food

Many of us sitting down for Thanksgiving feasts today have made cranberries a part of our holiday table. And from a health perspective, those bitter, bright red berries should be on your list of things to be thankful for.

As my colleague Allison Aubrey has previously reported, the Pilgrims believed that cranberries could cure scurvy. They were wrong on their reasoning but right on the cure: The berries are packed with vitamin C.

Rick Reinhard / Creative Commons

Connecticut’s food pantries and soup kitchens continue to see rising numbers of people in need of food assistance. Nancy Carrington is president of the Connecticut Food Bank. She said though there’s been slight improvement in job growth in the state, its not affecting people at the lower end of the pay scale.

From Faith Middleton: What happens if you cross meatloaf with pizza? You get Meatza… okay, you get food legend James Beard's "Hamburger Pizza," a dish that always delighted his party guests because his "pizza" had no dough. This dish put us in such a good mood, we decided to make up one of our own for parties. It rocks—because it includes a layer of Parmesan mashed potatoes under the tomato sauce and toppings.

We also have some holiday party wines to recommend (listed below), affordable wines for a crowd, and some bubbly for a dinner party or romantic dinner for two.

If there's one Thanksgiving mistake Jack Bishop sees more than any other, it's people rushing to carve their birds. Bishop is editorial director of the public TV series America's Test Kitchen. He tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross, "Turkey needs to rest before you carve it ... and a lot fewer juices will end up on the carving board."

Bishop and Bridget Lancaster, also of America's Test Kitchen, share their tips for buying, seasoning and cooking a turkey, and describe some of their favorite side dishes.

Sujata Srinivasan

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is taking steps to reduce artificial trans fats in processed foods. According to the agency, the move could help prevent 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths each year. This means manufacturers, retailers, and restaurants could have to reformulate some of their recipes.

It's that time of year again. Time for Mama Stamberg's Cranberry Relish. Every year since 1972, around Thanksgiving, I've shared my mother-in-law's famous cranberry relish recipe on the radio. It's appallingly pink, like Pepto Bismol — but it tastes terrific.

This year, I bring my relish recipe to Thanksgivukkah. Next week, Thanksgiving and the start of Hanukkah fall on the same day. It's a rare convergence.

Mark H. Anbinder/flickr creative commons

From Faith Middleton: Want to make your holiday dinner or dinner party memorable and delicious? It's all about creating new flavor profiles for old standby dishes.Try our featured calorie-careful recipe for sweet and sour butternut squash, or, if you prefer, green beans with the ultimate treatment -- brown butter and toasted pecans, from an archive recipe in Fine Cooking Magazine.

Emergency aid workers are rushing this week to get food aid to the victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines — just the latest reminder of how vulnerable the food supply can be when disaster hits.

A few months ago, we introduced you to the wild world of dishwasher cooking. Poach salmon while cleaning dirty plates? No problem.

But some of you expressed concerns about having your sockeye sit so close to soapy water and the high energy cost of running a dishwasher.

Well, we've stumbled upon another wacky cooking method that may overcome these issues: using your coffee maker.

When you think of Oregon and food, you probably think organic chicken, kale chips and other signs of a strong local food movement. What probably doesn't come to mind? Food stamps.

And yet, 21 percent of Oregon's population – that's one out of every five residents – relies on food stamps to get by. And like many people across the country, these Oregon families who have come to rely on federal food assistance program for meals are learning to make do with less as of this month.

First we heard on Morning Edition that a clam scientists had opened up turned out to have been 507 years old.

That led us to stories with headlines like this: "Scientists accidentally kill world's oldest animal at age 507."

Rich Bowen/flickr creative commons

From Faith Middleton: We think you deserve the very best pumpkin pie recipe to dazzle your family and guests. This is my favorite dazzler, from a 2009 Bon Appétit magazine, because this pie combines the spicy quality of pumpkin with just the right amount of caramelized brown sugar, cinnamon, and toasted walnuts. Think pumpkin pie, coffee-cake style! (And you know we love our streusel-topped morning coffee cake.)

Washington State Says 'No' To GMO Labels

Nov 7, 2013

Voters appear to have defeated another attempt to require labels on genetically modified foods in Washington state. In early counts, the "no" campaign has what appears to be an insurmountable lead with 54 percent of votes.

The ballot initiative would require labels on the front of packages for most food products, seeds and commodities like soy or corn if they were produced using genetic engineering.

Kelly The Deluded/flickr creative commons

Fried Deviled Eggs
(From Southern Fried by James Villas) 
Serves 6

These melt in your mouth -- nicely seasoned traditional deviled eggs, dipped in bread crumbs, a little egg and flour, then fried in peanut oil to give them a crispy exterior.

What makes trick-or-treaters happy is candy. And more candy is better, right?

Well, it turns out that might not actually be the case. A few years ago researchers did a study on Halloween night where some trick-or-treaters were given a candy bar, and others were given the candy bar and a piece of bubble gum.

