Post #449 Food Trending

January 15, 2016 at 11:01 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Every year new trends in what people eat and how people eat become popular or fall out of favor.  “New” vegetables and grains are discovered; different or forgotten techniques are remembered and modernized.  Sometimes new kitchen gadgets are created and sometimes older ones are repurposed.  I find that the quickest way to discover what’s newly trending is to read food columns in national papers (online, of course.)  And the easiest way to figure out what’s no longer popular is to watch infomercials.

There are a couple of infomercials out right now that show some trends on the way out.

Ever heard of “dump” dinners or “dump” cakes?  The concept is simple.  You dump a bunch of random ingredients together and cook them and they turn out delicious.   There’s no real rocket science to the process and anyone can create their own favorite recipes.  You just have to understand ingredients and how they work together.  But there are people who are getting money for cookbooks based on “dump” ingredients.  You know how they created those recipes?  They took an idea, a crock pot for instance, and started putting stuff in it.  If it tasted good, they had a recipe.  It probably was a little more professional than that, but that’s the gist.  You can do the same thing.

Another trend that’s on the way out is “spiralizing”.  You can substitute flour pasta noodles with long ropes of vegetable noodles.  You can use a spiral cutter to make the noodles.  You can also use a vegetable peeler to do the same thing.  The spiral cutter is a good idea and can be used to make a lot different vegetable cuts, but it’s a novelty and it’s fifteen minutes of fame is waning.  I’ve got one, and used it once.  It was fun, but it wasn’t so useful that I’ve used it since.

Another trend I’ve written about for years here on the blog has received a new name.  It’s called Brinner.  It’s making breakfast for dinner.  We do this all the time.  We love pork products and routinely have bacon and sausage with eggs for dinner.  Sometimes we’ll have hashed browns or fresh biscuits with it, and occasionally grilled veggies.  Once in a while, waffles and/or pancakes show up at dinner, too.  This has become amazingly popular in recent years, to the point that many restaurants other than diners are now offering breakfast all day.  Even the fast food giants have moved with this trend.

Speaking of fast foods, they’re echoing a trend that’s moving out of the trend category and becoming a hard principle in the food world.  People want healthier and cleaner food.  And they’re getting it, slowly but surely.  I’ve written about farm to table cooking, where you cook only what’s fresh on the farm at the moment.  But beyond that, people are getting “fed up” with the amount of pesticides being used to grow food.  Chemical fertilizers are also being questioned.  Even organics are being looked at more closely than ever.  People want to know more about their food and where it comes from and the grocery stores, restaurants, and manufacturers are giving them the information they want.  Consumers are making their desires known through their purchasing efforts and the food industry is responding.  It’s a slow march, but it is a march.

Another trend happening right now really makes me shake my head, but it’s a logical step in a long running trend.  Food home delivery has been around for decades.  But now, rather than delivering completely cooked food, there are services delivering only the ingredients and recipes for you to cook.  On one hand, I can see that this can be a good idea since you don’t have to spend a lot of money buying ingredients in quantities you won’t use, and you can find out what flavors you like and don’t like without a hefty investment of time and money.  But as a cook, I look at that and think, “I can do that without their help.”  Maybe I’m just jealous I didn’t think of it first.

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Recently I was talking to a friend and mentioned a cherry chip cake I’d made once a long while ago.  She wanted the recipe so here it is.  It’s really easy.

cherry chip cake

Make a basic white cake batter, whether from a box or scratch.  It’s your choice.  Drain one bottle of maraschino cherries and set cherries aside.  Chop cherries roughly into the size of chocolate chips.  Fold cherries into cake batter, then pour batter into prepared cake pans.  Bake per recipe instructions.  Cool, then frost.

For the frosting, I made a white buttercream frosting.  Instead of using vanilla extract, I used cherry extract.  This gave the frosting a light cherry flavor and a pink coloring so slight it was almost invisible.

It was really good.

Enjoy

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