Monday, November 30, 2009

Scientists Grow Pork Meat in a Lab

In the above photo you can get a sense of how meat is grown for your dinner table. 
Click on to the photo for a closer look.

We've been hearing about test tube meats for some time now, here we go again.
Scientists in the Netherlands have successfully synthesized some real pork meat without having to kill any pigs.
Even though it's not edible yet, they predict something will change all that and you'll be eating lab meat in a mere five years
This time around they have what they're calling "soggy pork," which is fake pig muscle that's pretty gross because it's never been exercised.
But here's the good news, they are trying to figure out a way to tone it up in the lab, sounds yummy already.
The experts in Holland used cells from a live pig to replicate growth in a petri dish.
The claim is, “in-vitro” or cultured meat could reduce the billions of tons of greenhouse gases emitted each year by farm animals — if people are willing to eat it.
That's a very big "if."
So far the scientists have not tasted it, but they believe the breakthrough could lead to sausages and other processed products being made in the laboratory, just 60 months from now.
 The proponents promise replacing all those factory farmed animals with slabs of meat rolling off an assembly line,  we'd be doing the planet and animals a whole lot of good.
In other words, they want us to believe if it comes out of a test tube instead of a farm, the world will be a better place.

OSPCA - Animals Abused and Eating Old Food

Toronto Humane Society officials have been charged with animal cruelty and using money donated (intended for the animals) to pay their legal bills while animals are eating food that expired four years ago, according to the OSPCA.
The Humane Society admitted using donated money, intended for the animals welfare, because of  legal battles.
The OSPCA found that dogs and cats were eating food with expiration dates of September 2005.
The OSPCA has also discovered that pet food suppliers won't deliver to the shelter unless they're paid in cash because the shelte rwas so far behind in payments.
When the OSPCA inspectors raided the shelter, they found under-weight animals, sick animals in need of medical attention and pain medication and a caged, mummified cat in the ceiling.
Inspectors also reported that dozens of animals were left to die in their cages without proper care and nutrition.
And it was also stated that these sick animals were left to die an agonizing death in their cages because of the no-kill policy at the Humane Society.
The Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA)  said it found animals in such poor health that four of them had to be put down.
"When we find dead cats in the ceiling, you wonder what else is here," investigators said.
The Toronto Humane Society said it will hire an interim executive director to review its operations in light of the charges against five employees including its president.
The rescue shelter says they will hire a "well-respected veterinarian" (as oppose to the non-respected ones available) to head its clinical team and "ensure the society follows a responsible policy of euthanasia."

About 1,100 animals are still inside and under the care of veterinarians, and will be put up for adoption Tuesday when the shelter reopens, the OSPCA said.
Five senior officials were arrested and charged with animal cruelty after police conducted a Thursday afternoon raid:
  • President Tim Trow.
  • General manager Gary McCracken.
  • Head veterinarian Dr. Steve Sheridan.
  • Supervisor Andy Bechtel.
  • Manager Romeo Bernadino.
Charges against Trow, McCracken, Bechtel and Bernadino also include obstruction of a peace officer.
Members of the society's board of directors were also charged with five counts of animal cruelty.
Grasping at straws, Humane Society spokesperson called the OSPCA's actions disgusting and politically motivated.

 Tim Trow, (above photo)
president of the Toronto Humane Society, 
sits in the back of a police car after his arrest. 

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Home Cooking - A Lost Art?

We hate to believe that the passion to cook is dwindling but then we read a Thanksgiving news story that says: "Forget about home cooking on this Thanksgiving. 
A new study says ten percent of Americans will get their turkey fix by eating out.
"It's easier for us to get together. It's over and done with, and we don't clean up after ourselves." 

"It's over and done with by 11:30, by then, we're done eating, and we're doing what we planned for the rest of the day."

We remain hopeful because we still get many 'how to' cooking questions at our shows and here from the blog,
so it seems there are still  those of you that have the desire to cook.
But when we see stories like the one above, or watch shoppers glued to the frozen section of a store,
or see the vacant blank stares from people as we explain simple recipes, we have some concern.
Despite the popularity of celebrity chefs and reality cooking shows people still seem confused trying to navigate their way around a kitchen.
Once kitchens were filled with the smell of fresh, homemade stews, roasts, breads and soups; those days seem to be passing us by.
Much of the passion with cooking begins from parents who cook and who teach their children how to cook, then pass down recipes to each generation.
Cooking together, talking at the kitchen table, doing things together, well, you see where we are going with this, right?
If the parents don't cook, choosing instead to eat meals out or bring meals home, or using the microwave as the family chef, chances are their kids won't cook either.
Is the art of Cooking being turned into the art of dining out?
Cooking at home gives us not just the meal but also the occasion of eating together, a way of building traditions.
Maybe the art of cooking has only been wounded, we still have faith that  home cooking will survive because there's nothing else like it, and it's a wonderful way to keep family traditions alive!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Anthony Bourdain - Voodoo Doughnuts with Chuck Palahniuk

