Monday, January 31, 2011

Feijoada (Meat Stew)

One of Brazil's favorites,Feijoada (Meat Stew)


    * 3 strips of raw bacon
    * 2 onions
    * 3 cloves garlic (or 1 teaspoon garlic powder)
    * 1 pound smoked sausage
    * 1 pound boneless beef (any cut of meat)
    * 1 can (14-ounce) stewed tomatoes
    * 1 cup hot water
    * 1 Tablespoon yellow mustard
    * 4 cups canned black beans
    * Salt and pepper


   1. Cut the bacon strips into big pieces. Fry them in a large pot over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes, stirring often.
   2. Turn the heat down to medium.
   3. Cut the onion in half. Peel off the skin and outer layer. Chop both halves into small pieces.
   4. Peel the cloves of garlic. Chop them into small pieces.
   5. Add the onions and garlic to the bacon in the pot. Stir until the onions are soft, about 3 minutes.
   6. Cut the sausage and beef into 1-inch pieces. Add them to the onions and garlic.
   7. Cook until the meat is brown on all sides.
   8. Add the stewed tomatoes (with juice), hot water, yellow mustard, and some salt and pepper. Turn the heat down to simmer. Cover the pot.
   9. Cook for about 45 minutes, stirring often. If it looks too thick, add more water, ¼ cup at a time. Add the black beans (with liquid).
  10. Cover the pot, and cook for 10 more minutes.

Serves 10 to 12.

National Dish of the Week: Brazil

A national dish is a dish, food or a drink that is considered to represent a particular country, nation or region.

Brazil is a large country that is made up of many different cultures. Each region has a different food specialty. The Portuguese arrived in Brazil in 1500 and brought their tastes and styles of cooking with them. They brought sugar, citrus fruits, and many sweets that are still used for desserts and holidays. The Brazilian "sweet tooth" was developed through the influence of the Europeans. Brazilians use many eggs, fruits, spices (such as cinnamon and cloves), and sugar to make sweet treats, such as ambrosia. They also use savory (not sweet) seasonings such as parsley and garlic. Other nationalities that settled in Brazil were Japanese, Arabs, and Germans. More than one million Italians had migrated to Brazil by 1880. Each immigrant group brought along its own style of cooking.

Long before the Europeans arrived, however, the Tupí-Guaraní and other Indian groups lived in Brazil. They planted manioc (a root vegetable like a potato) from which Brazilians learned to make tapioca and farofa , ground manioc, which is similar to fine breadcrumbs. It is toasted in oil and butter and sprinkled over rice, beans, meat, and fish. As of 2001, farofa was still used as the Brazilians' basic "flour" to make cookies, biscuits, and bread.

Rice, black beans, and manioc (a root vegetable like a potato) are the main foods for many Brazilians. The national dish is feijoada , a thick stew of black beans and pieces of pork and other meats. It is usually served with orange salad, white rice, farofa (ground manioc), and couve (kale), a dark green leafy vegetable that is diced and cooked until slightly crispy.
Almost every kind of fruit grows in Brazil, including apples, oranges, peaches, strawberries, bananas, papayas, mangoes, and avocados. Fruits, vegetables, meat, and flowers are sold at feiras (street markets). These outside markets are set up on streets, which are closed to vehicle traffic. The markets are set up in a new location every day.

Churrasco , chunks of beef cooked on a metal skewer over hot coals, is another favorite. Sometimes the beef is soaked in a mixture of vinegar, lemon juice, and garlic before cooking. This "Brazilian barbecue" is served with rice, potato salad, polenta (fried corn mush), or, occasionally, a fried banana. Gaúchos (cowboys) living in the region of Rio Grande do Sul especially enjoy churrasco . After the gaúchos eat their meal, they drink maté (an herbal tea drunk in many parts of South America). The tea leaves are placed inside a hollowed-out gourd, and then boiling water is poured over them. Gaúchos slowly sip the maté through a metal straw, called a bombilla, with a strainer on the lower tip of it. The gourd and straw are carried, hanging from the belt.

Another popular beverage is guaraná, made from a small red fruit that is high in caffeine and grows in the Amazon River area. It is a refreshing soft drink, unique to Brazil and with a taste some describe as similar to creme soda. People in the Amazon River area also chew the guaraná seeds, or make a drink by dissolving a powder made from the seeds in water. Powdered guaraná is available in the United States in some health food stores, or in markets specializing in foods from South America.
Although Brazil has no national religion, the Portuguese who arrived in Brazil in 1500 brought their Roman Catholic religion with them. About 75 percent of Brazilians consider themselves Roman Catholic. Those who do not follow the Roman Catholic religion still enjoy the world-renowned Brazilian Carnival tradition. During Carnival, colorful parades are held on the streets, and children and adults dress in costumes, dancing and celebrating in the streets all day and all night. People eat and drink continuously during Carnival, enjoying spice dishes, such as pepper-scented rice and feijoada, and sweets. Carnival is a week-long party that ends on Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the 40-day religious period of Lent before the Christian celebration of Easter. During Lent, it is a Roman Catholic tradition not to eat meat.
Because Brazil is the world's largest producer of coffee, a typical pequeno almoço (breakfast) consists of a cup of café come leite (a hot milk and coffee mixture) and a piece of French bread. Many Brazilian children also drink a coffee and milk mixture for breakfast.

Lunch, usually the biggest meal of the day, consists of rice, beans, salad, meat, or other dishes, depending on where the family lives and what they can afford to buy. Between lunch and supper some Brazilians have midmorning and midafternoon café , which includes coffee, hot milk, and cookies. Pastels and empadas , little pastries filled with any combination of shrimp, meats, and cheeses that are either fried or baked, are a favorite snack. These can be purchased by street vendors (Brazilian "fast food") or made at home.

In the late evening, many Brazilians eat a light supper. Children enjoy desserts such as pudim or churros , fried dough rolled in sugar and filled with caramel, chocolate, or sweetened condensed milk.

Spice of the Week - Onion

Onions are the indispensable vegetable, the strong (yet sweet) cornerstone of modern cooking, not just in our culture but around the world. Whether it's a soup, stew, stir-fry, salad or sauce, chances are the recipe includes onions or garlic (very likely both) or one of their relatives. These members of the Allium genus (part of the lily family) don't just add flavor, they add richness and complexity.

Spice Description

The onion is an edible bulb. While it is a vegetable at heart, it also acts as a spice inasmuch as it can provide an aromatic undertone to various meat and vegetable dishes, without being a major ingredient. The characteristic appearance of the onion is well known, but there are many variations of color, shape and size. The color varies from white to red to purple, the shape from spherical to almost conical, and the diameter at the largest point from 10mm (1/2in) to 8cm (3in) or 'more. Onions should be firm, though not rock hard. The papery skin should be tight over the surface of the bulb. Spring onions, or scallions, are immature plants where the bulb has not completely formed. They may be cylindrical, the green stem shading into the white bulblet, which may be almost spherical. Onions are also available in processed form, as dried flakes and powder, or liquid.

Plant Description and Cultivation

A hardy biennial but cultivated as an annual. Although the bulbous plant with its long-bladed leaves has many varieties of shape and color, it is so familiar that it is not necessary to add to what has already been said under Spice Description.

Preparation and Storage

Onions may be used whole, sliced, chopped, diced or liquidised. It is important to observe the cooking instructions carefully, as the flavour of onions is greatly influenced by their treatment. A recipe where onions are to be 'fried till golden' will suffer if the onions are browned. Small onions and picklers are easier to peel if they are first immersed in boiling water for ten seconds and then rinsed in cold water before removing the skins. To prevent the eyes from watering, peel onions under cold water or put them in the freezer for ten minutes before chopping. Should onions be excessively strong, boil them whole for five minutes before proceeding with the recipe. Firm unblemished onions should keep for several weeks if stored in a cool airy place. Too much warmth will encourage sprouting. Home-grown onions must be quite dry before stringing. Dried onion flakes and powder should be stored in airtight containers.

