Monthly Archives: June 2012

Mary’s Memo #2272

FROM THE COOKBOOK SHELF
     This week we’re focusing on the Bonne Femme Cookbook by Wini Moranville (Harvard Common Press, 2011; $29.95/hardback). According to the 4th Edition of My Food Lover’s Companion bonne femme (pronounced bohn FEHM) describes food prepared in an uncomplicated homey manner. Amanda Hesser, author of The Essential New York Times Cookbook, says “Wini Moranville approaches French cooking with the freshness of an outsider and the wisdom of an insider, writing with such ease and intimacy, you feel you are in France by her side.”
     Leafing through its 432 pages, Cucumbers with Mint caught my eye as an appropriate summer salad. Regarding my choice, Moranville says this favorite presentation for cucumbers, the coolness of the mint combined with the tang of crème frache (or sour cream) and the sharpness of wine vinegar, make for flavors that burst with freshness in your mouth.

CUCUMBERS WITH MINT

2 medium size seedless cucumbers1 teaspoon salt1/3 cup crème fraiche or sour cream2 tablespoons red wine vinegar2 tablespoons snipped fresh mint leavesFreshly ground black pepper to tastePeel and slice the cucumbers as thinly as possible. Place the cucumber slices in a colander and sprinkle with salt, tossing to distribute the salt. Let drain for 30 minutes. Spread the cucumbers on paper towels and press gently with additional paper towels to remove excess moisture.     Meanwhile, in a serving bowl, whisk together the crème fraiche or sour cream, vinegar, mint and pepper. Add the cucumbers, stirring to combine. Let stand 15 minutes before serving. Recipe makes 6 servings.IT PAYS TO USE HOTLINE NUMBERS
     I have encouraged you to take advantage of hotline
numbers when you have questions about specific food
products. Recently I contacted the J.M. Smucker Company regarding why they didn’t make a jelly or jam recipe without high fructose corn syrup (it’s in the making) and for calling them, they sent me 2 coupons worth $5.00 each on any Crisco® product of my choosing.     This week’s Asian Barbecued Meatballs is a Crisco® internet recipe that I changed quite a bit. Meatballs were to be deep fat fried but recipe also said they could be baked but no instructions were given so I guessed and baked them too long. Hotline lady apologized and suggested that I use a baked meatball recipe as my guide since they didn’t have one for oven baking. The recipe appealed to me in the first place because meatballs are made with ground turkey, something those of you who don’t eat red meat would like. Instead of using a pound roll of ground turkey that I admit is cheaper, I used a package of 93% fat-free Butterball® turkey that is a better quality product. I’ve also determined the time they should be baked after overcooking mine. To eliminate washing the jellyroll pan afterwards, cover it completely with heavy duty foil (I do this with my small broiler pan, also). Because turkey meatballs are lean to begin with,
spray the foil with Pam® or use non-stick foil to cover it. Trust me, they’ll stick to the foil if you don’t!
ASIAN BARBECUED MEATBALLS
Sauce:
1 cup tomato catsup2 tablespoons hoisin sauce1 teaspoon rice vinegar1/4 cup Smucker’s® Concord Grape Jelly1 teaspoon soy sauceMeatballs:
1 pound 3-ounce package Butterball 93% fat-free ground turkey2 teaspoons peeled and minced fresh ginger2 cloves garlic, minced1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper1/2 teaspoon salt1 egg whiteCombine sauce ingredients in small saucepan over medium high heat. Heat to boiling and stir until sauce thickens. Remove from heat; cover to keep warm.
Combine ground turkey, ginger, garlic, red pepper, salt and egg white in a medium bowl; mix well. Form into small 1-inch balls. Arrange on prepared jelly roll pan. Bake in preheated 400ºF oven for 15 minutes. Turn and bake an additional 15 minutes. Combine with sauce and serve. Recipe makes 24.
Source:
Adapted from Crisco® internet recipe.ADVICE ABOUT YOUR KEURIG®
     Mary Ann bought the Keurig® coffeemaker that she gave me for my birthday last year.
     Using bottled or filtered water is recommended to help reduce the need to descale. Although scale is non-toxic, it will hinder brewer performance. For instructional videos on how to maintain your Keurig visit www.keurig.com/customer-service.
Download PDF of Memo #2272

