Wednesday, October 31, 2012

3 Bean Turkey Chili and Cornbread

Dinner Tonight: 3 Bean Turkey Chili and Cornbread

It's a cold and windy Halloween Day around here today. Perfect weather for my nearly famous 3 Bean Turkey Chili! I've got 2 or 3 servings frozen yet from the last batch I made. i just unfreeze it and warm it up and I have Chili! I make it with Honeysuckle White Extra Lean Ground Turkey and 3 different Beans; Spicy Chili Beans, Dark Red Low Sodium Kidney Beans, and Great Northern White Beans. I add 1 Packet of McCormick Chili Mix to it and then load up the great spices on top of it; 1 Tbs Minced Garlic, 1 Tbs Ground Cocoa Chili Blend (McCormick), 1/2 Tsp Ground Chipotle Chili Pepper (McCormick), 1 Tsp. Ground Roasted Cumin, 1 Tbs of Cilantro Leaves, and 5 Dashes (or more) of Frank’s Hot Sauce or to taste! I also add 2 small cans of Tomato Paste and 1/2 cup of Water. COVER with lid and cook and simmer on HIGH 3 to 4 hours (or on LOW 5 to 6 hours). I cooked mine on low for about 5 1/2 hours. You’ll love the aroma as it slowly cooks. When ready I topped with just a bit of fresh grated Dutch Gouda and about 3 shakes of Frank’s Red Hot Sauce.

I also baked a small cast iron skillet of Cornbread. Cornbread and Chili are the perfect couple. I used Martha White Corn Meal Mix. It’s easy to fix, the instructions are on the bag. I use Egg Beaters and Extra Virgin Oil instead of Eggs and Vegetable Oil the recipe calls for. Bake at 450 degrees for about 25 minutes and you have some golden brown piping hot Cornbread! If you use a small cast iron skillet just cut the recipe in half and it comes out just right for the skillet size. For dessert later a slice of Pillsbury Nut Quick Bread topped with a scoop of Breyer’s Carb Smart Vanilla Ice Cream.

3 Bean Turkey Chili


Mmmmm, smell those spices!
1 lb. Ground turkey
2 Cans (6 oz.) Hunt’s Tomato Paste
1 Can (15 oz.) Chili Beans, rinsed
1 Can (15 oz.) Kidney Beans, rinsed
1 Can (15 oz.) Great Northern Beans, rinsed
1/2 Cup of Water
1 Packet McCormick Chili Mix
1 Tbs Minced Garlic
1 Tbs Ground Cocoa Chili Blend (McCormick)
1/2 Tsp Ground Chipotle Chili Pepper (McCormick)
1 Tsp. Ground Cumin
1 Tbs of Cilantro Leaves
5 Dashes of Frank’s Hot Sauce or to taste.
Shredded Cheese, I used Grated Smoked Dutch Gouda
Oyster Crackers

*COOK turkey in large saucepan on medium-high heat 10 min. or until no longer pink, stirring occasionally. Add all remaining ingredients except 1 can of the tomato paste and the cheese and crackers.
*ADD to slow cooker and add in the remaining 1 can of tomato paste.
*COVER with lid. Cook on HIGH 3 to 4 hours (or on LOW 5 to 6 hours).

*Serve in bowl or mug with cheese and the oyster crackers, A Tablespoon of fat-free sour cream, or serve with some home made cornbread ears.

It's Halloween!

Halloween or Hallowe'en (a contraction of "All Hallows' Evening"), also known as All Hallows' Eve, is a yearly celebration observed in a number of countries on October 31, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows (or All Saints). According to many scholars, it was originally influenced by western European harvest festivals and festivals of the dead with possible pagan roots, particularly the Celtic Samhain. Others maintain that it originated independently of Samhain and has Christian roots.
Typical festive Halloween activities include trick-or-treating (also known as "guising"), attending costume parties, carving pumpkins into jack-o'-lanterns, lighting bonfires, apple bobbing, visiting haunted attractions, playing pranks, telling scary stories, and watching horror films.

The word Halloween was first used in the 16th century and represents a Scottish variant of the fuller All Hallows' Even ('evening'), that is, the night before All Hallows' Day. Although the phrase All Hallows' is found in Old English (ealra hālgena mæssedæg, mass-day of all saints), All Hallows' Even is itself not seen until 1556.

North American almanacs of the late 18th and early 19th century give no indication that Halloween was celebrated there. The Puritans of New England, for example, maintained strong opposition to Halloween and it was not until the mass Irish and Scottish immigration during the 19th century that it was brought to North America in earnest. Confined to the immigrant communities during the mid-19th century, it was gradually assimilated into mainstream society and by the first decade of the 20th century it was being celebrated coast to coast by people of all social, racial and religious backgrounds.

Development of artifacts and symbols associated with Halloween formed over time. The turnip has traditionally been used in Ireland and Scotland at Halloween, but immigrants to North America used the native pumpkin, which is both much softer and much larger – making it easier to carve than a turnip. Subsequently, the mass marketing of various size pumpkins in autumn, in both the corporate and local markets, has made pumpkins universally available for this purpose. The American tradition of carving pumpkins is recorded in 1837 and was originally associated with harvest time in general, not becoming specifically associated with Halloween until the mid-to-late 19th century.

The modern imagery of Halloween comes from many sources, including national customs, works of Gothic and horror literature (such as the novels Frankenstein and Dracula) and classic horror films (such as Frankenstein and The Mummy). One of the earliest works on the subject of Halloween is from Scottish poet John Mayne, who, in 1780, made note of pranks at Halloween; "What fearfu' pranks ensue!", as well as the supernatural associated with the night, "Bogies" (ghosts), influencing Robert Burns' Halloween 1785. Elements of the autumn season, such as pumpkins, corn husks and scarecrows, are also prevalent. Homes are often decorated with these types of symbols around Halloween.
Halloween imagery includes themes of death, evil, the occult, and mythical monsters. Black, orange, and sometimes puprle are Halloween's traditional colors.

Trick-or-treating is a customary celebration for children on Halloween. Children go in costume from house to house, asking for treats such as candy (sweets) or sometimes money, with the question, "Trick or treat?" The word "trick" refers to a (mostly idle) "threat" to perform mischief on the homeowners or their property if no treat is given.
In Scotland and Ireland, guising – children disguised in costume going from door to door for food or coins  – is a traditional Halloween custom, and is recorded in Scotland at Halloween in 1895 where masqueraders in disguise carrying lanterns made out of scooped out turnips, visit homes to be rewarded with cakes, fruit and money. The practice of Guising at Halloween in North America is first recorded in 1911, where a newspaper in Kingston, Ontario reported children going "guising" around the neighborhood.
American historian and author Ruth Edna Kelley of Massachusetts wrote the first book length history of Halloween in the US; The Book of Hallowe'en (1919), and references souling in the chapter "Hallowe'en in America":
The taste in Hallowe'en festivities now is to study old traditions, and hold a Scotch party, using Burn's poem Hallowe'en as a guide; or to go a-souling as the English used. In short, no custom that was once honored at Hallowe'en is out of fashion now.
In her book, Kelley touches on customs that arrived from across the Atlantic; "Americans have fostered them, and are making this an occasion something like what it must have been in its best days overseas. All Halloween customs in the United States are borrowed directly or adapted from those of other countries". While the first reference to "guising" in North America occurs in 1911, another reference to ritual begging on Halloween appears, place unknown, in 1915, with a third reference in Chicago in 1920.
The earliest known use in print of the term "trick or treat" appears in 1927, from Blackie, Alberta, Canada:
Hallowe'en provided an opportunity for real strenuous fun. No real damage was done except to the temper of some who had to hunt for wagon wheels, gates, wagons, barrels, etc., much of which decorated the front street. The youthful tormentors were at back door and front demanding edible plunder by the word “trick or treat” to which the inmates gladly responded and sent the robbers away rejoicing.