Culinary uses

Onion is a basic flavoring in the kitchen. It is used as a vegetable, or as a spice to bring out the flavor of other dishes without overpowering them. It often accompanies meat - especially mince and meat dishes such as shepherds pie and meat loaf which would be insipid without it. Onion is also widely used in soups, pickles and cooked vegetable dishes, sauces, hearty casseroles, and bean and lentil dishes. It is a common ingredient in marinades, and an onion studded with cloves is often a main flavoring in stocks and courts-bouillons. There are many classic recipes featuring onion including such familiar dishes as tripe and onions, steak and onions, French onion soup, coq au yin, sauce soubise, to name but a few. Equally famous in India is do pvaza, a dish of meat cooked with a, much as double its weight of onions. The shallot is frequently used in Mediterranean and American cookery, the rocambole in country recipes. Spring onions are common in fresh summer salads and in Chinese and Japanese cookery.

Chemical Composition

Onion contains protein, sugars, cellulose, minerals, a fixed oil, an essential oil and over 80 per cent water. The amount of essential oil is very small but it contains the aromatic and tear-producing properties associated with onion. These are caused by sulphides which are produced by the reaction of the enzyme alliinase on an amino acid. These substances are normally in separate cells in the tissues, but when the onion is cut and bruised, rupturing the cells, the reaction takes place. Cooking has the opposite effect, preventing the enzymatic action and thus milder and less pungent flavors are produced. The chemistry of the Alliaceae family, including garlic, shallots etc, is very similar. The calorific value of raw onion is 38 calories per 100g, or roughly 20 calories for a 3oz onion.

Attributed Medicinal Properties

Antiseptic, diuretic, expectorant and rubefacient. Onion's antiseptic properties as a juice or paste have been used for wound healing, skin complaints (acne), insect bites, hemorrhoids, boils, toothache, earache and respiratory complaints. The raw juice is diuretic and the whole onion is an appetite stimulant and digestant. It has been used as a vermifuge. It is believed to stimulate the liver and is beneficial to the heart and nervous system.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Ginger and Chocolate, "Here We Go"

Ginger and Chocolate, "Here We Go". Two of my favorites together! This will be on February's must try list. Some nice tips listed after the Ingredients. Another good one from the Diabetic Living On Line web site.

Ginger-Spiced Chocolate Cake

SERVINGS: 16 servings


2-1/3     Cups Cake Flour or 2 cups All-Purpose Flour*
2/3     Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1-1/2     Teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2     Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2     Teaspoon Ground Ginger
1/4     Teaspoon Salt
1-1/4     Cups Buttermilk or Sour Fat-Free Milk**
1     Cup Granulated Sugar or Sugar substitute blend*** equivalent to 1 cup sugar
1/2     Cup Canola Oil or cooking oil
1/2     Cup refrigerated or frozen egg product, thawed, or 2 eggs
1     Tablespoon finely chopped Crystallized Ginger
1     Teaspoon Vanilla
1     Teaspoon Powdered Sugar
    Fresh Raspberries (optional)
    Fresh Mint Leaves (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and lightly flour a 10-inch fluted tube pan. Set pan aside. In a large bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, ground ginger, and salt; set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together buttermilk, granulated sugar, oil, eggs, crystallized ginger, and vanilla. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture. Beat with a wire whisk just until combined.

3. Spoon batter into the prepared pan, spreading evenly. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near center of cake comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove cake from pan. Cool completely on wire rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving. If desired, garnish with raspberries and mint leaves.

*Test Kitchen Tip:. You can substitute whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat flour for up to half of the total cake flour or all-purpose flour used.

**Test Kitchen Tip: To make 1-1/4 cups sour fat-free milk, place 4 teaspoons lemon juice or vinegar in a glass measuring cup. Add enough fat-free milk to measure 1-1/4 cups total liquid; stir. Let stand for 5 minutes before using.

***SUGAR SUBSTITUTES: Choose Splenda® Sugar Blend for Baking. Follow package directions to use product amount equivalent to 1 cup sugar.
PER SERVING WITH SUGAR SUBSTITUTE: Same as above, except 192 cal, 25 g carb. Exchanges: 1.5 other carb. Carb choices: 1.5.

Miniature Ginger-Spiced Chocolate Cakes: Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and lightly flour eight 3-3/4-inch diameter miniature fluted tube pans. Prepare batter as above through Step 2. Spoon evenly into prepared pans, using about 1/2 cup batter per pan. Bake for 16 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in centers of cakes comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Invert onto wire racks and cool completely. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving. If you do not have two pans, cover and chill 1 cup of the batter while baking first six cakes; bake the remaining two cakes. Makes 8 cakes (2 servings per cake).

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:

    * Servings: 16 servings
    * Calories211
    * Total Fat (g)8
    * Saturated Fat (g)1
    * Monounsaturated Fat (g)6
    * Polyunsaturated Fat (g)2
    * Cholesterol (mg)1
    * Sodium (mg)133
    * Carbohydrate (g)32
    * Total Sugar (g)14
    * Fiber (g)0
    * Protein (g)4
    * Vitamin A (DV%)0
    * Vitamin C (DV%)0
    * Calcium (DV%)7
    * Iron (DV%)12
      Diabetic Exchanges
    * Other Carbohydrates (d.e.)2
    * Fat (d.e.)1.5

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Tilapia with Pasta Shells and Cheese...

Today’s Menu: Fried Tilapia Fillet w/ Pasta Shells & Cheese, Asparagus, and Corn Muffins.

Had a nice looking Tilapia Fillet rolled in a Bread Crumb and Whole Wheat Flour mixture and seasoned with Sea Salt and Pepper. Fried in a 1/2 tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. As sides had Kraft/Velveeta 2% Pasta Shells and Cheese, Green Giant Asparagus Bits, and Dixie Carb Counters Corn Muffins. First time I had tried the Dixie Corn Muffin mix and it won’t be the last! I love bread as you can tell from my previous posts. I hadn’t had a Corn Muffins in quite sometime due to the carbs in them. With Dixie Corn Muffin Mix there is only 138 calories and 8 carbs, 4 net carbs! Plus the taste is on the spot! I’ll be ordering more packages of this soon.

Soft Snickerdoodles

1-1/2     Cups Sugar or sugar substitute-sugar baking blend* equivalent to 1-1/2 cups sugar
3     Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
1     Cup Butter, softened or I Can't Believe It's Not Butter
3/4  Cup fresh or frozen egg product, thawed (Egg Beaters)
2     Teaspoons Vanilla
2     Cups All-Purpose Flour
3/4   Cup Whole Wheat Flour
2     Teaspoons Cream of Tartar
1     Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4    Teaspoon Salt
1     Cup chopped Peanuts
1     Cup chopped Walnuts
1     Cup dried Currants
1     6-ounce package Dried Cranberries (1 cup)

*To make the cookie dough a little firmer and easier to drop, chill it for up to an hour.

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of the sugar or sugar substitute-sugar baking blend and 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon; set aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine butter and the remaining sugar or sugar substitute-sugar baking blend; beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined. Add egg product and vanilla; beat until combined.

3. In a medium bowl, combine all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt, and the remaining 2 teaspoons cinnamon. Add to beaten mixture; beat until well mixed. Stir in the peanuts, currants, and cranberries.

4. Drop by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture.

5. Bake for 7 to 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer to wire racks; let cool. Makes about 60 cookies.

