Monday, October 27, 2014

Blueprint Brands at Local Craft Brewfest

For the last few years, I've been guest blogging for the Boston Local Food Festival and it's sister event, Local Craft Brewfest. Here's my latest article on local Marketing Company Blueprint Brands.

It can be hard to reconcile a love of local, ethically sourced food with a love of booze. Like cell phones and hot showers, alcohol tends to sometimes fall under the category of “I gotta draw the line somewhere.” Luckily, there’s Blueprint Brands, a marketing and sales company that works solely with ”a carefully curated selection of boutique distilleries that are committed to the production of small batch spirits, with a steady focus on well sourced ingredients and hands-on production methods.”

This means that not only can you feel good about the sourcing of the liquor you enjoy, you can get a tastier and all around better quality product as well. No matter what your spirit of choice, you’ve got options. Blueprint Brands represents dozens of distillers of tequila, rum, vodka, you name it. Travelling? From the Blueprint website, click on the state you’ll be visiting and they’ll give you a list of their distillers whose wares are available in that area.

Read the full article at the Boston Local Food Festival website!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

October Recipe Roundup

photo credit: Marcus Nilsson

When it comes to solving the day to day omnivore's dilemma, we're bombarded with more choices than ever in the age of the internet. Those of us who like to cook still have hard copies of cookbooks taking up all the shelf space in our kitchen, plus a box of haphazard magazine clippings and hand-written index cards. And that's before we even get to the options provided by the thousands of food blogs out there. The really tricky part is that a lot of these recipes are all slight variations on the same thing, and it can be a lot easier to just order pizza than figure out which of the six different lentil sloppy joe recipes I currently have pending is likely to come out the best. So I've decided to start a monthly roundup of internet recipe successes I've had in order to streamline some of the confusion. I'll even do my best to make them somewhat seasonal. If you've got any requests, let me know in the comments section. Here's what I've found lately:

Curried Delicata Squash and Crunchy Lentil Salad

There are some great squash varieties in season right now that you can sub for the suggested delicata. Anything with a skin that's thin enough to edible works great.

Maple Mustard Pork

This recipe is actually a riff on one I had posted on another website. The author gave it a paleo spin by using nut flour as breading. What a great idea. I'm never buying Panko again!

Cheesy Quinoa Black Bean Stuffed Peppers

Classic, easy, and perfect for having leftovers.

Chocolate Beet Cake

Some friends who were going out of town gave me the spoils of their CSA share. I never know what to do with beets, but apparently they give baked goods that nice moist density I love so much. Between that and the rich flavor, I was able to make this recipe without the frosting and not miss it at all.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Blog Action Day 2014: Inequality

It's Blog Action Day again, and this year's theme is Inequality.

There are two kinds of inequality that I'd like to discuss, and I'll leave it to the comments section to decide the correlation between the two.

The first, and no doubt the one that the Blog action Day committee had in mind when they chose the theme, refers to the social and economic equality with which every country in the world still struggles. The income gap is wider than it has ever been, and only continuing to grow. What's noteworthy about this post-industrial inequality is that, in many places, it isn't that poor don't have access to enough food, it's that they don't have access to the right kinds of food. Which brings me to the second kind of inequality: nutritional inequality, and the idea that simply maintaining a minimum number of calories is not what will keep us from starving, or from developing terminal diet-related illnesses.

I made my weekly grocery shopping pilgrimage today, and, as usual, it was a pretty time consuming ordeal. I've been starting out my trips at Whole Foods in search of the best quality produce and meat, and then filling in the non-perishables at Star Market, my rationale being that the middle aisle type products are a lost cause, nutritionally, so I may as well get the cheap ones. It's not an efficient system, and I'm not entirely convinced that it's all that cost effective either, but for now it's what I've got.

While the idea of inequality was on mind, as was my tight budget, I looked at all the different kinds of inequality on display at both stores: fresh vs. packaged, whole vs. processed, organic vs. conventional. And that's before you even get to the simple differences in personal taste that, in my opinion, should be the only thing you really have to worry about at the grocery store: will I like this or not?

The idea that things like price and nutritional content carry too much weight in our omnivore's dilemma is not a new one, but it always bears looking at from different angles, since the problem only seems to be getting worse, not better.

What kinds of inequalities do you notice most when buying food?