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Sep 14, 2009

How to Keep Your Kitchen Clean and Safe

Remove unnecessary clutter from surfaces.

Discard appliances and gadgets you don't use any more.

Be sure that any appliances are still fully maintained and stored in a safe storage that is out of reach of children.

Keep your fridge clean and tidy.

Before your do your weekly shopping, remove old and rotten food and clean shelves and racks.

Look at expiration dates and be sure to label any containers of homemade food or leftovers.

Use a bin with a lid to keep odors out that attracts flies and other insects.

Empty it as soon as it smells, even if its not full.

Wash and disinfect your bin once a week.

This will ensure that any germs will die and cannot multiply.

Never use only one chopping board.

Make sure that you use one chopping board for meat and one for vegetables.

Change the dishcloth you wipe surfaces with every day.

Use a different cloth for surfaces than for dishes.

Launder the cloth with hot water and, as appropriate, bleach.

Use a separate towels for hands and dishes, and change both of those regularly, too.

Use a paper towel for any mess that is particularly likely to cause contamination, such as raw meat or eggs, and anything that has fallen on the floor.

Keep kitchen floors free from debris and grease by sweeping and washing regularly.

Don't leave dirty crockery and pans to fester where they can attract harmful bacteria.

Wash dishes with hot water and soap as soon as you're done with dishes.
Wash surfaces that get touched.

Periodically wipe doorknobs, handles, buttons and controls, and light switches in and around your kitchen.

Wash your hands before handling food and again if you sneeze or cough, blow your nose, go to the bathroom, or touch high-use surfaces.

MARINARA SAUCES

PENNE PASTA W/MEATY MARINARA
SAUCE


1 lb. ground sirloin steak
1 whole green bell pepper, chopped
1 lb. (10 oz) jar of chunky Ragu (tomato,garlic,&onion) marinara sauce
1 packet of Sazon Goya
1 (5 oz) jar of green olives, drained
1 lb. Barilla penne pasta

Start by boiling a pot of water, add penne pasta and cook as directed or until desired tenderness (don't add salt).
Meanwhile, put the ground sirloin in a frying pan (on medium high heat) and cook until done. Add the bell peppers cook 1-2 minutes. Add the marinara sauce, Sazon Goya and the green olives (heat to a boil).

Cover frying pan and reduce heat. Simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Once the pasta is cooked, drain well and place pasta in a large bowl. Top with meat marinara sauce.

Serves 4-6


ABBRUZZE MARINARA SAUCE

1 (35 oz.) can imported Italian whole tomatoes
4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1/2 flat chopped parsley
1 tbsp. dried basil or 1/2 c. fresh chopped
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 c. olive oil
1/2 c. chopped onion

Heat oil; add garlic, cooked until garlic turns almond color - do not burn. Add onions, basil, parsley, pepper flakes. Stir and cook for 1 minute. Add tomatoes and liquid. Break up tomatoes with fork. Cook over medium heat for 1 hour. Add more parsley just before serving. This is a basic marinara sauce.
For variations add: 1 lb. fresh cleaned mussels, steamed 1 lb. chopped clams for Italian clam sauce or 1 c. sliced pepperoni for Sausage sauce.



HALIBUT & MARINARA SAUCE

5 ounce halibut dusted in flour. Dip in eggwash; pat with Italian seasoned bread crumbs. Pan fry halibut then bake for 5 minutes. Serve with 4 ounce pasta topped with Marinara Sauce.

MARINARA SAUCE:

1 diced Bermuda onion
3 oz. fresh basil
2 oz. diced capers
2 oz. anchovies (diced fine)
4 oz. chopped parsley
4 oz. crushed garlic
Olive oil
White wine
16 oz. diced tomatoes
8 oz. tomato sauce
1 chicken bouillon cube
1 tsp. sugar


RICOTTA BALLS AND MARINARA SAUCE

1 lb. or 15 oz. container ricotta
3/4 c. grated romano cheese
1/4 c. Italian bread crumbs
1 egg
1 qt. marinara sauce
1 lb. freshly cooked spaghetti

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Refrigerate several hours. Heat Marinara Sauce in 10 inch Dutch oven or wide pot. When simmering, form 9 balls from ricotta mixture and drop gently into sauce. After 10 minutes, turn balls with spoon. Cook 10 more minutes. Meanwhile cook spaghetti. Remove balls from pan, put sauce on spaghetti and serve ricotta ball on the side.


