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Get Wound Up About Your Wine!

Written by Fancy Foods on March 5, 2019. Posted in Uncategorized

Whether you enjoy indulging in rare wines or having a more modestly price glass of vino during the week, it’s true that a glass of wine can help people unwind or provide the perfect ending to a long day. And some research shows that drinking two glasses of wine a day could actually reduce your risk of early death by almost 20%! Just another incentive to pour yourself some fine red wine! Wine drinking has also become increasingly hip among the younger generation. From rosés, new Austrian and German varietals (at least in the United States), and the increase in those willing to be adventurous in taste, wine is taking off with millennials. Though rare wines can certainly be a treat, most look for a wine they can have regularly. So if you’re interested in becoming a wine drinker, what should you know? Read on below.

Don’t Whine About Your Wine 
Like most alcoholic beverages, wine is an acquired taste. Likely most people had their first experience with wine at church or from their parents’ glass and thought it tasted gross. However, if you still feel iffy about wine as an adult, chances are you just haven’t found the right wine yet. There are so many options these days — red wines, white wines, rosés, sweet, dry, the list goes on and on.

The United States tends to prefer red wine (almost 40% of wine lovers chose that) and white is the next most popular at just over 30%. You might just need to try an assortment of wines before hitting on one you like, and anyone who works in a wine store or even a vineyard, if you’re getting fancy, can likely assist you in finding a wine you like with a few questions. Friends and family might also be able to offer advice and suggest brands to try.

Why Do We Love Wine? 
Wine is a pretty ancient beverage, with its origins stemming from the Middle East around 6,000 years ago. Today, almost 950 million gallons of wine are drunk in the United States and sales reached almost $220 billion. And wine is only expected to grow in popularity — by 2020, wine retail sales are expected to go up by 11%.

Restaurants and bars love it because any kind of alcohol has a fairly high mark up price, so getting a liquor license can be a great way to boost profits. Depending on the kind of wine they serve, it can also serve as a specific draw — wine on tap, for example, or an unusual kind of wine might bring customers back again and again.

But for most of us, it’s something that makes us feel good. It tastes good, we feel good drinking it (and after!), and it’s usually associated with something pleasurable — self-care, a night out with friends, a night in with family, a date night, and so on. Vineyards provide a fun excuse for a weekend trip or special outing and some people love showing off their knowledge about wine, especially rare wines — it can be a fun hobby as well.

How Do I Broaden My Palate? 
As mentioned above, one of the best ways to start liking wine is to start drinking a few different types of wine. See what you gravitate towards. Do you prefer your wine sweet or a little drier? Do you not love the way tannins make your mouth feel or do you prefer something with a little effervescence? Knowing these things can help guide you as you search for a wine (or wines) you like.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help as well! Visiting vineyards is a great way to taste a bunch of different wines and get expert assistance on finding wines you like. Tasting rare wines if you get the chance can also show you the best of what the beverage has to offer.

Once you’ve found a wine you like, kick back and relax whenever you want with a glass. And who knows? You might become a bit of a wine expert yourself over time!

Experience The Taste Of Kentucky In These 3 Bourbon Cocktails

Written by Fancy Foods on October 19, 2018. Posted in Uncategorized

Kentucky is known for a great many things — corn, horse racing, and bluegrass chief among them — but our personal favorite is a liquor that’ll be your best friend one day and your worst enemy the next: bourbon. The Bluegrass State is responsible for around 95% of the world’s supply, and it shows when you consider the number of cocktails (made with that sweet, sharp bourbon, of course) that carry its name. The next time you’re in a bourbon bar or cocktail bar — which should be tonight, by the way — make sure you try out one (or all, we won’t tell) of these three certified Kentucky bourbon cocktails.

  1. Mint Julep: Ahh, the signature cocktail of the Kentucky Derby! Mint juleps are known for their ability to soothe the bite of bourbon with the refreshing taste of mint, creating a perfect balance between too much and not enough.Ingredients:
    • 2 oz bourbon whiskey
    • 2 tsp water
    • 1 tsp powdered sugar
    • 4 mint leaves

    Using a highball glass, muddle the mint, sugar, and water. Fill the glass with ice, add the bourbon, and stir until the glass is frosted. Garnish with a mint sprig if you’re feeling fancy, and enjoy.

