Tag Archives: peanut butter

Top Chef Michael Mina Describes My Daily Diet

Teddie Peanut Butter only served on Friday and Saturday evenings.


Today we have a par-boiled oatmeal made with Trader Joe’s Organic Old Fashioned Rolled Oats, seasoned with Organic Pumpkin Spice and Morton’s Kosher Salt, both stolen from a roommate personally by Emily Drevets.

The oats are prepared by pouring tap water heated to exactly 212 degrees Fahrenheit over them and letting them sit for as long as you can stand. As a garnish, we sprinkle just a touch of raw oats over the finished dish. Served with tap water and our signature Nescafe Instant Coffee.

These oats remain mostly raw because they are not Quick Cooking, so you get some of that tough oaty texture that reminds you of the earth and eating wheat off the stalk. I feel this is a very honest dish that reconnects you with how eating must have felt for our ancestors.


For this dish, I was inspired by childhood and children in general. I’m fascinated by the way they approach life, absorbing everything as if it were completely new, captivated by what has become ordinary to us. They are the very embodiment of “fresh eyes” and that’s where I got the idea for a Toasted Whole Wheat Peanut Butter and Raspberry Jam Sandwich.

To prepare this re-invented childhood classic, we open the bag of Trader Joe’s Organic Whole Wheat Bread and gently set two slices in a preheated toaster oven. As the bread toasts and becomes progressively drier, we ready the peanut butter and raspberry jam by taking the respective jars out of the fridge and opening them.

The peanut butter we’re using today is an Organic Crunchy, Natural Trader Joe’s Peanut Butter, made from local peanuts and harvested with the help of a man who is, by coincidence, my second cousin Bill. Bill and I don’t talk much, and our jam of the month is Safeway Brand Raspberry jam, with real cane sugar and artificial colorings.

Once the bread is done toasting, we remove it from the oven and slather it in peanut butter. The warmth of the toast causes the peanut butter to melt slightly, adding to the gooiness of the sandwich. Then, we smear raspberry jam on the toast, making sure to swirl the mixture.

Much like checking for the appropriate swirls of fat in high-quality meat, a healthy swirl in a peanut butter and raspberry jam sandwich is an equally important indicator of quality. Then we press the two slices together, seeing to it that some of the filling drips down the sides.

The drink of choice with this finished product: tap water. You’re going to need a lot in order to keep this viscous mixture moving down.


Dinner today is a handful of Trader Joe’s Cats Cookies for People, kind of the big sister of Teddy Grahams with a similar, cinammony taste and innocent crunch, along with some spoonfuls of peanut butter straight out of the jar, served with Twinning’s English Breakfast Tea and tap water from a nickel-plated sink faucet in the bathroom.

I’ve found that eating eating peanut butter right from the jar works on both the experiential and gustatory levels, and the proximity to such a primary ingredient in its natural and abundant state is a real crowd pleaser.

Bon Appétit!

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Alone: A humor writer’s story

The preferred drink of the clinically insane, champions, and bloggers.

“The humor writer, alone on a Friday night, drinks shoe polish out of an aluminum can that once held baked beans and bacon. The bacon did not come with the baked beans. Rather, one time on Bacon Monday she had used the can instead of a plate because all of her plates were either dirty or broken, lying in the bathtub.

She could not remember an evening with friends or without baked beans.

The inspiration for her stories comes from her own life, the time she kicked a cat because it reminded her of a thin-armed high school crush who tortured her with his indifference, the time she bought a Halloween jack-o-lantern at the supermarket just to talk to the cashier, the time she called up her friend in a different state to tell her everything she ate that day.

That was the last friend she had.

She would volunteer at the soup kitchen if they would have her back. She would go to dance lessons at the community recreational center if her membership hadn’t been permanently and irreversibly revoked after an unfortunate leotard incident at the Springapalooza adult dance recital. Even her mom had said that she should pursue other non-dancing and non-humor writing interests. Maybe you should try grad school, her mother said. Remember when you wanted to be a brain surgeon, her mom said.

Yes, it was a hard life. The humor writer sighed as she put the finishing touches on a piece about the similarities between fingernails and presidential candidates.

One day the world would see her value. One day she would get to meet the man who won the international facial hair competition and eat a large bowl of macaroni and cheese with him. One day she…”


“Mom I’m working!”

“What are you writing your little jokes again? Why aren’t you studying for the GRE!”

