Try it….

Try it….If you don’t like it….You don’t have to eat it….This is something I say on a daily basis.  It’s usually at dinner time, because that’s likely when we try some new foods or my kids have friends over.  Growing up, I only heard the “try it” part.  My siblings and I spent plenty of meals sitting and finishing something we did not, and still do not like.  It was clean your plate or you can’t leave the dinner table.  I laugh now, but it really sucked.  Anyhow, my kids are great at trying new foods.  A lot of times they like what’s for dinner.  If they don’t, I’m certainly not going to make them eat it.  For instance, my son does not like melted cheese.  Only on pizza.  Fine with me.  Melted cheese is greasy and actually ruins the flavor of a lot of good food. The try it part is a must in our house.  I don’t want my children to grow up being what I call, “adult baby / picky eaters”.  Seriously, there is nothing worse that an adult who eats with their eyes and claims not to like something / everything when you know they’ve never tried it in their life.  I don’t know for sure, but I’m guessing  adult picky eaters simply were never made to try anything.    Continue reading “Try it….”

Falafel….

Falafel is one of the most delicious meals we make in my household.  It’s absolutely one of everyone’s favorites.  I had never had Falafel or even heard of it until I started dating my husband.  Middle Eastern / Mediterranean food was not on my radar.  My husband had lived in Michigan for a few years, so he was exposed to a lot of delicious Middle Eastern food.  Michigan (Detroit area) has a large Middle Eastern population, so Falafel is as common as Pizza is in New York.  I am pretty sure Dan made it for me back then.  We wouldn’t have known where to find it in the Albany / Capital area.  Now there are several restaurants all over the place.  Mediteranian inspired foods have really been on the rise for the past 15 years, especially Falafel.  In my opinion, making it yourself, always taste best!  

Continue reading “Falafel….”

Cookbook Club….

Cookbook Club - Moroccan Lentil Salad
Cookbook Club – Moroccan Lentil Salad -“Run Fast, Eat Slow”

I hope everyone had an enjoyable weekend.  Happy father’s day to all the dad’s out there.  Friday night I attended my first “Cookbook Club”.  My friend Erin put the local club together and has been inviting me for months.  This past Friday was the first time I was able to go.  It was a lot of fun and I met some great new people and enjoyed a ton of fabulous food.  The concept of the club is simple.  Whoever hosts the party, chooses a particular cookbook as the theme.  Everyone pick’s a recipe from the book, and brings it to the party.  We discuss the approach to making our dishes. Where to best find some of the unusual ingredients, using alternative ingredients, putting your own twist on a dish, etc….  Continue reading “Cookbook Club….”

Flag Day Birthday….Summer cake….

Yesterday, June 14th was my birthday, as you all know it was also Flag Day here in the U.S.A.  Growing up my Mother always made me a Flag cake and Flag cupcakes for school and my birthday parties.  It was great and always brings a smile to my face thinking about all the time and effort she put in to making my day special.  Of course in the 1970’s and 1980’s when my mom was making cakes the ingredients were heavy chocolate or vanilla cake with thick and sugary butter cream frosting.  Don’t get me wrong, it was absolutely delicious and a kids dream!  Now when I make cakes in the summer for my kids, I make them a little lighter and utilize fresh whipped cream and seasonal berries….

Continue reading “Flag Day Birthday….Summer cake….”

Turnips….Delicious Experiment….

I hope everyone had a great weekend.  Sunday morning I was experimenting in the kitchen.  I had a few turnips left that I needed to do something with before they went bad.  It was 90 degrees and I really wasn’t in the mood to use them in a soup or roast them in the oven.  We had a busy day and grilling was not on the agenda either.  So I decided to boil and mash them like potatoes.  I know mashed cauliflower is all the rage, why not mashed turnip?   Continue reading “Turnips….Delicious Experiment….”

Crazy Cravings….Eating under pressure….

Crazy Cravings!  I refer to mine as having a “salt attack”!  It happens from time to time.  What I’ve realized over the years is, the salt cravings and eating fast go hand in hand.  I consider myself a “stress eater”.  When I’m under pressure or stressed about something, I tend to crave the bad stuff.  Which for me is anything salty.  Chips & dip, cheese & crackers, anything slathered in mayo etc….  And I can’t just have a small portion, I want to gobble a bag of Utz chips with heluva good horseradish & bacon dip like it’s going out of style!  Who can relate to feeling like this?  You may have a salt tooth like me or sweet tooth.  Put chocolate chip cookies or gummy bears in front of you and forget it!  They’re gone in 2 seconds.  It’s all about being self-aware of what you’re doing to yourself.  Easier said than done, right?   Continue reading “Crazy Cravings….Eating under pressure….”

