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New Directions!

Good morning, readers! So, exciting news…

I’ve moved!

Yup, I’ve moved to my very own domain. The new site is called:

Rhi-Thinking Food

and can be found at my very own domain:

http://rhithinkingfood.com

There will be no further posts here, and my regular readers and subscribers will need to manually go to the new site and re register. (There is no way to shift you over there manually.) I can’t wait for you to see the new happenings which I am sure you will love. So what are you waiting for?

 
4 Comments

Posted by on August 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

A High Tea Buffet with Champagne

 

I have never done a cooking class, but I have always wanted to. I lack the confidence to put myself out there, so to speak. Starting this blog was a huge step for me and after winning the first round of the recent Gourmet Garden Cook Off, I feel so much more adventurous!

While out with Joe recently, I noticed that the Pepper Tree Kitchen Cooking School had some interesting classes coming up. After a quick call to Brittany, we booked in to one. To quote the brochure:

Join Sarah De Nardi in creating bite size delights such as candied lemon and yoghurt tea cakes, baby vegetable tarts, chocolate and hazelnut meringues with raspberry cream, Tramezzi (Venetian Tea Sandwiches) and Blinis with horseraddish and hot smoked trout then enjoy a glass of champagne.

I am quite excited. I’m not good at baked items – that is more Brittany’s thing. I’ve never made a meringue before and have no idea with a Blinis is. While my first attempt at smoking fish was *ok*, Id love to know the correct method and timing. Baby vegetable tarts? I am totally keen!

All I can think of is roll on 11th October! I’m raring to go! :)

 

 
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Posted by on August 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Rice: the guilt-free carb

Written by AAP. Published in Sydney Morning Herald on 13 July 2012.

 

Healthy choice … Basmati rice has a medium GI rating. Photo: Marina Oliphant

It’s been shunned by those on low-carbohydrate diets but rice could experience a healthy resurgence after a study found that most varieties have a low to medium GI rating.

Researchers from the CSIRO and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) also identified the gene responsible for rice GI which would allow growers to develop varieties with lower levels to meet consumer demand.

GI, or glycaemic index, measures the ability of carbohydrates to raise blood sugar levels after eating.

Foods with a high GI are more easily absorbed by the body which can result in blood sugar fluctuations leading to an increased chance of conditions like diabetes.

Low GI foods are absorbed at a slower rate, causing a gradual release of sugar into the blood.

An analysis of more than 200 rice types from around the world by the CSIRO and the IRRI found that rice GI ranges from 48 to 92, with an average of 64.

Low GI foods are those 55 and less, medium GI are measured between 56 and 69 and high GI is 70 and above.

Melissa Fitzgerald from the IRRI said the widely grown Indian rice variety Swarna had a low GI while Australian varieties like Doongara and Basmati had a medium GI.

Dr Tony Bird, a CSIRO Food Futures Flagship researcher, said the results would allow people to make more informed choices about what type of rice to eat.

People aiming for a low-GI diet could swap high GI rice for lower GI rice, Bird said.

It would also enable growers to develop low-GI rice varieties and could assist people with conditions like diabetes, he said.

“This is good news for diabetics and people at risk of diabetes who are trying to control their condition through diet, as it means they can select the right rice to help maintain a healthy, low-GI diet,” he said.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/diet-and-fitness/rice-the-guiltfree-carb-20120713-21zvw.html#ixzz22NbQxG1v

 

 
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Posted by on August 14, 2012 in News Articles

 

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Roast pork, slow cooker style

Slow cooked roast pork

Everyone has made roasts in slow cookers. It’s a fabulous way to make a delicious meal when you have a busy day ahead. And it’s so easy. After all, it’s just prepping the meat and veggies and dropping them into the slow cooker and letting the slow cooker do the work while you go off for the day. Easy peasy, right?

Today I wanted to share something simple with you. Brittany likes crispy potatoes. Who doesn’t? Problem is, the slow cooker doesn’t brown the vegetables. So here is what I did. I cut the soft crackling off the pork and allowed the pork to rest covered with aluminium foil. In a sauté pan, I rendered off the pork skin, making some crispy crackling.

What is a pork roast with out the crackling?

After I removed the crackling, I threw the potatoes in the pan and used the pork fat to brown the potatoes and bring in that delicious crunch. After I crisped up the potatoes, I used the left over juices to make a rich gravy.

It’s a difficult but delicious trade-off. Yum!

Ethically, I’ve used the whole cut, even the fat and juices. For the health conscious consumer like diabetics, pork fat is high in saturated fats and is not the best choices. There are may scientific links between saturated fats and cardiovascular disease. The choice to consume or limit your intake is ultimately yours. Generally I avoid it, but today, I indulged.

 

 
 

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It’s official: We eat too much

 

Written by Peter Jean. Published in Sydney Morning Herald on 17 July 2012.

It’s no wonder that Australia is the fifth-fattest nation on earth.

A report released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare shows that many Australians are consuming too much food that is high in fat and sugar and not enough vegetables or wholegrain cereals.