The thousands of Halloween postcards produced between the turn of the 20th century and the 1920s commonly show children but not trick-or-treating. The editor of a collection of over 3,000 vintage Halloween postcards writes, "There are cards which mention the custom [of trick-or-treating] or show children in costumes at the doors, but as far as we can tell they were printed later than the 1920s and more than likely even the 1930s. Tricksters of various sorts are shown on the early postcards, but not the means of appeasing them". Trick-or-treating does not seem to have become a widespread practice until the 1930s, with the first U.S. appearances of the term in 1934, and the first use in a national publication occurring in 1939.

Halloween costumes are traditionally modeled after supernatural figures such as monsters, ghosts, skeletons, witches, and devils. Over time, the costume selection extended to include popular characters from fiction, celebrities, and generic archetypes such as ninjas and princesses.
Dressing up in costumes and going "guising" was prevalent in Ireland and Scotland at Halloween by the late 19th century. Costuming became popular for Halloween parties in the US in the early 20th century, as often for adults as for children. The first mass-produced Halloween costumes appeared in stores in the 1930s when trick-or-treating was becoming popular in the United States.
Halloween costume parties generally fall on or around October 31, often on the Friday or Saturday before Halloween.

Haunted attractions are entertainment venues designed to thrill and scare patrons. Most attractions are seasonal Halloween businesses. Origins of these paid scare venues are difficult to pinpoint, but it is generally accepted that they were first commonly used by the Junior Chamber International (Jaycees) for fundraising. They include haunted houses, corn mazes, and hayrides, and the level of sophistication of the effects has risen as the industry has grown. Haunted attractions in the United States bring in an estimate $300–500 million each year, and draw some 400,000 customers, although press sources writing in 2005 speculated that the industry had reached its peak at that time. This maturing and growth within the industry has led to technically more advanced special effects and costuming, comparable with that of Hollywood films.

Because Halloween comes in the wake of the yearly apple harvest, candy apples (known as toffee apples outside North America), caramel or taffy apples are common Halloween treats made by rolling whole apples in a sticky sugar syrup, sometimes followed by rolling them in nuts.
At one time, candy apples were commonly given to children, but the practice rapidly waned in the wake of widespread rumors that some individuals were embedding items like pins and razor blades in the apples in the United States. While there is evidence of such incidents, they are quite rare and have never resulted in serious injury. Nonetheless, many parents assumed that such heinous practices were rampant because of the mass media. At the peak of the hysteria, some hospitals offered free X-rays of children's Halloween hauls in order to find evidence of tampering. Virtually all of the few known candy poisoning incidents involved parents who poisoned their own children's candy.
One custom that persists in modern-day Ireland is the baking (or more often nowadays, the purchase) of a barmbrack (Irish: báirín breac), which is a light fruitcake, into which a plain ring, a coin and other charms are placed before baking. It is said that those who get a ring will find their true love in the ensuing year. This is similar to the tradition of king cake at the festival of Epiphany.

List of foods associated with Halloween:

*Barmbrack (Ireland)
*Bonfire toffee (Great Britain)
*Candy apples/toffee apples (Great Britain & Ireland)
*Candy corn, candy pumpkins (North America)
*Caramel apples
*Caramel corn
*Colcannon (Ireland)
*Novelty candy shaped like skulls, pumpkins, bats, worms, etc.
*Pumpkin, pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread
*Roasted pumpkin seeds
*Roasted sweet corn
*Soul cakes

Top Chef Seattle Season:10

Season 10

Top Chef: Seattle, the tenth season of the Emmy and James Beard Award-winning series, premieres on Wednesday, November 7th at 10/9c. Famed chef and restaurant mogul Wolfgang Puck joins as a judge this season, alongside Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons, Hugh Acheson, and Emeril Lagasse, with Padma Lakshmi returning as host, as 21 cheftestants compete for the “Top Chef” crown.

"Top Chef" offers a fascinating window into the competitive, pressure-filled environment of world-class cookery and the restaurant business at the highest level. The series features aspiring chefs who compete for their shot at culinary stardom and the chance to earn the title of “Top Chef."

Each episode holds two challenges for the chefs. The first is a Quickfire test of their basic abilities and the second is a more involved elimination challenge designed to test the versatility and inventiveness of the chefs as they take on unique culinary trials such as working with unusual and exotic foods or catering for a range of demanding clients. The challenges not only test their skills in the kitchen, but also uncover if they have the customer service, management and teamwork abilities required of a Top Chef. The competing chefs live and breathe the high-pressure lifestyle that comes with being a master chef and each week someone is asked to "pack up their knives" and go home.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Fried Haddock w/ Rotini & Cheese, Steamed Asparagus, and...

Dinner Tonight: Fried Haddock w/ Rotini & Cheese, Steamed Asparagus, and Whole Grain Bread

It was a very sad day today as my Aunt was taken to the local Hospice Center 2 days ago and I went today to visit her. Her health is rapidly failing and it's just so sad to see her like that. She was like a second Mother to me. If she can't recover I just pray she goes peacefully.

My parents were going to spend the day with my Aunt so I was cooking for 1 tonight. So tonight I prepared Fried Haddock w/ Rotini & Cheese, Steamed Asparagus, and Whole Grain Bread. I had the Haddock frozen from a while back. I had purchased several fillets at Kroger while they were on sale. I love Haddock you can prepare it so many different ways and it comes out delicious any way you choose to prepare it. I seasoned my fillets with McCormick Grinder Sea Salt and Black Peppercorn. I rolled the fillets in Progresso Italian Style Bread Crumbs and pan fried it in Canola Oil about 3 minutes per side. It came out golden brown, moist and delicious!

For side dishes I had Velveeta Whole grain Rotini & Cheese, Steamed Asparagus, and Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread. The Rotini & Cheese is higher in calories and carbs than I normally like but it's been a while since I've had any and the Haddock, Asparagus, and Whole Grain Bread are all lower in calories and carbs so I can work the Rotini in without it raising either too bad. I left the product description at the end of the post. As I said I also has Steamed Asparagus. I've been buying this from Kroger for a while now. It's the best packaged Asparagus that I've had. It comes in it's own steamable bag so you just puncture the bag in 3 places and microwave it for 2 minutes. I also had 2 slices of Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread. For dessert later a 100 Calorie Mini Bag of Jolly Time pop Corn.

Kraft Whole Grain Velveeta Rotini & Cheese

Creamy cheese sauce with 50% whole grain rotini pasta. Good source of calcium., good source of protein for strong bones and bodies. Contains 24 g whole grain per serving. Nutritionists recommend eating at least three one-ounce equivalents of whole grain products per day (about 16 g whole grain per serving or at least 48 g per day). Product of Canada.

Enriched Pasta Product (Whole Durum Wheat Flour, Durum Wheat Semolina Flour, Niacin, Ferrous Sulfate [Iron], Thiamin Mononitrate [Vitamin B1], Riboflavin [Vitamin B2], Folic Acid); Cheese Sauce (Milk, Whey, Water, Canola Oil, Milk Protein Concentrate, Sodium Phosphate, Salt, Contains Less than 2% of Sodium Alginate, Lactic Acid, Oleoresin Paprika [Color], Natural Flavor, Cheese Culture, Enzymes, Annatto [Color], Sorbic Acid as a Preservative).

Contains: wheat, milk.

Top of Stove: 1. Boil 6 cups water. Stir in rotini. Cook 7 min. or to desired tenderness, stirring occasionally. Drain. Do not rinse. Return to pan. 2. Cut off top edge of cheese sauce pouch. Squeeze cheese sauce over hot pasta. 3. Stir until well blended. Makes about 3 servings. Note: Do not overcook pasta.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 0.33 box (94.7 g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 310Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12.0g19%
Saturated Fat 3.0g15%
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 20mg7%
Sodium 830mg35%
Total Carbohydrates 40.0g13%
Dietary Fiber 3.0g12%
Sugars 4.0g
Protein 11.0g

The Next Iron Chef: Redemption on Sunday, November 4 at 9 pm ET/PT.

