Food and Drink Trends for the 2007 Holiday Season

According to Louis Gervais, Five Diamond Executive Chef and owner of Vancouver catering company Louis Gervais Fine Foods, this year’s food trends incorporate creative serving ideas and miniature holiday food favourites.

The most “with-it” corporate and private events of the season will feature complete miniature meals. Offering a hearty and satisfying alternative to traditional hors d’oeuvres these themed foods are ideal for cocktail parties. Guests can enjoy such delights as a teeny duck shepherd’s pie with marbled yam soufflé, presented in a mini ramekin and accompanied with a small fork. Another petite meal idea is a tiny tortiere pie – a traditional French Canadian festive favourite. To create a real spectacle, carry a tray of mini Christmas puddings that have been soaked in brandy and set on fire, into a dimmed room filled with friends and family.

With so much party hopping during the holiday season it is common to skip major meals and instead rely on snacking at events. Guests will appreciate more nourishing foods that celebrate the season in a playful and creative way.

Food presentation is another way to impress guests. Try serving mouthfuls of festive treats on individual, elegant silver spoons – a trend made popular by French celebrity chef Alain Ducasse – or even classic Christmas records.

It is common to serve hors d’oeuvres on crackers or small slices of bread, however the Atkins diet has made people increasingly wary of their carb intake. Serving food on spoons is an inventive way to cut unwanted carbohydrates while maintaining delicious toppings.

Finally, when it comes to serving cocktails, try adding an original twist to an old favourite. This season our holiday and Christmas catering menu offers several fun cocktail recipes this season – like a Christmas Cosmopolitan using rosemary infused vodka, frozen cranberries and a sprig of rosemary for garnish. It’s easy to make and adds a festive touch to any gathering.

Want To Lose Weight? Ditch These Foods and Drinks

Have you noticed a sudden increase in your weight and you have not been snacking or eating fast food of late? Can’t explain why you are packing more kilos than usual? The answer may be in foods that you would not normally suspect.

Yes, fast food like French fries, pizza ad burgers are known to contain unsaturated fats which contribute to weight gain. Today, fast food restaurants are slowly trying to offer healthier combo foods beside the unhealthy ones. The foods that increase your weight without you knowing are purchased in the supermarket.

You love the brands but they are making you big – unhealthy wise. Here are foods that you need to ditch to lose weight.

Low fat foods

Yes, they are advertised as low fat food which is true, they have less fat content. During production, the fat is removed from the food. This has led many people to eat 30% more when they know the food is categorized as low fat. Sugar is added in place of fat which is actually worse for you. Why? Since you consume 30% more when it’s low fat, the sugar will be converted into fat in your body. This will be stored around the thighs, hips and waist. The reason is the body is unable to utilize the glucose as energy. What this leads to is weight gain so to lose weight, ditch low fat foods. Consider moderate portions instead.

Diet soda

Just like low fat foods, diet soda actually promotes weight gain. The diet soda itself does not contain elements that increase your weight. What it does is fill up your stomach with gas. When you let the air out, you end up snacking and overeating. This is attributed to the hunger one feels. Furthermore, it contains artificial sweeteners which have been found to confuse the body chemically. Instead of diet sodas, why not drink water. It contains no calories, contributes none in your body and it helps you lose weight.

Juice

Over the years, juicing has become more than a fad. People are juicing fruits and vegetables with the hope of losing weight. This has even made blenders and other juicing machine to be popular. When you juice, you extract the liquid and throw away the fiber. What you need to know is that in a fruit, the fiber or fleshy part of the fruit contains the nutrients not the juice itself. This means when you blend a few oranges and drink the juice, all you are doing is spiking your blood sugar. Want to lose weight? Why not eat the whole fruit instead of juicing.

