EATS

CUTTING YOUR SHOPPING IN HALF

Shopping for food has become more and more expensive and often takes multiple trips a week!  Did you know that when you buy prepared food you pay a huge markup?  Did you know that when you buy a chicken you could save a lot by cutting if up yourself?  How about shopping once a week instead of making multiple trips…Listen to expert, Amanda Haas, One Family One Meal, discuss the ways you can really keep your shopping experience within your budget.

To hear the interview, Click Here: Amanda Haaas

SITTING DOWN TO DINNER, TOGETHER

Have you noticed that dinner is always on the fly?  Do you seem to make dinner in shifts?  What are we loosing as a family by not eating together and how do we get that back?  Amanda Haas, founder of One Family One Meal gives us some good tips and tells us why she includes it on her website.

 

To hear the interview with Amanda, click here:  Amanda Haas

HEIRLOOM TOMATOES


Are you always searching for that {perfect} looking tomato? Maybe you are looking for the wrong one.  Suusan Dosier, a cookbook author, former magazine food editor, and co-founder of DK Communications Group, suggests we take a second look at those {ugly} tomatoes…Heirloom tomatoes are all the rage and definitely worth the hype.

To listen to the interview on tomatoes, click here: Susan Dosier

ONE FAMILY ONE MEAL

Ever tired of being a {short order cook}?  Running out of ideas to feed your family?  Get to the market and forget the one thing you went there for?  Amanda Haas, founder of One Family, One Meal has the answers!  She gives us great menu’s, offers a program for you to create your menu and off you go.  Family tested and approved!  The only thing better than Amanda’s site is living next door to her…

To hear the interview , click here: Amanda Haas

CLASSIC IN THE MAKING: SWEET MINT TEA

Here’s the secret to making great mint tea! Use the mint sprigs and don’t worry about straining out little pieces of mint. You can get fresh mint in the produce section of the grocery store—or if you are lucky, in your own backyard.

2 cups boiling water
3 regular size tea bags, or 1 family size tea bag
3 to 4 fresh mint sprigs
1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar or sweetener such as Splenda
2 cups water

Bring water to a rolling bowl in a tea kettle or saucepan. Add the tea bags and whole mint sprigs. Remove from heat; cover and steep 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the tea and mint. Place the sugar in a glass or plastic tea pitcher. Pour tea-infused water into the pitcher and stir gently to melt the sugar. Let cool so glass will not break. Stir in two cups of water at room temperature. Serve tea over ice. Yield: 1 quart.
Tip: If you prefer unsweet tea, simply leave out the sugar. You’ll still need to add the additional water.

–by Susan Dosier, co-author of Discover Dinnertime: Your Guide to Family Time Around the Table http://www.amazon.com/Discover-Dinnertime-Building-Family-Around/dp/1879958325

 

To listen to the podcast interview with Susan Dosier, please click here. Sweet Mint Tea

 

SUMMER WINE PAIRINGS MADE EASY

Summer dining offers the perfect opportunities to try new wines. It’s a good time to kick back and enjoy a glass of wine on the porch. And if it’s sweltering hot, come on inside, and enjoy it!  Wine is the beverage of conversation and connection, whether you’re indoors or outside.

Even the most devoted red wine drinkers will turn to whites during the summer for a refreshing, chilled pairing. Sauvignon Blanc is a perfect, versatile wine that pairs nicely with grilled chicken and fish. Sauvignon Blanc is highly versatile, and a good choice if you’re just not quite sure what will work best. Chardonnay that has been aged in steel barrels is less buttery in its taste than those aged in oak; the un-oaked Chardonnay works well with vegetable dishes with lots of butter beans, corn, and green beans and fresh bell peppers. If you’re up for a sweeter wine, you might consider a fruity Riesling. If you’re into trying the local options, consider an aromatic native Southern muscadine wine….it’s like a sweet tea with kick! Some wineries are also using these grapes to make sparkling wines. It’s worth a try if you’re out and about in the South. You can try the sweeter Niagara grapes if you’re traveling in other parts of the country and have a similar craving. These can also be served as dessert wines, too.

