2015 Food Quiz

Food Quiz

To celebrate the end of the year and highlight some of the best (and worst) food-related happenings of 2015, we’ve put together a little quiz! Test your knowledge below!

1. What was the #1 best selling food product in the world in 2015?
A. KRAFT Macaroni & Cheese
B. General Mills Honey Nut Cheerios
C. Franz Bakery Homestyle Split Top White Bread
D. DiGiorno Original Rising Crust Four Cheese Pizza

2. How much was invested in food delivery services (think Munchery, Blue Apron, Postmates) this year?
A. $90 million
B. $380 million
C. $750 million
D. $1.5 billion

3. Which of the following animal welfare advancements did NOT occur this year?
A. McDonald’s pledged to source chickens raised without antibiotics
B. Costco made the switch to to cage-free eggs
C. JBS (Brazilian pork producer) agreed to phase out use of gestation crates
D. StarKist implemented an anti-shark finning policy

4. The sales of foods marketed as “local” surged to what number this year?
A. $800 million
B. $6 billion
C. $11 billion
D. $32 billion

5. Which of the following plans did General Mills announce this year?
A. They will soon offer all employees meditation sessions, yoga classes, and mindfulness programs
B. They will be launching a line of affordable pet food products
C. They will be partnering with AmazonFresh to offer more extensive online purchasing and delivery services
D. They will be removing all artificial colors and flavors from their products

6. After Allrecipes.com, which recipe website was the most popular in 2015?
A. Food Network
B. Epicurious
C. The Kitchn
D. Food.com

7. The typical American family threw away this amount of money in groceries this year.
A. $800
B. $1600
C. $2100
D. $3200

8. What was the best-selling cookbook of 2015?
A. The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom, by Melissa Hartwig
B. The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Dinnertime, by Ree Drummond
C. Thug Kitchen: Eat Like You Give a F*ck, by Matt Holloway and Michelle Davis
D. The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science, by J. Kenji López-Alt

9. Which major restaurant chain was linked to an E. coli outbreak that affected over 50 people?
A. McDonalds
B. Chipotle
C. Chili’s
D. Panera

10. How much venture capital was poured into food startups in the first half of 2015?
A. $121 million
B. $300 million
C. $1.18 billion
D. $2.06 billion

11. KRAFT announced their plans to swap the artificial orange coloring in their iconic Macaroni & Cheese for which naturally derived ingredients?
A. Dehydrated sharp cheddar cheese
B. Paprika and Turmeric
C. Red and yellow beet powder
C. No way…KRAFT will never change their classic recipe

12. What’s the name of the Facebook recipe app that took the online recipe publishing world by storm this year?
A. Foodbook
B. Basil
C. Kitchen Monki
D. Cookpanion

All set? When you’re ready, scroll down to reveal the answers!





























1. A. KRAFT Macaroni & Cheese was the #1 best selling food product in the world in 2015, generated more than $555,897,000.

2. D. $1.5 billion was invested in food delivery services in 2015!

3. D. StarKist DID NOT implement an anti-shark finning policy this year.

4. C. $11 billion: The total sales of foods marketed as “local” this year.

5. D. General Mills will be removing all artificial colors and flavors from their products 

6. A. Food Network was the most popular recipe website after Allrecipes.com in 2015.

7. B. $1600: The amount of money in groceries the typical American family threw away this year.

8. A. The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom, by Melissa Hartwig was the best-selling cookbook of 2015.

9. B. Chipotle was linked to an E. coli outbreak that affected over 50 people this year.

10. D. $2.06 billion in venture capital was poured into food startups in the first half of 2015!

11. B. Paprika and Turmeric: The naturally derived ingredients KRAFT plans to swap in for the artificial orange coloring in their iconic Macaroni & Cheese

12. D. Cookpanion: The name of the Facebook recipe app that took the online recipe publishing world by storm this year. You guys should all know this one ;).

Now look at all the fun facts I’ve armed you with for your New Years Eve party! But in all seriousness, cheers to all of you, and thank you for making this a terrific year for Cookpanion! Happy 2016!