It's time to turn our attention to Portland Oregon.
Anthony bourdain and Chuck Palahniuk took a little field trip to Voodoo Doughnuts.
Voodoo Doughnut's signature is gingerbread man-shaped, with a pretzel stick stabbed through its abdomen and red jelly "blood" filling.
Sounds like our kind of place.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Woman sees image of Jesus on her iron

If you've learned anything about the Voodoo Kitchen and how we connect these stories to food, you'll understand why our interest has perk up once again.
(otherwise read past stories to understand why)
A Massachusetts woman who recently experienced personal troubles, like being separated from her husband and having  her hours cut at work says she sees an image of Jesus Christ she sees on her iron.
This image has reassured her that "life is going to be good."
Mary Jo Coady first saw Jesus Sunday when she walked into her daughter's room.
The brownish residue on the bottom of the iron looks like the face of a man with long hair.
She and her two college-age daughters came to the same conclusion,  the image looks like Jesus and is proof that "he's listening."
Coady  hopes her story will inspire others during the holidays.
She says she plans to keep the iron in the closet (the closet?) and buy a new one.

Bizarre Calf Mutilations

Over the years there have been bizarre, even creepy calf mutilations, where the dead calves have their skins peeled back and organs cleared from the rib cage.
But there are no signs of human attackers, such as footprints or ATV tracks. And there are no signs of an animal attack by a coyote or mountain lion. Usually the killers ould leave pools of blood or drag marks from carrying away the livestock.
But this is mystifying Colorado sheriff's official.
Four calves were found dead in a pasture just north of the New Mexico state line in recent weeks.
Two officers from the Costilla County Sheriff's Office have investigated the mutilations but say they don't know what's killing the calves.
"There's nothing really to go by," said Sanchez, who's ranched for nearly 50 years. "I can't figure it out."
A spokesman for the sheriff's office told The Pueblo Chieftain that investigators doubt a person butchered the calves because there is no blood at the scene.
"I've butchered a cow before and I know what kind of a mess it leaves," Sgt. James Chavez said.
Some in the area believe the mutilations are the work of aliens.
An area UFO chaser, Chuck Zukowski of Colorado Springs, has been to the Costilla County pasture to investigate.
Chuck, the official UFO guy, said there have been other unexplained calf mutilations in the area, including three in March. One of the other calves, found dead on a ranch near Trinidad, had its ears removed, Zukowski said.
"We're trying as much as we can to find a pattern," said Zukowski, who runs a UFO Web site called,
Back in 1997 a similar mutation took place
(see photo right)

Then again 2004 (see photo below)

Hindu sacrifice of 250,000 animals has begun

The world's largest animal sacrifice begins in Nepal with the killing of more than 250,000 animals as part of a Hindu festival in the village of Bariyapur.
The festivities, which happens every five years ,start off with with the decapitation of thousands of buffalo, killed in honour of Gadhimai, a Hindu goddess of power.
With up to a million worshippers on the roads near the festival grounds, this year's fair seems more popular than ever, despite vocal protests from animals rights groups who have called for it to be banned. "It is the traditional way, " explained 45-year old Manoj Shah, a Nepali driver who has been attending the event since he was six, "If we want anything, and we come here with an offering to the goddess, within five years all our dreams will be fulfilled."
The dead beasts will be sold to companies who will profit from the sale of the meat, bones and hide.
Many Nepalis believe sacrifices in Gadhimai's honour will bring prosperity. They say that by eating the meat, which is taken back to their villages and consumed during feasts, they will be protected from evil.Organisers will funnel the proceeds into development of the area, including the temple upkeep.
Chandan Dev Chaudhary, a Hindu priest, said he was pleased with the festival's high turnout and insisted tradition had to be kept. "The goddess needs blood," he said. "Then that person can make his wishes come true."
Sacrifice is a seen as a way of thanking the deity for good luck, or asking her for fortune and prosperity.
"The goddess needs blood," says Chandan Dev Chaudhury, a priest at the Gadhimai temple in the centre of the festival site.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Holiday Turkey with Anthony Bourdain

If you still need some guidance preparing your turkey for the holidays, we offer Anthony Bourdain.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Lodi Woman Dies After Eating Death Cap Mushrooms

You may remember the post we ran about the Lodi family who ate Death Cap Mushrooms.
Three weeks later, a Lodi woman who ate the poisonous mushroom on the Lodi Lake nature trail has died.  She was unable to gain enough strength to undergo a liver transplant needed to save her life.
Tomasa Jimenez, a 31-year-old mother of three, was hiking on the Lodi Lake trail with her husband, Israel Vega, and cousin Fidelina Jimenez on Nov. 8 when they came across death cap mushrooms they mistook for the ones you can eat.
"They (the mushrooms) looked the same as the ones from Mexico," Vega said in a phone interview Monday.
All three family members became ill after eating the mushrooms, and after a brief stay at Lodi Memorial Hospital, they were transferred to the critical care unit at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco.
Vega, whom a hospital official said "is in very good health now," was discharged Monday. Fidelina Jimenez underwent a successful liver transplant Friday and continues her recovery.

