Friday, September 30, 2011

Turkey Joes w/ Blue Cheese and Kicked Up Spicy Chili Beans

Dinner Tonight: Turkey Joes w/ Blue Cheese and Kicked Up Spicy Chili Beans

I used Jennie - O Extra Lean Ground Turkey. While browning I seasoned the Turkey with McCormick Ground Smoked Cumin, McCormick Grinder Sea Salt and Black Peppercorn. Served on an Healthy Life Whole Grain Sandwich Bun topped with Crumbled Blue Cheese. The full recipe follows at the end of the post. As a side I had Kicked Up Spicy Chili Beans, this recipe also follows at the end of the post. For my Beans I used Joan of Arc Spicy Chili Beans. The good part there's plenty left for some great leftovers! For dessert/snack later a bag of Jolly Time Mini Bag of Pop Corn.

Sloppy Turkey Joes

Ground Smoked Cumin, Sea Salt, Pepper to taste
1 pkg. McCormick Sloppy Joe Seasoning Mix
1 lb. Lean Ground Turkey
1 can (6 oz.) Tomato Paste *
1¼ cups Water
Crumbled Blue Cheese for topping
Healthy Life Whole Grain Sandwich Buns


Brown Turkey in large skillet on medium-high heat, seasoning to taste. Drain fat.
STIR in Seasoning Mix, tomato paste and water.
BRING to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Serve on buns top Turkey with Crumbled Blue Cheese.

* Substitution: Use 1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce in place of tomato paste and water.

Kicked Up Chili Spicy Beans


1 Can Spicy Chili Beans, Brand your choice. I use Joan of Arc
3 Pieces Crumbled Turkey Bacon. You can use Turkey or Pork Bacon Crumbles
4 Shakes Frank's Red Hot Sauce
1/2 Cup Jack Daniel's Honey Smokehouse BBQ Sauce
1/2 Tablespoon Splenda Brown Sugar


Empty can of Beans into a medium sauce pan
Add Turkey Crumbles, Brown Sugar, Frank's Red Hot Sauce, Honey BBQ Sauce, stir and mix.
Heat until desired temperature, and serve

New shows heat up Cooking Channel

New shows heat up Cooking Channel

by: RITA SHERROW World Television Editor
Friday, September 30, 2011
9/30/2011 5:11:14 AM

The Cooking Channel is welcoming back several series, introducing some new shows and scheduling a few specials this week and beyond.

    On "Chuck's Day Off," chef Chuck Hughes spends a few days in the hospital following a scooter accident and decides to pay back the hospital staff for all their support with a special thank-you meal. 3 p.m. Sunday.

    San Diego is the first port of call for "Eat Street" with a visit to Mangia Mangia Mobile followed in Austin by the Pig Vicious Trailer filled with pork and the Cazamance Trailer for Senegalese cuisine. 7 p.m. Oct. 11.

    Debi and Gabriele make the move into their new home on "Extra Virgin" and decide to hold a yard sale inviting the neighbors to taste test wood-fired breakfast pizza, fried Tuscan olives and limoncello spritzer. 9:30 p.m. Oct. 19.

    New series coming to the channel include:

    "Simply Baking" with chef, baker and pâtissier Lorraine Pascale features old favorites and twists on modern classics. First up: Parmesan and poppy seed lollipops, simple soda bread, blueberry and lemon mille-feuille and an "I Can't Believe You Made That!" cake. 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

    "Easy Chinese: San Francisco" launched last Saturday and continues with episodes on San Francisco's Ferry Plaza Market, San Dong Noodle House, Monterrey Abalone Farm, Great Eastern Dim Sum House and the Palace of Fine Arts. In the series, Ching-He Huang explores Chinese cuisine with a "contemporary, regional spin." Noon Saturday.

    TV specials coming up include:

    "The Donatella Project" with famed restaurateur Donatella Arpaia adding consulting to her food empire and coming to the rescue of restaurants in need of her guidance on anything and everything. 7 p.m. Sunday.

    "He Cooks, She Cooks" has award-winning LA chefs David Lentz as the "He" and Suzanne Goin as the "She" giving viewers a behind-the-scenes look as they prepare for and host a benefit for the Hollywood Farmers Market. This married couple with three small children also travels to discover the sources of their menus and challenge each other to create different dishes using the same ingredients. 7 p.m. Oct. 16.

    "Cupcake Confidential" follows three cupcake entrepreneurs at different stages in their careers. 7 p.m. Oct. 23.

    "Chefography: Chuck" gets up close and personal with Chuck Hughes, the accomplished chef, restaurant owner and successful television host. 7 p.m. Oct. 30.

Jungle Jim’s Weekend of Fire 2011

When:      October 2, 2011 @ 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Where: The Oscar Event Center at Jungle Jim’s International Market
5440 Dixie Hwy
Fairfield,OH 45014 USA

Cost:     $5 Advanced, $7 At the door
Contact:     513-674-6055

Free Shuttle to additional parking will be provided on Saturday & Sunday.

Weekend of Fire attendees will be able to park in the Fairfield High School lot conveniently located across the street (N. Gilmore) from Jungle Jim's. Free shuttles will be running during the show to take you to and from BBQ Alley. The Jungle Jim's Monorail will take people upstairs to the Fiery Food Expo.

Here’s one wild weekend with hot food and cool entertainment! Lots of great ‘hot’ people (hot food makers, bloggers and chiliheads) come out for samples, fun, contests, prizes, and great crowds to fill The Oscar Event Center at Jungle Jim’s on October 1st and 2nd. For this weekend only, you can sample and purchase foods from all over the country at our Fiery Food Expo! Hot and fiery or mild and meek; you choose your favorites and can buy enough to last. Hot Sauces, BBQ sauces, salsas, rubs and all sorts of spicy foods will be available – and there’s more! In The Arena of Fire, we’ll have wild and wacky contests beginning on Saturday and running hourly until the show ends on Sunday. And new this year, you can go outdoors; to BBQ Alley, located by the Monorail Station where we'll have food, drinks and fun for everyone! Get your tickets now and join us for the spiciest fun you’ll have all year!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Bison Sirloin w/ Grilled Asparagus Spears and Baked Potato

Today's Menu: Bison Sirloin Steak w/ Grilled Asparagus Spears and Baked Potato

I had my favorite Steak for dinner tonight, Bison Sirloin. I seasoned it with McCormick Grinder Steakhouse Seasoning and fried in Extra Virgin Olive Oil about 4 minutes per side. If you've never had Bison you have to give it a try! As sides had Grilled Asparagus Spears that I seasoned with Sea Salt and a Baked Potato along with Healthy Life Whole Grain bread. For dessert later a Yoplait Deligt 100 Calorie Chocolate Eclaire Parfait.

National Dish of the Week - Sweden

Swedish Meatballs with cream sauce and mashed potatoes
Due to Sweden's large north-south extent there have always been regional differences in Swedish cuisine. Historically, in the far North, meats such as reindeer, and other (semi-) game dishes were eaten, some of which have their roots in the Sami culture, while fresh vegetables have played a larger role in the South. Many traditional dishes employ simple, contrasting flavors; such as the traditional dish of hearty meatballs and gravy with tart, pungent lingonberry jam (slightly similar in taste to cranberry sauce).

Swedes have traditionally been very open to foreign influences, ranging from French cuisine during the 17th and 18th century, to the sushi and cafe latte of today. On the fast food side, pizza and hot-dogs have been a ubiquitous part of Swedish culture since the 1960s. Twenty years later, the same could be said about the growing popularity of the kebab and falafel, as many small restaurants specialise in such dishes.

Swedish cuisine could be described as centered around cultured dairy products, crisp and soft (often sugared) breads, berries and stone fruits, beef, pork, sweetened seafood and fish. Potatoes are often served as a side dish, often boiled. Swedish cuisine has a huge variety of breads of different shapes and sizes, made of rye, wheat, oat, white, dark, sour-dough, whole grain; soft flat breads and crispbreads. There are many sweetened bread types and some use spices. Many meat dishes and especially meatballs are served with lingonberry jam. Fruit soups with high viscosity, like rose hip soup and blueberry soup (blåbärssoppa) served hot or cold, are typical of Swedish cuisine. Butter and margarine are the primary fat sources, although olive oil is becoming more popular. Sweden's pastry tradition features a variety of yeast buns, cookies, biscuits and cakes, many of them in a sugary style with a pastry (fika) are enormously popular in Sweden.

The importance of fish has governed Swedish population and trade patterns far back in history. For preservation, fish were salted and cured. Salt became a major trade item at the dawn of the Scandinavian middle ages, which began circa 1000 AD. Cabbage preserved as sauerkraut and various kinds of preserved berries, apples, etc. were used once as a source of vitamin C during the winter (today sauerkraut is used very seldom in Swedish cuisine). Lingonberry jam, still a favourite, may be the most traditional and typical Swedish way to add freshness to sometimes rather heavy food, such as steaks and stews.

