Smoky and delicious this colorful salad is super simple and travels well.
- 4 ears corn shucked and grilled
- 2 scallions thinly sliced
- 1 cup red bell peppers chopped small
- 2 tablespoons cilantro finely minced
- 1 and ½ can black beans drained and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (extra Virgin)
- ½ teaspoon chipotle powder
- 1-teaspoon paprika
- 1-teaspoon salt
- Juice of one lime
- 1 large ripe avocado thinly sliced for garnish
Allow grilled corn to completely cool. While corn is cooling in a large bowl whisk together the lime juice, olive oil dry spices, and chopped cilantro. Using a vegetable knife or a French chef's knife cut the kernels off of the cob, place in dressing. Add the diced red pepper black beans, thinly sliced scallions and toss well. Garnish with thinly sliced avocado.
Green is certainly the trend when it comes to healthy foods, and needless to say, there are some great reasons for that. Dark, leafy greens are full of chlorophyll, which builds red blood cells. They are loaded with fiber – good for many things, including weight loss and balancing blood sugar. And, of course, they are packed with phytonutrients, a specific type of antioxidant that can enhance your immune response in a variety of ways. So dark leafy greens are beneficial to your health, no question.
But there is another green food that – for years – was maligned and considered taboo because of its fat content. Turns out the creamy, delicious avocado is extremely good for your health! I remember living in San Diego with amazing avocado groves, where you can buy a large bag of those glorious fruits for what we might pay for a single one at the supermarket. Mexican food is such a staple in California, and guacamole was offered at every event. Yet most people shied away from it or ‘allowed’ themselves only a small bit so they could stay on their ‘low-fat’ regimen.
Thankfully we have seen the error of our ways at last and it’s now widely accepted that not only is the fat in an avocado not bad for you, it actually adds tremendous health benefits. Avocado oil is similar to olive oil in that it is the monounsaturated, oleic acid kind that actually lowers cholesterol! In a study done at the Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, according to Dr. Jonny Bowden, not only did total cholesterol drop by 17%, but the cholesterol ratio – perhaps a more important indicator – also changed for the better. This kind of monounsaturated fat has also been linked to a reduction in the risk of cancer and diabetes.
Lutein is a specific antioxidant associated with good vision, and avocados are a great source of that as well. They are also high in fiber, potassium and folate – all nutrients that promote good health.
It’s interesting to add sliced avocado to things like omelets, green salads and beans ‘n rice dishes. But it’s just plain fun to use its creaminess in more unusual ways, such as spreading ripe avocado on bread instead of mayo for a sandwich. Or add it to a smoothie to make it ‘smoothier!’. My favorite by far is to use avocados instead of cream to make chocolate mousse. Try this recipe and you’ll not only never know it was made with avocado, but make it part of your weekly ‘go-to’ dessert menu. I love it with fresh raspberries. See what you think.
Certified Holistic Health Counselor and Nutrition consultant for CUTCO
Paula Antonini is dedicated to helping you eat better, live longer and be healthier. A Certified Holistic Health Counselor – Paula shares her passion for fresh vegetables, whole grains and clean eating with individuals, small groups and corporate workshops. She adores CUTCO because it can “cut a squash like butter” – and adds if you want a little butter – it’s ok – as long as it comes from a healthy cow!
Have you ever heard the saying “it tastes like chicken?” The phrase has been tossed around for decades. We’re told everything tastes like chicken. Shark, rabbit, alligator, you name it.
The problem is that these days most chickens have lost their chicken flavor. So if something is tasteless, it must taste like chicken. Factory-farmed chicken can be tasteless because they use commercial feed that is not designed to make chickens taste good, but to allow them to a reach a specified size as quickly as possible for the least cost possible.
The local food movement that’s been afoot the past decade has made millions realize that good food is all about quality ingredients and careful preparation. Here in Montana, we buy local chickens from Hutterite Colonies that raise birds in much better conditions than traditional supermarket chickens. They taste wonderful and they have that classic chicken flavor we all crave.
For those of us that can only buy the supermarket bird, options are plentiful for making it taste anything but bland. One strategy I like to employ is using fresh herbs and simple fresh sauces to make the ordinary store-bought chicken, taste extraordinary. In this recipe, in addition to fresh herbs, I also use prosciutto de Parma, a very thinly sliced Italian ham, both for flavor and texture.
I like using airline chicken breasts, or a Statler cut, which is basically a chicken breast with the drumette attached. Your local butcher or grocery meat department should be able to help get these for you. Or you can attempt to fabricate these yourself using your sharp CUTCO knives. There are plenty of good online videos that demonstrate this technique. Do not attempt this with inexpensive, dull knives, it will be misery.
Once you have your airline breasts here is how to create a flavorful chicken dish. This dish tastes amazing. It will actually taste like chicken and make your Grandma proud.
Chef Keith Snow hosts the Harvest Eating TV show on Rural TV, is author of The Harvest Eating Cookbook (available on Amazon) and the host of the Harvest Eating Internet Radio show. Chef Snow loves his Cutco knives and uses them exclusively.
