Mama’s Organic Egg Spinach Power Sandwich #HealthyFridays

Mama’s Organic Egg Spinach Power Sandwich #HealthyFridays

Welcome to my first #HealthyFriday post. As you probably have realized I’m gearing up my blog towards natural healthy foods and recipes with emphasis on organic ingredients. In short it’s all about the whole foods experience. Don’t get me wrong I do enjoy other foods like desserts and cakes, which I will still post here and there. However, the trend to healthy foods is the only way (in my opinion) to stay sane and healthy in this hectic technology driven world. We are surrounded by heavily processed foods, that are not healthy at all. In my upcoming posts I will get more into the myth or truth about processed foods, GMO’s versus organic foods and simple ways to eat healthy. In this sense I hope you enjoy my #HealthyFriday post about my Power Sandwich.

Since this post is part about eggs I included a short kitchen story about flying eggs. Yes you heard right – flying eggs. Enjoy

Power Sandwich

No such thing as flying eggs…

It was a busy day for lunch at this fine French restaurant, where I was the apprentice chef in my fourth month. The sound of pots and pants being cooked and stirred in is something I can’t live without; it’s like music to me. Regardless – to get to the point – one of the cooks ran out of eggs so the chef asks me to bring up a tray. It was very hectic and the chef was feeling antsy.  You know Chef Gordon Ramsey and how rough he can be to his team. Well Chef Gordon Ramsay was a lamb compared to my boss. (That said I admire Gordon Ramsay as he is an excellent chef)

I run down the staircase, picked up my tray of 30 eggs and run back upstairs only to miss the last step….! Up to this day I wonder why I stumbled over that last step. I made a big leap head first. No – I should really say – eggs first. Imagine a machine gun firing eggs. Yes, that’s how it looked like. 30 eggs in 1 second flying through the kitchen. Luckily I didn’t hit anyone, although one of the eggs missed the chef by an inch. You know the facial expression of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator, yes that’s the kind of look I got from the chef. He came towards me with a look that could kill and I thought: “that’s it I’m fired”. I had just finished my probation period of my two and a half-year apprentice ship although I just graduated from 2 years of culinary school. So I wasn’t a newbie, however – but as you can imagine I was in a precarious situation.

He started to yell at me, you know the same way Gordon Ramsey humiliates the chefs on TV. Yep, the same treatment I got only that his head turned red ( like a lobster), which I clearly remember as it was yesterday. However to make a long story short he send all cooks and dishwashers home right after the service. Usually the cooks and dishwashers do their part to clean their stations. This night the kitchen belonged to me with all its dirty pots and tables. I don’t remember what time I finished cleaning the entire kitchen, but it was well after 3 in the morning. Flying eggs are (not so beautiful) memories of mine…

Mama’s Egg Spinach Power Sandwich

This egg-spinach-toast reminds me of my youth. Whenever my mom didn’t have much time to cook she would make this dish, because it is so easy to prepare. However, she would also make it with boiled potatoes instead of the bread. Which is great, you just mash-up everything and it taste good – that said – if you like soft-boiled eggs and spinach.  For this recipe I used a slice of bread because it is easy and saves time. The vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fibers and flavonoids make this dish a true power sandwich with great health benefits.

Egg & Spinach Power Sandwich

 

Eggs Are Much Better Than Previously Thought

Yes they do have a lot of cholesterol, but the health benefits far out weigh the risks. Eggs are full of B vitamins and offer the best protein available. They have anti inflammatory properties which relieves stress. (Thinking of work)

Studies have shown when eggs are part of a daily breakfast regiment, fewer calories are being eaten later in the day.

Eggs are good for your heart and your head, because of the high amounts of B Vitamins. Also the cholesterol in eggs does not raise your own cholesterol level as studies have shown over the past 15 years. Obviously if your cholesterol levels are through the roof you’d better stay away from eggs.

Further studies have shown that eggs from cage free chickens are of better quality. They have more vitamins and omega fats due to the fact that those chickens live (almost) stress free.

