Central Market Cooking Classes

If you’re in the Austin area and looking for something indoors to help beat the heat, and you happen to be into food, then this just may be for you! One of our favorite grocery stores, Central Market wants to help you kick off summer with food, spirits and fun this June at their ‘Central Market’s Cooking School’. June classes include seafood, brunch and Beat Divas’ 10th anniversary where you can learn from Central Market foodies, chefs and culinary professionals from around the world.

Here’s the June lineup: Central Market Cooking Classes

Texas Parks & Wildlife: Oysters & Shrimp (18 and up)

Tuesday, June 10 at 6:30 p.m.

Spend an evening learning to cook with some of the best our great state has to offer. Discover the importance of prep work and then gather ‘round in CM’s Cooking School kitchen to prepare:

  • Cornmeal-Fried oyster lettuce wraps
  • Empanadas de Cameron (hand-pies stuffed with shrimp)
  • Port Arthur seafood gumbo
  • Speedy shrimp with tomatoes, feta cheese and basil


Beat Divas: Celebrating 10 Years of Divalicious! (18 and up)

Saturday, June 21 at 6:30 p.m.

Enjoy this special 10th anniversary edition of CM’s longest running cookin’ and singin’ class with the lovely and talented Beat Divas—Dianne Donovan, Mady Kaye and Beth Ullman.

WHERE:           Central Market Cooking School, 4001 N. Lamar Blvd., Austin, TX 78756 


About Central Market:

Central Market’s open, serpentine-flow, full view European-style layout offers a completely new food shopping experience. A bountiful produce department with unmatched quality and variety, an 80-foot seafood case with selections from throughout the world, hundreds of cheeses, 2,500 wine labels, stupendous specialty grocery aisles with delights from every continent, and a world class cooking school featuring hands-on instruction are among the features that make the Central Market experience unique.


Texans for labeling GMOs

‘Did you know that the  FDA (Food and Drug Administration) doesn’t require safety testing of new genetically modified foods (“GMOs”), instead relying on corporations’ profits from the sale of such foods to substantiate their safety for us? Contrary to industry claims, GMO foods have not been proven safe, and a growing body of independent, peer-reviewed studies have linked the consumption of GMO foods to allergies, infertility, immune problems, gastrointestinal disruption, cancer and a host of other diseases. GMO crops can easily contaminate non-GMO crops, threatening organic agriculture, and their use is linked to increases in toxic pesticide use and the emergence of “super weeds.”’

Don’t you want the right to know when your foods contain GMOs? I sure as hell do. organic foods

So help us out by signing this petition. Share it with loved ones and make sure our voices are heard. Let’s come together to fight for our right to know, and to keep these dangerous foods out of our bodies, off our tables and away from our kids. Most of Europe won’t allow them for their citizens – why can’t our government do the same for us?

In fact, some of the countries that won’t allow any GMOs include France, Germany, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia and Ireland.   The Indian government placed a last-minute ban on GM eggplant just before it was scheduled to begin being planted in 2010. However, farmers were widely encouraged to plant Monsanto’s GM cotton and it has led to devastating results. The UK’s Daily Mail reports that an estimated 125,000 farmers have committed suicide because of crop failure and massive debt since planting GM seeds.

Terrible tragedy.

So, here’s the petition:

Texans are demanding legislation to require the labeling of all foods that contain genetically engineered ingredients and of all seeds that have been produced through genetic engineering, otherwise referred to as “GMO foods” or “GMOs.” We have a right to know what is in the food we eat, what we are feeding to our families, and what we are growing on our farms and in our gardens. 

We are asking for a GMO labeling bill to be signed into law as soon as possible that will be effective at preserving the transparency of our food supply and robust enough to withstand constitutional challenge. Our children and future generations depend on you to protect the genetic integrity of our food, our seeds, and our bodies.

 Click here to sign it and help support our right to know!

no more GMOs

Here’s hoping you saved yourself some cash at the grocery store after reading yesterday’s post. Today I’ll give you more cost-cutting advice including my secret on how to save money AND get your kids eating more veggies. I will also share with you some of my tips on savvy label-reading so you won’t get gypped.


  • Herbs. Houseplants and I don’t get along very well. I have just recently kept my first one alive for over a year and I’m thrilled (as is the plant). So when someone gave me a pot of herbs for my backyard, I worried those little herbs were doomed. I stuck it in a sunny spot and watered it a bit from time to time and those suckers grew by leaps and bounds. I was totally stunned. In an effort to save yourself the $2-3 per small bunch of organic basil, dill or thyme you find at the store: try your own hand at it. You will be amazed at the abundance you’ll have just outside your backdoor.
  • Veggies. Another great option is to grow organics at home with assistance from aeroponic growers like the Tower Garden. The range of your favorite vegetables, herbs and fruits! you can grow at home is amazing.

A veggie bonus tip: My kids now water the robust pot of herbs in our backyard. What I’ve come to discover is that I can serve almost any food in the world to my kids, and if it involves something that came out of our pot of our herbs, they will taste it. This is especially true if they got to harvest the herbs and sprinkle them on our chicken or asparagus themselves. The reason ? They’re curious. They are dying to know what they’ve helped create.


