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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Foods Higher in Protein, Vitamins and Minerals

Higher Protein Foods
Lack of protein is a major cause of malnutrition in many countries. Already, soya and maize have been modified to enhance the value of their protein in animal feed. Similar developments for staple crops in tropical regions could benefit many of those who are undernourished. For example, scientists in India have developed the 'protato', a potato with a far higher protein content than traditional varieties, by introducing genes from the Amaranth plant.

Foods Higher in Vitamins and Minerals
Some fruits and vegetables can be modified to contain higher levels of nutrients. For example, “Golden Rice” has been developed by scientists in Zurich to improve vitamin A levels in people in developing countries. Regular rice contains no vitamin A, and children brought up on it as their staple diet run a high risk of developing blindness and dying prematurely.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Kahlua Cutouts Cookie Recipe

by Griffin Wetzstein
The Kahlua cutouts cookie recipe turns out a special cookie that adults will love! A delicate blend of Kahlua and coffee will have your taste buds craving for more!

The Kahlua cutouts cookie recipe turns out a special cookie that adults will love! A delicate blend of Kahlua and coffee will have your taste buds craving for more!

3/4 cup salted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons Kahlua liqueur
2 tablespoons instant coffee granules
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 (2-ounce) squares chocolate candy coating

Small microwave safe bowl
Large bowl
Medium bowl
Small bowl
Cookie cutter (3-inch, any shape desired)
Cookie sheets
Rolling pin
Wax paper

Step 1: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Step 2: Lightly grease or spray cookie sheets with no-stick cooking spray; set aside.
Step 3: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
Step 4: In a large bowl, beat butter on medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.
Step 5: Gradually add sugar; beating well.
Step 6: Gradually add flour mixture, beating at low speed just until blended.
Step 7: In a small bowl, stir together the Kahlua and instant coffee granules until dissolved.
Step 8: Add Kahlua mixture to dough, beating until blended.
Step 9: Lightly flour a flat work area, roll dough out to a thickness of 1/8-inch.
Step 10: Cut dough with floured cookie cutter, and place 1 inch apart onto the prepared cookie sheets. Repeat process with scraps until the dough is gone.
Step 11: Bake for 7 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned. Immediately transfer cookies to a cooling surface.
Step 12: When cookies are cool, melt chocolate in a small microwave safe bowl until smooth.
Step 13: Dip half of each cookie into melted chocolate, set on wax paper until chocolate has hardened.

Makes about 16 cookies.

Breakfast on the Run - Smoothies Can Start Your Morning Off Right

by Rosanne Rust

Breakfast is an important meal, but often busy mornings don't allow time for it. Instead of pouring coffee into your travel mug, try these smoothie recipes and start your day off right!

If your house is like mine, it’s a bit hectic in the morning. Working moms may be more concerned with getting breakfast into their kids than they are getting something nutritious for themselves.

You may know that breakfast literally means “break the fast”. After a night’s sleep (or fast) our bodies need to be fueled to face the busy day. Eating or drinking something nutritious is important, but it doesn’t have to be a full meal. If you have time for a bowl of high fiber cereal with sliced fruit and low fat milk, great, but if not, you do want to at least drink something nutritious.

Whether you work from home or work out of the home, these quick breakfast drinks can get you out the door on time, or into your home office chair with an alert brain. Get the blender out onto the counter and instead of pouring coffee into your travel mug, try one of these yummy recipes:

Blueberry Yogurt Smoothie
2 c Yogurt, plain (or use 1 cup plain and 1 cup blueberry yogurt and omit berries)
1/2 c Orange juice freshly squeezed
1 c Blueberries, fresh; rinsed
1 Banana; very ripe

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend on medium speed until smooth and frothy. Pour into glasses and serve.

Orange Smoothie
6 oz Orange juice concentrate, frozen
1 c low fat or non fat Milk
1 c Water
2 TB Sugar
1/2 tsp Vanilla
10 Ice cubes

Place all ingredients in a blender. Cover and blend until smooth. Serve immediately.

Peanut Butter Banana Milk Shake
1 1/4 c Milk
1/2 c Quaker Oats, uncooked (quick or old-fashioned)
1 Ripe banana, cut into chunks
2 TB Peanut butter
1 tsp Honey
1/4 tsp Vanilla
3 Ice cubes

Combine milk, oats, banana, peanut butter, honey and vanilla in blender container. Cover; blend 1 minute on medium speed or until smooth and creamy. Add ice cubes; cover. Blend 1 minute on high speed or until frothy.

Grandma Hystads Recipes, Bar Mixes, Cooking Tips, Safety Tips.

by Bruce Chambers
If you're having a party, provide food with drinks. Offer non-alcoholic substitutes such as fruit, soft drinks.2 drinks taken within an hour by a person 100 pounds produces a 075 reading. One drink is equal to about 1.5 oz. of whisky or 2 bottles of beer. The rate of elimination for each hour after drinking has stopped is 015. A 200-pound person, after 1 drink produces a reading of .019, so you can see there is a big difference due to weight.


Grandma’s Spaghetti And Meat Balls

French Onion Soup

Vanilla Pudding


Tips For Home Safety

Cleaning Spots Removals

Bar Mixes


Grandma’s Spaghetti And Meat Balls.

½ cup………………….(125 ml)……………………onions.

2 tablespoons (30 ml)…………………….margarine.

1 pound…………….(500 g)……………………ground beef.

2 cups…………………(500 ml)…………………tomato sauce.

2/3 cup………………(160 ml)…………………sliced mushrooms.

4 cups…………………(1000 ml)………………can tomatoes.

½ cup………………….(125 ml)…………………chopped parsley.

1 ½ teaspoon. (7.5ml)……………………oregano or sage.

1 teaspoon………(5 ml)………………………salt.

¼ teaspoon………(1.25 ml)………………thyme.

1 bay leaf.

1 cup………………….(500 ml)…………………water.

2 cloves garlic

In a large skillet, cook onion in hot oil until tender. Add Meat and garlic, brown lightly. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer uncovered 1 ½-2 hours or until sauce is nice and thick. Stir occasionally. Remove Bay leaf. Serve hot over spaghetti. Top with Parmesan cheese.

YIELD: 6 servings.

Time: 2 ½ hours.


3 tablespoons………………….(45 ml)…………………………butter.

2 cups………………………………………(500 ml)………………………thin sliced onion.

4 ½ cups…………………………………(1125 ml)……………………bouillon.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Worcestershire sauce to taste.

2 teaspoons……………………….(10 ml)…………………………sugar.

French bread.

Parmesan cheese or other finely grated cheese heat butter, add onions, simmer about 10 minutes or until soft and lightly brown. Add bouillon, bring to boil and simmer 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Add sugar. Pour soup into individual soup dishes. On top of each, float a slice of sauted French bread and sprinkle with grated cheese. Put in oven 350 F, (175 C), until cheese is melted.

YIELD: 6 servings.

TIME: 60 minutes.


1 cup, 2 teaspoon …………………………….(280 ml)……………………pudding mix.

2 cups………………………………………………………(500 ml)……………………water.

2 tablespoons……………………………………(30 ml)………………………butter or margarine.

1-teaspoon……………………………………………(5 ml)…………………………vanilla.

Combine pudding mix and water in saucepan. Bring to boil, turn stove down and boil gently for 2-3 minutes. Stir constantly. Remove from heat, add margarine and vanilla. Stir. Let stand for 15 minutes, stir again and chill.

YIELD: 4 servings.

LIGHTSIDE A young couple invited an elderly pastor for dinner. While they were in the kitchen preparing the meal, the minister asked their son what they were having for dinner. “Goat” the boy replied. “Goat?” asked the man of the cloth. “are you sure about that?” “yes” replied the boy. “ I heard Dad say to Mom, “Today is a good day to have the old goat for dinner.”

Reminds me of when my granddaughter was getting a award at her school, and she invited my wife and me to attend. As we walked into the hall we noticed our granddaughter hit a boy sitting besides her.

After the award we met our granddaughter in the hall. I asked her why she hit the kid. She replied, when you and grandma came into the hall the kid turned to me and said, look at those two dinosaurs”.

I mentioned to my doctor, I just can’t stop my hands from shaking. He asked, “Do you drink a lot?”. My reply was, “No I spill most of it”.


Lead Poisoning:

Banned since 1973, lead-based paint may still be found on children’s toys, furniture, particularly on old articles. If not sure strip and repaint any questionable articles.

Glazed earthenware bowls, plates, mugs, could also be potential source of lead poisoning. Acidic foods, such as citrus juices, soft drinks, and pickled foods, can dissolve the lead in glaze.


Keep poisons locked away or out of reach. Children are not discouraged by bad taste. Keep your local Poison Control Centre’s phone number near the phone in case emergency. Buy medicines and household products with child-resistant packaging.

Remember some plants are also poisonous and should be kept out of reach from children’s and pets.


Never leave a child alone near a body of water, even a puddle. Empty wading pools, pails of water that are not being used. When on a boat or wharf always put life jackets on children.


HOW TO REMOVE STAIN FROM CLOTH. Tartaric acid, or salt of lemons, will quickly remove stains from white muslin or linen. Put less then half a teaspoonful of salt or acid into a teaspoonful of water; wet the stain with it, and lay it in the sun for an hour; wet it once or twice with cold water during the time; if this does not quite remove it, repeat the acid water, and lay it in the sun.

HOW TO REMOVE WINE FROM ARTICLES: Salt is the best ingredient to be found in the kitchen to remove or the like, from tablecloths or carpets. Pour on the discoloured spot of wine stain to thoroughly cover and imbibe all the liquor, then repeat if necessary, after brushing off all the salt first saturated. In this manner the cloth or carpet will be restored to its new condition.

STAINLESS STEEL AND CHROME: Good for pots, sinks, and stove tops. Rub the area to be cleaned with a damp cloth and baking soda. Baking soda is an excellent general cleaner for removing many stubborn stains, including tea stains, and can be safely used on stainless steel, chrome, ceramic.