If you’re a tomato fanatic like I am, first find vine-ripened local tomatoes. Then see if you can find heirloom tomatoes which are grown from older seeds and offer up robust, real tomato flavor from yesteryear. Tomatoes are usually best paired with red wines. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlots, Pinot Noir, Chianti—all these pair quite well with tomato dishes. Red wines don’t have to be served right at room temperature. In fact, some wine experts suggest you put them in the fridge for about 10 to 15 minutes to bring them to perfect tasting levels before pouring.

Red wines also pair well with grilled meats. Shiraz and Zinfandel are popular options. They’ve been successfully paired with both beef and pork barbecue in many states, and they’re a nice foil for grilled meats with soy-based marinades with strong onion or garlic flavors.

If you’re unsure, go to a larger supermarket where there’s someone to help you in the wine section, or visit a wine shop. Tell them what you’re cooking, and let them make suggestions. Don’t feel embarrassed about asking for help. Your questions give them job security.  If you’re at an upper-end, white table cloth restaurant, ALWAYS ask the sommelier or wait person for suggestions. I always learn something new from these trained professionals. They like it when you ask questions and get into the selection process.

–by Susan Dosier, co-author, DISCOVER DINNERTIME: Your Guide To Family Time Around the Table  http://www.amazon.com/Discover-Dinnertime-Building-Family-Around/dp/1879958325

THE SIMPLEST GRILLING MARINADES EVER

When was the last time you stood at the meat counter and passed up a great sale because you weren’t sure how to grill that meat? You won’t have to do that again. With these easy marinades, you can whip that cart down the salad dressing and condiment aisle and be home facing the grill in minutes.  You’ll be able to remember the easy marinade ingredients in this story.

While most marinades say to let the meat sit overnight, most marinades can flavor your meat in about two hours. Really intense marinades for chicken or shrimp may only take 30 minutes. If you’re looking for a marinade to TENDERIZE your meat (because it has acid-containing ingredients such as vinegar or lemon or lime in them), it will need to go about four hours. Here are some quick marinades that really don’t require a recipe, and then here’s one recipe for a Sweet Cola marinade; we tell you how long to cook it on pork chops. You can use it on other meats, too. For cooking times, check out these free, downloadable grilling charts at BHG.com (the site for Better Homes and Gardens magazine): http://www.bhg.com/recipes/grilling/basics/grill-cooking-times-and-temperature-charts/

Marinade #1: Italian salad dressing—yep, straight from the bottle. Don’t use the low-fat versions. Use the real thing. The extra oil helps keep the meat from sticking to the grill rack. You’ll still need to coat your grill rack with cooking spray. Don’t forget that step before you fire up the grill. Place your meat—or vegetables–of choice in a bowl of the salad dressing. Cover and chill for 2 hours. Grill!

Marinade #2: Crank up the flavor of the Italian salad dressing from the bottle with 1/2 to 1 cup of soy sauce. I prefer the reduced-sodium soy sauce. This will give your marinade a little more depth and flavor and offer a nice golden color to your meat. This is really good. Send me a note if you try it. This is also nice on fish and salmon, too. Use the 1/2 cup of soy with more delicately flavored proteins such as fish and salmon.

Marinade #3:  Combine one part balsamic vinegar with 2 parts commercial ketchup-based barbecue sauce (such as Kraft’s). Basically, I’m telling you to use twice as much barbecue sauce as balsamic vinegar. Then, grill away. You may want to use indirect heat on this recipe as the sugary barbecue will want to stick a little. Or, just keep an eye on the temperature and don’t let the grill get too hot.

Marinade #4: Check out our recipe that uses good ol’ fashioned cola!

Sweet Cola Chops
From Discover Dinnertime http://www.amazon.com/Discover-Dinnertime-Building-Family-Around/dp/1879958325
With only four ingredients, this fat-free, fizzy marinade partners well with chicken, pork, and beef.

1 cup diet or regular cola beverage
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
8 (1-inch-thick) boneless pork chops

Combine cola, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic powder in a zip-top plastic bag or shallow dish. Reserve 1/4 cup marinade for basting. Add pork chops, tossing to coat; cover and chill several hours overnight. Remove chops, discarding marinade. Coat grill rack with vegetable cooking spray. Grill chops with lid closed over medium-hot (350 degrees to 400 degrees) coals, 4 to 5 minutes. Brush with reserved marinade; turn and brush again. Grill, covered, 4 to 5 minutes or until center of chop is slightly pink.

