This week imafoodblog.com will be featuring sundry information about one of the most delectable poultry options available to the home cook in the US: duck. Upcoming posts from Geoff will include the next edition in the Getting to Know Your Meat series, with general information on what to expect when purchasing and preparing a duck. He will then take us through the process of quartering a whole duck, using the scraps to prepare a hearty duck consomme and finally the breasts will appear at center stage in a Sunday dinner application.

Also look for posts from Sara, who has been busy baking up homemade Bavarian soft pretzels and some Fresh Ginger and Chocolate Gingerbread for this week’s Tuesdays With Dorie.

After sending an email giving our friend Greg from Sippitysup.com two thumbs up to the Alltop.com staff, they took the time to look into the plethora of entertainment and information that is imafoodblog.com and decided in their infinite wisdom to subscribe to our feed and feature our new posts (right next to Sippitysup.com) on food.alltop.com. There are several excellent food blog listings there, check it out.

Imafoodblog.com has been experiencing some super-uncoolness via unscheduled server shutdowns and some indexing problems with Google over the past 24 hours. It seems as though everything should be back to normal by Sunday evening. I apologize for any inconvenience.

Look forward to a week of new posts starting Monday morning.

OK, OK. I know you’ve never heard of Minestra Con Le Cozze E Salsiccia, neither did I until I did a literal translation of the ingredients into Italian. I’ve always thought of this soup as an Italian soup because the inspiration for creating it came from Italian wedding soup. They share some common characteristics: both are made with greens like kale (or escarole or spinach), and they both contain ground pork - meatballs in the IWS case and sausage (as the name suggests) in this case. No aspect of assembling this soup requires a level of culinary aptitude beyond being able to use a knife and the stove, but do allocate an appropriate amount of time, about 2 hours (with probably 15 minutes of hands-on time) to make it.

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This week is my first posting for Craving Ellie in my Belly “CEIMB". I bought The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life by Ellie Krieger when it first came out and I am a fan of her healthy recipes because they refrain from using ‘fake’ ingredients - I don’t care for recipes that are ‘low fat’ or ‘healthy’ because they use artificial fat substitutes and/or overly processed ingredients. I belive the latter just can’t be healthy even if it may help to lose or keep off weight. I rather use a little less real Parmigiano cheese than a lot of the reduced fat canned stuff (that stuff is gross, no offense if that is what you use - but you should really consider buying a block of the real stuff).

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Whenever I am cooking anything, I can always count on Geoff to ask one of the two following questions "You're cooking that in bacon fat, right?" or "Where is the pie?" That pretty much sums up the boys' cooking philosophy. But then again, who doesn't love pork fat and butter fat? I sure do. I may even enjoy cilantro if it was fried in bacon fat and slathered with a butter sauce. But alas, I also enjoy (or tolerate on most days) my current waist size.

This is why weeknight dinners in our house are usually made by me and I do make a solid effort to prepare meals that are low fat and somewhat healthy. I have to counteract what we do to our poor bodies on the weekends. To that end, one of the cookbooks I use quite a bit is The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life by Ellie Krieger and one of the many excellent recipes in her book is for Oven Baked Onion Rings. Her idea of coating the onions in crushed baked potato chips and then baking them is a really successful lower fat version of the fried onion rings that we all know and love.

Here is my version, which I have tweaked after making them many times.

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Central Michel Richard’s menu is full of bistro favorites and comfort foods with a unique and satisfying twist. What sets Central apart from every other western bistro-style restaurant in DC is the perfect execution and creativity on every plate. Anyone who has been to Michel Richard’s Citronelle, knows this chef takes food seriously and Central is no exception. Central serves great food, presented beautifully, in a chic atmosphere at reasonable prices.

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