Mary’s Memo #2264

     Cinco de Mayo is Spanish for fifth of May. It is not Mexico’s Independence Day (that is a national holiday celebrated on September 16). Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican army’s victory over French forces at the Battle of Pueblo. Although observed in that area, Cinco de Mayo is an opportunity for American Hispanics to celebrate their Mexican heritage, much as Irish Americans celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

     Pumpkin Ravioli with Butter Caramel Whipped Cream, made with Pillsbury® Crescent dough sheets was the winning recipe. The recipe, submitted by Christina Verelli, Devon, PA, won a million dollars plus $10,000 worth of G.E. appliances. Total calories in one serving of the dessert are 380 with 220 from fat. I like desserts with fewer calories but my big problem with today’s Bake Off recipes in general, and it’s probably a generation thing, is that they don’t compare to recipes that were winners in early Bake Off’s when basic ingredients were used, not pre-packaged convenience ones. Years ago it was called the $25,000 Pillsbury® Bake Off and that was big money! I’m still making some of the recipes that won including Mint Surprise Cookies, Dilly Casserole Bread, Open Sesame Pie and Tunnel of Fudge Cake. The cake was so popular that it inspired Nordic Ware® to make a bundt cake pan to make it.

     A tomato of a different color may put more antioxidants on your plate. Oregon State University scientists have developed a purple-skinned tomato, dubbed Indigo Rose, that’s high in anthocyanins, pigments with antioxidant properties typically found in berries. The Indigo Rose is the result of a hybridization program that began in the 1960s with crossbreeding of standard tomatoes from Chile and the Galapagos Islands. The purple tomato, scientists pointed out, is not genetically modified. Despite its striking hue, the Indigo Rose “tastes just like a tomato,” said horticulture professor Jim Myers. They don’t know, however, whether what they’ve learned from test tube studies will prove to be true in the human body. The Indigo Rose is available for home gardens from several seed catalogs.
Source: Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter, April 2012.

     All products are not created equal. With hardly any exceptions, store brands cost less. Whether they are the same or better than name brand ones will vary by consumer and product. For example, store brand pasta tastes the same to me and I’m not fussy about what sugar I buy. When it comes to canned goods, I use more brand names than store brands. Ditto for frozen food. There are also name brand products I prefer to any other brands including Folger’s® coffee, Hellmann’s ® Light Mayonnaise, Daisy® cottage cheese and sour cream products, Sechler® pickles, Jif® peanut butter and McCormick® spices and seasonings to name a few. The best way to judge a product is to actually compare one brand with another.
If you can’t tell a difference by all means use the one
that is cheaper. Keep in mind that your perception of taste and appearance may be different from mine and that’s okay, too. Please note that Essential Everyday, distributed by Supervalu, Inc., is replacing the Flavorite name at Chief and Rays. SAY OLE TO THIS PIE!


1 cup finely crushed pretzels1/3 cup Land O'Lakes® Butter, melted3 tablespoons sugarFilling:1 pound package fresh strawberries, hulled2 cups vanilla ice cream, slightly softened1/3 cup limeade concentrate (from 12-ounce can), slightly thawed2 tablespoons orange juice (replace orange juice with 2 tablespoons tequila for adults-only version)Garnish:1/2 cup whipping cream1 tablespoon powdered sugarFreshly grated lime zestHeat oven to 350ºF. Combine all crust ingredients in medium bowl; mix well. Press onto bottom and up sides of ungreased 9-inch pie plate. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely.Place strawberries in food processor bowl fitted with metal blade or 5-cup blender container. Cover; process on high speed until finely chopped. Add ice cream, limeade and orange juice. Continue processing until well mixed. Spoon ice cream mixture into prepared crust. Smooth top with back of spoon. Freeze until firm (4 hours or overnight).Remove pie from freezer before serving. Meanwhile, place whipping cream and powdered sugar in small bowl; beat at high speed until soft peaks form. Cut pie into wedges; garnish each slice with whipped cream and lime zest mixture. Recipe makes 8 servings, 290 calories each.
Source: Land O'Lakes® recipe.
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