 

  1. Kentucky Mule: A Kentucky twist on a classic, this drink prefers bourbon to vodka — just like us.Ingredients:
    • 2 oz bourbon
    • .5 oz fresh lime juice
    • Ginger Beer
    • Mint sprigs
    • Glass: copper mug or highball

    Add the bourbon and lime juice to the glass of your choice. Fill it with ice and top with ginger beer, then garnish with the mint sprigs.

 

  1. Midnight Cowboy: This rich and creamy cocktail adds a little extra liquor and a lot more cream. We recommend waiting until after the race to enjoy this drink.Ingredients:
    • 2 oz bourbon
    • 2 oz dark rum
    • 1 oz heavy cream

    Shake the bourbon, rum, and heavy cream in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain the contents into a chilled cocktail glass, and serve. Drinking has never been easier!

These three incredibly simple mixed drinks hardly even merit a trip to your nearest cocktail bar — at less than four ingredients each, you’d be hard-pressed to argue about the cost of running to your local liquor store and just stocking up on everything you need. However, you’ll be missing out on the nightlife and expertly made craft cocktails if you decide to stay in; indulge a little, and explore a whiskey bar near you!

Forget What You’ve Heard: 3 Reasons Peanuts Really Are Good For You

Written by Fancy Foods on May 22, 2018. Posted in Uncategorized

As far back as ancient times, there has been speculation about the healthiness of food. Although we have the science to determine the nutrition facts of many foods today, there are still many foods that are controversial within the healthiness spectrum.

For example, eggs are on a roller coaster of health, so to speak. One day, medical and nutrition experts tell us to have eggs for breakfast every day. The next day, they tell us to limit our intake of eggs as if our lives depended on it.

Peanuts are on a very similar ride. Some people strongly believe that you should limit your peanut snacks. But are peanuts bad for you? We’re here to tell you that there are many benefits of eating peanuts.

GMO
Many “healthy” foods are being modified by food scientists for several reasons. Improving the food’s taste or increasing the shelf life are just a few. This is not the case with peanuts! The food market today contains no GMO peanuts. In fact, compared to its ancestors, peanuts today are 99.9% identical.

Cholesterol
Everyone knows that having too much cholesterol in your diet is not good for your health. The good news is that the peanut cholesterol percentage is 0%! With the peanut cholesterol percentage being so low, why wouldn’t you eat them? Another concern linked to cholesterol is that the fats in many foods lead to higher amounts of cholesterol in the body. Peanuts do contain fats. However, they are the good fats!

According to Live Strong, “peanuts are composed of monounsaturated fats, the type of fat that lowers LDL, or the ‘bad’ cholesterol. According to one study performed by the US Food and Drug Administration, one to two ounces of peanuts eaten five or more times per week can help lower your risk for heart disease by over 25%.”

Nutritional Benefits
Because peanuts are a member of the legume family, they add many nutritional benefits to one’s diet. According to Live Strong, they provide protein, vitamin E, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and fiber, which is also known to reduce the bad cholesterol levels within your body.

Sometimes peanuts get a bad reputation, but these peanut facts show us that they are actually quite beneficial. The peanut cholesterol percentage is 0%, they actually help decrease cholesterol in the body, and they add tons of nutritional value to your body. Adding peanuts to your diet may just help you reach your daily intake of many of your vitamins, help you live longer, and provide an awesome tasting, healthy snack!

Nut Allergies 101: What Are the Symptoms of a Nut Allergy?

Written by Fancy Foods on May 10, 2018. Posted in Uncategorized

Peanuts and other nuts are among some of the most popular snacks in the world (and, yes, we know that peanuts are technically considered to be legumes). In fact, between 2008 and 2014, Americans consumed about 120 million pounds of peanut butter each year. However, peanuts and other nuts are also some of the most common allergy-causing foods. This, sadly, means that many people don’t get to enjoy peanuts, macadamia nuts, or other nut products. If you, someone in your family, or a close friend has a nut allergy, then it’s important to understand what someone with a nut allergy experiences and how it can be managed. Because of this, this article is going to provide a brief overview of nut allergies.

So, what exactly happens with a nut allergy? When someone is allergic to nuts, their immune system overreacts to the proteins in nut products. That means every time a person with an allergy eats, or in severe cases, simply comes into contact with nut particles in the air, their immune system fights off the invading proteins. This causes an allergic reaction, which can range from mild irritation and swelling to life-threatening anaphylactic shock. Because there are so many different types of nuts, some people may be allergic to some but not others.

