Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Making On-The-Go Days Salad Days

(NAPSI)-If you've been tossing around ways to eat more salad, it might be time to think outside the bowl.

Even when you're on the go, you can eat a salad every day. Just take favorite salad ingredients-from fresh veggies and dressing, to signature salads like chicken Caesar-and simply wrap them in low-calorie tortillas. You can take them to work, on a picnic, to a ball game or wherever else you're headed.

You might boost the salad-wrap's nutritional content by opting for dressing made with canola oil. Litehouse Foods, which makes dressings, dips and more, uses the oil exclusively in its salad dressings because it has no trans fat and is recommended by the American Heart Association as part of a heart-healthy diet.

Visit www.30salads30days.com, a Web site from Litehouse Foods, for a selection of dressings and for a new salad recipe for each day of the month, including this one for Ham and Pineapple Slaw Wraps:

Ham and Pineapple SlawÊWraps

Serves 6

2 pineapple spears cut into thin strips

2 carrots cut into thin strips

¼ cup raisins

12 ounces fully cooked lean ham, cut into strips

1 head Napa cabbage, thinly sliced

¾ cup Litehouse Lite Coleslaw dressing

6 large flour tortillas

In a large bowl, combine the pineapple, carrots, raisins, ham and cabbage. Pour the dressing over the slaw and toss. Divide the slaw among the tortillas and roll into wraps.

Nutrition: Calories 349, Total fat 8g, Carbohydrate 58g, Protein 16g, Fiber 10g, 21% calories from fat.

For more information, visit www.30salads30days.com or call (800) 669-3169.

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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Egg Farmers Have Adopted New FDA Egg Safety Regulations to Reduce Salmonella

(BUSINESS WIRE)--America’s egg farmers, who have been continually working to enhance food safety, are committed to working with the Food and Drug Administration to ensure the egg safety regulations are implemented and the gains in food safety the industry has worked hard for are maintained.

“Egg farmers have practiced the requirements of the new regulations for many years now and have achieved significant success in food safety for our customers,” said Gene Gregory, president of United Egg Producers.

As a result of the industry’s proactive efforts, consumers have benefited from reduced rates of Salmonella Enteritidis and other food safety concerns. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have documented reductions in Salmonellosis in states where producers have put egg production safety practices into effect. The programs currently used by egg farmers are designed around food safety and consumer health much in the same way the FDA’s new program has been developed.

FDA started in 1999 on egg production safety regulations to address concerns with Salmonella Enteritidis in eggs. In the 10 years leading up to these newly announced regulations, egg producers continued to improve egg safety through preventative measures in housing and storage while they waited for the final Federal rule. During the FDA’s development process, United Egg Producers made suggestions to improve the original proposal for egg safety regulations and while many guidelines were adapted, some suggestions that the industry still considers important were not accepted.

“Although many important guidelines that we submitted to FDA were not considered, we will carefully study the entire final rule and work with FDA to make sure it is implemented in a way that is fair to producers and advances food safety for consumers,” said Gregory.

Egg producers are confident the program will further reduce illness associated from contaminated eggs and note that it is important to understand the estimates of reduced illnesses published by FDA are based on statistical extrapolations used to estimate the total number of illnesses and not on a count of illnesses that have actually occurred in the recent past.

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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Girl Scouts Tagalongs® Peanut Butter Patties and Dairy Queen Blizzards Make a Delicious Combination

Celebrating the second annual DQ® Girl Scout Appreciation Week
Monday, July 20 – Sunday, July 26

Girl Scout Appreciation Week is part of a two-month, licensed promotion with Dairy Queen that includes the introduction of the new Girl Scouts Tagalongs® Peanut Butter Patties Blizzard treat as the July Blizzard of the Month and the return of the Girl Scouts Thin Mint® Cookie Blizzard in August.

DQ® Girl Scout Appreciation Week reflects the Girl Scouts strategy to develop strategic alliances which allow girls to experience entrepreneurial business programs in local communities. During Girl Scout Appreciation Week, troops will have the opportunity to develop their entrepreneurial and leadership skills by participating in behind-the-scenes store tours, receiving tips from owner/operators about how to run a successful business, gaining insight into the product development process and enhancing their financial literacy skills while learning how a restaurant makes a profit.

“Girl Scout Appreciation Week is a great way to expose girls to business leaders in their own communities,” says Chief Executive Officer, Marilyn W. Midyette. “Girl Scouting is dedicated to developing courageous and confident girls who will be tomorrow’s leaders. This experience will allow our girls to see first-hand how continued community involvement can not only help them shape their futures, but also help make the world a better place.”

Community events such as these raise awareness for local Girl Scout troops. Troop membership is on the rise, but adult volunteers are needed to lead troops or share their talents through programming possibilities. For more information on this event, contact Marketing and Communications Manager, Melissa Brandon, at mbrandon@girlscoutsofgreateratlanta.org or (678) 420-2697
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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Arby's Restaurants Celebrate the Official Sandwich of Summer: The New BBQ Bacon Cheddar Roastburger

Free Sandwich This Thursday, July 9

To celebrate the arrival of its new BBQ Bacon Cheddar Roastburger, the official sandwich of summer, Arby’s will offer it for free with purchase of any size drink, this Thursday, July 9. Just text BBQ to ARBYS (27297 on your key pad) to receive a coupon.

The latest addition to the Roastburger family of sandwiches, the BBQ Bacon Cheddar Roastburger features oven roasted, thinly sliced roast beef, topped with cheddar cheese, pepper bacon, crispy onions, tomato, pickle slices, and a finger-licking BBQ sauce on a specialty roll.

"The smoky, sweet taste of BBQ is synonymous with summer," said Steve Davis, chief marketing officer. "We’re excited to introduce our BBQ Bacon Cheddar Roastburger, which captures this signature flavor.”

Free BBQ Bacon Cheddar Roastburger sandwiches will be available on Thursday, July 9, with coupon and purchase of any size drink, at participating Arby’s locations nationwide. To obtain a coupon, simply text BBQ to ARBYS (27297 on your key pad). Standard text rates apply. This offer is limited to one per person, while supplies last.

And, for those who can’t make it to Arby’s on July 9, coupons may be obtained by texting through July 16 and redeemed through July 19, at participating restaurants.
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FDA: New Public Health Regulation to Improve Egg Safety and Reduce Salmonella Illnesses

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today announced a regulation expected to prevent each year 79,000 cases of foodborne illness and 30 deaths caused by consumption of eggs contaminated with the bacterium Salmonella enteritidis.

The final rule requires preventive measures during the production of shell eggs in poultry houses and requires subsequent refrigeration during storage and transportation.

Egg-associated illness caused by Salmonella is a serious public health problem. Infected individuals may suffer mild to severe gastrointestinal illness, short term or chronic arthritis, or even death. Implementing the preventive measures would reduce the number of Salmonella enteritidis infections from eggs by nearly 60 percent.

“Preventing harm to consumers is our first priority,” said Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D., Commissioner of Food and Drugs. “Today's action will prevent thousands of serious illnesses from Salmonella in eggs.”

Salmonella enteritidis can be found inside eggs that appear perfectly normal. If the eggs are eaten raw or undercooked, the bacterium can cause illness. Eggs in the shell become contaminated on the farm, primarily because of infection in the laying hens.

The rule requires that measures designed to prevent Salmonella enteritidis be adopted by virtually all egg producers with 3,000 or more laying hens whose shell eggs are not processed with a treatment, such as pasteurization, to ensure their safety.

Producers with at least 3,000 but fewer than 50,000 laying hens must comply within 36 months after the rule’s publication. Producers with 50,000 or more laying hens must be in compliance with the rule within 12 months after its publication in the Federal Register.

Under the rule, egg producers must:

* Buy chicks and young hens only from suppliers who monitor for Salmonella bacteria
* Establish rodent, pest control, and biosecurity measures to prevent spread of bacteria throughout the farm by people and equipment
* Conduct testing in the poultry house for Salmonella enteritidis. If the tests find the bacterium, a representative sample of the eggs must be tested over an 8 week time period (4 tests at 2 week intervals); If any of the four egg tests is positive, the producer must further process the eggs to destroy the bacteria, or divert the eggs to a non-food use
* Clean and disinfect poultry houses that have tested positive for Salmonella enteritidis
* Refrigerate eggs at 45 degrees Fahrenheit temperature during storage and transportation no later than 36 hours after the eggs are laid.

Egg producers whose eggs receive treatments such as pasteurization still must comply with the refrigeration requirements. Similarly, certain persons such as distributors, packers, or truckers holding or transporting shell eggs also must comply with the refrigeration requirements.

To ensure compliance, egg producers must maintain a written Salmonella enteritidis prevention plan and records documenting their compliance. Producers (except those who have less than 3000 hens or who sell all their eggs directly to consumers) also must register with the FDA. The FDA will develop guidance and enforcement plans to help egg producers comply with the rule.

The FDA estimated that the rule would provide $1.4 billion in annual public health benefits, at an annual cost of $81 million to the regulated industry, or less than 1 cent per dozen eggs produced in the United States.

During the 1990s, the FDA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture implemented a series of post-egg production safety efforts such as refrigeration requirements designed to inhibit the growth of bacteria that may be in an egg. While these steps limited the growth of bacteria, they did not prevent the initial contamination from occurring.

The new rule is part of a coordinated strategy between the FDA and the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). The FDA and the FSIS will continue to work closely together to ensure that egg safety measures are consistent, coordinated, and complementary.

In addition to the new safety measures being taken by industry, consumers can reduce their risk of foodborne illness by following safe egg handling practices. The FDA reminds consumers to buy eggs that have been refrigerated, make sure eggs in the carton are clean and not cracked, and cook eggs and foods containing eggs thoroughly.

