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No soup for you?

Cold weather always make me think of soup. Soup always makes me think of Seinfeld. Seinfeld turns me to my soup cookbook based on the real soup nazi. But seriously, a hot bowl of soup on a very cold day or night is so satisfying.

Soup comes in many "flavors". From thin consommes to hearty chilis and stews, vegetable to beef, bean and nut or cheese and chowders. Regardless of your favorite, here is a quick run down of the types of soups to choose from.

Consomme- crystal clear broths often served to start a meal.

Cookies that keep you on the "nice" list

When baking cookies for the holidays at home, there are ways to help the calorie count that won’t sacrifice flavor. Try these tips to stay on Santa's nice list...and you looking good this holiday!

Fat is the number one issue for many people. One half of the butter in a recipe can be replaced with applesauce, Greek yogurt  or prune puree. If baking a sweet bread like banana, you can replace all the butter with applesauce for a moister, denser bread. Mashed avacado can also stand in for half your butter and results in a softer, chewier cookie.

Salt of land and sea

Salt of the earth? Sea salt? Which is better and what’s the difference?

Nutritionally speaking, the difference in salts is really in the minerals they contain which will vary by location. China is the largest producer of salt, followed by the USA, but countries around the globe have salts of varying colors, tastes and mineral components.

Salt has a strong presence in our culinary and ancient history. Man’s relationship with salt goes back to ancient times, with writings of salt being used in ancient Babylon and Egypt.

An apple a day

Fall has arrived and that means apple picking season. Many of you probably have your favorite orchard to visit, or can easily find one not too far from home. Now that you have decided to go...what kind of apples shall you get? I love thisvisual guideto apples as a starting point. It is always wise to speak to the growers to find out what they have at peak season when you visit their orchard to get the best selections. 
So you fiound the good apples, you buy a bag or two, and get home. Maybe even enjoy an apple on the ride home.

Summertime Suppers

Summer time is notorious for easier meals, hot hazy weather and little desire to cook big meals. So how does one continue to eat healthy, balanced meals when you'd rather be at the beach, or are glued to the A/C? 
One option of course is the grill. We all know how to grill a burger or hot dog, maybe even some shrimp. Try some different glazes instead of the typical BBQ sauce. Anapricot glazefor chicken,rum glazefor shrimp and apork glazewith a buzz (works on beef too)But do you grill your veggies too?

More Peas Please

Peas in a pod or pea pods? Sugar or snap peas? Black-eyed peas and field peas?   Want more peas? Please! Like peas in a pod, we line up for dinner to see those little green spheres on our plate. Some of us relish them, savor them with butter or a little mint. Others, well they try to hide them in their mashed potatoes. So why eat peas and which ones to choose?

I hope I can decipher the pea family for you a bit here....then perhaps encourage you to try more of them, especially in the spring when they are oh so good!

Foodie to Fattie - a very slippery slope

Everyone likes to eat....what we eat may be very different for all of us, but the bottom line is we all do it. We need to eat to fuel our bodies and minds, to keep our organs running and our muscles fueled - just in case we need to run from a saber tooth tiger or something. But some amongst us have elevated eating to a new level.

We have all heard the term foodie by now. This is a newer term in our world, but one that has certainly been used in many circles, both self proclaimed and directed to a fellow dinner guest.

Luck O'The Irish and St Patty's Feasts

St. Patrick's Day.....the wearin' of the Green, a parade (a USA tradition), green beer and corned beef and cabbage. Though not an official holiday here in the USA, we are all Irish on March 17th. In Ireland, the celebration is more church based, celebrating the death of St. Patrick, the Patron Saint of Ireland, who is credited with explaining the Holy Trinity using the shamrock. The Irish attend church, drink and eat a traditional light meal of cabbage and bacon. 

Corned beef was made popular in New York bars at lunchtime.

For the love of food.....

If you are like me, you love to eat. If you are lucky, you have someone to love in your life....a valentine of any sort to share food with. But what to share? There's chocolate and those candy hearts, a plate of spaghetti or a glass of wine....but isn't that almost cliche? Here are some ideas to break away from the expected and spice up any romantic evening. I referred to several writings on sensual foods (there were many), including one on, and an article in the Seattle Herald.

All Hail Kale!

Kale. It has become the new broccoli. As President Bush said - "I don't like broccoli and I am not going to eat it". OK, so that may be a simplified version of his statements, but I think a lot of us don't like kale. It's green, and leafy, which means it must be good for you....yuck. Sticks in your teeth, and all those health nuts eat it. No thanks.

Well let me try to persuade you to reconsider. Kale is high in vitamin C and K, moderate in Calcium, and low in fat and calories.

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