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Saturday, September 23, 2017

The Mystery of the Perfect Condiments

For several years we've been adjusting, changing, modifying our diet. "We" meaning my significant other and me. Had you asked me 40 years ago about “veggie burgers”, I probably would have tried to pretend not to hear the question or act like you're weren't talking to me.

However, beginning in 2015, this is my reality check.

Veggie burgers are a real part of our nutrition plan.

Learned something about myself. Veggie burgers taste pretty good to me! Not all of them. But there is one particular brand that is inexpensive and tasty: Morningstar Farms® Garden Veggie Patties™. They have a variety of flavors: Asian, Spicy Black Bean, Mushroom, Grillers, etc. You eat them just like a regular hamburger.

(This is not affiliate advertisement.  I just like the brand.)
Made an amazing discovery. It sort of makes me feel silly because of its obviousness.
The Garden Veggie Pattie is the one that tastes the best in my opinion.  You don't have to dress it up with condiments. You don't even need to put it on a bun.
But the other ones – the mushroom, the Asian-style, the spicy bean, the chik'n or turkey grillers, etc. - are not so flavorful.  So I avoid them.
One of my daughters fixed a spicy bean burger for lunch but didn't finish the sandwich. She asked me if I wanted her leftovers; otherwise, she'd have to throw it away.
Waste food?!! Not in my house!!
So I ate what was left of her sandwich and … and … It tasted great!
Do you know why?
She put mustard and ketchup on her burger.
Duh! (O.o) That's what was missing from those veggie burgers??
The two most common under-appreciated condiments that are in homes and restaurants gave the veggie burger what it was missing. Flavor!
Why didn't I think of that??!  :)
◊◊◊◊
Marshman, Victoria. "The History of Mustard.The Nibble. Lifestyle Direct, Inc., July 2009. Web. 15 Apr 2017. © Copyright 2005-2017
Wiggins, Jasmine. "How Was Ketchup Invented?National Geographic: About The Plate. National Geographic Society., 21 Apr. 2014. Web. 05 May 2015.
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Content also appears at Persona Paper.
***
Asked this question on a social site ~ Do You Have a Favorite Condiment for Your Food? ~ and got a wide range of responses that went way beyond mustard and ketchup. People started throwing out: salsa, soy sauce, barbecue sauce, different kinds of mustards, chutney, mint sauce, red currant jelly, pickles and paprika, garlic and chives, Chimichurri, fish sauce and shrimp paste, Thai chili, black vinegar and peri-peri.  Talk about food diversity!

Friday, September 22, 2017

Foodie Friday ~ YAPAS (Yet Another Post About Spinach)

Tapas is that cool food you get to eat if you go to a restaurant in Spain. YAPAS is yet another post about spinach to try to encourage those who don't care too much for this veggie, to eat it anyway!




There was once a contestant in a beauty pageant and she was asked: “If you have one last thing to do before you die, what would it be?”

Her response was: “She would eat everything!”

That is a sister after my own heart! :)

I love to eat! But no matter how many “first food experiences” I have, I just know that there is a lot of delicious and tasty food in the world that I'm missing out on. :)

For example:

♦ I was either in my late 20s or early 30s before I knew that you could eat spinach raw!

Shocking??!!  I know!!!

More true stories and facts about spinach.

~ Per celebrity TV chef, Rachael Ray, frozen spinach is the best bargain buy for green leafy vegetables!

~ My late mother only ever fed us spinach from the can.

~ Popeye the Sailor Man is the reason one of my brothers starting eating spinach. My mom had tried everything to persuade him. The cartoon did the trick! :)

~ Recollection of my first food experience eating raw spinach?
When traveling on official government business you get a “meal allowance” and so you get the opportunity to eat out at restaurants. Can't remember the restaurant, but when I ordered my dinner, the salad was served first. That's a common practice. What was uncommon is that it was a spinach salad and it was delicious! I'm like: 'Oh my! You can eat spinach raw!'

