Friday, August 28, 2009

Coffee fave French press

So I just returned from finally getting to watch Julie & Julia (it's been a hectic past few weeks) and clearly the blog-come-book-come-movie inspired me a is almost 1am after all as I'm sitting here typing. If you have yet to see the movie, it's freaking adorable and you should go support your local cinema and pay for over-priced, over-salted popcorn (a child size portion of course). Meryl Streep can't get more amazing as Julia Child and Amy Adams looks like a novice/pro slaving over a hot stove in a tiny Queens apartment. Anyhow, that's my two cents.
On other fronts, I have a new kitchen toy/new obsession. I have recently purchased my first French press coffee maker and will be testing it out tomorrow morning. The style and design of this Bodum French press drew me to purchase it like a kid in a candy store and I must say, it's looking damn fine sitting on my kitchen counter right now. Nothing wrong with a little sleek, sexiness to make your morning brew taste that much better. You can check out the "Eileen" (at left) at Bodum's website
here. Ain't she pretty? She's priced at a reasonable $59. Not to discriminate, I am also drooling over Alessi's Cactus! French press (below), though it's a wee bit pricey. Thoughts on your all's favorite French presses and favorite brands of coffee? I'm on the hunt for an excellent local or fair-trade brand. Suggestions are much appreciated! And for the record, coffee boasts some significant health benefits--it's loaded with antioxidants. In fact, it's the greatest source of antioxidants consumed by the majority of Americans...not blueberries or pomegranate, coffee. That says something about our country's fruit intake and possible caffeine addiction, but we'll leave that for another post.

Aside from getting my caffeine fix this week, I've got a few new recipes to add to the mix. They'll be going up early this week, but as an enticing lead-in, keep your eyes and taste-buds out for Avocado Corn Salad with Roasted Poblano-Jalapeno and Cilantro Vinaigrette and Asian Summer Noodles with Grilled Shrimp and Toasted Peanuts.

In good taste and good health...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Double down your waistline - KFC's latest creation

You typically see light, healthful fare on this blog, but Kentucky Fried Chicken's latest and not-so-greatest sandwich creation deserves a call out and a fairly large red flag. Check out the news story below which highlights the monstrosity of sandwich! Who needs bread or a bun when you can sandwich pepper jack, Swiss cheese, bacon and the Colonel's special sauce in between two original recipe fried chicken filets? The sandwich is a bit of a mystery. You won't find it on KFC's website and it's only sold in Nebraska at the current time (a blessing in disguise for your cholesterol). If I were to attempt to estimate calories and fat on this sucker, based on the nutrition stats for KFC's regular original recipe sandwich, we're looking at about 1,100 calories and 65 grams of fat. Eeks! That's basically your entire day's worth of food wrapped up between 2 fried chicken breasts. Enticing? Not so much. This is definitely one order to steer clear of!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

How to Eat GOOD (and still be ethical)

I think this piece featured in last week's New York magazine is worthy of a solid mention. Tagged as a Soup-to-Nuts Guide to Ethical Eating, the article titled "Eat Good," is the 'no-nonsense, cut through all the BS, just tell me what I should be eating and why' kind of writing that makes eating well (and ethically) actually easy. I admit, even as a someone who works with the ins and outs of food on a daily basis, it's sometimes hard to keep track of everything. What's the benefit of buying fair trade chocolate and is Chilean sea bass ok to order off the menu or am I doing irreversible damage to my little over-fished friends?
The article hammers out all the basic info you really need to know around the 17 most politically problematic foods. From the wild-shrimp you should be buying to save local habitats (the Lobster Place on Bleecker St. and in Chelsea Market stocks fresh Gulf shrimp fyi) to the chicken and eggs that are factory-farmed in tiny cages, a gigantic red flag for animal cruelty and overall food safety (go local with chickies and eggs when you can or look for organic free-range birds or the "humane" stamp on eggs at the grocery store). It's really a great article to read in full for quick tidbits on what to buy, what restaurants around the city are sustainable, seasonal and ethically-friendly.
Here's a quick run-down of the other 15 foods mentioned with tips on how to eat them more ethically: monkfish, red snapper (sadly overfished, but pink and gray varieties are A-Ok), Chilean sea bass (look for locally caught striped bass instead), beef, pork, milk, bananas, soy, tomatoes, lettuce, wine and champagne (horror!), chocolate (more horror!), sugar and coffee.

And a few PC restaurants in Manhattan and Brooklyn to add to the list: Blue Hill, Franny's, Savoy/Back Forty, Birdbath, the Green Table.