Next Iron Chef: Redemption

A roster of acclaimed chefs will return for a second chance to become a member of the Iron Chef culinary society this fall, with the premiere of The Next Iron Chef: Redemption on Sunday, November 4 at 9 pm ET/PT. Earlier last month, FN Dish revealed the seven returning chefs and two newcomers:

Nate Appleman, Amanda Freitag, Eric Greenspan and Jehangir Mehta from The Next Iron Chef Season Two
Elizabeth Falkner, Alex Guarnaschelli and Spike Mendelsohn from the cast of The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs
First-time Next Iron Chef competitors Tim Love and Marcel Vigneron
The tenth slot will go to the winner of a Web-exclusive competition taking place on starting October 12. The four chefs taking part in the Web battle are: Duskie Estes and Robert Treviño, who have previously competed on The Next Iron Chef, and newcomers Lee Anne Wong and Madison Cowan.

The Next Iron Chef: Redemption kicks off on “Redemption Beach,” where the chefs’ resourcefulness is tested in a grueling Chairman’s Challenge with a devious twist: Each must cook with the ingredient that sent them packing last time. Given another chance with this ingredient and only bare essentials, hot coals and one hour on the clock, some rise to the occasion while others go down in flames. The two least-successful chefs go to the Secret Ingredient Showdown, a sudden-death cook-off that leads to the first elimination.

Upcoming episodes continue to push the limits, including a canned food to Kitchen Stadium-worthy cuisine challenge, a Las Vegas buffet battle with an appearance by legendary magician David Copperfield and a “last supper” showdown.

Returning judges Donatella Arpaia and Simon Majumdar are joined by last season’s winner and newest Iron Chef, Geoffrey Zakarian, on the judging panel, along with appearances from Iron Chefs Bobby Flay, Masaharu Morimoto and Michael Symon.

The newly crowned Iron Chef’s first battle in Kitchen Stadium will premiere on Sunday, December 30 at 9pm ET/PT.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Turkey Tacos!

Dinner Tonight: Turkey Tacos

I'll start off by saying our prayers and thoughts go out to all those affected by the incoming hurricane, may you all be safe! I Had these about a week ago and couldn't wait any longer to have them again, Turkey Tacos! I used Honeysuckle White Ground Turkey (93/7). I seasoned it a bit with Cilantro, Sea Salt, and Smoked Ground Cumin and I used Old El Paso Taco Seasoning.

For the Taco fillers I prepared a good variety to please everyone. I prepared a can of Del Monte Whole Kernal Corn, a can of Bush's Reduced Sodium Black Beans, sliced Black Olives, diced Tomato's, shredded Lettuce, Deli Style Sliced Tamed Jalapeno's, 2 types of Cheese Kraft 2% Shredded Sharp Cheese and fresh grated Dutch Gouda, and two types of Taco Sauce- Old El Paso Medium Taco Sauce and Taco Bell Bold and Creamy Chipotle Sauce. So we had plenty of choices of toppings for some great tasting Tacos! I also added a side of Refried Beans.

To assemble my Taco I first layered the bottom with shredded Lettuce, the Lettuce helps soak up any moisture so the bottom of your Taco doesn't get soggy.

 After the Lettuce I layered in my ground Turkey, then Black Olives, Corn, Black Beans, Taco Bell Bold & Creamy Chipotle Sauce and all of it topped with shredded Dutch Gouda Cheese! Ohhh tooo GOOD!

 For dessert later a Jello Sugar free Chocolate Pudding topped with some Cool Whip Free.

One of America's Favorites - Mayonnaise

Standard ingredients and tools to make mayonnaise.
Mayonnaise  often abbreviated as mayo, is a thick creamy sauce often used as a condiment. It originates from Mahon, Spain. It is a stable emulsion of oil, egg yolk and either vinegar or lemon juice, with many options for embellishment with other herbs and spices. Lecithin in the egg yolk is the emulsifier. Mayonnaise varies in color but is often white, cream, or pale yellow. It may range in texture from that of light cream to thick. In countries influenced by French culture, mustard is also a common ingredient. In Spain and Italy, olive oil is used as the oil and mustard is never included. Numerous other sauces can be created from it with addition of various herbs, spices, and finely chopped pickles. Where mustard is used, it is also an emulsifier.

The origin of mayonnaise is the town of Mahon in Menorca (Spain), after Armand de Vignerot du Plessis's victory over the British at the city's port in 1756. According to this version, the sauce was originally known as "salsa mahonesa" in Spanish and "maonesa" in Catalan (as it is still known in Menorca), later becoming mayonnaise as it was popularized by the French. The French Larousse Gastronomique suggests: "Mayonnaise, in our view, is a popular corruption of moyeunaise, derived from the very old French word moyeu, which means yolk of egg." The sauce may have been christened mayennaise after Charles de Lorraine, duke of Mayenne, because he took the time to finish his meal of chicken with cold sauce before being defeated in the Battle of Arques.

Nineteenth-century culinary writer Pierre Lacam suggested that in 1459, a London woman named Annamarie Turcauht stumbled upon this condiment after trying to create a custard of some sort.

According to Trutter et al.: "It is highly probable that wherever olive oil existed, a simple preparation of oil and egg came about – particularly in the Mediterranean region, where aioli (oil and garlic) is made."

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, mayonnaise was in use in English as early as 1823 in the journal of Lady Blessington.

Mayonnaise can be made by hand with a mortar and pestle, whisk or fork, or with the aid of an electric mixer or blender. Mayonnaise is made by slowly adding oil to an egg yolk, while whisking vigorously to disperse the oil. The oil and the water in yolks form a base of the emulsion, while lecithin and protein from the yolks are the emulsifiers that stabilizes it. Additionally, a bit of a mustard may also be added to sharpen its taste, and further stabilize the emulsion. Mustard contains small amounts of lecithin. It is a process that requires watching; if the liquid starts to separate and look like pack-ice, or curd, it simply requires starting again with an egg yolk, whisking it, slowly adding the 'curd' while whisking, and the mixture will emulsify to become mayonnaise. If water is added to the yolk it can emulsify more oil, thus making more mayonnaise.

Making mayonnaise with a whisk.

A classic European recipe is essentially the same as the basic one described above, but it uses olive oil with vinegar or lemon juice. It is essential to beat the mayonnaise using a whisk while adding the olive oil a little (e.g. a teaspoon) at a time, then it is possible to add the oil more quickly while briskly whisking to incorporate the oil into the emulsion. If there are two people in the kitchen, one person can slowly pour the oil while the other does the whisking. Experienced cooks can judge when the mayonnaise is done by the emulsion's resistance to the beating action. Herbs and spices can be added at any stage and the vinegar may have already been infused with sprigs of French tarragon, or the oil may have been infused with garlic.

Homemade mayonnaise can approach 85% fat before the emulsion breaks down; commercial mayonnaise is more typically 70-80% fat. "Low fat" mayonnaise products contain starches, cellulose gel, or other ingredients to simulate the texture of real mayonnaise.

Some recipes, both commercial and homemade, use the whole egg, including the white. It can also be made using solely egg whites, with no yolks at all, if it is done at high speed in a food processor. The resulting texture appears to be the same and, if seasoned with salt, pepper, mustard, lemon juice, vinegar and a little paprika, for example, the taste is similar to traditional mayonnaise made with egg yolks.

Commercial producers either pasteurize the yolks, freeze them and substitute water for most of their liquid, or use other emulsifiers. They also typically use soybean oil, for its lower cost, instead of olive oil.

Commercial mayonnaise sold in jars originated in Philadelphia in 1907 when Amelia Schlorer decided to start selling her own mayonnaise recipe originally used in salads sold in the family grocery store. Mrs. Schlorer's Mayonnaise was an instant success with local customers and eventually grew into the Schlorer Delicatessen Company. Around the same time in New York City, a family from Vetschau, Germany, at Richard Hellmann's delicatessen on Columbus Avenue, featured his wife's homemade recipe in salads sold in their deli. The condiment quickly became so popular that Hellmann began selling it in "wooden boats" that were used for weighing butter. In 1912, Mrs. Hellmann's mayonnaise was mass marketed and later was trademarked in 1926 as Hellmann's Blue Ribbon Mayonnaise.

