Archive - January 2012

My Favorite Wine Shop In NYC

I have been going to Spirits of Carmine for years. Their prices are fair, the staff (and owner) is friendly and knowledgeable. They even deliver to my place…which is not exactly close. I highly recommend this as a location to purchase your wine.

Spirits of Carmine is located at 52 Carmine Street in New York’s West Village. For information call (212) 206-0091

Superbowl 2012 NY


The New York Giants are bound for the big game! New Yorkers (and New Jerseyans) will be supporting Big Blue this year (and hopefully celebrating at the end of the evening). If you need a place (or ideas) to celebrate, look no further:

Hecho en Dumbo: On Super Bowl Sunday Salón Hecho will be projecting the game on their 13′ screen and serving up the Mexican football-watching fare. What’s that? Street hot dogs, alitas de pollo (chicken wings – sweet and sour, lemon, and spicy), and my favorite unhealthy treat – chicharrónes. Hecho en Dumbo’s own Chef Danny Mena will be going up against Chef Bill Dorrler (Osteria Morini) and Chef Einat Admony (Balaboosta) on the NFL Channel’s pre-game cookoff judged by Chef Marc Forgione of Iron Chef fame and Linebacker and TV host Dhani Jones. Should be an exciting evening. 356 Bowery Doors open at 4pm.

The Tea Set Bistro: We had to have one place where non-football (Gasp!) lovers could go. Sunday, February 5th, they  are offering a special champagne-filled afternoon Tea ($40 per person) until 8pm. It will include a two-tiered tea tray filled with a trio of sandwiches, assorted pastries and macaroons paired with a unique flight of three tea-infused champagne cocktails. I may love football, but tea infused with bubbly definitely piques my interest.

New York Central: In honor of the Giants, Executive Chef Christian Ragano is preparing a special game-day menu, available from 2pm – 11pm on February 5, which will feature tailgating favorites such as cornerback chili and beer cheese blitz.  They will also have wings with “Caveman” Blue cheese. For resos call (646) 213-6865

Earl’s Court™ Big Game Giveaway: If you’re planning to celebrate at home but don’t feel like cooking, this is for you. From January 25th to February 2nd, Earl’s will be raffling off a catered party for 15 people. It will be delivered right to the winner’s door (in Manhattan) on Super Bowl Sunday.  Don’t be sad if you’re outside Manhattan. If you win, you can pick up their spread at Earl’s. To enter, check out their website. 90 John Street.

Go Burger: Giants fans can sink their teeth into the Big Blue Burger ($14) with Maytag blue cheese, bone marrow shallot jam topped with sea salt and black pepper potato chips. New England loyalists can enjoy the Brady Bunch Burgah ($14) with maple glazed double smoked bacon, Vermont cheddar, Boston lager mustard, Boston lettuce and Old Spice seasoned tobacco onions. Fans of the winning team will get a free beer or cocktail. I guess Giants fans will be having a free beer that night. For resos call 212-988-9882.

Sons of Essex: A great place if you just don’t want to worry about anything but the game. For $75 you can enjoy unlimited food and beers. On the menu are Chinese five spice pork belly sliders, guss’ LES fried pickles, mac n cheese balls (these are right up my alley), hephard’s pie empanadas and of course wings. For resos email them at [email protected] or call (212) 674-7100. 133 Essex Street, NYC.

Nuchas: Maybe you’re hosting instead of headed out into the wild on Super Bowl Sunday. If so, do something different. You know clean-up will be a pain the next day. Why not have some empanadas delivered? Nuchas offers them in variety of dough options (classic, spinach, rosemary, turmeric) and fillings such as traditional Argentine (with Pat Lafrieda ground beef), all natural slow braised short rib (Creekstone farms), spicy chipotle chicken, jambalaya and (for those vegan friends) a Shiitake curry empanada. A box of 12 fresh baked empanadas in an assortment of flavors comes straight to the door for $30.  Delivery is available from 34th St to 54th St from 6th Avenueto 8th Avenue.  To order call  (347) 688-8440

Dinosaur BBQ: Anyone w ho has been following this blog knows I love Dinosaur BBQ. I’ve been to all their locations, so it should be no wonder it made this list.  They are offering a Super Bowl party package for groups of either 6 or 12, available for take-out or delivery. it includes racks of Dino’s ribs, chicken wings, and celery and blue cheese dip. It even comes with plates, utensils, napkins, extra sauce, and wet naps. An additional selection of a la carte items such as cornbread, slaw, and more of Dino’s meats are available as well. To order, call the restaurant (asap) at (212) 694-1777.

