Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Steps to Keeping Your Kitchen Safe: Should We Wash All Food?

Why should we wash some foods and not others?

It's good to wash fruits and veggies with cold water. Washing off the excess dirt on fruits and vegetables is important because bacteria like to hide out in the dirt. If you are washing a strong skinned fruit, such as a potato or an apple, feel free to scrub the skin with a brush to get the particles off the skin.

It is however, a BAD idea to wash meat and poultry. When we wash things, water tends to go splashing around sinks and counter tops. Therefore, by washing meat and poultry, we are splattering bacteria everywhere. It's much better just to cook meat and poultry, because the bacteria will be killed in the cooking process.

As always, don't forget to wash your hands and any surface that the meat or poultry may have touched. This will prevent cross-contamination with other foods.

Finally, do not wash eggs. Eggs (at least in USA) have been commercially washed and then coated in mineral oil which protects them. If you wash off the mineral oil, you are increasing the risk of cross-contamination especially if the eggs become cracked.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Did you know? Important facts about cooking pasta.

Cooking pasta seems like a relatively easy and simple thing to do. However, many people make a couple of common mistakes when they cook pasta.

The first error many people make is to cook the pasta in not enough water. You should use AT LEAST 4 liters of water per pound of pasta. If you don't use enough water, pasta becomes gluey and stuck together.

The water for cooking pasta should be at a roaring boil before you add a teaspoon of salt to the water, and then the pasta. Make sure to stir the pasta periodically, to make sure it is staying separated and not getting stuck to the bottom of the pan.

The biggest error people make when cooking pasta is to add oil to the boiling water. Sure, it may help the pasta from getting stuck together, but once cooked, the pasta is coated in oil. If the pasta is coated in oil, it acts as a protective barrier and does not allow the sauce to bind to the pasta. Bad!

Finally, always add the pasta to the sauce, straight from the boiling water if possible. It's good not to drain every last drop of water from the pasta, because the water has a lot of starch from the pasta and will help the sauce bind to the noodles.

Monday, February 18, 2008

My friend on Martha Stewart!!

One of my dear friends from college, Lauren, who runs the blog veganyumyum, is going to be on the Martha Stewart show on Monday, February 25th! Please check out her blog, and if you can, watch the show next Monday!

Lauren will be demonstrating how to "knit" with marzipan.

Lauren is very creative (isn't her marzipan lovely!). She is also a leader in the vegan food world.

Good luck Lauren!!