Sources: http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/12/29/460589462/the-year-in-food-artificial-out-innovation-in-and-2-more-trends, http://top101news.com/2015-2016-2017-2018/news/foods/best-selling-food-products-world-usa/, https://www.yahoo.com/food/the-year-in-food-what-was-hot-and-tasty-in-2015-151910214.html


Spotlight On: KING 5 New Day Northwest

New Day Northwest, KING 5’s notable weekday lifestyle show, has been in the recipe publishing business since its start in 2010. The show regularly attracts big-time chefs, health and fitness experts, restaurateurs, and celebrities, many of whom share sought-after recipes on the show. Seattle’s Tom Douglas, Jack Bishop of America’s Test Kitchen, Doug Farrar of Sports Illustrated, and Kevin Garvin, Executive Chef and President of Neiman Marcus restaurants, are just a few of the special guests that have talked food (and cooked it too!) on the show.

Tom Malterre, author of The Elimination Diet, prepares Pomegranate Chicken Tacos on New Day Northwest

New Day began using Cookpanion in March 2015, and as a result, has been able to substantially expand their page to accommodate their growing collection of recipe content. Within their Cookpanion-powered Recipes tab, page visitors can find 628 recipes, dozens of food-related stories, a handful of themed menus, as well as any ongoing contests they may be running. Their recipe profile aims to highlight the diverse population of foodie guests they host on the show, and acts as a hub where the Seattle culinary community can gather to share and discover unique recipes and resources.

NDNW Widgets

New Day has capitalized on the app’s diverse toolkit in order to best showcase their recipe content: they regularly feature an image slider with noteworthy recipes, as well as a featured recipe list, at the top of their profile. They’ve also taken advantage of widgets that highlight stories & contests, categorize recipes by month, and provide information on their show and links back to their website.

Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 2.06.11 PM

Since they added the Cookpanion Recipes tab on March 24th, 2015, New Day has acquired 1528 new page likes, translating to a 5.7% increase in their Facebook fan base. On average, their recipe posts reach nearly 2200 Facebook users, with top posts delivered to over 4500. Comments, likes, and shares on a single recipe have reached numbers in the high 50s, while post clicks have reached nearly 200. With a Facebook audience composed of 76% women, New Day has taken care to share relevant content–including recipes–to speak to this particular demographic as well as grow their general fan base.

Another interesting takeaway from crunching numbers on New Day’s Facebook page is that “link” posts, which include Cookpanion recipe posts, reach an astounding number of users compared to posts containing photos alone. This finding speaks to the power of recipe content when it comes to reaching and broadening one’s audience.

NDNW Quote

We are grateful for New Day Northwest’s fantastic ongoing support, and have so enjoyed watching them leverage their recipe content and experience growth and success as a result. We can’t wait to see countless more businesses, small and large, experience the same type of success with the help of the Cookpanion app!

Here are a few of our favorite New Day Northwest recipes:

Find their complete recipe collection on their Facebook Recipes tab and follow them on their tab for instant recipe notifications!

If you’re a brand or business who wants to use the Cookpanion app on your page, contact us at info@cookpanion.com or get started today at app.cookpanion.com/tab! Cheers!

Happy Holidays From Cookpanion

The Cookpanion team had a chance to step away from our computers, white boards, and cell phones this past weekend to celebrate a truly wonderful year. We enjoyed an evening of fabulous food (duh), delightful wine, and the company of this great little family that we have formed.

Cheers to a successful year past, and to an exciting year ahead!

Holiday Party

Mastering the Latke + 5 Foolproof Recipes

Source: http://www.toriavey.com

Latkes are deceptively simple: all you really need is onion, potato, and oil. But for the perfect latke–that light, crispy, golden-brown pillow of potatoey goodness–you’ll need to keep a few things in mind.

The Onion

To achieve that subtle but essential savory flavor that the onion imparts, use a nice fresh onion and make sure to chop it finely and evenly (learn how here). Your latkes will hold together better, and you’ll avoid getting a bit old bite of onion when you chomp into the final product. I advise against grating your onion, as this often leads to a soggy pile of onion meal, rather than small, in-tact bits that lend themselves well to crisping.

The Potato

The most important thing to remember when it comes to the potato is to wait until the last minute to grate it in order to avoid discoloration. Box graters work great, but a food processor fitted with a grater blade can save you a ton of time, especially if you’re making large quantities of latkes. In terms of potato type, russet potatoes are the traditional variety used, but you can easily substitute sweet potatoes, yukon golds, purple potatoes, or practically any variety.

