Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Grilled Pork Chop w/ Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, and Whole Grain Bread

Dinner Tonight: Grilled Pork Chop w/ Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, and Whole Grain Bread

Wow, July ending on a cool week around here. It might be about 74 degrees if that, but I'm not complaining. I love the days of 70 degree weather, just wish the sun was out. Fired the grill up for everyone I was grilling a Pork Chop and I grilled a couple of Burgers for Mom and Dad. For dinner I prepared a Grilled Pork Chop w/ Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, and Whole Grain Bread.

I just seasoned it with Sea Salt and Ground Black Pepper. Grilled it about 4 1/2 - 5 minutes per side. As I took it off the grill I basted one side with some of my favorite BBQ Sauce, JB's Fat Boy Haug Waush BBQ Sauce. JB's is my choice of Rubs and Sauces, I just don't think the taste can be beat! The Chop came out with grill char and it was moist and tender.

For side dishes I prepared some bob Evan's Mashed Potatoes. Just heat in the microwave and serve. I also warmed a small can of Del Monte Cut Green Beans along with a couple of slices of Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread. For dessert later a bowl of Del Monte No Sugar Added Peach Chunks.

From the Pork Be Inspired web site,

Meat Thermometer How To

Because pork can often be overcooked, checking the internal temperature often will help prevent dry pork. Cook pork until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit, followed by a three-minute rest time, and is a little pink inside.  A digital, instant-read thermometer is a low-cost, must-have for every kitchen. When inserted into the thickest part of the meat (without touching any bone), the temperature should register within a few seconds. Instant-read thermometers are not meant to be left in the meat during cooking. If you wish to invest a bit more, continuous-read digital thermometers are another option. Designed to be left in the meat during the entire duration of cooking, they often include a probe that is placed in the meat. The probe is connected via cord to the thermometer unit, which can be placed on a countertop near the stove. - See more at:

Nutritional Information

Today’s Pork Leaner Than Ever
A Study released in 2006 by the USDA reveals six common cuts of fresh pork are leaner today than they were fifteen years ago.

Power Up With Pork
Purdue Weight Loss Study

Pork and Health Science Update
Frequently Asked Questions: Pork And The AICR/WCRF Second Expert Report

MyPyramid Food Guidance System
The MyPyramid food guidance system for Americans emphasizes the importance of finding a balance between food and physical activity. Lean pork can enhance and easily fit into a balanced diet.

Vitamins and Minerals in Pork
Daily Values are listed on food labels. They tell us how much of various nutrients we should consume each day. The following information is based on a 3-ounce serving of pork. As you can see, pork is an important source of many key nutrients.

Fat in Pork
Through changes in feeding and breeding techniques, pork producers have responded to consumer demand for leaner pork. Today’s common cuts of pork are 16% leaner and has 27% less saturated fat as compared to 1991. Many cuts of pork are as lean as skinless chicken.

How does pork compare to other meats for fat, calories and cholesterol? Pork today compares favorably for fat, calories and cholesterol with many other meats and poultry. While providing a greater amount of vitamins and minerals, many cuts of pork are as lean or leaner than chicken. Pork tenderloin, for example, is just as lean as skinless chicken breast and meets the government guidelines for “extra lean.” In total, six pork cuts meet the USDA guidelines for “lean,” with less than 10 grams fat, 4.5 grams saturated fat and 95 milligrams of cholesterol per serving. Any cuts from the loin - like pork chops and pork roast - are leaner than skinless chicken thigh, according to USDA data. Pork steaks or roasts from the leg ("fresh ham") are also lean choices.

- See more at: 

Food Network's Cutthroat Kitchen to Premiere August 11

Food Network is rolling out a new cooking competition series called Cutthroat Kitchen, hosted by Alton
Brown, on August 11 at 10 PM ET/PT. In each episode, four chefs are greeted by Alton with a briefcase filled with $100,000 in cold hard cash and each contestant receives $25,000 to spend wisely over the course of the game on auction items to help themselves or sabotage their competitors.  After each cooking challenge is given, chefs have sixty seconds to gather ingredients in the pantry and then regroup for an auction to bid on culinary curveballs such as the exclusive use of salt or not allowing their opponents to taste their dishes.  A chef will be eliminated after each of the three rounds, and the last competitor to survive wins the money they have left in their bank.

Wild Idea Buffalo Recipe of the Week - Seared Buffalo Steaks on Polenta Cake with Spicy Cherry Mole

Buffalo Top Sirloin and Polenta, a delicious sounding pair which are two of the ingredients in this weeks Wild Idea Buffalo recipe of the week! As usual I've left the link to the recipe and the on line store.

Seared Buffalo Steaks on Polenta Cake with Spicy Cherry Mole

By: Jill O'Brien

Wild Idea Buffalo - Seared Buffalo Steaks on Polenta Cake with Spicy Cherry Mole For a Valentines Day treat, try this modern adaptation of an old favorite of mine. This sweet and decadent recipe will be sure to make the evening a special one.

Serves 4  This recipe is super easy and most can be made ahead of time.

Mole Ingredients:

1 – Tablespoon butter
1 – cup red onion, chopped
1 – clove garlic, chopped
½ – teaspoon each: cinnamon, cumin and fennel
¼ – teaspoon cloves, oregano and black pepper
1 – 15.5 oz. can dark cherries in heavy syrup
1 – 3oz. can roasted green chili’s
½ – cup diced canned tomatoes
squeeze of fresh lime
1 – chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
1 oz. 70% dark chocolate


* In saucepan over medium heat add butter and melt. Add onion and garlic, stir and cover to soften but not brown, about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add remaining ingredients except chocolate and bring to a simmer. Place all ingredients in blender and pulse puree until smooth. Return to saucepan and bring to simmer. Break chocolate into pieces and stir into sauce.  (Sauce can be made in advance and reheated).

For the Polenta: * Note: You will have leftover polenta – but great as leftover by itself or crumbled to use in omelets.


2 cups 2% milk
1 cup half and half
¾  cup polenta
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 oz. Chevre
½ cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil for pan frying


* In heavy pan over medium high heat bring liquid to a boil. Using a whisk, whisk in polenta slowly. Once incorporated reduce heat to low and continue to whisk, adding remaining ingredients except cilantro. After about 3 minutes stir in cilantro. Salt to taste. Line a 6×9 pan with saran wrap and pour polenta in pan. Cover with an additional piece of saran wrap and allow polenta to set. (Polenta can be made ahead.)

* Cut out polenta cakes with cookie cuter or knife to desired portion. Heat oil in sauté pan over medium heat. Pan fry cakes for 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown.

For Steaks:

4 – 5 oz. Top Sirloin Steaks
1 Tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon salt and pepper


* Rinse steaks and pat dry. Rub steaks with oil, salt and pepper, and let rest for 1 hour at room temperature. In cast iron skillet over medium high heat, sear steaks for 2 and a half minutes on each side.  Remove steaks to platter and cover until ready to serve.

* To Serve: Place a puddle of Mole sauce on plate. Place polenta cake on sauce and top cake with seared buffalo steak. Serve with pan fried red onions and garnish with cilantro.

8 oz. Top Sirloin Steak
Famous for their flavor, these juicy steaks are perfect for the grill. 8 oz. each.

Kitchen Hint of the Day!

When you freeze foods, evaporation continues and fluids are lost. The entire surface of meat must be protected from the process with a moisture - resistant wrap. The best way to wrap meats for freezing is in plastic wrap covered by a protective freezer paper or aluminum foil. This will not eliminate evaporation entirely, but it will reduce the risk of oxidation and rancidity.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Fried Crappie w/ Red Beans and Rice, Boiled Mini Ears of Corn...

Dinner Tonight: Fried Crappie w/ Red Beans and Rice, Boiled Mini Ears of Corn, and Corn Bread

Spent the better part of the day cleaning the kitchen. Pulled the stove out and cleaned behind it, straightened shelves, and gave the fridge and freezer a good cleaning. While cleaning the freezer I came across tonight's dinner! I thought I had used all the Okeechobee Crappie that was given to me but I found 4 bags of it in the back of the freezer. So for dinner tonight I prepared Fried Crappie w/ Red Beans and Rice, Boiled Mini Ears of Corn, and Corn Bread. I prepared the Cornbread for Mom and Dad, I had Whole Grain Bread.