HOW TO CLEAN WALLPAPER; Make of equal parts of cornstarch and soft water a smooth paste; rub it on the spots; when it is dry, brush it off with a stiff brush. You will never see where the spots were.


Milk Punch 2 ½ oz. Rum 1 teaspoon Sugar Milk Combine the rum, sugar with ice: Shake well. Strain: add ice and fill with milk. (brandy or whiskey can be used instead of rum).

Montreal Gin Sour.

2 oz. Gin.

2 teaspoon Lemon juice..

1 teaspoon Lemon juice.

1 teaspoon Sugar syrup.

1 egg white.

Combine with ice. Shake. Strain and add ice.

Frozen Cider.

8 oz. Sweet cider.

4 oz. Orange juice.

1 teaspoon Applesauce.

A few drops of lemon juice.

Combine in blender at a high speed or until thick. Store in the freezer until thick enough to eat with a spoon. Best served in tall glasses.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Cooking With Stainless Steel Cookware

by Riley Hendersen

In most stainless steel cookware, the stainless steel is only used as the cooking surface and not the entire product. In most instances, aluminum is used as the primary ingredient in making the cookware mold, because aluminum heats faster. Stainless steel is added as the coating to make the final product safe, easy to clean and durable.

Iron is the main ingredient in steel. To make stainless steel for cookware, additional alloys are added to the iron. Titanium, Copper and Nickel, among other ingredients, can be added in various percentages. However, to be considered stainless steel, a minimum of 12% Chromium must be in the mix.

In most cookware, the stainless steel is only used as the cooking surface and not the entire product. In most instances, aluminum is used as the primary ingredient in making the cookware mold, because aluminum heats faster. However, aluminum is not a good product to be used as cookware because it can be unsafe for humans to digest. So, it is added as the coating to make the final product safe, easy to clean and durable.


In 1913 a man was working on a project to reduce rust in rifle barrels. During this project, he was mixing different metallic compounds and accidentally discovered what we know of today as stainless steel.

There are many different types and configurations with different levels of metal alloys added. One type could be a very different mixture than another type.


To understand the compositions available, it is best to understand the rationale for adding the different metal alloys. Although other compounds, such as Titanium and Copper could be added, as well as non-metallic compounds, the ingredients of Chromium and Nickel are primary in determining quality.

Chromium is added because it is an ingredient that resists rusting and corrosion. It also provides the high gloss normally associated with cookware.

Nickel is added because it has the ability to withstand higher heats and makes the final product more durable.

When looking at stainless steel cookware, quality is easy to recognize. Manufacturers usually add the Chromium/Nickel concentration in the iron as a notation on the cookware. When looking at cookware for sale, one will see the notation of 18/10. This means that 18% of it is Chromium and 10% is Nickel.

Other notations include 18/0, which means that 18% of the it is Chromium, but no Nickel has been added. Because Nickel adds additional properties of durability and ability to withstand higher heat, the highest quality for cookware is 18/10.

Cleaning and Using

Chromium works by mixing with oxygen in the air. For this reason, the storage of leftovers in it is not recommended. When chromium cannot mix with oxygen, bacteria can trap within the steel itself. When used properly cookware can be very hygienic.

To help spread heat evenly, it is best to find cookware with a heat diffusing base. This alleviates any negatives associated when the heat does not always distribute properly.

Cleaning with dish soap and water is best, but one can use dishwasher if approved by manufacturer. It can scratch so abrasive cleaning products and bleach are not recommended.

Fun Breakfast Recipe - Bubble Loaf

by Jill S

A fun breakfast recipe that looks like it is made of bubbles!

This breakfast recipe is gooey but tasty and can be a lot of fun to make. It was always a challenge for mom to keep us from picking, prodding, and poking at this fun breakfast treat while the bread dough was rising. And even more of a challenge to keep us from burning our hands and mouths on it after this sticky, gooey treat came out of the oven. It gets its name from the fact that the pieces you put into it look like bubbles. It is a good recipe to make for brunch since the dough takes some time to rise.

Bubble Loaf

2 loaves partially frozen bread dough
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 package butterscotch pudding
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter

Mix together the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside. Mix together the butterscotch pudding and brown sugar and set aside. Cut each loaf into 2 pieces. Cut 2 pieces lengthwise again. Cut each strip into small pieces. Roll each piece into the sugar and cinnamon mixture. Pile (toss, throw – this is where it can get fun) all of these pieces into a well-greased bundt or solid tube pan. After all pieces are in the pan, take the butterscotch pudding and brown sugar mixture and sprinkle it over the bread dough pieces. Melt the butter and drizzle over the bread dough, pudding, and sugar mixture. Cover the pan with wax paper and a towel and let rise for 1 1/2 hours. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. Allow to cool for a while, turn over pan, and shake the bread out.

For making this into a quicker breakfast recipe: If you don’t want to have to wait for it to rise, substitute 3 cans of buttermilk biscuits (10 to a can) for the bread dough. You’ll also need to increase the cooking time to 30 to 35 minutes.

Memorial Day Recipes To Help Make Memories

by Donna Hager
Old Glory Does Not Wave By Accident. Use These Memorial Day Recipes To Help Make Memories

My family and I know that "Old Glory" does not wave by accident. We have lost loved ones to war. Memorial Day is special.

Memorial Day is for remembering the sacrifices made by others - for us - for our continued freedom. But I believe the day should also be used to create new memories.

Having lost family to war, I believe I am able to put this particular holiday in perspective. It is a day, in fact an entire weekend, for us to accomplish two things: remembering and appreciating the ultimate sacrifice made by others and exercising those won freedoms in a way that creates fond memories with those we still have to love.

Memorial Day should certainly be more meaningful than simply a three day weekend or mini vacation. It is a sacred day of remembrance ...but it should also be a time for the living to celebrate each others company while time permits. I especially like to totally surround myself with family and friends on this day, or even on this entire weekend, to celebrate what we (still) have because of those who gave their lives.

Memorial Day was born out of the horror of war - first the Civil War - and now for all those who have departed as a result of war. The purpose of this holiday may seem to be fading from some peoples' consciousness. Is it now simply a three day vacation? Is it simply the unofficial start to summer and the barbecue season? Is it an excuse to go shopping since many businesses promote Memorial Day sales? Has the original meaning of the day been lost?

My family and I know that "Old Glory" does not continue to wave by accident. We take time throughout the Memorial Day weekend to remember the fallen. We go to the cemetaries and place the flags. Old Glory flies at half mast at home. We tell stories, some sad - some happy, about those that cannot be at our family party. We remember them with reverence.

We also remember my first husband's last words as his Cobra helicopter was on fire and about to explode: "Tell my family I love them. Tell them to live for me."

So family and I celebrate our freedom - and life. We live our lives together. We do this best by being together and enjoying great recipes and the food they create.

One of the things my family and I do is talk about how to support our troops today. We put together a "care package" or two or three or four. We send the packages to soldiers somewhere in this world. We don't care where they are stationed or what branch of the service they serve.

As one soldier wrote recently, "All soldiers need the simple knowledge of one thing...someone must want them to come home. If a soldier has that...they may be able to make it through anything!!!!"

After the package(s) are wrapped and sent, we do as ordered by our missing loved ones - we celebrate with food and beverage and memories - and we create new memories to be enjoyed forever (see link below). What a gift they have given us!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

3 Quick and Easy Healthy Recipes for Kids

by Tanner Bradstreet

We, as parents, have a lot of competition out there when it comes to trying to get our kids to eat healthy. Instead of caving in and throwing our hands up in frustration, let's get creative shall we and make healthy recipes for kids?

Junk food just looks good doesn’t it? I mean it’s colorful, cream-filled, and just down right pleasing to the eyes. Take for example what my kids want for breakfast every morning. Without doing any name dropping here – it’s cream-filled, has sprinkles and has the word sundae in it. I mean come on, what kid wouldn’t want that first thing in the morning, right?

We, as parents, have a lot of competition out there when it comes to trying to get our kids to eat healthy. Instead of caving in and throwing our hands up in frustration, let’s get creative shall we and make healthy recipes for kids?

Think about the foods that your kids beg you to buy at the grocery store. How can you make the same thing that is fun and yummy looking, right at home with healthy ingredients instead? It is possible! Part of it is just the packaging. Oh, those cute little characters they throw on there that our kids just can’t resist. Or those free little toys that you have to buy 5 boxes AND send in money for shipping and handling. You just gotta love those advertisers!

So, maybe we can’t create cute little boxes and bags with free toys inside. (Well, I guess you actually could if you wanted to, but who has the time for that!) What we can do is make food fun. Here are 3 quick and healthy recipes for kids that I think your little ones will eat up in no time. They can also make these with you, which in their eyes will make it taste better already.

Fruit Kabobs - Now this is one colorful recipe and so much fun to make!

Small cluster of green or red grapes
Apple (any kind)
Wooden Sticks

Take the grapes off of the stem, split the tangerine into sections, slice the apple and banana. Alternate pushing each piece of fruit onto the wooden stick. Lay the sticks on a decorative platter and serve.

Monkey Mix – This is an on-the-go snack. It’s great for kids’ lunches too.

3 cups Cheerios
1 cup banana chips
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup chocolate chips (substitute raisins if you’d like)

Mix all the ingredients together. Keep it stored in a gallon Ziploc bag.

Fish in a Pond – This is such a fun recipe to eat. Finally kids can play with their food!

Goldfish crackers
4 celery stalks, cut off leafy tops
½ cup cream cheese (low-fat is good to use)
1 drop blue food coloring

Put the cream cheese into a bowl and add the drop of food coloring to make it look like a pond. Put goldfish in a separate bowl. Give the kids a piece of celery and let them dip it into the cream cheese pond and then go fishing by sticking it into their bowl of goldfish. Make it a game to see how many fish they can catch.

