Does your car practically steer itself to the nearest fast-food joint when you’re driving home from work? Are you on a first-name basis with the counter staff at your local hamburger haven? If so, take comfort in the fact that you’re not alone in the fast-food lane. These days, we’re all short on time and suckers for a quick meal—your clients included.
Tired of guessing if that avocado will be ripe or rock hard when you go to use it? Food experts say you should squeeze the fruit to judge ripeness; the flesh should yield to moderate pressure. However, an avocado that feels soft in the store is sometimes bruised rather than truly ripe. To be certain, flick the small stem of the avocado. If the stem falls off easily and you can see green underneath it, the fruit is ripe. If the stem doesn’t come off or if the avocado is brown underneath the stem, it is not ripe.
Women who are wanting to get pregnant should throw out their Atkins diet books along with their birth control pills, suggests new research presented at a June meeting of the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology, held in Berlin.
Professional cooks have long decorated their customers’ plates with garnishes designed to tempt the palate. Now, an article in the February issue of Food & Wine magazine recommends that home cooks pay more attention to the hues of the food they serve to their family members.
Covering high-fat foods with plastic for microwave cooking can be hazardous to your health. The intense heat generated in the microwave can cause the plastic to leach chemicals into the food. These chemicals, known as phthalates, are known to cause serious health problems, such as cancer and sexual dysfunction. That’s why experts recommend microwaving your food in glass containers and covering them with a napkin or paper towel.
Want to cut down on what you eat but need a helpful reminder? The answer may soon lie in your kitchen cupboards!
Several manufacturers now offer dinnerware that helps you measure food portions on your plates and bowls. For example, a company named Studio Penipento (877-310-8442) makes a line of ceramic bowls that come equipped with pastel dots on the bottoms and
sides that clearly indicate food amounts. Vessel’s (vesselinc.com) new line of everyday white plates and bowls has a
low ridge to help control portions.
Food industry experts are in agreement:
Low-carb products equal high sales. And manufacturers who are still hawking high-carb foods, such
as pasta, are starting to feel the pinch. According to some estimates, sales of pasta are down 7% across North America this year, while shares of Krispy Kreme doughnuts (once the darling of the food set) have lost a third of their value since May.
Remember the old adage that an apple a day keeps the doctor away? Well,
a new book about diet & dermatology confirms that eating that Granny Smith apple may in fact reduce your
visits to the dermatologist. The promise behind The Acne Prescription: The Perricone Program for Clear and Healthy Skin at Every Age (HarperCollins 2004) is that fruit and certain other foods promote a healthy complexion. Maybe you should trade
that Botox injection for a bowl of blueberries!
Food experts say that having the right gadget can help even the novice cook. Here’s a list of the top 10 kitchen tools you should have on hand:
1. an 8-inch chef’s knife
2. a garlic press
3. a vegetable peeler
4. a grater or zester
5. a kitchen timer
6. a plastic or stainless steel colander
7. a plastic or wooden cutting board
8. an instant-read food thermometer
9. thick potholders or oven mitts