Addison Berry/flickr creative commons

From Faith Middleton: Great for Thanksgiving and eight other months of the year—Corn Bread Stuffing Muffins baked in a muffin tin. How about passing that around at your holiday table? I found this recipe in the November issue of Cooking Light magazine, and had to give it a whirl.

A Scrutinization of Salt

Oct 29, 2013
DaGoaty, Flickr Creative Commons

Salt! It's the only rock we eat!

That gets us into some touchy territory. Some say that salt is a major factor for high blood pressure, and some say that it's more complicated than that. We can't NOT eat salt, but in the grand scheme of things, are we eating more now than ever, or way less?

A Sweet And Sour History Of Our Obsession With Candy

Oct 27, 2013

Trick-or-treaters demand it. Dentists despise it. Pop musicians have sung odes to it.

Love it or hate it, candy is a cultural fixation — and it isn't going anywhere.

Kristin Wall/flickr creative commons

by Faith Middleton

This simple, flavorful spice rub is one of my favorites, and will transform your roast turkey as it cooks sitting atop a bed of fresh rosemary sprigs. The best part is that you can make the rub ahead, then freeze it or store it for when you need it.

Rachel/flickr creative commons

by Faith Middleton

The queen of slow cooking gives us Beer-Braised Brown Sugar Brisket with Bacon; Cajun Shrimp Chowder; Artichoke Chicken Lasagna; and Thai Peanut Butter Pork Roast. Throw the ingredients in a slow-cooker in the morning, and return hours later to a house full of comforting aromas. Honestly, it's like having staff! 

New York Times Connecticut restaurant critic Rand Cooper endorsed Staropolska in New Britain, where one can drink Bison Grass Vodka and eat bigos (pictured).

BrokenSphere / Wikimedia Commons

News has been pretty rough lately, between the government shutdown and the debt ceiling. Now comes word that America’s favorite cookie can produce similar effects on the brain as addictive drugs. New research from Connecticut College finds that the Oreo cookie is just as addictive as cocaine, at least for lab rats.

D. Sharon Pruitt/flickr creative commons

With scientific research, her own chemistry background, and the traditional diets of our not-so-distant ancestors as her guide, Dee McCaffrey casts new light on an age-old wisdom: Eating foods in their closest-to-natural form is the true path to sustained weight loss and, in fact, the remedy for almost any health problem. We are so far removed from foods in their natural state that we now call them “health foods,” a sad admission that we’ve compromised our health for the sake of convenience.

Robert S. Donovan/flickr creative commons

When blogger Jennifer Reese lost her job, she began a series of food-related experiments. Economizing by making her own peanut butter, pita bread, and yogurt, she found that “doing it yourself” doesn’t always cost less or taste better. In fact, she found that the joys of making some foods from scratch—marshmallows, hot dog buns, and hummus—can be augmented by buying certain ready-made foods—butter, ketchup, and hamburger buns. Tired? Buy your mayonnaise. Inspired? Make it.

Flickr Creative Commons, AndrewBrownNWA

Consumer activism is older than the nation. The colonists’ rejection of British imports started a tradition of voting with your knife, fork, teacup and credit card. But it’s complicated! Whole Foods isn’t perfect. And maybe you should reward Wal-Mart for at least trying to improve.

Robyn Lee/flickr creative commons

by Faith Middleton

If your schedule is rushed, have we got a cookbook for you! The Good-to-Go collection of about 300 recipes is a winner with adults and children. It's also the perfect cookbook for transitioning kids in a first apartment, or for kids in college.

Miranda Granche/flickr creative commons

by Faith Middleton

Yale University Preventive Medicine expert Dr. David Katz says he has a four-step approach to keep disease away. His technique involves a change in diet, exercise, no smoking, and weight-control. Master the skill-set to bring these areas in line, and we'll have longer and healthier lives. If you believe genes play the leading roll, or that environmental factors mean we're probably going to die younger than we thought, Dr. Katz says he has data to show you otherwise.

flowercarole/flickr creative commons

by Faith Middleton  

Here's the mission—to inspire kids to cook and eat real food with their families. And we have the recipes to help you do just that. From French toast to frittatas, chicken soup to classic burgers, banana-peach frozen yogurt to mango lassis. 

Connecticut Historical Society, 1980.43.2

An old myth maintains that you should only eat oysters during those months with the letter “R” in their names. This was both because of the higher bacteria content—and therefore the greater chance of disease—during summer months, and because of the health hazards associated with shipping raw seafood in an age before refrigeration.

Jack Newton/flickr creative commons

by Faith Middleton

Traditions can be fun and make life feel better. Join our brainstorming session to become inspired to start your own traditions, from apple-picking; the holiday party; the army buddy reunion; the Vermont Mud Race; to maple syrup on the first snow; and sampling away at The Faith Middleton Show's annual Martini Competition. (Do you know how strange it is to refer to yourself in the third person?)

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