On Presidential Junk Food and Culinary Haunts, by Chef Sheila

August is such a slog for both the candidates and me too. So what is there to talk about besides the Olympics?  How about what both candidates eat on the road and where they like to dine?

Ok so its not a great subject, however after my wander thru the websites, I did find out some trivia that allows us just a little peak into their notions of healthy eating or for that matter favorite foods at least.

So do you want to know Senator Obama’s favorite and least favorite food?  Here goes;

Planters Trail Mix: Nuts, Seeds & Raisins
Roasted almonds
Dentyne Ice
MET-Rx chocolate roasted peanut protein bars
Vegetables, especially broccoli and spinach
Handmade milk chocolates from Fran’s Chocolates in Seattle

Salt and vinegar potato chips
Asparagus (“if no other vegetables are available, he’ll eat it”)
Soft drinks (he prefers water)

AND  how about Senator McCain? Ok, so it must be a secret.  All I could find out is that he is an eater of  pizza, pizza, pizza wile on the road.

When campaigning in Brooklyn, Sen. McCain dropped into Verrazano Pizza and bought a pepperoni slice, according to press accounts. Sen. Obama opted for vegetarian pies (all-cheese and the classic tomato-and-mozzarella Margherita) at American Dream Pizza in Corvallis, Ore. Even when he eats Pizza, its with his arteries in mind!

Obama’s Chicago Haunt.
Altogether more interesting to me is the Obamas’ favorite haunt of Topolobampo, Rick Bayless’s (Sheila’s hero) superb little shrine to the full measure of Mexico’s cuisine. I gorged there happily when on a personal culinary pilgimage, enjoying its authentic, even scholarly versions of classic dishes such as chilaquiles and Yucatecan roast pork.

Topolobampo (named after a Mexican port) is one of the reasons I think Chicago is arguably America’s top eating city……sorry Brian……

Topolobampo says, Sen. Obama often orders sopa azteca, a dark broth flavored with pasilla chilies, grilled chicken, avocado, Meadow Valley Farm handmade Jack cheese, thick cream and crisp tortilla strips. (From the Menu)


When the McCains are in Phoenix he likes to go to Tee Pee, says a spokeswoman for the senator’s campaign, Brooke Buchanan. The perfect place for a chilly retreat in this standby Tex-Mex saloon, escaping the 110-degree heat and taking comfort from the strings of tiny red chiliesque bulbs overhead. The beer was very cold but the enchiladas with rice and beans were a disappointing mess of cheese and flabby tortillas. This was the “presidential special” ordered by George W. Bush on Jan. 21, 2004, a date hallowed in Tee Pee legend and commemorated with a picture of the event posted on a wall near the entrance. Bush 41 always DID like little hole in the walls for dining.
Here’s a thought! Is Sen. McCain’s loyalty to Tee Pee a sign that he would continue the policies of the current administration? I personally wince at the thought of it, but I’ll let you decide.

My point of this foray into the two candidates culinary habits? Well…….again…what do you think would have more a chance of physically warding of a heart attack while in the Oval Office? Roasted Almonds or Pizza?

Rick Bayless’ Sopa Azteca (reportedly Obama’s favorite)

1 large dried pasilla chile, stemmed, seeded
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium white onion, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, peeled
8 cups chicken broth
1 large epazote sprig, optional
1¼ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into ½-inch cubes
1 avocado, pitted, flesh scooped out, cut into ¼-inch cubes
1½ cups shredded Mexican melting cheese (Chihuahua, quesadilla or asadero) or Monterey Jack or mild cheddar
4 cups roughly broken tortilla chips
½ cup Mexican crema, sour cream or crème fraîche
1 lime, cut into 6 wedges
• Quickly toast the chile by holding it with tongs an inch or two over a gas flame, turning for a few seconds until its aroma is released. Alternatively, toast the chile in a dry pan over medium heat, pressing it flat for a few seconds, then flipping it over and pressing it again.

• Break the chile into pieces. Place it in a blender along with the tomatoes and juice; set aside. (A food processor will work, however, it won’t completely puree the chile.)

• Heat the oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until golden, about 7 minutes. Remove pot from the heat. Scoop up the onion and garlic with a slotted spoon, pressing them against the side of the pan to leave behind as much oil as possible; transfer to the blender. Process until smooth.

