#AtoZChallenge 2016, A-Z Challenge, Challenges, Feeding the Kids, Food, Hello.IAmPhat, Nutrition

{N}osh…The Little Ones Eat: #AtoZChallenge 2016

Feeding the Little Ones today is much more exciting than yesteryear!   Today we allow the Little Ones to get in there,  roll up their sleeves and unleash their creative juices.  One thing for sure,  if you want to keep the ‘picki-ness’ and the prickly food attitudes at bay,  get those young chefs engaged and involved!

You know, they’ll never turn their

faces up at their creations.

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Instead,  they’ll be nosh-ing everything in sight!

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 In all fairness to the years gone by, there wasn’t the amazing social media outlets that virtually puts cooking with children on autopilot.  Perhaps if there were,  we would have the likes of these nutritious delights:

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Do you have a Little  One who loves to create yummy meals to nosh?

Do tell……

Next. The Letter {O}

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{M}is en Place: #AtoZChallenge 2016

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The first time that I heard these words was while watching the Food Network’s ‘Worst Cooks in America‘.  *I told you that I am in  love all of the cooking shows*.   After first, learning how to correctly pronouncing the darn word! – {MEES in plause}…… Thank You Siri.  

About this strange word. It’s French. It’s used primarily in culinary speak.  It looks nothing like the way it’s spelled  *I guess that’s the ‘French-ness’ off it all*.   And, it translates literally to “Everything in place”.  In practice it means that, before a dish is prepared, all the ingredients, supplies, and appliances needed are in one space.

Here are a few examples :

Mise-en-place

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Although used in the world of food, I bet if  I use this whole mis en place principle in other aspects of my life,  I’ll, at most, be super organized and at least, be very spicy!

What in your life can benefit from. ‘ being in it’s place’?

Do tell…..

Next.  The Letter  {N

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#AtoZChallenge 2016, A-Z Challenge, Challenges, Food

{J}icama: #AtoZChallenge 2016

Jicama.

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Okay.  I have to admit that my first experience with this (what I have come to learn) root was a couple of years ago.  While having lunch with one of my Philippine colleagues, she pulled from her lunch sac what looked to me like a potato, and began to peel it.  After watching her get all of the tough, bark-like skin off,  I couldn’t image what she was going to do with this ‘potato ‘.

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Not afraid to ask a question, if it means that I will learn something new,  I asked her about this ‘potato’ that she seemed content to eat raw.  She gave me an abridged cultural lesson that included a brief intro of the veggie before offering a taste.  Can I say that I was pleasantly surprised!  What I expected was the starchy taste of a potato. What I got was the juicy hybrid flavors of a savory apple, the crunch of water chestnut and the sweetness of a pear.  Yep!!!!  Couldn’t believe it!  This was reeeally good!

Native to Mexico (but no stranger in Latin America and South-East Asian countries) the plant is a member of the bean family.  It grows on vines that can reach up to twenty feet in length.  The root is the only edible portion if the plant;  its leaves and seeds contain a mild toxin!  WHOA!

 Here’s a little more about the WHAT

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And WHY of this food

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Today, Jicama is a stable on my ‘must have‘ grocery list.  I’ve even learned to pronounce it correctly – [HEE ka ma].

Enjoy!

Have you cooked with Jicama?

Do tell…..

Next. Letter {K}

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#AtoZChallenge 2016, A-Z Challenge, Challenges, Food, Hello.IAmPhat

{I}nfusion: #AtoZChallenge 2016

Infusion is the process and the result of, steeping an aromatic substance into a liquid – hot or cold – until the liquid has absorbed the added ingredient’s flavor .

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The beauty of infusion is that,  not only do the flavor(s) being extracted from foods infiltrate the liquid, the flavors of the liquid is transferred into the food.  Think of it  as one hand washing the other!

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Flavored vinegars and oils, milk, and tea leaves and  herb and spices – lavender comes to mind – are common ingredients used in the infusion process.

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One of the most common and well-known types of infusion is used in the process of preserving food.  The berries and fruit are placed in alcohol or vinegar allowing them to be stored, without spoiling.

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Now,  you’re always ready for that unexpected houseguest!

Don’t think that you’ve used this technique?   Have you added fruit to your water?  How about lemons slices?  Cucumbers slices? Mint leaves? Thyme? Rosemary?

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Infusions are all around us!  There are endless ways to create them!  Today’s infusions techniques helps me turn, what can be, a multi-day/month process, into a few hours work.

When it comes to infusions,  you are only limited by your creativity!  Have fun!

Coffee and business strategy

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What have you infused lately?