At about the same time that Mrs. Schlorer's and Hellmann's Mayonnaise were thriving on the East Coast of the United States, a California company, Best Foods, introduced their own mayonnaise, which turned out to be very popular in the western United States. In 1932, Best Foods bought the Hellmann's brand. By then, both mayonnaises had such commanding market shares in their own half of the country that it was decided that both brands be preserved. The company is now owned by Unilever.

In the Southeastern part of the United States, Mrs. Eugenia Duke of Greenville, South Carolina, founded the Duke Sandwich Company in 1917 to sell sandwiches to soldiers training at nearby Fort Sevier. Her homemade mayonnaise became so popular that her company began to focus exclusively on producing and selling the mayonnaise, eventually selling out to the C.F. Sauer Company of Richmond, Virginia, in 1929. Duke's Mayonnaise, remains a popular brand of mayonnaise in the Southeast, although it is not generally available in other markets.

In addition to an almost ubiquitous presence in American sandwiches, mayonnaise forms the basis of Northern Alabama's signature White Barbeque sauce. It is also used to add stability to American-style buttercream and occasionally in cakes as well.

Apple Chicken Salad Recipe


    2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast or chicken tenders
    1/4 cup finely-diced Red Delicious apple
    1/4 cup finely-diced celery
    1/4 cup finely-diced sweet onions
    1/4 cup ranch dressing, lite or reduced
    1 Tablespoon mayonnaise, reduced fat or fat free
    Sea salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste
    Walnut pieces, lettuce, tomatoes, olives, or your favorite salad fixings

Gently toss chicken breast, apple, celery, sweet onions, mayonnaise, ranch dressing, salt, and pepper until well-combined.

Serve with salad greens, walnuts, tomatoes, and olives or as a filler for sandwiches.

Yield: 4 servings

Sunday, October 28, 2012

New England Clam Chowder w/ Ham & Swiss Toasted Sandwich

Dinner Tonight: New England Clam Chowder w/ Ham & Swiss Toasted Sandwich

Simple and Hearty Dinner tonight, New England Clam Chowder w/ Ham & Swiss Toasted Sandwich. I wasn't really feeling up to par today. I'm dealing with those painful Phantom Pains that amputees so commonly have to deal with. Sometimes they aren't too bad but today's has been extremely painful and it really just wears you out.

Anyway on to dinner! Dealing with the Phantom Pains I wanted something easy to prepare but I also wanted a hearty and hot meal. I used Campbell's Chunky New England Clam Chowder. Easy to prepare and a nice, thick, and tasty Clam Chowder. Easy to prepare as in open the can, empty into a small pot, and heat! 210 calories and 23 carbs.

For my Toasted Sandwich I used Kroger Private Selection Old fashioned Honey Cured Sliced Ham, Sargento Ultra Thin Swiss Cheese, Kraft Reduced Fat Mayo w/ Olive Oil, and Toasted Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread. For dessert one of my favorite things to make Pillsbury Nut Quick Bread. A slice of the Nut Bread topped with a scoop of Breyer's Carb Smart Ice Cream.

Campbell's Chunky New England Clam Chowder

Also available in a 10.75-oz. can
& a microwavable bowl

Nutrition Facts*
Amount Per Serving (serving size) = 1 cup (240 mL)
Calories 210
Fat Calories 90
Total Fat 10g
Sat. Fat 1.5g
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 5mg
Sodium 890mg
Total Carb. 23g
Dietary Fiber 3g
Sugars 1g
Protein 6g

% Daily Values**
Vitamin A 0%
Vitamin C 2%
Calcium 2%
Iron 8%
* The nutrition information contained in this list of Nutrition Facts is based on our current data. However, because the data may change from time to time, this information may not always be identical to the nutritional label information of products on shelf.
** % Daily Values (DV) are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Pillsbury Nut Quick Bread Mix

Pillsbury Quick Bread helps you serve home-baked goodness any time - for breakfast, lunch dinner or snacks. Make a delicious snack and bring the goodness of home-baking to your family any time of day! Serve home-baked goodness anytime.

Nutrition Facts

Serv Size 1/14 package (31g)
Servings Per Container 14

Amount Per Serving

Calories 120 Calories from Fat 25

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 3g 4%

Saturated Fat 0.5g 3%

Trans Fat 0g

Cholesterol 0mg 0%

Sodium 150mg 6%

Total Carbohydrate 23g 8%

Sugars 12g

Protein 2g

Calcium 2%

Iron 4%

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Today's Menu: Mozzarella &Turkey Sausage Flatbread Pizza

A  hot fresh made Flatbread Pizza just sounded good on this cold and blustery Saturday. I made a Mozzarella &Turkey Sausage Flatbread Pizza. I used Flatout Flatbread Thin Crust Flatbread Heritage Wheat as my Flatbread. Love this Flatbread, it's low in carbs and calories, browns up real nice, and has a fantastic pizza crust taste.

For my toppings I used Classico Traditional Pizza Sauce, Fresh Mozzarella Cheese Slices, sliced Black Olives, Hormel Sliced Turkey Pepperoni, sliced Baby Bella Mushrooms, and Jennie - O Spicy Turkey Breakfast Sausage. Everything combined makes one fantastic Pizza! A great alternative to high calorie and carb Pizza's. This one's right around 350 calories and it's missing none of the taste of regular Pizza! For dessert later a bowl of Breyer's Carb Smart Vanilla Ice Cream topped with Smucker's Sugar Free Hot Fudge Topping.

Flatout Flatbread Thin Crust Flatbreads Heritage Wheat

7g Protein
Good Source of Fiber
Easy to make… Grill it! Bake it!


I’m all out, What can I use?

Preparing a recipe and realize your out of one of the essential ingredients. Try this as a substitution.

I’m all out of Tomato Paste, What can I use?

Try - 1 tablespoon ketchup or 1/2 cup tomato sauce (reduce some of the liquid in the recipe)

Free-Food Snacks: Low-Calorie, Low-Carb Diabetic Snacks

My weekly "Pass it along" article from Diabetic Living On Line. It's another informative one on Free-Food Snacks: Low-Calorie, Low-Carb Diabetic Snacks this week. You can read the entire article by clicking the link at the bottom of the post.

Free-Food Snacks: Low-Calorie, Low-Carb Diabetic Snacks
By Marsha McCulloch, M.S., R.D., L.D.; Reviewed by Hope S. Warshaw, R.D., CDE, BC-ADM, 2011
Free foods have less than 20 calories and 5 grams of carbohydrate per serving. Find out how to use these low-calorie and low-carb foods as healthy diabetic snacks to get you through between-meal cravings or add flavor to dishes.

Free Foods for People with Diabetes
When you have the munchies but no calories or carbohydrate grams to spare, get your fix with a free-food snack. A free food, as defined by the American Diabetes Association (ADA), is any food, drink, condiment, or seasoning that contains less than 20 calories and 5 grams or less of carb per serving.

ADA guidelines suggest you can eat up to three free-food servings per day without counting them in your diabetes meal plan. Do spread them out through the day. The small amount of carb they contain should have little impact on your blood glucose.

Before eating free foods, keep in mind that:

-- Eating three free-food snacks with about 20 calories each adds up to 60 extra calories, which could ultimately impact your waistline and efforts to lose weight if you include free foods every day.

-- Free foods, other than small amounts of some fruits and vegetables, contain few to no calories and minimal to no nutrition.

-- If chosen wisely, free-food snacks can enhance the flavor of nutritious foods while adding minimal calories.

The following slides give you free-food snack ideas to keep your stomach satisfied without ramping up your blood sugar....

Friday, October 26, 2012

Bison Sirloin Steak & Sauteed Mushrooms w/ Baked Potato, Sugar Snap Peas,...

