Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sugar High Friday: Lucky, Green Maddness

Adele at Will Work for Biltong rocked the contest with her entry, Lucky Green Guinness Cupcakes. Lucky and Green being key for the contest, Guinness for St. Pat's, and boy, some of those March Madness upsets sure do call for a beer!

Adele, post your snail mail to the farmerfare AT gmail address so I can send you your book!

Others in the Final Four! (We only had four show up for the tournament! What, you guys too busy watching basketball to submit?)

Chaya at Sweet and Savory posted Chocolate Mousse Peanut Butter Pie. You just can't beat peanut butter and chocolate. She describes it as, "A creamy smooth dessert that soothes the soul." I would recommend this recipe for all you KU fans. Heh.

Anna at Baked by Anna brings us No-Bake Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake. It's a kid-friendly mock cheesecake, made with a lemon-scented whipped cream and cream cheese mousse-like filling and a homemade raspberry swirl.

Speedy 70 gave me a bit of a challenge for this. For those of you who speak Italian, here is her entry, BIGNE' DI SAN GIUSEPPE ALLA PANNA, from her blog A Tutta Cucina. To translate for us: San Giuseppe Beignet with Cream. "Ciao, un bacio dall'Italia!!!" is "Hello, a kiss from Italy." Hey, big hug back from America! Thanks for the long distance entry!

You can learn more about Sugar High Fridays and the next even at Jennifer's Domestic Goddess blog.

Talking 'Bout a Revolution

I rarely have anything I want to watch on TV. I always seem to find other things I would rather do. But I sat down with the family to watch Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. I was not sure how the kiddo would handle two hours of non-Disney programming. Then, while we were watching, I realized that, for once, turning on the TV was a good thing.

When Oliver went to the hospital with an entire family to get their kids screened for diabetes, I got a LOT of questions from the peanut gallery. She was very concerned about the boy on TV. She asked about the family, about their size, and about all the food piled on the table that showed a week's diet for them. These are tough questions to explain to a five year old.

They are also the right questions to have to answer. Even at age five. Especially at age five. We worry a lot about talking to our kids about drugs, sex and smoking. Because these things have inherent dangers. When the foods we consume also have inherent dangers, it's time to add junk food to the list of talks. And educate our kids, daily, about what is healthy to eat and why.

We'll be tuning in to that show every week.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

March Book Giveaway and Dessert Recipe Round Up

We have a special event for March's book giveaway here in the kitchen. Instead of a comment, you need to submit a dessert recipe for the Sugar High Friday event. If you don't have a blog to post the recipe to, then just post the recipe in the comments section here and I will add it to the Sugar High Friday Event.

Congrats to ikkinlala as she won February's book, Libation! Please send your snail mail address to farmerfare AT gmail DOT com to get your book!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Beeting the Pavement: Beet, Berry, Banana Smoothie

Spring. We've been waiting for it after a looooong, cold winter. But even as the daffodils show up, and the first bit of sun feels so good, spring is ... painful. As in spring training. Pavement pounding runs. At the risk of sounding like an old fogey, spring gets a little more painful each year. Good thing my head, at least, is harder than my glutes. Hard enough to commit myself to a sprint triathlon in a couple months.

While the internet is rife with quick, easy weight loss "miracle" cures, and all kinds of snake oil, I know the only road is the slow, painful, and the only way to get there is keep training and eat right. Even beets. Which, believe it or not, are a lot less painful than lifting weights after age 40.

I recall asking my folks, as a kid, if beets were good for you. There was not exactly chart-topping "vitamin" content from the basics understood at the time about what few nutrients were desirable. I didn't love them, they were okay. And sure, the little cubes from the can were fun to stack on my plate and all. So, why did I need to eat them? Turns out, its a good thing I did.

It seems odd that just now, after centuries of things like beets growing in the garden, that scientists have just begun to recognize the value of things like phytonutrients. Even so, no one knows exactly how much of these nutrients are "required" daily and they have yet to show up on a nutrition label. Yet beets are loaded with these very nutrients. Red beets, in particular, contain betacyanin and anthycyanin, which give the beet its lush, purple color. You know, that stain you cannot get out in the wash.

These phytonutrients have cancer fighting properties, for colon cancer in particular. They also provide a form of dietary nitrates that are being studied as an endurance-booster for athletes, up to 16% better endurance according to this University of Exeter study.

As an aging "wanna-be" triathlete, I'll take any help I can get. Even if I don't run any longer as a result, this smoothie is good enough just to drink for the taste. Now, if I could just find the vegetable that prevents sore muscles from when "older" people try to train like we're still in our twenties ... Trust me, I'll post that recipe if I find it!

Beet, Berry, Banana Smoothie
3 beets, roasted, instructions below
2 cups frozen blueberries
1 banana
12 oz. 100 percent fruit juice (black cherry or berry)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the stems and leaves off the beets, saving the leaves for cooking as greens. Wash the beets and trim off the root end. Wrap the beets in foil. Roast in the oven for about an hour. Allow to cool enough to handle. Take a paper towel and rub each beet. The peel should rub off easily. You can store the beets in the fridge until you are ready to make the smoothies.

Place all ingredients in the blender. Blend well. Makes 6 one-cup servings.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Toyota, Storkcraft and Your Burger: Isn't it Ironic?

Recently, the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued the largest crib recall ever, 2.1 million cribs. The manufacturer, Storkcraft, will no longer be able to produce this type of crib. In the last two years, 5 million cribs have been recalled. The CPSC is looking at a ban on this type of crib completely. The most recent recall was triggered by 110 incidents and three deaths.

Toyota also made headlines with a massive recall. Toyota officials were called into a Congressional Hearing to testify in order to determine if Toyota has fully addressed the issue with the recall. Toyota halted production of vehicles and is repairing the vehicles involved in the recall. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has linked unintended acceleration in Toyotas to at least 34 deaths.

The CDC estimates that E. coli O157:H7 is responsible for 73,480 hospitalizations and 609 deaths ANNUALLY. To date, there has been no Congressional Hearings with officials from the meat industry companies responsible for outbreaks. Despite a 1994 ban on selling meat contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, millions of pounds of contaminated meat are recalled each year.

These numbers are not meant to make any of these deaths less significant. Each person lost was a family member, a human being. What I struggle to get my head around here is, why is our food less important to regulate and investigate than other products?

What's Lucky, Sweet, Green and Dribbles? Sugar High Friday March Edition

I know, post something already. I am trying. To make up for the lack of posts, here's a special event for March; Sugar High Friday. SHF is the creation of Jennifer, the Domestic Goddess. You can read more about this sweet blog event at her site.
To celebrate all things spring, St. Patrick's and yes, March Madness too, you can post your favorite "lucky, green, post-game, or spring" dessert recipe in this round up by sending some information to farmerfare AT gmail DOT com. Please include:
Permalink to your post
Your Name, Blog Name, Recipe Name
Brief Summary of Your Recipe
And an image no bigger than 200x200 pixels

You must submit entries by MONDAY, March 22 to be entered. Post will be up last Friday in March.

If you don't have a blog, you can post a recipe in the comments section, or email it to me with your name for credit.

Make the "Sweet Sixteen" with the recipes that come closest to hitting ALL of the March theme (St. Pat's, lucky, green, March Madness) and you will be entered in a drawing to WIN the book, Cooking Green.