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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Great Flavors with Quinoa!

By :Eliza Chute, blog contributor

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is what we might call a “super-grain”. It has a lot of additional benefits as opposed to rice or other grains. “Compared to other grains, quinoa is higher in calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, copper, manganese, and zinc than wheat, barley, or corn.” According to the same article on those benefits include:

“Complete protein. Quinoa contains all 9 essential amino acids that are required by the body as building blocks for muscles.
Magnesium helps relax your muscles and blood vessels and effects blood pressure. Quinoa contains high levels of the vital nutrient.
Quinoa is a wonderful way to ensure that you consume valuable fiber that eases elimination and tones your colon.
Manganese and copper. Quinoa is a good source of these minerals that act as antioxidants in your body to get rid of dangerous cancer and disease-causing substances.”

So we get it Quinoa is great for you, but like a lot of things that are good for you we are tempted to think that it tastes bad. Fortunately, it is quite delicious and there are a variety of different things you can do with it. The first and most important step in using quinoa is soaking it in water for about 8 hours. This will remove the phytic acid and makes it easier to digest (bodyecology), then there is a bunch of great things you can do with it.

Looking inside my kitchen pantry I decided to make a quinoa salad with celery and dried cranberries. And then it dawned on me that this is really a versatile grain so you can make a great dish with it by adding in almost anything else you might like to add. You can make a large quantity of it and keep it in your fridge for quite a while and not have to make another batch. In addition quinoa itself makes a great addition to soups or salads (great source of protein for vegetarians). Also, quinoa van be used like rice and you can follow any sort of risotto recipe to make risotto with a 'twist'.

Information on Quinoa found at:

July 31-August 2-Atlantic City Food & Wine Festival- Bally's Casino Email for more info

For more recipes get yoru copy of the best selling book at

Register to receive recipes and travle tips and stories from Italy at The Basic Art of Italian Cooking by Maria Liberati tm BLOG at

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Sunday, July 12, 2009

3 Cups of Tea

Book Review by Eliza Chute:
copyright 2009, art of living,PrimaMedia,Inc
Greg Mortenson believes in changing the world and creating peace through education. His book Three Cups of Tea is about an actual life changing experience he had which inspired him to start the Central Asia Institute, and organization that builds schools in the middle east. The story starts with him climbing K2, but he gets lost and winds up in a small village in Pakistan starving and Exhausted. The villagers took him in and fed him, where he learns the significance of the three cups of tea. It was then that he made a promise that would change his life forever. He promised to return to the village and build them a school. When he returns to the States he starts raising money for his school, teaching climbing lessons while living out of his car. When he finally returns to Pakistan to build the village he is met with a surprise. The village head has decided instead of a school they first need a bridge, so that they do not have to walk miles around to be able to trade goods and such. Mortenson agrees and they build that bridge. As the story progresses, he comes to learn the value of education in creating peace in how that if children are learning to think for themselves, they are not being taught that killing is necessary. He goes on to tell the story of the hardships in raising money for the CAI, and in actually building schools and getting the materials. He also faces protests from fellow Americans especially after September 11th, receiving hate mail and even death threats for his work in the middle east. I really reveals the ignorance of blind hatred after a tragedy.
The book itself is heartwarming and inspiring, and gives a highly involved American’s view on issues in the middle eat, and promotes a way of using education to disarm hatred, a definite must read.

Hope to see you at a The Basic Art of Italian Cooking school event with Celebrity Chef Maria Liberati. Here are some coming up:
July 16th- Whole Foods Market-Annapolis Md, 7 PM, A Tuscan Picnic Cla lstore or for more info

July 18th Whole Foods Market, Fair Lakes/Fairfax, Va. A Tuscan Picnic with wine pairing, 1PM. Must pre -registe. Call store or email:

July 31-August 2-Atlantic City Food & Wine Show, Bally's Casino.

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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Memories of Julia Child

Written by :Eliza Chute

Julie Powel’s Julie and Julia, is a book about how a 30 year old woman who “recounts how she conquered every recipe in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking and saved her soul.” It is based on Powel’s actual life, where at the age of 30 she finds herself in a dilapidated apartment and a dead end job. She, then decides to drastically change her life, by cooking all of the recipes in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking in the span of a year. She starts off with potato soup, easy enough, but it turns out to be a much harder task than she expects but in the process of finishing her task she learns more than just the art of cooking.
A well written and delightful story, truly inspiring to anyone who has ever wondered if they are going down the right path, the book becomes an invitation for spontaneity. Powell’s deeply personal and honest account of her life makes it even more appealing. And the story itself becomes a great example of what a person can do if they set their mind to it.
The movie, set to come out August 7 is based on two memories this one, and Julia Child’s own “My Life in France”, intermittently following the two women, in different times and places. Julie Powell is played by Amy Adams, while Julia Child is played by Meryl Streep. After the success of their last movie together, Doubt, it seems like it can’t go wrong. Although it is quite a shift from the drama of doubt, with the comedic power of the book, the movie does seem quite promising.