• Return the pot to medium-high heat. When it is quite hot, add the tomato mixture and stir nearly constantly, until thickened to the consistency of tomato paste, about 7 minutes. Add the broth and epazote, if using. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt, about 1 teaspoon.

• Just before serving, add the chicken to the simmering broth. Meanwhile, divide the avocado, cheese and tortilla chips among the serving bowls. When the chicken is done, usually about 5 minutes, ladle the soup into the bowls. Garnish with a dollop of crema. Pass the lime separately.

Bon Appetite!



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64 responses to “On Presidential Junk Food and Culinary Haunts, by Chef Sheila

  1. Well so much for the diet I was planning on starting today, damn you Sheila!

  2. Chef Sheila

    Roasted Almonds aren’t fattening. ;0)

    But Pizza however is a heart bomb…..bettcha can’t eat just one slice!

  3. Chef Sheila

    I am on an eternal diet….for the rest of my ever lovin life.

  4. Chef Sheila

    wow….can I state very clearly that this statement from a memo of Mark Penn is clearly prejudice in a big way.

    * Penn proposed targeting Obama’s lack of American roots — but also said the campaign could never do this publicly. Early accounts of Green’s piece note a key revelation: That in a memo on March 19, 2007, Penn explicitly proposed drawing attention to what he called (with a rather jarring oxymoron) a “very strong weakness” for Obama: “His roots to basic American values and culture are at best limited.”

    But the memo has something that makes this even better: Penn said they’d never publicly do this. “We are never going to say anything about his background — we have to show the value of ours,” he wrote, adding: “I cannot imagine America electing a president during a time of war who is not at his center fundamentally American in his thinking and in his values.”

  5. Well I’m off to a client, see you all later.

  6. Karolenna

    Read about this in the Dispatch this morning. Maybe some of you have already seen or heard about it. Obama going for the rural farm voters in Ohio which you would think would be McBush’s, but this time is different. Afterall, do you think a conservative is going to allow his barn to be painted with an Obama sign?


  7. Chef Sheila

    Here’s what I saw this morning Karolenna,

    But before I reveal what I put on the last thread,,,,that is so cool about the barn campaign! If at least one gets up there, it will be an event for sure.

    Obama Camp Announcing Republicans For Obama Group

    The Obama campaign will be hosting a conference call this morning to roll out their Republicans For Obama group, featuring former GOP Congressman Jim Leach of Iowa. Leach served in the House for 30 years as a relatively liberal Republican, most notably voting against the Iraq War in 2002, before being defeated in an upset by Democrat Dave Loebsack in 2006

  8. dnd

    What the Obama campaign won’t tell you is that when Michelle is out of town, Barack goes to Lou Malnati’s to chow down on a deep dish pizza and washes it down with a pitcher of Old Style.

  9. Good morning e-one!

    Well my mouth was watering by the end of that post…yummy. I don’t like Mayonnaise either, ( too fattening ) I’ve learned to just say I don’t like it….instead of the ” wah wah” about the fat.

    I have seen the “Ohio Barn” on I-71 north of Columbus…..what a creative idea ! There is an Obama greet and meet this week, we may go if our schedule allows…I think Obama is really working Ohio….from what I am witnessing.

  10. horsedooty

    Nicorette = fav food? since when thought it was a med that was dispensed via gum.

    ok off the futk kick for a day or two.

    no sig

  11. Chef Sheila

    dnd, you’d think his right ankly would show that effort, at least!

    Thanks Burrito, my mouth waters everytime I write your name. ;0)

  12. Shelia,
    Are you still walking? I thought it would be cool to have a t-shirt that had this on the back :

    Walk for a change

    Vote Obama 08

    I see so many commuters when I walk. It would be like a shirt bumper sticker – plus it’s eco-savvy and healthy.

  13. Chef Sheila

    Well I have to go to work. See you all in a bit. Tawk amungst ya selves!

  14. Chef Sheila

    I am walking everyday! that would be a great T Shirt!

