I tried this recipe the other night because it was so fast to put together after work and it was great! I have always loved cabbage and I decided to add the Rotel tomatoes to this to give it an awesome little zing. Since the first of this year I really have been watching my carb intake. If you have been too, then this recipe is perfect because it’s low carb. Enjoy… I did!
The season is changing and our cooking patterns are changing too. I know around our house pastas become a weekly item on the menu. You won’t know it from my last name (Walker), but I grew up with an Italian heritage. My mom’s family is from northern Italy in the town of Trieste. Trieste is located on the northern edge of the Adriatic Sea. Parmesan was a staple in our household each and every day, but in the fall and winter my mom amped up the use of this amazing cheese.
Our Cheese of the Month for October is BelGioioso Parmesan. This parmesan is made with fresh milk gathered daily from local Wisconsin farmers. Each wheel is aged in special caves for over 10 months. BelGioioso’s Master Cheesemakers carefully inspect and hand-turn each wheel to ensure a consistent aging process, this expert care develops Parmesan’s sweet, nutty flavor and tantalizing aroma. Its versatile texture lends itself to most dishes. BelGioioso Parmesan has a very clean label. The only ingredients are cultured milk, enzymes and salt, you can’t get any more simple than this!
BelGioioso Parmesan has won many awards including 1st prize at both the World Cheese Awards and the American Cheese Society competition. This cheese pairs well with grapes, walnuts, strawberries, dried figs and red wine.
My mom used BelGioioso in most recipes and she was always proud of the way her meal turned out. I was too and I loved them! Below is a tasty Tomato Parmesan Bisque Soup Recipe that features BelGioioso Parmesan!
Does it ever seem like you have tomatoes coming out of your ears? Each fall, my family pulls in the last of the half-green tomatoes and sets them on the front porch to finish ripening. It never seems like much, until pail after pail is unloaded and eventually we realize we overplanted once again.
Typically, this means we have a wonderful salsa-making session in store, along with making a bunch of spaghetti sauce. The whole family gets involved in the tomato prep process, and it’s great to involve even itsy bitsy children. Our little guy has the very important job of making sure the tomatoes are clean. We give him a couple of big bowls of water, a wooden spoon and some towels. He sticks some tomatoes into one water bowl, dunks them with the spoon, and then transfers them to the next bowl of water to rinse, dunking them again with the spoon before moving them to the towels. We found that one of our twins is naturally persnickety, which makes her a perfect tomato skin peeler. Her twin sister loves getting messy. Her job is to take the skinned tomato, shove her thumbs up inside the walls of it, and scrape the seeds down into the sink.
Last year, our autumn got away from us, so I simply washed those tomatoes, stuck them in zippered freezer bags, and froze them until we had a free weekend later in the year. Sure enough, as they thawed, the skins slid right off, saving us a step of having to par-boil in order to remove the bitter skins.
A few years ago, our neighbors were trading jars of salsa, everyone sampling the others and enjoying the variety of flavors. We discovered that our next door neighbors’ salsa tasted remarkably similar to ours. A comparison of “family” recipes revealed that our recipes were nearly identical – the only difference was that ours included carrots! We all had a good laugh over that and both adjusted our recipe cards to say “Neighborhood Salsa.”
This year, we’re freezing a bunch of tomatoes again for salsas and sauces, but not before pulling out a handful of the reddest cherry tomatoes out for my favorite lunch dish: Tabouli. This fresh meal originates from Lebanon and is very healthy and delicious (it’s sometimes spelled Tabbouleh). It’s full of parsley, tomatoes, onion, herbs, lemon, quinoa and bulgur wheat, which is a rich source of protein, fiber and minerals, and yet is low in calories and fat. I like to serve it in pitas and while it may look pretty earthy, even my meat-loving family enjoys it.
Below are the recipes for my favorite Neighborhood Salsa and Tabouli. Enjoy!
2 Cups Prepared Quinoa/Bulgur Blend (Full Circle brand in the Natural Foods department)
1 Pinch Salt
¼ Cup Olive or Grape Seed Oil
½ tsp. Pepper
¼ Cup Lemon Juice
3 Medium Tomatoes, diced
2 Bunches Green Onions, diced
1 Bunch Fresh Parsley, destemmed and chopped coarsely
2 tsp. Fresh Mint, chopped finely
Combine all ingredients and cover tightly.
Let the mixture marinate in the refrigerator for a couple days.
