Food

Stories related to food in Seattle, including Nancy Leson's weekly commentary Food for Thought.

Think Mom's same old Thanksgiving mashed potatoes are boring? Jejune? Predictable?

Debbie Lee's are anything but. And they all started with a happy accident.

Lee is the owner and operator of the Los Angeles-based Korean-American restaurant Ahn Joo, and the author of Seoultown Kitchen: Korean Pub Grub To Share With Family And Friends. While Korean by heritage, Lee didn't grow up eating traditional Korean foods.

Clean as you cook

Nov 14, 2012
Nancy Leson

Pro chefs have their kitchen grunts to handle the cleanup but we home cooks have to do it ourselves.  And the way to do it is as you go.  I think the clean-up is as much a part of the cooking process as the mixing and chopping, the slaughtering of the ox, all that kind of stuff.

Wild turkeys and buffalo have more in common than you might guess. Both were important as food for Native Americans and European settlers. And both were nearly obliterated.

There were a couple of reasons for the turkey's decline. In the early years of the U.S., there was no regulation, so people could shoot as many turkeys as they liked. And their forest habitat was cut down for farmland and heating fuel. Without trees, turkeys have nowhere to roost. So they began to disappear.

holytaco.com

Every good home cook has had the dream of opening his or her own restaurant.  But we've also heard the dire warning: "90% of restaurants fail in the first year of operation."   It isn't true.

Simplyrecipes.com

For years I assumed that the word caramel came from the name of the first celebrity chef, Marie-Antoine Careme, A.K.A the King of Chefs and the Chef of Kings. 

But no, it's just a corruption of the medieval Latin for sugar cane, cannamellis. Though I love them dearly I've never attempted to make my own caramels. But I know someone who has ...

Northwest wild mushrooms are in short supply this year. That’s had a big impact on the region’s lucrative mushroom hunting industry. It’s also changed what’s on fall restaurant menus in the Northwest and across the nation.

At Pagliacci Pizza in Seattle this autumn customers are often coming home to their families without the coveted mushroom Primo Pizza. The Northwest’s bleak mushroom crop means sometimes the stores cut back on the number of pies, or don’t have them at all.

Stein / The Corporation for Refrigerated Saxophones

In this week's culinary adventure Nancy Leson and I chat about our canning projects.  Balsamic jams for her and preserved lemons for me.   Preserved lemons give a powerful jolt of flavor. 

The Food and Drug Administration has confirmed that it received five reports in the past past three years suggesting that people died after drinking caffeinated energy drinks.

But the agency also cautions that these reports do not add up to proof that the beverages actually caused those deaths. These reports — called adverse event reports — are considered unconfirmed allegations, and the FDA doesn't usually release them.

docpop / Flickr

If you tend to ignore the calorie listings on menus, you’re not alone. The extra info at King County restaurants is proving of limited value in the fight against obesity. On the other hand, some restaurant chains are toning down the message to super-size it.

Chain restaurants in King County – that’s mostly fast-food chains, plus some coffee shops such as Starbucks – are something of a test case. Along with New York City, they were the first in the country to be required to post a calorie-count for each item on their menus.

The practice of imparting the flavor of something heavy into a lighter liquid is centuries old. Ancient Indian healers did it with botanicals; early Christian monks did it with bitters. But the process is getting new attention as part of the craze to put all things food into all things drink.

Mile high birthday bash

Oct 17, 2012
Kurt Oakley / Morning Glory Balloon Tours

In this week's Food for Thought Nancy Leson and I talk about favorite venues for birthday bashes.  My birthday was double-10 day, October 10th -- a birthday I share with both Thelonious Monk and Dorothy Lamour, who once told me "There ain't room enough in this sarong for the two of us."

Josh Kenzer / Flickr

Peanut allergies have been rising dramatically – enough so that many elementary classrooms have banned peanuts. About four times as many children have peanut allergies today as 20 years ago.

The severe form of peanut allergies can be deadly, which is why thousands of people must carry around an adrenaline shot (called an epinephrine pen, or "epi-pen").

Now, allergy doctors are debating whether they should offer an experimental allergy treatment. It was a topic this past weekend, at the 2012 Northwest Allergy Forum in Seattle.

Wikipedia

Yes, there actually was a Granny Smith.  That's her right above.  But she was not (gasp) an American.

Program aims to make kids more critical of junk food ads

Oct 9, 2012

Researchers in Washington are trying a new approach to the growing problem of childhood obesity. They plan to teach kids to be more media savvy -- and less susceptible to all those junk food ads.

Researchers say kids who spend more time in front of the screen are at higher risk of becoming overweight. And it’s not just because they’re sitting on the couch.

“One of the problems is that there’s so much food advertising,” says Erica Austin. She heads Washington State University's Center for Media and Health Promotion Research.

Here's a little math problem for you: How many calories go into the ethanol that's in your tank of gas?

Enough to feed 22 people, if you're talking the bare minimum calories needed in a single day, according to researchers at the New England Complex Sciences Institute.

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