What are the symptoms of a nut allergy? Unfortunately, many people learn the hard way that their body cannot tolerate nuts, as opposed to discovering their allergy through an allergy test. In mild cases, an allergic reaction will cause little more than a mild rash. In cases of severe nut allergies, even indirect exposure to nuts can cause extreme difficulty breathing. If the throat swells so much that the individual can’t breath, the reaction can quickly become life threatening.

Common symptoms of an allergic reaction to nuts may include:

  • Hives
  • Tingling in the mouth
  • Congestion
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing or trouble breathing
  • Throat tightness
  • Itchy or swollen eyes
  • A drop in blood pressure

Severe cases of nut allergies may result in anaphylaxis. This reaction may begin with some of the same symptoms as a mild reaction, but then quickly worsen. If not treated quickly, anaphylaxis can become life-threatening. With anaphylaxis or other severe symptoms, a person should receive emergency medical care as soon as possible.

Fortunately, while nut allergies can be severe, they are easily managed. Food allergies are easy to manage because the easiest way to avoid an allergic reaction is to simply avoid eating the food products in the first place. And because nut and peanut allergies are so common, many food labels and restaurants warn customers when nut products may be present. As such, food labels should always be carefully read and menus examined when eating out, and it’s always important to check with the restaurant for possible peanut oil uses in cooking.

Unfortunately, there is no known peanut allergy cure (though many researchers are working on it!). So while this means those with nut allergies may not get to enjoy yummy macadamia nuts or reap the health advantages of peanut snacks, they just have to be careful about what they’re eating.

There are many benefits of eating peanuts, but those with nut allergies have to find health benefits from other foods. Nut allergies are fairly common, so it’s important to be careful about what you eat around those with severe allergies.

Looking To Get The Greatest Value From Your Peanuts? Go Raw!

Written by Fancy Foods on March 15, 2018. Posted in Uncategorized

nutrients in peanuts

The raw food movement has gained traction over the last few years among the health-conscious. After all, it makes sense that our bodies would benefit the most from eating certain foods exactly as they’re found in nature, with nothing added. But does the same concept apply to peanuts? Whether you regularly spread some peanut butter on a slice of bread — like the 94% of American households who have at least one jar of PB in their pantry — or crack open a handful of raw nuts out of the shell, you’re going to benefit from all the amazing nutrients in peanuts. But is the nutritional value of raw peanuts higher?

Ultimately, the answer is yes — but only by a bit. No matter how you eat peanuts, you’re going to be getting a high protein snack. In fact, both raw and roasted peanuts have the same amount of protein, according to the USDA. They also have the same amount of fiber and potassium! Even when they’re roasted in oil, roasted peanuts have only slightly more fat and slightly less iron and phosphorus than raw peanuts do. When you really crunch the numbers (and the peanuts), roasted peanut nutrients aren’t actually that much different from the ones found in the raw versions, as long as you opt for roasted nuts with no added salts or sugars. And according to a September 2010 study entitled “Plant Foods For Human Nutrition,” heat-treated peanuts may actually have more antioxidants!

That said, you can’t go wrong when you go for raw. Raw peanuts are chock-full of vitamins like folate (which is important for pregnant women), vitamin E, and vitamin B6, as well as minerals like zinc and magnesium. No matter how you chew it, the nutrients in peanuts — raw or dry-roasted — can’t be beat. And of course, there’s nothing better than that irresistible flavor.

While raw nuts are undoubtedly going to be the nutritional winner, they don’t actually win by a landslide. That’s because the nutritional benefits of roasted peanuts are still incredible. In the end, that’s great news: no matter what kind of peanutty snack you’re craving, you’ll still know you’re making a health-conscious decision that will keep you full and satisfied. For more information on raw peanuts nutrition, take a look at the resources below.

Can Peanuts Help To Control Or Prevent Diabetes?

