Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Seasoned Haddock w/ Mac & Cheese and Baked Potato

Dinner Tonight: Seasoned Haddock w/ Mac & Cheese and Baked Potato






Had an early Breakfast and went to the hospital to see my Dad. Looking a lot better and stronger, he should be released sometime this week. Came back home and caught up on laundry and did some house cleaning. Another beautiful day out but wasn't outside to enjoy a lot of it. For dinner tonight I prepared, Seasoned Haddock w/ Mac & Cheese and Baked Potato.






I had the fillet of Haddock in the freezer so I let it thaw overnight in the fridge. To prepare it I rinsed the fillet in cold water and patted dry with a paper towel. Then sliced the fillet into smaller pieces. I then seasoned it with just a bit of Sea Salt and put the pieces in a Hefty Zip Plastic Bag where I then added Zatarain’s Lemon Pepper Breading Mix. Shook until all the pieces were well coated. Shook off the excess and pan fried them in Canola Oil, frying them about 3 minutes per side until golden brown. Haddock and Zatarain’s Lemon Pepper Mix, the perfect combo. It’s a meaty delicious and mild tasting fish. I think I could eat Seafood everyday!







For one side I tried a new Stouffer Frozen Food item, Stouffer's Classic Mac & Cheese Mac Cups. Frozen individual Mac Cups, just microwave and serve. Finally a great tasting Mac and Cheese in a single serving cup! Tastes great, excellent Cheesy Mac. Then I also had a small Baked Potato that I seasoned with McCormick Grinder Sea Salt and Black Peppercorn. Quite a dinner, have I said how much I love Seafood! For dessert later a Healthy Choice Vanilla Bean Frozen Greek Yogurt.







Zatarain’s Lemon Pepper Fish-Fri

The secret of authentic Southern Style fried fish is the crispy combination of corn flour, spices and lemon juice captured in this special Zatarain’s Frying Mix.


Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 2 Tbsp.

Servings Per Container: Servings per container – 40
Amount Per Serving % Daily Value
Calories: 50
Calories from Fat: 0
Total Fat: 0g 0%
Saturated Fat: 0g 0%
Cholesterol: 0mg 0%
Sodium: 1140mg 48%
Total Carb: 11g 4%
Dietary Fiber: 0g 0%
Sugar: 0g


http://www.zatarains.com/Products/Breadings-and-Fry-Mixes/Lemon-Pepper-Fish-Fri.aspx





Stouffer's Classic Mac & Cheese Mac Cups

Freshly made pasta with 100% real cheddar cheese sauce

Stouffer's Classic Mac & Cheese Mac Cups are just the right size of delicious Stouffer's Mac & Cheese.

Stouffer's Classic Mac & Cheese Mac Cups:
* 100% real cheddar cheese
* No preservatives
* Stouffer's in a cup

It's all about the Chicken - Ground Chicken


Ground chicken is simply chicken that has been ground or finely chopped. Ground chicken can be prepared at home or it can be bought from supermarkets, grocery stores or butcher shops. Ground chicken is minced or cubed chicken meat preferably from the less tender and less popular cuts of the chicken. Ground chicken or minced chicken is made of finely chopped chicken, minced by a meat grinder. One recipe example using Ground Chicken is Buffalo Chicken Chili.



Buffalo Chicken Chili

Ingredients

 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
 2 tablespoons butter
 2 pounds ground chicken breast
 1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped
 1 large onion, chopped
 3 stalks celery, finely chopped
 5 cloves garlic, chopped
 5 tablespoons chili powder
 2 tablespoons ground cumin
 1 tablespoon ground paprika
 sea salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cups Swanson's reduced sodium chicken broth
 1/2 cup hot buffalo wing sauce, Frank's® RED HOT Buffalo Wing Sauce or to taste
 2 (15 ounce) cans tomato sauce
 1 (15 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
 1 (15 ounce) can white kidney or cannelloni beans, drained
 1 (19 ounce) can red kidney beans, drained


Directions
1. Heat olive oil and butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Place chicken in the pot. Cook and stir 7 to 10 minutes, until chicken is no longer pink. Stir in the carrot, onion, celery, garlic, chili powder, cumin, paprika, and salt and pepper, and cook and stir until the onion is translucent and the vegetables are beginning to soften, 3 to 4 more minutes.
2. Stir in the hot sauce, tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, and white and red kidney beans. Bring to a boil, and simmer over medium-low heat about 1 hour, until the vegetables are tender and the flavors have blended.


Optional toppings:

Sargento reduced fat shredded cheddar
chopped scallions
Daisy reduced fat sour cream

Ohio festivals - September 25-28, 2014

A lot of festivals this week!

September 25-28, 2014  51st Annual Barnesville Pumpkin Festival
Barnesville, Ohio
The Barnesville Pumpkin Festival has become a tradition for families and friends who come each year to enjoy one of Ohio's oldest and most popular festivals. Always held during the last full weekend in September, the Festival includes four days of fun-filled contests, entertainment, tastes, sights and sounds.  The festival started in 1963 in the basement of the Catholic Church and has has evolved from a small street fair to a premier event with visitors attending from all over the United States. Both adults and children will enjoy harvest-inspired arts and crafts, home-style foods, entertainment on two stages, a giant weigh-in of champion pumpkins, lots of fun contests and the Giant Pumpkin Festival Parade on Saturday. There is plenty to see and do and, admission is free.


http://www.barnesvillepumpkinfestival.com/


September 26-27, 2014  Annual Ohio Swiss Festival - Sugarcreek, Ohio
Held in Sugarcreek, the Little Switzerland of Ohio, with parades, queen pageant, musical entertainment, rides, 5K Swiss Cheese Chase, cheese auction, cheesemaking contest, Steintossen stone throwing, yodeling Swiss cheese eating and Swiss costume contests. Sample award-winning wine and cheese from our local artisans throughout the festival.


http://www.ohioswissfestival.com/




September 27, 2014  32nd Annual Country Applefest - Lebanon, Ohio
The streets of historic downtown Lebanon will be filled with homemade crafts, great food and entertainment. Enter the apple bake off contest.


http://www.countryapplefest.com/




September 27, 2014  Community Chocolate Festival - Dayton, Ohio
(no website)
The theme for this year's festival is Tropical Chocolate Paradise.  Private and commercial vendors will provide a variety of themed chocolates for festival guests. Live music and entertainment on stage throughout the day plus Children’s Play area, Games and Prizes, and a Chocolate Recipe Contest add more fun to the event.  Live music and entertainment will be available on stage throughout the day.  The festival is sponsored by Faith and Friends Radio.com.  The Chocolate Festival will be held in the Montgomery County fairgrounds coliseum.




September 27-28, 2014  35th Annual Germantown Pretzel Festival
Germantown, Ohio
Fall festival held on the fourth full weekend in September, since 1980, featuring handcrafts, good food, and free entertainment with live music & shows, baked goods & pretzels!


http://pretzelfestival.com/live/




September 27-28, 2014  51st Geneva Grape Jamboree - Geneva, Ohio
Celebrates the harvesting of the local grapes. Taste freshly squeezed grape juice, wine, and various other grape products. All grand-stand entertainment, including the grape stomping contest, is free. Miss Grapette is featured in the two giant parades each afternoon. Rides, crafts, food, and other concessions pack the downtown streets during this grape filled weekend.


http://www.grapejamboree.com/

Kitchen Hint of the Day!

Bacteria love eggs, so if you find a cracked egg in the carton, throw it out; it is probably contaminated. The refrigerator shelf life of eggs is about five weeks from the "sell by" date.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Chicken Breast Strips w/ Cut Green Beans and Mashed Potatoes

Dinner Tonight: Chicken Breast Strips w/ Cut Green Beans and Mashed Potatoes




They say we have another beautiful week of weather ahead, bit warmer during the days but no humidity. It was 55 degrees this morning and sunny. Had a light Breakfast, Healthy Life Whole Grain English Muffin topped with Smucker's Sugarless Blackberry Jam. My Dad is doing better, barring any setbacks he should be home sometime this week. So for my dinner I wanted a hot meal but I wanted one that was easy to prepare. So tonight its Breaded Chicken Breast Strips w/ Cut Green Beans and Mashed Potatoes.






