Christmas stockings always seem to hold a fun bunch of little surprises. Over the years, I have found pocket-sized games and toys, unique chocolates from around the world, and even a magic trick that I use to this day. Christmas stockings often get overlooked. Gift wrapped boxes with ribbons and bows tend to be the main attraction on Christmas morning. I always keep my eyes peeled for little treasures that I know will bring big smiles.
In the kitchen I realize that I have come to rely on many little tips and tricks that I often take for granted. It seems that, new recipes, specific cooking techniques, and fancy cookware tend to be the main attractions. When it comes to speeding meal preparation along, having a few chef secrets up your sleeve can be a big help. Continue reading “Food: Kitchen secrets from the Mobile Chef”→
This week’s featured recipe highlights an earthy Middle Eastern spice
By Tom Castrigno
The internet has profoundly affected on the way we think about food preparation. Some people feel cookbooks are obsolete. The ability to search the web for recipes by name, key ingredients, or characteristics such as low-fat is a huge advantage. On the other hand, a physical book also has advantages.
Our senses are powerful memory triggers. This is why comfort food has the effect that it does. A particular taste or smell can spur fond memories of a joyous occasion. In some cases the memories can even be triggered by a general association. Ice cream, for example, can bring a smile with a mere mention. Continue reading “Food: Cookbooks versus the web”→
Correspondent Tom Castrigno explores the universal language of food
By Tom Castrigno
International travel sometimes presents language barriers. A trip to Nice in the south of France was no different. Going to the store always held a bit of a mystery. Sometimes I just had to take a chance on what I was buying. As my friend, Santos, would say, “At least I didn’t come home with roller skates.”
The European style of a visiting the market daily gave lots of opportunities to practice my French. I found the locals to be very willing to work with me when I showed an honest effort to use their language, no matter how badly I spoke it.
For many people, pasta is a fallback — something quick when you’re in hurry, or an easy meal to make a lot of when you have a crowd to feed. The shelves in the grocery store feature a wide variety of shapes and sizes of Italian-style noodles, but why stop there? From rice noodles to udon to soba, there are so many more to experiment with.
Local food expert finds the best grocery store deals
By Tom Castrigno
The leaves have fallen and only the hardiest mountain birds remain behind for the next 6 months. No doubt they have food stashes to help them through. It is a quiet time of year that lends itself to stocking up the larder, just as our avian friends have done …
This week’s prime pick is cauliflower, on sale for $.99 per pound at City Market. It makes a great side dish steamed, or you can go one step farther and whip it with a bit of butter and sour cream for a change of pace. This oft-ignored veggie comes to life when curried, roasted, or even served with tomato sauce (Muir Glen organic $2.50). Cauliflower and almond soup is low carb and freezes great for a take-along lunch or afternoon snack.