Sweden's long winters explain the lack of fresh vegetables in many traditional recipes. In older times, plants that would sustain the population through the winters were cornerstones; various turnips such as the kålrot (aptly named "swede" in British English) were gradually supplanted or complemented by the potato in the 18th century. Before the influences of French cuisine during the 17th and 18th centuries, a lack of distinct spices made every-day food rather plain by today's standards, although a number of local herbs and plants have been used since ancient times. This tradition is still present in today’s Swedish dishes, which are still rather sparingly spiced.

Both before and after this period, some new Germanic dishes were also brought in by immigrants, such as persons related to the Hanseatic League, settling in Stockholm, Visby, and Kalmar. Swedish traders and aristocrats naturally also picked up some food traditions in foreign countries; cabbage rolls (kåldolmar) being one example. Cabbage rolls were introduced in Sweden by Karl XII who came in contact with this dish at the time of the Battle of Poltava and during his camp in the Turkish Bender and later introduced by his Ottoman creditors, which moved to Stockholm in 1716. Kåldolmar were already described in 1755, by Cajsa Warg, in her famous Hjelpreda i hushållningen för unga fruentimber.

Swedish husmanskost denotes traditional Swedish dishes with local ingredients, the classical every-day Swedish cuisine. The word husmanskost stems from husman, meaning "house owner" (without associated land), and the term was originally used for most kinds of simple countryside food outside of towns. Genuine Swedish husmanskost used predominantly local ingredients such as pork in all forms, fish, cereals, milk, potato, root vegetables, cabbage, onions, apples, berries etc.; beef and lamb were used more sparingly. Beside berries, apples are the most used traditional fruit, eaten fresh or served as apple pie, apple sauce, or apple cake. Time consuming cooking methods such as redningar (roux) and långkok (literally "long boil") are commonly employed and spices are sparingly used. Examples of Swedish husmanskost are pea soup (ärtsoppa), boiled and mashed carrots, potato and rutabaga served with pork (rotmos med fläsk), many varieties of salmon (such as gravlax, inkokt lax, fried, pickled), varieties of herring (most commonly pickled, but also fried, au grautain, etc.), fishballs (fiskbullar), meatballs (köttbullar), potato dumplings with meat or other ingredients (palt), potato pancake (raggmunk), varieties of porridge (gröt), a fried mix of pieces of potato, different kind of meats, sausages, bacon and onion (pytt i panna), meat stew with onion (kalops), and potato dumplings with a filling of onions and pork (kroppkakor).

Dishes akin to Swedish husmanskost and food traditions are found also in other Scandinavian countries; details may vary. Sweden is part of the vodka belt and historically distilled beverages, such as brännvin and snaps, have been a traditional daily complement to food. Consumption of wine in Sweden has increased during the last fifty years, partly at the expense of beer and stronger alcoholic beverages. In many countries locally produced wines are combined with local husmanskost.

Husmanskost has undergone a renaissance during the last decades as well known (or famous) Swedish chefs, such as Tore Wretmannouvel husman the amount of fat (which was needed to sustain hard manual labour in the old days) is reduced and some new ingredients are introduced. The cooking methods are tinkered with as well, in order to speed up the cooking process and/or enhance the nutritional value or flavor of the dishes.

Swedes have adopted some foreign influences, ranging from cabbage rolls and influences from French cuisine during the 17th and 18th centuries, to the pizza and cafe latte of today. Many Swedish restaurateurs mix traditional husmanskost with a modern, gourmet approach.

On the fast food side, hot dog sausage served in a bun or wrapped in flat bread is the classical Swedish fast food, but pizza has also been an integral part of Swedish fast food since the 1960s. Twenty years later, the same could be said about kebab and falafel, as many small restaurants specialise in such dishes.

Swedish traditional dishes, some of which are many hundreds of years old, others perhaps a century or less, are still a very important part of Swedish everyday meals, in spite of the fact that modern day Swedish cuisine adopts many international dishes.

Internationally, the most renowned Swedish culinary tradition is the smorgasbord and, at Christmas, the julbord, including well known Swedish dishes such as gravlax and meatballs.

In Sweden, traditionally, Thursday has been soup day because the maids had half the day off and soup was easy to prepare in advance. One of the most traditional Swedish soups, still served in many restaurants and households every Thursday together with pancakes, is the yellow pea soup, or ärtsoppa. It dates back to the old tradition of peas being associated with Thor. This is a simple meal, a very thick soup, basically consisting of boiled yellow peas, a little onion, salt and small pieces of pork. It is often served with mustard and followed by thin pancakes (see pannkakor). The Swedish Army also serve their conscripts pea soup and pancakes every Thursday.

Potatoes are eaten year-round as the main source of carbohydrates, and are a staple in many traditional dishes. Not until the last 50 years have pasta or rice become common on the dinner table.

There are several different kinds of potatoes: the most appreciated is the new potato, a potato which ripens in early summer, and is enjoyed at the traditional mid-summer feast called midsommar. New potatoes at midsommar are served with pickled herring, chives, sour cream, and the first strawberries of the year are traditionally served as dessert.

The most highly regarded mushroom in Sweden is the chanterelle, which is considered a delicacy. The chanterelle is usually served as a side dish together with steaks, or fried with onions and sauce served on an open sandwich. Second to the chanterelle, and considered almost as delicious, is the porcini mushroom, or karljohansvamp named after Charles XIV John (Karl XIV Johan) who introduced its use as food.

In August, at the traditional feast known as crayfish party, kräftskiva, Swedes eat large amounts of boiled crayfish boiled and then marinated in a broth with salt, a little bit of sugar, and a large amount of dill.

Fruit soups, especially rose hip soup and bilberry soup, are eaten or drunk, usually warm during the winter.

The most important of stronger beverages in the Swedish cuisine is Brännvin which is a general term that includes mainly two kinds of beverages: The Akvavit, also called Aqua vitae, and the Vodka. When consumed traditionally it is often served as a Snaps, but Vodka is also populary consumed as a drink ingredient. Renat is often considered to be the national vodka of Sweden, but other highly popular brands are Explorer Vodka and Absolut Vodka, the latter being one of the world's best known liquor brands. Most forms of Brännvin have around 40% alcohol.

The production of hard liquor has a tradition dating back to the 18th century and was at a high in the 1840s. Since the 1880s, the state-owned Systembolaget has a monopoly on selling spirits with more than 3.5% alcohol, limiting access. Hembränt (moonshine) used to be made in rural Sweden, but production has lessened in recent years due to more liberal rules for the import of alcohol as well as increased smuggling.

Brödinstitutet (The Bread Institute) once campaigned with a quotation from the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare, recommending eating 6 to 8 slices of bread daily. Drinking milk has also been recommended and campaigned for by the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare; it's often recommended to drink two to three glasses of milk per day. 52% of Swedes surveyed drink milk at least once a day, usually one glass with lunch and another glass or two in the evening or morning.

kräftskiva (crayfish party) - Sweden

Crayfish cooked with Dill

A crayfish party is a traditional summertime eating and drinking celebration in the Nordic countries. The tradition originated in Sweden, where a crayfish party is called a kräftskiva. The tradition has also spread to Finland via the Swedish-speaking population of that country.

Crayfish parties are generally held during August, a tradition that started because crayfish harvesting in Sweden was, for most of the 20th century, legally limited to late summer. Today, the “kräftpremiär” date in early August has no legal significance. Dining is traditionally outdoors, but in practice the party is often driven indoors by bad weather or aggressive mosquitoes. Customary party accessories are comical paper hats, paper tablecloths, paper lanterns (often depicting the Man in the Moon), and bibs. A rowdy atmosphere prevails amid noisy eating and traditional drinking songs (snapsvisa). The alcohol consumption is often high, especially when compared to the amount of food actually eaten (crayfish shelling is tedious work). It is culturally correct to suck the juice out of the crayfish before shelling it.

On the Swedish west coast it is common to replace the fresh water crayfish with havskräfta (English: Norway lobster)

Akvavit and other kinds of snaps are served, as well as beer. The crayfish are boiled in salt water and seasoned with fresh dill — preferably “crown dill” harvested after the plant has flowered — then served cold and eaten with one’s fingers. Bread, mushroom pies, strong Västerbotten cheese, salads, and other dishes are served buffet-style.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Potato Soup and Grilled Cheese

Dinner Tonight: Potato Soup and Grilled Cheese

It's been a long day been fighting allergies the past two days and it's really worn me down. So for dinner I wanted something real easy to fix and something hot and hearty. What better to fill the bill than Potato Soup and a Grilled Cheese! I used Campbell's Chunky Baked Potato With Cheddar & Bacon Bits Soup, just heat and serve. The Grilled Cheese I used Kraft 2% Sliced Sharp Cheddar and Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread and grilled in I Can't Believe It's Not Butter. This stick to your ribs comfort food dinner hit the spot! For dessert later a Yoplait Delight 100 Calorie Chocolate Eclair Parfait.