  15. You’ve made me very hungry, and I haven’t even had my breakfast of chorizo, huevos, papas, tortillas, and cafe. Just kidding! Many family members on my wife’s side eat just like that much of the time. I eat gringo menudo: oat meal! LOL!

  16. dnd

    Gringo menudo! LOL! That’s great eprof2.

    ps. Look for the big unit to lose to Jiminez tonight 😉

  17. “Bush wants some endangered species rules extinct ”


    In May, the polar bear became the first species declared as threatened because of climate change. Warming temperatures are expected to melt the sea ice the bear depends on for survival.”

  18. Chef Sheila

    LOL Eprof….you make it sound so Blanco!

  19. Chef Sheila

    The year I got married, I received a “Cooking For Two” cookbook and Huevos Rancheros in there for breakfast. I have never heard of it before that. Over the years I’ve adjusted it for my tastes and the energy I wanted to expend. I have used Paul Newman’s salsas and I have made my own. It doesn’t matter really, its a great breakfast item and in my youth when I tippled too much drink, it was a great comfort food for the belly and the head. ;0)

    This one is for anyone who likes a little extra snap in their food

    Huevos Rancheros

    6 tablespoons vegetable oil
    8 (5-inch) corn tortillas
    2 (14- to 15-ounce) cans whole tomatoes in juice
    1/2 cup chopped white onion
    1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro plus additional for sprinkling
    1 tablespoon chopped canned chipotle chiles in adobo
    2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
    1 teaspoon salt
    8 large eggs
    1 avocado sliced length wise

    Purée tomatoes with their juice, onion, cilantro, chipotle, garlic, and salt in a blender until very smooth. Carefully add mixture to hot skillet (it may spatter) and simmer, stirring occasionally, until salsa is slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.

    Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch heavy nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then crack 4 eggs into skillet and cook 3 to 4 minutes for runny yolks, or to desired doneness. Transfer to a plate and keep warm, covered, then cook remaining 4 eggs in remaining tablespoon oil in same manner. Season eggs with salt and pepper.

    Spoon 1/4 cup salsa onto each plate and top with 2 tortillas, slightly overlapping them. Transfer 2 eggs to tortillas on each plate and top with some of remaining salsa. Sprinkle with cilantro. Add slices of avocado on top.

    *** OR Put the salsa on around the eggs as your are cooking them and cover until there is a white film formed over the yolks…..This is how I like to cook them

  20. Karolenna

    The blog ate my post about global warming. Maybe Brian can release it when he returns.

  21. Karolenna

    Interest read about Rielle Hunter.


    I’m out of here for several hours. Later!

  22. dog's eye view

    fun column Sheila; thanks.

    AG Mukasey declines to prosecute anyone for the illegal Justice Department hiring practices. Can you say “toothless”? How disappointing.


  23. dog's eye view

    blog ate my post: AG Mukasey decided against prosecuting anyone for illegal Dept of Justice hirings. Disappointing.

    NY Times has the story.

  24. dog's eye view

    I think you guys know about this, but Corey’s dad passed away yesterday.


  25. dog's eye view

    Mukasey: “The system failed.”

    The system did not fail. People failed.

    But the bad guys succeeded — the illegal hires now have civil service protection.

    This is not right or just and we and others need to raise a cry about this, with letters to the editor, etc.


  26. dog's eye view

    Marines in the brig (jail) at Camp Lejeune (aka Swamp Lejeune) in North Carolina training service dogs for wounded vets.

    Good idea.


  27. dog's eye view

    Cool idea: Obama campaign considering handing out cell phones and lists of persuadable voters to those standing (and standing and standing) in lines to enter INVESCO Field for acceptance speech. Or they could call their own friends and contacts and talk up Obama.


  28. dnd

    Obama’s sister Maya Soetoro-Ng will speak at the DNCC. How cool is that?

    I think Denver’s mayor will speak Monday and Colorado’s governor will speak Thursday.

  29. all held posts have been released.

  30. Has anyone heard anything today regarding the Atlantic article? I just got home.

  31. dnd

    Just got back from voting in Colorado’s primary. Only two contested seats in my district. One for state senate seat and one for the 2nd congressional district seat vacated by Mark Udall so he can run for senate.

