Monthly Archives: March 2015

An April Fool’s Story

pregnant-193839_640The set-up: My wife has a fraternal twin brother, of this I am fairly certain (when you get to this story’s conclusion you’ll understand why I use the word “fairly”). Several years ago, as we were having a joyous time attempting to conceive our first child (maybe that was just me having the joyous time), I wondered aloud if twins were common in her family as I had just read an article on genetics and twin…production? (for lack of a better word). I then vocalized my anxiety about raising a child…

The application: Unbeknownst to me, my innocuous query elicited a chain of events in my wife’s mind that was astounding in its nefarious complexity. She claimed that my question spurred her to conduct some web-based ancestral research to determine the answer and after about two weeks of research, produced documentation to the effect that her family had generated (for lack of a better word), 28 sets of twins since the mid-1800s. My reply?…Holy sh*t! Two days later, she informed me that one of our joyous attempts was successful. We were pregnant…

As I’m sure you’ve deduced, my first reactionary thought was, “A BOGO, really, a buy one, get one free deal? I’m not ready for that, am I?” My wife, sensing my trepidation, soothed me with claims that the odds favored a singlet. It didn’t work. I always thought it was the mother who initiated the “nesting” procedures, that it was a maternal, not a paternal instinct. In this instance, I couldn’t have been more wrong. I immediately began pricing cribs, diapers, diaper genies, and…college tuition.

shocked2The big day finally arrived. No, not the delivery day, the ultrasound. For some reason, my wife scheduled it the same day I arrived home from an unavoidable business trip and claimed it couldn’t be rescheduled. I would miss the appointment. My wife feigned indifference as her mother would be accompanying her and the ultrasound tech was a close friend of hers.

Needless to say, I wasn’t as focused on “thinking outside the box” and “hitting the ground running” as I should have been during my meetings. To make matters worse, I kept going straight to voice-mail when I called my wife with the new kangaroo pouch. When I arrived home, my wife stated that the ultrasound had gone well and that we were NOT, in fact having twins. Thank God, crisis avoided…we were having triplets…shut the front door! She then proceeded to play the ultrasound video for me, and there they were, like three peas in a warm, amniotic fluid-filled pod.

Her mother was ecstatic. My wife was ecstatic. Her ultrasound tech BFF was ecstatic. I was stupefied. I then sat down and resigned myself to a life of eternal diaper changing, chauffeuring and poverty.

april-foolAfter I pulled my head out of my hands, I looked at my loving wife and mother-in-law and there they stood, arms around each other’s shoulders, each with snarky grins on their faces. They were reveling in my incredulity. Those female versions of man’s best friend! “April Fools” they then exclaimed in unison (it was March 31st, BTW). I then peed my pants in unrestrained relief.

The realities: My wife does have a fraternal twin. She has no earthly idea how many sets of twins there are in her family. She conducted no ancestral research. She falsified all the ancestral documents she showed me. She knew I was fearful of raising one child, let alone two…or three. She intentionally scheduled the ultrasound appointment the same day I arrived home. The ultrasound tech and, obviously, her mother were in on it. The tech provided an actual ultrasound video of triplets. My wife wanted to keep the joke going, but her mother talked her out of it. I still dearly love my wife.

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What Will Food Be Like in 100 Years?

jetsonWhile it’s difficult to predict what will happen tomorrow, let’s not allow that to preclude us from speculating on what will become of food as we move toward the year 2100 and beyond. And futurists are predicting neither a Jetsons-like meal in a pill, nor the mass consumption of Soylent Green (don’t know or remember The Jetsons or Soylent Green?…Google them).

There are two main scenarios that currently exist for our future, optimistic and pessimistic and they are based on the effects of climate change and the growth of the global population. Most think-tanks have the global population growing from its current level of 7.1 billion to 10-11 billion by the start of the 21st century barring a global conflagration, pandemic or extinction event due to severe climate change (think happy thoughts).

Since nobody likes a Debbie Downer, let’s focus on the optimistic models. The other one’s just too depressing to contemplate. What follows are the three most common predictions made by futurists who study, well…the future. They are in no way guaranteed to occur.

  1. We will eat less meat. Especially beef, due to the fact that it is one of the most inefficient methods of calorie production. It takes an average of 13 pounds of grain, fed to cattle, to produce a single pound of beef. We will no longer be able to devote that kind of time, space and energy to beef production. That time, space and energy will be devoted to growing high-yield, high-calorie, and high-protein crops for humans. Could this lead to less McDonald’s and Burger Kings dotting our landscapes? One can only hope.
  1. garden-hiriseA paradigm shift in agriculture. How we grow food will fundamentally change as current crop production must increase by 103% to feed 10 billion people. Some envision urban-based, vertical agriculture in which crops are grown in massive glass skyscrapers as farmland expands upward rather than outward. Others predict exponential growth in self-sufficient agriculture in which crops are grown at home, on campus, or within local communities. In other words, food will become more localized and decentralized. Still others see the growth of both hydroponic and aquaponic agriculture. The former involves soilless crop production with the plants feeding from a nutrient-rich, liquid solution and the latter involves crops and fish living in a symbiotic relationship where the fish fertilize the plants and the plants clean the water for the fish. Lots to think about, no?
  1. We consume the planet’s most abundant, edible lifeform. Yes folks, we begin to eat more insects for nutrition, not because we lost a bet. Many cultures already consume cricket flour, yellow jacket larvae and various kinds of beetles not named Paul or Ringo. Biologists predict, at any moment, there are over 10 quintillion insects just waiting to be eaten on the globe. Why not oblige them?