The deadly mushroom, Amanita phalloides, is generally found in the Bay Area and as far north as the Oregon border.
The mushrooms grow beneath California live oaks and arrive after the season's first rains, then thrive as the temperature cools.
The snow-white mushrooms have dusted green caps and appear meaty.
The tell-tale sign of their toxicity is the pure white gills underneath the cap.
Lodi Lake does not have signs specifically warning people of possible deadly dangers at the park, but there is a sign at the entrance of the nature area that says, "Collection of plant or animal species is prohibited."
California Pacific spokesman Kevin McCormack said Tomasa Jimenez was in line for a liver transplant but lapsed into a coma and never gained enough strength to undergo the procedure.
The lesson here, Death Cap Mushrooms really do live up to their name.

Paula Deen Receives an Unexpected Serving of Ham

Paula Deen received an unexpected serving of ham — in her face. It all happened as she was helping unload 25,000 pounds of donated meat for an Atlanta food bank when someone threw one of the hams like a football and accidentally hit her in the face.
Deen said, "I thought it busted my lip, but it didn't." "I'm OK. It just knocked me for a little bit."
She says she was unloading hams when she tossed one to a man, who then said "Back at 'ya." Thinking he meant it only as a sentiment, she turned around to get another ham when one of the hams came flying at her.
Later, she tweeted: "I haven't met the ham that could stop me yet!"

'Comfort foods' Relieve Stress

Australian researchers are saying (and we agree) that a high-fat, high-sugar diet could have the same effect on brain chemistry as mood-altering drugs, giving scientific support to the craving for comfort food.
It appears the deficit in stress hormone receptors in part of the brain is reversed by the comfort food diet.
Australian scientists have found that eating comfort food can help heal the hurts of childhood.
Researchers at the University of New South Wales already knew that eating junk food makes people feel good, but they wanted to see what effect it has on the brain.
The test showed that anxiety and stress levels were reduced when eating comfort foods.
Researchers say the discovery may provide a clue about a new way to tackle mood disorders.
We feel better already.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

To our readers here at the Voodoo Kitchen Blog,
to our customers at Voodoo Seasonings,
and to those of you who joined us
at our cooking shows, 
we thank you.

PETA Wants a Meat Tax

We almost forgot, back in Oct of this year, PETA demonstrators once again put on their pig and chicken costumes, calling for a tax on meat.
They were holding signs saying farming methods were responsible for the growth of avian flu virus and the swine flu virus.
Instead of calling upon everyone to become vegetarians, they just want meat eaters taxed now.
They say Cigarettes, alcohol, and gasoline are already federally taxed, so a "sin," tax is needed to help pay for their hidden health and environmental costs.
PETA claims the meat, a proven health hazard, meat has so far gotten off tax-free.
PETA is calling on members of Congress to support a "sin" tax on meat.
A tax on meat would help prevent future global warming-related natural disasters by encouraging a decrease in meat consumption.
A 10-cent tax on every pound of chicken, turkey, pig, fish, and cow flesh sold in grocery stores and restaurants would also help reduce Americans annual health care costs by encouraging people to stop eating meat.
They gathered near the Internal Reveue Service building and on Capitol Hill in Washington. 2009.

The image below was sent to the Voodoo Kitchen by Beth, (one of our faithful readers) thanks!

Jose Garces is the "Next Iron Chef"

Chef Jose Garces owns four restaurants in Philadelphia, and now he is the Food Network's "Next Iron Chef."
The theme was The American Melting Pot, and the secret ingredient was ribs and racks. 

Garces says, "I tried to let the cuts of meat, I tried to let the ingredients shine as best I could."
Garces final meal included baby back ribs in barbecue sauce and a honey-herb mustard encrusted pork loin.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Thanksgiving at the House of Horrors

Please enjoy this family's Thanksgiving, at the House of Horrors.
Watch as long as you can take it, and be thankful this is not your house, we hope.

Beauty is Skin Deep - the many uses of body fat

Back in July we ran a post about using human fat as a way to fuel an SUV, then there was the Chilean artist Marco Evaristti who served his friends meatballs, cooked with his own body fat.
Now in Lima Peru police said have broken up a gang that has killed dozens of people and sold their fat to buyers who used it to make cosmetics.
We just ran a post about the young Korean singer injecting cooking oils into her face, as some form of skin treatment.
Now this.
Police said they received a tip four months ago about a trade in human fat, which exported the amber liquid to Europe as anti-wrinkle cream.