Egg & Spinach Sandwich

Even Popeye Knew the Power of Spinach

Spinach is just as powerful as the egg. Spinach keeps your blood sugar low, your eyes sharp (not really sharp but healthy). It can help to bring down blood pressure. It’s good for your bones due to the Vitamin K, since this vitamin helps with the absorption of calcium.

Studies have shown that when women took high Calcium supplements (over 1000 milligrams) – even with the combination of Vitamin D – the risk of developing kidney stones was 17% higher than those who got their calcium from natural sources like green leafy vegetables. In fact no kidney stones have been detected in women who got their entire calcium supply from natural products such as milk, soy and vegetables.

The high amount of Vitamin A is good for your skin. Did I mention the vitamin C and E and lots of  minerals equals a vitamin pill, just much fresher, unprocessed and perfectly natural.

Though there is one negative aspect of spinach; the pesticides it has been treated with. One can avoid the pesticides when buying organic.

Tomatoes are Healthier When Cooked

Yes, it’s hard to belief. However, when tomatoes are cooked lycopene is produced, which is the powerful antioxidant that battles prostate cancer. Tomatoes are full of vitamins, folic acid and have anti inflammatory properties. Recent studies have shown that tomatoes might reduce the risk of certain other cancers such as ovarian, throat, colon just to name a few.

When buying tomatoes look for a bright red color which are soft to the touch, not too hard and not too soft. Conventional grown tomatoes tend to be treated with pesticides. So look for organically cultivated tomatoes at your farmers market or the organic section of your supermarket.  A 10 year study conducted by the University of California concluded that organically grown tomatoes have more vitamins and flavonoids than conventional grown tomatoes. And did I mention not to keep your tomatoes in the refrigerator. Keep them in bowl in a rather dark corner in your kitchen. Cover unripe tomatoes with a napkin or towel to keep them away from light. They will be ripe in a day or two.

A Bread Worth for a Power Sandwich

I’m talking about an organic whole grain bread. You can see the recipe by following this link: organic multi grain bread. I love bread despite all the hype that too much processed food is not good. That’s why I like to bake my own. Most breads these days are full of additives and preservatives. Once you check this recipe you know why I call it a power bread. It got everything from cocoa, cinnamon, flax meal, oats, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and walnuts.

In short by eating this easy to make power sandwich you can drop the vitamin pill, because this meal provides all the nutrients our body needs and more.

Egg Spinach Power Sandwich
Recipe Type: Sandwich
Cuisine: American, Natural, Organic, Whole Foods,
Author: Kraemers Culinary Blog
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 4 slices of organic whole grain bread
  • 8 slices of ripe organic tomatoes
  • 1.5 lb organic spinach
  • 8 slices of cheddar cheese,
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 stick of butter or margarine
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Boil eggs to your liking.
  2. Shock in ice-cold water for about a minute, set aside. See notes for more info on boiling eggs.
  3. Grill or sauté tomatoes for 30-45 seconds on each side on high heat. Keep nearby.
  4. Peel eggs in a way they don’t break. Keep warm
  5. While the spinach is cooking – place 4 slices of bread in a toaster.
  6. In a large pan melt butter over medium heat.
  7. Add onions and sauté until translucent.
  8. Now add the garlic.
  9. Just before the garlic takes on color add the spinach.
  10. Season with salt and pepper
  11. Assemble all ingredients on top of toast and enjoy.
Notes
I use cold water to cook the eggs, once the water starts to boil I cook them for 4 minutes. That’s when the egg-yolk is soft inside. Cook it 1 or 2 minutes longer and the egg-yolks are not liquid anymore, but still semi liquid. For hard-boiled eggs cook them for 10 minutes.

 

Do you have your own version of a power sandwich?

What is your favorite healthy sandwich?

Do you eat healthy, does it matter to you?

I would love to hear your comments?

 

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9 Most Unhealthy Eating Habits Exposed

9 Most Unhealthy Eating Habits Exposed

 

I was guilty of all unhealthy eating habits at one point of my life. I think we are one of the most advanced nations in the world, but our unhealthy eating habits lead us to obesity and sickness with skyrocketing health care cost. One of the major problems we face is that fast food and unhealthy groceries tend to be cheaper than quality foods. Education is really a vital step to tell the public to make the right choices when buying foods. Below is a list of all unhealthy eating habits exposed and what solutions you have to get around that pit fall.