After the bags of Crappie thawed out I rinsed them with water and patted dry with paper towel. I seasoned them with just a bit of Sea Salt and put them into a gallon size Hefty Freezer Bag and added Zatarain's Lemon Pepper Breading Mix to the bag. Zipped shut the bag and shook it until the fillets were well covered. Pan fried them in Canola Oil, about 2-3 minutes per side, until they were golden brown. And what a taste, the best tasting Crappie there is! Crappie are Crappie but the ones from Lake Okeechobee have no rivals!

For sides for this delicious Crappie I prepared  some of Grandma Maud's Red Bean and Rice. I had prepared the Black Beans and Rice several times, and love it, so I thought I would try the Red Beans and Rice. Just follow the easy instructions on the package and you have some great Red Beans and Rice! It had a good Cajun Seasoning to it and was only 100 calories and 16 net carbs. This would go great with a Blackened Chicken or Shrimp. I also boiled some Green Giant Mini Ears of Sweet Corn and I baked a Cat Iron Skillet of Martha White Cornbread. The Cornbread was for Mom and Dad, I had a slice of Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread. For dessert later a bowl Breyer's Carb Smart Vanilla Ice Cream topped with Dole Chef Cuts Mango Pineapple.

Gramdma Maud's Bean Meals Red Beans and Rice

Authentic southern Cajun flavors combined with a rich, smoky essence make Grandma Maud’s Red Beans & Rice an easy side dish or complete meal with no added meat or fat.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1/4 cup (29 g)
Per Serving % Daily Value*
Calories 100

Calories from Fat 0

Total Fat 0.0g 0%

Saturated Fat 0.0g 0%

Cholesterol 0mg 0%

Sodium 470mg 20%

Carbohydrates 20.0g 7%

Dietary Fiber 4.0g 16%

Sugars 2.0g

Protein 5.0g

August 2-3, 2013 Canal Winchester Blues & Ribfest

August 2-3, 2013  Canal Winchester Blues & Ribfest
Canal Winchester, Ohio
The event will offer live blues music, rib and food vendors, a beer garden, and local arts/artisans. A great atmosphere for friends, and family to relax and enjoy Smokin' Blues, Sizzlin' Hot Ribs, & More! Admission is free!

Canal Winchester Blues & Ribfest - Smokin' Blues, Sizzlin' Hot Ribs, & More!

    Downtown Canal Winchester      August 2nd & 3rd, 2013      FREE ADMISSION

WHAT:  A two day summer street celebration featuring live blues music, world-class ribs, a wide variety of quality non-rib food options, locally crafted items/art, children's activities, and a beer garden for our Blues/Rib-loving friends 21 and over.

WHEN: August 2nd and 3rd, 2013 (RAIN OR SHINE)

HOURS: Friday (2nd) 5PM -11PM & Saturday (3rd) Noon-11PM

WHERE: Historic Downtown Canal Winchester (radiating from closed intersection of High & Waterloo Streets).

PARKING: On/Off-street public parking is available in the areas adjacent to the Ribfest grounds. Handicap tag/sticker parking available at the West Waterloo Street entrance east of Washington Street. Click HERE for general directions.

As Ohio's only all-Blues & Ribs outdoor festival, this event draws serious rib and blues aficionados from around the state with annual attendance estimates in excess of 28,000.  It promotes Ohio and regional blues musicians as well as area artists/craftspeople.

Fish of the Week - Sole

Sole is a group of flatfish belonging to several families. Generally speaking, they are members of the family
The common sole (or Dover sole) 
Soleidae, but, outside Europe, the name sole is also applied to various other similar flatfish, especially other members of the sole suborder Soleoidei as well as members of the flounder family. In European cookery, there are several species which may be considered true soles, but the common or Dover sole Solea solea, often simply called the sole, is the most esteemed and most widely available.

The word sole in English and French comes from its resemblance to a sandal, Latin solea. In other languages, it is named for the tongue, e.g. German Seezunge, Hungarian nyelvhal, Italian sogliola, Spanish lenguado, Turkish dil.
A complete list can be found using Fishbase's search function. They include:
* In the sole suborder Soleoidei:
* The true soles, Soleidae, including the common or Dover sole, Solea solea. These are the only fishes called soles in Europe.
* The American soles, Achiridae, sometimes classified among the Soleidae.
* The tonguefishes or tongue soles, Cynoglossidae, whose common names usually include the word 'tongue'.
* Several species of righteye flounder in the family Pleuronectidae, including the lemon sole, the Pacific Dover sole, and the petrale sole.

The true sole, Solea solea, is sufficiently broadly distributed that it is not considered a threatened species; however, overfishing in Europe has produced severely diminished populations, with declining catches in many regions. For example, the western English Channel and Irish Sea sole fisheries face potential collapse according to data in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan.
Sole, along with the other major bottom-feeding fish in the North Sea such as cod, monkfish, and plaice, is listed by the ICES as "outside safe biological limits." Moreover, they are growing less quickly now and are rarely older than six years, although they can reach forty. World stocks of large predatory fish and large ground fish such as sole and flounder were estimated in 2003 to be only about 10% of pre-industrial levels. According to the World Wildlife Fund in 2006, "of the nine sole stocks, seven are overfished with the status of the remaining two unknown."
In 2010, Greenpeace International has added the common sole to its seafood red list. "The Greenpeace International seafood red list is a list of fish that are commonly sold in supermarkets around the world, and which have a very high risk of being sourced from unsustainable fisheries.

Pan Fried Sole Fish With Lemon-Butter Sauce

8 sole fillets
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper ( or to taste)
7 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

* Mix the flour with seasoned salt and pepper in a shallow dish.
* Dredge the fish fillets in the flour mixture.
* Heat a large skillet over high heat.
* Add in about 3 tablespoons butter to the hot skillet.
* Saute the fillets in 2 batches, cooking on each side (on high heat about 2 minutes per side) or until just cooked through; transfer the fish to a plate to keep warm.
*Add in the remaining 4 tablespoons butter and cook until golden in colour; add in lemon juice, bring to a boil and add in the parsley.
* Season the sauce with salt and pepper.
* Pour the warm sauce over the fish.
* Serve immediately

Kitchen Hint of the Day!

The Best Ways to Freeze Food Tips:

* On the other hand, use more onion than you would otherwise, because freezing tends to cause onion to lose its flavor. Herbs and salt also tend to diminish in flavor, so it's best to add them after freezing, when you're reheating the dish.

* Avoid freezing sauces. Egg-based sauces and those high in fat tend to separate when reheated, and cheese - or milk based sauces are prone to curdling. Don't try to freeze mayonnaise, salad dressing, or jam. Most gravies will thicken considerably when frozen, but they can be thinned when reheated.

* Artificial sweeteners do not freeze well, so don't substitute them for sugar.

* Don't freeze any bakery item with a cream filling because it become soggy. Custard and meringue pies, don't freeze well. The custard tends to separate and the meringue becomes tough.

* Cool already-cooked foods in the refrigerator before freezing. Cooling them quickly prevents bacterial growth.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Broiled Sea Bass with Herbed Lemon Butter w/ Au Gratin Potatoes, Sugar Snap Peas,...

Dinner Tonight: Broiled Sea Bass with Herbed Lemon Butter w/ Au Gratin Potatoes, Sugar Snap Peas, and
Whole Grain Bread

Another Spring type day in July, it was about 50 degrees this morning and then a high of 77 degrees today. I hear more normal Summer weather is on the way though, but it's been very enjoyable while it lasted! For dinner tonight I prepared a Broiled Sea Bass with Herbed Lemon Butter w/ Au Gratin Potatoes, Sugar Snap Peas, and Whole Grain Bread.

I normally don't purchase Sea Bass due to the price by our local Kroger had it on sale so I purchased a small 1/2 fillet. To prepare it I needed; 2 Tablespoons melted Blue Bonnet Light Stick Butter, 1/2 tablespoon Lemon Juice, 1/2 tablespoon chopped Parsley, 1/8 Teaspoon Dill, rosemary or marjoram, crumbled and Sea Salt and Ground Pepper, to taste. Then line a broiled pan with foil and place the fillets on the rack. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Combine remaining ingredients and use to baste the fish. Place the broiler pan 4 inches from heat and broil, allowing 10 minutes cooking time per inch of thickness. Do not turn the fish. Baste several times during cooking. First time I had New Zealand Wild Caught Sea Bass and I really enjoyed it! The Sea Bass was a mild tasting Fish and with the Herbed Lemon Butter it was delicious! This Lemon Butter would go good on Flounder or Walleye also.