Those are some fun recipes aren’t they? Try them out and definitely get your kids in on the action. Next time your little monkeys gets hungry, tell them to go grab a scoop of monkey mix.

Outdoor Fun Foods - Baked Potatoes

by Anne Clarke

There are some family favorites in every family that some outdoor events, or any other festive occasion simply can not do without. It is as though the absence of the taste of this dish would make the event itself less than complete. Here is one I would love to share with you. Simple to make and extremely delicious, this is a dish with thick shrimp sauce to pour on top of your baked potatoes.

Probably on the top of my list for favorite family recipes, is my mother’s recipe for a thick shrimp sauce she uses as a topping or filler for baked potatoes. A patio dining family favorite, one of the best things about baked potatoes is their versatility. So many things taste so great with a baked potato. When you’re planning a dinner such as salad, steak and baked potatoes (a personal family tradition) you probably already have a list of things to go with your potatoes.

For example: most people purchase butter, sour cream, cheese, bacon bits, vegetables and more when they are planning to serve baked potatoes. People also love to make twice-baked potatoes with their favorite toppings. This delicious recipe is a favorite not only for topping baked potatoes, but even as a sauce (instead of gravy) for mashed potatoes, and it makes a great topping for twice-baked potatoes. Our family has even altered this shrimp sauce so that it can be used as a pasta sauce as well.

Shrimp Sauce and Baked Potatoes

For this recipe you will need the following items:

2 cans of tiny shrimp (4 ½ oz cans)
2 tablespoons of butter (margarine can be used as a substitute)
2 egg yolks
1/8 cup of nutmeg (freshly ground)
½ cup of heavy whipping cream (you can use up to 1 cup if you are trying this as a pasta sauce, plus extra spices)
½ teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of chili sauce
1 tablespoon of parsley
1 teaspoon of ginger

This recipe will make sauce for four baked potatoes. Adjust as necessary for your meal or special occasion.

Here is how you make these Shrimp Sauce Baked Potatoes. First, drain the cans of shrimp, but set the liquid aside – do not discard it. Also, set the shrimp aside momentarily. Combine only ¼ cup of the shrimp juice with the butter or margarine. Once the pan is heated you will slowly stir in the egg yokes and slowly (at the same time) cook the mixture. You should never stop stirring until thickened. Let the heavy whipping cream reduce significantly for the desired effect.

Next remove the sauce pan from the heat. This is when you stir in the spices: nutmeg, ginger, salt, chili sauce, parsley, and pepper (optional) to taste. Stir in the rest of the shrimp and cook for another four to seven minutes over low heat. Then, when the potatoes are baked and / or ready you will slice them in half lengthwise and mush the potato, spoon the sauce over your potatoes and enjoy!

When you make this recipe for twice-baked potatoes, sometimes people like to add shredded cheese across the top and place the potatoes in the cooling oven until the cheese melted. Timing is very important for this recipe, whether once or twice baked potatoes are on the menu. This is because you want your potatoes as well as your sauce to be warm at the same time.

If you are cooking pasta, the shrimp sauce recipe above is also great. However, I usually substitute the chili sauce with a tablespoon of lime juice – I also like to be sure I use fresh ground nutmeg . . . especially with the pasta sauce. Often, I will also drain and dispose of the liquid from the cans of shrimp and make up the difference with extra heavy whipping cream. Nonetheless, the cooking of the sauce is virtually the same. You should reduce and thicken the heavy whipping cream a bit more than you would with the baked potato sauce, and I highly recommend using bowtie pasta. Use about four servings worth of pasta (i.e. four cups or so) if you want to use this recipe for a shrimp pasta sauce.

Strawberry Rhubarb Coffee Cake

by LeAnn Ralph
The taste of strawberry Jello goes well with the rhubarb in this coffee cake.

Be sure to use at least 4 cups of cut up rhubarb, otherwise the cake tends to be on the dry side. Also, if you want, you can substitute 2/3 cup of Canola oil (or another vegetable oil) for the butter in the bottom layer.

Bottom Layer:
~ 1/2 cup butter or margarine (or 2/3 cup of Canola oil or another vegetable oil)
~ 1 cup sugar
~ 2 cups flour
~ 1/2 teaspoon salt
~ 1 teaspoon baking powder
~ 1/4 cup milk
~ 2 eggs
~1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream shortening and sugar. Beat in eggs and stir in milk. Add dry ingredients. Mix until smooth. (Batter will be stiff.) Spread in the bottom of greased 9x13 pan.

Middle Layer:
~ 4 to 5 cups of rhubarb (cut up into small pieces)
~ 2 eggs
~ 1/4 cup milk
~ 2 cups sugar
~ 1 cup flour
~ 1 three-ounce package strawberry Jello

Measure rhubarb into a mixing bowl. Stir in eggs, milk, sugar and flour. Spread over bottom layer. Sprinkle the dry strawberry Jello over the rhubarb mixture.

Top Layer:
~ 1 cup flour
~ 3/4 cup brown sugar
~ 1/2 cup butter or margarine

Put all ingredients into a mixing bowl. Use a fork to cut the butter/margarine into the flour and brown sugar. Continue mixing until crumbly. Sprinkle over the rhubarb layer.

Bake at 350 degrees for 70 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

For an added treat, serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.


Thursday, May 3, 2007

Online Recipes - Making Cooking Easier

by Gary Kingston
Online recipes have made cooking more fun for many people. This article explains why you should try something new in the kitchen!
The number of recipe sites offering free recipes and cooking guides is increasing all the time, meaning more and more of us are attempting extravagant meals.

In the past we would have got out the cookbook that was 20 years old, dusted it off, laughed at some of the outdated faded photos then set about trying to make a dish from it. Nowadays however we can simply access the internet, go to one of the thousands of websites offering free recipes and found a dish that really suits us down to the ground. Getting recipes off the web has great advantages from the old cookbook way of creating a meal.

1. Access to the internet is easy and plentiful. You do not have to wait to be back at home to get your recipes, you could be at work, print out a recipe and head to the shops to get the ingredients. This was you can be back in the house with all the ingredients, the recipe and you are ready to go.

2. The choice is much better on the web. Your old recipe book is likely to have a theme or if it doesn’t, will only have a certain number of recipes in it. The internet has literally millions of recipes for you to choose from, so you can always be sure you will be able to find something you are after.

3. You can often find recipes with ingredients you have never heard of. Many recipe sites these days come from foreign shores where fruits and vegetables you may have never heard of could be the main ingredients. It’s fun to try new things especially when it comes to food.

Online recipes have created chefs out of many of us. There are an endless amount on the web, from the bland to the sensationally weird. Whatever you want to cook , you can be sure to find a recipe for it on the web, somewhere! So next time you are thinking of trying something different in the kitchen, make sure you look up something new and one of the many recipe sites available today on the world wide web.

Honey Cakes for Mother's Day!

by Jennifer Oakley

In the ancient times honey cake was baked to celebrate the mother goddess deities. In modern times we only enjoy it in Rosh Hashanah or Sukkot -- that's why Mother's Day is a great excuse to bake honey cake so mothers and the whole family can enjoy.

Mother's Day is just around the corner and the best way to remember the times you've spent together in childhood is to bake together. A lot of us have baked cookies since we were kids and we all like our mother's best pudding or carrot cake. Something you might want to try baking together or make for your mother this Mother's Day is honey cake.

Normally we have to wait for Rosh Hashanah or Sukkot in order for us to have honey cake but Mother's Day is a good excuse to bake and have one too! During the ancient times honey cakes were made in Asia Minor in honor of a mother deity that the ancients celebrated. You might want to make is a day or so before Mother's Day though because the flavors in honey cake tends to deepen. The following recipe makes 8-10 servings.

To make honey cake this Mother's Day you'll need the following ingredients:

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1 cup honey (preferably buckwheat)

2/3 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup freshly brewed strong coffee, cooled

2 large eggs

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons whiskey or bourbon

You'll need the following utensils:

A 9x5x3 inch loaf pan

An oven

An electric mixer

2 small bowls

1 large bowl (or the bowl the comes with the electric mixer)

1 rubber spatula

1 wooden pick or skewer

1 knife

Here are the direction for your Mother's Day honey cake: Put oven rack in middle position and preheat to 350°F. Oil loaf pan well and dust with flour, knock out any excess. Whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, baking powder, and ginger in a small bowl. In another bowl whisk together honey, oil, and coffee until they're mixed well.

In a large bowl beat together eggs and brown sugar with an electric mixer at high speed for 3 minutes. Afterwards, reduce speed to low, and add honey mixture and whiskey and mix until blended. It'll be about 1 minute. Add flour mixture and mix until they're just combined. Finish mixing batter with a rubber spatula -- make sure you scrape the bottom of bowl.

Pour batter into the loaf pan (don't worry because the batter will be thin). Bake for 30 minutes and cover the top loosely with foil. Continue to bake until the cake begins to pull away from sides of pan and the wooden pick or skewer inserted in the center comes out clean -- that's about 30 minutes more. Once that's done, cool on a rack for 1 hour. Run a knife around side of cake, then invert rack over pan and invert cake onto rack. Turn cake right side up and cool completely. If you keep the cake tightly in plastic wrap or in an airtight container at room temperature it'll last for about a week.

Egg-cellent Recipes For Your Favorite Outdoor Activities

by Anne Clarke
Improve it all with the sweet taste of great foods, the outdoors scenery- the good times that your friends and family members will always remember! From entrées to side dishes, outdoor events such as picnics or barbeque get-togethers require excellent food to enhance the fun and the ambiance of the occasion. There are several recipes for pot-luck get-togethers, outdoor barbeque's and outdoor home parties. You will love the taste of your food, and you will love the enjoyment you get from your outdoor furniture, landscaping and overall design of your home even more with great tastes to accentuate - foods like traditional or distinctive hardboiled egg recipes.