♦ ♦ ♦
Would like to recommend an online publication called "The Science of Eating". It is loaded with healthy eating tips and information, like this article:


13 Powerful Health Benefits Of Spinach


I don't really need to be convinced to eat my green leafy vegetables. But it's great to know that the foods I love are good for me too. Nothing more disheartening than being told you need to eat a certain food because it has what you need and it's a food that you can't stand eating!! Like carrots!  My mom had a rough time trying to get me to eat carrots.  Watching Bugs Bunny did not do the trick!  :) 



Thank goodness you can turn carrots into juice and mix it with other juices to mask the flavor. :)




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Previous #FoodieFriday posts?


| Well Good

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

World Cuisine: Food History: Cuban Sandwich

Most people, most people in or from South Florida, have heard of Little Havana, a neighborhood in Miami, Florida, built up by Cuban immigrants who fled Cuba when Fidel Castro came to power. Everbody knows this is the place to go to partake of authentic Cuban cuisine. However, did you know that the oldest Cuban sandwich shop which opened its doors in 1947, is not located in Miami? The famous Silver Ring Cafe is in Tampa, Florida.




That was news to me. Also learned something else new. Very familiar with the Sandwich Cubano (Cuban sandwich) and Media Noche Sandwich (Midnight Sandwich); but did you know there are several variations of this sandwich? No doubt they’re all delicious! There is a third one called Elena Ruz (Cuban Turkey Sandwich). It has guava jelly as one of the ingredients. If you’ve never tried Cuban food, you must try the Cuban Sandwich. Even the world-famous chef, Bobby Flay has his own variation.

Eating food is one of life’s greatest joys. 
But learning food history is also great fun too!




* * * My original content. Published first at dailytwocents.com on November 29, 2016. ( http://dailytwocents.com/food-history-cuban-sandwich/ )


References:

Internetwriter62. "The Art of the Cuban Sandwich." HUBPages.com. HUBPages Inc., 17 Sept. 2013. Web. 20 Jan. 2017. 

Bobby Flay Goes Cuban.” CBSNews. CBS Interactive, 1 Feb. 2007. Web. 27 Mar. 2015.  (Video.)






Cuban Sandwiches - Gourmet Frozen Pork Appetizers (45 Piece Tray)





The Beginner's Cuban Cookbook: An Easy Guide to Making Authentic Cuban Food for Novice Chefs



Iberia Guava Paste (14 oz Bricks) 3 Pack

Saturday, September 16, 2017

January is National Soup Month But Let's Start Warming Up in September (Reblog)

Want to read a food quote? 

“Only the pure in heart can
make a good soup.” 

Guess who said that? 
- No it wasn't Jesus Christ. 
- No it wasn't Jacques Pepin. 

Beethoven! Yeah, the famous classical music composer, Ludwig van Beethoven said that! 

So not only was he a genius when it came to composing music, he was also smart when it came to knowing about comfort food. 


January is National Soup Month and in other months of the year, we celebrate days for various types of soups and chowders. Yes, it's September. But why wait until the winter months when you can start enjoying warm comforting soups in the fall?




Content reblogged from My Blog Stop!

(Feel free to leave comments. Would love to know your favorite soup.)






















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Thursday, September 14, 2017

Can You Name 5 British Desserts? (NO Googling!)

My youngest child is practicing (and hopefully improving) her writing skills. She picked a random topic and did some research.  The topic was British desserts, subject matter which she definitely had to find out about on her own because:

(A) Her American mother was clueless.
(B) Even though her father is from The Bahamas - which at one time was beholden to the Queen of England - Bahamian food is in no way a reflection of British cuisine.  In other words, he was also clueless.


(Arctic Roll)


Was pleasantly surprised with the results of her search.
Has anybody ever tried any of these treats?
Can you name 5 more British desserts?
(Supplied a link below if you can't think of any.)
  1. Arctic Roll
  2. Bakewell Tart
  3. Eton Mess
  4. Flies Graveyard
  5. Rock Cake
Flies Graveyard?? Sounds perfect for celebrating Halloween.


Content republished from British Desserts - Persona Paper, Oct. 5, 2015.





