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BBettinaB's Profile

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Omelette Pan?

LOL Watch the episode and then decide. However long they've been doing the pans is meaningless if it isn't the right tool for the job.

Jan 23, 2011
BBettinaB in Cookware

Turducken -- Good or just a novelty.

Turducken fittingly begins with the word "turd," not a word I am fond of using but which I think fits well in this case. This dish is a nasty lucullan excess reminiscent of those famously leading up to the fall of the Roman empire. Peacock's tounges with that, anyone? Sheesh. Have a little foie gras on the side. http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSKU...

Dec 10, 2010
BBettinaB in General Topics

What the heck is nutritional yeast for?

No, that's not nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast is yellow flakes or powder. More on the fluffy side, not granular and not brown.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000MGR1N6/

This is the stuff to get. Here's a good recipe containing it: http://tinyurl.com/GeeWhizSpread
http://www.amazon.com/Ultimate-Unchee...

For folks who want to hold down on the fat and cholesterol . . .

Nov 19, 2010
BBettinaB in General Topics

Omelette Pan?

I hate hype. And I think I smell exactly that in the ubiquitous pot shop of boston messages popping up all over the place. All I can say is, watch Julia Child's omelet party episode and see for yourselves.

Jun 22, 2010
BBettinaB in Cookware

Omelette Pan?

I looked at this site for the pot shop of boston, and again, Julia Child does not seem to recommend the expensive heavy pans. She recommends nonstick which I personally won't use as it's well known that gasses from nonstick cookware can kill birds . . . for me I prefer not to inhale something that can kill a living creature. It was the '60s and nobody knew anything about any dangers. But a much less expensive Calphalon or similar pan with either a polished steel or anodized aluminum finish should do the trick as well. In fact Julia says that an omelet should take around 20 seconds to cook and therefore the heavy expensive pan is unnecessary, and I agree.

Jun 22, 2010
BBettinaB in Cookware

Did I really buy an omelette pan?

I don't think a six inch pan is big enough. It's certainly not what I've seen Julia use. I have trouble with an 8 inch pan, especially if I want to do three eggs. But even with two, there isn't quite enough room for the movement shown in Julia's video. I'm looking for a nine or ten inch pan.

Jun 22, 2010
BBettinaB in Cookware

Sneaking Food into Movies

The way they are cramming the seats in these days, food in theatres is getting more disgusting. I just went to see an IMAX movie where two huge teenage boys loomed over me way too close, and their HUGE buckets of nasty smelling popcorn nauseated me. I'm sure the "butter" was both artificial and rancid. Ugh. I can't imagine sitting next to someone who was eating more substantial food - it's horrifying to imagine. Especially meat. <Shudder>

Jan 31, 2010
BBettinaB in Features

Hive Mind

Pipenta - thanks for the informative comments.

Jan 30, 2010
BBettinaB in Features

Dinner Party for Beginners: Shrimp Pasta

Nice! I second the regular feature suggestion . . . with another idea - I'd like to see a vegetarian version.

Jan 30, 2010
BBettinaB in Features

Refried Black Beans

Sounds like a good excuse for some nice organic melted cheddar and sour cream & a sprinkle of chopped green onion!

Jan 23, 2010
BBettinaB in Recipes

I'm Vegetarian but I Eat Bacon

I would only add that I'm grateful for any level at which a person chooses to reduce their meat intake - I'm fine with the phrase semi-vegetarian. It's actually not a bad description, and these folks actually cause less suffering and death of animals than folks who don't reduce their intake at all. Perhaps it's a necessary stage some people go through on the way to a higher commitment.

Jan 14, 2010
BBettinaB in Features

All Hail the iPhone-Cheese Cyborg

Ah yes, glorify the mundane and mediocre. Idiocracy is not far behind . . . :-Þ

Jan 02, 2010
BBettinaB in Features

Live Chicken Adventure

It's probably illegal to do this yourself, and for good reason. You should check local ordinances first. And even if it is legal, if you don't know what you are doing, you could be torturing the poor bird. For pity's sake please have the expert deal with the slaughtering of your poor chicken.

Jan 02, 2010
BBettinaB in Features

Sneaking Food into Movies

I used to bring my own toppings and forgo the nasty butter substitutes - often including ingredients like rancid turkey fat. Ick!

However I never thought to bring my own popcorn until the day I put a moldy kernel in my mouth at a movie theater. I didn't see the mold but that taste - ugh. I did not actually throw up - but there are few theatres I'll buy popcorn at after that experience. I don't even want to speculate on how that could have happened.