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Obama Administration Delivers on Commitment to Upgrade U.S. Food Safety System

Today Vice President Biden was joined by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to announce the key findings of the Food Safety Working Group. Created by President Obama in March to advise the Administration on how to upgrade the food safety system for the 21st century, the Working Group is recommending a new, public health-focused approach to food safety based on three core principles: prioritizing prevention; strengthening surveillance and enforcement; and improving response and

"There are few responsibilities more basic or more important for the government than making sure the food our families eat is safe," said Vice President Biden. "Our food safety system must be updated - 1 in 4 people get sick every year due to food-borne illness, and children and the elderly are more at risk. I applaud the Secretaries of HHS and the USDA for tackling this problem head-on and coming up with key recommendations to ensure the health and safety of our food supply and, with it, the American people."

"Instead of spending their time trying to get kids to eat healthier food, too many parents and families are worrying about whether their food is safe in the first place," said Secretary Sebelius. "In just the past few months since we began work with the Food Safety Working Group, we have seen recalls on everything from spinach to peanut products to now even cookie dough. The Administration recognizes that the current system just isn't working for America's families and under the President's leadership we are taking action to keep our food supply safe and prevent outbreaks that can impact millions of Americans."

"There isn't a single American that isn't impacted by our efforts to protect the food supply," said Secretary Vilsack. "We owe it to the American people to deliver on President Obama's bold promise to greatly enhance our food safety system, moving our approach into the 21st century, employing the best surveillance techniques available, and ensuring that we are doing all we can to prevent illness before it occurs."

Today, the Working Group announced specific steps designed to advance its core principles:

* HHS and USDA are targeting salmonella contamination by developing tougher standards to protect the safety of eggs, poultry, and turkey.

* To fight the threat of E. coli, USDA is stepping up enforcement in beef facilities and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is developing new industry guidance improving protections for leafy greens, melons, and tomatoes.

* The Obama Administration is building a new national traceback and response system including clearer industry guidance, a new unified incident command system, and improved use of technology to deliver individual food safety alerts to consumers.

* Finally, the Administration announced a plan to strengthen the organization of federal food safety functions, including the creation of new positions at key food safety agencies and a continuing oversight role for the Food Safety Working Group.

The Food Safety Working Group is chaired by Secretaries Sebelius and Vilsack, and participating agencies include the FDA, Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of
Commerce, the Department of State, the Environmental Protection Agency, and several offices of the White House.

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Monday, July 6, 2009

Preserve your summer bounty

More and more, people are planting gardens and preserving its bounty. For some, the draw is self-sufficiency and quality control.

“I have an organic garden, and I want to keep my organic produce,” said Ken Davis. “I know I could buy organic at the store, but I know exactly what I used to grow and can my food.”

Some people can food to preserve family traditions.

“Growing up, my mom always had a jar of something around the kitchen,” said Stephen Crae. “I want to keep up what she started.”

Crae and Davis recently attended class, offered by University of Georgia Cooperative Extension in Oconee County, on the proper way to can food to preserve it.

Canning fresh food isn’t easy. You can’t just put it in a jar and stick the lid on. And it isn’t fast. It takes several hours to can foods safely. It’s a scientific process that requires following instructions, said Denise Everson, the UGA Extension agent in Oconee County who taught the class.

“Food preservation does not allow for personal variations,” she said. “Creativity happens after you open the jar.”

You can’t leave ingredients out, add extras or double recipes. Recipes must be followed exactly, one batch at a time.

Process and cooking times are exact. Use recipes tested and approved by the United States Department of Agriculture or other food preservation specialists such as with Cooperative Extension, she said. Recipes tested and approved by the University of Georgia are available in the book, So Easy to Preserve or online at the National Center for Home Food Preservation Web site.


Canned foods need to be processed or cooked to a temperature high enough to destroy dangerous bacteria like Clostridium botulinum. Botulism is a potentially deadly illness caused by consuming the nerve toxin produced by bacteria found in dirt. According to Everson, nearly 80 percent of botulism cases occur from food preserved at home.

Numbness in fingers and toes, upset stomach, blurred vision and difficultly speaking, swallowing and breathing are signs of botulism that usually occur within 12 hours to 72 hours of eating tainted food. Once it starts, the nerve damage is permanent.

Processing jars also stops enzymes that can cause changes in color, flavor and texture.

There are two methods for processing jars: in a boiling water bath or pressure canner.

“The food you choose determines which method you use,” Everson said.

High-acid foods like fruits, pickles and tested salsas can be processed in a boiling water bath. Boiling water should completely cover the jars and sit at least one inch on top. Add jars when water is simmering, and start timing once the water boils.

“Table salt can make foods cloudy,” Everson said. “Acid levels are important in canning, so don’t use homemade vinegar or fresh lemons in canning recipes.”

Most vegetables, soups and meats are low-acid foods that need to be processed in a pressure canner. Start timing a pressure canning process once the correct pressure is reached. Dial gauges on pressure canners must be accurate and operated correctly to prevent injury or illness. Dial gauges should be tested each year. Many local UGA Extension agents can do this.

Canning 1-2-3

Use mason-style canning jars, lids and bands. Canning jars and rust-free bands can be used for several years. Lids, however, only create one safe seal and must be tossed once used.

To can properly, follow these steps:

• Prepare food as directed in recipe.

• If required, sterilize canning jars in a hot water bath.

• Fill hot jars with hot food. Leave correct amount of headspace listed in recipe.

• Remove air bubbles in jars using a plastic knife. Readjust the liquid and headspace if needed.

• Use clean, damp paper towels to clean jar rims before adding lids.

• Center lid over the jar. Screw bands down just enough to close finger-tip tight. (Do not overtighten.)

• Process in a boiling water bath or pressure canner for the required time listed for each food.

• When the process time is over in a boiling water canner, turn off the heat, carefully remove the canner lid, and let the jars sit for 5 minutes before taking them out. At the end of the process in a pressure canner, turn off the heat, let the canner cool naturally to 0 pounds of pressure. Remove the weight, let the canner cool another 10 minutes, then remove the lid carefully.

• Remove jars by lifting them straight up and placing them on a towel. Don’t move the jars for 24 hours.

• After they cool and seal, remove bands and wash jars with soapy water to remove any food residue.

• Store in a cool, dry, dark place.

• Enjoy canned foods within a year for best quality.

By April Sorrow
University of Georgia

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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Plan A Practically Perfect Picnic

(NAPSI)-The next time you're looking for inspiration to liven up a picnic, take a cue from Chef Dan Kish, former Associate Dean at The Culinary Institute of America and current Vice President of Food at Panera Bread. "Salads, seasonal fruit, frozen treats and picnic-ready sandwiches are simple and delicious additions to any outing."

To spice up the same-old sandwiches, Kish suggests picking up a few loaves of freshly baked bread. Try chicken salad on slices of tomato basil bread or top toasted Asiago cheese bread with a variety of dips and spreads for an appetizer. From focaccia and sesame semolina to Ciabatta and sourdough, there are seemingly endless bread options to please every picnicker.

Kish also recommends using last night's leftovers as today's picnic lunch. Mix this morning's bacon and hard-boiled eggs with grilled chicken and some freshly chopped romaine lettuce for a delicious chopped Cobb salad. If you don't have time to make a salad on your own, you can try Panera's version of this much-loved and delicious classic. Made with all-natural antibiotic-free pepper mustard chicken, Applewood-smoked bacon, hard-boiled eggs, crumbled Gorgonzola and served on a bed of crisp romaine lettuce, the chopped Cobb salad is a savory addition to any picnic.

For those looking to get their fruit fix, Kish suggests creating a salad that uses the season's freshest fruit. Create your own version of a Panera favorite, the Strawberry Poppyseed Salad, by using garden-fresh lettuce, juicy strawberries and blueberries and other fresh fruit, such as pineapple and Mandarin oranges. Top the salad with crispy pecans for a little crunch. For those looking to eat lighter, Kish advises packing dressing on the side to help control calories and avoid soggy lettuce.

Once you've finished the salads and sandwiches, wind down the afternoon with a frozen lemonade. With a few fresh-squeezed lemons, sugar and some ice, it's a great way to relax and refresh on a warm day.

For a wholesome picnic sandwich, try this recipe.

Roasted Red Pepper and

Avocado Sandwich

(Makes 2 sandwiches)


2 Ciabatta loaves, cut in half lengthwise

½ cup roasted garlic hummus

1 small jar of roasted red peppers

½ avocado, peeled, pitted and cut into ¼" slices

juice of ½ fresh lemon

½ tomato cut into ¼" slices

2 small leaves of lettuce

salt and pepper


Spread ¼ of the roasted garlic hummus on each of the four halves of Ciabatta. Top two of the halves with pieces of the roasted red pepper, followed by the avocado slices. Drizzle a bit of lemon juice over the avocado, then season with salt and pepper to taste.

Layer tomato and lettuce on top of the avocado, then finish with the two remaining Ciabatta halves. Cut each sandwich in half and fasten with a toothpick.

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Arts Across Georgia

Monday, June 29, 2009

Best "Low And Slow" Barbecue Starts With A Smoker

(NAPSI)-A growing number of smokers are appearing in backyards across the country. In fact, according to the 20th Annual Weber GrillWatch Survey, smoker ownership among U.S. grill owners has climbed from 12 to 17 percent during the last four years. Fans of this "low and slow" barbecuing turn to smokers, as they allow food to develop deep flavors while cooking at lower temperatures.

"Flavor and tenderness are the top two components of great barbecue," says Chef Jamie Purviance, author of the new top-selling cookbook "Weber's Way to Grill." "The best way to achieve a distinct smoky flavor and moist, tender barbecue is by using a water smoker. It's the easiest to use for this kind of cooking and allows you to smoke foods at temperatures well below 300 degrees for many hours."