Serve in pita pockets, in lettuce wraps, or on crackers.
• Invite others to help with plucking the parsley off the stems. The stems are bitter. It’s a tedious process, but the kids are great helpers and it’s an easy way for them to use their fine motor skills. • Some chefs mince the parsley up very finely, but we prefer ours a little heartier. It stays fluffier – more like a salad and less like a dip. • If your tabouli is not flavorful enough, add more salt and more lemon juice. My family prefers the recipe as listed above, but I always set aside some for myself and then I sprinkle a lot more lemon juice over the top of it.
I just love stuffing and usually don’t think about it until Thanksgiving, but here was a great excuse for me to have it early. Mixing the tomatoes with the stuffing was awesome. Such a fast and easy recipe to make when you are in a hurry. Enjoy….I did!
This is one of my all-time favorite recipes! Over the years I have spent a lot of money on Chapstick and lip balms that I end up losing, washing/drying and are all filled with nasty ingredients. I absolutely LOVE this lip balm because, as with all the other recipes I have shared with you, it is inexpensive, so quick and easy to make and works great! Also, I have absolutely no worry with my young kids using it or “accidentally” eating half a tube. Please be aware that using citrus oils such as grapefruit, lemon or orange on your skin prior to exposure to the sun or other ultraviolet light may cause a skin reaction or increased redness.
Click Here (http://goo.gl/Mlhtaz) for the free printable labels and give these as gifts – they make GREAT stocking stuffers!
Check out the awesome recipe and instructions below so you can make these at home yourself!
Let’s make a sculpted cake. No! Don’t run away! It’s easier than you think! I’m going to break it down for you into “beary” little steps and you’ll be serving up a “beary” cute little teddy bear in no time.
Things to gather up:
An 8” round cake and 2 cupcakes.
2 cake spatulas, on big one, one small one. Yes you can get by with just one.
A large round tip (size 8 to 10) , a small round tip (size 2 to 4).
A large grass tip. The bigger the better. Small one is ok too, but it’s going to be more squeezing time for you.
Decorating bags. One for each color.
2 lbs frosting in your main color. 1/2 lb frosting in an accent color. A dollop of black frosting. A smidgen of white (optional, for eyes).
Begin by cutting your 8” round cake in half. Next, cut the top of one cupcake off and then cut the cupcake top in half. These will be your ears. The other cupcake you can simply shave off one side to make a flat base, this will be the snout. Next, take your 8” halves and stick them together like a sandwich with frosting.
Next base ice the cake with your main color. It doesn’t need to look pretty because soon you’ll be covering it in bear fluff.
Attach the cupcakes as shown. I have the flat part of the cupcake tops facing forward. Pro tip! If your cupcakes are soft and your ears seem a bit wobbly, chill them in the freezer to make them easier to ice.
Using the accent color, cover the fronts of the ears and the snout. I used a coupler, no ring or tip, to do this. I was able to get an even layer of frosting on the ears with having to go back and smooth it out.
Grab you little cake spatula and smooth out the icing on the snout. It’s a little tricky being as it’s so “beary” tiny, but just breathe and keep working that frosting over. If you want it smoother you can let the frosting set up and then pat it with your finger to make it a little flatter. Have I mentioned you should be washing your hands?
For the next step we’ll be adding fur with your grass tip. I have my main color bagged up and left 2 dots to remind me where the eyes will go. Start squeezing. Cover up the head with fur.
The ears need fur too. It’s not that hard. There isn’t a base coat of frosting on these (you can, but you’ll be fine without it) so make sure you keep your fur plops nice and close to cover the cake.
You’ve covered the whole thing! “Beary” good! Now for the final finishing touches.
Add in the eyes, nose, and mouth. Eyes are big dots made with a large round tip. For the nose I used the same size 10 tip and made a modified heart shape. With a size 3 or 4 you can draw the line down and a smile to finish off his face. And at this point if you want you can add the little white fleck in the eyes to give him a little sparkle feel free to do so!
And just like that you’ve made a sculpted cake!
Using these steps you can let your creativity take over. You could do a pink bear, or make him not so furry and add stitches for a teddy bear with a sewn look. Or why not go crazy and make the ears pointy and try out a cat!
And you didn’t think you could sculpt a cake without a special pan… When you break it down, it’s “beary” possible!
