Turkish Cauliflower Recipe

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Latkes, Potato Pancakes...

Latkes, Potato Pancakes...
Latkes known, as little potato pancakes are a traditional Hanukkah food, serving as a reminder of the food hurriedly prepared for the Maccabees as they went into battle, along with the oil they are fried in as a reminder of the miraculous oil. Other traditional foods contain cheese to celebrate Judahs’ victory.
Hanukkah originated when Judah the Maccabee and his followers reclaimed the temple in the village of Modi'in from Syrian King Antiochus IV. The temple was cleansed and prepared for rededication. The Hebrew word Hanukkah means "dedication."  You will also see this holiday spelled “Chanukkah” due to different translations and customs. When the sacred temple Menorah (candelabra) was relit, there was only enough sacred oil to burn for one day. Yet, according to tradition, the oil miraculously lasted eight days until more purified oil could be found. In remembrance, a candle is lit each of the eight days of Hanukkah.

Latkes or Potato Pancakes are great any time of the year and are limitless to your creativity.  
Try these two recipes and let us know what you think.



Sweet Potato Latkes made by Meal Makers Inc.
Sweet Potato Latkes
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 latkes)
 Ingredients
  • 1 pounds Sweet Potatoes
  • 1 small onion (about 6 ounces), peeled
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch ground Cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons canola oil, divided
Preparation
1. Peel and par-boil the potatoes. Shred the sweet potatoes and onion using the shredding blade of a food processor.  
2. Combine egg, flour, salt, and pepper in a small bowl, stirring with a spatula in a medium size bowl.  Add egg the potatoes to the mixture and, stir well to combine.
3. Heat a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil to pan, swirling to coat. Using a tablespoon, make patties and add to the pan. Cook 3-4 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove latkes from pan; keep warm. Repeat procedure with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil and remaining potato mixture.
Serve with sour cream or apple sauce.
 
Cheese Latkes
Serving Size: About 15 Silver Dollar size
 
Ingredients
  • 1 potato Idaho small, boiled (3 -4 oz) peeled 
  • 1 tbsp butter 
  • 1/2 lb farmer cheese 
  • 2 tbsp flour 
  • 2 egg yolks large
  • (see note for sweet version)
  • 2 egg whites large 
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar or salt 
  • 1 tsp salt  
  • 1/2 tsp pepper white 
  • Canola oil for frying 
  •  sour cream 
  • apple sauce
Preparation:
1. In a 2 quart bowl with a flat bottom mash the hot peeled boiled potato, salt, pepper and butter, using a hand masher. Add the farmer cheese and mash some more until uniform. Then add egg yolks and mix smooth. (If you are making the sweet version, add the sugar, cinnamon and vanilla along with the flour.) Add the flour and mix smooth and uniform. 
 
2.Beat the egg whites to soft peaks, add the cream of tartar or salt, and continue beating till medium peaks. 
 
3.Fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the cheese mixture to soften it. Then fold the remaining egg whites into the cheese mixture. This should give you a mixture that is firm enough to fry.
 
3.Heat canola oil frying pan to 325 F.  Drop rounded tablespoons of the batter onto the pan, using 2 tablespoons, one to lift and one to push off the batter.   When a brown and crispy, turn it over gently using a spatula and a fork, and gently pat down the top of the pancake to spread it a little.
 
Serve with sour cream or apple sauce.
 
Note: Sweet version. 
You can also make these sweet. Add 1-2 tbsp sugar and a few drops of vanilla extract, and a shake or two of cinnamon after the yolks.
 

Nuts May Be the Fountain of Youth

Nuts may be the fountain of youth, according to a new study

In the largest study ever done on the relationship between eating nuts and longevity, researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School looked at nut consumption and deaths from all causes among 76,464 women participating in the Nurse's Health Study and 42,498 men involved in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study,as reported by Time magazine.
They asked the participants how "nutty" their diets were -- including how many almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios and walnuts they typically ate. They found that those who reported regularly consuming nuts were less likely to die from a variety of diseases -- most significantly cancer, heart disease and respiratory diseases.

