17 August 2008

The American Cookbook Project

Do you have a family heirloom recipe? A favorite recipe version of an everyday dish? A local specialty? An ethnic favorite?

This site is for you:

The American Cookbook Project - Recipies and stories from across the USA

The American Cookbook Project is a forum for sharing food stories. People from across the country are invited to share their favorite recipes and memories associated with this dish. This is not simply an online cookbook but a collection of memories and recollections of great meals from the past.



08 August 2008

Real Food for Healthy Kids, by Tanya Wenman Steel

More and more parents are becoming concerned about what is in the foods their kids are consuming. And with good reason: Just look at the ingredients on the label of the stuff you buy for them -- I bet you don't know what half the stuff is. You probably take better note of what you put in your car than what you put in your kid! And you wonder why your child is overweight, sluggish, or worse.

For some of you who care, a new publication, Real Food for Healthy Kids 200+ Easy, Wholesome Recipes, by Tanya Wenman Steel, is for you. A synopsis from Jessica's Biscuit:

"Parent-tested and kid-approved, a comprehensive, practical resource for wholesome, healthful meals children of all ages will eat—and love.

In an era of McDiets, packed schedules, and stressful jobs, it's harder than ever to incorporate nutritious food into our children's daily lives. But you no longer have to rely on microwaved hot dogs and frozen pizza. In this essential cookbook, food—and parenting—experts Tracey Seaman and Tanya Wenman Steel offer help and hope, whether you're experienced in the kitchen or more inclined to head to the drive-through.

Real Food for Healthy Kids features more than 200 easy-to-make recipes for school days and weekends, including breakfast, snacks, lunch, dinner, and even parties. Each recipe has been taste-tested by children and analyzed by a nutritionist.

* A power breakfast might feature Carrot Cake Oatmeal, Green Eggs-in-Ham Quiche Cups, or Hole-y Eggs!
* Keep kids energized with a Real Food lunch, such as Hail Caesar, Jr. Salad, Turkey Pinwheels, or Egg Salad Double-Decker Sandwiches.
* Seaman and Steel's snacks include Zucchini Tempura with Horseradish Dunk, Chewy Granola Bars, Happy Apple Toddies, and much more.
* Serve a mouthwatering family dinner: Peachy Keen Chicken, Super Steak Fajitas, or Princess and the Pea Risotto.
* Enjoy a scrumptious dessert: Cheery Cherry Plank, Brown Mouse, or Chocolate-Covered Strawberries.

Seaman and Steel have spent the last four years developing and testing recipes to create nourishing dishes that kids of all ages, from babies to grad students, and even finicky eaters, vegetarians, and kids with food sensitivities will enjoy. Whatever recipes you choose, this indispensable cookbook is sure to become the resource you turn to every day for years to come. Equal parts cookbook, nutrition guide, daily menus, party planner, and parenting guide, Real Food for Healthy Kids will get your kids engaged in eating, happily and healthfully for a lifetime.

Tanya Wenman Steel is editor in chief of the award-winning food website Epicurious.com."

Real Food for Healthy Kids 200+ Easy, Wholesome Recipes
by Tanya Wenman Steel
HC: 384 Pages
Publisher: William Morrow
Pub. Date: Aug 05, 2008
Photos: Black and White Illustrations
ISBN-10:0060857919
ISBN-13:9780060857912

Available online at Jessica's Biscuit and Barnes and Noble.

01 August 2008

Absinthe


I've been hearing more and more about absinthe recently, as some of you also have. Illegal, impossible to try, or get, until recently. Most people only know about it because of its notorious past. A little education for some of us from Wikipedia (see bottom of blog for absinthe lollipops!):

"Absinthe is traditionally a distilled, highly alcoholic (45%-75% ABV), anise-flavored spirit derived from herbs, including the flowers and leaves of the herb Artemisia absinthium, also called wormwood. Absinthe is typically of a natural green color but is also produced in both clear and artificially colored styles. It is often called “the Green Fairy.”

Although it is sometimes mistakenly called a liqueur, absinthe is not bottled with added sugar and is therefore classified as a liquor. Absinthe is unusual among spirits in that it is bottled at a high proof but is normally diluted with water when it is drunk.

Absinthe originated in Switzerland. However, it is better known for its popularity as an alcoholic drink in late 19th- and early 20th-century France, particularly among Parisian artists and writers. Due in part to its association with bohemian culture, absinthe was opposed by social conservatives and prohibitionists. Charles Baudelaire, Paul Verlaine, Arthur Rimbaud, Vincent van Gogh, Oscar Wilde, and Aleister Crowley were all notorious “bad men” of that day who were (or were thought to be) devotees of the Green Fairy.

Absinthe was portrayed as a dangerously addictive psychoactive drug. The chemical thujone, present in small quantities, was blamed for its alleged harmful effects. By 1915, absinthe had been banned in the United States and in most European countries except the United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal, and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Although absinthe was vilified, no evidence has shown it to be any more dangerous than ordinary liquor. Its psychoactive properties, apart from those of alcohol, had been much exaggerated.

A revival of absinthe began in the 1990s, when countries in the European Union began to reauthorize its manufacture and sale. As of February 2008, nearly 200 brands of absinthe were being produced in a dozen countries, most notably France, Switzerland, Spain, and the Czech Republic...

...Traditionally, absinthe is poured into a glass over which a specially designed slotted spoon is placed. A sugar cube is then deposited in the bowl of the spoon. Ice-cold water is poured or dripped over the sugar until the drink is diluted to a ratio between 3:1 and 5:1. During this process, the components that are not soluble in water, mainly those from anise, fennel, and star anise, come out of solution and cloud the drink. The resulting milky opalescence is called the louche (Fr. "opaque" or "shady", IPA [luʃ]). The addition of water is important, causing the herbs to "blossom" and bringing out many of the flavors originally overpowered by the anise.

Originally a waiter would serve a dose of absinthe, ice water in a carafe, and sugar separately, and the drinker would prepare it to their preference. With increased popularity, the absinthe fountain, a large jar of ice water on a base with spigots, came into use. It allowed a number of drinks to be prepared at once, and with a hands-free drip, patrons were able to socialize while louching a glass.

Although many bars served absinthe in standard glasses, a number of glasses were specifically made for absinthe. These had a dose line, bulge, or bubble in the lower portion denoting how much absinthe should be poured in. One "dose" of absinthe is around 1 ounce (30 ml), and most glasses used this as the standard, with some drinkers using as much as 1 1/2 ounces (45 ml).

In addition to being drunk with water poured over sugar, absinthe was a common cocktail ingredient in both the United Kingdom and the United States, and continues to be a popular ingredient today. One of the most famous of these is Ernest Hemingway’s "Death in the Afternoon" cocktail, a concoction he contributed to a 1935 collection of celebrity recipes. His directions are as follows: 'Pour one jigger absinthe into a Champagne glass. Add iced Champagne until it attains the proper opalescent milkiness. Drink three to five of these slowly.'"

Go to Wikipedia for the full article, and KegWorks for absinthe lollipops.