BBQ Pork Chop Rub

With the first official day of summer last week, it's time to bust out the grill! There's so many reasons I love to grill - it keeps the kitchen cool, there's not a whole lot of dishes to clean, and of course, the meat always turns out so juicy & flavorful. One popular way to prepare meat for the grill is to marinate it in some sort of liquid for a few hours before grilling. Sometimes, though, I'm not much of a planner, and I don't remember to marinate the meat until right before we want to eat. It doesn't really make sense to marinate it for just a few minutes.  

  Then I was introduced to the spice rub, a quick way to tenderize and flavor meat that only takes a few minutes. A spice rub is typically made up of a variety of spices, salt, and sugar, and is rubbed into the meat just a few minutes before grilling. Perfect! This BBQ Pork Chop Rub is a combination of brown sugar (to caramelize the meat), salt, and smoky spices to add a kick of BBQ flavor. I love to use it on pork chops, but it would be fabulous on any cut of pork or chicken. First, you want to make the rub. It's super easy. Combine some brown sugar, salt, onion salt, garlic salt, cayenne pepper, and cumin. That's it!   [caption id="attachment_700" align="aligncenter" width="512" caption="The spices"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_701" align="aligncenter" width="438" caption="Mix it all up!"][/caption]   Once your rub is mixed up, sprinkle about a tablespoon on each pork chop, and rub it in. That's it! Let it sit about 5 minutes before grilling as usual.  

 

  You will have leftover rub, and that's a good thing. Store it in a jar or tupperware, and you'll be ready to grill anytime!  

  I served up the chops on some fresh-baked onion & poppyseed buns from the Rays bakery. Topped with just a bit of BBQ sauce, the pork chops were so juicy and tender.  

  Perfect for summer! ______________________________________________________________________________________________________

BBQ Pork Chop Rub

Servings/Yield: about 1 cup rub
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
Method Mix brown sugar and spices together. Rub over pork chops or meat of your choice; let sit 5-10 minutes. Grill meat and enjoy! Source: family favorite

Mary’s Memo #2271

PROTECTING YOUR VISION
     Making the following lifestyle changes can play a role
in reducing your risk of developing cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration (AMD), or can slow the progression of those eye disorders if you already have them.
     Eat right. A healthful diet high in green leafy vegetables, fish, fruit and other food high in antioxidants may help protect against age-related eye diseases.
     Watch your weight. Obesity has been linked to the progression of AMD and an increased risk of cataracts, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma.
     Regular physical activity may reduce your risk of developing AMD, lower eye pressure linked to glaucoma and reduce diabetic retinopathy’s progression.
     Control blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Consult your doctor about a program that’s right for you.
     Shield your eyes. Wearing sunglasses and a hat with wide brim to protect you from ultraviolet rays may help delay cataracts and help reduce the risk of AMD.
     Don’t smoke or drink too much. Smoking is associated with all four eye disorders, and too much alcohol is known to increase the risk of cataracts.
Source: Consumer Reports on Health, June 2012.

OVEREATING MAY INCREASE MEMORY LOSS
     Counting calories may protect more than your waistline. A new study suggests that eating too much may increase the risk of memory loss in people age 70 and older. Yonas E. Geda, MD, of the Mayo Clinic in Arizona, and colleagues compared the calories intakes of 163 people suffering from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) with 1,070 normal subjects. Those consuming the most calories, more than 2,143 per day, were almost twice as likely to have MCI than participants eating the least, fewer than 1,526 daily calories. “Cutting calories and eating foods that make up a healthy diet may be a simpler way to prevent memory loss as we age,” Dr. Geda adds. “What’s good for your heart is good for your brain.” The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology and have not yet been published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.
Source: Tufts University, Health & Nutrition Letter, May 2012.

