Inkwell: Authors and Artists
carb beetle (bumbaugh) Tue 9 Mar 04 12:38
Kitty Broihier and Kim Mayone join us in the Inkwell to discuss *The Everyday Low Carb Slow Cooker Cookbook*. Kitty Broihier received her bachelor's degree in nutrition from Michigan State University, went on to do graduate nutrition work and complete her dietetic internship at the University of Iowa Hospitals, then decided that clinical dietetics was not for her and went to Boston to get her master's degree in nutrition communications from BU. She loved Boston, but her longtime beau (now husband) lived in NYC, so she moved there and took an unpaid internship at Good Housekeeping magazine in the nutrition department where she slaved for nothing, but got lots of great writing experience and learned how magazines were put together. Finally GH took pity on her and hired her, and she worked happily there for about 5 years while living in various Greenwich Village apartments with her beau. Kitty then yearned for more money, so she took a corporate communications job for a Japanese food company with US headquarters in NJ. She learned how to do a "reverse commute" from NYC to NJ, and later she and Dan moved to NJ because she'd grown tired of riding the bus. After their wedding and birth of their first child, Jack (now 7), Kitty and Dan moved to Maine, where they've lived for 6 years. Kitty works out of her home in South Portland, while Dan conducts his business (wholesale seafood) on the Portland waterfront. They had another child, Amelia (nearly 4...going on 14) and are both now self-employed. Kitty runs a business called NutriComm, which consults to food companies, PR firms, etc. and also is a freelance writer and book author. Kitty looks forward to chatting with Well friends, as her husband (the guy from Ask Mr Fishman in the cooking conference) says it's great fun and everyone is very cool and smart! Kitty has been low-carbing since last June. As a dietitian, she sees the usefullness of the diet for some people, but doesn't advocate it as "the" diet for everyone. As a cookbook author, she prefers to defend low-carbing (as she often has to do, especially among fellow dietitians) through her recipes. She believes the science needs to catch up with the anecdotal evidence pro low-carb, and in the interim tries to make her low carb diet healthy via lots of veggies, leaner meats and calcium supplements!
virtual community or butter? (bumbaugh) Tue 9 Mar 04 12:39
Kimberly Mayone grew up in Portland, Maine. She had her first restaurant job at the age of 15. After graduating from Cornell University's Hotel School in 1992, Kimberly arrived in Boston and stayed there for just about 5 years. In Boston, she made a living managing hotel restaurants. She spent her free time exploring the city, shopping and cooking. Her favorite job in Beantown was being the manager at Turner Fisheries in the Westin Hotel. It was in Boston that Kimberly worked closely with Lise Stern, a free-lance food writer and recipe developer in the Boston area. In late 1996, Kimberly married a wonderful man named Mark Mayone. They relocated to Maine and Kimberly soon began working as the food and beverage manager for the Portland Regency Hotel. After the birth of their first child, Kimberly decided that balancing restaurant management and family was just a bit too much. After a brief stint as a substitute teacher, Kimberly began working as the creative chef for a Odwalla, a super premium juice company. During her work with Odwalla, Kimberly gave birth to her second child. Now the Mayones were a busy and happy family of four. When Coca Cola purchased Odwalla, Kimberly's position was eliminated and so the search for a new job began. While attending The International Association of Culinary Professionals Conference, Kimberly and Kitty were introduced by a mutual friend. The well timed introduction became a collaboration for a cookbook: The Everyday Low-Carb Slow Cooker Cookbook. Working on a cookbook is fun, exciting and sometimes exhausting. Working with Kitty is a personal and a professional joy. We are currently working on a second low-carb book. When not developing and testing recipes for a cookbook, Kimberly can be found teaching part-time in the Culinary Arts Department at Southern Maine Community College. She also operates a small recipe development company named WOW Delicious. Kimberly is looking forward to chatting on The Well. As a very non-technical person, she is rather intrigued by the whole process.
