Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Misty Melon Kooler!

Get your sunglasses back on kiddies....The dog days of summer are here and as of today...the heat is coming back ,after a week of relatively comfortable weather. I can't do anything about the heat (Except retreat to my air conditioned rooms) but I do have a nice cool summer drink to help with that!

It's called a Misty Melon Cooler... I'd advise you to have this ready before the hot weather gets back...so that you can drink it right away!


2 cups diced very ripe cantaloupe
2 cups diced very ripe honey dew melons
1 cup of diced mango (optional)
1 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons sugar
Vanilla ice cream
Frozen yogurt (Optional)

Directions ;

1. Place the melon chunks on a plate and place it in the freezer until the fruit is quite firm but not frozen solid, about 20 to 30 minutes.

2. In a blender, puree the melon chunks with the orange juice and sugar until the mixture is smooth. Add 4 or 5 big scoops of ice cream or frozen yogurt and blend the mixture for another minute or so.

3. Divide the cooler among four chilled glasses and serve. Makes four 8-ounce servings.


(P.S. For the grown and sexy- Yes you can mix alcohol in with this if you just have to, but do you have to? I'm just asking? This is good by itself.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Chicken Lickin Good!

Hey Folks! Once again I've got a "summer is winding down recipe for you....This is a unique way to serve fried chicken and one just as mouth watering as if you fried your chicken in grease. Check this out:

Active Time: 20 -25 minutes

Total time: 1 hour

Servings: 4
(Double your ingredients if Pastor and two of the deaconess's are coming over after church!)


1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon hot sauce, such as
2 1/2-3 pounds chicken legs, skin removed, trimmed and cut into thighs and drumsticks
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 teaspoon Arm & Hammer baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Freshly ground McCormicks pepper to taste
olive oil cooking spray

Whisk buttermilk, mustard, garlic and hot sauce in a shallow glass dish until well blended. Add chicken and turn to coat. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1/2 hour or for up to 8 hours.

Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Set a wire rack on the baking sheet and coat it with cooking spray.

Whisk flour, sesame seeds, paprika, thyme, baking powder, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Place the flour mixture in a paper bag or large sealable plastic bag. Shaking off excess marinade, place one or two pieces of chicken at a time in the bag and shake to coat. Shake off excess flour and place chicken on the prepared rack. (Discard any leftover flour mixture and marinade). Spray chicken pieces with cooking spray. Bake the chicken until golden brown and no longer pink in the center, 40 to 50 minutes.

Marinating your chicken in buttermilk will keep it juicy, and the light coating of flour, sesame seeds and spices, misted with the olive oil will form an appealing crust during baking. (Reminder: You can marinate the chicken for up to eight hoyrs if you choose...Take it out and season it on a Sunday morning...Go to church...take the kids to the "Please Touch Museum" and by the time you get home...you're ready to rock and roll!!!)


Saturday, August 28, 2010

A Healthy Summer Salad

As the summer winds down...there will still be days when you'll come home from a long hard day at work and not feel like doing a whole lot of cooking. Depending on where you live...it may be too hot to turn on an oven for any length of time. Here is a nice salad you can prepare in no time. It's a Pork and Apple Salad. (I know...the name took me out too when I first heard about it!)


3 tablespoons apple jelly
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
3 boneless center-cut pork chops (about 11/4 pounds)
Kosher Salt
Freshly Ground Pepper

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
1/2 small red onion, finely diced
3 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 heads Boston or Bibb lettuce, torn
1 Fuji or Gala apple, diced
1 small turnip, peeled and diced
3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
Chopped fresh parsley, for topping (optional)


Preheat a grill to high. Mix 2 tablespoons apple jelly with the thyme. Season the pork chops with salt and pepper and brush with olive oil on both sides. Grill the chops until marked, about 3 minutes per side. Brush with the jelly-thyme mixture and continue to grill until the chops are cooked through, about 2 more minutes. Set aside to cool.

Soak the diced onion in a bowl of cold water, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk the mustard, vinegar and the remaining 1 tablespoon apple jelly in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Slowly add 1/2 cup olive oil, whisking until smooth.

Cut the pork into bite-size pieces and drain the onion. Add the lettuce, apple, turnip, pork, onion and blue cheese to the bowl with the dressing and toss. Top with parsley, if desired.

