Want to be a hero? Think Chocolate

Love2

 

Did you forget?

Valentine’s day may not be one of the most significant holidays on the annual calendar but trust me, try forgetting it once and that significant person in your life will never let you live it down. Take it from one who knows. I’ve made that mistake once in my life and to say I was relegated to the doghouse is sugar coating it.

First, a bit of history

Valentine's Day has its roots in the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia (Google it).fertility celebration commemorated annually on February 15.Eventually, Pope Gelasius ISan Galasio I

recast the pagan festival as a Christian feast day declaring February 14 to be St. Valentine's Day.How it came to be a holiday of love from its origin of honoring a pious men who probably had no romance in his life at all is beyond me. There is some suspicion that it changed in the 14th century by a man named Chaucer who wrote a poem for King Richard II of England.Those interested can read more here:Today Loving couples celebrate the holiday with gifts fitting for the occasion.

Here’s a helpful holiday tip: dual bag vacuums are not a good idea as Valentines gifts. To find out why, click here.

To Help you guys and gals out there with an awesome gift Idea, let me introduce what I feel is one of the best chocolate confectioners in the state,

TCC

The Chocolate Conspiracy is run by a great guy who goes by the name of A.J. In talking with him I could sense his passion for high quality treats that are also whole earth minded. I was fascinated to learn that, unlike most other chocolate confections around, The Chocolate Conspiracy does not roast or cook their coco beans in the chocolate making process. Why is that important? By eliminating the heat from the process you retain all the nutritional value of the coco bean (That’s right there is nutrition there). Ka Ching, bonus.

In addition, The Chocolate Conspiracy uses no refined sugar in their homemade confections. That’s right, all their products are sweetened naturally with organically grown and harvested honey from a local farm, White Lakes Farms.

What’s the big deal, you ask? I guess it depends on how important a happy, grateful and motivated partner is to you. Trust me, running to the 7-eleven to get a Hershey’s bar and a can of Dr. Pepper because you forgot to get something special, will yield bitter fruit.

It’s sad that I know so much about these particular fopas but... well let's just leave it at that. Be smart this Valentine’s day, Head over and visit The Chocolate Conspiracy. Your love life will thank you.

As always, we here at Cantu’s Culinary Creations want only the best for you in this coming year.We are here to make your holiday a tasty one. First, enjoy a tasty gourmet meal from Cantu’s Catering and then present the perfect chocolate confection from our friends at The Chocolate Conspiracy.Happy Romancing.

Cantu’s Culinary Creation bog posts created by – RLJ Online Marketing, LLC.

Farm Living

Farm livin

Clifford Family Farms, an Eco-Friendly Way of Life

Utah is home to some of the greatest things in the world. Fresh powder glistening in the morning sun, just begging for the gentle stroke of a skilled skier; wide-open spaces with fresh air in abundance; and an eclectic mix of cultures that add to the rich heritage of the state. However, were you aware that Utah is also an agricultural hub?

That’s right! In addition to the diverse sights and sounds of our beautiful state, we are also home to some of the most progressive and state of the art agricultural enterprises in the nation. One such organization is Clifford Farms. Much of the food we serve in our culinary menu comes from this ecofriendly organic farm.

Clifford Family Farm produces a wide range of fresh vegetable, greens and animal products, including eggs and various varieties of meat. There is something magical about visiting a well-run farm. Unfortunately, with the rise of technology and the advent of the computer age, most Americans have become so distanced from the source of our food supply that they scarcely can place any given menu items true origin

.little piggy

For Utahans there is a cure. It lies in a simple drive to the south, to the verdant fields of the Utah lake basin. Just east of the I-15 freeway, Clifford Family Farms rests amid the surrounding suburbia. What a treasure. A fully functioning organically based farm mere minutes from the freeway. I don’t know about you, but knowing my food isn’t laced with dangerous pesticides and chemicals helps me to sleep well at night. So take a few minutes with the family and travel the short distance to visit the Clifford Family Farms. You’ll be glad you did. They are wonderful folks and they’d love to have you visit and share their vision for a healthier America. 

Blog postings created for Cantu's Culinary Creations by RLJ Online Marketing, LLC

7 Super Foods for the New Year

  7 super foods2

Yes, another new year is upon us and once again, millions of people worldwide resolve to change in a myriad of ways. Well, as you plan your new year’s resolutions why not include a resolution to eat healthier as well. But How?Never fear, here are ten foods that will improve your health and they don’t taste bad either.

7 of The Healthiest Foods You Can Eat  

1. Broccoli Topping our list is the green food your kids say they’ll never eat.Perhaps they haven’t had it prepared the right way.We use broccoli in many of our menu items because of its health benefits.A true Super Food and it is also delicious!