The suspects allegedly would sever victims' heads, arms and legs, remove organs and suspend torsos from hooks above candles, which warmed the flesh as the fat dripped into tubs below.
Photos of victims remains are see here.
The group stored the fat it collected in used soda and water bottles.
"We have people detained who have declared and stated how they murdered people with the aim being to extract their fat in rudimentary labs and sell it," said Police Commander Angel Toldeo.
The police also want to find the others who bought fat from the gang or are using it.
Remains from some of the victims were found at a rural house in the region of Huanuco where the group worked.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Taking a Bite Out of Bin Laden

PETA is offering a way of beheading Osama Bin Laden.
When PETA discovered that the troops in Afghanistan loved chocolate, they decided to send some dairy-free chocolates that takes the bite right out of Bin Laden.

"These delicious dark chocolate 'bin Laden Bites' give a whole new meaning to the adage 'Revenge is sweet,'" says PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk. "Our troops deserve a chuckle, and PETA's vegan chocolates will give them that as well."

The  PETA chocolates are dairy-free, and anyone, including lactose-intolerant soldiers, can eat them.
There is a secondary motivation for these unique chocolates:

PETA has its own issues with bin Laden. One of his sons wrote a memoir in which he revealed that his father gassed the younger bin Laden's two dogs in a chemical-warfare experiment. Also, countless animals suffered and died of starvation and dehydration when their guardians were killed in the attacks on the World Trade Center, leaving the animals without care.
"Many more animals suffered and died from exposure to toxic fumes and from other causes when apartments in the ‘hot zone' were sealed off for many days with dogs, cats, companion rats and mice, guinea pigs, gerbils, rabbits, and fish remaining inside. In memory of them all, PETA is arranging to have extra chocolates made to be sold stateside"

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Martha Stewart Trashes Rachael Ray

Martha Stewart says Rachael Ray can't hold a candle to her in the kitchen.
This all started after Rachael Ray visited The Martha Stewart Show, following Martha Stewart's visiting The Rachael Ray Show the day before.
Perhaps Stewart's showed her true feelings when Stewart pull her hand away when Ray tried to grab it as the pair made an entrance together on The Rachael Ray Show.
She also came across as a "know it all" with Ray just sitting there, seemingly awestruck to have Stewart on her show.
So, after these two pretended to enjoy each other's visits, Stewart's went for the kill during her interview with ABC News.
This is her first television interview since serving five months in prison in 2004 for lying to investigators about a well-timed stock trade, Stewart, talked to ABC News' Nightline about rebuilding her name -- and trashed Ray.
"Well, to me, she professed that she could -- cannot bake," Stewart says of Ray in the interview.
"She -- just did a new cookbook which is just a re-edit of a lot of her old recipes. She -- and that's not good enough for me."
When it comes to writing a book, Stewart says she want to publish something that "is a unique and lasting thing. Something that will really fulfill a need in someone's library." 
Ray, she says,"is different."
Stewart says Ray is "more of an entertainer ... with her bubbly personality, than she is a teacher, like me. That's not what she's professing to be."

So, did Rachael Ray get mad?
"Why would it make me mad?" Ray asks. "Her skill set is far beyond mine. That's simply the reality of it."
Ray adds that "that doesn't mean that what I do isn't important too... I don't consider it needling. I really just think she's being honest. She does have a better skill set than I do when it comes to producing a beautiful, perfect, high-quality meal." Says Ray, "I'd rather eat Martha's than mine, too."

But back in 2006 Martha Stewart had this to say following accusations that she sent employees to spy on Rachael Ray’s show,  “I’m the mother of these how-to shows,” Stewart said. “She cannot cook like I cook. She cannot craft like I craft.”

TV Guide compared the two women in 2006:

Rachael says: “Recipes are just ideas, suggestions.” –
Martha says: “I think baking cookies is equal to Queen Victoria running an empire.” –
Rachael says: “Through a series of accidents, I kept ending up in jobs I was completely unqualified for.” –
Martha says: “Everybody in prison has a business plan." – New York Post
Rachael says: “Fries are very tasty at both [Burger King and McDonalds], but I prefer BK.” –
Martha says: “I’m not so interested in fast food as I’m interested in good food.” – Larry King Live
Rachael says: “I’m like a bobblehead – who would take me seriously, anyway?” – OK! Magazine
Martha says: “I’m oriented in the right direction all the time.” – Larry King Live
Rachael says: “I’m very klutzy and not really capable of crafting or doing too many domestic things beyond making supper.” – Larry King Live
Martha says: “I can almost bend steel with my mind. I can bend anything if I try hard enough. I can make myself do almost anything.” –
Rachael says: “Yum-o!”
Martha says: “It’s a good thing.”

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Don't Blame Fast Food - Mummies Had Heart Disease Too

You can't blame fast food for this one,  researchers have found signs of heart disease in 3,500-year-old mummies.
"We think of it as being caused by modern risk factors," such as fast food, smoking and a lack of exercise, but the findings show that these aren't the only reasons arteries clog, said Dr. Randall Thompson, a cardiologist at the Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City.
22 mummies kept in the Egyptian National Museum of Antiquities in Cairo underwent CT scans, a type of X-ray.
The mummies were from 1981 B.C. to 334 A.D.
Half were determined to be over 45 when they died, and average lifespan was under 50 back in those days.

