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Hot Cock Sauce, FTW!

20 Jun

I recently received an email from Cooking School.net asking if I would share a graphic on the benefits of Sriracha, My answer was yes, since a bowl of healing hot & sour soup or even chicken noodle has been kicked up a notch when I started adding a squirt of this magical sinus clearing sauce. Also, as someone who lived in the SGV for a couple years, I like any local business.

So, let the infographics fill your brain and remember to squirt on.

Eat Sriracha For Your Health
Created by: CookingSchools.net

Bird Brain: Stupid Parent Mistakes

31 Mar

 

I was born and raised in Santa Cruz, California and so I thought I knew hippie dippy stuff, but I thought wrong.  Four years ago when my mom was separating from my stepdad they seemed very adamant that they didn’t want my little brother to have to suffer more and move from house to house. Since everyone was on good terms and it was a financial option, my mom took it upon herself to do something called “birdnesting,” which meant that the child would stay in the home and the parents would go in and out. Here’s a local article about the concept and another family who practices this. The way it worked was that my brother stayed in his room and four nights a week my mom would live at the house, two nights a week my stepdad would be there and sleep in a guest bedroom, and then one night a week they would all be there and live in the same house. I was living in LA at the time and this just sounded like the absolute weirdest thing to me. The entire house now basically belonged to my 7 year old brother?!? That couldn’t be healthy.

Anyway, it actually worked for my family for about a year and then people grow up, actual divorce had to happen and this “perfect solution” was no longer an option.

I thought that was the end of weird bird examples and parenting and then this video of Alicia Silverstone surfaced. I was  a girl who grew up in the 90s so Alicia was god and Clueless and Crush were my bibles.The vegan Alicia with bad skin and hair is just not my thing, I wish she could see herself as Cher would, “As if”

I mean, seriously. Remember Cher?

I feel like such a heifer. I had two bowls of Special K, 3 pieces of turkey bacon, a handful of popcorn, 5 peanut butter M&M’s and like 3 pieces of licorice.

Now imagine her chewing up her food and spitting it into her child’s mouth. The visual is as gross as Mary’s neighbor Magda tongue kissing Puffy.

 

Sticking to Kosher Meat: For Love and For Health

13 Apr

Photo Credit to DinnerCraft on Flickr

It has been almost a year since my last relationship ended. It was a sad situation and it came in the form of a break-up email I had to send to my ex-boyfriend who was stuck in Europe. Since then, I made new friends and choices and was told by my business and religious mentor to stick to kosher meat. He meant this in terms of trying to strictly date Jewish men. The theory behind it was that while I am still young, my heart and livelihood would be better off if I only dated people that I would consider marrying. A rabbi later pushed this point by saying that marrying a Jew doesn’t guarantee success but it does help your chances for a successful marriage. Up until that point, I have dated a lot of “interesting” people but none of which I would have ever considered marrying: an out of work actor/scientologist, a homeless man, an anarchist named Pogo, and other winners. They were all beautiful and fascinating people but I decided to get serious about dating for the sake of less broken hearts. The journey with Jewish men has been healthier, rational, but not quite the amount of intensity (i.e. drama, according to Josie) that I was looking for. Through my time on Jdate I have discovered that there are a ton of non-Jewish women on there trying to nail a Jewish man…clearly there is something healthy about this idea of kosher meat.

In fact, if you read today’s New York Times article entitled More People Choosing Kosher for Health there is definitely something to this notion. According to the article there is a huge kosher meat trend not because of religious reasons but because the public views it as healthier and safer. All of the meat has to be processed under strict kosher law and is monitored extremely carefully, from the way it is killed to the way it is butchered. All kosher meat is also heavily salted which helps to keep away certain bacteria, making it a safe choice.

I can make obvious (albeit uncouth) links about the Orthodox Union heavily monitoring the meat to the Jewish mother monitoring her son or about the careful butchering of meat to Jewish men with circumcisions. However, what do you think? Do you view Jewish men and kosher meat as a safer and healthier option? I do, in fact, that is what I intend to say to my future Jewish husband before we eat kosher brisket at the wedding reception.

Cilantro: A Clean Crisp Herb or a Soapy Flavor?