BARLEY: PEARLS OF WISDOM

     Barley is one of the world’s oldest cultivated foods dating back 10,000 years to the Middle East. Barley is the best food source of beta gluten, a soluble fiber found in oats that can lower blood cholesterol; it contains pectin too, another soluble fiber. Because of its cholesterol-lowering effects, barley can carry an FDA-approved health claim that it reduces the risk of heart disease, similar to that allowed for oats. To qualify, whole barley and dry milled barley products
must have at least 0.75 grams of soluble fiber per serving. Even pearl barley, which has had its bran layer stripped during processing, is rich in fiber, since the fiber is found throughout the barley kernel. Add cooked barley to stews, soups, salads and other grain dishes. Avoid barley if you have gluten intolerance or celiac disease.
Source: University of California, Berkeley Wellness Letter, June 2012.RAVE REVIEWS FOR THIS SUMMER SALAD!
       I served Tomato-Corn Salad at the Bryan Chief Memorial Day weekend. Tasters had difficulty believing that corn in the recipe is UNCOOKED. That’s why it has such a fresh taste. The original recipe was made with chopped tomatoes but I chose the cherry kind for a more attractive presentation. I usually don’t buy sweet corn until local is available but the corn Chief and Rays is selling is especially good-tasting.

TOMATO-CORN SALAD

3 ears fresh sweet corn1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved1/4 cup diced red onion1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar1/4 cup chopped basil and a sprig for garnishKosher salt and pepper to tasteOver a large mixing bowl, cut kernels off the cobs and stir in tomatoes and onion. Toss with vinegar and basil; season with salt and pepper to taste. Serves 6 at about 58 calories per serving.
Source: Adapted from Sunset magazine internet recipe.ANOTHER USE FOR VINEGAR
     Don’t waste money buying weed killer when plain old vinegar, either white or apple cider kind, will do the job. Fill a spray bottle and apply full strength on weeds but be careful not to spray on grass because it will kill that, too.SALT TABLETS
     Salt tablets are no longer recommended for heat stroke prevention but the American Heart Association recommends drinking lots of liquids, particularly water, before, during and after physical activity and avoiding caffeinated and alcoholic beverages.
Source: Duke Medicine HealthNews, June 2012.
Download PDF of Memo #2271

Raspberry Mango Sangria

Last summer, my husband and I spent a week in the most magical place in the USA, Disney World. Our hotel was very close to Epcot, so we spent a lot of time touring (and eating our way through) the countries in the World Showcase. While eating dinner at Via Napoli in the country of Italy, we decided to stray from our usual beverage choices (Diet Coke for me, Coke for him) and ordered a pitcher of sangria. Typically, we aren't the type to order a pitcher of drinks - but at the price, it was a good deal! We would have paid $7 per glass or just $18 for an entire pitcher. Deals like that are hard to come by in Disney World!     The sangria was perhaps the highlight of the meal. Sangria is almost like a punch made up of fruit pieces, wine, sweetener, and a small amount of additional liquor. It is prepared several hours in advance so the drink has time to absorb the fruit flavors. The best part is eating up the fruit pieces once you get to the bottom of the glass! Since we've returned from Disney World, we've made a few versions of sangria, adapting the fruits to fit the season. Raspberry Mango Sangria is perfect for summer. Filled with raspberries, diced mango & pineapple, and fresh basil, it's very refreshing. With the addition of bubbly Sprite, it might be just the drink for that 4th of July party.     First, you want to get all the fruit ready. For this recipe, you'll use a pint of raspberries, two mangoes, and half a pineapple.   Mangoes can be tricky to cut up. Here's how I do it.   [caption id="attachment_681" align="aligncenter" width="480" caption="A trick to getting the most juice out of your lemons - roll them around on the counter for about a minute before squeezing!"]
[From top-left]: Lop off the side of the mango. Score it into little squares. Turn the mango inside out. Chop off the little scored pieces. Voila, nicely diced mango!   Place all the fruit in the pitcher, then add the seasonings/herbs. We've got ground ginger, fresh basil, and the juice from one lemon.  