Once you’ve combined the onion and potato, the next key step is to remove any excess liquid. This will help your latkes hold together when they hit the fryer. To get your onion-potato mixture nice and dry, wrap it in a clean kitchen cloth and wring tightly to squeeze out any extra liquid.

The Oil

There are a few important points to remember here. The first is the oil type. You’ll want to use an oil with a high smoking point so you can crispify your latkes at a nice high temperature without setting off your fire alarm. You also probably want to use a neutral-tasting oil that won’t impart much flavor on the latke. Vegetable oil and safflower oil are both good bets, as is clarified butter.

Next is the amount of oil. Make sure to fill your fry pan with at least 1/2 inch of oil to avoid uneven cooking, but don’t overfill the pan either, as this will make it harder to maintain your latkes’ perfect pancake shape.

Last but certainly not least is temperature. If possible, use a deep fry or candy thermometer to monitor the temperature of the oil. The ideal temperature for latkes is between 360 and 375 degrees F. If you don’t have access to a thermometer, here are a few ways you can test the oil: 1 – Drop a small piece of bread into the oil. If it takes 60 seconds to brown, the oil temperature is perfect for frying. 2 –  Place a kernel of unpopped popcorn into the oil. When the kernel pops, the oil is hot enough to fry.

Now that you have the technique down pat, here are a few awesome recipes to try out!

1. Classic Potato Latkes


2. Sweet Potato Latkes with Brie & Baby Arugula


3. Butternut Squash Latkes with Sriracha Aioli


4. Curry Vegetable Latkes


5. Cheese Latkes


Sources: https://www.yahoo.com/food/5-rules-to-follow-so-you-dont-screw-up-your-141918745.html, http://toriavey.com/how-to/2013/11/how-to-make-crispy-latkes/


2015 Foodie Gift Guide

Christmas gift wrapping idea

Happy December! It’s amazing how quickly the holiday season snuck up on us! It seems like within a couple days my social calendar has reached it’s capacity, my bank account has begun dwindling, and the frequency with which I visit amazon.com has increased by at least 400%. Not to mention the number of cookies, breads, dips, and bottles of wine traveling in and out of my kitchen is alarming. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Below is a compilation of gift ideas fit for the foodie or home cook in your life. I’ve taken care to list only top-rated products, as well as items in a number of categories and price ranges. Hope you find something for everyone on your list!

For the Baker

Customizable Cookie Stamp
Interchangeable letters, numbers, and symbols offer endless possibilities for personalized treats.
$15 | uncommongoods.com

Typhoon Novo Kitchen Scale
This retro-inspired kitchen scale is sleek and stylish, with a deep glossy red color and stainless steel accents.
$64 | amazon.com

Color Me! Cookies
What’s better than eating cookies? Coloring and designing them first! Cookies come in a reusable tin that keeps them fresh for up to 2 months.
$40 (10 cookies and 5 markers) | elenis.com

Artisanal Caramel Sauce
This Portland-based company makes high quality, silky smooth caramel sauces in flavors like lavender, habanero, and whiskey. Try on ice cream, pound cake, or even waffles!
$10 | almachocolate.com

Smoked Chocolate Chips
This unique treat is the result of cold-smoking organic semisweet chocolate over alder wood for 10+ hours. Try in classic chocolate chip cookies or ganaches, or go savory with a mole sauce or pork rub.
$15 | getyourhotcakes.com

For the Entertainer

Bread Warmer
Slide this beautiful terra cotta plate under bread to keep it warm at the dinner table. Where has this been all my life?!
$15 | uncommongoods.com

Aboro Tart Platter
This stunning contemporary platter is perfect for serving show-stopping delicacies, or just adorning your dining room. The craftsmanship and quality inherent in the Bernardaud brand make this porcelain art piece worth the price.
$245 | bernardaud.com

Brass Trivets
These brass trivets conjure up images of stars and galaxies. The brass is bright and shiny and will naturally and beautifully oxidize with use. They are produced by a Japanese company that has been forging brass for over a century.
$81 | mjolk.ca

Gilded Rim Glassware
Talk about classy. These ultra-thin, rose tinted glasses with delicate gold details would make a stunning addition to any bar or dining table.
$22 | anthropologie.com

Jamón Ibérico
Iberico ham, known as “the treasure of Spanish cuisine,” will surely please any charcuterie expert. Try this beautiful pre-sliced variety for instant eat-ability.
$20 | tienda.com

