Monday, April 30, 2012

Burgundy Beef and Lillian's Spaghetti and Meatballs

I've just added Burgundy Beef to Think With Your Taste Buds - Beef.  Boy will this be one that you will want to try when you get your copy of this cookbook.  It's sooooo delicious and simple. 

I've also added Lillian's Spaghetti and Meatballs which is great to make and freeze for quick after work meals.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sweet & Sour Meatballs

Another recipe has gone into the manuscript file for Think With Your Taste Buds - Beef.  This one turned out great with the perfect sweetness as well as a touch of sour.  Until the Beef book comes out I hope you will all enjoy Think With Your Taste Buds - Desserts which can be found in paperback as well as e-book.

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Many Uses of Bounce

I've posted this before but thought I post it again as summer approaches.

The U.S. Postal serve sent out a message to all letter carriers to put a sheet of Bounce in their univorm pockets to keep yellow-jackets away. 

Use them all the time when playing baseball and soccer or working outside.  The insects seem to veer around you.

It will chase ants away when you lay a sheet near them.  It also repels mice.

It takes the odor out of books and photo albums that don’t get opened too often.

It repels mosquitoes so tie a sheet through a belt loop when outdoors.

Eliminate electricity from your television or computer screens.  You can also wipe your television screen with a used sheet of Bounce to keep dust from resettling.

Dissolve soap scrum from shower doors by cleaning them with a sheet of Bounce.

To freshen the air in your home place a sheet in a drawer or hang it in the closet or put a sheet in the vacuum cleaner.

To prevent musty suitcases place a sheet inside empty luggage before storing.

To freshen the air in your car place a sheet under the front seat.

Clean baked on foods from a cooking pan by putting a sheet in the pan, fill it with water, let it sit over night and sponge clean the next morning.  The anti-static agent weakens the bond between the food and the pan.

Eliminate odors in wastebaskets by placing a sheet of Bounce at the bottom of the wastebasket.

Collect cat hair by rubbing the area with a sheet.  It will magnetically attract all the loose hair.

Use to wipe up sawdust from drilling or sand papering. 

Eliminate odors in dirty laundry by placing a sheet on the bottom of a laundry bag or hamper.

Deodorize shoes and sneakers by placing a sheet of Bounce in your shoes overnight.

Wet a Bounce sheet, hose down your car and wipe love bugs off easily.

And finally – put a sheet of Bounce in your suitcase when traveling, it will help keep mites or any other critters out of it.  While you’re at it, travel with several Bounce sheets and run them up and down your bed linen before getting into bed, it will cause all the critters already in your bed to run.  Keep a sheet in your suitcase even after you have unpacked to protect your suitcases from bugs nesting in it.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Mother's Goulash

Just added to the up and coming Think With Your Taste Buds - Beef is Lillian's recipe for Goulash which was passed down from her Mother.  I made it this weekend and it's delicious!  So put it on your list of recipes to try when our Beef book comes out and in the meantime check out Think With Your Taste Buds - Desserts. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Guest Post by Frank A. Ruffolo, Author of Gabriel's Chalice

Now and then I have a guest post from some of my readers.  Today I have a guest post from Frank A. Ruffolo who is the author of Gabriel's Chalice.  I've not read Gabriel's Chalice... yet... but after reading the reviews on Amazon I've decided this is a must read so keep an eye out for my review within the next few weeks.  Until then, enjoy Frank Ruffolo's recipe for -----

Wedding Soup

½ head escarole (about ½ lb.)
1 ½ large carrots, chopped
12 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

½ lb. ground veal or beef
½ cup plain bread crumbs
½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
¼ cup very finely minced onions
1 large egg
½ tsp. salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Trim the escarole and discard any bruised leaves.  Cut off the stem ends.  Separate the leaves and wash well in cool water, especially the center of the leaves where soil collects.  Stack the leaves and cut them crosswise into 1” strips.  You should have about 4 cups.  Combine the escarole, carrots and stock in a large pot.  Bring to a simmer and cook until the escarole is almost tender, about 30 minutes.

