Hi!...I’m Chef Jay!

Hey Y’all!! My name is Chef Jay and I’m happy to be writing this blog with Geissler’s! Along with being a food philosopher ( and YES!...I also hold a degree in philosophy!...lol), I’m also a father, small business owner and a proud veteran of the US Armed Services! Here we’ll be talking about all things food, philosophy, culture, sustainability and agriculture. Did you know that a huge part of CT and MA history is rooted in agriculture?! Did you know that a huge part of our future is in agriculture too?! We have so many local food farmers and agricultural based businesses here and Geissler’s and I want to put them front and center....hope you enjoy!

The Fruit of the Day is.......BLACKBERRIES!!!!

Blackberries are SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Cool!!

 

For me, there really isn't a substitute for a really good Blackberry jam! I know, I know....the sugar can be a bit much on the system. However!! - try this. Simply mash up a cup of fresh blackberries in a bowl and to it add 3oz of agave syrup...stir it up and BOOM, Instant Blackberry Spread for the Bread!!...You've cut down on the high processed sugar and also, I think this just tastes better. It's fresh and you can make it in small batches which speaks to the sustainability value of the technique. Nothing really like it!! Also, you can easily add in raspberries!!

 

And, IN CASE YOU DIDN'T KNOW.....Blackberries and Raspberries are both on sale this week!! 2/$5

 

 

Ice Cream Cone on Wood

 

Blackberries And Raspberries In Clear Plastic Containers

 

 

GOOD MONDAY MORNING!!!! 10/7/19

Good Monday Morning to you all!! Yes, I am back and well rested!! I hope you all enjoyed the sidewalk sales at Geisslers this weekend and made some great sunday dinners last night!

 

This week let's get started in a healthy direction. Let's walk into the grocery store and spend some time in the fresh produce section. Personally, I LOVE McIntosh Apples in my apple pie and Geisslers has them on sale for 99cents per pound! And OF COURSE, it's OCTOBER!! - so the pumkins have arrived! $5.99 for a large pumpkin and I can already smell the pumpkin pies being baked in my house!

 

Orange Pumpkins on Hammock

 

There are also Acorn, Butternut and Spaghetti squash on sale for 49 cents per pound!! If you're looking for something different to do with your butternut squash, try slicing them thin in a mandolin or with a sharp knife - i mean like an 1/8 of an inch thick - and then soak the slices in salt water, fresh thyme and tarragon. do this overnight and then gently drain the water and deep fry them in sunflower oil for a natural chip!! My boys absolutely love them and they go great with a chive sour cream!

 

Sliced Squash

 

Jay Walking in Ghana - Coconut Water!!

I was jogging in the suburbs in Ghana and got super thirsty. I saw a small convenience store and almost ran in but then I heard this "chop chop chop chop" off to the side. I turn around and there is this young girl with a truck load of fresh green coconuts, a machete and an inviting smile. The line was 10 deep and I jumped onto the back of it. I was thirsty but this was worth the wait. I watched as she expertly chopped and carved her way to the sweet water in the center chamber.

As soon as the machete breaches the chamber the coconut water splashes out and immediately she grabs a bag and pours the water into it. SHe then scrapes the coconut jelly and adds this to the water in the bag. IF you don't know, the coconut jelly is the soft jelly like lining of the young green coconut. Very Nutritious and very tasty. Later in the life cycle, the water and the jelly combine to make coconut milk!

 

Check out the video!!

 

Coconut Water in Ghana is FRESH!!

I was jogging in the suburbs in Ghana and got super thirsty. I saw a small convenience store and almost ran in but then I heard this "chop chop chop chop" off to the side. I turn around and there is this young girl with a truck load of fresh green coconuts, a machete and an inviting smile. The line was 10 deep and I jumped onto the back of it. I was thirsty but this was worth the wait. I watched as she expertly chopped and carved her way to the sweet water in the center chamber. As soon as the machete breaches the chamber the coconut water splashes out and immediately she grabs a bag and pours the water into it. SHe then scrapes the coconut jelly and adds this to the water in the bag. IF you don't know, the coconut jelly is the soft jelly like lining of the young green coconut. Very Nutritious and very tasty. Later in the life cycle, the water and the jelly combine to make coconut milk!

Posted by Chef Jay on Tuesday, October 1, 2019

9/22/19

Onward to Cape Coast part 1.

As I made my way out of the city of Accra – all of the busyness and the haze of dust being kicked up by hundreds of thousands of cars and street vendors Dash and made my way into the countryside I felt a slow ease as the sun started it’s descent toward the horizon. It had just passed the peak of noon when we made it to our first police checkpoint. They were friendly and respectful and I never felt in danger at all. In fact, I greatly admired the uniform and the discipline of the Ghanaian police forces. They waved us through with no problem, smiled and waved as they could clearly see that I was a wide eyed American. We passed by street vendors selling everything from fresh pineapples and coconuts to giant rats and the Ghanaian cousin to the American gopher, the “grass cutter”, which is used in stews and soups here in GHANA quite commonly. The image of a small boy, maybe 9 or 10 years old, holding up a giant rat half his size while smiling at the cars passing by will be with me for quite some time.

