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Making Hummus is recipe for fun

hummus bowl

I confess that I'm mad about Hummus. I've tried just about every concoction and flavour invented, and I've yet to meet a Hummus I didn't like, and devour. Add in some fresh pita, tortilla chips or veggies and I'm in culinary snack heaven. Hummus may be a Middle Eastern invention, but there is no denying the mainstream popularity of this chick pea delight in North America and around the world.

Sure Hummus is in just about every grocery store these days. However, like most foods, Hummus is actually incredibly easy to make at home. Hummus is also one of the most customizable recipes you'll ever encounter.

The primary ingredients for making fresh hummus include chick peas (garbanzo beans), tahini, lemon and extra virgin olive oil.

Here are some of the best recipes showcasing the most delicious and easy recipes for making hummus.

Sun-dried Tomato Hummus - Pinch My Salt

Good served with toasted pita bread or as a dip with corn chips. This is also really good as a sandwich spread.
Cucumber Hummus - FatFree Vegan Kitchen
It’s also a little thinner than most hummus, but that makes it perfect for scooping up with carrots, celery sticks, or more cucumbers.
Vegetable sandwich with hummus - Boston.com
Grill or roast eggplant, zucchini, and bell peppers and tuck them into a sandwich with hummus and spinach.
Chipotle Hummus - Whitney in Chicago
Rinse a couple cans of chickpeas and throw them in a food processor with some tahini, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, salt, pepper and if you are feeling a little frisky, ground chipotle chili power.
photo credit: whitneyinchicago

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Tortilla Soup Roundup

tortilla soup

Who doesn't love a nice, warm, crispy bowl of Mexican Tortilla Soup? Perhaps I'm being a tad over-zealous, but when colder weather arrives or a rainy day rolls in inevitably my palet starts craving for some tortilla soup. While it may seem like tortilla soup has been around forever, it has only been served in restaurants and widely known in the culinary community for about 30 years. The tortilla itself is ancient dating back 10,000 years and tortillas in general ie, chips, shells, tacos etc. are a significant $6 billion annual industry in the United States alone.

Despite the newness of the tortilla soup recipe it is one of the hottest soups (figuratively and literally) on menus around the world, not just in northern Mexico or Southwestern US.

The primary ingredients for making tortilla soup include chilies, garlic, onion, tomatoes, corn tortillas, chicken stock, thyme and some sour cream if you want to dial-down the spice somewhat.

Here are some of the best recipes and videos showcasing the most delicious and easy recipes for making tortilla soup.

Whisk blog: tortilla soup recipe

CurrentMom: tortilla soup recipe

About.com: Marie's crockpot tortilla soup recipe

Epicurious: tortilla soup with crisp tortillas and avocado relish

Chez Cayenne: grilled vegetable tortilla soup

ChefTips: Tortilla Soup

Howcast: How To Make Tortilla Soup

LightsCameraCook: Spicy Chipotle Chicken Tortilla Soup

ShowMeTheCurry: Tortilla Soup

photo credit: www.WorthTheWhisk.com

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Barack Obama's Canadian Lunch Menu on Parliament Hill in Ottawa

obama ottawa canada lunch

U.S. President Barack Obama is in Ottawa enjoying a brief visit with our Prime Minister Stephen Harper. While Barack Obama will only spend about 6 hours in Canada before boarding Air Force One back to Washington D.C., he will make time to enjoy a decadent lunch at the Senate Speaker's quarters in the Parliament Buildings.

What is on the lunch menu for Mr. Obama?

* Pacific Coast tuna with a chilli and citrus vinaigrette
* Maple and miso cured Nunavut Arctic char
* Lightly pickled vegetables and an organic beet relish
* Applewood smoked plains bison
* Winter root vegetables and local mushrooms
* Cauliflower and rosemary puree
* Juniper and Niagara red wine jus
* Saugeen yogurt pot de creme with a lemon and lavender syrup
* Wild blueberry and partridgeberry compote
* Acadian buckwheat honey and sumac tuile

A dizzying array of seasonal wintery Canadian flavours! That Maple and miso cured Arctic char makes me salivate. Hopefully we don't have a recurrence of the Inauguration Luncheon and nobody faints at this one :-)

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Obama's Inauguration Luncheon Menu and Recipes

obama luncheon

Shortly after Barack Obama was sworn-in as the 44th President of the United States, he and 200 guests including members of Congress, Supreme Court justices and Cabinet officials, made their way into the regal Statuary Hall of the Capitol for a culinary feast that would make the most discerning palette water with envy.