[/caption]Then, add the wine. I picked up a couple of bottles of Pinot Grigio from Firelands Wineryup in Sandusky, Ohio. Rays & Chiefs have a great selection of Ohio wines. There's an entire section in the store dedicated to wines made in Ohio. This wine was made from grapes that were harvested right along the shore of Lake Erie. How cool is that?!  

  Then, add a bit of additional liquor. For this fruity sangria, I used Peach Schnapps. A fruity vodka would work well, too.   And then just let it sit in the fridge for awhile! It needs to sit for at least a couple hours, and can be made up to 24 hours in advance.   When you're ready to serve, put a few ice cubes in your glass. Pour a little Sprite in, up to about halfway.     Then, top it off with the sangria, and enjoy!   ______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Raspberry Mango Sangria

Servings/Yield: 6-8 servings
  • 2 cups raspberries
  • 4 cups chopped mango & pineapple
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 3-4 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 cup Peach Schnapps (or fruity liquor)
  • 2 bottles crisp white wine (Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ice cubes
  • Sprite
  Method In a large bowl or pitcher, combine fruit, ginger, basil, and Peach Schnapps. Mash gently with the back of a wooden spoon until basil is bruised and fruit releases juices. Add wine and lemon juice and stir to combine. Refrigerate several hours. To serve, fill glasses with ice, then half way up with Sprite. Fill the rest with sangria.  

Mary’s Memo #2270

FROM THE COOKBOOK SHELF
      I do not subscribe to Taste of Home magazine because most of you do. For the same reason I don’t invest in their cookbooks, even though most of the recipes are wonderful. But earlier this year and last month, I was given a professional discount that was too good to resist. Taste of Home Almost Homemade was published in 2011 and my copy is from the second printing, always a positive sign. Some of the categories include Snacks & Appetizers, Breakfast & Brunch, Standout Side Dishes, Sensational Soups, Memorable Main Courses, Slow Cooker Cuisine and Delectable Desserts.
     Tomato Bacon Cups from Taste of Home Almost Homemade bake in shells made from a tube of refrigerated buttermilk biscuits in miniature muffin cups.

Tomato Bacon Cups
1 small tomato, finely chopped1/2 cup mayonnaise1/2 cup cooked chopped bacon1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese1 small onion, finely chopped1 teaspoon dried basil(1) 12-ounce tube refrigerated buttermilk biscuits, separated into 10 biscuitsIn small bowl, combine the tomato, mayonnaise, bacon, cheese, onion and basil; set aside. Split each biscuit into three layers; press each layer into an ungreased miniature muffin cup. Spoon tomato mixture into cups. Bake at 450ºF for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm. recipe makes 2-1/2 dozen.     I love brunch casseroles and this savory one can be put together the night before so that it only needs to be popped in the oven the next day. PS: You can serve brunch dishes anytime of day as far as I’m concerned!OVERNIGHT EGG CASSEROLE
4 cups frozen shredded hash brown potatoes, thawed1 cup cubed fully cooked ham(1) 4-ounce can chopped green chilies1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese6 eggs(1) 12-ounce can evaporated milk1/4 teaspoon pepperSalsa (optional)
In a greased 8-inch square baking dish, layer the hash browns, ham, chilies and cheeses. In a large bowl whisk the eggs, milk and pepper; pour over the casserole. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake, uncovered, in preheated 350ºF oven for 1 hour or until a knife inserted near center comes out clean. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve with salsa if desired. Recipe makes 9 servings.
     For a copy of Taste of Home Almost Homemade or other Taste of Home books and products, visit them at tasteofhome.com.