Fun Facts: Did you know that one stalk of broccoli provides almost 100% of your daily Vitamin K Requirement?It also yields almost 200% of your daily requirement of Vitamin C.For more information go to: https://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/vitamin-k

2.Dark ChocolateThat’s right; it’s not just for desert anymore.Studies have found that consuming just ¼ ounce of the dark cocoa can significantly reduce blood pressure as well as possibly reducing the bad cholesterol (LDL) associated with so many health problems.

3.SalmonI tend to be a salmon snob, demanding only wild salmon, however the health benefits can be found in either farm raised or wild salmon.Salmon is an excellent source of Omega-3 Fatty acids, found to reduce memory loss, depression, and some forms of heart disease.

4.Lemons and Limes Just one lemon contains more than 100% of the daily-recommended amount of Vitamin C.They also contain Citrus Flavonoids, which have been shown to inhibit certain cancer cells.They also act as an anti-inflammatory

5.PotatoesWhat?Potatoes are a super food?Who knew!It’s true and here are a few potato facts:

- Just 1 red potato contains 66 grams of folate, a B vitamin that is present in many foods. ÂÂÂÂÂÂLearn more about Folate here:

https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Folate-Consumer/#h1

- 1 sweet potato delivers eight times your daily requirement of Vitamin A

6.GarlicAnd you thought it just kept Vampires away.It turns out that besides giving you a bad case of halitosis, garlic is also on the super food team.Studies have found that garlic inhibits harmful bacteria as well as E-Coli.Garlic also contains Allicin, known to decrease heart disease and blood pressure.Learn more about Allicin here: http://www.allicinfacts.com/about-allicin/what-is-allicin/

7. Spinach - It turns out that Popeye had the right idea all along.Spinach rounds out our top seven super foods list.Spinach provides two essential anti-oxidants, Lutein and Zeaxanthin.Find out more of the benefits of these anti-oxidants here:

https://www.macular.org/zeaxanthin

Finally,Here is a great breakfast pick me up that will boost your energy and get you going in the morning.


morning blast2

Created for Chef Cantu by RLJ Online Marketing, LLC

Our Email is Down

Email Down

Definition of Frustration:Finding out your email is not working and knowing you have missed valuable communications.

We appologize but we experienced a communication error with our Email servers and did not recieve the email messages for November or December. Thankfully the problem has been resolved, however it appears that we were unable to retrieve November's email messages.If you have tried to contact us during that time period please re send your email request and we will be in touch as soon as possible. Our business email address should be working fine now, however please make note of a second email address, should a similar problem arise in the future.You can now contact me at either:

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or at my gmail account,  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .  

 

Again we appologize for the inconvenience and wish you all a very merry holliday season and a happy and productive new year.  

blog design by http://rljonline.net

Thanksgiving Around The World

world

 

Ah thanksgiving, that hallowed and revered time when family, friends and loved ones come together to share food, fun and memories. To the early pilgrims, it was in celebration of the first wheat harvest, which ensured their future survival.


We are far removed from those early days but the tradition continues. For many it bears little resemblance to that first feast so long ago but for others it remains a time of great thanksgiving to the God who provides our abundant bounty.


As Americans, we truly have much for which to be thankful. However, it may surprise you to know that we are not the only people who celebrate such a day of gratitude. Similar celebrations occur worldwide. For example,


Homowo Festival – Ghana  Ghana


A terrible famine claimed the lives of the early Gas people, five or six centuries ago. In the arid Accra region of Ghana, where one lives or dies by the monsoon rains, the lack of substantial precipitation caused a devastating famine. Thankfully, the rains finally came and the grateful people of Ghana could again raise the food needed to survive. The celebration of Homowo commemorates that event.


Homo loosely translated means "Hunger" and wo means "to Hoot" or scoff. So this celebration commemorates the time when the people of Ghana could once again "Hoot at hunger".The festival starts in May with the planting of crops before the advent of the rainy season.

One of the festival dishes served is Kpekple, also referred to as kpokpoi.Kpokpoi

It is a mixture of

  • corn meal
  • Onions
  • Palm nuts
  • Pepper, Tomatoes
  • Fresh fish
  • Salt.

You can find the actual recipe here.


Korean Chuseok Korean2


Chuseok - pronounced (Choo - Suck) is a major harvest festival and a three-day holiday in Korea, celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar, roughly around September.

The traditional dish served on Chuseok is SongPyeun, a small half-mooned shaped rice cake stuffed with sweetened sesame seeds, pine nuts or chestnuts. Here is a songpyeon cooking demo link from well-known Korean recipe blogger Maangchi.

