Archive | October, 2008

Huzzah!!! Five-second rule is upheld!!

30 Oct

For all of you who wondered…scientists have discovered that it is safe to eat food off a reasonably clean floor if it hits the floor for five seconds.

As soon as I find some video I can embed; I’ll post it!

The CC


Sorry, kids. If you are a Comcast subscriber, you may have seen the exact report today on The Fan as I did; the video about the five-second rule in the health section on the web site’s home page.

Well, apparantly this video I saw is a YEAR old. So this isn’t current news at all. Why in the heck they would treat this as new news is beyond me.

Sauteed Green Beans with Sunflower seeds

29 Oct

I was farting around yesterday with some green beans i got from the ‘ol market, and I had some leftover shelled sunflower seeds. I threw them in with the green beans, and whad’ya know, they were quite tasty! I imagine that some toasted pine nuts, or some pepitas ( shelled pumpkin seeds) would be a nice substitute!


4 cups fresh green beans, cleaned

1/2 cup shelled sunflower seeds

4 Tbl. olive oil

Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

Saute green beans in olive oil over medium-high heat. Toss seeds into green beans, season with salt and pepper and serve.

Chinese water torture

26 Oct

I have to apologize to my readers ( I’m sure its only one now). I have enrolled in a class that is a monster, but it will assist me in serving my readers better. It is a feature article writing class, and it is one of the hardest and most demanding class I’ve ever encountered. I just want to thank you for hanging in there with me. I need all the support I can get from you guys, so just hang in there with me. I hope to post a bit more in the future, but as it stands now, I’m on the computer 25-30 hours a week for this one class alone, and I am a bit weary. Yes, I said I wanted to be a writer, but this is just re-donk-u-lous!


Broccoli, Tomato and Feta frittata

26 Oct

What a way to bring in Sunday morning than with a piping hot frittata from the oven. Simply put, a frittata is an omelet baked in the oven. The best part is this: the batter is a master recipe; once you become accustomed to preparing omelet this way, you can put anything in it you want. Let the batter be the blank canvas for your imagination. Just remember this; any vegetables must be cooked before being added to the mix. Leafy vegetables should be cooked and relieved of all water before added to the batter. Frozen vegetables are fine to use in these recipes, just thaw them completely and squeeze out any excess water. If using canned ingredients, drain them completely and pat them dry before using them.

Serves four to six

Special equipment

12 inch non-stick sauté pan with ovenproof handle, OR a 9×9 square pan

Cooking spray*


8 ea. Large eggs

1 cup heavy cream

½ tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. nutmeg

¼ tsp. pepper

2 tbl. olive oil

1 ½ cups. cooked broccoli

1 cup chopped tomatoes

2 tsp. chopped garlic

4 to 6 oz. crumbled feta cheese

Combine the eggs, cream, salt pepper and nutmeg and beat until well mixed. Put in bowl and refrigerate. If using a 9×9 square pan, spray pan liberally with the cooking spray and set aside. Heat oven to 425 degrees. In a non-stick sauté pan, add the olive oil and sauté the broccoli, tomato and garlic over medium heat for 5 or 6 minutes. Add all at once the egg batter and stir occasionally until large curds form. While eggs are still wet, top eggs with feta cheese and place in hot oven. Bake frittata in oven for 10-20 minutes, or until browned slightly and puffy. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve with fresh fruit and potatoes.

**If using a 9×9 square pan, follow instructions for scrambling eggs. While eggs are still wet, place mixture in square pan. Top with feta cheese and place in oven. Bake for 10-20 minutes or until browned slightly and puffy. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve with fresh fruit and potatoes.

Garlic-Ginger Sauteed Spinach with Sesame Oil

21 Oct

Mmmmm, Yummy!

Every now and again, I get a hankering for fresh spinach. I love it prepared this way with tons of garlic, a tough of fresh ginger, and a drizzle of sesame oil. Freshness is the key for this side dish ( or main dish served with a bit of brown rice), so if your sesame oil is old ( meaning more than three months old) ; don’t use it. Get some new sesame oil. You will need a large pot with a fitted lid to cook the spinach in.

