Trivia Buff Foodies

The better to see your food The perforated metal screen inside the glass of your microwave oven door is specially designed so that light (which has a short wavelength) can pass through the tiny holes, but microwave radiation (which has a longer wavelength) cannot.

Neapolitan The name of Three Musketeers candy makes a lot more sense when you discover that in the original version, the candy came with three bars: one chocolate, one vanilla, and one strawberry.

Candy Lands Due to licensing laws and contracts, all the Kit-Kat candy bars made in the USA are produced by Hershey’s and all the Kit-Kats made in the rest of the world are produced by Nestle.

Milk’s best friend Oreo cookies were introduced in 1912 and are the best-selling cookies in the United States.

Now you’re cooking with PAM Introduced in the early 1960s, PAM cooking spray wasn’t named after a woman named Pam. It was an acronym for the inventor: Product of Arthur Meyerhoff.

Say Cheese Monterey Jack is named after a person–David Jack, the first person to sell it commercially–and a place, Monterey, Alta California, home to the 18th century friars who made the original cheese.

Pop goes the popping The popular brand of popcorn, Act II, was preceded by Act I—a product notable because it was made with real butter and required refrigeration.

How does your garden grow? The tomato is the most popular vegetable grown by American gardeners with 86% of gardeners planting it each year.

Food Snobs The iconic “Big Mac” McDonald’s burger wasn’t always known as such; invented and marketed in Pittsburgh, it was originally called “The Aristocrat”, then “The Blue Ribbon Burger.”

Airbag Potato chip bags are filled with nitrogen gas to prevent spoilage and soggy chips. The extra “air” also helps protect the chips from being damaged by rough handling during the shipping process.

Spicing things up When it comes to spice production, nobody can hold a candle to India. Around 75 percent of all the spices in the world are produced there and they out produce the next contender,  Bangladesh, by tenfold.

Anything worth waiting for Tabasco Sauce, that iconic spicy American condiment, takes three years to produce. Most of that time is invested in the fermentation process, which helps soften and break down the raw peppers without cooking them.

Eat Hardy!

 

 

 

 

Foodie Friday: 8 More Ways to Use Herbs

Last week’s Foodie Friday post offered ten ways to use herbs. We saw tips on how to enhance the flavors of different meats and for creating your own seasoning blends. This time, let’s look at those same ideas for pasta and vegetables.

When working with pasta, you can add new twists to familiar tastes. For instance:

  • Using ground nutmeg smooths out the flavor of Alfredo sauce. Ground mustard, rosemary, parsley and black pepper go well with savory mushroom sauces. Sprinkle tarragon over a primavera recipe.
  • Thyme, rosemary, oregano leaves, garlic powder, and black pepper are good with any pasta salad recipe. Here’s a fruity take on pasta salad. Italian seasoning, basil, crushed red pepper, garlic and onion powders, and oregano give hearty flavor to pasta soups, stews, and casseroles.
  • The several varieties of sauces we use for pasta work well depending on the type of noodle used. Shape and size determine the best choices. Capellini, angel hair, fettuccine, linguini and spaghetti work the best with smooth, thin sauces or sauces with chopped ingredients. Shaped pasta like mostaccioli, penne, rotelle, rotini and ziti are best used with chunky and heavier sauces. Large shells and manicotti lend themselves well to being stuffed with a hearty red sauce or cheese sauce.
  • If you’ve never tried making your own pesto sauce, try this easy recipe which goes well with those finer pastas like angel hair, fettuccine, linguini and spaghetti.

Whether your vegetable dish is a salad or you’re dressing up baked or steamed veggies, herbs will prove a welcome addition.

  • Potato salads, green salads, vegetable salads perk up with dill weed, celery salt, paprika, and white or black pepper. For a new sensation, use lemon pepper seasoning on green leafy vegetables like salad greens, spinach, kale, mustard, collard or mustard greens. Season corn, carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and winter squash with ginger, cardamom, dill weed, chives, onion powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, mace, marjoram, or thyme.

