Eggless Chocolate Chip Cookies

Nuts have been given such a bad rap for their high fat content. The truth is raw nuts do contain a heart healthy fat and are packed full of protein. Pecans are high in plant sterols which can aide in the prevention of heart disease. Plant sterols have the ability to block your body from absorbing cholesterol lowering your LDL. When eaten in moderation pecans in particular are a great source of vitamins and minerals.

The family will go nuts over these hearty Pecan Crusted Fish Sticks.

Source: Parents Magazine December 2010
1 pound Atlantic cod fillets, and rinsed and patted dry
1 cup pecan halves
1 cup torn whole-wheat bread pieces
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Coat a wire baking rack with nonstick cooking spray and place on a baking sheet or in a shallow baking pan.

Cut fish into about 14 3″ by 1″ strips.

Place pecans, bread pieces and salt in a food processor; pulse until fine. Place in a bowl or on a large plate.

Put flour and eggs in separate bowls.

Lightly coat cod in flour. Dip in egg and roll in pecan mixture. Put fish on rack; coat with cooking spray.

Bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until golden.

Variations:
– The eggs may be replaced with milk or water.
– Swap the flour for ground flaxseed meal.
Nuts have been given such a bad rap for their high fat content. The truth is raw nuts do contain a heart healthy fat and are packed full of protein. Pecans are high in plant sterols which can aide in the prevention of heart disease. Plant sterols have the ability to block your body from absorbing cholesterol lowering your LDL. When eaten in moderation pecans in particular are a great source of vitamins and minerals.

The family will go nuts over these hearty Pecan Crusted Fish Sticks.

Source: Parents Magazine December 2010
1 pound Atlantic cod fillets, and rinsed and patted dry
1 cup pecan halves
1 cup torn whole-wheat bread pieces
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Coat a wire baking rack with nonstick cooking spray and place on a baking sheet or in a shallow baking pan.

Cut fish into about 14 3″ by 1″ strips.

Place pecans, bread pieces and salt in a food processor; pulse until fine. Place in a bowl or on a large plate.

Put flour and eggs in separate bowls.

Lightly coat cod in flour. Dip in egg and roll in pecan mixture. Put fish on rack; coat with cooking spray.

Bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until golden.

Variations:
– The eggs may be replaced with milk or water.
– Swap the flour for ground flaxseed meal.


Nuts have been given such a bad rap for their high fat content. The truth is raw nuts do contain a heart healthy fat and are packed full of protein. Pecans are high in plant sterols which can aide in the prevention of heart disease. Plant sterols have the ability to block your body from absorbing cholesterol lowering your LDL. When eaten in moderation pecans in particular are a great source of vitamins and minerals.

The family will go nuts over these hearty Pecan Crusted Fish Sticks.

Source: Parents Magazine December 2010
1 pound Atlantic cod fillets, see rinsed and patted dry
1 cup pecan halves
1 cup torn whole-wheat bread pieces
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Coat a wire baking rack with nonstick cooking spray and place on a baking sheet or in a shallow baking pan.

Cut fish into about 14 3″ by 1″ strips.

Place pecans, bread pieces and salt in a food processor; pulse until fine. Place in a bowl or on a large plate.

Put flour and eggs in separate bowls.

Lightly coat cod in flour. Dip in egg and roll in pecan mixture. Put fish on rack; coat with cooking spray.

Bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until golden.

Variations:
– The eggs may be replaced with milk or water.
– Swap the flour for ground flaxseed meal.
Nuts have been given such a bad rap for their high fat content. The truth is raw nuts do contain a heart healthy fat and are packed full of protein. Pecans are high in plant sterols which can aide in the prevention of heart disease. Plant sterols have the ability to block your body from absorbing cholesterol lowering your LDL. When eaten in moderation pecans in particular are a great source of vitamins and minerals.

The family will go nuts over these hearty Pecan Crusted Fish Sticks.

Source: Parents Magazine December 2010
1 pound Atlantic cod fillets, and rinsed and patted dry
1 cup pecan halves
1 cup torn whole-wheat bread pieces
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Coat a wire baking rack with nonstick cooking spray and place on a baking sheet or in a shallow baking pan.

Cut fish into about 14 3″ by 1″ strips.

Place pecans, bread pieces and salt in a food processor; pulse until fine. Place in a bowl or on a large plate.

Put flour and eggs in separate bowls.

Lightly coat cod in flour. Dip in egg and roll in pecan mixture. Put fish on rack; coat with cooking spray.

Bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until golden.

Variations:
– The eggs may be replaced with milk or water.
– Swap the flour for ground flaxseed meal.


Nuts have been given such a bad rap for their high fat content. The truth is raw nuts do contain a heart healthy fat and are packed full of protein. Pecans are high in plant sterols which can aide in the prevention of heart disease. Plant sterols have the ability to block your body from absorbing cholesterol lowering your LDL. When eaten in moderation pecans in particular are a great source of vitamins and minerals.

The family will go nuts over these hearty Pecan Crusted Fish Sticks.

Source: Parents Magazine December 2010
1 pound Atlantic cod fillets, see rinsed and patted dry
1 cup pecan halves
1 cup torn whole-wheat bread pieces
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Coat a wire baking rack with nonstick cooking spray and place on a baking sheet or in a shallow baking pan.

Cut fish into about 14 3″ by 1″ strips.

Place pecans, bread pieces and salt in a food processor; pulse until fine. Place in a bowl or on a large plate.

Put flour and eggs in separate bowls.

Lightly coat cod in flour. Dip in egg and roll in pecan mixture. Put fish on rack; coat with cooking spray.

Bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until golden.

Variations:
– The eggs may be replaced with milk or water.
– Swap the flour for ground flaxseed meal.

This recipe came about in two ways. First it was Sunday– dessert night. The one night of the week I make dessert. And we were completely out of eggs. The reason I went ahead and made a dessert rather than postponing until Monday night was partly due to my friend’s son and my little niece who have egg allergies.

Eggs are generally used as a leavening agent and to add moisture (cakes, sildenafil cookies) or as a binder (omelets and meatloaf). Eggs combined with fat in a yeast bread work to tenderize the protein wheat flour. This protein forms gluten during kneading, no rx which makes the bread chewy. Egg whites help dry the bread out to create a crisper texture.

Eggs used in cookie and cake batter works the same way. I remember the time in high school when a friend made chocolate cake and forgot to add the eggs. The flat disc was as hard as a hockey puck. If eggs are omitted something will need to take its place. This recipe for chocolate chip cookies calls for an egg replacement product called Ener-G. Ener-G comes as a powder and must be completely mixed with a liquid before adding to the batter.

Most of the reviews I have found suggest using ground Flax seed, baking powder or silken tofu in that order of preference for cookies. However if you are baking muffins or a cake silken tofu is a better choice. “The tofu adds better structure than flaxseed.”  Make sure to beat the tofu until smooth.

I used 1 tablespoon baking powder and 1 tablespoon corn starch well blended into 6 tablespoons milk. The cookies flavor and texture were no different from a cookie made with eggs. Personally I prefer the nuttiness of flaxseed.

Source: “The Joy of Vegan Baking”
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup/2 sticks butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 1/2 teaspoons Ener-G in place of 3 eggs (see variations for alternative substitutes)
6 tablespoons water
1 and 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 375F/190C.

In a large bowl, cream butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla. In a food processor/blender whip together the egg replacer powder and water together very well, until it’s thick and creamy. Add this mixture to the creamed butter and sugar, combine thoroughly.

In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Gradually beat the flour mixture into the wet mixture until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts, if using. Drop by spoonfuls onto the baking sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown.

Let stand for 2 minutes on the baking sheet itself. Then transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely before storing.

Variations:
— Replace the egg substitute with 1 tablespoon baking powder and 1 tablespoon corn starch. Mix thoroughly with the 6 tablespoons water or milk.
— To use Flax Seed in place of eggs: (per each egg called for)
Combine 1 heaping tablespoon of whole organic flax seed in a blender. Blend until it becomes a fine meal. Add 1/4 cup cold water. Blend 2-3 minutes until thickened. (Be sure to blend until mixture is well blended; the consistency of an egg) 1/4 cup Flax seed mixture = 1 egg in baking.
Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
— If you having problems try using this version of conversions from Eggbeaters.com: 1 egg = 1/4 c. firm silken tofu = 1 T ground flaxseed + 3 T water whisked together.
— Replace flour with whole wheat pastry flour or oat flour.

Biscuit 101- The History of…

http://factorytoursusa.com/
http://factorytoursusa.com/
Ok, pills this is not really a meal I cook from scratch, case but it is fast and it is our favorite meal. Whenever my husband and I celebrate our Anniversary or Valentines Day or just get a night out together, approved this is what we want to have. Paired with some apple cider and voila, you have an elegant tasty dinner.

Caesar dressing mix (use white wine vinegar) or ready made salad dressing
Iceberg or Romaine lettuce
Grilled Chicken Breasts, chopped
Parmesan Cheese, freshly grated
Croutons (recipe follows)

Croutons:
Day old bread (1 slice per person)
Garlic powder
Italian seasoning
Olive oil.

Cut bread into 1-2 inch pieces. Toss with olive oil. Sprinkle with garlic powder and herbs. Bake 350 until browned. About 10 minutes. Let cool. Croutons will harden as they cool so do not over cook.

Variations:
-1 rotisserie chicken
-1 bag Caesar salad kit
Caesar Dressing
http://factorytoursusa.com/
Ok, pills this is not really a meal I cook from scratch, case but it is fast and it is our favorite meal. Whenever my husband and I celebrate our Anniversary or Valentines Day or just get a night out together, approved this is what we want to have. Paired with some apple cider and voila, you have an elegant tasty dinner.

Caesar dressing mix (use white wine vinegar) or ready made salad dressing
Iceberg or Romaine lettuce
Grilled Chicken Breasts, chopped
Parmesan Cheese, freshly grated
Croutons (recipe follows)

Croutons:
Day old bread (1 slice per person)
Garlic powder
Italian seasoning
Olive oil.

Cut bread into 1-2 inch pieces. Toss with olive oil. Sprinkle with garlic powder and herbs. Bake 350 until browned. About 10 minutes. Let cool. Croutons will harden as they cool so do not over cook.

Variations:
-1 rotisserie chicken
-1 bag Caesar salad kit
Caesar Dressing
Ok, more about this is not really a meal I cook from scratch, view but it is fast and it is our favorite meal. Whenever my husband and I celebrate our Anniversary or Valentines Day or just get a night out together, this this is what we want to have. Paired with some apple cider and voila, you have an elegant tasty dinner.

Caesar dressing mix (use white wine vinegar) or ready made salad dressing
Iceberg or Romaine lettuce
Grilled Chicken Breasts, chopped
Parmesan Cheese, freshly grated
Croutons (recipe follows)

Croutons:
Day old bread (1 slice per person)
Garlic powder
Italian seasoning
Olive oil.

Cut bread into 1-2 inch pieces. Toss with olive oil. Sprinkle with garlic powder and herbs. Bake 350 until browned. About 10 minutes. Let cool. Croutons will harden as they cool so do not over cook.

Variations:
1 rotisserie chicken
1 bag Caesar salad kit
http://factorytoursusa.com/
Ok, pills this is not really a meal I cook from scratch, case but it is fast and it is our favorite meal. Whenever my husband and I celebrate our Anniversary or Valentines Day or just get a night out together, approved this is what we want to have. Paired with some apple cider and voila, you have an elegant tasty dinner.

Caesar dressing mix (use white wine vinegar) or ready made salad dressing
Iceberg or Romaine lettuce
Grilled Chicken Breasts, chopped
Parmesan Cheese, freshly grated
Croutons (recipe follows)

Croutons:
Day old bread (1 slice per person)
Garlic powder
Italian seasoning
Olive oil.

Cut bread into 1-2 inch pieces. Toss with olive oil. Sprinkle with garlic powder and herbs. Bake 350 until browned. About 10 minutes. Let cool. Croutons will harden as they cool so do not over cook.

Variations:
-1 rotisserie chicken
-1 bag Caesar salad kit
Caesar Dressing
Ok, more about this is not really a meal I cook from scratch, view but it is fast and it is our favorite meal. Whenever my husband and I celebrate our Anniversary or Valentines Day or just get a night out together, this this is what we want to have. Paired with some apple cider and voila, you have an elegant tasty dinner.

Caesar dressing mix (use white wine vinegar) or ready made salad dressing
Iceberg or Romaine lettuce
Grilled Chicken Breasts, chopped
Parmesan Cheese, freshly grated
Croutons (recipe follows)

Croutons:
Day old bread (1 slice per person)
Garlic powder
Italian seasoning
Olive oil.

Cut bread into 1-2 inch pieces. Toss with olive oil. Sprinkle with garlic powder and herbs. Bake 350 until browned. About 10 minutes. Let cool. Croutons will harden as they cool so do not over cook.

Variations:
1 rotisserie chicken
1 bag Caesar salad kit

In the South the term “biscuit” often refers to a light, order fluffy, flaky, buttery bread usually served with breakfast. In England and other places around the world however, a biscuit is more like a hard scone or “cookie” served with tea or coffee.

The History:
The word “biscuit” derives from the Latin “panis biscoctus,” meaning “bread twice baked.” The history books tell us that the “biscuit” began as a simple paste of flour and water. The paste was baked, removed from the pan; then cooked again in a cooler oven until thoroughly dried out. The result was a hard, portable “cracker” with an extraordinary extended shelf life. “Biscuits” were very popular among the sailors and travelers because they were lite and could last for months.

Meanwhile, the more civilized areas of the world started exploring alternate baked goods. These ancient civilizations experimented with eggs, butter and cream; in addition to, sugar, fruits and honey as well as spices from the Middle East. The first shift from the unyielding biscuits were small cake like confections popular in Persia during the 7th Century AD. During the Medieval Ages the culinary techniques for making sweet and savory cake-like biscuits were introduced to the Europeans during the invasion of Muslims into Spain and the Crusades.

Biscuits World Wide:
Throughout the centuries biscuits have been called many things:
British- Ship’s Biscuit (Hardtack)
French- Gaufrettes wafers,
Jewish- Mandelbrot
South Africa- Rusk
German-Zwieback
Australian / New Zeland- ANZAC (War Biscuits), (Afghan biscuits were derived from the Australian ANZAC)
Dutch- Speculaas (ginger flavored type cookie)
Scotish- Shortbread
Italy- Biscotti
Russain / Ukraine- Tea Cakes
Egypt- millet bread called dhourra cake
Persia- cookies
Middle East- Barazek

In early America the pioneers favored the “soda biscuit” or as the Chuck Wagoners referred to them, “Cowboy biscuits”. Soda biscuits were usually cooked in iron dutch ovens.These were cast-iron pots with lids that could be used over an open fire. The biscuits were were rolled then placed in the pot. After the lid was set in place the cook would layer coals from fire on top of the lid. The heat created a small portable oven.

The “Marlyand”, “Beaten Biscuit” or “Appalachian biscuit” is thought to predate the leavened soda biscuit of the settlers. Before the 1900’s corn bread was a favored commodity in the Appalachian mountains. Corn bread was cheap to make as the corn was grown in abundance locally. The bread did not require a fancy oven or pans as did the “biscuits” eaten by those of society.

At the turn of the century the settlement movement placed women volunteers in low income areas in the South to help alleviate poverty. The Appalachians contaminated corn products or “musty corn” were thought to be the cause of pellagra. “A life-threatening disease similar in effect to leprosy.” Families were faced with a choice to eat the stores of corn and risk death or starve during the winter months. The women hoped to help the Appalachians adopt a healthier diet. They taught them cooking lessons introducing the wheat flour “Beaten Biscuit.” The beaten biscuit was not a realistic choice for the impoverished community. The biscuits required imported wheat flour in addition to a special oven to regulate temperatures; moreover, the biscuits needed to be beaten with a mallet on a marble slab 300-500 times to incorporate air into the dough.

Seeing the need for reform the Appalachains were taught how to make a simpler version called the “Cat Head”. It was basically a Southern buttermilk biscuit the size of a cat’s head. The dough was pinched off, then rolled into a ball, and placed with sides touching into an iron skillet. Today corn bread still remains the chosen bread for many in the Appalachian territory.

Other biscuits from the 1900’s include:
–The “Touch of Grace” or “Angel” biscuit. These are very light and similar to a yeast roll but still considered a biscuit. They were a fool-proof recipe for new brides because the recipe called for two leaveners in case one failed.
–The “Rolled” biscuit- dates back to the late 1800’s. The dough was rolled out then shaped with a cutter.
–The “Drop” biscuit– the dough is the consistency of a batter. The batter is dropped by spoonfuls rather than cut or pinched.
–“Refrigerator” biscuits – arrived in the 1930’s. They are tubes of prepackaged biscuit dough.

Other ways to eat biscuits:
Cream Cheese Biscuits with Chocolate Gravy
Peach Cobbler
Shortcakes
Chicken and Dumplings
Biscuits and Gravy
Scones
Cheddar and Herb

A Toasty Muffin with Fruit and Yogurt

Nicoise is a type of salad historically made with raw vegetables. The Nicoise salad is believed to have originated at the start of the 1900’s on the French Rivera in Nice, price France. Traditionally Nicoise Salad contained anchovies, nurse artichoke hearts, olives, tomatoes and peppers, with a dressing made of olive oil, vinegar and mustard. The vegetables were arranged separately on a platter rather than tossed together.

Years passed before tuna (canned tuna) became the main ingredient in Nicoise salad. Today additional vegetables have been added such as broad beans, chopped boiled eggs, wedged tomatoes, celery, green peppers, red peppers, radishes, capers and onions. Julia Child’s was instrumental in the addition of cooked green beans and potatoes served in groups on a bed of Boston lettuce. Julia insisted that each ingredient be tossed in the dressing separately before assembling them on the plate.

With all the ingredients and prep time this salad can seem a bit daunting. Most of the prep can be done a day or two before. This is a great salad to make for friends or on special occasions such as Easter.

Source: Adapted from “Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom” by Julia Child
Serves 6-8

Dressing:
Makes about 2/3 cups
1/2 tablespoons finely minced shallot or scallion
1/2 tablespoon Dijon-type mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, (optional)
1/2 tablespoon wine vinegar
1/3 to 1/2 cup excellent olive oil, or other fine, fresh oil
Freshly ground pepper

In a small bowl whisk the shallots, mustard and salt. Whisk in the lemon juice and vinegar until well blended. Add the oil in a slow drizzle whisking until well blended. Beat in freshly ground pepper. Taste (dip a piece of the salad greens into the sauce) and correct seasoning with salt, pepper, and/or drops of lemon juice. Set aside.

Or add all the ingredients to a jar with a screw top lid. Shake to combine.

Salad:
16 oz baby spinach
1 pound green beans, steamed and cut in half
1-1/2 tablespoons minced shallots
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 or 4 ripe plumb tomatoes, cut into wedges (or 10 to 12 cherry tomatoes, halved)
3 or 4 new potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch slices
3 (5-ounce) cans chunk tuna, preferably oil-packed
6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and cut into wedges
1/3 cup black olives, chopped
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 freshly opened can of flat anchovy fillets (optional)
2 to 3 tablespoons capers (optional)

Bring a medium sized pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes. Boil for about 6 min, drain, run under cool water.

Arrange the spinach leaves on a large platter or in a shallow bowl.

Shortly before serving, toss the beans with the shallots, spoonfuls of vinaigrette, and salt and pepper. Baste the tomatoes with a spoonful of vinaigrette.

Place the potatoes in the center of the platter and arrange a mound of beans at either end, with tomatoes and small mounds of tuna at strategic intervals.

Ring the platter with wedges of hard-boiled eggs, sunny side up, and curl an anchovy on top of each (if using). Spoon more vinaigrette over all; scatter on olives, capers, and parsley, and serve.

To serve place spinach on a plate. Top with and crumble 1 additional can tuna over top. Add 3 hard cooked eggs peeled and cut into wedges, and serve immediately.

Or do it the American way and toss it all together and serve.

Nicoise is a type of salad historically made with raw vegetables. The Nicoise salad is believed to have originated at the start of the 1900’s on the French Rivera in Nice, page treat France. Traditionally Nicoise Salad contained anchovies, for sale artichoke hearts, olives, tomatoes and peppers, with a dressing made of olive oil, vinegar and mustard. The vegetables were arranged separately on a platter rather than tossed together.

Years passed before tuna (canned tuna) became the main ingredient in Nicoise salad. Today additional vegetables have been added such as broad beans, chopped boiled eggs, wedged tomatoes, celery, green peppers, red peppers, radishes, capers and onions. Julia Child’s was instrumental in the addition of cooked green beans and potatoes served in groups on a bed of Boston lettuce. Julia insisted that each ingredient be tossed in the dressing separately before assembling them on the plate.

With all the ingredients and prep time this salad can seem a bit daunting. Most of the prep can be done a day or two before. This is a great salad to make for friends or on special occasions such as Easter.

Source: Adapted from “Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom” by Julia Child
Serves 6-8

Dressing:
Makes about 2/3 cups
1/2 tablespoons finely minced shallot or scallion
1/2 tablespoon Dijon-type mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, (optional)
1/2 tablespoon wine vinegar
1/3 to 1/2 cup excellent olive oil, or other fine, fresh oil
Freshly ground pepper

In a small bowl whisk the shallots, mustard and salt. Whisk in the lemon juice and vinegar until well blended. Add the oil in a slow drizzle whisking until well blended. Beat in freshly ground pepper. Taste (dip a piece of the salad greens into the sauce) and correct seasoning with salt, pepper, and/or drops of lemon juice. Set aside.

Or add all the ingredients to a jar with a screw top lid. Shake to combine.

Salad:
16 oz baby spinach
1 pound green beans, steamed and cut in half
1-1/2 tablespoons minced shallots
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 or 4 ripe plumb tomatoes, cut into wedges (or 10 to 12 cherry tomatoes, halved)
3 or 4 new potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch slices
3 (5-ounce) cans chunk tuna, preferably oil-packed
6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and cut into wedges
1/3 cup black olives, chopped
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 freshly opened can of flat anchovy fillets (optional)
2 to 3 tablespoons capers (optional)

Bring a medium sized pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes. Boil for about 6 min, drain, run under cool water.

Arrange the spinach leaves on a large platter or in a shallow bowl.

Shortly before serving, toss the beans with the shallots, spoonfuls of vinaigrette, and salt and pepper. Baste the tomatoes with a spoonful of vinaigrette.

Place the potatoes in the center of the platter and arrange a mound of beans at either end, with tomatoes and small mounds of tuna at strategic intervals.

Ring the platter with wedges of hard-boiled eggs, sunny side up, and curl an anchovy on top of each (if using). Spoon more vinaigrette over all; scatter on olives, capers, and parsley, and serve.

To serve place spinach on a plate. Top with and crumble 1 additional can tuna over top. Add 3 hard cooked eggs peeled and cut into wedges, and serve immediately.

Or do it the American way and toss it all together and serve.

Nicoise is a type of salad historically made with raw vegetables. The Nicoise salad is believed to have originated at the start of the 1900’s on the French Rivera in Nice, page treat France. Traditionally Nicoise Salad contained anchovies, for sale artichoke hearts, olives, tomatoes and peppers, with a dressing made of olive oil, vinegar and mustard. The vegetables were arranged separately on a platter rather than tossed together.

Years passed before tuna (canned tuna) became the main ingredient in Nicoise salad. Today additional vegetables have been added such as broad beans, chopped boiled eggs, wedged tomatoes, celery, green peppers, red peppers, radishes, capers and onions. Julia Child’s was instrumental in the addition of cooked green beans and potatoes served in groups on a bed of Boston lettuce. Julia insisted that each ingredient be tossed in the dressing separately before assembling them on the plate.

With all the ingredients and prep time this salad can seem a bit daunting. Most of the prep can be done a day or two before. This is a great salad to make for friends or on special occasions such as Easter.

Source: Adapted from “Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom” by Julia Child
Serves 6-8

Dressing:
Makes about 2/3 cups
1/2 tablespoons finely minced shallot or scallion
1/2 tablespoon Dijon-type mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, (optional)
1/2 tablespoon wine vinegar
1/3 to 1/2 cup excellent olive oil, or other fine, fresh oil
Freshly ground pepper

In a small bowl whisk the shallots, mustard and salt. Whisk in the lemon juice and vinegar until well blended. Add the oil in a slow drizzle whisking until well blended. Beat in freshly ground pepper. Taste (dip a piece of the salad greens into the sauce) and correct seasoning with salt, pepper, and/or drops of lemon juice. Set aside.

Or add all the ingredients to a jar with a screw top lid. Shake to combine.

Salad:
16 oz baby spinach
1 pound green beans, steamed and cut in half
1-1/2 tablespoons minced shallots
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 or 4 ripe plumb tomatoes, cut into wedges (or 10 to 12 cherry tomatoes, halved)
3 or 4 new potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch slices
3 (5-ounce) cans chunk tuna, preferably oil-packed
6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and cut into wedges
1/3 cup black olives, chopped
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 freshly opened can of flat anchovy fillets (optional)
2 to 3 tablespoons capers (optional)

Bring a medium sized pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes. Boil for about 6 min, drain, run under cool water.

Arrange the spinach leaves on a large platter or in a shallow bowl.

Shortly before serving, toss the beans with the shallots, spoonfuls of vinaigrette, and salt and pepper. Baste the tomatoes with a spoonful of vinaigrette.

Place the potatoes in the center of the platter and arrange a mound of beans at either end, with tomatoes and small mounds of tuna at strategic intervals.

Ring the platter with wedges of hard-boiled eggs, sunny side up, and curl an anchovy on top of each (if using). Spoon more vinaigrette over all; scatter on olives, capers, and parsley, and serve.

To serve place spinach on a plate. Top with and crumble 1 additional can tuna over top. Add 3 hard cooked eggs peeled and cut into wedges, and serve immediately.

Or do it the American way and toss it all together and serve.

Yogurt is a beneficial alternative for our daughter who dislikes drinking milk. We always have a stock in the refrigerator or freezer for the kids to snack on. However not all yogurt is nutritious. While a high quality plain is the most wholesome choice it is not always a kid favorite. Look for yogurt brands without added artificial flavors and dyes or high fructose corn syrup. I love Chobani honey flavored Greek yogurt because it is made with only three ingredients: milk, doctor honey and 6 strains of bacteria. Mountain High yogurt is my top choice because they use real hormone free milk and fresh fruit without the extra additives. Mountain High can be found in most Costcos and supermarkets.

Use yogurt in the place of sour cream, price cream cheese, cream, butter, mayonnaise, milk, and whipped cream in most recipes for smoothies, dips, soups, toppings, and baked goods.

English muffins with fruit and yogurt is perfect for breakfast or as a hearty nutritious snack. Include this recipe as part of a buffet style brunch. Set out bowls with different flavors of yogurt, honey, nut butter and fruit. Add a sprinkle of wheat germ for extra goodness.

Serves 4
2 whole grain English muffins, separated
Yogurt
Fruit

Toast english muffins. Spread with choice of yogurt. Top with favorite fruit.

Forego the bread swapping it with pieces of fruit. Place sliced or chopped fruit in a small bowl or cup. Add yogurt and more fruit. Top with a dollop of yogurt or whipped cream for a parfait.

Family Togetherness: A Day at the Park

Yogurt is a beneficial alternative for our daughter who dislikes drinking milk. We always have a stock in the refrigerator or freezer for the kids to snack on. However not all yogurt is nutritious. While plain is the most wholesome choice it is not a kid favorite. Look for yogurt brands without added artificial flavors and dyes or high fructose corn syrup. I love Chobani honey flavored Greek yogurt because it is made with milk, view honey and 6 strains of bacteria. Mountain High yogurt is my top choice because they use real hormone free milk and fresh fruit without the extra additives. Mountain High can be found in most Costcos and supermarkets.

Serves 4

2 whole grain English muffins, separated

Yogurt

Fruit

Toast

Yogurt is a beneficial alternative for our daughter who dislikes drinking milk. We always have a stock in the refrigerator or freezer for the kids to snack on. However not all yogurt is nutritious. While plain is the most wholesome choice it is not always a kid favorite. Look for yogurt brands without added artificial flavors and dyes or high fructose corn syrup. I love Chobani honey flavored Greek yogurt because it is made with milk, website unhealthy honey and 6 strains of bacteria. Mountain High yogurt is my top choice because they use real hormone free milk and fresh fruit without the extra additives. Mountain High can be found in most Costcos and supermarkets.

Use yogurt in the place of sour cream, visit this cream cheese, viagra  cream, butter, mayonnaise, milk, and whipped cream in most recipes for smoothies, dips, soups, toppings, and baked goods.

Serves 4

2 whole grain English muffins, separated

Yogurt

Fruit

Toast

Yogurt is a beneficial alternative for our daughter who dislikes drinking milk. We always have a stock in the refrigerator or freezer for the kids to snack on. However not all yogurt is nutritious. While plain is the most wholesome choice it is not always a kid favorite. Look for yogurt brands without added artificial flavors and dyes or high fructose corn syrup. I love Chobani honey flavored Greek yogurt because it is made with milk, website unhealthy honey and 6 strains of bacteria. Mountain High yogurt is my top choice because they use real hormone free milk and fresh fruit without the extra additives. Mountain High can be found in most Costcos and supermarkets.

Use yogurt in the place of sour cream, visit this cream cheese, viagra  cream, butter, mayonnaise, milk, and whipped cream in most recipes for smoothies, dips, soups, toppings, and baked goods.

Serves 4

2 whole grain English muffins, separated

Yogurt

Fruit

Toast

Yogurt is a beneficial alternative for our daughter who dislikes drinking milk. We always have a stock in the refrigerator or freezer for the kids to snack on. However not all yogurt is nutritious. While a high quality plain is the most wholesome choice it is not always a kid favorite. Look for yogurt brands without added artificial flavors and dyes or high fructose corn syrup. I love Chobani honey flavored Greek yogurt because it is made with only three ingredients: milk, order honey and 6 strains of bacteria. Mountain High yogurt is my top choice because they use real hormone free milk and fresh fruit without the extra additives. Mountain High can be found in most Costcos and supermarkets.

Use yogurt in the place of sour cream, there cream cheese, cream, butter, mayonnaise, milk, and whipped cream in most recipes for smoothies, dips, soups, toppings, and baked goods.

English muffins with fruit and yogurt is perfect for breakfast or as a hearty nutritious snack. Include this recipe as part of a buffet style brunch. Set out bowls with different flavors of yogurt, honey, nut butter and fruit. Add a sprinkle of wheat germ for extra goodness.

Serves 4
2 whole grain English muffins, separated
Yogurt
Fruit

Toast english muffins. Spread with choice of yogurt. Top with favorite fruit.

Forego the bread swapping it with pieces of fruit. Place sliced or chopped fruit in a small bowl or cup. Add yogurt and more fruit.

Yogurt is a beneficial alternative for our daughter who dislikes drinking milk. We always have a stock in the refrigerator or freezer for the kids to snack on. However not all yogurt is nutritious. While plain is the most wholesome choice it is not always a kid favorite. Look for yogurt brands without added artificial flavors and dyes or high fructose corn syrup. I love Chobani honey flavored Greek yogurt because it is made with milk, website unhealthy honey and 6 strains of bacteria. Mountain High yogurt is my top choice because they use real hormone free milk and fresh fruit without the extra additives. Mountain High can be found in most Costcos and supermarkets.

Use yogurt in the place of sour cream, visit this cream cheese, viagra  cream, butter, mayonnaise, milk, and whipped cream in most recipes for smoothies, dips, soups, toppings, and baked goods.

Serves 4

2 whole grain English muffins, separated

Yogurt

Fruit

Toast

Yogurt is a beneficial alternative for our daughter who dislikes drinking milk. We always have a stock in the refrigerator or freezer for the kids to snack on. However not all yogurt is nutritious. While a high quality plain is the most wholesome choice it is not always a kid favorite. Look for yogurt brands without added artificial flavors and dyes or high fructose corn syrup. I love Chobani honey flavored Greek yogurt because it is made with only three ingredients: milk, order honey and 6 strains of bacteria. Mountain High yogurt is my top choice because they use real hormone free milk and fresh fruit without the extra additives. Mountain High can be found in most Costcos and supermarkets.

Use yogurt in the place of sour cream, there cream cheese, cream, butter, mayonnaise, milk, and whipped cream in most recipes for smoothies, dips, soups, toppings, and baked goods.

English muffins with fruit and yogurt is perfect for breakfast or as a hearty nutritious snack. Include this recipe as part of a buffet style brunch. Set out bowls with different flavors of yogurt, honey, nut butter and fruit. Add a sprinkle of wheat germ for extra goodness.

Serves 4
2 whole grain English muffins, separated
Yogurt
Fruit

Toast english muffins. Spread with choice of yogurt. Top with favorite fruit.

Forego the bread swapping it with pieces of fruit. Place sliced or chopped fruit in a small bowl or cup. Add yogurt and more fruit.

Yogurt is a beneficial alternative for our daughter who dislikes drinking milk. We always have a stock in the refrigerator or freezer for the kids to snack on. However not all yogurt is nutritious. While a high quality plain is the most wholesome choice it is not always a kid favorite. Look for yogurt brands without added artificial flavors and dyes or high fructose corn syrup. I love Chobani honey flavored Greek yogurt because it is made with only three ingredients: milk, approved honey and 6 strains of bacteria. Mountain High yogurt is my top choice because they use real hormone free milk and fresh fruit without the extra additives. Mountain High can be found in most Costcos and supermarkets.

Use yogurt in the place of sour cream, site cream cheese, cream, butter, mayonnaise, milk, and whipped cream in most recipes for smoothies, dips, soups, toppings, and baked goods.

English muffins with fruit and yogurt is perfect for breakfast or as a hearty nutritious snack. Include this recipe as part of a buffet style brunch. Set out bowls with different flavors of yogurt, honey, nut butter and fruit. Add a sprinkle of wheat germ for extra goodness.

Serves 4
2 whole grain English muffins, separated
Yogurt
Fruit

Toast english muffins. Spread with choice of yogurt. Top with favorite fruit.

Forego the bread swapping it with pieces of fruit. Place sliced or chopped fruit in a small bowl or cup. Add yogurt and more fruit. Top with a dollop of yogurt or whipped cream for a parfait.

Yogurt is a beneficial alternative for our daughter who dislikes drinking milk. We always have a stock in the refrigerator or freezer for the kids to snack on. However not all yogurt is nutritious. While plain is the most wholesome choice it is not always a kid favorite. Look for yogurt brands without added artificial flavors and dyes or high fructose corn syrup. I love Chobani honey flavored Greek yogurt because it is made with milk, website unhealthy honey and 6 strains of bacteria. Mountain High yogurt is my top choice because they use real hormone free milk and fresh fruit without the extra additives. Mountain High can be found in most Costcos and supermarkets.

Use yogurt in the place of sour cream, visit this cream cheese, viagra  cream, butter, mayonnaise, milk, and whipped cream in most recipes for smoothies, dips, soups, toppings, and baked goods.

Serves 4

2 whole grain English muffins, separated

Yogurt

Fruit

Toast

Yogurt is a beneficial alternative for our daughter who dislikes drinking milk. We always have a stock in the refrigerator or freezer for the kids to snack on. However not all yogurt is nutritious. While a high quality plain is the most wholesome choice it is not always a kid favorite. Look for yogurt brands without added artificial flavors and dyes or high fructose corn syrup. I love Chobani honey flavored Greek yogurt because it is made with only three ingredients: milk, order honey and 6 strains of bacteria. Mountain High yogurt is my top choice because they use real hormone free milk and fresh fruit without the extra additives. Mountain High can be found in most Costcos and supermarkets.

Use yogurt in the place of sour cream, there cream cheese, cream, butter, mayonnaise, milk, and whipped cream in most recipes for smoothies, dips, soups, toppings, and baked goods.

English muffins with fruit and yogurt is perfect for breakfast or as a hearty nutritious snack. Include this recipe as part of a buffet style brunch. Set out bowls with different flavors of yogurt, honey, nut butter and fruit. Add a sprinkle of wheat germ for extra goodness.

Serves 4
2 whole grain English muffins, separated
Yogurt
Fruit

Toast english muffins. Spread with choice of yogurt. Top with favorite fruit.

Forego the bread swapping it with pieces of fruit. Place sliced or chopped fruit in a small bowl or cup. Add yogurt and more fruit.

Yogurt is a beneficial alternative for our daughter who dislikes drinking milk. We always have a stock in the refrigerator or freezer for the kids to snack on. However not all yogurt is nutritious. While a high quality plain is the most wholesome choice it is not always a kid favorite. Look for yogurt brands without added artificial flavors and dyes or high fructose corn syrup. I love Chobani honey flavored Greek yogurt because it is made with only three ingredients: milk, approved honey and 6 strains of bacteria. Mountain High yogurt is my top choice because they use real hormone free milk and fresh fruit without the extra additives. Mountain High can be found in most Costcos and supermarkets.

Use yogurt in the place of sour cream, site cream cheese, cream, butter, mayonnaise, milk, and whipped cream in most recipes for smoothies, dips, soups, toppings, and baked goods.

English muffins with fruit and yogurt is perfect for breakfast or as a hearty nutritious snack. Include this recipe as part of a buffet style brunch. Set out bowls with different flavors of yogurt, honey, nut butter and fruit. Add a sprinkle of wheat germ for extra goodness.

Serves 4
2 whole grain English muffins, separated
Yogurt
Fruit

Toast english muffins. Spread with choice of yogurt. Top with favorite fruit.

Forego the bread swapping it with pieces of fruit. Place sliced or chopped fruit in a small bowl or cup. Add yogurt and more fruit. Top with a dollop of yogurt or whipped cream for a parfait.

Brussels Sprouts notoriously have a bad wrap. Usually those claiming to despise them have never tried them or worse were scarred for life the first time they tried a mushy slimy sprout or cabbage.

Brussels sprouts are small little cabbage like sprouts that grow on a stalk. Brussels sprouts are part of the cruciferous family that includes: broccoli, view  kale, cabbage, mustard, turnips, rutabagas,and wasabi and horseradish. They were believed to have originated in Belgium near Brussels (hence the name) but there is some uncertainty to the claim. Based on historical records we do know that they were first introduced to France and England during World War I where they continue to be a popular food. French settlers who settled in Louisiana in the 1800’s brought them to America. Today brussels sprouts are mainly produced in California and Europe. They are a hardy plant tolerant of poor soil. When eaten regularly they may help prevent certain cancers and improve circulation.

Never ever buy frozen brussel sprouts or asparagus for that matter. Always buy fresh. Sprouts still attached to the stalk are preferable. Avoid sprouts that are discolored (yellow or brown leaves) or loose. Choose instead the smaller sprouts that are green. Brussels sprouts have a very short shelf life. Try to use within a few days of purchase.

The best way to prepare sprouts is roasted with a little oil. First wash then trim the bottom root part off. Not too much that too many leaves fall off. Next slice in half. Toss with a little oil, season with salt and pepper. Some recipes like this one suggest steaming them first. I am not a fan of steamed because they tend to loose flavor and can quickly turn too soft and rubbery.

If you skip the steaming part it will take about 10 to 15 minutes to brown. Ideally I this is your first experience with brussel sprouts cook the onions and pancetta as called for then toss in the sprouts turning to coat. Transfer to an oven safe pan and cook in a 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes. They should be tender enough to pierce with a fork but not mushy.

Source: Woman’s Day
1 1/2 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
4 oz pancetta, diced
1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced crosswise
1?2 tsp kosher salt
1?4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar (optional)

Bring 1-inch of lightly salted water to a boil in a large, deep skillet. Add sprouts and simmer, covered, until crisp-tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain and run under cold water to cool.

Wipe out the skillet. Add pancetta and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towel–lined plate.

Add onion to drippings in skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and golden, 8 to 10 minutes.

Increase heat to medium-high. Add sprouts, salt and pepper, and cook, tossing, until heated through, about 3 minutes. Add pancetta and vinegar, if using, and toss to combine.

*Get Ahead Cook the Brussels sprouts (step 1) and refrigerate for up to 1 day. When ready to make, bring to room temperature, then continue with step 2.

Yogurt is a beneficial alternative for our daughter who dislikes drinking milk. We always have a stock in the refrigerator or freezer for the kids to snack on. However not all yogurt is nutritious. While plain is the most wholesome choice it is not always a kid favorite. Look for yogurt brands without added artificial flavors and dyes or high fructose corn syrup. I love Chobani honey flavored Greek yogurt because it is made with milk, website unhealthy honey and 6 strains of bacteria. Mountain High yogurt is my top choice because they use real hormone free milk and fresh fruit without the extra additives. Mountain High can be found in most Costcos and supermarkets.

Use yogurt in the place of sour cream, visit this cream cheese, viagra  cream, butter, mayonnaise, milk, and whipped cream in most recipes for smoothies, dips, soups, toppings, and baked goods.

Serves 4

2 whole grain English muffins, separated

Yogurt

Fruit

Toast

Yogurt is a beneficial alternative for our daughter who dislikes drinking milk. We always have a stock in the refrigerator or freezer for the kids to snack on. However not all yogurt is nutritious. While a high quality plain is the most wholesome choice it is not always a kid favorite. Look for yogurt brands without added artificial flavors and dyes or high fructose corn syrup. I love Chobani honey flavored Greek yogurt because it is made with only three ingredients: milk, order honey and 6 strains of bacteria. Mountain High yogurt is my top choice because they use real hormone free milk and fresh fruit without the extra additives. Mountain High can be found in most Costcos and supermarkets.

Use yogurt in the place of sour cream, there cream cheese, cream, butter, mayonnaise, milk, and whipped cream in most recipes for smoothies, dips, soups, toppings, and baked goods.

English muffins with fruit and yogurt is perfect for breakfast or as a hearty nutritious snack. Include this recipe as part of a buffet style brunch. Set out bowls with different flavors of yogurt, honey, nut butter and fruit. Add a sprinkle of wheat germ for extra goodness.

Serves 4
2 whole grain English muffins, separated
Yogurt
Fruit

Toast english muffins. Spread with choice of yogurt. Top with favorite fruit.

Forego the bread swapping it with pieces of fruit. Place sliced or chopped fruit in a small bowl or cup. Add yogurt and more fruit.

Yogurt is a beneficial alternative for our daughter who dislikes drinking milk. We always have a stock in the refrigerator or freezer for the kids to snack on. However not all yogurt is nutritious. While a high quality plain is the most wholesome choice it is not always a kid favorite. Look for yogurt brands without added artificial flavors and dyes or high fructose corn syrup. I love Chobani honey flavored Greek yogurt because it is made with only three ingredients: milk, approved honey and 6 strains of bacteria. Mountain High yogurt is my top choice because they use real hormone free milk and fresh fruit without the extra additives. Mountain High can be found in most Costcos and supermarkets.

Use yogurt in the place of sour cream, site cream cheese, cream, butter, mayonnaise, milk, and whipped cream in most recipes for smoothies, dips, soups, toppings, and baked goods.

English muffins with fruit and yogurt is perfect for breakfast or as a hearty nutritious snack. Include this recipe as part of a buffet style brunch. Set out bowls with different flavors of yogurt, honey, nut butter and fruit. Add a sprinkle of wheat germ for extra goodness.

Serves 4
2 whole grain English muffins, separated
Yogurt
Fruit

Toast english muffins. Spread with choice of yogurt. Top with favorite fruit.

Forego the bread swapping it with pieces of fruit. Place sliced or chopped fruit in a small bowl or cup. Add yogurt and more fruit. Top with a dollop of yogurt or whipped cream for a parfait.

Brussels Sprouts notoriously have a bad wrap. Usually those claiming to despise them have never tried them or worse were scarred for life the first time they tried a mushy slimy sprout or cabbage.

Brussels sprouts are small little cabbage like sprouts that grow on a stalk. Brussels sprouts are part of the cruciferous family that includes: broccoli, view  kale, cabbage, mustard, turnips, rutabagas,and wasabi and horseradish. They were believed to have originated in Belgium near Brussels (hence the name) but there is some uncertainty to the claim. Based on historical records we do know that they were first introduced to France and England during World War I where they continue to be a popular food. French settlers who settled in Louisiana in the 1800’s brought them to America. Today brussels sprouts are mainly produced in California and Europe. They are a hardy plant tolerant of poor soil. When eaten regularly they may help prevent certain cancers and improve circulation.

Never ever buy frozen brussel sprouts or asparagus for that matter. Always buy fresh. Sprouts still attached to the stalk are preferable. Avoid sprouts that are discolored (yellow or brown leaves) or loose. Choose instead the smaller sprouts that are green. Brussels sprouts have a very short shelf life. Try to use within a few days of purchase.

The best way to prepare sprouts is roasted with a little oil. First wash then trim the bottom root part off. Not too much that too many leaves fall off. Next slice in half. Toss with a little oil, season with salt and pepper. Some recipes like this one suggest steaming them first. I am not a fan of steamed because they tend to loose flavor and can quickly turn too soft and rubbery.

If you skip the steaming part it will take about 10 to 15 minutes to brown. Ideally I this is your first experience with brussel sprouts cook the onions and pancetta as called for then toss in the sprouts turning to coat. Transfer to an oven safe pan and cook in a 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes. They should be tender enough to pierce with a fork but not mushy.

Source: Woman’s Day
1 1/2 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
4 oz pancetta, diced
1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced crosswise
1?2 tsp kosher salt
1?4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar (optional)

Bring 1-inch of lightly salted water to a boil in a large, deep skillet. Add sprouts and simmer, covered, until crisp-tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain and run under cold water to cool.

Wipe out the skillet. Add pancetta and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towel–lined plate.

Add onion to drippings in skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and golden, 8 to 10 minutes.

Increase heat to medium-high. Add sprouts, salt and pepper, and cook, tossing, until heated through, about 3 minutes. Add pancetta and vinegar, if using, and toss to combine.

*Get Ahead Cook the Brussels sprouts (step 1) and refrigerate for up to 1 day. When ready to make, bring to room temperature, then continue with step 2.
Granola is a combination of grains (particularly oats), health nuts, abortion dried seeds and fruits seasoned with spices. It makes a terrific breakfast cereal with yogurt or milk. Take some along for a quick pick-me-up snack. Homemade granola is not like the hard clusters found in cereal boxes on the grocery store shelves. Although mixed with a medium it can be made into a portable snack bar or nuggets. I love Jen’s recipe the best for cereal because it is light with a pleasant hint of vanilla. It is not overly sweetened either. The only place I could find unsweetened coconut and real coconut flavoring was at the health food store such as Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods.

Jen’s Notes:
“This recipe can also be cooked on Low in a crockpot. It’ll take a couple of hours – stir frequently for even browning. I suppose you could make a half batch, viagra but since it stays good a while and we eat it for breakfast and snacks, I prefer to make a whole recipe.”

Source: Jennifer West
1/2 cup Honey
1 cup Oil
2 teaspoon Vanilla
2 teaspoon Coconut Flavoring
1 cup Dry Milk
3 cups Unsweetened Dried Coconut
7 cups Oats
1/4 cup brown sugar or 1/2 teaspoon Stevia

Combine the liquid ingredients (I use a glass measuring cup because it’s easier to pour into the dry ingredients in the next step) and heat in the microwave for a minute or so while you combine the remaining ingredients.

Stir together the dry ingredients until well mixed. Stir the liquid ingredients in the measuring cup to combine. Slowly pour the liquid ingredients into the oat and coconut mixture, stirring constantly. Continue to stir until liquid ingredients are evenly distributed.

Divide granola between two 13 x 9 baking pans. Smooth out tops for even browning. Bake at 325 for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir to ensure even browning. (I use a spatula to lift and turn the mixture onto itself, working around the outside of the pan, then lifting and turning the cereal in the center.) Redistribute evenly in the pans, smooth the tops and return to the oven. Bake 10 more minutes, and stir again. Bake another 5 minutes and stir. Bake another 5 minutes, if necessary – you want a nice golden brown, but not too dark. After removing from the oven, stir a final time (or the cereal that’s in contact with the pan will get too brown). Makes about 1 gallon.

Variations:
-Add 1/2 cup each type of chopped nuts if adding more than one: walnuts, almonds, pecans or whole pine nuts. Reduce oil to 3/4 cups.
– 1/2 cup sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds.
-Add 1/2 cup dried fruit such as raisins, cherries, blueberries, dates or cranberries. Dried fruit such as apricots will need to be chopped first.
-2 tablespoons wheat germ or flax meal.
-1 tablespoon cinnamon.
-1/2 teaspoon ground ginger.

Yogurt is a beneficial alternative for our daughter who dislikes drinking milk. We always have a stock in the refrigerator or freezer for the kids to snack on. However not all yogurt is nutritious. While plain is the most wholesome choice it is not always a kid favorite. Look for yogurt brands without added artificial flavors and dyes or high fructose corn syrup. I love Chobani honey flavored Greek yogurt because it is made with milk, website unhealthy honey and 6 strains of bacteria. Mountain High yogurt is my top choice because they use real hormone free milk and fresh fruit without the extra additives. Mountain High can be found in most Costcos and supermarkets.

Use yogurt in the place of sour cream, visit this cream cheese, viagra  cream, butter, mayonnaise, milk, and whipped cream in most recipes for smoothies, dips, soups, toppings, and baked goods.

Serves 4

2 whole grain English muffins, separated

Yogurt

Fruit

Toast

Yogurt is a beneficial alternative for our daughter who dislikes drinking milk. We always have a stock in the refrigerator or freezer for the kids to snack on. However not all yogurt is nutritious. While a high quality plain is the most wholesome choice it is not always a kid favorite. Look for yogurt brands without added artificial flavors and dyes or high fructose corn syrup. I love Chobani honey flavored Greek yogurt because it is made with only three ingredients: milk, order honey and 6 strains of bacteria. Mountain High yogurt is my top choice because they use real hormone free milk and fresh fruit without the extra additives. Mountain High can be found in most Costcos and supermarkets.

Use yogurt in the place of sour cream, there cream cheese, cream, butter, mayonnaise, milk, and whipped cream in most recipes for smoothies, dips, soups, toppings, and baked goods.

English muffins with fruit and yogurt is perfect for breakfast or as a hearty nutritious snack. Include this recipe as part of a buffet style brunch. Set out bowls with different flavors of yogurt, honey, nut butter and fruit. Add a sprinkle of wheat germ for extra goodness.

Serves 4
2 whole grain English muffins, separated
Yogurt
Fruit

Toast english muffins. Spread with choice of yogurt. Top with favorite fruit.

Forego the bread swapping it with pieces of fruit. Place sliced or chopped fruit in a small bowl or cup. Add yogurt and more fruit.

Yogurt is a beneficial alternative for our daughter who dislikes drinking milk. We always have a stock in the refrigerator or freezer for the kids to snack on. However not all yogurt is nutritious. While a high quality plain is the most wholesome choice it is not always a kid favorite. Look for yogurt brands without added artificial flavors and dyes or high fructose corn syrup. I love Chobani honey flavored Greek yogurt because it is made with only three ingredients: milk, approved honey and 6 strains of bacteria. Mountain High yogurt is my top choice because they use real hormone free milk and fresh fruit without the extra additives. Mountain High can be found in most Costcos and supermarkets.

Use yogurt in the place of sour cream, site cream cheese, cream, butter, mayonnaise, milk, and whipped cream in most recipes for smoothies, dips, soups, toppings, and baked goods.

English muffins with fruit and yogurt is perfect for breakfast or as a hearty nutritious snack. Include this recipe as part of a buffet style brunch. Set out bowls with different flavors of yogurt, honey, nut butter and fruit. Add a sprinkle of wheat germ for extra goodness.

Serves 4
2 whole grain English muffins, separated
Yogurt
Fruit

Toast english muffins. Spread with choice of yogurt. Top with favorite fruit.

Forego the bread swapping it with pieces of fruit. Place sliced or chopped fruit in a small bowl or cup. Add yogurt and more fruit. Top with a dollop of yogurt or whipped cream for a parfait.

Brussels Sprouts notoriously have a bad wrap. Usually those claiming to despise them have never tried them or worse were scarred for life the first time they tried a mushy slimy sprout or cabbage.

Brussels sprouts are small little cabbage like sprouts that grow on a stalk. Brussels sprouts are part of the cruciferous family that includes: broccoli, view  kale, cabbage, mustard, turnips, rutabagas,and wasabi and horseradish. They were believed to have originated in Belgium near Brussels (hence the name) but there is some uncertainty to the claim. Based on historical records we do know that they were first introduced to France and England during World War I where they continue to be a popular food. French settlers who settled in Louisiana in the 1800’s brought them to America. Today brussels sprouts are mainly produced in California and Europe. They are a hardy plant tolerant of poor soil. When eaten regularly they may help prevent certain cancers and improve circulation.

Never ever buy frozen brussel sprouts or asparagus for that matter. Always buy fresh. Sprouts still attached to the stalk are preferable. Avoid sprouts that are discolored (yellow or brown leaves) or loose. Choose instead the smaller sprouts that are green. Brussels sprouts have a very short shelf life. Try to use within a few days of purchase.

The best way to prepare sprouts is roasted with a little oil. First wash then trim the bottom root part off. Not too much that too many leaves fall off. Next slice in half. Toss with a little oil, season with salt and pepper. Some recipes like this one suggest steaming them first. I am not a fan of steamed because they tend to loose flavor and can quickly turn too soft and rubbery.

If you skip the steaming part it will take about 10 to 15 minutes to brown. Ideally I this is your first experience with brussel sprouts cook the onions and pancetta as called for then toss in the sprouts turning to coat. Transfer to an oven safe pan and cook in a 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes. They should be tender enough to pierce with a fork but not mushy.

Source: Woman’s Day
1 1/2 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
4 oz pancetta, diced
1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced crosswise
1?2 tsp kosher salt
1?4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar (optional)

Bring 1-inch of lightly salted water to a boil in a large, deep skillet. Add sprouts and simmer, covered, until crisp-tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain and run under cold water to cool.

Wipe out the skillet. Add pancetta and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towel–lined plate.

Add onion to drippings in skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and golden, 8 to 10 minutes.

Increase heat to medium-high. Add sprouts, salt and pepper, and cook, tossing, until heated through, about 3 minutes. Add pancetta and vinegar, if using, and toss to combine.

*Get Ahead Cook the Brussels sprouts (step 1) and refrigerate for up to 1 day. When ready to make, bring to room temperature, then continue with step 2.
Granola is a combination of grains (particularly oats), health nuts, abortion dried seeds and fruits seasoned with spices. It makes a terrific breakfast cereal with yogurt or milk. Take some along for a quick pick-me-up snack. Homemade granola is not like the hard clusters found in cereal boxes on the grocery store shelves. Although mixed with a medium it can be made into a portable snack bar or nuggets. I love Jen’s recipe the best for cereal because it is light with a pleasant hint of vanilla. It is not overly sweetened either. The only place I could find unsweetened coconut and real coconut flavoring was at the health food store such as Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods.

Jen’s Notes:
“This recipe can also be cooked on Low in a crockpot. It’ll take a couple of hours – stir frequently for even browning. I suppose you could make a half batch, viagra but since it stays good a while and we eat it for breakfast and snacks, I prefer to make a whole recipe.”

Source: Jennifer West
1/2 cup Honey
1 cup Oil
2 teaspoon Vanilla
2 teaspoon Coconut Flavoring
1 cup Dry Milk
3 cups Unsweetened Dried Coconut
7 cups Oats
1/4 cup brown sugar or 1/2 teaspoon Stevia

Combine the liquid ingredients (I use a glass measuring cup because it’s easier to pour into the dry ingredients in the next step) and heat in the microwave for a minute or so while you combine the remaining ingredients.

Stir together the dry ingredients until well mixed. Stir the liquid ingredients in the measuring cup to combine. Slowly pour the liquid ingredients into the oat and coconut mixture, stirring constantly. Continue to stir until liquid ingredients are evenly distributed.

Divide granola between two 13 x 9 baking pans. Smooth out tops for even browning. Bake at 325 for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir to ensure even browning. (I use a spatula to lift and turn the mixture onto itself, working around the outside of the pan, then lifting and turning the cereal in the center.) Redistribute evenly in the pans, smooth the tops and return to the oven. Bake 10 more minutes, and stir again. Bake another 5 minutes and stir. Bake another 5 minutes, if necessary – you want a nice golden brown, but not too dark. After removing from the oven, stir a final time (or the cereal that’s in contact with the pan will get too brown). Makes about 1 gallon.

Variations:
-Add 1/2 cup each type of chopped nuts if adding more than one: walnuts, almonds, pecans or whole pine nuts. Reduce oil to 3/4 cups.
– 1/2 cup sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds.
-Add 1/2 cup dried fruit such as raisins, cherries, blueberries, dates or cranberries. Dried fruit such as apricots will need to be chopped first.
-2 tablespoons wheat germ or flax meal.
-1 tablespoon cinnamon.
-1/2 teaspoon ground ginger.

I admit I am not the best baker. Baking is too precise for me. I enjoy throwing things like vegetables and herbs in a pot and hoping for the best. Movie night came and the gang wanted cookies. I wanted to oblige them, find however, information pills we were all out of granulated sugar. The pleasing mom that I am I grabbed the brown sugar and went to work.

First I had to find a recipe. Some days I worship the internet for the great resource that it is. Other days I curse its very existence…like today. Today all I wanted was a golden star to appear on the screen next to a link to the greatest peanut butter cookie recipe ever. Instead, try all I got was page after page of hopefuls. I was short on time as well as ingredients so I went with the one that looked pretty and seemed easy. Then I altered it a bit. I had to figure out if I could even use all brown sugar in the recipe. I had heard once that using brown sugar in the place of granulated sugar would make a flatter cookie as well as slightly alter the taste. I did a little research and discovered that if I add a little baking soda they should be fine.

I added between 1/4 to 1/2 tsp baking soda to 1 cup packed brown sugar. We use Kirkland Organic peanut butter which has a runny consistency. I was worried about the brown sugar causing the cookies to spread too thin in addition to the runny peanut butter. I figured if I added a tad more flour then I should be fine. I added 1 tablespoon wheat pastry flour (to make me feel healthier) and 1 tablespoon wheat germ in addition to the 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour. Definitely my favorite peanut butter cookie recipe so far. It was tender and did not have the floury taste typical of peanut butter cookies.

Source: Adapted from Simply Recipes
1 cup packed brown sugar
Scant 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (see notes above)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 heaping teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix scant 1/2 teaspoon baking soda with brown sugar. Mix the butter and sugar until combined. Add the peanut butter and egg. Mix together the dry ingredients – flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir into the sugar butter mixture.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Using a scoop drop onto ungreased cookie sheets. If you do not have a scooper roll dough into 1 1/4 inch balls. Place about 3 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Pressed slightly with a fork in a criss cross pattern then baked for 9 minutes. Cool on baking sheets for a minute; transfer to rack to cool completely.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

For chewier cookies, bake at 300°F for 15 minutes.

Yogurt is a beneficial alternative for our daughter who dislikes drinking milk. We always have a stock in the refrigerator or freezer for the kids to snack on. However not all yogurt is nutritious. While plain is the most wholesome choice it is not always a kid favorite. Look for yogurt brands without added artificial flavors and dyes or high fructose corn syrup. I love Chobani honey flavored Greek yogurt because it is made with milk, website unhealthy honey and 6 strains of bacteria. Mountain High yogurt is my top choice because they use real hormone free milk and fresh fruit without the extra additives. Mountain High can be found in most Costcos and supermarkets.

Use yogurt in the place of sour cream, visit this cream cheese, viagra  cream, butter, mayonnaise, milk, and whipped cream in most recipes for smoothies, dips, soups, toppings, and baked goods.

Serves 4

2 whole grain English muffins, separated

Yogurt

Fruit

Toast

Yogurt is a beneficial alternative for our daughter who dislikes drinking milk. We always have a stock in the refrigerator or freezer for the kids to snack on. However not all yogurt is nutritious. While a high quality plain is the most wholesome choice it is not always a kid favorite. Look for yogurt brands without added artificial flavors and dyes or high fructose corn syrup. I love Chobani honey flavored Greek yogurt because it is made with only three ingredients: milk, order honey and 6 strains of bacteria. Mountain High yogurt is my top choice because they use real hormone free milk and fresh fruit without the extra additives. Mountain High can be found in most Costcos and supermarkets.

Use yogurt in the place of sour cream, there cream cheese, cream, butter, mayonnaise, milk, and whipped cream in most recipes for smoothies, dips, soups, toppings, and baked goods.

English muffins with fruit and yogurt is perfect for breakfast or as a hearty nutritious snack. Include this recipe as part of a buffet style brunch. Set out bowls with different flavors of yogurt, honey, nut butter and fruit. Add a sprinkle of wheat germ for extra goodness.

Serves 4
2 whole grain English muffins, separated
Yogurt
Fruit

Toast english muffins. Spread with choice of yogurt. Top with favorite fruit.

Forego the bread swapping it with pieces of fruit. Place sliced or chopped fruit in a small bowl or cup. Add yogurt and more fruit.

Yogurt is a beneficial alternative for our daughter who dislikes drinking milk. We always have a stock in the refrigerator or freezer for the kids to snack on. However not all yogurt is nutritious. While a high quality plain is the most wholesome choice it is not always a kid favorite. Look for yogurt brands without added artificial flavors and dyes or high fructose corn syrup. I love Chobani honey flavored Greek yogurt because it is made with only three ingredients: milk, approved honey and 6 strains of bacteria. Mountain High yogurt is my top choice because they use real hormone free milk and fresh fruit without the extra additives. Mountain High can be found in most Costcos and supermarkets.

Use yogurt in the place of sour cream, site cream cheese, cream, butter, mayonnaise, milk, and whipped cream in most recipes for smoothies, dips, soups, toppings, and baked goods.

English muffins with fruit and yogurt is perfect for breakfast or as a hearty nutritious snack. Include this recipe as part of a buffet style brunch. Set out bowls with different flavors of yogurt, honey, nut butter and fruit. Add a sprinkle of wheat germ for extra goodness.

Serves 4
2 whole grain English muffins, separated
Yogurt
Fruit

Toast english muffins. Spread with choice of yogurt. Top with favorite fruit.

Forego the bread swapping it with pieces of fruit. Place sliced or chopped fruit in a small bowl or cup. Add yogurt and more fruit. Top with a dollop of yogurt or whipped cream for a parfait.

Brussels Sprouts notoriously have a bad wrap. Usually those claiming to despise them have never tried them or worse were scarred for life the first time they tried a mushy slimy sprout or cabbage.

Brussels sprouts are small little cabbage like sprouts that grow on a stalk. Brussels sprouts are part of the cruciferous family that includes: broccoli, view  kale, cabbage, mustard, turnips, rutabagas,and wasabi and horseradish. They were believed to have originated in Belgium near Brussels (hence the name) but there is some uncertainty to the claim. Based on historical records we do know that they were first introduced to France and England during World War I where they continue to be a popular food. French settlers who settled in Louisiana in the 1800’s brought them to America. Today brussels sprouts are mainly produced in California and Europe. They are a hardy plant tolerant of poor soil. When eaten regularly they may help prevent certain cancers and improve circulation.

Never ever buy frozen brussel sprouts or asparagus for that matter. Always buy fresh. Sprouts still attached to the stalk are preferable. Avoid sprouts that are discolored (yellow or brown leaves) or loose. Choose instead the smaller sprouts that are green. Brussels sprouts have a very short shelf life. Try to use within a few days of purchase.

The best way to prepare sprouts is roasted with a little oil. First wash then trim the bottom root part off. Not too much that too many leaves fall off. Next slice in half. Toss with a little oil, season with salt and pepper. Some recipes like this one suggest steaming them first. I am not a fan of steamed because they tend to loose flavor and can quickly turn too soft and rubbery.

If you skip the steaming part it will take about 10 to 15 minutes to brown. Ideally I this is your first experience with brussel sprouts cook the onions and pancetta as called for then toss in the sprouts turning to coat. Transfer to an oven safe pan and cook in a 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes. They should be tender enough to pierce with a fork but not mushy.

Source: Woman’s Day
1 1/2 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
4 oz pancetta, diced
1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced crosswise
1?2 tsp kosher salt
1?4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar (optional)

Bring 1-inch of lightly salted water to a boil in a large, deep skillet. Add sprouts and simmer, covered, until crisp-tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain and run under cold water to cool.

Wipe out the skillet. Add pancetta and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towel–lined plate.

Add onion to drippings in skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and golden, 8 to 10 minutes.

Increase heat to medium-high. Add sprouts, salt and pepper, and cook, tossing, until heated through, about 3 minutes. Add pancetta and vinegar, if using, and toss to combine.

*Get Ahead Cook the Brussels sprouts (step 1) and refrigerate for up to 1 day. When ready to make, bring to room temperature, then continue with step 2.
Granola is a combination of grains (particularly oats), health nuts, abortion dried seeds and fruits seasoned with spices. It makes a terrific breakfast cereal with yogurt or milk. Take some along for a quick pick-me-up snack. Homemade granola is not like the hard clusters found in cereal boxes on the grocery store shelves. Although mixed with a medium it can be made into a portable snack bar or nuggets. I love Jen’s recipe the best for cereal because it is light with a pleasant hint of vanilla. It is not overly sweetened either. The only place I could find unsweetened coconut and real coconut flavoring was at the health food store such as Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods.

Jen’s Notes:
“This recipe can also be cooked on Low in a crockpot. It’ll take a couple of hours – stir frequently for even browning. I suppose you could make a half batch, viagra but since it stays good a while and we eat it for breakfast and snacks, I prefer to make a whole recipe.”

Source: Jennifer West
1/2 cup Honey
1 cup Oil
2 teaspoon Vanilla
2 teaspoon Coconut Flavoring
1 cup Dry Milk
3 cups Unsweetened Dried Coconut
7 cups Oats
1/4 cup brown sugar or 1/2 teaspoon Stevia

Combine the liquid ingredients (I use a glass measuring cup because it’s easier to pour into the dry ingredients in the next step) and heat in the microwave for a minute or so while you combine the remaining ingredients.

Stir together the dry ingredients until well mixed. Stir the liquid ingredients in the measuring cup to combine. Slowly pour the liquid ingredients into the oat and coconut mixture, stirring constantly. Continue to stir until liquid ingredients are evenly distributed.

Divide granola between two 13 x 9 baking pans. Smooth out tops for even browning. Bake at 325 for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir to ensure even browning. (I use a spatula to lift and turn the mixture onto itself, working around the outside of the pan, then lifting and turning the cereal in the center.) Redistribute evenly in the pans, smooth the tops and return to the oven. Bake 10 more minutes, and stir again. Bake another 5 minutes and stir. Bake another 5 minutes, if necessary – you want a nice golden brown, but not too dark. After removing from the oven, stir a final time (or the cereal that’s in contact with the pan will get too brown). Makes about 1 gallon.

Variations:
-Add 1/2 cup each type of chopped nuts if adding more than one: walnuts, almonds, pecans or whole pine nuts. Reduce oil to 3/4 cups.
– 1/2 cup sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds.
-Add 1/2 cup dried fruit such as raisins, cherries, blueberries, dates or cranberries. Dried fruit such as apricots will need to be chopped first.
-2 tablespoons wheat germ or flax meal.
-1 tablespoon cinnamon.
-1/2 teaspoon ground ginger.

I admit I am not the best baker. Baking is too precise for me. I enjoy throwing things like vegetables and herbs in a pot and hoping for the best. Movie night came and the gang wanted cookies. I wanted to oblige them, find however, information pills we were all out of granulated sugar. The pleasing mom that I am I grabbed the brown sugar and went to work.

First I had to find a recipe. Some days I worship the internet for the great resource that it is. Other days I curse its very existence…like today. Today all I wanted was a golden star to appear on the screen next to a link to the greatest peanut butter cookie recipe ever. Instead, try all I got was page after page of hopefuls. I was short on time as well as ingredients so I went with the one that looked pretty and seemed easy. Then I altered it a bit. I had to figure out if I could even use all brown sugar in the recipe. I had heard once that using brown sugar in the place of granulated sugar would make a flatter cookie as well as slightly alter the taste. I did a little research and discovered that if I add a little baking soda they should be fine.

I added between 1/4 to 1/2 tsp baking soda to 1 cup packed brown sugar. We use Kirkland Organic peanut butter which has a runny consistency. I was worried about the brown sugar causing the cookies to spread too thin in addition to the runny peanut butter. I figured if I added a tad more flour then I should be fine. I added 1 tablespoon wheat pastry flour (to make me feel healthier) and 1 tablespoon wheat germ in addition to the 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour. Definitely my favorite peanut butter cookie recipe so far. It was tender and did not have the floury taste typical of peanut butter cookies.

Source: Adapted from Simply Recipes
1 cup packed brown sugar
Scant 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (see notes above)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 heaping teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix scant 1/2 teaspoon baking soda with brown sugar. Mix the butter and sugar until combined. Add the peanut butter and egg. Mix together the dry ingredients – flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir into the sugar butter mixture.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Using a scoop drop onto ungreased cookie sheets. If you do not have a scooper roll dough into 1 1/4 inch balls. Place about 3 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Pressed slightly with a fork in a criss cross pattern then baked for 9 minutes. Cool on baking sheets for a minute; transfer to rack to cool completely.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

For chewier cookies, bake at 300°F for 15 minutes.
Growing up in the south biscuits were common whereas in California rolls or bread usually accompany a meal. We rarely serve bread with a meal. The exception would be if we are having soup or a dinner salad. Biscuits are a great choice because they are fast. They do not require proofing yeast and then waiting 2 hours for the dough to rise. These biscuits go really well with chicken soup or tomato soup.

The recipe calls for 1 1/4 cups buttermilk plus more to brush the tops with. I found that I did not need all of the buttermilk in the dough. Take the time to slowly add the buttermilk testing the dough between each small addition. You only need enough to help the dough stick together.

I like to use a fork when adding the liquid. Once the dough starts to form by sticking together I use my hands to gather it together. Just be careful not to overwork the dough. I learned a great tip from my Baking Illustrated cookbook on how to gather the dough. Use a fork not a spoon to lightly work the milk in. Once the dough starts to come together into a ball there will be a small amount of flour on the bottom of the bowl. Add a little of the liquid to the flour and then incorporate it into the rest of the ball.

Source: Cooking with Shelburne  Farms
Makes 12 (2 1/2-inch) biscuits
3 cups flour
2 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
6 tbsp col unsalted butter, sickness cut into small bits
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme, price sage or rosemary leaves
1 1/4 cups cold buttermilk plus a little more to brush the biscuit tops with

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, powder, soda and salt.

With your fingers or two forks, work the butter into the flour mixture until the dough looks like fine gravel with a few larger butter bumps throughout. Stir in the cheddar and thyme. Add the buttermilk gradually, just until a pinch of dough comes together when you squeeze it between your fingers.

Lightly four the counter and dump the dough onto it. Knead it a few times to bring it together and then use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll the dough out to a 3/4-inch thicknesss. Cut out the biscuits with a 2 1/2-inch round cutter or glass.

Notes:
— You can reroll the scraps once but not more or the biscuits will be tough.
— Keep the ingredients as cold as possible and work with the dough as little as possible to ensure light flaky biscuits.

Yogurt is a beneficial alternative for our daughter who dislikes drinking milk. We always have a stock in the refrigerator or freezer for the kids to snack on. However not all yogurt is nutritious. While plain is the most wholesome choice it is not always a kid favorite. Look for yogurt brands without added artificial flavors and dyes or high fructose corn syrup. I love Chobani honey flavored Greek yogurt because it is made with milk, website unhealthy honey and 6 strains of bacteria. Mountain High yogurt is my top choice because they use real hormone free milk and fresh fruit without the extra additives. Mountain High can be found in most Costcos and supermarkets.

Use yogurt in the place of sour cream, visit this cream cheese, viagra  cream, butter, mayonnaise, milk, and whipped cream in most recipes for smoothies, dips, soups, toppings, and baked goods.

Serves 4

2 whole grain English muffins, separated

Yogurt

Fruit

Toast

Yogurt is a beneficial alternative for our daughter who dislikes drinking milk. We always have a stock in the refrigerator or freezer for the kids to snack on. However not all yogurt is nutritious. While a high quality plain is the most wholesome choice it is not always a kid favorite. Look for yogurt brands without added artificial flavors and dyes or high fructose corn syrup. I love Chobani honey flavored Greek yogurt because it is made with only three ingredients: milk, order honey and 6 strains of bacteria. Mountain High yogurt is my top choice because they use real hormone free milk and fresh fruit without the extra additives. Mountain High can be found in most Costcos and supermarkets.

Use yogurt in the place of sour cream, there cream cheese, cream, butter, mayonnaise, milk, and whipped cream in most recipes for smoothies, dips, soups, toppings, and baked goods.

English muffins with fruit and yogurt is perfect for breakfast or as a hearty nutritious snack. Include this recipe as part of a buffet style brunch. Set out bowls with different flavors of yogurt, honey, nut butter and fruit. Add a sprinkle of wheat germ for extra goodness.

Serves 4
2 whole grain English muffins, separated
Yogurt
Fruit

Toast english muffins. Spread with choice of yogurt. Top with favorite fruit.

Forego the bread swapping it with pieces of fruit. Place sliced or chopped fruit in a small bowl or cup. Add yogurt and more fruit.

Yogurt is a beneficial alternative for our daughter who dislikes drinking milk. We always have a stock in the refrigerator or freezer for the kids to snack on. However not all yogurt is nutritious. While a high quality plain is the most wholesome choice it is not always a kid favorite. Look for yogurt brands without added artificial flavors and dyes or high fructose corn syrup. I love Chobani honey flavored Greek yogurt because it is made with only three ingredients: milk, approved honey and 6 strains of bacteria. Mountain High yogurt is my top choice because they use real hormone free milk and fresh fruit without the extra additives. Mountain High can be found in most Costcos and supermarkets.

Use yogurt in the place of sour cream, site cream cheese, cream, butter, mayonnaise, milk, and whipped cream in most recipes for smoothies, dips, soups, toppings, and baked goods.

English muffins with fruit and yogurt is perfect for breakfast or as a hearty nutritious snack. Include this recipe as part of a buffet style brunch. Set out bowls with different flavors of yogurt, honey, nut butter and fruit. Add a sprinkle of wheat germ for extra goodness.

Serves 4
2 whole grain English muffins, separated
Yogurt
Fruit

Toast english muffins. Spread with choice of yogurt. Top with favorite fruit.

Forego the bread swapping it with pieces of fruit. Place sliced or chopped fruit in a small bowl or cup. Add yogurt and more fruit. Top with a dollop of yogurt or whipped cream for a parfait.

Brussels Sprouts notoriously have a bad wrap. Usually those claiming to despise them have never tried them or worse were scarred for life the first time they tried a mushy slimy sprout or cabbage.

Brussels sprouts are small little cabbage like sprouts that grow on a stalk. Brussels sprouts are part of the cruciferous family that includes: broccoli, view  kale, cabbage, mustard, turnips, rutabagas,and wasabi and horseradish. They were believed to have originated in Belgium near Brussels (hence the name) but there is some uncertainty to the claim. Based on historical records we do know that they were first introduced to France and England during World War I where they continue to be a popular food. French settlers who settled in Louisiana in the 1800’s brought them to America. Today brussels sprouts are mainly produced in California and Europe. They are a hardy plant tolerant of poor soil. When eaten regularly they may help prevent certain cancers and improve circulation.

Never ever buy frozen brussel sprouts or asparagus for that matter. Always buy fresh. Sprouts still attached to the stalk are preferable. Avoid sprouts that are discolored (yellow or brown leaves) or loose. Choose instead the smaller sprouts that are green. Brussels sprouts have a very short shelf life. Try to use within a few days of purchase.

The best way to prepare sprouts is roasted with a little oil. First wash then trim the bottom root part off. Not too much that too many leaves fall off. Next slice in half. Toss with a little oil, season with salt and pepper. Some recipes like this one suggest steaming them first. I am not a fan of steamed because they tend to loose flavor and can quickly turn too soft and rubbery.

If you skip the steaming part it will take about 10 to 15 minutes to brown. Ideally I this is your first experience with brussel sprouts cook the onions and pancetta as called for then toss in the sprouts turning to coat. Transfer to an oven safe pan and cook in a 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes. They should be tender enough to pierce with a fork but not mushy.

Source: Woman’s Day
1 1/2 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
4 oz pancetta, diced
1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced crosswise
1?2 tsp kosher salt
1?4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar (optional)

Bring 1-inch of lightly salted water to a boil in a large, deep skillet. Add sprouts and simmer, covered, until crisp-tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain and run under cold water to cool.

Wipe out the skillet. Add pancetta and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towel–lined plate.

Add onion to drippings in skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and golden, 8 to 10 minutes.

Increase heat to medium-high. Add sprouts, salt and pepper, and cook, tossing, until heated through, about 3 minutes. Add pancetta and vinegar, if using, and toss to combine.

*Get Ahead Cook the Brussels sprouts (step 1) and refrigerate for up to 1 day. When ready to make, bring to room temperature, then continue with step 2.
Granola is a combination of grains (particularly oats), health nuts, abortion dried seeds and fruits seasoned with spices. It makes a terrific breakfast cereal with yogurt or milk. Take some along for a quick pick-me-up snack. Homemade granola is not like the hard clusters found in cereal boxes on the grocery store shelves. Although mixed with a medium it can be made into a portable snack bar or nuggets. I love Jen’s recipe the best for cereal because it is light with a pleasant hint of vanilla. It is not overly sweetened either. The only place I could find unsweetened coconut and real coconut flavoring was at the health food store such as Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods.

Jen’s Notes:
“This recipe can also be cooked on Low in a crockpot. It’ll take a couple of hours – stir frequently for even browning. I suppose you could make a half batch, viagra but since it stays good a while and we eat it for breakfast and snacks, I prefer to make a whole recipe.”

Source: Jennifer West
1/2 cup Honey
1 cup Oil
2 teaspoon Vanilla
2 teaspoon Coconut Flavoring
1 cup Dry Milk
3 cups Unsweetened Dried Coconut
7 cups Oats
1/4 cup brown sugar or 1/2 teaspoon Stevia

Combine the liquid ingredients (I use a glass measuring cup because it’s easier to pour into the dry ingredients in the next step) and heat in the microwave for a minute or so while you combine the remaining ingredients.

Stir together the dry ingredients until well mixed. Stir the liquid ingredients in the measuring cup to combine. Slowly pour the liquid ingredients into the oat and coconut mixture, stirring constantly. Continue to stir until liquid ingredients are evenly distributed.

Divide granola between two 13 x 9 baking pans. Smooth out tops for even browning. Bake at 325 for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir to ensure even browning. (I use a spatula to lift and turn the mixture onto itself, working around the outside of the pan, then lifting and turning the cereal in the center.) Redistribute evenly in the pans, smooth the tops and return to the oven. Bake 10 more minutes, and stir again. Bake another 5 minutes and stir. Bake another 5 minutes, if necessary – you want a nice golden brown, but not too dark. After removing from the oven, stir a final time (or the cereal that’s in contact with the pan will get too brown). Makes about 1 gallon.

Variations:
-Add 1/2 cup each type of chopped nuts if adding more than one: walnuts, almonds, pecans or whole pine nuts. Reduce oil to 3/4 cups.
– 1/2 cup sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds.
-Add 1/2 cup dried fruit such as raisins, cherries, blueberries, dates or cranberries. Dried fruit such as apricots will need to be chopped first.
-2 tablespoons wheat germ or flax meal.
-1 tablespoon cinnamon.
-1/2 teaspoon ground ginger.

I admit I am not the best baker. Baking is too precise for me. I enjoy throwing things like vegetables and herbs in a pot and hoping for the best. Movie night came and the gang wanted cookies. I wanted to oblige them, find however, information pills we were all out of granulated sugar. The pleasing mom that I am I grabbed the brown sugar and went to work.

First I had to find a recipe. Some days I worship the internet for the great resource that it is. Other days I curse its very existence…like today. Today all I wanted was a golden star to appear on the screen next to a link to the greatest peanut butter cookie recipe ever. Instead, try all I got was page after page of hopefuls. I was short on time as well as ingredients so I went with the one that looked pretty and seemed easy. Then I altered it a bit. I had to figure out if I could even use all brown sugar in the recipe. I had heard once that using brown sugar in the place of granulated sugar would make a flatter cookie as well as slightly alter the taste. I did a little research and discovered that if I add a little baking soda they should be fine.

I added between 1/4 to 1/2 tsp baking soda to 1 cup packed brown sugar. We use Kirkland Organic peanut butter which has a runny consistency. I was worried about the brown sugar causing the cookies to spread too thin in addition to the runny peanut butter. I figured if I added a tad more flour then I should be fine. I added 1 tablespoon wheat pastry flour (to make me feel healthier) and 1 tablespoon wheat germ in addition to the 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour. Definitely my favorite peanut butter cookie recipe so far. It was tender and did not have the floury taste typical of peanut butter cookies.