Fast Food – We want it snappy and satisfying

We are a super power nation with a super fast food addiction. Americans eat more fast food than ever before. We especially love it if we can eat it while on the go. Unfortunately most fast foods are highly processed, deep-fried and loaded with fat and sodium.

Healthy Alternatives: Use common sense when it comes to ordering fast food. If you have to go to a McDonald’s or Burger King go for the salads. Nowadays most fast food chains offering grilled meats as a well as healthier dishes.  Subway and Blimpie are one of the fast food chains offering healthy alternatives with fewer calories. Also when ordering fast food keep it small, and don’t over-size it.  Tip: if it doesn’t say grilled it’s probably deep-fried and loaded with calories.

Cheese Burger - the king of all fast foods

Cheese Burger – the king of all fast foods

 

Sugary foods – We want it sweet

Americans eat more than 128 lb of sugar per year, which is 5 oz of sugar or 10 tbsp per day. Try eating that amount per day, you probably couldn’t. However, it is easily consumed in a soda or energy drink.  The truth is we are eating too much sugar. We add sugar to our coffees, tea, cereals, dessert and beverages. As soon as we get up we crave sweets, whether it’s in the form of cereals, sweet coffee, danish, muffins just to name a few. Sugar is the main reason for obesity, diabetes and cancer in the world. The amount of obese children has doubled since 1970.

Very often we don’t make the connection that we are eating sugary foods as the ones listed below. However consuming these type of foods and beverages are not healthy over a long time.

Candy bars, sugary candies, lollipops, gummy bears, certain cereals,

Shelf stable bakery items such pound cake, muffins, Danish

Juices with 10% fruit, sodas, diet sodas, energy drinks, chocolate milk,


Healthy Alternatives
:

Eat products with reduced sugar content.

Drink water instead of soda. I know it’s boring, but it’s exactly what our body wants.

Choose coffee instead of cappuccino.

Fruit Tart

Fruit Tart – No one says you can’t have it. (Once in a while)

Sodium – We want it salty

Salt is the number one killer ingredient that is responsible for high blood pressure, kidney diseases and heart diseases. Every third person in America suffers under some form of high blood pressure. The fact is – food taste better with salt – and we don’t like bland foods. No one does, however salt intake can be reduced significantly by just eating smaller portions. Below is an example of salty foods:

Cold cuts, cured and smoked foods,

Canned vegetables and soups

Frozen meals, frozen chicken

Fast Food, French fries, pasta sauce, pizza,

Cereals, waffles, cake mix , bread, bagels

Vegetable juice, salad dressings, ketchup, etc

Healthy Alternatives: You might realize that most of the above named foods are processed in some kind of way. Cutting down on portion size helps to keep the salt intake under control.  If canned and frozen meals can’t be avoided buy low sodium meals. The best way to eat healthier food is simply to cook at home with fresh ingredients such as produce, fresh meat, fish and eggs.

Snacking – We snack our Life away

We all love a snack ones in a while (me included).  We eat snacks because our brain wants us to. It makes us feel good. I know it’s fun to open a bag of chips here and there. And that’s fine, but moderation is key here.

Late Night Snacking I’m guilty of this too. I love my few pieces of dark chocolate after dinner. However, for many of us a beer and some potato chips and we are in heaven. Well you might actually find your way to heaven, hell or the ER by keeping up with these unhealthy eating habits. The calories of late night snacking are being stored as fat since the body has no chance to digest them properly. While we sleep our digestive system is on a low drive and therefore doesn’t work efficiently.

Healthy Alternatives: A handful of peanuts, almonds or walnuts do the trick. Mix them with dried cranberries or raisins and you have a delicious sweet salty and healthy snack. Try making your own potato chips. Slice them very thin, add some olive oil and season with a little salt, paprika, fresh rosemary and garlic. Place them on a baking tray and bake until golden brown and crispy. That way you cut out the majority of salt, fat and additives. You can even make chips from coconut, green plantains or sweet potatoes.

