#100DaysOfFoodBlogging, Thought Nuggets

15 Minutes of Random Food-Related Writing

[This is post #021 towards #100DaysOfFoodBlogging, our goal to do 100 posts in 100 days as part of The 100 Day Project.]

At the risk of falling even more behind (did you realize we’re one post behind?) on the #100DaysOfFoodBlogging, today we’re keeping it short and simple. Since I’ve created a pseudo-writing theme for Wednesdays (see:  The Recipe for Writer’s Block and ‘Mise en Place’ for Preventing Writer’s Block), I’m just going to set a timer for 15 minutes and write some random thoughts about food until the timer goes off. I’m eliminating any excuses for not having a post today, because a) Who can’t spare 15 minutes? and b) After writing two posts about stopping writer’s block, I should be able to back it up with some weird impromptu writing exercise.

Anyway, enough time wasted with an intro. The clock starts…


I wish there were more foods that were packaged and marketed for both dogs and humans. Sure, there are tons that already could be eaten by both, but I think there’s a lack of consumer awareness. Or maybe it’s a distribution problem. There are separate stores and within some stores separate aisles for humans and canines; why can’t there be an entire boutique store where every item on the shelf can be eaten by either a person or their four-legged friend. Would be great if it was a bakery that made pies. Who wouldn’t want to share a pie with their dog?!

It would have to have a catchy name and some really slick viral marketing. And probably a good celebrity spokesperson. Marketing would be key, since there probably isn’t really any demand for this sort of thing.

Man, I just got distracted by a tweet…

Okay, never mind. Forget about the joint dog/human grocery stores and/or pie bakeries. Here’s where the real money is at:

Canine Fast Food

Although I guess you could argue that dogs can eat regular fast food and that would be redundant. My counter to that argument would be that Cooper has thrown up (on more than one occasion) after eating fast food chicken nuggets. He does have a weak stomach (he takes Pepcid every morning) so maybe he’s not the best model for any of my canine culinary ideas.

I want to respond to that tweet, but my timer is still going… Should have definitely put my phone on airplane mode.

Why is peach season so short?

I wonder if Sean Brock ever eats fast food.

More important than all of this:  What IS for dinner?

Alright, I do still believe that the joint human/dog grocery store and/or bakery could work. I think the bakery is the way to go, because (as I type this) I remembered that my mom made these homemade cheese crackers for Cooper one year and I ended up eating half of them.

This is the longest 15 minutes ever.

And now it’s over.

#100DaysOfFoodBlogging, Recipes, Thought Nuggets

That time I tried to make pork belly ketchup…

Pork Belly Ketchup Fail | Getinmymouf.com

[This is post #017 towards #100DaysOfFoodBlogging, our goal to do 100 posts in 100 days as part of The 100 Day Project.]

Since I (Evan) am normally the one writing and tweeting and facebooking, people forget how much of an impact Tina has on this blog. To demonstrate, let me tell about the results of a post I was going to do one night while she was away at a bachelorette party:

Pork Belly Ketchup

Sounds like a great topping for a burger, right? I sure thought so…

I didn’t have a clear plan and I’ve tried to forget about it, but from what I can recall there was some combination of these ingredients:

• Pork belly
• Beer
• Hot sauce
• Ketchup

And probably butter. I like to put butter in everything.

First let me start by saying that there are correct ways to cook pork belly. There are fairly easy ways, which when done property can produce brilliant results (See: Momofuku Pork Belly Recipe). I, however, did not choose one of these ways and still expected the pork belly to melt in my mouf.

Melt in my mouf, it did not.

I threw all of the ingredients in a saucepan on medium and thought, “This is going to be amazing!”

Amazing, it was not.

You would think the combination of beer, pork, ketchup, and hot sauce would go well together and likely taste fantastically manly.

Fantastically manly it was not.

What is was, was…well…a failure. In other words:

It tasted like the vomit of a frat boy at a man cave convention.