An Nhau: Maybe you’re not a traditionalist…you want something a bit more exotic. Move away from the traditional wings, chips and dips. Instead of shrimp cocktail, try imperial Shrimp wrapped in rice paper, replace pigs in a blanket with spring or summer rolls filled with shrimp or pork, try baby back ribs marinated in Vietnamese spices. An Nhau will also have some nice vegetarian options. Give the restaurant a call for more info at  (718) 384-0028.

Neely’s BBQ Parlor:  is offering a Super Bowl menu which includes pulled beer can
chicken sliders (with white barbecue sauce and Neely’s pig skins,  housemade bbq potato chips with caramelized smoked onion dip ($5) and  Coney Island style hot dogs topped with Pat’s Brisket and beer chili with NY sharp cheddar cheese (2 for $10). For reservations call  212-832-1551.


Interview with Clay and Zach of The Bitten Word


When I was younger, my mom had piles and piles of Food and Wine all over our house. I think this had an impact on my love for food. You can imagine my delight when I learned about Clay and Zach of the bitten word. In 2008, they resolved to put their food magazines to work and that they have. If you have not taken the time to check out their blog, please do. Our community voted the guys as one of the Best Food Blogs of 2011. It’s full of amazing recipes and the guys are great. I caught up with them to find out a little more about them, their blog and their lives.

FriendsEAT: What inspired you to start “The Bitten Word”?

Clay & Zach: We had several subscriptions to food magazines and they were piling up around our apartment and sometimes even going unread. So as a new years resolution, we said that we would either start using them or cancel the subscriptions. And we thought it might be fun to blog about using them, so we launched The Bitten Word. That was nearly four years ago.

FriendsEAT: For those who are not familiar with your blog, how would you describe it?

Clay & Zach: Our tagline is “Resolving to put our food magazines to use,” and that’s what we do. Each month, we feature recipes from new food magazines, show you how our version turned out, and sometimes discuss how we would change the recipe. We also post original recipes and discuss other things we’re interested in, like travel, books and our ill-fated attempts at gardening.

FE: I know about your favorite cooking magazines, what is your favorite cookbook?

Clay & Zach: The book we reach for more than any other is Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything — it’s such a great resource for just about anything you want to know. But we’re not sure it’s our favorite. Our favorite cookbook of the past year is probably A Southerly Course by Martha Hall Foose. She’s a great Southern cook — she was the food stylist for The Help! — and her cookbook is just bursting with mouthwatering dishes.

FE: How did you and Zach meet? Was your love of food a match made in heaven or were there some issues to sort out?

Clay & Zach: We actually met in a bar, through a common friend who introduced us. He said, “You’re both from the South, you should talk.” The food came many years later. It’s funny, we both loved to eat back then, but neither of us was really cooking. It’s only after we started the blog that we really began cooking in earnest.

FE: What is a typical day in your life like?

Clay & Zach: We blog as a hobby, so we’re busy with full-time jobs. Zach is an editor at a government policy magazine and Clay is the digital director of a D.C. based nonprofit called Share Our Strength, which is focused on ending childhood hunger in America. Besides work, we run a fair amount (Zach ran his first marathon last fall, and we’re both doing a 10-mile race this spring). And because we’re cooking so much, we have people over for dinner a lot.

FE: There are tons of cooking magazines with tons of recipes; how do you select the recipes that you will feature?

