Category archives for: Kitchen Shrink

Comforting cabbage rolls have international history

Catharine L. Kaufman

Stuffed cabbage rolls, a blend of sweet, sour and savory flavors, are popping up everywhere from diners and delis to five-star restaurants. They are the new mac-and-cheese, but comfort food with a healthful twist, warming the cockles of your heart, while warding off heart disease. Many countries lay claim to its origins, which accounts for the several interesting riffs on the traditional recipe.

Catch some zzz’s with these sleepy bites

Catharine L. Kaufman

Living in a stress-filled electromagnetic soup has created a nation of insomniacs. According to the Centers for Disease Control, between 50 and 70 million American adults suffer from sleep disorders. If you’re among them, conider making the new year the time to muffle the static in your head, ease tense muscles, trigger sleep hormones (serotonin and melatonin) to flow freely and get your long overdue beauty sleep. Let’s toss the sleeping pills and indulge in soporific foods. Pleasant dreams.

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.

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  • Local camp shapes Solana Beach youth into community leaders July 28, 2014
    After attending the inaugural La Colonia de Eden Gardens Youth Leadership Camp last year, Edgar Vergara was inspired to make positive change in Solana Beach’s Eden Gardens community. Along with other local teens, the 15-year-old co-founded the youth group La Colonia Changers and recently hosted a town hall forum on underage drinking. Passionate about making […]
  • Del Mar Union School District approves new contract for superintendent July 28, 2014
    The Del Mar Union School District Board July 23 approved the new contract for Superintendent Holly McClurg through June 30, 2018. Per the contract, McClurg’s annual salary will be $185,000 with an annual doctoral stipend of $10,000. She will receive a car allowance of $400 a month, 25 vacation days, health benefits and a retirement contribution of $700 a mon […]
  • Carmel Valley 5K and 10K to hit Gonzales Canyon trails in September July 28, 2014
    A new trail running race is coming to Carmel Valley this fall. Jeff Stoner of Del Mar’s Seasick Marketing visited the Carmel Valley Community Planning Board to update the board on the plans for the Carmel Valley Trail 5K and 10K Run, set to take place on Sept. 20. A portion of race proceeds will go toward the Challenged Athletes Foundation. […]