Bacaro tasting menu

Things we ate tonight, in honor of our year-and-a-half-aversary:

– tiny balls of mozzarella in an olive tapenade
– decent but not earth-shattering bottle of pinot nero ($26, not $40)
– peeky-toe crab cakes with truffle aioli
– house-cured prosciutto with tempura battered garlic (something) and parmigiana
– risotto with sea urchin eggs, cherry tomatoes, and lemon zest
– (some kind of meaty white fish), bacon mashed potatoes, green beans, truffled broth
– 9 year aged Wisconsin cheddar, tiny slices of baguette, some kind of white cheese from Vermont
– mint meringue, sour cream whip, blackberry compote, hazelnut toffee
– French-press coffee
– little chocolatey cookies


Bar review #1

So as I mentioned earlier in the month, protein bars have become a staple in my diet. I’m trying to increase the amount of protein in my daily diet, and Clif bars and the like have really helped (and cut down on the worse-for-me snacking, especially at work). I had previously committed to trying one new bar per day for the month of June (or maybe the whole summer, I can’t remember), but I’m lazy and forgot.

I did, however, try two new bars this week.

Pure Protein Peanut Marshmallow Eclipse

Pure Protein is one of my favorite bar manufacturers in no small part because their bars pack in a lot of protein – 18 grams, in the case of the PBME – for generally under 200 calories, which makes them an ideal alternative to, say, a bag of M&Ms. I’ll talk more about other Pure Protein bars later, but suffice to say that in general, the flavor and consistency is generally killer.

I’m no scientist, so I could be just making all of this up, but it seems like the bars with a higher amount of sugar alcohols (instead of regular ol’ sugar) just have a different consistency and tend to err on the side of smooshiness. Add in marshmallow, and you’ve got, well, a smooshy eclipse. I think I liked this one better in theory than in my mouth.

The stats: 180 calories/6 g fat/19 g carbs/1 g sugar/11 g sugar alcohol/18 g protein

Kashi GoLean Caramel Peanut Roll

Prior to his low-carb days, SB really liked the GoLean products. I haven’t had many, primarily because the GoLean cereal hurts my teeth, which is enough to turn me off to an entire line of products. Yeah, I’m difficult.

I tossed this roll bar thing in my bag on the way out the door to class as I’d had a big bowl of yogurt at 6:30 and had to last until 2ish before lunch. It advertises that it helps with “Optimized Glycemic Response”, and damn, it must have, as I wasn’t hungry until after my lunch hour workout. Thanks, GoLean! The bar – a core of peanut butter wrapped in caramel rolled in nuts – was chewy and delicious and kept me chewing for a few minutes – maybe that’s how it optimizes glycemic response? Even though I had to work for it a bit, it was delicious, had an adequate amount of protein, and was well within my snacking calorie limit. It’s way too carb-y for SB, but that’s OK, as it was my snack, not his.

The stats: 190 calories/5 g fat/27 g carbs/14 g sugar/12 g protein

Bad service = bad publicity

As a follow up to this post…I really don’t ever want to go to the Original Pancake House again. SB and I tried to go there for breakfast this morning, and it was an exercise in frustration. We were seated right away, and our order was taken promptly, but we then waited 20 minutes to see our server again, and that was only when we flagged him down because we had to leave. Our coffee – generally refilled about every 5 minutes – sat empty for almost 20, and SB’s water was never refilled. My food – when I finally got it after flagging down the server and asking for the check – was soggy (pancakes) and overly fried (canadian bacon).

So instead of being happily full of pancakes and ready to start class, I’m grossed out by the few bites I managed to get down in the car while speeding to the Education building, very frustrated, and generally resolved to NOT go there again. Honestly, we would’ve been better off in terms of service, quality, speed, and price if we’d just gone to McDonald’s.

So Norman Finkelstein was denied tenure this week. This was reported in The Chronicle of Higher Education, along with 134 other sources cited by Google. In light of the Finkelstein-Dershowitz feud, this is not surprising – both are high profile scholars with a very high profile, very long-standing battle underpinned by each party’s research, values, and philosophies. At the same time, it’s not every day that a tenure decision is reported at the top of Google News – this story is the top left story on my page, higher than reports about Sarkozy taking the majority or the end of the Sopranos. I’m not really sure what to make of this – I just thought it was interesting, and I wonder what will happen next for Finkelstein.

