I SEE POSSIBILITIES! #GRILLED PINEAPPLE

I can’t wait to have my way with these tropical delights. I’m no psychic or no seer; but, I can foresee these grilled slices of pineapple being paired with a poultry dish and a delectable dessert. Yippee! I can’t wait.

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SUMMER CULINARY HABITS THAT SAVE $$$’S AND FOOD SAFETY

When the cooler temperatures morph into the sizzling ones, I know it’s time for me to make adjustments and changes along the culinary line. These moves help in the prevention of food spoilage which subsequently allow me to obtain my money’s worth. Some of the steps I generally take are: –

  1. Reduce the number on the thermostat in order to avoid spoilage and food-borne illnesses. The USDA states that bacteria thrives in temperatures 40 to 140 degrees which is termed the ‘Danger Zone’.
  2. Make a concerted effort to operate a ‘first-in/first out’ (FIFO) system when it comes to the usage of foods and left-over dishes. Thus, I try to stock freezer and refrigerator accordingly.
  3. Perishables like fruits and vegetables normally have a shorter shelf-life during the warmer months. As a result, I try to extend their lives by: freezing over-ripened fruits like berries, melon, and ripe bananas in zip lock bags in the freezer.
  4. Frozen fruits are generally used in refreshing and tasty smoothies and popsicles.
  5. To lengthen the short shelf-life of ripe bananas, I store them in plastic bags on counter top or/and refrigerator. If they become speckled and overly mature, I use same to incorporate in pancakes and fritters.  Or, they are placed in zip lock baggies in freezer for addition to smoothies.
  6. Wilted carrots and other veggies are tossed into stews and soups.
  7. Keep a pitcher in the fridge with: water and sliced lemon or/and water and sliced cucumber.
  8. Freeze water bottles for when I’m on the move during the day.

With the above moves and more, I know that I will gain some form of control in my kitchen throughout the warm months.

 

 

ONE OF SUMMER’S FAVES #TOMATOES

When it comes to tomatoes and other foods, my palate is quite ‘fluid’ with the many dishes that can be had. And, now that the temperatures are already sizzling on the outskirts, there is a strong presence of tomatoes in the market places.

Call them what you may, fruits or vegetables, I don’t care. The fact is that these cancer-fighting foods are sweet and juicy to the taste-buds. Moreover, the prices are relatively inexpensive. I can’t help but to feel elated when I see these beneficial and attractive foods (especially when they are hanging from the vines).

I adore them in any form. Love them in a fresh garden salad. With a pop in the mouth I can devour and enjoy the tart and sweet taste as it hits my taste-buds. Give me a delicious and smooth tomato soup with crusty bread, and my stomach will leap with joy.

I even adore tomatoes in a jar mixed with other veggies. I do think it’s called same ‘salsa’. I got a little creative and made a filling and tasty omelet. Of course, my filling of choice was the gushing flow of salsa. Placed same on a bed of left-over spinach and topped with nature’s butter (avocado) and fresh tomatoes.

OMELET WITH SALSA FILLING
OMELET WITH SALSA FILLING

Without a doubt, when it comes to tomatoes,20160602_083155 I don’t discriminate. I’ll have them almost anyway.

 

 

I FORESEE JUICY AND SWEET MANGOES

I’m no psychic or no seer; but, one thing I know for sure is that these sturdy green mangoes will transform into amazingly, juicy and sweet specimens. It has occurred year after year. And when this period comes around, it brings back heartwarming memories within.

When the sweet and warm juices envelop the atmosphere, they entice not only humans, but, also the tweety birds and a few prancing squirrels. They  come and peck and devour as soon as these wholesome fruits mature.

I will be keeping an eagle’s eye out for nature’s bounties. These  are packed with vitamins, minerals, fibers and other nutrients. Moreover, I can’t wait to turn them into mouth-watering and spicy salsa paired with  protein dishes like seafood and poultry.

There is nothing like  refreshing mango-flavored beverages. Now, let me not forget those mango margaritas; maybe, a few frozen.  I will balance out the sweetness of the mangoes and add a hint of chili powder or salt on the rim.

I see spectacular culinary things in the near future.

 

 

 

MY SUGAR BALANCER #CINNAMON SPICE

I don’t have to go far to retrieve my daily dose of cinnamon. It’s a huge part of early morning (breakfast) meal. You see, I consume the whole-grain and filling oatmeal at least four times per week. I like a sprinkle of brown sugar or a squeeze of honey to sweeten same. Sometimes, I might even add a half of a banana and  choice of  berries.

Although I liked my tasty and satisfying oatmeal, I just didn’t like the aftermath of my consumption a few minutes later. I became bit lethargic because my glucose level would spike a tad high. And, although I’m not a diabetic, I knew something was not right.

