A Cup of Tea?

A soothing cup of Tea does wonders for many. But what is it and where do the tea leaves come from?

Infographic provided by Tee-Magazine.de

Creative Burgers

New Meatless Monday Cookbook

The Hamburger is an American Favorite that has lots of versatility. MeatlessMonday.com  recently launched the Monday Burger Project. The goal of this project was to offer recipe options replacing a hamburger with one made with vegetables or beans for your Meatless Monday menu.

An average quarter-pound beef burger contains 31% of the recommended daily limit for saturated fat, and too much saturated fat has been linked to diabetesobesityhigh cholesterol and other preventable conditions. What’s more, the average quarter-pounder requires almost 27 times its weight in livestock feed, 143 billion BTUs of fossil fuel energy and over 52 gallons of water (or 6,758 8oz glasses) to produce.

The free E-Cookbook recipes include everything from delicious veggie burgers to protein-packed bean burgers, with allergen and dairy free options available.  Monday Burger E Cookbook 
Every week try a different Monday Burger recipe!

Have you tried a meatless burger frozen or fresh made? If so, what is your brand or recipe? What toppings do you add to your burger?

The best response with a picture or recipe will win a Kitchen Timer.
Please post response not later than Saturday, January 26, 2013. Winner will be posted on this blog post Monday 1/28/2013. Everyone is invited to share pictures and recipes. but the winner must reside in the United States. 

Bean Burger: photo credit: ZakVTA via photopin cc

Eye on Potatoes

Consumer Trends

Recent consumer potato consumption trends point to significant growth opportunities for the U.S. potato industry, according to new research conducted by Datassential, a food industry market research firm. The research shows that nearly half (43 percent) of Americans surveyed report they increased their potato consumption in 2012. Forty-six percent reported eating potatoes several times per week at home or away from home, with 14 percent eating potatoes daily or more than once a day.

According to the research, consumers most often eat fries (57 percent), followed by mashed potatoes (42 percent) and baked potatoes (37 percent). In the future, consumers expect to order more baked potatoes when dining out (33 percent), followed by orders of fries, sweet potato fries, and oven roasted/baked sweet potatoes, all at 30 percent.  

It’s clear that Americans like potatoes; however, to a large degree, potatoes have been left behind in all the innovation in the food-service industry. Expect to see more variety of ethnic potato dishes and variety in type of potatoes on menus, especial sweet potatoes.

Potatoes: Fresh ideas for menu innovation
Learn about the types of new and specialty potatoes that America's potato growers are bringing to the market. With traditional brown and gold as well as red, white and blue, today's potatoes come in more colors, shapes, sizes and flavor profiles than ever.

Potato Recipes
Papas a la Arequipeña   
A Peruvian-style dish, featuring a rainbow of yellow, red and purple potatoes, baked with feta, mozzarella, chiles and broth.
The more carefully you arrange the potato slices, the prettier the results and the better the individual-size cakes will hold together.

Papas Chorreadas
A dish of Colombian Potatoes with Cheese and Tomato Sauce

January Natuional Soup Month


Sometimes there's nothing quite so comforting as a bowl of soup. In winter, it warms us and often provides medicinal value when we are sick.  In summer, chilled fruit or veg
etable soups are the perfect accompaniment for light meal such as an entrée salad. 

Who invented soup? It's common knowledge that the word soup comes from the same source as the English term "sop," meaning a piece of bread soaked in liquid. In common parlance, soup replaced sop at about the same time that people began serving the heated liquid without the ever-present piece of bread (approximately one-hundred years after Catherine de Medici arrived in France with her entire kitchen in tow and proceeded to transform the world of French cuisine). 
However, it's likely that people have been enjoying some version of meat cooked in heated water since the days when Prehistoric man was forced to stalk and kill his dinner before he could even think about cooking it. 
The origins of boiling are lost to history.

Nonetheless, in The History of Food, Raey Tannahill states that it's clear man knew about boiling long before the invention of earthenware pottery (around 6,000 BC). Ever inventive, prehistoric man found that bamboo trees filled with clay, reptile shells, and especially the stomachs from the animals they had killed, all made perfect vessels in which to boil liquid filled with fresh meat over a hot fire. When nothing else was available, they could always resort to the more time consuming method of filling a pit with water and throwing in a few stones heated from the fire to bring the water to a boil. Various evidence, including residue sticking to pots, tells us man was regularly consuming soup by the Iron and Bronze Ages.
The Africans, Greeks and Ancient Romans ate soup, including a type of fish broth cooked in wine and spices.

Today, the world of soup is vast and sophisticated. There are thick soups such as bouillabaisse that nearly cross the line from soup to stew, thin clear consommés, and everything in-between.
Nearly all cultures have their own specialties: a bold Russian borscht, hearty African Peanut Soup, garlicky Spanish gazpacho, and Pot-au-Feu, a French clear soup made from boiled beef and vegetables or a Chinese Noodle soup. Soup can be a meal in itself, an appetizer, or a dessert. And we can't forget that most soups are quick and simple to make comfort foods.

Soups On!
Enjoy a cup of Soup and Learn the components of a flavorful soup.

January 12, 2013   2:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Overbrook Arts Center 
6134 Lancaster Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19151

A Soup Puzzle

1. Clear soup of meat or fish & vegetables, flavored with salt, soy and dashi
5. A hearty North African soup, 'cobra cooler'
7. A Chinese soup with deep fried rice cakes
10. What soup is eaten from
11. Soup with green peas
12. Thai egg noodle soup with cilantro, scallions & chicken or seafood
14. Frequent ingredient in cheese soup
15. Scotland: Crab soup
17. A seaweed extract; Bengal isinglass
20. Hawaiian noodle soup
21. French version of pesto is also the name of this soup
22. Member of mallow family from Africa useful in soups and stews
23. A ribbonlike strip of pasta
24. Powdered sassafras leaves used to thicken soups & stews
2. E Indian curry-flavored soup with a meat or chicken base
3. A small piece of toasted or fried bread; served in soup or salads
4. A Greek soup made with dried beans, olive oil, carrots, garlic, & celery
6. Originally a large stockpot, now applied to contents of the pot
8. To cook au gratin
9. A political soup
13. A soup made with sorrel "fit for the govenor of the Bank of France"
15. Hanoi Beef Soup
16. He placed a high value on a mess of pottage
18. Japanese: soup
19. Soup with whole grains, legumes, dried fruit and nuts; said to be the last meal served on Noah's Ark
20. (French) Thick hearty soup with chunks of garnish

Solution for the Soup puzzle will be published on our FaceBook page January 8, 2013

Sign up to receive our newsletter, recipes and contest information!
Receive our Ebook for 5 Soups Anyone Can Make

Soup with Crouton photo credit: nettsu via photopin cc
French Onion photo credit: ilmungo via photopin cc