Written by Fancy Foods on January 18, 2018. Posted in Uncategorized

many peanut products

There’s no doubt that the nutritional value of peanuts means that they’re an extraordinary addition to a person’s diet. They’re a high protein snack, of course, with seven grams of protein in each one-ounce serving. But did you know peanuts can even keep you from developing diabetes and help diabetics better manage their condition? Here are some surprising diabetes-related peanut benefits of which you might not have been aware:

  • Peanuts can help control blood sugar
    Those who have diabetes need to be careful about what kinds of foods they consume. Certain foods will cause blood sugar to spike, which can be dangerous for diabetics. Peanuts have a low glycemic index (which refers to how quickly blood sugar rises after eating) of 14. This means that eating peanuts has a minimal impact on blood glucose, which makes it a great option for those who need to keep this under control. Research has also found that eating many peanut products or vinegar along with a starch-rich meal improves blood sugar levels for hours after and stimulates insulin release.
  • Many peanut products can help control weight
    Many Americans are concerned about their weight, which means that peanuts and peanut products could have the power to help a lot of us. But for those with diabetes, weight management is a must. As we know, peanuts are an excellent source of protein, but they’re also a good source of fat. At first blush, that might not seem like it’d be a good idea for someone who wants to lose weight. But actually, numerous studies have found that the healthy, unsaturated fats (like the ones found in many peanut products) easily fit into weight management programs. And because peanuts keep you fuller for longer, you’ll be less likely to snack on other foods in between meals.
  • Peanuts improve heart health
    Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer for those who have diabetes. Therefore, it’s vital that diabetics follow a heart-healthy diet. Peanuts are just one of the heart-healthy foods that you can incorporate into your routine. Scientific evidence suggests that eating 1.5 ounces of nuts or legumes (like peanuts) every day as part of a diet that’s low in cholesterol and saturated fat may reduce heart disease risk. And according to several other studies, your heart will thank you when you snack on peanuts. Eating about a handful of peanuts five or more times per week can cut heart disease risk in half, while eating peanuts just twice a week can reduce heart disease fatality risk by 24%.
  • They come highly recommended
    Experts are in agreement: many peanut products are recommended for heart health, diabetes management, and as part of a healthy diet. They’re extremely nutritious, have a low GI, and can even allow you to eat more of the other foods you need in your diet, simply because peanuts are so delicious. The American Diabetes Association consistently mentions peanuts and peanut butter as good options for diabetes management, while the American Heart Association says that peanut butter and “many nuts and seeds” are excellent choices. In 2010, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans listed peanuts and peanut butter as part of the recommended eating patterns, which means that almost anyone can benefit from eating peanuts.
  • You may even be able to prevent diabetes with peanuts
    If you are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes, you may want to consider upping your peanut consumption. A major study from Harvard found that type 2 diabetes risk decreases when peanuts and peanut butter are consumed more frequently. Because peanuts are a good source of magnesium (they contain 12% of the daily value), they’re a good option if you’re trying to lower your diabetes risk. Some studies have found that low magnesium intake is linked with an increased risk of developing diabetes or a higher likelihood of having type 2 diabetes. Other studies have found a correlation between magnesium deficiency and insulin resistance in children.

It’s clear that when peanuts are consumed as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle, they can help our bodies in so many ways. Want to learn more about the health benefits of peanuts? Take a look around our site for more peanut facts.

Sources:

3 Ways to Bring Fall Cooking to Your Grill

Written by Fancy Foods on November 1, 2017. Posted in Uncategorized

charcoal grillingSaying hello to the cooler weather doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to your backyard grill! Even though you may think that your grill is strictly for summer use, you can actually still use it all the way throughout the winter months.

Now, just because you’re using your grill doesn’t mean you have to stick to the standard steaks and hot dogs. Even though 63% of people who use the grill to cook say they most often cook hamburgers, the grilling good times don’t have to stop there. You can still incorporate charcoal grilling into some of your favorite fall recipes. Here are a few fall-themed foods that you can whip up while charcoal grilling. Let’s take a look at some of these delicious recipes for the grill.

Pie
Did you know that you can cook pie on the grill? Yes, you read that right. Apple pie on your grill! Use a charcoal grilling thermometer to make sure that the temperature is the same as it would be if you were to use an oven. Pies with crust really tend to do better on the grill, but if you really wanted to throw a cheesecake over the coals, no one is going to stop you.

Vegetables
Nothing says fall more than roasted vegetables! It’s your key to healthy grilling. Thebest part is that roasted vegetables help keep you in check with your post-summer diet, they’re also extremely easy to clean up! By throwing the vegetables right onto the grill, you’re eliminating the use of a heavy baking dish. Not only that, but you can also make a tin foil packet, throw your vegetables and some olive oil in there, and make for even easier clean up.

