Category Archives: Odds and Ends

A collection of posts that we didn’t know what to do with.

Good Greens. Super Good Superfood


It’s true. Good things come in small packages.

Good Greens

“Creamy”, “Tastes like a Girl Scout cookie”, “It stays on your palate”, “As you’re eating it, you’re enjoying it” and finally “Now you’ve got me hooked”. What in the world could we be talking about? Let me bring you up to speed.

A couple of weeks back the folks Good Greens sent me a box of their new product to check out. They’re nutrition bars. It was a pretty big box. I’ll eat these kinds of bars from time to time. But, the box had more bars than I could handle. So, why not share?

Restaurant people are open to trying just about anything. That’s what I like that about them. Just try bringing any edible product from the outside into a restaurant kitchen or dining room. The scene quickly deteriorates from an inquisitive, “what’s that?” to servers, bartenders and bussers diving for pieces of unknown treasure.

I thought this would be the perfect setup for a taste test. And, I was right. Before we get around to the results, let’s talk for a minute about Good Greens. Sure, they are nutrition bars. But, they’re not like any you’ve had before. Just look at all of the great healthy stuff that they have crammed into every bar.

Good Greens

That’s a whole lot of goodness. And, since we’re going over some of the facts… Are they vegan? YES. Are they gluten free? YES. Do they contain Probiotics? YES. And do they contain 100% of all the vitamins you need for the day? YES. Talk about superfood!

All of this good for you talk is great. But, if eating these bars is like eating a fist full of dirt or something equally as appetizing then who really cares. So, how do they taste? Let’s ask our panel of “experts”. The words, “creamy and moist” were used a lot. Tasters asked if it was a candy bar. Some thought they tasted like fudge brownies. “Soft”, “delicious” and “are these really good for you?”, are a sampling of the other comments.

Good Greens

Here are your flavor choices: Chocolate Raspberry, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Chocolate Coconut, Wildberry, and Chocolate Mint Chocolate Chunk. If you like your nutrition bars chocolaty then you’re set. I loved the peanut butter version.

Good Greens

A nice plate of Good Greens and milk. Santa treats? Probably not. But, that shouldn’t stop you from indulging in a healthy snack.

OK, here’s the bottom line. If you’re looking for a delicious nutrition bar option, Good Greens delivers. The bars are packed with “goodness” as the name would indicate. They’ll make your body and your taste buds happy at the same time. That’s a pretty great result. And, one final observation. If you bring a box of Good Greens into a restaurant and say, “hey, who wants to give these a try?” Be prepared to lose a finger in the melee that is sure to ensue.

Would you like to know where to buy your Good Greens? Click here for a store locator.

Good Greens provided the product for our tasting at no cost to us. We were not compensated in any way to write this review. Thought you should know.

The Cookbook MANifesto | Buying, Using, Writing


When it comes to cookbooks, everyone could use a few handy tips.

The Cookbook MANifesto

During the past couple of years I have read through a small mountain of cookbooks. Some were great, the bulk were good and a few missed the mark. The range of publication quality ran the gamut from cookbooks as art to basic photocopied pages held together by a plastic comb binding. But, the thing that ties all of them together is what is contained on the inside. Specific directions on how to turn a sometimes disparate collection of common or obscure ingredients into a plate of food that will hopefully delight your palate.

The distinction between exceptional and poor is pretty obvious. The difference between great and good is far more subtle. And, it is influenced to a great extent by ones personal likes and dislikes. After all, if you don’t care for Paraguayan cuisine, even the definitive cookbook on the subject will be a difficult sell.

All this leads us to the Cookbook MANifesto. It’s hopefully, a thought provoking list of cookbook buying, using and writing suggestions. It is my personal cookbook observations distilled into one convenient place.

It’s also a living document. So, do be surprised if you find an addition from time to time. Hey, we all grow and learn. You can check it out be clicking below. Or HERE.

The Cookbook MANifesto

Honey, Ah Sugar, Sugar…


Sometimes seeing is believing…

OK, I’m not going to get all high and mighty here. I’ve always believed that people should be free to make their own dietary choices. I’m certainly not going to change my stance now. If you want to eat a couple of Supersize meals for lunch, be my guest. It’s not my place to tell you what to put into your body. Plus, you’ve seen some of the cookbooks I’ve reviewed. Enough said.

