Posts for August 21st 2008
The culinary world is gearing up for Slow Food Nation. The festival, which celebrates local, sustainable farm-to-table food, is in San Francisco over Labor Day weekend. Slow Food encourages people to purchase seasonal produce from farmers markets in an environmentally-friendly manner. That means toting the goods in a reusable bag rather than a disposable one.
Currently, I'm bringing back this navy blue Marc by Marc Jacobs tote that I bought last year. It's soft and flexible, yet able to hold everything I buy. I love the way it pokes fun at itself as well as designer labels in general.
To celebrate Slow Food, both PartySugar and I have taken pictures (she debuted hers earlier this week) with our beloved farmers market totes, and now we want you to do the same! Snap a pic of you with your favorite reusable farmers market bag and send it to us. You can use the Look Book feature on TeamSugar, post it in a blog, or on your own website. When everyone's submitted their photos (due date: Sept. 1), I'll do a giant post featuring everyone's pictures (and you don't have to cover your face, we're just shy!)
To be included in the roundup, notify me via email with "YumSugar Farmers Market Tote" in the subject line, or personal message me with the following information:
- Name you want me to use
- Where you're from
- What farmers market you shop at
- Details about your favorite totebag
- Link to your LookBook, blog post, or website or photo of you holding your favorite tote
- One short sentence on why you chose that tote
After we've received all of the submissions, we'll pick one lucky winner and send her her very own YumSugar tote! I can't wait to see your favorite totes.
Earlier this month, Whole Foods reported losses of $18.4 million for its UK stores.
In addition to its domestic struggles, the Austin-based natural foods chain has been unsuccessful in its attempt to snag a piece of the UK market share. In the last year, the chain has opened six stores in Britain. The highly anticipated debut was a three-story, 80,000-square-foot emporium that opened on London's High Street last June.
So what went wrong? There are several factors: First, the company set up shop at a time when organic foods were still flying off shelves.
Since the credit crunch occurred, however, the country's sales of organic produce have fallen. Second, the organics industry is well developed and competitive in Britain, and existing stores such as Waitrose and Tesco have developed brand loyalty.
With the economy's downward spiral, it's unlikely that Whole Foods's problems will magically disappear. What do you think about the development? Are you surprised Whole Foods wasn't a success in the UK?
The menu for the going away party is simple, classic, and comforting so serve a drink that embodies these qualities as well. A lemonade-inspired punch is refreshing and crowd-friendly. It's simple to make and delicious to drink. Make two batches — one alcoholic and one nonalcoholic. For the clambake offer guests a chilled white wine or light, fruity red. For those who prefer not to drink hard liquor or wine, stock up on beer, water, and sparkling juices. For the easy spiked lemonade recipe, read more
Although I have a large spice rack, I have a designated mise en place area for ingredients I use all the time. This includes seasonings like salt and pepper as well as my favorite spice, cumin. While we never cooked with it growing up — my mother hates the smell of it — I have grown to love it, and now I don't think I could live without it. It lends a certain earthy smokiness that no other spice can add, and I put it in everything from Indian-inspired salsas to house pickles.
What spice is indispensable to you?
This week I decided to give myself a nacho challenge. Instead of going to the grocery store to purchase a bunch of ingredients, I would make nachos with items currently in my pantry or refrigerator. Luckily I had leftover chicken, barbecue sauce, and plenty of cheese. The final result was this plate of cheesy, barbecue nachos. I heated the chicken with barbecue sauce and made a simple cheese sauce with low-fat milk, Monterey jack, cheddar cheese, and pickled jalapeños. Sliced black olives and mashed avocado seasoned with lemon juice finished off the dish. A dollop of sour cream was a cooling garnish. While I encourage you to experiment with your own leftover pantry nachos, you can learn how I made mine. To do so, read more
Since the New York Times piece on flavor tripping came out last May, the culinary world has been obsessed with the miracle berry. When consumed, the berry changes the tongue's tastebud molecules, making sour and bitter foods taste sweet. While there has been controversy surrounding the company who sells the fresh berries, the miracle fruit can easily be enjoyed in tablet form. Recently I went to a party where guests were invited to taste these tablets. Everyone was given a pill and a sampler plate of intensely flavored ingredients. To find out what happened when I popped the miracle berry pill, read more
Take a Tex-Mex vacation with these vegetarian tacos. A simple but flavorful mixture of black beans, corn, fresh zucchini, and prepared enchilada sauce makes a delicious filling. The recipe is incredibly versatile, so feel free to get creative. Mushrooms are a tasty alternative to zucchini, and any type of bean can be substituted for the black beans. Learn the technique when you read more