Monday, January 31, 2011

Picth Letter

 I have decided to post my first "Pitch Letter" for an article I would like to write in a local peper. This letter is to an editor of a magazing explaning what my artcile is about ect... Of course this one is for the teacher in class but it may be a published article one day... Please give me feedback on what you think of the pitch letter.

I will include pictures and links just for you guys, I am not turining them in with the article.

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Catherine E Manterola
P.O. Box 267
Calvert, TX 77837
(210) 260-9950

January 31, 2011

Dear Editor,

“Catherine, Tito the next pigeon you shoot I am making you eat it!” Families in Texas are a breed of their own. On a sunny Saturday children are not on neighborhood basketball courts but walking around the ranch with BB guns. January in Texas is the end of dove and duck season and most kids want to get some practice in for next year. “Mom, I am not eating a pigeon!” “If you keep shooting them you will!” Then dad jumps in “Honey, that reminds me, how do you want to cook all these ducks?” Dilemma. Mom does not want to go back on her word since Tito has just shot two more pigeons but the freezer is breaking at the seems from all the zip lock bags full of the seasons dove and duck excursions. If only she had a good recipe for duck and pigeon.

I propose an article of 1300 words entitled, Game Birds and Other Things Your Kids Shoot, about what to do with all the left over game birds and the extra birds you are not sure what to do with. I will include recipes for duck, dove, and a mixture of the two with other edible non game birds. Each recipe will have a different twist so that the flavor of each bird is showcased as well as having a variety of meals with the same main ingredients. I will also give cleaning and butchering techniques for each game bird, brining ideas for whole birds, as well as Cajon, Mexican, French, Italian, and simple “Backyard America” recipes.

The readers of your publication are hunters as well as big eaters and cooks. I believe they will appreciate a new twist on things they have been cooking for years. Since there are not many recipes available that focus on game birds the food becomes very redundant and one note. They will appreciate some new ideas as well as the fresh subject of what else is flying out there that is edible and quite tasty.

I am a freelance writer who is trying to get my name out there and write about what I know and love. I have a Public Relations degree as well as have completed a course in Food Writing from famed Cook Book Author Diane Morgan. I hope Game Birds and Other Things Your Kids Shoot earns a spot in your successful publication.

Catherin Manterola

Here are some Recipes for you guys (I did not write these)


2 young, plump wild ducks, cleaned
Parsley, grapes, apple wedges
2 small onions, chopped
1 cup chopped apple, unpeeled
1 1/3 cups water
6 tbsp. melted shortening or bacon drippings
2/3 cup orange juice
2/3 cup chopped celery

Rub cavity of each duck with 1 tsp. salt. Combine celery, chopped apple, and onion; stuff into cavity of each duck. Close cavity with skewers. Brown ducks in shortening in a heavy Dutch oven; add water, orange juice, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Cover tightly; cook over low heat 45-60 minutes or until tender (time depends on age of duck). Baste 2-3 times during cooking. Garnish with parsley, grapes, and apple wedges. 6 servings.

This recipe is from our wild game recipes duck collection

Dove and Pigeon Recipes

The BEST way to eat Dove is this way: (I did write this out but it is famous and everyone does it)

5-10 Dove Breast (cleaned and cut in half long wise)
20 whole jalapenos, cut in half, seeds and stemmed removed
15 oz cream cheese
1 package bacon, each slice cut in half
tooth pics

Take one half of a jalapeno, with a spoon place cream cheese in cavity so it fills entire cavity. Then take one half of a dove breat and place it on top of the cream cheese. Wrap a piece of bacon around the fat side of the jalapeno and bird and secure with a toothpic. Repeat this process until all are assembles. Grill until the bacon is cooked. You can also place these in the oven at 350 degrees F until the bacon is cooked the way you like it.

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In this picture the whole breast was used but I like to cut them in half to make smaller sized bites. Also, there are twice as many when you cut them in half.

Blog #2

Here is the second "blog" entry I did on Gluten Free eating. This one focuses on what is available in the grocery store.
Gluten Free Shopping

This week I have decided to focus on buying gluten free products at your local grocery store. Susan, the woman who I am staying with here in Portland during this course, suggested a few grocery stores around town that offer a diverse selection. However, since this is a mini study of mine to see what is available in the world of g.f. eating I decided this week to start on an even base. Even though I will be focusing on Portland in the next two weeks I did not think it fair to go to a grocery store that would be over run with g.f. products. I believe this would not be helpful or relevant to readers in other cities or states who would have trouble finding these products. Thus I went to a nationwide family grocery store, Albertsons.

Here are a few pictures of products I found, starting with the first brand I ever noticed carrying g.f. products:

Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods not only has over 400 products but a complete line of g.f. As you can see here there are brownies, cookies, cake, bread, pancakes, and baking flour. Since these are mixes they do require extra ingredients and for these sweet mixes that would more than likely be g.f. vanilla extract which is not as easy to find. But a specialty store or ordering online would be the best bet.

Here is a g.f. product I have been eating for breakfast for the past few months and it’s really pretty good.

I eat these toasted with natural peanut better and honey which do not contain gluten! Here are a few more pictures of options I found:

It is easy to see that there are quite a plush variety of products out there. Being gluten intolerant these days does not limit you to vegetables, potatoes, grilled chicken and rice. I found all these products and more at a regular grocery store, there is no telling what is out there when you visit a specialty store!