Kimchi….

The first time I tried kimchi, I was a 20-year-old college student, who was lucky enough to get a summer job waiting tables at a Korean restaurant.  I had never heard of kimchi before and I didn’t realize how much I loved “hot, spicy” food! I worked the lunch shift which offered a buffet.  Suki (restaurant owner) let me eat whatever I wanted for lunch.  When you’re a poor college student, getting a free meal after work, major deal.  Anyhow, I would eat from the buffet, which did not offer traditional Korean dishes.  It was similar to your standard Chinese restaurant buffet.  That’s what the public wanted.  On occasion people would come in and order off the menu for example; Bulgogi Steak, Mung Bean Pancake, Madu Dumplings etc…. I was fascinated by it all! One thing I noticed, regardless of the dish, it was served with kimchi on the side.  I noticed Suki and Young-ae (chef) ate the same thing everyday.  Brown Rice, kimchi with a fried egg on top.  After a few weeks of working there, I asked if I could try what they were eating. The dish is called a “Hot Pot”.  So simple, so full of flavor, I was hooked.  There are all different heat levels of kimchi.  I happen to like the “hottest”. The richness of the fried egg complements the heat and vinegar taste of the kimchi and the brown rice adds a nutty flavor. It is still one of my favorite go to meals.  Suki would joke and ask me if I was Korean, because I wasn’t supposed to like super spicy.  The extra spicy kimchi was only served to patrons if specifically requested.  Which was almost never.  Continue reading “Kimchi….”

Calibrating Crohn’s….

I wanted to share information on a wonderful new blog.  www.calibratingcrohns.com https://www.facebook.com/calibratingcrohns/  

Crohn’s / Ulcerative Colitis Disease has impacted my life from a young age.  My father suffered terribly my entire life.  My sister and brother started experiencing symptoms as teenagers.  One thing I know from exposure to my loved ones living with Crohn’s / Colitis is that it can be extremely debilitating physically and mentally.  Like many autoimmune disorders, every choice you make can affect symptoms and how you are going to feel 24/7. Calibrating Crohn’s is a wonderful blog that puts personal perspective on facing symptoms head on through , journals, food choice, recipe’s, etc….  

Colitis, Crohn’s: Crohn’s disease affecting only the large intestine (colon). Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory disorder, primarily involving the small and large intestine, but which can affect other parts of the digestive system as well.

Do you or family, friends suffer from Chrohn’s?  Please share this post if you do.  

 

 

 

Nut Butter follow up….

I’ve been thinking about the goodness of fresh ground and/or natural peanut butter and other nut butters like almond, cashew or hazelnut.  For someone who loves peanut butter for example, but has never tried fresh ground, they may not like it, because it won’t be sweet enough.  If you’re used to brands like Jif, Skippy, Peter Pan etc…. these items are so processed and they have more sugar than actual peanuts.  Therefore, when you try fresh ground which has nothing but the actual nut and heated vegetable oil, it may take getting used to.  Especially if you have a “sweet tooth”.  Peanuts and nuts such as cashews, have a natural sweet richness to their flavor.  Cutting out the presence of white sugar will emphasize the natural sweetness.  Here are some ways to ween yourself off of the “white sugar processed nut butters” and get your taste buds used to the natural sweetness of the fresh ground.   Continue reading “Nut Butter follow up….”

Nut Butters….

 

Favorite Snack
Favorite Snack
Nut Butters
Fresh Ground Peanut Butter

Who else out there is a major peanut butter LOVER?  When I was a kid and well into adulthood, I’d do anything for a peanut butter cup!  I have to say, my taste buds have changed.  Peanut butter cups just don’t do it for me.  They taste like ground sugar covered in fake chocolate.  No thanks!  Now if I want something remotely sweet, my favorite snack is a Granny Smith Apple (more tart the better) slathered in fresh ground peanut butter.  Remember my healthy muffins?  I love to slather fresh ground nut butter on top like it’s a frosting!  Perfect after an endurance workout.  Packed with protein and flavor. Since I discovered fresh ground nut butters, I can’t go back to buying it pre-made from the grocery store.  It tastes too sweet, not like the actual nut, and simply just processed. Continue reading “Nut Butters….”