Liquid Nitrogen

March 22, 2010 on 10:40 pm | Written by: | In Uncategorized | Comments Off on Liquid Nitrogen

I really enjoyed making the liquid nitrogen ice cream today.  I’ve done it once before in eighth grade, but we didn’t get to use the liquid nitrogen, the teacher did.  I didn’t realize how much liquid nitrogen it actually took to turn the cream to a more solid mixture.  I thought it was really cool when we froze the mint and hit it.  It was really cold and shattered into several little pieces.  I started wonder though, how can we keep liquid nitrogen at -320 degrees Fahrenheit, when nothing is that cold on Earth?

What is cooking?

March 17, 2010 on 9:04 pm | Written by: | In Uncategorized | Comments Off on What is cooking?

I found it really interesting to learn so many different methods of cooking.  When we defined cooking in class the other day, I did not think of hardly any of these types of cooking.  I listed the basics, like frying, sauteeing, boiling, broiling, etc.  I did not even think about cooking foods in geo-thermal vents, or on car engines, or smoking cake in a pipe!  So, I found this website about what cooking really is, and thought it went along well with what we learned.

http://culinaryarts.about.com/od/cookingmethods/a/cooking.htm

Cooking

March 15, 2010 on 9:12 am | Written by: | In Uncategorized | 1 Comment

I thought that the videos we watched in class today were really interesting.  I used to cook eggs in the microwave when I was little, but I always scrambled them up first.  I never put a whole egg in the microwave, but I always preferred scrambled eggs to boiled eggs anyway.

I didn’t know that putting a grape in the microwave would cause it to catch on fire.  I wonder if cutting the grape almost in half is what caused it to explode into flames, or if keeping the grape whole would have the same effect.

I’ve also put carrots in the microwave before, but they were previously cooked (left-overs).  They did not catch on fire.  Is this because they were previously cooked or because they may have been a different kind of carrot with less minerals?

Potato Soup

March 10, 2010 on 7:34 am | Written by: | In Uncategorized | Comments Off on Potato Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 2 large carrots, peeled, chopped
  • 2 to 3 cups diced ham, about 1 pound
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 to 5 cups peeled and diced potatoes
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup half-and-half or whole milk, more if needed to thin
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, optional
  • sliced green onions, for garnish, optional
  • shredded Cheddar cheese or Cheddar-Jack blend, for garnish, optional

Preparation:

In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add onion, celery, carrots, and ham. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute longer. Add vegetable broth and water and potatoes; cover and cook for about 25 minutes, until potatoes are tender. Whisk flour into the heavy cream until smooth; stir into the hot mixture. Stir in the half-and-half or milk. Taste and add salt and pepper, as desired. Mash slightly to thicken and add more milk if needed.

Serve garnished with parsley, sliced green onions, or a little shredded cheese.

Food Pairings

March 2, 2010 on 8:35 pm | Written by: | In Uncategorized | Comments Off on Food Pairings

My favorite food pairing is chocolate and strawberries! This one is really common, though. 

It was interesting to try the flavor pairings that we tasted in class the other day.  My favorite of those was the strawberry and mint, although, I thought the mint overpowered the strawberry.  The parsley and banana wasn’t bad, but it was a little strange.  I’ve had caviar before, and didn’t like it then.  I really did not like the caviar and white chocolate pairing.  I thought it was really gross.  Honestly, I don’t think I ever would have thought to pair those two things together.  More power to the people who enjoy that…it’s just not for me!

Flavor Assignment 2

February 17, 2010 on 12:37 am | Written by: | In Uncategorized | Comments Off on Flavor Assignment 2

Can we please go over the article about the DEG/ENaC ion channels?  I’m really confused about those.  I really had a difficult time understanding the article. 

I found it really interesting that an increase in heat causes the increase in sweetness of certain foods by increasing the sensitivity to TRPM5.  I’ve actually noticed this before, in baking for example, but, I didn’t know that it was caused by this.  Cookies, cakes, brownies, and even ice cream seem sweeter to me when warm.  Although, I really don’t like warm ice cream!

I know that odor heavily influences the way we percieve tastes.  However, I found it really interesting that odor affects the way we percieve thinkness, creamyiness, etc.  I did not know that the smell of foods changed the perception we receieve from them when we eat them.

Solubility and Flavor

February 15, 2010 on 10:38 am | Written by: | In Uncategorized | 4 Comments

I really had no idea that the solubility of foods and substances affected the tastes and textures as much as they really do.  I was always told to boil foods instead of frying or cooking them in oil in order to make them healthier.  My mom would always then load down her vegetables or whatever with salts, peppers, and different seasonings because they did not taste good.  I understand how cooking in water rather than oil is healthier, but it definately tastes better, to me anyway, when cooking with oil.  The foods keep their natural flavors and you don’t have to season them as much.  I never tried the differences before, between foods cooked in oil and foods cooked in water, at the same time.   It was really neat to see how much it really changed the flavor and texture of the foods.

Obesegens

February 14, 2010 on 5:51 pm | Written by: | In Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Stephen Perrine, author of “The New American Diet,” was on the Early show the other day.  His new book talks about “obesegens” which are chemicals that are in the foods and drinks we consume that have been scientifically shown to increase the rate of obesity.

Although this is a new study, some top medical associations are now starting to back the fact that obesegens exist and are dangerous.

Obesegens work by causing fat to stay in our bodies and makes it harder for them to leave.  For example, some cows are injected with hormones that cause artificial weight gain.  Perrine says that it’s better to eat organic foods because a lot of the obesegens are found in pesticides and artifical things. 

 BPA, a preservative, is a major obesegen.  In order to lower the intake of BPA, Perrine says to stay away from plastic packaging because the packaging contains BPA which causes the increase in obesity by keeping fat in the body.

Here’s the video if anyone would like to watch it.

http://www.comcast.net/video/chemicals-that-make-you-fat/1410713806/Comcast/popular/

Differences in Milk

February 14, 2010 on 5:41 pm | Written by: | In Uncategorized | 1 Comment

I was watching Good Eats with Alton Brown the other day, and he was making a recipe that required buttermilk.  He did not want to use buttermilk, so instead he used 2%.  In order to switch milks, he had to add an extra tablespoon of flour to the recipe.  I never realized that changing what kind of milk you used would really affect the way that a recipe was made.  He said that if you decided to use skim milk instead of buttermilk, or 2% that you had to add even more flour.

Acai Berry

February 2, 2010 on 3:31 pm | Written by: | In Uncategorized | 2 Comments

I’ve heard a lot recently about the acai berry.  I was curious and wanted to see how and if it was really as healthy as people have been saying.  It has a lot of research still to be done, but there are health benefits including antioxidants and flavinoids.  Some sources also say that it is used in beauty products to help with anti-aging.  The most reliable website I’ve found is http://www.webmd.com/diet/guide/acai-berries-and-acai-berry-juice-what-are-the-health-benefits.  Just thought I would post incase others were wondering about this new fruit!

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