If you are planning to leave the country in the next couple of days….beware!  The passport you applied for in April may not arrive in the 3 months (12 weeks) the passport agency promised.   In fact, you may find yourself without a passport two days before you are supposed to leave for Sweden!  Not to fear…just call your Congressman!  My new friend Chet Edwards helped me to get my passport so that I could take a family trip to the homeland.  Thanks Chet!  No one else I know could have helped to get a passport in 48 hours.

Aebleskiver Rip-off

Pancake puffs (check out the link)!! My dreams have come true! What an ingenious invention! Or is it?

I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but these are not new to the culinary world. I’ve been eating AEBLESKIVERS, that’s right aebleskivers not pancake puffs, since I was just a wee little Scandinavian baby. Eating aebleskivers has been a tradition in the Sundbeck/Rystrom family on Christmas morning for years, but their history dates back to the time of the Vikings. Legend has it that a meeting between the Vikings and King Arthur’s Knights brought about the beginning of aebles. The vikings cooked the “pancakes” in their shields which had dents from battle…dents that cooked up pancake balls…pancake balls which are now known as aebleskiver!

We eat our aebles spread with butter then topped with lingonberries, or syrup and powdered sugar. YUMMY!

If you choose to buy a “pancake puff” pan that is ok…but you better not call them “pancake puffs”!! They are aebleskivers and always will be.


Top Chef Update: Episode 2

June 20: I agree to meet Ben and Matthew at Pei Wei only if we get home by 9pm to watch Top Chef…I may be addicted.

The Quickfire challenge is a battle of the citrus. Hung wins. Gourmet BBQ is the elimination challenge in Episode 2. Tre gloats about being from Texas and knowing BBQ so well that he’ll easily take the top spot…the first taste of foreshadowing from our friends at Bravo. Clips of Lisa showcase her lack of confidence in her ability as a chef and in her food in this episode which makes me think she’s going to be the next to go…she goes on to be in the top 3 of the BBQ challenge. They tricked me. Tre’s peach BBQ salmon is not a success. Tricked again. Brian wins the BBQ challenge with seafood sausage and Sandee’s not-so-barbequed lobster puts her on the bus back home. I still think Hung is one of the best chefs, but his attitude is horribly irritating and he is completely inconsiderate. I find out from my cousin that he’s friends with Marcel from season 2. It all makes sense now.

The Most Expensive Chocolate in the Whole Wide World

Think beyond the giant Hershey Kiss or the 5lb Hershey Bar…this isn’t about size. Think beyond the “high end” Ghirardelli and Lindt chocolates at your local grocery store…you can’t buy these at the grocery store. This is serious chocolate. I can’t help but wonder…is it really worth it? This list of chocolates range from Jacques Torres assorted truffles at $50 per pound all the way to Knipschildt’s La Medeline au Truffe at $2,400 per pound. No joke. Will a 2 ounce chocolate truffle with truffle oil and an actual Perigord truffle mushroom wrapped in Valrhona dark chocolate make me swoon more than a ho-hum Hershey kiss? I may never know.

“The World’s Most Expensive Chocolates” by Forbes

Geoduck, Black chicken, Ostrich…

I turn to Bravo at 8:57, and what do I see? A countdown clock in the bottom right hand corner of the screen with 0:02:37 remaining! I had to practice patience. My patience was greatly rewarded over the next 75 minutes.

We are first introduced to the cast of 15 that will soon dwindle to 14. A surprise amuse bouche quick fire challenge greets the chefs in Miami. Micah wins the quick fire and earns a spot in my pick for the final 4. The elimination challenge: exotic surf and turf with appetizing proteins like black chicken, geoduck, ostrich and rattlesnake. Harsh guest Anthony Bourdain joins the judging table. Tre and his seared ostrich filet and abalone reduction win the elimination challenge and Hung (black chicken and geoduck) is also a favorite. Clay, the odd ball from Mississippi serves up some poorly cooked wild boar chops and must “Take his knives, and go.”

Overall, I was pleased with the premiere. The women weren’t in the top or bottom for the elimination challenge. But I don’t think they’ll stay under the radar for long. Micah seems really talented, so she, Tre and Hung are my picks for the final competing chefs. As for lucky # 4…probably Howie.

Brilliant Advertising

I would like to be friends or at least have dinner with the people who came up with this commercial. It’s perfect. A normal looking guy in a Wendy’s wig—with his hair sticking out—who single-handedly starts a burger revolution which has little to do with tree kicking. But that just makes it all the more memorable. Way to go Wendy’s advertising team!

Food Network v. Bravo

I caught the tail end of the 2nd season of The Next Food Network Star last night. After a few minutes of part II of the season premiere Ben and I both had the same thought…it was a total rip off of Bravo’s Top Chef! If you know me, then you know that I love the Food Network. Am I upset with the Food Network for shamelessly copying Top Chef? Not upset…just disappointed. However, good move for the Food Network…last season was a little boring. If you can’t come up with good ideas on your own, then you might as well just steal someone else’s! I enjoyed Top Chef a lot more than Food Network Star last season, as did most of the TV viewing public. I am anxiously awaiting the premiere of Top Chef on June 13. I will now spend/waste 2 nights a week watching wannabe chefs compete for fame and fortune with way more drama than necessary. It will be interesting to see if Food Networks efforts to re-vamp their series will be a success…

Top Chef 2 FoodTVStar