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Showing posts from January, 2015

10 Delicious Things from the Winter 2015 Fancy Food Show

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If I had to make a shopping list based on what I tried at the Winter 2015 Fancy Food Show, here is what I would recommend buying.


I thought I knew something about maple syrup, but now after talking to Dori Ross of Tonewood Maple I know so much more. Tonewood Maple has gotten some serious attention for their solid maple cube that you can shave to create maple sugar, but it was their single estate varietals of maple syrup that blew my mind. When processed separately (something that doesn�t happen everywhere) you get amazing differences in the flavor. Each bottle is labeled with the actual sugarbush it came from. Some are sweeter, others earthier or even a little spicy. They also make a maple cream, which is something I discovered in Canada. On the East Coast it�s fairly common, but I�ve never seen it out here. It�s a creamy spread made only from maple that you would swear has butter in it. It�s great on toast, pancakes or waffles. They also have a maple tree adoption program that gives y…

Christmas Lima Bean & Butternut Squash Stew Recipe

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One of my new year's resolutions is to use more of the food stored in my pantry. My shelves are overflowing with packages of grains, heirloom beans, dried pasta, Asian sauces, jams, mustards, sardines, cans of tomatoes and more. My goal is to cook with something that is languishing in the pantry or my equally stuffed-to-capacity freezer, every single day. Yesterday I chose some Christmas lima beans to transform into a vegetarian main dish. Eat less meat and more vegetarian food! That is yet another new year's resolution.

Christmas lima beans are sometimes called chestnut lima beans. When uncooked they are beautifully speckled like a calico horse, and when cooked they are more uniformly brown like chestnuts--but they really don't taste like chestnuts, despite what you may have heard. They have a texture a bit like russet potatoes and a mild earthy flavor but none of the characteristic sweetness or dry crumbly texture of chestnuts.

Beans are often used in salads or soups, but …

Winter Fancy Food Show 2015 Trends: Turmeric, Beef Jerky & Fermented Foods

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Attending the Winter Fancy Food Show (which is a trade show for the specialty food association) is a terrific opportunity to see what's new and happening in the world of speciality food. The biggest trends I noticed this time around were teas with turmeric, beef jerky and fermented foods, which included kombucha, probiotic drinks (most dairy based) and raw live active culture salsas, pickles, kimchi and sauerkraut. 

Interestingly enough, they each have a health angle to them. Fermented foods provide probiotics which are healthy bacteria and yeasts. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties. Beef jerky can be a high protein and low carbohydrate food that fits with low carb and Paleo diets. 


Fermented Food & Drinks
There are lots of different kinds of fermented food and drinks. One is kombucha, which is a fermented tea, usually combined with fresh fruit juice to make a healthful and tangy beverage. I noticed at least three exhibitors offering kombucha to enthusiastic crowds perhaps…

Juice & Smoothie Books & Giveaway

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After the indulgences of the holiday season come the resolutions of the new year. And when it comes to food, there's a popular belief that you can atone for the sins of the past with repentance in the form of detoxing, cleanses and juicing. Juice is a delicious thing to drink, but relying on it instead of actual food can be downright dangerous to your health; this isn�t just my opinion, but what nutritionists say�you can read more in articles like Juice Cleanses: Not healthy, Not Virtuous, Just Expensive and Juice Cleanses: Health Hocus Pocus. Also you can't detox your body, it's a myth

I actually love making and drinking juices and smoothies, I just don�t recommend getting caught up in believing they are a cure all or will lead to weight loss. Because they can often be high in sugar and carbohydrates, I think of them more as a treat, to enjoy instead of something like ice cream or frozen yogurt. Juices and smoothies are very easy to make at home and are becoming more and…