Friday, October 29, 2010

A Unique Halloween Treat

Here's a Halloween treat that doesn't involve anything sweet...Oh..I'm such a poet! It's called -
"Witches Fingers" Check it out-


1 package(s) (12-ounce) cocktail-size frankfurters ( Hillshire Farms Brats or suasage will do!)
1 (8-ounce) sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1/4 cup(s) ketchup (Heinz)


1. Cut off 1/2 inch diagonally from one end of each hot dog, to create a "fingernail."
2. Cut puff pastry into 1/2 -inch-by-3-inch strips. Wrap each hot dog in a piece of pastry, overlapping edges slightly and leaving both ends visible. Place "fingers" seam side down on a baking sheet. Freeze for 15 minutes, or cover and freeze for up to 1 week.
3. Preheat oven to 375°F. Bake until pastry is puffed and golden, 20 minutes. Spread ketchup onto each "fingernail" and serve hot.

And, there you go... something simple and good.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Tao of Oatmeal

Oatmeal and hot cereals in general like Cream of wheat bring back some of my fondest childhood memories of cold winter mornings and having something warm in my stomach to both wake me up and give me nourishment and energy for the coming day...Of course I wasn't thinking of it in that way then...It was purely just something sweet and good to eat. Since I have become an adult and specifically since I've past my 50th year on Earth...I have discovered that oatmeal is actually good for you too...Yeah...who knew?

Whole Oats in general are an excellent source of manganese and a good source of selenium, tryptophan, phosphorus, vitamin B1 (thiamin), dietary fiber, magnesium, and protein. One cup of cooked oats provides more than 6 grams of protein, more than almost all breakfast grains, particularly those that are corn- or wheat-based. If you don't understand what all of that stuff I just named is...just take my word for it...It's good for you!

One of the best things about oatmeal is that it's a perfect canvas for pairing with other tasty, healthy ingredients. Walnuts and flaxseed, for example, are even more concentrated in omega-3s than fatty fish; two tablespoons of flaxseed provides 146 percent of the amount recommended for a man's daily diet, while a quarter cup of walnuts provides 95 percent of the daily recommended amount. Almonds and raisins are rich in boron, which enhances testosterone levels in men, helping build muscle and contributing to bone health. Boron has also shown protective effects against prostate cancer. Other good oatmeal toppers include hazelnuts, pecans, and pumpkin seeds; all three contain a plant sterol that's been shown to ease the symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia, a common prostate condition in men over 40. If you like your oatmeal sweetened, try raw honey—it helps lower total cholesterol and is loaded with protective antioxidants.

So Have a bowl of Oatmeal today! In fact Here is a recipe for Maple walnut of my personal favorites!!


1/4 cup(s) whole almonds, unblanched, roughly chopped
1/3 cup(s) walnuts, roughly chopped
2 tablespoon(s) salted sunflower seeds
1/2 teaspoon(s) ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon(s) ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon(s) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup(s) maple syrup
2 tablespoon(s) maple syrup
3 cup(s) cooked oatmeal, kept hot
1 cup(s) milk
1/2 cup(s) dried cranberries


1. Heat oven to 375°F. Line a baking pan with parchment paper. Combine the nuts, sunflower seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg, butter, and 2 tablespoons maple syrup in a medium bowl, and spread in a single layer on the prepared pan. Stirring every 5 minutes to evenly coat, bake until mixture is fragrant and toasted — about 12 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. Stir the cranberries and the remaining 1/4 cup maple syrup into the oatmeal. To serve, pour 1/4 cup milk over each serving and top with the maple-glazed nuts.

2. Make only the glazed nuts. Triple the batch and keep on hand to eat alone as a snack. Store in an airtight container. To your health!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Where's Your Cobbler?

Ahhh There is nothing like a Peach Cobbler on a nice fall afternoon when you're watching Monday Night Football and jonesin for a cool desert.. Here is a cool recipe!


1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 (16 ounce) can sliced peaches
1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt


1. Pour butter into a shallow 2-qt. baking dish; set aside.

2. Drain peaches, reserving 1/4 cup juice. In a saucepan, bring the peaches and juice just to a boil.

3. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, combine 1 cup sugar, flour, milk, baking powder and salt; mix well. Pour over butter in baking dish.

4. Spoon hot peaches over batter. Sprinkle with remaining sugar. Bake at 400 degrees F for 25 minutes or until cake tests done. Serve warm.


