Tag Archives: ann arbor

Boycott Barilla

Yet again there is another food related foot in mouth incident of bigotry. The food world had just been through the Paula Deen drama.

Now Guido Barilla, of Barilla Pasta has jumped on the anti-gay bandwagon .

You probably have a box of Barilla pasta in your home right now. I did.

Barilla Boycott

Barilla Boycott

From the Independent by Michael Day 

Guido Barilla, whose firm has almost half the Italian pasta market and a quarter of that in the US, told Italy’s La Zanzara radio show last night: “I would never do an advert with a homosexual family…if the gays don’t like it they can go an eat another brand.

“For us the concept of the sacred family remains one of the fundamental values of the company.”

He added: “Everyone has the right to do what they want without disturbing those around them”. But then the pasta magnate upped the ante by attacking gay adoption. “I have no respect for adoption by gay families because this concerns a person who is not able to choose,” he said.

Guido Barilla’s firm has almost half the Italian pasta market and a quarter of that in the US.

When these things come out, I am curious if the anti-gay folks will rally in solidarity and boost the sales of the offending company.

I am not sure Barilla got the memo that politics and business do not mix, especially if you sell a consumer product. Does Barilla really want to loose his gay and gay supporter sales to champion his private believes?

Maybe. He’s rich. What does he care. But his shareholder care, which is why he apologized.

But I don’t buy it. I say let him sit with his believes and own them in the market place.

This is the last box of Barilla pasta I plan to buy.

I’m going to go with my local Michigan Brand Al Dente.

Or why not make your own homemade pasta.

Here is a recipe for Homemade Pasta from openly gay pastry chef David Lebovitz

Homemade Pasta

Homemade Pasta from http://www.davidlebovitz.com

Homemade Pasta Dough from http://www.davidlebovitz.com

1 1/2 pounds (665g) – 4 servings

7 ounces (200g) all-purpose flour
7 ounces (200g) coarse semolina
or 14 ounces (400g) flour
4 large eggs, at room temperature

Mix together the flour and semolina in the bowl of a stand mixer, or mix them up and create a mound on the counter top with a crater in the center. If using a stand mixer, add the eggs to the dough and mix them together with the paddle or dough hook until well mixed. On the counter top, crack the eggs into the center of the flour and semolina. Use your fingers to gradually draw the dry ingredients into the center, mixing them with the eggs. The dough will be hard to mix at first – a pastry scraper will help you draw it all together – but eventually it will come together and be relatively smooth.

Knead the dough with the heel of your hand for at least three minutes until the dough is very smooth. The dough should not feel sticky. If it sticks to your fingers, knead in a small amount of flour, just enough so your fingers come away clean when you pull them away. Wrap the dough and let it sit at room temperature for an hour.

(You can keep the dough for several hours at room temperature.

Shaping the pasta:

To roll out the pasta, on a lightly floured surface, cut the dough into six or eight pieces. Working one piece at a time, fashion each piece into a rough rectangle, then pass it through your pasta machine on the widest setting (usually #1). Fold dough in half or in thirds and pass it through again. Then fold and pass it through one more time.

Continue passing the pasta through the machine, closing down the opening of the rollers a few notches with each pass (and dusting them very lightly with flour or semolina if the dough is sticking) until you’ve reached the desired thickness. Then, if you wish to make fettuccine or spaghetti, use the pasta cutter attachment to cut the sheets into the desired thickness, or cut the pasta by hand on the counter top with a chef’s knife to whatever size strands or shapes you want.

Once rolled, fresh pasta should be dusted with semolina (preferably) or flour to keep it from sticking if you’re not going to cook it right away. You can lay it on a semolina- or flour-dusted baking sheet or linen kitchen towel, until ready to boil. Or drape it over a suspended rolling pin or pasta drying rack until ready to use.

Cook for 2-3 minutes in boiling water.

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Ground Tomatoes

Ann Arbor Food

Ground Tomatoes

I was at the Ann Arbor Farmers Market yesterday getting my fix of my favorite salsa from Nightshade Army Industries. I bought four jars, 3 red 1 green and Stefanie threw in a bag of ground cherry tomatoes.

