Wednesday, November 4, 2009

NOVEMBER 2009 FAMILY FOOD EVENTS ACROSS THE NATION

National Peanut Festival, Oct 30-Nov 8, 2009 (Dothan, AL)
Florida Seafood Festival, Nov 6-7, 2009 (Apalachicola, FL)
Chocolate Festival of Texas
, Nov 7, 2009 (Houston, TX)
Local Flavor Harvest Lake Stroll at Skytop Lodge, Nov 7, 2009 (Skytop, PA)
5000 Egg Giant Omelette Celebration, Nov 7-8, 2009 (Abbeville, LA)
The Metropolitan Cooking & Entertaining Show, Nov 7-8 (Washington, DC)
Rayne Frog Festival, Nov 12-14, 2009 (Rayne, LA)
Holiday Chocolate Festival at the Broadmoor, Nov 15, 2009 (Colorado Springs, CO)
Harvest Bounty, Nov 22, 2009 (Elk River, MN) 


Thursday, October 29, 2009

PUMPKIN SEEDS: The Truth is Out There (Recipe)

by Janice Decker
There are many basic recipes to make home-roasted pumpkin seeds. They all seem practically the same with minor variations. Problem is, if one recipe says to bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes and an identical recipe says to slow roast at 300 degrees for only 20 minutes, which is right?

I invented a unique recipe that will give you perfect seeds with gorgeous autumnal color. To rinse or not to rinse? Do I boil the seeds first? Do I really need to dry them for 24 hours before baking? Certainly not! This recipe is easy, fun, and the seeds are DELICIOUS.
RUSTIC PUMPKIN SEEDS (Recipe)
  • Remove seeds from a fresh pumpkin
  • Immediately remove only larger pieces and filaments of pulp
  • DO NOT RINSE
  • Place seeds in large plastic (gallon size) bag
  • Pour a little corn oil over seeds
  • Massage the bag until all the seeds are coated and the pumpkin residue takes on the quality of beaten egg yolk
  • Make sure all the seeds are coated with this pumpkin “glaze”
  • Line a large 3/4" deep cookie sheet with aluminum foil
  • Spray foil lightly with cooking oil and sprinkle with fine SEA salt
  • Distribute pumpkin seeds evenly (one layer only) on foiled cookie sheet
  • Sprinkle again liberally with SEA salt
  • Bake at 300 for about 15-18 minutes - definitely less than 20
  • WATCH THEM!
  • Once seeds begin to turn color, use a spatula to shuffle them. You will notice autumn leaf-like coloring and speckles that look like seasoning appear! That’s the magic of this recipe.
  • Set timer and bake for only 2 minutes more
  • Remove from oven
  • Lay seeds out on paper towels
While the seeds appear dry, you will see the oil get absorbed on the paper towels. Let cool. Store in air-tight container. If packaging in paper Halloween bags, line bags with wax paper. This is easy: cut a strip of wax paper a few inches wide (the width of bag), fold in half, slip into the bag using a small spatula, spoon your cooled-off seeds inside, fold and staple! Great treat bag.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Cooking Up a History Lesson

by Giovanna Kiballa & Ellen McGlynn

Is there any better way to learn about history than to eat your way through it?  With school now at fall peak, textbooks in full bloom, and holiday ovens set to pre-heat, it might be a good time to check out some of these great historical cooking lessons from Capstone Press:



More delicious titles from Capstone:
Though geared toward grade school readers, these books are a treat for the whole family!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

CHILDREN'S COOKING CLASSES, HARRY POTTER, AND AN EASY RECIPE FOR TREACLE TARTS

by Ellen McGlynn

This week I am busy planning a Harry Potter themed cooking class for nine neighborhood children, ages 5 to 11. I’m always excited at the prospect of entertaining kids in this fashion for one sole reason: they seem to love it! There is one comment I always hear from the parents whenever I post pictures of my cooking classes, and that is how focused and interested the children look. I used to think it was just my child with the inordinate interest in food, but it turns out I am surrounded by food-inspired children. Could it just be the neighborhood I’m living in? That’s a strong possibility, but I don’t think so.

All around the nation, a movement has been brewing for years, and its foundation lies in not just talking about children eating better but actually involving children in more hands-on food activities to help drive them away from processed foods and make them more discriminating eaters with a genuine appreciation for  food sources and food history. Cooking is but one way of accomplishing that task.

In our neck of the woods, there is not much available in the way of hands-on children’s cooking classes, which is why I have taken it upon myself to help fill in the gaps. If you are interested in cooking classes for your child, check out the following great websites. You may actually get lucky and find a class near you.
One of my personal favorite websites, and not only because it’s a product of one of the best cooking schools in America, is CIAkids.com. This is a great website for homeschoolers and it also provides links to children’s classes that are available at the Culinary Institute of America. Take a look!

If you are a business or program that currently offers regularly-scheduled classroom-style children’s cooking classes, and you have a great website you’d like to share, we would love to hear from you. Just click on the light orange Comments link below this post. Your website’s link may get posted on our sidebar under Children’s Cooking Classes.
TREACLE TART WITH ROLLED OATS (Pictured Above)

Use any packaged pie crust mix, roll out thin and cut large enough to line 4" tart pan. Sprinkle 1 level Tablespoon rolled oats in bottom of tart shell. Add a pinch of ginger and a pinch of lemon zest. Pour 1/4 cup golden syrup over oats (I was able to find mine in the United Kingdom section of Wegmans International Foods department). Add one teaspoon of fresh lemon juice on top of the syrup. Sprinkle one more level Tablespoon of oats over the syrup and lemon. Add another pinch of ginger and another pinch of lemon zest. To give it that real Harry Potter feel, add moon and star cutouts on top. Bake at 400 degrees for approximately 25 minutes. One box of pie crust mix can make four to five tarts.