Monthly Archives: June 2011

Mary’s Memo #2220

     The 4th of July weekend is coming up and Around the Table, Easy Menus for Cozy Entertaining at Home by Ellen Wright includes recipes for a 4th of July party. Published by Harvard Common Press, the cookbook is divided into cold weather menus. In Around the Table, Wright offers 24 seasonal menus, which are accompanied by gorgeous full-color photographs to make your mouth water! Her menus offer ideas for just about every occasion and table setting ideas to boot.
     For the 4th, author Wright suggests Tomato and Basil Bruschetta served on a white platter atop a red, white and blue print tablecloth accented by a blue vase of white daisies.


1 loaf French bread4 cloves garlic, peeled1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, or as needed2 medium-size ripe tomatoes1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leavesPreheat the oven to 200ºF. Cut bread diagonally into 1-inch thick slices. Place on ungreased cookie sheets and bake, turning once after 10 minutes, until they are hard and golden, about 20 minutes total. Rub each slice with garlic and brush lightly with olive oil and set aside. At this point the toasts can be prepared in the morning. The topping must not be made until a couple hours before serving.
Dice the tomatoes. In small mixing bowl, combine the tomatoes, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and the basil. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the mixture onto each slice of bread, patting the tomatoes down so they will stay in place. Serve at once. Recipe makes 6 to 8 servings.

Source: Around the Table, Easy Menus for Cozy Entertaining at Home by Ellen Wright (Harvard Common Press, $27.95/hardback).


     The Hutzler Herb Saver, available at Chief and Rays, is perfect for keeping asparagus fresh. I have two because in the winter time when I have to buy parsley and I store it in one of the herb savers and year-round the other one is used to store fresh asparagus. I have all the Hutzler food savers except the one to store a grapefruit half because I can’t eat grapefruit. Take it from a gadget guru, Hutzler products are worth buying!


     How long does it take to wash your hands? If you follow theCenter for Disease Control, you’re supposed to lather up and rub all surfaces of your hands together for 20 seconds …. the time it takes
to sing “Happy Birthday” twice. Avoid anti-bacterial soaps because there is concern that such soaps contribute to the growing problem of bacterial resistance, which is causing many essential antibiotics to become ineffective. Regular soap and water are all you need.
Hand washing is generally preferable, but alcohol-basedhand sanitizers are a convenient option. They kill most bacteria and viruses on contact, but not bacterial spores. Look for products with at least 60 percent alcohol (ethanol and/or isopropanol). The source of this information is the June issue of the University of California, Berkeley Wellness Letter.
     Personally, I do not like buffets, salad bars and potlucks. A culprit here is serving spoons that everyone touches. Daughter Mary Ann says I am hard core about sanitation and I plead guilty as charged! I don’t want anyone helping themselves to what I am serving at the Bryan Chief and if I leave my station I hide the food while I’m away. Yes, the customer is always right but when it comes to serving samples at Chief I’m the boss!


     This month’s Southern Living features a tea sandwich with vegetables instead of meat called Benedictine Tea Sandwiches. Who says a sandwich isn’t a sandwich without meat. The recipe called for regular cream cheese and I replaced with the reduced
fat kind. Flavorite brand is fine and cheaper, too. Chief and Rays always have fresh dill in the produce department unless you are lucky like me to grow it in an herb garden. Also, I used half Pepperidge Farm® white and half whole wheat to jack up the food
value instead of all white. Here’s my made-over version.

(2) 8-oz. pkgs. reduced-fat cream cheese, softened1 cup peeled, seeded and finely chopped European cucumber (the kind sealed in plastic)1/2 cup minced green onions1/4 cup chopped fresh dill2 tablespoons mayonnaise (I use Hellmann’s Light)1/2 teaspoon kosher salt1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper48 slices bread (24 white & 24 whole wheat)Stir together first 7 ingredients. Spread mixture on 1 side of 24 bread slices; top with remaining bread slices. It is helpful to store the sandwiches untrimmed or cut. When ready to serve trim crusts from sandwiches; cut each into 4 triangles with a serrated
knife and serve or return to refrigerator until needed. Recipe makes 8 dozen triangles.

