Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2011 Food Trends

CHICAGO — The Food Channel® ( has released its Top Ten Food Trends for 2011.
For 23 years, The Food Channel has uncovered food trends ahead of the curve. “The insights are fun for consumers, and give those who make their living from food a competitive edge when it comes to what drives their consumers’ choices,” said Kay Logsdon, editor of The Food Channel.

1. The Canning Comeback – “Putting Up” is gaining popularity for both economy and health.
2. Men in Aprons – Layoffs have led to more men cooking.
3. Local Somewhere – We care about hand-tended no matter where it’s grown.
4. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell – We’re tired of being told what we can eat.
5. Appetite for Food Apps – Social media is our guide and our coupon source.
6. Small is the New Big Business – Corporations are thinking like small businesses.
7. Fresh Every Day – Rooftop gardens are just part of this trend.
8. Chefs in Schools – Better flavor is possible in an institutional setting.
9. Discomfort Foods – Change makes us comfortable with more change.
10. Eating for Sex and Other Things – We are working longer, and want all the gusto.

Read the complete Top 10 Food Trends for 2011 at

Also look for the Top Ten Foods to Watch in 2011. They include sausage, moonshine, grits, fin fish and the latest in antioxidant-heavy fruit.
What do you think?
And from other foodies, chefs and cities~

• Pies finally usurping cupcakes.

• Small, niche restaurants specializing in one main dish or ingredient, such as the Detroit-based Sweet Lorraine's Mac N' Cheez!

• Vegetables as fried chips, such as Brussels sprouts chips and turnip chips.

• Goat belly and lamb belly, following the popularity of pork belly.

Round 2
Technomic, a food-industry consulting and research firm in Chicago, has its eye on:

• Korean tacos, stuffing Korean flavors into the ever-more-popular taco shell.

• "Frugality fatigue" leading to more indulgent menus.

• Wine lists on iPads, tableside payment systems.

On the other hand ...
Eater website, which covers the New York dining scene, says:

• The pie trend has already come and gone, and cupcakes remain "everyone's favorite cutesy treat."

• The iPad wine list trend is tapped out. Look for iPad menus to last about as long.

Round 3
The Epicurious website boldly makes these predictions:

• Look for food halls -- great markets of food commerce that are sort of like cavernous farmers markets, but with restaurants. And a good PR firm.

• Korean cuisine with a twist; think kimchi quesadillas.

• Macarons, the pastel confections of ground almonds, sugar and egg whites, will persist.

• Meatless Mondays and Tofu Thursdays -- just what they sound like.

• Tiki bar cocktails -- we're so already there, thank you, Psycho Suzi's!

• Pop-up cafes that turn up in art galleries, parks or even chefs' homes.

• Sweet potatoes in everything from French toast to stuffed pasta.

• Pimenton de La Vera, or smoked Spanish paprika, to lend a sweet heat to foods.

What Rachael says
Or actually, Liz Vaccariello, editor-in-chief of Every Day With Rachael Ray magazine, says about what's Out and In:

• Out: vacations. In: foodcations, or cooking classes in exotic locations.

• Out: junk airport food. In: gourmet airport food. Being there, doing that at MSP.

• Out: pizza only as an entree. In: pizza for breakfast, topped with eggs.

• Out: cupcakes. In: pies. Clearly, views differ. Stay tuned -- and hungry.

• Out: coconut water. In: tart cherry juice, touted for sore muscles, sleepless nights and wrinkles.

• Out: artisanal pizza. In: artisanal hot dogs.

• Out: tricked-out popcorn. In: tricked-out pretzels.

• Out: clipping coupons. In: using smart phone apps for supermarket discounts.

Local Opinion Zone
The Five Hottest Food Trends for 2011
TAGS: 2011 artisan dc dining ethnic five hottest food trends food jana erwin local minimal sustainable trend trends
By: Jana Erwin 12/21/10 7:06 PM
Food trend spotters around the nation have been trying to peg the 2011 food fashions. Every article differs on specific dishes, but it all boils down to five buzz words you need to know: ethnic, local, artisan, minimal and sustainable.

