S.Pellegrino In My Mouth

Pellegrino, Blood Orange

This is what’s in my mouth right now. No, really. Right now. This is what I’m drinking these days because it’s tasty.

Sanpellegrino blood orange is my momentary addiction, and it goes fabulously with vodka, which is boss. I’m not going to go all poetic. Not this time. Just try it.

[Irrelevant note – I’m drinking Rain right now, but I’ve been falling madly in love with Reyka vodka.]

It’s great to have a six pack around. Drink it plain. Mix it with a decent liquor. I like vodka, but it would hold its own against a little gin even. I like spiced rum with a citrus mixer, too.

S. Pellegrino has been a snooty mineral water for a very long time. No, a looooong time. The town of San Pellegrino has been marketing the water for over 600 years. Leonardo da Vinci himself went to the town to check out the water.

In 1997, S. Pellegrino was bought out by Nestlé, which proceeded to market the water in a broader variety and packaging. Thus bringing us these fun cans of different tasty flavored Pellegrino. (The lemon is quite tasty, too!)

[Girl21]

Hong Kong Deli-ghtful

Hong Kong Deli, Gainesville FL

Better late than never on this one, since we’ve been fans of Hong Kong Deli for a while now. And I promise you that if you find the place, you shouldn’t get nervous. It doesn’t look like a bright and shiny chain restaurant because it isn’t. It’s an old building painted a color I like to call “My Retinas are Screaming” yellow.

Let’s be honest. Whoever you are, however much of a food snob you have pushed yourself to being, you get a craving for Chinese take-out once in a while. I grew up completely devoid of Chinese take-out and I now know what that persistent hankering was all of those years.

So why settle for –let’s be honest—shitty food? Most of the Chinese places I’ve eaten at were highly suspect when it comes to food quality and source. I always imagine stuff coming out of 50 gallon drums and giant tubs, thrown into the hot buffet trays, and left to simmer for hours in chemical-enhanced gunk. Well, yum!

Several friends had ranted (maybe a little spit flying in their excitement) about Hong Kong Deli for a while before we took the hint and tried them out. This is an odd Chinese and American couple who run the show. This is one of those places that are funky as hell, a family business, and a source of odd stories. I’m not going to lie to you.

But please overlook the cosmetic issues and focus on the food. This is definitely one of those places where you place your order and they turn around and start cutting the veggies fresh. You can’t walk in and walk out with your order. It’s going to take them 20 minutes to actually cook your real food.

We usually order some variation of a veggie and tofu stir-fry, but if they have it, always always always get the fried green beans with tofu. We haven’t explored the entire menu yet (mostly because I am a giant baby when it comes to spicy things), but overall, the food is always delish. The usual white rice, and sauce packets are included. Spring rolls, dumplings, etc. are always tasty.

Our carnivore friends swear by the duck and the pork. I have actually seen someone check themselves for drool when talking about the duck. No comment.

I cannot put enough stars next to the statement that you should try out Hong Kong Deli. It’s in a funny location, and it’s a funky building (behind the Indian store on north 13th, near Adam’s Rib). Go there. Except Tuesdays. They’re closed Tuesdays.

Hong Kong Deli & Market
1236 NW 21 Ave,
Gainesville, FL 32609
(352) 505-0454

[Girl21]

No Drama Trail Mix

 No Drama Trail Mix

There’s no sheltering you from the truth. I turn into a drama queen when I get low blood sugar. Hard to believe, right? I start shoving food into my mouth to stop the tummy rumblings, and often grab no-so-healthy snacks in desperation.

To stave off the hunger, and the lingering food guilt later, I like to keep something simple and quick on hand. My mom used to mix raisins, peanuts, and sesame sticks, and send that to work or school with us. It always reminded me of a PB&J. I took my mom’s original and modified it over the years, always trying to keep the sweet and savory balance, but adding some more complex nutrition for variety.

I highly recommend experimenting by adding or subtracting ingredients. Most of these things I buy in the bulk section at Ward’s and just estimate the quantities needed, so don’t get too exact with measuring. It’s always fun to make adjustments and try new variations.

Some of these bulk nuts are naked and unsalted (because you don’t need all of that extra salt in your face), and they benefit from a quick roast in the oven before you mix them in.

No Drama Trail Mix
Serves ‘a lot’

5 c. Cheddar sesame sticks
1 1/2 c. Dry roasted unsalted peanuts
1 1/2 c. Dried cranberries (Craisins)
1/2 c. Sunflower seeds
1 c. Pumpkin seeds
1/2 c. Walnuts
1 c. Date pieces / golden raisins

1. Roast the walnuts and pumpkin seeds in the oven first. Spread them on a tray and bake at about 350 for only a few minutes. You’ll see them start to toast or the pumpkin seeds will start to pop. This just brings out the flavor a little better. Let them cool off for a minute. *I’m picky about ‘bite size’, so I like to break up the larger walnut chunks before toasting them.

2. Combine all of the ingredients in a large sealable container. I use one that’s somewhat bigger than I need because it makes mixing easier. You can shake and roll the container to mix everything up. Otherwise, have fun mixing these goodies all up with a spoon (or your hands!).

3. You can of course start eating this right away, but if you let it sit overnight, it gets all friendly and marinated.

Not only do I send a jar of this to work with The Man so he can snack during the day, I pre-pack some into smaller containers so I can grab one as I run out on errands. If I’m hungry during the day, and mooching round in the kitchen for something to eat, I drop the chips or cookies and reach for a handful of this instead. Not claiming it’s the answer to all of your problems, but it’s better than being cranky because your tumbly is rumbly.

[Girl21]