Sunday, December 14, 2014

Monkey Muffins

I found this recipe on line and had to try.  It simply doesn't get any easier than this, especially for something that looks like you've spent all morning making.

1 roll cinnamon rolls with icing
(yep, that's all you need)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  I lined my muffin pan with paper liners.  Evenly cut each cinnamon roll into 6 pieces.  Evenly distribute pieces into 12 muffin tins (you can use 8 for bigger muffins).  I keep a mixture of brown sugar, cinnamon, butter and finely chopped pecans in my freezer.  I sprinkled each muffin with this mixture - about 1/2 tsp. each but this is optional.  Cook muffins for about 10 minutes or until they are done and starting to just slightly brown.  Heat the icing in the microwave for about 1-15 seconds or until thin.  Drizzle over hot muffins.

As I said, you can't get any simpler.  You can even add a few raisins mixed in with the pieces of rolls if you like.  These are delicious and do look like you've been in the kitchen for a while.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Cake Mix Cookies

On my site Martha's Recipe Cabinet I gave a recipe for Butterfinger Cookies made with a cake mix.  Today I used the same recipe but instead of the Butterfinger candy bar I used crushed Malted Milk Balls (5 oz. box) and 1/2 cup of coconut.  Boy are these good!  I still want to try Heath Bars at some point, as well as a few other candies.  I also want to try making my Cereal Cookies using a mix.   I may never make cookies from scratch again!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Tiramisu Balls

2 pkgs. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
60 vanilla wafers, finely crushed (about 2 cups)
4 tubes Nescafe instant coffee
1/2 cup powdered sugar, optional
8 oz. white chocolate

Mix cream cheese, crushed wafers, coffee and powdered sugar until well blended.  Shape into 1" balls and place in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes.  Melt white chocolate in a double boiler.  Dip each ball into melted white chocolate to coat.  Place on a plate to cool.  Makes about 3 1/2 dozen.  These need to be refrigerated until served.

Comments:  I have a neighbor who loves Tiramisu so for her Christmas present I decided to make her Tiramisu Balls.  I found a recipe that called for 1 8 oz. pkg. of cream cheese but after mixing everything together I didn't like the taste.  It was too strong so I added another pkg. of cream cheese.  I also added the powdered sugar.  It didn't seem to be quite sweet enough without it but you can omit this ingredient if you want and use the sweetness of the white chocolate and what comes from the wafers if you like.   Apparently I got it right because she popped one in her mouth and smiled from ear to ear.  If you like the flavor of coffee ice cream or iced coffee, you'll love these.  One bite and they melt in your mouth.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Foods That Make You Feel Better One Hour Later

I found this on Today's Health and decided that with the holidays upon us it was information we all needed to know.

Here are a few super foods that you can enjoy while eating and — bonus! —make you feel great afterwards.

1. Eggs (I Love Eggs)

Suggested serving size: one whole egg.“Eggs provide high quality protein. They’re filling, delicious, and studies have shown that eggs can help you feel full when you include them in your meals versus carbohydrate-rich —like starchy, or sweet — meals," said nutritionist Elisa Zied, R.D., New York.

2.  Berries (Strawberries are my favorite, haven't acquired the taste for blueberries)
Fresh blueberries and strawberries
Suggested serving size: ½ cup to 1 cup. “Fruit is nature’s candy, like fresh apples and fresh berries,” said Fernstrom. “These are two things that people love, because they have a lot of water, stimulate taste buds, and are easily digestible.”

3. Canned tuna (white or light) (I'm a fish eater so I'm glad this is good for me)
Suggested serving size: 3 ounces, about one small can or half of a larger can.
“Canned tuna is a source of high quality protein that can fill you up and help keep blood sugar levels steady with omega-3-fatty acids,” said Zied. “Regular fish intake helps preserve body proteins—and that keeps you feeling strong and energized. Regular fish intake is also linked with lower risk of depression.”

4. Chicken soup (Can't get enough of this!)
Suggested serving size: 8-12 ounces. “People always feel good after eating chicken soup,” said Fernstrom. She said people associate ‘feel-good’ foods with the way their mouths feel while eating something creamy or warm, and chicken soup is a perfect example. “It’s the universal warm, healthy food.”

5. Beans and peas, lentils, chickpeas  (Beans and peas I can eat every day, especially good ol' blackeyed peas)
Suggested serving size: ¼ to ½ cup. “These are rich sources of protein and also pack in complex carbohydrates, mainly in the form of resistant starch,” said Zied. “A study in Public Health Nutrition in 2010 found that moderate intake of legumes, one or two servings weekly, protected menopausal women against severely depressed moods.”

6. Oats and oatmeal (My favorite breakfast dish)
Suggested serving size: ½ cup to 1 cup cooked, or 1-2 packets instant oatmeal with no sodium added.
“Oats provide complex carbohydrates that are slowly digested and provide the brain and entire central nervous system with their key source of fuel,” said Zied. “Carbohydrates also play a key role in creating serotonin, a neurotransmitter in the brain that helps regulate mood, appetite and sleep.”

7. Avocados (Have to pass on this one.  Never have liked avacados)
Avocado is high in omega-3 fatty acids and other essential vitamins and minerals. They're also higher in protein than other fruits.
Suggested serving size: ¼ of an avocado.
“Avocados are really creamy, and the texture is so inviting. A lot of people don’t realize how healthy they are,” said Taub-Dix. “You can even swap it for butter in some recipes. Or, you can puree avocado and add to salad dressing.”

8. Hummus (My favorite snack!)
Suggested serving size: four tablespoons. “Hummus is a great source of protein and fiber, but what are you eating it with?” said Taub-Dix. “If you’re eating hummus with tons of pita bread, that’s a problem. But try dipping jicama, carrots, zucchini strips; it’s a great carrier for veggies.”

9.  Yogurt (I eat Greek yogurt daily)
Raspberry and yogurt.
Suggested serving size: about 5 ounces. “Some yogurts like Greek yogurt are great sources of calcium, and people— especially kids — love to dip,” said Taub-Dix. “Something like a flavored or Greek yogurt is great for dipping, too.”

10. Nuts and seeds (Give me a handful of nuts or a scoop of peanut butter and I'm happy)
Suggested serving size: 1 ounce. “Nuts, like almonds, give you that great overall feeling for your taste buds —sweet, crunchy, creamy,” said Taub-Dix. She also recommends adding almond butter in her oatmeal for a creamy boost of protein.

