December 31, 2010
June 21, 2010
April 28, 2010
March 21, 2010
March 19, 2010
With school lunch being debated on Capitol Hill, "Top Chef" should get in on the action and focus some kitchen challenges on school meals. One challenge could have each contestant try to cook a collection of delicious and healthy meals (breakfast and lunch) that spend less than $1 on food per meal. Another might be to cook in a real school, perhaps H.D. Cooke Elementary School, the setting of The Slow Cook’s excellent multi-part series on school meals, or use the actual school kitchen staff as assistants, though this one might be getting a bit close to the upcoming Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution on ABC. The contestants could also integrate ingredients from local farms with USDA-provided material.
Washington and the school lunch community also offers plenty of interesting possibilities for guest judges: First Lady Michele Obama, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Chef Ann Cooper (the "renegade lunch lady"), or a room full of cute and opinionated schoolchildren.
March 17, 2010
Happy St. Patrick's Day Everyone! Have a drink with friends, do an Irish jig just because, eat something that you shouldn't (like the Luck O the Irish Rice Krispy Treats that I made for my kids at Seneca today) and be creative...like our Lucia with her Ivy earrings! Just be safe and if your drink is an adult beverage, have someone else (like a bus driver) to get you home!
March 09, 2010
Troy and I spent a day last weekend tasting our way through lovely little Yountville in Napa Valley, to celebrate our seventh anniversary. It was a lovely day, and though rain was predicted, we were spared. We stopped for coffee at Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bakery (all we could afford with Keller's name attached to it, to be honest!) and had a delicious lunch at Bottega. We lucked out and Michael Chiarello showed up ready to work, kitchen clogs and all. Though he has gotten a bit of bad press recently because he called out a young, smart mouthed chef, who was there to assist him, on the Bravo TV show "Top Chef Masters" last season; we found the Chef extremely accommodating and full of good cheer.
The food was completely lovely and deeply satisfying. We started with a nice bruchetta trio on some crisp, light bread from the Model Bakery......which we made a bee line for after the meal to bring some of this bread home. Honestly, the Bay Area has the best bread ever! I ordered a handmade handkerchief pasta with a slow braised rabbit ragu and Troy had the fall-off-the-bone, balsamic glazed short ribs. We found the service professional and friendly, and when we asked our server to suggest a nice spicy red wine to accompany our meal, she brought us one of Chiarello's own. I confess to say, that I don't remember which one it was....but it was terrific with just enough spice and berry goodness to compliment our menu selections.
After lunch and our picture with the Chef, we meandered the streets, trying to walk off our hearty lunch and enjoying our rare time just the two of us. It wasn't expensive or a fancy kind of day, but it was slow and easy and just what we needed and wanted.
March 02, 2010
-Eat more salmon which is loaded with omega-3s and antioxidants (if you are a veggie person, you can get these from flax seed as well)
-Add blueberries to your diet. The compound that makes blueberries that rich shade is called anthocyanin and it is a powerful antioxidant that helps to protect the structures of the entire vascular system
-Get your ruffage, like your Mama says. Consuming vegetables from the brassica group (cabbage, broccoli, broccoli rabe, Brussels sprouts) is linked to a significantly decreased risk of stroke and heart attack.
-Lead with legumes! Researchers following 16,000 middle aged men in seven countries for 25 years found that those who ate the most beans had an 82 percent reduction in risk of death from heart disease.
-Go nuts! Five large epidemiological studies at 11 clinics show that frequent nut consumption decreases the risk of coronary heart disease. Plus nuts are just about equal in good fats, carbs for energy and protein to maintain you...so after working out, a small handful of nuts are a great snack to get you through the afternoon slump!
-See red.......pomegranates and their juice do more than just give your heart a boost. Research suggests that long-term consumption may help to slow the aging process and protect against heart disease and cancer.