I did get this interesting infographic in my inbox the other day. It paints a pretty vivid sugar picture. And, that picture ain’t so pretty. Anyway, take it with a grain of salt or take it to heart, it’s your choice. Oh, I’ve included some great low sugar cookbooks at the end of this post just in case you’re inspired.

Nursing Your Sweet Tooth
This infographic was created by:

If you’re looking to cut back on the amount of sugar in your diet these cookbooks may be able to help. I’m not saying that you need help. But, just in case you do…

Eat What You Love: More than 300 Incredible Recipes Low in Sugar, Fat, and Calories The Joy of Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free Baking: 80 Low-Carb Recipes that Offer Solutions for Celiac Disease, Diabetes, and Weight Loss Eat More of What You Love: Over 200 Brand-New Recipes Low in Sugar, Fat, and Calories The New Sugar Busters! Cut Sugar to Trim Fat
Cooking Well: Low-Carb Sugar-Free Desserts: Over 100 Recipes for Healthy Living, Diabetes, and Weight Management The Sugar Solution Cookbook: More Than 200 Delicious Recipes to Balance Your Blood Sugar Naturally Get the Sugar Out, Revised and Updated 2nd Edition: 501 Simple Ways to Cut the Sugar Out of Any Diet Eat Free: No Gluten. No Sugar. No Guilt

I’m not endorsing or advocating for any particular diet or lifestyle change here. I’m just putting the info out there for you. If you feel inclined to avail yourself, have at it.

Cookbook Calendar & Best Sellers | August 2012

Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving

We’re heading into the home stretch of summer. Yes, I hate to say it, but, it’s true. This is also the time of year that our garden’s are overflowing with a hopefully huge harvest. I know that I’ve been getting a few nice ripe tomatoes already.

We would all like to preserve the goodness of summer as long as possible. So why not try your hand at a little home canning? I know I’ve considered it. I haven’t pulled the trigger yet. But, I have at least investigated some of the options.

We’ve posted this month’s Cookbook Man’s Cookbook Calendar. There are some great new releases that you’ll want to have for your very own. Also, a current August Best Sellers list is up for your perusal and comment.



The Joy of Pickling: 250 Flavor-Packed Recipes for Vegetables and More from Garden or Market  Put 'em Up! You Can Can!: A Visual Step-by-Step Guide to Canning, Preserving, and Pickling, with 100 Recipes  The Joy of Jams, Jellies, and Other Sweet Preserves: 200 Classic and Contemporary Recipes Showcasing the Fabulous Flavors of Fresh Fruits

We also recently posted a review of a fantastic book on canning and preserving just about anything. Check out our review of Preserving: The Canning and Freezing Guide for All Seasons by Pat Crocker.

Grilling and Butter. A Perfect Combination.


Some things are just made to go together.

Steven Raichlen and Aux Delices des Bois Grilling Butters

I’m going to come right out and say it. Right at the beginning of this post. Just so there can be no confusion. I am not a fan of butter on my grilled food. So much so, that I shun the Ruth’s Chris Steak House chain because I can’t come to grips with the butter they top their steaks with. No, it’s not a phobia. It’s just a preference.

I’ve always believed that if something is seasoned properly and cooked just right, there would be no reason to throw an extra glob of fat onto it just to make it palatable. But, something happened this summer grilling season. I am here to tell you right now. With the world as my witness, I WAS WRONG! Wrong, wrong, wrong.

All those wasted years, What a tragedy. Hopefully, I some have time left to make it right.

How does such an amazing reversal of taste come about? That’s a damn good question. And after my pronouncement in the first paragraph, I think you deserve a damn good answer.

Does this man look familiar? Look closely.

Steve Raichlen

If you answered BBQ legend Steven Raichlen, give yourself a gold star or a pat on the back (whichever you’re most comfortable with). The man who practically invented BBQ cookbooks for the masses is out with a new grilling product. And, it’s not a gadget, book or guide. It’s butter. Grilling butter to be more specific.