A lot of people have been interested in the 3-course menu that was served to the invited guests. According to Senator Dianne Feinstein, who chaired the Inauguration Committee, the lunch menu was viewed 330,000 times on their website prior to the inauguration day! Who wouldn't love some Molasses Whipped Sweet Potatoes?

You can download a copy of the menu, or view it below.

Publish at Scribd or explore others: obama Recipe

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Sunny Side Up T Shirt

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Perfect for those of us who like our eggs the way we like our T Shirts.

Available for $24 at NixonNow.

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Squirrel - The Other White Meat?


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According to The New York Times, there is a new delicacy appearing on the menus of some of Britain's poshest eateries, and its one that may seem surprising to Western tourists.

Yes, its squirrel meat. And not some fancy pedigreed European squirrel, mind you, but good, old-fashioned North American gray squirrel. It seems that a recent influx of the North American Gray have been running rampant in the English countryside, threatening the survival of the indigenous red squirrel, a British icon immortalized in the tales of England's own Beatrix Potter. Citizens responded by "culling" the grays, and a 2006 "Save Our Squirrels" campaign, which created a market for the gray squirrel meat.

Now Squirrel is popping up everywhere in Britain from farmer's markets to fine-dining establishments. Flavor is reported to be variable, and seems to be based on the individual squirrel's diet, with large differences in fat content, depending on season and age.

Think you may get the trend started on this side of the pond? Its not as simple as you may think. Squirrel is apparently notoriously difficult to skin, and may be best left to professional butchers. Another tricky problem? Actually catching one:

"If you want to grab your shotgun, make sure you have very good aim — squirrels must be shot in the head; a body shot renders them impossible to skin or eat. (You want to get rid of the head in any event, as squirrel brains have been linked to variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, the human form of mad cow disease.)"

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Reservations Now Available For NYC Winter Restaurant Week


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Its back!

Manhattan's Winter Restaurant Week is nearly upon us - scheduled for January 18 - 23, and again January 25 - 30.

"Since 1992, the success of NYC Restaurant Week has only grown. It has expanded to include both lunch and dinner offerings—three-course, prix-fixe meals for $24.07 and $35 respectively—and extended to two weeks each in the summer and winter. And this year, for the first time ever, many of the participating restaurants are adding Sundays to the program, which has historically been weekdays only."

Resys go fast for the most popular eateries, particularly for Friday evenings. Our best advice is to visit for lunch, or a night earlier in the week. Remember, you get a limited menu during restaurant week, and tax, gratuity and beverage are not included in the price. Service can sometimes be a bit harried, or even surly, but Restaurant Week is still a dynamite way to try those places you've always wanted to give a whirl, but were hesitant to spend the big bucks for.

for a complete list of participating restaurants, visit the NYCgo site.

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Newform's Electronic Remote-Controlled 'Octopus' Kitchen Sink

newform morpho sink

Newform is an Italian design company that has been turning heads with some sensational products. A perfect example of Newform's unique blend of style, simplicity and technology is this ElectronicMorpho sink from their Kitchen line of sinks.

The water spout is suspended and flexible thanks to four 3/8" connection hoses. The sink's water flow and temperature are controlled by a remote-control electronic keypad with a digital LCD display. Uber cool.

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December Is Potato Latke Month

potato latke

Whether you celebrate Hanukkah or not, December is undeniably *the* month for making latkes. There are no shortage of recipes for making latkes, but finding ones that are on the healthier side is not so easy given the fact that latkes need to be fried.

On that note, I did find two recipes that are on the 'healthier' side of latke making that are worth checking out. The first latke recipe I wanted to mention was Elizabeth Yarnell's Zucchini & Carrot Latke recipe which looks delicious and with carrots and zucchini in the recipe, it offers a bit more nutrition than your traditional potato latke recipe, and the kids ate them happily!

these Zucchini and Carrot Latkes were a huge hit at our house for dinner, and I was happy to see both kids ingest a good amount of vegetables without a sqabble!
The other recipe of note comes by way of the FitSugar blog which offers a recipe for Sweet Potato and Carrot Latkes. This FitSugar recipe is definitely worth checking out because it really cuts down on the oil.
Since many of you are celebrating Hanukkah this week, I wanted to share a twist on my favorite latke recipe. I know oil is a huge part of the tradition, but drenching potatoes in a ton of oil isn't exactly the healthiest thing for you, so check out this recipe. It doesn't involve any deep-frying, and mixes grated carrots with sweet potatoes.
Here are a couple of videos that demonstrate the cooking process for traditional latkes to get your taste buds and culinary juices flowing.