58th Annual Ohio Swiss Festival - Sugarcreek, Ohio

September 30-Oct 1, 2011  58th Annual Ohio Swiss Festival
Sugarcreek, Ohio
Held in Sugarcreek, the Little Switzerland of Ohio, with parades, queen pageant, musical entertainment, rides, 5K Swiss Cheese Chase, cheese auction, cheesemaking contest, Steintossen stone throwing, yodeling Swiss cheese eating and Swiss costume contests. Sample award-winning wine and cheese from our local artisans throughout the festival.

The Ohio Swiss Festival was originally organized to celebrate the Sugarcreek area’s Swiss heritage and to help numerous local artisan cheese makers selloff any excess Swiss cheese they may have produced.  That said, after nearly 60 years, it continues to be a success.

Sugarcreek and its surrounding area were heavily populated by German and Swiss settlers.  At one time the art of cheese making was practiced much like it was in the old country – starting with little more than a copper kettle, milk and small fire. While time and Environmental Protection Agency standards have changed, the quality of cheese in this area of Ohio continues to be world class.

Many of the families that started making cheese all those years ago continue to pass on the tradition from generation to generation.  While you can find big-box cheese at your local super market, you won’t find the quality, craftsmanship or family touch that you will at the cheese houses in the Sugarcreek Area.

Nor will you find the selection of quality all in one place, like you can at the Ohio Swiss Festival.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Applewood Rub Pork Chops w/ Diced New Potatoes, Cut Green & Shelly Beans,...

Dinner Tonight:  Applewood Rub Pork Chops w/ Diced New Potatoes, Cut Green & Shelly Beans, and French Bread

What a meal! Applewood Rub Pork Chops w/ Diced New Potatoes, Cut Green & Shelly Beans, and French Bread. I seasoned the Chops ( Center Cut Pork Loin Chops) with Sea Salt and Ground Black Pepper and then applied McCormick Grill Mates Applewood Rub. Fried about 4 minutes per side in 1 tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. After turning the Chops I added 4 tablespoons of Minute Maid Apple Juice to the pan for the Chops to simmer in the last 4 minutes. The Rub gives the Chops just the right flavor and kick with the Apple Juice making them some of the most juicy and moist Chops you'll ever fix. As sides had Cut Green & Shelly Beans, Boiled Diced New Potatoes, and Pillsbury Simply Rustic French Bread. Mom and Dad had been under the weather but this meal really perked them up! Perhaps some Breyer's Carb Smart Vanilla Ice Cream later for dessert.

Country Ham, Polenta, and Biscuits

Breakfast Idea: Country Ham, Polenta, and Biscuits

Was looking for someting a little different for breakfast this morning and ended up fixing Country Ham, Polenta, and Biscuits. really tasty and fits in my diabetic menu plans. I used Clifty Farm Country Ham, Quinoa Fat Free Organic Polenta, Pillsbury Country Style Biscuits. Another breakfast option!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Teriyaki and Pineapple Turkey Burger w/ Baked Steak Fries

Dinner Tonight: Teriyaki and Pineapple Turkey Burger w/ Baked Steak Fries

Turkey Burger and Fries for dinner. I used Jennie O Savory Turkey Burger Patties. Seasoned it with Sea Salt and Pepper and fried in Extra Virgin Olive Oil (1/2 TBS) and after flipping the Burger I added a tablespoon of Kikkoman Less Sodium Teriyaki Sauce to it along with a Pineapple Ring on top. Served on an Healthy Life Whole Grain Bun. The combination of the Teriyaki Sauce and the sweetness of the Pineapple Ring makes one great tasting Turkey Burger! As a side I had Ore Ida Baked Steak fries. For dessert/snack later a Mini Bag of Jolly Time Pop Corn.

Fruit of the Week - Mandarin Orange

The Mandarin orange, also known as the mandarin or mandarine (both lower-case), is a small citrus tree (Citrus reticulata) with fruit resembling other oranges. Mandarin oranges are usually eaten plain or in fruit salads. Specifically reddish-orange mandarin cultivars can be marketed as tangerines, but this is not a botanical classification.

The tree is more drought-tolerant than the fruit. The mandarin is tender, and is damaged easily by cold. It can be grown in tropical and subtropical areas

The mandarin orange is but one variety of the orange family. The mandarin has many names, some of which actually refer to crosses between the mandarin and another citrus fruit.

    Satsuma, a seedless variety, of which there are over 200 cultivars, such as Owari and mikan; the source of most canned mandarins, and popular as a fresh fruit due to its ease of consumption
    Owari, a well-known Satsuma cultivar which ripens during the late fall season
    Clementine, sometimes known as a "Christmas orange", as its peak season is December; becoming the most important commercial Mandarin orange form, have displaced mikans in many markets
    Tangor, also called the temple orange, a cross between the Mandarin orange and the common sweet orange; its thick rind is easy to peel and its bright orange pulp is sour-sweet and full-flavored

The mandarin is easily peeled with the fingers, starting at the thick rind covering the depression at the top of the fruit, and can be easily split into even segments without squirting juice. This makes it convenient to eat, as utensils are not required to peel or cut the fruit.

Canned mandarin segments are peeled to remove the white pith prior to canning; otherwise, they turn bitter. Segments are peeled using a chemical process. First, the segments are scalded in hot water to loosen the skin; then they are bathed in a lye solution which digests the albedo and membranes. Finally, the segments undergo several rinses in plain water.

During Chinese New Year, Mandarin oranges and tangerines are considered traditional symbols of abundance and good fortune. During the two-week celebration, they are frequently displayed as decoration and presented as gifts to friends, relatives, and business associates.

Citrus fruits are usually self-fertile (needing only a bee to move pollen within the same flower) or parthenocarpic (not needing pollination and therefore seedless, such as the satsuma).

Blossoms from the Dancy cultivar are one exception. They are self-sterile, and therefore must have a pollenizer variety to supply pollen, and a high bee population to make a good crop. The fruit is oblate.

In traditional Chinese medicine, the dried peel of the fruit is used in the regulation of ch'i, and also used to treat abdominal distension, to enhance digestion, and to reduce phlegm. Mandarins have also been used in ayurveda (traditional medicine of India).

Mandarin Orange Chicken

Mandarin Orange Chicken


4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (4 oz ea)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
Nonstick cooking spray as needed
1/2 cup finely-chopped onion - (abt 1 small)
1/2 cup orange juice
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water
1 can mandarin orange segments - (11 oz) drained
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro - (to 3)
2 cups hot cooked rice
Additional fresh cilantro (optional)

4 Servings


Pound chicken slightly between 2 pieces of plastic wrap to 1/4-inch thickness using flat side of meat mallet or rolling pin.

Broil chicken, 6 inches from heat source, 7 to 8 minutes on each side until chicken is no longer pink in center. Or, grill chicken, on covered grill over medium-hot coals, 10 minutes on each side or until chicken is no longer pink in center. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Spray medium nonstick saucepan with cooking spray; heat over medium heat until hot. Add onion; cook and stir about 5 minutes or until tender. Add orange juice, ginger and sugar. Heat to a boil.

Combine cornstarch and water in small bowl; add to juice mixture, stirring until thickened. Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in orange segments and cilantro. Serve chicken over rice; top with sauce. Garnish as desired.

This recipe yields 4 servings.

Exchanges Per Serving: 2 Starch, 3 Meat.

Nutrition Facts: Calories 298; Calories from Fat 10%; Total Fat 3g; Saturated Fat 1g; Protein 28g; Carbohydrates 37g; Cholesterol 69mg; Sodium 132mg; Dietary Fiber 1g.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Mango Curry Chicken and Rice

Dinner Tonight: Mango Curry Chicken and Rice

I had seen Patak's Taste of India Sauces advertised on the Food Network for a while now so I wanted to give it a try. I diced up 3 Thin Cut Chicken Breasts for my meat and used Uncle Ben's Rice. The sauce provides a fantastic flavor. I had the mild sauce this time but next time I'll try the spicy to get more of a kick. This sauce was very good though. I think it would go good with Pork Chops. Anyway I'll leave the sauce description of the sauce I used. can't wait to try the other sauces and Patak's products. 

Pataks Mango Curry Cooking Sauce (mild)
A mildly spiced, sweet mango sauce that is sure to shock your taste buds! You will love this spicy, cream-based sauce with hints of mango chutney. Recipe on bottle provides instructions to prepare Mango Chicken on the stove or in the oven. This sauce is also great with vegetables.

New Product Review - Hood Calorie Countdown

I've been seeing Hood 2% White and Chocolate Dairy Beverages at our local Kroger and Walmart so I one of each to give them a try. Both are excellent! Great way to cut the carbs and calories of Milk, 70 calories and 3 carbs on the 2% White. Highly recommended, give them a try!

Hood® Calorie Countdown® is a line of rich and creamy dairy beverages that provide the wholesome, delicious nutrition of milk without all the sugar, calories and carbohydrates. Available in Fat Free and 2% Reduced Fat White, and 2% Reduced Fat Chocolate varieties, Hood Calorie Countdown Dairy Beverages can be found in the refrigerated dairy section of retailers nationwide. Enjoy it with a meal, a snack or in your favorite recipes!