Fat  – We want it fat

Bacon, butter and cream bring it on. From BLT’s to bacon and eggs to à la Vodka sauce it’s a must have on most diner menus. Almost 18 lbs of bacon is consumed per person in America.  From bacon bits to bacon chocolate bars, bacon is in. You like ice cream? Me too. The average American eats 5.6 gallons of ice cream per year. That’s a lot isn’t?

Healthy Alternatives:

There are plenty of fat reduced foods offered in supermarkets. However, no one says you can’t have your bacon and eggs just have it in moderation.

scrambled eggs

It is OK to splurge once in a while. In moderation of course.

Big Portions – Super-size it please!!

We want it all and more. Over sized portions are very common and actually the norm. Just go to a diner and have breakfast, lunch or dinner.  Look at the plates, what do you see? A big mountain of food, with absolutely no regards to calories, fat or carbohydrates. Since 1980 the average portion served in a restaurant has almost doubled. Lots of my friends eat ice cream out of the pint. Guess what they always finish it.

Healthy Alternatives:

Eating food out of a container such as ice cream or chips out of the bag gives our brain the impression we must finish all. Serving desserts and snacks in a smaller bowl does the trick.

When dining out tell the waiter you would like to have a smaller portion. I love to order an appetizer as a starter and a second appetizer as my main course. That way I don’t over eat. I also use smaller plates at home, the portions look bigger when they are not.

We eat too fast – We love to gobble it down.

By the time we finish eating our meal we have consumed 20-30% more calories than we should have. It takes our brain about 15 minutes to realize that we are full. We grew up with this competitive mentality that someone could take or eat away our food.

Healthy Alternatives: Make a serious effort to eat slower. It’s called mindful eating. You’ll be surprised how much more you would enjoy your meals. Look at your food as it would be your last meal. Wouldn’t you enjoy and feast on it. I would. I know it’s easier said than done, but it works. Studies have confirmed that slower eating habits will reduce calorie intake significantly.

Skipping Meals – We claim we don’t have time.

Did you know that most of us gain weight by skipping meals?  Because the next meal is a huge one. Starving your body slows down your metabolism.

Healthy Alternatives: Prepare your food in advance, so when you have a moment grab it and eat it. Your breakfast can be prepared the night before. Even your lunch can be heated in the micro wave. There should be no excuse. However, for those of us who actually have no time what so ever. I’m sorry for you, lucky you – there is still the good old  granola bar or an apple.

Not getting enough Fibers

Many of us don’t get enough fibers in our diet. We prioritize everything in our busy life, but getting enough fibers is not always on that list. When I walk through the bread isle in the supermarket I realize that white bread is always sold out before whole wheat bread.  There are no fibers in white bread therefore giving you no incentives to eat it. Yes it may taste good to some people, but it has no health benefits at all.

Fibers are a vital part of our diet. It has many health benefits, but most importantly keeps our digestive system intact.  Getting enough fibers will prevent constipation and keeps the colon clean. They may also lower cholesterol  levels, prevent diabetes and keep your weight in check.  That’s a lot chew on, literally. Because foods high in fibers must be chewed on like apples, vegetables, whole grain bread etc.

Healthy Alternatives:

So skip the white bread and choose whole wheat or multi-grain bread  instead. Eat a fruit or two every day and include a healthy portion of vegetables with your meals and you should be good. Don’t forget to include a few nuts her and there and have an oatmeal once in a while. Check out my blueberry oatmeal with vanilla soy milk recipe. Drink enough water so the fibers can absorb it, which in turn gives you a smooth bowel movement.

Bread Basket

A healthy variety of whole grain bread gives you half the daily fibers.

Healthy Conclusion

It really comes down to mindful eating. Moderation is key here. Check the ingredient labels before buying food and beverages and make an intelligent decision whether it’s worth to buy.  In this sense I leave you with a few health tips to chew on. Spread the word if you don’t mind…

 

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I would love to hear your comments.

What are your experiences with unhealthy eating habits. Tell us about it.

Did you skip meals?

Do you eat a lot of fast food?

Do you like to gobble down your food?

What is your stand on creamy or fatty foods? Do you care?

What about salt and sugar? Does it matter to you how much you eat of it?

Are you struggling to eat enough fibers? You’re not alone? Share your experience.