Below I will mention a few, distinctive hardboiled egg recipes for your outdoor parties, picnics and other kinds of get-togethers. If you have an outdoor kitchen, a fire pit or barbeque grill you may consider some of these recipes for at-home, outdoor entertainment. The highlight of many occasions, or at least a significant part of the event (virtually never excluded in America) is the food. Despite the fact that we as a nation are growing more and more concerned about our health and good eating habits, we always want to have a nice selection of snacks on the side. This article will also introduce you to some healthier (but just as delicious) foods to cook and serve at outdoor (or even indoor) special events.

First we will start with deviled eggs, an incredibly popular outdoor treat. Popular at poolside parties, barbeque's, pot-luck events, picnics and much, much more, deviled eggs are delicious. To make the proposition even tastier, I have two recipes for you. One is a less healthy deviled egg recipe for you, and the other is a lighter, healthier version of deviled eggs. Your guests will love to have the option, because some people especially when trying to loose weight – have few options in such circumstances.

Mamma’s Deviled Eggs
This recipe makes twelve deviled eggs altogether, in halves, lengthwise. Therefore, if you choose, you can use the other six eggs in the carton to make the lighter version of deviled eggs.

You will need the following items before you begin:

6 eggs
2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons of mayonnaise
1 teaspoon of mustard
3 tablespoons of fried, real bacon bits
Chives (optional)
Paprika (optional)

The procedure is simple. First you hard cook the six eggs and let them chill. Peel the eggs. Slice the eggs in half, lengthwise. Remove the yolks. Prepare the yolks for mixture by whipping them up. It is simpler to create a more creamy mix once you add the mayonnaise and mustard. Mix the bacon bits in with the mixture. Taste the mixture and add salt, pepper, and / or paprika to taste. Add a spoonful of the mixture into each of the deviled eggs. For appearance and / or presentation, garnish your deviled eggs with chives. You can also choose to garnish with the bacon bits instead of using them in the deviled egg mixture. Some people also prefer to use a kind of spicy mustard instead of regular mustard.

A delicious as well as a beautiful treat to add to any occasion is the deviled egg tray. Whether you are serving a meal, or simply offering appetizers, these quite traditional snacks are perfect for any outdoor occasion. On the lighter side, you may consider making an alternative and healthier type of deviled eggs for your guests to choose from. Here are the ingredients you will need for the lighter recipe:

New Light Deviled Eggs
This recipe actually calls for 8 eggs. Therefore, if you purchase a carton of eggs for the party you will need a couple extra . . . or you will need to alter the recipe a bit. Many cooks, such as my self and my mother and her mother before her, like to make their own little alterations to popular recipes. You will need the following ingredients for this new, light deviled eggs recipe:

8 eggs
1/3 cup of fat free, plain yogurt
1/3 light mayonnaise
3 tablespoons of pickle relish
1 teaspoon of dried, ground mustard
Paprika (optional)

Take 8 hardboiled eggs chilled. Peel the eggs in halves. Extract the egg yolks. Combine all ingredients together, with the exception of the paprika. Spoon the mixture into the halved, hardboiled egg whites. Sprinkle paprika over the eggs, adding spice and a lovely presentation as well. They are still delicious, and they are definitely still deviled eggs. This great new recipe offers the wonderful taste with about half of the fat and less calories than those you will consume by eating most other kinds of deviled eggs.

You will love the taste of your food, and you will love the enjoyment you get from your outdoor furniture, landscaping and overall design even more with great tastes like traditional or distinctive hardboiled egg recipes. From entrées to side dishes, outdoor events such as picnics or barbecue get-togethers require excellent food to enhance the fun and the ambiance of the occasion. There are several recipes for pot-luck get-togethers, outdoor barbeque's and outdoor home parties. Improve it all with the sweet taste of great foods, the outdoors scenery, the good times that your friends and family members will always remember.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Parents - 7 Ideas to Get Your Reluctant Cooks in the Kitchen and Cooking

by Peg Baron
Young kids are not a problem, they always seem to want to help you in the kitchen. Heck, they'll do dishes, sweep floors, stir what's in the bowl, and reorganize your Tupperware. It's the older ones, the tweeners and early teenagers, that sometimes need a little nudge to join in the kitchen fun. Here are some ideas that just might get them interested in cooking up some food, fun, and memorable moments.

Young kids are not a problem, they always seem to want to help you in the kitchen. Heck, they’ll do dishes, sweep floors, stir what’s in the bowl, and reorganize your Tupperware. It’s the older ones, the tweeners and early teenagers, that sometimes need a little nudge to join in the kitchen fun. Here are some ideas that just might get them interested in cooking up some food, fun, and memorable moments.

Kid in Control
This one will be become a favorite -- an evening where your child is in charge. You basically change places with them. They pick the dinner and do the bulk of the work, but they get to boss you around. They can tell you to chop the carrots, peel the potatoes, set the table, or feed the dog. They're in charge. My kids love bossing me around and I love that they're showing a little confidence in their budding cooking skills. If you try this I'm guessing they'll also tell you to do all the dishes.

One Ingredient/One Meal
Challenge your children to come up with a recipe they'd like to try using any one ingredient that you name. They can pull out the cookbooks or go to the Internet for help. There are many cooking websites that display recipes when given just one ingredient. Depending on the age of your cook, you can make it an easy ingredient like poultry or pineapple, or a real challenge with curry or hoisin sauce. This might be a good time to use what's in season -- cabbage, grapes, broccoli, basil, etc. Not only will they make a dish they've never made before, but they may actually learn a little about the chosen ingredient.

Loud Music and Personal Choice
Some kids are more willing to cook if they get to pick what they want to cook, not you. They’re also more willing to cook if they’re hungry. Give them cookbooks to look through and get ideas from. Usually they’ll pick the recipe with the most appetizing picture or fewest ingredients. Try not to set rules. It’s okay if they make omelets for dinner. They’re cooking, aren’t they? As far as the music goes – let them crank it up while they’re creating in the kitchen. If that makes them a happier cook, then that makes you a happier parent.

Kids Cafe
Remember when your children were little and they liked to play restaurant? "Mommy, you sit here and tell me what you want to eat!" Then they give you a banana, hamburger, spaghetti, and milk carton, all in plastic. Now that they're older, why not recreate the fun? With your help, have them make a very limited menu with maybe one entree, two side choices, and two vegetable/fruit choices ahead of time. You are the customer at The Kids Cafe and they get to set your table, be your waiter, and also cook and serve your food. Not only do they get to practice their cooking skills, but they get to work on following instructions, organizing their time, and learning to please a customer. So sit back and have some fun at the Kids Cafe, and don't forget to leave a tip!

Kids + Friends + Kitchen = Party! How about a Bring-Your-Own-Ingredient Party? Pizza works well with this concept. You supply the crusts and every child brings a different topping. This leads to some really crazy pizzas and some (gasp) experimental tasting by the kids. If not pizza, the menu headliner can be a taco or fajita bar. For dessert start with some big sugar cookie crusts and see what the kids can bring to put on top. They're only limited by their imaginations. Can't you just picture their proud creations?

Invent a Recipe
Let your kids think outside the recipe. This is a natural for kids, they have great imaginations. They get to use any ingredients they want, which will usually lead to discussions of what normally goes together. Sometimes you might get to discuss the definition of "gross", and sometimes you might get into the realm of science and whether something will remain goo or become solid after baking.

Pick a Theme
It’s simple – your kids pick a theme, and every family member prepares a dish. The theme can be a meal from a different country or from a different time in history. Why not have a theme like all the food needs to be green or all the dishes have to have apples in them. There are so many possibilities, just look at what your kids are currently interested in for some ideas.

Great Different Pineapple Smoothies - Erase Winter Colds With Pineapple

by Katkat Jasi
Erase winter colds with Pineapple. This sweet tropical fruit contains Bromelain, an enzyme that eases congestion and suppresses coughs associated with Bronchitis and other respiratory ailments.
Erase winter colds with Pineapple. This sweet tropical fruit contains Bromelain, an enzyme that eases congestion and suppresses coughs associated with Bronchitis and other respiratory ailments.


You can throw just about anything in a fruit smoothie to enhance its flavor such as honey, tofu, jams, any combination of fruits, peanut butter, juices, etc., but keep in mind it will effect the nutritional values.

20 ounces unsweetened pineapple chunks
1 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons liquid sweetener
Mint leaves--optional

Drain pineapple, reserving 1/2 cups juice. Freeze pineapple chunks. Place juice, buttermilk, vanilla, sweetener and frozen pineapple into a blender container.

Blend until smooth. Pour into glasses and garnish with mint if desired.


6 ounces can pineapple juice concentrate, thawed
1/2 cups water
1/2 cups skim milk
8 ounces carton vanilla yogurt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups ice cubes

Pineapple wedges, for garnish

In a blender container, combine the pineapple juice concentrate, water, milk, yogurt, sugar, and vanilla.

Blend mixture until smooth. With the blender running, add ice cubes slowly through the opening in the lid and blend mixture until slushy.

Pour into tall glasses and decorate each serving with fresh pineapple wedge.


1/2 cups pineapple chunks
1 cup soy milk, any flavor
1 carrot, peeled and sliced
1/3 cups pineapple juice
1-1" piece ginger, peeled and minced
Honey to taste

Place all ingredients in blender container and blend until everything is smooth.

The Midnight Snack of Champions

It's hard to believe that a little over a month ago I barely had time to even talk to my family, much less blog. The long days and even longer nights put in at work seem but a distant memory.

And yet it was only a month ago that I would stumble into the house, sometimes as late as midnight. And while I'm completely in love with food, it was at those times that the very idea of cooking or baking seemed next to impossible, like a distant dream not meant for me.

Wandering into the kitchen, that late at night (or should I say that early in the morning), more often than not it was nothing more exotic than a bowl of Cheerios keeping me company. That's lonely business I tell you - sitting at the table alone, with a bowl of cereal at 1:00 a.m.

But as sad as that picture may seem, as with all things, the long hours passed and I began to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Naturally, the desire for for food breathed new life into me.

