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A Twist on Tradition

Before Valentines, take time to read “True love starts in the kitchen“… with Chef Anne from Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, highlighted in Richmond Times-Dispatch! Sink your teeth into these Valentines Day foods with a makeover.

Bacon Bourbon Jam

12oz bacon, diced

½c onion, diced

pinch salt

3T brown sugar

2T bourbon (Maker’s Mark best)

2½c chicken stock

1T butter

 

1. In medium stock pot, cook bacon until it begins to crisp, 5-7 mins

2. Add onion & salt, cook 5 mins

3. Add bourbon & brown sugar, stir

4. Crank heat high, add 1 c stock, stir until liquid is almost gone, 7 mins

5. Add 1 more c stock, repeat

6. When “jammy” consistency, add last ½ c stock

7. Blend mixture in blender to smooth

8. Return to pan, cook on low 7 mins

9. Remove from heat & stir in butter

Excellent on steaks or other grilled or roasted meats

The One Thing You Can Count On

January 1. New calendars go up. We write 16…scratch through, no, 17. Eventually it becomes natural. We think about the year behind and the year ahead – to ourselves – out loud – maybe both. We make a resolution to change something — or consciously decide not to.

And yet, the one thing we can count on in life…every single one of us…is change. It’s happening whether we like it or not, embrace it or not, believe it or not.

“The secret of change
is to focus all of your energy,
not on fighting the old, but
on building the new.”
– Dan Millman

Here’s to a New Year!

“Good” or “Bad” Food

Driving in a car with four children with varying musical tastes doesn’t give me much time for educational podcasts; however, there are a few stolen moments where I can listen to topics of interest without background commentary. This recent podcast by the Foodist really peaked my interest. How to Stop Moralizing Your Food Choices by Darya Rose. This is topic is something I believe many of us can relate too, how many times have we deemed our food choices “good” or “bad”. Demoralized ourself for eating too much or making the wrong food choice. Additionally, Rose talks about not demonizing real food (she uses the example of sweet potatoes and oatmeal). This is a topic that comes up all too frequently in the world of nutrition. Many diet plans mislead consumers to believe that certain whole, plant based foods are not beneficial, perhaps even harmful. Nutritious real foods should never be avoided unless one has a food intolerance of allergy. Additionally, avoiding real food in favor of weight loss shakes or other food substitutes takes away the pleasure that we should all derive from eating food.

Check out this podcast next time you have a free moment (or in the car with a child, who knows you may bring out the budding scientist in them).

“A Smorgasbord for Seniors” by Megan L. Horst

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Take a glance at Lynchburg Living’s article on dining options for senior living facilities. Featuring The Summit and its Director of Dining, Mary Margaret Little!

“A Smorgasbord for Seniors” – Lynchburg Living 

Cider Glazed Salmon

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Serves 8

8 salmon fillets

1c tamari

1c apple cider

4t sesame oil

4t bourbon, plus additional c for soaking planks

2t brown sugar

splash+ tabasco

1t black pepper

1t minced garlic

½t turmeric

 

1. Purée all glaze ingredients

2. Pour over salmon, marinate for 4 hours

3. Soak cedar planks in 1 gal water & 1 c bourbon

4. Lightly spray planks with pan spray, top with salmon

5. Heat gas grill to med high

6. Put planks with salmon on grill

7. Cook with grill top down, 15-20 mins, or until nicely browned

WHAT’S TRENDING?

I love reading the predicted food trends for the coming year. While a Google search will turn up an endless list of what’s treading for 2017, I enjoyed reading the top 5 from a recent Forbes article. Whether or not we will actually see these trends in 2017 remains to be seen, but I am sure many of us will welcome No More Kale (or at least not for breakfast, lunch & dinner).

 

#1: VEGETARIAN COMFORT FOOD

Good news for those of us who would like to consume more vegetables.

My favorite stand by is roasted cauliflower.

 

Vegetables will continue its rise on the dinner plate, as animal proteins and heavy side dishes make way for more vegetarian options. According to Pinterest, there’s a rise in the word “veggies” in its comfort food searches by 336% last year, while words such as “lasagna,” “macaroni” and “Stroganoff” were off by 69%, 55% and 50%, respectively. What this means is that many more people are likely to order mashed cauliflower instead of rice and pasta, and (if possible) request for vegetable crust for healthier pizza.