 

Kaamatan Festival - Malaysiapaddy-658716 640

Kaamatan or Pesta Kaamatan is a Harvest Festival and is a special celebration ceremony to honor the "Bambazon" or the spirit of the padi plant. It is revered as the overall creator, and an omnipotent source of life and existence. Various dishes are made from the Paddi plant including Tapai (ta-pie), a traditional fermented food found throughout much of East- and Southeast Asia. It is an alcoholic paste and has a sweet or sour taste. Tapai is typically made from cassava, white rice, or glutinous rice.Tapai

So as you gather around that thanks-giving table, just remember that folks all over the world are offering similar acts of gratitude. We all need to cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude.

One way to show your gratitude to those you love is with a gift certificate from Cantu's Culinary Creations.Gift Cert2

 

They can be purchased in any amount over $40.00 and they make a great stocking stuffer. Perhaps you need a unique gift for that special woman in your life. What better way to show your love than by providing her with a gourmet meal right in your own home.

To order your gift certificate simply go to our website and send us a request. We'll take it from there. Happy Feasting.

Eat Hearty Pilgrim

 

Eat Hearty Image


In the spirit of the season this week’s article will look at our early forefathers and the Native population that aided in their survival. Who were these folk? They were known as the Wampaoag Tribe.wampanoag

Wampanoag means "Easterners" or literally "People of the Dawn" The word Wapanoos was first seen on Adriaen Block's 1614 map and was the earliest European representation of Wampanoag territory. Other interpretations include "Wapenock," "Massasoit" and"Philip's Indians".

The great Thanksgiving feast may have featured many dishes we have not heard of before. Such delicacies as,

Blood Pudding

Blood Pudding(still a favorite in Britain today), actually made from the blood of pigs or other livestock.

sobaheg-3

Turkey Sobaheg (a Wampaoag dish). Sobaheg is the Wampaoag word for stew. Like most stews, this dish is easily adapted to seasonal ingredients. Variations of this dish are still made in Wampanoag country today.

Nasaump

Samp, This recipe is the English version of the Native Nasaump recipe above. The word samp is a simplified English version of the word nasaump.

Bustard

Bustard - are large and highly terrestrial birds mainly associated with dry open country of the Old World. They range in length from 40 to 150 cm.

Here are a few of the old world recipes that you can try at home.

TURKEY SOBAHEG

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound dry beans (white, red, brown or spotted kidney-shaped beans)
  • 1/2 pound white hominy corn or yellow samp or coarse grits, available from Gonsalves or Goya at many grocery stores
  • 1 pound turkey meat (legs or breast, with bone and skin)
  • 3 quarts cold water
  • 1/4 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 inch-lengths
  • 1/2 pound winter squash, trimmed and cubed
  • 1/2 cup raw sunflower seed meats, pounded to a course flour (or pounded walnuts)
  • dried onion and/or garlic to taste
  • clam juice or salt to taste (optional)

Directions

Combine dried beans, corn, turkey, seasonings and water in a large pot. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, turn down to a very low simmer, and cook for about 2 1/2 hours. Stir occasionally to be certain bottom is not sticking.

When dried beans are tender, but not mushy, break up turkey meat, removing skin and bones. Add green beans and squash, and simmer very gently until they are tender.

Add sunflower or nut flour, stirring until thoroughly blended.

Pulled Molasses Candy

Ingredients

  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of New Orleans molasses
  • 2/3 cup of vinegar & water mixed
  • A piece of butter half the size of an egg.

Directions

Combine ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a low boil. Continue boiling for 15 to 20 minutes. Using a spoon, scoop the mixture out and pour it into a bowl of cold water. 

When the candy hardens in cold water, pour into shallow buttered tins, and as soon as it is cool enough to handle, pull it until it is of a straw-color. Voilla, you have a wonderful old world treat that your family will enjoy.

Chef Daniel Cantu's passion is creating unique and fun culinary delights that will bring a new excitement to the fall festive season. Think of Cantu's Culinary Creations this year as you plan your festive feast.

Blog postings by: RLJ Online Marketing LLC

 

Let's Talk Squash

LTS2

Fun Squash Facts:You can eat every part of the squash plant, including the leaves and tender shoots. They can be included in omelets and even made into tasty soups.

Perhaps you've heard of Summer and Winter Squash, but these labels may be a bit deceiving. In actuality, you can find Summer Squash as well as Winter Squash all year long. These two classifications for squash date back to much earlier times when the seasons played a more critical role in the local inhabitant's survival. Generally, vegetables with a longer freshness lifespan were known as "Winter" produce because they would typically last through the winter months remaining a viable source of sustenance.