For the Cocktail Enthusiast

Cocktail Spices
Inspired by the classic Bloody Mary recipe, mixologist Jim Meehan worked with spice genius Lior Lev Sercarz to create this line of cocktail blends. “They make the drink,” he says.
$45 | laboiteny.com

Mini Bitters Set
This small set of bitters from Berg & Hauck lets you make great cocktails anywhere.
$31 | kegworks.com

Spherical Ice Cube Trays
Mixologists like using big, round pieces of ice for spirits served straight, because they melt slowly and won’t water down drinks. New York’s Museum of Modern Art sells a tray for mixologist wannabes that produces two-inch-wide spheres.
$18 | momastore.org

Rocks Glass
All whiskey lovers should have a Nate Cotterman tumbler in the freezer. The glass cube inside keeps your whiskey ice cold without watering it down.
$90 | natecotterman.com

Liquid Intelligence
In Dave Arnold’s world, the shape of an ice cube, the sugars and acids in an apple, and the bubbles in a bottle of champagne are all ingredients to be measured, tested, and tweaked. Liquid Intelligence brings readers behind the counter and into the lab.
$22 | amazon.com

Mixology Dice
Roll the dice to create new flavor combinations with ingredients in eight categories, including spirits, fruit and spice.
$24 | shopspring.com

Carry-On Cocktail Kit
This TSA-approved cocktail kit provides everything you need to mix two proper Old Fashioneds, Gin and Tonics or Moscow Mules at 30,000 feet.
$24 | anthropologie.com

Glacial Ridge Cocktail Pitcher
The perfect addition to that Pinterest-inspired bar cart you’ve been working on.
$36 | anthropologie.com

For the Coffee/Tea Lover

Coffee and Tea Sugar Notch Set
An adorable way to serve your guests sugar with a delicious cup of coffee or tea.
$18 | uncommongoods.com

Tracy Stern Iced Tea
Tracy Stern Tea & Co. specializes in blends for iced tea. The oolong lychee is so complex and delicious you’ll want to brew it even on a cold, wet day in March.
$20 | tracysterntea.com

Capresso Cool Grind Blade Grinder
Preserve the flavor and aroma of your coffee with the stainless steel blade and beaker that keep heat build-up to a minimum when grinding.
$30 | surlatable.com

Blue Bottle Travel Coffee Kit
This stylish and compact kit is a must for any coffee snob who never stays in one place for long.
$179 | bluebottlecoffee.com

Espresso Tamper
As adorable as espresso spoons are, your home barista really doesn’t need another set. These customizable coffee tampers from Reg Barber perfectly pack and distribute espresso grounds, and are a favorite among competitive baristas.
$64 | coffeetamper.com

For the Adventurous Eater

The Flavor Thesaurus: A Compendium of Pairings, Recipes and Ideas for the Creative Cook
As appealing to the novice cook as to the experienced professional, The Flavor Thesaurus is a globetrotting collection of flavor pairings as told by a writer with a discerning palette and an entertaining, original voice.
$18 | amazon.com

Global Olive Oils
Eliunt’s olive oils—sold in black-glass bottles that block sunlight—range from fruity Lebanese to nutty Portuguese.
$130 (10 2-oz bottles) | theingredientfinder.com

Squid Ink Spaghetti
Filotea’s dried pasta from Italy has the tender texture of fresh-made.
$19 | marxfoods.com

Kitchen Curry Master Spice Kit
An Indian pantry at your fingertips, the Curry Master sends you all of the hard-to-find spices you need to develop the complex flavors of a rich curry or an authentic aloo gobi.
$60 | kitchencurrymaster.com

Solstice Canyon Cardmom & Clove Almond Butter
This is almond butter as you’ve never had it before: raw; stone-ground; and blended with coconut, sea salt, and an array of chai spices including clove, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, vanilla, and cinnamon.
$9 | bohem.com

For the DIYer

Hard Cider Kit from Brooklyn Brew Shop
Take full advantage of that abundance of fresh apples in your CSA with this super-easy cider kit.
$40 | brooklynbrewshop.com

Tofu Making Kit
Ever wonder how soybeans become tofu? Find out first hand by making a one-pound brick of the vegetarian staple from scratch using this DIY tofu kit.
$19 | uncommongoods.com

Cheese Curds
Caputo Brothers curds help make chef-quality mozzarella at home.
$24 | saxelbycheese.com

Pizza Stone
Weber’s ceramic pizza stone absorbs moisture to make perfectly crispy pizzas and can be used on a charcoal or gas grill. You’ll never order pizza again, trust me.
$35 | homedepot.com

The FareTrade Subscription
Rockstar chefs curate monthly packages of their favorite artisanal food products, along with recipes for how to use them. This month’s box features items like curry pumpkin pesto sauce and wild mayhaw jelly.
$65/month | thefaretrade.com

And More!

