Friday, September 30, 2011


So, what the F*#% is "Cheese Food"??

Moreover what the hell is "Processed Cheese Food"???

I mean, I know what Cheese is and where it comes from, but why all of the confusion?

The Cheese confounds.....
According to the USDA, these "descriptions" define how much actual Cheese is in every product.

Something that is labeled "Natural Cheese" is just that, natural. Natural cheese refers to its variety, i.e. "Cheddar Cheese", "Swiss Cheese", or "Blue Cheese". These natural cheeses contain 100% real cheese, you know, curds, whey, natural enzymes, stuff like that. So far, so good.

Here's where things begin to get tricky. "Pasteurized Process Cheese" is a blend of fresh and aged natural cheeses that have been shredded and mixed (processed), then heated (pasteurized), after which no further ripening occurs. This blending of pasteurized processed cheese is not necessarily a scary thing; it just means that one or more varieties of natural cheese were used in the "process". For example, “pasteurized process American cheese” or “pasteurized process Swiss and American cheese.”

Thus far, nothing weird; but what is Cheese Food?

Say, what??!?

Cheese Food contains only 51% real cheese, any lower than that and they couldn't call it cheese at all!

Cheese Food contains a host of other things that are not cheese like non-fat dry milk, whey solids (whatever those are), and lots of water. After pasteurization, processing, and some mumbo jumbo, you wind up with “Pasteurized Process Cheese Food". 

Cheese Food, quite obviously, has a much milder flavor and softer texture than Natural Cheese. It spreads more easily and melts more quickly than process cheese. The most popular variety is pasteurized process American cheese food, which is packaged in slices, rolls, links and loaves.

Now, cheese spreads have a different composition from cheese foods and are labeled as “pasteurized process cheese spread.” All of the ingredients used in the preparation of these products are listed on the respective labels along with the kinds or varieties of cheese used in the mixture.

Oh, Yeah!!

For more than you ever wanted to know, go HERE.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Coffee Mug

Everybody has one somewhere.

Whether it contains crayons and pencils showcasing some insipid morale-boosting-epigram logo-ed on the side, like “Hang In There”, or is shaped like some free form blob of stippled ceramic nightmare that your seven-year-old made in his third grade art class, the coffee mug holds a dear place in many people’s hearts, and not only to drink tasty beverages from.

"Coffee Mugs are 'Winning'!!!!"

Many people use them to hold odds and ends around the house. For example, to hold used tooth brushes, a dull safety razor, and a Breelcreme caked pocket comb that resides in the back bathroom’s rusty medicine cabinet, or to hold the legion of Chinese condiment packets and chopsticks that you have accumulated over many months of greasy takeout, and, most importantly, to hold every plastic spork that has ever been manufactured on the planet.

However, with this kind of versatility, there is one use that is often neglected and overlooked; the coffee mug’s uses in the kitchen.

Okay, you’re saying, “Oh, please. C’mon, ‘the kitchen’ that’s the big revelation. I use a coffee mug every morning and even in the afternoon, I guess that puts me ahead of the curve, what gives?”

Have you ever actually looked at a coffee mug?

You know, the basic heavy, white, slightly cracked diner variety.

Why is it made like this?

Why is it so uniform in size?

Why is it so heavy?

Why can it take all this heat and abuse?

All of these questions are why the coffee mug should hold a strong place in the home and, for that matter, professional chef’s and anyone who cooks by feel, arsenal of kitchen gadgets.

It’s also cheap and easy to find, too.

A good solid Coffee Mug can be used for measuring ingredients, holding ingredients, mixing ingredients, and, due to it’s wondrous thermal properties, even baking ingredients. From sauces, to dressings, to holding that decadently flavorful bacon fat from last Sunday’s hangover breakfast, this is why the lowly coffee mug is a required, necessary, and comforting device for any kitchen.


Coffee Mug Popovers
Scallion and Parmigiano Flavor

Who doesn’t like a popover. They “pop”, they go “over”, they’re doughy, they can be sweet, they can be savory, and they can be very messy.