11.  Tea (I can do the iced tea but not the hot tea)
Suggested serving size: 1 cup. “A cup of tea is low-calorie, gives you that comfort, and sometimes, it’s a speed bump to high-calorie foods,” said Taub-Dix. “You could wind up having a lot more calories if you hadn’t had that cup of tea.”

Now that you've found some of the foods that make you feel better, check out the site to see the ---

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Many Uses of Mayo!

This is simply amazing!  I had to share.

1. Polish plant leaves. Borrow a trick from pro florists: After dusting plant leaves, rub a dab of mayo on them with damp cloth to keep them super shiny.

2. Clean yellowed piano keys. Smooth a tiny bit of mayonnaise onto dull, yellowed piano keys; wait a few minutes, and then rub off with a clean cloth.

3. Deep condition your hair. Mayo’s high oil content and rich, thick texture make it perfect for quick DIY hair mask, says cosmetic chemist Ron Robinson of Massage a generous layer into your hair, making sure to coat the ends, and leave on for 15 minutes before rinsing off. (For even more conditioning benefit, use mayo made with olive oil.)

4. Remove tree sap. Keep this tip in mind next Christmas, when sticky pine sap from trees and wreaths makes a stubborn mess: “Rub a small spoonful (of mayo) on your hands like lotion, and the sap will wash right off,” writes Bruce Lubin, author of Who Knew: 10,001 Easy Solutions to Everyday Problems.

5. Get gum out of hair. Got a sticky situation involving a small child and a big wad of bubble gum? Put down the scissors and get a gob of mayo – just massage it in the gum/hair mess then work the gum out of the hair. 

6. Exfoliate dead skin. Forget rough, grainy scrubs – there’s a smoother way to slough off dead skin, according to Lubin: Apply mayonnaise to dry, rough patches, let it sit for 10 minutes, then wipe away with a damp, warm washcloth.

7. Clean crayon marks from walls and wood furniture. Yep, a swipe of mayo can erase a swipe of crayon – from walls as well as wood. Smear the stuff on the offending marks (test in an inconspicuous area first!), leave it on for a few minutes and then wipe away that “masterpiece” with a damp cloth. 

8. Makeover your manicure. To keep the cuticles of your nails soft and moisturized, Lubin recommends putting some mayonnaise in a small bowl and submerging fingers in it for five minutes.

9. Remove sticker residue. Sure, you could scrape the gummy gunk off with your fingernail (and ruin your manicure in the process), but there’s an easier way to lift the sticky remains of a label or sticker on glass or a mirror, writes Lubin. “Cover it in mayonnaise and let it sit for 5-10 minutes, then gently scrape off with a putty knife.”

10. Wipe out water marks. When a wet glass leaves an unsightly white ring on a wooden table, massage the area with a dab of mayo and let it sit for a few minutes before wiping it clean (away!). For a really stubborn stain, let the mayo sit for an hour or two. 

11. Squelch squeaks. Out of WD-40? A smear of mayonnaise is a quick, natural alternative for quieting a squeaky door hinge.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Keeping Cut Flowers Fresher

Everyone, especially women, love cut flowers but they just don't last very long.  Well, in my roaming I ran across a way to keep them fresh longer.  And yes, this came from the Grandparent site.

When you cut a flower from its roots, you're separating it from its water and food source. The water part is easy—throw that blossom in a vase! But without resorting to store-bought plant food, how do you feed it? According to Scientific American, lemon-lime soda is a near-perfect solution. Slightly acidic water travels more quickly up plant stems than neutral or basic water, giving flowers a boost of hydration. Plus, one can of 7up or Sprite contains 38 grams of sugar, providing nutrients the flower needs. For the proper ratio, horticulturists recommend 1 to 3 cans of water to every can of soda. Note: Sugar also makes the vase water a friendly breeding ground for bacteria. Keep bacteria at bay by adding a few drops of bleach to the vase solution.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Great Ideas for the Holidays!

I'm sure some of you receive Better Homes and Gardens updates through your email but I'm also sure some of you don't.  I'm also sure, if you're like me, you scan over and only pay attention to those things that catch your attention.  Well, this one caught mine.  These are some of the best holiday ideas I've seen in a long time and I just had to share.  I picked out 4 of my favorites but there are many more so go to the Better Homes and Gardens site and see these beautiful ideas.

Wrap Up Store-Bought Grocery Items to Give as Gifts
The shelves at the grocery store are filled with store-bought items that make quick and easy gift ideas. To make this cake mix gift, simply wrap your favorite mix in a Christmas-theme fabric (or table runner!); sew or hot-glue closed. Add handles by sewing or hot-gluing ribbon to package, and attach small bags of decorations for a finishing touch.

Use Ice Cream Cones to Turn Cupcakes into Christmas Trees
Create the perfect Christmas cupcake with our tannenbaum design. The secret to the leafy topping? Place an ice cream cone upside down atop your snowy white-frosted cupcakes, then pipe green frosting to the cone for the leaves. Carefully add edible pearl candies for ornaments.

Ease Guests' Stay with a Basket of Treats
Keep overnight holiday guests satisfied by preempting their stomach growl. Ease your guests' stay by filling a small basket for their room with snacks such as granola bars, dried fruit, trail mix, and chocolates.

Label Christmas Gifts with Family Pictures

Add a little extra festive cheer to your gifts by using family snapshots in the place of name tags. Simply print digital photos on white cardstock, cut into decorative shapes, and attach to your presents.

Monday, October 27, 2014

I Didn't Know That - Fiber

(Info from Weight Watchers cookbook 1993)

What is dietary fiber?
It is the indigestible parts of plant-derived foods - fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts, and seeds.  Meat, poultry, fish, dairy products, eggs and fats do not contain dietary fiber.

What's the difference between insoluble and soluble fiber?
Insoluble fiber (some good sources are wheat brand and pears) provides "bulk" to move food through the digestive tract, keeping constipation at bay; insoluble fiber may also protect against some types of cancer.  Soluble fiber (oats, beans, and oranges are good sources) helps lower blood cholesterol and control blood sugar levels.  Most foods contain some of each type of fiber.

Can I "overdose" on fiber?
Yes.  If you increase your fiber intake too quickly, you may suffer bloating and cramps.  Add fiber to your diet gradually, and drink plenty of water.