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 cup (240mL
Amount per Serving
Calories 70     Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Values
Total Fat 4.5g     7%
  Saturated Fat  3g     15%
  Trans Fat  0g    
Cholesterol 20mg     7%
Sodium 180mg     8%
Total Carbohydrate 3g     1%
Fiber <1g     3%
Sugar 3g    
Protein 5g     10%

Vitamin A 10%     Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 30%     Iron 0%
Vitamin D 25%    

For more than 160 years, the name Hood® has been synonymous with fresh, quality dairy products that taste great. Founded in 1846 in Charlestown, Massachusetts by Harvey Perley Hood, the company has since extended its New England roots, and today Hood is a national company distributing dairy products throughout the United States. In fact, HP Hood LLC is now one of the country’s largest branded dairy operators with 16 manufacturing plants throughout the United States. The company also maintains its own research and development operation, which supports the superior product quality and innovation that Hood customers have come to expect.

Hood branded lines of milk, cream, ice cream, cottage cheese and sour cream regularly rank among the top branded dairy products in New England. The Hood family of products also includes Simply Smart® Milks, and Calorie Countdown® low calorie dairy beverages. For more information about Hood’s portfolio of regional brands and product offerings, please visit our Family of Brands page. Hood also has national and super-regional franchise rights to process and sell extended-shelf-life products including LACTAID®, BAILEYS® Coffee Creamers, Fiber One™ Cottage Cheese, HERSHEY®'S Milk & Milkshakes and Almond Breeze® Almondmilk.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Shrimp w/ Mac & Cheese

Dinner Tonight: Shrimp w/ Mac & Cheese

Easy fixed comfort food tonight! Wanted something healthy, hot, and easy to fix. I had Shrimp along with Mac & Cheese. I used Sea Pak Light and Crispy Shrimp that I baked at 450 degrees for 12 minutes and Smart Ones three Cheese Macaroni that was microwaved on high for 4 minutes. You can't get much easier and in minutes you have your dinner. The Shrimp was 190 calories and 13 carbs while the Mac & Cheese was 300 calories and 49 carbs. The Mac & Cheese was a good size serving so I just had a half serving so that lowered the calories to 150 and 25 carbs. For dessert later tonight Breyer's Carb Smart Vanilla Ice Cream topped with Del Monte No Sugar Added Sliced Peaches.  

Bunyan's Diabetic Acorn Squash and Apple Soup

A delicious sounding Diabetic Fall recipe from Chef Paul on the web site.

Bunyan's Diabetic Acorn Squash and Apple Soup
by Paul Bushay [chefbunyan] 

If you have a stick blender you can puree it right the pot so you don't have to dirty your blender or food processor

- 2 acorn squash, halved and seeded
- 3 c low sodium chicken stock
- 2 tart green apples, cored, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 c onion, chopped
- 1 c apple juice, unsweetened
- 2 tsp ginger, peeled and fresh grated  
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1/8 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 Tbsp yogurt, low-fat, plain
- 4 Tbsp fresh chives, chopped

1.   Place squash cut side down on rack set over gently simmering water in saucepan; Cover and steam until tender, about 10 minutes.

2.   Cool squash slightly; Scoop pulp from shells.

3.   Combine 1/4 cup chicken stock, apples and onion in heavy medium saucepan; Cover and cook over low heat 10 minutes

4.   Add squash pulp, remaining chicken stock, apple juice, ginger and salt; Cover and simmer until ingredients are very tender, about 20 minutes.

5.   Puree soup in batches in processor or blender.

6.   Strain through sieve into clean saucepan, pressing puree with back of spoon; Reheat soup gently.

7.   Add lemon juice; Season with salt and generous amount of pepper.

8.   Ladle into bowls; Garnish with yogurt and chives.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Rotissieire Chicken Sandwich w/ Baked Steak Fries

Dinner Tonight: Rotisserie Chicken Sandwich w/ Baked Steak Fries

I bought a nice plump Walmart Rotisserie Chicken earlier today. I pulled all the meat and will get several meals out of it. For dinner I had a Rotisserie Chicken Sandwich on toasted Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread. Topped it with Kraft Reduced Mayo w/ Olive Oil, a splash of Jack Daniel's Smoked Honey BBQ Sauce, and a slice of Smoked Gouda Cheese. I also had a serving of Ore Ida Baked Steak Fries. For dessert/ snack later a bag of Jolly Time 100 Calorie Mini Bag of Pop Corn.

Next Iron Chef Season 4

Which ever Chef wins this one will have really earned it! What a lineup of Chefs for the upcoming Next Iron Chef Season 4. Here's the press release.

Food Network Selects Roster of Ten Superstar Chefs for the Ultimate Culinary Battle - Each Looking to Become The Next Iron Chef

    Elite Chefs Go Knife-to-Knife in High-Stakes Challenge to Become ‘The Next Iron Chef’
    Hosted by Alton Brown, Season Four Set to Premiere Sunday, October 30th at 9pm ET/PT

    NEW YORK – April 18, 2011 - Food Network, the leader in food and lifestyle entertainment, today announced the all-star casting and start of production for the ultimate season of The Next Iron Chef. Slated for premiere on Sunday, October 30th at 9pm ET/PT, Alton Brown will again host this 8-episode, top-rated series, which will shoot in Los Angeles and New York. The elite cast includes ten renowned chefs:

    Anne Burrell – Secrets of a Restaurant Chef, Worst Cooks in America (Food Network)
    Michael Chiarello – Bottega Restaurant (Napa Valley), Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello (Cooking Channel)
    Elizabeth Faulkner [sic] – Citizen Cake, Orson (San Francisco), Iron Chef America – challenger (Food Network)
    Alex Guarnaschelli – Butter, The Darby (New York), Alex’s Day Off, Chopped (Food Network)
    Chuck Hughes – Garde Manger (Montreal), Chuck’s Day Off (Cooking Channel), Iron Chef America – challenger (Food Network)
    Robert Irvine – Robert Irvine’s eat! (Hilton Head Island), Dinner: Impossible, Restaurant: Impossible, Worst Cooks in America (Food Network)
    Beau MacMillan – Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain (Phoenix), Challenge, Iron Chef America – challenger (Food Network)
    Spike Mendelsohn – Good Stuff Eatery (Washington D.C.), Kelsey & Spike Cook (
    Marcus Samuelsson –Red Rooster Harlem (New York), 24 Hour Restaurant Battle, Chopped (Food Network)
    Geoffrey Zakarian – The National, The Lambs Club (New York), 24 Hour Restaurant Battle, Chopped (Food Network)

    Judges include the original ‘Next Iron Chef’ Michael Symon, esteemed food journalist Simon Majumdar and UK Iron Chef Judy Joo.

    In The Next Iron Chef, the contestants bet on their culinary skills and put their reputations on the line for the chance to compete in legendary Kitchen Stadium. The winner will join the ranks of chefs including Bobby Flay, Marc Forgione, Jose Garces, Masaharu Morimoto and Symon as a member of the Chairman’s team on Iron Chef America.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Tilapia and Red Pepper Pesto w/ Asparagus and French Bread

Dinner Tonight: Tilapia and Red Pepper Pesto w/ Asparagus and French Bread

...And another recipe from Cooking Light October Issue, Salmon with Red Pepper Pesto. I didn't have any Salmon Fillets so I used Tilapia instead and it turned out great! I seasoned the fillets with McCormick Grinder Sea Salt and McCormick Grinder Black Peppercorn and then a light coat of Italian Style Bread Crumbs. Served the fillets topped with Red Pepper Pesto Sauce which really gives it fantastic flavor! Using the Tilapia instead of the Salmon also lowered the calories in the recipe. I've posted the original recipe at the bottom of the post. For sides I had Grilled Asparagus Spears (Meijer brand) along with Pillsbury Simply Rustic French Bread. For dessert/snack later tonight I made some Pineapple/BBQ Turkey Meatballs, these make a great tailgate or game day treat!

Salmon with Red Pepper Pesto

    YIELD: Serves 4 (serving size: 1 fillet and 3 tablespoons pesto)
    COURSE: Main Dishes


    4 (6-ounce) fresh or frozen sustainable salmon fillets (such as wild Alaskan)
    3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
    Cooking spray
    1/3 cup chopped bottled roasted red bell peppers, rinsed and drained
    1 tablespoon tomato paste
    1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
    7 whole blanched almonds
    1 garlic clove


1. Heat grill pan over medium-high heat. Sprinkle fish evenly with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Coat pan with cooking spray. Arrange fish in pan; cook for 4 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of temperature

2. While the fish cooks, combine remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, bell peppers, and remaining ingredients in a blender or food processor, and process until smooth. Serve pesto over fish.