FAST AND FEAST DIETS
     There are always new weight-loss diets out there, or old ones dressed up as new, and one of the biggest fads now is “calorie shifting” plans. Proponents promise rapid
and easy weight loss and cite theories and research that may sound convincing.
     A fundamental problem with crash diets is that when you drastically cut calories for more than a few days, your body compensates by lowering the basil metabolic rate (the rate at which you burn calories when at rest), which makes it hard to keep losing weight and then even harder to keep the lost pounds from returning. Calorie-shifting diets alternate calorie intakes from day to day, and advocates claim this tricks the body into adapting to the reduced calorie
 intake so that the metabolic rate won’t drop.
     The diets offer a variety of calorie roller coasters. The Every Other Day Diet and the QOD Diet (a medical acronym for “every other day”) alternate days of normal eating and days of nearly fasting …. just 300 to 500 calories a day. The UpDayDownDay Diet calls for eating no more than 500 calories on the down days and all you want on the up days.
     Obviously, if you eat little or no food several days a week and don’t eat like a ravenous mouse on the others, you’ll lose weight. But these diets are not long-term solutions to obesity and are not healthy ways to relate to food.
Despite the testimonials on the diets’ websites and book jackets, most people won’t feel good on calorie roller coasters and most couldn’t stick to the crazy regimens. Very low calorie diets can cause fatigue, headaches, irritability and heart rhythm problems. Skipping meals can sometimes result in malnutrition and is ill advised for people with diabetes. Alternating fasting and gorging is especially risky if you have an eating disorder. And if you don’t have one, you’ll be eating as if you did.
Source: Source: University of California, Berkeley Wellness Letter, June 2012. Download PDF of Memo #2270

Chocolate Berry Shortcakes

Summer is the perfect time to celebrate fresh produce - and what better way to celebrate than by participating in National Strawberry Shortcake Day? It's coming up this Thursday, and I hope you take part! Whether you pick up a delicious Rays or Chiefs poundcake covered in strawberries, whip up some good ole' Bisquick shortcakes, or indulge in these ultra chocolatey shortcakes, make sure you get a bite of something sweet.  

  I grew up on Bisquick shortcakes... they definitely take me back to my childhood! Usually in the last week of May or first week of June, my mom would whip up an 8-inch pan of sweet, tender shortcake. Paired with some sweet sugared strawberries and a tub of Cool Whip, we looked forward to that dessert all day long. (Of course, we had to wait until after dinner to dig in.) Today, I bring to you a twist on the classic shortcake, Chocolate Berry Shortcakes. I am a chocolate-lover at heart, so I knew a chocolate version of traditional shortcake would be fabulous. Since raspberries and chocolate are a match made in heaven, I added some raspberries to the strawberries to add a little extra something-something. There's three elements to the dessert - the shortcake biscuits, the berries, and the whipped cream. (No Cool Whip here! Not that there's anything wrong with Cool Whip, but once you've had the real deal, you might never go back.) For the biscuits, first combine the wet ingredients in a bowl, and the dry ingredients in another bowl.   [caption id="attachment_646" align="aligncenter" width="370" caption="Milk, egg, vanilla"][/caption]   [caption id="attachment_647" align="aligncenter" width="324" caption="Flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt"][/caption]   The key to a flaky, buttery shortcake biscuit is the butter. (Duh.)  

  It needs to be really cold, and only just incorporated. Some people like to use two knives or a pastry cutter to cut in the butter, but I prefer my fingers. I just rub the bits of butter with my fingers into the dry ingredients until the chunks are about the size of small peas.  

Once the butter is mixed in, add the (not so) secret ingredient. CHOCOLATE! When you serve the shortcakes warm, these melty bits of chocolate are the best part.

[caption id="attachment_651" align="aligncenter" width="512" caption="Ghirardelli is my favorite."][/caption]   Chop it up into small pieces, and add it to the butter/flour mixture.   [caption id="attachment_652" align="aligncenter" width="340" caption="Is there anything more beautiful than freshly chopped chocolate?"][/caption]  

  Once the chocolate is mixed in, add the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. There should still be streaks of butter in the dough. Scoop the shortcake in about 1/3-cup portions onto a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet.   [caption id="attachment_654" align="aligncenter" width="324" caption="See the butter?"][/caption]   While the shortcakes are baking, get the berries ready. Take a quart of strawberries and a pint of raspberries, and sprinkle them with a bit of sugar. Set them aside for 30-60 minutes and they'll be good to go!  

