Kids Eat: Candy Sushi

Photo by Multiculturalcookingnetwork

Photo by Multiculturalcookingnetwork

I’m not the most ‘kid’ creative person in the world and often come up short when thinking of ideas on how to keep my little monsters entertained. No longer can I get away with calling our numerous trips to the grocery store an ‘adventure’ and we can only go to the neighborhood park so many times before we all (well, mainly me) want to shoot ourselves. So, when I ran across this candy sushi idea from Mommyknows, I immediately set this plan into action. The kids absolutely loved it. One note, be prepared for a sugar meltdown followed by a possible napless afternoon but watching them make their ‘sushi’ creations was worth it. READ MORE

How to Pair Wine:Meat, Poultry & Seafood


Recently,  a relative of mine with a catering service admitted that wine pairings stump him.  He said that it stumps him when he is out to dinner at a restaurant so he asked my advice.   My suggestion is that the safest thing anyone can do when out(you will never have to fear looking bad in front of you dining companion) is to ask the waiter what the chef would recommend with the dish.  He or she knows what works best with the specific dish.  On a broader level of pairing, here are a few tips for private and social dining wine pairing with meats:

  • Poultry – Pairing can go many directions depending of the preparation. Lighter more subtle preparations pair better with a White Burgundy, Chardonnay, or Chablis. If the dish is heavy and spicy, it will pair better with a lighter fruiter red wine such as Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, or Beaujolais.
  • Beef – Any  fine red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Burgundy, Bordeaux, Zinfandel, or Pinot Noir
  • Ham & Pork-Fruity Red Wines such as Beaujolais, Pinot Gris, and Pinot Noir pair well with sweeter preparations. For the mild savory preparations, try a dry white wine such as White Burgundy, or Chardonnay. For the highly savory and spicy dish, pair with a big Cabernet Sauvignon.
  • Seafood:

Salmon – White Burgundy, Chardonnay, or Riesling

Scallops – Chablis, Gewurztraminer, or White Burgundy

Cod – White flaky fish pairs better with a red variety such as Pinot Noir or Beaujolais

Clams and Mussels – White Graves, Chablis, Chardonnay

Shrimp and Lobster – Chablis, Chardonnay, White Burgundy

Click to See An Extensive list of how to pair wines with various food

Watch a Wine Lesson by Wine Expert Michael Green

Article Commentary by MCCN Editor-Crystal J

Top Virginia Winery Trips


Historic Monticello is  an area known for the Thomas Jefferson estate and a less commonly know fact is that it is the birthplace of American wine.-Crystal J- MCCN Editor

Virginia has become the new hot spot for travelers who are passionate about wine. Home to more than 160 wineries surrounded by lavish scenery, breathtaking views and monumental historic sites, Virginia is a wine destination unlike any other. These ten getaways highlight what makes wine travel new and refreshing in Virginia.  READ MORE

Learn about Food History and Virginia, CLICK HERE

Spice It Up-Hot & Spicy: Cayenne Pepper

Need some spice in your life? Cayenne pepper will kick it up a notch! Also known as the Guinea spice, bird spice, aleva or simply as red pepper,  it is originally from Cayenne in French Guiana, an overseas region of France located on the northern  coast of South America. Cayenne pepper is now largely grown in India, East Africa, Mexico, the United States of America and other subtropical regions. Cayenne varies in appearance from red to yellow  and its hotness rating in Scoville Heat Units (SHU)is normally between 30,000 to 50,000 on a scale from zero to 16-million. You think you can handle it? Well, just know that Tabasco sauce, Cumari pepper and Aji pepper are in the same category of heat. READ MORE

Latin Dessert: History of Tres Leches & Recipe

The cake is very popular in many parts of Central America and Mexico. The origins of the tres leches are disputed .  The Nestlé Company also claims to have helped the tres leches recipe evolve, during World War II. The idea for creating a cake soaked in a liquid is probably of European origin, as similar cakes, such as rum cake from Puerto Rico and tiramisu from Italy, use this method.

