Snap, Crackle, and Pop
No, I’m not talking about cereal, or even cooking tips today – my monitor died. I was very fortunate to be home at the time, and while it made some exciting noise, nothing caught on fire (which I HAVE seen happen).

I can’t tell you how stressing it was – the things we take for granted, huh? I was only a little over four hours without Internet contact… and I was going totally bonkers! Fortunately my super-groovy-neato-cool brother had an extra monitor, and my totally awesome Mom & Papa dropped it off on my doorstep. As you can tell, I’m back up and running.

There are a lot of you who visit me each day through this site – and I totally love seeing you here. I just wish you would write to ME once in a while….

This technical glitch made me remember just how important the ability to communicate really is. I’d really like it to go both ways.

Posted by Linda :
Monday 08 September 2008 - 21:42:50
printer friendly create pdf of this news item

Okay, maybe the heat’s just getting to me…
Sorry, this is my second “grumpy” article in a row… I just watched a commercial for a flatbread and egg white sandwich that was “healthy for you, and low in calories”, and I must comment. Yes, egg yolks were feared for many years, but science now says that they are actually good for us! Check out The Incredible, Edible Egg. This source may be biased, but they have the most succinct description of the health value that I’ve found. No matter which current reference you check, however, now most sources state that the benefits far exceed the nominal risk, including the few extra calories wink. Please, Google for yourself. May I state that I don't think it ever was the eggs – just the bacon or sausage or home fries that we love to serve with them (and all that grease and salt we tend to cook them in)! And “flatbread” is simply a different method of baking the same carbs and sugars we’ve all grown to love… as BREAD! Usually, it’s just a crispier, denser version. Don’t get me wrong – I love it - but it really isn’t any “healthier” than any other white bread. Just my opinion, but…

Posted by Linda :
Friday 05 September 2008 - 01:40:06
printer friendly create pdf of this news item

DON’T bang your Beaters!!!
As soon as I wrote the title, I knew it sounded bad - but I am adamant on this point. PLEASE, loyal friends, pay attention.

I can’t tell you how many times I have seen professional chefs on TV warn us three times over to make sure that your bowl and beaters are immaculately clean before beating room temperature egg whites (true);OR they remind us to place the bowl and beaters in the freezer for a while before whipping cream (also a valuable tip)…

But THEN they remove the mixing beaters from the machine, and POUND them against the edge of the bowl – banging, clanging - and possibly destroying the wonderful results they’ve just achieved!

No, you don’t want to waste what’s clinging to the beaters – but PLEASE, don’t deflate whatever it is that you just whipped up! The whole idea of whipping is to fill the ‘mixture’ with air – banging on the side of the bowl will cause some of that air and fluffiness to escape, not to mention you could possibly dent your tools out of alignment.

How difficult is it to use a spatula?!?

Thanks for listening to my ‘pet peeve’ of the day.

Posted by Linda :
Thursday 04 September 2008 - 11:56:36
printer friendly create pdf of this news item

You may have noticed – I like beans!
How can you not? They’re cheap, easily prepared (though require planning if you buy them dried), they’re a great source of protein and calcium and fiber – and are naturally cholesterol free!

Beans, as in Legumes, are one of the few items that DON’T become less fresh for having been canned. Just drain and rinse well… They can be used in a salad as is!

But if you’re making a big batch of chili, or a pot of Pasta e Fagiolle, or Red Beans & Rice – there’s nothing like the aroma that fills your house when you’re simmering the dried varieties…

Experts have differing opinions, but in my experience adding salt or acid (vinegar, lemon juice, tomatoes?) before the beans were fully cooked made it impossible to make them tender. They’re a perfect marriage of flavor ONCE fully cooked, but don’t add them to your pot until the beans are as tender as you want. After soaking overnight, and changing the water, I simmer them partially covered, slowly for about an hour and a half (or two) with a couple cloves of garlic, and maybe half an onion and a bay leaf in the water. Ironically, I’ve found that the smaller the bean (in many cases, not all), the longer it takes…

Once tender, add to whatever it is you are making. If your recipe calls for water, save the stock from the beans – it is full of B vitamins!! It is definitely worth the wait.

