Eating: La Magazine’s Roast Beef Poboy

From the outside, La Magazine looked like the last place on earth to serve a great roast beef poboy. Well, looks are deceiving. La Magazine made a great roast beef poboy one that would stand up to most poboy shops around New Orleans.

This poboy was the first poboy that I had that didn’t use deli roast beef. This was a real roast cooked down until it fell apart. It was full of flavor and if I remember correctly it had quite a bit of garlic. I wish I could give more specific details but it’s been over ten years since I had one, and it’s impossible to get one now. Yet what I do remember is that I never got a bad poboy. I never got one that had too little meat or too much that the bread couldn’t handle it. It was always just a perfect sandwich. I remember loving their sautéed shrimp poboy (a poboy that deserves to be more widely served) and I’m sure I tried a few other things on the menu, but I would always come back to the roast beef poboy.

I keep trying to find one that comes close. The first two poboys I had from Parasols came damn near this poboy, but it’s still not quite there. I guess, I’ll have to keep doing some research.

Cooking: Challah French Toast

Challah Bread is a egg bread that is a Jewish bread made for the Sabbath. At least, Wikipedia says so. My wife is not Jewish, and she loves Challah bread any day of the week. Now, I haven’t gotten to working with yeast breads…yet. We buy ours at the supermarket. Normally, we just eat the bread as is with nothing on it. It really is that good. However, sometimes I want more.

This particular day after the Jewish Sabbath, I wanted French Toast.

Source: Food Network 365 Calendar 2012. Not sure of the day.

Ingredients: Challah bread sliced, 1/8 cup of sugar, teaspoon cinnamon, 1 egg, ½ cup of milk, ½ tablespoon of butter (more if needed). Serves 2.

Process: Whisk the milk and the egg until beaten. Mix the sugar and cinnamon in another bowl (or you can just buy the McCormick premixed version…but then you can’t control how much sugar if you do). Give the bread a bath in the milk/egg mixture. When you bathe the second side of the bread, sprinkle the mixture to your liking on the bread. Meanwhile, you should have heated a pan with the butter on medium heat. Put the cinnamon sugar side down, and the sprinkle the other side. Repeat, until you do all the slices. Serve with maple syrup, fruit, or whatever else you like.

Results: The French toast was flavorful and filling.

Verdict: Since we are trying to go through a lifestyle change (alright, we are dieting), this is a special treat meal. I would have taken pictures, but we ate it too fast.

Cooking: Butter Cookies

Michael Pollan, author of the Food Rules, once stated that you should eat anything you cannot be bothered with cooking from scratch. ; His point is that most bad for you foods have quite a bit of hassle in cooking them, so most people will not want to go through the hassle. ; Store bought cookies, for example, are easy. ; Making them from scratch is not easy so therefore cookies become a special treat.

Makes sense to me. The other night we really wanted cookies. ; I decided to try my hand at butter cookies. ; I mean, if you are going to cheat, then cheat.

Ingredients: ; Stick unsalted butter softened, ¾ cup sugar, 1 teaspoon Mexican Vanilla, 1 egg, 2 cups all purpose flour, ½ baking powder, pinch of salt, ¼ cup of milk (more if needed.)

Process: ; I creamed the sugar and the butter slowly and then added the egg and the vanilla. ; In a separate bowl, I mixed dry ingredients, then added half to the dough, and then beat it for a couple of seconds. ; Then the same procedure is done with the other half. ; I baked them at 375 for about 13 minutes. ; This recipe is from How to Cook Everything.

Results: ; The recipe said it makes about 2-3 dozen. ; Unless the recipe meant teaspoon instead of tablespoon when doling out to the cookie sheet, I could only produce about a dozen and half. ; The flavor was nice and buttery but a little dry. ; ;It reminded me of the tea cookies. ; ; ; In addition, the recipe allows for extra spices, and I think I should have added a little cinnamon and sugar especially at the top.

Butter Cookies

Butter Cookies

Verdict: ; ; This recipe is decent starter cookie recipe that begs for experimentatio

Cooking: Baked Chicken and Maple Glazed Carrots

Baked chicken is easy.  Baked chicken legs is cheap and easy.  Now, that you have stopped snickering.  Let’s get on with the post.

Even though you didn’t ask, I’m going to tell you how I bake chicken legs. I take two tablespoons of smoked paprika.  Don’t settle for the paprika that your grandmother put on her potato salad.  Spend the extra money for the good stuff.  It actually has a flavor.  I put about a fourth of a tablespoon of the following in:  ginger, salt, cayenne, tarragon and oregano.  A tablespoon of sugar and a tablespoon of cinnamon complete the dry mixture.  Put a little olive oil on the drumstick and then coat heavily with the dry mixture.  Back until cook through.