Overall, people who ate nuts seven or more times a week had a 20% lower death rate after four years than individuals who did not eat nuts at all. Nut eaters also tended to be healthier people: leaner, more physically active and non-smokers.


Nuts are high in unsaturated fats, protein and vitamins, as well as antioxidants that are thought to be linked to a lower risk of heart disease.

Previous studies have found similar connections between nuts and longevity, but the large size of this study gives the association more support, according to Time.
Disclaimer: The study was partially funded by the International Tree Nut Council Nutrition Research & Education Foundation, a nonprofit organization representing nine tree nut industries. However, the group played no role in the research or results, according to Maureen Ternus, executive director. It was also partially funded by the National Institutes of Health.

It's unclear exactly how many nuts it takes to extend a person's lifespan. And the researchers say the findings don't show a cause-and-effect relationship between nuts and later death, just an interesting correlation that should be explored further.

But nuts are OK with public health officials. In their recently released Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the NIH advised that adults eat about five to six ounces of protein a day, which could include nuts.

photo credit: s58y via photopin cc

Crock Pot Cooking from Appetizers to Desserts



Everyone knows that slow cookers are great for main meals like pot roast, chicken, and casseroles, but did you know that you could also use your Crock pot to make delicious starters and yummy desserts? Once you get the hang of it, you are going to want to keep more than one slow cooker on hand.











Bacon and Cheeseburger Dip Appetizer

Preparation Time 20 minutes

Total Time 2 hours and 20 minutes
 
Serves 28

Ingredients

Eight Bacon Slices
½-Pound Ground Beef
One Package Cream Cheese
1 Package Shredded Cheddar American Cheese Blend
1 Can Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies, undrained
2 Tbsp Chopped Parsley
One Red Bell Pepper Cut Into Strips
One Package Mini Bagel Chips

Directions

Cook bacon until crisp and drain on paper towels. Crumble and save a couple of Tbsp of bacon for garnish.

In the same 12” skillet, cook beef for about 7 minutes until nicely browned. Drain. Reduce heat and stir in shredded cheese, cream cheese, bacon and tomatoes until well blended and the cheese begins to melt.

Pour the mixture into a 1 1/2 –quart Crock pot. Cover and cook on low for two or three hours until your mixture is hot and bubbly.

Stir in the parsley, sprinkle on the rest of the bacon, and keep on low. When you are ready to serve, garnish with bell pepper strips and bagel chips. 

Ginger Orange Cheesecake
Serves 10
Preparation Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time 2 ½ Hours
Chill Time 4-24 Hours

Ingredients

Cooking Spray
1-8 oz Package Cream Cheese Softened
½ Cup Sugar
2 Tbsp Orange Juice
1 tsp Shredded Orange Peel
1 Tbsp All-Purpose Flour
½ Cup Sour Cream
3 Eggs. beaten lightly
1 cup Warm Water
1 tsp Vanilla
2 Medium Blood Oranges
Finely Chopped Crystallized Ginger (Optional)

Directions

Spray a casserole or soufflĂ© dish with cooking spray. Take three pieces of 18 x 12” heavy foil, fold in half, and place in the center of the dish and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl beat sugar, cream cheese, flour, orange juice, and vanilla with an electric mixer on medium until mixed through. Beat in sour cream. Beat eggs with mixer on low speed until combined. Stir in the orange peel and pour into your prepared dish. Cover tightly with foil.

Pour warm water into a three ½ to 5 quart slow cooker. Using the ends of the foil strips, place the dish in the Crockpot leaving the foil strips underneath the dish.


Cover and cook on high for about 2 ½ hours or until the center is set. Using your foil strips remove the dish from the Crockpot. Discard strips and cool uncovered on a wire rack. Once it has cooled chill for 4 to 24 hours. Before serving, garnish with crystallized ginger and orange slices. 

Abundantly Zucchini


Zucchini is a very easy vegetable to grow. All you need is some good soil, sunlight, seeds and water, but what happens when your zucchini crop yields more veggies than you had anticipated? Luckily, there are plenty of breads, vegetable cakes, and savory dishes that you can prepare with your abundant zucchini.

