How To Make Soul Food A Healthier Choice

In a recent sketch on SNL, two hosts of a gospel-themed cooking show cooked soul food while talking about people they know dying from heart disease and diabetes. It might come across as funny, but it holds a kernel of truth about soul food and its link to health issues.

Soul food – it’s the food of our ancestors, who through their culinary ingenuity found liberation and joy from what were considered base ingredients. These recipes have been passed down by memorization from one generation to the next, setting the foundation of our rich culture. But the hard truth is that these recipes aren’t exactly compatible with a healthy life style.

As much as we need to celebrate soul food, we also need to acknowledge the adverse effect of this diet. Soul food might be good for the soul, but the OG recipes are also heart killers. In 2017, American Heart Association’s journal Circulation reported that the African Americans live shorter lives due to cardiac issues. These issues were attributed to stress and poor diet that leaned heavily towards greasy foods.

For those who don’t know, here’s the science behind heart disease and greasy foods: eating foods that have a lot of saturated or trans fats raises the cholesterol. The excess cholesterol deposits into arteries which make it difficult for blood to pass through to the heart, leading to cardiac arrest.

Now here’s the problem; you don’t want to stray from the fine food culture but also don’t want to die. The real passionate ones among us would even say that it’s not worth living without southern-style fried chicken, BBQ short ribs, chitlins, corn bread and sweet potato pie. No need to go to this extreme; the answer lies in moderation and making healthy choices.

Luckily, soul food isn’t all slow-cooked offal. You can do a healthy version of it by focusing more on the greens. The Oldways African Heritage Diet offers an alternative which is close to the healthy eating habits of our African ancestors. The diet consists of fresh vegetables and fruits, tubers like yams, beans, nuts, fish, eggs, poultry and yogurt while cutting down too much sodium, sugar and meats. This diet offers a way to stay linked to our heritage while also being healthy. Don’t despair; you can still dig into ribs, but only sometimes.

By having a healthy diet, you will not only overcome heart problems but also Type-2 Diabetes, another endemic within the Black community. Let’s set a healthy example for the new generation by making better diet choices and adapting healthier habits.

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Say What Now? Safeway Grocery Store Employees Call the Police on a Black Woman in the Parking Lot Donating Food to a Homeless Man

Employees at a California supermarket called the police on a Black woman who was simply donating food to a homeless man.

The employees accused her and her family of being involved in an alleged grocery heist.

via NYDN:

Erika Martin told the Daily News she was in the parking lot of the Mountain View Safeway July 8 to give a homeless man food for his dog with her sisters Faith and Ashley when she was approached by two police cars.

Martin said she explained to the officers what she was doing, and they asked if she was waiting on someone, like a husband, to exit the store – which she was not. She said the officer then told Martin someone had been stealing items from the store, and that the suspect was wearing a blue spaghetti strap shirt.

“I said, ‘What! Wait, are you kidding me?’ I never even stepped foot inside of Safeway, I was in my car the whole entire time I was there,” she wrote, noting that she was not wearing the spaghetti strap shirt in question.A spokesperson for the Mountain View Police Department told the Daily News it received a phone call from the store that day reporting a possible theft in progress. When police arrived, employees identified a male, a female and several children they believed were connected with the alleged theft.

The spokesperson said when police spoke with the accused group, they were “extremely helpful” and “cooperative,” and cops quickly determined no crime had been committed.

The heavily redacted incident report says employees believed Martin was taking goods out of the store and that children were “grabbing goods from the shelves” and bringing them back to an awaiting car.

Martin said the accused children were her 13-year-old niece, 11-year-old nephew and 9-year-old son, who had entered the store to use the bathroom.

She also said the incident greatly affected her son, who had sought free cookie samples from the bakery during the bathroom break, as he frequently does.

“He broke down in tears as if he was afraid for his life,” Martin said of her son’s “confession.” “He said, ‘I didn’t mean to do anything wrong. I didn’t steal anything, mom’… He thought he did something wrong. He thought the police were going to arrest him for looking behind the counter. To see my child in so much fear broke my heart.”

She said the incident was especially hurtful as she frequents the store and is known to employees.

“We were there to do a good deed and we left feeling humiliated, embarrassed, hurt and shocked,” she wrote.

A representative for Safeway said in a statement that the police were called concerning an “adult male with a history of suspected shoplifting” at the story. The rep said it was “not entirely clear” why the police spoke to Martin, and that an internal investigation had been launched.

“Safeway is committed to fostering an environment of treating everyone with courtesy, dignity, and respect. We have strong policies against racial discrimination and we do not tolerate violations to the policy,” the statement read. “Safeway contacted Ms. Martin to sincerely apologize for the misunderstanding and we look forward to continuing the discussion regarding her concerns. “

Martin said she received an apology from a store employee who was not working the day of the incident, but is still awaiting a call from the location’s two managers and the company’s corporate offices.

“It’s like they don’t care, they’re brushing it under the rug,” she said, adding that she was also racially profiled at a PetCo in October. “I’m so tired of the craziness in this world.”

Safeway’s going to have to do a LOT better than that. This is completely unacceptable.

The post Say What Now? Safeway Grocery Store Employees Call the Police on a Black Woman in the Parking Lot Donating Food to a Homeless Man appeared first on lovebscott – celebrity gossip and entertainment news.

lovebscott – celebrity gossip and entertainment news

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The food in the Japanese monastery was ‘basic and vegetarian’. What did you expect? | Liz Boulter

A recent online spat between tourists and a Buddhist monk highlights the culture gap that can crop up when travelling abroad. But aren’t such differences one of the joys of travel?

The recent news of a Buddhist monk’s angry outburst at negative online reviews made me smile. Visitors complaining about meals being “basic and vegetarian” at a monastery is like criticising a steakhouse for having too much meat on the menu. So I did scoff initially at the idea of people travelling in Japan – and to a monastery – and not being prepared for “strange” meals that are “quite unlike any food I’ve ever tasted”.

But maybe (American-born) Shingon priest Daniel Kimura was being unfair – and the term “uneducated fuck” is certainly intemperate. The comment isn’t necessarily negative: eating food unlike any you’ve tasted is one of the great joys of travel, and perhaps the person posting meant only to alert others to its unexpected nature.

Continue reading…
Travel | The Guardian

TRAVEL DEAL UPDATE:

Food for thought: How the brain reacts to food may be linked to overeating

The reason why some people find it so hard to resist finishing an entire bag of chips or bowl of candy may lie with how their brain responds to food rewards, according to researchers who found that when certain regions of the brain reacted more strongly to being rewarded with food than being rewarded with money, those people were more likely to overeat.
Consumer Behavior News — ScienceDaily

PARENTAL UPDATE:

Cheetos cheese dust and eight other junk food mysteries solved

Bright orange cheese dust: just one of the many mysteries offered by processed snack foods.

When you open a bag of Cheetos, have you ever wondered what you’re actually eating, and why your hands always end up coated in neon orange cheese dust? The back of the nutrition label is not very helpful…

Life Style – New York Daily News

EMPLOYMENT SEARCH UPDATE:

All the Times Fast Food Brands Clapped Back at Their Haters on Twitter

Oooh, burn!

In recent years, Twitter has become a major marketing tool for all brands, but it’s also become a great way for fast food joints to clap back at their haters (and their competition).

While Wendy’s quickly gained a reputation for having the sassiest Twitter on the block, especially because of their ongoing feud with McDonald’s over fresh versus frozen beef, other brands took notice and began dishing out their own snarky tweets in response to customer questions, celebrity news, or other brands’ promotions.

Read on for some of the best zingers from the fast food giants.

Taco Bell

While Taco Bell doesn’t typically engage in social media fights, the brand has had a few standout moments from their own Twitter account, including their correction of a grammar error in one of White Castle’s tweets to Chrissy Teigen. The taco joint also fired back at Old Spice when the deodorant company accused the fast food chain of false advertising.

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DiGiorno

Frozen pizza company DiGiorno also joined in on the fun, inciting a pizza war with Papa John’s. The frozen pizza chain mocked Papa John’s slogan “Better Ingredients. Better Pizza.” when they tweeted a declining graph meant to represent Papa John’s sales above a tweet that read, “Better Pizza. Better Sales.” The company also briefly changed their bio to the new slogan to spite Papa John’s.

RELATED: Of Course Chrissy Teigen’s Birth Announcement Turned Into a Twitter Feud About Pizza

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Burger King

Aside from their epic promposal to Wendy’s on a marquee sign outside of one of their restaurants, Burger King has also thrown shade at the company on social media. First, the chain used social media to promote their spicy chicken nuggets, a menu item that Wendy’s had previously discontinued, leaving the Twitter-verse in an outrage. The brand found people’s old tweets asking where Wendy’s spicy nuggets went and used them as advertising for their own spicy nugget addition to their menu.

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Then, Burger King promoted a 5 for $ 4 deal just days after Wendy’s announced their 4 for $ 4 deal. Even though they didn’t mention the square-burger chain in their tweet directly, Twitter users were quick to notice the shade in their tweet which read, “Because 5 is better than 4.”

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However, Wendy’s never goes down without a fight, so when a Twitter user, who has since switched their account to private, asked what Wendy’s had in response to the deal, they responded with two simple words: “edible food.”

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RELATED: The Best Chain Restaurant Twitter Reactions to IHOP Changing Its Name to ‘IHOb’

Wendy’s

Of course, Wendy’s has the longest history of roasting people on Twitter, including their iconic tweet suggesting that asking to be directed to the nearest McDonald’s is essentially the same as asking to be directed to a garbage can.

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The company also recently called out pro-golfer Tiger Woods when he flubbed his first hole at the 2018 U.S. Open, scoring an unimpressive triple bogey. “Tiger, next time you’re going to get a triple…” the brand tweeted beneath a photo of their triple cheeseburger.

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Scroll through to see some of our other favorite clap-back tweets from Wendy’s.

