Mary’s Memo – August 15th


Sesame seeds, those tiny tasty toppings you may encounter on bagels, breadsticks and hamburger buns, are called the “queen of oil seeds” for good reason. Though they are not as much in the limelight as flax seed, chia and other so-called “super seeds,” they are a notable source of nutrients including protein, iron, zinc, copper. vitamin E, thiamin, calcium, magnesium and manganese, plus unique lignans (sesamin and sesamolin), phytosterols, fiber and other potentially beneficial compounds. By weight, about half the seed is fat, mostly unsaturated. An ounce (3 tablespoons) has about 160 calories, 14 grams of fat, 5 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber. The seeds vary in color from tan to black depending on their type and preparation, grow in pods of a flowering plant native to India and Africa. The pods resemble okra and like okra are technically fruits. When they ripen, they split open at the slightest touch, releasing seeds …. hence, one possible explanation for the expression “open sesame.” Each pod contains 50 to 100 seeds. The seeds are typically hulled (soaked to remove the outer husk) and lightly roasted, which gives them a nutty flavor and a browner color. From Babylonia to the Far East, people have been consuming sesame seeds and using them medicinally for thousands of years. Bottom line: Sesame can add flavor and may have some health benefits. But don’t take supplements (several products contain high concentrations of sesame lignans, in particular) since these have not been well studied, and their effects, good or bad, are largely unknown.
Source: University of California, Berkeley Wellness Letter. August 2016.


After a two year review period, the US Food and Drug Administration formally adopted changes to the Nutrition Facts panels that appear on some 800.000 food products. The update labels will be required by July 26, 2018, except for small producers who will get an extra year to comply. Despite objections from some in the food industry, the update includes a separate line for “added sugars.” Among key changes:

Serving sizes will be revamped to more accurately reflect what people typically eat.

Calories appear in larger type.

Following current science that says not all fats should be avoided, with unsaturated fats now seen as healthy replacements for saturated fats, The “Calories from Fat” will be deleted.

Added Sugars will appear below the line for total sugars, along with a Daily Value (DV) percentage based on a maximum 50 grams for 2000-calorie diet. Although all sugars affect the body similarly, added sugars like those in sodas don’t come with beneficial nutrients as the natural sugars do.

Data for vitamin D and potassium nutrients the FDA noted “some people are not getting enough of” will be mandatory and include actual amounts as well as DV percentages.

Data on vitamin A and vitamin C, which most Americans get plenty of, will now be optional. Vitamin D and iron take their place in the “nutrients of concern” part of the label.
Source: Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter, August 2016.


Columbus and Cincinnati Ohio are among the top 25 US cities to test market new products and available now in Chief Supermarkets. My popcorn of choice is Skinny Pop. I like it well enough to buy it by the case. Since I cannot buy it by the case, I’m assuming it is being test marketed in Ohio because a 4.4-ounce bag of White Cheddar is available at Chief Supermarkets. White Cheddar Skinny Pop White Cheddar ingredients include popcorn, sunflower oil, non-dairy Cheddar flavor, salt, rice flour, natural flavor and lactic acid. It’s dairy free, non GMO, gluten-free, peanut free, tree nut free, preservative free, no artificial flavors, zero trans fat and delicious (having consumed a bag)!


At a recent musical event at church a couple ladies read about it in their church bulletin and decided to attend. During the social time, one of them said “Everything Cookies” is still one of her favorites cookies. Thinking it was one Marilyn Sachs of Bryan had given to me, I called her. Although it wasn’t Marilyn’s, she did share the recipe, published on memo 516 in 1974. Recipe makes 6 to 7 dozen.


• 2 sticks butter
• 1 cup light brown sugar
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 1 large egg, beaten
• 1 cup canola oil
• 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
• 3 cups unsifted, all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
• 1 cup quick oats
• 1 cup coconut
• 1 cup Rice Krispies
• 1 12-ounce package semi-sweet chocolate chips

Mix all ingredients together. Drop by teaspoonful onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in preheated 350ºF oven until lightly browned on top.

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Mary’s Memo – August 8th


Sesame seeds, those tiny tasty toppings you encounter on bagels, breadsticks and hamburger buns , are called the “queen of oil seed” for good reason. Though they are not as much in the limelight as flaxseed, chia and other so-called “super seeds,” they are a notable source of nutrients including protein, iron, zinc, copper, vitamin E, thiamin, calcium, magnesium and manganese, plus unique lignin’s (sesamins and sesamolin), phytosterols, fiber and other potentially beneficial compounds.

From Babylonia to the Far East, people have been consuming sesame seeds and using them medicinally for thousands of years. Today websites tout them for everything from improving digestion and eradicating wrinkles to preventing diabetes and cancer. Needless to say, most of the claims are not backed by research. On the other hand, a number of studies have assessed sesame with some promising findings.