Source: Adapted from Simply Recipes
1 cup packed brown sugar
Scant 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (see notes above)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 heaping teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix scant 1/2 teaspoon baking soda with brown sugar. Mix the butter and sugar until combined. Add the peanut butter and egg. Mix together the dry ingredients – flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir into the sugar butter mixture.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Using a scoop drop onto ungreased cookie sheets. If you do not have a scooper roll dough into 1 1/4 inch balls. Place about 3 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Pressed slightly with a fork in a criss cross pattern then baked for 9 minutes. Cool on baking sheets for a minute; transfer to rack to cool completely.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

For chewier cookies, bake at 300°F for 15 minutes.
Growing up in the south biscuits were common whereas in California rolls or bread usually accompany a meal. We rarely serve bread with a meal. The exception would be if we are having soup or a dinner salad. Biscuits are a great choice because they are fast. They do not require proofing yeast and then waiting 2 hours for the dough to rise. These biscuits go really well with chicken soup or tomato soup.

The recipe calls for 1 1/4 cups buttermilk plus more to brush the tops with. I found that I did not need all of the buttermilk in the dough. Take the time to slowly add the buttermilk testing the dough between each small addition. You only need enough to help the dough stick together.

I like to use a fork when adding the liquid. Once the dough starts to form by sticking together I use my hands to gather it together. Just be careful not to overwork the dough. I learned a great tip from my Baking Illustrated cookbook on how to gather the dough. Use a fork not a spoon to lightly work the milk in. Once the dough starts to come together into a ball there will be a small amount of flour on the bottom of the bowl. Add a little of the liquid to the flour and then incorporate it into the rest of the ball.

Source: Cooking with Shelburne  Farms
Makes 12 (2 1/2-inch) biscuits
3 cups flour
2 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
6 tbsp col unsalted butter, sickness cut into small bits
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme, price sage or rosemary leaves
1 1/4 cups cold buttermilk plus a little more to brush the biscuit tops with

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, powder, soda and salt.

With your fingers or two forks, work the butter into the flour mixture until the dough looks like fine gravel with a few larger butter bumps throughout. Stir in the cheddar and thyme. Add the buttermilk gradually, just until a pinch of dough comes together when you squeeze it between your fingers.

Lightly four the counter and dump the dough onto it. Knead it a few times to bring it together and then use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll the dough out to a 3/4-inch thicknesss. Cut out the biscuits with a 2 1/2-inch round cutter or glass.

Notes:
— You can reroll the scraps once but not more or the biscuits will be tough.
— Keep the ingredients as cold as possible and work with the dough as little as possible to ensure light flaky biscuits.

I admit I am not the best baker. Baking is too precise for me. I enjoy throwing things like vegetables and herbs in a pot and hoping for the best. Movie night came and the gang wanted cookies. I wanted to oblige them, find however, we were all out of granulated sugar. The pleasing mom that I am I grabbed the brown sugar and went to work.

First I had to find a recipe. Some days I worship the internet for the great resource that it is. Other days I curse its very existence…like today. Today all I wanted was a golden star to appear on the screen next to a link to the greatest peanut butter cookie recipe ever. Instead, all I got was page after page of hopefuls. I was short on time as well as ingredients so I went with the one that looked pretty and seemed easy. Then I altered it a bit. I had to figure out if I could even use all brown sugar in the recipe. I had heard once that using brown sugar in the place of granulated sugar would make a flatter cookie as well as slightly alter the taste. I did a little research and discovered that if I add a little baking soda they should be fine.

I added between 1/4 to 1/2 tsp baking soda to 1 cup packed brown sugar. We use Kirkland Organic peanut butter which has a runny consistency. I was worried about the brown sugar causing the cookies to spread too thin in addition to the runny peanut butter. I figured if I added a tad more flour then I should be fine. I added 1 tablespoon wheat pastry flour (to make me feel healthier) and 1 tablespoon wheat germ in addition to the 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour. Definitely my favorite peanut butter cookie recipe so far. It was tender and did not have the floury taste typical of peanut butter cookies.

Source: Adapted from Simply Recipes
1 cup packed brown sugar
Scant 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (see notes above)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 heaping teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix scant 1/2 teaspoon baking soda with brown sugar. Mix the butter and sugar until combined. Add the peanut butter and egg. Mix together the dry ingredients – flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir into the sugar butter mixture.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Using a scoop drop onto ungreased cookie sheets. If you do not have a scooper roll dough into 1 1/4 inch balls. Place about 3 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Pressed slightly with a fork in a criss cross pattern then baked for 9 minutes. Cool on baking sheets for a minute; transfer to rack to cool completely.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

For chewier cookies, bake at 300°F for 15 minutes.

Yogurt is a beneficial alternative for our daughter who dislikes drinking milk. We always have a stock in the refrigerator or freezer for the kids to snack on. However not all yogurt is nutritious. While plain is the most wholesome choice it is not always a kid favorite. Look for yogurt brands without added artificial flavors and dyes or high fructose corn syrup. I love Chobani honey flavored Greek yogurt because it is made with milk, website unhealthy honey and 6 strains of bacteria. Mountain High yogurt is my top choice because they use real hormone free milk and fresh fruit without the extra additives. Mountain High can be found in most Costcos and supermarkets.

Use yogurt in the place of sour cream, visit this cream cheese, viagra  cream, butter, mayonnaise, milk, and whipped cream in most recipes for smoothies, dips, soups, toppings, and baked goods.

Serves 4

2 whole grain English muffins, separated

Yogurt

Fruit

Toast

Yogurt is a beneficial alternative for our daughter who dislikes drinking milk. We always have a stock in the refrigerator or freezer for the kids to snack on. However not all yogurt is nutritious. While a high quality plain is the most wholesome choice it is not always a kid favorite. Look for yogurt brands without added artificial flavors and dyes or high fructose corn syrup. I love Chobani honey flavored Greek yogurt because it is made with only three ingredients: milk, order honey and 6 strains of bacteria. Mountain High yogurt is my top choice because they use real hormone free milk and fresh fruit without the extra additives. Mountain High can be found in most Costcos and supermarkets.

Use yogurt in the place of sour cream, there cream cheese, cream, butter, mayonnaise, milk, and whipped cream in most recipes for smoothies, dips, soups, toppings, and baked goods.

English muffins with fruit and yogurt is perfect for breakfast or as a hearty nutritious snack. Include this recipe as part of a buffet style brunch. Set out bowls with different flavors of yogurt, honey, nut butter and fruit. Add a sprinkle of wheat germ for extra goodness.

Serves 4
2 whole grain English muffins, separated
Yogurt
Fruit

Toast english muffins. Spread with choice of yogurt. Top with favorite fruit.

Forego the bread swapping it with pieces of fruit. Place sliced or chopped fruit in a small bowl or cup. Add yogurt and more fruit.

Yogurt is a beneficial alternative for our daughter who dislikes drinking milk. We always have a stock in the refrigerator or freezer for the kids to snack on. However not all yogurt is nutritious. While a high quality plain is the most wholesome choice it is not always a kid favorite. Look for yogurt brands without added artificial flavors and dyes or high fructose corn syrup. I love Chobani honey flavored Greek yogurt because it is made with only three ingredients: milk, approved honey and 6 strains of bacteria. Mountain High yogurt is my top choice because they use real hormone free milk and fresh fruit without the extra additives. Mountain High can be found in most Costcos and supermarkets.

Use yogurt in the place of sour cream, site cream cheese, cream, butter, mayonnaise, milk, and whipped cream in most recipes for smoothies, dips, soups, toppings, and baked goods.

English muffins with fruit and yogurt is perfect for breakfast or as a hearty nutritious snack. Include this recipe as part of a buffet style brunch. Set out bowls with different flavors of yogurt, honey, nut butter and fruit. Add a sprinkle of wheat germ for extra goodness.

Serves 4
2 whole grain English muffins, separated
Yogurt
Fruit

Toast english muffins. Spread with choice of yogurt. Top with favorite fruit.

Forego the bread swapping it with pieces of fruit. Place sliced or chopped fruit in a small bowl or cup. Add yogurt and more fruit. Top with a dollop of yogurt or whipped cream for a parfait.

Brussels Sprouts notoriously have a bad wrap. Usually those claiming to despise them have never tried them or worse were scarred for life the first time they tried a mushy slimy sprout or cabbage.

Brussels sprouts are small little cabbage like sprouts that grow on a stalk. Brussels sprouts are part of the cruciferous family that includes: broccoli, view  kale, cabbage, mustard, turnips, rutabagas,and wasabi and horseradish. They were believed to have originated in Belgium near Brussels (hence the name) but there is some uncertainty to the claim. Based on historical records we do know that they were first introduced to France and England during World War I where they continue to be a popular food. French settlers who settled in Louisiana in the 1800’s brought them to America. Today brussels sprouts are mainly produced in California and Europe. They are a hardy plant tolerant of poor soil. When eaten regularly they may help prevent certain cancers and improve circulation.

Never ever buy frozen brussel sprouts or asparagus for that matter. Always buy fresh. Sprouts still attached to the stalk are preferable. Avoid sprouts that are discolored (yellow or brown leaves) or loose. Choose instead the smaller sprouts that are green. Brussels sprouts have a very short shelf life. Try to use within a few days of purchase.

The best way to prepare sprouts is roasted with a little oil. First wash then trim the bottom root part off. Not too much that too many leaves fall off. Next slice in half. Toss with a little oil, season with salt and pepper. Some recipes like this one suggest steaming them first. I am not a fan of steamed because they tend to loose flavor and can quickly turn too soft and rubbery.

If you skip the steaming part it will take about 10 to 15 minutes to brown. Ideally I this is your first experience with brussel sprouts cook the onions and pancetta as called for then toss in the sprouts turning to coat. Transfer to an oven safe pan and cook in a 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes. They should be tender enough to pierce with a fork but not mushy.

Source: Woman’s Day
1 1/2 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
4 oz pancetta, diced
1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced crosswise
1?2 tsp kosher salt
1?4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar (optional)

Bring 1-inch of lightly salted water to a boil in a large, deep skillet. Add sprouts and simmer, covered, until crisp-tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain and run under cold water to cool.

Wipe out the skillet. Add pancetta and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towel–lined plate.

Add onion to drippings in skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and golden, 8 to 10 minutes.

Increase heat to medium-high. Add sprouts, salt and pepper, and cook, tossing, until heated through, about 3 minutes. Add pancetta and vinegar, if using, and toss to combine.

*Get Ahead Cook the Brussels sprouts (step 1) and refrigerate for up to 1 day. When ready to make, bring to room temperature, then continue with step 2.
Granola is a combination of grains (particularly oats), health nuts, abortion dried seeds and fruits seasoned with spices. It makes a terrific breakfast cereal with yogurt or milk. Take some along for a quick pick-me-up snack. Homemade granola is not like the hard clusters found in cereal boxes on the grocery store shelves. Although mixed with a medium it can be made into a portable snack bar or nuggets. I love Jen’s recipe the best for cereal because it is light with a pleasant hint of vanilla. It is not overly sweetened either. The only place I could find unsweetened coconut and real coconut flavoring was at the health food store such as Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods.

Jen’s Notes:
“This recipe can also be cooked on Low in a crockpot. It’ll take a couple of hours – stir frequently for even browning. I suppose you could make a half batch, viagra but since it stays good a while and we eat it for breakfast and snacks, I prefer to make a whole recipe.”

Source: Jennifer West
1/2 cup Honey
1 cup Oil
2 teaspoon Vanilla
2 teaspoon Coconut Flavoring
1 cup Dry Milk
3 cups Unsweetened Dried Coconut
7 cups Oats
1/4 cup brown sugar or 1/2 teaspoon Stevia

Combine the liquid ingredients (I use a glass measuring cup because it’s easier to pour into the dry ingredients in the next step) and heat in the microwave for a minute or so while you combine the remaining ingredients.

Stir together the dry ingredients until well mixed. Stir the liquid ingredients in the measuring cup to combine. Slowly pour the liquid ingredients into the oat and coconut mixture, stirring constantly. Continue to stir until liquid ingredients are evenly distributed.

Divide granola between two 13 x 9 baking pans. Smooth out tops for even browning. Bake at 325 for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir to ensure even browning. (I use a spatula to lift and turn the mixture onto itself, working around the outside of the pan, then lifting and turning the cereal in the center.) Redistribute evenly in the pans, smooth the tops and return to the oven. Bake 10 more minutes, and stir again. Bake another 5 minutes and stir. Bake another 5 minutes, if necessary – you want a nice golden brown, but not too dark. After removing from the oven, stir a final time (or the cereal that’s in contact with the pan will get too brown). Makes about 1 gallon.

Variations:
-Add 1/2 cup each type of chopped nuts if adding more than one: walnuts, almonds, pecans or whole pine nuts. Reduce oil to 3/4 cups.
– 1/2 cup sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds.
-Add 1/2 cup dried fruit such as raisins, cherries, blueberries, dates or cranberries. Dried fruit such as apricots will need to be chopped first.
-2 tablespoons wheat germ or flax meal.
-1 tablespoon cinnamon.
-1/2 teaspoon ground ginger.

I admit I am not the best baker. Baking is too precise for me. I enjoy throwing things like vegetables and herbs in a pot and hoping for the best. Movie night came and the gang wanted cookies. I wanted to oblige them, find however, information pills we were all out of granulated sugar. The pleasing mom that I am I grabbed the brown sugar and went to work.

First I had to find a recipe. Some days I worship the internet for the great resource that it is. Other days I curse its very existence…like today. Today all I wanted was a golden star to appear on the screen next to a link to the greatest peanut butter cookie recipe ever. Instead, try all I got was page after page of hopefuls. I was short on time as well as ingredients so I went with the one that looked pretty and seemed easy. Then I altered it a bit. I had to figure out if I could even use all brown sugar in the recipe. I had heard once that using brown sugar in the place of granulated sugar would make a flatter cookie as well as slightly alter the taste. I did a little research and discovered that if I add a little baking soda they should be fine.

I added between 1/4 to 1/2 tsp baking soda to 1 cup packed brown sugar. We use Kirkland Organic peanut butter which has a runny consistency. I was worried about the brown sugar causing the cookies to spread too thin in addition to the runny peanut butter. I figured if I added a tad more flour then I should be fine. I added 1 tablespoon wheat pastry flour (to make me feel healthier) and 1 tablespoon wheat germ in addition to the 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour. Definitely my favorite peanut butter cookie recipe so far. It was tender and did not have the floury taste typical of peanut butter cookies.

Source: Adapted from Simply Recipes
1 cup packed brown sugar
Scant 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (see notes above)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 heaping teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix scant 1/2 teaspoon baking soda with brown sugar. Mix the butter and sugar until combined. Add the peanut butter and egg. Mix together the dry ingredients – flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir into the sugar butter mixture.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Using a scoop drop onto ungreased cookie sheets. If you do not have a scooper roll dough into 1 1/4 inch balls. Place about 3 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Pressed slightly with a fork in a criss cross pattern then baked for 9 minutes. Cool on baking sheets for a minute; transfer to rack to cool completely.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

For chewier cookies, bake at 300°F for 15 minutes.
Growing up in the south biscuits were common whereas in California rolls or bread usually accompany a meal. We rarely serve bread with a meal. The exception would be if we are having soup or a dinner salad. Biscuits are a great choice because they are fast. They do not require proofing yeast and then waiting 2 hours for the dough to rise. These biscuits go really well with chicken soup or tomato soup.

The recipe calls for 1 1/4 cups buttermilk plus more to brush the tops with. I found that I did not need all of the buttermilk in the dough. Take the time to slowly add the buttermilk testing the dough between each small addition. You only need enough to help the dough stick together.

I like to use a fork when adding the liquid. Once the dough starts to form by sticking together I use my hands to gather it together. Just be careful not to overwork the dough. I learned a great tip from my Baking Illustrated cookbook on how to gather the dough. Use a fork not a spoon to lightly work the milk in. Once the dough starts to come together into a ball there will be a small amount of flour on the bottom of the bowl. Add a little of the liquid to the flour and then incorporate it into the rest of the ball.

Source: Cooking with Shelburne  Farms
Makes 12 (2 1/2-inch) biscuits
3 cups flour
2 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
6 tbsp col unsalted butter, sickness cut into small bits
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme, price sage or rosemary leaves
1 1/4 cups cold buttermilk plus a little more to brush the biscuit tops with

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, powder, soda and salt.

With your fingers or two forks, work the butter into the flour mixture until the dough looks like fine gravel with a few larger butter bumps throughout. Stir in the cheddar and thyme. Add the buttermilk gradually, just until a pinch of dough comes together when you squeeze it between your fingers.

Lightly four the counter and dump the dough onto it. Knead it a few times to bring it together and then use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll the dough out to a 3/4-inch thicknesss. Cut out the biscuits with a 2 1/2-inch round cutter or glass.

Notes:
— You can reroll the scraps once but not more or the biscuits will be tough.
— Keep the ingredients as cold as possible and work with the dough as little as possible to ensure light flaky biscuits.

I admit I am not the best baker. Baking is too precise for me. I enjoy throwing things like vegetables and herbs in a pot and hoping for the best. Movie night came and the gang wanted cookies. I wanted to oblige them, find however, we were all out of granulated sugar. The pleasing mom that I am I grabbed the brown sugar and went to work.

First I had to find a recipe. Some days I worship the internet for the great resource that it is. Other days I curse its very existence…like today. Today all I wanted was a golden star to appear on the screen next to a link to the greatest peanut butter cookie recipe ever. Instead, all I got was page after page of hopefuls. I was short on time as well as ingredients so I went with the one that looked pretty and seemed easy. Then I altered it a bit. I had to figure out if I could even use all brown sugar in the recipe. I had heard once that using brown sugar in the place of granulated sugar would make a flatter cookie as well as slightly alter the taste. I did a little research and discovered that if I add a little baking soda they should be fine.

I added between 1/4 to 1/2 tsp baking soda to 1 cup packed brown sugar. We use Kirkland Organic peanut butter which has a runny consistency. I was worried about the brown sugar causing the cookies to spread too thin in addition to the runny peanut butter. I figured if I added a tad more flour then I should be fine. I added 1 tablespoon wheat pastry flour (to make me feel healthier) and 1 tablespoon wheat germ in addition to the 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour. Definitely my favorite peanut butter cookie recipe so far. It was tender and did not have the floury taste typical of peanut butter cookies.

Source: Adapted from Simply Recipes
1 cup packed brown sugar
Scant 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (see notes above)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 heaping teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix scant 1/2 teaspoon baking soda with brown sugar. Mix the butter and sugar until combined. Add the peanut butter and egg. Mix together the dry ingredients – flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir into the sugar butter mixture.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Using a scoop drop onto ungreased cookie sheets. If you do not have a scooper roll dough into 1 1/4 inch balls. Place about 3 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Pressed slightly with a fork in a criss cross pattern then baked for 9 minutes. Cool on baking sheets for a minute; transfer to rack to cool completely.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

For chewier cookies, bake at 300°F for 15 minutes.
I don’t eat guacamole very often, online never at home, because no one around here likes it. Guacamole is reserved for the special occasions when we have company who might like it as a topping with a mexican dish or on Super Bowl Sunday with chips. I have made guacamole a few times in the past with dismal results. The first time I made it was at a dinner party. I arrived early to help the host with any last minute details. My task was to make the guacamole. Smash the avocados, season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon. All the subsequent times I have tried to reproduce the recipe resulted in failure. Then I found this recipe for guacamole and could fight the craving off any longer. I had to have another go. The guacamole turned out so delicious Stephen is now a convert.

The fresh lime juice and cumin really helped set the stage. Only use fresh quality ingredients for the best results.

2 ripe Haas avocados
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 – 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
Juice from one half of a lime

Slice the avocados in half. Discard the pits and remove the flesh from the skins. Place the flesh in a small mixing bowl. Add the garlic, cumin, salt, cilantro,and lime juice. Mash it all up with a fork. Serve with tortilla chips.

Store any leftovers (!?) in an airtight container in the refrigerator placing a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the guacamole in order to prevent browning.

Yield: 1 1/4 cups
Prep time: 10 minutes

Yogurt is a beneficial alternative for our daughter who dislikes drinking milk. We always have a stock in the refrigerator or freezer for the kids to snack on. However not all yogurt is nutritious. While plain is the most wholesome choice it is not always a kid favorite. Look for yogurt brands without added artificial flavors and dyes or high fructose corn syrup. I love Chobani honey flavored Greek yogurt because it is made with milk, website unhealthy honey and 6 strains of bacteria. Mountain High yogurt is my top choice because they use real hormone free milk and fresh fruit without the extra additives. Mountain High can be found in most Costcos and supermarkets.

Use yogurt in the place of sour cream, visit this cream cheese, viagra  cream, butter, mayonnaise, milk, and whipped cream in most recipes for smoothies, dips, soups, toppings, and baked goods.

Serves 4

2 whole grain English muffins, separated

Yogurt

Fruit

Toast

Yogurt is a beneficial alternative for our daughter who dislikes drinking milk. We always have a stock in the refrigerator or freezer for the kids to snack on. However not all yogurt is nutritious. While a high quality plain is the most wholesome choice it is not always a kid favorite. Look for yogurt brands without added artificial flavors and dyes or high fructose corn syrup. I love Chobani honey flavored Greek yogurt because it is made with only three ingredients: milk, order honey and 6 strains of bacteria. Mountain High yogurt is my top choice because they use real hormone free milk and fresh fruit without the extra additives. Mountain High can be found in most Costcos and supermarkets.

Use yogurt in the place of sour cream, there cream cheese, cream, butter, mayonnaise, milk, and whipped cream in most recipes for smoothies, dips, soups, toppings, and baked goods.

English muffins with fruit and yogurt is perfect for breakfast or as a hearty nutritious snack. Include this recipe as part of a buffet style brunch. Set out bowls with different flavors of yogurt, honey, nut butter and fruit. Add a sprinkle of wheat germ for extra goodness.

Serves 4
2 whole grain English muffins, separated
Yogurt
Fruit

Toast english muffins. Spread with choice of yogurt. Top with favorite fruit.

Forego the bread swapping it with pieces of fruit. Place sliced or chopped fruit in a small bowl or cup. Add yogurt and more fruit.

Yogurt is a beneficial alternative for our daughter who dislikes drinking milk. We always have a stock in the refrigerator or freezer for the kids to snack on. However not all yogurt is nutritious. While a high quality plain is the most wholesome choice it is not always a kid favorite. Look for yogurt brands without added artificial flavors and dyes or high fructose corn syrup. I love Chobani honey flavored Greek yogurt because it is made with only three ingredients: milk, approved honey and 6 strains of bacteria. Mountain High yogurt is my top choice because they use real hormone free milk and fresh fruit without the extra additives. Mountain High can be found in most Costcos and supermarkets.

Use yogurt in the place of sour cream, site cream cheese, cream, butter, mayonnaise, milk, and whipped cream in most recipes for smoothies, dips, soups, toppings, and baked goods.

English muffins with fruit and yogurt is perfect for breakfast or as a hearty nutritious snack. Include this recipe as part of a buffet style brunch. Set out bowls with different flavors of yogurt, honey, nut butter and fruit. Add a sprinkle of wheat germ for extra goodness.

Serves 4
2 whole grain English muffins, separated
Yogurt
Fruit

Toast english muffins. Spread with choice of yogurt. Top with favorite fruit.

Forego the bread swapping it with pieces of fruit. Place sliced or chopped fruit in a small bowl or cup. Add yogurt and more fruit. Top with a dollop of yogurt or whipped cream for a parfait.

Brussels Sprouts notoriously have a bad wrap. Usually those claiming to despise them have never tried them or worse were scarred for life the first time they tried a mushy slimy sprout or cabbage.

Brussels sprouts are small little cabbage like sprouts that grow on a stalk. Brussels sprouts are part of the cruciferous family that includes: broccoli, view  kale, cabbage, mustard, turnips, rutabagas,and wasabi and horseradish. They were believed to have originated in Belgium near Brussels (hence the name) but there is some uncertainty to the claim. Based on historical records we do know that they were first introduced to France and England during World War I where they continue to be a popular food. French settlers who settled in Louisiana in the 1800’s brought them to America. Today brussels sprouts are mainly produced in California and Europe. They are a hardy plant tolerant of poor soil. When eaten regularly they may help prevent certain cancers and improve circulation.

Never ever buy frozen brussel sprouts or asparagus for that matter. Always buy fresh. Sprouts still attached to the stalk are preferable. Avoid sprouts that are discolored (yellow or brown leaves) or loose. Choose instead the smaller sprouts that are green. Brussels sprouts have a very short shelf life. Try to use within a few days of purchase.

The best way to prepare sprouts is roasted with a little oil. First wash then trim the bottom root part off. Not too much that too many leaves fall off. Next slice in half. Toss with a little oil, season with salt and pepper. Some recipes like this one suggest steaming them first. I am not a fan of steamed because they tend to loose flavor and can quickly turn too soft and rubbery.

If you skip the steaming part it will take about 10 to 15 minutes to brown. Ideally I this is your first experience with brussel sprouts cook the onions and pancetta as called for then toss in the sprouts turning to coat. Transfer to an oven safe pan and cook in a 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes. They should be tender enough to pierce with a fork but not mushy.

Source: Woman’s Day
1 1/2 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
4 oz pancetta, diced
1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced crosswise
1?2 tsp kosher salt
1?4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar (optional)

Bring 1-inch of lightly salted water to a boil in a large, deep skillet. Add sprouts and simmer, covered, until crisp-tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain and run under cold water to cool.

Wipe out the skillet. Add pancetta and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towel–lined plate.

Add onion to drippings in skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and golden, 8 to 10 minutes.

Increase heat to medium-high. Add sprouts, salt and pepper, and cook, tossing, until heated through, about 3 minutes. Add pancetta and vinegar, if using, and toss to combine.

*Get Ahead Cook the Brussels sprouts (step 1) and refrigerate for up to 1 day. When ready to make, bring to room temperature, then continue with step 2.
Granola is a combination of grains (particularly oats), health nuts, abortion dried seeds and fruits seasoned with spices. It makes a terrific breakfast cereal with yogurt or milk. Take some along for a quick pick-me-up snack. Homemade granola is not like the hard clusters found in cereal boxes on the grocery store shelves. Although mixed with a medium it can be made into a portable snack bar or nuggets. I love Jen’s recipe the best for cereal because it is light with a pleasant hint of vanilla. It is not overly sweetened either. The only place I could find unsweetened coconut and real coconut flavoring was at the health food store such as Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods.

Jen’s Notes:
“This recipe can also be cooked on Low in a crockpot. It’ll take a couple of hours – stir frequently for even browning. I suppose you could make a half batch, viagra but since it stays good a while and we eat it for breakfast and snacks, I prefer to make a whole recipe.”

Source: Jennifer West
1/2 cup Honey
1 cup Oil
2 teaspoon Vanilla
2 teaspoon Coconut Flavoring
1 cup Dry Milk
3 cups Unsweetened Dried Coconut
7 cups Oats
1/4 cup brown sugar or 1/2 teaspoon Stevia

Combine the liquid ingredients (I use a glass measuring cup because it’s easier to pour into the dry ingredients in the next step) and heat in the microwave for a minute or so while you combine the remaining ingredients.

Stir together the dry ingredients until well mixed. Stir the liquid ingredients in the measuring cup to combine. Slowly pour the liquid ingredients into the oat and coconut mixture, stirring constantly. Continue to stir until liquid ingredients are evenly distributed.

Divide granola between two 13 x 9 baking pans. Smooth out tops for even browning. Bake at 325 for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir to ensure even browning. (I use a spatula to lift and turn the mixture onto itself, working around the outside of the pan, then lifting and turning the cereal in the center.) Redistribute evenly in the pans, smooth the tops and return to the oven. Bake 10 more minutes, and stir again. Bake another 5 minutes and stir. Bake another 5 minutes, if necessary – you want a nice golden brown, but not too dark. After removing from the oven, stir a final time (or the cereal that’s in contact with the pan will get too brown). Makes about 1 gallon.

Variations:
-Add 1/2 cup each type of chopped nuts if adding more than one: walnuts, almonds, pecans or whole pine nuts. Reduce oil to 3/4 cups.
– 1/2 cup sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds.
-Add 1/2 cup dried fruit such as raisins, cherries, blueberries, dates or cranberries. Dried fruit such as apricots will need to be chopped first.
-2 tablespoons wheat germ or flax meal.
-1 tablespoon cinnamon.
-1/2 teaspoon ground ginger.

I admit I am not the best baker. Baking is too precise for me. I enjoy throwing things like vegetables and herbs in a pot and hoping for the best. Movie night came and the gang wanted cookies. I wanted to oblige them, find however, information pills we were all out of granulated sugar. The pleasing mom that I am I grabbed the brown sugar and went to work.

First I had to find a recipe. Some days I worship the internet for the great resource that it is. Other days I curse its very existence…like today. Today all I wanted was a golden star to appear on the screen next to a link to the greatest peanut butter cookie recipe ever. Instead, try all I got was page after page of hopefuls. I was short on time as well as ingredients so I went with the one that looked pretty and seemed easy. Then I altered it a bit. I had to figure out if I could even use all brown sugar in the recipe. I had heard once that using brown sugar in the place of granulated sugar would make a flatter cookie as well as slightly alter the taste. I did a little research and discovered that if I add a little baking soda they should be fine.

I added between 1/4 to 1/2 tsp baking soda to 1 cup packed brown sugar. We use Kirkland Organic peanut butter which has a runny consistency. I was worried about the brown sugar causing the cookies to spread too thin in addition to the runny peanut butter. I figured if I added a tad more flour then I should be fine. I added 1 tablespoon wheat pastry flour (to make me feel healthier) and 1 tablespoon wheat germ in addition to the 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour. Definitely my favorite peanut butter cookie recipe so far. It was tender and did not have the floury taste typical of peanut butter cookies.

Source: Adapted from Simply Recipes
1 cup packed brown sugar
Scant 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (see notes above)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 heaping teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix scant 1/2 teaspoon baking soda with brown sugar. Mix the butter and sugar until combined. Add the peanut butter and egg. Mix together the dry ingredients – flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir into the sugar butter mixture.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Using a scoop drop onto ungreased cookie sheets. If you do not have a scooper roll dough into 1 1/4 inch balls. Place about 3 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Pressed slightly with a fork in a criss cross pattern then baked for 9 minutes. Cool on baking sheets for a minute; transfer to rack to cool completely.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

For chewier cookies, bake at 300°F for 15 minutes.
Growing up in the south biscuits were common whereas in California rolls or bread usually accompany a meal. We rarely serve bread with a meal. The exception would be if we are having soup or a dinner salad. Biscuits are a great choice because they are fast. They do not require proofing yeast and then waiting 2 hours for the dough to rise. These biscuits go really well with chicken soup or tomato soup.

The recipe calls for 1 1/4 cups buttermilk plus more to brush the tops with. I found that I did not need all of the buttermilk in the dough. Take the time to slowly add the buttermilk testing the dough between each small addition. You only need enough to help the dough stick together.

I like to use a fork when adding the liquid. Once the dough starts to form by sticking together I use my hands to gather it together. Just be careful not to overwork the dough. I learned a great tip from my Baking Illustrated cookbook on how to gather the dough. Use a fork not a spoon to lightly work the milk in. Once the dough starts to come together into a ball there will be a small amount of flour on the bottom of the bowl. Add a little of the liquid to the flour and then incorporate it into the rest of the ball.

Source: Cooking with Shelburne  Farms
Makes 12 (2 1/2-inch) biscuits
3 cups flour
2 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
6 tbsp col unsalted butter, sickness cut into small bits
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme, price sage or rosemary leaves
1 1/4 cups cold buttermilk plus a little more to brush the biscuit tops with

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, powder, soda and salt.

With your fingers or two forks, work the butter into the flour mixture until the dough looks like fine gravel with a few larger butter bumps throughout. Stir in the cheddar and thyme. Add the buttermilk gradually, just until a pinch of dough comes together when you squeeze it between your fingers.

Lightly four the counter and dump the dough onto it. Knead it a few times to bring it together and then use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll the dough out to a 3/4-inch thicknesss. Cut out the biscuits with a 2 1/2-inch round cutter or glass.

Notes:
— You can reroll the scraps once but not more or the biscuits will be tough.
— Keep the ingredients as cold as possible and work with the dough as little as possible to ensure light flaky biscuits.

I admit I am not the best baker. Baking is too precise for me. I enjoy throwing things like vegetables and herbs in a pot and hoping for the best. Movie night came and the gang wanted cookies. I wanted to oblige them, find however, we were all out of granulated sugar. The pleasing mom that I am I grabbed the brown sugar and went to work.

First I had to find a recipe. Some days I worship the internet for the great resource that it is. Other days I curse its very existence…like today. Today all I wanted was a golden star to appear on the screen next to a link to the greatest peanut butter cookie recipe ever. Instead, all I got was page after page of hopefuls. I was short on time as well as ingredients so I went with the one that looked pretty and seemed easy. Then I altered it a bit. I had to figure out if I could even use all brown sugar in the recipe. I had heard once that using brown sugar in the place of granulated sugar would make a flatter cookie as well as slightly alter the taste. I did a little research and discovered that if I add a little baking soda they should be fine.

I added between 1/4 to 1/2 tsp baking soda to 1 cup packed brown sugar. We use Kirkland Organic peanut butter which has a runny consistency. I was worried about the brown sugar causing the cookies to spread too thin in addition to the runny peanut butter. I figured if I added a tad more flour then I should be fine. I added 1 tablespoon wheat pastry flour (to make me feel healthier) and 1 tablespoon wheat germ in addition to the 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour. Definitely my favorite peanut butter cookie recipe so far. It was tender and did not have the floury taste typical of peanut butter cookies.

Source: Adapted from Simply Recipes
1 cup packed brown sugar
Scant 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (see notes above)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 heaping teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix scant 1/2 teaspoon baking soda with brown sugar. Mix the butter and sugar until combined. Add the peanut butter and egg. Mix together the dry ingredients – flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir into the sugar butter mixture.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Using a scoop drop onto ungreased cookie sheets. If you do not have a scooper roll dough into 1 1/4 inch balls. Place about 3 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Pressed slightly with a fork in a criss cross pattern then baked for 9 minutes. Cool on baking sheets for a minute; transfer to rack to cool completely.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

For chewier cookies, bake at 300°F for 15 minutes.
I don’t eat guacamole very often, online never at home, because no one around here likes it. Guacamole is reserved for the special occasions when we have company who might like it as a topping with a mexican dish or on Super Bowl Sunday with chips. I have made guacamole a few times in the past with dismal results. The first time I made it was at a dinner party. I arrived early to help the host with any last minute details. My task was to make the guacamole. Smash the avocados, season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon. All the subsequent times I have tried to reproduce the recipe resulted in failure. Then I found this recipe for guacamole and could fight the craving off any longer. I had to have another go. The guacamole turned out so delicious Stephen is now a convert.

The fresh lime juice and cumin really helped set the stage. Only use fresh quality ingredients for the best results.

2 ripe Haas avocados
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 – 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
Juice from one half of a lime

Slice the avocados in half. Discard the pits and remove the flesh from the skins. Place the flesh in a small mixing bowl. Add the garlic, cumin, salt, cilantro,and lime juice. Mash it all up with a fork. Serve with tortilla chips.

Store any leftovers (!?) in an airtight container in the refrigerator placing a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the guacamole in order to prevent browning.

Yield: 1 1/4 cups
Prep time: 10 minutes
I don’t eat guacamole very often, this web never at home, try because no one around here likes it. Guacamole is reserved for the special occasions when we have company who might like it as a topping with a mexican dish or on Super Bowl Sunday with chips. I have made guacamole a few times in the past with dismal results. The first time I made it was at a dinner party. I arrived early to help the host with any last minute details. My task was to make the guacamole. Smash the avocados, season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon. All the subsequent times I have tried to reproduce the recipe resulted in failure. Then I found this recipe for guacamole and could fight the craving off any longer. I had to have another go. The guacamole turned out so delicious Stephen is now a convert.

The fresh lime juice and cumin really helped set the stage. Creating a nice subtle combination of flavors. Only use fresh ripe quality ingredients for the best results. Serve with tacos, corn chips or in sandwiches.

Source: Fix Me A Snack

2 ripe Haas avocados
3 medium cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 – 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
Juice from one half of a lime

Slice the avocados in half. Discard the pits and remove the flesh from the skins. Place the flesh in a small mixing bowl. Add the garlic, cumin, salt, cilantro,and lime juice. Mash it all up with a fork. Serve with tortilla chips.

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator placing a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the guacamole in order to prevent browning.

Yield: 1 1/4 cups
Prep time: 10 minutes

Yogurt is a beneficial alternative for our daughter who dislikes drinking milk. We always have a stock in the refrigerator or freezer for the kids to snack on. However not all yogurt is nutritious. While plain is the most wholesome choice it is not always a kid favorite. Look for yogurt brands without added artificial flavors and dyes or high fructose corn syrup. I love Chobani honey flavored Greek yogurt because it is made with milk, website unhealthy honey and 6 strains of bacteria. Mountain High yogurt is my top choice because they use real hormone free milk and fresh fruit without the extra additives. Mountain High can be found in most Costcos and supermarkets.

Use yogurt in the place of sour cream, visit this cream cheese, viagra  cream, butter, mayonnaise, milk, and whipped cream in most recipes for smoothies, dips, soups, toppings, and baked goods.

Serves 4

2 whole grain English muffins, separated

Yogurt

Fruit

Toast

Yogurt is a beneficial alternative for our daughter who dislikes drinking milk. We always have a stock in the refrigerator or freezer for the kids to snack on. However not all yogurt is nutritious. While a high quality plain is the most wholesome choice it is not always a kid favorite. Look for yogurt brands without added artificial flavors and dyes or high fructose corn syrup. I love Chobani honey flavored Greek yogurt because it is made with only three ingredients: milk, order honey and 6 strains of bacteria. Mountain High yogurt is my top choice because they use real hormone free milk and fresh fruit without the extra additives. Mountain High can be found in most Costcos and supermarkets.

Use yogurt in the place of sour cream, there cream cheese, cream, butter, mayonnaise, milk, and whipped cream in most recipes for smoothies, dips, soups, toppings, and baked goods.

English muffins with fruit and yogurt is perfect for breakfast or as a hearty nutritious snack. Include this recipe as part of a buffet style brunch. Set out bowls with different flavors of yogurt, honey, nut butter and fruit. Add a sprinkle of wheat germ for extra goodness.

Serves 4
2 whole grain English muffins, separated
Yogurt
Fruit

Toast english muffins. Spread with choice of yogurt. Top with favorite fruit.

Forego the bread swapping it with pieces of fruit. Place sliced or chopped fruit in a small bowl or cup. Add yogurt and more fruit.

Yogurt is a beneficial alternative for our daughter who dislikes drinking milk. We always have a stock in the refrigerator or freezer for the kids to snack on. However not all yogurt is nutritious. While a high quality plain is the most wholesome choice it is not always a kid favorite. Look for yogurt brands without added artificial flavors and dyes or high fructose corn syrup. I love Chobani honey flavored Greek yogurt because it is made with only three ingredients: milk, approved honey and 6 strains of bacteria. Mountain High yogurt is my top choice because they use real hormone free milk and fresh fruit without the extra additives. Mountain High can be found in most Costcos and supermarkets.

Use yogurt in the place of sour cream, site cream cheese, cream, butter, mayonnaise, milk, and whipped cream in most recipes for smoothies, dips, soups, toppings, and baked goods.

English muffins with fruit and yogurt is perfect for breakfast or as a hearty nutritious snack. Include this recipe as part of a buffet style brunch. Set out bowls with different flavors of yogurt, honey, nut butter and fruit. Add a sprinkle of wheat germ for extra goodness.

Serves 4
2 whole grain English muffins, separated
Yogurt
Fruit

Toast english muffins. Spread with choice of yogurt. Top with favorite fruit.

Forego the bread swapping it with pieces of fruit. Place sliced or chopped fruit in a small bowl or cup. Add yogurt and more fruit. Top with a dollop of yogurt or whipped cream for a parfait.

Brussels Sprouts notoriously have a bad wrap. Usually those claiming to despise them have never tried them or worse were scarred for life the first time they tried a mushy slimy sprout or cabbage.

Brussels sprouts are small little cabbage like sprouts that grow on a stalk. Brussels sprouts are part of the cruciferous family that includes: broccoli, view  kale, cabbage, mustard, turnips, rutabagas,and wasabi and horseradish. They were believed to have originated in Belgium near Brussels (hence the name) but there is some uncertainty to the claim. Based on historical records we do know that they were first introduced to France and England during World War I where they continue to be a popular food. French settlers who settled in Louisiana in the 1800’s brought them to America. Today brussels sprouts are mainly produced in California and Europe. They are a hardy plant tolerant of poor soil. When eaten regularly they may help prevent certain cancers and improve circulation.

Never ever buy frozen brussel sprouts or asparagus for that matter. Always buy fresh. Sprouts still attached to the stalk are preferable. Avoid sprouts that are discolored (yellow or brown leaves) or loose. Choose instead the smaller sprouts that are green. Brussels sprouts have a very short shelf life. Try to use within a few days of purchase.

The best way to prepare sprouts is roasted with a little oil. First wash then trim the bottom root part off. Not too much that too many leaves fall off. Next slice in half. Toss with a little oil, season with salt and pepper. Some recipes like this one suggest steaming them first. I am not a fan of steamed because they tend to loose flavor and can quickly turn too soft and rubbery.

If you skip the steaming part it will take about 10 to 15 minutes to brown. Ideally I this is your first experience with brussel sprouts cook the onions and pancetta as called for then toss in the sprouts turning to coat. Transfer to an oven safe pan and cook in a 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes. They should be tender enough to pierce with a fork but not mushy.

Source: Woman’s Day
1 1/2 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
4 oz pancetta, diced
1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced crosswise
1?2 tsp kosher salt
1?4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar (optional)

Bring 1-inch of lightly salted water to a boil in a large, deep skillet. Add sprouts and simmer, covered, until crisp-tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain and run under cold water to cool.

Wipe out the skillet. Add pancetta and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towel–lined plate.

Add onion to drippings in skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and golden, 8 to 10 minutes.

Increase heat to medium-high. Add sprouts, salt and pepper, and cook, tossing, until heated through, about 3 minutes. Add pancetta and vinegar, if using, and toss to combine.

*Get Ahead Cook the Brussels sprouts (step 1) and refrigerate for up to 1 day. When ready to make, bring to room temperature, then continue with step 2.
Granola is a combination of grains (particularly oats), health nuts, abortion dried seeds and fruits seasoned with spices. It makes a terrific breakfast cereal with yogurt or milk. Take some along for a quick pick-me-up snack. Homemade granola is not like the hard clusters found in cereal boxes on the grocery store shelves. Although mixed with a medium it can be made into a portable snack bar or nuggets. I love Jen’s recipe the best for cereal because it is light with a pleasant hint of vanilla. It is not overly sweetened either. The only place I could find unsweetened coconut and real coconut flavoring was at the health food store such as Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods.

Jen’s Notes:
“This recipe can also be cooked on Low in a crockpot. It’ll take a couple of hours – stir frequently for even browning. I suppose you could make a half batch, viagra but since it stays good a while and we eat it for breakfast and snacks, I prefer to make a whole recipe.”

Source: Jennifer West
1/2 cup Honey
1 cup Oil
2 teaspoon Vanilla
2 teaspoon Coconut Flavoring
1 cup Dry Milk
3 cups Unsweetened Dried Coconut
7 cups Oats
1/4 cup brown sugar or 1/2 teaspoon Stevia

Combine the liquid ingredients (I use a glass measuring cup because it’s easier to pour into the dry ingredients in the next step) and heat in the microwave for a minute or so while you combine the remaining ingredients.

Stir together the dry ingredients until well mixed. Stir the liquid ingredients in the measuring cup to combine. Slowly pour the liquid ingredients into the oat and coconut mixture, stirring constantly. Continue to stir until liquid ingredients are evenly distributed.

Divide granola between two 13 x 9 baking pans. Smooth out tops for even browning. Bake at 325 for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir to ensure even browning. (I use a spatula to lift and turn the mixture onto itself, working around the outside of the pan, then lifting and turning the cereal in the center.) Redistribute evenly in the pans, smooth the tops and return to the oven. Bake 10 more minutes, and stir again. Bake another 5 minutes and stir. Bake another 5 minutes, if necessary – you want a nice golden brown, but not too dark. After removing from the oven, stir a final time (or the cereal that’s in contact with the pan will get too brown). Makes about 1 gallon.

Variations:
-Add 1/2 cup each type of chopped nuts if adding more than one: walnuts, almonds, pecans or whole pine nuts. Reduce oil to 3/4 cups.
– 1/2 cup sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds.
-Add 1/2 cup dried fruit such as raisins, cherries, blueberries, dates or cranberries. Dried fruit such as apricots will need to be chopped first.
-2 tablespoons wheat germ or flax meal.
-1 tablespoon cinnamon.
-1/2 teaspoon ground ginger.

I admit I am not the best baker. Baking is too precise for me. I enjoy throwing things like vegetables and herbs in a pot and hoping for the best. Movie night came and the gang wanted cookies. I wanted to oblige them, find however, information pills we were all out of granulated sugar. The pleasing mom that I am I grabbed the brown sugar and went to work.

First I had to find a recipe. Some days I worship the internet for the great resource that it is. Other days I curse its very existence…like today. Today all I wanted was a golden star to appear on the screen next to a link to the greatest peanut butter cookie recipe ever. Instead, try all I got was page after page of hopefuls. I was short on time as well as ingredients so I went with the one that looked pretty and seemed easy. Then I altered it a bit. I had to figure out if I could even use all brown sugar in the recipe. I had heard once that using brown sugar in the place of granulated sugar would make a flatter cookie as well as slightly alter the taste. I did a little research and discovered that if I add a little baking soda they should be fine.

I added between 1/4 to 1/2 tsp baking soda to 1 cup packed brown sugar. We use Kirkland Organic peanut butter which has a runny consistency. I was worried about the brown sugar causing the cookies to spread too thin in addition to the runny peanut butter. I figured if I added a tad more flour then I should be fine. I added 1 tablespoon wheat pastry flour (to make me feel healthier) and 1 tablespoon wheat germ in addition to the 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour. Definitely my favorite peanut butter cookie recipe so far. It was tender and did not have the floury taste typical of peanut butter cookies.

Source: Adapted from Simply Recipes
1 cup packed brown sugar
Scant 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (see notes above)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 heaping teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix scant 1/2 teaspoon baking soda with brown sugar. Mix the butter and sugar until combined. Add the peanut butter and egg. Mix together the dry ingredients – flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir into the sugar butter mixture.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Using a scoop drop onto ungreased cookie sheets. If you do not have a scooper roll dough into 1 1/4 inch balls. Place about 3 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Pressed slightly with a fork in a criss cross pattern then baked for 9 minutes. Cool on baking sheets for a minute; transfer to rack to cool completely.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

For chewier cookies, bake at 300°F for 15 minutes.
Growing up in the south biscuits were common whereas in California rolls or bread usually accompany a meal. We rarely serve bread with a meal. The exception would be if we are having soup or a dinner salad. Biscuits are a great choice because they are fast. They do not require proofing yeast and then waiting 2 hours for the dough to rise. These biscuits go really well with chicken soup or tomato soup.

The recipe calls for 1 1/4 cups buttermilk plus more to brush the tops with. I found that I did not need all of the buttermilk in the dough. Take the time to slowly add the buttermilk testing the dough between each small addition. You only need enough to help the dough stick together.

I like to use a fork when adding the liquid. Once the dough starts to form by sticking together I use my hands to gather it together. Just be careful not to overwork the dough. I learned a great tip from my Baking Illustrated cookbook on how to gather the dough. Use a fork not a spoon to lightly work the milk in. Once the dough starts to come together into a ball there will be a small amount of flour on the bottom of the bowl. Add a little of the liquid to the flour and then incorporate it into the rest of the ball.

Source: Cooking with Shelburne  Farms
Makes 12 (2 1/2-inch) biscuits
3 cups flour
2 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
6 tbsp col unsalted butter, sickness cut into small bits
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme, price sage or rosemary leaves
1 1/4 cups cold buttermilk plus a little more to brush the biscuit tops with

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, powder, soda and salt.

With your fingers or two forks, work the butter into the flour mixture until the dough looks like fine gravel with a few larger butter bumps throughout. Stir in the cheddar and thyme. Add the buttermilk gradually, just until a pinch of dough comes together when you squeeze it between your fingers.

Lightly four the counter and dump the dough onto it. Knead it a few times to bring it together and then use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll the dough out to a 3/4-inch thicknesss. Cut out the biscuits with a 2 1/2-inch round cutter or glass.

Notes:
— You can reroll the scraps once but not more or the biscuits will be tough.
— Keep the ingredients as cold as possible and work with the dough as little as possible to ensure light flaky biscuits.

I admit I am not the best baker. Baking is too precise for me. I enjoy throwing things like vegetables and herbs in a pot and hoping for the best. Movie night came and the gang wanted cookies. I wanted to oblige them, find however, we were all out of granulated sugar. The pleasing mom that I am I grabbed the brown sugar and went to work.

First I had to find a recipe. Some days I worship the internet for the great resource that it is. Other days I curse its very existence…like today. Today all I wanted was a golden star to appear on the screen next to a link to the greatest peanut butter cookie recipe ever. Instead, all I got was page after page of hopefuls. I was short on time as well as ingredients so I went with the one that looked pretty and seemed easy. Then I altered it a bit. I had to figure out if I could even use all brown sugar in the recipe. I had heard once that using brown sugar in the place of granulated sugar would make a flatter cookie as well as slightly alter the taste. I did a little research and discovered that if I add a little baking soda they should be fine.

I added between 1/4 to 1/2 tsp baking soda to 1 cup packed brown sugar. We use Kirkland Organic peanut butter which has a runny consistency. I was worried about the brown sugar causing the cookies to spread too thin in addition to the runny peanut butter. I figured if I added a tad more flour then I should be fine. I added 1 tablespoon wheat pastry flour (to make me feel healthier) and 1 tablespoon wheat germ in addition to the 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour. Definitely my favorite peanut butter cookie recipe so far. It was tender and did not have the floury taste typical of peanut butter cookies.

Source: Adapted from Simply Recipes
1 cup packed brown sugar
Scant 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (see notes above)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 heaping teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix scant 1/2 teaspoon baking soda with brown sugar. Mix the butter and sugar until combined. Add the peanut butter and egg. Mix together the dry ingredients – flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir into the sugar butter mixture.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Using a scoop drop onto ungreased cookie sheets. If you do not have a scooper roll dough into 1 1/4 inch balls. Place about 3 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Pressed slightly with a fork in a criss cross pattern then baked for 9 minutes. Cool on baking sheets for a minute; transfer to rack to cool completely.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

For chewier cookies, bake at 300°F for 15 minutes.
I don’t eat guacamole very often, online never at home, because no one around here likes it. Guacamole is reserved for the special occasions when we have company who might like it as a topping with a mexican dish or on Super Bowl Sunday with chips. I have made guacamole a few times in the past with dismal results. The first time I made it was at a dinner party. I arrived early to help the host with any last minute details. My task was to make the guacamole. Smash the avocados, season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon. All the subsequent times I have tried to reproduce the recipe resulted in failure. Then I found this recipe for guacamole and could fight the craving off any longer. I had to have another go. The guacamole turned out so delicious Stephen is now a convert.

The fresh lime juice and cumin really helped set the stage. Only use fresh quality ingredients for the best results.

2 ripe Haas avocados
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 – 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
Juice from one half of a lime

Slice the avocados in half. Discard the pits and remove the flesh from the skins. Place the flesh in a small mixing bowl. Add the garlic, cumin, salt, cilantro,and lime juice. Mash it all up with a fork. Serve with tortilla chips.

Store any leftovers (!?) in an airtight container in the refrigerator placing a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the guacamole in order to prevent browning.

Yield: 1 1/4 cups
Prep time: 10 minutes
I don’t eat guacamole very often, this web never at home, try because no one around here likes it. Guacamole is reserved for the special occasions when we have company who might like it as a topping with a mexican dish or on Super Bowl Sunday with chips. I have made guacamole a few times in the past with dismal results. The first time I made it was at a dinner party. I arrived early to help the host with any last minute details. My task was to make the guacamole. Smash the avocados, season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon. All the subsequent times I have tried to reproduce the recipe resulted in failure. Then I found this recipe for guacamole and could fight the craving off any longer. I had to have another go. The guacamole turned out so delicious Stephen is now a convert.

The fresh lime juice and cumin really helped set the stage. Creating a nice subtle combination of flavors. Only use fresh ripe quality ingredients for the best results. Serve with tacos, corn chips or in sandwiches.

Source: Fix Me A Snack

2 ripe Haas avocados
3 medium cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 – 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
Juice from one half of a lime

Slice the avocados in half. Discard the pits and remove the flesh from the skins. Place the flesh in a small mixing bowl. Add the garlic, cumin, salt, cilantro,and lime juice. Mash it all up with a fork. Serve with tortilla chips.

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator placing a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the guacamole in order to prevent browning.

Yield: 1 1/4 cups
Prep time: 10 minutes
Our oldest son announced one evening during dinner that he was moving to Mexico because he loves bean burritos so much. Can you tell tacos and burritos are a reoccurring weekly menu staple at our house?

This week I decided to change things up a bit by using a recipe for beef and bean chimichangas. I swapped the can of chili beans for a can of pinto. The flavor was a hit. We ate them as tacos the first night. Then in quesadillas for lunch the next day. We used up the remaining leftovers in a breakfast burrito the third day.

Source: For the Love of Cooking.net
1 tsp olive oil
1 lb of lean ground beef
1/2 sweet yellow onion, healing diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp oregano
Dash of red pepper flakes
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
1 can of chili beans, drained

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ground beef and break up the meat into crumbles. Add the onion and garlic as well as the seasonings then cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the drained can of chili beans to the beef mixture and stir until well combined. Set aside.

Variations:
-Swap the ground beef for ground turkey.
-Use pinto beans instead of chili beans. Or omit the beans all together.

Yogurt is a beneficial alternative for our daughter who dislikes drinking milk. We always have a stock in the refrigerator or freezer for the kids to snack on. However not all yogurt is nutritious. While plain is the most wholesome choice it is not always a kid favorite. Look for yogurt brands without added artificial flavors and dyes or high fructose corn syrup. I love Chobani honey flavored Greek yogurt because it is made with milk, website unhealthy honey and 6 strains of bacteria. Mountain High yogurt is my top choice because they use real hormone free milk and fresh fruit without the extra additives. Mountain High can be found in most Costcos and supermarkets.

Use yogurt in the place of sour cream, visit this cream cheese, viagra  cream, butter, mayonnaise, milk, and whipped cream in most recipes for smoothies, dips, soups, toppings, and baked goods.

Serves 4

2 whole grain English muffins, separated

Yogurt

Fruit

Toast

Yogurt is a beneficial alternative for our daughter who dislikes drinking milk. We always have a stock in the refrigerator or freezer for the kids to snack on. However not all yogurt is nutritious. While a high quality plain is the most wholesome choice it is not always a kid favorite. Look for yogurt brands without added artificial flavors and dyes or high fructose corn syrup. I love Chobani honey flavored Greek yogurt because it is made with only three ingredients: milk, order honey and 6 strains of bacteria. Mountain High yogurt is my top choice because they use real hormone free milk and fresh fruit without the extra additives. Mountain High can be found in most Costcos and supermarkets.

Use yogurt in the place of sour cream, there cream cheese, cream, butter, mayonnaise, milk, and whipped cream in most recipes for smoothies, dips, soups, toppings, and baked goods.

English muffins with fruit and yogurt is perfect for breakfast or as a hearty nutritious snack. Include this recipe as part of a buffet style brunch. Set out bowls with different flavors of yogurt, honey, nut butter and fruit. Add a sprinkle of wheat germ for extra goodness.

Serves 4
2 whole grain English muffins, separated
Yogurt
Fruit

Toast english muffins. Spread with choice of yogurt. Top with favorite fruit.

Forego the bread swapping it with pieces of fruit. Place sliced or chopped fruit in a small bowl or cup. Add yogurt and more fruit.

Yogurt is a beneficial alternative for our daughter who dislikes drinking milk. We always have a stock in the refrigerator or freezer for the kids to snack on. However not all yogurt is nutritious. While a high quality plain is the most wholesome choice it is not always a kid favorite. Look for yogurt brands without added artificial flavors and dyes or high fructose corn syrup. I love Chobani honey flavored Greek yogurt because it is made with only three ingredients: milk, approved honey and 6 strains of bacteria. Mountain High yogurt is my top choice because they use real hormone free milk and fresh fruit without the extra additives. Mountain High can be found in most Costcos and supermarkets.

Use yogurt in the place of sour cream, site cream cheese, cream, butter, mayonnaise, milk, and whipped cream in most recipes for smoothies, dips, soups, toppings, and baked goods.

English muffins with fruit and yogurt is perfect for breakfast or as a hearty nutritious snack. Include this recipe as part of a buffet style brunch. Set out bowls with different flavors of yogurt, honey, nut butter and fruit. Add a sprinkle of wheat germ for extra goodness.

Serves 4
2 whole grain English muffins, separated
Yogurt
Fruit

Toast english muffins. Spread with choice of yogurt. Top with favorite fruit.

Forego the bread swapping it with pieces of fruit. Place sliced or chopped fruit in a small bowl or cup. Add yogurt and more fruit. Top with a dollop of yogurt or whipped cream for a parfait.

Brussels Sprouts notoriously have a bad wrap. Usually those claiming to despise them have never tried them or worse were scarred for life the first time they tried a mushy slimy sprout or cabbage.

Brussels sprouts are small little cabbage like sprouts that grow on a stalk. Brussels sprouts are part of the cruciferous family that includes: broccoli, view  kale, cabbage, mustard, turnips, rutabagas,and wasabi and horseradish. They were believed to have originated in Belgium near Brussels (hence the name) but there is some uncertainty to the claim. Based on historical records we do know that they were first introduced to France and England during World War I where they continue to be a popular food. French settlers who settled in Louisiana in the 1800’s brought them to America. Today brussels sprouts are mainly produced in California and Europe. They are a hardy plant tolerant of poor soil. When eaten regularly they may help prevent certain cancers and improve circulation.

Never ever buy frozen brussel sprouts or asparagus for that matter. Always buy fresh. Sprouts still attached to the stalk are preferable. Avoid sprouts that are discolored (yellow or brown leaves) or loose. Choose instead the smaller sprouts that are green. Brussels sprouts have a very short shelf life. Try to use within a few days of purchase.

The best way to prepare sprouts is roasted with a little oil. First wash then trim the bottom root part off. Not too much that too many leaves fall off. Next slice in half. Toss with a little oil, season with salt and pepper. Some recipes like this one suggest steaming them first. I am not a fan of steamed because they tend to loose flavor and can quickly turn too soft and rubbery.

If you skip the steaming part it will take about 10 to 15 minutes to brown. Ideally I this is your first experience with brussel sprouts cook the onions and pancetta as called for then toss in the sprouts turning to coat. Transfer to an oven safe pan and cook in a 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes. They should be tender enough to pierce with a fork but not mushy.

Source: Woman’s Day
1 1/2 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
4 oz pancetta, diced
1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced crosswise
1?2 tsp kosher salt
1?4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar (optional)

Bring 1-inch of lightly salted water to a boil in a large, deep skillet. Add sprouts and simmer, covered, until crisp-tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain and run under cold water to cool.

Wipe out the skillet. Add pancetta and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towel–lined plate.

Add onion to drippings in skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and golden, 8 to 10 minutes.

Increase heat to medium-high. Add sprouts, salt and pepper, and cook, tossing, until heated through, about 3 minutes. Add pancetta and vinegar, if using, and toss to combine.

*Get Ahead Cook the Brussels sprouts (step 1) and refrigerate for up to 1 day. When ready to make, bring to room temperature, then continue with step 2.
Granola is a combination of grains (particularly oats), health nuts, abortion dried seeds and fruits seasoned with spices. It makes a terrific breakfast cereal with yogurt or milk. Take some along for a quick pick-me-up snack. Homemade granola is not like the hard clusters found in cereal boxes on the grocery store shelves. Although mixed with a medium it can be made into a portable snack bar or nuggets. I love Jen’s recipe the best for cereal because it is light with a pleasant hint of vanilla. It is not overly sweetened either. The only place I could find unsweetened coconut and real coconut flavoring was at the health food store such as Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods.

Jen’s Notes:
“This recipe can also be cooked on Low in a crockpot. It’ll take a couple of hours – stir frequently for even browning. I suppose you could make a half batch, viagra but since it stays good a while and we eat it for breakfast and snacks, I prefer to make a whole recipe.”

Source: Jennifer West
1/2 cup Honey
1 cup Oil
2 teaspoon Vanilla
2 teaspoon Coconut Flavoring
1 cup Dry Milk
3 cups Unsweetened Dried Coconut
7 cups Oats
1/4 cup brown sugar or 1/2 teaspoon Stevia

Combine the liquid ingredients (I use a glass measuring cup because it’s easier to pour into the dry ingredients in the next step) and heat in the microwave for a minute or so while you combine the remaining ingredients.

Stir together the dry ingredients until well mixed. Stir the liquid ingredients in the measuring cup to combine. Slowly pour the liquid ingredients into the oat and coconut mixture, stirring constantly. Continue to stir until liquid ingredients are evenly distributed.

Divide granola between two 13 x 9 baking pans. Smooth out tops for even browning. Bake at 325 for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir to ensure even browning. (I use a spatula to lift and turn the mixture onto itself, working around the outside of the pan, then lifting and turning the cereal in the center.) Redistribute evenly in the pans, smooth the tops and return to the oven. Bake 10 more minutes, and stir again. Bake another 5 minutes and stir. Bake another 5 minutes, if necessary – you want a nice golden brown, but not too dark. After removing from the oven, stir a final time (or the cereal that’s in contact with the pan will get too brown). Makes about 1 gallon.

Variations:
-Add 1/2 cup each type of chopped nuts if adding more than one: walnuts, almonds, pecans or whole pine nuts. Reduce oil to 3/4 cups.
– 1/2 cup sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds.
-Add 1/2 cup dried fruit such as raisins, cherries, blueberries, dates or cranberries. Dried fruit such as apricots will need to be chopped first.
-2 tablespoons wheat germ or flax meal.
-1 tablespoon cinnamon.
-1/2 teaspoon ground ginger.

I admit I am not the best baker. Baking is too precise for me. I enjoy throwing things like vegetables and herbs in a pot and hoping for the best. Movie night came and the gang wanted cookies. I wanted to oblige them, find however, information pills we were all out of granulated sugar. The pleasing mom that I am I grabbed the brown sugar and went to work.

First I had to find a recipe. Some days I worship the internet for the great resource that it is. Other days I curse its very existence…like today. Today all I wanted was a golden star to appear on the screen next to a link to the greatest peanut butter cookie recipe ever. Instead, try all I got was page after page of hopefuls. I was short on time as well as ingredients so I went with the one that looked pretty and seemed easy. Then I altered it a bit. I had to figure out if I could even use all brown sugar in the recipe. I had heard once that using brown sugar in the place of granulated sugar would make a flatter cookie as well as slightly alter the taste. I did a little research and discovered that if I add a little baking soda they should be fine.

I added between 1/4 to 1/2 tsp baking soda to 1 cup packed brown sugar. We use Kirkland Organic peanut butter which has a runny consistency. I was worried about the brown sugar causing the cookies to spread too thin in addition to the runny peanut butter. I figured if I added a tad more flour then I should be fine. I added 1 tablespoon wheat pastry flour (to make me feel healthier) and 1 tablespoon wheat germ in addition to the 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour. Definitely my favorite peanut butter cookie recipe so far. It was tender and did not have the floury taste typical of peanut butter cookies.

Source: Adapted from Simply Recipes
1 cup packed brown sugar
Scant 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (see notes above)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 heaping teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix scant 1/2 teaspoon baking soda with brown sugar. Mix the butter and sugar until combined. Add the peanut butter and egg. Mix together the dry ingredients – flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir into the sugar butter mixture.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Using a scoop drop onto ungreased cookie sheets. If you do not have a scooper roll dough into 1 1/4 inch balls. Place about 3 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Pressed slightly with a fork in a criss cross pattern then baked for 9 minutes. Cool on baking sheets for a minute; transfer to rack to cool completely.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

For chewier cookies, bake at 300°F for 15 minutes.
Growing up in the south biscuits were common whereas in California rolls or bread usually accompany a meal. We rarely serve bread with a meal. The exception would be if we are having soup or a dinner salad. Biscuits are a great choice because they are fast. They do not require proofing yeast and then waiting 2 hours for the dough to rise. These biscuits go really well with chicken soup or tomato soup.

The recipe calls for 1 1/4 cups buttermilk plus more to brush the tops with. I found that I did not need all of the buttermilk in the dough. Take the time to slowly add the buttermilk testing the dough between each small addition. You only need enough to help the dough stick together.

I like to use a fork when adding the liquid. Once the dough starts to form by sticking together I use my hands to gather it together. Just be careful not to overwork the dough. I learned a great tip from my Baking Illustrated cookbook on how to gather the dough. Use a fork not a spoon to lightly work the milk in. Once the dough starts to come together into a ball there will be a small amount of flour on the bottom of the bowl. Add a little of the liquid to the flour and then incorporate it into the rest of the ball.

Source: Cooking with Shelburne  Farms
Makes 12 (2 1/2-inch) biscuits
3 cups flour
2 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
6 tbsp col unsalted butter, sickness cut into small bits
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme, price sage or rosemary leaves
1 1/4 cups cold buttermilk plus a little more to brush the biscuit tops with

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, powder, soda and salt.

With your fingers or two forks, work the butter into the flour mixture until the dough looks like fine gravel with a few larger butter bumps throughout. Stir in the cheddar and thyme. Add the buttermilk gradually, just until a pinch of dough comes together when you squeeze it between your fingers.

Lightly four the counter and dump the dough onto it. Knead it a few times to bring it together and then use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll the dough out to a 3/4-inch thicknesss. Cut out the biscuits with a 2 1/2-inch round cutter or glass.

Notes:
— You can reroll the scraps once but not more or the biscuits will be tough.
— Keep the ingredients as cold as possible and work with the dough as little as possible to ensure light flaky biscuits.

I admit I am not the best baker. Baking is too precise for me. I enjoy throwing things like vegetables and herbs in a pot and hoping for the best. Movie night came and the gang wanted cookies. I wanted to oblige them, find however, we were all out of granulated sugar. The pleasing mom that I am I grabbed the brown sugar and went to work.

First I had to find a recipe. Some days I worship the internet for the great resource that it is. Other days I curse its very existence…like today. Today all I wanted was a golden star to appear on the screen next to a link to the greatest peanut butter cookie recipe ever. Instead, all I got was page after page of hopefuls. I was short on time as well as ingredients so I went with the one that looked pretty and seemed easy. Then I altered it a bit. I had to figure out if I could even use all brown sugar in the recipe. I had heard once that using brown sugar in the place of granulated sugar would make a flatter cookie as well as slightly alter the taste. I did a little research and discovered that if I add a little baking soda they should be fine.

I added between 1/4 to 1/2 tsp baking soda to 1 cup packed brown sugar. We use Kirkland Organic peanut butter which has a runny consistency. I was worried about the brown sugar causing the cookies to spread too thin in addition to the runny peanut butter. I figured if I added a tad more flour then I should be fine. I added 1 tablespoon wheat pastry flour (to make me feel healthier) and 1 tablespoon wheat germ in addition to the 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour. Definitely my favorite peanut butter cookie recipe so far. It was tender and did not have the floury taste typical of peanut butter cookies.

Source: Adapted from Simply Recipes
1 cup packed brown sugar
Scant 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (see notes above)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 heaping teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix scant 1/2 teaspoon baking soda with brown sugar. Mix the butter and sugar until combined. Add the peanut butter and egg. Mix together the dry ingredients – flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir into the sugar butter mixture.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Using a scoop drop onto ungreased cookie sheets. If you do not have a scooper roll dough into 1 1/4 inch balls. Place about 3 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Pressed slightly with a fork in a criss cross pattern then baked for 9 minutes. Cool on baking sheets for a minute; transfer to rack to cool completely.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

For chewier cookies, bake at 300°F for 15 minutes.
I don’t eat guacamole very often, online never at home, because no one around here likes it. Guacamole is reserved for the special occasions when we have company who might like it as a topping with a mexican dish or on Super Bowl Sunday with chips. I have made guacamole a few times in the past with dismal results. The first time I made it was at a dinner party. I arrived early to help the host with any last minute details. My task was to make the guacamole. Smash the avocados, season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon. All the subsequent times I have tried to reproduce the recipe resulted in failure. Then I found this recipe for guacamole and could fight the craving off any longer. I had to have another go. The guacamole turned out so delicious Stephen is now a convert.

The fresh lime juice and cumin really helped set the stage. Only use fresh quality ingredients for the best results.

2 ripe Haas avocados
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 – 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
Juice from one half of a lime

Slice the avocados in half. Discard the pits and remove the flesh from the skins. Place the flesh in a small mixing bowl. Add the garlic, cumin, salt, cilantro,and lime juice. Mash it all up with a fork. Serve with tortilla chips.

Store any leftovers (!?) in an airtight container in the refrigerator placing a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the guacamole in order to prevent browning.

Yield: 1 1/4 cups
Prep time: 10 minutes
I don’t eat guacamole very often, this web never at home, try because no one around here likes it. Guacamole is reserved for the special occasions when we have company who might like it as a topping with a mexican dish or on Super Bowl Sunday with chips. I have made guacamole a few times in the past with dismal results. The first time I made it was at a dinner party. I arrived early to help the host with any last minute details. My task was to make the guacamole. Smash the avocados, season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon. All the subsequent times I have tried to reproduce the recipe resulted in failure. Then I found this recipe for guacamole and could fight the craving off any longer. I had to have another go. The guacamole turned out so delicious Stephen is now a convert.

The fresh lime juice and cumin really helped set the stage. Creating a nice subtle combination of flavors. Only use fresh ripe quality ingredients for the best results. Serve with tacos, corn chips or in sandwiches.

Source: Fix Me A Snack

2 ripe Haas avocados
3 medium cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 – 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
Juice from one half of a lime

Slice the avocados in half. Discard the pits and remove the flesh from the skins. Place the flesh in a small mixing bowl. Add the garlic, cumin, salt, cilantro,and lime juice. Mash it all up with a fork. Serve with tortilla chips.

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator placing a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the guacamole in order to prevent browning.

Yield: 1 1/4 cups
Prep time: 10 minutes
Our oldest son announced one evening during dinner that he was moving to Mexico because he loves bean burritos so much. Can you tell tacos and burritos are a reoccurring weekly menu staple at our house?

This week I decided to change things up a bit by using a recipe for beef and bean chimichangas. I swapped the can of chili beans for a can of pinto. The flavor was a hit. We ate them as tacos the first night. Then in quesadillas for lunch the next day. We used up the remaining leftovers in a breakfast burrito the third day.

Source: For the Love of Cooking.net
1 tsp olive oil
1 lb of lean ground beef
1/2 sweet yellow onion, healing diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp oregano
Dash of red pepper flakes
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
1 can of chili beans, drained

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ground beef and break up the meat into crumbles. Add the onion and garlic as well as the seasonings then cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the drained can of chili beans to the beef mixture and stir until well combined. Set aside.

Variations:
-Swap the ground beef for ground turkey.
-Use pinto beans instead of chili beans. Or omit the beans all together.
Our oldest son announced one evening during dinner that he was moving to Mexico because he loves bean burritos so much. Can you tell tacos and burritos are a reoccurring weekly menu staple at our house? This week I decided to change things up a bit by using a recipe

Source: For the Love of Cooking.net
1 tsp olive oil
1 lb of lean ground beef (I used 93/7)
1/2 sweet yellow onion, look diced
3 cloves of garlic, case minced
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp oregano
Dash of red pepper flakes
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, cialis 40mg to taste
1 can of chili beans, drained

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ground beef and break up the meat into crumbles. Add the onion and garlic as well as the seasonings then cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the drained can of chili beans to the beef mixture and stir until well combined. Set aside.

Yogurt is a beneficial alternative for our daughter who dislikes drinking milk. We always have a stock in the refrigerator or freezer for the kids to snack on. However not all yogurt is nutritious. While plain is the most wholesome choice it is not always a kid favorite. Look for yogurt brands without added artificial flavors and dyes or high fructose corn syrup. I love Chobani honey flavored Greek yogurt because it is made with milk, website unhealthy honey and 6 strains of bacteria. Mountain High yogurt is my top choice because they use real hormone free milk and fresh fruit without the extra additives. Mountain High can be found in most Costcos and supermarkets.

Use yogurt in the place of sour cream, visit this cream cheese, viagra  cream, butter, mayonnaise, milk, and whipped cream in most recipes for smoothies, dips, soups, toppings, and baked goods.

Serves 4

2 whole grain English muffins, separated

Yogurt

Fruit

Toast

Yogurt is a beneficial alternative for our daughter who dislikes drinking milk. We always have a stock in the refrigerator or freezer for the kids to snack on. However not all yogurt is nutritious. While a high quality plain is the most wholesome choice it is not always a kid favorite. Look for yogurt brands without added artificial flavors and dyes or high fructose corn syrup. I love Chobani honey flavored Greek yogurt because it is made with only three ingredients: milk, order honey and 6 strains of bacteria. Mountain High yogurt is my top choice because they use real hormone free milk and fresh fruit without the extra additives. Mountain High can be found in most Costcos and supermarkets.

Use yogurt in the place of sour cream, there cream cheese, cream, butter, mayonnaise, milk, and whipped cream in most recipes for smoothies, dips, soups, toppings, and baked goods.

English muffins with fruit and yogurt is perfect for breakfast or as a hearty nutritious snack. Include this recipe as part of a buffet style brunch. Set out bowls with different flavors of yogurt, honey, nut butter and fruit. Add a sprinkle of wheat germ for extra goodness.

Serves 4
2 whole grain English muffins, separated
Yogurt
Fruit

Toast english muffins. Spread with choice of yogurt. Top with favorite fruit.

Forego the bread swapping it with pieces of fruit. Place sliced or chopped fruit in a small bowl or cup. Add yogurt and more fruit.

Yogurt is a beneficial alternative for our daughter who dislikes drinking milk. We always have a stock in the refrigerator or freezer for the kids to snack on. However not all yogurt is nutritious. While a high quality plain is the most wholesome choice it is not always a kid favorite. Look for yogurt brands without added artificial flavors and dyes or high fructose corn syrup. I love Chobani honey flavored Greek yogurt because it is made with only three ingredients: milk, approved honey and 6 strains of bacteria. Mountain High yogurt is my top choice because they use real hormone free milk and fresh fruit without the extra additives. Mountain High can be found in most Costcos and supermarkets.

Use yogurt in the place of sour cream, site cream cheese, cream, butter, mayonnaise, milk, and whipped cream in most recipes for smoothies, dips, soups, toppings, and baked goods.

English muffins with fruit and yogurt is perfect for breakfast or as a hearty nutritious snack. Include this recipe as part of a buffet style brunch. Set out bowls with different flavors of yogurt, honey, nut butter and fruit. Add a sprinkle of wheat germ for extra goodness.

Serves 4
2 whole grain English muffins, separated
Yogurt
Fruit

Toast english muffins. Spread with choice of yogurt. Top with favorite fruit.

Forego the bread swapping it with pieces of fruit. Place sliced or chopped fruit in a small bowl or cup. Add yogurt and more fruit. Top with a dollop of yogurt or whipped cream for a parfait.

Brussels Sprouts notoriously have a bad wrap. Usually those claiming to despise them have never tried them or worse were scarred for life the first time they tried a mushy slimy sprout or cabbage.

Brussels sprouts are small little cabbage like sprouts that grow on a stalk. Brussels sprouts are part of the cruciferous family that includes: broccoli, view  kale, cabbage, mustard, turnips, rutabagas,and wasabi and horseradish. They were believed to have originated in Belgium near Brussels (hence the name) but there is some uncertainty to the claim. Based on historical records we do know that they were first introduced to France and England during World War I where they continue to be a popular food. French settlers who settled in Louisiana in the 1800’s brought them to America. Today brussels sprouts are mainly produced in California and Europe. They are a hardy plant tolerant of poor soil. When eaten regularly they may help prevent certain cancers and improve circulation.

Never ever buy frozen brussel sprouts or asparagus for that matter. Always buy fresh. Sprouts still attached to the stalk are preferable. Avoid sprouts that are discolored (yellow or brown leaves) or loose. Choose instead the smaller sprouts that are green. Brussels sprouts have a very short shelf life. Try to use within a few days of purchase.

The best way to prepare sprouts is roasted with a little oil. First wash then trim the bottom root part off. Not too much that too many leaves fall off. Next slice in half. Toss with a little oil, season with salt and pepper. Some recipes like this one suggest steaming them first. I am not a fan of steamed because they tend to loose flavor and can quickly turn too soft and rubbery.

If you skip the steaming part it will take about 10 to 15 minutes to brown. Ideally I this is your first experience with brussel sprouts cook the onions and pancetta as called for then toss in the sprouts turning to coat. Transfer to an oven safe pan and cook in a 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes. They should be tender enough to pierce with a fork but not mushy.

Source: Woman’s Day
1 1/2 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
4 oz pancetta, diced
1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced crosswise
1?2 tsp kosher salt
1?4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar (optional)

Bring 1-inch of lightly salted water to a boil in a large, deep skillet. Add sprouts and simmer, covered, until crisp-tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain and run under cold water to cool.

Wipe out the skillet. Add pancetta and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towel–lined plate.

Add onion to drippings in skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and golden, 8 to 10 minutes.

Increase heat to medium-high. Add sprouts, salt and pepper, and cook, tossing, until heated through, about 3 minutes. Add pancetta and vinegar, if using, and toss to combine.

*Get Ahead Cook the Brussels sprouts (step 1) and refrigerate for up to 1 day. When ready to make, bring to room temperature, then continue with step 2.
Granola is a combination of grains (particularly oats), health nuts, abortion dried seeds and fruits seasoned with spices. It makes a terrific breakfast cereal with yogurt or milk. Take some along for a quick pick-me-up snack. Homemade granola is not like the hard clusters found in cereal boxes on the grocery store shelves. Although mixed with a medium it can be made into a portable snack bar or nuggets. I love Jen’s recipe the best for cereal because it is light with a pleasant hint of vanilla. It is not overly sweetened either. The only place I could find unsweetened coconut and real coconut flavoring was at the health food store such as Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods.

Jen’s Notes:
“This recipe can also be cooked on Low in a crockpot. It’ll take a couple of hours – stir frequently for even browning. I suppose you could make a half batch, viagra but since it stays good a while and we eat it for breakfast and snacks, I prefer to make a whole recipe.”

Source: Jennifer West
1/2 cup Honey
1 cup Oil
2 teaspoon Vanilla
2 teaspoon Coconut Flavoring
1 cup Dry Milk
3 cups Unsweetened Dried Coconut
7 cups Oats
1/4 cup brown sugar or 1/2 teaspoon Stevia

Combine the liquid ingredients (I use a glass measuring cup because it’s easier to pour into the dry ingredients in the next step) and heat in the microwave for a minute or so while you combine the remaining ingredients.

Stir together the dry ingredients until well mixed. Stir the liquid ingredients in the measuring cup to combine. Slowly pour the liquid ingredients into the oat and coconut mixture, stirring constantly. Continue to stir until liquid ingredients are evenly distributed.

Divide granola between two 13 x 9 baking pans. Smooth out tops for even browning. Bake at 325 for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir to ensure even browning. (I use a spatula to lift and turn the mixture onto itself, working around the outside of the pan, then lifting and turning the cereal in the center.) Redistribute evenly in the pans, smooth the tops and return to the oven. Bake 10 more minutes, and stir again. Bake another 5 minutes and stir. Bake another 5 minutes, if necessary – you want a nice golden brown, but not too dark. After removing from the oven, stir a final time (or the cereal that’s in contact with the pan will get too brown). Makes about 1 gallon.

Variations:
-Add 1/2 cup each type of chopped nuts if adding more than one: walnuts, almonds, pecans or whole pine nuts. Reduce oil to 3/4 cups.
– 1/2 cup sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds.
-Add 1/2 cup dried fruit such as raisins, cherries, blueberries, dates or cranberries. Dried fruit such as apricots will need to be chopped first.
-2 tablespoons wheat germ or flax meal.
-1 tablespoon cinnamon.
-1/2 teaspoon ground ginger.

