Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Easy Recipe: Curried Carrot Soup with Roasted Pistachios

I saw this recipe on Vegetarian Times and I have to say it's amazing and it's really easy to make as it takes 30 minutes or less to prepare it. 


2 Tbs of olive oil.
1 20oz package grated carrots (8 cups)
2 Large leeks, light green and white parts thinly sliced (2 cups)
1/4 tsp. plus 1/8 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp. vadouvan spice or curry powder
1/4 cup roasted shelled pistachios, chopped.

  • Heat oil in a large pot over medium high heat.
  • Add carrots, leeks and baking soda.
  • Cover and cook 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until vegetables are tender and browned in spots.
  • Stir in curry spice and cook for half a minute.
  • Add 4 cups of water and bring it to a simmer.
  • Remove from heat, puree with immersion blender and season with salt if desired. Serve sprinkled with pistachio

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Pecan, Storage Tips and a Recipe for the Fall Days

Pecan nuts on a tree
The pecan is native to North America; a long time ago Native American tribes used this wonderful nut as a major energy source because of the fatty acids of Omega 6, which today it's still recommended by nutritionist as it can reduce the risk of gallstones in women as well it can reduce LDL cholesterol.

This wonderful nut is harvested from trees in the fall, so right now it's the best time or the peak of the season to enjoy the amazing buttery-crunchy flavor of the pecans.

Tips When Going to The Store to Buy Pecans:

The best pecans you can buy in the grocery store are the unshelled ones is a good way to know you are purchasing a fresh product  - I can tell that after working for so many years - the best thing you can do at the moment of buying them is to avoid nuts with cracked shells; also check the weight, they need to feel heavy for their size and don't rattle when you shake the bag or the can; also if you are buying shelled pecans check the color as they need to look uniform and without any dark spot around the shell; as any grain with high oil content they can turn rancid in less than a month and quickly develop a bitter test, buy small bags and use them as necessary because if you buy large bulks and you are not going to use them on the moment but one good thing is that you can extend their shelve life after you open them by simply placing them in an airtight in the freezer as they can last around 3 years if they are shelled. In-shell pecans can be kept in a cool dry place around 10 months before they get spoiled.


Taken from Vegetarian Times, you can crack the shelled pecan to free the nut from the shell, spread the shelled pecans to dry on a baking sheet fro 24 hours. To toast the nuts once they've dried, place the baking sheet in a 350F oven for about 15 minutes.

  1. Saute sliced sunchockes, rosemary, and garlic; toss with toasted pecans, baby spinach and lemon vinaigrette.
  2. Finely grind 1/2 cup pecans, and comine with spelt flour, mashed banana, and cinnamon for a pancake batter.
  3. Toss cooked spaghetti squash strands with chopped pecans, diced apple, sliced green onion and olive oil. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Nickname Game

The Nickname Game
Newly parents as well veteran ones always try to chose  a good name for their kids, something meaningful but at the same time when a names comes there is always going to be a nickname from the very beginning. It is probably's a parents thing, my own parents used to give me a few nicknames and I never minded them but there is a point in every child life that will try to distance themselves from their parents and the parents should know when is time to give their children some space in life.

One good thing about nicknames at the moment there are large group of children and also to create a bond between their parents because it create a playfulness interactions with your child.

There is a minor detail with nicknames, the best situation is not to stray away from the original name one example with my own name Gustavo, it can go to Tavo, Gus, Gussy, Gusty, Gus-Gus which is difficult to get away from but so is not the rule to exception because one of my nicknames went to Ta'to, which was difficult to be reminded and raised some doubtful questions by many kids when I was younger, but to other kids having a really sticky nickname could be a major problem as it can follow them all their lives as well a stigma to their parents on the reason why they place that specific nickname to their kid.

There is also another problem, really catchy-cute nicknames as "bear" could look sweet when the kid is younger but once the kids is older, the simple nickname could become a problem by hurting the child self-stem, so think as a parent as if the child ask you to stop calling him or her the nickname in public you should  pay attention on what the child say because the child is trying to create an identity and create a roll among his or her friends, even on an older stage in life when they ask you to stop taking him or her to school or going to the bherus stop, you can listen and give the space but don't feel discouraged because the child may be quite content to hear you continue to use the special nickname.

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Hidden Sugars in a Kid's Diet

There is the classical argument that fruit drinks, sodas and other sweet beverages have too much content of sugar in their bodies but a new research from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention shows what we know before " that food choices can contribute significantly more added sugar calories to your child's diet than beverages and much of that sugar is gobbled up at home and not necessarily at day care or school (think about it, schools and day cares in a general consensus have strict lunch policies that control every single gram of calories that goes in and out of the dinning rooms.)

Many parents don't realize that when fat is taken out, sugar is put in and it is labeled low-fat, it sounds healthier than it really it is but it has more sugar content than many people realize it because this kind of foods have more than 10 grams of sugar per serving.

On Low-Fat Peanut Butter, manufacturers take out the fat, but to give it the texture and taste of regular peanut butter, they add sugar; the fat in the peanut butter that naturally occurs is healthy and beneficial for the health of the consumer, so the best it is to go with the regular item instead of anything else. If you live in Florida and you have access to a Publix supermarket the peanut butter they prepare in the supermarket it's completely made using only peanuts and nothing else, adding one point to our list of good items that you can find by a good price and are perfect for lunch.

Talking about cereals,  some of the children cereal contain more sugar than a Kit-Kat or a Twix, the problem don't lay on the colorful ones but on the selection of choosing one that contains five grams of sugar or less per serving. One trick my mother used to do when she served cereal was to add bananas with part skim milk and and to add an extra sweet flavor to the flakes she used to sprinkle a little bit of brown sugar in the bowl.

What about flavored milks as Nesquick.? The answer is quite simple, keep these goodies as an occasional treat, the best alternative it's to make your own at home and there are many of combinations you can use with Ovaltine, Carnation or Instant Breakfast, both which have additional vitamins and less sugar.

Yogurt Since milk already contains sugar thanks to lactose, added flavors can really spice the sugar quota, the best best is to buy plain or vanilla and add your own sweetness.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

4 Questions to Ask Dog Breeders Before Buying a Puppy

There is a special time in the life of people where they want a new addition for the family and a dog much of the time seems to be the right answer specially when there are kids around or if you live by yourself and you would like some company at night times. My best advice it is to adopt a pet, not to buy them as there are many dogs and cats in need of a good home and you can have a trustful companion for a fraction of what buying them costs.

If you are going to purchase the new member of the family here are four essential questions you can ask a breeder:

  • Meet the breeder in person, don't do it online or through a middle man and ask to see at least one of the puppy's parent to see any possible behavior or congenital defects.
  • Check out the dogs were housed.
  • Request for copies of the puppy health records.
  • Ask for a guarantee of the health of the puppy for the first few weeks after the purchase and a refund if a veterinarian finds a congenital defect.