Sustainable Choice: Look for salmon that's labeled "wild Alaskan," and you can be sure that you're getting a sustainable option.
Nutritional Information
Amount per serving

    Calories: 309
    Fat: 14.8g
    Saturated fat: 2.2g
    Monounsaturated fat: 5.6g
    Polyunsaturated fat: 5.4g
    Protein: 39.3g
    Carbohydrate: 2.4g
    Fiber: 0.6g
    Cholesterol: 107mg
    Iron: 1.8mg
    Sodium: 506mg
    Calcium: 31mg

Nutrition Guidelines for Healthy Living

Cooking Light OCTOBER 2011

Apple-Pumpkin Muffins

With the first day of Fall tomorrow this just sounded like a first day of Fall recipe! From one of my favorite sites

Apple-Pumpkin Muffins
Substituting applesauce for some of the butter or oil adds tenderness to these muffins while keeping them low in fat.
SERVINGS: 12 muffins

Nonstick cooking spray
1-1/4     cups all-purpose flour
1/2     cup whole wheat flour
3     tablespoons toasted wheat germ
2     teaspoons pumpkin pie spice or apple pie spice
1-1/2     teaspoons baking powder
1/2     teaspoon salt
1/4     teaspoon baking soda
1/2     cup refrigerated or frozen egg product, thawed, or 2 eggs, slightly beaten
1     cup canned pumpkin
3/4     cup buttermilk or sour milk*
1/3     cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4     cup packed brown sugar
2     tablespoons cooking oil

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly coat twelve 2-1/2-inch muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray; set aside. In a large bowl, stir together all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, wheat germ, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, salt, and baking soda; set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, combine egg, pumpkin, buttermilk, applesauce, brown sugar, and oil; add pumpkin mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened.

3. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups, filling each about two-thirds full. Bake about 25 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted near centers comes out clean.

4. Cool in muffin cups on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove from muffin cups; serve warm. Makes 12 muffins.

*Test Kitchen Tip: To make 3/4 cup sour milk, place 2-1/4 teaspoons lemon juice or vinegar in a glass measuring cup. Add enough milk to make 3/4 cup total liquid; stir. Let mixture stand for 5 minutes before using.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:

    Servings: 12 muffins
    Total Fat (g)3
    Saturated Fat (g)1
    Cholesterol (mg)1
    Sodium (mg)192
    Carbohydrate (g)22
    Fiber (g)2
    Protein (g)4

Recipe from:

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

National Dish of the Week - Spain

  "Bellota Oro", was elected as "Best ham in the world"
Spanish cuisine consists of a variety of dishes, which stem from differences in geography, culture and climate. It is heavily influenced by seafood available from the waters that surround the country, and reflects the country's deep maritime roots. Spain's extensive history with many cultural influences has led to an array of unique cuisines with literally thousands of recipes and flavors. It is also renowned for its health benefits and fresh ingredients, as Mediterranean diet.

The first introduction of a product to ancient Iberia was that of wheat. Wheat was thought to be brought by Iberians from the south of the peninsula. It was perhaps brought from Aquitaine in the north of the peninsula, due to the difficulty of transporting from the south. In time, the wheat of Iberia came to be considered to be the best in the Roman Empire, and became one of the main commodities of foreign trade. The Romans' early approval of the wheat led to the spread of wheat from Spain to Greece and Egypt and easterly parts of Russia.

There were two major kinds of diet in the peninsula. One was found in the northwest part of the peninsula, with more animal fats that correspond to the husbandry of the north. The other could be considered the precursor of the Mediterranean diet and was found in the southerly parts of the peninsula.

As early as Roman times, with the exception of products later imported from the Americas, many modern foods were consumed, although mostly by the aristocracy, not the middle class. Cooking references from that era discuss the eating habits in Rome, where foods from all of the Empire's provinces were brought. Thousands of amphorae of olive oil were sent to Rome from Spain.[citation needed] Nonetheless, and especially in the Celtic areas, consumption of animal products (from lamb, beef, etc.) was more common than consumption of vegetables.

Already in that era, cabbage was well known and appreciated, and considered a panacea for various aliments. Other popular vegetables of that time were thistles (such as artichokes) and onions.

In Roman Spain the hams of Pomeipolis (Pamplona) had great prestige. The export of pork products became the basis of a strong local economy.

It is almost certain that lentils were already consumed in Roman Spain, because they formed a staple food for the army and because they are easy to preserve and transport. Fava beans were known from antiquity and were considered sacred by the Romans. In the Saturnalia, the later December festival in honor of Saturn, fava beans were used to choose the king of the festival. This custom is believed to be the source of the present day custom of hiding an object in the roscón de reyes (similar to the sixpence traditional in a Christmas pudding); until quite recently, that object was a fava bean. Garbanzos were also popular, primarily among the poorer classes.

Mushrooms were common and popular in the northern part of the country.

They mastered the science of grafting. According to Pliny, Tibur saw a tree that produced a distinct fruit on each of its branches: nuts, apples, pomegranates, cherries, pears, but he added that they dried out quickly.

Viticulture already was known and practiced by the Romans, but it seemed as well the fact that it was the Greeks who extended the vine across the Mediterranean region. This includes those wines that were most popular in the Empire.

In this era the wealthy typically ate while lying on a couch (a custom acquired from the Greeks) and using their hands, because forks were not used for eating. Tablecloths were introduced in the 1st century. They came to use two plates, one flat (platina or patella) and the other deep (catinus), which they held with the left hand. That hand could not be used for many other things while eating, given that they ate with their left arms while reclining in bed, so that only the right hand was free. They used spoons, which, like today, had different sizes, depending on what they were used for. The first spoons were made from clam shells (hence, the name cuchara), with silver handles.

The mode of flavoring and cooking was quite distinct from what is found in modern times.

Among the multitude of recipes that make up the varied cuisines of Spain, a few can be considered common to all or almost all of Spain's regions, even though some of them have an origin known and associated with specific places. Examples include most importantly potato omelette ("tortilla de patata", "tortilla española" or just "tortilla"), paella, various stews, migas, sausages (such as embutidos, chorizo, and morcilla), jamón serrano, and cheeses.

There are also many dishes based on beans (chickpeas, lentils, green beans); soups, with many regional variations; and bread, that has numerous forms, with distinct varieties in each region. The regional variations are less pronounced in Spanish desserts and cakes: flan, custard, rice pudding (arroz con leche), torrijas, churros, and madeleines are some of the most representative examples.

The most famous regional dish is Fabada Asturiana, a rich stew made with large white beans (fabes), pork shoulder (lacón), morcilla, chorizo, and saffron (azafrán).

Apple groves foster the production of the traditional alcoholic drink, a natural cider (sidra). It is a very dry cider, and unlike French or English natural ciders, uses predominantly acidic apples, rather than sweet or bittersweet. The proportions are: acidic 40%, sub-acidic 30-25%, sweet 10-15%, bittersweet 15-20%, bitter 5%.[1]

Sidra is traditionally poured in by an expert server (or escanciador): the bottle is raised high above his or her head to oxygenate the brew as it moves into the glass below. A small amount (~120ml) is poured at a time (called a culín), as it must be drunk immediately before the sidra loses its carbonation. Any sidra left in the glass is poured onto a woodchip-strewn floor or a trough along the bottom of the bar.

Asturian cheeses, especially Cabrales, are also famous throughout Spain and beyond; Cabrales is known for its pungent odour and strong flavour. Asturias is often called "the land of cheeses" (el pais de los quesos) due to the product's diversity and quality in this region.Other major dishes include faba beans with clams, Asturian stew, frixuelos, and rice pudding.

Today, Spanish cooking is "in fashion", especially thanks in part to Ferran Adrià, who in the summer of 2003 attained international renown thanks to praise in the Sunday supplement of The New York Times. His restaurant El Bulli is located in the province of Girona, near Roses. In a long article, the New York Times declared him the best chef in the world, and postulated the supremacy of Spanish cooking over French cuisine.

 A large Valencian paella

Paella - Spain

 Seafood paella
Paella (Valencian: [paˈeʎa], Spanish: [paˈeʎa]) is a Valencian rice dish that originated in its modern form in the mid-19th century near lake Albufera, a lagoon in Valencia, on the east coast of Spain. Many non-Spaniards view paella as Spain's national dish, but most Spaniards consider it to be a regional Valencian dish. Valencians, in turn, regard paella as one of their identifying symbols.

There are three widely known types of paella: Valencian paella (Spanish: paella valenciana), seafood paella (Spanish: paella de marisco) and mixed paella (Spanish: paella mixta), but there are many others as well. Valencian paella consists of white rice, green vegetables, meat (rabbit, chicken, duck), land snails, beans and seasoning. Seafood paella replaces meat and snails with seafood and omits beans and green vegetables. Mixed paella is a free-style combination of meat, seafood, vegetables, and sometimes beans. Most paella chefs use calasparra or bomba rices for this dish. Other key ingredients include saffron and olive oil.

