Over the weekend the weather in San Francisco was exceptionally nice; it was the perfect time to enjoy a delicious homemade Mexican meal with icy cold beers and a few wonderful friends. I had a couple days to plan, so I opted to make a slow-cooked chile verde, which combines the complex flavors of melt-in-your-mouth pork, sauteed onions, tangy tomatillos, and a variety of roasted chiles. Prepping all of the ingredients takes a couple of hours, but the work and patience required to make this dish are worth it. I served the moist scrumptious chile verde on corn tortillas with cilantro, sour cream, and fresh lime. To get started on this distinctive Mexican dish, read more
Posts for March 30th 2009
Looks like the Obamas aren't the only ones raising media attention over sustainable food and farming: British model-actress Elizabeth Hurley is teaming up with none other than Prince Charles to launch a new line of organic foods.
The "modern, healthy, organic food" line will launch in October, Hurley's spokesperson said today. The range will be sold by Prince Charles's sustainable food company, Duchy Originals, with offerings such as pork, poultry, lamb, and rare breed beef, as well as organic grains harvested at Hurley's 400-acre organic farm in western England. Hurley added:
His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales is an inspiration to me because of his passionate belief in organic food and farming and his unwavering commitment to help protect and sustain the countryside.
I applaud both of them for raising consciousness about sustainable farming. Are you surprised to hear that organic farming is a priority for Elizabeth Hurley or Prince Charles?
If the new pomegranate flavors from Pinkberry and Red Mango don't do it for you, consider this: what if you had an endless number of flavors to choose from?
High-tech blending processes may be the next big wave in the frozen-yogurt trend. That's what I discovered when I visited the San Francisco outpost of Yogen Früz, a fro-yo chain with a high-tech yogurt concept. First, I chose from single-serving packages of a base yogurt in various flavors (low-fat vanilla, nonfat vanilla, or low-fat chocolate) with probiotic cultures.
Then I chose two toppings out of a large selection that included frozen fruits (strawberries, cherries, mangoes, lychees, blueberries, etc.) and dry toppings (Cap'n Crunch, almonds, coconut flakes, granola, and the like). Together they went into a proprietary machine. Twenty seconds later, I was enjoying my lychee mango vanilla creation, which was whipped, creamy, and studded with icy chunks of mango and lychee.
Yogen Früz may have pioneered the idea, but — with specially designed yogurt-blending machines available on the web, other boutique yogurt bars have caught on. Have you tried this type of yogurt? Now that the fancy frozen yogurt trend is waning, do you think custom blended fro-yo could be the next big thing?
Bocconcini, pronounced boh-kohn-CHEE-nee
Not to be confused with broccoli, bocconcini are small (about 1 inch in diameter) nuggets of fresh mozzarella cheese. They are sold in whey or water.
Literally translated, bocconcini means "small mouthful." In Italy the word can refer to a dish that is a mouthful.
Could potholes be the new billboards? Kentucky Fried Chicken is hoping so with a new marketing and urban renewal program. Last week, as part of the chicken chain's "Fresh Tastes Best" campaign, KFC filled potholes as a private sponsor in Louisville, KY — spray-painting each repair with a stenciled memo: "Re-Freshed by KFC."
The fast food company, which estimates that there are more than 350 million potholes nationwide, wants four more cities to be a part of the campaign and has sent letters to various mayors, offering to patch potholes gratis.
KFC would not comment on how much it will cost the company to fill potholes in five cities. From Starbucks giving free coffee for community service to Kellogg's donating its Michael Phelps cereal boxes to a food bank, companies seem to be focused on marketing their brands next to a good cause.
I'm on the fence about this new campaign. Sure, it couldn't come at a better time for budget-strapped cities that desperately need repair. But on the other hand, I see it as yet another visual space being exploited for marketing purposes. Plus, there are other logistical matters that need to be accounted for — such as what materials are being used, how long KFC would be accountable for the potholes they've fixed, and, of course, the issue of those hideous spray-painted logos. What do you think of the campaign? Are potholes a great cause for KFC to get behind, or is it corporate sponsorship at its worst?
Last Friday I got into a discussion with TeamSugar about salad bars. I was on my way back from the salad bar across the street, which has an assortment of raw and cooked options and charges by the pound, when I ran into her. She outlined her reasons for disliking them. "Aren't they unsanitary?" she asked. "They seem so dated." I told her that while they can seem unnecessarily expensive, I love the convenience and variety of them. How do you feel, dear reader?
Start off the week on the right foot with a wholesome meal that's both healthy and hearty. Chinese-inspired lettuce wraps — made with leftover ground turkey — are sweet, thanks to hoisin sauce, and spicy, courtesy of five-spice powder, which contains cinnamon, cloves, fennel seed, anise, and Szechuan peppercorns.
If you want to get a head start on your meal plans, you can make the filling a day ahead, or make extra to reserve for lunch the next day. To enjoy this well-balanced meal that's full on flavor, read more