Although I am not a vegan, I am a fan of eating plenty of fruit and vegetables in my diet and trying new things. I also make a couple of meals per week that are plant-based meals and am always on the lookout for new ideas. Today, I came across this interesting video of food hacks for vegans. I thought it may interest not only vegans but also people who enjoy vegetarian food and those who are trying to reduce the amount of meat they include in their diet.
Something a little different on my blog today- music and song! Artists from around the world take their creative inspiration from many different sources and this is often the things that they see and do every day. One source of inspiration is the things they eat and drink as there are many examples of songs that are about food or have food in the title. Here are 10 of the best food-related songs.
1. Strawberry Fields Forever- The Beatles
2. Brown Sugar- The Rolling Stones
3. Blueberry Hill- Fats Domino
4. American Pie- Don McLean
5. Lollipop- Chordettes
6. Banana Boat Song- Harry Bellafonte
7. Sugar Sugar- The Archies
8. Sugar and Spice- The Cryan’ Shames
9. Candyman- Christina Aguilera
10. Apples, Peaches and Pumpkin Pie- Jay and the Techniques
Feel free to add any more of your own in the comments box below if you can think of a good food-related song. There are plenty!
Inspired by the Daily Prompt ‘Song’ on The Daily Post- although it has been on my list of blog posts to add for a while!
When I was at school (some time ago now) the school dinners were dreadful. We were served tasteless slop and there are many foods that I still will not eat based on my experiences at school; custard is one of them. I just came across this amazing video on a social media site that shows how Japanese school dinners are served and wanted to share it straight away. I truly believe that schools from across the globe should follow the lead of the Japanese based on this video content.
First, the children plan their school meals and then study the nutritional value of the meals and the cultural significance of the dishes. Next, they take turns to serve the meals to their peers. Many of the meals are made from produce grown on the school farm. Therefore, the meals are made from fresh seasonal produce, are healthy and delicious. The video shows some of the meals they eat and also mentions that the Japanese have one of the lowest childhood obesity rates in the world and that their school meals are one of the reasons for this.
At the end of meal time, the children thank their servers and clean the dining hall. They consider their dinnertime to be part of their education rather than a break from their education. They are taught to have respect, manners, and pride in their school. I was particularly interested in this as I worked for many years in the Learning Support Faculty of a secondary school. I volunteered to do dinner duties. This involved supervising the dining hall. From my own experiences in the UK, the school children did not show the same level of pride in their school and were generally unwilling to tidy away after themselves.
Take a look at the video below and feel free to let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
One of my all-time favourite sitcoms is ‘Friends’. I have watched every single episode of this series over and over again. Of all the amazing episodes, one of the best is ‘The One Where Ross Got High’. Rachel, played by Jennifer Aniston, is not talented in the kitchen, by her own admission. In this episode, she decides to put in the effort and make a trifle for Thanksgiving.
Rachel accidentally gets the pages of the recipe book stuck together and creates a dessert that is half an English trifle and half a cottage pie. Her friends are determined to appreciate her efforts and try the trifle anyway. She later realizes that beef is not an ingredient in this dessert. There are also a series of confessions from the friends in this episode. Here are three of the funniest clips from this episode for you to watch.
Two of my favorite hobbies are cooking and watching the television. Therefore, it is no surprise that in the evenings I enjoy watching programs on the ‘Food Network’ as it combines two of my passions. There is a great array of programs to watch on this network and here are some of my favourites.
I love cooking competitions and this is one with a difference. The four contestants must prepare a dish using a set of specific ingredients. These are unusual combinations that you wouldn’t usually put together. The judges then eat the dishes made before leaving just three contestants to compete in the main course/ entree round of the contest. Again, someone is eliminated until there are just two contestants remaining to fight it out in the dessert round. The winner takes home a big money prize.
Seven professional chefs compete in this televised cooking competition and it is currently one of my favourite shows on the Food Network. The chefs are given a specific theme or ingredient to use when preparing their dishes. The host then announces the winner of the challenge and names the chef who created the dishes he liked the least. The winner can choose one other competitor to battle it out with the losing chef in an extra challenge. The dishes these chefs then produce using the chosen ingredient is judged by the host and a guest judge. The chef who produces the best dish stays in the competition and the other goes home.
This is one of those programs that has you shouting a the screen in disbelief. Restaurant owners contact the Mystery Diners team when they have concerns about their business or particular members of staff. The team sets up cameras around the restaurant to watch the staff during a typical service in an attempt to identify the problem. They also have an undercover server under the pretense of them undergoing training and mystery diners who eat in the restaurants. During the show, there are many shocking moments when restaurant owners see their staff stealing, not doing their work, stealing their customers and many other appalling acts.
Restaurant Stakeout is a very similar type of show to Mystery Diners in the sense that there are hidden cameras to identify the problems in a business. However, the focus is much more on identifying problems so that restaurant owners can make changes than on filming shocking behaviour and sacking staff.
Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives
Also known as ‘Triple D’, this show features just one man on a mission to find the best places to eat in the United States. He visits a variety of venues across America that offer a wide range of cuisines. The owners of the establishment then prepare the host one or two of their specialties. This show gives me inspiration for new dishes, combinations, and flavours.
I love pizza, but my pet hate is frozen pizzas. The base always tastes like cardboard and the cheese topping usually resembles melted plastic. My children also love pizza but were only usually treated to it if we are eating out as I hated keeping pizzas in the freezer.
Instead, I decided to learn how to make delicious homemade pizza bases just like the Italians. There were many fantastic recipes and guides online with great tips on how to make the perfect pizza base.
The children loved it when I started making homemade pizza bases as it meant they could choose their own toppings and decorate the pizza themselves. My kids love getting involved in the kitchen and are more likely to eat all their meals when they have contributed to the preparation. Cooking is an important life skill to learn, a fun way to spend time with children and a great way to teach them about science and maths.
If you want to learn how to make pizza bases so you can make them yourself at home and get the kids involved in cooking, then this is a great video to watch:
In my house, pasta is definitely a staple part of our diet. Not only is this because we love Italian food, it is also because it is such a versatile ingredient that you can include in such a wide variety of meals. Two further reasons we love pasta dishes is that it is a cheap food item and because it is so quick and simple to cook.
When I first had my own home, I would simply buy bags of dried pasta and use these in several dishes a week. However, once I realised how simple it was to make your own pasta and how much better it tastes, I started to make my own. While I have done this using a rolling pin to roll the pasta dough thinly for several years, I was recently lucky enough to receive the gift of a pasta making machine. This has quickly become my favorite kitchen gadget.
It occurred to me that there are many cooking novices out there who are not aware how good homemade pasta tastes and how simple it is to make. If this applies to you, then you may want to watch this quick tutorial to help you become a master pasta maker.