Test Kitchen Tip: If using a sugar substitute-sugar baking blend, we recommend Splenda® Sugar Blend for Baking or Equal® Sugar Light. Be sure to use package directions to determine product amount equivalent to 1 1/2 cups sugar.
Nutrition Facts per cookie: 89 cal., 5 g total fat (2 g sat. fat), 9 mg chol., 68 mg sodium, 10 g carbo., 1 dietary fiber, 2 protein.Exchanges: .5 Other Carbohydrates 1 FatCarb Choices: .5

Note:Nutrition facts are based on one cookie.
Nutrition Facts Per Serving:

    * Calories96
    * Total Fat (g)5
    * Saturated Fat (g)2
    * Cholesterol (mg)9
    * Sodium (mg)68
    * Carbohydrate (g)13
    * Fiber (g)1
    * Protein (g)2
      Diabetic Exchanges
    * Other Carbohydrates (d.e.)1
    * Fat (d.e.)1

Friday, January 28, 2011

Looking for a Job?

As Bison Demand Rises, So Does Need For Ranchers
by Grace Hood

Bison ranchers from across the U.S. are gathering in Denver this week to figure out how to recruit more people into the bison business and ratchet up the meat supply. That's because a shortage of bison is pushing prices to a near-record high.

Bison meat is averaging $7 per pound — an increase of $2 from a year ago. And so far, consumers don't mind paying extra for the meat.

At a Ted's Montana Grill in Denver, accountants Cory Vann and Reid Schellhous sat down to some bison burgers for lunch.

Asked how the burgers taste, Schellhous says, "It's a little bit sweeter, slightly different texture, I'd say. A little bit smoother."

For these number-crunchers, paying $12 per burger isn't a deterrent.

"I mean, if it was twice as much as beef, I think I'd stick with beef. But it's only a couple dollars' difference, and so it's not that big of a deal," Vann says.

A recent supply shortage forced the restaurant to raise its prices on bison. But general manager Scott Procup says that so far, customer demand is holding steady.

"We started prepping more beef, but it stayed in line still with the prices," he says. "They're willing to pay the extra price for the product."

Bison is a niche market — last year, 92,000 head were processed in North America. That's less than one day's beef production in the United States.

But as prices continue to rise, many in the industry expect customers to push back. That has led the National Bison Association to launch a massive recruiting effort to bring more ranchers into the business.

And people like Chandler Morton are answering the call. When we visited him, he was out stringing electrical fence wire, preparing grazing land for his 15 recently purchased bison.

Morton is in his mid-30s; he has a master's degree in accounting. His disdain for sitting behind a desk led him to start an animal hide tanning store, which he's now using to fund an upstart bison business.

"I think there's several years to go before we can even come close to matching demand. So that's what's exciting about it," he says. "Because there's not too many industries you can look at in 2011 and say that's what's happening."

But it will take time for Morton to grow his herd. A female bison can't have her first calf until she's 3; that's compared with age 2 for beef cows. It may sound like a shortcoming, but this can actually be an asset, according to Dave Carter, executive director of the National Bison Association.

"The good thing is, with the higher prices, that's all going right back to the ranchers right now. And that's a great signal for ranchers to build their herds," he says.

While ranchers may be benefiting, processors like Rocky Mountain Natural Meats are not.

President Bob Dineen started the business out of his Nissan station wagon decades ago. Today his factory supplies meat to Whole Foods and Ted's Montana Grill.

"We've increased sales in the 10 to 20 percent range pretty much every year," Dineen says, "this year being the lower end of that, because of supply issues."

Last year, the industry saw some growing pains. Rocky Mountain Natural Meats initiated its largest recall ever, due to possible contamination by E. coli bacteria. Dineen says the processing plant tests daily for it. And he says that growing the business means preserving the quality customers expect.

Back at Ted's Montana Grill, diner Cory Vann says he probably couldn't taste the difference between beef and bison if he were blindfolded. And right now, that's part of the appeal for consumers like Vann, who also cooks the lower-fat meat at home.

"We've made like a Bolognese with bison instead of ground beef before," he says. "We'll make burgers at home, but even taco meat you can make with bison instead."

It seems that just about the only culinary limit the bison industry has right now is dessert.

Bison Alert!

An article on my favorite meat, Bison!

Bison - a heart-healthy meat
Jim Romanoff – The Associated Press
BILL HOGAN Chicago Tribune

Tired of chicken? Try a bison burger, grilled to rare or medium doneness.

Want to be health conscious and a red meat lover? Try bison.

Bison (also called buffalo) meat has a flavor that is similar to beef, though many say it is slightly sweeter. But what is most notable, especially to the healthy cook, is that the American Heart Association has included lean cuts of bison as part of a heart healthy diet.

Nutritionists like bison because it is low in total fat, saturated fat, sodium and dietary cholesterol. It also is nutrient-dense, containing a high proportion of protein and minerals relative to calories.

Ground bison and bison sirloin steaks can be found in most supermarkets, and an even wider range of cuts can be purchased from specialty meat purveyors.

Bison can be used in the same ways you would beef, but the leanness of the meat comes with a downside — it has to be cooked carefully or it can easily dry out and become tough.

It is best to cook bison steaks to a rare or medium doneness, so if you prefer your meat well done you may want to stick with beef.

Ground bison is quite versatile and works well for tacos, chili, meatloaf and meatballs. The latter two are especially good if you add some moisture in the form chopped onions or moistened, fresh breadcrumbs.

A bison burger is delicious, especially when cooked to no more than medium doneness. Season the ground meat with a simple combination of coarse salt and ground black pepper, or using seasonings from any of your favorite burger recipes.

This recipe for grilled, marinated open-faced bison steak sandwiches uses a balsamic vinegar and shallot marinade to add flavor and moisture. Use bison steak medallions, bison strip or rib-eye steaks for the best results.

The low fat, creamy horseradish-chive sauce provides the perfect accent to the bison steak and peppery baby arugula. Try it on your favorite steak, burger or even as a dip for crispy, fresh vegetables.

Grilled Marinated Bison Steak Sandwiches

½ cup balsamic vinegar ¼ cup finely chopped shallots

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Four 6-ounce bison sirloin steaks, about 1-inch thick each

4 slices sourdough bread

2 cups baby arugula, washed and dried

In a small bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, shallots, olive oil and mustard.

Place the bison steaks in a zip-close plastic bag and add half of the balsamic dressing. Turn to coat well. Set the remaining dressing aside. Place the sealed bag in the refrigerator and marinate for at least 2 hours, and up to 8 hours.

Heat a gas grill to medium or prepare a charcoal fire. Remove the steaks from the marinade and pat dry with a paper towel. Oil the grill rack using an oil-soaked folded paper towel held with tongs.

Grill the steaks to medium doneness, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Be careful not to overcook. While the steaks are cooking, grill the bread, turning once, until toasted, about 1 minute per side.

Toss the arugula with the reserved balsamic mixture. To assemble the sandwiches, top each slice of bread with dressed arugula and steak. Serve immediately topped with a dollop of creamy horseradish-chive sauce.

Makes 4 servings.

Creamy Horseradish-Chive Sauce

2 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise

2 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream

1 tablespoon prepared horseradish

1 tablespoon finely chopped chives

1 teaspoon white-wine vinegar

In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, horseradish, chives and vinegar.

Bison Sirloin Steak and…

Today’s Menu: Bison Sirloin Steak and Sauteed Mushrooms w/ Smashed Potatoes and Artisan Multi Grain Bread.