Weber's Smokey Mountain Cooker smoker has been a staple at worldwide barbecue competitions and backyards alike. For tips on using a water smoker or smoking foods on a gas or charcoal grill, visit www.weber.com/recipes/tips.

Try this delicious recipe from "Weber's Way to Grill":

Slow-Smoked Spareribs With Sweet-and-Sour Barbecue Sauce


3 tablespoons kosher salt

2 tablespoons pure chile powder

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

2 tablespoons granulated garlic

2 tablespoons paprika

4 teaspoons dried thyme

4 teaspoons ground cumin

4 teaspoons celery seed

2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

4 racks St. Louis-style spareribs


1 cup apple juice

½ cup apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

5 fist-sized chunks hickory or apple wood (not soaked)


2 cups ketchup

1 cup apple juice

⅔ cup apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons reserved rub

1. Prepare your smoker, following manufacturer's instructions, for indirect cooking over low heat.

2. In a medium bowl, mix the rub ingredients. Set aside 2 tablespoons for the sauce.

3. Remove the tough flap of meat called the skirt, hanging from the bone side of a full rack of spareribs. Cut off the long strip of meat, called the brisket, which runs along the bottom of the rack. Also trim off any meat dangling from either end of the spareribs. Use a dinner knife to get under the membrane and lift it so that you can grab an edge with paper towels, and peel off the membrane. Season the ribs all over with the rub, putting more of it on the meaty sides than the bone sides.

4. In a small bowl, mix the mop ingredients.

5. Smoke the spareribs, adding 2 wood chunks at the start of cooking and 1 chunk each hour after that, until the chunks are gone. Cook until the meat has shrunk back from the bones at least ½ inch in several places and the meat tears easily when you lift each rack, basting the ribs on both sides with the mop every 2 hours. The total cooking time could be anywhere between 5 and 6 hours. Not all racks will cook in the same amount of time. Maintain the temperature of the smoker between 225° and 250°F by opening and closing the vents.

6. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, mix the sauce ingredients and cook for about 5 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat.

7. When the meat has shrunk back at least ½ inch in several places, lightly brush the ribs on both sides with sauce.

8. Cook the ribs for 30 to 60 minutes more. Remove them from the smoker and, if desired, lightly brush the ribs on both sides with sauce again. Then cut the racks into individual ribs. Serve warm with the remaining sauce on the side. Makes 8 servings.

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Shrimp and Seafood for the Summer: Bring the Beach Home!

/PRNewswire/ -- This year, "staycations" are more popular than vacations. So, instead of traveling to the seafood, start a family tradition and bring the seafood home.

An exciting way to gather friends together is by re-creating the allure of the coast by throwing a beach party. Decorating for the party is a breeze; purchase inexpensive tiki torches and candles for ambiance, spread out beach towels and add pops of color with beach pails and beach balls of all sizes. Add some beach music and the party is sure to bring the kid out in everyone.

For the food, SeaPak makes serving seafood convenient and affordable with products that will please coastal company of all ages. For the kids, dish up SeaPak's tasty Popcorn Shrimp or new Tilapia Tenders with a variety of dipping sauces and fresh-cut vegetables on the side. Spoil the adults in the crowd with SeaPak's best-selling Jumbo Butterfly Shrimp or Shrimp Scampi. Or, toss SeaPak's Salmon Burgers on the grill for a twist on traditional grilling fare.

"During these trying economic times, we've seen shoppers migrate to the frozen seafood section," said Bryan Jaynes, Marketing Director, SeaPak Shrimp Company. "They are looking for good food they can eat at home, and the frozen seafood section is a great place to start. With products like our Tilapia Tenders and Salmon Burgers, consumers have more seafood choices than ever before."

Tucked away on a beautiful barrier island in Georgia, SeaPak uses the "coastal secrets" it's been gathering for more than 60 years to make great tasting shrimp and seafood. "Many people have told us that it's comforting to know it's still possible to enjoy delicious, restaurant-style seafood at home," said Jaynes.

For more beach party menu ideas, visit SeaPak.com and pick from over 100 delicious recipes, such as Island Quesadillas with Lime Sour Cream or, try the recipe below.

Salmon Burger Tacos with Fruit Salsa
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes Makes: 4 - 6 servings


2 packages (12.8 oz) SeaPak(R) Salmon Burgers
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
4 flour or corn tortillas
2 cups torn, iceberg lettuce

Fruit Salsa
1 can (20 oz) crushed or chunk pineapple, drained
1/4 cup diced red onion
1 to 2 Tablespoons minced jalapeno peppers
3 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
3 Tablespoons fresh lemon, or lime juice

COMBINE lemon juice, chili powder, oil, and garlic in small bowl.

RUB salmon burgers with mixture. Cover and refrigerate about 15 to 30 minutes.

MIX together fruit salsa ingredients in a bowl.
GRILL burgers according to package directions.

PLACE tortillas on grill, heat 10 seconds on each side, and top each tortilla with 1/2 cup lettuce.

EVENLY break up salmon burgers over lettuce.

TOP with about 2 Tablespoons fruit salsa.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

La Costena's Motto: 'Budget Meals, Yes! Bland Meals, No!'

/PRNewswire/ -- La Costena, manufacturers of the #1 selling jalapenos in the U.S., is on a mission to remind Americans budget cuisine does not have to equal bland cuisine in its fourth annual Feel the Heat Jalapeno Tour. The tour will highlight how it's affordable, easy and fun to add the taste of flavor to your everyday meals with La Costena products.

While cooking in a mobile and state-of-the art kitchen, the "Por Sabor" chefs will demonstrate to families how to use salsas, beans, and jalapenos to season every day meals. The tour will be featured at some of the nation's biggest family festivals.

"The 'Por Sabor' patrol will help families realize during these tough economic times they can still cook delicious and inexpensive meals," said Chef Xochitl Guzman. "We want to show budget-minded Americans how salsa, beans and jalapenos can infuse mouth-watering flavor to eggs, baked potatoes, grilled chicken, soups, and spaghetti sauce. You can even throw sliced jalapenos into the ultimate comfort foods when times are tough like macaroni and cheese, or try stirring jalapenos into cornbread, slide them atop a hamburger, or sprinkle a few slices in your Caesar salad."

$200 Award for "Spicy Sport" Winner

At each stop during the tour, La Costena plans to award $200 to the person whose taste buds can endure the "spicy sport" by speed eating jalapenos in one minute. Competitors may also attempt to beat the record by Los Angeles who ate 31 whole La Costena pickled jalapenos last year.

Food Feat Feeds the Hungry

Continuing with its tradition to serve the community La Costena has pledged to donate an assortment of its authentic Mexican food products to local food banks and hunger relief agencies for each jalapeno consumed during these contests.

Family Festival Stops

The La Costena Feel the Heat Jalapeno Tour will be featured at popular family festivals in several major cities. Among them are the Fiesta del Charro, Chicago, IL; Oxnard Salsa Festival, Oxnard, CA; Fiesta del Sol, San Diego, CA; Festival Peachtree Latino, Atlanta, GA; Viva! Chicago Latino Music Festival, Chicago, IL; Labor Day Festival, Chicago, IL; Fiestas Patrias, Chicago, IL.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Thai-Style Lettuce Wraps Made Easy

(NAPSI)-The right recipes can help add an unexpected flair to your next get-together.

For instance, Thai-Style Lettuce Wraps are an easy way to make finger food that's great for a brunch, a lunch or as an appetizer at an Asian-themed dinner.

The healthful, fun-to-eat treats are made with fat-free California golden raisins for just the right hint of sweetness and are sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

Thai-Style Lettuce Wraps

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

11/4 pounds ground chicken

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

3/4 cup onion, finely chopped

3/4 cup Sun-Maid Golden Raisins

1/2 cup peanuts

1/4 cup sweet red Thai chili sauce

4 teaspoons lime juice

1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped

24 Bibb lettuce leaves, rinsed and patted dry

Heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat in large skillet. Add ground chicken when oil is shiny, and season with salt and pepper. Brown chicken using a spatula to break into small pieces.

Add chopped onion and sauté until soft, about 2 minutes. Add Golden Raisins and peanuts. Stir in sweet Thai chili sauce and lime juice; heat through, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro.

Form a single lettuce leaf into a cup and spoon 2 to 3 tablespoons of chicken mixture into lettuce cup to serve.

Makes 6 main-course servings or 12-18 appetizers.

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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Quick And Easy Salads For Busy Families

(NAPSI)-Salads can be a tasty way to add more vegetables into your family's diet and get closer to the five to seven daily servings recommended by the USDA.

Tomato and Basil Pasta Salad is a healthful and delicious recipe to serve your active family; a light, flavorful salad packed with nutritious vegetables and drizzled with a canola oil vinaigrette.

It's easy to improvise on this basic recipe. You can substitute other vegetables that your family loves and use a different vinegar or other seasonings. For a heartier meal, add chopped, cooked chicken or cubes of cheese.

Versatile canola oil is great in salads like this because it allows the flavor of other ingredients to come through. High in omega-3s yet free of cholesterol and trans fat, canola oil is the lowest of all vegetable oils in saturated fats.

Prepare this salad the night before and store undressed until dinner. Just add the vinaigrette before serving.

Tomato and Basil Pasta Salad

2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved

2 medium cucumbers, peeled, seeded and chopped

1 broccoli top, cut into bite-size pieces

1 medium red onion, thinly sliced

3 yellow squashes, blanched and sliced (or 2 small zucchini, chopped)

1 cup fresh basil, torn

1 pound penne pasta, cooked according to package directions

1/4 cup canola oil

1/4 cup good red wine vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

Toss all the ingredients with the pasta. Refrigerate 1 to 2 hours before serving.

Yield: 8 servings

For more recipes, visit www.northerncanola.com.