Nothing easier and more delicious than Pilgrim’s Southern Style Breast Strips, it’s always a great go to when you want that easy to prepare meal! It’s the best Frozen Chicken that I’ve found by far. Very easy to prepare; Preheat oven to 350° F. Arrange frozen chicken breast fritters in a single layer on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes until no pink remains or an internal temperature of 165° F as measured by use of a food thermometer placed in the thickest part of the chicken breast fritter. Chicken is served! As I said it’s some of the best frozen Chicken you can find! Excellent seasoned breading and very meaty, and easy to prepare. Served it with a side of JB’s Fat Boy Sticky Stuff BBQ Sauce.




For one side I heated up a can of Del Monte Cut green Beans. Then I also prepared some Then I heated up some Bob Evans Mashed Potatoes, just microwave and done. I also had a slice of Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread that I buttered with I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter. For dessert later a Healthy Choice Dark Fudge Swirl Frozen Greek Yogurt.




Pilgrim’s Southern Style Breast Strips


Pilgrim’s Southern Style Breast Strips evoke memories of growing up in a sleepy southern town. The crickets chirping, the moss hanging from the trees, the air humid and everything moving slow in the heat. And your grandmother’s delicious home cooking brought the entire family around the table on the weekends.



Our Southern Style Breast Strips feature a juicy piece of chicken with a breading just right to deliver that southern flair. Our special blend of spices and seasonings with the whole muscle goodness of white breast meat will please kids and old-timers alike.



Ideal as:

Appetizers
Snacks
Lunch or Dinner Entrées
Crowd Pleasers



Cooking Instructions:

Oven: Preheat oven to 350° F. Arrange frozen chicken breast fritters in a single layer on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes until no pink remains or an internal temperature of 165° F as measured by use of a food thermometer placed in the thickest part of the chicken breast fritter.

Fryer: Heat oil to 350° F. Fry frozen chicken breast fritters for 6 minutes or an internal temperature of 165° F as measured by use of a food thermometer placed in the thickest part of the chicken breast fritter.

Due to variations in equipment, heating times and/or temperature may require adjustment. DO NOT MICROWAVE.





Nutritional Guide
Serving Size: 4 oz. (112g)
Calories per Serving: 190

Servings per Container: About 8
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6 g 9 %
Cholesterol 40 mg 13 %
Sodium 940 mg 39 %
Total Carbs 17 g 6 %
Dietary Fiber 1 g 4 %
Sugars 1 g
Protein 17 g




Ohio Festivals - September 24-27, 2014 Apple Butter Making Week

September 24-27, 2014  Apple Butter Making Week
Sauder Village, Archbold, Ohio


The aroma of apples and spices mixed with wood fires and falling leaves signals a change of season and apple butter making at Sauder Village. Produced in the fall as a way to preserve part of the apple crop, apple butter was historically a community project – bringing families and neighbors together each fall. Guests can watch as we boil the cider down, add the thinly sliced apples and then cook the homemade apple butter in copper kettles over an open fire. There will be cider pressing and other apple-themed activities as well as homemade apple dumplings, pies and other treats to enjoy! Enter a homemade pie in our pie baking contest on Saturday.


http://www.saudervillage.org/Creativity/Events/Apple_Butter_Making_Week.asp

"Meatless Monday" Recipe - Vegetable Bolognese

This week's "Meatless Monday" Recipe is Vegetable Bolognese and it comes from the PBS website (http://www.pbs.org/food/) If you've never checked out the Recipes on the PBS site, check them out!




Vegetable Bolognese

This vegetable bolognese recipe is made with mushrooms, carrots, and red bell pepper in replace of meat for an equally filling meal.


Ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 shallot, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
7 to 8 cremini mushrooms, diced
2 carrots, peeled and grated using a box grater
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/4 teaspoon dried majoram
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 teaspoon salt
Pinch of crushed red pepper
1 (15-ounce) can of diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan-Reggiano, plus more for garnish
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 pound of dried pasta
Italian parsley, for garnish



Directions
To a large pot, heat two tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the shallot. Cook until the shallots turn translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, mushrooms, carrots, red bell pepper and spices: marjoram, oregano, fresh thyme, salt and crushed red pepper.
Next, pour in the can of tomatoes. (If you’re using a can of cherry tomatoes, take the back of your spoon and crush them.) Add 1/2 cup (you can eyeball this measurement) of water to the empty tomato can, swishing it around so you get all of the remnants of tomato juice; pour the tomato water into the pot and stir. Bring the tomato sauce to a slight simmer and then turn the heat down to low. Cover the pot and cook for 20 minutes, stirring frequently. At the 20 minute mark, stir in the tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, Parmesan-Reggiano and a splash or two of water, if it’s cooked down a bit too much. Cover the pot once more and cook for an additional 10 minutes, until the sauce is fragrant and has thickened slightly. (If at any time the sauce becomes too thick, you can simply add a bit more tomato paste and a 1/4 cup of water or veggie stock.) Right before tossing with the pasta, add the butter and mix until melted.
Meanwhile, boil some salted water and cook the pasta per the box’s instructions. (Mine told me 10 minutes exactly.) Toss the pasta with a few tablespoons of sauce and serve with a few spoonfuls of bolognese on top. Garnish with more Parmesan-Reggiano and a sprinkle of Italian parsley.
Yield: 4 servings


http://www.pbs.org/food/fresh-tastes/vegetable-bolognese/?utm_source=foodnewsletter&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_term=main2&utm_content=pbsfood_freshtastes&utm_campaign=pbsfood_freshtastes/

One of America's Favorites - Gooey Butter Cake

A slice of Gooey butter cake, garnished with powdered sugar and raspberries.

Gooey butter cake is a type of cake traditionally made in the American Midwest city of St. Louis. Gooey butter cake is a flat and dense cake made with wheat cake flour, butter, sugar, and eggs, typically near an inch tall, and dusted with powdered sugar. While sweet and rich, it is somewhat firm, and is able to be cut into pieces similarly to a brownie. Gooey butter cake is generally served as a type of coffee cake and not as a formal dessert cake. There are two distinct variants of the gooey butter: a bakers' gooey butter and a cream cheese and commercial yellow cake mix variant. It is believed to have originated in the 1930s.

The St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission includes a recipe for the cake on its website, calling it "one of St. Louis' popular, quirky foods"; the recipe calls for a bottom layer of butter and yellow cake batter, and a top layer made from eggs, cream cheese, and, in one case, almond extract. The cake is dusted with confectioner's sugar before being served. The cake is best eaten soon after baking it. It should be served at room temperature or warm.

The cream cheese variant of the gooey butter cake recipe, while close enough to the original, is an approximation designed for easier preparation at home. Almost all bakeries in the greater St. Louis area, including those at local grocery chains Schnucks and Dierbergs, use a slightly different recipe based on corn syrup, sugar and powdered eggs—no cake mix or cream cheese is involved.








A legend about the cake's origin is included in Saint Louis Days...Saint Louis Nights (ISBN 0-9638298-1-5), a cookbook published in the mid-1990s by the Junior League of St. Louis. The cake was supposedly first made by accident in the 1930s by a St. Louis-area German American baker who was trying to make regular cake batter but reversed the proportions of butter[3] and flour.

John Hoffman was the owner of the bakery where the mistake was made. The real story is there are two types of butter "smears" used in a bakery: a gooey butter and a deep butter. The deep butter was used for deep butter coffee cakes. The gooey butter was used as an adhesive for things like Danish rolls and stollens. The gooey butter was smeared across the surface, then the item was placed in coconut, hazelnuts, peanuts, crumbs or whatever was desired so they would stick to the product.