Coborn’s Cake Decorator
Sartell, MN – Pine Cone Road
I love meatloaf and it is the perfect time of year to serve this when the nights start to get a little cooler and you need that comfort food we all crave. This is so easy to make and takes less than 20 minutes to prep and throw in the oven. Serve with a side of corn or fresh green beans and you have a perfect dinner for the entire family. Enjoy….I did!
Coborn’s Inc. Meat and Seafood Merchandiser
First off I should begin by telling you that I am not a vegan. I am not even a vegetarian. We’re talking full on carnivore over here. So when I was first given this assignment I thought I should beg off and let someone else tackle this subject. But then again I am always up for a challenge. I have several vegan friends and have made more than a few vegan dishes in my life. Plus, I respect the vegan choice.
Within days of being given this assignment three people shared their Vegan Lasagna recipes, along with offers to make them and take pictures. So here I am writing for the challenge and the learning and teaching experience it provides.
Veganism and vegetarianism are different in many ways. Simply put, the vegan follows a more strict diet by choosing only plant-based foods, whereas a vegetarian might be a consumer of some animal-based products. I will attempt to define a vegan for you all—hoping that while it may not be a complete encyclopedic definition, it will at least be a street level accurate one.
Donald and Dorothy Watson coined the term “vegan” in 1944 when they, among others, co-founded the “Vegan Society”. A registered charity, “The Vegan Society” continues to this day to, “advance veganism in a positive and significant way”.
A Harris Interactive telephone survey conducted in 2011 concluded that approximately 5% of the U.S. adult population is vegetarian, and only about half of that 5% are vegans. To celebrate this minuscule population, World Vegan Day is celebrated every year on November 1.
There are different levels of veganism. A dietary vegan chooses to refrain from eating animal products, not just meat, but also all animal derived products such as eggs and milk. An ethical vegan not only abstains from eating animal products but also from the use of animal products in any way, such as leather or wool clothing, animal derived vitamin supplements (like fish oil) & bee products (like beeswax), to name a few. An ethical vegan would also reject the use of products that use animals for testing.
Often a person would choose to be a vegan for health choices, to avoid chronic disease like cancer, heart disease or neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Sometimes the choice is made for them as their own bodies have issues with certain products. This creates problems such as allergies or inflammation. Other times a person may choose to avoid eating animal products because they don’t like the taste. But I think most often the choice is a highly personal and ethical one. As one friend of mine put it, “I would never eat or use anything that is derived from something that has a face.”
All of us eat vegan dishes with most meals and find them quite tasty. Who doesn’t love a baked potato? Or a carrot? Especially when it is fresh from the ground. A vegan simply chooses not to eat all the things that surround these great garden side dishes.
I have never met a vegan whose life isn’t full of strong and educated conviction. Whether their diet is dictated by choice or need, the vegan is a very aware consumer and I have high regard and much respect for the person that lives this lifestyle.
If you are interested in learning more about the vegan lifestyle I would suggest the following websites to get you started: www.vegansociety.com www.vegan.org www.vrg.org
Do you ever wonder when you’re grocery shopping “What do those dates on the packages actually mean”? It’s important to understand the phrases, “Best if Used By”, “Sell By” and “Use By”… What are these dates telling us?? Well, let me help explain.
Product dating is truly up to each manufacturer. Federal regulations actually do not require food products to be labeled with a date, with the exception of baby formula. If a food manufacturer does choose to date a product, this is where the requirements kick in. If using a calendar date, it must include both the month and the day. They must also include a year if it is a shelf stable or frozen item. In addition, this date needs to include a statement such as “Sell By”, “Use By”, etc.
Interesting Tidbit - Although Federal regulations do not require dating on product labels, dating of select food items is required in 20 or so states, Minnesota and North Dakota are among those.
Product dating can be presented in basically two ways. Either through what is called Open Dating or Closed Dating. Open Dating is essentially calendar dating which is easily understood by the consumer. As I talked about earlier, this will include a month and a date and often the year. Closed Dating, on the other hand, also known as coded dating, is just that….a code. These codes can be presented in various forms including random numbers and letters which are not intended for the consumer to understand. These codes allow the manufacturers to track their products and may often represent the date of production, which manufacturing plant the product was produced in, etc.
A little more about open dating and the words typically used (from USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service)
Sell By – tells the store how long to display the product for sale. You should buy the product before the date expires. Best if Used By – recommended for best flavor or quality. It is not a purchase or safety date. Use By – is the last date recommended for the use of the product while at peak quality. The date has been determined by the manufacturer of the product.