Inevitably the night comes when the bowl of Cheerios is cast aside in favour of something sweeter and divine. It's what I like to call The Midnight Snack of Champions: walnuts with Parmigiano Reggiano and honey.

You can't have any one of these without the other two. The mellow butteriness of the walnuts is perfect against the sharp tingle of the Parmigiano, which is perfect dripping with the golden honey.

And there is no exact recipe for this snack. The proportions are entirely up to you. I like a handful of walnuts and a chunk of Parmigiano (cut into small pieces), covered in a few healthy teaspoons of honey (preferably chestnut honey).

The only rule here is that you must eat this with your fingers being sure to lick up every delicious drop of honey.

Forget the Cheerios.

In those quiet night hours, when hunger strikes, comfort yourself with the snack of champions all the while knowing that there will only be sweet dreams to follow.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Three-Cheese and Mushroom Pizza

Note: Here's the original pizza dough recipe and the recipe for the Three-Cheese Pizza with Pancetta and Mushroom Pizza. I omitted the pancetta and made my own marinara sauce.

1 batch of pizza dough
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1-1/2 cups tomato puree
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup fontina cheese, grated
1 cup mozzarella, grated
1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano, grated
1/2 cup mushrooms, thinly sliced
handful of basil leaves, torn
In a saucepan, heat the olive oil and add the onions, garlic and red pepper flakes.
Saute over medium heat until the onions and garlic soften, about 5 minutes.
Add the tomato puree and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper.
Simmer the sauce until it has thickened slightly, about 5 minutes.
Remove the sauce from the heat and let cool for about 10 minutes.
While the sauce is cooling, preheat your oven to 475 degrees F.
Divide the pizza dough into two and shape each half into a rectangle that's roughly about 13 x 8 inches. The dough will be very thin. Transfer the dough to two baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
Divide the sauce between the two pizzas spreading it evenly but leaving a border of about an inch all the way around.
Sprinkle the fontina, mozzarella and parmigiano reggiano evenly over the two pizzas.
Sprinkle the mushrooms evenly over the cheese.
Divide the torn basil and sprinkle evenly over the two pizzas.
Bake the pizzas for about 20 minutes, or until they are golden brown and the cheese has melted and is very bubbly.
Remove from the oven and let the pizzas cool for a minute or two before slicing and serving.

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Pasta e Ceci (Pasta with Chickpeas)

Pasta e Ceci (Pasta with Chickpeas)

Adapted from Jamie's Italy by Jamie Oliver.

Note: Pasta e ceci is one of those recipes that can be adapted to suit any tastes. You can make it as thick our as soupy as you like. Feel free to add whatever herbs you like. If you've got fresh rosemary or basil on hand, they are an excellent addition to the soup. This soup will serve 4.

2 to 3 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 tsp. hot pepper flakes
1 sprig rosemary or 1 tbsp. dried rosemary
1-1/2 cups chickpeans (use canned chickpeas that have been drained and rinsed)
2-1/2 cups chicken stock or water
1 cup dried pasta (I like to use tubetti which is a tiny tubular pasta)
3 tbsp. parsley, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Parmigiano Reggiano to taste
1. In a large stockpot, heat the olive oil with the onion, garlic, carrot, celery, hot pepper flakes and rosemary. Cook over very low heat until the vegetables are soft and translucent (about 10 to 15 minutes). Be careful not to burn the vegetables.
2. Once the vegetables are soft, add the chickpeas and the chicken stock or water. Simmer gently for 30 minutes, stirring often.
3. Remove half the chickpeas and place in a bowl. Set aside.
4. With an immersion blender or in a blender or food processor, process the liquid and chickpeas in the stockpot until you have a smooth and creamy mixture.
5. Return the remaining chickpeas to the pot and add the pasta. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
6. Let cook until the pasta is ready (about 10 minutes). If the soup gets too thick, add some water.
7. Once the pasta is done, stir in the parsley and taste again for salt and pepper. Adjust the seasoning accordingly.
8. Serve the pasta e ceci with lots of grated Parmigiano Reggiano.
9. Enjoy!

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Fishing on Friday

I've heard rumours that the Easter Bunny has been seen hopping around our neighbourhood.


What I do know, is that it's Good Friday and that means fish and seafood in our household. I'm often asked why it is that we eat fish on Good Friday and to be honest, I don't know the precise answer although I suspect it has much to do with this being the day that, in the religious context, Jesus was crucified. For as long as I can remember, Fridays were reserved for fish. It was a nice way to end the week, especially in preparation for the very large (and meat-filled) lunch we'd usually have on Sundays.

While we do enjoy our fish on Good Friday, it's not quite the same as the celebration on Christmas Eve. Good Friday has a more sombre tone to it and the food we eat tends to be simple. Usually, my mother will make a pasta sauce with skate and a few mussels and clams thrown in at the end. But for this Good Friday, I wanted to try something new.

Flipping through Jamie's Italy, I came across a recipe for spaghetti with shrimp and arugula. The picture made me stop. I love shrimp and pasta and the sight of the two of them with colourful bits of arugula had my mouth watering.

Preparation for the pasta was quite easy. Instead of using dried chili flakes, I decided to use fresh red chile peppers. The recipe calls for sundried tomato puree, which I didn't have. So I improvised and made my own by soaking a handful of sundried tomatoes in boiling water for about twenty minutes. I drained them and put the softened tomatoes in the bowl of the food processor. I added a few cloves of garlic and processed them until everything was finely chopped. Then, with the processor running, I poured in about a quarter cup of olive oil through the food tube. I ended up with a dark red puree that had a very concentrated tomato taste.

While the spaghetti boiled, I sauteed garlic and the red chile peppers in olive oil. I added the shrimp and then some white wine and the sundried tomato puree. Once the spaghetti was cooked, I added the pasta to the pan with the sauce and shrimp. I added lemon juice and arugula and then mixed until all the spaghetti was coated in the fragrant sauce. Before serving, I sprinkled the spaghetti with a bit of lemon zest for colour and flavour.

What a delicious plate of pasta! On this sombre Good Friday, we had a bit of sunshine inside.


Spaghetti with Shrimp and Arugula

Adapted from Jamie's Italy by Jamie Oliver.

Note: I used spaghetti as in the original recipe, but you could try this with any long pasta. While the original recipe indicates that it will serve 4, you could probably stretch it to serve 6.

1 lb. spaghetti (I used fresh spaghetti)
4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red chile pepper, finely chopped
1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup white wine
2 tbsp. sundried tomato puree
juice and zest of one lemon
1 cup arugula leaves, roughly chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1. Cook your spaghetti in a large pot of boiling, salted water. Cook according to 2. package directions. While your spaghetti is cooking, prepare the sauce.
2. In a large pan, heat the olive oil and then add the garlic and chile pepper. Saute for about 20 seconds, don't let the garlic burn.
3. Add the shrimp and cook for about a minute, until the shrimp have turned a pinkish/orange colour on both sides.
4. Add the white wine and the sundried tomato puree. Cook for a few minutes over high heat, until the sauce has reduced a bit.
5. Once the spaghetti is cooked, drain the pasta and then add it to the pan. Add the lemon juice and the arugula and begin mixing the pasta until it is completely coated in sauce and the arugula has begun to wilt.
6. Plate the pasta and sprinkle a bit of lemon zest on top before serving.
7. Enjoy!

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Monday, April 23, 2007

Have a Beautiful Weekend!

Spring has embraced Toronto in a huge way! It's a gorgeous day outside and for a change, I'm looking forward to being out there running errands.

I couldn't help but post these adorable cookies and wish all of you a wonderful weekend.

I'll post the recipe soon, but until then, enjoy the beautiful weather.

Bloom Tea Recipes

by Steven Kuperberg
Tea recipes using white tea rich in antioxidants.

Simple Syrup

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

Bring water to a boil. Add sugar and dissolve completely. Cover and store in the fridge for up to one week.

Iced Blooming Tea

2 cups boiling water

Tea bloom of choice

Follow instructions for blooming tea and bloom as usual. Put tea into fridge. Serve over ice when chilled with bloom in the bottom of the cup for your enjoyment.

Strong Man's Iced Tea

1 cup iced blooming tea

2 ounces vodka

Simple sugar


In a large glass cup, mix vodka and iced tea over ice with a little simple syrup. Leave bloom in bottom of cup for your enjoyment.

Red Blooming Tea

4 cups iced blooming tea

Juice of 2 lemons

1/4 cup grenadine


Combine all ingredients in a large glass pitcher with ice. Leave bloom in bottom of the pitcher for your enjoyment.

Sage Blooming Tea

1 tea bloom

4 cups water

1 bunch fresh sage leaves

4 tbsp. simple syrup

Bring water to boil. Add about half the water to bloom and the other half to the sage leaves. Bloom tea as usual. After two minutes, strain the sage leaves from the water. Combine sage water and tea with simple syrup. Serve immediately.

Iced Blooming Tea with Pear

1 cup iced blooming tea

1/2 cup pear juice

In a large glass cup, mix pear juice and iced tea over ice. Leave bloom in bottom of cup for your enjoyment.

Blooming Tea Refresher

1 tea bloom

2 cups water

2 cups pineapple juice

2 tbsp. honey

Bring 2 cups of water to boil. In a large glass teapot, pour boiling water over tea bloom. Add pineapple juice and honey. Enjoy.

Soothing Lemongrass Blooming Tea

4 stalks lemongrass

4 cups water

1 tea bloom

4 tbsp. honey

Chop bottom 4 inches of lemongrass off. Bring the water to a boil. Add about half the water to bloom and bloom tea as usual. Add the lemongrass to the leftover boiling water and let sit for 10 minutes. Strain and add to the tea. Add honey and mix to combine. Enjoy.

