Creamy Mac and Cheese

My friend was looking for something delicious to make for dinner and stumbled across Crispy Southwestern Chicken Wraps. We were both salivating as we stared at the picture. These wraps are super fast to make and a frugal way to use up left over chicken and rice.

Normally I have a container of plain Greek yogurt in the refrigerator. The past two week I switched to vanilla just for a change of taste. I like to use plain Greek yogurt in the place of sour cream in most recipes because Greek yogurt has more protein, order and less fat than sour cream. On this particular day I resorted to using a little cream cheese in the place of the sour cream. The burritos were fine. If anything they were just really creamy. So in emergencies cream cheese is ok. But next time I will make sure I specify plain yogurt on my shopping list rather than just yogurt.

Source: Adapted fromMels Kitchen Cafe
*Makes 6 wraps*
1 cup cooked rice, capsule warm or at room temperature
1 cup cooked, shredded chicken
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 green onion, finely sliced (white and green parts)
1/2 red or green pepper, diced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
juice of 1 lime
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded cheese (combination of monterey jack and sharp cheddar)
Sour cream (optional)
6 burrito-sized flour tortillas

Mix rice together with chili powder, cumin and garlic salt. Add remaining ingredients except for cheese and sour cream. Sprinkle cheese over tortillas, leaving 1/2-inch border around edges, then arrange chicken and rice mixture down the center of each tortilla.

**If using sour cream dot the cheese with about 1-2 tablespoons of sour cream before arranging chicken and rice mixture down the center**

Roll stuffed tortillas, leaving edges open.

Optional: brush the tortillas all over with oil.

Heat a large non-stick skillet (or griddle) over medium heat for 1 minute. Arrange 2 wraps, seam-side down, in pan and cook until golden brown and crisp, about 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and repeat with remaining wraps. Serve.

My friend was looking for something delicious to make for dinner and stumbled across Crispy Southwestern Chicken Wraps. We were both salivating as we stared at the picture. These wraps are super fast to make and a frugal way to use up left over chicken and rice.

Normally I have a container of plain Greek yogurt in the refrigerator. The past two week I switched to vanilla just for a change of taste. I like to use plain Greek yogurt in the place of sour cream in most recipes because Greek yogurt has more protein, order and less fat than sour cream. On this particular day I resorted to using a little cream cheese in the place of the sour cream. The burritos were fine. If anything they were just really creamy. So in emergencies cream cheese is ok. But next time I will make sure I specify plain yogurt on my shopping list rather than just yogurt.

Source: Adapted fromMels Kitchen Cafe
*Makes 6 wraps*
1 cup cooked rice, capsule warm or at room temperature
1 cup cooked, shredded chicken
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 green onion, finely sliced (white and green parts)
1/2 red or green pepper, diced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
juice of 1 lime
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded cheese (combination of monterey jack and sharp cheddar)
Sour cream (optional)
6 burrito-sized flour tortillas

Mix rice together with chili powder, cumin and garlic salt. Add remaining ingredients except for cheese and sour cream. Sprinkle cheese over tortillas, leaving 1/2-inch border around edges, then arrange chicken and rice mixture down the center of each tortilla.

**If using sour cream dot the cheese with about 1-2 tablespoons of sour cream before arranging chicken and rice mixture down the center**

Roll stuffed tortillas, leaving edges open.

Optional: brush the tortillas all over with oil.

Heat a large non-stick skillet (or griddle) over medium heat for 1 minute. Arrange 2 wraps, seam-side down, in pan and cook until golden brown and crisp, about 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and repeat with remaining wraps. Serve.
If you have tile then you know how dirty grout can become. Here are several homemade cleaners that are affordable and actually work.

For Basic Cleaning:
Combine: equal parts table salt, sale baking soda and white vinegar into a bowl. Mix to form a paste. Use a sponge to scrub the mixture into the grout. Let it sit for a couple of minutes, stomach then wipe the grout clean with a damp rag.

Mold and Mildew:
For Colored GroutDampen a rag with white vinegar and scrub. Let sit for a few minutes. Wash grout with soapy water and rinse.

For Light Colored Grout1:1 ratio of bleach or use Hydrogen Peroxide. Spray the peroxide onto the grout. Let it sit for five minutes, drug then wipe the grout clean with a wet rag.

Hard Core Grout Cleaner for Floors and Bathrooms:
Combine: 1/2 cup baking soda, 1/3 cup household ammonia, 1/4 cup white vinegar, and 7 cups warm water.
Scrub grout with mixture using a toothbrush or grout brush.

My friend was looking for something delicious to make for dinner and stumbled across Crispy Southwestern Chicken Wraps. We were both salivating as we stared at the picture. These wraps are super fast to make and a frugal way to use up left over chicken and rice.

Normally I have a container of plain Greek yogurt in the refrigerator. The past two week I switched to vanilla just for a change of taste. I like to use plain Greek yogurt in the place of sour cream in most recipes because Greek yogurt has more protein, order and less fat than sour cream. On this particular day I resorted to using a little cream cheese in the place of the sour cream. The burritos were fine. If anything they were just really creamy. So in emergencies cream cheese is ok. But next time I will make sure I specify plain yogurt on my shopping list rather than just yogurt.

Source: Adapted fromMels Kitchen Cafe
*Makes 6 wraps*
1 cup cooked rice, capsule warm or at room temperature
1 cup cooked, shredded chicken
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 green onion, finely sliced (white and green parts)
1/2 red or green pepper, diced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
juice of 1 lime
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded cheese (combination of monterey jack and sharp cheddar)
Sour cream (optional)
6 burrito-sized flour tortillas

Mix rice together with chili powder, cumin and garlic salt. Add remaining ingredients except for cheese and sour cream. Sprinkle cheese over tortillas, leaving 1/2-inch border around edges, then arrange chicken and rice mixture down the center of each tortilla.

**If using sour cream dot the cheese with about 1-2 tablespoons of sour cream before arranging chicken and rice mixture down the center**

Roll stuffed tortillas, leaving edges open.

Optional: brush the tortillas all over with oil.

Heat a large non-stick skillet (or griddle) over medium heat for 1 minute. Arrange 2 wraps, seam-side down, in pan and cook until golden brown and crisp, about 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and repeat with remaining wraps. Serve.
If you have tile then you know how dirty grout can become. Here are several homemade cleaners that are affordable and actually work.

For Basic Cleaning:
Combine: equal parts table salt, sale baking soda and white vinegar into a bowl. Mix to form a paste. Use a sponge to scrub the mixture into the grout. Let it sit for a couple of minutes, stomach then wipe the grout clean with a damp rag.

Mold and Mildew:
For Colored GroutDampen a rag with white vinegar and scrub. Let sit for a few minutes. Wash grout with soapy water and rinse.

For Light Colored Grout1:1 ratio of bleach or use Hydrogen Peroxide. Spray the peroxide onto the grout. Let it sit for five minutes, drug then wipe the grout clean with a wet rag.

Hard Core Grout Cleaner for Floors and Bathrooms:
Combine: 1/2 cup baking soda, 1/3 cup household ammonia, 1/4 cup white vinegar, and 7 cups warm water.
Scrub grout with mixture using a toothbrush or grout brush.

I have been searching for a mac and cheese recipe that does not contain canned soup or processed cheese. Better yet this recipe does not require flour and can be made completely gluten free just by substituting gluten free pasta for regular pasta. The first time I made this I was overcome with shock at how creamy the pasta came out.

Sadly my subsequent attempts were not as successful. This recipe works great with smaller pastas that cook quickly such as elbow and small shells or gluten free varieties. The larger the pasta the longer it takes to cook and more liquid is needed.

I thought the original recipe was a bit bland so I added the minced garlic and a couple tablespoons ghee or oil before adding the remaining ingredients.The original recipe says to use whole milk. This is primarily because their family drinks raw milk. I have used fat free milk and rice milk without any problems. I cut the milk down by a cup substituting water for the third cup.

Pair with grilled fish or shrimp and a side of peas or steamed broccoli.

source: Adapted from Heavenly Homemakers
3 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, troche minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
Dash of pepper
2 1/2 cups elbow pasta (or other small pasta)
2 cups milk
1 cup water
1 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese

Melt butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Saute the garlic in the melted butter until fragrant, cost about 30 seconds.

Add the pasta, water and milk. Season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook over medium-high heat, STIRRING ALMOST CONSTANTLY, until the pasta is tender (10-15 minutes).

Remove from heat. Add cheese and stir until melted. Serve immediately.

Variations:
– Gluten Free Pastas: rice pasta, quinoa pasta.
– Casein allergies: almond milk, rice milk.
– Cheeses: parmesan/cheddar blend, gouda/gruyere blend, ramano or vegan cheddar cheese.

Asian Noodle Pork with Bok Choy

Normally when I go to the grocery store I stick to my shopping list; the one exception being loss leader items (sale items we use often). During a shopping trip I found the bok choy too tempting to pass by. These mini green lettuce type vegetables looked so beautiful I just had to alter the week’s menu to accomodate them.

I never gave bok choy a second look until I met a friend of mine, approved Daravahn, who is from Loas. She used them all the time in stir-fry and soup. Bok Choy is a type of cabbage often used in Chinese cooking. It is believed to be one of the oldest vegetables in the Chinese diet.

To prepare the bok choy for cooking, start by trimming the end of the stem off. Separate and wash. Cut the green leaf parts from the cream colored stem. Because the stem takes longer to cook always cook the stems first.

4 pork chops
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 baby bok choy
6 cups chicken stock, or equal parts vegetable and chicken stocks
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch Cayenne pepper
1 pound noodles

Season 4 chops with salt and pepper. Cut into strips.

Heat oil in a wok or large skillet. Cook pork chops 3-5 minutes (depending on how thick they are) each side. Remove.

Add onions. Cook 3 minutes or until tender.
Add baby bok choy stems; cooking until tender. Add leaves, cook until wilted. Remove bok choy.

Add 6 cups broth, 2 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tsp ginger ground, pinch cyanne pepper, and 1 tsp seseame oil to hot pan. Bring to a boil, add 1 pound noodles. When tender return pork and bok choy to pan. Serve with green onions.

Creamy Au Gratin Potatoes

In the South the term “biscuit” often refers to a light, this fluffy, pill flaky, sale 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
In the South the term “biscuit” often refers to a light, this fluffy, pill flaky, sale 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

In the South the term “biscuit” often refers to a light, buy more about 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

In my hometown where I grew up there was bread factory. The smell of delicious fresh baked bread permeated the still early morning air. It was a stark contrast from the pungent aroma of rotten oranges emanating from the orange juice factory on the opposite side of town. Accompanied by the fishy stench from the ocean side.

My experience with bread making has seen more failures than successes. Nevertheless I refuse to accept defeat. I now have a small arsenal of bread recipes. That despite my lack of talent tends to come out no matter what. In fact, help stuff the dough for Honey Whole Wheat Bread has never been the same every time I make it. Yet the final result is always the same.

My idea of a good bread recipe uses minimal ingredients and is user friendly. This recipe accomplishes both. The idea of letting the sponge (wheat flour and water) rest for an hour is genius. No bitter flavor here. I read once years ago that honey was used in wheat bread to offset the strong flavor of the wheat. However, dosage recipe honey can also contain an overpowering flavor. So often my whole wheat loaves were bitter due to the combination of honey and wheat bran. In the King Arthur Whole Grains cookbook the recipe for whole wheat sandwich bread calls for orange juice instead of honey. They claim the OJ placates the strong flavor from the wheat. Still the recipe involves the additional ingredients of potato flakes and dry milk. These three ingredients were not a common staple in the pantry. Thus, sickness the recipe did not meet my criteria for a good loaf of bread.

This recipe yields a tender crumb and no bitter taste. Yet it is a hearty loaf. This is not a recipe for a light airy wheat sandwich bread.

Source: The Fresh Loaf
makes two loaves
1 pound whole wheat flour (3 cups)
12 ounces hot water
8 ounces bread or all-purpose flour (2 cups)
1 5 ounces milk
1/3 cup honey
2 teaspoons salt
3 teaspoons instant yeast

Mix the hot water and whole wheat flour together in a bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic and set aside until around room temperature, at least 1 hour.

Add the milk, honey, salt, yeast, and bread flour to the original mixture and mix until well combined. Add additional flour and knead by hand or in a stand mixer until a tacky but not completely sticky dough is formed. Place the ball of dough in a well-oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside to rise for 60 to 90 minutes.

Divide the dough in two and shape the loaves. Place the loaves in greased bread pans, cover the pans loosely with plastic or in a large plastic bag, and set aside to rise again for 90 minutes.

During the final 30 minutes of rising, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the pans into the oven and immediately reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Bake for approximately 45 to 55 minutes, rotating the pans once so that they brown evenly, until the internal temperature of the loaves is around 190 degrees and the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.

In my hometown where I grew up there was bread factory. The smell of delicious fresh baked bread permeated the still early morning air. It was a stark contrast from the pungent aroma of rotten oranges emanating from the orange juice factory on the opposite side of town. Accompanied by the fishy stench from the ocean side.

My experience with bread making has seen more failures than successes. Nevertheless I refuse to accept defeat. I now have a small arsenal of bread recipes. That despite my lack of talent tends to come out no matter what. In fact, help stuff the dough for Honey Whole Wheat Bread has never been the same every time I make it. Yet the final result is always the same.

My idea of a good bread recipe uses minimal ingredients and is user friendly. This recipe accomplishes both. The idea of letting the sponge (wheat flour and water) rest for an hour is genius. No bitter flavor here. I read once years ago that honey was used in wheat bread to offset the strong flavor of the wheat. However, dosage recipe honey can also contain an overpowering flavor. So often my whole wheat loaves were bitter due to the combination of honey and wheat bran. In the King Arthur Whole Grains cookbook the recipe for whole wheat sandwich bread calls for orange juice instead of honey. They claim the OJ placates the strong flavor from the wheat. Still the recipe involves the additional ingredients of potato flakes and dry milk. These three ingredients were not a common staple in the pantry. Thus, sickness the recipe did not meet my criteria for a good loaf of bread.

This recipe yields a tender crumb and no bitter taste. Yet it is a hearty loaf. This is not a recipe for a light airy wheat sandwich bread.

Source: The Fresh Loaf
makes two loaves
1 pound whole wheat flour (3 cups)
12 ounces hot water
8 ounces bread or all-purpose flour (2 cups)
1 5 ounces milk
1/3 cup honey
2 teaspoons salt
3 teaspoons instant yeast

Mix the hot water and whole wheat flour together in a bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic and set aside until around room temperature, at least 1 hour.

Add the milk, honey, salt, yeast, and bread flour to the original mixture and mix until well combined. Add additional flour and knead by hand or in a stand mixer until a tacky but not completely sticky dough is formed. Place the ball of dough in a well-oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside to rise for 60 to 90 minutes.

Divide the dough in two and shape the loaves. Place the loaves in greased bread pans, cover the pans loosely with plastic or in a large plastic bag, and set aside to rise again for 90 minutes.

During the final 30 minutes of rising, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the pans into the oven and immediately reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Bake for approximately 45 to 55 minutes, rotating the pans once so that they brown evenly, until the internal temperature of the loaves is around 190 degrees and the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.
http://www.thefreshloaf.com/recipes/wholewheathoneybread

Honey Whole Wheat Bread
makes two loaves
1 lb whole wheat flour
12 oz hot water
8 ounces bread or all-purpose flour
1 5 oz can evaporated milk (or milk, advice or more water or soy if you are vegan)
1/3 cup honey
2 teaspoons salt
3 teaspoons instant yeast
an additional 1/2-1 cup flour, as necessary, to achieve the desired consistency

Mix the hot water and whole wheat flour together in a bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic and set aside until around room temperature, at least 1 hour.

(My thought is that soaking the flour may help soften the bran and release some of the sugars in the wheat, though, truthfully, I don’t know for sure if it does).

Add the milk, honey, salt, yeast, and bread flour to the original mixture and mix until well combined. Add additional flour and knead by hand or in a stand mixer until a tacky but not completely sticky dough is formed. Place the ball of dough in a well-oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside to rise for 60 to 90 minutes.

Divide the dough in two and shape the loaves. Place the loaves in greased bread pans, cover the pans loosely with plastic (I put them in a plastic bag), and set aside to rise again for 90 minutes.

During the final 30 minutes of rising, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the pans into the oven and immediately reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Bake for approximately 45 to 55 minutes, rotating the pans once so that they brown evenly, until the internal temperature of the loaves is around 190 degrees and the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.

In my hometown where I grew up there was bread factory. The smell of delicious fresh baked bread permeated the still early morning air. It was a stark contrast from the pungent aroma of rotten oranges emanating from the orange juice factory on the opposite side of town. Accompanied by the fishy stench from the ocean side.

My experience with bread making has seen more failures than successes. Nevertheless I refuse to accept defeat. I now have a small arsenal of bread recipes. That despite my lack of talent tends to come out no matter what. In fact, help stuff the dough for Honey Whole Wheat Bread has never been the same every time I make it. Yet the final result is always the same.

My idea of a good bread recipe uses minimal ingredients and is user friendly. This recipe accomplishes both. The idea of letting the sponge (wheat flour and water) rest for an hour is genius. No bitter flavor here. I read once years ago that honey was used in wheat bread to offset the strong flavor of the wheat. However, dosage recipe honey can also contain an overpowering flavor. So often my whole wheat loaves were bitter due to the combination of honey and wheat bran. In the King Arthur Whole Grains cookbook the recipe for whole wheat sandwich bread calls for orange juice instead of honey. They claim the OJ placates the strong flavor from the wheat. Still the recipe involves the additional ingredients of potato flakes and dry milk. These three ingredients were not a common staple in the pantry. Thus, sickness the recipe did not meet my criteria for a good loaf of bread.

This recipe yields a tender crumb and no bitter taste. Yet it is a hearty loaf. This is not a recipe for a light airy wheat sandwich bread.

Source: The Fresh Loaf
makes two loaves
1 pound whole wheat flour (3 cups)
12 ounces hot water
8 ounces bread or all-purpose flour (2 cups)
1 5 ounces milk
1/3 cup honey
2 teaspoons salt
3 teaspoons instant yeast

Mix the hot water and whole wheat flour together in a bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic and set aside until around room temperature, at least 1 hour.

Add the milk, honey, salt, yeast, and bread flour to the original mixture and mix until well combined. Add additional flour and knead by hand or in a stand mixer until a tacky but not completely sticky dough is formed. Place the ball of dough in a well-oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside to rise for 60 to 90 minutes.

Divide the dough in two and shape the loaves. Place the loaves in greased bread pans, cover the pans loosely with plastic or in a large plastic bag, and set aside to rise again for 90 minutes.

During the final 30 minutes of rising, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the pans into the oven and immediately reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Bake for approximately 45 to 55 minutes, rotating the pans once so that they brown evenly, until the internal temperature of the loaves is around 190 degrees and the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.
http://www.thefreshloaf.com/recipes/wholewheathoneybread

Honey Whole Wheat Bread
makes two loaves
1 lb whole wheat flour
12 oz hot water
8 ounces bread or all-purpose flour
1 5 oz can evaporated milk (or milk, advice or more water or soy if you are vegan)
1/3 cup honey
2 teaspoons salt
3 teaspoons instant yeast
an additional 1/2-1 cup flour, as necessary, to achieve the desired consistency

Mix the hot water and whole wheat flour together in a bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic and set aside until around room temperature, at least 1 hour.

(My thought is that soaking the flour may help soften the bran and release some of the sugars in the wheat, though, truthfully, I don’t know for sure if it does).

Add the milk, honey, salt, yeast, and bread flour to the original mixture and mix until well combined. Add additional flour and knead by hand or in a stand mixer until a tacky but not completely sticky dough is formed. Place the ball of dough in a well-oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside to rise for 60 to 90 minutes.

Divide the dough in two and shape the loaves. Place the loaves in greased bread pans, cover the pans loosely with plastic (I put them in a plastic bag), and set aside to rise again for 90 minutes.

During the final 30 minutes of rising, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the pans into the oven and immediately reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Bake for approximately 45 to 55 minutes, rotating the pans once so that they brown evenly, until the internal temperature of the loaves is around 190 degrees and the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.
With Summer heat fast approaching in many parts of our beautiful country comes the craving for cool refreshing treats.

Ice Cream – consists of milk, more about cream, look sugar, and sometimes egg yolks. Consistant churning during the cooling process incorporates air into the ice cream giving it a smooth light creamy texture.

Gelato – starts out with a similar ice cream custard base, but it’s churned slower and frozen at a slightly warmer temperature. The slow churning incorporates less air, so the gelato is more dense. The higher freezing temperature means that the gelato stays silkier and softer. It’s also more likely for gelato to use a lower proportion of cream and eggs (or none at all) so that the main flavor ingredient shines through.
gelato is churned at a slower speed than ice cream, so it’s denser because not as much air is whipped into the mixture. less percent of butterfat than ice cream from whole milk and cream makes it creamier and the flavors more intense. less air equ

Sorbet – sorbet is very smooth and fine.
dairy-free and egg-free, sorbets are made from fruit juice or flavored water and simple syrup. They’re churned like ice cream to give them a soft and snowy texture. (Sherbet usually contains some amount of milk or cream in addition to the fruit juice.) were served as a pre-course to the main course iMost of the recipes I found contain some type of alcohol. Fruit juices can be substituted for a non-alcoholic dessert.

Granita – Granitas are exactly like sorbets except they’re made by hand. The liquid base is poured into a shallow dish and frozen. At intervals, the base is stirred or racked with a fork to break up the ice crystals as they form. The result is a frozen dessert with a coarse and flaky texture.

Italian Ice -Italian ice is more grainy and icy similar to shaved ice or snow conesItalian ice should always be smooth, and sweetening is usually sugar

Slushy Snow cones and shaved ice have syrupy flavors added over ice and are crunchy.

In my hometown where I grew up there was bread factory. The smell of delicious fresh baked bread permeated the still early morning air. It was a stark contrast from the pungent aroma of rotten oranges emanating from the orange juice factory on the opposite side of town. Accompanied by the fishy stench from the ocean side.

My experience with bread making has seen more failures than successes. Nevertheless I refuse to accept defeat. I now have a small arsenal of bread recipes. That despite my lack of talent tends to come out no matter what. In fact, help stuff the dough for Honey Whole Wheat Bread has never been the same every time I make it. Yet the final result is always the same.

My idea of a good bread recipe uses minimal ingredients and is user friendly. This recipe accomplishes both. The idea of letting the sponge (wheat flour and water) rest for an hour is genius. No bitter flavor here. I read once years ago that honey was used in wheat bread to offset the strong flavor of the wheat. However, dosage recipe honey can also contain an overpowering flavor. So often my whole wheat loaves were bitter due to the combination of honey and wheat bran. In the King Arthur Whole Grains cookbook the recipe for whole wheat sandwich bread calls for orange juice instead of honey. They claim the OJ placates the strong flavor from the wheat. Still the recipe involves the additional ingredients of potato flakes and dry milk. These three ingredients were not a common staple in the pantry. Thus, sickness the recipe did not meet my criteria for a good loaf of bread.

This recipe yields a tender crumb and no bitter taste. Yet it is a hearty loaf. This is not a recipe for a light airy wheat sandwich bread.

Source: The Fresh Loaf
makes two loaves
1 pound whole wheat flour (3 cups)
12 ounces hot water
8 ounces bread or all-purpose flour (2 cups)
1 5 ounces milk
1/3 cup honey
2 teaspoons salt
3 teaspoons instant yeast

Mix the hot water and whole wheat flour together in a bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic and set aside until around room temperature, at least 1 hour.

Add the milk, honey, salt, yeast, and bread flour to the original mixture and mix until well combined. Add additional flour and knead by hand or in a stand mixer until a tacky but not completely sticky dough is formed. Place the ball of dough in a well-oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside to rise for 60 to 90 minutes.

Divide the dough in two and shape the loaves. Place the loaves in greased bread pans, cover the pans loosely with plastic or in a large plastic bag, and set aside to rise again for 90 minutes.

During the final 30 minutes of rising, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the pans into the oven and immediately reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Bake for approximately 45 to 55 minutes, rotating the pans once so that they brown evenly, until the internal temperature of the loaves is around 190 degrees and the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.
http://www.thefreshloaf.com/recipes/wholewheathoneybread

Honey Whole Wheat Bread
makes two loaves
1 lb whole wheat flour
12 oz hot water
8 ounces bread or all-purpose flour
1 5 oz can evaporated milk (or milk, advice or more water or soy if you are vegan)
1/3 cup honey
2 teaspoons salt
3 teaspoons instant yeast
an additional 1/2-1 cup flour, as necessary, to achieve the desired consistency

Mix the hot water and whole wheat flour together in a bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic and set aside until around room temperature, at least 1 hour.

(My thought is that soaking the flour may help soften the bran and release some of the sugars in the wheat, though, truthfully, I don’t know for sure if it does).

Add the milk, honey, salt, yeast, and bread flour to the original mixture and mix until well combined. Add additional flour and knead by hand or in a stand mixer until a tacky but not completely sticky dough is formed. Place the ball of dough in a well-oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside to rise for 60 to 90 minutes.

Divide the dough in two and shape the loaves. Place the loaves in greased bread pans, cover the pans loosely with plastic (I put them in a plastic bag), and set aside to rise again for 90 minutes.

During the final 30 minutes of rising, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the pans into the oven and immediately reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Bake for approximately 45 to 55 minutes, rotating the pans once so that they brown evenly, until the internal temperature of the loaves is around 190 degrees and the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.
With Summer heat fast approaching in many parts of our beautiful country comes the craving for cool refreshing treats.

Ice Cream – consists of milk, more about cream, look sugar, and sometimes egg yolks. Consistant churning during the cooling process incorporates air into the ice cream giving it a smooth light creamy texture.

Gelato – starts out with a similar ice cream custard base, but it’s churned slower and frozen at a slightly warmer temperature. The slow churning incorporates less air, so the gelato is more dense. The higher freezing temperature means that the gelato stays silkier and softer. It’s also more likely for gelato to use a lower proportion of cream and eggs (or none at all) so that the main flavor ingredient shines through.
gelato is churned at a slower speed than ice cream, so it’s denser because not as much air is whipped into the mixture. less percent of butterfat than ice cream from whole milk and cream makes it creamier and the flavors more intense. less air equ

Sorbet – sorbet is very smooth and fine.
dairy-free and egg-free, sorbets are made from fruit juice or flavored water and simple syrup. They’re churned like ice cream to give them a soft and snowy texture. (Sherbet usually contains some amount of milk or cream in addition to the fruit juice.) were served as a pre-course to the main course iMost of the recipes I found contain some type of alcohol. Fruit juices can be substituted for a non-alcoholic dessert.

Granita – Granitas are exactly like sorbets except they’re made by hand. The liquid base is poured into a shallow dish and frozen. At intervals, the base is stirred or racked with a fork to break up the ice crystals as they form. The result is a frozen dessert with a coarse and flaky texture.