The road was bumpy but the air had a sweet palm aroma to it, in fact we were surrounded by them. It’s approximately a 3 1/2 to 4 Hour Dr. from Accra to Cape coast where I had hoped I would get the powerful spiritual experience of seeing “slave castle“ for myself. I took a sip of water from my life straw water bottle and thought about my ancestors along the way. I really didn’t know what type of reaction I would have. I just knew that everyone who had ever been in my family told me that it change their lives forever - and that’s where I was heading now.

The road smooth out a bit when we approached mini encampments along the way. Driving in Ghana is an experience like no other and my driver Clement is an experienced professional. Other than the two or three police checkpoints, there is no highway patrol or state police organization waiting with a speed detector behind the bushes to jump out and give you a ticket, that just isn’t here. During some of the stretches, where there was nothing in front of us but 50 miles of open road, we easily got our vehicle up to 110 even 115 mph. Clement loved the speed and being out in the country. If there was somebody in front of us who was only going 90 miles an hour we simply checked to make sure that it was safe and passed them on the left while giving a friendly honk of the horn acknowledging another driver on the journey.

As we approach the small town, we see street vendors and makeshift business front lining the street as thousands of people engage in commerce and conversation with each other. It wasn’t so much a town as it was a large encampment, full of life and good people as far as I could see. They were small little girls and boys running around their parents shops and even a few who were old enough to begin vending as the cars slowly came to a stop for a bite to eat. Clement goes for a biscuit and some mentos mints, he also grabs a bag of water and some peanuts. I grab a fresh coconut, guzzle down the sweet water and jelly from inside the shell and hit the road once again with Clement. Didn’t want to take up too much time. Onward to cape coast.
Sent from my iPhone

9/21/19

“Good Morning Hungry People!! I woke up this morning thinking about life in the year of return. The people here are so warm and welcoming. I was walking down the street and got super thirsty all of a sudden. The sun is soaking through the palms and into my skin. My locks are drinking in all this sweet Ghana air and my stomach was full from a CRAZY GOOD breakfast my friends and I had along the beach. But now I was thirsty for something nourishing and clean so.....COCONUT WATER PLEASE!!

Check out this video from the streets of East Legon, Ghana. She sure know how to wield the machete!!

9/20/19

Enjoying the food at Azmera, which means "Harvest". This is Millet Banku and "United Nations" Soup, which the owner, Ms. Afua created.  The soup has EVERYTHING in it, including crabs. pork, beef. chicken and tilapia fish!! Sooooo good!

 

 

Ms. Afua Krobea Asante,

The BEST Chef in Ghana!

 

9/20/19

Makola Market in Accra

Chefs recipe for Ghanaian Jollof Rice:

Hey everybody I’m in Ghana and can’t wait to get back to the United States and show you all that I have learned. Geisslers and I are on this amazing journey together and we could not be happier with the way things are going. I’m learning a lot, talking to local vendors and business owners and chefs as well as getting some much needed African sunshine in my life.

While I’m here walkingJay Walking the street of Accra, Osu and Legon I wanted to send you all a recipe for Jollof rice!! Jollof Rice is just my favorite rice in the whole world!!

Okay here is the recipe. All of these items can be found at your local Geisslers. So hurry up and get down there so that you can make some of this deliciousness this weekend.

1 habanero pepper, 2 for SUPER SPICY
2 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil, plus 2 tablespoons for later.
1 cup fresh mixed vegetable blend
diced tomato, 2 14oz cans
6 oz tomato paste, 1 can
2 teaspoon fresh minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoon fresh minced ginger
2 large yellow onions, roughly chopped
3oz Baby J’s ERRR Thang Seasoning
1/2 teaspoon mixed dried herbs
2-3 large chicken thighs
2 1/2cups long grain rice, rinsed
1 cups water

The first thing you are going to want to do is get yourself a really good chicken stock going. Of course you can use the amazing store-bought brands at your local Geisslers and you could even substitute the chicken stock for vegetable stock if you would like to stay away from meat. Either way is just fine for this dish. However, if you do want really good chicken stock I recommend boiling the chicken on a medium high heat in about 2 cups of water. I throw in the garlic and my onions and the Baby J’s ERRR-Thang Seasoning to create my stock for this recipe. Boil this down to about half of its original volume which should yield you 1 1/2 cups of good chicken stock. The whole process should take about two hours but the flavor is just so much richer when you cook it up from scratch!