Clay & Zach: We go through each magazine each month and make a list of the potential dishes. Some are things that we know we’ll cook — others are things that are maybes if the right occasion arises. So usually at the beginning of a month there are some definites, but as the month wears on we just start ticking through them to see how many we want to make. There have only been a handful of food magazine dishes that we’ve made in four years that we haven’t featured on the blog — each time it was more a matter of timing more than anything else.

FE: Who was/is your biggest culinary inspiration?

Clay & Zach: Zach’s mom is a huge inspiration to us. She’s a fantastic home cook, can whip up a dish on a whim, and is very industrious when it comes to canning and preserving. She’s the kind of cook we try to be.

FE: What advice would you give to someone who is interested in starting a food blog?

Clay & Zach: We would recommend finding an angle you’re passionate about and just going for it. We launched our blog without much planning. We didn’t create a lot of content in advance, just a handful of posts. The most important thing is to just start writing, even if you’re not publishing it on a blog yet.

FE: Do you and Zach do everything for the blog yourself or do you have a team to help you?

Clay & Zach:  No, it’s just us. We split the work cooking, taking photos, and writing. Zach’s sister and mother have played sous chefs when we’ve done really big meals that feature 10+ recipes for the blog.

FE: What is the one thing you could eat any time, any place?

Clay & Zach: For Clay, pistachios. For Zach, peanut butter. And if it’s chocolate and peanut butter combined, we’d both eat it without hesitation.

FE: What has been the most exciting thing that has happened as a result of you starting “The Bitten Word”?

Clay & Zach: Without a doubt, the interaction we’ve had with our readers. We get the best emails and comments from people who have read the blog. Many of them are very personal, sharing favorite dishes, discussing milestones in the lives of their families. It’s all been so positive, and it’s also really motivating.

FE: If I came to visit you, what or where would we eat?

Clay & Zach: Well, we love to have people over for dinner, so we might do that. But if you hadn’t visited D.C. before, we’d show off our restaurant scene.  Our Ethiopian community is huge, and that cuisine is a fun experience for those who have never eaten it. But we have a lot of great new restaurants, too. We’re hot right now on Little Serow, a northern Thai restaurant with a tasting menu — it’s amazing.

FE: And your favorite ingredient to cook with?

Clay & Zach: We love Brussels sprouts. We could eat them year-round.

FE: How do you feel about Foodtertainment?

Clay & Zach: We don’t watch a lot of it. We occasionally turn on The Food Network (our DVR has quite a few episodes of Barefoot Contessa stacked up, and we love Food Network Star). And we follow Top Chef (though we’ve kind of given up on Texas). We’re actually very pleased to see so much food-focused content on television.

FE: If I say truffles, you say?

Clay & Zach: Chocolate!

FE: Where do you see food blogging in five years?

Clay & Zach: We assume that more food blogs will be video based in five years.

FE: And where do you see “The Bitten Word” in ten?

Clay & Zach: As an evil multinational corporation! Really, we have no idea. Ten years is a really long time.

FE: What do you see as the most important issue facing foodies today?

Clay & Zach: Foodies as a community can wield a lot of power in the personal food choices that they make. The sources of our food, and the methods used to produce them, can be influenced by these personal choices. Whether foodies embrace that power to make larger change in our food system that produces better quality meats and produce is a huge opportunity.

FE: Have you noticed that people make assumptions when they hear about your food blog that focuses on recipes from food publications?

Clay & Zach:  People often assume that because we cook a lot, we only like “nice” food. Nothing could be further from the truth! We can do some serious damage to a chili cheese half-smoke (a delicious sausage specialty that’s local to D.C.).  And faced with a bag of salt-and-vinegar potato chips, we lose all hope of self-control.

The Mayor of Las Vegas Is Living On Food Stamps


According to ABCNews, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman took part in a local food bank’s challenge to live on $4.06 per day — the amount a single person who qualifies for food stamps receives.

“I would get down to the point; well, what should we have this week?” Goodman said.

Because Congress is set this year to reauthorize funding for “S.N.A.P”, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Mayor Goodman is helping to raise awareness.