 

#2: ARTISAN BUTCHER SHOPS-PLUS-RESTAURANTS

It’s quality vs. quantity when it comes to meat consumption.

 

Given the rise of vegetarian options out there, expect push back from the other end. This comes in the form of artisanal butcher shops-cum-restaurants, which fortify people’s love for meat. Delivering a more upscale flair to the craft of butchery, this “butcher-to-table” trend lets customers be in awe with the preparation of everything from grilled steak to charcuterie. Plus, you’ll get to eat them right away. 

 

#3: BREAKFAST, UPDATED

Good news for the non-traditionalist breakfast eater.  I know a few people in my house will applaud this trend.

 

For many of us, all-day breakfast is hardly a new concept. But with many fast food chain offerings such as the “Brunchfast” at Jack-in-the-box and spiced up breakfast sandwiches at Starbucks, what’s particularly unique about this trend in 2017 is how the texture of breakfast will change. Forget smoother breakfast offerings such as soft scrambled eggs, buttered grits, or oatmeal’s. What you’ll find are the so-called, more “aggressive” crunchier items like fried chicken, crispy chorizo and chimichurri. As a bonus, smaller chains and independent eateries will justify these around-the-clock breakfast items as perfect hangover cures!

 

#4: KALE NO MORE

Full disclosure, I really do like kale, but am happy to see a much needed break from it’s role as the health savior.   Stick with a variety of healthy vegetables, your palate will thank you.

 

Remember the days when kale represented all that is healthy? Well, according to Whole Foods’ former global grocery coordinator, it’s time to say goodbye (at least when it comes to the consumer packaged version). Nowadays, there are many more options if you’re looking for healthy vegetables that are also good for reducing food waste. For instance, there’s a large range of seaweeds, which pack in more umami flavors for different broths. And as for the waste-not economy, many chefs are looking out for newer, more interesting alternatives such as beet greens, chard, turnip greens, mustard greens, and carrot tops. Since kale seems to have gone past its peak, get ready to find other yet-to-be-discovered vegetable for creative, new dishes.

 

#5: BOWLS, BOWLS, BOWLS

I love the idea of packing healthy goodness into one delicious bowl.

 

First, there were acai bowls. Then, there was poké. In 2017, eating from bowls will be taking over further as restaurants are migrating from serving handheld items to placing in bowls like Korean bibimbap. There are many benefits to this trend. Not only is it less likely for what’s in the takeaway bowls to get splattered on the office desktop, it’s also easier and faster to assemble a bowl than plated upscale entrees. Moreover, holding a bowl would likely make you psychologically more prone to mindfulness. You’ll feel a full a lot faster, and be able to savor all the flavors and textures with every bite. What’s not to like?

 

Source: Forbes

Truth-seeking

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“Perception vs. reality.” Heard that said before?

 

From A Leader’s Relationship to Truth:

Guiding ourselves and others through the process of truth-seeking takes courage and commitment. It requires that we peel back the layers. Look unflinchingly at the situation from different points of view and accept what we find there. We allow ourselves to become more aware. Better prepared to act on what is, rather than what we expect or want to believe.

 

Truth is not a matter of opinion. It’s what is.

For example: is there anything in your workplace that can be cleaner? The truth will always be ‘yes.’ Let’s change the goal from nothing (can be cleaner), to it’s hard to find something that can. And embrace “dirt-seeking.” It’s there. Expose it, deal with it, move forward.

 

…we have a responsibility to pursue the truth and bring it into the light so we can act on it and help others to do the same…

WHAT’S TRENDING?

IMG_5719(2)

I love reading the predicted food trends for the coming year. While a Google search will turn up an endless list of what’s treading for 2017, I enjoyed reading the top 5 from a recent Forbes article. Whether or not we will actually see these trends in 2017 remains to be seen, but I am sure many of us will welcome No More Kale (or at least not for breakfast, lunch & dinner).

