Wednesday, 2 May 2007

Nutritionally Modified Junk Food: You have got to be kidding me!

5 Eyewitness News ( is reporting that schools in West Virginia are serving "Nutritionally Modified" Junk food to their students, in a bid to stem the rising child obesity crisis.

They are trying to justify selling "deep fried super donuts" as a breakfast item, because they have been nutritionally modified to contain "5 grams of protein and 14 minerals and vitamins".

The worst part is, it has the approval of such figures as the director of nutrition policy for Center for Science in the Public Interest.

Have they gone completely nuts?

I simply cannot believe how shallow and short sighted this entire system is. Trying to teach children healthy eating habits, by feeding them junk food will never work. Drinking deit cola does not encourage kids to choose water. It conditions them to sweet drinks, and when the choice is between water and ordinary cola only, they will take the cola every time. Eating a deep fried donut for breakfast, fortified with 5 grams of protein or not, is never, ever, going to encourage healthy eating, nor a healthy lifestyle. This feeble attempt at fixing a terrible problem will only make things worse.

I am absolutely disgusted.

It's getting tighter.....

Can I get a Hoorah for Jetstar!

$3 flights!!!! Can you believe that?

So it looks like I am going to Hervey Bay in November with my girl, and I absolutely cannot wait. But the catch is, I can't find accommodation quite as cheap. So I need to find a way to squeeze a few extra dollars out of the budget somewhere...

... Let's just hope that it doesn't have to come from the beer fund!...

Tuesday, 1 May 2007

Boring Celebrity Chefs

There are some things that I just cannot stand. Today, it is boring celebrity chefs. I am looking at you Iain Hewitson.

I do not want to watch you turn each of your 18 sausages.
I do not want to see you make 4 of each of your oil soaked veal schnitzels.
I do not want to listen to an in depth discussion of the advangtages and disadvantages of seasoning your dish, and exactly how many turns of the grinder is appropriate.
And I cannot stand having to wait for you to unroll half a km of paper towel to wipe that single dot of sauce from the side of the plate. Surely, a man who has been cooking for as long as he has, has learnt how not to spill a ladleful of soup.

A half hour segment can be used to show how to make more than just one dish. I am bored..

A good celebrity chef should be insiring and energetic. They should encourage us to use our senses and our instinct when we are cooking. They should make shopping an exciting experience. People like Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsay and Ainsley Harriot (whether you love them, hate them, or are just plain freaked out by them) make me want to get in the kitchen and use ingredients with names I have never heard of.

Jamie Oliver makes me want to cook for my friends.
Gordon Ramsay makes me want to be a chef.
Iain Hewitson puts me to sleep.

Cooking is for the love of food. It is not the art of perfecting a chore.

Monday, 30 April 2007

I found my freezer

Growing up, my Mum taught me to be a bit of a food snob. For that I thank her. One thing that I did not do while I was growing up, was eat frozen meals. So now that I have moved out of home, it took a long time before I cottoned on to the idea of making my own frozen meals. I know that this is neither an earth shattering nor new concept, but for me, this has changed my entire way of looking at the food I cook.

So what do I love so much about freezable meals?
  • They typically use cheap cuts of meat
  • They can be made in bulk, further saving money
  • I am only ever 15 minutes away from a hearty meal
  • And most importatly - If done right, they can taste every bit as good as the original!

Beef and Guiness Stew

Brown about 1.5 kg of diced chuck steak in large saucepan. Add a couple of cups of stock, a can of Guiness, a few cloves of crushed garlic and a few shallots. Simmer for an hour.

If you like to add dumplings to it - I definately do - mix a cup each of self raising flour and breadcrumbs. Rub a good sized knob of butter through this, until an even texture is formed. Mix in an egg, a tablespoon of mixed herbs, and just enough milk to bring it all together. Form these into balls and drop these into the simmering beef mixture. Continue to cook until beef is tender (at least another hour).

Meanwhile, boil a kilo of peeled potatoes and sweet potatoes until tender. Drain and mash with a splash of milk and a big tablespoon of butter. If too dry, add another splash of milk.

To freeze: Get yourself some plastic takeout containers. Fill one third with stew, another third with mash, and the remaining third with frozen peas.

To reheat: Give it about 10 minutes in the microwave, then let it stand for about 5 before eating.

Absolutely brilliant...

Give it a go and let me know what you think. I would particulary love to hear from anyone who has used an alternative (read: cheaper) beer...

So this is me...

I am a wannabe foodie. I love to cook, and -importantly- I love to eat. But even more than this, I love to share what I create with friends and family. If I could, I would cook for my friends everyday. Unfortunately, they too love to eat, and I have neither the money nor the time to keep them satisfied.

Ok - you have me on one thing - I am a Uni student, so time is never an issue. Class is optional, isn't it? But the money part is a real sticking point.

So this is my solution. I want to share my food with the world, through my blog. I hope that my "foodie" experiences will help others to enjoy great food, but without spending three weeks beer money on a meal.