“I didn’t get to put any fruit on my meal plan this week. And, there’s not much variety in my vegetables. It’s a good thing that I love tomato soup!” Goodman blogged on the SNAP Experience Blog.

Mayor Goodman says getting enough food and the right food on food stamps can be difficult, and told ABC News it was difficult to scale back her usual eating habits to fit a tight budget.

“My life is so busy and I sort of respond to the needs of my body when it says, ‘Help! I’m starving!’ and I think, ‘oh, what shall I have today? Shall I have a bag of potato? Oh no.. .you’re on the program,’” Goodman said.

The week long challenge was organized by Three Square Food Bank in Las Vegas. John Livingston, spokesman for Three Squares, said that at over 6 feet, and 250 pounds, he struggled to live on $4.03 per day. “The biggest thing I’ve noticed is my cognitive skills have diminished,” Livingston said. “It takes me a longer time to process things.”

Livingston said the food bank wanted to highlight the struggle of everyday Americans who receive assistance from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. “The main thing we really want is to let people understand this so we protect the benefits and they don’t get cut or lessened,” he said.

Three Square’s Jodi Tyson says blogs from locals who joined the S.N.A.P. Experience ranged from frustration to anger. “We actually had one lady give up her lunch so her daughter could have a better lunch because the day before her daughter kept saying that she felt hungry,” Tyson said.

The number of Americans on food stamps has hit a new all-time high, increasing by 3 million since this time last year. One out of every seven Americans is on food stamps and one out of every four American children is on food stamps.

“According to the Census Bureau, 49 percent of all Americans live in a home that gets direct monetary benefits from the federal government. Back in 1983, less than a third of all Americans lived in a home that received direct monetary benefits from the federal government.”

US Bound Canadian Orange Juice Tests Positive For Banned Pesticide


The Food and Drug Administration has detained orange juice shipments from Canada after the shipments tested positive for carbendazim, a banned and toxic pesticide just recently found in Brazilian juice.

The FDA announced earlier this month that it would begin testing foreign orange juice shipments for the presence of carbendazim before allowing them to enter the country.

Coca-Cola, maker of Minute Maid and Simply Orange, initially reported finding the carbendazim last month in imported Brazilian juice and reported it to the FDA, whose agency — until now — has never tested for carbendazim in imported or domestic orange juice.

On Friday, the agency said that among 80 shipments from around the world it tested so far, six from Canada and five from Brazil had tested positive.

But Fox News previously reported that the Food and Drug Administration said 19 of the 45 samples it had taken since testing began on January 4 were safe, and the remainder were “pending analysis and/or are under compliance review.”

CNN reports the samples that have tested positive so far had carbendazim levels of between 10 and 52 parts per billion, deemed save by the Environmental Protection Agency’s standard of under 80 parts per billion level of carbendazim.

Brazil accounted for roughly 56% of all U.S. orange juice imports in 2010, shipping over 171 million gallons to the U.S. Canada. Siobhan DeLancey, a spokeswoman for the FDA, said it is “hard to tell” when the current testing process will conclude. “It really all depends on what comes in and what we find,” she said.

Toxicologist Dr. Gary Ginsberg noted there is little point in regulating bad actor pesticides in consumer countries like the US when you do nothing to stop the manufacture and sale of these chemicals elsewhere.

“This creates the ‘circle of poison’ in which banned chemicals can circle the globe end up in our diet anyway since they are readily available in producer countries which have lax regulation.”

Quebec Ban on Fast-Food Ads Effective – But Will Ban Work in US?


According to research by University of Illinois economist Kathy Baylis, an outright ban on junk food advertising aimed at children would be more effective than the current industry-led ban.

Based on the economist’s published research, a ban covering the entire U.S. media market would be the most effective policy tool for reducing fast-food consumption in children regarding increasing concerns over childhood obesity and associated health risks.

According to Medical Xpress, Kathy Baylis, a professor of agricultural and consumer economics, studied the ban on junk-food advertising imposed in the Canadian province of Quebec from 1984 to 1992 and its effect on fast-food purchases.