Italian Ice -Italian ice is more grainy and icy similar to shaved ice or snow conesItalian ice should always be smooth, and sweetening is usually sugar

Slushy Snow cones and shaved ice have syrupy flavors added over ice and are crunchy.

Art by: Word Art World

A few months ago I attended a math workshop. The purpose of the workshop was to provide an arsenal of fun game oriented ideas to teach math. One of the speakers brought up an interesting point. He told us that board games inadvertently teach our children math. (I guess I probably already knew that but sometimes I need someone else to say it for it to really sink in.) With preschool aged children board games can encourage counting, viagra order learning patterns, shapes and colors. As they grow they learn to take turns, cause and effect, and logic.

While it is wonderful that games offer an avenue to learn from, families can also benefit from the time spent together. Last year before we moved I sang with a woman’s choral ensamble. One evening I was surprised to learn that the director, whose children no longer live at home, was eager to make it home in time for game night with the family.

Game nights can be anything from sports to board games. Some nights game night is playing hide-and-seek. Our kids love “monster coming”. My son’s friend plays Dominoes when her extended family gets together. I have fond memories watching my mom play 10 pennies with her family. A friend from college always played cards with his family. We started game nights with the kids when they were young. It did not always go smooth. Sometimes we changed the rules around to fit their understanding.

Games nights teaches us to work together. If a team member draws poorly we can teach our kids that we do not criticize. We each have our own strengths and weaknesses. When we play games with our children we can mirror how we expect them to treat others. If we lose we do not shout and get angry. We can show respect for the other players and exhibit patience. The kids learn to take turns and the responsibility to be honest. As a family we can talk and listen and laugh together. The act of communicating while having fun is the fabric that strengthens family ties.

Here are some of our favorite games. What are your favorite board games?

  • Dominoes
  • War
  • Matching
  • UNO
  • Blokus
  • Chutes and Ladders
  • Go Fish
  • Chess
  • Checkers
  • Scrabble
  • Operation
  • Allowance
  • Clue
  • Life
  • Monopoly
  • Racko
  • Cards: Old Maid, Go Fish, Spoons,
  • Mario Wii
  • Scavenger Hunts
  • Soccer

In my hometown where I grew up there was bread factory. The smell of delicious fresh baked bread permeated the still early morning air. It was a stark contrast from the pungent aroma of rotten oranges emanating from the orange juice factory on the opposite side of town. Accompanied by the fishy stench from the ocean side.

My experience with bread making has seen more failures than successes. Nevertheless I refuse to accept defeat. I now have a small arsenal of bread recipes. That despite my lack of talent tends to come out no matter what. In fact, help stuff the dough for Honey Whole Wheat Bread has never been the same every time I make it. Yet the final result is always the same.

My idea of a good bread recipe uses minimal ingredients and is user friendly. This recipe accomplishes both. The idea of letting the sponge (wheat flour and water) rest for an hour is genius. No bitter flavor here. I read once years ago that honey was used in wheat bread to offset the strong flavor of the wheat. However, dosage recipe honey can also contain an overpowering flavor. So often my whole wheat loaves were bitter due to the combination of honey and wheat bran. In the King Arthur Whole Grains cookbook the recipe for whole wheat sandwich bread calls for orange juice instead of honey. They claim the OJ placates the strong flavor from the wheat. Still the recipe involves the additional ingredients of potato flakes and dry milk. These three ingredients were not a common staple in the pantry. Thus, sickness the recipe did not meet my criteria for a good loaf of bread.

This recipe yields a tender crumb and no bitter taste. Yet it is a hearty loaf. This is not a recipe for a light airy wheat sandwich bread.

Source: The Fresh Loaf
makes two loaves
1 pound whole wheat flour (3 cups)
12 ounces hot water
8 ounces bread or all-purpose flour (2 cups)
1 5 ounces milk
1/3 cup honey
2 teaspoons salt
3 teaspoons instant yeast

Mix the hot water and whole wheat flour together in a bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic and set aside until around room temperature, at least 1 hour.

Add the milk, honey, salt, yeast, and bread flour to the original mixture and mix until well combined. Add additional flour and knead by hand or in a stand mixer until a tacky but not completely sticky dough is formed. Place the ball of dough in a well-oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside to rise for 60 to 90 minutes.

Divide the dough in two and shape the loaves. Place the loaves in greased bread pans, cover the pans loosely with plastic or in a large plastic bag, and set aside to rise again for 90 minutes.

During the final 30 minutes of rising, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the pans into the oven and immediately reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Bake for approximately 45 to 55 minutes, rotating the pans once so that they brown evenly, until the internal temperature of the loaves is around 190 degrees and the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.
http://www.thefreshloaf.com/recipes/wholewheathoneybread

Honey Whole Wheat Bread
makes two loaves
1 lb whole wheat flour
12 oz hot water
8 ounces bread or all-purpose flour
1 5 oz can evaporated milk (or milk, advice or more water or soy if you are vegan)
1/3 cup honey
2 teaspoons salt
3 teaspoons instant yeast
an additional 1/2-1 cup flour, as necessary, to achieve the desired consistency

Mix the hot water and whole wheat flour together in a bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic and set aside until around room temperature, at least 1 hour.

(My thought is that soaking the flour may help soften the bran and release some of the sugars in the wheat, though, truthfully, I don’t know for sure if it does).

Add the milk, honey, salt, yeast, and bread flour to the original mixture and mix until well combined. Add additional flour and knead by hand or in a stand mixer until a tacky but not completely sticky dough is formed. Place the ball of dough in a well-oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside to rise for 60 to 90 minutes.

Divide the dough in two and shape the loaves. Place the loaves in greased bread pans, cover the pans loosely with plastic (I put them in a plastic bag), and set aside to rise again for 90 minutes.

During the final 30 minutes of rising, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the pans into the oven and immediately reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Bake for approximately 45 to 55 minutes, rotating the pans once so that they brown evenly, until the internal temperature of the loaves is around 190 degrees and the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.
With Summer heat fast approaching in many parts of our beautiful country comes the craving for cool refreshing treats.

Ice Cream – consists of milk, more about cream, look sugar, and sometimes egg yolks. Consistant churning during the cooling process incorporates air into the ice cream giving it a smooth light creamy texture.

Gelato – starts out with a similar ice cream custard base, but it’s churned slower and frozen at a slightly warmer temperature. The slow churning incorporates less air, so the gelato is more dense. The higher freezing temperature means that the gelato stays silkier and softer. It’s also more likely for gelato to use a lower proportion of cream and eggs (or none at all) so that the main flavor ingredient shines through.
gelato is churned at a slower speed than ice cream, so it’s denser because not as much air is whipped into the mixture. less percent of butterfat than ice cream from whole milk and cream makes it creamier and the flavors more intense. less air equ

Sorbet – sorbet is very smooth and fine.
dairy-free and egg-free, sorbets are made from fruit juice or flavored water and simple syrup. They’re churned like ice cream to give them a soft and snowy texture. (Sherbet usually contains some amount of milk or cream in addition to the fruit juice.) were served as a pre-course to the main course iMost of the recipes I found contain some type of alcohol. Fruit juices can be substituted for a non-alcoholic dessert.

Granita – Granitas are exactly like sorbets except they’re made by hand. The liquid base is poured into a shallow dish and frozen. At intervals, the base is stirred or racked with a fork to break up the ice crystals as they form. The result is a frozen dessert with a coarse and flaky texture.

Italian Ice -Italian ice is more grainy and icy similar to shaved ice or snow conesItalian ice should always be smooth, and sweetening is usually sugar

Slushy Snow cones and shaved ice have syrupy flavors added over ice and are crunchy.

Art by: Word Art World

A few months ago I attended a math workshop. The purpose of the workshop was to provide an arsenal of fun game oriented ideas to teach math. One of the speakers brought up an interesting point. He told us that board games inadvertently teach our children math. (I guess I probably already knew that but sometimes I need someone else to say it for it to really sink in.) With preschool aged children board games can encourage counting, viagra order learning patterns, shapes and colors. As they grow they learn to take turns, cause and effect, and logic.

While it is wonderful that games offer an avenue to learn from, families can also benefit from the time spent together. Last year before we moved I sang with a woman’s choral ensamble. One evening I was surprised to learn that the director, whose children no longer live at home, was eager to make it home in time for game night with the family.

Game nights can be anything from sports to board games. Some nights game night is playing hide-and-seek. Our kids love “monster coming”. My son’s friend plays Dominoes when her extended family gets together. I have fond memories watching my mom play 10 pennies with her family. A friend from college always played cards with his family. We started game nights with the kids when they were young. It did not always go smooth. Sometimes we changed the rules around to fit their understanding.

Games nights teaches us to work together. If a team member draws poorly we can teach our kids that we do not criticize. We each have our own strengths and weaknesses. When we play games with our children we can mirror how we expect them to treat others. If we lose we do not shout and get angry. We can show respect for the other players and exhibit patience. The kids learn to take turns and the responsibility to be honest. As a family we can talk and listen and laugh together. The act of communicating while having fun is the fabric that strengthens family ties.

Here are some of our favorite games. What are your favorite board games?

  • Dominoes
  • War
  • Matching
  • UNO
  • Blokus
  • Chutes and Ladders
  • Go Fish
  • Chess
  • Checkers
  • Scrabble
  • Operation
  • Allowance
  • Clue
  • Life
  • Monopoly
  • Racko
  • Cards: Old Maid, Go Fish, Spoons,
  • Mario Wii
  • Scavenger Hunts
  • Soccer

A few months ago I attended a math workshop. The purpose of the workshop was to provide us with an arsenal of fun game oriented ideas to teach math. One of the speakers brought up an interesting point. He told us that board games inadvertently teach our children math. (I guess I probably already knew that but sometimes I need someone else to say it.) With preschool aged children board games can encourage counting, buy information pills learning patterns, what is ed shapes and colors. As they grow they learn to take turns, view cause and effect, and logic.

While it is wonderful that games offer an avenue to learn from, families can also benefit from the time spent together. Last year before we moved I was a member of a woman’s choral group. One evening we were over time. I was surprised to learn that the director, whose children no longer live at home, was eager to make it home in time for game night with the family.

Game nights can be anything from sports to board games. Some nights game night is playing hide-and-seek. My son’s friend plays Dominoes when her extended family gets together. I have fond memories watching my mom play 10 pennies with her family. We started game nights with the kids when they were young. It did not always go smooth. But we would change the rules around to fit their understanding.

Games nights teaches us to work together. If a team member draws poorly we can teach our kids that we do not criticize. We each have our own strengths and weaknesses. When we play games with our children we can mirror how we expect them to treat others. If we lose we do not shout and get angry. We can show respect for the other players and exhibit patience. The kids learn to take turns and the responsibility to be honest. As a family we can talk and listen and laugh together. The act of communicating while having fun is the fabric that strengthens family ties.

Here are some of our favorite games. What are your favorite board games?

  • Dominoes
  • War
  • Matching
  • UNO
  • Blokus
  • Chutes and Ladders
  • Go Fish
  • Chess
  • Checkers
  • Scrabble
  • Operation
  • Allowance
  • Clue
  • Life
  • Monopoly
  • Racko
  • Cards: Old Maid, Go Fish, Spoons,
  • Mario Wii
  • Scavenger Hunt

In the South the term “biscuit” often refers to a light, viagra approved visit web fluffy, information pills flaky, there 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

In the South the term “biscuit” often refers to a light, viagra approved visit web fluffy, information pills flaky, there 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


The dog days of Summer are fast approaching. In many parts of our beautiful country sweltering temperatures can bring on the craving for a cool refreshing treat. A simple icy fruit cocktail such as a citrus spiked Granita can instantly placate a parched tongue. Ever wonder what exactly is a granita or how sorbet differs from ice cream? Keep reading for the 101 on these sweet frozen treats and more.

Ice Cream – consists of milk, drugs cream, purchase sugar, and sometimes egg yolks. Constant churning during the cooling process incorporates air into the ice cream giving it a smooth light creamy texture.

Spumoni – resembles Neapolitan ice cream. It consists of three layers of different flavored ice cream: Chocolate, pistachio and cherry or raspberry. Unlike the ice cream version of Neapolitan spumoni has actual bits of fruit and nuts.

Gelato – begins with a base of sugar, milk, very little cream, and sometimes eggs. The Italian gelato differs from ice cream in two ways. First, it uses a lower proportion of cream. The reduced butterfat does not coat the tongue producing a more intense flavor. Second, the gelato mixture is churned slower and is frozen at a slightly warmer temperature. The slow churning means less air, making the gelato more dense. The higher freezing temperature produces a silkier and softer texture.

Sherbet – is often confused with sorbet. Sherbet differs from sorbet in that sherbet contains milk and sorbet is made with fruit.

Sorbet – is a frozen fruit puree made from fruit juice or frozen fruit, and simple syrup. A classic sorbet has alcohol in it and it may be used to cleanse the palate before the main course. To make sorbet all the ingredients are blended together in a blender or food processor; then poured into an ice cream maker. The churning process helps to create a very smooth fine texture. It is possible to make sorbet without an ice cream maker using a container and mixing periodically by hand.

Granita – is made with pureed fruit, a simple syrup, and a squeeze of lime or lemon juice to balance the flavors. The result is a refreshing ice. Unlike sorbet the liquid is poured into a shallow dish and frozen. At intervals, the mixture is scraped with a fork to break up the ice crystals as they form. Because the granita is not churned it is coarser than the sorbet in texture.

Italian Ice – is the American invention of the Italian Grattacheca. Grattacheca is similar to shaved ice except that the flavors are added before freezing. Italian Ice is sweetened with real fruit juices and bits of fruit. The ice is coarser than a sorbet and finer than a granita.

Water Ice – is also an American concoction often called Italian Ice. Water ice is as smooth as a slushy yet firmer and is eaten with a spoon rather than sipped through a straw.

Snow Cones – (shaved ice) are coarse grainy cups of shaved ice flavored with sugary syrups. The Hawaiian shaved ice has a vanilla ice cream center similar to a cream pop.

Slushy – (called slurpee/ICEE) is a frozen drink flavored with sugary syrup. The constant churning motion keeps the slushy smooth. You can make a slushy at home by putting a plastic bottle of soda in the freezer. Rotate the bottle every half hour to distribute the ice crystals evenly until chilled but not frozen.

Smoothie – is a fruit flavored drink. Fresh fruit is blended together with flavored water or fruit juice or milk.

Mochi – is a confectionary treat from Japan. Little ice cream balls are wrapped in soft fluffy dough called mochi, pounded rice cakes, and dusted with rice flour. They come in a variety of flavors but chocolate, strawberry, vanilla, mango and green tea are the most commercial.

Spritzer – is a drink made with fruit juice and carbonated water. Spritzers are mostly made with alcohol but they can be made non-alcoholic too. An ice cream spritzer combines

In the South the term “biscuit” often refers to a light, viagra approved visit web fluffy, information pills flaky, there 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


The dog days of Summer are fast approaching. In many parts of our beautiful country sweltering temperatures can bring on the craving for a cool refreshing treat. A simple icy fruit cocktail such as a citrus spiked Granita can instantly placate a parched tongue. Ever wonder what exactly is a granita or how sorbet differs from ice cream? Keep reading for the 101 on these sweet frozen treats and more.

Ice Cream – consists of milk, drugs cream, purchase sugar, and sometimes egg yolks. Constant churning during the cooling process incorporates air into the ice cream giving it a smooth light creamy texture.

Spumoni – resembles Neapolitan ice cream. It consists of three layers of different flavored ice cream: Chocolate, pistachio and cherry or raspberry. Unlike the ice cream version of Neapolitan spumoni has actual bits of fruit and nuts.

Gelato – begins with a base of sugar, milk, very little cream, and sometimes eggs. The Italian gelato differs from ice cream in two ways. First, it uses a lower proportion of cream. The reduced butterfat does not coat the tongue producing a more intense flavor. Second, the gelato mixture is churned slower and is frozen at a slightly warmer temperature. The slow churning means less air, making the gelato more dense. The higher freezing temperature produces a silkier and softer texture.

Sherbet – is often confused with sorbet. Sherbet differs from sorbet in that sherbet contains milk and sorbet is made with fruit.

Sorbet – is a frozen fruit puree made from fruit juice or frozen fruit, and simple syrup. A classic sorbet has alcohol in it and it may be used to cleanse the palate before the main course. To make sorbet all the ingredients are blended together in a blender or food processor; then poured into an ice cream maker. The churning process helps to create a very smooth fine texture. It is possible to make sorbet without an ice cream maker using a container and mixing periodically by hand.

Granita – is made with pureed fruit, a simple syrup, and a squeeze of lime or lemon juice to balance the flavors. The result is a refreshing ice. Unlike sorbet the liquid is poured into a shallow dish and frozen. At intervals, the mixture is scraped with a fork to break up the ice crystals as they form. Because the granita is not churned it is coarser than the sorbet in texture.

Italian Ice – is the American invention of the Italian Grattacheca. Grattacheca is similar to shaved ice except that the flavors are added before freezing. Italian Ice is sweetened with real fruit juices and bits of fruit. The ice is coarser than a sorbet and finer than a granita.

Water Ice – is also an American concoction often called Italian Ice. Water ice is as smooth as a slushy yet firmer and is eaten with a spoon rather than sipped through a straw.

Snow Cones – (shaved ice) are coarse grainy cups of shaved ice flavored with sugary syrups. The Hawaiian shaved ice has a vanilla ice cream center similar to a cream pop.

Slushy – (called slurpee/ICEE) is a frozen drink flavored with sugary syrup. The constant churning motion keeps the slushy smooth. You can make a slushy at home by putting a plastic bottle of soda in the freezer. Rotate the bottle every half hour to distribute the ice crystals evenly until chilled but not frozen.

Smoothie – is a fruit flavored drink. Fresh fruit is blended together with flavored water or fruit juice or milk.

Mochi – is a confectionary treat from Japan. Little ice cream balls are wrapped in soft fluffy dough called mochi, pounded rice cakes, and dusted with rice flour. They come in a variety of flavors but chocolate, strawberry, vanilla, mango and green tea are the most commercial.

Spritzer – is a drink made with fruit juice and carbonated water. Spritzers are mostly made with alcohol but they can be made non-alcoholic too. An ice cream spritzer combines

Au Gratin potatoes makes a lovely comforting side dish perfect for the holiday table. Slicing the potatoes and onions into thin ring is a lot of work compared to a boxed version, viagra 40mg but it is so worth it in the end.

A few things I have learned with each failure to make the perfect creamy, abortion flavorful and tender casserole are:

Covering the top with the foil is MUY importante! It does a number of things — it protects the top from the direct heat so it does not dry out. This system traps in the steam creating a moist environment, resulting in a creamy saucy dish. Use this technique when making macaroni and cheese and roasted homefries. You can uncover the potatoes for the last ten minutes to brown the top or keep them covered.

So many times I have made Au Gratin potatoes by pouring the milk over the potatoes and then topping the whole thing with cheese. The sauce was always runny and curdled. Mixing the cheese with the milk mixture solved the curdled cheese problem. To avoid lumps in your sauce, add the milk just a little at a time into the flour mixture. Keep whisking until the sauce is smooth.

I like to sprinkle a bit more cheese on top. Sometimes I use cheddar, other times I use a mixture of cheddar and monterey jack.

Source: Allrecipes
4 russet potatoes, sliced into 1/4 inch slices or thinner
1 onion, sliced into thin rings
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Butter a 2-quart casserole dish.

Layer 1/2 of the potatoes into bottom of the prepared casserole dish. Top with the onion slices, and add the remaining potatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

In a medium-size saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Mix in the flour and salt, and stir constantly with a whisk for one minute until smooth. Gradually stir in milk a little at a time, constantly mixing, until sauce is smooth. Cook until mixture has thickened slightly, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in cheese all at once. Remove pan from heat. Continue stirring until cheese is melted and sauce is smooth and creamy, about 30 to 60 seconds.

Pour cheese sauce over the potatoes, lifting the potatoes with a fork in certain spots to help the sauce reach the bottom. Top with a sprinkle of more cheese, about 1/2 cup. Cover the dish with aluminum foil.

Bake 1 1/2 hours in the preheated oven. Uncover the last 10 minutes for a brown crisp top.

Southern Green Beans with Bacon and Brown Sugar

Green beans are a true staple of the Americas. They may be eaten raw, page steamed, viagra 100mg blanched, page baked, or sautéed. The peak season for growing green beans is in the Spring and Fall, but they do well most of the year, depending on the area.

There are a variety of terms used for green beans but technically they are all the same.
– Pole beans require a support structure. The early Americans utilized the corn stalk by planting green beans along rows of corn. Allowing the bean vine to climb the stalk.
– Bush beans are identical to pole beans except that they grow on a bush.
– The snap bean refers to the snapping sound the beans make when broken.
– Earlier varieties of beans had a rough string of fiber along the side that had to be removed during preparation for cooking. Thus the name string bean.

Green beans grow in a variety of colors including yellow, purple and green. Combine the three for a beautiful presentation. Serve with baked pork chops or grilled salmon .

Source: Adapted from a recipe by Heather Murphy
1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans, washed and trimmed
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoon brown sugar
4 slices bacon, cut into ½ in pieces
1/4 of a large red onion, thinly sliced

Blanch the green beans, by placing them in salted boiling water for about 3 minutes. They should remain crisp but not tough. Remove the beans from the water. Immediately set them in a bowl of ice water to cool. Drain and set aside.

Cook bacon in a large saute pan on medium heat until done. Drain grease. Add onion and sauté until tender. Add the butter and sugar. Melt the butter. Saute the butter and brown sugar until it begins to thicken slightly. Add the green beans tossing to coat, warm through. Salt to taste.

Variations:
– use maple syrup instead of the brown sugar.
– 1 (16 ounce) bag of frozen green beans
– Add 1/4 cup broken walnut pieces. Saute with onions.

Strawberry Mixed Green Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette

In my hometown where I grew up there was bread factory. The smell of delicious fresh baked bread permeated the still early morning air. It was a stark contrast from the pungent aroma of rotten oranges emanating from the orange juice factory on the opposite side of town. Accompanied by the fishy stench from the ocean side.

My experience with bread making has seen more failures than successes. Nevertheless I refuse to accept defeat. I now have a small arsenal of bread recipes. That despite my lack of talent tends to come out no matter what. In fact, ailment the dough for Honey Whole Wheat Bread has never been the same every time I make it. Yet the final result is always the same.

My idea of a good bread recipe uses minimal ingredients and is user friendly. This recipe accomplishes both. The idea of letting the sponge (wheat flour and water) rest for an hour is genius. No bitter flavor here. I read once years ago that honey was used in wheat bread to offset the strong flavor of the wheat. However, sick honey can also contain an overpowering flavor. So often my whole wheat loaves were bitter due to the combination of honey and wheat bran. In the King Arthur Whole Grains cookbook the recipe for whole wheat sandwich bread calls for orange juice instead of honey. They claim the OJ placates the strong flavor from the wheat. Still the recipe involves the additional ingredients of potato flakes and dry milk. These three ingredients were not a common staple in the pantry. Thus, about it the recipe did not meet my criteria for a good loaf of bread.

This recipe yields a tender crumb and no bitter taste. Yet it is a hearty loaf. This is not a recipe for a light airy wheat sandwich bread.

Source: The Fresh Loaf
makes two loaves
1 pound whole wheat flour (3 cups)
12 ounces hot water
8 ounces bread or all-purpose flour (2 cups)
1 5 ounces milk
1/3 cup honey
2 teaspoons salt
3 teaspoons instant yeast

Mix the hot water and whole wheat flour together in a bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic and set aside until around room temperature, at least 1 hour.

Add the milk, honey, salt, yeast, and bread flour to the original mixture and mix until well combined. Add additional flour and knead by hand or in a stand mixer until a tacky but not completely sticky dough is formed. Place the ball of dough in a well-oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside to rise for 60 to 90 minutes.

Divide the dough in two and shape the loaves. Place the loaves in greased bread pans, cover the pans loosely with plastic or in a large plastic bag, and set aside to rise again for 90 minutes.

During the final 30 minutes of rising, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the pans into the oven and immediately reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Bake for approximately 45 to 55 minutes, rotating the pans once so that they brown evenly, until the internal temperature of the loaves is around 190 degrees and the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.

In my hometown where I grew up there was bread factory. The smell of delicious fresh baked bread permeated the still early morning air. It was a stark contrast from the pungent aroma of rotten oranges emanating from the orange juice factory on the opposite side of town. Accompanied by the fishy stench from the ocean side.

My experience with bread making has seen more failures than successes. Nevertheless I refuse to accept defeat. I now have a small arsenal of bread recipes. That despite my lack of talent tends to come out no matter what. In fact, ailment the dough for Honey Whole Wheat Bread has never been the same every time I make it. Yet the final result is always the same.

My idea of a good bread recipe uses minimal ingredients and is user friendly. This recipe accomplishes both. The idea of letting the sponge (wheat flour and water) rest for an hour is genius. No bitter flavor here. I read once years ago that honey was used in wheat bread to offset the strong flavor of the wheat. However, sick honey can also contain an overpowering flavor. So often my whole wheat loaves were bitter due to the combination of honey and wheat bran. In the King Arthur Whole Grains cookbook the recipe for whole wheat sandwich bread calls for orange juice instead of honey. They claim the OJ placates the strong flavor from the wheat. Still the recipe involves the additional ingredients of potato flakes and dry milk. These three ingredients were not a common staple in the pantry. Thus, about it the recipe did not meet my criteria for a good loaf of bread.

This recipe yields a tender crumb and no bitter taste. Yet it is a hearty loaf. This is not a recipe for a light airy wheat sandwich bread.

Source: The Fresh Loaf
makes two loaves
1 pound whole wheat flour (3 cups)
12 ounces hot water
8 ounces bread or all-purpose flour (2 cups)
1 5 ounces milk
1/3 cup honey
2 teaspoons salt
3 teaspoons instant yeast

Mix the hot water and whole wheat flour together in a bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic and set aside until around room temperature, at least 1 hour.

Add the milk, honey, salt, yeast, and bread flour to the original mixture and mix until well combined. Add additional flour and knead by hand or in a stand mixer until a tacky but not completely sticky dough is formed. Place the ball of dough in a well-oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside to rise for 60 to 90 minutes.

Divide the dough in two and shape the loaves. Place the loaves in greased bread pans, cover the pans loosely with plastic or in a large plastic bag, and set aside to rise again for 90 minutes.

During the final 30 minutes of rising, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the pans into the oven and immediately reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Bake for approximately 45 to 55 minutes, rotating the pans once so that they brown evenly, until the internal temperature of the loaves is around 190 degrees and the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.

In my hometown where I grew up there was bread factory. The smell of delicious fresh baked bread permeated the still early morning air. It was a stark contrast from the pungent aroma of rotten oranges emanating from the orange juice factory on the opposite side of town. Accompanied by the fishy stench from the ocean side.