Today's Menu: Bison Sirloin Steak & Sauteed Mushrooms w/ Baked Potato, Sugar Snap Peas, and Whole Grain Bread

A cold and rainy day around here today so I warmed it up in the kitchen! I prepared a Bison Sirloin Steak & Sauteed Mushrooms w/ Baked Potato, Sugar Snap Peas, and Whole Grain Bread. I used Great Range Brand Bison Sirloin, sold by Kroger.Seasoned it with McCormick Grinder Steakhouse Seasoning and a couple of dashes of Sea Salt. Pan fried in Extra Virgin Olive Oil about 4 minutes per side. Came out just like I like them, medium rare (pink in the center) with a nice char on the outside. Served it with a side of Sauteed Baby Bella Mushrooms.

For sides I had a Baked Potato that I seasoned with Sea Salt and Black Pepper and topped with I Can't Believe It's Not Butter. I also had some leftover Sugar Snap Peas that I reheated in the microwave and a couple of slices of Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread. For dessert a bowl of Blue Bunny Chocolate/Vanilla Swirl Frozen Yogurt.

Pumpkin Lasagna

A Halloween Pumpkin Dish recipe passed along from my friend Aimee! Happy Halloween All!

Pumpkin Lasagna

1/2 pound sliced fresh baby bella mushrooms
1 small onion, minced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, divided
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
1/2 cup half-and-half cream
1 teaspoon dried sage leaves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Dash pepper
9 no-cook lasagna noodles
1 cup reduced-fat ricotta cheese
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded 2% mozzarella cheese
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

*In a small skillet, saute the mushrooms, onion and 1/4 teaspoon salt in oil until tender; set aside. In a small bowl, combine the pumpkin, cream, sage, pepper and remaining salt.
*Spread 1/2 cup pumpkin sauce in an 11-in. x 7-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with three noodles (noodles will overlap slightly). Spread 1/2 cup pumpkin sauce to edges of noodles. Top with half of mushroom mixture, 1/2 cup ricotta, 1/2 cup mozzarella and 1/2 cup  Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Repeat layers. Top with remaining noodles and sauce.
*Cover and bake at 375° for 45 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano. Bake 10-15 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting. Yield: 6 servings.

*The lasagna can be wrapped tightly and refrigerated or frozen for a make-ahead meal. Reheat, covered, until hot, 45 minutes to 1 hour, then uncover and bake for 10 to 15 minutes more.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Baked Red Snapper With Garlic w/ Asparagus, Golden Sweet Corn, and...

Dinner Tonight: Baked Red Snapper With Garlic w/ Asparagus, Golden Sweet Corn, and Whole Grain Bread.

 They had a fantastic selection of Red Snapper Fillets at Kroger's Seafood Department this morning. So needless to say it was Red Snapper for dinner tonight, Baked Red Snapper With Garlic w/ Asparagus, Golden Sweet Corn, and Whole Grain Bread. i tried a new recipe for the Red Snapper, Baked Red Snapper With Garlic. Place the snapper fillets in a baking dish which has been sprayed with Pam Baking Spray. In a skillet, melt butter with garlic, Worcestershire sauce, Creole seasoning blend, pepper, parsley, and chives, if using. Cook on low for 2 minutes, just to blend flavors. Brush both sides of fish fillets with the butter and herb mixture. Toss bread crumbs in the remaining butter mixture; sprinkle over the fillets. Bake at 400° for about 12 minutes, depending on thickness of fillets, until fish flakes easily and is no longer translucent. The full recipe and instructions are listed at the bottom of the post. I have a new favorite Red Snapper recipe! This turned out lip smacking delicious. The butter, spices, and bread crumbs combine to make the Red Snapper burst with flavor. This is a keeper recipe.

For side dishes I had Asparagus, the leftover Golden Sweet Corn, and Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread. The Asparagus comes from Kroger Produce and it come's in a microwavable steaming bag. Heat for 2 - 3 minutes and it's done, about 2 servings per bag and it's 20 calories and 7 carbs. The Sweet Corn was leftover from last night, I just reheated it in the microwave. For dessert a Jello Sugarless Chocolate pudding.

Baked Red Snapper With Garlic


2 red snapper fillets, about 6 to 8 ounces each
4 tablespoons butter (I Can't Believe It's Not Butter)
1 medium clove garlic, pressed or minced
3 or 4 drops Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon Creole or Cajun seasoning, or your own favorite seasoning blend, with salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley
1 teaspoon snipped fresh or frozen chives, optional
3 to 4 tablespoons plain or seasoned bread crumbs (Progresso Italian Style Bread Crumbs)
2 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan cheese, optional


Place snapper fillets in a baking dish which has been sprayed with a butter-flavored baking spray.

In a skillet, melt butter with garlic, Worcestershire sauce, Creole seasoning blend, pepper, parsley, and chives, if using. Cook on low for 2 minutes, just to blend flavors. Brush both sides of fish fillets with the butter and herb mixture. Toss bread crumbs in the remaining butter mixture; sprinkle over the fillets. Bake at 400° for about 12 minutes, depending on thickness of fillets, until fish flakes easily and is no longer translucent.
Serves 2.

Kitchen Hint of the Day!

Keep sausages from splitting by piercing  the skin in one or two places while they are cooking. A quick dredging in flour before cooking will reduce shrinkage.

I’m all out, What can I use?

Preparing a recipe and realize your out of one of the essential ingredients. Try this as a substitution.

I’m all out of Tarragon, What can I use?

Try - Anise (use small amount) or chervil (use larger amount) or a pinch of fennel seed

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Dinner Tonight: Turkey "Not So Sloppy" Joes w/ Sugar Snap Peas and Golden Sweet Corn

Another picture perfect Autumn Day out today. It is perfect, about 73 degrees, sunny, and a slight warm breeze! I heard though by Sunday the high will be 50. Ah Ohio weather. For dinner it was comfort food for dinner tonight, Turkey "Not So Sloppy" Joes w/ Sugar Snap Peas and Golden Sweet Corn. I used Honeysuckle White Extra Lean Ground Turkey (99/1 Blend). I fried it in Extra Virgin Olive Oil and seasoned it McCormick Grinder Sea Salt and Black Peppercorn. As the Turkey was finishing I drained it of excess fat and then I added a jar of Hormel Not So Sloppy Joe. Stirred and heated till it was warmed through. Served it on a Healthy Life Whole Grain Bun.

For sides I had a bag of the Walmart Marketside Sugar Snap Peas. Just microwave, in the bag, for 2 minutes and you have some of the best Sugar Snap Peas you've ever had. I also heated up a small can of Del Monte Summer Crisp Golden Sweet Corn. I love the picture of this plate! Look at the yellow Golden Corn, the beautiful Green of the Sugar Snap Peas, and the deep Red of the Sloppy Joes, you know this has to taste good! For dessert later a bowl of Breyer's Carb Smart Vanilla Ice Cream topped with Del Monte No Sugar Added Sliced Peaches.

Hormel Not-So-Sloppy-Joe Sloppy Joe Sauce

Richer and Thicker and Far From Ordinary
Not-So-Sloppy-Joe® sloppy joe sauce is as distinctive as its name. Not-So-Sloppy-Joe® sloppy joe sauce has a hint of barbecue flavor and is richer and thicker than other sloppy joe sauces.

Since its beginning in 1985, there’s been one very graphic way to show the thick and rich texture of Not-So-Sloppy-Joe® sloppy joe sauce: the “drip test.” When you hold up a sloppy joe made with Not-So-Sloppy-Joe® sloppy joe sauce, there are no drips. It’s that rich and thick.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1/4 cup (68.5 g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 70Calories from Fat 4
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0.5g1%
Saturated Fat 0.0g0%
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 810mg34%
Total Carbohydrates 15.0g5%
Dietary Fiber 1.0g4%
Sugars 10.0g
Protein 1.0g

Del Monte Whole Kernel Golden Corn

Del Monte® supersweet whole kernel golden corn is naturally sweet – with no added sugar. Harvested at the peak of freshness and vacuum-packed within hours for unsurpassed taste.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1/2 cup (104.0 g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 70Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1.0g2%
Saturated Fat 0.0g0%
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 270mg11%
Total Carbohydrates 13.0g4%
Dietary Fiber 3.0g12%
Sugars 4.0g
Protein 2.0g

Cheeses of the Week - Taleggio and Tommes


Taleggio (IPA: [taˈleddʒo]) is a washed rind and smear-ripened Italian cheese that is named after Val Taleggio. The cheese has a strong aroma, but its flavor is comparatively mild with an unusual fruity tang. Its crust is thin.