For sides it was leftovers. I reheated the Idahoan Au Gratin Potato Casserole and also the remainder of the Sugar Snap Peas. I also had a couple of slices of Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread. For dessert later a Jello Sugar Free Double Chocolate Pudding topped with a dab of Cool Whip free.

One of America's Favorites - Honey

Honey /ˈhʌni/ is a sweet food made by bees using nectar from flowers. The variety produced by honey bees
A jar of honey with honey dippe
(the genus Apis) is the one most commonly referred to, as it is the type of honey collected by beekeepers and consumed by humans. Honey produced by other bees and insects has distinctly different properties.
Honey bees transform nectar into honey by a process of regurgitation and evaporation. They store it as a primary food source in wax honeycombs inside the beehive.
Honey gets its sweetness from the monosaccharides fructose and glucose, and has approximately the same relative sweetness as that of granulated sugar.[1][2] It has attractive chemical properties for baking and a distinctive flavor that leads some people to prefer it over sugar and other sweeteners. Most microorganisms do not grow in honey because of its low water activity of 0.6. However, honey sometimes contains dormant endospores of the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, which can be dangerous to infants, as the endospores can transform into toxin-producing bacteria in infants' immature intestinal tracts, leading to illness and even death.
Honey has a long history of human consumption, and is used in various foods and beverages as a sweetener and flavoring. It also has a role in religion and symbolism. Flavors of honey vary based on the nectar source, and various types and grades of honey are available. It is also used in various medicinal traditions to treat ailments. The study of pollens and spores in raw honey (melissopalynology) can determine floral sources of honey. Bees carry an electrostatic charge whereby they attract other particles in addition to pollen, which become incorporated into their honey; the honey can be analysed by the techniques of melissopalynology in area environmental studies of radioactive particles, dust and particulate pollution.

Honey's natural sugars are dehydrated, which prevents fermentation, with added enzymes to modify and
A honey bee on calyx of goldenrod
transform their chemical composition and pH. Invertases and digestive acids hydrolyze sucrose to give the monosaccharides glucose and fructose. The invertase is one of these enzymes synthesized by the body of the insect.
Honey bees transform saccharides into honey by a process of regurgitation, a number of times, until it is partially digested. The bees do the regurgitation and digestion as a group. After the last regurgitation, the aqueous solution is still high in water, so the process continues by evaporation of much of the water and enzymatic transformation.
Honey is produced by bees as a food source. In cold weather or when fresh food sources are scarce, bees use their stored honey as their source of energy. By contriving for bee swarms to nest in artificial hives, people have been able to semidomesticate the insects, and harvest excess honey. In the hive (or in a wild nest), there are three types of bees:
* a single female queen bee
* a seasonally variable number of male drone bees to fertilize new queens
* some 20,000 to 40,000 female worker bees.
The worker bees raise larvae and collect the nectar that will become honey in the hive. Leaving the hive, they collect sugar-rich flower nectar and return.
In the hive, the bees use their "honey stomachs" to ingest and regurgitate the nectar a number of times until it is partially digested. Invertase synthesized by the bees and digestive acids hydrolyze sucrose to give the same mixture of glucose and fructose. The bees work together as a group with the regurgitation and digestion until the product reaches a desired quality. It is then stored in honeycomb cells. After the final regurgitation, the honeycomb is left unsealed. However, the nectar is still high in both water content and natural yeasts, which, unchecked, would cause the sugars in the nectar to ferment. The process continues as bees inside the hive fan their wings, creating a strong draft across the honeycomb, which enhances evaporation of much of the water from the nectar. This reduction in water content raises the sugar concentration and prevents fermentation. Ripe honey, as removed from the hive by a beekeeper, has a long shelf life, and will not ferment if properly sealed.

Honey is collected from wild bee colonies, or from domesticated beehives. Wild bee nests are sometimes located by following a honeyguide bird.
Collecting honey is typically achieved by using smoke from a bee smoker to pacify the bees; this causes the bees to attempt to save the resources of the hive from a possible forest fire, and makes them far less aggressive. The honeycomb is removed from the hive and the honey is extracted from that, often using a honey extractor. The honey is then filtered.

The main uses of honey are in cooking, baking, as a spread on bread, and as an addition to various beverages, such as tea, and as a sweetener in some commercial beverages. According to the The National Honey Board (a USDA-overseen organization), "honey stipulates a pure product that does not allow for the addition of any other substance...this includes, but is not limited to, water or other sweeteners". Honey barbecue and honey mustard are common and popular sauce flavors.
Honey is the main ingredient in the alcoholic beverage mead, which is also known as "honey wine" or "honey beer". Historically, the ferment for mead was honey's naturally occurring yeast. Honey is also used as an adjunct in some beers.
Honey wine, or mead, is typically (modern era) made with a honey and water mixture with a pack of yeast added for fermentation. Primary fermentation usually takes 40 days, after which the must needs to be racked into a secondary fermentation vessel and left to sit about 35–40 more days. If done properly, fermentation will be finished by this point (though if a sparkling mead is desired, fermentation can be restarted after bottling by the addition of a small amount of sugar), but most meads require aging for 6–9 months or more in order to be palatable.

A variety of honey flavors and container sizes and styles

Honey is classified by its floral source, and there are also divisions according to the packaging and processing used. There are also regional honeys. Honey is also graded on its color and optical density by USDA standards, graded on a scale called the Pfund scale, which ranges from 0 for "water white" honey to more than 114 for "dark amber" honey.

* Floral source
Generally, honey is classified by the floral source of the nectar from which it was made. Honeys can be from specific types of flower nectars or can be blended after collection. The pollen in honey is traceable to floral source and therefore region of origin. The rheological & mellisopalynological properties of honey can be used to identify the major plant nectar source used in its production.
* Blended
Most commercially available honey is blended, meaning it is a mixture of two or more honeys differing in floral source, color, flavor, density or geographic origin.
* Polyfloral
Polyfloral honey, also known as wildflower honey, is derived from the nectar of many types of flowers.
The taste may vary from year to year, and the aroma and the flavor can be more or less intense, depending on which bloomings are prevalent.
* Monofloral
Monofloral honey is made primarily from the nectar of one type of flower. Different monofloral honeys have a distinctive flavor and color because of differences between their principal nectar sources. To produce monofloral honey, beekeepers keep beehives in an area where the bees have access to only one type of flower. In practice, because of the difficulties in containing bees, a small proportion of any honey will be from additional nectar from other flower types. Typical examples of North American monofloral honeys are clover, orange blossom, blueberry, sage, tupelo, buckwheat, fireweed, mesquite and sourwood. Some typical European examples include thyme, thistle, heather, acacia, dandelion, sunflower, honeysuckle, and varieties from lime and chestnut trees.[citation needed] In North Africa (e.g. Egypt) examples include clover, cotton, and citrus (mainly orange blossoms).
* Honeydew honey
Instead of taking nectar, bees can take honeydew, the sweet secretions of aphids or other plant sap-sucking insects. Honeydew honey is very dark brown in color, with a rich fragrance of stewed fruit or fig jam, and is not as sweet as nectar honeys. Germany's Black Forest is a well known source of honeydew-based honeys, as well as some regions in Bulgaria, Tara (mountain) in Serbia and Northern California in the United States. In Greece, pine honey (a type of honeydew honey) constitutes 60–65% of the annual honey production. Honeydew honey is popular in some areas, but in other areas beekeepers have difficulty selling the stronger flavored product.
The production of honeydew honey has some complications and dangers. The honey has a much larger proportion of indigestibles than light floral honeys, thus causing dysentery to the bees, resulting in the death of colonies in areas with cold winters. Good beekeeping management requires the removal of honeydew prior to winter in colder areas. Bees collecting this resource also have to be fed protein supplements, as honeydew lacks the protein-rich pollen accompaniment gathered from flowers.

To find out all about Honey along with tips and recipes check out the National Honey Board web site!

Kitchen Hint of the Day!

The Best Ways to Freeze Food Tips:

* Never use quick-cooking rice in a dish that will be frozen, as it becomes mushy when reheated. Use regular or long-grain rice instead.

* Don't add toppings to dishes to be frozen; add when serving.

* When preparing most vegetables for freezing, they should be blanched, not fully cooked. This will lessen the enzymatic activity in the vegetables, and reheating will complete the cooking process. To blanch, simply steam or boil vegetables for about half the time you normally would cook them, then plunge them into ice water and drain. Potatoes and squashes are the exception to this rule-they should be fully cooked.