My experience with bread making has seen more failures than successes. Nevertheless I refuse to accept defeat. I now have a small arsenal of bread recipes. That despite my lack of talent tends to come out no matter what. In fact, seek the dough for Honey Whole Wheat Bread has never been the same every time I make it. Yet the final result is always the same.

My idea of a good bread recipe uses minimal ingredients and is user friendly. This recipe accomplishes both. The idea of letting the sponge (wheat flour and water) rest for an hour is genius. No bitter flavor here. I read once years ago that honey was used in wheat bread to offset the strong flavor of the wheat. However, cheapest honey can also contain an overpowering flavor. So often my whole wheat loaves were bitter due to the combination of honey and wheat bran. In the King Arthur Whole Grains cookbook the recipe for whole wheat sandwich bread calls for orange juice instead of honey. They claim the OJ placates the strong flavor from the wheat. Still the recipe involves the additional ingredients of potato flakes and dry milk. These three ingredients were not a common staple in the pantry. Thus, viagra 60mg the recipe did not meet my criteria for a good loaf of bread.

This recipe yields a tender crumb and no bitter taste. Yet it is a hearty loaf. This is not a recipe for a light airy wheat sandwich bread.

Source: The Fresh Loaf
makes two loaves
1 pound whole wheat flour (3 cups)
12 ounces hot water
8 ounces bread or all-purpose flour (2 cups)
1 5 ounces milk
1/3 cup honey
2 teaspoons salt
3 teaspoons instant yeast

Mix the hot water and whole wheat flour together in a bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic and set aside until around room temperature, at least 1 hour.

Add the milk, honey, salt, yeast, and bread flour to the original mixture and mix until well combined. Add additional flour and knead by hand or in a stand mixer until a tacky but not completely sticky dough is formed. Place the ball of dough in a well-oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside to rise for 60 to 90 minutes.

Divide the dough in two and shape the loaves. Place the loaves in greased bread pans, cover the pans loosely with plastic or in a large plastic bag, and set aside to rise again for 90 minutes.

During the final 30 minutes of rising, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the pans into the oven and immediately reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Bake for approximately 45 to 55 minutes, rotating the pans once so that they brown evenly, until the internal temperature of the loaves is around 190 degrees and the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.

In my hometown where I grew up there was bread factory. The smell of delicious fresh baked bread permeated the still early morning air. It was a stark contrast from the pungent aroma of rotten oranges emanating from the orange juice factory on the opposite side of town. Accompanied by the fishy stench from the ocean side.

My experience with bread making has seen more failures than successes. Nevertheless I refuse to accept defeat. I now have a small arsenal of bread recipes. That despite my lack of talent tends to come out no matter what. In fact, visit this site what is ed the dough for Honey Whole Wheat Bread has never been the same every time I make it. Yet the final result is always the same.

My idea of a good bread recipe uses minimal ingredients and is user friendly. This recipe accomplishes both. The idea of letting the sponge (wheat flour and water) rest for an hour is genius. No bitter flavor here. I read once years ago that honey was used in wheat bread to offset the strong flavor of the wheat. However, order honey can also contain an overpowering flavor. So often my whole wheat loaves were bitter due to the combination of honey and wheat bran. In the King Arthur Whole Grains cookbook the recipe for whole wheat sandwich bread calls for orange juice instead of honey. They claim the OJ placates the strong flavor from the wheat. Still the recipe involves the additional ingredients of potato flakes and dry milk. These three ingredients were not a common staple in the pantry. Thus, ask the recipe did not meet my criteria for a good loaf of bread.

This recipe yields a tender crumb and no bitter taste. Yet it is a hearty loaf. This is not a recipe for a light airy wheat sandwich bread.

Source: The Fresh Loaf
makes two loaves
1 pound whole wheat flour (3 cups)
12 ounces hot water
8 ounces bread or all-purpose flour (2 cups)
1 5 ounces milk
1/3 cup honey
2 teaspoons salt
3 teaspoons instant yeast

Mix the hot water and whole wheat flour together in a bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic and set aside until around room temperature, at least 1 hour.

Add the milk, honey, salt, yeast, and bread flour to the original mixture and mix until well combined. Add additional flour and knead by hand or in a stand mixer until a tacky but not completely sticky dough is formed. Place the ball of dough in a well-oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside to rise for 60 to 90 minutes.

Divide the dough in two and shape the loaves. Place the loaves in greased bread pans, cover the pans loosely with plastic or in a large plastic bag, and set aside to rise again for 90 minutes.

During the final 30 minutes of rising, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the pans into the oven and immediately reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Bake for approximately 45 to 55 minutes, rotating the pans once so that they brown evenly, until the internal temperature of the loaves is around 190 degrees and the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.

In my hometown where I grew up there was bread factory. The smell of delicious fresh baked bread permeated the still early morning air. It was a stark contrast from the pungent aroma of rotten oranges emanating from the orange juice factory on the opposite side of town. Accompanied by the fishy stench from the ocean side.

My experience with bread making has seen more failures than successes. Nevertheless I refuse to accept defeat. I now have a small arsenal of bread recipes. That despite my lack of talent tends to come out no matter what. In fact, visit this site what is ed the dough for Honey Whole Wheat Bread has never been the same every time I make it. Yet the final result is always the same.

My idea of a good bread recipe uses minimal ingredients and is user friendly. This recipe accomplishes both. The idea of letting the sponge (wheat flour and water) rest for an hour is genius. No bitter flavor here. I read once years ago that honey was used in wheat bread to offset the strong flavor of the wheat. However, order honey can also contain an overpowering flavor. So often my whole wheat loaves were bitter due to the combination of honey and wheat bran. In the King Arthur Whole Grains cookbook the recipe for whole wheat sandwich bread calls for orange juice instead of honey. They claim the OJ placates the strong flavor from the wheat. Still the recipe involves the additional ingredients of potato flakes and dry milk. These three ingredients were not a common staple in the pantry. Thus, ask the recipe did not meet my criteria for a good loaf of bread.

This recipe yields a tender crumb and no bitter taste. Yet it is a hearty loaf. This is not a recipe for a light airy wheat sandwich bread.

Source: The Fresh Loaf
makes two loaves
1 pound whole wheat flour (3 cups)
12 ounces hot water
8 ounces bread or all-purpose flour (2 cups)
1 5 ounces milk
1/3 cup honey
2 teaspoons salt
3 teaspoons instant yeast

Mix the hot water and whole wheat flour together in a bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic and set aside until around room temperature, at least 1 hour.

Add the milk, honey, salt, yeast, and bread flour to the original mixture and mix until well combined. Add additional flour and knead by hand or in a stand mixer until a tacky but not completely sticky dough is formed. Place the ball of dough in a well-oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside to rise for 60 to 90 minutes.

Divide the dough in two and shape the loaves. Place the loaves in greased bread pans, cover the pans loosely with plastic or in a large plastic bag, and set aside to rise again for 90 minutes.

During the final 30 minutes of rising, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the pans into the oven and immediately reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Bake for approximately 45 to 55 minutes, rotating the pans once so that they brown evenly, until the internal temperature of the loaves is around 190 degrees and the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.

I have been following The Little Travelers for sometime. I love the idea of making a new dish representing a different country each week as well as the magical stories about this adorable family and their adventures. Angelina Hart is the creative genius behind The Little Travelers. She grew up in America the daughter of two German immigrants. Her passion for travel is the inspiration behind The Little Travelers. Angelina explored parts of the world before taking a hiatus to become a stay at home mom. When her daughters were 3 and 5 the urge to travel propelled the trio to set off on a journey to Japan.

The Little Travelers a unique insight into the vast beauty of the landscapes and enriching cultures that make up our world. Each adventure, order big and small, is a refreshing lesson on the importance of allowing our children to be kids. Angelina’s laid back style promotes a love of learning in her children. Through their travels they have learning to savor some of earth’s most intimate details.

Documentaries are available for purchase. They contain their daily life living in places such as Japan, Germany, Bali, The British Isles, and Iran. Mom’s blog is a perfect place to start perusing. Jump over the kids blog to see what they are cooking up this week.
Valentine’s Day is not far afoot. What do you have planned to surprise your little, and for sale and big, order cuties on the day of LOVE?

We have a few ideas to tickle your loved ones pink come the 14th.


Valentine’s Day is not far afoot. What do you have planned to surprise your little, and for sale and big, order cuties on the day of LOVE?

We have a few ideas to tickle your loved ones pink come the 14th.

ChessJam began as a “What If?” idea in February of 2009 in response to an archaic cache of online chess websites. According to the ChessJam site the founders Greg and Sean, order two avid chess players, order wanted to determine which of the two was the uno supreme chess player. As they surfed the internet for a venue they quickly became discouraged by the unimpressive quality of online chess games. None of them delivered the modern graphic experience Sean and Greg were looking for. One thought led to a comment, click several comments turned into the brillant idea to create their own online chess gaming site. They brought in Todd Williams in addition to a few other team members to help develop their creation. ChessJam was launched eight months later.

ChessJam was the first to launch instant online live chess games. Unlike its predecessors who could only provide games by correspondence, ChessJam could offer a live experience. When a player moves it is seen instantly.

ChessJam is currently free. You can download the program to your computer for offline play or connect with other chess players, beginner to advanced and children to adult, throughout the globe online. To begin you will need to register. Then just enter the castle and choose a door. They have since added live tournaments, Facebook integration and many other fun features. Happy Gaming!
Valentine’s Day is not far afoot. What do you have planned to surprise your little, and for sale and big, order cuties on the day of LOVE?

We have a few ideas to tickle your loved ones pink come the 14th.

ChessJam began as a “What If?” idea in February of 2009 in response to an archaic cache of online chess websites. According to the ChessJam site the founders Greg and Sean, order two avid chess players, order wanted to determine which of the two was the uno supreme chess player. As they surfed the internet for a venue they quickly became discouraged by the unimpressive quality of online chess games. None of them delivered the modern graphic experience Sean and Greg were looking for. One thought led to a comment, click several comments turned into the brillant idea to create their own online chess gaming site. They brought in Todd Williams in addition to a few other team members to help develop their creation. ChessJam was launched eight months later.

ChessJam was the first to launch instant online live chess games. Unlike its predecessors who could only provide games by correspondence, ChessJam could offer a live experience. When a player moves it is seen instantly.

ChessJam is currently free. You can download the program to your computer for offline play or connect with other chess players, beginner to advanced and children to adult, throughout the globe online. To begin you will need to register. Then just enter the castle and choose a door. They have since added live tournaments, Facebook integration and many other fun features. Happy Gaming!

I found Kim and Jason on the Escape Plan blog two summer’s ago. I started to write down the 40 day steps to end Adultitist. Got to number 20. Then got busy. Lost the name of the website because I forgot to save it. Periodically I would search the net but there are a ton of 40-day plans out there. Fortunately the Goddess of New Year Eve Resolutions smiled down upon us and favored me with a blessing to find the lost website just in time for January.

Last year I decided to make 12 monthly resolutions because it seemed more effective than just writing down a list of goals and hoping for the best. For one whole month I was dedicated to a goal. Some months I was more successful than others. The months I was a complete failure I know I did my best so it was not a complete loss. About mid summer I came to the conclusion that we needed a little more spice in our life. Having three active children close together was a little insane and the effect was “Adultitis”! We needed to rediscover our inner child. Now that the kids are older and we are finally venturing out of the cave more we need to learn to relax a bit.

Kim and Jason came up with the term “Adultitis” to describe the lost child in all of us. According to their website, information pills “Adultitis is a silent epidemic that has been ignored for far too long. It’s a disease that slowly erodes our inborn childlike spirit, illness wreaking havoc on our world, buy our nation, and our families. It kills laughter, dreams, curiosity, faith, happiness, and hope. It stresses us out. It causes us to take ourselves too seriously. And in some extreme cases, it can cause smile amnesia.”

I realized I had Adultitis when our second child was born 6 years ago. Bugs were icky, mud was too dirty and craft projects too messy. I thought to myself, when did this happen? I used to love playing with bugs and especially, my all time favorite childhood past time, making mud pies. That same day I took my then one and three year old out into the backyard to play in the mud. The process to heal myself of adultitis has been at a standstill. This year my resolution is to find something more exciting to do with the dear husband than walk around Costco on date night.

First step to curing adultitis is to head over to adultitis.org and take the test. My test result revealed I was at Stage 2 Adultitis: You have progessed to a very aggressive form of Adultitis. You are probably experiencing very high stress levels and may be having difficulty laughing. Seek help now. Please consult the Prescription for treatment options.

Next, use both the Adultitis.org and the original site Kim and Jason for tips and guidence to start the 40-day challenge.

40 ways to escape Adultitis:

1. Spend at least 15 minutes immersing yourself in a field you know nothing about.
2. Find a reason to celebrate and do something to celebrate it.
3. Do something that is typically seen as inappropriate for someone of your age.
4. Add something childlike (not necessarily childish) to your workspace or home.
5. Become a scientist. Conduct a silly experiment.
6. Write down one big dream of yours. Draw or find a picture to go with it and put it somewhere you will see it often.
7. Spend 15 – 30 minutes doing something you love that you don’t often have the chance to do.
8. Draw a funny picture and hide it in an unexpected place for someone else to find.
9. Do one thing today to support a cause or issue you really care about.
10. Create a memory today with someone you care about that will mean a lot ten years from now.
11. Do something your parents would never let you do as a child.
12. Write a letter to a childhood hero (real or fictional).
13. Spend ten minutes doing something outside that you have never done before.
14. Do something to help someone you don’t know.
15. Eat something you’ve never had before.
16. Call or meet with someone in your family and ask them a question you are curious about regarding your family’s history.
17. Learn how to do something new today. Your time limit: 30 minutes.
18. Get out of your element. Go somewhere you’ve never been before.
19. Spend 10 minutes visioning yourself 10 years from now as having accomplished one of your biggest dreams. Be as detailed as possible; imagine in all five senses.
20. Right an old wrong.
21. Write a haiku about the things you are thankful for and put it somewhere to serve as a reminder.
22. Do something to make the world a better place.
23. Take a picture of the most childlike spot in town.
24. Figure out a way to add some color to your day in a new, unusual, or wacky way.
25. Talk in a phony voice or accent to a complete stranger.
26. Open to a random page in the dictionary and look at the first word on the upper left-hand side. Keep turning pages until you find a word you don’t know. See how many times you can use this new word in a sentence today.
27. Take a routine you do everyday and put a childlike spin on it.
28. Buy something that captures the spirit of childhood for under $5.00 (including tax).
29. Ask an expert something you are curious about in his/her field.
30. Figure out a way to bring some fun into a dreaded task today.
31. Find a place to sit quietly for ten minutes. Listen for at least one sound that you would not have normally noticed.
32. Do something that will get you to laugh out-loud (one that puts you in danger of peeing your pants a little bit).
33. For no reason at all treat yourself to something out of the ordinary.
34. Think about some of the things you liked to do as a child. Pick one and do it.
35. Do something to make the day of a child.
36. Accessorize your wardrobe today with a touch of childhood.
37. Eat or drink something today that brings back childhood memories.
38. Make someone a homemade gift to show how much you care about him/her or to thank him/her for a job well done.
39. Play a practical joke on someone.
40. Congratulations on making it to the end. Your final test is to take tomorrow off. Spend today making any necessary adjustments. Do anything you want, but no work and no chores. Consider it a sick day or at least a “sick of it” day. (Remember, Adultitis is a serious affliction.)
Valentine’s Day is not far afoot. What do you have planned to surprise your little, and for sale and big, order cuties on the day of LOVE?

We have a few ideas to tickle your loved ones pink come the 14th.

ChessJam began as a “What If?” idea in February of 2009 in response to an archaic cache of online chess websites. According to the ChessJam site the founders Greg and Sean, order two avid chess players, order wanted to determine which of the two was the uno supreme chess player. As they surfed the internet for a venue they quickly became discouraged by the unimpressive quality of online chess games. None of them delivered the modern graphic experience Sean and Greg were looking for. One thought led to a comment, click several comments turned into the brillant idea to create their own online chess gaming site. They brought in Todd Williams in addition to a few other team members to help develop their creation. ChessJam was launched eight months later.

ChessJam was the first to launch instant online live chess games. Unlike its predecessors who could only provide games by correspondence, ChessJam could offer a live experience. When a player moves it is seen instantly.

ChessJam is currently free. You can download the program to your computer for offline play or connect with other chess players, beginner to advanced and children to adult, throughout the globe online. To begin you will need to register. Then just enter the castle and choose a door. They have since added live tournaments, Facebook integration and many other fun features. Happy Gaming!

I found Kim and Jason on the Escape Plan blog two summer’s ago. I started to write down the 40 day steps to end Adultitist. Got to number 20. Then got busy. Lost the name of the website because I forgot to save it. Periodically I would search the net but there are a ton of 40-day plans out there. Fortunately the Goddess of New Year Eve Resolutions smiled down upon us and favored me with a blessing to find the lost website just in time for January.

Last year I decided to make 12 monthly resolutions because it seemed more effective than just writing down a list of goals and hoping for the best. For one whole month I was dedicated to a goal. Some months I was more successful than others. The months I was a complete failure I know I did my best so it was not a complete loss. About mid summer I came to the conclusion that we needed a little more spice in our life. Having three active children close together was a little insane and the effect was “Adultitis”! We needed to rediscover our inner child. Now that the kids are older and we are finally venturing out of the cave more we need to learn to relax a bit.

Kim and Jason came up with the term “Adultitis” to describe the lost child in all of us. According to their website, information pills “Adultitis is a silent epidemic that has been ignored for far too long. It’s a disease that slowly erodes our inborn childlike spirit, illness wreaking havoc on our world, buy our nation, and our families. It kills laughter, dreams, curiosity, faith, happiness, and hope. It stresses us out. It causes us to take ourselves too seriously. And in some extreme cases, it can cause smile amnesia.”

I realized I had Adultitis when our second child was born 6 years ago. Bugs were icky, mud was too dirty and craft projects too messy. I thought to myself, when did this happen? I used to love playing with bugs and especially, my all time favorite childhood past time, making mud pies. That same day I took my then one and three year old out into the backyard to play in the mud. The process to heal myself of adultitis has been at a standstill. This year my resolution is to find something more exciting to do with the dear husband than walk around Costco on date night.

First step to curing adultitis is to head over to adultitis.org and take the test. My test result revealed I was at Stage 2 Adultitis: You have progessed to a very aggressive form of Adultitis. You are probably experiencing very high stress levels and may be having difficulty laughing. Seek help now. Please consult the Prescription for treatment options.

Next, use both the Adultitis.org and the original site Kim and Jason for tips and guidence to start the 40-day challenge.

40 ways to escape Adultitis:

1. Spend at least 15 minutes immersing yourself in a field you know nothing about.
2. Find a reason to celebrate and do something to celebrate it.
3. Do something that is typically seen as inappropriate for someone of your age.
4. Add something childlike (not necessarily childish) to your workspace or home.
5. Become a scientist. Conduct a silly experiment.
6. Write down one big dream of yours. Draw or find a picture to go with it and put it somewhere you will see it often.
7. Spend 15 – 30 minutes doing something you love that you don’t often have the chance to do.
8. Draw a funny picture and hide it in an unexpected place for someone else to find.
9. Do one thing today to support a cause or issue you really care about.
10. Create a memory today with someone you care about that will mean a lot ten years from now.
11. Do something your parents would never let you do as a child.
12. Write a letter to a childhood hero (real or fictional).
13. Spend ten minutes doing something outside that you have never done before.
14. Do something to help someone you don’t know.
15. Eat something you’ve never had before.
16. Call or meet with someone in your family and ask them a question you are curious about regarding your family’s history.
17. Learn how to do something new today. Your time limit: 30 minutes.
18. Get out of your element. Go somewhere you’ve never been before.
19. Spend 10 minutes visioning yourself 10 years from now as having accomplished one of your biggest dreams. Be as detailed as possible; imagine in all five senses.
20. Right an old wrong.
21. Write a haiku about the things you are thankful for and put it somewhere to serve as a reminder.
22. Do something to make the world a better place.
23. Take a picture of the most childlike spot in town.
24. Figure out a way to add some color to your day in a new, unusual, or wacky way.
25. Talk in a phony voice or accent to a complete stranger.
26. Open to a random page in the dictionary and look at the first word on the upper left-hand side. Keep turning pages until you find a word you don’t know. See how many times you can use this new word in a sentence today.
27. Take a routine you do everyday and put a childlike spin on it.
28. Buy something that captures the spirit of childhood for under $5.00 (including tax).
29. Ask an expert something you are curious about in his/her field.
30. Figure out a way to bring some fun into a dreaded task today.
31. Find a place to sit quietly for ten minutes. Listen for at least one sound that you would not have normally noticed.
32. Do something that will get you to laugh out-loud (one that puts you in danger of peeing your pants a little bit).
33. For no reason at all treat yourself to something out of the ordinary.
34. Think about some of the things you liked to do as a child. Pick one and do it.
35. Do something to make the day of a child.
36. Accessorize your wardrobe today with a touch of childhood.
37. Eat or drink something today that brings back childhood memories.
38. Make someone a homemade gift to show how much you care about him/her or to thank him/her for a job well done.
39. Play a practical joke on someone.
40. Congratulations on making it to the end. Your final test is to take tomorrow off. Spend today making any necessary adjustments. Do anything you want, but no work and no chores. Consider it a sick day or at least a “sick of it” day. (Remember, Adultitis is a serious affliction.)
1 small Watermelon, visit this cubed
1/2 Pineapple, stuff cubed
1 Peach, 1/4-inch slices
1 Red Plumb, 1/4-inch slices
1 pint Raspberries
2 Kiwi, sliced

Valentine’s Day is not far afoot. What do you have planned to surprise your little, and for sale and big, order cuties on the day of LOVE?

We have a few ideas to tickle your loved ones pink come the 14th.

ChessJam began as a “What If?” idea in February of 2009 in response to an archaic cache of online chess websites. According to the ChessJam site the founders Greg and Sean, order two avid chess players, order wanted to determine which of the two was the uno supreme chess player. As they surfed the internet for a venue they quickly became discouraged by the unimpressive quality of online chess games. None of them delivered the modern graphic experience Sean and Greg were looking for. One thought led to a comment, click several comments turned into the brillant idea to create their own online chess gaming site. They brought in Todd Williams in addition to a few other team members to help develop their creation. ChessJam was launched eight months later.

ChessJam was the first to launch instant online live chess games. Unlike its predecessors who could only provide games by correspondence, ChessJam could offer a live experience. When a player moves it is seen instantly.

ChessJam is currently free. You can download the program to your computer for offline play or connect with other chess players, beginner to advanced and children to adult, throughout the globe online. To begin you will need to register. Then just enter the castle and choose a door. They have since added live tournaments, Facebook integration and many other fun features. Happy Gaming!

I found Kim and Jason on the Escape Plan blog two summer’s ago. I started to write down the 40 day steps to end Adultitist. Got to number 20. Then got busy. Lost the name of the website because I forgot to save it. Periodically I would search the net but there are a ton of 40-day plans out there. Fortunately the Goddess of New Year Eve Resolutions smiled down upon us and favored me with a blessing to find the lost website just in time for January.

Last year I decided to make 12 monthly resolutions because it seemed more effective than just writing down a list of goals and hoping for the best. For one whole month I was dedicated to a goal. Some months I was more successful than others. The months I was a complete failure I know I did my best so it was not a complete loss. About mid summer I came to the conclusion that we needed a little more spice in our life. Having three active children close together was a little insane and the effect was “Adultitis”! We needed to rediscover our inner child. Now that the kids are older and we are finally venturing out of the cave more we need to learn to relax a bit.

Kim and Jason came up with the term “Adultitis” to describe the lost child in all of us. According to their website, information pills “Adultitis is a silent epidemic that has been ignored for far too long. It’s a disease that slowly erodes our inborn childlike spirit, illness wreaking havoc on our world, buy our nation, and our families. It kills laughter, dreams, curiosity, faith, happiness, and hope. It stresses us out. It causes us to take ourselves too seriously. And in some extreme cases, it can cause smile amnesia.”

I realized I had Adultitis when our second child was born 6 years ago. Bugs were icky, mud was too dirty and craft projects too messy. I thought to myself, when did this happen? I used to love playing with bugs and especially, my all time favorite childhood past time, making mud pies. That same day I took my then one and three year old out into the backyard to play in the mud. The process to heal myself of adultitis has been at a standstill. This year my resolution is to find something more exciting to do with the dear husband than walk around Costco on date night.

First step to curing adultitis is to head over to adultitis.org and take the test. My test result revealed I was at Stage 2 Adultitis: You have progessed to a very aggressive form of Adultitis. You are probably experiencing very high stress levels and may be having difficulty laughing. Seek help now. Please consult the Prescription for treatment options.

Next, use both the Adultitis.org and the original site Kim and Jason for tips and guidence to start the 40-day challenge.

40 ways to escape Adultitis:

1. Spend at least 15 minutes immersing yourself in a field you know nothing about.
2. Find a reason to celebrate and do something to celebrate it.
3. Do something that is typically seen as inappropriate for someone of your age.
4. Add something childlike (not necessarily childish) to your workspace or home.
5. Become a scientist. Conduct a silly experiment.
6. Write down one big dream of yours. Draw or find a picture to go with it and put it somewhere you will see it often.
7. Spend 15 – 30 minutes doing something you love that you don’t often have the chance to do.
8. Draw a funny picture and hide it in an unexpected place for someone else to find.
9. Do one thing today to support a cause or issue you really care about.
10. Create a memory today with someone you care about that will mean a lot ten years from now.
11. Do something your parents would never let you do as a child.
12. Write a letter to a childhood hero (real or fictional).
13. Spend ten minutes doing something outside that you have never done before.
14. Do something to help someone you don’t know.
15. Eat something you’ve never had before.
16. Call or meet with someone in your family and ask them a question you are curious about regarding your family’s history.
17. Learn how to do something new today. Your time limit: 30 minutes.
18. Get out of your element. Go somewhere you’ve never been before.
19. Spend 10 minutes visioning yourself 10 years from now as having accomplished one of your biggest dreams. Be as detailed as possible; imagine in all five senses.
20. Right an old wrong.
21. Write a haiku about the things you are thankful for and put it somewhere to serve as a reminder.
22. Do something to make the world a better place.
23. Take a picture of the most childlike spot in town.
24. Figure out a way to add some color to your day in a new, unusual, or wacky way.
25. Talk in a phony voice or accent to a complete stranger.
26. Open to a random page in the dictionary and look at the first word on the upper left-hand side. Keep turning pages until you find a word you don’t know. See how many times you can use this new word in a sentence today.
27. Take a routine you do everyday and put a childlike spin on it.
28. Buy something that captures the spirit of childhood for under $5.00 (including tax).
29. Ask an expert something you are curious about in his/her field.
30. Figure out a way to bring some fun into a dreaded task today.
31. Find a place to sit quietly for ten minutes. Listen for at least one sound that you would not have normally noticed.
32. Do something that will get you to laugh out-loud (one that puts you in danger of peeing your pants a little bit).
33. For no reason at all treat yourself to something out of the ordinary.
34. Think about some of the things you liked to do as a child. Pick one and do it.
35. Do something to make the day of a child.
36. Accessorize your wardrobe today with a touch of childhood.
37. Eat or drink something today that brings back childhood memories.
38. Make someone a homemade gift to show how much you care about him/her or to thank him/her for a job well done.
39. Play a practical joke on someone.
40. Congratulations on making it to the end. Your final test is to take tomorrow off. Spend today making any necessary adjustments. Do anything you want, but no work and no chores. Consider it a sick day or at least a “sick of it” day. (Remember, Adultitis is a serious affliction.)
1 small Watermelon, visit this cubed
1/2 Pineapple, stuff cubed
1 Peach, 1/4-inch slices
1 Red Plumb, 1/4-inch slices
1 pint Raspberries
2 Kiwi, sliced

My summer canning is done. The pantry is stocked. I love seeing the jars sitting on the pantry shelf. It is a nice warm homey feeling. What is even better is being able to walk outside and pick the fruit from vines in the backyard. I was lazy this year and did not even attempt to garden. The planters I put together last winter are hidden in a torrent of weeds. While mine is a sad story some of my friends have had a wealth of garden gifts to enjoy this summer.

