After 25 years in the toy and novelty business I still scratch my head thinking about the items that capture the arms, hands, feet, and minds of kids and the wallets of parents. Some goofy products like pogs enjoyed a brief, but meteoric rise in popularity before vanishing. Beanie Babies were the rage for awhile, and sports cards had their moment. Other franchises-Lego, Barbie, Pokemon, Pooh, Star Wars-made an indelible imprint on the culture, and continue to find avid consumers despite the changes in technology and lifestyle that have occurred in our society.
Why did Cabbage Patch dolls become so popular? How do collectible card games like Magic: The Gathering, Pokemon, and Yu-Gi-Oh! entrance enough players that Wal-Mart devotes 18 feet of shelf space to them?
What a treat to have Beth Howard, author of Ms. American Pie: Buttery Good Pie Recipes and Bold Tales from the American Gothic House, and Making Piece: A Memoir of Love, Loss and Pie, on the show.
Beth is not only a terrific baker and writer, but has a huge heart.
We are going to catch up during dinner before the show (pasta with trombocino squash and a roasted sweet red pepper and tomato sauce infused with fresh rosemary, shredded brussels sprouts tossed with pecorino romano, olive oil, salt and pepper, and some ice cream sans pie for dessert. I can’t wait to catch up on what’s happening with her.
We'll discuss some of her experiences during the past four years when she resided in one of America's iconic houses and tourist attractions, her most recent book, plans for the future, and a more intimate discussion about the power of a slice of pie.
It’s thrilling to go along for the ride when the driver knows exactly how to reach the destination. Cruising along the culinary highway with Chef Zach Gutweiler and his associate, Bruce Bales last week at Green Building Supply was a trip designed with lovers of food in mind. Every turn featured a different view of the food landscape, each pause in the action for a bit of talk yielded tiny morsels of information easily adapted to the home kitchen, and the different destinations featured surprising flavors coaxed out through the application of creative techniques.
I was already totally sold when Zach said one of his dishes was called “Iowa,” named because its major components are staples of our landscape-corn and corn flour. After those two ingredients the food map stretched as far away as Japan and Italy including a faux dashi broth, miso, kale pesto and trombocino squash before landing locally again with cultivated oyster mushrooms.
Always looking to enhance each element, and employing a “nose to tail” philosophy even with vegetables, Zach smoked the mushrooms and squash by wrapping them in scorched corn husks and baked the little packages in the oven. (Normally Zach would have actually smoked the ingredients, but without a hood to suck up the smoke he had to take a slight detour.) A non-vegetarian version of the dish was made by using bacon as the smoky component.
GREAT TASTE is “LIVE” this week, Wednesday, September 10 at 7:00 pm, as we launch a new “Join the Chef” monthly series from the kitchen at Green Building Supply. Kicking off the series is a young chef, Zach Gutweiler, who creates amazing tastes in a 25 square foot space called Hole in the Wall in Des Moines. To find out what he is preparing each week check out Hole in the Wall at Gas Lamp on Facebook.
Click "READ MORE" to learn more about the live show at Green Building Supply.
Zach, along with his sous chef, Bruce Bales, will do some shopping at the Wednesday Fairfield Farmers Market prior to the show. His style combines classic French technique with the daredevil attitude he polished during his professional in-line skating career. At “the Wall” Zach features as much organic and local produce and meats as possible from numerous farmers around the Capital city.
We're going to break some food boundaries on this week's GREAT TASTE. My first guest is Daniel Shumski, author of the just-published book, Will it Waffle from Workman Press. Waffles are one of the weekly favorites at our house, but I guarantee you have never thought of the many creative ways Dan came up with to use a kitchen tool that in most houses ends up collecting dust on a shelf.
In the studio I'll heat up a waffle iron to make one of the recipes from Dan's book. Drop by for a taste of an unorthodox type of waffle.
On the "Iowa Cooks" segment of the show I will visit with Wini Moranville from Des Moines, IA. Wini's new ebook, The French Pasta Cookbook, was just released. She is the author of The Bonne Femme Cookbook, and in her career as a restaurant reviewer has analyzed the fare of over 750 eating spots.