 

#1: VEGETARIAN COMFORT FOOD

Good news for those of us who would like to consume more vegetables.

My favorite stand by is roasted cauliflower.

 

Vegetables will continue its rise on the dinner plate, as animal proteins and heavy side dishes make way for more vegetarian options. According to Pinterest, there’s a rise in the word “veggies” in its comfort food searches by 336% last year, while words such as “lasagna,” “macaroni” and “Stroganoff” were off by 69%, 55% and 50%, respectively. What this means is that many more people are likely to order mashed cauliflower instead of rice and pasta, and (if possible) request for vegetable crust for healthier pizza.

 

#2: ARTISAN BUTCHER SHOPS-PLUS-RESTAURANTS

It’s quality vs. quantity when it comes to meat consumption.

 

Given the rise of vegetarian options out there, expect push back from the other end. This comes in the form of artisanal butcher shops-cum-restaurants, which fortify people’s love for meat. Delivering a more upscale flair to the craft of butchery, this “butcher-to-table” trend lets customers be in awe with the preparation of everything from grilled steak to charcuterie. Plus, you’ll get to eat them right away. 

 

#3: BREAKFAST, UPDATED

Good news for the non-traditionalist breakfast eater.  I know a few people in my house will applaud this trend.

 

For many of us, all-day breakfast is hardly a new concept. But with many fast food chain offerings such as the “Brunchfast” at Jack-in-the-box and spiced up breakfast sandwiches at Starbucks, what’s particularly unique about this trend in 2017 is how the texture of breakfast will change. Forget smoother breakfast offerings such as soft scrambled eggs, buttered grits, or oatmeal’s. What you’ll find are the so-called, more “aggressive” crunchier items like fried chicken, crispy chorizo and chimichurri. As a bonus, smaller chains and independent eateries will justify these around-the-clock breakfast items as perfect hangover cures!

 

#4: KALE NO MORE

Full disclosure, I really do like kale, but am happy to see a much needed break from it’s role as the health savior.   Stick with a variety of healthy vegetables, your palate will thank you.

 

Remember the days when kale represented all that is healthy? Well, according to Whole Foods’ former global grocery coordinator, it’s time to say goodbye (at least when it comes to the consumer packaged version). Nowadays, there are many more options if you’re looking for healthy vegetables that are also good for reducing food waste. For instance, there’s a large range of seaweeds, which pack in more umami flavors for different broths. And as for the waste-not economy, many chefs are looking out for newer, more interesting alternatives such as beet greens, chard, turnip greens, mustard greens, and carrot tops. Since kale seems to have gone past its peak, get ready to find other yet-to-be-discovered vegetable for creative, new dishes.

 

#5: BOWLS, BOWLS, BOWLS

I love the idea of packing healthy goodness into one delicious bowl.

 

First, there were acai bowls. Then, there was poké. In 2017, eating from bowls will be taking over further as restaurants are migrating from serving handheld items to placing in bowls like Korean bibimbap. There are many benefits to this trend. Not only is it less likely for what’s in the takeaway bowls to get splattered on the office desktop, it’s also easier and faster to assemble a bowl than plated upscale entrees. Moreover, holding a bowl would likely make you psychologically more prone to mindfulness. You’ll feel a full a lot faster, and be able to savor all the flavors and textures with every bite. What’s not to like?

 

Source: Forbes

Salty Caramel & Pecan Oatmeal Cookies

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Yields (about) 48 cookies

1c butter, softened

1c granulated sugar

1c packed dark brown sugar

1t salt

1t baking powder

½t baking soda

2 eggs

2t vanilla

1½c all-purpose flour

3c rolled oats

11oz package caramel baking

1c pecans, coarsely chopped

coarse sea salt

 

1. Preheat oven to 350°F

2. In mixer, beat butter on medium for 30 seconds

3. Add both sugars, 1t salt, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda; beat until combined

4. Beat in eggs & vanilla; then flour

5. Stir in oats, caramel bits, & pecans

6. Using small scoop, drop 1½” mounds of dough, 2″ apart on parchment lined cookie sheet

7. Sprinkle “sparingly” with sea salt

8. Bake for 11-12 mins, until edges light brown

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