You will notice that I saute with olive oil instead of sesame oil. Sesame oil should be treated as a seasoning component rather than a cooking medium. I found that out the hard way as a young pup cooking eons ago.


2 ea. bags of  washed and clean salad spinach ( 5 o.z/6 o.z.)**

3 Tbl. olive oil

1 Tbl. chopped garlic ( or more if you like)

1 1/2 tsp. grated fresh ginger ( or more if you like)

1/4 cup water

1 tsp. sea salt, or to taste

1/2 tsp. black pepper, or to taste

1/4 tsp pepper flakes ( optional)

**Although the spinach package will say that it is clean, wash the spinach in a sink of cold water by floating the spinach in a sink of cold water. Let soak for five or ten minutes. Remove spinach from water ( dirt and sand will sink to the bottom of the sink) by lifting the spinach out of the water and drain between paper towels until dry.

Over medium to medium high heat, heat olive oil in bottom of pot. Sweat the garlic, ginger and pepper flakes until aromatic, taking care not to burn it. Add spinach all at once to pan and toss until spinach is coated with olive oil. Add water and cover; let cook until greatly reduced in volume ( two-three minutes). Uncover spinach and  season with salt. pepper and sesame oil. Serve!

Great tossed with  cooked udon noodles.

Geez, some dude ate a 15lb. burger; Pepto-Bismol stocks soar

17 Oct

This guy ate a 15 lb. burger and lived to tell about it. The “Beer Barrell Belly Buster”  weighs 20+ pounds after buns and toppings, and 21-year-old Brad Scuillo, a chef just wanted to see “if he could do it.”

Oh well, you’d thunk that he would know better. We used to laugh at dweebs like this when I cooked for a living.  Here’s a clip for those who remember the “OL 96’er.”

Big ‘ol pumpkin wins big ‘ol pumpkin award

17 Oct
photo taken by Paul Sakuma of the Associated Press

photo taken by Paul Sakuma of the Associated Press

This 1,528 lb. gourd won the largest pumpkin award in a contest held in Pleasant Bay, California.

The grower of this prodigiuos vegetable,Oregon native Thad Starr, grew on last year that weighed only four pounds less.

More here. Yeah, I know. It’s a slow  food news day.

Easy Chicken Marsala

14 Oct

What does one do when one wants a taste of Italy, but cannot afford the airfare? You make Chicken Marsala! This is a super easy version of the classic recipe using golden mushroom soup ( you food snobs out there: try it yourself and find out). Marsala is a fortified wine that is similar to sweet sherry, but do not use sweet sherry as a substitute. If you must use a substitute, use dry sherry or white wine. Be warned; if you use white wine or no alcohol, you will no longer have a dish resembling marsala. You will have a chicken-with-mushroom- concoction.

4 servings

Equipment List

1 large skillet ( nonstick is ok)
measuring spoons
measuring cups ( liquid and dry measure)
measuring spoons
wooden spoon
cutting board
2 ea. plate
small bowl


4 each trimmed and portioned boneless and skinless chicken breasts
( Perdue Fit and Easy brand is best; they are already prepared), or
I lb. chicken tenders ( fresh, not breaded)

1 cup sliced fresh button or baby bella mushrooms
1/3 cup onion diced finely
1 Tbl. chopped garlic
1/2 cup marsala ( or white wine)
1 can golden mushroom soup
1 can water
1 Tbl.  freshly chopped parsley (1/2 Tbl. dried parsley)
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 Tbl. butter, cold (opt.)

olive oil for sauteeing
flour for coating chicken

Assemble all ingredients together and read recipe before proceeding

Remove chicken from packaging; rinse well and pat dry. Put 1 cup flour in a large ziploc  bag, add chicken to bag of flour, close well and shake until all pieces of chicken are coated evenly. Remove chicken from bag, place on a plate and refrigerate.