Strawberries are an amazingly versatile plant. At our last home we used strawberry plants as ground cover. They spread like mad in the couple of years after we planted them. Generally strawberries do not last a day around here. When there are a few stragglers the day after they are either pureed into a smoothie or chopped and used in a salad. I love the combination of salt feta cheese with the sweet strawberry. If feta is too salty try using goat cheese.

Serves: 6-8 generously
1 bag baby spring mix salad greens
1/2 bag Arugula
1 small cucumber, viagra sale sliced
1 small red onion, erectile thinly sliced
6 fresh strawberries, no rx sliced
1/4 cup crumbled traditional Feta cheese
Champagne Vinaigrette

Mix the arugula and salad greens together in a large bowl.

Evenly top the salad greens with the cucumbers, then onion slices, followed by the strawberries. Sprinkle with Feta cheese.

Toss with vinaigrette immediately before serving onto plates.

Summertime Fresh Fruit Salad

Source: Cooking Light
3 tablespoons apricot preserves
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, order minced
2 bone-in chicken breast halves, website like this skinned
2 bone-in chicken thighs, skinned
2 chicken drumsticks, skinned
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Source: Cooking Light
3 tablespoons apricot preserves
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, order minced
2 bone-in chicken breast halves, website like this skinned
2 bone-in chicken thighs, skinned
2 chicken drumsticks, skinned
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Long about March the produce section at the supermarket was looking, more about well… pretty drab. Apples were out of season. The onions looked like they had traveled a great distance. I was so excited when the local fruit stands started opening up.

I love everything about summer, the warmth, the surf, picnics, being outdoors and the colorful array of fruits. These sweet gifts of nature look brillant in a fruit salad. So many dabs of color and texture. Fruit salad makes a wonderful end to an evening meal or a healthy homecoming after school snack.

Serves 8-10 generously
1 small Watermelon, cubed
1/2 Pineapple, cubed
1 Peach, 1/4-inch slices
1 Red Plumb, 1/4-inch slices
1 pint Raspberries
2 Kiwi, sliced

Place pieces of fruit in a large bowl and toss.

Best eaten the same day. If the leftovers seem dry and tasteless, add enough fruit juice to coat. Let sit a few minutes to absorb.

Dairy Free Amish Coleslaw

Happy first day of summer!

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, here the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, symptoms the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, order art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.
Happy first day of summer!

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, here the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, symptoms the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, order art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.

“The Sun” by Cathy McClelland

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, check the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, buy the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, what is ed art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.
Happy first day of summer!

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, here the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, symptoms the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, order art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.

“The Sun” by Cathy McClelland

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, check the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, buy the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, what is ed art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.

“The Sun” by Cathy McClelland

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, viagra approved the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.
Happy first day of summer!

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, here the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, symptoms the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, order art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.

“The Sun” by Cathy McClelland

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, check the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, buy the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, what is ed art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.

“The Sun” by Cathy McClelland

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, viagra approved the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.
This week my son requested pound cake for dessert. I was surprised to find I have yet to post the recipe for my Aunt’s Sour Cream Pound Cake. My Aunt always had a round of her famous sour cream pound cake tucked away under the lid of the cake dome. I know I gush a lot over my great Aunt Ruth. She is an amazing woman. She is a strong classy lady with loads of common sense wisdom.

My Aunt Ruth can farm and hunt with the best of tom boys; yet, thumb she can done a dress and ballroom dance with a regal air. She has the purest heart. She never gossips or speaks ill of anyone. She believes in the saying “if you can’t say something nice do not say anything at all.” She was unable to have children of her own but she was a loving mother to many. You can’t help but love her. She has an infectious smile with a down to earth personality. She is the most amazing cook too. Her meals are simple. No fluff. Just simple fresh ingredients.

My Aunt Ruth would serve her pound cake with strawberries. The strawberries were tossed with sugar to draw out the juices to create its own syrup. She always had pint sized containers of strawberries in syrup and blueberries in the freezer ready to top pound cake or be made into a cobbler.

Pound cakes get their name from the weight of the ingredients used: a pound of butter, buy a pound of flour, a pound of sugar and a pound of eggs. Always try to use the freshest good quality ingredients when preparing pound cake. Pound cakes do not use baking powder to give them rise. Instead they rely on air incorporated into the batter during the creaming and addition of the eggs. Over mixing the batter can result in a dense crumbly cake rather than a lighter moist version. In this recipe the butter, butter-sugar mixture, dry ingredients and egg whites are all whipped separately before combining them. It important to mix each stage properly.

1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, room temperature but still cool
2 3/4 cup sugar
5 large eggs, separated, room temperature
1 cup sour cream, room temperature but still cool
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon flavoring (optional)

Frosting:
8 ounce package cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter
3 cups powder sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour the bottom, sides and cone of a 10-inch tube pan.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar; cream until light colored and fluffy. About 5-7 minutes.

**Do not stop beating sugar and butter too early. Continue beating until the mixture is lighter in color and fluffy not stiff and dull.**

Whip egg whites until just stiff. Add eggs to butter mixture one at a time, alternating egg yolk then some egg white.

**Do not over mix each addition. Mix in each egg addition just until the color of the egg yolk or egg white disappears. You can error on the side of when you see the egg turn into a long thin swirl.**

In a small bowl sift the flour, salt and baking soda. Using a large spatula, fold in the flour mixture to the egg mixture alternating sour cream then flour; mixing until just combined. Add the vanilla and lemon until incorporated.

Pour the mixture into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes.

**Tips:

— Try to use a lighter aluminum tube pan. The darker pans tend to darken the sides and bottom of the cake more.

— Bake by instinct not time. Watch the cake at about the 1 hour mark. Test for doneness by pressing on the top. If it feels firm and bounces back the cake may be done. If it jiggles or feels fragile under pressure it is not done.

— If the cake is browning too fast cover the top with aluminum foil and place pan on a baking sheet. This will insulate the cake from further direct heat.

— Weather and ovens vary the end result of baked goods. If 350 seems to hot reduce the temperature to 325.

— There is not substitute for lemon extract. Lemon juice contains acids while the extract has more of an essential oil base. You could try a tablespoon of lemon zest, if in a pinch, added to the frosting.
Happy first day of summer!

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, here the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, symptoms the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, order art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.

“The Sun” by Cathy McClelland

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, check the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, buy the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, what is ed art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.

“The Sun” by Cathy McClelland

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, viagra approved the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.
This week my son requested pound cake for dessert. I was surprised to find I have yet to post the recipe for my Aunt’s Sour Cream Pound Cake. My Aunt always had a round of her famous sour cream pound cake tucked away under the lid of the cake dome. I know I gush a lot over my great Aunt Ruth. She is an amazing woman. She is a strong classy lady with loads of common sense wisdom.

My Aunt Ruth can farm and hunt with the best of tom boys; yet, thumb she can done a dress and ballroom dance with a regal air. She has the purest heart. She never gossips or speaks ill of anyone. She believes in the saying “if you can’t say something nice do not say anything at all.” She was unable to have children of her own but she was a loving mother to many. You can’t help but love her. She has an infectious smile with a down to earth personality. She is the most amazing cook too. Her meals are simple. No fluff. Just simple fresh ingredients.

My Aunt Ruth would serve her pound cake with strawberries. The strawberries were tossed with sugar to draw out the juices to create its own syrup. She always had pint sized containers of strawberries in syrup and blueberries in the freezer ready to top pound cake or be made into a cobbler.

Pound cakes get their name from the weight of the ingredients used: a pound of butter, buy a pound of flour, a pound of sugar and a pound of eggs. Always try to use the freshest good quality ingredients when preparing pound cake. Pound cakes do not use baking powder to give them rise. Instead they rely on air incorporated into the batter during the creaming and addition of the eggs. Over mixing the batter can result in a dense crumbly cake rather than a lighter moist version. In this recipe the butter, butter-sugar mixture, dry ingredients and egg whites are all whipped separately before combining them. It important to mix each stage properly.

1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, room temperature but still cool
2 3/4 cup sugar
5 large eggs, separated, room temperature
1 cup sour cream, room temperature but still cool
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon flavoring (optional)

Frosting:
8 ounce package cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter
3 cups powder sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour the bottom, sides and cone of a 10-inch tube pan.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar; cream until light colored and fluffy. About 5-7 minutes.

**Do not stop beating sugar and butter too early. Continue beating until the mixture is lighter in color and fluffy not stiff and dull.**

Whip egg whites until just stiff. Add eggs to butter mixture one at a time, alternating egg yolk then some egg white.

**Do not over mix each addition. Mix in each egg addition just until the color of the egg yolk or egg white disappears. You can error on the side of when you see the egg turn into a long thin swirl.**

In a small bowl sift the flour, salt and baking soda. Using a large spatula, fold in the flour mixture to the egg mixture alternating sour cream then flour; mixing until just combined. Add the vanilla and lemon until incorporated.

Pour the mixture into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes.

**Tips:

— Try to use a lighter aluminum tube pan. The darker pans tend to darken the sides and bottom of the cake more.

— Bake by instinct not time. Watch the cake at about the 1 hour mark. Test for doneness by pressing on the top. If it feels firm and bounces back the cake may be done. If it jiggles or feels fragile under pressure it is not done.

— If the cake is browning too fast cover the top with aluminum foil and place pan on a baking sheet. This will insulate the cake from further direct heat.

— Weather and ovens vary the end result of baked goods. If 350 seems to hot reduce the temperature to 325.

— There is not substitute for lemon extract. Lemon juice contains acids while the extract has more of an essential oil base. You could try a tablespoon of lemon zest, if in a pinch, added to the frosting.
This week my son requested pound cake for dessert. I was surprised to find I have yet to post the recipe for my Aunt’s Sour Cream Pound Cake. My Aunt always had a round of her famous sour cream pound cake tucked away under the lid of the cake dome. I know I gush a lot over my great Aunt Ruth. She is an amazing woman. She is a strong classy lady with loads of common sense wisdom.

My Aunt Ruth can farm and hunt with the best of tom boys; yet, viagra dosage she can done a gown and ballroom dance with a regal air. She has the purest heart. She never gossips or speaks ill of anyone. She believes in the saying “if you can’t say something nice do not say anything at all.” So you will find she does not talk too much. When she does she has so many adventurous stories to tell. My Great Aunt Ruth was unable to have children of her own but she was a loving mother to many. You can’t help but love her. She has an infectious smile with a down to earth personality. She is the most amazing cook too. Her meals are simple. No fluff. Just simple fresh ingredients.

My Aunt Ruth always served her pound cake with fresh chopped strawberries. The strawberries were tossed with sugar to draw out the juices to create a syrup. She always had pint sized containers of fresh picked strawberries and blueberries in the freezer ready to top pound cake or be made into a cobbler.

Pound cakes get their name from the weight of the ingredients used: a pound of butter, a pound of flour, a pound of sugar and a pound of eggs. Always try to use the freshest good quality ingredients when preparing pound cake. Because pound gets the majority of its flavor from the butter there is no substitute for real butter. Use a low protein flour such as Pillsbury or a cake flour to keep the crumb tender.

Pound cakes do not use baking powder to give them rise. Instead they rely on the power of eggs and whipped air incorporated into the batter during the creaming and addition of the eggs. Over mixing the batter can result in a dense crumbly cake rather than a lighter moist version. In this recipe the butter, butter-sugar mixture, dry ingredients and egg whites are all whipped separately before combining them. It is equally important to mix each stage properly.

1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, room temperature but still cool
2 3/4 cup sugar
5 large eggs, separated, room temperature
1 cup sour cream, room temperature but still cool
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon flavoring (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour the bottom, sides and cone of a 10-inch tube pan.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar; cream until light colored and fluffy. About 5-7 minutes.

**Do not stop beating sugar and butter too early. Continue beating until the mixture is light in color and fluffy not stiff and dull.**

Whip egg whites until just stiff. (about 2-3 minutes with a mixer) Add the eggs to the butter mixture one at a time, alternating egg yolk then some egg white.

**Do not over mix each addition. Mix in each egg addition just until the color of the egg yolk or egg white disappears.**

In a small bowl sift the flour, salt and baking soda. Using a large spatula, fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture alternating sour cream then flour; mixing until just combined. Add the vanilla and lemon; fold in until incorporated.

Pour the mixture into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan to finish cooling on a wire rack.

To serve: top cake with glaze and a dusting of powdered sugar. Or omit the glaze and dust with powdered sugar. Serve with sliced berries, ice cream or whipped cream.

Glaze: Beat the following ingredients together until smooth and creamy.
8 ounce package cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter
3 cups powder sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

**Tips:
— Try to use a lighter aluminum tube pan. The darker pans tend to darken the sides and bottom of the cake more.
— Bake by instinct not time. Watch the cake at about the 1 hour mark. Test for doneness by pressing on the top. If it feels firm and bounces back the cake may be done. If it jiggles or feels fragile under pressure it is not done.
— If the cake is browning too fast cover the top with aluminum foil and place pan on a baking sheet. This will insulate the cake from further direct heat.
— Weather and ovens vary the end result of baked goods.
— There is no substitute for lemon extract. Lemon juice contains acids while the extract has more of an essential oil base. You could try a tablespoon of lemon zest, if in a pinch, added to the glaze.
Happy first day of summer!

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, here the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, symptoms the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, order art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.

“The Sun” by Cathy McClelland

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, check the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, buy the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, what is ed art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.

“The Sun” by Cathy McClelland

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, viagra approved the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.
This week my son requested pound cake for dessert. I was surprised to find I have yet to post the recipe for my Aunt’s Sour Cream Pound Cake. My Aunt always had a round of her famous sour cream pound cake tucked away under the lid of the cake dome. I know I gush a lot over my great Aunt Ruth. She is an amazing woman. She is a strong classy lady with loads of common sense wisdom.

My Aunt Ruth can farm and hunt with the best of tom boys; yet, thumb she can done a dress and ballroom dance with a regal air. She has the purest heart. She never gossips or speaks ill of anyone. She believes in the saying “if you can’t say something nice do not say anything at all.” She was unable to have children of her own but she was a loving mother to many. You can’t help but love her. She has an infectious smile with a down to earth personality. She is the most amazing cook too. Her meals are simple. No fluff. Just simple fresh ingredients.

My Aunt Ruth would serve her pound cake with strawberries. The strawberries were tossed with sugar to draw out the juices to create its own syrup. She always had pint sized containers of strawberries in syrup and blueberries in the freezer ready to top pound cake or be made into a cobbler.

Pound cakes get their name from the weight of the ingredients used: a pound of butter, buy a pound of flour, a pound of sugar and a pound of eggs. Always try to use the freshest good quality ingredients when preparing pound cake. Pound cakes do not use baking powder to give them rise. Instead they rely on air incorporated into the batter during the creaming and addition of the eggs. Over mixing the batter can result in a dense crumbly cake rather than a lighter moist version. In this recipe the butter, butter-sugar mixture, dry ingredients and egg whites are all whipped separately before combining them. It important to mix each stage properly.

1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, room temperature but still cool
2 3/4 cup sugar
5 large eggs, separated, room temperature
1 cup sour cream, room temperature but still cool
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon flavoring (optional)

Frosting:
8 ounce package cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter
3 cups powder sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour the bottom, sides and cone of a 10-inch tube pan.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar; cream until light colored and fluffy. About 5-7 minutes.

**Do not stop beating sugar and butter too early. Continue beating until the mixture is lighter in color and fluffy not stiff and dull.**

Whip egg whites until just stiff. Add eggs to butter mixture one at a time, alternating egg yolk then some egg white.

**Do not over mix each addition. Mix in each egg addition just until the color of the egg yolk or egg white disappears. You can error on the side of when you see the egg turn into a long thin swirl.**

In a small bowl sift the flour, salt and baking soda. Using a large spatula, fold in the flour mixture to the egg mixture alternating sour cream then flour; mixing until just combined. Add the vanilla and lemon until incorporated.

Pour the mixture into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes.

**Tips:

— Try to use a lighter aluminum tube pan. The darker pans tend to darken the sides and bottom of the cake more.

— Bake by instinct not time. Watch the cake at about the 1 hour mark. Test for doneness by pressing on the top. If it feels firm and bounces back the cake may be done. If it jiggles or feels fragile under pressure it is not done.

— If the cake is browning too fast cover the top with aluminum foil and place pan on a baking sheet. This will insulate the cake from further direct heat.

— Weather and ovens vary the end result of baked goods. If 350 seems to hot reduce the temperature to 325.

— There is not substitute for lemon extract. Lemon juice contains acids while the extract has more of an essential oil base. You could try a tablespoon of lemon zest, if in a pinch, added to the frosting.
This week my son requested pound cake for dessert. I was surprised to find I have yet to post the recipe for my Aunt’s Sour Cream Pound Cake. My Aunt always had a round of her famous sour cream pound cake tucked away under the lid of the cake dome. I know I gush a lot over my great Aunt Ruth. She is an amazing woman. She is a strong classy lady with loads of common sense wisdom.

My Aunt Ruth can farm and hunt with the best of tom boys; yet, viagra dosage she can done a gown and ballroom dance with a regal air. She has the purest heart. She never gossips or speaks ill of anyone. She believes in the saying “if you can’t say something nice do not say anything at all.” So you will find she does not talk too much. When she does she has so many adventurous stories to tell. My Great Aunt Ruth was unable to have children of her own but she was a loving mother to many. You can’t help but love her. She has an infectious smile with a down to earth personality. She is the most amazing cook too. Her meals are simple. No fluff. Just simple fresh ingredients.

My Aunt Ruth always served her pound cake with fresh chopped strawberries. The strawberries were tossed with sugar to draw out the juices to create a syrup. She always had pint sized containers of fresh picked strawberries and blueberries in the freezer ready to top pound cake or be made into a cobbler.

Pound cakes get their name from the weight of the ingredients used: a pound of butter, a pound of flour, a pound of sugar and a pound of eggs. Always try to use the freshest good quality ingredients when preparing pound cake. Because pound gets the majority of its flavor from the butter there is no substitute for real butter. Use a low protein flour such as Pillsbury or a cake flour to keep the crumb tender.

Pound cakes do not use baking powder to give them rise. Instead they rely on the power of eggs and whipped air incorporated into the batter during the creaming and addition of the eggs. Over mixing the batter can result in a dense crumbly cake rather than a lighter moist version. In this recipe the butter, butter-sugar mixture, dry ingredients and egg whites are all whipped separately before combining them. It is equally important to mix each stage properly.

1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, room temperature but still cool
2 3/4 cup sugar
5 large eggs, separated, room temperature
1 cup sour cream, room temperature but still cool
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon flavoring (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour the bottom, sides and cone of a 10-inch tube pan.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar; cream until light colored and fluffy. About 5-7 minutes.

**Do not stop beating sugar and butter too early. Continue beating until the mixture is light in color and fluffy not stiff and dull.**

Whip egg whites until just stiff. (about 2-3 minutes with a mixer) Add the eggs to the butter mixture one at a time, alternating egg yolk then some egg white.

**Do not over mix each addition. Mix in each egg addition just until the color of the egg yolk or egg white disappears.**

In a small bowl sift the flour, salt and baking soda. Using a large spatula, fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture alternating sour cream then flour; mixing until just combined. Add the vanilla and lemon; fold in until incorporated.

Pour the mixture into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan to finish cooling on a wire rack.

To serve: top cake with glaze and a dusting of powdered sugar. Or omit the glaze and dust with powdered sugar. Serve with sliced berries, ice cream or whipped cream.

Glaze: Beat the following ingredients together until smooth and creamy.
8 ounce package cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter
3 cups powder sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

**Tips:
— Try to use a lighter aluminum tube pan. The darker pans tend to darken the sides and bottom of the cake more.
— Bake by instinct not time. Watch the cake at about the 1 hour mark. Test for doneness by pressing on the top. If it feels firm and bounces back the cake may be done. If it jiggles or feels fragile under pressure it is not done.
— If the cake is browning too fast cover the top with aluminum foil and place pan on a baking sheet. This will insulate the cake from further direct heat.
— Weather and ovens vary the end result of baked goods.
— There is no substitute for lemon extract. Lemon juice contains acids while the extract has more of an essential oil base. You could try a tablespoon of lemon zest, if in a pinch, added to the glaze.
This week my son requested pound cake for dessert. I was surprised to find I have yet to post the recipe for my Aunt’s Sour Cream Pound Cake. My Aunt always had a round of her famous sour cream pound cake tucked away under the lid of the cake dome. I know I gush a lot over my great Aunt Ruth. She is an amazing woman. She is a strong classy lady with loads of common sense wisdom.

My Aunt Ruth can farm and hunt with the best of tom boys; yet, hospital she can done a gown and ballroom dance with a regal air. She has the purest heart. She never gossips or speaks ill of anyone. She believes in the saying “if you can’t say something nice do not say anything at all.” So you will find she does not talk too much. When she does she has so many adventurous stories to tell. My Great Aunt Ruth was unable to have children of her own but she was a loving mother to many. You can’t help but love her. She has an infectious smile with a down to earth personality. She is the most amazing cook too. Her meals are simple. No fluff. Just simple fresh ingredients.

My Aunt Ruth always served her pound cake with fresh chopped strawberries. The strawberries were tossed with sugar to draw out the juices to create a syrup. She always had pint sized containers of fresh picked strawberries and blueberries in the freezer ready to top pound cake or be made into a cobbler.

Pound cakes get their name from the weight of the ingredients used: a pound of butter, viagra order a pound of flour, capsule a pound of sugar and a pound of eggs. Always try to use the freshest good quality ingredients when preparing pound cake. Because pound gets the majority of its flavor from the butter there is no substitute for real butter. Use a low protein flour such as Pillsbury or a cake flour to keep the crumb tender.

Pound cakes do not use baking powder to give them rise. Instead they rely on the power of eggs and whipped air incorporated into the batter during the creaming and addition of the eggs. Over mixing the batter can result in a dense crumbly cake rather than a lighter moist version. In this recipe the butter, butter-sugar mixture, dry ingredients and egg whites are all whipped separately before combining them. It is equally important to mix each stage properly.

2 sticks butter, room temperature but still cool
2 3/4 cup sugar
6 large eggs, separated, room temperature
1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt, room temperature but still cool
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon flavoring (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour the bottom, sides and cone of a 10-inch tube pan.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar; cream until light colored and fluffy. About 5-7 minutes.

**Do not stop beating sugar and butter too early. Continue beating until the mixture is light in color and fluffy not stiff and dull.**

Whip egg whites until just stiff. (about 2-3 minutes with a mixer) Add the eggs to the butter mixture one at a time, alternating egg yolk then some egg white.

**Do not over mix each addition. Mix in each egg addition just until the color of the egg yolk or egg white disappears.**

In a small bowl sift the flour, salt and baking soda. Using a large spatula, fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture alternating sour cream then flour; mixing until just combined. Add the vanilla and lemon; fold in until incorporated.

Pour the mixture into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan to finish cooling on a wire rack.

To serve: top cake with glaze and a dusting of powdered sugar. Or omit the glaze and dust with powdered sugar. Serve with sliced berries, ice cream or whipped cream.

Glaze: Beat the following ingredients together until smooth and creamy.
8 ounce package cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 box powder sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

**Tips:
— Try to use a lighter aluminum tube pan. The darker pans tend to darken the sides and bottom of the cake more.
— Bake by instinct not time. Watch the cake at about the 1 hour mark. Test for doneness by pressing on the top. If it feels firm and bounces back the cake may be done. If it jiggles or feels fragile under pressure it is not done.
— If the cake is browning too fast cover the top with aluminum foil and place pan on a baking sheet. This will insulate the cake from further direct heat.
— Weather and ovens vary the end result of baked goods.
— There is no substitute for lemon extract. Lemon juice contains acids while the extract has more of an essential oil base. You could try a tablespoon of lemon zest, if in a pinch, added to the glaze.
Happy first day of summer!

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, here the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, symptoms the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, order art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.

“The Sun” by Cathy McClelland

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, check the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, buy the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, what is ed art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.

“The Sun” by Cathy McClelland

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, viagra approved the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.
This week my son requested pound cake for dessert. I was surprised to find I have yet to post the recipe for my Aunt’s Sour Cream Pound Cake. My Aunt always had a round of her famous sour cream pound cake tucked away under the lid of the cake dome. I know I gush a lot over my great Aunt Ruth. She is an amazing woman. She is a strong classy lady with loads of common sense wisdom.

My Aunt Ruth can farm and hunt with the best of tom boys; yet, thumb she can done a dress and ballroom dance with a regal air. She has the purest heart. She never gossips or speaks ill of anyone. She believes in the saying “if you can’t say something nice do not say anything at all.” She was unable to have children of her own but she was a loving mother to many. You can’t help but love her. She has an infectious smile with a down to earth personality. She is the most amazing cook too. Her meals are simple. No fluff. Just simple fresh ingredients.

My Aunt Ruth would serve her pound cake with strawberries. The strawberries were tossed with sugar to draw out the juices to create its own syrup. She always had pint sized containers of strawberries in syrup and blueberries in the freezer ready to top pound cake or be made into a cobbler.

Pound cakes get their name from the weight of the ingredients used: a pound of butter, buy a pound of flour, a pound of sugar and a pound of eggs. Always try to use the freshest good quality ingredients when preparing pound cake. Pound cakes do not use baking powder to give them rise. Instead they rely on air incorporated into the batter during the creaming and addition of the eggs. Over mixing the batter can result in a dense crumbly cake rather than a lighter moist version. In this recipe the butter, butter-sugar mixture, dry ingredients and egg whites are all whipped separately before combining them. It important to mix each stage properly.

1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, room temperature but still cool
2 3/4 cup sugar
5 large eggs, separated, room temperature
1 cup sour cream, room temperature but still cool
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon flavoring (optional)

Frosting:
8 ounce package cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter
3 cups powder sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour the bottom, sides and cone of a 10-inch tube pan.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar; cream until light colored and fluffy. About 5-7 minutes.

