“FAT” IS A WINNER!

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Well, knock me over with a lamb chop, if Jennifer McLagan hasn’t won the prestigious International Association of Culinary Professionals’ Single Subject Award for her book celebrating–fat! And she beat out two really big names in food circles to do it: the other nominees were Under Pressure, by Thomas Keller, famed chef and owner of The French Laundry restaurant, and A Year in Chocolate by Jacques Torres (a famous name and the word chocolate in the title usually insures a win!). OK, so she didn’t…

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IRISH MUSINGS

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We think of corned beef and cabbage as a traditional Irish dish, but it is actually Irish/American. According to Bridgett Haggerty of the Irish Cultures and Customs website, cows were generally used for milk in Ireland and were too valuable to eat. Pork was cheaper, so a side of bacon was cooked with cabbage for Easter. The Irish in New York substituted corned beef for bacon, borrowing from their Jewish neighbors, and it has come to be associated with St. Patrick’s Day. She says that…

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VANILLA BEANS I CAN ACTUALLY USE!

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I was testing a vanilla pots de creme recipe a few days ago and went to my cupboard for a vanilla bean from my hoard. I say “hoard” because that’s what I do with vanilla beans. The ones I’ve bought in the past came in packages of two beans that cost me dearly. So much, that I could never bring myself to actually use one. So, here I was, finally, with a recipe that looked like it might be worthy of the sacrifice, and what…

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EATING ROSES

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One of the most beautiful and memorable desserts I ever had was a tiny scoop of rose flavored ice cream nestled in the heart of a perfect, pale pink rose. It was presented simply, with no cookie or cake to steal the limelight. There were hundreds of guests at the event, and yet every petal was perfect and the ice cream was seemingly suspended in that fleeting, meltingly-spoonable-but-still-firm stage. To pull off such an ambitious feat was a staggering achievment for the restaurant staff. I…

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A GOOD DAY FOR A CUP OF HOT COCOA?

Have you discovered Wondercocoa™? It has half the carbs of regular Dutched cocoa and almost no caffeine. (It also has no fat, but since cocoa butter is one of the good fats, that’s not especially important.) HOT COCOA RECIPE One serving of Wondercocoa has 1 net gram of carbohydrate, no fat, and it is 99.7 % caffeine free. The label states that the fat is removed by mechanical pressing. If you use Wondercocoa™ and liquid sucralose, a rich, creamy, cup of cocoa is almost a…

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VANILLA

DRAWING OF VANILLA FROM THE FLORENTINE CODEXl (1580) AND DESCRIPTION IN THE NAHUATL LANGUAGE (WIKIPEDIA). VANILLA FLOWER, IMAGE FROM WIKIPEDIA “Plain vanilla” is a very misleading description of the world’s most popular flavor. Most kids think “vanilla” means unflavored, but just try making a pudding or a custard without this aromatic, mellow ingredient, and you will discover how important it is. And just think what it would have been like to live in a plain gray world before the discovery of the Americas—with no vanilla anything (or chocolate!).…

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WHAT’S YOUR OMNIVORE SCORE?

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“The Omnivore’s Hundred” was posted on the British blog Very Good Taste by Andrew Wheeler back in August. It is an interactive meme for bloggers. He lists 100 things that he thinks every good omnivore should have tried at least once in his/her life. Some of the items are ordinary, some are dangerous, some are exotic, and some are just plain bad. Check out his list below and see how you do. So far he has had 1,111 responses. I have eaten 64 of the…

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CINNAMON WARNING: UPDATE

cinnamon (CarbWarsCookbooks.com)

< Cassia cinnamon, True cinnamon > (c) 2012, Judy Barnes Baker Dr. Richard Anderson, of the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center in Beltsville, Maryland, and his colleagues were looking into the effects of chromium on insulin action. While testing various foods, they found something that had a much greater influence on blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglycerides: it was apple pie. It turned out to be the cinnamon in the pie that produced what Anderson called the “most significant nutritional discovery he’s seen in 25 years.” He…

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SPLENDA™ WITH LESS SUGAR

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Dr. Richard Bernstein, author of Diabetes Solution and The Diabetes Diet prescribes a very low-carb diet to get his diabetic patients off medications or to reduce their dosage to the lowest possible level. He calls it “the law of small numbers” because the smaller the dose you need, the smaller the mistake you can make and the less severe the consequences. One reviewer dubbed him the “Taliban of low-carb gurus” because his regimen is so strict: no fruit, no tomato sauce, no beans, no xylitol,…

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LAISSEZ LES BON TEMPS ROULEZ; More Good Times in New Orleans and Coconut Ice Cream

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Laissez les Bon Temps Roulez, Let the Good Times Roll, is the attitude that earned New Orleans “The Big Easy” moniker. Good times defines the soul of a city that called its residents home in spite of the hardships they would face to rebuild from a disaster that none of us thought could ever happen in America. The easy choice would have been to walk away, to move on, but for some reason, those who could, came back. They came back to broken houses without…

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MORE N’AWLINS FOOD: CREOLE GUMBO

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GUMBO, (c) 2008, JUDY BARNES BAKER Gumbo is the perfect metaphor for New Orleans: a rich, steamy, spicy, mélange of diverse ingredients that combine into an experience that is unique to this place. A place that feels distinctly foreign, while at the same time epitomizing the melting pot that is America. French, Italian, Native American, Creole, Cajun, and African—all share a part in the history of the Louisiana bayou region, intersecting, interacting, and blending into a one-of-a-kind, savory stew. Gumbo may contain a variety of…

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