The study compared English-speaking households, who were less likely to be affected by the ban, to French-speaking households, and found evidence that the ban reduced fast-food expenditures by 13 percent per week in French-speaking households, leading to between 11 million and 22 million fewer fast-food meals eaten per year, or 2.2 billion to 4.4 billion fewer calories consumed by children.

“Given the nature of Quebec’s media market and demographics, a ban would disproportionately affect French-speaking households, but would not affect similar households in Ontario or households without children in either province,” Baylis said.

Baylis says the study is applicable to the U.S., although the results wouldn’t be as powerful if bans were instituted state by state.

“What we found is that advertising bans are most effective when children live in an isolated media market, and it’s only because they’re in an isolated media market that they’re getting these effects,” she said.

“If any state on their own decided to do this, it would be problematic. If the U.S. as a whole decided to do it, our research indicates that such a ban could be successful. The comparison is a strongly regulated system in Quebec to a less strongly regulated system in Ontario, and we still found an effect. If anything, our study is finding a lower-bound of that effect.”

Baylis warns that the study is based on data from the 1980s and ’90s. “Obviously, the Internet has exploded since then, and computer games have also risen in popularity,” she said. “So we don’t know how well a television ban would work when children are spending an increasing amount of time online rather than watching TV.

“So it would be very hard to enforce an Internet ban, and the only way to tackle it would be how they’re doing it in Quebec, which is to prohibit advertising websites for junk food during cartoons, or even on product packaging in stores….”

To those who argue that absolute bans don’t work and a voluntary approach to self-regulation is better, Baylis insists that is simply not true, and says her research proves it.

Failure of San Francisco’s Happy Meal Ban

San Francisco attempted to discourage children from consuming unhealthy McDonald’s Happy Meals by creating a city ordinance banning toy giveaways with children’s meals at fast-food chain restaurants unless the meal met San Francisco’s nutritional standards.

To comply with the new ordinance, San Francisco McDonald’s owners simply charged 10 cents for the addition of a toy, and donated the proceeds to the Ronald McDonald House Charity.

“It’s misguided to think that this is going to combat childhood obesity,” said Keith Ayoob, associate professor of pediatrics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, who grew up in San Francisco. “We should be focusing on school lunches, where there are a lot more calories and fat than Happy Meals, and what kids are eating at home.”

Ayoob notes that banning food choices should be replaced by mandating physical education for all grades in the school system.

The same could be said about an outright government ban on junk food advertising aimed at children. It’s way too late in the game to believe junk food advertising bans will be effective in a market that has already been saturated and exploited in virtually every country in the world.

Review Bobwhite Lunch & Supper Counter


I received an invite from Organic Works to drop by Bobwhite Lunch & Supper Counter. Was I glad I accepted. Bobwhite is a brand new Southern restaurant on the  Lower East Side of Manhattan headed by owner Keedick Coulter and Chef Amanda Beame. What makes this restaurant special (besides the food), is their focus on sustainable-raised, heritage, regional products. But enough about them. Let’s talk about the food.

I got started with the winter salad ($8.50). I could tell that I would like this place. The salad was quite large and could easily be shared by three. It consisted of winter greens, red beets, goat cheese, grapefruit, and the most delicious candied pecans. The salad was dressed in an elegant shallot vinaigrette that complimented and did not overwhelm the flavors of the salad. It also came with a light and fluffy buttermilk biscuit which was hard to put down.

If you have not quite gotten the gist, this is not a place to visit while you’re on a diet (but the calories are totally worth it). The next dish I tried was the heritage pork chop sandwich ($8.50).  The pork chop was butterflied and then seared. As I took a bite of this delicious morsel, Chef Beame came out to introduce herself (and switch Taylor Swift off the radio). She is young, down to earth and genuine. In speaking to her one can see that this CIA alum really enjoys her craft. The pork was juicy and thin and had a slight sweetness that was nicely complimented by a mustard relish and a touch of mayonnaise. To hold it all together: a potato bun.

