Sunday, January 31, 2010

13 things you may not have known about food

While researching for my post, I stumbled upon this website with a large list of interesting facts about food. Alli J and I went on to search for more facts and were intrigued, disgusted and, overall, enlightened by what we found. Here are a few of the best:

  1. Corn always has an even number of ears.
  2. A typical American eats 28 pigs in his/her lifetime.
  3. A “brain freeze” was invented in 1994 by 7-Eleven to explain the pain one feels when drinking a Slurpee too fast. The medical term is sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia.
  4. An apple is made up of 25 percent air, which is why it floats.
  5. Chocolate may have its romantic effect due to the effects on the brain of a naturally occurring substance called phenylethylamine which enhances endorphin levels, increase libido and act a natural antidepressant.
  6. You are more likely to be hungry if you are cold.
  7. When a source of Vitamin C (orange, lemon, grapefruit, strawberry, tomato, potato, etc.) is eaten with meat, the body makes better use of the iron in the protein food.
  8. The FDA allows an average of 30 or more insect fragments and one or more rodent hairs per 100 grams of peanut butter.
  9. Lemons contain more sugar than strawberries.
  10. Ice cream was brought back by Marco Polo from China in 1295, from a recipe called "milk ice." Europeans substituted cream for the milk to create “ice cream.”
  11. Aunt Jemima pancake flour, invented in 1889, was the first ready-mix food to be sold commercially.
  12. Hamburgerology can be studied at Hamburger University, located in Elk Grove, Illinois.
  13. Bakers used to be fined if their loaves were under weight, so they would add an extra loaf to every dozen, just in case. Hence, the expression “baker's dozen.”

While some of this information may be completely useless, there are a few things you can take away from doing a little research about the food you consume on a regular basis.

For more interesting facts check out these Web sites:

-Fun Facts, Strange Facts, and Trivia about Food

-Fun Food Facts

-Arrow Scientific – Amazing facts to do with food

Have fun and good luck.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

"that chicken thingy"

I thought for a while about what I wanted to cook for my first post. There are so many things to choose from, I was actually slightly overwhelmed. I wanted it to be good. Well, I wanted it to great but I would have settled for good. My partner in crime, Alli J, had a craving that made my decision much easier (by the way, Alli J is going to be cooking with me as a little trainee, so world, meet Alli J. Alli J, meet world).

“Make that chicken thingy,” she told me. Yes, Chicken Tetrazzini is a great choice. It makes me miss mom-cooked meals and since we are learning to support ourselves, it may ease the process if we started with something familiar.

Here’s what you need:
1/4 cup of flour
1 stick of butter
1 pint of whipping cream
1 can of chicken broth
Chicken (we usually use 4 Tyson chicken strips)
Spaghetti noodles
1 bag of shredded cheddar cheese

To make it:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

To make sauce:
Heat butter and flour on stovetop. When butter is melted, add whipping cream and chicken broth. Heat until boiling, stirring occasionally. Continue to heat for a few minutes after boiling to allow sauce to thicken.

Cook chicken (we usually simply fry it up but there are other options).

Cook noodles.

Combine noodles and sauce in a large oven-safe pan. Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces and add chicken to noodles and sauce. Sprinkle cheese on top of mixture. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

I’ll admit I’ve cooked this a few times, so no major disasters occurred this time around. Unless you count when I was a little off when I poured the noodles into the strainer. I never have had the best hand-eye coordination. No big deal, it’s food for the dog. He loves when we cook.

I think you’ll really enjoy this if you dare to give it a try. This meal is actually the most popular in our household. So try it out with a friend. Cooking has been a great bonding experience with my friends this year. It’s always a good time.

Have fun and good luck.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

the journey begins...

As a junior in college, I am experiencing new things everyday. One of the larger adjustments I made this school year was moving off-campus. Since I moved, I have learned a lot about how to take care of a house and myself. One of the greatest challenges for many students in my situation is learning to cook their own food. Students are ready to ditch the dining hall meals in a heartbeat, without thinking about how they are going to feed themselves. Luckily, I’ve had a little experience with cooking but I have a few friends that are rather challenged in that particular area. I am dedicating this blog to anyone who is ready to learn to cook a few easy meals and toss out the boxes of microwavable food. This is your chance to gain a little independence from the freezer and learn about the art of cooking. There will undoubtedly be mistakes made along the way, but I have faith that it will all turn out respectable in the end.

Have fun and good luck.