Category: food & drink


Simple Ways to Keep Your Fruits and Veggies Fresh

October 6, 2017

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Tired of the wilting spinach left in your fridge for days? Did you splurge at the farmer’s market and now have too much for the week? Start saving money with these tips to keep your fruits and veggies ripe, fresh, and ready-to-eat.

1. Select Ripe, Fresh Produce

Keeping your fruits and vegetables fresh begins at the store. When making your selections, keep an eye out for cuts, bruising, or soft spots on the produce available. Damages to the fruit triggers enzymatic reactions, which speed the spoiling process.

2. Freeze What You Don’t Use

Once at home with your grocery finds, consider freezing what you won’t be using within the next few days.This immediate freezing will ensure your fruits and vegetables are frozen at their top condition.

3. Store Smart

Vegetables are best stored in the bottom rack, or lower level of the fridge. It is not recommended to store fruits or vegetables in the door rack of the fridge, as it is exposed to varying temperatures when opened.

4. Stay Dry

Avoid rinsing your vegetables right when you get home. It’s best to rinse them before preparation, as the excess moisture can induce mold growth between vegetables. Stick extra paper towels between damp areas.

5. Keep It Cool

Store foods away from appliances and areas that emit heat. Heating the fruits or vegetables will accelerate the ripening action, and lead to molding. Some fruits and vegetable do better at room temperature, others in the fridge. Check out more differences listed below.

6. Keep Them Separate

Keeping fruits and veggies together can quicken the spoiling process. Fruits tend to be ethylene producing, and vegetables are mostly ethylene-sensitive. It is a good idea to keep the two away from each other, as the ethylene-sensitive vegetables will spoil faster next to ethylene producing fruit. The two bins standard in most fridges will be a good produce barrier for freshness.

7. Lemon Juice Prep

If you’ve already cut some apples and need to store the rest, try a lemon juice soak to halt the browning process. The acids in lemon juice stop the protein enzymes from reacting to create the brown, wilting color.

Try soaking apple halves in one cup of cold water, with a splash of lemon juice. A teaspoon or tablespoon will work. This soak will also work on pears. Soak for five minutes, drain, and rinse. Enjoy your new, fresh looking fruits.

8. Future Planning

Keep good tabs on what you tend to eat during the week. This can help over-buying, and reduce spoiling from fruits and vegetables you don’t use.

9. Know the Difference

Certain vegetables require different storage methods. Consider doing research beforehand to check which methods are best for storing each type of produce. Potatoes and onions, for example, should be stored at room temperature, out of direct sunlight. Avocados and melons do best when allowed to ripen, then refrigerated. And some, simply refrigerated right away.

Keep track of how long vegetables typically have before reaching their expiration. Some will lose their freshness after only a few days, others can stay for over a week.

10. Prune Your Stock

Watch your produce stock daily and remove any spoiling fruits or molding areas. This will stop the spoilage from spreading to the remaining healthy items, keeping your produce fresh.

If stored in bags, create small punctures to allow air flow in order to prevent spoilage. Leave a bit of room in between items for air flow and freshness.

11. Select Food Containers

A few products can go a long way in keeping your produce fresh. These containers allow for easy storage, ventilation, and are dishwasher safe. Check one out to keep your fruits and vegetables fresh for longer.

Rubbermaid FreshWorks Food Saver
Prepworks Fresh Fruit and Veggie Keeper

12. Pro Tips

Store asparagus upright, in a glass of water.

Puncture a lemon and squeeze the juice, instead of cutting in half. This keeps the remaining pieces from drying out.

Tips To Selecting A Complete Pediatric Formula For Your Kid

October 6, 2017

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Ideally, your child must be breastfed. But most mothers will attest that breastfeeding is just practical for all, most especially so that moms today are busy with different things at home and at work. And when breastfeeding becomes unworkable, the use of formulas must be among the best options for parents to explore. Though most doctors will recommend breastfeeding, they strongly agree that a complete pediatric formula will provide a child with all the necessary nutrients his growing and developing body needs.

