Monday, June 30, 2014

Leftovers - Beans and Smoked Turkey Sausage (Beans and Weenies)

Dinner Tonight: Leftovers - Beans and Smoked Turkey Sausage (Beans and Weenies)

Weather wise more of the same, hot, hazy, and humid. When it's like this i don't have much on an appetite. Which leads to today, nothing sounded good. Mondays are the day if you have any leftovers in the fridge, it's either use it or lose it! Garbage goes out in the morning so we usually clean the fridge of any leftovers. So for my dinner tonight it was Leftover Beans and Smoked Turkey Sausage (Beans and Weenies).

I had a nice size helping of the  Beans and Smoked Turkey Sausage leftover and it was too good to go to waste so I heated that up for my dinner tonight. In case you missed it here's how it's prepared. I used 1 Butterball Hardwood Smoked Turkey Sausage (sliced into bite size pieces), a handful of Oscar Mayer Turkey Bacon Bits, 1 can of Joan of Arc Spicy Chili Beans, 1 can of Bush’s Reduced Sodium Black Beans (drained and rinsed), 1/4 of a medium-sized Red Onion (Chopped), 1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon, 1 tablespoon Ground Mustard, 1 tablespoon Splenda Brown Sugar, a couple of shakes (or more) of Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, and a 3/4 cup of Jack Daniel’s Honey Smokehouse BBQ Sauce (or to taste).

To prepare everything, it can’t be much easier. I used a small size Dutch Oven that I had sprayed with Pam Cooking Spray. Added all the ingredients except for the Turkey Smoked Sausage to the Dutch Oven, and stirred until well mixed. I turned the stove on medium low, covered the pot and just let simmer. Another set it and forget recipe! You could make this in a crock pot on low and let it go all day or by using a medium size sauce pan and get done even quicker. I love dishes that you can set low and let them simmer. After a couple of hours I sliced up one of the Butterball Hardwood Smoked Turkey Sausage and added it to the Beans. I then increased the heat to medium for about another hour and then reduced it back down to medium low until it was time for dinner. So to reheat this I just put into a small sauce pan and set it on medium low until it was heated through. I also had a slice of Klosterman Wheat Bread. Then for dessert later a Weight Watchers  Vanilla Bean & Dutch Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwich.

Weight watchers Snack Size Variety Pack Vanilla Bean & Dutch Chocolate Sandwiches

PointsPlus® value 2
Low fat vanilla bean ice cream or low fat chocolate ice cream nestled between chocolate cookie wafers. An adult version of your childhood favorite guaranteed to bring out the kid in you. Each sandwich contains 80 calories, 1 grams of fat and 0 grams of trans fat. Offered in a package of 8.

"Meatless Monday" Recipes - the Classic Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Always a classic and always a comfort food, the Classic Grilled Cheese Sandwich!

Grilled Cheese Sandwich


8 slices firm-textured sandwich bread (Klosterman Wheat Bread)
Kraft Reduced Fat Mayonnaise (optional)
French's Yellow Mustard (optional)
1/2 pound (8 ounces) Wisconsin Cheddar cheese, mild, medium or sharp, grated
3 to 4 tablespoons butter, softened (Blue Bonnet Light Stick Butter)


Spread bread slices with a thin layer of mayonnaise and/or mustard. Evenly divide the grated cheddar over four slices of the bread. Top with remaining four slices.
Heat half of the butter in a large (12-inch) skillet over medium heat.
Place sandwiches in skillet. Spread remaining butter over top slices of bread. Cover skillet. Cook about 3 minutes, until underside is golden brown.
Carefully flip sandwiches with spatula and continue cooking, uncovered, 2 to 3 minutes, until cheese is melted and underside is browned.
Serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings.

One of America's favorites - Cotton Candy

Spinning cotton candy at a funfair

Cotton candy (U.S., India, Canada), candy floss, or candyfloss (UK, Pakistan, Ireland, New Zealand, India, South Africa, Canada), or fairy floss (Australia) is a form of spun sugar. Since it comprises mostly air, a small initial quantity of sugar generates a tremendously greater final volume, causing servings to be physically large and voluminous. A typical serving on a stick is approximately 1 ounce/30 grams. It is sometimes sold in bags containing several servings. Cotton candy is often served at carnivals or circuses. Food coloring can be used to change the natural white color. There are many flavor variants. A similar confectionery is the Persian Pashmak, and the Turkish Pişmaniye, although the latter is made with flour and water in addition to sugar. Ngathrek Golop Lhakpa is also a Bhutanese variant, but with added Butter tea and chilli peppers.

Cotton candy was first recorded in Europe in the 18th century. At that time, spun sugar was an expensive, labor-intensive endeavor and was not generally available to the average person. Machine-spun cotton candy was invented in 1897 by the dentist William Morrison and confectioner John C. Wharton and first introduced to a wide audience at the 1904 World's Fair as "Fairy Floss" with great success, selling 68,655 boxes at 25¢ per box (equivalent to $6 per box today). Joseph Lascaux, a dentist from New Orleans, Louisiana, invented a similar cotton candy machine in 1921. In fact, the Lascaux patent named the sweet confection “cotton candy” and the "fairy floss" name faded away, although it retains this name in Australia. In the 1970s an automatic cotton candy machine was created which made the product and packaged it. This made it easier to produce and available to sell at carnivals, fairs, and stores in the 1970s and on.

Tootsie Roll of Canada Ltd., the world's largest cotton-candy manufacturer, makes a bagged, fruit-flavored version called Fluffy Stuff.

Maple-flavored cotton candy 

Typical machines used to make cotton candy include a spinning head enclosing a small "sugar reserve" bowl into which a charge of granulated, colored sugar (or separate sugar and food coloring) is poured. Heaters near the rim of the head melt the sugar, which is squeezed out through tiny holes by centrifugal force. Pre-colored sugar packaged specially for the process is milled with melting characteristics and a crystal size optimized for the head and heated holes; granulated sugar used in baking contains fine crystals which spin out un-melted, while rock sugar crystals are too large to properly contact the heater, slowing the production of cotton candy.

The molten sugar solidifies in the air and is caught in a larger bowl which totally surrounds the spinning head. Left to operate for a period, the cotton-like product builds up on the inside walls of the larger bowl, at which point machine operators twirl a stick or cone, around the rim of the large catching bowl, gathering the sugar strands into portions which are served on stick or cone, or in plastic bags. As the sugar reserve bowl empties, the operator recharges it with more feedstock. The product is sensitive to humidity, and in humid summer locales, the process can be messy and sticky.

Modern innovations in cotton candy equipment include vending machines which automatically produce single-servings of the product, developed in Taiwan, and lighted or glowing sticks.

In 1972, the first automated machine was used for the production of cotton candy. Since then the creations and innovations of this machine have become greater and greater. They range in sizes from counter-top accessible to party and carnival size. Modern machines that are made for commercial use can hold up to 3 pounds of sugar and have compartments for storage of extra flavors. The rotating bowl at the top spins at 3,450 revolutions per minute.

Kitchen Hint of the Day!

Do not use dried herbs in the same quantity as fresh. In most cases, use 1/3 the amount in dried as is called for fresh.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Bison Sirloin Steak w/ Sauteed Mushrooms, Roasted Asparagus, and Baked Potato

Dinner Tonight: Bison Sirloin Steak w/ Sauteed Mushrooms, Roasted Asparagus, and Baked Potato

Another steamy day out again. Went over to a long time friends this afternoon and spent most of the day over there. For dinner tonight it's a Bison Sirloin Steak w/ Sauteed Mushrooms, Roasted Asparagus, and Baked Potato.