Do tell…

Next.  The Letter {J}

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{H}ash: #AtoZChallenge 2016

At one time or another you’ve had a meal that included hash.  I consider hash a ‘dump meal’ *and I mean it luv-ingly. Really*.  Got left-overs in the fridge? – Veggies? Meat? Onion? Garlic?  (or both). Add a potato.  Throw it all in a well- oiled skillet with your favorite seasonings

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And there you have it. Hash.

The corn beef  version is the most well-known but once you realize that this is reeeally a meal made from anything in the fridge, it’ll soon be in the rotation for breakfast,  lunch and dinner.

No. Really. Just remember these few simple steps:

☆ Choose your Meat. Not a meat eater? Skip this step.

This is where you throw it into a skillet with a little oil. Cook until crisp.  Transfer to a plate – when done. Use a spoon with slots so that you leave the fat and juice.  The fat is where the flavor lives!

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☆ To the fat left in the skillet, add anything that had an ‘onion-y’ taste.  Yep!  That means shallots,  garlic,  leeks even onions.  Season to taste (that’s if the fat is not already flavorful enough for you).  

☆ Remember to add in your potatoes.

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Cook to your liking.  Want more veggies?  Add them now.

☆ Remember that meat that you cooked earlier?  Yep!  It wants back into the party.  Add it back into your skillet of goodies.  Again, cook to your liking.

{Didn’t use meat? Skip this step}

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For more protein, add an egg.

Finish with your favorite cheese topping .

☆ Plate

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Enjoy!

I’d luv to know your favorite Hash recipe

Do tell….

Next.  Letter {I}

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{G}adgets: #AtoZChallenge 2016

I have a confession to make.  I am a gadget junky!  Not a luv’er of  all gadgets tho’.  If it’s electronic,  book-related or kitchen related, I go ‘ coo coo for CoCo Puffs’ over it!  *you do remember this tag line for the cereal,  don’t you? * 

The gadgets that get my attention had to meet only two criteria.  It must:

☆ be cute but functional

☆ and have the ‘ahhhhhhhhhhh!’ factor!

That’s it!  If it has those two things,  it has me at the letter ‘G’!

So I confessed about my luv for spices.  Gadgets are easily a close second in the area of vices!  And,  for the purpose of this post,  kitchen gadgets fit the bill nicely *flashing a big cheesy grin*

Here’s just a few of these little Luv-lies:

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The Cute Factor : It’s a bowl

The Ahhhhhh Factor : The Splash!

 Tabua-derramada-bem-legaus-1The Cute Factor: It’s a Cutting Board

The Ahhhhhh Factor: It’s a Paint Drip!

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The Cute Factor: It’s  a Tea Infuser

The Ahhhhhh Factor: It’s A Dude just ‘hanging’ out!

These are just a few gadgets that I’m luv’ing now. I’ve got much more over on My Pinterest Page

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What’s your food vice?

Do tell. …..

Next.  Letter {H}

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{F}ood Trucks….A Few {F}un {F}acts: #AtoZChallenge 2016

The last time that I did this challenge, for my Letter ‘F‘, I blogged about ‘Farm to Table

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I luv’ed the concept then and even thought about re-blogging it for this post.  *wasn’t sure if that would be cheating.  Sheepish grin* .  So I picked a not-so-new-but-equally-as-exciting  ‘F’ word.

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No. Not that F-word!

 The other one – Food Truck, of course!

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Wikipedia defines a food truck as

A food truck is a large vehicle equipped to cook and sell food.[1] Some, including ice cream trucks, sell frozen or prepackaged food; others have on-board kitchens and prepare food from scratch. Sandwiches, hamburgers, french fries, and other regional fast food fare is common. In recent years, associated with the pop-up restaurant phenomenon, food trucks offering gourmet cuisine and a variety of specialties and ethnic menus, have become particularly popular.[2] Food trucks, along with portable food kiosks and food carts, are on the front line of the street food industry that serves an estimated 2.5 billion people every day.[3][4]

Today’s food trucks are not the mobile grease machines of yesteryear that went, largely, unregulated *read ‘food petri dish’*.

The food trucks today can be as well-equipped as a well-appointed chef’s kitchen and clean enough to “eat off of the floor” *in the proverbial since*.

Food trucks existed well before the early 2000s, but many sources pinpoint 2008 as the unofficial onset of the food truck phenomenon.

I found this infographic about theseverything trendy ‘Meals on Wheels’. Check it out:

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I’m lucky enough to work in an area that I can, at lunchtime,  run out and grab a food truck meal.  I hope that you can too!

Got a favorite food truck?

Do tell….

Next.  Letter {G}

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