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Archive for the ‘Media’ Category

Paula Deen Has Diabetes – So What?

“Everything in moderation… including moderation.” – Julia Child

Here’s where I weigh in (pun intended) on the firestorm that ensued after Paula Deen‘s confession that she has known she has Type II diabetes for three years. Basically… so?

A good public relations decision for Deen would have been to have come clean three years ago about her diabetes. But is she really required to disclose her medical history? Do we know the health concerns of other celebrity chefs? Because she has diabetes, does that make it forbidden for her to cook anything other than “diabetic” food? I really fail to see the logic in all the “Shame on you, Paula Deen!” mentality.

Julia Child knew what was what. In addition to her rather famous quote above about moderation, she has also said, “The best way to execute French cooking is to get good and loaded and whack the hell out of a chicken. Bon appétit. ” Is Julia vilified because she advocated getting loaded? No. Is Keith Richards a “bad role model” because he plays the guitar with arthritic hands? Is he “promoting” an activity that may or may not bring on a physical affliction? (The answer to that is, or had better be, a resounding, “HELL NO!”)

The thing is… and this is a shocker… Paula Deen is NOT the only celebrity cook who uses ingredients that are less than healthy for you. Hell, I found a fairly decadent fettucine recipe in one of my Cooking Light magazines! Butter, half-and-half, (less fat) cream cheese and TEN strips of bacon! Cooking “light?” Indeed.

The Food Network, publishing companies, celebrity chefs… anybody who promotes cooking and food is usually doing so TO MAKE MONEY. Like it or not, we are a capitalistic society.

I’m not saying that a lot of her food isn’t bad for you. A lot of it is. She does really like butter and mayonnaise. But the bottom line is, Americans are fat because of the choices we make, and changes in our society that make physical exertion less likely than it used to be. Paula Deen cooks on television. She doesn’t come into our homes and shove pie down our… well… pieholes. We do that. WE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CONSEQUENCES OF WHAT WE EAT.

Deen has expressed dismay that more chefs haven’t come forth in support of her. That too is a public relations decision, on their part. Emeril Lagasse did speak out in support of Deen. He disclosed that although he does not have Type II diabetes, it runs in his family. “We in our household have been dealing with it [diabetes] for many, many years. In the words of Julia Child, ‘it’s about moderation.'” (See? Always listen to Julia!) Take a look at Emeril on Good Morning America:
Emeril Lagasse Talks Paula Deen, Diabetes, Makes Braised Pot Roast With Vegetables.

The Chew

This afternoon I was flipping through channels, trying to drown out the howling wind. I decided to start at the bottom, which for me is channel 5/ABC. What to my wondering eyes do appear, but Michael Symon and Bobby Flay. Then… I see the title of the show. “The Chew.” I watched Bobby Flay and Michael Symon rockin’ a grilled steak.

Iron Chef Michael Symon explaining video game

Image by Caroline on Crack via Flickr

I still couldn’t believe this series was really named The Chew, though. It almost seemed like the name of a satire. So, I Google’d it. Sure enough! I don’t know where I’ve been since last September, but that’s when the show started… taking the place of All My Children. Hallelujah. Do people really even watch soaps anymore? (No hate-mail, please!)

The Chew stars Mario Batali, Michael Symon, Carla Hall, Clinton Kelly and Daphne Oz. From ABC’s website, “The Chew celebrates and explores life through food, with a group of dynamic, engaging, fun, relatable co-hosts who serve up everything to do with food — from cooking and home entertaining to food trends, restaurants, holidays and more — all aimed at making life better, fuller and more fun.  It is broadcast live, weekdays, from New York City.”

Take a look at it! I’m going to be a regular viewer from now on. Especially… if Bobby Flay is on!

Red Velvet Cupcake Art!

The amazing Lisa Orgler has done it again! As a part of her cupcakes poster project she called for submissions of … cupcakes! My Secret Red Velvet Cupcakes were among 16 chosen and will be included on the poster! Yay me!

Please go visit Lisa’s website and take a look at all of her beautiful food art.  Thanks for your continued support of Chef Herman’s Food, Lisa!

Annoying Orange – a cheesy episode

And now for something completely different.

In the spirit of food funnies… provided by my ten-year old.

They found WHAT in my Similac??