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Arts Across Georgia

Friday, June 19, 2009

Quick And Healthful Breakfast Ideas

(NAPSI)-If you're looking for simple ways to add a burst of nutrition to your family's breakfasts, it could pay to get the facts on flax.

Flax is an oil-rich seed brimming with healthful omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and protein. Research to date indicates that approximately 1 to 2 tablespoons of milled or ground flaxseed daily may provide adequate supplementation of omega-3's. You can buy whole flaxseed-which has a nutty flavor when roasted-in stores and then use a coffee grinder or food processor at home to grind the seed and help release its nutritional value. From there, flax can be sprinkled into orange juice, on cereal or spread with peanut butter to provide a quick nutritional boost. It's also great for baking.

For instance, muffins made with flaxseed can be served warm immediately after baking for a family weekend meal, or cooled and stored in the freezer and then thawed in the microwave for a healthful breakfast on the go.

Try these satisfying Golden Grain Muffins, full of whole grains, fiber and sweet dried fruit.

Golden Grain Muffins

1 cup quick-cooking oats

½ cup natural bran

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. cinnamon

1 cup buttermilk*

½ cup honey

1 whole egg

1 egg white, beaten

¼ cup canola oil

1 cup whole wheat flour

¾ cup ground flaxseed

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

½ cup golden raisins, chopped

Preheat oven to 375° F. In a large bowl, combine oats, bran, salt, cinnamon and buttermilk. Mix well and let stand 15 minutes. Add honey, egg mixture and oil. Mix well.

In another bowl, combine flour, ground flaxseed, baking powder and baking soda. Add to oat mixture and stir just until moistened. Stir in raisins. Spray muffin tins with a nonstick cooking spray. Using a 1/3 cup measure, scoop batter into tins. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center of muffin comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes. Remove muffins from tins and place on rack to cool. Yield: 12.

*Buttermilk substitute: 1 cup plain yogurt or 1 Tbsp. lemon juice or vinegar, plus enough milk to equal 1 cup. Let stand 5 minutes.

For more information and recipes using flax, visit www.ameriflax.com.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Swiss Premium Ready-to-Drink Iced Tea Makes a National Splash This Summer

Chill out this summer with a delicious and refreshing glass of Swiss Premium Tea. The ready-to-drink iced tea hits refrigerated sections of local grocery stores this month. Available in gallon and half-gallon jugs, as well as single-serve pints, Swiss Premium Tea comes in an array of flavors, including Regular and Diet with Lemon, Sweetened Tea/Southern Style and Green Tea with Ginseng and Honey.

Approximately 85 percent of tea consumed in the United States is iced and Swiss Premium Tea is the natural beverage choice for the entire family. It is a great alternative to sugary beverages because it does not contain high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors or preservatives. It provides tea drinkers with a natural source of antioxidants that may help increase the body’s protection against free radical damage and support good health.

“To date, Swiss Premium Tea has only been marketed in a number of select markets, yet it is ranked as the third top-selling brand in the country,” said Rick Zuroweste, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for Dean Foods, owners of the Swiss Premium Tea brand. “Added to that, tea consumption has doubled nationally over the past decade. For these reasons, we see tremendous growth and refreshment opportunities by introducing the Swiss Premium Tea brand to a national audience.”
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Summer's freshest ideas to feed your kids well

(ARA) – Summertime brings out the best in family meals -- fresh vegetables and fruit, fresh-air dining and a fresh opportunity for parents to maintain their commitment to feeding their kids well.

According to a recent study by Ohio State University and published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, of children ages 2 to 5, less than 22 percent meet recommendations for their daily vegetable intake and for children ages 6 to 11, it’s less than 16 percent.

“With a little creative know-how, it’s easy to create summer meals that are full of veggies, value, variety and versatility,” says Sylvia Klinger, a registered dietitian, mother of two and member of the Ragu nutrition advisory panel.

Klinger offers some tips for adding more of the good stuff to your kids’ diets this summer.

* Eat out … side: Spend less time in the kitchen with quick and easy recipes like Chicken Margherita. Once the meal is ready to go, dine together on the patio, or spread a picnic blanket on your lawn for a special summer celebration.

* Nurture natural nutrition: Use the summer break to teach your kids about satisfying and nutritious meals. Bring them along to the farmers market, or take a special trip to a local farm. Let them select from among the fresh, brightly colored vegetables, then decide as family how to prepare them.

“One of the easiest ways to incorporate veggies into children’s diets is to use a great tasting tomato sauce like Ragu Old World Style pasta sauce, which provides more than a full serving of vegetables in every half-cup of sauce,” says Klinger. “It also contains vitamins A and C, anti-oxidants and lycopene. Add even more vegetables by combining with your farm-fresh suggestions for a delicious veggie pizza.”

* Skip the sweets, but delight in dessert: Keeping dinner healthy doesn’t have to mean sacrificing dessert. Take advantage of the abundance of fruits in the summer to make dessert as healthy as the main course. Slice up a juicy watermelon or freeze fruit juice in a cup with fresh fruit for your own homemade ice pops.

* Switch up summer snacking: Being out of school means kids have more free time to snack. While eating frequent, small meals is a good idea, it’s important to keep kids focused on the good stuff. Get in the habit of switching from junk food to healthy bites by preparing good-for-you snacks in advance.

For nutritious meal inspiration and delicious recipes visit www.Ragu.com.

Try these kid-friendly recipes the whole family is sure to love:

Chicken Margherita

Makes four servings. Prep time: 5 minutes. Cook time: 10 minutes.


4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 pound)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups Ragu Old World Style Margherita Smooth Pasta Sauce
4 slices fresh or packaged mozzarella cheese (about 4 ounces)
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil leaves


Season chicken, if desired, with salt and black pepper. Heat oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and brown chicken, turning once, about 5 minutes. Add sauce and simmer covered 5 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked. Top chicken with cheese, then let stand until cheese is melted, about 1 minute. Garnish with basil. Serve, if desired, with hot cooked penne pasta topped with additional sauce, heated.

Meatball Hero Sandwiches

Makes four servings. Prep Time: 10 minutes. Cook Time: 25 minutes.


1 pound. lean ground beef
1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1 egg
1 jar (1 pound,10 ounces.) Ragu Old World Style Sweet Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce
4 Italian rolls (about 6 inches long each), halved lengthwise
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (about 4 ounces)


Combine ground beef, bread crumbs and egg in medium bowl; shape into 12 meatballs. Bring Pasta Sauce to a boil in 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Gently stir in uncooked meatballs. Reduce heat to low and simmer covered, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes or until meatballs are done. Serve meatballs and sauce in rolls, topped with cheese.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Richard Blais One-Day Only Interactive Cooking Demonstration

Variety Playhous, Saturday, June 27
Tickets on Sale Now

Renowned chef and culinary designer Richard Blais is bringing the heat to Variety Playhouse on Saturday, June 27, 2009 for an interactive cooking demonstration that is sure to dazzle food lovers and aspiring chefs everywhere. Atlanta-based Chef Blais, creative director of FLIP Burger Boutique and a finalist on season four of BRAVO’s “Top Chef,” is known for his playful sense of humor and extreme cooking techniques.

During this atypical cooking demonstration, where audience participation is encouraged, Blais – with the help of his trusty cooking crew known as the “Trailblaisers” - will prepare a three-course meal and discuss molecular gastronomy and the future of dining.

Blais will also share his expertise on stage with all the gadgets and elements (including liquid nitrogen) that have helped him solidify his place as one of the most innovative and creative chefs today. Blais will also give insider tips and advice on how to use molecular gastronomy at home.

This high-energy cooking demonstration in a theater setting will feature a large projection screen so not a single step is missed. Several lucky audience members will be invited on stage to participate and sample the cuisine. There will be opportunities to ask questions throughout the demonstration. Visit http://www.variety-playhouse.com/ for more information.

WHAT: Richard Blais: Cooking Demonstration
WHEN: Saturday, June 27, 2009
TIME: 3 p.m.
WHERE: Variety Playhouse
1099 Euclid Ave
Atlanta, GA 30307

TICKETS: Tickets cost $25 and are available online at www.ticketmaster.com, www.variety-playhouse.com or at the Variety Playhouse Box Office.
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Monday, June 8, 2009

Please picky eaters with kid-friendly favorites

(ARA) - What’s the best way to get picky eaters to enjoy good-for-you foods? Get kids involved in preparing meals and snacks. Experts agree that when children lend a hand (or two) in meal preparation, they are much more likely to eat what they’re proud to have helped make.

One food that pleases even the pickiest of eaters is California Raisins. Raisins are a family-favorite snack and tasty addition to recipes that can help add to a child’s recommend fruit servings. Just 1/4 cup is a serving of fruit for adults and children older than 4 years, which make raisins a convenient and delicious way to add flavorful fruit to any recipe.

Start the day off right with a wholesome breakfast of whole grain pancakes with California Raisins and bananas topped with Cinnamon-Raisin Syrup. The batter for these No-Mess Banana Nut Pancakes is made in a zip-top bag and is easily mixed together by kids’ own hands, with the advantage of letting children have mess-free fun helping out in the kitchen.

Or, for a tasty treat the whole family will enjoy, bake up a batch of healthful Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies then have kids help squish low-fat ice cream between the cookies for a yummy ice cream sandwich. For even more fruit and fun, try rolling the edges of the ice cream sandwich in California Raisins.

For more delicious, kid-friendly and budget-wise recipe ideas, along with nutritional information, visit www.LoveYourRaisins.com.