Monday, January 24, 2011


SO! I have a very good reason for not writing for a week or so. I have moved (temporarily) to Portland, Oregon to take a food writing course by Diane Morgan. Google her if you are interested or I will add the link here because this class is really cool! So anyway, this week is week 3 of the 6 week course and I have also been looking for a job in PR (also temporary unless something more is offered). Portland is a way cool place, rainy yes but def not cold. My cousin Mallory is dying in weather 5 below in Boston, back in Texas it's like 30 and here it really hasn't gotten below 50. Very cool.
ANYWAY. For my course I am having to write a "blog" not really a blog but more blog entry's to turn in. I decided to write about things I am noticing around here. So I thought it would be cool to post those blogs on my real blog! I have not added pictures to the blog I am turning in yet so I will find some to put here. So here goes, I hope you like it...

Gluten Free in the North West
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The food in Portland or rather the North West is quite unique. To be more specific I am referring to the philosophy of food in this area. What is striking to a Texan like me is phrases like “Gluten Free” that are everywhere. I remember asking myself just a year ago “What is gluten?” and “What is gluten free?” Well now, not only have we accepted it as a ready option in the grocery stores but in restaurants as well. I am actually staying with a family who, because of Susan my temporary mom during my stay, are gluten free. Susan says “everyone speaks gluten these days, and if they don’t, they should!”

Ok, I get it, there is gluten in wheat so no wheat of any kind right? Is that all that there is to it? Rice, cool. Potatos and corn, also cool. But gluten free bread? Gluten free pizza? Gluten free cookies? Gluten free brownies!? Are you kidding me? This is madness! And what is even crazier is, they actually taste good! Gluten is used to give bread its bite and rip texture thus; I would assume it would be pretty obvious if it were missing. Not always the case.

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It seems every where I look in Portland there are gluten free options. Signs in pizza parlors claiming Wednesday’s are gluten free day, what does that even mean? Are there really that many people who are gluten intolerant or are people just jumping on the band wagon?

Holy Moley! I am eating a gluten free cookie right now and did not even notice!
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So this is a real deal? Celiac disease, as is the technical term, is when people have a strong reaction to gliadin, a gluten protein found in wheat. There is also a similar protein found in barley, oats and rye so those as well, are off limits. But it does not stop there, gluten is also found in some sausages, burgers, sauces, beer, and cereal. According to studies this affects 1 in 105 people in the United States. It can even affect babies. Although this is not the same as a wheat allergy the only known method of controlling celiac disease is a life long gluten free diet.

So 1 in 105 doesn’t sound like a huge number, why is everyone eating gluten free these days? Especially up here? Is it an excuse to eat healthier, get thin? I know I have pondered going gluten free for a while just to see how I feel, and look…

Yes, the philosophy on food and eating is quite different in the North West. Frankly, it makes everyone in Texas look like porkers.

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YUM! Texas BAR-B-Q

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Mexico over Christmas and New Years

I am going to open up this post on Mexico with my 2 favorite things to eat there: Tacos and Sopes. Oh how I love sopes, especially for breakfast...

Sopes originated in the city of Culiacan and are made from maza, like the kind used in traditional tortillas, but is smaller and thicker than a tortilla with slightly raised edges. These edges allow you to pile up all the tastey ingredients you want and not make a mess, they are still a bit messy. 80% of the time sopes begin with a layer of refried beans then are piled with meat or chicken and then cheese and salsa. Some times they will have lettuce, tomato and Mexican creama witch is similar to cream or sour cream just thinner. Here is a picture of my sope breakfast from the "Sope Guy" in Tequisquiapan (aka my home town).

"Sope Guy"
 If you look closely you can see that these have both green and red salsa and are topped with white cheese (the Mexican flag).

Now I will talk about Tacos... There is certainly a Taco for every occasion and this trip that occasion was Bull Fighting. Mexico City houses the largest Bull Fighting ring in the entire world known as the Plaza de Toros Mexico. It is a very important facility not just for its size but its credibility as well. If you are a bull fighter and choose to be inducted there are only two rings in the world that will facilitate an induction fight, Plaza de Toros Mexico and then I believe the bull ring in Madrid.

When the bull fights come to town El Villamelon opens its door to sell the patrons tacos, really good tacos at that. The decor alone is worth fighting the crowd, and since this place is only open Thur-Sun when there is a fight there is always a crowd. The walls are adorned with mounts of bulls from fights past, portraits of Matadors even a replica of a famous Goya painting. You can see the employees cutting down meat and chorizo for the tacos and cooking away. And did I mention there is a great view of the Bull Ring entrance since it is just accross the street?

Unfortunatley since my dad orderes that Tacos I am not entirely sure what was in them but I'll give it a guess... Bistec (which is thinly cut steak), chorizo, chicharones (pork rinds), and cheese. Yummy!
We also had quesadillas with Bistec and beans.

My brother Tito crying over how good his quesadilla was... what a clown

Cochinita Pibil
In my opinion cochinita pibil is the coq au vin (cocovan) of Mexico. This dish is made in Yucatan by slow roasting an entire suckling pig in citrus such as lemon, lime, bitter oranges as well as achiote. This gives the dish its red color. The final product looks much like a southern pulled pork and is eaten with vinagered onions and chilies, guacamole, and tortillas.

We ate this at a beautiful Hacienda outside of Queretaro and had Escamole for an appetizer. Escamole is an aunt egg dish. The eggs are harvested in the state of Hidalgo in early spring and look a bit like cottage cheese with a slight nutty taste. They are eaten in a taco with guacamole.

Finishing with something sweet:

While we were walking the city of Bernal my mom and I spotted the most fabulous looking bread of all varieties. Next to the bread stand was a young girl grilling some sort of puffy pastry on a flat top. Lets just say it was one of the BEST things I have ever tasted. Hot, fluffy, light (in texture not calories haha), and made from nata which is a sweet cream. DAMN!!!