Detoxing From Sugar

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23May2015_1_Robin-Working-On-Blogs_Trimmed_TransparentSince Robin does a lot of blog work “behind the scenes”, like researching topics, “White-Out Editor” and topic stimulation, it is time – past time – that she has her own By-Line Photo! Ta-Da! Here it is. Whenever you see this photo, you will know that she has done 99.99% of the research for this article. She makes a very good and refreshing drink from 2 cups Blackberries and 12 Fresh Sage leaves in 1 gallon of water. We use a Sun Tea maker. Muddle the blackberries a little to release the flavor and color. Leave the sage leaves whole and on stems.

Trying to detox from sugar?
Here are 9 surprising facts you need to know, if you’re trying to do just that!

1.) Sugar is addictive
Research shows that sugar and sweetness can induce rewards and cravings that are comparable in strength to those from addictive drugs. Yikes!
While this may sound super-duper scary, it’s important to know so you:
A) Have a sense of why it’s so important to ditch the white stuff;
B) You have an inkling that your sugar detox will be a process (but no fear, you’ll most certainly get through it).

2.) There are 4 grams of sugar in a teaspoon of sugar
When you’re looking at a food label, check out the grams of sugar on the label. For example, if it says there are 22 grams of sugar per serving, that means there are 5.5 teaspoons of sugar per serving. You most certainly want to read labels of the biggest sugar-sucking culprits: cereals, granola, condiments, bread, snack items … basically, anything packaged. Your best bet is to always go with real fresh whole foods (think fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans/legumes, poultry, and meat).

3.) Fruit, veggies, and dairy naturally have sugar
Fruits and veggies naturally have some sugar in them, and veggies have even less naturally occurring sugars than fruit. When you’re trying to detox from sugar, it’s important to fill up on a ton of vegetables. Their fiber and water content (plus good-for-you antioxidants) will fill you up, without filling you out. A simple motto to keep in mind for every meal/snack is “produce and protein are musts.” The protein food (tempeh, seafood, fish, poultry, beans/lentils, eggs, nuts/seeds) will keep you satisfied and help your blood sugar stay stabilized, especially when paired with fiber-filled fruits and/or veggies.
As far as dairy goes, if it works for you, keep it plain. Dairy naturally has sugar in it from the milk-sugar lactose. But, once you start getting into flavored yogurts, you’ll start seeing way more sugar than normal, so read the ingredients and keep your dairy simple, plain, and natural.

4.) The serving size can add up
You want to check out how many servings are in a container. For example, in an energy drink we were looking at the other day, the nutrition facts label said there was 25 grams of sugar per serving. But, when looking at the number of servings in a can … there were two. That means, in total, there were 50 (whopping) grams of sugar per can – ew! 50 grams of sugar translates to 12.5 teaspoons of sugar in the whole can.
The World Health Organization recommends adults and children take in no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar per day.

5.) Diet sweeteners do nothing for your diet
Don’t let marketing fool you! Check the ingredients for diet sweeteners: saccharin (Sweet N’ Low), aspartame (Equal), sucralose (Splenda), rebiana (Stevia). Although these guys are called “diet” sweeteners, they really do nothing for your waistline. In fact, studies show the opposite affect, associating them with metabolic syndrome, weight gain, and diabetes.

6.) Healthy fats are indeed good
The 80’s craze of low-fat and non-fat is so d.o.n.e. A serving of good fats from foods like, nuts and seeds, avocado, extra virgin olive oil, and omega-3 fatty fish at meals will help keep you satiated and your blood sugar steady, helping you detox from sugar.

7.) Stress management and sleep are super important
Stress and overwhelm can lead to sugar binges and the simple habit of eating for comfort. Dig deep to the root of your stress and see how you can alleviate the root (not just the symptom). For example, are you stressed due to email overload? Set clear boundaries and stop sending meaningless emails (don’t just try to work more to put a band-aid on the problem).
If you eat for comfort, make a list of all the other things that bring you joy and/or relieve stress and pull out your list as needed, so you have an immediate go-to when you can’t think super clear amidst stress.
Lastly, sleep is so important for weight management and cravings, so slowly start going to sleep earlier until you’ve found your perfect number of hours.

8.) Give your body time to adjust
When you’re first starting to cut out sugars, know it can take two to three weeks for your body to adjust, but once you break that point, trust us, there will be no going back! Your body will start to crave only fresh, whole real ingredients. If you need some help, check out this 10 Days of Real Food Pledge as well as Skinny Taste for awesome (natural) recipes.

