Letter from Amy
It seems like we are all settling into the new year. How is it already February? And if I haven't said it recently, thank you so much for taking the time to read this newsletter. If you have any suggestions for content, recipes, questions or top ten lists, please email me. I want to make sure this provides value for you. So let's start with a recap of January.
Winter Fancy Food Show
The Fancy Food Show was overwhelming yet inspiring and of course delicious. It took place in San Francisco on Jan 17-19. I was able to sample some wonderful gluten free foods, many of them new to the market. I was also on the lookout for products I thought my customers might like. I enjoyed the No Bake cookie, Pamela's Products NY cheesecake and sauces from Curry Tree. You can read the article about the food show here.
Where Foodies Go Gluten-Free Teleconference
Cooking gluten-free (gf) has its benefits; I was a guest chef for WhereFoodiesGo.com on a teleconference about tasty gf cooking. I talked about how I have applied my many years of cooking and baking experience to cook gf dishes that have good texture and are flavorful. When I provide someone with a really good recipe, like my gf brownies, it makes me happy to know I have helped them. If you want to listen to the replay, you can check it out here.
Pica Pica Maize Kitchen
In November, I visited a great eatery in Napa called Pica Pica Maize Kitchen in the Oxbow Public Market; the market is a foodies dream come true. The Pica Pica food is authentic Venezuelan and also happens to be all gluten-free. If you want to learn more, check the article.
New Videos on YouTube
Who would have ever thought Crock Pot Chicken would attract 100 viewers every few days? Although I posted that video in April, it's approaching 4,000 views. Wow. If you want to learn some basic cooking techniques, check my video on how to make a sweet potato and black bean chili. The accompanying video on how to cook beans quickly is here. If you watch these and like them, share the links with your friends.
I continue to work on the cookbook. I have found a good friend to help with the graphic design. I'm always looking for serious recipe testers. Contact me if you want to be involved.
KitchenAid Mixer Special
Amazon.com is selling KitchenAid mixers for as low as $215 depending upon the color. Get more information from the box to the left. Remember, no tax and free shipping! It's one of those appliances I can't live without.
Buying from Amazon.com
If you purchase anything on amazon.com, I would appreciate it if you would consider buying through my links. Start here and navigate to any page. I get paid a small amount but that money helps to fund the web site, blog and this newsletter.
Thanks for your support by reading this. If you like this newsletter, share it with a friend. I would love for more people to know about what I do.
Eat well, live well and be good to yourself.
Soup Basics and Variations
Soups can be a quick and easy meal. Use these tips to create great soup any night of the week:
* In my recipes, the process is always the same: sauté veggies with seasonings, add broth and beans or legumes, and simmer, about 30 minutes.
* If you want a soup that is more brothy, add more broth (about one cup) or water than the recipe calls for. If you add water, add more salt to taste.
* If a soup is getting too thick, place a cover on the pot.
* Soup needs salt. Unless you have dietary restrictions, don't be shy.
How to Vary a Chicken Soup Recipe
Many chicken soup recipes are fairly straight forward. By making subtle changes in the seasonings, you can create many new dishes from one recipe. Try adding these variations for a soup made with 1 cup of cooked chicken and 1 quart of broth:
Mexican Chicken Soup
Add 1/2 tsp each oregano, cumin, and coriander. To the broth, add 1 can of diced tomatoes and simmer. At the end, add 1-2 Tbl chopped cilantro, juice of 1/2 of a fresh lime, 1 sliced avocado, 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese and tortilla strips (or chips). You can also add a dollop of sour cream to each bowl.
Asian Chicken Soup
Add 1 teaspoon of minced, fresh ginger and garlic with the broth. Once simmering, optionally add 1/2 pkg of frozen wontons or gyoza, and 1/2 bag total of frozen vegetables like peas, corn, broccoli and mushrooms (use an Asian mix). At the end, add 1 tsp sesame oil to the broth. To give the soup some heat, add 1/4 tsp or more of chili oil.
Greek Chicken Soup
Add 1/2 tsp dried oregano, thyme and dill plus 1 cup of water to the broth. When the broth is simmering, add 1/2 cup orzo pasta or rice. At the end of the cooking process, add 1 pkg of frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry , the juice of 1/2 fresh squeezed lemon, and 1/2 c crumbled feta cheese.
Valentine Cookie Recipe
If you are looking for a perfect sugar cookie to roll out and cut into hearts, look no further. I posted this recipe on the blog. You probably have most of the ingredients in your kitchen and the process is quick and easy. The result is nothing short of delicious; don't be afraid to make cookies from scratch.