Monday, January 30, 2012

We know, we know, the words healthy and bacon should never co-exist in the same sentence let alone an endorsement for a great product our Yumologists have learned they can no longer live without - hear us out on this one...

Using state-of-the-art foodie technology, those clever Yumologists over at Hormel have devised a way to make cooking bacon a much more enjoyable experience. No more grease, no more drippings, no more dishes or stove tops to clean up afterwards. Sounds too good to be true right?

The trick, my yummy friends, is in the packaging. Each portion of bacon (4 slices) comes wrapped in a microwave safe plastic wrap that includes an absorbant base. The base is able to soak up the excess grease from the bacon as the plastic wrap expands and steam cooks each strip to crispy perfection. This means that in three minutes or less you can have perfectly cooked bacon ready for your breakfast table, BLT, chili, toppings, etc. with absolutely no clean up!

The downside is that this bacon is typically priced higher than traditional bacon, but the health benefits of less grease and the time saved in preparation and clean up make it well worth the extra buck or two.

If you're looking for a quick and healthy afternoon snack that you and your kids can enjoy eating and making together, look no further than our PB&J Nillers. This recipe is a great way to get your kids used to cooking in the kitchen and using motor skills for scooping, spreading and making a mess that mommy can live with.

1 box of Reduced Fat Vanilla Wafers
1 jar of creamy peanut butter
A variety of squeezable jelly spreads (we love Smuckers Grape & Strawberry)

It's really as easy as building a miniature peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Let the kids put peanut butter on half of the wafers and jelly on the other half, mash them together and chow down!

We've also used this recipe in a more sophisticated tea party setting using spreads like Nutella, apple butter, marmalade and other jarred preserves.

Easy for mom and fun for kiddos, this one is a no-brainer!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Paula Deen Diabetes

One of Food Network's most prominent, down-home chefs is undergoing major scrutiny this week after the announcement that she has been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the culinary habits of Ms. Paula Deen, the majority of her recipes revolve around two ingredients: butter and sugar. Paula's never been one to cut corners or calories in her recipes which, it could be argued, is part of her charm.

Despite Paula's undeniable popularity on the Food Network, it seems she and her dishes are under the microscope, being accused of pedaling heart disease, cholesterol and unhealthy eating habits. While we at Yumology agree that Paula's recipes are not for the calorie conscious we also believe in the power of free will. You cannot blame Paula Deen for making America unhealthy anymore than you can blame fast food. People choose what they eat and what they cook. Paula never branded herself the queen of whole-grain goodness, and if home chefs choose not to make healthy substitutions to Paula's recipes or avoid them altogether they only have themselves to blame.

As for the criticism Paula has faced for speaking out about her disease and becoming the spokesperson for a new diabetic drug called Victoza, we salute her willingness to be so open and public about a very real and rampant disease. We realize this decision flies in the face of everything she has previously stood for, but in this day and age that makes her a hero, not a heretic. She's wearing her scarlet letter for the entire world to see, and instead of hiding behind her extremely successful Lady & Sons brand, she's openly admitting that her eating habits have contributed to her current condition. If only all conspirators and companies were as honest about their mistakes.

Here at Yumology we're always impressed when artists find ways of incorporating food and drink into a work of art. You could argue that cooking itself is indeed an art form that requires meticulous attention to detail from the very first ingredient to the final presentation.

In her recent exhibit covered by the Huffington Post, Florentine artist Elisabetta Rogai showcases her beautiful, feminine portraits painted entirely with red and white wine. Much like wine the portraits take on a life of their own and tend to mature in coloration much like wine does in flavor over time.  As the paintings, and wine therein, become more and more oxygenated they darken and develop deep, rich textures, only magnifying the seductive emotions within them.

You can view more of Elisabetta Rogai's paintings on the English language version of her site here:
The link to the Huffington Post article can be found here:

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Pinned Image

As a way of making cocktail hour a bit less predictable, go for a serving centerpiece guaranteed to spark conversation. Our Yumologists found this beauty of an idea while perusing Pinterest, and we're certain it will add flare to your next event.

Simply cut one side off of a watermelon and hollow out the center. Drill a small hole near the basebase and widen it with a knife so that it is just slightly smaller than a portable spout insert.  Fill the empty melon with  crushed ice and any mix of drinks you'd like.

Being pregnant, there's not much fun this Yumologist can have at cocktail hour lately...or is there?! While the wine, beer, booze and other libations may currently be off-limits, I've discovered a new way to dress up my wine glass so I can unwind and partake in the hour of fanciful fizzies.

So simple, healthy, delicious and sophisticated, this thirst quenching beverage is an ideal way to ditch the calories and the alcohol.

2 cups of sparkling water
1/2 cup of defrosted forzen fruits of your choosing (our favorites have been blueberries lately)
1 lemon or lime wedge depending upon your flavor choices (lime goes great with defrosted cherries, lemon with blueberries)
2 cups ice

  • Add 1 cup ice to the bottom of the glass, add the thawed frozen fruit (be sure to include the juices)
  • Top with another cup of ice
  • Pour the sparkling water over the top and squeeze lemon or lime wedge into drink.
  • Stir well, sip and enjoy!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

If you've been into a health foods store lately you've probably heard the word "quinoa" being thrown around as the must-have, trendy new nutrient used in salads, middle-eastern dishes and often as a protein-rich substitute for rice and potatoes in everyday recipes.

