The series ‘Game of Thrones’ premiers its 5th season and we are excited to participate in a full on feast for the event. What a great way to experience food with a ‘middle ages’ flair than to combine it with the energy of being in full period costume. My guest on this week’s Vamp was the fair Ellen of Bend from the township of Winterjoy. She has put her skill as a seamstress towards the making of the costumes. We agreed that the series has a way of hooking you because of the untimely deaths of your favorite characters. The writer and screen adaptors have done a great job in emotionally hooking you into characters with little regard to their longevity in the narrative. To celebrate this, the fair Ellen is hosting a dinner party worthy of any who would want to be a power holder in the seven kingdoms.
So I read a blog the other day about increasing productivity in the workplace by CamMi Pham and I thought immediately, “How can I relate this to the kitchen?” I’ll supply a link to her blog and the inspiration to this one at the end.
For now I will ‘Vamp” on the 7 things you need to do more of to be more productive in the kitchen:
Do you buy local? And why you should!
We have talked before about the health benefits of ‘community’. When you think about a healthy community one often thinks of a vibrant city or town center with flourishing shops and restaurants. There is only one way this can happen. You have to support those establishments with your patronage.
Over the years when I talk to people and explain that I am one of eleven children people always say, “Your poor mother”. I know she never felt ‘poor’ for it, maybe exhausted, maybe tired, maybe overwhelmed, but never poor. The logistics of eleven children in a house are hard to imagine, but growing up in it seemed normal to me.
On this week’s Cooking Vamp I had the delight to talk with my mom who in her 90th year still
has it going on and has plenty to offer on making a household work. I did some math and figured she has fed well over 100,000 mouths in her life. Some of her ‘keys’ to success I’ll highlight here.
In this category we try to educate and persuade you to shop at your local butcher. Dan will buy his underwear and garbage cans in the same place, but he’s not going to buy fresh meat or vegetables from that same place.
At MangiaTV we enjoy exploring the Holliday calendar with creative enthusiasm. With Valentine’s Day coming up we have put our energy into a MangiaTV approved guide to making a Valentine’s dinner that will be remembered. You can use these same principles anytime throughout the year when you want to kick up the passion in your life.
First, let’s just say that Valentine’s Day is all about LOVE and attraction. Understand that the most attractive characteristic in our book is authenticity. From this comes confidence, and together they beat any beauty secret pumped by any magazine. Have the moxie to be your truest self.
Second, it’s important to remember that Valentine’s Day is a feast. Just uttering that word implies extra effort in the endeavor, and if you concentrate your efforts on exploring ALL five senses in your plan you will knock the ball out of the park. We also recommend a K.I.S.S. plan for the food. Not that you have to suffer from a taste perspective, but you really want to make this a stress free meal, so stick with something in your wheel house.
So let’s see how to heighten all of our senses for this evening of passion.
- Valentine’s Day is advertised with lots of RED for a reason. The color red works on you in ways science is just starting to understand. Let’s just say it gets you in the mood.
- Lighting is also important for setting the mood, so turn down the lights, light some candles, or start a fire for your lighting needs.
- Flowers and the table set-up round out the visual appeal for this night.
- The fantastic aromas from your meal preparation are a given.
- The smell of an open fire is hard to beat.
- No fire place, try incense.
- For a meal full of passion you must explore flavors, textures, and temperatures.
- Cold fruit, warm cheese, paired with your favorite liquor or wine.
- The meal is best if it’s something you can make together, like risotto. Spend the time at the stove attending to the risotto and enjoy your appetizers as you go.
- Pair this with sautéed scallops in a HOT skillet with Mangia Fish Mojo.
- Round out the entrée with sautéed green beans with almond slivers and gorgonzola cheese.
- Dessert with Chocolate fondue, chocolate tart or flowerless chocolate cake or chocolate chocolates.
- Pay attention to all the sounds that create excitement. The crackle of the fire, the pop of the Champagne cork, the jangle of ice hitting a rocks glass, the sizzle of food searing in the skillet. The mmms, and ahhhs, the XOXOXOs
- Of course a proper sound track is of utmost importance. Some of our favorites are here for your listening pleasure – check out the MangiaTV Valentine’s Day playlist
- If you have followed the script this will be a natural progression.
- If dancing with the stars was held in the kitchen I would win. Dance in the kitchen.
- Make it rain rose petals, then blow them off one at a time. Naughty…and Nice
Attention to these ‘details’ will go a long way to capturing the heart of your special Valentine. Make sure you share your Valentine successes with us, we love to see your love in action.
With spring around the corner, as the ground hog would have you believe, this is a great time of year to settle in with a few seed catalogs and plan your garden. Laura Heffernan, Master Gardener, says that playing in the dirt has been proven to be healthy. (http://www.healinglandscapes.org/blog/2011/01/itsin-the-dirt-bacteria-in-soil-makes-us-happier-smarter/) I believe her and as the book ‘Outliers’ points out, the heart healthy people of Rosetta Pa. not only shared the community of food, but the shared responsibility of growing it.
MangiaTV Super, Super Bowl Party
Well at long last the last and biggest game of the football season is upon us and the Super Bowl offers another great time for epic food and drink. Let last year’s game be a reminder that the food and drink better be great because the game may not be. This year we are doing that fajita thing. You know, you make an enormous pile of choice, choices that will please any taste bud on the planet and let the revelers build their own mouthwatering creation. Then you make sure there is plenty of dehydration fighting beverages on hand and mix in some gambling and you’re sure to have a great party.
The MangiaTV Super Bowl Party Fajita Bar would not be complete without all of the following:
Rub your Vegetables
So who remembers the mum saying, “eat your vegetables” in the tone of, “I know they taste like shit but they are so good for you”. You never heard her say, “eat your juicy steak”, or “you’re not leaving the table till you have a bite of your chocolate cake”. It is true, vegetables are paramount in building a healthy diet, and I am all for more vegetables.
This year our house is all veggies all day on Mondays. This has been a great way to explore and create great vegetable dishes that do not seem like a punishment to eat. I have not been held at the table once till, “I ate all my peas”.