I admit I am not the best baker. Baking is too precise for me. I enjoy throwing things like vegetables and herbs in a pot and hoping for the best. Movie night came and the gang wanted cookies. I wanted to oblige them, find however, information pills we were all out of granulated sugar. The pleasing mom that I am I grabbed the brown sugar and went to work.

First I had to find a recipe. Some days I worship the internet for the great resource that it is. Other days I curse its very existence…like today. Today all I wanted was a golden star to appear on the screen next to a link to the greatest peanut butter cookie recipe ever. Instead, try all I got was page after page of hopefuls. I was short on time as well as ingredients so I went with the one that looked pretty and seemed easy. Then I altered it a bit. I had to figure out if I could even use all brown sugar in the recipe. I had heard once that using brown sugar in the place of granulated sugar would make a flatter cookie as well as slightly alter the taste. I did a little research and discovered that if I add a little baking soda they should be fine.

I added between 1/4 to 1/2 tsp baking soda to 1 cup packed brown sugar. We use Kirkland Organic peanut butter which has a runny consistency. I was worried about the brown sugar causing the cookies to spread too thin in addition to the runny peanut butter. I figured if I added a tad more flour then I should be fine. I added 1 tablespoon wheat pastry flour (to make me feel healthier) and 1 tablespoon wheat germ in addition to the 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour. Definitely my favorite peanut butter cookie recipe so far. It was tender and did not have the floury taste typical of peanut butter cookies.

Source: Adapted from Simply Recipes
1 cup packed brown sugar
Scant 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (see notes above)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 heaping teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix scant 1/2 teaspoon baking soda with brown sugar. Mix the butter and sugar until combined. Add the peanut butter and egg. Mix together the dry ingredients – flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir into the sugar butter mixture.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Using a scoop drop onto ungreased cookie sheets. If you do not have a scooper roll dough into 1 1/4 inch balls. Place about 3 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Pressed slightly with a fork in a criss cross pattern then baked for 9 minutes. Cool on baking sheets for a minute; transfer to rack to cool completely.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

For chewier cookies, bake at 300°F for 15 minutes.
Growing up in the south biscuits were common whereas in California rolls or bread usually accompany a meal. We rarely serve bread with a meal. The exception would be if we are having soup or a dinner salad. Biscuits are a great choice because they are fast. They do not require proofing yeast and then waiting 2 hours for the dough to rise. These biscuits go really well with chicken soup or tomato soup.

The recipe calls for 1 1/4 cups buttermilk plus more to brush the tops with. I found that I did not need all of the buttermilk in the dough. Take the time to slowly add the buttermilk testing the dough between each small addition. You only need enough to help the dough stick together.

I like to use a fork when adding the liquid. Once the dough starts to form by sticking together I use my hands to gather it together. Just be careful not to overwork the dough. I learned a great tip from my Baking Illustrated cookbook on how to gather the dough. Use a fork not a spoon to lightly work the milk in. Once the dough starts to come together into a ball there will be a small amount of flour on the bottom of the bowl. Add a little of the liquid to the flour and then incorporate it into the rest of the ball.

Source: Cooking with Shelburne  Farms
Makes 12 (2 1/2-inch) biscuits
3 cups flour
2 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
6 tbsp col unsalted butter, sickness cut into small bits
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme, price sage or rosemary leaves
1 1/4 cups cold buttermilk plus a little more to brush the biscuit tops with

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, powder, soda and salt.

With your fingers or two forks, work the butter into the flour mixture until the dough looks like fine gravel with a few larger butter bumps throughout. Stir in the cheddar and thyme. Add the buttermilk gradually, just until a pinch of dough comes together when you squeeze it between your fingers.

Lightly four the counter and dump the dough onto it. Knead it a few times to bring it together and then use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll the dough out to a 3/4-inch thicknesss. Cut out the biscuits with a 2 1/2-inch round cutter or glass.

Notes:
— You can reroll the scraps once but not more or the biscuits will be tough.
— Keep the ingredients as cold as possible and work with the dough as little as possible to ensure light flaky biscuits.

I admit I am not the best baker. Baking is too precise for me. I enjoy throwing things like vegetables and herbs in a pot and hoping for the best. Movie night came and the gang wanted cookies. I wanted to oblige them, find however, we were all out of granulated sugar. The pleasing mom that I am I grabbed the brown sugar and went to work.

First I had to find a recipe. Some days I worship the internet for the great resource that it is. Other days I curse its very existence…like today. Today all I wanted was a golden star to appear on the screen next to a link to the greatest peanut butter cookie recipe ever. Instead, all I got was page after page of hopefuls. I was short on time as well as ingredients so I went with the one that looked pretty and seemed easy. Then I altered it a bit. I had to figure out if I could even use all brown sugar in the recipe. I had heard once that using brown sugar in the place of granulated sugar would make a flatter cookie as well as slightly alter the taste. I did a little research and discovered that if I add a little baking soda they should be fine.

I added between 1/4 to 1/2 tsp baking soda to 1 cup packed brown sugar. We use Kirkland Organic peanut butter which has a runny consistency. I was worried about the brown sugar causing the cookies to spread too thin in addition to the runny peanut butter. I figured if I added a tad more flour then I should be fine. I added 1 tablespoon wheat pastry flour (to make me feel healthier) and 1 tablespoon wheat germ in addition to the 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour. Definitely my favorite peanut butter cookie recipe so far. It was tender and did not have the floury taste typical of peanut butter cookies.

Source: Adapted from Simply Recipes
1 cup packed brown sugar
Scant 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (see notes above)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 heaping teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix scant 1/2 teaspoon baking soda with brown sugar. Mix the butter and sugar until combined. Add the peanut butter and egg. Mix together the dry ingredients – flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir into the sugar butter mixture.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Using a scoop drop onto ungreased cookie sheets. If you do not have a scooper roll dough into 1 1/4 inch balls. Place about 3 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Pressed slightly with a fork in a criss cross pattern then baked for 9 minutes. Cool on baking sheets for a minute; transfer to rack to cool completely.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

For chewier cookies, bake at 300°F for 15 minutes.
I don’t eat guacamole very often, online never at home, because no one around here likes it. Guacamole is reserved for the special occasions when we have company who might like it as a topping with a mexican dish or on Super Bowl Sunday with chips. I have made guacamole a few times in the past with dismal results. The first time I made it was at a dinner party. I arrived early to help the host with any last minute details. My task was to make the guacamole. Smash the avocados, season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon. All the subsequent times I have tried to reproduce the recipe resulted in failure. Then I found this recipe for guacamole and could fight the craving off any longer. I had to have another go. The guacamole turned out so delicious Stephen is now a convert.

The fresh lime juice and cumin really helped set the stage. Only use fresh quality ingredients for the best results.

2 ripe Haas avocados
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 – 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
Juice from one half of a lime

Slice the avocados in half. Discard the pits and remove the flesh from the skins. Place the flesh in a small mixing bowl. Add the garlic, cumin, salt, cilantro,and lime juice. Mash it all up with a fork. Serve with tortilla chips.

Store any leftovers (!?) in an airtight container in the refrigerator placing a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the guacamole in order to prevent browning.

Yield: 1 1/4 cups
Prep time: 10 minutes
I don’t eat guacamole very often, this web never at home, try because no one around here likes it. Guacamole is reserved for the special occasions when we have company who might like it as a topping with a mexican dish or on Super Bowl Sunday with chips. I have made guacamole a few times in the past with dismal results. The first time I made it was at a dinner party. I arrived early to help the host with any last minute details. My task was to make the guacamole. Smash the avocados, season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon. All the subsequent times I have tried to reproduce the recipe resulted in failure. Then I found this recipe for guacamole and could fight the craving off any longer. I had to have another go. The guacamole turned out so delicious Stephen is now a convert.

The fresh lime juice and cumin really helped set the stage. Creating a nice subtle combination of flavors. Only use fresh ripe quality ingredients for the best results. Serve with tacos, corn chips or in sandwiches.

Source: Fix Me A Snack

2 ripe Haas avocados
3 medium cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 – 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
Juice from one half of a lime

Slice the avocados in half. Discard the pits and remove the flesh from the skins. Place the flesh in a small mixing bowl. Add the garlic, cumin, salt, cilantro,and lime juice. Mash it all up with a fork. Serve with tortilla chips.

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator placing a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the guacamole in order to prevent browning.

Yield: 1 1/4 cups
Prep time: 10 minutes
Our oldest son announced one evening during dinner that he was moving to Mexico because he loves bean burritos so much. Can you tell tacos and burritos are a reoccurring weekly menu staple at our house?

This week I decided to change things up a bit by using a recipe for beef and bean chimichangas. I swapped the can of chili beans for a can of pinto. The flavor was a hit. We ate them as tacos the first night. Then in quesadillas for lunch the next day. We used up the remaining leftovers in a breakfast burrito the third day.

Source: For the Love of Cooking.net
1 tsp olive oil
1 lb of lean ground beef
1/2 sweet yellow onion, healing diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp oregano
Dash of red pepper flakes
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
1 can of chili beans, drained

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ground beef and break up the meat into crumbles. Add the onion and garlic as well as the seasonings then cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the drained can of chili beans to the beef mixture and stir until well combined. Set aside.

Variations:
-Swap the ground beef for ground turkey.
-Use pinto beans instead of chili beans. Or omit the beans all together.
Our oldest son announced one evening during dinner that he was moving to Mexico because he loves bean burritos so much. Can you tell tacos and burritos are a reoccurring weekly menu staple at our house? This week I decided to change things up a bit by using a recipe

Source: For the Love of Cooking.net
1 tsp olive oil
1 lb of lean ground beef (I used 93/7)
1/2 sweet yellow onion, look diced
3 cloves of garlic, case minced
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp oregano
Dash of red pepper flakes
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, cialis 40mg to taste
1 can of chili beans, drained

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ground beef and break up the meat into crumbles. Add the onion and garlic as well as the seasonings then cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the drained can of chili beans to the beef mixture and stir until well combined. Set aside.
Our oldest son announced one evening during dinner that he was moving to Mexico because he loves bean burritos so much. Can you tell tacos and burritos are a reoccurring weekly menu staple at our house? This week I decided to change things up a bit by using a recipe

Source: For the Love of Cooking.net
1 tsp olive oil
1 lb of lean ground beef (I used 93/7)
1/2 sweet yellow onion, shop diced
3 cloves of garlic, dosage minced
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp oregano
Dash of red pepper flakes
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, treat to taste
1 can of chili beans, drained

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ground beef and break up the meat into crumbles. Add the onion and garlic as well as the seasonings then cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the drained can of chili beans to the beef mixture and stir until well combined. Set aside.

Yogurt is a beneficial alternative for our daughter who dislikes drinking milk. We always have a stock in the refrigerator or freezer for the kids to snack on. However not all yogurt is nutritious. While plain is the most wholesome choice it is not always a kid favorite. Look for yogurt brands without added artificial flavors and dyes or high fructose corn syrup. I love Chobani honey flavored Greek yogurt because it is made with milk, website unhealthy honey and 6 strains of bacteria. Mountain High yogurt is my top choice because they use real hormone free milk and fresh fruit without the extra additives. Mountain High can be found in most Costcos and supermarkets.

Use yogurt in the place of sour cream, visit this cream cheese, viagra  cream, butter, mayonnaise, milk, and whipped cream in most recipes for smoothies, dips, soups, toppings, and baked goods.

Serves 4

2 whole grain English muffins, separated

Yogurt

Fruit

Toast

Yogurt is a beneficial alternative for our daughter who dislikes drinking milk. We always have a stock in the refrigerator or freezer for the kids to snack on. However not all yogurt is nutritious. While a high quality plain is the most wholesome choice it is not always a kid favorite. Look for yogurt brands without added artificial flavors and dyes or high fructose corn syrup. I love Chobani honey flavored Greek yogurt because it is made with only three ingredients: milk, order honey and 6 strains of bacteria. Mountain High yogurt is my top choice because they use real hormone free milk and fresh fruit without the extra additives. Mountain High can be found in most Costcos and supermarkets.

Use yogurt in the place of sour cream, there cream cheese, cream, butter, mayonnaise, milk, and whipped cream in most recipes for smoothies, dips, soups, toppings, and baked goods.

English muffins with fruit and yogurt is perfect for breakfast or as a hearty nutritious snack. Include this recipe as part of a buffet style brunch. Set out bowls with different flavors of yogurt, honey, nut butter and fruit. Add a sprinkle of wheat germ for extra goodness.

Serves 4
2 whole grain English muffins, separated
Yogurt
Fruit

Toast english muffins. Spread with choice of yogurt. Top with favorite fruit.

Forego the bread swapping it with pieces of fruit. Place sliced or chopped fruit in a small bowl or cup. Add yogurt and more fruit.

Yogurt is a beneficial alternative for our daughter who dislikes drinking milk. We always have a stock in the refrigerator or freezer for the kids to snack on. However not all yogurt is nutritious. While a high quality plain is the most wholesome choice it is not always a kid favorite. Look for yogurt brands without added artificial flavors and dyes or high fructose corn syrup. I love Chobani honey flavored Greek yogurt because it is made with only three ingredients: milk, approved honey and 6 strains of bacteria. Mountain High yogurt is my top choice because they use real hormone free milk and fresh fruit without the extra additives. Mountain High can be found in most Costcos and supermarkets.

Use yogurt in the place of sour cream, site cream cheese, cream, butter, mayonnaise, milk, and whipped cream in most recipes for smoothies, dips, soups, toppings, and baked goods.

English muffins with fruit and yogurt is perfect for breakfast or as a hearty nutritious snack. Include this recipe as part of a buffet style brunch. Set out bowls with different flavors of yogurt, honey, nut butter and fruit. Add a sprinkle of wheat germ for extra goodness.

Serves 4
2 whole grain English muffins, separated
Yogurt
Fruit

Toast english muffins. Spread with choice of yogurt. Top with favorite fruit.

Forego the bread swapping it with pieces of fruit. Place sliced or chopped fruit in a small bowl or cup. Add yogurt and more fruit. Top with a dollop of yogurt or whipped cream for a parfait.

Brussels Sprouts notoriously have a bad wrap. Usually those claiming to despise them have never tried them or worse were scarred for life the first time they tried a mushy slimy sprout or cabbage.

Brussels sprouts are small little cabbage like sprouts that grow on a stalk. Brussels sprouts are part of the cruciferous family that includes: broccoli, view  kale, cabbage, mustard, turnips, rutabagas,and wasabi and horseradish. They were believed to have originated in Belgium near Brussels (hence the name) but there is some uncertainty to the claim. Based on historical records we do know that they were first introduced to France and England during World War I where they continue to be a popular food. French settlers who settled in Louisiana in the 1800’s brought them to America. Today brussels sprouts are mainly produced in California and Europe. They are a hardy plant tolerant of poor soil. When eaten regularly they may help prevent certain cancers and improve circulation.

Never ever buy frozen brussel sprouts or asparagus for that matter. Always buy fresh. Sprouts still attached to the stalk are preferable. Avoid sprouts that are discolored (yellow or brown leaves) or loose. Choose instead the smaller sprouts that are green. Brussels sprouts have a very short shelf life. Try to use within a few days of purchase.

The best way to prepare sprouts is roasted with a little oil. First wash then trim the bottom root part off. Not too much that too many leaves fall off. Next slice in half. Toss with a little oil, season with salt and pepper. Some recipes like this one suggest steaming them first. I am not a fan of steamed because they tend to loose flavor and can quickly turn too soft and rubbery.

If you skip the steaming part it will take about 10 to 15 minutes to brown. Ideally I this is your first experience with brussel sprouts cook the onions and pancetta as called for then toss in the sprouts turning to coat. Transfer to an oven safe pan and cook in a 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes. They should be tender enough to pierce with a fork but not mushy.

Source: Woman’s Day
1 1/2 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
4 oz pancetta, diced
1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced crosswise
1?2 tsp kosher salt
1?4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar (optional)

Bring 1-inch of lightly salted water to a boil in a large, deep skillet. Add sprouts and simmer, covered, until crisp-tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain and run under cold water to cool.

Wipe out the skillet. Add pancetta and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towel–lined plate.

Add onion to drippings in skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and golden, 8 to 10 minutes.

Increase heat to medium-high. Add sprouts, salt and pepper, and cook, tossing, until heated through, about 3 minutes. Add pancetta and vinegar, if using, and toss to combine.

*Get Ahead Cook the Brussels sprouts (step 1) and refrigerate for up to 1 day. When ready to make, bring to room temperature, then continue with step 2.
Granola is a combination of grains (particularly oats), health nuts, abortion dried seeds and fruits seasoned with spices. It makes a terrific breakfast cereal with yogurt or milk. Take some along for a quick pick-me-up snack. Homemade granola is not like the hard clusters found in cereal boxes on the grocery store shelves. Although mixed with a medium it can be made into a portable snack bar or nuggets. I love Jen’s recipe the best for cereal because it is light with a pleasant hint of vanilla. It is not overly sweetened either. The only place I could find unsweetened coconut and real coconut flavoring was at the health food store such as Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods.

Jen’s Notes:
“This recipe can also be cooked on Low in a crockpot. It’ll take a couple of hours – stir frequently for even browning. I suppose you could make a half batch, viagra but since it stays good a while and we eat it for breakfast and snacks, I prefer to make a whole recipe.”

Source: Jennifer West
1/2 cup Honey
1 cup Oil
2 teaspoon Vanilla
2 teaspoon Coconut Flavoring
1 cup Dry Milk
3 cups Unsweetened Dried Coconut
7 cups Oats
1/4 cup brown sugar or 1/2 teaspoon Stevia

Combine the liquid ingredients (I use a glass measuring cup because it’s easier to pour into the dry ingredients in the next step) and heat in the microwave for a minute or so while you combine the remaining ingredients.

Stir together the dry ingredients until well mixed. Stir the liquid ingredients in the measuring cup to combine. Slowly pour the liquid ingredients into the oat and coconut mixture, stirring constantly. Continue to stir until liquid ingredients are evenly distributed.

Divide granola between two 13 x 9 baking pans. Smooth out tops for even browning. Bake at 325 for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir to ensure even browning. (I use a spatula to lift and turn the mixture onto itself, working around the outside of the pan, then lifting and turning the cereal in the center.) Redistribute evenly in the pans, smooth the tops and return to the oven. Bake 10 more minutes, and stir again. Bake another 5 minutes and stir. Bake another 5 minutes, if necessary – you want a nice golden brown, but not too dark. After removing from the oven, stir a final time (or the cereal that’s in contact with the pan will get too brown). Makes about 1 gallon.

Variations:
-Add 1/2 cup each type of chopped nuts if adding more than one: walnuts, almonds, pecans or whole pine nuts. Reduce oil to 3/4 cups.
– 1/2 cup sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds.
-Add 1/2 cup dried fruit such as raisins, cherries, blueberries, dates or cranberries. Dried fruit such as apricots will need to be chopped first.
-2 tablespoons wheat germ or flax meal.
-1 tablespoon cinnamon.
-1/2 teaspoon ground ginger.

I admit I am not the best baker. Baking is too precise for me. I enjoy throwing things like vegetables and herbs in a pot and hoping for the best. Movie night came and the gang wanted cookies. I wanted to oblige them, find however, information pills we were all out of granulated sugar. The pleasing mom that I am I grabbed the brown sugar and went to work.

First I had to find a recipe. Some days I worship the internet for the great resource that it is. Other days I curse its very existence…like today. Today all I wanted was a golden star to appear on the screen next to a link to the greatest peanut butter cookie recipe ever. Instead, try all I got was page after page of hopefuls. I was short on time as well as ingredients so I went with the one that looked pretty and seemed easy. Then I altered it a bit. I had to figure out if I could even use all brown sugar in the recipe. I had heard once that using brown sugar in the place of granulated sugar would make a flatter cookie as well as slightly alter the taste. I did a little research and discovered that if I add a little baking soda they should be fine.

I added between 1/4 to 1/2 tsp baking soda to 1 cup packed brown sugar. We use Kirkland Organic peanut butter which has a runny consistency. I was worried about the brown sugar causing the cookies to spread too thin in addition to the runny peanut butter. I figured if I added a tad more flour then I should be fine. I added 1 tablespoon wheat pastry flour (to make me feel healthier) and 1 tablespoon wheat germ in addition to the 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour. Definitely my favorite peanut butter cookie recipe so far. It was tender and did not have the floury taste typical of peanut butter cookies.

Source: Adapted from Simply Recipes
1 cup packed brown sugar
Scant 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (see notes above)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 heaping teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix scant 1/2 teaspoon baking soda with brown sugar. Mix the butter and sugar until combined. Add the peanut butter and egg. Mix together the dry ingredients – flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir into the sugar butter mixture.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Using a scoop drop onto ungreased cookie sheets. If you do not have a scooper roll dough into 1 1/4 inch balls. Place about 3 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Pressed slightly with a fork in a criss cross pattern then baked for 9 minutes. Cool on baking sheets for a minute; transfer to rack to cool completely.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

For chewier cookies, bake at 300°F for 15 minutes.
Growing up in the south biscuits were common whereas in California rolls or bread usually accompany a meal. We rarely serve bread with a meal. The exception would be if we are having soup or a dinner salad. Biscuits are a great choice because they are fast. They do not require proofing yeast and then waiting 2 hours for the dough to rise. These biscuits go really well with chicken soup or tomato soup.

The recipe calls for 1 1/4 cups buttermilk plus more to brush the tops with. I found that I did not need all of the buttermilk in the dough. Take the time to slowly add the buttermilk testing the dough between each small addition. You only need enough to help the dough stick together.

I like to use a fork when adding the liquid. Once the dough starts to form by sticking together I use my hands to gather it together. Just be careful not to overwork the dough. I learned a great tip from my Baking Illustrated cookbook on how to gather the dough. Use a fork not a spoon to lightly work the milk in. Once the dough starts to come together into a ball there will be a small amount of flour on the bottom of the bowl. Add a little of the liquid to the flour and then incorporate it into the rest of the ball.

Source: Cooking with Shelburne  Farms
Makes 12 (2 1/2-inch) biscuits
3 cups flour
2 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
6 tbsp col unsalted butter, sickness cut into small bits
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme, price sage or rosemary leaves
1 1/4 cups cold buttermilk plus a little more to brush the biscuit tops with

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, powder, soda and salt.

With your fingers or two forks, work the butter into the flour mixture until the dough looks like fine gravel with a few larger butter bumps throughout. Stir in the cheddar and thyme. Add the buttermilk gradually, just until a pinch of dough comes together when you squeeze it between your fingers.

Lightly four the counter and dump the dough onto it. Knead it a few times to bring it together and then use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll the dough out to a 3/4-inch thicknesss. Cut out the biscuits with a 2 1/2-inch round cutter or glass.

Notes:
— You can reroll the scraps once but not more or the biscuits will be tough.
— Keep the ingredients as cold as possible and work with the dough as little as possible to ensure light flaky biscuits.

I admit I am not the best baker. Baking is too precise for me. I enjoy throwing things like vegetables and herbs in a pot and hoping for the best. Movie night came and the gang wanted cookies. I wanted to oblige them, find however, we were all out of granulated sugar. The pleasing mom that I am I grabbed the brown sugar and went to work.

First I had to find a recipe. Some days I worship the internet for the great resource that it is. Other days I curse its very existence…like today. Today all I wanted was a golden star to appear on the screen next to a link to the greatest peanut butter cookie recipe ever. Instead, all I got was page after page of hopefuls. I was short on time as well as ingredients so I went with the one that looked pretty and seemed easy. Then I altered it a bit. I had to figure out if I could even use all brown sugar in the recipe. I had heard once that using brown sugar in the place of granulated sugar would make a flatter cookie as well as slightly alter the taste. I did a little research and discovered that if I add a little baking soda they should be fine.

I added between 1/4 to 1/2 tsp baking soda to 1 cup packed brown sugar. We use Kirkland Organic peanut butter which has a runny consistency. I was worried about the brown sugar causing the cookies to spread too thin in addition to the runny peanut butter. I figured if I added a tad more flour then I should be fine. I added 1 tablespoon wheat pastry flour (to make me feel healthier) and 1 tablespoon wheat germ in addition to the 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour. Definitely my favorite peanut butter cookie recipe so far. It was tender and did not have the floury taste typical of peanut butter cookies.

Source: Adapted from Simply Recipes
1 cup packed brown sugar
Scant 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (see notes above)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 heaping teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix scant 1/2 teaspoon baking soda with brown sugar. Mix the butter and sugar until combined. Add the peanut butter and egg. Mix together the dry ingredients – flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir into the sugar butter mixture.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Using a scoop drop onto ungreased cookie sheets. If you do not have a scooper roll dough into 1 1/4 inch balls. Place about 3 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Pressed slightly with a fork in a criss cross pattern then baked for 9 minutes. Cool on baking sheets for a minute; transfer to rack to cool completely.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

For chewier cookies, bake at 300°F for 15 minutes.
I don’t eat guacamole very often, online never at home, because no one around here likes it. Guacamole is reserved for the special occasions when we have company who might like it as a topping with a mexican dish or on Super Bowl Sunday with chips. I have made guacamole a few times in the past with dismal results. The first time I made it was at a dinner party. I arrived early to help the host with any last minute details. My task was to make the guacamole. Smash the avocados, season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon. All the subsequent times I have tried to reproduce the recipe resulted in failure. Then I found this recipe for guacamole and could fight the craving off any longer. I had to have another go. The guacamole turned out so delicious Stephen is now a convert.

The fresh lime juice and cumin really helped set the stage. Only use fresh quality ingredients for the best results.

2 ripe Haas avocados
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 – 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
Juice from one half of a lime

Slice the avocados in half. Discard the pits and remove the flesh from the skins. Place the flesh in a small mixing bowl. Add the garlic, cumin, salt, cilantro,and lime juice. Mash it all up with a fork. Serve with tortilla chips.

Store any leftovers (!?) in an airtight container in the refrigerator placing a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the guacamole in order to prevent browning.

Yield: 1 1/4 cups
Prep time: 10 minutes
I don’t eat guacamole very often, this web never at home, try because no one around here likes it. Guacamole is reserved for the special occasions when we have company who might like it as a topping with a mexican dish or on Super Bowl Sunday with chips. I have made guacamole a few times in the past with dismal results. The first time I made it was at a dinner party. I arrived early to help the host with any last minute details. My task was to make the guacamole. Smash the avocados, season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon. All the subsequent times I have tried to reproduce the recipe resulted in failure. Then I found this recipe for guacamole and could fight the craving off any longer. I had to have another go. The guacamole turned out so delicious Stephen is now a convert.

The fresh lime juice and cumin really helped set the stage. Creating a nice subtle combination of flavors. Only use fresh ripe quality ingredients for the best results. Serve with tacos, corn chips or in sandwiches.

Source: Fix Me A Snack

2 ripe Haas avocados
3 medium cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 – 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
Juice from one half of a lime

Slice the avocados in half. Discard the pits and remove the flesh from the skins. Place the flesh in a small mixing bowl. Add the garlic, cumin, salt, cilantro,and lime juice. Mash it all up with a fork. Serve with tortilla chips.

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator placing a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the guacamole in order to prevent browning.

Yield: 1 1/4 cups
Prep time: 10 minutes
Our oldest son announced one evening during dinner that he was moving to Mexico because he loves bean burritos so much. Can you tell tacos and burritos are a reoccurring weekly menu staple at our house?

This week I decided to change things up a bit by using a recipe for beef and bean chimichangas. I swapped the can of chili beans for a can of pinto. The flavor was a hit. We ate them as tacos the first night. Then in quesadillas for lunch the next day. We used up the remaining leftovers in a breakfast burrito the third day.

Source: For the Love of Cooking.net
1 tsp olive oil
1 lb of lean ground beef
1/2 sweet yellow onion, healing diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp oregano
Dash of red pepper flakes
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
1 can of chili beans, drained

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ground beef and break up the meat into crumbles. Add the onion and garlic as well as the seasonings then cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the drained can of chili beans to the beef mixture and stir until well combined. Set aside.

Variations:
-Swap the ground beef for ground turkey.
-Use pinto beans instead of chili beans. Or omit the beans all together.
Our oldest son announced one evening during dinner that he was moving to Mexico because he loves bean burritos so much. Can you tell tacos and burritos are a reoccurring weekly menu staple at our house? This week I decided to change things up a bit by using a recipe

Source: For the Love of Cooking.net
1 tsp olive oil
1 lb of lean ground beef (I used 93/7)
1/2 sweet yellow onion, look diced
3 cloves of garlic, case minced
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp oregano
Dash of red pepper flakes
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, cialis 40mg to taste
1 can of chili beans, drained

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ground beef and break up the meat into crumbles. Add the onion and garlic as well as the seasonings then cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the drained can of chili beans to the beef mixture and stir until well combined. Set aside.
Our oldest son announced one evening during dinner that he was moving to Mexico because he loves bean burritos so much. Can you tell tacos and burritos are a reoccurring weekly menu staple at our house? This week I decided to change things up a bit by using a recipe

Source: For the Love of Cooking.net
1 tsp olive oil
1 lb of lean ground beef (I used 93/7)
1/2 sweet yellow onion, shop diced
3 cloves of garlic, dosage minced
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp oregano
Dash of red pepper flakes
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, treat to taste
1 can of chili beans, drained

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ground beef and break up the meat into crumbles. Add the onion and garlic as well as the seasonings then cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the drained can of chili beans to the beef mixture and stir until well combined. Set aside.

Artwork: “A Picnic Party” by: Blacklock William Kay

Courtesy of RussianPaintings.net

My favorite area in San Francisco is the timeless scene of Golden Gate park. Upon entering the large grassy area we are greeted by dozens of blankets spread across the lawn. There are bicyclist, story friendly games of frisbee, here catch, and individuals practicing Tai Chi. But most of all the atmosphere is relaxed. I suppose the reason I enjoy it so much is because it reminds me of the long lost days spent at the beach as a child. We lived a mere five minutes from the beach providing a perfect afternoon of family fun. When we tired of building sand castles and riding the waves we could take a walk down the shore exploring the area for shells and wildlife.

A picnic at the park, lake or beach is always exciting. Schedule a family picnic once a week or once a month. Everyone will benefit from getting outdoors for some relaxation and fun.

Bring a blanket and a picnic lunch:
Pack a cooler with nourishing snacks and/or a healthy meal. Be sure to have lots of water especially if it is hot and sunny. Supply enough blankets so that everyone can lounge if needed.

If BBQ is on the menu do not forget wood/charcoal, lighter fluid and matches. The last thing you want is a bunch of hungry kids and no way to cook the main dish.

Pack safety items such as sunblock, hat, sunglasses and an umbrella for shade.

Bring activities and games to play together:
Soccer balls, Kick ball, Kite, Frisbees, Baseball- mit and bat, Horse Shoes, Card games, board games, Instruments, Art supplies, Books, swimming gear, bikes, scooter, fishing supplies, a favorite toy.

Other activities to do while on a family outing:
Watch the clouds, hunt for frogs, categorize birds-trees-flowers, sing songs, tell stories, have a race, play hide and seek.

Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta & Onions

The first time I walked into a butcher shop I felt completely out of my element. Navigating the meat case was and can still be intimidating at times. To understand the meat case at a butcher shop or supermarket, clinic you must first understand the different cuts of meat.

There are three top grades of beef to consider when choosing a steak or roast. Prime, Choice, and Select. The grades are based on the age of the cattle and the degree of marbling of fat.

“Prime” graded meats are the most expensive cuts. You will not find prime graded beef in the grocery store as they are almost exclusively sold to restaurants and hotels. Prime cuts are produced from young well fed cattle. The greater the marbling of fat the more flavorful, tender and juicy the cut of meat.

Choice graded meats has less marbling but are still tender, juicy and flavorful as long as they are not over cooked.

Select is the third common grade of meat. It is leaner than the prime and choice with significantly less marbling. The lack of fat means less juice but a much lower price.

You can save money by purchasing a USDA Select grade cut and marinating before cooking to obtain the maximum flavor and tenderness. So how do you know the Choice meat in the supermarket is really what the label says? Unlike the vibrant white ribbons of fat in Prime and Choice meats Select or commercial grade (or lower grade) meats appear darker and the fat has an oily or more yellowish appearance.

The various cuts of beef:


1. Chuck:
The first cut of meat behind the head is the shoulder, known as Chuck. This section of the cow although flavorful is fairly tough and fatty requiring a slow cooking method (preferably in a liquid) to break down the fibers. Chuck steaks and roasts (chuck blade, chuck fillet, under blade, top blade and roasts) are the least expensive cuts of meat and well worth the price if cooked properly. For blade steaks be sure to marinade or braise well overnight before grilling. Cook stew meat and roasts slowly in liquid.

2. Brisket:

The Brisket is located below the Chuck. This is a very course meat as it surrounds the sternum. Ideally Brisket should be smoked slowly to soften the stringy fibers. Corned beef is brisket that has been cured in a salt brine.

3. Rib, short loin and sirloin:
The meat from the middle area of the cow is tender and well marbled with large pockets of fat making steaks juicy and full of flavor.

Prime Rib:

The prime rib-eye roast is by far the most expensive. Be prepared to shell out some serious cash in the neighborhood of $70 plus dollars. You probably won’t find “prime rib” at the grocery store. Instead, look for roasts labeled “rib roast,” “eye of the rib roast” (a boneless roast) or if the ribs are attached a “standing rib roast.”

Rib Steak: a prime rib cut into individual steaks. The rib steak has the bone attached while the rib eye steak the bone is removed.

Short Loin Steak:
Without the extra ripples of fat the short loin steak is less tender than a rib eye.

The Strip Steak: A long, narrow and slightly triangular top loin steak. With the bone removed it goes by many names: strip steak, Kansas City strip, New York strip and sirloin strip steak,

The Tenderloin: Tenderloin steaks are tender but pricey and the flavor is pretty mild. The thickest part of the tenderloin is known as chateaubriand. The meat behind the chateaubriand is the popular Filet mignon.

T-bone Steak: The last steak cut from the tenderloin is known for the t-shape bone that runs down the middle. The T-bone has a little of both the short loin and the tenderloin. The porterhouse is a t-bone steak with a bigger portion of tenderloin attached.

Sirloin Steak:
The sirloin comprised of the cow’s hip. Sirloin steaks are large and thin. The most well-known is the tri-tip.

Flank Steak: Directly below the loin and sirloin, on the underside of the cow’s belly, is the flank. Flank steak is a thin, wide, boneless cut. Flank steaks are offen used when making Fajitas. Cook them very quickly to medium-rare and slice thinly against the grain.

*Photos curtesy of The Meat Man, Delicious Magazine, Snider Bros, Western Beef and Seafood, Kobe Beef Store, Tony’s Market and Wiki Commons,

The first time I walked into a butcher shop I felt completely out of my element. Navigating the meat case was and can still be intimidating at times. To understand the meat case at a butcher shop or supermarket, clinic you must first understand the different cuts of meat.

There are three top grades of beef to consider when choosing a steak or roast. Prime, Choice, and Select. The grades are based on the age of the cattle and the degree of marbling of fat.

“Prime” graded meats are the most expensive cuts. You will not find prime graded beef in the grocery store as they are almost exclusively sold to restaurants and hotels. Prime cuts are produced from young well fed cattle. The greater the marbling of fat the more flavorful, tender and juicy the cut of meat.

Choice graded meats has less marbling but are still tender, juicy and flavorful as long as they are not over cooked.

Select is the third common grade of meat. It is leaner than the prime and choice with significantly less marbling. The lack of fat means less juice but a much lower price.

You can save money by purchasing a USDA Select grade cut and marinating before cooking to obtain the maximum flavor and tenderness. So how do you know the Choice meat in the supermarket is really what the label says? Unlike the vibrant white ribbons of fat in Prime and Choice meats Select or commercial grade (or lower grade) meats appear darker and the fat has an oily or more yellowish appearance.

The various cuts of beef:


1. Chuck:
The first cut of meat behind the head is the shoulder, known as Chuck. This section of the cow although flavorful is fairly tough and fatty requiring a slow cooking method (preferably in a liquid) to break down the fibers. Chuck steaks and roasts (chuck blade, chuck fillet, under blade, top blade and roasts) are the least expensive cuts of meat and well worth the price if cooked properly. For blade steaks be sure to marinade or braise well overnight before grilling. Cook stew meat and roasts slowly in liquid.

2. Brisket:

The Brisket is located below the Chuck. This is a very course meat as it surrounds the sternum. Ideally Brisket should be smoked slowly to soften the stringy fibers. Corned beef is brisket that has been cured in a salt brine.

3. Rib, short loin and sirloin:
The meat from the middle area of the cow is tender and well marbled with large pockets of fat making steaks juicy and full of flavor.

Prime Rib:

The prime rib-eye roast is by far the most expensive. Be prepared to shell out some serious cash in the neighborhood of $70 plus dollars. You probably won’t find “prime rib” at the grocery store. Instead, look for roasts labeled “rib roast,” “eye of the rib roast” (a boneless roast) or if the ribs are attached a “standing rib roast.”

Rib Steak: a prime rib cut into individual steaks. The rib steak has the bone attached while the rib eye steak the bone is removed.

Short Loin Steak:
Without the extra ripples of fat the short loin steak is less tender than a rib eye.

The Strip Steak: A long, narrow and slightly triangular top loin steak. With the bone removed it goes by many names: strip steak, Kansas City strip, New York strip and sirloin strip steak,

The Tenderloin: Tenderloin steaks are tender but pricey and the flavor is pretty mild. The thickest part of the tenderloin is known as chateaubriand. The meat behind the chateaubriand is the popular Filet mignon.

T-bone Steak: The last steak cut from the tenderloin is known for the t-shape bone that runs down the middle. The T-bone has a little of both the short loin and the tenderloin. The porterhouse is a t-bone steak with a bigger portion of tenderloin attached.

Sirloin Steak:
The sirloin comprised of the cow’s hip. Sirloin steaks are large and thin. The most well-known is the tri-tip.

Flank Steak: Directly below the loin and sirloin, on the underside of the cow’s belly, is the flank. Flank steak is a thin, wide, boneless cut. Flank steaks are offen used when making Fajitas. Cook them very quickly to medium-rare and slice thinly against the grain.

*Photos curtesy of The Meat Man, Delicious Magazine, Snider Bros, Western Beef and Seafood, Kobe Beef Store, Tony’s Market and Wiki Commons,

To understand the meat case at a butcher shop, buy more about you must first understand your cuts of meat.
The first cut of meat behind the head is the shoulder, view known in butchery terms as the chuck. Although flavorful, mind the often-used shoulder muscle is mostly tough and full of connective tissue. The meat from this section of a cow is less expensive and primarily used for slow-cooked roasts. However, if you’re looking for a bargain, a top blade steak, also called a flatiron, is a flavorful, fairly tender chuck steak to throw on the grill.

Next in the line-up, anatomically speaking, are the portions of a cow that butchers call the rib, short loin and sirloin. The meat from this top, middle area of the cow is the most tender, since the muscles move the least during a cow’s life (as compared to the shoulder, hind end and shank). From these three larger cuts come most of the steaks you see at the market.

RIB STEAK:
These steaks are basically a prime rib roast cut into smaller pieces. A rib steak has the bone attached, but the more popular rib eye steak has had the bone removed.

The rib eye is also sold as a Spencer steak (in the West) and Delmonico steak (on the East coast). Rib steaks usually have large pockets of fat, which add flavor and give the steak a moist, juicy texture.

SHORT LOIN STEAK:
Some people find a long, narrow and slightly triangular top loin steak to be less tender than a rib eye and miss the extra ripples of fat. Others think a top loin steak has just the right balance of flavor and tenderness, without being too fatty. When it has a bone, a top loin steak is known as a shell steak. When the bone is removed it goes by many names: a strip steak, Kansas City strip, New York strip and sirloin strip steak, (which, confusingly, comes from the short loin, not the sirloin) are all the same cut of steak.

Also cut from the short loin portion of a cow is the tenderloin, a portion of meat considered to be extremely tender (hence the name). Tenderloins are easy to recognize in the meat case, due to a long, cylindrical shape that’s thicker on one end then tapers down. A tenderloin is cut into many different types of steak, and all are pretty pricey. The thickest part (usually about 3 inches thick) of the tenderloin is cut into a steak known as chateaubriand. Filet mignon (also known as tenderloin steak) is cut from the meat behind the chateaubriand and is slightly less thick. Filet Mignon is thought to be the most tender part of the tenderloin, but on the downside, the flavor can be pretty mild.

Last but not least, the short loin gives us the t-bone, a steak named for, you guessed it, a “T” shaped bone that runs down the middle. On one side of the bone is meat from the top loin, and on the other is a thin strip of tenderloin. Some say this steak combines the best of both worlds: the tenderness of a tenderloin steak and the rich, “meaty” flavor of a top loin steak. If you’re really hungry or feeling particularly manly, skip the T-bone and go straight for the porterhouse, which is simply a t-bone steak with a bigger portion of tenderloin attached.

Sirloin Steak
The sirloin is basically the cow’s hip. Sirloin steaks are usually fairly large but thin, and the meat is both moderately flavorful and moderately tender. Steaks from this region of a cow tend to be a good value. The most well-known among them are the top sirloin steak and the tri-tip, both boneless. Lesser-known steaks cut from the sirloin are the pin-bone, flat-bone, round-bone and wedge-bone steaks.

Directly below the loin and sirloin, on the underside of the cow’s belly, is the flank. Flank steak is a thin, wide, boneless cut with a texture (grain) that looks very stringy. Cooked very quickly to medium-rare and sliced thinly against the grain, the chewy texture is less noticeable and you will be rewarded with rich flavor.

SEASONING THE MEAT:
f a high-quality cut of meat is cooked correctly, you really don’t need much more than salt and pepper. Which makes one think that seasoning a steak is a very short topic, until of course, you consider the hotly debated “salt early” and “salt late” theories.

The Salt Early Theory: Salting meat many hours or even days before cooking breaks down the protein in meat and makes it more tender. Initially, the salt draws out moisture, but over time the meat re-absorbs the moisture, which is now flavored with salt and therefore adds more succulent flavor to the meat.

The Salt Late Theory: Salt dries meat out. Period. Don’t add it until immediately before cooking.

In this debate, we take the middle road. In our experience, the salt early theory rings true with larger or tougher cuts of beef. For your average steak, salting about a half-hour before cooking is ideal and seasoning right before cooking works just fine, too.

Before seasoning, always make sure to pat the steak dry. Some people like to brush the steak with oil (avoid olive oil, which can become bitter at high heats) or a combination of melted butter and oil before seasoning to help the outside of the steak brown. Season both sides of the steak, using a teaspoon or less of both salt and pepper. Remember, you can always add more seasoning after the steak cooks, but you can’t un-salt the meat.

After seasoning, let the meat sit on the counter for a bit so it comes up to room temperature (a good rule of thumb is at least 10 minutes for every inch of thickness).

If you want to branch out from salt and pepper, marinades and rubs can be used on any type of steak, but are an especially great way to bring flavor to less-expensive cuts.

Cooking Methods

What we love about cooking steak on the stove is how easy it is to get a crisp, caramelized coating on the outside of the steak without over-cooking the middle. More often than not, this is harder to achieve on a grill. Using a combination of the stove-top and the oven is a tried and true method for perfect steak. The question is, which comes first?
The most common method is searing the steak first on the stove, then finishing it in a hot oven.

Pat dry and season the steak.
Pre-heat the oven to 450-500 degrees Fahrenheit.
When the oven is up to temp, drizzle a little oil in an oven-proof pan (cast iron works great) and then heat the pan on the stove over high heat for several minutes until it just barely starts to smoke (you can give the pan a head start by putting it in the oven while it preheats).
Drop the steak in the pan and let it sit without touching it for 3 minutes. Be prepared to turn on your fan or open some windows, as there will be smoke.
If the steak is stuck to the pan, it’s not done browning yet and needs a little more time. If it comes up relatively easily after 3 minutes, flip the steak.
Put the pan, with the steak in it, in the oven.
Let it bake for several minutes, then check by temperature or texture for doneness.
A small but vocal population of steak lovers swears by the “reverse sear” technique. The theory behind this method is that cooking the steak in the oven first will dry the outside of the steak while slowly cooking the inside and keeping it tender. If the outside of the steak is dry, it will then sear faster and more efficiently in a hot pan.

Pat dry and season the steak.
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place a wire cooling rack on a cookie sheet then put the steak on the cooling rack. This allows hot air to circulate around the entire steak.
Bake the steak until the internal temperature is 100-110 degrees.
Drizzle a little oil in a pan over high heat. Just as the pan begins to smoke, drop the steak in the pan.
Cook the steak for 2 minutes on each side.
So does this method really yield a more perfect steak? We have to admit, it did brown the outside of the steak very nicely while leaving the inside really juicy and tender. As a bonus, you get nice grill marks from baking the meat on the cooling rack. Give it a try, and you be the judge.

In some people’s minds, however, the only way to cook a steak is over an open flame in the great outdoors. Many of these same people consider grilling an art form that cannot be mastered overnight. It takes years of experimenting with different types of grills, different heat levels and cooking times and various seasonings and marinades. This may be true for some fanatics out there, but we feel pretty confident that you’ll get a great steak the first time out if you pay attention to a few key things.

The “charcoal vs gas” debate is one that has gone for decades, and we think they both have their place. For convenience and the easy ability to control heat levels, a gas grill can’t be beat. For depth of flavor, charcoal usually wins out.

Either way, you never want to put a steak on a cold grill. Wait until it heats up. For a gas grill, this is easy. Simply turn the knob to medium-high and keep the lid closed for 10-15 minutes. For a charcoal grill, the type of charcoal you use will affect the heat level as well as the flavor of the meat. Briquettes are easy to light, hold steady heat and are inexpensive, but they are also made with questionable additives that can give meat a chemical flavor. We favor hardwood charcoal (made from oak, hickory, mesquite, etc) for a natural, smoky flavor. Hardwood charcoal can be a little trickier to light and once it gets going it burns hotter and more unpredictably, which requires keeping a closer eye on the grill. A small price to pay, we think.

There is no point in using hardwood charcoal and then dousing it in lighter fluid, which will make your meat taste like it was marinated in petroleum. Instead, use a charcoal chimney starter to stack and light the coals. Once the coals are lit (usually about 30 coals are needed to provide adequate heat) wait until they change from bright red to an ashy white, which usually takes at least 20 minutes. Spread the coals out, placing most of them on one side to create a high heat side and a few on the other side of the grill to create a low heat side. Cover the grill for about five minutes so the heat builds to medium-high. To test the heat, simply hold your hand a few inches above the grill. If you can’t hold it there for more then 2 seconds, you’ve got high heat. If you can hold it there for 4-6 seconds without pulling away, the heat is medium-high.

Now, you’re ready to cook. Start by placing the steak (patted dry, seasoned and close to room temp.) over medium-high heat for at least 3 minutes without turning. This is about right for a 1-inch steak; thicker steaks will need another minute or two. Flip, and grill the other side for another 3 minutes. This should brown both sides and bring the steak to the brink of medium-rare.

To bring the steak up to desired doneness, move it to an area of the grill that has less-intense heat. Close the lid and cook for another 3-5 minutes before checking if it’s ready.

Although flames add excitement to grilling, they do nothing for the meat but burn it. Move the steak away from flare-ups as soon as they occur. In general, try to move the steak as little as possible while it cooks – too much movement prevents the steak from searing and getting a crispy, brown coating.

FINISHED
A thermometer is the most accurate way to gauge if steak is done to your liking. Although your thermometer will probably tell you that 145 degrees is rare for beef, any chef you ask will tell you differently. Rare in a chef’s mind, meaning very pink, is closer to 125 degrees; medium-rare is 125-130; medium, 130-135 degrees; medium-well, 135 to 140 degrees; and well, 140 and above. You can also give the steak a poke with your finger. Rare is squishy, medium-rare is spongy, and medium-well is taut. The steak will continue to cook at least five degrees when it’s off the grill or out of the pan, so err on the side of taking it away from heat earlier rather than later.

The final step, which should be included no matter how you cook your steak, is letting the meat rest before cutting into it. As the meat cools down the proteins begin to firm up and hold moisture, so when you cut into the steak all the juicy goodness won’t run out. About 8-10 minutes should do it, and a loose cover of foil or no cover at all is a much better choice than tightly sealing the meat up while it rests. If you’re like us, it takes at least 8-10 minutes to set the table and get everyone to sit down, so usually this step simply happens without having to think about it.

Hungry yet? Get over to your local butcher shop, grab a little salt and pepper, and give one of these cooking methods a try. In less time than it takes to drive to a restaurant, you’ll be sitting down at your kitchen table with a tender, sizzling hot, and dare we stay it, perfect steak on your plate.

This article was brought to you with one of the Challenge #1 (below) mini-challenges in mind. Commit to cooking your own food this month, and check back each Saturday for more Primal cooking tutorials.
Low Temp Cooking is that the process makes cheap but usually more flavorful cuts of tougher meats become texturally perfect and tender.

The first time I walked into a butcher shop I felt completely out of my element. Navigating the meat case was and can still be intimidating at times. To understand the meat case at a butcher shop or supermarket, clinic you must first understand the different cuts of meat.

There are three top grades of beef to consider when choosing a steak or roast. Prime, Choice, and Select. The grades are based on the age of the cattle and the degree of marbling of fat.

“Prime” graded meats are the most expensive cuts. You will not find prime graded beef in the grocery store as they are almost exclusively sold to restaurants and hotels. Prime cuts are produced from young well fed cattle. The greater the marbling of fat the more flavorful, tender and juicy the cut of meat.

Choice graded meats has less marbling but are still tender, juicy and flavorful as long as they are not over cooked.

Select is the third common grade of meat. It is leaner than the prime and choice with significantly less marbling. The lack of fat means less juice but a much lower price.

You can save money by purchasing a USDA Select grade cut and marinating before cooking to obtain the maximum flavor and tenderness. So how do you know the Choice meat in the supermarket is really what the label says? Unlike the vibrant white ribbons of fat in Prime and Choice meats Select or commercial grade (or lower grade) meats appear darker and the fat has an oily or more yellowish appearance.

The various cuts of beef:


1. Chuck:
The first cut of meat behind the head is the shoulder, known as Chuck. This section of the cow although flavorful is fairly tough and fatty requiring a slow cooking method (preferably in a liquid) to break down the fibers. Chuck steaks and roasts (chuck blade, chuck fillet, under blade, top blade and roasts) are the least expensive cuts of meat and well worth the price if cooked properly. For blade steaks be sure to marinade or braise well overnight before grilling. Cook stew meat and roasts slowly in liquid.

2. Brisket:

The Brisket is located below the Chuck. This is a very course meat as it surrounds the sternum. Ideally Brisket should be smoked slowly to soften the stringy fibers. Corned beef is brisket that has been cured in a salt brine.

3. Rib, short loin and sirloin:
The meat from the middle area of the cow is tender and well marbled with large pockets of fat making steaks juicy and full of flavor.

Prime Rib:

The prime rib-eye roast is by far the most expensive. Be prepared to shell out some serious cash in the neighborhood of $70 plus dollars. You probably won’t find “prime rib” at the grocery store. Instead, look for roasts labeled “rib roast,” “eye of the rib roast” (a boneless roast) or if the ribs are attached a “standing rib roast.”

Rib Steak: a prime rib cut into individual steaks. The rib steak has the bone attached while the rib eye steak the bone is removed.

Short Loin Steak:
Without the extra ripples of fat the short loin steak is less tender than a rib eye.

The Strip Steak: A long, narrow and slightly triangular top loin steak. With the bone removed it goes by many names: strip steak, Kansas City strip, New York strip and sirloin strip steak,

The Tenderloin: Tenderloin steaks are tender but pricey and the flavor is pretty mild. The thickest part of the tenderloin is known as chateaubriand. The meat behind the chateaubriand is the popular Filet mignon.

T-bone Steak: The last steak cut from the tenderloin is known for the t-shape bone that runs down the middle. The T-bone has a little of both the short loin and the tenderloin. The porterhouse is a t-bone steak with a bigger portion of tenderloin attached.

Sirloin Steak:
The sirloin comprised of the cow’s hip. Sirloin steaks are large and thin. The most well-known is the tri-tip.

Flank Steak: Directly below the loin and sirloin, on the underside of the cow’s belly, is the flank. Flank steak is a thin, wide, boneless cut. Flank steaks are offen used when making Fajitas. Cook them very quickly to medium-rare and slice thinly against the grain.

*Photos curtesy of The Meat Man, Delicious Magazine, Snider Bros, Western Beef and Seafood, Kobe Beef Store, Tony’s Market and Wiki Commons,

To understand the meat case at a butcher shop, buy more about you must first understand your cuts of meat.
The first cut of meat behind the head is the shoulder, view known in butchery terms as the chuck. Although flavorful, mind the often-used shoulder muscle is mostly tough and full of connective tissue. The meat from this section of a cow is less expensive and primarily used for slow-cooked roasts. However, if you’re looking for a bargain, a top blade steak, also called a flatiron, is a flavorful, fairly tender chuck steak to throw on the grill.

Next in the line-up, anatomically speaking, are the portions of a cow that butchers call the rib, short loin and sirloin. The meat from this top, middle area of the cow is the most tender, since the muscles move the least during a cow’s life (as compared to the shoulder, hind end and shank). From these three larger cuts come most of the steaks you see at the market.

RIB STEAK:
These steaks are basically a prime rib roast cut into smaller pieces. A rib steak has the bone attached, but the more popular rib eye steak has had the bone removed.

The rib eye is also sold as a Spencer steak (in the West) and Delmonico steak (on the East coast). Rib steaks usually have large pockets of fat, which add flavor and give the steak a moist, juicy texture.

SHORT LOIN STEAK:
Some people find a long, narrow and slightly triangular top loin steak to be less tender than a rib eye and miss the extra ripples of fat. Others think a top loin steak has just the right balance of flavor and tenderness, without being too fatty. When it has a bone, a top loin steak is known as a shell steak. When the bone is removed it goes by many names: a strip steak, Kansas City strip, New York strip and sirloin strip steak, (which, confusingly, comes from the short loin, not the sirloin) are all the same cut of steak.

Also cut from the short loin portion of a cow is the tenderloin, a portion of meat considered to be extremely tender (hence the name). Tenderloins are easy to recognize in the meat case, due to a long, cylindrical shape that’s thicker on one end then tapers down. A tenderloin is cut into many different types of steak, and all are pretty pricey. The thickest part (usually about 3 inches thick) of the tenderloin is cut into a steak known as chateaubriand. Filet mignon (also known as tenderloin steak) is cut from the meat behind the chateaubriand and is slightly less thick. Filet Mignon is thought to be the most tender part of the tenderloin, but on the downside, the flavor can be pretty mild.

Last but not least, the short loin gives us the t-bone, a steak named for, you guessed it, a “T” shaped bone that runs down the middle. On one side of the bone is meat from the top loin, and on the other is a thin strip of tenderloin. Some say this steak combines the best of both worlds: the tenderness of a tenderloin steak and the rich, “meaty” flavor of a top loin steak. If you’re really hungry or feeling particularly manly, skip the T-bone and go straight for the porterhouse, which is simply a t-bone steak with a bigger portion of tenderloin attached.

Sirloin Steak
The sirloin is basically the cow’s hip. Sirloin steaks are usually fairly large but thin, and the meat is both moderately flavorful and moderately tender. Steaks from this region of a cow tend to be a good value. The most well-known among them are the top sirloin steak and the tri-tip, both boneless. Lesser-known steaks cut from the sirloin are the pin-bone, flat-bone, round-bone and wedge-bone steaks.

Directly below the loin and sirloin, on the underside of the cow’s belly, is the flank. Flank steak is a thin, wide, boneless cut with a texture (grain) that looks very stringy. Cooked very quickly to medium-rare and sliced thinly against the grain, the chewy texture is less noticeable and you will be rewarded with rich flavor.

SEASONING THE MEAT:
f a high-quality cut of meat is cooked correctly, you really don’t need much more than salt and pepper. Which makes one think that seasoning a steak is a very short topic, until of course, you consider the hotly debated “salt early” and “salt late” theories.

The Salt Early Theory: Salting meat many hours or even days before cooking breaks down the protein in meat and makes it more tender. Initially, the salt draws out moisture, but over time the meat re-absorbs the moisture, which is now flavored with salt and therefore adds more succulent flavor to the meat.

The Salt Late Theory: Salt dries meat out. Period. Don’t add it until immediately before cooking.

In this debate, we take the middle road. In our experience, the salt early theory rings true with larger or tougher cuts of beef. For your average steak, salting about a half-hour before cooking is ideal and seasoning right before cooking works just fine, too.

Before seasoning, always make sure to pat the steak dry. Some people like to brush the steak with oil (avoid olive oil, which can become bitter at high heats) or a combination of melted butter and oil before seasoning to help the outside of the steak brown. Season both sides of the steak, using a teaspoon or less of both salt and pepper. Remember, you can always add more seasoning after the steak cooks, but you can’t un-salt the meat.

After seasoning, let the meat sit on the counter for a bit so it comes up to room temperature (a good rule of thumb is at least 10 minutes for every inch of thickness).

If you want to branch out from salt and pepper, marinades and rubs can be used on any type of steak, but are an especially great way to bring flavor to less-expensive cuts.

Cooking Methods

What we love about cooking steak on the stove is how easy it is to get a crisp, caramelized coating on the outside of the steak without over-cooking the middle. More often than not, this is harder to achieve on a grill. Using a combination of the stove-top and the oven is a tried and true method for perfect steak. The question is, which comes first?
The most common method is searing the steak first on the stove, then finishing it in a hot oven.

Pat dry and season the steak.
Pre-heat the oven to 450-500 degrees Fahrenheit.
When the oven is up to temp, drizzle a little oil in an oven-proof pan (cast iron works great) and then heat the pan on the stove over high heat for several minutes until it just barely starts to smoke (you can give the pan a head start by putting it in the oven while it preheats).
Drop the steak in the pan and let it sit without touching it for 3 minutes. Be prepared to turn on your fan or open some windows, as there will be smoke.
If the steak is stuck to the pan, it’s not done browning yet and needs a little more time. If it comes up relatively easily after 3 minutes, flip the steak.
Put the pan, with the steak in it, in the oven.
Let it bake for several minutes, then check by temperature or texture for doneness.
A small but vocal population of steak lovers swears by the “reverse sear” technique. The theory behind this method is that cooking the steak in the oven first will dry the outside of the steak while slowly cooking the inside and keeping it tender. If the outside of the steak is dry, it will then sear faster and more efficiently in a hot pan.

Pat dry and season the steak.
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place a wire cooling rack on a cookie sheet then put the steak on the cooling rack. This allows hot air to circulate around the entire steak.
Bake the steak until the internal temperature is 100-110 degrees.
Drizzle a little oil in a pan over high heat. Just as the pan begins to smoke, drop the steak in the pan.
Cook the steak for 2 minutes on each side.
So does this method really yield a more perfect steak? We have to admit, it did brown the outside of the steak very nicely while leaving the inside really juicy and tender. As a bonus, you get nice grill marks from baking the meat on the cooling rack. Give it a try, and you be the judge.

In some people’s minds, however, the only way to cook a steak is over an open flame in the great outdoors. Many of these same people consider grilling an art form that cannot be mastered overnight. It takes years of experimenting with different types of grills, different heat levels and cooking times and various seasonings and marinades. This may be true for some fanatics out there, but we feel pretty confident that you’ll get a great steak the first time out if you pay attention to a few key things.

The “charcoal vs gas” debate is one that has gone for decades, and we think they both have their place. For convenience and the easy ability to control heat levels, a gas grill can’t be beat. For depth of flavor, charcoal usually wins out.

Either way, you never want to put a steak on a cold grill. Wait until it heats up. For a gas grill, this is easy. Simply turn the knob to medium-high and keep the lid closed for 10-15 minutes. For a charcoal grill, the type of charcoal you use will affect the heat level as well as the flavor of the meat. Briquettes are easy to light, hold steady heat and are inexpensive, but they are also made with questionable additives that can give meat a chemical flavor. We favor hardwood charcoal (made from oak, hickory, mesquite, etc) for a natural, smoky flavor. Hardwood charcoal can be a little trickier to light and once it gets going it burns hotter and more unpredictably, which requires keeping a closer eye on the grill. A small price to pay, we think.

There is no point in using hardwood charcoal and then dousing it in lighter fluid, which will make your meat taste like it was marinated in petroleum. Instead, use a charcoal chimney starter to stack and light the coals. Once the coals are lit (usually about 30 coals are needed to provide adequate heat) wait until they change from bright red to an ashy white, which usually takes at least 20 minutes. Spread the coals out, placing most of them on one side to create a high heat side and a few on the other side of the grill to create a low heat side. Cover the grill for about five minutes so the heat builds to medium-high. To test the heat, simply hold your hand a few inches above the grill. If you can’t hold it there for more then 2 seconds, you’ve got high heat. If you can hold it there for 4-6 seconds without pulling away, the heat is medium-high.

Now, you’re ready to cook. Start by placing the steak (patted dry, seasoned and close to room temp.) over medium-high heat for at least 3 minutes without turning. This is about right for a 1-inch steak; thicker steaks will need another minute or two. Flip, and grill the other side for another 3 minutes. This should brown both sides and bring the steak to the brink of medium-rare.

To bring the steak up to desired doneness, move it to an area of the grill that has less-intense heat. Close the lid and cook for another 3-5 minutes before checking if it’s ready.

Although flames add excitement to grilling, they do nothing for the meat but burn it. Move the steak away from flare-ups as soon as they occur. In general, try to move the steak as little as possible while it cooks – too much movement prevents the steak from searing and getting a crispy, brown coating.

FINISHED
A thermometer is the most accurate way to gauge if steak is done to your liking. Although your thermometer will probably tell you that 145 degrees is rare for beef, any chef you ask will tell you differently. Rare in a chef’s mind, meaning very pink, is closer to 125 degrees; medium-rare is 125-130; medium, 130-135 degrees; medium-well, 135 to 140 degrees; and well, 140 and above. You can also give the steak a poke with your finger. Rare is squishy, medium-rare is spongy, and medium-well is taut. The steak will continue to cook at least five degrees when it’s off the grill or out of the pan, so err on the side of taking it away from heat earlier rather than later.

The final step, which should be included no matter how you cook your steak, is letting the meat rest before cutting into it. As the meat cools down the proteins begin to firm up and hold moisture, so when you cut into the steak all the juicy goodness won’t run out. About 8-10 minutes should do it, and a loose cover of foil or no cover at all is a much better choice than tightly sealing the meat up while it rests. If you’re like us, it takes at least 8-10 minutes to set the table and get everyone to sit down, so usually this step simply happens without having to think about it.

Hungry yet? Get over to your local butcher shop, grab a little salt and pepper, and give one of these cooking methods a try. In less time than it takes to drive to a restaurant, you’ll be sitting down at your kitchen table with a tender, sizzling hot, and dare we stay it, perfect steak on your plate.

This article was brought to you with one of the Challenge #1 (below) mini-challenges in mind. Commit to cooking your own food this month, and check back each Saturday for more Primal cooking tutorials.
Low Temp Cooking is that the process makes cheap but usually more flavorful cuts of tougher meats become texturally perfect and tender.

Ce

Source: Chef Mike
1 (10 pound) prime rib roast
10 cloves garlic, order minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 teaspoons dried thyme

Place the roast in a roasting pan with the fatty side up. In a small bowl, see mix together the garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme. Spread the mixture over the fatty layer of the roast, and let the roast sit out until it is at room temperature, no longer than 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F (260 degrees C).
Bake the roast for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, then reduce the temperature to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C), and continue roasting for an additional 60 to 75 minutes. The internal temperature of the roast should be at 145 degrees F (53 degrees C) for medium rare.
Allow the roast to rest for 10 or 15 minutes before carving so the meat can retain its juices.

The first time I walked into a butcher shop I felt completely out of my element. Navigating the meat case was and can still be intimidating at times. To understand the meat case at a butcher shop or supermarket, clinic you must first understand the different cuts of meat.

There are three top grades of beef to consider when choosing a steak or roast. Prime, Choice, and Select. The grades are based on the age of the cattle and the degree of marbling of fat.

“Prime” graded meats are the most expensive cuts. You will not find prime graded beef in the grocery store as they are almost exclusively sold to restaurants and hotels. Prime cuts are produced from young well fed cattle. The greater the marbling of fat the more flavorful, tender and juicy the cut of meat.

Choice graded meats has less marbling but are still tender, juicy and flavorful as long as they are not over cooked.

Select is the third common grade of meat. It is leaner than the prime and choice with significantly less marbling. The lack of fat means less juice but a much lower price.

You can save money by purchasing a USDA Select grade cut and marinating before cooking to obtain the maximum flavor and tenderness. So how do you know the Choice meat in the supermarket is really what the label says? Unlike the vibrant white ribbons of fat in Prime and Choice meats Select or commercial grade (or lower grade) meats appear darker and the fat has an oily or more yellowish appearance.

The various cuts of beef:


1. Chuck:
The first cut of meat behind the head is the shoulder, known as Chuck. This section of the cow although flavorful is fairly tough and fatty requiring a slow cooking method (preferably in a liquid) to break down the fibers. Chuck steaks and roasts (chuck blade, chuck fillet, under blade, top blade and roasts) are the least expensive cuts of meat and well worth the price if cooked properly. For blade steaks be sure to marinade or braise well overnight before grilling. Cook stew meat and roasts slowly in liquid.

2. Brisket:

The Brisket is located below the Chuck. This is a very course meat as it surrounds the sternum. Ideally Brisket should be smoked slowly to soften the stringy fibers. Corned beef is brisket that has been cured in a salt brine.

3. Rib, short loin and sirloin:
The meat from the middle area of the cow is tender and well marbled with large pockets of fat making steaks juicy and full of flavor.

Prime Rib:

The prime rib-eye roast is by far the most expensive. Be prepared to shell out some serious cash in the neighborhood of $70 plus dollars. You probably won’t find “prime rib” at the grocery store. Instead, look for roasts labeled “rib roast,” “eye of the rib roast” (a boneless roast) or if the ribs are attached a “standing rib roast.”

Rib Steak: a prime rib cut into individual steaks. The rib steak has the bone attached while the rib eye steak the bone is removed.

Short Loin Steak:
Without the extra ripples of fat the short loin steak is less tender than a rib eye.

The Strip Steak: A long, narrow and slightly triangular top loin steak. With the bone removed it goes by many names: strip steak, Kansas City strip, New York strip and sirloin strip steak,

The Tenderloin: Tenderloin steaks are tender but pricey and the flavor is pretty mild. The thickest part of the tenderloin is known as chateaubriand. The meat behind the chateaubriand is the popular Filet mignon.

T-bone Steak: The last steak cut from the tenderloin is known for the t-shape bone that runs down the middle. The T-bone has a little of both the short loin and the tenderloin. The porterhouse is a t-bone steak with a bigger portion of tenderloin attached.

Sirloin Steak:
The sirloin comprised of the cow’s hip. Sirloin steaks are large and thin. The most well-known is the tri-tip.

Flank Steak: Directly below the loin and sirloin, on the underside of the cow’s belly, is the flank. Flank steak is a thin, wide, boneless cut. Flank steaks are offen used when making Fajitas. Cook them very quickly to medium-rare and slice thinly against the grain.

*Photos curtesy of The Meat Man, Delicious Magazine, Snider Bros, Western Beef and Seafood, Kobe Beef Store, Tony’s Market and Wiki Commons,

To understand the meat case at a butcher shop, buy more about you must first understand your cuts of meat.
The first cut of meat behind the head is the shoulder, view known in butchery terms as the chuck. Although flavorful, mind the often-used shoulder muscle is mostly tough and full of connective tissue. The meat from this section of a cow is less expensive and primarily used for slow-cooked roasts. However, if you’re looking for a bargain, a top blade steak, also called a flatiron, is a flavorful, fairly tender chuck steak to throw on the grill.

Next in the line-up, anatomically speaking, are the portions of a cow that butchers call the rib, short loin and sirloin. The meat from this top, middle area of the cow is the most tender, since the muscles move the least during a cow’s life (as compared to the shoulder, hind end and shank). From these three larger cuts come most of the steaks you see at the market.

RIB STEAK:
These steaks are basically a prime rib roast cut into smaller pieces. A rib steak has the bone attached, but the more popular rib eye steak has had the bone removed.

The rib eye is also sold as a Spencer steak (in the West) and Delmonico steak (on the East coast). Rib steaks usually have large pockets of fat, which add flavor and give the steak a moist, juicy texture.

SHORT LOIN STEAK:
Some people find a long, narrow and slightly triangular top loin steak to be less tender than a rib eye and miss the extra ripples of fat. Others think a top loin steak has just the right balance of flavor and tenderness, without being too fatty. When it has a bone, a top loin steak is known as a shell steak. When the bone is removed it goes by many names: a strip steak, Kansas City strip, New York strip and sirloin strip steak, (which, confusingly, comes from the short loin, not the sirloin) are all the same cut of steak.

Also cut from the short loin portion of a cow is the tenderloin, a portion of meat considered to be extremely tender (hence the name). Tenderloins are easy to recognize in the meat case, due to a long, cylindrical shape that’s thicker on one end then tapers down. A tenderloin is cut into many different types of steak, and all are pretty pricey. The thickest part (usually about 3 inches thick) of the tenderloin is cut into a steak known as chateaubriand. Filet mignon (also known as tenderloin steak) is cut from the meat behind the chateaubriand and is slightly less thick. Filet Mignon is thought to be the most tender part of the tenderloin, but on the downside, the flavor can be pretty mild.

Last but not least, the short loin gives us the t-bone, a steak named for, you guessed it, a “T” shaped bone that runs down the middle. On one side of the bone is meat from the top loin, and on the other is a thin strip of tenderloin. Some say this steak combines the best of both worlds: the tenderness of a tenderloin steak and the rich, “meaty” flavor of a top loin steak. If you’re really hungry or feeling particularly manly, skip the T-bone and go straight for the porterhouse, which is simply a t-bone steak with a bigger portion of tenderloin attached.

Sirloin Steak
The sirloin is basically the cow’s hip. Sirloin steaks are usually fairly large but thin, and the meat is both moderately flavorful and moderately tender. Steaks from this region of a cow tend to be a good value. The most well-known among them are the top sirloin steak and the tri-tip, both boneless. Lesser-known steaks cut from the sirloin are the pin-bone, flat-bone, round-bone and wedge-bone steaks.

Directly below the loin and sirloin, on the underside of the cow’s belly, is the flank. Flank steak is a thin, wide, boneless cut with a texture (grain) that looks very stringy. Cooked very quickly to medium-rare and sliced thinly against the grain, the chewy texture is less noticeable and you will be rewarded with rich flavor.

SEASONING THE MEAT:
f a high-quality cut of meat is cooked correctly, you really don’t need much more than salt and pepper. Which makes one think that seasoning a steak is a very short topic, until of course, you consider the hotly debated “salt early” and “salt late” theories.

The Salt Early Theory: Salting meat many hours or even days before cooking breaks down the protein in meat and makes it more tender. Initially, the salt draws out moisture, but over time the meat re-absorbs the moisture, which is now flavored with salt and therefore adds more succulent flavor to the meat.

The Salt Late Theory: Salt dries meat out. Period. Don’t add it until immediately before cooking.

In this debate, we take the middle road. In our experience, the salt early theory rings true with larger or tougher cuts of beef. For your average steak, salting about a half-hour before cooking is ideal and seasoning right before cooking works just fine, too.

Before seasoning, always make sure to pat the steak dry. Some people like to brush the steak with oil (avoid olive oil, which can become bitter at high heats) or a combination of melted butter and oil before seasoning to help the outside of the steak brown. Season both sides of the steak, using a teaspoon or less of both salt and pepper. Remember, you can always add more seasoning after the steak cooks, but you can’t un-salt the meat.

After seasoning, let the meat sit on the counter for a bit so it comes up to room temperature (a good rule of thumb is at least 10 minutes for every inch of thickness).

If you want to branch out from salt and pepper, marinades and rubs can be used on any type of steak, but are an especially great way to bring flavor to less-expensive cuts.

Cooking Methods

What we love about cooking steak on the stove is how easy it is to get a crisp, caramelized coating on the outside of the steak without over-cooking the middle. More often than not, this is harder to achieve on a grill. Using a combination of the stove-top and the oven is a tried and true method for perfect steak. The question is, which comes first?
The most common method is searing the steak first on the stove, then finishing it in a hot oven.

Pat dry and season the steak.
Pre-heat the oven to 450-500 degrees Fahrenheit.
When the oven is up to temp, drizzle a little oil in an oven-proof pan (cast iron works great) and then heat the pan on the stove over high heat for several minutes until it just barely starts to smoke (you can give the pan a head start by putting it in the oven while it preheats).
Drop the steak in the pan and let it sit without touching it for 3 minutes. Be prepared to turn on your fan or open some windows, as there will be smoke.
If the steak is stuck to the pan, it’s not done browning yet and needs a little more time. If it comes up relatively easily after 3 minutes, flip the steak.
Put the pan, with the steak in it, in the oven.
Let it bake for several minutes, then check by temperature or texture for doneness.
A small but vocal population of steak lovers swears by the “reverse sear” technique. The theory behind this method is that cooking the steak in the oven first will dry the outside of the steak while slowly cooking the inside and keeping it tender. If the outside of the steak is dry, it will then sear faster and more efficiently in a hot pan.

Pat dry and season the steak.
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place a wire cooling rack on a cookie sheet then put the steak on the cooling rack. This allows hot air to circulate around the entire steak.
Bake the steak until the internal temperature is 100-110 degrees.
Drizzle a little oil in a pan over high heat. Just as the pan begins to smoke, drop the steak in the pan.
Cook the steak for 2 minutes on each side.
So does this method really yield a more perfect steak? We have to admit, it did brown the outside of the steak very nicely while leaving the inside really juicy and tender. As a bonus, you get nice grill marks from baking the meat on the cooling rack. Give it a try, and you be the judge.

In some people’s minds, however, the only way to cook a steak is over an open flame in the great outdoors. Many of these same people consider grilling an art form that cannot be mastered overnight. It takes years of experimenting with different types of grills, different heat levels and cooking times and various seasonings and marinades. This may be true for some fanatics out there, but we feel pretty confident that you’ll get a great steak the first time out if you pay attention to a few key things.

The “charcoal vs gas” debate is one that has gone for decades, and we think they both have their place. For convenience and the easy ability to control heat levels, a gas grill can’t be beat. For depth of flavor, charcoal usually wins out.

Either way, you never want to put a steak on a cold grill. Wait until it heats up. For a gas grill, this is easy. Simply turn the knob to medium-high and keep the lid closed for 10-15 minutes. For a charcoal grill, the type of charcoal you use will affect the heat level as well as the flavor of the meat. Briquettes are easy to light, hold steady heat and are inexpensive, but they are also made with questionable additives that can give meat a chemical flavor. We favor hardwood charcoal (made from oak, hickory, mesquite, etc) for a natural, smoky flavor. Hardwood charcoal can be a little trickier to light and once it gets going it burns hotter and more unpredictably, which requires keeping a closer eye on the grill. A small price to pay, we think.

There is no point in using hardwood charcoal and then dousing it in lighter fluid, which will make your meat taste like it was marinated in petroleum. Instead, use a charcoal chimney starter to stack and light the coals. Once the coals are lit (usually about 30 coals are needed to provide adequate heat) wait until they change from bright red to an ashy white, which usually takes at least 20 minutes. Spread the coals out, placing most of them on one side to create a high heat side and a few on the other side of the grill to create a low heat side. Cover the grill for about five minutes so the heat builds to medium-high. To test the heat, simply hold your hand a few inches above the grill. If you can’t hold it there for more then 2 seconds, you’ve got high heat. If you can hold it there for 4-6 seconds without pulling away, the heat is medium-high.

Now, you’re ready to cook. Start by placing the steak (patted dry, seasoned and close to room temp.) over medium-high heat for at least 3 minutes without turning. This is about right for a 1-inch steak; thicker steaks will need another minute or two. Flip, and grill the other side for another 3 minutes. This should brown both sides and bring the steak to the brink of medium-rare.

To bring the steak up to desired doneness, move it to an area of the grill that has less-intense heat. Close the lid and cook for another 3-5 minutes before checking if it’s ready.

Although flames add excitement to grilling, they do nothing for the meat but burn it. Move the steak away from flare-ups as soon as they occur. In general, try to move the steak as little as possible while it cooks – too much movement prevents the steak from searing and getting a crispy, brown coating.

FINISHED
A thermometer is the most accurate way to gauge if steak is done to your liking. Although your thermometer will probably tell you that 145 degrees is rare for beef, any chef you ask will tell you differently. Rare in a chef’s mind, meaning very pink, is closer to 125 degrees; medium-rare is 125-130; medium, 130-135 degrees; medium-well, 135 to 140 degrees; and well, 140 and above. You can also give the steak a poke with your finger. Rare is squishy, medium-rare is spongy, and medium-well is taut. The steak will continue to cook at least five degrees when it’s off the grill or out of the pan, so err on the side of taking it away from heat earlier rather than later.

The final step, which should be included no matter how you cook your steak, is letting the meat rest before cutting into it. As the meat cools down the proteins begin to firm up and hold moisture, so when you cut into the steak all the juicy goodness won’t run out. About 8-10 minutes should do it, and a loose cover of foil or no cover at all is a much better choice than tightly sealing the meat up while it rests. If you’re like us, it takes at least 8-10 minutes to set the table and get everyone to sit down, so usually this step simply happens without having to think about it.

Hungry yet? Get over to your local butcher shop, grab a little salt and pepper, and give one of these cooking methods a try. In less time than it takes to drive to a restaurant, you’ll be sitting down at your kitchen table with a tender, sizzling hot, and dare we stay it, perfect steak on your plate.

This article was brought to you with one of the Challenge #1 (below) mini-challenges in mind. Commit to cooking your own food this month, and check back each Saturday for more Primal cooking tutorials.
Low Temp Cooking is that the process makes cheap but usually more flavorful cuts of tougher meats become texturally perfect and tender.

Ce

Source: Chef Mike
1 (10 pound) prime rib roast
10 cloves garlic, order minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 teaspoons dried thyme

Place the roast in a roasting pan with the fatty side up. In a small bowl, see mix together the garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme. Spread the mixture over the fatty layer of the roast, and let the roast sit out until it is at room temperature, no longer than 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F (260 degrees C).
Bake the roast for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, then reduce the temperature to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C), and continue roasting for an additional 60 to 75 minutes. The internal temperature of the roast should be at 145 degrees F (53 degrees C) for medium rare.
Allow the roast to rest for 10 or 15 minutes before carving so the meat can retain its juices.

The first winter Olympics took place on this day in 1924 in Chamonix, illness France. The olympics used to be a major highlight when I was a child. I loved watching the daring athletes perform amazing feats to compete for the gold. What an exhilarating feeling to know you are among the most gifted athletes in the whole world.

To help cultivate a love of the Olympic games and bring the excitement close to home hold a family or neighborhood olympic event. Ask each family member to suggest their favorite winter olympic event. If you are like us and not do not live within easy access of the snow work as a team to come up with creative ways to meet the needs for each event. When I lived up north my friends and I would gather garbage can lids, click shovels and trash bags to slide down icy hills. Plastic tied over shoes coupled with wet grass becomes an ice skating rink. Brooms and a birdie or puck are all you need for street hockey.

You will need:
A musical anthem and flag for each team and an official olympic banner.
A stop watch
Medals
Any materials needed for each event

Make medals using wood circles from the craft store. Drill a hole at the top. Spray paint gold, page silver or bronze. Then slip a ribbon through the hole and tie a knot.

Begin with a celebratory march. Have each team or family member carry their flag during the opening ceremony. Afterward celebrate each others victories with a warm mug of hot chocolate.

The first time I walked into a butcher shop I felt completely out of my element. Navigating the meat case was and can still be intimidating at times. To understand the meat case at a butcher shop or supermarket, clinic you must first understand the different cuts of meat.

There are three top grades of beef to consider when choosing a steak or roast. Prime, Choice, and Select. The grades are based on the age of the cattle and the degree of marbling of fat.

“Prime” graded meats are the most expensive cuts. You will not find prime graded beef in the grocery store as they are almost exclusively sold to restaurants and hotels. Prime cuts are produced from young well fed cattle. The greater the marbling of fat the more flavorful, tender and juicy the cut of meat.

Choice graded meats has less marbling but are still tender, juicy and flavorful as long as they are not over cooked.

Select is the third common grade of meat. It is leaner than the prime and choice with significantly less marbling. The lack of fat means less juice but a much lower price.

You can save money by purchasing a USDA Select grade cut and marinating before cooking to obtain the maximum flavor and tenderness. So how do you know the Choice meat in the supermarket is really what the label says? Unlike the vibrant white ribbons of fat in Prime and Choice meats Select or commercial grade (or lower grade) meats appear darker and the fat has an oily or more yellowish appearance.

