Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Sinking Fruit

March 11, 2014

Blueberry muffins

When making muffins and coffee cakes with berries, it’s preferred to have them scattered evenly throughout the pastry. How do you avoid the blueberries sinking to the bottom? Make sure they are dry, and toss them lightly in flour before mixing them into the dough. The flour will keep them afloat, until the muffin is baked and enjoyed.

photo: Glasshouse Images

Unrecipe of the Week: Miso Coconut Chicken

March 10, 2014

I was craving something with some interesting flavors, but nothing too spicy, too heavy or too obvious. I stumbled upon this recipe adapted from i am a food blog, and knew this was just what I was looking for. The smell of onion, ginger, mushrooms and garlic, perfumed the kitchen and added just the right amount of flavors to chicken. The miso paste and coconut milk combined to make the perfect sauce; creamy, but not cloying, and so delicious we wanted to eat it with a spoon. Of course, I tweaked it, or maybe just didn’t bother to measure it, to make it into an real unrecipe.

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Miso Coconut Chicken:

Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper and sear, skin side down, in vegetable oil for 6-8 minutes until it is crispy and brown.

Remove chicken from the pan, and sauté about 1/2 of a large onion diced, 2 or 3 cloves of diced garlic, and a nice sized hunk of diced ginger until it is soft and fragrant, but not too browned. Add in about a pound of sliced shitake mushrooms, and continue to cook until the mushrooms are done, scraping up any browned bits as you go.

Add 2 tablespoons of water, and 2 heaping tablespoon of miso paste to the pan, stirring until it becomes smooth. Add 1 can (14-16 oz. ) of unsweetened coconut milk to the pan and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer, and add the chicken pieces back to the pan. Cover, and simmer for 30-40 minutes until the chicken is fully cooked. Taste the sauce and correct the seasonings if necessary. Serve over steamed jasmine rice, and enjoy!

photo: glasshouse images

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Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Apples

February 25, 2014

Granny smith coupée en rondelles

Apples are the perfect on the go snack. They are healthy, low in calories, high in fiber and vitamins.
I prefer to eat them sliced. Somehow, crunching into a big ole apple, juices running down my chin, just doesn’t seem very polite, or professional. Cutting them “onsite” isn’t always possible, and cutting them in advance often leads to gross, brown slices.
Once I saw this trick, I had to share it!
Wash and slice the apple into large pieces, and then reassemble it, putting a rubber band around it to keep it intact. The flesh is not exposed to the air, therefore it doesn’t oxidize.

This concept should also work on avocados. Just leave the seed in and band it back together. Genius!

photo: Glasshouse Images

Sports Beer

February 21, 2014

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Generally speaking, drinking a beer after your workout is not the best choice. It’s dehydrating, bloating, and has enough calories to negate the effects of the workout. Unless it’s a Lean Machine Ale that is.

Canada’s latest entry into the world of breweries, is not only a healthier option to traditional ales, but it also marketing itself as a sports drink!

Aside from having a low alcohol content, it contains antioxidants and electrolytes that aid in recovery, and replenish vital nutrients often lost during high intensity exercise. One 77 calorie can,contains 7 grams of protein, and 7 different vitamins. It is shown to boost the immune system, and is gluten free.

For those of you in the states looking to give it a try, the company is offering a 24 pack, for $150, which comes with shares in Lean Machine, a hat and tee shirt, and an invitation to a local launch party. Why not give it a try?

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Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Cutting Herbs

February 18, 2014

Person chopping chives

When chopping fresh herbs, toss a little salt on the cutting board to keep them from flying around.
If you only need a small quantity, consider snipping the herbs with a kitchen scissors.

photo: Glasshouse Images

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Unrecipe of the Week: Scones

February 17, 2014

It was my favorite Brit’s birthday, and a cold, snowy one at that. In other words, the perfect day for tea and scones.

These little biscuits are flaky, with just the right amount of sweetness. Eat them alone, with butter, or slathered with English clotted cream and jam. Put the kettle on, and your’e good to go!

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Scones:
Sift together 2 cups of flour, 1 tablespoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/3 cup of sugar. Stir in 1 1/3 cups of currents. Add 1 cup of heavy cream and use an electric mixer on a low speed to combine all of the ingredients.

Dump dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead the mixture until it comes together with a rustic texture.
Roll dough to a 1″ thickness, and cut into rounds with a biscuit cutter, or the rim of a wine glass. Re-roll scraps until all of the dough is used.

