Monday, February 28, 2011

After weeks of pre-Oscar diets, exercise and beauty treatments, the Hollywood Gliterati was able to cut loose last night and indulge in some YUMMY post-show noshes.

At the Governor's Ball, Chef Wolfgang Puck prepared a three-course dinner of salad, Dover sole and lemon cheesecake. Passed appetizers included smoked salmon Oscar flatbread, tuna tartare in sesame miso cones, mini cheeseburgers, black truffle pizza, crispy rice and taro root tacos. Food stations were also present with sushi and shellfish,  as was a dessert bar and an endless supply of Moet & Chandon champagne.

Elton John's annual AIDS Foundation viewing party featured a menu prepared by Chef Ludo Lefebvre that included a four-course meal made up of goat cheese soup, red and yellow beet salad, sole with spinach puree and coconut polenta, beef tenderloin with local greens and an apple pie for dessert. Stars who craved something sweet at the end of the evening could pick-up to-go goodies from the Godiva station upon exiting the party.

What Oscar night treats did you snack on while watching the show?

Oscar image courtesy of
Ever wonder what human beings ate before the invention of Rice-A-Roni, Easy Mac or other processed sugars, flour and grains? I mean what did we survive on before Little Debbie and Captain Crunch came along? We obviously did okay for ourselves considering we're still here thousands of years later, but what did we use for food, fuel and sustenance in the days prior to pizza?

Answer: the good stuff!

California based Yumologist, Jessica Mackay, has spent the last 10 weeks testing the effects of the increasingly popular Paleo Diet, and has great results to report. "I have been doing this diet for 10 weeks now and I have lost over 20 pounds." Jessica began the diet after giving birth to her son Connor in the hopes that it would help her get back to her sexy, slim self.

Jessica's testimony has inspired our Yumologists to dig deeper and uncover the health benefits associated with this growing phenomenon.  We discovered that the Paleo Diet is based on the simple understanding that we as human beings should eat the foods we are most genetically adapted to: lean meats, seafood, fresh fruits, fresh vegetables and certain types of nuts. Thereby avoiding foods that came out of the Agricultural Revolution such as dairy products, grains, flours, sugars and other processed ingredients.

The Paleo Diet offers its participants soluble fiber, antioxidant vitamins, phytochemicals, omega-3 and monounsaturated fats, and low-glycemic carbohydrates that promote good health. As a result it also reduces or eliminates the risk of diseases, including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and the vast majority of all chronic degenerative diseases that affect humanity.

Additional health benefits of the Paleo Diet include: proven relief from acne, increased athletic performance,  and, as Jessica has shown us, fantastic results in weight loss,.

So make like a Tyrannosaur and grab that turkey leg at the next county fair, it just may be the jolt you need to get your own Paleo Diet started!

Pictured: Jessica and Connor Mackay.
Image courtesy of Sean Mackay

Below are two recipes that Jessica uses to help her stick with the Paleo Diet:

Paleo Banana Bread
6 eggs
1 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup coconut milk/unsweetened vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
2 mashed bananas
1/2 cup of crushed walnuts

Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl and add them to a baking pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes and say goodbye to your lazy old loaf!

Crockpot Chicken
4-6 chicken breasts
1 jar diced tomatoes
1 can salsa (gluten free)
3-5 chopped, peeled green chilies

Cook for approx. 5 hours in Crockpot, shred chicken with fork, and serve over Butter Lettuce for yummy, Paleo-friendly lettuce wraps.

According to Jessica has great Paleo recipes that are easy to follow.

Have you tried the Paleo Diet?

Referenced in this post:
Dinosaur image courtesy of

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Paul Brewer

Our Yumologists couldn't believe it when three of their own decided to combine the creative world of arts & crafts with dessert and the ever popular Angry Birds ap!

Erin Thornton, Lisa Brewer and Paul Brewer, our NYC based Yumologists, spent countless hours in the kitchen Saturday concocting the recipes for these sugary replicas. Red birds, yellow birds, blue birds and pigs were all represented as Paul, Lisa and Erin tirelessly strived to build this confectionary cavalry.