Zucchini can be eaten raw as well as cooked.  Nutritionally Zucchini is low in Saturated Fat and Sodium, and very low in Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Protein, Vitamin A, Thiamin, Niacin, Phosphorus and Copper, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Magnesium, Potassium and Manganese.

Versatility

Zucchini is one of the most versatile vegetables with dozens of recipes that show just how tasty it can be.

Fresh zucchini is wonderful in salads. Try shaving fresh zucchini and tossing it with pine nuts, olive oil, basil, fresh lemon juice, and shaved parmesan cheese. This simple salad is sure to please even the fussiest eaters. Tomato and zucchini salad is scrumptious. Make a vinaigrette using balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic, tarragon, fresh parsley, salt, pepper, and a dash of hot sauce, and you have another hit on your hands.

Meatless Mondays are perfect for Zucchini recipes. Try a zucchini and summer squash with herb tortellini recipe, or go for a side dish of fried zucchini. Make Stuffed Zucchini Boats or one of my favorites grilled zucchini
.


Marinated Grilled Zucchini
Yield:  4 servings
Ingredients
1 tablespoons pomegranate balsamic  vinegar
1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon fresh oregano
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound zucchini (about 3 large), trimmed and sliced lengthwise about 1/4-inch thick

Preparation:
Whisk the vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, oregano and thyme in a large bowl to blend. Season with salt and pepper. Gradually whisk in the oil. Spoon 3 tablespoons of the marinade into a small bowl. Cover and set aside. Add the zucchini to the remaining marinade in the large bowl and toss to coat. Transfer the mixture to a 13 by 9 by 2-inch glass baking dish. Cover and marinate at room temperature at least 3 hours or cover and refrigerate up to 1 day.

Prepare the barbecue for medium-high heat. Grill the vegetables until they are crisp-tender and brown, turning occasionally, about 8 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a platter. Drizzle with the reserved marinade and serve hot or at room temperature.


Of course, zucchini bread is a classic. Use it on its own, or add dried or fresh cranberries for something deliciously different. Switch it up and make muffins with zucchini and chocolate chips. Zucchini cookies with lemon frosting may not sound appetizing, but give them a chance, your kids will love you for it. 

You can also pickle and can your zucchini, cut it into chunks and use it for chutney, relish, or salsa.  


Zuccini Dill Pickles
                         Zucchini Salsa                      

          Zucchini Dill Pickles                                Zucchini Salsa                                   
  
     zucchini relish                       Zucchini Butter
     Zucchini Relish                             Zucchini Butter

Handling


Zucchini is a delicate vegetable and should be handled with loving care as it can bruise easily. Usually picked when it is 6” long, it is best to keep your zucchini at room temperature. Never store in a refrigerator. Just like cucumbers, your fridge is not the best environment for zucchini. If you do have to store it in your refrigerator, keep it in the crisper drawer in a sealed plastic bag for no longer than five days. Do not wash until ready to use.

If you run out of idea’s you can always give your zucchini to the neighbors or freeze it. Slice, and boil for about three minutes. After boiling it, submerge into a bowl of icy cold water for an additional five minutes. Place in freezer bags and store for up to fourteen months. Just remember to cook after thawing.

If you plan on growing zucchini next year, don’t forget to allow one vegetable to get to full size so that you can harvest the seeds.

What's your favorite Zucchini Recipe?

photo credit: Another Pint Please... via photopin cc

The Most Popular Mexican Dried Chiles

The Most Popular Mexican Dried Chiles

Those dried up and wrinkled Chiles that you see wrapped in plastic bags at your local supermarket really do have a purpose. Although they might not look like much at first, they have an abundance of uses.

Ancho is the most common dried chili used in Mexico. This chili is actually called a Poblano when ripe.  Ancho means wide and the best Mexican Dried Chiles of this variety have a brown or reddish wrinkled skin that is still shiny. Ranging from mild to hot, Ancho’s are usually lightly toasted and then soaked before being ground to a powder for sauces. 

Cascabels are small and round with a reddish and brown skin. The name literally means rattlesnake because of its heat and the sound the small chili makes when you shake it. When toasted the flavor is quite rich and earthy. Casacabels work well in table sauces or cooked sauces made with tomatillos or tomatoes.

