The Purple Super Food

by Evan Brady

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Throughout my culinary career, a large focus of cooking is to make the food look beautiful as well as taste delicious. We focus on natural, vibrant, and bright colors that really show off the inherent traits of the food that is being served and it also goes a long way in proving the food is fresh and not expired. This process initially is what sparked my interest in the Okinawan sweet potato. Not only is it delicious with a sweet, fruity flavor, but it is bright purple in color. Continue reading

5 Tips for Entertaining

By Chef Robbie

dinner table

Hosting the perfect party can seem quite a daunting task, but with a well organized plan and a few tips you can pull it off without a hitch. First of all, a party should be fun for your guests and for you. Why go to all the effort if you cannot partake in the fun and enjoy the time with your guests as well? With that being said, the first tip is to have enough help to prevent you from becoming stressed and overwhelmed. Many shy away from hosting parties because they think it is too hard and complicated of an endeavor to undertake. Recruit some friends or bring in the experts. Having enough help is the first step in throwing the perfect party.

Next, look at the big picture and ask yourself a few questions. What do I want my guests to walk away saying? How do I want the party to flow? Will this be a casual or more formal event? Who am I inviting? The answers to these questions will help you prepare for the level of entertaining you want to pull off.

When hosting a party in your own home, the very first step is to do some basic maintenance. Empty the garbages and the dishwasher, clean out the fridge to make space, have plenty bottled water on hand, finally, clean and stock the bathrooms. Continue reading

Family Heirlooms

by Eric Overton

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photo by Vasile Bulgac

The proliferation of genetically modified organisms (GMO) in our highly industrial age worries people, though ironically it’s a consumerist complex we feed, whether or not we’re aware of it feeding us in return. The organic alternative, believed to be the safer choice is often the go-to grub for food skeptics and the health-minded eater. The modern scale and scope of industrial agriculture has engendered a loss in genetic diversity. Preservation of this diversity is a challenge, but inquiring culinary minds and green thumbs alike might already be experimenting with the time-tested boutique variety of produce: heirloom. Continue reading

Mystified by your Local Butcher? Identify Your Favorite Cut of Beef.

by Alex Dunlevie

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When faced with the numerous options available today at most mega-marts and butcher shops, some home cooks find themselves overwhelmed and confused. Hopefully this article will shed some light on the basics and help all steak lovers get closer to the steak they desire.

Ribeye
When steak lovers think steak, ribeye is often what they’re thinking of. This isn’t to say it’s the only steak worthy of a steak lover, but It certainly is a classic. Ribeyes come from the rib primal, which gives them an extremely full beefy flavor and an incredible marbling in the meat. This intricate network consisting of veins of beef fat provide ribeyes with richness and a delicious beefiness. A nice layer of fat called the eye surrounds the very center of the steak. This ensures moistness because the fat bastes the steak as it renders during cooking. Continue reading

Origin of Gnocchi

by Mike Webster

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photo by Neco Garnica

The original recipe is thought to have originated in the Middle East and although no-one can be sure when Italian gnocchi were first made, the earliest written mentions appear in 14th century Italian cookery manuscripts.

The Italian word gnocchi translates to lumps, but it is thought the name may have come from the word nocchio which means a knot in the wood or possibly from nocca which means knuckle. It should be noted that the word gnocchi is plural and refers to several gnocco (singular) however, the singular word is hardly ever used and the word gnocchi is often used in the singular.

Gnocchi became a staple dish in Italy and was gradually introduced by the Romans to other countries in Europe during their many conquests and over time, many countries developed their own type of small dumplings from the earliest gnocchi recipes. Gnocchi is more common in Northern Italy but can be found in other regions of Italy; similar dishes are served in other countries as well. While Florence is home to gnocchi, it is fabled to be so good that gluttonous priests have been known to choke from eating too fast – the infamous strozzapreti (priest-stranglers). Continue reading

Welcome to the Tea Intersection

by Zachery A. Bowersock

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photo by Zsuzsanna Kilian

Whether you are partial to the brew or not, it is inconceivable to imagine mankind to be where we are today without tea. From the cultural and economical ties to eastern Asia, to the trade and commerce in western Europe, Tea has driven mankind to many great discoveries and developments, such as the discovery of America and the strainer, all thanks to tea. It is no surprise that the beverage is the most popular drink in the world, second only to water. Continue reading

Roasted Beets with Lemon Curd and Toasted Hazelnuts

by Mike Zolnowski

Roasted beets with lemon curd and roasted hazelnuts

Roasted beets
28 Baby beets
3/4 cup Orange or grapefruit juice
3/4 cup Extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cupRed wine vinegar
1 Orange
1 Lemon
1 Tbs Fennel seeds
1 TbsBlack pepper corns
1/4 bunch Thyme
3 Bay leaf
1/4 cup Salt
Toasted hazelnuts
2 cups hazelnuts
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and Pepper

Citrus Curd
3 Egg yolks
1/2 cup Sugar
4 Tbs Butter, chilled, cut into 1 cm thick slices
Salt
2 Oranges/grapefruit
2 Lemons
Continue reading

3 Tips to Choosing Fresh Fruits and Veggies

by Chef Samantha

pears and apples
Have you ever started a new diet or set in motion a resolution to be healthier and seen your money go up in flames because your fruit and veggie basket rotted before you got a chance to eat it? It’s discouraging right? We spend time and money at the grocery store trying to do the right thing and we end up paying for it in a few days with stinky, fuzzy, slimy, green produce. Well here are a few easy tips to make sure you keep on track to fitting in your new dress or lowering your cholesterol. Continue reading

Starting Seeds

by Mike Webster

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Early Spring is my favorite time of the year. I begin to develop my garden’s diversity, save money and share seed varieties with friends. All by starting seeds indoors, and transplanting them into my garden when the conditions are rights. Thousands of superior crop varieties are rarely available as seedlings in garden centers, and the same goes for wonderful culinary crops, such as Zebra stripe Tomatoes and Red Russian Kale. If your goal is to fill your table with an array of homegrown organic food, then starting plants from seed can help you achieve that goal. Starting seeds indoors under controlled conditions, with no aggravation from weeds or weather, allows you to get a prompt start on the season. Where growing seasons are short, some crops require an indoor head start to later reach maturity. Furthermore, I am able to maximize my gardens diversity and overall yield, by having two plantings of crops for the season. Continue reading

Experience Food in a Whole New Way…with your hands

by Mike Zolnowski

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At a recent social gathering I made the mindless mistake of forgetting to use a utensil to eat my food. After the embarrassment faded I realized as a cook how much I tasted food with my hands and how much more I enjoyed food when I was eating it without utensils. I began to think about the different relationship one has with food when eating with something like a fork, or chop sticks. Something visceral happens when contact is made between food and skin. Continue reading