**Do not stop beating sugar and butter too early. Continue beating until the mixture is lighter in color and fluffy not stiff and dull.**

Whip egg whites until just stiff. Add eggs to butter mixture one at a time, alternating egg yolk then some egg white.

**Do not over mix each addition. Mix in each egg addition just until the color of the egg yolk or egg white disappears. You can error on the side of when you see the egg turn into a long thin swirl.**

In a small bowl sift the flour, salt and baking soda. Using a large spatula, fold in the flour mixture to the egg mixture alternating sour cream then flour; mixing until just combined. Add the vanilla and lemon until incorporated.

Pour the mixture into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes.

**Tips:

— Try to use a lighter aluminum tube pan. The darker pans tend to darken the sides and bottom of the cake more.

— Bake by instinct not time. Watch the cake at about the 1 hour mark. Test for doneness by pressing on the top. If it feels firm and bounces back the cake may be done. If it jiggles or feels fragile under pressure it is not done.

— If the cake is browning too fast cover the top with aluminum foil and place pan on a baking sheet. This will insulate the cake from further direct heat.

— Weather and ovens vary the end result of baked goods. If 350 seems to hot reduce the temperature to 325.

— There is not substitute for lemon extract. Lemon juice contains acids while the extract has more of an essential oil base. You could try a tablespoon of lemon zest, if in a pinch, added to the frosting.
This week my son requested pound cake for dessert. I was surprised to find I have yet to post the recipe for my Aunt’s Sour Cream Pound Cake. My Aunt always had a round of her famous sour cream pound cake tucked away under the lid of the cake dome. I know I gush a lot over my great Aunt Ruth. She is an amazing woman. She is a strong classy lady with loads of common sense wisdom.

My Aunt Ruth can farm and hunt with the best of tom boys; yet, viagra dosage she can done a gown and ballroom dance with a regal air. She has the purest heart. She never gossips or speaks ill of anyone. She believes in the saying “if you can’t say something nice do not say anything at all.” So you will find she does not talk too much. When she does she has so many adventurous stories to tell. My Great Aunt Ruth was unable to have children of her own but she was a loving mother to many. You can’t help but love her. She has an infectious smile with a down to earth personality. She is the most amazing cook too. Her meals are simple. No fluff. Just simple fresh ingredients.

My Aunt Ruth always served her pound cake with fresh chopped strawberries. The strawberries were tossed with sugar to draw out the juices to create a syrup. She always had pint sized containers of fresh picked strawberries and blueberries in the freezer ready to top pound cake or be made into a cobbler.

Pound cakes get their name from the weight of the ingredients used: a pound of butter, a pound of flour, a pound of sugar and a pound of eggs. Always try to use the freshest good quality ingredients when preparing pound cake. Because pound gets the majority of its flavor from the butter there is no substitute for real butter. Use a low protein flour such as Pillsbury or a cake flour to keep the crumb tender.

Pound cakes do not use baking powder to give them rise. Instead they rely on the power of eggs and whipped air incorporated into the batter during the creaming and addition of the eggs. Over mixing the batter can result in a dense crumbly cake rather than a lighter moist version. In this recipe the butter, butter-sugar mixture, dry ingredients and egg whites are all whipped separately before combining them. It is equally important to mix each stage properly.

1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, room temperature but still cool
2 3/4 cup sugar
5 large eggs, separated, room temperature
1 cup sour cream, room temperature but still cool
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon flavoring (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour the bottom, sides and cone of a 10-inch tube pan.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar; cream until light colored and fluffy. About 5-7 minutes.

**Do not stop beating sugar and butter too early. Continue beating until the mixture is light in color and fluffy not stiff and dull.**

Whip egg whites until just stiff. (about 2-3 minutes with a mixer) Add the eggs to the butter mixture one at a time, alternating egg yolk then some egg white.

**Do not over mix each addition. Mix in each egg addition just until the color of the egg yolk or egg white disappears.**

In a small bowl sift the flour, salt and baking soda. Using a large spatula, fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture alternating sour cream then flour; mixing until just combined. Add the vanilla and lemon; fold in until incorporated.

Pour the mixture into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan to finish cooling on a wire rack.

To serve: top cake with glaze and a dusting of powdered sugar. Or omit the glaze and dust with powdered sugar. Serve with sliced berries, ice cream or whipped cream.

Glaze: Beat the following ingredients together until smooth and creamy.
8 ounce package cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter
3 cups powder sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

**Tips:
— Try to use a lighter aluminum tube pan. The darker pans tend to darken the sides and bottom of the cake more.
— Bake by instinct not time. Watch the cake at about the 1 hour mark. Test for doneness by pressing on the top. If it feels firm and bounces back the cake may be done. If it jiggles or feels fragile under pressure it is not done.
— If the cake is browning too fast cover the top with aluminum foil and place pan on a baking sheet. This will insulate the cake from further direct heat.
— Weather and ovens vary the end result of baked goods.
— There is no substitute for lemon extract. Lemon juice contains acids while the extract has more of an essential oil base. You could try a tablespoon of lemon zest, if in a pinch, added to the glaze.
This week my son requested pound cake for dessert. I was surprised to find I have yet to post the recipe for my Aunt’s Sour Cream Pound Cake. My Aunt always had a round of her famous sour cream pound cake tucked away under the lid of the cake dome. I know I gush a lot over my great Aunt Ruth. She is an amazing woman. She is a strong classy lady with loads of common sense wisdom.

My Aunt Ruth can farm and hunt with the best of tom boys; yet, hospital she can done a gown and ballroom dance with a regal air. She has the purest heart. She never gossips or speaks ill of anyone. She believes in the saying “if you can’t say something nice do not say anything at all.” So you will find she does not talk too much. When she does she has so many adventurous stories to tell. My Great Aunt Ruth was unable to have children of her own but she was a loving mother to many. You can’t help but love her. She has an infectious smile with a down to earth personality. She is the most amazing cook too. Her meals are simple. No fluff. Just simple fresh ingredients.

My Aunt Ruth always served her pound cake with fresh chopped strawberries. The strawberries were tossed with sugar to draw out the juices to create a syrup. She always had pint sized containers of fresh picked strawberries and blueberries in the freezer ready to top pound cake or be made into a cobbler.

Pound cakes get their name from the weight of the ingredients used: a pound of butter, viagra order a pound of flour, capsule a pound of sugar and a pound of eggs. Always try to use the freshest good quality ingredients when preparing pound cake. Because pound gets the majority of its flavor from the butter there is no substitute for real butter. Use a low protein flour such as Pillsbury or a cake flour to keep the crumb tender.

Pound cakes do not use baking powder to give them rise. Instead they rely on the power of eggs and whipped air incorporated into the batter during the creaming and addition of the eggs. Over mixing the batter can result in a dense crumbly cake rather than a lighter moist version. In this recipe the butter, butter-sugar mixture, dry ingredients and egg whites are all whipped separately before combining them. It is equally important to mix each stage properly.

2 sticks butter, room temperature but still cool
2 3/4 cup sugar
6 large eggs, separated, room temperature
1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt, room temperature but still cool
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon flavoring (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour the bottom, sides and cone of a 10-inch tube pan.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar; cream until light colored and fluffy. About 5-7 minutes.

**Do not stop beating sugar and butter too early. Continue beating until the mixture is light in color and fluffy not stiff and dull.**

Whip egg whites until just stiff. (about 2-3 minutes with a mixer) Add the eggs to the butter mixture one at a time, alternating egg yolk then some egg white.

**Do not over mix each addition. Mix in each egg addition just until the color of the egg yolk or egg white disappears.**

In a small bowl sift the flour, salt and baking soda. Using a large spatula, fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture alternating sour cream then flour; mixing until just combined. Add the vanilla and lemon; fold in until incorporated.

Pour the mixture into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan to finish cooling on a wire rack.

To serve: top cake with glaze and a dusting of powdered sugar. Or omit the glaze and dust with powdered sugar. Serve with sliced berries, ice cream or whipped cream.

Glaze: Beat the following ingredients together until smooth and creamy.
8 ounce package cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 box powder sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

**Tips:
— Try to use a lighter aluminum tube pan. The darker pans tend to darken the sides and bottom of the cake more.
— Bake by instinct not time. Watch the cake at about the 1 hour mark. Test for doneness by pressing on the top. If it feels firm and bounces back the cake may be done. If it jiggles or feels fragile under pressure it is not done.
— If the cake is browning too fast cover the top with aluminum foil and place pan on a baking sheet. This will insulate the cake from further direct heat.
— Weather and ovens vary the end result of baked goods.
— There is no substitute for lemon extract. Lemon juice contains acids while the extract has more of an essential oil base. You could try a tablespoon of lemon zest, if in a pinch, added to the glaze.

If you are looking to really stretch a dollar enchiladas are the way to go. A little bit of shredded meat can really go a long way. Use left over cooked chicken or a roast for more savings and shorten cooking time. Double or even Triple the batch to freeze for a later date.

The spice rub for the shredded beef is my go to taco seasoning recipe. For tacos I mix the quantity as stated but only use a tablespoon or two. Try ethnic markets or wearhouses to find good deals on spices and herbs.

Enchiladas:
Shredded Beef (recipe below)
Enchilada sauce (recipe below)
Monterey Jack cheese, search shredded
1 small can sliced olives
1/2 cup chopped red onion
Flour tortillas
Cojitas cheese, crumbled

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread a 1/4 cup enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 13X9 baking pan. Dip each side of a tortilla in the enchilada sauce. Fill tortilla with a few tablespoons shredded beef and cheese. Fold up the sides and place seam side down in baking dish. Pour another 1/4 cup of sauce over the enchiladas. Sprinkle with cheese, chopped onions and olives. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until cheese is melted and the sauce in the dish is bubbly.

Shredded Beef:
Source: Old Church Cookbook
2 1/2 cups of beef broth
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup onion minced

Spice Rub:
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 1/2 to 3 pounds chuck roast
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried coriander
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Heat olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. In a small bowl mix the cumin, chili powder, oregano, coriander, paprika, salt, and pepper. Rub the spice mixture all over the roast, completely coating the meat.

Place the beef in the hot pan for 2-3 minutes on each side to sear the meat. Transfer to a crock pot or deep casserole with a lid. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the beef broth to the pan stirring and scraping the bottom to loosen all the charred bits. Pour over roast. Add cilantro, garlic, and onion to pot with the meat. Cover and transfer to the oven. Bake 2-3 hours. Remove any fat then shred the beef using two forks.

Enchilada Sauce:
Sauce: AllRecipes
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 1/4 cups water or broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced onion
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in flour and chili powder, reduce heat to medium, and cook until the sauce starts to thicken slightly, stirring constantly to prevent burning the flour.

Gradually stir in tomato sauce, water, cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder until smooth. Continue cooking over medium heat about 5-7 minutes, or until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Happy first day of summer!

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, here the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, symptoms the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, order art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.

“The Sun” by Cathy McClelland

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, check the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, buy the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, what is ed art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.

“The Sun” by Cathy McClelland

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, viagra approved the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.
This week my son requested pound cake for dessert. I was surprised to find I have yet to post the recipe for my Aunt’s Sour Cream Pound Cake. My Aunt always had a round of her famous sour cream pound cake tucked away under the lid of the cake dome. I know I gush a lot over my great Aunt Ruth. She is an amazing woman. She is a strong classy lady with loads of common sense wisdom.

My Aunt Ruth can farm and hunt with the best of tom boys; yet, thumb she can done a dress and ballroom dance with a regal air. She has the purest heart. She never gossips or speaks ill of anyone. She believes in the saying “if you can’t say something nice do not say anything at all.” She was unable to have children of her own but she was a loving mother to many. You can’t help but love her. She has an infectious smile with a down to earth personality. She is the most amazing cook too. Her meals are simple. No fluff. Just simple fresh ingredients.

My Aunt Ruth would serve her pound cake with strawberries. The strawberries were tossed with sugar to draw out the juices to create its own syrup. She always had pint sized containers of strawberries in syrup and blueberries in the freezer ready to top pound cake or be made into a cobbler.

Pound cakes get their name from the weight of the ingredients used: a pound of butter, buy a pound of flour, a pound of sugar and a pound of eggs. Always try to use the freshest good quality ingredients when preparing pound cake. Pound cakes do not use baking powder to give them rise. Instead they rely on air incorporated into the batter during the creaming and addition of the eggs. Over mixing the batter can result in a dense crumbly cake rather than a lighter moist version. In this recipe the butter, butter-sugar mixture, dry ingredients and egg whites are all whipped separately before combining them. It important to mix each stage properly.

1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, room temperature but still cool
2 3/4 cup sugar
5 large eggs, separated, room temperature
1 cup sour cream, room temperature but still cool
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon flavoring (optional)

Frosting:
8 ounce package cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter
3 cups powder sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour the bottom, sides and cone of a 10-inch tube pan.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar; cream until light colored and fluffy. About 5-7 minutes.

**Do not stop beating sugar and butter too early. Continue beating until the mixture is lighter in color and fluffy not stiff and dull.**

Whip egg whites until just stiff. Add eggs to butter mixture one at a time, alternating egg yolk then some egg white.

**Do not over mix each addition. Mix in each egg addition just until the color of the egg yolk or egg white disappears. You can error on the side of when you see the egg turn into a long thin swirl.**

In a small bowl sift the flour, salt and baking soda. Using a large spatula, fold in the flour mixture to the egg mixture alternating sour cream then flour; mixing until just combined. Add the vanilla and lemon until incorporated.

Pour the mixture into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes.

**Tips:

— Try to use a lighter aluminum tube pan. The darker pans tend to darken the sides and bottom of the cake more.

— Bake by instinct not time. Watch the cake at about the 1 hour mark. Test for doneness by pressing on the top. If it feels firm and bounces back the cake may be done. If it jiggles or feels fragile under pressure it is not done.

— If the cake is browning too fast cover the top with aluminum foil and place pan on a baking sheet. This will insulate the cake from further direct heat.

— Weather and ovens vary the end result of baked goods. If 350 seems to hot reduce the temperature to 325.

— There is not substitute for lemon extract. Lemon juice contains acids while the extract has more of an essential oil base. You could try a tablespoon of lemon zest, if in a pinch, added to the frosting.
This week my son requested pound cake for dessert. I was surprised to find I have yet to post the recipe for my Aunt’s Sour Cream Pound Cake. My Aunt always had a round of her famous sour cream pound cake tucked away under the lid of the cake dome. I know I gush a lot over my great Aunt Ruth. She is an amazing woman. She is a strong classy lady with loads of common sense wisdom.

My Aunt Ruth can farm and hunt with the best of tom boys; yet, viagra dosage she can done a gown and ballroom dance with a regal air. She has the purest heart. She never gossips or speaks ill of anyone. She believes in the saying “if you can’t say something nice do not say anything at all.” So you will find she does not talk too much. When she does she has so many adventurous stories to tell. My Great Aunt Ruth was unable to have children of her own but she was a loving mother to many. You can’t help but love her. She has an infectious smile with a down to earth personality. She is the most amazing cook too. Her meals are simple. No fluff. Just simple fresh ingredients.

My Aunt Ruth always served her pound cake with fresh chopped strawberries. The strawberries were tossed with sugar to draw out the juices to create a syrup. She always had pint sized containers of fresh picked strawberries and blueberries in the freezer ready to top pound cake or be made into a cobbler.

Pound cakes get their name from the weight of the ingredients used: a pound of butter, a pound of flour, a pound of sugar and a pound of eggs. Always try to use the freshest good quality ingredients when preparing pound cake. Because pound gets the majority of its flavor from the butter there is no substitute for real butter. Use a low protein flour such as Pillsbury or a cake flour to keep the crumb tender.

Pound cakes do not use baking powder to give them rise. Instead they rely on the power of eggs and whipped air incorporated into the batter during the creaming and addition of the eggs. Over mixing the batter can result in a dense crumbly cake rather than a lighter moist version. In this recipe the butter, butter-sugar mixture, dry ingredients and egg whites are all whipped separately before combining them. It is equally important to mix each stage properly.

1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, room temperature but still cool
2 3/4 cup sugar
5 large eggs, separated, room temperature
1 cup sour cream, room temperature but still cool
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon flavoring (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour the bottom, sides and cone of a 10-inch tube pan.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar; cream until light colored and fluffy. About 5-7 minutes.

**Do not stop beating sugar and butter too early. Continue beating until the mixture is light in color and fluffy not stiff and dull.**

Whip egg whites until just stiff. (about 2-3 minutes with a mixer) Add the eggs to the butter mixture one at a time, alternating egg yolk then some egg white.

**Do not over mix each addition. Mix in each egg addition just until the color of the egg yolk or egg white disappears.**

In a small bowl sift the flour, salt and baking soda. Using a large spatula, fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture alternating sour cream then flour; mixing until just combined. Add the vanilla and lemon; fold in until incorporated.

Pour the mixture into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan to finish cooling on a wire rack.

To serve: top cake with glaze and a dusting of powdered sugar. Or omit the glaze and dust with powdered sugar. Serve with sliced berries, ice cream or whipped cream.

Glaze: Beat the following ingredients together until smooth and creamy.
8 ounce package cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter
3 cups powder sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

**Tips:
— Try to use a lighter aluminum tube pan. The darker pans tend to darken the sides and bottom of the cake more.
— Bake by instinct not time. Watch the cake at about the 1 hour mark. Test for doneness by pressing on the top. If it feels firm and bounces back the cake may be done. If it jiggles or feels fragile under pressure it is not done.
— If the cake is browning too fast cover the top with aluminum foil and place pan on a baking sheet. This will insulate the cake from further direct heat.
— Weather and ovens vary the end result of baked goods.
— There is no substitute for lemon extract. Lemon juice contains acids while the extract has more of an essential oil base. You could try a tablespoon of lemon zest, if in a pinch, added to the glaze.
This week my son requested pound cake for dessert. I was surprised to find I have yet to post the recipe for my Aunt’s Sour Cream Pound Cake. My Aunt always had a round of her famous sour cream pound cake tucked away under the lid of the cake dome. I know I gush a lot over my great Aunt Ruth. She is an amazing woman. She is a strong classy lady with loads of common sense wisdom.

My Aunt Ruth can farm and hunt with the best of tom boys; yet, hospital she can done a gown and ballroom dance with a regal air. She has the purest heart. She never gossips or speaks ill of anyone. She believes in the saying “if you can’t say something nice do not say anything at all.” So you will find she does not talk too much. When she does she has so many adventurous stories to tell. My Great Aunt Ruth was unable to have children of her own but she was a loving mother to many. You can’t help but love her. She has an infectious smile with a down to earth personality. She is the most amazing cook too. Her meals are simple. No fluff. Just simple fresh ingredients.

My Aunt Ruth always served her pound cake with fresh chopped strawberries. The strawberries were tossed with sugar to draw out the juices to create a syrup. She always had pint sized containers of fresh picked strawberries and blueberries in the freezer ready to top pound cake or be made into a cobbler.

Pound cakes get their name from the weight of the ingredients used: a pound of butter, viagra order a pound of flour, capsule a pound of sugar and a pound of eggs. Always try to use the freshest good quality ingredients when preparing pound cake. Because pound gets the majority of its flavor from the butter there is no substitute for real butter. Use a low protein flour such as Pillsbury or a cake flour to keep the crumb tender.

Pound cakes do not use baking powder to give them rise. Instead they rely on the power of eggs and whipped air incorporated into the batter during the creaming and addition of the eggs. Over mixing the batter can result in a dense crumbly cake rather than a lighter moist version. In this recipe the butter, butter-sugar mixture, dry ingredients and egg whites are all whipped separately before combining them. It is equally important to mix each stage properly.

2 sticks butter, room temperature but still cool
2 3/4 cup sugar
6 large eggs, separated, room temperature
1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt, room temperature but still cool
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon flavoring (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour the bottom, sides and cone of a 10-inch tube pan.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar; cream until light colored and fluffy. About 5-7 minutes.

**Do not stop beating sugar and butter too early. Continue beating until the mixture is light in color and fluffy not stiff and dull.**

Whip egg whites until just stiff. (about 2-3 minutes with a mixer) Add the eggs to the butter mixture one at a time, alternating egg yolk then some egg white.

**Do not over mix each addition. Mix in each egg addition just until the color of the egg yolk or egg white disappears.**

In a small bowl sift the flour, salt and baking soda. Using a large spatula, fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture alternating sour cream then flour; mixing until just combined. Add the vanilla and lemon; fold in until incorporated.

Pour the mixture into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan to finish cooling on a wire rack.

To serve: top cake with glaze and a dusting of powdered sugar. Or omit the glaze and dust with powdered sugar. Serve with sliced berries, ice cream or whipped cream.

Glaze: Beat the following ingredients together until smooth and creamy.
8 ounce package cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 box powder sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

**Tips:
— Try to use a lighter aluminum tube pan. The darker pans tend to darken the sides and bottom of the cake more.
— Bake by instinct not time. Watch the cake at about the 1 hour mark. Test for doneness by pressing on the top. If it feels firm and bounces back the cake may be done. If it jiggles or feels fragile under pressure it is not done.
— If the cake is browning too fast cover the top with aluminum foil and place pan on a baking sheet. This will insulate the cake from further direct heat.
— Weather and ovens vary the end result of baked goods.
— There is no substitute for lemon extract. Lemon juice contains acids while the extract has more of an essential oil base. You could try a tablespoon of lemon zest, if in a pinch, added to the glaze.

If you are looking to really stretch a dollar enchiladas are the way to go. A little bit of shredded meat can really go a long way. Use left over cooked chicken or a roast for more savings and shorten cooking time. Double or even Triple the batch to freeze for a later date.

The spice rub for the shredded beef is my go to taco seasoning recipe. For tacos I mix the quantity as stated but only use a tablespoon or two. Try ethnic markets or wearhouses to find good deals on spices and herbs.

Enchiladas:
Shredded Beef (recipe below)
Enchilada sauce (recipe below)
Monterey Jack cheese, search shredded
1 small can sliced olives
1/2 cup chopped red onion
Flour tortillas
Cojitas cheese, crumbled

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread a 1/4 cup enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 13X9 baking pan. Dip each side of a tortilla in the enchilada sauce. Fill tortilla with a few tablespoons shredded beef and cheese. Fold up the sides and place seam side down in baking dish. Pour another 1/4 cup of sauce over the enchiladas. Sprinkle with cheese, chopped onions and olives. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until cheese is melted and the sauce in the dish is bubbly.

Shredded Beef:
Source: Old Church Cookbook
2 1/2 cups of beef broth
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup onion minced

Spice Rub:
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 1/2 to 3 pounds chuck roast
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried coriander
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Heat olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. In a small bowl mix the cumin, chili powder, oregano, coriander, paprika, salt, and pepper. Rub the spice mixture all over the roast, completely coating the meat.

Place the beef in the hot pan for 2-3 minutes on each side to sear the meat. Transfer to a crock pot or deep casserole with a lid. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the beef broth to the pan stirring and scraping the bottom to loosen all the charred bits. Pour over roast. Add cilantro, garlic, and onion to pot with the meat. Cover and transfer to the oven. Bake 2-3 hours. Remove any fat then shred the beef using two forks.

Enchilada Sauce:
Sauce: AllRecipes
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 1/4 cups water or broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced onion
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in flour and chili powder, reduce heat to medium, and cook until the sauce starts to thicken slightly, stirring constantly to prevent burning the flour.

Gradually stir in tomato sauce, water, cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder until smooth. Continue cooking over medium heat about 5-7 minutes, or until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Enchiladas:
Shredded Beef (recipe below)
Enchilada sauce (recipe below)
Monterey Jack cheese, decease shredded
Sliced olives
1/2 cup chopped onion
Corn or flour tortillas
Dip each side of a tortilla

Shredded Beef:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 pounds lean chuck roast
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried coriander
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon course salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 1/2 cups of beef broth
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup minced onion
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a deep casserole with lid or dutch oven, over medium-high heat. In a small bowl mix the cumin, chili powder, oregano, coriander, paprika, salt, and pepper. Rub the spice mixture all over the roast, completely coating the meat.

Place the beef in the hot pan for 2-3 minutes on each side to sear the meat. Add the beef broth, cilantro, garlic, and onion. Cover and transfer to the oven. Bake 2-3 hours.

Remove any fat then shred the beef using two forks.

Enchilada Sauce:
Sauce: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/ten-minute-enchilada-sauce/Detail.aspx
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons flour or potato starch
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 1/4 cups water or broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 3 cloves garlic minced
1/2 teaspoon onion powder or 2 tablespoons minced onion
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in flour and chili powder, reduce heat to medium, and cook until the sauce starts to thicken slightly, stirring constantly to prevent burning the flour.

Gradually stir in tomato sauce, water, cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder until smooth. Continue cooking over medium heat about 5-7 minutes, or until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Happy first day of summer!

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, here the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, symptoms the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, order art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.

“The Sun” by Cathy McClelland

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, check the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, buy the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, what is ed art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.

“The Sun” by Cathy McClelland

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, viagra approved the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.
This week my son requested pound cake for dessert. I was surprised to find I have yet to post the recipe for my Aunt’s Sour Cream Pound Cake. My Aunt always had a round of her famous sour cream pound cake tucked away under the lid of the cake dome. I know I gush a lot over my great Aunt Ruth. She is an amazing woman. She is a strong classy lady with loads of common sense wisdom.

My Aunt Ruth can farm and hunt with the best of tom boys; yet, thumb she can done a dress and ballroom dance with a regal air. She has the purest heart. She never gossips or speaks ill of anyone. She believes in the saying “if you can’t say something nice do not say anything at all.” She was unable to have children of her own but she was a loving mother to many. You can’t help but love her. She has an infectious smile with a down to earth personality. She is the most amazing cook too. Her meals are simple. No fluff. Just simple fresh ingredients.

My Aunt Ruth would serve her pound cake with strawberries. The strawberries were tossed with sugar to draw out the juices to create its own syrup. She always had pint sized containers of strawberries in syrup and blueberries in the freezer ready to top pound cake or be made into a cobbler.

Pound cakes get their name from the weight of the ingredients used: a pound of butter, buy a pound of flour, a pound of sugar and a pound of eggs. Always try to use the freshest good quality ingredients when preparing pound cake. Pound cakes do not use baking powder to give them rise. Instead they rely on air incorporated into the batter during the creaming and addition of the eggs. Over mixing the batter can result in a dense crumbly cake rather than a lighter moist version. In this recipe the butter, butter-sugar mixture, dry ingredients and egg whites are all whipped separately before combining them. It important to mix each stage properly.

1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, room temperature but still cool
2 3/4 cup sugar
5 large eggs, separated, room temperature
1 cup sour cream, room temperature but still cool
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon flavoring (optional)

Frosting:
8 ounce package cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter
3 cups powder sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour the bottom, sides and cone of a 10-inch tube pan.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar; cream until light colored and fluffy. About 5-7 minutes.