Blooming Tea Martini


1 tea Bloom

2 ounces Citrus flavored Vodka

Splash of Cointreau

Simple Syrup

Bloom tea as usual. Add bloom to martini glass. Fill shaker with ice. Add 1 ounce of green tea, the vodka, contreau, and a dash of simple syrup. Shake well and strain into martini glass with bloom.

Candace's Blooming Tea Punch

3 cups iced blooming tea

4 ounces white rum

2 ounces peach schnapps

1/2 cup club soda

1/2 cup pineapple juice


4 tbsp. simple syrup

Pineapple slices for garnish

Combine all ingredients in a large glass pitcher. Use pineapple slices as a garnish. Keep bloom in the bottom of your pitcher for your enjoyment. Drink up!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Great Trout Recipes

by Trevor Kugler
Fresh trout can be a delicious dinner. Try these recipies out, you won't be disappointed!
Smoked Rainbow Trout

1.5 gallons water
1.25 cups salt
5 lbs trout fillets
1 lb hickory chips
Dissolve salt in one gallon water. Place fish in salt water and marinate in refrigerator for one hour.

Remove trout, rinse and dry thoroughly. In two quarts water, soak hickory chips for several hours or overnight. Store in cool place while soaking.

Use a covered grill (charcoal, gas or electric); low heat. Cover heated coals with 1/3 of the hickory chips. Place fish, skin-side down, on well-greased grill about 4 to inches from coals. Close grill hood and open vent to circulate smoke. Add additional hickory chips as necessary.

Smoke trout at 105ºF to 175º F approximately 1 hour or at 200ºF 30 to 40 minutes. Trout is done when the cut surface is golden brown and flakes easily with a fork.

Serves 6.

Crabmeat & Prawn Stuffed Trout

4 whole trout
1/2 lb. small shelled prawns
1/2 lb. white crabmeat
4 fresh rosemary sprigs
2 tomatoes, skinned, seeded & diced
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup fine bread crumbs
Salt and pepper
Clean the trout under cold running water and set aside.

Dice the onion, cube the tomato, mince the garlic and mix with the crabmeat and prawns. Set aside. Sprinkle, the salt and pepper to taste, inside of each fish. Place a sprig of rosemary inside each fish. Spoon the crabmeat, prawn, tomato, onion and garlic evenly inside each of the fish. Fish may be sewn shut, using a high quality thread to hold together if required. Sprinkle breadcrumbs evenly over each fish. Place uncovered under the grill for 10 minutes each side, or until done. You may wish to bake uncovered in a preheated oven 200 C (400F, gas mark6) for approximately 20 / 25 minutes. This dish is nice served with fresh boiled baby potatoes and green vegetables like broccoli, brussel sprouts or peas. Alternatively, you may wish to serve with a nice fresh green salad and cold potato salad and lemon wedges. The choice is yours.

Rainbow Trout & Prawn Risotto

4 Rainbow Trout Fillets, cooked and flaked
(2oz) Margarine
1 Onion Chopped
(6oz) Long Grain Rice with Wild Rice (or Brown Rice)
(4oz) thawed, frozen Prawns
(1 Pint) Water
1 Red Pepper chopped
2 sticks Celery chopped
1 Carrot chopped
2 tbsp chopped Parsley
2 Spring onions chopped
Freshly ground Pepper

Melt the margarine and fry the onion gently. Add the rice and lightly toss until all the grains are oiled. Add the water, prawns and all the vegetables (except the spring onions) and season. Bring to the boil. Simmer, stirring occasionally, with the lid off until all of the liquid is almost absorbed and the rice is cooked (add a little more water if necessary). Add the trout, margarine, spring onion and herbs and heat through. Serve immediately sprinkled with parsley. This is a complete meal and requires no accompaniments.

Trevor Kugler - Co-founder of Trevor has more than 15 years of business experience and 25 years of fishing experience. He currently raises his three year old daughter in the heart of trout fishing country - Montana.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Ten Tips for a Better Barbequing Experience

by Sherry Frewerd

If you are new to barbecuing, most likely you have run into some trouble when it comes to the different techniques that are common in outdoor cooking. Like anything else, barbecuing takes practice, but with time and some helpful advice, you can grill like a pro in no time. Here are ten tips for better barbecue and outdoor meal preparation:

If you are new to barbecuing, most likely you have run into some trouble when it comes to the different techniques that are common in outdoor cooking. Like anything else, barbecuing takes practice, but with time and some helpful advice, you can grill like a pro in no time.

Here are ten tips for better barbecue and outdoor meal preparation:

1. Before you begin cooking, spray your cooking surface with a nonstick cooking spray. This will keep your meat from sticking when you are turning or removing it. If your meat sticks and rips, you will lose a large amount of juice, causing your meat to dry out.

2. Never place food on the grill until it reaches the correct temperature. The fluctuation in temperatures will cause your food to dry out or burn. If you are using a charcoal grill, make sure that the coals are completely white before putting the meat on the grill. This will allow the temperatures to level out, and the majority of the lighter fluid to burn off.

3. Cooking with charcoal lighter fluid has pros and cons. The lighter fluid will cause the food you are cooking to taste different then with other types of grills.

4. Never try to cook meat on your grill when it is still frozen, or even partially frozen. Thaw your meat by sitting it out about 12 to 24 hours before you plan on cooking it, or by thawing it in a microwave. If your meat is thawed, but in the refrigerator, set it out long enough for the meat to get to room temperature.

5. Once meat is cooked, never put it back in on the same plate you had it on when it was raw. This could cause the spread of food poison and other illnesses. Do not handle cooked meat with the same utensils that you used when it was raw.

6. Poking holes in meat will cause the juice inside to leak out into the bottom of the grill. Not only will this make your food dry and unpleasant, but it also could potentially ruin your barbeque grill. At the very least, it will cause a buildup of unwanted grease and juices on your grill, making cleanup more difficult.

7. Once the meat is on the grill, try not to open the lid too many times. Each time you open the lid, you change the temperature in the grill. The constant change in temperature and the air flow will cause your meat to dry up quickly.

8. Remember that the higher the heat is not always the better. While it is ok to quickly cook food, turning the heat up will just cause the meat to dry up and potentially burn.

9. While using aluminum foil will make cleaning easier, it will cause your food to have more of a fried taste then a grilled taste.

10. If you are planning on using your favorite barbecue sauce, be sure to wait as long as possible to put it on the meat. Putting barbecue sauce on too early will not only potentially cause your meat to dry out, but it could also burn.

Papaya-Mango Salad Thai Style

by Suthep Sachasiri
Papaya salad is almost as much a staple part of my diet as rice is. For sure if I eat out and am not given any som tam, I will soon after be found at a roadside food vendor, correcting the deficiency. If you lived on a diet of som tam and not much else, it is highly unlikely you would ever become fat.

Papaya salad is almost as much a staple part of my diet as rice is. For sure if I eat out and am not given any som tam, I will soon after be found at a roadside food vendor, correcting the deficiency.

If you lived on a diet of som tam and not much else, it is highly unlikely you would ever become fat.

Some restaurants use mango instead of papaya. Generally though I find mango to be too acidic for this purpose.

Ingredients to serve 4 people

1 medium sized green papaya, 4 small plum tomatos, 1 carrot, 10ml tamarind juice, 25ml lime juice, 2 cloves garlic, 50gm prik kee noo, 10gm brown sugar, 25ml nam pla, 25gm dried shrimp, 50gm unsalted roasted peanuts.

Peel the papaya and shred the green flesh (if you don't have a suitable implement for the purpose a coarse cheese grater may work).

Also peel and shred the carrot.

Put the shredded papaya and carrot in the fridge.

Soften the dried shrimp in a few mls of boiling water.

Pound the garlic and the prik kee noo together in a pestle and mortar.

Separately pound the peanuts together with the shrimp, but only until coarsely broken up, not reduced to dust or paste.

Mix the tamarind, juice, lime juice, fish sauce and the sugar.

Chop the tomatoes into quarters.

Mix all the ingredients together and serve in a bowl. Most restaurants would drain off some of the excess juice before serving, but I usually keep it.

Easy Recipe - Strawberry Pie

by Jill S
A tasty easy recipe for cream cheese strawberry pie.
Since spring is finally here, sort of (it snowed here in Denver on Easter day, sigh), I thought I would share one of my favorite strawberry recipes with you. It is a pretty easy recipe that does not even require any baking. Start to finish, it takes about 20 minutes. As I do at my baking site, I am going to share with you here the story behind the recipe.

Cream Cheese Strawberry Pie

Strawberries are my favorite fruit. I always have them around when they come into season in the spring. It always brings back memories of going to pick berries with my family in the summer. We would all pile in the car with buckets and ice cream pails, eager to taste fresh summer berries. We would go to one of the nearby berry farms that had acres and acres of berries. I remember it seemed so huge to me as a kid and I could not believe how many rows upon rows upon rows there were. All of us kids of course ended up eating just as many berries as we picked. There is nothing that has quite as much flavor as a strawberry fresh from the field, warm with sunshine. Makes me want to go hunt down a local berry farm so I can share that memory with my daughter!

1 package (8 ounces) strawberry flavored cream cheese
1 package (3.4 ounces) vanilla flavored pudding
2 cups cold milk
1 (6 ounce) ready-to-use graham cracker pie crust
1 pint of strawberries

Prepare the vanilla pudding according to the package directions. (Put the pudding mix and the milk into a bowl and whisk together for 2 minutes.) Allow it to set for 5 minutes. I usually use this time to start washing and cutting the strawberries. I typically just cut them in half for this recipe. Once the pudding has set, place the cream cheese in a medium sized bowl and mix with an electric mixer for 30 seconds at low speed. Add the pudding to the cream cheese and mix for about one minute on low speed. Put the mixture into the pie crust and put it in the refrigerator for 10 minutes. Continue washing and cutting the strawberries while the pie is in the refrigerator. Place the strawberries on top of the pie. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Ten Tips For Using Your Crockpot

by Audrey Okaneko

You'll find ten tips in this article to make your crockpot cooking come out perfect every time.