Chilpotle is actually a jalapeno chili that has been ripened and then dried with smoke. These small Mexican Dried Chiles have a tough skin almost like leather that is light brown and covered in a gold web. Chipotle Chiles are very hot with a fruity and smoky flavor. In Mexico Chipotle is used in broths and for canning. One of the most popular Mexican Dried Chiles in the US, it is used in everything from breads, salads, soups, sauces and salsas.

Dearbol is a fresh bright green chili that when ripe turns a bright red. When carefully dried, the Dearbol will retain its vibrant color. Long and skinny the Dearbol chili has smooth skin and is frighteningly hot. The most common way to use the Dearbol is to lightly toast and ground to a powder. This Mexican Dried Chile can also be added to refried beans and other Mexican favorites like burritos.


Guajillo is another popular Mexican Dried Chile that has a tough, smooth, and dark red skin. Long and narrow it can be mildly hot to hot. The sharp flavor lends itself well to table sauces and seasoning pastes when ground into a powder. If using Guajillo remember to strain thoroughly to remove the tougher bits from the skin.

Mulato is rarely used fresh unlike some of the other Chiles. One of the more expensive Mexican Dried Chiles, it is very similar to Poblano, but is darker and shinier. The taste is sweet and could be compared to chocolate. Ranging from mild to hot, they are about 5” long. Mulato is usually toasted or soaked before being ground into a powder. Popular uses include mole.

Pasilla is called chilac when it has ripened and been dried. It has a rich and sharp flavor and is black and shiny with vertical ridges and a wrinkled surface. Toasted or soaked, this Mexican Dried Chile is wonderful when blended with table and cooked sauces. It also makes a good sauce for seafood.


Seco Del Norte is actually a dried Anaheim chili. This 5” long Mexican Dried Chile has a full top and tapers to a pointed end. Smooth with a matte finish, this burgundy colored Mexican Dried Chile has a light acidic and sharp flavor ranging from very mild to hot. The Seco Del Norte is used in asados, carne con chili, chilaquiles, and enchiladas. 



photo credit: Emily Barney via photopin cc photo credit: Sean Garrett via photopin cc photo credit: Mr. T in DC via photopin cc

Marvelous Marinades

Marinades

'Marinade' photo (c) 2011, Naotake Murayama - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
Types and Purpose

There are two purposes for marinades. One is for tenderizing, while the other is for flavor enhancement. You can prepare dry, paste or liquid marinades.

Marinades that are acid based will tenderize and add flavor to all types of food, not just seafood and meat. Acids from citrus fruits, yogurt, pineapple, wine, and buttermilk will tenderize your food by unwinding the strings in your protein. This also adds flavor. Marinades that contain oils will penetrate deeper and more quickly into your foods. Extra-virgin olive oil makes a wonderful base for dozens of marinade recipes.  

To enhance the flavor, cooks use rubs or dry marinades. Although some rubs may be beneficial for tenderizing, the main reason for dry marinades and rubs is for flavor enhancement. The dry marinades can be mixed with oil, which is rubbed into the seafood, poultry, or meat. Most dry rubs are used when broiling, pan-frying, or barbecuing.

Flat cuts of meat work best for tenderizing marinades. Larger roasts will only be penetrated so far, leaving you with a tough center, and a mushy exterior. Even if you puncture the meat for penetration, you will get an uneven result. When marinating for tenderizing, place your meat in a large, heavy zip-lock bag. Squeeze out the air, and turn often. 

When marinating with acidic or enzymatic ingredients, made sure that you use glass, stainless steel or ceramic as aluminum will cause a chemical reaction leaving a discoloration. The marinade could also damage your aluminum container.

Average Marinating Time

The longer you leave your food in the marinade, the more flavors it will have. With that being said, marinating time will depend on the size of your ingredients and the marinade that you use.
'Spiedie marinade' photo (c) 2011, whatleydude - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
As a general guide, marinate beef, pork and lamb for two to four hours, whole roasts four to six hours or overnight. Poultry fillets, wings, drumsticks and cutlets two to four hours, and a whole chicken four to six hours or overnight. Seafood like squid, octopus, and prawns should be marinated for one to two hours, while whole fish, fillets, and steak take two to four hours. Never marinade for more than two or four days, as your marinade will not destroy bacteria. As a rule of thumb only marinate for as long as the meat would remain fresh without marinating in your refrigerator. 
'lamb marinading' photo (c) 2009, mjtmail (tiggy) - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/


Safety in handling proteins and marinades

If you are marinating fish, be sure and discard the marinade after use as it contains the raw juice from the fish. Never reuse marinade as it could be contaminated. If you do want to reuse your marinade, make sure that you boil it for at least five minutes before you use it again.  

