Muffins have a bad reputation of being very high in calories, fat and sugar. While many store bought muffins carry a hefty amount of calories — typically around 400 or more each, you can easily fit them into a healthy eating plan.With a little plan...
It’s officially apple-picking season (truly officially, as October is National Apple Month), so it seems only right to share some ideas for apples. Everywhere I turn I see photos of friends plucking juicy fruit from trees, placing it in woodsy-looking mini barrels or baskets, destined for cinnamon-y pies or fragrant cobblers. This time of year, I crave the chill of autumn and the warming sip of hot cider. I crave Vermont. I spent four years in Burlington for college and the state has never left my soul. And in Vermont in fall, we picked apples. Now that I live in Southern California, I admit that I feel a bit nostalgic for the postcard-worthy foliage scenes, the smell of fresh maple syrup and the plethora of apples that had us cooking all season long.
If you’ve been apple picking, or even to the grocery store lately (I saw Granny Smiths the other day for .49 cents a pound!), you might well have an apple stock you are looking to use. What to do with ‘dem apples?
We shop for fruits and vegetables with the best intentions, but then bury them in the crisper and forget about them. We bring home a doggy bag, toss it in the fridge and overlook it. We make a yummy dinner and then let the leftovers go bad, eventually unearthing them only to toss them in the trash.
One neglected bunch of broccoli or container of takeout may not seem like much, but wasted food is actually a bigger issue in America than we may realize. The next time your family complains about being served leftovers, here are a few facts and figures about food waste to toss their way, culled from an eye-opening story on the Washington Post’s Wonkblog about how Americans throw away more food than plastic, paper, metal or glass:
- 35 million: Tons of food Americans threw out in 2012, according to Environmental Protection Agency estimates
Sriracha is an addictively spicy hot sauce that has found its way into the kitchens and hearts of cooks around the globe. Although it originated in the Thai city of Sri Racha, Sriracha is now used to kick up all types of cuisines. You can use it on everything from your morning eggs to an evening cocktail. Sriracha definitely carries heat (a dot of the stuff will do the trick), but the hot sauce has a complex flavor; it’s vinegary and slightly sweet behind that red hot heat. Next time you’re craving something hot, reach for a bottle of your favorite Sriracha and get your fix with these 25 ways:
1. Start off by making your own Sriracha-Style Hot Sauce. It’s an overnight process, but if you properly can and seal it, this homemade Sriracha lasts up to a year.
2. Kelsey Nixon’s Asian Chicken Burger with Spicy Lemongrass Mayo and Pickled Asian Slaw is a lighter variation on the standard burger. The quick-pickled slaw adds lots of texture and flavor without a ton of calories.
3. Pimento cheese is a traditional Southern food, made with cream cheese, pimentos and shredded Cheddar. Normally served between two sliced of white bread, try the spicy version, Matt’s Sriracha Pimento Cheese Dip with vegetables and cracker for dipping, in a sandwich or even on top of baked potatoes.
4. Michael Symon fries chicken twice before serving. Once at a lower temperature to cook the chicken through and the second time at a higher temperature to get it super crispy. Twice-Fried Chicken with Sriracha Honey (pictured above) is fried in lard, which can be found at the butcher or meat department of the grocery store, or other oil with a high smoke point such as peanut oil.
5. For an all-out Southern feast, serve Michael Symon’s chicken (above) with Sherla’s Southern Greens.
AKA Pizza to Make Your Doorbell Ring
I’m a big Gilmore Girls fan, but nothing bums me out more on that show than when Lorelai and Rory order pizza. Diagnosed with celiac just as the show went into syndication (and the weekend marathon watching commenced), I still get super-sad when the gals of Stars Hollow try to save a bad day by ordering pizza — something I’ll never be able to do again.
Pizza’s a tricky thing for people who can’t eat gluten. Lots of places make gluten-free pizza, but they don’t use separate prep and cooking areas, and cross-contamination is a risk not worth taking.
Still, there’s no such thing as “out of sight, out of mind” when it comes to the awesomeness that is pizza, whether it’s with icy soda or cold beer.
