AMERICANS FALL SHORT OF USDA’S NUTRITIONAL RECOMMENDATIONS.

nina | December 5th, 2012 - 9:00 am

U.S. diets not up to U.S. standards. In findings that may surprise few, a broad comparison of U.S. dietary standards and real Americans’ eating habits found that people fall short of nutritional recommendations overall – and some groups are worse than others. Researchers, whose results appeared in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and […]

DECEMBER 4TH – NATIONAL COOKIE DAY!

nina | December 4th, 2012 - 9:00 am

Celebrate today with a cookie!  I promise you will smile.  And I don’t mean the HTTP cookie, web cookie or browser cookie.  We’re talking a sweet, delicious edible cookie!

Find the perfect cookie recipe for any occasion, from after-school snacks and charity bake sales to holiday cookie platters and charming hostess gifts. Use your internet to access any type of cookie you are craving.  Browse through chip-filled drop cookies, jam-packed sandwiches, fudgy brownies, buttery shortbreads and more.  There are thousands and thousands to be had.  Enjoy!  Just remember to walk a few extra steps after eating!

SHANNON’S SALOON & RESTAURANT.

nina | December 3rd, 2012 - 9:00 am

Shannon’s Saloon & Restaurant 9338 Baltimore National Pike Ellicott City, Maryland  21042 410.461.4588 Hours:  Mon-Thu:  11am – 10pm * Fri & Sat:  11am – 11pm Sun:  10am – 9pm with Brunch menu from 10am – 1pm Shannon’s opened in 1982 as a bar with a small kitchen.  Since then they have expanded twice.  With the latest addition […]

NOVEMBER 30TH – NATIONAL MOUSSE DAY!

nina | November 30th, 2012 - 9:00 am

Today is National Mousse Day!  Celebrate with a light whipped mousse of your flavor choice!

According to Wikipeia, a mousse is a prepared food that incorporates air bubbles to give it a light and airy texture.  It can range from light and fluffy to creamy and thick, depending on preparation techniques.  A mousse may be sweet or savory.  Dessert mousses are typically made with whipped egg whites or whipped cream, and generally flavored with chocolate or pureed fruit.  For a savory mouse, hard boiled egg, fish or liver may be used.

Here’s a wonderful recipe for Irish Cream Chocolate Mousse for you to try!

IRISH CREAM CHOCOLATE MOUSSE
Ingredients:
6 Eggs, separated
1/2 cup white sugar
1 Cup chilled heavy cream
3 1/2 Tbls Irish Cream Liqueur
8 oz Chocolate, Chopped

Directions.
In a mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until light, creamy, and starting to thicken.  About 5 minutes.

With clean beaters, whip the cream in a non-plastic bowl on medium speed until fluffy and the cream forms stiff peaks.  Use a rubber spatula or wire wisk to fold 1/3 of the yolk mixture into the whipped cream.  Gently run the spatula through the center of the bowl and around the sides of the bowl, repeating until fully incorporated.  Add the remaining yolk mixture and then the Irish cream liqueur, folding just until blended.

In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the chocolate very gently on low power just until melted.  Stir to dissolve any lumps.  Very gently fold the chocolate into the Irish cream mixture as befrore, keeping as much fluffy volume as possible.  With clean beaters, beat the egg whites on medium-high speed in a non-plastic bowl to stiff peaks; gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture until evenly incorporated.  Spoon the mousse into individual dessert cups or glasses, and chill for 4-6 hours.

Saval Supports Hurricane Sandy Relief Effort

admin | November 29th, 2012 - 1:59 pm

Through donations from the Corporation and its employees, Saval Foodservice donated 5 pallets of non-perishable goods and food items to the relief effort held by Owings Mills catering and eatery, Gourmet Girls. These items were collected to handout to New Jersey’s devastated shore areas affected by Hurricane Sandy. This would be Gourmet Girls’ second installment of donation collection and delivery. The Gourmet Girls collected non-perishable food, gently used winter clothing and blankets, gas cards, kitchen utensils, medical supplies, batteries, and monetary donations to purchase necessary items such as cleaning supplies and toiletries.

There were so many items donated by Saval and its employees, that Gourmet Girls’ original mode of transporting the items was not large enough. Each of Saval’s 5 donated pallets ranged from 4 to 6 feet high. Gourmet Girls were unable to fit these items in their van, so Saval stepped in and loaded one of their own delivery trucks to drive to the Gourmet Girls’ location. The Gourmet Girls are sending up truckloads of donations each weekend, to be delivered directly to recipients immediately the next day, unlike some other donation programs which allow items to sit in a hub or warehouse for extended periods of time.