I'm telling you...I had this at Houlihans and I was knocked out of my socks by it..You'll not be disapointed by this salad. (If you are a Muslim and or a member of the Nation of Islam...substitute the pork with broiled chicken or fish....you will have the same results.. )Bon Apetite!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Memories of Nathans (Sausage and Peppers)

Years ago...My Grandmother took me to New York City to visit some relatives there. I was quite young...but I remember my cousin Cecil taking me to a place called "Nathan's Hot Dogs" on Jones Beach and treating me to Italian Suasage and Peppers...It was sooo good...I've been a fan ever since..Though I've never had better suasage and peppers than the one I had on Jones Beach.


6 whole hot Italian sausages
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion
1 green bell pepper
3 tbsp olive oil


Set the sausages to boil for about 10 min, drain set aside. Chop the pepper and onion in 3/4-1" pieces.

Sauté over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Pour in the olive oil, add the diced garlic, peppers and onion. Cook the vegetables just until they begin to soften. Transfer contents of skillet to a large bowl and set aside.

Slice sausages into 1/2" thick coins, as you would carrots. Place one more tablespoon olive oil into the skillet and fry the sausages until they are lightly browned along the edges.

Stir in the bowl of cooked vegetables and continue to cook on medium-high setting, stirring every 2 minutes for about 10 minutes.
Butter some Italian bread and set on the edges of a serving plate. Pour the contents of the skillet onto the plate.

This may not be as magical as Nathans, but hopefully you'll become as hooked as I was.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Cousin Arlene's Vodka Pie Crust

My Cousin Arlene, A regular commentor on two of my three blogs has stated that she prefers homemade pie crusts over the store bought. I must say that I agree with her.. Both of my recipes for pies on this blog have suggested the use of the already made pie crust. (For the lazy,like myself and for people who are just starting to cook who don't know how to make a crust.)

I took Home Economics in High School...(I was bored with shop and wanted to try something different. )I learned to make a pie crust there and later when I was in the United States Air Force, I perfected it. Here is my cousin's recipe for a Pie Crust. It's quite unique in that it uses Vodka...(No joke!)


3 cups flour
1 tsp salt, kosher-not iodized
1 tbs sugar
1/3 cup Crisco, very cold
1 1/2 sticks butter, very cold
1/4 cup vodka (SmirnoffS), very cold
1/4 cup water, very cold but no ice chips


She states that she uses the food processor to mix the flour, salt, and sugar. Then you"Cut in" the butter and shortening by using 8 or 9 short pulses. Sprinkle the vodka and water over the flour/butter/crisco mixture and process about 5 or 6 pulses. You've got pie crust!!

Divide the dough in half and rest it at least 40 minutes in the refrigerator. Roll it out for the bottom crust and rest it for 20 minutes in the freezer. Use plenty of flour on the surface to roll out the dough. Add the filling and top with the reamining rolled out dough. This crust makes any filling taste great!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I Crumble for Apple Crumble

This recipe was inspired by my Facebook friend from the U.K. , Carlene...Who ,according to her status update was busy baking an Apple Crumble pie...I haven't had good Apple Crumble in about two years...Here is a quick an easy recipe that should make for a great dessert.

Servings : 8


1 (9 inch) deep dish pie crust
5 cups apples - peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1/2 cup white sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Vanilla Extract (optional)
1/3 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons butter


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C.) Arrange apple slices in unbaked pie shell. Mix 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over apples.

2. Mix 1/3 cup sugar with flour; cut in butter until crumbly. Spoon mixture over apples.

3. Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until apples are soft and top is lightly browned.

Helpful Things to remember:

Preheat the oven to the temperature the recipe you are following recommends. Most fruit pies bake at a temperature of between 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Some recipes call for baking the pie in a 450 degree F oven for the first part of baking, then turning down the oven to about 350 degrees F. This helps set the shape of the crust in recipes that contain a lot of fat; it can keep your crust from slouching.

To add a richer color to a double-crust or lattice-topped pie, brush the top crust with milk or lightly beaten egg before baking.

Bon Appetite!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Summertime is Key Lime Pie Time!

I had a great Aunt who lived in Opa Locka, Florida who made the best Key Lime Pie you ever wanted to eat... One thing I looked forward to when traveling to Florida was eating her great pie.. She's dead now and she took her recipe to the great beyond with her...I have a recipe for Key Lime Pie here...Probably no where near as good as hers was...but it'll do just the same. I hope you like it.. The preparation time for this is a little more than twenty minutes.


