Top 15 Food Fails

July 24, 2010 - Written by Deb Ng

Food is a pleasure. Though it’s something to be enjoyed, it’s also to provide sustenance and nutrition for our bodies. Some foods don’t quite make the cut either way. It’s one thing if a food that is bad for you tastes really, really good. It’s quite another story when the food is bad and one bite can land you in the hospital.

Behold: Cookerati’s Top 15 Food Fails

1. Velveeta

There’s a reason it melts better than cheddar, though we wouldn’t exactly tout that as a selling point. This over-processed,  greasy alternative to American cheeses is almost inedible, but it’s cheap and it melts and for some that’s all that counts.

2. Cheese that doesn’t need refrigeration

There’s a reason you find most cheeses in the refrigerated dairy aisle. If it’s not somewhere cold, ask yourself why -but whatever you do, don’t read the label if you have a bad heart.

3. Items with the word “product” or “food” next to them

The picture says it all, doesn’t it? Mmm….yummy.

4. Supermarket Cooking Wine

If you can’t drink it, don’t cook with it.

5. Fast food salads

Never mind that fast food salads are just as fattening as most regular fast food entrees. Most of these salads are suffering from a lack of creativity. Wilted, lettuce, some cherry tomatoes and some hunks of breaded chicken. Voila! Fast food salad

6. Frozen Pizza

No. It doesn’t taste like delivery, even with bread sticks.

7. Special Sauce

If you can’t identify it, or the restaurant won’t identify it, don’t eat it.

8. Canned Pasta

Sodium, sugar and fat in a can. Let’s encourage our kids to eat this for lunch each day.

9. Supersizing

We should all do our part in eliminating obesity. But first, would you like fries with that?

9. Stuff that has no business being deep fried

Artery clogging goodness.

10. Pork Rinds

Crackling, deep fried bits of swine. What else needs to be said?

11. Airline Food

Image via AirlineFoods.net

Makes it so tempting to fly coach, doesn’t it?*

12. Spam

Sometimes there’s no need for words.

13. Fast food ribs

Food that’s best slow cooked doesn’t translate well to “fast.”

14. Salad Dressing

Let’s lose weight by dressing our salad with something really fattening.

15. Boxed Wine

Party in a box.

Homegrown Tomatoes – There Ain’t Nothin’ I Like Better

July 6, 2009 - Written by Diana

We just picked our first couple of ripe tomatoes and that always makes me very happy.  Tomatoes in the store over the winter just don’t do the real homegrown tomatoes justice.  Whenever I first pick my tomatoes, I always think back to John Denver singing “Homegrown Tomatoes” – one of my very favorite song.  My kids (along with my sister Deb) think my husband and I are dorks for listening to John Denver music, but it was one of the things we had in common long before we met.  John Denver didn’t write Homegrown Tomatoes – Guy Clark is the author, so I will give you a few versions of this very appropriate song. 

Guy Clark singing – it’s not great quality, but they look like they’re having fun.


John Denver – I couldn’t find one of him on stage, except this one. This clip was when he went to the Netherlands to meet an imitator and it’s really fun to watch. Then at the end, he sings Homegrown Tomatoes.

And in case you think it’s dated – here’s the Central Ohio Folk Festival 2008 ‘Halfway Home’ – singing once again –Guy Clark’s Homegrown Tomatoes.

Next time you’re out in your tomato patch, sing while you pick, it’ll make you feel like dancing too. Try it – you’ll see. Maybe you can become another Johnny Tomato Seed.

Things you learn when young people come to dinner.

November 30, 2008 - Written by Diana

If you don’t want them to show up in pajamas you might need to tell them so.

Objections to talking about how they learned to clean a horse’s sheath needs to be stated out loud.

Your son’s girlfriend’s father caught the turkey on fire by deep frying it outside – which justifies the desire to stay away from that method of cooking.

While catching the turkey on fire may delay dinner, it will still be pretty darn tasty and turkey is only burned on the outside.  Still not convinced.

Cell phone etiquette is non existent and objections to it’s use during dinner needs to be stated out loud.

Your son will be the one to make a soft taco that requires two huge soft tortilla shells to cover the whole thing and needs two huge hands to contain it.

Don’t have a mouth full of drink when your husband takes a look and says " What the Hell is That?" – because it’s embarrassing when you start to choke on it while laughing.

Your son will pile too much in his mouth to chew and swallow even though his girlfriend is sitting right next to him.

Teens can be great company and eating a meal together is a good way to get to know them.

Cooking with Ladies Gourmet

November 17, 2008 - Written by Deb Ng

Woman having brunch outdoors

I belong to a “Ladies Gourmet” group. It was the offshoot of a local newcomers club that has since disbanded. The Ladies Gourmet crew still keeps it going with dinners out once a month and themed team dinners. I love the themed dinners.

Here’s how it works:

At the beginning of the year three or four women will agree to host, they will be team leaders. Each leader picks names from a hat to form teams. We then set dates, one dinner each month. Each team chooses has a theme for their chosen month. We take it very serious. All cooking is from scratch and homes are decorated to reflect the theme. Though the themes are a surprise, we send all of our guests an invitation indicating the proper attire.

At each event we display a menu. Appetizers are provided buffet style first and we all snack and chat while waiting for all the guests to arrive. We also try to find appropriate cocktail recipes. Dinner is a sit down affair with us serving our guests (and vice versa when their turn comes). Usually there are four or five courses. (more…)