Bottom Line: Sesame can add flavor to foods and may have some health benefits. But don’t take supplements (several products contain high concentrations.
Source: University of California, Berkeley Wellness Letter, August 2016.


If you need more motivation to substitute an apple or a pear for that bag of chips or indulgent dessert, a new Chinese study might help you reach for the fruit bowl or bag of berries in the freezer. In the most comprehensive such research to date, following a half million people for seven years, greater fruit consumption was associated with lower risk of heart attack and stroke. Consuming about 3.5 ounces of fruit daily was associated with about one third lower risk of death from cardiovascular causes. The study focused on fresh fruit because that was what was available, but finding should apply to other forms, such as frozen.

How much is 3.5 ounces of fruit? That’s roughly one cup of sliced fruit like apples or peaches, or one small fruit or 20 grapes. If you prefer berries. it’s a little less than a full cup. In short, you don’t have to consume a whole orchard.
Source: Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter, August 2016.


According to Ginger Hultin, MS, RD, LDN, food lore claims that the fourth Earl of Sandwich, John Montague (1718-1792) invented the sandwich out of necessity. Food lore claims that this Earl was gambling for 24 straight hours one night and requested something he could eat without interrupting his game. The London club he was playing at provided beef slices and cheese between two pieces of bread, achieving a meal now familiar to people around the world.

Ginger Hultin is a Chicago-based writer and dietitian at the Block Center for Integrative Cancer Care specializing in integrative health and whole food-based nutrition. She serves as President for the Academy of Nutrition and dietetics. Follow her on Ginger’s blog, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
Because of the availability of locally grown tomatoes this time of year, a BLT is my sandwich-of-choice.

Or how about a homemade Coney dog?

Although no longer in business, a popular restaurant in Delta, OH, was Ms. Alcorn’s Sandwich Grill. One of her specialties was:


• 2 pound ground beef
• 2 large onions, chopped
• ½ teaspoon thyme
• 1 tablespoons ground cumin
• 2 tablespoons chili powder or more
• 1 tablespoon black pepper
• 1 tablespoon paprika
• ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
• 2 cloves garlic, crushed
• 3 cups tomato juice

Brown the beef in a large skillet. Drain fat. Return beef to skillet and add all other ingredients. Simmer one hour.
Source: Ms. Alcorn’s Sandwich Grill, Delta OH, via Vickie Smith, office manager at the Bryan Chief.


One of the advantages of this recipe is that reheated leftovers taste as good as when eaten fresh.


3 strips thick sliced bacon
½ of a large head of cabbage, coarsely chopped
1 14.5-ounce can Del Monte Tomatoes Seasoned with Green Peppers and Onion
1/3 cup cider vinegar
2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
1/8 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
Cook bacon in a Dutch oven or electric skillet until crisp. Drain bacon, reserving drippings in skillet. Stir in cabbage, tomatoes, vinegar, Cajun seasoning into hot drippings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover pan and simmer 45 minutes. Before serving, crumble bacon and sprinkle on top of cabbage mixture. Recipe makes 6 servings.

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Mary’s Memo – August 1st

August is named after Augustus Caesar. Many events are happening this month. August 25 will mark the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. I was surprised at the number of National Parks in Ohio. It’s also the month of Family Fun, Picnics, Peaches, Eye Exams and Golf. If you need any more things to celebrate, August 3rd is National Watermelon Day and August 6th is National Mustard Day, a celebration that originated in Middleton, Wisconsin.


High sodium (salt) intake is associated with hypertension (high blood pressure) and consequently increases the risk of heart attack or stroke. Over time, high sodium intake is also detrimental to kidney and bone disease.

“To reduce the sodium in your diet, replace salt with fresh herbs, spices and other flavorings not only to reduce the harm of sodium, but to gain additional health benefits,” advises Tanya Freirich, MS, RD, CDN, registered dietitian at New York-Presbyterian Weill Cornell. Fresh herbs are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, fiber and polyphenols. Polyphenols are powerful antioxidants that also have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. For example, the anti-bacterial properties in cilantro can help prevent food spoilage. Other herbs such as parsley and mint help digestion, as well as contain high amounts of vitamin C, vitamin A, iron, folic acid, calcium and potassium. Add either parsley or mint to a fresh chopped salad or serve with roasted meats for a burst of color, flavor and aroma. Fresh herbs are best kept in the refrigerator.
Source: Weill Cornell Medical College Women’s Nutrition Connection, August 2016.


I often wonder if shoppers realize how easy it is to grow herb. Some are annuals but many are perennials. Buy plants from a greenhouse or start them from seed. I planted arugula this spring for the first time.