When asked why the black birds were not included in this project, Paul confessed, "There's not enough black food coloring in the world to do them justice and we are aiming for perfection."

Want to attempt to build your own Angry Bird army you can launch now and munch later? Here's how:

1 butter cake packet mix (+ ingredients required per the pack)
18 ounces of cream cheese
1/4 cup of milk
1 bag white chocolate melts
1 box fondant
Food coloring
1 tube black decorating icing gel

1. Mix and bake the cake mix according to the instructions on the packet.  Let the cake cool entirely.

2. Cut the cake into cubes and put it through the food processor until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.  Tip the cake crumbs into a bowl.

3. Add the cream cheese to the bowl of the food processor and add the milk. Process until the cream cheese and milk are smooth and light.

4. Fold the cream cheese mix through the cake crumbs until they are thoroughly incorporated.  Use your hands to form the shapes of the figures you want to make and put them in the freezer to freeze.

5. Melt the chocolate melts over a double boiler or in the microwave.  Roll each of the moulded figures in the white chocolate to coat and let them dry and harden on a sheet of baking paper.  This will ensure the figures don’t leach liquid into the icing coating after they have been decorated.

6. Kneed the food coloring into the fondant until it reaches the color desired.

7. Using rolling pin, flatten fondant and begin decorating Angry Birds.

8. Destroy Pigs and eat.

Say Whaa?! Whaa kind of cakeballs can you come up with?

Saturday, February 26, 2011

When YUMOLOGY was based in NYC our panel of esteemed Yumologists would gather at various restaurants for brunch every Saturday, sampling the eclectic fare that only NYC can offer.

Brunch in NYC is like a call to prayer in many middle-eastern countries - you don't miss it! Every weekend thousands of sleepy New Yorkers roll out of bed, throw on a cap, don their weekend jeans, grab their Gucci bags and venture out in search of  a house of worship...or in this case a house of pancakes.

For our Brunch Bunch a favorite place to kick off the weekend was the Hell's Kitchen corner-stone eatery.  At 9th Ave. and 53rd St., eatery offers indoor/outdoor dining (dependent upon the weather of course) and hosts an array of contemporary takes on American classic breakfast recipes. Perhaps the one they are best known for is their stuffed French toast with chocolate-banana-cream cheese filling. YUM!

In an effort to recreate this dish at home, our Yumologists have come up with the following recipe for chocolate-banana-cream cheese - stuffed French toast:

1 2" thick slice of white bread
2 eggs
1/2 banana sliced thin
1/4 cup of chocolate syrup
1/2 bar of cream cheese
1/2 cup of confectioners sugar

1) In a large bowl mix one egg the cream cheese and the confectioners sugar together until smooth.

2)Take the thick slice of bread and cut through the middle of it from the top down - be careful NOT to slice the bread into two halves completely. The idea here is to create a pocket in which to stuff the ingredients.

3) Drizzle the chocolate sauce on the inside of the bread pocket, layer slices of banana along the sides and the spoon in the cream cheese mixture.

4) Take the second egg and whisk it so the yolk breaks open. Dip both sides of the bread in the egg and immediately add to a hot, greased frying pan.  Cook for 1-2 minutes on both sides, drizzle with warm maple syrup, or lightly powder with confectioners sugar and enjoy!

What else would you stuff your toast with?

Images courtesy of and

Friday, February 25, 2011

Every once in a while our tired Yumologists like to take a break from their kitchens and end the work week kicked back on the couch with a glass of red wine, watching their favorite foodie flicks.

This Friday's Foodie Flick is A Good Year starring Russell Crowe, Marion Cotillard, Freddy Highmore and Albert Finney.