I had one of the most tender and great tasting Bison Sirloin Steaks I have ever had for dinner tonight! Rubbed just a bit of Extra Virgin Olive Oil on it and seasoned with McCormick Steakhouse Grinder Seasoning. Pan fried to medium rare and covered with Sauteed Portabella Mushrooms. As sides had Smashed New Potatoes and Kroger Artisan Multi Grain Bread. I fixed the Potatoes by quartering them and seasoned with Sea Salt , Grinder Black Pepper, Ground Thyme, Parsley, and a teaspoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Put them in a microwave safe bowl and nuked for 4:30 minutes. Then took a hand masher and partially smashed them and then added a pat of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter. Then ENJOYED A GREAT DINNER!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Dinner Tonight: Spaghetti and Meatballs w/ Artisan Multigrain Bread.

Had Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Whole Wheat Spaghetti, seasoned with McCormick Grinder Italian Seasoning, and Turkey Meatballs. The sauce was a new one I tried for the first time, Bella Vita Low Carb Roasted Garlic Pasta Sauce. I had tried low carb pasta sauce before but it was bland and about as thick as water. The Bella Vita was very good! Great flavor and about the same thickness as other sauces. I’ll stick with this one especially when it’s 70 calories and a very low 6 carbs per serving! I had the Roasted Garlic I also purchased the Meat Flavor Past a Sauce, haven’t tried that one yet. I also tried a new bread, Kroger Bakery Artisan Multigrain Bread, excellent!

Cherry Peach Cobbler

This sounded too good not to pass along!

 Cherry Peach Cobbler

1     Pound peaches, halved, pitted, and sliced, or one 16-ounce package frozen unsweetened peach slices, thawed*
1     Pound dark sweet cherries, pitted, or one 16-ounce package frozen dark sweet cherries, thawed*
1/4     Cup cold water
4     Teaspoons all-purpose flour
3/4     Cup all-purpose flour
2     Tablespoons sugar or sugar substitute** equivalent to 2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2     Teaspoons baking powder
2     Tablespoons butter
1     Egg, slightly beaten or Egg Beater
3     Tablespoons fat-free milk
1     Teaspoon sugar or sugar substitute** equivalent to 1 teaspoon sugar
1/2     Teaspoon ground cinnamon
    Frozen fat-free whipped dessert topping, thawed (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Arrange sliced peaches and cherries in a 10-inch quiche dish. In a small bowl, combine the water and the 4 teaspoons flour; pour over fruit.

2. For cobbler dough: In a medium bowl, combine the 3/4 cup flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, and the baking powder. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture; add egg and milk all at once. Stir just until moistened.

3. Drop dough by spoonfuls into 8 to 10 mounds on top of the fruit. In a small bowl, stir together 1 teaspoon sugar and the cinnamon; sprinkle over the dough.

4. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the topping comes out clean and fruit mixture is bubbly on edges. Cool slightly on a wire rack. Serve warm. If desired, serve with dessert topping. Makes 8 (about 3/4-cup) servings.

*Tip: If using frozen fruit, thaw it completely but do not drain the fruit before adding to the quiche dish.

*Sugar Substitutes: Choose from Splenda® Granular or Sweet 'N Low® bulk or packets. Follow package directions to use product amounts equivalent to 2 tablespoons and 1 teaspoon sugar.
Nutrition facts per serving with substitute: 142 cal., 25 carbo. Carb choices: 1.5.
Nutrition Facts Per Serving:

    * Servings: 8 (about 3/4-cup) servings
    * Calories142
    * Total Fat (g)4
    * Saturated Fat (g)2
    * Cholesterol (mg)34
    * Sodium (mg)77
    * Carbohydrate (g)25
    * Fiber (g)2
    * Protein (g)3
    * Vitamin A (DV%)0
    * Vitamin C (DV%)0
    * Calcium (DV%)0
    * Iron (DV%)0
      Diabetic Exchanges
    * Starch (d.e.).5
    * Fruit (d.e.)1
    * Fat (d.e.)1

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Pita Bread Pizza

Love that Pita Bread! I have real easy, Quick, low calorie, and low carb recipe.
I had this for lunch today.


1 Whole grain Pita Bread
1/2 Teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Pizza Sauce
4 Slices Turkey Pepperoni
1 Medium size Portababella Mushroom, sliced 5 equal sizes
2% Mozzarella Cheese, Amount to preference

* Preheat oven to 400 degrees
* On the Pita Bread add the Olive Oil evenly across the Bread. Then spread the Pizza Sauce
across the bread. Lay the Pepperoni and then the Mushroom slices around the Bread and
then top with the Cheese, amount you liking, over the Bread.
* Bake at 400 for 5 – 6 minutes or until Cheese is melted and serve.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Pita, Pita, Pita!

I've been on a Pita Bread kick lately and been buying Skally's Old World Bakery Whole Wheat Pita bread. Made locally here in Cincinnati, Ohio. You can do almost any filling with Pita Bread including using it as your pizza crust! Anyway I'm going to pass along some Pita Bread creations every now and then, and there is a lot of them. At 100 calories and 20 carbs fits well into your diet plans or if you would have Diabetes2 like myself.

Turkey Jalapeno Pita

Slices of smoked turkey
Jalapeno Peppers
Tomato pesto
Tomato slices
Mozzarella cheese

Cut or pull off the top half of the Pita bread to create the pocket and
fill with the ingredients. The order or amount to your liking. You can
cut the Pita in half to make 2 Pita breads if you prefer. 

Rueben Sandwich Pita

Pita Pocket Bread halves
Deli corned beef
Prepared Sauerkraut
Spicy mustard
Light Thousand Island Dressing
Sliced 2% Swiss cheese

In each Pita Bread half, spread  Mustard on bottom and Thousand Island dressing on top. Layer each half with Corned Beef, Sauerkraut and Sliced 2% Swiss cheese. Microwave on High for 45 seconds to 1 minute*, or until cheese melts and sandwich is heated through.
*Approx. time - microwave ovens vary.
*Amount of Ingredients according to how many you need.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Wild Mushroom Agnolotti with Chicken and Pesto Sauce

Dinner Tonight: Wild Mushroom Agnolotti and Pesto Sauce w/ Chicken Breast Strips.

If your like me I wondered what the heck Agnoltti is? I knew by looking at it it was pasta but I wanted to know more. At the bottom of the post is the definition of what it is. Anyway I had Wild Mushroom Stuffed Agnolotti and Basil Pesto Sauce w/ Chicken Breast Strips and a couple of slices of Aunt Millie’s Whole Grain Bread. I used Buitoni Agnolotti and Buitoni Basil Pesto Sauce. If you’ve never tried Buitoni brand products give them a try, always fresh and great tasting. As sides I had  Pilgrim’s Pride Chicken Breast Strips along with a couple of slices of Aunt Millie’s Whole Grain Bread. Overall this dinner is a bit higher in calories than I normally like but a little higher every now and then is okay.  Now for the official definition of Agnolotti:

Agnolotti pasta is a type of pasta normally stuffed, roughly similar in size to ravioli and tortellini. The Piedmont region of Italy is well known for their many agnolotti recipes. Today the pasta is becoming increasingly more popular in the US, with numerous famous chefs suggesting agnolotti pasta dishes and fillings.
Some agnolotti pasta are square or rectangular in shape, while others form a half moon circle. Instead of taking two layers of pasta dough, adding filling and then cutting them all around to produce square ravioli, agnolotti are simply folded over. You’ll notice one side is smooth, while the other sides, or half if the pasta is circular are pinched together. They may be cut on each side with a serrated knife or pizza cutter to give a lacy look to the pasta, or they can be pressed with a fork, much resembling pie crust edges.

