food

paddy patterson/flickr creative commons

by Faith Middleton  

Faith's Thanksgiving Cosmo Sparkler

You know me—I love easy, delicious cocktails, and I have a festive seasonal sparkler this time to get your Thanksgiving rolling. Pair together cranberry juice, vodka and champagne, and your guests will be having too much fun to notice you forgot to defrost the turkey. Serve your drinks in chilled martini glasses; simply run your glasses under water, then pop them in the freezer for an hour or two, pulling each one out as you pour from your cocktail pitcher. Then you top off each glass with a splash of champagne, or an affordable dry sparkler, like a Spanish cava.

Worldwide, roughly 1 in 8 people suffered from chronic hunger from 2011 to 2013, according to a new report from three U.N. food agencies.

They concluded that 842 million people didn't get enough food to lead healthy lives in that period, a slight drop from the 868 million in the previous report.

The modest change was attributed to several factors, from economic growth in developing countries to investments in agriculture. And in some countries, people have benefited from money sent home by migrant workers. But the gains were unevenly distributed, the report's authors say.

Cosasdebeas / Wikimedia Commons

Just as wine lovers want complexity in a great vintage wine, olive oil fans expect purity in their favorite extra virgin. But high-end olive oil is expensive to produce. And in the mid-2000s, fraud was a growing problem.

When Connecticut officials discovered that some imported olive oil was really a cheap knock-off, they leapt into action. Jerry Farrell was commissioner of Connecticut’s Department of Consumer Protection at the time.

Editor's Note: This post is part of All Things Considered's Found Recipes project.

Although Heinz may dominate the ketchup scene, 100 years ago it wasn't uncommon to make your own at home. So why bother doing so now, when you can just buy the bottles off the shelf? At least one man, Jim Ledvinka, was motivated by nostalgia.

"Oh, yes — we remember my grandmother making ketchup. And it was quite a sight to behold," Ledvinka says.

Americans have a longstanding love affair with maple syrup. According to the USDA, production of the sticky stuff in the United States totaled 3.25 million gallons this year. However, it isn't the only tree syrup that's available to drizzle on your short stack or sweeten your latte.

Wheat has been getting a bad rap lately.

Many folks are experimenting with the gluten-free diet, and a best-selling book called Wheat Belly has helped drive a lot of the interest.

"Wheat is the most destructive thing you could put on your plate, no question," says William Davis, a cardiologist in Milwaukee, Wis., who authored the book.

Justin Smith/flickr creative commons

by Faith Middleton

What makes a chili unforgettable? When the meat and the right combo of spices are cooked slowly enough to make them melt into the sauce. This is the recipe that makes that happen, and the unsweetened cocoa powder addition is masterful, adding dark, dusky flavor.

William Wootton/flickr creative commons

Why do grownups and kids fight about food? Is there a way around it? I talk with New Haven psychologist Dr. Nancy Horn about re-framing the food fight strategy. Maybe you've had a food fight… or two million. No? Think about it…

erin_can_spell / Flickr Creative Commons

Welcome to autumn in New England. The weather is getting crisper, you can get pumpkin flavored lattes, beer and donuts, and it's prime apple-picking season. 

Most apple pickers do it the legal way. You get a bag, pick the ripest, biggest apples you can find, and then you pay for them. Apparently, some people are forgetting that last step.

No doubt most of you reading this post have looked at Yelp or Google+ Local to check the user reviews before you tried that fish store, bakery or even dentist. On occasion, you may have wondered if some of those reviews were too good to be true.

It turns out that some of them were.

Sujata Srinivasan

This week was Farm-to-Chef week, as the Connecticut Department of Agriculture makes an effort to promote local produce at Connecticut restaurants. The state’s eateries report they are seeing more demand for locally-grown food.

The Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted Thursday to slash $40 billion from the federal food stamp program.

GOP lawmakers cited what they said was widespread abuse of the program, formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, which is intended to help poor individuals and families buy groceries.

The vote to cut food stamps came on a party line vote of 217-200.

"It's wrong for working, middle-class people to pay" for abuse of the program, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said.

Ana Radelat / The Connecticut Mirror

Congress is heading into a major fight over food stamps. The battle highlights sharp ideological differences over a program that helps to feed about 220,000 people in Connecticut.

Conservative House Republicans, especially members of the Tea Party, say the food stamp program has become bloated and discourages people from finding jobs. They propose cutting $40 billion over the next decade from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the official name for food stamps.

Justin Smith/flickr creative commons

 by Faith Middleton 

Yankee Magazine food editor Amy Traverso poured through the archives going back many decades, in search of the best vintage recipes from readers. When I spotted this recipe for brown paper bag meatloaf, I knew we had to try it. And why drag out the suspense? We loved it!

When critics of industrial agriculture complain that today's food production is too big and too dependent on pesticides, that it damages the environment and delivers mediocre food, there's a line that farmers offer in response: We're feeding the world.

It's high-tech agriculture's claim to the moral high ground. Farmers say they farm the way they do to produce food as efficiently as possible to feed the world.

Chion Wolf

You may eat out a lot, but do you really have tipping figured out?

