Archive for May, 2011

Zuckerberg’s New Deal – If You Don’t Kill It, Don’t Eat It

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

First, let me tell you I am not a Facebook fan.  Just too much info for me.  I provide enough here.  You don’t want to know more and I don’t want to read more.  Anyways….

 

I am a fan of Mark Zuckerberg’s new eating program and that is to take responsibility for your food and know where it comes from.  Here’s what he said

“This year, my personal challenge is around being thankful for the food I have  to eat. I think many people forget that a living being has to die for you to eat  meat, so my goal revolves around not letting myself forget that and being  thankful for what I have. This year I’ve basically become a vegetarian since the  only meat I’m eating is from animals I’ve killed myself. So far, this has been a  good experience. I’m eating a lot healthier foods and I’ve learned a lot about  sustainable farming and raising of animals.

“I started thinking about this last year when I had a pig roast at my house.  A bunch of people told me that even though they loved eating pork, they really  didn’t want to think about the fact that the pig used to be alive. That just  seemed irresponsible to me. I don’t have an issue with anything people choose to  eat, but I do think they should take responsibility and be thankful for what  they eat rather than trying to ignore where it came from.”

Read more:  Zuckerberg eating meat he kills | San Francisco Business Times

This isn’t new, but it is brave.  Shows like “Kill It, Cook It, Eat It” show gueling tests of raising, killing and eating animals.  Some can do it, while others can’t.  Michael Pollen researched and wrote about the various ways animals are raised and killed for your dinner table in the Omnivore’s Dilemma.  He too killed his own meal.  But Mark Zuckerberg is commiting himself to eating only meat from animals he personally kills for an entire year.  It’s an interesting choice and responsibility and I’m sure one where most would quickly become vegetarian.

Coincidentally here’s the conversation my daughter and I had when she was being tucked in last night:

“I don’t want to eat animals.”  she said.

“That’s fine.  It shouldn’t be too hard for you.  We’re eating more vegetarian and vegan meals like Aunt Christy, and if you don’t want to eat meat when we’re having it, that’s fine.  But you also need to know what you won’t be able to eat”, I said.

“Like what?  I already don’t eat chicken and steak.  And I only like vegan hot dogs,” she proclaimed.

“What about bacon?” I asked.

“Bacon comes from an animal?  Which one?” she asked.

I answered, “A pig”.

She started laughing in disbelief.  Then said “Turkey bacon comes from a pig?!”

I then laughed and said, “Turkey bacon comes from a turkey.  But bacon you like in a restaurant comes from a pig.”

“Oh, ” she said.

The conversation ended there.  She doesn’t have bacon often, but she does like it.  Not sure what will happen next.  We had chicken left-overs and grilled veggies turned into burritos tonight for dinner.  She skipped meat and went bean, veggies and cheese only.  I’ll keep you posted on her eating habits.

And I’m sure Mr. Zuckerman will too.

(Funny it was a pig that got both my daughter and Zuckerman thinking…but in opposite directions)

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Happy Memorial Day – Corn on the Cob Tip

Monday, May 30th, 2011

I hope you and yours had a relaxing Memorial Day.  It’s a tough one to explain to kids.  And when they ask “So what does BBQing have to do with celebrating and remembering the soldiers?”  My answer is “It’s a good way to gather friends and family, and it’s usually nice weather, so you can cook and eat outside”.  Although here in the Bay Area we sure had a mix of weather – rain, sun, clouds, wind.  If you didn’t time things well the annual memorial bbq could’ve been better enjoyed by the fireplace, inside.

Luckily we were able to host some friends and enjoy a bit of the sunshine this weekend.  We did chicken kebobs, corn on the cob, roasted potatoes and strawberry shortcake (more on that in my next cookbook review).

I want to share a corn on the cob tip.  I love corn, but sometimes when cooked on the grill it burns and shrivels.  So now, what works for us, is precooking in the microwave.  I suppose you could precook by boiling as well – but takes so much longer.  Two cobs takes about 4 minutes to precook in the microwave.  Then it gets a brushing of olive oil and is finished on the grill for a few minutes.  Just long enought to get some grill marks and a bit of carmelization.  The kernals are still plump, and the cob doesn’t get too black.  Check it out.