While your chicken stock is boiling away, let’s grab a blender and into it let’s put 3 tablespoons of olive oil, garlic, peppers, half of you lr chopped onions, ginger and dry herbs. Blend this mixture until it is smooth.

Next, let’s put a few tablespoons of oil in the bottom of a sauce pan which is on a medium heat and to this let us add our curry powder, minced ginger and the rest of our garlic and onions. Sauté this mixture until the onions start to sweat and the entire kitchen fills with this aroma of Ghana goodness.

Now add in your purée tomatoes and, if it’s ready and fully cooked through, add your 1 1/2 cups of chicken stock. Cover loosely with a lid and cook on a medium low heat for about 30 minutes.

Now it is time to add the rice as well as your fresh mixed vegetables. Stir this about and cook on medium high heat until boiling. Stir frequently. Once we achieve a rolling boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and let the rice soak up the deliciousness for about 15 - 20 minutes. Stir it occasionally to make it fluffy. But essentially you have a basic Joloff which can be enjoyed this weekend!!

-the Chef

9/19/19

Day 1 In Ghana!!

Day one was gratifying but TOUGH!! Never been here before but there were some familiar themes. The people were proud of their culture and history. When I finally made it past the passport checks and the luggage shakedowns, I stumbled out into a large open air market of taxi drivers and personal transportation specialists all clamoring for my business. Little did they know that the Webster University in East Legon had already arranged for my pick up from the airport.

The air was thick and filled with the aromas of the street. Trust me, I thought this was a good thing. There were street vendors everywhere selling everything and we drove by hundreds of people walking and enjoying the weather as we do.

Ok ok...I know, I know...I’m in Ghana, Africa and I go for some Sushi?!!!?? But when you check out these photos, could you see why!! One was stuffed with Pineapple and Foie Gras!!
Sent from my iPhone

9/18/19 At the Best Sushi Restaurant called Santoku in Accra.

9/17/19

“Good Morning Hungry People!! I’m still on the plane headed to Dubai for my first series of meeting and talks. However, In honor of my brief flight over the beautiful nation of Turkey, I thought we might say that the fruit of the day are DATES!!!!

Scientifically names Phoenix dactylifera, the flowering plant aslo known commonly as date or date palm. It is very high in fiber and antioxidants. But also, they tend to pack a big caloric yield for their size which is perfect when trying to find solutions for getting sustainable solutions to caloric poverty!

The date is also loaded with B6, potassium and magnesium with means it’s very healthy for people and populations suffering from chronic or severe malnutrition!

MORNING EMERGENCY!!!

This morning was crazy!!!!

 

The alarm DID NOT go off!!! I was scrambling around trying to find a protein packed breakfast for the boys. I woke up late, the kids woke up late.....no one's hair was combed, not one tooth brushed - school bell rings in ten minutes!!! I'm the chef, gotta feed the kids. Time for cheese omelet with whole wheat toast and turkey sausage - no. Time for grits (i don't do instant anything!!) - no!! Do I wanna give them a sugary bowl of fruit loops or captain crunch and then send them off to school to tackle the exciting world of pronouns - nah fam. So what's I guy to do?? - peanut butter on raisin bread and add a light sprinkle of chia seeds! They gobbled it right down with a big glass of almond milk I bought from my Windsor Geissler's cooler isle! Of course, you can use almond butter or soy butter if the peanut butter is not an option. If the chia seeds aren't good for you, I recommend pumpkin or sunflower seeds - they are also packed with protein!!

 

The bottom line - the kids were not late for school, they were not hungry when they arrived and they were not stuffed full of sugar, carbs and corn syrup. GOOD JOB DAD!!!....LOL

 

Man Putting His Shoulder Around Boy While His Other Hand Is Inside His Pocket

 

Man Carrying Child

 

Baby Approaching Men's Black Sunglasses

 

Standing Man Wearing Gray Shirt While Smiling and Carrying Girl

 

Man and Boy Standing on Bridge

Back to School!! Healthier eating!!

It's Labor day weekend/time/season and it's one of my favorite times of year. Why?!?! KIDS ARE BACK IN SCHOOL!!!!!!!! I wanted to share with you a few of my healthy objectives I am bringing to my boys lunch boxes/eating experience.

 

This year is the year that i'm introducing a few new items to my boys diets and reinforcing some other concepts already in place.