The report, Australia’s Food and Nutrition 2012, says that Australians exceed the world average consumption of alcohol, sweeteners, milk and animal fats.

Australians eat almost three times as much meat as the world average.

But Australian consumption of vegetables and cereal is below the world average.

The AIHW report said that 90 per cent of people aged 16 years and over failed to eat the recommended five serves of vegetables each day.

Most adults didn’t eat enough fruit and adolescent girls failed to eat enough dairy foods or alternatives.

People in remote areas had difficulty accessing a variety of affordable healthy foods.

The report said that restaurant and takeaway meals was the highest weekly item of food expenditure for Australian households in all income groups.

In 2009-10, high-income households spent $389 on food and beverages each week, equal to 18 per cent of household expenditure.

Low income households spent $113, or 20 per cent of expenditure on food.

AIHW spokeswoman Lisa McGlynn said: “The cost of healthy foods is increasing which means that it is cheaper for some people to eat takeaway food than healthier foods.”

“It can cost less to feed a family on food from some of the fast-food outlets than it can to feed a family on some of the foods that would be considered to be appropriate and what experts recommend a family eat.’’

On average, “treats’’ or extra foods such as chips, biscuits, pastries, soft drinks and alcohol contributed 36 per cent of the energy intake for adults and 40 per cent for children.

How we consume food compared to the rest of the world.

How we consume food compared to the rest of the world. Photo: Keisuke Osawa

One quarter of adults and one in 12 children aged between five and 12 years in Australia are obese.

“That’s about three million people aged over five which puts Australia fifth in the OECD countries for the proportion of the population who are obese,’’ Ms McGlynn said.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/diet-and-fitness/its-official-we-eat-too-much-20120717-227bh.html#ixzz22NZTG3Eq

 

 
1 Comment

Posted by on August 12, 2012 in News Articles

 

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Pork Sausages and Apple Cider

Pork Sausages

While we were at the Abbey Medieval Festival, we saw a pot full of a delicious smelling sausage stew. The man told me very briefly how he made it and I decided to attempt to make it myself.

[ Serves: 4 | Time: 60 Minutes | Cost: $8 ]
[ Brittanys Rating: 4 / 5 | My Rating: 3.5 / 5 ]

Ingredients

500 gm pork sausages
1 bottle apple cider
1 green apple, peeled and diced
1 onion, peeled and diced
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon rosemary

Method

  1. Place the sausages in a pot with enough water to cover. Boil for 5 minutes until cooked.
  2. Add the onion, apple, herbs and enough cider to cover. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for about 30 minutes.
  3. Serve with hot crusty bread and a glass of cider.

Dinner is served

Observations

  • To me, this was just really sweet. I couldn’t decide if I was eating a dessert or a main. Next time I make this, I’ll use some fennel seeds or star anise to cut through the sweetness. I am really undecided whether nor not I enjoyed it, although I did eat my whole bowl full!
  • Diabetic Note: There is to be scared of here, diabetics. I didn’t have any problems at all with this meal.
  • Ethical Note: Hmm, home-made sourdough with organic pork. Win win!
 
 

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Chocolate really is good for you

Written by Daisy Dumas. Published in Sydney Morning Herald on 18 July 2012.

It’s a vice many of us can’t step away from – give up smoking, drinking or swearing and chocolate seems to be the go-to reward mechanism.

So it’s a welcome finding that bars of chocolate may soon come stamped with health claims.

Dark chocolate has been given another accolade in the health stakes – this time receiving the backing of the European Food Safety Authority for its blood circulation-boosting capacities.

Thanks to cocoa flavanols, found in chocolate and cocoa, the sweet-toothed treat has been linked to low blood pressure, heart health and even brain function. Cocoa flavonols stimulate nitric oxide, which relaxes blood vessels.

On the back of the support, Barry Callebaut AG, one of the world’s largest cocoa buyers, is now seeking European Commission approval to use the impressive health claim on its packaging.

The move comes after the Swiss food giant, which sells to Kraft and Nestlé, conducted a study involving 20 clinical trials over the past seven years. The company has developed a method for preserving up to 80 per cent of the flavonols which are commonly destroyed in mainstream cocoa processing.

It is also, tellingly, linked to rising cocoa costs and concomitant dwindling branded food sales, according to the Wall Street Journal. Health benefits are, of course, worth their weight in gold – and while the label would only apply to chocolates sold within Europe, it may have implications for products further afield, including Australia and the US.

A known anti-oxidant wonder food, dark chocolate already leads the pack when it comes to ‘Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity Units’ (ORACS).

According to the USDA, it contains 13,120 ORACs per 100 grams, where famous antioxidants, blueberries, have a mere 2,400.

But, before chocolate is promoted to one of your health supplements, beware – not all chocolates are created equal and cocoa, sugar, saturated and unsaturated fats and caffeine contents vary. The higher the cocoa content, it goes without saying, the better.

The EC has until early 2013 to make its decision.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/diet-and-fitness/chocolate-really-is-good-for-you-20120718-229i7.html#ixzz22NY3QsBB

 
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Posted by on August 10, 2012 in News Articles

 

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