Do I really need to use separate cutting boards?

Do I really need to use separate cutting boards?  Cobornsblog.com

www.cobornsblog.com - Coborn's Food Safety Coordinator, Kim
Kim

As you’re strolling through the stores this holiday season searching for the perfect gift for that foodie friend you may be running across the colored set of cutting boards. And then you stop and ask yourself is this truly something that would be useful in the kitchen?  Or necessary?  The answer truly could go both ways. The ultimate goal of the separate cutting boards is to reduce even further the risk of cross-contamination in one’s kitchen. Even commercial kitchens use these to prevent cross-contamination.  Effective cleaning will go a long way in reducing that contamination risk; however, food safety is all about building multiple barriers in your food handling processes.  Colored, even just separate cutting boards, are a good option in providing that extra barrier… so when you’re working with chicken, the yellow cutting board is used and the red one for red meat, green for produce and so on. Continue reading “Do I really need to use separate cutting boards?”

Cast Iron Cooking

Cast Iron Cooking - www.cobornsblog.com

www.cobornsblog.com - Family, Friends & Food with Jayne
Jayne

September has officially arrived and I have to accept the fact that summer has passed. As much as I love our fall season it is always so sad when the kids go back to school and the summer fun at the lake starts to quiet down. Oh well, on to the next season! When I spend time at the lake, especially during the fall, I usually make comfort foods and oh how I love them. One of my favorite things to use in my kitchen at the cabin is a cast iron skillet. I remember as a kid my mom using only her skillet to make bacon, eggs and hash browns every Saturday morning. I can still hear the sizzling of the bacon and how the scent filled the entire cabin. No food could compare when she used her cast iron skillet. There are so many myths about the cast iron skillet that I thought this would be a perfect subject to talk about in my September blog. I hear from so many of my friends that they have received one of these skillets as a wedding gift and store it in the cupboard because they have no idea how to use it. So here are a few hints to get you started with being a Cast Iron Skillet Professional!

→ View all the recipes listed in this blog on our YouTube channel!

Benefits to using a Cast Iron Skillet

  • Using a cast iron skillet instead of a non-stick skillet allows you to avoid the fumes that accompany most non-stick cookware.
  • Besides the stove, you can use a cast iron skillet in the oven, at any temperature.
  • By using a cast iron skillet you can create quality homemade fish sticks, potato pancakes, and French toast, complete with golden brown, crispy exteriors. Contrast this with non-stick cookware, which makes browning nearly impossible.
  • Since cast iron does not scratch, you don’t need to use plastic utensils, and there is no fear of using your silverware to stir or scoop. It lasts for so long that many people still use cast iron cookware that they have inherited.

How to Season a Cast Iron SkilletHow to season a Cast Iron Skillet - www.cobornsblog.com

  • Preheat oven to 325°F.
  • Wash the skillet with warm, soapy water and a sponge or stiff brush. Cast iron should not be normally washed with soap, but its fine here since the pan is about to be seasoned.
  • Rinse and thoroughly dry the skillet.
  • Using a cloth or paper towel, apply a thin coat of vegetable oil to the inside an outside of the skillet.  Vegetable oil is most commonly recommended for seasoning.
  • Place the skillet upside down on the oven’s center rack.
  • Place a sheet of aluminum foil below the rack to catch any drips.
  • Bake for an hour.
  • Turn off heat and allow the skillet to cool completely before removing from the oven.
  • A seasoned skillet is smooth, shiny, and non-stick. You’ll know it’s time to re-season if food sticks to the surface or if the skillet appears dull or rusted.

How to Clean a Cast Iron SkilletHow to clean a Cast Iron Skillet - www.cobornsblog.com

  • Clean the skillet immediately after use, while it is still hot or warm. Avoid soaking the pan or leaving it in the sink, because it could rust.
  • Wash the skillet by hand, using hot water and a sponge or stiff brush. Avoid using the dishwasher, soap, or steel wool, as these may strip the pan’s seasoning.
  • To remove stuck-on food, scrub the pan with a paste of coarse kosher salt and water. Boiling water in the pan may also loosen stubborn food residue.
  • Thoroughly towel-dry the skillet or dry it on the stove over low heat for 5 minutes and let cool.
  • Using a paper towel, apply a light coat of vegetable oil to the inside of the skillet.

After you have seasoned your cast iron skillet you are ready to start a whole new world of cooking.

I’ve always loved the fall season because of the cooler nights and the beautiful colors, so when I’m at the cabin my cooking skills become a hobby and I get the chance to experiment with more recipes than I normally do at home during the busy work week. I’m still into simple and quick recipes because I want to spend as much time as I can on the pontoon and with family and friends, so here are a couple recipes that I would like to share with you to get you started with your own Cast Iron Skillet. Enjoy…..I did!