Why Opt For Pediatric Formula?

Parents should consider pediatric formula for plenty of reason. First, these products have been formulated in order to meet the nutritional needs of the little ones. Some products are even fortified with omega 3, vitamin D and other nutrients that are not present in breast milk.

Second, giving your child a pediatric formula will allow you to ascertain if your child has been fed enough, which is usually a hard task if moms, like you, are breastfeeding.

Third, babies that are formula-fed usually sleeps longer, which then translates to more sleep for mothers since there will be lesser interruptions during the night. Moms will also feel less stress in terms of feedings. On the other hand, dads will be given the opportunity to encourage stronger bonds with their little ones.

Fourth, if you are a mom planning to go back to work, you don’t have to worry about your kid getting sufficient food. This further means that you can gain more time to run some errands, socialize and even rest.

Lastly, you do not have to worry about the possible effects of food and beverages they consume on breast milk.

How To Choose The Right Formula

There are 3 types of pediatric formulas – ready to use, liquid concentrate and powder. All of these types have their own sets of pros and cons that you must consider. But essentially, these 3 can give the nutrients that your child needs.

Among the three, powder formulas are the cheapest. In fact, they also last the longest. But these will entail more time and effort to prepare. On the other hand, liquid concentrate formulas are easier to prepare but they usually are more expensive than powered formula milk. Moreover, they need to be consumed within 24 hours. As for ready to use formulas, they are the easiest to prepare. But remember that they are the most expensive among the three.

7 Useful Foods to Benefit Soccer Players

October 6, 2017

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Any successful soccer player needs to be eating muscle-building foods for all-round strength and endurance. A well planned diet should consist of a lot of carbohydrates and protein. Carbohydrates are seen as the major source of energy and helps get a player through a long soccer game or a grueling training session. Protein is needed to help promote muscle growth.

Here are a few useful foods all soccer players should be eating for strength, endurance and stamina:

Beans

Black beans are rich in carbohydrates and protein and make a great choice to complement a meal with lean meat.

Chicken breast

Chicken breast is a great option to get plenty of protein. The breast part of the bird is preferred because it is the leanest and should be eaten with the skin removed to avoid eating unnecessary fat. Also, skinless turkey can be just as beneficial to the health.

Eggs

Eggs are a reliable option to give a boost of high-quality protein. Eating eggs for breakfast is a great way to start the day. Most of the protein is found in the egg while, which is also a useful source of vitamin D, zinc and selenium. But, the egg yolk also contains health benefits and gives extra protein.

Fruits and vegetables

Eating a varied range of fruits and vegetables is great for the carbohydrate content, as well as the vitamins and minerals that help with the growth of muscles. Popular options include mixed frozen vegetables, cucumbers, asparagus, tomatoes, berries, and bananas.

Lean Ground Beef

Lean ground beef is not only packed with protein, but also rich in alpha lipoic acid, vitamin B6 and zinc. A 3 oz. serving has about 24 grams of protein and just 165 calories. Always go with the extra lean or lean ground beef to avoid extra fat content.

Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a further great breakfast option and a very reliable source of carbohydrates. Eating oatmeal first thing in the morning is certain to help get you going for the day and keeps you satisfied until midday lunch. A well-rounded breakfast can include oatmeal combined with pieces of fruit or even eggs.

Sweet potatoes

A further option to add to a lean protein for mealtime is sweet potatoes, which is a very useful carbohydrate. Sweet potatoes are appreciated for their ability to give a beneficial insulin spike. This helps to shorten the time it takes nutrients and protein to reach the muscles.

Eating Healthy – Going The Extra Mile

October 6, 2017

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Have you ever thought about eating right? Getting all your greens and vegetables into your diet rather than snacking on the ever-available big Mac? I think that it’s not easy putting in all the work to prepare a healthy, fresh meal. I have snacked on junk food so often without giving the matter much thought! When you come to think of it, it is a whole separate task to decide what to cook every day- not to mention grocery shopping and the time and hassle that takes. It is simply not everyone’s cup of tea and not everyone finds it satisfying enough.

