Smart Choices: Foods for the Brain

You should eat salmon before a test, berries to prevent Alzheimer’s, or a vitamin supplement to increase your memory.You’ve heard the term “brain foods” since you were a kid, but how much do you really know about them? More importantly, is there really a way to boost your brain power just be eating a certain type of diet? We talked with two experts to unravel the myths and unpack the facts about how much food can really impact your brain.

Just as your stomach, muscles, and heart feed on the nutrients that food supplies, so does the brain. The brain controls almost everything we do and when it takes in chemicals it can have an effect on how it works, both positively and negatively. While you can’t push your brain past a certain limit, chances are that your diet isn’t providing it with what it needs.  READ MORE

Unveiling Identity of Djanjo Unchained Panamanian Beauty Nichole Galicia

If you’re a guy, you go into the theater to see Django Unchained with the hopes of gazing at the beautiful Kerry Washington.  However, Tarantino had an extra pleasant surprise for male viewers in the arm candy of his character Calvin Candie played by Leonardo DiCaprio.  Sheba, pun intended is played by the Panamanian beauty Nichole Galicia.  READ MORE

Galicia had a moment like Wesley Snipes in Mo Betta Blues.  Women went to see Denzel Washington but they left inquiring Wesley Snipes.   Good Luck Galicia, your star may just have been born.

Django Unchained Evokes Black History Knowledge and Discussion

It is a bloody means to an end but I am glad I took the journey to see Django Unchained. As a fan of Tarantino’s work it is a must see.  The Black Film Critics cirlce has given a thumbs up to film.  Despite the torturous unending use of the word, nigger and the gore fest of blood and guts, Tarantino provides a meaningful way of entertainment.  Over the years, many African American have grown weary of watching stories of slaves a powerless victims.  However, painful it a truth many don’t like to visit.  The fictious tale of  Django presents a plausible power shift carefuly wrapped in legal technicalities to drive the story.

One of the more poignant aspects of the film includes history.  The violent world of Black slaves wrestling is a reality of history and of image of a Black man during slavery times riding a horse is featured.  I reasoned with myself what would the issue be of a Black man riding on a horse be.  I have rationalized that it may been his ability to look down at whites.  According the Chapman University’s Historical Review,  “Slave owners kept the horses in closed locations because if slaves were able to steal the horses they could quickly escape from the plantations. Due to these reasons, horseracing was limited. Horsemanship was also the mark of a gentleman.”    The Chapman University Historical Review has a great article worth reading entitled, Sports in Shackles: The Athletic and Recreational habits of slaves on Southern plantations.  READ MORE

Written by Crystal A. Johnson

See Film and Foodie Review of Django Unchained

New Year’s traditions aim to bring luck worldwide.

New Years Eve Traditions

Photo credit: A crowd of people, gathered in Madrid, eats 12 grapes to celebrate the New Year. (Getty)

By AMNY

We all know about the Times Square ball drop on New Year’s Eve, so here is a look at New Year’s traditions from around the world:

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Julmust, a Scandinavian Christmas Soda

Scandinavians are no stranger to a drink that finds its popularity during the Christmas season—julmust.  The words “jul” and “must” are Swedish for “yule” and “juice.”It’s a Scandivanian Christmas soda that is mainly consumed in Sweden. Want an indicator of its popularity in the region? Julmust outsells Coca Cola during the Christmas season and accounts for 50-percent of all soft drink volume during the month of December.

The drink is also served during Easter. None of the ingredients are different, but it goes by a different name—påskmus.The word “påsk” translate to “Easter” in Swedish.

Must is an alternative to beer, and it was created by father and son team, Robert Roberts (father) and Harry Roberts (son). The drink is compared to root beer, but it has a much sweeter taste. It contains carbonated, sugar, water, and hop and malt extract, caramel colouring, citric acid and preservatives. The carbonated beverage is sometimes stored up to a year.

Want to find julmust? You can get it at IKEA and if there is a Wegman’s in your area, check out the Grandpa Lindquist Christmas Soda.

julmust_glasflaska

Hawaiian-Portuguese Smoked Turkey

A wave of Portuguese came to Hawaii in the late 1800s to work the sugarcane fields, and over time their cooking traditions fused with those of other cultures in the islands, including Chinese and Japanese.  

PREP AND COOK TIME 4 to 5 hours, plus 2 days to marinate

MAKES 1 turkey (18 to 20 lbs.)

starts with a frozen turkey and marinates it for 3 days; our version starts with a thawed or fresh bird. If your arms aren’t strong, it’s helpful to have a friend or relative help you ease the turkey on and off the grill.

