Sunday, August 31, 2014

Dinner at home is changing flavors

Dinner at home is changing

We never were the family who had meatloaf Mondays, spaghetti on Tuesdays, etc. My mom was always experimenting, and this was the ‘70s, sans food TV.
Now, McCormick reports, America’s diverse families are catching up with that attitude and eating together again, but Sunday roast could be tamale casserole, or spaghetti night might be tortellini with shrimp.
Flavor and homemade matters, and these are some trends:

Grilled Asian Orange Ginger Chicken – This versatile Asian marinade is great on chicken as well as flank steak or pork chops.  A 5-minute marinating technique gives meat maximum flavor before tossing on the grill.
Southwest Chicken and Black Bean Salad – Tossed with a sweet ‘n smoky vinaigrette, this entrée salad is a great balance of meat, veggies and beans.
Shrimp Scampi Tortellini – You’ll love this easy-to-prepare cheese tortellini made with shrimp and tomatoes in a simple scampi sauce.
Globally Infused – The number of Americans who report to be of multiple races grew 32 percent between 2000 and 2010, this press release reports. No wonder we are expanding our tastes. Explore new flavors with these combos:
Beef and Broccoli Pizza – This mash-up combines two take-out favorites in one delicious homemade dish.
Greek Turkey Burgers with Spiced Yogurt Sauce – Enjoy bold Greek flavor in these easy and healthful turkey burgers with Mediterranean spices and feta cheese.  Use the yogurt topping for grilled fish, too.
Chicken Tostadas – Get south-of-the-border flavor in about 20 minutes. Place the chicken, beans and an assortment of toppings in bowls so your family can assemble their own tostadas.
What’s your homemade story? McCormick wants to share the dish your family loves and why they love it. Visit to submit your story, tip or recipe.

Serious Matcha
Ever tried Matcha tea? It’s the one-of-a-kind ultra-fine jade green powder that, according to Aiya, Zen Buddhist monks have been enjoying as a meditational drink for more than 800 years. While the Japanese typically make a ceremony of whipping up this powder and sipping it – imagine tiny clay bowls and a garden with a clacking bamboo fountain -  you can run around with Matcha To Go. Billed as Japanese Matcha remade for the Modern World, it’s a something that has to be experienced at least once. The box shows a packet going into a water bottle. I brought a packet to my friend who always has glasses chilling in her freezer for a big glass of water. She wouldn’t try this green concoction that looked a little like the green, murky waters of Taylor Bayou. Go figure. You can shake up that powder in a bottle, but I just stirred. I downed a large glass of green stuff, and concentrated on the health benefits as opposed to the flavor. There was a fair amount of powder left, so I filled the glass with water again and repeated. At the end of this glass, there was still powder, so I had a third round. I’m going to say, like many healthy things, it grows on you. For Southeast Texans accustomed to sweet tea, Matcha To Go, hot or cold, is a cultural adjustment to look into. I’m already kind of craving it.
After sampling some green tea ice cream, I hit upon my best use for this tea powder: I blended into milk and banana smoothies for a delicate flavor that’s doing my body good. I had some every morning this week.

Croissants at will
I’ve never been to Verona, Italy, so I had never heard of Bauli, the leading creator of authentic Italian cakes and pastries. Since 1922 they’ve been all about homemade recipes and high technology. I tried the new mini Authentic Italian Croissants, ready to eat from pouches and found the chocolate flavor as good as the vanilla custard. Now my husband has been asking for them warmed, since he caught me warming mine. He says they remind him of the kind of creamy-centered pastries we so enjoy at parties. Now you can keep the party in your pantry.

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