Sunday, September 30, 2012

October Unprocessed Survival Guide -- Week One

Click me to learn more!

Alright, so I have been talking about it for the last couple of posts, but now it is the time to get down to business.  How on earth are we going to eat no unprocessed food for an entire month?!

Here's how:


We are cereal people.  And we don't have to give it up for October Unprocessed!  We just have to be smart about it.  For example, a box of Honey Bunches of Oats with Strawberries has the following ingredient list --
Corn, Whole Grain Wheat, Sugar, Whole Grain Rolled Oats, Brown Sugar, High Oleic Vegetable Oil*(Canola Or Sunflower Oil), Dried Strawberries, Rice Flour, Wheat Flour, Rice, Malted Barley Flour, Salt, Corn Syrup, Whey (From Milk*), Honey, Malted Corn And Barley Syrup, Natural Flavor, Caramel Color, Annatto Extract (Color). Bht Added To Packaging Material To Preserve Product Freshness. Vitamins And Minerals: Reduced Iron, Niacinamide, Vitamin B6,Vitamin A Palmitate, Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Thiamin Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Zinc Oxide (Source Of Zinc), Folic Acid, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D. Contains: Wheat, Milk. *Adds A Trivial Amount Of Saturated Fat And/Or Cholesterol.
Um, wow.  But there are other options.  Our favorite?  Trader Joe's Clusters.  A box of Maple Pecan Clusters has a much better ingredient list, one that I can understand --

Whole rolled oats, corn flour, milled cane sugar, rice flour, vegetable oil, pecans, whole wheat flour, brown rice, pure maple syrup, cornstarch, honey, salt, barley, turmeric, purple carrot juice

Ye-yeah!  Ingredients I know, ingredients I trust.  INGREDIENTS I HAVE IN MY KITCHEN.  We can still have cereal.  With fruit and milk.  SCORE!

(And at some point this month I plan on making granola from scratch.  I hear it is easy, so let's do it!)


Lunch is easy for us... we take leftovers.  So double up on dinner and pack it up.  Ta-da!  


Now is the part people stress out about.  (And by people, I mean me, last year.)  At the end of the day, you are tired, right?  And to make things from scratch... oh man, it takes some time!  But it doesn't have to take that much time.  

I have a menu ready for you.  All of these recipes are unprocessed, and all are quick.  Most importantly, all taste great.  

My family will be following this menu for the most part, but I have included some things here that we ate last week and will not be eating this week with you.  This will give me some free nights to find new unprocessed recipes to share with you.  Look for them throughout the week.

What are we eating this week?  Some good stuff!

Day 1 //  Greek Style Chicken
Day 2 //  Tomato Pizza with Ricotta & Oregano
Day 3 //  Leek & Bacon Baked Eggs
Day 4 //  Avocado & Egg Salad
Day 5 //  Honey Mustard Salmon
Day 6 //  White Bean Soup with Kale & Chicken Sausage
Day 7 //  Go out!  Eat leftovers!  Whatever, just take a break :)

Shopping List

*Most of the ingredients here are fresh.  However, some come in jars, like Dijon mustard or pre-made, like pizza dough.  Remember to check the labels, because you can find Dijon that is just Dijon and pizza dough that is just pizza dough, not other junk added.  My suggestion is to spend time in Trader Joe's or Whole Foods.  They will offer the best products and will be things that fit the Unprocessed Kitchen Test (see below).

2 red onions
1 yellow onion
3 lemons
English cucumber
3 pints small tomatoes (cherry, grape, or mini-heirloom)
1 large heirloom tomato
1 head garlic
1 lb. green beans
1 lb. leeks
2 avocados

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
chicken sausage
1 lb. salmon
1/2 lb. bacon, any kind (I use beef for this recipe)
FRESH chicken stock (I suggest making your own OR visiting Trader Joe's or Whole Foods)

nonfat Greek yogurt
Feta cheese

red wine vinegar
champagne vinegar
extra virgin olive oil
Dijon mustard
long grain rice
Panko-style bread crumbs
1 lb. pizza dough

The Kitchen Test

Of course, each person might consider something processed that another does not, so here is the working definition for unprocessed food that we are using for this challenge (taken from Andrew's blog, Eating Rules!).

