Cooking With Grains

Culinary grains commonly undergo some degree o processing milling) before they reach the kitchen. The milling process either strips away or scores the bran and may also remove the kernel’s germ. In addition to refining, milling may also break the grain into small pieces or grind it into a meal.

There are various levels of preliminary processing. For example, brown rice that reaches the kitchen has undergone little refining; white rice, on the other hand, has been stripped of its bran and may be polished or converted as well. . . .

The grain’s most nutrientrich part is the endosperm, which serves as a storage facility for the carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals, and for some of the proteins and oils. Humans rely on the endosperm’s nutrients; even if the germ and the bran are removed, the endosperm itself is still a potent energy source.

The techniques covered here are for cooking the major culinary grains-rice, barley, bulgur wheat, couscous, cornmeal, and certain grains used as side dishes.

Make That Holiday Party The Best!!

mthpIT’S THE HOLIDAYS, AND I WANT TO EXTEND A LITTLE largesse toward my clients and friends. What could be better than inviting them to a party? Unfortunately, writing for Martha Stewart Living doesn’t leave me much time for creating my own stress-free gala. How was I going to find the time to organize and cook for a holiday party?

Since I’m computer-savvy, I decided to see if I could order party food online. I wanted to host a two-hour affair and serve light hors d’oeuvres and wine. I set a budget of about $20 per head and figured I’d invite about 30 guests. That gave me a total of $600 to spend. So I fired up my modem instead of my oven. Now, I don’t claim to have plumbed the depths of the Internet–I’ve merely trawled the waters. But since I’ve done much of the legwork, your holiday planning time should be cut down to almost nothing–unless you’re like me and just get lost reading about all …

Some Cool Cheese Oriented Recipes

Michael Romano, chef at Union Square Cafe in New York, makes a popular dish that is ordered as an appetizer or side dish. Romano’s dish, Creamy Polenta with Mascarpone, stars the traditional Italian cornmeal pudding with mascarpone cheese, embellished with toasted walnuts and Gorgonzola. Featured at both lunch and dinner, it sells for $4.50.

Mascarpone could be called the new-wave cheese of the 90s. It’s fantastic stuff, and really tastes great. Italian in origin, the fresh, buttery-rich unripened cheese with a texture of thickened cream was once available only as an imported item. Now it can be obtained from U.S. cheese makers. Mascarpone provides an excellent, simple accompaniment to fresh berries. The classic dessert Strawberries Romanoff Mascarpone, which dates to the 16th century, couples the cheese with strawberries, orange-flavored liqueur, sugar and kummel liqueur.

Finally, cheese paired with nuts and wine or liqueur serves as an after-dinner tidbit. For example, Smoky Jewels figs, dates or apricots stuffed with smoked Edam, Swiss, Cheddar or blue cheese and broiled)

When It Rains

It’s always funny when you think about rain. I know that there are a lot of different opinions about rain, but if you’re somebody from Southern California, you probably like rain. This is because there is not a lot of rain there and of course you always want what you don’t have. I know a lot of women who feel that way, and I know that I do as well.

I can say that it has been a long time since I have listened to a lot of songs that have to do with rain, but I think you would be surprised by some of them. This one is probably my favorite of all time.

But then, there will always be those bands that really touch you for the rest of your life, and those bands that are only good for about a year. Those bands tend to make up most of music in general, because people are so average by nature. Bands are very average by …

No One Wants High-Cost-metics Nowadays

Generating store traffic will be a touchstone of survival for the cosmetics industry in 2012, as executives grapple with a bearish business that has been made even tougher by a deepening, unpredictable recession.

Most cosmetics executives expect the industry to struggle next year with volume figures that are flat to 5 percent ahead.

“You can’t rely on the store traffic anymore because it isn’t there,” said Byron Donics, president of Aramis, Inc. “We want to make the doors we’re in now more productive,” Donics said, adding, “What it will take is a strategy of driving people into the stores.”

“Two years ago, there were no worries about store traffic,” said Leonard Lauder, president and chief executive officer, Estee Lauder Cos. “People worried about which stores were going to be in business. Now it’s just the reverse.”

The falloff in traffic concerns Lauder, as does the Persian Gulf crisis and the effect of a patchwork recession that has depressed some parts of the country while leaving others