Thursday, July 24, 2014

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ON THE BACK BURNER



07/02/2014 03:12 PM Posted By: Dan Eaton

The flavor of the California or Florida strawberries just can’t compare to the tasty local, seasonal strawberries we find here in New York state at the end of June and beginning of July -- just in time for a 4th of July strawberry shortcake!

I try to eat as many as I can while these seasonal strawberries are at the local markets and farm stands and, although they’re great eaten fresh or simply sliced with shortcake, they lend themselves to other recipes as well.

Here are 10 recipe ideas for local strawberries -- enjoy!

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam
Goat Cheese Crostini with Strawberries and Balsamic Vinegar Reduction
Lemon Poppy Seed Shortcakes with Strawberries and Whipped Cream


Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp with Fresh Ginger

Chocolate Strawberry Banana Bread

Strawberry Rhubarb Ginger Sauce with Puff Pastry Shells and Vanilla Ice Cream

Strawberry Goat Cheese Panzanella
Lemon Ricotta Poppy Seed Pancakes with Strawberries and Maple Syrup

Strawberry Nutella Crepes
Chocolate Icebox Cake with Strawberries and Mint


06/13/2014 08:43 AM Posted By: Dan Eaton

It’s crazy to think that Father’s Day is coming up this weekend and that means it time for us dads to get outside and cook something up on the grill!

I’ve got 15 great grilling ideas below to help you get creative on June 15.

Happy Father’s Day! Try not to work too hard, and Enjoy it!

Grilled Hamburger with Crispy Bacon and Pickled Jalapeno Peppers

Grilled Scallops and Shrimp with Grilled Vegetables

Garlic and Rosemary Grilled Ribeye Steaks

Summer Burger Stacked with Mushroom and Jalapeno Jack Cheese

Black and Blue Burgers

Turkey Burgers with Spinach, Red Pepper, Black Olive and Feta Salad

Grilled Chicken Sausage

Grilled Tuna

Grilled Flank Steak

Grilled New York Strip Streaks

Pork and Pineapple Skewers with Homemade Pineapple BBQ Sauce

Grilled Salmon with Mustard Dressing

Grilled Italian Sausage Sandwiches with Eggplant

Grilled Ham Sandwich with Pineapple

Grilled Chicken with Black Bean Salsa


05/05/2014 02:38 PM Posted By: Dan Eaton

I’ve always been a big proponent of shopping at farmers markets and farm stands, enjoying seasonal, locally grown produce, dairy and meat products. And although I’ve been meaning to do it for a few years now, I’ve just recently signed up for my first share in what’s called a CSA farm share program, or community supported agriculture.

There are several CSA farm share programs throughout New York State. Before the beginning of every growing season, people sign up and commit a financial investment to the CSA of their choice.

That money helps the farmer buy supplies and helps support the operation throughout the year. In return, the investing member reaps a weekly supply of the seasonal harvest. There is no guarantees of what each weekly harvest will be, and some weekly shares will be more plentiful than others as the season progresses.

This investment is a joint agreement between the farmer and the member -- an agreement to share in the good times and in the bad times. If the season’s harvest is good, the members share will be as plentiful as hoped for. But, if the season is challenging, the member shares in the hard times as well.

Some CSAs require on-site farm pick up, but some deliver. Others will organize alternating pick up schedules among members with predetermined drop off locations.

Certain CSAs offer discounted memberships if members contribute a predetermined amount of physical labor during the growing season.

I’m very excited about this new adventure and I’m looking forward to the surprise each week’s bounty will hold. I hope you might be interested in joining a CSA too. The more people involved, the more vibrant and healthy our local community of small farms will be.

Check out the following links for more information about some CSAs in New York:
www.nofany.org
www.agriculture.ny.gov
www.justfood.org
smallfarms.cornell.edu
www.sustainabletable.org


04/21/2014 03:15 PM Posted By: Dan Eaton

We are blessed by a fertile earth that feeds us every day, and we are spoiled by a constant supply of food and we’ve come to take that food for granted.

We often treat it as a disposable thing, not the sacred thing that it is. According to a recent study, Americans are wasting 40 percent of the food we produce.

On top of that staggering figure, we’ve also come to learn that the methane gas given off by wasted food in landfills contributes to almost 25 percent of our total greenhouse gas emissions.

Think about it...that is 40 percent wasted, despite knowing there are many hungry families that don’t have nearly enough to eat in this country. Think of all the wasted energy required to grow, harvest, distribute, refrigerate and cook that food.

Another way we can make a positive difference in our environment is to commit to eating less meat. Global demand for meat is at an all time high, but that demand requires more and more supplies of water, corn, soy and other grains to produce it.

Those same grains could be used to feed humans directly with less negative greenhouse gas impact on our planet. The demand for meat has also led to the destruction of large portions of our world’s tropical rain forests.

Choosing not to eat meat one day per week can make a huge difference for our planet if enough people join in the effort...commit to “Meatless Mondays”.

Remember:
•Don’t take food for granted
•Don’t buy more food than you know you’ll use
•Order less food when dining out, and commit to eating leftovers
•Know what’s hidden in the back of your refrigerator and plan to use it sooner than later

Stop...think...and don't forget...our planet is sacred and so is our food supply. In honor of Earth Day, and on every other day, please make conscious food choices that are good for our Mother Earth.


03/25/2014 11:04 AM Posted By: Dan Eaton

Super foods are foods considered beneficial to your health, and often contain high levels of antioxidants and vitamins that are purported to have cancer fighting abilities.

Most foods considered super foods are basic things humans have been eating for years and years: greens, nuts, fruits, legumes, fish, berries and whole grains etc.

Chances are, if you eat a well rounded, unprocessed diet, you’re probably already eating lots of super foods. Most of these things are easily recognizable, although some greens may be harder to identify than others, but whole grains are a food group that many of us are just starting to explore.

Sure, we know what oatmeal is and what whole wheat flour is, but many of the other grains are more mysterious. There are many ancient grains that are becoming more popular. For example, quinoa is certainly gaining popularity.

With so many people having gluten allergies it’s hard to know what is, and what isn’t safe to consume. I recently stumbled across the Whole Grains Council's website, and I wanted to pass along the wealth of information it contains about grains and gluten intolerance.

The thing about food and cooking is that we never run out of things to learn about! I hope you find this information helpful, because I certainly did.

For additional information, check out the links below:
www.wholegrainscouncil.org
Gluten Free Whole Grains


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