Monday, October 25, 2010

A Taste of Louisiana

I am a big fan of HBO's Drama, Treme , set in New Orleans ,Louisiana. Not just because some of my favorite charactors from HBO's drama, "The Wire" are in it...but because they got everything right...the accents, the music...the food...especially the food...Here is one of the meals I heard them mention or rather I saw them spotlight in one of the episodes. It's called Creole Chicken Gumbo.


1 large chicken-cut up
4 tablespoons cooking oil
1 large onion-chopped
2 quarts chicken stock-heated
2 tablespoons parsley-chopped
2 tablespoons green onions-chopped
1 teaspoon chopped thyme-if fresh or 1/2 teaspoon if dry
1 clove garlic-mince
3 bay leaves
1 pound smoke sausage (or andouille)
1 pint oysters
1 tablespoon filé
cayenne pepper to taste
salt and pepper to taste


Use a heavy pot (iron if possible), and brown the chicken slowly in oil.
Remove the chicken.
Sauté the onions until soft
Return the chicken and any juice that has drained off to the pot with onions.
Cover and cook on low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.
Add the heated stock, parsley, green onions, garlic, and bay leaves.
Season generously with thyme.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Cook over low heat until chicken is tender.
Add precooked sausage and cook for 10 minutes.
Add oysters and oysters' water and cook for 10 minutes more.
Remove from heat and immediately add filé powder, stirring while adding.
Serve in large bowls, pouring it over steamed rice.


Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Sunday Rib Tickler!

Here is an interesting Barbecued rib recipe for a Sunday afternoon while you're watching the Football game (and possibly Baseball) game of your choice.

This is really a method of cooking ribs rather than a recipe per se!


A rack or whole slab of Baby backed ribs and your favorite barbecue sauce.
I myself prefer Kraft Barbecue sauce.


Pre-heat your oven to 300 degrees F.

1. Brush each slab of ribs liberally on both sides with the sauce.
2. Tightly wrap each slab in a large piece of aluminum foil.
3. Place the wrapped ribs on a baking sheet, seam side up.
4. Bake for 2 hours. Remove from the oven.
5. Open the foil packages and transfer the ribs to a clean baking sheet.
6. Brush the ribs with additional barbeque sauce.
7. Turn on broiler or heat an outdoor grill.
8. Broil or grill 2-4 minutes, just until ribs start to sizzle and brown a bit.
9. Cut between bones into serving size pieces.

Note: Ribs can be baked up to an hour before serving. Keep them covered with foil. Remove foil and broil right before serving.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

From Cincinatti With Love

You don't have to be from Cincinatti or even Ohio to enjoy this Chilli recipe!

Cincinatti Styled Chili


2 pounds lean ground beef
2 cups chopped onions
1 26-ounce jar garlic pasta sauce
1 15-ounce can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons semisweet chocolate pieces
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon instant beef bouillon granules
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 pound dried cut ziti or gemelli
Shredded cheddar cheese (optional)


1. In a 12-inch skillet cook ground beef and onions until meat is brown. Drain off fat. Transfer meat mixture to a 4- to 5-quart slow cooker. Stir in pasta sauce, kidney beans, the water, chili powder, chocolate pieces, vinegar, cinnamon, bouillon granules, cayenne pepper, and allspice.

2. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 8 to 10 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 to 5 hours.

3. Before serving, cook pasta according to package directions; drain well. Add pasta to meat mixture in slow cooker; toss gently to combine. If desired, sprinkle with cheese.

Makes 12 (1-cup) servings.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Nice Creamy Soup!

Some of my favorite soups are creamy soups....Like the recipe below.

Cream of Broccolli and Cauliflower Soup!


1/4 cup butter
4 medium onions, chopped
2 heads broccoli, separated into florets
1 head cauliflower, separated into florets
6 cups water
5 pounds potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 (6 ounce) package baby spinach, coarsely chopped
6 cubes chicken bouillon
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese


1. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions, and saute until tender. Meanwhile, place the broccoli and cauliflower into a large pot with at least 6 cups of water. Bring to a boil, and cook until fork tender, but broccoli is still a vibrant green. Drain, and reserve 5 cups of the water.

2. Pour the 5 cups of reserved water into the pot with the onions. Bring to a boil, and add potatoes, spinach and bouillon cubes. Cook for about 15 minutes, until potatoes are tender. Remove half of the soup, and puree in small batches using a food processor or blender. Return to the pan, and stir in the broccoli, cauliflower, and Cheddar cheese. Stir until cheese is melted, and serve immediately.

This will yeild about 12 servings.


