Archive for ‘Uncategorized’

February 1, 2011

Healthy Finds: Healthy Heart

Alpha Phi Red Dress Pin

Alpha Phi Foundation's Red Dress Pin

February is American Heart Month. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. and the #1 killer of women in America. A key element in addressing the problem is education and awareness. Many of us know what we SHOULDN’T eat, but do you know what foods are heart approved? offers the following list of the 10 heart healthiest foods

1. Oatmeal
2. Salmon
3. Avacado
4. Olive Oil
5. Nuts
6. Berries
7. Legumes (lentils, chickpeas, and black and kidney beans)
8. Spinach
9. Flaxseed
10. Soy

Read the full article for details on why these foods help to keep your heart beating – many of them have omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, or anti-inflammatory properties. Some are considered “heart healthy” fats (which seems almost counter-intuitive but is more and more a familiar concept.)

Archer Farms Blueberry Granola Blueberry Granola with Flax Cereal

Lucky for me- and hopefully you- some of these things are already on my list of favorite foods. Others, I have to work to incorporate into my diet. If you’re new to flaxseed, I highly recommend a Target brand Blueberry Granola with Flax cereal. It’s so deliciously sweet and addictively crunchy you won’t even notice the flaxseeds.

For more information on how to prevent heart disease check out the tips and resources on the American Heart Association’s website.

Check back here for more recipes this February featuring these top ten heart healthy ingredients!

February 1, 2011

CaffeineFiend: Coffee Prices Rise and a Cocoa Shortage Crisis?

Chocolate Fondant

Photo: (Vintage Confections)

If you’re on a tight budget and have a hard time sticking to it like me, the news that prices for coffee and chocolate are on the rise is more than a little alarming! Two staples of my regular, everyday diet are about to cause me even more financial stress?! Sad day.

MSN Money recently posted an article from Beth Pinsker at listing 11 things that are getting more expensive this year. My heart sank when I saw coffee made the list and I almost started to cry when I skimmed further and saw chocolate too.

Reports claim that the world is going to see a drastic reduction in the availability of chocolate as the cocoa market faces a significant shortage. According to the U.K.’s Dailymail, the shortage is a result of weather patterns affecting crops in the Ivory Coast (a region which accounts for 40% of the world’s supply of cocoa beans). MSN reports that unrest in the region is also a factor. Some sources say cocoa prices are going up, and so is the cost of your your favorite chocolate bar, but MSN reports that chocolate markets have already factored in the supply issues, so there is no cause to worry about the cost of that 3pm Twix fix!

The news from ABC-KGO is not so optimistic. They indicate that this shortage has been building. According to their experts, a key problem is the lack of incentive for cocoa farmers who face a 3 year wait for cocoa trees to mature and only earn $1 a day. They claim that in 20 years, “the average joe won’t be able to afford chocolate unless new research into growing higher-yielding trees prove fruitful.”

January 30, 2011

TasteeTrends: Twitter Top 100 Restaurants

Top Chef Masters/Frontera Chef Rick Bayless

Chef Rick Bayless (Credit:Tribune photo by Chris Sweda.)

If you’re like me, you get some of your food “fixes” everyday from restaurants, chefs, bloggers and foodies who tweet their daily specials, recipes and more. Here’s more to add to your addiction. Are you following any of these “Top 100 Twitter Restaurants of 2010“? Restaurant and food tweets may be the only thing I get out of twitter and some of my favorites are on this list!

January 30, 2011

Food News: Taco Bell Mystery Meat

Taco Mystery Meat

From: "Taco Supreme"

Taco Bell directs customers to “Think Outside the Bun” but recently most people have been wondering what’s INSIDE the taco?  Taco Bell “beef” has been making headlines.

Is it 35% beef or 88% beef? Fox News reports that taco bell beef menu items contain only 35% real beef. A recent class action lawsuit filed against Taco Bell’s parent company claims that Taco Bell’s meat mystery “mixture” does not meet minimum requirements to qualify as “meat.”

To be perfectly honest, when I have the option I am a Del Taco kind of girl. In the midwest, I eat Taco Bell every once in awhile and I have no problem believing that their beef is mostly filler. Even so, it’s fairly flavorful and I have no problem eating it even if it is mostly filler. What can you really expect for a .39 cent taco?

According to FoxNews, the lawsuit is based on claims for false advertising because Taco Bell says its products contain “seasoned ground beef.” Don’t they?? Apparently the California woman who filed the suit is not seeking monetary damages, she just wants the company to be honest about its product. Apparently she’d be happy if they were to start saying that their menu items contain “mixed meat.” Hmm.

What is Taco Bell’s response? Not what you might expect. New print ads say “Thank you for Suing Us.” Taco Bell has responded to these claims with ads and videos assuring customers that they use real beef. Check out this video statement: .

Taco Bell’s CEO claims they treat their seasoned ground beef like any home cook would make chili. 88% beef is mixed with seasoning, water and other items. He directs customers to their ingredient list on their website which contains more detail than I ever cared to know. Taco Bell’s official website response is here.

Who do you believe? Personally, I couldn’t care less which is true. I’d eat it either way.

August 22, 2010

In Season: Tomatoes

With summer in full swing, my dad’s homegrown tomato production has peaked. For the second straight-year, the family backyard is better described as our tomato farm. Thus, I am on the hunt for new tomato centered seasonal recipes.

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