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.

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel (TCFRita) and get the podcasts BEFORE they're published here!

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.

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel: click on any of my videos and then click on the "Subscribe" button, and check out all my videos -- give me lots of comments and stars!!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

PODCAST! A BBQ to Start the Season

We’re all getting anxious, aren’t we – for SUM~ SUM ~SUMMERTIME! But it’s still just a little bit too cold to hang out on the deck with your beverage of choice while dinner cooks on the grill. In fact, it’s downright COLD at night!

So here’s a recipe that will taste like summer, stick to your ribs and warm up the house, all at the same time.

This is my father’s recipe and I’ve adapted it for a braise. We like ours on pasta, but it’s absolutely GREAT over potatoes, either mashed, steamed, boiled or baked.


6-8 lb. Beef Short Ribs
Flour to coat
1 lg. Yellow Onion, chopped
2 Carrots, scraped and chopped
2 Celery stalks, chopped
2 Tb. Tomato Paste
1 15 oz. can of Whole Tomatoes with juice
1 C freshly-squeezed Lemon Juice (you can leave the seeds in) (about 4 Lemons)
Zest of 2 Lemons
1 C Brown Sugar
1 ½ C Ketchup
1 Tb. Dry Yellow Mustard
¾ tsp. Ground Cloves
1 ½ tsp. Allspice
6-12 chopped Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce or any other spicy flavor you like
4 C Beef Broth
12 sprigs Fresh Thyme

Optional additions: 2 lg. Bay Leaf, 6 Whole Peppercorns, 6-8 stalks Fresh Parsley

Preheat oven to 350. Chop veggies, zest and juice lemons. Flour ribs. In a hot Dutch oven, add olive oil and brown ribs on all 6 sides. Remove to a bowl. When all the ribs are browned, add the onion, carrot and celery and sauté on medium-low heat for about 10 minutes. Add tomato paste and brown for about 2 minutes. Now add all the rest, except for the ribs.

Turn the heat to high, and mix all ingredients well. Put the ribs back into the pot. If they’re not completely covered with broth mixture you can either add more broth, tomatoes or plan to turn the ribs after they cook for 1.5 hrs.

When the pot begins to boil, cover it and put it into the oven for 3 hours. If it goes longer, say 30 min or so, you’ll be fine. After 3 hours, take the pot out of the oven and carefully remove all the ribs to a bowl. Cover with foil while you finish the dish.

Strain out all the broth ingredients into another pan and place it over high heat. Bring it to a rolling boil and allow it to reduce by at least 1/3. You can test it with a spoon to see if it’s reached a gravy-like consistency or not. When it’s ready, pour it over the ribs and pour the extra in a gravy boat.

Serve over potatoes or pasta, think of summer, and keep your house snug!


You can make this ahead of time. Follow the recipe up to and including cooking the ribs in the oven for 2 hours. Then remove from the oven, cool completely and put in the fridge overnight. The next day you can scrape off a lot of the fat that will have solidified on top, put back in a 350 oven for 2 hours more.

Find the TCF Ingredients for this Podcast on sale here
(And Don't Forget the Kitchen Toyz!)

*F|Beef Broth 32oz, Each 3.79

*F|Beef Short Ribs, Pound 3.99

*F|Brown Sugar 1.5 lbs, Each 4.79

*F|Carrots Baby Peeled, Pound 1.49

*F|Carrots, Pound .99

*F|Celery, Each 1.49

*F|Extra Virgin Olive Oil 12.7oz, Each 12.29

*F|Flour 5lbs. 5.95

*F|Ketchup 24oz, Each 4.29

*F|Lemons, Each .49

*F|Onion Red, Pound .99

*F|Onion Yellow, Pound .69

*F|Potatoes-Idaho, Pound .89

*F|Potatoes-Red Small, Pound .99

*F|Potatoes-Yukon Gold, Pound 1.29

*F|Thyme, Bunch 1.79

*F|Tomato Paste 6oz, Each 1.99

*F|Tomatoes Peeled 14.5 oz, Each 2.59

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Podcast!! Marinated Roasted Chicken and Spinach Salad

Ohhhh...! I LOVE roasted chicken! But if you marinate it first, you've really got me. This is such an easy dinner. Marinate a Cornish Hen or chicken pieces in olive oil, lemon, herbs and spices in the morning (or even the night before) and while it's baking at dinnertime, put together one of the most decadent Spinach Salads evah!

Remember that Tony has put many of the items I'm using on sale on our Picky Produce Page and every week he's adding more and more of the "Kitchen Toyz" that I use all the time on that same page.

I really could not live without my squeeze bottle for olive oil. It really lets me control how much I'm using and makes measuring a snap! So watch the video and make a plan to order the items shown, make a great dinner and GET FREE SHIPPING TO BOOT!

Here is the recipe:

Marinated Chicken

1 Chicken cut in pieces - or 1 Cornish Hen cut in half - or any mixture of cut pieces of Chicken with skin on the bone, totaling 6-8 pieces
1 C Olive Oil
Zest and Juice of one Lemon (go ahead and leave the seeds in!)
1 lg. clove Garlic, minced
2-3 sprigs fresh Rosemary(or about 1 Tb. dried)
1 Tb. Salt
Freshly ground Pepper

Mix the marinating ingredients in a zip top bag until the salt dissolves. Add the washed and dried chicken. Close, toss well and marinate all day or overnight in the fridge. To bake, preheat oven to 450. Shake off all the marinade from the chicken pieces and place on a rack over a baking pan. Bake 20 min. Reduce heat to 375 and bake for 30-40 min more -- more time if you have big pieces, less time if the pieces are small. A half of a Cornish Hen will take 40 minutes more to bake. Allow to rest for 10 minutes after removing from the oven.