Can't I just take a pill?
Most fiber pills have little fiber in them, and do not contain a good balance of the different types of fiber.  You're much better off consuming a variety of foods, form which you'll also reap a bounty of vitamins, minerals, and eating pleasure.

How can I get the most fiber form foods?
Eat fruits and vegetables (such as potatoes) with their skins, and opt for the whole food rather than juice.  Choose whole grain cereal, bread, pasta, and flour over refined grain products.

How does food preparation affect fiber content? 
Cutting, chopping, cooking and freezing has no significant effect on fiber content.  However, sieving and straining foods will remove some fiber.

Will a bran muffin a day do the trick?
No.  Many "bran" muffins contain negligible amounts of fiber.  Their main ingredients are usually white flour and sugar.  The label of a truly high-fiber muffin will list bran or whole-grain flour as its first ingredient.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Chicken Cheese Spread

When I cook chicken I always cook a little extra to use in making chicken salad.  This time I wanted to try something different so I came up with my Chicken Cheese Spread.  These are the ingredients I used.

Chicken, cooked
Sour Cream
Laughing Cow
Shredded cheddar cheese
Mrs. Dash salt free seasoning

I put the chicken, about 1 1/2 cups chopped, in a food processor and pulsed it until it was ground.  I added about 1/4 cup of sour cream and 3 Laughing Cow pats and gave it a taste.  It needed something so I added about 1/2 cup of shredded cheese and enough mayo to make it smooth and spreadable but not thin.  Still needed something.  That's when I started adding the Mrs. Dash.  I would give it a shake, mix and taste until I had added about 1/2 tsp.  PERFECT!  My consistency came out thick enough to form into a ball if I wanted but thin enough to spread on a cracker. 

Comment:  You can add any seasoning you might like but I suggest you put it all together as I did, tasting as I went along until I had the flavor that fit my taste.  Apparently it fit a couple of my food testers taste too because the loved it.  If you want to get fancy and take this to a party you could roll it in chopped nuts, chopped parsley, and maybe even chopped chives.  Just Think With Your Taste Buds to create your own blend.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Almond Buttery Pound Cupcakes

As I always say, Think With Your Taste Buds, and that is exactly what I did when I wanted to make some cupcakes for a friend.  I remembered how good my Cream Cheese Butter Pound Cake turned out so I decided to make few simple changes and turn it into Almond Buttery Pound Cakes.  I made the recipe just as it is with the exception of using almond flavoring instead of vanilla.  I also used mini-muffin tins for cooking which changed the cooking time to 18 minutes.  This makes approximately 96 mini-cupcakes!  You can use the regular size and add about 10 - 15 minutes to the time, checking them using a toothpick to about every 5 minutes.

The other change I made was to add an icing.  I used 1 box (1 lb.) powdered sugar, 1/4 stick of butter, softened, 4 oz. of softened cream cheese and 1 tsp. of the Almond flavoring.  Mix all of this until smooth and spread on your mini-cupcakes adding a few almond slivers for garnish.  Are these good?  You bet they are.  The butter and cream cheese make the cake part stand out and the slight flavor of the almonds in the icing add just the perfect touch.

Hopefully this will give you ideas for using basic recipes like this one to get you Thinking With Your Taste Buds.

Friday, October 3, 2014

So Beautiful!

No this isn't a food but it was too beautiful to let slip by and not share with my cooking friends.  If you're from the south you may recognize this picture.  I have to admit that I am from the south and if I had seen this without seeing the tree it came from I 'might' have guessed what it is but then again I 'might' not have.

While walking my baby Jesse we walked under a beautiful Magnolia tree.  Most of us have seen the beautiful white flowers produced by the Magnolia but have you ever really looked at the pots?  I hate to admit it but I haven't, that is unless they are on the ground and need to be raked up.  I never knew they were fuzzy.  I never knew they were pink.  Well, this beautiful picture is of a Magnolia Pod.

Enjoy!  And next time you walk by a tree of any kind, stop as I did and take just a little time to really look at its beauty.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Easy Watering Fix While You're Away

Why ask a friend to water your plants when you're out of town, when all you need to create your own automatic plant watering system is paper towel and a glass? According to Liz Foreman of (who heard of this trick from, the process is simple: Tightly roll a few sheets of paper towel (we suggest using a sturdy brand) at a diagonal to create a thick rope. Then place one end of your paper towel rope all the way into a glass of water, and drape the other end across the soil, a few inches from the plant. The paper towel sucks the water from the glass and deposits it at an even rate on the soil. Watering for a few days: done.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

I Didn't Know That - Worcestershire Sauce

Nearly 100 ingredients are processed to make Worcestershire Sauce.  Some of them are red onions, cloves, hot chilies, anchovies, garlic, tamarinds, and shallots.  The sauce is not cooked, but is aged in wooden casks up to two years.  After aging, it is then strained and pasteurized.

Use Worcestershipe Sauce to season tomato sauces, beverages, and soups.  Use in meat marinades, in sauces for meats and vegetables, and in soups.  Add to butter-garlic mixture for garlic bred.  Use in cheese spreads, appetizer dips, barbecue sauce, snack mixes, and gravies, or sprinkle over popcorn.

Storage - store in cabinet or pantry no longer than one year for peak quality.  Shake well before using, as ingredients settle in the bottle.

Worcestershire Round Steak

1 can (16 oz.) tomato sauce
1 cup dry red wine or beer
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp. minced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 boneless beef round steak (about 2 lbs.)

Mix tomato sauce, wine, Worcestershire sauce, onion, garlic, brown sugar, and pepper.  Pour over steak in shallow glass baking dish.  Refrigerate, covered, 4 hours or overnight; drain, reserving marinade.

Grill or broil steak to desired degree of doneness; heat marinade and serve with steak.  4 - 6 servings.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

I Didn't Know That - Horseradish

Available as a fresh root, horseradish can be dried minced or prepared and bottled.  Prepared horseradish is a mixture of finely grated horseradish root and vinegar.

Add grated fresh or prepared horseradish to melted butter; serve over grilled or broiled steak or chops.  Fold horseradish into whipped cream and serve as a condiment with roast meats.  Use to season salad dressings and sauces for seafood and meat.  Mix with applesauce to serve with roast pork or ham.  Use also in pickles and relishes.

