Friday, April 29, 2011

An American cookbook by Amanda Hesser

The Essential New York Times Cookbook: Classic Recipes for a New Century by Amanda HesserThere is a new cookbook and it is focused on American dishes.

Below is an excerpt from the book, which is also lifted from an article, as indicated below:

My book began in 2004 over a lunch of Sri Lankan food at a restaurant in Manhattan. Susan Chira, a foreign correspondent and editor at the New York Times, was cultivating book projects by the paper's staff–ers. She asked me if I had any ideas. I had exactly none, but we began talking about cookbooks. It occurred to me that of the many cookbooks containing recipes from the Times, the best known – the one on nearly all of my friends' mothers' kitchen shelves – was The New York Times Cookbook by Craig Claiborne. Still in print, it was originally published in 1961, nearly 50 years ago.

American cooking has seen monumental changes in the intervening decades. We discovered classic French food and then Italian, New American, Japanese and south–east Asian before looping back to France for a brief rendezvous with the bistro, and then on to the trattoria, tapas bar and British butcher. We learnt about seasonal cooking as well as local cooking, sustainable foods and artisanal ingredients. We became vegetarians, pescatarians, vegans and locavores. In 1961 there were lots of curious home cooks. Now there are lots of obsessed and well–informed foodies. Before lunch was over, this book was in the works. It would include the most noteworthy recipes all the way from the 1850s, when the paper began covering food, to today. Had I known then that it would take six years and entail cooking more than 1,400 recipes, I might never have started.

To read more, follow the source article below:
'The Essential New York Times Cookbook: Classic Recipes for a New Century' by Amanda Hesser
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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Mimicked Recipes

By Mary Smith | Email the author | April 17, 2011

Make your favorite restaurant meals at home.

Have you ever wanted to make something from your favorite restaurant at home but didn’t know how to replicate it?  Maybe you are not sure what all the ingredients are or how long to cook it.  Maybe you think it’s impossible to get the same taste at home.
I recently came across a website dedicated to “copycat” recipes from your favorite chain restaurants.  You can search by restaurant name such as Olive Garden or Panera Bread Company or by the actual menu item.  For example, I love the broccoli and cheddar soup at Panera.  I found the copycat recipe and made it at home.  It was amazing!  I honestly couldn’t tell the difference. 
While these recipes are not the actual recipe from the restaurant (they would never give them up!), they are close copies that have been prepared in a test kitchen and tweaked to match the original.
This is my new go-to site to find Olive Garden’s awesome salad dressing recipe or the Bloomin’ Onion from Outback Steakhouse.  Over 1500 chain restaurant copycats are posted.  The is the brainchild of Stephanie Manley who began the website as a way to preserve her family’s recipes for future generations. 
Now you can enjoy your restaurant favorites without leaving the comfort of your own home!   You may even save some “dough” as well!
IHOP Buttermilk Pancakes
  • 1 ¼ cups flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 ½ teaspoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk
Directions: Place first five ingredients into a bowl.  Add buttermilk, oil and egg.  With a spoon, mix all the ingredients and beat until smooth.  Heat a frying pan or griddle on medium low heat.  Pour a little oil or cooking spray onto pan.  Pour batter to desired size.  Let batter set until small bubbles appear on top.  Flip and finish cooking.  Serve warm with your favorite syrup.  Makes nine 5-inch pancakes. 
Olive Garden’s Chicken and Gnocchi Soup
  • 1 cup chicken breast, cooked and diced (you can use a rotisserie chicken)
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1 quart half and half
  • 1 14-ounce can chicken broth
  • ½ cup celery, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup carrots, finely shredded
  • 1 cup onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • ½ teaspoon parsley
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 pound potato gnocchi
Directions: Sauté the onion, celery, and garlic in the butter and olive oil, over medium heat.  When the onion becomes translucent, add the flour and make a roux.  Let the butter and flour mixture cook for about one minute before adding the half and half.  Cook gnocchi according to package directions.  Set aside.  Into the roux, add the carrots and chicken.  Once the mixture becomes thick, add the chicken broth.  Once the mixture thickens again, add the cooked gnocchi, spinach and seasonings.  Simmer until soup in heated through.  Makes eight servings.

