Thursday, May 28, 2009

Taco time
What would you do with:
Chicken with apples and goat cheese, ceviche with coconut ginger, honey bacon, lamb, elk and calamari and blackened tomato?
If you never would have said, put them in tortillas, then Mark Miller’s beautiful book “Tacos” could be for you. It is for me. I want one on every page.
None of the amazing photographs show anything like the basic, fast food processed fillings America has come to label “taco.”
Miller is the founder of Coyote Cafe in Santa Fe and also throws in some Thai ideas.

Super food
If you already consider chocolate a super food, read on:
I’ve shared Shaman Chocolates and the company’s “socially responsible collection of gourmet, organic chocolate bars.” I love the flavor and love the fair trade that supports Huichol Indians, a tribe living in central western Mexico’s Sierra Madre Mountains.
They’re said to be the last Indigenous Tribe in North America to have maintained their pre-Columbian traditions. Thankfully, chocolate skills are included. Fruity, almost crystal-like bits highlight the new Organic Dark Chocolate with Acai, Lemon & Orange and Organic Dark Chocolate with Green Tea & Ginger chocolate bars. I savor each square until the chocolate melts to reveal the tangy fruit.
Antioxidants, baby.

Click crazy
Admit it. You can almost expect an artificial after taste to many health products. Click Espresso Protein Drink is the first I could actually crave. I’m surprised that with just water, and a shake up in a crazy cool shaker with a noisy metal sphere that mixes the powder up, I got a rich drink. I put it in a blender with ice for a great shake. You can drink it hot, but they have me at shake. Double Shot Espresso  is high in protein and low in calories, has vitamins and minerals and is an alternative to sugary coffee drinks. Ingredients include  calcium caseinate, instant espresso coffee, fructose, powder and sunflower oil. It’s the best think I’ve ever had out of a big plastic carton.

Every penny counts: Try tips to save on groceries
The executive chef of a fancy restaurant in Washington, D.C. says you can eat well and be proactive about keeping the grocery budget down.
“Everyone is realizing that right now is the time to tighten the purse strings wherever you can, when grocery shopping,” Enzo Febbraro, co-owner and executive chef of D’Acqua Ristorante, said in a press release e-mail.
Some tips:
 • Plan ahead. Take a few minutes to plan out the meals you will make throughout the week. Write up a list of all the necessary ingredients needed, take the list to the store, and stick to it, which will help you avoid impulse purchases. You can save even more if you build your grocery list and meal planning around what is on sale, each week, by browsing store circulars first.
• Compare products. Keep in mind that the most expensive items are usually at eye level. Look at the top shelves to find similar products that are less expensive. • Think beyond fresh. While fresh fruits and vegetables are great, they can also perish quickly, leading to wasted money, and they usually cost more to begin with. The American Dietetic Association reports that frozen and canned versions can be just as nutritious as the fresh, and are also usually more affordable and last longer. Just be sure to choose varieties that aren’t laden with excess salt, sugar or sweeteners.
• Think big. Opt for larger portion sizes and create your own single-serving portions. Invest in some re-usable containers so you can easily put items in lunches or carry bags. Not only will buying in bulk save you money, but it’s also better for the environment.

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