Unprocessed food is any food that could be made by a person with reasonable skill in a home kitchen with readily available, whole-food ingredients.  It doesn’t mean you actually have to make it yourself, it just means that for it to be considered “unprocessed” that you could, in theory, do so.

Some common things that will need to change

The biggest changes are with sugar, flour, bread, and drinks.  Luckily for us, Andrew Wilder has answers to our questions!  Click on any of the words below to find out more.

SUGAR      //        FLOUR      //      BEVERAGES    

As for breads, go the local bakery or Trader Joe's.  They've got you covered.

One more thing...

This is not meant to be a burden for you!  If you want to try but don't feel like you can commit to an entire month, try three days.  A week.  Weeknights only.  Whatever you feel you can realistically do.  Our family will be following this rule -- while we are in charge of our food (at home or out to eat), we will be eating purely unprocessed.  If we are not in charge of our food (at a friend's house, etc.), we will eat whatever is kindly given to us, gratefully.  Really, what are we going to say?   "Um, did this come from a can? Because I can't eat that..."

GOOD LUCK!  And if you would like to join my friends and I in a group on Facebook where we are sharing ideas, message me on my blog's facebook page and I will add you.  The more the merrier!!! :)

Want more info?  Click HERE for the Official Guide.  We can do this!!!

Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Cookies (Sundays with Joy)

"Oh, come on, try some.  You'll like it, I promise!"

How is it that every single time someone says those words they turn out to be a liar?

This is how my dear, incredibly honest aunt became a liar every single Thanksgiving.  The food she was talking about?  Yams.  Yucky yams.  I tried them, I did not like them, and then the next year we would go through the same thing.

You know what else I didn't like? Every year?  Sweet potatoes.  Because they tasted like yams.

Vegetables are not supposed to be sweet!  It is against the laws of nature, right?!

This week's Sundays with Joy recipe is sweet potato chocolate chip cookies.  Sweet potatoes + chocolate chips.

Yes, you read that correctly.

But... but.  Hold on a second.  When I was in Nashville this summer I went to this local joint called the Pancake Pantry and I was told I had to try the sweet potato pancakes.  "Come on," they said, "try them.  You'll like them.  Promise."  Liar liar, pants on fire...

Except when I did try them (a bite off someone else's plate) I DID like them.  A lot.

So this recipe by Joy the Baker did actually sound like it had some good potential.

Yes, those are some large 'heaping tablespoons' there.  And yes, my cookies came out quite large.  But whatever, they taste GOOD.

Sweet potatoes, you are no longer on the Yucky List!  Maybe vegetables can be sweet, in sweet things.   Now I need to try some yams...


Since I am participating in October Unprocessed this year, I made these so they would be 'unprocessed'.  (I know it is not October until tomorrow, but I will be eating them in October, so I figured I should just go for it.)  These cookies were made with unbleached flour, raw sugar, and some chocolate chips that are made out of the same types of things (pure sugar, unsweetened cocoa, cocoa butter, and salt -- that's it, no more, no less).  You, of course, can make them any way you like them, but however you do it, they taste good.

Go ahead, try some.  You'll like it.  I promise.

And I am not lying!

Recipe adapted from the Joy the Baker Cookbook.  Do yourself a favor and buy a copy HERE.


