Mary’s Memo – September 21st


I have before me a copy of “The Dairy Food Cookbook” edited by Lisa Kinglsey. Published this year by Andrew McMeel Publishing, the $25.00 hardback book includes everyday comfort food from America’s dairy farm families. Purchase of this cookbook helps support GENYOUth Foundation that helps millions of children in America have better access to nutritious foods and become high achieving adults. Organized around a dairy farmer’s day, the book begins with a “Sunrise Breakfast” and ends with an “After-Dinner Dessert’ as well as including holidays and family get-together’s. Nothing soothes the soul quite like a warm bit of Salsa Mac with Colby Jack, Apple Cheddar Pizza, Apricot Dijon Pork Chops or a taste of Triple Layer Cake with Vanilla Buttercream. We’re featuring a recipe that caught my attention in the “Sundown Supper” chapter and a dip from the “After Chores Snack” chapter.

Cajun Mac and Cheese combines spicy Andouille sausage, chopped onions and sweet bell peppers with a trifecta of butter, heavy cream and cheese tossed and bow tie pasta. Kids and adults will love Creamy Apple Butter Dip with cream cheese, apple butter and peanut butter served with freshly harvested apple and pear slices or graham crackers if you prefer. Yum!


• 2 tablespoons butter
• 2 large yellow onions, finely diced (about 2 cups)
• 2 cups finely diced bell pepper (2 cups)
• 1 cup sliced Andouille sausage
• 4 cups heavy cream
• 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
• 1 lb. bow tie pasta, cooked according to package directions
• 1/4 cup sliced green onions

Melt the butter in an extra large skillet over medium high heat. Add the onions and bell pepper and cook until vegetables are soften, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the sausage and cook for another 5 to 6 minutes or until vegetables are soft and the sausage begins to brown. Pour in the heavy cream and increase the heat to high. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat to low and simmer until cream has thickened slightly, about 5 minutes. Add the cheese and stir until melted. Season with salt and black pepper. Add the cooked pasta and stir until all ingredients are well combined and the pasta is coated with sauce. Serve immediately with a sprinkling of green onion. Recipe makes 8 servings.

My Note:
To cut fat calories replace heavy cream with half and half and reduced-fat Cheddar, preferably sharp Cheddar, because of its robust flavor.


• 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
• 1 cup apple butter
• 1 cup creamy peanut butter

Apple slices, pear slices and/or graham crackers In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese, apple butter and peanut butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 to 4 hours. Serve with apple and pear slices and/or graham crackers. Recipe makes 12 servings.


Spiralizers that replace regular pasta with strings of hard vegetables like carrots, zucchini, beets, etc., is a healthy concept but watch your fingers because the gadget has a sharp part and if you’re on a blood thinner, can be a serious problem. So handle with care!


Body weight is an essential part pf a person’s self- image, and when pounds accumulate, so often does distress. Our culture is, to put it mildly, preoccupied with weight. And yet surveys show that almost half of people who are overweight or even obese don’t realize it, and most parents of obese children describe their kids as being “about the right weight.” Obesity is one of the biggest health risks we face. It increases the risk of many chronic disorders. It’s estimated that obesity is associated with anywhere from 10 to 25 percent of all deaths and shortens life expectancy by four to seven years. The good news is that the rate of weight gain has been slowing, In fact, obesity rates seem to have reached a plateau in some groups such as middle age women while the rate among young children has actually started to drop.

Given all of that, it’s no surprise that so many Americans are constantly going on diets or are at least trying to “watch” their weight. Clearly most have not been achieving long term success. That has fueled a $60,000 billion diet industry, from diet books, structured programs, special food supplements, medications and weight-loss (bariatric) surgery.
Source: Special 2015 Fall Issue of the University of California at Berkeley Wellness Letter.

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Mary’s Memo – September 14th


The tomatillo (pronounced tohm-ah-TEE-oh) is also called the Mexican green tomato. It belongs to the same night shade family as the tomato. Except for its parchment like covering, it resembles a small green tomato in size, shape and appearance. Although tomatillos can ripen to yellow, they are generally used while still green and quite firm. Their flavor has a hint of lemon, apple and herbs. Choose firm fruit with dry, tight-fitting husks. They can be stored in a paper bag in the refrigerator for up to a month. Remove husk and wash fruit before using. Tomatillos are rich in vitamin A and contain a good amount of vitamin C.
Source: Food Lover’s Companion, Fourth Edition, by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst (Barron’s, 2007, $16.99)


One of the only fried foods I eat is fried green tomatoes. However, green tomatoes are hard-to-come-by in my part of the state so being able to fix tomatillos almost year-round and do them in the oven really caught my attention! I’m more conservative about use of garlic and thought 1 teaspoon garlic powder was too much for my taste. Recipe includes a sauce but I’ making it an optional ingredient (fewer calories without).