TOASTED MOZZARELLA SANDWICHES WITH
MARINARA SAUCE
Vegetable cooking spray
1/4 c. chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tsp. minced fresh parsley
1/4 tsp. dried whole oregano
1/4 tsp. dried whole thyme
1/8 tsp. salt
Dash of freshly ground pepper
1/2 of 14 1/2 oz. can no-salt added whole tomatoes, undrained and chopped
1/4 c. Burgundy or other dry red wine
1/4 c. water
1 1/2 tbsp. no-salt added tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1/2 c. frozen-egg substitute, thawed
1/2 c. skim milk
8 (1 oz.) slices part-skim Mozzarella cheese
16 (1/2 oz.) slices French bread
3/4 c. finely crushed shredded wheat biscuits

Coat a small saucepan with cooking spray; place over medium high heat until hot. Add onion and garlic; saute until tender. Add parsley and next 4 ingredients; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add tomato, wine, water, tomato paste and bay leaf, stirring to combine. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 20-30 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring frequently. Remove and discard bay leaf. Set aside.
Combine egg substitute and milk in a shallow bowl, beating well; set aside. Place 1 cheese slice on each of 8 bread slices; top with remaining bred slices.

Carefully dip sandwiches into egg-milk mixture, allowing excess to drip off. Sprinkle sandwich with crushed cereal. Place sandwiches on a large baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400 degrees for 3 minutes. Turn sandwiches and bake additional 4-6 minutes or until crisp and golden. Serve immediately with warm marinara sauce.

EAZY SNACKERS

TUNA SPREAD

1 can (7 oz.) tuna, drained and broken into pieces
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
3 tablespoons chopped pimiento-stuffed olives
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon leaf thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons (1/2 envelope) unflavored gelatin
1 cup dairy sour cream
Bread
Sliced pimiento-stuffed olives

In a small bowl combine tuna, celery, olives, mustard and thyme. Sprinkle gelatin over sour cream and gently fold into sour cream; fold into tuna mixture. Cover and chill at least 1 hour before serving.
Serve on toasted bread. Garnish with olive slices.


BEST MACARONI AND CHEESE

2 c. (8 ounces) elbow macaroni
1 stick butter
1/4 cup minced onions
3 tbsp. flour
2 c. of milk or light cream
1/2 c. dry white wine (or water)
2 c. grated sharp cheddar (1/2 pound)
1/2 cup bread crumbs (topping)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Cayenne to taste 1/2 tsp. paprika

Bring 4 qt. salted water to a rapid boil and cook the macaroni until not quite tender. Drain macaroni and set aside.
In saute pan, melt 1/2 the stick of butter (or 4 tablespoons). When melted, stir in the breadcrumbs and toast just until lightly browned. Remove breadcrumbs from pan and set aside. Wipe pan clean with paper towel and re-use for next step. Breadcrumb topping: Melt remaining butter, add onions, and stir over low heat until onions are just translucent, but not browned. Stir in the flour and seasonings. Continue to cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Add the wine, then gradually stir in the milk or cream.

Simmer over low heat, stirring constantly until the sauce is thickened and smooth. Add cheese and continue stirring until the cheese melts.

Combine the macaroni with the cheese sauce. Turn out into a generously buttered casserole dish (approximately 1 1/2 quarts). If you have any extra grated cheese, you can sprinkle this on top along with the 1/2 cup of buttered, toasted bread crumbs.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for approximately 20 minutes or until heated all the way through and golden brown on top.

