The Hiking Club

The Hiking Club both hikes and sneaks. We will describe our adventures in the most enlightening way possible.

Monday, February 23, 2009

HC Hits Florida

We went down to the Keys for a week of fun, sun, and water. We were mostly not disappointed. For specialty food we had some fish, some all-you-can-eat-fish (Mahi), conch fritters, conch not-in-fritters, and most important: Key Lime Pie. We asked who makes the best Key Lime Pie in the Keys, and unanimously, the responders said "Publix" (the grocery store). Some surprise there, but not a huge one, and kind of nice that we wouldn't have to track down an obscure restaurant and pay $300 for a slice. Best. Pie. Ever. And they have mango key lime pie, too, which was also killer in a slightly different way.

Meanwhile, I have been told an easy way to make key lime pie at home which I will try later this week: one can of sweetened condensed milk, 4 egg yolks, one can of key lime juice, some lime shavings. Mix it all together in a graham cracker crust and bake for a while (I think it was 45 min). Brilliant!

On our journey, we also made peanutbutter sandwiches, had oreo cookies, apples, carrots, bananas, cereal, and DQ. There were some two-for-one margaritas in Key West, Senor Frijoles, and of course the fried Plantains (and Cuban buttered bread) at the Cuban street-side restaurant, Sandy's.

The Keys aren't as upscaley, beachily nice as I had expected, and fewer streetside food vendors, but I would go back just to re-eat everything again (and have perfect weather and be in the ocean...). Yum yum yum.

Thursday, February 05, 2009


The Elvis restaurant in Federal Hill is quickly becoming a favorite. They serve Mexican food. It's somewhat agreed upon that the best foods they serve have spinach in them, but their other foods are delicious, too. With every meal is included a little shot of of tabasco (or equivalent). They have take-out, and people come through all the time to get their food and run. Sometimes the door doesn't shut all the way, which is kind of a problem when it's cold out. It's a nice place to have a book club meeting.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Paper Moon Diner

In Baltimore there is a fantastic diner, the Paper Moon Diner. All over the walls they have superglued toys and knick knacks. It's fabulously kitschy. It's not too small, it's not too big, and there's a rail that you can cozy up to. Lots of choices on the menu, too! And the waiters are all yours, not one in particular. You'll have five or six people taking care of you. And they have birch beer.

We started with mozzerella sticks, which were pretty standard. I had an omlette, with mushrooms and havarti. It was delicious and came with similarly delicious home fries. By far the best thing I had, though, was off of K's plate -- sweet potato fries. Everybody loves them, and since they're made with sweet potatoes, they're healthy! She also had an egg sandwich. S & S's garlic mashed potatoes looked delish. I will definitely eat there again. Oh, and we split a piece of apple pie at the end. Could eat that every night!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Cheeseburger Macaroni

Home from work one day, I watched Rachel Ray's show on tv. I don't particularly care for her, and especially not all the hype surrounding her, but I do like a few of her more fun, children-oriented recipes. A fav from the past is hotdogs wrapped in Pillsbury Crescent Rolls and baked for 20 minutes. You can wrap cheese in them, too, but the cheese kind of leaks out onto the pan. Not quite a kolache, but yummy, anyway.

During the most recently watched episode, she made Cheeseburger Macaroni. It's little meatballs in macaroni. But the meatballs are made with ketchup and mustard (and meat (turkey meat if you are me) and egg to bind)! They are like little mini burgers! You bake them for 10 minutes or until they're mostly done and then put them in with the macaroni casserole as usual and bake the whole thing for 20 minutes. It's brilliant, yummy, easy, and bad for you, of course. A special winter treat.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Small-town Chinese food:

I forgot to mention this before, but I am pleased to announce that small-town Chinese food in Australia is just about as bad as it is in the US. Even when the cook is Chinese or at least of Chinese descent. Why is that?

Oh, and I found a fish and chips place that serves poutine (a French Canadian dish of fries, cheddar cheese, and gravy). My French-Canadian friend would be so pleased. I took a picture of the menu just for him. I didn't eat it this time, but I've had it before. The cheese melts in the hot gravy and the whole thing is artery-clogging fantastic!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Randomness in the outback

I'm currently staying in Atherton, Queensland, which is about an hour inland from Cairns (using the world's slowest internet and what is possibly the smallest monitor still in use...I think it's a 13" CRT). Yesterday, I drove to a place called Chillagoe, which is another hour and a half inland from Atherton. Getting there involves a long drive through land which at best is marginal. When I got there, it was 98 degrees and dusty, with red earth which pretty obviously won't grow anything useful.

On the way back, I stopped at a town called Almaden. Specifically, I stopped at the railway hotel (read pub) in a town of about 150 in the middle of the desert. Inside the bar seemed very well-stocked, and the publican was the only person there. He asked me if I'd like to sit in the beer garden, which was this gorgeous little patio with ferns and orchids and other flowers I didn't recognise everywhere. I wonder how business usually was.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Waffle Snacks

When I find a strange food in the supermarket I am always compelled to buy it and force my friends to eat it with me, which is not necessarily a nice thing to do to one's friends, but at least I didn't bring these to a chocolate fountain party.

In the product listings on the official Old London website, Waffle Snacks (featured at right with Parlay score card and chip) are listed last, below Old London Restaurant Style Croutons and Old London Bread Crumbs. I take this to mean that Old London believes its customers are more likely to buy crumbs of bread than neon orange cheese-filled waffle sandwiches.

From the product description on Amazon:

Warning! Waffle snacks are totally addictive! ItÆs good to eat about 8 waffle snacks, It's better to eat about 15 Waffle Snacks. It's best to eat an entire box of Waffle Snacks! Old London Waffle Snacks. Nothing short of a totally unique, out-of-the-box experience. The story behind the snack. Did you know that Waffle Snacks are made from real waffle batter in tiny waffle irons? They're filled with zesty, real cheese and pressed into bite-size sandwiches...

When considering whether to eat an entire box of Waffle Snacks, it might be useful to know that (according to a serving size of 3 pieces has 70 calories and 4 grams of fat, 2.5 of which is saturated. Also, I was unable to get a group of 5 or 6 people to eat half a bag of these things.

A very similar product is marketed under the name Cheez Waffies by Wise. Apparently they are made with real cheese with an S and they use the Z just for larfs.

I think everyone agreed that they would have been tasty if filled with, say, chocolate, but at present they are only available in cheddar and swiss.

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