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The fast food Twitter beef is alive and well, so we suggest you refrain from tweeting at these accounts unless you’re prepared to get roasted.


PEOPLE.com

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Joy Wilson, aka “Joy the Baker,” found a path to her authentic self through food blogging, yoga breaths, and writing Drake lyrics on cake

Joy Wilson, aka “Joy the Baker,” found a path to her authentic self through food blogging, yoga breaths, and writing Drake lyrics on cake


Joy Wilson, aka “Joy the Baker,” found a path to her authentic self through food blogging, yoga breaths, and writing Drake lyrics on cake

At age six, Joy Wilson, best known by her eponymous blog name Joy the Baker, longed to be a writer—in the same burning way that all writers long to be what they already are. When she told her family her career ambition, the responses were much less enthusiastic than those given to her younger sister, Lauren, who, at the time, wanted to be a veterinarian (fast forward to now, though, and Lauren Wilson happily helms her own ice cream company in Seattle). Joy Wilson’s urge to write impelled her to an English major and curriculum in college, but there, she began working in the food industry, using her hands in restaurants and bakeries to make edible texts, line breaks for the palate, and a thesis to eat, not read.

Wilson’s food blog writing is singular and something all its own: a style that straddles the line between poetry and passive fiction, one that allows her ingredients to be actors in their own stories and for her to be the invisible orchestrator of their lives. Born to a black father and white mother, Wilson grew up in Los Angeles in the 1980s, where her mix was less an anomaly and more a casual feature of the region. This is the Los Angeles in which Meghan Markle grew up, where being black and white afforded not an entry key into two separate worlds, but the ability to create a new one entirely.

The Southern California region in which Wilson grew up and the Gulf Coast one in which she lives now both influence her cooking and baking, which she still shares, although in smaller doses, on her blog. With three cookbooks under her belt and a business called The Bakehouse in New Orleans that offers classes, workshops, and private parties, Joy, 37, is not slowing down. Unless she’s breathing in yoga—Wilson is elevating her practice by training to be an instructor—or writing Drake lyrics on cake, that is.

We caught Wilson, a food blogging pioneer if ever there was one, on the phone in New Orleans, where she lives with her cat Tron in the Bywater neighborhood, a Brooklyn-esque pocket of the city with multicolored duplexes, a diffuse scent of praline-coated bacon, and residents who actually sit on their porches and watch the honeyed Louisiana afternoons float by.

Courtesy of Joy Wilson

HelloGiggles (HG): How did you pave a way into food blogging, and how has entering this world changed the trajectory of your career?

Joy Wilson (JW): Gosh, it feels so crazy now. So, I’ve been blogging for 10 years. I started in 2008, and back when I started my blog I can remember maybe like six other food blogs that were around.

HG: It was you, Smitten Kitchen, and Pioneer Woman.

JW: Yes, exactly. And none of us were making a living through our blogs, or even thinking about making a living through our blogs really. I mean, maybe Ree was thinking about it because she’s a mogul, but it wasn’t feasible for other people. It wasn’t monetized, there was not even language around building a career out of having a blog. So those of us that started way back in the day were doing it because we were extreme dorks, just extreme, with not the greatest social skills…okay, I speak for myself only. I started my blog when I was working in a bakery in Los Angeles, and it started as a way to launch my baking business. I was foolishly thinking I could make and sell wedding cakes, and I was dabbling in wholesale baking for coffee shops around Los Angeles. And so having an online presence and talking about my food and recipes was sort of way for me to be like, hey, look—I’m trying to do this thing.

So that’s where it started and the trajectory of it, I could not have anticipated. I’ve gotten to write three cookbooks and move across the country to a city that I love. And I call myself “Joy the Baker” and sometimes people know what I’m talking about, which is crazy because I remember sitting on my ex-boyfriend’s couch thinking what should I call this blog? Not thinking that it would define my career this far.

HG: It really has become not just a name or a pseudonym. Your brand is Joy the Baker.

JW: I wasn’t thinking anything about branding, or building an online business, or an online career at all when I started my blog. And it took probably five years or so into it to feel real. I was like, okay, I think this is a thing, I think the train has left the station.

HG: Can you tell me more about your start in baking, whether that’s in early childhood or when you were older?

JW: I started baking with my dad. You know, it’s a very homespun story and how a lot of people start in the kitchen because they’re in the kitchen around their families most of the time. So I started baking with my dad when I was little. And my dad, I call him an enthusiastic home baker. He’s also a Virgo, so he’s very meticulous. And it makes him a great baker: he loves experimenting and getting to the very best iteration of some of his recipes. So he’s always in the kitchen tinkering with things, and that’s where I picked it up.

My aunt, my dad’s sister, is also an amazing baker. But she lost her sight to a brain tumor in her in 30s. She couldn’t see anymore but she didn’t stop baking. I actually learned a lot about baking from her because I’d help her in the kitchen. And then she had a different sense of things—she would touch things with her hands, and her sense of smell was out of this world, so she would be able to tell when a cake was done by the smell.

A post shared by joythebaker (@joythebaker) on

HG: Is baking something that has always been endemic to that side of the family?

JW: I think it really started with my aunt, who was 18 years older than my dad. And so it was like his big sister, or his, you know, they were years and years apart—she was like his second mom. So she really started it in the family, and she was the one who really held true to making traditions. Baking was a big part of that for her, and she made that a big part of life for our family. And my dad carried that on to us.

HG: Do you have any specific food memories from childhood in which you felt “This is what I want to do,” or food struck you in such a way that felt different from anything else?

JW: I don’t know if my sense of food as career happened in childhood. When I was a kid I had a little sister, she’s two years younger than me and she is very cute. If we’re talking about when we were kids, she was the cuter one.

HG: Oh, no.

JW: No, trust me, trust me, she was the cute one. Which is great for her, it’s all good. But I say that because when we were little I remember getting the question, what do you want to be when you grow up? And I would always say, very proudly, “I want to be a writer.” And people would be like…okay. And my little sister would say “I want to be a veterinarian,” and they would fawn all over her. So I would think, well, I don’t want to be a veterinarian. But I really had this sense that I want to be a writer. And that is kind of what I’m doing now, if you count incomplete sentences and run-ons as writing.

HG: But those sentences actually define your style. You have a lyrical way of writing and it’s lyricism punctuated with humor. I’m looking at a black and white baked donuts post, and I love the way in which you let the ingredients act on their own: “Brown butter is mixed, brown bits and all, with buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla extract. Dry ingredients are fluffed together and whisked. Wet ingredients are whisked just right and mixed with dry ingredients. Wet plus dry, simple cooking math.” It’s poetry.

JW: Wow, that’s very generous.

HG: Is this how you’ve always written, or is it a certain style you developed for the food blog?

JW: I think it’s a style I developed with the food blog. I went to school for English literature and playwriting, and as I was putting myself through college, I was always working in food service, front of house, back of house, and then baking, professionally and on my own. So I was always in a restaurant kitchen. I could always get a job in food, and I loved it too. I don’t know if you’ve ever worked in a restaurant, but it’s like a really difficult summer camp experiment but also rewarding and fun. So I was always working in food, and when I finished my degree it just made sense that I would keep doing what I was already doing, which was baking in a restaurant. And I didn’t feel like, okay, I’m done with school now, I have to find a real job. It felt like I was already in the place I wanted to be for the most part, which is around food. I finished school while I was working at this bakery, and it was like, well, okay, I have way less homework now, thank God.

HG: More time to play with frosting.

JW: Yes, more time to play with frosting. And I was going to just try to build this website and have a blog on it, and try to sell my cakes and muffins to coffee shops. And it was just very small, just kind of a small dream.

HG: Do you remember your first baking success, like the first time you made a pie crust right, or the first time the cake was actually as spongy as it needed to be?

JW: My parents were health food addicts, like early health food adopters in the early 1980s. And health food in the early ‘80s was disgusting, especially if you were a kid. So we didn’t get sweet store-bought treats in the house. The loophole was that if you could make it, it would pass in the house. I remember finding a box of unsweetened chocolate, like baking chocolate in the cabinet. And low and behold, on the back of that box is a recipe for brownies. And I was like, okay, I think I can figure this out, I think I can get this, guys. I must have been like eight years old. And the first thing I made was brownies, and it was a success, and I felt like I had unlocked a very important tool to my happiness, to the happiness of those around me. It was like magic.

HG: And that’s probably one of those enduring memories.

JW: It is. And don’t get me wrong, when I un-packaged the chocolate I was like, well, this is chocolate, I’m going to try to eat it like it is. But it was bitter. So I thought, okay, no, that’s why my parents freely have this in the house, because we won’t devour it. But if I add some sugar and bake it, yes.

Courtesy of Joy Wilson

HG: Do you have any recipes, or something that you create now, that makes you feel emotional when you cook or bake it?

JW: Definitely. When I make my dad’s sweet potato pie, just the smell of that pie, I can feel my chest go tender. Even just thinking about it. My dad developed this recipe for sweet potato pie years ago. He was perfecting it for years, but he finally got to a place where he was into it, probably when I was 10 or so. We’ve had this sweet potato pie almost at every gathering ever since. He adds a lot of coriander, which is cilantro seed, to it, and so it has a lot of this savory spice. But in this sweet potato pie—it transforms the whole pie. And you don’t even recognize it as coriander, but it’s very distinct, very fragrant, and my dad’s signature. His cologne might as well be this. So yes, that makes me feel very connected to my family when I make it. And as an adult I think I’ve made a point of it to not live near my family. Love them, but you know, we gotta move around and see some things. But when I make that pie, it definitely feels like my feet are on the ground, and it feels really connected to home.

HG: What does coriander do to the flavor?