As Tyler Cowne says, “all food is ethnic food.” But in 2011, expect to see a wide array of foods with names you can’t pronounce and flavors that might be new to you. New York and LA have been on the bandwagon for some time, but DC is just starting to discover flavors beyond Continental, Tex-Mex, and Pan-Asian. The biggest push is going to be for tacos that are anything but Latin and also expect to see a lot of flavors from SouthEast Asia (beyond Thai!), and other Asian cuisine such as Korean BBQ and fried chicken.

IN: black rice, quinoa, red rice, sandwiches, street food carts, breakfasts (traditional with ethnic spin, and traditionally ethnic), exotic fruits such as durian, passion fruit, dragon fruit, paw paw, guava, cheeses, Iced Tea (Thai style), and lots of Korean and Vietnamese flavors.

OUT: buckwheat, panini, Mexican inspired salads, alligator, parfait, French toast/stuffed French toast, quiche, daikon, soybeans, kale, Belgian, stir fry, grappa

I’m hesitant to call local a trend. It’s swiftly becoming a lifestyle and in 2011 it will pick up even more steam. We’re going to be seeing a return to “old world” shopping: visiting the butcher, the baker, the fromagerie, and all the mom-and-pop shops in between. Farmers are slated to become more popular than celebrity chefs, and you can bet that local butchers and cheese shops won’t be far behind. Expect to see more local canning wares at the farmers markets, with locally made pickles, jams, jellies, syrups, and preserves growing in popularity.
IN: locally raised meats, seafood, produce, mom and pops, neighborhood butchers, bakeries, cheese shops, locally made wine and beer, hot dogs, sausages, farmers as celebrities, locally made canned goods, farm shares and CSA (communally supported agriculture).

OUT: chain grocers, celebrity chefs, mass produced ingredients

So what is artisan food? To be truly artisan, food must be perfected and taken to the next level, by skilled and highly focused chefs. Artisan foods tend to come in small batches, and from sources that specialize in making one form of food, but with inventive twists you won’t have seen before.

IN: unusual ice cream flavors, popsicles, specialty bacon, “sandwiches” by any other name such as banh mi, specialty small batch cheeses, sous-vide, micro-distilled liquor, cocktails made with savory, fresh ingredients, gourmet junk foods such as chips, pretzels and popcorn, pie shops (both salty and sweet), and single ingredient-focused restaurants

OUT: boar, tongue, rabbit, sweetbreads, tripe, offal, lavender, foam/froth/air, wine on tap, absinthe, wine spritzers, cupcakes, and whoopie pies

2011 is taking portion control to a new level. The fad days of tappas and mezze may be over but we’re still into small plates, just so long as it doesn’t have a slider on it. Restaurants will be simplifying everything from their decors to the wording on the menu, and cutting out the advertising middle man as up to seventy percent of chefs and restaurants will be using social media to reach their customers. Don’t think this is about the recession: restaurants may limit their ingredients but we’re over the nostalgic cupcakes, whoopie pies and comfort food.

IN: bite size appetizers, bite sized desserts, food trucks, and pop-up restaurants with limited menus, social media for advertising, smaller portions for smaller prices

OUT: sliders, cupcakes, whoopie pies, traditional tappas and mezze


Years ago it was widely believed that over-fishing was impossible. But now, as more research has become available, a slow-growing movement for sustainable seafood has gained momentum. To see the latest information on which fish and seafood are farmed or caught in the most ecologically-sensitive ways, and aren’t part of endangered populations, try the Seafood Watch Program from Monterey Bay complete with iPhone app.

You will probably also see more restaurants and consumers growing their own produce and herbs, both to reduce pesticides and shipping deterioration, and to emphasize heirloom varieties that don’t grow well in bulk.

IN: focus on sustainable fish and seafood, restaurants with gardens (rooftop, backyard, community), growing your own produce and herbs for home cooking and canning, Meatless Mondays, replacing meat and seafood with vegetables

OUT: blue fin tuna, swordfish, red snapper, and Atlantic cod

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Nutty Cocoa

I wanted to share two fun recipes with you~ They are posted on Nesting Newbies blog~

Nutty Cocoa
Serves One

1 cup milk
1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter

Combine milk, cocoa powder, sugar, and peanut butter in a small saucepan; while continuously whisking bring to a simmer. Serve hot.

