Monday, April 23, 2012

Day off.....

It isn't really a day off, that sounds like this was planned.  But, I think that with over 100 posts, I think I only used this excuse once before.   What it really is, is that I have done some things recently, taken pictures, but just haven't made up a post about them yet.  I've made my own Boston Baked Beans, I have made something simple using a whole chicken and some left over bread, I have even made a rich and calorie-rich bread pudding using the left-over Cinna-sticks from Pizza Hut.  I'll get them up and everyone can see what I have been up to.  But it has been one of those Mondays and I'm not looking forward to being creative within the last 6 minutes of the day to come up with a clever and witty post.

Good night.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The 26th Annual Sheep & Craft Festival

This past weekend we attended the 26th Annual Sheep and Craft Festival.  While mostly a craft celebration, there was plenty of "country" stuff that I am a rookie towards.  Here are a few pictures of what happened:
Here we see some sheep being herded into their pen.  Most likely these sheep will be eaten later.  Yum.

This is something new: sheep pellet bingo.  In this corral, they put a sheep for about 20-30 minutes at a time.  The point, is that you pay $1 and pick a number.  The number that collects the most sheep "pellets" is the number that wins and then that means the person wins a prize. I think it is interesting that a game has been created about an animal pooping.

You cannot go to an event without a stand selling and making kettle corn.  We had to buy a bag on our way out.

Here we have animal judging, some food from the local 4H and some random stuff.  There are some antique tractors in the distance right.

Guess what?  A buffet line for the lamb BBQ.  $10 had me a plate of a few scoops of potato salad, a large lamb brat and some baked beans.  Maybe one of those sheep that I saw was one of the lamb steaks, maybe...

I had to have this all on here.  I'm willing to bet that most of the large periodicals of St. Louis will not show anything from this festival, for even the Travel channel has to censor out any animal slaughtering for food.  Anyway, this is good food and all a good time.  I suggest everyone come to next year's as well.  

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

What happened to good wedding food?

When I was growing up, I remember going to so many wedding receptions and no matter how fancy or full, there was always a set type of food available.  Wedding receptions in St. Louis, just like mine, may have had some things like roasted chicken with mushroom cream sauce but would also have toasted ravioli or roast beef.  That is how it is.  A few weeks ago I was a little worried when I went to a wedding reception at the Sheldon, in St. Louis.

Here is the thing, if you cannot afford the good stuff, then at least get the normal stuff.  Fried chicken, toasted ravioli, a simple salad and a rock hard roll, are all good things that I have seen at receptions and have gone over really well.  The above, didn't really work well.  In this picture, there is a rock hard dinner roll, a "resilient" piece of chicken (I would have said tough but my brother's father in law, suggested the word resilient), some garlic mashed potatoes, some over-cooked vegetables and a chunk of hard roast beef.  Did you see the fancy cutlery there?  We had a plastic fork and knife to cut some hard, over-cooked, resilient food.  I was there with my kids and they refused to eat it.

I know this isn't really a food review as I forgot who provided the food, but it was terrible.  I wouldn't eat anything at the Sheldon, for sure.  Eat some toasted ravioli or fried chicken, the next time you go to a wedding reception, for me.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

My first fish fry

Back during Lent, my wife wanted to attend a fish fry at my son's new school.  This school is a large part of the community and my wife's family has been contributing to it for a very long time.  It was time that I was slowly introduced to the school community as I am the outsider, originally from Affton, Missouri and now finding my home in Columbia, Illinois.  So, at Immaculate Conception School, on a Friday evening, after work, we find ourselves at the fish fry.  This is actually my first ever, truly and for real, fish fry.

I grew up hating all fish because most of St. Louis's idea of great fresh fish is Red Lobster, or at least it was when I was growing up in the 80's and 90's.  When I went to restaurants during that time and tried fish, it tasted fishy.  Let's not forget that my family growing up had fish at least once a week, in the form of fish sticks.  I grew up hating the way fish sticks tasted and could not understand why my family consistently ate them when they had almost no real fish.

So, when I was getting older and I tried fish at other places, it still tasted fishy.  This is what I ate and it was not fishy, but fresh and clean.