high in protein (bumbaugh) Tue 9 Mar 04 12:41
Kitty met Kim at the International Association of Culinary Professional meeting last year in Montreal. Since then they've become great friends and authored the Everyday Low-Carb Slow Cooker Cookbook together. This is their first book together, and they're already working on low carb book number 2. The fact that we both live within 2 miles of each other has made the entire cookbook thing much easier. We have "drive by foodings" to exchange tastes of what we've worked on, and meet once a week to discuss problems, go over recipes, kvetch, etc. Leading the conversation with Kitty and Kim is long time veteran newspaper reporter/columnist, Tony Bittick. Today, Tony earns a paycheck and supports a family of five, a beagle and a budding aquarium working in the world of corporate communications. As a writer Tony has specialized in electronic product review and as an entertainment writer. When hes not coaching soccer, hockey or baseball, or serving as a human jungle-gym for his kids, he spends his "free time" as a photographer and media consultant. A lifelong cooking enthusiast, Tony started low-carbing last summer, in part, because of his participation on The Well and the LowCarb conference. He said he welcomed the opportunity to participate as an interviewer in Inkwell.vue because "hopefully itll be a chance to stretch out some old skills while giving back to The Well, at least in some small way, for all its given me." Great to have you here -- but it's making me hungry. Help!
look, it's all right there in front of you... (cmf) Tue 9 Mar 04 16:32
Well ladies... lets get cooking, shall we? It's wonderful to have you both here and I have sense that this is going to be an active conversation. We already know you've started on your second book (oh the anticipation!) but what I'd like to know is why you chose to start with a slow cook cook book? What was or is the appeal? And not to get the cart before the horse, but is the second book another slow cooker book or does it take a different route?
Kitty Broihier (kittybroihier) Wed 10 Mar 04 07:38
We have to give credit where credit is due; our editor thought of putting low carb together with slow cooking in order to jump on two hot trends. Marlowe & Co, the publisher of the book, contacted our agent and that's how we got the job! It was great; didn't have to do a book proposal or go through any of that preliminary stuff! Actually, however, the idea of putting low carb and slow cookers together is really pretty natural. Many of the foods that slow cookers cook best are protein-based (think stew, roasts, etc.), so it wasn't a huge stretch to find recipe ideas that would fit well into the dual idea. Then, the more we got into the "meat" (heh, heh) of the book, it become obvious to us that other foods that are staples of low carb diets (such as eggs) are also possible to cook in a slow cooker, abeit not for the extended times that meat dishes are. So, we tried to branch out and get more creative with our ideas. Kim can address our approach to ingredients and why (fresh vs. canned, exotic vs. pantry staples, etc.)...
Kimberly A. Mayone (kimmayone) Wed 10 Mar 04 14:28
Basic kitchen staples are necessary for quality slow cooking. Try to keep onions, garlic, chicken/beef broth, eggs, butter and olive oil on hand. Take advantage of weekly sales at the grocery store to keep your slow cooking routine fun and varied. When you see chicken thighs on sales - stock up. If Hotel Turkey breasts are on sale, it must be time for Thanksgiving Anytime Turkey Breast (a favorite in our house). Roasted red peppers, olives, capers, anchovy paste, sofrito and recaito are great accents to low-carb cooking. Bagged salad greens are a staple in our house because a simple green salad can compliment most low-carb entrees. As far as ingredient choices for The Everyday Low-Carb Slow Cooker Cookbook, we often opted for convenience. In talking with people who use their slow cookers regularly, we determined that the simpler the recipe the better. We used canned broth and jarred garlic for most recipes, but the recipes in our book go beyond canned soup, onion soup mix and ground beef. For example, firm fishes like salmon and swordfish are so delicious when they are prepared in a slow cooker and eggs dishes make a perfect dinner any night of the week.
Kitty Broihier (kittybroihier) Thu 11 Mar 04 06:05
Yes, this book is not a "Fix It and Forget It"-type book. There are not 100 recipes for meatloaf, nor do we limite ourselves to only pantry foods. We've worked in ethnic flavors, more vegetables, and a chapter of side dishes that aren't cooked in the slow cooker at all because we know that just serving a slow-cooked dish often isn't enough for a full dinner (although sometimes it is!). Having a crunchy vegetable dish on the side can make a big difference in a low-carb/slow cooked meal.
look, it's all right there in front of you... (cmf) Thu 11 Mar 04 08:20
Let's talk about the Genesis of the book. We've read a little bit about how you met, but at what point did you decide or just know that you should write a book together?