Authentic Spanish Paella


    3 cups bomba or calasparra rice (arborio risotto works as a substitute)
    8 cups chicken stock
    1 large onion, diced
    3 garlic cloves, minced
    1 large bell pepper, diced
    10 -15 flat green beans
    4 plum tomatoes, diced
    0.5 (4 ounce) can tomato paste
    15 large shrimp (feel free to add clams, calamari, prawns or mussels)
    2 -3 lbs rabbit
    4 links chorizo sausages, frito sliced into 1 inch pieces
    1/2 cup fresh parsley
    2 -3 tablespoons fresh thyme
    1/2 tablespoon paprika
    1 pinch saffron
    3 lemons, quartered


    It's best to have all of your ingredients prepared before you start cooking.
    Prepare the rabbit by separating the legs, cutting remaining meat into small slices and lightly salting. (In my area rabbit is seasonal. During the summer and fall I substitute with chicken legs).
    I peel my shrimp, leaving only the tail and then salt them. In Spain they tend to leave the shrimp unshelled.
    I always try to make my chicken stock from scratch (time permitting), adding a bit of rosemary, a tiny pinch of saffron and a bit of thyme. If you're going to use bouillon, I'd recommend at least heating it up with these herbs and then straining before you start.
    Keep your stock hot but not boiling as you cook.
    Coat the bottom of your pallera/pan with olive oil.
    Brown your chorizo over high heat for 1-2 minutes. Do not fully cook, just get the outside well browned. Set aside. This should add a nice red color and a hell of a flavor to your oil.
    Brown the Rabbit for 2-3 minutes. It should not be fully cooked. Set aside.
    Brown garlic, onion and bell pepper until they're softened, adding plum tomatoes shortly before the mixture is finished.
    Push the vegetables to one side of the pan and on the other add the half can of tomato paste. Caramelize it, flipping it and spreading it until it begins to loosen (1-2 min over hight heat).
    Mix all of the vegetables and meats together with the caramelized tomato paste also adding the paprika, parsley and thyme.
    Add rice, mixing together and stirring as the rice browns (1-1 1/2) minutes. As the rice browns mix in the saffron. Make sure to break it between your fingers and stir it in to release all those tasty oils.
    When the rice is slightly translucent add enough chicken stock to cover the whole mixture. If it's been kept warm, it will begin to boil almost immediately. Lower to a medium heat but keep it at a steady boil.
    This is where paella is made and broken. I stir a few times in the first 5-10 minutes, adding broth as necessary to keep the rice fully covered. After this you must let the paella SIT! Let it cook another 10-20 minutes (I find that this step takes longer on a stovetop), adding broth bit by bit to keep the rice submerged until the rice on the top is al dente. Don't worry about rice burning to the bottom, this part (which actually has a name which escapes me at the moment, it's something like socarrat) is a tasty delicacy.
    Once you've stirred the paella for the last time and are letting cook, when you have about 8 minutes left to cook lay shrimp on top, turning over after 2-4 minutes to cook other side.
    When the rice on top is still quite al dente, take paella off of heat and cover. You must let it sit for 15-20 minutes. I've taken the lid off prematurely and ended up with a crunchy mess. Patience is the key.
    Once you're sure it's ready uncover, garnish with lemon wedges and enjoy!

Read more:

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Soy and Cola Pork Shoulder Sandwich w/ New Potatoes and Carrots

Today's Menu: Soy and Cola Pork Shoulder Sandwich w/ New Potatoes and Carrots

Leftover supreme! Warmed up the Soy and Cola Pork Shoulder from the other night and served it on an Healthy Life Whole Grain Bun. The Pork Shoulder was incredible! The flavor was over the top! The Pork had been marinating in the Sauce since the other night and it was just bursting with flavor. I'll be using this recipe quite often. As sides I had boiled Mini Carrots and 2 boiled New Potatoes. After boiling the New Potatoes I flattened them out a bit by taking a coffee cup and pressing down. I topped the Potatoes with McCormick Grinder Sea Salt, McCormick Grinder Black Peppercorn, and I Can't Believe It's Not Butter. If you would want the Pork Shoulder recipe you can find it from my posting on Sept. 18th. For dessert later a Yoplait Delight Chocolate Eclair Parfait.

FOOD DAY October 24, 2011

October 24, 2011

The most important ingredient in Food Day is YOU!
Get Started

Food Day will be October 24—in 2011 and in years to come. Food Day seeks to bring together Americans from all walks of life—parents, teachers, and students; health professionals, community organizers, and local officials; chefs, school lunch providers, and eaters of all stripes—to push for healthy, affordable food produced in a sustainable, humane way. We will work with people around the country to create thousands of events in homes, schools, churches, farmers markets, city halls, and state capitals.

Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) are the Honorary Co-Chairs for Food Day 2011, and the day is sponsored by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the nonprofit watchdog group that has led successful fights for food labeling, better nutrition, and safer food since 1971. Like CSPI, Food Day will be people-powered and does not accept funding from government or corporations—though restaurants, supermarkets, and others are certainly encouraged to observe Food Day in their own ways.

Food Day is backed by an impressive advisory board that includes anti-hunger advocates, physicians, authors, politicians, and leaders of groups focused on everything from farmers markets to animal welfare to public health. But the most important ingredient in Food Day is you—and we invite you to organize an event and help make Food Day a success.

Support for is provided by the Elfenworks Foundation.

Country Applefest - Lebanon, Ohio

Country Applefest

Come to historic downtown Lebanon, Ohio for the 29th annual  Country Applefest!
September 24th, 2011
 10am to 7 pm
Rain or Shine!

Admission is FREE.

The streets of downtown Lebanon will be filled with homemade crafts, great food, and entertainment.  

Free shuttle from 10:00Am - 7:30Pm!
Park at Sweeney Chrysler Dodge Jeep
518 W. Main St (St. Rt. 63) and be shuttled to the festival area.

Columbus Food & Wine Affair Grand Tasting

Columbus Food & Wine Affair Grand Tasting

September 23, 2011  Columbus Food & Wine Affair Grand Tasting
Columbus, Ohio
THE Midwest event for the very best in extraordinary wine and cuisine. Guests have their choice of delectable offerings from Central Ohio's premier restaurants and pourings from the finest domestic and international wineries. The Grand Tasting is grand in every sense of the word and includes wonderful music and a variety of creative artists and retailers. The evening's admission includes wine tastes, delicious food and a souvenir crystal wine glass.

Jackson County Apple Festival - Jackson, Ohio

Jackson County Apple Festival

Sponsored by the Jackson Jaycees
Jackson, Ohio
September 20th - 24th, 2011

Bags of Apples, Jugs of Cider and Apple Butter made on the midway set the scene. The Festival starts at noon on Tuesday. Featured are homemade apple butter, apple pies, and candy apples. Three parades, two on Wed. at 1:00 and 7:45p.m. and Sat. at 7:45p.m. It's a street fair with rides, displays, games, contests, food and free entertainment. Items of interest: car show, quilt show, band competition, sporting events and crafts show. Info: Apple Festival, P.O. Box 8, Jackson, and OH 45640-0008. (740) 286-1339.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Baked Turkey Tenderloin and Pineapple Rings w/ Asparagus,...

Dinner Tonight: Baked Turkey Tenderloin and Pineapple Rings w/ Asparagus, Uncle Ben's Long Grain and Wild Rice and Whole Grain Bread

I used a Jennie-OTurkey Tenderloin that I seasoned with Parsley, Ground Pepper, Sea Salt, and Smoked Ground Cumin. I then marinated the Turkey Tenderloins with JB’s Fat Boy Chipotle BBQ Sauce for about 3 hours in the frige before baking. After marinating I baked it in a pan covering with foil at 350 degrees for 30 minutes and then I took it out basted it with the Fat Boy BBQ Sauce and placed 2 Pineapple Slices, plus about teaspoon of the Pineapple juice, on top of the Tenderloin returned the tenderloin to the oven uncovered and baked another 20 minutes.

As sides I had Grilled Asparagus Spears, Uncle Ben's Long Grain and Wild Rice, and Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread. For dessert/snack later Ritz Whole Grain Crackers with a wedge of Laughing Cow Garlic and Herb Cheese Spread.

Fruit of the Week - Limes


Lime is a term referring to a number of different citrus fruits, both species and hybrids, which are typically round, green to yellow in color, 3–6 cm in diameter, and containing sour and acidic pulp. Limes are a good source of vitamin C. Limes are often used to accent the flavors of foods and beverages. Limes are grown all year round and are usually smaller and more sour than lemons.

In cooking, lime is valued both for the acidity of its juice and the floral aroma of its zest. It is a very common ingredient in authentic Mexican, Southwestern United States, Vietnamese and Thai dishes. It is also used for its pickling properties in ceviche. The use of dried limes (called black lime or loomi) as a flavoring is typical of Persian cuisine and Iraqi cuisine, as well as in Gulf-style baharat (a spice mixture that is also called kabsa or kebsa). Lime is an essential ingredient of any cuisine from India, and many varieties of pickles are made, e.g. sweetened lime pickle, salted pickle, and lime chutney.

Lime leaves are also an herb in South, East, and Southeast Asia.

Lime is frequently used to add flavor to cold and hot drinks, including water, tonic and other cocktails.