Storage - fresh root can be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks; unopened and bottled prepared horseradish in a cabinet or pantry one year; opened, in a refrigerator on year; dried flakes in a cabinet or pantry up to one year.

Seafood Cocktail with Horseradish Sauce

1 pkg (3 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sour cream or sour half-and-half
2 Tbsp. mayonnaise or salad dressing
2 Tbsp. prepared horseradish
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. dried dill weed
12 ounces cooked, flaked fish fillets or shelled, deveined shrimp
Shredded lettuce

Beat cream cheese in small bowl until fluffy; beat in sour cream, mayonnaise, horseradish, sugar and dill weed.  Refrigerate several hours for flavors to blend.  Arrange seafood on lettuce on plates or in cocktail dishes; spoon sauce over.  4 - 6 servings.

Friday, September 19, 2014

I Didn't Know That - Ginger

Ginger is the root stalk of a tropical plant.  Available as a fresh root, powdered, preserved, or crystallized, it has a sweet, fragrant aroma.  Ginger root does not have to be peeled before using.

Use to flavor tea, adding a strip of lemon or orange.  Use in salad dressings for fruit and poultry, in marinades, sauces, chutnies, jams, cookies, and cakes.  Rub onto beef or pork roasts before cooking them.  Add to mashed carrots, sweet potatoes, or acorn squash.  Combine with cinnamon and nutmeg in cooking desserts.

Storage - fresh ginger root can be stored up to four weeks in a plastic bag in the refrigerator or cut into chunks, covered with dry sherry in a jar, and refrigerated.  An unopened jar of preserved ginger, and dried, powder, or crystallized ginger in jars can be stored in a cabinet or pantry up to one year for optimum quality; refrigerate an opened jar of preserved ginger.

Baked Trout with Ginger Sauce

4 whole dressed trout (about 10 oz. each)
1/3 cup catsup
1/3 cup sugar
3 - 4 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger root
2 Tbsp. distilled white vinegar
2 Tbsp. dry sherry
2 tsp. cornstarch
2 tsp. soy sauce
4 thinly sliced green onions and tops

Arrange fish in baking dish.  Heat remaining ingredients, except onions, to boiling in saucepan; stir in onions and spoon over fish.  Bake at 350 degrees until fish is tender and flakes with a fork, 20 - 25 minutes.  Serves 4

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

I Didn't Know That - Curry

Curry powder is a combination of many spices.  It may have as few as 5 ingredients or as many as 40 or 50.  Turmeric is probably the most common base.  Other ingredients can be ginger, coriander, caraway, cayenne pepper, cumin, fenugreek, dill, mace, cardamon, cloves, allspice, anise, bay leaves, cinnamon, fennel, garlic, mustard, nutmeg, paprika, poppy seeds, saffron, mint, and juniper berries.

Curry is used in Indian cuisine and a part of the cooking in Indonesia, Malaysia, Jamaica, and West Africa.

Curries can be mild or hot - even extra hot.  Rub onto meats; use in stews, sauces for meats and vegetables, appetizer dips, soups, egg dishes, meat or fish salad mixtures, marinades for meat and poultry, melted butter for vegetables, bread stuffing, and rice casseroles.

Storage - Curry can be stored in a covered jar in a cabinet or pantry up to one year for maximum quality.

Curried Rice with Fruit

2 cups cooked rice
1 cup mixed fried fruit, chopped
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 Tbsp. chopped chives
1 Tbsp. honey
2 tsp. curry powder
Grated nutmeg

Mix all ingredients except nutmeg in medium saucepan.  Cook over medium heat until hot through; spoon into serving bowl and sprinkle with nutmeg.  Serve with lamb, pork, ham, or chicken.  4 servings.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Peach Pudding

A friend brought me some peaches that needed to be used within a couple days so I came up with an idea.  I love Banana Pudding and I love Peaches and Cream so why not make Peach Pudding.  I used my regular Banana Pudding recipe (the kind you cook from scratch) but instead of using bananas I used peaches.  OMGoodness!  This is so good.  It isn't too sweet and you get the slight tartness from the peaches.  I did make one mistake, that wasn't really a mistake but something I would change the next time I make this.  I didn't cook my pudding quite long enough.  It turned out just a little thin and due to this the vanilla wafers softened but their softening they thickened the pudding.  Even so, this dish is delicious.  Now I want to make Strawberry Pudding!  And maybe Pineapple Pudding!  And maybe Cherry Pudding!  Need I add more?

Sunday, September 14, 2014

I Didn't Know That - Cloves

Available as whole or ground, cloves are the dried buds of the tropical clove tree, a relative of the myrtle family, which grown in the West Indies and Africa.  The buds are first white, then green, then red.  After they are picked and dried, they turn a dark, reddish brown.  In small quantities, cloves have an aromatic, sweet flavor.  In larger quantities, the flavor becomes quite hot.  Freshly ground cloves provide the most pungent flavor.

Use whole or ground cloves in sweet beverages (mulled cider or wine, fruit punch), in cakes and cookies, and in glazes and sauces for pork and ham.  Also use in chutneys, preserves, pickled fruits, candies, and puddings.  Mix ground cloves and brown sugar or honey into softened butter; serve over beets, carrots, or baked sweet potatoes.  Cloves also are often combined with other spices in baked goods and beverages.

Storage - cloves can be stored in a tightly closed jar in a cabinet or pantry one year for optimum quality.

Clove-Spiced Cider

24 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks, broken
4 whole allspice
2 whole cardamom
1 quart apple cider or juice

Tie spices in small piece of cheesecloth; add to cider in medium saucepan.  Heat to boiling; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered 5 to 10 minutes.  Remove spice bag.  Serve hot, or refrigerate and serve chilled.  8 servings of 1/2 cup each.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Book Resque

Just a reminder for those of you who love to cook, don't forget to check out my book store Book Resque.  I add books daily so the choice is always changing.  Some are old, some are new.  Some are cookbooks, some are even comic books.  Some are educational, some are Very Vintage dating back into the 1800s.  But all are priced low. 

Most of my books are rescued from thrift stores, yard sales, and Estate sales.  I buy as cheaply as possible so I can pass them on to you at an affordable price. 

Each book shows it's own shipping price but when you order 2 or more the shipping weight is combined and the cost will be for the combined weight, not the individual item weight.  

So, check out the site and see how many books you might like to adopt and rescue from the recycle center.