Somewhere along the way when women were being “liberated” from the kitchen, processed and convenience foods became dinner du jour. One-pot casseroles became a go-to for many busy moms and families. One of my favorites growing up was Broccoli, Chicken and Rice Casserole. What’s not to love? It’s filling chicken and rice with creamy gravy, topped with cheese. It’s real down-home comfort.
Most often this indulgent casserole is made with frozen broccoli and a couple of familiar red-and-white cans of cream of mushroom soup. This version is made with fresh, wholesome ingredients. It takes just a smidgen more time, but the results are absolutely extraordinary. I’m pretty adamant that down-home comfort can be made without bags and boxes. The truth of the matter is that all too often those shortcuts aren’t really timesavers and they are packed with salt and food additives. I personally really like recipes with ingredients that you can pronounce and don’t need a degree in chemistry to decipher. That gives me a very deep, satisfying feeling of comfort.
Thoughts of travel in Africa may conjure images of lions and elephants, or safaris seeking photographic trophies or even hidden treasures. True, this is all on offer, but for the culinary adventurer there are different kinds of quests to be had — especially when looking for ingredients to cook with. On a recent safari in Namibia, I “discovered” a rare oil derived from the endemic !nara plant (pronounced with a click sound followed by “na-ra”), which adds a unique, fruity and nutty flavor to meats and vegetables. It’s one of several “secret” oils found all around the continent if you look hard enough.
Joy Wilson (of Joy the Baker) is back with a new cookbook, Homemade Decadence. Joy’s signature spunk and personality are all but effervescent in this newest collection of recipes.
The book separates the recipes into Brunch, Cookies, Brownies and Bars, Pies, Crumbles and Cobblers, Layer Cakes, Cupcakes and Skillet Cakes, and Ice Cream Social. The recipes are a mix of classic favorites and new spins on tried-and-true dishes. Mix up your next brunch with Hawaiian Sweet Pineapple Breakfast Rolls or keep things simple with Vanilla Sugar Donuts; you can’t go wrong either way. Tickle your sweet tooth with something new, like Buttered Popcorn Crispy Treats, or stick with something more familiar, like the Classic Lemon Bar. Or maybe you want something a little more refined, like the Peach, Brie and Dark Chocolate S’mores.
What to Watch: Get in the Halloween Spirit This Weekend with Triple G, Halloween Wars and Cutthroat Kitchenby Caitlyn Callegari in Shows, October 3rd, 2014
October is bursting onto the scene, which means familiar fall festivities aren’t far behind, including Halloween and cold-weather comforts. Food Network has been creatively cooking up programming to match, with one part tricky competition and one part tempting treats. Celebrate the start of the new month appropriately with a thrilling Halloween-episode run of Guy’s Grocery Games, Halloween Wars and Cutthroat Kitchen. You’re in for a night of suspense, as not every chef will make it out of the competitions alive.
It’s not all ghoulish programming, though. You can catch Trisha’s Southern Kitchen, The Kitchen and Farmhouse Rules for a more reserved round of weekend entertainment. Trisha’s throwing a tea party, The Kitchen is serving up yummy comfort-food delights and Farmhouse Rules is going au naturel, using homegrown ingredients.
Trisha’s Southern Kitchen: All Things Miniature
Join Trisha and her friend Glenda for a tea party. In keeping with the theme, Trisha makes a meal of miniature dishes, including: Creamy Asparagus Soup, Mini Egg Salad Sandwiches, Mini Stuffed Peppers and Mini Monkey Bread Muffins.
Everyone knows that a zombie apocalypse will never happen. Some kind of virus that turns us into unstoppable, and hungry, killing machines? Yeah right. A robot apocalypse, however, is absolutely within the realm of possibility. Introducing a robot that knows if food tastes good or not, brought to you by the Thai government.
The Thai Delicious Committee recently unveiled the robot as insurance against crappy Thai food. Essentially, they send the robot around the world to make sure nobody is screwing up any of their national dishes. This nameless, unfeeling robot is outfitted with a bevy of sensors that analyze the chemical signatures of a variety of Thai staples. It then awards the dish a score of 1 to 100. If it falls below 80, the robot sends the offending chef on a ‘vacation.’ OK, that last part is made up. They just get a bad score.