Posted by Linda :
Thursday 28 August 2008 - 17:05:57
printer friendly create pdf of this news item

A new twist on Cupcakes
It’s a phenomenon – cupcakes are EVERYWHERE!!! This idea just seems perfect for an interactive birthday party, or a Girl (or Boy) Scout meeting – or just for fun! Martha Stewart introduced Angie Dudley who showed how to make her Cupcake Pops . They’re so cute, and extremely kid (and adult) friendly. Basically, you crumble an already baked cake, and mix well with a frosting. Shape into small balls, then mushrooms, then dip in melted chocolate, and use a lollipop stick. There are waiting periods, but that’s when you play games, sing songs, open presents?!?! I really like this one, and may add it to our Christmas cookie repertoire!

Posted by Linda :
Friday 22 August 2008 - 17:01:09
printer friendly create pdf of this news item

It’s my parents’ anniversary this week - 28 years of marriage, 34 years together, and still going strong. We love you, guys! Amazing, considering that it was a “shot gun” wedding – forced by us kids! After 6 years of dating, WE set the date… but I digress… For their Twenty-Fifth Anniversary, my sisters-in-law and I successfully planned and prepared a huge SURPRISE party – that actually was a surprise! We got the kids involved in making the ravioli and spinach balls a week ahead of time, and froze them until needed. And even THEY didn’t tell… The brothers did the majority of the manual work in the very hot kitchen the day of the event. The entire affair was a huge delight to all. Here’s what we served:
As you can see, the menu was planned around family, especially recipes of family who would be missed that day, and quite by accident (?), almost everything included a variation of their wedding colors: mint green and sherbet orange (pastels of their favorite colors to this day – they actually WORE orange and green that day!). Of course, we prepared way too much of everything – but it was a FAMILY event including lots of extended family - I wanted to share with you, even in this small way. The planning and constant emails back and forth brought my sisters and I closer. The folks noticed and appreciated the thoughtfulness in the menu selection, including an inside joke – they had liverwurst pate for WEEKS after the original event wink… So my thought for the day is to not always try and “wow” with your greatest newest recipe, but for family, it never hurts to revisit the past. Wishing you continued love and joy, my wonderful parents!

Posted by Linda :
Tuesday 19 August 2008 - 15:15:26
printer friendly create pdf of this news item

Less greasy pepperoni?!?
The recipe I used for the Antipasto Pasta Salad appeared on an episode of America’s Test Kitchen, entitled “Pizza Party”. It featured a deep-dish pepperoni pizza, as well as the salad, and both used a great tip, which I must share. When using fatty meat products such as pepperoni or salami or other processed meats, hot or cold, layer the meat between paper towels and nuke on HI for a minute. You’ll be amazed at how much excess grease is removed, without changing the quality of the meat! So simple, yet so noteworthy. ATK always comes through with great ideas!

Posted by Linda :
Friday 15 August 2008 - 17:32:44
printer friendly create pdf of this news item

Grilled Pizza Party
This past weekend we overstuffed ourselves once again. Jeff & Anita hosted this day (they have a pool!), and we all contributed. The main entrée, as the title suggests, was grilled pizza. But WHAT pizza! As Rick started to partially cook personal size shells, I saw the toppings come out. Of course there were the “staples”: tomato sauce, pepperoni and mozzarella. Also provided were: Ricotta, Parmesan and even Cheddar cheese; fresh tomatoes, fresh basil, as well as basil oil, roasted garlic, sautéed onion, barbeque sauce; chicken, mushrooms, broccoli… I’m sure I’m forgetting more than a few items! We all got to pick our own toppings. What a great idea! To quote one of Papa’s famous lines, “I couldn’t have done much better myself”. My contributions were a “Not” Potato Salad (featuring potato gnocchi instead of plain potato) from Rachael Ray, and an Antipasto Pasta Salad from America’s Test Kitchen. Because both salad recipes called for marinated mushrooms and roasted red pepper, I DID make the small change to RR’s by using marinated olives and fresh red bell pepper instead – I was told by all that both recipes were “keepers”. We finished off the evening with not one, but two great cakes from Stacey. My favorite was the white cake with a lemon pudding filling and a cream cheese frosting; the other, which was also great, was a dark chocolate cake, with a French vanilla pudding filling, and a French vanilla frosting – I don’t have the details on that one, but I’m told it actually uses flour. The weather once again was perfect; we all ate too much… guess that’s the definition of success!

