Posts filed under 'Food Press'
Normally I am the first person to say, "I am an omnivore, and I don't have any dilemmas"- which isn't exactly true. I participate in Meatless Mondays and really try to carry on the practice 4 times a week. I care greatly about the presence of genetically modified foods in our country. And every spring there comes a need to re-set my eating habits.
Last year Kimberly wrote about her 21 Day Vegan Cleanse. I have just completed a 14 day cleanse that was brought on by my allergies and a need to kick some bad habits that had formed over the past few months. In the process I began to really think about my relationship with food. I am not the only aging food professional who has been on this quest of late either.
Well known NY Times columnist, cookbook author, and blogger Mark Bittman wrote about being vegan before dinner when he learned that he needed to shed some weight for health reasons. Peter Kaminsky's soon to be released book Culinary Intelligence explores how to maximize flavor per calorie. In his own words "This book is all about pursuing the pleasures of the table on the path to good health." And this piece about sugar as a pro-oxidant on 60 Minutes was incredibly interesting to watch and equally compelling to greatly reduce my intake of simple sugars.
In any event, I certainly don't prescribe to the Kate Moss school of "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels." However, there is something about spring that makes me want to rid my house and my body of built up toxins. In the process of greatly reducing the amount of calories I ate everyday, not drinkning alcohol, gluten, dairy, sugar or meat, and thinking carefully about what I ate for 14 days I came to an understanding about my eating habits. The end result was a few less pounds, greatly improved sleep and many new recipes and products that I am going to start incorportating into my life (see below).
Before going on my vegan cleanse I thought that not eating meat and cheese for that long would be really difficult. Interestingly enough the hardest things to give up were sweets and wine. Which made me realize that I really needed to make a simple change in my eating habits and replace those cravings with better choices.
Pantry staples for an enjoyable cleanse:
South River Miso – Dandelion is a natural diuretic so this was a flavor I used. Don't hestitate to try all their amazing types of miso.
Rejuvila – Use this is your smoothies. I made it with freshly squeezed orange juice and a banana.
On the days when I needed protein I added a scoop of this raw protein powder which is made from a plethora of raw organic sprouted grains and beans. No, it doesn't taste good but it did the job.
Nettle Tea by Traditional Medicinals
Deep Cleasnse Tea By Bija
It's easy enough to make nut milks but there are quite a few unsweetened milk alternatives on the market that are quite good. I especially like the new cashew, almond hazelnut flavor (which isn't on the website) from Hain Celestial. Some of them have only 50 calories and taste great in chai but are also good for smoothies.
Kale – Making kale chips was a critical as it gave me something crunchy and slightly salty, I also got in the habit of putting a raw piece of kale into freshly squeezed orange juice and blending it up. Spinach works well too.
If you need something creamy to eat, cashew hummus will satisfy.
When is the last time you re-evaluated your relationship with food? If you make the effort for spring cleaning your home, maybe it is time to consider a spring cleanse for your body?
May 4th, 2012
I whipped up this pie for a pot luck party and I did not bring home any leftovers. Creamy, sweet with white chocolate and kissed with vanilla, this pie is a winner. Dorie Greenspan featured this recipe on her blog back in November and I filed it away to try. Canned sour cherries took the place of the bananas with much success, their tart bite offset by the dreamy filling.
No-Bake White Chocolate Pie from Parade Magazine, 1-2-3 Bake
4 oz. white chocolate (preferably imported), finely chopped
1/2 lb. cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
1/3 cup sour cream
1/2 cup heavy cream, chilled
1 banana, thinly sliced (or 1 cup of drained canned cheeries)
1 (9-inch) ready-made chocolate cookie crust (or homemade)
1. Warm the chocolate in a bowl set over a pot of lightly simmering water. Remove from heat when only partially melted; stir to melt completely.
2. Beat the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Beat in the chocolate, then the sour cream. Whip the heavy cream until firm; gently fold into chocolate filling.
3. Put the banana slices on the crust, top with the filling, and chill at least 2 hours. If you’d like, sprinkle with grated dark chocolate before serving.
February 8th, 2010
This set of recipes is in the January/February issue of Hannaford fresh. I am especially excited because the Spicy Scallop and Snow Pea Stir Fry made the cover! January is sometimes a challenging month for cooking and eating – resolutions abound and budgets can be tight after the holidays.
