Because Canned Foods Can Blow, McKinney's Food Bank Only Wants Peanut Butter

Categories: Good Eating

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Alameda County Community Food Bank
Even the greediest corporations love to put their name on charitable causes, and one of corporate America's favorite acts of charity is the holiday canned food drive.

But the Community Food Pantry Bank of McKinney Director Carol Bodwell has a polite suggestion to the corporations organizing those drives: Consult with the local food bank before you deliver 1,200 cans of cranberry sauce and ramen noodles to their door and say, "You're welcome." Because often, the corporation in charge of the canned food drive is so focused on counting how many cans it can collect that it disregards what is actually in the cans.

"Obviously, to them, 500 cans of anything helps them meet headquarters' mandate," Bodwell says. "I would be much happier with just 100 cans of fruit for the children."

That's why last year, when a city of McKinney employee asked Bodwell what her food bank needed for the holidays she gave them one easy request: peanut butter.

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Which Organic-Seeming Chain Grocery Store in Dallas Is the Most Organic?

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Alice Laussade
Now that Dallas finally has a Trader Joe's, we can more easily eat all-natural, non-GMO, pesticide-free veggies and meat that roamed freely across organic pastures before it was gently killed, right? Actually, no. Trader Joe's is one of those grocery stores that seems all organic-y, because it has tasteful decorations, happy salespeople and lots of different random health claims on its products.

But the chain has been pissing off food safety advocates by selling meat from animals raised on antibiotics, a practice that is not organic. So let's compare Trader Joe's with other specialty grocery stores in Dallas. Which organic-y grocery store chain is actually selling you organics?

(And here's a quick primer: Organic produce just means produce not sprayed with pesticides and other crap, while organic meat is from animals fed organic feed and given no drugs or synthetic hormones.)

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This St. Patrick's Day, Eat Some Traditional Irish Food

Categories: Good Eating

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ifood.tv
A recipe for skirts and kidneys stew is available at the Irish food site ifood.tv
You want to appear the most Irish out of all your friends, right? That's kind of the point. St Patrick's Day is a "who can tenuously claim the most Irish heritage" festival. Well, my friend, have I got the solution for you. Here is some entirely true traditional Irish food. To be honest I wish I had made it up, but it's all real. Cook it up for the weekend, serve it while everyone is drunk and in the middle of a party, claim your Irish heritage victory and be the envy of all your friends.

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Gift Giving For Dummies: Fullosophie's DIY Meal Kits

Categories: Good Eating

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fullosophie.com
What do you get the person who has everything? This question comes up year after year, birthday after birthday, holiday after holiday. And while there are plenty of creative ways to answer it, there are few solutions more rewarding than a gift that ends with the receiver cooking the giver dinner.

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Your New Pie Destination: Strawn's Eat Shop in Shreveport

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LDD
Strawn's Ice-Box Peach Pie (a bit deflated after a long road trip)
Strawn's Eat Shop first opened in Shreveport in 1944 as a diner serving home-style burgers, fried chicken and strawberry ice-box pie. The latter has garnered national recognition and a slew of salivating fans from far and wide.

I didn't know about the pie hoopla of Shreveport until I got an email from chef David Anthony Temple (aka DAT) recently about an underground dinner party. Here's an excerpt:

"Friday morning I am buying my favorite pie in the world to bring to Dallas and serve for dessert at Saturday night's Underground Dinner. Oh Yeah! Since 1944 Strawn's Eat Shop has been a Shreveport tradition and they are internationally known for their famous ice-box pies. The Strawberry pie is available year round and has been in many nationwide magazines, but one month a year Strawn's uses ripe Ruston Peaches and makes an out of this world Peach Ice Box Pie. I sure hope to have you as my guest Saturday night so I can sit down at the table with you and enjoy my favorite dessert in your company."
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Tags:

pie, road food

After Bumper Crop, Texas Blueberry Farmers Want to Offload Their Giant Berries On You

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Bailey's Berry Patch
Three berries in hand -- better in a cobbler.
Bailey's Berry Patch in Sadler, Texas, has experienced quite a few ups and downs the past year or so. Even before last summer's drought killed 65 percent of their bushes, in early spring one tall dark cloud sauntered over the farm and pummeled the delicate crop like a school-yard bully, leaving many bushes battered, bruised and broken.

In 2009, Erick and Jeannie Duarte took over this berry farm in a desolate part of far north Texas from Pearce and Ann Bailey who had planted rows of blueberries and blackberries in 1996. After many years of hard work, the farm became a popular pick-your-own berry patch. When the Bailey's were ready to retire from farming the Duarte's stepped in. Their first season, 2010, was bountiful. But, as luck always has it for new farmers, things have sort of went down hill after that.

