New Food Innovations

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I just ran across an article in a college magazine about changes college kids are enjoying in their cafeterias. One food service offers “the real thing” in flavored filtered water.

Individual dispensers are filled with layers of ice with cut up fruits and vegetables. Foods such as oranges, lemons, limes, apples, strawberries, cucumbers and other seasonal foods and vegetables are added to the ice to create water that has the flavor of the food. I would never have guessed their favorite flavor is cucumber! The report stated the students are drinking their way through about 150 gallons of filtered, flavored water per day and cutting down on soda drinking.

Another innovative feature of this cafeteria is to go tray-less. This may require more trips to the food counters but the students are responding positively. Going tray-less is saving on water and wash products, as well as on the amount of food wasted.

This sounds like they are taking seriously environmental benefits. Good for them!

Lee Jackson
Books for home and family

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Health and Nutrition Concerns

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Will these tight economic times make people’s waistlines bigger? Is there a correlation between the two?

People on tight budgets sometimes choose take- out or quick-order meals rather than preparing food at home. This may mean they are eating higher calorie foods and even quite possibly eating more food than is necessary since many servings are super-sized.

Some think it is much cheaper and quicker to go out to catch a bite to eat. Then when they do, it is only a matter of “filling up” or eating to be satisfied rather than savoring the food. Eating out may, or may not be cheaper and quicker. It may, however, impact health, and waistlines.

Many families just haven’t learned how to cook a basic meal. if you grew up making food or helping prepare food for the family, this may sound unbelievable, but it is true. That is why I started this blog. I knew that in order to stay healthy, people need to know how to prepare nutritious meals. I was a family and consumer sciences teacher and realized first hand the need for young people to know simple basic skills in the kitchen, such as:

  • How to prepare fruits and vegetables, eggs, and meats.
  • How to boil, bake, roast, fry, broil, saute,  etc.
  • How to plan meals for the whole day.
  • How to shop for food.
  • How to store food properly.
  • How to keep the food preparation area clean.
  • How to organize work and use time management .

Young people really want to know how to do this. Lots of young kids watch the TV cooking shows.

If a family wants to eat healthy, someone is going to have to spend some serious time in the kitchen. Eating fast-food or pre-packaged foods may be contributing to not only an expanded waistline but other health complications as well.

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Kids in the Kitchen

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I have been involved in a very exciting publishing project. Amy Houts, one of our authors, has a new children’s book coming out this summer and I am really looking forward to seeing the finished product.

This new cookbook, “Cooking Around the Country With Kids: USA Regional Recipes and Fun Activities” makes cooking with kids come alive! It has an American heritage flavor that helps children experience our country’s vast cultural diversity through food.

Children learn about regional food differences by preparing authentic recipes from various parts of our country. Amy has woven together fun activities along with a little food history and geography of each region showing where our food comes from.

Now I want to share just a bit of my excitement over this new book by sending you a FRe e Recipe Sampler from Amy’s new book.

If you want to be on the cutting edge of discovering this treasure trove of regional recipes, sign up below for her FRe e Recipe Sampler. You will be glad you did because it has one complete chapter from the book. This is the first sneak peak at what she has written to get kids excited about cooking across America.

Click here on SnaptailBooks to get the Fre e Recipe Sampler activated.

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This is the Day to Cook

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When I was a teacher in the classroom I remember how excited my students were when it was “the day we cook”! I remember the boys especially were very anxious to get going. Yes, ultimately they got to eat what they prepared, which I know was a huge drawing card, but they really relished the hands-on experience.making banana bread kh1 150x150 This is the Day to Cook

We had five unit kitchens in our foods lab with about 4 students in each kitchen. In both the middle school or high school setting, this meant that each student needed to know what to do and have his or her task clearly in mind.

There were some mishaps along the way, such as forgetting to take the plastic wrap off the pan before baking the food, or not turning the oven on, or leaving out an important ingredient. But there were more successes along the way. These included beautifully decorated cakes, crisp, attractive-looking and delicious salads, wonderful baked breads, and many foods they were proud to display and enjoyed eating.

Not only did they gain knowledge of nutrition and how to prepare different foods, but they learned many other skills, such as how to get along with others and how to communicate effectively. Working together helped them develop and improve their leadership skills and artistic skills.

It saddens me to know that many family and consumer sciences classes are being dropped from the curriculum due to time constraints. I realize students need good solid foundations in English, science, and math. I also like to think students need to develop skills in learning how to manage a home and handle family responsibilities. Being knowledgeable about preparing nutritious and tasty meals for the family is an important life skill. It is also good background for success in a food industry career.

To your positive impact on the work of the home,

Lee Jackson

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Graduation and End of School

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Everything comes to an end. For many these last days in May are filled with graduation plans and parties and thinking about what the summer, and indeed, the future, will hold for them. These are very festive times as well as bitter sweet times when the joy of the present can turn into feelings of “What now?”

For those of you in this situation of having your years of study come to an end, I wish you well. May all your hopes and dreams for your future be fulfilled. Though “study”, in some form or another, continues throughout life

My term here on this blog is also coming to an end. I have tried to squeeze in this writing, which I love to do, in between my work with food, which I also love to do. But I am finding that the summer is becoming too crowded with work and too busy. Therefore I must close down one part of what I love, to concentrate on the other.

However, I am delegating my writing blog to my friend and fellow food enthusiast, Lee Jackson. I have known Lee for many years, having worked with her on Amy Houts’  first cookbook, “Cooking Around the Calendar With Kids: Holiday and Regional Food and Fun”.

She is working with Amy on another book and I am sure she will want to tell you all about its progress, from Amy’s initial interest in working with children, to this, her second book in the series.

I know she will take you on an engaging, informative, and fun-filled food journey.

I thank you for reading my posts these past 2 years and for all your input and comments. It’s been fun reading about your experiences, both food and other, and hopefully I may have contributed some to your love of all things food-related.

I may make some guest appearances so, until we meet again, “so long”, and I wish you good health and good food.

Best wishes,
Chef Crombie

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Sell Spirit and Hope

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Instead of despair and frustration, think and talk about possibilities and hope. Hope for the future and hope our lives get better. These dismal days will not last forever. After the storms, the sun will shine.

Good things continue to happen to us, our friends call us, there is food on the table. We are blessed with what we have. It may not be all we want, but it is what we have, and for that we are truly thankful.

Chef Crombie

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