Rotary Peeler
The Rotary Peeler from Joseph Joseph has three blades—regular, serrated and julienne—so it saves space in your utility drawer. The julienne blade alone is worth the price.
$12 | josephjoseph.com

Miniature Cast Iron Skillet
This diminutive version of Lodge’s winning cast-iron skillets comes preseasoned, just like its big brothers. The miniature size is great for playful, single serving breakfast presentations.
$12 | lodgemfg.com

Tea Towels
Rustic modern tea towels are artistically photo printed with animals like the horned elk.
$25 | huset-shop.com

Wine Infused Cedar Grilling Plank Set
Wine infused, richly colored planks, impart flavor into the food you’re grilling.
$12 | uncommongoods.com

The KitchenAid Spiralizer is perfect for any foodie with a gadget itch. In addition to cutting fruit and veggies into long ribbons, the attachment also peels, cores and slices.
$100 | kitchenaid.com

Formaticum Cheese Paper 
Good cheese itself is one of life’s little luxuries, so it’s a shame to let it dry out wrapped in plastic. This specially made cheese paper lets cheese breathe. We love the illustrated goat/cow/sheep label indicators, too.
$8 | amazon.com

Kitchen Hacks Book
Instant aged bourbon? Two-ingredient chocolate magic shell? These hacks and more are revealed in this nifty little book!
$12 | amazon.com

Hopefully I’ve given you some food for thought (no pun intended) when it comes time to make those holiday shopping lists! Until next week, loves!

Sources: http://cookingontheweekends.com/2015/11/20-cool-gifts-for-foodies-for-under-20-2015/, http://www.foodandwine.com/holiday-guide/christmas-gifts, https://food52.com/shop/products/1952-carry-on-cocktail-kit, http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/multimedia/2015-holiday-gift-guide-food.html#spiralizer

Your Last-Minute Thanksgiving Survival Guide

We’re in the final countdown to Turkey Day and, because I know you probably need it, I’ve put together a list of last-minute Thanksgiving tips. Give it a read and make sure everything’s set for the big day!


Source: http://thefeedmeblog.com/styling-thanksgiving-table-diy-cheap/

The Table

Set the table ahead of time. If you don’t have matching china, no sweat. You can create a beautiful eclectic look by mixing and matching dinnerware, glassware, and stemware. Try to stick to a cohesive color palette, and maintain a few consistent elements (matching napkins, for example) to keep things looking polished.

Get scrappy with your table decor. Got a bag of frozen cranberries? Fill the base of candle jars for an easy, decorative touch. Have a pine tree in your backyard? Snip a few branches and arrange down the center of the table. You get the idea. You can even make placemats or a whole tablecloth out of brown craft paper, and let guests scribble down what they’re thankful for over the course of the meal.

Decide where guests are sitting, and make place cards. I’m generally pro-assigned seating when it comes to Thanksgiving. It’s just comforting knowing that family feuds won’t erupt, and conversation will (hopefully) flow feely throughout the meal. Place cards don’t have to be fancy, but they are something you can have fun with. Try writing guests’ names on fall leaves, or for a more adult crowd, making homemade labels and tying to airplane shots of Wild Turkey Bourbon.

Autumn setting with candles

The Mood

Light some candles. Tea lights and even white pillar candles are very inexpensive, and just placing these throughout the house can add a warm glow and a cozy touch.

Turn on the tunes. Here are some great Thanksgiving playlists.

Play a game. My family will forever be playing our classic salad bowl game, which contains elements of both Catch Phrase and charades, and offers enormous entertainment potential largely based on the amount of wine the group has consumed. This site also has a number of family-friendly, Thanksgiving-themed games.

Source: http://liagriffith.com/fall-and-holiday-entertaining-cocktail-hour/

The Drinks

Keep ’em cold. Remember to put cold drinks in the refrigerator (or outside if it’s cold enough) the night before the big event.