Taken from; source article is below:
Copycat Recipes

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Royal Wedding Recipes

Slice of a chocolate cake.Image via WikipediaI'm copying this, and it may be a couple of recipes only, but what the heck? it is a royal recipe!
With the upcoming wedding of England's Prince William of Wales to Catherine Middleton, chefs in D.C. have been baking their own royal confections.
Maris Justusson, pastry chef at the restaurantAgainn, has been serving two decadent British desserts.  She shares her two of her recipes inspired by the royal nuptials.
The traditional chocolate biscuit cake is said to be one of Prince William's favorites.  The fruitcake is a traditional bride's cake.
  • 7 oz. broken up rich tea biscuits
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 2 oz. butter
  • 16 oz. chocolate
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  1. Heat up heavy cream, honey and butter in saucepan
  2. Pour over chocolate and stir until smooth
  3. Fold in broken up tea biscuits
  4. Pour into greased and parchment paper lined cake pan (preferably a springform pan)
  5. Allow to set in fridge for 3 hours

Fruit Cake

  • 12 oz. dried fruit (we're using apricots, golden raisins and chopped dates)
  • pecan pieces
  • brandy to soak fruit
  • 6 oz. butter, room temperature
  • 6 oz. powdered sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 yolks
  • 7 1/2 oz. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  1. Soak dried fruit with brandy, set aside
  2. Cream butter and powdered sugar together
  3. Whisk together eggs and yolks and add them to the creamed butter slowly, scraping bowl well after adding
  4. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt, then add to batter
  5. Drain fruit together and fold in, along with pecan pieces
  6. Fill greased and parchment paper lined cake pan 2/3 full
  7. Bake at 350 until golden brown
  8. Brush cake with brandy simple syrup while warm
Posted on Saturday, Apr 16, 2011 at 10:32 AM EDT

Taken from; source article is below:
Recipe For Royal Cakes

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Let’s cook! - A new book

If you are looking for a book, and a new one at that, which targets youngsters, or the young ones, or the toddlers, you have one. And it is coming from Malaysia.

It is a book that comes with a video, so if you are interested, check it out:
Let’s cook!
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Gwyneth Platrow on cooking

Gwyneth PaltrowImage by rocor via FlickrThere is this article that features the cook in Gwyneth Paltrow, and she says that cooking her own meals and choosing her own food has helped to keep her trim and slim, or slim and trim...

Interested? That article is below:
Gwyneth Paltrow on her domestic role: 'Cooking makes me calm and happy'
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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Crawfish Cakes, Crawfish Crescents and Roasted Garlic Puree

Vegan Black Bean Cakes at WishboneImage by swanksalot via FlickrThere is one article that features traditional French recipes but using what's available at the new abode. Did I say that correctly? Wishbone restaurant in Chicago, by Joel Nickson, boasts of his grandma's traditional French recipes being used on the bounty of her new home in the US.

I'm not very good at translating today, and lest I detract from the good points, follow the full article here. You may want to try it yourself if you are in that area.

And the title lists 3 dishes, whose recipes were in that copyrighted article, so I can't post here.

Where to find Cajun-inspired cuisine

Till then!

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How to Cook Everything - now an iPhone App

How to Cook Everything, Completely Revised 10th Anniversary Edition: 2,000 Simple Recipes for Great FoodI saw this article which features a new iPhone app, How to Cook Everything. Here I present you the first two paragraphs from the article, which can be followed from the link provided below.

Hope this is one good app. I've been missing cooking lately.

How to Cook Everything is a veritable encyclopedia of cooking information. It boasts of having over 2000 recipes and hundreds of articles or chapters on food, kitchen, cooking and tools knowledge. Everything from how to peel garlic to the must-have pots and pans for your kitchen.
Based on the cookbook of the same name by Mark Bittman, it takes on the challenge of being a guide for true beginners in the kitchen as well as practised home cooks, and offers everybody a little something.

To read the full article, click here.

Till then!

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Eating Healthy: It's as Easy as ABC Foods

SAN DIEGO (Aug. 18, 2009) Staff and patients p...Image via WikipediaMarch 20, 2011

EAST KINGSTON — Do you know what it takes to prepare healthy meals? Do you have enough time to do so? ABC Foods caters to those who answered "no" to either question.

ABC Foods (A Better Choice) is the brainchild of Peggy Evans, a culinary and nutrition educator who believes cooking light should be easy and fun, and the food flavorful.

"Many people are more concerned about healthy eating today," Evans said. "Obesity is on the rise, especially among children, so that's a huge concern. Parents want to eat better so they can set a good example for their children. They want to give them a healthy path to follow all their lives, but many people don't know where to start."

Evans said counting calories, weighing and measuring seems complicated and time-consuming. People also worry, she added, that so-called "healthy foods" will have as much flavor as cardboard.

"They see a lifetime of eating celery ahead and quit before they really start," Evans said. "I'm here to show them that it's easy to cook healthy and it tastes great."

ABC Foods offers public and private cooking classes and a chef-at-home service for which Evans will prepare a month's supply of healthy recipes for families to freeze and enjoy as needed.

"I've taught cooking classes through local schools and recreation departments and at several of the area kitchen stores," she said. "I'm happy to set up a series in any community. But, I'll also come to your home and teach you how to cook nutritious meals, or, if you like, you can get some friends together and we'll do an evening, or a series of classes that way."

