Thursday, June 30, 2011

Our Yumologists have often wondered if the rumored health benefits of margarine are actually true. We often hear butter advocates argue that margarine is primarily composed of chemicals and butter is a more natural alternative. Natural or not our Yumologists have researched this age old question and with the help of the Mayo Clinic discovered the following results.

Margarine is composed of vegetable oils and contains no cholesterol. That is why cardiologists and other doctors recommend it to patients who have high cholesterol or a history of heart problems and high blood pressure. In addition to being cholesterol free, margarine is also high in good fats (polyunsaturated and monosaturated) which means it combats against the bad (saturated) fats and cholesterol found in butter.

While margarine may be a butter-beater in terms of health there are some important tips to keep in mind. A denser form of margarine is not always a healthier option, in fact sticks of margarine can often times contain transfat which is just as dangerous to high cholesterol and heart disease as butter.

If you really want the best butter alternative stick to the softer margarine forms available in tubs. These softer forms are made without the transfats required for forming sticks, and are much better for your heart, cholesterol and blood pressure.

We realize that many baking recipes often call for butter in order to form the right consistency and guarantee a succesful recipe. Go ahead and use it for these purposes but we suggest you use margarine as a flavor enhancer for vegetables, potatoes or toast. Spread the love and move to a better butter whenever possible.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

It's common for brands to entice new customers with rewards points, cash incentives, VIP access, but cookies?! Double Tree hotels has taken a new direction in these times of economic hardship and are going back to good ol' fashioned chocolate chip cookies as a way of welcoming new guests upon their stay. It's one thing to offer your guests a sweet treat upon arrival, it's quite another to build an entire marketing campaign around it. It's an unconventional return to old fashioned values and home cooked warmth that we find brave, bold and delicious.

What do you think? Do you think the cookies in the new Double Tree hotel commercials are enough to make you want to book a room? We do, especially if they come with a tall glass of cold milk and a comfy bed to eat them in.

Not a holiday that you'll find on your desk calendar but one we here at Yumology celebrate nonetheless. Tapioca is a fascinating starch that is most famous for the role it plays in puddings. Tapioca pudding is an American favorite and is often flavored with honey, fruit or chocolate.

Aside from pudding Tapioca comes in many shapes and sizes. Boba, often found in Japanese Boba Tea is otherwise known as pearl tapioca and is popular in many Asian and Indian cuisines.

People in Ghana enjoy Tapioca for breakfast as an alternative to the harder to come by cereal. Many South American and Latin American cultures refine Tapioca and integrate it as a flour into cooking tortillas, flatbreads and other baked goods.

Tapioca has even been used to replace plastic and create biodegradable grocery bags.

So the next time you open that tub of Tapioca  take a moment to reflect on its rich history and appreciate the diversity of this fabulous food!

We love discovering new ways to play with our food, and when playtime leads to cosmetic enhancements we're even more amazed. The idea that coffee grounds could combat stubborn cellulite seemed too good to be true, but the fact remains that the active ingredient in most cellulite reducing creams is caffeine. This being the case our Yumologists decided to bypass the expensive bottled products and go straight to the source.

We removed our morning coffee grounds from our coffee pot and put them in a bowl to cool slightly. We then added a 1/2 cup of olive oil - another ingredient said to have numerous health and beauty benefits - and mixed the two together to form a paste.

Now comes the fun part. Lay an old towel on the bathroom floor and proceed to lather the coffee/olive oil mixture onto your trouble areas. Wrap each area with saran wrap to hold in the mixture after it has been applied. Wait 30-45 mins before removing the mixture and shower with warm water.

Not only will the caffeine in the coffee combat your cellulite but the grounds themselves act as a natural exfoliator. Your skin should feel soft and smooth after doing this treatment twice a week for at least six weeks.

The Fourth of July is rapidly approaching which means many of our Yumologist friends will be packing their coolers and heading for the beach, lake, cabin, and so on. Often times these destinations require a road trip, which in turn requires the ubiquitous stop at a nearby gas station to stock up on those sinfully delicious treats you only allow yourself to eat on this special journey.

Sugar, caffeine, oil, grease, fat, you name it - if it's frowned upon it's generally road trip approved. Your road trip menu can vary greatly depending on the time of day you travel. Never fear, our Yumologists have put together four road trip, gas station menus to get you going!

Road Trip Breakfast
1 Gas Station Coffee (go for the triple caramel mocha for cryin' out loud. You're on vacation!)
1 Box of Mini Donuts (chocolate or powdered sugar - they're both sinfully delicious)

Road Trip Lunch
1 Rotisserie Hot Dog (make sure you get one that's crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside)
1 bag of Funyuns (probably not a real onion involved anywhere in this recipe but delicious all the same)
1 large soda (go for the Big Gulp it will stay with you all day)

Road Trip Dinner
1 fully loaded burrito (some gas stations offer them pre-cooked, others you have to pull from the freezer and microwave yourself)
1 bag of tortilla chips (go ahead and grab the small tub of salsa and queso that goes with them)
1 large soda (because that first Big Gulp may be gone by now)

Road Trip Dessert
1 Ice Cream Sandwich (wash it down with a packet of your favorite candy)

What's your favorite road trip treat?