No-Mess Banana Nut Pancakes with Cinnamon-Raisin Syrup
Cost per serving: $.96
Makes four to six servings

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: about 10 minutes total

Pancake Ingredients:
1 large ripe banana
2 cups whole grain pancake mix
1 cup fat-free milk
1/2 cup California Raisins
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Cinnamon Raisin Topping Ingredients:
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup California Raisins
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Place banana in a large resealable bag and squeeze well to mash. Add remaining pancake ingredients; seal and squeeze to mix well. Snip a small corner off the bag and squeeze batter onto a large hot griddle coated with nonstick cooking spray to make circles or squiggles. Cook over medium heat for about 3 minutes on each side, until lightly browned. For topping, combine ingredients in a small bowl; microwave on high for about 30 seconds or until warm.

Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches
Cost per sandwich: $.51
Makes 18 ice cream sandwiches

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 to 12 minutes

1 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 1/4 cups California Raisins, divided
2 to 3 tablespoons hot water
1/4 cup heart healthy vegetable spread, softened
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
3 cups old fashioned oats
1 1/2 quarts light vanilla ice cream or fat-free frozen yogurt

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Measure flour, cinnamon, salt, soda, ginger and cloves into large mixing bowl. Mix well and set aside. Combine 3/4 cup raisins and hot water in food processor or blender. Process until smooth. Add spread, eggs and brown sugar and process until light. Turn into flour mixture and mix well. Stir in oats and remaining 1 1/2 cups raisins just until combined. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto baking sheets and flatten slightly. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool completely.

Spoon about 1/3 cup ice cream onto each of nine cookies and top with remaining cookies. Wrap individual sandwiches in plastic wrap and store in the freezer.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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Saturday, June 6, 2009

Helping kids stay strong during the summer months

(ARA) - Summer meals may taste great, but many also lack some of the essential nutrients kids need, especially when it comes to building and maintaining strong bones.

With more than 90 percent of girls and 75 percent of boys ages 9 to 13 not getting the daily recommended 1,300 milligrams of calcium for their age group, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, the need is greater than ever for parents to ensure their kids are developing strong bones for life. The good news is some simple, easy-to-take steps can make a big difference when it comes to building strong bones.

Providing kids with bone-healthy food options is one easy step parents can take. These foods include not only those rich in calcium, but also those that contain prebiotic fiber, a non-digestible soluble fiber that can help significantly boost calcium absorption. One popular prebiotic fiber available in a variety of food products is NutraFlora. Parents can easily spot foods fortified with NutraFlora, by looking for the NutraFlora green leaf logo.

“One way parents can help ensure kids get and absorb the calcium they need is to make recipes that incorporate calcium-rich and prebiotic-fortified ingredients,” says Dr. Coni Francis, a registered dietitian with GTC Nutrition. “This can be particularly important during the summer when kids are not getting balanced breakfasts and lunches at school.”

One great option for summer breakfasts and snacks is a quick and easy yogurt parfait, which includes calcium-rich yogurt, as well as cereal fortified with prebiotic fiber. This bone-healthy recipe is even easy enough for kids to make themselves.

Yummy Yogurt Parfait

Recipe developed by GTC Nutrition.


6 ounce package peach Horizon Organic Yogurt
Snack-size can diced peaches in fruit juice
1 teaspoon wheat germ
1/4 cup Barbara’s Bakery Organic Wild Puffs cereal


Drain peaches. Layer a parfait glass or other glass with yogurt, peaches, wheat germ and cereal. Use cereal for top layer of parfait (fresh fruit can be substituted).

In addition to consuming and absorbing adequate amounts of calcium, kids need regular exercise to ensure a lifetime of strong bones. Similar to muscles, bones become stronger through regular activity, and the warm summer months are a great time for kids to increase their activity levels.

To learn more about building and maintaining healthy bones visit www.nutraflora.com or www.nof.org.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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Monday, June 1, 2009

Tips For Eating Better On A Budget

(NAPSI)-There's good news for those looking for an economical way to offer their family a healthier diet. Healthy eating doesn't have to be expensive. It's possible to buy a cart full of healthy items without breaking the bank.

Think in terms of nutrition per dollar and the nutrition "powerhouse" in the diet is fruits and vegetables. They offer higher vitamin, mineral and fiber content per calorie compared to just about everything else you can eat! Fruits and veggies, including 100 percent juice and beans, provide both nutrition and great taste, making them a great value for your food dollar.

Canned, frozen and dried fruits and vegetables are as nutritious as fresh because they are processed quickly after harvest, locking in their flavor and nutrients. They are also very wallet friendly. But don't skip the fresh produce aisle! Fresh fruits and veggies are still less expensive than other foods when compared by price per serving and nutrition per dollar.

In fact, fruits and vegetables are probably the cheapest form of health insurance you can buy. Eating them may help reduce the risk of obesity and many diseases. Everyone can benefit from eating more fruits and vegetables, so fill at least half of your plate with them at every meal. They're budget friendly and good for your health.

Crazy Curly Broccoli Bake is a kid-friendly, veggie-centric comfort food that's inexpensive to make.

For more healthy and delicious recipes and a Video Center that takes you step by step through the process of selecting, storing and preparing many different varieties of fruits and vegetables, visit www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org.

Crazy Curly Broccoli Bake


1½ cups whole wheat corkscrew pasta, dry

3 cups broccoli, frozen, chopped

1 10.5-oz. can low-fat cream of broccoli soup, condensed

½ cup skim milk

2 tablespoons plain breadcrumbs

¼ teaspoon salt-free seasoning blend


Preheat oven to 350°F. Cook pasta according to package directions. Place frozen broccoli in large microwave-safe dish and cook for 2 minutes on HIGH. Coarsely chop cooked broccoli. Mix soup with skim milk, and add to chopped broccoli. Add cooked pasta and mix. Top with bread- crumbs and seasoning blend. Bake in oven for 10-15 minutes until heated through.

Serves: 6

Nutrition Information per Serving: Calories: 164, total fat: 2.2g, saturated fat: 0.6g, % of calories from fat: 11, protein: 8g, carbohydrate: 31g, cholesterol: 2mg, dietary fiber: 5g, sodium: 351mg

By Elizabeth Pivonka, President, Produce for Better Health Foundation

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Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Caffeine Conundrum

(NAPSI)-Here's eye-opening news for many mothers-to-be: Experts at the American Dietetic Association address the question of whether pregnant women can safely drink coffee in a new book.

"Expect the Best: Your Guide to Healthy Eating Before, During, & After Pregnancy" (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.), by registered dietitian Elizabeth M. Ward, gives practical advice based on the latest scientific research about the relationship between diet and pregnancy.

"As a registered dietitian and a mother of three, I know how difficult it is to wade through all of the news regarding diet and pregnancy," Ward says.

Caffeine is a stimulant that slightly increases blood pressure and heart rate. Nevertheless, "most experts agree that a small amount of caffeine each day is safe during pregnancy," says Ward. "A more important issue is that drinking too many beverages with caffeine may crowd other more nutritious choices, such as milk and 100 percent juice, out of your diet, so choose wisely," Ward recommends.

The book provides a list of nearly 65 foods and their caffeine content, plus numerous recipes for healthful and tasty meals, drinks and snacks during pregnancy.

Here's a way to get the taste of a coffee shop beverage without all the caffeine and get some much-needed nutrients, such as protein and calcium, in the process.

Mocha Java Smoothie

Makes 1 serving

1 tablespoon warm water

1 teaspoon decaffeinated instant coffee granules

1 cup 1% low-fat milk

2 tablespoons fat-free chocolate syrup

1 ice cube

Dissolve coffee granules in the warm water, then place in a blender or food processor. Add milk, chocolate syrup and ice cube. Blend on high speed for 1 to 2 minutes, or until frothy. Pour into tall glass and drink immediately.

Per serving: Calories: 211; Total fat: 3 grams; Saturated fat: 2 grams; Trans fat: none; Cholesterol: 12 milligrams; Sodium: 135 milligrams; Carbohydrates: 38 grams; Dietary fiber: 1 gram; Protein: 9 grams; Calcium: 300 milligrams; Iron: 1 milligram

The book is available at bookstores and online retailers and from the American Dietetic Association at www.eatright.org. Click on "Shop."

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Free Donut at Dunkin' Donuts to Celebrate National Donut Day June 5

/PRNewswire/ -- Dunkin' Donuts, America's all-day, everyday stop for coffee and baked goods, is marking National Donut Day with a sweet nationwide offer to help Americans celebrate the joy and fun of donuts. On June 5, 2009, participating Dunkin' Donuts restaurants throughout the country will give every customer a free donut of their choice, with the purchase of any beverage, limit one per customer.

Also on National Donut Day, Dunkin' Donuts will announce the winner of its first-ever "Create Dunkin's Next Donut" contest. From nearly 130,000 donut contest creations submitted online, one of 12 finalists will win a $12,000 grand prize and have their winning donuts sold in Dunkin' Donuts locations throughout the country. Americans can vote for their favorite finalist online at www.dunkindonuts.com/donut.

National Donut Day, held the first Friday of June each year, was started by the Chicago Salvation Army more than 70 years ago. According to Dunkin' Donuts' Brand Marketing Officer Frances Allen, the day holds particular relevance in 2009. "From office meetings to Sunday get-togethers, donuts are one of those foods that lift people's spirits and bring genuine delight to any situation. And now more than ever, Americans are seeking those small moments of happiness," she said. "We hope our free donut offer will create an opportunity for people to celebrate donuts and bring some extra happiness to their day."

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Because You're A W-O-M-A-N

(NAPSI)-You shuttle the kids to school, do the dishes, help with the homework, handle the company's high-profile accounts, pick up the dry cleaning, hit the supermarket, cook a hot supper and tuck everyone in at night. No, this isn't "Survivor Suburbia"...it's your life. Isn't it time you think about yourself, too?

Women have different nutritional requirements during life's various stages. In adolescence, extra calcium helps healthy bone growth. Childbearing years need iron and folic acid, while seniors need monounsaturated fats and soy foods that keep heart disease and certain cancers at bay.