5 egg yolks, beaten
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup key lime juice
1 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crust ( You can get this from Acme, Giant, Fresh Grocer or Shoprite.)

Directions :

1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

2.Combine the egg yolks, sweetened condensed milk and lime juice. Mix well. Pour into unbaked graham cracker shell.

3. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Allow to cool. Top with whipped topping and garnish with lime slices if desired.

Prep Time: 2o Minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ready In: 35 Minutes

Enjoy this with a cup of tea before you go to bed tonight...It's a slice of pure heaven.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Romanticized Pork Chops

This is probably not a Friday afternoon dish....but perhaps you can look at this recipe anyway and have the ingredients picked up and ready to go by Sunday's Meal-

Pork Chops with Creamy Marsala Sauce!


1/2 cup(s) Marsala (see Note), divided
2 teaspoon(s) cornstarch
1/4 cup(s) all-purpose flour
4 (about 1 pound total) thin boneless pork loin chops, trimmed
1/4 teaspoon(s) kosher salt.
1/4 teaspoon(s) freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil
4 slice(s) (2 ounces) thin prosciutto, chopped
1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced
3 teaspoon(s) chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
3 teaspoon(s) chopped fresh chives, divided
1 cup(s) low-fat milk


1.Mix 2 tablespoons Marsala and cornstarch in a small bowl; set aside.

2.Place flour in a shallow dish. Sprinkle pork chops with salt and pepper, then dredge in the flour

3.Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and add the pork chops. Cook until well browned on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate. Add prosciutto to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, until browned, about 1 minute. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until it starts to soften and brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the remaining 6 tablespoons Marsala, oregano, and 1 1/2 teaspoons chives and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits. Add milk and the reserved cornstarch mixture to the pan; adjust the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened and reduced slightly, 4 to 6 minutes.

4.Return the pork chops and any accumulated juice to the pan and simmer, turning to coat, until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve the chops topped with the sauce and garnished with the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons chives.Exchanges: 1 carbohydrate (other), 4 lean meat, 1 fat. Carbohydrate Servings: 1. Nutrition Bonus: Zinc (16% daily value).

Tips & Techniques:

Marsala, a fortified wine from Sicily, is a flavorful addition to many sauces. Don't use the "cooking Marsala" sold in many supermarkets — it can be surprisingly high in sodium. Instead, purchase Marsala that's sold with other fortified wines in your wine or liquor store. An opened bottle can be stored in a cool, dry place for months. (I suggest you try The Fresh Grocer.)

For you single fellas out here.....Prepare this at your home and throw some Marvin Gaye and the Whispers on your ipod dock and invite a young lady over and I guaruntee you that this food won't be the only thing cooking! (Wink Wink!)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Free Form From Italy With Luv!

I am an avid lover of Italian Foods... I think next to so called "Southern Cuisine" or Soul Food, Italian food is my favorite. Any kind of Pasta...I'm there! Here is a recipe for "Free form sausage and three cheese lasagna....Olive Garden, take me awayyyy!!! Yeah right!


1/2 pound(s) lasagna noodles
3 tablespoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for tossing
1/2 pound(s) sweet Italian sausage
1 cup(s) water
4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 can(s) (28-ounce) whole tomatoes, chopped and juices reserved
freshly ground pepper
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/2 pound(s) fresh mozzarella, cut into 8 pieces
6 ounce(s) Italian Fontina, cut into 8 pieces
2 tablespoon(s) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup(s) thinly sliced basil leaves


1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the lasagna noodles until almost tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and transfer the noodles to a bowl of cold water and let stand for 2 minutes, then drain. Pat the noodles dry. Transfer to a bowl and toss with olive oil.

2. In a medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the Italian sausage, cover, and cook over moderate heat, turning once, until browned all over. Add the water, cover, and simmer until the sausage is just cooked through, about 4 minutes.

3. In a large skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the garlic and cook over low heat until golden, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juices and cook over moderate heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the sausage and its poaching liquid and simmer for 4 minutes. Transfer the sausage to a plate. Simmer the sauce over moderate heat until thickened, about 12 minutes. Coarsely break up the sausage and season the sauce with salt and pepper.

