The Hungry Man Eats

Category Archives: Food Memories

The Hungry Man Eats Turns 1 This Week, Happy Birthday!

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On April 24th , The Hungry Man Eats will be a year old! Break out the bubbly and a cake!

It has been an interesting first year of writing and posting things, with a few surprises along the way.

So let’s do one of those ever so popular reviews of the year that was taking a look at some of the highlights and lowlights, starting from the beginning:

  • Although my first post was April 24th it was just an introduction with a promise of more exciting things to come, my first actual post about food was on April 29th when I talked all about the dinner I had at Medieval Times.
  • It didn’t take too long for things to get entertaining, on May 27th I posted my opinion on the Starbucks Chicken BLT Salad Sandwich, and that got people’s attention, it only took a few weeks for it to become my most popular post at that point in time.
  • On May 27th, I posted an awesome recipe for homemade hamburgers, grilling season is rapidly approaching and you should check it out even now…
  • On June 26th, I talked about blue cheese and have been told by people that it was one of my more entertaining posts as it had more of my writing voice come through, check it out for a chuckle or two.
  • On July 2nd, I delighted the internet when I posted my recipe for my version of the Starbucks Chicken BLT Salad Sandwich. I look at what draws people to my site and my first post about the chicken salad sandwich was the main draw at that point, but it offered little more than a review of the sandwich. I decided that perhaps people would be even more interested in a recipe that attempts to duplicate the Starbucks version. As it turns out, around 60% of the people who have visited my site since May 27th have been drawn to it because of my posts about the Chicken BLT Salad Sandwich. That’s the highlight and lowlight in one, a highlight because they are the most popular posts by far, but a bit of a lowlight as it appears that if it wasn’t for a Starbucks sandwich I wouldn’t have very many visitors…
  • On September 25th, I tried to catch lightning in a bottle again and wrote about a different Starbucks sandwich, their egg salad sandwich. On the popularity scale: chicken salad>>>>>egg salad.
  • Although it’s not a post, around this time I discovered the funniest search engine search that led somebody to my site even to the present: “thoughts while eating steak”
  • On October 9th I had my best title for a post: “I’ve Been Looking so Long at These Pictures of Food That I Almost Believe That They’re Real” If you can tell me why this title is as amusing as it is, then props to you, you are from my generation.
  • Around Thanksgiving I created another site at http://thehungrymaneats.wordpress.com/ The reason for doing so is boring and complicated and not worth going into here, but I have even more stuff I’ve written about over there.
  • Shortly after Christmas I wrote about Christmas Sticky Buns, AKA Monkey Bread and posted another delicious recipe.
  • On February 9th I presented my thoughts on Martinis, what made this one interesting was that I had nearly three Martinis, and then sat down to write the post. For a 988 word post with that much booze in me it went surprisingly well, the most egregious error that I made among the errors I needed to correct later was calling Glenfidditch a gin 🙁

So here we are in the present again, soon I will write about what I hope to do over the next year on this and my other site, until then, happy eating!

Eating Other People’s Food

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No, it’s not what you think, I can already see the mental picture you formed of the Hamburglar sneaking up and swiping your burger while you have your back turned. It’s about eating something that you didn’t make or prepare. This is also different from eating pre-made food or food out at a restaurant, which would be commercially based food, somebody else made it but it is not other people’s food. Other people’s food is homemade food that has been prepared by somebody other than you. These examples will help illustrate what other people’s food is:

  • The homemade food you will find at a pot luck meal.
  • Those homemade brownies that are sitting on top of the microwave at work that Gertrude brought in(that were really homemade this time after she felt guilty about passing off the store made chocolate chip cookies as her own).
  • The meal served that the dinner party you attended at the Henderson’s (who are entirely too enthusiastic about telling you that the chicken dish served came from a free range chicken, who was named Myrtle).

I recently had the good fortune to attend a dinner at the home of some old family friends, I never really know in advance what will be served, but almost every visit I can be sure that they will be serving some delicious homemade meal. One guarantee when you eat other people’s food is that even if the dish is something that you make yourself, it will not be prepared the same way you make it.

I ate the meal in the picture at the top, spaghetti with salad and garlic bread on the side. Everybody has their own way of making spaghetti, from the sauce used, homemade or from a jar, to the meat (or not) that goes into the sauce. So what made this sauce different and delicious? It was a typical tomato based sauce with a bit of a spicy kick, but what made it interesting and unique to me was the addition of both sausage and shrimp to the sauce. Sausage and shrimp in the same dish is not at all unusual, you see that all the time with gumbo or jambalaya dishes, but for me at least, it was different to see it in a tomato based spaghetti dish.