To make the meatballs:
Meanwhile, combine the ground meat, bread crumbs, cheese, onion, egg, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.  Shape into tiny balls, less than 1” in diameter.  Then add to stock mixture and cook together.  Salt to taste and serve.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Doggie Cookies

1 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup margarine or butter
1 cup boiling beef broth
3/4 cup cornmeal
2 tsp. white sugar
2 tsp. beef bouillon granules
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 egg, beaten (or 2 to make treats softer for older dogs)
3 cups whole wheat flour

Combine oats and margarine/butter, and boiling beef broth in a large bowl.  Let stand and soften for 10 minutes.  Thoroughly stir in cornmeal, sugar, bouillon, milk, peanut butter and eggs.  Mix in flour, 1 cup at a time, until dough comes together.  You can roll this out and cut with a cookie cutter or you can do as I did and roll into 1" balls and press flat.  Place on a baking dish lined with parchment paper.  Bake in a 325 degree oven for 30-35 minutes.  Makes 60 cookies. 

I've been giving my dog what is supposed to be one of the best doggie treats on the market.  I especially liked giving him the 'chicken jerky' treat this company made.  Then I received an email that even though the company is American the chicken comes from China and several thousand dogs have become sick and some even died.  I threw them away and went searching for some homegrown, natural treats.  I found some but their prices were a bit pricey.  I found the recipe above and decided to try making my own, hoping Jesse would like them.  He, as well as 5 of his friends LOVE them!  And they aren't that expensive to make.  Don't have the whole wheat flour and rolled oats?  Do like I did and hit the health food store where you can buy as much or as little as you want.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Mrs. Paul's Parchment Bake

I'm always a bit leary of frozen fish.  More often than not the fish is soft and mushy.  I've learned the hard way that buying frozen fish just isn't worth it.  But when Foodbuzz's Tastemakers offered to send me some free coupons just to try Mrs. Paul's newest fish Parchment Bake I decided what the heck. 

The fish is enclosed in a sealed parchment bag.  It bakes in the oven for a total of about 25 minutes.  I will admit that when I saw this wasn't a dish I could microwave I almost lost interest but then I realized this was all I had taken with me for lunch giving me no choice but to wait the 25 minutes.  So I sat down and read while my fish cooked - in the oven. 

You won't believe this!  It has to be some of the best frozen fish I've ever eaten!  It's flaky yet firm.  The one I chose to try 1st was the Classic Grilled Tilapia which I expected to be sweet and not really appealing.  Again I was wrong.  It had just a slight taste of sauce, not sweet but with a touch of heat - but not too much.  The one flavor that I really picked up on was the taste of grilling.  This fish is the best!  And to top it all off - It has 80 calories and .5 g of fat!  Can't beat that.  Now I can't wait to try the other flavors.  Next will be Garlic Butter Tilapia, and then the Roasted Garlic and then I get Lemon Pepper.  Yum!

How Long Can You Keep It? - Beef, Pork, Lamb

   Chops - refrigerate 3 - 5 days - freeze 4 - 6 months
   Ground or Stew Meat - refrigerate 1 - 2 days - freeze 3 - 4 mnths
   Roasts - refrigerate 3 - 5 days - freeze 4 - 12 months
   Sausage, Fresh - refrigerate 1 - 2 days - freeze 1 - 2 months
   Steaks - refrigerate 3 - 5 days - freeze 6 - 12 months
   Leftover Cooked Meats/Casseroles - refrigerate 1 - 4 days - freeze 2 - 3 months
Processed Meats:
   Bacon - refrigerate 7 days - freeze 1 month
   Ham - refrigerate 3 - 5 days - freeze 1 - 2 months
   Luncheon Meats - refrigerate 3 - 5 days - freeze 1 - 2 months

Refrigerator - 34 to 40 degrees
Freezer - 0 degrees

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Tilly's Tale Rescue Shelter's Newest Member

This is Chudleigh (right).  He is a 10 week old Staffie that has been rescued and is now living with Tilly and the Pack at her rescue shelter.  Chudleigh is living up to his name as he cuddles with Bobby.

I wanted you to meet Chudleigh and to also tell everyone that I've sold 65 copies of A Book and A Dish and have sent the profits to Tilly's Tale Rescue Shelter.  It wasn't much but it was enough to pay for a 17 kilogram bag of the food used to feed the dogs. From what I'm told they go through 1 1/2 to two bags per week, so even one bag is a big help.

