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Mary’s Memo – November 18th

FROM THE COOKBOOK SHELF


I am really excited about this week’s new cookbook: Kate Gosselin’s Love Is in the Mix, featuring family-friendly recipes, tips and traditions. As the well-known mom to eight growing and hungry children, Reality TV personality and bestselling author Gosselin also knows her way around the kitchen, bestowing her passion for cooking onto her brood of budding chefs. Love Is in the Mix offers a repertoire of recipes for any home cook, from crowd-pleasing appetizers to decadent desserts, from lazy weekend breakfasts to speedy weekday suppers, plus company worthy dishes you can serve without a hassle. Trust me; these recipes will become regulars in your kitchen rotation!

The author’s cooking expertise was inspired by a grandmother who allowed Kate and her sisters to bake in her kitchen. “I’ve learned from Grandma that nothing that comes from the kitchen is a mistake when you add love to the mix,” says Gosselin in the introduction. With a harsh winter predicted, nothing is more warming than a bowl of hot flavorful soup! But why wait for winter. Make the soup now!

TURKEY, CORN AND WHITE BEAN SOUP


• 2 tablespoons butter
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 medium red onion
• 1 tablespoon minced garlic
• 1/2 cup store-bought Italian or balsamic vinaigrette
• 2 pounds ground turkey
• 3 cups chicken broth
• 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro or 3 teaspoons dried cilantro
• 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried
• 2 tablespoons chili powder
• 3/4 cup salsa
• 2 (15-ounce) cans great northern beans, undrained
• 2 (15-ounce) cans whole kernel corn, undrained
• Salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter and olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté, stirring until tender. Add the garlic and cook 1 more minute. Add the vinaigrette to the pan with the ground turkey; brown the turkey thoroughly. Once the turkey is cooked through, add the broth, cilantro, basil, chili powder, salsa, beans, corn, salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to medium-low for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Kate created Farm to Table Stir Fry in the middle of summer when fresh beautiful produce was plentiful.

FARM TO TABLE STIR FRY


• 1/2 cup soy sauce
• 1 teaspoon brown sugar
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 tablespoon sesame oil
• 1-1/2 pounds round steak, thinly sliced
• 1 quart snow peas
• 1/2 head cabbage, slivered
• 1/2 bag baby carrots, quartered lengthwise
• 1 head broccoli, florets and stems, chopped small
• 8 scallions, whites and greens, chopped coarsely
• 1 red and 1 green pepper, sliced lengthwise
• 3 teaspoons sesame seeds
• 3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 to 3 cups cooked brown or white rice

Mix the soy sauce, brown sugar, olive oil and sesame oil together. Toss mixture with steak and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes. Add all of the vegetables to the pan and sauté, turning occasionally until vegetables are steamed but still firm in texture. Add the sesame seeds and garlic and cook for 3 to 4 minutes more. Serve over rice.
Source: Kate Gosselin's Love Is in the Mix (HCI, September 2013, $22.95/hardcover). O rder from Amazon.com or call 1-800-441-5569.

STOCK UP ON BAKING SUPPLIES


It isn’t too early to stock up on supplies for C hristmas baking. Watch for specials on butter, sugar and flour, staples I certainly need as the holiday season approaches. I already have additional sugar on hand to make peanut brittle, butter in the freezer to make cookies and extra flour for sweet rolls.

SECRETS TO HEALTHY HOLIDAY EATING


Don’t let the span from Thanksgiving to New Year’s undo the rest of the year’s smart choices. Whether you’re worried about your weight or your cholesterol levels and blood pressure, there are some smart strategies you can adopt to minimize the negative effects of holiday feasts and parties. Some of the experts’ might surprise you: “Banking” calories by eating less before an indulgence opportunity, for example, just makes you hungry and causes you to eat more unhealthy fare. For many people, their real downfall during the holidays isn’t the occasional big feast but the day-to-day temptations. Suddenly there is candy everywhere, co-workers bring holiday snacks to the office, and eating opportunities stack up faster than letters to Santa. Before you go to a party, eat something healthy like raw vegetables or fruit to take the edge off your appetite. Distance yourself from the buffet table and snack bowls, then concentrate on the people at the party instead of the food.

Source: Tufts U niversity Health & Nutrition Letter, November, 2013.

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