Steven Raichlen and Aux Delices des Bois Grilling Butters

You’re probably saying, “Big deal. I’ve used grilling butter before. That’s old news”. That may be true. But, I can tell you, the butters you’ve used are not like this. These butters are packed with flavor. Overflowing with a rich goodness that enhances the food without overwhelming it. It’s not that glob of fat that I avoided for so long. It’s a dollop of pure deliciousness.

Here’s the dish that turned the tide for me and made me a believer.

Cookbook Man Grilled Salmon

1 lb, salmon fillet
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. ground black pepper
Steven Raichlen Fine Herbs w/Meyer Lemon Grilling Butter

Pre heat your grill and prepare for direct grilling. Portion your salmon into 3 or 4 equal pieces. I like my fillets about ⅓ of a pound. Drizzle olive oil over fish. Turn to coat completely. Combine salt and pepper. Sprinkle mixture over flesh side of fish. Rest at room temperature about 20 minutes. Slice one butter pat for each fillet. About ⅓ of an inch thick.

When grill is hot place fish on grate directly over coals skin side down. You can use a fish grate if you would like. Cover and cook 4 minutes. Carefully flip fish, cover and grill an additional 3-4 minutes depending on your preference. I like mine just done (or just a bit under). When the fish is cooked to your liking, remove from grill and immediately place one butter pat on the flesh side of each fillet. Butter will melt onto fish.

Serve with a nice cold summer salad.

Serve 3-4

Here’s how it will look.

Cookbook Man Grilled Salmon

Amazing, right? Have another look.

Cookbook Man Grilled Salmon

The butter melts leaving the herbs behind along with a silky, delicious flavor. WOW! The flavors are subtle enough not to overpower the actual food. It is a true enhancement to the dish.

OK, I’ll say it one more time just for good measure. I was wrong. At least on the butter thing. I’m not saying I’m making a res at Ruth’s Chris just yet. But, Steven’s grilling butters have broken new ground for me.

These butters are produced by Aux Délices des Bois & Planet Barbecue Grilling Butters. You can get more info on them at Transatlantic Foods. These are great to keep in the freezer and pull out when you need them. If you would like to have some for your very own we can make that happen. Just click.

Aux Délices des Bois & Planet Barbecue Grilling Butters

Oh, Aux Délices des Bois also produces some mean charcuterie. More on that later…


These products were provided for our tasting at no cost to us. We were not compensated in any way to write this review. Thought you should know.

Field’s Special Sandwich. Special Indeed


Can the memory of a sandwich live up to the reality?

Fields Clock with Snow by Mike Warot

Summertime meals are different than winter ones. More outdoor cooking. More foods for hot days, including lots of salads. Who really wants a pot roast after a day on the beach? And, of course the occasional dinner sandwich.

In my house that summertime dinner sandwich was one that was made famous not by some one hundred year old deli or secret family recipe. It was made famous by a department store. Marshall Fields and Company to be more accurate.

The sandwich that I’m speaking of is of course the one and only Field’s Special Sandwich. A mountain of a meal that is equally perfect for the middle of July as it is for the day after Thanksgiving. Mine was usually served mid-summer.

I don’t really have early childhood memories of the Field’s flagship store on State Street in Chicago (I do have adult memories). A trip to see the windows at holiday time or lunch in the Walnut Room wasn’t something we did on any kind of regular basis.

chitown 004 by favouritethings

My memories of Marshall Fields are rooted in the south suburban Chicago locations. They start when I was around ten years old. Every few weeks, no matter what time of year, a few of us from the neighborhood would jump on a bus in Homewood Illinois, transfer in Chicago Heights and end up forty five minutes later in Park Forest.

Field’s had a big store there. Big to a ten year old anyway. After pooling our money and buying a small box of Frango Mints, we would ride the escalators from floor to floor carefully avoiding clerks who would rather see us taking in a movie at the nearby Holiday Theater rather than terrorizing the Men’s department.

On many of those trips we would end up in the Field’s cafeteria. Diners would be sitting at neat square tables enjoying a variety dishes including the Field’s Special Sandwich which when served at the store, took up an entire plate. With no money for a real lunch, we would grab a cold drink, make a few more trips on the escalator and then head home.

