It’s 65 degrees out in Chicago, and that means it’s STEW SEASON! I get really excited about stew because of the variety of accoutrements you can eat with it — rice, couscous, chips, crackers, bread, potatoes. Plus it’s basically thick soup, which is the best kind of soup, with a lot of meat in it, which is something I really like to accomplish with my meals. Plus, every single culture in the world (OK, I’m speculating, but I don’t think it’s a bad speculation) has some kind of stew, which means that stew can be a culinary adventure!
You can make these on the stove, but let’s be real, guys, one of the great things about stew is that if you happen to have a slow-cooker, you are in for a delicious-smelling home all day. More bonuses: Make a big batch, get some tupperware, and freeze portions of stew, and you have lunch for weeks. Get it in your mouth and let it make you feel all cozy!
I don’t know why I expected better from Taco Bell, but here’s what puts the nail in the coffin of any faith I had in them: Apparently you can just throw any — or all — of their ingredients together, in any proportion, and come out of it with an acceptable product.
What is that? That is not how food is supposed to work. Usually if you just throw 15 ingredients together in a random pattern, your recipe is destined to taste like crud. What that means is that Taco Bell’s ingredients are so bland/salty/sugary that it just doesn’t make a difference what you do with them. What that also means is that any “new” product they come up with basically just tastes like every other product on the menu, and we’re fooling ourselves with marketing-speak.
Which is not to say I wouldn’t eat there if I really, really needed some starch. It’s still better than Denny’s. [Consumerist]
Tacos with a side of salsa, guac, and—meth? Seventeen members of an alleged international drug ring have been busted and indicted, the state’s attorney general’s office announced yesterday, revealing that one sales venue was a taco truck parked on the streets of Denver, the Denver Post reports. Read more on Newser…
Pumpkin spice lattes not your thing? No worries: Starbucks is currently testing out its new Dark Barrel Latte, which is inspired by “the rise of craft beers” and meant to taste like “roasted malt” (a.k.a Guinness covered in whipped cream). The drink doesn’t have any alcohol in it, but it does include caramel and “stout flavored” sauce mixed in with its milk and espresso base.
The beer latte is being tested in a few stores in Ohio and Florida, and so far, people aren’t really sure what to think. Among those who have tried the beverage, it’s just about agreed across the board that the drink does taste like Irish stout, but nobody really knows how to process that information. Isn’t Starbucks breaking some kind of fourth wall or something by trying to mimic the one beverage Americans might love more than coffee?
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I spent a good chunk of last year working at a gigantic tea store chain. Since lots of great conversations happen over hot beverages, I’d associated tea with lots of special moments in my life, but I hardly knew anything about where it really comes from. From my first day on the job, I was given what was pretty much a tea intensive, complete with a little corporate-designed test I had to take before I could start selling the stuff. Those few days were interesting, but the real fun started when I was able to talk to customers about their tea preferences and make all kinds of combinations to try during my shifts. I will never be one of those people who partakes in a “tea tastes better than coffee” debate (is it really so novel to enjoy both!?), but I left that job a total tea addict and have never looked back. If you’re looking for something new to add to your routine, I highly recommend you take the plunge into trying new teas. There are hundreds of different flavors and variations to choose from, and unlike most yummy things, it’s actually good for you! Here are a few things I learned in my days as a tea girl to help you get started. Keep reading »