* A Google search for "chicken" yields more than 199,000,000 results!
* Julia Child said there are more ways to cook chicken than any other food, upwards of 475 different recipes.
* Chicken prices increased only 3.45% between August 2011 and February 2012, making them a "best buy."
* 8 oz of chicken breast have only 211 calories, with 40 g. of protein and no carbs.
* Chicken is an excellent source of the cancer-protective B vitamin and niacin.
Spring is here
Time to plant your fragrant, edible herbs
The Empty Nester Gourmet Recommends
Risotto alla Milanese with Saffron
Earthquake in Italy damages more than 600,000 wheels of Parmigiano Reggiano
This just in from Specialty Food News ... June 2012 ... "The earthquakes last month in Italy have spared the lives of those working in the affected Parmigiano Reggiano areas, but have damaged 24 cheese houses and aging facilities and an estimated 608,000 wheels of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. The Consorzio del Formaggio Parmigiano-Reggiano reports, however, that there will not be a scarcity of the cheese produced in the certified producing regions due to cheese houses sharing their facilities." For more on this story, see www.specialtyfood.com.
Did you know ...
Pumpkin is very nearly a perfect food?
• It adds vitamins to your diet
• Is low in fat, high in antioxidants and beta-carotene
• Reduces risks of developing certain types of cancer
• Protects against heart disease
• And also helps retard some of the effects of aging!
Put some pumpkin in your pantry today!
The Empty Nester Gourmet in the News
The Empty Nester Gourmet was recently featured in a hometown newspaper article. The subject of the article was "Desperate Dinners" -- dishes that can be made in a short amount of time, with only minimal preparation, and that everyone (even children) love. Our "2-Napkin Wings" were featured. Heres the link to the entire article. Enjoy and be sure to try these wings this weekend, to celebrate the 4th of July! http://www.northjersey.com/food_dining/124657084_More_desperate_dinners__Part_III.html
Thanksgiving Dinner for 12 -- The Centerpiece
Here's our 21 lb. turkey, that we prepared last Thanksgiving for a big family feast. It's stuffed with sausage, bread, raisins and spices -- a modern spin on my grandmother Cecelia's recipe. This photo was taken just as it was ready to go into the oven and roast for several hours.
New Yorkers are cooking at home
So says Zagat's 2011 New York City Restaurant Survey. Nearly 27% of New Yorkers are eating out less than they were six months ago. Only 11% are eating out more. Food trucks have gained in popularity, with 26% purchasing food "occasionally" from gourmet trucks.
Calories, Not Protein or Carbs, Are Key to Weight Loss
"Curbing calories is the key ingredient for diabetics seeking to lose weight, and low-fat diets that are either high in protein or high in carbs are equally effective, researchers say." So reports the Jun 27 edition of HealthyDay.com.
"I think there are two key messages from this study," said study lead author Jeremy D. Krebs, a senior lecturer with the school of medicine and health sciences at the University of Otago in Wellington, New Zealand. "The first is that no matter what diet we prescribe, people find it extremely difficult to sustain the changes from their habitual diet over a long time. But if they are able to follow either a high-protein diet or a high-carbohydrate diet, they can achieve modest weight loss."
My husband and I became quasi-"empty nesters" recently. Our son technically still lives with us, but he is gone more than he is here, spending his time in NYC working, rehearsing and meeting up with friends (he is an actor). Our eating habits have adapted accordingly. Many of the dishes I prepare are "just for two" but often I make enough to be reheated at midnight (for our son) or the day after without losing flavor. Most dishes hail from our combined Italian-French heritage and are rooted in family tradition. Others are my own, often the result of tweaking cooking class recipes (I've attended classes at the CIA and other cooking schools) and are on the "most requested" list from family and friends. They incorporate wholesome, fresh (often organic and/or local) ingredients, and have lots of flavor and aroma. For recipes, please email your request and we will gladly provide! In the meantime, a votre santé ... and ... saluté!
Charles Burel, Ron's maternal grandfather, pictured at center with his partners, in front of his downtown Cabaret, c. 1929. His pastry store, Patisserie Parisienne, was located a few blocks away.
Charles Burel began his trade in France at the age of 14 when he apprenticed to a baker. He worked from 5 AM to midnight seven days a week for no pay. Later, in New York City, he became well-known for baking masterpieces, as well as for his work for Free French. Charles and his wife, Jeanne, recieved a personal commendation from Charles deGaulle for their untiring work to free France during WW II.
Food just seems to taste better when it is accompanied by flowers, and a few favorite accents.
"Jacques the Knife"
Have you ever seen Jacques Pepin take a knife to an onion or clove of garlic? If you have, then you'll understand the joy of seeing the chop-chop and the clickity-click up front and in person. Although I had seen him wield his knives countless times on TV, I was able to witness it in real life during this class with the master of them all. He was introducing his newest book, "Fast Food My Way," and mesmerized us with his dizzying speed and precision. The results were always perfect, and he brought down the house with applause over and over again.
St. Petersburg Russia 2006
Restaurant Palkin, on the Nevsky Prospekt. This restaurant was a favorite of Tchaikovsky, Chekhov, and Dostoyevsky who enjoyed sumptuous dinners and lively discourse here. We dined on strogonoff, potato vodka, and caviar in their shadow.
What a thrill it was so meet Chuck Williams at the Opening Party of the New York City Time-Warner store. He told me his life story that morning -- how he became interested in cooking (in his grandmother's kitchen), the genesis of Williams-Sonoma (a trip to France), his love for authentic, well-designed kitchen tools, and how his idea grew over the years to be one of the biggest and most important retailers for food enthusiasts. I told him how years before, on a trip to Sonoma Valley, I had made a special trip to the original Williams-Sonoma store, the epicenter of where it all began, and about the effect stores like this can have on those of us who love to cook. He understood.