Episode 89: Tomatoes

Monday, April 16, 2018
Thanks to listener Troy's request, we are talking about tomatoes today, because he wanted to learn about the history of tomatoes specifically. We go over what the tomato is and its long sordid history and the bad rap it's had over the years. We then talk about the best recipe (in our opinion) with tomatoes (divine!). We then help a Food Fight listener with a snarky social media comment on her food choices.

Let's taco' bout it!



Disclosure: Some of the links within these show notes are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, we will earn a commission, which helps support our show. This commission comes at no additional cost to you, our wonderful listener!

Let's taco 'bout it!



  • Tomatoes are a part of the nightshade family. If they are red tomatoes, there is lycopene.
  • Tomatoes are, botanically-speaking, a fruit, but is ruled by the Supreme Court as a vegetable, culinary-speaking. If you haven't heard our episodes on Condiments, you need to listen to it here!
  • According to Harold McGee, chefs were putting in fresh tomato leaves into sauces to freshen it up.
  • Originally, the tomato has had a bad reputation due to the high acidity of tomatoes leaching out lead from pewter plates and the lead eventually poisoned these aristocrats.
  • The Tomato in America by Andrew F. Smith, talks about a few reasons that helped keep up this bad reputation: 1) Peitro Andrae Matthioli called it a nightshade (poisonous) and a mandrake (considered a temptation), 2) in 1597, Mr. John Gerard opined about the tomato (stink and rank), and 3) in the 1800s, the green tomato worm was quite frightening and thought to be poisonous.

Slow roasted tomatoes are the best!






Run Time: 48 minutes

Sponsors: We have no sponsors for this episode. If you're interested in working with us, please contact us. We'd love to partner with you.

Episode 88: Coffee with Chris Deferio, Host of the Keys to the Shop Podcast and Coffee Consultant

Monday, April 9, 2018
We have a great conversation with Chris Deferio, podcast host of the Keys to the Shop Podcast and coffee business consultant, all about the basics of coffee starting from the history of coffee, where it comes from and how it evolved over the years, onto what happens when you start roasting beans, how the grind of your coffee affects the flavor, and what factors, such as water temperature and minerality of water, can change your cup of Joe. We learned so much!

Let's taco 'bout it!



Disclosure: Some of the links within these show notes are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, we will earn a commission, which helps support our show. This commission comes at no additional cost to you, our wonderful listener!

Let's taco 'bout it!



  • The legend of how coffee was discovered talks about how a goatherder named Kaldi (or Khalid) discovered coffee in Ethiopia or Yemen, but then spread via the Dutch East Asian Company into Europe and the Americas eventually. You can delve more into the history of coffee in a book called Uncommon Grounds by Mark Pendergrast.
  • Coffee plants were smuggled throughout the world, therefore all coffee plants originated from these original plants from Ethiopia or Yemen.
  • If you want to learn more about coffee in general, you can go here or you can check out this extensive book by James Hoffmann.
  • There are two types of coffee plants that we can drink: Robusta (low-grade, more caffeine, more bitter) and Arabica (more drinkable, more nuanced).
  • Coffee needs to be picked when ripe.
  • Washed process (goes through a water mill that squeezes the seed out, which gives you a brighter, cleaner flavor) and natural process (dries the cherries out like a raisin, produces a fruitier flavor).


  • The roasting process involves applying heat either by convention (air roasting) or conductive (drum roasting) and bringing it through different stages, such as 1st crack (coffee expands in the roasting process, a lighter roast or "blonde" roast), then further to 2nd crack (darker, more "carbon" coffee, and found more in commercially-prepared roasts).
  • Chris shares the extensive process to become a master roaster. You need to learn how to taste coffee first. If you want to geek out, there are roasting curves on Google! By the way, roasting fires are not too uncommon. Yikes!
  • Note: If you see an oily coffee bean, then it's likely to be a longer roasted bean. You run the risk of the oil on the outside of the bean going rancid. Be weary!
  • Once you roast the coffee beans, Chris estimates that a bag of coffee beans will have about one month shelf life. It depends on the roast, of course. The lighter roast, such as an Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, will have a little longer shelf life. The shelf life for ground coffee is variable and even shorter!
  • Illy Coffee uses nitrogen flushed packaging for both whole beans and ground coffee to help preserve flavors.