I go with the Indiana Kettle Corn if I can, it's widely available and is made with good stuff and the bag is not crackly. I just bring it in a big purse. I have also been known to pop a bunch of my own and bring it in a big ziploc.

Dec 11, 2009
BBettinaB in Features

Drunk on Recycling

Check out http://www.fozzils.com/products.html - the requested culinary counterpart of the folding shopping bag! Folds entirely flat and very thin.

Otherwise, I think there are very many great ideas, and I wouldn't mind being invited to any of the parties mentioned above! It's all fun. In fact I am getting an idea or two myself. Perhaps asking folks to bring their own cups would weed out judgmental and non-fun people who would look down upon such an event :-)

I love the idea of making it into a contest, and will bring it up for an environmental group where we host potlucks and ask folks to bring all their own dishes and cutlery. We charge a pittance to rent some if folks don't bring their own, and of course we don't enforce that if someone doesn't have any money, but I think making it creative might improve the number of people who do bring their own.

Nov 05, 2009
BBettinaB in Features

Question re Chile Rellenos

LOL Food Fight!

Aug 23, 2009
BBettinaB in Home Cooking

"By the Way, I'm Vegan"

Chef wendy, where is your blog? Can't wait to see the episode, by the way.

Aug 13, 2009
BBettinaB in Features

Unpasteurized or semi-unpasteurized cream in TO? Shh, I won't tell.

Moimoi,

Try this link:

http://www.westonaprice.org/localchap...

You may be able to find a farm co-op where you can join as a club member and at this point the unpasturized dairy is "at your own risk" and as if bought at the farm. We get raw dairy from Pennsylvania here on Long Island this way.

Jul 26, 2009
BBettinaB in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

How do you use white truffle oil?

Just make sure it's real truffle oil. Quite often, it is a synthetic hoax. And even if real, it may not approximate actual truffles.

I discovered this because I picked up a jar of black truffles on a whim and they were tasteless little spongy lumps inside, with a disgusting outside that broke down into little hard bits in my mouth. I tried exactly one slice and decided to never eat another jarred truffle. What a waste!

I then did some googling and discovered this fact about truffle oil being mainly (if not entirely) artificial, as well as the fact that I am not alone in thinking that jarred truffles are a sad disappointment.

So now, I am holding out for the real thing. I I'd rather wait and taste the supposed glory of real truffles bought or served at a reputable establishment than waste my money on a disappointing stand-in.

Feb 06, 2009
BBettinaB in Home Cooking

Lentil Salad with Goat Cheese Crostini

Why remove the darker leaves from the frisée, and thus most of the nutrition? I'd leave the frisée entire, trimming only any tired leaves, and add in some other small greens with more brightness as well.

Adding a mirepoix or other mix of tasty vegetables to the lentils before roasting them might improve their character and also their nutrition.

Jan 18, 2009
BBettinaB in Recipes

The Raw Deal

Wow. That's messed up. What the heck is wrong with soft-boiled eggs? To answer my own query once I thought about that for a few seconds - I guess the yolk doesn't get hot enough to kill any potential pathogens. Ah well, it's a new world out there.

I wonder, what about fried eggs? No sunny-side up?

Is this all because of regulations? Or have restaurateurs all decided this on their own to avoid litigation?

Jan 06, 2009
BBettinaB in Features

The Raw Deal

Is someone out there regulating how "done" your burgers need to be now?

I don't eat meat but not for reasons of health, it's for the animals. If I did still eat it, however, I don't think I'd stand for someone not cooking it to my specifications.

Jan 06, 2009
BBettinaB in Features

The Raw Deal

Oops, in the sentence above where I say "Well, actually, some diets are crazier than others and probably attract a higher number of crazy people!" I meant to specify weight-loss diets.

Jan 05, 2009
BBettinaB in Features

The Raw Deal

free sample addict aka Tracy L,

Cute doggies!

I think the food at Cafe Gratitude is just fine! The article didn't say it was the equivalent of McDonalds, but that it was such "in the eyes of some raw foodists." Oh - and claiming that all raw foodists somehow religiously worship raw fruits and vegetables, which is clearly a sweeping generalization, and a misguided one which I've spoken to in my first comment on this piece.

I think what happens is that when there's no news elsewhere, food writers or bloggers etc. decide they need to write about some vegetarian variant and how crazy some of its adherents are.

What I find most amusing about this is that if you could somehow accurately poll all omnivores (or adherents of other dietary practices) and quantify how many of THOSE people are crazy I think the numbers would be similar. Well, actually, some diets are crazier than others and probably attract a higher number of crazy people!