I guess since I had never been to a fish fry, that I didn't know how it all went.  But it looks like the norm is to get your fried cod, your piece of white bread, your crinkle cut french fries and your cole slaw.  You can also get some hamburger sliced dill pickles and some raw onions on the side as well.  The plan that I saw was to make a small sandwich with everything and then enjoy it.  The tartness of the raw onion slices worked great against the sweetness of the fried breading on the fish.  The fish had only the smallest and lightest flavor of fish.  It isn't the fishy flavor that I remember while growing up but a cleaner version.  

I am up for fish fries next time.  

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Federhofer's bakery

Federhofer's Bakery has been in St. Louis, at the same spot on Gravois Rd., since 1966.  If you have ever driven down Gravois towards Affton, you probably had noticed this sign:

This place is great.  One good reason, besides the selection, price and the tastiness of their donuts, is the fact that they have been using the same recipe for 44 years.  That means that you will not find things like High Fructose Corn Syrup or other chemicals in their food.  Now, while driving by one morning, with a craving for a donut, I stopped in with my son and picked out some good ones.  Two donuts and one giant pecan pastry later, and less than $5 later, we emerged with our booty.

Look at how delicious that sugar donut looks.  I also got this pecan pastry, I forgot what it was called directly, but it was huge, and tasty.  This is only 1/4th of the size.

It was like a flat cinnamon roll with pecans in the dough.  Again, there was a glazed donut but it was eaten.  Their prices were really good and the donuts were as well.  If you are in the area, stop off at this landmark location.  (Chris, you should check this place out, it should be a landmark.) 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Jos Louis: The Original

I love original and independent snacks and I love them even more when they are devoid of horrible toxins, like High Fructose Corn Syrup.  The latest one I saw and tried was called Jos Louis, from Vachon.

What we have here, is a cake snack.  This one, just like on the box, shows a red velvet cake with a cream filling and then covered in chocolate.  They are tasty, moist and remind me of a Hostess Ding Dong, with red velvet cake instead of black cake.  This was delicious and I could sit down and eat a whole box of them.  A 3 out of 5 stars for me for these tasty snacks.

Monday, April 2, 2012

A First World Problem

People around the world are dying of thirst.  They may have only one source of water and that is either polluted by chemicals or it could be polluted with dirt, filth or disease.  Water is the reason why wars are fought, not over gas, but pure, clean drinkable water.  In third world nations, people have to go through great lengths to get water that they can drink.  In first world nations, like the one I live in, we merely walk over to the sink and turn it on.

Now, as I mentioned here, I have a first world problem:  I don't like the taste of water.  Even though I lived in St. Louis for most of my life, which routinely is voted with the best tasting water, I still never liked to just drink pure and clean water.  Where I live now has water that is rich in a chlorine flavor and smell, reminiscent of drinking pool water sometimes.  Even my Pur' filter can clean it and take some of the nasty flavor out, but not all of it.  So, when I want a drink of water, what do I do?

Well, before I used anything from propel to kool aid, but lately, I have been doing the new Mio flavor products:
As you can see, we have two new flavors here: black cherry and green thunder.  What makes these different than the normal Mio flavors is that these have sugar free, 0 calorie syrups in them which can turn any glass of water into a non-carbonated energy drink.  That's right, one of these puppies will set you back a forgettable $3.99 but you have the ability to flavor a gallon of water.  Imagine how many times you could run around the world with a gallon of energy drink.

A single serving size, about 1/2 tsp or one small squirt, has 0 calories, fat, sodium, carbs, sugar and protein.  So, it really is just flavoring, with an added bonus.  Each serving size has 10% of your Daily B3,10% of your B6, 10% of your B12.  It also has some caffeine: 60mg per serving.  A serving of coffee has about 130 mg of caffeine.  So, what you have here, is a way to flavor water, add a few vitamins and caffeine.  I have beee using this daily and multiple times.  It is better than any other energy drink I have used because I cannot over dose on vitamins or get too much caffeine.  I rate these both a 5 out of 5 and if you love energy drinks, pick these up.