Fortunately, there are delicious foods for every stage. In fact, if you eat wholesome natural foods rather than overly processed foods, you can justify just about anything. Craving a gooey wedge of Brie? Go ahead, it's great for your bones. Salivating over a juicy steak? Dig into that iron. Ogling another can of California Ripe Olives? Go for it. Just remember, all things in moderation.

Grilled Flank Steak With Avocado And Olive Salsa

1 cup finely diced red onion (⅛ inch)

¼ cup red wine vinegar

2 Tbsp. olive oil

2 Tbsp. chopped tarragon

1 Tbsp. chopped thyme

1½ tsp. kosher salt

½ tsp. ground black pepper

1 medium avocado, diced (½ inch)

1 cup California Black Ripe Olives, halved

1 cup sweet 100 tomatoes, halved

1½ lbs. flank steak

In a shallow baking dish, combine red onion, vinegar, oil, tarragon, thyme, 1 teaspoon of salt, and pepper. Set aside. Spoon ⅓ cup of the red onion mixture into a small mixing bowl. Gently toss in avocado, California Black Ripe Olives and tomatoes and set aside. Place flank steak in baking dish with remaining onion mixture and set aside to marinate for 30 minutes. Season flank steak with remaining salt and grill over medium-high heat for 6-8 minutes on each side. Transfer to a clean cutting board and allow to rest for 2-3 minutes, then slice diagonally across the grain into thin strips. Place onto serving plates and top with avocado olive salsa just before serving. Serves 4.

Visit www.calolive.org for more recipes.

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Delicious Quick-Fix Cobbler

(NAPSI)-Even better than serving up delicious food, many cooks contend, is finding an easy way to prepare it.

For example, here's a recipe for One-Bowl Peach and Blueberry Cobbler that could be the easiest cobbler you'll ever make. Simply throw all the ingredients in an oven-safe dish and top with any fruit you have on hand. The result is warm fruit comfortably nestled in soft pillows of dough. Serve with whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

One-Bowl Peach and Blueberry Cobbler

Prep time: 5 minutes; hands-off cooking time: 30 minutes; serves 4.

¼ cup butter, melted

1 cup buttermilk pancake mix

½ cup sugar

½ cup milk

3 cups sliced peaches (fresh, frozen or canned, such as jarred peaches in light syrup

½ cup blueberries, fresh or frozen

¼ tsp ground cinnamon (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.

2. Select an 8 x 8-inch square ovenproof dish or a glass 9-inch pie plate for the cobbler. (If you're feeding a crowd, double the recipe and use a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.) Melt butter right in the baking dish and use it as a mixing bowl.

3. Add pancake mix, sugar and milk to melted butter. Stir with a fork until just combined. Batter will be lumpy--do not overmix.

4. Scatter peaches and blueberries evenly over batter. Lightly sprinkle cinnamon evenly on top.

5. Bake for 30 minutes or until light golden brown.

You can use apples, pears, plums or mixed berries. Frozen or canned fruit works just as well as fresh fruit in this recipe, which can be found in the book "Cooking With All Things Trader Joe's" by Deana Gunn and Wona Miniati. The cookbook features easy recipes that use everyday, budget-friendly ingredients and time-saving shortcuts.

Learn More

For more tips and recipes, visit www.cookingwithtraderjoes.com.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tasty summer dishes sizzle with sweet Vidalia onions

(ARA) - Maybe it was helping your grandma with her favorite summer recipe or shopping with your mom at the market when the first shipment of the season arrived. No matter the memory, Vidalia onions are as versatile and delicious today as they were back then.

Vidalia onions are the original sweet onion. They are only grown in a small region in southeast Georgia and are only available in the spring and summer. Forget about the strong flavor of red and white onions that often leave odors in the kitchen for days. The sweet, mild taste of Vidalia onions makes them a great addition to any summer recipe.

"Vidalias have always been one of my favorite additions to warm-weather recipes," says "Top Chef" season five contestant Spike Mendelsohn. "Then, when my sister married a Vidalia native, I got to go down for their engagement party and see first-hand how much care the farmers put into their crop."

"When my family and I were thinking of what type of restaurant to open, we kept coming back to our favorite meals. Burgers, shakes, fries and Vidalia onion rings! What's better?" says Mendelsohn, who is executive chef and owner of Good Stuff Eatery in Washington, D.C. He shares a favorite family Vidalia recipe from his brother-in-law:

Cliff's Homegrown Vidalia Onion Petals

Ingredients for the onion petals:
4 Vidalia onions, cut into quarters
4 cups batter (recipe follows)
Canola oil for deep-frying
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Ingredients for the onion petal batter:
(This can be made one day in advance.)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch black pepper
Pinch ground cayenne
1 cup beer
1 cup buttermilk
1 large egg, beaten

To prepare the onion petal batter, sift 2 cups flour, salt, paprika, brown sugar, Old Bay seasoning, cumin, black pepper and cayenne into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together the beer, buttermilk and egg. Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients, and whisk to prevent lumps. Refrigerate until needed. Line a metal tray with paper towels.

Heat about 3 inches oil in a large skillet until it reaches 350 F on a candy thermometer. To prepare the onion petals, toss the onions in a bowl with 1 cup flour, coating them well, and shake off the excess. Pour the batter into another bowl, and dip in the petals to coat well. Slowly add the petals one by one into the oil, making sure not to overcrowd the skillet. Cook until golden brown and crispy. Using a slotted spoon, remove the petals, and drain them on the paper towels. Season the petals with salt and pepper while still hot. Serve immediately.

"I suggest serving these with a homemade basic mayonnaise or a horseradish mayonnaise for a bit of zip," says Mendelsohn. "These onions are also great in soups, salads, sandwiches, salsas, sauces -- the list goes on and on. Just be sure not to miss them as the growing season is short."

Share your own pleasant memory of cooking with Vidalia onions and your favorite family recipe with the famous sweet treat and you could win some cash. Enter the Vidalia Onion Committee's "Sweet Times with Vidalias Recipe Contest" from May 1 to Aug. 14. To enter, visit www.VidaliaOnion.org or join the fan page on www.facebook.com. Entries must be submitted online along with a memory or short story about cooking with Vidalia onions.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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Friday, May 15, 2009

Pillsbury Bake-Off® Contest Lets You Be the Judge!

(BUSINESS WIRE)--For the first time, the 44th Pillsbury Bake-Off® Contest is opening its judging up to you, America! The country’s most prestigious cooking contest once again will have 100 finalists vying for the $1 million grand prize, but now America can help determine 10 of those final 100 recipes with the new You Be the Judge! voting, beginning May 14, 2009, at www.bakeoff.com.

The 44th Pillsbury Bake-Off® competition, set for April 11-13, 2010, at the Waldorf=Astoria Orlando and Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek hotel in Florida, will feature two groups of recipes that will comprise the final 100 recipes—90 recipes whose creators will directly earn a spot at the competition and 20 recipes that will be placed on www.bakeoff.com for America to judge.

The 20 recipes will be posted in pairs every two weeks beginning May 14, 2009 (namely, May 28, June 11, June 25, July 9, July 23, August 6, August 20, September 3 and September 17, 2009) where the dishes will be judged. Voting is limited to one vote per person per each pair of recipes. Voters must be registered members of www.pillsbury.com and 18 years of age or older as of May 1, 2009, to participate.

“Through the years, we’ve received many calls from people asking how they can be a judge for the contest, so we thought it would be fun to have people get involved and help us decide which recipes should move on to Orlando and compete for the million-dollar grand prize,” said Kim Anderson, Pillsbury Bake-Off® Kitchens Manager.

The recipe from each pair that receives the most votes will earn a spot in the Bake-Off® finals on April 12 in Orlando, where 100 home cooks will compete side-by-side at 100 mini-kitchens. You Be the Judge! voting for the tenth and final pair ends on October 1, 2009 at 11:59AM CDT. The 100 recipes competing for $1 million at the competition will be announced mid-October 2009.

The 44th Pillsbury Bake-Off ® Contest is sponsored by General Mills, General Electric, The J.M. Smucker Company, Eggland’s Best, Land O’Lakes, Inc., Fisher® Nuts and The Hershey Company and will award more than $1.1 million in cash, prizes and trips.

From early January through mid-April 2009, home cooks entered their original recipes in one of four recipe categories: Breakfast & Brunches, Entertaining Appetizers, Dinner Made Easy™ and Sweet Treats. Entrants had to use two or more different eligible products in their recipes, with at least one ingredient from the primary list of products and a second from either the primary or secondary list.

The primary list featured returning eligible products to the contest, including Pillsbury® Refrigerated Crescent Dinner Rolls, Classic Pizza Crust, Cookie Dough and Ready to Bake!™ Cookies, Grands!® and Golden Layers® Biscuits, Cinnamon Rolls, Breadsticks, Crusty French Loaf, and Pie Crusts; Pillsbury® Brownie Mixes and Pillsbury BEST® Flour. Pillsbury Refrigerated Crescent Recipe Creations® flaky dough sheet and Thin Pizza Crust were new products on the primary list.

The secondary list featured Green Giant® Frozen Vegetables, Jif® Peanut Butter, Smucker’s® Jams, Jellies, Preserves, Fruit Spreads and Ice Cream Toppings, Crisco® Cooking Oil, Eggland’s Best Eggs, LAND O LAKES® Stick Butter and Fisher® Nuts. Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk and Hershey®’s cocoa, baking chips or bits and baking chocolate were new eligible ingredients also on the secondary list.

Recipe entries are judged on taste, appearance, creativity, and consumer appeal. For the 44th contest and You Be the Judge! voting official rules, visit www.bakeoff.com.