Although, it actually doesn’t look that bad:

Pork Belly Ketchup Fail | Getinmymouf.com

I mean if it were in focus… Good thing I took another picture:

Pork Belly Ketchup Fail | Getinmymouf.com

Better, but let’s lay it on a random piece of cloth…

Pork Belly Ketchup Fail | Getinmymouf.com

Meh. At least the cheese is almost in focus.

Fortunately the burger itself was good, so I scraped off the “ketchup” and my meal wasn’t totally lost. And then I ate instant ramen for the rest of the weekend.


#100DaysOfFoodBlogging, Thought Nuggets

‘Mise en Place’ for Preventing Writer’s Block

'Mise en Place'

[This is post #015 towards #100DaysOfFoodBlogging, our goal to do 100 posts in 100 days as part of The 100 Day Project.]

Last week’s post, The Recipe for Writer’s Block, covered (in my opinion) what writer’s block is and what causes it. Like the old G.I. Joe saying goes, “Knowing is half the battle.”

But what about the other half?

I think being aware of what causes writer’s block goes a long way, but there are also other small things that can be done to help prevent it before it strikes. So, much like a chef takes pride in their mise en place, which prepares them for the task/meal/night ahead, writers can also take steps to ensure their writing muse keeps on musing.

Here are five things I do that naturally prevent writer’s block:

1.  When an idea strikes, write it down IMMEDIATELY. 

Fortunately (or unfortunately) I work at a computer for my day job, so if an idea strikes during 9-5 I normally send myself a quick email with the idea and any other relevant bullet points. This serves a couple purposes. First, you eliminate the risk of losing the idea to other random thoughts (like which doughnut I’m going to buy from Astro Doughnuts). Second, by seeing it written down it has more life to it and creates more ownership on eventually following through. At lunch or at night I tend to log into our blog and start the idea as a draft post. It doesn’t necessarily have to be fully thought out, just enough that the idea is conveyed. Over time this helps prevent writer’s block, because every time I log into our blog, I see a list of draft posts waiting to be finished. I’d much rather have the issue of having too many ideas to choose from than too few. Just like doughnuts.

2.  Learn to write anywhere.

Although I haven’t done it recently, there was a period where I would write in my car during my lunch breaks. It actually worked quite well as a little writing bubble. No distractions from people. No wifi. No excuses. Most of my writing now is done at my desk at work during lunch, on the couch at home, or at the kitchen table. But I love to mix it up occasionally and work from coffee shops or restaurants. Writing is great because you can do it anywhere. However, in the early stages of writing, I think it’s easy to become fascinated with finding that “perfect” place to write. One with sweeping views of mountains and the ocean, a cup of tea, and 72 degree weather while birds serenade you like you’ve already won a Pulitzer. The problem is if you believe that you can only write under certain circumstances, then you will wait for those circumstances. And over time, this waiting ferments, but instead of turning into something delicious like kimchi, it turns into writer’s block.

3.  Surround yourself with other writers.

In much the same way that watching David Chang eat ramen on Mind of a Chef will make you crave ramen, by surrounding yourself with other writers you will crave writing. And if you truly crave it, writer’s block won’t be able to touch you. Twitter is a good source of finding other writers to connect with, but it doesn’t hurt to have closer friends that write as well. It doesn’t have to be the same type of writing, either. A novelist, screenwriter, and blogger might work in different ways, but the act of writing is the same. A cup of coffee and the question, “So, what are you writing these days?” can go a long way to creating a dialogue that fosters creativity. And at the very least you can guilt your friend into writing more surfing blog posts. Isn’t that right, MICHAEL?

 4.  Invest in a good laptop.

Okay, I’m not saying that you have to have the best computer money can buy to be a writer. And in no way am I insinuating that having a great laptop will make you a great writer. However, by having a laptop that you love, that’s fast, and doesn’t crash, you will look forward to writing more than if you’re running an IBM from ’92. Plus, if it has decent battery life, then you’ll have no problem carrying it around everywhere you go, which will facilitate #2. Would a chef prepare a great meal with dull knives?