  1. Sweet potatoes. These are a big on my list of new lunch items. It's versatile and a complex carb. In my experience, sweet potatoes are just easier on the digestive system than other potatoes. They love mashed sweet potatoes with the Baby J's Errr-Thang Spice Blend of course! But that really all you need, sweet potato and the spice blend. We don't add sugar or butter however I am a fan of tossing in a few pumpkin seeds for protein! Warm or cold, my boys seem to love mashed sweet potatoes. Occasionally, they ask me to drop a marshmallow into the mix...lol
  2. Almond butter. I'm making the almond butter myself and you can to with a pound of almonds, pinch of sea salt, 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil, water if needed and a good blender. My boys are actually old enough to help make the almond butter and I've added this little recipe to our "Sunday food party". We make enough for the week and the boys get to take some responsibility for their food - which is ALWAYS a goal in my household.
  3. More protein in the morning. I used to give my kids cereal in the morning and to be honest, what parent doesn't hook their kids up with a big bowl of captain crunch or fruit loops in the morning - especially when we are dealing with a busy morning. I noticed though that my boys were having sugar crashes at school, usually around the 11am time frame. So this year, I'm really making the effort to provide more protein and complex carbs in the morning rather than simple sugars corn syrup. What does this look like? - Sunflower seeds, almonds, oatmeal, fresh berries, honey instead of syrup, bananas, sweet potato pancakes, etc. You can use items like chia seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc. to add an extra boost of protein to things like pancakes, yogurt, oatmeal, grits and even may cereals like cheerios, kix, and raisin bran.
  4. Fruit display as soon as the boys get home. Right on the dining room table I like to place a big bowl of fruit. That's the snack for the afternoon after school.

 

 

Three Toddler Eating on White Table

 

 

Boy in Brown Hoodie Carrying Red Backpack While Walking on Dirt Road Near Tall Trees

Chef Jay & Robert talking about his trip to Ghana

I love a good.....

I love a good......Cup of Coffee!!!!

 

Nothing like a good cup of coffee!! There is something so reliable about that first sip in the morning as I sit by my garden and do my mindful meditation in the morning. I shut off my phone so I don't get all the social media notifications, sit in my chair that rests in between the bell peppers and the zucchini, locate a peaceful thought in my mind ..... and sip...

 

Tomorrow morning, grab yourself a good cup of coffee and sip it slowly. Walk through your garden and be mindful of your thoughts - they will govern your day.

 

Coffee Served on White Ceramic Cup

Fruit of the day....8/25/19!!

The fruit of the day is.......PEAR!!!!

 

For me, there are few things more refreshing on a hot day than a pear. However, as the weather cools down and we begin to contemplate fall recipes, the pear also has a special plate in my heart. Pears are just flat out versatile. Of course you can eat them whole and I recommend that you do as often as possible. However, if you're looking to do things a bit differently on one of these upcoming cooler evenings, try poaching the pear in white wine and cloves! I like to peel them, slice them in half and soak them in a 1 to 1 mixture of 1 cup cold water and 1 cup white wine. Your favorite white wine of course, but for me I like a Reisling. To this add about 3-4 ounces of whole cloves or 2 ounces ground cloves and 4 ounces of wildflower honey. Submerge the pear halves and let this brine in the fridge for 24 hours.

 

The next day, gently remove the pears from the sweet brine, toss them in a bit of brown sugar and crumbled bacon (if you eat bacon) and bake it until golden brown. If you wish, you can even wrap the pear in bacon. I've even seen turkey bacon being used for stuff like this. Either way, it's all good. I like to eat it as soon as it comes out of the oven. I hit it with a few blue cheese or gorgonzola crumbles and a drizzle of honey!!

 

But if you don't wanna go through all that...yea, just totally eat one fresh out of the fridge...lol

 

3 Pear Fruits

Fruit of the day....8/23/19!!

The fruit of the day is.......GRAPEFRUIT!!!!

 

My grandmother and Grandfather would always wake up super early, 4:15am!! Until I got to the military, this to me was the behavior of crazy people...lol. But my grandpa always stood over the sink and cut up a single grapefruit for he and my grandma - one half for her and one half for him. I used to watch him sometimes, just for fun. I saw the way he would take a small knife and cut the lines of the segments that way they were easy to scoop out with a small teaspoon. My grandma would use that teaspoon to sprinkle on a bit a sugar on the two grapefruit halves while my grandpa washed his hands. They would sit in that same spot and share a small breakfast almost every morning at 4:30am for over 50 years, together. My grandfathers' small little southern California kitchen smelled like aloe vera plants, coffee, fresh linen and of course freshly sliced and sugared grapefruit!