1 turkey (18 to 20 lbs.), thawed if frozen
1 tbsp. each coarsely chopped ginger and
garlic, plus 4 tbsp. each minced garlic
and ginger
4 cups soy sauce
1 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp. light brown or turbinado sugar
6 cups hickory chips
2 cups chicken broth
2 large onions, peeled and quartered
lengthwise

Click Here to See the Direction for 3 Day Process

Tis the Season to Make Tamales

Mexican Tamales prepared Veronica Herrera and a team of volunteers.

Making tamales for Christmas Eve is as relevant to the Latin American culinary celebration as making turkey for the Thanksgiving in the United States. Even the Philippine partakes in the tradition.   Various countries do it different ways from wrapped in banana leaf to corn husk.  The flavors may be savory or sweet.  The fillings vary including chicken, beef, pork, chicken or cheese but what stays the sames is masa as a key ingredient of the filling.  The process includes steaming the tamales once wrapped.   Some cultures use a steamer pot while other do not.

We’ve covered many types of tamales on multiculturalcookingnetwork.com.  MCCN’s Crystal Johnson and Veronica Herrera came together to make Mexican tamales for a Nicaragua Medical Missions fundraiser one week before Christmas. They made 500 hundred tamales.  Watch Video

MCCN Editor pushes Masa Cart

MCCN Editor pushes Masa Cart

Veronica is an incredible cook and leader in the kitchen

Veronica Herrera steams the tamales.

 

 

Chocolate World Expo~New York City, Dec. 16, 2012 at the Lexington Armory

Chocolate World Expo

Chocolate World Expo, the New York area’s largest chocolate-themed event, comes to Manhattan for the first time on Sunday, December 16th, 10am-7pm, at the 69th Regiment Armory (aka Lexington Armory), bringing its own unique blend of chocolate, food and fun to the city… just in time for the holidays! Admission $20/Adults & $10/Children (5-11.)

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Fondue Facts for Your Next Party

Historically, I have been a disaster at doing fondue.  One time the pot broke the other time I think I just blocked it out of my memory.  Nevertheless, the effort and fellowship one fun.  Well, not sending someone out to get a new meal.  Here are some facts that may help in cheese purchase and being mindful of temperature.

Fondue (French pronunciation: ​[fɔ̃’dy]) is a SwissFrench, and Italian dish of melted cheese served in a communal pot (caquelon) over a portable stove (réchaud), and eaten by dipping long-stemmed forks with bread into the cheese. It was promoted as a Swiss national dish by the Swiss Cheese Union (Schweizerische Käseunion) in the 1930s but its origins stem from an area that covers Switzerland, France (Rhone Alps) and Italy (Piedmont and Aosta valley).

Since the 1950s, the name “fondue” has been generalized to other dishes in which a food is dipped into a communal pot of hot liquid: fondue_zum_sechstenchocolate fondue, in which pieces of fruit are dipped into a melted chocolate mixture, and fondue bourguignonne, in which pieces of meat are cooked in hot oil.

Preparation

Cheese fondue consists of a blend of cheeses, wine and seasoning. To prepare the caquelon it is first rubbed with a cut garlic clove.White wine, cheese, and often kirsch are added and stirred until melted. A small amount of cornstarch or other starch is added to prevent separation. The mixture is stirred continuously as it heats in the caquelon.

When it is ready, diners dip cubes of bread speared on a fondue fork into the mixture.

Temperature and la religieuse

A cheese fondue mixture should be kept warm enough to keep the fondue smooth and liquid but not so hot that it burns. If this temperature is held until the fondue is finished there will be a thin crust of toasted (not burnt) cheese at the bottom of the caquelon. This is called la religieuse (French for the nun). It has the texture of a cracker and is almost always lifted out and eaten.

Below is a listing of Best Cheeses for fondue.  Over the years people have also become very creative with what food can be dipped in the fondue.

Swiss

  • Neuchâteloise: Gruyère and Emmental.
  • Moitié-moitié (or half ‘n half): Gruyère and Fribourg vacherin.
  • Vaudoise: Gruyère.
  • Fribourgeoise: Fribourg vacherin wherein potatoes are often dipped instead of bread.
  • Innerschweiz: Gruyère, Emmental and sbrinz.
  • Appenzeller: Appenzeller cheese with cream added.
  • Tomato: Gruyère, Emmental, crushed tomatoes and wine.
  • Spicy: Gruyère, red and green peppers, with chili.
  • Mushroom: Gruyère, Fribourg vacherin and mushrooms.

French alpine

  • Savoyarde: Comté savoyard, Beaufort, and Emmental.
  • Jurassienne: Mature or mild Comté.

Italian alpine

Chocolate is also a very popular fondue choice.

Info from Wikipedia