    They asked me if I wanted a paper ballot of electronic voting. I requested paper. The gal that handed me my ballot told me that so far no one had opted to use electronic voting…

  32. Chef Sheila


    CNN was all over it this morning. But I’ve been working.

  33. August 12, 2008
    Gallup Daily: Obama Leads 47% to 42%


    I suspect the Atlantic piece will be the main topic on tweety.

  34. Clintons Still Want To Kill Caucuses: The Latest Round


    These people really to a very long vacation and not return till Jan 21st.

  35. Haha, Jack Cafferty is going after the wacko clintonista today! I think the world is growing tired of their whining.

  36. McCain Campaign Officially Endorses Lieberman’s Claim That Obama Hasn’t “Put Country First”


  37. Chef Sheila

    Hey there Hi there Ho There!

    Time to sit for a bit

  38. I heard Reed’s name mentioned a few times today on CNN, not much talk about Biden though.

  39. dnd

    I heard on the news this am that the McCain campaign has vetted Liberman for a possible veep pick. His days on any dem committees are numbered.

  40. I heard that too, his career as a senator will certainly be ending with this term.

  41. horsedooty

    can’t happen soon enough for me. Loserman to me.

  42. Chef Sheila

    Yea, I’d say thats as close to political prostitution as I’ve ever seen.

  43. I guess he’s decided to go out with as big a splat as he can manage.

  44. Chef Sheila

    Now here is a change of pace!

    GOPers For Obama Rip McCain On Georgia, Tout Hagel As VP


    Share Print View Comments Like this story? Get Alerts of big news events. Enter your email address

    A group of prominent Republicans supporting Barack Obama took to a conference call Tuesday morning to tout their preferred candidate, make the case for other GOPers to cross party lines, and warn about the dangers of John McCain’s foreign policy.

    Hoping to fill a void in news with Senator Obama on vacation, former Rep. Jim Leach, former Sen. Lincoln Chafee and Rita Hauser (a national intelligence expert who served in the Bush administration), offered at times sharp lines of criticism for the presumptive Republican nominee

  45. dnd

    Lincoln Chafee has a lot of cred with indies. This could be big.

  46. I have a lot respect for Chafee, I’m so glad he resigned the repug party.

  47. dnd

    Bill Clinton called John Edwards today to minister and give advise to a fellow philanderer. He ended the call by asking for Rielle Hunter’s phone number…

  48. you’re on a roll today d

  49. dnd

    I report. You decide.

  50. Chef Sheila

    Yes, Comedy relief in Colorado is in rare form tonight. lol

  51. dog's eye view

    Cactus rustling in the Palm Desert, CA area. They’re microchipping cacti now, to try to keep them in national parks and landscaped areas.

    Nothing new; Joshua Tree National Monument was established in 1936 to protect flora which was developing legs back then and scramming.


  52. horsedooty

    I bought gas today near my house and it was $3.52 a gallon. lowest I have seen it in a while.

  53. 200m mens butterfly coming up, this could be it for Phelps, greatest Olympian of all time.

  54. eprof2

    dnd, sorry about the Rockies loss to the Big Unit. He says smiling!

  55. colleen

    Maureen Dowd goes where others fear to tread:

    Yes, She Can


  56. colleen

    tried to link today’s Maureen Dowd but my post got eaten for breakfast. It’s worth checking her out, she goes where others have been fearing to tread..

  57. dog's eye view

    Hey, baby blog is little enough that maybe putting up the whole post will pass unnoticed.

    So: until Colleen’s link to NYTimes Dowd column gets freed, here’s the article itself.

    August 13, 2008
    Yes, She Can


    While Obama was spending three hours watching “The Dark Knight” five time zones away, and going to a fund-raiser featuring “Aloha attire” and Hawaiian pupus, Hillary was busy planning her convention.

    You can almost hear her mind whirring: She’s amazed at how easy it was to snatch Denver away from the Obama saps. Like taking candy from a baby, except Beanpole Guy doesn’t eat candy. In just a couple of weeks, Bill and Hill were able to drag No Drama Obama into a swamp of Clinton drama.

    Now they’ve made Barry’s convention all about them — their dissatisfaction and revisionism and barely disguised desire to see him fail. Whatever insincere words of support the Clintons muster, their primal scream gets louder: He can’t win! He can’t close the deal! We told you so!