• Olive Oil Spray
• 1 pound tomatillos (about 12 medium), husked, scrubbed and cut into ½-inch slices
• 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
• 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder or to taste
• 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
• 2 large eggs
• 1 1/4 cups panko breadcrumbs
• 1/4 cup ketchup
• 1/4 cup Hellmann’s Light Mayonnaise

Position oven rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 4250F. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray. Sprinkle tomatoes with salt and pepper. Combine flour, garlic powder and Cajun seasoning in a shallow dish. Lightly beat eggs in a third dish. Dredge tomatillo slices in flour, dip in eggs, then in panko crumbs. Arrange on prepared baking sheet. Generously coat with cooking spray. Bake tomatillos, turning once, until brown (about 15 minutes). Meanwhile , combine ketchup and mayonnaise in a small bowl and serve with tomatillos. Recipe makes 6 servings.
Source: Adapted from recipe in EatingWell July/August 2015 issue.


There’s a far better and safer way to clean your barbecue grill than with a wire grill brush. Wire bristles from grill brushes can snap off, land on the grate and find their way into grilled meats, public health experts warn. If ingested, these bristles can tear up a person’s throat and digestive tract, causing potentially life-threatening injuries. About 80,000 people wind up in emergency rooms each year after they accidently swallow foreign objects and wire bristles are part of that group, but cases are difficult to track.

A better way to clean your grill is to turn all burners on high, close lid and burn off any residue. When cool, wash grids with soap and water and dry. Then coat grids with a cut potato half or onion. As you know by now, I never cook meat over an open flame. I prefer to heat one side of the grill and broil meat, poultry or fish on the opposite side. It will take longer but there’s no chance of the flame touching the meat which can be carcinogenic.


Researchers at the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab determined that people are more likely to choose foods if they are Convenient, Attractive and Normal (CAN).
Source: Weill Cornell Medical College Women’s Nutrition Connection, September 2015.


Caramelized Onions Swiss Chard has been one if my favorite side dishes this summer. Recipe makes 4 1/2-cup servings but I personally eat half of it at one time. Original recipe included 2 cups sliced yellow onions but we all know that sweeter onions will caramelize better. I‘m still wondering why they’re to be cooked with a dash of baking soda but they did fine without it


• 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
• 2 cups sliced sweet onions
• 12 cups chopped Swiss chard, stems removed and washed (a salad spinner works fine)
• 2 tablespoons water
• 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add oliveoil; swirl to coat. Add Swiss chard and water to pan; cook 3 minutes or just until Swiss chard wilts. Stir in vinegar and freshly ground pepper. Recipe makes 4 servings.
Source: Adapted from recipe.

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Mary’s Memo – September 7th


My sister introduced me to a Spirelli, the Original by Gefu, for my birthday last year but I hadn’t used it until recently. Made in Germany, with a spiral slicer you can conjure up endless Julienne strips of carrot, radishes, cucumber, potatoes, beets and other firm vegetables. I strongly recommend purchase of Inspiralized by Ali Maffucci (Clarkson Potter, 2015, $19.95/softback), Williams Sonoma and Sur La Table’s Paderno Spiralizer costs more but has more options. Its compact design collapses into base for easy storage, handle accommodates both right-handed and left-handed users, includes four stainless steel blades; angel-hair shredder, chipper, fine shredder and straight blade and includes a cookbook. Whatever spiral cutter you buy makes it possible to replace regular pasta with vegetable spirals for a low calorie base for your favorite tomato-based spaghetti sauce with or without meat. I bought Inspiralized at Bed Bath & Beyond, but you can buy it at


While serving peach pie at the Bryan Chief recently, a customer asked why label on a package of lard says it is hydrogenated. According to the 4th Edition of the Food Lover’s Companion, it’s because unprocessed lard has a strong flavor and soft texture. Lard can be processed many ways. Hydrogenation gives lard a milder nutlike flavor, firmer texture like vegetable shortening and a longer shelf life. That said, my recommendation is to refrigerate it once you bring it home from the supermarket, even though Food Lover’s Companion says it can be stored at room temperature.


I can’t emphasize enough the importance of eating breakfast. The word itself means break fast. It wasn’t unusual when I was running late for Mother to send me on my way to school with an egg sandwich in my hand. Many schools agree and provide breakfast to students who arrive at school on an empty stomach. Starting the day with breakfast improves learning skills.

Loraine Robinett of Bryan shared her recipe for Banana Muffins recently, another breakfast choice. Moisture comes from a surprise ingredient.


