Saturday, January 28, 2012

Food and Gender

I'm sitting here watching Rachel Ray on the Food Network and the theme of her episode is "guy food" for women to eat. I thought about this for a long time, thinking, "Wow, I didn't know food was segregated by the gender of the person eating it" and then I realized that it is. How many times have I heard it stated that "real" men don't eat quiche? There it is right there.

Why is food assigned a proper gender? If it's delicate, it must be for ladies. If it's messy and hearty, it must be for men. Man food, woman food. Food is food. And sexism is sexism. It's too bad it has to bleed over into a topic that could and should remain free of such "isms". Food brings people together. Food is life and love and sharing. Food should not be sexist too. All this does is continue to reinforce negative body image in women and establish between both genders that there are foods they "should" and "shouldn't" be eating based on what they are. So, a man should feel weak and emasculated if he likes quiche, and a woman should feel guilty and unfeminine if she likes a nice thick steak. This is just so wrong...

So when you go out and about in your life, look around for examples like this, and really think about it. If we're all for equality in our lives, maybe we need to fight for food equality too?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Cooking Light Night

Roasted Red Pepper and Herb Shrimp with Pasta

Last night I made this and it was tasty. I am slowly adjusting my palate to bell peppers, but it's coming along pretty well, I'd say. I don't eat a lot of shrimp in general, and I never have any in the house, so I bought a bag of shrimp to keep in the freezer for such dishes, rather than have to buy it each time I want to cook shrimp. It was a good buy, I think, with the exception that I didn't notice it still had the shells on. But they were easy enough to peel off when they were cooked. I was shocked when I was measuring out the pasta at how small 4 oz of uncooked fettuccine looks.(I made a half batch of the dish) But when it was all cooked, it really was enough for two healthy servings. And 4 oz shrimp was also quite satisfying for two servings as well.

I would definitely make this again. It's pretty easy, though there's a bit of prep work involved prior to making it. I might try this again and see how it works with fresh fettuccine instead. I think that would be wonderful too.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Cooking Light Tuesday

Well I was going to do my Cooking Light night on Sundays, but sometimes life gets in the way. And in this case, not feeling well on Sunday and a three day weekend got in the way. But, I did a recipe, just on Tuesday. Last night's recipe was Tuna-Fennel Pasta Salad. Until I actually read the recipe, which I still have the tendency not to do until just before making it, I thought this was going to be a hot dish, akin to Tuna Noodle Casserole. I was very much mistaken. So this was a side dish, but I thought it was quite tasty. I splurged, which is big for me, and bought a fancy glass jar of tuna from Italy. Boy was it worth the money. It was delish! I'd never use it for sandwiches, only for special dishes because of the cost. And I've never had fresh fennel before so I'm not sure exactly how it's supposed to taste, other than anise-like. But this stuff didn't have much flavor. I'm guessing January probably isn't fennel's peak season. But I wasn't too grossed out, so that's good, right? I have some potatoes I was going to roast, and maybe I'll throw the extra fennel into that and see how it works. The recipe was really simple, and I liked the combination of flavors. I'd definitely try this again, or maybe make it for a family gathering some time.

Here's the link to the recipe: Tuna-Fennel Pasta Salad

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sunday Dinner

As one of my New Year's resolutions, I have decided to do a Cooking Light Sunday dinner. I normally do a Sunday dinner, and make enough for Monday's dinner as well, but I thought by choosing a Cooking Light magazine recipe, it would start my week off on a slightly healthier note. I also resolved to blog about it, thus keeping my food blog more active and up-to-date. Tonight, as my first Sunday doing this, I made Pork and Sweet Potato Hash.

Here's a link to the recipe: Pork-Sweet Potato Hash

The recipe was pretty basic, and turned out pretty well I thought. The main problem was there was too much liquid and it ended up being almost like a stew more than a hash, but it was a very tasty stew/hash. I am still getting used to the flavor of sweet potatoes, and found it a bit sweet at times. If I make this again I might use regular potatoes, but I found this to be very filling and hope that the leftovers end up being even better tomorrow night!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Baking Adventures

I tried a new type of pie recipe a short time ago and was quite pleased with the results. Pear pie, akin to apple pie, but even better, I'd say. Pears have a spicier, more exotic flavor than an apple, but if you get ones that are still quite firm, they bake just like them. I took this to work and it was devoured and received high praise. It was quite easy to make, so I'll share the recipe here for all to try out.

Pear-Walnut Crumble Pie
1 pie crust
5 cups sliced, peeled pears(about 5 large)
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. flour
1 tsp. lemon zest
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
Dash salt
Topping: 1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/3 cup cold butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1.) Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place pie crust in 9" glass pie plate.
2.) In a large bowl, lightly toss pears and remaining pie ingredients. If pears are very juicy, add additional 1 Tbsp. flour. Spoon into the crust-lined plate.
3.) In medium bowl, mix flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Cut in butter using a pastry cutter, or hands until mixture is crumbly. Stir in walnuts. Spoon over pear mixture.
4.) Cover crust edge with strips of foil to prevent excessive browning. Bake 35-45 minutes or until topping is golden brown. Cool at least 30 minutes before serving.

8 servings. I'll spare you the fat and calories, just pretend it's good for you and don't eat it too often and you should be fine! The good thing about this pie is it's not overly sweet. It's a really nice break from apple pie.