Kimberly A. Mayone (kimmayone) Thu 11 Mar 04 12:11
Following our meeting at the conference, Kitty and I played a game of e-mail tag trying to set up a play date for our children. Kitty asked me to join her in the book project because of my culinary background. At the time, I was looking for a work project and writing a cookbook certainly fit the bill. We live only two miles away from each other so working on the book was very convenient. It was also fun. Our collaboration works exceptionally well.
look, it's all right there in front of you... (cmf) Thu 11 Mar 04 16:32
Can you tell us something about your own personal Low Carb backgrounds? Do you eat low carb... do your families eat Low Carb... and if you do, how did you come to this diet and why?
Kimberly A. Mayone (kimmayone) Thu 11 Mar 04 20:41
I followed a strict low-carb diet for 2 months while working on the book (including a 2 week Atkins induction- protein & greens only). Since Thanksgiving I have followed a modified low-carb diet that allows me to maintain the weight loss that I achieved with my strict low-carb routine. I lost a total of 16 pounds. I tried low-carb because I was working on a low-carb cookbook and it felt like an appropriate and natural thing to do. I am also curious by nature and I figured that it made sense to try it out for myself. I feel better when I eat fewer carbs. I find that my hunger pangs are lessened when I am eating low-carb. My day usually starts with eggs or a protein shake. Lunch is typically a salad and a diet soda. Dinner is usually whatever I am working on for the new book or leftovers. My family does not follow a low-carb diet. They do however eat a healthy diet that includes whole grains, fruits and vegetables, dairy foods and minimal processed foods. We all take multi-vitamins and I take a calcium supplement. My family eats the vast majority of its meals at home around the kitchen table. It may be something as simple as ham and eggs, but we try to eat dinner together.
look, it's all right there in front of you... (cmf) Fri 12 Mar 04 04:26
And Kitty? How about you?
Kitty Broihier (kittybroihier) Fri 12 Mar 04 06:28
I started following a low-carb diet out of curiosity before we even got the book deal. Like Kim, I felt I should try it as a professional thing (as a dietitian, I'm asked about the diets frequently), and I followed the first 2 weeks of South Beach for my "intro." After the first 2 weeks, I had lost 7 pounds, and as soon as I sort of found my own way to do a lower carb diet, I found I had more energy during the day and just generally felt better when limiting my carb intake. As a dietitian, I do try to eat healthfully, but did realize that much of my diet was carb-based, and that by bringing that carb level down, my body seemed to "work" better. I've been following a "lower-carb" (not strictly low-carb) diet since that time, so for a total of about 9 months now, and have lost some additional weight, a total of about 14 pounds, and have maintained it --even through the holiday season, etc. If I have a splurge day, I feel that I can go right back to being strict for a few days and things will fall back into place. I don't beat myself up about it, and certainly try not to dwell on the problem, but just matter-of-factly go back to being more strict about the carbs. I think that's the beauty of this type of diet, as soon as you go back to it, you're rewarded again--it works. Although, I'm not sure it works for everyone....certainly I'm not advocating that this is the perfect diet for everyone. For some people, a lower fat diet might be the thing that works best for them..
Kitty Broihier (kittybroihier) Fri 12 Mar 04 06:31
Oh, forgot to add that I think a lower carb diet is not appropriate for children. I have 2 kids and although they generally eat the same food that I do, which would be lower in carbs, I supplement the rest of their meals with higher carb foods such as whole wheat bread, "light" rolls and such. I find it easier to make a low carb entree, then just have some breadsticks around for them if they want them--as long as the carbs aren't mixed into the entree, I have an easier time avoiding them. It's easy to pass up a roll, but harder for me to pass up potatoes that might be mixed into our entree, for example. That's why there haven't been potatoes in my house in 9 months! Sometimes my husband misses that kind of stuff, but I tell him to order a potato when we go out to eat, an that usually works out fine!
look, it's all right there in front of you... (cmf) Fri 12 Mar 04 06:37
Well let me say that as far as cookbooks go, in general not just low carb books, I think you ladies have done a really nice job. As something of a cook book "collector" I appreciated the time and energy you put into sections regarding slow cooker types, slow cooking care basics, etc... You don't always see this kind of attention paid to these types of books. Can you elaborate on this process and the decision to include this type of info?