• 1 cup Miracle Whip Salad Dressing
• 3/4 cup sugar
• 1 cup mashed bananas (2)
• 2 cups flour
• 2 teaspoons baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix salad dressing, sugar and mashed bananas together. Stir in flour, soda and salt just until moistened. Fill paper-lined muffin cups 2/3rds full. Bake in preheated 3500F oven for 20 to 25 minutes. Recipe makes 12 large muffins.
Source: Loraine Robinett, Bryan, OH.


In general, snack cheese is a good match for fruits such as apple or pear slices, grapes, dates and figs. It is also a good partner for savory snacks such as nuts and wholegrain crackers or pita bread. Mozzarella cheese sticks are especially good with sundried tomatoes. If your breakfast is low in protein, grab a cheese stick before you dash out the door in the morning.
Source: Weill Cornell Medical College Women’s Nutrition Connection, September 2015.


A favorite cookbook of mine is “I’ll Taste Manhattan by the Junior League of New York City, purchased at the Fifth Avenue Barnes and Noble in May 1994. When I peruse cookbooks, I’m looking for recipes suitable for Mary’s Memo and/or demo at the Bryan Chief. That said, Fresh Sweet Corn Ragout caught my attention. Although I was tempted to copy the recipe, that would have been on the “tacky” side so it was purchased without any regrets on my part. The book is designed to please both novice and the experienced hostess. The recipes are as diverse and individual as the neighborhoods, locations and menus that Manhattanites call home. Although there are challenging recipes most are doable by anyone who enjoys cooking, In addition to being a cookbook, it’s filled with pictures and historic information about “the city that never sleeps.” You can purchase “I’ll Taste Manhattan” via and even buy a used copy if that is your reference.


• 4 ears fresh corn
• 2 homegrown tomatoes, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
• 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
• 1 zucchini, coarsely chopped
• 4 scallions, thinly sliced
• 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme (1 tablespoon fresh, if available)
• 2 tablespoons chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 3 drops Tabasco sauce
• 1/2 cup chicken broth

Cut corn from ear. Melt butter in large skillet. Stirring constantly over high heat, sauté corn, bell pepper, zucchini and scallions for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes. Sauté for 1 minute. Sprinkle mixture with thyme, parsley, salt and pepper. Stir in Tabasco and chicken broth and cook an additional 1 minute. Serve immediately. Source: Adapted from recipe in “I’ll Taste Manhattan.”

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Mary’s Memo – August 31st


John Montagu, the Fourth Earl of Sandwich, invented the bread and something combination so he could eat his meal one handed while gambling with the other. There’s no reason why a sandwich can’t replace a conventional meal as long as it contains healthy ingredients. The Earl of Sandwich didn’t add a salad or soup although it’s common for us to do so. To celebrate National Sandwich Month, I can’t think of a better recipe to share than Barbecued Beef for Sandwiches from a cookbook called “From the Horse’s Mouth,” that I bought when we were traveling through Ft. Riley, Kansas, years ago. I made it often when we were a family of 6 but it makes enough for casual entertaining. Make this when Chief’s boneless chuck roasts are on sale.


• 4 pounds boneless chuck roast
• 1 large rib celery
• 2 large onions, chopped
• 1 green bell pepper, chopped
• 14 ounces of catsup
• 3 tablespoons barbecue sauce
• 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
• 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
• 2 tablespoons chili powder
• 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
• 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper
• 1 1/2 cup water

Preheat oven to 3000F. Trim as much fat from the roast as possible before cooking. Put roast in a large roasting pan. Mix other ingredients together and spoon over beef. Bake, uncovered, for 5 hours or until meat is tender shreds easily. Prepare the beef ahead of time, chill and then lift any fat off the meat before reheating to make sandwiches. Mixture freezes.
Source: From the Horse’s Mouth, Ft. Riley, Kansas.


It’s at least virtually free of drug residues, according to an FDA report involving 1,900 milk samples tested for 31 veterinary drugs, including antibiotics. Fewer than 1 percent contained residues. And dairy farms that previously tested positive for residues were no more likely to fail the testing than those without violations. Though treated cows are not supposed to be milked until drugs are out of their system, many people worry that residues still end up in the milk. Putting such concerns to rest, the findings “provide evidence that the nation’s milk safety system is effective in helping prevent drug residues of concern in milk.”
Source: University of California at Berkeley Wellness Letter, August 2015.


Plantains, pronounced PLAN-tihn are certainly not new to my Hispanic friends but they were to me when I served them at the Bryan Chief recently. The source of the recipe used was from Food Network’s Sunny Anderson. Others who hadn’t eaten one thought they tasted like a potato and I did, also. A young lady whose mother came to the states from Mexico said they’re served with salt and pepper, brown sugar and cinnamon or plain. Personally, they would replace potatoes if worked into a meal.