Five Exotic Spices by Melisa Marzett

Even though many herbs and spices are now readily available in local grocery stores all around the world or can easily be purchased online, most of us don't know know the history of these marvelous cooking ingredients and which country is responsible for introducing these exciting flavors to the global community.  Sharing a brief introduction to five (5) exotic spices:

SPICE Spotlight: Juniper Berries

http://everydayspices.webs.com/apps/blog/show/6664512-spice-spotlight-juniper-berries


1. Asafetida. This is an Asian spice made from the roots of certain species of Ferula. It is a gum-like spice with a very strong and unpleasant smell.  Actually, the name of the spice has a Latin origin, which means “evil-smelling gum”.  Asafetida is common in Indian vegetarian cuisine and is often the main ingredient in rice and bean dishes. Additionally, it has a wide range of medicinal properties and is beneficial for people with digestive disorders, high cholesterol, and/or nervous disorders.  Asafetida is rich in minerals and nutrients, such as iron, calcium, phosphorus, and protein.  Although most chefs and cooks rarely prepare a dish without onion and garlic, some people do not eat onion or garlic.  Certain people are allergic to onions and for some people, garlic causes extreme heart burn.  Asafetida is an ideal spice for those people.  In fact, its smell is similar to both onion and garlic.






2. Dried Avocado Leaves.  This spice (or herb) originated in Mexico. It is one of the most popular spices in Mexican cuisine.  Avocado leaves have an aniseed fragrance; however, these dried leaves are odorless and have a pungent taste. Dried avocado leaves are added to bean or meat dishes. Regarding health benefits, they are useful for people who have kidney stones and hypertension. Noteworthy:  Only certain varieties of avocado leaves are to be used in cooking or for medicinal purposes because some kinds of avocado leaves can contain toxic substances.

Additional References:

Avocado Leaves: A Secret Mexican Ingredient

Avocado Leaves: A Secret Mexican Ingredient

Avocado Leaves: A Secret Mexican Ingredientby Victoria ChallancinLove at First Bite. Like any motivated foodie, I almost made myself sick sampling, musing, and guessing what unknown ingredient I was tasting in what appeared to be an ordinary black bean dip.


3. Epazote. This is another essential spice used in Mexican cuisine. Its extraordinary (or strange) scent can be described as a combination of kerosene, mint, and citrus. Epazote is made from the leaves of Mexican herb called dysphania ambrosioides (aka "Mexican tea").  It is used with bean and meat dishes. Additionally, it can be used in soups.

Additional Reading and Recipes:




4. Grains of Paradise. This delicious spice is an integral part of West African cuisine. It is obtained from a flower called Aframomum melegueta. Africans believed that this flower grew in Eden. Grains of paradise look like seeds and have jasmine, citrus, and hazelnut odor. It can be added to meat, fish, and potato dishes.

Link of Interest:
Find spices ordered according to the region:
GEOGRAPHIC SPICE INDEX


Ras El Hanout (4.0 Oz) By Zamouri Spices

Ingredients include over 30 different herbs and spices, such as: 

 Grains of Paradise, Lavender, turmeric, ajawan seeds, kalajeera, ginger, galangal, oris root, rose buds, monk's pepper, cinnamon and more!



5. Juniper Berries. Actually, juniper berries are more likely to be cones than berries. It has the smell of fir and is used for cooking meat dishes, especially stewed rabbit or beef. These “berries” grow on the juniper tree, are common throughout Europe,  included in ancient Greek recipes, and have been found in the Egyptian pyramids.  A wide range of German traditional dishes are cooked with juniper berries.



♦  Hope you enjoyed this intro.
About the writer:  Melisa Marzett works for: bigpaperwriter.com.  She does excellent research and can pen articles and supply blog publishers or website owners with quality content on almost any topic.  View the About tab on her Google+ profile for more samples of her work.



Spicy sexual life is a reality! by Melisa Marzett

Spices are a real treasure. They excite the taste buds, add an interesting taste to food, remind us of other worlds, the existence of miracles and beauty. Many spices are known for their stimulating effect. It is difficult to explain the nature and origin of this effect, but it exists. Spices are very strong natural aphrodisiacs. They are able to awaken desire and passion. Use spices and color your sexual life!



English: Spices in Mapusa Market, Goa, India. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
  • Saffron. This spice adds new flavors and colors in dishes cooked from rice. Saffron is very expensive as it is difficult to collect and ship this precious spice. However, you will need just a tiny bit of this spice, two or three stamens will be enough in order to make your dish incredibly delicious! Excessive use of saffron can actually ruin the dish. Scientists say that even a tiny amount of this spice increases sexual desire. In addition, saffron contains zinc, selenium, potassium, magnesium, and has antioxidant properties.
♦♦♦

SPICE Spotlight: Saffron

Everyday spices for everyday cooking. Use of the right herbs and spices can turn a bland meal into a sumptuous dining experience.