Fun Squash Facts: Did you know that the pumpkin is actually in the squash family, the Cucurbita (Latin for gourd) to be exact.) These types of squash are an excellent source of nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin C, niacin, folic acid, and iron,

Whether you are new to squash or a seasoned culinary chef, it is still fun to learn new things about this plucky gourd. Let's look at some of the varieties available:

acorn

Acorn Squash

As the name suggests, this Winter Squash is small and shaped like an acorn. Sometimes referred to as Pepper Squash, it is an excellent squash for baking and by adding a dab of butter to the hollowed out half, makes an excellent and tasty entrée.One acorn squash weighs approximately two to three pounds and has a sweet, slightly fibrous, texture. Cubed or sliced it can also make a wonderful addition to winter soups and stews.

Spaghetti Squash

spaghetti

Here's a fun change up to traditional spaghetti pasta. Why not substitute spaghetti squash for the traditional pasta in your next spaghetti dinner?Photo2 By Rusty Clark

Spaghetti Squash is a wonderful yellow fruit that you can bake in the oven. After baking, simply use a fork to separate the tender squash, you'll be amazed at how it looks and acts just like traditional pasta. It's far more nutritious as well.Who knows, it just may replace pasta on your table.

Photo 2by Ambernambrose

Carnival Squash

Carnival squash is distinguished by its deeply furrowed top-shape and of course, its variegated patterns of orange,green and light yellow hued fall colors. The Carnival squash's thick exterior contains spotted and striped colors of white, orange, yellow and green, depending on its level of maturity. The presence of post-harvest green coloring indicates that the squash is still at its peak maturity. As the squashes age, they will eventually maintain a distinct orange and cream color. The raw flesh of the Carnival squash is pale orange in color with a large and fibrous seed cavity. It is semi-dry and firm in texture, fragrant and its flavoring is rather mild. The squash's true flavors only emerge after being baked or cooked. After preparation, the flesh takes on a rich buttery, nutty or sweet flavor.

Butternut Squash

character

Butternut squash also known in Australia and New Zealand as Butternut Pumpkin, is a type of winter squash. It has a sweet, nutty taste similar to that of a pumpkin. It has yellow skin and orange fleshy pulp.Butternut 2
When ripe, it turns to a deep orange color and becomes even more sweet. It grows on a vine similar to it's cousin the Pumpkin. The most popular variety, the Waltham Butternut, originated in Waltham, Massachusetts, where it was developed at the Waltham Experiment Station by Robert E. Young. Dorothy Leggett, widow of Charles Leggett, claims that the Waltham Butternut squash was developed by her husband, Charles Leggett, in Stow, Massachusetts, and then subsequently introduced to the researchers at the Waltham Field Station. Regardless of it's alienesk beginnings, it is a favorite among novice and professional culinary chefs alike.
 

Photo 2by qulsnovus

Sugar Pumpkin Squash

If your Halloween pumpkin was short and squatty, chances are good it was of the Sugar Pumpkin Variety. These are known for their rich pumpkin flavor and don't necessarily have to be reserved for pie making. They also add a zesty flavor to sautéed vegetable plates as well as various bisque and soup recipes. When combined with other winter vegetables they create a mouthwatering side dish that will be the highlight of any meal.

Sweet Dumpling Squash

Photo2By Renee Rendler-Kaplan

This variety has a creamy yellow color sprinkled with splashes of green. It is small and compact, perfect for individual serving sizes. Like most other varieties of squash, the skin is edible and the fruit inside tastes remarkably similar to sweet potatoes. Use it as a replacement for any recipe calling for sweet potatoes or pumpkin.Because the taste and flesh of the fruit is so moist, the sweet dumpling squash is prepared and cooked as both a vegetable and a tasty filling for desserts. These squash have a special place in the North American cuisine, as they were once part of the pioneers original thanksgiving celebration.

Of course there are many more varieties of winter and summer squash but regardless of the type you choose, one thing is certain; your meal will be transformed into a scrumptious feast by the wonderful squash varieties.Chef Daniel Cantu enjoy's adding Winter and Summer squash to many of his offered menu items. Not only do they add that necessary splash of color but they also add a wonderful texture and taste that can be had by no other vegetable or garnishment. Until next time, we wish you a happy fall season and many culinary delights.  

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Prepared with Love

Chef Daniel Cantu

"Food is my passion. Whether I am enjoying a simple but exquisite meal with a couple of friends, savoring some bread and cheese after a hike or just eating a fresh picked cherry tomato and basil leaf. Food never fails to put a smile on my face. It is my goal to provide people with a shared happiness through food. "

Owner and Chef Daniel Cantu

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