Tag: food history

All you need is a Spice Zine!

Spices ZinesThe long hiatus is over:

A chunk of time has passed since I posted anything here, but my life got busy in other ways than cooking. Recipe testing slowed down. I’ve been cooking just the staples to get both the Spouse and I through our day.

Last January I suffered a fractured toe. I couldn’t drive, or walk, or even stand for very long. But with all that time on my hands, I thought, “Why not create some new zines? No! Let’s create micro zines.” The first question I asked myself was “How do I take all this research I’ve done about food and put it into zine format?” The answer came, and I made several micro zines about individual spices. read more

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Let’s Talk Spices, New on YouTube

One of the things I love to talk about is food history. It’s no secret I’ve spent many, many hours reading and researching where the food comes from.

I got the opportunity in January at the Arizona VegFest to share some food history. I gave this talk on the history of spices, where they come from and why some of them are on our baking racks instead in our savory recipes.

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Chocolate: Food of the Ancient Gods

Chocolate pervades every part of our society, from candy bars to hot cocoa, from truffles to molten lava cakes. Most of us enjoy a good chocolate bar any day of the week and a steaming mug of cocoa can warm the soul on a cold winter’s evening. Chocolate is the food of lovers, given on Valentine’s Day to show devotion. Supposedly cacao contains some aphrodisiac qualities, but before you exchange Viagra for chocolate, remember that this has not been proven yet.

However you like your chocolate, what exactly are you enjoying and why? Reams of paper and millions of computer bytes have been used to explain chocolate, argue its merits, and dispel or repute myths.

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The Paleo Diet, Why it is a Fad and Why it’s not Healthy

berriesI have a friend who came over the other night, and it was dinner time. I asked if she wanted to eat with us. I was cooking Mushroom Veggie burgers with all the fixings. The burgers had rice and other grains in them. She exclaimed that she is on the Paleo Diet and that she was only eating proteins and vegetables, but just this time she could eat with us.

The Paleo Diet confuses me. Why would anyone want eat like a caveman? Or revert to a diet of 30,000 to 40,000 years ago. I’m not even going to stand on defense of veganism here, it is just that basic question, “why go backwards?” read more

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Arrowroot and It’s Companions

Arrowroot_prepWhen we think of thickeners, classic French cooking comes to mind with a mixture called roux. Roux involves butter and flour.  The butter is melted and the flour added to the butter and then cooked until the flour loses its pasty taste. This roux is then added to soups and sauces to thicken them. Roux is a large component in Country Gravy, and Alfredo Sauce. And alongside veal stock, it is the backbone of Classic French Cuisine

It’s not so surprising that there is more than one kind of thickener in the world. Arrowroot, cornstarch, tapioca starch, potato starch, kudzo, and others can be used in various ways to thicken sauces, soups, and other mixes. Arrowroot is my favorite. It is flavorless and gives a glossy sheen to a soup or sauce. read more

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Cooking Rice: Easy steps

White RiceWhen I first started cooking rice, I didn’t get it quite right. It was too sticky or too hard. I would have to add more water while it was cooking. So I ate a lot of potatoes, they were easier to cook. But I enjoy eating rice, so I needed to conquer my fear about cooking rice, and learn how to do cook it properly.

Cooking rice depends on several factors; equipment, the kind of rice used, and altitude. Make sure you have a 4 quart sturdy pot with a tight fitting lid. What kind of stove top will the rice be cooked on? Induction, gas, or electric. read more

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The Mystery of tomatoes

I went shopping this morning with a plan to spend some time in my kitchen. I was thinking a fresh tomato sauce would be nice. They had some nice vine ripes at the market. There were some left over grilled veggies in the fridge that would add a nice smoky flavor to the sauce.

As I was boiling, peeling, and seeding the tomatoes, I thought to myself, “why do we go through all this trouble? I looked up one of the other culinary sites I have saved, and found this:

How and why we peel and seed tomatoes. read more

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Books by Chef Johnna

  • Delectable Vegan Soups -------------------------------------------------------
  • Things Vegans Fry: Crunchy Comfort Food for Vegans

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