Oh yeah.  Now and then I run across items other than books that need to be rescued so don't be surprised if you spot stamps, lighters, and other old but odd items listed.

Monday, September 8, 2014

I Didn't Know That - Caraway Seeds

The black crescent-shaped seeds from the fruit of the herb known as Carum Carvi, which grows in northern and central Europe and Asia and now in America, are the caraway seeds.  Each fruit form the plant has two halves, and each half contains a caraway seed, when used as a seasoning, provides an aromatic addition to many foods and blends of teas.  Caraway seeds can be used whole, or they can be crushed to release more aroma and flavor.

Add crushed or whole seed to rye and other breads, sauerkraut, applesauce, salads, cole slaw, potatoes, onions, cabbage, cheese spread and sauces, and cottage cheese.  Rub crushed caraway seed onto the surface of beef, lamb, veal or pork before cooking; add it to stews.

Storage - Caraway seed stored in a covered jar in a cabinet or pantry will retain full flavor up to one year.

Caraway Bagels

1 loaf frozen rye bread dough, thawed
2 quarts water
Spicy brown mustard
1 Tbsp. caraway seed
1 1/2 tsp. coarse salt

Place dough in greased bowl; turn greased side up.  Let stand, covered in warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.  Punch down dough.  Dive dough into 10 equal pieces.  Roll 1 piece dough on lightly floured surface to form strip about 1" long; bring ends together to form bagel shape.  Moisten ends and seal.  Repeartwith remaining pieces.  Let stand on floured surface 15 minutes.

Heat water to boiling in large saucepan.  Place bagels in water, 2 to 3 at a time; boil 30 seconds.  Drain on paper toweling.  Place bagels on greased cookie sheet.  Brush bagels generously with mustard; sprinkle with caraway seed and salt.  Bake at 400 degrees until golden, 15 - 2 minutes.  10 bagels.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Bacon Wrapped Cheesy Chicken

2 - 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 lbs.)
cheese dip
pretzels, crushed (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place a wrack in the bottom of a baking dish (spray both with non-stick).  Slice each of the chicken breasts into 3 equal strips (long)  Wrap each chicken strip in a slice of bacon.  Place on baking rack.  Bake strips about 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked throughout.  Remove from rack.  Place in a baking dish sprayed with non-stick.  Pour enough of the cheese dip over each to cover.  Sprinkle with pretzels.  Bake 5-8 minutes or until cheese dip is hot.

Comments:  Somewhere I saw a recipe for bacon wrapped chicken strips but couldn't remember where so I decided to make my own.  My chicken strips were about 1" wide and one piece of bacon was plenty to wrap with.  Don't use pre-cooked bacon.  It will brown before the chicken is done.  For my cheese dip I used a jar of white cheese with peppers giving the dish another taste and the pretzels to add a crunch.  This turned out very well.  You could taste the bacon as well as the cheese and by cooking it on a rack the fat was able to drain making this a fairly healthy dish.  You can also put this in individual baking dishes, instead of one large baking dish, before adding the cheese.   I think Weight Watchers would love this one.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

I Didn't Know That - Black Pepper

Black pepper comes from the peppercorn, a fruit (or berry) which grows on a woody plant in the tropics.  As the peppercorn grows, first it is green, then it becomes red as it ripens, and turns black as it is dried.  Black pepper is made form dried peppercorn.  White pepper, which is milder, is the inner layer of the dried peppercorn. 

Black pepper is available whole, cracked, coarsely ground, or finely ground.  Used in small amounts, it is a mild seasoning; in large amounts, it has a predominant flavor.  Whole peppers, ground in a peppermill, provide freshly ground seasoning and a more pungent flavor.

Storage - whole and ground pepper kept in a tightly closed jar and stored in a cabinet or pantry will retain their full flavor up to one year.

Peppered Flank Steak

1 beef flank steak (about 1 1/2 lbs.)
1 - 1 1/2 tsp. whole peppercorns, crushed
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp. chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced.

Pound steak until even in thickness; score on both sides.  Mix peppercorns and remaining ingredients; spread over surface of steak.  Roll steak up, beginning at short end; fasten with wooden picks.  Broil steak 6" from heat source for 20 minutes, turning steak one-quarter turn every 5 minutes.  Slice to serve.  6 servings.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Olive Oil and Its Uses

Another goodie form Grandparents

Almost every kitchen has a bottle of this gold-green elixir that can dress a salad or sauté vegetables, imparting heart-healthy fat in every teaspoon. But olive oil (regular or light, save expensive extra-virgin for flavoring food) can also help make dirty work a little easier:

Remove paint: Forget the harsh chemicals. To remove paint from your skin, just use olive oil and a little granulated sugar or salt. The paint will come off and your skin will be exfoliated and moisturized, too.

Take it outside!: Olive oil can help you do your yard work. Spritz it onto lawn mower blades in the summer to help keep grass from sticking, and onto snow shovels in the winter so that snow will slide off the shovel more easily. You can use it on other garden tools like hoes and rakes, too.

Polish leather shoes: No need to use that nasty-smelling chemical stuff. A little olive oil and a soft cloth will keep your shoes looking great.

Get gum out of hair: Apply the olive oil to the gum and the surrounding hair; work it through gently and let it sit for a few minutes. Work a comb through the strands until the gum is gone, then wash with shampoo.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Praying Mantis

This has nothing to do with food but I still had to share.  He/She was sitting on the hedge near my door.  It didn't seem to mind that I wanted to take its picture and would even turn its head to look at me while I took pictures.  This is the 1st one I've ever seen this close and I was surprised at its size.  I would estimate it at abut 5" from head to end of wings.  Below is a little information I found on the Praying Mantis.

The praying mantis is named for its prominent front legs, which are bent and held together at an angle that suggests the position of prayer. The larger group of these insects is more properly called the praying mantids. Mantis refers to the genus mantis, to which only some praying mantids belong.

By any name, these fascinating insects are formidable predators. They have triangular heads poised on a long "neck," or elongated thorax. Mantids can turn their heads 180 degrees to scan their surroundings with two large compound eyes and three other simple eyes located between them.

Typically green or brown and well camouflaged on the plants among which they live, mantis lie in ambush or patiently stalk their quarry. They use their front legs to snare their prey with reflexes so quick that they are difficult to see with the naked eye. Their legs are further equipped with spikes for snaring prey and pinning it in place.