Hoffman hired a new baker that was supposed to make deep butter cakes, but got the two butter smears mixed up. The mistake wasn't caught until after the cakes came out of the proof box. Rather than throw them away, Hoffman went ahead and baked them up. As this was around the Great Depression that was another reason to be thrifty. The new type of cake sold so well, Hoffman kept producing them and soon, so did the other bakers around St. Louis.

Another St. Louis baker, Fred Heimburger, also remembers the cake coming on the scene in the 1930s, as a slip up that became a popular hit and local acquired taste. He liked it well enough that Mr. Heimburger tried to promote Gooey butter cake by taking samples of it with him when he traveled out of St. Louis to visit other bakers in their shops. They liked it all right, but they couldn't get their customers to buy it, with reactions tending to regard it as looking too much like a mistake, and "a flat gooey mess". And so it remained as a regional favorite for many decades.








Many St. Louis area grocery stores sell fresh or boxed gooey butter cakes. Haas baking sells a widely distributed, square and packaged version in a box that depicts a colorful, if anachronistic scene of aviator Charles Lindbergh's plane the Spirit of St. Louis flying past downtown St. Louis, the Gateway Arch and the modern cityscape in clouds. Independent or family bakeries make gooey butter cakes, from a time when there were still many neighborhood corner German and Austrian American bakeries in St. Louis, in neighborhoods like Dutchtown, Bevo Mill, and the Tower Grove area, and others. There are now several businesses that specialize in different flavors of gooey butter cake and sell them in coffee shops, or to walk in customers, or by order or shipment.

Panera Bread Company (original name: St. Louis Bread Company) makes a Danish with a gooey butter filling for the St. Louis market. More recently, Walgreens sells wrapped, individual slices of a version of St. Louis gooey butter cake as a snack alongside muffins, brownies, and cookies.

Gooey butter cake is now widely available outside of the St. Louis area, as Walmart has been marketing a version that it calls Paula Deen Baked Goods Original Gooey Butter Cake. However, Walmart calls it "Paula's signature dessert" and makes no mention of its St. Louis origin.

Modern versions of this confection, originally sold as a breakfast pastry or "coffee cake", have shown up on upscale restaurant menus across the Midwest and even the West coast. The first such interpretation is believed to have happened in 1991 at a small fine dining restaurant located in Springfield, Missouri. The restaurant, called Clary's after the surname of the two brothers who originally opened it, offered their customers a blueberry version of the gooey butter cake with vanilla bean ice cream and blueberry sauce. The dessert was originally called Gary's Favorite after Gary Tombridge, a friend of co-owner James Clary, served the chef a raspberry flavored gooey butter cake after dinner at Tombridge's home. The chef remarked what a wonderful pastry it was and wondered why no one had ever served it as a dessert. The dessert, along with Clary's signature souffles, became a staple at the eatery. Clary left the restaurant business in 2008 but says he still serves the gooey butter cake to friends and catering clients. The sweet dessert can now be found on many restaurant menus including the popular Kansas City chain Ya Ya's, Murray's in Columbia, Missouri, and even as far as Seattle, where The Five Spot serves a pumpkin version of the classic pastry.





Kitchen Hint of the Day!

When adding raw eggs or yolks to a hot mixture, be sure to mix part of the hot mixture into the eggs, and then gradually add this new mixture into the hot mixture. Called"tempering", it may be extra work, but it makes the eggs less likely to curdle and separate.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Today’s Menu: Spaghetti and Meatballs





Well my Dad is back in the hospital. It looks as though he'll be there a couple of days. He was having a hard time breathing again, they said that he had fluid built up around his heart and lungs. They have him on a couple of prescription drugs to clear it up before it goes to pneumonia. Hopefully he'll be home soon. Mom ate with Dad at the hospital so it was solo cooking for dinner. Tonight one of my favorites, Spaghetti and Meatballs.








I used Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Whole Wheat Spaghetti, my favorite Pasta. Cooks up great and an excellent tasting Pasta. Then for my Meatballs I used Honeysuckle White Turkey Meatballs. The Honeysuckle White Turkey Meatballs are good size, meaty, and have a fantastic taste and their 190 calories and 5 net carbs for 3 Meatballs. I almost always use Jennie -O when using Turkey but no store in this area sells Jennie – O Turkey Meatballs. On a Jennie – O Turkey note, Kroger has started selling Jennie – O Turkey Bacon now. For my Pasta Sauce I used LaRosa’s Original Sauce. A local favorite and still one of the best Sauces I’ve had. The night before I had prepared Meatballs in the Larosa Sauce to make a Meatball Sub, so I made extra so I just reheated that for my Meatballs and Sauce. For dessert/snack later a I bought a new Item, Hormel Snackers Chili and Cheese Dip. Just microwave for 1 minute and it's ready. So I'll try that and have some Tostito's Multi-Grain Scoops with it.







Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Spaghetti

Here’s something to absorb: One serving of RONZONI HEALTHY HARVEST pasta has over 20% of your daily recommended fiber intake – but did you know that fiber is good for you in more ways than just digestion?

People with diets high in fiber have a lower risk for weight gain, obesity, development of insulin resistance and diabetes. Fiber also prevents constipation, hemorrhoids and diverticulitis, but it also helps reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases like colon and breast cancer. Fiber may help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and total cholesterol, therefore reducing the risk of heart disease. It can also help lower blood sugar to better manage diabetes.

Dietary fiber is the edible part of plants, primarily carbohydrates that are resistant to digestion and absorption in the small intestine. Fiber may be digested by fermentation in the large intestine. By eating high fiber foods you feel fuller, eat less, with fewer absorbed calories.



Fiber comes in two basic forms – soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber is found in fruits, vegetables, seeds, brown rice, oats and barley. It prevents or reduces the absorption of certain substances into the bloodstream. Insoluble fiber is found mainly in whole grains and on the outside of seeds, fruits, legumes, and other foods. It is like a sponge that swells within the intestine to promote more efficient elimination and alleviate some digestive disorders.



Fiber is found only in plant foods and passes through the digestive tract without being completely broken down. Being indigestible, fiber provides no nutrients to the body, which is why for many years it was removed from processed foods like white bread. But, nutritionists have since discovered that fiber performs valuable functions precisely because it is not digested, and it is essential to good health.





Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Whole Grain Spaghetti



Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 2oz (56g) Dry Uncooked
Servings per Container: About 7

Amount Per Serving
Calories 180 Calories from Fat 10
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 2%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 0mg 0%
Total Carbohydrates 41g 14%
Dietary Fiber 6g 23%
Sugars <1g p="">Protein 7g



http://ronzonihealthyharvest.newworldpasta.com/pasta_nutrition.cfm?prodId=003340006502

Skinny Recipes for Italian Food

It's Skinny Recipes for Italian Food from the EatingWell website!



Skinny Recipes for Italian Food

Low-calorie Italian recipes for every appetite.
Take a trip to Italy with our low-calorie, healthy Italian recipes for pasta, chicken and more traditional Italian food. Our healthy pasta recipes, easy pizza recipes, lighter meatball recipes and low-calorie dessert recipes, such as gelato, panna cotta and tiramisù, are traditional Italian recipes with fewer calories and less fat. Our Italian appetizer recipes, Italian dinner recipes and Italian dessert recipes are crowd-pleasing favorites that together create a delicious Italian dinner menu.




Chicken Piccata with Pasta & Mushrooms
Our chicken piccata, served over whole-wheat pasta, has a rich lemon-caper sauce that's made with extra-virgin olive oil and just a touch of butter for flavor. If you like, you can use a mild fish like tilapia or even shrimp instead of chicken breast.....




Spaghetti with Quick Meat Sauce
Instead of opening a jar of sauce, try this easy spaghetti with meat sauce on a weeknight. Serve with steamed broccoli and garlic bread. The recipe makes enough for 8 servings. If you’re serving only four for dinner, cook 8 ounces of spaghetti and freeze the leftover sauce....