Old School Spinach Salad

1 - 2 bunches fresh Spinach, washed and dried with center veins removed
12 strips Bacon fried until crispy, drained and cooled
4 eggs, hard boiled
1 Shallot
1/4 C Olive Oil
6-8 White Mushrooms, cleaned and sliced thinly (optional)


2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 tsp. Dijon Mustard
2 tsp. Sugar
6 Tb. fresh Lemon Juice (remove the seeds)
2 tsp. Salt
freshly ground Pepper

Mix the dressing ingredients and allow to sit for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the Spinach, Bacon, Eggs and Mushrooms. Tear the Spinach into bite sized pieces in a serving bowl. Keep cold.

When Bacon grease has cooled a little, pour off all but 2 Tb. Chop the Shallot, and add Olive Oil. Begin to cook the Shallot, but not a lot. As soon as the Shallot begins to cook, add the dressing and mix well until heated through on medium heat.

Pour the dressing on the Spinach to wilt it. Add the Bacon and toss. Slice the eggs on top.


*E|Bacon, Pound 6.99

*E|Cleaned Baby Spinach, Each 2.99

*E|Cornish Hen, Each 5.99

*E|Cut-Up Chicken, Pound 5.49

*E|Extra Virgin Olive Oil 12.7oz., Each 12.29

*E|Garlic, Bulb .69

*E|Kosher Salt, Each 2.79

*E|Large Eggs, Dozen 3.69

*E|Lemon, Each .59

*E|Rosemary, Each 1.49

*E|Shallot, Pound 4.99

*E|Spinach, Bunch 1.99

*E|Whole Chicken 2-3 Lbs Pound 3.79

It's SOOOoooo Easy! And Delicious, Too!!

Friday, January 16, 2009


I am having a ball making podcasts for you!! Today's video is a slow, stove-top stir fry served on pasta. I will stick to your ribs!

You can make this dish with pork tenderloin, as I did in the video, but pork shoulder, boneless skinless chicken thighs or any other meat off the bone that you like will work just as well.

Cippoline onions are fickle and not available all the time. I got really lucky when I put in my order at TCF, but if they had not arrived, there are plenty of other options. You can use shallots, pearl onions or boiling onions, or even yellow onions. With yellow onions, cut them in large chunks, with the others, treat them like cippolines and boil for 5 or so minutes.

Purple cauliflower just happened to be available the week I shot this video, but any color or type of cauliflower will work just as well -- even Romanesco!

We are also beginning to carry Podcast Kitchen Toyz that I use in the videos, so if you're looking for any of the gadgets I use, check out our new section and see if it's there.

Below you'll find a list of items on sale, and the actual written recipe.

Would YOU like to make a podcast for TCF? It's really easy! If you're interested, email me and I'll send you some guidelines and tips.

SUBSCRIBE TO MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL! Leave a Comment and give me some STARS!!

Podcast Sale Items -- Sale goes for 3 weeks! (Look for the Prefix "D")

*D|Angel Hair Pasta WW 16oz, Each 2.99

*D|Brussel Sprout, Pound 3.59

*D|Chicken Thigh Skinles Boneless, Pound 6.99

*D|Cippoline Onions if Available, Bunch 4.99

*D|Extra Virgin Olive Oil 12.7oz, Each 12.29

*D|Garlic Bulb, Each .60

*D|Kosher Salt, Each 2.79

*D|Pork Shoulder Steaks, Pound 7.99

*D|Purple Cauliflower if Available, Each 3.59

*D|Sirloin Steak, Pound 9.99



*Z|Garlic Peeler, Each 3.39

*Z|Squeeze Bottle 8oz, Each .99

*Z|Squeeze Bottle 12oz, Each 1.49

*Z|Squeeze Bottle 24oz, Each
Slooooww Winter Stir-Fry -
Serves 3-4

1 bag Cippoline Onions - or - 6 Shallots - or - 1 doz. Boiling or Pearl Onions - or - 1/2 Yellow Onion

Drop Cippoline Onions, Shallots, Boiling or Pears Onions into boiling water and cook for 5 min. Remove from heat, allow to cool, cut off the tops and the bottoms, peel and cut into quarters. If using Yellow Onions, slice 1/2 of a large yellow onion into chunks and set aside.

2 C Cauliflower cut into small florettes
12 or so Brussles Sprouts, outside leaves removed and cut into quarters
2 Garlic Cloves sliced thinly, or to taste
1/2 Pork Tenderloin - about 4 oz. - (or other meat off the bone) cut into strips
Salt, Pepper, Olive Oil

4-5 oz. Hodgson Mills Whole Wheat Angel Hair Pasta
1 C grated Pecorino Romano or cheese of your choice

Bring large saute pan up to med.high heat and add a few turns of olive oil. Add meat, garlic, brussles sprouts, cauliflower and onion. Stir and toss. Add a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Add a touch more olive oil if needed. When veggies begin to carmelize, cover pan, set heat to low and allow to cook for 5 min. Remove cover, stir and toss everything and leave the top off if the veggies are beginning to sweat to allow the moisture to evaporate. Cover and repeat until veggies are nicely carmelized.

In the meantime, put pasta into a pan of boiling water and cook to your preferred doneness. Drain, return the pasta to the pan and add a small pat of butter and toss. Then add the grated cheese and a pinch of salt. Toss again and cover to allow the cheese to melt.

Serve the veggies over the pasta.