3/26/09

Rock & Roll Fever

video

This is really funny! Watch it all! It's short and you'll probably get a chuckle out of it!

3/23/09

Fad Diets...what are we thinking?!

We’ve all heard of “fad diets” and many of us have even tried them. After a fad diet has failed, what are you left with? An unhealthy body that’s been deprived of needed nutrients. Would we even need fad diets if we ate traditional, healthy, unprocessed foods? What about the old saying: everything in moderation? What are your thoughts about fad diets? We’d like to hear what you have to say! Do you have any healthy products to satisfy your sweet or salty cravings?

From Glamour Magazine:
They may be called fad diets, but, man, these weight-loss ideas sure stick around longer than leggings and platform wedges. The Cookie Diet may have earned some street cred when Jennifer Hudson was associated with trying it, but the plan got its start in the ’70s. And that Master Cleanse BeyoncĂ© reportedly used to slim down? It’s
probably older than your mom. Read on for more ways women have fought fat for the past century. (Note: Some are really bizarre and unhealthy.)

1930s-’40s diet trends: smoking and the Master Cleanse
Models and celebrities must have gotten the idea that smoking keeps you thin from somewhere, right? It turns out a 1920s-’30s ad campaign is to blame. Cigarette brand Lucky Strike used the line “Reach for a Lucky Instead of a Sweet.” Ugh! Do we even need to remind you of all the reasons — infertility, heart disease, lung cancer — smoking is one of the unhealthiest habits for you? Women looking for a quicker fix opted for the lemonade diet, or Master Cleanse. Developed by Stanley Burroughs, the diet allowed only lemon juice, cayenne pepper and maple syrup. Nearly 70 years later, BeyoncĂ© reportedly used the same program to shed pounds for her role in 2006’s “Dreamgirls.” Talk about staying power!

1950s diet trend: prayer
Want to drop pounds? Pray for weight loss. The idea may sound nutty to some, but in the 1950s, the Christian dieting industry exploded. After losing 100 pounds, Reverend Charlie Shedd wrote the book “Pray Your Weight Away,” which was published in 1957. The best-seller set the trend for future titles such as “I Prayed Myself Slim” (1960), “Help Lord,” “The Devil Wants Me Fat!” (1978) and “The Weigh Down Diet” (1997), which advised readers not to confuse physical hunger for what was really spiritual hunger. Think this trend has died? Think again. In 2002, Don Colbert, M.D., published What “Would Jesus Eat?” and “The What Would Jesus Eat Cookbook.”

1960s diet trend: support groups and cabbage soup

The ’60s were all about sharing the love, and the concept even applied to dieting. Dieters began forming support organizations. Early in the decade, a group of compulsive eaters formed Overeaters Anonymous. And in 1961, Jean Nidetch invited friends into her New York City home to talk about weight loss. Two years later, after losing 72 pounds, she launched Weight Watchers. But dieting wasn’t always so friendly. The Cabbage Soup Diet was published in a book during this time. It promised dieters they would lose 17 pounds, but users mentioned the gassy side effects — not exactly conducive to close encounters, huh?

1970s diet trend: diet pills
The era touted the miracle of diet pills. Some claimed to stop the body’s absorption of carbs. In essence, they promised you could stuff your face with pizza and bread without consequences. After reports of vomiting and abdominal pain, however, the FDA pulled the pills in 1983 to investigate the long-term side effects. This turned out to be a good thing because researchers found that the undigested starch was going straight to the colon — yikes! Dexatrim was another pill of the era. The appetite suppressant contained the drug PPA (phenylpropanolamine), and in 2000, it too was pulled from the market. The pill was eventually reincarnated as Dexatrim Natural Ephedrine-Free, though some critics still aren’t convinced it’s safe. Our take: Unless they’re prescribed by your doctor, pills are almost never a good idea.

1980s diet trend: Scarsdale Diet
The 1980s swung away from easy fixes and back to hardcore discipline with the Scarsdale Diet. It was a two-week high-protein, low-carb and super-low-calorie diet (1,000 calories or fewer per day!). Author Herman Tarnower, M.D., claimed that by going on and off the diet every two weeks, followers could lose up to 20 pounds per week without any long-term deprivation of any vitamins or minerals. But the food list was restrictive: no butter, no salad dressing (except lemon and vinegar) and no alcohol. Your snack choices were either raw carrots or celery — that’s it. If losing 20 pounds a week sounds too good to be true, it is. For most people, consuming fewer than 1,200 calories a day is considered a starvation diet.

1990s diet trend: low-carb Atkins
Throughout the ’80s, people became aware of red meat’s association with heart disease, so they thought carbohydrates were the answer to a longer life, says Gabriella Petrick, PhD, a food historian at New York University. “The medical knowledge at any given time gets reflected in diets prescribed,” she says. “In the ’80s, the popularity of lean chicken also exploded. And in the ’90s, the Atkins diet was a reaction against ideas in the 1980s that said you need a high-carb diet.” People who had ballooned from all the carbs fell in love with Dr. Atkins. Although he’d been around before the ’90s, his popularity soared after the book “Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution” was released in 1992.