5.  Coffee.

Writer’s block loves to take naps.

Everyone’s mise en place is different and what works for me, might not work for you. What’s useful is knowing what helps you prevent writer’s block. If anyone has any tips, share ’em in the comments so we can stop writer’s block together.

#100DaysOfFoodBlogging, Thought Nuggets

Orange Extract Revolution

[This is post #010 towards #100DaysOfFoodBlogging, our goal to do 100 posts in 100 days as part of The 100 Day Project.]

Why does vanilla extract get all the attention? Seems like every single recipe calls for a teaspoon or so of this tired brown liquid. No disrespect to vanilla, but–wait. I take that back. Disrespect indeed. This King of Extracts has ruled for too long, and for what? An assumed flavor enhancement that we all just accept, even though if you taste the darn liquid straight up it burns like a bitter earthy fire in your mouth.

I know that when “science” comes into play its supposed to make food like cakes taste better, but have you ever forgotten to add vanilla and then truly missed its presence? Probably not. So, why are we stuck worshiping this nepotism-fueled pantry staple?

Well, turns out in 1875 it was actually part of the law set down Queen Victoria, which stated, “Every baked good shall thee include thy vanilla extractacus.”

Okay, that didn’t happen.

But this isn’t a historical blog and right now there’s no need to look at the past, because the future is here:  Orange Extract (or as her supporters are calling her, Orange-X).

Before we get into what Orange-X can help enhance, I encourage you to just taste it straight up (or with ice if you prefer). Not bad, right? I’m not going to be drinking it by the glassful, but it tastes like it should.

I have no allegiance to orange extract brands and nobody has paid me to endorse any, so any type will do. OR if you like the idea of bottles filled with orange rind and vodka sitting around your house for a few months you can follow these instructions from the just-making-noise blog and make it yourself. I do want to try making my own at some point, or I’ll gladly sample someone else’s homemade orange extract.


1. Orange French Toast / Pancakes – Many recipes call for vanilla extract, so just swap it out with your new BFF, Orange-X. I think the hint of orange is small change that helps breakfast feel new. Vanilla who?

2. Orange Maple Syrup – If you’re going to spice up French toast or pancakes, you can’t use REGULAR maple syrup. Boring. Add a splash of Orange-X to your favorite syrup. I’ve actually started to like this better than regular maple syrup because it helps cut the sweetness a bit with the citrus tang.

3. Orange Yogurt – You could buy orange yogurt, but what if you wake up one morning and you have a ridiculous craving for something orangey and yogurty? (This is based on a true story, by the way.) All you have in the refrigerator is Noosa honey yogurt, but you do have Orange-X (because it’s now a staple in your cupboard). A few splashes later you’ve just satisfied your craving. Here’s the kicker: Noosa doesn’t even make orange yogurt, so it would be impossible to buy this!

4. Orange Coffee – Even though I like my lattes sweet and creamy like dessert, I’m not a huge fan of flavored coffees. There’s always an overwhelmingly manufactured taste that steps on the coffee flavor. For the most part, I like my coffee to taste like coffee (albeit with copious amounts of milk and sugar), but occasionally it’s a real hoot to try something new and adding a few drops of Orange-X is a nice change. Breakfast often includes OJ and coffee, so why not sort-of-combine the two?

5. Orange Whipped Cream – I love the combination of chocolate and orange. I love the combination of chocolate cake and whipped cream. If only there were a way to combine those two statements into a an easy dessert that my whole mouf will enjoy… Most of the time when making fresh whipped cream, I toss that wretched vanilla extract in, so a quick substitution of Orange-X helps pop a bit of orange into an otherwise pedestrian meal. Just wait for your mother-in-law to be all like, “Is that…do I taste…ORANGE?”

You get the point.

Any other ideas on how we can bring down the Vanilla Extract Empire from our lives and make room for Orange-X?

Orange Extract revolution