About Food: In the News

Would you drink your Fritos? How about potato chips? Beer nuts? You may get a chance, because PepsiCo, looking to diversify it's market, is planning to turn snacks into drinks.

Researchers develop coconut-flavoured pineapple

The Department of Agriculture's research station in Queensland has been working on the new breed of pineapple for more than a decade. It is expected to be on the market in two years.

 It may never come to a theater near you, but a film with heart, soul and soy sauce has been cooked up. Make Haste Slowly is a mini-doc that tells the story of how Kikkoman's ubiquitous condiment came to be such a big hit on tables everywhere. The trailer, now showing on YouTube, is as compelling as any big screen preview and whets your appetite for more.

 Are Hasbro's Easy-Bake Ovens just for girls? Their pink and purple color scheme might suggest so, along with ads and packaging that show only girls playing with the classic toy. Of course, that hasn't stopped generations of pie-curious boys from experimenting with baked goods at a young age.

Three Healthy Gifts Ideas for Foodies

Healthy Gift Idea #1

A Window Herb Garden

Why not bring fragrance, flavor and nutrition to someone’s kitchen year round.  Indoor herb gardens are an easy way to spice up anyone’s culinary repertoire while adding antioxidants.  By using fresh herbs, they can enhance flavors and cut down on salt and sugar.  Fresh herbs like oregano, rosemary, parsley, basil and mint, offer great aromas to the kitchen.  According to Kristyn Hall Rd, compared to 1 cup of ice berg lettuce-raw fresh parsley gives 3 times as much fiber, 8 times the calcium, 16 times the iron, 4 times the potassium, 50 times the vitamin C, 5 times the folate and 17 times the vitamin A?   Herbs pack a powerful antioxidant punch!  A window Herb Garden requires minimal care when placed in the proper light and watered regularly!  The cost is minimal starting as low as $10. Check out your local department stores or purchase online.

Healthy Gift Idea #2

Chef’s Knife

Hammer Stahl Knives
Every cook needs a good Chef's knife. The Chef’s Knife is one of the most used kitchen knives and can be used for everything from chopping to slicing fruits and vegetables. Most chef's knives have a broad blade that curves upward towards the tip to allow the knife to rock for fine mincing. The spine of the blade is thick to add weight and strength. Chef's knives come in blade lengths of 6, 8, 10, and 12 inches. Longer blades can be more difficult to control, but make for faster cuts. Shorter blades allow for greater control for small hands. When purchasing a Chef’s knife consider  High Carbon Steel knife because it can be sharpen easily.  Whatever knife is purchase make sure it is comfortable for you to the person to handle. Visit a few kitchen specialty stores and department stores before purchasing to get a feel for the knife and always check on line for a good price.

Healthy Gift Idea #3

A Gift Certificate for a Cooking Lesson or Healthy Prepared Meals

From learning how to make soups, to Thai food, appetizers, basic knife skills to creating everyday and gourmet dishes, purchase a gift certificate for in home cooking lessons or a workshop at a location.  Share the art of making food taste fantastic and expanding ones’ repertoire!  If you think your loved one would rather have customized prepared meals then a personal chef service gift certificate would be perfect.

Potato Pancakes

Latkes known, as little potato pancakes are a traditional Hanukkah food, serving as a reminder of the food hurriedly prepared for the Maccabees as they went into battle, along with the oil they are fried in as a reminder of the miraculous oil. Other traditional foods contain cheese to celebrate Judahs’ victory.
Hanukkah originated when Judah the Maccabee and his followers reclaimed the temple in the village of Modi'in from Syrian King Antiochus IV. The temple was cleansed and prepared for rededication. The Hebrew word Hanukkah means "dedication."  You will also see this holiday spelled “Chanukkah” due to different translations and customs. When the sacred temple Menorah (candelabra) was relit, there was only enough sacred oil to burn for one day. Yet, according to tradition, the oil miraculously lasted eight days until more purified oil could be found. In remembrance, a candle is lit each of the eight days of Hanukkah.

Latkes or Potato Pancakes are great any time of the year and are limitless to your creativity.  Try these two recipes and let us know what you think.


Sweet Potato Latkes made by Meal Makers Inc.
Sweet Potato Latkes
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 latkes)
  • 1 pounds Sweet Potatoes
  • 1 small onion (about 6 ounces), peeled
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch ground Cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons canola oil, divided
1. Peel and par-boil the potatoes. Shred the sweet potatoes and onion using the shredding blade of a food processor.  
2. Combine egg, flour, salt, and pepper in a small bowl, stirring with a spatula in a medium size bowl.  Add egg the potatoes to the mixture and, stir well to combine.
3. Heat a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil to pan, swirling to coat. Using a tablespoon, make patties and add to the pan. Cook 3-4 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove latkes from pan; keep warm. Repeat procedure with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil and remaining potato mixture.
Serve with sour cream or apple sauce.
Cheese Latkes

Serving Size: About 15 Silver Dollar size
  • 1 potato Idaho small, boiled (3 -4 oz) peeled 
  • 1 tbsp butter 
  • 1/2 lb farmer cheese 
  • 2 tbsp flour 
  • 2 egg yolks large
  • (see note for sweet version)
  • 2 egg whites large 
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar or salt 
  • 1 tsp salt  
  • 1/2 tsp pepper white 
  • Canola oil for frying 
  •  sour cream 
  • apple sauce


1. In a 2 quart bowl with a flat bottom mash the hot peeled boiled potato, salt, pepper and butter, using a hand masher. Add the farmer cheese and mash some more until uniform. Then add egg yolks and mix smooth. (If you are making the sweet version, add the sugar, cinnamon and vanilla along with the flour.) Add the flour and mix smooth and uniform. 
2.Beat the egg whites to soft peaks, add the cream of tartar or salt, and continue beating till medium peaks. 
3.Fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the cheese mixture to soften it. Then fold the remaining egg whites into the cheese mixture. This should give you a mixture that is firm enough to fry.

3.Heat canola oil frying pan to 325 F.  Drop rounded tablespoons of the batter onto the pan, using 2 tablespoons, one to lift and one to push off the batter.   When a brown and crispy, turn it over gently using a spatula and a fork, and gently pat down the top of the pancake to spread it a little.
Serve with sour cream or apple sauce.

Note: Sweet version. 
You can also make these sweet. Add 1-2 tbsp sugar and a few drops of vanilla extract, and a shake or two of cinnamon after the yolks.