The name Taleggio has been used before the 10th century in the caves of Val Taleggio. It might be one of the oldest soft cheeses. The production takes place every autumn and winter when the cows are tired.

First, the acidified milk is brought to the lab from milk calves. The cheese is set on wood shelves in chambers, sometimes in caves as per tradition, and will mature within six to ten weeks. It is washed once a week with a seawater sponge, in order to prevent mold infestation, and to prevent the cheese from forming an orange or rose crust.
Today, the cheese is made from pasteurized milk and from raw milk in factories. The factory-made ones are brighter and moderate in flavor. Spices, raisins, nuts and some lemons are also added.

The cheese can be eaten grated with salads such as radicchio and rucola and with spices and tomato on bruschetta. It melts well, and can be used in risotto or on polenta.


Tomme (French pronunciation: [tɔm]) is a type of cheese, and is a generic name given to a class of cheese produced mainly in the French Alps and in Switzerland. Tommes are normally produced from the skim milk left over after the cream has been removed to produce butter and richer cheeses, or when there is too little milk to produce a full cheese. As a result, they are generally low in fat.

There are many varieties of Tommes, which are usually identified by their place of origin. The most famous of these is Tomme de Savoie. Other Tommes include Tomme Boudane, Tomme au Fenouil, Tomme de Crayeuse, Tomme d'Aydius, Tomme de Grandmère, Tomme Affinée, and Tomme du Revard. Tomme de Montagne is a collective term for the upland varieties, e.g. Tomme de Savoie but not Tomme de Beaujolais.
Tomme is traditionally used to make aligot and truffade, two Auvergnat dishes combining melted cheese and mashed or sautéed potatoes.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Today’s Menu: Sweet Asian Chili Flavored Chicken Wings w/ Oven-Roasted Fingerling Potato Fries

I picked up some more of the Tyson Sweet Asian Chili Flavored Chicken Wings. Their a breeze to prepare; just bake at 450 degrees for 38 minutes and you have Wings! I love the Sweet Asian Seasonings on these. A nice mild heat with a bit of Chili taste, fantastic with Litehouse Light Bleu Cheese Dressing/Dip.

Along with the Wings I made some Oven-Roasted Fingerling Potato Fries. I seasoned them all with McCormick Spices; Grinder Sea Salt, Grinder Black Peppercorn, Garlic Powder, and Chili Powder. I baked them at 450 degrees for 26 minutes. Like the Wings these are full of flavor! The seasonings blend just right for the fries. When you first take them out of the oven sprinkle them with Crumbled Bleu Cheese. For dessert/snack later  a 100 Calorie Mini Bag of Jolly Time Pop Corn.

Sweet Asian Chili Flavored Chicken Wings (3 lb. bag)
Tyson® Individually Frozen Sweet Asian Chili 1st and 2nd joint Wings are perfect for game time or a fun family meal. These oven-bake wings pair perfectly with easy-to-prepare dip recipes on the back of the bag! Contains up to 22% seasoning solution.

1 Preheat oven to 450°F.
2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick spray.
3. Place frozen chicken wing sections on pan in a single layer.
4. Cook on upper rack for 35 – 38 minutes or until juices run clear when thickest part of the chicken is pierced and temperature on instant read thermometer reaches 180°F. For crisper wings: Cook wing sections on a non-stick sprayed baking rack over a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 4 OZ. (112g)
Servings Per Container: About 8
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 110 Calories 190
% Daily Value*
18%Total Fat 12g
18%Saturated Fat 3.5g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2.5g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
23%Cholesterol 70mg
21%Sodium 500mg
2%Total Carbohydrate 5g
0%Dietary Fiber 0g
Sugars 2g
32%Protein 16g

Oven-Roasted Fingerling Potato Fries


Fingerling Potatoes
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Garlic Powder
Sea Salt
Chili Powder
Crumbled Bleu Cheese


1.) Thoroughly clean and scrub the potatoes.

2.) Cut the potatoes in half. This will allow the fingerlings to cook faster and also gives them a nice crisp.

3.) Toss in olive oil. I used about 2 tablespoons, but this will vary by how many potatoes you use. Just use enough oil to give the potatoes a nice coat. Add your seasonings.

4.) Put on a baking sheet.

5.) Cook in the oven for 25-35 minutes at 450 degrees. The potatoes should be tender in the middle when done. Sprinkle with Crumbled Bleu Cheese when  done.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Today's Menu: Flatbread Pizza

"Ready for the oven"
Homemade Flatbread pizza for dinner tonight! While at Walmart I came across a new item from Flatout Bread, Flatout Flatbread Thin Crust Flatbreads Heritage Wheat. I love all their products all are fresh, low calorie, and low carb, and they taste great! An entire Flatbread Pie/Crust is only 150 calories and 27 carbs! That's fantastic for those watching your calories or those with diabetes. I've left the link to Flatout's web site at the end of the post along with another link that has Flatbread Pizza recipes. I used Classico Traditional Pizza Sauce for my sauce. Nice thick sauce that's well seasoned, 40 calories and 7 carbs per serving (1/2 Cup).

For my toppings I used sliced Black Olives, Hormel Sliced Turkey Pepperoni, Mezzetta Deli Style Tamed Sliced Jalapenos, and topped it all with some fresh grated Dutch Gouda. It turned out fantastic! The flatbread toasted up just perfect. I baked it at 350 degrees for 5 minutes. I've found a new pizza, plus it's a healthier version. For dessert later a bought a small block of Kraft 2% Sharp Cheddar so I'll slice some off to cracker size pieces and have the Cheese on Ritz Whole Grain Crackers.

"We have pizza"

Flatout Flatbread Thin Crust Flatbreads Heritage Wheat

7g Protein
Good Source of Fiber
Easy to make… Grill it! Bake it!


Classico Traditional Pizza Sauce

Traditional Pizza Sauce

Centuries ago in Naples, baked flatbread with toppings was first called “pizza.” Its sauce was crafted from simple ingredients like ripened tomatoes, olive oil, basil and garlic. Here, these same ingredients are combined with a hint of oregano and fennel to form a timeless classic.


Tomato Puree (Water, Tomato Paste), Diced Tomatoes in Tomato Juice, Sugar, Olive Oil, Salt, Spices, Granulated Garlic.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1/4 cup (60g)
Servings per Container about 7
Amount Per Serving
Calories 40
Calories from Fat 10
  % Daily Value *
Total Fat 1g 2%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 320mg 13%
Total Carbohydrates 7g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 5g
Protein 1g

A Beautiful Fall day!

It's a perfect Fall day out today so I snapped a few pictures of the trees and their beautiful colors!

One of America's Favorites - Salt


Salt, also known as table salt, or rock salt, is a crystalline mineral that is composed primarily of sodium chloride (NaCl), a chemical compound belonging to the larger class of ionic salts. It is essential for animal life in small quantities, but is harmful to animals and plants in excess. Salt is one of the oldest, most ubiquitous food seasonings and salting is an important method of food preservation. The taste of salt (saltiness) is one of the basic human tastes.
Salt for human consumption is produced in different forms: unrefined salt (such as sea salt), refined salt (table salt), and iodized salt. It is a crystalline solid, white, pale pink or light gray in color, normally obtained from sea water or rock deposits. Edible rock salts may be slightly grayish in color because of mineral content.

Salt for human consumption is produced in different forms: unrefined salt (such as sea salt), refined salt (table salt), and iodized salt. It is a crystalline solid, white, pale pink or light gray in color, normally obtained from sea water or rock deposits. Edible rock salts may be slightly grayish in color because of mineral content.
Chloride and sodium ions, the two major components of salt, are needed by all known living creatures in small quantities. Salt is involved in regulating the water content (fluid balance) of the body. The sodium ion itself is used for electrical signaling in the nervous system. Because of its importance to survival, salt has often been considered a valuable commodity during human history. However, as salt consumption has increased during modern times, scientists have become aware of the health risks associated with high salt intake, including high blood pressure in sensitive individuals. Therefore, some health authorities have recommended limitations of dietary sodium, although others state the risk is minimal for typical western diets. The United States Department of Health and Human Services recommends that individuals consume no more than 1500–2300 mg of sodium (3750–5750 mg of salt) per day depending on age.

