Saturday, December 31, 2011

Hoppin John

It's New Years Eve...You have just got to prepare some Hoppin John with Goya Yellow Rice to bring in the New Year....It's Good Luck and Good Eatin....


1 1/2 cups dry black-eyed peas

1 pound ham hocks

1 onion, chopped

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

salt and pepper to taste

4 cups water

1 1/2 cups of Goya Yellow rice

1 cup shredded smoked Cheddar cheese


1.In a large pan place the peas, ham hock, onion, red pepper, salt and pepper. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 1 1/2 hours.

2.Remove ham hock and cut meat into pieces. Return meat to pot. Stir in the rice, cover and cook until rice is tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle shredded cheese over top, if desired. Serve with- Collard Greens!

Enjoy!- Happy New Years!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Sweet Potato Pie

Desert Time Everybody !!!!!!!  Here is a recipe for something I love and admit that I have never actually prepared myself...A Sweet Potato pie...A Favorite anytime of the year!


* 3 frozen unbaked 8 or 9 inch single crust pie shells

* 4 pounds uncooked and un-peeled sweet potatoes

* 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

* 1/2 cup pure finely granulated sugar

* 1/2 cup light brown sugar (packed)

* 3 large eggs

* 2 cups whole milk

* 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

* 1/2 teaspoon salt

* 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Cookware and Utensils:

1 - Measuring cup

1 – Mixing bowl

1 – Cooking Bender

1 – Stirring spoon


As always the key to great cooking is to be prepared and use quality ingredients.

Recipe Instructions:

1. First, hand wash your sweet potatoes. After a complete washing, boil the sweet potatoes until they are tender. Once potatoes are tender drain and allow them to cool before peeling and mashing. Blend your sweet potatoes in mixing bowl with a blender to remove strings.

2. While you are cooking the sweet potatoes go ahead and place your butter on the kitchen countertop and allow to soften.

3. After the potatoes are ready, go ahead and preheat your oven to 350.

4. Next cream the softened butter with both sugars. Mix in the blended sweet potatoes and continue to mix while adding the eggs one at a time. Finally, add your milk, vanilla extract, nutmeg and salt and mix thoroughly.

5. Finally, pour mixture evenly into your three frozen unbaked pie shells. Bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes at 350 degrees on your center oven rack.

Preparation Time = approx 1 hour and 40 minutes
Cooking Time = 1 hour and 30 minutes


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Pork & Bok Choy with Black Bean Sauce

As I promised two of my readers...Here is another Asian or Pacific dish that breaks up the monotony of the week after Christmas....  And...It's healthy eating too.


3/4 pound(s) pork tenderloin, cut into 3 strips (1/4-inch thick)

1 1/2 teaspoon(s) cornstarch

1 1/2 teaspoon(s) reduced-sodium soy sauce

1/4 cup(s) black bean sauce with garlic

1 tablespoon(s) rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon(s) water

1 1/2 tablespoon(s) canola oil

3/4 pound(s) baby bok choy, cut in half lengthwise

1 large yellow bell pepper, cut into 2-inch chunks

4 ounce(s) medium-size shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, caps halved

1 teaspoon(s) grated peeled fresh ginger

Freshly ground pepper, to taste


Brown rice (optional)


In a medium bowl, toss pork with cornstarch and soy sauce. In a small cup, stir together black bean sauce, vinegar, and water; set aside.                                                                                             

Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a large, deep nonstick skillet over high heat. Add pork; cook, stirring, until it browns and loses most of its raw appearance, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Reduce heat to medium-high and add another 2 teaspoons of the oil to skillet. Add bok choy, cut side down, and cook until cut surface is lightly browned, about 2 to 3 minutes. Continue to cook, turning pieces, until bok choy stems start to soften, 2 minutes longer. Transfer to plate with pork.

Add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil to skillet with bell pepper, mushrooms, and ginger. Cook, stirring, 3 minutes. Stir in black bean mixture, pork, and bok choy; cook, tossing until sauce evenly coats everything and bok choy is tender, about 2 minutes.

If you can , have some Sake with this!


    Wednesday, December 28, 2011

    Sweet & Sour Pork

    It's two or three days after Christmas and if you're like me, you're tired of Christmas leftovers...I mean how much Ham, Turkey, Cornbread Stuffing,Mac & Cheese, Cranbery sauce, Collard Greens and Candied yams can you eat?