Abbot Nutrition released information about their voluntary recall of certain Similac powder infant formulas in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Guam and some countries in the Caribbean. As you can see, baby Jayden was a little freaked out when he heard that there might be small beetles and/or their larvae in his baby formula! I obtained this exclusive quote from baby J during a short interview today. “Hey. I like the Beatles and their music, but bugs in my milk? That’s just wrong!”

The recall of these powder infant formulas includes:

* Certain Similac powder product lines offered in plastic containers.
* Certain Similac powder product lines offered in 8-ounce, 12.4-ounce and 12.9-ounce cans.

To immediately find out if the product in your possession is included in this recall, parents and caregivers should visit http://www.similac.com/recall/lookup, and type in their lot number to determine if their product is affected, or call (800) 986-8850.

Holger Liepmann, executive vice president, Abbott Nutrition said:

“Abbott understands that parents expect to feed their children only the highest quality product. We are taking this action so that parents know that the infant formula products they provide unquestionably meet the highest quality standards for which they are known. We regret any inconvenience this situation poses to parents and consumers.”

2010 Great Iowa Chili Cookoff!

First of all, congratulations to Melinda Strable of Ankeny, winner of the 2010 Great Iowa Chili Cookoff sponsored by Bolton & Hay restaurant suppliers , Tone’s Spices, Clear Channel Communications (including 100.3 The Bus, 1040 WHO radio, and 1460 KXnO) and Pepsi. The judges said they had a very hard time picking one chili from them all, as they were all different. But Melinda’s chili reigned supreme.

And yes, I… Chef Herman (Stephanie) participated in this chili cook off! When I found out I had been chosen, and that I had less than two days to prepare, I was a little nervous but it turned out to be a very fun experience!

The six finalists started arriving on Thursday, Sept. 9 before 11:00 a.m. Chili cooks participating were Robert Irlbeck, Melinda Strable, Michelle Koeff, Nancy Van Wyk, myself, and Anita Van Gundy.

Totes full of ingredients and cooking utensils were carried in and we were greeted with beautiful stockpots that Bolton & Hay supplied, for us to keep! (And I thank them for that generous gift… I really needed a bigger chili pot!)

The staff at Bolton & Hay, and all the other sponsors’ staff members were so welcoming and professional… that really helped put all the contestants at ease and made it a fun experience. Contestants started socializing, and we soon realized that we were all regular Iowa people who share a passion for cooking. Before we knew it, we were given the okay to begin. A flurry of chopping and preparation followed, and the Bolton & Hay came alive with heavenly smells… meats browning, freshly chopped vegetables, and traditional chili spices provided to each contestant by Tone’s.

Soon we heard someone said, “Lids on!” and it was simmer time. We had down-time of about 3 hours. That time went relatively quickly, with contestants talking with each other, sharing tips, exchanging email addresses and of course, checking on our chili and tweaking the seasonings.

Finally it was judging time. The judges talked and deliberated and after a difficult decision, chose Melinda’s chili as winner! We all went away feeling like winners, though. Bolton & Hay gave us yet another gift… one of their famous jelly roll pans and a 90th anniversary potholder. We had our stockpots, the chili spices gift bag from Tone’s and a $20 gift certificate for beef from the Iowa Beef Council. And still I feel like I’m forgetting something! Maybe just another huge thank-you to all the sponsors who made this such a memorable event for me!

So with all that lead-in, here is my chili recipe, declared by the judges to possess complex flavors, and medium heat and great taste.

2 lb. ground beef
1/2 lb. beef chorizo
2 green peppers, diced
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves finely minced garlic
1-28 oz. can diced tomatoes
2-28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes
1-2 cups V8 juice
2-15 oz. cans red beans, rinsed
1-15 oz. can pinto beans

3-4 T chili powder
1-2 T. dutch cocoa
1 tsp. Hungarian paprika
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. freshly ground pepper

1 T honey
dash of Sriracha hot chili sauce
drizzle olive oil

Brown ground beef and chorizo, add 1 T. chili powder. Take browned meat out of the pan, set aside. Saute onions, green pepper and celery with drizzle of olive oil (in the same pan). Add the beef, tomatoes, tomato juice, salt, pepper, spices and honey. Cook for minimum two hours on low heat, stirring often. Rinse beans, add during last 15 minutes of cooking.

Chili

Lunchbox Project

Thank you, thank you! to Lisa Orgler at the Lunchbox Project for the awesome job she did on my new banner and avatar for Chef Herman’s Food Adventures! Go take a look at her great work at

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