I keep thinking how junk food is readily available no matter where you live in the city, so then why would anyone be motivated to cook healthy and stock up on fresh ingredients? The hold that takeout places and fast food have on us is intoxicating, to say the least because they are always there for you when you feel famished and they take little effort and much less money than buying all the things you would need for lunch or dinner. It is like they know our minds and how to sway them!

Even though it is not always possible to eat right; try to make a goal of squeezing in one nutrient-rich meal each day. At least this way you will be on track. Our problem is that we want to be in good shape with minimal elbow grease but that’s not always possible is it? Our bodies are worth the extra mile so don’t take shortcuts! If you want to have a longer, happier and healthier life, you need to redesign your priorities and improve your standard of eating. Your future self will thank you for it!

No one wants a time to come in their lives in which they are constantly rushing to the doctor and having all kind of ailments. Apart from avoiding cigarettes and alcohol, it is wise to evolve when it comes to deciding what to put in your body! I have in my experience heard people telling me how they don’t eat or enjoy potentially delicious vegetables like spinach, sweet potatoes, and leafy greens- not to mention their attitude towards Omega 3 oils rich fish, legumes, and probiotic-rich yogurt. I mean can you imagine the wonders these can do for your energy level and health? A tasteful salad can easily include all of these in one meal!

Every now and then treat yourself to a dessert or something fried, there is no harm in it but be wary of making it your whole life. Train yourself to enjoy the things that are good for your body and also taste brilliant. Trust me there are all kinds of recipes out there that will make you forget you ever wanted French fries. So go ahead and start taking care of yourself by eating more wholesome food! You won’t regret it!

Food That Doesn’t Match the Menu

October 6, 2017

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The question of whether or not you are actually getting the exact same food that is listed on the menu has lingered in the restaurant industry. What guarantee is there that you are going to get exactly what you ordered? Are there any checks and balances in place to ensure the integrity of the companies sourcing the food available in restaurants? There might be many questions surrounding the notion that the food you’re ordering is not exactly as stated on the menu. But rest assured there are few if any legal loopholes within major food distribution chains so there is no cause widespread panic and I’m not trying to stop you from going to your favorite restaurant. On the contrary, most restaurants operate ethically as a restaurant’s success relies mainly on its reputation, level of service, and quality of food. We are about to uncover some of the biggest scams in the restaurant industry and as a consumer you need to know the old practice of “bait and switch” still occurs. Hopefully this article will help you become a more educated consumer so you can make better decisions when it comes to dining out.

Mass produced processed food or factory food has been available since 1910 and has continued to gain popularity ever since. Some of the most iconic American food brands were first created in laboratories and produced in factories before becoming a part of our daily cuisine. Some of the processed foods that hit the main stream market and have been popular ever since 1910 are Nathan’s Hot Dogs, Aunt Jemima syrup, Hellman’s mayonnaise, Oreo cookies, and Fluff marshmallows to name a few. Advances in technology lead some food factories to turn their efforts towards the canning and bottling of everything from vegetables to soda.

Today the fast food industry is the largest distributor of processed food but definitely not the first to introduce people to food made in a factory. However, the fast food industry was instrumental in perfecting the delivery of factory food and accomplished a major change in the way we eat by conditioning us to accept a factory processed foods as a substitute for real food. American people are consuming epic portions of prefabricated foods every day. It’s estimated the fast food industry serves 50,000,000 Americans per day. There has been such a massive infiltration of factory food into our daily cuisine that it’s hard to determine what is real and what is processed when you choose to eat at a fast food restaurant.