Stock a bar cart. Go easy on yourself and let your guests prepare their own drinks. Set up a bar cart with as many of the essentials as possible: bourbon, cointreau or triple sec, gin, rum, tequila, scotch, dry and sweet vermouth, and vodka. Make sure you have wine and beer available, too, as well as nonalcoholic options.

Mull wine. Add red wine and mulling spices to a crockpot, set to low, and forget about it. Bonus: your house will smell amazing.

Source: http://www.hitherandthither.net/building-cheese-board.html

The Food

Finish planning and shopping. Hopefully you have your menu planned by now. If you’re still doing grocery runs, make sure these essentials are on your list: butter, stock, fresh herbs, garlic, whipped cream, ice, and booze.

Take inventory. Pick out serving dishes and utensils for each dish, and label with sticky notes. Make sure you’re not forgetting anything, and that you have the right dishes for each menu item.

Dedicate Wednesday to cooking. Look through your recipes and figure out everything that can be done ahead of time, then do all those things! Check out the nifty timeline at the bottom of this post for help.

Recruit helpers! There’s no shame in putting your hubby and kids to work as long as they’re getting a fantastic Thanksgiving meal out of it!

Keep your apps simple. No one is going to hate on a well crafted charcuterie board or cheese plate.

Consider the casserole. Casseroles can be made entirely ahead of time, then popped in the oven once the turkey comes out for reheating. Rescue gluey potatoes or overcooked veggies by spreading in a casserole dish with some cream, topping with parmesan cheese or breadcrumbs, and crisping under the broiler.

Remember, it doesn’t all have to be homemade. No one is going to care if you use a store-bought pie crust or start with boxed stuffing.

Utilize your grill. If you’re running low on oven space, fire up the grill and use as a second oven or stovetop. Just please, make sure it remains outside the house.

Keep food warm. Pre-heat your serving dishes, utilize your slow cooker for things like mashed potatoes or dressing, and reheat sliced turkey in the oven with a ladleful of warm stock.

Serve dinner family-style or set up a buffet. Individual plating is just not realistic for Thanksgiving, and doesn’t fit spirit of the holiday in my opinion.

Source: http://www.foodnetwork.com/thanksgiving/thanksgiving-turkey.html

FATQs – Frequently Asked [Turkey] Questions

How early can I buy it? A frozen turkey can be purchased up to a year in advance. A fresh one should be picked up no more than two days before the big event.

How much do I buy? One pound per person, or a pound and a half per person if you’re counting on having leftovers

How do I defrost it? Allow one day for every four pounds of turkey (a 12-pound turkey will take three days to defrost, for example). Place the turkey on a large rimmed platter or in a bowl, and thaw in the refrigerator. It will defrost faster if you remove the neck and giblets from the cavity as soon as possible (you may need to defrost it for at least a day first before you can do this). Do not thaw your turkey at room temperature.

What if I need to cook two turkeys? Rather than roasting two separate birds, roast one (and use it as your centerpiece), while simultaneously roasting a tray of turkey parts on a separate rack underneath. (Here’s a recipe). The parts will cook up nice and quick, and are easy to carve.

How long do I cook it?

Size of turkey Approximate cook time at 350 degrees
9 to 11 pounds 2½ hours
12 to 14 pounds 3 hours
15 to 17 pounds 3½ hours
18 to 20 pounds 4 hours
21 to 23 pounds 4½ hours
24+ pounds 5+ hours

How do I know when it’s done? When the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.

Your Last Minute Thanksgiving Timeline

Use this timeline, courtesy of The Kitchn, to make sure everything gets prepped, cooked, and served on time:

Thanksgiving TimelineTake a deep breath; I have complete confidence in you! Remember, Thanksgiving is all about being grateful for the blessings in our lives. Even if you burn your casserole, forget the whipped cream, or drop some mashed potatoes on the floor, remember how much you did pull off, and most importantly, enjoy the company of the loved ones around you (who probably don’t care whether or not you burnt the casserole).