While people have used canning and artificial refrigeration to preserve food for the last hundred years or so, salt has been the best-known food preservative, especially for meat, for many thousands of years. A very ancient saltworks operation has been discovered at the Poiana Slatinei archaeological site next to a salt spring in Lunca, Neamţ County, Romania. Evidence indicates that Neolithic people of the Precucuteni Culture were boiling the salt-laden spring water through the process of briquetage to extract the salt as far back as 6050 BC. The salt extracted from this operation may have had a direct correlation to the rapid growth of this society's population soon after its initial production began. The harvest of salt from the surface of Xiechi Lake near Yuncheng in Shanxi, China dates back to at least 6000 BC, making it one of the oldest verifiable saltworks.

The salt works north of Pondicherry, India.
Salt was included among funereal offerings found in ancient Egyptian tombs from the third millennium BC, as were salted birds and salt fish. From about 2800 BC, the Egyptians began exporting salt fish to the Phoenicians in return for Lebanon cedar, glass, and the dye Tyrian purple; the Phoenicians traded Egyptian salt fish and salt from North Africa throughout their Mediterranean trade empire.
Along the Sahara, the Tuareg maintain routes especially for the transport of salt by Azalai (salt caravans). In 1960, the caravans still transported some 15,000 tons of salt, but this trade has now declined to roughly a third of this figure.

Salzburg, Hallstatt, and Hallein lie on the river Salzach in central Austria, within a radius of no more than 17 kilometers. Salzach literally means "salt water" and Salzburg "salt city", both taking their names from the German word for salt, Salz.
Hallstatt gave its name to the Celtic archaeological culture that began mining for salt in the area in around 800 BC. Around 400 BC, the Hallstatt Celts, who had heretofore mined for salt, began open pan salt making. During the first millennium BC, Celtic communities grew rich trading salt and salted meat to Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome in exchange for wine and other luxuries.
The word salary originates from Latin: salarium which referred to the money paid to the Roman Army's soldiers for the purchase of salt. The word salad literally means "salted", and comes from the ancient Roman practice of salting leaf vegetables.
Mahatma Gandhi led at least 100,000 people on the "Dandi March" or "Salt Satyagraha", in which protesters made their own salt from the sea, which was illegal under British rule, as it avoided paying the "salt tax". This civil disobedience inspired millions of common people, and elevated the Indian independence movement from an elitist struggle to a national struggle.

Sea salt harvesting in Pak Thale, Phetchaburi, Thailand
Forms of salt

Unrefined salt

Different natural salts have different mineralities, giving each one a unique flavor. Fleur de sel, a natural sea salt from the surface of evaporating brine in salt pans, has a unique flavor varying from region to region. In traditional Korean cuisine, so-called "bamboo salt" is prepared by roasting salt in a bamboo container plugged with mud at both ends. This product absorbs minerals from the bamboo and the mud, and has been claimed to increase the anticlastogenic and antimutagenic properties of doenjang.
Unrefined sea salt contains small amounts of magnesium and calcium halides and sulfates, traces of algal products, salt-resistant bacteria, and sediment particles. The calcium/magnesium salts make unrefined sea salt hygroscopic(i.e.,it gradually absorbs moisture from air if stored uncovered) and confer a faintly bitter overtone. Algal products contribute mildly "fishy" and "sea-air" odors, the latter from organobromine compounds. Sediments, whose proportion varies with the source, give the salt a dull gray appearance. McGee  points out that since taste and aroma compounds are often detectable in minute concentrations, sea salt might have a more complex flavor than pure sodium chloride when sprinkled on top of food, though when added during cooking these flavors would be overwhelmed by those of the food ingredients.
The refined salt industry cites scientific studies saying that raw sea and rock salts do not contain enough iodine salts to prevent iodine deficiency diseases.
Unrefined sea salts are also commonly used as ingredients in bathing additives and cosmetic products. One example is bath salts, which uses sea salt as its main ingredient and combined with other ingredients is used for its alleged healing and therapeutic effects.

Refined salt

Refined salt, which is most widely used presently, is mainly sodium chloride. Food grade salt accounts for only a small part of salt production in industrialized countries (3 percent in Europe) although worldwide, food uses account for 17.5 percent of salt production. The majority is sold for industrial use. Salt has great commercial value because it is a necessary ingredient in many manufacturing processes. A few common examples include: the production of pulp and paper, setting dyes in textiles and fabrics, and the making of soaps and detergents.
The manufacture and use of salt is one of the oldest chemical industries. Salt can be obtained by evaporation of sea water, usually in shallow basins warmed by sunlight; salt so obtained was formerly called bay salt, and is now often called sea salt or solar salt. Rock salt deposits are formed by the evaporation of ancient salt lakes, and may be mined conventionally or through the injection of water. Injected water dissolves the salt, and the brine solution can be pumped to the surface where the salt is collected.

After the raw salt is obtained, it is refined to purify it and improve its storage and handling characteristics. Purification usually involves recrystallization. In recrystallization, a brine solution is treated with chemicals that precipitate most impurities (largely magnesium and calcium salts). Multiple stages of evaporation are then used to collect pure sodium chloride crystals, which are kiln-dried.

Table salt

In Western cuisine, salt is used in cooking, and is often found in salt shakers on diners' eating tables for their personal use on their food.
Table salt is refined salt, which contains about 97 to 99 percent sodium chloride. It usually contains substances that make it free-flowing (anticaking agents) such as sodium aluminosilicate or magnesium carbonate. Some people also add a desiccant, such as a few grains of uncooked rice, or a saltine cracker in salt shakers to absorb extra moisture and help break up clumps when anticaking agents are not enough. Table salt has a particle density of 2.165 g/cm3, and a bulk density (dry, ASTM D 632 gradation) of about 1.154 g/cm3.

In many East Asian cultures, salt is not traditionally used as a condiment. In its place, condiments such as soy sauce, fish sauce and oyster sauce tend to have a high sodium content and fill a similar role to table salt in western cultures. They are most often used for cooking rather than as table condiments.

Acute effects

Too much or too little salt in the diet can lead to muscle cramps, dizziness, or electrolyte disturbance, which can cause neurological problems, or death. Drinking too much water, with insufficient salt intake, puts a person at risk of water intoxication (hyponatremia). Salt is sometimes used as a health aid, such as in treatment of dysautonomia.
Death can occur by ingestion of large amounts of salt in a short time (about 1 g per kg of body weight). Deaths have also resulted from attempted use of salt solutions as emetics, forced salt intake, and accidental confusion of salt with sugar in child food.

Long-term effects

The effect of salt consumption on long term health outcomes is controversial. The effects of salt reduction appears to have an unclear effect on mortality and its effect on morbidity is contentious.

Recommended intakes of salt are usually expressed in terms of sodium intake. Salt (as sodium chloride) contains 39.3 percent of sodium by weight.(wiki)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Tailgate Food Dinner

Today's Menu: Chili Dogs and Jalapeno Bottle Caps

It's Sunday and a full day of football and a big Sunday night Football game for the hometown Cincinnati Bengals! So what better than to fix a tailgate meal for dinner. I used to tailgate before all the Bengal games years ago but being in a wheelchair takes a little fun out of it so I catch all the games at home sweet home. But I can still fix some of the foods we used to prepare for the tailgate parties. For dinner I prepared Chili Dogs and Jalapeno Bottle Caps.

For the Chili Dogs I used Ball Park Smoked White Turkey Franks. These are my favorite Turkey Dogs. Low cal, low carb, and great tasting! I left the item description at the end of the post. I served it on a Healthy Life Whole Grain Bun and topped it with a splash of French's Yellow Mustard, Hormel Turkey Chili with Beans, and Kraft 2% Shredded Sharp Cheese. Ahh these are just too good!