Although it’s not seasonal to discuss shamrock plants, I haven’t had any luck keeping them growing until I took the advice of my sister, Ann, and brother-in-law, Sam, about placing it in a spot sheltered from the sun. As a result, it’s in full bloom in spite of the heat.


During the bird flu scare consumers cut back on eggs because they were so expensive. That said, they haven’t increased their consumption. Eggs are packed with important nutrients. Whether you eat them fried, poached or scrambled, in salads, casseroles, quiches, frittatas and desserts, there are few foods that rank so high in food value for so little money. When we were a family of 6, I scrambled eggs and to make them creamier, added a can of undiluted cream of mushroom soup. Today I would use Healthy Request without MSG. The suggestion was in a Campbell cookbook years ago.


Although it is not the first cookbook from the Junior League of Pasadena CA, it has to be their best! Daughter Mary Ann and I have not made a recipe that we didn’t like, the latest being Sausage and Vegetable Frittata. For a vegetarian entrée, omit the sausage and sauté the vegetables and spices.


• 1 pound sweet Italian sausage
• 3/4 cup shredded zucchini
• 3/4 cup shredded carrots
• 3/4 cup sliced mushrooms (we use cremini)
• 3/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
• 3/4 cup chopped onion
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/8 teaspoon pepper
• 10 large eggs
• 1 cup ricotta cheese
• 12-ounces shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 375oF. Cook the sausage in an ovenproof skillet for about 10 minutes or until brown and crumbly, stirring frequently; drain. Add the zucchini, carrots, mushrooms, bell pepper, onion, garlic, basil, salt and pepper, to the skillet and sauté until vegetables are tender; drain. Whisk the eggs in a bowl until blended and stir in the ricotta and mozzarella cheese. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the sausage mixture and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until the eggs are set. Let rest 5 minutes before serving. Recipe makes 8 to 10 servings.
Source: Adapted from recipe in California Mosaic, a cookbook published The Junior League of Pasadena.


Years ago I had a brush to clean mushrooms but nothing lasts forever and since then I’ve wipe them clean with moist paper towels. Then along came the 2’n1 Veggie Brush from Casabella that includes a pop out soft brush with silicone bristles to clean mushrooms. The vegetable brush itself has harder bristles for cleaning other vegetables. It’s top rack dishwasher safe, comes in a choice of colors and BPA free. Order from for $7.99.

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Mary’s Memo – July 25th


People who often consume meals at home are less likely to develop diabetes than those who frequently eat out, a new study finds.

Internationally, there is an increasing tendency for people to eat out, which can involve consuming fast food, for example. Concerns have been raised that such a habit can could lead to weight gain, which, in turn, is associated with an increased risk of diabetes.

Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health evaluated large prospective datasets in which U.S. health professionals, both men and women, were followed for long periods, taking note of a variety of health indicators, including self-reported information on eating habits and occurrence of diabetes. All in all, the study researchers analyzed 2.1 million years of follow-up data, they said.

The findings indicate that people who reported consuming 5 to 7 meals prepared at home during a week had a 15 percent lower risk of type 2 diabetes than those who consumed 2 such meals or fewer in a week. A smaller, but still statistically significant reduction was apparent for those who reported consuming more midday meals prepared at home.

Well-established diabetes prevention strategies include behavioral interventions aimed at increasing exercise and improving dietary habits. These findings suggest that the nutritional and lifestyle benefits of consuming meals at home could contribute to these diabetes prevention efforts, the researchers say of their study, which appears in a special issue of PLOS Medicine.
Source: Newsmax Health, 2016.


What I like best about Teriyaki Chicken Foil Pack, a Pillsbury recipe, is that it’s cooked outside on our gas or charcoal grill. I replaced Minute Rice with Uncle Ben’s Instant Brown Rice because it has more food value. It doesn’t take quite as long to cook as original recipe said. I’d say my chicken tenders were more done than they needed to be. Enjoy!


• 1 20-ounce can pineapple chunks canned in juice, drained, juice reserved
• ¼ cup water
• 2 cups Uncle Ben Instant Brown Rice
• 2 large red bell peppers, cut into 1½-inch chunks (about 2 cups)
• 3 cups fresh sugar snap peas (available at Chief in already washed and ready-to-use bag)
• ¾ cup teriyaki baste and glaze sauce
• 1 lb. 4-ounce bag chicken tenders (you need 12 tenders so each packet contains 3)

Heat gas or charcoal grill. Cut 4 18x12-inch sheets of heavy duty foil. Spray each with cooking spray. Pour reserved pineapple juice and water in 4-cup measuring cup. Add brown rice; stir and let stand about 10 minutes or until almost all the liquid is absorbed. Meanwhile, in large bowl, toss pineapple, bell peppers, sugar snap peas and ½ cup of the teriyaki sauce until well blended.

