Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Ethical Omnivore - Buying Meat & What Those Terms Mean


Did you know that, this last April, it was publicized - that 1 in 4 U.S. meat samples were tainted with multi-drug resistant staph? We have all heard that food borne illness is a serious problem and that concern is directly connected to the unethical treatment of the animals, raised for our consumption.

Some years back, for my health, my families and in consideration of those animals, our family became "ethical omnivores!" Unfortunately though, selecting better meat is easier said than done.

Here's a rough guide to the "legal" definitions of labels you could find in the butcher’s department at your local grocery store and what they mean.

"Cage Free" - The animals were not put in cages. However, this does not mean they were free-range or even set foot outdoors.

"Barn Roaming" - This is a relatively new one. These animals were not caged, but were also not free to go outside.

"Free Range" or "Free Roaming" - The animals had access to the outdoors, but does not necessarily mean they ever went outside.

"Grass-fed" - For ruminant animals (like cows, goats, and sheep) were fed a diet of only grass and forage. Animals were able to graze.

"Vegetarian-fed" - Animals were not fed any animal by-product, but may have had a diet that included grains.

"Certified Humane" - Animals were kept so as to allow free movement, without tethers, cages, or crates. Does not necessarily indicate access to outdoors. This label contains no information about the animals’ diet.

"Natural" - May not contain an artificial ingredient or added color and can only be minimally processed (meaning the product cannot be fundamentally altered).

"No Hormones Administered" - On beef, this means no hormones were administered to the cattle. Use of hormones in raising pigs or poultry is illegal nationwide.

"No Antibiotics Added" - No antibiotics were used at all (even for illness) in the raising of the animals.

"Certified Organic" - Animals had access to bedding and the outdoors, but its uncertain for how long. No hormones or antibiotics were used in their raising.

{Note: For more information on food labeling, visit to USDA's website}Link(Photos via Jupiter Images)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday's Photos - Rob Lowe's Beautiful Home


In case some of you missed the episode of Oprah when she interviewed actor Rob Lowe and got a peek into the beautiful home {that he shares with his wife, Sheryl and two teen sons} -- here it is. Built near Santa Barbara on the California coast, the 20-room Georgian-style home, nestled on four exquisitely landscaped acres, and even though this home is a bit over-the-top for my taste, I find the decor very inspiring!





Rob on his dream home: "I always wanted that house where everybody wants to go — full of energy, dogs, music, fun. I wanted our house to be that house, and it is."
BTW - what's up with Mr. Lowe - he hasn't aged at all!! I'm just sayin'...


(Vanity Fair Shoot -- and a screen shot of Rob horsing around with one of his teenage sons)
Happy Friday Everyone!!
(Home Photography by Mary E. Nichols and Architectural Digest)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

San Francisco - That City By The Bay ♥


I really do appreciate 7x7 Magazine living so close to San Francisco -- it's a great resource on all the latest info on food, culture and events. San Francisco is such an amazing city! I've lived within an hours drive or less of it my whole life but I still haven't learned all it's secrets or seen all it's sites. My husband Mark, worked in the "City" for over 18 years before finally finding a job closer to home {60 miles north in Santa Rosa}. After spending all week driving back and forth cross the Golden Gate Bridge he really wasn't in the mood to return for weekend fun. So we spent more time exploring The Wine Country {Sonoma and Napa County} instead. Over the past few years we find ourselves now returning to the City more often. Back in January -- I read an article in 7x7 about "100 places you should eat in San Francisco before you die" {actu
al title - 100 Things To Try Before You Die} and I thought I might share it for any of you traveling to Norcal anytime soon or for you locals who are always on the look-out for great food!