I used a Great Range Bison Sirloin. Great Range is a very good Bison Meat. It's sold here locally at Kroger. They're not quite the sweet and wild flavor as Wild Idea Buffalo but still an excellent Bison Sirloin, and Ground Bison Sirloin also. I seasoned it with McCormick Grinder Sea salt and Black Peppercorn and pan fried it in Canola Oil, about 4 minutes per side. Medium rare with a nice char on the outside and a little pink and moist and tender inside, love Bison or Buffalo!

For one side I prepared some Sauteed Mushrooms, seasoned with Roasted Cumin, Sea Salt, and Parsley. I also had a Baked Potato and Roasted Asparagus. To prepare the Asparagus I just needed Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Cloves Garlic (minced), Sea Salt, Freshly grated Black Pepper, Lemon Juice, and Shredded Parmesan Cheese. Rinse clean the asparagus. Break the tough ends off of the asparagus and discard. Lay the asparagus spears out in a single layer in a baking dish or a foil-covered roasting pan. Drizzle olive oil over the spears, roll the asparagus back and forth until they are all covered with a thin layer of olive oil. (Alternatively you can put the asparagus and oil in a plastic bag, and rub the bag so that the oil gets evenly distributed.) Sprinkle with minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Rub over the asparagus so that they are evenly seasoned. Place pan in oven and cook for approximately 8-10 minutes, depending on how thick your asparagus spears are, until lightly browned and tender when pierced with a fork. Drizzle with a little fresh lemon juice and shredded Parm Cheese before serving. Quite a dinner! For dessert later a Healthy Choice Dark Fudge Frozen Greek Yogurt.

Great Range Brand Bison Sirloin

About Great Range Brand Bison
and Rocky Mountain Natural Meats

Great Range Brand Bison is produced and distributed by Rocky Mountain Natural Meats. Rocky Mountain Natural Meats started in 1986 as a small meat distributor devoted solely to bison. From the beginning, our focus was to provide high quality bison meat and great service to grocers, distributors and restaurants nationwide. An in-house grading system was developed to guarantee premium quality and consistency to the end-user – this became the Great Range Bison brand. Carcass characteristics such as fat color, fat cover, muscle color, ossification and weight are the major factors in determining if the product receives the Great Range Bison brand. By working closely with our producers and assisting them with ration formulation, our quality control begins at the source. Today, Rocky Mountain Natural Meats processes over 400 head of bison per week.

Roasted Asparagus

1 lb asparagus spears (thick spears are best for roasting)
1-2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
Sea Salt
Freshly grated Black Pepper
Lemon Juice
Shredded Parmesan Cheese


1 Preheat oven to 400°F. Rinse clean the asparagus. Break the tough ends off of the asparagus and discard.
2 Lay the asparagus spears out in a single layer in a baking dish or a foil-covered roasting pan. Drizzle olive oil over the spears, roll the asparagus back and forth until they are all covered with a thin layer of olive oil. (Alternatively you can put the asparagus and oil in a plastic bag, and rub the bag so that the oil gets evenly distributed.) Sprinkle with minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Rub over the asparagus so that they are evenly distributed.
3 Place pan in oven and cook for approximately 8-10 minutes, depending on how thick your asparagus spears are, until lightly browned and tender when pierced with a fork. Drizzle with a little fresh lemon juice and shredded Parm Cheese before serving.
Yield: Serves 4.

Low-Calorie, High-Fiber Summer Recipes to Help You Lose Weight

From the EatingWell website it's Low-Calorie, High-Fiber Summer Recipes to Help You Lose Weight. The link for all the recipes and tips is at the end of the post.

Macaroni salad, shrimp cocktail, fish tacos and more easy summer recipes that are low in calories and high in fiber.

If you’re trying to lose weight this summer, our fiber-rich, low-calorie recipes might help you shed pounds. New research suggests a way to prevent weight gain or even encourage weight loss—without dieting. The secret? Eat more fiber. If you’re consuming 2,000 calories per day, aim to increase your fiber by 16 grams. While it helps you feel full, “fiber has no calories,” says Larry Tucker, Ph.D., lead researcher and professor in the Department of Exercise Sciences at Brigham Young University. So if you fill up on high-fiber foods you crowd out less-healthy foods, explains Tucker. These healthy, high-fiber recipes, including Macaroni Salad and Basil, Shrimp & Zucchini Pasta, are filling, low-calorie recipes that are perfect for summer.

Macaroni Salad
Old-fashioned macaroni salad sometimes contains jarred pimientos, diced ham or pickle relish, but this version is simple and deliciously plain with fresh chopped celery, carrot and onion. A combination of low-fat mayo and sour cream lightens up the dressing, and whole-wheat elbow noodles, spinach and edamame add extra nutrients....

Basil, Shrimp & Zucchini Pasta
This quick-cooking, healthy dinner is a simple combination of zucchini, shrimp and pasta flecked with plenty of fresh basil. If you have leftover cooked pasta from another meal, use it and skip Step 2. Since the recipe combines a starch, vegetables and the shrimp, all you need is a fruit or vegetable salad to round out the menu. Recipe by Nancy Baggett for EatingWell....

* Click the link below to get all the Low-Calorie, High-Fiber Summer Recipes to Help You Lose Weight.

Kitchen Hint of the Day!

Thank you to Chris for these reminders!

Just some food safety reminders.

* Cool leftovers as quickly as possible. Reheat to 165 F before serving again.

Bacteria on food will rapidly multiply when left at a temperature between 45 F and 140 F. Avoid this danger zone as much as possible.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Beans and Smoked Turkey Sausage (Beans and Weenies) w/ Cheddar Corn Bread Muffins

Dinner Tonight: Beans and Smoked Turkey Sausage (Beans and Weenies) w/ Cheddar Corn Bread Muffins

Downright miserable out again, hot and humid. Late afternoon/evening is our community Picnic and Swim Party, a bit too humid for me to go though. For dinner tonight a classic, (Beans and Weenies) Beans and Smoked Turkey Sausage w/ Cheddar Corn Bread Muffins.

Growing up I always loved those little cans of of Campbell’s Beans and Weenies, that and Spaghetti-O’s! Well I wanted some Beans and Weenies but I jazzed it up a bit. I used 1 Butterball Hardwood Smoked Turkey Sausage (sliced into bite size pieces), a handful of Oscar Mayer Turkey Bacon Bits, 1 can of Joan of Arc Spicy Chili Beans, 1 can of Bush’s Reduced Sodium Black Beans (drained and rinsed), 1/4 of a medium-sized Red Onion (Chopped), 1/2  teaspoon Ground Cinnamon, 1 tablespoon Ground Mustard, 1 tablespoon Splenda Brown Sugar, a couple of shakes (or more) of Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, and a 3/4 cup of Jack Daniel’s Honey Smokehouse BBQ Sauce (or to taste).

To prepare everything, it can’t be much easier. I used a small size Dutch Oven that I had sprayed with Pam Cooking Spray. Added all the ingredients except for the Turkey Smoked Sausage to the Dutch Oven, and stirred until well mixed. I turned the stove on medium low, covered the pot and just let simmer. Another set it and forget recipe! You could make this in a crock pot on low and let it go all day or by using a medium size sauce pan and get done even quicker. I love dishes that you can set low and let them simmer. After a couple of hours I sliced up one of the Butterball Hardwood Smoked Turkey Sausage and added it to the Beans. I then increased the heat to medium for about another hour and then reduced it back down to medium low until it was time for dinner.

Then to go with my "Beans and Weenies" I baked some Cheddar Corn Bread Muffins. First time I made these and they are delicious! The recipe comes from the Taste of Home web site. I lightened the recipe up by using 2% Milk, Sargento reduced Fat Shredded Cheddar Cheese, and Fat Free Greek Yogurt. The original recipe also had it as a bread that you cut into squares but I baked as Muffins instead. Fantastic side to the "Beans and Weenies"! I left the full recipe along with a link to the original recipe at the end of the post. A good Hearty Meal tonight. For dessert later a Jello Sugar Free Dark Chocolate Mousse.

