Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution

Not sure if any of you have been watching the series on ABC, Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution but I am finding it fascinating. It's a 6 part series where this impassioned British chef takes on the obesity, heart disease, diabetes and poor eating habits of the unhealthy community of Huntington West Virginia, voted the worst in the country! His hope is to create a model to take to other communities in the US and make some drastic changes. Grassroots with the help of corporate America.

Stunning to watch how the children don't even know what a vegetable looks like! And a family who fries everything! This is great discussion material, and a very loud and clear wake-up call to the education of food and food preparation in America.

Fridays at 9pm, 8 central on ABC. Check it out!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Fig and Walnut Biscotti

I have been making biscotti for years and have never come across this combination until now. This recipe is from Everyday Food Magazine. I made them this weekend and I must say, they came out great! I used fennel seed instead of the anise just because I didn't have any anise- but the results were just fine! I also substituted spelt flour for both the whole wheat and the all-purp called for in the recipe.

Here is the recipe:

  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 3/4 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon anise seed, chopped
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest (from 1 large orange)
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped dried Calimyrna figs (6 ounces)
  • 1 cup walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
  • Nonstick cooking spray


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together flours, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, and anise. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs until they're pale yellow and hold a ribbon for 1 second when whisk is lifted, about 5 minutes. Whisk in zest.
  2. Fold egg mixture into flour mixture until combined. Fold in figs and walnuts. Lightly spray a parchment-lined baking sheet with cooking spray. Divide dough in half on parchment. Spray hands with cooking spray; form each piece of dough into a 2 1/2-inch-wide log. Bake until dough is firm but gives slightly when pressed, about 25 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack and let logs cool 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.
  3. Cut each log on the diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick slices; place slices, cut side up, on sheet. Bake 7 minutes, flip biscotti, and bake 7 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. (Store in an airtight container, up to 1 week.)
From Everyday Food, March 2010

Monday, March 29, 2010

Pasta with Brussels Sprouts, Pancetta and Pine Nuts

photo from

I tried this recipe this weekend and all I can say is you gotta try it! It was fantastic! I got it from The Kitchn website, which I found during a google search for a recipe that had brussels sprouts and pancetta as my search words. Love that google! Enjoy!!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Kitchen Cupboard Dinner

So.... it was one of those nights. You know when you are hungry for something good and healthy to eat, but you are tired and you didn't do a shop, so the fridge is looking pretty sparse.

Before I was tempted to pick up the phone and dial my nearest stand-by restaurant for a delivery, I decided I should take a tour of my pantry and use my creativity to fashion a meal out of whatever was already here. Suddenly, it became a challenge and I was determined to make this work!

Here's what I found:

a can of tuna (packed in water)
a can of artichoke hearts
a bag of rice pasta
a can of plum tomatoes
a jar of capers
a box of chicken stock
Dried herbs

So, with my ingredients above, I proceeded to churn out fairly quickly, a yummy little meal without too much fuss. It was fairly easy: just sauteed the garlic and shallot in a splash of olive oil, then added the tuna, breaking it up a bit with the spoon, added the drained can of artichoke hearts (the whole can after slicing them in half), about half the can of the tomatoes that I chopped, a couple of teaspoons of the capers, drained, and a sprinkle of basil and oregano for that true Mediterranean flavor I was going for. A half cup or so of the chicken stock and I was in business. Some salt and pepper to taste, of course. Just a matter of cooking the pasta for the grand finale. I happened to have some fresh parsley so I added a little for some extra color and VoilĂ !

Just what I needed to perk me up on a busy weekday night after a busy day at the office!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Packaging is where it's at!

Designed by Brandever | Illustration: Fabien Barral | Country: Canada

I just love this website, Lovely's nice to know that I am not the only one out there obsessed with good packaging!

The designs they feature come from all over the world, and these food-related ones really are examples of some attractive marketing.

Designed by Beryl Firestone

Designed by Dave Richmond | Country: United Kingdom | Font: Trade Gothic

Designed by Timothy Batterham | Country: Australia

Designed by DBD International : Country: United States

Designed by Ziggurat Brands | Country: United Kingdom

Designed by Dreamworx | Country: Bulgaria | Fonts: Rockwell

Designed by Mind Design | Country: United Kingdom

Designed by Sequence | Country: United States

Monday, March 8, 2010

Pretty Chocolate Bars

I came across these chocolate bars when I was in NYC last summer and shopping at Murray's Cheese Shop. I was taken by how beautiful the wrappings were, and upon closer inspection I noticed that they were made in Brooklyn! Chalk up yet another one for my home city!

They are the masterpieces of Mast Brothers Chocolates. The talented brothers are making this fine chocolate in Williamsburg. They come from a combined background of food, music, film and finance. It's so great to see the love of chocolate being turned into a successful business! The paper they use to wrap the chocolate is Florentine paper and rumor has it they will soon be using papers designed by local artists. Meanwhile the chocolate can be ordered online at their website or through Murray's Cheese Shop and can be found at various shops and restaurants around the country. ( see their website for details!) I noticed that Thomas Keller is serving it at Per Se and The French it must be good!

Here are some of the flavors to try:

Single Origin, Madagascar 72%
Dark chocolate with Fleur de Sel
Dark Chocolate with Almonds and Sea Salt
Dark Chocolate with Cocoa Nibs

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Be Aware of the signs from the Universe!

I actually bought a wall calendar this year-normally I just rely on my I Phone and I Cal to tell me what day it is...but when I saw this printed calendar, I felt nostalgic and wanted to have something to hang on the wall to remind me of how the days pass and how they are all so orderly and aligned on paper. It was so pretty that I thought it would inspire me.

I forgot to turn the page yesterday to March 1 so when I did it tonight, this is what I saw.....