Cast Iron Cooking – Chicken Fajitas


Cast Iron Cooking - Chicken Fajitas
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 4 T. Vegetable Oil, divided
  • 2 T. Lemon Juice
  • 1.5 tsp. Seasoned Salt
  • 1.5 tsp. Dried Oregano
  • 1.5 tsp. Ground Cumin
  • 1 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • ½ tsp. Chili Powder
  • ½ tsp. Paprika
  • ½ tsp. Crushed Red Pepper Flakes, optional
  • 1.5 Lbs. Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast, cut into thin strips
  • 1 Medium Sweet Red Pepper, julienned
  • 1 Medium Green Pepper, julienned
  • ½ Cup Onions, thinly sliced
  • 6 - 8" Flour Tortillas, warmed
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Taco Sauce
  • Salsa
  • Guacamole
  • Sour Cream
Instructions
  1. In a large re-sealable plastic bag, combine 2 tablespoons oil, lemon juice and seasonings; add the chicken.
  2. Seal and turn to coat; refrigerate for 1-4 hours.
  3. In a large cast iron skillet, sauté peppers and onions in remaining oil until crisp-tender.
  4. Remove and keep warm.
  5. Discard marinade.
  6. In the same skillet, cook chicken over medium-high heat for 5-6 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165°F.
  7. Add peppers back in with the chicken and heat until warm.
  8. Spoon filling down the center of tortillas; fold in half.
  9. Serve with cheese, taco sauce, salsa guacamole and sour cream.

 

Cast Iron Cooking – Kit Kat Skillet Cookie

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Cast Iron Cooking: Kit Kat Skillet Cookie - www.cobornsblog.com

Cast Iron Cooking - Kit Kat Skillet Cookie
 
Ingredients
  • ½ Cup Butter, softened
  • 1 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 2 Cups Kit Kat Bites
  • 1 Cup Chocolate Chips
  • Drizzle of Caramel flavored topping
  • Drizzle of Chocolate flavored topping
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Spray a large cast iron skillet with non-stick baking spray.
  3. In large bowl add butter, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla in bowl and mix with electric mixer.
  4. Beat at medium speed until creamy.
  5. Add flour, salt and baking soda, beat at low speed until flour is combined, turn to medium speed and beat 2 minutes.
  6. Fold in Kit Kat bites and Chocolate Chips.
  7. Pour cookie dough into skillet and spread evenly.
  8. Bake 35 minutes or until golden brown.
  9. Drizzle caramel and chocolate flavored topping over warm cookie.
  10. Set aside and cool for 30 minutes before slicing.

 

Cast Iron Cooking – S’more Dip

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Cast Iron Cooking: S'more Dip - www.cobornsblog.com

Cast Iron Cooking - S'more Dip
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 1 Cup Chocolate Chips
  • 8 Large Marshmallows
  • Graham Crackers for dipping
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  2. Spray a cast iron skillet with non-stick baking spray.
  3. Add the chocolate chips.
  4. Snip the large marshmallows in half and top the chocolate chips with them.
  5. Place skillet in oven.
  6. Bake 7 to 9 minutes, until marshmallows turn golden brown.
  7. Serve with graham crackers for scooping.

 

Jayne
Coborn’s, Inc. Meat and Seafood Merchandiser

Click Here for more articles written by Jayne or Click Here for more videos by Jayne.
www.cobornsblog.com - Family, Friends and Food with Jayne

Homemade Bathroom Cleaner Spray

Homemade Bathroom Cleaner Spray #DIY - www.cobornsblog.com

Homespun with Lori - www.cobornsblog.com
Lori

How to make DIY Homemade Bathroom Cleaner Spray with Essential Oils - www.cobornsblog.comWhen I started making my own natural products for around my home, one of the hardest things for me to give up was my bleach-filled bathroom cleaner.  I knew how many germs gathered in the bathroom and I wanted to make sure that every time I cleaned it, they were GONE.   With this homemade cleaner, I feel just as confident that the germs are gone and it is great for sinks, toilets and showers and, the best part, no harmful chemicals! No more need to wear thick gloves or leave the bathroom window open and only clean when the kids are clear of the area due to toxic fumes.  In fact, now the kids can HELP with cleaning the bathroom!

Get it at Coborn’s

For this blog I used Veriditas Essential Oils from Coborn’s. Veriditas are Certified Organic and Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils, conveniently sold at your local grocery store. In fact, I purchased all of the items for this blog at Coborn’s. From the Veriditas Essential Oils to the Empty Spray Bottle. You will typically find all of these items in the Natural Foods Department, however some Coborn’s stores have their natural and organic items integrated throughout the grocery store, so just ask an employee if you need some help. The distilled water is by the bottled water and I found the spray bottle by the brooms and other cleaners.