But we can do better!  When you order your copy of A Book and A Dish you are receiving 45 book reviews (you just might find your next book to read), you're getting 45 recipes (so you have a cookbook) and you're helping the furry babies, all for only .99 cents.  Don't have a Kindle?  Amazon allows you to download Kindle books to your computer and the program to do this is free. 

Now, you have a computer so there is no reason not to help these babies have a loving, healthy life. 

Philly Steak and Cheese Casserole

I've just added a new recipe to the manuscript file for  Think With Your Taste Buds - Beef.  When given to 4 of my food testers to sample, all 4 wanted more!  This is a simple dish that really turned out great!  Watch for Think With Your Taste Buds - Beef in the near future but for now check out Think With Your Taste Buds - Desserts.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

How Long Can You Keep It? - Fish and Seafood

Lean Fish - Fillets/Steaks:
  Cod, Sole, Halibut, Orange Roughy, Flounder - refrigerate 1 - 2 days - freeze 6 months
Fatty Fish - Fillets/Steaks:
  Catfish, Perch, Salmon, Whitefish - refrigerate 1 - 2 days - freeze 2 - 3 months
Crab, Cooked - refrigerate 1 - 2 days - freeze 3 months
  Uncooked - refrigerate 1 - 2 days - freeze 3 - 6 months
  Cooked - refrigerate 3 - 4 days - freeze 3 months
Leftover, Cooked Seafood - refrigerate 3 - 4 days - freeze 3 - 6 months

Refrigerator - 34 - 40 degrees
Freezer - 0 degrees

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Beef Stew - Crock Pot Style - Pulled

I've just pulled my recipe for Beef Stew Crock Pot Style with Caraway Seed.  This recipe has gone into the manuscript file for the upcoming Think With Your Taste Buds - Beef.  This will be the 2nd book in the series joining Think With Your Taste Buds - Desserts. 

How Long Can You Keep It? - Poultry

  Whole - refrigerate 1 - 2 days - freeze 1 year
  Parts - refrigerate 1 - 2 days - freeze 9 months
  Leftover, cooked - refrigerate 1 - 4 days - freeze 1 - 2 months

  Whole, In the Shell - refrigerate - 5 weeks - freeze not recommended
  Whites or Yolks, Uncooked - refrigerate 2 - 4 days - freeze 12 months

Refrigerator - 34 to 40 degrees
Freezer - 0 degrees

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

How Long Can You Keep It? - Dairy

Open Dairy Foods:
  Butter - refrigerate 1 - 3 months - freezer 6 - 9 months
    Brie - refrigerate 1 week - freeze 6 months
    Cottage/Ricotta - refrigerate 1 week - freeze not recommended
    Cream Cheese - refrigerate 2 weeks - freeze not recommended
    Cheddar, Brick, Swiss, Monterey Jack - refrigerate 3 - 4 weeks - freeze 6 months
    Mozzarella - refrigerate 1 week - freeze 6 months
    Parmesan/Romano, grated - refrigerate 2 months - freeze 6 months
    Ultrapasteurized - refrigerate 1 month - freeze not recommended
    Heavy Whipped or Half and Half - refrigerate 3 days - freeze 2 - 4 months
    Milk - refrigerate 7 days - freeze 3 months
    Buttermilk - refrigerate 7 - 14 days - freeze 3 months
    Evaporated or Sweetened Condensed - refrigerate 4 - 5 days - freeze not recommended
  Margarine - refrigerate 4 - 5 months - freeze 12 months
  Sour Cream - refrigerate 7 - 21 days - freeze not recommended
  Yogurt - refrigerate 7 - 14 days - freeze 1 - 2 months

Refrigerate 34 to 40 degrees
Freezer 0 degrees

Monday, April 9, 2012

Biscuit Tidbits

Reheating refrigerated bread
To warm biscuits, pancakes, or muffins that were refrigerated, place them in
a microwave with a cup of water. The increased moisture will keep the food moist and help it reheat faster.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Think With Your Taste Buds - Desserts

