Bean in the New Year: Butter Beans with Caramelized Onions and Bacon

With 2011 mere hours away, food preparation often includes black-eyed peas hoping for good luck throughout the year.  I’ve already got some soaking for tomorrow’s meal.

Consider this Butter Beans with Caramelized Onions and Bacon recipe from The Kitchn a practice run.  Granted, butter beans are not peas, and peas are not beans, but they are both classified as legumes, or vegetables that produce pods which split open along a seam to reveal a row of seeds.  Despite growing up on Mom’s lentil soup at least twice a month, I feel I don’t eat beans and peas often enough these days; specifically the dried type, which require overnight soaking, an extra (albeit very easy) step that undoubtedly prevents myself and others from frequent preparation.  I actually have to think ahead? Continue reading

Happy Holidays: Ginger Cookies

Do you ever think to yourself, “Man, I’m so sick of cookies?”

Me neither.

This time of year, food-based web sites are overrun with tempting cookie recipes, each pledging the perfect addition to a holiday get-together.  Homemade cookies also make a great gift for tireless host or hostesses, friendly co-workers, and anyone you want to show your appreciation.  This year, in true city-girl-turns-surburbia-queen, our list of cookie recipients expand to include the mailman Continue reading

Produce, Fear Not!

Yesterday, Congress passed the Food Safety Modernization Act (S. 510), a landmark bill that greatly increases the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) authority over our nation’s food system.  Under this law, to be signed by President Obama today, food facilities will be required to put food safety plans in place, and the FDA will have the ability to issue mandatory food recalls. Continue reading

From Scratch: No-Knead Bread

Bread gets a bad rap.  Unfairly so.

Fad diets proclaim the dangers of carbohydrates, banishing the bread basket to the corner to sulk.  But the truth is, carbohydrates provide the body with the fuel it needs for normal organ function and physical activity.  Of course, quantity and quality deserve consideration; some kinds of carbohydrates are far better than others.  Grains intact from foods such as whole wheat bread, brown rice, whole oats, and lesser known gems such as quinoa and bulgur, contain B vitamins, Vitamin E, magnesium, iron and fiber to help reduce the risk of heart disease by decreasing cholesterol levels and blood pressure. Continue reading