Visiting other supermarkets wherever I’m visiting is a fun experience and that’s when I first tasted a fresh peppadew pronounced PEP-pah-doo pepper. It’s on the hot but sweet side and delicious chopped and added to cream cheese. Just so you know, Chief has jars of peppadew peppers in the condiment aisle. I served the spread on whole wheat crackers. Not necessary for you to do but to enjoy the flavor of the peppadew, choose a neutral-flavored cracker.


Chief has a variety of ways to buy kale and there’s no doubt about the fact that it’s good for us! But Swiss chard is also available and at home I’ve made it several times with caramelized onions. Although it makes four 1/2-cup servings, I like it so well that I have half the recipe at one sitting!


• 1 teaspoon olive oil
• 2 cups sliced sweet onions
• 12 cups Swiss chard, stems removed & torn in pieces
• 2 tablespoons water
• 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
• Salt and pepper to taste

Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil; swirl to coat. Add onion; cook 10 minutes or until golden brown but not burned, stirring occasionally. Add Swiss chard and water to skillet; cook 3 minutes or until chard wilts. Stir in vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately. Calories per serving: 64 including just 1.4 grams fat.
Source: Recipe adapted from

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Mary’s Memo – August 24th


A newly published follow up to findings from a study of the so-called Mediterranean diet adds to the evidence that such an eating pattern, especially when it includes nuts and olive oil, may help the aging brain. Results from a subgroup of the Spanish PREMIMED study showed that those assigned to a Mediterranean diet held steady in cognition while a control group declined. In the PREDIMED study, participants in addition to consumption of nuts and olive oil, ate at least two daily servings of vegetables including a salad; at least three daily servings of fresh fruit; at least three weekly servings of legumes, such as beans, lentils, garbanzo beans, soybeans and peas; at least three weekly meals of fish such as salmon, tuna or sardines; a sauce (“sofrito”) of tomatoes and onion, often including garlic and aromatic herbs, simmered in olive oil, at least twice a week; and wine with dinner for those who drank alcohol. Participants were told to cut down on fatty red and processed meat, commercially baked goods such as pastries, fat-based spreads and sugared sodas.
Source: Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter, August 2015.


My Keurig coffeemaker was a birthday gift from daughter Mary Ann three years ago and now it’s one of my favorite appliances even though ecologists think it’s an environmental disaster. Although I keep K-Cups for guests, I fill a reusable container (available at Chief) with ground Folger’s whenever I want a cup. It’s much cheaper, too! My advice is not to use tap but bottled water, preferably distilled, to fill the tank. Last time I looked, Chief’s Our Family distilled water was $1.00 per gallon. I must do something right because I’ve only decalcified it once (it will tell you when this should be done). With a Keurig, I rarely use a conventional coffeemaker.


A recent study revealed that gratitude was associated with better sleep and lower levels of markers of inflammation in the body (such a C-reactive protein). That might be because it provides more happiness, the researchers noted.
Source: Spirituality in Clinical Practice, April 2015


It’s clear that added sugar is a problem for many Americans. But what matters most are the context and quantities. Excessive sugar intake is usually a marker for a diet heavy in processed foods and high in calories, saturated fat and sodium. But research now indicates that it boosts risk independently of overall diet. If you eat mostly whole foods (as opposed to processed foods) and rarely consume sugary soft drinks, you may well be getting less than 10 percent or less of your daily calories from added sugar. Some simple steps can help reduce sugar intake, such as limiting your consumption of sugar-laden yogurt (add your own fruit to plain yogurt) and choosing breakfast cereals with little or no sugar. Still, if you are generally careful and the rest of your diet is healthful, consuming small amounts of sugar is unlikely to be harmful. Limiting added sugar will be easier in the future, since food companies will have to list it separately on the FDA’s new nutrition labels, which were proposed in 2014 but will not go into effect for a couple years.
Source: University of California at Berkeley Wellness Letter, August 2015.


Sam Trentadue, my brother-in-law, came up with the name. That said, I really "Marynized” this week’s slow cooker entrée called Swiss Chicken. Original recipe called for skin-on chicken breast halves, 8 slices Swiss cheese, regular mushroom soup, 1/2 to 1 cup Italian flavored bread crumbs and 1/2 cup (1stick) butter. First time, it was prepared as printed. The recipe on the memo reflects the changes that were made.


• 4 chicken breast halves with ribs attached, skinned
• 4 slices Our Family Swiss cheese
• 1 can Campbell’s Healthy Request mushroom soup
• 3/4 cup Progresso Italian bread crumbs
• 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted.

