Tuesday, June 12, 2007

My Quiz Answers

1. Do you know the difference between "Crushed Tomatoes" and "Ground Peeled Tomatoes"? Muir Glen sells both and to my eye they look exactly the same.

I've been wondering about this for quite some time, but it didn't occur to me until just a couple of weeks ago that I could email my question to Muir Glen. I got a speedy, albeit to-the-point, response: Thank you for contacting us. Because of the higher solids content (higher Brix), the Crushed product is a thicker product. If there is anything else we can do concerning this matter, please let us know. I wasn't familiar with the term, Brix, but I've now learned that it is a measure of dissolved solids, or more specifically dissolved sugars. I compared the nutrition labels on the Muir Glen site and the crushed tomatoes are indeed higher in calories (25 calories per serving vs. 20 calories) and sugars (3 grams vs. 2 grams).

2. Do you eat breakfast cereal? For breakfast? Do you have a favorite?

Cereal is my breakfast mainstay. In warmer weather I have cold cereal with milk and (usually) fresh fruit just about every morning. In cold weather I switch to hot oatmeal with a little brown sugar. My favorite cold cereal seems to change every few years, but for the past several years it has been Nature's Path Multigrain Oatbran Flakes. I like the taste and I like that it's slightly sweet, so I don't need to add sugar. Bonus - the flakes are very sturdy and don't get soggy in milk. :)

3. You're channel surfing and come upon the Food Network. Who would you stop for? A. Emeril, B. Bobby Flay, C. Giada De Laurentiis, D. Ina Garten, E. Alton Brown, F. Oh please, I'd be on the next channel so fast...

Like so many others, I'm of the opinion that the Food Network has gone seriously downhill (it started when they took Sara Moulton's Cooking Live off the air), but hope springs eternal, so I still check the line-up from time to time. I used to really enjoy Alton Brown and didn't mind Giada De Laurentiis, but sort of can't be bothered with either any more. I still stop for Ina Garten though.

4. How much time do you typically spend fixing dinner (not including clean-up) on a weeknight?

Except on very rare occasions, 15 to 30 minutes, tops. It's rare that I do much more than heat up some leftovers on a weeknight. If I'm out of leftovers, it's got to be something I can throw together pretty quick because I'm usually ravenous by the time I get home.

5. I recently came across a recipe that calls for "4 to 5 fresh sage leaves, peeled and finely chopped". Any ideas on how to peel a sage leaf, or do you think it's a mistake?

I was hoping one of you would know the answer to this. I have plenty of sage out in my garden, so gave peeling sage a shot and failed miserably. I can't imagine that it's worth the trouble, even if it is possible, but I'm still curious to know. I'm thinking about sending a letter off to the publisher to see if I can get to the bottom of this.

Thanks to Rachel, Stephanie, Nupur, and Anonymous for playing along! See their answers here. Unfortunately, no one came up with a way to peel sage :) but they had some good guesses on crushed vs. ground tomatoes and I enjoyed comparing notes on cereal, food TV, and preparing weeknight dinners.


chuckless said...

Hey Cathy, I'm sorry I didn't participate but it was way out of my league...nonetheless, all the answers were fun and interesting (yours and everyone else's) particularly the tomato-crushed-brix business. You know I love your blog...keep 'em comin. (P.S. I reeeeally think the peeling sage thing is a mistake...but I'd have paid money to see you try it!).

Cathy said...

Hi Chuck! Oh well, maybe next time! I have a new plan for peeling sage. Maybe if I take two pieces of scotch tape and press them on either side of the sage leaf and then pull really fast...

Leigh said...

This was pretty interesting. So my question is, do you spend more time baking cookies than fixing dinner????

Cathy said...

Hi Leigh! Gosh, it probably looks that way, doesn't it! Actually, I spend a lot of time cooking on the weekend with the hopes of storing away lots of leftovers so I don't have to cook so much during the week. I think there might have been some weeks when baking took more time than dinner prep, but in general I only spend a couple of hours on the cookies each week. Now if you add in the cleanup, blogging, etc., I'm not so sure :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Cathy,

I didn't find your quiz until today...but I'll still play along.
1. I wouldn't have known this...but I'm glad to read the answer.

2. I eat hot oatmeal pretty much every morning, year-round! In the summer, I put tons of fresh fruit in it...especially love it now with strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and bananas. In winter, I generally just have bananas and raisins. I always put maple syrup and milk in, too. Sometimes I eat cold cereal for lunch...I was on a big Crispix craving for the last couple months but that's finally left me. (May have actually been milk I was really craving, but I always had it with Crispix.) I'm back to more "normal" lunch food now.

3. The only time I watch Food Network anymore is when I'm finishing up on the treadmill and I've already finished watching whatever tv episode I had checked out from the library. Usually Rachel Ray is on the time of day when I'm on the treadmill. Just as often, however, I'll switch on over to the home and garden channel. I do still enjoy Alton Brown, but never seem to catch him!

4. Now that I can't enjoy wine while cooking dinner, I like to keep the cooking time to a minimum! :) Don't like to spend more than 30 minutes, and generally not even that long...I do miss how well I used to eat, though.

5. I can't imagine anyone peeling sage leaves...I have to imagine it was a mistake of some kind.

By the way, got your letter the other day...I'll send you one back soon!

Cathy said...

Hi Alice - can't wait to hear news from you! Thanks for joining in on this... you know, I love oatmeal and have certainly eaten it in the summer as well. Do you ever eat the steel cut oats? They take a little longer, but are really wonderful. One time I had some super sweet peaches and had some of them mixed in with the oatmeal - it was amazing!