9.) Liquid sugar is the worst
Sodas, sugary smoothies, disguised as health food, and caffeinated sugar bombs hit your blood sugar and body hard. Cut them out cold turkey ASAP. Hint water and hint fizz can (seriously) help to provide tasty water with no sugar or diet sweeteners – and absolutely nothing fake!”

Boise Farmers Market Expands Program

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20Oct2013_1_Boise-Farmers-Market-Fall-Fundraiser_Bag-LogoThe BFM, Boise Farmers Market, has come up with a novel idea – Take the market to those who can least afford to attend the market at 10th and Grove or any other market in the downtown corridor. In other words, hook up a trailer to a vehicle and take the produce to different neighborhoods. New idea? In the 21st Century, maybe, but I can remember the farmers coming to our neighborhood – in Delaware – and my Mother buying fresh produce that way in season. Look at what they are doing. If you need to enlarge the photos to see them or to print them, Left-Click the photo. From the BFM website, “Spring produce galore! Look for strawberries, asparagus, lettuces, mustard greens, radishes, rhubarb, micro-greens and a whole lot of love. Plus, the debut of the BFM Mobile Market on Saturday, May 23rd!”

The schedule of where the produce trailer will be.

The schedule of where the produce trailer will be.

As this poster says, “The Boise Farmers Market and the Boise Parks and Recreation are bringing fresh local produce to your neighborhood this summer! Shop for Fresh-From-The-Farm fruits and vegetables while your kids play in the park. The Mobile Market accepts SNAP benefits. For more information, please contact Janie Burns at (208) 863-6947 or at info@boisefarmersmarket.com.” You can also check the website at The Boise Farmers Market.
The Mobile Market

The Mobile Market

Map of the service and schedule for the Mobile Market.

Map of the service and schedule for the Mobile Market.

Boise Parks and Recreation are helping with this project. Thank-You Boise Parks and Rec!

Boise Parks and Recreation are helping with this project. Thank-You Boise Parks and Rec!


Hopefully, some of these produce vendors will have some of their produce on the Mobile Market. I know you will be able to purchase fresh, farm eggs from Meadowlark Farms. And maybe bakery items in the future.
True Roots produce.

True Roots produce.

Purple Sage Farms

Purple Sage Farms

Maybe some live plants? If not, fresh tomatoes should be available in season.

Maybe some live plants? If not, fresh tomatoes should be available in season.

Another Good Römertopf Chicken

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Robin-Bob-In-Kitchen_Looking-RightYes indeed, another good Römertopf Roasted Chicken. Love using this style of cooking – Römertopf or Tagine; slow, steamed in it’s own liquid. I like to place chopped carrots, onion and potato on the bottom of the Römertopf to keep the chicken off of the bottom of the cooking pot and keep it from burning. Make a gravy from the liquid and use the roasted vegetables as a side. I cooked this one covered at 375 degrees F for about 1 1/2 hours, plus 1/2 hour uncovered at 400 degrees F.
And we do like to keep the ingredients as local as possible: Potatoes from Rupert, Onions from Nyssa, Carrots from Boise, Herbs from our herb garden. Look at what we did and enjoy. We did! Serve with a good Pinot Gris or Pinot Grigio. Left Click the photos to see them enlarged.

One of our herb gardens. All four are about this size. The front space between the sidewalk and the street is chock full of herbs.

One of our herb gardens. All four are about this size. The front space between the sidewalk and the street is chock full of herbs – No Grass or otherwise known as a No Mow Lawn.

The 6# chicken is resting after cooking. Stuffed with garlic - a whole bulb cut in half - onion quartered, thyme, rosemary, sage, sea salt and Tellicherry pepper.

The 6# Römertopf Chicken is resting after cooking. Stuffed with garlic – a whole bulb cut in half – onion quartered, thyme, rosemary, sage, Morel mushrooms, sea salt and Tellicherry pepper. The skin is rubbed with unsalted butter, sea salt and Tellicherry pepper. Thyme and sage leaves are scattered on the skin.

