November 2008 Newsletter

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During the fall and winter, I love to prepare traditional home made, American dishes so there’s no surprise that Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays of the year. But for those of you who aren’t used to cooking a huge celebration meal, it might seem daunting.

There are plenty of easy ways to make your Thanksgiving meal taste delicious and seem effortless to all your guests. With just a bit of planning and thinking ahead you can cook a huge feast for 20 or more guests all by yourself. Starting this coming week, we’ll be launching on SkinnyChef.com a series of posts and new recipes around the Thanksgiving theme, including simple tips and do ahead ideas that even beginning cooks can use. Check back soon on SkinnyChef.com, or even better, get notified when the Thanksgiving posts and recipes publish.

Low-Cal Comfort Foods

Jennifer on Better TV, discussing low-cal comfort foods

Comfort food can be good for you since it satisfies something your body might need. For example, when the seasons change you might be craving a warm bowl of chili or that hearty baked macaroni and cheese that both warms the body and can provide nutrients that you need – like vitamin C from broccoli and calcium from cheese.

In this segment, which aired in October 2008 on Better TV, I showcased comfort food classics like mac and cheese and chili.

Food Styling in Paris

Food styling with the Skinny Chef

Paris is a city that a food lover can never tire of – seriously. It’s incredibly well equipped when it comes to the small pleasures in life, sipping delectable wines, nibbling artisanal cheese, doing a little shopping, or simply strolling along the Seine, that lovely gray river that flows through the heart of Paris.

Autumn in Paris is spectacular. It’s not nearly as warm as it is in New York City, but the cooler weather brings an early fall bounty of figs, mushrooms, and bunches of perfectly firm, freshly picked grapes. Join me on my recent trip to Paris and tag along as I spent a day with my friend Natacha on a sumptious food photoshoot!

What is Quinoa and How Do I Cook With It?

quinoa

Quinoa, sometimes called a whole grain, is actually the seed of a green leafy plant that is still cultivated in South America. Revered by the ancient aztecs as a source of energy for their fearless warriors, chefs and home cooks now admire it for its mild taste and creamy texture.

Apart from many health benefits, quinoa happens to have a low glycemic index compared to other whole grains. The glycemic index – or GI – rates food based on how much they make your blood sugar rise. Keeping your blood sugar steady and balanced can help you to maintain weight – that’s why whole unprocessed foods that are low in sugar and high in fiber (like whole grains) are touted for their health benefits.

Cooking quinoa is as easy as cooking rice, only faster. Rinse it first, under cold water to help remove a natural compound that can make it bitter. Some brands of quinoa are “pre-washed” so check the label before rinsing. Learn more about Quinoa, or try my Quinoa Risotto.

Other News and Updates

  • US Diabetes Rate Exploding – A new study by the CDC was released last week, confirming that the nation’s obesity epidemic is exacting a heavy toll: The rate of new diabetes cases caused by overweight and obesity nearly doubled in the United States in the past 10 years. Check out how fat your state is!
  • Pomegranate – Apart from the Middle East, the pomegranate is also native to Northern India, and is now grown in California and Arizona. You can also find them at local delis and fruit stands, chilly grocery store produce isles, and in the kitchens of America’s top chefs. But what about the health benefits of Pomegranates? Were the ancient sages right?
  • Social Media – If you are active on one of the many social media sites, drop by my pages on FaceBook, Flickr, FoodBuzz, Food Gawker or StumbleUpon

Happy & Healthy Cooking,
— Jennifer

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