4. In a well-buttered, 9-by-13-inch ceramic baking dish, arrange 3 lasagna noodles in different directions in the dish, leaving about 2 inches of overhang. Spoon a scant 1/4 cup of the tomato sauce over each lasagna noodle and sprinkle with a little grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Set a piece of mozzarella and Fontina on each lasagna noodle and add a few chunks of sausage. Fold the overhanging lasagna noodles on top of the cheese and sausage. Repeat the process with the remaining lasagna noodles, tomato sauce, mozzarella, Fontina, and sausage, sprinkling with a little more Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Brush the softened butter on any bare pasta and curly edges and sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano.

5. Bake the lasagna on the top rack of the oven for 20 minutes, until the sauce starts to bubble. Raise the oven temperature to 450 degrees F and bake for about 7 minutes longer, until the top is richly browned. Let the lasagna rest for about 10 minutes, then scatter the sliced basil on top, cut into squares, and serve.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Somebody Was On The Same Page

I have known for years that McDonald's has the best French Fries...I have been known to buy a burger from Burger King and then walk into McDonalds and buy their fries... (I'm eccentric like that) Today, I read a survey that said that a poll has shown that Five Guys has the best burgers and Mcdonalds has the best Fries.. I concur.

"Five Guys" just opened up two establishments thatI know of here in Philadelphia and I have to admit..Their burgers are the bomb! After eating one, I haven't wanted one from Burger King (my former favorite), McDonalds or Wendys ever since....According to the latest Fast Food Survey by Zagat, the best burger in America comes from Virginia-based chain Five Guys. But while the regional chain edged out national players in the hamburger category, Dairy Queen rules the Best Milkshakes category, while the best fries still come from McDonald’s.

The results of the survey were revealed live on TODAY Monday. The survey covered 136 fast-food and full-service chains nationwide. Voting on zagat.com, 6,518 voters weighed in on everything from chicken and cheeseburgers to smoothies and seafood. Full survey results are available at zagat.com/fastfood.
“I think the headline is Five Guys,” Zagat Survey CEO Tim Zagat told TODAY’s Ann Curry. “It’s a chain that has 500 outlets, but that’s small. But it’s growing.”

Zagat admitted that Five Guys’ victory “was a big surprise to me, because I’ve never yet eaten a Five Guys burger.”(He doesn't know what he is missing) But McDonald’s taking the french fries honors came as no surprise, he said: “It’s almost expected every year — McDonald’s, McDonald’s, McDonald’s. Our surveyers voted for them overwhelmingly. I personally like them better.”

(Well, I at least like their fries!)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

It's Greek To Me!

Okay...My wife will tell you that a lot of times ,I tend to stick to what I know when it comes to eating out (and paying for that experience!) but every once in awhile I get adventurous. Even though this meal is a Greek meal..It was an Israeli friend of mine who introduced me to it. It wasn't bad at all...Especially since I didn't have to pay to find out! So, the question is..Would I now pay to eat this? Yes indeed.

Greek Style Stuffed Zucchini With Tomatoes!
This easy and healthy dinner for two is ready fast, in just over 30 minutes. Season lean ground beef with Greek spices, and use it to stuff zucchini halves. Zucchini is best and most abundant in late spring and summer. Like, right now.


1 cup(s) water
1/2 cup(s) bulgur
2 large (8 to 10 ounces each) zucchini
3 teaspoon(s) olive oil
1 medium (6 to 8 ounces) oinion, finely chopped
1 clove(s) garlic, crushed with press
1/8 teaspoon(s) crushed red pepper
1/2 pound(s) 90% lean ground beef
1 teaspoon(s) ground coriander
1 teaspoon(s) ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon(s) ground cinnamon
1/4 cup(s) fresh mint leaves, chopped
1 pint(s) grape tomatoes


Arrange oven rack 6 inches from broiler heat source. Preheat broiler. Line 18 inch by 12 inch jelly-roll pan or broiler rack set on broiler pan with foil.

In microwave-safe medium bowl, combine water and bulgur. Microwave, uncovered, on High 5 to 7 minutes or until bulgur is tender and liquid is absorbed.