Römertopf Chicken Roasted Potatoes,  Onion and Carrot Drippings Gravy Green Arugula and Black Leaf Lettuce with capers, radish sticks Olive Oil, Lime Zest and Juice and Honey Dressing

Romertopf Chicken
Roasted Potatoes, Onion and Carrot
Drippings Gravy
Green Arugula and Red Leaf Lettuce Salad
with
capers and radish sticks
Olive Oil, Lime Zest, Lime Juice and Honey Dressing

A Visit to Ruth’s Chris Steak House

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20May2015_1_Ruths-Chris_SignAnd such a good visit it was. Daughter Marnie and her husband Mac gave us a gift certificate for dinner and we thank them for that. You can find more by clicking here Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Boise. Make reservations online or reserve their Party Room. They have a full and extensive Menu that can be viewed online and get an idea of what they offer. Not ready for dinner? Try their Happy Hour Menu for lighter offerings. “… Our Sizzle, Swizzle and Swirl Happy Hour features $8 food specials and premium cocktails.” You will find the menu items either equal to or greater than Chandler’s Steak House or to the Cottonwood Grille. Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Boise is definitely a 5-Star restaurant. Here is what we had. Two of us ate for $123.00 and it was worth every bite. Definitely a Special Occasion restaurant; Great for “Date Night”.. Enjoy!

The dining area. Formal and delightful. Soft background music.

The dining area. Formal and delightful. Soft background music.

Private dining area that will accommodate 12 people. The fee is $50 for the room.

Private dining area that will accommodate 12 people. The fee is $50 for the room.

We brought our own 2005 Ridge Zinfandel ($10 corkage fee), but they do have a wide selection of wines.

We brought our own 2005 Ridge Zinfandel ($10 corkage fee), but they do have a wide selection of wines. They also offer sparkling water instead of “tap” water if you desire.

Good Blue Crab cakes, but I think these are over priced.

Good Blue Crab cakes, but I think these are over priced.

Blue Crab Cakes

Blue Crab Cakes

Very good housemade Sourdough Bread.

Very good housemade Sourdough Bread.

Superb Caesar Salad with Tellicherry Pepper.

Superb Caesar Salad with Tellicherry Pepper.

Petite Filet. "USDA Prime served sizzling on a 500° plate - every bite is as delicious as the first." This was delicious! Loved the way the sides came in their own bowls. The Creamed Spinach was super good wsith a touch of nutmeg. The Mushrooms accompanied the steak very well. Robin had Garlic Mashed Potatoes.

Petite Filet. “USDA Prime served sizzling on a 500° plate – every bite is as
delicious as the first.” This was delicious! Loved the way the sides came in their own bowls. The Creamed Spinach was super good with a touch of nutmeg. The Mushrooms accompanied the steak very well. Robin had Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Creamed Spinach.

The Petite Filet done to perfection.

The Petite Filet done to perfection.

A delicious finish to a grand dinner!

Chocolate Sin Cake. A delicious finish to a grand dinner! “… Our desserts vary by location and are homemade daily by our expert
pastry chefs, using the freshest local ingredients.”

Breakfast – Fresh Morel Mushroom Omelet

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17May2015_1_Captains-Shack-Breakfast_Morels-ReadyYup! ‘Tis the season and it looks like it is going to be a good one! East facing slope in a burn out area. These wild mushrooms are so delicious. Woody and earthy. Great just sauteed in garlic, in salads, in stuffing or sauteed in butter and garlic infused olive oil and made into an omelet. Pictured here are some fresh picked morels – from the Boise Farmers Market yesterday – getting ready to be “omeletized”. The eggs are from Meadowlark Farms in Nampa and the toast is from Acme Bake Shop and their sourdough. Bacon is from Twin Falls, Idaho. Cheers!

 Fresh Morel Mushroom Omelet Strawberry and Blueberry Fruit Mix Toasted Acme Bake Shop Sourdough

Fresh Morel Mushroom Omelet
Strawberry and Blueberry Fruit Mix
Toasted Acme Bake Shop Sourdough
Twin Falls Bacon

Let’s Make Some Pasta!

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21sept2013_2_robins-bday-captains-shack_gumbo_getting-happyFresh pasta! So very good and cooks so fast. If you make your own pasta – and we’ll show you how in this article – just think of the variations you can make and the ingredient control you have. For instance, we use only local, farm raised and free range eggs from Meadowlark Farms (they are at the Saturday Boise Farmers Market at 10th and Grove.) Even your flour source can be local.
The recipe we use is an adaptation of Chef Anne Burrell’s. We use garlic infused olive oil and semolina. Both of which are not in her recipe. Here is the recipe for Pasta that we have adapted. There are several pasta makers on the market. Manual Pasta MakerSome relatively inexpensive and others somewhat more expensive. We have and have used a manual one like at this link – and pictured here – from Walmart, which we still have. About $30.00. Some people have this “thing” about Walmart. No problem. Pasta Maker Bed Bath and BeyondYou can get a good one from Bed, Bath and Beyond that is still a manual one and works very well. These sell for about $35. This one is a slightly different construction and design, but you will end up with the same product when you are finished. You can also get one direct from Italy for around $500.00 and others that are commercial grade for around $1900.00. But why when the home Chef can get a good quality product for much less, unless you are into brand recognition.Pasta Maker KitchenAid Bed Bath and Beyond 149The one we use nowadays is an attachment to our KitchenAid, as pictured here and I love working with it. With this package you get a set of three presses: a flat one for lasagna or the beginning press for spaghetti or fettuccini; a spaghetti die and a fettuccini die. About $150.00. So your choices are wide and varied. Get the one that suits your needs. Now on to making the pasta. Enjoy! I have placed a link to the Pasta Recipe above. Print out a copy and follow along.