 

A couple of facts about the grapefruit:

  • Each half of grapefruit contains about 2 grams of fiber - which somewhat explains why my grandparents and perhaps many older folks like them ate grapefruit! Grapefruit is actually great for digestion and elimination.
  • Vitamin A and Vitamin C are also big headliners! Each half of a grapefruit has about 20% of your vitamin A daily value and 50% of your vitamin C daily value!
  • B1 and B5 are present
  • Potassium
  • Biotin, which promotes healthy hair growth and skin maintenance.
  • IT'S A GREAT QUICK BREAKFAST FOR TWO!! - maybe three if you let your grandson have a few bites...lol

 

 

Slice Grapefruit

 

Close Up Photograph of Slices Orange Citrus Fruits

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chocolate and Coffee in the land of the Ivory and Gold...Part 1

I love journeys. Long journeys, short journeys - journeys of the mind or on the road - the journey to a place can be just as good if not better than the destination. This time, in the mind, I'm journeying to a place where chocolate and coffee fill old wood barrels after being picked at the perfect time - which, for tropical regions within 20 degrees latitude north or south of the equator, is year round. This region of the world, the west coast of Africa, is perfect for growing chocolate and coffee. Global consumer markets have a enormous effect on the price of commodities. If you are an economy that relies on the production of raw commodities such as copper, iron, gold, silver, ivory(17th and 18th century) or in this case cocoa and coffee, you find yourself at the mercy of demand for finished goods. However, I recently watched a grown man eat nothing but chocolate bars and coffee on six hour flight from Boston to Los Angeles - demand for these items is just fine...lol. So where am I mentally on this journey - Ghana and the Cote D'Ivoire...

 

In both countries, which border each other, the chocolate beans are harvested wet after the pods are picked from the trees. Special care is taken to remove the pod without damaging the branch that bore it, thus, ensuring that the branches in places like Ghana and Cote D'Ivoire produce year round and in abundance. In fact, Cote D'Ivoire and Ghana represent the number 1 and number 2 chocolate producers in the world. Cote D'Ivoire is coined by French colonizers meaning "Ivory Coast" - a term given for the primary trading commodity. Ghana was once called the "Gold Coast" by the British for the same reason. Ghana is the highest producer of gold on the planet! But today, chocolate rules the day and it's the best chocolate in the world! Everyone is buying direct from the west coast of Africa - Hershey, Godiva, my mom, etc - and the quality product and the agricultural efforts to produce the magnificent cocoa beans speaks for itself!!

 

For my part, I also love Ghanaian Coffee. I had a cup one day a few years back and was HOOKED!! The land is so fertile and nutrient rich in Ghana, seems anything they grown there is delicious! Coffee lags behind cocoa with regard to production in Ghana however, the crop is making a comeback after the global price for the commodity collapsed in the 1980's. Nobody can compete with Ethiopia and their Arabica Beans - also a delicious product of Africa sold all over the world - but Ghana has potential if for no other reason that the product is complementary to the cocoa beans. The coffee beans that are grown in Ghana, usually on family owned farms, are in large part sold to other Ghanaians and the production of said beans is a source of great pride, heritage and expertise. While the exports are low, the quality is high!! The government there has recently made efforts to revitalize the industry and for the sake of my morning "cup of tolerance, love and patience"...I support these efforts whole heartedly...lol. 

 

So there you have the premise of the post. In the land of Ivory and Gold - cocoa and coffee. I will write more of this journey soon!!

 

 

Dark Chocolate Cookies

 

Person Filling Clear Glass Mug With Coffee

 

 

8.5.19 FRUIT OF THE DAY!!!!

THE FRUIT OF THE DAY IS.....APRICOTS!!!!!

 

GOOD MORNING!!

 

Hope your weekend went well! the fruit of the day in the Apricot!! Many people overlook the apricot for the more famous cousin - the peach. And while the peach is delicious, the apricot is also packed with vitamins. I like to put some carrots and ginger in the juicer, along with some nice ripe apricots for a delicious and invigorating drink in the mornings!! Geissler's has all sorts of fresh fruits and veggies, many of them grown locally by your neighbors!!

 

So today, grab yourself and apricot and take a bit bite! put it into a juice or a jam. But always support local growers, local farms and demand freshness and fairness - that's why I shop at Geisslers!!

 

Glass of Apricot-Carrot Juice on Blue Wooden Table

 

 

First Thing in the Morning...Water!!

Water....

 

The first thing in the morning I like to drink water. No coffee, no tea, no milk or juice....just water. This prepares your body for the day, especially if you're not really hydrating well - a habit of drinking water in the morning as part of a cleansing ritual is a phenomenal way of staying hydrated and connected to nature. Drinking water the first thing in the morning, even before drinking your traditional cup of coffee, begins to train your body not to need caffeine to get started. Tomorrow morning, get up and have a cup of water and just sit. Look out the window and allow the quiet time (hopefully) and the hydration to have its say before your boss does, before your kids do and even before the coffee does. Before CNN, FOX or MSNBC. Before compliance reports, fiscal briefs, grading papers or making your house a home for others...take care of your body with a bit of cool water and some silence....

 

Person Holding Drinking Cup Sitting

 

 

 

 

7.26.19 FRUIT OF THE DAY!!!!

THE FRUIT OF THE DAY IS.....APPLES!!!!!

