Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Yay for Fall!

Unless your a hermit of some sort, you probably have noticed that the season has recently changed. Fall is upon us once again. Yippy! I love fall for many reasons including but not limited to, colorful trees, it's more apt to rain, the crisp cool air after a long summer and FALL FOOD. Don't get me wrong, I go through similar feelings when Winter, Spring and Summer hit but Fall is extra special to me. Maybe its because my birthday is in November, or because Thanksgiving is the only holiday where we celibate food. I don't know but I love it.

We start to get out our winter squash recipes and stock up on cinnamon and allspice. Pumpkin pie anyone? A nice butternut squash soup. Roasting pumpkin seeds while the family carves. Don't forget apple cider made fresh. Put away the grill and get out the roasting pan. Leave the cold cereal alone and cuddle up with a bowl of hot oatmeal in the morning. Sure, our happy colorful veggies of summer are disappearing but instead you can look forward to enjoying the homemade salsa, pickles, relish, or canned fruit you (hopefully) put up. How many recipes do you make with canned fruit in mind?

Just a quick word on eating seasonally. It has many benefits but one of the great ones is that you get have a chance to forget how awesome a food tastes and the way it makes you feel. When that time of year comes around again it's like meeting an old friend that you haven't seen for awhile. Seasonal eating is healthy too. In the summer it's hotter and our bodies do not require as many calories to stay warm as they do in the winter. The fresh crisp veggies we eat in the summer are full of water, vitamins and fiber. As the season changes our bodies crave things that "fill us up" more and warm us up on the inside. Seasonal eating is also a commandment.

D & C 89:11 "Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof; all these to be used with prudence and thanksgiving."

I think it's amazing that God has made so many wonderful foods for us to eat. Let's remember that in this season of Thanksgiving!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Dating Advice

While I was still a young unmarried woman my grandmother gave me a piece of dating advice. She said,

"Marry a man who eats anything you make".

She's been married over 60 yrs so who am I to argue?

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Why I Married the Best Man in the Whole World

I feel I lucked out when it comes to who I married for one main reason. I get to choose what we eat and where we go to dinner. I come from a family where any simple conversation, including where to go to eat, quickly turns into a shouting match. Not because we are mad necessarily but because we ALL have very important opinions that MUST be heard. There are six people in my family and growing up my parents finally decided that we would only eat out on two types of occasions. Birthdays and when my grandparents came to town. Birthday person gets to choose and with grandparents we went to the buffet. (This wasn't as much as a hardship as it sounds when you live in a town with maybe a dozen non-fast food places.) So picking where to eat was a HUGE privilege. When we first started dating I would give DC a chance to pick where we went. What says "I love you" more than letting someone else pick where you eat? But I found out that this was not his idea of a good time so I just chose for him.

I married the most easygoing man on the face of the planet. I often ask him what he would like me to fix for dinner (I'm a flipp'n chef. Get creative!) and he usually waits until I suggest something and then says, "yah, that one sounds good". The man will eat anything under the sun (with the odd exception of tomatoes and strawberries) and has no problem with my vegetarianism. (DC is not vegtarian but will eat soy meat or meatless dinners.) So when it comes to where to dine out, he RARELY has an opinion. He says this is because I'll make the decision in the end and that it doesn't matter what he decides (snort of derision) but I know it's because he loves me.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Buffets and Bad Habits

Buffets are a popular American tradition. My family always liked them because all of us picky eaters could fill up without the fight of what to eat. Unfortunately they are also a major cause of America's bad eating habits.

Here are a few of my buffet critiques:

"I need to feel that I'm getting my money's worth."
Why do we need to sit down with massive piles of food just to feel we are getting our money's worth? News flash, if the general public had any idea how much time, energy, money and effort went into getting them good, fresh, free of harmful microbes and toxins, and well prepared meals to their table they would never say, "I don't feel I got my money's worth." I have eaten at places where I have spent over $100 per person (not including alcohol) and felt that is was the best money I spent all year. Quantity is NOT quality.

Buffets do not focus on food groups
You go to a buffet. Plate 1: salad. Plate 2: a rib and a baked potatoes maybe some corn Plate 3: Fried Chicken, French fries, and one of those sticky buns. Plate 4: Time for dessert, let's try a piece of cake, cobbler and what the heck, ice cream. I dare you to find a balanced meal out of that.

Where are the portion sizes?
Few people realize that the serving sizes at buffets are much larger than normal. Have you ever looked closely at a serving spoon in the mac n' cheese? It is about 4 to 5 time larger than your serving spoon at home. Now put four to five things on your plate. Suddenly you're going to eat a 4 to 5 times what you would at home. Then that plate magically disappears, like it never happened and you're on to the next one. Whenever you forget what you just ate, you are going down the path to overeating.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Do the Words "Balanced Meal" Mean Anything to You?

DC and I visited a Sweet Tomatoes last week. It's an okay place for a large lunch but this isn't going to be a review. The whole premise behind this chain is to fill up a on a large salad bar and then add to lunch with soups, pasta, and bread. Everything is buffet style and they boast a very healthy menu. Now, I did enjoy my lunch and was substantially full at the end. However, I was a little dismayed as I came to dessert. The choices were fruit (good), jello (maybe), some sort of low calorie strawberry flavored mousse (what the?), and low fat frozen yoghurt (sure I guess). So I'm standing there thinking, "I've just had a large salad, a small serving of low fat pasta with fresh veggies, and a piece of cornbread. Where is my one indulgent bite of fudge brownie or bite of cake?" Believe it or not Sweet Tomatoes, I can balance my meal and watch my calories. I don't need you to do it for me!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Yum! Indian food

As DC (dinning companion) and I are relatively new to the Salt Lake area, we have been searching high and low for good restaurants. I was delighted to find one a few days ago, "The Kathmandu" (3142 South Highland Drive, Salt Lake City). People who know me well can attest that I'm a little picky about my restaurant choices. If I visit a restaurant not up to my "modest" expectations, there will be little you can do to drag me back in there.

Overall I would go back to eat here because the food was good and there were plenty of vegetarian choices. The service wasn't as fast as I would have liked it but there was a large table that was eating at the same time. Having worked in a restaurant on a Saturday night I can understand the big table complex. The waiter also gave suggestions on the menu and there was a water pitcher on the table which is very nice (especially with foreign cuisine). The price was reasonable compared to other Indian places we have visited. Also, everyone there was from the India/ Nepal area. So if you are in the area and looking for great Indian food this is one place I would highly recommend.

my ratings of "The Kathmandu"
out of 5

Service: 4 1/2
Atmosphere: 4
Food Quality: 5
Price / Quality: 4
Vegetarian: 5
Authenticity: 5

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

How to Make Lemon Powder

How to make lemon powder. Plant and cultivate the perfect lemon. Carefully pick, package and transport lemon across time zones. Cut up and mix with other lemons from different parts of the world. Freeze dry and grind into a powder. Carefully package again and ship to a cookie factory where it may be made into wonderfully yummy cookies. Sit the remainder on the shelf for about 18 months and then deposit in large dumpster.

I often wonder if our civilization is the only one in the history of the world to treat food in such a crazy and bizarre manner. I am constantly fascinated by the tools, means, and skills we humans use to develop and produce food for general consumption. The methods are wonderfully brilliant and at the same time, taking a step back and looking at the whole picture, slightly disturbing. I took a food artistry class while in Culinary school. Often times the whole hour would go by while we struggled to put into words the ideas and emotions behind food.

Behind it all, all the scientists and foodies of the world will continue to turn our world's resources into edible consumption. Bon appetit!