**Do not stop beating sugar and butter too early. Continue beating until the mixture is lighter in color and fluffy not stiff and dull.**

Whip egg whites until just stiff. Add eggs to butter mixture one at a time, alternating egg yolk then some egg white.

**Do not over mix each addition. Mix in each egg addition just until the color of the egg yolk or egg white disappears. You can error on the side of when you see the egg turn into a long thin swirl.**

In a small bowl sift the flour, salt and baking soda. Using a large spatula, fold in the flour mixture to the egg mixture alternating sour cream then flour; mixing until just combined. Add the vanilla and lemon until incorporated.

Pour the mixture into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes.

**Tips:

— Try to use a lighter aluminum tube pan. The darker pans tend to darken the sides and bottom of the cake more.

— Bake by instinct not time. Watch the cake at about the 1 hour mark. Test for doneness by pressing on the top. If it feels firm and bounces back the cake may be done. If it jiggles or feels fragile under pressure it is not done.

— If the cake is browning too fast cover the top with aluminum foil and place pan on a baking sheet. This will insulate the cake from further direct heat.

— Weather and ovens vary the end result of baked goods. If 350 seems to hot reduce the temperature to 325.

— There is not substitute for lemon extract. Lemon juice contains acids while the extract has more of an essential oil base. You could try a tablespoon of lemon zest, if in a pinch, added to the frosting.
This week my son requested pound cake for dessert. I was surprised to find I have yet to post the recipe for my Aunt’s Sour Cream Pound Cake. My Aunt always had a round of her famous sour cream pound cake tucked away under the lid of the cake dome. I know I gush a lot over my great Aunt Ruth. She is an amazing woman. She is a strong classy lady with loads of common sense wisdom.

My Aunt Ruth can farm and hunt with the best of tom boys; yet, viagra dosage she can done a gown and ballroom dance with a regal air. She has the purest heart. She never gossips or speaks ill of anyone. She believes in the saying “if you can’t say something nice do not say anything at all.” So you will find she does not talk too much. When she does she has so many adventurous stories to tell. My Great Aunt Ruth was unable to have children of her own but she was a loving mother to many. You can’t help but love her. She has an infectious smile with a down to earth personality. She is the most amazing cook too. Her meals are simple. No fluff. Just simple fresh ingredients.

My Aunt Ruth always served her pound cake with fresh chopped strawberries. The strawberries were tossed with sugar to draw out the juices to create a syrup. She always had pint sized containers of fresh picked strawberries and blueberries in the freezer ready to top pound cake or be made into a cobbler.

Pound cakes get their name from the weight of the ingredients used: a pound of butter, a pound of flour, a pound of sugar and a pound of eggs. Always try to use the freshest good quality ingredients when preparing pound cake. Because pound gets the majority of its flavor from the butter there is no substitute for real butter. Use a low protein flour such as Pillsbury or a cake flour to keep the crumb tender.

Pound cakes do not use baking powder to give them rise. Instead they rely on the power of eggs and whipped air incorporated into the batter during the creaming and addition of the eggs. Over mixing the batter can result in a dense crumbly cake rather than a lighter moist version. In this recipe the butter, butter-sugar mixture, dry ingredients and egg whites are all whipped separately before combining them. It is equally important to mix each stage properly.

1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, room temperature but still cool
2 3/4 cup sugar
5 large eggs, separated, room temperature
1 cup sour cream, room temperature but still cool
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon flavoring (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour the bottom, sides and cone of a 10-inch tube pan.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar; cream until light colored and fluffy. About 5-7 minutes.

**Do not stop beating sugar and butter too early. Continue beating until the mixture is light in color and fluffy not stiff and dull.**

Whip egg whites until just stiff. (about 2-3 minutes with a mixer) Add the eggs to the butter mixture one at a time, alternating egg yolk then some egg white.

**Do not over mix each addition. Mix in each egg addition just until the color of the egg yolk or egg white disappears.**

In a small bowl sift the flour, salt and baking soda. Using a large spatula, fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture alternating sour cream then flour; mixing until just combined. Add the vanilla and lemon; fold in until incorporated.

Pour the mixture into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan to finish cooling on a wire rack.

To serve: top cake with glaze and a dusting of powdered sugar. Or omit the glaze and dust with powdered sugar. Serve with sliced berries, ice cream or whipped cream.

Glaze: Beat the following ingredients together until smooth and creamy.
8 ounce package cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter
3 cups powder sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

**Tips:
— Try to use a lighter aluminum tube pan. The darker pans tend to darken the sides and bottom of the cake more.
— Bake by instinct not time. Watch the cake at about the 1 hour mark. Test for doneness by pressing on the top. If it feels firm and bounces back the cake may be done. If it jiggles or feels fragile under pressure it is not done.
— If the cake is browning too fast cover the top with aluminum foil and place pan on a baking sheet. This will insulate the cake from further direct heat.
— Weather and ovens vary the end result of baked goods.
— There is no substitute for lemon extract. Lemon juice contains acids while the extract has more of an essential oil base. You could try a tablespoon of lemon zest, if in a pinch, added to the glaze.
This week my son requested pound cake for dessert. I was surprised to find I have yet to post the recipe for my Aunt’s Sour Cream Pound Cake. My Aunt always had a round of her famous sour cream pound cake tucked away under the lid of the cake dome. I know I gush a lot over my great Aunt Ruth. She is an amazing woman. She is a strong classy lady with loads of common sense wisdom.

My Aunt Ruth can farm and hunt with the best of tom boys; yet, hospital she can done a gown and ballroom dance with a regal air. She has the purest heart. She never gossips or speaks ill of anyone. She believes in the saying “if you can’t say something nice do not say anything at all.” So you will find she does not talk too much. When she does she has so many adventurous stories to tell. My Great Aunt Ruth was unable to have children of her own but she was a loving mother to many. You can’t help but love her. She has an infectious smile with a down to earth personality. She is the most amazing cook too. Her meals are simple. No fluff. Just simple fresh ingredients.

My Aunt Ruth always served her pound cake with fresh chopped strawberries. The strawberries were tossed with sugar to draw out the juices to create a syrup. She always had pint sized containers of fresh picked strawberries and blueberries in the freezer ready to top pound cake or be made into a cobbler.

Pound cakes get their name from the weight of the ingredients used: a pound of butter, viagra order a pound of flour, capsule a pound of sugar and a pound of eggs. Always try to use the freshest good quality ingredients when preparing pound cake. Because pound gets the majority of its flavor from the butter there is no substitute for real butter. Use a low protein flour such as Pillsbury or a cake flour to keep the crumb tender.

Pound cakes do not use baking powder to give them rise. Instead they rely on the power of eggs and whipped air incorporated into the batter during the creaming and addition of the eggs. Over mixing the batter can result in a dense crumbly cake rather than a lighter moist version. In this recipe the butter, butter-sugar mixture, dry ingredients and egg whites are all whipped separately before combining them. It is equally important to mix each stage properly.

2 sticks butter, room temperature but still cool
2 3/4 cup sugar
6 large eggs, separated, room temperature
1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt, room temperature but still cool
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon flavoring (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour the bottom, sides and cone of a 10-inch tube pan.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar; cream until light colored and fluffy. About 5-7 minutes.

**Do not stop beating sugar and butter too early. Continue beating until the mixture is light in color and fluffy not stiff and dull.**

Whip egg whites until just stiff. (about 2-3 minutes with a mixer) Add the eggs to the butter mixture one at a time, alternating egg yolk then some egg white.

**Do not over mix each addition. Mix in each egg addition just until the color of the egg yolk or egg white disappears.**

In a small bowl sift the flour, salt and baking soda. Using a large spatula, fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture alternating sour cream then flour; mixing until just combined. Add the vanilla and lemon; fold in until incorporated.

Pour the mixture into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan to finish cooling on a wire rack.

To serve: top cake with glaze and a dusting of powdered sugar. Or omit the glaze and dust with powdered sugar. Serve with sliced berries, ice cream or whipped cream.

Glaze: Beat the following ingredients together until smooth and creamy.
8 ounce package cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 box powder sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

**Tips:
— Try to use a lighter aluminum tube pan. The darker pans tend to darken the sides and bottom of the cake more.
— Bake by instinct not time. Watch the cake at about the 1 hour mark. Test for doneness by pressing on the top. If it feels firm and bounces back the cake may be done. If it jiggles or feels fragile under pressure it is not done.
— If the cake is browning too fast cover the top with aluminum foil and place pan on a baking sheet. This will insulate the cake from further direct heat.
— Weather and ovens vary the end result of baked goods.
— There is no substitute for lemon extract. Lemon juice contains acids while the extract has more of an essential oil base. You could try a tablespoon of lemon zest, if in a pinch, added to the glaze.

If you are looking to really stretch a dollar enchiladas are the way to go. A little bit of shredded meat can really go a long way. Use left over cooked chicken or a roast for more savings and shorten cooking time. Double or even Triple the batch to freeze for a later date.

The spice rub for the shredded beef is my go to taco seasoning recipe. For tacos I mix the quantity as stated but only use a tablespoon or two. Try ethnic markets or wearhouses to find good deals on spices and herbs.

Enchiladas:
Shredded Beef (recipe below)
Enchilada sauce (recipe below)
Monterey Jack cheese, search shredded
1 small can sliced olives
1/2 cup chopped red onion
Flour tortillas
Cojitas cheese, crumbled

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread a 1/4 cup enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 13X9 baking pan. Dip each side of a tortilla in the enchilada sauce. Fill tortilla with a few tablespoons shredded beef and cheese. Fold up the sides and place seam side down in baking dish. Pour another 1/4 cup of sauce over the enchiladas. Sprinkle with cheese, chopped onions and olives. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until cheese is melted and the sauce in the dish is bubbly.

Shredded Beef:
Source: Old Church Cookbook
2 1/2 cups of beef broth
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup onion minced

Spice Rub:
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 1/2 to 3 pounds chuck roast
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried coriander
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Heat olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. In a small bowl mix the cumin, chili powder, oregano, coriander, paprika, salt, and pepper. Rub the spice mixture all over the roast, completely coating the meat.

Place the beef in the hot pan for 2-3 minutes on each side to sear the meat. Transfer to a crock pot or deep casserole with a lid. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the beef broth to the pan stirring and scraping the bottom to loosen all the charred bits. Pour over roast. Add cilantro, garlic, and onion to pot with the meat. Cover and transfer to the oven. Bake 2-3 hours. Remove any fat then shred the beef using two forks.

Enchilada Sauce:
Sauce: AllRecipes
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 1/4 cups water or broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced onion
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in flour and chili powder, reduce heat to medium, and cook until the sauce starts to thicken slightly, stirring constantly to prevent burning the flour.

Gradually stir in tomato sauce, water, cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder until smooth. Continue cooking over medium heat about 5-7 minutes, or until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Enchiladas:
Shredded Beef (recipe below)
Enchilada sauce (recipe below)
Monterey Jack cheese, decease shredded
Sliced olives
1/2 cup chopped onion
Corn or flour tortillas
Dip each side of a tortilla

Shredded Beef:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 pounds lean chuck roast
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried coriander
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon course salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 1/2 cups of beef broth
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup minced onion
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a deep casserole with lid or dutch oven, over medium-high heat. In a small bowl mix the cumin, chili powder, oregano, coriander, paprika, salt, and pepper. Rub the spice mixture all over the roast, completely coating the meat.

Place the beef in the hot pan for 2-3 minutes on each side to sear the meat. Add the beef broth, cilantro, garlic, and onion. Cover and transfer to the oven. Bake 2-3 hours.

Remove any fat then shred the beef using two forks.

Enchilada Sauce:
Sauce: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/ten-minute-enchilada-sauce/Detail.aspx
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons flour or potato starch
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 1/4 cups water or broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 3 cloves garlic minced
1/2 teaspoon onion powder or 2 tablespoons minced onion
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in flour and chili powder, reduce heat to medium, and cook until the sauce starts to thicken slightly, stirring constantly to prevent burning the flour.

Gradually stir in tomato sauce, water, cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder until smooth. Continue cooking over medium heat about 5-7 minutes, or until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
One of our families favorite meals

Enchiladas:
Shredded Beef (recipe below)
Enchilada sauce (recipe below)
Monterey Jack cheese, information pills shredded
1 small can sliced olives
1/2 cup chopped onion
Corn or flour tortillas

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread a 1/4 cup enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 13X9 baking pan. Dip each side of a tortilla in the enchilada sauce. Fill tortilla with a few tablespoons shredded beef and cheese. Fold up the sides and place seam side down in baking dish. Pour another 1/4 cup of sauce over the enchiladas. Sprinkle with cheese, more about chopped onions and olives. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until cheese is melted and the sauce in the dish is bubbly.

Shredded Beef:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 pounds lean chuck roast
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried coriander
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon course salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 1/2 cups of beef broth
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup minced onion
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a deep casserole with lid or dutch oven, over medium-high heat. In a small bowl mix the cumin, chili powder, oregano, coriander, paprika, salt, and pepper. Rub the spice mixture all over the roast, completely coating the meat.

Place the beef in the hot pan for 2-3 minutes on each side to sear the meat. Add the beef broth, cilantro, garlic, and onion. Cover and transfer to the oven. Bake 2-3 hours. Remove any fat then shred the beef using two forks.

Enchilada Sauce:
Sauce: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/ten-minute-enchilada-sauce/Detail.aspx
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons flour or potato starch
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 1/4 cups water or broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 3 cloves garlic minced
1/2 teaspoon onion powder or 2 tablespoons minced onion
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in flour and chili powder, reduce heat to medium, and cook until the sauce starts to thicken slightly, stirring constantly to prevent burning the flour.

Gradually stir in tomato sauce, water, cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder until smooth. Continue cooking over medium heat about 5-7 minutes, or until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Happy first day of summer!

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, here the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, symptoms the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, order art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.

“The Sun” by Cathy McClelland

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, check the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, buy the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, what is ed art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.

“The Sun” by Cathy McClelland

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, viagra approved the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.
This week my son requested pound cake for dessert. I was surprised to find I have yet to post the recipe for my Aunt’s Sour Cream Pound Cake. My Aunt always had a round of her famous sour cream pound cake tucked away under the lid of the cake dome. I know I gush a lot over my great Aunt Ruth. She is an amazing woman. She is a strong classy lady with loads of common sense wisdom.

My Aunt Ruth can farm and hunt with the best of tom boys; yet, thumb she can done a dress and ballroom dance with a regal air. She has the purest heart. She never gossips or speaks ill of anyone. She believes in the saying “if you can’t say something nice do not say anything at all.” She was unable to have children of her own but she was a loving mother to many. You can’t help but love her. She has an infectious smile with a down to earth personality. She is the most amazing cook too. Her meals are simple. No fluff. Just simple fresh ingredients.

My Aunt Ruth would serve her pound cake with strawberries. The strawberries were tossed with sugar to draw out the juices to create its own syrup. She always had pint sized containers of strawberries in syrup and blueberries in the freezer ready to top pound cake or be made into a cobbler.

Pound cakes get their name from the weight of the ingredients used: a pound of butter, buy a pound of flour, a pound of sugar and a pound of eggs. Always try to use the freshest good quality ingredients when preparing pound cake. Pound cakes do not use baking powder to give them rise. Instead they rely on air incorporated into the batter during the creaming and addition of the eggs. Over mixing the batter can result in a dense crumbly cake rather than a lighter moist version. In this recipe the butter, butter-sugar mixture, dry ingredients and egg whites are all whipped separately before combining them. It important to mix each stage properly.

1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, room temperature but still cool
2 3/4 cup sugar
5 large eggs, separated, room temperature
1 cup sour cream, room temperature but still cool
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon flavoring (optional)

Frosting:
8 ounce package cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter
3 cups powder sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour the bottom, sides and cone of a 10-inch tube pan.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar; cream until light colored and fluffy. About 5-7 minutes.

**Do not stop beating sugar and butter too early. Continue beating until the mixture is lighter in color and fluffy not stiff and dull.**

Whip egg whites until just stiff. Add eggs to butter mixture one at a time, alternating egg yolk then some egg white.

**Do not over mix each addition. Mix in each egg addition just until the color of the egg yolk or egg white disappears. You can error on the side of when you see the egg turn into a long thin swirl.**

In a small bowl sift the flour, salt and baking soda. Using a large spatula, fold in the flour mixture to the egg mixture alternating sour cream then flour; mixing until just combined. Add the vanilla and lemon until incorporated.

Pour the mixture into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes.

**Tips:

— Try to use a lighter aluminum tube pan. The darker pans tend to darken the sides and bottom of the cake more.

— Bake by instinct not time. Watch the cake at about the 1 hour mark. Test for doneness by pressing on the top. If it feels firm and bounces back the cake may be done. If it jiggles or feels fragile under pressure it is not done.

— If the cake is browning too fast cover the top with aluminum foil and place pan on a baking sheet. This will insulate the cake from further direct heat.

— Weather and ovens vary the end result of baked goods. If 350 seems to hot reduce the temperature to 325.

— There is not substitute for lemon extract. Lemon juice contains acids while the extract has more of an essential oil base. You could try a tablespoon of lemon zest, if in a pinch, added to the frosting.
This week my son requested pound cake for dessert. I was surprised to find I have yet to post the recipe for my Aunt’s Sour Cream Pound Cake. My Aunt always had a round of her famous sour cream pound cake tucked away under the lid of the cake dome. I know I gush a lot over my great Aunt Ruth. She is an amazing woman. She is a strong classy lady with loads of common sense wisdom.

My Aunt Ruth can farm and hunt with the best of tom boys; yet, viagra dosage she can done a gown and ballroom dance with a regal air. She has the purest heart. She never gossips or speaks ill of anyone. She believes in the saying “if you can’t say something nice do not say anything at all.” So you will find she does not talk too much. When she does she has so many adventurous stories to tell. My Great Aunt Ruth was unable to have children of her own but she was a loving mother to many. You can’t help but love her. She has an infectious smile with a down to earth personality. She is the most amazing cook too. Her meals are simple. No fluff. Just simple fresh ingredients.

My Aunt Ruth always served her pound cake with fresh chopped strawberries. The strawberries were tossed with sugar to draw out the juices to create a syrup. She always had pint sized containers of fresh picked strawberries and blueberries in the freezer ready to top pound cake or be made into a cobbler.

Pound cakes get their name from the weight of the ingredients used: a pound of butter, a pound of flour, a pound of sugar and a pound of eggs. Always try to use the freshest good quality ingredients when preparing pound cake. Because pound gets the majority of its flavor from the butter there is no substitute for real butter. Use a low protein flour such as Pillsbury or a cake flour to keep the crumb tender.

Pound cakes do not use baking powder to give them rise. Instead they rely on the power of eggs and whipped air incorporated into the batter during the creaming and addition of the eggs. Over mixing the batter can result in a dense crumbly cake rather than a lighter moist version. In this recipe the butter, butter-sugar mixture, dry ingredients and egg whites are all whipped separately before combining them. It is equally important to mix each stage properly.

1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, room temperature but still cool
2 3/4 cup sugar
5 large eggs, separated, room temperature
1 cup sour cream, room temperature but still cool
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon flavoring (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour the bottom, sides and cone of a 10-inch tube pan.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar; cream until light colored and fluffy. About 5-7 minutes.

**Do not stop beating sugar and butter too early. Continue beating until the mixture is light in color and fluffy not stiff and dull.**

Whip egg whites until just stiff. (about 2-3 minutes with a mixer) Add the eggs to the butter mixture one at a time, alternating egg yolk then some egg white.

**Do not over mix each addition. Mix in each egg addition just until the color of the egg yolk or egg white disappears.**

In a small bowl sift the flour, salt and baking soda. Using a large spatula, fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture alternating sour cream then flour; mixing until just combined. Add the vanilla and lemon; fold in until incorporated.

Pour the mixture into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan to finish cooling on a wire rack.

To serve: top cake with glaze and a dusting of powdered sugar. Or omit the glaze and dust with powdered sugar. Serve with sliced berries, ice cream or whipped cream.

Glaze: Beat the following ingredients together until smooth and creamy.
8 ounce package cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter
3 cups powder sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

**Tips:
— Try to use a lighter aluminum tube pan. The darker pans tend to darken the sides and bottom of the cake more.
— Bake by instinct not time. Watch the cake at about the 1 hour mark. Test for doneness by pressing on the top. If it feels firm and bounces back the cake may be done. If it jiggles or feels fragile under pressure it is not done.
— If the cake is browning too fast cover the top with aluminum foil and place pan on a baking sheet. This will insulate the cake from further direct heat.
— Weather and ovens vary the end result of baked goods.
— There is no substitute for lemon extract. Lemon juice contains acids while the extract has more of an essential oil base. You could try a tablespoon of lemon zest, if in a pinch, added to the glaze.
This week my son requested pound cake for dessert. I was surprised to find I have yet to post the recipe for my Aunt’s Sour Cream Pound Cake. My Aunt always had a round of her famous sour cream pound cake tucked away under the lid of the cake dome. I know I gush a lot over my great Aunt Ruth. She is an amazing woman. She is a strong classy lady with loads of common sense wisdom.

My Aunt Ruth can farm and hunt with the best of tom boys; yet, hospital she can done a gown and ballroom dance with a regal air. She has the purest heart. She never gossips or speaks ill of anyone. She believes in the saying “if you can’t say something nice do not say anything at all.” So you will find she does not talk too much. When she does she has so many adventurous stories to tell. My Great Aunt Ruth was unable to have children of her own but she was a loving mother to many. You can’t help but love her. She has an infectious smile with a down to earth personality. She is the most amazing cook too. Her meals are simple. No fluff. Just simple fresh ingredients.

My Aunt Ruth always served her pound cake with fresh chopped strawberries. The strawberries were tossed with sugar to draw out the juices to create a syrup. She always had pint sized containers of fresh picked strawberries and blueberries in the freezer ready to top pound cake or be made into a cobbler.

Pound cakes get their name from the weight of the ingredients used: a pound of butter, viagra order a pound of flour, capsule a pound of sugar and a pound of eggs. Always try to use the freshest good quality ingredients when preparing pound cake. Because pound gets the majority of its flavor from the butter there is no substitute for real butter. Use a low protein flour such as Pillsbury or a cake flour to keep the crumb tender.

Pound cakes do not use baking powder to give them rise. Instead they rely on the power of eggs and whipped air incorporated into the batter during the creaming and addition of the eggs. Over mixing the batter can result in a dense crumbly cake rather than a lighter moist version. In this recipe the butter, butter-sugar mixture, dry ingredients and egg whites are all whipped separately before combining them. It is equally important to mix each stage properly.

2 sticks butter, room temperature but still cool
2 3/4 cup sugar
6 large eggs, separated, room temperature
1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt, room temperature but still cool
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon flavoring (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour the bottom, sides and cone of a 10-inch tube pan.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar; cream until light colored and fluffy. About 5-7 minutes.

**Do not stop beating sugar and butter too early. Continue beating until the mixture is light in color and fluffy not stiff and dull.**

Whip egg whites until just stiff. (about 2-3 minutes with a mixer) Add the eggs to the butter mixture one at a time, alternating egg yolk then some egg white.

**Do not over mix each addition. Mix in each egg addition just until the color of the egg yolk or egg white disappears.**

In a small bowl sift the flour, salt and baking soda. Using a large spatula, fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture alternating sour cream then flour; mixing until just combined. Add the vanilla and lemon; fold in until incorporated.

Pour the mixture into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan to finish cooling on a wire rack.

To serve: top cake with glaze and a dusting of powdered sugar. Or omit the glaze and dust with powdered sugar. Serve with sliced berries, ice cream or whipped cream.

Glaze: Beat the following ingredients together until smooth and creamy.
8 ounce package cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 box powder sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

**Tips:
— Try to use a lighter aluminum tube pan. The darker pans tend to darken the sides and bottom of the cake more.
— Bake by instinct not time. Watch the cake at about the 1 hour mark. Test for doneness by pressing on the top. If it feels firm and bounces back the cake may be done. If it jiggles or feels fragile under pressure it is not done.
— If the cake is browning too fast cover the top with aluminum foil and place pan on a baking sheet. This will insulate the cake from further direct heat.
— Weather and ovens vary the end result of baked goods.
— There is no substitute for lemon extract. Lemon juice contains acids while the extract has more of an essential oil base. You could try a tablespoon of lemon zest, if in a pinch, added to the glaze.

If you are looking to really stretch a dollar enchiladas are the way to go. A little bit of shredded meat can really go a long way. Use left over cooked chicken or a roast for more savings and shorten cooking time. Double or even Triple the batch to freeze for a later date.

The spice rub for the shredded beef is my go to taco seasoning recipe. For tacos I mix the quantity as stated but only use a tablespoon or two. Try ethnic markets or wearhouses to find good deals on spices and herbs.

Enchiladas:
Shredded Beef (recipe below)
Enchilada sauce (recipe below)
Monterey Jack cheese, search shredded
1 small can sliced olives
1/2 cup chopped red onion
Flour tortillas
Cojitas cheese, crumbled

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread a 1/4 cup enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 13X9 baking pan. Dip each side of a tortilla in the enchilada sauce. Fill tortilla with a few tablespoons shredded beef and cheese. Fold up the sides and place seam side down in baking dish. Pour another 1/4 cup of sauce over the enchiladas. Sprinkle with cheese, chopped onions and olives. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until cheese is melted and the sauce in the dish is bubbly.

Shredded Beef:
Source: Old Church Cookbook
2 1/2 cups of beef broth
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup onion minced

Spice Rub:
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 1/2 to 3 pounds chuck roast
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried coriander
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Heat olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. In a small bowl mix the cumin, chili powder, oregano, coriander, paprika, salt, and pepper. Rub the spice mixture all over the roast, completely coating the meat.

Place the beef in the hot pan for 2-3 minutes on each side to sear the meat. Transfer to a crock pot or deep casserole with a lid. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the beef broth to the pan stirring and scraping the bottom to loosen all the charred bits. Pour over roast. Add cilantro, garlic, and onion to pot with the meat. Cover and transfer to the oven. Bake 2-3 hours. Remove any fat then shred the beef using two forks.

Enchilada Sauce:
Sauce: AllRecipes
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 1/4 cups water or broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced onion
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in flour and chili powder, reduce heat to medium, and cook until the sauce starts to thicken slightly, stirring constantly to prevent burning the flour.

Gradually stir in tomato sauce, water, cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder until smooth. Continue cooking over medium heat about 5-7 minutes, or until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Enchiladas:
Shredded Beef (recipe below)
Enchilada sauce (recipe below)
Monterey Jack cheese, decease shredded
Sliced olives
1/2 cup chopped onion
Corn or flour tortillas
Dip each side of a tortilla

Shredded Beef:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 pounds lean chuck roast
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried coriander
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon course salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 1/2 cups of beef broth
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup minced onion
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a deep casserole with lid or dutch oven, over medium-high heat. In a small bowl mix the cumin, chili powder, oregano, coriander, paprika, salt, and pepper. Rub the spice mixture all over the roast, completely coating the meat.