Monday, October 18, 2010

A Taste of Philly

The Reading Terminal in my hometown of Philadelphia, PA is one of my favorite places to go for lunch. There are all kinds of different eateries within the famed train station and all kinds of foods. If you happen to be in the city of brotherly love this coming weekend, you might want to stop in for the "Taste of Philly" Food Festival.

Philly is famous for its cheese steaks, hoagies, and pretzels. Learn the story behind these and other local food favorites, and the vibrant and historic Reading Terminal Market where they're sold during this 75-minute market-based walking tour. Also see pretzels being twisted, hear the story behind the Breyers Ice Cream logo, and find out where Milton Hershey got the idea for Hershey's Kisses.

In other words, this is fun history that has nothing to do with our government! The tour was written and is frequently led by food writer Carolyn Wyman, the author of the definitive "Great Philly Cheesesteak Book" (Running Press), "Spam: A Biography" (Harcourt), and "Jell-O: A Biography" (Harcourt), featured on NPR's "Fresh Air," "The Rosie O'Donnell Show," and "Jay Leno."

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Rump Roast 4 Ya!

Here is a good feel good recipe for a Sunday Afternoon of Football and all things fall! Check it out-

Crock Pot Rump Roast


4 pound rump roast
4 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 pound baby carrots
1 can beef broth
1.5 tbsp garlic powder
1.5 tbsp onion powder
1 cup water


1.put potatoes and carrots in the bottom of crock pot. season and add roast. Pour beef broth over roast. add 1 cup water.

2.Cook on low for about 8 to 10 hours.

3. It doesn't get any easir than this- Serve this with a nice salad and some Ice Tea.
It serves about ten dinner guests.. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Beef Teriyaki

If you feel like Chinese one night at home, then this is a nice recipe for you....


1 1/2 cups uncooked glutinous white rice
1 2/3 cups water
1 pound boneless beef sirloin steak (3/4 inch thick)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 (14 ounce) can beef broth
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
4 cups fresh broccoli florets


1. In a saucepan bring water to a boil. Add rice and stir. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, slice beef into very thin strips.

3. In a mixing bowl, combine the cornstarch, broth, soy sauce, sugar and garlic powder. Mix thoroughly.

4. In a large skillet, over medium/high heat, saute the beef strips until browned and juices evaporate.

5. Stir broccoli and cornstarch mixture into meat. Cook until mixture boils and thickens, stirring frequently. Serve over the cooked rice.

Monday, October 11, 2010

A Lamb Recipe

I eat a lot of lamb myself...but everybody can't fix lamb the way it should be fixed... On occassion ,my wife and I have dined at a few area establishments who have served it to my liking. One such place is beleive it or not McCormick and Schmidts in Center City Philadelphia. I digress..This is a lamb recipe, though not necessarily the one that they use, but close to what we had when we dined there.

Lamb Shanks with Sun-Dried Tomatoes!


1 tablespoon(s) olive oil
4 (1 pound each) lamb shanks
1 teaspoon(s) kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon(s) ground black pepper
3/4 cup(s) dry white wine
2 tablespoon(s) flour
2 tablespoon(s) tomato paste
1 navel orange
1 can(s) (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup(s) onion, chopped
1/2 cup(s) sun-dried tomato halves, not marinated
1 1/2 tablespoon(s) fresh rosemary leaves
4 clove(s) garlic, chopped
2 tablespoon(s) Italian parsley leaves, chopped


1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add lamb shanks. Sear all over, turning several times, or until well browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

2. In a 6- to 7-quart slow-cooker, whisk wine, flour, and tomato paste. Remove 6 strips of orange zest with a vegetable peeler. Squeeze 1/4 cup of juice from orange; add zest and juice to wine mixture. Stir in remaining ingredients, except parsley. Place shanks, meat sides down, in mixture.

3. Cover; cook on low-heat setting 5 1/2 to 6 1/2 hours, until lamb is fork-tender. Transfer shanks to platter; cover with foil to keep warm.

4. Pour braising mixture from slow-cooker into a 1-quart measure; skim off and discard fat from surface. Stir parsley into sauce; add salt and pepper, if needed. Serve shanks with orzo; spoon sauce over shanks and orzo.


Friday, October 8, 2010

Yet Another Chicken Recipe!

Ahh Chicken....How many different ways can you prepare chicken? I need to take my own advice or at least my wife's advice and step outside of the old fried chicken, baked barbecue chicken rut myself... So here is something called "Chicken with Le Gruy sage and easy pan sauce.