For easy clean-up, line 5 or 6-quart slow cooker with a slow cooker liner (available at Chief). You’ll still have to wash the cooker afterwards but it’s a breeze to do. Lay chicken on the bottom. Put a slice of cheese on each piece of meat. Spoon undiluted mushroom soup on chicken. Combine dry bread crumb with melted butter and scatter over all. Cook on high setting for 1 hour, then reduce to low and cook an additional 7 hours.
Source: Adapted from A Day in Motherhood recipe at

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Mary’s Memo – August 17th


How can two glasses stuck together be separated? Three
things are needed: A sink, ice water and hot water. Step 1: Fill top glass with ice water (this causes top glass to contract), Adding salt to ice water will chill it faster. Step 2: Run hot water over bottom glass. Twist gently (hot water causes bottom glass to expand). Still stuck? Try colder water or keep bottom glass submerged in hot water a little longer (this may take up to 10 minutes, depending on the glass.)


For decades scientists have known that whole grains in general and oats in particular, are associated with reduced risk of chronic disease. Now, new research shows that phenolic compound avenanthramide (AVE) found only in oats, may have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties as well as a protective role in heart health. Heretofore, most of the benefits associated with oats were attributed to the high fiber, vitamin, mineral and phytochemical content of whole grains, notably soluble fiber betaglucan, recognized for its ability to lower total and LDL cholesterol. The new research shows that oats’ benefits may result not just from fiber but also AVE’s, for additional cardio-protective benefits. Researchers from Tufts University have shown that AVEs suppress production of inflammatory cytokines linked with fatty streak formation in the arteries and also seem to inhibit the process associated with atherosclerosis. These findings were presented at the 247th Annual Conference of the American Chemical Society in Dallas in 2014.
Source: Duke Medicine Health News, August 2015


Abundance of rain has increased the number of pesky mosquitoes. No one told me that mosquitoes didn’t like Listerine but had I asked a pharmacist, he would have told me so. Friends of mine put a capful in a small plastic spray bottle filled with water and it’s been enough to repel them. Someone else told me they do half Listerine and half water in a spray bottle. I’ve gone with the larger amount because mosquitoes have plagued me my entire life! If you don’t have a spray bottle, The Dollar Tree Stores have them. Wish I had known this during my Girl Scout camp days! Yes, Listerine contains chemicals but far better choice than other products available and safer to spray on children.


Norovirus, the contagious infection that causes gastroenteritis, might afflict dogs, too. Canines might be susceptible at a lower rate than people, and it has not been proved that you can catch norovirus from them. But a study by researchers in the United Kingdom recommends that “sensible hygiene precautions” be taken around pets, especially in a household where gastroenteritis is present. That means washing your hands after cleaning up after your dog.
Source: Consumer Reports on Health, August 2015


The supermarket should be your last stop when shopping. Chief does have bags and Styrofoam containers to keep perishables safe and maintain quality if you don’t have a suitable ones. It’s not as much of a problem in cooler weather but absolutely necessary during the summer months. No food should set out more than 2 hours whether it’s at a picnic, potluck or home environment. Otherwise, keep it hot or cold, not in-between. When in doubt, throw it out. Better to be safe than sorry!


My sister doesn’t recall Mother making this but it was a replacement for a lettuce salad, especially in the wintertime when garden lettuce was not available. Traveling with Daddy, Mother was served a salad made with lemon juice instead of apple cider vinegar (in those days we didn’t have the plethora of dressings we have now) and that’s what gives combination salad such a good taste anytime of the year. It gets rave reviews whenever I’ve served it to company and can be made ahead. One thing I do is toss salt to taste to the cabbage mixture before lemon juice and canola oil is added.


• 1 package Cole Slaw Mix
• 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
• 1 cup chopped unpeeled seedless cucumber
• 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
• ¼ cup chopped sweet onion
• Juice of fresh lemon
• Pepper to taste
• Just enough canola oil to moisten

Add salt to slaw mix and toss together. Let stand about 15 minutes. Add remaining ingredient. Cover and store in refrigerator until serving time. Recipe serves 6 to 8.

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Mary’s Memo – August 10th


A Bryan Chief shopper asked recently if she could replace Crisco with butter in baking and if she could use the same amount. My go-to person at Purdue is Dinah C Dalder, MS, RD, CNSC, CD, Dietetics Program Manager, Department of Nutrition Science. Her reply was as follows: “I think that most recipes are going to be very forgiving. I suggest substituting equal amounts of butter for shortening. You are correct that butter and shortening do not have the same composition, but for all practical purposes I would not worry about adjusting the amounts.”

