliputian freaks-of-nature deserved a mention.

Kiwi berries are like tiny, sweet kiwis without the sour bite.

Kiwi berries are really hard to find. I got these from DC’s Union Market, $5 for a small clamshell. I’d usually balk at that price tag, but after trying one, so many synapses in my brain lit up that I happily handed that fiver over. These taste like a very concentrated, sweet kiwi without any of the sour bite. They’re incredibly flavorful, and you can pop the whole thing into your mouth (the skins aren’t hairy).

Finger limes from Shanley Farms.

I’d read a lot about finger limes this past summer: small, skinny limes whose juice pods resemble caviar. Mr. X-sXe was keen on trying them, so we ordered a small bag from Shanley Farms.

Problem was, we weren’t sure what to do with them. We ended up adding them to salad dressing, but the pods were too tart to really blend in with the rest of the dressing. We ended up throwing the rest into a green juice. Gilt Taste recommends using them as a garnish or in key lime pie (which seems impractical, considering they’re not so easy to juice).

18
Oct
12

Journey to the Center of the Cookie with Trader Joe’s

Journey to the Center of the Cookie, and you might suffer sugar shock.

These cookies, they of the sci-fi name, remind me a lot of the cookie cups from Mrs. Fields (one of my food court guilty pleasures). But even more rich. As if Trader Joe’s hired Emeril Lagasse or Paula Deen to have their way with the chocolate chip cookie.

Seriously, JTTCOTC cookies are delicious, but you can physically feel the 49 grams of sugar. Maybe I ate it too fast, but I was nearly shaking from sugar shock (for someone who consumes as much sugar as I do, that’s saying something). Why have a can of Coke when you can take this journey and get the same jolt?

Close up of Trader Joe's "Journey to the Center of the Cookie"

Be conservative with the amount of time you keep these in the microwave, or the cookie part at the edges will dry out into tooth-chipping toughness. After making that mistake with the first cookie, I nuked the second one for 45 seconds. The molten center got soft but didn’t liquify, and the cookie stayed moist. If you want the center to melt completely, try wrapping a damp paper towel around these before you stick them in the microwave.

09
Oct
12

An Irish pub that doesn’t serve up your typical grub

I wasn’t sure what to expect from the Irish Inn at Glen Echo, which I’ve been meaning to try forever. But when my shepherd’s pie came out in its own tiny copper pot, meticulously prepared and perfectly seasoned, I figured this was more than a few notches above your usual pub fare.

The Irish Inn's version of deconstructed banoffee pie

That definitely held true for the banoffee pie. The way this dessert was presented was something you’d expect from a much fancier joint, not a place that serves up bangers and mash. This particular take on the traditional English dessert (a richer version of American banana cream pie) was deconstructed: an oozing pile of bananas, cookie crumble, and toffee generously layered on top of each other.

Without a true base crust to ground it, this banoffee “pie” felt overly rich. Almost like I was shoveling caramel sauce from the jar into my mouth. I would’ve liked more crunch to balance the softer textures. All said, though, we did clean the plate.

02
Oct
12

Trader Joe’s takes on the Mounds Bar

Trader Joe's dark-chocolate covered coconut mango bites

At least, that’s the first thing that came to mind when I spotted these new dark-chocolate covered coconut mango bites (forgive the adjective string). I know, I know. Mounds has milk chocolate–Trader Joe’s uses dark. TJ’s version has mango. Mounds doesn’t. Either way, the principle’s the same: chocolate-coated shredded coconut.

Trader Joe's dark-chocolate covered coconut mango bites, cross-section

While the mango’s a nice touch, it’s not tart enough to add much flavor. Overall, a split opinion on these. I like them pretty well but they’re not the little bites of paradise I’d imagined after reading all the hype on the back of the package. Mr. X-sXe is a bigger fan, commenting that they’re packed full of “nice, stringy* pieces of coconut.”

*One of the rare occasions where you’ll see “stringy” used as a compliment.