Week of August 29, 2010
Storing and Ripening Tomatoes
Determine whether tomatoes are fully ripe. A ripe tomato is dark red or orange, is slightly soft, has a uniform skin color and smells like a tomato.
Put unripe tomatoes in a brown paper bag and leave them at room temperature until they ripen, usually in a day or two.
Store ripe tomatoes in a cool place - around 55 degrees F. Stored this way, they should keep for five days. Avoid refrigerating tomatoes.
Store cut tomatoes in the refrigerator and use as soon as possible
NOTE: Most tomatoes bought in supermarkets are not ripe.
Temperatures below 50 F (like in your refrigerator) begin to destroy tomato flavor and texture.
Week of August 22, 2010
Cool Off with Slowcooking
When it gets too hot to even think of going outside to fire up the
grill, bring out the slowcooker.
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
8 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 6 ounce jars sliced mushrooms, drained
1 cup sweet Marsala wine or chicken broth
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup cornstarch
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Spray 4- to 5-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. In cooker, place
garlic and oil. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper; place in cooker
over garlic. Place mushrooms over chicken; pour wine over all.
Cover; cook on Low heat setting 5 to 6 hours.
Remove chicken from cooker; place on plate and cover to keep warm. In
small bowl, mix water and cornstarch until smooth; stir into liquid in
cooker. Increase heat setting to High; cover and cook about 10 minutes
or until sauce is slightly thickened.
Return chicken to cooker. Cover; cook on High heat setting 5 minutes
longer or until chicken is hot.
To serve, spoon mushroom mixture over chicken breasts; sprinkle with
parsley. Great served over a bed of rice and a green salad.
Per Serving (does not include rice or salad): 193 Calories; 3g Fat (17.9% calories from fat); 1g Saturated Fat; 28g Protein; 6g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 68mg Cholesterol; 214mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 4 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 1/2 Fat.
Week of August 15, 2010
Managing Your Blood Sugar
While it’s certainly important to limit certain foods like white starchy food, refined breads and pastas and fried, fatty, processed foods, it’s just as crucial to pay attention to what you should eat.
Nutrition and diabetes experts singled out these power foods because they’re packed with fiber, omega-3s, calcium, and vitamin D and they’re exceptionally versatile, so you can use them in recipes, and as snacks.
And the superfoods are:
13. Runner-Up: Peanut butter
Week of August 8, 2010
Avoiding Freezer Burn
Everyone want to preserve some of summers bountiful foods. And Freezing them is an easy and efficient way to do so. However you may find your treasures turned inedible due to freezer burn.
Freezer burn happens when the outside of a food loses so much moisture that it essentially becomes freeze dried. Although freezer burn is not harmful, it does make food taste dull and unpleasant. Generally, when food has been freezer burned, you can simply trim the offending portion off and use the rest. However, avoiding freezer burn is a much more preferable solution. There are a number of ways in which you can prevent the problem, ranging from how you pack foods to how you organize the freezer.
One of the most important things you can do is to organize your freezer properly. Make sure to leave at least a hand's width of room around the top and sides of the freezer so that air can circulate, keeping the temperature in the freezer stable. If the freezer has a shelf, leave room around the shelf as well. Keeping the temperatures even throughout the freezer will reduce repeated freezing and thawing, which can cause freezer burn. While you organize your freezer, throw out food which is old, and make sure that all of the food in the freezer is properly labeled.
Shelf life depends on the food. Cooked meats, last around three months, while uncooked and well packaged meats can last up to six months. Although old foods usually are not a health risk, they lose much of their flavor. Labeling packages with their contents and date will enable you can keep track of what is in the freezer and how long it has been there. Dating packages will help you to use up foods that are older first.
Packaging is also important. You want the packaging to be thick and airtight to prevent freezer burn. Many bags and containers are specifically designed for freezing, such as thick sealable bags, heavy plastic containers, and freezer safe glass. When you pack foods in these containers, make sure to leave room for liquids like soup to expand, and take the time to press air out of bags. Some companies even sell a vacuum system to remove the air. Bags can be frozen flat and stacked, or you can use uniformly sized square plastic or glass containers for space efficiency.
Small portions also tend to freeze better, since they cool down more quickly. You should also try to avoid putting hot food directly into the freezer, as it will elevate the freezer temperature. Put the food in the fridge to cool, leaving the lid off or ajar so that moisture will not collect in the container. Once it has cooled, the food can be frozen for future use.
of August 01, 2010
How to treat a fresh hot pepper burn.
You and I both know that you should wear gloves when working with fresh
hot peppers. So what happens if you got in a hurry or just plain goofed
up and did not and now have pepper oil burns.
Immediate, avoid touching other parts of the body like the eyes.
First try to remove the oil from the hot pepper burn by washing the
area with dish soap making sure to use a nail brush to clean under the
nails (which is an extremely sensitive area and will hurt for days if
not treated). Apply aloe vera gel to the area if you have it.
If it is still burning badly, try soaking your hand in 2% or higher
milk. The fat in the milk will help break down the oil from the