Monthly Archives: June 2010

Mary’s Memo #2168


Women who walked two or more hours per week had a 30 percent lower risk of any type of stroke and a 57 percent lower risk of hemorrhagic stroke than women who didn’t walk, and brisk walking lowered the risk even further, according to research published in the April 6, 2010 issue of Stroke. The data was obtained from the Women’s Health Study, which includes more than 39,000 female participants. During 11.9 years of follow-up, 473 women had ischemic stroke (caused by a blood clot traveling to the brain) and 102 had a hemorrhagic stroke (caused by bleeding in the brain). The American Heart Association recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes, or two-and-one half hours, of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity each week.

Source: Weill Cornell Medical College Food & Fitness Advisor, June 2010.


Exercise can lessen the anxiety that often accompanies chronic illnesses, according to a recent review in the Archives of Internal Medicine. The researchers looked at 40 clinical trials involving 2,900 people with a range of conditions, from heart disease and cancer to multiple sclerosis and chronic pain. On average, people who started exercising regularly had a nearly 30 percent reduction in anxiety symptoms. Workouts lasting more than 30 minutes were more effective than shorter ones.

Source: University of California at Berkeley Wellness Letter, June 2010.


We have something old and something new for your 4th of July cookout. Pennsylvania Dutch Potato Salad was one of the recipes featured on my summer recipe sheet, Yankee Doodle and Dixie Dishes, in 1976. It can be made ahead and reheated


6 slices lean bacon
¼ cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon celery seed
½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/8 teaspoon pepper
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup water
3 cups sliced, cooked potatoes
2 hard cooked eggs, sliced
Parsley for garnish

Cook bacon until crisp; drain on paper towels and crumble. Reserve 2 tablespoons drippings. Cook onion in reserved drippings until transparent. Blend in flour, sugar, celery seed, salt and pepper. Add vinegar and water and cook until thickened. Add bacon, potatoes and eggs. Toss lightly. Garnish with parsley. Recipe makes 4 to 6 servings. My rhubarb is still looking good from the generous amount of rain we’ve had the past few months. Five Ingredient Rhubarb Squares from Betty sounded like something different to make. The only change I made was reducing the sugar from 13/4 cups to 11/2 cups. Talk about testing recipes before I use them on the memo, I just ate a warm serving and it’s delicious.


1 box Betty Crocker SuperMoist yellow cake mix
1½ cup butter (3 sticks)
1½ cups sugar
3 large eggs
4 cups sliced rhubarb

Preheat oven to 350.F (325.F if using a dark or nonstick pan or glass baking dish). Reserve 2 tablespoons of the cake mix. In large bowl (or do in the food processor) cut butter into remaining cake mix until crumbly. In bottom of baking pan, press 21/4 cups of the mixture. Reserve remaining crumbly mixture for topping. Bake 15 minutes. Remove from oven. In large bowl, beat reserved 2 tablespoons cake mix, the sugar and eggs with electric mixer on medium speed until creamy. Stir in rhubarb. Pour over partially baked crust. Sprinkle remaining crumbly mixture over top. Bake 45 to 50 minutes (mine was done in 45 minutes). Cool slightly before serving. Serve warm or cold with whipped cream. Personally I’ll serve plain. Recipe makes 16 servings.

Source: Adapted from Betty recipe. PS: I haven’t said anything about my mini salad garden but it’s doing nicely, thanks to a couple friends from church who helped me plant it. I don’t plant lettuce because of the rabbits.

But this year I filled a large clay pot with Miracle Gro potting soil and planted lettuce seed in it. I also have the pot on wheels that I bought at a local gardening center. For some reason the dumb bunnies haven’t figured out that they could eat it if they stood on their hind legs. I plan to replant when I’ve finished harvesting the first crop. It’s not too late to grow lettuce the way I’m doing and have it ready in a month’s time to use in salads and sandwiches. My crop is just outside the garage door for handy picking, not to mention how nutritious it is! Download PDF of Memo #2168

Mary’s Memo #2167


When I published my cookbook, I revised all the recipes to conform to can and package sizes in 2004. Now I can hardly keep up with the changes. Personally, I would have preferred that manufacturers keep the can sizes and packages the same and raise the price if necessary. If companies keep changing sizes at some point it could make a difference in certain recipes. When in doubt call the company’s 1-800 number.


I have a lot of leeway regarding what I serve weekends at the Bryan Chief but I do ask Jeff Oelfke, produce manager, about what fruit or vegetable he’d like me to feature. It’s usually one that is in the weekly ad or something included in a 2-day event. Recently I served a Radish Dip on Friday and Fresh Pineapple Bread Pudding on Saturday.
Radish fans loved the dip. After making it one woman reported that her husband couldn’t stop eating it once he started..


8-ounce package reduced-fat cream cheese
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 cup finely chopped red radishes
(I chopped in the food processor)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. fresh chopped dill

Mix well. Refrigerate several hours before serving.
Source: Adapted from recipe. I reduced the sugar and butter in this Everyday Food magazine recipe.