The various cuts of beef:


1. Chuck:
The first cut of meat behind the head is the shoulder, known as Chuck. This section of the cow although flavorful is fairly tough and fatty requiring a slow cooking method (preferably in a liquid) to break down the fibers. Chuck steaks and roasts (chuck blade, chuck fillet, under blade, top blade and roasts) are the least expensive cuts of meat and well worth the price if cooked properly. For blade steaks be sure to marinade or braise well overnight before grilling. Cook stew meat and roasts slowly in liquid.

2. Brisket:

The Brisket is located below the Chuck. This is a very course meat as it surrounds the sternum. Ideally Brisket should be smoked slowly to soften the stringy fibers. Corned beef is brisket that has been cured in a salt brine.

3. Rib, short loin and sirloin:
The meat from the middle area of the cow is tender and well marbled with large pockets of fat making steaks juicy and full of flavor.

Prime Rib:

The prime rib-eye roast is by far the most expensive. Be prepared to shell out some serious cash in the neighborhood of $70 plus dollars. You probably won’t find “prime rib” at the grocery store. Instead, look for roasts labeled “rib roast,” “eye of the rib roast” (a boneless roast) or if the ribs are attached a “standing rib roast.”

Rib Steak: a prime rib cut into individual steaks. The rib steak has the bone attached while the rib eye steak the bone is removed.

Short Loin Steak:
Without the extra ripples of fat the short loin steak is less tender than a rib eye.

The Strip Steak: A long, narrow and slightly triangular top loin steak. With the bone removed it goes by many names: strip steak, Kansas City strip, New York strip and sirloin strip steak,

The Tenderloin: Tenderloin steaks are tender but pricey and the flavor is pretty mild. The thickest part of the tenderloin is known as chateaubriand. The meat behind the chateaubriand is the popular Filet mignon.

T-bone Steak: The last steak cut from the tenderloin is known for the t-shape bone that runs down the middle. The T-bone has a little of both the short loin and the tenderloin. The porterhouse is a t-bone steak with a bigger portion of tenderloin attached.

Sirloin Steak:
The sirloin comprised of the cow’s hip. Sirloin steaks are large and thin. The most well-known is the tri-tip.

Flank Steak: Directly below the loin and sirloin, on the underside of the cow’s belly, is the flank. Flank steak is a thin, wide, boneless cut. Flank steaks are offen used when making Fajitas. Cook them very quickly to medium-rare and slice thinly against the grain.

*Photos curtesy of The Meat Man, Delicious Magazine, Snider Bros, Western Beef and Seafood, Kobe Beef Store, Tony’s Market and Wiki Commons,

To understand the meat case at a butcher shop, buy more about you must first understand your cuts of meat.
The first cut of meat behind the head is the shoulder, view known in butchery terms as the chuck. Although flavorful, mind the often-used shoulder muscle is mostly tough and full of connective tissue. The meat from this section of a cow is less expensive and primarily used for slow-cooked roasts. However, if you’re looking for a bargain, a top blade steak, also called a flatiron, is a flavorful, fairly tender chuck steak to throw on the grill.

Next in the line-up, anatomically speaking, are the portions of a cow that butchers call the rib, short loin and sirloin. The meat from this top, middle area of the cow is the most tender, since the muscles move the least during a cow’s life (as compared to the shoulder, hind end and shank). From these three larger cuts come most of the steaks you see at the market.

RIB STEAK:
These steaks are basically a prime rib roast cut into smaller pieces. A rib steak has the bone attached, but the more popular rib eye steak has had the bone removed.

The rib eye is also sold as a Spencer steak (in the West) and Delmonico steak (on the East coast). Rib steaks usually have large pockets of fat, which add flavor and give the steak a moist, juicy texture.

SHORT LOIN STEAK:
Some people find a long, narrow and slightly triangular top loin steak to be less tender than a rib eye and miss the extra ripples of fat. Others think a top loin steak has just the right balance of flavor and tenderness, without being too fatty. When it has a bone, a top loin steak is known as a shell steak. When the bone is removed it goes by many names: a strip steak, Kansas City strip, New York strip and sirloin strip steak, (which, confusingly, comes from the short loin, not the sirloin) are all the same cut of steak.

Also cut from the short loin portion of a cow is the tenderloin, a portion of meat considered to be extremely tender (hence the name). Tenderloins are easy to recognize in the meat case, due to a long, cylindrical shape that’s thicker on one end then tapers down. A tenderloin is cut into many different types of steak, and all are pretty pricey. The thickest part (usually about 3 inches thick) of the tenderloin is cut into a steak known as chateaubriand. Filet mignon (also known as tenderloin steak) is cut from the meat behind the chateaubriand and is slightly less thick. Filet Mignon is thought to be the most tender part of the tenderloin, but on the downside, the flavor can be pretty mild.

Last but not least, the short loin gives us the t-bone, a steak named for, you guessed it, a “T” shaped bone that runs down the middle. On one side of the bone is meat from the top loin, and on the other is a thin strip of tenderloin. Some say this steak combines the best of both worlds: the tenderness of a tenderloin steak and the rich, “meaty” flavor of a top loin steak. If you’re really hungry or feeling particularly manly, skip the T-bone and go straight for the porterhouse, which is simply a t-bone steak with a bigger portion of tenderloin attached.

Sirloin Steak
The sirloin is basically the cow’s hip. Sirloin steaks are usually fairly large but thin, and the meat is both moderately flavorful and moderately tender. Steaks from this region of a cow tend to be a good value. The most well-known among them are the top sirloin steak and the tri-tip, both boneless. Lesser-known steaks cut from the sirloin are the pin-bone, flat-bone, round-bone and wedge-bone steaks.

Directly below the loin and sirloin, on the underside of the cow’s belly, is the flank. Flank steak is a thin, wide, boneless cut with a texture (grain) that looks very stringy. Cooked very quickly to medium-rare and sliced thinly against the grain, the chewy texture is less noticeable and you will be rewarded with rich flavor.

SEASONING THE MEAT:
f a high-quality cut of meat is cooked correctly, you really don’t need much more than salt and pepper. Which makes one think that seasoning a steak is a very short topic, until of course, you consider the hotly debated “salt early” and “salt late” theories.

The Salt Early Theory: Salting meat many hours or even days before cooking breaks down the protein in meat and makes it more tender. Initially, the salt draws out moisture, but over time the meat re-absorbs the moisture, which is now flavored with salt and therefore adds more succulent flavor to the meat.

The Salt Late Theory: Salt dries meat out. Period. Don’t add it until immediately before cooking.

In this debate, we take the middle road. In our experience, the salt early theory rings true with larger or tougher cuts of beef. For your average steak, salting about a half-hour before cooking is ideal and seasoning right before cooking works just fine, too.

Before seasoning, always make sure to pat the steak dry. Some people like to brush the steak with oil (avoid olive oil, which can become bitter at high heats) or a combination of melted butter and oil before seasoning to help the outside of the steak brown. Season both sides of the steak, using a teaspoon or less of both salt and pepper. Remember, you can always add more seasoning after the steak cooks, but you can’t un-salt the meat.

After seasoning, let the meat sit on the counter for a bit so it comes up to room temperature (a good rule of thumb is at least 10 minutes for every inch of thickness).

If you want to branch out from salt and pepper, marinades and rubs can be used on any type of steak, but are an especially great way to bring flavor to less-expensive cuts.

Cooking Methods

What we love about cooking steak on the stove is how easy it is to get a crisp, caramelized coating on the outside of the steak without over-cooking the middle. More often than not, this is harder to achieve on a grill. Using a combination of the stove-top and the oven is a tried and true method for perfect steak. The question is, which comes first?
The most common method is searing the steak first on the stove, then finishing it in a hot oven.

Pat dry and season the steak.
Pre-heat the oven to 450-500 degrees Fahrenheit.
When the oven is up to temp, drizzle a little oil in an oven-proof pan (cast iron works great) and then heat the pan on the stove over high heat for several minutes until it just barely starts to smoke (you can give the pan a head start by putting it in the oven while it preheats).
Drop the steak in the pan and let it sit without touching it for 3 minutes. Be prepared to turn on your fan or open some windows, as there will be smoke.
If the steak is stuck to the pan, it’s not done browning yet and needs a little more time. If it comes up relatively easily after 3 minutes, flip the steak.
Put the pan, with the steak in it, in the oven.
Let it bake for several minutes, then check by temperature or texture for doneness.
A small but vocal population of steak lovers swears by the “reverse sear” technique. The theory behind this method is that cooking the steak in the oven first will dry the outside of the steak while slowly cooking the inside and keeping it tender. If the outside of the steak is dry, it will then sear faster and more efficiently in a hot pan.

Pat dry and season the steak.
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place a wire cooling rack on a cookie sheet then put the steak on the cooling rack. This allows hot air to circulate around the entire steak.
Bake the steak until the internal temperature is 100-110 degrees.
Drizzle a little oil in a pan over high heat. Just as the pan begins to smoke, drop the steak in the pan.
Cook the steak for 2 minutes on each side.
So does this method really yield a more perfect steak? We have to admit, it did brown the outside of the steak very nicely while leaving the inside really juicy and tender. As a bonus, you get nice grill marks from baking the meat on the cooling rack. Give it a try, and you be the judge.

In some people’s minds, however, the only way to cook a steak is over an open flame in the great outdoors. Many of these same people consider grilling an art form that cannot be mastered overnight. It takes years of experimenting with different types of grills, different heat levels and cooking times and various seasonings and marinades. This may be true for some fanatics out there, but we feel pretty confident that you’ll get a great steak the first time out if you pay attention to a few key things.

The “charcoal vs gas” debate is one that has gone for decades, and we think they both have their place. For convenience and the easy ability to control heat levels, a gas grill can’t be beat. For depth of flavor, charcoal usually wins out.

Either way, you never want to put a steak on a cold grill. Wait until it heats up. For a gas grill, this is easy. Simply turn the knob to medium-high and keep the lid closed for 10-15 minutes. For a charcoal grill, the type of charcoal you use will affect the heat level as well as the flavor of the meat. Briquettes are easy to light, hold steady heat and are inexpensive, but they are also made with questionable additives that can give meat a chemical flavor. We favor hardwood charcoal (made from oak, hickory, mesquite, etc) for a natural, smoky flavor. Hardwood charcoal can be a little trickier to light and once it gets going it burns hotter and more unpredictably, which requires keeping a closer eye on the grill. A small price to pay, we think.

There is no point in using hardwood charcoal and then dousing it in lighter fluid, which will make your meat taste like it was marinated in petroleum. Instead, use a charcoal chimney starter to stack and light the coals. Once the coals are lit (usually about 30 coals are needed to provide adequate heat) wait until they change from bright red to an ashy white, which usually takes at least 20 minutes. Spread the coals out, placing most of them on one side to create a high heat side and a few on the other side of the grill to create a low heat side. Cover the grill for about five minutes so the heat builds to medium-high. To test the heat, simply hold your hand a few inches above the grill. If you can’t hold it there for more then 2 seconds, you’ve got high heat. If you can hold it there for 4-6 seconds without pulling away, the heat is medium-high.

Now, you’re ready to cook. Start by placing the steak (patted dry, seasoned and close to room temp.) over medium-high heat for at least 3 minutes without turning. This is about right for a 1-inch steak; thicker steaks will need another minute or two. Flip, and grill the other side for another 3 minutes. This should brown both sides and bring the steak to the brink of medium-rare.

To bring the steak up to desired doneness, move it to an area of the grill that has less-intense heat. Close the lid and cook for another 3-5 minutes before checking if it’s ready.

Although flames add excitement to grilling, they do nothing for the meat but burn it. Move the steak away from flare-ups as soon as they occur. In general, try to move the steak as little as possible while it cooks – too much movement prevents the steak from searing and getting a crispy, brown coating.

FINISHED
A thermometer is the most accurate way to gauge if steak is done to your liking. Although your thermometer will probably tell you that 145 degrees is rare for beef, any chef you ask will tell you differently. Rare in a chef’s mind, meaning very pink, is closer to 125 degrees; medium-rare is 125-130; medium, 130-135 degrees; medium-well, 135 to 140 degrees; and well, 140 and above. You can also give the steak a poke with your finger. Rare is squishy, medium-rare is spongy, and medium-well is taut. The steak will continue to cook at least five degrees when it’s off the grill or out of the pan, so err on the side of taking it away from heat earlier rather than later.

The final step, which should be included no matter how you cook your steak, is letting the meat rest before cutting into it. As the meat cools down the proteins begin to firm up and hold moisture, so when you cut into the steak all the juicy goodness won’t run out. About 8-10 minutes should do it, and a loose cover of foil or no cover at all is a much better choice than tightly sealing the meat up while it rests. If you’re like us, it takes at least 8-10 minutes to set the table and get everyone to sit down, so usually this step simply happens without having to think about it.

Hungry yet? Get over to your local butcher shop, grab a little salt and pepper, and give one of these cooking methods a try. In less time than it takes to drive to a restaurant, you’ll be sitting down at your kitchen table with a tender, sizzling hot, and dare we stay it, perfect steak on your plate.

This article was brought to you with one of the Challenge #1 (below) mini-challenges in mind. Commit to cooking your own food this month, and check back each Saturday for more Primal cooking tutorials.
Low Temp Cooking is that the process makes cheap but usually more flavorful cuts of tougher meats become texturally perfect and tender.

Ce

Source: Chef Mike
1 (10 pound) prime rib roast
10 cloves garlic, order minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 teaspoons dried thyme

Place the roast in a roasting pan with the fatty side up. In a small bowl, see mix together the garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme. Spread the mixture over the fatty layer of the roast, and let the roast sit out until it is at room temperature, no longer than 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F (260 degrees C).
Bake the roast for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, then reduce the temperature to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C), and continue roasting for an additional 60 to 75 minutes. The internal temperature of the roast should be at 145 degrees F (53 degrees C) for medium rare.
Allow the roast to rest for 10 or 15 minutes before carving so the meat can retain its juices.

The first winter Olympics took place on this day in 1924 in Chamonix, illness France. The olympics used to be a major highlight when I was a child. I loved watching the daring athletes perform amazing feats to compete for the gold. What an exhilarating feeling to know you are among the most gifted athletes in the whole world.

To help cultivate a love of the Olympic games and bring the excitement close to home hold a family or neighborhood olympic event. Ask each family member to suggest their favorite winter olympic event. If you are like us and not do not live within easy access of the snow work as a team to come up with creative ways to meet the needs for each event. When I lived up north my friends and I would gather garbage can lids, click shovels and trash bags to slide down icy hills. Plastic tied over shoes coupled with wet grass becomes an ice skating rink. Brooms and a birdie or puck are all you need for street hockey.

You will need:
A musical anthem and flag for each team and an official olympic banner.
A stop watch
Medals
Any materials needed for each event

Make medals using wood circles from the craft store. Drill a hole at the top. Spray paint gold, page silver or bronze. Then slip a ribbon through the hole and tie a knot.

Begin with a celebratory march. Have each team or family member carry their flag during the opening ceremony. Afterward celebrate each others victories with a warm mug of hot chocolate.
To understand the meat case at a butcher shop, ampoule you must first understand your cuts of meat.
The top three grades of beef are Prime, Choice, and Select.Meats graded “Prime” are sold almost exclusively to restaurants, so you probably won’t find “prime rib” at the grocery store. Instead, look for roasts labeled “rib roast,” “eye of the rib roast” or “standing rib roast.” A boneless rib roast may be called “eye of the rib” roast–or if the ribs are still attached, a “standing rib” roast. The meat will be more flavorful if you roast it with the ribs still attached, but a boneless roast is definitely easier to carve.
1. Chuck:
The first cut of meat behind the head is the shoulder, known in butchery terms as chuck. This section of the cow although flavorful is fairly tough and fatty requiring a slow cooking method (preferably in a liquid) to break down the fibers. Chuck steaks and roasts (chuck blade, chuck fillet, under blade, top blade and roasts) are the least expensive cuts of meat and well worth the price if cooked properly. For blade steaks be sure to marinade or braise well overnight before grilling. Cook stew meat and roasts slowly in liquid.

2. Rib, short loin and sirloin:
The meat from the middle area of the cow is tender and well marbled with large pockets of fat making the steaks juicy and full of flavor.

Prime Rib: The blessed king of all cuts often to referred to as a 7 bone roast or rib-eye. The prime rib-eye roast is by far the most expensive. Be prepared to shell out some serious cash in the neighborhood of $70 plus dollars

The rib is
Rib Steak: a prime rib cut into individual steaks. The rib steak has the bone attached while the rib eye steak the bone is removed.

TRib steaks usually have large pockets of fat, which add flavor and give the steak a moist, juicy texture.

SHORT LOIN STEAK:
Some people find a long, narrow and slightly triangular top loin steak to be less tender than a rib eye and miss the extra ripples of fat. Others think a top loin steak has just the right balance of flavor and tenderness, without being too fatty. When it has a bone, a top loin steak is known as a shell steak. When the bone is removed it goes by many names: a strip steak, Kansas City strip, New York strip and sirloin strip steak, (which, confusingly, comes from the short loin, not the sirloin) are all the same cut of steak.

Also cut from the short loin portion of a cow is the tenderloin, a portion of meat considered to be extremely tender (hence the name). Tenderloins are easy to recognize in the meat case, due to a long, cylindrical shape that’s thicker on one end then tapers down. A tenderloin is cut into many different types of steak, and all are pretty pricey. The thickest part (usually about 3 inches thick) of the tenderloin is cut into a steak known as chateaubriand. Filet mignon (also known as tenderloin steak) is cut from the meat behind the chateaubriand and is slightly less thick. Filet Mignon is thought to be the most tender part of the tenderloin, but on the downside, the flavor can be pretty mild.

Last but not least, the short loin gives us the t-bone, a steak named for, you guessed it, a “T” shaped bone that runs down the middle. On one side of the bone is meat from the top loin, and on the other is a thin strip of tenderloin. Some say this steak combines the best of both worlds: the tenderness of a tenderloin steak and the rich, “meaty” flavor of a top loin steak. If you’re really hungry or feeling particularly manly, skip the T-bone and go straight for the porterhouse, which is simply a t-bone steak with a bigger portion of tenderloin attached.

Sirloin Steak
The sirloin is basically the cow’s hip. Sirloin steaks are usually fairly large but thin, and the meat is both moderately flavorful and moderately tender. Steaks from this region of a cow tend to be a good value. The most well-known among them are the top sirloin steak and the tri-tip, both boneless. Lesser-known steaks cut from the sirloin are the pin-bone, flat-bone, round-bone and wedge-bone steaks.

Directly below the loin and sirloin, on the underside of the cow’s belly, is the flank. Flank steak is a thin, wide, boneless cut with a texture (grain) that looks very stringy. Cooked very quickly to medium-rare and sliced thinly against the grain, the chewy texture is less noticeable and you will be rewarded with rich flavor.

SEASONING THE MEAT:
f a high-quality cut of meat is cooked correctly, you really don’t need much more than salt and pepper. Which makes one think that seasoning a steak is a very short topic, until of course, you consider the hotly debated “salt early” and “salt late” theories.

The Salt Early Theory: Salting meat many hours or even days before cooking breaks down the protein in meat and makes it more tender. Initially, the salt draws out moisture, but over time the meat re-absorbs the moisture, which is now flavored with salt and therefore adds more succulent flavor to the meat.

The Salt Late Theory: Salt dries meat out. Period. Don’t add it until immediately before cooking.

In this debate, we take the middle road. In our experience, the salt early theory rings true with larger or tougher cuts of beef. For your average steak, salting about a half-hour before cooking is ideal and seasoning right before cooking works just fine, too.

Before seasoning, always make sure to pat the steak dry. Some people like to brush the steak with oil (avoid olive oil, which can become bitter at high heats) or a combination of melted butter and oil before seasoning to help the outside of the steak brown. Season both sides of the steak, using a teaspoon or less of both salt and pepper. Remember, you can always add more seasoning after the steak cooks, but you can’t un-salt the meat.

After seasoning, let the meat sit on the counter for a bit so it comes up to room temperature (a good rule of thumb is at least 10 minutes for every inch of thickness).

If you want to branch out from salt and pepper, marinades and rubs can be used on any type of steak, but are an especially great way to bring flavor to less-expensive cuts.

Cooking Methods

What we love about cooking steak on the stove is how easy it is to get a crisp, caramelized coating on the outside of the steak without over-cooking the middle. More often than not, this is harder to achieve on a grill. Using a combination of the stove-top and the oven is a tried and true method for perfect steak. The question is, which comes first?
The most common method is searing the steak first on the stove, then finishing it in a hot oven.

Pat dry and season the steak.
Pre-heat the oven to 450-500 degrees Fahrenheit.
When the oven is up to temp, drizzle a little oil in an oven-proof pan (cast iron works great) and then heat the pan on the stove over high heat for several minutes until it just barely starts to smoke (you can give the pan a head start by putting it in the oven while it preheats).
Drop the steak in the pan and let it sit without touching it for 3 minutes. Be prepared to turn on your fan or open some windows, as there will be smoke.
If the steak is stuck to the pan, it’s not done browning yet and needs a little more time. If it comes up relatively easily after 3 minutes, flip the steak.
Put the pan, with the steak in it, in the oven.
Let it bake for several minutes, then check by temperature or texture for doneness.
A small but vocal population of steak lovers swears by the “reverse sear” technique. The theory behind this method is that cooking the steak in the oven first will dry the outside of the steak while slowly cooking the inside and keeping it tender. If the outside of the steak is dry, it will then sear faster and more efficiently in a hot pan.

Pat dry and season the steak.
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place a wire cooling rack on a cookie sheet then put the steak on the cooling rack. This allows hot air to circulate around the entire steak.
Bake the steak until the internal temperature is 100-110 degrees.
Drizzle a little oil in a pan over high heat. Just as the pan begins to smoke, drop the steak in the pan.
Cook the steak for 2 minutes on each side.
So does this method really yield a more perfect steak? We have to admit, it did brown the outside of the steak very nicely while leaving the inside really juicy and tender. As a bonus, you get nice grill marks from baking the meat on the cooling rack. Give it a try, and you be the judge.

In some people’s minds, however, the only way to cook a steak is over an open flame in the great outdoors. Many of these same people consider grilling an art form that cannot be mastered overnight. It takes years of experimenting with different types of grills, different heat levels and cooking times and various seasonings and marinades. This may be true for some fanatics out there, but we feel pretty confident that you’ll get a great steak the first time out if you pay attention to a few key things.

The “charcoal vs gas” debate is one that has gone for decades, and we think they both have their place. For convenience and the easy ability to control heat levels, a gas grill can’t be beat. For depth of flavor, charcoal usually wins out.

Either way, you never want to put a steak on a cold grill. Wait until it heats up. For a gas grill, this is easy. Simply turn the knob to medium-high and keep the lid closed for 10-15 minutes. For a charcoal grill, the type of charcoal you use will affect the heat level as well as the flavor of the meat. Briquettes are easy to light, hold steady heat and are inexpensive, but they are also made with questionable additives that can give meat a chemical flavor. We favor hardwood charcoal (made from oak, hickory, mesquite, etc) for a natural, smoky flavor. Hardwood charcoal can be a little trickier to light and once it gets going it burns hotter and more unpredictably, which requires keeping a closer eye on the grill. A small price to pay, we think.

There is no point in using hardwood charcoal and then dousing it in lighter fluid, which will make your meat taste like it was marinated in petroleum. Instead, use a charcoal chimney starter to stack and light the coals. Once the coals are lit (usually about 30 coals are needed to provide adequate heat) wait until they change from bright red to an ashy white, which usually takes at least 20 minutes. Spread the coals out, placing most of them on one side to create a high heat side and a few on the other side of the grill to create a low heat side. Cover the grill for about five minutes so the heat builds to medium-high. To test the heat, simply hold your hand a few inches above the grill. If you can’t hold it there for more then 2 seconds, you’ve got high heat. If you can hold it there for 4-6 seconds without pulling away, the heat is medium-high.

Now, you’re ready to cook. Start by placing the steak (patted dry, seasoned and close to room temp.) over medium-high heat for at least 3 minutes without turning. This is about right for a 1-inch steak; thicker steaks will need another minute or two. Flip, and grill the other side for another 3 minutes. This should brown both sides and bring the steak to the brink of medium-rare.

To bring the steak up to desired doneness, move it to an area of the grill that has less-intense heat. Close the lid and cook for another 3-5 minutes before checking if it’s ready.

Although flames add excitement to grilling, they do nothing for the meat but burn it. Move the steak away from flare-ups as soon as they occur. In general, try to move the steak as little as possible while it cooks – too much movement prevents the steak from searing and getting a crispy, brown coating.

FINISHED
A thermometer is the most accurate way to gauge if steak is done to your liking. Although your thermometer will probably tell you that 145 degrees is rare for beef, any chef you ask will tell you differently. Rare in a chef’s mind, meaning very pink, is closer to 125 degrees; medium-rare is 125-130; medium, 130-135 degrees; medium-well, 135 to 140 degrees; and well, 140 and above. You can also give the steak a poke with your finger. Rare is squishy, medium-rare is spongy, and medium-well is taut. The steak will continue to cook at least five degrees when it’s off the grill or out of the pan, so err on the side of taking it away from heat earlier rather than later.

The final step, which should be included no matter how you cook your steak, is letting the meat rest before cutting into it. As the meat cools down the proteins begin to firm up and hold moisture, so when you cut into the steak all the juicy goodness won’t run out. About 8-10 minutes should do it, and a loose cover of foil or no cover at all is a much better choice than tightly sealing the meat up while it rests. If you’re like us, it takes at least 8-10 minutes to set the table and get everyone to sit down, so usually this step simply happens without having to think about it.

Hungry yet? Get over to your local butcher shop, grab a little salt and pepper, and give one of these cooking methods a try. In less time than it takes to drive to a restaurant, you’ll be sitting down at your kitchen table with a tender, sizzling hot, and dare we stay it, perfect steak on your plate.

This article was brought to you with one of the Challenge #1 (below) mini-challenges in mind. Commit to cooking your own food this month, and check back each Saturday for more Primal cooking tutorials.
Low Temp Cooking is that the process makes cheap but usually more flavorful cuts of tougher meats become texturally perfect and tender.

The first time I walked into a butcher shop I felt completely out of my element. Navigating the meat case was and can still be intimidating at times. To understand the meat case at a butcher shop, here sickness you must first understand the different cuts of meat. In this tutorial we will focus on the standard cuts of beef.

The top three grades of beef are Prime, sickness and Choice, and Select. The grades are based on the age of the cattle and the degree of marbling of fat.

“Prime” graded meats are the most expensive cuts. You will not find prime graded beef in the grocery store as they are almost exclusively sold to restaurants and hotels. Prime cuts are produced from young well fed cattle. The greater the marbling of fat the more flavorful, tender and juicy the cut of meat.

Choice graded meats has less marbling but are still considered tender, juicy and flavorful as long as they are not over cooked.

Select is the third common grade of meat. It is leaner than the prime and choice with significantly less marbling. The lack of fat means less juice and lower price. You can save money by purchasing a USDA Select graded cut and marinating before cooking to obtain the maximum flavor and tenderness.

So how do you know the choice meat in the supermarket is really what the label says? Select or commercial grade meats appear darker and the fat has an oily or more yellowish appearance.

The various cuts of beef:
1. Chuck:
The first cut of meat behind the head is the shoulder, known in butchery terms as chuck. This section of the cow although flavorful is fairly tough and fatty requiring a slow cooking method (preferably in a liquid) to break down the fibers. Chuck steaks and roasts (chuck blade, chuck fillet, under blade, top blade and roasts) are the least expensive cuts of meat and well worth the price if cooked properly. For blade steaks be sure to marinade or braise well overnight before grilling. Cook stew meat and roasts slowly in liquid.

2. Rib, short loin and sirloin:
You probably won’t find “prime rib” at the grocery store. Instead, look for roasts labeled “rib roast,” “eye of the rib roast” (a boneless roast) or if the ribs are attached a “standing rib roast.” The meat from the middle area of the cow is tender and well marbled with large pockets of fat making steaks juicy and full of flavor.

The prime rib-eye roast is by far the most expensive. Be prepared to shell out some serious cash in the neighborhood of $70 plus dollars

Rib Steak: a prime rib cut into individual steaks. The rib steak has the bone attached while the rib eye steak the bone is removed.

SHORT LOIN STEAK:
The Strip Steak: A long, narrow and slightly triangular top loin steak. The loin steak is less tender than a rib eye without the extra ripples of fat. With the bone removed it goes by many names: strip steak, Kansas City strip, New York strip and sirloin strip steak,

The Tenderloin: Tenderloin steaks are tender but pricey and the flavor is pretty mild. The thickest part of the tenderloin is known as chateaubriand. The meat behind the chateaubriand is the popular Filet mignon.

T-bone Steak: The last steak cut from the tenderloin is known for the t-shape bone that runs down the middle. The T-bone has The porterhouse is a t-bone steak with a bigger portion of tenderloin attached.

Sirloin Steak
The sirloin is basically the cow’s hip. Sirloin steaks are usually fairly large but thin, and the meat is both moderately flavorful and moderately tender. Steaks from this region of a cow tend to be a good value. The most well-known among them are the top sirloin steak and the tri-tip, both boneless. Lesser-known steaks cut from the sirloin are the pin-bone, flat-bone, round-bone and wedge-bone steaks.

Directly below the loin and sirloin, on the underside of the cow’s belly, is the flank. Flank steak is a thin, wide, boneless cut with a texture (grain) that looks very stringy. Cooked very quickly to medium-rare and sliced thinly against the grain, the chewy texture is less noticeable and you will be rewarded with rich flavor.

SEASONING THE MEAT:
f a high-quality cut of meat is cooked correctly, you really don’t need much more than salt and pepper. Which makes one think that seasoning a steak is a very short topic, until of course, you consider the hotly debated “salt early” and “salt late” theories.

The Salt Early Theory: Salting meat many hours or even days before cooking breaks down the protein in meat and makes it more tender. Initially, the salt draws out moisture, but over time the meat re-absorbs the moisture, which is now flavored with salt and therefore adds more succulent flavor to the meat.

The Salt Late Theory: Salt dries meat out. Period. Don’t add it until immediately before cooking.

In this debate, we take the middle road. In our experience, the salt early theory rings true with larger or tougher cuts of beef. For your average steak, salting about a half-hour before cooking is ideal and seasoning right before cooking works just fine, too.

Before seasoning, always make sure to pat the steak dry. Some people like to brush the steak with oil (avoid olive oil, which can become bitter at high heats) or a combination of melted butter and oil before seasoning to help the outside of the steak brown. Season both sides of the steak, using a teaspoon or less of both salt and pepper. Remember, you can always add more seasoning after the steak cooks, but you can’t un-salt the meat.

After seasoning, let the meat sit on the counter for a bit so it comes up to room temperature (a good rule of thumb is at least 10 minutes for every inch of thickness).

If you want to branch out from salt and pepper, marinades and rubs can be used on any type of steak, but are an especially great way to bring flavor to less-expensive cuts.

Cooking Methods

What we love about cooking steak on the stove is how easy it is to get a crisp, caramelized coating on the outside of the steak without over-cooking the middle. More often than not, this is harder to achieve on a grill. Using a combination of the stove-top and the oven is a tried and true method for perfect steak. The question is, which comes first?
The most common method is searing the steak first on the stove, then finishing it in a hot oven.

Pat dry and season the steak.
Pre-heat the oven to 450-500 degrees Fahrenheit.
When the oven is up to temp, drizzle a little oil in an oven-proof pan (cast iron works great) and then heat the pan on the stove over high heat for several minutes until it just barely starts to smoke (you can give the pan a head start by putting it in the oven while it preheats).
Drop the steak in the pan and let it sit without touching it for 3 minutes. Be prepared to turn on your fan or open some windows, as there will be smoke.
If the steak is stuck to the pan, it’s not done browning yet and needs a little more time. If it comes up relatively easily after 3 minutes, flip the steak.
Put the pan, with the steak in it, in the oven.
Let it bake for several minutes, then check by temperature or texture for doneness.
A small but vocal population of steak lovers swears by the “reverse sear” technique. The theory behind this method is that cooking the steak in the oven first will dry the outside of the steak while slowly cooking the inside and keeping it tender. If the outside of the steak is dry, it will then sear faster and more efficiently in a hot pan.

Pat dry and season the steak.
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place a wire cooling rack on a cookie sheet then put the steak on the cooling rack. This allows hot air to circulate around the entire steak.
Bake the steak until the internal temperature is 100-110 degrees.
Drizzle a little oil in a pan over high heat. Just as the pan begins to smoke, drop the steak in the pan.
Cook the steak for 2 minutes on each side.
So does this method really yield a more perfect steak? We have to admit, it did brown the outside of the steak very nicely while leaving the inside really juicy and tender. As a bonus, you get nice grill marks from baking the meat on the cooling rack. Give it a try, and you be the judge.

In some people’s minds, however, the only way to cook a steak is over an open flame in the great outdoors. Many of these same people consider grilling an art form that cannot be mastered overnight. It takes years of experimenting with different types of grills, different heat levels and cooking times and various seasonings and marinades. This may be true for some fanatics out there, but we feel pretty confident that you’ll get a great steak the first time out if you pay attention to a few key things.

The “charcoal vs gas” debate is one that has gone for decades, and we think they both have their place. For convenience and the easy ability to control heat levels, a gas grill can’t be beat. For depth of flavor, charcoal usually wins out.

Either way, you never want to put a steak on a cold grill. Wait until it heats up. For a gas grill, this is easy. Simply turn the knob to medium-high and keep the lid closed for 10-15 minutes. For a charcoal grill, the type of charcoal you use will affect the heat level as well as the flavor of the meat. Briquettes are easy to light, hold steady heat and are inexpensive, but they are also made with questionable additives that can give meat a chemical flavor. We favor hardwood charcoal (made from oak, hickory, mesquite, etc) for a natural, smoky flavor. Hardwood charcoal can be a little trickier to light and once it gets going it burns hotter and more unpredictably, which requires keeping a closer eye on the grill. A small price to pay, we think.

There is no point in using hardwood charcoal and then dousing it in lighter fluid, which will make your meat taste like it was marinated in petroleum. Instead, use a charcoal chimney starter to stack and light the coals. Once the coals are lit (usually about 30 coals are needed to provide adequate heat) wait until they change from bright red to an ashy white, which usually takes at least 20 minutes. Spread the coals out, placing most of them on one side to create a high heat side and a few on the other side of the grill to create a low heat side. Cover the grill for about five minutes so the heat builds to medium-high. To test the heat, simply hold your hand a few inches above the grill. If you can’t hold it there for more then 2 seconds, you’ve got high heat. If you can hold it there for 4-6 seconds without pulling away, the heat is medium-high.

Now, you’re ready to cook. Start by placing the steak (patted dry, seasoned and close to room temp.) over medium-high heat for at least 3 minutes without turning. This is about right for a 1-inch steak; thicker steaks will need another minute or two. Flip, and grill the other side for another 3 minutes. This should brown both sides and bring the steak to the brink of medium-rare.

To bring the steak up to desired doneness, move it to an area of the grill that has less-intense heat. Close the lid and cook for another 3-5 minutes before checking if it’s ready.

Although flames add excitement to grilling, they do nothing for the meat but burn it. Move the steak away from flare-ups as soon as they occur. In general, try to move the steak as little as possible while it cooks – too much movement prevents the steak from searing and getting a crispy, brown coating.

FINISHED
A thermometer is the most accurate way to gauge if steak is done to your liking. Although your thermometer will probably tell you that 145 degrees is rare for beef, any chef you ask will tell you differently. Rare in a chef’s mind, meaning very pink, is closer to 125 degrees; medium-rare is 125-130; medium, 130-135 degrees; medium-well, 135 to 140 degrees; and well, 140 and above. You can also give the steak a poke with your finger. Rare is squishy, medium-rare is spongy, and medium-well is taut. The steak will continue to cook at least five degrees when it’s off the grill or out of the pan, so err on the side of taking it away from heat earlier rather than later.

The final step, which should be included no matter how you cook your steak, is letting the meat rest before cutting into it. As the meat cools down the proteins begin to firm up and hold moisture, so when you cut into the steak all the juicy goodness won’t run out. About 8-10 minutes should do it, and a loose cover of foil or no cover at all is a much better choice than tightly sealing the meat up while it rests. If you’re like us, it takes at least 8-10 minutes to set the table and get everyone to sit down, so usually this step simply happens without having to think about it.

Hungry yet? Get over to your local butcher shop, grab a little salt and pepper, and give one of these cooking methods a try. In less time than it takes to drive to a restaurant, you’ll be sitting down at your kitchen table with a tender, sizzling hot, and dare we stay it, perfect steak on your plate.

This article was brought to you with one of the Challenge #1 (below) mini-challenges in mind. Commit to cooking your own food this month, and check back each Saturday for more Primal cooking tutorials.
Low Temp Cooking is that the process makes cheap but usually more flavorful cuts of tougher meats become texturally perfect and tender.
The first time I walked into a butcher shop I felt completely out of my element. Navigating the meat case was and can still be intimidating at times. To understand the meat case at a butcher shop, here sickness you must first understand the different cuts of meat. In this tutorial we will focus on the standard cuts of beef.

The top three grades of beef are Prime, sickness and Choice, and Select. The grades are based on the age of the cattle and the degree of marbling of fat.

“Prime” graded meats are the most expensive cuts. You will not find prime graded beef in the grocery store as they are almost exclusively sold to restaurants and hotels. Prime cuts are produced from young well fed cattle. The greater the marbling of fat the more flavorful, tender and juicy the cut of meat.

Choice graded meats has less marbling but are still considered tender, juicy and flavorful as long as they are not over cooked.

Select is the third common grade of meat. It is leaner than the prime and choice with significantly less marbling. The lack of fat means less juice and lower price. You can save money by purchasing a USDA Select graded cut and marinating before cooking to obtain the maximum flavor and tenderness.

So how do you know the choice meat in the supermarket is really what the label says? Select or commercial grade meats appear darker and the fat has an oily or more yellowish appearance.

The various cuts of beef:
1. Chuck:
The first cut of meat behind the head is the shoulder, known in butchery terms as chuck. This section of the cow although flavorful is fairly tough and fatty requiring a slow cooking method (preferably in a liquid) to break down the fibers. Chuck steaks and roasts (chuck blade, chuck fillet, under blade, top blade and roasts) are the least expensive cuts of meat and well worth the price if cooked properly. For blade steaks be sure to marinade or braise well overnight before grilling. Cook stew meat and roasts slowly in liquid.

2. Rib, short loin and sirloin:
You probably won’t find “prime rib” at the grocery store. Instead, look for roasts labeled “rib roast,” “eye of the rib roast” (a boneless roast) or if the ribs are attached a “standing rib roast.” The meat from the middle area of the cow is tender and well marbled with large pockets of fat making steaks juicy and full of flavor.

The prime rib-eye roast is by far the most expensive. Be prepared to shell out some serious cash in the neighborhood of $70 plus dollars

Rib Steak: a prime rib cut into individual steaks. The rib steak has the bone attached while the rib eye steak the bone is removed.

SHORT LOIN STEAK:
The Strip Steak: A long, narrow and slightly triangular top loin steak. The loin steak is less tender than a rib eye without the extra ripples of fat. With the bone removed it goes by many names: strip steak, Kansas City strip, New York strip and sirloin strip steak,

The Tenderloin: Tenderloin steaks are tender but pricey and the flavor is pretty mild. The thickest part of the tenderloin is known as chateaubriand. The meat behind the chateaubriand is the popular Filet mignon.

T-bone Steak: The last steak cut from the tenderloin is known for the t-shape bone that runs down the middle. The T-bone has The porterhouse is a t-bone steak with a bigger portion of tenderloin attached.

Sirloin Steak
The sirloin is basically the cow’s hip. Sirloin steaks are usually fairly large but thin, and the meat is both moderately flavorful and moderately tender. Steaks from this region of a cow tend to be a good value. The most well-known among them are the top sirloin steak and the tri-tip, both boneless. Lesser-known steaks cut from the sirloin are the pin-bone, flat-bone, round-bone and wedge-bone steaks.

Directly below the loin and sirloin, on the underside of the cow’s belly, is the flank. Flank steak is a thin, wide, boneless cut with a texture (grain) that looks very stringy. Cooked very quickly to medium-rare and sliced thinly against the grain, the chewy texture is less noticeable and you will be rewarded with rich flavor.

SEASONING THE MEAT:
f a high-quality cut of meat is cooked correctly, you really don’t need much more than salt and pepper. Which makes one think that seasoning a steak is a very short topic, until of course, you consider the hotly debated “salt early” and “salt late” theories.

The Salt Early Theory: Salting meat many hours or even days before cooking breaks down the protein in meat and makes it more tender. Initially, the salt draws out moisture, but over time the meat re-absorbs the moisture, which is now flavored with salt and therefore adds more succulent flavor to the meat.

The Salt Late Theory: Salt dries meat out. Period. Don’t add it until immediately before cooking.

In this debate, we take the middle road. In our experience, the salt early theory rings true with larger or tougher cuts of beef. For your average steak, salting about a half-hour before cooking is ideal and seasoning right before cooking works just fine, too.

Before seasoning, always make sure to pat the steak dry. Some people like to brush the steak with oil (avoid olive oil, which can become bitter at high heats) or a combination of melted butter and oil before seasoning to help the outside of the steak brown. Season both sides of the steak, using a teaspoon or less of both salt and pepper. Remember, you can always add more seasoning after the steak cooks, but you can’t un-salt the meat.

After seasoning, let the meat sit on the counter for a bit so it comes up to room temperature (a good rule of thumb is at least 10 minutes for every inch of thickness).

If you want to branch out from salt and pepper, marinades and rubs can be used on any type of steak, but are an especially great way to bring flavor to less-expensive cuts.

Cooking Methods

What we love about cooking steak on the stove is how easy it is to get a crisp, caramelized coating on the outside of the steak without over-cooking the middle. More often than not, this is harder to achieve on a grill. Using a combination of the stove-top and the oven is a tried and true method for perfect steak. The question is, which comes first?
The most common method is searing the steak first on the stove, then finishing it in a hot oven.

Pat dry and season the steak.
Pre-heat the oven to 450-500 degrees Fahrenheit.
When the oven is up to temp, drizzle a little oil in an oven-proof pan (cast iron works great) and then heat the pan on the stove over high heat for several minutes until it just barely starts to smoke (you can give the pan a head start by putting it in the oven while it preheats).
Drop the steak in the pan and let it sit without touching it for 3 minutes. Be prepared to turn on your fan or open some windows, as there will be smoke.
If the steak is stuck to the pan, it’s not done browning yet and needs a little more time. If it comes up relatively easily after 3 minutes, flip the steak.
Put the pan, with the steak in it, in the oven.
Let it bake for several minutes, then check by temperature or texture for doneness.
A small but vocal population of steak lovers swears by the “reverse sear” technique. The theory behind this method is that cooking the steak in the oven first will dry the outside of the steak while slowly cooking the inside and keeping it tender. If the outside of the steak is dry, it will then sear faster and more efficiently in a hot pan.

Pat dry and season the steak.
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place a wire cooling rack on a cookie sheet then put the steak on the cooling rack. This allows hot air to circulate around the entire steak.
Bake the steak until the internal temperature is 100-110 degrees.
Drizzle a little oil in a pan over high heat. Just as the pan begins to smoke, drop the steak in the pan.
Cook the steak for 2 minutes on each side.
So does this method really yield a more perfect steak? We have to admit, it did brown the outside of the steak very nicely while leaving the inside really juicy and tender. As a bonus, you get nice grill marks from baking the meat on the cooling rack. Give it a try, and you be the judge.

In some people’s minds, however, the only way to cook a steak is over an open flame in the great outdoors. Many of these same people consider grilling an art form that cannot be mastered overnight. It takes years of experimenting with different types of grills, different heat levels and cooking times and various seasonings and marinades. This may be true for some fanatics out there, but we feel pretty confident that you’ll get a great steak the first time out if you pay attention to a few key things.

The “charcoal vs gas” debate is one that has gone for decades, and we think they both have their place. For convenience and the easy ability to control heat levels, a gas grill can’t be beat. For depth of flavor, charcoal usually wins out.

Either way, you never want to put a steak on a cold grill. Wait until it heats up. For a gas grill, this is easy. Simply turn the knob to medium-high and keep the lid closed for 10-15 minutes. For a charcoal grill, the type of charcoal you use will affect the heat level as well as the flavor of the meat. Briquettes are easy to light, hold steady heat and are inexpensive, but they are also made with questionable additives that can give meat a chemical flavor. We favor hardwood charcoal (made from oak, hickory, mesquite, etc) for a natural, smoky flavor. Hardwood charcoal can be a little trickier to light and once it gets going it burns hotter and more unpredictably, which requires keeping a closer eye on the grill. A small price to pay, we think.

There is no point in using hardwood charcoal and then dousing it in lighter fluid, which will make your meat taste like it was marinated in petroleum. Instead, use a charcoal chimney starter to stack and light the coals. Once the coals are lit (usually about 30 coals are needed to provide adequate heat) wait until they change from bright red to an ashy white, which usually takes at least 20 minutes. Spread the coals out, placing most of them on one side to create a high heat side and a few on the other side of the grill to create a low heat side. Cover the grill for about five minutes so the heat builds to medium-high. To test the heat, simply hold your hand a few inches above the grill. If you can’t hold it there for more then 2 seconds, you’ve got high heat. If you can hold it there for 4-6 seconds without pulling away, the heat is medium-high.

Now, you’re ready to cook. Start by placing the steak (patted dry, seasoned and close to room temp.) over medium-high heat for at least 3 minutes without turning. This is about right for a 1-inch steak; thicker steaks will need another minute or two. Flip, and grill the other side for another 3 minutes. This should brown both sides and bring the steak to the brink of medium-rare.

To bring the steak up to desired doneness, move it to an area of the grill that has less-intense heat. Close the lid and cook for another 3-5 minutes before checking if it’s ready.

Although flames add excitement to grilling, they do nothing for the meat but burn it. Move the steak away from flare-ups as soon as they occur. In general, try to move the steak as little as possible while it cooks – too much movement prevents the steak from searing and getting a crispy, brown coating.

FINISHED
A thermometer is the most accurate way to gauge if steak is done to your liking. Although your thermometer will probably tell you that 145 degrees is rare for beef, any chef you ask will tell you differently. Rare in a chef’s mind, meaning very pink, is closer to 125 degrees; medium-rare is 125-130; medium, 130-135 degrees; medium-well, 135 to 140 degrees; and well, 140 and above. You can also give the steak a poke with your finger. Rare is squishy, medium-rare is spongy, and medium-well is taut. The steak will continue to cook at least five degrees when it’s off the grill or out of the pan, so err on the side of taking it away from heat earlier rather than later.

The final step, which should be included no matter how you cook your steak, is letting the meat rest before cutting into it. As the meat cools down the proteins begin to firm up and hold moisture, so when you cut into the steak all the juicy goodness won’t run out. About 8-10 minutes should do it, and a loose cover of foil or no cover at all is a much better choice than tightly sealing the meat up while it rests. If you’re like us, it takes at least 8-10 minutes to set the table and get everyone to sit down, so usually this step simply happens without having to think about it.

Hungry yet? Get over to your local butcher shop, grab a little salt and pepper, and give one of these cooking methods a try. In less time than it takes to drive to a restaurant, you’ll be sitting down at your kitchen table with a tender, sizzling hot, and dare we stay it, perfect steak on your plate.

This article was brought to you with one of the Challenge #1 (below) mini-challenges in mind. Commit to cooking your own food this month, and check back each Saturday for more Primal cooking tutorials.
Low Temp Cooking is that the process makes cheap but usually more flavorful cuts of tougher meats become texturally perfect and tender.

Valentine’s Day would not be the day of love without celebrating with some form of chocolate. For the ultimate chocolate Valentine’s Day dessert I highly recommend molten lave cakes. They may seem a little intimidating but are well worth the adventure.

It is true Moten Lava Cakes are my favorite Valentine’s Day dessert; they are not always practical to make. Brownies although simple can transform easily into an elegant ending to any couture Valentine’s Day fare. Top with sliced strawberries, medicine ice cream or cinnamon whipped cream. Slice one in half, sildenafil add a teaspoon of cherry pie filling then replace the top. Serve with ice cream or whipped topping and a drizzle of chocolate syrup. Use cookie cutters to make heart or circle shaped brownies. Replace this brownie batter in any recipe calling for boxed brownie mix.

Brownies are great for bake sales, prescription thank you’s, afternoon snacks and satisfy chocolate cravings like non other. This recipe is full of fudge chocolate flavor. I love using Raley’s brand semi-sweet chocolate chips. They have an intense dark chocolate flavor.

Source: Martha Stewart
Makes 9 large or 16 small squares
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for pan
6 ounces coarsely chopped good-quality semisweet chocolate
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a buttered 8-inch square baking pan with foil or parchment paper, allowing 2 inches to hang over sides. Butter lining (excluding overhang); set pan aside.

Put butter, chocolate, and cocoa in a heatproof medium bowl set over a pan of simmering water; stir until butter and chocolate are melted. Let cool slightly.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, pepper and salt in a separate bowl; set aside.

Put sugar, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat on medium speed until pale, about 4 minutes. Add chocolate mixture; beat until combined. Add flour mixture; beat, scraping down sides of bowl, until well incorporated.

Pour batter into prepared pan; smooth top with a rubber spatula. Bake until a cake tester inserted into brownies (avoid center and edges) comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet, about 35 minutes. Let cool slightly in pan, about 15 minutes. Lift out brownies; let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares.
The first time I walked into a butcher shop I felt completely out of my element. Navigating the meat case was and can still be intimidating at times. To understand the meat case at a butcher shop, here sickness you must first understand the different cuts of meat. In this tutorial we will focus on the standard cuts of beef.

The top three grades of beef are Prime, sickness and Choice, and Select. The grades are based on the age of the cattle and the degree of marbling of fat.

“Prime” graded meats are the most expensive cuts. You will not find prime graded beef in the grocery store as they are almost exclusively sold to restaurants and hotels. Prime cuts are produced from young well fed cattle. The greater the marbling of fat the more flavorful, tender and juicy the cut of meat.

Choice graded meats has less marbling but are still considered tender, juicy and flavorful as long as they are not over cooked.

Select is the third common grade of meat. It is leaner than the prime and choice with significantly less marbling. The lack of fat means less juice and lower price. You can save money by purchasing a USDA Select graded cut and marinating before cooking to obtain the maximum flavor and tenderness.

So how do you know the choice meat in the supermarket is really what the label says? Select or commercial grade meats appear darker and the fat has an oily or more yellowish appearance.

The various cuts of beef:
1. Chuck:
The first cut of meat behind the head is the shoulder, known in butchery terms as chuck. This section of the cow although flavorful is fairly tough and fatty requiring a slow cooking method (preferably in a liquid) to break down the fibers. Chuck steaks and roasts (chuck blade, chuck fillet, under blade, top blade and roasts) are the least expensive cuts of meat and well worth the price if cooked properly. For blade steaks be sure to marinade or braise well overnight before grilling. Cook stew meat and roasts slowly in liquid.

2. Rib, short loin and sirloin:
You probably won’t find “prime rib” at the grocery store. Instead, look for roasts labeled “rib roast,” “eye of the rib roast” (a boneless roast) or if the ribs are attached a “standing rib roast.” The meat from the middle area of the cow is tender and well marbled with large pockets of fat making steaks juicy and full of flavor.

The prime rib-eye roast is by far the most expensive. Be prepared to shell out some serious cash in the neighborhood of $70 plus dollars

Rib Steak: a prime rib cut into individual steaks. The rib steak has the bone attached while the rib eye steak the bone is removed.

SHORT LOIN STEAK:
The Strip Steak: A long, narrow and slightly triangular top loin steak. The loin steak is less tender than a rib eye without the extra ripples of fat. With the bone removed it goes by many names: strip steak, Kansas City strip, New York strip and sirloin strip steak,

The Tenderloin: Tenderloin steaks are tender but pricey and the flavor is pretty mild. The thickest part of the tenderloin is known as chateaubriand. The meat behind the chateaubriand is the popular Filet mignon.

T-bone Steak: The last steak cut from the tenderloin is known for the t-shape bone that runs down the middle. The T-bone has The porterhouse is a t-bone steak with a bigger portion of tenderloin attached.

Sirloin Steak
The sirloin is basically the cow’s hip. Sirloin steaks are usually fairly large but thin, and the meat is both moderately flavorful and moderately tender. Steaks from this region of a cow tend to be a good value. The most well-known among them are the top sirloin steak and the tri-tip, both boneless. Lesser-known steaks cut from the sirloin are the pin-bone, flat-bone, round-bone and wedge-bone steaks.

Directly below the loin and sirloin, on the underside of the cow’s belly, is the flank. Flank steak is a thin, wide, boneless cut with a texture (grain) that looks very stringy. Cooked very quickly to medium-rare and sliced thinly against the grain, the chewy texture is less noticeable and you will be rewarded with rich flavor.

SEASONING THE MEAT:
f a high-quality cut of meat is cooked correctly, you really don’t need much more than salt and pepper. Which makes one think that seasoning a steak is a very short topic, until of course, you consider the hotly debated “salt early” and “salt late” theories.

The Salt Early Theory: Salting meat many hours or even days before cooking breaks down the protein in meat and makes it more tender. Initially, the salt draws out moisture, but over time the meat re-absorbs the moisture, which is now flavored with salt and therefore adds more succulent flavor to the meat.

The Salt Late Theory: Salt dries meat out. Period. Don’t add it until immediately before cooking.

In this debate, we take the middle road. In our experience, the salt early theory rings true with larger or tougher cuts of beef. For your average steak, salting about a half-hour before cooking is ideal and seasoning right before cooking works just fine, too.

Before seasoning, always make sure to pat the steak dry. Some people like to brush the steak with oil (avoid olive oil, which can become bitter at high heats) or a combination of melted butter and oil before seasoning to help the outside of the steak brown. Season both sides of the steak, using a teaspoon or less of both salt and pepper. Remember, you can always add more seasoning after the steak cooks, but you can’t un-salt the meat.

After seasoning, let the meat sit on the counter for a bit so it comes up to room temperature (a good rule of thumb is at least 10 minutes for every inch of thickness).

If you want to branch out from salt and pepper, marinades and rubs can be used on any type of steak, but are an especially great way to bring flavor to less-expensive cuts.

Cooking Methods

What we love about cooking steak on the stove is how easy it is to get a crisp, caramelized coating on the outside of the steak without over-cooking the middle. More often than not, this is harder to achieve on a grill. Using a combination of the stove-top and the oven is a tried and true method for perfect steak. The question is, which comes first?
The most common method is searing the steak first on the stove, then finishing it in a hot oven.

Pat dry and season the steak.
Pre-heat the oven to 450-500 degrees Fahrenheit.
When the oven is up to temp, drizzle a little oil in an oven-proof pan (cast iron works great) and then heat the pan on the stove over high heat for several minutes until it just barely starts to smoke (you can give the pan a head start by putting it in the oven while it preheats).
Drop the steak in the pan and let it sit without touching it for 3 minutes. Be prepared to turn on your fan or open some windows, as there will be smoke.
If the steak is stuck to the pan, it’s not done browning yet and needs a little more time. If it comes up relatively easily after 3 minutes, flip the steak.
Put the pan, with the steak in it, in the oven.
Let it bake for several minutes, then check by temperature or texture for doneness.
A small but vocal population of steak lovers swears by the “reverse sear” technique. The theory behind this method is that cooking the steak in the oven first will dry the outside of the steak while slowly cooking the inside and keeping it tender. If the outside of the steak is dry, it will then sear faster and more efficiently in a hot pan.

Pat dry and season the steak.
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place a wire cooling rack on a cookie sheet then put the steak on the cooling rack. This allows hot air to circulate around the entire steak.
Bake the steak until the internal temperature is 100-110 degrees.
Drizzle a little oil in a pan over high heat. Just as the pan begins to smoke, drop the steak in the pan.
Cook the steak for 2 minutes on each side.
So does this method really yield a more perfect steak? We have to admit, it did brown the outside of the steak very nicely while leaving the inside really juicy and tender. As a bonus, you get nice grill marks from baking the meat on the cooling rack. Give it a try, and you be the judge.

In some people’s minds, however, the only way to cook a steak is over an open flame in the great outdoors. Many of these same people consider grilling an art form that cannot be mastered overnight. It takes years of experimenting with different types of grills, different heat levels and cooking times and various seasonings and marinades. This may be true for some fanatics out there, but we feel pretty confident that you’ll get a great steak the first time out if you pay attention to a few key things.

The “charcoal vs gas” debate is one that has gone for decades, and we think they both have their place. For convenience and the easy ability to control heat levels, a gas grill can’t be beat. For depth of flavor, charcoal usually wins out.

Either way, you never want to put a steak on a cold grill. Wait until it heats up. For a gas grill, this is easy. Simply turn the knob to medium-high and keep the lid closed for 10-15 minutes. For a charcoal grill, the type of charcoal you use will affect the heat level as well as the flavor of the meat. Briquettes are easy to light, hold steady heat and are inexpensive, but they are also made with questionable additives that can give meat a chemical flavor. We favor hardwood charcoal (made from oak, hickory, mesquite, etc) for a natural, smoky flavor. Hardwood charcoal can be a little trickier to light and once it gets going it burns hotter and more unpredictably, which requires keeping a closer eye on the grill. A small price to pay, we think.

There is no point in using hardwood charcoal and then dousing it in lighter fluid, which will make your meat taste like it was marinated in petroleum. Instead, use a charcoal chimney starter to stack and light the coals. Once the coals are lit (usually about 30 coals are needed to provide adequate heat) wait until they change from bright red to an ashy white, which usually takes at least 20 minutes. Spread the coals out, placing most of them on one side to create a high heat side and a few on the other side of the grill to create a low heat side. Cover the grill for about five minutes so the heat builds to medium-high. To test the heat, simply hold your hand a few inches above the grill. If you can’t hold it there for more then 2 seconds, you’ve got high heat. If you can hold it there for 4-6 seconds without pulling away, the heat is medium-high.

Now, you’re ready to cook. Start by placing the steak (patted dry, seasoned and close to room temp.) over medium-high heat for at least 3 minutes without turning. This is about right for a 1-inch steak; thicker steaks will need another minute or two. Flip, and grill the other side for another 3 minutes. This should brown both sides and bring the steak to the brink of medium-rare.

To bring the steak up to desired doneness, move it to an area of the grill that has less-intense heat. Close the lid and cook for another 3-5 minutes before checking if it’s ready.

Although flames add excitement to grilling, they do nothing for the meat but burn it. Move the steak away from flare-ups as soon as they occur. In general, try to move the steak as little as possible while it cooks – too much movement prevents the steak from searing and getting a crispy, brown coating.

FINISHED
A thermometer is the most accurate way to gauge if steak is done to your liking. Although your thermometer will probably tell you that 145 degrees is rare for beef, any chef you ask will tell you differently. Rare in a chef’s mind, meaning very pink, is closer to 125 degrees; medium-rare is 125-130; medium, 130-135 degrees; medium-well, 135 to 140 degrees; and well, 140 and above. You can also give the steak a poke with your finger. Rare is squishy, medium-rare is spongy, and medium-well is taut. The steak will continue to cook at least five degrees when it’s off the grill or out of the pan, so err on the side of taking it away from heat earlier rather than later.

The final step, which should be included no matter how you cook your steak, is letting the meat rest before cutting into it. As the meat cools down the proteins begin to firm up and hold moisture, so when you cut into the steak all the juicy goodness won’t run out. About 8-10 minutes should do it, and a loose cover of foil or no cover at all is a much better choice than tightly sealing the meat up while it rests. If you’re like us, it takes at least 8-10 minutes to set the table and get everyone to sit down, so usually this step simply happens without having to think about it.

Hungry yet? Get over to your local butcher shop, grab a little salt and pepper, and give one of these cooking methods a try. In less time than it takes to drive to a restaurant, you’ll be sitting down at your kitchen table with a tender, sizzling hot, and dare we stay it, perfect steak on your plate.

This article was brought to you with one of the Challenge #1 (below) mini-challenges in mind. Commit to cooking your own food this month, and check back each Saturday for more Primal cooking tutorials.
Low Temp Cooking is that the process makes cheap but usually more flavorful cuts of tougher meats become texturally perfect and tender.

Valentine’s Day would not be the day of love without celebrating with some form of chocolate. For the ultimate chocolate Valentine’s Day dessert I highly recommend molten lave cakes. They may seem a little intimidating but are well worth the adventure.

It is true Moten Lava Cakes are my favorite Valentine’s Day dessert; they are not always practical to make. Brownies although simple can transform easily into an elegant ending to any couture Valentine’s Day fare. Top with sliced strawberries, medicine ice cream or cinnamon whipped cream. Slice one in half, sildenafil add a teaspoon of cherry pie filling then replace the top. Serve with ice cream or whipped topping and a drizzle of chocolate syrup. Use cookie cutters to make heart or circle shaped brownies. Replace this brownie batter in any recipe calling for boxed brownie mix.

Brownies are great for bake sales, prescription thank you’s, afternoon snacks and satisfy chocolate cravings like non other. This recipe is full of fudge chocolate flavor. I love using Raley’s brand semi-sweet chocolate chips. They have an intense dark chocolate flavor.

Source: Martha Stewart
Makes 9 large or 16 small squares
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for pan
6 ounces coarsely chopped good-quality semisweet chocolate
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a buttered 8-inch square baking pan with foil or parchment paper, allowing 2 inches to hang over sides. Butter lining (excluding overhang); set pan aside.

Put butter, chocolate, and cocoa in a heatproof medium bowl set over a pan of simmering water; stir until butter and chocolate are melted. Let cool slightly.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, pepper and salt in a separate bowl; set aside.

Put sugar, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat on medium speed until pale, about 4 minutes. Add chocolate mixture; beat until combined. Add flour mixture; beat, scraping down sides of bowl, until well incorporated.

Pour batter into prepared pan; smooth top with a rubber spatula. Bake until a cake tester inserted into brownies (avoid center and edges) comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet, about 35 minutes. Let cool slightly in pan, about 15 minutes. Lift out brownies; let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares.
Valentine’s Day would not be the day of love without chocolate for dessert.
Source: Martha Stewart
Makes 9 large or 16 small squares
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, viagra plus more for pan
6 ounces coarsely chopped good-quality semisweet chocolate
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a buttered 8-inch square baking pan with foil or parchment paper, shop allowing 2 inches to hang over sides. Butter lining (excluding overhang); set pan aside.
2. Put butter, chocolate, and cocoa in a heatproof medium bowl set over a pan of simmering water; stir until butter and chocolate are melted. Let cool slightly.
3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl; set aside.
4. Put sugar, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat on medium speed until pale, about 4 minutes. Add chocolate mixture; beat until combined. Add flour mixture; beat, scraping down sides of bowl, until well incorporated.
5. Pour batter into prepared pan; smooth top with a rubber spatula. Bake until a cake tester inserted into brownies (avoid center and edges) comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet, about 35 minutes. Let cool slightly in pan, about 15 minutes. Lift out brownies; let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares.

The first time I walked into a butcher shop I felt completely out of my element. Navigating the meat case was and can still be intimidating at times. To understand the meat case at a butcher shop, here sickness you must first understand the different cuts of meat. In this tutorial we will focus on the standard cuts of beef.

The top three grades of beef are Prime, sickness and Choice, and Select. The grades are based on the age of the cattle and the degree of marbling of fat.

“Prime” graded meats are the most expensive cuts. You will not find prime graded beef in the grocery store as they are almost exclusively sold to restaurants and hotels. Prime cuts are produced from young well fed cattle. The greater the marbling of fat the more flavorful, tender and juicy the cut of meat.

Choice graded meats has less marbling but are still considered tender, juicy and flavorful as long as they are not over cooked.

Select is the third common grade of meat. It is leaner than the prime and choice with significantly less marbling. The lack of fat means less juice and lower price. You can save money by purchasing a USDA Select graded cut and marinating before cooking to obtain the maximum flavor and tenderness.

So how do you know the choice meat in the supermarket is really what the label says? Select or commercial grade meats appear darker and the fat has an oily or more yellowish appearance.

The various cuts of beef:
1. Chuck:
The first cut of meat behind the head is the shoulder, known in butchery terms as chuck. This section of the cow although flavorful is fairly tough and fatty requiring a slow cooking method (preferably in a liquid) to break down the fibers. Chuck steaks and roasts (chuck blade, chuck fillet, under blade, top blade and roasts) are the least expensive cuts of meat and well worth the price if cooked properly. For blade steaks be sure to marinade or braise well overnight before grilling. Cook stew meat and roasts slowly in liquid.

2. Rib, short loin and sirloin:
You probably won’t find “prime rib” at the grocery store. Instead, look for roasts labeled “rib roast,” “eye of the rib roast” (a boneless roast) or if the ribs are attached a “standing rib roast.” The meat from the middle area of the cow is tender and well marbled with large pockets of fat making steaks juicy and full of flavor.

The prime rib-eye roast is by far the most expensive. Be prepared to shell out some serious cash in the neighborhood of $70 plus dollars

Rib Steak: a prime rib cut into individual steaks. The rib steak has the bone attached while the rib eye steak the bone is removed.

SHORT LOIN STEAK:
The Strip Steak: A long, narrow and slightly triangular top loin steak. The loin steak is less tender than a rib eye without the extra ripples of fat. With the bone removed it goes by many names: strip steak, Kansas City strip, New York strip and sirloin strip steak,

The Tenderloin: Tenderloin steaks are tender but pricey and the flavor is pretty mild. The thickest part of the tenderloin is known as chateaubriand. The meat behind the chateaubriand is the popular Filet mignon.

T-bone Steak: The last steak cut from the tenderloin is known for the t-shape bone that runs down the middle. The T-bone has The porterhouse is a t-bone steak with a bigger portion of tenderloin attached.

Sirloin Steak
The sirloin is basically the cow’s hip. Sirloin steaks are usually fairly large but thin, and the meat is both moderately flavorful and moderately tender. Steaks from this region of a cow tend to be a good value. The most well-known among them are the top sirloin steak and the tri-tip, both boneless. Lesser-known steaks cut from the sirloin are the pin-bone, flat-bone, round-bone and wedge-bone steaks.

Directly below the loin and sirloin, on the underside of the cow’s belly, is the flank. Flank steak is a thin, wide, boneless cut with a texture (grain) that looks very stringy. Cooked very quickly to medium-rare and sliced thinly against the grain, the chewy texture is less noticeable and you will be rewarded with rich flavor.

SEASONING THE MEAT:
f a high-quality cut of meat is cooked correctly, you really don’t need much more than salt and pepper. Which makes one think that seasoning a steak is a very short topic, until of course, you consider the hotly debated “salt early” and “salt late” theories.

The Salt Early Theory: Salting meat many hours or even days before cooking breaks down the protein in meat and makes it more tender. Initially, the salt draws out moisture, but over time the meat re-absorbs the moisture, which is now flavored with salt and therefore adds more succulent flavor to the meat.

The Salt Late Theory: Salt dries meat out. Period. Don’t add it until immediately before cooking.

In this debate, we take the middle road. In our experience, the salt early theory rings true with larger or tougher cuts of beef. For your average steak, salting about a half-hour before cooking is ideal and seasoning right before cooking works just fine, too.

Before seasoning, always make sure to pat the steak dry. Some people like to brush the steak with oil (avoid olive oil, which can become bitter at high heats) or a combination of melted butter and oil before seasoning to help the outside of the steak brown. Season both sides of the steak, using a teaspoon or less of both salt and pepper. Remember, you can always add more seasoning after the steak cooks, but you can’t un-salt the meat.

After seasoning, let the meat sit on the counter for a bit so it comes up to room temperature (a good rule of thumb is at least 10 minutes for every inch of thickness).

If you want to branch out from salt and pepper, marinades and rubs can be used on any type of steak, but are an especially great way to bring flavor to less-expensive cuts.

Cooking Methods

What we love about cooking steak on the stove is how easy it is to get a crisp, caramelized coating on the outside of the steak without over-cooking the middle. More often than not, this is harder to achieve on a grill. Using a combination of the stove-top and the oven is a tried and true method for perfect steak. The question is, which comes first?
The most common method is searing the steak first on the stove, then finishing it in a hot oven.

Pat dry and season the steak.
Pre-heat the oven to 450-500 degrees Fahrenheit.
When the oven is up to temp, drizzle a little oil in an oven-proof pan (cast iron works great) and then heat the pan on the stove over high heat for several minutes until it just barely starts to smoke (you can give the pan a head start by putting it in the oven while it preheats).
Drop the steak in the pan and let it sit without touching it for 3 minutes. Be prepared to turn on your fan or open some windows, as there will be smoke.
If the steak is stuck to the pan, it’s not done browning yet and needs a little more time. If it comes up relatively easily after 3 minutes, flip the steak.
Put the pan, with the steak in it, in the oven.
Let it bake for several minutes, then check by temperature or texture for doneness.
A small but vocal population of steak lovers swears by the “reverse sear” technique. The theory behind this method is that cooking the steak in the oven first will dry the outside of the steak while slowly cooking the inside and keeping it tender. If the outside of the steak is dry, it will then sear faster and more efficiently in a hot pan.

Pat dry and season the steak.
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place a wire cooling rack on a cookie sheet then put the steak on the cooling rack. This allows hot air to circulate around the entire steak.
Bake the steak until the internal temperature is 100-110 degrees.
Drizzle a little oil in a pan over high heat. Just as the pan begins to smoke, drop the steak in the pan.
Cook the steak for 2 minutes on each side.
So does this method really yield a more perfect steak? We have to admit, it did brown the outside of the steak very nicely while leaving the inside really juicy and tender. As a bonus, you get nice grill marks from baking the meat on the cooling rack. Give it a try, and you be the judge.

In some people’s minds, however, the only way to cook a steak is over an open flame in the great outdoors. Many of these same people consider grilling an art form that cannot be mastered overnight. It takes years of experimenting with different types of grills, different heat levels and cooking times and various seasonings and marinades. This may be true for some fanatics out there, but we feel pretty confident that you’ll get a great steak the first time out if you pay attention to a few key things.

The “charcoal vs gas” debate is one that has gone for decades, and we think they both have their place. For convenience and the easy ability to control heat levels, a gas grill can’t be beat. For depth of flavor, charcoal usually wins out.

Either way, you never want to put a steak on a cold grill. Wait until it heats up. For a gas grill, this is easy. Simply turn the knob to medium-high and keep the lid closed for 10-15 minutes. For a charcoal grill, the type of charcoal you use will affect the heat level as well as the flavor of the meat. Briquettes are easy to light, hold steady heat and are inexpensive, but they are also made with questionable additives that can give meat a chemical flavor. We favor hardwood charcoal (made from oak, hickory, mesquite, etc) for a natural, smoky flavor. Hardwood charcoal can be a little trickier to light and once it gets going it burns hotter and more unpredictably, which requires keeping a closer eye on the grill. A small price to pay, we think.

There is no point in using hardwood charcoal and then dousing it in lighter fluid, which will make your meat taste like it was marinated in petroleum. Instead, use a charcoal chimney starter to stack and light the coals. Once the coals are lit (usually about 30 coals are needed to provide adequate heat) wait until they change from bright red to an ashy white, which usually takes at least 20 minutes. Spread the coals out, placing most of them on one side to create a high heat side and a few on the other side of the grill to create a low heat side. Cover the grill for about five minutes so the heat builds to medium-high. To test the heat, simply hold your hand a few inches above the grill. If you can’t hold it there for more then 2 seconds, you’ve got high heat. If you can hold it there for 4-6 seconds without pulling away, the heat is medium-high.

Now, you’re ready to cook. Start by placing the steak (patted dry, seasoned and close to room temp.) over medium-high heat for at least 3 minutes without turning. This is about right for a 1-inch steak; thicker steaks will need another minute or two. Flip, and grill the other side for another 3 minutes. This should brown both sides and bring the steak to the brink of medium-rare.

To bring the steak up to desired doneness, move it to an area of the grill that has less-intense heat. Close the lid and cook for another 3-5 minutes before checking if it’s ready.

Although flames add excitement to grilling, they do nothing for the meat but burn it. Move the steak away from flare-ups as soon as they occur. In general, try to move the steak as little as possible while it cooks – too much movement prevents the steak from searing and getting a crispy, brown coating.

FINISHED
A thermometer is the most accurate way to gauge if steak is done to your liking. Although your thermometer will probably tell you that 145 degrees is rare for beef, any chef you ask will tell you differently. Rare in a chef’s mind, meaning very pink, is closer to 125 degrees; medium-rare is 125-130; medium, 130-135 degrees; medium-well, 135 to 140 degrees; and well, 140 and above. You can also give the steak a poke with your finger. Rare is squishy, medium-rare is spongy, and medium-well is taut. The steak will continue to cook at least five degrees when it’s off the grill or out of the pan, so err on the side of taking it away from heat earlier rather than later.

The final step, which should be included no matter how you cook your steak, is letting the meat rest before cutting into it. As the meat cools down the proteins begin to firm up and hold moisture, so when you cut into the steak all the juicy goodness won’t run out. About 8-10 minutes should do it, and a loose cover of foil or no cover at all is a much better choice than tightly sealing the meat up while it rests. If you’re like us, it takes at least 8-10 minutes to set the table and get everyone to sit down, so usually this step simply happens without having to think about it.

Hungry yet? Get over to your local butcher shop, grab a little salt and pepper, and give one of these cooking methods a try. In less time than it takes to drive to a restaurant, you’ll be sitting down at your kitchen table with a tender, sizzling hot, and dare we stay it, perfect steak on your plate.

This article was brought to you with one of the Challenge #1 (below) mini-challenges in mind. Commit to cooking your own food this month, and check back each Saturday for more Primal cooking tutorials.
Low Temp Cooking is that the process makes cheap but usually more flavorful cuts of tougher meats become texturally perfect and tender.

Valentine’s Day would not be the day of love without celebrating with some form of chocolate. For the ultimate chocolate Valentine’s Day dessert I highly recommend molten lave cakes. They may seem a little intimidating but are well worth the adventure.

It is true Moten Lava Cakes are my favorite Valentine’s Day dessert; they are not always practical to make. Brownies although simple can transform easily into an elegant ending to any couture Valentine’s Day fare. Top with sliced strawberries, medicine ice cream or cinnamon whipped cream. Slice one in half, sildenafil add a teaspoon of cherry pie filling then replace the top. Serve with ice cream or whipped topping and a drizzle of chocolate syrup. Use cookie cutters to make heart or circle shaped brownies. Replace this brownie batter in any recipe calling for boxed brownie mix.

Brownies are great for bake sales, prescription thank you’s, afternoon snacks and satisfy chocolate cravings like non other. This recipe is full of fudge chocolate flavor. I love using Raley’s brand semi-sweet chocolate chips. They have an intense dark chocolate flavor.

Source: Martha Stewart
Makes 9 large or 16 small squares
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for pan
6 ounces coarsely chopped good-quality semisweet chocolate
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a buttered 8-inch square baking pan with foil or parchment paper, allowing 2 inches to hang over sides. Butter lining (excluding overhang); set pan aside.

Put butter, chocolate, and cocoa in a heatproof medium bowl set over a pan of simmering water; stir until butter and chocolate are melted. Let cool slightly.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, pepper and salt in a separate bowl; set aside.

Put sugar, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat on medium speed until pale, about 4 minutes. Add chocolate mixture; beat until combined. Add flour mixture; beat, scraping down sides of bowl, until well incorporated.

Pour batter into prepared pan; smooth top with a rubber spatula. Bake until a cake tester inserted into brownies (avoid center and edges) comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet, about 35 minutes. Let cool slightly in pan, about 15 minutes. Lift out brownies; let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares.
Valentine’s Day would not be the day of love without chocolate for dessert.
Source: Martha Stewart
Makes 9 large or 16 small squares
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, viagra plus more for pan
6 ounces coarsely chopped good-quality semisweet chocolate
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a buttered 8-inch square baking pan with foil or parchment paper, shop allowing 2 inches to hang over sides. Butter lining (excluding overhang); set pan aside.
2. Put butter, chocolate, and cocoa in a heatproof medium bowl set over a pan of simmering water; stir until butter and chocolate are melted. Let cool slightly.
3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl; set aside.
4. Put sugar, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat on medium speed until pale, about 4 minutes. Add chocolate mixture; beat until combined. Add flour mixture; beat, scraping down sides of bowl, until well incorporated.
5. Pour batter into prepared pan; smooth top with a rubber spatula. Bake until a cake tester inserted into brownies (avoid center and edges) comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet, about 35 minutes. Let cool slightly in pan, about 15 minutes. Lift out brownies; let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares.

When I was little I loved Pizza Hut pizza. The crust was so thick and crunchy on the outside and so soft and warm on the inside. Each slice had the perfect ratio of sauce to cheese. Of course if it was not a special occasion we usually ate homemade or Little Caesars. I remember the first time I had Pizza Hut BBQ pizza was on a trip to Atlanta. The BBQ flavor was short lived. Besides I seemed to have been the only one who favored a non traditional slice of pie.

Source: Stolen Moments Cooking
For the crust:
2 tsp yeast
2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 cups warm water (105 to 110 degrees F)
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp Italian seasoning, link optional
4 – 4 1/2 cups flour (can use 3 cups white flour and 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour)

Let yeast and sugar dissolve in warm water in a large mixing bowl for about 5 minutes. Add olive oil, salt and optional Italian seasoning.

Slowly add the flour until completely combined and dough is no longer sticky. Knead for 5 minutes, place in a greased bowl, cover and let rise for 1 hour.

Depending on how thin you like your crust, this makes enough for 2 large pizzas plus 2 small pizzas. The extra dough can be frozen.

For the barbecue sauce:
1 1/2 cups ketchup
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cups brown sugar
1/2 tsp each – allspice, crushed red pepper flakes, pepper, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder

Add everything to a small bowl and stir until combined. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before using to allow the flavors to blend.

For the toppings:
1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and sliced
1/2 pounds bacon, diced and crisped *optional
1 onion, thinly sliced and caramelized (cooked in 2 tsp bacon grease or butter.) *optional
1 cup frozen corn, thawed *optional
2 cup shredded pizza blend cheese

To assemble the pizzas:
Roll out dough into desired sizes on thickness. Place on a baking sheet or stone dusted with cornmeal.

Spread barbecue sauce on top of the crust, leaving about 1/2 inch crust all the way around.

Top with chicken, any other desired toppings and cheese. Bake at 500 degrees for 12-15 minutes, until crust is golden brown.

Variations:
— Sub flour tortillas or frozen or refrigerated pizza dough for the homemade version.
The first time I walked into a butcher shop I felt completely out of my element. Navigating the meat case was and can still be intimidating at times. To understand the meat case at a butcher shop, here sickness you must first understand the different cuts of meat. In this tutorial we will focus on the standard cuts of beef.

The top three grades of beef are Prime, sickness and Choice, and Select. The grades are based on the age of the cattle and the degree of marbling of fat.

“Prime” graded meats are the most expensive cuts. You will not find prime graded beef in the grocery store as they are almost exclusively sold to restaurants and hotels. Prime cuts are produced from young well fed cattle. The greater the marbling of fat the more flavorful, tender and juicy the cut of meat.

Choice graded meats has less marbling but are still considered tender, juicy and flavorful as long as they are not over cooked.

Select is the third common grade of meat. It is leaner than the prime and choice with significantly less marbling. The lack of fat means less juice and lower price. You can save money by purchasing a USDA Select graded cut and marinating before cooking to obtain the maximum flavor and tenderness.

So how do you know the choice meat in the supermarket is really what the label says? Select or commercial grade meats appear darker and the fat has an oily or more yellowish appearance.

The various cuts of beef:
1. Chuck:
The first cut of meat behind the head is the shoulder, known in butchery terms as chuck. This section of the cow although flavorful is fairly tough and fatty requiring a slow cooking method (preferably in a liquid) to break down the fibers. Chuck steaks and roasts (chuck blade, chuck fillet, under blade, top blade and roasts) are the least expensive cuts of meat and well worth the price if cooked properly. For blade steaks be sure to marinade or braise well overnight before grilling. Cook stew meat and roasts slowly in liquid.

2. Rib, short loin and sirloin:
You probably won’t find “prime rib” at the grocery store. Instead, look for roasts labeled “rib roast,” “eye of the rib roast” (a boneless roast) or if the ribs are attached a “standing rib roast.” The meat from the middle area of the cow is tender and well marbled with large pockets of fat making steaks juicy and full of flavor.

The prime rib-eye roast is by far the most expensive. Be prepared to shell out some serious cash in the neighborhood of $70 plus dollars

Rib Steak: a prime rib cut into individual steaks. The rib steak has the bone attached while the rib eye steak the bone is removed.