Sources: http://www.buzzfeed.com/alessiasantoro/thanksgiving-for-the-lazy, http://cooking.nytimes.com/thanksgiving/dinner-ideas-tips?em_pos=medium&emc=edit_ck_20151120&nl=cooking&nlid=72653682, http://www.thekitchn.com/a-last-minute-no-sweat-timeline-for-cooking-thanksgiving-dinner-225851, http://www.foodandwine.com/blogs/2011/11/17/thanksgiving-disaster-kit, http://communitytable.parade.com/455307/pambeth/8-last-minute-thanksgiving-tips-from-me-to-you/, http://www.realsimple.com/holidays-entertaining/entertaining/food-drink/home-bar-essentials-checklist

Recipes = Love = Life

More than 3000 years ago, the first recipes were scratched in cuneiform on clay tablets in Mesopotamia. Tongue in cheek, I think of this moment as the first modern marketing of recipes.

I wonder who was the Betty Crocker of Babylonian cookery? …Do we all know Betty Crocker was a personality invented in the 1920s by General Mills to share recipes, cooking tips, and help promote their products? Let’s move on.

Beer Recipe
The recipe for a fermented cereal beverage of the Sumerians. Not exactly traditional beer.  Credit: http://www.mpg.de/4987500/Sumerian_Beer

Originally, recipes promised better nutrition, better health, and more food for the community. Preserving meats, boiling nuts, and peeling vegetables might have made someone a veritable foodie in ancient days, but it also might have made them a doctor.

While early recipes usually lacked full ingredient lists, cooking times, and clearly written steps, these recipes were important because they provided great value.

Doctor and Celebrity Chef
Don’t sell yourself short; you could be both! Credit: http://www.memegenerator.net/instance/61791769

My interest in recipes is not simple.

I’m in the business of marketing food products to people using recipes. I do business development for our application, Cookpanion, which helps people share recipes on Facebook.

When I went traveling for a few years, I built my networks through working on farms, our mealtimes, and through recipe sharing.

In my current residence, 10 neighbors and I have come together to try to make a cooking show/blog. We’re 4 shoots in, and hope to finish our pilot next week. No teaser yet :/ sorry.

For me, recipes are part of my everyday activity!  And what I’ve found interesting, this is true for billions of other people.

Man bites fish
Delicious fishes. Credit: http://www.TheAtlantic.com/health/archive/2013/04/study-people-who-eat-more-fish-live-longer/274551/

Here are some beautiful quotes I’ve culled that express to me why RECIPES = LOVE = LIFE

Recipes as Tradition

  • Culture

Italians are famous for their food culture; their recipes are handed down from generation to generation and children cook alongside their nonnas, who express their love to their family in a dish.  http://www.simplebites.net/why-and-how-you-should-create-a-healthy-food-culture-for-your-family/

In my life food is also strongly tied to traditions and to culture….  Now that I am a mother I find that preparing food with my daughter is one of my favorite things.  I love that I can spend that time with her and mostly I enjoy sharing with her memories and traditions that are important to me through food.  I am hopeful that food will help me keep my Latino culture alive in my children.  http://growingupbilingual.com/2013/recipes/culture-through-food/

  • Heritage

At that great moment of crisis, the Rabbis transferred the Temple in Jerusalem into the Jewish home, moving its rituals, personnel, sacred space, food, blessings and prayers to the family and the family Shabbat table. http://www.juf.org/news/thinking_torah.aspx?id=28094

  • Family

Food is synonymous with family life. Traditional and ethnic family recipes are often at the top of lists demonstrating what is passed down through the generations, according to research.*  http://blog.myheritage.com/2011/11/did-you-know-myheritage-recipes/

  • Community

In her seventh book “The Way To Cook” Julia Child writes “Dining with one’s friends and beloved family is certainly one of life’s primal and most innocent delights, one that is both soul-satisfying and eternal.” Family recipes are a way of keeping our ancestry alive, as well as a part of ourselves.  http://www.streetdirectory.com/food_editorials/cooking/recipes/the_power_of_food_and_the_importance_of_family_recipes.html

I have lived in many different places where I have made new friends, shared meals, and then recipes. I also have recipes from many familly members. These are not just recipes, they are also memories. Whenever I use a recipe, I think of the person who gave it to me and remember our times together.  http://www.theidearoom.net/2012/12/do-you-share-recipes.html

Recipes As Memories of Shared Moments

  • Grandma

Some of my favorite recipes for family gatherings and special occasions came from my grandmother.  If food is love, then passing what you know about how to prepare it is passing on your love in way. http://www.onehundreddollarsamonth.com/the-importance-of-handing-down-recipes/

