Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Buying and Picking Zucchini

Below you'll find a recipe for Zucchini Slaw.  To go along with it I thought I would give you a few tips on buying and picking Zucchini.

#1  Zucchini is thin-skinned and can easily be damaged so handle carefully.
#2  Look for heavy, firm zucchini with shiny skin.
#3  Smaller zucchini are usually more tender and sweeter.
#4  A medium zucchini (about 1/3 lb) will yield about 2 cups sliced or 1 1/2 cups shredded.
#5  Store zucchini in a plastic bag in the crisper for 4 - 5 days.  Don't wash until ready to use.
#6  1/2 cup cooked, sliced zucchini has about 15 calories and has a healthy amount of potassium.

Zucchini Slaw

2 med., firm zucchini, shredded and squeezed dry
1/4 cup finely chopped onions (can use green onions and tops)
1 Tbsp. vinegar
1 Tbsp. sugar
Mayonnaise, enough to make creamy
salt & pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and mix well.  Makes 4 servings.

Comments - make sure your zucchini is firm.  I peel and then use the outer part up to the center which is usually softer.  You can also add shredded carrots. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

How To Be A Hit On Live Radio

A year ago I was invited to do a phone-in talk radio show where I would talk about my cookbook, why I wrote it and what makes it different from all other cookbooks.  When asked, I hesitated.  It made me nervous to even think about talking to thousands of people at one time.  I thought about things like, how would I sound over the radio.  I'm from the south so will my accent be too much?  Will I hesitate to come up with an answer to any question asked of me?  These questions and many more very quickly ran through my mind and then I said yes.  As the time got closer, all of these questions plus their brothers and sisters came back to haunt me.  By the time of the interview I was a wreck!  That is when I wish I had someone like my beautiful friend Dr. Mary Kennedy in my corner.  Mary is not only a doctor but she is also a writer.  And now she has gone a step further and created a site that will help all of us when faced with doing something we aren't comfortable a radio interview. 

I'm not going to tell you all of the tips Mary has put together to make this experience flow smoothly I'm going to do something even better.  I'm giving you her site address so you can read this, plus more for yourself.  Check out Mary's article How To Be A Hit On Live Radio by going to her BlogHer site.  As I said, I wish I had talked to her before my interview.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Birds Eye Shrimp Scampi

Birds Eye, Foodbuzz and Tastemaster again blessed me with an opportunity to try a new product.  This time I was sent coupons for buy one get one free to try a couple of the Birds Eye's Voila products.  I decided on the Shrimp Scampi and the Chicken Stir Fry.

I've made the scampi and boy is it easy.  With the exception of 1 tablespoon of water, everything else you need is in the bag.  In a frying pan you add the sauce mix, water and the rest of the ingredients.  Cook for about 10 minutes and "Voila!" you have dinner for 2. 

The flavor is wonderful. The red and yellow peppers create the perfect blend of flavors with the garlic.  The peas give just a slight change in texture from the linguine and then comes the delicate taste of the shrimp.  This one is well worth trying.  Now I can't wait to try the Chicken Stir Fry.

How to Tell if an Egg is Fresh

Its really easy to tell the freshness of an egg.  Gently place your egg in a bowl of cold water.  If the egg is fresh, it will drop to the bottom of the bowl and lie on its side.  If it's somewhat fresh, it will stand on it's end and bob about in the water.  If the egg is old, it will float and you may need to discard it.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Salt - Part 3

Saltiest “Healthy” Sandwich:  Subway Footlong Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki
  2,290 milligrams sodium
  770 calories
  9 g fat (2.5 g saturated)
  34 g sugars
Sodium Equivalent = 6 Beef Franks (Hebrew National, 97% Fat Free)
Also remember that the posted calorie counts at Subway doesn’t include adding cheese or any other condiments, so if you like to load up your stomach, expect to see the calorie count for this sandwich inch toward 1,000 calories.  Eat instead – Oven-Roasted Chicken Breast (6”) = 880 mg sodium, 320 calories, 5 g fat (1.5g saturated), 7 g sugars

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Salt - Part 2

Saltiest Drive-Thru Mexican Food – Taco Bell Grilled Stuft Beef Burrito
  2,120 milligrams sodium
  680 calories
  30 g fat (10 g saturated)
Sodium Equivalent – 20 cups of butter popcorn
What’s better?  Order 2 grilled steak soft tacos (or any menu item) “fresco” style and they will replace cheese and sauces with chunky tomato salsa, cutting calories in half and trim the fat by at least 25%.  Two steak soft tacos = 1,100 mg sodium, 320 calories, 9 g fat (3 g saturated)

Monday, August 22, 2011


This is a statement that was passed along through our office “Wellness Update.”  I found it quite interesting and helpful so I’ll be passing it along in parts.  Some of the info I’ll be sharing really amazed me. 
The average American takes in about 3,400 milligrams of sodium every day.  With the ever expanding portion sizes, salty foods are taking the place of fruits and vegetables, which are rich in potassium.  Studies show that a high sodium, low potassium diet is linked to high blood pressure, stroke, osteoporosis and exercise induced asthma.
Part 1 – Salt:
Saltiest Drive-Thru Meal:  Burger King Cheeseburger with French Fries (small)
  1,360 milligrams sodium
  680 calories
  33 g fat (10.5 g saturated, 0.5 g trans)
Sodium Equivalent – 5 Big Grab Bags of Lays Potato Chips
The dearth of healthy, well-balanced meal options for kids at chain restaurants is a serious issue in this country.  The cheeseburger, with 340 calories and 7 grams of saturated fat, gets trounced by the tenders, while the small French fries double the meal’s caloric load without adding any real nutrition to the equation.
Choose chicken nuggets instead:
At just 63 calories a piece, they rank among the best nuggets/tenders/fingers in the fast food world.  Add to that a genius product that is Apple Fries and you have a pretty sound kid’s meal.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Chili Wraps