Thankfully fast food is not our only option when choosing whether to go out or stay home for a meal. The majority of casual dining restaurants are serving food that is higher quality food compared to fast food restaurants but still below the quality of food you might find at fine dining establishment. There have been a lot of reports of not getting exactly what the menu suggests especially when you ordered seafood at a restaurant. For example, there are 61 species of tuna and only four species are of major commercially importance. Big Eye, Albacore, Yellowfin, and Skipjack are the 4 main species of tuna you will find being served at restaurants.

Yellow fin also known as Ahi tuna and often gets mixed up with Big Eye tuna because they are similar in texture and color. Albacore, a less expensive tuna, is often mislabeled as regular tuna since it has similar characteristics and can be easily disguised on a bed of rice, surrounded by vegetables, and covered in sauce.

Shrimp, scallops, oysters and other seafood have varying degrees of quality and can be easily switched without raising too many eyebrows. Varieties of seafood species that are closely related cousins are usually similar color and texture and the difference is undetectable unless you have access to scientific genetic DNA testing. The majority of large restaurant chains rarely sell mislabeled fish however there are reports that suggest the seafood you ordered might be a closely related DNA matched cousin to the seafood listed on the menu. In one instance, one of the biggest US fine dining chain restaurants actually served Yellowfin and listed the dish as Albacore on the menu, a more expensive fish than stated on the menu.

How could I possibly discuss food fraud without mentioning the massively deceptive scam that is occurring at all levels of food distribution and created from of the popularity of Kobe beef? What I am about to tell you is plain and simple, if you bought Kobe beef in the past it probably wasn’t Kobe beef at all! Until a few years ago the FDA ban all imported meat coming from Japan. That means until a few years ago there wasn’t even one ounce of Kobe beef available in the US. Thousands of people became unsuspecting victims of a crime that span the entire restaurant industry. From large distributors, celebrity chefs, bar owners, and restaurant managers the Kobe beef scam is one of the restaurant industry’s largest scams to date.

According to the Kobe Beef Council in Japan, in 2016 less than 5900 lbs. of certified Kobe beef was exported to the US from Japan. Now 5900 lbs. does seem like a lot of meat if you were making the world’s largest burger but to put it in perspective in 2016 we consumed 18,020,960,000 lbs. of beef in the US. Food for thought, 29,494,738,000 lbs. of chicken ended up on our plates in 2016. Compared to the amount of chicken and beef consumed in the US the amount of Kobe beef that was available in 2016 was incredibly minimal. I’m going to guess that as rare as Kobe beef was in 2016, there wasn’t any wasted on burgers, sliders or any other Kobe-type products. The counterfeit Kobe is so profitable that it spilled over to another Japanese variety of beef, Wagyu beef. Wagyu beef is the other half of the meaty master plan to high-jack more money from innocent diners.

Wagyu is a Japanese word and translated to English means “Japanese cow”. There are four types of Japanese cows that can be considered Wagyu (Kuroge Washu, Akage Washu or Akaushi, Mukaku Washu, and Nihon Tankaku Washu). US farmers have imported a small number of Japanese Wagyu cows to be raised and bred in the US creating a new category of beef, “Domestic Wagyu”. Domestic Wagyu is the new, not-as-expensive-as-Kobe, ultra-beef. There are a handful of farmers working hard to keep the Domestic Wagyu bloodline pure but eventually most Wagyu will be cross bred to suit American palates and to be sold at your local butcher shop or grocery store. The quality of Wagyu beef sits between Kobe beef and USDA Prime but how can you be without a doubt certain that it’s real thing.

I went to a restaurant and ordered the Wagyu steak and it was good but much like USDA Prime is good as well. Did I fall victim to the meat barons money grab? Not sure, but it was a fantastic meal none-the-less. Let me explain my Wagyu experience this way, if you were to open my refrigerator right now you will find either USDA Prime New York strips, rib-eyes, or t-bones and no Wagyu beef. So this doesn’t happen to you and to keep yourself out of harm’s way at least until this controversy fades away, order or purchase a USDA Prime steak, have a great cook prepare it, and enjoy. You won’t be disappointed!

