Some of my recipes I imagine and then create – with others I get the flavour idea from some other recipe, glean what I need from it in the way of flavouring and proportions, and then create my own cookie. Early this month I came across a recipe for Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies – and they looked TASTY! I instantly thought about this flavour being a cookie square…
Around the middle of the month I got the opportunity to give it a go – take a look at the results below – it seems this is one of the times I nailed the recipe in the first go. Here are two other bits of good news…
…In simple terms, the way this recipe worked out, I learned more about my base Cookie Square recipe, enabling me to more easily make other flavours I imagine.
…I’ve already included this recipe in my soon-to-be-published baking book – not only do you get to see them here, but you will have the opportunity to make them yourself!
And how’s the book going? There’s still a good chunk of work to do but I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I’m working with an editor — Linda AKA CheckChick.com, who is FANTASTIC — and the writing is better than ever! My *HOPE* is that the book will be published late-December or early-January. Keep your eyes here and on the WIBC Facebook page…..
Did you see my post about A Place At The Table? Did you watch the film? Watch it, and then immediately watch Food Stamped.
If you’ve followed along, the issues of quality food and hunger are close to my heart – and it is my hope that this is a topic is one that other people look at.
In “Food Stamped” Shira & Yoav Potash take ‘The Food Stamp Challenge’ (which seems to match the name of what a number of folks on Capitol Hill experimented with). For one week they shop & eat on the average amount of money that someone receiving food stamps has to use – which is about $1 per meal for an individual. They took this further by making a few ground rules that the food must be nutritious:
Every meal must include protein, whole grains & fruits/veggies
To buy as many organic items as they could afford
To eat as little processed foods as possible
At the end of the week submit their diet record to a registered dietitian for a nutritional evaluation
Through their film they interview food justice activists, nutrition experts, politicians, and ordinary people living on food stamps – all to look closely at the challenges that low-income Americans face daily trying to put three-square meals on the table.
Shira is a certified nutrition educator with a Masters of Science in Community Health Education. She teaches nutrition-based cooking classes to elementary school students in low-income neighborhoods, most of who are from families that qualify for food stamps.
Yoav is a graduate of UC Berkeley and has taught film courses at the Bay Area Video Coalition and Academy of Art University. He is a documentary film maker who has produced documentaries & videos for many companies and nonprofits.
(NOTE – This started as a small PS and grew as I found more & more important things to share.)
The more I watch this documentary the more I come to believe it is important. As I watch, I find myself additionally reflecting on what I (too) have done with my WIBC products. A big part of this video focuses on sugar and processed foods. Let’s be very clear about a few things with respects to my company & products:
WIBC is (presently) licensed as a Food Processing Plant (emphasis added). I understand this as a general purpose title given by the Washington State Department of Agriculture. When the name of this license is put beside the term “processed foods” it may give the suggestion that what WIBC makes is ‘processed’. I didn’t choose the title of the license, and this assumption or confusion should not be made.
I consider WIBC to be a part of the Local Food or Real Food movement. I did not set out to do this, it is merely that how I make food falls within this idea. I make baked goods like a person would at home, just on a commercial scale. In frank terms, if you look at a food product ingredient label and read ingredients you have at home (eggs, butter, sugar, flour, etc) then you are essentially holding real food; if the ingredients read like a cross between Greek, Pig Latin, and Medical Terminology in unpronounceable syllables, then you’re dealing with a processed food (substance of some sort).
WIBC products do include various sugars. I have never denied this, I have never hidden it in any way – in fact, my ingredients have been a part of my company’s transparency and I have very gladly talked about the ingredients used in my products. To this end, the sugars used in my products comprise of white and brown sugar; other sugars come from fruit juice, molasses, white and chocolate chips, and M&Ms (unless there are any other ingredients I am not thinking of off the top of my head). When you read the ingredients of a product that include these, (I suggest that) the only one that may not read so straight-forward is one that includes M&Ms. The not-so-pronounceable ingredients to these are preservatives in the M&M food colouring. Further …
What WIBC (AKA I) does not add to its products are stand-alone ingredients you cannot pronounce, strange flavour enhancers, or dubious preservatives. As said, I make baked goods like a person would at home. As a result my baked goods have a short shelf life & are meant to be consumed soon after preparation, and should be considered ‘Real Food’.
Maybe if you can’t pronounce something on a food ingredient label, don’t eat it. If you ask a company that produces & markets food items, and they won’t talk with you or all they give you is prepared spin, maybe don’t eat what they’re offering. If you do ask a food company about their products and their ingredients and they’re happy to talk with you about them and speak in straight-forward terms, and you understand and believe in their ingredients, that’s probably a better bet. If you go to a grocery store or a farmers market and you know that a vegetable is a vegetable, an egg is an egg, and a loaf of bread is a loaf of bread (etc), then it’s probably a much better bet.
Well, it seems this is a pretty important PS for me.
This film is all about the development of the local food movement. The food we eat is no better than the quality of the ingredients that go into them. More and more farmers are growing real food. More and more restaurants and food companies (as I did with WIBC) are moving to work with no less than real ingredients. The local food movement takes root. Find farm-to-restaurant venues & patronize them. Cooking is a joy, not drudgery – go to your farmers markets and buy local.