At Flower School NY it is our goal to help people live a richer life through flowers. Flowers are easy to love as they come in so many different types, colors and textures, but it is possible to gain a greater depth of knowledge of flowers to further appreciate their beauty.
In our weeklong Intensive Series we teach professional florists and floral enthusiasts alike the fundamental principles of floral design. In this course we teach best practices in technique and design so everyone can learn to coax each bloom to perfection and create a beautiful arrangement.
On a rainy day in March FlowerSchool’s lead floral designer Beth Horta of Sweet Sabelle taught one of our most popular classes of the series called “Dutch Hand-Tied Bouquet.” A hand-tied bouquet is essentially a method of creating an arrangement in your hand and is an easy design to achieve even for a beginner florist.
Before starting the design, it is best to first condition your flowers by cutting the stems with clippers and allowing your flowers to drink for 24 hours. A well-hydrated flower is much sturdier and less–fragile to work with. Next, remove all foliage where you hold the flowers. Foliage should never be in your hand or below the water line. This will only create a bulky design and will cause bacteria in the water. Having nice clean stems is ideal. Once all your flowers have been hydrated and cleaned, lay out your floral recipe on a clean surface so you are able to see every design element.
To begin the design, start with a few stems lying loosely in your hand. Try working with a few of the sturdier stems such as the foliage and roses to give the design a structural base. Next, lay each element over the previous stem on an angle. Stems should not be crossing over one another, but lying flat and in the same direction as the previous stem. Once you have about six to ten stems, begin to turn the bouquet clockwise to add flowers around the whole bouquet. Feel free to spread your materials throughout the bouquet or create grouping of flowers. Floral design is all about personal preference and inspiration- get creative!
Rather than collecting four or five very different colors, try creating a tonal bouquet with swaths of colors. Using several tones of yellow or green gives your design greater visual dimension. In Beth’s bouquet we used pale greens and whites with a pop of beautiful spring pink! Her recipe includes:
- 9 stems of Ladies Mantle
- 7 stems of Sweet Eskimo Rose
- 6 stems of pink tulips
- 5 stems of stock
- 10 stems of spray rose
- 7 stems of light pink lisianthus
- 2 stems of passion vine
No matter what you do it is important to enjoy the process of floral design and allow others to enjoy your creation. The flowers do all the hard work so stay inspired and get designing!
Brittany Bosch graduated from Dickinson College with a BA in Art History and from Pratt Institute with her MPS in Arts Administration. With a passion for decorative arts, Brittany worked many years in the interior design business, which later led her to FlowerSchool New York. It is here that Brittany’s love of design intertwines with a new passion for flowers as the Curriculum Coordinator for the school.
Spring is here and our thoughts are turning to entertaining on the patio or hosting a garden party.
With the season comes warmer weather and lighter fare. To accompany the lighter fare I suggest a wine that is refreshing and affordable with a presentation that will blend with the colors of spring. When selecting a wine the main criteria should be that it is versatile so that it pairs well with any food from hors d’oeuvres to desserts. There are few wines that can cover as much culinary territory as a good sparkling wine. A great sparkling wine is Champagne, but its bubbles can be very pricey. My choice for an affordable wine is French Crémant’s. These are sparkling wines that come from Burgundy, Alsace, and Loire regions. They are of good quality and good value for the dollar. My recommendations are:
- Chateau de Moncontour; fine yellow color with a delicate green hue when young, with flavors of green apple, quince, and pear with a hint of toasted brioche.
- Lucien Albrecht Crémant d’Alsace Brut Rose; strawberry and red raspberry fruit suggestions that are enhanced by the wine’s discreet hint of sweetness, saline, meaty, and herbal notes.
- Bouvet Rosé Brut: delicate salmon-pink color punctuated by fine, pinpoint bubbles which suggest the wines fresh, raspberry and cassis fragrance.
One of the other great qualities of sparkling wine, besides its versatility with food, is its use in sparkling cocktails. Sparkling cocktails are elegant, easy, food friendly, and very refreshing in warm weather. In a sparkling wine cocktail the wine is a back drop to a mixture of fruit and liqueurs, so a less expensive wine can be used, making the cocktail more affordable. An example is Jaume Serra Cristalino from Spain. Here are some of my favorite recipes:
The Prince of Wales
John Bourdage, of Bourdage Consulting, is a graduate of the Ivor Spencer School for Butler Administration and Personal Assistants in London, a Five-Star Diamond award-winning school. He’s trained in etiquette, food and wines, entertaining, and British-style butler service. He studied restaurant and hotel management at the Ritz and Savoy hotels, and wines under a master sommelier.
Spring is the perfect time to plan a party! This month the State Street Kitchen is featuring elegant and easy entertaining ideas from gorgeous floral arrangements to super fast recipes that are simple, elegant and as fresh as a spring breeze. Perfect for a bridal shower, Mother’s Day brunch or any spring gathering.
Inspiration for the perfect spring gathering