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Mary’s Memo #2259

FROM THE COOKBOOK SHELF
     Many of you are Taste of Home fans and they do have good recipes and cookbooks. One of their latest, published in 2011, is the Everyday Slow Cooker & One Dish Recipes cookbook. I love slow cooker recipes and Taste of Home made me an offer I couldn’t ignore. There’s hardly a recipe in the book that I don’t want to try! In addition to slow cooker recipes there are stovetop suppers, oven entrees, snacks and treats and a bonus chapter of breads and salads. What will appeal to you most, none cost an arm and a leg to make or take much time to prepare.
     I’ve picked Herbed Slow Cooker Chicken to share and because we’re still in the season of Lent, Seafood ‘n’ Shells Casserole from the oven entrees chapter.

HERBED SLOW COOKER CHICKEN
1 teaspoon olive oil1 teaspoon paprika1/2 teaspoon garlic powder1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt1/2 teaspoon dried thyme1/2 teaspoon dried basil1/2 teaspoon pepper4 bone-in chicken breast halves1/2 cup chicken brothIn a small bowl, combine the oil, paprika, garlic powder, seasoned salt, thyme, basil and pepper; rub over chicken. Place in 5-quart slow cooker; add broth. Cover and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours or until meat is tender. Recipe makes 4 servings.SEAFOOD ‘n’ SHELLS CASSEROLE
6 cups water1 teaspoon lemon pepper1 bay leaf2 pounds cod fillets, cut into 1-inch pieces1 cup uncooked small pasta shells1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped1 medium green pepper, chopped1 medium onion, chopped1 tablespoon butter3 tablespoons all-purpose flour2-1/2 cups fat-free evaporated milk3/4 teaspoon salt1/2 teaspoon dried thyme1/4 teaspoon pepper1 cup (4-ounces) shredded Mexican cheese blendIn large skillet, bring the water, lemon pepper and bay leaf to a boil. Reduce heat; carefully add cod. Cover and simmer for 5 to 8 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork; drain and set aside. Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in large saucepan, sauté the peppers and onion in butter over medium heat until tender. Stir in flour until blended. Gradually stir in evaporated milk. Bring to a boil; cook for 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in salt, thyme and pepper. Remove from heat; stir in cheese until melted. Drain pasta. Stir fish and pasta into sauce. Transfer to 2-quart baking dish coated with cooking spray. Cover and bake in 350ºF oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until heated through. Recipe makes 6 servings.
Source: Taste of Home Everyday Slow Cooker & One Dish Recipes, Rieman Media Group. For Taste of Home books and products visit  ShopTasteofHome.com.
SCOOP ON TUNA
     In an effort to buy canned tuna and salmon caught in USA waters, I took the time to call the StarKist® toll-free number to verify that the solid white albacore tuna I bought was USA caught. I did this because some StarKist® products are from Ecuador and Thailand. I was assured by the person who answered my question that if the tuna is caught in another country it must be listed on the label. My albacore was caught in Hawaiian
waters. When you have a question about a product, do call the toll-free number that is printed on the label. I do it a lot.

MORE ON BPA-FREE PLASTIC PRODUCTS

     Add new Glad®, Ziploc® and Rubbermaid® containers to the list. Although the companies say you can cook in them, I don’t cook or reheat anything in plastic, BPA-free or not. Glass and CorningWare® are the safest to use. We older cooks have plenty of glass ones on hand but fortunately glass baking dishes are not expensive or if you really want a bargain, pick them up at garage sales, thrift stores or Goodwill®. I’m still thrilled about the 2.5-quart white CorningWare® covered casserole with nary a chip that I bought at Goodwill® for $3.

QUICK-COOKING OR INSTANT BROWN RICE VERSUS REGULAR
     Quick-cooking and instant brown rice are both whole grains, and there is no appreciable difference in their nutrient profiles. Both quick-cooking and the long-cooking versions are good sources of many minerals (magnesium, potassium, copper and zinc) and antioxidants (vitamin E and selenium), as well as
fiber. Incidentally, brown rice is more nutritious and healthier than white rice. Any time you have a choice, pick brown rather than white.
Source: Weill Cornell Medical College Women’s Nutrition Connection, March 2012.

P.S.
     If there were Kraft gingerbread marshmallows at Christmas, strawberry-flavored hearts for Valentines Day, will there be Kraft marshmallow bunnies for Easter? The answer is yes. Look for them at Chief and Rays. Download PDF of Memo #2259

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