Moths, crickets, grasshoppers, flies, and other insects are usually the unfortunate recipients of unwanted mantid attention. However, the insects will also eat others of their own kind. The most famous example of this is the notorious mating behavior of the adult female, who sometimes eats her mate just after—or even during—mating. Yet this behavior seems not to deter males from reproduction.

Females regularly lay hundreds of eggs in a small case, and nymphs hatch looking much like tiny versions of their parents.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Aspirin Uses

Yes, another Grandparent article. Aspirin - and you thought it was only good for headaches (well, I did too).

Though willow bark has been used for thousands of years to relieve pain and inflammation, it wasn't until 1897 that a German chemist was able to modify its active ingredient – salicin – to create acetylsalicylic acid, which is gentler on stomachs and the basis of modern aspirin. But this “miracle drug” can do more than treat a headache.


Soften your feet: Remove calluses from your feet (or hands) with aspirin. Crush six to eight tablets and mix them with a teaspoon or two of lemon juice, and enough warm water to make a paste. Spread the paste on the calloused area, then wrap in a warm towel and cover with a plastic bag. Leave on for ten or fifteen minutes, then scrub with a pumice stone to remove the callous. (NOTE: Do not try this if you are diabetic or have impaired circulation.)

Make your plants healthier: Aspirin may just be a gardener’s best friend. A solution of one aspirin in a gallon of water can help plants that have been traumatized by moving or replanting to recover, and can help new plants to develop strong root systems. Or add a little mild, liquid soap to the aspirin water and spray it on plant leaves to discourage pests. (The soap will keep the solution from just rolling off the plant.) 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Tortilla Pizza

Flour Tortillas
Pizza Sauce
Favorite toppings:
  Ground Beef, cooked & crumbled
  Sausage, cooked & crumbled
  Bell Peppers, chopped
  Onions, chopped
Cheddar cheese, shredded
Mozzarella cheese, shredded

On tortilla spread as little or as much pizza sauce that you might like.  Top with both cheeses covering nicely, or as much as you may like.  Top with your favorite toppings.  Bake in a toaster oven on 450 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until hot and cheeses have melted.

Comment:  I have a friend who loves pizza but he seldom eats the crust and since pizza delivered can get quite expensive I've tried to tell him that he needs to get his money's worth and eat the crust too.  He simply won't do it so I told him he could pay me the $20.00 he spends for pizza, delivery and tip and I would make a pizza he would simply live and not have to worry about the crust.  So I used tortillas for my crust, cooked up about 1/4 lb. of ground beef and started creating his pizza.  It's perfect!  The crust is thin enough that he actually eats it and you can make it soft by only cooking it after topping or you can crisp it up by putting it in the toaster oven for about 3-5 minutes before topping.  You can add any toppings and those you don't use you simply place in a baggie to use for more pizzas later or to add to another dish.  And the pizza sauce will keep in the refrigerator for several days so you can have pizza every day.  I think this may be a little healthier than delivered pizza too since it has such a thin crust.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Apple Cider Vinegar Uses

Yes, another Grandparent article that had to be shared.

Next time you buy apple cider vinegar, skip the clear, refined stuff and go raw and organic. (Look for a brand that may look a little cloudy, and has bits of sediment in it; those are the enzymes that make it so powerful.)


Use it to tame a rosacea flare-up: For some rosacea suffers, applying apple cider vinegar diluted with water as a toner can help soothe the redness and burning or itching of rosacea.

Condition your hair: Add a tablespoon of vinegar to a cup of warm water and rinse your hair with it after you shampoo. It will remove any soapy residue and leave your hair shiny and manageable! (Don’t do this if you color your hair, though, as it may interact with, or strip away, the dye.)

Remove fish scales more easily: When your favorite fisherman brings you his catch of the day, rub it with vinegar before you clean it. The scales will come off more easily, and your hands will smell less fishy, too.

And for 18 more uses go to Tree Hugger and see how many of their suggestions you might use.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Uses of Honey

This is another interesting article from Grandparents


Raw, organic honey is one of nature’s superfoods, and you should definitely keep a jar on hand! If you can, buy honey that is produced locally. (Some of the honey sold in supermarkets has been found to contain high fructose corn syrup and red food dye.) Besides being delicious, the good stuff can help keep you beautiful inside and out!


Ease a hangover: Next time you’ve overindulged, try a tablespoon of honey. (You can add it to herbal tea or hot water or drizzle it on toast, if you prefer not to eat it straight.) The fructose is thought to help speed up the metabolism of the alcohol, according to the Royal Society of Chemistry in the UK.

As a dressing for minor wounds: Honey is antimicrobial and antibacterial, which means the bad stuff can’t grow in it. You can use raw honey as an ointment on minor burns, cuts and scrapes. It also can banish blemishes for the same reason. Just be sure you cover the area with a bandage so you won’t be tempted to lick it off – and, of course, to keep the sticky stuff off your clothes and furniture!

Then I found even more uses on Care 2. 

They say:
It’s often said that the famed ancient beauty Cleopatra would soak in honey and milk baths. Well, whether or not that’s true, it’s certainly not surprising that the story has persisted for so long — honey has a tremendous effect on the skin. And that’s not all — honey is a powerful antiseptic and a fantastic natural sugar substitute. Keep reading for these and more alternative uses for honey.  13 Uses of Honey by Care 2

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Petroleum Jelly and its Uses

The tips below are from the Grandparent site.

Unless you’re swimming the English Channel, we don’t recommend slathering your body with petroleum jelly. As the name implies, it’s a by-product of oil refining, so a little dab will do you! That said, it’s been in use since 1870, and high-quality brands (like Vaseline, for example) are generally recognized as safe.


Keep car doors from freezing shut: We got this tip from an Air Force mechanic: Put a thin layer of petroleum jelly around the insulation of your car door, and you won’t have to worry about your car doors freezing shut when the next polar vortex hits.

Make an at-home mani/pedi look perfect: Use a cotton swab to outline your nails and nail polish won’t stick to your skin. Also, a thin layer of jelly around the tops of your nail polish bottles will keep them opening easily.

Keep ants out of the doggy bowl: Coat the outside of Fido or Fluffy’s food dish with a thin layer of jelly and ants will dine elsewhere.