JW: I feel like it really rounds out the flavor in a way. Sometimes in sweet potato pies you have that sweet potato flavor and then it feels like someone has taken a paint brush and brushed cinnamon on, brushed nutmeg on. But coriander comes in and makes all of those spices indistinguishable but intertwined. So it’s not like, mmm, this sweet potato pie has coriander in it. Like you can’t really distinguish coriander from the other spices. But it really just brings such a roundness to the flavor. And it’s not especially herby or especially savory, but it is very spiced.

HG: How does now living in New Orleans inspire or inform the flavors you cook and bake with, and conversely how did living in California, and even growing up in California, inform what you made and what you baked?

JW: Living in California is, well, you have such a bounty of fresh food and diverse food, which I feel is unique but easy to take for granted. I took it for granted until I left. But I really loved growing up in Los Angeles and being able to eat everywhere there, and also just to get loads of fresh produce. And so how did that inform my cooking? I think I was health conscious in California. And that was kind of my family roots also—my parents were health conscious eaters, so we were eating tofu before most people were eating tofu. Granted it had cheese on it because they still thought cheese was healthy, but things like that. I carried that into my California cooking. But in my family, we will eat real foods. Like we’re not afraid of real butter or cream, there is absolutely a place for that. So I feel like now that I live in New Orleans, 
I’m leaning into things like butter and fats, and just indulgence and richness a little more than I would when I lived in California, because I live in this magical place where that richness and decadence is celebrated. I think I try to infuse that in my food. A little bit of irreverence and a lot of celebration.

HG: New Orleans is very much a town that celebrates its own culture. It’s celebrating not only Creole culture, but it’s celebrating American blackness and European culture and the various ethnic blends that comprise the city. Are you finding yourself using more cajun spices, or spices in general, in your cooking?

JW: I love spicy food. I love spicy food and I feel like I am slowly learning how to cook more Creole, Cajun-style, New Orleans food. It takes a long time and the best way to learn is by being at the right house at the right time when someone’s making their gumbo. It’s not about going to a particular restaurant and having their shrimp étouffée. It’s very much about being in people’s homes and watching how they do things. It’s slower to learn in that way. It’s not like you can go to a cooking school and really get it. I remember someone explained how to make a roux to me by saying you had to stand by the stove with flour and butter whisking consistently, and it will be brown enough when you have finished drinking your beer. And it’s true. What’s crazy about it is that it’s true—I made this gumbo for my parents when they came to visit me last fall. I cracked a beer open and I was standing next to the stove, whisking my roux, and my dad’s like, “Oh, I didn’t know the roux had beer in it.” And I said, “No, Dad, I have to drink this.” He’s like, “You have to drink this?” And I have to drink this.

HG: When the beer goes off, it’s ready. Do you think you’ll ever move back to California or have you found a home in New Orleans?

JW: I found a home in New Orleans, for sure, and I just don’t think I can afford California anymore. What I do love is that my family still lives in California and I get to go back very often. So I don’t have to say goodbye to California, and I feel very lucky for that. But I think New Orleans will be my home.

HG: What makes you love New Orleans?

JW: Whenever people ask me why I love New Orleans, I ask them if they’ve been to New Orleans. I feel like if you’ve been, then you understand.

HG: I do. There’s a feeling there where, and I’m sure people can say this about anywhere, about New York, about Los Angeles, but there’s a vibration to that city. You feel it when you arrive.

JW: Yes. And I really love what a diverse city it is. I love that all different kinds of people live together in just about every neighborhood. The culture is really strong; the pride in the culture is evident. Part of that culture is a sense of looking out for each other and I guess I wanted that feeling when I moved here. There is a sense of we have to help each other through this and through everything that you really feel more when you live here than even when you visit. I also have that sense in New York a little bit. It’s not as friendly as it is down here, but there is a sense in New York that you kind of have to, like if the shit hits the fan, New Yorkers are going to help each other. That feeling is really important to me and something that I treasure, and a big reason why I live down here.

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HG: Segueing a little bit, I do want to know more about your parents’ backgrounds. I obviously know you’re half-black and half-white, but there’s probably more to that in terms of culture and ethnicity.

JW: Let’s see. My mom’s family has been from California for generations. They’re just white folks.

HG: White Californians.

JW: White Californians. I don’t know and also they don’t know. They’re just like “we’re white people…that’s it.” I know a little more about my dad’s side. My grandfather on my dad’s side moved from St. Louis to California in the early 1900s with his mom to be a butler for some silent film star in L.A. And his mom was one of the housekeepers.

HG: Wow. Sounds like there’s a longer story there to tell.

JW: Yes. So he’s from St. Louis and then my grandmother was from the South.

HG: How did your parents meet?

JW: This is not romantic, but they both worked the graveyard shift at the main post office in Downtown L.A. So they met at the post office in 1977. My mom was going to move to Alaska when she met my dad. She was like, “I’m going to go on an adventure. I’m out of here. I don’t really love working at the post office. I want to go see some things.” My mom is a very adventurous soul, so she was on her way out of town and then she met my dad. So she thought, well, that’s a good one. She wrote a pro and con list, would add to it, and take things away about whether she should stay in Los Angeles or move to Alaska, and she kept that list in the pocket of her blue jacket. There was this jacket she would wear all the time, this blue puffy jacket, and my dad says that he would look out for that jacket because the post office was a busy, bustling place. So he would look for this blue jacket because he wanted to see Patty. My dad was on the pro list and my dad won out. She still has the jacket and she still has the list in the jacket. It’s all very sweet.

HG: That is very sweet. Your dad is better than Alaska.

JW: I guess so. No, he definitely is. But like me, now, as a 37 year-old person, I’m like never change your life for a man.

HG: Go to Alaska.

JW: Go to Alaska. Get out there.

HG: If he wants you, he will follow. Thinking about this, and your parents, I know you said they were early into the 1980s health food trend and you were eating tofu with cheese as a kid. What other foods stand out to you from your childhood?

JW: Oh man. It wasn’t really a romantic thing. I feel like my parents were working really hard to support a family but we did have dinner together every night. My dad was still working the night shift so we would have dinner at 4 p.m., right before my dad went to work. Because of that, it was always kind of a hodgepodge situation of everyone helping to just get some kind of dinner on the table. But the goal of it all was that we could sit together and be together for a little bit because my parents worked opposite schedules. There wasn’t a lot of emphasis on this grand meal that we’re having together, but more an emphasis on, okay, we’re together. “Joy and Lauren, you guys have fish sticks. It’s fine.” My parents would have a grilled piece of fish or something. So there was a lot of those moments.

When we would get together for family, you know, for bigger events, my dad had recipes that he learned from his mom or sister that he would make, but nothing too crazy. Like collard greens or these tacos that my aunt learned to make when she worked at the dime store. Dad soup, spaghetti and meatballs. But my dad, he loves to spend some time, if he has it, doing something even more elaborate than the recipe calls for. He says, “I simmered this sauce for eight hours.” And I’m like, you don’t really need to do that, but it’s great.

Courtesy of Joy Wilson

HG: It’s interesting because usually you find that attention to detail more in a matriarch, that love for process and for making things. 

JW: My mom’s not really a cook. We used to give her such a hard time about how bad of a cook she is and she was like, you know what, I’m not doing this. The good thing is that my dad really liked to cook so she didn’t have to. But she is an amazing cake decorator. When I really little, when I was probably up to four years old, she would decorate cakes and sell them at the post office. The designs were so elaborate, like a building or a giraffe. I remember one cake she made for someone moving into a new apartment—she made them a housewarming cake and the cake was shaped like a couch. Not just a couch, but their couch, with a specific upholstery design that she made with frosting.

HG: That’s rad. I want to know, for you, have there ever been moments in life in which you felt uncertain about your identity? What has your journey or sense of being black and white been like?

JW: I feel like maybe I have a unique experience because I grew up in a city that was so, so diverse. And also my parents didn’t put a very strong emphasis on the fact that they had different skin tones and that it should be a thing that we think about. I really wasn’t very conscious of it growing up. Also, probably part of the reason why I wasn’t very conscious of it is because to white people, to people who aren’t black, I look white.

HG: So you enter situations in which people assume you are white, because you have blue eyes and lighter skin. Has that made you feel uncomfortable? Do you have to assert your blackness?

JW: I think it used to make me uncomfortable but it doesn’t anymore because I just know that people don’t understand the nuances of race, and that’s them. I don’t assert anything that’s not in my personality. So I don’t consciously work to assert racial identity.

I identify as mixed. If people ask me what I am, I say I’m black and I’m white. It’s so interesting to see people’s reactions. There’s that instant, a moment on their faces, when they’re thinking, “Did I say anything bad before?”

HG: So have you ever felt like you were in compromising situations where you had to almost, well, announce, “I’m black, and what you’re saying is not the case for all people and people of color.”

JW: Yes, yes. We have to do that.

HG: Especially now, too. I don’t think there’s any way that you can be mixed and not feel a certain sense of ownership and power and even rage when you are black and living in a country with these rigid structures and this administration.

JW: Yes, but also I try to be conscious of the fact that my experience in the world is not that of a woman of color, you know what I mean? Because that’s not how a lot of the world interacts with me.

HG: Well, yes. You are able to go through the world with some level of privilege only because of—

JW: People’s perceptions.

HG: Absolutely. And it is both an interesting and strange tightrope to walk.

JW: It’s hard because you don’t have the same experience. You just don’t have the same experience as someone who’s treated differently because their skin is darker.

HG: But you can be just as hurt when you see a dark-skinned actress, like Viola Davis, being made fun of by racist trolls online. It can cut you quite deeply.

JW: Absolutely.

HG: Literally down to the bone, even though you haven’t been criticized in the same way she has for that reason. So I feel a lot of that pain, but I also know that there is inherent privilege in having lighter skin. But that also, again, goes back to those structural systems that made light-skinned black people think, “Maybe I can have a little bit of a better life because my skin is a little bit lighter” and built resentment within the community and the colorism that lives on now.

JW: It gets deep.