Place 3 chicken tenders on each foil sheet. Dividing evenly, spoon vegetables over chicken tenders. Divide rice mixture and remaining liquid evenly over chicken and vegetables. Spoon 1 tablespoon of remaining glaze over chicken and vegetables; stir gently.

Bring up 2 sides of foil so edges meet. Seal edges, making tight ½-inch fold; fold again, allowing space for heat circulation and expansion. Fold other sides to seal. Place packs over medium heat. Cover grill and cook for 12 to 14 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in center and vegetables are crisp-cooked. Remove packs from grill. Carefully fold back foil; open one end and spoon onto serving plates. Garnish with chopped parsley, if desired. Recipe makes 4 servings.
Source: Adapted from internet Pillsbury recipe.


This brownie recipe was found among Katharine Hepburn’s belongings after she died. She was one of my favorite actresses so naturally, I had to try the recipe.

What I like best about it is that after butter and baking chocolate are melted together, the other ingredients are stirred together in the same saucepan before spooning into prepared pan. Note: When a recipe says to bake in a pan don't use glass.


• 1 stick (½ cup butter)
• 2 1-oz. squares unsweetened baking chocolate
• 1 cup sugar
• 2 large eggs
• ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• ¼ cup all-purpose flour
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• 1 cup chopped walnuts

Melt together butter and chocolate and take the saucepan off the heat. Stir in sugar, eggs and vanilla and beat mixture well. Stir in flour, salt and walnuts. Spoon into greased and floured baking pan. Bake in preheated 325ºF oven for 35 to 40 minutes. Cool on rack. Cut into squares and eat out of pan or serve on a serving plate. Yummy and moist! Source: Adapted from Bon Appetite recipe.

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Mary’s Memo – July 18th


Better Homes & Gardens has a Summer Slow Cooker magazine for $9.99. If you’re a fan of the slow cooker recipes, you may want to invest.

With so much yard work in our lives in the summer I rely on the slow cooker for many entrees. Recipe sources include the internet where I found Betty Crocker’s Hula Chicken. I asked friends to critique it and they gave it decent marks - although they prefer barbequed chicken (and I do too), but when outdoor work calls it’s comforting to know that inside dinner is simmering away in the slow cooker. Serve Hula Chicken on a bed of rice, brown preferred, to kick up the food value.


• 1 cup pineapple juice
• 1/3 reduced sodium soy sauce
• ½ cup catsup
• 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
• 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 tablespoon grated ginger root
• 1 to 2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce
• 2 pounds boneless skinless thighs
• 2 8-ounce cans crushed pineapple, drained, juice reserved

In 5 to 6-quart slow cooker, mix pineapple juice, soy sauce, catsup, rice vinegar, brown sugar, garlic, gingerroot and Sriracha sauce. Add chicken and crushed pineapple. Cover and cook on high setting for 4 to 6 hours. Once chicken is cooked through and sauce thickened, remove chicken and shred with 2 forks. Return chicken to sauce. Cook, uncovered, 25 to 30 minutes or until sauce is thickened. If sauce gets too thick, add reserved pineapple juice from can (I did use it). Serve warm over a bed of brown rice. Source: Adapted from Betty Crocker internet recipe.


Exercise and social interaction can help boost levels of brain-related neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein that appears to slow progression of Alzheimer’s disease in older adults. In a study, participants with the highest brain levels of BDNF (upon autopsy) had 50 percent slower declines memory and cognition than those with the lowest levels of the protein. Scientists believe that increasing levels of BDNF through lifestyle changes and new drugs could slow disease progression. (Neurology, January 2016). Source: Duke Medicine, July 2016.


Eating seafood may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease in people at high risk for it. even though seafood is often contaminated with mercury, a known neurotoxin. In a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers looked at brain autopsies of 286 people, average age 90, and correlated the findings with the subjects with a key genotype (APOE4) associated with Alzheimer’s risk; those who had eaten seafood at least once a week showed fewer signs of dementia-related brain changes than those who ate little or none; no effect was seen in those without the genotype. Reassuringly, though mercury levels in the brains increased with seafood intake, this was not associated with dementia-related signs. Source: University of California, Berkeley Wellness Letter, July 2016.


At Bed Bath and Beyond I bought 2 'n 1 Veggie Brush for $7.95 plus tax. It not only cleans vegetables gently and thoroughly without bruising them, but includes a pop-out soft brush with silicone bristles for cleaning mushrooms.
The second gadget came from Williams Sonoma but may be available from other sources. It has various size holes to pull kale and herbs through, like thyme, stripping the vegetable from the stem. It works like a charm!
Both of the above gadgets are BPA-free and top rack dishwasher safe.


The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council is responsible for July 23rd being National Hot Dog Day, but they hesitate to forecast consumption because they are consumed in so many venues.