* Click the link below to get all the Skinny Recipes for Italian Food


http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes_menus/recipe_slideshows/skinny_recipes_for_italian_food?sssdmh=dm17.758527&utm_source=EWTWNL&esrc=nwewtw090914

Kitchen Hint of the Day!

Seafood is responsible for a lot of food poisoning, but it's perfectly safe and very healthy if treated correctly. If you can't use a fish immediately, remove it from it's original wrapping and rinse in cold water. Wrap it loosely in plastic wrap, store in the coldest part of the refrigerator, and use within two days.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Fried Catfish w/ Herbed Red Potatoes, Green Beans, and Baked Harvest Grain Bread

Today's Menu: Fried Catfish w/ Herbed Red Potatoes, Green Beans, and Baked Harvest Grain Bread







Went out and got the morning papers this morning and it was a bit warmer than its been in the mornings. We got rain coming in sometime late Sunday, first time in a while. Got the Sandwich Maker out and made a Breakfast Sandwich to start the day along with a cup of hot Bigelow Decaf Green Tea. Caught up on housework and a couple of loads of laundry for Mom. Watched College Football for the rest of the afternoon. For dinner tonight it's Fried Catfish w/ Herbed Red Potatoes, Green Beans, and Baked Harvest Grain Bread.








They had Catfish Fillets on sale at Kroger and it been quite sometime since I had Catfish so I picked up a Fillet. I started by rinsing it in cold water and patting dry with a paper towel. Cut the Fillet down the middle to make two smaller Fillets. Seasoned them with Sea Salt and Ground Black Pepper. I then took a couple of tablespoons of Zatarain’s Crispy Southern Fish Fri Mix and rolled the Fillets in it, making sure all sides were covered with the mix. Using a medium size skillet I pan fried the Fillets, in Extra Virgin Olive Oil, about 3 minutes per side. The Fillets came out a beautiful golden brown and just flat out delicious. The Zatarain's Mix just takes any Fish up a couple of notches on the flavor scale!








For one side I had some small Gourmet Potatoes left in a bag so I prepared some Herbed Red Potatoes. Washed the Potatoes off and dried, then cut them in half. Seasoned them with Sea salt, Pepper, Ground Smoked Cumin, Parsley , Dried Rosemary, and Dried Thyme. Then using a Cast Iron Skillet, my favorite cookware, I cooked them in Extra Virgin Olive Oil over Medium heat for about 5 minutes and finished them off in the oven for about 10 minutes. I had preheated the oven on 400 degrees and as I my Potatoes were finishing I also baked the Kroger Bakery Harvest Grain Loaf Bread. Then I also heated up a can of Del Monte Cut Green Beans. A delicious Southern Style Dinner tonight. For dessert later I'll be making a Hot-Fudge Sundae! I used Breyer's Carb Smart Vanilla Bean Ice Cream and topped it with Smucker's Sugar Free Hot Fudge Topping and some Chopped Walnuts.









Zatarain’s Crispy Southern Fish Fri

The secret of authentic Southern style fried fish is the crispy combination of cornmeal, corn flour, spices and lemon juice captured in this special Zatarain’s Frying Mix.

Amount Per Serving % Daily Value
Calories: 60

Calories from Fat: 0

Total Fat: 0g 0%

Saturated Fat: 0g 0%

Cholesterol: 0mg 0%

Sodium: 630mg 26%

Total Carb: 12g 4%

Dietary Fiber: 0 0%

Sugar: 0g

Protein: 1g

Vitamin A: 2%



http://www.zatarains.com/Products/Breadings-and-Fry-Mixes/Crispy-Southern-Fish-Fri.aspx

Low-Carb Slow Cooker Recipes

Low Carb Slow Cooker Recipes, how good is this! It's all from the Diabetic Living On Line website.




Low-Carb Slow Cooker Recipes
Slow cookers are the ultimate convenience, simmering foods to perfection for hours at a slow and steady rate. These low-carb meals (all with 35 grams of carb or less per serving!) allow you to save time and enjoy the foods you love with half the carbs!




Easy Chicken Enchiladas
For a Mexican-inspired make-ahead meal, slow-cook chicken in a spicy salsa mixture, then roll it up in tortillas. This diabetes-friendly meal looks so indulgent you won’t believe two enchiladas have only 24 grams of carb per serving.....




Coffee-Braised Brisket
A coffee, brown sugar, and paprika rub gives this slow cooker brisket a complex sweet-and-spicy flavor. Use a brown sugar substitute to bring this already low-carb meal down to just 5 grams of carb per serving....




* Click the link below to get all the Low-Carb Slow Cooker Recipes



http://www.diabeticlivingonline.com/diabetic-recipes/main-dishes/low-carb-slow-cooker-recipes?sssdmh=dm17.758428&esrc=nwdlo090914

Tips for Food Safety - From Jennie - O Turkey

Some great Food Safety Tips from Jennie - O Turkey to pass along today. These tips are on the Jennie -O website along with all kinds of healthy recipes, products, and tips. http://www.jennieo.com/ 


Tips for Food Safety
Ensure food safety by following these guidelines
We take food safety as seriously as we take great taste. That’s why we’re arming you with the knowledge to properly prepare and cook raw meat to ensure food safety and a delicious meal for your family.


Follow just 4 rules to ensure food safety.

1.  Clean.
* Remember to use warm, soapy water to wash anything the raw meat touches:
* Remember to use warm, soapy water to wash anything the raw meat touches
* Your hands
* Countertops and other surfaces
* Cutting boards
* Plates or serving platters
* Meat thermometer
* Grill utensils

2.  Separate.
* Avoid cross-contamination by separating raw meat from other foods.
* Avoid cross-contamination by separating raw meat from other foods
* Use separate cutting boards
* Use separate knives and utensils
* Separate it in your shopping bags and refrigerator
* Store in sealed containers to keep juices from dripping onto other foods
* Never reuse a raw turkey marinade on cooked turkey

3.  Cook.
* Fully cook meat to destroy bacteria that could cause food-borne illness.
*Fully cook meat to destroy bacteria that could cause food-borne illness
* Cook the product as specified on the package. Always cook to well-done, 165°F as measured by a meat thermometer
* Roast until timer pops up and turkey is fully cooked, 180°F as measured by a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh. ALWAYS confirm doneness with a meat thermometer. Juices should run clear. Let turkey stand 20 minutes before carving.
* Never eat under-cooked poultry
*Never reuse a raw knife or cutting board for cooked food

4.  Chill.
* Storing raw meat at the right temperature helps keep food safe.
* Storing raw meat at the right temperature helps keep food safe
* Set your refrigerator to 40 degrees or lower
* Thaw raw meats in the refrigerator in fully sealed containers
* Keep thawed or fresh meat in the refrigerator for no more than 3 days before cooking
* Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours of cooking
* Eat leftovers within 3-4 days


http://www.jennieo.com/cooking-with-turkey/2-Tips-for-Food-Safety

Kitchen Hint of the Day!

All meat, except organ meats and ground beef, should stand at room temperature for a few minutes before cooking. This allows it to brown more evenly, cook faster, retain more juices, and stick less when frying.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Turkey Meatball Mini Sub

Dinner Tonight: Turkey Meatball Mini Sub s








It's been another Beautiful day in the neighborhood outside again. A tad warmer though, we hit 80 degrees today. Went to Meijer for Mom this morning and back home. Didn't do a lot today, not feeling up to par today. For dinner tonight I prepared a Turkey Meatball Mini Sub.







I used  Honeysuckle White Fresh Italian Style Turkey Meatballs. I usually try to use Jennie - O Turkey Products but as far as I know none of the local stores carry the Meatballs. I've been using the Honeysuckle White Fresh Italian Style Turkey Meatballs for quite a few years now. The Meatballs are good size, always fresh, meaty, and have a fantastic taste and their 190 calories and 5 net carbs for 3 Meatballs. For my Pasta Sauce I used LaRosa’s Original Sauce. A local favorite and still one of the best Sauces I’ve ever had.