SHORT LOIN STEAK:
The Strip Steak: A long, narrow and slightly triangular top loin steak. The loin steak is less tender than a rib eye without the extra ripples of fat. With the bone removed it goes by many names: strip steak, Kansas City strip, New York strip and sirloin strip steak,

The Tenderloin: Tenderloin steaks are tender but pricey and the flavor is pretty mild. The thickest part of the tenderloin is known as chateaubriand. The meat behind the chateaubriand is the popular Filet mignon.

T-bone Steak: The last steak cut from the tenderloin is known for the t-shape bone that runs down the middle. The T-bone has The porterhouse is a t-bone steak with a bigger portion of tenderloin attached.

Sirloin Steak
The sirloin is basically the cow’s hip. Sirloin steaks are usually fairly large but thin, and the meat is both moderately flavorful and moderately tender. Steaks from this region of a cow tend to be a good value. The most well-known among them are the top sirloin steak and the tri-tip, both boneless. Lesser-known steaks cut from the sirloin are the pin-bone, flat-bone, round-bone and wedge-bone steaks.

Directly below the loin and sirloin, on the underside of the cow’s belly, is the flank. Flank steak is a thin, wide, boneless cut with a texture (grain) that looks very stringy. Cooked very quickly to medium-rare and sliced thinly against the grain, the chewy texture is less noticeable and you will be rewarded with rich flavor.

SEASONING THE MEAT:
f a high-quality cut of meat is cooked correctly, you really don’t need much more than salt and pepper. Which makes one think that seasoning a steak is a very short topic, until of course, you consider the hotly debated “salt early” and “salt late” theories.

The Salt Early Theory: Salting meat many hours or even days before cooking breaks down the protein in meat and makes it more tender. Initially, the salt draws out moisture, but over time the meat re-absorbs the moisture, which is now flavored with salt and therefore adds more succulent flavor to the meat.

The Salt Late Theory: Salt dries meat out. Period. Don’t add it until immediately before cooking.

In this debate, we take the middle road. In our experience, the salt early theory rings true with larger or tougher cuts of beef. For your average steak, salting about a half-hour before cooking is ideal and seasoning right before cooking works just fine, too.

Before seasoning, always make sure to pat the steak dry. Some people like to brush the steak with oil (avoid olive oil, which can become bitter at high heats) or a combination of melted butter and oil before seasoning to help the outside of the steak brown. Season both sides of the steak, using a teaspoon or less of both salt and pepper. Remember, you can always add more seasoning after the steak cooks, but you can’t un-salt the meat.

After seasoning, let the meat sit on the counter for a bit so it comes up to room temperature (a good rule of thumb is at least 10 minutes for every inch of thickness).

If you want to branch out from salt and pepper, marinades and rubs can be used on any type of steak, but are an especially great way to bring flavor to less-expensive cuts.

Cooking Methods

What we love about cooking steak on the stove is how easy it is to get a crisp, caramelized coating on the outside of the steak without over-cooking the middle. More often than not, this is harder to achieve on a grill. Using a combination of the stove-top and the oven is a tried and true method for perfect steak. The question is, which comes first?
The most common method is searing the steak first on the stove, then finishing it in a hot oven.

Pat dry and season the steak.
Pre-heat the oven to 450-500 degrees Fahrenheit.
When the oven is up to temp, drizzle a little oil in an oven-proof pan (cast iron works great) and then heat the pan on the stove over high heat for several minutes until it just barely starts to smoke (you can give the pan a head start by putting it in the oven while it preheats).
Drop the steak in the pan and let it sit without touching it for 3 minutes. Be prepared to turn on your fan or open some windows, as there will be smoke.
If the steak is stuck to the pan, it’s not done browning yet and needs a little more time. If it comes up relatively easily after 3 minutes, flip the steak.
Put the pan, with the steak in it, in the oven.
Let it bake for several minutes, then check by temperature or texture for doneness.
A small but vocal population of steak lovers swears by the “reverse sear” technique. The theory behind this method is that cooking the steak in the oven first will dry the outside of the steak while slowly cooking the inside and keeping it tender. If the outside of the steak is dry, it will then sear faster and more efficiently in a hot pan.

Pat dry and season the steak.
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place a wire cooling rack on a cookie sheet then put the steak on the cooling rack. This allows hot air to circulate around the entire steak.
Bake the steak until the internal temperature is 100-110 degrees.
Drizzle a little oil in a pan over high heat. Just as the pan begins to smoke, drop the steak in the pan.
Cook the steak for 2 minutes on each side.
So does this method really yield a more perfect steak? We have to admit, it did brown the outside of the steak very nicely while leaving the inside really juicy and tender. As a bonus, you get nice grill marks from baking the meat on the cooling rack. Give it a try, and you be the judge.

In some people’s minds, however, the only way to cook a steak is over an open flame in the great outdoors. Many of these same people consider grilling an art form that cannot be mastered overnight. It takes years of experimenting with different types of grills, different heat levels and cooking times and various seasonings and marinades. This may be true for some fanatics out there, but we feel pretty confident that you’ll get a great steak the first time out if you pay attention to a few key things.

The “charcoal vs gas” debate is one that has gone for decades, and we think they both have their place. For convenience and the easy ability to control heat levels, a gas grill can’t be beat. For depth of flavor, charcoal usually wins out.

Either way, you never want to put a steak on a cold grill. Wait until it heats up. For a gas grill, this is easy. Simply turn the knob to medium-high and keep the lid closed for 10-15 minutes. For a charcoal grill, the type of charcoal you use will affect the heat level as well as the flavor of the meat. Briquettes are easy to light, hold steady heat and are inexpensive, but they are also made with questionable additives that can give meat a chemical flavor. We favor hardwood charcoal (made from oak, hickory, mesquite, etc) for a natural, smoky flavor. Hardwood charcoal can be a little trickier to light and once it gets going it burns hotter and more unpredictably, which requires keeping a closer eye on the grill. A small price to pay, we think.

There is no point in using hardwood charcoal and then dousing it in lighter fluid, which will make your meat taste like it was marinated in petroleum. Instead, use a charcoal chimney starter to stack and light the coals. Once the coals are lit (usually about 30 coals are needed to provide adequate heat) wait until they change from bright red to an ashy white, which usually takes at least 20 minutes. Spread the coals out, placing most of them on one side to create a high heat side and a few on the other side of the grill to create a low heat side. Cover the grill for about five minutes so the heat builds to medium-high. To test the heat, simply hold your hand a few inches above the grill. If you can’t hold it there for more then 2 seconds, you’ve got high heat. If you can hold it there for 4-6 seconds without pulling away, the heat is medium-high.

Now, you’re ready to cook. Start by placing the steak (patted dry, seasoned and close to room temp.) over medium-high heat for at least 3 minutes without turning. This is about right for a 1-inch steak; thicker steaks will need another minute or two. Flip, and grill the other side for another 3 minutes. This should brown both sides and bring the steak to the brink of medium-rare.

To bring the steak up to desired doneness, move it to an area of the grill that has less-intense heat. Close the lid and cook for another 3-5 minutes before checking if it’s ready.

Although flames add excitement to grilling, they do nothing for the meat but burn it. Move the steak away from flare-ups as soon as they occur. In general, try to move the steak as little as possible while it cooks – too much movement prevents the steak from searing and getting a crispy, brown coating.

FINISHED
A thermometer is the most accurate way to gauge if steak is done to your liking. Although your thermometer will probably tell you that 145 degrees is rare for beef, any chef you ask will tell you differently. Rare in a chef’s mind, meaning very pink, is closer to 125 degrees; medium-rare is 125-130; medium, 130-135 degrees; medium-well, 135 to 140 degrees; and well, 140 and above. You can also give the steak a poke with your finger. Rare is squishy, medium-rare is spongy, and medium-well is taut. The steak will continue to cook at least five degrees when it’s off the grill or out of the pan, so err on the side of taking it away from heat earlier rather than later.

The final step, which should be included no matter how you cook your steak, is letting the meat rest before cutting into it. As the meat cools down the proteins begin to firm up and hold moisture, so when you cut into the steak all the juicy goodness won’t run out. About 8-10 minutes should do it, and a loose cover of foil or no cover at all is a much better choice than tightly sealing the meat up while it rests. If you’re like us, it takes at least 8-10 minutes to set the table and get everyone to sit down, so usually this step simply happens without having to think about it.

Hungry yet? Get over to your local butcher shop, grab a little salt and pepper, and give one of these cooking methods a try. In less time than it takes to drive to a restaurant, you’ll be sitting down at your kitchen table with a tender, sizzling hot, and dare we stay it, perfect steak on your plate.

This article was brought to you with one of the Challenge #1 (below) mini-challenges in mind. Commit to cooking your own food this month, and check back each Saturday for more Primal cooking tutorials.
Low Temp Cooking is that the process makes cheap but usually more flavorful cuts of tougher meats become texturally perfect and tender.

Valentine’s Day would not be the day of love without celebrating with some form of chocolate. For the ultimate chocolate Valentine’s Day dessert I highly recommend molten lave cakes. They may seem a little intimidating but are well worth the adventure.

It is true Moten Lava Cakes are my favorite Valentine’s Day dessert; they are not always practical to make. Brownies although simple can transform easily into an elegant ending to any couture Valentine’s Day fare. Top with sliced strawberries, medicine ice cream or cinnamon whipped cream. Slice one in half, sildenafil add a teaspoon of cherry pie filling then replace the top. Serve with ice cream or whipped topping and a drizzle of chocolate syrup. Use cookie cutters to make heart or circle shaped brownies. Replace this brownie batter in any recipe calling for boxed brownie mix.

Brownies are great for bake sales, prescription thank you’s, afternoon snacks and satisfy chocolate cravings like non other. This recipe is full of fudge chocolate flavor. I love using Raley’s brand semi-sweet chocolate chips. They have an intense dark chocolate flavor.

Source: Martha Stewart
Makes 9 large or 16 small squares
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for pan
6 ounces coarsely chopped good-quality semisweet chocolate
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a buttered 8-inch square baking pan with foil or parchment paper, allowing 2 inches to hang over sides. Butter lining (excluding overhang); set pan aside.

Put butter, chocolate, and cocoa in a heatproof medium bowl set over a pan of simmering water; stir until butter and chocolate are melted. Let cool slightly.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, pepper and salt in a separate bowl; set aside.

Put sugar, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat on medium speed until pale, about 4 minutes. Add chocolate mixture; beat until combined. Add flour mixture; beat, scraping down sides of bowl, until well incorporated.

Pour batter into prepared pan; smooth top with a rubber spatula. Bake until a cake tester inserted into brownies (avoid center and edges) comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet, about 35 minutes. Let cool slightly in pan, about 15 minutes. Lift out brownies; let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares.
Valentine’s Day would not be the day of love without chocolate for dessert.
Source: Martha Stewart
Makes 9 large or 16 small squares
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, viagra plus more for pan
6 ounces coarsely chopped good-quality semisweet chocolate
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a buttered 8-inch square baking pan with foil or parchment paper, shop allowing 2 inches to hang over sides. Butter lining (excluding overhang); set pan aside.
2. Put butter, chocolate, and cocoa in a heatproof medium bowl set over a pan of simmering water; stir until butter and chocolate are melted. Let cool slightly.
3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl; set aside.
4. Put sugar, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat on medium speed until pale, about 4 minutes. Add chocolate mixture; beat until combined. Add flour mixture; beat, scraping down sides of bowl, until well incorporated.
5. Pour batter into prepared pan; smooth top with a rubber spatula. Bake until a cake tester inserted into brownies (avoid center and edges) comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet, about 35 minutes. Let cool slightly in pan, about 15 minutes. Lift out brownies; let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares.

When I was little I loved Pizza Hut pizza. The crust was so thick and crunchy on the outside and so soft and warm on the inside. Each slice had the perfect ratio of sauce to cheese. Of course if it was not a special occasion we usually ate homemade or Little Caesars. I remember the first time I had Pizza Hut BBQ pizza was on a trip to Atlanta. The BBQ flavor was short lived. Besides I seemed to have been the only one who favored a non traditional slice of pie.

Source: Stolen Moments Cooking
For the crust:
2 tsp yeast
2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 cups warm water (105 to 110 degrees F)
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp Italian seasoning, link optional
4 – 4 1/2 cups flour (can use 3 cups white flour and 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour)

Let yeast and sugar dissolve in warm water in a large mixing bowl for about 5 minutes. Add olive oil, salt and optional Italian seasoning.

Slowly add the flour until completely combined and dough is no longer sticky. Knead for 5 minutes, place in a greased bowl, cover and let rise for 1 hour.

Depending on how thin you like your crust, this makes enough for 2 large pizzas plus 2 small pizzas. The extra dough can be frozen.

For the barbecue sauce:
1 1/2 cups ketchup
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cups brown sugar
1/2 tsp each – allspice, crushed red pepper flakes, pepper, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder

Add everything to a small bowl and stir until combined. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before using to allow the flavors to blend.

For the toppings:
1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and sliced
1/2 pounds bacon, diced and crisped *optional
1 onion, thinly sliced and caramelized (cooked in 2 tsp bacon grease or butter.) *optional
1 cup frozen corn, thawed *optional
2 cup shredded pizza blend cheese

To assemble the pizzas:
Roll out dough into desired sizes on thickness. Place on a baking sheet or stone dusted with cornmeal.

Spread barbecue sauce on top of the crust, leaving about 1/2 inch crust all the way around.

Top with chicken, any other desired toppings and cheese. Bake at 500 degrees for 12-15 minutes, until crust is golden brown.

Variations:
— Sub flour tortillas or frozen or refrigerated pizza dough for the homemade version.
Valentine’s Day would not be the day of love without chocolate for dessert.
Source: Martha Stewart
Makes 9 large or 16 small squares
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, sick plus more for pan
6 ounces coarsely chopped good-quality semisweet chocolate
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a buttered 8-inch square baking pan with foil or parchment paper, illness allowing 2 inches to hang over sides. Butter lining (excluding overhang); set pan aside.
2. Put butter, chocolate, and cocoa in a heatproof medium bowl set over a pan of simmering water; stir until butter and chocolate are melted. Let cool slightly.
3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl; set aside.
4. Put sugar, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat on medium speed until pale, about 4 minutes. Add chocolate mixture; beat until combined. Add flour mixture; beat, scraping down sides of bowl, until well incorporated.
5. Pour batter into prepared pan; smooth top with a rubber spatula. Bake until a cake tester inserted into brownies (avoid center and edges) comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet, about 35 minutes. Let cool slightly in pan, about 15 minutes. Lift out brownies; let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares.

The first time I walked into a butcher shop I felt completely out of my element. Navigating the meat case was and can still be intimidating at times. To understand the meat case at a butcher shop, here sickness you must first understand the different cuts of meat. In this tutorial we will focus on the standard cuts of beef.

The top three grades of beef are Prime, sickness and Choice, and Select. The grades are based on the age of the cattle and the degree of marbling of fat.

“Prime” graded meats are the most expensive cuts. You will not find prime graded beef in the grocery store as they are almost exclusively sold to restaurants and hotels. Prime cuts are produced from young well fed cattle. The greater the marbling of fat the more flavorful, tender and juicy the cut of meat.

Choice graded meats has less marbling but are still considered tender, juicy and flavorful as long as they are not over cooked.

Select is the third common grade of meat. It is leaner than the prime and choice with significantly less marbling. The lack of fat means less juice and lower price. You can save money by purchasing a USDA Select graded cut and marinating before cooking to obtain the maximum flavor and tenderness.

So how do you know the choice meat in the supermarket is really what the label says? Select or commercial grade meats appear darker and the fat has an oily or more yellowish appearance.

The various cuts of beef:
1. Chuck:
The first cut of meat behind the head is the shoulder, known in butchery terms as chuck. This section of the cow although flavorful is fairly tough and fatty requiring a slow cooking method (preferably in a liquid) to break down the fibers. Chuck steaks and roasts (chuck blade, chuck fillet, under blade, top blade and roasts) are the least expensive cuts of meat and well worth the price if cooked properly. For blade steaks be sure to marinade or braise well overnight before grilling. Cook stew meat and roasts slowly in liquid.

2. Rib, short loin and sirloin:
You probably won’t find “prime rib” at the grocery store. Instead, look for roasts labeled “rib roast,” “eye of the rib roast” (a boneless roast) or if the ribs are attached a “standing rib roast.” The meat from the middle area of the cow is tender and well marbled with large pockets of fat making steaks juicy and full of flavor.

The prime rib-eye roast is by far the most expensive. Be prepared to shell out some serious cash in the neighborhood of $70 plus dollars

Rib Steak: a prime rib cut into individual steaks. The rib steak has the bone attached while the rib eye steak the bone is removed.

SHORT LOIN STEAK:
The Strip Steak: A long, narrow and slightly triangular top loin steak. The loin steak is less tender than a rib eye without the extra ripples of fat. With the bone removed it goes by many names: strip steak, Kansas City strip, New York strip and sirloin strip steak,

The Tenderloin: Tenderloin steaks are tender but pricey and the flavor is pretty mild. The thickest part of the tenderloin is known as chateaubriand. The meat behind the chateaubriand is the popular Filet mignon.

T-bone Steak: The last steak cut from the tenderloin is known for the t-shape bone that runs down the middle. The T-bone has The porterhouse is a t-bone steak with a bigger portion of tenderloin attached.

Sirloin Steak
The sirloin is basically the cow’s hip. Sirloin steaks are usually fairly large but thin, and the meat is both moderately flavorful and moderately tender. Steaks from this region of a cow tend to be a good value. The most well-known among them are the top sirloin steak and the tri-tip, both boneless. Lesser-known steaks cut from the sirloin are the pin-bone, flat-bone, round-bone and wedge-bone steaks.

Directly below the loin and sirloin, on the underside of the cow’s belly, is the flank. Flank steak is a thin, wide, boneless cut with a texture (grain) that looks very stringy. Cooked very quickly to medium-rare and sliced thinly against the grain, the chewy texture is less noticeable and you will be rewarded with rich flavor.

SEASONING THE MEAT:
f a high-quality cut of meat is cooked correctly, you really don’t need much more than salt and pepper. Which makes one think that seasoning a steak is a very short topic, until of course, you consider the hotly debated “salt early” and “salt late” theories.

The Salt Early Theory: Salting meat many hours or even days before cooking breaks down the protein in meat and makes it more tender. Initially, the salt draws out moisture, but over time the meat re-absorbs the moisture, which is now flavored with salt and therefore adds more succulent flavor to the meat.

The Salt Late Theory: Salt dries meat out. Period. Don’t add it until immediately before cooking.

In this debate, we take the middle road. In our experience, the salt early theory rings true with larger or tougher cuts of beef. For your average steak, salting about a half-hour before cooking is ideal and seasoning right before cooking works just fine, too.

Before seasoning, always make sure to pat the steak dry. Some people like to brush the steak with oil (avoid olive oil, which can become bitter at high heats) or a combination of melted butter and oil before seasoning to help the outside of the steak brown. Season both sides of the steak, using a teaspoon or less of both salt and pepper. Remember, you can always add more seasoning after the steak cooks, but you can’t un-salt the meat.

After seasoning, let the meat sit on the counter for a bit so it comes up to room temperature (a good rule of thumb is at least 10 minutes for every inch of thickness).

If you want to branch out from salt and pepper, marinades and rubs can be used on any type of steak, but are an especially great way to bring flavor to less-expensive cuts.

Cooking Methods

What we love about cooking steak on the stove is how easy it is to get a crisp, caramelized coating on the outside of the steak without over-cooking the middle. More often than not, this is harder to achieve on a grill. Using a combination of the stove-top and the oven is a tried and true method for perfect steak. The question is, which comes first?
The most common method is searing the steak first on the stove, then finishing it in a hot oven.

Pat dry and season the steak.
Pre-heat the oven to 450-500 degrees Fahrenheit.
When the oven is up to temp, drizzle a little oil in an oven-proof pan (cast iron works great) and then heat the pan on the stove over high heat for several minutes until it just barely starts to smoke (you can give the pan a head start by putting it in the oven while it preheats).
Drop the steak in the pan and let it sit without touching it for 3 minutes. Be prepared to turn on your fan or open some windows, as there will be smoke.
If the steak is stuck to the pan, it’s not done browning yet and needs a little more time. If it comes up relatively easily after 3 minutes, flip the steak.
Put the pan, with the steak in it, in the oven.
Let it bake for several minutes, then check by temperature or texture for doneness.
A small but vocal population of steak lovers swears by the “reverse sear” technique. The theory behind this method is that cooking the steak in the oven first will dry the outside of the steak while slowly cooking the inside and keeping it tender. If the outside of the steak is dry, it will then sear faster and more efficiently in a hot pan.

Pat dry and season the steak.
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place a wire cooling rack on a cookie sheet then put the steak on the cooling rack. This allows hot air to circulate around the entire steak.
Bake the steak until the internal temperature is 100-110 degrees.
Drizzle a little oil in a pan over high heat. Just as the pan begins to smoke, drop the steak in the pan.
Cook the steak for 2 minutes on each side.
So does this method really yield a more perfect steak? We have to admit, it did brown the outside of the steak very nicely while leaving the inside really juicy and tender. As a bonus, you get nice grill marks from baking the meat on the cooling rack. Give it a try, and you be the judge.

In some people’s minds, however, the only way to cook a steak is over an open flame in the great outdoors. Many of these same people consider grilling an art form that cannot be mastered overnight. It takes years of experimenting with different types of grills, different heat levels and cooking times and various seasonings and marinades. This may be true for some fanatics out there, but we feel pretty confident that you’ll get a great steak the first time out if you pay attention to a few key things.

The “charcoal vs gas” debate is one that has gone for decades, and we think they both have their place. For convenience and the easy ability to control heat levels, a gas grill can’t be beat. For depth of flavor, charcoal usually wins out.

Either way, you never want to put a steak on a cold grill. Wait until it heats up. For a gas grill, this is easy. Simply turn the knob to medium-high and keep the lid closed for 10-15 minutes. For a charcoal grill, the type of charcoal you use will affect the heat level as well as the flavor of the meat. Briquettes are easy to light, hold steady heat and are inexpensive, but they are also made with questionable additives that can give meat a chemical flavor. We favor hardwood charcoal (made from oak, hickory, mesquite, etc) for a natural, smoky flavor. Hardwood charcoal can be a little trickier to light and once it gets going it burns hotter and more unpredictably, which requires keeping a closer eye on the grill. A small price to pay, we think.

There is no point in using hardwood charcoal and then dousing it in lighter fluid, which will make your meat taste like it was marinated in petroleum. Instead, use a charcoal chimney starter to stack and light the coals. Once the coals are lit (usually about 30 coals are needed to provide adequate heat) wait until they change from bright red to an ashy white, which usually takes at least 20 minutes. Spread the coals out, placing most of them on one side to create a high heat side and a few on the other side of the grill to create a low heat side. Cover the grill for about five minutes so the heat builds to medium-high. To test the heat, simply hold your hand a few inches above the grill. If you can’t hold it there for more then 2 seconds, you’ve got high heat. If you can hold it there for 4-6 seconds without pulling away, the heat is medium-high.

Now, you’re ready to cook. Start by placing the steak (patted dry, seasoned and close to room temp.) over medium-high heat for at least 3 minutes without turning. This is about right for a 1-inch steak; thicker steaks will need another minute or two. Flip, and grill the other side for another 3 minutes. This should brown both sides and bring the steak to the brink of medium-rare.

To bring the steak up to desired doneness, move it to an area of the grill that has less-intense heat. Close the lid and cook for another 3-5 minutes before checking if it’s ready.

Although flames add excitement to grilling, they do nothing for the meat but burn it. Move the steak away from flare-ups as soon as they occur. In general, try to move the steak as little as possible while it cooks – too much movement prevents the steak from searing and getting a crispy, brown coating.

FINISHED
A thermometer is the most accurate way to gauge if steak is done to your liking. Although your thermometer will probably tell you that 145 degrees is rare for beef, any chef you ask will tell you differently. Rare in a chef’s mind, meaning very pink, is closer to 125 degrees; medium-rare is 125-130; medium, 130-135 degrees; medium-well, 135 to 140 degrees; and well, 140 and above. You can also give the steak a poke with your finger. Rare is squishy, medium-rare is spongy, and medium-well is taut. The steak will continue to cook at least five degrees when it’s off the grill or out of the pan, so err on the side of taking it away from heat earlier rather than later.

The final step, which should be included no matter how you cook your steak, is letting the meat rest before cutting into it. As the meat cools down the proteins begin to firm up and hold moisture, so when you cut into the steak all the juicy goodness won’t run out. About 8-10 minutes should do it, and a loose cover of foil or no cover at all is a much better choice than tightly sealing the meat up while it rests. If you’re like us, it takes at least 8-10 minutes to set the table and get everyone to sit down, so usually this step simply happens without having to think about it.

Hungry yet? Get over to your local butcher shop, grab a little salt and pepper, and give one of these cooking methods a try. In less time than it takes to drive to a restaurant, you’ll be sitting down at your kitchen table with a tender, sizzling hot, and dare we stay it, perfect steak on your plate.

This article was brought to you with one of the Challenge #1 (below) mini-challenges in mind. Commit to cooking your own food this month, and check back each Saturday for more Primal cooking tutorials.
Low Temp Cooking is that the process makes cheap but usually more flavorful cuts of tougher meats become texturally perfect and tender.

Valentine’s Day would not be the day of love without celebrating with some form of chocolate. For the ultimate chocolate Valentine’s Day dessert I highly recommend molten lave cakes. They may seem a little intimidating but are well worth the adventure.

It is true Moten Lava Cakes are my favorite Valentine’s Day dessert; they are not always practical to make. Brownies although simple can transform easily into an elegant ending to any couture Valentine’s Day fare. Top with sliced strawberries, medicine ice cream or cinnamon whipped cream. Slice one in half, sildenafil add a teaspoon of cherry pie filling then replace the top. Serve with ice cream or whipped topping and a drizzle of chocolate syrup. Use cookie cutters to make heart or circle shaped brownies. Replace this brownie batter in any recipe calling for boxed brownie mix.

Brownies are great for bake sales, prescription thank you’s, afternoon snacks and satisfy chocolate cravings like non other. This recipe is full of fudge chocolate flavor. I love using Raley’s brand semi-sweet chocolate chips. They have an intense dark chocolate flavor.

Source: Martha Stewart
Makes 9 large or 16 small squares
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for pan
6 ounces coarsely chopped good-quality semisweet chocolate
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a buttered 8-inch square baking pan with foil or parchment paper, allowing 2 inches to hang over sides. Butter lining (excluding overhang); set pan aside.

Put butter, chocolate, and cocoa in a heatproof medium bowl set over a pan of simmering water; stir until butter and chocolate are melted. Let cool slightly.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, pepper and salt in a separate bowl; set aside.

Put sugar, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat on medium speed until pale, about 4 minutes. Add chocolate mixture; beat until combined. Add flour mixture; beat, scraping down sides of bowl, until well incorporated.

Pour batter into prepared pan; smooth top with a rubber spatula. Bake until a cake tester inserted into brownies (avoid center and edges) comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet, about 35 minutes. Let cool slightly in pan, about 15 minutes. Lift out brownies; let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares.
Valentine’s Day would not be the day of love without chocolate for dessert.
Source: Martha Stewart
Makes 9 large or 16 small squares
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, viagra plus more for pan
6 ounces coarsely chopped good-quality semisweet chocolate
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a buttered 8-inch square baking pan with foil or parchment paper, shop allowing 2 inches to hang over sides. Butter lining (excluding overhang); set pan aside.
2. Put butter, chocolate, and cocoa in a heatproof medium bowl set over a pan of simmering water; stir until butter and chocolate are melted. Let cool slightly.
3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl; set aside.
4. Put sugar, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat on medium speed until pale, about 4 minutes. Add chocolate mixture; beat until combined. Add flour mixture; beat, scraping down sides of bowl, until well incorporated.
5. Pour batter into prepared pan; smooth top with a rubber spatula. Bake until a cake tester inserted into brownies (avoid center and edges) comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet, about 35 minutes. Let cool slightly in pan, about 15 minutes. Lift out brownies; let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares.

When I was little I loved Pizza Hut pizza. The crust was so thick and crunchy on the outside and so soft and warm on the inside. Each slice had the perfect ratio of sauce to cheese. Of course if it was not a special occasion we usually ate homemade or Little Caesars. I remember the first time I had Pizza Hut BBQ pizza was on a trip to Atlanta. The BBQ flavor was short lived. Besides I seemed to have been the only one who favored a non traditional slice of pie.

Source: Stolen Moments Cooking
For the crust:
2 tsp yeast
2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 cups warm water (105 to 110 degrees F)
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp Italian seasoning, link optional
4 – 4 1/2 cups flour (can use 3 cups white flour and 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour)

Let yeast and sugar dissolve in warm water in a large mixing bowl for about 5 minutes. Add olive oil, salt and optional Italian seasoning.

Slowly add the flour until completely combined and dough is no longer sticky. Knead for 5 minutes, place in a greased bowl, cover and let rise for 1 hour.

Depending on how thin you like your crust, this makes enough for 2 large pizzas plus 2 small pizzas. The extra dough can be frozen.

For the barbecue sauce:
1 1/2 cups ketchup
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cups brown sugar
1/2 tsp each – allspice, crushed red pepper flakes, pepper, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder

Add everything to a small bowl and stir until combined. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before using to allow the flavors to blend.

For the toppings:
1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and sliced
1/2 pounds bacon, diced and crisped *optional
1 onion, thinly sliced and caramelized (cooked in 2 tsp bacon grease or butter.) *optional
1 cup frozen corn, thawed *optional
2 cup shredded pizza blend cheese

To assemble the pizzas:
Roll out dough into desired sizes on thickness. Place on a baking sheet or stone dusted with cornmeal.

Spread barbecue sauce on top of the crust, leaving about 1/2 inch crust all the way around.

Top with chicken, any other desired toppings and cheese. Bake at 500 degrees for 12-15 minutes, until crust is golden brown.

Variations:
— Sub flour tortillas or frozen or refrigerated pizza dough for the homemade version.
Valentine’s Day would not be the day of love without chocolate for dessert.
Source: Martha Stewart
Makes 9 large or 16 small squares
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, sick plus more for pan
6 ounces coarsely chopped good-quality semisweet chocolate
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a buttered 8-inch square baking pan with foil or parchment paper, illness allowing 2 inches to hang over sides. Butter lining (excluding overhang); set pan aside.
2. Put butter, chocolate, and cocoa in a heatproof medium bowl set over a pan of simmering water; stir until butter and chocolate are melted. Let cool slightly.
3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl; set aside.
4. Put sugar, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat on medium speed until pale, about 4 minutes. Add chocolate mixture; beat until combined. Add flour mixture; beat, scraping down sides of bowl, until well incorporated.
5. Pour batter into prepared pan; smooth top with a rubber spatula. Bake until a cake tester inserted into brownies (avoid center and edges) comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet, about 35 minutes. Let cool slightly in pan, about 15 minutes. Lift out brownies; let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares.

Valentine’s Day would not be the day of love without celebrating with some form of chocolate. For the ultimate chocolate Valentine’s Day dessert I highly recommend molten lave cakes. They may seem a little intimidating but are well worth the adventure.

It is true Moten Lava Cakes are my favorite Valentine’s Day dessert; they are not always practical to make. Brownies although simple can transform easily into an elegant ending to any couture Valentine’s Day fare. Top with sliced strawberries, pills ice cream or cinnamon whipped cream. Slice one in half, add a teaspoon of cherry pie filling then replace the top. Serve with ice cream or whipped topping and a drizzle of chocolate syrup. Use cookie cutters to make heart or circle shaped brownies. Replace this brownie batter in any recipe calling for boxed brownie mix.

Brownies are great for bake sales, thank you’s, afternoon snacks and satisfy chocolate cravings like non other. This recipe is full of fudge chocolate flavor. I love using Raley’s brand semi-sweet chocolate chips. They have an intense dark chocolate flavor.

Source: Martha Stewart
Makes 9 large or 16 small squares
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for pan
6 ounces coarsely chopped good-quality semisweet chocolate
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a buttered 8-inch square baking pan with foil or parchment paper, allowing 2 inches to hang over sides. Butter lining (excluding overhang); set pan aside.

Put butter, chocolate, and cocoa in a heatproof medium bowl set over a pan of simmering water; stir until butter and chocolate are melted. Let cool slightly.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, pepper and salt in a separate bowl; set aside.

Put sugar, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat on medium speed until pale, about 4 minutes. Add chocolate mixture; beat until combined. Add flour mixture; beat, scraping down sides of bowl, until well incorporated.

Pour batter into prepared pan; smooth top with a rubber spatula. Bake until a cake tester inserted into brownies (avoid center and edges) comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet, about 35 minutes. Let cool slightly in pan, about 15 minutes. Lift out brownies; let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares.
The first time I walked into a butcher shop I felt completely out of my element. Navigating the meat case was and can still be intimidating at times. To understand the meat case at a butcher shop, here sickness you must first understand the different cuts of meat. In this tutorial we will focus on the standard cuts of beef.

The top three grades of beef are Prime, sickness and Choice, and Select. The grades are based on the age of the cattle and the degree of marbling of fat.

“Prime” graded meats are the most expensive cuts. You will not find prime graded beef in the grocery store as they are almost exclusively sold to restaurants and hotels. Prime cuts are produced from young well fed cattle. The greater the marbling of fat the more flavorful, tender and juicy the cut of meat.

Choice graded meats has less marbling but are still considered tender, juicy and flavorful as long as they are not over cooked.

Select is the third common grade of meat. It is leaner than the prime and choice with significantly less marbling. The lack of fat means less juice and lower price. You can save money by purchasing a USDA Select graded cut and marinating before cooking to obtain the maximum flavor and tenderness.

So how do you know the choice meat in the supermarket is really what the label says? Select or commercial grade meats appear darker and the fat has an oily or more yellowish appearance.

The various cuts of beef:
1. Chuck:
The first cut of meat behind the head is the shoulder, known in butchery terms as chuck. This section of the cow although flavorful is fairly tough and fatty requiring a slow cooking method (preferably in a liquid) to break down the fibers. Chuck steaks and roasts (chuck blade, chuck fillet, under blade, top blade and roasts) are the least expensive cuts of meat and well worth the price if cooked properly. For blade steaks be sure to marinade or braise well overnight before grilling. Cook stew meat and roasts slowly in liquid.

2. Rib, short loin and sirloin:
You probably won’t find “prime rib” at the grocery store. Instead, look for roasts labeled “rib roast,” “eye of the rib roast” (a boneless roast) or if the ribs are attached a “standing rib roast.” The meat from the middle area of the cow is tender and well marbled with large pockets of fat making steaks juicy and full of flavor.

The prime rib-eye roast is by far the most expensive. Be prepared to shell out some serious cash in the neighborhood of $70 plus dollars

Rib Steak: a prime rib cut into individual steaks. The rib steak has the bone attached while the rib eye steak the bone is removed.

SHORT LOIN STEAK:
The Strip Steak: A long, narrow and slightly triangular top loin steak. The loin steak is less tender than a rib eye without the extra ripples of fat. With the bone removed it goes by many names: strip steak, Kansas City strip, New York strip and sirloin strip steak,

The Tenderloin: Tenderloin steaks are tender but pricey and the flavor is pretty mild. The thickest part of the tenderloin is known as chateaubriand. The meat behind the chateaubriand is the popular Filet mignon.

T-bone Steak: The last steak cut from the tenderloin is known for the t-shape bone that runs down the middle. The T-bone has The porterhouse is a t-bone steak with a bigger portion of tenderloin attached.

Sirloin Steak
The sirloin is basically the cow’s hip. Sirloin steaks are usually fairly large but thin, and the meat is both moderately flavorful and moderately tender. Steaks from this region of a cow tend to be a good value. The most well-known among them are the top sirloin steak and the tri-tip, both boneless. Lesser-known steaks cut from the sirloin are the pin-bone, flat-bone, round-bone and wedge-bone steaks.

Directly below the loin and sirloin, on the underside of the cow’s belly, is the flank. Flank steak is a thin, wide, boneless cut with a texture (grain) that looks very stringy. Cooked very quickly to medium-rare and sliced thinly against the grain, the chewy texture is less noticeable and you will be rewarded with rich flavor.

SEASONING THE MEAT:
f a high-quality cut of meat is cooked correctly, you really don’t need much more than salt and pepper. Which makes one think that seasoning a steak is a very short topic, until of course, you consider the hotly debated “salt early” and “salt late” theories.

The Salt Early Theory: Salting meat many hours or even days before cooking breaks down the protein in meat and makes it more tender. Initially, the salt draws out moisture, but over time the meat re-absorbs the moisture, which is now flavored with salt and therefore adds more succulent flavor to the meat.

The Salt Late Theory: Salt dries meat out. Period. Don’t add it until immediately before cooking.

In this debate, we take the middle road. In our experience, the salt early theory rings true with larger or tougher cuts of beef. For your average steak, salting about a half-hour before cooking is ideal and seasoning right before cooking works just fine, too.

Before seasoning, always make sure to pat the steak dry. Some people like to brush the steak with oil (avoid olive oil, which can become bitter at high heats) or a combination of melted butter and oil before seasoning to help the outside of the steak brown. Season both sides of the steak, using a teaspoon or less of both salt and pepper. Remember, you can always add more seasoning after the steak cooks, but you can’t un-salt the meat.

After seasoning, let the meat sit on the counter for a bit so it comes up to room temperature (a good rule of thumb is at least 10 minutes for every inch of thickness).

If you want to branch out from salt and pepper, marinades and rubs can be used on any type of steak, but are an especially great way to bring flavor to less-expensive cuts.

Cooking Methods

What we love about cooking steak on the stove is how easy it is to get a crisp, caramelized coating on the outside of the steak without over-cooking the middle. More often than not, this is harder to achieve on a grill. Using a combination of the stove-top and the oven is a tried and true method for perfect steak. The question is, which comes first?
The most common method is searing the steak first on the stove, then finishing it in a hot oven.

Pat dry and season the steak.
Pre-heat the oven to 450-500 degrees Fahrenheit.
When the oven is up to temp, drizzle a little oil in an oven-proof pan (cast iron works great) and then heat the pan on the stove over high heat for several minutes until it just barely starts to smoke (you can give the pan a head start by putting it in the oven while it preheats).
Drop the steak in the pan and let it sit without touching it for 3 minutes. Be prepared to turn on your fan or open some windows, as there will be smoke.
If the steak is stuck to the pan, it’s not done browning yet and needs a little more time. If it comes up relatively easily after 3 minutes, flip the steak.
Put the pan, with the steak in it, in the oven.
Let it bake for several minutes, then check by temperature or texture for doneness.
A small but vocal population of steak lovers swears by the “reverse sear” technique. The theory behind this method is that cooking the steak in the oven first will dry the outside of the steak while slowly cooking the inside and keeping it tender. If the outside of the steak is dry, it will then sear faster and more efficiently in a hot pan.

Pat dry and season the steak.
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place a wire cooling rack on a cookie sheet then put the steak on the cooling rack. This allows hot air to circulate around the entire steak.
Bake the steak until the internal temperature is 100-110 degrees.
Drizzle a little oil in a pan over high heat. Just as the pan begins to smoke, drop the steak in the pan.
Cook the steak for 2 minutes on each side.
So does this method really yield a more perfect steak? We have to admit, it did brown the outside of the steak very nicely while leaving the inside really juicy and tender. As a bonus, you get nice grill marks from baking the meat on the cooling rack. Give it a try, and you be the judge.

In some people’s minds, however, the only way to cook a steak is over an open flame in the great outdoors. Many of these same people consider grilling an art form that cannot be mastered overnight. It takes years of experimenting with different types of grills, different heat levels and cooking times and various seasonings and marinades. This may be true for some fanatics out there, but we feel pretty confident that you’ll get a great steak the first time out if you pay attention to a few key things.

The “charcoal vs gas” debate is one that has gone for decades, and we think they both have their place. For convenience and the easy ability to control heat levels, a gas grill can’t be beat. For depth of flavor, charcoal usually wins out.

Either way, you never want to put a steak on a cold grill. Wait until it heats up. For a gas grill, this is easy. Simply turn the knob to medium-high and keep the lid closed for 10-15 minutes. For a charcoal grill, the type of charcoal you use will affect the heat level as well as the flavor of the meat. Briquettes are easy to light, hold steady heat and are inexpensive, but they are also made with questionable additives that can give meat a chemical flavor. We favor hardwood charcoal (made from oak, hickory, mesquite, etc) for a natural, smoky flavor. Hardwood charcoal can be a little trickier to light and once it gets going it burns hotter and more unpredictably, which requires keeping a closer eye on the grill. A small price to pay, we think.

There is no point in using hardwood charcoal and then dousing it in lighter fluid, which will make your meat taste like it was marinated in petroleum. Instead, use a charcoal chimney starter to stack and light the coals. Once the coals are lit (usually about 30 coals are needed to provide adequate heat) wait until they change from bright red to an ashy white, which usually takes at least 20 minutes. Spread the coals out, placing most of them on one side to create a high heat side and a few on the other side of the grill to create a low heat side. Cover the grill for about five minutes so the heat builds to medium-high. To test the heat, simply hold your hand a few inches above the grill. If you can’t hold it there for more then 2 seconds, you’ve got high heat. If you can hold it there for 4-6 seconds without pulling away, the heat is medium-high.

Now, you’re ready to cook. Start by placing the steak (patted dry, seasoned and close to room temp.) over medium-high heat for at least 3 minutes without turning. This is about right for a 1-inch steak; thicker steaks will need another minute or two. Flip, and grill the other side for another 3 minutes. This should brown both sides and bring the steak to the brink of medium-rare.

To bring the steak up to desired doneness, move it to an area of the grill that has less-intense heat. Close the lid and cook for another 3-5 minutes before checking if it’s ready.

Although flames add excitement to grilling, they do nothing for the meat but burn it. Move the steak away from flare-ups as soon as they occur. In general, try to move the steak as little as possible while it cooks – too much movement prevents the steak from searing and getting a crispy, brown coating.

FINISHED
A thermometer is the most accurate way to gauge if steak is done to your liking. Although your thermometer will probably tell you that 145 degrees is rare for beef, any chef you ask will tell you differently. Rare in a chef’s mind, meaning very pink, is closer to 125 degrees; medium-rare is 125-130; medium, 130-135 degrees; medium-well, 135 to 140 degrees; and well, 140 and above. You can also give the steak a poke with your finger. Rare is squishy, medium-rare is spongy, and medium-well is taut. The steak will continue to cook at least five degrees when it’s off the grill or out of the pan, so err on the side of taking it away from heat earlier rather than later.

The final step, which should be included no matter how you cook your steak, is letting the meat rest before cutting into it. As the meat cools down the proteins begin to firm up and hold moisture, so when you cut into the steak all the juicy goodness won’t run out. About 8-10 minutes should do it, and a loose cover of foil or no cover at all is a much better choice than tightly sealing the meat up while it rests. If you’re like us, it takes at least 8-10 minutes to set the table and get everyone to sit down, so usually this step simply happens without having to think about it.

Hungry yet? Get over to your local butcher shop, grab a little salt and pepper, and give one of these cooking methods a try. In less time than it takes to drive to a restaurant, you’ll be sitting down at your kitchen table with a tender, sizzling hot, and dare we stay it, perfect steak on your plate.

This article was brought to you with one of the Challenge #1 (below) mini-challenges in mind. Commit to cooking your own food this month, and check back each Saturday for more Primal cooking tutorials.
Low Temp Cooking is that the process makes cheap but usually more flavorful cuts of tougher meats become texturally perfect and tender.

Valentine’s Day would not be the day of love without celebrating with some form of chocolate. For the ultimate chocolate Valentine’s Day dessert I highly recommend molten lave cakes. They may seem a little intimidating but are well worth the adventure.

It is true Moten Lava Cakes are my favorite Valentine’s Day dessert; they are not always practical to make. Brownies although simple can transform easily into an elegant ending to any couture Valentine’s Day fare. Top with sliced strawberries, medicine ice cream or cinnamon whipped cream. Slice one in half, sildenafil add a teaspoon of cherry pie filling then replace the top. Serve with ice cream or whipped topping and a drizzle of chocolate syrup. Use cookie cutters to make heart or circle shaped brownies. Replace this brownie batter in any recipe calling for boxed brownie mix.

Brownies are great for bake sales, prescription thank you’s, afternoon snacks and satisfy chocolate cravings like non other. This recipe is full of fudge chocolate flavor. I love using Raley’s brand semi-sweet chocolate chips. They have an intense dark chocolate flavor.

Source: Martha Stewart
Makes 9 large or 16 small squares
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for pan
6 ounces coarsely chopped good-quality semisweet chocolate
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a buttered 8-inch square baking pan with foil or parchment paper, allowing 2 inches to hang over sides. Butter lining (excluding overhang); set pan aside.

Put butter, chocolate, and cocoa in a heatproof medium bowl set over a pan of simmering water; stir until butter and chocolate are melted. Let cool slightly.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, pepper and salt in a separate bowl; set aside.

Put sugar, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat on medium speed until pale, about 4 minutes. Add chocolate mixture; beat until combined. Add flour mixture; beat, scraping down sides of bowl, until well incorporated.

Pour batter into prepared pan; smooth top with a rubber spatula. Bake until a cake tester inserted into brownies (avoid center and edges) comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet, about 35 minutes. Let cool slightly in pan, about 15 minutes. Lift out brownies; let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares.
Valentine’s Day would not be the day of love without chocolate for dessert.
Source: Martha Stewart
Makes 9 large or 16 small squares
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, viagra plus more for pan
6 ounces coarsely chopped good-quality semisweet chocolate
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a buttered 8-inch square baking pan with foil or parchment paper, shop allowing 2 inches to hang over sides. Butter lining (excluding overhang); set pan aside.
2. Put butter, chocolate, and cocoa in a heatproof medium bowl set over a pan of simmering water; stir until butter and chocolate are melted. Let cool slightly.
3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl; set aside.
4. Put sugar, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat on medium speed until pale, about 4 minutes. Add chocolate mixture; beat until combined. Add flour mixture; beat, scraping down sides of bowl, until well incorporated.
5. Pour batter into prepared pan; smooth top with a rubber spatula. Bake until a cake tester inserted into brownies (avoid center and edges) comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet, about 35 minutes. Let cool slightly in pan, about 15 minutes. Lift out brownies; let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares.

When I was little I loved Pizza Hut pizza. The crust was so thick and crunchy on the outside and so soft and warm on the inside. Each slice had the perfect ratio of sauce to cheese. Of course if it was not a special occasion we usually ate homemade or Little Caesars. I remember the first time I had Pizza Hut BBQ pizza was on a trip to Atlanta. The BBQ flavor was short lived. Besides I seemed to have been the only one who favored a non traditional slice of pie.

Source: Stolen Moments Cooking
For the crust:
2 tsp yeast
2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 cups warm water (105 to 110 degrees F)
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp Italian seasoning, link optional
4 – 4 1/2 cups flour (can use 3 cups white flour and 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour)

Let yeast and sugar dissolve in warm water in a large mixing bowl for about 5 minutes. Add olive oil, salt and optional Italian seasoning.

Slowly add the flour until completely combined and dough is no longer sticky. Knead for 5 minutes, place in a greased bowl, cover and let rise for 1 hour.

Depending on how thin you like your crust, this makes enough for 2 large pizzas plus 2 small pizzas. The extra dough can be frozen.

For the barbecue sauce:
1 1/2 cups ketchup
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cups brown sugar
1/2 tsp each – allspice, crushed red pepper flakes, pepper, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder

Add everything to a small bowl and stir until combined. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before using to allow the flavors to blend.

For the toppings:
1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and sliced
1/2 pounds bacon, diced and crisped *optional
1 onion, thinly sliced and caramelized (cooked in 2 tsp bacon grease or butter.) *optional
1 cup frozen corn, thawed *optional
2 cup shredded pizza blend cheese

To assemble the pizzas:
Roll out dough into desired sizes on thickness. Place on a baking sheet or stone dusted with cornmeal.

Spread barbecue sauce on top of the crust, leaving about 1/2 inch crust all the way around.

Top with chicken, any other desired toppings and cheese. Bake at 500 degrees for 12-15 minutes, until crust is golden brown.

Variations:
— Sub flour tortillas or frozen or refrigerated pizza dough for the homemade version.
Valentine’s Day would not be the day of love without chocolate for dessert.
Source: Martha Stewart
Makes 9 large or 16 small squares
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, sick plus more for pan
6 ounces coarsely chopped good-quality semisweet chocolate
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a buttered 8-inch square baking pan with foil or parchment paper, illness allowing 2 inches to hang over sides. Butter lining (excluding overhang); set pan aside.
2. Put butter, chocolate, and cocoa in a heatproof medium bowl set over a pan of simmering water; stir until butter and chocolate are melted. Let cool slightly.
3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl; set aside.
4. Put sugar, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat on medium speed until pale, about 4 minutes. Add chocolate mixture; beat until combined. Add flour mixture; beat, scraping down sides of bowl, until well incorporated.
5. Pour batter into prepared pan; smooth top with a rubber spatula. Bake until a cake tester inserted into brownies (avoid center and edges) comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet, about 35 minutes. Let cool slightly in pan, about 15 minutes. Lift out brownies; let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares.

Valentine’s Day would not be the day of love without celebrating with some form of chocolate. For the ultimate chocolate Valentine’s Day dessert I highly recommend molten lave cakes. They may seem a little intimidating but are well worth the adventure.

It is true Moten Lava Cakes are my favorite Valentine’s Day dessert; they are not always practical to make. Brownies although simple can transform easily into an elegant ending to any couture Valentine’s Day fare. Top with sliced strawberries, pills ice cream or cinnamon whipped cream. Slice one in half, add a teaspoon of cherry pie filling then replace the top. Serve with ice cream or whipped topping and a drizzle of chocolate syrup. Use cookie cutters to make heart or circle shaped brownies. Replace this brownie batter in any recipe calling for boxed brownie mix.

Brownies are great for bake sales, thank you’s, afternoon snacks and satisfy chocolate cravings like non other. This recipe is full of fudge chocolate flavor. I love using Raley’s brand semi-sweet chocolate chips. They have an intense dark chocolate flavor.

Source: Martha Stewart
Makes 9 large or 16 small squares
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for pan
6 ounces coarsely chopped good-quality semisweet chocolate
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a buttered 8-inch square baking pan with foil or parchment paper, allowing 2 inches to hang over sides. Butter lining (excluding overhang); set pan aside.

Put butter, chocolate, and cocoa in a heatproof medium bowl set over a pan of simmering water; stir until butter and chocolate are melted. Let cool slightly.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, pepper and salt in a separate bowl; set aside.

Put sugar, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat on medium speed until pale, about 4 minutes. Add chocolate mixture; beat until combined. Add flour mixture; beat, scraping down sides of bowl, until well incorporated.

Pour batter into prepared pan; smooth top with a rubber spatula. Bake until a cake tester inserted into brownies (avoid center and edges) comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet, about 35 minutes. Let cool slightly in pan, about 15 minutes. Lift out brownies; let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares.
Valentine’s Day would not be the day of love without chocolate for dessert.
Source: Martha Stewart
Makes 9 large or 16 small squares
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, viagra plus more for pan
6 ounces coarsely chopped good-quality semisweet chocolate
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a buttered 8-inch square baking pan with foil or parchment paper, unhealthy allowing 2 inches to hang over sides. Butter lining (excluding overhang); set pan aside.
2. Put butter, chocolate, and cocoa in a heatproof medium bowl set over a pan of simmering water; stir until butter and chocolate are melted. Let cool slightly.
3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl; set aside.
4. Put sugar, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat on medium speed until pale, about 4 minutes. Add chocolate mixture; beat until combined. Add flour mixture; beat, scraping down sides of bowl, until well incorporated.
5. Pour batter into prepared pan; smooth top with a rubber spatula. Bake until a cake tester inserted into brownies (avoid center and edges) comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet, about 35 minutes. Let cool slightly in pan, about 15 minutes. Lift out brownies; let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares.

The first time I walked into a butcher shop I felt completely out of my element. Navigating the meat case was and can still be intimidating at times. To understand the meat case at a butcher shop, here sickness you must first understand the different cuts of meat. In this tutorial we will focus on the standard cuts of beef.

The top three grades of beef are Prime, sickness and Choice, and Select. The grades are based on the age of the cattle and the degree of marbling of fat.

“Prime” graded meats are the most expensive cuts. You will not find prime graded beef in the grocery store as they are almost exclusively sold to restaurants and hotels. Prime cuts are produced from young well fed cattle. The greater the marbling of fat the more flavorful, tender and juicy the cut of meat.

Choice graded meats has less marbling but are still considered tender, juicy and flavorful as long as they are not over cooked.

Select is the third common grade of meat. It is leaner than the prime and choice with significantly less marbling. The lack of fat means less juice and lower price. You can save money by purchasing a USDA Select graded cut and marinating before cooking to obtain the maximum flavor and tenderness.

So how do you know the choice meat in the supermarket is really what the label says? Select or commercial grade meats appear darker and the fat has an oily or more yellowish appearance.

The various cuts of beef:
1. Chuck:
The first cut of meat behind the head is the shoulder, known in butchery terms as chuck. This section of the cow although flavorful is fairly tough and fatty requiring a slow cooking method (preferably in a liquid) to break down the fibers. Chuck steaks and roasts (chuck blade, chuck fillet, under blade, top blade and roasts) are the least expensive cuts of meat and well worth the price if cooked properly. For blade steaks be sure to marinade or braise well overnight before grilling. Cook stew meat and roasts slowly in liquid.

2. Rib, short loin and sirloin:
You probably won’t find “prime rib” at the grocery store. Instead, look for roasts labeled “rib roast,” “eye of the rib roast” (a boneless roast) or if the ribs are attached a “standing rib roast.” The meat from the middle area of the cow is tender and well marbled with large pockets of fat making steaks juicy and full of flavor.

The prime rib-eye roast is by far the most expensive. Be prepared to shell out some serious cash in the neighborhood of $70 plus dollars

Rib Steak: a prime rib cut into individual steaks. The rib steak has the bone attached while the rib eye steak the bone is removed.

SHORT LOIN STEAK:
The Strip Steak: A long, narrow and slightly triangular top loin steak. The loin steak is less tender than a rib eye without the extra ripples of fat. With the bone removed it goes by many names: strip steak, Kansas City strip, New York strip and sirloin strip steak,

The Tenderloin: Tenderloin steaks are tender but pricey and the flavor is pretty mild. The thickest part of the tenderloin is known as chateaubriand. The meat behind the chateaubriand is the popular Filet mignon.

T-bone Steak: The last steak cut from the tenderloin is known for the t-shape bone that runs down the middle. The T-bone has The porterhouse is a t-bone steak with a bigger portion of tenderloin attached.

Sirloin Steak
The sirloin is basically the cow’s hip. Sirloin steaks are usually fairly large but thin, and the meat is both moderately flavorful and moderately tender. Steaks from this region of a cow tend to be a good value. The most well-known among them are the top sirloin steak and the tri-tip, both boneless. Lesser-known steaks cut from the sirloin are the pin-bone, flat-bone, round-bone and wedge-bone steaks.

Directly below the loin and sirloin, on the underside of the cow’s belly, is the flank. Flank steak is a thin, wide, boneless cut with a texture (grain) that looks very stringy. Cooked very quickly to medium-rare and sliced thinly against the grain, the chewy texture is less noticeable and you will be rewarded with rich flavor.

SEASONING THE MEAT:
f a high-quality cut of meat is cooked correctly, you really don’t need much more than salt and pepper. Which makes one think that seasoning a steak is a very short topic, until of course, you consider the hotly debated “salt early” and “salt late” theories.

The Salt Early Theory: Salting meat many hours or even days before cooking breaks down the protein in meat and makes it more tender. Initially, the salt draws out moisture, but over time the meat re-absorbs the moisture, which is now flavored with salt and therefore adds more succulent flavor to the meat.

The Salt Late Theory: Salt dries meat out. Period. Don’t add it until immediately before cooking.

In this debate, we take the middle road. In our experience, the salt early theory rings true with larger or tougher cuts of beef. For your average steak, salting about a half-hour before cooking is ideal and seasoning right before cooking works just fine, too.

Before seasoning, always make sure to pat the steak dry. Some people like to brush the steak with oil (avoid olive oil, which can become bitter at high heats) or a combination of melted butter and oil before seasoning to help the outside of the steak brown. Season both sides of the steak, using a teaspoon or less of both salt and pepper. Remember, you can always add more seasoning after the steak cooks, but you can’t un-salt the meat.

After seasoning, let the meat sit on the counter for a bit so it comes up to room temperature (a good rule of thumb is at least 10 minutes for every inch of thickness).

If you want to branch out from salt and pepper, marinades and rubs can be used on any type of steak, but are an especially great way to bring flavor to less-expensive cuts.

Cooking Methods

What we love about cooking steak on the stove is how easy it is to get a crisp, caramelized coating on the outside of the steak without over-cooking the middle. More often than not, this is harder to achieve on a grill. Using a combination of the stove-top and the oven is a tried and true method for perfect steak. The question is, which comes first?
The most common method is searing the steak first on the stove, then finishing it in a hot oven.

Pat dry and season the steak.
Pre-heat the oven to 450-500 degrees Fahrenheit.
When the oven is up to temp, drizzle a little oil in an oven-proof pan (cast iron works great) and then heat the pan on the stove over high heat for several minutes until it just barely starts to smoke (you can give the pan a head start by putting it in the oven while it preheats).
Drop the steak in the pan and let it sit without touching it for 3 minutes. Be prepared to turn on your fan or open some windows, as there will be smoke.
If the steak is stuck to the pan, it’s not done browning yet and needs a little more time. If it comes up relatively easily after 3 minutes, flip the steak.
Put the pan, with the steak in it, in the oven.
Let it bake for several minutes, then check by temperature or texture for doneness.
A small but vocal population of steak lovers swears by the “reverse sear” technique. The theory behind this method is that cooking the steak in the oven first will dry the outside of the steak while slowly cooking the inside and keeping it tender. If the outside of the steak is dry, it will then sear faster and more efficiently in a hot pan.

Pat dry and season the steak.
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place a wire cooling rack on a cookie sheet then put the steak on the cooling rack. This allows hot air to circulate around the entire steak.
Bake the steak until the internal temperature is 100-110 degrees.
Drizzle a little oil in a pan over high heat. Just as the pan begins to smoke, drop the steak in the pan.
Cook the steak for 2 minutes on each side.
So does this method really yield a more perfect steak? We have to admit, it did brown the outside of the steak very nicely while leaving the inside really juicy and tender. As a bonus, you get nice grill marks from baking the meat on the cooling rack. Give it a try, and you be the judge.

In some people’s minds, however, the only way to cook a steak is over an open flame in the great outdoors. Many of these same people consider grilling an art form that cannot be mastered overnight. It takes years of experimenting with different types of grills, different heat levels and cooking times and various seasonings and marinades. This may be true for some fanatics out there, but we feel pretty confident that you’ll get a great steak the first time out if you pay attention to a few key things.

The “charcoal vs gas” debate is one that has gone for decades, and we think they both have their place. For convenience and the easy ability to control heat levels, a gas grill can’t be beat. For depth of flavor, charcoal usually wins out.

Either way, you never want to put a steak on a cold grill. Wait until it heats up. For a gas grill, this is easy. Simply turn the knob to medium-high and keep the lid closed for 10-15 minutes. For a charcoal grill, the type of charcoal you use will affect the heat level as well as the flavor of the meat. Briquettes are easy to light, hold steady heat and are inexpensive, but they are also made with questionable additives that can give meat a chemical flavor. We favor hardwood charcoal (made from oak, hickory, mesquite, etc) for a natural, smoky flavor. Hardwood charcoal can be a little trickier to light and once it gets going it burns hotter and more unpredictably, which requires keeping a closer eye on the grill. A small price to pay, we think.

There is no point in using hardwood charcoal and then dousing it in lighter fluid, which will make your meat taste like it was marinated in petroleum. Instead, use a charcoal chimney starter to stack and light the coals. Once the coals are lit (usually about 30 coals are needed to provide adequate heat) wait until they change from bright red to an ashy white, which usually takes at least 20 minutes. Spread the coals out, placing most of them on one side to create a high heat side and a few on the other side of the grill to create a low heat side. Cover the grill for about five minutes so the heat builds to medium-high. To test the heat, simply hold your hand a few inches above the grill. If you can’t hold it there for more then 2 seconds, you’ve got high heat. If you can hold it there for 4-6 seconds without pulling away, the heat is medium-high.

Now, you’re ready to cook. Start by placing the steak (patted dry, seasoned and close to room temp.) over medium-high heat for at least 3 minutes without turning. This is about right for a 1-inch steak; thicker steaks will need another minute or two. Flip, and grill the other side for another 3 minutes. This should brown both sides and bring the steak to the brink of medium-rare.

To bring the steak up to desired doneness, move it to an area of the grill that has less-intense heat. Close the lid and cook for another 3-5 minutes before checking if it’s ready.

Although flames add excitement to grilling, they do nothing for the meat but burn it. Move the steak away from flare-ups as soon as they occur. In general, try to move the steak as little as possible while it cooks – too much movement prevents the steak from searing and getting a crispy, brown coating.

FINISHED
A thermometer is the most accurate way to gauge if steak is done to your liking. Although your thermometer will probably tell you that 145 degrees is rare for beef, any chef you ask will tell you differently. Rare in a chef’s mind, meaning very pink, is closer to 125 degrees; medium-rare is 125-130; medium, 130-135 degrees; medium-well, 135 to 140 degrees; and well, 140 and above. You can also give the steak a poke with your finger. Rare is squishy, medium-rare is spongy, and medium-well is taut. The steak will continue to cook at least five degrees when it’s off the grill or out of the pan, so err on the side of taking it away from heat earlier rather than later.

The final step, which should be included no matter how you cook your steak, is letting the meat rest before cutting into it. As the meat cools down the proteins begin to firm up and hold moisture, so when you cut into the steak all the juicy goodness won’t run out. About 8-10 minutes should do it, and a loose cover of foil or no cover at all is a much better choice than tightly sealing the meat up while it rests. If you’re like us, it takes at least 8-10 minutes to set the table and get everyone to sit down, so usually this step simply happens without having to think about it.

Hungry yet? Get over to your local butcher shop, grab a little salt and pepper, and give one of these cooking methods a try. In less time than it takes to drive to a restaurant, you’ll be sitting down at your kitchen table with a tender, sizzling hot, and dare we stay it, perfect steak on your plate.

This article was brought to you with one of the Challenge #1 (below) mini-challenges in mind. Commit to cooking your own food this month, and check back each Saturday for more Primal cooking tutorials.
Low Temp Cooking is that the process makes cheap but usually more flavorful cuts of tougher meats become texturally perfect and tender.

Valentine’s Day would not be the day of love without celebrating with some form of chocolate. For the ultimate chocolate Valentine’s Day dessert I highly recommend molten lave cakes. They may seem a little intimidating but are well worth the adventure.

It is true Moten Lava Cakes are my favorite Valentine’s Day dessert; they are not always practical to make. Brownies although simple can transform easily into an elegant ending to any couture Valentine’s Day fare. Top with sliced strawberries, medicine ice cream or cinnamon whipped cream. Slice one in half, sildenafil add a teaspoon of cherry pie filling then replace the top. Serve with ice cream or whipped topping and a drizzle of chocolate syrup. Use cookie cutters to make heart or circle shaped brownies. Replace this brownie batter in any recipe calling for boxed brownie mix.

Brownies are great for bake sales, prescription thank you’s, afternoon snacks and satisfy chocolate cravings like non other. This recipe is full of fudge chocolate flavor. I love using Raley’s brand semi-sweet chocolate chips. They have an intense dark chocolate flavor.

Source: Martha Stewart
Makes 9 large or 16 small squares
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for pan
6 ounces coarsely chopped good-quality semisweet chocolate
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a buttered 8-inch square baking pan with foil or parchment paper, allowing 2 inches to hang over sides. Butter lining (excluding overhang); set pan aside.

Put butter, chocolate, and cocoa in a heatproof medium bowl set over a pan of simmering water; stir until butter and chocolate are melted. Let cool slightly.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, pepper and salt in a separate bowl; set aside.

Put sugar, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat on medium speed until pale, about 4 minutes. Add chocolate mixture; beat until combined. Add flour mixture; beat, scraping down sides of bowl, until well incorporated.

Pour batter into prepared pan; smooth top with a rubber spatula. Bake until a cake tester inserted into brownies (avoid center and edges) comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet, about 35 minutes. Let cool slightly in pan, about 15 minutes. Lift out brownies; let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares.
Valentine’s Day would not be the day of love without chocolate for dessert.
Source: Martha Stewart
Makes 9 large or 16 small squares
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, viagra plus more for pan
6 ounces coarsely chopped good-quality semisweet chocolate
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a buttered 8-inch square baking pan with foil or parchment paper, shop allowing 2 inches to hang over sides. Butter lining (excluding overhang); set pan aside.
2. Put butter, chocolate, and cocoa in a heatproof medium bowl set over a pan of simmering water; stir until butter and chocolate are melted. Let cool slightly.
3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl; set aside.
4. Put sugar, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat on medium speed until pale, about 4 minutes. Add chocolate mixture; beat until combined. Add flour mixture; beat, scraping down sides of bowl, until well incorporated.
5. Pour batter into prepared pan; smooth top with a rubber spatula. Bake until a cake tester inserted into brownies (avoid center and edges) comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet, about 35 minutes. Let cool slightly in pan, about 15 minutes. Lift out brownies; let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares.

When I was little I loved Pizza Hut pizza. The crust was so thick and crunchy on the outside and so soft and warm on the inside. Each slice had the perfect ratio of sauce to cheese. Of course if it was not a special occasion we usually ate homemade or Little Caesars. I remember the first time I had Pizza Hut BBQ pizza was on a trip to Atlanta. The BBQ flavor was short lived. Besides I seemed to have been the only one who favored a non traditional slice of pie.

Source: Stolen Moments Cooking
For the crust:
2 tsp yeast
2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 cups warm water (105 to 110 degrees F)
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp Italian seasoning, link optional
4 – 4 1/2 cups flour (can use 3 cups white flour and 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour)

Let yeast and sugar dissolve in warm water in a large mixing bowl for about 5 minutes. Add olive oil, salt and optional Italian seasoning.

Slowly add the flour until completely combined and dough is no longer sticky. Knead for 5 minutes, place in a greased bowl, cover and let rise for 1 hour.

Depending on how thin you like your crust, this makes enough for 2 large pizzas plus 2 small pizzas. The extra dough can be frozen.

For the barbecue sauce:
1 1/2 cups ketchup
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cups brown sugar
1/2 tsp each – allspice, crushed red pepper flakes, pepper, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder

Add everything to a small bowl and stir until combined. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before using to allow the flavors to blend.

For the toppings:
1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and sliced
1/2 pounds bacon, diced and crisped *optional
1 onion, thinly sliced and caramelized (cooked in 2 tsp bacon grease or butter.) *optional
1 cup frozen corn, thawed *optional
2 cup shredded pizza blend cheese

To assemble the pizzas:
Roll out dough into desired sizes on thickness. Place on a baking sheet or stone dusted with cornmeal.

Spread barbecue sauce on top of the crust, leaving about 1/2 inch crust all the way around.

Top with chicken, any other desired toppings and cheese. Bake at 500 degrees for 12-15 minutes, until crust is golden brown.

Variations:
— Sub flour tortillas or frozen or refrigerated pizza dough for the homemade version.
Valentine’s Day would not be the day of love without chocolate for dessert.
Source: Martha Stewart
Makes 9 large or 16 small squares
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, sick plus more for pan
6 ounces coarsely chopped good-quality semisweet chocolate
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a buttered 8-inch square baking pan with foil or parchment paper, illness allowing 2 inches to hang over sides. Butter lining (excluding overhang); set pan aside.
2. Put butter, chocolate, and cocoa in a heatproof medium bowl set over a pan of simmering water; stir until butter and chocolate are melted. Let cool slightly.
3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl; set aside.
4. Put sugar, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat on medium speed until pale, about 4 minutes. Add chocolate mixture; beat until combined. Add flour mixture; beat, scraping down sides of bowl, until well incorporated.
5. Pour batter into prepared pan; smooth top with a rubber spatula. Bake until a cake tester inserted into brownies (avoid center and edges) comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet, about 35 minutes. Let cool slightly in pan, about 15 minutes. Lift out brownies; let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares.

Valentine’s Day would not be the day of love without celebrating with some form of chocolate. For the ultimate chocolate Valentine’s Day dessert I highly recommend molten lave cakes. They may seem a little intimidating but are well worth the adventure.

It is true Moten Lava Cakes are my favorite Valentine’s Day dessert; they are not always practical to make. Brownies although simple can transform easily into an elegant ending to any couture Valentine’s Day fare. Top with sliced strawberries, pills ice cream or cinnamon whipped cream. Slice one in half, add a teaspoon of cherry pie filling then replace the top. Serve with ice cream or whipped topping and a drizzle of chocolate syrup. Use cookie cutters to make heart or circle shaped brownies. Replace this brownie batter in any recipe calling for boxed brownie mix.

Brownies are great for bake sales, thank you’s, afternoon snacks and satisfy chocolate cravings like non other. This recipe is full of fudge chocolate flavor. I love using Raley’s brand semi-sweet chocolate chips. They have an intense dark chocolate flavor.

Source: Martha Stewart
Makes 9 large or 16 small squares
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for pan
6 ounces coarsely chopped good-quality semisweet chocolate
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a buttered 8-inch square baking pan with foil or parchment paper, allowing 2 inches to hang over sides. Butter lining (excluding overhang); set pan aside.

Put butter, chocolate, and cocoa in a heatproof medium bowl set over a pan of simmering water; stir until butter and chocolate are melted. Let cool slightly.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, pepper and salt in a separate bowl; set aside.

Put sugar, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat on medium speed until pale, about 4 minutes. Add chocolate mixture; beat until combined. Add flour mixture; beat, scraping down sides of bowl, until well incorporated.

Pour batter into prepared pan; smooth top with a rubber spatula. Bake until a cake tester inserted into brownies (avoid center and edges) comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet, about 35 minutes. Let cool slightly in pan, about 15 minutes. Lift out brownies; let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares.
Valentine’s Day would not be the day of love without chocolate for dessert.
Source: Martha Stewart
Makes 9 large or 16 small squares
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, viagra plus more for pan
6 ounces coarsely chopped good-quality semisweet chocolate
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a buttered 8-inch square baking pan with foil or parchment paper, unhealthy allowing 2 inches to hang over sides. Butter lining (excluding overhang); set pan aside.
2. Put butter, chocolate, and cocoa in a heatproof medium bowl set over a pan of simmering water; stir until butter and chocolate are melted. Let cool slightly.
3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl; set aside.
4. Put sugar, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat on medium speed until pale, about 4 minutes. Add chocolate mixture; beat until combined. Add flour mixture; beat, scraping down sides of bowl, until well incorporated.
5. Pour batter into prepared pan; smooth top with a rubber spatula. Bake until a cake tester inserted into brownies (avoid center and edges) comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet, about 35 minutes. Let cool slightly in pan, about 15 minutes. Lift out brownies; let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares.

The common consensus regarding the proper way to season Prime Rib is a little salt and pepper. The meat is so flavorful that nothing else is needed. I agree. The worst experience I had with prime rib was at a restaurant whose chef covered the slab of beef with an assortment of herbs; most influential was rosemary. However, buy I have to vere away from traditional opinion and recommend this recipe for garlic crusted prime rib.

Lets talk meat. First the word Prime refers to the grade of meat not the cut. Prime meats are only sold to restaurants. You will not find a package labeled prime rib at the local supermarket. If you do not have a local butcher shop it is possible that warehouses such as Costco or Sams will carry Prime Rib. Otherwise you can use a Rib-Eye Roast from the supermarket. Choose between a bone in roast, page called a standing rib roast, this or boneless. When choosing a boneless roast ask the butcher to tie it for you.

Source: Chef Mike
1 (10 pound) prime rib roast
10 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 teaspoons dried thyme

Place the roast in a roasting pan with the fatty side up. In a small bowl, mix together the garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme. Spread the mixture over the fatty layer of the roast, and let the roast sit out until it is at room temperature, no longer than 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F (260 degrees C).
Bake the roast for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, then reduce the temperature to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C), and continue roasting for an additional 60 to 75 minutes. The internal temperature of the roast should be at 125 degrees F (53 degrees C) for medium rare.
Allow the roast to rest for 10 or 15 minutes before carving so the meat can retain its juices. Do not cover with aluminium foil.
The first time I walked into a butcher shop I felt completely out of my element. Navigating the meat case was and can still be intimidating at times. To understand the meat case at a butcher shop, here sickness you must first understand the different cuts of meat. In this tutorial we will focus on the standard cuts of beef.

The top three grades of beef are Prime, sickness and Choice, and Select. The grades are based on the age of the cattle and the degree of marbling of fat.

“Prime” graded meats are the most expensive cuts. You will not find prime graded beef in the grocery store as they are almost exclusively sold to restaurants and hotels. Prime cuts are produced from young well fed cattle. The greater the marbling of fat the more flavorful, tender and juicy the cut of meat.

Choice graded meats has less marbling but are still considered tender, juicy and flavorful as long as they are not over cooked.

Select is the third common grade of meat. It is leaner than the prime and choice with significantly less marbling. The lack of fat means less juice and lower price. You can save money by purchasing a USDA Select graded cut and marinating before cooking to obtain the maximum flavor and tenderness.

So how do you know the choice meat in the supermarket is really what the label says? Select or commercial grade meats appear darker and the fat has an oily or more yellowish appearance.

The various cuts of beef:
1. Chuck:
The first cut of meat behind the head is the shoulder, known in butchery terms as chuck. This section of the cow although flavorful is fairly tough and fatty requiring a slow cooking method (preferably in a liquid) to break down the fibers. Chuck steaks and roasts (chuck blade, chuck fillet, under blade, top blade and roasts) are the least expensive cuts of meat and well worth the price if cooked properly. For blade steaks be sure to marinade or braise well overnight before grilling. Cook stew meat and roasts slowly in liquid.

2. Rib, short loin and sirloin:
You probably won’t find “prime rib” at the grocery store. Instead, look for roasts labeled “rib roast,” “eye of the rib roast” (a boneless roast) or if the ribs are attached a “standing rib roast.” The meat from the middle area of the cow is tender and well marbled with large pockets of fat making steaks juicy and full of flavor.

The prime rib-eye roast is by far the most expensive. Be prepared to shell out some serious cash in the neighborhood of $70 plus dollars

Rib Steak: a prime rib cut into individual steaks. The rib steak has the bone attached while the rib eye steak the bone is removed.

SHORT LOIN STEAK:
The Strip Steak: A long, narrow and slightly triangular top loin steak. The loin steak is less tender than a rib eye without the extra ripples of fat. With the bone removed it goes by many names: strip steak, Kansas City strip, New York strip and sirloin strip steak,

The Tenderloin: Tenderloin steaks are tender but pricey and the flavor is pretty mild. The thickest part of the tenderloin is known as chateaubriand. The meat behind the chateaubriand is the popular Filet mignon.

T-bone Steak: The last steak cut from the tenderloin is known for the t-shape bone that runs down the middle. The T-bone has The porterhouse is a t-bone steak with a bigger portion of tenderloin attached.

Sirloin Steak
The sirloin is basically the cow’s hip. Sirloin steaks are usually fairly large but thin, and the meat is both moderately flavorful and moderately tender. Steaks from this region of a cow tend to be a good value. The most well-known among them are the top sirloin steak and the tri-tip, both boneless. Lesser-known steaks cut from the sirloin are the pin-bone, flat-bone, round-bone and wedge-bone steaks.

Directly below the loin and sirloin, on the underside of the cow’s belly, is the flank. Flank steak is a thin, wide, boneless cut with a texture (grain) that looks very stringy. Cooked very quickly to medium-rare and sliced thinly against the grain, the chewy texture is less noticeable and you will be rewarded with rich flavor.

SEASONING THE MEAT:
f a high-quality cut of meat is cooked correctly, you really don’t need much more than salt and pepper. Which makes one think that seasoning a steak is a very short topic, until of course, you consider the hotly debated “salt early” and “salt late” theories.

The Salt Early Theory: Salting meat many hours or even days before cooking breaks down the protein in meat and makes it more tender. Initially, the salt draws out moisture, but over time the meat re-absorbs the moisture, which is now flavored with salt and therefore adds more succulent flavor to the meat.

The Salt Late Theory: Salt dries meat out. Period. Don’t add it until immediately before cooking.

In this debate, we take the middle road. In our experience, the salt early theory rings true with larger or tougher cuts of beef. For your average steak, salting about a half-hour before cooking is ideal and seasoning right before cooking works just fine, too.

Before seasoning, always make sure to pat the steak dry. Some people like to brush the steak with oil (avoid olive oil, which can become bitter at high heats) or a combination of melted butter and oil before seasoning to help the outside of the steak brown. Season both sides of the steak, using a teaspoon or less of both salt and pepper. Remember, you can always add more seasoning after the steak cooks, but you can’t un-salt the meat.

After seasoning, let the meat sit on the counter for a bit so it comes up to room temperature (a good rule of thumb is at least 10 minutes for every inch of thickness).

If you want to branch out from salt and pepper, marinades and rubs can be used on any type of steak, but are an especially great way to bring flavor to less-expensive cuts.

Cooking Methods

What we love about cooking steak on the stove is how easy it is to get a crisp, caramelized coating on the outside of the steak without over-cooking the middle. More often than not, this is harder to achieve on a grill. Using a combination of the stove-top and the oven is a tried and true method for perfect steak. The question is, which comes first?
The most common method is searing the steak first on the stove, then finishing it in a hot oven.

Pat dry and season the steak.
Pre-heat the oven to 450-500 degrees Fahrenheit.
When the oven is up to temp, drizzle a little oil in an oven-proof pan (cast iron works great) and then heat the pan on the stove over high heat for several minutes until it just barely starts to smoke (you can give the pan a head start by putting it in the oven while it preheats).
Drop the steak in the pan and let it sit without touching it for 3 minutes. Be prepared to turn on your fan or open some windows, as there will be smoke.
If the steak is stuck to the pan, it’s not done browning yet and needs a little more time. If it comes up relatively easily after 3 minutes, flip the steak.
Put the pan, with the steak in it, in the oven.
Let it bake for several minutes, then check by temperature or texture for doneness.
A small but vocal population of steak lovers swears by the “reverse sear” technique. The theory behind this method is that cooking the steak in the oven first will dry the outside of the steak while slowly cooking the inside and keeping it tender. If the outside of the steak is dry, it will then sear faster and more efficiently in a hot pan.

Pat dry and season the steak.
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place a wire cooling rack on a cookie sheet then put the steak on the cooling rack. This allows hot air to circulate around the entire steak.
Bake the steak until the internal temperature is 100-110 degrees.
Drizzle a little oil in a pan over high heat. Just as the pan begins to smoke, drop the steak in the pan.
Cook the steak for 2 minutes on each side.
So does this method really yield a more perfect steak? We have to admit, it did brown the outside of the steak very nicely while leaving the inside really juicy and tender. As a bonus, you get nice grill marks from baking the meat on the cooling rack. Give it a try, and you be the judge.

In some people’s minds, however, the only way to cook a steak is over an open flame in the great outdoors. Many of these same people consider grilling an art form that cannot be mastered overnight. It takes years of experimenting with different types of grills, different heat levels and cooking times and various seasonings and marinades. This may be true for some fanatics out there, but we feel pretty confident that you’ll get a great steak the first time out if you pay attention to a few key things.

The “charcoal vs gas” debate is one that has gone for decades, and we think they both have their place. For convenience and the easy ability to control heat levels, a gas grill can’t be beat. For depth of flavor, charcoal usually wins out.

Either way, you never want to put a steak on a cold grill. Wait until it heats up. For a gas grill, this is easy. Simply turn the knob to medium-high and keep the lid closed for 10-15 minutes. For a charcoal grill, the type of charcoal you use will affect the heat level as well as the flavor of the meat. Briquettes are easy to light, hold steady heat and are inexpensive, but they are also made with questionable additives that can give meat a chemical flavor. We favor hardwood charcoal (made from oak, hickory, mesquite, etc) for a natural, smoky flavor. Hardwood charcoal can be a little trickier to light and once it gets going it burns hotter and more unpredictably, which requires keeping a closer eye on the grill. A small price to pay, we think.

There is no point in using hardwood charcoal and then dousing it in lighter fluid, which will make your meat taste like it was marinated in petroleum. Instead, use a charcoal chimney starter to stack and light the coals. Once the coals are lit (usually about 30 coals are needed to provide adequate heat) wait until they change from bright red to an ashy white, which usually takes at least 20 minutes. Spread the coals out, placing most of them on one side to create a high heat side and a few on the other side of the grill to create a low heat side. Cover the grill for about five minutes so the heat builds to medium-high. To test the heat, simply hold your hand a few inches above the grill. If you can’t hold it there for more then 2 seconds, you’ve got high heat. If you can hold it there for 4-6 seconds without pulling away, the heat is medium-high.