The Gourmet Girls are continuing to collect donations (clothing excluded) and coordinate further efforts to assist the communities most in need, as the rehabilitation will be ongoing for quite a while. For more information or to help with donations, please contact Lisa Honick at 410-581-4914.

U.S. CORN EXPORT IS SHRINKING.

nina | November 29th, 2012 - 9:00 am

The United States remains the world’s corn export king, although its empire is shrinking, according to a Purdue University agricultural economist.

Foreign nations that previously relied on the U.S. for corn are growing more of their own or buying from other producing countries. It is predicted the trend will continue even if market conditions improve and U.S. corn production increases.

The U.S. has historically been a very important part of the international corn market. Prior to the 2007-08 food crisis and spike in commodity prices, the U.S. exported well over half the amount of corn that entered international markets. Since then, the high prices have caused the rest of the world to expand their production and become more self-sufficient.

Even if we get bigger corn crops in the future, it’s likely that the demand in foreign markets will not soon recover to the level that it once reached.

U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics bear that out. In the 2007-08 marketing year, the U.S. exported 2.4 billion bushels of corn. The USDA estimates just 1.1 billion bushels of U.S. corn will be exported in the 2012-13 marketing year.

What has happened to U.S. corn exports, and why might the U.S. not claim 50 percent of future world corn markets? Here a few reasons.

First, ethanol. The federal Renewable Fuel Standard mandates that gasoline sold in the U.S. be blended with ethanol. This year, the law requires oil companies blend 13.2 billion gallons of ethanol with the gasoline they produce. Next year, the blending requirement increases to 13.8 billion gallons.

Corn is the primary feedstock of ethanol, and 5.5 billion bushels of U.S. corn were used for that purpose in 2011-12.

Roughly 40 percent of the corn that’s produced in this country is used in ethanol, although some of it is later used as distillers grain for livestock feed. That’s up from about 10-12 percent five years ago. The amount of corn that makes up the increase is more than we export.

Because the law requires that ethanol be produced, there is less corn available for other non-ethanol users, including foreign buyers and U.S. livestock producers. The high demand for corn, coupled with the partially regulated market, has pushed corn prices higher.

Secondly, the U.S. has not kept up with many other nations that have significantly increased their corn acreage. Although U.S. farmers have shifted acreage away from other crops and into corn, competing nations and customers have significantly increased their area planted.

The U.S. hasn’t expanded overall planted area like the rest of the world. Our acreage is basically flat.

Since the late 1990s, South America has boosted crop acreage 53 percent. The nations that make up the former Soviet Union are growing crops on 24 percent more acres, with acreage up 13.4 percent in sub-Saharan Africa and Oceania. By contrast, crop acreage in the European Union is off 4 percent.

U.S. corn exports were further hurt by the summer drought. According to the USDA, domestic corn production is expected to be down 13 percent from 2011, at 10.7 billion bushels. That would represent the lowest corn production volume since 2006.

For those reasons, the outlook for U.S. corn exports going forward is less positive than a few years ago.  

The U.S. has tried to accommodate the export markets by working to increase production, but we haven’t managed to do that,” he said. “We’ve had to keep feed use flat and watch exports shrink.

All the hard work we did to build export markets has been hurt by the high commodity prices of the last four or five years. As a result, the world has figured out ways to meet their own needs. And with a couple of exceptions like China buying more soybeans, we’re probably going to see weaker export demand in the future.

Source:  westernfarmpress.com, 11.20.12

70 PERCENT OF CONSUMERS WANT TO SEE CALORIE COUNT ON THE MENU!

nina | November 28th, 2012 - 9:00 am

Many restaurants have already begun posting nutritional information on their menus, well ahead of the Affordable Care Act’s mandate to do so next year.

A survey of restaurant consumer attitudes found that 65 percent favor such labeling in restaurants, with the strongest demand for listing of calories and sodium content.

Moreover, 70 percent of consumers say they care that chain restaurants disclose calorie and other nutritional information on their menus and 68 percent want nutritional information on all restaurant menus, not just chains. About the same percentage claim that having this information is helpful in making ordering decisions and believe it has a positive impact on consumer health and nutrition.

While only 38 percent want local, state and/or federal government to play a more active role in regulating health and nutrition in restaurants, 58 percent expect governments will become more active. 