My Mom was a devoted lover of the Field’s Special. And as such, had perfected it’s construction down to the smallest detail. This included replicating the homemade Thousand Island Dressing which held everything together. Now remember, this was back at a time when a restaurant recipe was generally unavailable in a cookbook. And, of course, no Google. Getting it right was a major achievement.

Every now and then on a warm summer evening my taste buds are calling for one. Now, it’s easy. A quick trip to the laptop or iPad and most any recipe ever created (maybe minus the 11 herbs and spices) can be conjured up. My search took all of about ten seconds.

Rather than reprint the recipe here. I’ll save some space and give you a link to the version posted by Deborah Loeser Small for Lake Magazine. You can get that here.

What I WILL do for you is give you a look at the finished product. Amazing, right?

Field's Special Sandwich

Just look at that monster! Absolutely delicious. I think I was almost caught licking the plate. The recipe was right on, down to the dressing.

Here’s a bonus. With the leftover rye, dressing and turkey you can make a great Turkey Reuben (minus kraut) the next day for lunch!

You can now get a Marshall Field’s Cookbook. It has all of the recipes you loved from the department store.

The Marshall Field's Cookbook: Classic Recipes and Fresh Takes from the Field's Culinary Council
Links and other information
Marshall Field’s information via Wikipedia
Field’s Fan of Chicago
Walnut Room – Chicken Pot Pie Recipe 

A Cooking Guide That Stays Put


Some things you shouldn’t leave to chance.


We’ve all been there. You have this perfect cut of meat. It has been lovingly prepped and ready to be fired. The last thing you want to do is screw it up. It’s already dead, killing it again would be a crime.

The experience can be nerve wracking to say the least. Especially if there are guests involved. Once you cook it, un-cooking it would be a considerable challenge.

Fear not. The good folks at can help take some of the anxiety out of the moment. There is no reason to plow through a giant cookbook looking for the meat temperature guide. All you have to do is give a quick glance in the direction of your fridge.

Meet the award winning Meat Magnet!

The Meat Magnet. Click for more info

Pretty cool, right? This handy little cooking guide should help steer you down the path to a perfectly cooked roast, turkey or pork shoulder. I’m not suggesting that you can just pitch your hard cover volumes of roasting and barbecuing techniques. That would be short sighted. But, this clever kitchen accessory can provide some quick information just when it’s needed most.

Hey, is that supposed to be 130⁰ or 145⁰… ?

Want your very own? You can order you here.

Money or Memories. You Choose.


A top five list can leave more questions unanswered than answered.


Money 2 by borman818Tangible value versus sentimental value. What is more valuable money or memories?

Obviously, this is one of those “if a tree falls..” questions. There’s no right or wrong answer. Your perspective dictates the response and we’ll mark all answers as correct. What’s up with the Intro to Philosophical Thought course? Glad you asked.

There’s a post on the Phoenix New Times website that lists the top five most valuable cookbooks (you’ll probably never own). Contained on it are a few you would expect. The recently released Modernist Cuisine, along with the not so recently released first editions of the Joy of Cooking and A Guide to Modern Cookery.

When you use a monetary guide, it’s easy to make a list. But, remove the money factor and try it. Look around your own cookbook collection and attempt to pick out your top five. The top five most valuable cookbooks to you personally.

There are loads of possible candidates. How about that cookbook your Grandmother cooked from religiously every Sunday. Or, how about the one your son or daughter gave you as a special birthday gift? Add to the mix your favorite go to book for memorable occasions. See how complicated it gets.

Each one holds a special and valuable place on the list. It’s almost harder to construct a top five when you can’t use dollars as a yardstick. The intangibles make it hard to determine the worth. It’s always apples and oranges (or insert your favorite idiom here).

Looking at things with an eye toward ”how much is it worth” makes it easy. But, I think what you’re really asking here is “how much does it cost”? In my view, cost and worth are two very different concepts. Kind of like bananas and sausage.