  • Fenugreek. Fenugreek seeds are popular in eastern ethnic cuisines. It is impossible to imagine many Indian dishes without this spice with intriguing flavor. Recent research showed that fenugreek is an aphrodisiac, thus, it is able to increase sexual desire in men with low libido. In addition, fenugreek contains elements that help to reduce sugar levels in blood, and to enhance lactation.
♦♦♦

Fenugreek Leaves - 1.5 Oz Jar Each

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  • Fennel. This plant looks a bit like celery, but the taste is quite different. Fennel successfully helps to cope with digestive problems, stimulates lactation and helps to clean bronchial passages of mucus. Many people do not like fennel because of its specific flavor and sweetish taste, but maybe you will risk to try it if you take into account the fact that the ancient Egyptians used the fennel to increase women’s libido. Try to grind fennel seeds and add them to your food, its active chemicals that increase sexual desire are found in the seeds of this plant.
♦♦♦

SPICE Spotlight: Fennel

Use of the right herbs and spices can turn a bland meal into a sumptuous dining experience. Shop for exotic herbs and spices online 24/7.

  • Cloves. This slightly sweet spice increases blood flow to organs and slightly raises the body temperature. Eastern medicine claims that cloves can increase the body's energy, and its flavor cleans breath. Strong and sensual fragrance is the feature which brightens sexual life.
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Dualspices Organic Cloves (Hand Picked from Madagascar)

  • Garlic. Not many people will appreciate "garlic" breath which can ruin the whole date. Nevertheless, regardless of the fact that garlic makes your breath unfresh, it contains a lot of allicin, a substance that enforces blood flow in the genitals, this quality actually makes garlic an aphrodisiac. And parsley easily eliminates the smell of garlic breath.
♦♦♦

SPICE SPOTLIGHT: Garlic

Everyday spices for everyday cooking. Use of the right herbs and spices can turn a bland meal into a sumptuous dining experience.

  • Nutmeg. Fragrant nutmeg has long been used in India as a natural aphrodisiac, in Africa it is also known as "Viagra for women." Studies have shown that it really affects people's sexual behavior.
♦♦♦

Spice Farming in Zanzibar - Daily Two Cents

Mzee Foum Garu is a descendant of slaves and comes from a long line of spice farmers. He is the founder of Zanzibar Organic Spice Products; a small plantation, three acres that yields cardamom, vanilla, betel nut, turmeric, cinnamon and two very potent spices - curry leaves and nutmeg.

  • Basil. This plant has a sweet taste and aroma, and that is what is known to be the simplest means to stimulate the libido. In fact, the Italians call basil the grass of kisses, and ancient Greeks fed stallions with basil before the "date". Try to add some basil to the salad wait for a pleasant surprise!
♦♦♦

Large Leaf Italian Basil Heirloom Seeds

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Yes, spices have many useful qualities. Use them and enjoy nights (or days) full of passion and romance!

About the author:
Melisa Marzett is a well-known blogger and talented writer. Melisa works on such topics as healthy lifestyle, cooking and psychology, and writes for essaywritingservice-reviews.com. View her profile and/or contact her at Google+.


* (Information above is general and not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice.)



Natural aphrodisiacs for women







Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Use of Spices Explained for Foodies by Chris Donald

To make the food good and very much palatable you will need to use the spices as well as various condiments. These spices will make the food more appealing and for sure there is no way that you can eat food which is bland and non-spicy.

The herbs and spices that need to be added to the food to make it tasty will be based on two things and these are the freshness of spices as well as proper quantity.



Proper mix or proportion is very important for the addition of spices. Most of the spices come in the powdered form or in the leaves form.


The compatibility of spice with certain types of food is a must to know. You should know which spice to use with which food. This operates on the same principle as the wine does which is you should know what wine to serve with what kind of food.

There is no sure shot method of the quantity which can be used in the food. Your help for the quantity is the online food sites as well as recipe books available all over. Make sure that you do not add more spices because more is generally not acceptable but less is acceptable.

If you are reading the recipe books they generally tend to border on the more commercial side of things which means the quantities and styles are more over the top. You may need to use your own estimate for the home cooked food.

For keeping the freshness intact of the spices make sure that you buy the good brands which have good packaging as well as make sure that once you have opened them that you seal them properly to retain the flavor and the aroma.



