Governor O”Malley Announces Recipe Selections for the Buy Local Cookout

nina | June 15th, 2011 - 9:00 am

Signature Kick-off Event Challenges All Marylanders to Eat Local Foods ANNAPOLIS, MD (June 15, 2011) –  Governor Martin O’Malley announced today the 17 dishes that will be featured at the cookout he will host to launch the State’s fourth annual Buy Local Challenge Week, July 23-31. Recipes were submitted by chef/producer teams and selected for […]

Food Tips & Facts!

nina | June 14th, 2011 - 9:00 am

44 States grow watermelons, with Florida, Texas, California, Georgia & Arizona consistently leading the country in production.  The average 20-pound watermelon yields about 53 6-ounce wedges, each 3/4-inch thick; the average 20-pound watermelon yields 14 pounds of edible fruit, leaving six pounds of rind.

Whenever you empty a jar of dill pickles, use the left-over juice to clean the copper bottoms of your pans.  Just pour the juice in a large bowl, set the pan in the juice for about 15 minutes.  Comes out like new.

Microwave garlic cloves for 15 seconds and the skins slip right off.  And if you microwave a lemon for 15 seconds you will double the juice you get before squeezing.

No “curly” bacon for breakfast when you dip it into cold water before frying.

Summer Produce. . .

nina | June 13th, 2011 - 9:00 am

A guide to what’s in season for summer.  An impressive 10 of the 20 trends highlighted in the NRA’s 2011 “What’s Hot” Chef Survey revolved around local, farms, nutrition, health & produce.  The number of farmers’ markets in the U.S. have nearly tripled since 1994.  Consumers are definitely paying close attention. 

Make the most of summer’s ripe produce.  Turn your entrees into relaxed summer dishes with seasonal sides and garnishes and embrace the pie trend with summer’s best – from fresh peach pies to down-home blueberry muffins.

What’s in Season?  Summer Edition
Beets – Very good source of dietary fiber, folate and potassium; good source of vitamin C, iron & magnesium.
Blueberries – Good source of vitamin C and vitamin K; good source of dietary fiber.
Cherries – Good Source of dietary fiber and vitamin C.
Corn – Good source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, thiamin & folate.
Figs – Good source of dietary fiber.
Green Beans – Very good source of vitamin C, dietary fiber, potassium, folate & magnesium.
Mangos – Very good source of vitamin A and vitamin C; good source of dietary fiber and vitamin B6.
Nectarines – Very good source of vitamin C; good source of dietary fiber, potassium and vitamin A.
Pears – Very good source of dietary fiber; good source of vitamin C.
Plums – Very good source of vitamin C; good source of dietary fiber, vitamin A and vitamin K.
Raspberries – Very good source of dietary fiber and vitamin C; good source of vitamin K and magnesium.
Tomatoes – Very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin K; good source of vitamin E and folate.
Vidalia Onions – Very good source of Vitamin C; good source of dietary fiber, potassium and folate.
Watermelon – Very good source of vitamin A and vitamin C; good source of potassium.

Source:  Kraft foods foodservice, 6-13-11

U.S. Restaurants may add up to 425,000 jobs this summer

nina | June 9th, 2011 - 1:13 pm

The restaurant industry could add as many as 425,000 jobs this summer, according to the National Restaurant Association.

The association’s projections call for the highest summer employment growth since 2007, with the country expected to gain 6% more jobs this summer than last year.

The Restaurant industry typically is the country’s second-largest creator of summer jobs, falling short of the construction industry.

Eating and drinking places added 401,600 jobs last summer, 391,300 jobs during summer 2009 and 352,900 jobs during summer 2008.

The Restaurant Association defines summer employment as the average number of eating and drinking place jobs in June, July & August.  The number of summer jobs is the difference between the projected total 2011 summer employment and March employment levels.

Source:  Dayton Business Journal, 6/8/11

Spicy Latin Dishes

nina | June 1st, 2011 - 9:00 am

Cooks in hot zones, from the Caribbean to Central America, fan back the heat with spicy, flavorful foods.

Now a record number of U.S. cooks are following suite, embracing Latin cuisine for its spices, fresh ingredients, ability to perk up appetites anesthetized by long, hot summers or lulled into boredom by bland food. 

Latin flavors are big and bold but not burn-the-top-of-your-head-off hot.  A little Latin goes a long way in adding wonderful flavors to just about anything. 

Two decades ago, Americans equated Latin food with taco-enchilada cuisine of bordering Mexican states.  In the early 1990’s, view expanded as Latin foods such as chipotles, blue cornmeal and black beans started hitting the American table.  Empanadas, ceviche and chimichurri led the next wave.

The common bond of Latin cuisines is the balancing act between robust spices and refreshing flavors, from chiles to lime. 

Experts predict that, along with enticing flavors, population trends will continue fueling the popularity of Latin foods and the availability of ingredients.  Latinos today constitute our nation’s largest minority, according the U.S. Census Bureau data.  By 2050, the size of the Latino population is expected to sell to 102.6 million.  At that point, Latinos will represent 24% of the U.S. population, a projected 188 percent increase in 50 years.

Source:  The Arizona Republic, 5/9/11

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