For more uses visit 57 Uses for Petroleum Jelly

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Distilled White Vinegar Uses

Another Great Article from Grandparents 

Distilled White Vinegar

The Native Americans were right: Corn is our friend. Not only is it delicious on the cob or off, it’s the source of white distilled vinegar, which – as our grandmothers knew – can make a salad dressing or clean the walls with equal aplomb.

Revive wilted vegetables: Soak wilted greens or other vegetables in a bath of one tablespoon of white vinegar to two cups of water for 10 minutes.

Keep colors from running: Add one cup of white vinegar to the wash to help set the color of new towels or other items. 

Prevent cheese from getting moldy: Dampen a paper towel in white vinegar and wrap it around hard cheese to prevent mold spores from forming.

After reading this I decided to check a little deeper into the many uses of vinegar.  This is what I found:

Howard Garrett, also known as The Dirt Doctor, has compiled a number of uses for vinegar, including recipes for both internal use and use in your organic garden, which I will share with you here.  This is a lengthy article but worth going to the site to read.  It brings to light so many more uses of vinegar.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Salt Uses

I belong to a site that has some of the best information articles.  It's mainly created for Grandparents but is useful for everyone.  I wanted to share some of the information they posted a few days ago that I found interesting as well as useful.

You probably don’t think twice about the salt that graces your table, but at one time, salt was so highly prized that it was used as currency. The Roman army is said to have paid soldiers in salt; the word “salary” has its roots in this practice, and it’s why we say someone is “worth his salt.”

Remove a wine stain: Blot (don’t rub) the spill to remove as much as possible, then cover the stain liberally with salt and let it sit for 10 minutes. Rinse with cold water, if possible, then repeat if necessary. If the spill is on a carpet, you can wait for the salt to dry and then vacuum it up.

Make drip-proof candles: Soak new candles in salt water for a few hours, then let them dry. They will burn drip-free.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

More Info for Less Cholesterol - Refining Our Meals

These are few ways to refine our meals to reduce fat and cholesterol:

1.  Use fresh vegetables whenever possible.  If it is necessary to used canned or frozen, read the label to insure that the product does not contain saturated fat, such as lard, bacon fat, palm oil or coconut oil.  If the label lists "vegetable fat" without revealing the specific source, assume that it is palm oil or coconut oil and don't purchase the product.  (Now and then I can find fresh vegetables but we all know that during the winter months they aren't exactly fresh since they have to sometimes be shipped from other countries.  What I now do is buy frozen in the bags.  To me, they are better than canned and don't normally have anything added.)

2.  Use only those salad dressings made form olive oil or form an unsaturated vegetable oil (safflower, corn, cottonseed, sesame, soybean and sunflower).  Use homemade rather than commercial salad dressings for maximum control over the oil, salt, sugar and preservatives.  Avoid dressings made with cheese.  Serve dressings on the side as only 1 tablespoon can be 75 to 100 calories.  (This is a big one for me to change.  I simply love creamy dressings like Ranch or Onion or Poppyseed.  I've tried making these but they just don't taste the same so this is a gradual change that I'm trying to make.)

3.  Use soft tub-type margarine made form an unsaturated liquid vegetable oil in place of hydrogenated stick margarine.  Again, label reading is the key.  To be acceptable, the label must list liquid vegetable oil as the first ingredient and show that the product contains twice the amount of unsaturated as saturated fat.  (Another tough one for me.  I love my butter and I love to cook with it.  Not sure how I'll handle this change.)

4.  Reduce the amount of margarine used on breads.  Even tub margarine made form an unsaturated vegetable oil is 99% fat and contains 95 calories per tablespoon.  Eliminate margarine as a sauce for vegetables, rice and potatoes; instead use herbs, spices, wine, lemon juice or flavored vinegars.  (I'm getting better at this one.  I cooked some frozen lima beans last week and where I would normally use either a piece of fat meat or butter to flavor them I used salt free bouillon.  They were delicious.  Gonna try this with my rice and potatoes too.  As for my bread, I've learned to enjoy spreading a little hummus over my toast.)

#5.  Avoid commercial bakery products and desserts that are high in saturated fat and calories. (No problem here.  If I eat desserts they are usually those that I make.  Now if I can just not cook them with too much fat I'll be ok.)

#6.  Increase the amount of complex carbohydrates (such as rice, beans, pasta) to satisfy in a low-fat manner and reduce the portion size of the entrée.  (I love my carbs so this is no problem as long as I season and smother them with the right sauces.)

So, on my quest to lower my cholesterol, I've found that I still need to make a few changes in not just my eating but also my cooking.  Some of these changes won't be easy but I'm getting there.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

More Info for Less Cholesterol - Poultry and Fish/Seafood

Now that I know I'm ok in the red meat dept. it's time to look at the meats that I do eat the most which are poultry, fish and seafood.  One of these may be the cause of my raised cholesterol level.  So here is what I found.

Skinless, white poultry is only about 20% fat.  Only 19% of the calories in trout are fat, and only 6% of those in water-packed tuna are fat.  In addition, poultry and seafood, with the exception of shrimp, are generally lower in cholesterol than red meat.  Although shrimp is high in cholesterol, many medical professionals now feel that the healthful benefits of fish oil allow shrimp to be eaten on a moderate basis.

A 3 1/2 oz. serving of cooked trout yields 55 mg. of cholesterol; halibut 60 mg.; and chicken 79 mg.  Four ounces of cod contains just 57 mg. and 3 oz. of tuna just 54 mg.   While 4 oz. of sirloin steak contains 107 mg.  (One of my favorite fish is the cod.  I usually buy the thicker 'choice' cuts which are a little more expensive but still cheaper than a prime cut of steak and a lot healthier.)

To insure that you lower your fat and cholesterol as much as possible, follow these steps:
1.  Reduce poultry and seafood portions in size.  Although lower in cholesterol than red meat, poultry and seafood are still sources of cholesterol.  (As much as I love a good piece of fish it's hard for me to keep the portions to 3 1/2 oz.  As for the chicken, I love chicken but to me chicken has no flavor of its own so I try to provide it with flavor which I'll have to be careful of so I don't increase the fat and cholesterol.  As for eating just 3 1/2 oz. that isn't a problem.  I often just bake my chicken with some herbs and add it to a good salad.)

2. Always cook poultry without the skin so that the fat in the skin doesn't drip into the meat.  (This is no problem for me since I almost always buy skinless chicken.)

