Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Food Bringing Families Together

Food Shopping Memories 

My father told me a story about how when he was a child, my grandmother would as if anyone wanted to accompany her to the grocery store and usually no one would want to go. For some reason my father fell he should go help his mother shop for food. As a result, my grandmother would let him pick what cereal he wanted to eat, in addition to giving him a choice of snacks she would get for him. If my memory is correct, when they got home and his siblings saw what my grandmother gave him for coming and helping, they all wanted to come on the next trip to the grocery store. Not to my surprise she didn't buy everything she did the first time with my father. 

This was a funny story to my own siblings and me because when we were young we would stay home or wait in the car while my mother went food shopping. However, my younger brother some how must of had the same idea as my father did when he was younger. As a result when Joel, my younger brother got home he would always have his Honey Nut Cheerios and Gummy Bears waiting for him after he helped bringing in the greocery store. As history repeats itself, my older brothers and I tried to go the next time, but my mother didn't make it around to getting use everything we wanted. 

This time my father and my little brother spent with their mothers was priceless. Likewise, food was the reason for bringing them together; this was the common ground for them. Whether it is my mother or grandmother, they loved to cook and my father and brother loved to eat. This was enough to give them quality time. I can honestly say to this day if my mother goes food shopping (even when Joel doesn't join her), she will have gummy bears in a bag for Joel. 

How Can Cooking with Family Promote Healthy Eating

Family Time Can Help us become Healthy

Not only has lack of family caused use to stop communicating but a good example of the lack of time spent together would have to be the family dinners that now have almost disappeared. For this reason children today have fell into the trap of not eating healthy. Family dinners can help the children have set times to spend eating. It is as if they know now is the time to eat and when you are done, you will not eat until everyone sits at the table. However, because of this reason, we have come into the time where we eat any time of the day even if we just ate, there is no specific time to eat. This has be one of the main causes for obesity in our country today. As I stated earlier, family time is extremely necessary and eating meals together as a family can be one step to help decrease obesity today.

It has been proven that cooking your own meals can help promote healthy eating habits. In addition, this can cause us to be informed about what we are eating and if we know that we will be able to make small changes to our diet to help take another step into cooking healthy, while maintain a tasty meal.

In the article be Marge Condrsky entitled, Cooking with a Chef, they example that family meals have dramatically changes and declined over time. With that being said children's diets have become unhealthy because they basically eat when they want to with no specific time set aside to tell their bodies its time to eat. The author wants to help parents get there children involved with cooking and get time in the kitchen to cook their food. This not only increase time spent with family but help the children see what they are eating and lead to a healthy way of eating.  Equally important, the author wishes to convey to families that the meals do not have to be complicated but they just can start off small and simple. This will allow the children to see the different type of food groups and they will begin to ask questions, resulting in knowledge about healthy lifestyle. 

How can Cooking Help Promote Family Time

While writing this blog I've learned so much about cook and doing some research on how others cook. One thing I believe that stands out to me more than anything is how cooking can bring families together. One reason I’ve noticed this is due to the fact why I cook. Since I’ve started to cook, I can say it has helped be become closer with my mother and grandmother, now that we have more topics to talk about. With that being said, my brothers and friends now have the desire to cook more. This is beneficial because not only will they learn how to cook for themselves, but also they can become healthier eaters.

Spending time with family and friends is important to passing down knowledge and history. In today's society, family time is rear, few, and far between. I personally find it difficult to find the time to spend with family and friend because of my hectic schedule. While taking classes during the summer and trying to do well in the short amount of time, it can be very challenging to try and find time to spend with the ones you love. Moreover, it is still important to make time when ever possible. Family and friends can help you get through hard times by simply being there. A simple phone call can help your day tremendously. 

Cooking is something that we can all have in common. In my blog I have made it clear how I found much proof that anyone can cook. As shown on food network's website, there are levels of difficultly, while the food still has great quality to it. You can cook for the fast pace person or the person with nothing to do all day long. It many feel like a challenge at first, but I can lead to you become a cook. This is how I started. Moreover, after looking at the recipes online, I branched off into communicating with my grandmother and mother about food. Furthermore, it led to me discussing my cooking plans with my aunts, brothers, cousins, friends, and many others loved ones. 

Being away from college is a drastic change for me because I don’t get to see my close friends and family. In addition, I am extremely close with my brothers; so cooking helps give us more to communicate about when we are on the phone or when we do get to see each other. I can honestly say time spent with loved ones is extremely important for anyone, so lets try and use the kitchen to help us connect with the important people in our lives. 

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Shrimp Alfredo

So I think I took my own advice by cooking some Shrimp Alfredo. I believe this was my first time cooking shrimp. Surprisingly, the process did not go as bad as I expected (I thought I would be extremely lost). However it turned out good. In spite of that matter, the actual Alfredo was no issue. Furthermore, I added steamed broccoli to go along with the Alfredo for the night. 