Cashew Chicken with Red Bell Peppers and Broccoli
Moo Shu Tofu
All of the recipes featured in the article can be made in under 30 minutes, are full of healthy veggies and will keep some dollars in your wallet. Maverick and I LOVE the Moo Shu Tofu while Marco is partial to the Sesame Beef.
Sesame Beef with Green Beans
If you are really pressed for time, give precooked rice a try along with your stir fry. Chopsticks are optional.
Hannaford offers a really cool, interactive feature with its magazine, click here to thumb through the current issue with the click of a mouse. There are lots of fantastic recipes in this month’s issue, check out flavorista Julie’s Fast & Healthy Broccoli Soup on page 12.
January 18th, 2010
I am in denial. Conde Nast has broken up with me and I am sick about it. I know Gourmet is just a magazine, but I feel kicked in the gut.
Each month, Gourmet arrives in my mailbox and within 24 hours, I have thumbed through the entire issue. The photography teasing my taste buds and encouraging my tendency towards wanderlust. Gourmet is my monthy escape into luxury, indulgence and deliciousness. Ruth Reichl’s letter from the editor primes me for the pages to come.
Red Wine Caramel Apples from this month’s cover.
The cocktail section brings drinks, new and old, to my table; Anyone care for a well-shaken Brandy Alexander? All of the history (last year’s Christmas cookie issue was unreal) and an amazing website (where you can find the recipes they can’t fit onto the printed page dating back to 1941) will be gone.
Hold on, I am running for tissues.
The following recipe appeared in last year’s Thanksgiving issue. I was able to make it twice before sugar pumpkins became unavailable. At least ten people have asked me for the recipe and at least that many people have asked me if I will be making "that stuffed pumpkin thing" again? My answer: "Yes. Yes. Oh my God. Yes!"
Yup, this unassuming pumpkin stuffed with bread, cheese and cream is that good.
Roast Pumpkin with Cheese “Fondue” from Gourmet Magazine, November 2008
Serves 6 (main course) or 10 (side dish)
As the pumpkin roasts, its skin becomes gorgeously burnished, while inside, slices of baguette, Gruyère, and Emmental coalesce into a rich, velvety concoction that is utterly fabulous served with a scoop of tender pumpkin flesh.
1 (15-inch) piece of baguette, cut into 1/2-inch slices (7 oz total)
1 (7-lb) orange pumpkin
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
2 1/2 cups coarsely grated Gruyère (6 oz)
2 1/2 cups coarsely grated Emmental (6 oz)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 450°F with rack in lower third. Toast baguette slices in 1 layer on a baking sheet in oven until tops are crisp (bread will still be pale), about 7 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.
2. Remove top of pumpkin by cutting a circle (3 inches in diameter) around stem with a small sharp knife. Scrape out seeds and any loose fibers from inside pumpkin with a spoon (including top of pumpkin; reserve seeds for another use if desired). Season inside of pumpkin with 1/2 tsp salt.
3. Whisk together cream, broth, nutmeg, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper in a bowl. Mix together cheeses in another bowl. Put a layer of toasted bread in bottom of pumpkin, then cover with about 1 cup cheese and about 1/2 cup cream mixture. Continue layering bread, cheese, and cream mixture until pumpkin is filled to about 1/2 inch from top, using all of cream mixture. (You may have some bread and cheese left over.)
4. Cover pumpkin with top and put in an oiled small roasting pan. Brush outside of pumpkin all over with olive oil. Bake until pumpkin is tender and filling is puffed, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours.
Cooks’ note: Pumpkin can be filled 2 hours before baking and chilled.
For the original recipe, click here.
To you Gourmet, I raise my glass "cin cin." Your writing, recipes, insights and photgraphy will be sorely missed in my home.
Check out A Mingling of Tastes for more tributes to Gourmet.
October 15th, 2009
Just in case you missed us yesterday, Chicago food blogger, Julie Ohara, from A Mingling of Tastes came up with a great idea to honor Gourmet magazine (oh and if you hadn’t heard by now, Conde Nast has shut Gourmet down). The last printed magazine is the Thanksgiving issue.
As I partake in this online ode to Gourmet, I paused to reflect as to what really made me love the magazine and I think it was the photography. Saveur and Gourmet are/were the best in this area – the first publications to really make food pornographic.