Or do you stress about whether you left the right amount?

Would you be happier with an 18 percent service charge added on and no obligation to tip?

These are the shifting restaurant rules we'll talk about today.

tracy benjamin/flickr creative commons

by Faith Middleton 

Celebrate the end of summer with one of your last meals from the grill. This one's fresh and memorable, so savor every bite. I came up with what I call BLT Chicken by making a salad and adding flavors I love together—chicken, fresh corn, tomatoes and, I thought, why not? Let's butter and grill the cornbread. It has a little crispy edge that makes me swoon, caramelized and buttery on the tongue.

Listen, you're free to make the cornbread on a weekend, when there's time to do it from scratch, but feel free to use the supermarket as your prep chef. That's what my pal Jacques Pepin does; he buys supermarket stuff pre-chopped to save time. So you can buy the cornbread made, use a packaged mix, or use that time-honored family recipe. In fact, you can do so much of this on a Sunday night for Monday supper, including wash the greens, dice the scallions, make the dressing, make the corn and slice off the kernels, and cut the cherry tomatoes in half.

Making Tea Honestly

Sep 5, 2013
Ashwin on Flickr Creative Commons

Jude Adamson/flickr creative commons

It's 5 o'clock, your future in-laws are coming to dinner and… well… is the chicken really supposed to be that color? And the bread seems to be a strange sort of shape. And, hm. Is something on fire?

Today: KITCHEN DISASTERS. Award-winning author Amy Bloom and senior contributor Chris Prosperi join Faith for a live call-in edition of The Food Schmooze. We'll confess to our worst (best) horror stories, and we invite you to join the fun!

J Holt

Hartford's Downtown gained another dining option this week, and one that's been a long time coming. For the two institutions behind it, fresh food and good coffee are just the starters. WNPR's J Holt has more.

When the Downtown branch of the Hartford Public Library underwent a major renovation in the early two thousands, a three story tall, glass walled atrium space was built right up front, with the intention of it becoming a cafe.

Nick Perla/flickr creative commons

Fall is finally almost kind of here, and to celebrate we devote most of The Food Schmooze to apples. Amy Traverso returns with her book, The Apple Lovers’ Cookbook. Plus, Ruta Kahate and her Quick-Fix Indian.

Courtesy of Flickr CC by Indirect Heat

Most likely the lobster you've eaten in Connecticut this summer isn't local. The number of lobsters has declined severely in Long Island Sound over the last decade. Now local fisherman are pulling traps in preparation of a mandatory closed season in the weeks ahead.

The decision by the Atlantic States Fisheries Commission impacts all of Long Island Sound. This means lobstermen in Connecticut and New York won't be able to catch lobster from September 8 thru November 28.

Johan Hansson/flickr creative commons

The printing press, the pencil, the flush toilet, the battery—these are all great ideas. But where do they come from? What kind of environment breeds them? What sparks the flash of brilliance? How do we generate the groundbreaking ideas that push forward our lives, our society, our culture?

Derek Gavey/flickr creative commons

Join the Food Schmooze gang for a look at post-summer grilling. Plus, the cookbooks Wine Bites: 64 Nibbles That Pair Perfectly with Wine and The Book Club Cookbook: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club's Favorite Books and Authors.

Brent Hoard/flickr creative commons

The dog days of summer have arrived, kids are heading back to school, and have we got an hour of SIMPLE cooking planned for you: Food Schmooze all-star, and six-time James Beard Award-winner, James Peterson is back to talk about Kitchen Simple: Essential Recipes for Everyday Cooking. And Nina Simonds returns with her cookbook, Simple Asian Meals.

 

U.S. Army photo/Pamela Spaugy

It's been a rough summer for Connecticut's shellfish industry.

A recent Connecticut law states that Connecticut oysters must be at least three inches long when harvested. The state's shellfish industry supported the bill, despite neighboring states allowing smaller sized oysters to be harvested in their waters.

Now a recent inspection by the State Department of Agriculture revealed that 20 of 24 randomly chosen samples by 11 harvesters had oysters smaller than three inches. Steven Reviczky is the commissioner of the Department of Agriculture.

K. Kendall/flickr creative commons

Recipes galore! Jennifer Armentrout, editor of Fine Cooking magazine, has some great ideas for using what's fresh in the markets now. And Katherine Alford tells you how to make some delicious meals from her new cookbook 1,000 Easy Recipes.

A trend of warming waters may be to blame for an outbreak of the Vibrio parahaemolyticus bacteria, related to cholera, in 22 shellfish beds that were recently closed by the state agriculture department.

Charles Haynes/flickr creative commons

On this fresh edition of The Food Schmooze, we’ll look at Pam Powell’s Salad Days: Recipes for Delicious Organic Salads and Dressings for Every Season. And Food Schmooze all-star Jacques Pépin joins us to discuss Essential Pepin.

Flickr Creative Commons, Keoni Cabral

In researching this show, I found one claim that some of the writers of the Constitution fasted to enhance inspiration and mental clarity. I couldn't confirm that, but in 1775, the Continental Congress proclaimed July 20 as a day of "fasting and humiliation."  

Pages