Friday, November 20, 2009

FOOD, Inc.

Today I had the pleasure of interviewing Elise Perlstein, the Producer of the new documentary "FOOD, Inc."

This film has just come out on DVD, and it takes a look behind the walls that exists between the people who produce our food, the foods we eat, and ourselves -- the consumers.

I consider myself pretty informed on this subject, but I learned so much watching it, that I can't recommend it enough to everyone.

If you click on the title to the post, it will take you to my interview with Elise Perlstein. (Works best with Internet Explorer.)

Then get yourself a copy of "FOOD, Inc."

It's high time we knew the truth!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Video Podcast! Beef and Barley Soup in the Crock Pot

There's nothing like ending the day with a wonderful dinner that you did not have to cook moments before. I love my crock pot and I've been using it a lot, lately. Did you know that you can assemble all the ingredients inside your crock pot insert and refrigerate it overnight? Then add an extra hour to the cooking time. I like to put my crock pot meal together while I'm making dinner. Then, the next night's meal is finished, too!

TCF has the meatiest soup bones I've ever seen, and they make the perfect Beef and Barley Soup.

This is so easy, you'll make enough to freeze!

Vegetable Beef and Barley Soup with Toasted Cheese Sandwiches

1-2 pkg. Timber Creek Black Angus Beef Soup Bones
1 can Whole Tomatoes, crushed, extra juice discarded
1/4 Whole Barley (not pearled) soaked overnight, drained and rinsed
5 Whole Peppercorns
2 Whole Cloves
1 large Onion, chopped
2 stalks Celery, chopped
1-2 Carrots, chopped
4 C (1 box) Beef Broth
4 C (1 box) Chicken Broth
Water, if necessary
Salt and Pepper

Put everything into the crockpot, cover and cook over low heat for 10 hours.
Remove the meat from the bones, chop or shred and return to the pot.


Friday, June 26, 2009

Podcast! An EASY, Frosty Summer Treat

Oh My Goodness!! Is it ever HOT outside!! Let’s make something ICE COLD to eat. I have made Fruit Sorbet/Italian Ice/Granita since forever. When my children were young, I’d pour a bottle of natural juice into a bowl and set it in the freezer. Every few hours I’d take it out, break it into chunks and run it through the food processor. Then I’d put it back in the freezer and do it again two hours later. it was always ready at the end of the day.

Before I had a food processor, I’d just blend fresh fruits together in my blender, add simple syrup to taste, then pour the mixture into a shallow glass baking dish, and put that into the freezer. Every few hours I’d take it out and scrape it with a fork to keep it from freezing into a solid block.

I always served this as the fruit course with dinner when the weather was this hot. My children LOVED it!

You can make Fruit Sorbet out of almost anything. Don’t worry if TCF doesn’t have kumquats or white peaches – no worries! Substitute mangos, cherries, oranges, pineapple, lemons. Below I’ll share even more fruit ice ideas and tricks.

Alright, here are some things to consider:

Amounts don’t matter – proportions DO. So, after you’ve tasted the fruit mixture and you’re happy with the balance of flavors, add the simple syrup to taste, then freeze in the way that works best for you.

Don’t be afraid to add fresh herbs! Really! Lemon Ice with a little mint or rosemary is really, really good! Strawberry Ice is good with rosemary, too. Pineapple ice is good with basil, not kidding! Just don’t go crazy with the herbs – a little goes a long, long way.

Here’s another freezing trick: Make sure the fruit you’re using is chilled well. Put it into a blender with sugar to taste and ice cubes, and grind everything until the texture is like a slushie. Then put into the freezer and freeze overnight.

So – if you have fruit that really needs to be used up, or you haven’t gotten to drinking all the juices you received this week, pour them into your processor bowl, blender or right into the freezer in a glass pan – it’s SO EASY and your family will LOVE YOU FOR IT!

And finally - for the big kids - after you've put a serving of fruit ice into your ice cream dish, NOW is the time to add that vodka, Grand Marnier, or even a little rum on that pineapple. For an extra-special presentation, add herb leaves, zested lemon or orange or any other thinly sliced fruit to dress it up.

check out this post at

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Podcast! Risotto 'Organico'

Will it ever get warm outside? There’s just a little chill in the air every day, it seems, and a nice way to chase away the rain or the cold is with a hearty bowl of Risotto. This dinner takes about 30 minutes to make and is full of wonderful flavors!

You'll find the ingredients on sale on the Picky Produce Page


Olive Oil
1 Shallot or ½ sweet Yellow Onion + 1 medium clove Garlic
½ C Arborio Rice (regular rice won’t do)
1 C White Wine (not sweet – optional)
4 C Broth
1 Tb Butter
¾ C grated Parmesan Cheese

2 Broccoli Crown cut into bite-sized pieces
1 Red Pepper cut into bite-sized pieces

4 pieces of boneless, skinless Chicken Thighs (1/2 of a package from TCF)
1 Egg
Salt, Pepper
Flour to dredge

Heat 2 Tb olive oil in a large, shallow pan. Saute the shallot or onion + garlic until fragrant (do not brown). Add the rice to the pan and sauté over medium-high heat until the rice begins to smell nutty. Pour in the wine, turn the heat to high and stir constantly as the wine absorbs and evaporates. When the wine is well absorbed, begin adding the broth about 1 Cup at a time and stir constantly so the rice doesn’t stick. For this part, adjust the heat so that the rice is between a rapid boil and a good simmer.