I would not have considered combining shrimp and sausage in a spaghetti of my own making, but by eating other people’s food, my eyes were opened to a new combination that was delicious. Regrettably, I do not have the recipe for this sauce, but if I ever do get it I will edit this post to include it.

English Muffin Pizza

English Muffin Pizza

When I was young, 30 years ago or so, a mere hungry boy, rather than the hungry man I became, if you were to ask me what my favorite food was, I would have said pizza. Not a surprising answer for an 8 year old or an adult for that matter. If it was pizza in any way, shape or form I was a fan. Growing up, my family never got delivery pizza, my pizza sources were from out at one of the closest pizza places to home, a pizzeria called Tony’s pizza located in the nearby mall, school or homemade.

For about 5 years, Tony’s Pizza was the go to place if we wanted to go out and grab a quick dinner. Option B for a quick dinner was Friendly’s, which also was located at said shopping mall, but they did not have pizza, so they are a topic for another time.

I usually had lunch brought from home, but on the days they served pizza, I was ready with 85 cents in my pocket and hoping against hope that the pre-published menu for the month ahead was still accurate for that day and that they weren’t serving something like the Rib-B-Q sandwich or the dreaded hot turkey meal. If you ever saw that hot turkey meal, you would have really wanted a Rib-B-Q instead. My 8 year old self had an unexpected craving for the pizza they would serve at school, they were plain rectangles covered with “cheese” or “cheese” plus pepperoni, 2 lonely pepperoni staring back up at you wishing they had more company…

So how about that homemade pizza? For most all of the 1980’s, every other Sunday for dinner we would have English Muffin Pizza (the opposite Sunday was usually a roast or something that was infinitely less awesome than pizza). The dinner consisted of 12 English muffin halves split four ways so that we each had three pizzas. There was one really important thing that made the pizza even more delicious than it otherwise would have been, the sauce. My mom would only make the pizza with DelGrosso brand pizza sauce (their pepperoni flavor specifically). Why DelGrosso pizza sauce? Back in the 1970’s my parents lived up in State College, PA where my dad was attending Penn State for his masters and doctoral degrees. They had very little money to spend on stuff so when my mom first decided to make English muffin pizza, she chose the least expensive sauce available, DelGrosso. Likely they were the least expensive as they were a local Pennsylvania brand (and still are to this day). As it turned out, the sauce was delicious and it became the only sauce my mom would use, none of the others would taste as good. When my parents moved to Maryland in 1975, the pizza sauce was nowhere to be found in the local groceries, so my mom contacted the company to see if they would deliver sauce to individual people. Lo and behold they did so my parents would receive a case of 24 cans special ordered about once every 8-9 months to cure their sauce craving. If there was no sauce, there was no pizza, so if a Sunday rolled around and there was no sauce around because the shipment had not yet arrived or God forbid had not yet been ordered, then we would either go out to Tony’s(yay!) or have pot roast(boo!).

So let’s make English Muffin Pizza!

Split your muffins…

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Add the sauce…

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Add your pepperoni (some people choose to put their pepperoni on top, I prefer it hiding underneath the cheese)

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Now add the mozzarella cheese.

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Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the cheese just barely begins to brown.

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Season to taste with Italian herbs and red pepper flakes and enjoy!

There is no need to get too complex with your preparations, even though they may make for an excellent finished product, we are aiming for a quick and easy but still delicious meal.

English Muffin Pizza
Serves 4
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 6 count package English muffins
  2. 1 package pepperoni
  3. 1 8 oz. (2 cup) package mozzarella cheese
  4. 1 14oz. jar pizza sauce
  5. Red pepper flakes (optional)
  6. Italian seasoning (optional)
Instructions
  1. Split your English muffins into 12 halves
  2. Add pizza sauce to the top of each muffin half and spread evenly on muffin surface
  3. Add 5-6 pepperoni slices to each muffin half
  4. Top each muffin half with mozzarella cheese
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees or until cheese just begins to turn golden brown
  6. Add red pepper flakes and Italian seasoning to taste
The Hungry Man Eats http://hungrymaneats.com/

When The Hungry Man is Sick, What Does He Eat?