6 large eggs
1 small pineapple, cored and diced small
¼ cup flour
¾ cup sugar
¼ tsp. kosher salt
6 cups small bread cubes, crusts removed (I use Pepperidge Farm white bread)
1 stick butter, melted

Lightly butter a 9x13-inch baking dish. Whisk eggs, pineapple, flour and salt together until blended. Pour into baking dish. Scatter bread cubes evenly over top. Drizzle melted butter over bread cubes. Bake in preheated 350°F oven for about 40 to 45 minutes. It will set up more as it cools. Serve warm or at room temperature. To store, cover and refrigerate up to 2 days. Recipe serves 16. Source: Adapted from Everyday Foods recipe, April 2010. I didn’t serve the next recipe at the Chief but I did make Sargento Turkey Burgers for myself. This is a recipe for your George Foreman Grill or Cuisinart Griddler. Sargento 1-800 lady told me burgers should be cooked to 160°F. Chief and Rays carry Sargento low-sodium cheese in the dairy department. The recipe called for 1 pound of ground turkey. I used a 19.2-ounce package of Honeysuckle white ground turkey. Don’t ask me why they package it in this amount but all packages are the same. Like everyone else, I’m reducing my sodium intake but recipe also needs a little salt.


(1) 19.2-ounce package Honeysuckle brand white

Ground turkey

1/3 cup fresh bread crumbs (I do in the food processor)
½ cup chopped onion
1½ Tbsp. canola oil (1 Tbsp.+1½ tsp.)
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh chives (it’s not too late to plant them or buy in produce department)
½ cup (2-ounces) Sargento Shredded Reduced Sodium Mild Cheddar Cheese (Chief and Rays also have Sargento reduced fat mild Cheddar)
¼ tsp. black pepper
¼ tsp. kosher salt (my idea)
4 slices Sargento Sliced Reduced Sodium Provolone


4 whole wheat hamburger buns
Onion slices (optional)

Combine all ingredients except sliced cheese, whole wheat buns and onion slices. Form into 4 patties. Place on medium high George Foreman Grill or Griddler on medium-high heat for 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Top with sliced cheese. Heat until cheese begins to melt. Serve on buns with a slice of onion. Recipe makes 4 servings.

Source: Adapted from Sargento recipe.
Download PDF of Memo #2167

Mary’s Memo #2166


For centuries June has been the most popular wedding month but July and August are actually overtaking June. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, July has been the top month for the past three years. June’s popularity for weddings is probably related to June being named for Juno, the goddess of marriage.

So what is this trivia leading up to? So I can make suggestions for shower and kitchen gifts for the bride, of course. I can tell if a bride (or groom) knows something about cooking by the items they sign up for at stores with a bridal registry. There are basics that all couples will need such as a microwave, a toaster, a portable mixer (serious cooks will want a Kitchen Aid standard mixer), blender and/ or food processor. Don’t make the mistake of buying sets of pots and pans. Instead, buy pans that you know you’ll use. In the beginning a Dutch oven is a must because it’s good for a small roast, making soup, cooking pasta or sweet corn. 1 and 2-quart saucepans, non-stick 8 and 10-inch skillets with lids and a 4-quart capacity slow cooker are also essential.

As for gadgets, everyone needs an Oxo brand salad spinner because even though bags of greens say they’re ready to use, I wash spinach and greens one more time. There is a small and a large but I recommend the smaller one for the bridal couple. Other practical items are tongs, spatulas, wire whisks, graduated measuring cups and measuring spoons, rolling pin, cutting board and instantread thermometer. As for baking equipment, a 9x13-inch baking pan, a bundt pan, pie plates, cookie sheets, muffin pan and cooling rack are essential no matter what your level of cooking. When it comes to knives buy the best you can afford. Essential ones include paring, French, serrated and chef plus a meat fork. I could not get along without a good kitchen shears. I started out with a Wiss and the one I’m using now is Cutco brand. Although not good enough for kitchen tasks anymore, I still use the Wiss for garden work so quality pays.

Finally the newlyweds will need a good all-purpose cookbook and my pick is either Better Homes and Gardens or Betty Crocker. Joy of Cooking is good but doesn’t lay flat like loose-leaf bound ones do.


Gwen McKee and Barbara Moseley, editors of the Best of the Best series of cookbooks from all 50 states published a completely new Best of the Best Ohio Cookbook in 2007 and I have a copy of the 2009 second printing of the book. Cookbooks McKee and Moseley have anything to do with are guaranteed to have many appealing recipes. I bought my copy at one of the new plazas on the Ohio Turnpike but I’m sure you can also order it via When sliced mushrooms were (3) 8-ounce packages for $5.00 at Chief and Rays I made Mushroom Casserole from A Taste of Faith, a cookbook published by the Mansfield Faith United Methodist Church Women. You can also order the cookbook from them by calling (419) 526-0240. This dish got a thumbs-up from tasters at the Bryan Chief.