For the chef-at-home service, Evans first sits down with clients to talk about food preferences, any allergies or diet restrictions and other key criteria. She then reviews what a client has on hand so she can bring any needed supplies or equipment. Lastly, she schedules a day to cook that is convenient for the client.

"Some clients prefer to choose exact menus and dishes for me to prepare, others want me to surprise them — whatever works for you, I'm happy to do," she said.

After preparing the meals, Evans labels and packages everything and cleans up the kitchen. The client has a freezer full of delicious, nutritious meals, and often a nice stew simmering in the slow cooker.

Evans said the chef-at-home service is a boon to busy mothers, new parents with little ones, busy professionals with little time to cook, aging parents, people recuperating from illness or surgery, anyone with special needs or mobility issues. She also said it can be just the thing for families who feel their food habits are in a rut and are looking for a healthy change — along with a little more free time in their schedule.

"Sometimes removing just one chore from the schedule helps families connect," she said. "We can all use a break now and then, and this service provides that, along with the health benefits."

Evans retired from Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in 2008, but returned to school to pursue a career in nutrition. She has always been passionate about food and for years has cooked for large groups of family and friends, and given of her time cooking at the Salvation Army soup kitchen. She also teaches cooking classes at her local food pantry.

"I've learned you can still make healthy, creative dinners for 60 to 80 people, even with limited ingredients," she said.

ABC Foods' Web site,, offers free nutritious recipes, shopping lists for each recipe and a complete nutritional breakdown for each recipe. Evans said all of her ingredients can be found at the neighborhood grocery store.

Evans is offering food demonstrations at upcoming home and garden shows and is writing a column on healthy eating with recipes for the just-launched food and wine magazine, Northeast FLAVOR,

Taken from; source article is below:
Eating Healthy: It's as Easy as ABC Foods

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Monday, April 11, 2011

Eating what you know

Public domain photograph of various meats. (Be...Image via Wikipedia
This is quite a bit non-ordinary article: the cook slaughters and cooks and eats the poultry or meat from animals she knew - by growing and caring for them.

Is there a twist? Is there a catch somewhere?

Find that out yourself. Read on!

Sep. 4, 2010

WESTMINSTER WEST — A fluffy white sheep skin was draped over the window seat in the spacious, light-filled kitchen of Deborah Krasner’s home, a converted 18th-century hay barn surrounded by meadows just outside of Putney.

“That was Meringue,” she said matter-of-factly, referring to one of the Icelandic lambs she and her husband, Michael, raised a couple of years ago. “The one in the other room was Salt. The first two we had were called Shank and Burger.”

Krasner, a James Beard award-winning cookbook author, kitchen designer and cooking teacher, is fully aware that most people recommend against naming animals you plan to eat.

She addresses that subject directly in her new book, “Good Meat” (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2010), which focuses on how to source and cook sustainably-raised, grass-fed and pastured meat and eggs, and offers a personal perspective on raising your own lamb, geese, ducks, chickens (for meat and eggs) and even guinea fowl.

Go ahead and name your animals, Krasner writes. “Of course, when you go to eat them, it’s not easy knowing you are eating, say, Sally. But on the other hand, it’s nearly as hard to eat steer number 34, if you’ve known him and cared for him all his life. The central question is this: How can you reconcile the affection you inevitably feel for an animal you live with and tenderly care for, knowing at the same time that you are also the agent of its death and destiny as food — especially your own food, and not that of a stranger?”

It all comes down to respect, Krasner explained last week as she demonstrated a roast guinea fowl recipe from the cookbook using one of her birds, along with eggs poached in tomato sauce made with fresh eggs from the couple’s laying flock.

The sheep meadow and the hen house, both viewable from the kitchen window, are quiet now, Krasner said with some regret. She had just sold the birds because she will be on the road this fall promoting the book, her seventh, while her husband commutes to his job as a political science professor at Queens College in New York.

“All I can do is give them the best life I can give them, but they’re not pets,” Krasner said as she stuffed the guinea fowl with a mixture of apples, toasted almonds, thyme and lemon zest. “Like anyone who’s raised a vegetable knows, you value that vegetable. You treat it with respect,” she added. “When you eat meat bought directly from the farmer, who has raised that hen from a chick or cow from a calf, you have to respect it. When you buy a piece of meat from a supermarket, you don’t think about how to respect it.”

Krasner knows that most of her readers won’t raise their own meat. However, over her 30-plus years as a culinary professional, she has observed a significant increase in Americans buying grass-fed meat at farmers markets, community-supported agriculture shares (CSAs), farm stands or through small specialty butchers, who buy whole animals from farmers.

A conversation with a student on one of the culinary vacations Krasner hosts planted the seed for “Good Meat,” she said.

For the last eight to 10 years, the Krasners had been sourcing most of their food, including meat, from a very small area around their southern Vermont home.