Never baste meat or vegetables on the grill with the marinade or raw juice as it could be contaminated.
 
Before you add your food to the marinade, wash your hands with soap and water.

Marinade Recipes

14 Marinades and Rubs





Avocados Really Good For You!

Avocados Really Are Good For You

In the US alone, there are over 400 different types of avocados with Hass being the most popular. Technically a fruit, the naturally buttery and rich flavor comes from their good fat content. High in fiber and containing more potassium than banana’s, avocados have more protein than any other fruit. California accounts for 90% of the avocados that are grown in America.

Beyond Guacamole and BLTA’s

Avocados are delicious and good for you, but they are not just for BLTA’s and guacamole. Use them on sandwiches as a replacement for mayonnaise, or spread on crackers.

Chilled Avocado Soup
Try Chilled Avocado Soup with Yogurt and Melon for a delicious alternative. This easy to prepare recipe is the perfect cool down for hot summer days.

Avocado Red Onion Salad
Avocado and Red Onion Salad is another simple recipe that you can whip up in minutes. Just slice your onions and avocado’s, add some olive oil, red wine vinegar and a dash of salt and pepper.

Roasted Beet and Avocado Salad is another unique way to prepare this delicious and healthy fruit. Once beets are roasted, they take on an earthy almost sweet flavor that pairs wonderfully with avocados.
 
Most folks pair fresh avocados with lime and cilantro, but when blended with honeydew and lime zest, they take on an entirely different flavor. Prepare an avocado and honey dew salsa with olive oil and red wine vinegar, and pour over lightly grilled scallops.

Medicinal
Of course, there are hundreds of ways to prepare avocados, but they are also good for what ails you.
If you eat avocados, you could prevent oral cancer cells from growing. Research shows that there are compounds in the avocados that could seek out and destroy cancer cells without harming the healthy cells.
Avocados are high in oleic acid, and like olive oil have been proven as a defense against breast cancer.
Because avocados contain high levels of beta- sitosterol, they can help lower cholesterol. In fact, in a recent study, volunteers lowered their cholesterol by up to 17% after one week of eating avocados.
The amount of folate in avocados can help prevent against stroke and heart disease. Avocados also contain high levels of glutathione, monounsaturated fats, and vitamin E, which is good for a healthy heart.

Beauty
Avocado Mask
Eating avocados is great for your body, but this wonderful fruit also makes an amazing skin mask. Just mash an avocado, add some honey, yogurt, and cucumber slices to place over your eyes, leave on until dry, rinse, and your skin will have a youthful glow.
If your tresses are dry and brittle, try preparing an avocado hair mask. All you need is honey, olive oil, and of course avocado. Leave on your hair for 20 minutes and shampoo as usual.

Fresh Corn

Fresh Corn

 There is nothing better than biting into a fresh ear of corn. One of the most popular vegetables in the world, corn can be prepared in a multitude of different ways.

Organic VS Genetically Modified

Fresh corn has been in the news quite a bit lately, with people outraged about farmers using
genetically modified techniques to grow corn. Those against genetically modified corn say that there is no proof GMO’s are safe because of the amount of chemicals needed to grow GMO’s. In fact, most countries have banned their use.

Organic corn is grown without chemicals in and is full of vitamins, minerals, and vital nutrients. Organic corn is usually more expensive than corn that has been grown with GMO’s.

Where is it Grown?

The US is the world’s largest producer growing over 35% of the planets corn. The Corn Belt consists of Minnesota, Michigan, South Dakota, Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska. China is the second largest producer of corn. Other countries that grow the crops include Africa, Mexico, France, Brazil, Argentina, and Romania.