* Freezing causes russet or Idaho potatoes to fall apart; if you need them to stay whole or in chunks, use potatoes with red skin or waxy flesh.

* Freezing tends to intensify the flavors of certain foods, such as garlic, peppers, and cloves. Use less in a dish that you will freeze, and when reheating, taste, and add more as needed.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Grilled Smoked Turkey Sausage w/ Whole Grain Penne Rigate Pasta, Low Carb Pasta Sauce..

Dinner Tonight: Grilled Smoked Turkey Sausage w/ Whole Grain Penne Rigate Pasta, Low Carb Pasta Sauce, and Baked Cheese Toast

A perfect day outside, sunny and 78 degrees! Took a ride to a local Park and did some reading and crossword puzzles while relaxing in one of the Picnic Shelters. Finally was able to get the grill going again, for how long who knows, and grilled some Smoked Turkey Sausages. For dinner; Grilled Smoked Turkey Sausage w/ Whole Grain Penne Rigate Pasta, Low Carb Pasta Sauce, and Baked Cheese Toast.

I was finally able to get the gas grill going again, trying to hold out until next Spring to buy a new one.
Cleaned and got it fired up for the Smoked Turkey Sausages. I used Butterball Hardwood Smoked Turkey Sausages. My favorite Smoked Turkey Sausages, very lean and always cooks up perfectly.  They are 100 calories and 4 carbs. Before grilling them I brushed some Extra Virgin Olive Oil on them and then grilled them for about 10 minutes while turning them several times. Oh the aroma as they were grilling, my next door neighbor got a whiff and had to come over and see what it was! Golden brown, juicy and full of flavor, I love these!

After grilling the Turkey Sausages I sliced them into smaller pieces. I then started preparing my Pasta. I used Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Whole Grain Penne Rigate Pasta. I've been using Whole Grain Pasta for quite some time now. I switched over from regular pasta back when I was first diagnosed with Diabetes 2. When my Pasta was done I drained it and put it back in the pan and added the sliced grilled Turkey Sausage and Bella Vita Low Carb Pasta Sauce. Heated until the Sauce just started to bubble and removed from the heat and served. I topped with a bit of Parsley and grated fresh Asiago Cheese. I also made some Baked Cheese Bread. I used Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread, a small amount of I Can't Believe It's Not Butter, Kraft Shredded Parmesan Cheese, and Sargento reduced Fat Shredded Mozzarella Cheese. Just butter the bread, sprinkle with the Parm Cheese, and top with the Mozzarella Cheese. Lay the slices on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes or until the cheese has started to melt. A very good and hearty meal! For dessert/snack later a 100 Calorie Mini Bag of Jolly Time Pop Corn.  

Butterball Hardwood Smoked Turkey Sausage

Smoked Turkey Dinner Sausage
14 oz. | Servings: 7

Try Butterball’s fully cooked Smoked Turkey Dinner Sausage. Now you and your family can enjoy the great taste of hardwood-smoked lean turkey sausage with less fat than pork or beef smoked sausage. Serve with your favorite side dish for a quick and easy meal solution that always tastes great.

Wrap individual sausages in paper towels and place on a microwave-safe plate.
Microwave on High 3-1/4 minutes (1-1/2 minutes for one).
Let stand 2 minutes before serving.
**Microwave ovens vary. Cooking times are approximate.Always heat thoroughly.Grilling:

Grill at medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes, turning frequently.
Always heat thoroughly.

Cook in a non-stick skillet over medium heat, 10 – 12 minutes, turning frequently.
Always heat thoroughly.

Serving Size 2 oz. (51 g)
Servings Per Container 7
Amount Per Serving
Calories 100
Calories from Fat 50
% Daily Value
Total Fat 6g9%
Saturated Fat 2g10%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 30mg10%
Sodium 610mg25%
Total Carbohydrates 4g1%
Dietary Fiber 0g0%
Sugars 1g
Protein 8g16%
Vitamin A 0%
Vitamin C 2%
Iron 2%
Calcium 2%

Ingredients: Poultry Ingredients (Mechanically Separated Chicken, Mechanically Separated Turkey), Water, Corn Syrup, Salt. Contains 2% or less of Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid), Autolyzed yeast, Dextrose, Modified Food Starch, Sodium Diacetate, Sodium Nitrite, Sodium Phosphate, Flavorings, Potassium and Sodium Lactate.

Whole Grain Penne Rigate from Ronzoni Healthy Harvest

From the Latin for "feathers"(reminiscent of old-fashioned quill pens), Whole Grain Penne Rigate is diagonally cut tubular shapes with ridged surfaces, versatile in size and shape. Use it in entrées, side dishes, soup, oven bakes or cold salads. Most pasta sauces are great with Whole Grain Penne Rigate, but thinner sauces will cling to ridges in penne.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 2oz (56g)
Servings per Container: About 6   Amount Per Serving
Calories 180 Calories from Fat 15
 % Daily Value*   Total Fat 1.5g 2%   Saturated Fat 0g 0%   Trans Fat 0g   Polyunsaturated Fat 1g   Monounsaturated Fat 0g   Cholesterol 0mg 0%   Sodium 0mg 0%   Total Carbohydrate 39g 13%   Dietary Fiber 5g 20%   Sugars 2g   Protein 9g - See more at:

- See more at:

Product Review: Banana Dippers/Dark Chocolate and DOLE Banana Dippers with Almonds

Banana Dippers/Dark Chocolate and DOLE Banana Dippers with Almonds

Snacking just got sweeter with Dole Banana Dippers Dark Chocolate Banana Slices. The goodness of bananas comes together with the rich, indulgent taste of dark chocolate. Dole Banana Dippers are fresh-frozen banana slices covered in chocolate. Each individual pack contains four slices at 100 calories per pack! Simply pull from your freezer and enjoy anytime, anywhere!*NEW_LINE*

*Dole Banana Dippers Dark Chocolate Banana Slices:
*The goodness of bananas comes together with the rich, indulgent taste of dark chocolate
*Fresh-frozen banana slices covered in chocolate
*100 calories per pack*NEW_LINE*

Nutrition FactsServing Size 4 slices (about 44g) Servings Per Container about 6
Amount Per Serving
Calories 100 Calories from Fat 25
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4.5g 4%
Saturated Fat 3g 3%
Trans Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 10mg 1%
Potassium 150mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 13g 2%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Sugars 7g
Protein 1g

Kitchen Hint of the Day!

When shopping, only the term "Use by" means that you shouldn't eat the food after the date indicated. "Sell by" dates are only an indication for the store, and foods will usually keep one to two weeks after. "Best before" is only an indication of food quality, not of food safety, so again, your perishables may still be good to eat.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Cast Iron Skillet Blackened Tilapia w/ Scalloped Potato Casserole, Sugar Snap Peas..

Dinner Tonight: Cast Iron Skillet Blackened Tilapia w/ Scalloped Potato Casserole, Sugar Snap Peas, and
Whole Grain Bread

After a night and morning of heavy rains, the sun finally came out late afternoon. It's no wonder the crops are doing so well, this is the first Summer in quite sometime we've had enough rain. Usually by now our lawns are brown and crops are struggling but this year everything is green! For dinner I prepared a Cast Iron Skillet Blackened Tilapia w/ Scalloped Potato Casserole, Sugar Snap Peas, and Whole Grain Bread.

Nothing better to cook in than a well seasoned Cast Iron Skillet. My Mom has three of them and all are older than me. i had the Tilapia frozen so I let it thaw overnight in the fridge. Rinsed the fillets off in water and patted dry with a paper towel. I seasoned them with a bit of Sea Salt and Ground Black Pepper. Then i melted a tablespoon of Blue Bonnet Light Stick Butter down and rubbed the two fillets down with it, covering both sides. I then covered them, both sides, with Zatarain's Blackening Seasoning. I added Canola Oil to my Cast Iron Skillet and preheated it until the Oil was almost ready to start smoking and I added the Tilapia. Just a word of warning have your window open and overhead stove fan a working, it will smoke! I cooked the fillets for 3 minutes each side and it was fork tender and ready. As usual anything that you use Zatarain's on it's going to be good and this was no exception! I love the smokey and heated flavor the seasoning provides. The fillet just melted in my mouth. I could live on Fish and Seafood alone.