Honey Goat Cheese-Stuffed Medjool Dates
Yields: Approximately 10 pieces

4 ounces fresh goat cheese (chèvre)
1 tablespoon honey
10 Medjool dates, pitted and sliced halfway through lengthwise
¼ cups walnuts, finely chopped

(1) Make a lengthwise cut in each date, remove pit, and gently pinch open to form a pocket.

(2) In a medium-size bowl, blend together goat cheese and honey. Using approximately a teaspoon of honey goat cheese at a time, shape into 10 balls.

(3) Fill each date with a honey goat cheese ball and with index finger, lightly press the ball into each date and smooth the top.

(4) Press the cheese side of each stuffed date into the chopped walnuts. Lightly tap to remove excess nuts, arrange on a platter and serve. Can be made a day ahead and refrigerated.

Note: Experiment with other soft cheeses and toppings. Chef Lea often makes stuffed Medjool dates with Brie cheese and freshly chopped chives.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Mystery Dinner Destination

Ny husband and I hosted a Mystery Dinner Destination. It started with a created email account. The designated guests were asked if they were free and if they were interested in participating on a given night. If they were free, weekly, sometimes bi weekly emails were sent to them. We didn't want them to forget about this event. They did not know who was hosting the party.
After they accepted, the first clue that was sent to them was: 'This is a Betty Draper style Dinner Party, and I'm not a blonde'.
Several had to google Betty Draper which was ok because that gave them a sense for the kind of party to expect. As the weeks wore on, famous lines or quotes from mad Men were sent. The quotes had to do with the dress, and eventually the menu- it was hysterical. We greatly admired our friends gutsy enthusiasm. They did not get final directions for where they were going until the night before the party. If they tried to figure out the location prior to the party, they would not know where they were going because at the last minute, just before 7 pm, we turned on an outside , illuminated 'Welcome' sign that they had to look for.

The menu:
Potato Balls fried in Duck Fat
Onion Dip in a mini cup
Prosciutto Wrapped pickles

Amuse Bouche
Fig in pear Broth with Gorgonzola, Fois Gras

Second Course
Root Soup with Cilantro Oil

Third Course
Caesar Salad

Fourth Course
Beef Tenderloin with Bordelaise Sauce

Fifth Course
Pumpkin Whoppie Pies with Rum Raisin ice Cream and Salted Caramel Sauce

Each place setting had a menu but this is what they lasw listed when they sat down with the real menu on the reverse side:

The Gypsy and the Hobo
Little Specks of brown
The Good News
My Old Kentucky Home
The Public Relations
Wee Small Hours
Love Among the Ruins
A Small Raise
The Suitcase

If you live in the burbs, and you want to do something more than just have friends over for dinner~
try doing a Mystery Dinner destination but you have to have some time on your hands! IT'S DOABLE!!!!
Ok, you can't do it. So, call me and I shall cater it for you!

Christmas Canon Rock

I am listening to the song Christmas Canon Rock and I used it in one of my sons' videos. For this post, it's the son in the middle of the first picture. You might think, what does this have to do with food? PLENTY! He's our biggest eater. He called this morning to say hi and told us how he recently went someplace in Seoul and ate things that were moving....
Ever since I used the Christmas Canon Rock song in a video I made for him, I get very emotional each time I hear it. I remember exactly where it was used. It was a sad scene- a losing season, the captains coming together to muster enthusiasm for the next game.
I would like to dedicate this post to him.
So, I shall put into this email quotes, well, I don't have much to quote, just pics! And my best memories of him. #8

Friday, December 3, 2010

First week in December Menus

Life, after Thanksgiving is calming down even though my hair is falling out in large amounts :)
A check up with my doc shows I'm doing great but I should be exercising more-something I really miss doing.
It occurred to me, why I don't have pictures of any of my weekly menus. I don't know why I don't, other than, too much all at once, and then where's my purse? I know I put the camera in there!
So, here are my 2 menus from this past week along with a picture of one of the salads I made the week before.

the top dish is a blue cheese potato tart. I used a white cheddar and a yellow cheddar ( because I was running short on cheese all of one color!

Thyme chicken and Mushrooms -

BEEF TIPS, – Melt in your Mouth Short Ribs
Corn muffins

Warm fruit compote

Menu #2~



I'm really trying to play catchup!