:-)

But the bottom line is that the author here was not claiming that the food at Cafe Gratitude is in any way like McDonalds, but rather conducting a somewhat long and detailed discussion of several different schisms among the "raw food movement" and their views on the commercial rise of raw food eateries. Old news, really.

Jan 05, 2009
BBettinaB in Features

The Raw Deal

Caralein,

No no, I was not critiquing your post or your lifestyle, but rather providing extra info and commenting on a truly dangerous fad. I'm not currently eating meat, but when I was, I would sometimes enjoy carpaccio from a really good source. To clarify - which I do only because you responded as if to a crazy person - I'm talking about nutjobs who think we need to eat like the cavemen did, despite many obvious evolutionary, social and technological advances since that time! :-)

Traditional raw but cured products that are commonly eaten which don't transmit disease are not within the scope of my comments. (Did you know that for years, we could not get Italian prosciutto in the US? I believe that ban has now been listed. I think the problem was trichinosis. But I believe that this problem is now dealt with by irradiation.)

As for feeding raw meat to animals, as I said, my objection is to the packing, transportation and marketing process, where many ills can occur from bacterial contamination to high levels of pesticide application and so on. (I should add that I also object to the large-scale slaughter process which is now handled as a high-volume mass-production process with many resultant problems both for the animals and for consumers. Eat local.) The source is all-important. I'm not unilaterally against the practice of feeding raw meat to animals, necessarily, but rather suggesting use of due care in selecting foods for pets as one would for oneself.

And as I also made quite clear, I'm not entirely against raw milk products either. But it's still true that they could be dangerous. Again, one simply needs to be careful and aware.

Jan 05, 2009
BBettinaB in Features

The Raw Deal

oops, sorry for double posting!

Jan 03, 2009
BBettinaB in Features

The Raw Deal

Caralien,

There are a bunch of raw foodists eating a lot of raw meat. They call it the "caveman" diet and there is some crazy lady named Fallon promoting this. I think they're being deliberately stupid but hey, it's their life they are risking and it's not for me to judge them.

Some folks also give raw meat to cats and dogs, which is at the very least highly questionable. Yes, these are predators and kill and eat animals raw, but it's a far stretch from that to the "prey" animal being slaughtered and going through the commercial packing, transportation and marketing process before getting to the animal's dinner bowl.

Some raw foodists also use raw dairy and I look slightly less askance at this, although it could also be dangerous.

There's a reason why Lister and Pasteur and their compatriots in food safety are still regarded as heroes. I mean we need to actually be careful these days not to pick up E. coli O157:H7 from vegetables, due to cross contamination from poor farming practices and other local sources, and the recalls of dairy and meat products due to various forms of bacterial and other contamination are astounding. You can look recalls up on the FDA website, and here's a listing of articles about recalls from the NY Times: http://topics.nytimes.com/top/referen...

Jan 03, 2009
BBettinaB in Features

The Raw Deal

I've heard the "religion" comment many times in connection with vegetarianism, veganism and raw diets. I think I know where it comes from, but omnivores are perhaps too comfortable using it as an epithet. It's an easy arrow to sling, and allows for unthinking dismissal of an entire spectrum of reasoning on why people choose to eliminate certain items or classes of items from their diets.

However there are times when criticism is merited. When a friend or family member goes off any kind of deep end, it can be cause for concern. I think the element of many voluntarily restrictive diets that makes others so uncomfortable is the idea of purity. There appear to be as many nutty food gurus out there as there are fundamentalist bible-thumping preachers, busy whipping up self-loathing within fearful or insecure people and reaping harvests of dollars from their efforts. These gurus convince folks that their bodies and the food they eat are impure.

There are snake oil salesmen out there selling everything from colon hydrotherapy to very expensive "kirlian" pendants (if you want a laugh go to http://oxygenresearch.com/oxybliss/me... ) to purify you and save you from the effects of everyday things they are claiming as harmful. These folks don't even need to make sense, they just name something to be afraid of and cock up a thinly plausible line of chatter and they can sell stuff to fearful people. This includes very expensive raw foods, such as less than a pound of cocoa butter for 35.00 or 1.5 lb. coconut "butter" (It's OIL, folks) for 30.00 at sunfood.com.

The bottom line is that one should eat judiciously. Many of us don't, and end up fat and sick at a time in our lives when we could be healthy and active. Others of us seem to have no problem enjoying rich foods in moderation and eating mainly healthy choices. For me, however, this is not easy. So when I tried eating raw for a few months, it was great. It was an automatic way to create dietary boundaries and take many less healthy foods out of my diet. Unfortunately, once I went back to school, it was too difficult to do all of the very time-consuming food prep, and I dropped it. It's too bad, because I really did experience easy weight loss, increased energy and a feeling of well-being, and I actually did need less sleep. But I think these benefits came from cutting the fats, sugars, processed foods, wheat, soy, and other potentially problematic items from my diet that I normally tend to eat more of than I should.