Place the beef in the hot pan for 2-3 minutes on each side to sear the meat. Add the beef broth, cilantro, garlic, and onion. Cover and transfer to the oven. Bake 2-3 hours.

Remove any fat then shred the beef using two forks.

Enchilada Sauce:
Sauce: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/ten-minute-enchilada-sauce/Detail.aspx
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons flour or potato starch
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 1/4 cups water or broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 3 cloves garlic minced
1/2 teaspoon onion powder or 2 tablespoons minced onion
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in flour and chili powder, reduce heat to medium, and cook until the sauce starts to thicken slightly, stirring constantly to prevent burning the flour.

Gradually stir in tomato sauce, water, cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder until smooth. Continue cooking over medium heat about 5-7 minutes, or until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
One of our families favorite meals

Enchiladas:
Shredded Beef (recipe below)
Enchilada sauce (recipe below)
Monterey Jack cheese, information pills shredded
1 small can sliced olives
1/2 cup chopped onion
Corn or flour tortillas

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread a 1/4 cup enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 13X9 baking pan. Dip each side of a tortilla in the enchilada sauce. Fill tortilla with a few tablespoons shredded beef and cheese. Fold up the sides and place seam side down in baking dish. Pour another 1/4 cup of sauce over the enchiladas. Sprinkle with cheese, more about chopped onions and olives. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until cheese is melted and the sauce in the dish is bubbly.

Shredded Beef:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 pounds lean chuck roast
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried coriander
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon course salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 1/2 cups of beef broth
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup minced onion
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a deep casserole with lid or dutch oven, over medium-high heat. In a small bowl mix the cumin, chili powder, oregano, coriander, paprika, salt, and pepper. Rub the spice mixture all over the roast, completely coating the meat.

Place the beef in the hot pan for 2-3 minutes on each side to sear the meat. Add the beef broth, cilantro, garlic, and onion. Cover and transfer to the oven. Bake 2-3 hours. Remove any fat then shred the beef using two forks.

Enchilada Sauce:
Sauce: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/ten-minute-enchilada-sauce/Detail.aspx
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons flour or potato starch
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 1/4 cups water or broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 3 cloves garlic minced
1/2 teaspoon onion powder or 2 tablespoons minced onion
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in flour and chili powder, reduce heat to medium, and cook until the sauce starts to thicken slightly, stirring constantly to prevent burning the flour.

Gradually stir in tomato sauce, water, cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder until smooth. Continue cooking over medium heat about 5-7 minutes, or until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
One of our families favorite meals

Enchiladas:
Shredded Beef (recipe below)
Enchilada sauce (recipe below)
Monterey Jack cheese, price shredded
1 small can sliced olives
1/2 cup chopped onion
Corn or flour tortillas

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread a 1/4 cup enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 13X9 baking pan. Dip each side of a tortilla in the enchilada sauce. Fill tortilla with a few tablespoons shredded beef and cheese. Fold up the sides and place seam side down in baking dish. Pour another 1/4 cup of sauce over the enchiladas. Sprinkle with cheese, visit this chopped onions and olives. Bake for 25-30 minutes, here until cheese is melted and the sauce in the dish is bubbly.

Shredded Beef:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 pounds lean chuck roast
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried coriander
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon course salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 1/2 cups of beef broth
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup minced onion
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a deep casserole with lid or dutch oven, over medium-high heat. In a small bowl mix the cumin, chili powder, oregano, coriander, paprika, salt, and pepper. Rub the spice mixture all over the roast, completely coating the meat.

Place the beef in the hot pan for 2-3 minutes on each side to sear the meat. Add the beef broth, cilantro, garlic, and onion. Cover and transfer to the oven. Bake 2-3 hours. Remove any fat then shred the beef using two forks.

Enchilada Sauce:
Sauce: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/ten-minute-enchilada-sauce/Detail.aspx
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons flour or potato starch
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 1/4 cups water or broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 3 cloves garlic minced
1/2 teaspoon onion powder or 2 tablespoons minced onion
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in flour and chili powder, reduce heat to medium, and cook until the sauce starts to thicken slightly, stirring constantly to prevent burning the flour.

Gradually stir in tomato sauce, water, cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder until smooth. Continue cooking over medium heat about 5-7 minutes, or until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Happy first day of summer!

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, here the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, symptoms the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, order art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.

“The Sun” by Cathy McClelland

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, check the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, buy the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, what is ed art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.

“The Sun” by Cathy McClelland

As the southern hemisphere of the earth approaches winter the northern hemisphere is just beginning to welcome in summer. The first day of summer begins each year on June 21st, viagra approved the Summer Solstice. A solstice happens twice a year; in the winter when the sun reaches the southern most position in the sky and on the first day of summer when the sun is in its northern most position.

The Summer Solstice sun reaches its maximum height on the first day of summer. This is relatively the longest day of the year because the time lapse between sunrise and sunset is the longest. In fact the regions closest in proximity to the North Pole experience a 24-hour period of daylight called a “Polar Day”.

This extended period of sunlight continues to shorten the farther south you travel from the tip of the Arctic Circle. During the following two months the polar cap is bathed in continuous sunlight; meanwhile, the subarctic regions experience a shorter night beginning anywhere between 12am or 2am. As the summer progresses towards fall the path of the sun descends.

For centuries people have gathered together in various parts of the world to celebrate the Summer Solstice through music, art, dancing, and festivals. For our ancestors the Summer Solstice was a joyous occasion. Summer meant an abundance of crops as a result of the increased warmth and light from the sun. For that gift many gave thanks by way of celebration.

Our dependance on the sun and the earth’s resources is just as important to us today as it was for our ancient ancestors. In honoring an amazing phenomenon such as the summer solstice we teach our family to recognize the intricate details of nature and how to show appreciation for the many gifts our earth provides. With a focus on nature and giving here are some fun ideas to celebrate the first day of summer.

– Check the local newspaper or City website for celebrations in your area. Some businesses such as museums offer discounts to ring in the new season.

– Observe the sunrise or sunset.

– Create banners, sun masks (using paper plates, gold paints and jewels) and wreaths.

– Host a neighborhood parade or an impromptu music jam session in the park.

– Make fruit candles. Scoop out the insides of an orange or apple. Place a small candle inside or pour hot wax and add a wick.

– Have a fairy themed party.

– Have a campout in the back yard. Tell magical stories and let the imaginations run wild.

– Plant a garden. Set a place within for an enchanted fairy princess.

– Have a BBQ with a feast of roasted vegetables and fruits.

– Make individual sun shaped bread rolls.

– Make candle boats to release on the lake.

– Make a time capsule. Include pictures and drawings, things interested in, things everyone would like to change or goals. Seal the box or envelope until next year.

– Write a play to perform for friends and family.

– Find a You-Pick farm to pick berries.

– Come up with ways to save energy and water at home during the week.

– Help keep the earth beautiful by recycling and placing liter in garbage cans.
This week my son requested pound cake for dessert. I was surprised to find I have yet to post the recipe for my Aunt’s Sour Cream Pound Cake. My Aunt always had a round of her famous sour cream pound cake tucked away under the lid of the cake dome. I know I gush a lot over my great Aunt Ruth. She is an amazing woman. She is a strong classy lady with loads of common sense wisdom.

My Aunt Ruth can farm and hunt with the best of tom boys; yet, thumb she can done a dress and ballroom dance with a regal air. She has the purest heart. She never gossips or speaks ill of anyone. She believes in the saying “if you can’t say something nice do not say anything at all.” She was unable to have children of her own but she was a loving mother to many. You can’t help but love her. She has an infectious smile with a down to earth personality. She is the most amazing cook too. Her meals are simple. No fluff. Just simple fresh ingredients.

My Aunt Ruth would serve her pound cake with strawberries. The strawberries were tossed with sugar to draw out the juices to create its own syrup. She always had pint sized containers of strawberries in syrup and blueberries in the freezer ready to top pound cake or be made into a cobbler.

Pound cakes get their name from the weight of the ingredients used: a pound of butter, buy a pound of flour, a pound of sugar and a pound of eggs. Always try to use the freshest good quality ingredients when preparing pound cake. Pound cakes do not use baking powder to give them rise. Instead they rely on air incorporated into the batter during the creaming and addition of the eggs. Over mixing the batter can result in a dense crumbly cake rather than a lighter moist version. In this recipe the butter, butter-sugar mixture, dry ingredients and egg whites are all whipped separately before combining them. It important to mix each stage properly.

1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, room temperature but still cool
2 3/4 cup sugar
5 large eggs, separated, room temperature
1 cup sour cream, room temperature but still cool
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon flavoring (optional)

Frosting:
8 ounce package cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter
3 cups powder sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour the bottom, sides and cone of a 10-inch tube pan.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar; cream until light colored and fluffy. About 5-7 minutes.

**Do not stop beating sugar and butter too early. Continue beating until the mixture is lighter in color and fluffy not stiff and dull.**

Whip egg whites until just stiff. Add eggs to butter mixture one at a time, alternating egg yolk then some egg white.

**Do not over mix each addition. Mix in each egg addition just until the color of the egg yolk or egg white disappears. You can error on the side of when you see the egg turn into a long thin swirl.**

In a small bowl sift the flour, salt and baking soda. Using a large spatula, fold in the flour mixture to the egg mixture alternating sour cream then flour; mixing until just combined. Add the vanilla and lemon until incorporated.

Pour the mixture into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes.

**Tips:

— Try to use a lighter aluminum tube pan. The darker pans tend to darken the sides and bottom of the cake more.

— Bake by instinct not time. Watch the cake at about the 1 hour mark. Test for doneness by pressing on the top. If it feels firm and bounces back the cake may be done. If it jiggles or feels fragile under pressure it is not done.

— If the cake is browning too fast cover the top with aluminum foil and place pan on a baking sheet. This will insulate the cake from further direct heat.

— Weather and ovens vary the end result of baked goods. If 350 seems to hot reduce the temperature to 325.

— There is not substitute for lemon extract. Lemon juice contains acids while the extract has more of an essential oil base. You could try a tablespoon of lemon zest, if in a pinch, added to the frosting.
This week my son requested pound cake for dessert. I was surprised to find I have yet to post the recipe for my Aunt’s Sour Cream Pound Cake. My Aunt always had a round of her famous sour cream pound cake tucked away under the lid of the cake dome. I know I gush a lot over my great Aunt Ruth. She is an amazing woman. She is a strong classy lady with loads of common sense wisdom.

My Aunt Ruth can farm and hunt with the best of tom boys; yet, viagra dosage she can done a gown and ballroom dance with a regal air. She has the purest heart. She never gossips or speaks ill of anyone. She believes in the saying “if you can’t say something nice do not say anything at all.” So you will find she does not talk too much. When she does she has so many adventurous stories to tell. My Great Aunt Ruth was unable to have children of her own but she was a loving mother to many. You can’t help but love her. She has an infectious smile with a down to earth personality. She is the most amazing cook too. Her meals are simple. No fluff. Just simple fresh ingredients.

My Aunt Ruth always served her pound cake with fresh chopped strawberries. The strawberries were tossed with sugar to draw out the juices to create a syrup. She always had pint sized containers of fresh picked strawberries and blueberries in the freezer ready to top pound cake or be made into a cobbler.

Pound cakes get their name from the weight of the ingredients used: a pound of butter, a pound of flour, a pound of sugar and a pound of eggs. Always try to use the freshest good quality ingredients when preparing pound cake. Because pound gets the majority of its flavor from the butter there is no substitute for real butter. Use a low protein flour such as Pillsbury or a cake flour to keep the crumb tender.

Pound cakes do not use baking powder to give them rise. Instead they rely on the power of eggs and whipped air incorporated into the batter during the creaming and addition of the eggs. Over mixing the batter can result in a dense crumbly cake rather than a lighter moist version. In this recipe the butter, butter-sugar mixture, dry ingredients and egg whites are all whipped separately before combining them. It is equally important to mix each stage properly.

1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, room temperature but still cool
2 3/4 cup sugar
5 large eggs, separated, room temperature
1 cup sour cream, room temperature but still cool
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon flavoring (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour the bottom, sides and cone of a 10-inch tube pan.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar; cream until light colored and fluffy. About 5-7 minutes.

**Do not stop beating sugar and butter too early. Continue beating until the mixture is light in color and fluffy not stiff and dull.**

Whip egg whites until just stiff. (about 2-3 minutes with a mixer) Add the eggs to the butter mixture one at a time, alternating egg yolk then some egg white.

**Do not over mix each addition. Mix in each egg addition just until the color of the egg yolk or egg white disappears.**

In a small bowl sift the flour, salt and baking soda. Using a large spatula, fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture alternating sour cream then flour; mixing until just combined. Add the vanilla and lemon; fold in until incorporated.

Pour the mixture into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan to finish cooling on a wire rack.

To serve: top cake with glaze and a dusting of powdered sugar. Or omit the glaze and dust with powdered sugar. Serve with sliced berries, ice cream or whipped cream.

Glaze: Beat the following ingredients together until smooth and creamy.
8 ounce package cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter
3 cups powder sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

**Tips:
— Try to use a lighter aluminum tube pan. The darker pans tend to darken the sides and bottom of the cake more.
— Bake by instinct not time. Watch the cake at about the 1 hour mark. Test for doneness by pressing on the top. If it feels firm and bounces back the cake may be done. If it jiggles or feels fragile under pressure it is not done.
— If the cake is browning too fast cover the top with aluminum foil and place pan on a baking sheet. This will insulate the cake from further direct heat.
— Weather and ovens vary the end result of baked goods.
— There is no substitute for lemon extract. Lemon juice contains acids while the extract has more of an essential oil base. You could try a tablespoon of lemon zest, if in a pinch, added to the glaze.
This week my son requested pound cake for dessert. I was surprised to find I have yet to post the recipe for my Aunt’s Sour Cream Pound Cake. My Aunt always had a round of her famous sour cream pound cake tucked away under the lid of the cake dome. I know I gush a lot over my great Aunt Ruth. She is an amazing woman. She is a strong classy lady with loads of common sense wisdom.

My Aunt Ruth can farm and hunt with the best of tom boys; yet, hospital she can done a gown and ballroom dance with a regal air. She has the purest heart. She never gossips or speaks ill of anyone. She believes in the saying “if you can’t say something nice do not say anything at all.” So you will find she does not talk too much. When she does she has so many adventurous stories to tell. My Great Aunt Ruth was unable to have children of her own but she was a loving mother to many. You can’t help but love her. She has an infectious smile with a down to earth personality. She is the most amazing cook too. Her meals are simple. No fluff. Just simple fresh ingredients.

My Aunt Ruth always served her pound cake with fresh chopped strawberries. The strawberries were tossed with sugar to draw out the juices to create a syrup. She always had pint sized containers of fresh picked strawberries and blueberries in the freezer ready to top pound cake or be made into a cobbler.

Pound cakes get their name from the weight of the ingredients used: a pound of butter, viagra order a pound of flour, capsule a pound of sugar and a pound of eggs. Always try to use the freshest good quality ingredients when preparing pound cake. Because pound gets the majority of its flavor from the butter there is no substitute for real butter. Use a low protein flour such as Pillsbury or a cake flour to keep the crumb tender.

Pound cakes do not use baking powder to give them rise. Instead they rely on the power of eggs and whipped air incorporated into the batter during the creaming and addition of the eggs. Over mixing the batter can result in a dense crumbly cake rather than a lighter moist version. In this recipe the butter, butter-sugar mixture, dry ingredients and egg whites are all whipped separately before combining them. It is equally important to mix each stage properly.

2 sticks butter, room temperature but still cool
2 3/4 cup sugar
6 large eggs, separated, room temperature
1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt, room temperature but still cool
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon flavoring (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour the bottom, sides and cone of a 10-inch tube pan.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar; cream until light colored and fluffy. About 5-7 minutes.

**Do not stop beating sugar and butter too early. Continue beating until the mixture is light in color and fluffy not stiff and dull.**

Whip egg whites until just stiff. (about 2-3 minutes with a mixer) Add the eggs to the butter mixture one at a time, alternating egg yolk then some egg white.

**Do not over mix each addition. Mix in each egg addition just until the color of the egg yolk or egg white disappears.**

In a small bowl sift the flour, salt and baking soda. Using a large spatula, fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture alternating sour cream then flour; mixing until just combined. Add the vanilla and lemon; fold in until incorporated.

Pour the mixture into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan to finish cooling on a wire rack.

To serve: top cake with glaze and a dusting of powdered sugar. Or omit the glaze and dust with powdered sugar. Serve with sliced berries, ice cream or whipped cream.

Glaze: Beat the following ingredients together until smooth and creamy.
8 ounce package cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 box powder sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

**Tips:
— Try to use a lighter aluminum tube pan. The darker pans tend to darken the sides and bottom of the cake more.
— Bake by instinct not time. Watch the cake at about the 1 hour mark. Test for doneness by pressing on the top. If it feels firm and bounces back the cake may be done. If it jiggles or feels fragile under pressure it is not done.
— If the cake is browning too fast cover the top with aluminum foil and place pan on a baking sheet. This will insulate the cake from further direct heat.
— Weather and ovens vary the end result of baked goods.
— There is no substitute for lemon extract. Lemon juice contains acids while the extract has more of an essential oil base. You could try a tablespoon of lemon zest, if in a pinch, added to the glaze.

If you are looking to really stretch a dollar enchiladas are the way to go. A little bit of shredded meat can really go a long way. Use left over cooked chicken or a roast for more savings and shorten cooking time. Double or even Triple the batch to freeze for a later date.

The spice rub for the shredded beef is my go to taco seasoning recipe. For tacos I mix the quantity as stated but only use a tablespoon or two. Try ethnic markets or wearhouses to find good deals on spices and herbs.

Enchiladas:
Shredded Beef (recipe below)
Enchilada sauce (recipe below)
Monterey Jack cheese, search shredded
1 small can sliced olives
1/2 cup chopped red onion
Flour tortillas
Cojitas cheese, crumbled

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread a 1/4 cup enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 13X9 baking pan. Dip each side of a tortilla in the enchilada sauce. Fill tortilla with a few tablespoons shredded beef and cheese. Fold up the sides and place seam side down in baking dish. Pour another 1/4 cup of sauce over the enchiladas. Sprinkle with cheese, chopped onions and olives. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until cheese is melted and the sauce in the dish is bubbly.

Shredded Beef:
Source: Old Church Cookbook
2 1/2 cups of beef broth
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup onion minced

Spice Rub:
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 1/2 to 3 pounds chuck roast
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried coriander
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Heat olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. In a small bowl mix the cumin, chili powder, oregano, coriander, paprika, salt, and pepper. Rub the spice mixture all over the roast, completely coating the meat.

Place the beef in the hot pan for 2-3 minutes on each side to sear the meat. Transfer to a crock pot or deep casserole with a lid. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the beef broth to the pan stirring and scraping the bottom to loosen all the charred bits. Pour over roast. Add cilantro, garlic, and onion to pot with the meat. Cover and transfer to the oven. Bake 2-3 hours. Remove any fat then shred the beef using two forks.

Enchilada Sauce:
Sauce: AllRecipes
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 1/4 cups water or broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced onion
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in flour and chili powder, reduce heat to medium, and cook until the sauce starts to thicken slightly, stirring constantly to prevent burning the flour.

Gradually stir in tomato sauce, water, cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder until smooth. Continue cooking over medium heat about 5-7 minutes, or until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Enchiladas:
Shredded Beef (recipe below)
Enchilada sauce (recipe below)
Monterey Jack cheese, decease shredded
Sliced olives
1/2 cup chopped onion
Corn or flour tortillas
Dip each side of a tortilla

Shredded Beef:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 pounds lean chuck roast
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried coriander
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon course salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 1/2 cups of beef broth
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup minced onion
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a deep casserole with lid or dutch oven, over medium-high heat. In a small bowl mix the cumin, chili powder, oregano, coriander, paprika, salt, and pepper. Rub the spice mixture all over the roast, completely coating the meat.

Place the beef in the hot pan for 2-3 minutes on each side to sear the meat. Add the beef broth, cilantro, garlic, and onion. Cover and transfer to the oven. Bake 2-3 hours.

Remove any fat then shred the beef using two forks.

Enchilada Sauce:
Sauce: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/ten-minute-enchilada-sauce/Detail.aspx
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons flour or potato starch
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 1/4 cups water or broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 3 cloves garlic minced
1/2 teaspoon onion powder or 2 tablespoons minced onion
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in flour and chili powder, reduce heat to medium, and cook until the sauce starts to thicken slightly, stirring constantly to prevent burning the flour.

Gradually stir in tomato sauce, water, cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder until smooth. Continue cooking over medium heat about 5-7 minutes, or until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
One of our families favorite meals

Enchiladas:
Shredded Beef (recipe below)
Enchilada sauce (recipe below)
Monterey Jack cheese, information pills shredded
1 small can sliced olives
1/2 cup chopped onion
Corn or flour tortillas

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread a 1/4 cup enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 13X9 baking pan. Dip each side of a tortilla in the enchilada sauce. Fill tortilla with a few tablespoons shredded beef and cheese. Fold up the sides and place seam side down in baking dish. Pour another 1/4 cup of sauce over the enchiladas. Sprinkle with cheese, more about chopped onions and olives. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until cheese is melted and the sauce in the dish is bubbly.

Shredded Beef:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 pounds lean chuck roast
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried coriander
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon course salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 1/2 cups of beef broth
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup minced onion
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a deep casserole with lid or dutch oven, over medium-high heat. In a small bowl mix the cumin, chili powder, oregano, coriander, paprika, salt, and pepper. Rub the spice mixture all over the roast, completely coating the meat.

Place the beef in the hot pan for 2-3 minutes on each side to sear the meat. Add the beef broth, cilantro, garlic, and onion. Cover and transfer to the oven. Bake 2-3 hours. Remove any fat then shred the beef using two forks.

Enchilada Sauce:
Sauce: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/ten-minute-enchilada-sauce/Detail.aspx
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons flour or potato starch
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 1/4 cups water or broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 3 cloves garlic minced
1/2 teaspoon onion powder or 2 tablespoons minced onion
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in flour and chili powder, reduce heat to medium, and cook until the sauce starts to thicken slightly, stirring constantly to prevent burning the flour.

Gradually stir in tomato sauce, water, cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder until smooth. Continue cooking over medium heat about 5-7 minutes, or until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
One of our families favorite meals

Enchiladas:
Shredded Beef (recipe below)
Enchilada sauce (recipe below)
Monterey Jack cheese, price shredded
1 small can sliced olives
1/2 cup chopped onion
Corn or flour tortillas

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread a 1/4 cup enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 13X9 baking pan. Dip each side of a tortilla in the enchilada sauce. Fill tortilla with a few tablespoons shredded beef and cheese. Fold up the sides and place seam side down in baking dish. Pour another 1/4 cup of sauce over the enchiladas. Sprinkle with cheese, visit this chopped onions and olives. Bake for 25-30 minutes, here until cheese is melted and the sauce in the dish is bubbly.

Shredded Beef:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 pounds lean chuck roast
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried coriander
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon course salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 1/2 cups of beef broth
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup minced onion
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a deep casserole with lid or dutch oven, over medium-high heat. In a small bowl mix the cumin, chili powder, oregano, coriander, paprika, salt, and pepper. Rub the spice mixture all over the roast, completely coating the meat.

Place the beef in the hot pan for 2-3 minutes on each side to sear the meat. Add the beef broth, cilantro, garlic, and onion. Cover and transfer to the oven. Bake 2-3 hours. Remove any fat then shred the beef using two forks.

Enchilada Sauce:
Sauce: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/ten-minute-enchilada-sauce/Detail.aspx
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons flour or potato starch
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 1/4 cups water or broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 3 cloves garlic minced
1/2 teaspoon onion powder or 2 tablespoons minced onion
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in flour and chili powder, reduce heat to medium, and cook until the sauce starts to thicken slightly, stirring constantly to prevent burning the flour.

Gradually stir in tomato sauce, water, cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder until smooth. Continue cooking over medium heat about 5-7 minutes, or until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cole slaw is a type of salad made with shredded cabbage (green and/or red varieties) and optional ingredients such as: shredded carrot and raisins; dressed with a mayo vinaigrette. Cole slaw has long been associated with the South; often viewed as a traditional Southern food typically served at picnics and barbecues. The truth is coleslaw has an extensive history expanding its roots to 4000 years ago in Ancient Asia.

There are many varieties of the cabbage plant. And although the name cabbage is French in dialect Ancient China was home to the cabbage plant. The cabbage cultivated by the Chinese, nurse and Medievale Europe, health was a loose leafy version closer in appearance to kale as opposed to the tightly wrapped head of cabbage that we see today. Cabbage was highly favored in Asian cuisine for its propensity to easily pickle. A preferred delicacy in ancient china was pickled cabbage leaves served over a bed of rice.

Around 600 BC pickled cabbage made its way into Roman and Greek cuisines. The Romans believed that cabbage held natural healing properties. Some of our understanding of these medicinal uses of herbs was handed down from ancient Greek Hippocrates in the form of a medical textbook called The Hippocratic Corpus. We know today that cabbage is beneficial in treating constipation, intestinal parasites, stomach ulcers, the common cold, whooping cough, frostbite, mental depression, and irritability. It is no surprise that the Dutch carried sauerkraut with them when on extended voyages to prevent scurvy and gangrene.

Cabbage continued to spread from Asia across Europe by way of Irish Celtic wanders. The Celts returned to Ireland from China and began cultivating the Chinese variety of cabbage. Favored uses of cabbage included pickled with vinegar or a brine, raw salads, and soups. Pickled cabbage, or sauerkraut, remains a mainstay of the German diet. The term ‘Coleslaw’ however, is of Dutch origin, referred to as ‘koolsla’, dating back to the Medieval period. Dutch settlers later introduced koolsla to the American settlers in the 18th century. However, the addition of mayonnaise is only about 200 years old.

I choose this version of coleslaw because Stephen is not a fan of mayo. It took some coaxing to get him to try it but well worth the effort. He was just as pleased as I was.

Source: an old Baptist cookbook
1 medium head of cabbage, shredded
1 onion, thinly sliced (use red or yellow)
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup white vinegar
2/3 cups canola oil
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard

In a small sauce pan bring the sugar, vinegar, oil, celery seed, salt and mustard to a boil.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl mix the cabbage and onion.

Pour the boiling liquid over cabbage mixture while hot. Cover bowl and place in fridge for overnight or 24 hours before serving. Stir well before serving.

Variations:
– Mix in both regular green cabbage and red cabbage.
– Add any or all of the following: 1 carrot shredded, 1/2 cup raisins, 1/4 cup roasted pine nuts

Chuncky Guacamole

Image: Property of OMK

The month of April was established as national Military Child Month in honor of the families and their children for the daily sacrifices they make in supporting America’s Armed Forces. This month’s website review consists of two websites dedicated to serving the children and youth of military families.