CHEESY BROCCOLI - CAULIFLOWER
CASSEROLE

1 lg. bunch broccoli
1 head cauliflower
1 onion, chopped fine
1 1/2 c. cold water
3/4 c. uncooked rice
1 (16 oz.) jar Cheez Whiz
1 can water chestnuts, drained
1 can cream of celery soup

Wash and steam broccoli and cauliflower until slightly crunchy. When cool, chop into bite-sized pieces. Cook rice in the 1 1/2 cups cold water; add chopped onions to rice as it is cooking.
Place broccoli-cauliflower mixture and rice mixture together in a large casserole dish. Add water chestnuts, soup, and Cheez Whiz; mix well. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Best when made a day ahead. Serves 10-12.

DRESSING'S FOR SALAD

FLUFFY FRUIT SALAD DRESSING

2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup orange juice
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
2 cups dairy sour cream

In saucepan mix together eggs, sugar and orange juice. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened; blend in lemon juice and orange rind. Cool. Gently fold in sour cream. Cover and chill; serve over fruit salads.
Makes about 3 cups.




CAESAR SALAD DRESSING

1 cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp Worcestershire
1 clove of garlic (minced)
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/2 c Parmesean cheese
1 tbsp of milk or half and half

Mix all ingredients together and shake or whisk until well blended.


OLIVE SALAD DRESSING

1/2 cup green or black olives, pitted, chopped
1 cup oil packed black olives, pitted, chopped
3-4 sweet cherry peppers or pepperoncini, seeded, chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 anchovies, crushed (optional)
3/4 cup red onions, sliced
1/4 cup roasted pimientos, chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon each oregano and basil, chopped (fresh is best!)
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Combine all ingredients. Refrigerate in a covered container overnight before using.
Use with Spring Mix or Asian salad greens with Frisee and radicchio, sliced pickling cucumbers and wedged fresh ripe garden tomatoes; or use as a drizzle in Italian subs or Muffalatta sandwiches. Serve with slivers of Parmigiano or Provolone cheese.

Variation: Add 1 can Genova Tonno. Use Italian-style dark tuna, packed in olive oil instead of tuna packed in water. It has more body and texture and doesn't fall apart as easily in vegetable salads. (Note: when you plan to use tuna, eliminate the anchovies). Serve in Syrian bread (Pita Pockets). If an outdoor or panini grill is available, spray pockets with a drop of olive oil and toast until grill marks appear before filling.

Variation 2: For parties and special occasions, serve as a dressing for Antipasto, with rolled up slices of Genoa Salami, Mortadella and Hot Capicola (hot ham), 1X3" slivers of Italian cheeses, roasted pimientos in oil, pickled mushrooms and other treats, all arranged in a decorative spiral on a festive tray with a dip bowl (of olive salad dressing) in the center for serving.

Variation 3: Roughly tear leaves of Romaine or Escarole hearts; coarsely chop (or slice into rings if you have time) 1/2 lb. of shooters (small cherry peppers stuffed with fresh mozzarella cheese and cold cuts). Add sliced red onions, whole black pitted olives and toss with olive salad dressing. (Add tuna here, too, if you like.)

Variation 4: Coarsely chop ripe tomatoes with fresh basil and shredded Parmigiano cheese. Spoon onto crusty Italian bread halves rubbed with crushed garlic cloves and drizzled with olive salad dressing: a variation on Bruschetta! Place under broiler for a few moments, if desired.


HOT BACON SALAD DRESSING

10 slices smoked lean bacon
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon prepared horseradish
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
10 green onions, chopped
1 egg yolk, boiled and grated
salt and pepper, to taste (optional)

In a skillet, saute bacon until crisp; crumble into pan. Drain, reserving a tablespoon of bacon drippings. Add sugar, vinegar, horseradish and pepper.
Chop green onions (use the green tops as well as the white portions). Saute for 1 minute.

Pour immediately over baby lettuce or potatoes. Note: Be sure lettuce or potatoes are dry so they are better able to absorb the dressing.

Season, if desired, with salt and pepper. Serve hot.

CUSTARD FILLING FOR DESSERTS

VANILLA CUSTARD FILLING FOR CREAM
PUFFS

2/3 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 tbsp. cornstarch
1 tbsp. flour
1 tsp. vanilla
3 egg yolks, beaten
3 c. milk

Mix in saucepan sugar, salt, cornstarch, and flour. Stir in gradually 3 cups milk. Cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Remove from heat. Slowly add 1/3 of the mixture and blend into the egg yolks. Then add back to rest of mixture. Cook 1 more minute over heat. Remove and add vanilla. Refrigerate after cooling down. This can now be spooned into Cream Puffs.