“I thought it was a Vermont thing, or at least a rural thing,” Krasner said, “until this guest told me that it was happening in urban Minnesota, too.”

The handsomely designed and beautifully photographed book was close to three years in the making. “It is about what is good meat; how do you find it, how do you cook it and eat it, and how it tastes different,” Krasner said as she trussed the legs of the guinea fowl. (“Julia (Child) always used to say it looks so wanton if you don’t,” she joked, “but it also keeps the stuffing in.”)

Krasner firmly believes that raising meat on grass is better for the animals, the planet and for the people who eat it. (See sidebar) She does acknowledge that it cooks and eats differently than the “relatively flaccid, fatty” confined and corn-fed meats Americans are used to. “You have to cook it more tenderly with lower heat and pay a little more attention to it,” she said.

The book includes more than 200 recipes for grass-fed meats from beef to rabbit, as well as eggs and side dishes, with a global menu of mouthwatering recipes ranging from Madras Coconut Cream Beef Curry, to Steamed Tofu with Ground Pork and Shrimp, to Roasted Cardamom, Oregano and Garlic Chicken Thighs. (Full disclosure: I helped Krasner out as an unpaid recipe-tester last year while living in New Zealand where beef and lamb are almost exclusively raised on pasture.)

Although some do call for less familiar ingredients (beyond the meats), there are plenty of recipes that are quite straightforward like Roasted and Glazed Lemon Chicken and Strip Loin Steak with Garlic and Red Wine Sauce — and even those simpler recipes offer nuggets of culinary insight. Krasner knows home cooks and “I do home food,” she said.

Each chapter includes helpful photographs and drawings of the featured animal with detailed descriptions of cuts, including how to write a custom butcher cut sheet for your animals, or for the half of a lamb or eighth of a cow you might buy direct from a farmer.

It will also be indispensable to farmers market shoppers who want to support their local farmers by buying more than lamb loin chops or ground beef, but don’t quite know what to do with beef kidneys (blanch then saute with red wine, mushrooms and garlic and finish with a little sour cream and mustard) or pig ears (fry crisp and use as garnish for spiced yellow split pea soup).

“We’ve lost our ability to cook anything more than steaks, burgers and chops,” Krasner wrote in the book’s introduction before proceeding to offer reassuring and clear advice on how to cook almost everything from head to tail. As she notes in her recipe for fried beef testicles: “Nearly anything deep-fried and doused with hot sauce tastes delicious.”

“Part of respecting the animal is cooking all of it including tongues, ears, shank, tail and offal,” Krasner said over the guinea fowl lunch. “It’s just not OK to know that all those other bits are going into pet food.”

If you’re willing and able to buy in bulk and buy more than just the chops and steaks, Krasner pointed out, locally raised grass-fed meat is affordable — and delicious.

“It’s a gift to all of us,” she concluded.

Contact Melissa Pasanen at

There are comments and some other articles that might interest you. Follow the source article below.

Taken from; source article is below:

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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Your Taste Buds And Your Health

Fresh vegetables are important components of a...Image via WikipediaSomehow there is a connection between your taste buds and your health... it could be the kind of food that you choose to eat and the way you eat that spells the difference.

Is it?

By Adam Dachis on March 5, 2011

The way you experience the sense of taste has been divided into three categories: supertasters (25 per cent of people), medium tasters (50 per cent of people), and non-tasters (25 per cent of people). If you’re a supertaster you experience food more fully, whereas non-tasters won’t experience the same boldness of flavour. Dr Susan Albers, writing for Psychology Today, suggests that the way you experience taste may ultimately play a role in (future) health issues.Photo by Mike McCune

While getting the full pleasure out of food may be fun, supertasters have an increase risk of cancer, particularly colon cancer. This is mainly because they are very sensitive to bitter foods, which may make them avoid certain good-for-you vegetables that are bitter in taste like broccoli. Instead, supertasters are also drawn to sodium and therefore use more salt. In theory, supertasters may be using more salt to mask the bitter taste of foods. This increases their risk for a heart attack.
If you fall into this camp, Dr Albers suggests eating meals more slowly to pay attention to the way you eat. You may not realise the amount of salt you’re adding to your food, for example. If you do love salt, there are two things I do to reduce my salt intake that might help. First, I don’t add salt while cooking but only after the food is cooked. I add it on top and never mix it in. When you do this, your tongue will interact with the salt directly so you’ll get the strong flavor and won’t need as much. I also purchase higher quality salts (such as white truffle salt and Maldon sea salt), which really don’t cost much more, and are more flavourful so you get the same impact with much less.
Not sure if you’re a supertaster? Want some other suggestions for eating mindfully? Be sure to check out the full post at Psychology Today. If you’ve got some suggestions of your own, be sure to share them in the comments.

Taken from; source article is below:
How Your Taste Buds Play A Role In Potential Health Issues
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