I also asked Purdue graduate Annie Watts Cloncs, Marketing Communications Consultant, the same question. She replied: “In cookie recipes I have successfully replaced Crisco vegetable shortening with the same amount of unsalted butter. The texture of the baked product might be a little different (a slightly less soft/chewy cookie for example). My suggestion to your shopper is to try 1 for 1 substitution and decide if the end result is acceptable. Also, in the back of my Better Homes and Gardens plaid cookbook (11th edition) substitution chart says: If you don’t have margarine, for 1 cup, substitute 1 cup butter or 1 cup shortening plus 1/4 teaspoon salt, if desired.”


Except for Chief’s own cookies baked fresh daily, it’s safe to say that Oreo cookies are near the top of the list of “store bought” ones. That said, I have avoided them because of the calories and because I still make homemade cookies. But along came Oreo Thins introduced in July in chocolate or vanilla flavors. Nabisco considers 4 cookies a serving and there are 10 servings per package. Calories per serving are 140 including 80 from fat. For me 2 Oreo Slims are enough, a more guilt-free choice!

As for regular Oreos, they’ve been around since 1912. The first Oreos looked very similar to the cookies of today with only slight differences on the chocolate disc. Since that time that time some variations have come along including double stuffed, fudge covered, Halloween and Christmas Oreos. A Chief associate said the Key Lime Oreos are to die for! I must admit they’re a winner as regular Oreos go but I’ll still take the Slims!


It doesn’t get much better than this and right now a lot of Chief’s produce is grown in Ohio such as sweet corn, green beans, zucchini and yellow squash. The advantage to buying your sweet corn at Chief is that it’s in a cool environment from the time it’s received until you take it home and less likely for sugar in corn to change to starch as it does at a lot of farmers’ markets.


Although the recipe is relatively easy to put together, by the time crust, filling and streusel topping are made it’s on the labor-intensive side. Even when Bryan Chief tasters were warned up front about the time it took, they didn’t seem to care. On the plus side, it does make 15 servings. This is not an everyday dessert but for company it’s worth the effort!



• 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into small pieces, plus more for greasing 10x15 jelly roll pan (or spray with butter flavored Pam).
• 3 cups all-purpose flour
• 2/3 cup powdered sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


• 3 pounds peaches (about 10) cut into 1/2 inch wedges
• 1 1/2-cups packed light brown sugar
• Juice of 1 lemon
• 3 tablespoons cornstarch
• 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg


• 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/2 cup sliced skin-on almonds
• 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
• 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
• 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat oven to 3750F. For dough, combine butter, flour, powdered sugar and salt in a food processor or electric mixer and process until mixture comes together in solid mass (will take time to do). Drop pieces of dough on pan. With the palm of your hand, press evenly along the bottom of pan and about 1/2-inch. Set aside. Meanwhile toss filling ingredients together until cornstarch dissolves. Spoon filling evenly into prepared pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes (mine took 30 minutes). While pie bakes combine streusel ingredients with a fork. Sprinkle evenly over filling and bake an additional 25 to 30 minutes more. Cool on cake rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Source: Adapted from Food Network recipe.

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Mary’s Memo – August 3rd


My birthday present from my sister last year was a Spiral Slicer but it wasn’t until recently that I purchased Insprialized by Ali Maffucci (Clarkson Potter, 2015, $19.95/softback) at Bed Bath & Beyond so I had recipes to use it. One of the best things about spiralizing is that it introduces you to new vegetables and fruits. Eventually, you’ll be in the supermarket asking yourself, “Can I spiralizer that?” Maybe you’ll find something you’ve never tasted before or haven’t heard of yet. To spiralizer, the vegetable or fruit must be solid with no tough pit, seedy interior or hollow core, it must be at least 1 1/2 inches in diameter, at least 1 1/2 inches long and cannot be soft or juicy.

On her widely popular blog, author Ali Maffucci is revolutionizing healthy eating. Whether you’re low carb, gluten-free, Paleo or raw, Inspiralized shows you how to transform more than 20 vegetables and fruits into delicious meals. Recipes include appetizers, sandwiches, soups, salads, casseroles, rice, pastas and even desserts. Best of all, Maffucci tells you how to customize them for whatever vegetables you have on hand.


How often have you pulled something out of the refrigerator, wondered if it was still okay to eat and then tossed it out? You're not alone. Billions of pounds of food go to waste in the U.S. every year because consumers are unsure of the food’s safety. Knowing how to safely store food and when to dispose of it can help prevent food-related illnesses that are all too common in the U.S. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that about 48 million Americans get sick every year from something they eat, resulting in thousands of hospitalizations and even some deaths. “There are a lot of misconceptions about food safety,” says Georgia Giannopoulos, RD, CDN, a senior dietitian with New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell. For example, people tend to worry much more about meat than fruits and vegetables when it comes to food-related illnesses. However, research shows that seafood and produce are the two leading causes of foodborne illnesses. Studies also show that most people believe you can tell if food is safe by its appearance and smell, but pathogens such as E. coli and Salmonella don’t change the look of food and often don’t affect its smell or taste. The dates on most food labels should serve as a guideline, but not a hard-and-fast rule; many foods, especially those that require refrigeration, still may be safe to eat after those dates. Here is a guide to what those dates mean according to the USDA:|

Sell by: Tells the store how long to display the product. You should always buy items prior to the “sell by” date on the label.