Australian Meat Pie

An Australian favorite, Australian Meat Pie


    * 2 pounds ground beef
    * 1 cup ketchup
    * 1 cup onion, chopped
    * 1 teaspoon salt
    * 1 cup milk
    * ⅔ cup bread crumbs
    * 1 teaspoon oregano
    * ½ teaspoon pepper
    * 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
    * 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
    * 2 prepared pie shells, 8-inch


   1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
   2. Combine ground beef, ketchup, onion, salt, milk, breadcrumbs, oregano, and pepper in a bowl.
   3. Mix well.
   4. Divide mixture into 2 pie shells and bake for about 45 minutes.
   5. While the pies are baking, mix together Worcestershire sauce and cheese in another bowl.
   6. After about 45 minutes, remove pies from oven.
   7. Spread Worcestershire sauce and cheese mixture on top of pie shells.
   8. Bake for about 10 more minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Serves 6.

National Dish of the Week: Australia

A national dish is a dish, food or a drink that is considered to represent a particular country, nation or region.

Captain Arthur Phillip of England established the first modern settlement in Australia in January 1788. The settlers were not very experienced as farmers and early agricultural practices were disastrous. Crop failure caused food shortages and even starvation. Settlers depended on goods imported from England—such as tea, flour, beef, oatmeal, and cheese—to survive. They also learned to eat foods they found around them, such as fish and wild fruits and nuts.

The Australian diet has been heavily influenced by peoples from all over the world. The Potato Famine of the 1840s in Ireland led many desperate starving Irish people to leave their homeland, seeking relief in Australia (as well as Canada, the United States, and elsewhere). Gold was discovered in Australia a few years later, bringing more people to the country. Following World War II (1939–45), Europeans and Asians arrived in greater numbers. As a result, cuisines from other countries, such as Italy, Greece, and Lebanon, became popular. Europeans introduced tea, cocoa, coffee, fruits, and a variety of cheeses, and Asians introduced new spices and the technique of stir-fry.
The end of World War II brought about significant change in Australian cuisine. People from Europe and Asia brought new crops, seasonings, and cooking methods with them.

Wheat, rice, oranges, bananas, and grapes are just a few of the crops that grow in abundance throughout the country. Meat has always been a large part of the Australian diet, although Australians (like others around the world) began to be concerned about controlling cholesterol and fat in their diet, and decreased their consumption of meat slightly toward the end of the twentieth century. Kangaroo, though once a popular meat in Australia's early history, is no longer widely consumed; beef, lamb, pork, poultry, and seafood are more common in twenty-first century Australia.
A typical breakfast may consist of fruit, toast with Vegemite (a salty yeast spread), fried eggs and bacon, and juice. Lunch may be an apple or a salad (such as Grated Carrot, Apple, and Raisin salad), a sandwich filled with tuna or deli meats, and an ANZAC biscuit for a treat. (ANZAC is the acronym for Australia and New Zealand Army Corps. No one knows for sure, but many people think these biscuits were first prepared for troops—and for Australian and New Zealand families—around 1915 during World War I.) Dinnertime often brings leg of lamb or barbecued prawns (shrimp), roasted vegetables, a salad, and a custard or tart for dessert. Damper , a simple homemade bread, and billy tea , named for the pot it is heated in, both remain a staple for any meal.

Meat pie is considered the Australian national dish. One newspaper, the Sydney Morning Herald, reported some statistics about meat pie consumption in the country:

    * Almost 260 million pies are consumed every year, or almost 15 per person
    * Men eat meat pies almost twice as often as women
    * 62 percent of meat pies are filled with chopped steak (ground beef)
    * 36 percent are filled with steak and onion, steak and kidney, steak and potato, or steak and mushroom
    * Just 2 percent are filled with chicken

Australians, like the English, call cookies "biscuits." They often use the nickname "bickies" or "bikkies" especially when offering a biscuit to a child (or even when offering a treat to a pet). Every household has a biscuit tin, a decorative round tin with a lid, to keep the supply of biscuits handy.

Most Australians spend holidays with family, participating in special events and preparing a festive meal. Since the temperatures are mild, meals are often consumed outdoors at a picnic or on the beach. Because Australia is in the Southern Hemisphere, the seasons are the opposite of those in North America and Europe. Christmas falls in the middle of summer, when most school children are on their summer vacation. A typical Christmas menu may include a variety of hot and cold meats, seafood, pasta, salads, and many types of desserts. Mince pies, fruitcake, shortbread, and plum pudding are also popular after-dinner treats.

Christmas puddings may contain a small favor baked inside. It is said that the person who finds the favor will be blessed with good luck.

Easter is also widely celebrated in Australia. A traditional menu consists of roast lamb, beef, or chicken with roasted vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, peas, or broccoli. Seafood, lasagna, and salads are also favorites. Pavlova, an elegant dessert made of egg whites and sugar and garnished with fruit, is a popular Easter dessert. Most children prefer candy, and chocolate eggs are Easter favorites. Treats are often shaped like an Easter bilby, an endangered Australian mammal that resembles the North American Easter bunny.

Spice of the Week - Poppy Seed

Blue Poppy seeds are considered 'European' poppy seeds because they are the kind seen most often on Western breads, bagels and in confectionery. White poppy seeds are often referred to as 'Indian', 'Middle Eastern' or 'Asian' since they are featured in these cuisines. There is actually very little difference in flavor between the two, so usage is more a question of aesthetics or availability.

Papaver somniferum is also the opium poppy, native to the Middle East and now grown in China, Indo-China, India and Afghanistan. An inert variety grows wild and is also cultivated in Europe and North America. The plant's species name, somniferum, means 'sleep inducing' and it is this narcotic effect that has provided so much incentive to its cultivation. The oriental variety yields much opium, and it is grown expressly for this lucrative purpose. The Western plants yield little opium and the latex that provides the drug is absent by the time the flower ripens. Poppy seeds of culinary use have none of the alkaloids that comprise the narcotic. Opium was known medically to the ancient Egyptians and the classical civilizations.

Spice Description

Poppy seeds are like tiny hard grains. The Western type is slate blue; the Indian type, off-white. Both are kidney-shaped. The blue seeds average 1mm (.O4in) in length, while the white seeds are somewhat smaller. They are similar in flavour and texture and their uses are interchangeable. The seeds mature in a capsule left after the flower fades. They are widely available in a dried form.

Plant Description and Cultivation

An annual, reaching 30-120cm (1-4ft), the lobed leaves have a blue tinge. The flowers are white to purple; those of Papaver rhoeas, red. They grow up to 12cm (5in) in diameter. The Eastern wild varieties usually sport lilaccoloured blooms. Many wild species occur, such as the Corn Poppy (P. rhoeas), often seen in cornfields. Some varieties are grown ornamentally. When the flowers fade, a capsule remains, rounded and crowned with a star-shaped stigma. On drying, it splits, casting out myriad seeds in the winds. There are nearly one million seeds to the pound (0.5kg). Wild varieties flower from June to August, cultivated varieties in July.

Preparation and Storage

Poppy seed is very hard to grind. If you do not have a special poppy seed grinder, first lightly roast the seeds and use a pestle and mortar. They can be used either whole or crushed in cooking and bakery. When using them with uncooked food, such as salads, roast them lightly first, as this strengthens their flavor and aroma. When poppy seeds are used for pastries, they are covered with boiling water and allowed to stand for one to three hours before grinding.

Culinary Uses

In the West, the blue poppy seeds are used principally in confectionery and in baking. Like several other spicy seeds, they are sprinkled on breads and buns and used in a variety of Western cakes and pastries, for example in poppy cakes, strudels and Danish pastries. Poppy seed complements honey spread an bread, giving a nice contrast of texture Fried in butter, poppy seed can be added to noodles or pasta. It flavours vegetables and their accompanying sauces, especially asparagus and root vegetables. Sprinkled into coleslaw, the seeds give a contrast of both colour and texture. They are used to top creamed potatoes and au gratin dishes, and sometimes appear in fish dishes. In Middle Eastern and Jewish cookery, poppy seeds go on breads and in cakes and candies and are often seen studding pretzels.