VANILLA/CHOCOLATE CUSTARD FILLING FOR

CREAM PUFFS

1 recipe basic cream puffs
2 1/2 c. milk
5 egg yolks
3/4 c. sugar
2/3 c. sifted all purpose flour
2 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. vanilla

Prepare basic cream puff recipe as above. Let cool. Heat milk in large heavy saucepan until bubbles appear around edge. Beat egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl with wire whisk or mixer until pale yellow and thick. Beat in flour until well mixed. Gradually beat in hot milk; pour all back into saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly, over moderately high heat until mixture thickens and comes to boiling, lower heat. Mixture will be lumpy in the beginning, but lumps disappear during cooking and stirring. Continue cooking 2 to 3 minutes, over low heat, stirring constantly. Mixture will be quite thick. Remove from heat. Stir in butter and vanilla. Place a piece of wax paper directly on surface of filling to prevent skin from forming. Chill at least 2 hours. If filling becomes too stiff after it's chilled, gradually stir in 2 to 4 tablespoons cream or milk, 1 tablespoon at a time. To make chocolate filling following the directions for Vanilla Custard Filling, adding 3 squares unsweetened chocolate to milk in step 1, stirring until melted. Continue with rest of recipe. Fill puffs just before serving.


GRANDMA NORMA'S CUSTARD PIE FILLING

4 eggs, beaten
2/3 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
2 2/3 c. scalding hot milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix in order given and pour into unbaked crust. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce to 350 degrees for 10 more minutes. Test for doneness with table knife - should come out clean when done.

THE NIBBLE FOOD TIP OF THE DAY


Food tips cover many areas.

Some ideas:
Quick gourmet dishes
Interesting seasonings
Garnishing and presentation
Entertaining ideas
Party foods off the beaten track


Holiday-specific ideas
Kids’ gourmet
Shopping tips
Quick recipes or techniques you
developed
Wine, beer and food matches





Content is added daily—check back to see what’s new.Our Table of Contents begins with favorite articles from our archives that celebrate the month’s food holidays or special events. The current month’s articles follow; projected publication dates are provided. Foods that are kosher [K], organic [O], sugar free [SF], etc. are coded. See the full list of codes at the bottom of this Table of Contents.


Celebrate National Honey Month

History Of Honey
Organic Honey & Raw
Honey
Pairing Honey With Foods
& Beverages
Types Of Honey
Savannah Bee Company
Gourmet Honey [K][TP]
Celebrate National Mushroom Month

All About Morels
Geo. Watkins Mushroom
Ketchup
Mushroom Glossary:
Types Of Mushrooms
Umami & Mushrooms

Celebrate National Potato Month
Difference Between Sweet
Potatoes & Yams
History Of The Potato Chip
Linda’s Gourmet Latkes
North Fork Sweet Potato
Chips [TP]
Celebrate National Rice Month

All About Organic Rice
Rice Cooking Chart
Rice Glossary
RiceSelect Organic
Brown Rice Mixes [K][O]

Cornucopia Of Specialty Foods

Gnocchi Tips & Recipe
Hummos Roundup
[K][GF][V] [9/15]
Sandwich Glossary:
Types Of Sandwiches
Sandwich History
Saratoga Chips [9/14]
Sheboygan Bratwurst
[9/25]
Waffle History, Glossary
& Recipe Ideas
Find more than 1000 articles and reviews in prior months’ issues and newsletter archives (top picks of the week).
Top Picks Of The Week

Alo Aloe Vera Drinks
Golden Star Tea [9/15]
Olympic Granola Bars
[WF]
Original Field Roast Grain
Meat Co. [9/22]
Top Pick Condiments [9/29]
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*Of the thousands of specialty foods we taste each year, these 52 weekly recommendations are our favorites for both home use and gift-giving. Don’t miss them!