2 large boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (each about 9 ounces), each sliced horizontally in half to make thin cutlets

1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 pound Le Gruyère, thinly sliced
16 fresh sage leaves
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 shallot, thinly sliced.
1/2 cup dry white wine or cooking wine


This will serve about four people. Rolling thin chicken cutlets around a filling of Le Gruyère works beautifully: the outside of the rolls brown deliciously, while the inside stays moist and juicy and gets superb flavor and creaminess from the cheese.

One at a time, place chicken cutlets between layers of wax paper and pound gently with a rolling pin until each is about 1/4 of an inch thin. Season slices on both sides with salt and pepper. Cover each with slices of Le Gruyère and sage leaves. Roll them up and seal closed with toothpicks.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and cook, turning frequently, until chicken is cooked through and cheese is melted, about 15 minutes. (Don't worry if some of the cheese leaks out.) Transfer chicken to a plate, remove and discard all toothpicks, cover and keep warm.

Return skillet to medium heat and add shallot. Cook, scraping up browned bits from the bottom of pan, about 2 minutes. Add wine and cook until most liquid has evaporated, about 3 minutes. Pour sauce over chicken and serve.

There you go...Now one day I'll tell you if I actually fixed this and ate it....Just kidding folks....Enjoy!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A Healthy And Sweet Treat

Here is a recipe for Apple Almond Gingerbread that not only is a sweet snack, but good for you too. This particular recipe serves twelve people..but you won't want to have twelve people over to help you eat this...(I won't want to have two people over! lol! This recipe is wonderful for brunch or afternoon tea.(Think brunch...Who do you know that has afternoon teas?) It is also a good candidate to make ahead when you know your time will soon be precious.(My time is always precious!) To freeze, wrap tightly in a layer or two of plastic wrap and then in a resealable plastic bag. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before serving. For dessert, top slices of this gently sweet treat with dollops of lemon curd, whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.


5 tablespoons butter, melted, plus more for greasing
3/4 cup slivered almonds, divided
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons lowfat buttermilk
1/3 cup unsulphured molasses
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg
11/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 tablespoon ground ginger
11/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 Fuji or Gala apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch loaf pan with butter.

2. Put 1/4 cup almonds in bottom of pan and then rotate pan to distribute them around the bottom and sides (they’ll stick to the greased pan); set aside.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together buttermilk, molasses, sugar, butter, vanilla and egg.

4. In a second large bowl, combine flour, ginger, baking soda and remaining 1/2 cup almonds. Add apples and toss well. Stir flour mixture into molasses mixture and then spoon batter into pan.

5. Bake until cooked through and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool in pan for 30 minutes and then invert onto a plate and serve warm or at room temperature.

Nutrition Information:

Per serving (about 2oz/71g-wt.): 200 calories (70 from fat), 8g total fat, 3.5g saturated fat, 30mg cholesterol, 180mg sodium, 28g total carbohydrate (3g dietary fiber, 15g sugar), 4g protein

If you understood all of that, God bless you!


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Spaghetti With Pesto

Everybody knows that I love pasta... Here is a quick and delicious pasta recipe for a fall day or any day, for that matter.


pound(s) thin spaghetti, substitute linguine
1 bunch(es) (large) fresh basil
1 clove(s) (small) garlic
1/4 cup(s) olive oil
1 tablespoon(s) olive oil
1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
1/4 teaspoon(s) ground black pepper
1/2 cup(s) freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
1 1/2 pint(s) red and/or yellow cherry tomatoes, each cut in half
1 tablespoon(s) red wine vinegar
8 ounce(s) fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 3/4-inch cubes


1. Heat large saucepot of salted water to boiling over high heat. Add spaghetti and cook as label directs.

2. Meanwhile, reserve 12 small basil leaves for garnish. From remaining basil, remove enough leaves to equal 2 cups firmly packed. In food processor with knife blade attached, process basil leaves, garlic, 1/4 cup oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt until pureed, stopping processor and scraping bowl occasionally. Add Parmesan; pulse to combine. Set pesto aside.

3. In bowl, mix tomatoes, vinegar, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Gently stir in mozzerella.

4. Drain spaghetti, reserving 1/2 cup spaghetti cooking water. Return spaghetti and reserved cooking water to saucepot; add pesto and toss well to coat pasta. Spoon spaghetti mixture into large shallow bowl; top with tomato-mozzarella salad. Garnish with reserved basil leaves.

Preparation Time: About 20 Minutes

Cook Time: No more than 15 Minutes


Monday, October 4, 2010

Coles Curried Pork Steaks

I was recently at Relish on Ogontz Avenue(Philadelphia,PA.) and had their stuff Pork Chops...great dish right there...I noticed that they had something called Curried Pork also on the menu....So I decided to post that recipe here..Check it out. It's probably not going to be as tasty as the pork I had at Relish , but if you play your cards right and follow this recipe to the letter...You may come close.