To go with my Blackened Tilapia I prepared a box of Idahoan Scalloped Potato Casserole. Another easy to prepare and delicious dish. A breeze to make just mix the ingredients and bake at 450 degrees for 25 minutes and you have some delicious Scalloped Potatoes. Plus their only 160 calories and 20 carbs. I also heated up a bag of of Walmart Marketside Sugar Snap Peas and a couple of slices of Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread. For dessert later a Healthy Choice Chocolate Swirl Frozen Yogurt.


Product Description
There’s no better way to start a hearty Scalloped homestyle casserole than with world-famous Idaho® potatoes, which is why you’ll taste only 100% grown-in-Idaho potatoes in this rich & creamy side. For family meals or for special occasions, this creamy, delicious dish is sure to please.

Baking Instructions

PREHEAT oven to 450°F. COMBINE potatoes and sauce mix in 1 1/2 quart baking dish.
STIR in 1 1/2 cups boiling water, 3/4 cup milk, and 1 1/2 Tbsp. margarine or butter with whisk.
BAKE uncovered for 25 minutes or until top is golden brown and potatoes are tender (sauce will thicken slightly when cooling).
Remove from oven and let stand a few minutes before serving.
BAKING NOTES: To prepare 2 casseroles at once, double all ingredients, increase baking dish size accordingly, and bake about 30 min. To bake potatoes and roast meat at the same time, bake at 375°F for about 45 min; 350°F for about 50 min; or 325°F for about 60 min.

It's a Wrap!

As I had said in an earlier post I've been using Joseph’s Flax, Oat Bran, and Whole Wheat Pita Bread ever
since I came across it in the Walmart Bakery. At only 50 Calories and 4 Net Carbs you can't beat it.

For breakfast a Scrambled Egg and Cheese Wrap. Scrambled 1 Egg, seasoned with Sea Salt, Ground Black Pepper, a few shakes of Frank's Red Hot Sauce, and a sprinkle of Sargento Reduced Fat Shredded Cheddar Cheese. Just put the Scrambled Egg in the Pita Bread and top with a light sprinkle of the Sargento Shredded Cheddar, one quick, easy and healthy way to start the morning.

Then for a lunch option, once again using the Pita Bread I just added some thin slices of Kroger Brand Private Selection Oven Roasted Rosemary Ham. This has become my favorite packaged Ham incredible taste and it's 70 calories and 1carb per serving. You can add a slice of Sargento Ultra Thin Swiss Cheese, only 40 calories per slice, or season it up a little with French's Mustard or Kraft Light Mayo. No matter the topping it makes one good Ham Wrap! I'm beginning too think everythings better in a Wrap! Did you notice the orange Taco Holders? A very useful and inexpensive kitchen item to have, especially if you eat a lot of Tacos or Wraps  

Joseph’s Flax, Oat Bran, and Whole Wheat Pita Bread

Flax Variety Pack Now enjoy some of Joseph’s most popular products together in one package! The Flax Variety Pack allows you to enjoy three packages of our Flax Pita Bread, Mini Flax Pita Bread, and Flax Lavash.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 pita (28.3g)

Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 10 Calories 50

% Daily Values*
Total Fat 1g 2%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 25mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 7g 2%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Sugars 0g
Protein 5g

Healthy Berry Recipes

Enjoy the Berries! It's all about the Berries in this article from the Eating Well web site. I've left the link to get all the tips and recipes at the end of the post, Berry Up!

Healthy Berry Recipes

Enjoy these sweet and savory healthy berry recipes with blueberries, strawberries and raspberries.
Berries have health benefits for the whole body—from your brain to your bones. Blueberries’ antioxidants may help keep your memory sharp as you age; raspberries contain ellagic acid, a compound with anti-cancer properties; and strawberries are high in vitamin C, which helps to maintain firm and younger-looking skin. Berries boast a healthy dose of fiber as well and recent research suggests that the polyphenols in berries keep bones strong and help your heart by lowering “bad” LDL cholesterol.

Couscous & Fruit Salad
Try this fruit-and-nut-studded couscous salad alongside grilled salmon or chicken for supper or on its own for a fresh lunchbox treat.....

Summer Berry Pudding
A summer pudding is a British warm-weather wonder—not steamed like a sticky pudding but an easy dish that sets up thanks to the pectin in the berries. Be sure to use firm, bakery-quality bread.....

Click the link below to get all the tips and recipes.

Kitchen Hints of the Day!

Hint #1 - Don't forget to save your store - bought bread bags for the times you bake bread. They are perfectly sized for homemade breads.

Hint #2 - For your next bake sale, write out the recipe for your baked good on an index card and tape it to the serving plate or box. That way if buyers find your goody to their liking, they'll know they can make it themselves in the future. They may also be more likely to buy your item if it comes with a free recipe!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Pulled Smoked Pork Barbecue Sandwich w/ Baked Crab Cakes

Dinner Tonight: Pulled Smoked Pork Barbecue Sandwich w/ Baked Crab Cakes

Spent the day fishing again and again didn't catch anything that was very big. But did catch about 10 small Bass and Blue Gill. Love being out with the peace and quiet. The weather was beautiful again. It was 50 degrees when I got up and it reached a high of only 77 with no humidity. Hard to beat for July weather! For dinner I prepared a Pulled Smoked Pork Barbecue Sandwich w/ Baked Crab Cakes.

I had planned on a Pulled Smoked Pork Barbecue Sandwich with some BBQ Beans or some type of a Potato Dish but I had a small container of Crab Meat that I had to use and decided to make Crab Cakes. I used Montgomery Inn Pulled Pork w/ Barbecue Sauce. This may well be the best BBQ in the land! At least Bob Hope thought so when he was alive. Mr Hope would order this straight from Montgomery Inn back then and have it shipped to wherever he was at the time. Around here it hasn't few rivals. This comes in a 2 LB. container and I just get the amount I want and freeze the rest. Incredible taste in an  excellent BBQ Sauce. Served it on a Healthy Life Whole Grain Bun, toooo good!

To go with my BBQ Sandwich I prepared some Baked Crab Cakes. I watched Bobby Deen make these
last weekend on the Cooking Channel and they looked delicious. So I thought I would give them a try. The recipe makes 12 Crab Cakes but I only had a 1/2 LB. of Crab Claw Meat so I only made 6. The recipe also called for Jumbo Crab Meat and 1 Egg, which I substituted with Egg Beater's. They turned out very good so I'm looking forward to preparing a full batch of the them using Jumbo Crab Meat instead of the Claw Meat. I served them with Louisiana Remoulade Dressing, which is perfect for any Seafood. Good Baked Crab Cake recipe to keep. I left the full recipe at the end of the post along with a link to Bobby Deen recipes. For dessert later a bowl of Del Monte No Sugar Added Peach Chunks.

Montgomery Inn Pulled Smoked Pork Barbecue

World famous. The ribs king. Hardwood smoked. Fully cooked. Genuine barbecue. Just heat & eat! US inspected and passed by Department of Agriculture. Previously frozen for your protection. The world's greatest pulled pork barbecue is now all yours! We slow-smoke our choice cuts of pork for hours over hardwood coals; blend the lean, juicy meat with our secret spices; and then add our world-famous Montgomery Inn Barbecue Sauce to give it that special flavor. Enjoy!

Refreeze or keep refrigerated. Microwave Oven: 1. Remove desired amount of barbecue from tray and place in microwave safe bowl. 2. Cover with plastic wrap and heat on High power (100%) for two (2) minutes. 3. Pull film back from edge of container and stir product thoroughly. 4. Replace film and heat for an additional 1-2 minutes or until hot! 5. Remove from oven and stir well before serving. Stove Top: 1. Place desired amount of barbecue in a medium size sauce pan. 2. Heat over medium low heat 6-12 minutes (covered) and occasionally stir so as not to burn. 3. Remove product from stove and serve. We highly recommend cooking our barbecue from a thawed state. Remove any uncooked barbecue from original packaging and place in a sealable container and refrigerate.

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 2 oz
Servings per container: 16
Nutrient Qty %DV
Calories 110
Calories from Fat 35
Total Fat 4 g 6%
Saturated Fat 1 g 5%
Cholesterol 35 mg 12%
Sodium 250 mg 10%
Total Carbohydrate 8 g 3%
Sugars 8 g
Protein 8 g
Iron 6%
Is or Contains Flavor
ServingSize-InGrams 56 g

Pork, Tomatoes, Distilled Vinegar, Corn Syrup, Sugar, Water, Salt, Spices, Dehydrated Onions, Dehydrated Garlic, Molasses, Natural Flavors, Caramel Color, and Tamarinds.