English scholar, Thomas Malthus, predicted at the turn of the 18th century that, eventually, global population would be curtailed by the spread of famine and disease associated with a more humans than the earth could sustain. Let’s hope that the same humans find a solution before that occurs.

In the meantime, fill up on delicious meals from MagicKitchen.com, and let those images feel from your head.

chicken-cordon_bleu

Shrimp Fettucini Alfredo for two

Beef Pot Roast

A sprig of basil adds taste and beauty<

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Heat Things Up for National Frozen Food Month

1940s“Honey, can you get some frozen vegetables from the ice box?” If you were trying to make something for dinner before 1945, you might have asked this question. That’s because there was no such thing as an electric freezer before then. If you wanted to keep food frozen, you had to put it in an ice box surrounded by ice and insulation which was often kept underground in basements and cellars.

Fortunately, electric freezers are standard in most households these days. When you stop and think about all the healthy foods, like MagicKitchen.com meals, and delicious desserts you can store in your freezer just a door-handle away, it’s a game changer. And it’s a good reason to celebrate National Frozen Food Month.

sub-zeroWho invented the electric freezer?

A guy named Westye Bakke went to work for the refrigerator company Frigidaire in 1926 as a salesman. It was a good learning experience for the experienced entrepreneur, who previously operated a motorcycle business with his brother. And it got him thinking about how cool it would be to have an electric freezer. So he turned in his notice at Frigidaire, developed a working electric freezer, and started filling freezer orders for the company he named SubZero. It was so successful, popular appliance manufacturers soon copied his idea and began marketing their own electric freezers.

Stock up on frozen food

Kids will tell you the best thing about having a freezer is a place to store ice cream, frozen gelatin squares, and fruit-flavored ice pops. But if you’re the one in charge of making meals, you know the freezer is your lifeline to food storage and easy-to-prepare frozen meals.

If cooking in the kitchen, trying to decide what to eat, or making your way through the grocery store to find all the ingredients in a recipe makes you crazy, give yourself a break and stock up on frozen meals.

Meal Delivery
Stuffed Chicken ana Luisa

Fill your freezer with frozen meals made from fresh ingredients

At MagicKitchen.com, our professional chefs have developed hundreds of health and tasty meals from fresh ingredients, flash frozen them, and packaged them to make it easy to prepare in the microwave. We’ve even created meal plans to meet the needs of picky eaters, and just about anyone with specific dietary needs.

In fact, our line of HomeStyle Healthy Meals includes customized entrees, side dishes and desserts for the following special diets: diabetic, dairy-free, gluten-free, low-carbohydrate, low-cholesterol, low-fat, low-sodium, vegetarian, and even a WeightWatchers PointsPlus® option.

If you were trying to make every meal from scratch and keep it healthy, it could take hours of prep and cooking time in the kitchen. But it doesn’t have to be that way, thanks to Mr. Bakke and his invention. Just stock up on your favorite MagicKitchen.com meals, put them in the freezer, and you can be eating a hot and healthy meal in minutes. Pretty cool, right?

Give us a call at 877-516-2442 or visit our site at MagicKitchen.com to place an order and celebrate National Frozen Food Month with us.

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Foods for St. Patrick’s Day

cornbeefandcabbageSt. Patrick’s Day is a day for a party all over the United States and of course Ireland, the mother country. Enjoy the day with traditional foods like Corned Beef & Cabbage, Irish Soda Bread, Shepherd’s Pie or Irish Stew. We all know (Or can imagine) what Corned Beef and Cabbage tastes like, but the other dishes might perplex a few readers. Irish Soda bread is a dark quick-bread (meaning using no yeast or other leavener). It has whole meal flour, porridge oats and lots of butter and buttermilk, along with the soda.

Shepherd’s Pie is a classic dish all over the British Isles. Lots of veggies,ground beef or lamb, stock, flour and a bit of red wine, all covered in mashed potatoes, and baked until golden and bubbly. Irish stew uses lamb or mutton,  along with potatoes and barley for a very hearty dish.

Iirsish-bread-dipf you’re not in the mood to throw together a whole feast, here are some smaller recipes that will work just as well. Reuben Braids are the brain child of Kellie Mulleavy, Lambertville, Michigan. What a fabulous and easy way to emulate corned beef and cabbage!

200806-r-avocado-soup-crabNancy Citro’s Emerald Island Dip recipe gives us an easy dish with a wonderful presentation. The shamrock cut-out is perfect for an Irish-themed party.

Chilled Avocado Soup with Crab is just green enough to be pertinent, and definitely delicious enough to be devoured.

Savory cheesecakes like  Pesto Swirled Cheesecake from Elizabeth Jackson, Portland, Oregon, are delightful appetizers, and this one has the requisite green as well as being creamy and divine.

mintbarsReady for some dessert ideas? St. Patrick’s Chocolate & Mint Cheesecake Bars are decadent, creamy, and decidedly green.

Shamrock Milkshake Cupcakes fit the bill, and you can serve them in green cupcake liners.

Last but never least, Martha Stewart, the queen of cuisine, has this dessert recipe to offer:
Lime Squares with Pistachio Graham-Cracker Crust.

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