While the dishes above were wonderful, the protagonist at the restaurant is the fried chicken ($9.50 for dark meat). Sure, the restaurant offers white meat; but no self respecting person would order white meat fried. As I took my first bite, I was delighted. The skin was crisp but not greasy. As my teeth hit the meat I was wowed. The chicken was juicy and had a hint of sweetness. Chef Beame explained that this came from her sweet tea brine. I am afraid to mention this at the risk of everyone finding out, but Beame’s fried chicken beats out Momofuku’s by a landslide.

I almost forgot. There were sides: there was tomato pudding, black eyed peas, mac n’ cheese, and beans and rice. Out of all the sides, my favorites were the black eyed peas and the mac n’ cheese. The black eyed peas were even vegetarian (totally unexpected at their level of tastiness).

Dessert? There was that too. Desserts change on a daily basis and are made in house. We started with a red velvet cheesecake. It was sinful, rich and creamy.

My favorite dessert out of the two was the chocolate chip bread pudding. This had comfort oozing out of every bite.

Final thoughts…You are probably all thinking that I gained 30 pounds from this meal. But I restrained myself from eating everything and hit the gym for an hour later that afternoon. The calories were totally worth it and I can’t wait to return. I’m planning a meet-up at the restaurant soon, so if you’d like to join me in March, check out the group.

Highly Recommended

Bobwhite Lunch & Supper Counter is located at 94 Avenue C (between 6th & 7th), New York, NY 10009 (212) 288-2972.

Bobwhite is closed Monday and Tuesday. To get there, take the F to Delancey, L to first ave or J, M, Z to Essex.



Yup. You heard right, Beefalo. Today I learned that such a thing exists. I’m a little freaked, it’s kinda like a mule. But hey, maybe it’s tasty?

What is Beefalo? Basically, you cross bison with bovine and BAM! You have beefalo. There’s even a legal definition for it: it must be 3/8 bison and 5/8 bovine. The bovine part must be either Angus, , Charolais, or Hereford.

How do you know if you’re eating beefalo? If your meat says  ”beefalo beef” or “beef from beefalo”.

How’s it taste? Since the animal gains weight faster and is sent to market earlier than regular beef, it’s supposed to be more tender (it is said it is also sweeter).  I am told it is lower in cholesterol than beef and that while it costs more it is actually more of a value because there’s less fat and more meat. If you find some, cook it half the time of regular beef and keep it at medium-rare max.

Want to get it? The American Beefalo Association has a list of places you can get it. If you do…please get back to me and let me know how it is.

Drone Photos Reveal Meat Packing Plant Illegally Dumping Pig Blood


A website dedicated to news interests involving small, unmanned aviation systems (sUAS), or drones, reports on an interesting development in Dallas, Texas, related to a meat packing plant.

A Dallas (sUAS) enthusiast testing his camera equipped drone noticed something odd about the overhead landscape images he had taken: a “river of blood” was clearly flowing from behind a well-known meat-packing plant in Dallas.

Speaking to sUAS News, the drone operator said, “I was looking at images after the flight that showed a blood red creek and was thinking, could this really be what I think it is? Can you really do that, surely not? Then comes the question of who do I report this to that can find out what it is and where it is coming from.”

The drone operator (choosing to remain anonymous) finally contacted the Coast Guard and explained to them what was seen by the small camera equipped drone. The anonymous operator was told that the appropriate authorities, including the TCEQ (Texas Commission on Environment Quality) would be notified, and a local investigator was dispatched onsite within 20 minutes.

Fox affiliate KDFW-TV reported last week that a criminal investigation is under way at Columbia Packing Co., Inc., based on the drone photographs showing what appeared to be pig blood flowing in nearby Cedar Creek, which feeds directly into the Trinity River.

The EPA, TCEQ, and Texas Parks and Wildlife executed a search warrant, and Texas Environmental Crimes Task Force has watched the plant for two months after they first received the information. Dallas County has also been working with federal and state investigators ever since the tip came in.

