Wednesday, February 27, 2013

In the foodiverse it seems as though a new buzz segment is debuted daily: organic, gluten-free, all-natural, whole-grain; but what's in a name? Really? How important is it to label your food product according to the latest trends? And, even more importantly, how important is it to live by the practices those trends support?

The latest craze in food politics and food products is sustainability. Sustainability, by definition, is a method of harvesting or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged.

In a world fraught with depleting resources how can people make responsible food choices? So often food is a personal decision based on personal preferences. Personal tastes, personal health, personal economics and so on. In order to promote sustainability there must be a change in mindset when it comes to food. We, as a population, need to shop, cook and eat responsibly.

Articles abound lately on the scarcity of wildly popular foods, for example: Quinoa farmers in Bolivia are having a difficult time keeping up with the demand and cost inflations their crop has put on their communities. The endangered population of Blue Fin tuna and their inability to reproduce at a rate fast enough to keep up with the sushi market demands. Cod scarcity due to over-fishing in Northeastern waters. Inflated beef prices due to drought. An so on.

But how do we educate people on sustainable eating, shopping and cooking? In a recent article from the Huffington Post, writer Luke Sniewski alluded to the consequences of allowing an uneducated public to create their own definition of sustainability:

There is more to "organic" and "sustainable" than a label. Or at least there should be.  Herein lies the difference between form and substance that separates marketing label from authentic practice. And if we, as consumers who must support real organic and sustainable practices, don't take the personal responsibility for understanding what food sustainability -- and underlying sustainable agriculture from which it is derived -- really mean, then the label of sustainability is at the mercy of the marketing world, driven predominantly by larger profit margins. Then we will bombarded, yet again, with sustainable cupcakes and sustainable meal replacement bars.

There has to be more to sustainable eating than corruptible branding. A movement to educate consumers on the importance of sustainability must take place first. Consumers need to know why they should choose a veggie roll over a spicy tuna roll at their favorite sushi restaurant. Consumers need to know why it's time to give their Quinoa recipes a rest, and seek responsible alternatives.

As Sniewski points out, so many factors contribute to the principles that drive sustainable eating:

Sustainability is rooted in principles rather than simple how-to guides. How diverse is the farming operation? How much does this farm rely on chemical inputs from synthetic fertilizers? Was this livestock treated humanely? How many miles did your meal travel, from farm to plate? Was anyone's labor exploited in the process of making your meal? Who are you eating your meal with? Most important, is that "real" food on your plate or another form of complex processing with a colorful marketing label? All of these factors contribute to the overall concept of sustainability. Finding answers to just a few of them will help consumers understand our food systems better.

Once people are able to understand the consequences of ignoring food sustainability, then and only then, will we be able to replenish our dying resources in a manner that would undoubtedly have a positive affect on the marketplace and our environment.

Images courtesy of:, and

Thursday, February 21, 2013

There's not much to do on a day when you're trapped inside with 14+ inches of snow outside. Many cozy up watching movies, baking warm ooey-gooey goodies. Not us. We're a little more adventurous than that. Not only do we head out to play in the snow, we bring in into our kitchen!

Snow shakes are a great way to bring the fun of a winter wonderland inside. Just be sure you collect clean snow! Enjoy this recipe with your kids this winter.

6 cups of clean snow
2 cups of milk
1 tsp vanilla extract 
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder (if you prefer chocolate)

Add all of the ingredients to a large mixing bowl and stir well.
Serve in a large cup and feel free to add sprinkles, cookie crumbs, cinnamon, fruit and whatever else you can imagine!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

If you're a child of the 80's or 90's you well-remember the phrase, "Pardon me, would you have any Grey Poupon?" The script was simple, self-indulgent and made a mockery of the stuffy image that accompanied the spicy mustard brand.

In an effort to boost sales, Kraft is resurrecting the vintage commercials and debuting their comeback during the Academy Awards show Sunday, February 24. No word yet on whether or not the ad will feature a celebrity guest appearance or a new look for the product, but the return of the town car and British accent are good enough for us.

Will we be watching for this 30 second soundbite of retro advertising genius? But of course!
Learn to love your local grocer. I mean it. When time is of the essence, money is tight and you've got a room full of babies, parents and pregnant women, your local grocers deli will fast become your best friend.

My son turned one last week, and thanks to Pinterest I was forced to feel inadequate if I didn't bake a cake from scratch, design delicious finger foods, glue together my own decorations from mason jars and cotton balls, and have a fabulous outfit to greet guests with upon their arrival into our entrance way which I had redecorated using old wood pallets and wine bottles. Seriously? Who has time for that?

No. My son's first birthday party was fabulous in its own glorious pre-packaged way. We went with a Dr. Seuss theme which was not only fun but easy to accomplish. Decorations were purchased on Amazon well ahead of time, and while I had originally planned to cook a bountiful lunch full of fabulous themed food: green eggs and ham, beezlenut juice, and a $200.00 Cat in the Hat cake (yeah, there was no way I was going to take that on solo!) the menu came crashing down rapidly.

The Friday before the party I called the bakery to confirm our order. Two weeks prior my husband and I had sat down with the decorator, brought in pictures of other Cat in the Hat cakes we wanted to emulate (Pinterest again, a gift and a curse) and we were quoted $200.00 for a cake we were sure would knock the socks off of our son and all of our guests. Or so we thought.  The phone call went something like this:

"Hello, I'd like to confirm pick up on a cake we ordered two weeks ago."
"What's the name?"
"<Our  name>"
"We have no order listed under that name."
"Well do you happen to have a Cat in the Hat cake sitting in your fridge?"
"No, we do not."

