Archive for the ‘Cookbooks’ Category

The Musts and Myths of Organic and Locally Grown

http://food.yahoo.com/blog/editorspicks/179/the-musts-and-myths-of-organic-and-locally-grown

Interesting article. While I don’t agree with all of it’s positions, it think it is worth mentioning here.

“So you’ve been known to occasionally spend extra on organic milk, mosey over to the free-range meat section, and make an effort to support your local farms by buying berries from a roadside fruit stand. Still, I’m betting the farm that if you’re confused about when to go local, when you should go organic, and when it’s all just baloney, you’re not alone.

I reached out to two experts in the field for some solid answers. Joy Bauer, nutritionist extraordinaire, breaks down the musts and myths of organic and local, while Ryan Hardy, the fresh-market-obsessed chef at The Montagna in Aspen, provides five easy ways to include the best of both into our diets. I hope this helps you figure out the best ways to bring farm-fresh food closer to your home.”

Follow the link to read the full article.

The Meal Blogger

Cooking in bulk saves batches of time

Cooking in bulk saves batches of time

http://www.pe.com/lifestyles/stories/PE_Fea_Daily_D_webbatchcooking0627.1223546.html

Video: Andrea Petritz gives a tour of her Super Suppers business in Murrieta

At the home of nutritionist and cookbook author Leanne Ely, the night’s dinner entrée – pork tenderloin with vegetables – was made months ago.

For Riverside mom Misty Boehmer, her favorite marinated shish kabobs were tucked into a zippered plastic bag weeks before and stashed in her freezer for a quick weeknight meal.

And when Rich Gregg’s wife is away visiting her sister, he’ll enjoy some of her Creole-style black-eyed peas and corn, in the freezer and waiting to be reheated.

The three families are onto something big: cooking en masse to stock a freezer with a stash of nutritious homemade meals.

“This is not really new. Your mom did it, my mother did it. We called it leftovers,” said Gregg, whose wife Sue authored “Meals in Minutes” for freezer meals.

Though the concept isn’t new, it is enjoying renewed popularity among contemporary cooks. A host of meal-preparation businesses have sprung up and numerous Web sites are devoted to the topic – variously called once-a-month, freezer, batch and bulk cooking.

“People … want to take more control of what they feed their families,” said Linda Larsen, author of “Everything Meals for a Month” and the Busy Cooks expert on About.com. “This kind of cooking really frees you up to turn your freezer into your own fast food place.”

Larsen started “feeding” her freezer about six years ago as a way to save time and money by buying in bulk.

Traditionally, the method involves a one-day cooking blitz. But increasingly, people are doubling or tripling recipes they’re making that night and putting the extras in the freezer.

“It is labor intensive, but the more you do it, the better you get at it,” said Larsen, who recommends breaking up the work into multiple days.

Meal Assembly Cookbooks…

Did anyone race out and grab a copy of the cookbooks offered by Dream Dinners and Super Suppers? It seems both cookbooks got the same lukewarm reception as Microsoft Vista.

The offering from Super Suppers at least got a nod of superiority in its presentation. They managed to put together a cookbook complete with color pictures and better overall “build quality”. Reviews on Amazon took off points for Dream Dinners with their cheaper paper, unusual construction of the book, lack of pictures and several incorrect recipes.

In general the Super Suppers cookbook seems to get better review for recipes that are closer to what they offer in the store and that the recipes are more usable than those offered by Dream Dinners.

It’s believed both companies put out recipes from meals they are no longer offering, or have been substantially changed since they first came out. The printed recipes could even be thought of as “test” or “prototype” recipes.

I’ve seen the Dream Dinners cookbook and it does have recipes from their older menus. Most recipes are not offered anymore or have been substantially changed. However, the meals are presented in a 6 serving portion. If you want something smaller you will need to split the meal yourself.

The recipes are simple to follow and use the same standard ingredients as those found in the store. This means most people should have the ingredients readily available to them.

So the question is, did the cookbooks actually come out to help people and promote better eating or did they serve more to bring exposure to the meal assembly industry and promote each franchise? Considering they came out within a week of each other it’s hard to say what the real motivation is.

But any cookbook is a good idea if it tries to help people eat better, save time and save money. You can decide for yourself if the cookbooks are worth it. Each can be found on Amazon.

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