“Any time there is some type of discharge into the Trinity River…especially from an environmental standpoint, this is a real concern,” said the Texas Health and Human Services chief. “I think they discovered a secondary pipe again is my understanding, so the question is who installed the pipe and why was it there.”

“It goes to show the length some companies will go to violate environmental laws,” Zach Trahan, program director for the non-profit Texas Campaign for the Environment, told

“Building an underground pipe to take their industrial waste into a creek behind the plant is clearly against our clean water laws in this state and in this country,” said Trahan, who blasted what he called an old “go-dump-it-out-back” attitude “still going on in this day and age in the heart of Dallas.”

A small drone was also recently used to track Japanese whaling operations. Gary Mortimer with sUAS News notes that unmanned aviation is making a positive environmental difference, and suggests this could be a fantastic new niche service for small private businesses.

Kashmir Hill with Forbes claims amateurs are free to fly drones as long as they keep them under 400 feet and aren’t planning to use the footage for any commercial purpose. Though businesses can’t currently use drones, drones can be used against them, writes Hill.

A local Dallas news station reports the Dallas City Attorney has now cited Columbia Meat Packing Plant with numerous violations in connection with apparent runoff into city waters. The city said any of the violations could create health and safety problems for employees, neighbors and the general public.

Freshman Senator Drafts Bill Banning Aborted Fetuses in Food


In what is most assuredly nothing but a twisted publicity stunt, Republican Freshman Senator Ralph Shortey from Oklahoma City has introduced a bill that would ban the use of aborted human fetuses in food, despite fully acknowledging that he himself is unaware of any company involved in such a practice.

Shortey said while online he was led to believe some companies use embryonic stem cells to develop artificial flavors, and considers he should act now by offering the bill to raise “public awareness” and provide an “ultimatum to companies” that might consider such a policy.

It’s common knowledge that clinics in various locations around the world offer face lifts and cosmetic surgery using stem cell tissue from aborted fetuses. But no reports have circulated on the web of stem cells used to develop artificial food flavors.

There were reports of fetal cannibalism among Chinese doctors who regularly performed abortions in China. The article originally appeared in the Hong Kong Eastern Express 1n 1995; there are also unconfirmed reports of some people in China eating fetal soup.

Holding a coveted Senate seat is a position of responsibility. Making baseless claims without providing a shred of evidence as the foundation from which to launch legislation is not only flagrantly irresponsible, it makes a mockery of those who participate in the entire lawmaking process.

Time would be better served for Oklahoma lawmakers downloading “Tommy Boy” for a few Chris Farley laughs, instead of entertaining this nonsense in the Senate.

The bill has pissed off quite a few Oklahoma lawmakers. “We’ve got too many challenges facing Oklahomans today. We don’t need to go looking for possible challenges that may come about sometime in the future,” said Crain, R-Tulsa.

“If it can be demonstrated that this is a challenge facing our food supply, then I think we need to act quickly, but there’s been no demonstration that this is going on. I’d hate to think we’re going to spend our time coming up with possibilities of things we need to stop.”

Shortey has made headlines before with other bills he’s introduced that subsequently died on the vine:

“He sponsored a measure last year to crack down on illegal immigrants by authorizing law enforcement to seize their homes and vehicles, and to deny Oklahoma citizenship to babies born to illegal immigrants. He also offered an amendment to a bill that would have allowed legislators to carry firearms anywhere in the state, including the floor of the House and Senate.”



Herbs and spices are great ways to add flavor and aromatics to your dishes. Herbs are those aromatic plants that give their leaves, stems and flowers to make our dishes delectable. Whether you like to use them fresh or dried (I like them fresh for most recipes), they are an essential part of the home kitchen. The following are some of my favorites (I’ve alphabetized to make things easier):

Basil: Although most of us think of the green kind (sweet basil); there are tons of types of basil. There’s chocolate, cinnamon, garlic, and lemon). For this discussion, we’ll chat about sweet basil. It has delicate green leaves and small white flowers. It’s aroma is strong and some say peppery. When purchasing, make sure that there are no flowers on the basil and that the leaves are bright and green. If you cannot get sweet basil, you can substitute with Opal (purple basil). The most common uses for basil are in pesto and Caprese salads.