Courtesy of Joy Wilson

HG: It does. So still on this topic of mixedness, do you think your background in any way informs the food that you love to make or eat? Do you think that there are certain cultural nuances to what you make? Or is it more just sort of things that you love.

JW: A lot of it really just comes down to things that I love. Any cultural sensibility in my food feels more regional to me than racial or of my mixed heritage. That influence could be from my grandmother, who was from the South, and from my aunt, who learned from her, and from living in the South now. So it’s more about this southern culture that I’m learning about that influences some of my cooking more than anything else. It’s a process and it’s nuanced. Southern food is so nuanced, even just in Louisiana, where there is notable difference between Cajun food that comes from the swamps and the Creole food that comes more from the city of New Orleans. I barely understand half of it, but there is a lot of nuance and deviation in flavors that I like to explore in people’s kitchens if I can get into them.

A post shared by @drakeoncake on

HG: How did @drakeoncake come about?

JW: Drake on Cake started as, and remains, a silly passion project of mine. I chose Drake definitely because his name rhymes with cake, but also because his lyrics are actually very poetic and pointed, concise and relevant. For all of the flurry and stardom around him, I think he has some elegant and iconic things to say and why not put them on cake? Drake on Cake is just an Instagram account, an offering to the internet, and a photo project I put together when the mood and the Drake lyric strikes me. I try to style the photograph in a way that speaks to the lyric, and in a way that feels like it has hidden messages and moments within the styling and props. It’s just meant to be simple fun—an ode and offering to the pop culture that I love.

HG: You love to cook with friends. Is that a hallmark of your culinary practice?

JW: I do. I think after cooking and developing recipes mostly by myself for so long and a lot for the internet and FOR cookbooks, in the past few years, especially now living in New Orleans, I really love gathering people and cooking together. I have what we call cookbook club at my house, where everyone gets the same cookbook and cooks different recipes from the cookbook. People come over, people bring ingredients, people bring stuff that they’ve made beforehand. If someone’s working on a recipe that feels a little daunting to them they can come over and we’ll cook it all together. We end up with a table full of food from the same cookbook, and we’ve gotten to make a mess in the kitchen together. There’s something extra rewarding about being in the whole process together, rather than trying to stress and put together a dinner party on your own. Being together and making the mess is half the fun.

HG: I think that communalism speaks to where you live now. I think New Orleans is that kind of town, or even just Louisiana, where you have crawfish boils, crab boils, seafood boils, which involve everyone coming together and contributing to this large, deeply satisfying meal. And speaking of communal learning: you’re training to be a yoga teacher now, right?

JW: I am. I’ve been doing yoga for just about three years. I mean, I’m training to be a yoga teacher but really I just wanted to deepen my practice and learn more about this thing that I know makes me feel so settled. So yeah, I’m just doing that. I think it’s really nice to do something outside of my work, off of a computer, off of a phone. It’s just you and your breath and your body and like, I don’t know, just see what you can do with those things today.

HG: When you say “settled,” is it because there are certain anxieties in doing what you do and yoga helps to diffuse that?

JW: There’s just a multitude, an infinity of anxieties going on in the world. We need help. But, yes, it just makes me…it’s just my thing. You know, like some people like to run, some people like to bike up mountains. Yoga, I’ve found, is my thing. Just connecting to having your feet on the ground and air in your lungs, and just thinking about that in itself.

Courtesy of Joy Wilson

HG: That taking a moment to breathe element makes me think of the “Let There Be Sunday” columns you post to the blog every week. In those, you engage us, your readers, into the world outside of food: you’re posting long-form writing, and sometimes the stories have to do with gender, sometimes they have to do with politics, sometimes they have to do with race. 

JW: It is really important and those are my most popular posts on my blog now. I also get a lot of flack for them—every week, here “they” come. The emails. They’re usually from Hotmail or Yahoo accounts, and they are very angry. Usually it’s a straight married couple who share an email account. It’s like they share a Yahoo account, God bless them, and it’s usually the wife who’s upset with me. But yet it feels really important to keep doing those posts. I can’t not talk about what’s going on. I needed a place where I wasn’t trying to segue from like pregnancy discrimination to strawberry donuts, you know? Can’t make that jump.

I know it helps me to be able to sit down and curate those articles and read through things and pick what resonates with me. Sometimes it’s silly. I mean, sometimes it’s a straight-up cat video. But I want to offer enough thoughtful stuff for people to take or leave. It’s not shoving it down someone’s throat, it’s leaving this as an offering of what I find interesting, or what I’m thinking about this week, or what the fuck are we going to do?

HG: Segueing again—out of your three cookbooks, is there one that you feel most close to and why?

JW: I like all of them, so it’s kind of tough to narrow. My second cookbook is called Homemade Decadence and it’s probably like two or three years old now. I have some distance from it so I picked it up a couple weeks ago and was flipping through looking for some recipe ideas, and I just had this sense of like, gosh, this is a good book. This is a great, useful, beautiful book. Sometimes it takes, I bet you understand this feeling, sometimes it takes many years of distance from a project to come back to it and say, “Wow, I feel really proud of this.” That’s my feeling about Homemade Decadence right now.

HG: Do you feel that you might feel closest to that book, or is it just because you recently flipped through it?

JW: As the person who made it, I think back to living in my first really great apartment alone in Venice and just having the space to work on that book. It was such a gift. Now, looking back on it, I think, “What an amazing moment that was.” My old landlords are still there. They have a little…they have a property that has two bungalows on it. They live in the back one and they rented the front bungalow to me, when they had like 50 applicants, and they put it like, “We choose you because you seem like a normal person.” They were minimalists, and just like really humble people, and so the space was beautifully done but not fancy. I’ll never forget it.

A post shared by joythebaker (@joythebaker) on

HG: Do you have a recipe that reminds you of when you lived there? Something you made often when you lived in Venice or something you loved to make when you lived in that apartment?

JW: I would make a lot of bread in a pot. I had a really small oven because the whole apartment was small, but I had that small oven and I had a small dutch oven that could fit perfectly, so I was always making things in a dutch oven. I would often make little loaves of bread. My friends and I had a tradition where every New Year’s Day we had a party at my house, and I would take all of my living room furniture, which wasn’t much, and put it out on the front porch. And we set up a giant table through my little living room and 18 of us would get together and have brunch together to celebrate the New Year. People would bring stuff and I would make those little breads.

HG: Do you have something you love to make where you are now in New Orleans?

JW: The Bywater is such a neighborhood. Like, it’s a sweet spot. So what I do here in New Orleans is set out a cocktail tray and every season I change out the cocktail offerings. Because people drop in. People stop by in New Orleans, and you have to have something to drink. I have a full bar of alcohol and offering someone a drink is not like, “Do you want anything to drink, I have gin but no tonic?” You have to have, well, I think it’s nice to have a tray on top of the bar where you place your seasonal drinks, so when people come over, you can say, “Would you like a Sazerac or a cup of water? Would you like a mint julep?” You have the one signature cocktail for every visit.

HG: As far as going out to eat or drink, do you have a favorite spot in New Orleans or Los Angeles?

JW: Now my favorite spots in California are nostalgic, because I don’t know all the cool new places anymore. I love, in L.A., Philippe the Original, that french dip sandwich place. El Coyote is also my favorite. My parents have been going to both Philippe’s and El Coyote before they were even married, so I feel like our roots are in those places. In New Orleans, I love a place called Red’s Chinese that is like this really quirky, salty, Americanized Chinese food that tastes so good. And one of my favorite neighborhood restaurants is a place called Patois.

HG: Is it a Caribbean restaurant?

JW: No, it’s mostly French-American style food, and it’s like the corner house in a very residential neighborhood. The staff is lovely, the food is amazing, and it’s a New Orleans experience without, you know, the touristy Creole food. Like all of that warmth and community and that stuff that gives New Orleans that feeling is there.

HG: What are your favorite flavors and foods in general?

JW: Favorite flavor, oh god. Strawberry ice cream. But my guilty pleasure is trash food.

Courtesy of Joy Wilson

HG: I just read your post for root beer baked beans, which reminds me that many of your recipes have this almost childlike nostalgia. You get pleasure from something as simple as a peanut butter sandwich (with a pickle twist) or from adding root beer to baked beans. Your recipes seem as if an adult who’s very good at cooking and baking imagines something she would love to eat as a child.

JW: Yes, like peanut butter and jelly petit four. I thought, I can make a petit four, and I’m going to put some peanut butter and jelly in it. I think I always want to find a way for things to feel approachable to people, and to given people something to sink their teeth into. A lot of times that needs to be simplicity and things that are nostalgic. It’s an easy place to connect. So if something like a technique is a little bit more hard or more difficult, then at least the flavors can be playful. Life doesn’t have to always be so serious.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. 

The post Joy Wilson, aka “Joy the Baker,” found a path to her authentic self through food blogging, yoga breaths, and writing Drake lyrics on cake appeared first on HelloGiggles.

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From Barbecue Food Truck Business to Food Network TV Star

Just two years after opening Big Lee’s BBQ food truck in Ocala, Florida, chef Rashad Jones attracted the attention of Food Network star Guy Fieri’s show, Guy’s Big Project. After winning the competition, Jones landed his own show, Eat, Sleep, BBQ. Now, he’s having the time of his life traveling across the country with one of the most influential TV chefs in the country. “I was 37 years old when my TV journey began, said Jones. After almost 40 years of living and succeeding and failing and reflecting, I thought I knew myself really well. I thought I knew my strengths and weaknesses really well. But it’s amazing what happens when you step completely out of your comfort zone. With absolutely no TV experience, I originally felt like I had a pretty slim shot at even making it out of the first round of challenges on Guy’s Big Project. But each day, I felt more and more of this side of myself that I had never seen come to life. My confidence in my abilities grew stronger in front of the camera, in front of Guy Fieri, and I started to finally see that I belonged here.”

In the midst of managing his new TV role and running his thriving business, we caught up with the pitmaster for tips on what it takes to launch a profitable food truck business and maintain a healthy family life.