Hope to see you at The Basic Art of Italian Cooking events:
July 9th-Whole Foods, Jemkintown, pa, the outdoor kitchen. cell the store at 215-481-0800 to register or email

July 11th- Chestnut Hill Book Festival at Magarity's Showroom at Germantown Avenue in Chestnut Hill, Pa. Email

July 16th, Whole Foods Market, Annapolis Md, A Tuscan Picnic, 7PM. Call store or email:
July 18th, Whole Foods Market, Fairfax, Virginia A Tuscan Picnic and wine pairing

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Saturday, July 4, 2009

Hot Fun in the Summertime

Written by: Eliza Chute
Summer time means one thing, grilling. It is the best form of cooking in the hot heat of the season. Nothing is better than sitting around a picnic table in the warm sun, and waiting for those burgers to cook. Then waiting an hour before you can jump in a pool, or some sort of body of water. But what’s the best way to grill? Can you just throw some stuff on and leave it there until you smell burning? Well, not if you want to eat something that tastes good. There are two books that have served my family well when it comes to grilling. First is Williams Sonoma’s Complete Grilling Cookbook and the second is the less conventional Steven Raichlen’s How To Grill. But let me give them some individual attention.

1.Wiliams Sonoma Complete Grilling Cookbook
Let me first say that this book sure is complete, from vegetables to meat to even dessert, it doesn’t miss a beat. And, as most of their cookbooks are they are not without an array of beautiful pictures of what the food should look like, but doesn’t often, especially if the person making it isn’t a professional chef. But nonetheless is a great and useful tool to help you out on that perfect summer day when you just gotta grill.

2.Steven Raichlen’s How to Grill
Raichlin’s is also very complete, but seems to have a greater emphasis on the meat aspect, as shown by the cover (just check it out) . This guide doesn’t just show you reipes, but has a 30 page intro on the art of grilling. In addition it outlays your rubs sauces and condiments, as well as the gear. So not only does it have great recipes, but it provides you with all the necessary knowledge to really look like you know what you’re doing and sound like you know what you are talking about.

But the best grilling recipe that I have found, and by found I mean the much more experienced chef that is my mother showed me is in the Food Editor’s Hometown Favorites Cookbook. It is called Delmarva Barbecued Chicken, and it is delicious. I can’t give you the full recipe, because I think that might be illegal or copyright infringement or something but I can tell you that it involves an egg, and vinegar cider and you should pick up a copy of this recipe book if you have a chance.
Join me for The Basic Art of Italian cooking Programs at:
July 9th- WHole Foods Markte, Jenkintown, Pa- The Outdoor Kitchen, recipes for the beach, a picnic or dining al fresco. 6:15 PM call store at 215-481-0800 to register or
July 11th-Chestnut Hill Book Festival, 2PM at Magarity's Warehouse at Germantown Avenue,Chetnut Hill, Pa. Email for more info

July 16th-Whole Foods, Annapolis Md. A Tuscan Picnic, call store or email

July 18th- Whole Foods, Fairfax, Va., A Tuscan Picnic and wine pairing. 1:30 PM Cal lstore or email

July 25th- book signing and tasting, Whole Foods, Devon, Pa 1 PM Email for more info

July 31 -August 2nd- Atlantic City Food And Wine SHow, email for more info
Get your copy of the best sellling book The Basic Art of Italian Cooking at

Friday, July 3, 2009

Fourth of July and Happy Birthday USA

Written by :Eliza Chute

If you find yourself in Philadelphia, the birthplace of the USA this summer or for a fitting Fourth of July Holiday here is a 'delicious' place to visit:

You can find everything you need at Reading Terminal Market. It is quite the melting pot of delicious food. You can find everything from crepes to soul food, vegetarian restaurants to meat by the pound. This indoor market takes up an entire city block.
There is even the unique opportunity of getting freshly grown Pennsylvania Dutch made foods. There are eleven Pennsylvania Dutch owned shops. If you are craving chocolate, Chocolate by Mueller is the place to. All chocolates are hand-made on site. They even have a display kitchen, so you can watch them make their chocolates, as your mouth waters in front of the window. Looking for something a little more nutritious? Try the Dutch Eating Place. They serve breakfast and lunch, including their famous blueberry pancakes and apple dumplings. These delicious pancakes are fluffy and served by Pennsylvania Dutch in full garb, making it a tasty and fun experience. Or try Hatville Deli for some great deli food. However, don’t forget to bring cash, because the last two only accept cash and gift certificates.

For more Information on Reading Terminal Market

List of Pennsylvania Dutch Shoppes
AJ Pickel Patch & Salads
Beiler's Bakery
Dienner's Bar-B-Q
Dutch Eating Place
Hatville Deli
Kauffman's Lancaster County Produce
L. Halteman Family
Lancaster Co. Dairy
Miller's Twist
Rib Stand
Sweet as Fudge Candy Shoppe

For more recipes for the 4th

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