Monday, July 2, 2012

California's Foie Gras Ban Goes Into Effect

While I don't like Foie Gras personally, I do have an issue with a state law restricting that I can and cannot choose to eat in regards to animals.

excepts taken from the article found on

California restaurant owners had until midnight to legally sell foie gras to customers seeking the French delicacy. Today, a state law signed in 2004 that bans producing or selling the fatty goose or duck liver achieved by force feeding goes into effect, and violators will be slapped with a $1,000 fine.

The law, signed by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, postponed the ban eight years so the state's main producer, Artisan Sonoma Foie Gras, could amend its business practices.

Many California chefs call the ban "absurd," and pledge to use loopholes to serve the dish anyway. One loophole restaurants have figured out is a BYOF policy, meaning Bring Your Own Foie. If you supply the foie gras, they'll cook it for free -- and maybe charge you $20 for the toast it's served on.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Apple Enchiladas!

The last week or so has been very busy. With work, family commitments, and the onslaught of tropical storm Debby, my blogging has taken a back seat. The dust (and rain) has settled and I have the time to blog more frequently.

While at work a few days ago, a coworker from Texas told me about a recipe for apple enchiladas. I was intrigued by the recipe and combination of Texas/southern cuisine. I'm going to try them this coming Saturday. Here's the link to the recipe!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Top 5 Foods for Beautiful Skin

Discovery Health recently released information pertaining to the best foods for one to eat if they seek beautiful, healthy skin. Healthy skin basically boils down to vitamins, nutrients, and a healthy diet of protein, vegetables, fruits, and whole-grains.

5. Seafood

Active components: Omega-3 fatty acids, zinc
Benefits: Smooth, clear and glowing skin

Increasing omega-3 intake can reduce dryness and inflammation. Inflammation can cause skin to age.

 4. Citrus Fruits

Active component: Vitamin C
Benefits: Smooth and taut skin

Vitamin C is a prime skin-care ingredient in tons of beauty creams. This vitamin aids in the body's production of collagen, a protein that forms the basic structure of your skin. In case you get tired of eating all that fruit, hot peppers, bell peppers and sprouts also have good amounts of vitamin C.

3. Red and Green Vegetables

Active components: Vitamin A, beta-carotene
Benefits: Bright and smooth skin

Orange-red vegetables are full of beta-carotene. Our bodies convert beta-carotene into vitamin A, which acts as an antioxidant, preventing cell damage and premature aging. In the case of vitamin A, you also get anti-acne benefits.

Spinach and other green, leafy foods provide tons of vitamin A, too, which helps your skin produce more fresh new cells and get rid of the old ones

2. Nuts

Active component: Vitamin E
Benefits: Young and soft skin

Vitamin E combats skin-aging free radicals, especially protecting skin from sun damage due to UV-sunlight-generated free radicals. Vitamin E also tends to help skin hold in moisture, relieving dryness and making skin look younger.

Almonds, pistachios and walnuts also provide a nice supply of omega-3 fatty acids, another great skin nutrient.

1. Whole Grains

Active components: Rutin and B-vitamins
Benefits: Clear and moisturized skin

Wheat germ provides the B-vitamin biotin, which assists cells in processing fats. If you don't have enough biotin in your body, your skin can become dry and scaly.Replacing your refined-flour pancakes with buckwheat pancakes is a good acne-reducing move. Incidentally, this would also help reduce your risk of developing diabetes

Not into buckwheat? Avocadoes and mushrooms can provide similar benefits.

Now, while oranges, buckwheat, oysters, spinach and almonds are great foods for your skin, achieving great-looking skin through dietary changes doesn't have to be so specific. A healthy body means healthy skin. Just feed your body good, healthy foods, get some exercise and keep your stress low, and your skin will reap the benefits.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Simplistic Coffee Makers The Way of The Future?

Like many people, I'm not a morning person. The idea of waking up and brewing coffee is second to me hitting the snooze button. Even the traditional machines with automated brewing still required programming and prepping. I recently purchased one of the Keurig Special Edition B60 coffee makers which has made my mornings not only more enjoyable, but delicious as well.

I've seen similar machines at local supermarkets so I was familiar with how they worked. For those who have never used one, the machine brews coffee/tea/hot chocolate from little pouches that you buy from the store (located in the coffee/tea aisle). Everything is self contained. The only thing you have to do is fill the machine with water. Whenever you want a drink, you place a pouch in the machine and press the button. The speed of service is incredible!

The only downside I'm considering with the machine is the cost of the drink pouches versus traditional coffee grounds. Regardless of cost, a few extra dollars is well worth those few extra minutes of sleep ;)

Smokey Bones National Burger Eating Contest!

I stopped by my local Smokey Bones for lunch today and found out the restaurant chain is holding its annual national burger eating competition later this month! I don't have the stomach for eating large amounts of beef in one sitting like I used to, but here's the information from Smokey Bones Facebook page if you're interested.

"Calling all Contenders, registration is now open for the Burger Battle, our National Burger Eating Contest. Devour your way through the rounds to take home the Burger Battle Title.

The fastest national time wins $2,500 cash. The fastest time in each restaurant wins a $200 Smokey Bones Gift Card.

$10 entry fee. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Homes for our Troops."

Since every Smokey Bones has a different contest date, be sure to contact your local restaurant for information!

Handmade Caramel Dragon Lollipop!

We're fortunate to have readily available sweets in America, but nothing compares to the artistic ability and beauty of this Chinese street vendor making a caramel lollipop for a child! Check out this video! Wouldn't you love to have one?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

"Let's Pizza" Vending Machines Rolling Out in US Fall 2012

Test marketed throughout Europe for the last few years, the "Let's Pizza" vending machine will be making its American debut this coming Fall. After customers make their selection, they will pay approximately $6.00 for a 10.5'' pie that will be ready in 3 minutes.

There's something to be said about the quality of a pizza made from a chain of restaurants, let alone one that comes from a vending machine. Personally, I prefer my pizzas made by hand.

I believe these will be popular in certain regions of the US, perhaps near universities or businesses that are open late. What do you think?