The fact is that only a small fraction of people in the food industry are willing to lie for profit but their careers are usually cut short and the gravy train of scam money immediately cut off. The worst abuse is taking place in the smaller local restaurants with not much of a reputation to protect. For the most part, large chains and well known restaurants have to maintain a high level of food quality, service, and overall reputation or we simply would not give them our business.

6 Simple Breakfast Ideas

October 6, 2017

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In modern days, people have become more health conscious and they wish to eat healthy meals on a regular basis. Eating oily and junk foods is allowed for occasional events like weddings or social parties. But when it comes to daily meal plan, it is best to stick to a nutritious dietary regime that should comprise of sprouts, nuts, veggies, beans, salads and soups.

Here are some healthy meals that people of all ages can consume daily and lead a disease-free life:

Oats:

• Oats are quite rich in dietary fibers and they aid in improving your digestion rate.
• People with bowel and constipation problems should prefer eating oats in their breakfasts.
• There are different variations of readymade oats available in the market like strawberry, nutty and masala flavor.

Simple salad:

• Eating fresh salad made from veggies and simple ingredients is one of the healthiest meals you can have at any point of time.
• Try making a simple salad with freshly cut green vegetables, low-fat cheese and proteins like hard-boiled eggs.
• This no-cook meal is highly nutritious for your health.

Pasta with tomato sauce:

• Pasta is an appetizer-filling food that can be consumed both during lunch as breakfasts. Apart from stuffing yourself with heavy meals like rice and roti with ghee, try replacing it with a pasta dish.
• Pasta served with spicy tomato sauce is one of the favorite meals amongst people.
• You can even consider adding fresh chopped veggies and cheese to your pasta recipe and elevate the nutritional intake.

Chapatis with dal:

• Pulses are rich in protein content and they aid in healthy metabolism. Chapatis on the other hand are usually made from wheat flour and they contain carbohydrates.
• Eating plain roasted chapattis with dal is a healthy meal option for Indian origin people.

Vegetable khichdi:

• Khichdi is a delicacy that is prepared by mixing rice and dal together.
• Addition of freshly chopped veggies and spices not only elevates the taste of your vegetable khichdi, but also enhances the nutritional value.
• Some of the veggies that you can add in your vegetable khichdi are tomato, potato, peas, cauliflower, carrot, and beans.

Frozen yogurt with fruits and nuts:

• Plain low-fat yogurt serves as an excellent source of calcium and tastes delicious as well.
• To elevate the nutritional content, you can prefer adding fresh fruits like mango, apples, banana and nuts like cashew nuts or almonds in your yogurt.

Tomato – The God Food for Nutrition and Human Health

October 6, 2017

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A recent study conducted at Ohio State University in the US reported that the dietary carotenoids, that gives tomatoes their colour, will protect the skin from ultraviolet (UV) light damage. With the number of people being diagnosed with skin cancer increases with each passing year, it’s a good news that the daily consumption of tomato may cut the chances of skin cancer.

This small, round, sweet, juicy, delicious red fruit is one of the largest consuming vegetables in the world, not only because of its culinary purpose but also due to its numerous health benefits and nutrition. Tomato for skin cancer was just the latest example for its infinite fitness blessings.

From the time immemorial, there exists a long love affair between man and tomato due to its capacity for better acclimatization to various environment. Today, it comes in a vast array of varieties differing in colour, size, shape and taste. Now tomato has emerged as one of the most desired vegetables in the world due to its unique taste and nutritional qualities. More than 100 new tomato varieties are being made available in the world market with each passing year.

The health benefits of tomatoes gave it the title “God food” and forms an integral part of cuisines all over the world. Tomato is also a good source of potassium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous and copper. Organic compounds like lycopene also attribute to the health benefits. The criteria for selection of tomato varies with country and the culture. Asian markets for tomatoes are particular about lighter colours while in European markets, small shapes of tomatoes are preferred.
So how the “God food” dominate the seed market? A report by Market Intelligence, a market research firm, states, ‘The Tomato Seed Market revenue covers a whopping 829.8 Million USD of the 7.8 Billion USD revenue of Vegetable Seed Market’. The numerical figure clearly depicts the dominance of seed market by tomatoes.