Sixteen mummy people had heart problems and another nine had hardening of the arteries.
"We were struck by the similar appearance of vascular calcification in the mummies and our present-day patients," said another researcher, Dr. Michael Miyamoto of the University of California at San Diego. "Perhaps the development of atherosclerosis is a part of being human."
One mummy had evidence of a possible heart attack but scientists don't know if it was fatal.
Of those whose identities could be determined, all were of high social status, and many served in the court of the Pharaoh or as priests or priestesses.
The oldest mummy with heart disease signs was Lady Rai, a nursemaid to Queen Ahmose Nefertari who died around 1530 B.C. — 200 years before King Tutankhamun.

German imaging company Siemens AG, the National Bank of Egypt and the Mid-America Heart Institute paid for the work.

Chinese Delicacy - Deep-Fried Fish - Eaten Alive

It's the Chinese again.
This time they have become even more bizarre with an even stranger "rare" delicacie.
The Chinese chefs have figured out a way to keep a fish alive as it gets deep fried and then waits to be eaten.
The video is somewhat shocking, watching this deep-fried fish that's still living and moving on a plate.

WARNING, this video may be too graphic for some of our readers.
Having warned you, let the freak show begin...

Dec 15th - Gordon Ramsay Cookalong

Some time ago we told you that Chef Gordon Ramsay was going to have a cook-along with you.
The time is near -  Tuesday, Dec. 15 on Fox -- "Gordon Ramsay: Cookalong Live."
The audience is invited to cook along with Gordon Ramsay, yes, the Michelin-honored chef will walk viewers through a three-course meal for four that they will prepare within one hour's time.
For those living on the west coast there will be a delay.
Even though Ramsay will be cooking live from Los Angeles, it won't be seen locally until 9 p.m.,and that means you'll be eating  at 10 p.m.
For those on the east coast, you'll eat at a more respectable hour.
Get your Ti-Vo ready.

Here's the menu.
For starters, it's angel hair pasta with shrimp, chili peppers and tomatoes.
The main course will be Steak Diane with sauteed potatoes and peas.
A quick tiramisu completes the meal.
If you would like to join Chef Ramsay, here's your shopping list:

1 red chili pepper
5 large garlic cloves, peeled
1 large tomato (heirloom or beefsteak)
1 lemon
Small handful fresh basil leaves
3 scallions
4 oz. crimini mushrooms, cleaned (can also use button mushrooms instead)
3 shallots, peeled
Small handful of flat-leaf parsley
3 small sprigs of rosemary
1 pound small, waxy potatoes (Yukon gold, cut in half)
2 cups peas, defrosted if using frozen

1/2 pound medium-size raw, peeled shrimps
4 small sirloin steaks (approximately 7 ounces each)

1 3/4 cups heavy cream
1 cup mascarpone
2 1/2 tablespoons salted butter

7 ounces angel hair pasta
4 Italian ladyfingers or savoiardi

1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Piece of chocolate (to grate as garnish)

4 tablespoons Marsala, or sweet dessert wine such as Vin Santo
1/4 cup brandy or cognac
1/4 cup white wine
1 cup cold strong coffee

Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil
Extra virgin olive oil
1 to 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, to taste
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Would you like to appear on the show, from your own home, almost with Chef Ramsay?
If this sounds like you, then contact Fox quickly!
They are looking for Couples, Families, Best Friends or just YOU
People who have a PASSION to COOK and a passion to LEARN!
To apply, email or go to

Monday, November 16, 2009

When Vanity and Cooking Oils Meet

It amazes us that people still ask if cooking oils can be used to improve the skin.
We know little about skin care, but we know a lot about cooking oils, they're for cooking.
But, let's visit Han Hegyon (aka Hang Mioku), a former singer from Korea, who destroyed her looks and career by injecting cooking oil into her face.
At first, she went to a doctor for her silicone injections, but when vanity and cooking oils meet here are the results.

Plucking Chickens

We have two videos for you,
both with a CONTENT WARNING.
Both videos are about plucking chickens.

We're not too sure what's going on with this news team in the first video, but there's some interesting advice.
The second video is really great if you hate plucking chickens, but it may not be for the squeamish.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Food Court Musical

It's the Food Court Musical.

We Love Journalism

Fight The Flu - Eat Chicken Soup

If you are fighting the flu, experts advise natural ways of strengthening your defenses.
The flu is something we battle every year with the arrival of colder weather.
Chicken soup is so powerful that many call it “a homemade remedy for the flu.”
The medical world is beginning to confirm the health benefits of eating chicken soup.
Back in the 12th century, a physician named Moses Maimonides first prescribed chicken soup as a cold and asthma remedy.
Medical experts say chicken soup contains drug-like agents something like those in modern cold medicines.
There's an amino acid released from chicken during cooking which chemically resembles the drug acetylcysteine, prescribed for bronchitis and other respiratory problems.