4 Apr

Photo Courtesy of Stadum Girl on Flickr

“Do you have the cilantro gene?” I first heard that question asked last Sunday on the Beef Roll Crawl. One of the crawlers didn’t have any of the beef rolls because cilantro was the main filling and she simply could not eat it. I thought the question was a silly one because I know cilantro to be a strong taste, so people either love it or hate it, but what the heck did that have to do with a gene? Perhaps I understand this about cilantro so much because I have been told my entire life that I have a strong personality and I am used to people either loving or hating me. It’s strong, the eater picks a team, and then game over; there’s no need for genetics in this equation.

I am someone that has been on Team Cilantro since the age of 9 on. I was born and raised in Santa Cruz (where I am typing this post now) and there has always been an abundance of organic produce around in my own kitchen and in my community. I was always on the fruity side and grew up olallieberry and yellow plum picking, my attraction to vegetables took a little longer to develop. My favorite vegetable was, something that was actually a flower, the artichoke. Why would I eat a salad when there was such a fibrous, fun to eat and dip, plant that I got to clean and get to the heart of? However, when I was 9 there was an organic cafe for college students that opened up near UCSC on the Westside of Santa Cruz, that had a Chinese Chicken Salad that I fell in love with, it was the first salad I ever loved. It wasn’t the standard one that you may see at Americanized Chinese restaurants. This one had fresh grilled chicken, rice vinegar (my favorite), and fresh and crisp veggies. The first couple times I had this my mom asked for no cilantro for me, because the flavor was too strong. This is when I started to come to terms with obsession with food. I have never lived on the Westside of Santa Cruz and yet I would demand that my mom drive me there just for this salad. One time we called it in, picked it up, and when we opened up the bag I saw that my salad was covered in cilantro. Upon opening up the environmentally friendly salad box the aroma hit me first. I knew that my current favorite salad was not in it’s usually dressed form. I thought about picking it off but I left it on and that is when my love affair with cilantro began. It had the cleanest taste I have ever eaten and after that my life with food was greatly enhanced. My Jewish grandma was an avid cook that especially loved Asian and Indian food. I grew up thinking that Yan Can Cook was on every grandma’s bookshelf and never knew that most grandmothers stuck to meat and potatoes. My grandma was one of the most thoughtful people and never imposed her tastes on everyone else. Always on her table was her fat-free margarine and real butter; the choice was yours (at the time I always chose margarine because I thought it made her happy and because it was easier for me to spread on the fresh baked bread). My favorite dish that she made was always Indian chicken, she set up bowls and bowls with toppings so she wasn’t imposing and that the decision was my own. The spread on the table reminds me now of banchan that you will see at KBBQ places. In the beginning, I just threw on shredded coconut and golden raisins (Like Grace Adler, I still LOVE raisins in everything) and after my positive experience with cilantro that became the first topping I threw on. I can’t imagine my food life without cilantro as it enhances fish (ceviche), soup (pho), sandwiches (banh mi), tacos and curries beautifully and adds that extra element into the flavor profile. What if this herb, that I have come to love for it’s fresh and clean taste, tasted too clean (in a bad way) to many people? Apparently there is a huge portion of the population that think that cilantro tastes like soap and just can’t eat it. This is the so-called cilantro gene. After inquiring about this strange term and doing some online research, I am shocked.

Here is what I have learned:

*There are a ton of I Hate Cilantro websites, groups, and followers

*Dr. Wysocki, a behavioral neuroscientist, looked into the idea of the gene by interviewing twins at the Twins Day Festival. Here is what the WSJ reported:

More than 80% of the identical twins gave ratings similar to their siblings, while only 42% of the fraternal twins did — suggesting cilantro hatred may be a genetic trait. But Dr. Wysocki cautions that he hasn’t yet analyzed enough fraternal twins to draw a firm conclusion.”

Dr. Wysocki contends dislike of cilantro stems from its odor, not its taste. His hypothesis is that those who don’t like it are unable to detect chemicals in the leaf that are pleasing to those who like the herb.

*Julia Child refused to eat cilantro (CNN Interview)

*Cilantro haters seem to never get the “fantastically savory” smell that the cilantro lovers smell (NPR)

*This is totally my own observance, and may have to do with my group of friends, but I find that a lot of the cilantro haters are either Japanese or Filipino.

It seems as though the love or hatred of cilantro goes way beyond a simple taste preference. There is passion in this issue. Perhaps only one other herb stirs up more controversy than this, but there is no need to go there. So are you a cilantro lover or hater? If it’s a hatred that many people share, should restaurants be more mindful of this?

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