 

wrap corn in wax paper and sprinkle with a few drops of water

microwave about 4 minutes for 2 ears of corn

 

Place over hot grill and rotate a few minutes for grill marks

 

Looking to grill something out of the ordinary?  Here’s a few tips for your next unique cookout.  Grilled avocado anyone?  Get ideas here.

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Do you know your taste? Find Out and Earn $1 for the Food Bank.

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Do you know your taste?  Want to answer a few foodie questions  to earn $1 for the San Francisco Food Bank?  Please say yes.  For every person who takes the taste test, Dave’s Gourmet will give $1 to the SF Food Bank.   Check out the taste test here.  Because giving back is always good in taste.

I was at the Food Bank a few weeks ago helping Leah’s Pantry with a food smarts community training program.  The food bank is amazing.  First it’s massive which is always impressive.  How they get all of the pallates of food stacked, sorted, delivered, and set up for shopping is such a site.  It takes many, many dedicated workers and volunteers to provide thousands of children, families and seniors in the community with food.

Anyways…I took the Food Bank challenge and discovered I am umami.  Who knew?  Here’s what I got (so fun)….

You’re umami! Subtle, savory, and a little mysterious – that’s you, umami. You seek out those rich, complex foods with a certain special something: seafood, cheese, mushrooms. You’re not showy, and you get along well with others – so when you team up with one of your sour or salty comrades, people find you irresistible.

Find out what you are and the food bank gets $1.  Take a few minutes to answer a few food questions and provide your first name and email address, and Dave’s Gourmet gives $1 to the food bank.  Take the test and blog back here to share your taste.  Salty, sweet?  Let’s hear it.

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Come to the Table! At Least 3x’s Per Week…

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

A study in the journal Pediatrics finds that children and adolescents who share meals with their families at least three times per week are less likely to be overweight, eat unhealthy foods or be at risk for eating disorders.  Three times a week isn’t much.  It doesn’t have to be dinner.  What about breakfast or lunch?  If you make it a priority and fit your family’s lifestyle and schedule there are big benefits.

The researchers found that three or more family meals per week were associated with a 12% reduction in the odds for being overweight, a 20% drop in the odds of eating unhealthy foods regularly and a 35% reduction in disordered eating- including purging, the use of diet pills, skipping meals or the use of smoking cigarettes as a way to control weight.

Not too hard right?  Read the whole story here. And please blog here to share how you and your family make time to eat meals togehter.

 

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Chicken Apple Bite Review on Doof-a-Palooza

Monday, May 16th, 2011

I’ve had a few guest bloggers, but no one under 21 years old, has ever written a review of my food.   This was so exciting to see this post from a friend of mine’s daughter, Jenny, age 14 (unsolicited even).  I’ve told you about her mom, Elaine Smith.  She’s the founder of ChowBella Kids cooking events for kids.  Well her daughter is on her way to being a food connossieur, blogger and instructor too.  Check out her making my recipe for Chicken Apple Bites here…http://www.foodbackwards.com/2011/05/14/yummy-chicken-apple-bites/

Note this was on the Doof-A-Palooza website.  Doof is food spelled backwards, and  teaches kids the amazing journey of food from its source to their table, with an interactive, imaginative, sometimes messy and always hands-on experience.  The Doof food festival in the Bay Area is this Sunday May 22nd, from 10 – 5pm at Jack London Square.  While I do not have a booth this year (just too many family commitments), I know this will be a fun time for all ages who come out to play with and sample food from local growers, chefs, purveyors, culinary instructors, authors and restaurants.  Learn event deatils here…

 

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Guest Cookbook Review by My Sister…the Vegan

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

I’ve told you about my sister being a vegan.  Remember that Thanksgiving post a few years ago?  Yes, my sister ate bologna and McDonald’s as a child.  Which means there’s always hope and time to change your family’s diet, for health, political or any other reason.  She’s opened my eyes and tastebuds to lots of new ingredients, restaurants and recipes thru her diet.  And my family cooks and enjoys vegan meals quite frequently.  Recently I was given a few vegan cookbooks to review.  I thought it only right to give one to my sister, for a guest review.  Here’s her experience with some of the recipes she made from The Everything Vegan Cookbook by Jolinda Hackett…  (Thanks Christy!)