    Hillary’s orchestrating a play within the play in Denver. Just as Hamlet used the device to show that his stepfather murdered his father, Hillary will try to show the Democrats they chose the wrong savior.

    Her former aide Howard Wolfson fanned the divisive flames Monday on ABC News, arguing that Hillary would have beaten Obama in Iowa and become the nominee if John Edwards’s affair had come out last year — an assertion contradicted by a University of Iowa survey showing that far more Edwards supporters had Obama as their second choice.

    Hillary feels no guilt about encouraging her supporters to mess up Obama’s big moment, thus undermining his odds of beating John McCain and improving her odds of being the nominee in 2012.

    She’s obviously relishing Hillaryworld’s plans to have multiple rallies in Denver, to take out TV and print ads and to hold up signs in the hall that read “Denounce Nobama’s Coronation.”

    In a video of a closed California fund-raiser on July 31 that surfaced on YouTube, Hillary was clearly receptive to having her name put in nomination and a roll-call vote.

    She said she thought it would be good for party unity if her gals felt “that their voices are heard.” But that’s disingenuous. Hillary was the one who raised the roll-call idea at the end of May with Democrats, who were urging her to face the math. She said she wanted it for Chelsea, oblivious to how such a vote would dim Obama’s star turn. Ever since she stepped aside in June, she’s been telling people privately that there might have to be “a catharsis” at the convention, signaling she wants a Clinton crescendo.

    Bill continues to howl at the moon — and any reporters in the vicinity — about Obama; he’s starting to make King Lear look like Ryan Seacrest.

    The way the Clintons see it, there’s nothing wrong with a couple making plans for their future, is there? That’s the American way and, as their pal Mark Penn pointed out, they have American roots while Obama “is not at his center fundamentally American in his thinking and in his values.”

    The Clintons know that a lot of Democrats are muttering that their solipsistic behavior is “disgusting.” But they’re too filled with delicious schadenfreude at the wave of buyer’s remorse that has swept the Democratic Party; many Democrats are questioning whether Obama is fighting back hard enough against McCain, and many are wondering, given his inability to open up a lead in a country fed up with Republicans, if race will be an insurmountable factor.

    Some Democrats wish that Obama had told the Clintons to “get in the box” or get lost if they can’t show more loyalty, rather than giving them back-to-back, prime-time speaking gigs at the convention on Tuesday and Wednesday. Al Gore clipped their wings in 2000, triggering their wrath by squeezing both the president and New York Senate candidate into speaking slots the first night and then ushering them out of L.A.

    Wednesday will be all Bill. The networks will rerun his churlish comments from Africa about Obama’s readiness to lead and his South Carolina meltdowns. TV will have more interest in a volcanic ex-president than a genteel veep choice.

    Obama also allowed Hillary supporters to insert an absurd statement into the platform suggesting that media sexism spurred her loss and that “demeaning portrayals of women … dampen the dreams of our daughters.” This, even though postmortems, including the new raft of campaign memos leaked by Clintonistas to The Atlantic — another move that undercuts Obama — finger Hillary’s horrendous management skills.

    Besides the crashing egos and screeching factions working at cross purposes, Joshua Green writes in the magazine, Hillary’s “hesitancy and habit of avoiding hard choices exacted a price that eventually sank her chances at the presidency.”

    It would have been better to put this language in the platform: “A woman who wildly mismanages and bankrupts a quarter-of-a-billion-dollar campaign operation, and then blames sexism in society, will dampen the dreams of our daughters.”

  58. dog's eye view

    LATimes: 2 Republicans endorse Obama

    First: Jim Leach, former congressman from Iowa and a moderate, because “he was concerned about the “current philosophy of government” and worried that John McCain would be “more of the same.”

    “I’m convinced that the national interest demands a new approach to our interaction with the world,” he said.

    [Leach suggested Chuck Hagel as VP.]

    Second: Jim Whitaker, mayor of the Fairbanks North Star Borough in Alaska, because he likes Obama’s energy policy and believes the Democrat has the stronger “intellectual capacity” of the two candidates.

    [Whitaker supported McCain in 2000 primaries.]


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