  Just before serving, prepare the whipped cream. I know... fresh whipped cream might seem like a lot of work, but it's totally worth it. And totally easy, too. (As long as you have an electric mixer.)  

  Just combine a cup of heavy whipping cream, a few tablespoons of powdered sugar, and a bit of vanilla extract in a small mixing bowl. Let your mixer have at it for 2-3 minutes, and you'll have fresh whipped cream! Easy peasy.   [caption id="attachment_657" align="aligncenter" width="288" caption="Pre-beating"][/caption]   [caption id="attachment_658" align="aligncenter" width="288" caption="Mid-beating"][/caption]   [caption id="attachment_659" align="aligncenter" width="288" caption="Ta-da! Fresh whipped cream."][/caption]   Now for the assembly. Carefully cut the shortcake in half, and layer it up with the sweet berries and whipped cream. That's it!  

  My husband and I might have broken the rules and had dessert before dinner last night... we intended to wait until after dinner to gobble up the shortcake, but taking pictures of delicious food makes it really hard not to eat it right then!  

  At least we could justify it, because there was a fruit serving and a healthy dose of anti-oxidants from the dark chocolate. It's all about balance, right? ______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Chocolate Berry Shortcakes

Servings/Yield: 12 shortcakes
  • For the shortcake biscuits
    • 1⅓ cups milk
    • teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 1 large egg
    • 3⅓ cups all-purpose flour
    • cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 2 tablespoons baking powder
    • ½ teaspoon baking soda
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ½ cup sugar
    • sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
    • 3-oz. bittersweet chocolate , chopped
  • For the berries
    • 1 quart strawberries, sliced or quartered
    • 1 pint raspberries
    • 3-4 tablespoons sugar
  • For the whipped cream
    • 8-oz. heavy whipping cream
    • 2-3 tablespoons powdered sugar
    • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  Method Preheat the oven to 400*F. Grease a baking sheet or line with parchment paper. For the shortcake biscuits, in a small bowl, whisk together milk, vanilla, and egg. In a large bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar. Drop in the butter pieces, and using your fingers or a pastry cutter, rub/cut in the butter until the pieces are the size of small peas. Stir in the chopped chocolate. Pour the milk mixture over the dry ingredients and toss and gently turn the ingredients until you've got a very soft dough. When the dough comes together, you'll probably still have dry ingredients at the bottom of the bowl; just use a spatula or your hands to knead the dough until it's just evenly blended. It'll still be soft and sticky. Spoon out about 1/3 cup dough for each shortcake onto the baking sheet. Pat each mound down until it is about 1-inch high. Bake 15 to 18 minutes, until the shortcakes are puffed and give just a bit when prodded. Cool on a wire rack. For the berries, combine strawberries, raspberries, and sugar; set aside for 30-60 minutes, until berries become juicy. Just before serving, make the whipped cream. Place heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl. Beat on high speed until peaks form. To serve, split shortcakes in half. Top with berries and whipped cream. Source: Adapted from Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From my home to yours

Mary’s Memo #2269

BAKING SODA
FOR OTHER THINGS BESIDES BAKING

     When I was a senior at Purdue, home economics students, no matter what their major might be, spent 6 weeks in a home management house under adult supervision. We continued to go to classes on campus but were responsible for cooking and cleaning the house to which we were assigned. One annoying task was cleaning the sink with baking soda instead of regular scouring powder. It did the job but with a lot more “elbow grease” applied. As much as I disliked using it, baking soda is abrasive but doesn’t scratch and I still use it on the edge of my Cuisinart® Griddler because it removes grease marks but doesn’t mar the surface.
     Speaking of baking soda, it does have a shelf life and I had some that fizzled out on me when I was making a batch of peanut brittle last year. To check for freshness, Rick Rogers in Tips Cooks Love says to stir 1/2 teaspoon into 2 tablespoons of vinegar and if it bubbles and fizzes, it’s still good to use. When I was cooking and baking for a family of 6, baking soda didn’t have time to expire. Availability of cake mixes has also reduced baking soda use. Ditto for baking powder, now located on the bottom shelf in most supermarkets.

