Chef Mama Wei cooks Mu Shu Pork

Mama Wei's mu shu pork
Chef Mama Wei’s Mu Shu Pork via @lalwei

Ari put together this 23 second video of me cooking Mu Shu Pork. Made me look like I know what I’m doing.

On the topic of Philly’s Cheesesteaks – and a list of best places to buy

Corleones cheesteak
Foto: Corleone’s
So, I collected this list of Philly cheesesteak restaurant reviews in 2016 from a Facebook thread, but didn’t record whose thread. I need to share it, for the couple of real gems in the list and because Ari and Jorge Ivan are in Philly today, contemplating cheesesteaks. If you’ve got a favorite spot to add, share it!

Here’s what I concluded after reading through the comments:

  • Pats, Geno’s and Tony Luke’s are tourist places. Steve’s is another non-traditional spot but it gets banging reviews.
  • The consensus among Philly natives is that Papi stores make the best cheesesteaks – and they only cost $5-10
  • If you pay more than $10 for a cheesesteak you’re getting ripped off

This is my favorite comment 🙂 :

Vernon King: Foh dh. Who n the hell will pay beam dub on chessesteak with sesame seed long roll. When u could go to the Papi store & Get it for $4.00 or $4.50. I can buy new pair of J`s or Some Polo shirt. No State/City can make better chessesteak than ppl who was born/raised n Philadelphia,Pennsylvania hand down. read more

Homemade Pineapple Cough Syrup

pineapple
source: pexels.com

All Natural Pineapple Cough Syrup

Yield: about a cup so make more if you think you may need it. This is very good stuff: good for you and good for treating your cough.

Ingredients

2 thick slices of fresh pineapple, peel removed, but core intact (about two good cups)
1 Tbsp honey
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (omit or reduce for children)
a thumb sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced or rough chopped
juice of 1 lemon

Instructions

Chop the pineapple roughly into chunks, including the core, which is both edible and extremely healthy. Blend everything up in a blender or food processor until smooth. read more

Kimi’s Super Duper Spaghetti Sauce with Italian Sausage

In 2016 we were able to get most of the produce needed for spaghetti sauce from our own garden plot. Well, let’s be honest – from Ivan’s garden – since he does most of the work to make it work. And believe me, it takes plenty of work to make this kind of abundance happen, beginning with setting up the community garden, which Ivan helped with.


Herbs, tomatoes, eggplants, scallions, we had it all in 2016. 2017 was pretty much a bust for growers though, all across our region in northern New Jersey. Rain persisted for weeks into the early summer and then it stayed cold for a while! Tomatoes don’t like cold and apparently, a lot of other veggies don’t either. read more

Protected: Brewing Jun, a fermented green tea drink

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Commissary Kitchen, a prison cookbook by a Mobb Deep rapper

mobb deep, prison chef
Source: Teddy Wolff/Infamous Books

A new cookbook is on the market about which its prison chef author Prodigy Johnson of the rap group Mobb Deep writes, “This book won’t make you a better cook, but it might make you a better person.”

Knowing what to eat and how to make it is evidently such an important part of prison life that there’s an entire cottage industry of cookbooks written on the subject. Inmate survival guides often have a section on food and how to use the commissary to augment prison diets. Commissary Kitchen: My Infamous Prison Cookbook, which will be published this month, is written by Prodigy and journalist Kathy Iandoli. read more

For healthy and non-GMO foods, vote for House and Senate candidates like Josh Gottheimer

Josh Gottheimer v Garrett in NJ's 5th CD
Source: foodpolicyaction.com

In November, vote for the House and Senate candidates who believe in good, healthy and GMO-free food. Food Policy Action compares the food positions of 12 sets of candidates.

Here’s the scoop on Rep. Scott Garrett vs. Josh Gottheimer – New Jersey’s 5th District Congressional candidates:

Josh Gottheimer supports a strong federal safety net for seniors and food insecure families with children. He also supports fair wages and working conditions for food and farm workers. Incumbent Scott Garrett has voted repeatedly to cut hunger reduction and nutrition programs like SNAP; and he opposed measures that would reduce the misuse of antibiotics in food. read more

What if industrialized food has made us fat and we’ll be slender if we eat wholesome foods?

Cake v. salad
Source: HealthCastle.com
Paul Tappenden believe that food choices – not gluttony or a predisposition to being fat – are why so many Americans are overweight these days. And he offers some pretty good ideas on simple changes we can build into our eating habits that will significantly change our fat quotient.

OBESITY

Why are there so many over weight people in America? I have many well intentioned friends who are 30 to 40 pounds over-weight. For the most part they don’t want to be that way, and in many cases they put themselves on diets to no avail. They are not vast over eaters, yet the pounds keep creeping on read more

Michelin enters the Singapore street food scene, causing both fame and disruption

Chan in the kitchen
Source: Michelin Guide Singapore via YouTube
52 year old chef Chan Hon Meng has been a street hawker all his life. Before his Singapore food stand opens each day, customers are already queued up to buy his delicious dishes, which costs $2 Singapore – or USD$1.87 – the lowest price Michelin-starred meals anywhere in the world.

