Healthy chocolates please

I am currently reading one food subject I like a lot . And this is about organic chocolates. Choco goodies that allow indulgence and yet friendly, both to our health and the environment. I didn't know that there were a lot of brands commercially produced, already in the market. Because I don't see them around here where I come from, I thought there were no such bananas. I love learning something everyday. By the way, for food items to be classified organic, they need to adhere to certain standards. The concept originated in 1939, when "Lord Northbourne coined the term organic farming in his book 'Look to the Land' (written in 1939, but published in 1940), out of his conception of "the farm as organism", to describe a holistic, ecologically-balanced approach to farming -- in contrast to what he called chemical farming, which relied on "imported fertility" and "cannot be self-sufficient nor an organic whole". Generally, food /food ite

Ludy carrying salmonella must be avoided at all costs

While, my children were all growing up, breakfasts were normally accompanied with sandwich fillings, specifically, peanut butter. Yes, the commercial kind. Unlike the ones that my relatives from the province brought us every summer, those found in supermarkets were either too oily or too hard in texture. But, I didn't have a lot of choices back then. Why am I talking about peanut butter today? Because, I just heard that the local Bureau of Food and Drug issued a total recall for all Samuya manufactured food products. Samuya manufactures Ludy's peanut butter. Initially, the recall was just for their sweet and creamy peanut butter lines. But latest news update, indicated a total withdrawal of all Samuya from supermarkets and grocery stores. Apparently, Samuya's peanut based products are contaminated with Salmonella. Salmonella can "cause illnesses in humans and many animals. Think typhoid fever, paratyphoid fever, and the food borne illness salmonellosis".

Re-activate my sleeping relationship with Basil

When I recently bought my rosemary plant I also bought a pot of basil. I could not resist how cheap it was against the cost of rosemary. I have always had ongoing relationships with herbs. And so here I go again trying to re-activate those sleeping relationships one herb at a time. As wiki re-introduces me to basil it says, basil is considered the "king of herbs" by many chefs. "Basil" comes from the Latin word basilicus, meaning dragon and being the root for basilisk, but this likely was a linguistic reworking of the word as brought from Greece". As we all already know basil is most often used fresh in cooking recipes. As a general practice fresh or dried basil leaves are added last to a dish essentially because heat quickly destroys its flavour. Basil serves as the main ingredients in preparing pesto. Take olive oil, herb sauce and pine nuts and presto there's pesto. Basil can be kept fresh "for a short time in plastic bags in the refrige

Smile a little smile for me Rosemary

I think that's a line from a song popular while I was growing up. But this is not about a song. It is about, yes, you guessed right. It is about a Mediterranean culinary herb called rosemary. Yes from the mint family and said to be commonly found near seas. Rosemary is "a woody, perennial herb with fragrant evergreen needle-like leaves", and grows up to 5 feet tall upright". It thrives as a trailing, too. I can't believe it bears white, pink, purple or blue flowers which comes out winters or spring. The first time I tried to grow rosemary was a disappointing experience. That plant died, you see. That was almost 7 years ago. Today, I will try to grow one again. Here's another interesting fact: "rosemary is easily pruned into shapes and has been used for topiary". Awesome! "When grown in pots, it is best kept trimmed to stop it getting straggly and unsightly, though when grown in a garden, rosemary can grow quite large and still be attractive.

Watch that bacteria

Did you know that unwanted bacterial pathogens may probably be in your veggies? Of course, we all know that, so, please take care when preparing vegetable salads, particularly. Note the following: 1. E.coli 0157:H7 - cabbage, lettuce, cress sprouts, cilantro 2. Salmonella - tomato, alfa alfa sprouts, cabbage, chili, eggplant, spinach, fennel, parsley, strawberries, watermelon, cantaloupes 3. Bacillus cereus - cucumbers, mustard sprouts, soybean sprouts, cress sprouts 4. Clostridium botulinum - cabbage, mushrooms, pepper. 5. Campylobacter jejuni - green onions, lettuce, mushroom, potato, parsley,pepper 6. Listeria monocytogenes - bean sprouts, cabbage, chicory, cucumber, eggplant, salad vegetables, radish, mushrooms, potatoes, tomatoes. 7. Staphylococcus - alfa sprouts, carrot, onions sprouts, radish, parsley Contamination can occur in the field, during harvesting, post harvest handling, processing, storage or marketing. The most common sources of contamination being: 1. Fec

Other food preparation tips my mother used to teach me

Other food preparation tips my mother used to teach me as early as when I was still in middle school and which I now remember and follow whenever applicable. 1. Store fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator with temperatures ranging from 0 to 21 degrees Centigrade. If you intend to freeze vegetables or fruits, blanch or fully cook them first. Also, make sure they are bought fresh. 2. Fresh fruits and vegetables must be washed using cold but fast running water. The friction of running water helps reduce bacteria. Fresh produce must never be soaked because nutrients can be lost in the water. 3. For best quality, buy vegetables that's usable within 5 days only. Most veggies do not stay fresh after. When buying packaged produce, store and keep in the refrigerator in their original wrap. This helps maintain quality and freshness. Use pre-cut produce as soon as possible. Quality will not last long once the package is opened. Before using all pre-cleaned and previously trimme

Some food preparation tips from a student chef aka a beginner family cook

Hello again everyone. Trying to make do with whatever time I have with this laptop to make at least a post about the things I do in my kitchen. The economic downturn is definitely impacting on so many things about our lives. Take for example the case of our food budget. Homemakers are scratching their heads wondering how to make ends meet and yet maintain the same kind of menus their families have all been used to. In your case, do you scrimp, reduce quantity or accept less quality. Health concerns however bars us from resorting to such tactics. Healthy food always require quality ingredients, proper food handling techniques and deliberate menu planning. In my kitchen, I make it a standard practice to ensure that food will remain healthy and appealing from the marketplace to the dinner table. And what better way to do this? Ensuring safe and healthy meals requires practical food handling in freezing, thawing, cooking, cooling and finally, serving. Safety rules that affect storage