MEDITERRANEAN-STYLE DIET PROTECTS BRAIN BLOOD VESSELS
     Following a Mediterranean-style dietary pattern may protect the tiny blood vessels in your brain from damage, according to study findings in the February 2012 Archives of Neurology. A Mediterranean-style diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and plant proteins and contains minimal amounts of red meat, saturated fat, processed foods and sweets. In the study, participants whose diets most closely resembled a Mediterranean-style eating pattern had a lower white matter hyper-intensity volume, a marker of small vessel damage in the brain. This type of small blood vessel damage has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
Source: Weil Cornell Medical College Women’s Nutrition Connection, May 2012.

BE PREPARED
     I was confined to the house with a cold the first weekend in May. Cooking was the furthest thing from my thoughts and I could have done without food although I knew this wasn’t good idea, either. Having soup in the freezer is always an option when I don’t feel like cooking or have the time to prepare a regular meal. Basic necessities are also important, same as they are when bad weather keeps you at home. Fortunately, there was nothing I couldn’t live without that weekend. WHATS WRONG WITH PLAIN WATER?
     At the Bryan Chief I work near the bottled water so I know how much people are buying, especially when it’s on sale. I keep bottled water on hand to fill my Keurig® coffeemaker or when I travel but otherwise tap water is my beverage of choice. Energy drinks are not getting my money, either. Except root beer for an occasional root beer float, I don’t buy pop. I do hope that consumers who buy bottled water and other beverages in plastic or aluminum cans are recycling both rather than have them end up in landfill operations.

GREAT SPRING AND SUMMER SALAD!
     This salad is so good that I had planned to save it for the annual Christmas sheet. Bryan Chief tasters gave it rave reviews, also. Because I wasn’t up to cooking the weekend I was doing this memo, you’re getting it ahead of schedule. Dressing is very tart but when it’s mixed with salad ingredients the flavor is perfect! Enjoy!

CHICKEN SALAD WITH ORZO AND ARTICHOKES

Dressing:
1/4 cup Crisco® canola oil3 tablespoons white wine vinegar1-1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice1-1/2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustardSalt and pepper to tasteSalad:
3 cups diced cooked chicken (I used rotisserie chicken)1/2 cup orzo pasta, cooked according to package directions1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced onions(1) 7.5-ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and cut into thick slicesSalt and pepper to tasteWhisk together all dressing ingredients; season with salt and pepper to taste. Combine chicken, cooked orzo, tomatoes, green onions and artichoke hearts; toss with dressing to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. Recipe makes 6 servings.
Source: Adapted from Crisco.com recipeLAST WORD
     Don’t leave baked potatoes in the foil they were baked in, especially at room temperature. Potatoes can harbor Clostridium botulinum, a bacterium naturally found in the soil that causes botulism. Though cooking kills the bacteria, their spores, which produce the deadly toxin, can survive, germinate and multiply
in the oxygen poor environment within the foil. Scrub potatoes before cooking. Serve them right away and store leftovers immediately, unwrapped, in the refrigerator.
Source: University of California, Berkeley Wellness Letter, June 2012.
Download PDF of Memo #2269

Hawaiian Beef Burgers

I've never been to Hawaii, but it's on my bucket list of travel spots. Even though I've never been to the Aloha state, I have been to an authentic luau. Well, as authentic as a luau in Alabama could be. When I was little, my parents took me on lots of vacations. I am an only child, and I'll admit it, I was a bit spoiled. One year, when I was about 12, we were vacationing down in Gulf Shores, Alabama, and had the opportunity to attend a Hawaiian luau. It sounded like fun, so we suited up in our most tropical attire to eat Hawaiian food and hula the night away with 100 other random vacationers. Now, I don't remember much about the food (except there was lots of pineapple), but I do remember the hula dancing. And the moment when my dad went up on stage to hula with several other men. I think it was the "Dad's dance" or something? And then he was chosen to lead the group! Coming from a 12-year old's perspective, it was pretty hilarious (and maybe slightly embarrassing.) Heck, my mom thought it was hilarious as well. Too bad this was before the days of phone video cameras and the ability to capture life as it happens! I will always have that memory of my dad - hula dancer extraordinaire.  