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.

Cheddar Corn Bread Recipe

MAKES: 12 servings

2 packages (8-1/2 ounces each) Corn Bread/Muffin Mix
1/2 cup Egg Beater's
1/2 cup 2% Milk
1/2 cup Fat Free Greek plain Yogurt
1 can (14-3/4 ounces) cream-style corn
1/2 cup Sargento 2% Shredded Cheddar Cheese

In a large bowl, combine the corn bread mix, eggs, milk and yogurt until blended. Stir in corn and cheese. Pour into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish.
Bake at 400° for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cut into squares. Serve warm. Yield: 12 servings.

Nutritional Facts
1 serving (1 piece) equals 148 calories, 5 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 48 mg cholesterol, 314 mg sodium, 22 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 5 g protein.

Read more:

Grilled Pizza Recipes

Here's some fantastic Grilled Pizza Recipes, try them out this weekend! It's all from the EatingWell website.

Grilled Pizza Recipes

Take dinner outdoors with fabulous recipes for pizza on the grill.
Make grilled pizza a staple this summer with these easy recipes. We love grilling pizza because the grill melts the cheese evenly and quickly, and gets the crust mottled with those dark bits everyone fights over. What’s more, there’s that characteristic smoky taste from the grill. These delicious grilled pizza recipes will get you started, but don’t be afraid to experiment with your family’s favorite toppings as well!

Black Bean Nacho Pizza
Break out the napkins! This pie is an over-the-top, vegetarian concoction with black-bean spread, Jack cheese, tomatoes, scallions, olives and pickled jalapenos; it's part nacho, part pizza. For an even more decadent treat, serve with low-fat sour cream. Beer pairing: Spicy foods need spicy beers—go for an India Pale Ale (IPA). If you're not a hop-head, the malty sweetness of brown ales work well with the sweeter elements on the pizza......

Garden Pizza
Bell pepper, zucchini and a fresh tomato sauce give this vegetarian pizza a taste of summer. Beer pairing: Look for a brew without overpowering flavors, such as a lager or a less yeasty witbier, so the pizza's fresh, subtle flavors can shine......

* Get these and all the other  Grilled Pizza Recipes by clicking the link below

Kitchen Hint of the Day!

Here's a helpful hint on making your own spices. This was sent in by Barb H. to share with everyone.

    1 tsp. Ground cinnamon
    1 tsp. Ground cloves
    1 tsp. Fennel seed
    1 tsp. Star anise
    1 tsp. Szechwan peppercorns

    1 tsp. Oregano
    1 tsp. Marjoram
    1 tsp. Thyme
    1 tsp. Basil
    1 tsp. Rosemary
    1 tsp. Sage

    3 Tbsp. paprika
    1 Tbsp. ground cumin
    2 Tbsp. oregano
    1 tsp. red or cayenne pepper
    1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Friday, June 27, 2014

Cumin Spiced Pork Tenderloin w/ Tri Color Roasted Potatoes and Boiled Baby Carrots

Dinner Tonight: Cumin Spiced Pork Tenderloin w/ Tri Color Roasted Potatoes and Boiled Baby Carrots

The heat and humidity returned today with a vengeance! By about 10:30 this morning it was very uncomfortable out, more of the same over the weekend. Not a lot going on, went to bank and stopped by the post office and back home to the central air! For dinner tonight,  Cumin Spiced Pork Tenderloin w/ Tri Color Roasted Potatoes and Boiled Baby Carrots.

Look at that Beautiful Crust!

I had came across the Cumin Spiced Pork Tenderloin recipe a while back on-line, there is several variations of it. To prepare it I’ll need; 1/2 tbsp Roasted Cumin, 1 tsp Garlic Powder, 1 tsp Chili Powder, 1 teaspoon Sea Salt, 1/2 teaspoon Hungarian Paprika, 2 teaspoons Dried Oregano, and 1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper. To prepare it preheat oven to 350°. Combine all the ingredients; rub it all over the pork. Let stand 20 minutes. Heat the oil in a Cast Iron Skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork to pan; cook 4 minutes, browning on all sides. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until a thermometer registers 155° (slightly pink), turning after 7 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing. Then get ready to enjoy one delicious Pork Tenderloin! Fantastic combo of Spices, which made one incredible Crust on the Pork with the inside being tender and moist!

Then for one side dish I prepared Tri Color Roasted Potatoes. I had picked up a small bag of Tri Colored Potatoes (Red, White, and Purple) while at Jungle Jim's Market the other morning with serving it with the Pork in mind. Simple dish to prepare; Preheat the oven at 400 degrees. I quartered the Potatoes, putting them in a large bowl. Added 1 tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, McCormick Sea Salt and Black Peppercorn, Dried Rosemary, Dried Thyme, and Rubbed Sage.  Mixed good until the Potatoes were well coated and added them to a Cast Iron Skillet. Heated them on the stove top on medium high for 5 minutes. Moved the Cast Iron Skillet to the oven and Roasted until fork tender, about 20 - 30 minutes. Ready to serve!  no reason I chose the Tri Colored Potatoes, something different. Then I also boiled some Baby Carrots, seasoned them with Sea Salt and Parsley. For dessert later a Healthy Choice Dark Fudge Frozen Yogurt.

Healthy Choice Dark Fudge Greek Frozen Yogurt

Our creamy Greek frozen yogurt with a dark, decadent fudge swirl is an irresistible 100-calorie treat that you can feel good about not resisting.

FAT 2g

Jennie - O Turkey Recipe of the Week - Barbeque Turkey Burgers

Nothing like grilling, so grill healthy! This week's Jennie - O Turkey Recipe of the Week - Barbeque Turkey Burgers is just that! You'll be using JENNIE-O® Lean Ground Turkey, you could even put a couple of slices of Jennie - O Turkey Bacon on it. You can this many, many more healthy and delicious recipes at the Jennie - O web site. (

Barbeque Turkey Burgers

2 cups thinly shredded cabbage
¼ cup shredded carrot
¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
3 tablespoons reduced-calorie mayonnaise
2 teaspoons lime juice
2 teaspoons sugar
1 (20-ounce) package JENNIE-O® Lean Ground Turkey
¼ cup barbeque sauce
2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
4 whole-grain sandwich buns,split

In bowl, combine cabbage, carrot, onion, mayonnaise, lime juice and sugar. Mix well. Set aside.

In medium bowl, combine turkey, barbeque sauce and breadcrumbs; mix. Shape into 4 patties. Cook turkey patties as specified on the package. Always cook to well-done, 165°F. as measured by a meat thermometer. Serve burgers topped with coleslaw in buns.

Nutritional Information
Calories 200 Fat 3.5g
Protein 7g Cholesterol 5mg
Carbohydrates 39g Sodium 540mg
Fiber 5g Saturated Fat 0.5g
Sugars 14g

- See more at:

Kitchen Hint of the Day!

Thank you to Doris and Matt for passing this one along to share!

Stop, Save that Pickle Juice! -   Whenever you empty a jar of dill pickles, use the left-over juice to clean the copper bottoms of your pans. Just pour the juice in a large bowl, set the pan in the juice for about 15 minutes. Comes out looking like new.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Grilled Jennie - O Jalapeño Jack Turkey Franks w/ Cheddar and Bacon Potato Salad

Dinner Tonight: Grilled Jennie - O Jalapeño Jack Uncured Turkey Franks w/ Cheddar and Bacon Potato Salad

About 85 degrees today, sunny and not quite as humid. Got a chance to see the Blue Angels pass over in formation earlier today, one beautiful sight! Not much going on, caught up on some household chores and cleaned the grill. Started off with Eggs and Jennie - O Turkey Bacon, then for lunch a Jennie - O Sliced Roasted Turkey and Swiss Sandwich, and the Jennie - O Jalapeno and Cheddar Turkey Franks for dinner, Tonight I prepared Grilled Jennie - O Jalapeño Jack Turkey Franks w/ Cheddar and Bacon Potato Salad.