Baked Crab Cakes


2 slices whole grain bread
1/4 cup skim milk
1 tablespoon light mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
1 egg, beaten
Zest and juice of 1 lemon, plus lemon wedges for serving
1 pound jumbo lump crab meat, picked free of shells
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Place the bread in a small bowl and pour over the milk. Combine the mayonnaise, mustard, Cajun seasoning, egg and lemon zest and juice in a large bowl and whisk together. Add the milk-soaked bread and whisk together again. Fold in the crab and chives.

Form the crab mixture into 12 equal cakes and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges.

Recipe courtesy Bobby Deen

Homemade Pizza Recipes

Make those Pizzas a little more healthier! Get all the great and healthy tips and recipes from the Diabetic Living On Line we site. I left the link at the bottom of the post.

Homemade Pizza Recipes
Pizza doesn't have to be guilt-by-the-slice. Feel good about eating your favorite comfort food with these healthy pizza recipes. Pitas, tortillas, and whole wheat bread dough make the perfect crusts for these diabetes-friendly pizzas and calzones.

Thin-Crust Pepperoni and Vegetable Pizza
Want homemade pizza any night of the week? Take the time and mess out of the mix by using a whole grain tortilla for the crust. Then top with a roasted red sweet pepper sauce and all of your favorite veggies. Three pieces of pizza (one serving of this recipe) never tasted so satisfying!

Chicken Taco Pizza
In three easy steps, you can create homemade taco pizza that has only 22 grams of carb and 248 calories per personal pizza. Get the kids involved and let them create their own!

Get these and more healthy recipes by clicking the link below.

Kitchen Hint of the Day!

If you really want to impress your dinner guests, make some homemade croutons for your salad. Here's how: After cutting your leftover bread into cubes, fry the pieces in olive oil and a little garlic powder (not garlic salt), a pinch of Parmesan cheese, and parsley until golden brown, then let cool on paper towels. They freeze well too!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Baked Pita Bread Pepperoni and Sausage Pizza

Dinner Tonight: Baked Pita Bread Pepperoni and Sausage Pizza

Went out and got the morning paper about 6:45 this morning and it was 50 degrees! 50 degrees in late July, odd weather this year. It was another gorgeous day out also, about 78 and sunny. For dinner wanted a hot but light meal so I prepared a Baked Pita Bread Pepperoni and Sausage Pizza.

I used my new favorite Pita Bread, Joseph's Flax, Oat Bran, and Whole Wheat Pita Bread. I've been using this for the last couple of weeks and love it. Stays very fresh, good tasting and it's only 50 calories and 7 carbs (4 Net Carbs) per serving.

For my toppings I tried to use all items that were Turkey, Low Fat, and Reduced Fat. I used Hormel Turkey Pepperoni (70 Calories and 0 Carbs), Jennie - O Lean Ground Turkey (160 Calories and 0 Carbs), Ragu Pizza Sauce (40 Calories and 5 Carbs), Sliced Black Olives (30 Calories and 1 Carb), and Kraft 2% Mozzarella (70 Calories and 1 Carb). I also had about 3 slices of Mushrooms on there also. I spread 1 brush of Extra Virgin Olive Oil on top of the Pita Bread and then layered my toppings. I then baked it on a cookie sheet at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes, until the Cheese was melted and the toppings were heated. The Pita Bread makes one fine Pizza! The Bread browned and crisped up just right and everything was so low in calories and carbs I could have a couple of them if I wanted. Pita Bread Pizzas, gotta love them! For dessert later a Jello Sugar Free Double Chocolate Pudding topped with Cool Whip Free.  

Joseph's Flax, Oat Bran, and Whole Wheat Pita Bread

Flax Variety Pack Now enjoy some of Joseph's most popular products together in one package! The Flax Variety Pack allows you to enjoy three packages of our Flax Pita Bread, Mini Flax Pita Bread, and Flax Lavash.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 pita (28.3g)

Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 10Calories 50

% Daily Values*
Total Fat 1g 2%
  Saturated Fat 0g 0%
  Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 25mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 7g 2%
  Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
  Sugars 0g
Protein 5g

Buffalo gaining ground as leaner, healthier red meat

Interesting article on my favorite meat, Buffalo!

Buffalo gaining ground as leaner, healthier red meat

American bison were nearly driven to extinction in the late 1880s, but their remarkable comeback has allowed the likes of buffalo burgers, short ribs and tenderloin steaks to find homes on 21st century restaurant menus and kitchen tables.

No, it's not a stampede, but the bison industry has something to hang its hat on: U.S. beef consumption has declined 25 percent since its 1980s peak to about 57 pounds per person annually. Meanwhile, demand for buffalo, aka bison, has shot up, registering six straight years of double-digit growth, according to the National Bison Association.

Sales have outstripped supply and sent prices soaring. The association reports the average price paid for a young bull carcass at the start of the year was 89 percent higher than just five years ago. At the retail level, that translates to ground bison in the neighborhood of $12 a pound.

Meanwhile, the number of bison has shown a dramatic rebound. From fewer than 1,000 animals around 1900, the U.S. herd has grown to an estimated 220,000 on both private and public lands. Bison producers are in all 50 states and include 4,400 private ranches and farms.

North of the border, the Canadian herd also is pegged at 220,000, according to the association.

Lean burgers

Buffalo burgers have been on the menu of Triangle Char & Bar since its opening five years ago, says Michael Lotz, director of operations.
“We get a lot of athletes that come in here because it's so lean,” says Lotz, citing its 90-10 ratio of lean to fat. (That's a moot point, since the “Home on the Range” burger also comes with cheddar cheese, bacon, a fried onion ring and French fries.) The West Ashley restaurant goes through between 35 and 50 pounds a week.

Still, Lotz is seeing its overall popularity on the rise. “The only reason we know this is because (buffalo) is a loss leader for us.” The bison costs the restaurant $2 more a pound than its beef — both are grass-fed.

If buffalo comes to be regarded as “the other red meat,” the reputation is not undeserved. A 3.5-ounce serving of cooked bison weighs in with 2.42 grams of fat versus 8 grams for the same amount of select-grade beef, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data on the association's website.

Another difference lies in the fact that it's illegal to use growth hormones in bison. Bison usually aren't treated with antibiotics, either.

Like beef, bison also is rich in protein, iron, zinc and vitamin B12. Furthermore, some tout bison as being a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Both bison and beef that are exclusively grass-fed have substantially higher levels of these heart-healthy fats than conventional, grain-fed beef.

Many people find the taste of bison on par with beef or better, describing a richer but “cleaner” flavor with a hint of sweetness.

“People like it, it's well-received when we have it,” says Marc Collins, executive chef of Circa 1886 in Charleston. Earlier this year Collins featured bison short ribs on his menu.

“Unless you were looking for it and really had a discerning palate, you might have a hard time finding a difference” between the flavor of the two meats, he says.

The leanness of bison takes getting used to, Collins says. “If you like your steaks on the medium well to well side ... if it's not going to be grain-fed, you're not going to have that extra fat to move it along.” He, like others, recommends less cooking to keep it from drying out.

Sustainable mission

Jill O'Brien is one of the faces in the burgeoning bison industry. She, her husband, Dan, and another partner are owners of Wild Idea Buffalo Company, which sells 100 percent grass-fed buffalo direct to consumers on its website,, as well as wholesale to restaurants and stores.
O'Brien strode across the floor of the Charleston Area Convention Center last week wearing floral-stitched, pointy-toed cowboy boots. She was in town for the American Association of Meat Processors Association conference.

O'Brien brought buffalo hot dogs to enter in the association's annual American Cured Meat Championships. “Specialty meats,” including buffalo pastrami and buffalo summer sausage, was one of 20-some categories in the contest.

“I'm a newbie,” O'Brien said inside the exhibit hall where hundreds of cured meats of all shapes and sizes were hidden from view behind a black curtain. The smell was intense, as if the room were sealed inside a Slim Jim wrapper, and the array of bacons, hams, sausages and more was stunning.

The 50-year-old was a long way from home: Wild Idea's ranches are in South Dakota near Badlands National Park.

