Sushi Mido

(By the way, I go off on a tanget for a bit.   If you’re just here for the review, go down to the break!)

I was in the mood for Dim Sum this morning…but I had one obstacle standing in my way: BWD, Jr.  Ever the Chinese buffet connoisseur, BWD, Jr. wanted to get Chinese from a buffet and I wanted to go some place real.  So, we decided to go to the all-you-can-eat sushi place instead.  (Yeah, I don’t get it either.)

But … All You Can Eat Sushi???

Yes, all-you-can-eat sushi.  I know what you’re thinking.  When you’re paying $17.95 for all the sushi you can possibly stuff down your gullet (did I mention they’re learning to fear me there?), the first thing people think is: wow, the ingredients must suck.  You, know, that’s not an unreasonable thought.

Anytime you go to an all-you-can-eat anything, you can feel assured you’re sacrificing quality over what you would get in a by-the-plate restaurant.  However, in an all-you-can-eat sushi restaurant, you have a leg up over most other buffets because the sushi is hand rolled.  So whereas that vat of beef with broccoli sitting in a steam tray has likely been given all the care shown to the garbage as its tossed in the dumpster (note: I don’t know if that’s true.  I am sure there are some places that really put effort into their buffet offerings, but I think about 99% of “Chinese” food was is made is a Cisco lab somewhere), the sushi you get at an all-you-can-eat place has been hand crafted.

Plus, Sushi Mido is pretty smart about how they do their all-you-can-eat.  First, you can only get rolls, which are full of rice and more filling than individual nigiri or sashimi and, while I haven’t done an extensive survey, the ingredients that form the rolls are pretty limited: crab, fried shrimp, cream cheese, cucumber, etc.  So, my assumption is that Sushi Mido buys a lot of stuff in bulk.

All of which leads up to something I figured out today

If You Turn Your Nose Up at All You Can Eat Sushi and Order Rolls Anywhere Else You Obviously Like Overpaying for Fish*

Well, at least you live in the Midwest.

Really, this insight hit me when the first artful plate of sushi arrived at my table.  Looking at the rolls they present, they’re essentially the exact same rolls you get at any other sushi place, even the really fancy ones like Ra or Nara, where hip KC-ers go for sushi.  Let’s face it, in the middle of the country, there are only so many outlets for sushi-grade fish.  Plus, once it finds its way into any roll, whether it’s a fancy lollipop thingy at Ra or the Midnight Fantasy roll at Sushi Mido, it’s still a sushi roll.  At that point, you should be judging the individual roll, not the style of restaurant.

Okay, so all tangets aside, let’s get back to why we’re here.

Sushi Mido Review

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Tea-sty Tuesday is back with

Celestial Seasonings Echinacea Complete Care Wellness Tea

And also it’s  the longest blog post title ever.  Woot.

So, this morning when I woke up and there was snow on the ground, it occurred to me. This is cold and flu season (which in case you’re wondering is what’s up with the dude over there.  He’s sick.)  My least favorite season next to allergy season!

There are few people in the world that hate cold and flu season more than me.  Not only do I not like being cold, I don’t like getting colds.  Fortunately, for me, there’s a tea for that.

I don’t know if I really believe in the healing power of echinacea, especially after it has been steeped in hot liquid for fifteen minutes, but there’s something about this tea.  I think it’s the fact it tastes like medicine, but drinking it makes me feel healthier.  Anyway, to the review.

Celestial Seasonings Echinacea Complete Care Wellness Tea

I wish I could take a formal stance on whether or not this stuff actually makes me feel better.  Sadly, as far as aroma and taste goes, Celestial Seasonings teas tend to rate a bit low for me in general and the Wellness tea is no exception.  Still, the minute I get the sniffles, I reach for a bag.  So, what am I to do but complain?

(Oh, and by the way, Celestial Seasonings, could you consider individually packaging your bags or at least separate the packages so the two aren’t stuck together?  I feel gross offering a tea bag to friends after my hands have been all over it!)

Anyway, how does Celestial Seasonings Echinacea Complete Care Wellness Tea stack up?

Celestial Seasonings Echinacea Complete Care Wellness Tea: Ingredients

Echinacea is obviously the big ingredient and the tea packs a whopping 650 mg of the stuff.  (Can someone tell me if that’s good?)  Other than that, the tea is all natural and includes peppermint, licorice, star anise, and other flavoring ingredients.