  • 1/2 cup baked, mashed sweet potato (pierce skin with fork and bake at 400 for 40 minutes on tin foil-lined baking sheet)
  • 2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup packed raw brown sugar (smells a little different but tastes great)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup 'fresh' chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease baking sheet and set aside.
  2. In large bowl, mix dry ingredients together. Set aside.
  3. In medium bowl, whisk eggs and sugar together.  Add oil and vanilla; whisk again.  Fold in mashed sweet potato.
  4. Add egg mixture to dry ingredients, all at once.  Using a spatula, mix until now flour remains dry.  Fold in chocolate chips.
  5. Scoop cookie dough, by the heaping tablespoonful, onto greased baking sheet, 2 inches apart.  Bake for 10-12 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before placing on wire rack to cool completely.

COST: $5.34   COST PER Cookie (18): $0.30

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Kick-off to October Unprocessed: White Bean Soup with Kale and Sausage

Canned food is not real food.  At least that's what my Brazilian husband tells me.  Canned beans are not really beans, but something to to be prodded with a fork and stared at.  Then dump down the drain.  I used to laugh at him, but you know what?  Now I pretty much agree.

Have you tasted fresh beans compared to canned beans?  WOW.  So much difference.  And the most interesting part?  Canned beans don't go bad for a long time.  Really.  You can leave them in the fridge for a week and a half and they still smell normal.  That can't be natural.  Too many preservatives, I suppose.  So we are 99% of the time can free.

Except for Campbell's.  Don't take away my Campbell's.

Monday starts the month of October, and with that means in our house (and many houses around the country -- maybe even world) October Unprocessed is about to start, as well.  As I shared last year at this time:

What is this, exactly?  Well, according to the mastermind behind it, Andrew Wilder, it is a push to get people to stop and think about what they putting in their bodies.  For the month of October, over 1,800 of us (yes, you read that correctly) have decided to put away packaged goods and go for it. 

Of course, each person might consider something processed that another does not, so here is the working definition for unprocessed food that we are using for this challenge (taken from Andrew's blog, Eating Rules!).

Unprocessed food is any food that could be made by a person with reasonable skill in a home kitchen with readily available, whole-food ingredients.  It doesn’t mean you actually have to make it yourself, it just means that for it to be considered “unprocessed” that you could, in theory, do so.

What does that mean for us?  Well, Ok, you can take away my Campbell's.  And the Skippy.  Condiments will be shelved for the month and I will be baking with raw sugar and unbleached flour.  But really, it isn't that hard.  See this bowl of soup?  Beans, in the pressure cooker, with some garlic and fresh chicken stock (not Knorr, which I usually use).  Add some kale, grill some fresh chicken sausage from Trader Joe's (no preservatives, just meat), and top with some Parmesan, also from TJ's (ingredients: milk, live bacteria, salt).  

Easy.  Fresh.  Unprocessed.

Last year at this time I was terrified.  TERRIFIED.  How on earth was going to survive a month without processed foods?!  But I did.  And I thrived.  I learned a lot, tried new things, and pretty much started a new way of eating year round, not just in October.  

Not to mention, I lost some pudge around my belly.  That was a completely unexpected result, but one that I will take gladly!

I have looked through my recipes from this year and have some great tasting and easy to make recipes that fit this bill, so I am going to be making a menu plan for each week for any of you brave enough to try October Unprocessed.  The first weekly plan will be up tomorrow, so check back to prepare for the week. WE CAN DO IT, Friends!  

Are you brave enough to join me?  Come on, let's do it!

(To read through my experience last year, click HERE.)

Recipe adapted from Everyday Food, September 2012
YIELD: 8 servings       PREP TIME:  15 minutes        TOTAL TIME:  1 hour 20 minutes

  • 1 pound dried white beans
  • 4 cups fresh chicken broth, either from Trader Joe's or Whole Foods, or make your own
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt
  • 1 large bunch kale, roughly chopped, ribs removed
  • Vegetable oil, for grill
  • 1 pound chicken sausage, from Trader Joe's or Whole Foods (or a butcher)
  • Grated Parmesan, for serving  (remember -- FRESH.  Nothing weird on the ingredients list!)