Mine are from my grandmother who has now passed away. I make them often and take them to special events. I feel a connection to my grandmother because of them. http://www.theidearoom.net/2012/12/do-you-share-recipes.html

I never knew either of my grandmothers, both died before I was born. But thanks to my mom, while I may not know my grandmother’s voice, I know her fluid handwriting well and the type of recipes she wrote down. http://state-journal.com/cooking/2013/10/24/family-recipes-are-an-important-keepsake

  • Holidays

The encounter got me thinking about the Holiday Season full of food and celebration. ALL of the wonderful recipes our family eats at this time of year come from someone else. They come from old college roommates, recipe books, grandmas, from friends and neighbors, and from wonderful blogs all over the internet.  http://www.theidearoom.net/2012/12/do-you-share-recipes.html

I can not think of El Día de los Muertos without craving Fiambre and on Christmas I have to have my Ponche de Frutas and my tamales. I don’t care if it’s still in the 80’s here in Florida, my ponche is as much a part of my holiday as the Christmas tree.  http://growingupbilingual.com/2013/recipes/culture-through-food/

  • Returning home

I love the thought that the recipes are the link to home.”  http://www.theidearoom.net/2012/12/do-you-share-recipes.html

Over winter break, Wraight will cook her daughter’s favorite meals, including tortilla soup, butternut squash bisque, spaghetti and meatballs, and a baked casserole of chicken and stuffing that was Molly’s grandmother’s recipe. “It’s warm and hearty food, and what I remember from my childhood,’’ says Molly.  http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/food/articles/2011/01/05/for_hungry_collegians_theres_no_place_like_home_for_the_holidays/

The other is my greatgrandmother’s recipe for a particular type of bar that… (t)raditionally, we only make it for people in the family (sons and husbands) who have been gone for a long time (our family are mainly farmers and military) and who are returning, as a welcoming back treat. I still make it for when my brother comes home on leave or back from a deployment.  http://www.seriouseats.com/talk/2009/07/do-you-have-a-recipe-you-wont-share.html

Army Food
Food in the army ain’t no home cooked meal. Credit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtY1cjH4pCI

The emotional pull of recipes and food is automatic in most of us. Two movie examples that show the range and have been long time favorites see Ratatoullie, and Like Water for Chocolate. But there is the other aspect of recipes that I alluded to in the beginning.

Good recipes can save lives. And this is something very important to me deep-down. Currently, I relate to Jamie Oliver around his Food Revolution. Many members of my family have had their lives greatly lengthened by changing their diets and habits.

Recipe Food Revolution
Healthy Food in Schools Movement Credit: http://www.foodrevolutionday.com/

Initially, it is difficult when you discover sugar-restriction, nut/shellfish/gluten allergies, or a doctor recommends a particular diet, regardless if it’s paleo, vegan, or balanced. No one is saying it’s easy. Obligatory plug, *but Cookpanion can make it easier*.

However, you soldier on, find what works for you, and you get back to making the most of your life. In my family, we spend some time each holiday season sharing the recipes that each person has discovered during the year. This makes sure we’re all included around the table. It also helps us take into account each person’s changing dietary, health, or personal needs.

Family photos
We’re passing on traditions to these little tikes. What’s could be better?   Credit: My dad

Everyone deserves a nice meal during the holidays with the people they love. Sure, it may lack some ingredients, cooking times, and steps, but the value is strong. Share your recipes; share your love!

Grinch Smiling Eating
Nom nom nom Credit: http://www.purpletrail.com/partytrail/holiday_parties/christmas/a-grinch-who-stole-christmas-party

Additional Sources For Some Fun Recipe Reading:

  1. Food in the Internet AgeBy William Aspray, George Royer, Melissa G. Ocepe
  2. http://eprints.qut.edu.au/60826/1/Jennifer_Lofgren_Thesis.pdf
  3. http://www.thekitchn.com/do-you-share-your-recipes-survey-175536
  4. http://askville.amazon.com/people-share-recipes/AnswerViewer.do?requestId=34977198
  5. http://www.seriouseats.com/talk/2009/07/do-you-have-a-recipe-you-wont-share.html
  6. http://www.theidearoom.net/2012/12/do-you-share-recipes.html
  7. http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=16907.5;wap2
  8. http://etc.ancient.eu/2014/11/19/ancient-recipes-mesopotamia/