How-to make Potato Latkes:

Latke Making:

image kthread

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Must-Have Kitchen Gadgets

lego iceIt's that time of year again, when everyone is scrambling around to find the perfect gift for friends and family. That leads to the inevitable question, what should you get the kitchen freak in your family? In this post we'll try and give you some thoughts to get the gift ideas flowing.

If you have kids, chances are you are constantly telling them *not* to play with their food. One kitchen gadget that caught my eye recently may be a great way to finally give kids something they can play with in the kitchen. It's a pretty simple gadget called the LEGO® Ice Brick Tray, and as you can see it makes ice lego bricks that you can use in drinks or give to your kids to make ice sculptures. It's a simple gadget that costs just $10, so it's easy on your wallet but could be big fun for the kids.

For more kitchen gadget ideas, check out this video from Judy Toth of Simply Impressive Cooking School.
She goes through her list of favourite kitchen gadgets covering everything from Silpat baking sheets to thin-skin peelers.

For even more ideas, check out this video shot directly from the floor of the International Housewares Show.

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Canadian Celebrity Chef Michael Smith Stranded In Thailand While Filming 'Chef Abroad'

michael smith chefWell maybe 'stranded' is not the best word to describe the circumstances that celebrity chef Michael Smith has found himself in today. Michael Smith had just finished wrapping up filming of an episode for the Food Network in Northern Thailand when all of a sudden massive government protests and unrest broke out at Bangkok's International airport. Michael Smith and his film crew were scheduled to leave Wednesday and head to Hawaii to film another TV episode, but with the airport now under a siege of protest and with a military presence beefing up, it looks like Michael Smith the chef has now become Michael Smith the citizen journalist as he watches Thai history unfold from his airport hotel room. To get an idea of what Michael Smith is dealing with today, check out this recent video report filed from the streets of Bangkok.

Michael Smith has also been filing email reports with the Canadian media of what he is witnessing from his hotel room.

"It seems peaceful but there's also a sense that this thing can go bad in a hurry," Smith wrote in an e-mail to CBC News.

"There have been grenade attacks throughout the day," Smith wrote. "They have taken over the control towers and we doubt we'll be leaving through this airport. Throughout the crowd there are piles of tires as if some folks brought one or two along to burn. The barricades are being manned by some tough-looking guys in balaclavas. We have also seen lots of young tough guys bringing in sticks, batons and golf clubs."

Let's hope Michael and his Chef Abroad film crew get out of Thailand safely soon so that he can go back to doing what he does best, being a truly great Canadian chef.

Here's a great interview with Michael Smith from a little while ago.

via CBC

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Food Origins: How Canadian Is Your Food?

made_canada.gifBuying Canadian food is a good thing, I think we all inherently know this to be true. It's good for our economy, good for our local food producers and good for the environment. But just how 'Canadian' is the food you really buy? You may be surprised to learn that much of the food you buy, even food that has a maple leaf, Canadian flag or a "Made in Canada" label claim may not in fact be very Canadian at all.

However, until this year, this Guide allowed Made in Canada labels to be put on any product manufactured or processed in Canada, regardless of the origin of the ingredients, as long as at least 51% of total direct manufacturing costs occurred in Canada. That is, a Made in Canada product may be made of 100% foreign ingredients, as long as it receives a "last substantial transformation" in Canada. It is enough if the food is changed by processing into some new product that has a name consumers will understand (e.g., "tuna with curry" is "substantially transformed" when you add the curry).

Fortunately, new rules are expected to come into effect for products produced after December 31, 2008. Under the new rules, Made in Canada labels should now show whether the ingredients are imported. Look for labels that say, for example, "Made in Canada from imported ingredients" or "Made in Canada from domestic and imported ingredients".

Other food products that use the word "Canada" on their label may have even less connection with this country. As long as some value is added here, they may be labelled "Processed in Canada", "Refined in Canada", "Brewed in Canada" etc.. Maple leaf marks should not appear on imported products, but there is no quantitative limit as to how much of the product must be Canadian for a maple leaf to appear.

The CBC recently aired an interesting segment called "Marketplace: Product of Canada" where they took their cameras into a Great Canadian Superstore in an effort to shed more light on which products were genuinely 'Canadian'. Check it out...

The bottom line is that there is a huge difference between 'Made in Canada' and 'Product of Canada'. If the item is labeled 'Product of Canada', you can be assured that the majority of the product is in fact Canadian. Any other claim, including 'Made in Canada' and there are no such guarantees.

via EnviroLaw.com: Environmental Law Specialist Dianne Saxe and Jackie Campbell

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