Helpful Hints

Remember to Pin this blog on Pinterest so you can save the recipe for next time.

You can also Click Here and print a label for your bottle. Simply open the file and print on Avery 42395 labels and stick to your bottle, or if you want to be crafty, you can cut around the shape to make it really cute.

In the recipe below it calls for 15 drops orange and 15 drops lemon. I actually use 8 drops of each. It is really your own preference, do what smells best to you.

Also note that depending on the size of your spray bottle, you may be able to double this recipe for twice as much cleaner!

Homemade Bathroom Cleaner Spray
 
Ingredients
  • 2 Cups Distilled Water
  • 1 T. Super Washing Soda
  • 3 T. Liquid Castile Soap
  • 15 Drops Veriditas Good Samaritan Essential Oil
  • 15 Drops Orange and/or Lemon Essential Oil
  • Empty Spray Bottle
Instructions
  1. Pour distilled water into a large bowl
  2. Add Super Washing Soda.
  3. Quickly stir together to dissolve Super Washing Soda.
  4. Mix in the rest of the ingredients.
  5. Pour mixture into an empty spray bottle.
  6. Shake before each use.

Happy Cleaning!

Lori
Coborn’s, Inc. Senior Administrative Assistant

Click Here for more blog articles written by Lori
Homespun with Lori - www.cobornsblog.com

Freshen Up with Essential Oils from Coborn's

Freshen Up with Essential Oils! Including 4 Essential Oil Recipes - www.cobornsblog.com

www.cobornsblog.com Naturally Close to Home with Rhonda
Rhonda

Spring is finally here and that’s a great time to try essential oils.  You’ve likely heard of essential oils, know someone who uses them or use them yourself.  And everyone has an opinion on what’s the best brand or the best way to use them.  I just want to share some of my favorite, easy ways to use essential oils and maybe include some education along the way!

What are Essential Oils?

So what is an essential oil, anyway?  They are highly concentrated, aromatic essences of plants.  They are 75 to 100 times more concentrated than dried herbs.  Essential oils are 100% pure plant oils and are very different from synthetic fragrance oils.

Different plants have different amounts of oils.  It takes 50 pounds of eucalyptus to make one pound of essential oil.  But it takes over 2000 pounds of rose to make the same amount!  That is why different oils have different costs.

Different oils also have very different properties.  They can be relaxing, energizing, nourishing or balancing.

Essential oils are very concentrated.  Please take time to learn about their properties and actions before you use them.  Use reputable information.  Oils are great fun, but very powerful.

Essential Oil Uses and RecipesMorning Jumpstart Recipe using Essential Oils from Coborn's - www.cobornsblog.com

Morning Jumpstart

Now, onto the fun!  There are endless ways to use oils throughout the day.  I jumpstart my morning by sprinkling a few drops of eucalyptus or peppermint in the shower, away from where I stand.  The hot water activates the smell and the smell wakes me up!  Quick and easy.

Facial Mist Recipe using Essential Oils from Coborn's - www.cobornsblog.comFacial Mist

Next stop is my poor, winter weary face.  Earlier in the season, I was so dry and dull and nothing was helping.  I found a simple recipe for a facial mist.  It’s just 4 ounces water, 1 teaspoon vegetable glycerin and 24 drops of the oils best suited to your skin type.  I used lavender, geranium and sandalwood that is blended with jojoba.  I put it all in a small spray bottle, shook it and spritzed it.  I use it before my moisturizer and another light spritz to set my makeup.  After a couple weeks, a salesperson in a store actually complimented me on my lovely skin.  That wouldn’t have happened a few weeks earlier!  And it was a much less expensive solution than those miracle creams.  And likely safer.

Local, Quality Skin Care from Purple Prairie. Available at Coborn's - www.cobornsblog.comRemember that your skin is the body’s largest organ.  Whatever you apply topically absorbs into your bloodstream.  It’s the reason medicine can be applied via a topical patch.  So slathering ourselves with chemicals that you wouldn’t ingest just doesn’t make good sense to me, personally.  There are so many great options. If you don’t want to make your own products, there are many high quality, safe skin care items that use essential oils, like our great local friends at Purple Prairie. (I had to get my local angle in here!)

How to Diffuse Oils for better sleep - www.cobornsblog.comDiffusing Oils

Another favorite way to use oils is with a diffuser.  There are many styles to choose from, we have three at home that are electric.  You simply fill them with water and oil.  They can be like mini humidifiers, adding moisture and great scents to your house.  My teenage son was waking up with a dry throat this winter, so we put one in his room.  Adding lavender or neroli oils give the added benefit of better sleep. Plus diffusers are a much better choice than spraying chemical air fresheners in your house.  Do you really want to breathe that in?