In the East the white poppy seed is generally used. Chappatis (Indian whole-wheat griddle breads) may contain it, and certain curries and varieties of mixed spice contain a small proportion of poppy. Its function in curry is partially to thicken the liquid and add texture. The whole seeds are used in chutneys. The oil expressed from poppy seeds, which the French call oillette, is used for culinary purposes and is an acceptable substitute for olive oil. The European poppy variety, Papaver rhoeas, is used to make a syrup similar to that of rose hips, which is occasionally used in soups. Being hard to grind, it requires a special machine. These hand-turned grinders are common in Austria and Germany but seldom seen in elsewhere. Poppy syrup is made from the flowers of the corn poppy or rose poppy, (P. rhoeas). It is used in cordials. This variety is also known as 'headache' - to smell it causes momentary dizziness. It is also the poppy of Remembrance Day which is the emblem of the soldiers who perished in the Great War. Indian poppy seed - 'mawseed' - is a food for birds.

Attributed Medicinal Properties

Western poppy syrup is an anodyne and expectorant. Eastern poppy is an anodyne and narcotic. Cough mixtures and syrups are also made from this variety, which is further used as a poultice with chamomile. An infusion of seeds is said to help ear and tooth ache. The seeds have appetising qualities. The use and dangers of poppy plant derivatives, such as morphine, heroin and codeine, are well known. In the Middle Ages an anaesthetic was produced called 'the soporific sponge', an infusion made of poppy, mandrake, hemlock and ivy that was poured over a sponge and held under the patient's nostrils.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Today’s Menu: Pulled Pork Sandwich w/ Green Beans & Shelly Beans and Diced Potatoes.

Had some Pork Roast leftover from lunch the other day. I shredded that and had it on an Aunt Millie’s Thinwich Bun. Then had sides of Bushs Cut Green Bean & Shelly Beans and Diced Potatoes. Doesn’t get much easier, love those leftovers!

Mini Biscuit Waffles with…

Need breakfast in a hurry? Try these little waffles that start with refrigerated biscuits!
Quick and easy, low cal and low carb!

1 can (7.5 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated tender layer biscuits
3 Jimmy Dean Turkey Sausage Links

* 1 Spray waffle maker with cooking spray. Heat waffle maker.
* 2 Separate dough into 10 biscuits. Place up to 4 biscuits at a time on waffle maker. Close lid of waffle maker; cook 1 to 2 minutes or until light golden brown.
* 3 Serve immediately with remaining ingredient.

Waffles can be wrapped and frozen up to 1 month. To serve, toast in toaster until thoroughly heated.

For a fresh start to the day, serve waffles topped with Strawberries, Raspberries and Blueberries or serve with Maple Syrup or Peanut Butter and Jam.

Nutrition Information:

(3 Mini-Waffles)
* Calories 270
* Total Carbohydrate 30g

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Walmart launches healthy foods initiative to reduce salt, sugar and fats

Ran across this article earlier in the week and thought I would pass it along.

Walmart is getting on Michelle Obama's bandwagon, announcing Thursday that it will start selling healthier foods.

The four-year plan, which company officials announced in Washington with the First Lady, includes reducing salt and sugar as well as eliminating trans fats in packaged foods. Officials for the world's largest retail chain also plan to cut the prices of fresh fruits and vegetables — and will build stores in low-income neighborhoods where consumers have few choices to buy food beyond gas stations and convenience stores.

"No family should have to choose between food that is healthier for them and food they can afford," said Bill Simon, president and CEO of Walmart U.S. "We are committed to working with suppliers, government and non-governmental organizations to provide solutions that help Americans eat healthier and live a better life."

Walmart has more than 140 million customer visits each week. In outlining the changes, officials said they plan to reformulate thousands of packaged foods by 2015. Their goals include reducing sodium by 25 percent and added sugars by 10 percent, and removing all remaining industrially produced trans fats and partially hydrogenated oils.

Company officials said they will work with suppliers to improve the nutritional quality of both their Great Value brand and national food brands.

Walmart officials also said they will reduce prices on some healthy foods, such as products with reduced sodium, sugar or fat. The company plans to design a logo to help consumers identify healthier food options, such as whole grain cereal, whole wheat pasta and unsweetened canned fruit.

"Our customers often ask us why whole wheat pasta sometimes costs more than regular pasta made by the same manufacturer," said Andrea Thomas, senior vice president of sustainability at Walmart. "We will use our size and scale to reduce the price premium on these types of products whenever possible, because customers shouldn't have to pay more to eat healthier."

In addition, Walmart announced that it will increase charitable support for nutrition programs that educate consumers about healthier food solutions and choices.

The changes could be significant in Florida, where Walmart is the second-largest grocer in terms of market share. Publix leads the state, and Winn-Dixie is third, according to 2009 data from the Shelby Report.

The Arkansas-based chain is rapidly expanding in South Florida, where it has eight new stores in the works.

In Washington, consumer advocates praised the news. "I applaud Walmart for using its marketplace muscle to move the food industry in a healthier direction," said Michael Jacobsen, president of the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

"This announcement will virtually eliminate artificial trans fat in packaged foods and help spur food manufacturers to cut the sodium in their products over the next several years," he added. "Those two moves by Walmart ultimately should save thousands of lives each year that might otherwise be lost to heart disease or stroke."

Walmart already has begun a push into urban markets. In October, the retail giant announced it would open 30 to 40 smaller- format stores by January 2012, including outlets in urban areas. And in November, the retailer said it will open four locations in Washington, D.C., in 2012. The company has also started an advertising campaign to gain support for putting a store in New York City, where it likely will face opposition from politicians and labor unions

Roast Beef with Horseradish Cream

It's cold outside so I came across another warming comfort food recipe from 
A juicy seasoned sirloin tip roast is the centerpiece of this delicious meal. With a side of roasted potatoes, it's sure to be a family favorite. Serve for dinner, or for a special occasion to feed a group.


    * 4 clove(s) garlic
    * 2 sprig(s) fresh rosemary
    * 1 teaspoon(s) olive oil
    * 1 tablespoon(s) olive oil
    * Sea Salt
    * Pepper
    * 1 1/2 pound(s) Yukon gold potatoes, cut in half (or quarters if large)
    * 1 whole(s) (2- to 2 1/2-pound) tri-tip (sirloin tip) roast, well-trimmed
    * 1/4 cup(s) heavy or whipping cream
    * 2 tablespoon(s) prepared horseradish
    * 1/2 teaspoon(s) Dijon mustard
    * 1/2 teaspoon(s) white wine vinegar


   1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees F. With side of knife, gently smash 3 cloves garlic; discard peel. Into small bowl, crush remaining clove garlic with press. Cut 1 rosemary sprig into 1-inch pieces; set aside. Remove leaves from other sprig; discard stem. Finely chop leaves and add to bowl with crushed garlic along with 1 teaspoon oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper; set aside.
   2. In 18" by 12" jelly-roll pan, combine potatoes, remaining 1 tablespoon oil, smashed garlic, snipped rosemary, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper until well mixed. Spread in even layer, making space in center of pan for beef. Place beef in center of pan, fat side down; rub with reserved garlic-rosemary mixture.
   3. Roast 20 minutes or until beef browns. Reset oven control to 350 degrees F. Roast 8 to 10 minutes or until temperature on meat thermometer, inserted into thickest part of beef, reaches 130 degrees F; transfer to cutting board. Cover loosely; let stand 10 minutes. Transfer potatoes to platter.
   4. Meanwhile, whisk cream, horseradish, mustard, vinegar, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper until well blended. Slice meat thinly; serve with potatoes and horseradish cream.