  • Chris' recommendation: Wait four days to a week after roasting to start using newly roasted beans.
  • Stay away from blade grinders or spice grinders--you need to use a burr coffee grinder since it will cut the coffee bean into a more uniform size, such as a basic one like this one by Black and Decker, or this one or this one or this one that Chris likes from Prima Coffee.
  • How to know you're grinding the right size: If your brew takes 3-4 minutes to complete, then you've got a good grind size. A smaller coffee grind will over-extract from the coffee. A coarse grind will taste watered-down or pithy.
  • French-press: Coarse grind, but longer time.
  • Expresso: Takes about 25 seconds because of the fine grind.
  • Drip versus pour-over coffee: There's something a little romantic about a pour-over set-up (such as a callida set-up), but drip coffee is consistent.


  • The ideal temperature: At least 198 degrees F, but 201 up to 210 degrees F are better. It needs to be hot enough to bring out the flavors. But you don't want it to be too hot (boiling), because it will pull out too many flavors and evaporate the flavor nuances.
  • Washed process coffee = more dense coffee bean = needs hotter water to give up the good flavor.
  • You can pick up a Total Dissolved Solids Meter and you can test your water in your home and your goal is to have minerals at 150 mg/L (or 4 grains of hardness/L) and a pH of 7. 
  • Third Wave Water helps you get a mineral mix that helps with you coffee. 
  • Chris was was drinking some coffee from Klatch Coffee Roasters: their Onyx Blend
  • What's a good supermarket buy: Go whole bean coffee. Check if it has a one-way CO2 valve. Check when it was roasted (at least a few weeks).
  • How should you be storing coffee: Cool airtight container at room temperature. Or perhaps in the freezer as Chris describes.
  • Subscribe to Chris' podcast here! He suggests three great episodes to start out: Episode 43 (Founder Friday with Kathy Turiano), Episode 37 (Chocolate + Coffee), and Episode 42 (Supplying and Selecting Equipment).
  • If you'd like to have Chris be a consultant for your business, jump on over to Clarity.fm and you can get a phone consultation by looking up Chris Deferio or Keys to the Shop.

Run Time: 60 minutes

Sponsors: We have no sponsors for this episode. If you're interested in working with us, please contact us. We'd love to partner with you.

Episode 87: Kitchen Design with Andrea Sorensen and Matt Walquist from IKEA

Monday, April 2, 2018
We have special guests Andrea Sorensen and Matt Walquist from IKEA to talk about kitchen design, from the beginning stages of "I need a new kitchen" to the inspiration and dreaming phase, then on to the actual measuring and designing your kitchen. The IKEA Kitchen Event is happening till April 8, 2018, so come in this week if you're ready for a kitchen.

Let's taco 'bout it!



Disclosure: Some of the links within these show notes are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, we will earn a commission, which helps support our show. This commission comes at no additional cost to you, our wonderful listener!

Let's taco 'bout it!

  • Sharon went to to Roosters Brewing Company in Ogden, Utah for dinner and had Buffalo Calamari Tacos. 
  • Winter and Lee did an experiment with a couple of thin cuts of pork shoulder. We did cooked one in cast iron pan and the other in the Instant Pot. I used my Thermapop thermometer to check the temperature on the pork in the cast iron pan--it was done quicker, it was moister, but the flavor was not as intense. The Instant Pot version got done slower (because we had to bring up the temperature of the pork and marinade), it was dryer, but the flavor was super intense. If you've done pork before, please send your recipes to Winter, since she has failed pork every time she's tired it.

ThermoWorks ThermoPop
  • On this week's episode, we talk to Andrea Sorensen, the IKEA Draper's Loyalty Manager and a former IKEA Interior Designer, and Matt Walquist, IKEA Draper's Active Selling Leader and Kitchen Planner, about kitchen design.
  • IKEA kitchens have a 25 year warranty. 25 years! Whoa!
  • IKEA products are low VOC (volatile organic products), use fair labor, and are ethically sourced.
  • Heat resistant quartz is Matt's favorite, because it is harder than steel and has a nice uniform look.
  • Matt started out as a contract kitchen designer and installer and had obtained the contract
  • The Work Triangle in the kitchen creates efficiencies for you and consists of the 1) refrigerator, 2) sink, and 3) stove. These need to be at least 3 feet apart from each spot, but under 9 feet apart. You want to have a sweet spot depending on you the customer.


  • When you are designing your kitchen, you need to ask "Who is working in the space?" so you can understand what is important to have in the kitchen.
  • IKEA will figure out who the people in the market are, how they work, what they like (and hate) about their kitchen, etc.
  • How do you go about design a kitchen with IKEA: Get the measurements of your kitchen. You can get an IKEA professional to come out and get the correct measurements
  • Then you work with a kitchen planner and you have 45 days to make changes.
  • Not only is it cabinets and drawers, IKEA also has planned for the things that go within cabinets and drawers so your kitchen works for you.