This film was produced by the same folks who made Food, Inc. It points out and questions the following:
The U.S. is one of the wealthiest countries in the world – we also produce more food than we consume.
How is it and why is it that the U.S. has a substantial number of people who cannot afford to buy food and are starving &/or cannot afford to purchase quality sustenance?
Apparently we had this problem in the 1970s, and we beat it. Now it’s back, and it’s not a simple issue, but an extremely important one. One of the things that I wanted to do with WIBC while a production food company was to join this fight. When I finished watching this film I started writing a letter to Jeff Bridges (the actor), but I was so fired up that I couldn’t tie my many thoughts and sentences together. Why Jeff Bridges? Watch the film.
I made the gross mistake* of viewing these two films in the same day, back to back. At the end of these I was so disturbed I thought I might not eat for weeks. To sum up each of these films … Supersize Me is a ground-level, personal view of the issues with our mass-produced food; Food, Inc. gives both a local & global view of massive production of food and how this affects health, national economies, and political decisions. Watch these, just maybe with a longer break in between the two films than what I took.
(*and I mean ‘gross’ in both ways)
Do you ever find yourself in your kitchen making something tasty thinking to yourself “You know, that one thing that I do in my kitchen is a good idea and other people would benefit from knowing about it.”? Yeah, me too. Well, here’s your chance!
Over this past weekend while doing a little baking I thought of something I might add to my current in-process baking book — KITCHEN TIPS! What’s a Kitchen Tip? Well, one of my ideas — and I would hope this should be obvious — is to always keep your oven mitts or hot pads in a consistent place so you’re not scrambling for them when the timer rings. I thought up & wrote down about another 5 and then I thought “ENGAGE YOUR PUBLIC” — so……..
WHAT ARE YOUR BAKING-RELATED KITCHEN TIPS? Comment below ….. yes, I’m actually going to allow comments for once. These would be suggestions related to setting up your kitchen for baking or around the process of baking (etc). Write your tips, hints, & ideas here — they might get included in my baking book!
If I publish your idea I will try to let you know in advance. Also, I would like to put your name & location as written above. Now, I should also say — while I like this idea for my book, I’m not sure how I might include them. My original idea was to disperse these notes throughout my tome but that doesn’t fit with my mental image of the contents – so these might end up as their own section instead.
Submit your ideas & you just might get your name in print!
Enjoy ~ Don
It’s true – I love watching documentaries. I also love Sci-Fi and a slew of other types of shows, but documentaries hold a special place in my little entertainment heart. Of all of these, in the past five years, three documentaries about food come to mind. Really, I should say four – I’m watching another as I type this – but why am I blogging about it?
The documentary I’m watching right now, simply titled “Ingredients”, is making me think about what I’ve been pleased to do with my WIBC products. What I’m doing is what you can do as well – in your home cooking, with the recipes in my coming cookbook(s), and when you go out to dine.
The ingredient labels on my products read the same as you will see in my cookbook – real ingredients with no added preservatives or artificial flavour enhancers. I only used pure extracts, I use Shepherd’s Grain flour, Bob’s Redmill oats from Oregon – essentially, my recipes and ingredients are no different than what someone would themselves use & make at home. Over the past year some individuals and businesses have challenged me with questions around the price and shelf life of my products. These have been hand-crafted with real ingredients – much of what is produced on the market is mass produced from machines and full of things most of us can’t pronounce much-less easily identify. Much of the food industry is about numbers – how much product is output and how much money is coming in – I see this largely as being completely regardless of quality and considerably regardless of the health of people.
On this topic, what follows are the four documentaries I encourage you to view. I found them – and continue to find them – thought provoking, and I believe you will too.
I would like to title today’s post quoting a line and character from a film. Without further adieu, I give you…
“SHIFT IT!” ~ Magenta
The farmers’ market season was great — that with the couple of other events I got WIBC into over the summer. I enjoyed reaching new customers, getting to talk about my product & company plans, getting to meet both The Public and my fellow vendors — all of it.
Before the season started, I was told that my business would be influenced by the tourism light-switch — that one day I would be doing my thing and then the next I would be unbelievably busy, a few months would pass, and then suddenly I’d be at a near stand-still. Well, that stand-still has come and THANK JUPITER FOR IT! 😉
Long short, I needed the change of pace. Now I’m diving in on a number of things — working on….
Getting my business into upcoming events — Xmas bazaars, other conventions, and events into 2016
Myriad things I haven’t had time to work on for my company over these many months including developing new & additional products
Personal projects, work I haven’t had time to do these past months, and generally working on my to-do list
Among the many things for my company I haven’t had time to work on is new-product development. I have so many ideas they are too many to tell ….. and until I’ve released them I’d rather keep them a bit of a secret.
Yeah, okay, there’s the quick update. I’m in the kitchen & I have a little bit of stuff to turn out ….. and by ‘little bit’ I do mean only a little bit.