Diana Takes a Bite

A Farr-out Thanksgiving

Article: A Farr-out Thanksgiving

I wasn’t sure I was going to do it until that moment. I’d been thinking about it all day, the idea simmering in the back of my head, braising like a chicken thigh. I stared down the sweet potato puree drenched with brown sugar and pecans, eyed the corn casserole composed of 21 crushed saltine crackers and creamed canned corn, and took in the big ceramic bowl of mashed potatoes waiting to be microwaved. My throat constricted as I imagined loading my plate with these various forms of vegetable mush. I imagined the weight of that plate as I carried it to the table and, soon after, the weight of the sludge languishing on my tongue. I shuddered, nearly gagging at the mental picture I’d drawn.

It was too much. All of it…

Love Lust & Breakfast

Article: Love Lust & Breakfast

Watch Love Lust: Breakfast, Monday, November 28th at 8pm.
When I think of a rich, savory, mouth-wateringly decadent breakfast I think of cheesy, buttery quickes, creamy grits with shrimp and bacon or huevos rancheros with freshly made corn tortillas, but as our resident food writers Zach and Diana both seem to crave the sweet stuff, I’m going to defer to them on this one. It’s not as if Zach’s pumpkin chocolate chip pancakes topped with melted butter don’t sound incredible, or that I’m not totally envious of Diana’s donut vision quest, but seriously, who can ever finish an entire plate of pancakes? It’s like Mitch Hedberg said about pancakes – they’re all exciting at first but by the end you’re just sick of them…

A Thanksgiving miracle: No more gross holiday food

Article: A Thanksgiving miracle: No more gross holiday food

Watch Love Lust: Holiday Feasts, Monday, November 21 at 8PM on Sundance Channel
Logic would seem to dictate that if eating pumpkins seeds is my favorite thing about Halloween, Thanksgiving, a day devoted to eating, would be my ultimate holiday. I love cooking, I love gorging on things I cook, and I love making other people gorge on things I cook. The whole shebang should be my personal holy grail – a day full of so much culinary and gastronomical bliss that my head nearly explodes with pleasure. And it would be, if only I didn’t find Thanksgiving food so repulsive…

Sharing is not caring: Just say no to small plates

Article: Sharing is not caring: Just say no to small plates

“We don’t share,” my friend Ali said. Our server’s eyebrows arched into tight half moons as she surveyed the five of us seated around the communal table at the hot, tapas-style seafood restaurant. She glanced back at Ali as though she was waiting for the punch line, for Ali to laugh and say, “Gotcha! Bring us five forks and one of everything, please!” But she said nothing, her face poised in a hardened expression. A few uncomfortable beats later, our server tried again.

“We recommend sharing because of the timing. Since the dishes are small plates they will come out at different times from the kitchen.” But Ali held strong.

“We’re all good friends and we don’t need to be polite anymore,” she explained with a firm smile. “We don’t like sharing.”

Diana and Ashley's excellent donut adventure

Article: Diana and Ashley's excellent donut adventure

Watch “Love Lust: Breakfast” on Monday, November 14th at 8pm.
I never really understood the allure of the food crawl. Sure, there’s the obvious pleasure of going from place to place and gorging on food, but I wasn’t particularly enthused by the prospect of the aftermath of said gorging: belly bulge, greasy mouth, the inability to move from the fetal position for the rest of the day. Aside from holidays, Chinese restaurants and the days I’m cranky or sad or happy and need to eat my feelings, I like to eat when I’m hungry and stop when I’m not. So um, really, hardly ever.

But then the idea of a donut crawl started circulating in my head. Every day I pass by three donut shops on my way to work, and then again on the way home. Located on the same one-mile stretch, they called out to me as I drove by. “Donut crawl. Donut crawl. Donut crawl,” they seemed to say. I couldn’t stop thinking about it, couldn’t shut up the voice that kept pulsing inside of my head. So finally, after weeks of taunting, I commissioned my best friend to join me in my gluttonous mission. We picked an upcoming Saturday and set a starting time and place. “No turning back now,” I thought with a mixture of excitement and disgust. I could practically feel the impending stomachache that I would surely incur from embarking on this gastronomical misadventure.