Do you know of any other unhealthy eating habits? Let me know.

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Black Bean Vegetable Wrap with Chipotle Mayo

Black Bean Vegetable Wrap with Chipotle Mayo

After raising two boys into young adults I realized we have grown up in a fast food society where processed foods rule. Thinking back I regret having done some fundamental errors. I always thought – OK – if the kids behave I will reward them with a treat. And the treat was the kid’s meal at Mc Donald’s (that’s when they were really small), since they had an indoor playground where they could play after their meal. What a terrible mistake. I instilled junk food as a way of an incentive for my kids. I can never forgive myself for that. I remember my kids knew all the burger joints by name before they were able to read. I know it’s my fault, I didn’t know any better than. However, I always eat by example. For instance my kids would say I eat trees for breakfast. That tree like food was home-baked whole grain bread with lots of nuts and seeds. They rather loved the mushy white bread, which I refused to buy. Today, I must say they eat the same way as I do putting fibers, fruit and vegetables first.   It could have gone wrong, too.

Black bean wrap with spicy mayo

A Change is in the Air

Being a chef has helped me choose the right foods to be part of a healthy cuisine. I was always an advocate of a healthy diet and try to help out with tips and hints among my friends and family members. For that reason I have decided to change my core concept from the very general Culinary Blog to a more whole foods approach with healthy eating habits. I’m planning to carry out this change within the next month or two.

Black bean wrap

Look Out for My New #Healthy Friday Series

As of next Friday I’m introducing a new series of Healthy Friday posts, where I will uncover and analyze unhealthy foods, eating habits and suggest healthier alternatives. I will expose the very foods and ingredients that make us sick and emphasize the ones which keep us healthy. If you haven’t signed up to receive my posts my mail I hope you consider doing so. Subscribe to Kraemer’s Culinary Blog by Email

The Future of Our Health is Determined by the Choices We Make….

That is in particular true with the type of food we choose to eat. Well, some get away with eating junk food all day long and still don’t get sick. However the growing obesity rate in the world suggest otherwise.  We have never had so many obese children. Our healthcare cost is through the roof.  If we don’t change the way we eat we essentially program our bodies to fail, which is unsustainable for a nation.

Black bean wrap with chipotle mayo

I choose this vegetable wrap because it appeals to kids as it does to adults. Who doesn’t like a wrap? I don’t believe in meaty sandwiches all the time and this vegetable wrap is a refreshing change. Obviously, adding a piece of grilled chicken or steak would complement this wrap too.

Black Bean Vegetable Wrap with Chipotle Mayo
Recipe Type: Vegetarian, sandwich, healthy cuisine,
Cuisine: American
Author: Kraemers Culinary Blog
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • Chipotle mayo
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle peppers, minced
  • 1/4 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp honey
  • <a class=”zem_slink” title=”Sandwich wrap” href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandwich_wrap” target=”_blank” rel=”wikipedia” data-mce-href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandwich_wrap”>Wraps</a><br data-mce-bogus=”1″>
  • 4 large black bean wraps
  • 8 leaves of lettuce, romaine or green leave
  • 4 fire roasted red peppers, store bought
  • 1 eggplant, thinly sliced & sautéed in olive oil
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 small can of black beans,
  • 1 red onion
Instructions
Chipotle mayo
  1. Mix all ingredients together.
Black Bean Vegetable Wrap
  1. Toast wraps over grill or in oven until hot.
  2. Spread chipotle mayo over the center of wrap
  3. Spread lettuce, sliced red peppers, eggplant, avocado, onions and beans in the center of wrap.
  4. Fold the left and right side of wrap towards the center.
  5. Now roll up the vegetable wrap from the bottom keeping everything centered and within the wrap.
  6. Cut in two pieces and enjoy.
Notes
This vegetable wrap can be eaten hot or cold. For a hot wrap heat all ingredients except the mayo. Than roll up all hot ingredients into wrap.

Did or do you have any issues raising your kids with healthy foods?

Do you eat fast foods and how does it impact your eating habits.

Are you trying to eat healthy?