Best if used by or before: This is not a safety date, but a reference to the date at which a food at its peak of flavor/or quality.

Use by: This date is established by the manufacturer as the date recommended for use of the product at its peak quality.

For fresh or uncooked items, use by dates should be followed closely, unless item is frozen. Frozen foods can be consumed safely long after their use by or sell dates. The USDA recommends the following guidelines for safe, refrigerated (not frozen) storage and consumption of foods after the sell-by dates:

Poultry: one or two days.

Beef and pork: three to five days.

Ground meat or poultry: one or two days.

Eggs: three to 5 weeks.

Get more information about food safety on line at www.cdcaagov/food-safety or call 1 800-CDC-INFO.
Source: Women’s Nutrition Connection August 2015.


“I never heard of such a thing,” said Bryan Chief tasters, but they really liked it! Bread gets its moistness from pureed cantaloupe. Enjoy!


2 cups cubed fresh cantaloupe
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 3250F. Puree cantaloupe in blender until smooth. In mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Beat in eggs until thoroughly mixed. Stir in cantaloupe puree. Combine dry ingredients except nuts and gradually add to cantaloupe mixture. Fold in pecans. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit bottom of 9x5x3-inch greased loaf pan. Spoon batter into pan. Bake 50 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Remove from oven and let rest on cooling rack for 10 minutes before turning out to finish cooling. Source: Adapted from California Cantaloupe Advisory Board recipe.

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Mary’s Memo – July 27th


I have no idea how much of my life I’ve spent looking for something but it’s probably more time than I care to admit! During the summer prior to my junior year at Purdue in 1947, I was hired as interim director of the 44 bed Jay County Hospital in Portland, Indiana. It had to be the gutsiest thing I have done in my entire life because I not only planned the meals but bought the food served. Son Tom, Food Director at Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Hospital in Indianapolis, wants to frame the menus and hang them in his office. So while looking for them, I found an old cookbook of Mother’s that I thought was lost as well as two handwritten recipes I had never seen before. One of the recipes is “Chicken A La Can” and the other “Hamburger Chowder.” Knowing how much memo readers like quick-to-make entrees with a minimum of ingredients, we’re sharing them this week.


• 1 can Healthy Request Campbell’s Cream of Chicken Soup (this was not available when Mother made it but it’s what I used)
• 1 can Healthy Request Cream of Celery Soup
• 1 can water
• 1 can Minute Rice
• 12.5-ounce can Swanson White Premium Chicken Breast, drained (1½ cups chicken)
• 3 1/2-ounce can French’s Fried Onion Rings

Combine soups and water. Add rice and chicken; stir to mix. Bring to a boil, cover; reduce heat and simmer for 7 minutes. Top with onion rings. Recipe makes 4 to 6 servings.


• 2 tablespoons butter
• 1 large onion, chopped
• 4 or 5 carrots, peeled and sliced
• 1 cup chopped celery
• 1 cup chopped green pepper
• 1 pound ground beef
• 2 cups tomato juice
• 3 to 4 medium-size potatoes, peeled and diced
• 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
• 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
• 1/8 teaspoon pepper
• 1/3 cup flour
• 1 quart milk

Melt butter in large saucepan or Dutch oven. Add onion, carrots, celery and green pepper and cook until tender but not brown. Add ground beef and cook until crumbly. Stir in tomato juice, potatoes and seasonings, cover and cook on low heat until vegetables are tender 20 to 30 minutes. Combine flour with1 cup milk. Beat until free from lumps. Stir into soup mixture. Add remaining milk; heat, stirring frequently until thickened…. do not boil. Serves 10.


Being a guru of gadgets, I haven’t bought something made by OXO that I didn’t like! To free up more space in my kitchen, I recently purchased three slender 5 1/2-qt. BPA-free containers to store flour, crackers and oatmeal. I lost the silicone gasket for one and called their toll-free customer service (1-800-545-4411) to see if I could buy a new one and they are sending it gratis. Is there any better customer service than that! Corporate headquarters are in Chambersburg, PA.

Also new for me is an OXO Good Grips Silicone Sink Mat that can be cut to accommodate your drain, depending on where it’s located (mine is in the center). It also has feet that elevate the mat to allow for water flow and aeration. Personally, the biggest selling point is that with heat-safe silicone, pots and pans can go directly from stove to sink. Mine was purchased at Bed Bath & Beyond for $14.95 plus tax.