Lillian and I have gone out on our own.  With the help of a great IT man, we are doing our own thing and publishing our series of cookbooks Think With Your Taste Buds. Our 1st book Think With Your Taste Buds - Desserts is now on Amazon and Barnes & Noble as e-books and will also be available in paperback through CreateSpace within the next couple of weeks.  The Think With Your Taste Buds series is created to stimulate your taste buds while cooking.  It takes simple recipes with Lillian and I talking you through some of the possible changes that can be made to make the dish fit your own taste.  Check us out and keep an eye on our site for our next book Thin With Your Taste Buds - Beef.  This has some really great dishes that are easy and fun to play with.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Pets and Poisonous Substances

I know this is a food site but now and then I run across something that needs to be posted to as many people as possible.  The information I'm posting today has to do with those wonderful, furry little babies that we call our pets.  If you're a pet lover like me, please copy this information and keep it handy.  It's one of the best lists of toxins that are poisonous that I've ever seen. 

Both known and unknown toxins can be found hiding in our houses and yards. In 2011, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) in Urbana, IL, fielded more than 165,900 phone calls about pets exposed to poisonous substances. Visit our poison app on Facebook.

1. Prescription Human Medications
Almost 25,000 calls last year were about human prescription medications. Pets, especially dogs, are notorious for ingesting any dropped pill. Cardiac and ADHD medications make up a large percentage of these calls. Always make sure to take these medications in a safe place away from your pets.
2. Insecticides
Insecticides were the subject of 11% of calls to the ASPCA in 2011. These include products used on the lawn, in the house and on the pet. The most important thing to do is read the label before you use any insecticide, and never use a product labeled for dogs on cats.
3. Over-the-Counter Human Medications
Over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen can kill your pet. Never give any medication to your pet without consulting with your veterinarian first.
4. People Food
Chocolate is still the number one people food that pets ingest (we received over 7,600 calls last year). Too much chocolate can cause vomiting, diarrhea, high heart rate and seizures. The second most common food is xylitol (the sugar substitute). Xylitol can cause seizures and liver failure in dogs. 
5. Household Products
It is amazing what animals can find to chew up around the house from fire logs to paint. Some household items may just cause stomach upset, while others can be deadly.
6. Veterinary Medications
Chewable medications make it easy to give your dog or cat a pill. However, this tasty pill can also mean that the pet, if given access, will ingest all the pills in the bottle. Always make sure to keep pet medications out of reach. Contact your veterinarian if your pet ingests more than its proper dose of
medication or ingests another pet’s medication.
7. Rodenticides
When putting out baits to kill mice and rats, never underestimate the resourcefulness of your pet. Most bait is grain based and is attractive to dogs. Depending on the type of rodenticide, ingestion can cause internal bleeding, kidney failure or seizures.
8. Plants
About 4% of our phone calls are pet parents calling about their animals eating plants. This is one category that cats lead dogs in the number of exposures. Lilies can cause kidney failure and death in cats. Please see our list of toxic/non-toxic plants for more information.
9. Lawn and Garden Products
Fertilizers, which can be made of dried blood, poultry manure and bone meal, are very attractive to pets, so it is not surprising that we get many calls (almost 3,900 in 2011) on lawn and garden items.
10. Automotive Products
With more people keeping their animals inside (especially cats), the number of animals exposed to automotive products (antifreeze, brake fluid, etc.) has dropped. This is great news since many of these products, if ingested, can be life-threatening to pets.

If you have any reason to suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, please contact your veterinarian or the Animal Poison Control Center’s 24-hour hotline at (888) 426-4435.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Chewy Coconut Almond Squares

This original recipe called for graham cracker crumbs. I decided to use cookie mix and the oatmeal chocolate chunk sounded good. You can actually use any flavor you want. You can also change the nuts from almonds to pecans or walnuts. This would probably even be good with peanuts. I like using the large shaved coconut that is unsweetened which I find at the health food stores in bulk.
Find the full recipe by going to Martha's Recipe Cabinet

Frosting Tidbits

 Expanding Frosting
When you buy a container of cake frosting from the store, whip it with your mixer for a few minutes. You can double it in size.
You get to frost more cake/cupcakes with the same amount. You also eat less sugar and calories per serving.