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Place the rounds on a parchment covered baking sheet, and brush the tops liberally with melted butter. Sprinkle with sugar and bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes until they are a light, golden brown.

Enjoy!

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Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Storing Airtight Containers

February 11, 2014

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When storing airtight containers, toss in a pinch of salt to prevent odors from forming. This is a great tip for things like reusable water bottles, which tend to be stored before they are completely dry. Try it…it works!

Photo: Glasshouse Images

Fresh Fast Food Revolution

February 7, 2014

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Eating well on the fly isn’t easy. Fast food and vending machine choices tend be high in fat, sugar, and sodium, and low in quality and nutritional value. Luke Sanders agrees, and he set out to do something about it. His latest venture, Farmer’s Fridge, is a kiosk filled with fresh, organic and where possible, local food that is as good for you, and the environment, as it tastes.

The company fills the refrigerated kiosk daily, with fresh salads which are  high on both flavor and nutrition. Super foods, nuts and seeds are incorporated into the mix. Best of all, they are packaged in BPA and phthalate free, fully recyclable jars. The ingredients are layered  to keep them from getting soggy. At the end of the day, the product is discounted, and the remaining salads are donated to local food pantries.

The concept is sure to revolutionize the fast food market. While the only one is at the Garvey Food Court in the Chicago area, watch for future kiosks to emerge in other cities across the country.

What We’re Buzzing About This Week

February 6, 2014

Boots in Snow

It’s been a full week,and people across America are buzzing about the turn of events.

First up,the newly crowned winner of this season’s Biggest Loser dropped 155 pounds in just 14 weeks, triggering an outcry that she may have gone too far. At 5′ 4″, Rachel Frederickson weighs 105 pounds, just shy of a healthy BMI. While most professionals consider 1 to 2 pounds per week healthy and sustainable weight loss, Frederickson shed 1.5 pounds per day! Did she go too far?

Discussing the weather has moved from banal small talk to a hot topic. We have been bombarded by snow, extremely low temperatures and tornadoes, with no sign of it letting up. Is Mother Nature mad at us, or is all the buzz about global climate change really not just a political issue? Discuss.

Facebook is celebrating it’s 10th birthday by offering it’s loyal followers a personalized memory video. The cheesy retrospective, set to muzak, is based on your photos, most liked posts and profile pictures generated during your time on the social network.  It could move you to tears, make you cringe and at the very least lead you to re-evaluate what you share with the world.

Sports journalists are arriving in Sochi, Russia, in anticipation of the upcoming Olympics. What they are finding is accommodations that are well below sub-standard. Broken toilets, group toilets, and brown water are among the highlights of the hotel rooms they are staying in. One reporter found a large insect preserved for eternity in the packet of honey he opened at breakfast. Between the squalor and the terror threats, this is going to be an interesting Olympics. Let the games begin!

New York Fashion Week gets underway today, so again,  let the games begin!

Photo: Glasshouse Images

Lemon Aid

January 30, 2014

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Tossing a lemon into your drink is tasty and healthy, right? Well, that depends.

In a recent study by the Journal of Environmental Health, the rinds of 76 lemons collected from a variety of restaurants were swabbed for bacteria. A startling 70% of them contained microbial growth. The data was collected as soon as the drinks were served, before they were touched by the person consuming them.
The exact source of the bacteria is unknown, but it is thought that the source could be from the employee who handled them, or cross contamination from poultry or meat.

Similar experiments conducted by the New York University Medical Center and commissioned by ABC News  turned up even more bad news: over half of the lemons they tested were contaminated by human fecal matter. The cause: lemons are often handled with the bartender’s bare hands. While many establishments rinse the lemons before cutting them, many do not actually scrub them.
Among the specimens collected were E. coli, staphylococcus epidermidis and candida, a fungus commonly found in the vagina. While they didn’t test specifically for viruses, such as norovirus or the cold virus, this type of contamination is typically an indicator that they are present.

Similar microbes have been discovered on communal items in restaurants such as salt and pepper shakers, menus and ketchup bottles.

Now that you are completely grossed out, it’s important to note that a strong immune system may help prevent people from getting sick.

Squeezing the lemon into the glass and not dropping the whole piece in, helps to a certain extent. At home, scrub the lemon with a brush, and avoid cross contamination with other foods.

After handling shared items in restaurants, wash your hands before touching your food.

photo: Glasshouse Images


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