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Money-Saving Advice: Tips for Clipping Coupons Online

(SPM Wire) A tried and true way to save money in a tough economy is clipping coupons. Because of the Internet, however, a savvy consumer no longer has to wield a pair of scissors in order to reap rewards.

The popularity of online coupons is on the rise and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) is advising consumers on how to identify a deal while avoiding deceptive offers.

Indeed, the number of American adults using online coupons rose by 39 percent to 36 million between 2005 and 2008, according to a survey conducted by Simmons/Experian Research and Coupons, Inc. The survey also found that online users account for nearly one-quarter of the total 148 million consumers who use coupons.

"We're all looking for ways to save money and redeeming online coupons is growing in popularity as a result," said Steve Cox, BBB spokesperson. "Some coupons, however, are not as great a deal as they may appear and consumers should use caution when clicking on coupons online."

The BBB is offering some helpful advice on redeeming online coupons:

* Check to see if the coupon is being offered directly by the store or by a third-party, such as a partner or affiliate. If it is via a third-party, they might ask for additional info or require that the consumer sign up for additional services to redeem the coupon. If so, BBB recommends using extreme caution before divulging any personal information and consumers can check the company out, free of charge, at www.bbb.org.

* Coupon clickers should be wary of pop-up ad coupon offers that require you to immediately click to redeem. Clicking on the ad may automatically sign the consumer up for services they were not interested in receiving, causing them to be billed monthly.

* Carefully read the terms and conditions for the use of a coupon, check for the expiration date, limitations of use and whether it is an online coupon good for only online purchases or if it can also be redeemed at a physical store location.

* Because some stores are concerned about fraud related to online coupons, not all businesses are eager to redeem them. Contact the store where you wish to use the coupon directly to find out whether the coupon is being honored or not.

* Be extremely cautious if the coupon requires that the consumer call the company to redeem the value of the coupon, and/or has any requirement to give personal information.

* Don't fall for phony coupons via e-mail. Many fake coupons have been making the rounds via e-mail, and just because it may come from a friend or family member, don't assume the coupon is legitimate.

For more advice on saving money, visit www.bbb.org.

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Monday, May 11, 2009

Dietary Supplements Worth $1.3 Million Condemned and Forfeited to the United States Under Consent Decree

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division, today entered a consent decree that condemns and forfeits to the United States for destruction about $1.3 million worth of dietary supplements.

“The court order is the result of efforts by the federal government to protect consumers from products for which there is inadequate information to assure that they do not present a significant or unreasonable risk of illness or injury,” said Michael Chappell, FDA’s acting associate commissioner for regulatory affairs. “It shows that the agency is prepared to use the necessary legal means to keep such products out of the marketplace.”

At the request of the FDA, U.S. Marshals seized more than 23,300 bottles of three dietary supplement products distributed by LG Sciences LLC, of Brighton, Mich. The seized products were marketed for use by body builders and distributed on the Internet and in retail stores under the names “Methyl 1-D,” “Methyl 1-D XL,” and “Formadrol Extreme XL.”

Based on laboratory tests, the FDA determined that the products contain one or more unapproved food additives and/or new dietary ingredients for which there is inadequate information to assure that the ingredients do not present a significant or unreasonable risk of illness or injury. Specifically, the condemned Methyl 1-D and Methyl 1-D XL contained 1,4,6-androstatriene-3,17-dione, also known as “ATD” or 1,4,6-etioallocholan-dione. The condemned Formadrol Extreme XL contained ATD and 3,6,17-androstenetrione (also known as “6-OXO”). Both of these substances are steroids that inhibit the activity of the enzyme aromatase and may be found in dietary supplements promoted to boost testosterone levels.

The FDA has no scientific information concerning the safety of the condemned products or their ingredients and, thus, cannot determine whether they represent a hazard to consumers. Under the circumstances, consumers who use or have used the products should discuss their use with their health care professionals.

The FDA also recommends that consumers consult their health care professionals if they have experienced any adverse events that they suspect are related to the products’ use.

Health care professionals and consumers may report serious adverse events (side effects) or product quality problems with the use of this product to the FDA's MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program either online, by regular mail, fax or phone.

--Online: www.FDA.gov/medwatch/report.htm
--Regular Mail: use postage-paid FDA form 3500 available at: www.fda.gov/MedWatch/getforms.htm and mail to MedWatch, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20852-9787
--Fax: (800) FDA-0178
--Phone: (800) FDA-1088

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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Great Grill Sides

(NAPSI)-Craving something different to serve with favorite grilled foods? These two salads deliver on flavor and satisfy a wide range of tastes. Sunny citrus complements grilled fish, pork and poultry. Savory potato is a delicious side to hamburger, sausage or lamb.

Sunny Citrus Salad

Serves 4

1 small bunch arugula, separated and stems removed (or use spinach)

2 heads endive, leaves separated and cores removed

2 navel oranges, peeled and segmented

1 avocado (preferably Hass) peeled, pit removed and quartered, cut into thin fan slices

2 ounces Jarlsberg or Jarlsberg Lite cheese, julienned

½ cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

Arrange equal amounts of arugula and endive in pattern across top of each plate. Place avocado fan on opposite side. Arrange citrus sections on either side of avocado. Top with cheese and walnuts.

Serve with Vinaigrette: In bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons each canola oil and orange juice, 2 teaspoons minced red onion, ⅛ teaspoon each black pepper and dried basil.

New Potato-Cheese Salad

Serves 4

1 pound small new potatoes, cooked, cooled and quartered

1 tablespoon minced red onion

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1½ pounds mixed mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh snipped chives

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

½ cup shredded Jarlsberg or Jarlsberg Lite cheese

½ cup coarsely chopped walnuts

In large mixing bowl, toss potatoes with onion and vinegar. In skillet, sauté mushrooms in oil over medium heat until tender, about 2 minutes. Add chives and saute for 1 minute more. Stir in lemon juice. Divide potatoes between four plates and top with equal amounts mushroom mixture, cheese and walnuts. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Upscale your barbecue, with a variety of condiments, from the traditional (pickle relish, ketchup, mayonnaise, grilled onions) to unique (artichoke or sun-dried tomato tapanades, chipotle sauce, fruit salsas, caponata). Have a few interesting cheese choices to top burgers, steaks, chicken or fish from a creamy Boursin to piquant Spanish Gran Maestre Manchego. For those with lactose sensitivity, offer fresh Chevrai or luscious goat Brie (such as Woolwich Dairy).

For more ideas, visit www.norseland.com.

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Friday, May 8, 2009

Mars Unveils the Real Chocolate Relief Act

(BUSINESS WIRE)--Americans could use some relief and are looking for reasons to smile. To help, Mars Snackfood US announced today the creation of the Mars Real Chocolate Relief Act™, a nationwide effort to bring sweet smiles to millions of Americans via free, full-sized samples of Mars real chocolate, product discounts and coupons along with the proclamation of Free Chocolate Fridays™. Now through September, Mars will give away as many as seven million full-size packages of its M&M’S®, SNICKERS®, MILKY WAY®, TWIX®, DOVE®, and 3 MUSKETEERS® brand chocolate in the United States.


As part of the campaign, every week through the end of September, Mars will give away a quarter-of-a- million full-size packages of real chocolate on Free Chocolate Fridays. Americans can claim one of 250,000 full-value coupons each Friday beginning on May 8 at 9 a.m. EST by visiting RealChocolate.com. Coupons, which will be mailed to consumers, will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis and are redeemable for any full-size Mars real chocolate product. The coupons will be limited to one per person, per week.

"Brands like M&M'S, SNICKERS, DOVE Chocolate, TWIX, Milky Way and 3 MUSKETEERS are loved by Americans," said Michele Kessler, vice president, Mars Snackfood US. "That's why we've created the Mars Real Chocolate Relief Act. It's our way of giving Americans a small treat during challenging times."

A Commitment to Being Real

Another reason for people to smile is that Mars remains committed to its industry-leading stance of using only 100 percent cocoa butter in its U.S. chocolate products, even in this challenging environment. As a privately-held company, Mars has the freedom to invest in the highest quality, real, authentic chocolate.

"Mars Snackfood US chocolate brands do not compromise on the purity and authenticity of chocolate by diluting it with a cocoa butter substitute," Kessler added. "Remember, if it's Mars, it's real chocolate."

Mars Helps NYC Score Some Real Chocolate Relief

Today, Mars kicked off this effort by spreading sweet smiles to more than 1 million Americans:

* In New York City, Neil Patrick Harris joined spokescandies Red and Yellow and Mars associates to announce Free Chocolate Fridays and hand out nearly 20,000 packages of candy outside of the M&M’S WORLD® store in midtown Manhattan.

“America could use a reason to smile right now,” said Neil Patrick Harris. “From New York City to Hollywood, I want to invite everyone to come down to M&M’S World in Manhattan today and help Mars and me introduce the Real Chocolate Relief Act. If you can’t make it, please go to RealChocolate.com and help spread the word about Free Chocolate Fridays. We want as many people to enjoy some sweet relief as possible.”

* Similar events, including distribution of full-sized packages of candy, were also held at the M&M’S World stores in Las Vegas and Orlando.
* A full-page print ad appeared in today’s edition of the USA Today that featured a full-value coupon for any Mars real chocolate product.

To learn more about the Real Chocolate Relief Act™, Free Chocolate Fridays™ or Mars’ commitment to real chocolate, visit www.RealChocolate.com.