For my Hoagie Bun I used Kroger Brand 100% Whole Wheat Hoagie Rolls. For my Cheese I used Boar's Head Lower Sodium Provolone Cheese, first time I tried this and love it! Has a really fantastic Creamy Flavor to it. I loaded the Hoagie Roll up with three Meatballs and Sauce, topped it wth a slice of Provolone Cheese. Baked it at 400 degrees until the Roll was toasted and Cheese melted. These Hoagies are too good! For dessert later a Healthy Choice Dark Fudge Frozen Greek Yogurt.





Honeysuckle White Fresh Italian Style Turkey Meatballs

Product Description
Add traditional Italian taste to your pasta dishes with our Fresh Italian Style Turkey Meatballs. They’re fully cooked and ready to heat and eat.


Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 3 oz (85.0 g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 190 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10.0g 15%
Saturated Fat 3.0g 15%
Cholesterol 65mg 22%
Sodium 600mg 25%
Total Carbohydrates 6.0g 2%
Dietary Fiber 0.5g 2%
Sugars 1.0g
Protein 17.0g


http://www.honeysucklewhite.com/ProductDetail.aspx?product_id=1

Simple 5-Ingredient Diabetic Meals

Simple 5-Ingredient Diabetic Meals, all from the Diabetic Living On Line website. Healthy and easy to prepare meals.



Simple 5-Ingredient Diabetic Meals
There’s no need to resort to calorie-loaded instant dinners when your pantry and fridge are looking sparse. Low in calories and carbs, these diabetic dinner recipes call for just five ingredients or fewer, so you can make delicious and diabetes-friendly meals without much fuss.



Salmon Tacos
For your next taco night, consider trading the traditional ground beef for healthy, omega-3-rich salmon. Serve the five-ingredient dish plain, or use a few more ingredients for our simple sour cream drizzle......



Saucy Thai Pork
If you order takeout to save time, then this is your go-to recipe for a quick and easy meal. Done in 20 minutes, you can enjoy Thai pork with a side of brown rice for just 23 grams of carb per serving. ...



* Click the link below to get all the Simple 5-Ingredient Diabetic Meals


http://www.diabeticlivingonline.com/diabetic-recipes/main-dishes/simple-5-ingredient-diabetic-meals?sssdmh=dm17.757023&esrc=nwdlo090214

Jennie - O Recipe of the Week - Turkey & Corn Salsa Tostada

This week's Jennie - O Recipe of the Week is the Turkey & Corn Salsa Tostada. This one uses JENNIE-O® Bone-in Turkey Pot Roast, which I've tried and love, and is only 310 calories per serving! You can find this and all the other healthy and delicious recipes and tips at the Jennie - O website ( http://www.jennieo.com/ )



Turkey & Corn Salsa Tostada


Ingredients
4 cups corn
⅓ cup red peppers, diced
3 tablespoons diced green onions
2 tablespoons finely chopped jalapeño peppers
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1¾ tablespoons lime juice
1½ teaspoons honey
3 cups JENNIE-O® Bone-in Turkey Pot Roast
¼ teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
dash granulated garlic
6 tostada shells


Directions
In bowl, mix corn, red pepper, onion, jalapeño, cilantro, lemon juice and honey. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Salsa can be made day in advance.

In skillet over medium heat, mix turkey, chili powder, cumin and garlic. Heat 2 minutes.

Add corn mixture to turkey and heat 2 minutes or until hot, stirring occasionally.


Top each tostada shell with turkey salsa mixture.


Nutritional Information
Calories 310 Fat 10g
Protein 20g Cholesterol 65mg
Carbohydrates 35g Sodium 680mg
Fiber 3g Saturated Fat 3g
Sugars 6g


http://www.jennieo.com/recipes/852-Turkey-and-Corn-Salsa-Tostada

Kitchen Hint of the Day!

Here's an interesting tip on Ham, thank you to Celina!


Have you ever purchased a ham that has a greenish, glistening sheen? This effect occasionally occurs when a ham is sliced and the surface is exposed to the effects of oxidation. It isn't a sign of spoilage, but is caused by the nitrate modification of the meat's iron content, which tends to produce a biochemical change in the pigmentation.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Turkey-Apple Sausage Patties w/ Brown Rice and Carrot Slices

Today's Menu: Turkey-Apple Sausage Patties w/ Brown Rice and Carrot Slices







We have really had a streak of just gorgeous Fall Days throughout this area, Cool mornings and sunny afternoons with highs in the 60's and 70's. After an early morning Breakfast I went and got the car washed and then to the store to pick up a few items for myself and my Mom. Came home and had the cart out the rest of the afternoon soaking up this beautiful day! For dinner tonight a new recipe. i prepared Turkey-Apple Sausage Patties w/ Brown Rice and Carrot Slices.








I came across this recipe in yesterday's newspaper and wanted to try it right away, Turkey-Apple Sausage Patties! I love anything Turkey and add an Apple to have to try it. From what the article said the recipe comes from a book by Jessica Fisher by the name of Good Cheap Eats, and if this recipe is an indication of the recipes in the book it's a recipe book you should be checking out, I just ordered a copy off Amazon.








To prepare it I'll need; 1 pound Jennie - O Extra Lean Ground Turkey Breast, 1 small Apple, peeled and grated (about 1/2 cup), 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder, 1 teaspoon dried Parsley, 1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt, 1/4 teaspoon dried Thyme, 1/4 teaspoon freshly Ground Black Pepper, 1/4 teaspoon Hungarian Paprika, 1/4 teaspoon Rubbed Sage, and 1/8 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper. What a line-up of Herbs! Then to make it, In a medium-size bowl, mix all of the ingredients until thoroughly combined. Divide the mixture into 8 equal portions. Form each portion into a round patty. Then in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, cook the patties until cooked through, about 5 minutes on each side. Done! They fry up to a beautiful golden brown. The Jennie - O Turkey combined with the Granny Smith Apple and the array of herbs make a mouth-watering Sausage Patties!








For one side dish I made some Uncle Ben's Whole Grain Brown Ready Rice. Love Uncle Ben's, delicious and easy to make. Just microwave and serve! Then I also heated a small can of Del Monte Sliced Carrots and baked a loaf of Kroger Bakery Harvest Grain Bread. For dessert/snack later tonight some sliced Cracker Barrel 2% Sharp Cheddar and Ritz Whole Grain Crackers.









TURKEY-APPLE SAUSAGE PATTIES

Ingredients:

1 pound ground turkey
1 small apple, peeled and grated (about 1/2 cup)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon rubbed sage
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper


Directions:

1. In a medium-size bowl, mix all of the ingredients until thoroughly combined. Divide the mixture into 8 equal portions. Form each portion into a round patty.

2. In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, cook the patties until cooked through, about 5 minutes on each side.

* Make it ahead: The patties can be formed 1 day ahead, covered and refrigerated until ready to cook. Cooked patties can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Operation Pumpkin to tip scales next weekend

Operation Pumpkin to tip scales next weekend
Weigh-off attracts gourds from far — and wide.Three-day fest expected to draw 40,000 attendees.



 The highly anticipated Operation Pumpkin 2014 will bring festivalgoers together again for a
pumpkin and arts festival on Oct. 3-5 in downtown Hamilton.
The free, three-day event is expected to draw close to 40,000 attendees.
“What we are most excited to see each year, is the amount of people that get to come out and walk the streets of downtown Hamilton, and the exposure that the city gets,” said event founder and chair, Jason Snyder, who co-chairs the event with his wife, Tammy.


