Mary’s Memo – March 27th


Family Circle publishes a yearbook of their recipes for $34.96 but before you pay full price, check Inside yearbook you’ll find hundreds of recipes for busy weeknights, preparation and cook times for smart meal planning, healthful and kid-friendly dinners and treats, nutrition information for planning a balanced diet and tantalizing color photographs throughout. A quiche fan, Spinach Sausage Pie jumped from the cookbook saying “try me!”


Pie Crust
• ½ pound crumbled sweet Italian sausage
• 10-ounce package frozen spinach, thawed
• 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
• ½ pound seeded and diced plum tomatoes
• 6 eggs
• ½ cup milk
• ½ teaspoon salt
• ½ teaspoon onion powder
• ½ teaspoon dried oregano
• ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Heat oven to 350ºF. Fit a prepared pie crust into a 9-inch pie plate and line with foil, pressing down. Bake at 350º for 10 minutes. In a skillet, sauté sausage 5 minutes; stir in spinach and cook 2 minutes. Spread 1 cup mozzarella over crust; add sausage mixture and tomatoes. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella over tomatoes. Whisk eggs, milk, salt, onion powder, oregano and pepper. Pour over pie and bake at 350ºF for 1hour.
Source: Family Circle Annual Recipes 2016.


Energy drinks, energy bars, candy and processed snacks fill the grocery and convenience store shelves and promise to provide quick and delicious energy. The problem with many of these products is that the boost of energy relies on refined grains, sugar and caffeine. While these choices can provide a quick energy spike, they also lead to an eventual crash, which may leave you feeling lethargic and fatigued. Also, people who are sensitive to blood sugar spikes or caffeine may feel slightly nauseated, jittery or shaky. “Eating a lot of processed foods, such as sodas, juice drinks, crackers, cookies, or chips, can lead to a roller coaster of energy spikes and pits throughout the day. These foods also provide a lot of calories and sugar but lack important vitamins and minerals. These choices can eventually lead to overeating and weight gain,” says Jenna Rosenfeld, MS, RD, CNSC, a registered dietitian at New York-Presbyterian/Weil Cornell.

For sustained energy, it is wiser to choose foods that provide a balance of complex carbohydrates, proteins and fats. These foods break down more slowly, so instead of an energy spike followed by a crash, you can enjoy a continuous supply of energy. For example, old-fashioned oatmeal topped with ground flaxseed, chia seeds, almonds or walnuts and fresh fruit provides a good balance of whole grains, complex carbohydrates, fiber, protein and healthy fat. This meal will keep you feeling full and energetic many more hours than a slice of white bread with jam or a toaster pastry. “Choose high-fiber, complex carbohydrates like whole grains (oatmeal, quinoa and brown rice), as well as vegetables and fruits, for consistent energy,” says Rosenfeld. “It’s also important to balance carbohydrates with protein and healthy fats.”
Source: Weill Cornell Medicine Iris Cantor Women’s Health Center, March 2017.


One of my favorites from my cookbook is Peanut Butter Sundae Sauce It’s surprised me over the years that although you were generous enough to buy my cookbook, many haven’t tried the recipes. That includes this sundae sauce.


• 2 cups sugar
• ½ cup water
• 1 pound jar peanut butter (I use the original Jif)
• 1 cup half and half
• 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract (no imitation vanilla for me)

Place sugar and water in saucepan. Boil until sugar is dissolved and clear. With an electric mixer, blend syrup, peanut butter, half and half and vanilla. Serve at room temperature over vanilla ice cream. Recipe makes 4 cups sauce.


Yes. The original Uncle Ben was a black rice farmer who lived in Texas. His rice crop was renowned among rice millers in and around Houston for being of the highest quality. His rice was so good that other farmers proudly compared their rice to his, claiming it was “as good as Uncle Ben’s.”

In the late 1940s two of the founders of Converted Rice Inc. (forerunner of Uncle Ben’s Inc.) were having dinner in their favorite Chicago restaurant, discussing how to market their “converted” rice in the United States. They both were familiar with the Uncle Ben quality story and decided to call their product Uncle Ben’s Converted Brand Rice and manufacturer it in the rice-growing area around Houston, where Uncle Ben was said to have farmed.

The restaurant’s maître d’ was a close friend of the two men. They talked him into posing for the famous Uncle Ben portrait that is still on the company’s boxes today.
Source: The Book of Totally Useless Information by Don Voorhees.

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