    Ready for a change?? Why not go Chinese with this Sweet and sour Pork Recipe?


    1 pound pork butt, cut into 1 inch cubes
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon white sugar
    1 teaspoon soy sauce
    1 egg white
    2 green onions, chopped
    1 quart vegetable oil for frying
    1/2 cup cornstarch

    1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    3 stalks celery, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
    1 medium green bell pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
    1 medium onion, cut into wedges
    white sugar to taste
    salt to taste

    1 cup water
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    3/4 cup white sugar
    1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
    1/4 cup ketchup
    1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
    1 (8 ounce) can pineapple chunks, undrained
    2 tablespoons cornstarch
    1/4 cup water


    1.Place cubed pork in a medium bowl, and season with 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon sugar, and 1 teaspoon soy sauce. Mix in the egg white and green onions. Cover, and place in the refrigerator at least 1 hour.

    2.Heat 1 quart oil to 365 degrees F (185 degrees C) in a large, heavy saucepan or deep fryer.

    3.Coat the pork with 1/2 cup cornstarch, and fry in the heated oil about 10 minutes, until evenly browned. Drain on paper towels.

    4.Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a wok over medium heat. Stir in the celery, green bell pepper, and onion, and cook until tender. Season with salt and sugar. Remove from heat, and set aside.

    5.In a large saucepan, mix 1 cup water, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 3/4 cup sugar, apple cider vinegar, ketchup, and 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce. Bring to a boil, and stir in the cooked pork, celery mixture, and the pineapple chunks with juice. Return to boil, and mix in 2 tablespoons cornstarch and 1/4 cup water to thicken. Cook until well blended.

    Serve with Hot tea and lemon....Enjoy!

    Saturday, December 24, 2011

    My Christmas Menu

    No Recipe today....Today ,Mrs. Martin and I plan to do some cooking.. A lot of cooking...See ,we are having people over the house tomorrow....My Daughter and son and Law...Our Grandchildren and my mother in law....So we will be fixing a traditional Christmas meal.

    I'm going to start off with a Turkey, Though I doubt it will be as large as the turkey in the illustration-LOL

    The Second Meat will be a Ham...Adorned with Pineapple rings and cherry!

    At our Christmas Dinner, We have always served collard greens-

    and Macaroni and Cheese-

    And of course you've got to have some cranberry sauce-

    To finish that off..or rather to add to it....I plan to make some cornbread stuffing-

    Okay, I lied...I do have a recipe for this-

    Cornbread Stuffing recipe :


    Cornbread, recipe follows

    7 slices oven-dried white bread

    1 sleeve saltine crackers

    8 tablespoons butter

    2 cups celery, chopped

    1 large onion, chopped

    7 cups chicken stock

    1 teaspoon salt

    Freshly ground black pepper

    1 teaspoon sage (optional)

    1 tablespoon poultry seasoning (optional)

    5 eggs, beaten


    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

    In a large bowl, combine crumbled cornbread, dried white bread slices, and saltines; set aside.
    Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the celery and onion and cook until transparent, approximately 5 to 10 minutes.

    Pour the vegetable mixture over cornbread mixture. Add the stock, mix well, taste, and add salt, pepper to taste, sage, and poultry seasoning.

    Add beaten eggs and mix well. Reserve 2 heaping tablespoons of this mixture for the giblet gravy. Pour mixture into a greased pan and bake until dressing is cooked through, about 45 minutes. Serve with turkey as a side dish...but you knew that!

    For Dessert-  Deep Dish Apple Pie-

    And of course a red and white wine as a beverage-

    Good Food, Good Wine, Family, Friends, Good Conversation, lots of laughter....That's what Christmas means to me!  Hope you and your family have a Merry one  and most importantly...Keep Christ first and foremost in Christmas...

    Sunday, December 18, 2011

    Belgian Waffles

    It's Early Sunday Morning and I'm Hungry...I've got a taste..a strong craving for some Belgian Waffles.....what to do?...what to do? Well...if you've got a well stocked is what you can do?