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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Farmers' Markets Deliver Superior Strawberry Flavor

(NAPSI)-Farmers' markets are sprouting up around the country as the idea of buying fruit and vegetables directly from the person who grew them grows in popularity. Strawberries are one delicious crop available at farmers' markets. To help make the most of this tasty fruit, Argo Corn Starch offers two mouthwatering recipes:

Easy Fruit Pizza

Prep Time: 30 minutes, Cook Time: 15 minutes, Chill Time:

50 minutes, Yield: 1 (12-inch) pizza


1 package (16½ ounces) prepared sugar cookie dough


1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened

1 jar (7 ounces) marshmallow cream

1 teaspoon Spice Islands® 100% Pure Bourbon Vanilla Extract

Fruit and Glaze:

½ cup sugar

1 tablespoon Argo Corn Starch

½ cup orange juice

¼ cup water

2 tablespoons lemon juice

Dash of salt

2-3 cups assorted cut-up fresh fruit

1. To Make Crust: Press cookie dough into ungreased 12-inch pizza pan. Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 15 minutes until done, but still soft. Cool.

2. To Make Filling: Mix filling ingredients in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until thoroughly combined. Spread over crust.

3. To Make Fruit and Glaze: Combine sugar and corn starch in a small saucepan until well mixed. Add orange juice, water, lemon juice and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.

4. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat.

5. Cool 20 minutes in the refrigerator. Slice fresh fruit and arrange on cream filling.

6. Drizzle with glaze and chill at least 30 minutes.

Glazed Fresh Strawberry Pie

Prep Time: 40 minutes, Cook Time: 15 to 20 minutes, plus bake time of 8 minutes, Chill Time: 3 hours, Yield: 8 servings

Cookie Crust:

1½ cups crushed shortbread cookies

⅓ cup butter, melted

¼ cup chopped almonds


2 pints (about 2 pounds) strawberries, hulled

⅓ cup water

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons Argo Corn Starch

½ teaspoon almond extract

¼ teaspoon salt

Whipped topping (optional)

1. To Make Cookie Crust: Mix all crust ingredients. Press into a 9-inch pie pan. Bake at 350°F for 8 minutes or until lightly browned.

2. To Make Filling: Mash (or puree) enough strawberries to equal 1 cup; add water. Combine sugar and corn starch in small saucepan. Stir in mashed strawberries.

3. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens and comes to a full boil (15 to 20 minutes). Boil 1 minute; remove from heat. Stir in almond extract and salt. Cool 10 minutes.

4. Fill cooled crust with remaining whole strawberries; pour cooked strawberry mixture over berries. Refrigerate at least 3 hours. Garnish with whipped topping, if desired.

5. A baked 9-inch pie crust may be substituted for the cookie crust.

For more recipes, visit www.argostarch.com.

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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Bread Breakthrough: A "Kneadlessly Simple" Technique

(NAPSI)-Savoring a warm loaf of fragrant, just-from-the-oven bread can be one of life's great pleasures. Now you can experience the joys of home-baked bread using a breakthrough technique.

Taking bread making to a whole new level, award-winning cookbook author Nancy Baggett has developed a "Kneadlessly Simple" method that helps even complete novices bake bread easily in their own kitchens, with no kneading and no mess.

The secret is to allow the yeast to grow slowly and develop the same full, satisfying flavor of traditional bread. The technique can be used to produce a wide variety of breads, from Pull-Apart Butter-Top Rolls to Easy Oat Bread and Rosemary Focaccia.

Here's an amazingly easy example to try. Don't let the length of this recipe alarm you as Baggett offers detailed instructions for best results and various rising options to fit your schedule.

"Kneadlessly Simple" Very Cherry-Streusel Coffeecake


2½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon Fleischmann's® RapidRise or Bread Machine Yeast

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 cup plus 3 tablespoons ice- cold water, plus more ice water if needed

Streusel and Filling:

1 cup packed brown sugar

1½ cups all-purpose flour

1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon

¾ cup (1½ sticks) butter (not margarine), melted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

¾ cup slivered almonds, optional

1 can (21 oz.) cherry pie filling

First Rise: In large bowl, thoroughly mix flour, sugar, salt and yeast. In large measuring cup, whisk oil into water. Thoroughly stir liquid into flour, scraping down sides until thoroughly blended. If mixture is too dry to mix in all the flour, stir in just enough water to blend ingredients; don't overmoisten as dough should be almost stiff. If necessary, firm it by adding more flour. Brush or spray top with oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. For convenience or fullest flavor, hold dough in the refrigerator 3-10 hours if desired. Then let rise at cool room temperature (about 70° F) 8-16 hours.

For Streusel: In medium bowl, combine brown sugar, flour and cinnamon, finely crushing any sugar lumps. Stir in butter and vanilla until evenly incorporated and mixture forms small clumps. Refrigerate, covered, until firmed up and cooled, at least 30 minutes and up to a week. If cold, let warm up slightly before using. Before using, break up any large clumps.

Second Rise: Set aside 1½ cups streusel for topping. Vigorously stir remaining streusel into dough, leaving little patches of streusel throughout. Turn out dough into well-oiled 9x13x2-inch baking dish. Spread or press until evenly thick using an oiled spatula or fingertips. Spread cherry filling evenly over top. Sprinkle nuts and reserved streusel evenly over dough top. Cover baking dish with nonstick spray-coated plastic wrap. Let rise using any of these methods: For a 1½- to 2½-hour regular rise, let stand at warm room temperature; for a 1- to 2-hour accelerated rise, let stand in turned-off microwave along with 1 cup boiling-hot water; for an extended rise, refrigerate, covered, 4-24 hours, then set out at room temperature. When dough nears plastic, remove it and continue rising until dough is ½ inch below pan rim.

Baking: 15 minutes before baking time, place rack just below center of oven and preheat to 350° F. Set coffeecake on a baking sheet. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until top is nicely browned and a paring knife inserted in center of the dough comes out with just a few crumbs on tip (or until center registers 205-207° F on instant-read thermometer). Cool in pan on wire rack 15 minutes. Then cut into rectangles and serve warm. Yield: 1 large coffeecake, about 12 portions.

Storing: Cool completely before storing airtight in plastic or foil. Keeps at room temperature for up to 3 days and may be frozen, airtight, for up to 2 months.

Fleischmann's Yeast is offering a book with some of Baggett's many recipes. To order a copy of the book for $1 to offset shipping and handling, visit www.breadbreakthrough.com.

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Monday, May 4, 2009

Marinate your grilled fare for taste and safety

(ARA) - Literally soaked in flavor, marinated foods are undeniably delicious. But did you know that marinating also makes your grilled foods safer?

Anyone who loves the delectable flavor of hot-off-the-grill foods has probably heard that cancer-causing substances -- such as heterocyclic aromatic amines (HAAs or HCAs) -- form when the proteins in red meat, pork, poultry and fish react to the high heat of grilling and when fat drips off the meat and produces smoke.

But the researchers aren't just pouring water on our coals; they're coming up with solutions, too. Chemists at Kansas State University found that marinating meat for an hour in spice blends can reduce the formation of HCAs by 80 percent or more. They credit the antioxidant properties of spices with this change. Other researchers suggest that marinades may buffer the heat that causes the problematic chemical reaction, or that a combination of sugar, oil, and acidic ingredients decreases the carcinogenic compounds.

Not that you need a scientific reason to marinate. Savvy grillers know marinating improves flavor and the process isn't labor-intensive. You can make your own signature marinades, or rely on the guaranteed results of quality mixes.

If you're looking for a healthy choice, Simply Organic offers a flavor-rich line of organic marinade mixes that include Zesty Herb Marinade, Steak Marinade and Garlic and Herb Marinade. They even offer the smoky flavor of mesquite -- minus the hazards of grilling smoke -- in their Mesquite BBQ Marinade.

For safe and delicious grilling with marinades:

* Choose lean cuts of meat, which will drip less and produce less smoke. Trim excess fat.

* Prick the surfaces of meats with a fork before marinating to allow flavors to penetrate.

* Marinate foods in the refrigerator -- not on the counter -- in a glass, plastic, or stainless steel pan.

* Keep in mind that marinades that have been used for raw meat, poultry or seafood need to be cooked thoroughly before eating. So don't baste with them during the last few minutes, don't dip your finger in the pan to taste and don't use the leftover marinade for sauce without cooking it first.

* Consider cooking meats in the microwave for a minute or so before placing them on the grill. Discard any juice that's produced during microwaving. Use tongs or a spatula, rather than forks, to reduce drips when turning foods on the grill.

* Cook over medium (rather than high) heat to avoid charring foods. Let flames settle down before cooking over coals or wood, and turn the temperature down to medium on a gas grill. If you do char a portion of the food, cut off that section before serving.

* Flip those burgers. Again. They'll cook faster (and produce fewer HCAs) if you turn them often.

* Consider other options, too, like soy burgers and soy hot dogs, portobello mushrooms and other vegetables. These foods don't have the same potential to produce harmful substances that can result from unsafe cooking procedures -- but they're delicious when marinated nonetheless!

Here’s a favorite recipe so simple, yet so delicious, from the kitchen of Chef Kendall McFarland, research and development manager at Simply Organic:

Mediterranean Pasta Salad


4 cups cooked pasta
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 package of Simply Organic Steak Marinade Mix


In a large bowl, toss the pasta with the olive oil and the Steak Marinade Mix. Serve as a warm or cold side dish.

Add olives, cheese or other vegetables if desired.

Staying with the same marinade for the complete meal, Chef Kendall also has this tasty recipe:

Tarragon Encrusted Salmon


4 tablespoons softened butter
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 package Simply Organic Steak Marinade Mix
1 to 1 1/2 pounds salmon steak -- minimum of 1-inch thick


Preheat grill. In a small bowl blend butter, lemon juice and Steak Marinade. Lay salmon on grill using a fish grill plate, skin side down. Spread a thin layer of butter mixture on fillets. Grill eight to 10 minutes or until salmon is just flaky.

Serve with sliced fresh tomatoes as a garnish.

For an online Summer Grilling Guide with many more useful tips and delectable grilling recipes, go to www.frontiercoop.com/grillingtips.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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