Under Ruth Reichl the covers got even better and well I will say that in the past year or so, some of the parties featured were more sexy than the recipes. That said, I still really enjoyed the magazine and will miss it.
Here is one cover photo I loved for its creativity and the holiday mood. I wanted these for my tree!
This is one recipe I like from that issue. These little chocolate balls are very cake like. They don’t store well so try to enjoy them the same day. Perfect for a cookie swap!
Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies (you can use almonds too)
2/3 cup hazelnut meal (I buy Bob’s Red Mill.)
You can make your own meal from fresh hazelnuts, but you need to peel. Here’s the drill.
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
2 3/4 cups flour, sifted
2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1 stick of butter, at room temp
1 1/2 brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup confectioners sugar
Whisk together the dry ingredients. Beat the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time. Add the cooled chocolate and vanilla. With the mixer on low add the flour mixture. Once it’s all incorporated, refrigerate the dough for 2 hours.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment. Pinch off some dough and roll into 1 inch balls. Roll in powdered sugar and place on sheet. Don’t worry too much about placement as these cookies do not spread much. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before baking. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the cookies for 12 minutes, rotating them once during the baking.
These are especially good warm from the oven with ice cream or chocolate pudding. They would also be good with ganache dipped on the bottom, or slice the cookies in half and fill with a little ganache -even better!
October 13th, 2009
Here’s the long and short. I am up to my eyeballs in a recipe development project – which is fantastic but a bit crazy at the same time. It involves hiring extra babysitters and sacrificing some sleep. In the end, it will have been worth all of the effort. In the meantime, here’s some quotes from my kitchen this past weekend:
About the mini kalamata olive focaccia: "WOW, mom you made giant chocolate chip cookies!" Sorry to disappoint (tee hee hee).
About the coffee cake muffins: "WHY did you HAVE to put pecans on these? I don’t pecans."
About the arugula salad with Parmesan shavings: "That salad looks great, except for the cheese. YUCK!"
Note to self: Only work on recipes when husband is sleeping and children are at school.
What do we eat when I am on a deadline? A lot of scrambled eggs and easy favorites that I know everyone will eat; stand bys like Thai lettuce rolls. This happens to be one of Marco’s most requested meals.
Lettuce Rolls with Pork and Pineapple from Hannaford fresh
Taking its cue from the classic Thai combination of savory minced pork served with fresh pineapple slices, this dish is lovely on a warm summer night. All the finished ingredients are set out family style and diners assemble their own rolls. Hydroponic Boston lettuce has particularly nice leaves for rolling.
1 cup dry Jasmine rice
1 2/3 cups water
2 head Boston lettuce
2 cups finely chopped fresh pineapple (buy prepped, refrigerated pineapple)
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp. canola oil
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp. minced fresh ginger
1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. minced fresh garlic
2 lbs. lean round pork
1/4 tsp black pepper
3/4 tsp ground fresh chili paste
1/3 cup Thai fish sauce
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
3 Tbsp. rice vinegar
1/4 cup Brown sugar
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
1. Add rice to a medium saucepan, rinse, and drain, keeping rice in pan. Add water and bring to a simmer over high heat. Stir well. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for exactly 10 minutes, then remove from heat, but do not remove lid. Set aside.
2. While rice is cooking, rinse and core lettuce, separating leaves and placing them on a serving platter. Prep the pineapple, red peppers and scallions and place them into individual bowls.
3. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet or wok over medium-high heat. When hot, add ginger and garlic. Cook and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add pork, black pepper, and chili paste. Cook, stirring frequently to break up pork, until pork is cooked through, about 10 to 12 minutes; there should be no pink meat.
4. In a small bowl, whisk together fish sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, and brown sugar.
5. Add sauce to pork and mix well. Simmer for 1 minute. Turn off heat. Stir in cilantro. Transfer pork to a serving bowl.
6. To serve, remove lid from rice, fluff it, and transfer to a serving bowl. Set lettuce platter and bowls on center of table and let everyone assemble their own lettuce rolls. Each lettuce leaf should contain a small amount of pork, pineapple, red pepper, and scallion, with rice served on the side. You’ll be able to make about 24 rolls.
Suggestions: Use fresh chili paste (sambal oelek) or use 3/4 tsp. Tobasco sauce.