  • Produce. If you can’t afford to buy your produce 100% organic, rely on the Environmental Working Group’s “dirty dozen” —foods that contain the highest levels of pesticides—as your go-to reference for must-buy organics. Apples, celery, strawberries, peaches, and spinach top the list. To confirm that your produce actually is organic, check the sticker number on your produce. The number should begin with a “9”.
  • Chicken and pork. Watch out for sexy labels. Do not pay more for chicken or pork that says “hormone free” on it. The U.S. prohibits growth hormones to be used in chickens or pigs so all of their meats are “hormone free” except for what is naturally-occurring.
  • Eggs. Pastured eggs are a beautiful thing. When chickens are able to feed on bugs and worms instead of corn and soy or animal by-products, the fats you get from eating their eggs are filled with healthy omega-3s. But a word to the wise, the terms “cage-free” and “free-range” are very loosely enforced. In fact, you may use these terms on your packaging if your chickens have access to the outside. In some cases, this means there is a small door available for them to go in and out of. What does that mean ? When it’s your birthday you get to be put outside? I don’t know. My advice to you is to get to know your eggs. Some eggs that say “pastured” are, in fact, pastured eggs. My favorites are Vital Farms Eggs. You can find them at Whole Foods.

So good luck my conscious-consumers and please share with us below your tips for getting more bang for your organic buck.

Here’s a great image I found on Facebook that pretty much sums up how we feel! I always tell our son to remember what I was taught in science class so many years ago: GIGO.

Garbage in = Garbage out.

Treat your body with love and fuel it with food that serves both your body and soul.

Share this image if you agree!


It’s our motto around here, but what does it mean?

Well, to start it addresses the power of food, and its incredible effect on our ability to heal the damage most of us are facing due to the popular American diet we’ve all grown accustomed to. Who hasn’t stopped in for a quick bite at a local fast food joint when you just didn’t have the time to cook dinner after a long day of work, knowing you’re coming home to face a gaggle of hungry faces clamoring for dinner?

I know I did, and I know all too well that I’m not alone on this one. And while I only ate out in moderation, many of you probably find yourself at the drive thru more often than you would care to admit. And if you’re dealing with food sensitivities, or suspect you might be, and are eating out, you might be aggravating your allergies with cross contaminated foods and highly GM foods and oils often used in restaurants and fast food joints.  I’m a big fan of the experience of eating out. I love spending time out with friends and family, enjoying a tasty meal that I didn’t have to prepare, or worrying about cleaning afterwards. The social aspect of being out appeals to me, and I appreciate it every time. 

But I also recognize that it’s hard to find a restaurant with a social conscience. That is to say, that they’re using meats farmed from socially responsible farmers, locally raised produce free of pesticides and Genetically Modified Organisms. In fact, I’m willing to bet that every time you eat out, you’re consuming a vast amount of GM soy, corn or wheat. And we know that these foods are slowly poisoning us. 

So it’s time to ask yourself – am I happy? Do I feel like crap more often than not? Am I overweight? Am I avoiding my annual checkup because I dread the results of the blood tests? Does the blood pressure machine at your local drug store call to you but you run and hide like a child playing hide and seek?

I can tell you that if you answered yes to any of those questions, you’re in very good and well numbered company. The fact is, most Americans would answer yes to those questions. So now that you’ve brought your state of  health to mind, let’s see what we can do to improve it!

Whether you’re just embarking on a journey to understand what this movement with our food supply means, or if you’re well invested in the cause already, you most likely have had that “Ah Ha” moment that made you stop and wonder whether it’s possible for food to actually heal, or hurt us.  Sadly, the answer is simple. Yes, the foods we eat can either help us heal, or harm our ability to live a happy healthy life. 

And to be clear, I don’t think food in its natural state causes us harm. It’s the way we’ve changed our food to handle mass consumption and appeal to the Fat and Happy mainstream that has caused us harm.  We have modified our food supplies to create ‘food’ that lacks all aspects of nutrition, and are instead made up of genetically modified sources so that we can enjoy brightly colored cereal with a glass of hormone-laden cow’s milk before sending our kids off to school. And that brightly colored cereal which is rich in sugar, food colorings, processed and genetically modified wheat or corn, causes a sugar spike that will give your child a sugar rush bigger than any that even an adult’s body should/could handle, and then a devastating crash  that leaves them unable to concentrate and in need of some other sugary drink to retain a balance. 

If this sounds like your typical breakfast, don’t worry because you’re not alone. And if you’re here, you’re probably realizing that this typical American breakfast might not be the best choice for you or your child. This is where the idea of food healing us comes in.

Food in its natural, real state is powerful. It was designed to provide naturally occurring vitamins, minerals and nutrients that our bodies need for fuel. Food in its natural state fuels our bodies, mind and soul. Real and powerful food can reverse toxic damage caused by the dangerous processed foods that are so readily available today. It can help you to lose weight, reverse auto immune conditions, prevent dangerously high levels of blood pressure, sugar and cholesterol. I know, because I’ve experienced it first hand.

Processed food caused me devastating health issues, and real/whole foods helped save me. It’s that simple. Eat real food, heal your body, and thrive.

Has food changed your life? Share your stories below so others can be inspired by the power of food, and its ability to heal!