  • You need to come in and get inspired, have your Pinterest board, ask questions, then when you're ready, set up the appointments with a kitchen design expert. You get this money back when you buy the kitchen.
  • What are some kitchen trends you're seeing: 1) people are tired of cleaning, so more modern and simple, and 2) people want to show some self-expression.
  • Trends that are going away: Andrea doesn't like having a kitchen just for show, but would rather see having a kitchen that is more useful. Matt has a pet peeve of built-in microwaves.
  • All the appliances are WhirlPool with a 5-year warranty, for example this fridge.
  • Farm-house sinks are really popular right now and they are so inexpensive at IKEA!
  • IKEA is here for 1) Those who want to do it yourself, and 2) Those who would like IKEA to do it.


  • If you need financing options, you can get the IKEA Project Card to help with your bigger projects. If you spend over $5000, you can get 4.9% interest rate. Plus, you can get 15% back in-store credit if you spend a kitchen! Sweet!
  • IKEA's Kitchen Event goes till April 8th, 2018, as long as you buy a service plan before then, you can get these prices with some time to actually do the planning services (30-45 days).

Run Time: 53 minutes

Sponsors: Our awesome and food-loving sponsor is IKEA and their spring Kitchen Event. It goes till April 8, 2018.

Remember to come in and schedule a planning service before April 8, 2018 in order to take advantage of on-sale kitchens!

Episode 86: Introducing 100% Fresh Beef Patties and Restaurant Logistics with Preston Pearson of McDonald's [Sponsored Post]

Tuesday, March 27, 2018
This week, we geek out a bit on restaurant design as we go on location at McDonald's to chat with Preston Pearson, Area Operations Supervisor, as they introduce 100% fresh beef patties to their Quarter Pounder and Signature Crafted burger line-up, and how that has changed their kitchen workflow, installed new equipment, and revamped staff training. Lee also joins us and goes through the process of making a fresh beef burger. Have you had one lately? They're so hot and juicy!

Let's taco 'bout it!



Disclosure: Some of the links within these show notes are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, we will earn a commission, which helps support our show. This commission comes at no additional cost to you, our wonderful listener!

Let's taco 'bout it!

  • Lee joins us to help We're just happy to have some fellow bloggers and guests for our segment What did you eat this week? Kathy Dalton of Go Adventure Mom (with a podcast!) told us of Trader Joe's Gnocchi al Gorgonzola and how it's now their emergency go-to meal. Sounds good to me!
  • We also chatted with Valerie of Chew and Chat and she loved the new fresh beef burgers from McDonald's (see what she had to say here) that we tried that evening, plus she told us of a chicken vegetable soup that she made from her cookbook Soup's On.
  • We also chatted with Stephanie Read of the Salt Project (you can find them here: blog, Facebook, and Instagram), about the McDonald's Quarter Pounder she ate at the event. She's been a fan of the Quarter Pounder for a long time now, but she stated that it was the best one she's eaten!


  • Becky of the blog Utah Sweet Savings joined us and told us about what she ate this week: A smoked rib-eye steak with Old Bay Seasoning for 2 hours, then finished off on the grill for a nice sear. Yum! 
  • We didn't realize how much McDonald's is committed to making things better for their customers. Their philosophy is "the simpler the better". 
  • Warning: We are on-site at McDonald's and the sound quality is quite a bit different and variable! We hope you enjoy a more relaxed, "peek" into our field trip.
  • We take a tour with Preston Pearson, McDonald's Operations Supervisor, as he talks us through the changes that needed to be made throughout the restaurant. 

Preston Pearson of McDonald's (picture taken by Kathy Dalton of Go Adventure Mom)

  • Grill-side refrigerators have been installed for easy access to the meat, and they're stocked every 2 hours and as needed at the location we visited. 
  • The meat is shipped in low oxygen, plastic-sealed bags and staged in the walk-in refrigerators and stored appropriately per food handling procedures. When it's ready to be moved to the grill-side fridge, the bag of fresh patties are put into a blue plastic container. The blue color is to indicate a raw product to alert employees.
  • Before an employee handles the raw beef patty, he or she dons blue gloves, once again for raw product only. Once the meat is placed on the grill, the blue gloves are removed and thrown away.
  • He talks about the innovative clamshell grills, where both the top and bottom plates of the grill are heated for quick cooking and a nice sear. The grill's temperatures are verified and calibrated upon installation and daily, so that the fresh beef patty can be cooked in under 80 seconds. Eighty seconds! That's quick to get a hot burger even through the drive-through!

