Sunday, July 21, 2013

What-What?! Week of July 21st

I was really, truly going to cook this week, but then I didn’t.  Recently, my husband has spent more time cooking than I have; I’ve been tired and honestly rather uninspired by the ingredients I’ve had around.

I have a subscription to The Progressive Grocer magazine, which covers grocery industry news and trends; along with that subscription, I also receive The Independent Progressive Grocer, which is specifically for smaller chains and independent stores.  I really like The Independent, because it discusses issues on a store-level, as opposed to more general trends and news.  This past issue discussed the topic of cleanliness, especially in how it relates to appearance – a store cannot just be clean, it has to look clean.  Many times, a customer can’t tell if the store is being cleaned properly, which creates a situation where customers are dependent on cues from how things look.  In the article, store owners talked about the importance of how employees are dressed, how the floors look, and designing a store so that customers can see the food prep areas.  By having sharply-dressed employees, the least important parts of the store looking great, and having transparency, it builds consumer trust, which is incredibly important in the food industry (I’d never buy food from someone I don’t trust, that’s for sure!).

T rex tooth embedded between hadrosaur vertebrae
Now for something awesome!  A skeleton of a Hadrosaur was found with a T-Rex tooth embedded in its spine.  This find has the possibility of settling the long-standing argument of whether a T-Rex was a hunter or a scavenger.  I am very excited by this – I grew up watching dinosaur documentaries arguing about this, and would love to see it put to rest.

Food:  Stove Top Macaroni and Cheese
After last week’s post about instant mac and cheese, I decided to make some of the real deal.  The method that I use is adapted from White on Rice Couple, though I only followed the recipe once, then never bothered to measure again.  This recipe is brilliant because you make the sauce while you cook the noodles, in the same pot!  The downside is that it takes near-constant stirring for 15 minutes, which is difficult when I’m home alone with the children.

  • Noodles (as much as you want; I use 1/2 pound)
  • Milk (enough to cover noodles in pot; I use 2-3 cups milk)
  • 1 tablespoon mustard (Dijon, yellow, brown, whatever’s in the ‘fridge)
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (Cheddar, Monterey jack, etc.)
  • Salt
  • Nutmeg, if desired
Add noodles, mustard, salt, and nutmeg to saucepot, and fill pot with enough milk to cover.  Heat on high until simmering, then immediately turn down to low.  Continue to simmer, stirring often, for about 15 minutes, until milk is thickened and noodles are nearly cooked (add more milk if needed).  Stir in cheese, then cover pot for 3-5 minutes – the noodles will finish cooking and absorb more of the sauce.  Give one final stir, then enjoy.

Disney:  Boxes with Humor
I had ordered some toys from Disney to put away for birthdays and Christmas, so when we received this box, we put the kids in their room and opened it up (because we like to look at toys, too).  When the husband started opening the wrong side of the box, we saw this beauty:

 “Open other end, Dopey”.  Someone, somewhere made the decision to put that there.
Next week, I’ll be reviewing Captain Bogg and Salty’s most recent album, talking pirate festivals, and perhaps a scone recipe that’s currently in the works.  ‘Til then!

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