 

I don't have to tell you a thing about apples do I? The ALL AMERICAN FRUIT....THE ORIGINAL TEACHER BRIBE....THE DOCTOR REPELLENT...ETC. The apple has a special place in our hearts and always will because it just seems wholesome, familiar, safe and versatile in the kitchen. I make apple pie, apple chips, apple jam, apple pancakes, apple spice on my pork butt...lol!! But here are some little known facts about our friend the apple....

 

  1. There are over 2,500 types of apple grown in the united states BUT the only apple native to America is the crab apple!
  2. The science of apple growing is called pomology
  3. Botanically, apples are actually a member of the rose family
  4. Only one country on the planet produces more apples that the United States....who cares who they are, buy AMERICAN!!!...lol

 

ENJOY!!

 

Red Apples

Four Granny Smith Apples

 

 

7.23.19 FRUIT OF THE DAY!!!!

THE FRUIT OF THE DAY IS.......Strawberries!!!!!

 

The Strawberry is near and dear to the heart of Connecticut and Massachusetts. We grow them up around these here part and we grow them better than ANYONE....please believe that! Whether it be Easy Pickin's Farm up in Enfield, Lyman Orchards in Middlefield, Jones Family Farms in Shelton, Rose's Berry Farm in South Glastonbury or Deeply Rooted Farms in Harwinton which offers an extended strawberry picking season...in Connecticut - you will have a "berry" good time. Hold your applause please..lol

 

Some fun stuff to know about the Strawberry: Great source of Vitamin C, Folate (B9) and potassium. Antioxidants YES! great source of fiber? - each little one has about 2% of the daily value! But what I REALLY LOVE ABOUT STRAWBERRIES.....they are approximately 90% water!! I'm always a big fan of eating your water! If this past heat wave has taught us anything it's that the human body can stand up to almost anything except dehydration. When it's hot outside...pack berries and melons because when the water runs out, the berries are like little cantenes!!

 

So eat them fresh, but if you have the luxury and the time....make a strawberry jam!!

 

ENJOY!!

Shallow Focus Photo of Strawberries on Gray Wooden Surface

Selective Focus Photography of Strawberries

 

 

Sunday Dinner 7/21/19 - Grilled Honey Pineapple Yam Burgers!!

For me, this heat is just blowing up my kitchen plans. The oven or the stove top just looks like a no go when it's 100 degrees outside. So, let's fire up the grill! Hydrate, get some good music on and roast those coals slow cuz it's definitely grilling season! Let's see if we can create something great to eat, on a Sunday evening that the whole family - little kids included - can enjoy. My boys LOVE this recipe because it's fun to make, the flavor is perfect an as my youngest son says - "it's doesn't hurt any animals dad"...lol. I present to you my recipe for Grilled Honey Pineapple Yam Burgers!! It's a page right out of my upcoming cookbook "The Philosopher Chef". This cool little recipe is Food Philosophy Scored - "Young Socrates" - which means it relatively easy and innovative! If you have any questions or are having trouble seeing the recipe card in this post...GO TO MY FACEBOOK PAGE: www.facebook.com/theglobalchef and look in the Food Philosophy Recipe Cards Photo Album! Follow me on social media or just catch me at Geisslers!!

 

 

 

 

 

7.19.19 FRUIT OF THE DAY!!!!

THE FRUIT OF THE DAY IS.......PINEAPPLES!!!!!!!

Did you know that Ghana is one of the top producers of Pineapples in the world!!??....Yes it's true! Along with being the second largest producer of Cocoa in the world, behind its' immediate neighbor to the west the Côte D'Ivoire (ivory coast), Ghanaians produce an insane amount of the most delicious pineapples that you have EVER HAD!! Usually, we get our produce in America from our friends to the south. This is because of economics - it's just less expensive to ship a box of bananas from Central America than it is from Africa. But let me tell you...African fruit is sooooooooo sweet and organic and natural. You can tell the difference because the soil is different! Those farmers and agricultural specialist are drawing on thousands of years of experience!

The pineapple, no matter where you get it really is a great fruit for Vitamin C and Calcium!! So, if you can't get an orange, a pineapple packs just as much of a Vitamin C punch and almost as much calcium as a glass of milk!

 

Pineapple Fruit on Rock Taken Under White Clouds

Pineapple

Paper or Plastic!...

"Paper or plastic, sir"?

We all know the saying, "paper or plastic". It's a call made at the end of every story book Norman Rockwell-esque shopping trip going back generations. It's a question, based on your preference of the day. However, these days, it isn't really a question of personal preference but rather, survival of our planet. It's a question about the commitment we have not only to buy from local vendors, local farmers and local grocery stores - but also a question of our commitment to preserving all of this all-American choice for future generations. It's true, we are all Americans and we should choose to lead on this issue of preserving what is best about this green planet we live on - the fact that it's GREEN and BLUE with life!