Final Thoughts

Grandma Hystad’s Food And Drink Recipes – Food Information

CONTENDS

GRANDMA’S OVEN FRIED CHICKEN

GRANDMA’S BEEF STEW AND DUMPLINGS

AUNT PAT’S BUTTER TARTS

GRANDMA’S FRENCH DRESSING

GRANDMA’S HOMEMADE MAYONNAISE

LIGHTSIDE

FOOD TIPS, INFORMATION

Grandma’s Beef-Stew & Dumplings

1 pound………………(500 g)…………………stew beef

3 tablespoons(45 ml)…………………flour

1 clove of garlic

salt and pepper to taste

1 medium size onion, chopped

3 carrots

1 turnip, diced

1 bay leaf

Cut meat into cubes. Roll in flour and brown in hot oil.
Add chopped onion and garlic. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Stir until onion is a golden brown. Add enough water to cover
the meat. Bring to a boil. Simmer gently for 1 ½ -2 hours.
Add rest of vegetables ½ hour before stew is served.

YIELD: serves 4-6

TIME: 15 minutes preparation, approx.2 hours to cook

Dumplings

2 cups………………………………..(500 ml)………………………all purpose flour

4 teaspoons…………………….(20 ml)……………………………baking powder

½ teaspoon…………………………(2,5 ml)……………………….salt

2 tablespoons…………………(30 ml)……………………………shortening

¾ cup…………………………………….(185 ml)…………………milk

Sift flour. Add baking powder and salt and sift again.
Cut in the shortening and add milk. Drop into simmering stew
gently, being careful to drop a piece of meat or vegetable so
that it will not be immersed. Cover the kettle.

Grandma’s Oven Fried Chicken

4 ounces……………..(125 ml)……………potato chips

½ cup ………………..(125 ml)……………butter

½ teaspoon ………….(2.5 )………………garlic powder

Melt butter. Brush chicken with butter. Crush potato chips
with rolling pin before opening bag. Mix garlic, salt and pepper with potato chips. Shake buttered chicken in potato chip mixture. Place on pan skin side up. Pour rest of mixture over chicken. Bake at 375 F, (190 C) for about 1 hour.

YIELD: Coating for 1 fryer

TIME: Preparation 10 minutes, cooking time approx. 1 hour.

AUNT PAT’S FAVOURITE BUTTER TARTS

1/3-cup ………………………(80 ml) …………………butter

1-cup………………………………(250 ml)…………………brown sugar

2 tablespoons…………(30 ml)……………………milk or cream

1/3 cup……………………….(80 ml)……………………currants

1 egg beaten well
1 teaspoon……………….(5 ml)………………………vanilla

Mix all ingredients together. Put in unbaked tart shells.
Bake at 450 F, (230 C), for 8 minutes. Turn down to 350 F,
(175 C), and cook until brown.

GRANDMA’S FRENCH DRESSING

1 teaspoon …………(5 ml)…………sugar

2 teaspoons………..(10 ml)………..salt

½ teaspoon………..(2.5 ml)…………pepper

½ teaspoon ……….(2.5 ml)…………paprika

1 ½ cup……………(375 ml)……….salad oil

½ cup………………(125 ml)……….vinegar

1 clove of garlic (if desired)

Put sugar, salt, pepper and paprika in jar. Add oil, vinegar
And garlic. Shake well. When dressing is thoroughly blended, pour over salad.

YIELD: approximately 2 cups (500 ml)

CALORIES: 92 per tablespoon (15 ml)

TIME: 10 minutes.

GRANDMA’S HOMEMADE MAYONNAISE

1 egg yolk

½ teaspoon …………(2.5 ml) …………salt

½ teaspoon…………(2.5 ml)………….dry mustard

¼ teaspoon …………(1.25 ml)…………paprika

dash cayenne

2 tablespoons ……..(30 ml)……………vinegar

1 cup ……………….(250 ml)…………..salad oil

Put egg yolk and seasoning in bowl and mix well. Add 1
Tablespoon (15.ml) vinegar and beat well. Gradually beat in oil until ¼ cup of mixture is used. Then add 1-2 tablespoons (15-30 ml) at a time.