They are: Watercress, Chinese cabbage, chard, beet greens, chicory, leaf lettuce, parsley, romaine lettuce, collard greens, turnip greens, mustard greens, endive, chives, kale, dandelion greens, red pepper, arugula, broccoli and pumpkin.
Source: Weil Cornell Medical College Women’s Nutrition Connection, July 2015.


Trying to maintain a healthy weight? Choose a comedy rather than a sad flick or an action adventure. In recent studies, researchers at Cornell University ‘s Food and Brand Lab found that people who watched the science-fiction “Solaris” ate 55 percent more than viewers of the comedy “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.” In another experiment, people ate 28 percent more while watching “Love Story” (sad) compared to “Sweet Home Alabama” (funny). And watching an action movie led viewers to eat 65 percent more calories than they did when they viewed an interview show.
Source: JAMA (Journal of American Medical Association) Internal Medicine, March 2015.

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Mary’s Memo – July 20th


Keep in mind that up to half of the bottled water produced in the U.S. comes from the tap and is then purified. And in some cases, safety standards for tap water are more rigorous than those of bottled water. So people with a weakened immune system should consult their doctor to discuss whether filtered tap water or bottled water is best. If you’re otherwise healthy but worried about water purity, try a home filter and reusable bottles. Also, public water is often fluoridated, which helps protect teeth. And with tap water, you won’t add plastic to landfills.
Source: Consumer Reports on Health, July 2015.


Study was published on line April 20, 2015, in the Journal of Psychology & Marketing. Researchers randomly gave 120 shoppers a slice of apple, a piece of cookie or no snack at the start of their shopping trip and then tracked their purchases. Those who were given an apple slice bought 28 percent more fruits and vegetables than those given a cookie piece and 25 percent more fruits and vegetables than those given no snack. Researchers recommend having a small, healthy snack, such as a piece of fruit, before shopping.
Source: Weill Cornell Medical College Women’s Nutrition Connection, July 2015.


According to the USDA, a lean cut of beef is a 3.5-ounce serving that contains less than 10 grams of total fat and 4.5 grams of saturated fat. The USDA defines an extra lean cut (3.5 ounces) as one containing 5 grams or less of total fat and 2 grams or less of saturated fat. If you are going to eat beef, here is your guide to the healthiest cuts that can help you make decisions while grocery shopping or eating out. Avoid buying cuts labeled “prime,” which are higher in fat than “choice” or “select” cuts. The five cuts of beef that are “extra lean” include eye of round roast or steak, sirloin tip side steak, top round roast and steak, bottom round roast and steak and top sirloin. When choosing ground beef, look for the percentage of fat. The USDA defines “lean ground beef” as having no more than 10 percent fat by weight and “extra lean” no more than 5 percent fat. Ground sirloin is usually the healthy choice; it is usually 90 to 95 percent lean.
Source: Weill Cornell Medical College Women’s Nutrition Connection, July 2015.

PS: Beef does cost more so my suggestion is to use a minimal amount combined with other greens and/or vegetables.


I served this salad at the Bryan Chief recently but changed Friday’s version to this one on Saturday. Original internet recipe said the salad served 4 people when a single recipe filled a 3-quart round casserole dish! Considering the fact that recipe makes 8 servings, I also increased avocados to 2 instead of 1. Because cherry tomatoes are often on sale, chopped Roma were replaced with a pint of cherry tomatoes, halved. Feel free to make only half a recipe if this suits your needs better.


4 seedless cucumbers, sliced into ¼ inch rounds
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 small red onion, sliced thin
2 Haas avocados, peeled, pitted and cubed
1 cup basil, mint or cilantro leaves or a combination of all
3, coarsely chopped


2 tablespoons Our Family extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Seat salt and ground pepper to taste

Place the sliced cucumbers, cherry tomato halves, avocados, sliced onion and herbs together in 3-quart stainless or glass serving bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and season with sea salt and a few grindings of pepper. Serve immediately or chilled.
Source: Adapted from 2014 Jen Hoy internet recipe.


When we were a family of six and even now, main dish salads are a refreshing summer treat. On my Meatless Monday the following salad is perfect!


1 package Chicken-Flavored Rice-a-Roni
4 scallions (green onions), sliced thin
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
12 stuffed green olives, sliced
2 6-ounce jars marinated artichoke hearts, drained and
chopped, reserving marinade
3/4 teaspoon curry powder
1/3 cup Hellmann’s Light Mayonnaise

Cook rice and cool. Add scallions, green pepper and olives. Add remaining ingredients including reserved marinade. Mix well and chill. Recipe makes 6 servings.
Source: Adapted from Southern Living recipe.

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