When it comes to fish, they fall into categories of mild, moderate and full flavors as other meats do.

  • For delicately flavored fish like flounder, sole, orange roughy, or trout, enhance them with thyme, tarragon, dill weed, garlic powder, oregano or white or black pepper. The moderate flavors of salmon, snapper, catfish and rock fish peak up with dill weed, Italian seasoning, tarragon, lemon and pepper seasoning, oregano, garlic powder, or pepper. Tuna and swordfish are full-flavored fish. They wake up to the addition of basil, rosemary, oregano, marjoram, thyme, garlic powder, and red or black pepper. Tilapia With Corn Salsa satisfies a craving for Mexican food.
  • When cooking shrimp or scallops or for creating any seafood recipe, try tarragon, garlic powder, thyme, oregano, lemon pepper, red or black pepper or parsley. Whether steaming crabs or broiling lobster, the unique flavors of dry mustard, red pepper, lemon pepper and chives work well.
  • Substitutions are helpful to know because, when you’re out of something fresh, something from your cupboard comes in handy. For 1 medium-sized onion, use 1 tablespoon onion powder. One eighth teaspoon garlic powder. One half teaspoon garlic salt is a substitute for 1 medium clove of garlic. Substitute one fourth teaspoon ginger for 1 teaspoon fresh ginger. In general, for 1 tablespoon fresh herbs, use 1 teaspoon dried herbs.

It may sound strange, but this Spinach Chicken Manicotti uses nutmeg and basil along with the main ingredients.

 And a fast, easy tuna dish, Tuna Crescent Rings.

Remember to have fun while you navigate the kitchen and try new herb combinations. You might even decide you’d like to start your own herb garden. Then you’ll really be a Foodie!

 

 

photo credits Taste of Home

 

 

 

Foodie Friday: 10 Ways to Use Herbs

Something great happened the day I decided to be brave and begin experimenting with herbs and spices. I still use recipes, especially for baking. But cooking “by guess and by golly” is generally pretty much how I do it. Now I enjoy cooking much more. I also enjoy the results more.

For instance, I never make my famous spaghetti sauce the same way twice. I may be using the same herbs, but never in the same amounts, and it always turns out tasty. More than one person has said I should market it.

However, knowing a little about which spices and herbs work well with different foods can help. It can also be a boon to have some spice blends on hand to use so you don’t have to buy those small bottles and packets with additives and cranked up cost.

Add These to This to Get That

  • To enhance the flavor of beef, use bay leaves, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, lemon pepper seasoning, rosemary, marjoram, oregano, or thyme.
  • When cooking with pork, which has a mild flavor, give it some oomph with basil, caraway seed, ground ginger, Italian seasoning, oregano, savory, rosemary, or garlic powder.
  • Where I live, we eat wild game. Enhance those flavors with marjoram, thyme, bay leaf, garlic powder, or onion powder.
  • Turkey is traditionally flavored with poultry seasoning or sage, but you can also try oregano, black pepper, herbs de Provence, onion powder, rosemary, savory, or basil.
  • Chicken and Cornish hens come alive with such herbs as dill weed, basil, ginger, oregano, thyme, chives, bay leaf, garlic and onion powders, paprika, rosemary, sage, or tarragon.

Make Your Own Seasoning Blends

If you need a little jump start to try some new herbs, here are a few blends you can mix up to experiment with.

  • Salad herb blend: 2 tsp. basil leaves; 1 tsp. dill weed; 1 tbsp. marjoram leaves; 1 tbsp. parsley flakes; 1 tbsp. tarragon leaves. If you like to add protein to your salad, match these ingredients to the list of which goes best with each herb.
  • Meat and vegetable blend: 1 tbsp. basil; 1 tsp. celery seed; 1 tbsp. marjoram; 1 tsp. onion powder; 1 tsp. thyme.
  • Taco seasoning: 1 ½ tbsp. oregano; 1 ½ tbsp. garlic powder; 1 tbsp. paprika; 2 tbsp. cumin; 1 tbsp. chili powder; ½ tsp. allspice.