Yield: 8 servings

–By Susan Dosier, co-author of Discover Dinnertime: Your Guide to Family Time Around the Table

To listen to the podcast interview with Susan Dosier, please click here. Grilling

A LABOR OF LOVE

It was an honest accident. That is how Shana Martin describes starting her business, The Ana Mae Southern Bread Company. She coupled her degree in marketing with her grandmothers bread recipe and found herself cleaning out her dining room in order to make room for the bread orders that started rolling in. She served the local restaurants near her home in North Carolina for a year and a half before branching out. She ventured into independent grocery stores and farmers markets and said everyone who tasted her grandmothers recipe was hooked. From there she moved her operation to a small business incubator to help cover her cost and reduce overhead and give her a few more pair of hands to help with baking and deliveries.

Through all of it Shana has stayed true to her grandmothers recipe; a recipe that takes 30 hours to process with a slow yeast starter. Everything is made by hand, from scratch with local ingredients, the old fashioned way.  Ana Mae Bread has recently struck a deal with Fresh Market, its first national chain. She says the key to her success in a start up company is passion. Martin says without the passion for her product she would not have survived some of those long days of baking and baking and more baking. She says her bread company is a labor of love with an emphasis on labor.

{To hear the interview with Shana Martin, click here}

PANINI SANDWICHES,  KIDS LOVE THEM, PARENTS LOVE THEM

Chicken Pesto Panini

-Boars Head Lemon Pepper chicken-slices

-pesto spread

-mozarella cheese

-sliced tomatoes

—We use Publix Sour Dough sliced bread. Brush olive oil on the outside and grill

 

Pastrami Panini

-Boars Head Pastrami -sliced

-sauerkraut

-kraft thousand island dressing

-swiss cheese

—We use Publix deli rye bread. Brush with butter and grill

 

Turkey Melt

-Boars head honey maple turkey

-cheddar cheese

-sweet pickles

 

—We use Publix sour dough bread and butter the bread and grill

 

Yum Yum!!


 

WELCOME TO MY KITCHEN

from jennifer

I went to dinner a few nights ago and had this really cool dish.  Well I tried it at home and as always put my own spin on it.  It is quick, light and everyone liked it…

Chicken cutlets…you can buy the breast and split it in half length wise.

one egg

plain bread crumbs

arugula lettuce

garlic

3 tomatos

lemons

parmesan cheese

olive oil

salt

pepper

beat egg in one bowl, put plain breadcrumbs in the other

Gently dip the chicken cutlet in the egg then the bread crumbs place it on a baking dish, finish this until your chicken fills the baking dish.  Drizzle a little olive oil over the chicken and place in oven on broil.

While the chicken is cooking, dice tomato’s, and a few garlic cloves(according to taste). Make sure you stir these two together. Slice Parmesan cheese in skinny slices and wash the arugula.

When chicken is finished, top it with the arugula, then tomato mixture.  Finish it off with the Parmesan cheese and squeeze a fresh lemon over it.

 

DO I HAVE TO PLAN ANOTHER MEAL?

The six million dollar question that we face just about every day of the week!!! What is for dinner? No, the dinner fairy does not appear to give me a meal planner, much less cook for my family. So we stroll the isle at the market waiting for dinner to jump in our carts. Some days are worse than others. You’ve already gone through spaghetti night, taco night and hamburger night….what more can there be? You can branch out and make something new but there are no guarantees that anyone will actually eat it. So here are a few basic tips before you head to the grocery that may save you time and money today:

-check your pantry and your freezer first to see what you need

-make a list (sounds pretty basic but we should do it every time we head to the grocery

-stay off your cell phone while in the store otherwise don’t complain that you just spent an extra $75 and left out the three main ingredients of your meal

-buy your meat first, this makes it easier to pick your side dishes

-spend more time in the fresh produce section

Join us for recipe swaps and meal planners.  Your next meal plan is just a click away.

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