When Michelin invited Chan to receive recognition for the excellent quality of his food, the Malaysian-born chef didn’t quite believe that the invitation was real. But a few weeks later in July 2016, he beamed from ear to ear as the company spokesman welcomed him on stage and awarded Chan’s Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle restaurant a single, coveted star. read more

1 day left to comment to the USDA on GMOs. Pitch in!

comment on GMOsHere’s my comment to the USDA about GMOs in less than the 1024 characters allowed. I hope you will add yours!

GMO plants:
1 Kill whole ecosystems.
2 Many GMO crops have pesticides in them. Insects that survive eating them become immune to pesticides and descend on other farmers’ land like locusts, consuming everything.
3 GMO seeds are patented and are bankrupting farmers. Seeds are investments for farmers and many do not understand that GMO seeds must be “re-purchased” every year. In India, every 30 minutes a bankrupted farmer drinks pesticide to commit suicide.
4 In silent GMO forests pesticides built into the trees’ DNA poison everything except the trees. Nothing else lives: no insects, birds, animals big or small. No undergrowth.
5 We do not know the long term effect that GMOs will have on human bodies. read more

Chef & educator Twitty creates Afro-Jewish fusion

Michael Twitty, torah scholar
Michael Twitty (@koshersoul) is a fascinating man I would love to share a Pesach (Passover) seder with. We could trade stories – Michael, of what being a Black Jew celebrity chef is all about … while I would tell about running my mother’s Chinese takeaway restaurant and Asian grocery store in downtown Tel Aviv. From her hospital bed, Mom said if I kept alive the business she loved so much, she felt she could win the battle to regain her health. Whatever I did or didn’t do, those who loved that vivacious wonder enjoyed Mom’s company for almost another decade after that. Mom was Israeli and my Dad is Chinese. read more

Banana trade is bananas, but you can go Fair Trade

First came the proposed merger of Fyffe and Chiquita brands last March, which fell through in October and now Brazil’s Cutrale and Safra have partnered to buy Chiquita and headquarter the company in Brazil, closing the company’s North Carolina Office. Fortune says, fruit is big business.

bananasGuardian authors Rebecca Smithers and Dominic Rushe write:

According to Banana Link, a not-for-profit organisation campaigning for a fair and sustainable banana trade, the big fruit companies are relocating to countries in search of cheaper labour and weaker social and environmental legislation. Many workers in countries such as West Africa, the Dominican Republic and Ecuador do not receive a living wage and face appalling working conditions including 10- to 12-hour working days and exposure to harmful chemicals. read more

Gotta believe somebody

Le Creuset Demi Tea Kettle
I bought a nice little Le Creuset enamel-outside tea kettle second hand and when I washed it up, I spotted a little rust where the body meets the spout – and in the bottom of the spout. I googled on getting rid of rust and came across a delightful post. The technique suggested is for good advice for removing rust from a cast iron pot (which mine isn’t, exactly), but the poster’s counsel on how to choose a method out of all those offered in the thread, is absolutely wonderful! See for yourself: read more

Thanksgiving 2014 community giving & celebrations

North Jersey

Newark

FP Youth Outcry’s Break Bread With You and PACTS (delivering 3500 home-cooked meals in the Greater Newark area)

Paterson

Ken & Corey’s coat drive

Ken McDaniels & Corey L. Teague
973-767-5980
Ken & Corey's coat drive
Ken McDaniels says: The need is greater this year than any other year I’ve seen. Just walking the streets of Paterson and seeing so many kids who don’t have a winter coat is gut wrenching. Let’s show love and be a blessing.

Paterson turkey drive

On Saturday, November 22nd, 2014 10:30am-11:30am, 4th and Inches Foundation will be hosting The Rickey Edwards Turkey Drive at NJCDC, 32 Spruce St. Paterson, NJ. To drop off before November 22 contact Director Emanuel Capers 973-572-5223 or email TeameCapers@gmail.com. read more

Meet the Kitchen Knife Laser Beam app!

laser beamNo more kitchen knives for smart phone users – now, there’s an app for that! iPhone and Android users can download the Laser Beam app and slice or dice tomatoes and just about any other vegetable with it.

The downside:

  • You will need a special cutting board that the laser can’t penetrate. Otherwise, you’ll end up with bits of plastic or wood fused to your veggies and fruits – and they’re no good for your teeth. The board will be expensive but in deference to national security rules, vendors cannot yet tell you how much it will cost.
  • Courts have already ruled that to get into government buildings, smart phone users must now prove they DO NOT have this app installed. Can’t prove it but need to get in to a court appointment or something? No problem: you can always relinquish your phone. Unfortunately, you can’t get it back.
  • Smart phone users within laser beam reach of any aircraft that experiences flight difficulties will be arrested, and will remain indefinitely detained while their NSA phone records, EZPass toll history and cellphone use for the preceding 90 days is exhaustively investigated.
  • read more