Barley vs Brown Rice: The Ultimate Smackdown!

Barley Salad

The other night, two moths flew out of our uncooked rice. New bag. Stored in airtight canister. Ugh! Unfortunately, this is a pattern. It seems every other bag of rice we buy hosts little moth families. So we tossed the rice (contributing to our 40% food waste), and I searched for a stand-in. A fresh bag of barley sitting in the pantry caught my eye.

My husband loves barley. I didn’t eat it much growing up, so I don’t think to cook with it often. But we whipped some up to accompany our chile rellenos. It tasted great — nutty, toothy — much better than our normal boring brown rice. So I started to wonder… Continue reading “Barley vs Brown Rice: The Ultimate Smackdown!”

Weekend Food Project: Make Your Own Mascarpone Cheese

Make Your Own Cheese

Looking for a weekend food project with an awe-inspiring, tasty outcome? Set aside a couple of hours to craft fresh, homemade mascarpone cheese.

Mascarpone is a soft, creamy, Italian cheese found in many desserts, including Tiramisu. I got to know (and love) it in one of my family’s favorite pasta dishes — which I will share in an upcoming post. You can usually find mascarpone in your grocery store “fine” cheese section. And if you can’t find it, you can substitute for it with reasonable (but not great) results: Try ricotta cheese blended with heavy cream or cream cheese mixed with cream and butter.

But! If you’ve got a couple of hours and can wait overnight to use your product, you can make your own. It’s amazingly easy — and quite delectable! Continue reading “Weekend Food Project: Make Your Own Mascarpone Cheese”

Could the Feast of the Seven Fishes be your New Holiday Tradition?

The Feast of the Seven Fishes is a tradition started in Southern Italy and now commonly celebrated by Italian-Americans. On Christmas Eve, instead of overindulging in rich, heavy foods, families gather to celebrate with seven seafood dishes. Or nine, eleven, twelve, or thirteen, depending on what Italian region the families hail from. The tradition is based on the Roman Catholic practice of abstaining from meat (and sometimes dairy) on Christmas Eve as families await Jesus’ birth. Continue reading “Could the Feast of the Seven Fishes be your New Holiday Tradition?”

Start Eating These Top 12 Anti-Inflammatory Foods Today

Inflammation is the body’s response to injury. It’s usually our friend, increasing blood flow to the injured area and causing pain to make us aware of the problem. But a February, 2004 Time Magazine issue called inflammation out as a “secret killer,” linking it to heart attacks, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and other serious diseases. Continue reading “Start Eating These Top 12 Anti-Inflammatory Foods Today”

Yet Another Reason You Should Eat Like You’re Greek

Want to cut your risk of heart disease in half?

A new study from the American College of Cardiology shows eating the heart healthy foods of the Mediterranean diet is the way to go.

Researchers followed more than 2,500 Greek adults from 18 to 89 years old for more than 10 years. Study participants followed the Mediterranean diet — a diet that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, nuts, and olive oils accompanied by seafood and red wine and lesser amounts of red meat, poultry, and dairy products. The participants provided health information each year and completed in-depth surveys about their medical records, lifestyle, and dietary habits at three points during the 10-year period. Continue reading “Yet Another Reason You Should Eat Like You’re Greek”