At this point panic, fear, anger and fury all set in in equal amounts. Since our epic Cat in the Hat cake would no longer be an option we went with plan B - cake balls. Not nearly as impressive to look at, but we learned much easier for toddlers to hold, chew and take with them as party favors. All was forgiven.

Now comes the hard part. Lunch. This party consisted of 4 toddlers, 2 pregnant women, 4 beefcake daddies, 2 other mommies watching their figures and my fabulous, single sister from New York whose lunch usually comes with a cocktail. What to do? What to do? Not only was the group very diverse, but I had ZERO time to cook to suit specific diets; that's where my local grocery store came in.

If you haven't visited the deli section of your grocery store you are missing out. In one swoop I was able to purchase pinwheel sandwiches, chicken wings,  macaroni salad, deviled eggs, a smash cake for the birthday boy and a final stop for strawberries, marshmallows, goldfish crackers and Hawaiian Punch. Lunch was served and I hadn't dirtied a single dish. One beer run and the party was ready to go.

My pre-packaged birthday allowed me to partake in party-action stress-free.  Everyone ate, drank and was merry. No one cared where the food came from as long as they all got to eat. I'll admit a part of me felt as though I cheated, and I questioned my dedication to motherhood for all of two seconds before realizing that being able to put food on the table, home-cooked or not, is the whole point. We mommies are constantly making unrealistic demands of ourselves when really giving ourselves a break and relying on aisle five to help out in a pinch is perfectly fine.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Or should we say, when social media attacks.  As of an hour ago @BurgerKing was hacked by a group of renegade hijackers who redecorated the site with McDonald's branding and imagery.

The tweets going out are not necessarily promoting McDonald's, more so they feature the group of hackers beating their chests at their ability to crack the code and wreak havoc to the World of Whoppers on a day when, most likely, their social media team is out of the office.

As one tweeter said "If you're going to plan a social media hack, be sure to do it on a national holiday." Mission accomplished.

Friday, February 15, 2013

There's not a woman in the world who wouldn't like a tall, cool glass of Brad Pitt. And I'm sure men everywhere find Angelina Jolie delicious. But who knew that one day you could actually be raising a glass of both of them, well, sort of.

Hollywood IT couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have partnered with Perrin winemakers to create their own unique rose blend dubbed Miraval. Made with organic grapes and boasting a floral white lily aroma with notes of strawberry and raspberry, Miraval comes from the couple's very own Chateau Miraval, a 1,000 acre estate, complete with vineyard in Correns France.

Miraval is set for release in March of 2013, so prepare your palates for that taste of Brad and Angie you've been waiting for!

Friday, February 8, 2013

In an effort to make us gals even MORE obsessed with Girl Scout cookies, Jezebel ( has taken this infatuation one step further by asking women to channel their inner most thoughts and feelings into one particular flavor of Girl Scout Cookie.

Learn how you and your Thin Mints may have more in common than you think by taking the quiz here.

Have a delicious weekend Yummies!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The San Francisco 49ers may have lost the Super Bowl but JELL-O is determined to make them feel like winners. In a unique attempt to stand out from the crowd, JELL-O has dedicated a full :30 spot to congratulating the team on their Super Bowl loss and reward 49er fans with a JELL-O drop in the Bay Area.

Take a look…

Monday, February 4, 2013

Are your little nuggets getting tired of their little nuggets? Cheeseburgers getting cheesy? McDonald's has decided to expand the offering of their Happy Meal entrees by introducing Fish McBites. The McBites will be made with the same Alaskan Cod that is used in the Filet o'Fish sandwiches, and is part of the company's continued efforts to focus on healthy menu options.

The introduction of Fish McBites will roll out slowly to restaurants across America in 10, 15 and 30 piece meals.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

If you're an avid reader of ours, you'll remember our weekly NFL Chili Cookoff posts from earlier this season. Every team was represented with an original Yumology recipe, and 32 pots later we had a full roster of chili legends.

Today we're back in the kitchen, cooking up the chili recipes that represent both of today's teams. We hope you'll join us and celebrate one of America's finest foodie holidays with an NFL chili of your choice.

Today, may the super bowl win.

Baltimore Crab Chili

1 cup of fresh crab meat picked clean for shells
2 tbsp of diced shallots
1 tsp of minced garlic
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup of small diced red potatoes (we like to buy the very small gourmet potatoes and just slice those thin.)
1/2 cup of chopped celery
1 tin of white kidney beans
2 tins of cream of mushroom soup
1 cup of milk
1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp salt

  • In a large frying pan add the olive oil, white wine, lemon juice shallots, garlic, celery and potatoes. Let all cook thoroughly until softened.
  • Add the crab meat to the vegetable mix and toss all of the ingredients together over low heat.
  • Prepare the cream of mushroom soup by following the directions on the tin.
  • Whisk the soup and milk together as instructed on the tin, add the white pepper and salt and whisk until smooth.
  • Add the vegetable and crab mix to the soup. 
  • Serve with toasted sourdough bread and garnish with fresh chopped parsley.

San Francisco 49ers Napa Valley Chili

1 medium pot roast
1 bottle of red wine
2 cups of beef broth
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups of diced red potatoes
2 cups of diced tomatoes
1 cup of diced carrots
1 cup of diced celery
2 cups of diced onions
2 cups of halved grapes
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic
1 tsp oregano

  • Mix the spices together in a separate bowl.
  • Drizzle the olive oil over the pot roast then rub the spices all over the meat.
  • Add the meat to a large oven safe cooking pot.
  • Surround the meat in the chopped vegetables and potatoes.
  • Pour an entire bottle of red wine over the meat and veggies.
  • Cook in the oven at 300 for 4-6 hours.
  • Remove from oven stir in the grapes and serve.