Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Cooking With Love

Putting love into the food you prepare for yourself and others can make all the difference between a regular meal and something spectacular.

A meal prepared with love and care has the power to transform a person's mood, outlook on life and feelings about oneself and the world. A wonderfully prepared meal has the ability to relax, strengthen or help a person heal. A meal made with care can make the difference between creating more love, peace and joy in this world or creating disharmony, lethargy and dis-ease.

Isn't that powerful?

These thoughts are something that have been on my mind a lot. If someone is in a negative mood, saying hurtful, rude or negative things to others while they are cooking, how does it effect the food and the person who consumes it? Just think of the movie, Like Water For Chocolate. Remember that wedding cake scene?

When a person prays while they are cooking, speaks kind and gentle words, and feels love and joy to be cooking for others, how does that effect the food?

Our thoughts, feelings and actions are all energy. Energy we are putting into the food and energy we are putting out into the world.

That's pretty powerful.

We have the ability to create or destroy. We have the ability to lift people up or drag them down ~ all with our thoughts, words, actions and intentions.

Try an experiment. Make one dish. Give yourself enough time and space to put gentle and loving energy into the food you are making. Think of the people who will benefit from the food you are preparing so lovingly.

How do you want those people to feel after they have eaten your food?
What kind of energy do you want your food to give to them?

Treat the food kindly the entire time you are cooking. Pray while you cook and infuse the food with holiness, love and healing energy. Talk to your food and tell it beautiful things.

At the end of cooking, serve the food on a beautiful plate. Taste it.

Awesome, right?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Packing Your Lunch? Check Out the Bento Box Rules

Get ready to be a lot more excited about packing your lunch for work or school!! American lunches often consist of the usual travel-friendly foods such as sandwiches, chips, crackers, cookies, apples, baby carrots, juice boxes and the like. Those foods can be nice, but sometimes you just need to mix things up and have something deliciously awesome to look forward to all morning.

One of my favorite things about Japanese culture is the bento box. Not only is a bento box filled with home made fresh vegetables, rice and protein - very healthy - but it is also most often beautifully presented and packed, as well as totally delicious!

Check out this cute book I just stumbled upon, The Just Bento Cookbook: Everyday Lunches To Go. This book has excellent and practical ideas for packing visually appealing and delicious lunches. It is sure to inspire you to try some new things and help you feel great about eating well and enjoying it.

I need to buy this - even just for the pictures and inspiring ideas!

I also found the Just Bento Blog, (even better since it's free!) with Maki's Top Ten Bento Rules - a must read for getting ideas about lunches that travel well. Enjoy your new outlook on lunch and get ready to chow down with adorable Japanese style.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

How to Store Fruits and Vegetables

I just found this awesome article about 'How to Store Fruits and Vegetables to Keep Them From Rotting.' EXACTLY what I have been dealing with in my current job. Being responsible for feeding fruit and vegetables on a daily basis to over 700 campers and staff has been a pretty great learning experience. There are so many things I now need to consider that I never had to worry about when I only did private cooking.

Most recently, I have been ordering a large amount of fruits from our distributor so that we can prep snacks daily. We get cases of bananas, peaches, plums, oranges, grapes and pears - and they all need to be stored correctly, washed, and served, but only when they are just ripe. A day too early and no one will touch them, and a day too late and we will have brown and mushy over-ripe fruits.

What a challenge!

This blog posted lists of vegetables and fruits and exactly what to do with them. Worry no more - just consult the list.

Happy reading and fruit eating.