Heat another sauté pan and add 2 Tb. olive oil over medium high heat. Add the broccoli and red pepper. Cook until al dente, then remove to a bowl.

Pound out the thighs a little bit. Salt and pepper them, put them into a bowl with the beaten egg, then dredge in flour and cook in a little olive oil over medium high heat.

Test the rice. It should be soft and flavorful. When it is, remove the pan from the heat, add 1 Tb butter and stir it in to melt. Sprinkle in the Parmesan and allow that to melt into the rice, stirring well.

To serve, spoon Risotto into a bowl. Garnish with veggies and chicken. MMMMMMmmmm!

A Note about Chicken Quantities: The 4 pieces of chicken thigh that I used in this recipe represent 1/2 a package bought from TCF. You won't get exactly 8 thigh pieces in a package, but you'll the the approximate equivalent in volume.

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Monday, May 11, 2009

Podcast! Italian Wedding Soup

You might be wrong if you thought this would be a heavy soup…if you use turkey, it’s light, warming and sooo delicious! Escarole is bitter if eaten raw, but when you heat it, the bitterness softens a bit, and the flavor is wonderful.

Italian Wedding Soup

1 head Escarole washed, dried and chopped

Approx 1 lb. Ground Turkey, Beef, Pork or any combination

3 Tb. Parmesan Cheese

2 Tb. Parsley, chopped

1 Egg White

1 clove of Garlic, put through a press

2 tsp. Salt

Good grinding of Pepper

8 C Chicken Broth

1 can Canellini Beans, rinsed and drained.

Prepare escarole and set aside. Mix the next 7 ingredients well and make tiny meatballs. If the mixture starts sticking to your hands, dip your palms in cool water, and continue. Heat the broth on the stove, add the meatballs and the beans. Allow to heat at medium, covered for 5 minutes. Remove the top, add the escarole and cover again. Allow to heat for 10 min more. Check to see that escarole has wilted and will mix into the soup. The meatballs should be floating at the surface. Serve with a good grating of Parmesan cheese, and some good bread, toasted with olive oil and salt drizzled on top.


Make the meatballs ahead, freeze on cookie sheets, then drop into a zip top bag for an easier meal in the future. Set the meatballs out to thaw before you put them into the soup

Check out the ingredients for this recipe on sale on the Picky Produce Page!

Send me your comments, give me some stars,

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The REAL Organic Idol !

The Organic Food Industry is looking for a spokesperson -- and Tony from Timber Creek is up to the challenge! If you watch his videos, you'll be voting for him, so please take a look at these 2 - 30 second auditions for The Organic Idol Competition!

Thanks to all who helped!!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

A Warm Lentil Salad from Spain

It’s amazing what you can create using familiar ingredients if you add just one new flavor! Warm Lentil Salad uses items you may already have in the house. If you don’t have Sherry Vinegar, or Dry Sherry, don’t fret – you can leave them out and still have a wonderful dish.


1# Dry Lentils
½ Onion, chopped
3 lg. cloves Garlic, sliced
3 Tb. Olive Oil
2 Tb Fresh Thyme or 1 Tb. dry Thyme
2 Tb Dry Sherry (optional)
1/3 C Olive Oil
1 Tb. Sherry Vinegar or Red Wine Vinegar
Cherry Tomatoes or Grape Tomatoes
Gorgonzola, Blue or Feta Cheese
Fresh Parsley for garnish
Plain Couscous (optional)

Put the lentils, onion, garlic and 3 Tb olive oil into a saucepan. Cover with 1-2 inches of cold water. Bring to a boil, then let simmer for about 30 minutes. Check the lentils for doneness: they should be completely soft, but not mushy.

Strain the lentils into a bowl and cover. If you are using dry thyme, add it now. If you have dry sherry, but not sherry vinegar, add it now. Reduce the cooking liquid by at least 1/3, until it is thick. Remove from heat, pour into a bowl and add sherry vinegar or wine vinegar, salt and pepper and whisk in 1/3 C olive oil.

If you wish to use couscous, while the cooking liquid is reducing, cook the couscous according to package directions, and then arrange it in a ring around the edge of a serving platter.

If you're using fresh Thyme, add it now to the cooking liquid. Stir the cooking liquid into the lentils, if using couscous, pour the lentils inside the couscous ring. Then garnish with cheese, tomatoes and parsley.

Many of the items here are on sale on the Picky Produce Page.

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