“I’ll do it later!”

“Well get out of your room and come to dinner! The meatloaf’s getting cold!”


Okay now back to work. Where was I…ah yes: “….One day she would show them all and they would laugh, and yet she would have the last one. It would taste like peanut butter”

That sounds good.

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Is Peanut Butter Good For You?

This is enough peanut butter for roughly three days.

Yes. It’s what we in the medical community call a “healthy food,” and it should form a significant portion, if not the majority, of your diet. Most white, male doctors recommend eating 4-8 tablespoons of peanut butter a day (32- 64g) in order to maximize its health benefits. These include decreased excess energy, facial sprouting, peanut mouth, and a heightened sense of disclarity.

If you’re trying to lose weight, female doctors say you should replace two meals a day with half a cup (64g) of peanut butter and wash it down with one cup (128g) whole milk. In order to see the best results while using peanut butter, you should also avoid eating vegetables or other bulky foods like whole wheat and oatmeal, since they will only hinder your body from taking in more peanut butter.

In addition to being a nutritious oral food product, peanut butter is also scientifically proven to have effects as a hair treatment, carpet cleaner, and virus removal software for your personal computer.

Just as peanut butter performs the sacred cohesive act in a sandwich made with crustless white bread, it is also a driving force of social cohesion. Countries whose populations consume a high amount of peanut butter, like the United States of America and Mali, are generally referred to as “paradises on earth,” which is sociologist speak for “a great place to live.”  Countries with low rates of gross peanut butter consumption, like Belgium and Egypt, are more prone to social unrest and mayonnaise based diets. Even though mayonnaise is a nutrient the body needs, basing an entire nutrition system on it will undoubtedly hinder the television production capacities of said countries.

If you have any more questions about whether peanut butter is good for you or not, please re-read the paragraphs above and don’t call me at home.

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Deconstructed Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich

This recipe was taken from an episode of Top Chef: Personal Lives

To make the perfect deconstructed PB&J:

Make sure you are alone. Check the bedrooms, kitchen, closets, basement, staircases, and behind, making sure you are unaccompanied. Lock the doors.

Stalk your way to the kitchen. Be furtive. The more furtive you are, the better the deconstructed sandwich will taste. A furtive sandwich is a tasty sandwich.

Glance around shamefully, then reach into the cabinet and withdraw the half empty jar of peanut butter from its lair. You are not a pessimist, but there’s no denying you’ve already eaten half of the peanut butter. It is a large jar, with 24 servings, a total of 48 tablespoons. You’ve done the math. There is no call for optimism here.

Make sure you are alone.

Quietly, ever so quietly, remove the lid. Quickly check behind you and then grab a knife from the drawer, a butter knife. Slowly close the squeaky drawer, trying to make as little noise as possible. Wince at every creak. A quiet sandwich is a good sandwich.

today, we dine on pb&j alone

With the jar and knife, creep to your bedroom, shutting the door behind you. Set the peanut butter timer for ten minutes. Crawl into bed and, with the knife, eat the peanut butter, varying your technique slightly from bite to bite. It’s just you, the knife, the peanut butter, and the timer.

When the timer goes off, jump as if something has scared you. Realize it was just the fact you sat by yourself in your room alone eating peanut butter for ten minutes. Push this thought away and then continue making the deconstructed PB&J.

Pick up the jar and knife, cleaned of all traces of peanut butter, and make your way back to the kitchen. The lights in the house should be off, curtains closed except for a crack through which you can see the outside world. Sandwiches in the dark are toothsome sandwiches.

In the kitchen, place the peanut butter back in its dark corner.

Choose your favorite spoon, the one you eat frosting and ice cream with, the one you would take with you should you ever travel again, the spoon you would want your friends to see,  the spoon you would want to look like if you still went out to social events.

Open the mostly empty fridge and remove your only jar of jam, which is almost gone. Open it up and slurp down a few mouthfuls with your spoon. Reassure yourself that you deserve this. Notice how the sweet, cool, smooth texture of the jam contrasts beautifully with the creamy, slightly savory, nutty aftertaste of the peanut butter. Afterwards, notice how you are eating jam out of the jar.

A quiet sandwich is a good sandwich.

Screw the lid on the jam and put it back. After closing the door, glance at the pictures on the fridge. Wonder if you should call your mother.

Eat a slice of bread later on, after waking from your nap.

P.S. Teddie Peanut Butter is the best.

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