These past couple of years, a few food blogger friends and I, contributed recipes to KwanzaaCulinarians.com. This would’ve been our third year, but I needed to rest. I regret that we failed our fans in this decision, but this is a better solution for me. In addition to taking a relaxing vacation from my 9 to 5 job, I’m enjoying this time of year more than requesting 31 food bloggers and chefs to take time from their busy schedules to write Kwanzaa-inspired stories and recipes. Read more
Congress did kids a favor a few weeks ago by declaring pizza as a vegetable because of the tomato paste … um … sauce. Meanwhile, health food advocates and families gasped in horror at the news. Usually made with processed and poor quality ingredients, pizza is the symbol of unhealthy cafeteria school lunches. What’s a health advocate to do when the government demonstrates it doesn’t care about kid’s diets? Read more
Since moving to New York, Dad calls to brag about his homemade pizza with vegetables from his garden every summer. I always beg him to freeze a pie and overnight it on dry ice. He laughs. I naively wait.
While waiting, I’ve tried various restaurant-style regional pizzas. My favorite style is Chicago’s thick cornmeal crust. Each slice is the equivalent to one meal. As for New York’s thin-crust pizza, I initially didn’t like it. New Yorkers brag about it being the best, and they often take out-of-town guests to their favorite pizza place. It’s definitely a ‘place’, because it’s really a fast food version of hamburgers. The ingredients are canned tomato sauce, dry cheese and flavorless dough. It’s doesn’t taste special. A New York restaurant-style pizza specializing in fresh ingredients, especially with homemade mozzarella cheese, is a true delight. However, one slice is a snack compared to Chicago’s hearty version. In recent years, as the food movement as spread, more New York restaurants are making pizza with fresh ingredients. Read more
Why become friends with the neighbor who has a large vegetable garden? You want to make this tomato sauce. It’s a simple recipe, but it requires the best ingredients. The best ingredients are garden fresh–minutes from being picked off the vine. At this time of year, gardens are overflowing with an abundance of overripe tomatoes, zucchini, eggplants, tender herbs, summer squash, and bell peppers. They’re the classic ingredients for making a simple, summer tomato sauce. Read more
The traditional American breakfast usually consist of pancakes, waffles, bacon, grits, sausages or frittatas. Honestly, these meals take too much time to prepare in mornings were time is short. There are faster alternatives. In the summer, an abundance of fresh, local produce are available that make great salads. Salads for breakfast, you ask? Yes. Let’s expand the concept of a salad. Some people think green leaves are too harsh to digest early in the morning. I agree, but baby greens are less harsh. Lightly sautéed spinach, beet and swiss chard greens can be prepared and served in less than five minutes (Meal planning tip: Wash and cut greens the night before). They pair well with Easy Fried Eggs that take less than one minute to serve. My favorite summer breakfast is the basic tomato, fresh mozzarella and basil salad. It’s delicious with drizzled olive oil and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper to draw out the flavors more. Sometimes, it’s garnished with toasted pine nuts and chopped kalamata olives. Another salad was made with the same dressing and garnish by using boiled eggs. No greens are included in those salads, and both paired well with crusty, wheat bread. Both salads are usually served as a side dish for lunch and dinner. Just as pancakes can be served for dinner, many light dinner recipes can be served for breakfast as well. Let’s think creatively about breakfast, and start our days on the healthy side. Read more