Nutritional Information
(per serving)
Calories    360
Total Fat    19g
Saturated Fat    7g
Cholesterol    84mg
Sodium    335mg
Total Carbohydrate    16g
Dietary Fiber    2g
Sugars    --
Protein    32g
Calcium    --

Friday, January 21, 2011

New England Clam Chowder

Here today in the Cincinnati area there's a wind chill of -2 right now along with 7 inches of snow with more on the way. What better way to warm up the day or evening than with a big bowl full of Clam Chowder! Seen several different recipes but went with the one from website. 

 New England Clam Chowder
Cream, potatoes, and salt pork or bacon give classic chowder its rich flavor. What else they add: about 370 calories and 22 grams of fat per serving. To slim the dish — by more than half the calories and cholesterol — we trimmed the bacon, swapped reduced-fat milk for cream, and stirred in flour in place of several starchy potatoes.

    * 1 1/2 cup(s) water
    * 12 large cherrystone or chowder clams, scrubbed
    * 2 slice(s) bacon, chopped
    * 1 medium onion, chopped
    * 1 medium carrot, chopped
    * 1 stalk(s) celery, chopped
    * 2 tablespoon(s) all-purpose flour
    * 1 large (12-ounce) potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
    * 2 cup(s) reduced-fat (2%) milk
    * Pepper
    * 1 tablespoon(s) snipped fresh chives


   1. In 4-quart saucepan, heat water to boiling on high. Add clams; heat to boiling. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer 10 minutes or until clams open, transferring clams to bowl as they open. Discard any unopened clams
   2. Into 4-cup liquid measuring cup, strain clam broth through sieve lined with paper towel. Add water to broth to equal 2 1/2 cups total.
   3. Rinse saucepan to remove any grit. In same saucepan, cook bacon on medium until browned. With slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. To bacon fat in pan, add onion, carrot, and celery, and cook 9 to 10 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.
   4. Meanwhile, remove clams from shells and coarsely chop.
   5. Stir flour into vegetable mixture; cook 1 minute, stirring. Gradually stir in clam broth. Add potato; heat to boiling. Cover; simmer on low 12 minutes or until potato is tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in milk, clams, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and bacon; heat through (do not boil). Sprinkle with chives to serve.

Nutritional Information
(per serving)

Calories    180
Total Fat    9g
Saturated Fat    4g
Cholesterol    21mg
Sodium    155mg
Total Carbohydrate    20g
Dietary Fiber    2g
Sugars    --
Protein    8g
Calcium    --

Herb Lore: Natural Remedies

Another great one from Farmer's Almanac! This one on the natural remedies of Herbs.

We all know that herbs make great companions in the garden and kitchen. Herbs also have a long history as a natural remedy—and many other more unusual uses, too! Read on. . .

Romans paid taxes with anise, and it was used in cough drops.

Precious to lovers in Italy and considered sacred in India. Many years ago, Italian men wore a sprig of basil to indicate their intended marriage. A cup of basil tea after dinner helps digestion. Ease a headache by drinking tomato juice blended with fresh basil.

The Romans believed the herb to be an antidepressant, and ancient Celtic warriors took it for courage.

Caraway was used to scent perfumes and soaps. The Greeks used it for upset stomachs.

Eating a whole plant would cure hiccups; chervil was said to warm old and cold stomachs.

Bunches of chives hung in your home were used to drive away diseases and evil.

Romans made wreaths and garlands out of dill. Dill keeps witches away.

Bunches of fennel were used to drive off witches. It was used in love potions and as an appetite suppressant.

It was thought to give strength and courage. Aristotle noted garlic's use as a guard against the fear of water. It's also been widely used against evil powers.

Chewing on a piece of the dried root will keep you awake. Lovage warms a cold stomach and help digestion. Added to bathwater, it was believed to relieve skin problems.

The Greeks believed it could revive the spirits of anyone who inhaled it. At weddings wreaths and garlands were made of marjoram.

It was believed to cure hiccups and counteract sea-serpent stings. The Romans wore peppermint wreaths on their heads. It was added to bathwater for its fragrance.

Used for "sour humours" that plagued old farmers. Also used for scorpion and spider bites.

Used for wreaths and in funeral ceremonies. Believed to repel head lice and attract rabbits.

Rosemary in your hair will improve your memory. It will protect you from evil spirits if you put a sprig under your pillow.

Thought to promote strength and longevity and believed to cure warts. American Indians used it as a toothbrush.

Summer Savory
It was believed to be an aphrodisiac. Some thought it was a cure for deafness.

Put in shoes before long walking trips to give strength. It has been used to relieve toothache and as an antifungal.

Burning thyme gets rid of insects in your house. A bed of thyme was thought to be a home for fairies.

Anyone who has sage planted in the garden is reputed to do well in business.

Herb Companions in the Garden and Kitchen

Great chart for matching herbs with foods. Thanks to Farmer Almanac!

Herbs are great companions to food in your culinary masterpieces, and they are great companions in the garden, too.

In the garden: Plant with coriander, which promotes its germination and growth.
In the kitchen: Use in cookies, cakes, fruit fillings, and breads, or with cottage cheese, shellfish, and spaghetti dishes.

In the garden: Plant with tomatoes. Repels flies and mosquitoes.
In the kitchen: Use in tomato dishes, pesto, sauces, and salad dressings.

In the garden: Plant with tomatoes, squash, and strawberries. Deters tomato worm.
In the kitchen: Use leaves in salads; flowers in soups and stews.

In the garden: Plant here and there. Loosens soil.
In the kitchen: Use in rye breads, cheese dips and rarebits, soups, applesauce, salads, coleslaw, and over pork or sauerkraut.

In the garden: Plant with radishes.
In the kitchen: Use with soups, salads, sauces, eggs, fish, veal, lamb, and pork.

In the garden: Plant with carrots.
In the kitchen: Related to the onion, chives enliven vegetable dishes, dressings, casseroles, rice, eggs, cheese dishes, sauces, gravies, and dips.

In the garden: Plant with cabbages. Keep away from carrots.
In the kitchen: Use seed for pickles and also to add aroma and taste to strong vegetables like cauliflower, cabbage, and turnips. Use fresh with green beans, potato dishes, cheese, soups, salads, seafood, and sauces.

In the garden: Plant away from other herbs and vegetables.
In the kitchen: Use to flavor pastries, confectionery, sweet pickles, sausages, tomato dishes, soups, and to flavor vinegars and oils. Gives warmth and sweetness to curries.

In the garden: Plant near roses and raspberries. Deters Japanese beetle.
In the kitchen: Use in tomato dishes, garlic bread, soups, dips, sauces, marinades, or with meats, poultry, fish, and vegetables.

In the garden: Plant here and there to improve the health and flavor of other plants.
In the kitchen: It’s a great flavoring for soups, stews, and salad dressings. Goes well with potatoes. The seeds can be used on breads and biscuits.

In the garden: Good companion to all vegetables.
In the kitchen: Excellent in almost any meat, fish, dairy, or vegetable dish that isn’t sweet. Add near the end of cooking.

In the garden: Plant near cabbage and tomatoes. Deters white cabbage moth.
In the kitchen: It is common in Middle Eastern dishes. Use with roast lamb or fish and in salads, jellies, or teas.

In the garden: Good companion to all vegetables.
In the kitchen: Of Italian origin, its taste is zesty and strong, good in any tomato dish. Try oregano with summer squash and potatoes, mushroom dishes, beans, or in a marinade for lamb or game.