Of course, the main attraction for the third-year event will feature pumpkins — sculpting, a giant pumpkin weigh-off and a decorated pumpkin display, to name a few.
“It is a pumpkin festival. Friday’s main attraction will be the pumpkin weigh-off. That is where we have giant pumpkins come in from all over the country, and we do hold a sanctioned weigh-off, which means you have an opportunity of setting or breaking the world record,” Snyder said.
Operation Pumpkin is a sanctioned event by the Southern Ohio Giant Pumpkin Growers Association (www.sogpg.com). With the sanctioned event, there will be giant pumpkin weigh-offs, which will begin on Friday at 5 p.m. Competitors will have pumpkins on display that weigh up to 1,500 pounds, or more, as well as watermelons, tomatoes and long gourds.

To date, the largest pumpkin winner was entered in the 2012 weigh-off by Quinn Werner of Pennsylvania, who weighed-in with a 1,586-pound pumpkin. The first-place giant pumpkin winner will receive a $4,000 cash prize. Cash prizes will be awarded to the Top 20 pumpkins. Giant watermelons, hard stem pumpkins, tomatoes and long gourds will also be judged to receive cash awards.

“Last year, our event had the world record-breaking watermelon. That event will be held on Saturday,” Snyder said.
Throughout the weekend, there will be live entertainment from acts such as One Mississippi and 90 Proof Twang, and others. The YMCA will offer a Zumba class on Saturday morning from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. as well as a host of other child-friendly activities. Scarecrow Stilt Walkers from Cincinnati Circus Company will be a featured attraction this year. There will also be 1,200 decorated pumpkins on display, crafted by fourth-grade students from seven, Hamilton-area schools. Between 30,000 and 35,000 guests attended the festival last year.


http://www.journal-news.com/news/entertainment/operation-pumpkin-to-tip-scales-next-weekend/nhSfy/


http://www.operation-pumpkin.org/

Herb and Spice of the Week - Filé powder

* Now here's one I had never heard of,  Filé powder.


Filé powder

Filé powder, also called gumbo filé, is a spicy herb made from the dried and ground leaves of the sassafras tree (Sassafras albidum), native to eastern North America. Choctaw Indians of the American South (Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana) were the first to use dried, ground sassafras leaves as a seasoning, what is now called filé, or gumbo filé, used in Creole cooking. It is used in the making of some types of gumbo, a Creole and Cajun soup/stew often served over rice; other versions of gumbo use okra or a roux as a thickener instead. Sprinkled sparingly over gumbo as a seasoning and a thickening agent, it adds a distinctive, earthy flavor and texture. Filé can provide thickening when okra is not in season. Filé translates to "string", suggestive of the powder's thickening ability. "Filé gumbo" is famously mentioned in the classic country song by Hank Williams Sr., Jambalaya (On The Bayou), as it is considered a staple of Cajun cuisine.

Kitchen Hint of the Day!

Thank you to Jill M. for passing these tips along!



Add a little lemon and lime to tuna to add zest and flavor to tuna sandwiches. Use cucumbers soaked in vinegar and pepper in sandwich instead of tomatoes. Use mustard instead of mayo to cut the fat and add a tang.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Spaghetti O's w/ Hardwood Smoked Turkey Sausage

Dinner Tonight: Spaghetti O's w/ Hardwood Smoked Turkey Sausage






A perfect Fall Day outside today, sunny and about 70 degrees! Started the morning of with Turkey Goetta, an Egg (Sunny Side Up)  , Whole Grain Toast, and a cup of Bigelow Decaf Green Tea. Did a load of laundry and got the cart out and spent most of the afternoon outside enjoying this weather! When I was riding around the neighborhood I noticed there was quite a few trees that their leaves were turning color, tis the season! For dinner I prepared something I had not had in years, Spaghetti - O's! I prepared Spaghetti O's w/ Hardwood Smoked Turkey Sausage.








While at the store the other day I was going down the rows of products and I spotted Spaghetti O's! I had not had any Spaghetti O's in at least 10 years or more, that I can remember. So I bought a couple of cans and decided to have one of them tonight. I wanted to make a full meal out of them so I kicked them up a bit adding Butterball Hardwood Smoked Turkey Sausage. I opened the can up and added them to a small sauce pan and heated them up on medium heat till they started to boil and reduced the heat to low and put a lid on the pan and let them simmer while I prepared the Smoked Turkey Sausage.








I used Butterball Hardwood Smoked Turkey Sausage. I took one of the Sausages and cut it in to bite size pieces. Using a medium size skillet, I sprayed it with Pam cooking Spray, added a 1/2 tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and heated it on medium. When the skillet was heated up I added the Turkey Sausage pieces. I cooked them about 12 minutes, stirring them frequently. When they were done I added them to the Spaghetti O's in the sauce pan. Stirred till well mixed and served. Even after all these years the Sauce in the Spaghetti O's is still delicious! Nothing fancy or hard to prepare tonight, but still one good meal! For dessert later a Jello Sugarless Dark Chocolate Mousse.









Spaghetti O's

Campbell's SpaghettiOs Original is a healthy and delicious meal you can feel good about feeding to your family. This pasta dish features tender O-shaped pasta rings in a mild tomato and cheese sauce. Each serving provides six essential vitamins and minerals along with three grams of fiber. This low-fat Campbell's pasta also provides one full serving of vegetables. Simply heat and serve for an easy and nutritious meal that tastes great.

Campbell's SpaghettiOs Original
The Little O-Shaped Pasta in a Tasty Tomato Sauce That Kids Love. Also Provides: Vitamin A, Iron, and Four B Vitamins
With 6 Essential Vitamins & Minerals
Full Serving of Veggies & Grains
No MSG


Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 7.25 Oz
Servings Per Container 1
Amount Per Serving
Calories 150Calories from Fat 10
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1 G 2
Saturated Fat 0.5 G
3
Trans Fat 0 G
Monounsaturated Fat 0 G
Cholesterol 5 Mg 2
Sodium 480 Mg 20
Potassium 380 Mg 11
Total Carbohydrate 31 G 10
Dietary Fiber 3 G
12
Sugars 9 G
Protein 5 G

Ohio Festivals September 26-28, 2014

September 26-27, 2014  Annual Ohio Swiss Festival - Sugarcreek, Ohio
Held in Sugarcreek, the Little Switzerland of Ohio, with parades, queen pageant, musical entertainment, rides, 5K Swiss Cheese Chase, cheese auction, cheesemaking contest, Steintossen stone throwing, yodeling Swiss cheese eating and Swiss costume contests. Sample award-winning wine and cheese from our local artisans throughout the festival.


http://www.ohioswissfestival.com/




September 27, 2014  32nd Annual Country Applefest - Lebanon, Ohio
The streets of historic downtown Lebanon will be filled with homemade crafts, great food and entertainment. Enter the apple bake off contest.


http://www.countryapplefest.com/



September 27-28, 2014  35th Annual Germantown Pretzel Festival
Germantown, Ohio
Fall festival held on the fourth full weekend in September, since 1980, featuring handcrafts, good food, and free entertainment with live music & shows, baked goods & pretzels!


http://pretzelfestival.com/live/




September 27-28, 2014  51st Geneva Grape Jamboree - Geneva, Ohio
Celebrates the harvesting of the local grapes. Taste freshly squeezed grape juice, wine, and various other grape products. All grand-stand entertainment, including the grape stomping contest, is free. Miss Grapette is featured in the two giant parades each afternoon. Rides, crafts, food, and other concessions pack the downtown streets during this grape filled weekend.


http://www.grapejamboree.com/

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


This week's Wild Idea Buffalo Recipe of the Week is Seared Buffalo Steaks on Polenta Cake with Spicy Cherry Mole. For this recipe you'll e using the Wild Idea Buffalo 5 oz. Top Sirloin Steaks. You can check out all of Jill O'Brien recipes at the Wild Idea Buffalo web site. http://wildideabuffalo.com/




Seared Buffalo Steaks on Polenta Cake with Spicy Cherry Mole
By: Jill O'Brien



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.

Ingredients:

* 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
8 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.


http://wildideabuffalo.com/2012/seared-buffalo-steaks-on-polenta-cake-with-spicy-cherry-mole/

Kitchen Hint of the Day!

