Nov 27 2012

The Clean List

A few weeks back I published a list of 12 foods, coined The Dirty Dozen, with the highest levels of pesticide residue.  So the question becomes: what are the “safest” foods to eat if organic is unavailable or unaffordable? With the looming fiscal cliff, there may be even less money to spend at the grocery store. I pray our government can work together, but that’s a discussion for another day and another blog….

In follow up to above, below is the Environmental Working Group’s 2011 Clean 15 list of fruits and vegetables that are least likely to be contaminated by chemicals:

  1. Onions
  2. Sweet corn
  3. Pineapple
  4. Avocado
  5. Asparagus
  6. Sweet peas
  7. Mango
  8. Eggplant
  9. Cantaloupe (domestic)
  10. Kiwi
  11. Cabbage
  12. Watermelon
  13. Sweet potatoes
  14. Grapefruit
  15. Mushrooms

Our taxes may be going up, but….

…well not sure how to put a positive spin on rising taxes, but the brownie s’mores I’m eating right now help!

Sep 9 2012

Call me crazy

No, this isn’t a posting about Carly Rae Jepsen’s [annoying, yet catchy] hit song.

An article was published this week in The Washington Post citing a recent study done by Stanford University that “organic foods offer no more vitamins and nutrients than conventional products.” Now make no mistake, this article was not discouraging consumers from buying organic. It was merely pointing out this common misconception people make about organic food. Personally, I don’t buy organic foods for what they do have, but rather, what they don’t have….

Call me crazy, but hormones, pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, genetically modified organisms (i.e lots and lots of chemicals) just don’t sound super appealing in my morning bowl of yogurt and berries. Forgetting the fact that I think organic foods just taste better!

As I continue to write about the importance of buying organic, I recognize that these foods often command a significantly higher retail. Challenging in this economy, especially when feeding an average family of 4. So here’s a list, coined “The Dirty Dozen,” of 12 foods with the highest pesticide residue (i.e. go organic here):

  1. Apples
  2. Celery
  3. Strawberries
  4. Peaches
  5. Spinach
  6. Nectarines (imported)
  7. Grapes (imported)
  8. Sweet bell peppers
  9. Potatoes
  10. Blueberries
  11. Lettuce
  12. Kale, Collard greens (tie)

And if you still need convincing….well then….call me, maybe?


The Washington Post

May 14 2012

7 Foods You REALLY Don’t Want To Eat

I often preach about the benefits of buying organic, especially when it comes to fresh produce. A few days ago, I came across an interesting article that talks about the dangers of consuming some other staple pantry items…

If you eat: canned tomatoes, corn-fed beef, microwave popcorn, conventionally grown potatoes, farmed salmon, milk produced with growth hormones* and conventional apples, the article below is worth reading.

The truth is, there are many foods that we consume on a daily basis that pose health risks. Are these related to the increases in cancer and autism, the decline of the bee population, rise in obesity, etc.? Researchers are still trying to figure out correlations and new information becomes available everyday. My philosophy is you can never have too much information. An educated consumer makes the best consumer.

*If you would like to re-read my article from 5-4-11 on rBGH and milk, please click here.

Jan 15 2012

An Evening in Espana

I had one of the most wonderful meals in Chicago on Friday night and I didn’t even have to make a reservation! Every 6-8 weeks I get together with a group of talented chefs and foodies, otherwise known as my “dinner club.” Each meal is a carefully planned orchestration meant to challenge and inspire all of us, centered around a specific culinary cuisine. Friday night’s theme, Spanish Tapas, was dear to my heart, having lived in Spain nearly 10 years ago when fell in love with the cuisine. At Kasey’s home on Friday night we stood around drinking Cava and Rioja, just as if we are at bar in Espana. Check out a few of the items we whipped up:


Crostini with fresh anchovy, fennel and orange

Bacon Wrapped Dates stuffed with Manchego

Mushroom Confit

Tortilla Espanola

A feast of food and wine

……grilled vegetables/roast shrimp with Romesco, cheese, salad and port, braised chicken with dried fruit and chocolate crostini with fine sea salt…

And what’s the best way to work off all those calories? A drunken dance party of course! A dinner club first, but won’t be the last. The end of the night may be a bit (or a lot) fuzzy, but I do remember amazing food, great wine and, most importantly, the best company.

Dance Party

You want an invitation, don’t ya?

Dec 13 2011

The Rosie Show 12.11.11

Check out a clip from my latest job food styling for The Rosie Show:

Elle Fanning and Colin Ford’s Favorite Holiday Treats

‘Tis the season for sweets! Watch as Elle Fanning and Colin Ford, two of Hollywood’s rising stars, teach Rosie how to make their favorite holiday treats. Colin shares the secret to perfectly pepperminty hot chocolate, and Elle reveals what goes into her grandma’s recipe for Sugar Babies.