You’re only open two days a week, but gross five-figure profits each week. Why did you decide to limit the number of days you would be open for business?

We were originally open three days a week. However, my wife and I decided long before we opened that, no matter how successful our business becomes, we would never let it compromise our family and our relationship. Our boys were super young—the youngest just weeks old after we opened for business—and it was becoming a regular occurrence for me to go days without seeing them because of my crazy work schedule. So, we made the decision to only operate on Saturdays. It was hard because there was a demand for what we were doing, but we had faith that making the best decision for our family, as crazy as it seemed, would also be the right move for our business.

This business model would actually prove to be more efficient and profitable than the previous three-day/week schedule. We saw demand continue to grow, but at a pace that exceeded expectations. I definitely think the limited hours inadvertently contributed to this phenomenon. Since then, we’ve added Fridays to our operating schedule and honestly haven’t looked back.

Food Network

photo cred: bigleesbbq Instagram

 

If someone wanted to start a food truck business, what advice or steps would you share with them?

  1.  Know your passion – After you’ve identified the thing that you’re passionate about, learn it. When the barbecue bug bit me, I didn’t stop at playing around on my backyard smoker. This undoubtedly had a tremendous impact on the quality and consistency of my product.
  2. Test your model – Just because you’re passionate about something, it doesn’t mean your passion can be monetized. Long before we bought our food truck, we developed a rough model for our business concept and tested it out. We were cooking the food we wanted to serve on our menu and putting together the boxes that would ultimately become our trademark “lunch boxes” and giving them away via social media. We then asked those recipients to give us their honest feedback online so that we could compile that information and use it to improve our model. We also competed in a local barbecue competition before we opened for business to get some unbiased feedback on our food. We swept the competition, winning the People’s Choice award and a unanimous judges’ decision. This was huge validation and encouragement for us to take a more substantial step toward opening our food truck.
  3.  Be tough – There is a common misconception that running a food truck is easy. That is not true. There are times when you have to wear 10 hats all at the same time. With such a limited space to work in, you have to have ingenuity and creative thinking to maximize your efficiency and productivity.
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photo cred: bigleesbbq Instagram

Your wife plays a major role in helping you to grow the family business. Plus she’s a mom and Ph.D. at a major institution. What’s the family formula for working together and juggling the demands of a business?

Patrice and I are super ambitious and our personal mission statement is, “live full, die empty.” This mentality is one of the main ingredients in our formula. If you want it, you have to go get it. You have to stoke fires, and trim briskets, and work on dissertations at 3 a.m., and nurse babies, and be in the office for work at 8 a.m. the next morning. Excuses are just not options for us. We also realize that our lives and our union can produce something that our four boys and generations after them can enjoy and continue to finesse.

The post From Barbecue Food Truck Business to Food Network TV Star appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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‘Psychic’ Octopus That Correctly Predicted Japan’s World Cup Results Is Killed and Sold for Food

A “psychic” octopus that correctly predicted the results of all three of Japan’s soccer World Cup group stage games has been killed and sent to market, just as the knockout stages of the tournament get underway, according to Japanese media.

Rabiot, a giant Pacific octopus caught in Obira, Hokkaido, correctly “predicted” that Japan would win against Colombia, draw with Senegal and a loss to Poland – and it became a national sensation in the process.

Its method involved being placed into a pool with three baskets of food representing Japan winning, Japan’s opponent winning and a draw. Whichever it swam toward first became its prediction.

Local media reported that Kimio Abe, the fisherman who had caught Rabiot, had decided that his business was more important than keeping the “psychic” octopus alive for the knockout stages.

“I hope that the second Rabiot will also give all the outcomes correctly and that Japan will go all the way,” he said, according to Sora News 24.

Japan will face title-contenders Belgium on Monday – and although this World Cup has been one of surprises, perhaps getting slaughtered was Rabiot’s way of predicting the outcome of the match.

It’s not the first time an unlikely animal has made headlines by predicting the outcome of World Cup games.

In 2010, Paul the octopus became an international star after correctly predicting the results of all Germany’s games in the 2010 World Cup, as well as the final – in which it backed Spain to win. Similar to Rabiot, its method involved eating food daubed with the colors of opposing teams.

This year, a Russian cat named Achilles is being touted as the latest psychic animal, after correctly predicting that the hosts would beat Saudi Arabia and Egypt – though he incorrectly backed Nigeria in their spat with Argentina, which beat them 2-1.

And unfortunately for Harry, an “oracle otter” in Sochi, Spain crashed out of the tournament on Sunday, contradicting Harry’s prediction that Spain would beat Russia to proceed to the semi-finals.

Sports – TIME

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Anthony Bourdain food trail may be established in New Jersey

The shocking death of chef, author, and television personality Anthony Bourdain on June 8 touched the hearts of many. Bourdain traveled the world, from Hanoi to Hawaii. But he was raised in Leonia, N.J., and an assemblyman in that state is seeking to recognize the food icon and the local restaurants…

Life Style – New York Daily News

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Kelly Clarkson Reveals Her One Cheat Food That She Can’t Help But Eat After Losing 40 Pounds

Kelly Clarkson has never looked better! The singer has lost a whopping 40 pounds, but that doesn’t mean she’s said goodbye to all junk food. Find out what snack she can’t live without!

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How This Woman Landed Her Gourmet Food Brand at Bloomingdale’s Stores

Genelle Drayton left a 10-year career in sports marketing and entertainment to take the entrepreneurial leap into the culinary industry—a sector where many people of color, particularly women, are underrepresented and underestimated. Drayton’s desire for something more paid off. Not only has Sweet Dames Artisan Confections landed in Bloomingdale’s stores, her mouthwatering gourmet macaroons were voted one of the Top Five Desserts in NYC PopMarkets by MetroNYC. Now she’s also sharing her knowledge and talent to help other “foodpreneurs” by participating in events like the SheChef panel series focused on “The Art of Hustle: Branding, Marketing & Launching Your Product.”

“While I learned a lot within the organization there was no opportunity for growth, said Drayton. I was stagnant. I knew that there was more and I was willing to create a life for myself doing something that I loved, so it was time to go. One day while I was still employed and sitting at my desk, I decided I was going to bake for the holidays and gave away baked goods as gifts. People loved the products and began to place orders with me. Six months later, I took the risk and left corporate America to establish Sweet Dames Artisan Confections.”

Here’s the backstory on how she learned more about the food industry and landed in Bloomingdales, a New York-based high-end department store.

When you made the decision to take a leap of faith, what are the first three things you did to learn about the industry and perfect your craft?

Research, education, and networking. I sought the knowledge of professionals within the industry. I’ve worked with Chef Julian Plyter, who taught me all the necessary steps to establish a legal baking business in New York City, and was his intern. I learned the science of baking and various baking techniques at the Institute of Culinary Education. I’m still perfecting, still learning and discovering ways to improve my business every day.

gourmet

Image credit: Sweet Dames Artisan Confections

Why did you choose gourmet Coconut Macaroons and CocoMallow sandwiches as your niche? 

Initially, when I started my business I was all over the place, custom designed cakes, wedding cakes, custom cookies, you name it I baked it. That, of course, gets old very quickly. My coconut macaroons were always a part of my offerings, but I noticed clients were ordering them as gifts for the holiday season. They appreciated the uniqueness of the product, flavors, and packaging. My event planning experience and relationships in that space definitely helped me. We now offer custom packaging due to an increase in the corporate space.

The idea of the CocoMallow Sandwiches came to me at home, I love the idea of taking something old, traditional, and making it new again with Caribbean flavors and unique pairings. People get really excited about them.

Did you test the market before delving into your business full time? If so, how?

Yes. Pop-up markets were definitely my testing ground. It’s a great way to get your name and product out there, and see how customers respond, what works, what doesn’t.

gourmet

image credit: Sweet Dames Artisan Confections

How did you land an opportunity to sell your macaroons at Bloomingdales? 

Thank God for relationships, I’ve learned over the years the importance of maintaining them. I know someone that works for them, she started her career a few years ago and was promoted to food buyer. She was aware of my brand, loved the product, and invited me in to pitch the company.

What would you say were the top two deciding factors for Bloomingdale’s buyers to accept your product into stores? How did you prove that there was a demand for your product?

The presentation is everything and that’s what definitely drew them in, but they really appreciated the uniqueness of the product and the packaging, I even converted some folks to coconut lovers. The real test was the trunk shows. I sold the product in their 59th street location and did very well, they were very impressed with my numbers. I’ve since sold at both SoHo and 59th Street Bloomingdale locations and will increase over the next few months.

The post How This Woman Landed Her Gourmet Food Brand at Bloomingdale’s Stores appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Age limit for federal food assistance program impacts reading scores, learning

Nearly 1 million children face food insecurity simply because they were born late in the year. No safety net coverage exists for these children when they age out of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and they are not yet eligible to attend kindergarten. A researcher has found that not only does the coverage gap impact overall food insecurity, it reduces reading scores at kindergarten entry.
Child Development News — ScienceDaily

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Bill Murray is opening a food truck venue in South Carolina

Actor Bill Murray and his business partners are set to open a food truck park in Charleston, S.C., this summer. The comedic legend, Brad Creger, and Mike Veeck are revamping an old office space into what will be a monstrous bar with a private room overlooking a large outdoor seating space with…

Life Style – New York Daily News

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Composition of complex sugars in breast milk may prevent future food allergies

The unique composition of a mother’s breastmilk may help to reduce food sensitization in her infant, report researchers. The findings further highlight the health role of human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs), which are not found in infant formula, and underscore their potential for therapeutic interventions.
Breastfeeding News — ScienceDaily

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Best food festivals in the world

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Food is great, it tastes amazing, and it releases positive hormones throughout our bodies that makes us feel good. It is any wonder that we keep going back for more? Even after our stomachs are telling us they are full up! The best thing about food is that each country has its own special cuisine and often there are very different taste sensations available throughout all of the regions in the world. Many festivals celebrate food, and we’re bringing you some of the best.

