Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Let's talk sloppy joes for a minute...

So my latest Shopping Mama post is up here and I made a little mention about the delicious hometown specialty that was served at the party, but figured this was the place to expound upon it.

NJ sloppy joes are not what you think. They are not manwich style loose meat sandwiches on hamburger buns that are like something out of a Happy Days episode. No no no. These are serious sandwiches. Behold:

Photo courtesy of www.staceysnacksonline.com

Yes, what you are seeing is indeed called a sloppy joe in the language of Northern New Jersey natives. It consisists of two "decks," all on rye bread. One deck holds the meat (usually turkey, roast beef or ham, but there are new school varieties that I refuse to recognize), the second deck holds swiss as well as house-made coleslaw and russian dressing. I prefer the version that is served by the deli in my hometown, although residents of other municipalities are quick to argue that their local's version is better. Do not listen to these people. I've tried other versions and they either use subpar deli meats, overcrowd the sandwich with bread sliced way too thick, or do not manage to replicate the delicate balance of flavors in Millburn Deli's secret coleslaw and dressing recipes. The true key to the Millburn sloppy joe is purchasing one that was pre-made in the morning and kept in the take-out deli case. The flavors have had a couple hours to meld together and the pickle slice that comes wrapped in with the sandwich is nice and crispy. It also MUST be paired with some of the deli's homemade iced tea. No excuses.

I also want to issue a plug for the other food provider at the shower. Gian Marco Trattoria is another favorite place to "manga" in my hometown. They provided amazing bruschetta (heavy on the onion, just how I like it), a ceasar salad with egg-free dressing for the pregnant lady, fusilli con asiago (tricolor pasta with spinach, red pepper, and garlic), and a chicken rollatini that was filled to the brim with even more spinach and cheese. The pasta leftovers are still being enjoyed in our house but the chicken rollatini got scarfed within a day.

All that food, together with a delicious custard-filled cake and a chocolate fountain, made for a pretty enjoyable cheat day for this gestational diabetic.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

My blood sugar can kick your blood sugar's ass...

Sorry I've been MIA. It's not because of lack of ideas for the blog...it's really just been a lack of time. I'm an educational fundraiser by day and I'm currently one person in a department that usually has three. PLUS, I'm going on maternity leave in six weeks. It's a bit crazy up in here.

But, I have had time to start writing a weekly post for The Shopping Mama blog, which was founded by my college friend and former work colleague, Kate Marsh Lord. Check out my first post here which will update you on the diabetes saga and give a little insight into what I'm doing other than working and trying to find cool things to make from CSA materials. I'd like to parallel the Shopping Mama posts with writings on here that relate to the foodie side of whatever I'm talking about. We'll see how that goes.

As far as my food life is concerned, it's a bit boring these days thanks to the ol' gestational diabetes. The one highlight has been my husband's unending support of the dietary changes I've had to make in light of this condition. It's hard to imagine, but I was most upset that I'd have to stop making super delicious meals for him every night. But he has eaten everything I have to eat and has made every effort to eat the heavily-carbed food outside of my presence (even though I tell him it's okay to munch in front of me). The other day, he asked me if lentils and bulgur were on my diet and I said yes, as long as they were measured carefully. He then took it upon himself to research and make mujadara from scratch, which we ate with light whole wheat pitas, a touch of hummus, and some pickled veg. It was awesome...and we're still working through the huge batch every day for lunch or dinner. I think it might become a staple even after the GD process is over.