Jennie - O sent me the Jennie - O Jalapeño Jack Uncured Turkey Franks to try yesterday and couldn't wait to give them a try! So I fired the grill up and got them Dogs a grilling! They grilled up perfectly and tasted just as good and the Frank had a nice snap to it when biting into it! Good Cheese flavor and nice heat from the Jalapenos. One tasty Frank! Served it on a Healthy Life Whole Grain Hot Dog Bun and topped with some French's Yellow Mustard. As my Franks were grilling I grilled Mom and Dad a couple of Hamburgers.

Earlier I made some Cheddar and Bacon Potato Salad. I made this a while back and instantly loved it! I wasn't a huge Potato Salad fan until I made this. The Sour Cream and Chipotle Mayo makes an incredible tasty base for everything. If you like Potato Salad, give this one a try. I also prepared Mom and Dad a couple of ears of Sweet Corn. Fantastic dinner tonight! For dessert later a Jello Sugarless Dark Chocolate Mousse.

Jennie - O Jalapeño Jack Uncured Turkey Franks

Product Features:
* No Gluten
* 8 oz. Package
* Lean
* No Preservatives
* No Nitrate or Nitrites

Nutritional Information
Serving Size 56 g Total Carbohydrates 2 g
Calories 80 Dietary Fiber 0 g
Calories From Fat 40 Sugars 0 g
Total Fat 4.5 g Protein 9 g
Saturated Fat 1.5 g Vitamin A 0%
Trans Fat .0 g Vitamin C 0%
Cholesterol 40 mg Iron 4%
Sodium 440 mg Calcium 2%
Our products are labeled in compliance with government regulations. It is always necessary to read the labels on the products to determine if the food product meets your required needs regardless of how the product is represented on this site.

- See more at:

Cheddar and Bacon Potato Salad

If you love the big, bold flavors of loaded potatoes, you’ll flip for this potato salad recipe. It’s got all the fixin’s: Cheddar, bacon, red onions, sour cream and chives. Just 10 minutes to prepare, 20 minutes to the table!
Cheddar & Bacon Potato Salad Recipe

1 package Simply Potatoes® Steakhouse Seasoned Diced Potatoes*
1/2 cup chipotle or light mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
1/3 cup Crystal Farms® Reduced-Fat Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1/4 cup real bacon pieces
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1. Place potatoes and ¼ cup water in a microwaveable bowl. Cover; microwave on HIGH heat 10 to 12 minutes, until potatoes are tender. Cool.

2. Mix mayonnaise, sour cream, chives, garlic salt, and pepper in a large serving bowl until well blended.

3. Gently stir potatoes into dressing until well coated. Sprinkle with cheese, bacon, and red onion; cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Stir toppings in just before serving.
Chipotle mayonnaise is readily available in the condiment aisle—or you can make your own by stirring one or two finely chopped canned chipotle chiles into plain mayonnaise.
Reduced-fat (light) sour cream is a good substitution for regular sour cream
If fresh chives are hard to find, substitute green onions.
Stove top: Place 1 package Simply Potatoes® Steakhouse Seasoned Diced Potatoes in a medium saucepan with 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Cook about 10 minutes or until potatoes are just tender.
*Can be substituted with Simply Potatoes® Diced Potatoes with Onion

Serving Size: 1/6th of recipe
Calories 190; Total Fat 10g; Saturated Fat 3g; Cholesterol 18mg; Sodium 680mg; Carbohydrate 23g; Dietary Fiber 2g; Protein 5g
And all this time I thought those Extra Large Pizzas were healthy! Very good article loaded with tips and recipes to help keep your sugar, carbs, and weight in check. All from the Diabetic Living On Line web site.

Foods You Thought Were Healthy -- But Aren't!
Choosing healthy foods is top of mind every day. But what if the foods you've been eating are less healthy than you think? Diabetic Living uncovers why these foods might sabotage your diabetes eating plan and offers healthier alternatives.

Foods You Thought Were Healthy
Some foods are obvious healthy choices -- fresh blueberries, leafy spinach, grilled chicken. But some foods have a "healthy" halo even though they may be high in calories, fat, or carbohydrate.

The following 10 "healthy foods" aren't as nutritious as you might think, so Diabetic Living helps you find ways to make over these foods with delicious, taste-tested, and dietitian-approved recipes you can make at home.

The same smart-eating guidelines apply to eating healthy foods as to any other food: Control your portions, read the nutrition information if it has a nutrition facts label, and choose light or low-fat toppings. Being aware of what you eat is always a good choice.

Calorie-Packed Sandwiches
As a classic lunch favorite, a sandwich can be a healthy option. But just putting the fixings between two slices of whole grain bread does not make a good-for-you meal. What you put in the middle also matters. Bacon, mayonnaise, ranch dressing, and full-fat cheese can add hefty amounts of fat and calories. A 6-inch tuna salad sandwich from Subway, for example, has 530 calories, 30 grams of fat (6 grams of saturated fat), and 46 grams of carb. And that's before you add cheese or any other toppings!

Sodium content is also important to watch in deli meats, such as pastrami, and many cheeses, especially if you have high blood pressure.....

Make It a Healthy Sandwich
Choosing a sandwich with lots of nonstarchy vegetables, which are very low in carbohydrate, can reduce the amount of calories you eat yet help fill you up. Also, by topping a sandwich with veggies instead of extra meat and cheese, you'll lower the sodium count.....

* Click the link below to read the entire article.

Heb and Spice of the Week - Black Cardamom

Black cardamom, also known as hill cardamom, Bengal cardamom, greater cardamom, Indian cardamom, Nepal cardamom, winged cardamom, or brown cardamom, comes from either of two species in the family Zingiberaceae. Its seed pods have a strong camphor-like flavor, with a smoky character derived from the method of drying.

The pods are used as a spice, in a similar manner to the green Indian cardamom pods, but with a different flavor. Unlike green cardamom, this spice is rarely used in sweet dishes. Its smoky flavor and aroma derive from traditional methods of drying over open flames.

At least two distinct species of black cardamom occur: Amomum subulatum (also known as Nepal cardamom) and A. costatum. The pods of A. subulatum, used primarily in the cuisines of India and certain regional cuisines of Pakistan, are the smaller of the two, while the larger pods of A. costatum are used in Chinese cuisine, particularly that of Sichuan; and Vietnamese cuisine.

Black cardamom is often erroneously described as an inferior substitute for green cardamom by those unfamiliar with the spice; actually, it is just not as well suited for the sweet/hot dishes which typically include cardamom, and that are more commonly prepared outside the plant's native range. Black cardamom, by contrast, is better for hearty meat stews and similar dishes. Although the flavor differs from the smaller green cardamom, black cardamom is sometimes used by large-scale commercial bakers because of its low cost.

In China, the pods are used for jin-jin braised meat dishes, particularly in the cuisine of the central-western province of Sichuan. The pods are also often used in Vietnam, where they are called thảo quả and used as an ingredient in the broth for the noodle soup called phở.

The largest producer of the black cardamom is Nepal, followed by India and Bhutan. In traditional Chinese medicine, black cardamom is used for stomach disorders and malaria.

Black Cardamom

Kitchen Hint of the Day!