I went to Taco Bell a few days ago and had a dish that I can't even pronounce the name of.  It was beef, refried beans and onions wrapped in a tortilla, covered with cheese and baked.  It was delicious but I knew I could recreate it at home.  That's when I came up with my Chili Wrap recipe.  I did substitute the refried beans for the chili with beans only because I thought I had a can of beans and didn't but did have the chili.  Turns out this was even better.  And the best part about this recipe is that you can use shredded, cooked chicken instead of the beef if you want.  Also, this would be delicious with a scope of sour cream on top, maybe a sprinkle of chopped green onions and/or tomatoes.  Find the recipe by going to Martha's Recipe Cabinet.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Parmesan Blend Bread Dip

I have to give you another review on the J M Exotic Foods Bread Dip Seasonings.  I've just tried the Parmesan Blend and as I suspected, it's great. For directions, go to my site The Good, The Bad, The Maybe

Monday, August 15, 2011

Chicken Delicious

This dish has a story.  Here is my co-author, Lillian Mort's portion of the story.

When our sister was ill, my sister, Lorretta, brought dinner to us (I was there helping to care for my sister and, when Lorretta brought dinner, she did the whole thing from salad, to entree, to home made rolls and to dessert!). This time, the entree was Chicken Delicious and it stood up to its name.  Later, after I came home, I added Water Chestnuts and, sometimes, thinly sliced green onions, to her recipe and have been making it ever since.  It's always a hit with shut-ins from church, too.  Sometimes, I make two smaller casseroles and freeze one before baking for a meal on another day.

Now for my part of the story.  When I went to FL for the release party of our cookbook Think With Your Taste Buds - Desserts, Lillian cooked this dish.  It's such a simple recipe that required very little preparation time, giving us more time to spend together just talking.  I really enjoyed the dish so I copied down the recipe and decided to make it myself.  But...I decided to add one more ingredient.  Lillian had added the water chestnuts giving it an extra texture so I added the cheese.

You can bet this recipe will be in our next book Think With Your Taste Buds - Meats.  In the meantime, make it our own recipe by adding your own ingredients.  Find the full recipe by going to Martha's Recipe Cabinet

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Birds Eye Chef's Favorites

I love creamed spinach but I want "lots" of flavor.  There is one restaurant that when I have the opportunity to go to I always order their creamed spinach.  It's my favorite!  But, since this specific restaurant is a bit pricy I don't go there often.  So, I seldom have the pleasure of eating really good creamed spinach.  That is until now!

Through the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program along with Birds Eye Chef's Favorites, I was offered the opportunity to sample and post on several of Birds Eye's newest products.  The Tastemaker program is a program where there is no compensation passed on to the tester, that is unless you call being able to sample some really wonderful new products compensation.  And I'm always open to new products.

When I received my package of Birds Eye Chef's Favorites I slowly went though the package picking out which one I wanted to try first.  As soon as I spotted the Creamed Spinach I couldn't wait to give it a try.  But I also knew that I had tried other frozen Creamed Spinach and they simply didn't meet my taste qualifications so I didn't really get my hopes up.  Wrong!

Let me 1st say that the sauce is creamy, smooth, made with half and half and parmesan cheese.  As for's perfect.  The amount of garlic added to the sauce couldn't have been better.  Not too much but definitely not too little.  This is a product that I WILL be buying.

I served my Creamed Spinach with Chicken Delicious and rolls making the perfect, simple, easy but delicious dinner.

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Good, The Bad, The Maybe

Make sure you check out my site The Good, The Bad, The Maybe.  Its a new site where I post my feelings on products that I've used and still use.  Most of these are food related but not always.  I've just added a post sharing my opinion of Audio books.  See if you agree and please leave me a comment sharing your own opinion.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Think With Your Taste Buds - Release Party

I want to tell everyone that not only did I have a great time in Port Richey, FL but I also want to tell you that the release party for Think With Your Taste Buds - Desserts was a great success!  Lillian and I stayed busy talking and signing, signing and talking.  We also had the pleasure of meeting Author Sharon Hays who came up from Tampa for the release.  Sharon is a wonderful lady with a sense of humor that I totally enjoyed. 

I was in the beautiful state of Florida for 5 days and still didn't make it to the beach which is only about 3 miles away from my motel.  That's ok.  Lillian and I both stayed busy catching up with each other and preparing for the party.  Lillian had a surprise that was to take place just before the party started.  Her daughter had flown in from NJ to surprise her.  Boy was she surprised!  All-in-all, we had a wonderful time that was just too short.  Wish you all could have been there.

For those of you who didn't make it down, or up, you can still order your copy of Think With Your Taste Buds - Desserts through Amazon.  Or you can order it form our new website Think With Your Taste Buds.  Check us out and join in some of our conversations with each other as we discuss food, offer tips, and just talk about just about anything else pertaining to food.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Book Release Party

If you happen to find yourself in the Port Richey, FL area, please come by the Oasis Coffee Shop between 1:00 - 4:00 on Saturday 8/6/2011 for the book release party of
Think With Your Taste Buds - Desserts. 
Hope to meet some of you there.