Selecting Corn

Sweet ripe corn has moist husks that are bright green. When choosing corn, look for dark, stiff, and moist silk. When you press gently on the husk, you should feel the kernels.

After you buy your corn, keep it cool and moist. When you get home from the market, refrigerate it immediately. Corn loses about 25% of its sugar after it has been picked. Cook your fresh corn as soon as possible in order to retain its natural sugars.

Cooking Time

If you are boiling your corn, use a pot that is large enough to hold the corn. Fill with water, cover, and bring to a boil. Add your corn and continue to boil for three or four minutes, covered or not covered.  You can also boil your corn with the husk on. Once your water starts to boil, turn the heat off and put your corn in the water, cover and leave until ready to serve.

Grilling corn is prepared by pulling the husk back and leaving it attached at the cobs base. Before you do this, soak the ears for 15 minutes. Discard the silk. Add butter by patting the corn dry, rubbing with softened butter, and pulling the husks back up. Grill for 15 minutes.

Microwaving your corn is best for one or two ears of corn. After you husk and discard the silk, rinse and loosely wrap with paper towels. Microwave on high for one or two minutes.

If you want to bake your corn, preheat at 375°. Prepare as you would for grilling, but place ears in a single layer directly on the oven rack or in a baking pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. 

What's your favorite method for preparing fresh corn?


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May Is Mediterranean Diet Month


The fourth annual Mediterranean Diet kicks off in May and is a great way to get started on a healthy eating plan. The month long celebration started four years ago by the Oldways Preservation Trust. This non-profit organization helped create the popular Mediterranean Diet
Pyramid in the early 1990’s.

History
The Mediterranean diet has been around for hundreds of years and was originally enjoyed by people from the South Mediterranean region, particularly Crete and Southern Italy. More of an eating style than a diet, it become popular in the early 1990’s. The Mediterranean diet is based on whole foods, which include vegetables, fruit, fish, whole grains, olive oil, and red wine. 

During the early 1960’s, researchers began to notice that those who lived in the region has lower incidences of heart disease, diabetes and cancer. During that time, people who lived in the Mediterranean region had the longest life expectancy on the globe. 

Most of the food from the region comes for the ocean with the majority of fats coming from the abundant olives that are grown during the mild winters and hot summers. Because most people worked the fields, there was a lower rate of obesity. Those who lived in the region ate a diet that was rich in vegetables like eggplants and potatoes. Another important part of the diet was, and still is, red wine.

What Foods to Include

                                   

The Mediterranean diet recommends that you eat seven to ten servings of vegetables and fruit every day. You should also include nuts, whole grains, and legumes in your food intake. 60% of the calories that are consumed on a daily basis with the Mediterranean diet come from foods that are plant based. Fish and poultry should be eaten once a week, while other meats should only be enjoyed twice a month.


According to the Mediterranean diet it is not how much fat you consume, but what type of fat you eat. There are no hydrogenated oils or saturated fats in the diet as these contain dangerous Trans fats, which have been proven to contribute to heart disease. Olive oil is the main source of fat in the Mediterranean Diet, but you are also encouraged to get your fat from seeds, fatty fish like trout, salmon, mackerel and herring and nuts.  



Wine is a big part of the Mediterranean diet. Men are allowed to consume 10 ounces of red wine each day, while women are encouraged to drink five ounces in the same time period. 


Health Affects
In a study conducted in 2003, 22,000 participants started the Mediterranean Diet and noticed an overall reduction of deaths. Scientists conducting the study believe that the lack of saturated fats reduced coronary artery disease and high blood pressure. Because of the high amounts of fresh produce that were eaten, there was an abundance of antioxidants, which are known to fight cancer. 

When Life Gives You Lemons Grab the Tequila

Cinco de Mayo is the Mexican holiday that is celebrated by millions of people all over the globe, and if you want to get in on the action May 5, there are plenty of ways that you can put that bottle of Tequila to good use.

Tequila has some amazing medicinal properties, and not that you would want to waste it on the kitchen sink, also makes a wonderful cleaner. Surprisingly enough, tequila can also be used to make synthetic diamonds. Other uses include cold and flu remedies. Try taking a shot of tequila before you go to bed for a deeper more relaxing sleep. Tequila is a great anesthetic and can be used for sore throats, toothaches, and earaches. 