For years, my family like yours perhaps, have used those little white plastic bags we get from the store for everything from kite making to a makeshift trash liner for the garbage pail in the upstairs bathroom. They came in handy when my family would take road trip across country and we needed a place to throw our juice boxes besides under my moms seat. And who could forget whipping those bad boys out on halloween! When you didn't have a pumpkin pail or a ghostbusters bucket to trick-or-treat with, a doubled up plastic bag from Geisslers could hold enough sweet swag to break an eight year old's arm as he carried it up the steps of Grace Episcopal Church in Downtown Windsor. But my friends, I think it's time for a change.

Plastic is choking our rivers and oceans. It's piled up in landfills and blowing around our freeway off-ramps - it's very near Dickensian (I know all my English majors will love that I found a way to use "Dickensian" in a food blog...lol). No one thing, no one policy or initiative will solve the problem. One politician can't do it all and despite our best efforts to recycle, we need to to a bit more - a lot more. To address this problem, WE THE PEOPLE must get involved! WE THE SMALL BUSINESS COMMUNITY, WE THE LOCAL need to be engaged! I would love to see more stores go to paper and ditch the plastic. It's dramatic at times to imagine such change, and probably even a bit more expensive to abandon the convenience of plastic. We have a tendency to subsidize those products that are worst for our bodies and our planet. It's cheaper to grab a fast food burger than it is to get a fresh salad in most cases. But I believe in this choice.

Switching to paper is not without it's problem or short comings, but it's biodegradable and and more eco-friendly in many respects than plastic. As the discussion continues on how best to preserve our planet for future generations, I feel better knowing that the paper bag won't line the stomach of a whale or a dolphin - it won't choke a river or prevent propers soil drainage. There are also other options including the multiple use grocery bags you can pick up at almost every grocery store now. These bags are at times made of cloth, hemp, linen...i've even seen denim! all great options that allow people to conserve energy and save resources. This is AMERICA....WE create the economy if WE supply the demand!

If we don't have all the answers yet - about how best to preserve and conserve this one planet we have - I hope that there are some community leaders, businesses and stores willing to join others in taking this crucial step. "Paper of plastic" should not be a question reserved only for the end of a whimsical romp through the fresh produce isle rather, it should be an ethical and moral question posed at the beginning of a new day in our community. If we can view this question, not as a superficial problem but as an existential one then I believe we've got this in the bag...lol

 

Brown Paper Bag With Thank You Text Overlay

Fruit of the Day 7.17.19....CHERRIES!!

7.17.19

THE FRUIT OF THE DAY IS..........CHERRIES

HERE ARE SOME GREAT LOOKING STATS: Fiber: 3 grams, Vitamin C: 18% of the Daily Value (DV), Potassium: 10% of the DV, Copper: 5% of the DV, Manganese: 5% of the DV

With thee types of numbers it's no wonder why cherries are so popular!! They are some of the best pairings in the dessert section. I like to eat them fresh but they are great in homemade ice cream and of course, anytime you pair cherries and chocolate there is magic soon to follow...lol

Red Cherries on Stainless Steel Bowl

Fruit of the Day 7.16.19....RASPBERRIES!!!!

7.16.19

The fruit of the day is.....the Raspberry!!!

Did you know that raspberries are one of my FAVORITE fruits to cook with!!!!??? It's a very versatile fruit/berry and in particular, it refreshes like no other berry out there! The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition said that consuming flavonoid-rich foods such as raspberries can lead to a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease! Also, Anthocyanin, which is a type of Flavonoid, has been shown to fight inflammation!

The photo below is has a great concept as we hit mid-summer in New England. Club Soda, raspberry and lime with half packet of sugar in the raw makes an excellent drink for the backyard party!

Make sure you get your raspberries today and create something special!!

 

Glass Cup With Raspberry Inside and Outside

Fruits and Flower on Flowers

Berries on Spoon

CT Dairy Farmers!

I've always been a BIG supporter of Connecticut Dairy farms and the great farmers and agricultural workers that make it all happen. One of the things I love about shopping at Geisslers is how much they reach out to and buy from local farmers - our dairy farms are no exception! We've local eggs, milk, cheese and a whole bunch of other locally grown/locally sourced products waiting for you!! Just a friendly reminder to Give local dairy farmers the green light!!

Black and White Cow in Front of Green Leafed Tree

 

FRUIT OF THE DAY!!!! 7.15.19

7.15.19

The Fruit of the day is...... the BLUEBERRY!!!!

The Blueberry is rich in antioxidants and bursting with flavor! Every cup of blueberries has about 4 grams of fiber, and when it comes to the RDI (recommended Daily Intake) for every cup of blueberries you get 24% Vitamin C, 36% Vitamin K and 25% Manganese!