To prevent scurvy during the 19th century, British sailors were issued a daily allowance of citrus, such as lemon, and later switched to lime, which was not as effective at preventing scurvy but was easier to obtain on Britain's Caribbean colonies. It was later discovered that the greater effectiveness of lemons derived from the 4-fold higher quantities of vitamin C lemon juice contains compared to the West Indian limes used by the British.

Lime juice is the juice of limes (citrus). It may be squeezed from fresh limes, or purchased in bottles in both unsweetened and sweetened varieties. Lime juice is used to make limeade, and as an ingredient (typically as sour mix) in many cocktails.

Lime extracts and essential oils are frequently used in perfumes, cleaning products, and aromatherapy.

In India, the lime is used in Tantra for removing evil spirits. It is also combined with Indian chilis to make a protective charm to repel the evil eye. Furthermore, it was believed that hanging limes over sick people cured them of the illness by repelling evil spirits lurking inside the body.

Tilapia with Fresh Herbs and Lime

Tilapia with Fresh Herbs and Lime


1 1/2 lb tilapia fillets , cut in 4 pieces
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
4 medium garlic cloves , pressed or minced
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1 tsp fresh rosemary , chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme , chopped
1 tsp paprika
1 cup canned unsalted diced tomatoes

1 Preheat the oven to 375°F.
2 Rinse fillets, pat dry, and set aside.
3 In medium bowl, mix lime juice, garlic, parsley, scallions, rosemary, thyme, paprika, and tomatoes.
4 Place the fillets in ovenproof baking dish. Spread topping evenly over fish.
5 Cover tightly with foil and bake 25 minutes, until fish flakes easily with fork.

Makes 4 servings
Serving Size: 1 serving
Amount Per Serving
Calories     205
Total Carbs     6.1 g
Dietary Fiber     1.4 g
Sugars     2.2 g
Total Fat     2.9 g
Saturated Fat     0 g
Unsaturated Fat     2.9 g
Potassium     91.5 mg
Protein     35.6 g
Sodium     81.8 mg

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Soy and Cola-Braised Pork Shoulder w/ New Potatoes

Dinner Tonight:  Soy and Cola-Braised Pork Shoulder and New Potatoes

Another of the Cooking Light, October Issue, must try recipes. Pictures or words can't describe what a delicious recipe this is. The sauce is unbelievable and the Pork Shoulder absolutely DELICIOUS! This is another recipe where you have to give yourself some time to prepare it but it's worth every minute it takes. This is the first time I had used Hoisin Sauce and between this and the Soy Sauce it gave it just the right kick.

I served the Pork Shoulder as an Open Face Sandwich, using an Aunt Millie's Thinwich Bun, and topped it with the Sauce along with a side of boiled halved New Potatoes that I seasoned with Sea Salt and Ground Black Pepper. I think this is now one my best and favorite recipes. For dessert later a Yoplait Delight 100 Calorie Chocolate Eclair Parfait.


    1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
    1 (3 1/2-pound) bone-in pork shoulder (Boston butt), trimmed
    1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
    4 garlic cloves, minced
    2 cups cola (such as Coca-Cola)
    1/2 cup hoisin sauce
    1/4 cup rice vinegar
    1/4 cup lower-sodium soy sauce
    1 cup diagonally sliced green onions


    1. Preheat oven to 300°.
    2. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan. Sprinkle pork evenly with salt. Add pork to pan; sauté for 8 minutes, turning to brown all sides. Remove pork. Add ginger and garlic; sauté for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in cola and the next 3 ingredients (through soy sauce); bring to a boil. Return pork to pan; cover. Bake at 300° for 1 hour and 50 minutes or until tender, turning occasionally. Remove pork from pan, and let stand for 10 minutes. Shred pork with 2 forks. Skim fat from cooking liquid.
    3. Place pan over medium-high heat; bring cooking liquid to a boil. Cook 15 minutes or until reduced to about 2 cups, stirring occasionally. Combine pork and 3/4 cup sauce in a bowl; toss to coat. Top with green onions. Serve pork with remaining 1 1/4 cups sauce.

David Bonom, Cooking Light

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Cabernet Short Ribs with Parmesan Polenta

Dinner Tonight: Cabernet Short Ribs with Parmesan Polenta w/ ....

I found this recipe in the latest issue of Cooking Light (October) and it looked and sounded so good I had to give it a try. You need to give your self plenty of time because this one takes a little time to fix. I left the recipe and link at the end of the post. The recipe serves 4 so I had to cut it back as I only made it for myself. Another change I made was the Polenta. I used a an Organic premade Polenta that you just slice and heat. I also didn't make the Gremolata. Besides the Polenta I had boiled Mini Carrots and Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread. The Short Ribs turned out delicious! Tender and just a fantastic flavor. The sauce is incredible also. I used Villa Pozzi Nero D 'Avola for the Cabernet Red Wine. I'll be trying some of the other recipes from this issue of Cooking Light as it was full of some great looking recipes. For dessert later a bowl of Breyer's Vanilla Carb Smart Ice Cream topped with my favorite Del Monte Sugarless Sliced Peaches. 


    * Ribs:
    * 16 (3-ounce) bone-in beef short ribs, trimmed
    * 5/8 teaspoon kosher salt
    * 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    * 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
    * 1 cup chopped onion
    * 3/4 cup chopped shallots
    * 1/2 cup chopped carrot
    * 1/2 cup chopped celery
    * 6 garlic cloves, sliced
    * 1 rosemary sprig
    * 2 1/2 cups cabernet sauvignon or other dry red wine
    * 1 1/4 cups lower-sodium beef broth
    * 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
    * 2 teaspoons water
    * 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
    * Gremolata:
    * 1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
    * 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
    * 1 garlic clove, minced
    * Polenta:
    * 3 cups fat-free milk
    * 1 cup water
    * 5/8 teaspoon kosher salt
    * 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    * 1 cup quick-cooking polenta
    * 1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


    * 1. Sprinkle ribs with salt and pepper. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon olive oil to pan. Add 8 ribs, and sauté for 6 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove ribs. Repeat procedure with remaining 1 teaspoon oil and 8 ribs. Add onion and the next 5 ingredients (through rosemary) to pan; sauté 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add wine to pan, and bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Cook for 13 minutes or until reduced to 2 cups.
    * 2. Preheat oven to 350°.
    * 3. Add broth to pan, and bring to a boil. Return ribs to pan. Cover and bake at 350° for 1 1/2 hours, turning ribs after 45 minutes. Remove ribs from pan, and strain cooking liquid through a fine-mesh sieve over a bowl. Discard the solids. Skim fat; discard. Return cooking liquid to pan. Combine flour and 2 teaspoons water in a small bowl, stirring well. Add to pan, and bring to a boil. Cook for 11 minutes or until reduced to about 1 cup. Stir in vinegar.
    * 4. To prepare gremolata, combine 1/3 cup parsley, 1/2 teaspoon lemon rind, and minced garlic.
    * 5. To prepare polenta, bring 3 cups milk, 1 cup water, 5/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper to a boil over medium heat. Slowly stir in 1 cup polenta. Cook 5 minutes or until thick, stirring frequently. Stir in cheese. Place 1/2 cup polenta in each of 8 shallow bowls, and top each serving with 2 ribs, 2 tablespoons sauce, and about 2 teaspoons gremolata.

David Bonom, Cooking Light

Friday, September 16, 2011

Blue and 'Shroom Bison Burger w/ Baked Steak Fries

Dinner Tonight: Blue & 'Shrooms Bison Burger w/ Baked Steak Fries

It was back to the Bison for dinner tonight. I had a Ground Bison Sirloin Burger. Seasoned with McCormick Grinder Steakhouse Seasoning and fried in Extra Virgin Olive Oil about 4 minutes per side. I topped it with Sauteed Mushrooms and Murray's Maytag Crumbled Blue Cheese served on an Healthy Life Whole grain Bun. Had Ore ida Baked Steak Fries as a side. For dessert later a bowl of Breyer's Carb Smart Vanilla Ice Cream topped with Del Monte Sugarless Sliced Peaches.    

Diabetic Blue Cheese Balls

Bunyan's Diabetic Blue Cheese Balls.

by Paul Bushay [chefbunyan]

Ran across this recipe and right away I had to pass it along, as does anything with Blue Cheese! Found it on  and it's by Paul Bushay [chefbunyan]. If you visit the site check him out he has a great variety of Diabetic Recipes.

*If you have a stick blender you can puree it right the pot so you don't have to dirty your blender or food processor

- 2 acorn squash, halved and seeded
- 3 c low sodium chicken stock
- 2 tart green apples, cored, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 c onion, chopped
- 1 c apple juice, unsweetened
- 2 tsp ginger, peeled and fresh grated  
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1/8 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 Tbsp yogurt, low-fat, plain
- 4 Tbsp fresh chives, chopped

1.   Place squash cut side down on rack set over gently simmering water in saucepan; Cover and steam until tender, about 10 minutes.