2 lbs of pork steaks cut into 1-inch pieces
1 & 1/2 tablespoons of curry
4 medium onions, sliced lengthwise
3 cloves of fresh garlic (minced)
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 tablespoon of corn starch
1 can of low sodium chicken broth or three cups of chicken stock
3 tablespoons of olive oil


1. Sauté garlic in olive oil for one minute and then add sliced onions.

2. Sauté for five minutes stirring the mixture constantly.

3. Add pork and cook for five minutes or until pork appears to be done. Don't overcook!

4. Add curry and continue to stir for a few minutes.

5. Add a little salt and pepper.

6. Stir in the chicken broth or stock and simmer until hot or add it warmed.

7. Add 1/2 cup of cold water to corn starch, stir and gradually mix into pot stirring to mix well. The corn starch will thicken the sauce to a nice consistency.

8. Allow pot to simmer for approx. 10 minutes.

9. Serve over rice.

Makes 4 portions (serve with some white rice).


Sunday, October 3, 2010

A Tailgate Pasta Recipe

It's Football season!!!! Today The Eagles welcome their former Quarterback ,Donavan McNabb back in town..Only he will be in a Red Washington Redskins Uniform....My Heart is torn...But my stomach is not....There will be a lot of tailgating parties today...My fraternity, Kappa Alpha Psi (Abington Ambler Alumni Chapter) is hosting one today...Instead of bringing the normal tailgating food...Here is a recipe I got from the New York Jets tailgating recipe book!


1 pound(s) rigatoni
1 pound(s) bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces across the strips
3 clove(s) garlic, sliced
13 tablespoon(s) (or more as needed) olive oil
1 large onion, cut to 1-inch dice
2 tablespoon(s) fresh oregano
2 tablespoon(s) fresh thyme
1 tablespoon(s) fennel seeds
Grated Asiago cheese (optional)
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
1 quart(s) non-fat or low-fat plain yogurt
Sumac, for garnish (optional)


1. Pregame preparation: Cook the rigatoni al dente and refrigerate in a 1-gallon ziplock bag. In a pan over medium-low heat, cook bacon together with sliced garlic and a generous amount of black pepper. Remove before fully cooked and set aside.

2. Wipe out the bacon pan and add 5 to 6 tablespoons olive oil, onions, and a pinch of salt, and sauté 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat, add onions to bacon/garlic mixture, and refrigerate.

3. Clean Herbs (if using fresh ones) ,then put them in the refrigerator.

4. Tailgate Cooking: Place an iron skillet on the grates of a medium-hot grill and allow the skillet to warm for a minute or two. Make sure your skillet doesn't get too hot. To the warm skillet, add 8 to 10 tablespoons of olive oil, the precooked pasta.

5. To the warm skillet, add 8 to 10 tablespoons of olive oil, the precooked pasta, bacon-and-onion mixture, oregano, thyme, and fennel seeds and toss to combine. Sauté and stir frequently to cook evenly until pasta begins to brown and get crunchy (15-18 minutes). Be patient — it will smell great and your audience will simmer with anticipation. Optional: Sprinkle some grated Asiago cheese while browning; add salt and pepper to taste (keep in mind there is plenty of salt in the bacon and cheese) while everything is cooking in the skillet. Open and gently stir yogurt until it has a smooth and creamy texture.

6. When the dish is colorful and sizzling nicely, remove skillet from heat and distribute the pasta on small plates for your tailgaters. Top each portion with 2 to 3 tablespoons yogurt, sprinkle with sumac, and serve immediately.

Enjoy this and the game!

Friday, October 1, 2010

A Cookie of a Cookie Recipe

I have two small grandchildren. When they are over my house for the weekends it is often hard to find something for them to do and hard to find something for them to snack on...My grand-daughter is too young right now..but my grandson is four years old...Just at the age when he wants to get into things and do things....This recipe will kill two birds with one stone.!


1 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1 cup crushed cornflakes cereal
1/2 cup chopped pecans


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (170 degrees C).

2. Cream together the butter or margarine and sugars.

3. Stir in egg, oil, vanilla, baking soda and flour. Mix until well blended.

4. Stir in the rest of the ingredients. Drop on cookie sheets. If desired, sprinkle with sugar before baking. Bake for 12-15 minutes.

I usually tell you people to enjoy... Me and the kids are going to enjoy!

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

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

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