Posted by Linda :
Monday 11 August 2008 - 15:13:17
printer friendly create pdf of this news item

God's Pharmacy
A friend sent this to me. It's been said that God first separated the salt water from the fresh, made dry land, planted a garden, made animals and fish... all before making a human. He made and provided what we'd need before we were born. These are best & more powerful when eaten raw. We're such slow learners...

God left us a great clue as to what foods help what part of our body!

A sliced Carrot looks like the human eye. The pupil, iris and radiating lines look just like the human eye... and YES, science now shows carrots greatly enhance blood flow to and function of the eyes.

A Tomato has four chambers and is red. The heart has four chambers and is red. All of the research shows tomatoes are loaded with lycopine and are indeed pure heart and blood food.

Grapes hang in a cluster that has the shape of the heart. Each grape looks like a blood cell and all of the research today shows grapes are also profound heart and blood vitalizing food.

A Walnut looks like a little brain, a left and right hemisphere, upper cerebrums and lower cerebellums. Even the wrinkles or folds on the nut are just like the neo-cortex. We now know walnuts help develop more than three (3) dozen neuron-transmitters for brain function.

Kidney Beans actually heal and help maintain kidney function and yes, they look exactly like the human kidneys.

Celery, Bok Choy, Rhubarb and many more look just like bones. These foods specifically target bone strength. Bones are 23 % sodium and these foods are 23% sodium. If you don't have enough sodium in your diet, the body pulls it from the bones, thus making them weak. These foods replenish the skeletal needs of the body.

Avocados, Eggplant and Pears target the health and function of the womb and cervix of the female - they look just like these organs. Today's research shows that when a woman eats one avocado a week, it balances hormones, sheds unwanted birth weight, and prevents cervical cancers. And how profound is this? It takes exactly nine (9) months to grow an avocado from blossom to ripened fruit. There are over 14,000 photolytic chemical constituents of nutrition in each one of these foods (modern science has only studied and named about 141 of them).

Figs are full of seeds and hang in twos when they grow. Figs increase the mobility of male sperm and increase the numbers of Sperm as well to overcome male sterility.

Sweet Potatoes look like the pancreas and actually balance the glycemic index of diabetics.

Olives assist the health and function of the ovaries

Oranges, Grapefruits, and other Citrus fruits look just like the mammary glands of the female and actually assist the health of the breasts and the movement of lymph in and out of the breasts.

Onions look like the body's cells. Today's research shows onions help clear waste materials from all of the body cells. They even produce tears which wash the epithelial layers of the eyes. A working companion, Garlic, also helps eliminate waste materials and dangerous free radicals from the body.

Interesting, huh?

Posted by Linda :
Thursday 07 August 2008 - 19:28:12
printer friendly create pdf of this news item

Roast away, BUTTERFLY…
With poultry, whether it’s on the grill or in the oven, if you cook it in its natural shape, the breast will tend to be dry - the legs and thighs will take so much longer…

The quickest and easiest solution is to butterfly! In some proteins this can be a little tricky, but with poultry, it’s so simple.

Butterfly simply means to split wide-open – like that beautiful creature spreading its wings.

For a basic whole chicken, clean out all the “innards” as you would usually do - and then with a sharp pair of kitchen shears, cut out the backbone – one long cut down each side of it (save the backbone for a great chicken stock!). Flip it over, and press on the breast until the bird is somewhat flat. You should hear something ‘crack’. Tuck the wings under the front, and if desired, tuck the legs under the back. Proceed with your recipe.

This method gives not only a much more even cooking result, it tends to be faster!

I personally like brining my chicken after, but that’s a whole ‘nother topic.

Hope that you’re having a great summer…

Posted by Linda :
Saturday 02 August 2008 - 20:45:45
printer friendly create pdf of this news item

Go to page first  77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 
News Categories