Friday, June 24, 2011

When a Yumologist thinks of Kansas one of the first things that comes to mind is BBQ. Great BBQ. Epic BBQ. BBQ HQ. Having spent a great deal of time in Dorothy's home state we thought it only fair to share our BBQ findings with our foodie friends in the hopes it will help guide them on their culinary quests.

Kansas City: Gates BBQ
This local chain offers some of the sweetest, tenderest BBQ a Yumologist could hope to find. Our favorite dish is their Burnt Ends on Bun. Charred end pieces of brisket are shaved and mixed with Gates famous BBQ sauce then piled on top of a buttery bun. This bad boy is built to soak up all the meaty goodness so you dont miss a drop!

Wichita: Pig In! Pig Out!
This local favorite is one-of-a-kind. The pit masters at Pig In! Pig Out! allow customers to live up to the establishments name with menu favorites like the "Fireman" sandwich. This beast of a meal includes brisket, turkey and a hot link all wrapped in a bun and ready for chow time!

Topeka: Boss Hawg's
A family-owned establishment that prides itself on slow-smokin their meats over native hardwoods, Boss Hawgs' award-winning recipes are worthy of their ribbons. Their K.C. Jazz ribs are what put them on the map, and we have to agree that the fall-off-the-bone, melt-in-your-mouth goodness will keep you coming back for more.

Lawrence: Biemer's BBQ
They stand by their smokin' and that's fine by us. Sauce is an after-thought at a place that prides itself on its meat. Biemer's pulled pork sandwiches have been feeding hungry KU students for decades. Sweet, salty and tender as ever, Biemer's pulled pork is a great way to load up before the big game.

Manhattan: Pat's Blue Ribbon BBQ
Not one to stand for all this modern day publicity and media, Pat's focuses their efforts on providing K-State students with good, home-cooked BBQ that they can always rely on. Their smoke chicken is incredibly moist and spiced to perfection. Pat's Blue Ribbon is definitely a stop you want to make if you're visiting the Lil' Apple anytime soon.

Got another Kansas BBQ joint that you think our Yumologists missed? Let us know about it!

It's the movie that made Tom Cruise a star. One half-naked slide across his living room floor and every girl in the world was hooked. Aside from Mr. Cruise's au natural antics, Cocktail is a movie about ambition, drama, love and betrayal, all the elements you'd expect to find at your local watering hole.

Tom Cruise plays Brian Flanagan, a business student who hopes to one day work in marketing. Brian pays his way through school by working as a bartender alongside his mentor Doug (Brian Brown), a seasoned New York bartender who teaches Brian how to mix drinks with flare.

Brian and Doug's relationship takes many turns, and after a rough marriage to an unfaithful wife Doug ends up committing suicide. Brian begins to put his life in perspective and after betraying her trust once, end up winning the heart of Jordan (Elizabeth Shue). They get married, have twins and fulfill Brian and Doug's dream of opening the bar "Flanagan's Cocktails and Dream."

Our Yumologists love to enjoy Cocktail with friends and attempt to perform the same tricks of the trade that made Brian and Doug famous. Give it a try yourself, just make sure you have plenty of towels handy!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Someway, somwhow, that bakery boy has managed to knock out our taste buds once again. The legendary Duff Goldman, owner of Charm City Cakes and Food Network's Sultan of Sweet, has teamed up with Blue Bunny Ice Cream to make all your dessert dreams come true.

 Duff and his Blue Bunny counterparts have said "no more" to the separation of cream and cake. From this day forward the segregation of cake and ice cream, whether it be on your plate, or layered and covered in colorful icing, will be a thing of the past. Take a stand and swap the traditional serving and preparation for one quart full of delicious harmony.

Blue Bunny's latest line of ice cream products put Duff's culinary genius front and center in the following cake and ice cream combinations that inspire every Yumologist to think outside the box.

Premium Ice Cream  Red Carpet Red Velvet Cake™
Red Carpet Red Velvet Cake

Premium Ice Cream  Strawberries are Forever Shortcake™
Strawberries are Forever Shortcake

Premium Ice Cream  Chocolate Lovers Triple Chocolate Cake™
Chocolate Lovers Triple Chocolate Cake

Premium Ice Cream  I Do!  I Do! Wedding Cake™
I Do, I Do Wedding Cake 

Monday, June 20, 2011

One word: GENIUS! Creator Charlie Boghosian has gone out of his way to take fair food to a whole new level. He mixes flour, water and cherry Kool Aid packets to create a dough that is deep fried and served "like a donut hole." You don't have to limit yourself to the popular cherry flavor, Kool Aid offers an endless array of fruity options to satisfy your deep-fried cravings.

This show stealer is guaranteed to be the most sought after food item at every state fair this summer. Yumologists suggest finding an ice cream truck nearby and pairing this super-sweet treat with a some soft serve to take the edge off the heavy consistency.

 Step aside twinkie, there's a new batter beater in town!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Since 2010 Triscuit has been encouraging Yumologists to go green and save money through planting their own vegetable gardens. The site has thousands of members who exchange home farming tips, recipes and track their progress through an easy-to-use farm log.

Triscuit has proudly stepped up as the major sponsor of the home farming movement and many of the recipes featured on the site can be adapted to include Triscuit's famous crackers.

Our Yumologists are proud members of the home farming movement and we've been pleased with our results. Planting seeds to maintain the integrity of our planet, and getting to experiment with new recipes is a win-win situation for all of us.

Join Yumology and Triscuit in the home farming movement today!