This delicious movie transports its audience to the Provencal region of France, where Max Skinner (Crowe), an overworked, overpaid investment broker from London inherits his long-lost uncle's (Finney) vineyard estate. Torn between selling the estate or rediscovering the flavor of his youth, Max struggles to decide which path in life to follow. Will it be love and life amongst the vines, or cold hard cash in Britain's most ruthless market?
To make your Friday Foodie Flick more enjoyable watch A Good Year with some fresh baked French bread, a wedge of fresh brie, ripened sweet grapes and a glass of Mas de Gougonnier Les Baux de Provence.

Here's a taste of A Good Year:


Do you have a favorite foodie movie?

Images courtesy of: and

Thursday, February 24, 2011

If you've been out for sushi lately chances are you've been welcomed to your table by a warm, steaming bowl of miso soup. Looks good, smells good, tastes great, but what is the real story behind miso?

Miso is a Japanese seasoning that is made by fermenting rice, barley and soybeans and combining that paste with salt and the fungus kojikin. Miso can be used as a spread but is most commonly added to stocks for soups.

While the microorganisms and vitamin B levels in miso have been proven to reduce radiation sickness in overexposed areas like Chernobyl and Hiroshima, Yumologists warn that the sodium levels found in miso can be dangerous for your blood-pressure if consumed in large quantities.

A small amount of miso mixed into your pre-sushi soup is an adequate dose of this delish delicacy.

Have you ever used miso?

Image courtesy of
Last summer this Yumologist took a much needed vacation to Rome, a place where the soul, mind and body can heal through the delectable power of food.  I stayed in a beautiful bed & breakfast just outside Vatican City and spent most nights wandering about the cobblestones, sipping from Roman street fountains, in search of my next amazing meal.

I consider it a sin to consciously deprive your palate of the flavors Rome has to offer. Carb-free, sugar-free, caffeine-free and vegetarian diets need not apply when every storefront window beckons with gelato, prosciutto, mozzarella, pasta, pizza and the most deliciously satisfying cappuccino you've ever sipped.

Rome is indeed rich in culinary history which makes choosing a restaurant there either extremely difficult or very easy, depending on your mission. Thankfully, my mission lead me to discover the three restaurants listed below:

Vineria Il Chianti:
You can sit by the Trevi Fountain while you wait for your table at this quaint ristorante and vineria located in the heart of the city. The orrechiete caccio i pepe is a pasta dish that comes highly recommended, after a tall glass of their signature Chianti of course.

Ristorante Strega:
Take your tagliere di salumi misti in the dining room or enjoy an evening snack and glass of vino in the garden. You deserve it after a long night at the nearby Opera. If a heartier meal is in order then do yourself a favor and order the risotto!

Hosteria dell'Orso:
Built in the 14th century this is the oldest restaurant in Rome.  The 15th century dining room provides an impressive atmosphere in which to enjoy traditional Italian meals served with artistic flare. After you've finished your meal move on into the La Cabala piano bar and settle in for an evening of music and cocktails you'll never forget.

Have you got a favorite restaurant in Roma?

Image courtesy of:

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Chances are if you ask five different people "Which is healthier FroYo or Ice Cream?" - you'll get five different answers. This battle of the blasts has been going on for centuries. Some experts will argue that while FroYo has less fat than Ice Cream it can often contain more sugar and sometimes a GREATER amount of calories! Say it isn't so FroYo!

In order to get to the bottom of this dietary misapprehension that so many of us have been blissfully indulging under, our Yumologists decided to do their research and uncover the real deal with FroYo v. Ice Cream.

While both Ice Cream and FroYo are considered dairy products, and each have equal amounts of sugar, the difference lies in their production. The one factor that puts FroYo over the top in terms of health benefits is that the Probiotics found in yogurt provide a significant boost to the immune system that typical ice cream does not.

So despite the fact that many people have been indulging in FroYo in the hopes that it will slim their waistlines, the truth is that the benefits of FroYo are not found through weight-loss but through healthy gain.

What's your take on this debate?