The return of the Pumpkin Spice Latte

Article: The return of the Pumpkin Spice Latte

It was September 14th at approximately 11:43 a.m. when I saw it: the sign announcing the return of Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte. I stopped dead in my tracks, my mouth stitched into a tight, horrified “O.”
“Hell no,” I exhaled. “It’s still summer… for another 9 days!”

I was furious. I couldn’t bear the thought of pumpkin hysteria returning so soon – robbing me of those final, precious days of stone fruits, sweet white corn and zucchinis the size of my forearm. “How dare Starbucks suck the final breath out of Summer?” I thought as I stomped past the coffee shop, fully cognizant that the very same sign was inspiring a wholly different response in the rest of population – which, incidentally, is probably the reason that the latte was returning so early in the first place…

The wurst German ever

Article: The wurst German ever

“You need to finish that,” she said, cocking her eyes towards my still half full liter stein in front of me. I looked up at my friend Ashley with pleading eyes. “I can’t!” I said, clutching my stomach as if the physical gesture would help plead my case to the girl I’ve known since college. “I’m so full!” I hadn’t wanted all of it to begin with. When our waitress presented me with the stein of Hofbrau Oktoberfest, I practically choked on my pretzel. “I can’t drink all that,” I shrieked. “I can’t even lift the darn thing!”

Ashley laughed as I dramatically clasped both of my hands around…

Ludo Bites – lost and found in translation

Article: Ludo Bites – lost and found in translation

Careful, there’s foie gras in those cupcakes!
Watch LUDO BITES AMERICA every Tuesday at 9P
More savory wit from our featured food blogger Diana Hossfeld, who writes the food blog Diana Takes a Bite.
The first time I ate foie gras was two years ago at Ludo Bites in Los Angeles. I hated it. The muddy-colored lobe had been chopped into thumb-sized chunks and surreptitiously slipped into a miso soup with rhubarb, hibiscus and beets. I didn’t understand it – I didn’t want to understand it. I just wanted it to go away. And I wanted to replace it with things I was used to ingesting in my miso soup – tofu, seaweed, shiitake mushrooms – not foie gras.

Pig knuckles and chicken feathers

Article: Pig knuckles and chicken feathers

The whole hog: a batch of pig ears ready for the fryer. Watch LUDO BITES AMERICA every Tuesday at 9P More savory wit from our featured food blogger Diana Hossfeld, who writes the food blog Diana Takes a Bite. Pig knuckles and chicken feathers. These were my mother’s favorite scary stories when my brothers and I were…

Gulf Cuisine – Battered Up and Fried

Article: Gulf Cuisine – Battered Up and Fried

Watch LUDO BITES AMERICA every Tuesday at 9P

More savory wit from our featured food blogger Diana Hossfeld, who writes the food blog Diana Takes a Bite.

“Anyway, like I was sayin’, shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, sauté it. Dey’s uh, shrimp kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There’s pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. That’s – that’s about it.”

According to these wise words from Bubba in FORREST GUMP, there are many different ways to enjoy shrimp. The possibilities are almost endless, the flavors and preparations as varied as the heart desires, limited only by the imagination of one fictional character. Or, in the case of one nonfictional character (me), taste.

LUDO BITES AMERICA: Soul food searching in Southern California

Article: LUDO BITES AMERICA: Soul food searching in Southern California

Watch LUDO BITES AMERICA every Tuesday at 9P
I’m going to come right out and say it.

I know nothing about Omaha, Nebraska or anything related to the state that is below the Dakotas. The only reason I even know that – its location underneath South Dakota (incidentally, the state where my mother grew up) – is because I was required to take a timed geography test of the United States in fifth grade.

Nebraska was never much discussed beyond that. Apparently Southern California youths don’t have any use for other pertinent details about the Cornhusker state or its largest city and former capital, Omaha. I grew up associating Omaha with one thing – steaks – and envisioned that all the locals strutted around chewing straw in those cowboy boots with the little spurs on them.

Today, I still carry the association that Omaha = steaks = cowboys = people who think vegetarians make good speed bumps (I may have stolen that last one from the motto affixed to a recently spotted Fatburger truck). What I didn’t realize, and what others who grew up in California, going to the beach and taking timed geography tests probably don’t realize either, is that Omaha’s got more than steaks and cowboys and vegetarian-haters. Omaha’s got soul. And, incidentally, soul food.