As mixture thickens add remaining vinegar. If oil is added to
quickly, mayonnaise will curdle. To fix this add 1 more egg yoke and continue.
Store mayonnaise in covered jar and refrigerate.

YIELD: approximately 1 ¼ cup (310 ml).

CALORIES: 104 per tablespoon (15 ml).

Time: 15 minutes.

VARIATIONS

Creamy Mayonnaise

Whip ½ cup (125 ml) of evaporated milk.

Creamy Mayonnaise Sandwich Spread
Add 1 tablespoon cornstarch and cook until thick. This is
better than commercial mayonnaise.

LIGHTSIDE

A man walking on a side street in Vancouver stumbled across an
old lamp. He picked it up, rubbed it, and out popped a genie.
The genie said, “OK, You released me but I am old, getting tired
Of granting 3 wishes…..you can only get one wish!”

The man said, “I have always wanted to go to Hawaii, but I am to
scared to fly, and I get very seasick. Could you build me a
bridge to Hawaii so I can drive over there to visit?”
The genie laughed and said, “That’s impossible!! Think of the
logistics of that! The supports, concrete, steel!! No, think of another wish..”

So the man said, “I have been married and divorced four times.
My wives always said that I don’t care and that I am
insensitive. I wish that I could understand women, know how they feel
inside, and what they’re thinking when they give me the silent
treatment. Know why they’re crying, know what they really want when
they say “nothing”, know how to make them truly happy.”
The genie said, “Do you want that bridge to be two lanes or four?”

FOOD TIPS, INFORMATION

One of the best vegetables you can eat is a sweet potato. They are loaded with vitamin A, carotenoids, vitamin C, potassium and fibre. You can bake and then mix in crushed pineapple for sweetness.

Tomatoes are also packed with vitamin A, fibre.

Wild salmon is great for your health. Salmon that is caught wild has less PCB then farmed salmon. Salmon is high in heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Smoking or pickling salmon reduces the amount by about 75%.

Conventionally grown produce is coated with tiny amounts of pesticide residues. Apples, bell peppers, cucumbers, Peaches, pears could be trapped under a layer of wax. For safety, more so with children and older persons, you should scrub them in a highly diluted solution of liquid dish detergent, which removes most of the pesticides and wax. Or you could peel it, especially apples, peaches, and pears. Organic produce should still be washed to remove other contaminants.

Beans are inexpensive, low in fat, rich in protein, iron, folic and fibre.

Bananas contain vitamin B6, vitamin C, and potassium.

Take Note: The food and drug administration estimate that 1 in 20,000 eggs contain salmonella bacteria. Look for pasteurized eggs, which are flash-heated to destroy any bacteria. Persons with impaired immunity, pregnant women, infants, and older persons are at increased risk of severe complications. Other persons can decide for themselves whether the risk warrants giving up runny yolks or unpasteurised eggs, high risks persons should take those precautions.

POWER OUTAGES

“Power outages can occur at any time of the year and it often takes from a few hours to several days for electricity to be restored to residential areas,” said USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety Dr. Richard Raymond. “Foods stored in freezers and refrigerators can become unsafe in just a few hours if bacteria begin to grow and if these foods are consumed, people can become very sick.”

Steps to follow to prepare for a possible weather emergency:

Store food on shelves that will be safely out of the way of contaminated water in case of flooding.

Have coolers on hand to keep refrigerator food cold if the power will be out for more than four hours. Purchase or make ice cubes and store in the freezer for use in the refrigerator or in a cooler. Freeze gel packs ahead of time for use in coolers.

Group food together in the freezer – this helps the food stay cold longer.

Steps to follow after the weather emergency:

Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to maintain the cold temperature.

The refrigerator will keep food safely cold for about 4 hours if it is unopened. A full freezer will hold the

temperature for approximately 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full and the door remains closed.)