  • Article Credit:
Donald, Chris "Use of spices explained for foodies." Use of spices explained for foodies. 17 Feb. 2009. uberarticles.com. 8 Dec 2012 <uberarticles.com/food-and-drink/use-of-spices-explained-for-foodies/>.


Spices
Spices
Allposters.com




Suggested spice storage products:


Green Leafy Vegetables : On a Roll With Escarole

Made a New Year's Resolution for 2017 to eat more green leafy vegetables.  Been doing pretty good too!  It's September and this is, I confess, the only resolution I have managed to keep.  However, there is one green leafy vegetable I have yet to try.  So I collected some recipes.


Escarole a.k.a. common chicory, broad chicory, or Batavian endive, is a vegetable that I recently discovered can be cooked in a variety of delicious recipes.  Here is my collection.  If you have more please feel free to share in the comments.







Escarole and Bell Peppers With Olive Oil
  • By MARK BITTMAN
    New York Times Diner’s Journal
    ”This classic braised escarole dish, which uses a series of techniques that can be applied to almost any green vegetable, relies on a hefty amount of garlic and olive oil, which are added both at the beginning and at the end of cooking, the final additions to freshen and intensify flavors.”


Escarole and Beans

  • By: KristaP: "This is a creamy concoction of escarole and beans. It's rich, and it's divine! It's also best served with a warm crusty Italian bread."


: Fettuccine with Escarole and Brie

  • Food & Wine's Grace Parisi use of escarole and brie in this recipe is masterful.


Escarole Sausage Soup

  • "I’m a fan of escarole. It’s a crunchy green with a bit more heft than lettuce, and it makes a great salad: on it’sown simply dressed or tossed with 10 other things to make a grand main course salad. In my heart though I’m a cooked greens fan, always. I like escarole cooked up with garlic in my Standard Cooked Greens Recipe: garlic oil heat cleaned cooking green: apply together and you have a great side dish or taco stuffing." –Julia


Chickpea Escarole Stew

  • By Molly Watson, About.com Guide "Loosely based on leblebi, a Tunisian breakfast soup, this chickpeas and escarole stew is a quick and easy one-dish dinner. …"


Escarole Siciliano
  • By: Tammy
    "This lemony salad is served hot from the wok. Escarole is a bitter green, but can be less so when grown shielded from the sun. In general, lighter green leaves indicate a milder flavor. Thinly sliced tomatoes are a great accompaniment. This recipe can be doubled. For a larger party, cook in batches."




* * *  So many fabulous ways to enjoy this vegetable.  If these recipes are not enough there are lots more Escarole OR Endive Recipes.  * * *  


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Chinese Mooncake Festival (Mid Autumn Festival)

Similar to American holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, the Mooncake Festival these days is about family reunions and good eating, where mooncakes are a traditional food gift.  Would just like to point out a significant event that can be traced back to the 14th century when China was ruled by the Mongols.  The event really gives cause for celebration.
"Planning a rebellion against the Mongol emperor, Chinese rebels came up with the idea of hiding a secret message inside mooncakes, which the Mongols did not eat. These mooncakes told rebels to rise up on the night of the Mid-Autumn Festival. The uprising was successful, and henceforth the Mid-Autumn Festival was celebrated with mooncakes everywhere in China."  
(Source: Mooncakes in Mid Autumn | Desserts First)

Recycling a post from my lifestyle blog, Joie de Vivre Magazine and embellishing it a little bit more.  There are lots of people participating in the festivities so finding related or similar articles was super easy.  Hope you like the content shared.














Mid Autumn Festival 2017 - 20 Mooncakes That Even Chang Er Will Love

It's almost Mid-Autumn Festival again, the 15th day of the eight month on the lunar calendar (which falls on October 4 this year) when the moon is full. The traditional way to celebrate this festival is by indulging in mooncakes. Every year, we are spoilt for choice when it comes to the mooncake flavours available.


Why Chinese People Eat Mooncake During This Time of the Year

The Mid-Autumn Festival (also the Mooncake Festival or Lantern Festival) is considered to be one of the most significant festivals for Chinese people. Celebrated on the 15th day of the eighth month of the Chinese calendar, the 3,500-year old tradition is commonly observed all over the world to worship the moon, celebrate the harvest season, ...


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