Source: Hannaford Fresh Magazine, May/June 2008
October 5th, 2009
I wrote this recipe last year for Hannaford’s fresh. I like the normal, not mammoth, size of these muffins. Between the oats and the blueberries, you are looking at a health boosting treat. Buttermilk is the secret ingredients in these muffins reducing the fat content while keeping the texture satisfying.
These are a lunch box favorite in our family. I usually freeze 6 muffins for lunches, leaving the remaining muffins for breakfast or snacks.
3/4 cup old-fashioned oats
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp. light brown sugar
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1 Tbsp. warm water
1 cup all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1/4 cup applesauce
1 cup fresh or frozen wild blueberries
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat the cups of a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray.
2. Prepare crumb topping. In a medium bowl, whisk together oats, flour, and brown sugar. Drizzle melted butter and water over mixture and stir until moistened. Set aside.
3. Prepare muffins. Set aside 1 Tbsp. of the all-purpose flour. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together remaining flour, whole wheat flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg, vanilla, buttermilk, oil, and applesauce.
5. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until just combined (lumps are OK; don’t overmix). Toss blueberries with reserved flour and gently stir them into muffin batter (too much stirring will result in purple muffins).
6. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Sprinkle each muffin with 1 Tbsp. of the crumb topping. Bake at 350 degrees F for 22 to 26 minutes, until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
Source: Hannaford Fresh Magazine, July/Aug 2008
August 29th, 2009
"From Scratch?" BBQ Beef Ribs ready to go into the oven.
Michael Pollan’s recent article, Out of the Kitchen and onto the Couch has got me in a lather. It is a long article, worth reading, especially if you work in the food biz. Its basic premise is that true cooking is archaic and that Americans prefer to be entertained by cooking, instead of simply enjoying cooking.
According Harry Balzer, who was interviewed for the article, Americans are no longer cooking, we are simply assembling and re-heating. Hmmmm. This is not good. According to Balzer, even if Americans wanted to start cooking from scratch again, they can’t because "the skills are lost." WHAT?!
If this is true, why do sites like Taste Spotting exist? There are more than 10,000 food blogs online, with more being created everyday. Even Amanda Hesser has embarked on a new venture that will rely on homecooks to produce a cookbook. It is tough to find a parking spot at Saturday’s Portland’s Farmer’s Market. I am assuming that people are actually cooking the products that they purchase at the market. Right?
My kitchen is atypical. Depending on my workload, I could be cooking from scratch or whipping up quick and easy meals that depend on convenience foods.
When I cook soley for the purpose of feeding my family, it is a mixed bag. I make homemade coleslaw dressing but I use pre-shredded cabbage. The ribs, pictured above, were rubbed with a purchased BBQ spice rub and finished with homemade BBQ sauce. Spaghetti with store-bought meatballs and jarred sauce appears on my table weekly, usually on the busiest night of the week.
I do make homemade meatballs, just not all the time. I am also a big fan of takeout pizza and takeout Thai food, especially when it is just too hot to cook or when I would like to have a night off. Just for the record, my yoga night is "hotdogs and baked beans night" here at Casa Mayone. We also eat alot of eggs. Canned beans are one of my best friends in the pantry.
In the midst of my dismay, I did an informal survey of family and friends. I needed to know who was buying all of the pot roasts, chicken leg quarters, potatoes and onions? I am happy to report that in my middle of the road America, we are cooking, maybe not from scratch all of the time, but my friends and family are cooking and cooking consistently.
Flavorista Dave makes homemade yeast bread and from scratch chocolate cake for his children’s birthdays. Flavorista Kitty is making sure that her children are learning to cook. Flavorista Kevin makes pies, beautiful, outstanding, gorgeous pies. Flavorista Monica cooks like crazy; she is a vegetarian; her husband and daughter are carnivores and her son is allergic to eggs and dairy. I have witnessed my food loving, teenage nieces prepare restaurant-worthy Greek salad wraps, at home. Flavorista Rose has taught them well!
When one cooks at home, there are big budget gains. It costs roughly twice as much to eat out instead of eating at home. There are also nutritional benefits to cooking and eating at home; you can watch calories and salt; you can notch up the veggies; you can use healthy fats like olive oil in place of butter.
What is the biggest benefit to eating at home? Hands down, it is the family table. Sitting together, saying grace and breaking bread is the highlight of my day, even if frozen corn steamed in the microwave is on the table, alongside homemade mashed potatoes (or biscuits) and meatloaf.