    1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast

    1/4 cup warm milk (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)

    3 egg yolks

    2 3/4 cups warm milk (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)

    3/4 cup butter, melted and cooled to lukewarm

    1/2 cup white sugar

    1 1/2 teaspoons salt

    2 teaspoons vanilla extract

    4 cups all-purpose flour

    3 egg whites


    1.In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup warm milk. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

    2.In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, 1/4 cup of the warm milk and the melted butter. Stir in the yeast mixture, sugar, salt and vanilla. Stir in the remaining 2 1/2 cups milk alternately with the flour, ending with the flour. Beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks; fold into the batter. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

    3.Preheat the waffle iron. Brush with oil and spoon about 1/2 cup (or as recommended by manufacturer) onto center of iron. Close the lid and bake until it stops steaming and the waffle is golden brown. Serve immediately or keep warm in 200 degree oven.

    You know the deal..Waffles and Sausage...and of course  a glass of milk-


    Wednesday, December 14, 2011

    Veal Shanks

    Here is a recipe for a hearty meal for hungry holiday visitiors..This is good especially if you want to veer away from the traditional Ham and or Turkey. Try Veal Shanks.


    2 whole(s) veal shanks, (4 to 5 pounds each)

    Salt and freshly ground black pepper

    1/4 cup(s) extra virgin olive oil

    2 medium red onions, chopped into 1/2-inch dice

    3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds

    2 leeks, white and light green parts only, trimmed, halved lengthwise, cut crosswise into thin half-moons, rinsed thoroughly, and drained..

    2 lemons, halved lengthwise, seeded, and sliced into 1/4-inch-thick half-moons

    1 tablespoon(s) saffron threads

    2 cup(s) dry white wine

    1 cup(s) basic tomato sauce

    1/2 cup(s) caperberries, stems removed..


    1.Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

    2.Rinse and dry the veal shanks, and season them liberally with salt and pepper.

    3.In a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven that is large enough to hold the veal shanks comfortably, heat the olive oil over medium heat until smoking. Place 1 shank in the pot and brown it evenly on all sides, 15 to 20 minutes. (Take your time.) Carefully transfer the shank to a plate, and repeat with the other shank.

    4.Add the onions, carrots, leeks, lemons, and saffron to the pot. Cook over medium-high heat, scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to loosen any browned bits, until the vegetables have softened, about 10 minutes. Add the wine, tomato sauce, and caperberries, and bring to a boil. Add the meat to the bubbling sauce and return it to a boil. Then place the pot in the oven and cook for 1 hour.

    5.Remove the pot from the oven, and carefully turn each shank over, using tongs and a fork. Return the pot to the oven and cook for another 2 hours.

    6.To serve, gently place the veal shanks on a platter, and spoon the sauce over them. The meat will be very tender. Carve with a carving fork and a large spoon instead of a knife.

    Enjoy these Shanks with a nice bottle of red wine.....

    Monday, December 12, 2011

    Apple Bacon Pancakes With Cider Syrup

    Just when you think that there is no other way to fix Pancakes....I run across this recipe given to me by a good friend... Check it out-


    1/2 cup(s) apple cider

    3 tablespoon(s) packed light brown sugar, divided

    1 1/2 teaspoon(s) lemon juice

    1 1/2 teaspoon(s) cornstarch

    1/2 cup(s) whole-wheat pastry flour

    1/4 cup(s) all-purpose flour

    2 tablespoon(s) all-purpose flour

    1 teaspoon(s) baking powder

    1/4 teaspoon(s) baking soda

    1 large egg

    1 large egg white

    1/2 cup(s) nonfat buttermilk

    1 medium (about 1 cup) apple, peeled and finely diced

    4 slice(s) bacon, cooked and crumbled

    1 teaspoon(s) canola oil, divided


    1.Combine cider, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking, and cook until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Set aside.

    2.Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and the remaining 1 tablespoon brown sugar in a small bowl. Whisk egg, egg white, and buttermilk in a large bowl. Stir in the dry ingredients, apples, and bacon until just combined. (The batter will be thick.)

    3.Brush a large nonstick skillet with 1/2 teaspoon oil and place over medium heat until hot. Cooking 4 at a time, use about 1/4 cup batter for each pancake and gently spread it to make them about 3 inches in diameter.

    Cook until the edges are dry and bubbles begin to form, about 2 minutes. Flip the pancakes and cook until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes more. Repeat with the remaining oil and batter, reducing the heat as necessary to prevent burning. Reheat the cider syrup, if desired, and serve with the pancakes.

    Nutritional information is based on 2 pancakes topped with 2 tablespoons of syrup each.