-Add supplements when your diet lags behind......Omega 3 fats should be taken on a daily basis, Flaxseed can be toasted and sprinkled over salads for a boost. Other important supplements are L-Carnitine for building muscle and magnesium, as it helps to relax the blood vessels. And for those folks who are on cholesterol-lowering (statin) medication, CoQ10 is a must, since statins deplete this important heart healthful nutrient.
Below there is a recipe for one of my family's favorite rainy day meals, which coincidentally uses three of the above ingredients. Sometimes I add ground lamb or brown rice for a one pot meal and a punch of protein to boot, but it is delicious as it is.
Kitchen Notes: For little kids or folks who prefer a less spicy version, you can omit the red pepper flakes. And of course, any dark leafy green can be substituted for the Broccoli Rabe....I just am totally hooked on the stuff!
M'Lisa's Greens and Beans
1 chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch or 2 cups broccoli rabe, washed, stems trimmed and chopped into 2 inch pieces
1 (15- ounce) can cannellini beans, drained
3/4 cup chicken stock
February 26, 2010
|14 Jan 10 - Sloweb|
One in four Romanians suffers from obesity with diet-related diseases increasingly becoming a problem among the younger population. The country’s public health system suffers from chronic lack of funding with authorities warning that 2010 may see problems in financing some medical infrastructure and medicine.
"We intend to introduce a tax on fast food, and candies in order to support national health programs," Attila Cseke announced during a press conference in Bucharest. Full details of the tax still need to be developed, but it is expected that a special nutrition commission at the ministry level will be in charge of designing the tax. If approved, the levy would apply to producers of fast-food products, certain snacks and crisps, confectionery and soft drinks, and is estimated to bring around one billion euros (1.45 billion dollars) to the ministry's budget.
The announcement comes soon after Taiwan’s plans to become the first country to introduce a tax on junk food in an attempt to reduce obesity rates and encourage healthily eating. Such taxes have been considered in other countries, including France and Australia, but were not followed through due to concerns about the additional cost to consumers and the difficulty in coming up with a suitable scheme. may be the first country to introduce a tax on junk food as early as March of this year, in an effort to fight obesity and increase the level of funding for its crisis-hit health system, Romanian authorities announced on Tuesday.
February 25, 2010
Pop-Up General StoreTUESDAY, MARCH 2ND FROM 5-7 PM
Hi there! We wanted to let you know that we'll be popping up next Tuesday, March 2nd from 5-7pm. We hope you'll be able to swing by!
Become our fan! Click here to become our fan on Facebook and help spread the word about Pop-Up General Store!
WHAT: Pop-Up General Store selling handmade sausages, pasta, sweets and more!
Pop-Up General Store 4629 Martin Luther King Jr. Way Oakland CA 94609
The decision marks a victory for organic food advocates, who have vigorously lobbied for the United States to revamp organic milk requirements.
February 24, 2010
February 22, 2010
Serves 6 with leftover sauce and picadillo.
You will have sauce and filling leftover for more enchiladas or to freeze. You can make the sauce a day before making the enchiladas.
- Sweet Mole Sauce:
- 5 dried ancho chiles
- 6 dried guajillo chiles
- 2 dried California chiles
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt + more later to taste
- 3 garlic cloves - 2 peeled, 1 with husk
- 2 tablespoons white sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seed
- 1 small tomato
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 4 whole cloves, crushed
- 1 2-inch piece canela (cinnamon bark), broken up
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 small Knorr chicken bouillon cubes or 1 tablespoon Superior Touch "Better than Bouillon" (optional)
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar or one 3-inch piece piloncillo
- 1 1/2 ounces Mexican chocolate (Abuelita brand or Oaxacan), chopped
- Family Picadillo:
- 6 peeled carrots, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 tomato, seeded and diced
- 1 pound Prather Ranch ground beef
- 1/2 cup minced onion
- 2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon olive oil, as needed
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
- -- Black pepper to taste
- 12 corn tortillas
- The Salad:
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- -- Pinch of kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- -- About 3 cups crisp romaine lettuce cut into 1/2-inch thick ribbons
- 4 watermelon radishes, washed, and thinly sliced
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
For the Sweet Mole Sauce: Put on a teakettle of water to boil and then use scissors to cut stems off dried chiles and cut chiles in half. Shake out seeds. If I see large white veins (the hottest part of chiles), I cut them out with the scissors. Do this operation over a spread out newspaper or your kitchen will be covered with seeds. Place chiles in a large heat-proof bowl and pour boiling water over them. If the chiles are cut up they tend to float less, but keep pushing the chiles into the water. Add the 2 teaspoons salt and the peeled garlic and soak for 1 hour.