Tomato is the most widely grown and consumed vegetable globally. China is the largest producer of tomatoes followed by India, United States, Turkey and Egypt. The food processing market occupies 30% of the destination market for tomato while 70% of it is consumed as fresh produce.

Nowadays, the main focus of leading seed companies all over the globe is to improve the yield, adaptability to various climatic conditions and developing varieties with disease and pest tolerance. High emphasis has been laid to developing disease resistance tomatoes because tomato is attacked by more than 200 diseases and pests. Some of the important diseases of tomatoes are bacterial wilt, Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl Virus (TYLCV), Groundnut Bud Necrosis Virus (GBNV), etc. Breeders from companies are also working on developing flavours for the final taste of tomatoes. The growth of tomato seed is heavily credited to the use of hybrid seeds and usage of high-value experimental varieties in developed economies. Although the investment in this industry is high, the return on investment is dramatically encouraging farmers globally to adopt hybrid tomato seeds for its production.

Tips on Managing a Business Lunch or Dinner

October 6, 2017

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An off-site business lunch or dinner goes a long way to ensure your guests focus on your business goals, without the distractions of the office. Early coordination with your caterer, banquet hall, or restaurant goes a long way towards a successful event. Here are some helpful tips to getting what YOU want out of the lunch or dinner meeting:

• Confirm the date, time, and exact address of your lunch or dinner meeting. Communicate this often and sent a calendar invitation. Nothing will work if people don’t know where to go. Even better – pick up your guests to make it easy for them. This is the most important thing you can do.

• Call the restaurant ahead of time. Pick up the phone! Have a real human conversation. This is faster than email and provides you an opportunity to have a relationship with the venue. You might even find out more options than are listed on the restaurant’s web page.

• Ensure you enquire about any special dietary needs from your guests during the invite process so that you are sure to have accommodated for them during the restaurant selection process and pre-ordering processes.

• Arrive early. Pick out your exact table and decide where you want everyone to sit. This helps ensure that the conversations are more likely to happen with the correct people next to each other or facing across the table from one another.

• Consider pre-ordering appetizers and drinks. Have them waiting at the table when your guests arrive. This accomplishes 2 things: 1. Hungry people can begin eating immediately. 2. You can start talking business even sooner. Consider getting platters of food that can be shared and your gets can pick out what they would like to eat.

• Do not order messy food. This impedes the meeting and can distract your focus from your guests. Take a little mirror or visit the restroom to ensure nothing is stuck in your teeth or on your clothing after eating! Look good start to finish!

• Drink only one or two drinks. Know your limit. If your guests leave early, have a dessert drink to rewards yourself afterwards as you are paying the bill.

• Instruct the restaurant to bring you the bill discretely. If possible, leave your credit card with the hostess/host and have everything taken care of behind the scenes. This will impress your guests.

• After the lunch/dinner meeting, thank your guests and send them a thank you email the next day to confirm what was discussed and next steps.

A Fishy Culinary History of Fish Tacos and Fish Taco Catering

October 6, 2017

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The historical roots of tacos are hard to track, but Baja Mexicans clearly invented fish tacos. Of course Americans commercialized the idea on a broad scale.

There is an uncertain history on the topic of tacos. While generally believed to have originated in 18th century Mexico, some say it was with the silver miners who first devised filling a corn tortilla with tasty ingredients. Others argue its history began before that in other regions of the country.

But what’s a bit clearer is the history of fish tacos. Turkey, chicken and meat may have been the more common ingredients in those early Mexican tacos. But the fish taco form – now popular among many taco catering companies and their clientele (now termed “fish taco caterers”) – skews west in its orientation to the Baja California region of Mexico. That is somewhat to be expected, given how no part of the 800-mile long peninsula is more that 50 miles from either Gulf of California or Pacific Ocean waters. Seafood is historically abundant there and a diet staple.