  Anyway, onto the burger. Like I said, I've never been to Hawaii. But this burger captures all the typical "Hawaiian" flavors, and sandwiches it inside a bun. The burgers are marinated in a pineapple-soy-garlicky marinade, and then grilled. Then they're topped with some tangy feta, crisp bacon, and more pineapple. Fresh & summery, these juicy burgers are sure to be a hit with your family. Start with the burgers. For the marinade, combine the juice from a can of crushed pineapple, ketchup, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, and a bit of cayenne.   [caption id="attachment_631" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="Cayenne pepper, ketchup, crushed pineapple, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic"][/caption]   Form your patties by combining a pound of fresh ground beef with salt & pepper and a bit of crushed pineapple.   [caption id="attachment_633" align="aligncenter" width="445" caption="My plates are handy because they go up on the sides. If you need to, place your burgers in a tupperware so the marinade doesn't spill everywhere."][/caption]   While the burgers are marinating, get your bacon going. You can prepare it however you like, but my favorite is in the oven. (No splatters all over your clothes or stovetop!) Just line a baking sheet with foil, lay the bacon flat, and bake at 400*F for 20-25 minutes until crisp.   [caption id="attachment_632" align="aligncenter" width="512" caption="This smokehouse bacon was AWESOME! It was thick-cut and full of flavor."][/caption] [caption id="attachment_634" align="aligncenter" width="384" caption="Note - there are 6 pieces of bacon."][/caption]   Once the bacon is ready, get your grilled fired up. Now, when you grill these burgers, you want to line the grill with foil at first. The patties are pretty loosey goosey from the pineapple, and they have a tendency to fall apart. Gril 5-6 minutes on the foil, and then flip. Once they've flipped and cooked a minute or two on the other side, slide them off the foil so they can get those pretty grill marks. Once your burgers are finished on the grill, it's time to assemble!   [caption id="attachment_635" align="aligncenter" width="512" caption="Notice there are now only 4 pieces of bacon. Word to the wise - don't let your husband in the kitchen when you are cooking bacon."][/caption]   Start with a toasted bun. The King's Hawaiian sweet rolls are perfect for this burger because they add another layer of flavor to the burger.   [caption id="attachment_637" align="aligncenter" width="360" caption="Yum!"][/caption]   Top your burger with the feta cheese first, then a few pieces of bacon, then the lettuce. Spoon a bit of crushed pineapple on the top half of the bun and you are ready to go!  

  Instantly transported to the Hawaiian islands... or you know, good ole' Lima, Ohio. Same thing right?! ;-) Happy grilling! ______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Hawaiian Beef Burgers

Servings/Yield 4 burgers
  • 20-oz. can unsweetened crushed pineapple
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. ketchup
  • 1 tbsp. vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic
  • ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 4 (one package) Hawaiian hamburger rolls
  • 6 slices bacon, cooked until crispy and sliced in half
  • lettuce
  • feta cheese
  Method Drain pineapple, reserving juice. In a large bowl, combine 1/4 cup pineapple, pepper, and salt. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into 4 patties; place in a glass dish. In a small bowl, combine reserved pineapple juice, soy sauce, ketchup, vinegar, garlic, and crushed red pepper. Pour marinade over burgers; cover and refrigerate for 1 hour, turning burgers once. Drain and discard marinade. Line grill with foil. Place patties on foil and grill 6-7 minutes. (This helps them stay together... they tend to fall apart.) When burgers are seared, remove foil from grill and place burgers directly on grill. Grill until desired doneness, flipping once. Slice Hawaiian rolls in half and toast. To assemble burgers, place patty on bottom half of bun. Top with a bit of feta cheese and three bacon halves. Top with a piece of lettuce. On top half of bun, spoon a bit of reserved pineapple. Sandwich together and eat! Yum! Source: Adapted from Taste of Home