The seasonings and spices that are used in chicken soup, such as garlic and pepper are also ancient treatments for respiratory diseases and they work the same way as modern cough medicines, thinning mucus and making breathing easier.
Stephen Rennard, M.D., chief of pulmonary medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, says that chicken soup acts as an anti-inflammatory. The soup, he says, keeps a check on inflammatory white blood cells.
Cold symptoms, such as coughs and congestion, are often caused by inflammation produced when neutrophils migrate to the bronchial tubes and accumulate there.
With the studies revealing that chicken soup has medicinal qualities,we have reason to be encouraged. But further research discovered that some store bought soups were even better.

The benefits of chicken soup
  • Opens up the sinuses.
  • Helps you to breathe when your nose is blocked.
  • Reduces coughing.
  • Soothes joint pain.
  • Helps rid the body of aches.

Here's the list of brand name soups used in the study.
They are placed in order of how effective they were in slowing he progress of colds and flu.

  • Knorr's Chicken Flavor Chicken Noodle
  • Campbell's Home Cookin' Chicken Vegetable
  • Campbell's Healthy Request Chicken Noodle
  • Lipton Cup-O-Soup, Chicken Noodle
  • Progresso Chicken Noodle
  • Grandma's Soup
  • Health Valley 100% Natural Chicken Broth 

Dark Chocolate May Improve Metabolic Stress Response

A study conducted by Nestlé researchers say that eating a few pieces of dark chocolate every day improves the metabolic response of people who feel highly stressed.

Anxiety and stress can cause various changes in physical and emotional states in humans, and in the longer term can also lead to serious health consequences.

The results showed that:
  • Dark chocolate reduced the amount of stress hormone cortisol and catecholamines in the urine.
  • Dark chocolate also partially normalized stress-related differences in energy metabolism.
The study provides strong evidence that a daily consumption of 40 g of dark chocolate during a period of 2 weeks is sufficient to modify the stress metabolism of human beings.
"Consuming dark chocolate daily can positively impact the metabolism of people that report having high-stress levels."
To make the most of chocolate’s health promoting properties, remember to buy dark.
For a beneficial dose of flavonoids, which are part of a family of chemically-related antioxidants, make sure it has at least 60 percent cocoa content.

Russian Man Eats His Mother

We are losing count. Cannibalism in Moscow, it's all the rage.
A Russian man accused of killing and eating  his mother was sentenced to 14 years and three months in prison.
The standard sentence for such a crime is 15 years, but a Russian court ruled Sergei Gavrilov only ate his mother because he was hungry, not because of cannibalism.(makes sense to us... not)
The unemployed Gavrilov, 27, admitted he ate parts of his murdered mother's legs for meals for several weeks, saying he turned to cannibalism because he was broke and hungry.
Gavrilov said he killed his mother after she wouldn't turn over her pension check, which he said he wanted for drinking and gambling.After he spent her money, Gavrilov said he began removing and preparing parts of his mother's body to stave off hunger.
The well-preserved legless corpse was found on the balcony.
It was well below freezing outside and that explains why his mother’s corpse was well preserved.
This is why food safety is so important.
Every day he would cut a piece of her legs and cooke soups and pasta sauces.
"I did not like the flesh," he told police investigators. "It was too fatty."

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Cannibalism - killing a man, eating him, selling leftovers

This has been a very busy year for cannibals.
Let's turn our attention now to Moscow.
Russian police have arrested three homeless guys for killing, butchering, then eating a 25-year-old man.
When they had their fill, they sold bits and pieces of the corpse to a local kebab house.
The alarm was raised when bits of a corpse were found near a bus stop.
The three were arrested on suspicion of stabbing a man to death and then chopping him up for food.
It went on: "After carrying out the crime, the corpse was divided up.
"Part was eaten and part was also sold to a kiosk selling kebabs and pies."

China's brandy tester has a Nose for this kind of thing

China has an official brandy taster, his name is Liu Ge.
After 52 years, his nose now has a life of it's own.
The result, you can see in the photo, comes after two litres of brandy a day.
At some point along the way, Liu Ge decided something wasn't quite right with his nose and has turned to medics in the Chinese capital Beijing for help.
"Drinking alcohol has been just like drinking water to me.
I had to drink sometimes two litres a day just to test the quality," explained Liu, now 68.
Doctors say he has been left with a condition called rhinophyma, caused by the constant expansion of blood vessels in his nose - now nearly four inches long and two inches wide.