When I indulge, it’s a beef hot dog and none taste better than when they’re eaten outdoors. But in honor of National Hot Dog Day I’m sharing a recipe from a former Edgerton, Ohio lady who gave it to me years ago.
Her herbed bread sticks are wonderful with a salad.


• 8 hot dog buns, split and quartered
• ½ teaspoon of California garlic salt
• 1 teaspoon dill weed
• 1 teaspoon dried basil
• ¼ teaspoon parsley flakes½ cup butter, softened
Mix butter with garlic salt, dill weed, basil and parsley flakes. Spread carefully over bun quarters. Bake in preheated 300ºF oven for 30 minutes. Cool and store in a covered container. Recipe makes 32.

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Mary’s Memo – July 11th


The third Sunday this month is National Ice Cream Day, a good reason to make something with ice cream such as Red, White and Blue Dessert Salad. It makes 12 to 14 servings, a good choice when entertaining this summer.


Red layer:
• 1 3-ounce box strawberry gelatin
• 1 cup boiling water
• 1/3 cup cold water
• 1 10-ounce box frozen strawberries

White layer:
• 1 3-ounce box lemon gelatin
• ¾ cup boiling water
• 1 teaspoon plain gelatin
• ¼ cup cold water
• 1 pint vanilla ice cream, slightly softened

Blue layer:
• 1 3-ounce box lemon gelatin
• 1 cup boiling liquid (blueberry syrup and water)
• 1 teaspoon plain gelatin
• ½ cup cold water
• 1 15-ounce can blueberries, drained and mashed, reserving juice

Dissolve strawberry gelatin in boiling water. Soften plain gelatin in cold water and add to hot gelatin mixture. Stir to dissolve. Add frozen strawberries and stir gently until fruit thaws and separates. Spoon into 9x13-inch glass dish and chill until set but not firm. To make white layer: Dissolve lemon gelatin in ¾ cup boiling water. Soften plain gelatin in ¼ cup cold water. Add hot mixture and stir to dissolve. Blend in ice cream, beating until smooth. Spoon over strawberry layer. Chill until set but not firm. Dissolve remaining box of lemon gelatin in ½ cup cold water and add blueberry juice and water mixture. When slightly thickened, add mashed blueberries and spoon over white layer. Chill until firm and cut into squares. Recipe makes 12 to 14 servings. Source: Thank You, I’m Glad You Liked It cookbook.


Nutrition experts frequently recommend eating cold water, fatty fish and salmon tops the list. ”Salmon is an excellent source of lean protein (a 3-ounce serving provides 23 grams) says Tanya Freirish, MS, RD, CDN, A dietitian at New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell. It’s also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids that many Americans don’t get enough of in their diets, as well as potassium, phosphorus and zinc.” Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, a type of polyunsaturated fat that is linked with lower risk of heart disease, lower triglyceride levels, lower blood pressure and reduced joint pain due to rheumatoid arthritis. Salmon is also a good source of vitamin D, which is essential for bone health. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with kidney disease, diabetes, cancer, depression and dementia. A 3-ounce portion of salmon provides 447 International Units (IU) for adults age 51 to 70 and 800 IU for adults over 70. Frozen and canned are also good options. Source: Weill Cornell Medical College Women’s Nutrition Connection, July 1016.


Deprive yourself no longer! Researchers investigated how consumption of dairy products was associated with the risk of becoming overweight or obese, and whether consumption of high-fat, low-fat and certain types of dairy products caused a difference. Drawing from participants in the Women’s Health Study, researcherschose approximately 18,500 women with normal body mass index (BMI) of 18.5-24.9 at baseline. During an average follow-up of 11 years, 8,238 women became overweight (BMI 25-30) or obese (BMI>30). However, weight gain for the highest quintile of dairy consumption (at least 3.1 servings daily) was 1.65 kilograms (3 lbs. 10 oz.) versus weight serving daily. While the difference in weight gain was modest, the women who had greater intake of total dairy products gained less weight than those who consumed fewer servings of dairy products, confirming that a dietary intake of at least three daily servings of dairy does not increase the risk of becoming overweight. The women in the highest quintile of intake also appeared to consume higher-fat dairy products, specifically, whole-fat milk and butter. Included in the study were dairy products such as skimmed milk, whole milk, sherbet, cream, yogurt, cheese and butter. Researchers suggest that certain components of dairy products, including proteins, vitamin D, calcium and phosphorus, may contribute to a lower risk of becoming overweight or obese. The study confirms results of several other studies that higher total dairy intake (including yogurt) is associated with less weight and waist circumference gains over a nine-year period. Source: Duke Medicine Health News, July 2016.


The fewer the ingredients, the better that memo readers like the recipes; Mini Lemon Mousse Cups are sure to please!