I do believe that food should energize me; not make me feel weak and out of it. I wanted answers. So, after doing a little research, I discovered that one of my popular spices (cinnamon) in my cupboard was my saving grace. I call it my ‘sugar balancer’.

Thereafter, I became my guinea-pig and decided to spike my oatmeal during and after cooking same. A generous sprinkle of this brown exotic spice allows my body to accommodate the sweetness in food products.

Once in a while, when I indulge in a store-bought muffin or any baked product, I turned to my pantry for the fine balance that I need. With a sprinkle on my food, I know that I’ll continue to savor the sweet goodness without sending me out of control.

N.B. – Cinnamon has been around for centuries. It is from the evergreen tropical tree (genus cinnamomum) The leaves and bark are used in oils and cinnamon spices. this warm and aromatic spice is excellent in both savory and sweet dishes.

 

 

 

CRICKET FLOUR #PROTEIN POWER

In the culinary world, there is a fairly new and exciting flour that has taken off in a huge way. Guys, we’re talking about cricket flour. The innovative idea came about by Charles Wilson who was in search of an alternate source of protein.

Based on reports, these crickets are sourced in North America and are specifically raised for human consumption. It’s processed by the milling of whole crickets into powder. For those who have consumed, they expressed that it has no ‘buggy’ taste. Instead, it has a nutty flavor, even more than all-purpose flour.

Now, who would have thought that these creepy-crawly insects could find their way inside kitchens? However, based on studies, 2 teaspoons of cricket flour are loaded with 12 grams of protein. The flour is also enriched with vitamin B12, iron, good fats and low in carbohydrates.

There’s also cricket baking  flour which has been used for protein bars by a company called Exo Protein. Amazon.com has gotten in on the action. Twelve of these bars can be had for approximately $36.00.

CHICKEN MCGRIDDLE SANDWICH #MCDONALD’S LATEST

If you like a combination of savory and sweet bite, then you’re in luck. Once again, one of our popular fast food restaurants is testing a new breakfast menu item. It involves the intermingling of a fried chicken patty and pancakes instead of buns. These pancakes are flavored with maple syrup. It’s like a ‘chicken and waffle’ type of a meal.

Chicken McGriddle  sandwich is in approximately 8 to 11 stores in Ohio; and, is  priced between $1.49 to $2.00 until late March. If this item takes with its customers, Chicken McGriddle will be available in other stores.

Will you be trying this latest menu item? Do let me know. Being a food enthusiast,  if and when it arrives in my neck of the woods, I will take a ‘stab’ at it.  When it comes to food, nothing beats a trial. I do believe in a fine balance.

 

FOOD CHAIN NEWEST CRAZE #BLACK BUN BURGER

It might sound far-fetched, however, the popular food chains, McDonald’s and Burger King are testing the waters with a black bun. Well, this burger is already on the Japanese menu at the McDonald eateries. It is reported that their bun is made from bamboo charcoal. And they even offer black ketchup and black cheese.

Here in the United States, Burger King has sprung on the ‘band wagon’. As such, the burger chain has added the ‘Black Whopper’ to their menu for the Halloween. It has been described as ‘deliciously dark’ and baked with A1 flavor infused in the bun. Just in case you’re counting the calories, you’ll be devouring 710 of them.

Some are asking the question, “Will it excite or scare the customer?” Frankly, I don’t see the hoopla. If you can have white buns, why not black buns? Diners who have consumed the black burgers in Japan have expressed satisfaction.

I’m not a frequent consumer of fast foods, however, once in a while I like to sink my teeth into a good burger. So what if it’s a black bun? I’ve eaten black rice and pasta before and they all tasted delicious. Moreover, I understand that they are loaded with beneficial fibers and other nutrients.

When it comes to food, I’ll try (well, almost) anything. I’m looking forward to run a taste test on that deliciously sinful black whopper. Are you?

BALLS AND WINES #STARBUCK’S LATEST

Our friendly and perky neighborhood coffee-house is at it again. Not too long ago, their coffee baristas came knocking at our doors, delivering our purchased brews. Now, Starbucks wants to lure us to their joints to sip locally craft beers and our favorite red and white wines. Action begins at 4p.m. until closing time. They call it ‘Evenings’ at Starbucks.

In selected locations in South Florida, and dozens nationwide, Starbucks has added tempting protein bites like skewered chicken and meatballs with basil and sauce to their menus. They also will also be adding sides of truffle macaroni and cheese, bacon-wrapped dates and flat breads.

With everything, there is a cost factor. These small food plates cost $2.50 to $7.00. And, be prepared to fork out $5.00 to $6.00 for a craft beer. As for your favorite Pinot grigio, Pinot noir, Merlot, Sauvignon blanc, etc. those will put you back $8.00 to $14.00.

Guys, don’t worry, they promise the right ambiance. Bottoms up!!