    Carb Servings: 1 1/2 starch, 1/2 fruit, 1 other carbohydrate, 1 fat. Carbohydrate Servings: 3.

    You know what to have to wash this down....enjoy!

    Saturday, December 10, 2011

    New York Strip Steak with Brussel Sprout Hash and Chutney

    A man loves his steak!  That was the title of one of my first posts on this blog and here is yet another steak recipe.....

    •2 New York strip steaks (about 1 lb each)

    •6 strips bacon (diced)

    •5 tbsp butter

    •2 chopped shallots

    •1 chopped leek

    •1 lb chopped brussels sprouts

    •1 sliced scallion

    •Salt and pepper to taste

    •1/2 bottle Jamaican lager

    •1 orange (chopped)

    •1 apple (peeled, cored, and diced)

    •1/2 mango (diced)

    •1/2 tsp minced ginger

    •Pinch of cinnamon

    •Siracha hot sauce

    •1 tbsp whole-grain mustard

    •1 tsp Dijon mustard


    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a skillet over medium-high heat, cook bacon just until the edges start to crisp. Remove to a paper-towel-lined plate. Reserve the fat. Wipe skillet clean and return to medium-high heat. Melt 1 tbsp butter. Add 1 chopped shallot and cook until translucent, about three minutes. Coarsely chop the leek (white and light-green parts only) and brussels sprouts,* and slice the scallion (white part only). Add to skillet and cook until the vegetables begin to soften, about ten minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add Jamaican lager, so that half of the hash is in liquid. Bring to a simmer and reduce until almost all the liquid is gone. Add the bacon, another tbsp butter, and reduce heat to low, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes

    Smear 1 tbsp softened butter all over 2 New York strip steaks (about 1 lb each), then season liberally with salt and pepper. Grill in an ovenproof pan just to sear, then place in the oven and cook until desired doneness — about eight minutes for medium rare. Remove and let rest ten minutes before servin

    Meanwhile, in a skillet over medium heat, melt 1 tbsp butter, then add the orange, apple, mango, ginger, and another chopped shallot. Cook until everything starts to soften, about five minutes. Add a pinch of cinnamon, a few dashes of Sriracha, a splash of lager, and 0.5 tsp of the reserved bacon fat. Reduce the heat and let simmer until the fruit is soft and has the consistency of chunky jam, about ten minutes. Drink the rest of the beer.

    To the hash, stir in another tbsp butter, up to 2 tbsp of the reserved bacon fat, whole-grain mustard, and Dijon mustard, and sauté a few minutes more. Total cooking time for the hash is about 30 minutes. · Divide hash onto two plates. Place steaks on top and spoon on some chutney. Serve with more lager. Serves two.

    * (Note:) You can use a food processor to quickly chop the brussels sprouts and leeks. Just don't pulverize them — a few pulses and they're good. Otherwise they'll get mushy.

    I don't have to tell you that you should eat this steak and enjoy it like a MAN!  Have a nice beer with this!

    Wednesday, December 7, 2011

    Beef Short Ribs

    Here is a soulful recipe for anytime of the year.....but especially good for a nice mid week respite if you're in the need of something different.


    # 2 to 3 racks beef short ribs

    # 2 cups orange juice, without pulp

    # 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

    # 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

    # 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce

    # 1 tablespoon soy sauce

    # 1 teaspoon hot sauce

    # 1 tablespoon dry mustard

    # 1 tablespoon garlic powder

    # 1 teaspoon chili powder

    # 1 teaspoon paprika


    1. Prepare beef short ribs for cooking by rinsing and letting the ribs drain in your kitchen sink. For more tender ribs, peel away the membrane on the backside of the ribs.

    2. Prepare marinade by combining and mixing together the orange juice, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, hot sauce, dry mustard, garlic powder, chili powder and paprika in a medium mixing bowl. Separate and reserve 3/4 cup for basting.

    3. Pour remaining marinade into a dish and add ribs meat side down into marinade. Cover dish with foil or plastic wrap and allow beef ribs to marinate in the refrigerator for 4 to 6 hours.

    4. Remove ribs from refrigerator. Drain and discard marinade from ribs and set ribs aside until ready to cook.

    5. Meanwhile, preheat grill to medium high heat (450 to 550 degree Fahrenheit) and prepare grill for indirect cooking.

    6. In a medium saucepan, bring reserved marinade to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to simmer and continue to cook and stir for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. This marinade will be used as a baste during grilling of the ribs.