  1. In a 6-quart pressure cooker, cover beans by 2 inches water, bring to a boil, and remove from heat. Let soak 30 minutes. Drain beans and return to pressure cooker. Add broth and garlic; season with salt. Secure lid. Bring to high pressure over medium-high heat; reduce heat and cook until beans are tender, 20 to 22 minutes (adjust heat to maintain pressure). Remove from heat, vent pressure, and remove lid. Stir in kale.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a grill or grill pan to high. Clean and lightly oil hot grill. Grill sausages until browned, about 12 minutes; let rest 5 minutes, then slice. Serve soup topped with sausages and Parmesan.

Cook's Note

To get the basics on pressure cookers, click here.

COST: $6.93    COST PER SERVING (8): $0.87

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Turkey-and-Onion Paprikash

It's late.  I'm tired.  You're tired.  Let's keep this short and sweet.

Turkey-and-Onion Paprikash.  It's like stroganoff, but turkey.  And paprika.  Try it.  It's gooood.  Very good.  And quite fun to say.


Recipe adapted from Everyday Food, September 2012
PREP TIME: 25 minutes        TOTAL TIME: 25 minutes       YIELD: 4 servings


  • 1 pound turkey cutlets, halved horizontally
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 roma tomatoes, diced small
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • Cooked egg noodles, for serving
  • Dill, to sprinkle on top


  1. Pat turkey dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.
  2. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high. In batches, cook turkey until cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and tent loosely with foil.
  3. Reduce heat to medium, then add onion, tomatoes, and remaining 2 tablespoons butter; cook until onion has softened and tomatoes have broken down, 6 minutes. Add paprika and cook 1 minute.
  4. Add broth and cook, stirring, until slightly thickened, 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream. Return turkey to pan along with any accumulated juices. Sprinkle with dill and serve over noodles.

Cook's Note

This recipe works well with chicken cutlets as well.

COST: $11.43   COST PER SERVING: $2.85

Served with a side of cooked kale, about $3.00 per plate

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Wednesday Files (Ain't no Corinthianos in this casa!)

As you know, soccer is a big deal in Brazil.  A BIG deal.  Like, my husband wouldn't buy a certain cellphone because that brand sponsored his team's rival.


And it isn't just my man.  Talk to any Brazilian who follows futebol (wait -- are there any that don't?!) and you feel the intensity they have for the game.  My last roommate (also Brazilian) warned me one day that if my then-boyfriend-now-husband would ever be asked to choose between me and soccer, he would pick soccer.  She was dead serious.

What can I say?  Brazilians are passionate about everything.  Why would their favorite past time be any different?

And so the battle began...

We invited some friends (also-Brazilian) over for dinner.  They came bearing gifts: drinks, cookies, and this lovely cake (which is -- WOW -- our favorite dessert.  Lucky for you I have the recipe HERE).  But there was one more 'gift' present that night: A Corinthians shirt.

Let's back up 2007.  I was in Brazil for the very first time, exploring the country of beauty and love with a hot man by my side, when I was welcomed into the family.  It went something like this --

"If any body asks you what the best team is, the answer is ALWAYS São Paulo.  Got it?"
"And if anybody asks you the worst team, the answer is ALWAYS Corinthians. São Paulo, good.  Corinthians, bad."

"Yeah, sure..."
"No no no!  Not just sure!  You have to really mean it!  Try it with me."

And so we practiced.  It became one of the first conversations I could carry on in Portuguese.

Back to present day... (this is starting to feel a bit like LOST, isn't it?)
This dude walks into our house wearing a Corinthians shirt...

It's a good thing he brought cake.

When the time came to take a picture for proof of our get-together, my husband jumped up, ran into the other room, and came back waving a yellow shirt in his hand.  "You cannot take a picture in my house with that shirt on.  Here!"  In his defense, he did not ask our friend to put a São Paulo shirt on, just show a little Brazilian pride.  But the fact remains, a Corinthians shirt was in our house, and he was having none of that.