I used to religiously read Moby’s blog back in my banking days, comparing notes with my coworkers who also religiously read his blog. This was in 2001, before everyone had a blog, so it was quite novel to read quirky, fun, unorthodox, totally normal thoughts and reflections from a very famous person. I forgot how much I loved Moby until I went to Teany when I was in New York (go, seriously, it’s totally charming).

The following is a perfect example of why I love Moby:

98% of respondents would not choose to be a vampire.
reasons given:
a-immortality seems lonely
b-the sun is nice

2% of respondents would choose to be a vampire.
reasons given:
a-immortality seems excellent
b-vampires seem to be pretty excellent, too

i have to say that i fall into the 2% category.
not sure how i could reconcile vampirism with veganism, though.
my friend conchetta did ask a good question.
basically: what if immortality doesn’t involve personal jet packs and unlocking the secrets of dna and food in pill form, but rather involved a blasted, desolate earth with only cockroaches and pigeons for friends?
i guess then you have to learn to love cockroaches and pigeons.
maybe assemble an unholy army of the living dead(who just happen to be cockroaches and pigeons. see, someone should make a zombie movie involving bugs. ‘zombie bugs’ is a title that springs to mind, for example.
(‘bug zombies’ also could work.)


I started off the month with the lofty goal of posting every day – and not just that, posting a review every day – and not just that, posting a review every day of a different protein/energy bar, as of late they’ve made up a large part of my diet.

Well, it’s now June 8 and I haven’t posted at all, much less any reviews, much less about any bars. I was doomed before I even started.

Instead of dwelling on my own failures, let me talk about eggs for a minute. In the last week, SB and I have gone through approximately 2 dozen eggs. That’s right, we’ve consumed just about 24 delicious eggs in 7 days – 6, actually, since we went shopping on Saturday.

When I get tired of cooking, eggs are wonderful friends. A couple of eggs, whatever’s left in the fridge, a little butter, and you’ve got yourself a fabulous meal. On Saturday, I made an egg mess with fluffy scrambled eggs, Canadian bacon, green onion, the last of the cheddar, and chives from our garden. On Sunday, I made another one with scrambled eggs, Canadian bacon, Vidalia onion, and the last of the Mexican cheese (and maybe some veggies, but I can’t remember). Yesterday morning, in honor of the fact that I didn’t have to be to school until NINE instead of leaving at 7:30, I made an egg mess with fluffy scrambled eggs, turmeric, Boca breakfast sausage, Vidalia onion, red and green peppers, and cheddar cheese. It’s a lot of food, but not a tremendous amount of calories, and oh god, so good.

The secret to the egg mess is really good scrambled eggs. I used to think that my mom made the best scrambled eggs ever, but I think mine are getting to be as good, if not even better. I’ll clue you in on the secrets, though: water, lower temperatures, and patience.

Best Scrambled Eggs Ever
In a non-stick skillet, melt a little butter over medium heat. Beat together the appropriate number of eggs and a little water. If you like, add salt and pepper directly to the egg at this point. When the butter is melted and has coated the pan, pour in the eggs.

Now here’s the tough part: leave ’em alone. Let the eggs sit until they start bubbling through and getting set all the way across the pan, then slide your spatula around the edge and nudge the set part over to allow the runny parts to get to the heat. Keep doing this until the eggs are cooked almost all the way, using your spatula to break up the nice omelet-like sheet of egg (but not too much!).

When the eggs are cooked almost all the way, turn off the heat, but leave the eggs in the pan. They’ll continue to cook for a little bit. If you turn off the heat when they’re cooked all the way, they’ll just dry out. Serve with freshly snipped chives (if you like).

If you’re making an egg mess, I would saute the veggies and/or meat in the original butter, lowering the heat and pouring the eggs over the top. Don’t worry about even meat/veg/egg distribution – it’ll all work out in the end. Fresh herbs are a blessing, and don’t be afraid to try spices – the turmeric addition was positively inspired, and thanks to Jesse in Boston.

Now I’m hungry. Dang! Oh well, breakfast is just around the corner.