Pizzafest – Napoli, Italy

Talking about food without bringing up pizza is hard. The gooey cheesy meal is many people’s favorite thing to cram into their mouths, and Napoli in Italy is where they were created. Pizzafest is held yearly in September and celebrates all things pizza for about two weeks of the year. Head to Napoli to experience the original recipe for yourself and make sure your clothes have elasticated waistbands as you can expect to eat a lot of pizza during that time.

Le Salon du Chocolat – Brussels, Belgium

Belgium is considered by many to be the home of chocolate, so it makes sense that they would have one of the best chocolate festivals in the world. They hold the festival, Le Salon du Chocolat, every year in March and there are more than 130 participants making chocolate for all of the festival goers. Some of the biggest names in Belgian chocolate making will be at the festival exhibiting all of their amazing skills and offering samples to taste. There are even people wandering around wearing dresses made from chocolate.

Bacon Festival – California, USA

Bacon has to go down as one of the greatest discoveries ever made by mankind. It is the smell that is guaranteed to get you up in the morning as it will be driving your taste buds so crazy you won’t want to be asleep anymore. In Sacramento, California, bacon lovers will convene to share their love of bacon in all shapes and sizes. There will be straight up bacon, bacon flavored ice cream, bacon milkshakes, and bacon donuts. Any kind of bacon you can think of, and many that you can’t, will be available at this meaty festival.

La Tomatina – Valencia, Spain

One of the most fun food festivals in the world is found in Valencia, Spain. While there isn’t too much tasting involved thousands of people flock to the streets of Buñol, Valencia, to throw tomatoes at a huge wagon and each other. It has been held since 1945, and there are very few rules to participation. You cannot throw hard objects, and you must squash your tomatoes before throwing, that’s basically it. The event is staged purely for entertainment reasons but is for sure the most fun you can have a food festival.

Tokyo Ramen Show – Tokyo, Japan

Ramen is arguably the most popular food Japan has to offer, and many college students would claim the low-cost, but high-flavor noodles are a necessity. Fans of the fast cooking food will be able to enjoy all of the varieties of flavors that Japan has to offer, and after the first six days, the vendors are all swapped for new ones, offering even more noodly goodness.

Food is for everyone, and thankfully there are hundreds of food festivals across the world. No matter what your preference is you are likely to be able to find a festival that celebrates your favorite food as much as you do. We think those are the best food festivals available to food lovers across the globe.

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The post Best food festivals in the world appeared first on Worldation.

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New Zealand Food Prices Unchanged In May

Food prices in New Zealand were steady on month on an unadjusted basis in May, Statistics New Zealand said on Wednesday.
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The most innovative food truck dishes you’ll find

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Food trucks have grown in popularity over the past ten years as they are able to provide customers with quick and convenient food, but with restaurant quality flavor. Food trucks seem to be having competitions against each other over which one can create the craziest dish, while still being super tasty. We have found some of the most innovative dishes to have been created in food trucks across the world.

Sizzling watermelon

So you go to a food truck to get a dish that’s full of carbs and end up walking away with a portion of watermelon. What happened?! There is a dish from a food truck that brings together watermelon, chili, and Pop Rocks. The chili makes it burn, and the Pop Rocks make it explode on your tongue but thankfully the watermelon is there to cool things down. A very original dish found on the Canadian TV show Eat St.

Korean/Mexican fusion

A food truck in Los Angeles has combined the flavors of Korea and Mexico to create a supercuisine. It offers the warming comfort of Mexican food with the tangy BBQ spice from Korean cuisine. The result is incredible, and if you are ever in Los Angeles, you should track down the Kogi BBQ truck. Make sure to ask for the Kogi Kimchi Quesadilla, and wash it down with the chocolate Tres Leches Cake for dessert.

Griddled mac ‘n’ cheese

Many people thought it was difficult to improve on the comforting perfection that is mac ‘n’ cheese, but one food truck has now managed to make the dish portable. By coating it in breadcrumbs, they can mold the mac ‘n’ cheese into a long rectangular shape before they throw it on a griddle pan to seal it. Now you’ve got a mac ‘n’ cheese shaped like a candy bar that you can take away with you and eat while walking down the street. Perfect.

Bugzz

There is a crazy food truck in Holland that is offering up bugs from a food truck, and people seem to be loving the idea. They justify the food choice by commenting that 80% of the world’s population eats them, so why shouldn’t humans? They claim the bugs have more iron than spinach and offer vital vitamins found in other foods. We think we’d rather just eat a bit more spinach than get our vitamins this way, but whatever floats your boat! The truck offers fried bugs on sticks, as well as a portion of larvae as a french fry substitute. The truck is an eco-friendly food provider, with sustainability at the heart of their actions.

Red velvet bread pudding

Let’s finish off with something sweet because that’s when you’re supposed to have your dessert, right? Another of Los Angeles’ food trucks offers up a host of sweet treats for its customers, and the pick of the bunch is their red velvet bread pudding. It combines the sweet gooeyness of the bread pudding with delicious red velvet, and it couldn’t be tastier if it tried.

Some of the best food trucks are available in the USA as the industry goes from strength to strength. If you’re ever hungry and are passing a food truck give it a chance as the likelihood is that it will be one of the tastiest meals you’ve ever eaten, even if you’ve never heard of the dish before.

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Food Truck Owner Arrested After Throwing Hot Sauce at Black Woman

A video shows the owner of the Small Pharoah’s food truck, arguing with and throwing a bottle and hot sauce at a Black woman, who claims he called her the N-word after she tried to pay with quarters. The alleged victim Carlotta Washington recorded part of the altercation with her cellphone, reports Willamette Week. In […]

The post Food Truck Owner Arrested After Throwing Hot Sauce at Black Woman appeared first on EBONY.

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Miss Robbie Visits Tim’s Food Truck for the First Time | Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s | OWN

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Sizzling Szechuan, tasty Central American food and Thai ice cream spice up Sunset Park, Brooklyn

The flavors of the Brooklyn neighborhood of Sunset Park change by the avenue. From Third to Fifth, you’ll see menus in Spanish — foods from Guatemala, Mexico, Honduras, the Dominican Republic or El Salvador. Walk east to Eighth Ave., and you’ll hear dialects spoken across China and Southeast Asia….

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Sensory-based food education encourages children to eat vegetables, berries and fruit

Sensory-based food education given to 3-5 year-old children in the kindergarten increases their willingness to choose vegetables, berries and fruit, according to a new study. Sensory-based food education offers new tools for promoting healthy dietary habits in early childhood education and care.
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David Chang – Starting a Conversation About Our Food on “Ugly Delicious” | The Daily Show

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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The best street food across the globe

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The heart and soul of international food are to be found on the streets by the local vendors on their stands and trucks.  Street food is the ultimate comfort food that we crave at the end of our nights out as our stomachs rumble on our way home.  Although these vendors are usually replicating restaurants, they always taste best when eaten out of a paper plate and when a total mess is made. Street food often represents the national pride of the country.

Vada Pav, India

Vada Pav is the epitome of Indian street food.  It is a legendary Mumbai sandwich that begins with spiced mashed potato balls which are deep fried in chickpea flour. The next stage is adding green chili peppers which are also fried in the oil. The soft and chewy rolls are drenched in chutneys such as mint-coriander, tamarind or peanut-garlic. The roll is stuffed with the potato fritters, usually one or two, the chili strips and then it is squished together into a delicious masterpiece.

Chicken Rice, Singapore

If you are in Singapore and are looking to start a fight, the easiest way is to ask two locals who has the best chicken rice. It is the national dish of Singapore and is locally known as Hainanese rice since the recipe came from Hainan, a small Chinese island.  This dish is completely simple and that’s what’s so special about it. It’s poached chicken and rice. However, the unique flavors combined create for one of the best meals.  The chicken is poached in a ginger broth on a low simmer, making it incredibly juicy and moist. The rice is simmered in the same broth.

Jerk Chicken, Jamaica

Boston Bay is the home of jerk chicken in Jamaica. Authentic jerk chicken is not grilled, it is actually smoked over Jamaican pimento wood, which also makes allspice. The chicken is placed right on top of green pimento logs and covered with metal sheets, smoked to the tenderest possible state from the coals. The pimento smoke makes it fruity and it is best served with Jamaican rice and beans.

Pork Satay, Thailand

Thailand is not only a beach paradise, but also a street food paradise. Although there are many unique local street foods to choose from, the most iconic would have to be pork satay. It is cooked on charcoal grills and served with a cucumber salad with peanut sauce. The pork is marinated in a spicy and sweet lemongrass paste with garlic, shallots, ginger and fish sauce.  The skewers are brushed with coconut milk while cooking.

Quesadillas, Mexico

What you need to do is discard everything you know about quesadillas. It is not a flour tortilla with microwaved cheddar cheese. There is nothing quite as authentic and delicious as a real Mexican quesadilla. The dough is handmade from ground corn and is either rolled or pressed into a circle and placed on a hot griddle. The standard version is filled with Oaxacan cheese or Chihuahua cheese and then folded over. But Mexican street vendors know that there is no reason to stop at the cheese, and have drool-worthy fillings such a chorizo sausage, potato, cactus, squash, mushrooms, refried beans and all kinds of meats.

Crepes and Galettes, France

A crepe is pretty simple for a country that is the creator of fine dining, however, most certainly does not disappoint. There are two standard varieties, a galette, which is more savory and is made from buckwheat flour, and the crepe made from white flour which makes for a super sweet treat. They were both eaten in Brittany in the northwest of France, however, were brought over by immigrants and are now served by street vendors all throughout France. A galette is usually served with ham and Gruyere cheese and sometimes includes a fried egg. The sweet crepe usually has Nutella, a chocolate and hazelnut spread, and sometimes strawberries and cream.