It took a little coaxing, and some sneakiness, but after several tries we finally got the picture the way it is supposed to be -- no promotion of the "other" team, happy smiles on most faces.

Poor Rodrigo.

Now, everybody, repeat after me: "São Paulo, GOOD!  Corinthians, BAD!"

Alright, you are free to come visit us :)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Leek & Bacon Baked Eggs

Simple and delicious.

Let's do this.

Gather your ingredients.  Yes, there is only five.  Plus salt and pepper, to taste.

Fry the bacon (five slices -- can be turkey, beef, or regular ol' pork bacon, you choose), and chop up the leeks (1/2 pound) and red onion (half).

Chop up some fresh chives, while you're at it.  (Enough to top the dish.)

Remove the bacon from the frying pan and place on paper towel-lined plate.  Cook the leeks and onion in the bacon fat for about three minutes.  Make small wells (2) and drop two eggs in each.  Cover and cook for about eight minutes.

Sprinkle a little salt and pepper on top, and enjoy!

Told you it was simple ;)

COST: $5.98    COST PER SERVING (2): $2.99

Friday, September 21, 2012

Tweet Tweet.


I did it.  I finally gave in.  You can now follow me on Twitter.  Find me so I can find you, because I would LOVE to follow you, as well!

Just click HERE or find me -- @tiffanytastes  

You know you wanna...


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Tomato Pizza with Ricotta and Oregano

I live in a cave.  No, not literally.  Figuratively.  (Although living in a cave literally could be pretty awesome if it was outfitted correctly.  And there were no bats.  None.)

The problem is this: there are windows facing the East and windows facing the West, but not a single window facing North or South.  So if I get really early in the morning I can catch some good light in the guest room (AKA sports equipment room + ironing room + art supply room + random box holding room).  But that doesn't work on days I have to go to work.  Or if I am in the right spot at the right time in the evening, I can catch some good light on my kitchen floor.  Yes, floor.  Hey -- my options are limited.

But today I discovered lighting gold.  If I move my toaster and my olive oil and -- well, you get the picture -- I have a little area that has pretty good light.  Not perfect, but better than most places in my cave.  This may sound pathetic, but I did a little happy dance over that.  Taking pictures on the counter so beats taking pictures on the floor!

This great light captured some even greater today -- tomato pizza.

Did you know I don't like pizza?  I mean, it is OK, but I hate tomato sauce on pizza.  HATE it.  So I have to find a place that has pesto or white sauce like Round Table.  And then there is all that cheese.  Makes a body not so happy, at least in my experience.  Sure, the taste buds like it, but the digestive track?  Not so much.  At least not ooey-gooey cheese like mozzarella.  But this pizza?  Well, thank you Everyday Food for suggesting it to me!  No tomato sauce and instead of ooey-gooey cheese it is a ricotta and Parmesan blend.  Not as hard on my belly.  And of course, fresh tomatoes!

As for the oregano, I pulled a little bit out of my herb garden.  I always feel a little bit like Laura Ingalls Wilder when I eat something that I planted myself.

So, for this generally-non-pizza-eating-girl and her Brazilian-pizza-eating-husband (which, by the way, ROCKS and would beat American pizza in Rock Paper Scissors each and every time), how did this pizza score?

TEN!  From both of us.

Sorry, Round Table, but there is a new pizza love in town.