Don’t be afraid to experiment and tweak the blends to your own taste. There’s no right or wrong combination. An advantage to using herbs and blends is that you can spice up your food without using salt.

What’s That Flavor?

Herbs naturally have different flavors. In addition, they fall into categories of mild, medium and robust. Chives and parsley are examples of mild-flavored herbs. Some medium-flavored herbs are basil, dill weed, marjoram, and mint. Stronger-tasting herbs are those like bay leaves, oregano, rosemary, sage, savory, tarragon, and thyme.

 Tips for Keeping Herbs and Spices Fresh

  •  Avoid storing spices near the stove, dishwasher, sink or a window. Dried spices don’t spoil, but they can lose strength. Moisture and heat contribute to this. Be sure to never sprinkle or pour spices directly into a steaming pot since the steam introduced into the bottle hastens loss of flavor and aroma. It also results in caking. For the same reason, if you’re measuring from the bottle with a measuring spoon, be sure the spoon is dry.
  • Some folks like to use fresh herbs for everything and that’s a great idea. You can always substitute dried herbs for fresh if you know how, and vice-versa. Check it out here.

Next week, you’ll get ideas for enhancing other foods like pasta, vegetables and seafood. We’ll also have suggestions for substitutions, cooking tips, and a recipe or two.

Bon appetite!

Foodie and Herb Part 2

In “Foodie and Herb” a couple weeks ago, we talked about how to enhance some different meats with herbs and spices. Maybe you’ve already begun to experiment.

This week, Foodie give some ways to enhance seafood, pasta and vegetables.

When working with pasta, you can add new twists to familiar tastes. For instance, using ground nutmeg smooths out the flavor of Alfredo sauce. Ground mustard, rosemary, parsley and black pepper go well with savory mushroom sauces. Sprinkle tarragon over a primavera recipe. Thyme, rosemary, oregano leave, garlic powder and black pepper are good with any pasta salad recipe.

Italian seasoning, basil, crushed red pepper, garlic and onion powders and oregano give hearty flavor to pasta soups, stews, and casseroles.

The variety of pasta lend themselves differently to which sauces you use. Capellini, angel hair, fettucine, linguini and spaghetti work the best with smooth, thin sauces or sauces with chopped ingredients. Shaped pasta like mostaccioli, penne, rotelle, rotini and ziti are best used with chunky and heavier sauces. Large shells and manicotti lend themselves well to being stuffed with a hearty red sauce or cheese sauce.

If you’ve never tried making your own pesto sauce, try this recipe which is easy and goes well with those finer pastas like angel hair, fettucine, linguini and spaghetti.

Whether your vegetable dish is a salad or you’re dressing up baked or steamed veggies, herbs will prove a welcome addition. Potato salads, green salads, vegetable salads perk up with dill week, celery salt, paprika, and white or black pepper.

For a new sensation, use lemon pepper seasoning on green leafy vegetables like salad greens, spinach, kale, mustard, collard or mustard greens.

Season corn, carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes and winter squash with ginger, cardamom, dill weed, chives, onion powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, mace, marjoram, or thyme.

When it comes to fish, they fall into categories of mild, moderate and full flavors like other meats. For delicately flavored fish like flounder, sole, orange roughy, or trout, enhance them with thyme, tarragon, dill weed, garlic powder, oregano or white or black pepper. The moderate flavors of salmon, snapper, catfish and rockfish peak up with dill weed, Italian seasoning, tarragon, lemon and pepper seasoning, oregano, garlic powder, or pepper. Tuna and swordfish are full-flavored fish. They wake up to the addition of basil, rosemary, oregano, marjoram, thyme, garlic powder, and red or black pepper.

In cooking shrimp or scallops or for creating any seafood recipe, try tarragon, garlic powder, thyme, oregano, lemon pepper, red or black pepper or parsley. Whether steaming crabs or broiling lobster, the unique flavors of dry mustard, red pepper, lemon pepper and chives work well.