Top 5 diet trends of today
We’re not sure what the lasting diet fad of today will be, but we’ve narrowed down our best bets:
1. Celebrity-endorsed diets: Stars like Jessica Simpson and Eva Mendes swear by Harley Pasternak’s 5-Factor plan.
2. Portion control: 100-calorie pack, anyone?
3. Organic diets: Followers believe that organic foods, without the preservatives and additives of their nonorganic counterparts, may help the body’s digestive system run more smoothly.
4. Diet delivery: Services like Chefs Diet and NutriSystem deliver either fresh or frozen prepackaged meals right to your door.
5. Sweet and savory diets: Think Dr. Siegal’s Cookie Diet (which originally began in 1975) —Jennifer Hudson is reportedly a cookie-diet fan — or the eat-croissants-for-breakfast-and-veggies-for-lunch philosophy of “French Women Don’t Get Fat.”

(The above article is from TodayShow.com, originally from Glamour Magazine.)

We’d like to hear from you! What do you think about fad diets? Do you have an alternative? Let us know!

3/20/09

Why Butter is Better and Tallow is Terrific!

This article has moved! Click here to go to this article on our new blog!

3/16/09

The Mother of Slow Food


Watch CBS Videos Online

Click here for more on the 60 Minutes interview with Alice Waters.

Here's the link to her delightful restaurant website.

3/13/09

Spring Fever

Spring is almost here which is so exciting! And that means it's just about time to fire up the grill. My taste buds are ready for a perfectly grilled grass fed steak. Try this simple addition to liven up any steak. The main ingredient, cilantro, is delicious in so many dishes and can easily be grown at home.

Grilled Steaks with Cilantro-Olive Paste
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 3 ounces pitted black olives
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Your choice of steak: Ribeye, NY Strip, Petite NY Strip, T-Bone, 6 oz or 9 oz Tenderloin
Add the first six ingredients to a food processor and puree, making a paste. Generously coat the steaks and allow them to come to room temperature.

Start the grill and heat to medium-hot. If you're using a gas grill, turn off all but one of the burners once it's come up to temperature. If you are using charcoal, be sure all the coals have been raked to one side. Using the hand test, the grate will be hot enough when you can hold your palm five inches above the it for no more than 3 seconds.

Sear the steaks for 3 minutes on each side directly over the flame, with the lid down. Then, move steaks to the part of the grill that's not lit. Set the lid in place and allow the steaks to cook, flipping them only once. Remove steaks to a platter and tent loosely with foil, allowing steaks to rest five minutes before serving. Be careful not to overcook the meat as it will continue to cook as it rests.

-Adapted from a wonderful guide to grilling called The Farmer and the Grill by Shannon Hayes

3/5/09

St. Patrick's Day Feast...$ave some green

Everyday we hear about it on the news, read about it in the paper, see evidence of it all around...times are tough. However, we still need to be able to take a break and relax. But these days we'll be smarter about how we spend our money to accomplish that! Eating in is a great way to save money and bring your family together. So, this St. Patrick's Day, grab a lager and enjoy this hearty meal at home!
Corned Beef and Vegetables

Ingredients:
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 3 potatoes, cut in 2-inch chunks
  • 1 (1.75pound) corned beef,* cut to fit if necessary
  • 1 onion, chunked
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 head cabbage, cut into wedges
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:
In a 4-quart slow cooker, combine all ingredients except cabbage and asparagus. Cover and cook 2 hours on high. Layer cabbage, then asparagus, sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper, cook about 2 more hours on high. Remove asparagus and place on a platter, remove the corned beef and remaining vegetables and place on a separate platter, or serve directly from the slow cooker. Serves 3-4.

*The corned beef is already seasoned, so additional seasonings are not necessary.

Fun for the kids:
Green up the day! Add a touch green to everything!
  • Make pistachio pudding or vanilla pudding with a couple drops of green food coloring
  • Make green jello
  • Add green food coloring to milk
  • Treat the kids with mint chocolate chip ice cream or green milk shakes
  • Give the above fun names such as: Leprechaun Pudding, Shamrock Jello, Lucky Milk, Blarney Stone Ice Cream/Shakes
  • Add naturally green veggies to your meal such as: asparagus, broccoli, leafy green salad, avacado...the list goes on and on!

These are just a few ideas to make the day a little bit more memorable! FYI: a small amount of food coloring can go a long way.

3/2/09

Mexi-Chicken Meatballs



For a tasty twist on meatballs, try this recipe using ground chicken and lots of other great ingredients.

Ingredients:

  • 4 oil-packed sun-dried tomato halves, drained and blotted dry
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 jalapeno, halved*
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 Tbl. milk
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can peeled whole tomatoes with their juices
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 Tbl. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbl. chopped cilantro
Directions:

In a food processor, pulse the sun-dried tomatoes, 1 garlic clove, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper until finely chopped. Add the bread crumbs and pulse to combine. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and stir in the chicken, egg and milk. Roll the mixture into 20 meatballs, about 1 1/2 tablespoons each. Dust meatballs lightly with flour, tapping off any excess.

Wipe out the food processor and add the remaining garlic clove and jalapeno half; pulse until chopped. Add the tomatoes and their juices and the oregano and process until smooth.

In a cast-iron skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the meatballs and cook over moderate heat, turning until golden and cooked through. Transfer to a plate. Add the tomato sauce to the skillet and simmer until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.

Return the meatballs to the skillet and simmer for a couple more minutes. Transfer to a bowl, sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

Serving suggestions: These meatballs are great over pasta or with crusty bread or alone as an appetizer.

*Remove the seeds from the jalapeno for a milder flavor. If you prefer the spiciness, leave all or some of the seeds.