• 2 cups soft Cool Whip
• 10-ounce jar lemon curd (available at Chief in the same area that peanut better products are located)

Fold jar of lemon curd into thawed Cool Whip. Spoon into dessert dishes Garnish with lemon slices, if desired. Refrigerate up to 24 hours before serving. Makes 9 servings. For more super-simple dessert ideas go to Source: Summer issue of Kraft Food & Family, 2016.

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Mary’s Memo – July 4th


July is National Hot Dog Month, National Ice Cream Month, National Blueberry Month, National Anti-Boredom Month, also Chocolate Day on July 7th and Pecan Pie Day on July 12th!


2 tablespoons prepared mustard
2 8-ounce can tomato sauce
½ cup dark corn syrup
½ cup minced onion
2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon celery seed
2 pounds all beef hot dogs

In large skillet, blend mustard with small amount of tomato sauce; add remaining tomato sauce along with other ingredients except hot dogs. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until mixture comes to a boil; reduce heat and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Add hot dogs; cook until hot dogs are hot and plump. Serve in warm hot dog buns.


½ cup (1 stick) butter
½ cup slivered almonds
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup flaked coconut
2½ cups Rice Chex, crushed fine
½ gallon softened vanilla ice cream

Melt butter in saucepan over low heat. Brown almonds in butter. Add brown sugar and stir until melted. Add coconut and crushed Rice Chex. Put half of the crumb mixture in the bottom of a 2-quart oblong dish. Spoon softened ice cream over crumbs. Sprinkle with remaining crumbs. Cover with foil and freeze. Recipe makes 12 servings. On National Pecan Pie Day July 12th, do make this pecan pie, a recipe from my microwave classes in the 70’s.


1 9-inch baked pie shell
¼ cup butter (1/2 stick)
3 large eggs
1 cup dark corn syrup
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1½ cups pecan halves

Put butter in a large glass bowl. Microwave on high ½ to1 minute to melt butter. Add eggs; quickly beat with a fork to mix well. Blend in corn syrup, brown sugar, flour and vanilla. Stir in pecan halves. Pouf filling into baked crust. Microwave on 50 percent power 9 to 12 minutes or until top surface is dry and puffed. If center is not completely set, it will firm up as it cools. Let pie cool to room temperature before cutting.
On National Chocolate Day July 7th nothing beats Death by Chocolate Cake!


2-layer chocolate cake mix
¼ cup vegetable oil (like canola)
2 eggs
1 1/3 cup water
12-ounce package semi-sweet chocolate chips
12-ounce jar Smucker’s chocolate fudge topping
1 8-ounce container whipped topping, thawed
Chopped nuts, either pecans or walnuts (optional)

Pour oil into 9x13-inch baking pan. Whisk together cake mix, eggs and water until blended. Stir into oil. Sprinkle chocolate chips over top of the cake. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until done in preheated 350ºF oven. Remove from oven and cool on rack for 5 minutes. With the handle of a wooden spoon, punch holes over surface of cake. Cool completely. Then carefully spread fudge topping over surface. Frost with whipped topping and sprinkle with nuts if using.
For National Blueberry Month do make a summer favorite, Blueberry Buckle.


½ cup butter, softened
¾ cup sugar
1 large egg
1¾ cup unsifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup milk (whatever kind you use)
2 cups (I pint) blueberries, sorted, cleaned and well drained
Crumb topping

Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat well. Add dry ingredients alternately with milk, beating until smooth. Gently fold in blueberries. Spoon into well buttered 9x9x2" baking pan. Sprinkle with crumbs. To make topping, blend together ¼ cup cold butter, ½ cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour and ½ teaspoon cinnamon. Bake in preheated 375ºF oven for 30 to 35 minutes. Note: Bake a double recipe in a 10x15-inch jelly roll pan.

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Mary’s Memo – June 27th


The 2016 Consumer Action Handbook from has a wealth of information about purchases, problems and complaints you might have with hundreds of companies, trade association, national consumer organizations and more. It is also available in Spanish. To order a free copy, contact and ask for publication 5131.


Sugar snap peas and snow peas are available at the Chief. Daughter Mary Ann shared a way she used shucking peas, and I improvised using frozen peas. To make, cut each of 4 cremini mushrooms into 4 slices. Sauté in butter until cooked and juice has evaporated. Cover with sherry (not cooking sherry). Add ½ cup of frozen peas and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve as soon as peas are thawed and hot. Recipe makes I serving.

I love beet tops as well as the beets, but they’re not available this way in produce department. Instead, my options are whole beets minus tops or canned beets. Work beets into your menu plans. My cookbook includes my mother’s recipe for Harvard beets made with either fresh or canned beets.