First off I had to go food shopping, which I haven't I only God knows how long. As a result, I took a trip to the supermarket, in search for a pound and a half of shrimp and seafood seasoning. I remembered a comment my grandmother made to me referring to old bay seasoning. She let me know that I could not go wrong with it concerning seafood. Evidently, she understands I have a way of potentially messing up a meal (Another story where I almost burned my grandmother's cabbage when left in the house alone. consequently, I left the kitchen... but she still doesn't know this to this day, I hope she does ever read this).  Nevertheless, I used the old bay-seasoning combine with redfish seasoning. Admitingly, I can say this my idea, which may not be that big of a deal for you but one for me. 

In comparison to the recipe I discussed previously from "Simple Recipe" I deviated somewhat, which is not surprise by now if you have read my previous post. I started of with some choked sweet onions and red and green bell peppers. After cooking these ingredients down some, I added the shrimp (which I already seasoned earlier in the day with the seasoning mentioned above).  Moreover I steamed the broccoli and boiled the noodles simultaneously. After the noodles were done, I mixed them in with the Alfredo sauce, which I used Rago roasted garlic Parmesan. Finally I added the shrimp to the already mixed sauce and noodles. 

This dish was fun for me due to the fact that I’ve never cooked it before. I also was a bit unconventional when it came down to the bell peppers, which I’ve used 

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Godfather's Influence

The Godfather & Food

When I think of Italian food, The Godfather is not far behind in my thought process. On one hand I can recall Peter Clemenza cooking spaghetti and meatball. On the other hand, according to Clemenza, "...Leave the gun take the cannoli" is one of the famous quotes of the movie. This quote is referred to in different movies over time. For instance in "You've Got Mail" Meg Ryan confides in Tom Hanks character for advice on how she should approach a problem. Likewise he tells her to "Leave the gun and take the cannoli".

The Influence 

As The Godfather makes continued references to Italian food, due to the fact that most of the characters of the movie are of Italian decent, other movies latch on and run with the idea. Moreover, in some cases unaware of the Italian reference being brought up. Many people assume "The Godfather" is arguably one of the greatest movies of all time, with this being said I would have to agree.  Furthermore, this movie introduces Italian culture to many of us that may have never gotten to see it up close in that way. As a result allow us to become familiar with it. 

Types Alfredo

Today I would like rambling about my favorite Italian dish (as of right now), Alfredo. When I think of this dish, the first thing that comes to mind is "Which way are we going to make it?" Clearly, there is much way to go about preparing this pasta. Whether it is classic Fettuccine Alfredo, Shrimp Alfredo, Chicken Alfredo or (one I was not aware of) Sausage Tomato Fettuccine, it can be done. 

Fettuccine Alfredo

The most interesting aspect about this dish is, its quick and easy. However, Alfredo gives a formal feel, ultimately an easy dish that looks difficult to make. With the specific recipe from "Simply Recipes" they incorporate nutmeg. On the contrary, I've never used it; furthermore, I believe I would like to try it. Different is fun and Why NOT!

Shrimp or Chicken Alfredo

A regular in my house is Chicken Alfredo, why I might add; broccoli is included normally for my cooking. In contrast, I've never added the broccoli to the Shrimp Alfredo, like that in the recipe for " Simple Recipes".  Furthermore, chicken is so commonly used by me, as a result shrimp is a great substitute to give a different look and flavor to the dish. 

Sausage Tomato Fettuccine

 Now to my new venture, the Sausage Tomato Fettuccine, which I've never heard of. Basically this recipe is saying to use a pound of Italian sausage, Parmesan cheese, and 2 large garlic cloves as the bases of the dish. Accordingly this will draw me to the plate if nothing else with.

Admittedly, Alfredo can be done many way, like that of other dishes. As I state constantly, cooking is about putting your own flavor into the dish, that’s what makes every dish unique. By extension, this website "Simple Recipe" has some great idea for quick and easy meals. I definitely suggest trying one sometime.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

I'm Sorry for Being Impatient

As I go along with the memory idea, I can remember cooking the first time for my parents. I would like to apologize for over seasoning the first meal my mother had to taste of my cooking. I was worried that she would not want to taste anything else after that meal.

What I can Remember

 I believe it was baked chicken and green beans. As you can remember from the previous post that I recently took up cooking, so when I had this opportunity it was going to be interesting. My mother's main issue with me cooking was I always found a reason to leave the kitchen, weather it was for TV, cell phone, or company. So my goal was to not burn anything.

I can recall, on this afternoon I had everything planned, I wanted to have the meal ready before my parents got home from work. This would be helpful to me because she wouldn't be standing over me with questions, just how I like it. I made sure I stayed close by during the time the food was being cooked. Once again, I could not get the words out of my head, "To cook, you don't leave the kitchen...you have to be patient". In like fashion, I tried to be as patient as possible. However, I honestly think I got tired of seasoning; as a result I rushed through the process and put the food in the oven.

Please Let It Go

I would like to express great remorse for the salty and spicy baked chicken. I’m sorry for not being able to adjust to the larger portion of food needed to be cooked at home with way more people than I am use to cooking for. I apologize for trying to make sure your chicken did not taste as if it were taken right out of the freezer and put right in the oven. For this purpose, I honestly felt you deserved quality flavor and a little spice. With that being said, I must of tried just a little too hard. I hope you can one day give me a chance to cook chicken for you without you commenting to me about this small mistake. Please mother, I am sorry and I hope you will please try and not walk behind me as I cook, while checking the food I cook.