Great chefs and cooks know how tequila can enhance the flavor of food. Use it instead of wine in your favorite sauces, or marinate a couple of pork chops with a good bottle of tequila, and don’t forget the all-important cocktail. This year instead of a traditional margarita, try something different.

Tequila Grapefruit Cocktail         
Ingredients:
  • 1-ounce white tequila
  • 1-ounce orange tequila
  • Fresh grapefruit juice
  • Club soda
Directions:
Pour the orange and white tequila over ice. Fill the rest of a tall glass with grapefruit juice. Finish with a splash of club soda. Garnish with lime and lemon and enjoy.

Then pair your tequila grapefruit cocktail with delicious hard or soft-shelled tacos. 

All you have to do is prepare your taco’s the way you normally would, but instead of using ground beef, try marinating a flank or skirt steak in tequila for a few hours or overnight. Grill and fill your tortillas with your favorite toppings like cheese, diced onions, salsa, lettuce, avocados  tomatoes and sour cream and you've got a Cinco De Mayo feast that will impress all of your party goers.  

Tequila Marinade

Ingredients
  • 8 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 bunch roughly chopped fresh cilantro, leaves and stems
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced small
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 6 large limes juiced 
  • 1/2 cup Tequila
  • 1/4 cup Tamari (wheat free soy sauce)
  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds flank steak , pork or chicken
Preparation Method:

Combine the above ingredients in a resealable plastic gallon bag. Add the steak and let marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Remove from the refrigerator, and let marinate at room temperature another 30 to 45 minutes before grilling.

Are you are celebrating Cinco de Mayo, what Mexican foods or drink will be on your menu? 


photo credit: Serge Melki via photopin cc   photo credit: chrisjara via photopin cc

Composting Kitchen Waste with Worms

Composting Kitchen Waste with Worms
If you are not composting then this is a great time to begin recyling food waste!
Compost is an organic matter that is recycled and decomposed as a soil amendment or fertilizer. It usually takes a few weeks or a couple of months for the materials to break down into fertilizer. Used in gardens, composting is a wonderful way to add nutrients to your vegetable, flower or herb garden. Composting is great for the environment and the health of your family.
Start composting in Kitchen and or Small Backyard with Worms
Worms can turn your kitchen scraps into great compost for your garden. It’s easy to make your own worm composting with simple items that you can buy from your local garden center or nursery.
Getting Started
To get started on your Kitchen and Small Backyard with Worms bin you will need to build your own worm bin. You can find them online, at your local home improvement store, or make your own out of a plastic tub. Making your own worm bin is quite simple and much more cost effective. All you need to do is:
  1. Buy a large plastic tub with a lid that is tightly fitted
  2. Using a small drill or ice pick make air holes in the sides of your bin
  3. Drill or poke holes in the bottom of your plastic bin for drainage
  4. Add kitchen scraps, shredded newspaper, sawdust, or corrugated cardboard
  5. Moisten with water and fill the container to the top
  6. Add additional bedding if the container is too wet or cover with food waste
  7. Add Red Wriggler Worms as night crawlers and earthworms do not eat kitchen waste
Maintenance
Worms like to live in temperatures ranging between 59° and 77°. Keep indoors during hot summers and cold winters.
Add kitchen waste like fruit and vegetable remains, tea and coffee grounds and filters, cereals, grains and moldy bread. Cut your scraps into small pieces for faster composting and easier digestion. Do not feed your worms dairy products, fats, meat, pet waste or non-biodegradable materials.
Rotate the food distribution as it speeds up the process. Harvest your compost in 30 to 60 days and remove the finished castings as too many could be toxic to your worms. It’s also important to change the bedding when you harvest. You can do this by pushing the castings to one side and putting new bedding and food scraps on the empty side. This way your worms will move to the new bedding and food scraps. You can also pile the compost and place it in the sun. Your worms don’t like sunlight and will quickly move just under the surface allowing you to scrape off the top layer. Repeat until you have mostly worms that can be returned to your worm bed.
Are you ready to get started composting today?


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