Bay Leaves (sweet laurel): These tough leaves have a balsam scent and a peppery flavor. Dried bay leaves are more commonly used because fresh leaves can be bitter. Bay leaves are an essential element to the bouquet garni and the court bouillon. Add them at the beginning of your cooking cycle and remove them once you’ve achieved the desired flavor.

Chervil (Sweet Cicely): It has hints of licorice on the nose, but is a bit more gentle than parsley. This herb does not do well with heat, so it should be added at the end of cooking. I really enjoy it as a garnish and with goat cheese.

Chives: Chives are related to onions and are commonly used as a garnish (I’m thinking of baked potatoes). they are composed of long, thin hollow stems and grow purple flowers. Chives are incredibly easy to use. Just chop them up and add them to scrambled eggs, any type of potatoes and seafood. You can substitute with garlic (Chinese) chives. These are flat and taste a bit more like garlic.

Cilantro (Chinese Parsley): I fall into the camp of people who love cilantro. My mind (and tongue) do not comprehend how people can dislike them. Apparently, there is a gene that triggers a soap like taste when some people eat cilantro. Too bad for them and good for me. Cilantro is the plant that gives off coriander seeds. I find it interesting that cilantro and coriander taste completely different. Cilantro has a pleasant sharpness and is almost lime-like. Perhaps why it is so good in guacamole.  While cilantro does not do too well when heated, it is a great addition right before eating stews. Use only when bright green and skip the stems.

Curry (Leaves…not powder): They come from a tree in the Himalayas and India. The flavors are of…well…curry infused with citrus. When you use them, make sure the leaves are fresh, bright green. Skip dried curry leaves since they are pretty bland.

Dill: I always love the look of dill. It reminds me of delicate lace. Its leaves are miniscule and feathery. Dill tastes a bit like parsley with hints of licorice and anise. You can use both the seeds (oval, flat, brown seeds) and the leaves in the cooking process. Dill is great with seafood and artichokes.

Lemongrass: Its name describes it quite well. “Citronella grass” has a powerful nose of lemon. It looks similar to scallions. Use the bottom part of the base and the white leaf stalks. These work wonders in beef based soups and are used commonly in Southeast Asian dishes such as Tom Yum Goong.

Marjoram:  This is a nice substitute for thyme. It is slightly sweeter, but with a more powerful scent. You can use it fresh, but with this herb, its aromas and flavors become more powerful when dry. Little known fact…oregano is wild marjoram.

Mint: If you have ever grown mint, then you know it is like a weed and can take over your entire garden. There are a lot of different species, but the most commonly used is spearmint. It goes incredibly well with fruits, chocolate and is an essential ingredient in one of my favorite cocktails; the mojito.

Oregano:  I had tons of oregano at my house when I was little. You already know it is known as wild marjoram. It’s a bit peppery. My (ex) step dad (who is Greek) used oregano in everything; tomatoes, feta, chicken, soups…everything. We used it fresh and dried. This is still one of my favorite herbs. For a simple salad, dice up fresh tomatoes, feta and cucumber. Drizzle it with good olive oil and sprinkle with dry cilantro. It makes for an amazing summer salad.

Parsley: I think the entire world is familiar with parsley. At home, I use both curly and Italian parsley. Curly has a more sharp than Italian. Italian parsley has flat leaves and a coarser flavor. This is an essential ingredient in a bouquet garni. Also, great in this artichoke, pancetta and parsley recipe.

Rosemary: This herb is like me, it grows wild in warm weather. It resembles a Christmas tree with its needle like leaves. It even smells a bit like pine. I absolutely love rosemary. I use it fresh in my roasted chicken, stews and lamb chops.

Thyme: It comes from a small plant and has tiny green leaves and purple flowers. It sometimes reminds me of sage (but in a good way – I’m not a fan of sage). I love to use it with fish dishes (especially white fish in the sous vide machine).