The Hungry Squared Podcast with the McDonald's group (picture taken by Kathy Dalton of Go Adventure Mom)

  • I found out that the special seasoning combination they put on the burgers consists of 86 grains of salt to 14 flakes of pepper. Who has the patience to figure that out?!
  • Once the patty is cooked, it goes through the regular efficient burger assembly, where the employee has donned on clear/white gloves.
  • Afterward, we ate our burgers and even tried some secret menu items, like the "10:30 Burger". The 10:30 Burger got it's name because you could it when the breakfast menu was finishing up and the lunch menu was beginning at 10:30 am. The burger is a Quarter Pounder with bacon, a fried egg, and hash browns. It was delicious! Check our Instagram and Facebook to see Lee's reaction!
  • You can follow McDonald's on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Run Time: 45 minutes

Sponsors: McDonald's is our awesome and food-loving sponsor for this week's episode. Have you tried a Quarter Pounder or Signature Crafted burger with a 100% beef patty yet? You gotta love it!





Episode 85: Thermometers with Special Guest Chef Martin Earl of ThermoWorks

Monday, March 19, 2018
On this week's episode, we are delighted to chat with Martin Earl, the culinary editor and chef at ThermoWorks, the makers of thermometers, all about the history of thermometry and science of the different types of digital thermometers are and how they work. We also chatted about how to use thermometers to get better quality of food as the home cook. What a great chat!

Let's taco 'bout it!



Disclosure: Some of the links within these show notes are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, we will earn a commission, which helps support our show. This commission comes at no additional cost to you, our wonderful listener!

Let's taco 'bout it!

  • Sharon got 3 different New York-style pizzas from Este Pizzeria in Salt Lake City, Utah for Pi Day this week. It was a hit with the family! 
  • Winter also had 2 different pies she loved: A gorgeous vegetable pie (see it here) and a lovely 3-berry pie that her sisters-in-law made for the family's annual Pi Day Party. By the way, have you listened to our very first episode on pie? You can right here!
  • We are delighted to have Martin Earl, the culinary editor at ThermoWorks, on the show today as our special guest to talk about thermometry and thermometers.


  • Alton Brown and the folks at America's Test Kitchen love and use ThermoWorks products! Those are GREAT recommendations!
  • The first thermometer that was invented and referenced was a candy thermometer in the 12th century. The 12th century!
  • Thermal expansion was observed by the Greeks in 200 BC.
  • Galileo had made the first bulb thermometer, using a open dish of water and a glass bulb.
  • There are two types of digital thermometers: Thermoster (thermal resistor) Thermometer and Thermal Couple Thermometers. 
  • Thermal Couple Thermometers use Type K probes and you have accuracy of +/- 0.7 degrees F.
  • Here is a great article by ThermoWorks about the calibration of thermometers (or rather the verifying and calibration) by ThermoWorks.
  • The food safety of thermometry was really developed during the Space Race, when Pillsbury worked with NASA to develop  HACCP


  • Through studying bacterial growth and death, that's how food safety temperatures were determined. Pasteurization is a function of time and temperature per USDA, but home cooks usually only know the temperature factor.
  • Do the pop-up turkey timers work?
  • We talked about leave-in thermometers and instant read thermometer. 
  • Leave-in thermometers, such as this one, are great for roasts, etc and will sync with your smart device so you can keep an eye on your temperatures without opening and closing the oven/grill/smoker, etc.
  • This is Nathan Myhrvold of Modernist Cuisine. And we did look at Modernist Bread too while we visited.
  • Infrared thermometers, such as this one, are great for non-contact temperature reading.
  • By the way, the ThermoPen Mk4 probe is 4.5 inches in length.
  • We also talked about resting and carry-over temperatures. On your reference charts for different meats, the temperatures that are listed are final temperatures. They recommend pulling your meat out about 2 degrees F before your final temperature, since there is carry-over cooking after you pull it out. Keep in mind: The smaller piece of meat = not as much carry-over cooking will happen.
  • Recommendation for home cook: Instant-read Thermapen (or ThermoPop) and leave-in probe ChefAlarm.

  • Recommendation for a candy thermometer: Use the Thermapen! Stir and read. (By the way, ThermoWorks also sells a burn ointment!)
  • Their new Smoke just came out: You have two probes! 
  • Thermapen IR also is new and a nice product for professionals.
  • Enter to win a yellow ThermaPen Mk4: 1) Sign up for the ThermoWorks newsletter here (and comment that you did so on Facebook, Instagram, or in the blog comments), 2) follow ThermoWorks on Instagram, 3) follow Hungry Squared on Instagram, and 4) tag a friend that could use a great thermometer! Giveaway is open till Friday, March 30, 2018 at 11:59 pm. Good luck!

Run Time: 60 minutes

Sponsors: We have no sponsors for this episode. If you're interested in working with us, please contact us. We'd love to partner with you.

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