In today’s busy world, more and more people are using crockpots to prepare the families evening meal. I know some folks who have two crockpots. They use the large one to prepare meats or poultry and they use the small one to prepare side dishes and desserts.

There are many tips to make using your crockpot even easier:

1. Don’t lift the lid to take a peak. I have read over and over that if you do lift the lid, you need to add 20 minutes cooking time.

2. Vegetables and potatoes take longer to cook in a crockpot. It’s always suggested that you place potatoes and vegetables on the bottom, layering the meat and sauces on the top.

3. Regular milk can curdle in the crockpot due to long cooking times. Consider using either canned milk, or adding the milk during the last 30 minutes of cooking. Since you’ll be lifting the lid, add a bit of cooking time to the recipe directions.

4. For recipes that call for ground beef, brown the meat before adding it to the crockpot. It will have a better texture. To confirm you discard all of the grease, pour the meat through a strainer first. Of course making a meat loaf would be the exception to this rule.

5. Trim as much fat off of meats and chicken as you can. Due to long cooking times, the fat melts right into the sauces and adds a bitter taste to the finished product. If cooking poultry remove the skin to avoid the melting fat.

6. Make sure to defrost all meats and poultry prior to putting them in the crockpot. Cooking times are based on defrosted meats.

7. Very little liquid boils away in a crockpot. You can thicken your sauce by removing the cover during the last 30 minutes of cooking. If you still find the sauce is too thin, pour the sauce into a sauce pan and add a bit of cornstarch.

8. Make sure your crockpot is filled at least half way. This prevents both undercooking and over cooking. Do not overfill the crockpot, remembering that very little liquid boils out.

9. Spray your crockpot with non stick cooking spray before adding the ingredients. This will help prevent sticking.

10. If you are using less expensive cuts of meat, consider cooking them in the crockpot as the longer cooking times help make even the toughest pull apart tender.

Three Great Enchiladas From One Basic Recipe

John T Jones, Ph.D.

Enchiladas are good but a little variety helps. Here is how to make chicken, steak, and cheese enchiladas all at the same time. Oh, did I forget pork?

Meat Selection

Beef: I like steak enchiladas but you need good beef that is tender and flavorful. Some of the restaurants around here use ground meat in their enchiladas. These are the restaurants I never visit twice.

When I first started working as an engineer in Colorado (about a zillion years ago), an old industrial engineer told me this: Never buy a breaded piece of meat!

He went on to say that any old piece of meat could be breaded and you just don’t know what you are getting. It could be as old as the hills, unrefrigerated, contaminated, dropped on the floor and stepped on, or fetched out of the grease trap as far as you know.

The same goes for ground meat. Who knows it’s real history? In enchiladas it gives the wrong texture and the wrong flavor.

So buy a good piece of beef. You don’t need much because there are other things in the enchilada. Most of the good Mexican restaurants around here put in too much meat. You don’t need it.

For that matter, they use too much cheese. My heart surgeon doesn’t like that, but my wife does.

Pork is a good substitute for beef or chicken for those who prefer the flavor of pork. In 1956 when, with a fellow engineering student, I drove to Massachusetts to work for the Norton Company for the summer, we passed through Iowa. The hogs there were just like the hogs on our church welfare farm. They looked more like elephants than hogs.

I moved to Iowa in 1966 to teach in the engineering department at Iowa State University. By then, the hogs were lean and mean, still long but not fat. That change made pork an acceptable lower fat meat. And pork has a great flavor for enchiladas.

Meat and Poultry Preparation

Fresh, frozen, or canned meats can be used to prepare enchiladas. If you use frozen meats or poultry, thaw it out at room temperature or in the refrigerator. If you are like me and at times in a big hurry, then place the meat or chicken in the microwave and thaw it out. I have a freezer full of Omaha Steaks® products sold me to the nice folks there by telephone. I can’t say no! So I usually get my meat from the freezer.

I like to use a whole dead chicken so I let it stew in pomegranate juice until the chicken is ready to fall of the bones. Pomegranate juice seems to penetrate the chicken better than other juices and give a fabulous flavor, especially the next day.

If you use chicken breast, they are easy to slice even when frozen. For me, I want some brown meat so I use the whole critter.

When I say use a “dead” chicken, I mean it. Years ago my dad decided to buy a live turkey for thanksgiving. He killed it in the basement where it ran wild for the longest time and spurted blood from hell to breakfast finally creating a bloody feathered mess. When I was a kid, we chopped the heads off chickens and let them flutter hither and yon in the yard. Who needs that?

I buy Kirkland® canned chicken at Cosco®. It has a nice tecture and flavor and is very good in soups and chicken salad when you are in a hurry. I’m not much for canned meatsm but they are different now days, and there are some good choices to make. Spam® is still available but I’m not sure I would want a Spam® enchilada. Canned or prepared in the frying pan, season the chicken with poultry spice, creole spice, teriyaki sauce or whatever you want.

For other meats, slice the meat in to short strips. Keep each meat separately from the other ingredients. (You can use left over meat from that Sunday roast too and other than slicing in to short strips or small cubes, no other preparation is needed.)

Put some canola oil in a frying pan with a clove of garlic. Make sure the oil is hot. (You probably do not need much oil, so you may be able to just spray the pan and not use the garlic.) For steak, I like to use Omaha Steaks® All Natural Steak Seasoning. Another seasoning I like for about everything is Spice Island® Beau Monde seasoning. Tampa Spices® have a full range of low-cost spices (packed by M.I.S., POB 2081, Gibsonton, FL 33534). I like their creole seasoning and their meat and poultry seasoning.

Chicken Masala

by Maureen Le Couvreur

Suriname has a very mixed population with a variety of dishes - and here is one of the best recipes ever and tastes good any time of year!

The country of Suriname is located in the north of the continent. Suriname also lies in the western hemisphere. This tiny country is encased by one water body the Atlantic Ocean in the north, French Guiana to the east, Brazil to the south and Guyana to the west.

Surinam has a very mixed population. The original people of the country were the Arawaks and the Caribs(Amerindians). When the Dutch colonized the country, other Europeans filtered in. with slavery being a rampant practice, the colonizers imported African slaves. Later bonded laborers from India, Indonesia and China were also brought in.

Mixing the different varieties of vegetables which grow in Suriname with the traditional cuisine of the different ethnic groups, Surinam offers a spicy, good and colourful variety of dishes including American, Chinese, Creole, European, Indian and Indonesian.

Chicken Masala

Masala is an exotic blend of spices- cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, cardamom- that adds flavor and aroma. (Hindustany curry powder)


For the marinade:

4 cloves of finely chopped garlic
3 to 4 tablespoons of masala powder
1 to 2 tablespoons of corn oil
salt and pepper to taste

For the main meal:

1 kilogramme chicken fillet cut into cubes
2 big chopped onion
2 cloves of finely chopped garlic
1 tablespoon thinly sliced celery
2 whole dry red chilli (optional)
5 hard boiled eggs
2 tablespoons of corn oil and a little bit of water
1 cup tomato puree
salt and pepper to taste
a stock cube if required

vegetables :

Half a kilogramme of string beans or, if not available, green beans
6 to 7 medium size potatoes
some salt and pepper
2 to 3 tablespoons masala (Hindustany curry powder)


Make a mix of 3 tablespoons of oil, salt, pepper and masala. Add the cut meat and marinade it for at least 2 hours.
Fry the onion, garlic, tomato puree and the celery in the oil , add the meat and cook all until brown. Add some water until the meat is covered and lower the heat.

Immerse the diffuser with the 2 whole dry red chilli in it and let all simmer for about 40 minutes. If needed, season it with extra masala and a stock cube to your taste if necessary.

Cut the potatoes into quarters and cook them just like your meat and than for 10-15 minutes in water with 1-2 teaspoons of masala and some salt and pepper.
Clean the String beans, cut them into 1-2 inch-pieces and cook them as well for 10 minutes until bite-ready.

Boil the eggs until hard(8-10min.) and shell them.
Remove the diffuser with the chili pepper from the meat and season the sauce with some salt and pepper if required. Add the eggs and heat all thoroughly.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Easter Baking and Cooking Tips (Plus a Bonus Easter Recipe)

by Jill S

Five tips to help make your Easter holiday easier along with a free bonus Easter recipe.

If you’re hosting Easter this year, I’d like to share a few tips with you that have helped me keep my sanity when I have hosted this holiday.

1. Cook and bake as many dishes as you can in advance. I have an Easter baking recipe that I share with you below that is easy and can be done up to a week in advance. I highly recommend baking your Easter desserts the day before. It really helps me cut down on the stress on Easter day.

2. Organize your kitchen into baking/cooking stations the night before. I know this might sound crazy but I have found it helps me whenever I am making a holiday meal. I put out all of the ingredients for each Easter recipe that do not need to be refrigerated. I put the recipe out and put all of the ingredients that go into that recipe right next to it, along with any pans or measuring cups or spoons I may need for it. I also try to organize them from longest to shortest cooking time so that I know what to start with first.

3. Select the Easter recipes that you want to use a week in advance. This helps me make a grocery list of all the ingredients that I need. That way I can get to the grocery store and get everything that I need well in advance of the day itself.

4. Use or borrow appliances to help make the job easier. I still remember the first Easter I hosted at my house. I must have spent at least half an hour slicing potatoes. If I had just asked to borrow a food processor with a slicer from a friend, it would have made that day so much easier. If you do not have the right appliance for the job or cannot borrow it, find a different recipe.

5. Enlist helpers! The friends and family who have come to your Easter feast are usually more than happy to help out with any small last minute things. My husband has become the official potato masher for all of the holiday gatherings we hold at our house! Those last 30 minutes before your meal is ready can sometimes get a bit crazy. It is okay to ask for help.

Bonus Easter Recipe: Chocolate Easter Nests

These have been a favorite Easter baking recipe of mine for as long as I can remember. I loved helping mom put jelly beans in these for the "eggs."