We’ve got lots of great links this week. A couple of other cookbook lists from The Kitchn are included for your reading pleasure. Click away…

Book Review - Cake decorating fundamentals from a pro Cookbook review: 'Heartland: The Cookbook' by Judith Fertig Food Network in the Kitchen: A delicious app
From Hollywood to your kitchen Sarah Copeland: The Newlywed Cookbook Emma's 5 Essential Cookbooks
Bourdain's Book Line Announces 2013 Lineup The red carpet of the food world TOP CHEF JUDGE HUGH ACHESON’S TAKE ON SOUTHERN CUISINE
Anjali's 5 Essential Cookbooks Five of the Most Expensive Cookbooks You'll Probably Never Own Cookbook goes hog-wild and -styled

If you have news that we can use, send it on. We’re happy to get it.

A One Million Dollar Recipe


Can one dish be worth a million bucks? Pillsbury thinks so.

A One Million Dollar Recipe

Pillsbury Bake Off

These days there is a cooking competition around just about every corner. I’m sure a lot are worth entering, if that’s your thing. There’s one though that stands head and shoulders above the rest. That’s the Pillsbury Bake Off. It’s like the Super Bowl of cook-offs.

This is the 45th edition of the legendary, bi-annual event. About the only thing that’s changed in all that time are the recipes themselves. I don’t think the Indonesian Chicken Turnovers with Spicy Peanut Sauce was on the menu back at the start. If they only knew what they were missing.

On March 26th, the one hundred finalists will gather in Orlando Florida to slug it out. I would imagine that could get a little intense. Martha Stewart will host this year’s contest. “The Old Redhead”, Arthur Godfrey, hosted the first bunch.

We’ve included a post on the event in this week’s stories, along with a link to the official bake off site. If you didn’t get your entry in for this year don’t sweat it. You’ve got two years to get your act together and have a crack at the $1,000,000 grand prize.

Joe Beef cookbook picks up the Piglet as Alice Waters comes around This week in food writing (Valentine's edition) Cookbook critic: 'Inside the Jewish Bakery' a history with recipes
Claire's Corner Copia Celebrating 35 Years And A New Cookbook Celebrity Chef, Fabio Viviani Releases I Would Love To Meat You, His Second in a Series of Free Monthly eCookbooks Pillsbury Bake-Off gets hipper this year
Review of 'Dock Kitchen Cookbook' by Stevie Parle 10 Awesome Specialty Food Apps Cookbook Reviews, February 15, 2012
Chef Tory McPhail on Cookbooks as Time Machines The Art of Living According to Joe Beef Is Tops Pillsbury Bake Off

Do you have some interesting cookbook news? If so, send it on. We’ll use it in a future post.

Super Recipes For A Super Bowl Sunday

The big game deserves big eats.


Super Bowl XLVIJust a couple of days to go now.

There’s lots more to the countdown to kick off than just the anticipation of which team will emerge with the Lombardi Trophy on Sunday. There’s the food.

Face it. Super Bowl Sunday has gotten to be so much bigger than the game itself. There are parties, bar specials, restaurant promotions and all whole assortment of other food related events surrounding the event.

You know the menu by heart. Say it with me – nachos, wings, pizza and of course a river of beer to wash it all down. I didn’t even mention all of the burgers, dogs and BBQ that will be consumed. Food and football, you really can’t have one without the other.

So, of course, this week’s links are mostly Super Bowl related. If you’re looking for some new dishes to throw down with the old favs, we can help. There’s lots of great ideas buried in our weekly dozen. There’s absolutely no reason that the food you’re serving shouldn’t be a super as the game. Be sure and make enough. You can eat a whole lot of wings during ten hours of pre-game.

Click away. And. Go Bears! (oh, that’s right, they’ll be just watching too, bummer).

In the stacks: New cookbooks What they don't know isn't always helpful Is the iPad the new cookbook?
Restaurants cooking up better cookbooks Food Bites: Food bloggers, chili sale, chicken dinner Super Bowl recipes: A chicken wing smorgasbord
101 best super bowl recipes on the internet Super Bowl party ideas: Epicurious offers a beer pairing guide for game-day foods Our favorite Super Bowl recipes
Trading Post: Super Bowl recipes include Jalapeno Poppers, White Chicken Chili Score big with these salsas Some favorite recipes from Super Bowl heroes

If you see some great cookbook or food news that you think our visitors would be interested in, please drop us a line.