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Posted by on Mar 28, 2014 | 2 comments

A Mouth-Watering Food Photography Workshop

A Mouth-Watering Food Photography Workshop

When I signed up for the food photography workshop with the Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food & Agriculture, I thought mainly about the photography tips I would use for food posts. I didn’t expect the waiter to pour wine for me and the 9 other students, and didn’t expect such beautiful dishes to appear before us, expertly cooked and plated by chef Tony Chittum in the Iron Gate restaurant where they held the workshop. Better yet, after each course — the generous samples of appetizers, the main course, and dessert — we got to taste everything, every last crumb. This is the winter root vegetable salad with Chapel’s Country Bay Blue cheese. The small dish on the bottom left is house made “Nutella” and last season’s preserves. Our teacher was pro photographer, Mollie Peterson, who moved around the tables, chatting casually with us about the craft of photography and how to bring out the best in a dish. Molly is a photographer and farmer, which is how she is acquainted with Arcadia. She and her...

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Posted by on Mar 10, 2014 | 2 comments

Favorite Meals from My Whole Foods Detox

Favorite Meals from My Whole Foods Detox

I joined Marybeth’s Whole Foods Detox and Cleanse earlier this year with excitement about experiencing all of the wonderful benefits of a cleanse — more energy, a boost to my immune function, and a general feeling of well being. What I didn’t expect was my thrill at discovering delicious new recipes that I could continue to eat as part of my regular diet. The basic premise of Marybeth’s program is to avoid foods and substances that cause inflammation and toxicity and add more foods that are naturally detoxifying and anti-inflammatory. Some foods to avoid: sugar, artificial sweeteners, alcohol, caffeine, yeast and fermented foods, eggs, gluten, corn, tomatoes, eggplant, bell pepper, peanuts, soy, beef, pork, and lamb, and of course anything processed. What does that leave? An abundance of nutritious whole foods like berries, apples, fresh vegetables, wild-caught fish, free-range and organic chicken, beans and legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds, oil, herbal teas, and many tall glasses of filtered water a day. Here are some of my favorite meals from the week....

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Posted by on Feb 24, 2014 | 1 comment

The Art and Science of Drinking Beer

The Art and Science of Drinking Beer

Is there a right and wrong way to drink beer? Does the type of glass you use matter? Does an ale taste the same in a bottle and in a sophisticated snifter? Why are pilsner glasses tall and narrow? For these and other important beer questions, I turned to my friend Geoff, a self-proclaimed and dedicated “beer snob.” He and a few of my fellow craft beer-loving friends were more than happy to oblige when I suggested we have an afternoon beer tasting to talk about the art and science of drinking beer. The plan was simple: Geoff would bring some beer and his collection of glassware, my friend Catherine and I would provide food, and the rest of the spouses would enjoy the proceedings (while keeping mockery to a minimum). Without getting too technical, the reason there are different glasses for different beers is because each type of beer has unique characteristics. The glasses enhance these characteristics and help you enjoy the flavor. Beer Advocate sums it up...

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Posted by on Feb 19, 2014 | 1 comment

Simple Saturday Birthday Supper

Simple Saturday Birthday Supper

Our favorite way to celebrate a birthday? A simple family dinner at home with hearty vegetable soup simmering on the stove, lemony basil dressing for a bitter green salad, an assortment of subs from the local sandwich shop, refreshing beverages and mellow music, and a sweet treat for dessert. Do you have any favorite menus for celebrating with family at...

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Posted by on Feb 18, 2014 | 0 comments

Making April’s Vitamin and Mineral Rich Bone Stock

Making April’s Vitamin and Mineral Rich Bone Stock

April Scripps, owner of the Vintage Gourmet in Del Ray, hosted our second DIY Del Ray demo (of many to come) in her recently remodeled kitchen, where she taught participants how to make gelatin-rich bone stock. April’s business specializes in “traditional wisdom for the modern kitchen.” Last spring, she held hands-on workshops on making kombucha, fermented fruits and vegetables, and cultured dairy. In the demo, April first explained the subtle differences in what are largely interchangeable terms: stock and broth. Stock, as opposed to broth, is a neutral base, for soups, sauces, pasta, risotto, and other dishes. Broth, on the other hand, is strained and clear and highly seasoned, with salt, spices and maybe wine, with a much higher ratio of seasoning to liquid. Stock is the result of cooking down all of the bones and cartilage completely, leading to a gelatinous, rich end result, chock full of vitamins and minerals. As April likes to say, citing an Old World adage, “good stock will raise the dead.” Stock is a nutritional powerhouse —...

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