Medicinal Meal

So what all have I been up to and eating for the past week? Did I travel to Laos with Andrew Zimmern and hit the street carts with food unknown a simmerin? Did I wine and dine at 1789? Or perhaps I had a pleasant surprise and had dinner at 5 Guys? Nope, it is as the picture above shows, fever and chills while downing lots of pills.

So that’s what today is about, what do you eat when you are sick and have no appetite? What are those comfort foods that you eat that make you feel a little better for a brief time, even though you are still feeling horrid? Or, what do you eat simply because you can tolerate it? These are some of my favorites either for making me feel good, or simply preventing starvation:

  • Eggs: Scrambled, or between two slices of toast with a slice of cheese, eggs are delicious, nutritious and go down smoothly when you have a sore, scratchy throat.
  • Soup: Homemade chicken soup is the default answer here, and this is one of those foods that would be on almost everybody’s list. There are two other good sinus clearing alternatives especially if you are stuck at work and happen to have one of those ubiquitous grab and go buffet places nearby. I bet at least one of their offerings will be either won-ton soup or egg drop soup. If not too spicy, both will go down smoothly, and they will also do a grade A job of clearing out your sinuses too.
  • Ice Cream: Sometimes when I am sick, especially when I have a sore throat, I find myself wishing that I had a soft serve ice cream machine sitting in my kitchen. If I had my druthers I would eat nothing but soft serve ice cream till my sore throat went away, but alas I have no such machine at my disposal and I would pay the price later (A specific friend of mine would say: Just wait till you feel better, we are going to jog all that ice cream off of you!)
  • Pasta: When my throat is sore and my appetite has faded, I usually can down a bowl of freshly cooked pasta. I don’t do much with it, I drizzle it with olive oil, and sprinkle it with a bit of parmesan cheese, and sometimes a pinch or two of garlic powder if I can still taste some flavors. No pasta sauce, no meat, just pasta with some small flavor enhancements.
  • Oatmeal: Now we are heading down the list to those things that you eat because you have to eat something. A nice hot bowl of oatmeal topped with some brown sugar usually is edible no matter what my condition.
  • Carnation Instant Breakfast: They call it Carnation Breakfast Essentials now, but it was simply called Carnation instant breakfast back in the day. Chocolate is my favorite flavor, but about the only time I really drink it are those mornings where I just have to have something to avoid doing something embarrassing like passing out on Metro (Fun fact: did you realize that the majority of sick customers that mess up service in the morning on Metro skipped breakfast?) When none of the meals above are possible or appetizing, there is always Carnation Instant Breakfast.


Carnation Breakfast Essentials, Rich Milk Chocolate Powder, 10-Count Envelopes (Pack of 6)

Run For the Border… .59 .79 .99 go!

Old Taco Bell Logo

Fast food usually means low cost food, but even the cheapest restaurants have a challenging time keeping their food fast and cheap.

The article linked here from USA Today discusses how fast food restaurants are working on meeting the consumer demand for cheap eats.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/05/02/cheap-restaurant-eats-value-deals/2127883/

Taco Bell has their version of a dollar menu called “Why Pay More?” The issue is that some of the items on this menu have crept up to as much as $1.49. Their goal is to replace it with a $1 Cravings menu. Well I remember when Taco Bell was synonymous with the least expensive fast food in town. Per the title, Taco Bell used to have a 59, 79, 99 cent menu back in the early 90’s

When I was growing up, my hometown had no Mexican restaurants to speak of so around 1990 when Taco Bell first came to town, this was a BIG DEAL! Upon opening, they had a special deal where soft tacos were only 39 cents, this was amazingly cheap even back then. I think the cheapest McDonalds item was their plain hamburger at 59 cents. At some point in the 90’s the prices crept up, but you can relive the magic in this commercial from 1991.

So what was on that menu that flashed by?

According to the ad, the items were:

59 cents:

Taco

Soft Taco

Bean Burrito

Tostada

Pintos and Cheese

Cinnamon Twists

79 cents:

Chicken Soft Taco

Soft Taco Supreme

Taco Supreme

Chilito

Beef MexiMelt

Nachos

99 Cents:

Chicken Burrito

Steak Soft Taco

Combo Burrito

Nachos Supreme

Chicken MexiMelt

You could get a full lunch plus drink for under $3.00 back then…not fancy, plenty cheap, perfect for a teenager back in the day.

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