San Diego-based food writer Susan Russo wrote in a 2007 food blog for National Public Radio that “the fish taco is to San Diego what the cheese steak is to Philadelphia or the lobster roll is to Maine.” She says the obvious geographic proximity that San Diego has to Baja is the reason for this. But she adds the Baja delicacy is really the result of Spanish, indigenous Mexican and Asian cuisines. The peninsula is a crossroads of a sort, and that between the conquistadores, later East Asian arrivals in the first half of the 20th century, and the Kumeyaay, Cochimi, Cucapas and other tribes who historically fished the coastal areas.

Americans stumbled across fish tacos in the mid-20th century when they began to venture down Baja in search of adventure and, in particular, waves for surfers, writes Russo. The excitement and surf were there, along with crispy fish tacos. That once exotic food now caught the attention of entrepreneurial Americans who brought the idea back to the States and added them to menus of restaurants and taco caterers. The rest is history.

Of course there are many different types of fish, many different preparation methods, and even many different toppings that one can put on a fish taco. Which is why the offerings of no two mobile taco catering operations are the same. The lighter tasting white fish (tilapia, cod, perch) should be complemented with lighter fillings and salsas; the bolder tastes of salmon, mahi mahi and grilled shrimp might have more ancho chilis and other caliente sauces and seasonings.

What Are You Having For Breakfast?

October 6, 2017

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Breakfast

I was munching down my breakfast this morning and thought about the process of getting it from the kitchen to the tummy. So much of what we do in there is now by rote. In putting it all together in my mind, I realized what a production had occurred to make a simple eastern omelette and a toasted English muffin.

Now, I’m not going to go into how the English muffin is made. That is just overkill. Besides, it came from the market in a buy one, get one free purchase. But still, it requires some work just not much thought. Look at the knife that was used to cut it. Maybe the muffin was advertised to be fork-split. I don’t trust that. I want two pieces of equal size and width, and that requires a reasonably sharp, serrated knife. Then to toast it to perfection, a toaster or toaster oven is needed. I don’t own a toaster. The toaster oven has so many other uses that I chose to have one in my kitchen. I’m considering a change, though. Maybe it is the age of this small appliance of mine, but it doesn’t toast like I want it to. Anyway, all that to make a simple toasted English muffin. I bet you never gave it that much thought.

I like omeletes. And although an omelette is different from an Eastern, they have similar characteristics. Eggs and meat, and that is all that is required, but not all that is desired. The omelette has some veggies and some cheese in most cases. The variety is endless. The Eastern is more simple. Ground ham and an egg. If you want it to be a Western, then grate in some onion. It sounds so simple, but when deconstructed, it is not. The ham was something that was taking up room in the fridge. Hauling it out, some I chunked up for a casserole, I some left on the bone for pea soup, and some got ground up for ham salad, and Easterns and Westerns.

The grinding of the ham needs the help of a chopper of some kind. I used my food processor. Smaller batches do up well with the mini chopper, but this time it was a larger portion. Purists might put it on the chopping block and hand chop. I’m not so inclined. Rather, I’m lazy. I don’t mind when I can put the bowl and blade in the dishwasher. I hate to hand wash that appliance.

So once we have the ground ham and the soup is on to simmer, it’s time to make the Eastern. How much ham depends on the number of eggs. I simply mix the two in a coffee cup. It’s closest at hand. One egg is enough, and about an ounce of ham, but I was hungry today. I used two eggs and a heaping spoonful of ground meat. Melt a little butter in a fry pan or skillet and drop it in over medium heat. Give it a flip when you see the egg is starting to come together, but do not stir. If you stir, you have scrambled egg with an addition of ham. Our family puts this egg disc on toast with a healthy smear of ketchup. I opted to eat it on a plate with my English muffins. And yes, a little ketchup. I do not make my own ketchup but have thought about it.