The ranches support a herd of 700 bison that roam and graze over 95,000 acres, about twice the size of Mount Pleasant, and include both private and leased lands. The company was started in 1997 by Dan O'Brien as a way to keep his ranch going, converting from a cattle operation, and began with just 13 bison calves.

But the owners view their mission as something much larger than just a meat company. Wild Idea took on a partner a couple of years ago, not so much to grow the meat business “but to grow the idea of sustainability, conservation and grassland preservation,” Jill O'Brien says.

“In order to have a larger environmental impact, you need big landscapes,” and buffalo do want to roam, she says.

For she and her husband, buffalo meat is not what they produce; she calls it “a byproduct” of their desire to boost bio-diversity and help the environment.

“Our mission is to leave our little corner of the world a little better than we found it,” she says. “The bison are a tool in that change. It's allowing enough space and room for all things not just to live, but to thrive.”

O'Brien says both of them have other jobs “to support our bad habit ... or good habit, I should say.” A former restaurateur, she does freelance catering, although that is becoming less as Wild Idea's business grows. Dan O'Brien is the author of nine books, both novels and nonfiction, and teaches writing. He has twice received an artist's grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

“We believe in eating less meat, but of a higher nutritional quality,” she says.

Local demand rises

At Whole Foods Market in Mount Pleasant, meat team leader Roger Ducker “absolutely” has noticed growing demand for buffalo in the nine years since the store opened in 2004.
“The tonnage has increased every year,” he says. “We typically see spikes around New Year's and that early part of the year because so many folks make ... resolutions to eat healthier. They go for the bison because it's lean.”

They have different cuts at different times, but regularly offer popular grilling items such as rib-eye and New York strip steaks, and ground bison for burgers. As sales have risen, he says it's allowed the store to bring in a wider variety of cuts from flank steak to filet mignon in the past few years.

“It's a good alternative for somebody who needs the protein and needs the red meat in their diet. It's a good source for that, it's super-low in cholesterol, really high in iron, it drives that health-conscious customer who wants red meat in their diet.”

Buffalo won't be on everyone's shopping list, no matter how much they aspire to eat better. The least expensive buffalo at Whole Foods, including ground and stew meat, starts at $12 a pound and tops out at $33 a pound for filets.

Wild Idea's buffalo meat also is “quite a bit more expensive” than conventional beef, O'Brien acknowledges. For a more equal comparison, she says the price of their all grass-fed bison should be judged against all grass-fed beef.

“We just don't bring in anybody,” Ducker says of Whole Foods' suppliers. “Sometimes these smaller, sustainable operations have trouble keeping up with demand and it does drive the price up.”

Reach Teresa Taylor at 937-4886.

Lemon Chicken

A low carb and low calorie Chicken Dish.

Lemon Chicken


4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 1 1/4 pounds total)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Sea Salt, to taste
2 tablespoons Blue Bonnet Light Stick Butter
1 cup Swanson Low Sodium Chicken Broth
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup sliced green onions
Lemon slices, cut in half (optional)


Place each chicken breast half between two pieces of plastic wrap. Pound lightly with the flat side of a meat mallet to 1/4 inch thick. Remove plastic wrap.
In a shallow dish stir together flour and black pepper. Coat chicken with flour mixture, shaking off any excess.
In a large skillet heat butter over medium heat. Add chicken and cook for 4 to 6 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink (170°F / 80°C), turning once. Remove from skillet; cover and keep warm.
For sauce, in a small bowl stir together chicken broth, lemon juice, and cornstarch. Add to skillet. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Stir in green onions. If desired, top chicken with lemon slices. Spoon sauce. over chicken.
Makes 4 servings.

Kitchen Hints of the Day!

Hint #1 - When your done with an afternoon of baking, sprinkle your messy counter top with salt, and the doughy, floury mess that you've left behind can be easily wiped away with a damp sponge.

Hint #2 - The quickest way to reheat biscuits or rolls? Sprinkle them lightly with water and wrap them in foil. It should take about 5 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Seasoned Fried Haddock w/ Pesto Parmesan Potato Stackers, Fresh Green Beans,...

Dinner Tonight: Seasoned Fried Haddock w/ Pesto Parmesan Potato Stackers, Fresh Green Beans, and
Hush Puppies

What a day outside today! It feels more like a Spring day out than a late July Day. It's about 75 with a light cool breeze, a perfect day! Broke out the four-wheel cart and the fishing pole and I was set for one relaxing day. Didn't catch a lot but was good to see some neighbors out and it was nice peaceful afternoon. For dinner I tried a couple of new ones along with a couple of my favorites. I prepared a Seasoned Fried Haddock w/ Pesto Parmesan Potato Stackers, Fresh Green Beans, and Hush Puppies.

I had laid out a fillet of Haddock out of the freezer to thaw overnight. When thawed and ready to prepare I rinsed the fillet off and patted dry and then slightly seasoned it with Sea Salt. I then cut the fillet into smaller pieces and put them into a Hefty Zip Plastic Bag and added Zatarain’s Lemon Pepper Breading Mix. Shook in the bag until the pieces were well covered. I pan fried the pieces in Canola Oil about 3 – 4 minutes per side. I love using the Zatarain's Mixes. Fantastic flavor and a great crust.

For side dishes I prepared this one for the first time, Pesto Parmesan Potato Stackers. I found this recipe from one of my email updates from the Potato Goodness web site. It looked and sounded delicious and couldn't wait to give it a try. Easy to prepare using just 5 ingredients; 6–8 Yukon Gold potatoes (about 2 inches in diameter), 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan, 3 tablespoons pesto, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt. To prepare I just preheated the oven to 400°F and sprayed muffin tin with nonstick Pam Cooking Spray. It said to peel the potatoes, which was optional I elected not to peel them, and thinly slice them by hand, with a mandolin or food processor fitted with slicer blade, discarding rounded ends. Place in mixing bowl, add the shredded Parmesan and pesto, and mix well with a spoon, separating potato slices so that they are evenly coated with the mixture. Add sea salt and pepper to taste. Stack slices beginning with smaller potato pieces at the bottom in the prepared muffin tin until they reach the top of the muffin tin. Scrape bowl to remove all remaining cheese mixture and spoon over potatoes. Bake for 25 minutes or until potatoes are tender when pierced with a sharp knife. Makes 12 side dishes or appetizers. I used it as a side dish and they came out delicious! Hot, creamy, and very flavorful. Another keeper recipe!

I also warmed up some leftover Green Beans my Mom had prepared yesterday for their dinner. Love Green Beans, especially fresh ones! I also had picked up a package of Martha White Hush Puppy Mix w/ Onion Flavor. It's the first time I tried these also and they turned out good but I need some practice on making these. I should have used my Fry Daddy instead of a pan, they would have come out rounder. What better to go with Fish than Hush Puppies! Very easy to prepare, just added Milk to the Mix and fried until golden brown. It made some very good Hush Puppies. For dessert later a Healthy Choice Chocolate Swirl Frozen Yogurt.

Pesto Parmesan Potato Stackers

Yield: 6 Servings
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Ready Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 25 Minutes
As seen in popular women’s and cooking magazines!

Roasted Yukon Gold potato stacks layered with fresh basil pesto and melted Parmesan cheese. For a twist, layer potatoes with your favorite flavors—from garlic and olive oil to mozzarella and marinara.

6–8 Yukon Gold potatoes (about 2 inches in diameter)
1/2 cup shredded parmesan
3 tablespoons pesto
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Preheat oven to 400°F and spray muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. Peel the potatoes (optional) and thinly slice them by hand, with a mandolin or food processor fitted with slicer blade, discarding rounded ends. Place in mixing bowl, add shredded parmesan and pesto, and mix well with a spoon, separating potato slices so that all are evenly coated with mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stack slices beginning with smaller potato pieces at the bottom in the prepared muffin tin until they reach the top of the muffin tin. Scrape bowl to remove all remaining cheese mixture and spoon over potatoes. Bake for 25 minutes or until potatoes are tender when pierced with a sharp knife. Makes 12 side dishes or appetizers.

Martha White Hush Puppy Mix w/ Onion Flavor

No one knows exactly how hush puppies got their name, but the prevailing wisdom suggests that fisherman threw bits of the batter from frying fish to the dogs barking around the campfire with the admonition to "hush puppies". Others believe Confederate soldiers were trying to silence their dogs to avoid detection by Yankee scouts. Whatever the origin of this delectable corn meal creation, it goes without saying that you don't really have a fish fry without hush puppies.