Kitty Broihier (kittybroihier) Fri 12 Mar 04 08:11
To us, it was natural to include this information, as not everyone (including us, at the beginning) is familiar with the newer slow cookers, and the basics about how to use one and care for it. I still have a really old slow cooker that I use, with absolutely no bells or whistles, while Kim has a new, fancy, one, with multiple settings, digital timers and a stainless steel casing. I still use my old one, but have bought a newer one (larger, but with no fancy stuff). We highly recommend getting an oval shaped slow cooker if you're in the market, as they're convenient for cooking a whole chicken or roast. My old one won't fit a whole chicken, but it does a great job on eggs, etc., where size and shape aren't as important. Online research into types and prices can be helpful, but we've found that sometimes local stores such as Target, have better deals than online. I've even seen good deals on the fancy slow cookers at warehouse clubs. Usually slow cookers go on sale in the fall and around the holiday season, but a good buy can be found any time of year if you're in the right place at the right time. Back to the book; lots of people have told me they appreciated the introductory material on the slow cookers because it's been a long time since they've used theirs, and they needed a "refresher course" and couldn't find the booklet that came with their slow cooker.
look, it's all right there in front of you... (cmf) Fri 12 Mar 04 08:46
I LOVE slow cooking... but like we discussed in our prep for this interview, most of the slow cooker recipe books I have are basically variations of the same recipes. You know, ten different kinds of meat loaf, 15 different chilis... With that in mind, how did you go about selecting recipes for this book? Are they adapted from other books, family favorites or just stuff you guys thought would taste good?
Kitty Broihier (kittybroihier) Fri 12 Mar 04 12:16
I'll let Kim address most of this, since she was the creative culinary person and the vast majority of the ideas were hers. However, I will say that many of the ideas were things we just thought up on our own. Obviously, we knew there had to be a number of meatloaves, stews, etc., because that's what people expect of a slow cooker book. But, we didn't want it to be limited (read boring) so we threw in some unexpected things, such as egg dishes, breakfast dishes, and a few desserts.
Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Fri 12 Mar 04 17:51
(Note: non-members can send queries or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org and our hosts here will add your remarks to the conversational thread)
Dave (dsp2) Fri 12 Mar 04 18:47
I've lost a ton of weight since February of 2003 on a low carb diet. I think I started somewhere around the 300 pound range (though I never verified a starting weight), and am now right around 220. Also, I enjoy a variety of forms of cooking. While I know a bunch about slow cooking on BBQ cookers/smokers, I know very little about slow cooking indoors. Does your book include the basics about the types of things one should look for in getting started with slow cooking indoors? Where should I start my research in picking up the necessary equipment for indoor slow cooking? Are we talking about something like a cast iron dutch oven?
Kimberly A. Mayone (kimmayone) Fri 12 Mar 04 18:59
Before starting on this book, I had decided to take my slow cooking to the next level (aka beyond beef stew). After several paper brainstorming sessions, the cooking began. One egg dish would inspire us to try another and so one. Writing a cookbook can cause insomnia because you are always thinking about new dishes and potential combinations. My favorite find of the book is using a slow cooker to roast nuts - it works perfectly and it is almost impossible to burn the nut. I also love using the slow cooker to prepare whole marinated chickens. There is some substantial cost saving associated with slow cooking, especially when you shop the sales. I like to work with classic flavors that complement one another for example Sausage with Chickpeas and Tomatoes uses rosemary and garlic to pull the dish together. We also love to get input from friends and family. Greek Chicken is a recipe that my girl friend Dyan has been making for years. I tested her verbal recipe, tweaked it a little and the end result is quite outstanding (tomatoes, feta, onions, chicken). Mmmmmmm.