1 box shredded wheat cereal (10-12 biscuits)
1 - 12 ounce package chocolate chips
3/4 cup peanut butter

Crush the biscuits so they are fairly fine. Melt the chocolate chips in bowl in the microwave until they are soft. Add the peanut butter to the melted chocolate. Mix together, put into a large bowl, and add the shredded wheat. Put mixture by tablespoon on a piece of waxed paper. Shape each into a nest. Chill until firmly set. Store in the refrigerator. When you are ready to set them out, put a few jelly beans in each nest. It is a cute, tasty Easter treat.

Easy Vegetarian Recipe

by Charlotte Faulkner
Some great easy vegetarian recipes.
Some great easy vegetarian recipes that you can make and try for yourself.


Boil potatoes that are firm and waxy when cooked, and cut them in slices; let them soak in ½ gill of water, grate a small onion and mix it with these; add pepper, salt, vinegar, and oil to taste. The quantity of oil should be about three times the amount of the vinegar used. Eat with Allinson wholemeal bread.


3 good juicy cooking apples, 3 eggs, 6 oz. of Allinson fine wheatmeal, ½ pint of milk, and sugar to taste. Pare and core the apples, and cut them into rounds ¼ inch thick; make a batter with the milk, meal, and the eggs well beaten, adding sugar to taste. Have a frying-pan ready on the fire with boiling oil, vege-butter, or butter, dip the apple slices into the batter and fry the fritters until golden brown; drain them on blotting paper, and keep them hot in the oven until all are done.


1 or 2 heads of celery, a teacupful of dried and sifted Allinson breadcrumbs, 2 eggs, pepper and salt to taste.

Well wash the celery, remove the coarse outer stalks, and steam the parts used until they are a little tender. Then cut them into pieces about 2 inches long, dip them first into the egg whipped up, then into the readcrumbs, and fry them in boiling butter, vege-butter, or olive oil until a nice brown; dust with pepper and salt, and serve up very hot; eat with white or tomato sauce.

Steak Recipe - The Backyard Grill - An American Experience

by Lee Griffith
Hey folks, it's time to fire up that grill! One of the most common activities in American recreation is grilling that nice, big, juicy steak in the backyard. Here is my favorite steak recipe, along with a great grilled side to accompany it.

Hey folks, it’s time to fire up that grill! One of the most common activities in American recreation is grilling that nice, big, juicy steak in the backyard. Here is my favorite steak recipe, along with a great grilled side to accompany it:

Griff’s American Grilled Black Pepper & Garlic Steak


4 lbs. (approximate) thick cut rib eye steak (four steaks)
2&2/3 cups Italian dressing (cheap is good!)
8 tbsp. butter
4 large cloves minced garlic
2 tbsp. freshly ground black pepper (or more, if you love black pepper!)


Marinate the steak in the Italian dressing for at least 1/2 hour. In a small pan, melt the butter and add the garlic, heating slowly until the garlic is golden brown. Place steaks on hot grill (preferably a charcoal grill), sprinkling half of the pepper on steaks. When the first side is done, turn the steaks over and sprinkle the rest of pepper on steaks. With a spoon, pour the butter and garlic mixture over the top of steaks while they are still on grill.

Griff’s American Grilled Potato & Pepper Pouches


3 cups unpeeled, sliced potatoes
2/3 cup green bell pepper (with membrane & seeds removed), diced
2/3 red bell pepper (with membrane & seeds removed), diced
2/3 orange bell pepper (with membrane & seeds removed), diced
2/3 cup onion, cut in long, diced
2 tbsp. jalapeno pepper (with membrane & seeds removed), finely chopped
2 large cloves minced garlic
1 tsp. Lawry’s® seasoned pepper (or just black pepper)
1/2 tsp. salt
4 tbsp. butter


Combine everything except the butter in a large mixing bowl—really mix everything well. Cut 4 18” x 12” sheets of aluminum foil. Lay the foil flat (dull side up) and put 1/4 of the mixture on each sheet in a mound that is at the center of one end of the foil. Make sure there is space between the mound and all of the edges of the foil. Put 1 tablespoon of butter on the top of each mound. Fold the other end of the foil over the top of the mound and fold the side edges up over the top so that when you are done you have four neat pouches. Put the pouches (butter on top) on a very hot grill for about ten minutes, then flip over and grill another 10 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Take off grill and allow to stand a few minutes, then empty each pouch on four dinner plates.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Marinating and Cooking Your Steak For Tenderness and Flavor

by Diane Watkins

You can increase the tenderness and juiciness of your steak or other meat by marinating it. Place the steak in a ziplock bag, pour in enough marinade to just cover it, and refrigerate overnight. Marinating a steak like this will add flavor and tenderness.

You can increase the tenderness and juiciness of your steak or other meat by marinating it. Place the steak in a ziplock bag, pour in enough marinade to just cover it, and refrigerate overnight. Marinating a steak like this will add flavor and tenderness.

If you store steak or other meats in the freezer before cooking, try pouring the marinade over the steak before freezing. The steak will marinate when thawing and be tender and ready to cook.

Try a marinade made of ½ cup each good wine and olive oil mixed with 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice or a herb vinegar. Add any aromatic seasonings that you like such as garlic, freshly ground pepper, onion, or herbs. The acid from the juice or vinegar will tenderize the meat. The oil and wine add flavor and preserve juiciness.

Here is an example to get you started.

Red Wine and Tarragon Vinegar Marinade

1/2 cup dry red wine

1/2 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons tarragon vinegar

1 bay leaf

1 onion, minced

1 carrot, sliced fine

1 whole clove

1 clove garlic, crushed or minced

20 peppercorns, crushed

4 sprigs parsley

Mix all together and pour over meat. Marinate for up to 24 hours.

Meat Tenderizers

There are meat tenderizers available to sprinkle onto your steak, and they certainly do tenderize the meat; however, meat tenderizers can sometimes over tenderize the meat, changing the texture of the meat into mush. If you should choose to go this route, do it carefully.

Cooking Your Steak

When ready to cook, slash through the outside fat layer on the steak in a few places to prevent curling, but do not cut into the meat. The more tender steak cuts can be broiled, grilled, or pan fried. Less tender cuts should be pan fried or slow braised. Steak should never be cooked in liquid. When pan broiling, use a very heavy skillet such as an iron skillet or griddle and heat the pan before adding the meat. The heavy metal will hold the heat for proper heat distribution and not cool down when the steak is added. A hot pan will quickly sear the outside, trapping the moisture inside.

When cooking, try to turn the steak only once. Cook the meat until browned on one side and half done, then turn and finish the other side. Turning too often will stew the meat rather than searing it and produce a less juicy steak. When the steak is done, remove from the pan and allow to rest for a few minutes before serving.

Quick Ways To Whip Up A Grilled Cheese Sandwich Nutrious For Kids

by Christine Steendahl

Kickin' Up Grilled Cheese Grilled cheese sandwiches are the simplest meal to make. Children can even learn to make it themselves. The ones I used to make contained regular cheese and white bread with margarine to grill it. Here are a few ways to make that grilled cheese sandwich more nutritious for your children.

Grilled cheese sandwiches are the simplest meal to make. Children can even learn to make it themselves. The ones I used to make contained regular cheese and white bread with margarine to grill it. Here are a few ways to make that grilled cheese sandwich more nutritious for your children.

First of all you need to slim the cheese. Full fat cheeses are a thing of the past. A slice of fat free cheese melts just the same with fewer calories and fat. If American cheese is too bland, try a slice of Swiss or pepperjack cheese. Mozzarella is tasty on a sandwich, also. One slice of cheese will do, but if you are using the fat free variety, you can usually get by with two slices for a creamier sandwich.

What about the bread? The bread is a key element. White bread contains a lot of that are not healthy for you. Try whole wheat or multigrain bread. Sourdough bread would make a good substitution. What you want is bread with fewer calories and carbohydrates per serving.

What about some meat? When they added bologna to a grilled cheese sandwich when I was a kid, they called it a “flying saucer”. Adding a slice of meat makes the sandwich more of a complete meal. Depending on what their favorite is, you can add roast beef, sliced ham, sliced turkey, bacon, sausage, or sliced chicken breast.

What about some flavor? Add more taste to their grilled cheese sandwich with a few choice condiments. Adding mustard gives the sandwich a tangy taste. For an even better taste add brown or Dijon mustard. Go south of the border with a bit of salsa added to the sandwich. The salsa will make the grilled cheese sandwich zesty. Roast beef goes well with a dollop of barbeque sauce added for more flavor. If your child is into the simpler flavors, add a bit of fat-free or reduced fat mayo or ketchup to the sandwich. Adding some dressing such as Thousand Island is another great alternative for adding variety.

Add some crunch to your sandwich. Slice up an apple and place it on top of the cheese. People eat a slice of cheese with apple pie and many cheese trays are served with apples, so why not on a grilled cheese sandwich? Use a Granny Smith apple maximum crunch. They will maintain their shape better than a red apple.

Our grilled cheese sandwich is really coming along. We have added meat, changed the cheese, changed the bread, and added sauces for an extra kick. What’s left to do? Let’s see if we can add some vegetables. Pickles work well on a cheese sandwich with bologna. A juicy slice of tomato would add color and flavor to any meat and cheese combination. Get a slice of green with a leaf of romaine lettuce or some spinach.

Ditch the margarine. I used to spread a thick layer of margarine on both sides of the bread before I put the sandwich in the pan. Here are a few alternatives to that. Use spray butter or non-stick cooking spray in the pan. Your kids will still have the butter flavor without all the butter calories. Another choice would be to brown the sandwich in the oven. Using a cookie sheet, spray both sides of the bread with butter spray. Bake the cheese sandwiches in a preheated oven at 425 degrees for about six minutes per side.

Grilled cheese sandwiches are getting a new look. By adding meat, seasoning, and veggies, your sandwiches are now a meal all by themselves. Get your little ones involved in the preparation. Let them make their own