This is one of the many reasons that the indestructible Coffee Mug is an ideal vessel for the complicated things.

Everyone gets their own individual mug of popover to eat and then cleanup!

FULL Recipe after the JUMP

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Beer Day

It's National Drink Beer Day!

Do I need to explain further????

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

RIP, Arch West

Arch West, of Dallas, Texas, is credited with creating the iconic snack chip Doritos® after a family trip to San Diego in 1961. 

Arch West, 1914 - 2011
According to West's daughter, Jana Hacker of Allen, Texas, her father was a Frito-Lay marketing executive when he pitched the idea for Doritos® after seeing fried tortilla chips in San Diego. 

Hacker said the pitch received only a lukewarm response, but that market research supporting West's hunch eventually put the chips on store shelves. 

West died last Tuesday at Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. He was 97.

Doritos® are to be sprinkled over the grave of their creator during a graveside service later this week.

Obituary courtesy NBC

Chocolate Milk...

For National Chocolate Milk Day,

I turn to some fond childhood memories.

For many of us, Nestlé's Quik® was a staple. It went beyond mere chocolate milk, milkshakes, or hot cocoa. We would sprinkle Nestlé's Quik® over plain Vanilla ice cream and sliced bananas to make a low rent sundae. Sometimes, we would make a paste out of it with a little water and use it as a spread for toast, who needs Nutella®! But, other times, it was needed for a Mocha.

Mocha Chocolate Milk

Oddly enough, this recipe appeared on the back of the Nestlé's Quick® container. If only Starbuck's knew that Nestlé had cornered the market in creating hyper-caffeinated sugar fueled children's beverages before they even existed.

Nsetlé's Quick® Chocolate Flavor
Instant Coffee
Whole Milk

In a pint glass, fill about a third of the way with Whole Milk. Add a teaspoon of Instant Coffee and stir until the Coffee has dissolved.

Fill the pint glass with some more Whole milk and add a teaspoon of Nestlé's Quik. Dtir well. Top off the glass with more Whole Milk. Sprinkle, but do not stir, with another teaspoon of Nestlé's Quik®. Let the Nestlé's Quik® slowly precipitate down the inside of the glass until it settles on the bottom.

Serve with a straw.

Instant Hazelnut flavored coffee, anyone?? Also, this can be served either hot or cold; with or whithout whipped cream; with or without chocolate sprinkles; etc.

How now brown cow....

©2011 Wait At The Bar

Monday, September 26, 2011

Pancake Update!

Pancake throw pillows!!!

You can get yours at Unica Home.


It seems like only yesterday that we celebrated National Pancake Week.....


Today we have National Pancake Day!!

As wonderful and fabulously scrumptious that pancakes may be, they do become tiresome after the first few dozen.

So, what else can you make with pancake mix besides more pancakes??

"F*@#$#% pancakes again......@#$%"

Well, good ole Betty Crocker® has got you coverd!!

Gran'ma knew!

Bisquick® is not for mere pancakes alone. Running the gamut from Sausage Balls and Spicy Spanish Rice to Peanut-Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies, Bisquick® does it all.

As miraculous as Bisquick® may be, however, it can actually be quite expensive.

So, let's make some ourselves and put the General Mills Corporation out of business!!

Homemade "Bisquick®" Mix

  • Six (6) cups of All-Purpose (AP) Flour, sifted 
  • Three (3) tablespoons Baking Powder 
  • One (1) tablespoon Salt 
  • 1/2 cup cold Sweet Creme Butter, cut into pats 

Measure the sifted Flour, Baking Powder, and Salt into a large bowl. Using a wire whisk, blend thoroughly.

Using a pastry cutter, cut in the cold Butter thoroughly until a fine meal is formed.

Store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to four (4) months.

Use as you would regular Bisquick®!

Can you believe it?? That's really all there is to it.

"I'm not tired of pancakes..."