How old is that Baking Soda?...


If you're not sure how old your baking soda is, you can test its activity level. Stir 1/4 teaspoon baking soda into about 2 teaspoons of white vinegar; it should bubble vigorously. If it doesn't, throw it out.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Kitchen Closed Again! Domino's Pizza and Steak Hoagie Tonight

Dinner Tonight: Kitchen Closed Again! Domino's Pizza and Steak Hoagie Tonight








Long morning, beautiful day! Had to be at the hospital for my yearly scans. No food or water from Midnight till after the scans The worst part is having to get to the hospital an hour early to drink this medication you have to drink before the scans, nothing like sitting around a hospital waiting room! I get two series of scans; one without the contrast dye and one with the contrast dye. So now it's just waiting for the results, hope it's all clear of cancer still. Well for dinner tonight, after the long morning I didn't feel like cooking so "I shut that kitchen down!" Tonight it's Domino's Pizza and Steak Hoagie Tonight.









Well I ordered Domino's Pizza tonight! A Large Pizza with Cheese, Sauce, Pepperoni, Italian Sausage, Mushrooms, Black Olives, Green Olives, on a Hand Tossed Pizza. It’s nice not to have to prepare dinner every now and then. Then for Dad he wanted a Steak Hoagie, so I ordered him a Mushroom Delight Steak Hoagie. Both came piping hot and delicious! Sure is nice not to have to cook every night. But I'll be cooking tomorrow! For dessert later a Healthy Choice Vanilla Bean Frozen Greek Yogurt.

Ohio festivals September 24-28, 2014

September 24-27, 2014  Apple Butter Making Week
Sauder Village, Archbold, Ohio
The aroma of apples and spices mixed with wood fires and falling leaves signals a change of season and apple butter making at Sauder Village. Produced in the fall as a way to preserve part of the apple crop, apple butter was historically a community project – bringing families and neighbors together each fall. Guests can watch as we boil the cider down, add the thinly sliced apples and then cook the homemade apple butter in copper kettles over an open fire. There will be cider pressing and other apple-themed activities as well as homemade apple dumplings, pies and other treats to enjoy! Enter a homemade pie in our pie baking contest on Saturday.

http://www.saudervillage.org/Creativity/Events/Apple_Butter_Making_Week.asp






September 25-28, 2014  51st Annual Barnesville Pumpkin Festival
Barnesville, Ohio
The Barnesville Pumpkin Festival has become a tradition for families and friends who come each year to enjoy one of Ohio's oldest and most popular festivals. Always held during the last full weekend in September, the Festival includes four days of fun-filled contests, entertainment, tastes, sights and sounds.  The festival started in 1963 in the basement of the Catholic Church and has has evolved from a small street fair to a premier event with visitors attending from all over the United States. Both adults and children will enjoy harvest-inspired arts and crafts, home-style foods, entertainment on two stages, a giant weigh-in of champion pumpkins, lots of fun contests and the Giant Pumpkin Festival Parade on Saturday. There is plenty to see and do and, admission is free.

http://www.barnesvillepumpkinfestival.com/

It's all about the Chicken - the Egg

Which came first the Chicken or the Egg? Going with the Egg today!


Eggs

White, speckled (red), and brown chicken eggs

Eggs are laid by female animals of many different species, including birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish, and have been eaten by humans for thousands of years. Bird and reptile eggs consist of a protective eggshell, albumen (egg white), and vitellus (egg yolk), contained within various thin membranes. Popular choices for egg consumption are chicken, duck, quail, roe, and caviar, but the egg most often consumed by humans is the chicken egg.

Egg yolks and whole eggs store significant amounts of protein and choline, and are widely used in cookery. Due to their protein content, the United States Department of Agriculture categorizes eggs as Meats within the Food Guide Pyramid. Despite the nutritional value of eggs, there are some potential health issues arising from egg quality, storage, and individual allergies.

Chickens and other egg-laying creatures are widely kept throughout the world, and mass production of chicken eggs is a global industry. In 2009, an estimated 62.1 million metric tons of eggs were produced worldwide from a total laying flock of approximately 6.4 billion hens. There are issues of regional variation in demand and expectation, as well as current debates concerning methods of mass production. The European Union recently banned battery husbandry of chickens.





A fried chicken egg, "sunny side up"

Chicken eggs are widely used in many types of dishes, both sweet and savory, including many baked goods. Some of the most common preparation methods include scrambled, fried, hard-boiled, soft-boiled, omelettes and pickled. They can also be eaten raw, though this is not recommended for people who may be especially susceptible to salmonellosis, such as the elderly, the infirm, or pregnant women. In addition, the protein in raw eggs is only 51% bioavailable, whereas that of a cooked egg is nearer 91% bioavailable, meaning the protein of cooked eggs is nearly twice as absorbable as the protein from raw eggs.

As an ingredient, egg yolks are an important emulsifier in the kitchen, and are also used as a thickener in custards.

The albumen, or egg white, contains protein, but little or no fat, and can be used in cooking separately from the yolk. The proteins in egg white allow it to form foams and aerated dishes. Egg whites may be aerated or whipped to a light, fluffy consistency, and are often used in desserts such as meringues and mousse.

Ground egg shells are sometimes used as a food additive to deliver calcium. Every part of an egg is edible, although the eggshell is generally discarded. Some recipes call for immature or unlaid eggs, which are harvested after the hen is slaughtered or cooked while still inside the chicken.






Eggs contain multiple proteins which gel at different temperatures within the yolk and the white, and the temperature determines the gelling time. Egg yolk begins to gelify, or solidify, when it reaches temperatures between about 63 and 70 °C (145 and 158 °F). Egg white gels at slightly higher temperatures, about 60 to 80 °C (140 to 176 °F)- the white contains ovalbumin that sets at the highest temperature. However, in practice, in many cooking processes the white gels first because it is exposed to higher temperatures for longer.

Salmonella is killed instantly at 71 °C (160 °F), but is also killed from 54.5 °C (130.1 °F) if held there for sufficiently long time periods. To avoid the issue of salmonella, eggs can be pasteurised in-shell at 57 °C (135 °F) for an hour and 15 minutes. Although the white is slightly milkier, the eggs can be used in normal ways. Whipping for meringue takes significantly longer, but the final volume is virtually the same.

If a boiled egg is overcooked, a greenish ring sometimes appears around egg yolk due to the iron and sulfur compounds in the egg. It can also occur with an abundance of iron in the cooking water. The green ring does not affect the egg's taste; overcooking, however, harms the quality of the protein. Chilling the egg for a few minutes in cold water until it is completely cooled may prevent the greenish ring from forming on the surface of the yolk.






The US Department of Agriculture grades eggs by the interior quality of the egg (see Haugh unit) and the appearance and condition of the egg shell. Eggs of any quality grade may differ in weight (size).

U.S. Grade AA
Eggs for sale at a grocery store
Eggs have whites that are thick and firm; yolks that are high, round, and practically free from defects; and clean, unbroken shells.
Grade AA and Grade A eggs are best for frying and poaching, where appearance is important.
U.S. Grade A
Eggs have characteristics of Grade AA eggs except the whites are "reasonably" firm.
This is the quality most often sold in stores.
U.S. Grade B
Eggs have whites that may be thinner and yolks that may be wider and flatter than eggs of higher grades. The shells must be unbroken, but may show slight stains.
This quality is seldom found in retail stores because they are usually used to make liquid, frozen, and dried egg products, as well as other egg-containing products.
In Australia and the European Union, eggs are graded by the hen farming method, free range, battery caged, etc.

Chicken eggs are also graded by size for the purpose of sales.




Kitchen Hint of the Day!