Pizzas
Just like you can cook a pizza in the oven, you can also throw it right on the grill. It’s the easiest way to make many pizzas for a large crowd and a simple way to allow everyone to personalize their pie. They only take a few minutes to cook and are super easy to remove from the grill and plate. This is a major difference compared to the oven where you may struggle with getting the pizza out in one piece.

With your grill, you can cook as many fall-themed foods as you can possibly imagine. The list goes on and on. If you’re looking for additional ideas, check out one of our signature grilling classes!

Break Away From Beef: 3 Alternatives

Written by Fancy Foods on August 29, 2017. Posted in Uncategorized

bbq cooking classesThe U.S. is the fifth largest beef consumer in the world. In fact, each person consumes over 53 pounds of beef each year! It’s small wonder why, between burgers, roast beef, and steak, beef accounts for some of the most important staples in American Cuisine.

But the Cult of Cow does have its disadvantages. There are a ton of interesting different types of meat and food in general that you might miss if you spend your days bowing to all things bovine.

In this post, we’re going to point out some unique and yummy alternatives to help you break away from beef.

Lamb

If you’re looking for something unique for the grill, look no further than lamb. While some might bristle at the mere mention of lamb, this rich and savory meat is woefully underappreciated. (We serve a killer Lamb Chop, if you’re looking for a way to taste it before deciding to cook it at home.)

For your lamb, you can prepare it the same way you learned to prepare pork or beef in your BBQ cooking classes. Two pro grilling tips: Use a honey based barbecue and don’t shy away from the fat on the lamb. If grill it over a low heat, the fat will become well incorporated and delicious.

Chicken

Controversial opinion time: chicken can be as good as any steak recipes. The key is to treat chicken with the same respect as you treat your steak. If you’ve taken any grilling or BBQ cooking classes, you know how important it is to salt your steak well in advance of cooking it. The same is true for chicken — as long as you remember to do it well in advance of putting it on the grill.

That salt will help you seal in the flavor and moisture, which is the single most important thing when cooking chicken. After that, it’s a matter of applying your favorite seasoning; our favorite is a mixture of lemon zest, lemon juice, and a secret blend of herbs.

Salmon

Salmon is one of the most versatile fish widely available. From lox to Plank Grilled Bourbon Salmon, you would be amazed at the many ways salmon can be dressed up — or stripped down.

Unlike most protein, you don’t want to salt your salmon in advance. Instead, hit it with the seasoning right before you throw it on the grill. Additionally, be very careful not to overcook salmon: like a steak, it is best left a little closer to the rare side.

When it comes to BBQ and grilling, it can be easy to find yourself among the cattle chattel. Whether or not you take BBQ cooking classes, it is important to diversify your cooking arsenal. Hopefully, this blog has helped you break out of the heifer haze.

Being Competitive in the Ice Cream Business

Written by Fancy Foods on July 28, 2016. Posted in Cups for ice cream, Ice cream spoons, Shop supplies

Plastic ice cream cups

You have always dreamed of owning your own ice cream shop. You imagined the many different flavors of ice cream that you would offer and you even thought about the happy faces of all of the children that you would offer your ice cream too. The parents would be happy with the quality and the choices of your additional and alternative ice cream options, like healthier gelato choices. You opened your business and found that customers enjoyed your ice cream shop, that is, until a new ice cream shop is planning to open right down the street from yours. How can you remain successful when there is another ice cream shop that is threatening to take some of all of your business? The ice cream business can be competitive and can be a very volatile business that requires business sense and the appropriate ice cr

Microgreens Are Valued For Their Appearance and Taste

Written by Fancy Foods on July 11, 2016. Posted in Adding microgreens to salads, Edible flowers for cake decorating, Micro herbs

Sugar flowers for cakes

A new trend in fine dining is the use of food accents like organic micro greens and edible flowers such as crystallized roses. As the best chefs have always known, the appearance of food is as important as the taste. Adding microgreens to salads or candied flowers to cakes and desserts gives them that special touch that sets them apart. Part of the fine dining experience is to enjoy food that has been prepared by someone else, with care and skill. Food accents add an intangible special touch to any meal, lifting it out of the realm of the ordinary.

Why does food presentation matter?
Why do people take pictures of their dinner plates and post them on their social media accounts? There are probably more food pictures on Facebook than there are cat pictures or nature pictu