Thursday, 24 September 2009

Roasted Autumn Fruits with Torched Sabayon

Perferably use all organic fruit in this recipe as all of them listed are on the EWG dirty dozen.

Roasted Autumn Fruits with Torched Sabayon

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Wednesday, 23 September 2009

An Early Review

I just had a sneak tasting of Starbuck's new "Via" coffee; their not-really-instant-coffee coffee. I had the opportunity to try the Italian roast version and I have to say that it passed with flying colours. This isn't instant coffee, it's coffee that brews almost instantly.
Unlike a traditional instant coffee, where the coffee is brewed and then dehydrated, Starbuck's instead grinds the beans so fine that, with their oils, they almost form a paste rather than a dust. The coffee comes in a single serving pouch which you empty into a cup, add boiling water, and drink. The description that comes closest is "It's like a maccha powder, where the tea is ground fine, mixed with water, and then you drink the whole thing." This really is something new; there's drip or perked coffee, where you pass water through the grounds, there's the espresso-based coffee where extremely hot water is forced through finely ground beans to extract the oils and produce a crema, and then there's this, where the ultra-finely ground beans are held in suspension, leaching their oils, and you drink the beans as well as the oils in solution.
And I have to say that this technique works. And works well. Not a perk, not an espresso, this is a third way, giving a rich, dark flavour to the drink that is most reminiscent of an Americano (an espresso shot with hot water). While I don't think it will replace espresso-based drinks, it puts the boots to traditional instant coffees. There's nothing missing from the flavour, the coffee is as fully rounded and as complex as a drip-based coffee. I'm actually taken aback by how good this is--and I don't think it's because I've been off coffee for three months now. This really is a significant advance in coffee preparation. It's pretty amazing!Because of it's formulation, Via can be brewed with hot milk as well—making a neo-latte. Via would also make a good Cafè Ellison Diabolique (think mocha with vanilla sugar). The fullness of the Via flavour would balance off the sweetness of the chocolate very well.

This will also make camping mornings so much better—coffee at the speed of boiling water, but rich and complex while retaining the simplicity of preparation. I'll be willing to get rid of my single-shot cone filter if I have a couple of Via pouches along. And in the evening around a campfire with a shot of Bailey's in it, magic!

Overall, I have to say that I recommend Via. I've only had the one cup, but I think Starbuck's has hit a home run with this one.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Gluten and Dairy Replacements

I like food, face it most people do, we not only eat to satisfy our hunger, we eat to live and we eat to comfort ourselves, hence the rise of comfort food. We eat to "treat" ourselves. Over the years although I like food, food has not always liked me. My problems started at 16, suddenly I couldn't eat anything fried. A fried egg made me feel ill and my mother cooked my eggs and pancakes on non-stick pans. From there I switched from 2% and 1% milk to skim as it caused less grief. Sometimes I would discuss this with my family doctor only to be told I had a weak stomach. Of course friends had latose intolerence or gluten problems, but I had a weak stomach or possibly a slight case of IBS. My interest in health helped as I eat a lot of fruit, vegetables and grains. Ice cream and cake is considered a treat. Unfortunately working in a large office means we have lots of celebrations and tempting treats made with white flour, sugar and long named things I can barely pronounce. Whenever I partake I find I suffer, thinking that it was mostly an overdose of sugar. Not so...

In a discussion with my family doctor about my food problems his suggestion was that I figure out by elimination what I can and cannot eat. I pressed further, no test would help me there just wasn't any help or "real" diagnose possible. Until I had a chat with my chiropractor, yes you read right, my chiropractor. He just finished a masters in nutrition and operates a holistic office.

The problem with the elimination process was soon I would be eating nothing as I could not pinpoint the exact food as my reactions were delayed. For example I could have a latte on the way to work, but the reaction to the latte wouldn't necessarily happen a short time after, sometimes it would be several hours later, sometimes after eating something else. Or I'd have a reaction late a night after I went to bed making me think it was just digestion. Making the tracking of the food item rather difficult.

On my chiropractor's suggestion I am reducing my dairy, wheat, rye and corn (I had cut out corn a few years ago). I'm taking vegetarian/organic plant enemzyes when have dairy, wheat or rye or take them if I am going out for dinner where I may come in contact with these foods. I see him again next month and if things are still bothering me I will have testing by the naturopath who works in his office. Finally some help!!

This news has caused me a bit of sadness. I love whole wheat pasta, rye bread is my favourite bread and I just purchased a bag of flour to make basic rye bread in my new bread machine. My partner will have loaves of rye all to himself. The dairy isn't too bad, yougurt I can still have, cottage cheese I have to eat with fruit or vegetables to digest, I switched my milk to almond or rice over a year ago and am now using soy at the coffee shop near my work.

On the bright side, I can make my buckwheat pancakes. Actually the best pancakes I made according to my partner were a mix of rye and millet. Mostly millet with 1/2 cup of rye flour. I might get away with that.

In a search to find substitutes for gluten and dairy I googled. I've been searching for an egg free, gluten free, dairy free pancake recipe to impress my brother, sister in law and their two children. Thank you hugely to this site, good suggestions for substitutes which I hope work.

Chocolate Mint Zucchini Cake Recipe - EAT Magazine - Celebrating the Food and Drink of British Columbia

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Milk Chocolate Panna Cotta Recipe - EAT Magazine - Celebrating the Food and Drink of British Columbia

Milk Chocolate Panna Cotta Recipe - EAT Magazine - Celebrating the Food and Drink of British Columbia

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What We're Up Against

Brad Reid, over at Alternet, has decided to name names, with the top 7 food crimes against humanity. From the Krispy Kreme doughnut sundae
to the "Thickburger"
(1,420 calories and 107 grams of fat)
and beyond, it gives an excellent overview of what is wrong with the industrial food system.

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