     USDA has released new guidelines for cooking pork. Restaurants have been following this standard for nearly 10 years. Pork is safe to eat at an internal temperature of 145 degrees if after cooking it’s covered and given a 3 minute rest time. Both the
USDA and the National Pork Board recommend using a digital cooking thermometer (available at Chief and Rays) to ensure an accurate temperature.
     Ground pork products should continue to be cooked to an internal temperature of 160ºF. Download PDF of Memo #2220

Mary’s Memo #2219

     I’m asked many times about good cookbooks for diabetics and I recommend one from the American Diabetes Association. Now there’s 250 Essential Diabetes Recipes, edited by Sharon Zeiler with the Canadian Diabetes Association. Healthy eating is one of the pleasures of life, and good nutrition is the cornerstone of diabetes management. The recipes included in Zeiler’s book are designed to be easy to prepare, yet provide great taste and good nutrition. They will please the whole family while supplying the nutrients your body needs. Whether or not you have diabetes, you will find this book a great resource for everyday living.
     Every recipe includes exchange lists and helpful menus that make meal planning even easier. It should be noted that American as well as Canadian choices accompany each recipe. Order cookbook at or visit

4 eggs1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley1/2 teaspoon dried oregano1/4 teaspoon garlic salt (optional)Pinch of pepper1 tablespoon water2 teaspoons margarine or butter2 green onions, chopped1/2 cup chopped fresh broccoli, asparagus or green beans1/2 cup chopped celery     In a bowl, whisk together eggs, parsley, oregano, garlic salt (if using), pepper and water. Set aside. In a heavy skillet, melt margarine or butter over medium heat. Sauté green onions, broccoli and celery for 4 to 5 minutes or until tendercrisp. Pour egg mixture over vegetable mixture and cook for 30 seconds. Cover and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until set. Cut frittata in half and slide out of the skillet onto warmed plates.
Source: 250 Essential Diabetes Recipes, edited by Sharon Zeiler, BSc, MBA, RD with the Canadian Diabetes Association; Robert Rose Inc., $24.95 USA.
     Also from Robert Rose Publishing is 650 Best Food Processor Recipes. There are a lot of weddings in June and a food processor is one of the most popular gifts for the newlyweds, especially if one or both like to cook. I use mine daily for some reason or another and would hate to be without it. In their new book, George Geary and Judith Finlayson show busy home cooks how this time-saving appliance can help
eliminate lengthy prep times and insure fabulous results. The book features superb and innovative recipes that have been specifically created to use the food processor. Many ofthe recipes have also been designed so that the bowl does
not need to be cleaned along the way, another time-saver. I picked Tuscan Pork Chops to share.

4-ounces Parmesan cheese, cut into chunks1 tablespoon drained capers2 teaspoons dried oregano1/2 teaspoon garlic powder6 bone-in pork chops, about 1 inch thick2 teaspoons olive oil2 tablespoons unsalted butter.     In work bowl fitted with metal blade, with motor running, add Parmesan cheese through feeding tube and process until grated. Transfer to shallow dish. In same work bowl, process capers, oregano and garlic powder until a paste-like consistency, about 30 seconds. Transfer to dish with cheese and combine. Rub both sides of pork chops with olive oil. Dredge
pork chops in cheese mixture. Discard any excess mixture. In large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add chops, in batches as necessary to prevent crowding, and cook, turning once, until pork is slightly pink inside, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Add remaining butter in between batches as necessary
to prevent sticking. Recipe makes 6 servings.
Source: 650 Best Food Processor Recipes by George & Judith Finlayson; Robert Rose Publishers, 2010, $24.95/softback.


     Eating fewer, regular-sized meals with higher amounts of lean protein can make one feel fuller than eating smaller, more frequent meals, according new research from Purdue University. “We found that when eating high amounts of protein, men who were trying to lose weight felt fuller throughout the day; they also experienced a reduction in late-night desire to eat and had fewer thoughts about food,” said Heather J. Leidy, an assistant professor of nutrition and exercise physiology, at the University of Missouri who was a postdoctoral researcher at Purdue for this study. The study was reported in the March issue of Obesity. Leidy said that men were studied because they tend to eat more meat and are not studied as often as women.
     The research was funded by the National Pork Board and the American Egg Board and additional support was provided by the Purdue Ingestive Behavior Research Center and National Institutes of Health Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute.
Source: Purdue University News Service. Download PDF of Memo #2219