Made with simple cornbread batter, hush puppies are traditionally seasoned with onion and dropped by spoonfuls into the hot oil where the fish were fried. But hush puppies are not limited to accompanying fish, nor are they always little round balls. In some parts of the South hush puppies are served with barbecue or as an appetizer, and sometimes they are crescent or finger-shaped.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1/4 cup (36g)
Servings Per Container About 6
Amount per Serving
Calories 120
Calories from Fat 5
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0.5g1%
Saturated Fat 0g0%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 610mg26%
Total Carbohydrate 26g9%
Dietary Fiber 2g8%
Sugars 2g
Protein 3g

Wild Idea Buffalo Recipe of the Week - Italian Wedding Soup

This weeks recipe is a soup, Italian Wedding Soup. This ones made with Wild Idea Buffalo's Ground Buffalo. As always I've the link to this and many other healthy Buffalo recipes below.

Italian Wedding Soup
By: Jill O'Brien

Italian Wedding Soup
Serves 6
My rendition of a classic favorite. Easy and elegant for a perfect light meal.


1 egg, beaten
½ teaspoon fennel
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound ground bison
2 quarts chicken stock
½ cup orzo pasta
3 cups spinach, chopped and packed
grated parmesan to pass, optional


* Mix eggs, seasoning and olive oil together.
* Add ground bison and mix thoroughly.
* Form into small meatballs, making 40.
* Place on baking sheet and bake meatballs in a 425* preheated oven.
* In stock pot, over medium high heat bring chicken stock to a boil.
* Add orzo, meatballs and juices from meatball pan to the stock. Bring to a boil.
* Reduce heat and cook until pasta is tender, about 8 minutes.
* Add spinach and cook for 2 minutes
* Ladle soup into bowl and pass with grated parmesan.

Wild Idea Buffalo

1 lb. Ground Buffalo
We grind our finest roasts and steaks to bring you the most delicious burgers anywhere. 90% - 92% Lean. 1 lb. Package.

Kitchen Hint of the Day!

Before you put rolls in the oven, make a delicious glaze for their tops that your guests are sure to appreciate. Lightly beat an egg white with a tablespoon of milk and brush it on each roll. You'll love it!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Sauteed Mushroom Buffalo Burger w/ Baked Crinkle Fries

Dinner Tonight: Sauteed Mushroom Buffalo Burger w/ Baked Crinkle Fries

Not much going on today. I even took a rare afternoon siesta which I hardly ever do. I did go to a local farmers Vegetable stand nearby here and picked up a Watermelon and Cantaloupe up for my Mom and Dad. I can eat either but never been a huge fan of either. For dinner I prepared a Sauteed Mushroom Buffalo Burger w/ Baked Crinkle Fries.

I used Great Range Ground Bison to make my Burger. My favorite is Wild Idea Buffalo but I have a lot of the Great Range Bison in the freezer that I have to use. It's always a good product but it doesn't have the taste to it as Wild Idea Buffalo does. Anyway I made my pattie and seasoned it with Sea Salt and Ground Black Pepper. I pan fried it in Canola Oil and fried it about 4 minutes per side, a good medium rare with a char on the outside and a little pink in the center. Makes a delicious juicy burger! I served it on a Healthy Life Whole Grain Bun and topped with Sauteed Baby Bella Mushrooms.

To go with my Burger I had Baked Ore Ida Crinkle Fries with a side of Hunt's Ketchup. Made a perfect and healthier Burger and Fries. Healthier by using Bison over Beef, by using a Whole Grain Bun, and by Baking the Fries instead of a deep fry. For dessert later a bowl of Del Monte No Sugar Added Peach Chunks.

Great Range Ground Bison

All natural (Minimally processed. No artificial ingredients). Raised without antibiotics, no added hormones (Federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones in bison). US inspected and passed by Department of Agriculture. Great Range Brand is proud to bring you the same premium natural bison products served in the nation's finest restaurants. Enjoy the flavor of Great Range!

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 4 oz
Servings Per Container: 4
Calories 190
     Calories from Fat 100
Amount Per Serving and/or % Daily Value*
Total Fat 11 g (17%)
     Saturated Fat 4 g (20%)
Cholesterol 60 mg (17%)
Sodium 60 mg (3%)
Total Carbohydrate 0 g (0%)
     Dietary Fiber 0 g (0%)
     Sugars 0 g
Protein 23 g

Eating with Diabetes: Counting ''Net'' Carbs

I count carbs and recently a friend told me to start counting "net carbs". So I did a little research on Carbs vs Net Carbs and there seems to be some controversy. Here's what I found from a couple of sites.

Eating with Diabetes: Counting ''Net'' Carbs
What Are Net Carbs? How Do They Affect Blood Sugar?
-- By Amy Poetker, Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator

Since low carbohydrate diets became popular, the phrase "net carbs" has become a fairly regular fixture on the labels of food products. But, if you are not familiar with the term you may be wondering what in the world it means!

There are three types of carbohydrates: starches, sugars and fiber. All three types of carbs are added up and listed as Total Carbohydrates on the Nutrition Facts Label of a food product.

The concept of net carbs is based on the fact that, although it is considered a carbohydrate, dietary fiber is not digested the same way the other two types of carbohydrates (starches and sugars) are. While starches and sugars are broken down into glucose (blood sugar), fiber isn't treated the same way. The fiber you eat passes through the body undigested and helps add bulk to your stool (among other benefits). The indigestibility of fiber is where the idea of "net carbs" comes in. In fact, sometimes, net carbs are sometimes referred to as "digestible carbs.''

In recent years, food manufacturers have started including net carbs in addition to total carbs when labeling products. Many foods proudly display net carbs on their labels to entice both low-carb diet fans and people with diabetes.

While the concept of net carbs can be utilized in diabetes meal planning, read labels with a discerning eye. At present there are no mandated rules for calculating or labeling net carbs on food packages. The FDA does not regulate or oversee the use of these terms, and exactly what is listed as "net carbs" can vary dramatically from product to product. Some products calculate net carbs as total carbohydrates minus dietary fiber, other labels reflect net carbs as total carbohydrates minus dietary fiber minus sugar alcohols, and still others calculate net carbs as total carbohydrates, minus dietary fiber minus sugar alcohols minus grams of protein.

Many packaged foods that are marketed as high in fiber low in carbs actually add extra fiber, such as inulin, polydextrose and maltodextrin, to food products to lower the net carb serving. Most nutrition experts agree that these "stealth fibers " do not have the same health benefits and may not have the same benign affect on blood sugar levels as foods that contain naturally occurring fiber. As you can see, the whole issue of "net carbs" can get tricky very fast. And for people with diabetes, for whom carbohydrate counting and blood glucose control is a serious issue, referring to net carbs on a food label can have serious consequences.

However, counting net carbs can work for people with diabetes who use a meal-planning technique known as carbohydrate counting to help balance their blood sugar levels—when done correctly.

Here's how a person with diabetes can count net carbs safely and effectively:
The food in question must contain at least 5 grams of dietary fiber in the serving size you are planning to eat.
Read the Nutrition Facts label or look up the nutrition facts of the food to find both the total carbohydrates and total fiber for the serving size you plan to eat.
Subtract HALF the total grams of fiber from the total grams of carbohydrates to calculate the net carbs in your food serving.
Always perform this calculation yourself and do not rely on "net carb" totals listed on any food label.

The whole point of counting net carbs versus total carbs is to allow someone to eat more of a carbohydrate-containing food without adversely affecting their blood sugar levels. If you find the issue of net carbs confusing, don't worry about it. There is no reason to use this technique if counting total carbohydrates works well for you. Both options can work as long as you are doing them correctly and reading "net carb" labels with a discerning eye.

For more specific information or help, talk to your health care provider. The American Diabetes Association's National Call Center also offers live advice from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday at 1-800-DIABETES or 1-800-342-2383.

In an effort to cash in on the low-carb craze, food manufacturers have invented a new category of carbohydrates known as "net carbs," which promises to let dieters eat the sweet and creamy foods they crave without suffering the carb consequences.

But the problem is that there is no legal definition of the "net," "active," or "impact" carbs popping up on food labels and advertisements. The only carbohydrate information regulated by the FDA is provided in the Nutrition Facts label, which lists total carbohydrates and breaks them down into dietary fiber and sugars.

Any information or claims about carbohydrate content that appear outside that box have not been evaluated by the FDA.