 A Tres leches cake, or Pastel Tres leches (Spanish, “Three milk cake”), or Pan Tres Leches (Spanish, “Three milk bread”), is a sponge cake—in some recipes, a butter cake—soaked in three kinds of milk: evaporated milk, condensed milk, and heavy cream. When butter is not used, the tres leches is a very light cake, with many air bubbles. This distinct texture is why it does not have a soggy consistency, despite being soaked in a mixture of three types of milk.-Wikepedia


See Recipe for Tres Leches from

Film and Foodie: Eat Pray and Love

The Film: Eat Pray & Love- Based on the best seller, Julia Roberts plays the main character of Liz, a lost miserable soul. Pretty early in the film she realizes that her marriage is not for her but she rebounds into the arms of the gorgeous James Franco, a younger man. However, he is not the answer. She comes to conclusion that she needs time to be single and figure some things out. First a few months of indulgent eating in Italy and then a quest for spirituality(balance).

Eat Pray and Love is entertaining but is does not quite live up to the hype. Richard Jenkins, James Franco and Javier Bardem are the brighter spots in the film.

The Foodie: Liz had to learn to let go and enjoy life. She decided to enjoy the pleasures of food its ok if muffin top happens. We watched Liz stuff her face in Italy with proscuitto and melon, pizza and chicken carbonara then prepare an American Thanksgiving dinner turkey. Then we watched her eat naan in India and down a Thumbs up soda with Richard Jenkins. In Bali, unfortunately, we did not get exposed to their cuisine. However, coffee and rice are cultivated there.

Standards of Beauty in the Media

When it comes to the media, we are used to seeing certain standards of beauty. When we see an ad for food, clothes, or even cars we see slim women with flawless skin. The truth is the average woman isn’t a size 2. This standard of beauty is not realistic and puts a negative image in the minds of young girls and women.

For most girls, going through their teenage years can be very difficult. When they see a girl their age in a magazine with “the perfect body” they begin to believe everything they read or hear. For example, a girl who is insecure with her body might buy a certain beauty product or outfit if she sees a skinny woman in the ad. These young girls are at risk. Research shows that exposure to images of thin, young, air brushed females are linked to depression, loss of self esteem, and unhealthy eating habits in young women and girls.

Most of the images of female beauty used in the media are unattainable for all but a very small number of women. Many of the images of women seen in magazines and television ads have been retouched and are not representative of what the women in the picture actually look like. Photo retouching can make the females in advertisements seem slimmer, tanner and basically flawless. The truth is that most of those women don’t even look like their own photos in reality.
Although in America we have certain standards of beauty, there are many different ideals of beauty across the world:

  • Thailand the women of the Kayan tribe have a standard of beauty that doesn’t rely on someone’s height or weight. Known as “long necks,” women from this tribe put brass rings around their necks and add more as they age. The rings give their necks an elongated appearance. The most beautiful women are said to have the most rings.
  •  In Ethiopia, the women of the Karo tribe place scars on their stomachs to attract a husband. This scarring process starts at the young age of 5 and is finished when the woman is ready to be married and have children.

As you can see, there are standards of beauty that involve more than weight and height. The more aware we are aware of these different standards of beauty, the more we can see ourselves as individual beauties. Diversity is a beautiful thing and everyone has their own beauty that makes them unique.

Oaxacan Food traditions

One of  MCCN’s facebook fans by the name of Jeffrey Ferns had a Multi-cultural event at his new cafe in Superior, Arizona. His plans include a focus on foods of the world for the next few weeks.  First, in the listing of culture foods  were foods made from scratch by Antonia a 3rd generation Curendera (healer) from Oaxaca assisting her were her lovely daughters. She is testament to using nature and plants as a way of life. Her grandmother of 107 years, her mother and herself still practice the Oaxacan traditions and ceremonies in their and their childrens daily lives.

Read More about Triple C Coffee House

See our article on Harvesting for Hope in Oaxaca