Sparkling Ice

During June I have become a fan of Sparkling Ice, a zero calorie flavored drink. I discovered this product when I limped into Katy Trail Bike Rental in Defiance one Sunday morning with a painful thigh cramp and an empty water bottle. After a bottle of  Kiwi Strawberry flavored Sparkling Ice from their cooler and a brief rest, I was on my way.

I tracked down Sparkling Ice and found it at Wal-Mart and Dierbergs. I’ve tried several of their flavors but prefer the Kiwi Strawberry. Although the Pink Grapefruit flavor is a very close second!

Sparkling

What I like about this stuff is the flavors are sweet but not overwhelming (unlike most mainstream diet sodas). Also, the carbonation is just enough to liven up the drink but not quite enough to make you feel bloated. My only problem with Sparkling Ice is the poor design of the bottles: they are tall and slim and tend to fall over inside my refrigerator.

If you are a diet soda drinker, you might like Sparkling Ice. Dierbergs has Sparkling Ice on sale this weekend: a 17 ounce bottle for 88 cents.

 

 

 

 

 

Tomatoes

Spotted this week at the Wash U Medical School’s weekly Farmer’s Market.

Tomatoes

The market is set up each Thursday, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in the plaza, a couple of blocks south of the intersection of Forest Park Avenue and Euclid.

Since next Thursday is July 4th, next week’s market will be held on Tuesday, July 2.

 

 

prasino, St. Charles

Thanks to the folks at prasino in St. Charles for inviting me to visit and try out some of their food and drink!

Up first was a delicious Magherita Flatbread. It went well with Goose Island Nut Brown Ale.

Magherita Flatbread

Then came the Lobster Avocado appetizer. It contains chunks of chilled lobster atop an avocado. A nice looking dish with some interesting flavor combos.

Lobster avocado

The Halibut was a gorgeous and tasty chunk of fish, nicely grilled and presented.

Halibut

And here’s prasino’s take on Gooey Butter Cake. Looks good, no?

Gooey

FYI, prasino is located where the old Noah’s Ark used to be, at the 5th Street exit off I-70. Find them online by clicking HERE. Check their menus. They are open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and late evening. For your Google map: 1520 S. 5th St. St. Charles, MO 63303.

 

Father’s Day Deal at Roadhouse

On June 16, dad can enjoy a free Sunday brunch at Highway 61 Roadhouse when you bring in dad’s ugliest tie. One tie per dad per visit. Dine in only.

photo-106

Highway 61 Roadhouse is located at 34 South Old Orchard Avenue in Webster Groves. Brunch begins at 9:00 a.m. this Sunday at the Roadhouse.

Dad's Day3

If you come in after brunch, dad can enjoy a 14.99 discount off dinner in exchange for that ugly necktie.

Liquid Vacation

P Moss is the owner of Frankie’s Tiki Room in Las Vegas (“the world’s only 24/7 tiki bar”), as well as the Double Down Saloon is Vegas and NYC. P Moss is also the inventor of the Bacon Martini!

And coming soon for summertime Tiki parties, he has a new book on the way called Liquid Vacation, about those tasty drinks that are sometimes served with little paper umbrellas.

cover - liquid vacation

Along with drink recipes, the book also shares some Tiki background. According to the release, “The historical narrative behind these exotic elixirs, as told by the author, is a nostalgic romp through the origins of the Las Vegas tiki bar culture, showing direct links from gone but not forgotten iconic 1960s treasures Aku Aku and Don The Beachcomber to Frankie’s Tiki Room today.”

You can pre-order Liquid Vacation now on Amazon for 21.64 (+shipping).

Drink up!

My review of Cooked by Michael Pollan

Like one of the whole grain bread loaves he bakes in Cooked, Michael Pollan’s new book is dense. He packs a large amount of information and opinion in this volume, almost all of it enlightening and entertaining.

With a combination of scholarly research, field reporting and personal experiences, Pollan brings us a book whose style ranges from breezy conversation to collegiate textbook.

In Cooked, Pollan suggests that cooking was one of the greatest, if not the greatest, boon to human civilization. Because cooked food was easier to digest, we didn’t need to spend as much time chewing as our ancestors did. Therefore, early man had more time to do other important things. Cooked food allowed more consumption of meat, resulting in bigger brains for our species.

cooked

Pollan offers a long list of reasons why cooking is a good thing. He bemoans the fact that we are outsourcing more and more of our cooking to corporations. Those include food manufacturers, fast food chains, even your local grocer.

He breaks cooking down into four categories: fire, water, air (baking) and earth (fermentation). His travels take him across the US and the world to visit and, in some cases, work with knowledgeable figures in the world of barbecue, bread making, cheese making and home brewing. He also visits a Wonder Bread bakery to see how they do it.

He tries different kinds of cooking at his own home in Berkeley, California. He roasts a whole pork shoulder. He braises meats and other foods with one of his writing students, who just happens to cook at Berkeley’s acclaimed restaurant Chez Panisse. He bakes loaf after loaf of bread in his kitchen. He brews beer at home and at a friend’s home.

Pollan is not an impartial writer. He incorporates his opinions freely, but seems to be a generally fair observer of all that he sees, hears, tastes, smells and touches. He can be funny. He admits that kneading bread dough is a bit of a turn-on.

You may want to read this book with a highlighter in hand, so you can mark memorable passages and refer to them later. Cooked has factoids and metaphors galore.

You may, after reading, have a sudden desire for slow-cooked barbecue or fresh whole grain bread. You may also want to spend time in your own kitchen tonight, cooking from scratch instead of picking up a meal to reheat at home. Such a choice would make Michael Pollan happy.