When making an apple pie don't cut the apples pieces too thin when you are using fresh apples. Larger chunks will hold  together and have more apple flavor.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Dinner Tonight: Panko Crusted Cod Fish Sandwich w/ Baked Fries

Not quite as hot or humid out, bit of break. Went to the Kroger up the road and picked up a couple of items for myself and also a few items for Mom. Came home to find a gift box from Jennie - O Turkey as part of the  Jennie – O Switch Club that I am a member of. It contained 3 different of the Turkey Franks, Coupon, and a Meat Thermometer. You can read more on this in a previous post I posted earlier today. They came and measured for our new Kitchen Floor that will be installed later. So for dinner tonight it's Panko Crusted Cod Fish Sandwich w/ Baked Fries.

To prepare the Cod I rinsed the fillets off with cold water and patted dry. Then seasoned them with Sea Salt and Pepper. Combined the flour and both Garlic Powder and Onion powder then press both sides of fillet into flour for a light dusting , shaking off any excess flour. Dip the floured fillet into the Paprika seasoned Egg Beater’s, allowing excess to drip off. Place fillets, one at a time, in Panko Bread Crumbs, and lightly toss fillets until both sides are covered. Meanwhile, heat canola oil in a skillet and place the fillets in and saute 3 minutes each side, or until fillets are heated through and Panko Crust has browned. Served the fillet on a Healthy Choice Whole Grain Hamburger Bun. Panko and Fish are perfect together! Mom and dad both said it was one of the best Fish Sandwiches that they had ever had.

For a side I baked up some Ore Ida Simply Cracked Black Pepper and Sea Salt Country Style Fries, served these with a side of Hunt’s Ketchup for dipping. For dessert later a Weight Watcher's Snack Size Dutch Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwich.

Panko Crusted Cod Fish Sandwich


(4) 4oz. Orange Roughy or Cod Fillets
1c. Panko Bread Crumbs (Shake and Bake Seasoned Panko)
Sea Salt and Ground Black Pepper, to taste
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 c. Egg Beater’s
1/2 c. Flour
1 Tbs. Canola Oil


* Rinse fillets and pat dry the fillets and season with Sea Salt and Pepper.
* Combine flour and both Garlic Powder and Onion powder then press both sides of fillet into flour for a light dusting , shaking off any excess flour.
* Dip floured fillets into Paprika Seasoned Egg Beater’s, allowing excess to drip off.
* Place fillets, one at a time, in Panko Bread Crumbs and lightly toss fillets until both sides are covered.
* Meanwhile, heat canola oil in skillet and place the fillets in oil and saute 4 minutes each side, or until fillets are heated through and Panko Crust has browned.

Number of Servings: 4

Thank you Jennie - O!

I had went to the local Kroger to pick up a few items to make some Potato Salad with and a few items for Mom. When I got back a delivery man was just pulling away and he had left an insulated box containing gifts from Jennie- O Turkey! I'm a member of the Jennie - O Switch Club which I was invited to join by Jennie - O. Jennie - O describes the Switch Club as; an online network of influential bloggers who will receive sneak peaks of all things Jennie-O. As a member of the Switch Circle, you will be among the first to learn about new Jennie - O products, valuable coupons, contests and giveaways, delicious recipes and much, much more. Throughout the year, Jennie-O will also provide complementary coupons so you can sample Jennie - O products and recipes and share your thoughts with your fans.

So today Jennie -O sent me a gift box containing an iDevice Kitchen Thermometer - Blue Tooth Connected Thermometer, a Jennie - O $5 Product Coupon, 1 Package of Bun Length Uncured Turkey Franks, 1 Package Uncured Turkey Franks, and 1 Package of Jalapeno Jack Uncured Turkey Franks. I foresee a grill out coming! Just want to say thanks to Jennie - O Turkey and to all the subscribers and readers of my blog. I'll give you a review of the Franks when we grill them up, I got a feeling I'll be grilling the Jalapeno Jack Franks tomorrow for dinner!


Wild Idea Buffalo - Everything I know About Cooking Buffalo Ribs

From Jill O'Brien of Wild Idea Buffalo, Everything I know About Cooking Buffalo Ribs. Some great info and tips on Buffalo Ribs, Enjoy!

Everything I know About Cooking Buffalo Ribs
By: Jill O'Brien

Ribs are enjoyed year around, but with the grilling season in full swing, I have received a few good questions recently on the preparation of them. Hopefully it will clarify some of your questions too.

The first lesson is: 100% Grass-Fed Bison Ribs are not like corn finished bison or beef ribs. If you are following a recipe that is formulated using pork or corn fed meat and are using Wild Idea Buffalo 100% Grass-Fed Ribs, and it doesn’t turn out, this could be why. When you find a recipe that sounds good to you, it doesn’t mean that you have to abandon the idea of the recipe. Use the seasonings, liquids or sauces, but for best results, follow one of the techniques listed below.

Before we get to techniques, here are a few other options you have in preparing ribs.

*Removing membrane from the backside of ribs: I do this only occasionally, if I’m preparing for a fancier affair, otherwise I leave the membrane intact. It will become soft during cooking process and is easy to remove after cooking or while eating. If you choose to remove the membrane, slide a knife between membrane and meat, preferably at a corner, until you can easily grab a hold of the membrane with your fingers. Drop your knife and use one hand as resistance on ribs and the other to pull the membrane away from the meat.

*Trimming: Some people choose to trim the ribs of exterior fat. I do not, unless there is an excessive layer of fat on the ribs. During the cooking process the fat will become very gelatinous and buttery, which my family likes. This however is a personal preference.

*Scoring ribs: I score the ribs if I am marinating, to tenderize or to get more of the marinade flavor or rub into the meat. Score buffalo ribs by making about ½ inch deep and 1 inch long cuts in the meat or fat.

*Marinating: If you are using a marinade to tenderize and not just flavor the buffalo ribs, my recommendation is pineapple juice, or better yet pureed pineapple. The enzymes in pineapple will assist in breaking down the connective tissue. For ribs you can marinade in pineapple for up to 24 hours, but watch marinating time on other cuts of meat, as pineapple can turn a roast or steak into mushy meat.  If you are interested in marinating you might want to try my recipe for Wild Idea Buffalo Jerk Ribs, located here,

The following techniques, for the listed Wild Idea Buffalo rib cuts, I have found to be very successful.

*For Un-Cut Short Plate and Short Ribs:

 *Braising Technique: Cook ribs in liquid in a heavy roaster, Dutch oven or Crock Pot, covered with lid or heavy foil. Braising achieves tenderness, and keeps meat moist and juicy. If braising is done in oven, set oven temperature to 375° and braise for 3.5 to 4 hours, for fall of the bone tender ribs. Use less time if you want buffalo ribs a little chewy. Lower temperatures can be used, but time will need to be increased, which works well for Crock Pots or lower oven settings of around 190°.  Adjust time and temperature based on poundage of product. Also know your slow cooker, as each preform a little differently. I have braised ribs in a slow cooker for 6 to 8 hours depending on setting and poundage. Product is ready when you can easily pull meat apart with two forks. Continue braising until this is achieved. Additional liquids may be needed. After braising is complete, you can finish on the grill and baste with sauce. Preheat grill to 400°, and place foil over grill grates. Place ribs on top of foil and make slits with I knife in the foil. Baste with your favorite sauce, keep grill lid closed during cooking time and turn every couple of minutes. Grill for about 6 minutes, or until desired charred stickiness is accomplished.

*Foil Wrap Steaming over Indirect Grilling: Place bison ribs on top of 2 sheets of heavy foil. Add a quarter to a half-cup of liquid, and seal edges tightly. Place foil wrapped ribs in 500° preheated grill, close grill lid and cook for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375° – 400°, and move foil wrapped ribs to an indirect heat area of the grill.

