Memories of Meals Past


Another post from the Rocket City Bloggers Year-Long Blogging Challenge: “This week we reminisce a bit…what is the most memorable meal you have ever had?”

I actually spent some time trying to think about this one before realizing that defeated the purpose: Even if there are seemingly better answers, the first thing to come to mind is, by definition, the most memorable, right?

I find that the meal I talk about the most, foodwise, was at Steak On A Stone in Cleveland, Ohio. I’d gone up there on a business trip to NASA’s Glenn Research Center, and our point-of-contact for the trip accompanied us there for dinner one night. Basically, your steak (or other meat) is served to you seared but raw with a super-heated lava stone, which holds heat for the entire meal. You cut your steak one bite at a time, and cook each bite individually on the stone, so that every single bit is cooked exactly to your tastes. Which was, in fact, tasty. The meal was served with a variety of dipping sauces that also amped up the personalization. While I didn’t try it myself, I also recall there being either an appetizer or dessert that was set afire, resulting in a collection of scorch-marks on the ceiling.

The result was a meal that was memorable for both the food, the experience and the uniqueness; not a bad combination at all.

Rambling “Review” — Burger King Cheesy Tots


This is less a food review than it is a sad look into the mind of someone who overthinks things way too much.

So Burger King has cheesy tots. I heard this, and wanted some. So I ate some.

When I got there, they had a picture of them on the sign out front. And they weren’t at all what I was imagining.

I was picturing regular tater tots, but with cheese in them. The things in the picture were bigger, and looked cheesier. At this point, I’m picturing some sort of tot that’s got potato filled with tasty, gooey pockets of cheese.

And then I get them. And it’s basically regular tater tots, but with cheese in them. Yes, they’re bigger than regular tater tots, but the difference in size doesn’t reflect a real difference in substance. You can taste the cheese, but it’s not the gooey pockets of cheese I was envisioning.

So they’re fine, but I’m a little disappointed. I wanted gooey cheesiness, and didn’t get it. On a technical note, I think a different cheese might also have made them better, but that’s just me.

But again, that’s not a criticism. ‘Cause then I’m reevaluating, what if I’d heard about them, but hadn’t seen the picture on the drive-through sign. At that point, they pretty much would have met my expectations, and I would have liked them just fine.

And then I’m telling someone about them, and I’m having to do the whole story — what I expected, how my expectations were changed, and how my opinion was colored by both sets of expectations, and that’s when I realized that, to be as navel-gazing as possible, I should write a blog post about talking about how Burger King’s cheese tots measured up to what I thought they should and could be.

Point being, they’re not bad. Try ’em. They could be better with more and different cheese, though.

And as a bonus for reading this far — the Avocado Whopper is pretty good. The Philly Chicken Sandwich is lackluster. The fudge bites ain’t bad at all.

Magic And Cobbler — Pampered Chef’s Covered Baker

It’s interesting to me that, whenever I write about cooking, I never actually have an original picture to go with the blog post. It’s not that I don’t make things that look good (though I’ll admit I’ve made an ugly cake or two), it’s that, when I cook, I rarely wait long enough to take a picture before making sure the taste is OK.

So I don’t have a picture of my Magic Pot cobbler. Alas.

I’ve written before about Pampered Chef’s “Magic Pots” — the larger Deep Covered Baker and the smaller Round Covered Baker, and how I’ve used them to make, among other things, cake. (You can use the bakers in the microwave, freezer and oven, and in the microwave; the results are basically like oven baking at microwave speeds, which is sort of awesome. With them, you can microwave casseroles, cakes, chicken breasts, and on and on.)

At my last Pampered Chef team meeting, someone brought a cobbler to share, and the discussion turned to how, theoretically, you should be able to bake the cobbler in the microwave.

I love cobbler, so it was pretty much a given that as soon as the idea was spoken it was going to happen.

And it did, and it was awesome.

I have an easy cobbler recipe that I’ve used many times in the conventional oven, and it works just as well in the microwave with the baker. I’ve made three cobblers now with the baker — blackberry, peach and blueberry — and can go from not started to eating in about 20 minutes.

The recipe is not mine, but I’ll share it anyway:

1 stick butter or margerine
1 cup self-rising flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk
2 cups fruit

Melt butter in microwave in covered baker. Add flour, sugar and milk, and mix until lumps are gone. Add fruit. Microwave for about 12 minutes (cooking time will vary by microwave.)

This, let me say, produces a simple and tasty cobbler.

But, by accident last week, I made it even tastier.

Cobbler, I firmly believe, needs ice cream. There’s just something about the combination of hot fruit cobbler and cold vanilla ice cream.

But, when I made the blueberry cobbler, I pulled it out of the microwave and realized that I had no vanilla ice cream in the house. This is bad.

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

I had no vanilla ice cream, but I did have some chocolate that I’d bought for making milk shakes. We briefly debated where this would be acceptable or untoward, and decided the only way to find out was to try it.

Chocolate ice cream on blueberry cobbler, it turns out, is quite agreeable indeed.

And now you know.

To browse the full catalog of Pampered Chef products, place an order, or find out more about hosting your own show, visit my Pampered Chef homepage.