Monday, February 23, 2009

Good Food For Bad Times

Everyday we're hit with more and more bad news about the economy. It's enough to make you want to hide out until it all blows over.

But now's not the time to isolate yourself. You need family and friends around to keep your spirits up.

So gather the clan and still keep a hold on your wallet. Here's how:

1. Buy less prepared food.
Make party foods yourself and save a bundle. Cube you own cheese. Cut your own veggies. Serve home made dips. Prepare soup, salads and entrees from scratch.

2. Plan you menu around sale items.
Be flexible. Buy what's on sale - crackers, meat, cheese, veggies - even the wine or beer. No one will know you didn't pay full price.

3. Make your own dessert.
Purchased desserts are expensive. Think simple. Fresh fruit with orange liquor or a sweet white wine drizzled over the top. Home made cookies. Cobbler. Bread pudding. Baked apples.

4. Serve a meatless entrée.
Afraid your guests will feel deprived? Serve Italian. Nobody ever misses the meat in entrees like eggplant parmesan, baked ziti or ricotta stuffed shells.

Try this gourmet entree. Add a loaf of crusty bread, a bottle of wine and a gooey dessert. Couldn't be cheaper or easier!

Artichoke, Black Olive and Parmesan Whole Wheat Fettuccine
Very nice and very elegant which just goes to show that good taste doesn't have to cost much.

Serves 4

1 (12 -16 oz.) box whole wheat fettuccine
1/3 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic (finely minced - or to taste, optional)
1 (12 to 14 oz.) jar marinated artichoke hearts (partially drained and coarsely chopped)
1 cup pitted black olives (halved lengthwise)
Pinch coarse grind or brandied pepper
1/4 cup fresh basil or parsley leaves (shredded - no stems)
1/4 cup pine nuts, walnuts or sunflower seeds (optional)
1 1/2 cups shredded parmesan cheese (not grated or from green jar)

Cook fettuccine according to package directions. Drain well. Don't wash pot.

Put oil, garlic, artichokes, their liquid and pepper into the empty pasta cooking pot. Gently heat to steaming. Add drained fettuccine, basil (or parsley) and pine nuts (or walnuts or sunflower seeds). Stir to coat (a rubber spatula works well). Pour onto serving platter. Pile cheese over top.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

F.E.A.S.T. - Serving Up Support

Monday Morning Blog

In a world where dieting and trying to lose weight is the norm, it may seem odd that some people don't want to eat.

Can't eat is probably a better term because people suffering from the eating disorders of anorexia or bulimia don't have a choice. Anorexia and bulimia are compulsive brain disorders - not chosen behaviors.

F.E.A.S.T. (Families empowered and supporting treatment of eating disorders) is a Warrenton, Virginia based, not for profit, international organization that helps in the recovery from eating disorders.

An out growth of the cutting edge book on the subject, Eating With Your Anorexic, F.E.A.S.T provides up to the minute information about eating disorders, promotes evidence - based treatment and research.

"Parents were (once) believed to cause eating disorders but they don't. Parents are the greatest ally in treatment. With a new generation of care we'll see a new generation of recovery."
……..Laura Collins, author of Eating With Your Anorexic.

F.E.A.S.T believes that eating disorders are biologically based mental illnesses and not the result of deep pathology in the patient or trauma within the family.


Eating With Your Anorexic
By Laura Collins (McGraw - Hill)

Laura Collins is regularly invited to speak at conferences and has been interviewed by The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, The New York Times, The BBC and NPR radio. Look for an upcoming article about F.E.A.S.T in the Washington Post.

F.E.A.S.T Informational Community Event
Sunday, February 22, 2009 - 3PM
Lord Fairfax Community College
College St.- Room 203
Warrenton, VA 20187
(540) 227-8518

Open to the public - Free

Monday, February 2, 2009

Baby Bee Mine - Honey and Ginger Chocolate Truffles

Monday Morning Blog

It just wouldn't be Valentine's Day without chocolate.

These ultra dark, ultra rich hand made truffles are kissed with the elegance of ginger.

Wonderful with champagne, merlot or French roast coffee.

For the sophisticated, adult taste. Don't waste these on the kiddies.

Makes about 1 1/2 dozen

1 (1 oz) square unsweetened chocolate
2 oz regular cream cheese (softened- low fat or fat free not recommended)
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup powdered sugar (sifted)
1 teaspoon dried ginger
Toasted wheat germ or sifted, dark cocoa powder for coating (about 1/4 cup - natural cocoa not recommended)

Put chocolate into a heat proof cup and microwave until almost melted - about 1 minute. Stir to finish melting.

Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and chocolate together until smooth. Beat in honey. On low speed, add powdered sugar and ginger mixing until smooth.

Refrigerate to firm - about half an hour. Longer is OK.

Put wheat germ or cocoa (for coating) into a small bowl. Divide firm mixture evenly into 18 pieces.

Using your hands, lightly roll each piece into a ball and roll in coating. Shake off excess.
Keep finished truffles refrigerated.

Karla's tips:
Toasted wheat germ resembles (and tastes like) ground nuts.
Dark cocoa for this recipe has a much richer taste than natural cocoa. Natural cocoa as a coating can taste chalk-y.