3.  Select the white meat of the chicken or turkey rather than the dark meat, as the white is lower in cholesterol.  (This really isn't a problem since I don't like dark meat.  I know it does have a little more flavor and is juicy but I can't bring myself to eat a piece of dark meat.  Too many things still attached to the meat that you don't find in white meats.)

4.  Broil, roast, bake, steam, poach or barbecue poultry and seafood as these methods allow the fat to drip away during cooking.  (This is where my pan with the rack comes in handy.  I used to boil my chicken but found that even with seasonings added the meat was dry and lacked flavor.  I now place my chicken as well as my fish on the rack and bake.  It is juicier and cooks fairly quickly.  Yes the fat drips into the pan but it still comes out juicy.  This is also the way I make baked 'fried' chicken.  The rack allows the batter to stay crispy.)

5.  Use wine, herbs, lemon juice or flavored vinegar, rather than margarine, oils and sauces to flavor poultry and seafood dishes.  (I do use the herbs, especially rosemary, to flavor my chicken.  My fish I coat with an egg wash, dip it into Panko and then cook it in the oven using my baking rack.  It cooks quickly, comes out crisp and is delicious with a little Malt Vinegar sprinkled on top.)

6.  Avoid packaged, canned or frozen poultry and seafood dishes.  (There again, after seeing the salt content on the package of most packaged foods, I've completely stopped buying them.)

7.  When ordering seafood and poultry in restaurants, avoid any sauces and gravies, and select only heart-healthy cooking methods.  (I normally order grilled chicken when eating out but have to admit that I do order fried fish.  I just have to have that kick now and then.  When I do order chicken that has been fried I always order the white meat and try really hard to eat just the meat and not the crust or skin.  Hard to do so I don't order this often.)

I haven't been able to bring myself to eat food that use ground chicken or turkey but I have made Chicken Chili and I have to tell you it is delicious.  I've even added a recipe for it on my site Think With Your Taste Buds - Chicken.  I'll continue to find healthier ways to eat my chicken, fish and seafood and continue to stay away form red meats.  Nest I'm going to investigate other ways to reduce cholesterol and fat through the substitution of oils and salad dressings.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Yogurt Chicken Salad

1 baked, boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 Tbsp. Fresh Food Concept Spinach Dip
5 almonds, sliced

Cut chicken into bite size pieces.  Mix in dip.  Sprinkle with almonds.

Comment:  Recently I saw a Dr. Oz show where his guest talked about losing weight by not counting calories but by counting sugar.  Sucker that I am I bought his book, have been reading it and it does make a lot of sense.  With his program you're supposed to eat as few carbs and sugar as possible, like below 100 a day.  Didn't know if I could do this or not.  His plan has you eating a good bit of chicken but as I've said before - plain chicken simply has no taste. There has to be a healthy way to give it some taste.  So... I took my mid to the grocery store and started reading labels.  I was really surprised to find that there are many foods that are healthy and contain very little sugar.  One that I found was Fresh Food Concepts' Spinach Dip made with Greek Yogurt.  It contains 1g of sugar for 2 Tbsp.  That is the perfect amount to make a delicious, moist chicken salad using just 1 chicken breast.  This is one you really need to try even if you aren't trying to eat healthy.

Monday, July 28, 2014

More Info for Less Cholesterol - Red Meat

I got a call from my Doctor (yes, I have a rare doctor who calls me.)  He called to tell me my blood test results were back.  Good news, my iron count was up some.  Bad news, my cholesterol was up over 50 points or whatever they call them.  So I've started looking up information that will stop it from rising and hopefully bring it back down.  I'll be passing this information along to you with hopes it will help you too.

#1 - Reduce meat portions in size and increase complex carbohydrates (vegetables, fruit, grains and legumes).  (I eat red meat maybe 3-4 times a month.  I'm just not a fan and besides, cows are cute.  But when I do eat red meat I eat very small portions so I'm ok here.)
#2 - Use only lean-grade meat and trim it of all visible fat before cooking.  (I actually quit eating red meat, especially ground beef, after learning what was actually in the so called meat.  Pink slime, by-products and fillers.  If you want a good education on what is in your burger, look these up.  When I do eat red meat I buy organic only.  The price is another reason I seldom eat red meat.)
#3 - Broil, roast, bake or barbecue meats as these methods allow the fat to drip away during cooking.  (I'm good here too.  I almost never fry anything but I have learned that you can coat a piece of meat with egg wash and bread crumbs (etc.), quick fry to brown the crumbs, place the meat on a racked baking dish and finish cooking in the oven.  This allows the grease absorbed while browning as well as what is naturally in the meat to drip out but still keep your meat crispy.)
#4 - Cook meat to medium or well-done to maximize the fat loss during cooking.  (I have to admit that IF I eat a steak I want it medium rare.  All other red meat I want well done.)
#5 - Avoid frying foods in hydrogenated margarine or animal fats; instead use chicken or beef broth, wine, water, flavored vinegar, or use a non-stick pan.  (If I do the quick fry I use canola oil so I'm ok there.  For any other cooking I've actually found that most red meat is so full of 'water' or whatever that you need to cook that out before you add any type of flavoring other than salt and pepper.  I actually brown my meat, such as a roast, without oil, place it in a slow cooker and when the liquid has cooked out, (shrinking the meat to half the size it was when I put it in the pot) I strain the liquid through a white paper towel removing all grease.  Then I add flavoring and cook until done.) 
#6 - Always de-fat meat drippings and broths by refrigeration (the fat coagulates and can be skimmed and discarded) before using in gravies or sauces.  (I have used this method of removing fat but like the straining better.)
#7 - Avoid packaged, canned or frozen meat dishes as their fat content  cannot be controlled.  (When I started reading labels I found the salt content in most canned meats was terrible so I don't buy packaged, canned or frozen meat dishes.  Due to this I have no idea how the cholesterol count may be.  And processed meats in the deli is another type of food I don't buy.  Look up fillers and by-products and you'll be careful about buying them too.  From what I've found there are 2 companies that states their deli meats are 85% real meat.  The others are from 16% meat and slowly up.)
#8 - Be careful of restaurant foods, especially fast foods, as their fat content cannot be controlled.  (Most of my eating out consists of 2 meats - fish and chicken.  I can't remember the last time I ate beef at a restaurant so I'm ok there too.)

My next research on cholesterol will be for poultry and seafood so stay tuned.