The hard part in our household is not finding a protein that is tasty; it’s finding the vegetable that is the hard part.  On this particular night, we settle on glazed carrots.  On our last trip to the market, we purchased some maple syrup to replaced the processed pancake syrup we had in our fridge.  Using my trusty How to Cook Everything as a guide, I set out to make maple glazed carrots.  After cutting the carrots into coins, I added 1/3 of a cup of white wine, a tablespoon and half of maple syrup and two more tablespoons of water.  Bring to a boil and cook down until they reach the desired tenderness.

An easy midweek meal.

Cooking: My Five Favorite Food Apps

Recently, Cristina and I jumped back on the fitness band wagon. We did well until the half-marathon and slowly succumbed back to our old ways. It’s not the food we write about on here that got us out of shape; it’s the food we don’t write about that hurt us. This weekend we did a pantry cleanse and said goodbye to (most) processed foods. Some we just have to exercise moderation.

Yet, we need help. Technology to the rescue. So these are my top five food apps.

  1. My Fitness Pal: My Fitness Pal is at its heart a food diary. You keep track of your food, and it breaks it down by calories, sodium, protein, fat, etc. This is the rare app that actually does the job better than its corresponding website, at least with the food diary. However, My Fitness Pal should be named My Fitness Pals. What separates it from the other food diaries out there is that it has a social networking component. You can provide encouragement to your friends. This is what truly makes it a great app.
  2. Fooducate: Let’s face it, sometimes we don’t know if a food is healthy. Words like natural and multigrain are not regulated so any food company can label their foods with those words. Fooducate does the work for you. Scan the code and you are given a grade on your food. That healthy Kashi we bought a couple of weeks back was given a grade of C+. Not horrible but too much sugar. The fact that app also gives you suggestions for healthier alternatives pushes the app to a must have if you are interested in what is in the food you are eating.
  3. How to Cook Everything: See this blog for more details. For my meat shunning friends, he does have a How to Cook Everything Vegetarian as well.
  4. Seafood Watch: Food safety is important. So is sustainability. I know too many good local fishermen who don’t need to suffer because we want to import in cheap and possibly dangerous seafood. This app lets you know if the fish you are choosing is safe to eat according to its place of origin.
  5. Open Table: This app has nothing to do with dieting. This makes going out to eat easy. Calling on your smartphone to make a reservation? Ain’t nobody got time for that! Actually, you probably do, but why when this app makes it easy. Just like on the phone, you can give all your information the restaurant needs about your party. Unlike on the phone, this app shows you what times are available. Best part of this app: you can change your reservations on the fly.

Eating: Noah’s Drive-In

One of my favorite hamburger places posted this quote by Calvin Trillin on Facebook: “Anyboy who doesn’t think that the best hamburger place in the world is in his home town is a sissy.” Mr. Trillin is right. The best hamburger I ever had was from Noah’s Drive-In in Lockport.

The hamburger was just perfect. Juicy and tasty, a Noah’s hamburger was perfect in just about every way. A cheeseburger was even better because it truly forced a cohesive bond between the patty and the bread. When I got older and bigger, then it was time to have the gourmand burger. This, proving Mr. Trillin’s rule beyond a doubt, was no hamburger for sissies.

Noah’s was more than a hamburger place. Sunday after church lunch was always a special event. The broasted chicken was always delicious. My sister would be content with just the mac and cheese. After Junior High sporting events, it was a great place for a celebratory meal. The sundaes were a tradition in my house. I am sure their roast beef poboy was made with deli roast beef, yet it was the only roast beef poboy of that style that was as good as the debris poboys of New Orleans.

Not only was Mr. Noah a familiar face when you went, so was the entire family. After Mr. Noah’s tragic death, the place stayed open under different ownership, but it was not the same. It wasn’t that the food changed much, it was that the experience changed. Mr. Noah fed my family and if you are from Lockport, he probably fed yours too. That is what could never be replaced.

Traveling: The Power, the Beauty, and the Glory, or Three Churches and How Their Architecture and Design Tells a Story

During our 2010 trip to Europe, we visited a few churches. Being raised Catholic is one reason why we made sure we visited them; being history majors was another reason. Churches of the Middle Ages are more than just places of worship. They were landmarks most of the cities were built around. They were the meeting places of the masses. Since most of those masses were uneducated during this time, the Churches served another purpose. They told the story of Christ through their windows and their art. They also told a story through their architecture.

We are not experts in architecture. Yet, when we visited Notre Dame in Paris, The Duomo in Florence, and St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City we came away with different feelings about the Church.

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