Working with less than half the bushes they had two years ago, the Duartes are trying to regain their footing. The good news now is that the ones that survived are producing plump blueberries almost the size of quarters.

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Five Things I Learned from My "Foodie Cleanse"

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photos and cooking by foodbitch
Tomorrow marks 10 days of me doing the cleansing. Here's what I've gathered during my stint.

5. A "foodie cleanse" = a SHIT-TON of work.
I like to cook, even love it. But after an average of two hours of cooking every night, I've come to realize that nobody can love cooking this much. And you cleansers who just pop a top or juice a few veggies? Don't even! Suck it up, wussies.


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Dallas' Southern Recipes Sends Truckloads of Pork Rinds to Alabama Tornado Victims

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Dallas-based Southern Recipe, the world's largest manufacturer of pork rinds, has donated $10,000 of their pork rinds to The Today Show's Lend a Hand Tour benefiting tornado victims in Birmingham, Alabama.

We're not sure if the first thought on the Alabamans' minds was, "What I wouldn't give for some pork rinds right now." But it's the thought that counts, right? And c'mon-- the sight of a giant truck full of thousands of bags of pork rinds had to have been pretty great.

According to the release, "Southern Recipe is sending volunteers to help with the secret pork rind delivery as a surprise to the Alabama Soup Kitchen to aid the tornado disaster relief."

How does one become a Secret Pork Rind Delivery Operative? Do you start off as a Secret Pork Rind Delivery Gumshoe? Are there pork-rindy Mission:Impossible cable drops involved? We can only hope.

Sigel's and Dallas Lighthouse for the Blind Show Us the Benefits of Wine

Categories: Good Eating

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There was a time when anyone drinking hooch ran the risk of blindness. Those days are behind us in Dallas. People can now drink to help the blind, as the U.S. importer of Michel Chapoutier Cotes du Rhone Belleruche is donating 50 cents for every bottle of Belleruche Rouge 2008, Blanc 2009 and Rose 2010 wines sold at Sigel's Fine Wines and Great Spirits locations to the Dallas Lighthouse for the Blind. Each of these wines' labels includes Braille. And the promotion is good through the end of May.

The winery has a special connection with the blind. Chapoutier sources the grapes for its Monier de la Sizeranne wine from a plot of land owned by the Sizeranne family. One of that clan's ancestors, Maurice de la Sizeranne, lost his vision as a child and ended up creating the abbreviated form of Braille commonly used in France.

"It's our pleasure to leverage our standing in the market to help those in need," said Jasper Russo, director of wine marketing for Sigel's. He said there has already been an uptick in sales of the Belleruche.

This is good news to the ears of Blake Lindsay, communications specialist for Dallas Lighthouse for the Blind, himself blind. "It's a blessing," he said. "The funds donated will go toward our the improvement and continued operation of our Assistive Technology Training Lab and the Serving Our Seniors programs. The former helps the visually impaired learn computer skills in order to find professional success. Serving Our Seniors benefits individuals who lose sight later in life by giving them access to talking clocks, talking thermometers, sectioned dinner plates. "Anything to improve their quality of life," said Lindsay.

Drinking has never been better for you. Or others.

Follow City of Ate on Twitter: @cityofate.

Who Needs Low-Carb Diets? This Pasta is Good for the Soul.

Categories: Good Eating

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Babies-eating-spaghetti pics litter the Internet. Why? For God's sake, why?
Although the weather is warming, we still insist you gorge yourself -- particularly on pasta. You may retain that winter blubber, but at least it's for a good cause.

The Place: Carino's Italian
The Causes: Autism Speaks and Autism Society
During the month of April, your low-carb diet is not only making you miserable, it's downright uncharitable. For National Autism Awareness Month, Carino's Italian will donate a dollar to Autism Speaks and Autism Society for every pasta entrée sold. The two organizations will split the money down the middle.

The Event: Battle of the Chefs Challenge
The Cause: Texas Neurofibromatosis Foundation
Dallas loves a good throw-down. The city's top chefs will get some action today when they compete in the Battle of the Chefs Challenge at the Frontiers of Flight Museum. It will be slightly less violent than other Dallas fights: Chefs will create their "house" dishes and attendees will vote for their favorites. To the victor goes the 2011 Best Chef Award.
The event starts at 6 p.m. The only thing Dallas loves more than a throwdown is a silent auction, and the silent auction at this event boasts some pretty great prizes. Tickets are $75. For more information, click here.


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