1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/3 cup granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup water or canned beet juice
2 tablespoons butter
3 cups sliced, cooked beets (fresh or canned)

Mix cornstarch, sugar, salt, vinegar, liquid and butter together and cook until thickened, stirring constantly. Add sliced beets and heat thoroughly. Recipe makes 5 to 6 servings.
Source: “Thank You, I’m Glad You Liked It” cookbook.


We’ve been fortunate to have what my spouse called a couple “million dollar rains” in June. It certainly made my small “salad garden” come alive! While I anxiously wait for garden tomatoes to harvest, Baked Tomato Casserole is a delicious alternative! Even though the recipe makes 6 to 8 servings, it doesn’t make that many servings for me and reheats beautifully in the microwave. This is also one of the few times that soft white bread crumbs (made in the food processor) are preferred.


1 28-ounce can Our Family diced tomatoes, undrained
2 cups soft white bread crumbs
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon dried basil
¼ teaspoon Tabasco sauce
2 teaspoons butter

Combine tomatoes, soft bread crumbs, sugar, vinegar, basil and Tabasco sauce. Spoon into 1½-quart casserole. Dot with butter. Bake in preheated 400ºF oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned. Recipe (for some) makes 6 to 8 servings.
Source: Thank You, I’m Glad You Liked It cookbook.


Chief’s produce department has fresh asparagus, but if you’re fortunate to have you own supply, do try this Purdue recipe for Rhubarb Custard pie. Hopefully, you have an 8-inch glass pie plate to make it.


2 eggs
1 tablespoon melted butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup sugar
2 cups finely sliced rhubarb
Unbaked 8-inch pie crust

Beat eggs. Add melted butter. Mix flour and sugar together. Stir in rhubarb. Pour into 8-inch unbaked pie plate lined with pie crust. Bake in 450ºF oven for 10 minutes, then in moderate 350ºF oven for about 30 minutes. Note: I have had these recipes since graduating from Purdue in 1949.
Source: Family Size Recipes from “Home Economics Lunchroom Favorites.”

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Mary’s Memo – June 20th


Use sunscreen daily, reapply often, and cover up when you’re outside during the day to reduce the likelihood of skin-related problems. KEEP YOURSELF HYDRATED!
Sip nonalcoholic liquids throughout the day, even if you don’t feel thirsty.
Source: Consumer Reports on Health, June 2016.


Betty Crocker’s 3rd Place Winner Bisquick Recipe Contest 2010 was Buffalo Chicken Pie. Original recipe called for cooked chicken strips but I used meat from a Chief rotisserie chicken. Also, I replaced regular Bisquick with Heart Smart kind. Never tasted a Betty Crocker impossible pie that I didn’t like!


2 cups cubed rotisserie chicken
½ cup Buffalo Wing Sauce
1 cup Our Family shredded Sharp Cheddar cheese
½ cup crumbled blue cheese
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup Heart Smart Bisquick mix
½ cup cornmeal
½ cup milk (whatever kind you use)
1 large egg
2/3 cup blue cheese dressing
Preheat oven to 400ºF. In large bowl, toss chicken and Buffalo Wing Sauce until well coated. Stir in cheeses and celery until well coated. Pour into 9-inch pie plate. In medium bowl, mix Bisquick mix, corn meal, milk and egg. Pour over chicken mixture; spread to cover. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown. Cut into blue cheese dressing.
Source: Adapted from Betty Crocker recipe.


Leanne Stephens, a dietetic intern at Tufts’ Francis tern Nutrition Center, reports: “Although it may seem as if you are not getting enough potassium in your diet, you are probably consuming more than you think.” The Adequate (AI) for potassium suggests that adults need to aim for 4.7 grams of potassium per day in their diet. Data from a recent survey analyzing average potassium intake from food and beverages found that adult men are consuming 3.1 grams per day and adult women are consuming about 2.4 grams each day. The results of this survey are in line with other data suggesting that typical Western diet does not satisfy potassium requirements and may potentially lead to a slight potassium deficiency. “This does not mean that the only solution is to begin taking potassium supplements. In without feeling like you need fact, you should consume a potassium supplement only under the supervision of your physician. The body tightly regulates potassium, which can be just as dangerous as very low levels of potassium. The great news is that with planning, potassium needs can be met through diet without consuming oodles of bananas. While certain fruits and vegetables such as bananas and potatoes are known to be great sources of potassium, other food groups are also packed with this essential nutrient. Meat, legumes, nuts and dairy products contain ample amounts of potassium that can help you reach the AI of 4.7 grams per day. If you are concerned about your current potassium intake, you can meet with a registered dietitian to plan a healthy diet that will meet all of your micronutrient and macronutrient needs.”
Source: Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter, June 2016.


You already know I like anything Buffalo. Another favorite is anything Reuben flavored. Farm Journal published Snacks cookbook just before Christmas in 1977 and this week’s Reuben Sandwich Filling has been on my “so good” list ever since!