2.   Cool squash slightly; Scoop pulp from shells.

3.   Combine 1/4 cup chicken stock, apples and onion in heavy medium saucepan; Cover and cook over low heat 10 minutes

4.   Add squash pulp, remaining chicken stock, apple juice, ginger and salt; Cover and simmer until ingredients are very tender, about 20 minutes.

5.   Puree soup in batches in processor or blender.

6.   Strain through sieve into clean saucepan, pressing puree with back of spoon; Reheat soup gently.

7.   Add lemon juice; Season with salt and generous amount of pepper.

8.   Ladle into bowls; Garnish with yogurt and chives.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Turkey Meatloaf w/ Asparagus, Mashed Potatoes, and...

Dinner Tonight: Turkey Meatloaf w/ Asparagus, Mashed Potatoes and Whole Grain Bread

Comfort food alert, Turkey Meatloaf! Was outside today enjoying the big change in the weather. From hot and humid to a beautiful Fall day, 48 degrees this morning!  So I really wanted something good and hearty. I really like this recipe. Easy to fix, delicious, and lower in carbs and calories than most Meatloafs. This one turned out just as good as the last time I made it, if not better. I listed the recipe at the end of the post. I made plenty so there would be leftovers which means Meatloaf Sandwiches! Cold or hot these are fantastic sandwiches.

As sides I had Asparagus, Mashed Potatoes and Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread. This Asparagus was a new kind I tried for the first time, and will be using it again. It was a Meijer brand Grilled Asparagus.It comes frozen and you can either Pan fry it, like I did, for 5 minutes or warm it up it the oven. Just drizzled a little Extra Virgin Olive Oil on it and seasoned it with Sea Salt. The Mashed Potatoes were Idahonan Microwavable Mashed Potatoes. For dessert later a Yoplait 100 Calorie Delight Chocolate Eclair Parfait.

Turkey Meatloaf

* Instead of the 1 cup of Chopped Onions I used 1/4 Cup of Chopped Chives and 1 Teaspoon of Onion Powder *
*  I also used 2 Mini Loaf Foil Pans instead of the 1 8×4 pan *


2 Tablespoons Butter  or I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter
1 Cup Onions, Chopped
3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1 1/4 lbs Ground Turkey
1/2 Cup Italian Breadcrumbs
1/4 Cup Egg Substitute  (Egg Beaters)
1 Cup Catsup
2 Teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
1 Teaspoon Cumin
1 Teaspoon Ground Thyme
3/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper


1. Melt butter in a skillet.
2. Cook onion and garlic in melted butter for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Place mixture in a large bowl to cool for 5 minutes.
4. Combine turkey, bread crumbs, egg, 1/4 cup of the catsup, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper with onion mixture.
5. Press meatloaf into an 8×4-inch loaf pan.
6. Spread remaining catsup on top.
7. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 50-55 minutes.
8. (Internal temperature should reach 165 degrees.) Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before serving.

National Dish of the Week - South Africa

Potjiekos, .
South Africa

The cuisine of South Africa is sometimes called "rainbow cuisine", as it has had a variety of multicultural sources and stages. The cuisine can be generalized as:

    * Cookery practiced by indigenous people of South Africa such as the Khoisan and Xhosa, Zulu- and Sotho-speaking people
    * Settler cookery that emerged from several waves of immigration introduced during the colonial period by people of Indian and Afrikaner and British descent and their slaves and servants - this includes the cuisine of the Cape Malay people, which has many characteristics of Malaysia and Java, and recipes from neighboring colonial cultures such as Portuguese Mozambique.

In the precolonial period, indigenous cuisine was characterized by the use of a very wide range of foods including fruits, nuts, bulbs, leaves and other products gathered from wild plants and by the hunting of wild game. The introduction of domestic cattle and grain crops by Bantu speakers who arrived in the region about two thousand years ago and the spread of cattle keeping to Khoisan groups enabled the use of milk products and the availability of fresh meat on demand. The pre-colonial diet consisted primarily of cooked grains, especially sorghum, fermented milk (somewhat like yogurt) and roasted or stewed meat. At some point, maize replaced sorghum as the primary grain, and there is some dispute as to whether maize, a North American crop arrived with European settlers or spread through Africa before white settlement via Africans returning from the Americas during the era of the slave trade. However, during the colonial period, the seizure of communal land in South Africa restricted and discouraged traditional agriculture and wild harvesting, and reduced the extent of land available to black people. Men also kept sheep and goats, and communities often organized vast hunts for the abundant game; but beef was considered the absolutely most important and high status meat. The ribs of any cattle that were slaughtered in many communities were so prized that they were offered to the chief of the village.

In many ways, the daily food of Black South African families can be traced to the indigenous foods that their ancestors ate. A typical meal in a Black South African family household that is Bantu-speaking is a stiff, fluffy porridge of maize meal (called "pap," and very similar to American grits) with a flavorful stewed meat gravy. Traditional rural families (and many urban ones) often ferment their pap for a few days — especially if it is sorghum instead of maize — which gives it a tangy flavor. The Sotho-Tswana call this fermented pap, "ting."

The vegetable is often some sort of pumpkin, varieties of which are indigenous to South Africa, although now many people eat pumpkins that originated in other countries. Beans and rice are also very popular even though they are not indigenous. Another common vegetable dish, which arrived in South Africa with its many Irish immigrants, but which has been adopted by black South Africans, is shredded cabbage and white potatoes cooked with butter.

Urbanization from the nineteenth century onward, coupled with close control over agricultural production, led black South Africans to rely more and more on comparatively expensive, industrially-processed foodstuffs like wheat flour, white rice, mealie (maize) meal and sugar. Before the arrival of crops from the Americas, pap was mostly made from sorghum, but maize is much more prevalent today. Often these foods were imported or processed by white wholesalers, mills and factories. The consequence was to drastically restrict the range of ingredients and cooking styles used by indigenous cooks.

On the other hand, some imported food plants (maize, tomatoes) have expanded the dietary range of indigenous cooks. Of these maize is the most significant - it has been integrated to such an extent into the traditional diet that it is often assumed to be an indigenous plant.

Popular foods in modern South Africa are chicken, limes, garlic, ginger, chili, tomatoes, onions and many spices.

South Africa was settled from the seventeenth century onwards by colonists from Portugal, the Netherlands, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom. These colonists brought European cookery styles with them. The Afrikaners have their succulent potjiekos, tamatiebredie (tomato bredie) or stews of lamb or mutton with tomato and onion sauce, with or without rice. There are many European contributions like Dutch fried crueler or koeksister, Malva Pudding and melktert (milk tart). French Hugenots brought wines as well as their traditional recipes.

During the pioneering days of the 17th century, new foods such as biltong, droë wors (dried sausage) and rusks evolved locally out of necessity.

A very distinctive regional style of South African cooking is often referred to as "Cape Dutch". This cuisine is characterized by the use of spices such as nutmeg, allspice and hot peppers. The Cape Dutch cookery style owes at least as much to the cookery of the slaves brought by the Dutch East India Company to the Cape from Bengal, Java and Malaysia as it does to the European styles of cookery imported by settlers, and this is reflected in the use of eastern spices and the names given to many of these dishes. The Cape Malay influence has brought spicy curries, sambals, pickled fish, and variety of fish stews.

The mixing of Dutch settlers and their African (mostly Khoisan) servants in the kitchens of the Cape over food was a major factor in the development of Afrikaans culture, so much so, that the original words for the Afrikaans language, a simplified patois developed for communication between "masters" and "servants" compared to the "high Dutch" spoken by people born in the Netherlands, was "kombuis taal," literally "kitchen talk" or "kitchen language."

Bobotie is an of a South African dish that has Cape Malay origins. It consists of spiced minced meat baked with an egg-based topping. Of the many dishes common to South Africa, bobotie is perhaps closest to being the national dish, because it isn't made in any other country. The recipe originates from the Dutch East India Company colonies in Batavia, with the name derived from the Indonesian bobotok. It is also made with curry powder leaving it with a slight "tang". It is often served with sambal, a hint of its origins from the Malay Archipelago.

Curried dishes are popular with lemon juice in South Africa among people of all ethnic origins; many dishes came to the country with the thousands of Indian labourers brought to South Africa in the nineteenth century. The Indians have introduced a different line of culinary practices, including a variety of sweets, chutneys, fried snacks such as samosa and other savory foods. Bunny chow is a dish from Durban, where there is a large Indian community, that been adapted into mainstream South African cuisine and has become quite popular.

South Africa can be said to have a significant "eating out" culture. While there are some restaurants that specialize in traditional South African dishes or modern interpretations thereof, restaurants featuring other cuisines such as Moroccan, Chinese, West African, Congolese and Japanese can be found in all of the major cities and many of the larger towns. In addition, there are also a large number of home-grown chain restaurants, such as Spur and Dulce Cafe.

There is also a proliferation of fast food restaurants in South Africa. While there are some international players such as McDonald's and Kentucky Fried Chicken active in the country, they face stiff competition from local chains such as Nando's and Steers. Many of the restaurant chains originating from South-Africa have also expanded successfully outside the borders of the country.