Posts for March 12th 2009
Unwanted publicity from former spokesperson Michael Phelps has forced cereal giant Kellogg's to think outside the box.
Last August, Kellogg's debuted its limited-edition Corn Flakes cereal boxes with the gold medalist on the cover. But when a photo of the Olympian smoking marijuana out of a bong surfaced, Phelps — and, some say, in turn, Kellogg's — were swimming in controversy. Ultimately, the cereal maker decided not to renew a contract with Phelps. One question remained, however. What would be done with all the cereal boxes graced by the champion?
As it should happen, one company's trash is another organization's treasure: Roughly 3,800 pounds of the the boxes were donated to the San Francisco Food Bank two weeks ago.
With the economy in shambles and more people in need than ever, the Food Bank was all too happy to take the boxes off the company's hands. As for cereal, says San Francisco Food Bank executive director Paul Ash: "It's become very hard to get ahold of."
Now that the boxes are no longer on supermarket shelves, they'll probably be collector's items — ones that can only be found at the food bank. Even if I do think the so-called scandal was blown out of proportion, I'm happy to hear that the leftover cereal will further a good cause. Are you surprised to hear of the outcome?
Celebstyle Giveaway: Win The L Word Look With the series finale, CelebStyle's getting ready to say goodbye to the lovely ladies of The L Word. What better way to do it than with a giveaway? From now until Sunday, March 15, you can enter to win one of four designer dresses worn by one of your favorite actresses from The L Word. All you have to do is add a look of your own to any post on CelebStyle. Good luck!
It goes without saying that the economic crisis has left everyone from automakers to financial services firms in shambles. But you might be surprised to hear who the latest victims of job loss are — dairy cows.
At a time when costs of all other foods seem to be on the rise, we saw the downward movement of dairy prices as the silver lining. But as industry conditions have worsened, hard-hit farmers have been forced to contemplate whether it would be more profitable to send their cows to a slaughterhouse.
Farmers have been struggling to feed their herds, as prices for milk are currently half of what it costs for farmers to produce it. With dairymen in such dire circumstances, industry insiders are estimating that nearly 1.5 million of the country's dairy cows could be slaughtered this year as a result. The falling milk prices were caused by a weakened international consumption, a stronger US exchange rate, and the melamine scandal that broke out in China last year.
This situation is disheartening, and I wonder how many people have taken notice of it. I'll certainly make an effort by continuing to support the dairy industry. What about you? Will this news affect your dairy-purchasing habits?
To get in the mood for St. Patrick's Day, set up a "Make Your Drink Green" bar and let the girls help themselves. Fill one ice bucket with bottles of a light Irish beer (such as Harp) and another with bottles of white wine. Arrange beer and wine glasses and green food coloring nearby. Have everyone tint their drinks green.
Also set out the ingredients for a specialty cocktail and write the recipe for the drink, so your guests can play bartender. This interesting cocktail features Irish whiskey making it wonderfully appropriate for the holiday. It combines the whiskey with fresh ginger, lemon juice, apricot jam, and orange liquor.
To look at the recipe, read more
Yesterday celebrity chefs Tyler Florence, Cat Cora, and Curtis Stone made an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show. The chefs shared recipes and tips on how to cook more affordably during the recession. They also went into the kitchen of viewers to perform culinary interventions. Stone helped a couple cut their takeout budget by learning to cook, Cora taught a family how to use fresh ingredients to make healthy dishes, and Florence showed a mom the best way to feed her children. The chefs provided some great suggestions on how to save money when grocery shopping. For their ideas, read more
Meet Sting, Grammy-winning singer, songwriter — and organic farmer.
Last night at a town theater in Figline Valdarno, Italy, the rock star opened up about his 300-hectare Tuscan estate, which includes a 100 percent organic farm. There, he produces extra virgin olive oil, chestnut and acacia honey, fruits, vegetables, jam, salami, and other food products that are popular among fellow Tuscans.
"I came here and I decided to stay and be a farmer, because I wanted to nourish my family with genuine quality products in a healthy environment," the singer explained. "With this business in Tuscany I am trying to help myself and those who are close to me to live better in a natural context."
The celebrity also spoke about another highly anticipated product of his estate: his own label of wines, scheduled to roll out in September. The line will include a Chianti and a Toscana made primarily from Sangiovese grapes grown on his estate. The first release will be 30,000 bottles of 2007 vintage that have been cellared for two years.
Although I knew Sting was a notable environmental activist, I must admit that I had no idea he had a 100 percent organic farm that produced goods such as olive oil and salami. Would you buy Sting's wine to support his efforts?
A classic pesto sauce consists of fresh basil and pine nuts, but when basil is not in season, the thick fragrant sauce can easily be made with other herbs and greens. In this recipe the pesto is a blended mixture of spinach, arugula, parsley, and walnuts.
It's tossed with whole wheat pasta to create a dish that is healthful and filling. A heaping dollop of ricotta cheese laced with honey adds a touch of creamy sweetness to the pasta. For the recipe to this creative vegetarian dinner, read more
Mise en place is a French culinary term that refers to the gathering and prepping of ingredients before starting the cooking process. It's standard practice in restaurant kitchens, but I'm wondering how many of you do it at home?
Many recipes — from French toast to bread pudding — call for leftover bread. But why would anyone want to cook with old bread that's hard and dry?
Eaten out of hand, day-old bread may taste inferior to its fresh counterpart. But stale bread actually has virtuous characteristics that can make it preferable to cook with. According to food science authority Harold McGee, when freshly baked bread cools, its starches reorganize to form bonds that are even firmer and stronger than they were before. This means that if the bread is soaked in a wet substance — such as eggs for French toast or milk for bread pudding — it will still retain its sponge-like structure rather than falling apart. Bread crumbs are an ideal binding agent in cooking for the same reason: even when wet, they will maintain structure.
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