Keep a shaker filled with a ratio of 75% salt and 25% pepper (or whatever ratio you usually use) next to the stove or your food-preparation area. That will make it even easier to season foods.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Seasoned Tilapia Sandwich w/ Baked Cracked Black Pepper and Sea Salt Country Style Fries

Dinner Tonight: Seasoned Tilapia Sandwich w/ Baked Cracked Black Pepper and Sea Salt Country Style Fries





I went out and got the morning paper and it was our coolest morning in quite a while, 41 degrees. It turned out to be a beautiful First Day of Fall, sunny and about 68 degrees. Went to the store and stopped by the bank and back home. Got the cart out and did a little yard work and went down to the neighborhood lake and enjoyed the day. For dinner tonight I prepared a Seasoned Tilapia Sandwich w/ Baked Cracked Black Pepper and Sea Salt Country Style Fries









When I went to Kroger they had Walleye and Tilapia on sale so I grabbed a couple of fillets of each. So for dinner I used one of the Tilapia fillets for dinner tonight. I rinsed the fillet off in cold water and patted dry with a paper towel. I then seasoned them a bit of Sea Salt and then rolled it in Zatarain’s Crispy Southern Fish Fri Breading Mix. Pan fried them in Canola Oil about 3 minutes per side. Served it on a Meijer Bakery Perfection Deli Mini Wheat Sub Bun.








For a side for my Fish Sandwich I baked some Ore Ida Simply Cracked Black Pepper and Sea Salt Country Style Fries. Served these with a side of Hunt's Ketchup. For dessert later a Jello Sugar Free Dark Chocolate Pudding.








Ore Ida Simply Cracked Black Pepper and Sea Salt Country Style Fries



You can take the potatoes out of the country.
But you can’t take the country out of our delicious Cracked Black Pepper and Sea Salt Country Style French Fries. Simple ingredients like potatoes, olive oil and sea salt – simply prepared. That’s Ore-Ida style.
Ore-Ida Simply Cracked Black Pepper and Sea Salt Country Style French Fries:
* French fried potatoes seasoned with cracked black pepper, olive oil and sea salt
* All natural
* Made with Grade A potatoes
* 0 grams trans fat per serving
* Gluten free
* Kosher
SERVING SIZE: 84g
CALS 130
FAT 4 1/2g
SODIUM 290mg
CARBS 22g


http://www.oreida.com/en/Products/S/Simply-Olive-Oil-and-Sea-Salt-Country-Style-Fries#.UhecmRvOk20

"Meatless Monday" Recipe - Classic Gazpacho

Another "Meatless Monday" Recipe from the cooksrecipes website. http://www.cooksrecipes.com/category/mless.html



Classic Gazpacho 1


Recipe Ingredients:

The Base:
2 cups coarsely chopped ripe tomatoes
2/3 large cucumber, peeled and cut into chunks
2/3 large green or red bell pepper, cut into chunks
2 scallions (green onions), green parts only, cut into several pieces
Handful of parsley sprigs
1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

To Finish the Soup:
3 cups salt-free tomato juice, or as needed
1/3 large cucumber, peeled and finely diced
1/3 large green or red bell pepper, finely diced
2 ripe tomatoes, finely diced
1 large carrot, peeled and finely diced
Juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon, to taste
2 teaspoons chili powder, or to taste
Dried hot red pepper flakes or hot sauce to taste (optional)
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Cooking Directions:

Place all the ingredients for the base in a food processor. Puree until fairly smooth. Transfer the puree to a serving container. Stir in enough tomato juice to give the soup a slightly thick consistency.
Stir in the remaining ingredients, using red pepper flakes if you’d like a spicier soup. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.
Makes 6 servings.


http://www.cooksrecipes.com/mless/classic_gazpacho_recipe.html

One of America's Favorites - Blue-Plate Special

A typical blue-plate special board

* I love this one, "I'm a Foodie!"


Blue-plate special or blue plate special is a term used in the United States by restaurants, particularly (but not only) diners and cafes. It refers to a specially low-priced meal, usually changing daily. It typically consists of a "meat and three" (three vegetables), presented on a single plate, often a divided plate rather than on separate dishes. The term was very common from the 1920s through the 1950s. As of 2007, there are still a few restaurants and diners that offer blue-plate specials under that name, sometimes on blue plates, but it is a vanishing tradition. The phrase itself, however, is still a common American colloquial expression.

A web collection of 1930s prose gives this definition: "A Blue Plate Special is a low-priced daily diner special: a main course with all the fixins, a daily combo, a square for two bits."







A typical blue divided plate used for a blue-plate special

The origin and explanation of the phrase are unclear. Kevin Reed says that "during the Depression, a manufacturer started making plates with separate sections for each part of a meal—like a frozen dinner tray—it seems that for whatever reason they were only available in the color blue." Michael Quinion cites a dictionary entry indicating that the blue plates were, more specifically, inexpensive divided plates that were decorated with a "blue willow" or similar blue pattern, such as those popularized by Spode and Wedgwood. One of his correspondents says that the first known use of the term is on an October 22, 1892 Fred Harvey Company restaurant menu, and implies that blue-plate specials were regular features at Harvey Houses.

The term became common starting in the late 1920s. A May 27, 1926 advertisement in The New York Times for "The Famous Old Sea Grill Lobster and Chop House" at 141 West 45th Street promises "A La Carte All Hours", "Moderate Prices", and "Blue Plate Specials". A December 2, 1928 article, lamenting the rise in prices that had made it difficult to "dine on a dime", praises an Ann Street establishment where you can still get "a steak-and-lots-of-onion sandwich for a dime and a "big blue-plate special, with meat course and three vegetables, is purchasable for a quarter, just as it has been for the last ten years." The first book publication of Damon Runyon's story, "Little Miss Marker," was in a 1934 collection entitled Damon Runyon's Blue Plate Special. A Hollywood columnist wrote in 1940, "Every time Spencer Tracy enters the Metro commissary, executives and minor geniuses look up from their blue plate specials to look at the actor and marvel." In the 1953 The Honeymooners episode "Suspense," Ralph, suspecting that Alice plans to murder him with a carving knife, says to Norton, "Did you hear that, pal? She wants to borrow a carving knife. I never thought I'd end up a blue-plate special."

"No substitutions" was a common policy on blue-plate specials. One 1947 Candid Microphone episode features Allen Funt ordering a blue-plate special and trying to talk the waiter into making various changes, such as replacing the vegetable soup with consommé, while the polite but increasingly annoyed waiter tries in vain to explain to Funt that "no substitutions" means what it says. Our Man in Havana (1958) by Graham Greene has the following exchange regarding an "American blue-plate lunch":

"Surely you know what a blue-plate is, man? They shove the whole meal at you under your nose, already dished up on your plate  – roast turkey, cranberry sauce, sausages and carrots and French Fried. I can't bear French fried but there's no pick and choose with a blue-plate."
"No pick and choose?"
"You eat what you're given. That's democracy, man."







Blue-plate special in Mullan, Idaho

Road food experts Jane and Michael Stern titled their 2001 guidebook "Blue Plate Specials and Blue Ribbon Chefs: The Heart And Soul Of America's Great Roadside Restaurants".

In contemporary use, a "blue-plate special" can be any inexpensive full meal, any daily selection, or merely a whimsical phrasing. A travel columnist says that a Portland, Maine eatery offers "budget blue-plate specials along with more refined fare." The Turner South cable channel calls a daily movie selection, scheduled at lunchtime, its "blue-plate special". Mystery writer Abigail Padgett's second novel about amateur sleuth Blue McCarron is titled The Last Blue Plate Special; no meals here, the blue plates are part of the decor at a clinic where patients are dying mysteriously. A reviewer uses the headline "The Red, White and Blue Plate Special" for a review of a book on "Diners, Bowling Alleys, and Trailer Parks". Boston Children's Museum presents a participatory-theatre show, sponsored by health insurer Blue Cross, which teaches good nutrition; the show is called "Blue Plate Special".



A typical blue-plate special board, from the Red Arrow Diner in Manchester, New Hampshire
A typical blue divided plate used for a blue-plate special
Blue-plate special in Mullan, Idaho