    7. Once the grill reaches a temperature of 450 to 550 degree Fahrenheit, it's time to place the ribs on the grill. Place the grill rack 6 inches from the coals and cook the ribs on the side of the grill opposite the heat source(indirect cooking).

    8. Maintain a constant temperature and continue to cook the ribs for about 1 hour, basting the beef ribs frequently with your marinade.

    Once done remove your ribs from the heat. Place the ribs in a pan, then baste generously with any remaining marinade.

    Cover pan with aluminum foil, allowing ribs to cool for about 10 minutes before serving. Serve your beef short ribs with your favorite side items.

    I'm sure you will enjoy this beef short rib recipe for many years to come.

    Serve with -


    and of course some sweet tea-


    Saturday, December 3, 2011

    Garlic Fried Chicken

    Here is a recipe for something that works as a lunch dish or a dinner dish....Garlic Fried Chicken...You can serve this on toasted buns, with honey mustard, lettuce, onions and tomatoes. Oh so delicious.

    What I like most about this garlic fried chicken breast recipe is the fact it's easy to prepare and cooks up in about 25 minutes.

    Here are the simple instructions for how you can cook garlic fried chicken breast.


    * 2 to 4 boneless chicken breast

    * 1 cup all-purpose flour

    * 3 teaspoons garlic powder

    * 1 teaspoon black pepper

    * 1 teaspoon salt

    * 1 teaspoon paprika

    * 1 egg

    * 1/2 cup milk

    * vegetable oil

    Cookware and Utensils:

    * paper towels

    * measuring cup

    * spoons

    * brown paper bag

    * small mixing bowl

    * heavy cast iron skillet


    1. You can use fresh or frozen chicken as the main ingredient to this chicken breast recipe. If you use frozen allow for ample time to thaw the chicken. Start by pounding each chicken breast to an even thickness so it cooks evenly. Go ahead and rinse your chicken under running cold water. Pat chicken breast dry with paper towels and set aside.

    2. To make flour mixture, add all dry ingredients to a brown paper bag or plastic big. Close bag and shake to get a uniform mix of the dry ingredient, set aside.

    3. In a small mixing bowl whisk together your egg and milk. Dip each chicken breast into the wet mixture, then thoroughly coat with the seasoned flour and set aside.

    4. Add about 1 inch of vegetable oil to a heavy bottom or cast iron skillet and heat on medium high until sufficiently hot.

    5. Test the cooking oil by tossing a drop of water into the skillet. If the oil crackles or pops it's ready for cooking. Depending on your stove, you may have to adjust the temperature up higher.

    6. Add the chicken breast to the skillet. Do not overcrowd the skillet this will only hamper your cooking efforts. Cook chicken breast uncovered for about 5 minutes on each side, turning only once. The chicken breast is done when it center has reached an internal temperature of 160-165 degrees.

    You can serve this with yesterday's side dish-

    and some sweet tea-

    Friday, December 2, 2011

    Mac N Cheese

    This is easily one of my favorite holiday side dishes...Really one of my favorite side dishes period...And here , in case you don't know is a very simple recipe for making baked macaroni & cheese...The proper name or just Mac & Cheese as we call it around the family table-


    * 1 box elbow macaroni (about 16 ounces)

    * 1-1/2 pounds shredded cheddar cheese

    * 1 cup whole milk

    * 1 stick butter, unsalted and softened

    * a pinch of salt

    * pepper to taste

    Cookware and Utensils:

    * 1 large boiling pot

    * 1 baking casserole

    * 1 measuring cup


    1. Soften your butter using your microwave. Microwave the butter on low for about 60 to 90 seconds. You only want to soften the butter, therefore check the butter every 10 to 15 seconds to ensure it doesn't melt.

    2. Boil your elbow macaroni according to package instructions.

    3. Place cooked and drained macaroni in your casserole dish. Add softened butter, milk, pinch of salt, pepper to taste and one pound of shredded cheddar cheese. Gently mix to blend the ingredients. Layer the top of your macaroni with the remaining cheese, about 1/2 pound.

    4. Bake macaroni with cheese at 350 degrees for about 1 hour. The top layer will turn golden brown when the macaroni is ready. Do not allow your mac and cheese to dry out.


    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