Now, you’re ready to cook. Start by placing the steak (patted dry, seasoned and close to room temp.) over medium-high heat for at least 3 minutes without turning. This is about right for a 1-inch steak; thicker steaks will need another minute or two. Flip, and grill the other side for another 3 minutes. This should brown both sides and bring the steak to the brink of medium-rare.

To bring the steak up to desired doneness, move it to an area of the grill that has less-intense heat. Close the lid and cook for another 3-5 minutes before checking if it’s ready.

Although flames add excitement to grilling, they do nothing for the meat but burn it. Move the steak away from flare-ups as soon as they occur. In general, try to move the steak as little as possible while it cooks – too much movement prevents the steak from searing and getting a crispy, brown coating.

FINISHED
A thermometer is the most accurate way to gauge if steak is done to your liking. Although your thermometer will probably tell you that 145 degrees is rare for beef, any chef you ask will tell you differently. Rare in a chef’s mind, meaning very pink, is closer to 125 degrees; medium-rare is 125-130; medium, 130-135 degrees; medium-well, 135 to 140 degrees; and well, 140 and above. You can also give the steak a poke with your finger. Rare is squishy, medium-rare is spongy, and medium-well is taut. The steak will continue to cook at least five degrees when it’s off the grill or out of the pan, so err on the side of taking it away from heat earlier rather than later.

The final step, which should be included no matter how you cook your steak, is letting the meat rest before cutting into it. As the meat cools down the proteins begin to firm up and hold moisture, so when you cut into the steak all the juicy goodness won’t run out. About 8-10 minutes should do it, and a loose cover of foil or no cover at all is a much better choice than tightly sealing the meat up while it rests. If you’re like us, it takes at least 8-10 minutes to set the table and get everyone to sit down, so usually this step simply happens without having to think about it.

Hungry yet? Get over to your local butcher shop, grab a little salt and pepper, and give one of these cooking methods a try. In less time than it takes to drive to a restaurant, you’ll be sitting down at your kitchen table with a tender, sizzling hot, and dare we stay it, perfect steak on your plate.

This article was brought to you with one of the Challenge #1 (below) mini-challenges in mind. Commit to cooking your own food this month, and check back each Saturday for more Primal cooking tutorials.
Low Temp Cooking is that the process makes cheap but usually more flavorful cuts of tougher meats become texturally perfect and tender.

Valentine’s Day would not be the day of love without celebrating with some form of chocolate. For the ultimate chocolate Valentine’s Day dessert I highly recommend molten lave cakes. They may seem a little intimidating but are well worth the adventure.

It is true Moten Lava Cakes are my favorite Valentine’s Day dessert; they are not always practical to make. Brownies although simple can transform easily into an elegant ending to any couture Valentine’s Day fare. Top with sliced strawberries, medicine ice cream or cinnamon whipped cream. Slice one in half, sildenafil add a teaspoon of cherry pie filling then replace the top. Serve with ice cream or whipped topping and a drizzle of chocolate syrup. Use cookie cutters to make heart or circle shaped brownies. Replace this brownie batter in any recipe calling for boxed brownie mix.

Brownies are great for bake sales, prescription thank you’s, afternoon snacks and satisfy chocolate cravings like non other. This recipe is full of fudge chocolate flavor. I love using Raley’s brand semi-sweet chocolate chips. They have an intense dark chocolate flavor.

Source: Martha Stewart
Makes 9 large or 16 small squares
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for pan
6 ounces coarsely chopped good-quality semisweet chocolate
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a buttered 8-inch square baking pan with foil or parchment paper, allowing 2 inches to hang over sides. Butter lining (excluding overhang); set pan aside.

Put butter, chocolate, and cocoa in a heatproof medium bowl set over a pan of simmering water; stir until butter and chocolate are melted. Let cool slightly.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, pepper and salt in a separate bowl; set aside.

Put sugar, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat on medium speed until pale, about 4 minutes. Add chocolate mixture; beat until combined. Add flour mixture; beat, scraping down sides of bowl, until well incorporated.

Pour batter into prepared pan; smooth top with a rubber spatula. Bake until a cake tester inserted into brownies (avoid center and edges) comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet, about 35 minutes. Let cool slightly in pan, about 15 minutes. Lift out brownies; let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares.
Valentine’s Day would not be the day of love without chocolate for dessert.
Source: Martha Stewart
Makes 9 large or 16 small squares
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, viagra plus more for pan
6 ounces coarsely chopped good-quality semisweet chocolate
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a buttered 8-inch square baking pan with foil or parchment paper, shop allowing 2 inches to hang over sides. Butter lining (excluding overhang); set pan aside.
2. Put butter, chocolate, and cocoa in a heatproof medium bowl set over a pan of simmering water; stir until butter and chocolate are melted. Let cool slightly.
3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl; set aside.
4. Put sugar, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat on medium speed until pale, about 4 minutes. Add chocolate mixture; beat until combined. Add flour mixture; beat, scraping down sides of bowl, until well incorporated.
5. Pour batter into prepared pan; smooth top with a rubber spatula. Bake until a cake tester inserted into brownies (avoid center and edges) comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet, about 35 minutes. Let cool slightly in pan, about 15 minutes. Lift out brownies; let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares.

When I was little I loved Pizza Hut pizza. The crust was so thick and crunchy on the outside and so soft and warm on the inside. Each slice had the perfect ratio of sauce to cheese. Of course if it was not a special occasion we usually ate homemade or Little Caesars. I remember the first time I had Pizza Hut BBQ pizza was on a trip to Atlanta. The BBQ flavor was short lived. Besides I seemed to have been the only one who favored a non traditional slice of pie.

Source: Stolen Moments Cooking
For the crust:
2 tsp yeast
2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 cups warm water (105 to 110 degrees F)
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp Italian seasoning, link optional
4 – 4 1/2 cups flour (can use 3 cups white flour and 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour)

Let yeast and sugar dissolve in warm water in a large mixing bowl for about 5 minutes. Add olive oil, salt and optional Italian seasoning.

Slowly add the flour until completely combined and dough is no longer sticky. Knead for 5 minutes, place in a greased bowl, cover and let rise for 1 hour.

Depending on how thin you like your crust, this makes enough for 2 large pizzas plus 2 small pizzas. The extra dough can be frozen.

For the barbecue sauce:
1 1/2 cups ketchup
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cups brown sugar
1/2 tsp each – allspice, crushed red pepper flakes, pepper, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder

Add everything to a small bowl and stir until combined. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before using to allow the flavors to blend.

For the toppings:
1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and sliced
1/2 pounds bacon, diced and crisped *optional
1 onion, thinly sliced and caramelized (cooked in 2 tsp bacon grease or butter.) *optional
1 cup frozen corn, thawed *optional
2 cup shredded pizza blend cheese

To assemble the pizzas:
Roll out dough into desired sizes on thickness. Place on a baking sheet or stone dusted with cornmeal.

Spread barbecue sauce on top of the crust, leaving about 1/2 inch crust all the way around.

Top with chicken, any other desired toppings and cheese. Bake at 500 degrees for 12-15 minutes, until crust is golden brown.

Variations:
— Sub flour tortillas or frozen or refrigerated pizza dough for the homemade version.
Valentine’s Day would not be the day of love without chocolate for dessert.
Source: Martha Stewart
Makes 9 large or 16 small squares
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, sick plus more for pan
6 ounces coarsely chopped good-quality semisweet chocolate
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a buttered 8-inch square baking pan with foil or parchment paper, illness allowing 2 inches to hang over sides. Butter lining (excluding overhang); set pan aside.
2. Put butter, chocolate, and cocoa in a heatproof medium bowl set over a pan of simmering water; stir until butter and chocolate are melted. Let cool slightly.
3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl; set aside.
4. Put sugar, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat on medium speed until pale, about 4 minutes. Add chocolate mixture; beat until combined. Add flour mixture; beat, scraping down sides of bowl, until well incorporated.
5. Pour batter into prepared pan; smooth top with a rubber spatula. Bake until a cake tester inserted into brownies (avoid center and edges) comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet, about 35 minutes. Let cool slightly in pan, about 15 minutes. Lift out brownies; let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares.

Valentine’s Day would not be the day of love without celebrating with some form of chocolate. For the ultimate chocolate Valentine’s Day dessert I highly recommend molten lave cakes. They may seem a little intimidating but are well worth the adventure.

It is true Moten Lava Cakes are my favorite Valentine’s Day dessert; they are not always practical to make. Brownies although simple can transform easily into an elegant ending to any couture Valentine’s Day fare. Top with sliced strawberries, pills ice cream or cinnamon whipped cream. Slice one in half, add a teaspoon of cherry pie filling then replace the top. Serve with ice cream or whipped topping and a drizzle of chocolate syrup. Use cookie cutters to make heart or circle shaped brownies. Replace this brownie batter in any recipe calling for boxed brownie mix.

Brownies are great for bake sales, thank you’s, afternoon snacks and satisfy chocolate cravings like non other. This recipe is full of fudge chocolate flavor. I love using Raley’s brand semi-sweet chocolate chips. They have an intense dark chocolate flavor.

Source: Martha Stewart
Makes 9 large or 16 small squares
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for pan
6 ounces coarsely chopped good-quality semisweet chocolate
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a buttered 8-inch square baking pan with foil or parchment paper, allowing 2 inches to hang over sides. Butter lining (excluding overhang); set pan aside.

Put butter, chocolate, and cocoa in a heatproof medium bowl set over a pan of simmering water; stir until butter and chocolate are melted. Let cool slightly.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, pepper and salt in a separate bowl; set aside.

Put sugar, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat on medium speed until pale, about 4 minutes. Add chocolate mixture; beat until combined. Add flour mixture; beat, scraping down sides of bowl, until well incorporated.

Pour batter into prepared pan; smooth top with a rubber spatula. Bake until a cake tester inserted into brownies (avoid center and edges) comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet, about 35 minutes. Let cool slightly in pan, about 15 minutes. Lift out brownies; let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares.
Valentine’s Day would not be the day of love without chocolate for dessert.
Source: Martha Stewart
Makes 9 large or 16 small squares
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, viagra plus more for pan
6 ounces coarsely chopped good-quality semisweet chocolate
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a buttered 8-inch square baking pan with foil or parchment paper, unhealthy allowing 2 inches to hang over sides. Butter lining (excluding overhang); set pan aside.
2. Put butter, chocolate, and cocoa in a heatproof medium bowl set over a pan of simmering water; stir until butter and chocolate are melted. Let cool slightly.
3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl; set aside.
4. Put sugar, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat on medium speed until pale, about 4 minutes. Add chocolate mixture; beat until combined. Add flour mixture; beat, scraping down sides of bowl, until well incorporated.
5. Pour batter into prepared pan; smooth top with a rubber spatula. Bake until a cake tester inserted into brownies (avoid center and edges) comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet, about 35 minutes. Let cool slightly in pan, about 15 minutes. Lift out brownies; let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares.

The common consensus regarding the proper way to season Prime Rib is a little salt and pepper. The meat is so flavorful that nothing else is needed. I agree. The worst experience I had with prime rib was at a restaurant whose chef covered the slab of beef with an assortment of herbs; most influential was rosemary. However, buy I have to vere away from traditional opinion and recommend this recipe for garlic crusted prime rib.

Lets talk meat. First the word Prime refers to the grade of meat not the cut. Prime meats are only sold to restaurants. You will not find a package labeled prime rib at the local supermarket. If you do not have a local butcher shop it is possible that warehouses such as Costco or Sams will carry Prime Rib. Otherwise you can use a Rib-Eye Roast from the supermarket. Choose between a bone in roast, page called a standing rib roast, this or boneless. When choosing a boneless roast ask the butcher to tie it for you.

Source: Chef Mike
1 (10 pound) prime rib roast
10 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 teaspoons dried thyme

Place the roast in a roasting pan with the fatty side up. In a small bowl, mix together the garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme. Spread the mixture over the fatty layer of the roast, and let the roast sit out until it is at room temperature, no longer than 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F (260 degrees C).
Bake the roast for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, then reduce the temperature to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C), and continue roasting for an additional 60 to 75 minutes. The internal temperature of the roast should be at 125 degrees F (53 degrees C) for medium rare.
Allow the roast to rest for 10 or 15 minutes before carving so the meat can retain its juices. Do not cover with aluminium foil.

Brussels Sprouts notoriously have a bad wrap. Usually those claiming to despise them have never tried them or worse were scarred for life the first time they tried a mushy slimy sprout or cabbage.

Brussels sprouts are small little cabbage like sprouts that grow on a stalk. Brussels sprouts are part of the cruciferous family that includes: broccoli, order  kale, cabbage, mustard, turnips, rutabagas,and wasabi and horseradish. They were believed to have originated in Belgium near Brussels (hence the name) but there is some uncertainty to the claim. Based on historical records we do know that they were first introduced to France and England during World War I where they continue to be a popular food. French settlers who settled in Louisiana in the 1800’s brought them to America. Today brussels sprouts are mainly produced in California and Europe. They are a hardy plant tolerant of poor soil. When eaten regularly they may help prevent certain cancers and improve circulation.

Never ever buy frozen brussel sprouts or asparagus for that matter. Always buy fresh. Sprouts still attached to the stalk are preferable. Avoid sprouts that are discolored (yellow or brown leaves) or loose. Choose instead the smaller sprouts that are green. Brussels sprouts have a very short shelf life. Try to use within a few days of purchase.

The best way to prepare sprouts is roasted with a little oil. First wash then trim the bottom root part off. Not too much that too many leaves fall off. Next slice in half. Toss with a little oil, season with salt and pepper. Some recipes like this one suggest steaming them first. I am not a fan of steamed because they tend to loose flavor and can quickly turn too soft and rubbery.

If you skip the steaming part it will take about 10 to 15 minutes to brown. Ideally I this is your first experience with brussel sprouts cook the onions and pancetta as called for then toss in the sprouts turning to coat. Transfer to an oven safe pan and cook in a 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes. They should be tender enough to pierce with a fork but not mushy.

Source: Woman’s Day
1 1/2 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
4 oz pancetta, diced
1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced crosswise
1?2 tsp kosher salt
1?4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar (optional)

Bring 1-inch of lightly salted water to a boil in a large, deep skillet. Add sprouts and simmer, covered, until crisp-tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain and run under cold water to cool.

Wipe out the skillet. Add pancetta and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towel–lined plate.

Add onion to drippings in skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and golden, 8 to 10 minutes.

Increase heat to medium-high. Add sprouts, salt and pepper, and cook, tossing, until heated through, about 3 minutes. Add pancetta and vinegar, if using, and toss to combine.

Use leftovers in an omelet the next morning.

An Oat by Any Other Name is Still an Oat; Unless it is Instant

Heat oil in a pan over medium medium-high heat. Brush each fillet of salmon with smooth grain Dijon mustard. Dredge in whole rolled oats. Place the salmon in the pan cooking several minutes before flipping over.
Heat oil in a pan over medium medium-high heat. Brush each fillet of salmon with smooth grain Dijon mustard. Dredge in whole rolled oats. Place the salmon in the pan cooking several minutes before flipping over.
Heat oil in a pan over medium medium-high heat. Brush each fillet of salmon with smooth grain Dijon mustard. Dredge in whole rolled oats. Place the salmon in the pan cooking several minutes before flipping over.

sweat onoin in oil & butter. chopped walnut brazil pecan oats, side effects pinch salt, pepper. basil. stuff add lid 30 minutes 350. variation corriander-chili-pasley
Heat oil in a pan over medium medium-high heat. Brush each fillet of salmon with smooth grain Dijon mustard. Dredge in whole rolled oats. Place the salmon in the pan cooking several minutes before flipping over.
Heat oil in a pan over medium medium-high heat. Brush each fillet of salmon with smooth grain Dijon mustard. Dredge in whole rolled oats. Place the salmon in the pan cooking several minutes before flipping over.

sweat onoin in oil & butter. chopped walnut brazil pecan oats, side effects pinch salt, pepper. basil. stuff add lid 30 minutes 350. variation corriander-chili-pasley

Oats are a hardy grain able to tolerate poor soil conditions other crops normally could never withstand. It is hard to believe that oats were once thought of as a weed growing rampant among wheat and barley fields. For centuries the wild oat was considered tolerable feed only for livestock; while the wheat berry was an acceptable food staple. The Chinese meanwhile understood its valuable properties cultivating the oat for use in medicine. The oat was not widely consumed as a cereal for still sometime. We read tell of oats eaten in the form of porridge as far back as the 7th century. Oats were most likely introduced into the diet in small villages as a necessity to avoid starvation. The oat porridge was reserved for the lowest of society. Kings and their offspring on the other hand were offered porridge derived of wheaten meal topped with new milk. Despite its humble beginnings oats today contain rich nutrients that substantially lowers cholesterol reducing the risk of heart disease, look boosts the immune system, viagra 100mg and stabilizes blood sugar levels.

Unlike wheat, treat oats and barley must be hulled before human consumption. Groats have been heat treated to inactivate enzymes which cause rancidity. It is a good idea to soak grains (1 hour to overnight depending on use) before using them with baked goods or in oatmeal as the moisture ends dormancy. Soaking in essence wakes up the nutrients activating the enzymes to aide in digestion. This versatile grain can be used as groats or its sub varieties, turned into oat milk and milled into oat flour.

Raw hulled oats, that are untreated, may be sprouted for salads. Unprocessed hulled oats turn rancid quickly due to the reaction between the oils and oxygen; therefore, if you plan to sprout oats you will need to purchase hulless raw oats specifically labeled for sprouting. Hulless oats are grown so that the hull falls off during reaping. Thus eliminating the need for heat processing. Sprinkle sprouted oats on vegetables, salads, and sandwiches.

Oats have high amounts of cholesterol lowering soluble fiber, vitamins B, calcium, protein, and are low on the glycemic index. The amount of nutrients lessens with additional heating and processing. From a nutritional standpoint the purest form of nutrients comes from raw sprouted seeds followed by groats and oat bran. There are 6  variations of oats to choose from, excluding oat flour.

Photo: Property of NC Wheat Montana Co-op

Groats:

Once the outer husk, or hull, has been removed from an oat it is called a groat. Oat groats are minimally processed allowing them to retain their rich nutrients. Once processed and if stored properly groats will last at least 36 years. Groats have a nice chewy firm texture and a nutty flavor similar to a wheat berry. Those opposed to the mushy texture of porridge find groats more pleasing. Groats are a hard grain requiring a longer cooking time than rolled oats. It is not necessary to soak overnight however a minimal soaking of an hour or so is beneficial nutritionally. Use oat groats in stuffing, pastas, soups, stews, mixed in an omelet and as oatmeal. Grind groats into flour to thicken soups or replace all-purpose flour in baked goods.

To soak: If you have a crock pot groats may be cooked and soaked in one step (6 1/2 cups water to 1 1/2 cups groats cook on low overnight for 7-9 hours). Otherwise rinse the groats well then place in a bowl with enough water to completely cover plus 1-inch. Stir in a couple tablespoons whey, buttermilk or plain yogurt. (The yogurt works with the enzymes to make the oats easier to digest.) In the morning toss the water and cook according to recipe.

To cook: add fresh water (3 parts water to 1 part groats) to a pot; bring to a boil over medium heat. Add groats (soaked or dry). Turn heat to low and simmer for 15-50 minutes for dry groats and 15-30 for soaked; depending on your tastes.

Scottish Oats

Scottish oats are groats that have been ground into a meal for porridge. When cooled the porridge becomes thick and solid. In Medieval times they would cut the cooled porridge into thick slices then fry them for a hearty lunch.

Oat bran

The oat bran is the outer casing that is removed with the hull from the groats during the milling process. The bran contains the bulk of soluble fiber in the grain. Oat bran is used to make hot bran cereal or as an addition to baked goods such as pancakes and muffins.

Steel Cut Oats

Steel cut oats are groats that have been chopped into smaller pieces.  Individuals who are opposed to the “mushy” texture of rolled oats might find the steel cut oat’s chewy texture appetizing. Replace rolled oats with steel cut oats in most recipes 1:1. Just remember steel-cut oats like groats may require soaking or a longer cooking time. In recipes such as baked oatmeal the oats will require soaking overnight according to the directions under groats. When cooking steel cut oats for oatmeal use 2 parts water to 1 part oats. If you have access to a Vita-Mix or grinder you can use groats and steel cut to make oat flour for baked goods.

Photo by: Kelly Cline | IST

Rolled Oats

Rolled oats are oat groats that are steamed, rolled, and flaked so that they cook quickly.

[To avoid mushy oatmeal never use quick oats. Use 1/2 to 1 cup more oats than called for. Boil the water first before adding the oats. Stir in the oats; turn down the heat to low. Cook 5 minutes longer until tender.]

Rolled oats may be processed into flour, quick oats (process in a food processor until the texture of quick oats) or used whole in many baked goods and smoothies. Sprinkle on top of bread down, stir into cookie dough, mix with hamburger, or make a crust for fish. Toast before adding to muffins to add an enhanced nutty flavor.

Quick Oats

Quick oats are thinner flakes of rolled oats. Quick oats are often used in baked goods for a lighter texture than rolled oats. Substitute quick oats with rolled oats 1:1 in any recipe. Quick oats can also be made into facial masks and scrubs or used to calm inflammation from rashes to insect bites.

Instant Oatmeal

Photo: Property of Food Network

Instant oatmeal are rolled thin but are then cooked and dried. Instant oatmeal comes in single packets and contains additives and sweeteners.

A Couple Important Notes:

Oats contain a natural substance called purines; commonly found in plants, animals, and humans. Purines could pose a health risk in certain individuals. When broken down purines produce a form of uric acid. Excess accumulation of purines in the body can lead to a build up of uric acid resulting in a condition known as gout and kidney stones. Individuals with kidney problems or gout should limit their intake of foods that contain purine.

Oats are non-scientifically grouped; meaning they are part of the gluten grains: wheat, oats, barley and rye. For those individuals with wheat allergies, such as Celiac, it is best to be cautious and eliminate the grain from the diet then try to slowly reintroduce it at a later date. Try soaking overnight with plain greek yogurt or whey to help with digestion.

Spinach Nicoise Salad

In April of 2007 business across the US joined military families together in an effort to give support to those youth impacted by deployment.

http://www.operationmilitarykids.org/public/home.aspx
http://www.deploymentkids.com/
In April of 2007 business across the US joined military families together in an effort to give support to those youth impacted by deployment.

http://www.operationmilitarykids.org/public/home.aspx
http://www.deploymentkids.com/

Nicoise is a type of salad historically made with raw vegetables. The Nicoise salad is believed to have originated at the start of the 1900’s on the French Rivera in Nice, cialis 40mg France. Traditionally Nicoise Salad contained anchovies, buy information pills artichoke hearts, click olives, tomatoes and peppers, with a dressing made of olive oil, vinegar and mustard. The vegetables were arranged separately on a platter rather than tossed together.

Years passed before tuna (canned tuna) became the main ingredient in Nicoise salad. Today additional vegetables have been added such as broad beans, chopped boiled eggs, wedged tomatoes, celery, green peppers, red peppers, radishes, capers and onions. Julia Child’s was instrumental in the addition of cooked green beans and potatoes served in groups on a bed of Boston lettuce. Julia insisted that each ingredient be tossed in the dressing separately before assembling them on the plate.

Source: Adapted from “Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom” by Julia Child
Serves 6-8

Dressing:
Makes about 2/3 cups
1/2 tablespoons finely minced shallot or scallion
1/2 tablespoon Dijon-type mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, (optional)
1/2 tablespoon wine vinegar
1/3 to 1/2 cup excellent olive oil, or other fine, fresh oil
Freshly ground pepper

In a small bowl whisk the shallots, mustard and salt. Whisk in the lemon juice and vinegar until well blended. Add the oil in a slow drizzle whisking until well blended. Beat in freshly ground pepper. Taste (dip a piece of the salad greens into the sauce) and correct seasoning with salt, pepper, and/or drops of lemon juice. Set aside.

Or add all the ingredients to a jar with a screw top lid. Shake to combine.

Salad:
16 oz baby spinach
1 pound green beans, steamed and cut in half
1-1/2 tablespoons minced shallots
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 or 4 ripe plumb tomatoes, cut into wedges (or 10 to 12 cherry tomatoes, halved)
3 or 4 new potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch slices
3 (5-ounce) cans chunk tuna, preferably oil-packed
6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and cut into wedges
1/3 cup black olives, chopped
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 freshly opened can of flat anchovy fillets (optional)
2 to 3 tablespoons capers (optional)

Bring a medium sized pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes. Boil for about 6 min, drain, run under cool water.

Arrange the spinach leaves on a large platter or in a shallow bowl.

Shortly before serving, toss the beans with the shallots, spoonfuls of vinaigrette, and salt and pepper. Baste the tomatoes with a spoonful of vinaigrette.

Place the potatoes in the center of the platter and arrange a mound of beans at either end, with tomatoes and small mounds of tuna at strategic intervals.

Ring the platter with wedges of hard-boiled eggs, sunny side up, and curl an anchovy on top of each (if using). Spoon more vinaigrette over all; scatter on olives, capers, and parsley, and serve.

To serve place spinach on a plate. Top with and crumble 1 additional can tuna over top. Add 3 hard cooked eggs peeled and cut into wedges, and serve immediately.

Or do it the American way and toss it all together and serve.

April Website Review: Month of the Military Child

We have had many requests asking how to feed a picky eater. Since we too are dealing with our own picky eater issues I understand the struggle many of you experience on a daily basis.

http://foodformyfamily.com/tag/picky-eaters

http://foodformyfamily.com/the-kitchen-sink/news-the-kitchen-sink/placating-picky-eaters-cooking-connections-class

Nutrition for Picky Eaters (Recipe: Fluffy Banana Oat Pancakes)


We have had many requests asking how to feed a picky eater. Since we too are dealing with our own picky eater issues I understand the struggle many of you experience on a daily basis.

http://foodformyfamily.com/tag/picky-eaters

http://foodformyfamily.com/the-kitchen-sink/news-the-kitchen-sink/placating-picky-eaters-cooking-connections-class

Nutrition for Picky Eaters (Recipe: Fluffy Banana Oat Pancakes)

The theme this year for National Nutrition month is, abortion “Eat Right…With Color.” The challenge? To swap out calorie dense starches and fats for fruits, discount vegetables and whole grains. This month we have joined the leagues with the National Dietetic Association; in addition to, the many accompanying voices of dietetics from the Pacific to the Atlantic oceans to promote healthy habits. We discussed ways to filter out the high calorie prepackaged foods by reading labels; checking for ingredients that are closest to nature. Sadly too many products on the supermarket and natural food store shelves posing as food are really un-food. Fortunately for us today we do not have to spend the day in the kitchen preparing meals. There are honest companies out there producing products without the harmful additives and preservatives. Be sure to always check the labels. The following week we posted links to help our pickiest eaters over come their food fears. Be Patient and keep offering them the good stuff. One day they will surprise you. We would like to wrap up National Nutrition Month with a guide to seasonal foods.

Eat the Color of the Rainbow“…”Eat Clean”…”Eat Seasonal”…What does this all mean? Food is fuel for our body. Each morsel of food contains within it nutrients and minerals our body needs to boost the immune system, help cells and organs function properly, and support growth and development. Eating a variety of foods (the color of the rainbow) is the best way to get all the vitamins and minerals our bodies need each day.

When fruits and vegetables are at their peak they contain abundant amounts of the vitamins and minerals our body craves. Over time these vitamins and minerals diminish. Eating seasonal fruits and vegetables ensures that we are getting the maximum benefit from our food. Choosing meals and snacks around what is in season keeps costs low. When foods are in season it means they are usually shipped locally. As a result prices are substantially lower and the taste is superb. Use this opportunity to stock up for later months. Find a farmers market or packing plant nearby for fresh produce and keep an eye out for sales on poultry and fish. (**Refer to the chart above for foods listed by season.)

Eating clean is the practice of eating whole, natural foods and avoiding any manmade fats, sugars, dyes and preservatives. Let’s say one sweet potato has the same amount of carbs as a candy bar. Even though the potato is largely a carbohydrate it has less sugar and calories and more soluble fiber than the candy bar. The potato also has zero harmful preservatives (such as BHA, BHT and TBHQ) or food dyes (made from petroleum). The health benefits of a starchy potato far outweigh those of the candy bar. Whole, unprocessed, foods like seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, fish and fresh lean meats provide the nutrients our bodies need to grow properly.

Salud!

Additional Reading:

Raise Healthy Eaters: Wonderful spot for everything you ever needed to know about feeding children.

The Gracious Pantry: How Tiffany transformed her pantry filled with junk food to one that supports clean eating habits.

Nut Shell Nutrition: “Make a Rainbow on Your plate”, also be sure to peruse the site. Brittany has several informative posts on making health goals that might be of interest.

Dish on Dieting: A witty article describing the use of a GPS to guide us down the road of meal choices.

A Sprinkle of Sage: “What’s Your Nutrition Resolution?” The first of a month long series of tips to reach this month’s goal for optimal health.

Kleiner Nutrition: Great articles to help inspire us to stay on the path to better habits. Be sure to check out the interview with Hope Warshaw.
We have had many requests asking how to feed a picky eater. Since we too are dealing with our own picky eater issues I understand the struggle many of you experience on a daily basis.

http://foodformyfamily.com/tag/picky-eaters

http://foodformyfamily.com/the-kitchen-sink/news-the-kitchen-sink/placating-picky-eaters-cooking-connections-class

Nutrition for Picky Eaters (Recipe: Fluffy Banana Oat Pancakes)

The theme this year for National Nutrition month is, abortion “Eat Right…With Color.” The challenge? To swap out calorie dense starches and fats for fruits, discount vegetables and whole grains. This month we have joined the leagues with the National Dietetic Association; in addition to, the many accompanying voices of dietetics from the Pacific to the Atlantic oceans to promote healthy habits. We discussed ways to filter out the high calorie prepackaged foods by reading labels; checking for ingredients that are closest to nature. Sadly too many products on the supermarket and natural food store shelves posing as food are really un-food. Fortunately for us today we do not have to spend the day in the kitchen preparing meals. There are honest companies out there producing products without the harmful additives and preservatives. Be sure to always check the labels. The following week we posted links to help our pickiest eaters over come their food fears. Be Patient and keep offering them the good stuff. One day they will surprise you. We would like to wrap up National Nutrition Month with a guide to seasonal foods.

Eat the Color of the Rainbow“…”Eat Clean”…”Eat Seasonal”…What does this all mean? Food is fuel for our body. Each morsel of food contains within it nutrients and minerals our body needs to boost the immune system, help cells and organs function properly, and support growth and development. Eating a variety of foods (the color of the rainbow) is the best way to get all the vitamins and minerals our bodies need each day.

When fruits and vegetables are at their peak they contain abundant amounts of the vitamins and minerals our body craves. Over time these vitamins and minerals diminish. Eating seasonal fruits and vegetables ensures that we are getting the maximum benefit from our food. Choosing meals and snacks around what is in season keeps costs low. When foods are in season it means they are usually shipped locally. As a result prices are substantially lower and the taste is superb. Use this opportunity to stock up for later months. Find a farmers market or packing plant nearby for fresh produce and keep an eye out for sales on poultry and fish. (**Refer to the chart above for foods listed by season.)

Eating clean is the practice of eating whole, natural foods and avoiding any manmade fats, sugars, dyes and preservatives. Let’s say one sweet potato has the same amount of carbs as a candy bar. Even though the potato is largely a carbohydrate it has less sugar and calories and more soluble fiber than the candy bar. The potato also has zero harmful preservatives (such as BHA, BHT and TBHQ) or food dyes (made from petroleum). The health benefits of a starchy potato far outweigh those of the candy bar. Whole, unprocessed, foods like seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, fish and fresh lean meats provide the nutrients our bodies need to grow properly.

Salud!

Additional Reading:

Raise Healthy Eaters: Wonderful spot for everything you ever needed to know about feeding children.

The Gracious Pantry: How Tiffany transformed her pantry filled with junk food to one that supports clean eating habits.

Nut Shell Nutrition: “Make a Rainbow on Your plate”, also be sure to peruse the site. Brittany has several informative posts on making health goals that might be of interest.

Dish on Dieting: A witty article describing the use of a GPS to guide us down the road of meal choices.

A Sprinkle of Sage: “What’s Your Nutrition Resolution?” The first of a month long series of tips to reach this month’s goal for optimal health.

Kleiner Nutrition: Great articles to help inspire us to stay on the path to better habits. Be sure to check out the interview with Hope Warshaw.
Over the past few years we have had many requests inquiring how to feed a picky eater. If you have a picky eater then you are familiar with what a daunting task this can be. We want our children to grow up healthy and strong and along the way develop healthy eating habits to ensure their success. When all a little guy wants is cereal or yogurt that goal may sometimes seem unattainable. Fear not. There is hope.

Like many other households opting for a cleaner choice of foods we choose to limit the types of prepackaged foods in the house to wholesome cereals and breads. By making all our baked goods at home at least I can control what goes into them. I feel better knowing our picky guy is eating something better than just empty calories. If we happen to have crackers in the pantry they are put up where the kids cannot get into them. A picky kid with a taste for sugar is not going to want to eat his chicken and broccoli when there is a pantry filled with crackers and granola bars. It is best to not have it around or hide it.

Treats are reserved for special occasions such as movie night or dessert at Sunday dinner. By making a few alterations a basic sweet such as a muffin can become a filling treat offering the much needed vitamins and minerals a growing body needs. Some of the variations we make include:
— replacing regular all-purpose flour with whole wheat, more about oat or coconut flour. I always add a couple tablespoons wheat germ and ground flaxseed.
— Swap out lard and vegetable oils for canola, olive and coconut oil. Butter instead of margarine.
— Replacing part or all of the refined sugar with pureed vegetables or fruits.
— Adding chopped, pureed and shredded vegetables to snacks and meals.

We follow strict snack times to help tie our kids over until dinner is ready. When kids snack right before dinner time they are less likely to try new foods much less eat their dinner. Our rule is they have to take at least one bite. If we are having salad with chicken and green beans they have to take one bite of each item. Our picky eater will often feign that he does not like something to keep up with his picky appearance. We have caught him sneaking additional bites. For a picky eater trying new foods takes time. Meanwhile continue to offer the good stuff in a positive way. We want to make dinner a positive experience for them. Avoid negative comments and of course never try to force feed your child. Give them time and eventually they will come around.

For additional reading:
http://www.themotherhood.com/talk/show/id/62135
http://whatscookingwithkids.com/2011/02/18/5-tips-to-help-kids-accept-new-foods/
http://foodformyfamily.com/tag/picky-eaters
http://www.keepkidshealthy.com/parenting_tips/picky_eaters.html

We have had many requests asking how to feed a picky eater. Since we too are dealing with our own picky eater issues I understand the struggle many of you experience on a daily basis.

http://foodformyfamily.com/tag/picky-eaters

http://foodformyfamily.com/the-kitchen-sink/news-the-kitchen-sink/placating-picky-eaters-cooking-connections-class

Nutrition for Picky Eaters (Recipe: Fluffy Banana Oat Pancakes)

The theme this year for National Nutrition month is, abortion “Eat Right…With Color.” The challenge? To swap out calorie dense starches and fats for fruits, discount vegetables and whole grains. This month we have joined the leagues with the National Dietetic Association; in addition to, the many accompanying voices of dietetics from the Pacific to the Atlantic oceans to promote healthy habits. We discussed ways to filter out the high calorie prepackaged foods by reading labels; checking for ingredients that are closest to nature. Sadly too many products on the supermarket and natural food store shelves posing as food are really un-food. Fortunately for us today we do not have to spend the day in the kitchen preparing meals. There are honest companies out there producing products without the harmful additives and preservatives. Be sure to always check the labels. The following week we posted links to help our pickiest eaters over come their food fears. Be Patient and keep offering them the good stuff. One day they will surprise you. We would like to wrap up National Nutrition Month with a guide to seasonal foods.

Eat the Color of the Rainbow“…”Eat Clean”…”Eat Seasonal”…What does this all mean? Food is fuel for our body. Each morsel of food contains within it nutrients and minerals our body needs to boost the immune system, help cells and organs function properly, and support growth and development. Eating a variety of foods (the color of the rainbow) is the best way to get all the vitamins and minerals our bodies need each day.

When fruits and vegetables are at their peak they contain abundant amounts of the vitamins and minerals our body craves. Over time these vitamins and minerals diminish. Eating seasonal fruits and vegetables ensures that we are getting the maximum benefit from our food. Choosing meals and snacks around what is in season keeps costs low. When foods are in season it means they are usually shipped locally. As a result prices are substantially lower and the taste is superb. Use this opportunity to stock up for later months. Find a farmers market or packing plant nearby for fresh produce and keep an eye out for sales on poultry and fish. (**Refer to the chart above for foods listed by season.)

Eating clean is the practice of eating whole, natural foods and avoiding any manmade fats, sugars, dyes and preservatives. Let’s say one sweet potato has the same amount of carbs as a candy bar. Even though the potato is largely a carbohydrate it has less sugar and calories and more soluble fiber than the candy bar. The potato also has zero harmful preservatives (such as BHA, BHT and TBHQ) or food dyes (made from petroleum). The health benefits of a starchy potato far outweigh those of the candy bar. Whole, unprocessed, foods like seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, fish and fresh lean meats provide the nutrients our bodies need to grow properly.

Salud!

Additional Reading:

Raise Healthy Eaters: Wonderful spot for everything you ever needed to know about feeding children.

The Gracious Pantry: How Tiffany transformed her pantry filled with junk food to one that supports clean eating habits.

Nut Shell Nutrition: “Make a Rainbow on Your plate”, also be sure to peruse the site. Brittany has several informative posts on making health goals that might be of interest.

Dish on Dieting: A witty article describing the use of a GPS to guide us down the road of meal choices.

A Sprinkle of Sage: “What’s Your Nutrition Resolution?” The first of a month long series of tips to reach this month’s goal for optimal health.

Kleiner Nutrition: Great articles to help inspire us to stay on the path to better habits. Be sure to check out the interview with Hope Warshaw.
Over the past few years we have had many requests inquiring how to feed a picky eater. If you have a picky eater then you are familiar with what a daunting task this can be. We want our children to grow up healthy and strong and along the way develop healthy eating habits to ensure their success. When all a little guy wants is cereal or yogurt that goal may sometimes seem unattainable. Fear not. There is hope.

Like many other households opting for a cleaner choice of foods we choose to limit the types of prepackaged foods in the house to wholesome cereals and breads. By making all our baked goods at home at least I can control what goes into them. I feel better knowing our picky guy is eating something better than just empty calories. If we happen to have crackers in the pantry they are put up where the kids cannot get into them. A picky kid with a taste for sugar is not going to want to eat his chicken and broccoli when there is a pantry filled with crackers and granola bars. It is best to not have it around or hide it.

Treats are reserved for special occasions such as movie night or dessert at Sunday dinner. By making a few alterations a basic sweet such as a muffin can become a filling treat offering the much needed vitamins and minerals a growing body needs. Some of the variations we make include:
— replacing regular all-purpose flour with whole wheat, more about oat or coconut flour. I always add a couple tablespoons wheat germ and ground flaxseed.
— Swap out lard and vegetable oils for canola, olive and coconut oil. Butter instead of margarine.
— Replacing part or all of the refined sugar with pureed vegetables or fruits.
— Adding chopped, pureed and shredded vegetables to snacks and meals.

We follow strict snack times to help tie our kids over until dinner is ready. When kids snack right before dinner time they are less likely to try new foods much less eat their dinner. Our rule is they have to take at least one bite. If we are having salad with chicken and green beans they have to take one bite of each item. Our picky eater will often feign that he does not like something to keep up with his picky appearance. We have caught him sneaking additional bites. For a picky eater trying new foods takes time. Meanwhile continue to offer the good stuff in a positive way. We want to make dinner a positive experience for them. Avoid negative comments and of course never try to force feed your child. Give them time and eventually they will come around.

For additional reading:
http://www.themotherhood.com/talk/show/id/62135
http://whatscookingwithkids.com/2011/02/18/5-tips-to-help-kids-accept-new-foods/
http://foodformyfamily.com/tag/picky-eaters
http://www.keepkidshealthy.com/parenting_tips/picky_eaters.html

Graphic Art by: Kia Robertson

During the month of March the American Dietetic Association focuses their efforts on helping families understand the importance of physical activity and more importantly how to make the right food choices. This March Dazzledish is celebrating National Nutrition Month with a two part health series. This week we will dive into the basic stepping stones to begin a journey to better health. Next week we will look at ways to help our pickiest eaters overcome the challenge of trying new foods.

The first component to a healthy diet is to reduce the amount of refined sugars and enriched carbs by replacing them with fresh fruits, discount nutrient rich grains and fiber dense vegetables. Easier said than done, website right? So where do you start exactly? Start with little baby steps. Begin by reading the labels.

Reading the nutrition labels is crucial when trying to switch to a healthier lifestyle. Food companies are less concerned about your health and more concerned with meeting this quarter’s profits. Prepackaged and fast foods sell because they are convenient and they are made to taste great. Problem is fast foods in addition to prepackaged foods are unnecessarily overloaded with large quantities of sugar, sodium and calories that leave us hungry for more. Moreover, sugar and sodium have been linked to numerous health conditions later in life in addition to the increase of type-2 diabetes in children and teens. Of course these are the foods that are cheap and always available.

I doubt many of our parents actually understood the direct impact theses types of foods would have on our bodies. We were taught to celebrate with mounds of candy and sugary confections. White bread, whole milk and fried foods were the norm. We ate a carb with a side of carb. Ie: Lasagna with garlic bread or a sandwich with chips. Only now are we as a society beginning to realize the harmful effects these habits wreak on our bodies. Today the food companies, to their credit, have tried to heed the demand for healthier products. Introducing the 100-calorie snack packs, fat free and low fat and sugar free products. Unfortunately what they took out they had to replace with something else to make it taste delicious. Fat free foods still contain sugar and sugar free products still contain fats. When eaten in excess these foods can still be stored as fat. The number one misleading product on store shelves is whole wheat bread. Surprisingly, the majority of breads claiming to be %100 whole wheat use enriched wheat flour and contain high fructose corn syrup.

The nutritional label and the ingredients list should be evaluated as a whole. The ingredients are listed in descending order from the most to the least. It should be short, comprehensible and minus all the man-made ingredients. A loaf of bread for example is mostly flour and water. Flour would be listed first because there is more flour in a loaf of bread than any other ingredient. When shopping for bread look for whole grain or whole wheat flour in the number one spot. Enriched flour white or wheat has been refined and processed until it no longer holds any nutritional value. Instead choose breads with whole wheat, corn, potato and/or oat flours.

Sugar is stated as being a culprit of childhood obesity. It is no wonder when it is in just about everything. Take for example a can of soda. There is an average of 39 grams of sugar and over 100 calories in one 12-ounce can of soda. That equals 9 ¾ teaspoons of sugar or 3 1/4 tablespoons.
This much sugar can wreak havoc on our energy levels. A healthier option might be a glass of crystal light or flavored sparkling water (check the label for the type of artificial sweetener). For a nutritious pick me up in the afternoon try a handful of nuts with a piece of fruit. The protein in the nuts helps the body feel full longer without the spike in blood sugar.

Sugars may be listed in the form of: corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, maple syrup, brown rice syrup, fruit juice concentrate, maltose, dextrose, fructose, sucrose, honey and artificial sweeteners. Put back anything that contains high fructose corn syrup. High fructose corn syrup can only be converted to glucose through the liver. The worse part is the body turns high fructose corn syrup straight into fat. The liver’s function is to filter out toxins. Eating high fructose syrup places unneeded stress on the liver in addition to being highly addictive.

Next, limit products whose fat source comes from saturated fat or trans fat. They have the ability to increase the likelihood of heart disease. On the flipside we do need some fat in our diet. These “good” fats are called monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats derived from plants such as oils, avocados or nuts. Fats are listed in both the ingredients and on the nutritional label. A product may not contain trans fat according to the nutritional label but a hydrogenated oil or partially hydrogenated oil listed in the ingredient list means that product contains some trans fats.

Lastly, calories are the amount of energy in a food. A cup of lettuce contains 10 calories while there are 500 in a regular sized vanilla milkshake. If the intake of calories is higher than what the body burns the excess calories are turned to fat. Keep an eye on the amount of calories per serving size in the foods you choose. You will be surprised at how easy it is to accumulate calories. A serving of bread is typically one slice. Depending on the brand that 1 slice can contain 70 to 100 calories. Add another slice, meat and cheese to make a sandwich and you have a complete 350 calorie meal. That is not counting the can of soda and bag of chips that so often accompany a sandwich.

Be careful to watch the amount of calories per serving in addition to the calories from fat percentage. The calories from fat should make up no more than a quarter percent of the total calories. Peanuts are a perfect example of high calories from fat. There are about 170 calories in 1 serving (28 nuts) of peanuts with 130 calories from fat. Nuts are a great source of protein; however, if you are looking to snack Cashews or almonds are a better choice if you are watching your fat intake.

This first phase helps identify the type of food choices we regularly make. The reduction of refined flours and sugars prepare the body and taste buds for the next phase.

Additional Reading:
To the Fullest: Join Beth on her inspiring journey to better health by overcoming food addiction.
Walk About: Find the balance to eating healthy.
Healthy Life Style Balance: Learning how to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Simple Nourished Living: Overcoming constant hunger
Medifast Plan: Understanding fats and carbs
Raise Healthy Eaters: Raising Healthy Eaters recipes and advice
We have had many requests asking how to feed a picky eater. Since we too are dealing with our own picky eater issues I understand the struggle many of you experience on a daily basis.

http://foodformyfamily.com/tag/picky-eaters

http://foodformyfamily.com/the-kitchen-sink/news-the-kitchen-sink/placating-picky-eaters-cooking-connections-class

Nutrition for Picky Eaters (Recipe: Fluffy Banana Oat Pancakes)

The theme this year for National Nutrition month is, abortion “Eat Right…With Color.” The challenge? To swap out calorie dense starches and fats for fruits, discount vegetables and whole grains. This month we have joined the leagues with the National Dietetic Association; in addition to, the many accompanying voices of dietetics from the Pacific to the Atlantic oceans to promote healthy habits. We discussed ways to filter out the high calorie prepackaged foods by reading labels; checking for ingredients that are closest to nature. Sadly too many products on the supermarket and natural food store shelves posing as food are really un-food. Fortunately for us today we do not have to spend the day in the kitchen preparing meals. There are honest companies out there producing products without the harmful additives and preservatives. Be sure to always check the labels. The following week we posted links to help our pickiest eaters over come their food fears. Be Patient and keep offering them the good stuff. One day they will surprise you. We would like to wrap up National Nutrition Month with a guide to seasonal foods.

Eat the Color of the Rainbow“…”Eat Clean”…”Eat Seasonal”…What does this all mean? Food is fuel for our body. Each morsel of food contains within it nutrients and minerals our body needs to boost the immune system, help cells and organs function properly, and support growth and development. Eating a variety of foods (the color of the rainbow) is the best way to get all the vitamins and minerals our bodies need each day.

When fruits and vegetables are at their peak they contain abundant amounts of the vitamins and minerals our body craves. Over time these vitamins and minerals diminish. Eating seasonal fruits and vegetables ensures that we are getting the maximum benefit from our food. Choosing meals and snacks around what is in season keeps costs low. When foods are in season it means they are usually shipped locally. As a result prices are substantially lower and the taste is superb. Use this opportunity to stock up for later months. Find a farmers market or packing plant nearby for fresh produce and keep an eye out for sales on poultry and fish. (**Refer to the chart above for foods listed by season.)

Eating clean is the practice of eating whole, natural foods and avoiding any manmade fats, sugars, dyes and preservatives. Let’s say one sweet potato has the same amount of carbs as a candy bar. Even though the potato is largely a carbohydrate it has less sugar and calories and more soluble fiber than the candy bar. The potato also has zero harmful preservatives (such as BHA, BHT and TBHQ) or food dyes (made from petroleum). The health benefits of a starchy potato far outweigh those of the candy bar. Whole, unprocessed, foods like seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, fish and fresh lean meats provide the nutrients our bodies need to grow properly.

Salud!

Additional Reading:

Raise Healthy Eaters: Wonderful spot for everything you ever needed to know about feeding children.

The Gracious Pantry: How Tiffany transformed her pantry filled with junk food to one that supports clean eating habits.

Nut Shell Nutrition: “Make a Rainbow on Your plate”, also be sure to peruse the site. Brittany has several informative posts on making health goals that might be of interest.

Dish on Dieting: A witty article describing the use of a GPS to guide us down the road of meal choices.

A Sprinkle of Sage: “What’s Your Nutrition Resolution?” The first of a month long series of tips to reach this month’s goal for optimal health.

Kleiner Nutrition: Great articles to help inspire us to stay on the path to better habits. Be sure to check out the interview with Hope Warshaw.
Over the past few years we have had many requests inquiring how to feed a picky eater. If you have a picky eater then you are familiar with what a daunting task this can be. We want our children to grow up healthy and strong and along the way develop healthy eating habits to ensure their success. When all a little guy wants is cereal or yogurt that goal may sometimes seem unattainable. Fear not. There is hope.

Like many other households opting for a cleaner choice of foods we choose to limit the types of prepackaged foods in the house to wholesome cereals and breads. By making all our baked goods at home at least I can control what goes into them. I feel better knowing our picky guy is eating something better than just empty calories. If we happen to have crackers in the pantry they are put up where the kids cannot get into them. A picky kid with a taste for sugar is not going to want to eat his chicken and broccoli when there is a pantry filled with crackers and granola bars. It is best to not have it around or hide it.

Treats are reserved for special occasions such as movie night or dessert at Sunday dinner. By making a few alterations a basic sweet such as a muffin can become a filling treat offering the much needed vitamins and minerals a growing body needs. Some of the variations we make include:
— replacing regular all-purpose flour with whole wheat, more about oat or coconut flour. I always add a couple tablespoons wheat germ and ground flaxseed.
— Swap out lard and vegetable oils for canola, olive and coconut oil. Butter instead of margarine.
— Replacing part or all of the refined sugar with pureed vegetables or fruits.
— Adding chopped, pureed and shredded vegetables to snacks and meals.

We follow strict snack times to help tie our kids over until dinner is ready. When kids snack right before dinner time they are less likely to try new foods much less eat their dinner. Our rule is they have to take at least one bite. If we are having salad with chicken and green beans they have to take one bite of each item. Our picky eater will often feign that he does not like something to keep up with his picky appearance. We have caught him sneaking additional bites. For a picky eater trying new foods takes time. Meanwhile continue to offer the good stuff in a positive way. We want to make dinner a positive experience for them. Avoid negative comments and of course never try to force feed your child. Give them time and eventually they will come around.

For additional reading:
http://www.themotherhood.com/talk/show/id/62135
http://whatscookingwithkids.com/2011/02/18/5-tips-to-help-kids-accept-new-foods/
http://foodformyfamily.com/tag/picky-eaters
http://www.keepkidshealthy.com/parenting_tips/picky_eaters.html

Graphic Art by: Kia Robertson

During the month of March the American Dietetic Association focuses their efforts on helping families understand the importance of physical activity and more importantly how to make the right food choices. This March Dazzledish is celebrating National Nutrition Month with a two part health series. This week we will dive into the basic stepping stones to begin a journey to better health. Next week we will look at ways to help our pickiest eaters overcome the challenge of trying new foods.

The first component to a healthy diet is to reduce the amount of refined sugars and enriched carbs by replacing them with fresh fruits, discount nutrient rich grains and fiber dense vegetables. Easier said than done, website right? So where do you start exactly? Start with little baby steps. Begin by reading the labels.

Reading the nutrition labels is crucial when trying to switch to a healthier lifestyle. Food companies are less concerned about your health and more concerned with meeting this quarter’s profits. Prepackaged and fast foods sell because they are convenient and they are made to taste great. Problem is fast foods in addition to prepackaged foods are unnecessarily overloaded with large quantities of sugar, sodium and calories that leave us hungry for more. Moreover, sugar and sodium have been linked to numerous health conditions later in life in addition to the increase of type-2 diabetes in children and teens. Of course these are the foods that are cheap and always available.

I doubt many of our parents actually understood the direct impact theses types of foods would have on our bodies. We were taught to celebrate with mounds of candy and sugary confections. White bread, whole milk and fried foods were the norm. We ate a carb with a side of carb. Ie: Lasagna with garlic bread or a sandwich with chips. Only now are we as a society beginning to realize the harmful effects these habits wreak on our bodies. Today the food companies, to their credit, have tried to heed the demand for healthier products. Introducing the 100-calorie snack packs, fat free and low fat and sugar free products. Unfortunately what they took out they had to replace with something else to make it taste delicious. Fat free foods still contain sugar and sugar free products still contain fats. When eaten in excess these foods can still be stored as fat. The number one misleading product on store shelves is whole wheat bread. Surprisingly, the majority of breads claiming to be %100 whole wheat use enriched wheat flour and contain high fructose corn syrup.

The nutritional label and the ingredients list should be evaluated as a whole. The ingredients are listed in descending order from the most to the least. It should be short, comprehensible and minus all the man-made ingredients. A loaf of bread for example is mostly flour and water. Flour would be listed first because there is more flour in a loaf of bread than any other ingredient. When shopping for bread look for whole grain or whole wheat flour in the number one spot. Enriched flour white or wheat has been refined and processed until it no longer holds any nutritional value. Instead choose breads with whole wheat, corn, potato and/or oat flours.

Sugar is stated as being a culprit of childhood obesity. It is no wonder when it is in just about everything. Take for example a can of soda. There is an average of 39 grams of sugar and over 100 calories in one 12-ounce can of soda. That equals 9 ¾ teaspoons of sugar or 3 1/4 tablespoons.
This much sugar can wreak havoc on our energy levels. A healthier option might be a glass of crystal light or flavored sparkling water (check the label for the type of artificial sweetener). For a nutritious pick me up in the afternoon try a handful of nuts with a piece of fruit. The protein in the nuts helps the body feel full longer without the spike in blood sugar.

Sugars may be listed in the form of: corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, maple syrup, brown rice syrup, fruit juice concentrate, maltose, dextrose, fructose, sucrose, honey and artificial sweeteners. Put back anything that contains high fructose corn syrup. High fructose corn syrup can only be converted to glucose through the liver. The worse part is the body turns high fructose corn syrup straight into fat. The liver’s function is to filter out toxins. Eating high fructose syrup places unneeded stress on the liver in addition to being highly addictive.

Next, limit products whose fat source comes from saturated fat or trans fat. They have the ability to increase the likelihood of heart disease. On the flipside we do need some fat in our diet. These “good” fats are called monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats derived from plants such as oils, avocados or nuts. Fats are listed in both the ingredients and on the nutritional label. A product may not contain trans fat according to the nutritional label but a hydrogenated oil or partially hydrogenated oil listed in the ingredient list means that product contains some trans fats.

Lastly, calories are the amount of energy in a food. A cup of lettuce contains 10 calories while there are 500 in a regular sized vanilla milkshake. If the intake of calories is higher than what the body burns the excess calories are turned to fat. Keep an eye on the amount of calories per serving size in the foods you choose. You will be surprised at how easy it is to accumulate calories. A serving of bread is typically one slice. Depending on the brand that 1 slice can contain 70 to 100 calories. Add another slice, meat and cheese to make a sandwich and you have a complete 350 calorie meal. That is not counting the can of soda and bag of chips that so often accompany a sandwich.

Be careful to watch the amount of calories per serving in addition to the calories from fat percentage. The calories from fat should make up no more than a quarter percent of the total calories. Peanuts are a perfect example of high calories from fat. There are about 170 calories in 1 serving (28 nuts) of peanuts with 130 calories from fat. Nuts are a great source of protein; however, if you are looking to snack Cashews or almonds are a better choice if you are watching your fat intake.

This first phase helps identify the type of food choices we regularly make. The reduction of refined flours and sugars prepare the body and taste buds for the next phase.

Additional Reading:
To the Fullest: Join Beth on her inspiring journey to better health by overcoming food addiction.
Walk About: Find the balance to eating healthy.
Healthy Life Style Balance: Learning how to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Simple Nourished Living: Overcoming constant hunger
Medifast Plan: Understanding fats and carbs
Raise Healthy Eaters: Raising Healthy Eaters recipes and advice
During the month of March the American Dietetic Association focuses their efforts helping families understand the importance of physical activity and how to make the right food choices. The 2011 theme for National Nutrition Month is “Eat Right with Color.”

The first three steps to eating healthy starts with:
1. “Eat the Colors of the Rainbow.”
2. Eating a balanced diet of lean meats, order whole grains and vegetables.
3. Limiting prepackaged, this sugary foods and drinks.

Start with little baby steps. Begin by reading the labels.
— Reduce the amount of enriched white flour. Look for whole wheat, rx corn, potato or oat flours in the number one spot of the ingredients list.
— Put back anything that contains high fructose corn syrup. Corn syrup can only be converted to glucose through the liver. The worse part is the body turns high fructose corn syrup straight into fat. The liver’s function is to filter out toxins. Eating high fructose syrup places unneeded stress on the liver in addition to being highly addictive.
— Make water the number one choice. Swap sodas for flavored sparkling water. Limit fruit juice. Avoid juices with sugar or from concentrate.

Switch to fresh. Eliminating prepackaged foods means more time in the kitchen. Teaching our children to cook will not only help them later in life it is a great way to spend quality family time. Once a week we spend a few hours in the kitchen to make a weeks worth of baked snacks.
— Offer fruits and vegetables paired with a lean protein for snacks. (Hummus and Carrots, Peanut Butter or nut butters -without added sugars- and Celery, Cheese and Apples, Nuts and dried fruits) Put the snacks in a cupcake tin or a fun cool bowl.
— Spend quality time making a snack together. (Yogurt, muffins, milk and fruit shakes)

We have had many requests asking how to feed a picky eater. Since we too are dealing with our own picky eater issues I understand the struggle many of you experience on a daily basis.

http://foodformyfamily.com/tag/picky-eaters

http://foodformyfamily.com/the-kitchen-sink/news-the-kitchen-sink/placating-picky-eaters-cooking-connections-class

Nutrition for Picky Eaters (Recipe: Fluffy Banana Oat Pancakes)

The theme this year for National Nutrition month is, abortion “Eat Right…With Color.” The challenge? To swap out calorie dense starches and fats for fruits, discount vegetables and whole grains. This month we have joined the leagues with the National Dietetic Association; in addition to, the many accompanying voices of dietetics from the Pacific to the Atlantic oceans to promote healthy habits. We discussed ways to filter out the high calorie prepackaged foods by reading labels; checking for ingredients that are closest to nature. Sadly too many products on the supermarket and natural food store shelves posing as food are really un-food. Fortunately for us today we do not have to spend the day in the kitchen preparing meals. There are honest companies out there producing products without the harmful additives and preservatives. Be sure to always check the labels. The following week we posted links to help our pickiest eaters over come their food fears. Be Patient and keep offering them the good stuff. One day they will surprise you. We would like to wrap up National Nutrition Month with a guide to seasonal foods.

Eat the Color of the Rainbow“…”Eat Clean”…”Eat Seasonal”…What does this all mean? Food is fuel for our body. Each morsel of food contains within it nutrients and minerals our body needs to boost the immune system, help cells and organs function properly, and support growth and development. Eating a variety of foods (the color of the rainbow) is the best way to get all the vitamins and minerals our bodies need each day.

When fruits and vegetables are at their peak they contain abundant amounts of the vitamins and minerals our body craves. Over time these vitamins and minerals diminish. Eating seasonal fruits and vegetables ensures that we are getting the maximum benefit from our food. Choosing meals and snacks around what is in season keeps costs low. When foods are in season it means they are usually shipped locally. As a result prices are substantially lower and the taste is superb. Use this opportunity to stock up for later months. Find a farmers market or packing plant nearby for fresh produce and keep an eye out for sales on poultry and fish. (**Refer to the chart above for foods listed by season.)

Eating clean is the practice of eating whole, natural foods and avoiding any manmade fats, sugars, dyes and preservatives. Let’s say one sweet potato has the same amount of carbs as a candy bar. Even though the potato is largely a carbohydrate it has less sugar and calories and more soluble fiber than the candy bar. The potato also has zero harmful preservatives (such as BHA, BHT and TBHQ) or food dyes (made from petroleum). The health benefits of a starchy potato far outweigh those of the candy bar. Whole, unprocessed, foods like seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, fish and fresh lean meats provide the nutrients our bodies need to grow properly.

Salud!

Additional Reading:

Raise Healthy Eaters: Wonderful spot for everything you ever needed to know about feeding children.

The Gracious Pantry: How Tiffany transformed her pantry filled with junk food to one that supports clean eating habits.

Nut Shell Nutrition: “Make a Rainbow on Your plate”, also be sure to peruse the site. Brittany has several informative posts on making health goals that might be of interest.

Dish on Dieting: A witty article describing the use of a GPS to guide us down the road of meal choices.

A Sprinkle of Sage: “What’s Your Nutrition Resolution?” The first of a month long series of tips to reach this month’s goal for optimal health.

Kleiner Nutrition: Great articles to help inspire us to stay on the path to better habits. Be sure to check out the interview with Hope Warshaw.
Over the past few years we have had many requests inquiring how to feed a picky eater. If you have a picky eater then you are familiar with what a daunting task this can be. We want our children to grow up healthy and strong and along the way develop healthy eating habits to ensure their success. When all a little guy wants is cereal or yogurt that goal may sometimes seem unattainable. Fear not. There is hope.

Like many other households opting for a cleaner choice of foods we choose to limit the types of prepackaged foods in the house to wholesome cereals and breads. By making all our baked goods at home at least I can control what goes into them. I feel better knowing our picky guy is eating something better than just empty calories. If we happen to have crackers in the pantry they are put up where the kids cannot get into them. A picky kid with a taste for sugar is not going to want to eat his chicken and broccoli when there is a pantry filled with crackers and granola bars. It is best to not have it around or hide it.

Treats are reserved for special occasions such as movie night or dessert at Sunday dinner. By making a few alterations a basic sweet such as a muffin can become a filling treat offering the much needed vitamins and minerals a growing body needs. Some of the variations we make include:
— replacing regular all-purpose flour with whole wheat, more about oat or coconut flour. I always add a couple tablespoons wheat germ and ground flaxseed.
— Swap out lard and vegetable oils for canola, olive and coconut oil. Butter instead of margarine.
— Replacing part or all of the refined sugar with pureed vegetables or fruits.
— Adding chopped, pureed and shredded vegetables to snacks and meals.

We follow strict snack times to help tie our kids over until dinner is ready. When kids snack right before dinner time they are less likely to try new foods much less eat their dinner. Our rule is they have to take at least one bite. If we are having salad with chicken and green beans they have to take one bite of each item. Our picky eater will often feign that he does not like something to keep up with his picky appearance. We have caught him sneaking additional bites. For a picky eater trying new foods takes time. Meanwhile continue to offer the good stuff in a positive way. We want to make dinner a positive experience for them. Avoid negative comments and of course never try to force feed your child. Give them time and eventually they will come around.

For additional reading:
http://www.themotherhood.com/talk/show/id/62135
http://whatscookingwithkids.com/2011/02/18/5-tips-to-help-kids-accept-new-foods/
http://foodformyfamily.com/tag/picky-eaters
http://www.keepkidshealthy.com/parenting_tips/picky_eaters.html

Graphic Art by: Kia Robertson

During the month of March the American Dietetic Association focuses their efforts on helping families understand the importance of physical activity and more importantly how to make the right food choices. This March Dazzledish is celebrating National Nutrition Month with a two part health series. This week we will dive into the basic stepping stones to begin a journey to better health. Next week we will look at ways to help our pickiest eaters overcome the challenge of trying new foods.

The first component to a healthy diet is to reduce the amount of refined sugars and enriched carbs by replacing them with fresh fruits, discount nutrient rich grains and fiber dense vegetables. Easier said than done, website right? So where do you start exactly? Start with little baby steps. Begin by reading the labels.

Reading the nutrition labels is crucial when trying to switch to a healthier lifestyle. Food companies are less concerned about your health and more concerned with meeting this quarter’s profits. Prepackaged and fast foods sell because they are convenient and they are made to taste great. Problem is fast foods in addition to prepackaged foods are unnecessarily overloaded with large quantities of sugar, sodium and calories that leave us hungry for more. Moreover, sugar and sodium have been linked to numerous health conditions later in life in addition to the increase of type-2 diabetes in children and teens. Of course these are the foods that are cheap and always available.

I doubt many of our parents actually understood the direct impact theses types of foods would have on our bodies. We were taught to celebrate with mounds of candy and sugary confections. White bread, whole milk and fried foods were the norm. We ate a carb with a side of carb. Ie: Lasagna with garlic bread or a sandwich with chips. Only now are we as a society beginning to realize the harmful effects these habits wreak on our bodies. Today the food companies, to their credit, have tried to heed the demand for healthier products. Introducing the 100-calorie snack packs, fat free and low fat and sugar free products. Unfortunately what they took out they had to replace with something else to make it taste delicious. Fat free foods still contain sugar and sugar free products still contain fats. When eaten in excess these foods can still be stored as fat. The number one misleading product on store shelves is whole wheat bread. Surprisingly, the majority of breads claiming to be %100 whole wheat use enriched wheat flour and contain high fructose corn syrup.

The nutritional label and the ingredients list should be evaluated as a whole. The ingredients are listed in descending order from the most to the least. It should be short, comprehensible and minus all the man-made ingredients. A loaf of bread for example is mostly flour and water. Flour would be listed first because there is more flour in a loaf of bread than any other ingredient. When shopping for bread look for whole grain or whole wheat flour in the number one spot. Enriched flour white or wheat has been refined and processed until it no longer holds any nutritional value. Instead choose breads with whole wheat, corn, potato and/or oat flours.

Sugar is stated as being a culprit of childhood obesity. It is no wonder when it is in just about everything. Take for example a can of soda. There is an average of 39 grams of sugar and over 100 calories in one 12-ounce can of soda. That equals 9 ¾ teaspoons of sugar or 3 1/4 tablespoons.
This much sugar can wreak havoc on our energy levels. A healthier option might be a glass of crystal light or flavored sparkling water (check the label for the type of artificial sweetener). For a nutritious pick me up in the afternoon try a handful of nuts with a piece of fruit. The protein in the nuts helps the body feel full longer without the spike in blood sugar.

Sugars may be listed in the form of: corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, maple syrup, brown rice syrup, fruit juice concentrate, maltose, dextrose, fructose, sucrose, honey and artificial sweeteners. Put back anything that contains high fructose corn syrup. High fructose corn syrup can only be converted to glucose through the liver. The worse part is the body turns high fructose corn syrup straight into fat. The liver’s function is to filter out toxins. Eating high fructose syrup places unneeded stress on the liver in addition to being highly addictive.

Next, limit products whose fat source comes from saturated fat or trans fat. They have the ability to increase the likelihood of heart disease. On the flipside we do need some fat in our diet. These “good” fats are called monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats derived from plants such as oils, avocados or nuts. Fats are listed in both the ingredients and on the nutritional label. A product may not contain trans fat according to the nutritional label but a hydrogenated oil or partially hydrogenated oil listed in the ingredient list means that product contains some trans fats.

Lastly, calories are the amount of energy in a food. A cup of lettuce contains 10 calories while there are 500 in a regular sized vanilla milkshake. If the intake of calories is higher than what the body burns the excess calories are turned to fat. Keep an eye on the amount of calories per serving size in the foods you choose. You will be surprised at how easy it is to accumulate calories. A serving of bread is typically one slice. Depending on the brand that 1 slice can contain 70 to 100 calories. Add another slice, meat and cheese to make a sandwich and you have a complete 350 calorie meal. That is not counting the can of soda and bag of chips that so often accompany a sandwich.

Be careful to watch the amount of calories per serving in addition to the calories from fat percentage. The calories from fat should make up no more than a quarter percent of the total calories. Peanuts are a perfect example of high calories from fat. There are about 170 calories in 1 serving (28 nuts) of peanuts with 130 calories from fat. Nuts are a great source of protein; however, if you are looking to snack Cashews or almonds are a better choice if you are watching your fat intake.

This first phase helps identify the type of food choices we regularly make. The reduction of refined flours and sugars prepare the body and taste buds for the next phase.

Additional Reading:
To the Fullest: Join Beth on her inspiring journey to better health by overcoming food addiction.
Walk About: Find the balance to eating healthy.
Healthy Life Style Balance: Learning how to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Simple Nourished Living: Overcoming constant hunger
Medifast Plan: Understanding fats and carbs
Raise Healthy Eaters: Raising Healthy Eaters recipes and advice
During the month of March the American Dietetic Association focuses their efforts helping families understand the importance of physical activity and how to make the right food choices. The 2011 theme for National Nutrition Month is “Eat Right with Color.”

The first three steps to eating healthy starts with:
1. “Eat the Colors of the Rainbow.”
2. Eating a balanced diet of lean meats, order whole grains and vegetables.
3. Limiting prepackaged, this sugary foods and drinks.

Start with little baby steps. Begin by reading the labels.
— Reduce the amount of enriched white flour. Look for whole wheat, rx corn, potato or oat flours in the number one spot of the ingredients list.
— Put back anything that contains high fructose corn syrup. Corn syrup can only be converted to glucose through the liver. The worse part is the body turns high fructose corn syrup straight into fat. The liver’s function is to filter out toxins. Eating high fructose syrup places unneeded stress on the liver in addition to being highly addictive.
— Make water the number one choice. Swap sodas for flavored sparkling water. Limit fruit juice. Avoid juices with sugar or from concentrate.

Switch to fresh. Eliminating prepackaged foods means more time in the kitchen. Teaching our children to cook will not only help them later in life it is a great way to spend quality family time. Once a week we spend a few hours in the kitchen to make a weeks worth of baked snacks.
— Offer fruits and vegetables paired with a lean protein for snacks. (Hummus and Carrots, Peanut Butter or nut butters -without added sugars- and Celery, Cheese and Apples, Nuts and dried fruits) Put the snacks in a cupcake tin or a fun cool bowl.
— Spend quality time making a snack together. (Yogurt, muffins, milk and fruit shakes)

During the month of March the American Dietetic Association focuses their efforts helping families understand the importance of physical activity and how to make the right food choices. This March Dazzledish is celebrating National Nutrition Month and our upcoming three year anniversary with a two part health series. This week we will dive into the basic stepping stones to begin the journey to better health. Next week we will look at ways to help our pickest eaters overcome the challenge of trying new foods.

The 2011 theme for National Nutrition Month is “Eat Right with Color.”

The first three steps to eating healthy starts with:
1. “Eat the Colors of the Rainbow.”
2. Eating a balanced diet of lean meats, information pills whole grains and vegetables.
3. Limiting prepackaged, this site sugary foods and drinks.

If your diet consists largely of processed prepackaged foods the first step to a nutritionally healthy diet is to get away from the sugars and carbs. For some quitting cold turkey is a breeze. For others the change is easier said than done. So where do you start? If all you have know

Start with little baby steps. Begin by reading the labels.
— Reduce the amount of enriched white flour. Look for whole wheat, cheap corn, potato or oat flours in the number one spot of the ingredients list.
— Put back anything that contains high fructose corn syrup. Corn syrup can only be converted to glucose through the liver. The worse part is the body turns high fructose corn syrup straight into fat. The liver’s function is to filter out toxins. Eating high fructose syrup places unneeded stress on the liver in addition to being highly addictive.
— Make water the number one choice. Swap sodas for flavored sparkling water. Limit fruit juice and avoid juices with sugar or from concentrate.

Switch to fresh. Develop a taste for fresh fruits and vegetables:
— Dress up ordinary fruits and vegetables by cooking them in a dish. (Pork chops and Apples, Stews, Gourmet Salads, Fruit Muffins and Smoothies
— Offer fruits and vegetables paired with a lean protein for snacks. (Hummus and Carrots, Peanut Butter or nut butters -without added sugars- and Celery, Cheese and Apples, Nuts and dried fruits, Nut Muffins, Milk and Fruit Shakes, Yogurt and Fruit on Toast) Put the snacks in a cupcake tin or a fun cool bowl for presentation.
— Limit the complex carbs. One serving of bread equals one slice. Add potatoes, wheat berries or barley to soups and stews instead pasta and forego the side of crackers or bread stick. Meals should consist largely of fiber belly filling vegetables.

We have had many requests asking how to feed a picky eater. Since we too are dealing with our own picky eater issues I understand the struggle many of you experience on a daily basis.

http://foodformyfamily.com/tag/picky-eaters

http://foodformyfamily.com/the-kitchen-sink/news-the-kitchen-sink/placating-picky-eaters-cooking-connections-class

Nutrition for Picky Eaters (Recipe: Fluffy Banana Oat Pancakes)

The theme this year for National Nutrition month is, abortion “Eat Right…With Color.” The challenge? To swap out calorie dense starches and fats for fruits, discount vegetables and whole grains. This month we have joined the leagues with the National Dietetic Association; in addition to, the many accompanying voices of dietetics from the Pacific to the Atlantic oceans to promote healthy habits. We discussed ways to filter out the high calorie prepackaged foods by reading labels; checking for ingredients that are closest to nature. Sadly too many products on the supermarket and natural food store shelves posing as food are really un-food. Fortunately for us today we do not have to spend the day in the kitchen preparing meals. There are honest companies out there producing products without the harmful additives and preservatives. Be sure to always check the labels. The following week we posted links to help our pickiest eaters over come their food fears. Be Patient and keep offering them the good stuff. One day they will surprise you. We would like to wrap up National Nutrition Month with a guide to seasonal foods.

Eat the Color of the Rainbow“…”Eat Clean”…”Eat Seasonal”…What does this all mean? Food is fuel for our body. Each morsel of food contains within it nutrients and minerals our body needs to boost the immune system, help cells and organs function properly, and support growth and development. Eating a variety of foods (the color of the rainbow) is the best way to get all the vitamins and minerals our bodies need each day.

When fruits and vegetables are at their peak they contain abundant amounts of the vitamins and minerals our body craves. Over time these vitamins and minerals diminish. Eating seasonal fruits and vegetables ensures that we are getting the maximum benefit from our food. Choosing meals and snacks around what is in season keeps costs low. When foods are in season it means they are usually shipped locally. As a result prices are substantially lower and the taste is superb. Use this opportunity to stock up for later months. Find a farmers market or packing plant nearby for fresh produce and keep an eye out for sales on poultry and fish. (**Refer to the chart above for foods listed by season.)

Eating clean is the practice of eating whole, natural foods and avoiding any manmade fats, sugars, dyes and preservatives. Let’s say one sweet potato has the same amount of carbs as a candy bar. Even though the potato is largely a carbohydrate it has less sugar and calories and more soluble fiber than the candy bar. The potato also has zero harmful preservatives (such as BHA, BHT and TBHQ) or food dyes (made from petroleum). The health benefits of a starchy potato far outweigh those of the candy bar. Whole, unprocessed, foods like seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, fish and fresh lean meats provide the nutrients our bodies need to grow properly.

Salud!

Additional Reading:

Raise Healthy Eaters: Wonderful spot for everything you ever needed to know about feeding children.

The Gracious Pantry: How Tiffany transformed her pantry filled with junk food to one that supports clean eating habits.

Nut Shell Nutrition: “Make a Rainbow on Your plate”, also be sure to peruse the site. Brittany has several informative posts on making health goals that might be of interest.

Dish on Dieting: A witty article describing the use of a GPS to guide us down the road of meal choices.

A Sprinkle of Sage: “What’s Your Nutrition Resolution?” The first of a month long series of tips to reach this month’s goal for optimal health.

Kleiner Nutrition: Great articles to help inspire us to stay on the path to better habits. Be sure to check out the interview with Hope Warshaw.
Over the past few years we have had many requests inquiring how to feed a picky eater. If you have a picky eater then you are familiar with what a daunting task this can be. We want our children to grow up healthy and strong and along the way develop healthy eating habits to ensure their success. When all a little guy wants is cereal or yogurt that goal may sometimes seem unattainable. Fear not. There is hope.

Like many other households opting for a cleaner choice of foods we choose to limit the types of prepackaged foods in the house to wholesome cereals and breads. By making all our baked goods at home at least I can control what goes into them. I feel better knowing our picky guy is eating something better than just empty calories. If we happen to have crackers in the pantry they are put up where the kids cannot get into them. A picky kid with a taste for sugar is not going to want to eat his chicken and broccoli when there is a pantry filled with crackers and granola bars. It is best to not have it around or hide it.

Treats are reserved for special occasions such as movie night or dessert at Sunday dinner. By making a few alterations a basic sweet such as a muffin can become a filling treat offering the much needed vitamins and minerals a growing body needs. Some of the variations we make include:
— replacing regular all-purpose flour with whole wheat, more about oat or coconut flour. I always add a couple tablespoons wheat germ and ground flaxseed.
— Swap out lard and vegetable oils for canola, olive and coconut oil. Butter instead of margarine.
— Replacing part or all of the refined sugar with pureed vegetables or fruits.
— Adding chopped, pureed and shredded vegetables to snacks and meals.

We follow strict snack times to help tie our kids over until dinner is ready. When kids snack right before dinner time they are less likely to try new foods much less eat their dinner. Our rule is they have to take at least one bite. If we are having salad with chicken and green beans they have to take one bite of each item. Our picky eater will often feign that he does not like something to keep up with his picky appearance. We have caught him sneaking additional bites. For a picky eater trying new foods takes time. Meanwhile continue to offer the good stuff in a positive way. We want to make dinner a positive experience for them. Avoid negative comments and of course never try to force feed your child. Give them time and eventually they will come around.

For additional reading:
http://www.themotherhood.com/talk/show/id/62135
http://whatscookingwithkids.com/2011/02/18/5-tips-to-help-kids-accept-new-foods/
http://foodformyfamily.com/tag/picky-eaters
http://www.keepkidshealthy.com/parenting_tips/picky_eaters.html

Graphic Art by: Kia Robertson

During the month of March the American Dietetic Association focuses their efforts on helping families understand the importance of physical activity and more importantly how to make the right food choices. This March Dazzledish is celebrating National Nutrition Month with a two part health series. This week we will dive into the basic stepping stones to begin a journey to better health. Next week we will look at ways to help our pickiest eaters overcome the challenge of trying new foods.

The first component to a healthy diet is to reduce the amount of refined sugars and enriched carbs by replacing them with fresh fruits, discount nutrient rich grains and fiber dense vegetables. Easier said than done, website right? So where do you start exactly? Start with little baby steps. Begin by reading the labels.

Reading the nutrition labels is crucial when trying to switch to a healthier lifestyle. Food companies are less concerned about your health and more concerned with meeting this quarter’s profits. Prepackaged and fast foods sell because they are convenient and they are made to taste great. Problem is fast foods in addition to prepackaged foods are unnecessarily overloaded with large quantities of sugar, sodium and calories that leave us hungry for more. Moreover, sugar and sodium have been linked to numerous health conditions later in life in addition to the increase of type-2 diabetes in children and teens. Of course these are the foods that are cheap and always available.

I doubt many of our parents actually understood the direct impact theses types of foods would have on our bodies. We were taught to celebrate with mounds of candy and sugary confections. White bread, whole milk and fried foods were the norm. We ate a carb with a side of carb. Ie: Lasagna with garlic bread or a sandwich with chips. Only now are we as a society beginning to realize the harmful effects these habits wreak on our bodies. Today the food companies, to their credit, have tried to heed the demand for healthier products. Introducing the 100-calorie snack packs, fat free and low fat and sugar free products. Unfortunately what they took out they had to replace with something else to make it taste delicious. Fat free foods still contain sugar and sugar free products still contain fats. When eaten in excess these foods can still be stored as fat. The number one misleading product on store shelves is whole wheat bread. Surprisingly, the majority of breads claiming to be %100 whole wheat use enriched wheat flour and contain high fructose corn syrup.

The nutritional label and the ingredients list should be evaluated as a whole. The ingredients are listed in descending order from the most to the least. It should be short, comprehensible and minus all the man-made ingredients. A loaf of bread for example is mostly flour and water. Flour would be listed first because there is more flour in a loaf of bread than any other ingredient. When shopping for bread look for whole grain or whole wheat flour in the number one spot. Enriched flour white or wheat has been refined and processed until it no longer holds any nutritional value. Instead choose breads with whole wheat, corn, potato and/or oat flours.

Sugar is stated as being a culprit of childhood obesity. It is no wonder when it is in just about everything. Take for example a can of soda. There is an average of 39 grams of sugar and over 100 calories in one 12-ounce can of soda. That equals 9 ¾ teaspoons of sugar or 3 1/4 tablespoons.
This much sugar can wreak havoc on our energy levels. A healthier option might be a glass of crystal light or flavored sparkling water (check the label for the type of artificial sweetener). For a nutritious pick me up in the afternoon try a handful of nuts with a piece of fruit. The protein in the nuts helps the body feel full longer without the spike in blood sugar.