The have a paper like husk wrapper like tomatillos, but are sweeter and are better raw.

They are sweet and fun to eat because of the wrappers, which makes them a fun party food.

Some say they have an almost tomato cross with a mango flavor. I think they have more of a sweet tomato with an sun dried tomato flavor.

They are my new thing. I try to try new vegetables each year. Last year was amaranth stem.

Homemade Energy Bars

Ann Arbor Food

Energy Bars

I have been on a health kick lately, so I’ve been making my own version of a health bar. There are whole sections of health food stores with these. Some are OK, but most taste like cardboard. And many load them up with questionable Soy Protein Isolate, a refined protein filler.

Packing a energy bar with Soy Protein Isolate helps with texture, moisture and creates a nice high protein ratio on the label, but it is questionable if its healthy.

My snack bars are full of natural goodness. They are 1 part toasted sesame seed, 1 part toast oats and two part organic rice crispy, with enough rice syrup and nut butter to hold them together.

Are they low fat, low sugar and high protein? Probably not.

But I’d rather have these then anything in a vending machine or on the health food store “health bar” shelf.

Feel free to adapt the recipe. I include options below.

Either way, most health bars are still high calorie with 200-250 calories just like a candy bar. I am not sure where these rank on calories, probably about the same. But my trick is to cut them into small squares and grab one when I need it.

Its sure better then hitting up my co-workers never ending Halloween bowl with candy.

Ann Arbor Food

Rice Crispy Bars

Homemade Energy Bars: Base Recipe

1 cup of unhulled toasted sesame seeds (or untoasted hulled)
1 cup of Toasted whole oats
2 cups of organic rice crispy
1/2-3/4 cup rice syrup
1/2 cup of peanut butter (natural just ground peanuts and salt, I use health food store freshly ground)
2 tablespoons of maple syrup
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
pinch of salt

Options:
coco powder
Almond butter
Other nuts and seeds (pecans, almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, cashews)
Dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, apricots, dates, etc..)
Toasted Coconut
Chocolate chips
Coco nibs
Sweet miso (cooked with the syrup mixture if using)
Crumpled Seaweed Nori

Procedure:

Wash and drain the sesame seed. Place in a cast iron plan and slowly toast until the seeds are toasted. A test is when the seed do not stick to a metal spoon and you can press them into powder. (If you are using hulled sesame seeds you do not need to toast them)

Next toast the oats for a few minutes on medium heat until it is slightly brown.

Place the seeds, oats and the rice crispy into a large bowl.

In a sauce pan, combine the peanut butter, rice syrup, maple, salt, vanilla and cinnamon. Heat just until the mixture melts together.

Add the warm mixture to the seed, oats rice and mixture to combine.

Press the mixture into a pan in an even level about an inch thick. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate to set.

Cut square from the pan. Eat at room temperature.

Ann Arbor Food

Homemade Energy Bars

I like to cut them into squares and put them in snack size ziplocks. Each bag is about the size of a health snack bar. They make great work snacks and travel food.

They usually don’t last long, but you can refrigerate or freeze them.

Nettles Tea

Ann Arbor Food

Ann Arbor Food

Here’s a pick of a dried nettle leaf. I don’t know why I never thought of drying out my nettles until now.

I am a big fan of fresh nettle tea as a cleansing tea to make the seasonal transition. I always buy a bag full when they appear at the Farmers Market some time in the Spring, but I always get too much. I do make some tea, but most has gone bad.

Stinging Nettles are a pain to harvest because they have sharp tiny burs that sting the skin. But they go away after they are cook in a tea or if they are dried.

To dry the nettle leaf (don’t dry the streams), I simple place them on a bakers cooling rack for a few days.

Once dry it is crumpled up and stored in a tin, which can last for at least a year. I combine my nettles with dried mint with a 1:1 ratio.

You’ll need a lot to make a tea, like around 1/4 cup because they are very light.

Ann Arbor Food

Ann Arbor Food

 

Emily and I are in the works with starting our own Tea Company. More on that later.