The Way we Count Calories May be Wrong

The way we have been counting calories, the method used for diet plans and healthy-eating guidance for all these years may be wrong, a report suggests.
Now the recommended daily intake of calories could be increased by up to 16%.
Intake levels are currently 2,000 calories for women and 2,500 for men.
(that's one meal for many of us, and Rihanna)
A 16% increase would mean that adults could eat an extra 400 calories a day, something like an average  cheeseburger. Some are saying this report is a "dangerous assumption" and would like this report to go away because they are preaching the "Obesity Epidemic"

Friday, November 13, 2009

This time it's, Death Cap Mushrooms

It was just a short while ago that we ran a post about wild deadly mushrooms, and here we go again.
Three members of a Lodi family are in intensive care in a San Francisco hospital after eating mushrooms they picked in the wild, "Death Cap" mushrooms.
The "Death Cap mushrooms are among the world's most lethal. They are starting to sprout in the Bay Area because of the recent rains, presenting a risk to immigrants who mistake them for harmless varieties found in their native countries. Even experienced mushroom gatherers have been fooled into believing death caps to be edible.
We don't know much about these three people except that they are all in the intensive care unit.
The big danger they face is liver damage, which if left untreated could lead to death. "Eating wild mushrooms such as the death cap can result in severe and rapid liver failure, requiring liver transplantation or a lengthy hospitalization," said Dr. Carrie Frenette, a liver specialist who is treating the patients.
According to California Pacific, the death rate for people who consume the mushrooms is around 10 percent.
One person died last year in California after eating death caps, according to the state Poison Control System. In January, a family of three survived a poisoning after they returned from a mushroom hunt in Mount Tamalpais State Park and cooked the fungi in soup.
The snow-white mushrooms have dusted green caps and appear meaty.
The red flag of their toxicity is the pure white gills underneath the cap.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Rihanna Loves Her Fast Food

Celebrities are often complicated people, especailly when it comes to food and diets.
(we know from personal experience)
But to her credit, Rihanna just may be different.
She recently indulged in six pizzas, six portions of fried noodles in sauce, six microwave lasagnes, 10 portions of chips, 10 large packets of crisps and pots of dips, 15 doughnuts and 50 chicken drumsticks.
We are so proud of her, why?
Because she enjoys eating.

She loves her fast food, and she believes that performing on stage helps her from gaining weight.
"Being on tour gets you in shape which is good considering I eat whatever I can get my hands on. You perform for an hour and a half so you can work some of it off at least. But not all of it,"
Rihanna is all set to perform in London Nov 16 and she has asked organizers of the show to keep
fried noodles and doughnuts in her dressing room.

"When it comes to the big US stars, we are used to getting ridiculously healthy requests. Rihanna was a breath of fresh air. There was none of this carb and gluten-free nonsense," said a show source.

It's Knotweed - Not Voodoo

No, these aren't Voodoo dolls out of New Orleans, it's Zheng Dexun, the Chinese farmer with his man-shaped knotweed crops.
You can see for yourself that there's a head, eyes and a nose, a body,with arms and legs.
Zheng said: “I don’t know whether it is good or bad to dig out a Chinese knotweed that looks like a human. I’d better put it back in the earth!”
This is not the first time someone has dug out a body shaped knotweed, that's right, it's a resurrection of sorts.
As you see in the photo below, the root consisted of two human-shaped bits where one resembled a female with its defined upper torso and the other with it's hanging masculinity.

China, you really have some bizarre curiosities.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Fall of the Berlin Wall Remembered - In Chocolate

A French chocolate-maker has celebrated the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall by building a 15-meter (50 feet) long replica of the landmark, and it's edible. Award-winning chocolatier Patrick Roger used 900 kilograms (1984 pounds) of chocolate to build the wall that took over three weeks to complete.
Graffiti and artwork were added to the surface by spraying it with cocoa butter mixed with food coloring.
Segments of the wall have been on displayed in chocolate shops throughout France.
Roger is preserving his giant masterpiece.
But to mark the anniversary of the wall’s fall, he made an extra, 2-metre-high (a little over 6 feet) chocolate segment that he smashed Monday by toppling it over and letting it splinter into small pieces.

Turtle is God

Villagers are chanting hymns, carrying garlands, bowls of rice and fruits and singing the praises of the turtle God.

Policemen are trying to control the crowds, but that's like herding cats and they have failed to persuade the villagers to give up the sea turtle.

‘We have asked the villagers to hand it over as it is illegal to confine a turtle, but they are refusing,’ said P.K. Behera, a senior government wildlife official.
The turtle is protected in India and anyone found keeping one without permission can be jailed for a year or more and fined.
But the faithful villagers refused to give up the reptile, saying the turtle bears holy symbols on its back and is an incarnation of Lord Jagannath, a popular Hindu deity.
‘Lord Jagannath has visited our village in the form of a turtle. We will not allow anybody to take the turtle away,’ said Ramesh Mishra, a priest of the temple.

We were thinking of a way to settle the dispute and below you'll find our solution.