 

Nacho “Cheese” Dip which we put over nachos.  I really
liked it as it was a nice change from Daiya (“cheese”).  My husband was not as impressed as he felt it was not creamy enough and too doughy.
Lemon Basil and Articoke Pasta was another split decision
as I really liked it and my husband felt like the tomatoes over powered it (he
is not a tomato fan). I think less tomatoes and having them cook for longer
would have been better in keeping with the name of the dish.  Also very
important to use fresh herbs as I did not have fresh rosemary and the dry was
too woody.
Dairy-Free Ranch Dressing was a huge hit!  I have been looking for a good Vegan Ranch and this is it!  Used it for Mother’s Day and had guests (non-vegan)asking for the recipe.
Cookies and Cream Cheesecake is an interesting dessert.  Looked beautiful, has the consistency of non-vegan cheesecake but is very mild in flavor.  More flavorful with chocolate syrup drizzled and maybe should have added the crumbled cookies on top.  My 10 year old nephew, who is a very picky eater, liked it so that says a lot.
All and all I think this is a great cookbook as it has a lot of quick and easy recipes and I found that I had many of the ingredients already in my kitchen.  If one is considering Vegan-ism or maybe have a weekly Vegan menu these are good recipes.  Here are a couple sites to visit:  http://www.compassionatecooks.com/vegsheets.htm
http://thethinkingvegan.com/
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Happy Mother’s Day! (Chocolate Dipped Strawberries)

Saturday, May 7th, 2011

Happy Mother’s Day to you, yours and mine (especially mine).  If you’re lucky enough to celebrate with your mom, head to the farmer’s market for some fresh, organic strawberries to dip in chocolate.  What mom doesn’t like chocolate?  And if you’re the mom being celebrated, pass this hint on to dad and the kids.

 

Chocolate strawberries always seem so fancy.  You see them in chocolate shops and bakeries during strawberry season.  They are actually easy to make and make quite an impression.   Unfortunately this is difficult recipe for children to assist, as much is done over a double broiler and water can spit and burn if not careful.  Let them help by arranging strawberries on a special platter once chocolate is cooled and hardened.  These would look great on a Mother’s Day brunch table and they were recently a big hit at my son’s school potluck too.

 

2 pints organic strawberries (18 – 20), washed and dried
with leaves on

6 ounces dark chocolate, chips or chop into pieces

1 tablespoon shortening

Place a baking rack over two glasses or pans to allow rack to sit above counter. (Alternatively line a baking sheet with waxed paper). Bring large pot of water to a boil.  Turn down to simmer and place chocolate in top of double boiler over boiling water. Be sure water from bottom pot does not boil or spit into chocolate mixture.

Once chocolate has melted add shortening and stir until combined. Insert toothpick or skewer into top of strawberry and carefully dip and swirl into chocolate.

Place toothpick side down through hole in baking rack so strawberry sits on leaves, upside down,   and chocolate can solidify.  (Alternatively place dipped strawberry on waxed paper to dry)

Arrange strawberries on platter and serve.

 

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Someone’s in the Salad…

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

This is for all those who don’t wash their produce….

My son’s school has an amazing garden with fruit trees, herbs, veggies, and even chickens.  Last week my son’s class was able to pick and bring home a bag of assorted greens.  When we got home we put the bag in the fridge.  I was quite surprised that evening, when I opened the bag to wash the lettuces and found a few hitchhikers…slugs and snails.  I thought the kids would be bothered and not eat the lettuce, but I was wrong.  We relocated the critters and washed (and washed again) the leaves to look for any other visitors.  Finally we spun it in the salad spinner.  Even in the spinner we saw one last tiny slug.

Note the round object on inside of bag

escargot anyone?

My son was proud of his lettuce and we enjoyed a tasty salad together.

Now of course if you buy your lettuce at the supermarket, it is unlikley you’ll have slugs and snails.  However it is still possible to have their feces.  So remember to wash and spin no matter if your lettuce comes right from the garden, picked at the farmer’s market or purcahsed at the grocery store.  (Yes, even that bagged salad should be washed)

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Reducing BPA Exposure

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

The FDA has not banned, but is finally encouraging people to limit their exposure to BPA, found in food and beverage containers.  Last week’s San Francisco Chronicle had an informative article about BPA, impending legislature, and ways to reduce your family’s exposure.  Read article here.

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