Kirsten Jones (synedra) Fri 12 Mar 04 21:32
I've had the book for a couple of weeks and I have to say, it's really refreshing to find a slow cooker cookbook that doesn't rely on the old standbys - I probably have upwards of 10 slow cooker/crockery/"crock pot" books and most of the recipes start out "chop up potatoes and onions, put them in the pot, then put the meat on top and cook". My husband is allergic to onions so this doesn't work well for us at all. Not only does this book have a delightful array of recipe types (the cinnamon walnuts were a huge hit and everyone was very surprised to hear that they were low carb) but even in the more 'standard' meat dishes the sauces/preparation are very different and so far quite popular (some of them are a bit spicy for my kids but I can adapt them easily). Although I'm not a rabid low carb person I try to avoid unnecessary sugar and it's nice to still be able to make bbq sauce without adding a ton of sugar to the mix. For the slow cooker general info, I would say the only addition I could see would be the 'standard' cooking temperatures for slow cookers. I have a *really* old slow cooker/fryer combo thing and it doesn't have low/high, it has a temp dial. Which is great when I want to adjust the time to something between the low and high cooking times, but not so good when I forget what the numbers should be and have to look it up in one of my other slow cooker books. Anyhow, great book. Like I said I really appreciated the variety, both in the recipe types and the preparations for each kind of recipe. I don't think I saw what type of cookbook you're working on next, but I'm betting I'll buy it :-) If anyone has specific questions about the recipes I've tried, so far I've tried: cinnamon walnuts, chicken cordon bleu rollups (yum!), asian inspired ribs (except with chicken), chicken with 40 cloves of garlic, the country sparerib recipe, and the pesto beef (which was the only thing our kids weren't thrilled by). Oh, and the chicken satay bites, which we actually used for dinner and it was an enormous hit.
It's all done with mirrors... (kafclown) Fri 12 Mar 04 22:10
I haven't seen your book yet (I've got it on hold at the library)-but I have a question anyway-- does your book include the numbers? (Ie, calories, carbs, proteins, fats, fibers, etc) per serving?
Kitty Broihier (kittybroihier) Sat 13 Mar 04 05:07
Don't want o leave Dave's question unanswered, but we certainly like all the nice comments; thanks. Glad people are enjoying the recipes. Dave, we are not talking about a Dutch oven, but an electric slow cooker. Newer ones range from about $30 to $75, and include an insert that sits in teh electrified base. You can cook in these things and even leave the house while they're cooking if you like. They don't use a lot of energy, and because no moisture is lost during cooking (they have tight-fitting covers), the food doesn't dry up and burn. Check out some deals on the web if you like, or check out discount stores like Target or K-Mart and the like for good deals. Kim and I recommend a slow-cooker that's oval in shape (more versatile) and holds around 6 quarts of food.
Kitty Broihier (kittybroihier) Sat 13 Mar 04 05:09
I forgot to note that the book does include general info in the front about slow-cooker styles, makes, and general care instructions for slow-cookers.
Sharon Lynne Fisher (slf) Sat 13 Mar 04 05:19
It is possible for food to dry up and burn in them, but it's not easy. Of course, I have managed it. :-) It was nice to see a slow cooker cookbook that didn't rely on canned soup. I've been creating things for the slow cooker myself using various liquid and spice things --wine, commercial marinades and sauces, juice, etc. -- I'd barely even call them 'recipies' -- so the book struck me as sort of obvious, but I can see that someone who's not into experimenting would find it very helpful. I was actually surprised by the side dish section because a lot of that wasn't made in the slow cooker, as I recall. And I looked at some of the egg recipes that said things like, don't cook for more than four hours, so I thought, well, I guess that means you don't make it the night before and wake up to breakfast, so what does one do? get up at 4 am and put it in the slow cooker to have ready at 7 am?
Members: Enter the conference to participate