Basically four ingredients: Flour or semolina as pictured here and eggs with oil and water. You will need a clean and fairly large working area.

Basically four ingredients: Flour or semolina as pictured here and eggs with oil, salt and water. You will need a clean and fairly large working area. I like to pre-mix the eggs, water, oil and salt in a bowl. Then I don’t “splash” the eggs mixing them in the “well”.

The semolina "well" The process is the same if you use flour.

The semolina “well” The process is the same if you use flour.

Pulling the semolina into the egg mixture using a fork. Work carefully.

Pulling the semolina into the egg mixture using a fork. Work carefully.

The dough is starting to form.

The dough is starting to form.

The pasta dough is ready to knead. Notice the pastry knife used to help in the kneading process.

The pasta dough is ready to knead. Notice the pastry knife used to help in the kneading process.

The pastry dough is kneaded and ready to rest for at least 1 hour.

The pastry dough is kneaded and ready to rest for at least 1 hour.

Spaghetti noodles from the dough. Dust with flour to keep them from sticking.

Spaghetti noodles from the dough. Dust with flour to keep them from sticking.

Spaghetti Carbonara made from the pasta dough we made. Except for the pancetta, most of the other ingredients are all from the Boise Farmers Market./

Spaghetti Carbonara Recipe and pictured here, made from the pasta dough we made. Except for the pancetta, most of the other ingredients are all from the Boise Farmers Market. Serve this with a 2012 Sawtooth Winery Trout Trilogy Petite Sirah. Awesome!

Potato Basket Eggs – Idaho Blossoms

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BobAndRobin_Nov2009_1_Pizzalchik_PhotoNo, it’s not Easter. But this is an interesting way to make eggs.
Idaho Blossoms – Put the egg mixture in a paper thin sliced potato basket and bake them for 45 minutes at 375 degrees F.
Be sure to butter the ramekin before you put the potato slices in and they will not stick.
I used 3 eggs per ramekin and added (all to taste) leaves of fresh thyme, chopped fresh chives, chopped ham and a mixed Mexican cheese. Salt and pepper. Bake them off in the oven in a shallow water bath and you’ve got a different breakfast.
Add some fresh fruit to the plate, and it has eye appeal. Here are some photos of what I did. Enjoy! Here might be a better recipe format to follow Idaho Blossoms Recipe. This recipe has also been corrected. Left-Click any of these photos to see them enlarged.

The potatoes are in the bowls and the bowls are filled.

The potatoes are in the ramekins and the ramekins are filled.

Close up of the bowls.

Close up of the filled ramekins.

Potato Basket Eggs Acme Bake Shop Toasted Sourdough  Fresh Fruit Compote

Idaho Blossoms
Acme Bake Shop Toasted Sourdough
Fresh Fruit Compote

Happy Birthday Sophia!

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09May2015_1_Lucianos-Sophia-BDay_SignWhat a wonderful place to celebrate a birthday – Luciano’s Italian Restaurant in Boise. Every bit a 5-Star restaurant. Good and accurate service. Great and varied menu and a really super Waite staff. Asiago’s – Look out! We hope, Sophia, that you enjoyed your Birthday Meal as much as we enjoyed celebrating with you. Here are some photos that I took of the dinner. Sorry we missed you, Chris. This was also Robin’s Mothers Day dinner, but we’ll see what happens tomorrow.

Happy birthday, Sophia!!

Happy birthday, Sophia!!

The bar area that is also a waiting area. There is a shelter outside that the over flow can congregate.

The bar area that is also a waiting area. There is a shelter outside where the over flow can congregate.

The daily special board.

The daily special board.

Wonderfully different light in the main dining room. Unique.

Wonderfully different light in the main dining room. Unique.

Table centerpiece.

Table centerpiece.

Caesar Salad - Really good.

Caesar Salad – Really good. “Chopped romaine lettuce, classic house made Caesar dressing, and croutons with fresh parmesan, lemon and anchovies.”