Heat 3 Tbl olive oil in your pan over medium heat.  Add mushrooms, onions and garlic to pan and cook, stirring frequently for five minutes or until soft. Lower heat and remove mushroom mixture; set aside.  Raise heat to medium and add 3 more Tbl. of oil to pan. Add chicken to pan. Brown the chicken for two minutes on both sides. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.

Note: Be VERY careful with the next step!!!!! Alcohol is extremely flammable.

Pull pan away from the stove and add the marsala ( or wine), stir with wooden spoon to loosen up all of the bits in the bottom of the pan. Lower heat and return pan to stove. Cook marsala for 3 minutes, then add golden mushroom soup, water, and mushroom mixture to pan. Whisk together until  blended, then add chicken breasts. Cook for 6 minutes ( 2 minutes for tenders) or until done. Add pepper, chopped parsley and butter. Stir until butter is melted.

Serve over cooked egg noodles, pasta or rice.

Buono Appetito!!


Chicken and Brown rice meatballs

9 Oct

I made these a couple of days ago when my new roommate moved in ( that’s where I’ve been!). I wanted to make a meatball that was light ( wait a minute; it has brown rice in it. How can it be light?), and can hold up in a sauce. Well, I made these and they turned out great! These meatballs have a surprisingly light texture, and great flavor.

Serve these as you would regular meatballs; with tomato or marinara sauce over pasta, or in brown sauce with sour cream over noodles ( Swedish meatballs). This also makes a great meatloaf* as well.

Makes 14 to 18 meatballs

You will need:

food processor


cutting board

mixing bowls

measuring cups

measuring spoons

gloves for handling ground beef

*meat thermometer

sheet pan

spray oil


1 lb. ground chicken ( do not use breast meat for this recipe)

4 ea. baby bella ( cremini, or button) mushrooms

1 ea. small onion

2T. chopped garlic

2 T. olive oil

2/3 cup cooked brown rice

1 egg ( or 1/4 cup egg substitute)

1 T. dried parsley

1/2 t. pepper

2 slices stale bread

1 1/2 t. sea salt

2 T. milk

1/4 c. grated parmesan

Slice and chop the mushrooms and onions in the food processor until finely chopped.  In a saute pan over medium heat, add olive oil to pan. Saute the onions, mushrooms, garlic and seasonings ( salt, pepper, parsley and italian seasonings)  together until all liquid is absorbed and onion mixture is done. Take onion mixture and cool completely.  Crumble stale bread and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl, mix together ground chicken, brown rice, egg, crumbled bread, Parmesan, milk and onion mixture. Mix well. Set aside and chill in refrigerator for 1/2 hour. Wash hands thoroughly.

After chilling; either use gloves, or spray cooking spray onto hands lightly. Spray sheet pan with cooking spray. Shape meatballs into small balls and place 1/4 inch apart onto sheet pan. Place meatballs in oven and bake for 25 minutes, or until bottoms of meatballs are brown.

Make sure all surfaces that came into contact with ground meat are washed thoroughly with soapy hot water ( including your hands).

* For meatloaf: shape into rounded loaf, and cook in oven until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees ( or about one hour)

Origin food labels to begin

5 Oct

According to the Associated Press, new regulations regarding labeling of food will take affect over the next six months. Produce companies issued origin stickers for years on their items, and now all meat slaughtered in the U.S. must be labeled as such.

There is one stipulation, however. Food in its natural state will be required to have an origin date. Once processed in any way, the food is no longer required to have any origin labels.

Example: raw lamb ( origin label); lamb stew made from that same lamb and served at a hot food bar ( no origin label)

Whole cantelopes. grapes and pineapple ( origin label); fruit salad made from the same fruit ( no origin label)

Frozen or fresh shrimp ( origin label), shrimp salad sold in market ( no origin label)

You get the picture, right? Some places will label their processed food, but it is not required by law. keep that in mind if you intend to only buy foods from certain places.



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