I’m pretty sure this tea is an herbal tea, not a true tea itself, and mostly consists of the natural flavorings listed above and chicory.  Still, the tea gets high marks for caring about its ingredients.

Celestial Seasonings Echinacea Complete Care Wellness Tea: Aroma

It smells like a eucalyptus plant with menthol extract (which in many ways it is.)  So, in this humble blogger’s opinion, not very good.

Celestial Seasonings Echinacea Complete Care Wellness Tea: Taste

It tastes like a eucalyptus plant with menthol extract, which sadly is not a flavor even honey can  cover up.  So…um…next!

Celestial Seasonings Echinacea Complete Care Wellness Tea: Effects

Okay, so I’ve never done a study where all I drank was Celestial Seasonings’ tea when I don’t feel well.  I tend to slam orange juice, take vitamin C tablets, and eat raw garlic along with drinking the tea.  So I can’t be sure that it actually does anything.

On the other hand, when I have a cold, I don’t want to be without it.  And the literature is pretty good in favor of echinacea.

Celestial Seasonings Echinacea Complete Care Wellness Tea: Overall

I don’t know…I recommend Celestial Seasonings’ Echinacea Complete Care Wellness Tea during cold and flu season for the perceived effects and because I seem to have a little more superstitious medicine man in me than I’d care to admit.  It does not taste or smell good, but at least the taste  can be improved (not perfected) with sweetener.  Perhaps Marry Poppins was right: a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down?

So, with that said, I give this tea 2 cups out of 5.


Thanks to bark for the picture.


Macy’s and SheSpeaks Recipe Share Program

Got a favorite holiday recipe?  Wanna win $1,000?  (I do!)

If so, great!  Because SheSpeaks has teamed up with Macy’s to offer the Recipe Share Contest which will award one lucky winner $1,000 and the chance to get their recipe featured in Food Republic!  Not too shabby, right?

(Oh, and if you are a regular reader and remember the SheSpeaks Aetna Healthy Food Fight contest…um…yeah…those rules don’t apply here.  This is holiday cooking.  It’s about comfort and chocolate and butter, which is okay because no one gains weight off holiday cooking.  Trust me.  I’m a food writer. :))

What do you need to do?

Well from November 1st to November 30th, all you need to do is:

1. Head to
2. Click the Recipe Share tab (it's on the side bar)
3. Submit your recipe
4. Share the contest via Facebook and Twitter

Really, it’s that’s easy.

So…what recipe you’re going to submit?  I’m thinking holiday punch, maybe my mom’s Christmas noodle soup, maybe a new family creation.

Who knows…but let the best recipe win!

FCC Disclosure: SheSpeaks and Macy’s provided incentive for this post.  With that said, I still am working up a recipe for the content.  I could use $1,000 this Christmas.

About Macy’s:

Established in 1858, Macy’s is the Great American Department Store – an iconic retail brand with over 800 stores across the country and online at Macy’s offers an incredible selection and the best brands, tailored to each and every customer, while providing an experience that transcends ordinary shopping.

A big part of Macy’s unique heritage includes our special events?the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Fourth of July Fireworks, flower shows, fashion extravaganzas, celebrity appearances and holiday traditions that range from the arrival of Santa Claus to tree lightings and festive window displays. But beyond our signature events, Macy’s delivers magical moments every day through our shopping environment, service and merchandise – a great deal of which is sold exclusively through our stores. It’s all part of the excitement we’ve been creating for 151 years, and it’s all part of the magic of Macy’s!

CatfishOkay, so in honor of Talk Like a Pirate Day, I thought I’d do

Catfish Stew

Okay, so I don’t know how authentic catfish stew is in terms of good pirate fare, but I do know it tastes good (which is important) and it’s a great way to keep warm as it cools off.  Even better, unlike a lot of my recipes it only has a few steps.

Argh you ready?

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eggrolls#GoJunkFood Presents Egg Rolls

With all apologies to the #GoJunkFood crowd, this post is incredibly late (like months late), but as a few sharp people have noticed, I haven’t exactly been posting a lot.  Which is no good.

Most importantly, though, I must say sorry to the egg rolls.  You should have your story told to the world so you can be eaten.  You deserve it.

And if I don’t say something about you, egg rolls, who will?

Egg Rolls

Okay, that’s just silly.  Just about everyone who digs Chinese food (and many who don’t) love egg rolls and why not?  They’re fried.  Fried is awesome.  And they have pork inside.  Pork is awesome.