Consumers believe that more readily available information will help them make more informed choices when eating out. As a consequence, we expect restaurants will face growing pressure for more comprehensive nutritional disclosure.

Source:  qsrweb.com, 11.16.12

MORE COLLEGE STUDENTS SPENDING MORE DOLLARS AT CONVENIENCE STORES.

nina | November 27th, 2012 - 9:00 am

The impact of college-aged consumers on the fortunes of convenience stores seems to be gowing. 

Visits to convenience stores by college students has grown across virtually all spending categories and actual spending is up 15 percent from one year ago, reports show. Students between the ages of 18 and 24 made 351.4 million visits to convenience stores in the 12 months that ended June 2012 and spent about $5.2 billion during those trips. Nearly 32 percent of the items picked up by college students at convenience stores are impulse buys, significantly higher than the nearly 23 percent of purchases by other shoppers who visit these stores.

The report suggests that convenience store managers have a prime opportunity to attract this significant market, which includes a population of 19 million full- and part-time college students. Their overall discretionary spending reached $76 billion last year, up $2 billion from the year before, the report notes. 

Source:  Meatingplace.com, 11.21.12

PROJECTED DINING TRENDS FOR 2013.

nina | November 26th, 2012 - 9:00 am

Several Chefs predicted 13 foodservice trends for 2013, including everything from strip steaks to gourmet American junk and fair food.

The group consisted of a cross-section of individual restaurateurs, corporate chefs and academia who discussed observations over the past year, exchanged ideas and anticipated trends in the kitchen for the coming year.

2013 The Year of the Strip: Showcase the flavorful strip steak instead of traditional middle meat favorites: the ribeye and filet.

Surf & Turf 2.0: Utilize more economical pieces of beef such as the ball tip and teres major cuts, paired with seafood options, which are currently available at lower market price points.

History Tells Us: Reintroduce guests to alternative cuts of beef that have been braised, slowly cooked in international cultures for centuries and are full of flavor.

Thinking Globally Local: Use local ingredients to create international dishes. For instance, prepare heirloom, Lowcountry rice in a Risotto style for a Northern Italian flair, or fried rice with kimchee juice and spices for a Korean spin.

Craft-Driven Programs Take Center-Stage: Implement craft-driven cocktail, cheese, bourbon, cheese and pickle programs, which continue to draw the attention of guests interested in how foods are created.  

Gourmet American Junk and Fair Food: Experiment with high-end nostalgic favorites and Fair Food such as Corn Dogs with Lobster and Pork and Beans with Pork Belly.

Broaden Protein Horizons: Add lesser known cuts of beef like the chuck flap and sirloin flap, and dark chicken meat to the menu as they become more accepted by American palates. 

Saving on Specials: Turn undervalued cuts, like chuck steaks and chuck short ribs from the chuck roll into creative specials and profit centers. Or, reinterpret cuts for more value, like cutting off the vein-end of the strip loin, curing it bresaola style and slicing it thin to serve as a unique charcuterie choice.

Tapas for One: Deliver individual tapas-style dishes offering a more catered experience for guests to try multiple dishes.

Refined and Relaxed: Serve in a more casual style and setting but with elevated menu items like artisan sausages or gourmet burgers customers can enjoy without the fuss.  

Tell Stories with Social Media: Incorporate social media to communicate directly with customers, sharing behind-the-scenes stories of product sources, seasonal specials and delivery to the plate.

Hand-held Neighborhood Butcher: Communicate with customers through smartphones – information previously acquired from the traditional butcher. Chefs will continue to innovatively educate consumers on cuts, preparations and ways to save at home. 

  • School Customers: Offer more and more educational programming for guests including cooking classes, book clubs with menu pairings and chef exchange events. Guests want to have stories behind dishes to share with friends.Source:  meatingplace.com; 11.23.12

LEFTOVERS . . . THANKSGIVING ON A ROLL.

nina | November 23rd, 2012 - 9:00 am

The perfect sandwich for your Thanksgiving leftovers!

Ingredients:
5 oz Roasted Turkey
1 ea. Roll
1 Tablespoon Cranberry Sauce
2 Tablespoons Mayo
1 oz Turkey Gravy
1/2 oz Shredded Lettuce
2 Slices Tomato
2 oz Corn Bread Stuffing

Procedure:
Make cranberry mayo by mixing the two together.  Heat turkey, stuffing and roll.  Cut roll long ways and spread cranberry mayo.  Layer hot turkey, stuffing, lettuce and tomato and then drizzle gravy over top.

Enjoy!
Chef Bryan

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