Category archives for: Kitchen Shrink

Some funky food forecasts

Catharine L. Kaufman

Culinary predictions for the new year include this Kitchen Shrink’s observations for what to expect on restaurant menus and supermarket shelves. As the economy hobbles into a slow- healing recovery, some scrumptious indulgences are coming out of hibernation, while sustainability, seasonality and farm- to table-ethea remain status quo.

Some naughty Noel noshes

Christmas brings a bounty of seasonal goodies to our tables from the much-lampooned fruitcake to close cousins of stollen and panettone. Here’s a decadent sampling of traditional holiday favorites from fruit to nuts.

Here’s to your holiday herb happiness!

Catharine L. Kaufman

Aromatic herbs and spices scream holiday cheer along the produce aisles. Here’s a winter wonderland of quintessential holiday flavorings to help you get the most from your sweet and savory treasured recipes.

How to trim holiday fat from your dinner table

Catharine L. Kaufman

‘Tis the season for stuffing your face silly from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, punctuated by some fattening pit stops (Chanukah, Kwanza, Christmas and various holiday cocktail parties). According to studies in the New England Journal of Medicine, although the average holiday weight gain is only one pound, it is not reversed during the spring and summer months, accounting for the increase in body weight during adulthood. Let’s leave the belly fat to Santa, and make this one a healthier, slimmer season, excluding high-calorie, artery-clogging celebratory monsters from the table.

Tips for a Fabulous Feast

This time of year, both seasoned cooks and neophytes, are cocooning themselves in their kitchens to prepare an impressive, bountiful (and hopefully healthy) Thanksgiving feast. It is also that time of year when assorted culinary crises abound, including everything from leaving the giblet bag in the cavity to undercooking a turkey to the point where a competent veterinarian could possibly revive it. Here is some solid gustatory advice to help you seamlessly navigate your way through turkey land. Gobble, gobble.

The Redskin Ruckus and other culinary controversies

Catharine L. Kaufman

If you’re not a sports fanatic, you probably haven’t heard the recent hoopla over the National Football League team called the Washington Redskins. The media is in an uproar (come on, after all these years) over the allegedly disparaging name that is considered a politically incorrect slur against Native Americans. The solution is a simple one. Make the team’s mascot a redskin potato. Which brings us to the food community with a slew of insulting innuendos of its own. Some of these will really give you something to beef about.

Expensive expiration dates: If in doubt, don’t always throw it out

Catharine L. Kaufman

me people interpret food “expiration” dates strictly to the letter of the law, tossing items the exact second they hit the date. This mentality, according to a recent study conducted by Harvard Law School’s Food Law and Policy Clinic called “The Dating Game,” costs American consumers roughly $165 billion a year by prematurely disposing of billions of pounds of perfectly safe to eat foods. Let’s clarify the murky world of expiration dates, with a side order of practical advice on food safety and shelf life.

Kitchen Shrink: The seedy side of pumpkins

Catharine L. Kaufman

Folks across the land are gearing up for festivals, gordo gourd contests, and family jack-o’-lantern bonding as they carve welcoming symbols for Halloween. Most of the time the precious innards are discarded, but Native Americans have revered the mighty pumpkin seed for centuries for treating everything from parasites and snakebites to gastric discomforts and kidney ailments. Pumpkin seeds are now landing on the radar of nutritional gurus and top chefs, not just at the height of the fruit’s harvest, but throughout the year. Here’s why.

Inquiring La Jolla foodies want to know

Cookie anyone?

There are roughly 10,000 apple varieties around the world, yet not all of them are suitable for every use.

Fall in love with cinnamon

Catharine L. Kaufman

Nothing heralds autumn like the sweet, woodsy aroma of cinnamon. The spice perfumes entire airport terminals blessed with Cinnabon stores. Starbucks added Cinnamon Dolce Lattes to its repertoire (along with counter shakers for cinnamonphiles), while Ben & Jerry’s concocted Cinnamon Buns, blending caramel ice cream with cinnamon bun dough.

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