Cook ribs for 3.5 to 4 hours, or until ribs are to your desired tenderness. About 4 hours for fall of the bone tender ribs. Remove from grill and drain juices from foil. (Pan juices are great to add to a sauce). Increase grill heat to 450°, open foil and move ribs over direct heat. Baste with your favorite sauce, closing grill lid during cooking time, turning every two minutes until desired charred stickiness is accomplished.

*Buffalo Back Ribs: Braising or Foil Steam is optional, but not necessary. My preference is grilling. Ribs will have a little chew to them, but my guys prefer their Back Ribs this way.  If you choose to braise or foil steam, decrease your time to 1/3 of above suggested.

*Grilling: For a more tender result, marinate first. Preheat grill to 400°, and place foil over grill grates. Place ribs on top of foil and make slits with I knife in the foil. Turn ribs every 3 minutes, keeping grill lid closed during cooking. Do this for about 6 minutes total. After initial cooking you can start basting ribs with your sauce, again keeping grill lid closed during cooking time, and turning every couple of minutes until desired charred stickiness is accomplished.

Here is another more traditional recipe that will produce a successful outcome.

I do hope you find these tips and recipes helpful. If you have a technique or recipe that you have found to be successful, I would love to hear from you.  Cheers! Jill.

Kitchen Hint of the Day!

I did not know this - Fresh eggs' shells are rough and chalky; old eggs are smooth and shiny.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Baked Ham and Swiss Mini Sub w/ Creamy Tomato Soup

Dinner Tonight: Baked Ham and Swiss Mini Sub w/ Creamy Tomato Soup

I had to go back to my Family Doctor Today. My allergies or sinus was driving me crazy, wrote me a prescription. Later had the car washed and the inside swept out. Another hot and humid day out again, not much of an appetite in this weather. For dinner I prepared a Baked Ham and Swiss Mini Sub w/ Creamy Tomato Soup.

I used Kroger Brand Private Selection Off- the Bone Smoked Ham. One of my favorite packaged sliced Hams. It has a really great taste to it and only 70 calories per serving. I also used Sargento Ultra Thin Swiss Cheese which is only 40 calories per slice. Topped it with Kraft Reduced Fat Mayo w/ Olive Oil. To help the bun brown a bit I brushed the top with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. I had already preheated the oven to 400 degrees, I then laid the Sub on a small baking sheet and baked it for about 12 minutes. Took it out and the Sub was a light golden brown and the Cheese was melted. Love these Subs!

Then I also heated up some Amy’s Organic Creamy Tomato Soup. My favorite Tomato Soup by far. I’ve been using this a couple of years now. Creamy with a fantastic flavor and it’s 110 calories and 19 carbs. I also had a Diet Dr. Pepper to drink. For dessert later a Healthy Choice Dark Fudge Swirl Frozen Yogurt.

Amy’s Organic Light in Sodium – Cream of Tomato Soup

Responding to customer requests, our chefs have created a line of Light in Sodium soups with all the flavor and goodness of our regular soups, but containing 50% less sodium. Contains 340 mg of sodium compared to 690 mg in Amy’s regular cream of tomato soup. No GMOs – No bioengineered ingredients. All dairy ingredients are made with pasteurized, rBST hormone free milk. USDA organic. Certified organic by QAI. Ready serve. Gluten free. This Cream of Tomato Soup is made from organic sun-ripened tomatoes slowly simmered to bring out their natural sweetness. Amy’s dad says it’s the best reduced sodium tomato soup he’s ever eaten. We’re sure that you’ll agree.

Contains 340mg of sodium compared to 690mg in Amy’s regular Cream of Tomato soup.

Ingredients : 0g Trans Fat/No Added MSG/No Preservatives Organic tomato puree, filtered water, organic cream, organic evaporated cane juice, organic onions, sea salt, organic black pepper. Contains milk.

Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 1 cup
Servings Per Container: ~ 2
Serving Weight: 1 cup
Product UPC: 0-42272-00581-9
Calories: 110 Calories from Fat: 25
Total Fat: 2.5g
Saturated Fat: 1.5g
Trans Fat: 0g
Cholesterol: 10mg
Sodium: 340mg
Carbohydrates: 19g
Fiber: 3g
Sugars: 13g
Protein: 3g
Organic: 10%
Vitamin A: 20% • Vitamin C: 15%
Calcium: 4% • Iron: 10%

Seafood of the Week - Crab Rangoon

Crab rangoon

Crab rangoon are deep-fried dumpling appetizers served in American Chinese and, more recently, Thai restaurants, stuffed with a combination of cream cheese, lightly flaked crab meat (more commonly, canned crab meat or imitation crab meat), with scallions, and/or garlic. These fillings are then wrapped in Chinese wonton wrappers in a triangular or flower shape, then deep fried in vegetable oil.

Crab rangoon has been on the menu of the "Polynesian-style" restaurant Trader Vic's in San Francisco since at least 1956. Although the appetizer is allegedly derived from an authentic Burmese recipe, the dish was probably invented in the United States. A "Rangoon crab a la Jack" was mentioned as a dish at a Hawaiian-style party in 1952, but without further detail, and so may or may not be the same thing.

Though the history of crab rangoon is unclear, cream cheese, like other cheese, is essentially nonexistent in Southeast Asian and Chinese cuisine, so it is unlikely that the dish is actually of east or southeast Asian origin. In North America, crab rangoon is served often with soy sauce, plum sauce, duck sauce, sweet and sour sauce, or mustard for dipping.

In the Pacific Northwest states of America crab rangoon are also known as crab puffs, although this primarily refers to versions that use puff pastry as a wrapper instead of wonton. They may also be referred to as crab pillows, crab cheese wontons, or cheese wontons.

Crab rangoon

Kitchen Hint of the Day!

A dampened paper towel or terry cloth brushed downward on a cob of corn will remove every strand of corn silk. Then another way is to take a rubber band and put it over your hand, over your fingers or palm,  and brush downward on a cob of corn and this will remove corn silk also.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Domino’s Chicken Fried Chicken Pizzas - Spicy Jalapeño-Pineapple

Dinner Tonight: Domino’s Chicken Fried Chicken Pizzas - Spicy Jalapeño-Pineapple

Our weather is miserable out today, the humidity level is around 70. No fun being outside today. I did go to Jungle Jim's International Market this morning. Stocked up on some Snapple, Boar's Head Meat and Cheese, Antipasto, Peanut Oil, and a couple of new Cheese I thought I would give a try. You could spend the day there and still not see everything, love that Market! Came home and then took Mom to a flooring store, we're going to replace the kitchen linoleum. Got my results back for my Sugar, Cholesterol, and such with everything looking real good. Didn't feel like cooking so the kitchen is closed and I tried something new from Domino's, the Domino’s Chicken Fried Chicken Pizzas - Spicy Jalapeño-Pineapple.

I had seen the commercials for the Domino’s Chicken Fried Chicken Pizzas - Spicy Jalapeño-Pineapple and finally gave in to it! I ordered Mom and Dad a Pizza and for myself the Chicken Specialty. I had seen bad reviews and good reviews of them so I thought I would see for myself. Basically it's fried chicken pieces covered in sauce, cheese, veggies and meat. Pizza with a breaded chicken crust—basically, all the makings of a pizza, except, instead of a traditional crust, the base for these dishes are pieces of fried chicken. They have 4 different kinds; Classic Hot Buffalo, Crispy Bacon & Tomato, Sweet BBQ Bacon, and the one I tried Spicy Jalapeño-Pineapple.