In the garden: Plant near asparagus, corn, and tomatoes.
In the kitchen: Use fresh parsley in soups, sauces, and salads. It lessens the need for salt in soups. You can fry parsley and use it as a side dish with meat or fish. It is, of course, the perfect garnish.

In the garden: Plant near cabbage, beans, carrots, and sage. Deters cabbage moth, bean beetles, and carrot fly.
In the kitchen: Use for poultry, lamb, and tomato dishes, stews, soups, and vegetables. Try it finely chopped in breads and custards.

In the garden: Plant near rosemary, cabbage, and carrots; away from cucumbers. Deters cabbage moth and carrot fly.
In the kitchen: Use in cheese dishes, stuffings, soups, pickles, with beans and peas, and in salads. Excellent for salt-free cooking.

Summer Savory
In the garden: Plant with beans and onions to improve growth and flavor.
In the kitchen: Popular in soups, stews, stuffings, and with fish, chicken, green beans, and eggs.

In the garden: Good companion to most vegetables.
In the kitchen: Great with meat, eggs, poultry, seafood, and in salad dressings, marinades, and sauces.

In the garden: Plant near cabbage. Deters cabbage worm.
In the kitchen: Use in casseroles, stews, soups, ragouts, and with eggs, potatoes, fish, and green vegetables.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Bison Sirloin Steak, Mushrooms, and….

Dinner Tonight: Bison Sirloin Steak and Sauteed Mushrooms w/  Parmesan Risotto and Harvest Grain Bread.

Had a Bison Sirloin Fillet cooked medium rare seasoned with McCormick Steak House Grinder Seasoning along with Sauteed Mushrooms. As sides Parmesan Risotto and Kroger Bakery Harvest Grain Loaf Bread. For the Risotto I used Lundberg Parmesan Risotto and I added some diced Sauteed Mushrooms.

Ice Fest!

Hamilton, Ohio - Whether you're a fan of the cold weather or not, Hamilton is throwing a party this month to celebrate everything and anything that's cold.

Ice Fest is making a comeback to the Butler County seat on Jan. 21 and Jan. 22 for the first time in three years.

Ice Fest is typically every two years, but organizers said the economic recession forced them to postpone the event until 2011. Ice Fest from 2010 to 2011. Organizers said this year's event will have all the sponsors they need to make the two-day celebration a big success for downtown Hamilton.

Ice Fest 2011 will bring in more than 40 tons of ice to create over 200 sculptures that will adorn High Street from the Government Services Center and Courthouse at Martin Luther King Boulevard to First Street on the other side of the High Street Bridge.

Plans for the free event include champion ice sculptors as well as many cold weather events. As daylight gives way to the night on Friday and Saturday night, many of the ice sculptures will be lit from to create a dazzling display for families walking along High Street.

Already, Ice Fest organizers said word of the event has brought in interest from around the country, including tour groups from Canada who are heading south but decided to spend a night in Hamilton to let their customers take part in Ice Fest.

Cincinnati ice sculptor Brady Lantz displayed his ice carving prowess on Thursday by turning a huge five foot tall block of ice into the logo for the Miami University-Hamilton Harriers, complete with an eagle's head.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Turkey Burger with…

Dinner Tonight: Turkey Burger w/ Mushrooms, Jack Daniel’s BBQ Sauce and Baked Waffle Fries.

Had Ground, 93/7 Blend, Turkey Burger seasoned with Sea Salt and Pepper with Sauteed Mushrooms and Jack Daniel’s Honey Smokehouse BBQ Sauce. All on an Aunt Millie’s Thinwich Bun, which is only 90 calories. As a side had Ore-Ida Waffle Fries, baked at 450 for 14 minutes.

Diabetes 2 Friendly Product Review - Joseph's Sugar Free Cookies

These cookies are WONDERFUL. They have a great crunch and wonderful peacan taste. I am happy that my Diabetes2 lifestyle does not have to suffer any longer. Because of these cookies I can have cookies again! Several varieties including: Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Almond, Walnut, Pecan and many more.

Product Description

Joseph's Lite Sugar Free Cookies are the most recognized and best loved sugar free cookies in the world. 2g of carbs per cookie or 7-8g per serving At the age of nine, Joseph Semprevivo was diagnosed with diabetes and by age 12, he created the first sugar free ice cream on the market. At 15 (1986) Joseph's Cookies and brownies were released into the mass market. On a mission to share his creation with other diabetics, he started by visiting local stores and speaking with apprehensive store managers. Store by store, city by city, state by state, Joseph steadily grew his business. Because of the quality of their products they have won numerous awards including: The American Taste Award, Superior Product Award, NFDA All-Natural Product, FDM All-Natural Award, Sugar-Free Award, Healthy Product Award, The Quality Hero Award, Senate Productivity Award, Governors Viva Award, Blue Chip Award, Chamber Business of the Year Award, was named "The Best Sugar-Free Cookie of the year 2002" and "Grocery Product of the Month". The company has also received the prestigious American Success Award presented by President George Bush at The White House Rose Garden.

 Nutrition Facts: Serving Size 28g (approx. 4 Cookies), Servings 11, Calories 95, Calories from Fat 30, Total Fat 5g, Saturated Fat 0g, Trans Fat 0g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 40mg, Total Carbohydrate 14g*, Dietary Fiber 0g*, Sugars 0g, Maltitol 6g*, Protein 1g. *Net carbs as listed by the manufacturer on the package = 2g per cookie or 8g per serving.

Dietary Need:     Sugar Free · Weight Management · Low Carb · Cholesterol Free · Low / Fat Free · Low / No Salt

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Post-Spill Fish Aren't Merely Surviving, They're Thriving

Interesting story off the Food Channel newsletter on the state of the Gulf Coast since the oil spill and it's fishing industry. 

Stories from the Gulf

Something strange has happened to the fish in the Gulf of Mexico since this summer’s oil spill.

No, the fish haven’t grown a third eye like the ones near the nuke plant on The Simpsons. In fact, most sea life in the Gulf is thriving and multiplying like mad.

The growth of the fish population is not occurring because the oil was good for fish. According to Lou Dolinar, reporting for The National Review online, the growth is happening because fishing is bad for fish. When fishing was banned for months during the spill, the Gulf of Mexico experienced an unprecedented marine renaissance that overwhelmed any negative environmental consequences the oil may have had, a new study reveals.

Even the researchers themselves, however, are surprised by the results of their findings. “We expected there to be virtually no fish out there based on all the reports we were getting about the toxicity of the dispersant and the toxicity of the hydrocarbons, and reports that hypoxia [low oxygen] had been created as a result of the oil and dispersant,” said John Valentine, who directed the study. “In every way you can imagine, it should have been a hostile environment for fish and crabs; our collection showed that was not the case.”

The resurgence is so robust, he says, that it may be impossible to determine whether the oil spill has had any effect on sea life at all. Valentine notes that the study doesn’t let BP off the hook — Gulf fishermen have suffered real and costly damage from the closing of fishing waters and from what he calls the “sociological phenomenon” that’s scared consumers away from eating Gulf seafood.

The Dauphin Island Sea Lab, a teaching and research consortium of 22 colleges and universities in Alabama, ran the fish-population study. Asked why the group has been virtually invisible in the national media, Valentine says that, unlike some scientists, they refrained from speculating about the impact of the spill until they had real evidence.

The research methodology is powerful because it is simple and straightforward: They drag a net through eleven different survey sites up to 60 miles off the coast, then weigh, classify, and count the critters they snare.

“The fish are off the charts,” Valentine said. “There are no fewer fish. There are more fish, because they’ve been un-harassed all summer. There are more and bigger fish.”

NOAA has said there have been no fish kills tied to oil, has certified seafood in the Gulf as safe, and has reopened most of the water there for fishing.