Falafel, Israel

Falafel has become so popular that it is considered an international street food.  These fried chickpeas are to be found throughout the streets of every major city. However, the home of falafel is known to be Israel, mainly in the metropolitan area of Tel Aviv, where you can find an overstuffed pita with freshly fried falafel balls and all the fixings, such as hummus, vegetables, eggplant, and french fries, 24 hours a day. Best eaten around 2 am, however.

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The Weekend Reset: Perspective, exploration and food and fun for your next BBQ

It’s Friday. Looking for something to switch your weekend up, or to give you an excuse to relax a little? That’s what the Weekend Reset is for. Each week contributor Tim Johnstone pulls together five things to get your weekend started. Could be something to read or watch, something to eat or listen to, or even something to do. Enjoy the weekend fellas.

 

WATCH (& Listen): A reminder.

Sometimes it is way too easy to let all the drama going on in the world take a toll on your soul. Which is why this song should always be within reach. It is beautifully arranged, uplifting and heartfelt without being corny. It is a good reminder that there are really good things to remember when you need it most. This band released one lovely album under this name. Lead singer and songwriter Jonny McDaid is now a member of Snow Patrol.

 

EXPLORE: The best museums in the world are at your fingertips.

Not everyone is able to take off for a weekend in DC or Madrid or Paris. Some of the most remarkable museums in the world can be experienced via virtual tours. Some are better than others. Because I couldn’t find a worthy e-tour of The Prada in Madrid, I thought I’d invite you to check out The Smithsonian’s Natural Museum of Natural History because cavemen and elephants and dinosaurs oh my! Also, wet specimens? Sure. Why not. Stuck home this weekend? Enjoy the tour! (photo credit)

 

EAT: Grilled Spring Artichokes!

One of my favorite vegetables when I was going up were artichokes. Yes, I was a weird kid. Nonetheless, these remain a favorite of mine. This is a terrific way to enjoy this particular member of the thistle family. Make sure to check out the recipes for Caper SauceSmoked Paprika-Garlic Butter, and Spicy Soy Mayo.

 

PLAY! Meet your new favorite outdoor party game.

This is one of the most popular games in Europe according to every single article I have found.  Mölkky combines elements of croquet, darts and bowling along with some strategy for good natured fun at summer get togethers. Not gonna lie – this is a go-to for my crew at spring and summer patio parties and it’s not uncommon to have 2 sets going at once. No, we are not nerds. The game is just fun. Also, apologies for the music used in that video because…oof.

 

READ: A short story collection with grit and soul.

This is not a collection for the faint of heart. But it is deeply rewarding. Heathcock’s stories feature tough people leading brittle lives. It’s about bad decisions and even worse luck. The writing is crisp and lyrical. The struggles and events never fail to connect. Think Cormack McCarthy. These stories bite at your soul and keep coming back to nudge at your thoughts and ideas about how life is. It is a remarkable collection.

Tim Johnstone is Dappered’s music correspondent as well as our resident gatherer of all things interwebs related. He’s a big fan of furballs and still not convinced that the internet is a net plus gain for humanity.


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New Zealand Food Prices Move Up 0.1% In April

Food prices in New Zealand added 0.1 percent on month in April, Statistics New Zealand said on Friday – following the 1.0 percent jump in March.
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Naked and Afraid Survivalist Goes Into a Food Coma After Starving for 12 Days

For anyone who has watched even five minutes of Naked and Afraid, the fact that competitors will face extreme hunger is no surprise. And, in an upcoming episode, one survivalist deals with just that.

On Sunday’s new episode, Gary Golding gets lucky. While hunting in Jalapao, Brazil, he finds a bounty of root vegetables on Day 12.

As he collects them in his bag, he snacks on them, noting how sweet they taste, and likening the feast to “Thanksgiving.” Soon, however, he pays the price.

As the camera rolls, Golding loses his train of thought, and then collapses into the dirt, falling into a deep sleep.

The announcer explains that the sudden release of sugar into his body has triggered a release of serotonin, which has caused his body to shut down.

It’s yet another reminder that Naked and Afraid is not for the faint of heart.

In most locations, there is very little food — and even when resources are available, it takes a lot of effort to find sustenance. Contestants lose anywhere from 10 to 30 pounds during the 21-day adventure.

Past survivalists have dealt with horrible weather and flesh-eating bacteria, while one contestant was even stung by a yellowjacket in the most unfortunate of areas.

Naked and Afraid airs Sunday at 10 p.m. EST on Discovery Channel.


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Junk food, energy drinks may pose unique risks for teens, new data shows

The popularity of energy drinks and junk food might have unique risks for teenagers who consume too much of them during the later stages of brain development. These are just two of the factors potentially affecting teen brain development examined in a new special issue of Birth Defects Research: The Teenage Brain, published by the Teratology Society with John Wiley & Sons.
Teen Health News — ScienceDaily

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More food for thought on kids’ eating habits, emotions

A psychologist has examined the preconceptions about the effects of emotions on children’s eating habits, creating the framework for future studies of how dietary patterns evolve in early childhood. Researchers have demonstrated that children from 4½ to 9 years old chose chocolate candy over goldfish crackers more frequently in response to both happiness and sadness.
Infant and Preschool Learning News — ScienceDaily

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Descriptive phrases for how often food should be eaten helps preschoolers better understand healthy eating

Preschool is a critical period for children to begin to make their own dietary decisions to develop life-long healthy eating habits. A new study found that preschoolers who learned how to classify food as healthy or unhealthy were more likely to say they would choose healthy food as a snack.
Infant and Preschool Learning News — ScienceDaily

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4 messed up things about our food benefits programs you might not know about

4 messed up things about our food benefits programs you might not know about


4 messed up things about our food benefits programs you might not know about

Unless you’ve been enrolled in a food benefit program, it’s hard to get familiar with our current systems, which might be why some people think that the Trump administration’s “Blue Apron-style” food box program for SNAP recipients is a good idea. Spoiler: It’s really not. In fact, the box idea takes all the problems with our current food benefit systems and puts them in one place. It is not a good idea for so many reasons.

The administration wants to modify the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) so that people who get at least $ 90 a month in benefits — which accounts for about 80 percent of all SNAP recipients — would no longer get to choose their food. Instead, they’d get a “USDA Foods package” that would include “shelf-stable milk, ready to eat cereals, pasta, peanut butter, beans and canned fruit and vegetables.” The boxes would not include fresh fruits or vegetables, and the details are still being worked out about how it would actually work, so nothing is even close to going into effect yet.

With SNAP, recipients get cards and are allowed to purchase whatever they want, as long as it meets the guidelines. This means fresh veggies and fish and meat, but also soda and snacks, which is why some people assume it’s a waste of taxpayer money and worry that the program contributes to bad health outcomes in lower income families. The Women Infant and Children program (WIC) is another program open to low income women and their kids by giving them coupons to buy formula and certain “healthy” foods, but that is also rife with catches and issues. Here are some of them.

1. It makes shopping all but impossible.

SNAP feels like it brings with it a ton of choices, it’s still restricted in that you can’t get hot food or non-grocery items, so you’re out of luck if you need to pick up toilet paper and dinner. But at least there’s some freedom to choose ingredients for a meal that kids will actually eat and you know how to cook. WIC is so much worse.

A family gets vouchers that lets them buy certain things, but items are bundled together so that you can get a dozen (white, no brown or cage free) eggs and a gallon of milk, or some formula and peanut butter but not formula and meat (since breastfeeding baby households don’t qualify for meat). The fresh veggie coupons are bundled together, too, so you often have to buy your produce all at once. Once a month.

Although the program keeps people fed, it doesn’t make it easier or even all that much healthier. Ask anyone who’s had to shop with WIC about how much milk they had to end up with or how many times they had to run back to the aisle because they got the drinkable yogurt, which is not allowed, and not the kind in a cup, which is. It’s the same sort of thing that would likely happen to SNAP recipients who get the boxes, full of shelf stable milk and dry pasta, over and over again.

2. The restrictive programs cost more.

Linnea E. Sallack, director of the W.I.C. program in the California Department of Health Services, told the New York Times, ”We consistently find that prices charged in W.I.C.-only stores are higher, on average, than in other stores. If food prices are high, for whatever reason, it means that our federal grant cannot go as far and cannot serve as many people.” So being restrictive ends up costing taxpayers more in the long run, instead of just giving someone an EBT card (which still has its limitations) to shop for that they want.

3. The restrictions further stigmatize hunger.

The implication with all the restrictions is that poor people can’t be trusted to make decisions about what to feed their family. While it’s true that studies show there’s a link between obesity and heart disease and poverty, getting strict about what people can eat with their benefits or just sending them a pre-packaged box, isn’t going to help that. Neither is pretending that fraud is rampant within the SNAP system; it’s actually quite rare, around 2 percent. Most recipients, around 40 percent, also work and stay on the program for less than a year.

Although there are tons of good things about both programs — feeding people anything at all — the issue is not that people are making bad choices in the aisle. According to research, soda is the number one thing in SNAP recipients carts (WIC recipients can’t buy it).

But it’s the second most popular thing in the carts of people who aren’t on SNAP, so be careful about who you judge. Having to explain your vouchers to a cashier or feel guilty for having string cheese — the only thing your toddler will eat at the moment — instead of a bunch of bananas in your cart is humiliating. Hopping around stores so you can get groceries and laundry detergent is equally ridiculous. You can’t shame people out of poverty — you have to lift them up. Nutrition, health, and culinary education, and giving people the chance to buy what they like and want with their benefits, can do that more than mailing a box of government cheese and some canned string beans. No one wants to eat that. Especially not with a glass of low-fat milk.