In April of 2005 Operation Military Kids was launched. The OMK organization is instrumental in hosting events that focus on the children and youth of military families. Together Operation Military Kids along with local businesses and organizations join to provide community outreach programs that assists children and youth learning to cope with the absence and stresses of a deployed parent. During the month of April various organizations and Garrisons host field trips, order day camps and ceremonies directed toward the youth.

Deployment Kids is another fantastic resource for young children of a deployed parent/s. Deployment Kids and its parent site Surviving Deployment offer wonderful ideas on how to stay connected, relocating, youth programs, transitioning once a parent comes home and recovering from loss. There are craft and ideas, activities, books, speaking engagements and plenty of articles and links.

Although May is officially Military Appreciation month we can show our gratitude for our troops and especially their families all year round. Contact Operation Military Kids, your local Garrison, or Boys and Girls club to find out how you can help support our troops and their families.

Image: Property of OMK

The month of April was established as national Military Child Month in honor of the families and their children for the daily sacrifices they make in supporting America’s Armed Forces. This month’s website review consists of two websites dedicated to serving the children and youth of military families.

In April of 2005 Operation Military Kids was launched. The OMK organization is instrumental in hosting events that focus on the children and youth of military families. Together Operation Military Kids along with local businesses and organizations join to provide community outreach programs that assists children and youth learning to cope with the absence and stresses of a deployed parent. During the month of April various organizations and Garrisons host field trips, order day camps and ceremonies directed toward the youth.

Deployment Kids is another fantastic resource for young children of a deployed parent/s. Deployment Kids and its parent site Surviving Deployment offer wonderful ideas on how to stay connected, relocating, youth programs, transitioning once a parent comes home and recovering from loss. There are craft and ideas, activities, books, speaking engagements and plenty of articles and links.

Although May is officially Military Appreciation month we can show our gratitude for our troops and especially their families all year round. Contact Operation Military Kids, your local Garrison, or Boys and Girls club to find out how you can help support our troops and their families.

Image: Property of OMK

The month of April was established as national Military Child Month in honor of the families and their children for the daily sacrifices they make in supporting America’s Armed Forces. This month’s website review consists of two websites dedicated to serving the children and youth of military families.

In April of 2005 Operation Military Kids was launched. The OMK organization is instrumental in hosting events that focus on the children and youth of military families. Together Operation Military Kids along with local businesses and organizations join to provide community outreach programs that assists children and youth learning to cope with the absence and stresses of a deployed parent. During the month of April various organizations and Garrisons host field trips, nurse day camps and ceremonies directed toward the youth.

Deployment Kids is another fantastic resource for young children of a deployed parent/s. Deployment Kids and its parent site Surviving Deployment offer wonderful ideas on how to stay connected, relocating, youth programs, transitioning once a parent comes home and recovering from loss. There are craft and ideas, activities, books, speaking engagements and plenty of articles and links.

Although May is officially Military Appreciation month we can show our gratitude for our troops and especially their families all year round. Contact Operation Military Kids, your local Garrison, or Boys and Girls club to find out how you can help support our troops and their families.

Image: Property of OMK

The month of April was established as national Military Child Month in honor of the families and their children for the daily sacrifices they make in supporting America’s Armed Forces. This month’s website review consists of two websites dedicated to serving the children and youth of military families.

In April of 2005 Operation Military Kids was launched. The OMK organization is instrumental in hosting events that focus on the children and youth of military families. Together Operation Military Kids along with local businesses and organizations join to provide community outreach programs that assists children and youth learning to cope with the absence and stresses of a deployed parent. During the month of April various organizations and Garrisons host field trips, order day camps and ceremonies directed toward the youth.

Deployment Kids is another fantastic resource for young children of a deployed parent/s. Deployment Kids and its parent site Surviving Deployment offer wonderful ideas on how to stay connected, relocating, youth programs, transitioning once a parent comes home and recovering from loss. There are craft and ideas, activities, books, speaking engagements and plenty of articles and links.

Although May is officially Military Appreciation month we can show our gratitude for our troops and especially their families all year round. Contact Operation Military Kids, your local Garrison, or Boys and Girls club to find out how you can help support our troops and their families.

Image: Property of OMK

The month of April was established as national Military Child Month in honor of the families and their children for the daily sacrifices they make in supporting America’s Armed Forces. This month’s website review consists of two websites dedicated to serving the children and youth of military families.

In April of 2005 Operation Military Kids was launched. The OMK organization is instrumental in hosting events that focus on the children and youth of military families. Together Operation Military Kids along with local businesses and organizations join to provide community outreach programs that assists children and youth learning to cope with the absence and stresses of a deployed parent. During the month of April various organizations and Garrisons host field trips, nurse day camps and ceremonies directed toward the youth.

Deployment Kids is another fantastic resource for young children of a deployed parent/s. Deployment Kids and its parent site Surviving Deployment offer wonderful ideas on how to stay connected, relocating, youth programs, transitioning once a parent comes home and recovering from loss. There are craft and ideas, activities, books, speaking engagements and plenty of articles and links.

Although May is officially Military Appreciation month we can show our gratitude for our troops and especially their families all year round. Contact Operation Military Kids, your local Garrison, or Boys and Girls club to find out how you can help support our troops and their families.

The theme this year for National Nutrition month is, pill “Eat Right…With Color.” The challenge? To swap out calorie dense starches and fats for fruits, 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. The following week we posted links to help our pickiest eaters over come their food fears. 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 near by for fresh produce and keep an eye out for sales on poultry and fish.

Eating clean is the practice of eating whole, natural foods and avoiding any manmade fats, sugars 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 preservatives and dyes. 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 lean meats provide the nutrients our bodies need to grow properly.

Refer to the chart above for seasonal foods listed by season.

Salud!

Additional Reading:

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.

Brussels Sprouts notoriously have a bad wrap. Usually those claiming to despise them have never tried tried them or 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.

Source: Woman’s Day
1 1/2 lb Brussels sprouts, sickness website 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.

Brussels Sprouts notoriously have a bad wrap. Usually those claiming to despise them have never tried tried them or 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.

Source: Woman’s Day
1 1/2 lb Brussels sprouts, sickness website 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 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, pill 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, 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 tried them or 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.

Source: Woman’s Day
1 1/2 lb Brussels sprouts, sickness website 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 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, pill 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, 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.
http://www.familyfreshcooking.com/2010/08/10/mozzarella-basil-tomato-grilled-cheese-bruschetta/

I cut the circle shapes out of the sprouted grain bread with cookie cutters. If you choose to go smaller in cutter size, this perhaps an inch and a half in diameter you can have great little passed appetizers for parties. Instead of 3 cherry tomatoes on a 4 inch round you can put just one on a smaller shape.

Eat one and you have a snack or a mini meal. Eat two with a side salad and you have a quick and easy lunch or dinner. Beware of  cherry tomato splatters as these red beauties have lots of juice!

Mozzarella, order Basil, page Tomato Grilled Cheese Bruschetta

4 servings (with 4 inch round cookie cutter)

NOTES

  • Adjust your ratios of tomatoes. cheese and spices according to taste preference.
  • As always, use your own taste buds to determine how you want to flavor your Grilled Cheese Bruschetta. My ingredient lists are wide open for interpretation.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 pieces Sprouted Grain Bread (I use EzekielAlvarado St. Bakery brands) cut into rounds
  • one pint Cherry Tomatoes
  • 4 to 8 ounces ounces Mozzarella Cheese
  • handful fresh Basil, slice thinly
  • Garlic Salt to taste
  • Black Pepper to taste
  • Garlic Oil or Olive Oil

METHOD

  1. Pre heat oven to 400?F with rack in the center of oven. Toss cherry tomatoes with olive oil, garlic salt & pepper. Roast tomatoes for about 20 minutes or until the skins have popped and the tomatoes are softened.
  2. Set Broiler to low heat. Brush a light layer of garlic oil on bread. Toast bread about 2 minutes on each side. Remove from oven.
  3. Top each toasted bread round with about 6 cherry tomatoes. Press a round of cheese (1-2 ounces) gently on top of the tomatoes (Wear an apron & beware of tomato splatter!)
  4. Low broil for about 6-8 minutes the bruschetta’s until cheese is melted and lightly browned. Watch carefully at towards the end of cook time that your grilled cheese bruschetta do not burn.
  5. Top with fresh basil chiffonade, cracked pepper and garlic salt.

Brussels Sprouts notoriously have a bad wrap. Usually those claiming to despise them have never tried tried them or 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.

Source: Woman’s Day
1 1/2 lb Brussels sprouts, sickness website 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 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, pill 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, 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.
http://www.familyfreshcooking.com/2010/08/10/mozzarella-basil-tomato-grilled-cheese-bruschetta/

I cut the circle shapes out of the sprouted grain bread with cookie cutters. If you choose to go smaller in cutter size, this perhaps an inch and a half in diameter you can have great little passed appetizers for parties. Instead of 3 cherry tomatoes on a 4 inch round you can put just one on a smaller shape.

Eat one and you have a snack or a mini meal. Eat two with a side salad and you have a quick and easy lunch or dinner. Beware of  cherry tomato splatters as these red beauties have lots of juice!

Mozzarella, order Basil, page Tomato Grilled Cheese Bruschetta

4 servings (with 4 inch round cookie cutter)

NOTES

  • Adjust your ratios of tomatoes. cheese and spices according to taste preference.
  • As always, use your own taste buds to determine how you want to flavor your Grilled Cheese Bruschetta. My ingredient lists are wide open for interpretation.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 pieces Sprouted Grain Bread (I use EzekielAlvarado St. Bakery brands) cut into rounds
  • one pint Cherry Tomatoes
  • 4 to 8 ounces ounces Mozzarella Cheese
  • handful fresh Basil, slice thinly
  • Garlic Salt to taste
  • Black Pepper to taste
  • Garlic Oil or Olive Oil

METHOD

  1. Pre heat oven to 400?F with rack in the center of oven. Toss cherry tomatoes with olive oil, garlic salt & pepper. Roast tomatoes for about 20 minutes or until the skins have popped and the tomatoes are softened.
  2. Set Broiler to low heat. Brush a light layer of garlic oil on bread. Toast bread about 2 minutes on each side. Remove from oven.
  3. Top each toasted bread round with about 6 cherry tomatoes. Press a round of cheese (1-2 ounces) gently on top of the tomatoes (Wear an apron & beware of tomato splatter!)
  4. Low broil for about 6-8 minutes the bruschetta’s until cheese is melted and lightly browned. Watch carefully at towards the end of cook time that your grilled cheese bruschetta do not burn.
  5. Top with fresh basil chiffonade, cracked pepper and garlic salt.

I cut the circle shapes out of the sprouted grain bread with cookie cutters. If you choose to go smaller in cutter size, search perhaps an inch and a half in diameter you can have great little passed appetizers for parties. Instead of 3 cherry tomatoes on a 4 inch round you can put just one on a smaller shape.

Eat one and you have a snack or a mini meal. Eat two with a side salad and you have a quick and easy lunch or dinner. Beware of  cherry tomato splatters as these red beauties have lots of juice!

Mozzarella, Basil, Tomato Grilled Cheese Bruschetta

4 servings (with 4 inch round cookie cutter)

NOTES

  • Adjust your ratios of tomatoes. cheese and spices according to taste preference.
  • As always, use your own taste buds to determine how you want to flavor your Grilled Cheese Bruschetta. My ingredient lists are wide open for interpretation.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 pieces Sprouted Grain Bread (I use EzekielAlvarado St. Bakery brands) cut into rounds
  • one pint Cherry Tomatoes
  • 4 to 8 ounces ounces Mozzarella Cheese
  • handful fresh Basil, slice thinly
  • Garlic Salt to taste
  • Black Pepper to taste
  • Garlic Oil or Olive Oil

METHOD

  1. Pre heat oven to 400?F with rack in the center of oven. Toss cherry tomatoes with olive oil, garlic salt & pepper. Roast tomatoes for about 20 minutes or until the skins have popped and the tomatoes are softened.
  2. Set Broiler to low heat. Brush a light layer of garlic oil on bread. Toast bread about 2 minutes on each side. Remove from oven.
  3. Top each toasted bread round with about 6 cherry tomatoes. Press a round of cheese (1-2 ounces) gently on top of the tomatoes (Wear an apron & beware of tomato splatter!)
  4. Low broil for about 6-8 minutes the bruschetta’s until cheese is melted and lightly browned. Watch carefully at towards the end of cook time that your grilled cheese bruschetta do not burn.
  5. Top with fresh basil chiffonade, cracked pepper and garlic salt.

Brussels Sprouts notoriously have a bad wrap. Usually those claiming to despise them have never tried tried them or 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.

Source: Woman’s Day
1 1/2 lb Brussels sprouts, sickness website 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 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, pill 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, 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.
http://www.familyfreshcooking.com/2010/08/10/mozzarella-basil-tomato-grilled-cheese-bruschetta/

I cut the circle shapes out of the sprouted grain bread with cookie cutters. If you choose to go smaller in cutter size, this perhaps an inch and a half in diameter you can have great little passed appetizers for parties. Instead of 3 cherry tomatoes on a 4 inch round you can put just one on a smaller shape.

Eat one and you have a snack or a mini meal. Eat two with a side salad and you have a quick and easy lunch or dinner. Beware of  cherry tomato splatters as these red beauties have lots of juice!

Mozzarella, order Basil, page Tomato Grilled Cheese Bruschetta

4 servings (with 4 inch round cookie cutter)

NOTES

  • Adjust your ratios of tomatoes. cheese and spices according to taste preference.
  • As always, use your own taste buds to determine how you want to flavor your Grilled Cheese Bruschetta. My ingredient lists are wide open for interpretation.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 pieces Sprouted Grain Bread (I use EzekielAlvarado St. Bakery brands) cut into rounds
  • one pint Cherry Tomatoes
  • 4 to 8 ounces ounces Mozzarella Cheese
  • handful fresh Basil, slice thinly
  • Garlic Salt to taste
  • Black Pepper to taste
  • Garlic Oil or Olive Oil

METHOD

  1. Pre heat oven to 400?F with rack in the center of oven. Toss cherry tomatoes with olive oil, garlic salt & pepper. Roast tomatoes for about 20 minutes or until the skins have popped and the tomatoes are softened.
  2. Set Broiler to low heat. Brush a light layer of garlic oil on bread. Toast bread about 2 minutes on each side. Remove from oven.
  3. Top each toasted bread round with about 6 cherry tomatoes. Press a round of cheese (1-2 ounces) gently on top of the tomatoes (Wear an apron & beware of tomato splatter!)
  4. Low broil for about 6-8 minutes the bruschetta’s until cheese is melted and lightly browned. Watch carefully at towards the end of cook time that your grilled cheese bruschetta do not burn.
  5. Top with fresh basil chiffonade, cracked pepper and garlic salt.

I cut the circle shapes out of the sprouted grain bread with cookie cutters. If you choose to go smaller in cutter size, search perhaps an inch and a half in diameter you can have great little passed appetizers for parties. Instead of 3 cherry tomatoes on a 4 inch round you can put just one on a smaller shape.

Eat one and you have a snack or a mini meal. Eat two with a side salad and you have a quick and easy lunch or dinner. Beware of  cherry tomato splatters as these red beauties have lots of juice!

Mozzarella, Basil, Tomato Grilled Cheese Bruschetta

4 servings (with 4 inch round cookie cutter)

NOTES

  • Adjust your ratios of tomatoes. cheese and spices according to taste preference.
  • As always, use your own taste buds to determine how you want to flavor your Grilled Cheese Bruschetta. My ingredient lists are wide open for interpretation.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 pieces Sprouted Grain Bread (I use EzekielAlvarado St. Bakery brands) cut into rounds
  • one pint Cherry Tomatoes
  • 4 to 8 ounces ounces Mozzarella Cheese
  • handful fresh Basil, slice thinly
  • Garlic Salt to taste
  • Black Pepper to taste
  • Garlic Oil or Olive Oil

METHOD

  1. Pre heat oven to 400?F with rack in the center of oven. Toss cherry tomatoes with olive oil, garlic salt & pepper. Roast tomatoes for about 20 minutes or until the skins have popped and the tomatoes are softened.
  2. Set Broiler to low heat. Brush a light layer of garlic oil on bread. Toast bread about 2 minutes on each side. Remove from oven.
  3. Top each toasted bread round with about 6 cherry tomatoes. Press a round of cheese (1-2 ounces) gently on top of the tomatoes (Wear an apron & beware of tomato splatter!)
  4. Low broil for about 6-8 minutes the bruschetta’s until cheese is melted and lightly browned. Watch carefully at towards the end of cook time that your grilled cheese bruschetta do not burn.
  5. Top with fresh basil chiffonade, cracked pepper and garlic salt.

I cut the circle shapes out of the sprouted grain bread with cookie cutters. If you choose to go smaller in cutter size, viagra perhaps an inch and a half in diameter you can have great little passed appetizers for parties. Instead of 3 cherry tomatoes on a 4 inch round you can put just one on a smaller shape.

Eat one and you have a snack or a mini meal. Eat two with a side salad and you have a quick and easy lunch or dinner. Beware of  cherry tomato splatters as these red beauties have lots of juice!

Mozzarella, click Basil, order Tomato Grilled Cheese Bruschetta

4 servings (with 4 inch round cookie cutter)

NOTES

  • Adjust your ratios of tomatoes. cheese and spices according to taste preference.
  • As always, use your own taste buds to determine how you want to flavor your Grilled Cheese Bruschetta. My ingredient lists are wide open for interpretation.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 pieces Sprouted Grain Bread (I use EzekielAlvarado St. Bakery brands) cut into rounds
  • one pint Cherry Tomatoes
  • 4 to 8 ounces ounces Mozzarella Cheese
  • handful fresh Basil, slice thinly
  • Garlic Salt to taste
  • Black Pepper to taste
  • Garlic Oil or Olive Oil

METHOD

  1. Pre heat oven to 400?F with rack in the center of oven. Toss cherry tomatoes with olive oil, garlic salt & pepper. Roast tomatoes for about 20 minutes or until the skins have popped and the tomatoes are softened.
  2. Set Broiler to low heat. Brush a light layer of garlic oil on bread. Toast bread about 2 minutes on each side. Remove from oven.
  3. Top each toasted bread round with about 6 cherry tomatoes. Press a round of cheese (1-2 ounces) gently on top of the tomatoes (Wear an apron & beware of tomato splatter!)
  4. Low broil for about 6-8 minutes the bruschetta’s until cheese is melted and lightly browned. Watch carefully at towards the end of cook time that your grilled cheese bruschetta do not burn.
  5. Top with fresh basil chiffonade, cracked pepper and garlic salt.

Brussels Sprouts notoriously have a bad wrap. Usually those claiming to despise them have never tried tried them or 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.

Source: Woman’s Day
1 1/2 lb Brussels sprouts, sickness website 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 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, pill 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, 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.
http://www.familyfreshcooking.com/2010/08/10/mozzarella-basil-tomato-grilled-cheese-bruschetta/

I cut the circle shapes out of the sprouted grain bread with cookie cutters. If you choose to go smaller in cutter size, this perhaps an inch and a half in diameter you can have great little passed appetizers for parties. Instead of 3 cherry tomatoes on a 4 inch round you can put just one on a smaller shape.

Eat one and you have a snack or a mini meal. Eat two with a side salad and you have a quick and easy lunch or dinner. Beware of  cherry tomato splatters as these red beauties have lots of juice!

Mozzarella, order Basil, page Tomato Grilled Cheese Bruschetta

4 servings (with 4 inch round cookie cutter)

NOTES

  • Adjust your ratios of tomatoes. cheese and spices according to taste preference.
  • As always, use your own taste buds to determine how you want to flavor your Grilled Cheese Bruschetta. My ingredient lists are wide open for interpretation.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 pieces Sprouted Grain Bread (I use EzekielAlvarado St. Bakery brands) cut into rounds
  • one pint Cherry Tomatoes
  • 4 to 8 ounces ounces Mozzarella Cheese
  • handful fresh Basil, slice thinly
  • Garlic Salt to taste
  • Black Pepper to taste
  • Garlic Oil or Olive Oil

METHOD

  1. Pre heat oven to 400?F with rack in the center of oven. Toss cherry tomatoes with olive oil, garlic salt & pepper. Roast tomatoes for about 20 minutes or until the skins have popped and the tomatoes are softened.
  2. Set Broiler to low heat. Brush a light layer of garlic oil on bread. Toast bread about 2 minutes on each side. Remove from oven.
  3. Top each toasted bread round with about 6 cherry tomatoes. Press a round of cheese (1-2 ounces) gently on top of the tomatoes (Wear an apron & beware of tomato splatter!)
  4. Low broil for about 6-8 minutes the bruschetta’s until cheese is melted and lightly browned. Watch carefully at towards the end of cook time that your grilled cheese bruschetta do not burn.
  5. Top with fresh basil chiffonade, cracked pepper and garlic salt.

I cut the circle shapes out of the sprouted grain bread with cookie cutters. If you choose to go smaller in cutter size, search perhaps an inch and a half in diameter you can have great little passed appetizers for parties. Instead of 3 cherry tomatoes on a 4 inch round you can put just one on a smaller shape.

Eat one and you have a snack or a mini meal. Eat two with a side salad and you have a quick and easy lunch or dinner. Beware of  cherry tomato splatters as these red beauties have lots of juice!

Mozzarella, Basil, Tomato Grilled Cheese Bruschetta

4 servings (with 4 inch round cookie cutter)

NOTES

  • Adjust your ratios of tomatoes. cheese and spices according to taste preference.
  • As always, use your own taste buds to determine how you want to flavor your Grilled Cheese Bruschetta. My ingredient lists are wide open for interpretation.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 pieces Sprouted Grain Bread (I use EzekielAlvarado St. Bakery brands) cut into rounds
  • one pint Cherry Tomatoes
  • 4 to 8 ounces ounces Mozzarella Cheese
  • handful fresh Basil, slice thinly
  • Garlic Salt to taste
  • Black Pepper to taste
  • Garlic Oil or Olive Oil

METHOD

  1. Pre heat oven to 400?F with rack in the center of oven. Toss cherry tomatoes with olive oil, garlic salt & pepper. Roast tomatoes for about 20 minutes or until the skins have popped and the tomatoes are softened.
  2. Set Broiler to low heat. Brush a light layer of garlic oil on bread. Toast bread about 2 minutes on each side. Remove from oven.
  3. Top each toasted bread round with about 6 cherry tomatoes. Press a round of cheese (1-2 ounces) gently on top of the tomatoes (Wear an apron & beware of tomato splatter!)
  4. Low broil for about 6-8 minutes the bruschetta’s until cheese is melted and lightly browned. Watch carefully at towards the end of cook time that your grilled cheese bruschetta do not burn.
  5. Top with fresh basil chiffonade, cracked pepper and garlic salt.

I cut the circle shapes out of the sprouted grain bread with cookie cutters. If you choose to go smaller in cutter size, viagra perhaps an inch and a half in diameter you can have great little passed appetizers for parties. Instead of 3 cherry tomatoes on a 4 inch round you can put just one on a smaller shape.

Eat one and you have a snack or a mini meal. Eat two with a side salad and you have a quick and easy lunch or dinner. Beware of  cherry tomato splatters as these red beauties have lots of juice!

Mozzarella, click Basil, order Tomato Grilled Cheese Bruschetta

4 servings (with 4 inch round cookie cutter)

NOTES

  • Adjust your ratios of tomatoes. cheese and spices according to taste preference.
  • As always, use your own taste buds to determine how you want to flavor your Grilled Cheese Bruschetta. My ingredient lists are wide open for interpretation.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 pieces Sprouted Grain Bread (I use EzekielAlvarado St. Bakery brands) cut into rounds
  • one pint Cherry Tomatoes
  • 4 to 8 ounces ounces Mozzarella Cheese
  • handful fresh Basil, slice thinly
  • Garlic Salt to taste
  • Black Pepper to taste
  • Garlic Oil or Olive Oil

METHOD

  1. Pre heat oven to 400?F with rack in the center of oven. Toss cherry tomatoes with olive oil, garlic salt & pepper. Roast tomatoes for about 20 minutes or until the skins have popped and the tomatoes are softened.
  2. Set Broiler to low heat. Brush a light layer of garlic oil on bread. Toast bread about 2 minutes on each side. Remove from oven.
  3. Top each toasted bread round with about 6 cherry tomatoes. Press a round of cheese (1-2 ounces) gently on top of the tomatoes (Wear an apron & beware of tomato splatter!)
  4. Low broil for about 6-8 minutes the bruschetta’s until cheese is melted and lightly browned. Watch carefully at towards the end of cook time that your grilled cheese bruschetta do not burn.
  5. Top with fresh basil chiffonade, cracked pepper and garlic salt.

http://www.familyfreshcooking.com/2010/08/10/mozzarella-basil-tomato-grilled-cheese-bruschetta/

I cut the circle shapes out of the sprouted grain bread with cookie cutters. If you choose to go smaller in cutter size, search perhaps an inch and a half in diameter you can have great little passed appetizers for parties. Instead of 3 cherry tomatoes on a 4 inch round you can put just one on a smaller shape.

Eat one and you have a snack or a mini meal. Eat two with a side salad and you have a quick and easy lunch or dinner. Beware of  cherry tomato splatters as these red beauties have lots of juice!

Mozzarella, dosage Basil, Tomato Grilled Cheese Bruschetta

4 servings (with 4 inch round cookie cutter)

NOTES

  • Adjust your ratios of tomatoes. cheese and spices according to taste preference.
  • As always, use your own taste buds to determine how you want to flavor your Grilled Cheese Bruschetta. My ingredient lists are wide open for interpretation.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 pieces Sprouted Grain Bread (I use EzekielAlvarado St. Bakery brands) cut into rounds
  • one pint Cherry Tomatoes
  • 4 to 8 ounces ounces Mozzarella Cheese
  • handful fresh Basil, slice thinly
  • Garlic Salt to taste
  • Black Pepper to taste
  • Garlic Oil or Olive Oil

METHOD

  1. Pre heat oven to 400?F with rack in the center of oven. Toss cherry tomatoes with olive oil, garlic salt & pepper. Roast tomatoes for about 20 minutes or until the skins have popped and the tomatoes are softened.
  2. Set Broiler to low heat. Brush a light layer of garlic oil on bread. Toast bread about 2 minutes on each side. Remove from oven.
  3. Top each toasted bread round with about 6 cherry tomatoes. Press a round of cheese (1-2 ounces) gently on top of the tomatoes (Wear an apron & beware of tomato splatter!)
  4. Low broil for about 6-8 minutes the bruschetta’s until cheese is melted and lightly browned. Watch carefully at towards the end of cook time that your grilled cheese bruschetta do not burn.
  5. Top with fresh basil chiffonade, cracked pepper and garlic salt.

I don’t eat guacamole very often, buy more about cure 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 not fight the craving off any longer. I had to have another go at making a great bowl of guacamole. 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

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.

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.