 

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A Lovely Ice Cream Cookie for Valentine’s Day

A Lovely Ice Cream Cookie for Valentine’s Day

Vanilla Ice Cream cookie with warm blueberries

I love the combination of blueberry, coconut and vanilla. You probably have seen this combination in my blueberry & vanilla soy milk oatmeal post. For this dessert I warmed up blueberries with cream of coconut and served it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream served on a cookie.  The cookie’s ingredients support this dessert with flavors of coconut,  vanilla and chocolate chips. Topped with a thin slice of banana and chocolate shavings makes this dessert a very simple yet tasty treat for any occasion.

Ice cream cookie with blueberries

A Quick Journey into the History of Valentine’s Day

As Valentine’s day is upon us we honor our spouses, partners or friends. We look to buy the biggest  and reddest roses, the best chocolate money can buy and send the  biggest cards out to our loved ones. It is truly a beautiful day to spend the evening together and celebrate a lovely friend ship or marriage. But where is this tradition originated and why are we celebrating Valentine’s day?

Did you know?

To make a long story short:  According to the history books and online archives. St. Valentine who lived around A.D. 270 was a priest from the Roman Catholic church who married  young soldiers before they went to war. The only problem was that the Emperor Claudius had forbidden soldiers to get married, because he thought these men are vulnerable and don’t make strong warriors compared to single men who have nothing to lose. St. Valentine ignored  these regulations and kept on marrying  soldiers in privacy. Once the Emperor Claudius heard of that he ordered St. Valentines to be killed. In his prison cell he was alleged visited by a maid to bring him food and drink. Before his death he wrote her a letter whith the ending words “from your Valentine”.  This is almost 2000 years ago. Tell me Culinary Traditions aren’t powerful? Of course there are other theories about St. Valentine, maybe you know a different one.

Chocolate Coconut Cookies

What will it be? Chocolate, Flowers or jewelry.

According to an online survey published on about flowers; men buy flowers, candies and chocolate to show their affection to a loved one, while women use this opportunity to honor their relation ships to mothers and female friends.  Chocolate is the most bought item for Valentine’s Day, followed by flowers and jewelry.  Valentine’s Day is the second busiest Holiday after Christmas. How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day?

Jar of chocolate chip cookies

 

Chocolate Chip Coconut Cookies

Recipe Type: Dessert, Baked Goods
Cuisine: American
Author: Kraemers Culinary Blog
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • Chocolate Chip Coconut Cookie Dough
  • 6 oz / 175 g / 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 8.5 oz / 240 g / 1 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 tbsp cream of coconut
  • 2 egg
  • 3.5 oz / 100 g / 1 1/4 cup organic quick cooking oats
  • 2 tbsp coconut flakes
  • 12 oz / 345 g / 3 cups unbleached organic flour
  • 4.5 oz / 130 g / 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
Instructions
Chocolate Chip Coconut Cookies
  1. Blend butter, sugar, eggs and cream of coconut until well incorporated.
  2. Add all other ingredients.
  3. Scoop 1 1/2 oz cookie dough onto a greased baking pan, or on a silicon mat.
  4. Flatten dough with fingers or spoon.
  5. Bake at 365 degrees Fahrenheit or 185 degrees Celsius for 7-9 minutes.
  6. Place baked cookies on rack to cool.
Notes
I used a confection oven, which speeds up cooking time. For regular ovens add about 2-3 minutes baking time.

 

Freshly baked chocolate chip cookies

 

Warm Blueberries

Recipe Type: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Author: Kraemers Culinary Blog
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • Warm Blueberries
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp cream of coconut
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • Juice from one lemon
  • 5 oz / 140 g / 1 cup organic blueberries
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Orange liquor
Instructions
Warm Blueberries
  1. In a sauté pan melt all ingredients except berries and liquor over medium heat.
  2. Cook sugar mixture until it is reduced to half.
  3. Now add the blueberries.
  4. Once the blueberries come to a boil move pan away from fire and add the liquor.
  5. Bring blueberries one more time to a quick boil and serve immediately
Notes
Serve warm blueberries to your favorite ice creams or puddings. It also taste delicious with crepes, pancakes or French toast.