Image courtesy of
These little gold mines of antioxidants have helped me in times of trouble more than once. I have very unruly kidneys and whenever they act up my Doctor always told me to drink lots of cranberry juice. I never understood how cranberries prevented kidney problems until I dug deeper into their medicinal properties.

Dr. Amy Howell, a researcher at Rutgers University began studying the anti-adhesion properties of cranberries and their juices back in 1998. Dr. Howell discovered that the proanthocyanidins (PACs), which inhibit the fimbrial adhesion of bacteria and help prevent urinary tract infections and kidney diseases when
consumed regularly.

High on the antioxidant scale cranberries also have anti-aging benefits such as 
preventing memory loss and loss of coordination. Just think now you and your
kidneys can stay alert well into your golden years!

Do you have a favorite cranberry recipe?


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Anytime I'm feeling the slightest bit sick (home or otherwise) I immediately make a huge pot of my Green Chili Chicken Soup:

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts diced into 1" cubes
1 large yellow onion
1/4 cup of tequila
1/2 tsp salt & pepper
1 tsp cumin
3 tbsp olive oil

Add the olive oil to a large pot and let it heat up. Once hot add the diced chicken, onion, tequila and spices. When the chicken begins to turn white add the following:

1 quart of diced green chilis
2 cups of corn kernels
3 tins of cream of chicken soup (if condensed add 3 tins of water)

Let simmer on the stove for 20 minutes. Heat some tortillas and enjoy!

Tell us if you enjoyed this recipe. Any tips on how to improve it?

Image courtesy of:
Hatch Green Chile
My affinity for this next product comes from years of growing up in New Mexico. As a Yumologist New Mexico exposed me to many earthy sites, smells and flavors at an early age. I spent my youth eating tamales, sopapillas, enchiladas, and flirting with cumin, chili power and peppers in everything I cooked. But as any true New Mexican will tell you, no matter the dish, everything is better with Green Chili.

One fresh, medium sized Green Chili is equivalent to the Vitamin C in six oranges. Chilis are a good source of most B vitamins and are very high in potassium, magnesium and iron.  Green Chili is extremely low in fat and contains no cholesterol, boosting heart health.  The capsaicin in chili aids the body in processing cholesterol and fat by helping to reduce fatty deposits in the arteries. Capsaicin also enhances circulation, which reduces blood pressure.  Chili also speeds up a body’s metabolic rate triggering a body to burn calories—a major factor in weight reduction. The capsaicinoids from chilie peppers are used in muscle rubs for sore muscles and arthritis.  The Pueblo Indians and early Spanish colonists prized chilie as an herbal medicine, a food preservative, and a disinfectant for wounds.

I consider myself extremely lucky to have been weaned on this food from an early age. I encourage all of you to consider a spoonful of Green on your next omelet, pizza, burger, soup even ice cream and hot chocolate - trust me, you'll be glad you added some spice to your life!

Tell us your favorite NM story or Green Chil recipe.
Since I made this delicious discovery I have had so much fun concocting Almond Milk smoothies every morning. My favorite go-to recipe is quick and easy, guaranteed to get you going in the morning:

1 banana
1/4 cup of fresh blue berries
1 tbsp peanut butter
1 cup of ice
2 cups of Almond Milk

Throw it all in the blender and you have a nutritious breakfast you can take on the go!

What's your go-to smoothie? Would you try it with Almond Milk?
This magnificent nut from the middle-east is packed full of health benefits. It's been proven that eating raw almonds provides relief from constipation, respiratory disorders, cough, heart problems, anemia, impotency, and diabetes. Yes, this nut is indeed a wonder, but did you know that it's milk provides a deliciously sweet remix with the same perks.

Not only does Almond Milk provide you with the same essential nutrients that you find in the nut, it has far fewer calories than dairy milk and less sugar than soy milk. Almond Milk has a light, nutty flavor that satisfies any sweet tooth while posing as an excellent alternative for people who may be lactose intolerant or those seeking to improve their fat and cholesterol intake.

Make the switch today!

Have you made a life-changing food discovery lately?