Special Sweets

Comfort Crunch [9/14]
Granola Bar Roundup [9/15]
Otis & Betty’s Snacks [9/20]
Parker’s Crazy Cookies [9/10]
Sonoma Crisps [9/20]

Drink Up

O Water [9/20]
Evolve Kefir [9/20]
Fruit2O [9/15]
See This Month’s
Cocktail Recipes In The
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BAKED CRAB RANGOON

Baked Crab Rangoon
Ingredients
1 can (6 ounce) white crabmeat, drained and flaked
4 ounces Neufchatel Cheese, softened
¼ cup thinly sliced green onions
¼ cup mayonnaise
12 won ton wrappers
Directions
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.Mix crabmeat, Neufchatel cheese, onions and mayonnaise.
3.Spray 12 medium muffin cups with cooking spray. Gently place 1 won ton wrapper in each cup, allowing edges of wrappers to extend above sides of cups. Fill evenly with crabmeat mixture.
4.Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until edges are golden brown and filling is heated through.
5.Serve warm. Garnish with chopped green onions, if desired.
For Mini Crab Rangoon: Use 24 won ton wrappers. Gently place 1 won ton wrapper in each of 24 miniature muffin cups sprayed with cooking spray. Fill evenly with crabmeat mixture and bake as directed. Makes 12 servings—two appetizers per serving

Yields: 12 servings

Variety of Recipes--Easy to Prepare

Five-Cup Salad
Ingredients
1 cup pineapple chunks, drained
1 cup mandarin oranges, drained
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup miniature marshmallows
1 cup sour cream
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
Directions
1.Drain fruits well
2.Mix all ingredients together. Chill several hours or overnight and serve


Apple, Celery, and Walnut Salad
Ingredients
2 Fuji apples, cored and diced
2 ribs celery diced
½ cup coarsely chopped walnuts
⅓ cup golden raisins
2 tablespoons orange juice
Directions
1.Combine first 4 ingredients in a bowl.
2.Sprinkle with orange juice and toss gently until ingredients are evenly coated, and serve.

Yields: 4 Servings


24-hour Coleslaw
Ingredients
1 medium head green cabbage
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 medium green pepper, small dice
½ cup sugar
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 cup vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon dry mustard
Directions
1.Shred cabbage (can use food processor for this, but I don't. I use a chef's knife to do it by hand.) Combine cabbage with onion and green pepper in large bowl.
2.Sprinkle with sugar, and toss to coat all ingredients well.
3.Combine oil, vinegar, salt, celery seed, and dry mustard in small saucepan. Bring to boil, and cook for 3 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat, let cool slightly, then pour over cabbage mixture, tossing well to coat all ingredients.
4.Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight, for serving the next day.

Yields: 8 to 10 Servings



Bagged Pasta Salad
Ingredients
1 cup cooked pasta of your choice
¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese
¼ cup cherry or grape tomatoes
¼ cup shredded carrots
¼ cup corn
¼ cup green beans
2 tablespoons ranch dressing
Directions
1.Place all ingredients except dressing in a large re-sealable plastic bag.
2.Pour dressing into small re-sealable plastic bag.
3.At lunchtime, add dressing to pasta mixture; seal the bag and shake gently to evenly distribute throughout the pasta and vegetables; enjoy!

Yields: 1 Serving


Cajun-Style Rice Salad
Ingredients
2 cups cooked rice
1 cup chopped sweet green pepper
4 ounces cooked shrimp, coarsely chopped, (substitute one 4½-ounce can of shrimp, rinsed and drained, if desired)
½ cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1 hard-boiled egg, finely chopped
2 tablespoons snipped fresh parsley
¼ cup water
¼ cup salad oil
¼ cup vinegar
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
½ teaspoon onion salt
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
6 lettuce leaves
Directions
1.In a mixing bowl, gently stir together the rice, sweet pepper, shrimp, mushrooms, egg and parsley; set aside.
2.For dressing, combine the water, oil, vinegar, paprika, horseradish, onion salt and red pepper in a screw-top jar. Cover tightly with lid and shake well.
3.Pour dressing over rice mixture and toss to coat well.
4.Cover and chill for 4 to 24 hours.
5.Serve on lettuce leaves