DIY Cleaning Supplies using Essential Oils from Coborn's - www.cobornsblog.comDIY Cleaning Products

Speaking of spraying chemicals in your house, another great way to use oils is in DIY cleaning products.  You can find great recipes online.  I get email newsletters from Aura Cacia and it just recently included tons of great ideas.  One favorite is to put 18-27 drops of your favorite oil on a cotton ball and vacuum it up!  It’ll stay in the bag and freshen while you work.

Spring is a great time to fill your house with the fresh smell of lemon, orange and grapefruit.  In the winter, I prefer the earthy smells of pine, vetiver, and sandalwood.  But when they weather warms up, I am ready for sunny citrus smells.  It’s all about what you like!

I hope you were able to find my blog helpful. Visit your local Coborn’s and fun Aura Cacia oils and Purple Prairie skin care in the Natural Foods Department.

Rhonda
Coborn’s, Inc. Natural Foods Category Manager

Click Here for more articles written by Rhonda.
Naturally Close to Home with Rhonda - www.cobornsblog.com

 

 

 

BONUS BLOG EGG! There is still one more egg hidden on coborns.com. This is just a BONUS for you! BONUS Blog Egg #CobornsEasterEggHunt www.cobornsblog.com

Clean. Cook. Separate. Chill.

www.cobornsblog.com - Coborn's Food Safety Coordinator, Kim
Kim

Happy National Nutrition Month!  Wait, isn’t this supposed to be a food safety blog?!?  Well, what’ya know!  Being a Registered Dietitian, National Nutrition Month is very near and dear to my heart and it is important to note that food safety melds in very well with National Nutrition Month and in planning our meals to be both healthy and safe.

The theme for this year’s National Nutrition Month, from the Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics, is “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right.”  When a person thinks of “eating right”, it often brings visions of fresh fruits and veggies, lean meat, low fat dairy and whole grain bread choices, right?  Right!  Well, for me, this also brings to mind visions of how do we make sure these food products are all handled safely?  So, how do we do this?….You guessed it!….by following the Food Safety “Recipe for Success” which includes the four key food safety practices of Clean, Cook, Separate and Chill.

CLEAN - Step one in preparing safe foods for your family. Learn more at www.cobornsblog.comCLEAN – Let’s take the fresh fruits and veggies for example.  Most of the items sold in our produce department are not “ready to eat.”  Unless the bag or package states it has been washed or it is ready to consume, it is up to you to wash it before eating or using it in a recipe.  This can easily be accomplished by placing the item under running tap water and gently scrubbing those items with a firmer peel or rind with either a clean vegetable/fruit brush or even your fingers.  The reason these are not washed and then put out on display for sale is that it greatly impacts the shelf life and the quality of the product.  REMEMBER: Even those produce items in which you do not eat the peel or rind, like melons, must be washed/scrubbed prior to cutting.  If not, those germs potentially contained on the rind may end up on what you are eating just with a single cut of the knife!

Keeping our attention on the word CLEAN – always make sure even the simplest of meal preparation and enjoyment starts with clean hands and surfaces.

COOK - Step two in preparing safe foods for your family. Learn more at www.cobornsblog.comCOOK – Lean meat, seafood and poultry should always be cooked to the proper internal cooking temperature.  Have you treated yourself to purchasing a food thermometer?  I can guarantee it will be one of the best purchases you make to “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right” (and Safely). Food thermometers not only ensure that the right temperature is reached, it also keeps us from overcooking our food, which really can take the enjoyment out of eating!  I think most would prefer a moist and juicy meal rather than dry and tasteless – nothing enjoyable about that!

SEPARATE - Step three in preparing safe foods for your family. Learn more at www.cobornsblog.comSEPARATE – Keeping on the topic of raw meat, seafood and poultry, these items should be kept away from ready to eat foods in storage and during preparation.

CHILL - Step four in preparing safe foods for your family. Learn more at www.cobornsblog.comCHILL – The last topic of today, but certainly not the least!  It is critical to keep dairy items, meat, seafood and poultry items and prepared fruits and veggies out of “The Danger Zone” for any extended periods of time.  These items should be kept below 41°F.   Quick quiz question …does anyone remember “The Danger Zone?”  Absolutely right!  It is from 41°F – 140°F, I knew you knew it!

Enjoy National Nutrition Month and “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right” (and Safely)!

Kim
Coborn’s, Inc. Food Safety Manager

Click Here for more blog articles written by Kim.
www.cobornsblog.com - The Ktichen Detetive