Substitutions are helpful to know when you’re out of something fresh and something from your cupboard is handy. For 1 medium -size onion, use 1 tablespoon onion powder. One eighth teaspoon garlic powder or half teaspoon garlic salt substitutes for 1 medium clove of garlic. Substitute one fourth teaspoon ginger for 1 teaspoon fresh ginger. For 1 tablespoon fresh herbs, use 1 teaspoon dried herbs.

Remember to have fun while you navigate the kitchen. You might even decide you’d like to start your own herb garden. Then you’ll really be a Foodie!

 

 

 

 

Foodie And Herb

Something great happened the day I decided to be brave and begin experimenting with herbs and spices. I still use recipes, especially for baking. But cooking “by guess and by golly” is generally pretty much how I do it. Now I enjoy cooking much more. I also enjoy the results much more.

I never make my famous spaghetti sauce the same way twice. I may be using the same herbs, but never in the same amounts, and it always turns out tasty. When I don’t have a specific herb or spice, I often find I can substitute.

However, knowing a little about which spices and herbs work well with different foods can help. It can also be a boon to have some spice blends on hand to use so you don’t have to buy those small bottles with cranked up cost.

Add These to This to Get That

To enhance the flavor of beef, use bay leaves, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, lemon pepper seasoning, rosemary, marjoram, oregano, or thyme.

When cooking with pork, which has a mild flavor, give it some oomph with basil, caraway seed, ground ginger, Italian seasoning, oregano, savory, rosemary, or garlic powder.

Where I live, we eat wild game. Enhance those flavors with marjoram, thyme, bay leaf, garlic powder, or onion powder.

Turkey is traditionally flavored with poultry seasoning or sage, but you can also try oregano, black pepper, herbs de Provence, onion powder, rosemary savory, or basil.Garlic and Herb Lemon Chicken

Chicken and Cornish hens come alive with such herbs as dill weed, basil, ginger, oregano, thyme, chives, bay leaf, garlic and onion powders, paprika, rosemary, sage, or tarragon.

 

Make Your Own Seasoning Blends

If you need a little jump start to try some new herbs, here are a few blends you can mix up to experiment with.

Salad herb blend: 2 tsp. basil leaves; 1 tsp. dill weed; 1 tbsp. marjoram leaves; 1 tbsp. parsley flakes; 1 tbsp. tarragon leaves. If you like to add protein to your salad, match these ingredients to the list of which goes best with each herb.

Meat and vegetable blend: 1 tbsp. basil; 1 tsp. celery seed; 1 tbsp. marjoram; 1 tsp. onion powder; 1 tsp. thyme.

Taco seasoning: 1 ½ tbsp. oregano; 1 ½ tbsp. garlic powder; 1 tbsp. paprika; 2 tbsp. cumin; 1 tbsp. chili powder; ½ tsp. allspice.chicken taco

Don’t be afraid to experiment and tweak the blends to your own taste. There’s no right or wrong combination. An advantage to using herbs and blends is that you can spice up your food without using salt.

What’s That Flavor?

Herbs have different flavors, naturally. In addition, they fall into categories of mild, medium and robust. Chives and parsley are examples of mild-flavored herbs. Some medium-flavored herbs are basil, dill weed, marjoram, and mint. Stronger-tasting herbs are those like bay leaves, oregano, rosemary, sage, savory, tarragon, and thyme.

Tips for Keeping Herbs and Spices Fresh

Avoid storing spices near the stove, dishwasher, sink or a window. Dried spices don’t spoil, but they can lose strength. Moisture and heat contribute to this. Be sure to never sprinkle or pour spices directly into a steaming pot since the steam introduced into the bottle hastens loss of flavor and aroma. It also results in caking. For the same reason, if you’re measuring from the bottle with a measuring spoon, be sure the spoon is dry.

Some folks like to use fresh herbs for everything and that’s a great idea. You can always substitute dried herbs for fresh if you know how, and vice-versa. Check it out here.

Next week, Foodie meets herb in part 2 to talk about how to enhance other foods (pasta, vegetables and seafood), helpful substitutions, cooking tips, and a recipe or two.

Bon appetite!