The 2011 Big Eat San Francisco - 100 Things To Eat Before You Die

1. Ma Po Tofu @ Mission Chinese Food

2. Roast Chicken with Bread Salad @ Zuni Cafe

3. Coffee-Rubbed Pork Shoulder @ Range Restaurant

4. Carnitas Taco @ La Taqueria

5. Chasu Ramen @ Katana-ya

6. Puka Punch @ Smuggler's Cove

7. Morning Bun @ Tartine Bakery

8. Crab with Cellophane Noodles @ The Slanted Door

9. Eggs in Jail @ Outerlands

10. Hamburguesa @ Don Pisto's

11. Pork Sugo with Pappardelle @ Delfina

12. Porchetta Sandwich @ Roli Roti at the Ferry Building Farmer's Market

13. Xiao Long Bao @ Shanghai Dumpling King

14. Warm Egg Salad Sandwich @ Il Cane Rosso

15. Seasonal Sorbet @ Scream Sorbet (Ferry Building Marketplace)

16. Katsu Curry @ Muracci's Japanese Grill

17. Pizza Margherita @ Pizzeria Delfina

18. $24 prix fixe @ Cotogna

19. Thousand year old quail egg @ Benu

20. Salumi Misti Plate @ Perbacco

21. Tonkotsu Ramen @ Izakaya Sozai

22. Roasted Pork Banh Mi @ Saigon Sandwiches

23. Strong beer @ Magnolia Pub & Brewery

24. Loaf of Bread @ Tartine Bakery

25. Pistachio meatballs @ Zare At Fly Trap

26. Spicy baby octopus stew @ La Ciccia Restaurant

27. Tuna Tartare and a Gin Martini @ Bix Restaurant

28. Clam Chowder @ Anchor Oyster Bar

29. Tuna Tostada @ Tacolicious

30. Pupusas @ Balompie Cafe

31. Prime Rib @ House of Prime Rib

32. Steamed Bao With Pork Belly & Pickled Daikon @ Chairman Bao Truck

33. The Little Star @ Little Star Pizza

34. Burger @ Bar Tartine

35. Salted Caramel Ice Cream @ Bi-Rite Creamery

36. Soft garlic pretzels @ Absinthe Brasserie & Bar

37. Rotisserie Chicken @ Limon Peruvian Rotisserie

38. burger and fries @ Spruce

39. Paper Masala Dosa @ Dosa

40. Pierna Enchilada Torta @ La Torta Gorda

41. Ahi Tuna Burger @ Gott's Roadside (Formerly Taylor's Automatic Refresher)

42. Pho Ga @ Turtle Tower Restaurant

43. Tortilla Soup @ Chilango

44. Beer Sausage @ Rosamunde Sausage Grill

45. duck larb @ Lers Ros Thai Noodles

46. Secret Breakfast Ice Cream @ Humphry Slocombe

47. Chips and Salsa @ Papalote Mexican Grill

48. Belgian Waffle @ Blue Bottle Café

49. Ginger Snaps @ Miette Cakes

50. Belgian Beer @ Monk's Kettle

51. Maccaronara with Ricotta Salata @ A16

52. Carnitas @ Nopalito

53. The Laphroaig Project @ Rickhouse

54. Spiced Chocolate Doughnut And Four Barrel Coffee @ Four Barrel Coffee

55. Sweetwater Oysters @ Hog Island Oyster Co.

56. Chicken Porridge @ Out the Door

57. Sandwich No. 1 @ Lucca Delicatessen

58. Pork shoulder fried rice @ Sai Jai Thai Restaurant

59. Hamburger @ 4505 Meats (Ferry Building Thursday & Saturday Market)

60. Huarache with Cactus Salad @ El Huarache Loco

61. Egg Custard Tart @ Golden Gate Bakery

62. Dim Sum @ Ton Kiang

63. Pozole @ San Jalisco

64. Sand Dabs @ Tadich Grill

65. Cookies-and-Cream Cookie and Milk @ Anthony's Cookies

66. Pig Parts @ Incanto Restaurant

67. Meatloaf Sandwich @ Fatted Calf

68. Foccacia @ Liguria Bakery

69. Omakase @ Sebo

70. Shanghai Buck @ Heaven's Dog

71. Fried Green Beans @ COCO500

72. popovers @ Wayfare Tavern

73. Corned Beef Sandwich with Gruyere @ The Sentinel

74. Eggs Benedict @ Zazie

75. Super Carne Asada Burrito @ El Farolito

76. Onion Strings @ Alfred's Steak House

77. fried chicken @ Foreign Cinema

78. Apple Fritter @ Bob's Donut & Pastry Shop

79. Fried Shrimp Po' Boy @ Brendas French Soul Food

80. Chicken Hash @ Ella's Restaurant

81. Pickled egg with a Manhattan @ Comstock Saloon

82. Margarita @ Tommy's Mexican Restaurant

83. Curry Bun @ Sandbox Bakery

84. Cheese Slice @ Arinell Pizza Inc

85. Sesame Balls @ Yank Sing Restaurant

86. Buckwheat Crepe with French Cider @ Ti Couz Creperie

87. Coconut Buns @ Kings Bakery Cafe

88. Lettuce Cups @ Betelnut

89. Korean Taco @ Namu (Ferry Building Farmer's Market)

90. Albondigas Soup @ Mijita

91. Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dog @ Mission, San Francisco, CA

92. Lumberjack Cake @ Frances

93. Seven Courses of Beef @ Pagolac

94. Irish Coffee @ Buena Vista Cafe

95. 3 AM Bowl of Caldo Verde Soup @ Grubstake

96. Ube Ice Cream @ Mitchell's Ice Cream

97. Lamb Schawerma @ Truly Mediterranean

98. Chicken Curry Lunch Special @ Punjab Kabab House

99. Fried Chicken and Waffles @ Little Skillet

100.Cracked Whole Roasted Dungeness Crab @ Swan Oyster Depot

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