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The Food Party!

By Laura Stec

E-mail Laura Stec

About this blog: I've been attracted to food for good and bad reasons for many years. From eating disorder to east coast culinary school, food has been my passion, profession & nemesis. I've been a sugar addict, a 17-year vegetarian, a food and en...  (More)

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Spice Your Life!

Uploaded: Nov 12, 2013
Seems like I have a lot of crushes these days.

There's smarty-pants, Professor Cutie Pie of course, and now there's this guy in the band.

What to do when you don't have either?

Eat of course!

Now, now, using the same premise the junk food industry does, "variation causes us to eat more," you too can change your crappy snacks into a spicy, healthy alternative. Try these:

Combine equal amounts umeboshi walnuts.* toasted pine & peanuts, craisin, raisin, & raw sunflower seeds. Mix in a kick of cayenne, turmeric and cinnamon. Pucker up and enjoy!

Guaranteed crunchy distraction - quickly satisfies. The nuts are the filler and the spice feeds the humors.

I can't say enough about spice. Spices are in (they are the KEY to eating more vegetables). Men are like spices. Some cayenne. Some more basil. Both benefit the sauce ? just don't add too much.

Spice is important, on the plate, and off. It wakes us up. Everything is better with some zip and zigor! Need to liven up your plate? Add some spice.

Learning to season easily and cook without recipes is not only another KEY part of cooking, it is also the theme of our next City of Palo Alto cook class, "Fabulous Dishes, No Recipe Required," Saturday, December 14th (city website has details). Please join us to learn more about the world of seasonings and spices.

On another note, this week Science and Cooking was about Spherification and Gellation. Specifically, making molecules into perfect spheres of mango juice, or clear raviolis, served hot, with the help of proteins and hydrocolloids. Wow. I feel like Horton in Horton Hears a Who in this class.

So learn more about these modernist techniques, not from me, but from the World of Flavors International Conference & Festival, held this Thursday - Saturday at the Culinary Institute of America, Greystone. The theme: "Kitchens Connected - linking emerging appetites and culinary innovation with global flavor discovery."

It's really quite a show - leading chefs from all over the world cooking for 700 people and teaching the future of food. Nathan Myhrvold, author of the six-volume book Modernist Cuisine will give one of the keynotes on why "cooking with chemicals" isn't as bad as it sounds.

For FREE online streaming of his talk and others, visit the Worlds of Flavor website and click on the Multimedia tab to find the webcast.

I'll be in the back of the house, cooking and reporting from the CIA kitchens on Facebook and Twitter.

Until then,

Ciao, Adios, さようなら

Spice è la tua vita!


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