Mary’s Memo #2218

     With more than 400 recipes that teach you how to cook anything and everything on a grill, Fire It Up by Andrew Schloss and David Joachim (Chronicle Books, May 2011, $24.95/softback) is the most comprehensive book on outdoor cooking that I have ever seen! A chapter on grilling methods and equipment will bring novices up to speed and teach old hands a thing or two, while a chapter packed with flavoring tips and dozens of dry rubs, fresh rubs and pastes, brines, marinades, sauces, relishes and glazes will keep your menu varied.
     Andrew Schloss is a well known teacher, writer, food industry consultant and past president of the International Association of Culinary Professionals. He’s the author of 16 cookbooks and countless food articles.
     Co-author David Joachim has authored or collaborated on more than thirty cookbooks. His articles and tips have appeared in numerous publications including Cooking Light, Cook’s Illustrated, Prevention and Men’s Health.

1-1/2 pounds ground turkey2 tablespoons apple butter2 tablespoons ketchup3 tablespoons finely grated onion1 teaspoon poultry seasoning1/4 cup fresh bread crumbsCoarse salt and ground pepper to taste4 hamburger buns, split and toasted     Light grill for direct medium-high heat, about 425ºF. Combine the turkey, apple butter, ketchup, onion, seasoning and breadcrumbs in a small mixing bowl. Form into 4 patties, no more than 3/4-inch thick.

     Brush the grill grate and coat with oil. Put the burgers on the grill and cook 9 minutes, flipping after 5 minutes for medium done (slightly pink, 150ºF on an instant read thermometer). Add a minute per side for medium-well done (160ºF).

     When serving, if the burgers will sit, even for a few minutes, keep them and the buns separate until just before eating.
Source: Fire It Up by Andrew Schloss and David Joachim (Chronicle Books, May 2011, $24.95/softback.

     Also on the cookbook shelf this month is Feeding the Flock by members of the First Church of Christ in Bryan. My review copy came from Anne Bard of the cookbook committee. I am partial to community cookbooks and this one is no exception! To get a copy of Feeding the Flock, send a check or money order in the amount of $12.00 plus $3.99 for postage per book to: First Church of Christ, 129 N. Walnut St., Bryan, OH 43506.
     Anne had already made Evvie Grisier’s Cheesy Bread and gave it “a thumbs up.” It’s perfect for summer cookouts!CHEESY BREAD
1 loaf French bread, baked2 cups shredded American cheese1/2 cup butter1/4 cup onion flakes2 tablespoons butter     Cut bread diagonally into 1-inch slices. Mix together cheese and butter. Soften onion flakes in water. Drain well and stir into cheese mixture. Spread mixture on one side of each slice of bread. Reassemble loaf and wrap in aluminum foil. Refrigerate no longer than 24 hours. Bake in preheated 400ºF oven for 25 minutes until cheese is melted.
Source: Feeding the Flock by First Church of Christ members, Bryan, OH.

     The mango originated in Southeast Asia and today India produces nearly half the world’s mangoes. However, Indians consume most of the crop and we rely on other frost-free and tropical countries for our mangoes. They’re available about all year, as different varieties are in season at different times. Probably what people dislike most about the mango is its long
flat-shaped pit. But the laborious task of removing it has been eliminated with the emergence of a mango cutter, a must kitchen gadget for people who like mangoes. It’s available in well stocked kitchen gadget departments like Williams Sonoma, Sur La Table, Kohl’s, Bed Bath & Beyond and Target.
     Choose mangoes that are heavy for their size with firm, unblemished skin. Most varieties will turn yellow as they ripen, though red mangoes will not become redder after harvest. At home leave at room temperature until flesh is slightly soft to the touch with a sweet aroma. Refrigerate when ripe but no longer than 4 days.

     Make your whole-grain pasta fresh and healthy by thinking beyond your standard jar of pasta sauce. Just toss coo ked pasta with olive oil, garlic, fresh and dried herbs, sliced vegetables and cooked chicken. Add whole-grain pasta to chicken soup or combine it with edamame, peppers and mushrooms in a stir-fry.
Or make a cold pasta salad such as Asian-style salad with buckwheat soba noodles and a sesame-ginger dressing or an old fashioned macaroni salad with whole wheat elbow macaroni.
     Beware of misleading claims. Some products may be labeled “multi-grain,” “whole grain” or “healthy carb,” but that doesn’t mean they are 100-percent whole grain. Pastas are often made with a combination of whole and refined grains.
Source: Weill Cornell Medical College Food & Fitness Advisor,

