Mary’s Memo #2222

     Many muffin cookbooks offer a large number of recipes, yet few actually deliver on a truly diverse and wide array of flavors and options. That said 750 Best Muffin Recipes by Camilla V. Saulsbury is a truly happy exception! Discover nine innovative chapters including Muffin Classics, Good Morning Muffins, Decadent Coffeehouse Muffins, Lunch and Supper Muffins, Farmers’ Market Muffins, Global Muffins, Superfood Muffins, Gluten-Free Muffins and Vegan Muffins. From the Farmers’ Market chapter try Vidalia Onion Muffins.

1 cup all purpose flour1 cup quick-cooking oatmeal1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder1/2 teaspoon salt1/4 cup granulated sugar1 egg3/4 cup milk1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted2 teaspoons fresh rosemary2/3 cup chopped Vidalia onion1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted     Preheat oven to 400ºF. Grease 12-cup muffin pan. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, oats, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, egg, milk, butter and rosemary until well blended. Stir in onion, cheese and pecans. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just blended.
Divide batter equally between prepared muffin cups. Bake for 16 to 20 minutes or until tops are golden and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then transfer to the rack to cool. Recipe makes 12.
Source: 750 Best Muffin Recipes by Camilla V. Saulsbury; Robert Rose Inc., $24.95/soft back.


     Absolutely nothing is wrong with plain water from the faucet but judging by how much soda, so-called health drinks, bottled tea and bottled water that customers buy, a lot of shoppers don’t hold plain water in as high regard as I do. Having said this I do admit to keeping regular (not diet) root beer in my refrigerator to make an occasional float, orange juice by the carton because I’m to drink 8-ounces per day, and regular V-8 juice just because I like it.
     Sports drinks may be a good choice for athletes needing to replace minerals but Baylor University reported that a football player consumed too much potassium via sports drinks and it brought on an irregular heart beat. Sports drinks also contain sodium as well as significant concentration of carbohydrates and calories.
     The majority of people would be better off with our best natural resource: water!MOST FOOLED BY “SEA SALT,” WRONG ABOUT SODIUM SOURCES
     Makers of TV commercials about fries and other products seasoned with “sea salt” know their audience: According to a new American Heart Association survey, 61% of Americans erroneously think that sea salt is a healthier, lower-sodium alternative to regular salt. In fact, sea salt is the same sodium chloride, simply harvested from seawater than mined. The US public is equally confused, the survey found, about the primary source of dietary sodium: 46% blamed the salt shaker, when in fact most dietary sodium comes from salt in processed foods. Fewer than a quarter of the respondents knew that the heart association recommends a maximum of 1,500 mg for sodium per day.
Source: Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter, July 2011.

     McCormick’s Two Potato Salad with Toasted Pecans got “thumbs up” from most tasters at the Bryan Chief. Recipe said to cook sweet potatoes and russet potatoes together but not to overcook. I found it easier to regulate the doneness by cooking the sweet potatoes in lightly salted water first and the russet in
the same water second. I reserved the toasted pecans and added just before serving.

1 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed (2 medium large should do it but take time to weigh on the produce dept. scale)1 lb. russet potatoes, peeled and cubed (I used 3 med. ones)1/2 cup canola oil1/2 teaspoon lime zest2 tablespoons lime juice2 tablespoons cider vinegar1 tablespoon packed brown sugar1 teaspoon ground ginger1/2 teaspoon kosher salt1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg1 cup chopped celery1/2 cup chopped red onion1/2 cup toasted pecans      Bring sweet potatoes to a boil in lightly salted water in large saucepan or Dutch oven until just tender but not overcooked. Remove from water with a slotted spoon and drain in colander. Add russet potato cubes to water on stove and cook until tender (it’s not going to take as much time because water is already heated). Remove with slotted spoon and cool slightly in colander. Meanwhile in a large bowl whisk together oil, zest, juice, vinegar, brown sugar, ground ginger, salt, and nutmeg until well blended. Add potatoes; toss to coat well. Gently stir in celery and onion. Add toasted pecans just before serving. Salad can be served immediately or refrigerated until ready to serve. Recipe makes 8 servings.
Source: Adapted from recipe. Download PDF of Memo #2222

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