Of course Mom and Dad's Pizza was great, as always, and my Chicken was incredible! The toppings were perfect and the Chicken was cooked perfect! The serving size is 4 pieces but I went with 6 pieces, very hungry! 6 pieces were about 255 calories and about 23 carbs, not too bad at all. If you haven't tried them give them a try, I enjoyed them. For dessert later a weight Watchers Mini Dutch Chocolate and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream Sandwich.

Domino's Specialty Chicken - Spicy Jalapeño-Pineapple

Ingredients: Fried boneless chicken, sweet mango habanero sauce, mozzarella cheese (again, "pizza cheese"), pineapple, jalapeño peppers, cheddar cheese.

Serving size: Four chicken pieces.

Servings per container: Three.

Nutrition facts per serving: 170 calories, 7 fat grams (including 2.5 grams saturated fat), 30 milligrams cholesterol, 610 milligrams sodium, 15 grams carbs, 1 gram dietary fiber, 7 grams sugar, 11 grams protein.

One of America's Favorites - Jerky

Chinese bakkwa jerky

Jerky is lean meat that has been trimmed of fat, cut into strips, and then dried to prevent spoilage. Normally, this drying includes the addition of salt, to prevent bacteria from developing on the meat before sufficient moisture has been removed. The word "jerky" derived from the Quechua word ch'arki which means "dried, salted meat". All that is needed to produce basic "jerky" is a low-temperature drying method, and salt to inhibit bacterial growth.

Modern manufactured jerky is normally marinated in a seasoned spice rub or liquid, and dried, dehydrated or smoked with low heat (usually under 70 °C/160 °F). Some makers still use just salt and sun-dry fresh sliced meat to make jerky.[citation needed] Some product manufacturers finely grind meat, mix in seasonings, and press the meat-paste into flat shapes prior to drying.

The resulting jerky from the above methods would be a salty and/or savory snack. However, often a sweet or semi-sweet recipe is used, with sugar being a major ingredient (in contrast to biltong which is a dried meat product that utilizes the acid in vinegar rather than salt to inhibit bacterial growth when drying the meat). Jerky is ready-to-eat and needs no additional preparation. It can be stored for months without refrigeration. When the protein to moisture content ratio is correct, the resulting meat is cured, or preserved.

There are many products in the marketplace which are sold as jerky which consist of highly processed, chopped and formed meat, rather than traditional sliced, whole-muscle meat. These products may contain more fat, but moisture content, like the whole-muscle product, must meet a 0.75 to 1 moisture to protein ratio in the US. Chemical preservatives can be used to prevent oxidative spoilage, but the moisture to protein ratio prevents microbial spoilage by low water activity. Many jerky products are very high in sugar and are therefore very sweet, unlike biltong, which rarely contains added sugars.

A typical 30 g portion of fresh jerky contains 10–15 g of protein, 1 g of fat, and 0–3 g of carbohydrates. Since traditional jerky recipes use a basic salt cure, sodium can be a concern for some people. A 30 g serving of jerky could contain more than 600 mg of sodium, which would be about 30% of the recommended USRDA.

Raw meat before dehydration into jerky

Any particular preparation or recipe for jerky typically uses only one type of meat. Around the world, meat from domestic and wild animals is used to make jerky. Meats from domestic animals include bovine, pork, goat and mutton or lamb. Wild animals including deer, elk, caribou, kudu, springbok, kangaroo, bison and moose are also used. Recently, other animals such as turkey, ostrich, salmon, alligator, tuna, emu, horse, and camel have also been used.

The meat must be dried quickly, to limit bacterial growth during the critical period where the meat is not yet dry. To do this, the meat is thinly sliced, or pressed thinly, in the case of ground meat. The strips of meat are dried at low temperatures, to avoid cooking it, or overdrying it to the point where it is brittle.

In present-day factories, large jerky ovens are made of insulated panels. Inside these low-temperature drying ovens are many heater elements and fans. The ovens have exhaust ports to remove the moisture-laden air. The combination of fast-moving air and low heat dries the meat to the desired moisture content within a few hours. The raw, marinated jerky strips are placed on racks of nylon-coated metal screens which have been sprayed with a light vegetable oil to allow the meat to be removed easily. The screen trays are placed closely in layers on rolling carts which are then put in the drying oven.

Some additional form of chemical preservative, such as sodium nitrite, is often used in conjunction with the historical salted drying procedure to prepare jerky. Smoking is the most traditional method, as it preserves, flavors, and dries the meat simultaneously. Salting is the most common method used today, as it both provides seasoning to improve the flavor as well as preserve the meat. While some methods involve applying the seasonings with a marinade, this can increase the drying time by adding moisture to the meat.

After the jerky is dried to the proper moisture content to prevent spoilage, it is cooled, then packaged in (often resealable) plastic bags, either nitrogen gas flushed or vacuumed packed. To prevent the oxidation of the fat, the sealed packages often contain small pouches of oxygen absorber. These small packets are filled with iron particles which react with oxygen, removing the oxygen from the sealed jerky package, and from the air that is introduced after the seal is broken (due to partial consumption).

Most of the fat must be trimmed off prior to drying the meat, as fat does not dry, thus creating the potential for spoilage as the fat becomes rancid (modern vacuum packing and chemical preservatives have served to help prevent these risks).

Because of the necessary low fat and moisture content, jerky is high in protein. A 30 g (about 1 oz) portion of lean meat, for example, contains about 7 g of protein. By removing 15 g of water from the meat, the protein ratio is doubled to nearly 15 g of protein per 30 g portion. In some low moisture varieties, a 30 g serving will contain 21 grams of protein, and only one gram of fat. This leads to the high price of such brands of jerky, as it takes 90 g of 99% lean meat to generate that 30 gram serving.

Unpackaged fresh jerky made from sliced, whole muscle meat has been available in specialty stores in Hong Kong at least since the 1970s. The products are purchased by kilograms, and customers choose from 10 to 20 types of meat used to make the product. Some are sold in strands instead of slices. Macau has opened numerous specialty shops also, many of which are franchise extensions of stores from Hong Kong. Compared to the sealed packaged versions, unpackaged jerky has a relatively short shelf life.

This type of jerky has also become very popular in convenience stores in the USA. This product is called "slab" jerky and is usually marketed in plexiglass containers.

Most nations have regulations pertaining to the production of dried meat products. There are strict requirements to ensure safe and wholesome production of jerky products. Factories are required to have inspectors and sanitation plans. In the United States, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is responsible for that oversight. Many European Union countries presently prohibit the importation of meat products, including jerky, without additional and extensive customs documentation, and further inspections.

Jerky floats aboard the International Space Station 

Traditional jerky, made from sliced, whole muscle meat, is readily available in the United States and Canada in varying meats, brands and qualities, both as packaged and unpackaged. These products are available in nearly every convenience store, gas station, supermarket, and variety shop in those countries.

A similar, less expensive product is made with finely ground meat, mixed with flavors, then the mush is processed into thin dried strips. The finished item labeled as jerky, but with the qualifier "ground and formed". This product is widely available in general interest stores, such as supermarkets and convenience stores.

Also popular is shredded dry jerky (meat floss) sold in containers resembling snuff or dip. Jerky made in the traditional style is also a ubiquitous staple of farmers' markets in rural areas all over North America.

In addition to being quite common in the United States and Canada, jerky is also gaining popularity in supermarkets, convenience stores and online retailers. In Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, jerky products are available and becoming more common. They are carried by some major supermarkets, and now also smaller stores. In China, in addition to the more traditional forms of jerky, there is also a similar product which is usually made from pork called pork chip.

A similar product is quite popular in Rome, Italy, and its hinterland: it is called coppiette and was originally made with horse or donkey meat, but it is now generally made with pork. Coppiette are seasoned with red pepper and fennel seeds. Coppiette were usually eaten while drinking wine (mostly white) in Roman osterie. In Tamil Nadu, India the dish is known as uppu kandam which forms part of authentic non vegetarian cuisine.