Personally, I recommend a fresh Blueberry smoothie! 1 cup of blueberries, 1 large red apple, 1/3 cup orange juice(no pulp), one banana and 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric. NO ADDED SUGAR!

Or just eat them berries fresh yo...lol

 

Closeup Photography Blueberry Fruits

Great Weekend to Eat Clean!!

The Weekend is here and Geisslers has a THREE DAY SALE going on now!! There's all sorts of stuff but what I'm giving my boys this weekend are the Divvies Vegan and Nut-Free Cookies!! I try and give my boys, as well as my parents and other family members, products that they might now otherwise eat. If you're like me, then you grew up on cookies made with real butter, eggs, peanuts....all that good old fashion, "grandma approved" stuff.

But as we learn more about how our bodies work, it's kind of cool that companies are producing some delicious options to break up the diet. Check out the options at GEISSLERS!!

Rain Rain Rain!

Rain is on the way tonight and that should make you SMILE!!!....Rainfall brings life and life brings with it the flavors of the earth itself! If you have a garden outside, or if there is one nearby, take a walk right after a good rain. I LOVE the way the planet smells after a good rain. By the way....Bananas, Tomatoes and many types of Squash are getting ready to come into season!

 

 

 

That Good Stuff!!

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the way smoked chicken tastes!! Here is a pro tip: brine the meat ahead of time! FIRST WASH THEM HANDS FAM!!

Next, take your raw chicken and place it into into a sanitary food service bucket or large stock pot - something that can fit into the fridge because you're going to want to keep it cold. For a  nice round flavor try adding fresh Thyme, Ground Cloves, Worcester Sauce, Sea Salt and Orange Peels to the water. Don't be afraid to play it by ear and sight. Brining really isn't an exact science all the time. What is key is that the water is salty enough to infiltrate the meat fibers through a process known as osmosis (yep, you're right back in 9th grade chemistry...lol). So don't be afraid to add a good amount of salt. Don't worry, it won't be salty when you cook it. KEEP WASHING YOUR HANDS AND SANITIZING SURFACES AS YOU GO!!

Now, gently submerge the meat into the water and stir it around a bit to dissolve the salt. Careful not to splash raw chicken juice everywhere! Put the whole thing in the refrigerator on the bottom shelf and let it brine in this salty flavor bath for 24 hours. After that, discard the water, rub them birds down with your favorite dry rub (might I suggest the Baby J's ERRR-Thang Spice Blend sold at all Geisslers locations...lol) and slow smoke it on the grill. You can sear it on the flames for a minute or two on both sides, but for the slow smoking make sure the meat is off the flames and at a temp of about 275 for 5-6 hours. Make sure you use a meat thermometer to ensure that the meat is achieving at least a temp of 185 degrees for at least 30 seconds. I know that goes beyond the standard a bit, but I want to make sure y'all are being safe out there. If there are any questions, please consult your local health department or ask one of the meat department specialists in any Geisslers Location!

Oh yea....BBQ Sauce them bad boys..lol

 

FRUIT OF THE DAY!!!! 7.11.19

7.11.19

Did you know that in 1893, the Supreme Court ruled that the tomato could be regarded legally as a vegetable even though it’s actually a fruit? You see botanically, the tomato is in fact a fruit, not a vegetable. It ripens from a flower on the vine and contains seeds so technically it’s a fruit. However, nutritionists, chefs and even Supreme Court Justices recognize that the primary culinary use of the tomato is as a vegetable! Look up the case: Nix v. Hedden, 149 U.S. 304 (1893)! The case was actually in response to the Tariff Act of 1883 which was deemed to use the ordinary and more common use of the terms “fruit” and “vegetable” rather than the botanical definition.

So....here’s the question food philosophy students: “Is ketchup just a nasty rom temperature fruit smoothie??!!...lol”

 

The fruit of the day is......

Great to be on the trail with my good friends at Geisslers!! Jay Walking has been a long time in the making and now we will show you the world....Eating local, globally!

Eating Local!!!

Geisslers and I have made a HUGE commitment to eating local, buying local and supporting local farmers and businesses. It’s so important to understand....check out our produce sections and ask your local produce professionals there in the stores. I was blown away when ai found out just how much stuff is grown and made right here in CT and MA!

Grilled Garlic!

Grill up some fresh garlic this weekend! Personally, I really enjoy the smokey flavor that comes from crushing up grilled garlic into my homemade BBQ sauce or rubbing it onto some fresh asparagus. It’s a really good thing to have in your refrigerator and it usually lasts in there for about a week! You know how it goes...garlic is good on so many things. You won’t have a problem finding a good use for smoked/grilled garlic...lol

Takes about 30 minutes on a low and slow heat to bring out the flavor. Don’t put it directly onto the flames...lets the smoke and ambient heat evolve those flavors for you....