As stated above these dates refer to the quality of the product not the safety which is a common misconception. Foods impacted by spoilage bacteria may exhibit changes in flavor and appearance and may have an off odor, these products should not be used due to poor quality. It is important to note that spoilage bacteria do not impact the safety of the food. Pathogens (organisms that will make you sick) do not give off any odors nor do they make food taste or look badly. It is also important to remember that mishandling of the product can cause rapid bacterial growth and if pathogens are present at even the slightest level this mishandling can cause the levels to grow and then foodborne illness can result. So it is very important to handle foods properly, specifically those food items that are perishable (requiring refrigeration). Some examples of mishandling include:
Allowing product to sit too long in the Danger Zone..…remember “The Danger Zone”?? this is from 41°F-140°F
Thawing product at room temperature – this should always be done under refrigeration or if in a hurry under cool running water or in the microwave and cooked immediately afterwards.
Another factor that will affect the safety of the product is how long it is kept once opened. The charts below outlines how long a product should be kept once opened. If the product has a Use By date, this date should be followed even after opening. For example, if the product is opened on the actual Use By date, it should not be kept past that date, even if the chart states 3-4 days after opening.
Refrigerator Storage of Processed Products Sealed at Plant
Unopened, After Purchase
3 to 4 days
3 to 4 days
3 to 4 days
3 to 4 days
Sausage, Hard/Dry, shelf-stable
Corned Beef, uncooked, in pouch with pickling juices
5 to 7 days
3 to 4 days
Vacuum-packed Dinners, Commercial Brand with USDA seal
3 to 4 days
3 to 5 days
Ham, fully cooked
slices, 3 days; whole, 7 days
Ham, canned, labeled “keep refrigerated”
3 to 4 days
Ham, canned, shelf stable
3 to 5 days
Canned Meat and Poultry, shelf stable
2 to 5 years/pantry
3 to 4 days
Refrigerator Storage of Fresh or Uncooked Products
I hope this has provided you with some useful information in regards to those dates we see on packages as we are shopping. They certainly are helpful tools, but truly do not imply the safety of the product. We should always follow our Food Safety “Recipe for Success” to ensure we are following safe food handling practices.
Slow cookers are great for so many different recipes as well as very convenient. Being able to toss together some ingredients, flip it on low before leaving for work and coming home to a nice hot meal is probably my favorite thing about them. By using a couple different sized slow cookers together you can really make some awesome combinations for meals, desserts or appetizers. Asking a friend, neighbor or doing a quick Internet search will bring hundreds of yummy recipes for you to try.
One of my all time favorite desserts is apple crisp. I decided to try making apple crisp in a slow cooker and thought my co-workers would be the perfect taste testers. Since the recipe only takes about 3 hours to cook, we had it for an afternoon treat. The slow cooker was cleaned out within minutes! I’d say it was a hit. The Four Brothers Caramel Dip drizzled over the top really made it a homerun.
Spray medium slow cooker with non-stick spray and add sliced apples. Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on top and stir to coat evenly.
In a separate bowl mix the remaining ingredients, except for the caramel, cutting in butter with a pastry blender until you get pea size pieces of butter. (Or cut butter into small pieces by hand and stir into dry mix.)
Spread mixture on top of apples coating evenly. Cook on high for 2 hours checking occasionally and pulling edges in if needed to prevent burning. Turn slow cooker to low for 1 more hour or until cooked thoroughly.
When turning apple crisp to low, take the small slow cooker to warm up the Four Brothers Caramel Dip for drizzle. Warming time will vary depending on style of crockpot and amount of caramel.
Here are some other combinations to inspire you when using a large and small slow cooker duo:
Breakfast Casserole with Hollandaise Sauce
Cinnamon Rolls with Cinnamon Apple Glaze
Taco Meat with Melted Cheese Sauce
Roast Beef with Au Jus
Mashed Potatoes with Gravy
Steak with Mushrooms
Baked Potato with Broccoli Cheese Sauce
Chicken Breast with Spinach & Artichoke Dip
Peach Cobbler with Caramel
Sundae Cake with Hot Fudge
Cheesecake with Berry Sauce
Meatballs with BBQ Sauce
Shrimp with Melted Garlic Butter
Experiment with different combinations to create the perfect dish for your family and friends.
Have fun and happy slow cooking!
Coborn’s Inc. Graphic Designer