Tips for a Sucessful Memorial Day Party

As we approach this memorable holiday. Let’s keep in mind those who have fought and died for this country. Let’s also pull off the perfect party! These tips will help you host the best party effortlessly!

#1 Don’t fret over décor.                                                      

Keeping it simple is in. If you personally know someone who served in the military just place a few mementos or pictures of them around. You can go to your local dollar store (most cities should have a dollar tree) where you can buy paper plates, napkins and cups that are themed or all one color. If you’re going to be outside, just making sure there are activities for the kids like water balloons, tennis game setup, or even pool toys would set the entire ambience you’ll need.

#2. Plan ahead.                                                                       

This relates to menu, location, guests, and possible change in weather. Make sure to be prepared. In case it rains have the party outside a local community center or make sure you’re prepared for people to come inside your home. That way you can easily just take the party inside. Have guests RSVP so you can have an idea of who will be coming so you don’t end up with too much or too little food. Plan your menu ahead of time so you can make ahead certain dishes, marinate or have food prepped so you’re not spending the whole time in the kitchen.

#3. Pick an easy menu                                                             

Potluck style is the most stress free of all things! You’ll only have to focus on your dishes and know you’ll have help because everyone else is bringing something. If you must make the whole meal, pick easy, fake out recipes that don’t require a lot of work. There’s nothing wrong with doctoring up that box side, adding flare to the premade drink, or fixing up those box cupcakes. If you do it right no one will know the difference! Also set a variety of dishes, these days vegans, vegetarians and meat eaters can dine together easily. Be sure to make sure there’s something for everyone!

#4 Don’t forget the music!                                                            

Music makes the difference between a boring get together and a party! Pre plan your playlist and put it on repeat! Don’t disturb your neighbors though!

#5 Make clean up a breeze!                                                         

First make everything that you use from cooking utensils to serving and eating all disposable.  Involve your guests in the clean up! It takes no time for everyone to throw something away! Also keep large trash bags around so that way people can dispose of their trash as they go.

#6 ENJOY Yourself!

It’s a party right? There’s no reason you should be stressed at a party. Ask for help! Heck, Demand it! Do what you need to do so you can take it easy. If you follow these tips, your party should be a no brainer!

Provide any extra tips in the comments!

 

 

The Truth About GMO

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Warning: this is very wordy blog! This post is for READERS and those who actually want to learn something.

One subject that is a hot topic in the food community is the matter of GMO. Short for Genetic  Modified Organisms, an easy definition of this is basically taking the DNA from one species and adding to another species in order to give that second species a  specific trait. This has actually been going on for years in regards to the food we eat. That is why there’s such a fuss behind whether what we eat is naturally grown or  scientifically modified. Most modification up until this point has been to enhance the food we already eat. Most of the time making it bigger to give us more. The fear is that GMO has a negative effect on our health.

I’m not here to argue against anyone who supports modification of food but to just state my opinion on how GMO can be harmful to humans. Definitely state your opinions in the comments I love to read other points of view.

A lot of the GMO testing that has been done claims that the nutritional value is not lost but enhanced through pest resistance, herbicide tolerance, disease resistance, cold tolerance, drought tolerance, nutrition, and pharmaceuticals.
Yet some of the biggest side effects of GMO has been disease, growth disorders and mental defects in humans especially in children and fetal  development.
GMO testing has done nothing but make food bigger and change the color of foods to make them ‘cool’.
Recently in 2017 new apples are going to hit the stores and their not going to be labeled GMO but they will be called Golden Apples and these apples are supposed to not brown after cutting which is called oxidation, it’s normal. While this sounds cool, removing the polyphenol -which the substance located in any plant-you cancel out the natural resources like vitamin C, E, etc which humans need to consume to fight against cancers. All this is about profit. Normal apple shelf life doesn’t last long costing money. If apples don’t brown, they have a longer shelf life which means stores can sell us older apples and still make money. I won’t even get into the politics of it. I’ll stick to the  health risks..

Other side effects include infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, faulty insulin regulation, allergens, antibiotic resistance and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system.  Everything has been modified from cereal, cake mixes, cheese, milk, even veggie burgers. Please do your research people and find out what foods are being modified. Also support your local farmers and grocers. It’s up to us to maintain our health.