 

Cookies taste best after they have just cooled out. Although you can store them in a cookie jar and munch on them for days to come. For this dessert I served the cookies with vanilla ice cream and warm blueberries. Decorated with a slice of banana and chocolate shavings. You can create your own ice cream cookie with any type of berries and your favorite ice cream.

Happy Valentine’s Day

 

Lovely vanilla Ice cream cookie

 

What are your favorite cookies?

What is your favorite dessert using cookies or ice cream?

Do you like warm blueberries or do you prefer other berries?

Do you celebrate Valentine’s day?

 

 

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Three Wine Pairing Principles

Three Wine Pairing Principles

In my opinion there are no wine pairing principles. The only true fact is your taste and your preference. So why am I naming this blog post wine pairing principles? The answer is very simple and you might be surprised!

At San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival.

At San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Have you ever ordered an expensive bottle of wine that didn’t match with your meal? You know what I mean, you paid a lot of money and the wine came burning down your throat or just didn’t harmonize at all. We all made this experience; at least I did until I knew better. There is a simple trick, which would harmonize any wine to whatever dish you choose, but I’ll get to this later. Here are the key facts that wine might doesn’t taste or match with certain foods, later I will explain how to make any wine taste with any dish – promise!

Three Wine Pairing Principles:

  • Salt: Hardly any savory dish wouldn’t taste without the use of salt. Herein lies the key: If the food is bland than your wine won’t taste either. (some exceptions apply)
  • Acidity: It is difficult to pair a wine with food that doesn’t have acidity. (some exceptions apply, will explain)
  • Umami: Is an amino acid that makes food taste incredibly good. Umami literally means “pleasant taste”. It is nothing else but monosodium glutamate, which actually occurs naturally in many foods such as tomatoes, green tea, spinach, cabbage, soy sauce and seaweed – just to name a few. Our tongue has receptors that can taste umami the same way it can taste sweet, sour, spicy or salty. In short food with a high amount of umami is difficult to pair with wines, if you don’t know the trick. Which I will explain just now. By the way I’m an opponent of MSG. Never used it and never will.

Here is the answer:

  • If your wine doesn’t taste or harmonize with your food chances are that one of the following ingredients are missing or not enough: Acidity and or salt, it’s that simple.

By acidity I mean lemon juice or any other acidic liquid. Let’s say you are eating a pepper steak, which is heavily crusted with cracked black pepper (I love it), paired with a red wine. The black pepper will most likely over power the red wine and the tannins will drive your throat crazy.

  • Solution: Squeeze a few drops of lemon juice over your steak and I guarantee you the wine will match perfectly to your steak.

Now the exceptions: Dessert, aha you might say. Most desserts are usually made with little acidity or salt therefore it doesn’t pair with wine, right? Wrong – ice wine for instance, which is one of many classifications for Riesling fits perfectly to dessert. I don’t want to get too deep into each wine. That I leave for another time.

I love wine since I have become a chef. These and other facts, which I have learned by attending many wine tastings and wine seminars, have helped me gain more knowledge about wine paring. I learned and understood the importance of cooking with the same wine that my customer would drink. Try this and it will blow your mind. Try a good bottle of wine not a $ 7.00 bottle.

Many years ago a customer brought me to wine pairing and its beautiful adventures. This customer came in ones a week with 2 or 3 small bottles of wine. I’m talking about expensive bottles. He asks me if we could conduct a wine tasting every two weeks, after the service was finished. I would cook the food and he would bring the wines to the restaurant, which the two of us would pair with the food. I agreed and we conducted wine pairings unmatched I have ever experienced. Up to this day I like to remember this great wine pairing experience.  That said I like to emphasize that I’m not a sommelier, rather a humble chef who enjoys a good wine paired with good food.

I would love for you to test these facts the next time you enjoy a bottle of wine with a meal and good company. It doesn’t matter if it’s white or red wine, fish or steak. Maybe you have your own little trick to match wine with your food. I would love to hear it. Leave a comment! Thanks

I would like to acknowledge that one of my best wine seminars I had ever been was in Las Vegas during a Chef conference in 1999. The wine seminar was hosted by Tim Hanni a brilliant wine Educator from Napa Valley.

 

 

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