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Hot Tip!

On National Food Service Employees Day,

I only have one thing to say.....


Don't forget your Waitresses either!!!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

$16 Muffin...

Recently the United States Department of Justice has been vilified for apparently paying $16 (€11.90) apiece for muffins for a staff breakfast. Admittedly this $16 includes such vagueries as service charges, gratuities, and other hotel catering markups, but, c'mon, how can flour, sugar, eggs, milk, and butter add up to $16 bucks??? 

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) says, "The muffins were THIS big."
Well, Mary Cadogan, of BBC Good Food and Olive magazines, came up with a recipe for muffins that cost about $1.90 apiece, or €1.41.

She sweetens her very expensive muffins with Manuka honey from New Zealand, billed as "the world's most expensive". She also uses Extra Virgin Sunflower Oil at $6.14 a cup or €4.57 for 250 ml. Along with the finest flour, eggs and milk, this forms the batter, into which she carefully folds dark Chocolate, dried Blueberries, and Macadamia nuts, $7.58 for 4.4 oz. (€5.63 for 125 g.). She then spices the mixture with Tonka beans, the fragrant seeds of a a South American tree.

At about $1.90 apiece, or €1.41, this doesn't even come close to the nirvana that must be the $16 Muffin.

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) thinks, "We need more Muffin funding..."
Food writer Stefan Gates suggested using a precious metal as decoration to up the cost and overall albedo of the muffin. "You could cover it in pure 24-carat edible gold leaf, although even that only costs $1.15 (€0.86) per sheet, and you'd only need one to cover it.", Gates said.

This method would bring the total production cost up to $3.05 apiece (€2.27), still not enough.

Enter British baking expert Dan Lepard.

Dan Lepard says, "This is only for the Muffin elite."
He suggests using soft imported Italian 00 flour to give the crumb extra-fine texture and AOC French unsalted butter from Echire or D'Isigny; "very expensive but with a rich, slightly nutty flavour", said Lepard. The eggs should come from British heritage flocks. "Don't go for brown or white eggs", Lepard explained, "go for blue hen's eggs as they're much pricier although the taste is no different." Also, Organic California Blueberries which are nearly "impossible to get here in the UK, but the return flight will make those muffins even more exclusive." Lepard concluded that one could "gild it further with chunks of Amadei or Valrhona chocolate stirred into the mix, and brush the top with gold leaf stirred through sugar syrup to finish." 

I suppose, while we're at it, we could use Wild Strawberries flown in from Switzerland at $3.43 a pound, €6.87 a kilo, or make a coffee flavored muffin using Kopi Luwak, the coffee beans that have gone through the GI tract of a Civet Cat (I'm not making that up), at $25 an ounce, €18 for 25 g.

Where's my Muffin?
But, when all is said and done, what you're really paying for is the packagaing, the shipping, the marketing, and the staff to get the muffin to the plate.


Mary Cadogan's
Luxury Muffins


  • 3/4 cup (175 g.) Organic Self-Raising Flour, $0.28 or €0.21
  • 1/4 cup (50 g.) Organic Oats, $0.15 or €0.11
  • 1/2 cup (100 g.) light Muscovado Sugar, $0.35 or €0.26
  • One (1) teaspoon freshly grated Tonka Beans, $1.40 or €1.04 
  • 1/2 teaspoon Bicarbonate of Soda, $0.08 or €0.06
  • One (1) Free Range Chicken Egg, beaten, $0.38 or €0.29
  • Two (2) tablespoons Manuka Honey, $1.39 or €1.03
  • 2/3 cup (150 ml.) Buttermilk, $0.45 or €0.33
  • One (1) teaspoon Vanilla Bean Paste, $0.48 or €0.36
  • Six (6) tablespoons Extra Virgin Sunflower Oil, $2.23 or €1.66
  • 1/2 cup (100 g.) Macadamia Nuts, chopped, $6.05 or €4.51
  • 1/2 cup (100 g.) dried Blueberries, $5.07 or €3.77
  • 1/4 cup (50 g.) Dark Chocolate or Chocolate Chips, $4.68 or €3.48

TOTAL (12 muffins) : $22.80 (€12)

EACH MUFFIN : $1.90 (€1.41)

In a large bowl, thoroughly sift together the Flour, Bicarbonate of Soda, and grated Tonka Beans.