Great Taste is live at the KRUU studio on Wednesday at 7 central and replays at 7 in the morning on Friday.
I’m about to let you in on what is not known to most lovers of asparagus: you probably could be eating a late harvest of locally grown asparagus right now. I am. Most growers only plan for the normal spring asparagus season, but if you follow the advice in this article, another six to eight weeks of eating that divine vegetable can be yours to enjoy. It may be too late for this year, but now you can plan ahead.
More about vegetables when we visit with Domenica Marchetti, author of the glorious Vegetables Of Italy on the first half of this week’s show. You can learn more about Domenica by clicking here. I hope you try the pasta recipe featuring cherry tomatoes from her book. You can find it at the bottom of the blog post. Click READ MORE to learn about the rest of the show.
Popping vitamins has never been my thing, but I have plenty of friends who load up every single day and have followed that regime for years. In talking with them about their supplement intake I’ve never been convinced they really notice tangible results, but, instead, rely on the simple rationalization that “more is better” when it comes to filling the body with “super foods.” OK, maybe I could buy that, but in the form of a pill?
Click on READ MORE below.
Deborah Madison’s cookbooks have occupied treasured spots on my bookshelves since 1987 when she wrote The Greens Cook Book along with Edward Espe Brown. Fast forward 27 years, three James Beard Awards plus many other accolades, and Madison, though not a vegetarian, continues her love affair with vegetables.
The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone came out this past spring, an update to her classic Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone published in 1997. Last year’s Vegetable Literacy went far beyond a recipe book as Madison drew on her insights over several decades of cooking, including stints in professional kitchens, and as a gardener, enlightening readers with the interconnected web of relationships within the same botanical family.
Click on "Read More" for recipes from Vegetable Literacy.
Dr. Dinesh Gyawali is an ayurvedic physician trained at Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu, Nepal. He earned a post graduate degree at the same university specializing in medical anthropology. Currently he is working on his PhD in Human Physiology at MUM studying the effects of ayurvedic herbs on coronary heart disorders. He's kindly agreed to keep the discussion simpler on this week's GREAT TASTE, talking about common procedures that can be used at home for minor ailments. Also, he'll share the many ways herbs and spices can be used in our daily meals to enhance health. We'll explore cumin, turmeric, tulsi and other culinary botanic delights.
Click READ MORE for information on the second half of the show.
Putting together Great Taste every week always means encountering new people and information. It's why I love to do the show; I learn more about food and cooking from knowledgeable and terrific farmers, authors, and chefs, then I have the privilege of passing their stories on to you, the listener.
Robin Asbell is the author of Gluten Free Pasta, Sweet and Easy Vegan Treats Made with Whole Grains and Natural Sweeteners, Big Vegan, New Vegetarian and The New Whole Grains Cookbook. Her latest effort is Juice It! Energizing Juices for All Times of Day (Chronicle Books).
What was it that stood out above all other aspects when talking with Robin about her new book? It was her lack of an agenda other than the simple objective of offering people an easy option for imbibing delicious, healthy beverages. She presents her recipes in a simple, straightforward style fitting all the juices into neat categories-energizing, healing, relaxing, or pure pleasure. This approach along with added tips makes the book appealing to first-time and habitual juicers. You can learn more about Robin and follow her blog at http://robinasbell.com/.
Anyone notice the beating bread (wheat) is taking these days? Everyone seems to either be allergic to it, cutting down to trim the waistline fat, or avoiding it because of adopting the "paleo" diet. Spend five minutes or less in a room with Josey Baker and I'll bet your resolve would end up in the toaster along with a piece of bread.
Josey's book, Josey Baker Bread is an extraordinary cookbook that lesson-by-lesson can make you into a baker. He is the perfect person to write this type of baking guide because he had no formal experience-not at his mother's apron strings, not at a school or at the hearth of a master baker in France.
Click Read More (at the bottom of the post) for the rest of the story on Josey's GT interview.