Monday, April 2, 2012

Around The Culinary World

Hello again everyone! I find it hard to believe that it is already April, but that's what the calendar is telling me this morning. It seems like only a few weeks ago it was still snowy and cold outside and now we're waking up to 60's, finding highs in the 80's and having a very pleasant spring here in the greater midwestern states. This beautiful weather has me excited to return to the farmer's market in downtown Des Moines - Saturday mornings in the spring and summer just aren't complete without wandering the blocks of vendors and picking out the freshest foods...

I digress! It's Monday once again, meaning the first (and most important) thing we have to do is take a trip around the world of culinary news. This week, we have stories ranging from the healthy change of one grocer's supply to kitchen organization tips all the way to the secret behind one of life's greatest mysteries. Let's dive in!

Whole Foods is already synonymous with fresh and healthy ingredients. A majority of their products are organic, or are at the very least top quality and naturally made. This past week, Whole Foods announced they would be taking another step to keep that fresh, natural reputation going. The company announced that they would only be selling sustainable fish by Earth Day of this year. This is a big move for any grocery supplier, especially one with the size of Whole Foods. As the commercial economy (grocers) begins to move to sustainable fish, the impact on the environment and demand for large scale wild fishing should decrease. The one surprising point in all of this (to me) is that Whole Foods isn't ALREADY only selling 100% sustainable fish. Given their reputation and business philosophy when it comes to ingredients and their products, one would think this move would have been completed before any other grocer or big box store. You can read more about this change for Whole Foods HERE.

One of my favorite beverages (when I'm 'rewarding' myself) is root beer. To me, there are very few carbonated beverages out there that can compare to the great, deep flavors of a well made root beer. Just like any other product, however, there is a lot of competition in the root beer market. While I prefer the micro-brewed root beers (small manufacturers seem to have the best product) they are harder to come by than the big producers. (Especially when you're at a restaurant). So, which of the big producers is the top dog when it comes to root beer? By now, we all know the only way to settle that dispute for sure is via a Kitchen Daily taste test. Check out the results HERE.

Life has many unanswered questions. Why are we here? Which culture has the true answer to religion? What dictates human nature and decision making? What if I were to tell you that we were going to find an answer to one of life's biggest unknowns today? That's right, one of the big questions will today find an answer. What's the question you ask? Why is ham pink? (Told you it was a biggie) See the answer for yourself HERE.

Flour is a staple in many recipes. But we commonly see folks confused as to which type of flour to use or why we always recommend a certain type of all purpose flour (unbleached). Why can't you just use this flour? Why don't we use whole wheat flour in everything if it's so much better than everything else? All of those questions and more can be answered by reading THIS flour breakdown. It looks at the most common types of flour, explains their uses and culinary properties. It's a good refresher for those who don't use flour very often, but want to the best result when they do.

With the season officially being spring, now's the time when most people do a little organizing. From cleaning out their closets to simply giving their house and old fashioned scrub down, spring cleaning is traditional endeavor that signifies the changing of the seasons. The one area that could use a good spring clean from time to time is your kitchen. From overcrowded shelves to expired ingredients, the kitchen needs a good "scrub down" of it's own just to keep things running smoothly. While you're at it, why not work on organizing your kitchen a little better? Kitchen Daily has some great organization products to help you do just that. They may even help take the crowded spice rack and turn it into an organizational masterpiece. Check out their tips on organization HERE.

That's all the news that's fit to blog about this week. I'm taking to the kitchen tomorrow night with a brand new recipe featuring a flavor pairing that signifies spring. Maggie will follow me on Wednesday night with a dish that is sure to delight. Until then,


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