Please let me know if you don’t support or if you do support GMO foods and why.

Why you should watch ‘Chef’s Table’ on Netflix

Most of the food shows on TV are scripted contests/reality shows that keep the masses entertained with mild drama while also watching people jump through hoops for a mediocre prize or a recipe show where the host is cooking the same thing you see on other shows with their own little twist on it. They mostly target the idea of making you hungry so you will buy into their products.  There are really no shows out there for the true culinarian with substance that allows you learn and feed more into your passion for food. The Netflix Docu-series “Chef’s Table” is a tribute to amazing chefs from all over the world, from all walks of life and unique personalities and they all have one common passion: The love for food.  There are 3 seasons and I am currently watching the third season. For me, I am truly inspired by learning about their lives and how their struggles, family ties, and culture are engrained in the food they cook. Literally their plated dishes tell the stories of who they are, where they came from and the deep rooted love for natural and exotic ingredients.

In the first season, the chef who I was the most impressed with is Chef Massimo Bottura. I was most impressed by his delicacy involving tortellini. He made a statement about how people just inhale those without really tasting them, it’s almost an insult to the chef who spent time making the delicate dumpling and filling and preparing them so lovely. He prepared them in away so that the broth is both gelatin and liquid making the tortellini look as if it’s moving on the plate. So his dish Tortellini walking into broth is something I’m dying to try and to appreciate.  I believe he referenced this dish as “the tortellini walked onto the broth the way Christ walked on water”.  Deep.

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In the third season, while I have not gotten far into the season. I am already impressed with Jeong Kwan. She is actually a monk, living in Korea and her food often called “Temple Food” has recently crossed the ocean and is now known amongst many culinarians in the US. What I appreciated the most about her cooking is the spiritual aspect of her meals and how the ingredients she chooses is closely related to her spiritual journey. Eating no meat or even fish, all of her dishes are of the freshest, most simple ingredients and she doesn’t even use hard spices like garlic or onion, yet everything is delicious says the American commentators in the scene. What stuck out to me the most is her lotus tea. Looks to only be made with two ingredients, the lotus flower and water but it looks so pure! I would love to have a taste!

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I definitely recommend this series to anyone who likes documentaries, serious food related content, and anyone simply curious enough to just learn something new while being entertained. Get your popcorn and blanket and binge watch this series! You can find all 3 seasons currently on Netflix.

Looking Forward to Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of year. I have to admit I got so burned out on eating Thanksgiving food that I actually didn’t celebrate it for a couple of years, being that i am from the south Thanksgiving food isn’t that different from Sunday dinners and family dinners every other night of the year. But after my hiatus and now that I am on a healthier diet I am starting to look forward to Thanksgiving and indulging in my favorite dishes.

I am not a big fan of Turkey but I love to cook it. i love the different methods: frying, roasting, brining, stuffing, grilling and smoking. But no matter how juicy the turkey is it still tastes dry to me I think its really the texture of the meat i don’t like so much. Flavor wise I love fresh herbs and citrus, bold flavors and spice. Its help me get through what i think is dry taste.

When it comes to Thanksgiving, I am definitely a sides girl. I love sides, I can fill my plate up with sides and leave the meat. My favorite sides are macaroni and cheese ( of course! who doesn’t like that?), any kind of dark greens ( can be collards, turnip, mustard, mixed), baked sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top (I love the toasty flavor of the marshmallows when they brown and melt slightly) , mashed potatoes with gravy, and homemade cranberry sauce (cant stand the canned stuff..ugh!)

And don’t forget the rolls…YOU HAVE TO HAVE ROLLS!

I’m not picky about desserts, the only one I really don’t like is pumpkin pie. But if I had to pick a favorite Thanksgiving dessert I would choose sweet potato pie. I am such a southern girl.

Even though I do not like turkey by itself, after thanksgiving is something I look forward to the most because of the Turkey Sandwiches!!! I love a late night turkey sandwich leftovers the next day. yum!!!!

What are your favorite Thanksgiving desserts? What are you looking forward to?