Meanwhile, trim zucchini and halve each lengthwise. With spoon or melon baller, scoop out seeds and some pulp from zucchini halves, leaving 1/4-inch-thick shell. On microwave-safe plate, place zucchini cut side up in single layer and cover with waxed paper. Microwave zucchini on High 4 to 5 minutes or until very tender.

In 12-inch skillet, heat 2 teaspoons oil on medium-high until hot. Add onion and cook 3 minutes or until softened, stirring occasionally. Stir in garlic and red pepper and cook 1 minute longer or until fragrant. Add beef and cook 3 to 4 minutes or until no longer pink, stirring and breaking up with side of spoon. Stir in coriander, cumin, cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Remove from heat. Stir in bulgur and half of mint.

On prepared pan, toss tomatoes, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, and 1 teaspoon oil. Arrange zucchini halves, cut sides up, around tomatoes. Mound 3/4 cup beef filling in each zucchini half, packing tightly.

Broil zucchini and tomatoes 5 minutes or until beef browns and tomatoes begin to burst. Place zucchini and tomatoes on platter; sprinkle with remaining mint.

It's Out of this world people... Enjoy!

Monday, August 16, 2010

A Man Likes His Steak!

There is nothing like a nice grilled steak...Especially in these waning weeks of summer. Here is a recipe for Carne Asada.
1 teaspoon(s) ground chipotle chili
1 teaspoon(s) ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon(s) dried Mexican oregano, crumbled
1.2 teaspoon of kosher salt
1 large (1 1/4-pound) skirt steak, cut into 4 pieces
3 tablespoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 lime
1 large sweet onion, halved, cut into thin strips
1 red bell pepper, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips
1 large poblano or Anaheim chile, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips
2 clove(s) garlic, chopped
1/4 cup(s) chopped cilantro
1/2 teaspoon(s) kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon(s) freshly ground pepper
12 corn tortillas, warmed according to package directions
Lime wedges.

Total time should be 36 minutes.
Preparation time should be 20 minutes
Cook time should be 16 minutes


Combine chipotle, cumin, oregano, and salt in a small cup. Rub steak pieces with 1 tablespoon of the oil, then with spice mixture. Squeeze juice from lime half over steak pieces. Heat a stove-top grill pan over medium heat.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell peppers, and chile; sauté 4 minutes. Add garlic and continue to sauté 4 to 6 minutes, or until crisp-tender. Remove from heat; stir in cilantro and season with kosher salt and pepper.

Grill steaks 3 minutes per side for medium-rare. Remove from grill; let rest 5 minutes. Slice against the grain and serve with pepper mixture, warm tortillas, and lime wedges.

I had this steak at an eatery in Atlantic City , whose name escapes me now and it was delicious..I hope your meal has the same rewarding experience.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Summertime Is Sweet Tea Time

Anyone who follows me on Facebook or who reads my blog "Keith's Space" knows that I like "Sweet Tea" I'm always talking about how I'm sipping it as I'm writing. That's the tea that Big Momma used to make and serve with ice in a jar... Well folks..Here is a recipe for it!

Selecet a large clear glass container with a tight lid..

Fill the container with cold water, not hot water...

Add four Lipton Tea Bags for ever four cups of cold water..

Add about a cup and a half of sugar, fresh fruit such as lemons and oranges and a slice of lime and a touch of mint (optional)

Close lid and place container in the sun for a full hour or boil it...

Place in the refrigerator for two to three hours....

Serve over ice !

Friday, August 13, 2010

Welcome 2 Good Foodie

Hello, Can you believe this? This is my new blog... "Good Foodie!" One thing my wife and I like to do is eat out at nice (and sometimes, not so nice restaurants). This will be the blog that is dedicated to giving my reviews of some of the places that we choose to eat. From time to time, it will have recipes of interesting foods that we have chosen to eat.

This is indeed something new. My third blog! Isn't that a hoot? My last blog too... I absolutely will not be creating another one. This blog will not be published on the daily basis like my other two, "Keith's Space" and "Escapades", but I hope you will come to like this blog and enjoy it too.

Welcome, again, to "Good Foodie!"

Food Safety Tips
Protect yourself against food-borne illnesses.

1. Use a "refrigerator thermometer" to keep your food stored at a safe temperature (below 40 degrees fahrenheit).

Cold temperatures slow the growth of bacteria. Ensuring that your refrigerator temperature stays at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or colder is one of the most effective ways to reduce your risk of food-borne illness. You can buy a refrigerator/freezer thermometer at appliance stories, home centers (i.e. Home Depot), and kitchen stores including online ones, such as Cooking.com.