In a second bowl, add the Sunflower Oil, Egg, Sugar, Honey, Vanilla Bean Paste, and Buttermilk. Stir very thoroughly until all of the Sugar has dissolved.

Slowly sift in the Flour mixture until a smooth batter is formed. Sprinkle in the Oats and gently stir to combine.

Fold in the Macadamia Nuts, dried Blueberries, and Chocolate making sure that each ingredient is evenly distributed.

Grease a muffin tin with sweet crême Brittany Butter or line with muffin liners. Place a spoonful of muffin mixture into each muffin case, filling each to just over half way. Stud each muffin with a few extra Macadamia Nuts, Blueberries, or Chocolate Chips.

Bake in the center of a 400°F (200°C) oven for about twenty (20) minutes, or until golden on top.

Recipe courtesy Mary Cadogan.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Why We're Fat Volume 14

According to the medical journal The Lancet, half (50%) of the population of the United Kingdom and the United States of America will be clinically obese by 2030.

One reason why is The Big One breakfast plate at the Hungry Horse Café, in Corby, England.

A "typical" English breakfast??

This monstrosity weighs in at six-and-a-half pounds (6.5 lbs. or 3 kg.) and contains about 7,500 calories, three times the recommended daily calorie intake of an average adult male.

Recently, Steven Magee, a 29-year-old demolition worker has become the first person to actually finish the giant breakfast plate. The hungry Scotsman, who claims to only eat cereal for breakfast, needed one hour and twenty minutes and six cups of tea to down the three sausages, three burgers, three fried eggs, three bacon rashers, three black pudding slices, three square sausage slices and triple servings of beans and mushrooms. As if that wasn't enough, he also had to go through triple helpings of potato waffles, potato scones, hash browns, fried bread portions, and three rounds of bread and butter and toast.

More, More, More!!

So, what did he get for completing this eating challenge?

Just his $19 USD (£12) meal for free and a framed photo on the café wall.

Go figure.....

Thursday, September 22, 2011


Now, as much as many of us may deride the French, this is brilliant.

French baker, Jean-Louis Hecht came up with the idea of a vending machine after customers would repeatedly stop by his apartment above his bakery and ring his bell after the store was closed to request fresh bread.

After much trial and error, he wound up with a machine that turns pre-cooked bread into steaming baguettes. Available 24 hours a day, the machine sold 1,600 baguettes in the first month alone.

"This is the bakery of tomorrow." -Jean-Louis Hecht

What could possibly be next???

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Okay, last week was the International Banana Festival held every year in Kentucky.

Yes, that Kentucky, home of blue grass, horses, bourbon, and a large cave.

Bananas come from the tropics, so, why Kentucky???

Well, 'round-about 1880, the Illinois Central Gulf Railroad was the first to develop refrigerated rail road boxcars. All of a sudden, people who didn't live in the tropics could enjoy the same fruits and vegetables as their friends down south. Fulton, Kentucky, at the time, was home to a very large railroad facility which became the redistribution point for the railroad because of its central location between New Orleans and Canada.

The United Fruit Co, now Chiquita, began shipping bananas from South America by boat to New Orleans. The bananas were then loaded onto railcars on top of blocks of ice for the trip north. Since Fulton, Kentucky had the only ice house on the route north to Chicago, the bananas were re-iced with new blocks from the Fulton Ice Plant. At one point, over 70% of the bananas that were consumed in the Unites States passed through Fulton, Kentucky.

Fulton became known as “The Banana Capital of the World.”

I guess we'll have to wait until next year to sample the
One-Ton Banana Pudding.....