4. We ignore that SNAP works.

SNAP generally works for its intended goal really well, which is why it’s infuriating that the Trump administration wants to get rid of it. Again, there are tons of restrictions we impose on people due to stigma with the SNAP program, but overall the EBT card system works. Consistent access to benefits can lift families out of poverty, lead to better health outcomes, and even help kids do better in school, which means better job choices later on and a chance to break the cycle. Funding SNAP and keeping the “social safety net” is how we eradicate food insecurity, not by boxing up a bunch of food lobbyists petitioned to get on the “acceptable” list and serving it up to people who might not like, want, or be able to eat it.

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Bauer launches $12.99 food magazine with zero ads

Bauer Publishing may have hit on a unique formula to beat the ad crunch in the print world: Start a new magazine with zero advertising — but a sky-high cover price. Food to Love hit newsstands this week with a $ 12.99 cover price and initial distribution of 240,000. It’s not seeking any subscribers. Down the…
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Seoul food: 10 of the city’s best restaurants

From a fried-chicken joint to a Michelin-star blow out, the Seoul-born founder of three Korean London restaurants picks her favourite places to eat in the South Korean capital

A Seoul institution, the speciality here is gomtang, a highly nutritious beef bone soup (and a great hangover cure) – which has been made the same way since the restaurant opened in the 1930s. In fact gomtang is the only thing on the menu, although there are several variations. The beef stock is boiled for a long time with radish, so it is full of flavour – and is best enjoyed with a side dish of radish kimchi. Hadongkwan has many loyal regulars and you often see three generations of family dining together there.
10-4 Myeong-dong 1-ga, Jung-gu, hadongkwan.com

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Still Planning Your Super Bowl Food? Let Sunny Anderson Help

Whether you’re tuning in for the commercials, or you’re watching for the celebrities, unless you’re still boycotting the NFL and skipping the big game altogether, you’re going to need to get your Super Bowl food plans together. Like now.

Food Network host Sunny Anderson is here to rescue you from endless hours of scrolling Pinterest for the perfect recipes. Try either (or both) or her crowd-pleasing dishes to feed the football fans in your life.

Sunny’s Easy-Win Chili 

Recipe courtesy Sunny Anderson, 2017

Serves 6-8

  • 1 pound Mexican chorizo or spicy sausage, casing removed
  • 1 pound ground chuck (80% beef, 20% fat)
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, grated on a rasp or finely minced
  • ¼ cup chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dry, whole leaf thyme
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • 14 ounces (1¾ cups) crushed tomato
  • 14 ounces (1¾ cups) beef stock

1. Start the chili. In a medium pot with a heavy base or Dutch oven on medium high heat add the chorizo, beef, onions, salt and a pinch of pepper. Use a wooden spoon or potato masher to break the chorizo down into bits like the ground beef. Once the chorizo is mostly cooked and the onions are tender, add the garlic, chili powder, chili flakes, thyme, and cinnamon. Cook a few minutes while stirring to combine all the flavors.

2. Cover and finish. Add the crushed tomato and beef stock. Raise the heat until the pot boils, then lower to a low simmer and cover. Cook stirring occasionally for about 40 minutes. Serve with a toppings/pairings bar. Transfer to a slow cooker if for a party.

Super Bowl food

Sunny Anderson’s Infladium (Photo: Amscan)

Anderson not only delivers he goods when it comes to what you should make for Super Bowl food, but she’s also tackled the problem of how you should serve it. A football super-fan herself, Anderson has made tailgating a bit less stressful for the host with her invention of the Infladium, an inflatable, reusable snack stadium that debuted last November and is sold at Party City stores across the country.

Here are her suggestions for what to serve with the chili when a simple serving bowl won’t do:

Fill the field:

  • Shredded rotisserie chicken
  • Corn bread
  • Baked potatoes
  • Taco shells

Fill the stands:

  • Tortillas, corn chips, tortilla chips
  • Chopped scallions, tomatoes, onions
  • Salsas, sour cream, hot sauce
  • Lettuce, corn, pickled jalapenos
  • Shredded cheeses, aluminum foil wrapped baked potatoes
  • Tater tots, radish slices, shredded lettuce, sliced black olives

If your home will be full of famished fans but the thought of actually cooking Super Bowl food is too much bear, Anderson’s also got a recipe for a cheesy dip that will save you time in the kitchen and get you back in the action in front of the TV.

Sunny’s Cheese “Point” Spread

Recipe courtesy Sunny Anderson, 2017

Super Bowl food

Sunny Anderson’s Cheese “Point” Spread (Photo: Amscan)

For the spread

  • 48 ounces shredded white cheddar
  • 48 ounces shredded Monterey jack
  • 4 cups mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 48 ounces scallion cream cheese
  • 1 cup drained and chopped pimentos
  • ½ cup drained and chopped pickled jalapenos

Garnish:

  • 32 ounces shredded white cheddar
  • bunches of fresh dill
  • bunches of fresh parsley, chopped
  • bunches of fresh cilantro, chopped

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and spread evenly into the full sheet to flatten. Top with cheddar cheese and green herbs to create a football field.

The post Still Planning Your Super Bowl Food? Let Sunny Anderson Help appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Why You Should Be Enjoying Champagne With Food

A bottle of champagne may pop every two seconds somewhere in the world, but if enduring assumptions about how and when it should be consumed are any indication, they are likely celebratory pours. In his new book Champagne: The Essential Guide to the Wines, Producers, and Terroir of the Iconic Region, author and ChampagneGuide.net founder Peter Liem writes that the result of marketing Champagne by brand rather than by region over the past century has brought the heritage product worldwide success but also “de-emphasized the concept of Champagne as a wine, marking it more as a beverage for celebrations or special events, or an aperitif–with ‘real’ wines reserved for the dinner table.”

Add to that the wine’s inextricable association with royalty and celebrity, a link dating as far back as 496 AD, when King Clovis converted to Christianity in Reims, and you have an image that’s difficult to bend. Think of the Emperor Napol?on, who is rumored to have been the first to saber a bottle while riding astride his horse.

“It’s always bothered me that Champagne is situated between Alsace and Burgundy, two regions where people come to talk about terroirs and great wines,” says Anne Malassagne, the fourth-generation co-owner of AR Lenoble Champagne, an independent and family-owned producer. “But when people come to Champagne, they ask about bubbles, luxury, and celebrities instead.” The emerging prominence of grower Champagnes–sparkling wines produced by the same estate that owns the vineyards–has sparked a movement that emphasizes viticulture and terroir in Champagne production. That’s a good start, but the discussion around it remains niche and largely confined to the wine industry, unlikely to reach the average Champagne consumer.

PAS02_Opener
David Muir–Getty Images

Still, there’s room to shift the context for drinking it. Even Armand de Brignac, one of the industry’s priciest brands (acquired by Jay-Z in 2014), is focused on diversifying its audience beyond nightclubs and VIP settings. “It’s not about taking away the element of celebration but expanding perception beyond special occasions,” explains Bernadette Knight, the company’s CMO. One simple way to do that is by encouraging its Champagnes be served in a white-wine glass. “It’s easier to get the nose in the glass and allows drinkers to explore the notes and characters the way they would with a still wine,” adds Knight.

Actively engaging that shift in perception has led many producers to direct their attention toward experiences that highlight the pairing possibilities with a full meal, from low-key picnics to gastronomic tasting menus.

AR Lenoble recently inaugurated a professional tasting room and state-of-the-art kitchen in its Damery headquarters, where cooking ateliers (by appointment only) demonstrate firsthand that simple really is best (in other words, roasted chicken absolutely does go down better with a glass of AR Lenoble Brut Intense). Come spring, the producer will be offering Champenois lunches in a historic cabin that sits at the heart of its vines in Bisseuil.

Armand de Brignac paired with a menu by Michelin-starred chef Arnaud Lallement.Courtesy of Juillet Jerusalmi For Champagne Armand de Brignac

On the high end of the spectrum, Armand de Brignac has launched an exclusive pairing menu with triple-Michelin-starred chef Arnaud Lallement at L’Assiette Champenoise, his five-star Relais & Ch?teaux hotel near Reims–the only culinary experience in the world (500 euros per person) to offer each of the house’s five prestige cuv?es in one place.

The initiated know that Champagne is first and foremost a grand wine, but combining it with exceptional meals, both high and low, creates an association that has the power to take it beyond the hoary image of a rarefied party accessory for a broader base. Because the inherent sexiness of les grandes maisons has worn thin, says AR Lenoble’s Malassagne, and the discourse around Champagne, like everything we consume today, requires substance: “It’s not enticing anymore. People want to talk about wine, about values, and what is sincere.” Let’s raise a glass to that.

A version of this article appears in the Feb. 1, 2018 issue of Fortune with the headline “Champagne Beyond the Bubbles.” We’ve included affiliate links in this article. Click here to learn what those are.

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‘Raymond’ creator on new food show and sitcom reunion dreams

Phil Rosenthal’s latest quirky dive into mixing food and travel differs from his last series in three key ingredients: a new TV home, a new title and even its own theme song courtesy of band Lake Street Dive. The six-episode Netflix original series, “Somebody Feed Phil,” premiering Friday, features the “Everybody Loves Raymond” creator traveling…
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Buns and bright lights: the joys of Taiwan’s street food

Lured to south-east Asia by his love of Taiwanese squishy steamed bread, our writer finds a dazzling array of edibles on offer in Taipei’s markets

Bao, a tiny Taiwanese restaurant in London’s Soho (with outposts in Fitzrovia and Hackney), is a compelling advertisement for its country. Like a little culinary embassy, since 2014 it has been doling out soft power at reasonable prices to the endless queues at its door.

It specialises in gua bao, flat squishy discs of steamed bread, folded around whatever you care to put in them. Braised pork belly with coriander and ground peanuts is a traditional option, but almost anything works: deepfried daikon radish, stewed beef, spicy fried chicken. The bread is sweeter and more consistent than any western bun, and holds the fillings better. Even the word bao is a source of fascination. It even sounds like an expression of joy: bao!

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Travel | The Guardian

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