Food may be safely refrozen if it still contains ice crystals or is at 40° F or below.

Never taste a food to determine its safety!

Obtain dry or block ice to keep your refrigerator and freezer as cold as possible if the power is going to be out for a prolonged period of time. Fifty pounds of dry ice should hold an 18-cubic-foot full freezer for 2 days.

If the power has been out for several days, check the temperature of the freezer with an appliance thermometer or food thermometer. If the food still contains ice crystals or is at 40° F or below, the food is safe.

If a thermometer has not been kept in the freezer, check each package of food to determine its safety. If the food still contains ice crystals, the food is safe.

Discard refrigerated perishable food such as meat, poultry, fish, soft cheeses, milk, eggs, leftovers and deli items after 4 hours without power.

Drink only bottled water if flooding has occurred.

Discard all food that came in contact with floodwaters including canned goods. Discard wooden cutting boards, plastic utensils, baby bottle nipples and pacifiers.

Thoroughly wash all metal pans, ceramic dishes and utensils that came in contact with flood water with hot soapy water and sanitize by boiling them in clean water or by immersing them for 15 minutes in a solution of 1 tablespoon of unscented, liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of drinking water.

When in Doubt, Throw it Out!

Fresh Fruit Punch

8 ounces apiece of orange juice, pineapple juice, and grapefruit
juice.

1 bottle ginger ale. Sugar to taste.

Combine the juices with the sugar. Stir until the sugar is
dissolved and refrigerate. Add the ginger ale plus chunks of ice before serving.

Sample Great-Tasting Food and Drink on Villa Holidays to Provence in November

Are you looking to go on France villa holidays that give you the opportunity to indulge in sumptuous food and drink? If this is the case, you may want to consider booking villas in Provence.

While a visit to this part of south-east France at any time of year is sure to prove a delight of the senses, choosing to travel in November could be particularly advised if you are something of a gastronome.

Over the course of the month, the region holds a variety of food and drink-related festivals and events, which are almost certain to tickle your tastebuds.

And if you’re a fan of truffles there is perhaps no better time of year to visit Provence than November. As this is when the truffle season begins, you are sure to find a holiday here provides you with the opportunity to sink your teeth into the fantastic-tasting fungi.

Towns throughout Provence host weekly markets dedicated to truffles, so you should be able to tuck into black Perigord and burgundy truffles to your heart’s content! Carpentras and Riez are just two of the locations that have such markets, so you will be able to travel around the region while tasting the local produce.

However, you may also want to spend time in Richerenches. Each November, the Provence village hosts Ban des Truffes – a festival held to mark the opening of its truffle market.

As you browse the markets, you may want to purchase enough fungi to take back to your villa so you can create fantastic dishes with the ingredient and have an authentic French meal.

But there is much more than truffles for you to tuck into while on holiday in Provence.

Gilete and Fontan are just two of the towns in the region that hold a chestnut festival every November.

If you’re looking for something to wash down all that fantastic food, you may be glad to know Provence is also home to a number of wine festivals. Why not check out the Cotes du Rhone festival? Held in Avignon on the third Thursday of the month, the event gives you the chance to sample a variety of wines from the Rhone valley region.

By choosing villa France holidays in Provence you are bound to find something that tantalises your tastebuds.

Spanish Food and Drinks: Tapas, Gazpacho, Paella, Cava, Sangria, and Rivers of Red Wine

Spanish food and drink – Spanish cuisine, if you will – is quite different from how it may be perceived in the United States. In fact, when most Americans think of Spanish food they tend to think of dishes that hail from Mexico rather than Spain. Tacos, tostadas, enchiladas and such are, however, wholly Mexican creations and the tourist will be hard pressed to find them in Spain unless Taco Bell manages to open a franchise there.