Detroit 48 Hour Film Project: Team Midnight Oil

midnight

48 Hour Film Project 2013 Team Midnight Oil

I am going to be doing a 48 hour film this year. It is kind of improv for film makers. You get a theme and then you have to write, shoot, edit and hand deliver a film in 48 hours.

It is truly an amazing feet.

Our team is currently doing a fundraiser to help support the project.

48 Hour Film Project 2013 Team Midnight Oil 

Most of the money I am told goes to help feed the some 20 person crew.

I figure that I will be the crew chef as well as video crew and maybe even act and write. I really never thought about the food element of film making.

Please help out if you can. We are 1/3 towards our goal.

Thanks

Nightshade Army Industries Salsa: Get Yourself Some

YPSI Salsa

YPSI Salsa

I was at the Ypsilanti Farmers Market yesterday, and I picked up some great salsa. In fact it is the only salsa I every want. It is by Nightshade Army Industries and it is made locally. They grow the tomatoes and peppers and they process the salsa at Beezy’s Cafe.They feature classic red and green and hot sauce and chilly vinegar. It reminds me of Southwest Style, the kind of salsa I loved in New Mexico.

Their partnership with Beezy’s Cafe makes this possible. In order for Nightshade to make their salsa, they need access to a commercial certified kitchen. These kitchen are everywhere. Every restaurant,cafe, or deli has one, but the are hard to come by.

Nightshade comes in after hours to make their salsa. I thought how many other local food products could we have if we could take advantage of a handful of kitchens after hours. What a huge untapped resource.

Think about all of that extra squash/pumpkin in your garden. That can be turned into pie filling. Or that apple tree in the back yard could make for a large batch of apple butter. Or how about small batch pickles, frozen dessert, or any number of food products that take advantage of local food, flavors and creativity.

Nightshade Army Industries does not just make great salsa, they are true local food heroes.

Go get yourself some.

 

These Boots are Made for Walking

ImageI have been looking back to my ghosts of weight loss success past and my time hiking on the Appalachian Trail comes to mind.

Mathematically speaking, WHEN I was hiking the trail, I was successful losing weight. The key words here are WHEN I WAS HIKING because coming back is another story.

But hiking is weight loss gold. The average Thru Hiker burns 4000-6000 calories a day. This means that even a fatty like myself will lose weight while hiking no matter how much food he eats (when hiking).

The reason for the huge daily calorie burn is because hikers hike ALL DAY. That is really all I hiker does after breakfast to coming into camp. We are talking 8-10 hours of hiking. At 500-650 calories an hour, that starts to add up quick.

Picture your last hour session on the elliptical and times that by ten.

Case in  point, a buddy has started posting his runs on facebook. Here was his last run. Here runs at a good pace, but how many runs does he do, 3-5 a week for about 30 minutes?

miles

So I thought, “What if I can take the hiker model and apply it to the “real world?”

If I took one day a week and “Hiked” (on the trail I would hike six days a week) I would burn more calories then a good week or two of going to the gym assuming a 1-2 hour aerobic session per gym visit.

A full day on the trail or in my case the 1.4 hiking loop in my town park would equal 8-10 exercise machine session.

I like those numbers. So I created a plan. I call it my Urban Thru Hiker Plan.

Unlike hiking the actual trail, this is ONLY one hiking day a week.

It is kind of the whussiest plan there is for actual thru hikers. For those hikers reading this, imagine a distance hike where you only hiked one full day a week, ridiculous right?

But in the real world, a full day seems massive, extreme, not practical in the least, the stuff of Forrest Gump like singular focus. “I just felt like walking.”

Unlike actually hiking in the woods, my Urban hiker plan means no sleeping in the woods, I walk on wide manicured trails, having access to treated water (a water fountain every 1.4 miles), a bathroom, a shower at home waiting for me, a comfy bed to sleep in and picnic lunches with fresh fruit and even a Whole Foods Market about 10 minutes off the trail.

It is comfort hiking to the extreme. And I don’t even need to carry a pack.

Now non-hiker might not get my plan, but distance hikers will see the merit and even ease of this plan.

The idea here is that a full day on the Urban “Trail” will add up to 4000-6000 calories burned and/or over one pound of exercise burning weight loss a week.