May 2011. Download PDF of Memo #2218

Mary’s Memo #2217

     Judith Fertig is as versatile as cookbook authors can be. Not only is she one of the “BBQ Queens,” responsible for several practical books on outdoor cooking but she’s also the author of coffee table size Heartland: The Cookbook (Andrews McMeel Publishing, $35.00) and The Artisan Bread Machine (Robert Rose Inc, $24.95) in April 2011!
     Regarding Heartland: The Cookbook, Fertig calls Overland Park, KS, home and is well qualified to write about this part of the country and its food. Recipes are as diverse as Midwesterners themselves, with some dishes ethnically inspired by Amish, Swedish, Czech, Scandinavian and other communities. As varied as Heartland’s recipes are, all of them are made with modern cooking methods. In addition to shorter prep times and streamlined methods, Heartland offers versatile recipes that can be used to make more than one meal.
     As for The Artisan Bread Machine, there are recipes for 1-pound loaves of bread as well as two other sizes. This is good news for me since I have one of the first bread machines that made a pound loaf. Until this cookbook, I thought the machine that makes a pound loaf had been forgotten. The recipes also incorporate the wider range of flours available now. Since we’re more sophisticated about our bread preferences, The Artisan Bread Machine meets those needs. Like my popover pan, Fertig’s book has motivated me to dust off my bread machine as well!


2 cups cake flour (1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour)2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour4 teaspoons baking powder1/2 cup granulated sugar1/2 teaspoon salt1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, chilled1 large egg, beaten1/2 cup milk1/2 cup sour cream3/4 cup dried cherriesHalf and half for brushingCoarse granulated sugar for dustingPreheat the oven to 375ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In the work bowl of a food processor, pulse together the flours, baking powder, sugar and salt. Add the butter pieces, egg, milk and sour cream and pulse again until dough comes together. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and sprinkle cherries on top. Using a dough scraper or a pancake turner, fold the dough over onto the cherries several times. Roll or pat the dough out to a 10-inch circle about 1 inch thick. With a large knife or a pizza wheel, cut dough into 12 wedges. Carefully
transfer each wedge to the prepared baking sheet, placing them 2 inches apart. Brush the tops with half and half and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until lightly browned on top. Serve warm. Note: Scones are best eaten the first day but you can wrap and freeze any leftovers for up to 3 months.
Source: Heartland: The Cookbook by Judith Fertig (Andrews McMeel Publishing, April 2011).

1/4 cup snipped fresh chives1 tablespoon granulated sugar1 teaspoon salt1 cup lukewarm water (between 86º and 95ºF)1 tablespoon vegetable oil2-1/4 cups bread flour3/4 cup lightly packed sharp or extra sharp shreddedCheddar cheese1 teaspoon instant or bread machine yeastAdd chives, sugar, salt, water and oil to the bread pan. Spoon flour on top of liquid. Add Cheese and yeast. Select the basic/White cycle and press start. To make Whole Wheat Cheddar Chive Bread, replace half the bread flour with regular whole wheat flour. Recipe makes one 1-pound loaf.
Source: The Artisan Bread Machine by Judith Fertig (Robert Rose Inc., April 2011).

     I’ve learned a lot about avocados since they became a “go to” food for our health. Avoid black ones because they’re overripe at this stage. Select ones on the greenish side that give just a trifle to the touch. Hold them at home at room temperature until ripe (no more than a day or two will do it). Storing in a closed paper bag with an apple inside will make them ripen even faster. What we want when cut is blemish-free green flesh. Ina Garten of the Food Network says the juice of 1 fresh lemon will keep guacamole from darkening. I’ve put this tip to the test and it works from start to finish!

4 ripe Haas avocadosJuice of 1 lemon8 dashes Tabasco sauce (or to taste)1/2 cup finely diced red onion1 large clove garlic, minced1 teaspoon kosher salt1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper1 medium tomato, seeded and finely choppedHalve and pit the avocados, then scoop the flesh into a bowl. Add lemon juice, Tabasco, onion, garlic, salt and pepper; toss with a wooden spoon. Using a sharp knife, slice through the avocados mixture until chunky. Add tomatoes and toss lightly.
Source: Ina Garten recipe. Download PDF of Memo #2217