1 12 ounce can corned beef, shredded
8-ounces Our Family shredded Swiss cheese
1 16-ounce glass jar of Silver Floss Sauerkraut, drained and
¾ Cup Our Family Light Mayonnaise
3 tablespoons chili sauce
Rye bread
Combine corned beef, cheese, mayonnaise and chili sauce. Cover and store in the refrigerator. To serve, spread filling between rye bread slices. Butter outside of bread slices. Cook on sandwich grill or in skillet until cheese melts. Recipe makes 5 cups filing.
Source: Farm Journal Snacks cookbook, December 1977.

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Mary’s Memo – June 13th


Although not a cookbook, it is a timely publication for safe summer outdoor cooking. What’s Your BBQ IQ has all the information you need to insure that your food is cooked to the right temperature to kill germs. Learn more about food safety at For example, you might think that cleaning grates with a wire brush is the way to go but it isn’t because you run the risk of wire residue sticking to the grates and the food you’re cooking. Instead, clean grate with a wet soapy cloth.


Although some grillers cook outside year-round, my outdoor grilling season begins Memorial Day weekend. Several years ago I invested in a grilling basket from Williams Sonoma. They’re also available from Bed Bath & Beyond. With a basket there’s no chance of vegetables falling through the grates.
Too often, you see meats and poultry cooked over a flame but I choose to heat one side of the grill and cook on the opposite side to avoid any flame touching the surface of the meat which can be carcinogenic.


Our children were never curious about cleaning supplies stored in the cabinet under the sink. Just give them a pot or pan to clang with a spoon and they were happy campers. That said, if you have children or grandchildren who are attracted to what’s in that cupboard, you have a responsibility to keep these supplies under lock and key. I mention this because Tide Pods, manufactured in Canada, are a concentrated detergent that includes a stain remover and I’m a pod user. The only time I might have a problem is at Thanksgiving when my great grandson will be here. Critics of the Tide Pods are concerned that they could be deadly to children if eaten but so can a knife or fork cause harm. A word about any of the pods: Don’t attempt to clean a stain yourself; let whatever pod you’re using do it.


Honey has been used for centuries as a natural remedy, for everything from dressing wounds to treating intestinal diseases. Regarding flavor, honey gets its flavor and color from the nectar of different flowers visited by honey bees. The darker the color, the more phytochemicals it contains, but the levels in a teaspoon are minuscule compared to what’s in a serving of fruits and vegetables. Honey actually contains more calories per teaspoon (22) than table sugar (16), but because it tastes sweeter, you may end up using less. The bottom line: Honey may have a few potential medicinal uses. But don’t buy all the hype about its healthfulness. What’s more, remember that it is still a sweetener and all the criticisms and concerns about sugar apply to honey as well. Source: University of California, Berkeley Wellness Letter, May, 2016.


Labels can say “local” if a food was grown in your state or within 399 miles.
Source: Consumer Reports on Health, June 2016.

Jeanne P. Goldberg, PhD, professor at the Friedman School and Director of the Nutrition Communications Program, notes that the US Food and Drug Administration recommends against washing packaged produce items like mixed salad greens that are pre-washed and ready to eat. According to the FDA, “it is unlikely that consumers washing of such products will make the product cleaner compared to a commercial triple wash.” Moreover, the agency warns, “it is possible that additional handling may contaminate a product that is clean.”
Source: Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter, June 2016.


The origin of this recipe is the New York Times' web site. Daughter Mary Ann gave a “thumbs up” to Roasted Asparagus Frittata. We’re printing the entire recipe but she made half of it in a 6-inch skillet.


8 to 12 medium to fat asparagus spears, trimmed
Olive oil
Salt and black pepper
4 large eggs
¼ to ½ cup roughly chopped Italian parsley
½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 450ºF. Spread asparagus on a baking sheet and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast, shaking pan occasionally, until the asparagus is lightly charred and tender, about 12 minutes. Beat the eggs with salt, pepper, half the parsley and half the cheese. Cut the asparagus into 2-inch lengths and arrange in single layer

In a 10-inch nonstick skillet. Drizzle with more olive oil and set over medium heat. Pour the egg mixture over the asparagus. Use a spatula if necessary to make a round frittata. Cook until nearly set, tilting the pan and lifting the edge of the set egg to let the liquid egg flow underneath, about 4 minutes. When top is almost dry, flip frittata onto a plate, then slide it back into the pan. Let cook for just a few seconds, then flip onto a plate. Alternatively, use an ovenproof pan and put it in the oven or under the broiler for a few minutes. Sprinkle with remaining parsley and cheese. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature. Recipe makes 2 servings.
Source: Adapted from New York Times website recipe.

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