In Ethiopia jerky is called qwant'a. In addition to salt, it is seasoned with black pepper and either berbere or awaze.

A similar product, biltong, is common in South African cuisine; however, it differs very much in production process and taste.

Jerky (or products closely related to it) is commonly included in military field rations - it is particularly attractive to militaries on account to its light weight, high level of nutrition, long shelf life and edibility without further preparation.

Since 1996, jerky has been selected by astronauts as space food several times for space flight due to its light weight and high level of nutrition.

"Meatless Monday" Recipe - Caramelized Onion & White Bean Flatbread

This one comes from one of my favorite sites and favorite magazines, EatingWell. I've left the link to the recipe and the EatingWell website. It's stocked full of delicious and healthy recipes and tips!

Caramelized Onion & White Bean Flatbread

Here we top pizza with herbed mashed beans, sliced plum tomatoes, sweet caramelized onions and some shredded Gouda for a tasty flatbread that will have you rethinking pizza toppings.

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced lengthwise
1/4 teaspoon salt
20 ounces prepared whole-wheat pizza dough, (see Note), thawed if frozen
2 tablespoons minced fresh oregano, or 2 teaspoons dried
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 15-ounce can white beans, rinsed (see Note)
3 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons white-wine vinegar
2 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 cup finely shredded smoked Gouda, or Cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons pepitas, (see Note), optional

Place oven rack in the lowest position; preheat to 450°F. Coat a large noninsulated baking sheet with cooking spray.
Combine oil, onion and salt in a medium saucepan. Cover and cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until the onion is softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, uncover and cook, stirring occasionally, until very soft and golden, 5 to 8 minutes more.
Meanwhile, roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to the size of the baking sheet. Transfer to the baking sheet. Bake until puffed and lightly crisped on the bottom, 8 to 10 minutes.
Stir oregano and pepper into the onion. Transfer half the onion to a small bowl. Add beans to the remaining onion; cook over medium heat, stirring often, until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the bean mixture to a food processor, add water and vinegar and pulse until a coarse paste forms.
Spread the bean paste over the pizza crust. Top with the reserved onion, tomatoes, cheese and pepitas, if using. Bake on the bottom rack until the crust is crispy and golden and the cheese is melted, 11 to 13 minutes. Slice and serve.

Notes: Look for whole-wheat pizza-dough balls at your supermarket. Check the ingredient list to make sure the dough doesn't contain any hydrogenated oils. Or visit for an easy pizza-dough recipe.
While we love the convenience of canned beans, they tend to be high in sodium. Give them a good rinse before adding to a recipe to rid them of some of their sodium (up to 35 percent) or opt for low-sodium or no-salt-added varieties. (Our recipes are analyzed with rinsed, regular canned beans.) Or, if you have the time, cook your own beans from scratch. You'll find our Bean Cooking Guide at
Hulled pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, are dusky green and have a delicate nutty flavor. They can be found in the natural-food or bulk sections of many supermarkets.
Per serving: 365 calories; 11 g fat (3 g sat, 5 g mono); 10 mg cholesterol; 51 g carbohydrates; 13 g protein; 6 g fiber; 576 mg sodium; 296 mg potassium.

Kitchen Hint of the Day!

Looking for just a little something to elevate that recipe? Instead of the water your recipe calls for, try juices, bouillon, or water you've cooked vegetables in. Instead of milk, try buttermilk, yogurt or sour cream. It can add a whole new flavor and improve nutrition.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Alligator Nuggets w/ Baked Fries and Baked Rustic French Bread

Dinner Tonight: Alligator Nuggets w/ Baked Fries and Baked Rustic French Bread

Had one of my favorite Breakfast items to start the day. I prepared some Turkey Goetta Patties with a Scrambled Egg and a Whole Grain English Muffin. With some fresh brewed Green Tea and the Sunday Paper, I was set! Still sunny, hot, humid out so not much going on. For dinner another favorite treat of mine Alligator. I prepared Alligator Nuggets w/ Baked Fries and Baked Rustic French Bread.


I use Country Boy Gator – Alligator Tail Meat that I purchase on- line from Cajun Grocer. They have a great selection of anything Cajun you could want. I pan fried the Nuggets to Golden Brown, about a total of 8 minutes. Love the Gator Meat, as they say”It tastes like Chicken!”. It really does but it’s a tad sweeter than Chicken Meat. I served it with the absolutely best tasting Remoulade Sauce I have ever tasted, Louisiana Fish Fry Products Remoulade Dressing. Man oh man this stuff is incredible. It has that hint of Horseradish and just a tad of heat. Perfect for any Cajun Seafood or any Fish.

For one side I baked up some Ore Ida Simply Cracked Black Pepper and Sea Salt Country Style Fries, served these with a side of Hunt’s Ketchup for dipping. Then I also baked a loaf of Pillsbury Rustic French Bread. For dessert later a Healthy Choice Dark Fudge Swirl.

Alligator Nuggets – BREADED

Our farm raised alligator nuggets (a.k.a. alligator bites) are breaded or pre battered. Best prepared by deep frying. Enjoy

Country Boy Gator – Alligator Tail Meat 5 lbs
by Riceland Crawfish

Louisiana Fish Fry Remoulade Sauce

Zesty, tart with horseradish and special spices, and guaranteed to liven up any salad or seafood.

Serving Size:2 Tbsp
Serving Amt:10 per container
Total Fat: 15g
Total Cholesterol: 15mg
Total Sodium: 230mg
Total Carbs: 4g
Total Sugars: 3g
Total Protein: <1g p="">

Soybean oil,horseradish(horseradish root, Vinegar, Salt),high fructose corn syrup, Creole Mustard (vinegar, mustard seed, horseradish, sugar, salt, dried onion, dried garlic, spices),distilled vinegar, egg yolk (Egg yolk, salt, natural flavor), Water, tomato paste,spices and colorings, salt,dried garlic,dried onion, caramel color, xanthum gum, calcium disodium ETDA to protect flavor and less than 0.1% sodium benzoate as a preservative.


Use as a dipping sauce for shrimp, chicken etc. Great as a salad dressing.–Marinades/Remoulade-Sauce

Top 50 Grilling Recipes - EatingWell

Some great grilling recipes and tips from the EatingWell website, the link to all is at the bottom of the post.

Our best recipes for grilled salmon, grilled chicken, grilled pizza and more.
Few things are better on a hot summer night than dinner on the grill. Whether you're in the mood for juicy grilled chicken, veggie-packed pizza or easy grilled salmon, you're bound to find some new favorites amongst our top grilling recipes. You'll also find satisfying steaks, healthy grilled tofu recipes and more amazing main dishes. And don't forget the sides! Grilled Artichokes, Pesto-Topped Grilled Summer Squash and Grilled Eggplant & Tomato Stacks are all delicious ways to enjoy the freshest produce of the season.

Thai Grilled Chicken with Sweet & Spicy Dipping Sauce
In this recipe for gai yang, or Thai grilled chicken, the chicken marinade is enriched with a little coconut milk, which keeps the meat moist during grilling. Prepare the sweet-and-spicy dipping sauce the day you want to use it, because it loses freshness quickly. If you prefer to use chicken breasts instead of thighs and drumsticks, use 3 bone-in breast halves and cut each in half crosswise for 6 servings total.....

Grilled Eggplant & Tomato Stacks
You can grill the eggplant rounds up to a day in advance, then assemble the eggplant, tomato and mozzarella “stacks” at the last minute. To make the eggplant and tomato stacks look symmetrical, use eggplant and tomatoes with approximately the same diameter.....

* Click the link below to get all Top 50 Grilling Recipes