Quinoa  is a nutty flavored, light and fluffy textured grain that originated in Mexico as a sacred, Incan-grown chenopod closely related to beets, spinach and tumbleweeds. Quinoa contains many essential amono acids and good quanitites of calcium, dietary fiber, phopohrus and iron.

While the seed of the quinoa plant are typically available for purchase and consumption here in the U.S., the leaves of the plant also possess essential nutrients but are significantly harder to come by.

One of our favorite ways to eat quinoa is in a stuffed bell pepper. Check out our Stuffed Peppers recipe and substitue the rice for quinoa then let us know what you think.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Still hanging onto leftover Champagne from your New Year celebrations? Wondering when you'll have occasion to crack open the bubbly once more? Many people don't realize that champagne is an excellent ingredient in many everyday recipes. You can replace water with champagne in numerous baked goods - pancakes being one of the most successful; champagne has a natural, light, citrus air to it that offers a refreshing flavor in many seafood dishes; and champagne ice cubes are an excellent, unexpected addition to your weekend brunch beverages.

One of the most unique champagne recipes we've stumbled upon is Prosecco Preserves, courtesy of Chef John Eisenhart of Kimpton's Pazzo Restaurante in Portland, OR.

Prosecco is a sweet, Italian champagne used in many meal celebrations. The recipe below is best served alongside a hearty grain bread and northern Italian cheeses such as parmegiano reggiano, gorgonzola, fontina or ubriaco.

Prosecco Preserves

1/2 bottle of prosecco
1 cup sugar
2 strips of lemon zest
1/4 oz pectin

  • Mix sugar and pectin together in a pot and bring to a boil while stirring frequently.
  • Add the lemon zest and prosecco and let simmer on low heat for 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and let cool until gel thickens and forms into preserve consistency.

It's Friday! Statistics show that most diets often suffer during the weekend, and here at Yumology we're not ones to mess with tradition. Therefore we are passing along a Cookie Dough Dip recipe first brought to our attention by the lovely and talented Rose Garcia, who claims to have found it in the Sing for Your Supper Blog.

If you're planning on visiting friends this weekend or having people over this could be a fun, unorthodox way to round out the evening meal!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip

1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 8oz block of cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 cup mini chocolate chips (reserve 1/4 for topping)

  • Melt the butter over medium heat and whisk in the brown sugar until it dissolves and begins to bubble.
  • Remove from heat, add the vanilla extract and set aside to cool.
  • In a separate bowl mix the cream cheese and powdered sugar together until smooth.
  • Use an electric mixer on low and slowly add the brown sugar mixture and salt to the cream cheese and powdered sugar.
  • Stop mixing and stir in the chocolate chips with a spoon.
  • Top the bowl off with the reserved chocolate chips and serve with your favorite dessert cookies, animal crackers, graham crackers or nilla wafers.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

As part of your carb-free, fat-free, sugar-free resolutions Yumology is encouraging you to make the switch from mashed potatoes to cauliflower puree. Below you will see how the nutritional/dietary value breaks down and we can assure you the taste, texture and satisfaction gained from making this change to your dinner plate is guaranteed to curb your carb cravings without giving into them.

Cauliflower Puree Nutritional Facts
107 calories
7g of fat
3mg of cholesterol
10g of carbs
0g sugars
5g protein
4g fiber
339mg sodium.

Mashed Potatoes Nutritional Facts
237 calories
8.9g fat
23 mg cholesterol
35.2g of carbs
3g sugars
3.9g protein
3.1g fiber
666mg sodium

We're excited to try this new recipe courtesy of Eating Well and have our skinny jeans back on by Valentine's Day!

Creamy Mashed Cauliflower Recipe
8 cups of cauliflower florets
4 crushed garlic cloves
1/3 cup non-fat buttermilk
4 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp margarine
1/2 tsp salt
Pepper to taste
Chives to garnish

  • Steam/boil the cauliflower florets until soft.
  • Add cauliflower and garlic to food processor/blender with buttermilk, olive oil, margarine, salt and pepper and pulse until smooth.
  • Garnish with chopped chives and enjoy!
Here at Yumology we're big believers in spreading the butter and spreading the love. We've discovered numerous fellow foodies in the blogosphere lately and we thought we'd make you aware of three must-see foodie sites guarantees to keep your kitchen busy.

Pictures so delicious you'll be licking your monitor within seconds!

PINTEREST (Food & Drink Page)
A pin board based on what's hot right now, Pinterest's Food & Drink page will let you know what your friends and others are planning to cook tonite, tomorrow and the rest of the week.

Fellow foodie blogger, Ree Drummond is the Food Network's latest sensation and her down-home, hearty dishes are a great way to feed the whole family.
(Joel and Heather Michel - Two of Yumology's Favorite People)

One of our favorite San Diego based Yumologists, Joel Michel, was kind enough to cook a full-fledged, awesome family dinner for us when we went to visit him and his family in September. Joel's wife Heather, daughter Savannah, and son, Santino (who was still in his mommy's tummy at the time) treated us to a fun-filled evening complete with the BIGGEST, BEST, BOLDEST ribs we had ever eaten.

One of the things that made Joel's ribs so delicious was the marinade and technique he used to flavor them. Joel filled an everyday spray bottle with equal parts red wine and soy sauce, and continuously spritzed the ribs while they were on the grill. The result was an amazingly tender, juicy, flavorful dinner we won't soon forget!

We attempted to recreate Joel's marinade when we got home and have had great success using it on various cuts of red meat and pork. A big Yumology thank you to Joel and the entire Michel family for introducing us to this deliciously simple recipe!