While the chiles are soaking, heat a 10-inch skillet and toast the sesame seeds on medium heat until deeply golden, stirring constantly; remove from pan and set aside. While the pan is still hot, quickly toast the cumin seeds until dark brown and aromatic (be careful - they can burn quickly), then add to the the sesame seeds.
Increase heat to medium high; add the small tomato and remaining garlic clove (with husk). Cook the tomato until charred around the edges along with the garlic, turning the tomatoes over to char the other side. Add the oregano; stir to toast, about 30 seconds. Put aside to cool.
After 45 minutes to 1 hour, the chiles should be rehydrated. Pour off the soaking liquid, which can be bitter. Use a blender to puree the chiles (in batches as needed), adding just enough water to help puree. Pour puree through a wire strainer placed over a large bowl. Discard the skins (they are great in compost). After straining the last batch of chiles, pour the liquid back into the blender jar. Add the charred tomato, toasted garlic, sesame seeds, cumin, oregano, cloves and canela; puree.
Heat the olive oil in a deep, heavy pot and blend in flour until well mixed and smooth. Cook until slightly toasted or golden. Slowly whisk in the chile-spice puree and 3 cups water. Lupe always adds the bouillon because it is traditional. Add the sugar or piloncillo and the Mexican chocolate. Simmer the sweet sauce for 20 minutes over the lowest heat because it can splatter. Stir often to make sure the chocolate and sugar are well-dissolved. Add salt to taste, if needed. This sauce can be made a day in advance and refrigerated. Makes about 1 quart, enough for the enchiladas plus leftovers.
For the Family Picadillo: Sautee the onions and carrots in a spot of olive oil, until caramelized. Add the ground beef, use a potato masher to break up the meat and distribute the vegetables throughout. Pour off the excess fat. Season with oregano, salt and pepper. Add the cooked black beans and diced tomato. Warm though. Set aside, cover and keep warm. Makes about 5 cups, enough for the enchiladas plus leftovers.
To assemble: Preheat the oven to 375°. Oil a 9- by 13-inch baking pan or 3-quart baking dish. Pour enough sauce into the prepared pan (just large enough to hold a tortilla) to fill the pan about 3/4-inch deep - about 2 cups. Heat until warm, if necessary. If the sauce has been refrigerated and has thickened, blend in a bit of water or chicken broth to thin it out.
Meanwhile, heat a griddle to warm tortillas on. Warm two at a time then lay them out on a flat plate. Place 1/4 cup of picadillo along one edge and roll up tightly. Place each rolled enchilada into the baking dish, seam side down. Place baking dish in the oven, and heat through, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the salad. Whisk together lime juice, salt and oil. Add lettuce and radishes, toss together.
To serve: Remove enchiladas from the oven, and place 2 on each plate. Pile a heaping 1/2 cup salad over each serving, top with 2-3 avocado slices and sprinkle with goat cheese. Or, serve family-style on a platter.
Per serving: 484 calories, 18 g protein, 49 g carbohydrate, 25 g fat (7 g saturated), 46 mg cholesterol, 896 mg sodium, 7 g fiber.
Wine pairing: The mole is not overly hot, and it finishes with a sweet edge. A beer, a soft white or lighter-bodied red like Beaujolais will all work.