Category Archives: Tips & Tricks

Cooking 101: 3 Simple Winter Squash Recipes

Acorn squash can be baked (as shown), steamed, slow cooked, boiled. Read more about this nutritious food.

Acorn squash can be baked (as shown), steamed, slow cooked, boiled. Read more about this nutritious food.

by donR  November 17, 2015

If you search for winter squash recipes you can find plenty of suggestions on the web. In our last post we interviewed a master gardener to get  few tricks for preparing nutritious squash. I was satisfied with that until I met Richard and Nancy while picking apples for a Cook-In. It was there that I heard another way to prepare winter squash.  They own Apple Creek Orchards in Ferndale, Washington, recognized by redtri.com  as one of the best apple orchards for families near Seattle. Continue reading

Wonderful Winter Squash: Tips and Tricks From A Master Gardener

Winter squash is easy to prepare and a good source of vitamins A and K

Winter squash is easy to prepare and a good source of vitamins A and K

by donR November 6, 2015

Winter squash comes in different sizes, shapes, and colors and they all contain important micro-nutrients.  When I told Gloria Perez that “Winter Squash” was my topic for a presentation at the Senior Center, she said “Wonderful.” She is the master gardener for the Ferndale Friendship Community Garden in Ferndale, Washington and she then began to tell how easy and important it is to include squash in a family meal plan. Here are five of the many ‘tips and tricks’ she shared: Continue reading

Cooking101:Final Thoughts?

thoughtsby donR October 16, 2015

Final Thoughts? There is nothing final when it comes to cooking. So let me explain why that’s #1 on my “Final thoughts List…. Huh? …..Another list?  Yep…but there are only 4 more things to ponder. Hang in there. Read more to find out what I think is important for emerging cooks to keep in mind. If you have other ideas,  it’s okay to make your own list.
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Simple Salad Dressing & Marinade: 5 X 5 Combinations

By donR  October 5, 2015

Mix N Match dressings complement these vegetables.

Mix N Match dressings complement these vegetables.

Home-made dressing for green salad is simple to prepare.  Kids can do it as their contribution to the family dinner.  When each family member makes their own, they may be more apt to ask for green salad at dinnertime. The following 5 X 5 ingredient chart shows how to create over 3,000 different dressings. Read More… Continue reading

Green Smoothies: The Other Salad?

by donR  September 21, 2015

Green smoothies contain vitamins, minerals, fiber and water. Use with caution.

Green smoothies contain vitamins, minerals, fiber and water. Use with caution.

How is a green salad like a green smoothie? Each can have the same ingredients except salad dressings are usually replaced by fruit juice, fruit or dairy for smoothies. They both are packed with micro-nutrients  which act to fight disease, aid  body processes and keep us well. Fiber,  which is needed for good intestinal health , is lower in smoothies made with juice because the fiber is removed in the process. But when whole  fruit is processed in a blender, fiber stays in the drink. But before you look for recipes read more about the pros & cons of substituting smoothies for green salad:

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Green Salads 4 Kids: 10 Tips N Tricks

by donR  September 9, 2015

Kids can make salads in containers for each day of the week.

Kids can make salads in containers for each day of the week.

Like green salads? The  USDA recommends that we eat lots of fruit and veggies, to include leafy greens.  They are great for families wanting to save money, eat healthy, and make cooking easier.

We’ve always said, “Start dinners with a glass of water, cup of home-made soup and a bowl of green salad.”  But the response from parents is mixed. they’ll say, “If leafy greens are so good for kids to eat, why is hard to get kids to like them in salad?” Or more bluntly said;  “No way!”

Perhaps it’s the texture, light flavor, or  just the thought of eating grass. But over the years we have seen changes in our four girls to the point that their families now eat leafy greens every day. Here are some tips and tricks that we used when our children were young and some new ideas. Some may work for you: Continue reading

Serve Green Salad Every Day, The EZ Way

picture of a taco meal

Some salad greens grow better in cooler weather. Find out which varieties to plant in your fall garden and how.

by donR  Sept 5. 2015

The weather in the Pacific Northwest is dipping, fruit and vegetables will soon be harvested yet the leafy green crops will hang on until the first hard frost. Fortunately, you an enjoy green salads for a couple more months if you start more growing  in your garden.  Below are 5 tips for growing greens in the Fall. It is well worth the effort because you will have “free” salad makin’s until winter sets in..  Read more about growing salad greens in the Fall and preparing them the EZ way. Continue reading

Counting Calories To Fight Child Obesity: Is there A Better Way?

Did you notice there is no RDA for sugar on the label? Why?  resd more...

Did you notice there is no RDA for sugar on the label? Why? read more…

by donR   August 18, 2015

The fitness craze of the nineteen seventies saw an explosion of calorie-counting magazine articles, diets and books in an effort to assemble healthier meals. Videos, charts and picture cards like these on Wise Geek were used to memorize calories in common foods. But, according to the  documentary film  “Fed Up,”   which examines the scope and underlying causes of childhood obesity, calorie counting was a confusing, and tedious ritual that did little to curb the way American children ate. Continue reading

Food, Fun, & Conversation: 4 Weeks To Better Family Dinners

FDP Wkshpby donR    Updated August 12, 2015

You and your family can explore ways to have food fun & conversation around the family dinner table. For more information or to join the workshops and Community Dinners, follow the links below.

  • Log onto TheFamilyDinnerProject website and sign-up for “Food Fun and Conversation: 4 Weeks to Better Family Dinners.” this is a “Do-it-yourself” version. However they offer lots of Tips, Tricks and suggestions for support.
  • Contact them about any Community Dinners in your area or
  • Join us locally for Workshops and Community Dinners in Whatcom County, WA. They will begin in late September. Watch our events calendar for more information. Read more to learn about the workshops and Community Dinners:

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Cooking 101: EZ Cooked Vegetables

These veggies are complex carbohydrates.

These veggies are complex carbohydrates.

by donR  July 28, 2015

The USDA, a department of the US government recommends that we fill half of our plate with vegetables. But how many of us really do it? Any answer would be debatable and besides, that’s not the important question. A better question to ask would be, “How does one cook inexpensive vegetables in a way that preserves nutrients, is easy to fix, and tasty enough to eat every night?”  Here are five things to think about if you want to answer that question. Continue reading