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Posts tagged ‘Julia Child’

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.

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Velvety Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake

Julia Child, Miami Book Fair International, 1989

Image via Wikipedia

I’ve been in the mood for something rich, intense and chocolate. I’ve had this Julia Child recipe for Reine de Saba (chocolate and almond cake) that I’ve been wanting to make, and I wanted to adapt it to be gluten-free. Why? Because I know some people with gluten intolerance. Because it’s Gluten-Free Diet Awareness Month, and… being a food adventurer… I just wanted to!

With me and Mimi (daughter #3) relaxed and on the threshold of a 5 day Thanksgiving vacation, I decided to tackle it. I got out Mastering the Art of French Cooking and plunged in.

Ingredients –

4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate melted with 2 T rum or strong coffee

1/4 lb., or one stick, softened butter

2/3 cup granulated sugar

3 egg yolks

3 egg whites

pinch of salt

1 T. granulated sugar

1/3 cup pulverized almonds

1/4 tsp. almond extract

1/2 cup rice flour

Butter and flour an 8-inch round cake pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt the chocolate and rum or coffee and either slowly in a double boiler,or at 10-second intervals in the microwave. Watch closely in the microwave – chocolate can burn very easily.

Cream the butter and sugar together for several minutes until they form a pale yellow, fluffy mixture.

Beat in the egg yolks until well blended.

Beat the egg whites and salt in a separate bowl until soft peaks are formed;

sprinkle on the sugar and beat until stiff peaks are formed.

With a rubber spatula, blend the melted chocolate into the butter and sugar mixture, then stir in the almonds, and almond extract. Immediately stir in one fourth of the beaten egg whites to lighten the batter. Delicately fold in a third of the remaining whites and when partially blended, sift on one third of the flour and continue folding. Alternate rapidly with more egg whites and more flour until all egg whites and flour are incorporated.

Turn the batter into the cake pan, pushing the batter up to its rim with rubber spatula. Bake in middle level of preheated oven for about 25 minutes. Cake is done when it has puffed, and 2 1/2 to 3 inches around the circumference are set so that a needle plunged into that area comes out clean; the center should move slightly if the pan is shaken,and a needle comes out oily.

Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pan, and reverse cake on a plate or rack. Allow it to cool for an hour or two, it must be thoroughly cold if it is to be iced.

I have to admit… Mimi and I didn’t wait for the cake to cool. She didn’t want to. I didn’t want to. We were wanting instant gratification. We sliced the cake and ate it warm. This cake *sounds* moist when you cut into it. It’s one of the homliest looking cakes I’ve ever seen.  Without any icing or nice presentation, it should be called Ugly Cake. But one bite tells an entirely different story… the beauty lies within. The cake is intensely chocolate, velvety, rich, smooth… almost unctious. If you choose to do icing, I’m including Julia’s chocolate-butter icing recipe. She also recommends pressing a design of almonds over the icing. Maybe I’ll put icing on it next time.

Glacage au Chocolat (Chocolate Icing)

Ingredients –

2 ounces (2 squares) semi-sweet baking chocolate

2 T rum or strong coffee

5 to 6 T unsalted butter

Melt the chocolate and rum or coffee and either slowly in a double boiler,or at 10-second intervals in the microwave. Watch closely in the microwave – chocolate can burn very easily. Beat in the butter a tablespoon at a time. Then beat over a bowl with a trace of ice cubes and water to cover them until chocolate mixture has cooled to spreading  consistency. At once spread it over your cake with a spatula or knife.

 

No more naked salads!!

I just received a package of (free!) food products to review, from the generous people at Mrs. Cubbison’s!  To receive this package I had to enter a comment in the No more Naked Salads giveaway at Foodie Blogroll. Included in my package were:

Mrs. Cubbison’s Restaurant Style Croutons, Mrs. Cubbison’s Classic Seasoned Dressing (stuffing),  Mrs. Cubbison’s Old Fashioned Meatloaf Mix, Casa Fiesta All Natural Taco Shells, Sunsweet Pitted Prunes, Morehouse Pure Prepared Mustard, Volk Enterprises’ Pop Up Disposable Cooking Thermometer AND a cookbook! Recipes of the Stars!

Note: In Iowa, you should be able to find Mrs. Cubbison’s products at the Fareway or Hy-Vee. You can also purchase directly from them at www.mrscubbisons.com under Market Place which list all products and prices.

I’ll be reviewing the products here at Chef Herman’s. I’ve already reviewed one, and it probably isn’t what you would think I would pick first!

I decided to review Morehouse mustard first, because I’ve been kind of mourning summer and the very first thing I thought of when I saw the mustard was… hot dogs! Now I realize that admitting I like hot dogs is somewhat like Julia Child admitting that she craves fried Spam sandwiches. I decided to take the risk. I don’t have a recipe because let’s face it, I took the redneck way out (hey! I live in Iowa!) and fried my hotdogs in a skillet. My only concession to Julia was that I did fry the hotdogs in a nice, French Mauviel copper frying pan!

I put my hot dog in a nice fresh hot dog bun… topped wit with mustard and ate it! I have to admit, I went into this endeavor thinking, “Mustard is mustard.” But I did notice that Morehouse has a nice mustard-y flavor without the tanginess that I find in some mustards.

But. I have to go now. I have a 3-year-old boy who smells the hot dog scent in the air, and wants one… like five minutes ago!

Mustard

Birthday party!

Cover of "Back to the Future - The Comple...

Cover via Amazon

My kids gave me a small birthday party last night. I don’t really have any recipes to share, but… it WAS a food adventure! So I thought I would share the experience with my readers.

My middle daughter, Niki, has bragged about her boyfriend’s sushi-making abilities, so I asked if Mr. Smith would make sushi… and… he did! While we (we being me and my girls, Heather, Niki and Miya) were in the living room watching Back to the Future, Mr. Smith (aka Ryan) was slaving away in the kitchen making us sushi.

I *did* find out what “fillings” Mr. Smith used… he had sliced mango, avocado and cucumber as well as smoked salmon and cream cheese. We asked for various combinations of the above, and promptly ate them. Actually, “promptly ate them” isn’t reallly accurate. Swooped like a bunch of vultures is more accurate.

After several sushi rolls, Ryan was finally able to come into the living room and socialize. That didn’t last long. Ryan and Miya decided that it would be really fun to race remote control cars through the living room while the rest of us were watching the second movie. It was noisy, crazy, and I loved it!

Presents were ALL food-related. Naturally. A coffee pot, coffee grinder, coffe! and Julia Child’s book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

After presents, I managed to borrow Ryan’s computer and check my email. Lo and behold! Two in one day! I had an email notifying me that my request to receive Hearst grass-fed flank steaks for review have been approved! So… that will also be an upcoming blogpost!

Finally, it was time for cake. Or rather, cupcakes. Niki went to our family’s favorite Des Moines (Windsor Heights) bake shop, the Bake Shoppe. No, the name isn’t terribly creative BUT the baked goods are! Their champagne cakes and cupcakes are incredible! Needless to say, those didn’t last long either.

Before we knew it,  all three movies were over and it was time to go home. A memorable foodie birthday for me! Thanks kids!

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