1½ pounds of sliced mushrooms
4 tablespoons butter (½ stick)
½ cup diced celery
½ cup diced green bell pepper
½ cup diced onion
½ cup mayonnaise (I used Hellmann’s Light)
6 slices Pepperidge Farm white bread, cubed
1 can Healthy Request Cream of Mushroom Soup
3 large eggs
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ cup fine bread crumbs for topping (I made in food processor)
1 cup reduced-fat shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

In a 12-inch skillet sauté mushrooms in butter; add diced celery, bell pepper and onion and sauté. Drain well. Mix mayonnaise, bread cubes and soup. Mix with vegetables and pour into buttered 2½-quart baking dish. Combine eggs, salt and pepper; pour over top of mixture in casserole dish. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Before baking, top with breadcrumbs. Bake at 350°F for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean (mine didn’t take an hour to bake). The last l0 minutes, top with cheese. Recipe makes 6 to 8 servings.

Source: Adapted from recipe in A Taste of Faith published by Mansfield Faith United Methodist Church Women via new edition Best of the Best Cookbook, published in 2007 by Gwen McKee and Barbara Moseley. Download PDF of Memo #2166

Mary’s Memo #2165


I am getting into slider burgers, the small ones. Although I haven’t weakened, there is slider equipment to make them. And I see that Pepperidge Farm now makes Sliders, Mini Sandwich Buns.

Lay’s also offer Lightly Salted, potato chips with 50% less salt. I don’t want the government dictating to manufacturers how much salt to use in their products so I applaud companies that are reducing salt voluntarily. I love potato chips and find the lightly salted ones very acceptable in flavor. In fact, I bought a second bag.

I don’t buy flavored crackers because most contain MSG but when I see a MSG-free one I’m likely to try it including Nabisco’s Ritz Roasted Vegetable Made with Real Vegetables. Fresh roasted vegetables are popular and Nabisco hopes you’ll like the flavor of their new cracker. Does it taste like roasted vegetables that I do in the oven or on the outdoor grill? Of course not but that said they’re flavorful enough for me to buy again.


The US is the world’s second-largest consumer of canned tuna, behind only the European Union, using 31% of the
global supply, about 1 billion pounds a year.

Canned tuna is the second most popular seafood product after shrimp in the US.

More than half of all canned tuna is used for sandwiches.

In supermarkets, only coffee and sugar exceed canned tuna in sales per foot or shelf space.

Endangered bluefin tuna is not used in commercial canned or pouched products.

Americans eat the most tuna in summer, the least in fall.

Source: Tufts Health & Nutrition, May 2010.


I used to buy albacore canned tuna because I thought it was better. It may still be the lightest in color and have the best flavor but it also contains more mercury than less expensive chunk tuna that I prefer now.


The good news about statin drugs is that they may decrease the risk of cataracts. In a large Israeli study recently in the Annals of Epidemiology, people age 45 to 75 who were taking statins to improve their cholesterol levels had a nearly 40% lower risk of cataracts compared to non-users; the risk was not reduced in people over 75.

The bad news is that statins may slightly increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. A recent analysis in the Lancet, which pooled data from 13 large clinical trials, found that statin users had a 9% higher risk of developing diabetes over a four year period, and the risk increased with age. An accompanying editorial pointed out that the cardiovascular benefits of statins far outweigh this small increased risk, but recommended that doctors monitor blood sugar in older statin users.

Source: Univ. of California at Berkeley Wellness Letter, May 2010.


Thirty minutes of exercise most days of the week can help you lose weight, sleep better, ease hip and joint pain, boost mood, strengthen bones, prevent falls, ward off cancer, improve cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure.

Source: Consumer Reports on Health, May 2010.


Granted, soup may taste better when the snow flies but I’m a year-round soup eater. I weakened recently and bought a magazine-style cookbook at Chief, Fix-It and Forget-It, by Phyllis Pellman Good, featuring 5 ingredient slow cooker recipes. I am old enough to remember purchasing hardback cookbooks for less than this magazine cost but I judge a cookbook by how many recipes get my attention. And this one has many including Chicken Taco Soup! I have dealt with the public long enough to know that the fewer the ingredients the better and this one calls for rotisserie chicken, my number one convenience food! It’s made in a 4-quart slow cooker, the one you are more likely to own. Although I’m not crazy about cilantro, it’s a must in this recipe. To give it more kick, I used medium salsa. Trust me, this is a winner and so easy to make!


3 cups cut up rotisserie chicken
(2) 14-ounce cans chicken broth without MSG
(2) 14.5-ounce cans stewed tomatoes
1 cup medium salsa
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Toppings (optional):
Reduced-fat sharp Cheddar cheese
Reduced-fat sour cream
Lime wedges

Combine chicken, chicken broth, stewed tomatoes and salsa in slow cooker. Cover and cook on low 8 to 10 hours. Stir in cilantro. Serve with toppings if you like. Recipe makes 6 servings.

Source: Fix-It and Forget-It 5-Ingredient Slow Cooker Recipes
by Phyllis Pellman Good. Download PDF of Memo #2165