2 Pounds of Turtle Meat (cubed) 3 Bay leaves
2 Sticks Butter (unsalted) 1/2 Tsp. Oregano
Cup All Purpose Flour 1/2 Tsp. Thyme
1 Cup Celery (diced) 1 Tsp. Course Black Pepper
2 Cups Yellow Onions (diced) 1 Shot Dry Sherry
1 1/2 Cups Tomato Puree 3 Tbs. Minced Parsley
1 Quart Beef Stock Juice of One Lemon
6 Hard Boiled Eggs (chopped fine) Salt and Pepper to Taste

In a heavy saucepan melt the butter.
When melted, add flour and cook until the flour turns a copper color.
This roux must be stirred at all times so it will not burn.
When your roux reaches the desired color add your vegetables and turtle meat and cook until the turtle is brown and vegetables are clear.
Add the tomato puree and cook for about 15 minutes on low heat.
In a stock pot simmer beef stock.
While boiling add the mixture from your saucepan
and stir until soup is mixed and roux is dissolved.
Stock should be smooth and have body.
Simmer soup until turtle becomes tender at which time
you may add your lemon diced eggs and parsley.
Each plate should be served with a shot of sherry on the side.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Jay Leno as Gordon Ramsay in "Jay's Kitchen"

59-year-old Jay Leno may have had better luck with "Jay's Kitchen," because “The Jay Leno show" is heading straight to ratiings hell.
It's gotten so bad that Leno said he’d return to the ‘Tonight Show."
But here, enjoy "Jay's Kitchen."

Pumpkin Pie

This pumpkin pie recipe is basic, easy to make and delicious.

Whats the difference in evaporated milk and condensed milk?

We know many of you are baking this holiday season, we have received many emails asking,
"Whats the difference in evaporated milk and condensed milk?"
Instead of replying individually , here's our collective answer:

Condensed milk is sweetened and has a great light caramel taste to it.
Condensed milk is often used when making candies, puddings, pies, frosting, used in many desserts.
Evaporated milk is just a thicker milk.
So if a recipe calls for milk, you can use Evaporated milk, that will add some richness because it has about the same consistency as cream.

The bottom line is, Evaporated milk is just like milk except it's in a can and you can use it in recipes that call for milk, and Condensed milk is a gooey milk that tastes sinful.

The First Thanksgiving

We love Thanksgiving, what's not to like?
You may remember, Thanksgiving was voted best holiday meal here on the Voodoo Kitchen poll.

We received 549 total votes.

Thanksgiving (234)

Christmas (148)
St. Patrick's Day (67)
4th of July (65)
Easter (14)
Halloween (12)
New Years (8)
Memorial Day (1)

Edward Winslow wrote the only written eyewitness account of the first Thanksgiving dinner in 1621.
As you suspect that first Thanksgiving probably doesn't look like the traditional one we enjoy so much.

Let's get to it, here are the foods that were not served at the first Thanksgiving in 1621.
  • Turkey - Turkey may have been served because it was often eaten by both the Wampanoag and the Pilgrims but is not specifically mentioned in Winslows’ letter. He writes about “wild fowl” only, which may have been duck or geese.
  • Cranberry Sauce - It was fifty years after 1621that anyone mentions  cranberry sauce for use with meat in English recipes. Prior to this time sugar, a necessary in cranberry sauce was an incredibly expensive import. Both the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag added cranberries for tartness in a dish, but cranberry sauce itself would not appear until the 1670’s.
  • Potatoes - White potatoes were unknown in England at the time of the first Thanksgiving, they were  not a part of the English diet. Sweet potatoes were, in the early 1600’s, imported into England from Spain and were used only by the super rich.
  • Pumpkin Pie - Pumpkin pie as we know it wasn't served, but pumpkin and squash were included in the feast but served as vegetables only. Some time after 1621, pumpkin dessert recipes included pumpkin.
Foods Served at the Original Thanksgiving Feast
In addition to the wild fowl (maybe turkey) pumpkin and squash mentioned above, the following foods were certainly abundant and most likely were included in the “harvest” celebration:
  • Fish
  • Lobsters
  • Eel
  • Mussels
  • Oysters
  • Corn
  • Parsnips
  • Collards
  • Turnips
  • Spinach
  • Onions
  • Dried Beans
  • Dried Blueberries
  • Grapes
  • Nuts

1621 Thanksgiving Meal Details

  • The celebration was a three day event, not one, and it was feasting and entertainment, including games and the shooting of muskets.
  • It may have been held in October, not November.
  • There is no evidence that the Wampanoag indians were explicitly invited.
  • It was not called “Thanksgiving”. It was a “harvest festival”.
  • It was not intended to become an annual event.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Pet Carousel has a problem with their Pig Ears and Beef Hooves

California based Pet Carousel has a problem with their Pig Ears and Beef Hooves
Apparently they are contaminated with the bacterium Salmonella.
During routine testing by the FDA on the pig ears, Salmonella was discovered. Additional  testing revealed the bacteria also in the beef hooves and in the manufacturing environment.

The risk for humans handling the contaminated these dog treats can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.
Even healthy people infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea. nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.
You pets,  with Salmonella can become lethargic and have diarrhea or fever and vomiting.

The  products to be on the out look for are the brand names Doggie Delight and Pet Carousel for pig ear products and Choo Hooves, Dentley’s, Doggie Delight and Pet Carousel for affected beef hooves.