Pesto Pasta

Pesto Pasta

Fettuccini Alfredo

Fettuccini Alfredo

Seafood Fettuccini

Seafood Fettuccini “Prawns, sea scallops, clams, mussels and crab in our seafood alfredo sauce with garlic and fresh parmesan.”

Spumonti - Chocolate, Pistachio and Strawberry ice cream. Maraschino cherry juice in the bottom.

Spumone – Chocolate, Pistachio and Strawberry ice cream. Maraschino cherry juice in the bottom. “Rich cherry, pistachio, and chocolate ice cream, mixed with candied fruit and pistachios garnished with home made whipped cream, silvered almonds and a maraschino cherry”

Lemon Pudding

Lemon Pudding

Tiramisu

Tiramisu – “A classic Italian dessert with rum and espresso soaked lady fingers layered with sweet mascarpone cheese, cocoa then topped with rum sauce.”

Chocolate Cake -

Chocolate Cake – “Four layers of decadent moist chocolate cake filled with chocolate cream and a bittersweet chocolate ganache icing.”

Just a super party!!

Thousand Springs BNB and Feathered Winds Wine

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08May2015_2_1000-Springs-Winery_Entrance-SignSuch a good time here. Good breakfast and wonderful rooms. We were lucky enough to make reservations – Thousand Springs BNB and Feathered Winds Wine – and be there for their monthly wine dinner. This particular dinner featured wines from south of the equator. Good and interesting food paring with the wines. Great time talking to the folks at our table and at other tables. Enjoy these photos and Left-Click to see them enlarged. If you go to Thousand Springs BNB, let them know you saw this blog post. Cheers!

The kitchen.

The kitchen.

Colome Torrontes and Crois Tannat wines.

Colome Torrontes and Crois Tannat wines.

Empanadas pared with Colome Torrontes Wine (Argentina)

Empanadas
pared with
Colome Torrontes Wine (Argentina)

Shrimp on the Barbie pared with Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand)

Shrimp on the Barbie
pared with
Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand)

The grilled lemon – peel and all – was delicious grilled like this.

Lamb Sosaties pared with Riebeek Pinotage (South Africa)

Lamb Sosaties (Life Spring Farm Lamb)
pared with
Riebeek Pinotage (South Africa)

And as a note – This Icelandic lamb was awesome. It melted in your mouth!

Pavlova pared with Jacob's Creek Moscato (Australia)

Pavlova
pared with
Jacob’s Creek Moscato (Australia)

Other wines served with dinner were: Shingleback Black Bubbles (Australia), Jacob’s Creek Sweet Red (Australia), Massimo Malbec (Argentina) and 2012 Santa Rita Cabernet (Chile). Then the next morning, we had breakfast – no wine, although we could have had some.

Frittata with Housemade Sausage Chocolate and Raisin Muffin Mixed Fruit

Frittata with Housemade Sausage
Chocolate and Raisin Muffin
Mixed Fruit
Coffee, Juice and water

3 Lucious Meals

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21sept2013_2_robins-bday-captains-shack_gumbo_getting-happyIt was a good Cinco de Mayo! At least meal wise. All from scratch, which really makes it fun, and then from mostly local products. Pork. Sofrito. Brown Basmati Rice. Mango Margaritas. Rhubarb Red Sauce. Black Olive and Rice Salad. Mostly fit the occasion; the holiday.
The photos below will give you an idea of these meals. Left-Click any of them to see enlarged. What did you do fro Cinco de Mayo? What did you cook? Have to eat? Anything special? Let us know. Spread the delicious words;photos. Cheers!

Pork and Sofrito Avocado Tomato Salad Brown Basmati Rice and Black Beans Mango Margaritas

Pork Tenderloin and Sofrito
Avocado and Tomato Salad
Brown Basmati Rice and Black Beans
Mango Margaritas

Good Cinco de Mayo dinner and fun to make!

Red Velvet Cake with Strawberries and Whipped Cream Our neighbors brought this to us just because. Thank you! See why we love Boise?

Red Velvet Cake
with
strawberries and whipped cream

Our neighbors brought this to us, just because. Thank you! See why we love Boise?

Spinach Omelet with rhubarb red sauce and sofrito Bacon Toasted Focaccia

Spinach Omelet
with
rhubarb red sauce and sofrito
Bacon
Toasted Focaccia

Such a differently good breakfast.

Steamed Clams Buttered Corn Black Olive, Tomato and Brown Basmati Rice Salad

Steamed Clams
Buttered Corn
Black Olive, Tomato and Brown Basmati Rice Salad

Really a yummy dinner. Now for clam chowder with the broth.

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