Start the Year by Improving Bad Habits and Trying New Food Pairings

Maple Cumin Bread
Maple Cumin Bread

My knowledge of wine could be more than the average person, for I know my basic pairings with food. I’m also not an aficionado when it comes to tea, but I know enough to start with loose-leaf tea leaves and the different steeping times. However, my knowledge of beer is flat. Last autumn, Jo of AGiftofTea.com — a true tea connoisseur — invited me to her Beer and Tea pairing event in Harlem. Although, my time management is a work in progress, I missed the demonstration. However, I was able to sample Organic Golden Monkey Black, Jasmine Green and Alishan Oolong teas while nibbling on beer flavored popcorn, spicy dried mango from Trader Joe’s (that’s now part of my grocery list) and dark chocolate.

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A Twist of the Original: Quince Apple Skillet Pancake

Quince Apple Skillet Pancake

The quince apple was hard. Immediately letting me know this isn’t a fruit to eat while running out the door to work or as a midday snack. It needed to be cooked down with a roast chicken, in a cobbler, pie or an apple skillet pancake. It had a beautiful floral and fruity fragrance, a scent that took my memory to perfumes and candles using quince in their blends. One large quince apple was purchased with a bag of organic tart Granny Smith Apples.  Read more

Parade.com: 3 Ways to Spice Up Your Acorn Squash

Spicy Roast Acorn Squash

Even as a so-called health nut, I love winter squashes roasted until they’re buttery and sticky-sweet. They’re drizzled with olive or coconut oil, or a little soft butter is brushed on slices. Perhaps they’re sweetened with brown or coconut sugar, maple syrup or honey. A bit of sea salt and fresh black pepper are sprinkled here and there. In my creative mind, winter squashes are flavored with any combination of herbs and spices. Read more