Tomato pizza with ricotta and oregano

Recipe adapted from Everyday Food, September 2012

  • 1 lb. fresh pizza dough (I used garlic-herb dough from Trader Joe's -- only $1.29)
  • 4 T olive oil
  • 1 c. fresh whole milk ricotta 
  • 4 oz. grated Parmesan
  • 1 egg
  • 2 pints small tomatoes (either grape, cherry, or mini-heirloom -- I used the heirloom)
  • 1 large heirloom tomato, any color, cut into half moons
  • salt and pepper
  • fresh oregano, to top
  1. Preheat oven to 500F with racks at the thirds.  Take pizza dough and drizzle 2T of olive oil on top.  Roll out into a 16-inch oval and place on baking sheet.
  2. Mix ricotta, Parmesan, and some salt (1/8 teaspoon maybe) in a bowl.  Beat in egg.  Spread on top of pizza dough, leaving a 1-inch border.
  3. Mix the small tomatoes with the remaining olive oil (2T) and salt and pepper to taste.  Put in an oven-safe dish or rimmed baking sheet.  No need to cut them first.  Place the pizza dough on the top rack in  the oven and the tomatoes on the bottom rack, and bake for 15 minutes, or until tomato skins have burst.  Remove tomatoes and bake pizza dough about 5 minutes more, or until deep golden brown.  
  4. Mix the large heirloom tomato pieces in with the cooked ones.  Place on top of pizza when it comes out of the oven.  Top with fresh oregano.  Enjoy! :)

COST: $9.84   Cost per serving (4): $2.46

Plus a side salad, $2.91 per plate

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Wednesday Files (San Francisco & Santa Cruz)

Day-cations.  They're a thing.

And luckily for us, we live in a place that has plenty of places we can spend a day out in.  Like San Francisco.

Love lights more fires than hate extinguishes. 

Everybody needs a little bit of big city in their life every once in awhile.  We hit up The Stinking Rose (which is the place to eat if you a garlic lover like myself) and then went to see Beach Blanket Babylon with some friends.  Sure, we all stank during the show, but we laughed.  A lot.

Straight-up-garlic-in-a-bowl.  With parsley.  I seriously need to figure out the right proportions and make this at home.  And then maybe paint a wall like this:

In case you didn't know already, I love color.

LOTS of color.

I also love seeing signs of life, whether they are familiar to me, or not.

Like I said, everyone needs a bit of big city in their life.

And the beach.

I think we need the beach a little bit more than big city, though.

And maybe some burgers.  (Or portabella mushroom burgers, if you are like me.)  With sweet potato fries.  And some to-die-for ceviche.

Give me that garlic spread and this every day and I would be one happy happy woman.  A stinky and happy woman.

Whatever -- stinky and happy sure beats sweet smelling and grumpy.

Oh man, I ate some good food this weekend.  We have been fueling up on leftovers the past few days, but it is time to also get some good food coming up in our kitchen.  Like tomato and ricotta pizza.  Or some baked eggs in leeks and bacon.  It's going to happen.  Watch for it.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Main-Bait Apple Crisp (Sundays with Joy)

Fall is good for many reasons.  Scarves, Thanksgiving, pumpkin-flavored-everything.  And apples.  Oh yes, it is time for apples!

Not only do I have an apple recipe for you all, but I have a good news for you ladies looking for that special man in your life... main bait apple crisp.

What does apple crisp have to do with catching a man, you ask?  Well, according to Joy the Baker, this will have the men crawling to your door.  I am no man, but shoot, apple crisp?  Apples, sugar, and cinnamon topped with streusel?  Um, yes please.

Apple crisp is the perfect Fall treat.  It is easy, has baked apples (my favorite way to eat them), and makes the whole house smell good.  Really, what's not to love?  Yeah... 

Since this dish is super-American feeling to me, I invited my Brazilian friend Dani and her little boy over to help make and eat it so they could start off Fall in America the right way.  Good thing I did, because it proved Joy correct:

Man-bait.  It works :)

For the recipe, visit Joy's blog HERE or buy the book so you too can enjoy all of her great recipes!

COST: $8.33   COST Per serving (10): $0.84

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Wednesday Files -- The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Working Out --
THE GOOD: Feeling good physically and emotionally, more energy throughout the day, getting to fit into my skinny jeans
THE BAD: Working out.  'Nuff said.
THE UGLY: Me, after I work out.  It is not a pretty sight.