I also prepared a batch of Jalapeno Bottle Caps. If your looking for a unique and delicious appetizer look no further! These are addicting once you start eating them. I've left the full recipe at the end of the post. Just to tell you a bit about them, you slice your Jalapenos into slices about the size of bottle caps and dip them in a beer batter and deep fry until browned. You do have to cut the seeds out of Jalapenos though. They come out flat - out delicious! A little heat but they actually come out with almost a sweet taste. You serve with a side of Bleu Cheese dressing, I used Litehouse Lite Bleu Cheese Dressing and Dip ( 80 calories and 3 carbs). Your going to love these! For dessert later a Blue Bunny Frozen Chocolate/Vanilla Swirl Yogurt Bar.

Pack your bun with a 100% fat-free frank made with white turkey meat.

Dial up the lean while you dial in the flavor. Ball Park Turkey Franks are so packed full of classic Ball Park satisfaction, don’t be surprised if he thinks he’s eating an original Ball Park.

What do you do when your guy wants to cut the fat, but keep the flavor? That’s where these Ball Park possibilities come in. Each one is leaner than our regular meat or beef franks, so you can find the one that’s just right.

Nutrition Facts Amount/Serving % Daily Value *
Serving Size 1 frank (50g)
Servings Per Container 8
Calories 45
Calories from Fat 0
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 10g 3%
Sodium 490mg 20%
Potassium 380mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%!/products/turkey

Jalapeno Bottle Caps


1 1/2 Cups All - Purpose Flour
1 Pinch Sea Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Black pepper
1 Teaspoon Chili Powder
1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 Teaspoon Paprika
1/2 Cup Egg Beaters or 2 Eggs
1 Cup Beer
Any Oil that can take high heat for frying
2 Cups Sliced Jalapeno Peppers


1) Mix the dry ingredients, add the Egg Beaters, mix well then add the Beer, stir to well mix.
2) Put oil in pan, dip the Jalapeno slices into the batter, and fry until golden.
3) Drain on paper towel lined plate. Serve with Bleu Cheese Dressing or Dip.

Kitchen Hint of the Day!

To keep Bacon from splattering, soak it in ice - cold water for 2 - 4 minutes, and then dry it well with paper towels before frying it. Or try sprinkling it with a bit of flour before cooking it.

I’m all out, What can I use?

Preparing a recipe and realize your out of one of the essential ingredients. Try this as a substitution.

I’m all out of Sour Cream, What can I use?

Try - 1 tablespoon white vinegar + milk( let stand for 5 minutes before using ) or 1 tablespoon lemon juice + evaporated milk or plain yogurt.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Herb Crusted Pork Roast w/ Sugar Snap Peas, Organic Mini Carrots, and...

Today’s Menu: Herb Crusted Pork Roast w/ Sugar Snap Peas, Organic Mini Carrots, and Whole Grain Bread

It's a cool, rainy, blustery day outside today. So it's time to make a hearty comfort food to warm it up! Using my favorite recipe for Pork Roast, Herb Crusted Pork Roast. The herb mixture makes a fantastic and flavorful crust for the roast while the roast comes out moist and tender.With Rosemary, Thyme, Basil, Garlic, and Sea Salt as your seasonings you know it’s got to be good! I left the full recipe at the end of the post. As good as the Pork is the leftovers are just as awesome the next day!

For sides I heated up some Sugar Snap Peas. These are quickly becoming one of my favorite side dishes. Their huge Snap Peas and the flavor, with that hint of sweetness, is just fantastic! I also had purchased a bag of Organic Mini Carrots while at Jungle Jim's while there the other day. I boiled those until fork tender and seasoned with Sea Salt. For dessert later a Jello Sugar Free Chocolate Pudding topped with Cool Whip Free.

Herb Crusted Pork Tenderloin
Recipe courtesy Paula Deen, 2007

1 (4-pound) boneless pork loin, with fat left on

1 tablespoon salt

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme or 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon dried basil or 2 teaspoons fresh basil leaves
1 teaspoon dried rosemary or 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
Preheat oven to 475 degrees F.

Place the pork loin on a rack in a roasting pan. Combine the remaining ingredients in a small bowl. With your fingers, massage the mixture onto the pork loin, covering all of the meat and fat.

Roast the pork for 30 minutes, then reduce the heat to 425 degrees F and roast for an additional hour. Test for doneness using an instant-read thermometer. When the internal temperature reaches 155 degrees F, remove the roast from the oven. Allow it to sit for about 20 minutes before carving. It will continue to cook while it rests.

Kitchen Hint of the Day!

Making waffles is so much less fun when you have to beg and plead for the waffles to come out of the iron. Here's a quick fix if the nonstick material on your waffle maker has worn out: Place a sheet of wax paper in the iron, close, and heat up. Remove and now give it a try:Thanks to the transferred wax, the waffles should pop out.

I’m all out, What can I use?

Preparing a recipe and realize your out of one of the essential ingredients. Try this as a substitution.

I’m all out of Shortening (Baked Goods only), What can I use?

Try - Butter or margarine

Friday, October 19, 2012

Grouper Sandwich w/ Baked Cheesy Hash Browns and Carrot Slices

Dinner Tonight: Grouper Sandwich w/ Baked Cheesy Hash Browns and Carrot Slices

I had a fillet of that delicious Gulf Coast Grouper leftover from the other night and I fried it up and had a  Grouper Sandwich w/ Baked Cheesy Hash Browns and Carrot Slices for dinner. Simple and easy to make Grouper. I seasoned it with Sea Salt and Ground Black Pepper then rolled it in Progresso Italian Style Bread Crumbs. I pan fried it in Extra Virgin Olive Oil about 3 1/2 minutes on the first side then flipping it over and continued to fry it for 3 minutes. What a fantastic tasting fish! Really no way to describe just how good it is. If you've never tried Grouper it's time!

For sides I prepared Idahoan Farmhouse Fix'ns Cheesy Hash Browns. Another easy but tasty dish. I left the product description at the end of the post. I also had some boiled Carrot slices. For dessert a very special and mouthwatering dessert. My Mom baked an Apple Pie! The good part she used White and Brown Splenda to make it. It's delicious and it tastes just as good as it would if you used Sugar. Great Job Mom!

Aunt Milie's Whole Grain Mini Sub Buns

Aunt Millie’s brings specialty rolls and buns from the Deli to you. Your sandwich-making occasions can be special occasions, with Aunt Millie’s Deli. Enjoy!

Serving size 1 Bun (66g)
Servings per Container 8

Calories 160
   Calories from fat 20
Amount/Serving %DV*
Total Fat 2g 3%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 340mg 14%
Total Carbohydrate 29g 10%
Fiber 4g 15%
Sugars 3g
Protein 7g


Product Description
Idahoan's Farmhouse Fixns breakfast casseroles are packed with 100% Idaho® potato hash browns and bursting with top-of-the-mornin flavor. Cheesy Hash Browns are a classic farmhouse breakfast side.

Preparation Instruction
Oven Directions
1) COMBINE potatoes and sauce mix in a 1 1/2 quart baking dish.
2) STIR in 1 3/4 cups of boiling water, 1/2 cup of 2% milk and 2 table spoons of margarine or butter.
3) BAKE uncovered for 20 minutes at 450°F.
4) REMOVE from oven and let stand a few minutes before serving.
* If softer casserole is desired, add a little more water or milk.
Stove Top Directions
1) COMBINE potatoes, sauce mix, 1 3/4 cup boiling water, 1/2 cup of 2% milk and 2 tablespoons of margarine or butter in a 2 quart saucepan.
2) STIR well and bring to boil (watch carefully to avoid boil over).
3) REDUCE heat; cover and simmer 15 minutes.
* If more sauce is desired, add 1/4 cup more water.

Nutrition Facts
Amount Per Serving Unprepared Prepared
Calories                     110                       170
Total Carbohydrates 21g 7%        8%