2. Defrost food in the refrigerator, the microwave, or in cold water... never on the counter!

Perishable foods should never be thawed on the counter for longer than two hours because, while the center of the food may remain frozen, the outer surface may enter the Danger Zone, the range of temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees fahrenheit, in which bacteria multiply rapidly. If you’re short on time, use the microwave or you can thaw meat and poultry in airtight packaging in cold water. Change the water every half-hour so it stays cold and use the thawed food immediately.

3. Always use separate cutting boards for raw meat/poultry/fish and cooked foods/fresh produce.

Bacteria from uncooked meat, poultry, and fish can contaminate cooked foods and fresh produce. An important way to reduce this risk is to use separate cutting boards for raw meat/poultry/ fish, and cooked foods/fresh produce.

4. Always cook meat to proper temperatures, using a calibrated instant-read thermometer to make sure.

One effective way to prevent illness is to use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of meat, poultry, and egg dishes. The USDA Recommended Safe Minimum Internal Temperatures are as follows:

* Beef, veal, and lamb (steaks and roasts), fish - 145 degrees fahrenheit

* Pork and ground beef - 160 degrees fahrenheit

* Poultry - 165 degrees fahrenheit.

Cook meats like roasts and steaks to lower temperatures, closer to medium-rare, so that they retain their moisture. It is recommended that those who are at high risk for developing food-borne illness (i.e. pregnant women and their unborn babies, newborns, young children, older adults, people with weakened immune systems, or certain chronic illnesses) should follow the USDA guidelines.

5. Avoid unpasteurized/raw milk and cheeses made from unpasteurized milk that are aged less than 60 days.

Raw milk is milk from cows, sheep, or goats that has not been pasteurized (heated to a very high temperature for a specific length of time) to kill harmful bacteria that may be present. These bacteria, which include salmonella, E. coli and listeria, can cause serious illness and sometimes even death. The bacteria in raw milk can be especially dangerous to pregnant women, children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems or chronic illnesses. Raw milk cheeses aged 60 days or longer are okay, since the salt and acidity of the cheese-making process make for a hostile environment to pathogens.

6. Never eat "runny" eggs or foods, such as cookie dough, that contain raw eggs.

Even eggs that have clean, intact shells may be contaminated with salmonella, so it’s important to cook eggs thoroughly until both the yolk and the white are firm. Casseroles and other dishes containing eggs should be cooked to 160 degrees fahrenheit and you can use an instant-read food thermometer to check. Eggs should always be cooked fully and those who are at high risk for developing foodborne illness (pregnant women and their unborn babies, newborns, young children, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems or certain chronic illnesses should follow the USDA guidelines. If you can’t resist runny eggs or sampling cookie batter, use pasteurized eggs. They’re found near other eggs in large supermarkets.

7. Always wash your hands in warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds before handling food and after touching raw meat, poultry, or eggs.

You can pick up a lot of bacteria out in the world, so it’s important to always wash your hands before you eat or prepare food. You should also wash your hands after touching any uncooked meat, poultry, fish, or eggs, as the bacteria from these foods can contaminate cooked foods and fresh produce. Use soap and warm water and wash thoroughly for at least 20 seconds.

8. Always heat leftover foods to 165 degrees fahrenheit.

The USDA recommends heating all cooked leftovers to 165 degrees fahrenheit in order to kill all potentially dangerous bacteria.

9. Never eat meat, poultry, eggs, or sliced fresh fruits and vegetables that have been left out for more than two hours or more than one hour in temperatures hotter than 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you leave perishable foods out of the refrigerator or freezer for more than two hours they may enter the Danger Zone—the unsafe temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, in which bacteria multiply rapidly.

10. Whenever there’s a food recall, check products stored at home to make sure they are safe.

You should discard any food that’s been recalled because it’s associated with the outbreak of a food-borne illness. But, according to a survey conducted by Rutgers University during the fall of 2008, only about 60% of Americans search their homes for foods that have been recalled because of contamination. For more information on food recalls, visit the website Recalls.gov

Cavier & Vodka
Courtesy of The Lady (Bug) of the Household