Being a Teacher --
THE GOOD: Being surrounded by tons of loving children all day long
THE BAD: Grading.  And then grading some more.
THE UGLY: Digging someone's pants out of a clogged toilet, because hey -- if the toilet's clogged, I guess we better throw our pants in there...

Writing a Food Blog --
THE GOOD: Learning to cook, always having something great to eat, and be connected to others like YOU!
THE BAD: Having a great idea but not having great conditions, OR working so hard but not having the finished product match up to the image in my head
THE UGLY: Some of my pictures.  I only show you the good ones!

My Morning Commute --
THE GOOD: Twenty minutes of not too much traffic and good radio
THE BAD: Driving past the local dump on a bad-wind-day
THE UGLY: The thoughts I think in my head when someone cuts in front of me and makes me hit the brakes

Living in California --
THE GOOD: Can go to the beach one day, snowboarding the next, hit up a big city that has flavor and culture the day after that, and then enjoy some small town American get together... and the weather.  Of course, the weather.  
THE BAD: Too many people and not enough resources make for a brown landscape half of the time
THE UGLY: Real estate prices.  You don't want to know.

And you?  Give me your Good, Bad, and Ugly in the comments below.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

In-N-Out's Animal Fries, At Home

You all should know by now that I am a Californian girl.  And being such, I am an In-N-Out girl.  There is nary a native Californian that is not.

In-N-Out.  It's a place of beauty.  The menu is simple, the food is made right when you order it (as in the potatoes are turned into french fries right then... you see it happen), and the customer service is excellent.  Although it doesn't happen often, we sometimes crave fast food, and when we do, In-N-Out is the place we go to.  (I can't remember the last time I had other fast food... and I plan on keeping it that way.)

When I saw last week's Sundays with Joy recipe (my super baking group I belong to) was chili cheese fries, I was a little disappointed.  Not in Joy the Baker; the recipe looks amazing for those who like chili-cheese things.  But my husband does not anything spicy and my belly does not like anything cheesy.  So it was a no-go for us.  (You however, should totally check it out.  Joy shared it on her blog this week and it looks GREAT!)

I didn't stay disappointed for long, though.  I needed a fry recipe I could do and like, and it was a no brainer -- Animal Fries from In-N-Out.

Animal Fries, or French Fries Animal Style, are one of In-N-Out's items on their "secret menu".  Sure, the big menu says you can only get a hamburger, cheeseburger, or a double-double, but if you are in the know (AKA you are from the West Coast) then you can also get a Grilled Cheese (burger without meat), your burger animal style (with grilled onion and extra sauce), or many other things.

Luckily for me, I am in the know.

Some people say that the secret to In-N-Out is their "spread".  I disagree.  I think the secret to In-N-Out is their everything.  Yet I get it, the spread is great.  And now we can enjoy some of it at home, where ever we are, In-N-Out nearby or no.  (I would actually never recommend for you to not go to In-N-Out, because they are just plain awesome.  But if for some reason you cannot, well... I've got your back.)

Animal Fries -- you take the french fries, place a slice of cheese on top while they are hot so it can melt, top that with grilled onions, and then scoop some Spread on top.  Those are Animals Fries.  And they are GOOD.

My suggestion?  Take a fork, mix it together, and dig in.

And make a little extra of the spread.  You will want to eat it again.  And soon.

Friends who have left California for Brazil or Michigan or WhereEver, you are very welcome :)

For more information about why In-N-Out is so incredibly awesome, read this great article I found.  Then you, too, will understand why we Californians are so crazy about it.


2 Tablespoons Mayo
1 Tablespoon Ketchup
1/4 teaspoon mustard (some recipes called for it, some did not.  I did it.)
1 teaspoon dill pickle relish
pinch of sugar
half a cap of white vinegar

Mix.  Eat.  Enjoy.

(I made a batch of baked french fries and caramelized some onion.  I do not have cheese on my Animal Fries, but you should do it.  It will be perfect that way!)

COST (Animal Fries): $1.30 per serving

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...