I’d love to hear your thoughts about cooking. I want to believe that home cooking is not a lost art form. As much as I enjoy watching the queen of butter, Paula Deen; I am not ready to accept that dinners based on condensed soups, cream cheese and mayonnaise are the future of American cooking.
Call me a culinary Pollyanna. I am off to the kitchen. First, I am going to put on my rose-colored glasses, then I am going to get out my whisk so I can make some salad dressing from scratch.
August 22nd, 2009
This recipe was featured in the newest issue of Hannaford fresh. As I have mentioned, we are big lovers of ice cream in this house and this is especially true in the summer months. We tend to stick to a few favorite recipes, but I had to give this recipe a try. It was written by my friend and fellow ice cream lover, Lisë Stern. With three ingredients and no time on the stove; this recipe was written with children in mind.
Milk Chocolate Ice Cream from July/August fresh
1 1/2 cups store-bought chocolate milk
1/2 cup chocolate syrup
2 cups heavy cream
1. In a medium-size bowl, stir together all ingredients. Refrigerate for at least 10 minutes or as long as overnight to allow flavors to blend, then pour into the bowl of an ice cream maker and proceed according to manufacturer’s instructions. Most machines produce finished ice cream in 25 to 30 minutes.
2. If you like soft-serve ice cream, eat immediately. Otherwise, transfer to a container with a tight-fitting lid and store in the freezer until it reaches the desired consistency. It will be firm but still soft after 1 hour. When stored overnight, this ice cream becomes very firm. It will keep, frozen, up to two months. Let sit at room temperature for 5 minutes and run an ice cream scoop under warm water before scooping.
Source: Courtesy of Hannaford fresh magazine July-Aug 2009
July 28th, 2009
When it comes to summer desserts in Maine, whoopie pies are right up there next to blueberry pie. We were at a friend’s house for dinner last week and at some point, the conversation turned to whoopie pies. My friend Elaine was remembering when we were testing these whoopie pie recipes. She very happily volunteered as a taste tester.
Making whoopie pies requires about as much effort as making a cake from scratch. After all the accolades, you will know the effort was very worthwhile. Bring a batch of these classic whoppie pies to the next cookout and you will be everybody’s favorite guest.
Classic Whoopie Pies featured in Hannaford fresh July/August 2008
Our version of the classic, original whoopie: dark chocolate cakes with fluffy, vanilla-flavored white filling. Real butter makes the filling especially tasty.
Cook’s Note: Spraying the measuring cup with nonstick cooking spray helps the marshmallow creme come out more easily.
Dark Chocolate Cakes
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. instant coffee
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
3 cups marshmallow creme, such as Marshmallow Fluff
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat two baking sheets with cooking spray or line with parchment paper and set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer on medium speed to mix butter and brown sugar until well blended, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing until smooth after each egg. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt; set aside. In a 2-cup liquid measuring cup, stir together buttermilk, vanilla, and instant coffee until coffee is dissolved (this may take a minute or so); set aside.
3. Add half the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix on medium speed until smooth, scraping down mixing bowl with a rubber spatula. Add half the buttermilk mixture and mix again on medium speed until smooth and slightly fluffy in texture. Repeat with remaining flour and buttermilk, and mix until smooth. Batter will be thick and slightly springy when done.
4. Drop 2-Tbsp. portions of batter onto prepared baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between each portion to allow for spreading. Bake 11 to 13 minutes, until puffed and set but still soft when touched lightly with fingertips. Let cakes cook for 3 minutes on baking sheets before transferring them to wire racks to finish cooling, about 15 to 20 minutes. Repeat with remaining batter.
5. Prepare filling while cakes are baking and cooling. In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer on medium speed to mix butter and vanilla until creamy. Add half the confectioners’ sugar and mix on low first to combine, then on high until smooth. Add remaining confectioners’ sugar and mix again. Scrape down sides with a rubber spatula. Add marshmallow creme and mix on medium high until filling is smooth and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes.
6. Assemble whoopie pies. Spoon filling onto the flat sides of half the cakes, dividing it evenly. Top with remaining cakes, flat side against the filling, rounded side up. Serve immediately, or wrap and store at room temperature for up to two days, or in freezer for up to two months.
Source: Hannaford Fresh Magazine, July/Aug 2008
July 26th, 2009