Like most things in modern Spain, traditional Spanish food tends to differ based upon the region that it comes from. The Southern city of Seville, for example, offers cuisine that is reputed to be very delicious while also being very simple to prepare. Here you’ll find the cold soup Gazpacho, which is a vegetable cream that includes tomato, cucumber, garlic, paprika, olive oil, and vinegar. This is usually served with bread or even with tomato-bread.

In the Northern region of Navarre you may find many specialties of meats and fish, with one original recipe consisting of a delicious trout stuffed with cured ham. Many dishes here include the local beans Pochas de Sanguesa, and of particular interest are the vegetables like asparagus and Pimientos del Piquillo, a mild red pepper dish. This Region is also famous for his Tapas.

In addition to traditional regional fare, the nation of Spain does have some delights that are enjoyed nationwide. For instance, many like to snack on quick Tapas, prepared bite sized snacks that may include pieces of fried squid or octopus, spicy sausage, cheese, squares of fruit, or even sweet candy with almonds. Tapas is literally everywhere in Spain and is often enjoyed during siesta as opposed to a full meal. Prices for Tapas vary slightly from place to place, but it is often a very inexpensive treat. In some places you can get a Tapa for as little as one Euro and in others that same one Euro will get you a glass of red wine and a Tapa. No wonder many Spanish stop at the local bar, for a meal.

Another well-known Spanish food is Paella (pronounced paeya) delicious mixed dish that consists of rice combined with many different types of meat and Seafood. Paella, is perhaps the most famous dish to come from Spain and, although it originates from Valencia, it can be found and enjoyed pretty much everywhere in the country, from the north to the south.

Spanish drinks are not quite as varied as the foods, but there are some particularly enjoyable specialties. Spain, like France, is a wine-drinking country and is famous for its various forms of Sangria, a sweet red wine that is combined with any number of other wines, liquors, and fruits. Sangria recipes differ based upon who is doing the mixing, so it’s not uncommon to find sangria that includes apples and bananas in one bar or restaurant and one that contains grapes, white wine, and oranges in another. Tinto verano is very similar to sangria, and is very popular at the south, were it is drunk during pestival. Wine is available everywhere in Spain and costs very little, starting for 1 euro for a glass. The wine loving tourist will have little to complain about when visiting Spain. Moreover, the prices of alcohol are cheaper in Spain that in any other western european country.

Spanish wines differ from region to region but most share two common traits: they are delicious and very inexpensive. The region of Catalunya, for example, offers wondrous Red wines from Peralda, Alella, Priorat and Tarragona, and the famous sparkling wine known as Cava. The region of Galicia offers several fine wines as well. Here you will find the remarkable Ribeiro, and other favorites include Fefinanes, Betanzos, Rosal, Valdeorras, Ulla and Amandi. Talking of Wine, you can’t escape Rioja, which come from a region with the same name and is a lovely, greattasting, inexpenssive popular wine. They even have their own Wine festival in the end of summer, where red wine is splashed everywhere.

It is important for the tourist, visiting Spain to note that Spanish libations are typically much stronger than those they may be accustomed to in the US. In fact, a Spanish drink may be as much as three times stronger than a similar drink made at home. Some experts advise that the visiting American count three rounds for ever one actually ordered. Also popular with the Spanish and visitors to their country are Horchatas, which are frozen drinks made with milk and a variety of crushed and chopped nuts. Heralded for both their taste and the fact that they are rich in vitamins, Horchatas are enjoyed in every area of the country and differ only slightly from region to region or recipe to recipe. In the hot summer, their popularity is on top.

Coffee and hot chocolate round out the staple of Spanish drinks. These are enjoyed daily by most Spaniards, including children who often receive chilled coffee topped with ice cream as a treat. Coffee and hot chocolate are often drunk for breakfast and lunch and are enjoyed with churros, a pastry that is comparable to a fritter. Many tourists, however, complain that the Spanish coffee taste more like the american mild one, and not like the rich french/italian coffee.