And they’re really easy to make at home.  No foolin’.  It really only takes three steps to put them together:

1. Make the filling.

2. Roll the roll.

3. Fry

Then it’s meal time.  Ready to give it a try?

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Golden CannoliWhen no one was looking, I snuck a bite of this thing and chipped a tooth.  Not cool guys.  Not cool.

Jasper’s Restaurant Announces

To celebrate Jasper’s National Cannoli Month, local baker and jeweler collaborate to make
The Golden Cannoli; Jasper’s sells a 24k gold cannoli.

Kansas City, MO (Sept. 12, 2011) – Kansas City’s King of Locavore and an intrepid traveler on the mythical
Cannoli Trail, celebrated Master Italian Chef Jasper Mirabile Jr., has declared the month of September
“National Cannoli Month.” By decree of Chef Jasper, master cannoli maker, dessert lovers in Kansas City
will be able to enjoy a massive show of cannoli power during September.
To commemorate National Cannoli Month, Chef Jasper has enlisted the expertise of famous Kansas City
jeweler, Tom Tivol, and award-winning Sprinkled with Sugar owner, Carey Iennaccaro, to create the World’s Most Expensive Cannoli. Tivol discovered a 20th Century Italian Diamond Necklace, valued at $26,000, which he is pairing with the cannoli created by Iennaccaro. This special star-power cannoli features edible gold and is paired with a bottle of Louis Roederer 1999 Cristal Champagne, making it the World’s Most Expensive Cannoli.
The cannoli can be ordered, with 24 hours notice, through December 2011. A replica gold leaf Cannoli is on display in the lobby of Jasper’s Ristorante. For those who don’t want to spend $26,453.25 but still want to enjoy a Golden Cannoli, Jasper’s is selling a 24k gold cannoli-dusted with real gold-for only $12.
“I’m obsessed with finding the perfect cannoli,” says Chef Jasper. “I even invented a Cannoli Therapy Patch for people who need a cannoli fix. I dressed up last year as a cannoli for Halloween. The last story in my most recent cookbook is On the Cannoli Trail’ that recounts my search for the greatest cannoli in Sicily. Two years ago I traveled to 15 cities in Sicily searching for the greatest cannoli ever. I finally found it, but you have to read my cookbook, The Jasper’s Kitchen Cookbook, to discover where!”
Chef Jasper claims the cannoli originated in Palermo and its surrounding areas. The dessert, which is a sweet shell filled with a ricotta cheese mixture, was originally made for Carnival, a festival occurring before Lent. The cannoli takes its name from its long tubular shape and dates back to the time when the Arabs occupied Sicily during the 9th century.
Jasper’s offers melt-in-your-mouth cannolis that satisfy any craving. The local, award-winning institution has served cannolis for nearly 58 years and uses an old Sicilian recipe passed down from Jasper’s greatgrandmother in Gibellina, Sicily. The shells are crisp and flaky and are filled with fresh ricotta cheese, chocolate bits, candied orange and lemon peel, along with a hint of cinnamon. Jasper’s cannoli recipe can be found in The Jasper’s Kitchen Cookbook published by Andrews McMeel.
Join Chef Jasper “On the Cannoli Trail” in Kansas City at Jasper’s Ristorante and around town, as he appears at festivals and farmers’ markets around the Kansas City metropolitan area in his custom Cannoli Mobile. He’ll also make live appearances in the Cannoli Mobile from Hen House Markets on his weekly radio show, LIVE! From Jasper’s Kitchen/KCMO Talk Radio 710. Jasper’s Ristorante will offer daily specials and dozens of specialty cannoli flavors and unique cannoli creations to celebrate “National Cannoli Month.”

For more information contact:
Chef Jasper Mirabile, (816) 941-6600

#SSFoodFight is On!!

Hey everyone, just a quick note to tell you that from 1-2 Eastern tomorrow I will be doing a Twitter panel on everyone’s favorite topic–healthy eating!!! Just look for the Twitter hashtag #SSFoodFight!!!!

Okay, maybe healthy eating is not everyone’s favorite topic BUT it is important, especially as kids are going back to school, lives are getting school-year-hectic (instead of summer-hectic), and it’s getting a lot harder to find time to eat healthy. That’s where Aetna Healthy Food Fight, the subject of tomorrow’s panel, comes in.