Sugars may be listed in the form of: corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, maple syrup, brown rice syrup, fruit juice concentrate, maltose, dextrose, fructose, sucrose, honey and artificial sweeteners. Put back anything that contains high fructose corn syrup. High fructose corn syrup can only be converted to glucose through the liver. The worse part is the body turns high fructose corn syrup straight into fat. The liver’s function is to filter out toxins. Eating high fructose syrup places unneeded stress on the liver in addition to being highly addictive.

Next, limit products whose fat source comes from saturated fat or trans fat. They have the ability to increase the likelihood of heart disease. On the flipside we do need some fat in our diet. These “good” fats are called monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats derived from plants such as oils, avocados or nuts. Fats are listed in both the ingredients and on the nutritional label. A product may not contain trans fat according to the nutritional label but a hydrogenated oil or partially hydrogenated oil listed in the ingredient list means that product contains some trans fats.

Lastly, calories are the amount of energy in a food. A cup of lettuce contains 10 calories while there are 500 in a regular sized vanilla milkshake. If the intake of calories is higher than what the body burns the excess calories are turned to fat. Keep an eye on the amount of calories per serving size in the foods you choose. You will be surprised at how easy it is to accumulate calories. A serving of bread is typically one slice. Depending on the brand that 1 slice can contain 70 to 100 calories. Add another slice, meat and cheese to make a sandwich and you have a complete 350 calorie meal. That is not counting the can of soda and bag of chips that so often accompany a sandwich.

Be careful to watch the amount of calories per serving in addition to the calories from fat percentage. The calories from fat should make up no more than a quarter percent of the total calories. Peanuts are a perfect example of high calories from fat. There are about 170 calories in 1 serving (28 nuts) of peanuts with 130 calories from fat. Nuts are a great source of protein; however, if you are looking to snack Cashews or almonds are a better choice if you are watching your fat intake.

This first phase helps identify the type of food choices we regularly make. The reduction of refined flours and sugars prepare the body and taste buds for the next phase.

Additional Reading:
To the Fullest: Join Beth on her inspiring journey to better health by overcoming food addiction.
Walk About: Find the balance to eating healthy.
Healthy Life Style Balance: Learning how to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Simple Nourished Living: Overcoming constant hunger
Medifast Plan: Understanding fats and carbs
Raise Healthy Eaters: Raising Healthy Eaters recipes and advice
During the month of March the American Dietetic Association focuses their efforts helping families understand the importance of physical activity and how to make the right food choices. The 2011 theme for National Nutrition Month is “Eat Right with Color.”

The first three steps to eating healthy starts with:
1. “Eat the Colors of the Rainbow.”
2. Eating a balanced diet of lean meats, order whole grains and vegetables.
3. Limiting prepackaged, this sugary foods and drinks.

Start with little baby steps. Begin by reading the labels.
— Reduce the amount of enriched white flour. Look for whole wheat, rx corn, potato or oat flours in the number one spot of the ingredients list.
— Put back anything that contains high fructose corn syrup. Corn syrup can only be converted to glucose through the liver. The worse part is the body turns high fructose corn syrup straight into fat. The liver’s function is to filter out toxins. Eating high fructose syrup places unneeded stress on the liver in addition to being highly addictive.
— Make water the number one choice. Swap sodas for flavored sparkling water. Limit fruit juice. Avoid juices with sugar or from concentrate.

Switch to fresh. Eliminating prepackaged foods means more time in the kitchen. Teaching our children to cook will not only help them later in life it is a great way to spend quality family time. Once a week we spend a few hours in the kitchen to make a weeks worth of baked snacks.
— Offer fruits and vegetables paired with a lean protein for snacks. (Hummus and Carrots, Peanut Butter or nut butters -without added sugars- and Celery, Cheese and Apples, Nuts and dried fruits) Put the snacks in a cupcake tin or a fun cool bowl.
— Spend quality time making a snack together. (Yogurt, muffins, milk and fruit shakes)

During the month of March the American Dietetic Association focuses their efforts helping families understand the importance of physical activity and how to make the right food choices. This March Dazzledish is celebrating National Nutrition Month and our upcoming three year anniversary with a two part health series. This week we will dive into the basic stepping stones to begin the journey to better health. Next week we will look at ways to help our pickest eaters overcome the challenge of trying new foods.

The 2011 theme for National Nutrition Month is “Eat Right with Color.”

The first three steps to eating healthy starts with:
1. “Eat the Colors of the Rainbow.”
2. Eating a balanced diet of lean meats, information pills whole grains and vegetables.
3. Limiting prepackaged, this site sugary foods and drinks.

If your diet consists largely of processed prepackaged foods the first step to a nutritionally healthy diet is to get away from the sugars and carbs. For some quitting cold turkey is a breeze. For others the change is easier said than done. So where do you start? If all you have know

Start with little baby steps. Begin by reading the labels.
— Reduce the amount of enriched white flour. Look for whole wheat, cheap corn, potato or oat flours in the number one spot of the ingredients list.
— Put back anything that contains high fructose corn syrup. Corn syrup can only be converted to glucose through the liver. The worse part is the body turns high fructose corn syrup straight into fat. The liver’s function is to filter out toxins. Eating high fructose syrup places unneeded stress on the liver in addition to being highly addictive.
— Make water the number one choice. Swap sodas for flavored sparkling water. Limit fruit juice and avoid juices with sugar or from concentrate.

Switch to fresh. Develop a taste for fresh fruits and vegetables:
— Dress up ordinary fruits and vegetables by cooking them in a dish. (Pork chops and Apples, Stews, Gourmet Salads, Fruit Muffins and Smoothies
— Offer fruits and vegetables paired with a lean protein for snacks. (Hummus and Carrots, Peanut Butter or nut butters -without added sugars- and Celery, Cheese and Apples, Nuts and dried fruits, Nut Muffins, Milk and Fruit Shakes, Yogurt and Fruit on Toast) Put the snacks in a cupcake tin or a fun cool bowl for presentation.
— Limit the complex carbs. One serving of bread equals one slice. Add potatoes, wheat berries or barley to soups and stews instead pasta and forego the side of crackers or bread stick. Meals should consist largely of fiber belly filling vegetables.

Over the past few years we have had many requests inquiring how to feed a picky eater. If you have a picky eater then you are familiar with what a daunting task this can be. We want our children to grow up healthy and strong and along the way develop healthy eating habits to ensure their success. When all a little guy wants is cereal or yogurt that goal may sometimes seem unattainable. Fear not. There is hope.

Like many other households opting for a cleaner choice of foods we choose to limit the types of prepackaged foods in the house to wholesome cereals and breads. By making all our baked goods at home at least I can control what goes into them. I feel better knowing our picky guy is eating something better than just empty calories. If we happen to have crackers in the pantry they are put up where the kids cannot get into them. A picky kid with a taste for sugar is not going to want to eat his chicken and broccoli when there is a pantry filled with crackers and granola bars. It is best to not have it around or hide it.

Treats are reserved for special occasions such as movie night or dessert at Sunday dinner. By making a few alterations a basic sweet such as a muffin can become a filling treat offering the much needed vitamins and minerals a growing body needs. Some of the variations we make include:
— replacing regular all-purpose flour with whole wheat, online oat or coconut flour. I always add a couple tablespoons wheat germ and ground flaxseed.
— Swap out lard and vegetable oils for canola, troche olive and coconut oil. Butter instead of margarine.
— Replacing part or all of the refined sugar with pureed vegetables or fruits.
— Adding chopped, pureed and shredded vegetables to snacks and meals.

We follow strict snack times to help tie our kids over until dinner is ready. When kids snack right before dinner time they are less likely to try new foods much less eat their dinner. Our rule is they have to take at least one bite. If we are having salad with chicken and green beans they have to take one bite of each item. Our picky eater will often feign that he does not like something to keep up with his picky appearance. We have caught him sneaking additional bites. For a picky eater trying new foods takes time. Meanwhile continue to offer the good stuff in a positive way. We want to make dinner a positive experience for them. Avoid negative comments and of course never try to force feed your child. Give them time and eventually they will come around.

For additional reading:
http://www.themotherhood.com/talk/show/id/62135
http://whatscookingwithkids.com/2011/02/18/5-tips-to-help-kids-accept-new-foods/
http://foodformyfamily.com/tag/picky-eaters
http://www.keepkidshealthy.com/parenting_tips/picky_eaters.html

We have had many requests asking how to feed a picky eater. Since we too are dealing with our own picky eater issues I understand the struggle many of you experience on a daily basis.

http://foodformyfamily.com/tag/picky-eaters

http://foodformyfamily.com/the-kitchen-sink/news-the-kitchen-sink/placating-picky-eaters-cooking-connections-class

Nutrition for Picky Eaters (Recipe: Fluffy Banana Oat Pancakes)

The theme this year for National Nutrition month is, abortion “Eat Right…With Color.” The challenge? To swap out calorie dense starches and fats for fruits, discount vegetables and whole grains. This month we have joined the leagues with the National Dietetic Association; in addition to, the many accompanying voices of dietetics from the Pacific to the Atlantic oceans to promote healthy habits. We discussed ways to filter out the high calorie prepackaged foods by reading labels; checking for ingredients that are closest to nature. Sadly too many products on the supermarket and natural food store shelves posing as food are really un-food. Fortunately for us today we do not have to spend the day in the kitchen preparing meals. There are honest companies out there producing products without the harmful additives and preservatives. Be sure to always check the labels. The following week we posted links to help our pickiest eaters over come their food fears. Be Patient and keep offering them the good stuff. One day they will surprise you. We would like to wrap up National Nutrition Month with a guide to seasonal foods.

Eat the Color of the Rainbow“…”Eat Clean”…”Eat Seasonal”…What does this all mean? Food is fuel for our body. Each morsel of food contains within it nutrients and minerals our body needs to boost the immune system, help cells and organs function properly, and support growth and development. Eating a variety of foods (the color of the rainbow) is the best way to get all the vitamins and minerals our bodies need each day.

When fruits and vegetables are at their peak they contain abundant amounts of the vitamins and minerals our body craves. Over time these vitamins and minerals diminish. Eating seasonal fruits and vegetables ensures that we are getting the maximum benefit from our food. Choosing meals and snacks around what is in season keeps costs low. When foods are in season it means they are usually shipped locally. As a result prices are substantially lower and the taste is superb. Use this opportunity to stock up for later months. Find a farmers market or packing plant nearby for fresh produce and keep an eye out for sales on poultry and fish. (**Refer to the chart above for foods listed by season.)

Eating clean is the practice of eating whole, natural foods and avoiding any manmade fats, sugars, dyes and preservatives. Let’s say one sweet potato has the same amount of carbs as a candy bar. Even though the potato is largely a carbohydrate it has less sugar and calories and more soluble fiber than the candy bar. The potato also has zero harmful preservatives (such as BHA, BHT and TBHQ) or food dyes (made from petroleum). The health benefits of a starchy potato far outweigh those of the candy bar. Whole, unprocessed, foods like seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, fish and fresh lean meats provide the nutrients our bodies need to grow properly.

Salud!

Additional Reading:

Raise Healthy Eaters: Wonderful spot for everything you ever needed to know about feeding children.

The Gracious Pantry: How Tiffany transformed her pantry filled with junk food to one that supports clean eating habits.

Nut Shell Nutrition: “Make a Rainbow on Your plate”, also be sure to peruse the site. Brittany has several informative posts on making health goals that might be of interest.

Dish on Dieting: A witty article describing the use of a GPS to guide us down the road of meal choices.

A Sprinkle of Sage: “What’s Your Nutrition Resolution?” The first of a month long series of tips to reach this month’s goal for optimal health.

Kleiner Nutrition: Great articles to help inspire us to stay on the path to better habits. Be sure to check out the interview with Hope Warshaw.
Over the past few years we have had many requests inquiring how to feed a picky eater. If you have a picky eater then you are familiar with what a daunting task this can be. We want our children to grow up healthy and strong and along the way develop healthy eating habits to ensure their success. When all a little guy wants is cereal or yogurt that goal may sometimes seem unattainable. Fear not. There is hope.

Like many other households opting for a cleaner choice of foods we choose to limit the types of prepackaged foods in the house to wholesome cereals and breads. By making all our baked goods at home at least I can control what goes into them. I feel better knowing our picky guy is eating something better than just empty calories. If we happen to have crackers in the pantry they are put up where the kids cannot get into them. A picky kid with a taste for sugar is not going to want to eat his chicken and broccoli when there is a pantry filled with crackers and granola bars. It is best to not have it around or hide it.

Treats are reserved for special occasions such as movie night or dessert at Sunday dinner. By making a few alterations a basic sweet such as a muffin can become a filling treat offering the much needed vitamins and minerals a growing body needs. Some of the variations we make include:
— replacing regular all-purpose flour with whole wheat, more about oat or coconut flour. I always add a couple tablespoons wheat germ and ground flaxseed.
— Swap out lard and vegetable oils for canola, olive and coconut oil. Butter instead of margarine.
— Replacing part or all of the refined sugar with pureed vegetables or fruits.
— Adding chopped, pureed and shredded vegetables to snacks and meals.

We follow strict snack times to help tie our kids over until dinner is ready. When kids snack right before dinner time they are less likely to try new foods much less eat their dinner. Our rule is they have to take at least one bite. If we are having salad with chicken and green beans they have to take one bite of each item. Our picky eater will often feign that he does not like something to keep up with his picky appearance. We have caught him sneaking additional bites. For a picky eater trying new foods takes time. Meanwhile continue to offer the good stuff in a positive way. We want to make dinner a positive experience for them. Avoid negative comments and of course never try to force feed your child. Give them time and eventually they will come around.

For additional reading:
http://www.themotherhood.com/talk/show/id/62135
http://whatscookingwithkids.com/2011/02/18/5-tips-to-help-kids-accept-new-foods/
http://foodformyfamily.com/tag/picky-eaters
http://www.keepkidshealthy.com/parenting_tips/picky_eaters.html

Graphic Art by: Kia Robertson

During the month of March the American Dietetic Association focuses their efforts on helping families understand the importance of physical activity and more importantly how to make the right food choices. This March Dazzledish is celebrating National Nutrition Month with a two part health series. This week we will dive into the basic stepping stones to begin a journey to better health. Next week we will look at ways to help our pickiest eaters overcome the challenge of trying new foods.

The first component to a healthy diet is to reduce the amount of refined sugars and enriched carbs by replacing them with fresh fruits, discount nutrient rich grains and fiber dense vegetables. Easier said than done, website right? So where do you start exactly? Start with little baby steps. Begin by reading the labels.

Reading the nutrition labels is crucial when trying to switch to a healthier lifestyle. Food companies are less concerned about your health and more concerned with meeting this quarter’s profits. Prepackaged and fast foods sell because they are convenient and they are made to taste great. Problem is fast foods in addition to prepackaged foods are unnecessarily overloaded with large quantities of sugar, sodium and calories that leave us hungry for more. Moreover, sugar and sodium have been linked to numerous health conditions later in life in addition to the increase of type-2 diabetes in children and teens. Of course these are the foods that are cheap and always available.

I doubt many of our parents actually understood the direct impact theses types of foods would have on our bodies. We were taught to celebrate with mounds of candy and sugary confections. White bread, whole milk and fried foods were the norm. We ate a carb with a side of carb. Ie: Lasagna with garlic bread or a sandwich with chips. Only now are we as a society beginning to realize the harmful effects these habits wreak on our bodies. Today the food companies, to their credit, have tried to heed the demand for healthier products. Introducing the 100-calorie snack packs, fat free and low fat and sugar free products. Unfortunately what they took out they had to replace with something else to make it taste delicious. Fat free foods still contain sugar and sugar free products still contain fats. When eaten in excess these foods can still be stored as fat. The number one misleading product on store shelves is whole wheat bread. Surprisingly, the majority of breads claiming to be %100 whole wheat use enriched wheat flour and contain high fructose corn syrup.

The nutritional label and the ingredients list should be evaluated as a whole. The ingredients are listed in descending order from the most to the least. It should be short, comprehensible and minus all the man-made ingredients. A loaf of bread for example is mostly flour and water. Flour would be listed first because there is more flour in a loaf of bread than any other ingredient. When shopping for bread look for whole grain or whole wheat flour in the number one spot. Enriched flour white or wheat has been refined and processed until it no longer holds any nutritional value. Instead choose breads with whole wheat, corn, potato and/or oat flours.

Sugar is stated as being a culprit of childhood obesity. It is no wonder when it is in just about everything. Take for example a can of soda. There is an average of 39 grams of sugar and over 100 calories in one 12-ounce can of soda. That equals 9 ¾ teaspoons of sugar or 3 1/4 tablespoons.
This much sugar can wreak havoc on our energy levels. A healthier option might be a glass of crystal light or flavored sparkling water (check the label for the type of artificial sweetener). For a nutritious pick me up in the afternoon try a handful of nuts with a piece of fruit. The protein in the nuts helps the body feel full longer without the spike in blood sugar.

Sugars may be listed in the form of: corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, maple syrup, brown rice syrup, fruit juice concentrate, maltose, dextrose, fructose, sucrose, honey and artificial sweeteners. Put back anything that contains high fructose corn syrup. High fructose corn syrup can only be converted to glucose through the liver. The worse part is the body turns high fructose corn syrup straight into fat. The liver’s function is to filter out toxins. Eating high fructose syrup places unneeded stress on the liver in addition to being highly addictive.

Next, limit products whose fat source comes from saturated fat or trans fat. They have the ability to increase the likelihood of heart disease. On the flipside we do need some fat in our diet. These “good” fats are called monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats derived from plants such as oils, avocados or nuts. Fats are listed in both the ingredients and on the nutritional label. A product may not contain trans fat according to the nutritional label but a hydrogenated oil or partially hydrogenated oil listed in the ingredient list means that product contains some trans fats.

Lastly, calories are the amount of energy in a food. A cup of lettuce contains 10 calories while there are 500 in a regular sized vanilla milkshake. If the intake of calories is higher than what the body burns the excess calories are turned to fat. Keep an eye on the amount of calories per serving size in the foods you choose. You will be surprised at how easy it is to accumulate calories. A serving of bread is typically one slice. Depending on the brand that 1 slice can contain 70 to 100 calories. Add another slice, meat and cheese to make a sandwich and you have a complete 350 calorie meal. That is not counting the can of soda and bag of chips that so often accompany a sandwich.

Be careful to watch the amount of calories per serving in addition to the calories from fat percentage. The calories from fat should make up no more than a quarter percent of the total calories. Peanuts are a perfect example of high calories from fat. There are about 170 calories in 1 serving (28 nuts) of peanuts with 130 calories from fat. Nuts are a great source of protein; however, if you are looking to snack Cashews or almonds are a better choice if you are watching your fat intake.

This first phase helps identify the type of food choices we regularly make. The reduction of refined flours and sugars prepare the body and taste buds for the next phase.

Additional Reading:
To the Fullest: Join Beth on her inspiring journey to better health by overcoming food addiction.
Walk About: Find the balance to eating healthy.
Healthy Life Style Balance: Learning how to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Simple Nourished Living: Overcoming constant hunger
Medifast Plan: Understanding fats and carbs
Raise Healthy Eaters: Raising Healthy Eaters recipes and advice
During the month of March the American Dietetic Association focuses their efforts helping families understand the importance of physical activity and how to make the right food choices. The 2011 theme for National Nutrition Month is “Eat Right with Color.”

The first three steps to eating healthy starts with:
1. “Eat the Colors of the Rainbow.”
2. Eating a balanced diet of lean meats, order whole grains and vegetables.
3. Limiting prepackaged, this sugary foods and drinks.

Start with little baby steps. Begin by reading the labels.
— Reduce the amount of enriched white flour. Look for whole wheat, rx corn, potato or oat flours in the number one spot of the ingredients list.
— Put back anything that contains high fructose corn syrup. Corn syrup can only be converted to glucose through the liver. The worse part is the body turns high fructose corn syrup straight into fat. The liver’s function is to filter out toxins. Eating high fructose syrup places unneeded stress on the liver in addition to being highly addictive.
— Make water the number one choice. Swap sodas for flavored sparkling water. Limit fruit juice. Avoid juices with sugar or from concentrate.

Switch to fresh. Eliminating prepackaged foods means more time in the kitchen. Teaching our children to cook will not only help them later in life it is a great way to spend quality family time. Once a week we spend a few hours in the kitchen to make a weeks worth of baked snacks.
— Offer fruits and vegetables paired with a lean protein for snacks. (Hummus and Carrots, Peanut Butter or nut butters -without added sugars- and Celery, Cheese and Apples, Nuts and dried fruits) Put the snacks in a cupcake tin or a fun cool bowl.
— Spend quality time making a snack together. (Yogurt, muffins, milk and fruit shakes)

During the month of March the American Dietetic Association focuses their efforts helping families understand the importance of physical activity and how to make the right food choices. This March Dazzledish is celebrating National Nutrition Month and our upcoming three year anniversary with a two part health series. This week we will dive into the basic stepping stones to begin the journey to better health. Next week we will look at ways to help our pickest eaters overcome the challenge of trying new foods.

The 2011 theme for National Nutrition Month is “Eat Right with Color.”

The first three steps to eating healthy starts with:
1. “Eat the Colors of the Rainbow.”
2. Eating a balanced diet of lean meats, information pills whole grains and vegetables.
3. Limiting prepackaged, this site sugary foods and drinks.

If your diet consists largely of processed prepackaged foods the first step to a nutritionally healthy diet is to get away from the sugars and carbs. For some quitting cold turkey is a breeze. For others the change is easier said than done. So where do you start? If all you have know

Start with little baby steps. Begin by reading the labels.
— Reduce the amount of enriched white flour. Look for whole wheat, cheap corn, potato or oat flours in the number one spot of the ingredients list.
— Put back anything that contains high fructose corn syrup. Corn syrup can only be converted to glucose through the liver. The worse part is the body turns high fructose corn syrup straight into fat. The liver’s function is to filter out toxins. Eating high fructose syrup places unneeded stress on the liver in addition to being highly addictive.
— Make water the number one choice. Swap sodas for flavored sparkling water. Limit fruit juice and avoid juices with sugar or from concentrate.

Switch to fresh. Develop a taste for fresh fruits and vegetables:
— Dress up ordinary fruits and vegetables by cooking them in a dish. (Pork chops and Apples, Stews, Gourmet Salads, Fruit Muffins and Smoothies
— Offer fruits and vegetables paired with a lean protein for snacks. (Hummus and Carrots, Peanut Butter or nut butters -without added sugars- and Celery, Cheese and Apples, Nuts and dried fruits, Nut Muffins, Milk and Fruit Shakes, Yogurt and Fruit on Toast) Put the snacks in a cupcake tin or a fun cool bowl for presentation.
— Limit the complex carbs. One serving of bread equals one slice. Add potatoes, wheat berries or barley to soups and stews instead pasta and forego the side of crackers or bread stick. Meals should consist largely of fiber belly filling vegetables.

Over the past few years we have had many requests inquiring how to feed a picky eater. If you have a picky eater then you are familiar with what a daunting task this can be. We want our children to grow up healthy and strong and along the way develop healthy eating habits to ensure their success. When all a little guy wants is cereal or yogurt that goal may sometimes seem unattainable. Fear not. There is hope.

Like many other households opting for a cleaner choice of foods we choose to limit the types of prepackaged foods in the house to wholesome cereals and breads. By making all our baked goods at home at least I can control what goes into them. I feel better knowing our picky guy is eating something better than just empty calories. If we happen to have crackers in the pantry they are put up where the kids cannot get into them. A picky kid with a taste for sugar is not going to want to eat his chicken and broccoli when there is a pantry filled with crackers and granola bars. It is best to not have it around or hide it.

Treats are reserved for special occasions such as movie night or dessert at Sunday dinner. By making a few alterations a basic sweet such as a muffin can become a filling treat offering the much needed vitamins and minerals a growing body needs. Some of the variations we make include:
— replacing regular all-purpose flour with whole wheat, online oat or coconut flour. I always add a couple tablespoons wheat germ and ground flaxseed.
— Swap out lard and vegetable oils for canola, troche olive and coconut oil. Butter instead of margarine.
— Replacing part or all of the refined sugar with pureed vegetables or fruits.
— Adding chopped, pureed and shredded vegetables to snacks and meals.

We follow strict snack times to help tie our kids over until dinner is ready. When kids snack right before dinner time they are less likely to try new foods much less eat their dinner. Our rule is they have to take at least one bite. If we are having salad with chicken and green beans they have to take one bite of each item. Our picky eater will often feign that he does not like something to keep up with his picky appearance. We have caught him sneaking additional bites. For a picky eater trying new foods takes time. Meanwhile continue to offer the good stuff in a positive way. We want to make dinner a positive experience for them. Avoid negative comments and of course never try to force feed your child. Give them time and eventually they will come around.

For additional reading:
http://www.themotherhood.com/talk/show/id/62135
http://whatscookingwithkids.com/2011/02/18/5-tips-to-help-kids-accept-new-foods/
http://foodformyfamily.com/tag/picky-eaters
http://www.keepkidshealthy.com/parenting_tips/picky_eaters.html

Over the past few years we have had many requests inquiring how to feed a picky eater. If you have a picky eater then you are familiar with what a daunting task this can be. We want our children to grow up healthy and strong and along the way develop healthy eating habits to ensure their success. When all a little guy wants is cereal or yogurt that goal may sometimes seem unattainable. Fear not. There is hope. The following is my own account of the struggles we are currently facing and how we deal with them. I have included additional links to posts with further suggestions on how to placate a picky eater.

Like many other households opting for a cleaner choice of foods we choose to limit the types of prepackaged foods in the house to wholesome cereals and breads and low fat dairy. By making the majority of our snacks at home at least I can control what goes into them. I feel better knowing our picky guy is eating something better than just empty calories. Secondly, doctor our picky eater has a major sweet tooth. If it is not in the house he nor I will eat it. If we happen to have crackers in the pantry they are put up where the kids cannot get into them. A picky kid with a taste for sugar is not going to want to eat his chicken and broccoli when there is a pantry filled with crackers and granola bars.

Treats are reserved for special occasions such as movie night or dessert at Sunday dinner. By making a few alterations a basic sweet such as a muffin can become a filling treat offering the much needed vitamins and minerals a growing body needs. Some of the variations we make include:
— replacing regular all-purpose flour with whole wheat, oat or coconut flour. I always add a couple tablespoons wheat germ and ground flaxseed.
— Swap out lard and vegetable oils for canola, olive and coconut oil. Butter instead of margarine.
— Replacing part or all of the refined sugar with pureed vegetables or fruits or natural local honey.
— Adding chopped, pureed and shredded vegetables to snacks and meals.

We follow strict snack times to help tie our kids over until dinner is ready. When kids snack right before dinner time they are less likely to try new foods much less eat their dinner. Our rule is they have to take at least one bite. If we are having salad with chicken and green beans they have to take one bite of each item. Our picky eater will often feign that he does not like something to keep up with his picky appearance. We have caught him sneaking additional bites.

For a picky eater trying new foods takes time. Meanwhile continue to offer the good stuff. Our doctor reassured me our son would not starve. We want to make dinner a positive experience for them. Avoid negative comments and of course never try to force feed your child. Give them time and eventually they will come around.

For additional reading on how to placate a picky eater visit the following links:
http://www.themotherhood.com/talk/show/id/62135
http://whatscookingwithkids.com/2011/02/18/5-tips-to-help-kids-accept-new-foods/
http://foodformyfamily.com/tag/picky-eaters
http://www.keepkidshealthy.com/parenting_tips/picky_eaters.html
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/body/science-picky-eaters.html
We have had many requests asking how to feed a picky eater. Since we too are dealing with our own picky eater issues I understand the struggle many of you experience on a daily basis.

http://foodformyfamily.com/tag/picky-eaters

http://foodformyfamily.com/the-kitchen-sink/news-the-kitchen-sink/placating-picky-eaters-cooking-connections-class

Nutrition for Picky Eaters (Recipe: Fluffy Banana Oat Pancakes)

The theme this year for National Nutrition month is, abortion “Eat Right…With Color.” The challenge? To swap out calorie dense starches and fats for fruits, discount vegetables and whole grains. This month we have joined the leagues with the National Dietetic Association; in addition to, the many accompanying voices of dietetics from the Pacific to the Atlantic oceans to promote healthy habits. We discussed ways to filter out the high calorie prepackaged foods by reading labels; checking for ingredients that are closest to nature. Sadly too many products on the supermarket and natural food store shelves posing as food are really un-food. Fortunately for us today we do not have to spend the day in the kitchen preparing meals. There are honest companies out there producing products without the harmful additives and preservatives. Be sure to always check the labels. The following week we posted links to help our pickiest eaters over come their food fears. Be Patient and keep offering them the good stuff. One day they will surprise you. We would like to wrap up National Nutrition Month with a guide to seasonal foods.

Eat the Color of the Rainbow“…”Eat Clean”…”Eat Seasonal”…What does this all mean? Food is fuel for our body. Each morsel of food contains within it nutrients and minerals our body needs to boost the immune system, help cells and organs function properly, and support growth and development. Eating a variety of foods (the color of the rainbow) is the best way to get all the vitamins and minerals our bodies need each day.

When fruits and vegetables are at their peak they contain abundant amounts of the vitamins and minerals our body craves. Over time these vitamins and minerals diminish. Eating seasonal fruits and vegetables ensures that we are getting the maximum benefit from our food. Choosing meals and snacks around what is in season keeps costs low. When foods are in season it means they are usually shipped locally. As a result prices are substantially lower and the taste is superb. Use this opportunity to stock up for later months. Find a farmers market or packing plant nearby for fresh produce and keep an eye out for sales on poultry and fish. (**Refer to the chart above for foods listed by season.)

Eating clean is the practice of eating whole, natural foods and avoiding any manmade fats, sugars, dyes and preservatives. Let’s say one sweet potato has the same amount of carbs as a candy bar. Even though the potato is largely a carbohydrate it has less sugar and calories and more soluble fiber than the candy bar. The potato also has zero harmful preservatives (such as BHA, BHT and TBHQ) or food dyes (made from petroleum). The health benefits of a starchy potato far outweigh those of the candy bar. Whole, unprocessed, foods like seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, fish and fresh lean meats provide the nutrients our bodies need to grow properly.

Salud!

Additional Reading:

Raise Healthy Eaters: Wonderful spot for everything you ever needed to know about feeding children.

The Gracious Pantry: How Tiffany transformed her pantry filled with junk food to one that supports clean eating habits.

Nut Shell Nutrition: “Make a Rainbow on Your plate”, also be sure to peruse the site. Brittany has several informative posts on making health goals that might be of interest.

Dish on Dieting: A witty article describing the use of a GPS to guide us down the road of meal choices.

A Sprinkle of Sage: “What’s Your Nutrition Resolution?” The first of a month long series of tips to reach this month’s goal for optimal health.

Kleiner Nutrition: Great articles to help inspire us to stay on the path to better habits. Be sure to check out the interview with Hope Warshaw.
Over the past few years we have had many requests inquiring how to feed a picky eater. If you have a picky eater then you are familiar with what a daunting task this can be. We want our children to grow up healthy and strong and along the way develop healthy eating habits to ensure their success. When all a little guy wants is cereal or yogurt that goal may sometimes seem unattainable. Fear not. There is hope.

Like many other households opting for a cleaner choice of foods we choose to limit the types of prepackaged foods in the house to wholesome cereals and breads. By making all our baked goods at home at least I can control what goes into them. I feel better knowing our picky guy is eating something better than just empty calories. If we happen to have crackers in the pantry they are put up where the kids cannot get into them. A picky kid with a taste for sugar is not going to want to eat his chicken and broccoli when there is a pantry filled with crackers and granola bars. It is best to not have it around or hide it.

Treats are reserved for special occasions such as movie night or dessert at Sunday dinner. By making a few alterations a basic sweet such as a muffin can become a filling treat offering the much needed vitamins and minerals a growing body needs. Some of the variations we make include:
— replacing regular all-purpose flour with whole wheat, more about oat or coconut flour. I always add a couple tablespoons wheat germ and ground flaxseed.
— Swap out lard and vegetable oils for canola, olive and coconut oil. Butter instead of margarine.
— Replacing part or all of the refined sugar with pureed vegetables or fruits.
— Adding chopped, pureed and shredded vegetables to snacks and meals.

We follow strict snack times to help tie our kids over until dinner is ready. When kids snack right before dinner time they are less likely to try new foods much less eat their dinner. Our rule is they have to take at least one bite. If we are having salad with chicken and green beans they have to take one bite of each item. Our picky eater will often feign that he does not like something to keep up with his picky appearance. We have caught him sneaking additional bites. For a picky eater trying new foods takes time. Meanwhile continue to offer the good stuff in a positive way. We want to make dinner a positive experience for them. Avoid negative comments and of course never try to force feed your child. Give them time and eventually they will come around.

For additional reading:
http://www.themotherhood.com/talk/show/id/62135
http://whatscookingwithkids.com/2011/02/18/5-tips-to-help-kids-accept-new-foods/
http://foodformyfamily.com/tag/picky-eaters
http://www.keepkidshealthy.com/parenting_tips/picky_eaters.html

Graphic Art by: Kia Robertson

During the month of March the American Dietetic Association focuses their efforts on helping families understand the importance of physical activity and more importantly how to make the right food choices. This March Dazzledish is celebrating National Nutrition Month with a two part health series. This week we will dive into the basic stepping stones to begin a journey to better health. Next week we will look at ways to help our pickiest eaters overcome the challenge of trying new foods.

The first component to a healthy diet is to reduce the amount of refined sugars and enriched carbs by replacing them with fresh fruits, discount nutrient rich grains and fiber dense vegetables. Easier said than done, website right? So where do you start exactly? Start with little baby steps. Begin by reading the labels.

Reading the nutrition labels is crucial when trying to switch to a healthier lifestyle. Food companies are less concerned about your health and more concerned with meeting this quarter’s profits. Prepackaged and fast foods sell because they are convenient and they are made to taste great. Problem is fast foods in addition to prepackaged foods are unnecessarily overloaded with large quantities of sugar, sodium and calories that leave us hungry for more. Moreover, sugar and sodium have been linked to numerous health conditions later in life in addition to the increase of type-2 diabetes in children and teens. Of course these are the foods that are cheap and always available.

I doubt many of our parents actually understood the direct impact theses types of foods would have on our bodies. We were taught to celebrate with mounds of candy and sugary confections. White bread, whole milk and fried foods were the norm. We ate a carb with a side of carb. Ie: Lasagna with garlic bread or a sandwich with chips. Only now are we as a society beginning to realize the harmful effects these habits wreak on our bodies. Today the food companies, to their credit, have tried to heed the demand for healthier products. Introducing the 100-calorie snack packs, fat free and low fat and sugar free products. Unfortunately what they took out they had to replace with something else to make it taste delicious. Fat free foods still contain sugar and sugar free products still contain fats. When eaten in excess these foods can still be stored as fat. The number one misleading product on store shelves is whole wheat bread. Surprisingly, the majority of breads claiming to be %100 whole wheat use enriched wheat flour and contain high fructose corn syrup.

The nutritional label and the ingredients list should be evaluated as a whole. The ingredients are listed in descending order from the most to the least. It should be short, comprehensible and minus all the man-made ingredients. A loaf of bread for example is mostly flour and water. Flour would be listed first because there is more flour in a loaf of bread than any other ingredient. When shopping for bread look for whole grain or whole wheat flour in the number one spot. Enriched flour white or wheat has been refined and processed until it no longer holds any nutritional value. Instead choose breads with whole wheat, corn, potato and/or oat flours.

Sugar is stated as being a culprit of childhood obesity. It is no wonder when it is in just about everything. Take for example a can of soda. There is an average of 39 grams of sugar and over 100 calories in one 12-ounce can of soda. That equals 9 ¾ teaspoons of sugar or 3 1/4 tablespoons.
This much sugar can wreak havoc on our energy levels. A healthier option might be a glass of crystal light or flavored sparkling water (check the label for the type of artificial sweetener). For a nutritious pick me up in the afternoon try a handful of nuts with a piece of fruit. The protein in the nuts helps the body feel full longer without the spike in blood sugar.

Sugars may be listed in the form of: corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, maple syrup, brown rice syrup, fruit juice concentrate, maltose, dextrose, fructose, sucrose, honey and artificial sweeteners. Put back anything that contains high fructose corn syrup. High fructose corn syrup can only be converted to glucose through the liver. The worse part is the body turns high fructose corn syrup straight into fat. The liver’s function is to filter out toxins. Eating high fructose syrup places unneeded stress on the liver in addition to being highly addictive.

Next, limit products whose fat source comes from saturated fat or trans fat. They have the ability to increase the likelihood of heart disease. On the flipside we do need some fat in our diet. These “good” fats are called monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats derived from plants such as oils, avocados or nuts. Fats are listed in both the ingredients and on the nutritional label. A product may not contain trans fat according to the nutritional label but a hydrogenated oil or partially hydrogenated oil listed in the ingredient list means that product contains some trans fats.

Lastly, calories are the amount of energy in a food. A cup of lettuce contains 10 calories while there are 500 in a regular sized vanilla milkshake. If the intake of calories is higher than what the body burns the excess calories are turned to fat. Keep an eye on the amount of calories per serving size in the foods you choose. You will be surprised at how easy it is to accumulate calories. A serving of bread is typically one slice. Depending on the brand that 1 slice can contain 70 to 100 calories. Add another slice, meat and cheese to make a sandwich and you have a complete 350 calorie meal. That is not counting the can of soda and bag of chips that so often accompany a sandwich.

Be careful to watch the amount of calories per serving in addition to the calories from fat percentage. The calories from fat should make up no more than a quarter percent of the total calories. Peanuts are a perfect example of high calories from fat. There are about 170 calories in 1 serving (28 nuts) of peanuts with 130 calories from fat. Nuts are a great source of protein; however, if you are looking to snack Cashews or almonds are a better choice if you are watching your fat intake.

This first phase helps identify the type of food choices we regularly make. The reduction of refined flours and sugars prepare the body and taste buds for the next phase.

Additional Reading:
To the Fullest: Join Beth on her inspiring journey to better health by overcoming food addiction.
Walk About: Find the balance to eating healthy.
Healthy Life Style Balance: Learning how to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Simple Nourished Living: Overcoming constant hunger
Medifast Plan: Understanding fats and carbs
Raise Healthy Eaters: Raising Healthy Eaters recipes and advice
During the month of March the American Dietetic Association focuses their efforts helping families understand the importance of physical activity and how to make the right food choices. The 2011 theme for National Nutrition Month is “Eat Right with Color.”

The first three steps to eating healthy starts with:
1. “Eat the Colors of the Rainbow.”
2. Eating a balanced diet of lean meats, order whole grains and vegetables.
3. Limiting prepackaged, this sugary foods and drinks.

Start with little baby steps. Begin by reading the labels.
— Reduce the amount of enriched white flour. Look for whole wheat, rx corn, potato or oat flours in the number one spot of the ingredients list.
— Put back anything that contains high fructose corn syrup. Corn syrup can only be converted to glucose through the liver. The worse part is the body turns high fructose corn syrup straight into fat. The liver’s function is to filter out toxins. Eating high fructose syrup places unneeded stress on the liver in addition to being highly addictive.
— Make water the number one choice. Swap sodas for flavored sparkling water. Limit fruit juice. Avoid juices with sugar or from concentrate.

Switch to fresh. Eliminating prepackaged foods means more time in the kitchen. Teaching our children to cook will not only help them later in life it is a great way to spend quality family time. Once a week we spend a few hours in the kitchen to make a weeks worth of baked snacks.
— Offer fruits and vegetables paired with a lean protein for snacks. (Hummus and Carrots, Peanut Butter or nut butters -without added sugars- and Celery, Cheese and Apples, Nuts and dried fruits) Put the snacks in a cupcake tin or a fun cool bowl.
— Spend quality time making a snack together. (Yogurt, muffins, milk and fruit shakes)

During the month of March the American Dietetic Association focuses their efforts helping families understand the importance of physical activity and how to make the right food choices. This March Dazzledish is celebrating National Nutrition Month and our upcoming three year anniversary with a two part health series. This week we will dive into the basic stepping stones to begin the journey to better health. Next week we will look at ways to help our pickest eaters overcome the challenge of trying new foods.

The 2011 theme for National Nutrition Month is “Eat Right with Color.”

The first three steps to eating healthy starts with:
1. “Eat the Colors of the Rainbow.”
2. Eating a balanced diet of lean meats, information pills whole grains and vegetables.
3. Limiting prepackaged, this site sugary foods and drinks.

If your diet consists largely of processed prepackaged foods the first step to a nutritionally healthy diet is to get away from the sugars and carbs. For some quitting cold turkey is a breeze. For others the change is easier said than done. So where do you start? If all you have know

Start with little baby steps. Begin by reading the labels.
— Reduce the amount of enriched white flour. Look for whole wheat, cheap corn, potato or oat flours in the number one spot of the ingredients list.
— Put back anything that contains high fructose corn syrup. Corn syrup can only be converted to glucose through the liver. The worse part is the body turns high fructose corn syrup straight into fat. The liver’s function is to filter out toxins. Eating high fructose syrup places unneeded stress on the liver in addition to being highly addictive.
— Make water the number one choice. Swap sodas for flavored sparkling water. Limit fruit juice and avoid juices with sugar or from concentrate.

Switch to fresh. Develop a taste for fresh fruits and vegetables:
— Dress up ordinary fruits and vegetables by cooking them in a dish. (Pork chops and Apples, Stews, Gourmet Salads, Fruit Muffins and Smoothies
— Offer fruits and vegetables paired with a lean protein for snacks. (Hummus and Carrots, Peanut Butter or nut butters -without added sugars- and Celery, Cheese and Apples, Nuts and dried fruits, Nut Muffins, Milk and Fruit Shakes, Yogurt and Fruit on Toast) Put the snacks in a cupcake tin or a fun cool bowl for presentation.
— Limit the complex carbs. One serving of bread equals one slice. Add potatoes, wheat berries or barley to soups and stews instead pasta and forego the side of crackers or bread stick. Meals should consist largely of fiber belly filling vegetables.

Over the past few years we have had many requests inquiring how to feed a picky eater. If you have a picky eater then you are familiar with what a daunting task this can be. We want our children to grow up healthy and strong and along the way develop healthy eating habits to ensure their success. When all a little guy wants is cereal or yogurt that goal may sometimes seem unattainable. Fear not. There is hope.

Like many other households opting for a cleaner choice of foods we choose to limit the types of prepackaged foods in the house to wholesome cereals and breads. By making all our baked goods at home at least I can control what goes into them. I feel better knowing our picky guy is eating something better than just empty calories. If we happen to have crackers in the pantry they are put up where the kids cannot get into them. A picky kid with a taste for sugar is not going to want to eat his chicken and broccoli when there is a pantry filled with crackers and granola bars. It is best to not have it around or hide it.

Treats are reserved for special occasions such as movie night or dessert at Sunday dinner. By making a few alterations a basic sweet such as a muffin can become a filling treat offering the much needed vitamins and minerals a growing body needs. Some of the variations we make include:
— replacing regular all-purpose flour with whole wheat, online oat or coconut flour. I always add a couple tablespoons wheat germ and ground flaxseed.
— Swap out lard and vegetable oils for canola, troche olive and coconut oil. Butter instead of margarine.
— Replacing part or all of the refined sugar with pureed vegetables or fruits.
— Adding chopped, pureed and shredded vegetables to snacks and meals.

We follow strict snack times to help tie our kids over until dinner is ready. When kids snack right before dinner time they are less likely to try new foods much less eat their dinner. Our rule is they have to take at least one bite. If we are having salad with chicken and green beans they have to take one bite of each item. Our picky eater will often feign that he does not like something to keep up with his picky appearance. We have caught him sneaking additional bites. For a picky eater trying new foods takes time. Meanwhile continue to offer the good stuff in a positive way. We want to make dinner a positive experience for them. Avoid negative comments and of course never try to force feed your child. Give them time and eventually they will come around.

For additional reading:
http://www.themotherhood.com/talk/show/id/62135
http://whatscookingwithkids.com/2011/02/18/5-tips-to-help-kids-accept-new-foods/
http://foodformyfamily.com/tag/picky-eaters
http://www.keepkidshealthy.com/parenting_tips/picky_eaters.html

Over the past few years we have had many requests inquiring how to feed a picky eater. If you have a picky eater then you are familiar with what a daunting task this can be. We want our children to grow up healthy and strong and along the way develop healthy eating habits to ensure their success. When all a little guy wants is cereal or yogurt that goal may sometimes seem unattainable. Fear not. There is hope. The following is my own account of the struggles we are currently facing and how we deal with them. I have included additional links to posts with further suggestions on how to placate a picky eater.

Like many other households opting for a cleaner choice of foods we choose to limit the types of prepackaged foods in the house to wholesome cereals and breads and low fat dairy. By making the majority of our snacks at home at least I can control what goes into them. I feel better knowing our picky guy is eating something better than just empty calories. Secondly, doctor our picky eater has a major sweet tooth. If it is not in the house he nor I will eat it. If we happen to have crackers in the pantry they are put up where the kids cannot get into them. A picky kid with a taste for sugar is not going to want to eat his chicken and broccoli when there is a pantry filled with crackers and granola bars.

Treats are reserved for special occasions such as movie night or dessert at Sunday dinner. By making a few alterations a basic sweet such as a muffin can become a filling treat offering the much needed vitamins and minerals a growing body needs. Some of the variations we make include:
— replacing regular all-purpose flour with whole wheat, oat or coconut flour. I always add a couple tablespoons wheat germ and ground flaxseed.
— Swap out lard and vegetable oils for canola, olive and coconut oil. Butter instead of margarine.
— Replacing part or all of the refined sugar with pureed vegetables or fruits or natural local honey.
— Adding chopped, pureed and shredded vegetables to snacks and meals.

We follow strict snack times to help tie our kids over until dinner is ready. When kids snack right before dinner time they are less likely to try new foods much less eat their dinner. Our rule is they have to take at least one bite. If we are having salad with chicken and green beans they have to take one bite of each item. Our picky eater will often feign that he does not like something to keep up with his picky appearance. We have caught him sneaking additional bites.

For a picky eater trying new foods takes time. Meanwhile continue to offer the good stuff. Our doctor reassured me our son would not starve. We want to make dinner a positive experience for them. Avoid negative comments and of course never try to force feed your child. Give them time and eventually they will come around.

For additional reading on how to placate a picky eater visit the following links:
http://www.themotherhood.com/talk/show/id/62135
http://whatscookingwithkids.com/2011/02/18/5-tips-to-help-kids-accept-new-foods/
http://foodformyfamily.com/tag/picky-eaters
http://www.keepkidshealthy.com/parenting_tips/picky_eaters.html
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/body/science-picky-eaters.html
Yum, unhealthy yum pancakes. Oatmeal banana pancakes. I so love pancakes. I think my son and I could eat them for breakfast, order lunch and dinner. This submission is from my sister. She admits to becoming so smitten with this recipe of banana pancakes they had eaten them at least three times.

The addition of oatmeal gives the cakes a nice hearty texture. I used plain yogurt, sales because I always have plain yogurt on hand, and grounded whole oats. I would suggest using the quick oats if you are not crazy over the texture of whole grain baked goods.

Source: Cooks.com by Cookie
3 ripe bananas, divided
1/2 cup low-fat or whole milk
1/4 cup sour cream
2 eggs
4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted, plus extra to grease the pan
2/3 cup cake flour

1/4 cup ground flaxseed meal

1 tablespoon Wheat Germ
1/2 cup quick-cooking oatmeal
1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Dash grated nutmeg
warm maple syrup, for serving

Heat oven to 200 degrees.

Mash 3 of the bananas with fork in a medium bowl; stir in milk, sour cream, eggs and 2 tablespoons of the butter in medium bowl; set aside.

Combine flour, oatmeal, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Fold banana mixture into flour mixture, stirring just until blended (do not over mix).

Heat remaining 2 tablespoons butter in large skillet over medium to medium-high heat; pour 1/4-cup portions of the batter into the skillet, spacing them apart. Cook, in batches, until bubbles cover surface of pancakes and underside are lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Gently turn over; cook until other sides are browned, about 2 minutes. Transfer to oven on a baking sheet to keep warm, while remaining pancakes cook.

Meanwhile, slice remaining banana to top pancakes; add maple syrup to taste.

Variations:
– Use whole oats processed in a blender or food processor in place of the instant oatmeal.
– Or soak the whole oats in the milk for 3 minutes before adding to the rest of the ingredients. You may need to add a little more milk if the batter becomes to thick.
– Add chopped or broken pecans to the batter or sprinkle on each pancake after you pour the batter onto the hot griddle.
We have had many requests asking how to feed a picky eater. Since we too are dealing with our own picky eater issues I understand the struggle many of you experience on a daily basis.

http://foodformyfamily.com/tag/picky-eaters

http://foodformyfamily.com/the-kitchen-sink/news-the-kitchen-sink/placating-picky-eaters-cooking-connections-class

Nutrition for Picky Eaters (Recipe: Fluffy Banana Oat Pancakes)

The theme this year for National Nutrition month is, abortion “Eat Right…With Color.” The challenge? To swap out calorie dense starches and fats for fruits, discount vegetables and whole grains. This month we have joined the leagues with the National Dietetic Association; in addition to, the many accompanying voices of dietetics from the Pacific to the Atlantic oceans to promote healthy habits. We discussed ways to filter out the high calorie prepackaged foods by reading labels; checking for ingredients that are closest to nature. Sadly too many products on the supermarket and natural food store shelves posing as food are really un-food. Fortunately for us today we do not have to spend the day in the kitchen preparing meals. There are honest companies out there producing products without the harmful additives and preservatives. Be sure to always check the labels. The following week we posted links to help our pickiest eaters over come their food fears. Be Patient and keep offering them the good stuff. One day they will surprise you. We would like to wrap up National Nutrition Month with a guide to seasonal foods.

Eat the Color of the Rainbow“…”Eat Clean”…”Eat Seasonal”…What does this all mean? Food is fuel for our body. Each morsel of food contains within it nutrients and minerals our body needs to boost the immune system, help cells and organs function properly, and support growth and development. Eating a variety of foods (the color of the rainbow) is the best way to get all the vitamins and minerals our bodies need each day.

When fruits and vegetables are at their peak they contain abundant amounts of the vitamins and minerals our body craves. Over time these vitamins and minerals diminish. Eating seasonal fruits and vegetables ensures that we are getting the maximum benefit from our food. Choosing meals and snacks around what is in season keeps costs low. When foods are in season it means they are usually shipped locally. As a result prices are substantially lower and the taste is superb. Use this opportunity to stock up for later months. Find a farmers market or packing plant nearby for fresh produce and keep an eye out for sales on poultry and fish. (**Refer to the chart above for foods listed by season.)

Eating clean is the practice of eating whole, natural foods and avoiding any manmade fats, sugars, dyes and preservatives. Let’s say one sweet potato has the same amount of carbs as a candy bar. Even though the potato is largely a carbohydrate it has less sugar and calories and more soluble fiber than the candy bar. The potato also has zero harmful preservatives (such as BHA, BHT and TBHQ) or food dyes (made from petroleum). The health benefits of a starchy potato far outweigh those of the candy bar. Whole, unprocessed, foods like seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, fish and fresh lean meats provide the nutrients our bodies need to grow properly.

Salud!

Additional Reading:

Raise Healthy Eaters: Wonderful spot for everything you ever needed to know about feeding children.

The Gracious Pantry: How Tiffany transformed her pantry filled with junk food to one that supports clean eating habits.

Nut Shell Nutrition: “Make a Rainbow on Your plate”, also be sure to peruse the site. Brittany has several informative posts on making health goals that might be of interest.

Dish on Dieting: A witty article describing the use of a GPS to guide us down the road of meal choices.

A Sprinkle of Sage: “What’s Your Nutrition Resolution?” The first of a month long series of tips to reach this month’s goal for optimal health.

Kleiner Nutrition: Great articles to help inspire us to stay on the path to better habits. Be sure to check out the interview with Hope Warshaw.
Over the past few years we have had many requests inquiring how to feed a picky eater. If you have a picky eater then you are familiar with what a daunting task this can be. We want our children to grow up healthy and strong and along the way develop healthy eating habits to ensure their success. When all a little guy wants is cereal or yogurt that goal may sometimes seem unattainable. Fear not. There is hope.

Like many other households opting for a cleaner choice of foods we choose to limit the types of prepackaged foods in the house to wholesome cereals and breads. By making all our baked goods at home at least I can control what goes into them. I feel better knowing our picky guy is eating something better than just empty calories. If we happen to have crackers in the pantry they are put up where the kids cannot get into them. A picky kid with a taste for sugar is not going to want to eat his chicken and broccoli when there is a pantry filled with crackers and granola bars. It is best to not have it around or hide it.

Treats are reserved for special occasions such as movie night or dessert at Sunday dinner. By making a few alterations a basic sweet such as a muffin can become a filling treat offering the much needed vitamins and minerals a growing body needs. Some of the variations we make include:
— replacing regular all-purpose flour with whole wheat, more about oat or coconut flour. I always add a couple tablespoons wheat germ and ground flaxseed.
— Swap out lard and vegetable oils for canola, olive and coconut oil. Butter instead of margarine.
— Replacing part or all of the refined sugar with pureed vegetables or fruits.
— Adding chopped, pureed and shredded vegetables to snacks and meals.

We follow strict snack times to help tie our kids over until dinner is ready. When kids snack right before dinner time they are less likely to try new foods much less eat their dinner. Our rule is they have to take at least one bite. If we are having salad with chicken and green beans they have to take one bite of each item. Our picky eater will often feign that he does not like something to keep up with his picky appearance. We have caught him sneaking additional bites. For a picky eater trying new foods takes time. Meanwhile continue to offer the good stuff in a positive way. We want to make dinner a positive experience for them. Avoid negative comments and of course never try to force feed your child. Give them time and eventually they will come around.

For additional reading:
http://www.themotherhood.com/talk/show/id/62135
http://whatscookingwithkids.com/2011/02/18/5-tips-to-help-kids-accept-new-foods/
http://foodformyfamily.com/tag/picky-eaters
http://www.keepkidshealthy.com/parenting_tips/picky_eaters.html

Graphic Art by: Kia Robertson

During the month of March the American Dietetic Association focuses their efforts on helping families understand the importance of physical activity and more importantly how to make the right food choices. This March Dazzledish is celebrating National Nutrition Month with a two part health series. This week we will dive into the basic stepping stones to begin a journey to better health. Next week we will look at ways to help our pickiest eaters overcome the challenge of trying new foods.

The first component to a healthy diet is to reduce the amount of refined sugars and enriched carbs by replacing them with fresh fruits, discount nutrient rich grains and fiber dense vegetables. Easier said than done, website right? So where do you start exactly? Start with little baby steps. Begin by reading the labels.

Reading the nutrition labels is crucial when trying to switch to a healthier lifestyle. Food companies are less concerned about your health and more concerned with meeting this quarter’s profits. Prepackaged and fast foods sell because they are convenient and they are made to taste great. Problem is fast foods in addition to prepackaged foods are unnecessarily overloaded with large quantities of sugar, sodium and calories that leave us hungry for more. Moreover, sugar and sodium have been linked to numerous health conditions later in life in addition to the increase of type-2 diabetes in children and teens. Of course these are the foods that are cheap and always available.

I doubt many of our parents actually understood the direct impact theses types of foods would have on our bodies. We were taught to celebrate with mounds of candy and sugary confections. White bread, whole milk and fried foods were the norm. We ate a carb with a side of carb. Ie: Lasagna with garlic bread or a sandwich with chips. Only now are we as a society beginning to realize the harmful effects these habits wreak on our bodies. Today the food companies, to their credit, have tried to heed the demand for healthier products. Introducing the 100-calorie snack packs, fat free and low fat and sugar free products. Unfortunately what they took out they had to replace with something else to make it taste delicious. Fat free foods still contain sugar and sugar free products still contain fats. When eaten in excess these foods can still be stored as fat. The number one misleading product on store shelves is whole wheat bread. Surprisingly, the majority of breads claiming to be %100 whole wheat use enriched wheat flour and contain high fructose corn syrup.

The nutritional label and the ingredients list should be evaluated as a whole. The ingredients are listed in descending order from the most to the least. It should be short, comprehensible and minus all the man-made ingredients. A loaf of bread for example is mostly flour and water. Flour would be listed first because there is more flour in a loaf of bread than any other ingredient. When shopping for bread look for whole grain or whole wheat flour in the number one spot. Enriched flour white or wheat has been refined and processed until it no longer holds any nutritional value. Instead choose breads with whole wheat, corn, potato and/or oat flours.

Sugar is stated as being a culprit of childhood obesity. It is no wonder when it is in just about everything. Take for example a can of soda. There is an average of 39 grams of sugar and over 100 calories in one 12-ounce can of soda. That equals 9 ¾ teaspoons of sugar or 3 1/4 tablespoons.
This much sugar can wreak havoc on our energy levels. A healthier option might be a glass of crystal light or flavored sparkling water (check the label for the type of artificial sweetener). For a nutritious pick me up in the afternoon try a handful of nuts with a piece of fruit. The protein in the nuts helps the body feel full longer without the spike in blood sugar.

Sugars may be listed in the form of: corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, maple syrup, brown rice syrup, fruit juice concentrate, maltose, dextrose, fructose, sucrose, honey and artificial sweeteners. Put back anything that contains high fructose corn syrup. High fructose corn syrup can only be converted to glucose through the liver. The worse part is the body turns high fructose corn syrup straight into fat. The liver’s function is to filter out toxins. Eating high fructose syrup places unneeded stress on the liver in addition to being highly addictive.

Next, limit products whose fat source comes from saturated fat or trans fat. They have the ability to increase the likelihood of heart disease. On the flipside we do need some fat in our diet. These “good” fats are called monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats derived from plants such as oils, avocados or nuts. Fats are listed in both the ingredients and on the nutritional label. A product may not contain trans fat according to the nutritional label but a hydrogenated oil or partially hydrogenated oil listed in the ingredient list means that product contains some trans fats.

Lastly, calories are the amount of energy in a food. A cup of lettuce contains 10 calories while there are 500 in a regular sized vanilla milkshake. If the intake of calories is higher than what the body burns the excess calories are turned to fat. Keep an eye on the amount of calories per serving size in the foods you choose. You will be surprised at how easy it is to accumulate calories. A serving of bread is typically one slice. Depending on the brand that 1 slice can contain 70 to 100 calories. Add another slice, meat and cheese to make a sandwich and you have a complete 350 calorie meal. That is not counting the can of soda and bag of chips that so often accompany a sandwich.

Be careful to watch the amount of calories per serving in addition to the calories from fat percentage. The calories from fat should make up no more than a quarter percent of the total calories. Peanuts are a perfect example of high calories from fat. There are about 170 calories in 1 serving (28 nuts) of peanuts with 130 calories from fat. Nuts are a great source of protein; however, if you are looking to snack Cashews or almonds are a better choice if you are watching your fat intake.

This first phase helps identify the type of food choices we regularly make. The reduction of refined flours and sugars prepare the body and taste buds for the next phase.

Additional Reading:
To the Fullest: Join Beth on her inspiring journey to better health by overcoming food addiction.
Walk About: Find the balance to eating healthy.
Healthy Life Style Balance: Learning how to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Simple Nourished Living: Overcoming constant hunger
Medifast Plan: Understanding fats and carbs
Raise Healthy Eaters: Raising Healthy Eaters recipes and advice
During the month of March the American Dietetic Association focuses their efforts helping families understand the importance of physical activity and how to make the right food choices. The 2011 theme for National Nutrition Month is “Eat Right with Color.”

The first three steps to eating healthy starts with:
1. “Eat the Colors of the Rainbow.”
2. Eating a balanced diet of lean meats, order whole grains and vegetables.
3. Limiting prepackaged, this sugary foods and drinks.

Start with little baby steps. Begin by reading the labels.
— Reduce the amount of enriched white flour. Look for whole wheat, rx corn, potato or oat flours in the number one spot of the ingredients list.
— Put back anything that contains high fructose corn syrup. Corn syrup can only be converted to glucose through the liver. The worse part is the body turns high fructose corn syrup straight into fat. The liver’s function is to filter out toxins. Eating high fructose syrup places unneeded stress on the liver in addition to being highly addictive.
— Make water the number one choice. Swap sodas for flavored sparkling water. Limit fruit juice. Avoid juices with sugar or from concentrate.

Switch to fresh. Eliminating prepackaged foods means more time in the kitchen. Teaching our children to cook will not only help them later in life it is a great way to spend quality family time. Once a week we spend a few hours in the kitchen to make a weeks worth of baked snacks.
— Offer fruits and vegetables paired with a lean protein for snacks. (Hummus and Carrots, Peanut Butter or nut butters -without added sugars- and Celery, Cheese and Apples, Nuts and dried fruits) Put the snacks in a cupcake tin or a fun cool bowl.
— Spend quality time making a snack together. (Yogurt, muffins, milk and fruit shakes)

During the month of March the American Dietetic Association focuses their efforts helping families understand the importance of physical activity and how to make the right food choices. This March Dazzledish is celebrating National Nutrition Month and our upcoming three year anniversary with a two part health series. This week we will dive into the basic stepping stones to begin the journey to better health. Next week we will look at ways to help our pickest eaters overcome the challenge of trying new foods.

The 2011 theme for National Nutrition Month is “Eat Right with Color.”

The first three steps to eating healthy starts with:
1. “Eat the Colors of the Rainbow.”
2. Eating a balanced diet of lean meats, information pills whole grains and vegetables.
3. Limiting prepackaged, this site sugary foods and drinks.

If your diet consists largely of processed prepackaged foods the first step to a nutritionally healthy diet is to get away from the sugars and carbs. For some quitting cold turkey is a breeze. For others the change is easier said than done. So where do you start? If all you have know

Start with little baby steps. Begin by reading the labels.
— Reduce the amount of enriched white flour. Look for whole wheat, cheap corn, potato or oat flours in the number one spot of the ingredients list.
— Put back anything that contains high fructose corn syrup. Corn syrup can only be converted to glucose through the liver. The worse part is the body turns high fructose corn syrup straight into fat. The liver’s function is to filter out toxins. Eating high fructose syrup places unneeded stress on the liver in addition to being highly addictive.
— Make water the number one choice. Swap sodas for flavored sparkling water. Limit fruit juice and avoid juices with sugar or from concentrate.

Switch to fresh. Develop a taste for fresh fruits and vegetables:
— Dress up ordinary fruits and vegetables by cooking them in a dish. (Pork chops and Apples, Stews, Gourmet Salads, Fruit Muffins and Smoothies
— Offer fruits and vegetables paired with a lean protein for snacks. (Hummus and Carrots, Peanut Butter or nut butters -without added sugars- and Celery, Cheese and Apples, Nuts and dried fruits, Nut Muffins, Milk and Fruit Shakes, Yogurt and Fruit on Toast) Put the snacks in a cupcake tin or a fun cool bowl for presentation.
— Limit the complex carbs. One serving of bread equals one slice. Add potatoes, wheat berries or barley to soups and stews instead pasta and forego the side of crackers or bread stick. Meals should consist largely of fiber belly filling vegetables.

Over the past few years we have had many requests inquiring how to feed a picky eater. If you have a picky eater then you are familiar with what a daunting task this can be. We want our children to grow up healthy and strong and along the way develop healthy eating habits to ensure their success. When all a little guy wants is cereal or yogurt that goal may sometimes seem unattainable. Fear not. There is hope.

Like many other households opting for a cleaner choice of foods we choose to limit the types of prepackaged foods in the house to wholesome cereals and breads. By making all our baked goods at home at least I can control what goes into them. I feel better knowing our picky guy is eating something better than just empty calories. If we happen to have crackers in the pantry they are put up where the kids cannot get into them. A picky kid with a taste for sugar is not going to want to eat his chicken and broccoli when there is a pantry filled with crackers and granola bars. It is best to not have it around or hide it.

Treats are reserved for special occasions such as movie night or dessert at Sunday dinner. By making a few alterations a basic sweet such as a muffin can become a filling treat offering the much needed vitamins and minerals a growing body needs. Some of the variations we make include:
— replacing regular all-purpose flour with whole wheat, online oat or coconut flour. I always add a couple tablespoons wheat germ and ground flaxseed.
— Swap out lard and vegetable oils for canola, troche olive and coconut oil. Butter instead of margarine.
— Replacing part or all of the refined sugar with pureed vegetables or fruits.
— Adding chopped, pureed and shredded vegetables to snacks and meals.

We follow strict snack times to help tie our kids over until dinner is ready. When kids snack right before dinner time they are less likely to try new foods much less eat their dinner. Our rule is they have to take at least one bite. If we are having salad with chicken and green beans they have to take one bite of each item. Our picky eater will often feign that he does not like something to keep up with his picky appearance. We have caught him sneaking additional bites. For a picky eater trying new foods takes time. Meanwhile continue to offer the good stuff in a positive way. We want to make dinner a positive experience for them. Avoid negative comments and of course never try to force feed your child. Give them time and eventually they will come around.

For additional reading:
http://www.themotherhood.com/talk/show/id/62135
http://whatscookingwithkids.com/2011/02/18/5-tips-to-help-kids-accept-new-foods/
http://foodformyfamily.com/tag/picky-eaters
http://www.keepkidshealthy.com/parenting_tips/picky_eaters.html

Over the past few years we have had many requests inquiring how to feed a picky eater. If you have a picky eater then you are familiar with what a daunting task this can be. We want our children to grow up healthy and strong and along the way develop healthy eating habits to ensure their success. When all a little guy wants is cereal or yogurt that goal may sometimes seem unattainable. Fear not. There is hope. The following is my own account of the struggles we are currently facing and how we deal with them. I have included additional links to posts with further suggestions on how to placate a picky eater.

Like many other households opting for a cleaner choice of foods we choose to limit the types of prepackaged foods in the house to wholesome cereals and breads and low fat dairy. By making the majority of our snacks at home at least I can control what goes into them. I feel better knowing our picky guy is eating something better than just empty calories. Secondly, doctor our picky eater has a major sweet tooth. If it is not in the house he nor I will eat it. If we happen to have crackers in the pantry they are put up where the kids cannot get into them. A picky kid with a taste for sugar is not going to want to eat his chicken and broccoli when there is a pantry filled with crackers and granola bars.

Treats are reserved for special occasions such as movie night or dessert at Sunday dinner. By making a few alterations a basic sweet such as a muffin can become a filling treat offering the much needed vitamins and minerals a growing body needs. Some of the variations we make include:
— replacing regular all-purpose flour with whole wheat, oat or coconut flour. I always add a couple tablespoons wheat germ and ground flaxseed.
— Swap out lard and vegetable oils for canola, olive and coconut oil. Butter instead of margarine.
— Replacing part or all of the refined sugar with pureed vegetables or fruits or natural local honey.
— Adding chopped, pureed and shredded vegetables to snacks and meals.

We follow strict snack times to help tie our kids over until dinner is ready. When kids snack right before dinner time they are less likely to try new foods much less eat their dinner. Our rule is they have to take at least one bite. If we are having salad with chicken and green beans they have to take one bite of each item. Our picky eater will often feign that he does not like something to keep up with his picky appearance. We have caught him sneaking additional bites.

For a picky eater trying new foods takes time. Meanwhile continue to offer the good stuff. Our doctor reassured me our son would not starve. We want to make dinner a positive experience for them. Avoid negative comments and of course never try to force feed your child. Give them time and eventually they will come around.

For additional reading on how to placate a picky eater visit the following links:
http://www.themotherhood.com/talk/show/id/62135
http://whatscookingwithkids.com/2011/02/18/5-tips-to-help-kids-accept-new-foods/
http://foodformyfamily.com/tag/picky-eaters
http://www.keepkidshealthy.com/parenting_tips/picky_eaters.html
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/body/science-picky-eaters.html
Yum, unhealthy yum pancakes. Oatmeal banana pancakes. I so love pancakes. I think my son and I could eat them for breakfast, order lunch and dinner. This submission is from my sister. She admits to becoming so smitten with this recipe of banana pancakes they had eaten them at least three times.

The addition of oatmeal gives the cakes a nice hearty texture. I used plain yogurt, sales because I always have plain yogurt on hand, and grounded whole oats. I would suggest using the quick oats if you are not crazy over the texture of whole grain baked goods.

Source: Cooks.com by Cookie
3 ripe bananas, divided
1/2 cup low-fat or whole milk
1/4 cup sour cream
2 eggs
4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted, plus extra to grease the pan
2/3 cup cake flour

1/4 cup ground flaxseed meal

1 tablespoon Wheat Germ
1/2 cup quick-cooking oatmeal
1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Dash grated nutmeg
warm maple syrup, for serving

Heat oven to 200 degrees.

Mash 3 of the bananas with fork in a medium bowl; stir in milk, sour cream, eggs and 2 tablespoons of the butter in medium bowl; set aside.

Combine flour, oatmeal, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Fold banana mixture into flour mixture, stirring just until blended (do not over mix).

Heat remaining 2 tablespoons butter in large skillet over medium to medium-high heat; pour 1/4-cup portions of the batter into the skillet, spacing them apart. Cook, in batches, until bubbles cover surface of pancakes and underside are lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Gently turn over; cook until other sides are browned, about 2 minutes. Transfer to oven on a baking sheet to keep warm, while remaining pancakes cook.

Meanwhile, slice remaining banana to top pancakes; add maple syrup to taste.

Variations:
– Use whole oats processed in a blender or food processor in place of the instant oatmeal.
– Or soak the whole oats in the milk for 3 minutes before adding to the rest of the ingredients. You may need to add a little more milk if the batter becomes to thick.
– Add chopped or broken pecans to the batter or sprinkle on each pancake after you pour the batter onto the hot griddle.
During the month of March the American Dietetic Association focuses their efforts helping families understand the importance of physical activity and how to make the right food choices. This March Dazzledish is celebrating National Nutrition Month and our upcoming three year anniversary with a two part health series. This week we will dive into the basic stepping stones to begin the journey to better health. Next week we will look at ways to help our pickest eaters overcome the challenge of trying new foods.

The 2011 theme for National Nutrition Month is “Eat Right with Color.”

The first three steps to eating healthy starts with:
1. “Eat the Colors of the Rainbow.”
2. Eating a balanced diet of lean meats, more about whole grains and vegetables.
3. Limiting prepackaged, sugary foods and drinks.

If your diet consists largely of processed prepackaged foods the first step to a nutritionally healthy diet is to get away from the sugars and carbs. For some quitting cold turkey is a breeze. For others the change is easier said than done. So where do you start? If all you have known is

Start with little baby steps. Begin by reading the labels.
— Reduce the amount of enriched white flour. Look for whole wheat, corn, potato or oat flours in the number one spot of the ingredients list.
— Put back anything that contains high fructose corn syrup. Corn syrup can only be converted to glucose through the liver. The worse part is the body turns high fructose corn syrup straight into fat. The liver’s function is to filter out toxins. Eating high fructose syrup places unneeded stress on the liver in addition to being highly addictive.
— Make water the number one choice. Swap sodas for flavored sparkling water. Limit fruit juice and avoid juices with sugar or from concentrate.

Switch to fresh. Develop a taste for fresh fruits and vegetables:
— Dress up ordinary fruits and vegetables by cooking them in a dish. (Pork chops and Apples, Stews, Gourmet Salads, Fruit Muffins and Smoothies
— Offer fruits and vegetables paired with a lean protein for snacks. (Hummus and Carrots, Peanut Butter or nut butters -without added sugars- and Celery, Cheese and Apples, Nuts and dried fruits, Nut Muffins, Milk and Fruit Shakes, Yogurt and Fruit on Toast) Put the snacks in a cupcake tin or a fun cool bowl for presentation.
— Limit the complex carbs. One serving of bread equals one slice. Add potatoes, wheat berries or barley to soups and stews instead pasta and forego the side of crackers or bread stick. Meals should consist largely of fiber belly filling vegetables.

We have had many requests asking how to feed a picky eater. Since we too are dealing with our own picky eater issues I understand the struggle many of you experience on a daily basis.

http://foodformyfamily.com/tag/picky-eaters

http://foodformyfamily.com/the-kitchen-sink/news-the-kitchen-sink/placating-picky-eaters-cooking-connections-class

Nutrition for Picky Eaters (Recipe: Fluffy Banana Oat Pancakes)

The theme this year for National Nutrition month is, abortion “Eat Right…With Color.” The challenge? To swap out calorie dense starches and fats for fruits, discount vegetables and whole grains. This month we have joined the leagues with the National Dietetic Association; in addition to, the many accompanying voices of dietetics from the Pacific to the Atlantic oceans to promote healthy habits. We discussed ways to filter out the high calorie prepackaged foods by reading labels; checking for ingredients that are closest to nature. Sadly too many products on the supermarket and natural food store shelves posing as food are really un-food. Fortunately for us today we do not have to spend the day in the kitchen preparing meals. There are honest companies out there producing products without the harmful additives and preservatives. Be sure to always check the labels. The following week we posted links to help our pickiest eaters over come their food fears. Be Patient and keep offering them the good stuff. One day they will surprise you. We would like to wrap up National Nutrition Month with a guide to seasonal foods.

Eat the Color of the Rainbow“…”Eat Clean”…”Eat Seasonal”…What does this all mean? Food is fuel for our body. Each morsel of food contains within it nutrients and minerals our body needs to boost the immune system, help cells and organs function properly, and support growth and development. Eating a variety of foods (the color of the rainbow) is the best way to get all the vitamins and minerals our bodies need each day.

When fruits and vegetables are at their peak they contain abundant amounts of the vitamins and minerals our body craves. Over time these vitamins and minerals diminish. Eating seasonal fruits and vegetables ensures that we are getting the maximum benefit from our food. Choosing meals and snacks around what is in season keeps costs low. When foods are in season it means they are usually shipped locally. As a result prices are substantially lower and the taste is superb. Use this opportunity to stock up for later months. Find a farmers market or packing plant nearby for fresh produce and keep an eye out for sales on poultry and fish. (**Refer to the chart above for foods listed by season.)

Eating clean is the practice of eating whole, natural foods and avoiding any manmade fats, sugars, dyes and preservatives. Let’s say one sweet potato has the same amount of carbs as a candy bar. Even though the potato is largely a carbohydrate it has less sugar and calories and more soluble fiber than the candy bar. The potato also has zero harmful preservatives (such as BHA, BHT and TBHQ) or food dyes (made from petroleum). The health benefits of a starchy potato far outweigh those of the candy bar. Whole, unprocessed, foods like seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, fish and fresh lean meats provide the nutrients our bodies need to grow properly.

Salud!

Additional Reading:

Raise Healthy Eaters: Wonderful spot for everything you ever needed to know about feeding children.

The Gracious Pantry: How Tiffany transformed her pantry filled with junk food to one that supports clean eating habits.

Nut Shell Nutrition: “Make a Rainbow on Your plate”, also be sure to peruse the site. Brittany has several informative posts on making health goals that might be of interest.

Dish on Dieting: A witty article describing the use of a GPS to guide us down the road of meal choices.

A Sprinkle of Sage: “What’s Your Nutrition Resolution?” The first of a month long series of tips to reach this month’s goal for optimal health.

Kleiner Nutrition: Great articles to help inspire us to stay on the path to better habits. Be sure to check out the interview with Hope Warshaw.
Over the past few years we have had many requests inquiring how to feed a picky eater. If you have a picky eater then you are familiar with what a daunting task this can be. We want our children to grow up healthy and strong and along the way develop healthy eating habits to ensure their success. When all a little guy wants is cereal or yogurt that goal may sometimes seem unattainable. Fear not. There is hope.

Like many other households opting for a cleaner choice of foods we choose to limit the types of prepackaged foods in the house to wholesome cereals and breads. By making all our baked goods at home at least I can control what goes into them. I feel better knowing our picky guy is eating something better than just empty calories. If we happen to have crackers in the pantry they are put up where the kids cannot get into them. A picky kid with a taste for sugar is not going to want to eat his chicken and broccoli when there is a pantry filled with crackers and granola bars. It is best to not have it around or hide it.

Treats are reserved for special occasions such as movie night or dessert at Sunday dinner. By making a few alterations a basic sweet such as a muffin can become a filling treat offering the much needed vitamins and minerals a growing body needs. Some of the variations we make include:
— replacing regular all-purpose flour with whole wheat, more about oat or coconut flour. I always add a couple tablespoons wheat germ and ground flaxseed.
— Swap out lard and vegetable oils for canola, olive and coconut oil. Butter instead of margarine.
— Replacing part or all of the refined sugar with pureed vegetables or fruits.
— Adding chopped, pureed and shredded vegetables to snacks and meals.

We follow strict snack times to help tie our kids over until dinner is ready. When kids snack right before dinner time they are less likely to try new foods much less eat their dinner. Our rule is they have to take at least one bite. If we are having salad with chicken and green beans they have to take one bite of each item. Our picky eater will often feign that he does not like something to keep up with his picky appearance. We have caught him sneaking additional bites. For a picky eater trying new foods takes time. Meanwhile continue to offer the good stuff in a positive way. We want to make dinner a positive experience for them. Avoid negative comments and of course never try to force feed your child. Give them time and eventually they will come around.

For additional reading:
http://www.themotherhood.com/talk/show/id/62135
http://whatscookingwithkids.com/2011/02/18/5-tips-to-help-kids-accept-new-foods/
http://foodformyfamily.com/tag/picky-eaters
http://www.keepkidshealthy.com/parenting_tips/picky_eaters.html

Graphic Art by: Kia Robertson

During the month of March the American Dietetic Association focuses their efforts on helping families understand the importance of physical activity and more importantly how to make the right food choices. This March Dazzledish is celebrating National Nutrition Month with a two part health series. This week we will dive into the basic stepping stones to begin a journey to better health. Next week we will look at ways to help our pickiest eaters overcome the challenge of trying new foods.

The first component to a healthy diet is to reduce the amount of refined sugars and enriched carbs by replacing them with fresh fruits, discount nutrient rich grains and fiber dense vegetables. Easier said than done, website right? So where do you start exactly? Start with little baby steps. Begin by reading the labels.

Reading the nutrition labels is crucial when trying to switch to a healthier lifestyle. Food companies are less concerned about your health and more concerned with meeting this quarter’s profits. Prepackaged and fast foods sell because they are convenient and they are made to taste great. Problem is fast foods in addition to prepackaged foods are unnecessarily overloaded with large quantities of sugar, sodium and calories that leave us hungry for more. Moreover, sugar and sodium have been linked to numerous health conditions later in life in addition to the increase of type-2 diabetes in children and teens. Of course these are the foods that are cheap and always available.

I doubt many of our parents actually understood the direct impact theses types of foods would have on our bodies. We were taught to celebrate with mounds of candy and sugary confections. White bread, whole milk and fried foods were the norm. We ate a carb with a side of carb. Ie: Lasagna with garlic bread or a sandwich with chips. Only now are we as a society beginning to realize the harmful effects these habits wreak on our bodies. Today the food companies, to their credit, have tried to heed the demand for healthier products. Introducing the 100-calorie snack packs, fat free and low fat and sugar free products. Unfortunately what they took out they had to replace with something else to make it taste delicious. Fat free foods still contain sugar and sugar free products still contain fats. When eaten in excess these foods can still be stored as fat. The number one misleading product on store shelves is whole wheat bread. Surprisingly, the majority of breads claiming to be %100 whole wheat use enriched wheat flour and contain high fructose corn syrup.

The nutritional label and the ingredients list should be evaluated as a whole. The ingredients are listed in descending order from the most to the least. It should be short, comprehensible and minus all the man-made ingredients. A loaf of bread for example is mostly flour and water. Flour would be listed first because there is more flour in a loaf of bread than any other ingredient. When shopping for bread look for whole grain or whole wheat flour in the number one spot. Enriched flour white or wheat has been refined and processed until it no longer holds any nutritional value. Instead choose breads with whole wheat, corn, potato and/or oat flours.

Sugar is stated as being a culprit of childhood obesity. It is no wonder when it is in just about everything. Take for example a can of soda. There is an average of 39 grams of sugar and over 100 calories in one 12-ounce can of soda. That equals 9 ¾ teaspoons of sugar or 3 1/4 tablespoons.
This much sugar can wreak havoc on our energy levels. A healthier option might be a glass of crystal light or flavored sparkling water (check the label for the type of artificial sweetener). For a nutritious pick me up in the afternoon try a handful of nuts with a piece of fruit. The protein in the nuts helps the body feel full longer without the spike in blood sugar.

Sugars may be listed in the form of: corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, maple syrup, brown rice syrup, fruit juice concentrate, maltose, dextrose, fructose, sucrose, honey and artificial sweeteners. Put back anything that contains high fructose corn syrup. High fructose corn syrup can only be converted to glucose through the liver. The worse part is the body turns high fructose corn syrup straight into fat. The liver’s function is to filter out toxins. Eating high fructose syrup places unneeded stress on the liver in addition to being highly addictive.