As a student of science (an actual student taking actual science courses at an actual accredited and well-thought-of college) I have come to believe that the enzyme argument is bunk. Our bodies make all the enzymes we will need. Of course we need to provide adequate building blocks in the form of the many nutrients we know of and the many micro and phyto-nutrients we are constantly discovering, but I think that to some extent whether we get these raw or cooked is irrelevant. Some nutrients are better preserved raw, some are more available when cooked, but it's possible to get adequate nutrition in a raw diet, with enough work.

And there's the rub. It can be difficult to get enough nutrients in a vegan or raw diet without spending much of your time preparing food. Some very organized and disciplined people can do it and still accomplish many other things, but others need to really work at it to get it right. It requires time and constant vigilance to make sure you are remaining healthy. Once you start spending more than a certain amount of time and attention on your diet, you risk looking a little crazy, unless you are a chef or a nutritionist. And if you believe crazy things about your diet and your body, well, you may actually be turning food into a kind of belief system, thus attracting the religion comments.

Now you omnivores may not like this, but an omnivorous diet can be very unhealthy as well, and you know it. Cholesterol is a problem. Too much of certain kinds of protein may actually lead to some problems later in life. There are studies suggesting dairy may not be as healthy as everyone thinks, but the research will take time to develop. (Most vegans don't eat meat and dairy because of the abuses of the industries producing those products, FYI. Health claims are made but IMHO still need more study.) As an affluent culture, we do, however, eat many rich foods to abandon - and it is clear to see that as various cultures have gained in affluence and eat more animal foods, they generally also gain in certain kinds of diseases. Moderation is still the key to health, no matter what you do or do not eat.

Nutrition is still a developing science, and will be for some time to come, not only because the technology is developing, but because what people eat on a macro scale constantly changes. So before you label all vegetarians, vegans, or raw dieters with some unkind epithet, you may wish to take another look at what could simply be an effort to eat in a healthier and more considered way.

Jan 02, 2009
BBettinaB in Features

Is Organic Farmed Fish an Oxymoron?

First; given what is in the water these creatures live in these days, eating fish of any kind isn't the smartest strategy.

Second; If you're not eating organic, then you're not really thinking. You can dream on about how the corporations who are so largely involved in providing the food eaten by so many "care" about you but the bottom line is that they have absolutely no incentive to do things correctly. You would not want to eat much of the food you presently eat if you knew what was in it and some of the places it's been in. At least with organic food, you can be sure you are getting a lower level of toxic pesticides and other chemicals. Organic food may not be perfect - after all, there are always dishonest businesses willing to cheat and to adulterate anything to make more profit - but since much of the food you'll be eating is cleaner, you'll be doing better.

Third; In re: fish; you can't control it. You can be sure that a land animal eats only organic food, and you can control what it eats. But fish farming is a nightmare. The oceans and many other large bodies of water are polluted. I can't imagine making an artificial body of water large enough, with enough control over the water quality, that I'd eat anything that lived in it.

Eating fish at all is really just a bad idea. Trying to label it organic is beyond stupidity.

Dec 31, 2008
BBettinaB in Features

Why I'm Going Vegan, Mostly

Hey typetive,

I did try to find that reference to send in, but in the limited time I had couldn't track it down. I'm in organic chemistry this semester and time is at a premium. I will suggest that interested people go to Amazon and browse the book in the online reader you can get there. You can search for specific terms so you may be able to find it. I cannot do it now, I'm behind the 8-ball as it is.

I will say that I know that the differences are very great between people with various dietary practices in a number of disease processes, not only from this source but from many. I suggest that people also check out the Framingham Heart Study which shows interesting and related data.

The work of Dr. Dean Ornish also supports what Dr. Campbell is saying. In fact, there are major insurance companies who will pay for patients to undergo an intensive version of Dr. Ornish's protocols. These companies believe that it has been proven that diet and other lifestyle choices make a huge difference to outcome of various diagnoses. Doctors need to begin realizing that when patients actually believe they will benefit, they WILL change their diet and other habits. (It has long been believed that patients are weak-willed creatures who are addicted to unhealthy foods and practices. Of course, a doctor who believes such things will rely much more upon medical interventions instead of patient proaction.)

Anyway, you should be able to find the data you are looking for in the book on Amazon if you dont' want to buy and read it. Also most libraries should have it. Good luck! Please post it here if you do find it.

Oct 13, 2008
BBettinaB in Features