Aetna’s is two things. First, it’s a great source of recipes, videos, cooking tips, and glimpses of food personality Bobby Flay, who still won’t take me on in a Throwdown. Okay, in all seriousness, it’s a great website with lots of healthy food tips.

However, it’s even more than that!

Healthy Food Fight Recipe Contest

Aetna wants to make their site gets even better…with your recipes! All you have to do is enter a recipe at: in one of four regions. (Hello Dallas, here I come!!)

If your recipe makes the grade (for nutritional standards…sadly fried butter with mayo won’t cut it), you will be entered in the Healthy Food Fight semi-finals. Then it goes to the vote. The top three vote getters in each region will compete head-to-head in their region’s city for the chance to move to the finals.

Each Finalist will be flown by American Airlines to cook for Chef Flay (if it’s not me, whoever gets to the finals, slip Bobby Flay my Next Food Network Star video!) for the chance to win $10,000 in groceries from!

To summarize: eat healthy. Eat well. Post a recipe. Win $10,000!

Why not, right?

So, if you’re interested, post your recipe. If you want to know more or if you just want to say hi, I’ll see you at the #SSFoodFight Twitter Party! Nothing is required, just point your Internet browser to Twitter and look for the #SSFoodFight hashtag!

Oh, and if you are wondering what SS means, it stands for, who is putting on the Twitter party to get people aware of the contest.

See you then! Enjoy!

(Oh, and per FTC rules, I should let you know I’m being compensated to be on the panel.)

Lemon Lift TeaTea-sty Tuesday: Bigelow Lemon Lift

Okay, so I was looking and it’s been a long, LONG time since I’ve done one of these.  Yikes.  So, without any further ado we’re going to talk Bigelow Lemon Lift, a tea that in my head deserves it’s own 1970s jingle:

If you want a bit of lemon
And you want a bit of lift
Call Bigelow…
Get your lemon lift tea…
Spoken: Mmm…it’s so tasty
Lemon lift tea…. (cue jazz hands)

Let the record reflect that the quality of my made up jingle does not necessarily reflect my opinion of the tea.

Bigelow Lemon Lift Tea

As noted in other posts on Bigelow, I sometimes question why certain things get in Bigelow tea (namely soy lechitin.)  When compared to some of the hippie-ified teas I drink, namely anything from Yogi, I can’t help but wonder.  Then again, I grew up on Bigelow tea and I turned okay except for the second face I grew during puberty, so I shouldn’t complain.

…Anyway, the Lemon Lift tea ended up in my “to taste” pile when my wife bought a big sampler pack and I, needing fodder for Tea-sty Tuesday, snagged a pack.  How did it measure up?

Bigelow Lemon Lift Tea’s Ingredients

I covered this above.  I’m not going to harp on it.  It’s not fair to Bigelow since there is probably a good reason to have a non-tea/herbal/flavor substance in the tea.

Bigelow Lemon Lift Tea’s Aroma

A+++++  Lemon Lift tea has that amazingly clean, crisp, bright aroma that one associates with the best lemon products.  Within seconds of the hot water hitting the tea bag, my senses were filled with the sweet smell of warm lemon drops, sweet citrusy lemon zest, lemon pledge (which I like the smell of…sue me)…it was wonderful.  I could hardly wait for the tea to cool so I could take my first stip.

Bigelow Lemon Lift Tea’s Taste

D.  To this day, I keep wondering what happened to all the lemon aroma.  Where did it go?  Sadly, if the obviously chemical aftertaste of the tea is any indication, the aroma was a fraud.  And if the aroma was a fraud, the taste never had a chance. 🙁

Though, to be fair, I didn’t take any sweetener with the Lemon Lift.  I can’t help but think that the flavor would have matched the aroma with a little Truvia.

Bigelow Lemon Lift Tea’s Effects

I got a little caffeine boost.  It was a bigger boost than with a lot of Yogi teas, but that was about all.

Bigelow Lemon Lift Tea Overall

Yes, I was a little disappointed with the tea.  Given the strong lemon aroma, I wanted a fresh citrus taste to go with the smell. Unfortunately, the tea just never measured up.

It’s almost like Lemon Lift suffers from false advertising.  That aroma is so good, anything short of perfection isn’t going to match up.  Still, I think Bigelow could have added a little more natural citrus to improve the tea’s overall taste.

Still, at the end of the day, when it’s all said and done, this tea is easily as good as Bigelow’s pomegranate tea, so I give it 3.5 cups out of 5.