Next, limit products whose fat source comes from saturated fat or trans fat. They have the ability to increase the likelihood of heart disease. On the flipside we do need some fat in our diet. These “good” fats are called monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats derived from plants such as oils, avocados or nuts. Fats are listed in both the ingredients and on the nutritional label. A product may not contain trans fat according to the nutritional label but a hydrogenated oil or partially hydrogenated oil listed in the ingredient list means that product contains some trans fats.

Lastly, calories are the amount of energy in a food. A cup of lettuce contains 10 calories while there are 500 in a regular sized vanilla milkshake. If the intake of calories is higher than what the body burns the excess calories are turned to fat. Keep an eye on the amount of calories per serving size in the foods you choose. You will be surprised at how easy it is to accumulate calories. A serving of bread is typically one slice. Depending on the brand that 1 slice can contain 70 to 100 calories. Add another slice, meat and cheese to make a sandwich and you have a complete 350 calorie meal. That is not counting the can of soda and bag of chips that so often accompany a sandwich.

Be careful to watch the amount of calories per serving in addition to the calories from fat percentage. The calories from fat should make up no more than a quarter percent of the total calories. Peanuts are a perfect example of high calories from fat. There are about 170 calories in 1 serving (28 nuts) of peanuts with 130 calories from fat. Nuts are a great source of protein; however, if you are looking to snack Cashews or almonds are a better choice if you are watching your fat intake.

This first phase helps identify the type of food choices we regularly make. The reduction of refined flours and sugars prepare the body and taste buds for the next phase.

Additional Reading:
To the Fullest: Join Beth on her inspiring journey to better health by overcoming food addiction.
Walk About: Find the balance to eating healthy.
Healthy Life Style Balance: Learning how to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Simple Nourished Living: Overcoming constant hunger
Medifast Plan: Understanding fats and carbs
Raise Healthy Eaters: Raising Healthy Eaters recipes and advice
During the month of March the American Dietetic Association focuses their efforts helping families understand the importance of physical activity and how to make the right food choices. The 2011 theme for National Nutrition Month is “Eat Right with Color.”

The first three steps to eating healthy starts with:
1. “Eat the Colors of the Rainbow.”
2. Eating a balanced diet of lean meats, order whole grains and vegetables.
3. Limiting prepackaged, this sugary foods and drinks.

Start with little baby steps. Begin by reading the labels.
— Reduce the amount of enriched white flour. Look for whole wheat, rx corn, potato or oat flours in the number one spot of the ingredients list.
— Put back anything that contains high fructose corn syrup. Corn syrup can only be converted to glucose through the liver. The worse part is the body turns high fructose corn syrup straight into fat. The liver’s function is to filter out toxins. Eating high fructose syrup places unneeded stress on the liver in addition to being highly addictive.
— Make water the number one choice. Swap sodas for flavored sparkling water. Limit fruit juice. Avoid juices with sugar or from concentrate.

Switch to fresh. Eliminating prepackaged foods means more time in the kitchen. Teaching our children to cook will not only help them later in life it is a great way to spend quality family time. Once a week we spend a few hours in the kitchen to make a weeks worth of baked snacks.
— Offer fruits and vegetables paired with a lean protein for snacks. (Hummus and Carrots, Peanut Butter or nut butters -without added sugars- and Celery, Cheese and Apples, Nuts and dried fruits) Put the snacks in a cupcake tin or a fun cool bowl.
— Spend quality time making a snack together. (Yogurt, muffins, milk and fruit shakes)

During the month of March the American Dietetic Association focuses their efforts helping families understand the importance of physical activity and how to make the right food choices. This March Dazzledish is celebrating National Nutrition Month and our upcoming three year anniversary with a two part health series. This week we will dive into the basic stepping stones to begin the journey to better health. Next week we will look at ways to help our pickest eaters overcome the challenge of trying new foods.

The 2011 theme for National Nutrition Month is “Eat Right with Color.”

The first three steps to eating healthy starts with:
1. “Eat the Colors of the Rainbow.”
2. Eating a balanced diet of lean meats, information pills whole grains and vegetables.
3. Limiting prepackaged, this site sugary foods and drinks.

If your diet consists largely of processed prepackaged foods the first step to a nutritionally healthy diet is to get away from the sugars and carbs. For some quitting cold turkey is a breeze. For others the change is easier said than done. So where do you start? If all you have know

Start with little baby steps. Begin by reading the labels.
— Reduce the amount of enriched white flour. Look for whole wheat, cheap corn, potato or oat flours in the number one spot of the ingredients list.
— Put back anything that contains high fructose corn syrup. Corn syrup can only be converted to glucose through the liver. The worse part is the body turns high fructose corn syrup straight into fat. The liver’s function is to filter out toxins. Eating high fructose syrup places unneeded stress on the liver in addition to being highly addictive.
— Make water the number one choice. Swap sodas for flavored sparkling water. Limit fruit juice and avoid juices with sugar or from concentrate.

Switch to fresh. Develop a taste for fresh fruits and vegetables:
— Dress up ordinary fruits and vegetables by cooking them in a dish. (Pork chops and Apples, Stews, Gourmet Salads, Fruit Muffins and Smoothies
— Offer fruits and vegetables paired with a lean protein for snacks. (Hummus and Carrots, Peanut Butter or nut butters -without added sugars- and Celery, Cheese and Apples, Nuts and dried fruits, Nut Muffins, Milk and Fruit Shakes, Yogurt and Fruit on Toast) Put the snacks in a cupcake tin or a fun cool bowl for presentation.
— Limit the complex carbs. One serving of bread equals one slice. Add potatoes, wheat berries or barley to soups and stews instead pasta and forego the side of crackers or bread stick. Meals should consist largely of fiber belly filling vegetables.

Over the past few years we have had many requests inquiring how to feed a picky eater. If you have a picky eater then you are familiar with what a daunting task this can be. We want our children to grow up healthy and strong and along the way develop healthy eating habits to ensure their success. When all a little guy wants is cereal or yogurt that goal may sometimes seem unattainable. Fear not. There is hope.

Like many other households opting for a cleaner choice of foods we choose to limit the types of prepackaged foods in the house to wholesome cereals and breads. By making all our baked goods at home at least I can control what goes into them. I feel better knowing our picky guy is eating something better than just empty calories. If we happen to have crackers in the pantry they are put up where the kids cannot get into them. A picky kid with a taste for sugar is not going to want to eat his chicken and broccoli when there is a pantry filled with crackers and granola bars. It is best to not have it around or hide it.

Treats are reserved for special occasions such as movie night or dessert at Sunday dinner. By making a few alterations a basic sweet such as a muffin can become a filling treat offering the much needed vitamins and minerals a growing body needs. Some of the variations we make include:
— replacing regular all-purpose flour with whole wheat, online oat or coconut flour. I always add a couple tablespoons wheat germ and ground flaxseed.
— Swap out lard and vegetable oils for canola, troche olive and coconut oil. Butter instead of margarine.
— Replacing part or all of the refined sugar with pureed vegetables or fruits.
— Adding chopped, pureed and shredded vegetables to snacks and meals.

We follow strict snack times to help tie our kids over until dinner is ready. When kids snack right before dinner time they are less likely to try new foods much less eat their dinner. Our rule is they have to take at least one bite. If we are having salad with chicken and green beans they have to take one bite of each item. Our picky eater will often feign that he does not like something to keep up with his picky appearance. We have caught him sneaking additional bites. For a picky eater trying new foods takes time. Meanwhile continue to offer the good stuff in a positive way. We want to make dinner a positive experience for them. Avoid negative comments and of course never try to force feed your child. Give them time and eventually they will come around.

For additional reading:
http://www.themotherhood.com/talk/show/id/62135
http://whatscookingwithkids.com/2011/02/18/5-tips-to-help-kids-accept-new-foods/
http://foodformyfamily.com/tag/picky-eaters
http://www.keepkidshealthy.com/parenting_tips/picky_eaters.html

Over the past few years we have had many requests inquiring how to feed a picky eater. If you have a picky eater then you are familiar with what a daunting task this can be. We want our children to grow up healthy and strong and along the way develop healthy eating habits to ensure their success. When all a little guy wants is cereal or yogurt that goal may sometimes seem unattainable. Fear not. There is hope. The following is my own account of the struggles we are currently facing and how we deal with them. I have included additional links to posts with further suggestions on how to placate a picky eater.

Like many other households opting for a cleaner choice of foods we choose to limit the types of prepackaged foods in the house to wholesome cereals and breads and low fat dairy. By making the majority of our snacks at home at least I can control what goes into them. I feel better knowing our picky guy is eating something better than just empty calories. Secondly, doctor our picky eater has a major sweet tooth. If it is not in the house he nor I will eat it. If we happen to have crackers in the pantry they are put up where the kids cannot get into them. A picky kid with a taste for sugar is not going to want to eat his chicken and broccoli when there is a pantry filled with crackers and granola bars.

Treats are reserved for special occasions such as movie night or dessert at Sunday dinner. By making a few alterations a basic sweet such as a muffin can become a filling treat offering the much needed vitamins and minerals a growing body needs. Some of the variations we make include:
— replacing regular all-purpose flour with whole wheat, oat or coconut flour. I always add a couple tablespoons wheat germ and ground flaxseed.
— Swap out lard and vegetable oils for canola, olive and coconut oil. Butter instead of margarine.
— Replacing part or all of the refined sugar with pureed vegetables or fruits or natural local honey.
— Adding chopped, pureed and shredded vegetables to snacks and meals.

We follow strict snack times to help tie our kids over until dinner is ready. When kids snack right before dinner time they are less likely to try new foods much less eat their dinner. Our rule is they have to take at least one bite. If we are having salad with chicken and green beans they have to take one bite of each item. Our picky eater will often feign that he does not like something to keep up with his picky appearance. We have caught him sneaking additional bites.

For a picky eater trying new foods takes time. Meanwhile continue to offer the good stuff. Our doctor reassured me our son would not starve. We want to make dinner a positive experience for them. Avoid negative comments and of course never try to force feed your child. Give them time and eventually they will come around.

For additional reading on how to placate a picky eater visit the following links:
http://www.themotherhood.com/talk/show/id/62135
http://whatscookingwithkids.com/2011/02/18/5-tips-to-help-kids-accept-new-foods/
http://foodformyfamily.com/tag/picky-eaters
http://www.keepkidshealthy.com/parenting_tips/picky_eaters.html
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/body/science-picky-eaters.html
Yum, unhealthy yum pancakes. Oatmeal banana pancakes. I so love pancakes. I think my son and I could eat them for breakfast, order lunch and dinner. This submission is from my sister. She admits to becoming so smitten with this recipe of banana pancakes they had eaten them at least three times.

The addition of oatmeal gives the cakes a nice hearty texture. I used plain yogurt, sales because I always have plain yogurt on hand, and grounded whole oats. I would suggest using the quick oats if you are not crazy over the texture of whole grain baked goods.

Source: Cooks.com by Cookie
3 ripe bananas, divided
1/2 cup low-fat or whole milk
1/4 cup sour cream
2 eggs
4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted, plus extra to grease the pan
2/3 cup cake flour

1/4 cup ground flaxseed meal

1 tablespoon Wheat Germ
1/2 cup quick-cooking oatmeal
1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Dash grated nutmeg
warm maple syrup, for serving

Heat oven to 200 degrees.

Mash 3 of the bananas with fork in a medium bowl; stir in milk, sour cream, eggs and 2 tablespoons of the butter in medium bowl; set aside.

Combine flour, oatmeal, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Fold banana mixture into flour mixture, stirring just until blended (do not over mix).

Heat remaining 2 tablespoons butter in large skillet over medium to medium-high heat; pour 1/4-cup portions of the batter into the skillet, spacing them apart. Cook, in batches, until bubbles cover surface of pancakes and underside are lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Gently turn over; cook until other sides are browned, about 2 minutes. Transfer to oven on a baking sheet to keep warm, while remaining pancakes cook.

Meanwhile, slice remaining banana to top pancakes; add maple syrup to taste.

Variations:
– Use whole oats processed in a blender or food processor in place of the instant oatmeal.
– Or soak the whole oats in the milk for 3 minutes before adding to the rest of the ingredients. You may need to add a little more milk if the batter becomes to thick.
– Add chopped or broken pecans to the batter or sprinkle on each pancake after you pour the batter onto the hot griddle.
During the month of March the American Dietetic Association focuses their efforts helping families understand the importance of physical activity and how to make the right food choices. This March Dazzledish is celebrating National Nutrition Month and our upcoming three year anniversary with a two part health series. This week we will dive into the basic stepping stones to begin the journey to better health. Next week we will look at ways to help our pickest eaters overcome the challenge of trying new foods.

The 2011 theme for National Nutrition Month is “Eat Right with Color.”

The first three steps to eating healthy starts with:
1. “Eat the Colors of the Rainbow.”
2. Eating a balanced diet of lean meats, more about whole grains and vegetables.
3. Limiting prepackaged, sugary foods and drinks.

If your diet consists largely of processed prepackaged foods the first step to a nutritionally healthy diet is to get away from the sugars and carbs. For some quitting cold turkey is a breeze. For others the change is easier said than done. So where do you start? If all you have known is

Start with little baby steps. Begin by reading the labels.
— Reduce the amount of enriched white flour. Look for whole wheat, corn, potato or oat flours in the number one spot of the ingredients list.
— Put back anything that contains high fructose corn syrup. Corn syrup can only be converted to glucose through the liver. The worse part is the body turns high fructose corn syrup straight into fat. The liver’s function is to filter out toxins. Eating high fructose syrup places unneeded stress on the liver in addition to being highly addictive.
— Make water the number one choice. Swap sodas for flavored sparkling water. Limit fruit juice and avoid juices with sugar or from concentrate.

Switch to fresh. Develop a taste for fresh fruits and vegetables:
— Dress up ordinary fruits and vegetables by cooking them in a dish. (Pork chops and Apples, Stews, Gourmet Salads, Fruit Muffins and Smoothies
— Offer fruits and vegetables paired with a lean protein for snacks. (Hummus and Carrots, Peanut Butter or nut butters -without added sugars- and Celery, Cheese and Apples, Nuts and dried fruits, Nut Muffins, Milk and Fruit Shakes, Yogurt and Fruit on Toast) Put the snacks in a cupcake tin or a fun cool bowl for presentation.
— Limit the complex carbs. One serving of bread equals one slice. Add potatoes, wheat berries or barley to soups and stews instead pasta and forego the side of crackers or bread stick. Meals should consist largely of fiber belly filling vegetables.

During the month of March the American Dietetic Association focuses their efforts on helping families understand the importance of physical activity and more importantly how to make the right food choices. This March Dazzledish is celebrating National Nutrition Month and our upcoming three year anniversary with a two part health series. This week we will dive into the basic stepping stones to begin the journey to better health. Next week we will look at ways to help our pickest eaters overcome the challenge of trying new foods.

The 2011 theme for National Nutrition Month is “Eat Right with Color.”

The first three steps to eating healthy begins with:
1. “Eat the Colors of the Rainbow.”
2. Eating a balanced diet of lean meats, drug whole grains and vegetables.
3. Limiting prepackaged, troche sugary foods and drinks.

If your diet consists largely of processed prepackaged foods the first step to a nutritionally healthy diet may be the hardest. Prepackaged foods sell because they are convient and they are made to taste great. Eliminating processed prepackaged food means more time in the kitchen and a great amount of will power. It also means planning weekly meals in advance to avoid having to make multiple trips to the market or a last minute run for fast food.

The first component to a healthy diet is to reduce the amount of sugars and carbs ingested and replace them with fresh fruits, nutrient rich grains and fiber dense vegetables. For some quitting cold turkey is a breeze. For others the change is easier said than done. So where do you start?

Start with little baby steps. Begin by reading the labels.
— Reduce the amount of enriched white flour. Look for whole wheat, corn, potato or oat flours in the number one spot of the ingredients list.
— Put back anything that contains high fructose corn syrup. Corn syrup can only be converted to glucose through the liver. The worse part is the body turns high fructose corn syrup straight into fat. The liver’s function is to filter out toxins. Eating high fructose syrup places unneeded stress on the liver in addition to being highly addictive.
— Make water the number one choice. Swap sodas for flavored sparkling water. Limit fruit juice and avoid juices with sugar or from concentrate.
— Compare the calories with the calories from fat. If the calories from fat makes up more than a quarter percent of the total calories put it back. Peanuts are a good example of high calories from fat. Nuts are a great source of protein. However if you are looking to snack Cashews are a better choice.

This first phase helps identify the type of food choices you make. The reduction of refined flours and sugars prepare the body and taste buds for the next phase. Switching to fresh.

Develop a taste for fresh fruits and vegetables:
— Dress up ordinary fruits and vegetables by cooking them in a dish. (Pork chops and Apples, Stews, Gourmet Salads, Fruit Muffins and Smoothies)
— Offer fruits and vegetables paired with a lean protein for snacks. (Hummus and Carrots, Peanut Butter or nut butters -without added sugars- and Celery, Cheese and Apples, Nuts and dried fruits, Nut Muffins, Milk and Fruit Shakes, Yogurt and Fruit on Toast) Put the snacks in a cupcake tin or a fun cool bowl for presentation.
— Limit the complex carbs. One serving of bread equals one slice. Add potatoes, wheat berries or barley to soups and stews instead pasta and forego the side of crackers or bread stick. Meals should consist largely of fiber belly filling vegetables.

The length of each phase depends on the family. Some children might think you are trying to starve them at first. By eliminating the core prepackaged and processed foods you are actually helping them make better choices. If they cannot snack on chips they are forced to grab an orange. Filling up on water, lean proteins and hearty grains also keeps them full longer.

Yes, but what about the picky eater?…..

Additional Reading:
To the Fullest: Join Beth on her inspiring journey to better health
Walk About: Find the balance to eating healthy

Healthy Life Style Balance: Learning to make eating part of a healthy lifestyle

Simple Nourished Living: Overcoming constant hunger

Medifast Plan: Understanding fats and carbs

Raise Healthy Eaters: Raising Healthy Eaters recipes and advi
We have had many requests asking how to feed a picky eater. Since we too are dealing with our own picky eater issues I understand the struggle many of you experience on a daily basis.

http://foodformyfamily.com/tag/picky-eaters

http://foodformyfamily.com/the-kitchen-sink/news-the-kitchen-sink/placating-picky-eaters-cooking-connections-class

Nutrition for Picky Eaters (Recipe: Fluffy Banana Oat Pancakes)

The theme this year for National Nutrition month is, abortion “Eat Right…With Color.” The challenge? To swap out calorie dense starches and fats for fruits, discount vegetables and whole grains. This month we have joined the leagues with the National Dietetic Association; in addition to, the many accompanying voices of dietetics from the Pacific to the Atlantic oceans to promote healthy habits. We discussed ways to filter out the high calorie prepackaged foods by reading labels; checking for ingredients that are closest to nature. Sadly too many products on the supermarket and natural food store shelves posing as food are really un-food. Fortunately for us today we do not have to spend the day in the kitchen preparing meals. There are honest companies out there producing products without the harmful additives and preservatives. Be sure to always check the labels. The following week we posted links to help our pickiest eaters over come their food fears. Be Patient and keep offering them the good stuff. One day they will surprise you. We would like to wrap up National Nutrition Month with a guide to seasonal foods.

Eat the Color of the Rainbow“…”Eat Clean”…”Eat Seasonal”…What does this all mean? Food is fuel for our body. Each morsel of food contains within it nutrients and minerals our body needs to boost the immune system, help cells and organs function properly, and support growth and development. Eating a variety of foods (the color of the rainbow) is the best way to get all the vitamins and minerals our bodies need each day.

When fruits and vegetables are at their peak they contain abundant amounts of the vitamins and minerals our body craves. Over time these vitamins and minerals diminish. Eating seasonal fruits and vegetables ensures that we are getting the maximum benefit from our food. Choosing meals and snacks around what is in season keeps costs low. When foods are in season it means they are usually shipped locally. As a result prices are substantially lower and the taste is superb. Use this opportunity to stock up for later months. Find a farmers market or packing plant nearby for fresh produce and keep an eye out for sales on poultry and fish. (**Refer to the chart above for foods listed by season.)

Eating clean is the practice of eating whole, natural foods and avoiding any manmade fats, sugars, dyes and preservatives. Let’s say one sweet potato has the same amount of carbs as a candy bar. Even though the potato is largely a carbohydrate it has less sugar and calories and more soluble fiber than the candy bar. The potato also has zero harmful preservatives (such as BHA, BHT and TBHQ) or food dyes (made from petroleum). The health benefits of a starchy potato far outweigh those of the candy bar. Whole, unprocessed, foods like seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, fish and fresh lean meats provide the nutrients our bodies need to grow properly.

Salud!

Additional Reading:

Raise Healthy Eaters: Wonderful spot for everything you ever needed to know about feeding children.

The Gracious Pantry: How Tiffany transformed her pantry filled with junk food to one that supports clean eating habits.

Nut Shell Nutrition: “Make a Rainbow on Your plate”, also be sure to peruse the site. Brittany has several informative posts on making health goals that might be of interest.

Dish on Dieting: A witty article describing the use of a GPS to guide us down the road of meal choices.

A Sprinkle of Sage: “What’s Your Nutrition Resolution?” The first of a month long series of tips to reach this month’s goal for optimal health.

Kleiner Nutrition: Great articles to help inspire us to stay on the path to better habits. Be sure to check out the interview with Hope Warshaw.
Over the past few years we have had many requests inquiring how to feed a picky eater. If you have a picky eater then you are familiar with what a daunting task this can be. We want our children to grow up healthy and strong and along the way develop healthy eating habits to ensure their success. When all a little guy wants is cereal or yogurt that goal may sometimes seem unattainable. Fear not. There is hope.

Like many other households opting for a cleaner choice of foods we choose to limit the types of prepackaged foods in the house to wholesome cereals and breads. By making all our baked goods at home at least I can control what goes into them. I feel better knowing our picky guy is eating something better than just empty calories. If we happen to have crackers in the pantry they are put up where the kids cannot get into them. A picky kid with a taste for sugar is not going to want to eat his chicken and broccoli when there is a pantry filled with crackers and granola bars. It is best to not have it around or hide it.

Treats are reserved for special occasions such as movie night or dessert at Sunday dinner. By making a few alterations a basic sweet such as a muffin can become a filling treat offering the much needed vitamins and minerals a growing body needs. Some of the variations we make include:
— replacing regular all-purpose flour with whole wheat, more about oat or coconut flour. I always add a couple tablespoons wheat germ and ground flaxseed.
— Swap out lard and vegetable oils for canola, olive and coconut oil. Butter instead of margarine.
— Replacing part or all of the refined sugar with pureed vegetables or fruits.
— Adding chopped, pureed and shredded vegetables to snacks and meals.

We follow strict snack times to help tie our kids over until dinner is ready. When kids snack right before dinner time they are less likely to try new foods much less eat their dinner. Our rule is they have to take at least one bite. If we are having salad with chicken and green beans they have to take one bite of each item. Our picky eater will often feign that he does not like something to keep up with his picky appearance. We have caught him sneaking additional bites. For a picky eater trying new foods takes time. Meanwhile continue to offer the good stuff in a positive way. We want to make dinner a positive experience for them. Avoid negative comments and of course never try to force feed your child. Give them time and eventually they will come around.

For additional reading:
http://www.themotherhood.com/talk/show/id/62135
http://whatscookingwithkids.com/2011/02/18/5-tips-to-help-kids-accept-new-foods/
http://foodformyfamily.com/tag/picky-eaters
http://www.keepkidshealthy.com/parenting_tips/picky_eaters.html

Graphic Art by: Kia Robertson

During the month of March the American Dietetic Association focuses their efforts on helping families understand the importance of physical activity and more importantly how to make the right food choices. This March Dazzledish is celebrating National Nutrition Month with a two part health series. This week we will dive into the basic stepping stones to begin a journey to better health. Next week we will look at ways to help our pickiest eaters overcome the challenge of trying new foods.

The first component to a healthy diet is to reduce the amount of refined sugars and enriched carbs by replacing them with fresh fruits, discount nutrient rich grains and fiber dense vegetables. Easier said than done, website right? So where do you start exactly? Start with little baby steps. Begin by reading the labels.

Reading the nutrition labels is crucial when trying to switch to a healthier lifestyle. Food companies are less concerned about your health and more concerned with meeting this quarter’s profits. Prepackaged and fast foods sell because they are convenient and they are made to taste great. Problem is fast foods in addition to prepackaged foods are unnecessarily overloaded with large quantities of sugar, sodium and calories that leave us hungry for more. Moreover, sugar and sodium have been linked to numerous health conditions later in life in addition to the increase of type-2 diabetes in children and teens. Of course these are the foods that are cheap and always available.

I doubt many of our parents actually understood the direct impact theses types of foods would have on our bodies. We were taught to celebrate with mounds of candy and sugary confections. White bread, whole milk and fried foods were the norm. We ate a carb with a side of carb. Ie: Lasagna with garlic bread or a sandwich with chips. Only now are we as a society beginning to realize the harmful effects these habits wreak on our bodies. Today the food companies, to their credit, have tried to heed the demand for healthier products. Introducing the 100-calorie snack packs, fat free and low fat and sugar free products. Unfortunately what they took out they had to replace with something else to make it taste delicious. Fat free foods still contain sugar and sugar free products still contain fats. When eaten in excess these foods can still be stored as fat. The number one misleading product on store shelves is whole wheat bread. Surprisingly, the majority of breads claiming to be %100 whole wheat use enriched wheat flour and contain high fructose corn syrup.

The nutritional label and the ingredients list should be evaluated as a whole. The ingredients are listed in descending order from the most to the least. It should be short, comprehensible and minus all the man-made ingredients. A loaf of bread for example is mostly flour and water. Flour would be listed first because there is more flour in a loaf of bread than any other ingredient. When shopping for bread look for whole grain or whole wheat flour in the number one spot. Enriched flour white or wheat has been refined and processed until it no longer holds any nutritional value. Instead choose breads with whole wheat, corn, potato and/or oat flours.

Sugar is stated as being a culprit of childhood obesity. It is no wonder when it is in just about everything. Take for example a can of soda. There is an average of 39 grams of sugar and over 100 calories in one 12-ounce can of soda. That equals 9 ¾ teaspoons of sugar or 3 1/4 tablespoons.
This much sugar can wreak havoc on our energy levels. A healthier option might be a glass of crystal light or flavored sparkling water (check the label for the type of artificial sweetener). For a nutritious pick me up in the afternoon try a handful of nuts with a piece of fruit. The protein in the nuts helps the body feel full longer without the spike in blood sugar.

Sugars may be listed in the form of: corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, maple syrup, brown rice syrup, fruit juice concentrate, maltose, dextrose, fructose, sucrose, honey and artificial sweeteners. Put back anything that contains high fructose corn syrup. High fructose corn syrup can only be converted to glucose through the liver. The worse part is the body turns high fructose corn syrup straight into fat. The liver’s function is to filter out toxins. Eating high fructose syrup places unneeded stress on the liver in addition to being highly addictive.

Next, limit products whose fat source comes from saturated fat or trans fat. They have the ability to increase the likelihood of heart disease. On the flipside we do need some fat in our diet. These “good” fats are called monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats derived from plants such as oils, avocados or nuts. Fats are listed in both the ingredients and on the nutritional label. A product may not contain trans fat according to the nutritional label but a hydrogenated oil or partially hydrogenated oil listed in the ingredient list means that product contains some trans fats.

Lastly, calories are the amount of energy in a food. A cup of lettuce contains 10 calories while there are 500 in a regular sized vanilla milkshake. If the intake of calories is higher than what the body burns the excess calories are turned to fat. Keep an eye on the amount of calories per serving size in the foods you choose. You will be surprised at how easy it is to accumulate calories. A serving of bread is typically one slice. Depending on the brand that 1 slice can contain 70 to 100 calories. Add another slice, meat and cheese to make a sandwich and you have a complete 350 calorie meal. That is not counting the can of soda and bag of chips that so often accompany a sandwich.

Be careful to watch the amount of calories per serving in addition to the calories from fat percentage. The calories from fat should make up no more than a quarter percent of the total calories. Peanuts are a perfect example of high calories from fat. There are about 170 calories in 1 serving (28 nuts) of peanuts with 130 calories from fat. Nuts are a great source of protein; however, if you are looking to snack Cashews or almonds are a better choice if you are watching your fat intake.

This first phase helps identify the type of food choices we regularly make. The reduction of refined flours and sugars prepare the body and taste buds for the next phase.

Additional Reading:
To the Fullest: Join Beth on her inspiring journey to better health by overcoming food addiction.
Walk About: Find the balance to eating healthy.
Healthy Life Style Balance: Learning how to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Simple Nourished Living: Overcoming constant hunger
Medifast Plan: Understanding fats and carbs
Raise Healthy Eaters: Raising Healthy Eaters recipes and advice
During the month of March the American Dietetic Association focuses their efforts helping families understand the importance of physical activity and how to make the right food choices. The 2011 theme for National Nutrition Month is “Eat Right with Color.”

The first three steps to eating healthy starts with:
1. “Eat the Colors of the Rainbow.”
2. Eating a balanced diet of lean meats, order whole grains and vegetables.
3. Limiting prepackaged, this sugary foods and drinks.

Start with little baby steps. Begin by reading the labels.
— Reduce the amount of enriched white flour. Look for whole wheat, rx corn, potato or oat flours in the number one spot of the ingredients list.
— Put back anything that contains high fructose corn syrup. Corn syrup can only be converted to glucose through the liver. The worse part is the body turns high fructose corn syrup straight into fat. The liver’s function is to filter out toxins. Eating high fructose syrup places unneeded stress on the liver in addition to being highly addictive.
— Make water the number one choice. Swap sodas for flavored sparkling water. Limit fruit juice. Avoid juices with sugar or from concentrate.

Switch to fresh. Eliminating prepackaged foods means more time in the kitchen. Teaching our children to cook will not only help them later in life it is a great way to spend quality family time. Once a week we spend a few hours in the kitchen to make a weeks worth of baked snacks.
— Offer fruits and vegetables paired with a lean protein for snacks. (Hummus and Carrots, Peanut Butter or nut butters -without added sugars- and Celery, Cheese and Apples, Nuts and dried fruits) Put the snacks in a cupcake tin or a fun cool bowl.
— Spend quality time making a snack together. (Yogurt, muffins, milk and fruit shakes)

During the month of March the American Dietetic Association focuses their efforts helping families understand the importance of physical activity and how to make the right food choices. This March Dazzledish is celebrating National Nutrition Month and our upcoming three year anniversary with a two part health series. This week we will dive into the basic stepping stones to begin the journey to better health. Next week we will look at ways to help our pickest eaters overcome the challenge of trying new foods.

The 2011 theme for National Nutrition Month is “Eat Right with Color.”

The first three steps to eating healthy starts with:
1. “Eat the Colors of the Rainbow.”
2. Eating a balanced diet of lean meats, information pills whole grains and vegetables.
3. Limiting prepackaged, this site sugary foods and drinks.

If your diet consists largely of processed prepackaged foods the first step to a nutritionally healthy diet is to get away from the sugars and carbs. For some quitting cold turkey is a breeze. For others the change is easier said than done. So where do you start? If all you have know

Start with little baby steps. Begin by reading the labels.
— Reduce the amount of enriched white flour. Look for whole wheat, cheap corn, potato or oat flours in the number one spot of the ingredients list.
— Put back anything that contains high fructose corn syrup. Corn syrup can only be converted to glucose through the liver. The worse part is the body turns high fructose corn syrup straight into fat. The liver’s function is to filter out toxins. Eating high fructose syrup places unneeded stress on the liver in addition to being highly addictive.
— Make water the number one choice. Swap sodas for flavored sparkling water. Limit fruit juice and avoid juices with sugar or from concentrate.

Switch to fresh. Develop a taste for fresh fruits and vegetables:
— Dress up ordinary fruits and vegetables by cooking them in a dish. (Pork chops and Apples, Stews, Gourmet Salads, Fruit Muffins and Smoothies
— Offer fruits and vegetables paired with a lean protein for snacks. (Hummus and Carrots, Peanut Butter or nut butters -without added sugars- and Celery, Cheese and Apples, Nuts and dried fruits, Nut Muffins, Milk and Fruit Shakes, Yogurt and Fruit on Toast) Put the snacks in a cupcake tin or a fun cool bowl for presentation.
— Limit the complex carbs. One serving of bread equals one slice. Add potatoes, wheat berries or barley to soups and stews instead pasta and forego the side of crackers or bread stick. Meals should consist largely of fiber belly filling vegetables.

Over the past few years we have had many requests inquiring how to feed a picky eater. If you have a picky eater then you are familiar with what a daunting task this can be. We want our children to grow up healthy and strong and along the way develop healthy eating habits to ensure their success. When all a little guy wants is cereal or yogurt that goal may sometimes seem unattainable. Fear not. There is hope.

Like many other households opting for a cleaner choice of foods we choose to limit the types of prepackaged foods in the house to wholesome cereals and breads. By making all our baked goods at home at least I can control what goes into them. I feel better knowing our picky guy is eating something better than just empty calories. If we happen to have crackers in the pantry they are put up where the kids cannot get into them. A picky kid with a taste for sugar is not going to want to eat his chicken and broccoli when there is a pantry filled with crackers and granola bars. It is best to not have it around or hide it.

Treats are reserved for special occasions such as movie night or dessert at Sunday dinner. By making a few alterations a basic sweet such as a muffin can become a filling treat offering the much needed vitamins and minerals a growing body needs. Some of the variations we make include:
— replacing regular all-purpose flour with whole wheat, online oat or coconut flour. I always add a couple tablespoons wheat germ and ground flaxseed.
— Swap out lard and vegetable oils for canola, troche olive and coconut oil. Butter instead of margarine.
— Replacing part or all of the refined sugar with pureed vegetables or fruits.
— Adding chopped, pureed and shredded vegetables to snacks and meals.

We follow strict snack times to help tie our kids over until dinner is ready. When kids snack right before dinner time they are less likely to try new foods much less eat their dinner. Our rule is they have to take at least one bite. If we are having salad with chicken and green beans they have to take one bite of each item. Our picky eater will often feign that he does not like something to keep up with his picky appearance. We have caught him sneaking additional bites. For a picky eater trying new foods takes time. Meanwhile continue to offer the good stuff in a positive way. We want to make dinner a positive experience for them. Avoid negative comments and of course never try to force feed your child. Give them time and eventually they will come around.

For additional reading:
http://www.themotherhood.com/talk/show/id/62135
http://whatscookingwithkids.com/2011/02/18/5-tips-to-help-kids-accept-new-foods/
http://foodformyfamily.com/tag/picky-eaters
http://www.keepkidshealthy.com/parenting_tips/picky_eaters.html

Over the past few years we have had many requests inquiring how to feed a picky eater. If you have a picky eater then you are familiar with what a daunting task this can be. We want our children to grow up healthy and strong and along the way develop healthy eating habits to ensure their success. When all a little guy wants is cereal or yogurt that goal may sometimes seem unattainable. Fear not. There is hope. The following is my own account of the struggles we are currently facing and how we deal with them. I have included additional links to posts with further suggestions on how to placate a picky eater.

Like many other households opting for a cleaner choice of foods we choose to limit the types of prepackaged foods in the house to wholesome cereals and breads and low fat dairy. By making the majority of our snacks at home at least I can control what goes into them. I feel better knowing our picky guy is eating something better than just empty calories. Secondly, doctor our picky eater has a major sweet tooth. If it is not in the house he nor I will eat it. If we happen to have crackers in the pantry they are put up where the kids cannot get into them. A picky kid with a taste for sugar is not going to want to eat his chicken and broccoli when there is a pantry filled with crackers and granola bars.

Treats are reserved for special occasions such as movie night or dessert at Sunday dinner. By making a few alterations a basic sweet such as a muffin can become a filling treat offering the much needed vitamins and minerals a growing body needs. Some of the variations we make include:
— replacing regular all-purpose flour with whole wheat, oat or coconut flour. I always add a couple tablespoons wheat germ and ground flaxseed.
— Swap out lard and vegetable oils for canola, olive and coconut oil. Butter instead of margarine.
— Replacing part or all of the refined sugar with pureed vegetables or fruits or natural local honey.
— Adding chopped, pureed and shredded vegetables to snacks and meals.

We follow strict snack times to help tie our kids over until dinner is ready. When kids snack right before dinner time they are less likely to try new foods much less eat their dinner. Our rule is they have to take at least one bite. If we are having salad with chicken and green beans they have to take one bite of each item. Our picky eater will often feign that he does not like something to keep up with his picky appearance. We have caught him sneaking additional bites.

For a picky eater trying new foods takes time. Meanwhile continue to offer the good stuff. Our doctor reassured me our son would not starve. We want to make dinner a positive experience for them. Avoid negative comments and of course never try to force feed your child. Give them time and eventually they will come around.

For additional reading on how to placate a picky eater visit the following links:
http://www.themotherhood.com/talk/show/id/62135
http://whatscookingwithkids.com/2011/02/18/5-tips-to-help-kids-accept-new-foods/
http://foodformyfamily.com/tag/picky-eaters
http://www.keepkidshealthy.com/parenting_tips/picky_eaters.html
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/body/science-picky-eaters.html
Yum, unhealthy yum pancakes. Oatmeal banana pancakes. I so love pancakes. I think my son and I could eat them for breakfast, order lunch and dinner. This submission is from my sister. She admits to becoming so smitten with this recipe of banana pancakes they had eaten them at least three times.

The addition of oatmeal gives the cakes a nice hearty texture. I used plain yogurt, sales because I always have plain yogurt on hand, and grounded whole oats. I would suggest using the quick oats if you are not crazy over the texture of whole grain baked goods.

Source: Cooks.com by Cookie
3 ripe bananas, divided
1/2 cup low-fat or whole milk
1/4 cup sour cream
2 eggs
4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted, plus extra to grease the pan
2/3 cup cake flour

1/4 cup ground flaxseed meal

1 tablespoon Wheat Germ
1/2 cup quick-cooking oatmeal
1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Dash grated nutmeg
warm maple syrup, for serving

Heat oven to 200 degrees.

Mash 3 of the bananas with fork in a medium bowl; stir in milk, sour cream, eggs and 2 tablespoons of the butter in medium bowl; set aside.

Combine flour, oatmeal, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Fold banana mixture into flour mixture, stirring just until blended (do not over mix).

Heat remaining 2 tablespoons butter in large skillet over medium to medium-high heat; pour 1/4-cup portions of the batter into the skillet, spacing them apart. Cook, in batches, until bubbles cover surface of pancakes and underside are lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Gently turn over; cook until other sides are browned, about 2 minutes. Transfer to oven on a baking sheet to keep warm, while remaining pancakes cook.

Meanwhile, slice remaining banana to top pancakes; add maple syrup to taste.

Variations:
– Use whole oats processed in a blender or food processor in place of the instant oatmeal.
– Or soak the whole oats in the milk for 3 minutes before adding to the rest of the ingredients. You may need to add a little more milk if the batter becomes to thick.
– Add chopped or broken pecans to the batter or sprinkle on each pancake after you pour the batter onto the hot griddle.
During the month of March the American Dietetic Association focuses their efforts helping families understand the importance of physical activity and how to make the right food choices. This March Dazzledish is celebrating National Nutrition Month and our upcoming three year anniversary with a two part health series. This week we will dive into the basic stepping stones to begin the journey to better health. Next week we will look at ways to help our pickest eaters overcome the challenge of trying new foods.

The 2011 theme for National Nutrition Month is “Eat Right with Color.”

The first three steps to eating healthy starts with:
1. “Eat the Colors of the Rainbow.”
2. Eating a balanced diet of lean meats, more about whole grains and vegetables.
3. Limiting prepackaged, sugary foods and drinks.

If your diet consists largely of processed prepackaged foods the first step to a nutritionally healthy diet is to get away from the sugars and carbs. For some quitting cold turkey is a breeze. For others the change is easier said than done. So where do you start? If all you have known is

Start with little baby steps. Begin by reading the labels.
— Reduce the amount of enriched white flour. Look for whole wheat, corn, potato or oat flours in the number one spot of the ingredients list.
— Put back anything that contains high fructose corn syrup. Corn syrup can only be converted to glucose through the liver. The worse part is the body turns high fructose corn syrup straight into fat. The liver’s function is to filter out toxins. Eating high fructose syrup places unneeded stress on the liver in addition to being highly addictive.
— Make water the number one choice. Swap sodas for flavored sparkling water. Limit fruit juice and avoid juices with sugar or from concentrate.

Switch to fresh. Develop a taste for fresh fruits and vegetables:
— Dress up ordinary fruits and vegetables by cooking them in a dish. (Pork chops and Apples, Stews, Gourmet Salads, Fruit Muffins and Smoothies
— Offer fruits and vegetables paired with a lean protein for snacks. (Hummus and Carrots, Peanut Butter or nut butters -without added sugars- and Celery, Cheese and Apples, Nuts and dried fruits, Nut Muffins, Milk and Fruit Shakes, Yogurt and Fruit on Toast) Put the snacks in a cupcake tin or a fun cool bowl for presentation.
— Limit the complex carbs. One serving of bread equals one slice. Add potatoes, wheat berries or barley to soups and stews instead pasta and forego the side of crackers or bread stick. Meals should consist largely of fiber belly filling vegetables.

During the month of March the American Dietetic Association focuses their efforts on helping families understand the importance of physical activity and more importantly how to make the right food choices. This March Dazzledish is celebrating National Nutrition Month and our upcoming three year anniversary with a two part health series. This week we will dive into the basic stepping stones to begin the journey to better health. Next week we will look at ways to help our pickest eaters overcome the challenge of trying new foods.

The 2011 theme for National Nutrition Month is “Eat Right with Color.”

The first three steps to eating healthy begins with:
1. “Eat the Colors of the Rainbow.”
2. Eating a balanced diet of lean meats, drug whole grains and vegetables.
3. Limiting prepackaged, troche sugary foods and drinks.

If your diet consists largely of processed prepackaged foods the first step to a nutritionally healthy diet may be the hardest. Prepackaged foods sell because they are convient and they are made to taste great. Eliminating processed prepackaged food means more time in the kitchen and a great amount of will power. It also means planning weekly meals in advance to avoid having to make multiple trips to the market or a last minute run for fast food.

The first component to a healthy diet is to reduce the amount of sugars and carbs ingested and replace them with fresh fruits, nutrient rich grains and fiber dense vegetables. For some quitting cold turkey is a breeze. For others the change is easier said than done. So where do you start?

Start with little baby steps. Begin by reading the labels.
— Reduce the amount of enriched white flour. Look for whole wheat, corn, potato or oat flours in the number one spot of the ingredients list.
— Put back anything that contains high fructose corn syrup. Corn syrup can only be converted to glucose through the liver. The worse part is the body turns high fructose corn syrup straight into fat. The liver’s function is to filter out toxins. Eating high fructose syrup places unneeded stress on the liver in addition to being highly addictive.
— Make water the number one choice. Swap sodas for flavored sparkling water. Limit fruit juice and avoid juices with sugar or from concentrate.
— Compare the calories with the calories from fat. If the calories from fat makes up more than a quarter percent of the total calories put it back. Peanuts are a good example of high calories from fat. Nuts are a great source of protein. However if you are looking to snack Cashews are a better choice.

This first phase helps identify the type of food choices you make. The reduction of refined flours and sugars prepare the body and taste buds for the next phase. Switching to fresh.

Develop a taste for fresh fruits and vegetables:
— Dress up ordinary fruits and vegetables by cooking them in a dish. (Pork chops and Apples, Stews, Gourmet Salads, Fruit Muffins and Smoothies)
— Offer fruits and vegetables paired with a lean protein for snacks. (Hummus and Carrots, Peanut Butter or nut butters -without added sugars- and Celery, Cheese and Apples, Nuts and dried fruits, Nut Muffins, Milk and Fruit Shakes, Yogurt and Fruit on Toast) Put the snacks in a cupcake tin or a fun cool bowl for presentation.
— Limit the complex carbs. One serving of bread equals one slice. Add potatoes, wheat berries or barley to soups and stews instead pasta and forego the side of crackers or bread stick. Meals should consist largely of fiber belly filling vegetables.

The length of each phase depends on the family. Some children might think you are trying to starve them at first. By eliminating the core prepackaged and processed foods you are actually helping them make better choices. If they cannot snack on chips they are forced to grab an orange. Filling up on water, lean proteins and hearty grains also keeps them full longer.

Yes, but what about the picky eater?…..

Additional Reading:
To the Fullest: Join Beth on her inspiring journey to better health
Walk About: Find the balance to eating healthy

Healthy Life Style Balance: Learning to make eating part of a healthy lifestyle

Simple Nourished Living: Overcoming constant hunger

Medifast Plan: Understanding fats and carbs

Raise Healthy Eaters: Raising Healthy Eaters recipes and advi
Over the past few years we have had many requests inquiring how to feed a picky eater. If you have a picky eater then you are familiar with what a daunting task this can be. We want our children to grow up healthy and strong and along the way develop healthy eating habits to ensure their success. When all a little guy wants is cereal or yogurt that goal may sometimes seem unattainable. Fear not. There is hope. The following is my own account of the struggles we are currently facing and how we deal with them. I have included additional links to posts with further suggestions on how to placate a picky eater.

Like many other households opting for a cleaner choice of foods we choose to limit the types of prepackaged foods in the house to wholesome cereals and breads and low fat dairy. By making the majority of our snacks at home at least I can control what goes into them. I feel better knowing our picky guy is eating something better than just empty calories. Secondly, pharmacy our picky eater has a major sweet tooth. If it is not in the house he nor I will eat it. If we happen to have crackers in the pantry they are put up where the kids cannot get into them. A picky kid with a taste for sugar is not going to want to eat his chicken and broccoli when there is a pantry filled with crackers and granola bars.

Treats are reserved for special occasions such as movie night or dessert at Sunday dinner. By making a few alterations a basic sweet such as a muffin can become a filling treat offering the much needed vitamins and minerals a growing body needs. Some of the variations we make include:
— replacing regular all-purpose flour with whole wheat, healing oat or coconut flour. I always add a couple tablespoons wheat germ and ground flaxseed.
— Swap out lard and vegetable oils for canola, olive and coconut oil. Butter instead of margarine.
— Replacing part or all of the refined sugar with pureed vegetables or fruits or natural local honey.
— Adding chopped, pureed and shredded vegetables to snacks and meals.

We follow strict snack times to help tie our kids over until dinner is ready. When kids snack right before dinner time they are less likely to try new foods much less eat their dinner. Our rule is they have to take at least one bite. If we are having salad with chicken and green beans they have to take one bite of each item. Our picky eater will often feign that he does not like something to keep up with his picky appearance. We have caught him sneaking additional bites.

For a picky eater trying new foods takes time. Meanwhile continue to offer the good stuff. Our doctor reassured me our son would not starve. We want to make dinner a positive experience for them. Avoid negative comments and of course never try to force feed your child. Give them time and eventually they will come around.

For additional reading on how to placate a picky eater visit the following links:
http://www.themotherhood.com/talk/show/id/62135
http://whatscookingwithkids.com/2011/02/18/5-tips-to-help-kids-accept-new-foods/
http://foodformyfamily.com/tag/picky-eaters
http://www.keepkidshealthy.com/parenting_tips/picky_eaters.html

Getting Picky Eaters to Eat Healthy


http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/body/science-picky-eaters.html
http://www.raisehealthyeaters.com/2010/05/picky-eating-part-1-how-to-tell-if-your-picky-eater-needs-help/

We have had many requests asking how to feed a picky eater. Since we too are dealing with our own picky eater issues I understand the struggle many of you experience on a daily basis.

http://foodformyfamily.com/tag/picky-eaters

http://foodformyfamily.com/the-kitchen-sink/news-the-kitchen-sink/placating-picky-eaters-cooking-connections-class

Nutrition for Picky Eaters (Recipe: Fluffy Banana Oat Pancakes)

The theme this year for National Nutrition month is, abortion “Eat Right…With Color.” The challenge? To swap out calorie dense starches and fats for fruits, discount vegetables and whole grains. This month we have joined the leagues with the National Dietetic Association; in addition to, the many accompanying voices of dietetics from the Pacific to the Atlantic oceans to promote healthy habits. We discussed ways to filter out the high calorie prepackaged foods by reading labels; checking for ingredients that are closest to nature. Sadly too many products on the supermarket and natural food store shelves posing as food are really un-food. Fortunately for us today we do not have to spend the day in the kitchen preparing meals. There are honest companies out there producing products without the harmful additives and preservatives. Be sure to always check the labels. The following week we posted links to help our pickiest eaters over come their food fears. Be Patient and keep offering them the good stuff. One day they will surprise you. We would like to wrap up National Nutrition Month with a guide to seasonal foods.

Eat the Color of the Rainbow“…”Eat Clean”…”Eat Seasonal”…What does this all mean? Food is fuel for our body. Each morsel of food contains within it nutrients and minerals our body needs to boost the immune system, help cells and organs function properly, and support growth and development. Eating a variety of foods (the color of the rainbow) is the best way to get all the vitamins and minerals our bodies need each day.

When fruits and vegetables are at their peak they contain abundant amounts of the vitamins and minerals our body craves. Over time these vitamins and minerals diminish. Eating seasonal fruits and vegetables ensures that we are getting the maximum benefit from our food. Choosing meals and snacks around what is in season keeps costs low. When foods are in season it means they are usually shipped locally. As a result prices are substantially lower and the taste is superb. Use this opportunity to stock up for later months. Find a farmers market or packing plant nearby for fresh produce and keep an eye out for sales on poultry and fish. (**Refer to the chart above for foods listed by season.)

Eating clean is the practice of eating whole, natural foods and avoiding any manmade fats, sugars, dyes and preservatives. Let’s say one sweet potato has the same amount of carbs as a candy bar. Even though the potato is largely a carbohydrate it has less sugar and calories and more soluble fiber than the candy bar. The potato also has zero harmful preservatives (such as BHA, BHT and TBHQ) or food dyes (made from petroleum). The health benefits of a starchy potato far outweigh those of the candy bar. Whole, unprocessed, foods like seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, fish and fresh lean meats provide the nutrients our bodies need to grow properly.

Salud!

Additional Reading:

Raise Healthy Eaters: Wonderful spot for everything you ever needed to know about feeding children.

The Gracious Pantry: How Tiffany transformed her pantry filled with junk food to one that supports clean eating habits.

Nut Shell Nutrition: “Make a Rainbow on Your plate”, also be sure to peruse the site. Brittany has several informative posts on making health goals that might be of interest.

Dish on Dieting: A witty article describing the use of a GPS to guide us down the road of meal choices.

A Sprinkle of Sage: “What’s Your Nutrition Resolution?” The first of a month long series of tips to reach this month’s goal for optimal health.

Kleiner Nutrition: Great articles to help inspire us to stay on the path to better habits. Be sure to check out the interview with Hope Warshaw.
Over the past few years we have had many requests inquiring how to feed a picky eater. If you have a picky eater then you are familiar with what a daunting task this can be. We want our children to grow up healthy and strong and along the way develop healthy eating habits to ensure their success. When all a little guy wants is cereal or yogurt that goal may sometimes seem unattainable. Fear not. There is hope.

Like many other households opting for a cleaner choice of foods we choose to limit the types of prepackaged foods in the house to wholesome cereals and breads. By making all our baked goods at home at least I can control what goes into them. I feel better knowing our picky guy is eating something better than just empty calories. If we happen to have crackers in the pantry they are put up where the kids cannot get into them. A picky kid with a taste for sugar is not going to want to eat his chicken and broccoli when there is a pantry filled with crackers and granola bars. It is best to not have it around or hide it.

Treats are reserved for special occasions such as movie night or dessert at Sunday dinner. By making a few alterations a basic sweet such as a muffin can become a filling treat offering the much needed vitamins and minerals a growing body needs. Some of the variations we make include:
— replacing regular all-purpose flour with whole wheat, more about oat or coconut flour. I always add a couple tablespoons wheat germ and ground flaxseed.
— Swap out lard and vegetable oils for canola, olive and coconut oil. Butter instead of margarine.
— Replacing part or all of the refined sugar with pureed vegetables or fruits.
— Adding chopped, pureed and shredded vegetables to snacks and meals.

We follow strict snack times to help tie our kids over until dinner is ready. When kids snack right before dinner time they are less likely to try new foods much less eat their dinner. Our rule is they have to take at least one bite. If we are having salad with chicken and green beans they have to take one bite of each item. Our picky eater will often feign that he does not like something to keep up with his picky appearance. We have caught him sneaking additional bites. For a picky eater trying new foods takes time. Meanwhile continue to offer the good stuff in a positive way. We want to make dinner a positive experience for them. Avoid negative comments and of course never try to force feed your child. Give them time and eventually they will come around.

For additional reading:
http://www.themotherhood.com/talk/show/id/62135
http://whatscookingwithkids.com/2011/02/18/5-tips-to-help-kids-accept-new-foods/
http://foodformyfamily.com/tag/picky-eaters
http://www.keepkidshealthy.com/parenting_tips/picky_eaters.html

Graphic Art by: Kia Robertson

During the month of March the American Dietetic Association focuses their efforts on helping families understand the importance of physical activity and more importantly how to make the right food choices. This March Dazzledish is celebrating National Nutrition Month with a two part health series. This week we will dive into the basic stepping stones to begin a journey to better health. Next week we will look at ways to help our pickiest eaters overcome the challenge of trying new foods.

The first component to a healthy diet is to reduce the amount of refined sugars and enriched carbs by replacing them with fresh fruits, discount nutrient rich grains and fiber dense vegetables. Easier said than done, website right? So where do you start exactly? Start with little baby steps. Begin by reading the labels.

Reading the nutrition labels is crucial when trying to switch to a healthier lifestyle. Food companies are less concerned about your health and more concerned with meeting this quarter’s profits. Prepackaged and fast foods sell because they are convenient and they are made to taste great. Problem is fast foods in addition to prepackaged foods are unnecessarily overloaded with large quantities of sugar, sodium and calories that leave us hungry for more. Moreover, sugar and sodium have been linked to numerous health conditions later in life in addition to the increase of type-2 diabetes in children and teens. Of course these are the foods that are cheap and always available.

I doubt many of our parents actually understood the direct impact theses types of foods would have on our bodies. We were taught to celebrate with mounds of candy and sugary confections. White bread, whole milk and fried foods were the norm. We ate a carb with a side of carb. Ie: Lasagna with garlic bread or a sandwich with chips. Only now are we as a society beginning to realize the harmful effects these habits wreak on our bodies. Today the food companies, to their credit, have tried to heed the demand for healthier products. Introducing the 100-calorie snack packs, fat free and low fat and sugar free products. Unfortunately what they took out they had to replace with something else to make it taste delicious. Fat free foods still contain sugar and sugar free products still contain fats. When eaten in excess these foods can still be stored as fat. The number one misleading product on store shelves is whole wheat bread. Surprisingly, the majority of breads claiming to be %100 whole wheat use enriched wheat flour and contain high fructose corn syrup.

The nutritional label and the ingredients list should be evaluated as a whole. The ingredients are listed in descending order from the most to the least. It should be short, comprehensible and minus all the man-made ingredients. A loaf of bread for example is mostly flour and water. Flour would be listed first because there is more flour in a loaf of bread than any other ingredient. When shopping for bread look for whole grain or whole wheat flour in the number one spot. Enriched flour white or wheat has been refined and processed until it no longer holds any nutritional value. Instead choose breads with whole wheat, corn, potato and/or oat flours.

Sugar is stated as being a culprit of childhood obesity. It is no wonder when it is in just about everything. Take for example a can of soda. There is an average of 39 grams of sugar and over 100 calories in one 12-ounce can of soda. That equals 9 ¾ teaspoons of sugar or 3 1/4 tablespoons.
This much sugar can wreak havoc on our energy levels. A healthier option might be a glass of crystal light or flavored sparkling water (check the label for the type of artificial sweetener). For a nutritious pick me up in the afternoon try a handful of nuts with a piece of fruit. The protein in the nuts helps the body feel full longer without the spike in blood sugar.

Sugars may be listed in the form of: corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, maple syrup, brown rice syrup, fruit juice concentrate, maltose, dextrose, fructose, sucrose, honey and artificial sweeteners. Put back anything that contains high fructose corn syrup. High fructose corn syrup can only be converted to glucose through the liver. The worse part is the body turns high fructose corn syrup straight into fat. The liver’s function is to filter out toxins. Eating high fructose syrup places unneeded stress on the liver in addition to being highly addictive.

Next, limit products whose fat source comes from saturated fat or trans fat. They have the ability to increase the likelihood of heart disease. On the flipside we do need some fat in our diet. These “good” fats are called monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats derived from plants such as oils, avocados or nuts. Fats are listed in both the ingredients and on the nutritional label. A product may not contain trans fat according to the nutritional label but a hydrogenated oil or partially hydrogenated oil listed in the ingredient list means that product contains some trans fats.

Lastly, calories are the amount of energy in a food. A cup of lettuce contains 10 calories while there are 500 in a regular sized vanilla milkshake. If the intake of calories is higher than what the body burns the excess calories are turned to fat. Keep an eye on the amount of calories per serving size in the foods you choose. You will be surprised at how easy it is to accumulate calories. A serving of bread is typically one slice. Depending on the brand that 1 slice can contain 70 to 100 calories. Add another slice, meat and cheese to make a sandwich and you have a complete 350 calorie meal. That is not counting the can of soda and bag of chips that so often accompany a sandwich.

Be careful to watch the amount of calories per serving in addition to the calories from fat percentage. The calories from fat should make up no more than a quarter percent of the total calories. Peanuts are a perfect example of high calories from fat. There are about 170 calories in 1 serving (28 nuts) of peanuts with 130 calories from fat. Nuts are a great source of protein; however, if you are looking to snack Cashews or almonds are a better choice if you are watching your fat intake.

This first phase helps identify the type of food choices we regularly make. The reduction of refined flours and sugars prepare the body and taste buds for the next phase.

Additional Reading:
To the Fullest: Join Beth on her inspiring journey to better health by overcoming food addiction.
Walk About: Find the balance to eating healthy.
Healthy Life Style Balance: Learning how to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Simple Nourished Living: Overcoming constant hunger
Medifast Plan: Understanding fats and carbs
Raise Healthy Eaters: Raising Healthy Eaters recipes and advice
During the month of March the American Dietetic Association focuses their efforts helping families understand the importance of physical activity and how to make the right food choices. The 2011 theme for National Nutrition Month is “Eat Right with Color.”

The first three steps to eating healthy starts with:
1. “Eat the Colors of the Rainbow.”
2. Eating a balanced diet of lean meats, order whole grains and vegetables.
3. Limiting prepackaged, this sugary foods and drinks.

Start with little baby steps. Begin by reading the labels.
— Reduce the amount of enriched white flour. Look for whole wheat, rx corn, potato or oat flours in the number one spot of the ingredients list.
— Put back anything that contains high fructose corn syrup. Corn syrup can only be converted to glucose through the liver. The worse part is the body turns high fructose corn syrup straight into fat. The liver’s function is to filter out toxins. Eating high fructose syrup places unneeded stress on the liver in addition to being highly addictive.
— Make water the number one choice. Swap sodas for flavored sparkling water. Limit fruit juice. Avoid juices with sugar or from concentrate.

Switch to fresh. Eliminating prepackaged foods means more time in the kitchen. Teaching our children to cook will not only help them later in life it is a great way to spend quality family time. Once a week we spend a few hours in the kitchen to make a weeks worth of baked snacks.
— Offer fruits and vegetables paired with a lean protein for snacks. (Hummus and Carrots, Peanut Butter or nut butters -without added sugars- and Celery, Cheese and Apples, Nuts and dried fruits) Put the snacks in a cupcake tin or a fun cool bowl.
— Spend quality time making a snack together. (Yogurt, muffins, milk and fruit shakes)

During the month of March the American Dietetic Association focuses their efforts helping families understand the importance of physical activity and how to make the right food choices. This March Dazzledish is celebrating National Nutrition Month and our upcoming three year anniversary with a two part health series. This week we will dive into the basic stepping stones to begin the journey to better health. Next week we will look at ways to help our pickest eaters overcome the challenge of trying new foods.

The 2011 theme for National Nutrition Month is “Eat Right with Color.”

The first three steps to eating healthy starts with:
1. “Eat the Colors of the Rainbow.”
2. Eating a balanced diet of lean meats, information pills whole grains and vegetables.
3. Limiting prepackaged, this site sugary foods and drinks.

If your diet consists largely of processed prepackaged foods the first step to a nutritionally healthy diet is to get away from the sugars and carbs. For some quitting cold turkey is a breeze. For others the change is easier said than done. So where do you start? If all you have know

Start with little baby steps. Begin by reading the labels.
— Reduce the amount of enriched white flour. Look for whole wheat, cheap corn, potato or oat flours in the number one spot of the ingredients list.
— Put back anything that contains high fructose corn syrup. Corn syrup can only be converted to glucose through the liver. The worse part is the body turns high fructose corn syrup straight into fat. The liver’s function is to filter out toxins. Eating high fructose syrup places unneeded stress on the liver in addition to being highly addictive.
— Make water the number one choice. Swap sodas for flavored sparkling water. Limit fruit juice and avoid juices with sugar or from concentrate.

Switch to fresh. Develop a taste for fresh fruits and vegetables:
— Dress up ordinary fruits and vegetables by cooking them in a dish. (Pork chops and Apples, Stews, Gourmet Salads, Fruit Muffins and Smoothies
— Offer fruits and vegetables paired with a lean protein for snacks. (Hummus and Carrots, Peanut Butter or nut butters -without added sugars- and Celery, Cheese and Apples, Nuts and dried fruits, Nut Muffins, Milk and Fruit Shakes, Yogurt and Fruit on Toast) Put the snacks in a cupcake tin or a fun cool bowl for presentation.
— Limit the complex carbs. One serving of bread equals one slice. Add potatoes, wheat berries or barley to soups and stews instead pasta and forego the side of crackers or bread stick. Meals should consist largely of fiber belly filling vegetables.

Over the past few years we have had many requests inquiring how to feed a picky eater. If you have a picky eater then you are familiar with what a daunting task this can be. We want our children to grow up healthy and strong and along the way develop healthy eating habits to ensure their success. When all a little guy wants is cereal or yogurt that goal may sometimes seem unattainable. Fear not. There is hope.

Like many other households opting for a cleaner choice of foods we choose to limit the types of prepackaged foods in the house to wholesome cereals and breads. By making all our baked goods at home at least I can control what goes into them. I feel better knowing our picky guy is eating something better than just empty calories. If we happen to have crackers in the pantry they are put up where the kids cannot get into them. A picky kid with a taste for sugar is not going to want to eat his chicken and broccoli when there is a pantry filled with crackers and granola bars. It is best to not have it around or hide it.

Treats are reserved for special occasions such as movie night or dessert at Sunday dinner. By making a few alterations a basic sweet such as a muffin can become a filling treat offering the much needed vitamins and minerals a growing body needs. Some of the variations we make include:
— replacing regular all-purpose flour with whole wheat, online oat or coconut flour. I always add a couple tablespoons wheat germ and ground flaxseed.
— Swap out lard and vegetable oils for canola, troche olive and coconut oil. Butter instead of margarine.
— Replacing part or all of the refined sugar with pureed vegetables or fruits.
— Adding chopped, pureed and shredded vegetables to snacks and meals.

We follow strict snack times to help tie our kids over until dinner is ready. When kids snack right before dinner time they are less likely to try new foods much less eat their dinner. Our rule is they have to take at least one bite. If we are having salad with chicken and green beans they have to take one bite of each item. Our picky eater will often feign that he does not like something to keep up with his picky appearance. We have caught him sneaking additional bites. For a picky eater trying new foods takes time. Meanwhile continue to offer the good stuff in a positive way. We want to make dinner a positive experience for them. Avoid negative comments and of course never try to force feed your child. Give them time and eventually they will come around.

For additional reading:
http://www.themotherhood.com/talk/show/id/62135
http://whatscookingwithkids.com/2011/02/18/5-tips-to-help-kids-accept-new-foods/
http://foodformyfamily.com/tag/picky-eaters
http://www.keepkidshealthy.com/parenting_tips/picky_eaters.html

Over the past few years we have had many requests inquiring how to feed a picky eater. If you have a picky eater then you are familiar with what a daunting task this can be. We want our children to grow up healthy and strong and along the way develop healthy eating habits to ensure their success. When all a little guy wants is cereal or yogurt that goal may sometimes seem unattainable. Fear not. There is hope. The following is my own account of the struggles we are currently facing and how we deal with them. I have included additional links to posts with further suggestions on how to placate a picky eater.

Like many other households opting for a cleaner choice of foods we choose to limit the types of prepackaged foods in the house to wholesome cereals and breads and low fat dairy. By making the majority of our snacks at home at least I can control what goes into them. I feel better knowing our picky guy is eating something better than just empty calories. Secondly, doctor our picky eater has a major sweet tooth. If it is not in the house he nor I will eat it. If we happen to have crackers in the pantry they are put up where the kids cannot get into them. A picky kid with a taste for sugar is not going to want to eat his chicken and broccoli when there is a pantry filled with crackers and granola bars.

Treats are reserved for special occasions such as movie night or dessert at Sunday dinner. By making a few alterations a basic sweet such as a muffin can become a filling treat offering the much needed vitamins and minerals a growing body needs. Some of the variations we make include:
— replacing regular all-purpose flour with whole wheat, oat or coconut flour. I always add a couple tablespoons wheat germ and ground flaxseed.
— Swap out lard and vegetable oils for canola, olive and coconut oil. Butter instead of margarine.
— Replacing part or all of the refined sugar with pureed vegetables or fruits or natural local honey.
— Adding chopped, pureed and shredded vegetables to snacks and meals.

We follow strict snack times to help tie our kids over until dinner is ready. When kids snack right before dinner time they are less likely to try new foods much less eat their dinner. Our rule is they have to take at least one bite. If we are having salad with chicken and green beans they have to take one bite of each item. Our picky eater will often feign that he does not like something to keep up with his picky appearance. We have caught him sneaking additional bites.

For a picky eater trying new foods takes time. Meanwhile continue to offer the good stuff. Our doctor reassured me our son would not starve. We want to make dinner a positive experience for them. Avoid negative comments and of course never try to force feed your child. Give them time and eventually they will come around.

For additional reading on how to placate a picky eater visit the following links:
http://www.themotherhood.com/talk/show/id/62135
http://whatscookingwithkids.com/2011/02/18/5-tips-to-help-kids-accept-new-foods/
http://foodformyfamily.com/tag/picky-eaters
http://www.keepkidshealthy.com/parenting_tips/picky_eaters.html
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/body/science-picky-eaters.html
Yum, unhealthy yum pancakes. Oatmeal banana pancakes. I so love pancakes. I think my son and I could eat them for breakfast, order lunch and dinner. This submission is from my sister. She admits to becoming so smitten with this recipe of banana pancakes they had eaten them at least three times.

The addition of oatmeal gives the cakes a nice hearty texture. I used plain yogurt, sales because I always have plain yogurt on hand, and grounded whole oats. I would suggest using the quick oats if you are not crazy over the texture of whole grain baked goods.

Source: Cooks.com by Cookie
3 ripe bananas, divided
1/2 cup low-fat or whole milk
1/4 cup sour cream
2 eggs
4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted, plus extra to grease the pan
2/3 cup cake flour

1/4 cup ground flaxseed meal

1 tablespoon Wheat Germ
1/2 cup quick-cooking oatmeal
1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Dash grated nutmeg
warm maple syrup, for serving

Heat oven to 200 degrees.

Mash 3 of the bananas with fork in a medium bowl; stir in milk, sour cream, eggs and 2 tablespoons of the butter in medium bowl; set aside.

Combine flour, oatmeal, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Fold banana mixture into flour mixture, stirring just until blended (do not over mix).

Heat remaining 2 tablespoons butter in large skillet over medium to medium-high heat; pour 1/4-cup portions of the batter into the skillet, spacing them apart. Cook, in batches, until bubbles cover surface of pancakes and underside are lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Gently turn over; cook until other sides are browned, about 2 minutes. Transfer to oven on a baking sheet to keep warm, while remaining pancakes cook.

Meanwhile, slice remaining banana to top pancakes; add maple syrup to taste.

Variations:
– Use whole oats processed in a blender or food processor in place of the instant oatmeal.
– Or soak the whole oats in the milk for 3 minutes before adding to the rest of the ingredients. You may need to add a little more milk if the batter becomes to thick.
– Add chopped or broken pecans to the batter or sprinkle on each pancake after you pour the batter onto the hot griddle.
During the month of March the American Dietetic Association focuses their efforts helping families understand the importance of physical activity and how to make the right food choices. This March Dazzledish is celebrating National Nutrition Month and our upcoming three year anniversary with a two part health series. This week we will dive into the basic stepping stones to begin the journey to better health. Next week we will look at ways to help our pickest eaters overcome the challenge of trying new foods.

The 2011 theme for National Nutrition Month is “Eat Right with Color.”

The first three steps to eating healthy starts with:
1. “Eat the Colors of the Rainbow.”
2. Eating a balanced diet of lean meats, more about whole grains and vegetables.
3. Limiting prepackaged, sugary foods and drinks.

If your diet consists largely of processed prepackaged foods the first step to a nutritionally healthy diet is to get away from the sugars and carbs. For some quitting cold turkey is a breeze. For others the change is easier said than done. So where do you start? If all you have known is

Start with little baby steps. Begin by reading the labels.
— Reduce the amount of enriched white flour. Look for whole wheat, corn, potato or oat flours in the number one spot of the ingredients list.
— Put back anything that contains high fructose corn syrup. Corn syrup can only be converted to glucose through the liver. The worse part is the body turns high fructose corn syrup straight into fat. The liver’s function is to filter out toxins. Eating high fructose syrup places unneeded stress on the liver in addition to being highly addictive.
— Make water the number one choice. Swap sodas for flavored sparkling water. Limit fruit juice and avoid juices with sugar or from concentrate.

Switch to fresh. Develop a taste for fresh fruits and vegetables:
— Dress up ordinary fruits and vegetables by cooking them in a dish. (Pork chops and Apples, Stews, Gourmet Salads, Fruit Muffins and Smoothies
— Offer fruits and vegetables paired with a lean protein for snacks. (Hummus and Carrots, Peanut Butter or nut butters -without added sugars- and Celery, Cheese and Apples, Nuts and dried fruits, Nut Muffins, Milk and Fruit Shakes, Yogurt and Fruit on Toast) Put the snacks in a cupcake tin or a fun cool bowl for presentation.
— Limit the complex carbs. One serving of bread equals one slice. Add potatoes, wheat berries or barley to soups and stews instead pasta and forego the side of crackers or bread stick. Meals should consist largely of fiber belly filling vegetables.

During the month of March the American Dietetic Association focuses their efforts on helping families understand the importance of physical activity and more importantly how to make the right food choices. This March Dazzledish is celebrating National Nutrition Month and our upcoming three year anniversary with a two part health series. This week we will dive into the basic stepping stones to begin the journey to better health. Next week we will look at ways to help our pickest eaters overcome the challenge of trying new foods.

The 2011 theme for National Nutrition Month is “Eat Right with Color.”

The first three steps to eating healthy begins with:
1. “Eat the Colors of the Rainbow.”
2. Eating a balanced diet of lean meats, drug whole grains and vegetables.
3. Limiting prepackaged, troche sugary foods and drinks.

If your diet consists largely of processed prepackaged foods the first step to a nutritionally healthy diet may be the hardest. Prepackaged foods sell because they are convient and they are made to taste great. Eliminating processed prepackaged food means more time in the kitchen and a great amount of will power. It also means planning weekly meals in advance to avoid having to make multiple trips to the market or a last minute run for fast food.

The first component to a healthy diet is to reduce the amount of sugars and carbs ingested and replace them with fresh fruits, nutrient rich grains and fiber dense vegetables. For some quitting cold turkey is a breeze. For others the change is easier said than done. So where do you start?

Start with little baby steps. Begin by reading the labels.
— Reduce the amount of enriched white flour. Look for whole wheat, corn, potato or oat flours in the number one spot of the ingredients list.
— Put back anything that contains high fructose corn syrup. Corn syrup can only be converted to glucose through the liver. The worse part is the body turns high fructose corn syrup straight into fat. The liver’s function is to filter out toxins. Eating high fructose syrup places unneeded stress on the liver in addition to being highly addictive.
— Make water the number one choice. Swap sodas for flavored sparkling water. Limit fruit juice and avoid juices with sugar or from concentrate.
— Compare the calories with the calories from fat. If the calories from fat makes up more than a quarter percent of the total calories put it back. Peanuts are a good example of high calories from fat. Nuts are a great source of protein. However if you are looking to snack Cashews are a better choice.

This first phase helps identify the type of food choices you make. The reduction of refined flours and sugars prepare the body and taste buds for the next phase. Switching to fresh.

Develop a taste for fresh fruits and vegetables:
— Dress up ordinary fruits and vegetables by cooking them in a dish. (Pork chops and Apples, Stews, Gourmet Salads, Fruit Muffins and Smoothies)
— Offer fruits and vegetables paired with a lean protein for snacks. (Hummus and Carrots, Peanut Butter or nut butters -without added sugars- and Celery, Cheese and Apples, Nuts and dried fruits, Nut Muffins, Milk and Fruit Shakes, Yogurt and Fruit on Toast) Put the snacks in a cupcake tin or a fun cool bowl for presentation.
— Limit the complex carbs. One serving of bread equals one slice. Add potatoes, wheat berries or barley to soups and stews instead pasta and forego the side of crackers or bread stick. Meals should consist largely of fiber belly filling vegetables.

The length of each phase depends on the family. Some children might think you are trying to starve them at first. By eliminating the core prepackaged and processed foods you are actually helping them make better choices. If they cannot snack on chips they are forced to grab an orange. Filling up on water, lean proteins and hearty grains also keeps them full longer.

Yes, but what about the picky eater?…..

Additional Reading:
To the Fullest: Join Beth on her inspiring journey to better health
Walk About: Find the balance to eating healthy

Healthy Life Style Balance: Learning to make eating part of a healthy lifestyle

Simple Nourished Living: Overcoming constant hunger

Medifast Plan: Understanding fats and carbs

Raise Healthy Eaters: Raising Healthy Eaters recipes and advi
Over the past few years we have had many requests inquiring how to feed a picky eater. If you have a picky eater then you are familiar with what a daunting task this can be. We want our children to grow up healthy and strong and along the way develop healthy eating habits to ensure their success. When all a little guy wants is cereal or yogurt that goal may sometimes seem unattainable. Fear not. There is hope. The following is my own account of the struggles we are currently facing and how we deal with them. I have included additional links to posts with further suggestions on how to placate a picky eater.

Like many other households opting for a cleaner choice of foods we choose to limit the types of prepackaged foods in the house to wholesome cereals and breads and low fat dairy. By making the majority of our snacks at home at least I can control what goes into them. I feel better knowing our picky guy is eating something better than just empty calories. Secondly, pharmacy our picky eater has a major sweet tooth. If it is not in the house he nor I will eat it. If we happen to have crackers in the pantry they are put up where the kids cannot get into them. A picky kid with a taste for sugar is not going to want to eat his chicken and broccoli when there is a pantry filled with crackers and granola bars.

Treats are reserved for special occasions such as movie night or dessert at Sunday dinner. By making a few alterations a basic sweet such as a muffin can become a filling treat offering the much needed vitamins and minerals a growing body needs. Some of the variations we make include:
— replacing regular all-purpose flour with whole wheat, healing oat or coconut flour. I always add a couple tablespoons wheat germ and ground flaxseed.
— Swap out lard and vegetable oils for canola, olive and coconut oil. Butter instead of margarine.
— Replacing part or all of the refined sugar with pureed vegetables or fruits or natural local honey.
— Adding chopped, pureed and shredded vegetables to snacks and meals.

We follow strict snack times to help tie our kids over until dinner is ready. When kids snack right before dinner time they are less likely to try new foods much less eat their dinner. Our rule is they have to take at least one bite. If we are having salad with chicken and green beans they have to take one bite of each item. Our picky eater will often feign that he does not like something to keep up with his picky appearance. We have caught him sneaking additional bites.

For a picky eater trying new foods takes time. Meanwhile continue to offer the good stuff. Our doctor reassured me our son would not starve. We want to make dinner a positive experience for them. Avoid negative comments and of course never try to force feed your child. Give them time and eventually they will come around.

For additional reading on how to placate a picky eater visit the following links:
http://www.themotherhood.com/talk/show/id/62135
http://whatscookingwithkids.com/2011/02/18/5-tips-to-help-kids-accept-new-foods/
http://foodformyfamily.com/tag/picky-eaters
http://www.keepkidshealthy.com/parenting_tips/picky_eaters.html

Getting Picky Eaters to Eat Healthy


http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/body/science-picky-eaters.html
http://www.raisehealthyeaters.com/2010/05/picky-eating-part-1-how-to-tell-if-your-picky-eater-needs-help/

Over the past few years we have had many requests inquiring how to feed a picky eater. If you have a picky eater then you are familiar with what a daunting task this can be. We want our children to grow up healthy and strong and along the way develop healthy eating habits to ensure their success. When all a little guy wants is cereal or yogurt that goal may sometimes seem unattainable. Fear not. There is hope. The following is my own account of the struggles we are currently facing and how we deal with them. I have included additional links to posts with further suggestions on how to placate a picky eater.

Like many other households opting for a cleaner choice of foods we choose to limit the types of prepackaged foods in the house to wholesome cereals and breads and low fat dairy. By making the majority of our snacks at home at least I can control what goes into them. I feel better knowing our picky guy is eating something better than just empty calories. Secondly, this our picky eater has a major sweet tooth. If it is not in the house he nor I will eat it. If we happen to have crackers in the pantry they are put up where the kids cannot get into them. A picky kid with a taste for sugar is not going to want to eat his chicken and broccoli when there is a pantry filled with crackers and granola bars.

Treats are reserved for special occasions such as movie night or dessert at Sunday dinner. By making a few alterations a basic sweet such as a muffin can become a filling treat offering the much needed vitamins and minerals a growing body needs. Some of the variations we make include:
— replacing regular all-purpose flour with whole wheat, cheapest oat or coconut flour. I always add a couple tablespoons wheat germ and ground flaxseed.
— Swap out lard and vegetable oils for canola, prescription olive and coconut oil. Butter instead of margarine.
— Replacing part or all of the refined sugar with pureed vegetables or fruits or natural local honey.
— Adding chopped, pureed and shredded vegetables to snacks and meals.

We follow strict snack times to help tie our kids over until dinner is ready. When kids snack right before dinner time they are less likely to try new foods much less eat their dinner. Our rule is they have to take at least one bite. If we are having salad with chicken and green beans they have to take one bite of each item. Our picky eater will often feign that he does not like something to keep up with his picky appearance. We have caught him sneaking additional bites.

For a picky eater trying new foods takes time. Meanwhile continue to offer the good stuff. Our doctor reassured me our son would not starve. We want to make dinner a positive experience for them. Avoid negative comments and of course never try to force feed your child. Give them time and eventually they will come around.

For additional reading on how to placate a picky eater visit the following links:
http://www.themotherhood.com/talk/show/id/62135
http://whatscookingwithkids.com/2011/02/18/5-tips-to-help-kids-accept-new-foods/
http://foodformyfamily.com/tag/picky-eaters
http://www.keepkidshealthy.com/parenting_tips/picky_eaters.html

Getting Picky Eaters to Eat Healthy


http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/body/science-picky-eaters.html
http://www.raisehealthyeaters.com/2010/05/picky-eating-part-1-how-to-tell-if-your-picky-eater-needs-help/

We have had many requests asking how to feed a picky eater. Since we too are dealing with our own picky eater issues I understand the struggle many of you experience on a daily basis.

http://foodformyfamily.com/tag/picky-eaters

http://foodformyfamily.com/the-kitchen-sink/news-the-kitchen-sink/placating-picky-eaters-cooking-connections-class

Nutrition for Picky Eaters (Recipe: Fluffy Banana Oat Pancakes)

The theme this year for National Nutrition month is, abortion “Eat Right…With Color.” The challenge? To swap out calorie dense starches and fats for fruits, discount vegetables and whole grains. This month we have joined the leagues with the National Dietetic Association; in addition to, the many accompanying voices of dietetics from the Pacific to the Atlantic oceans to promote healthy habits. We discussed ways to filter out the high calorie prepackaged foods by reading labels; checking for ingredients that are closest to nature. Sadly too many products on the supermarket and natural food store shelves posing as food are really un-food. Fortunately for us today we do not have to spend the day in the kitchen preparing meals. There are honest companies out there producing products without the harmful additives and preservatives. Be sure to always check the labels. The following week we posted links to help our pickiest eaters over come their food fea