Category Archives: 2015

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

Cooking 101: 5 Do’s for Better Nutrition

Include natural, low-fat proteins  in your daily meal plan

Include natural, low-fat proteins in your daily meal plan.

Better Nutrition? Yes, what you eat can make a big difference in how you feel, repair  cells, sleep, your energy level, fight disease and a host of other things going on in your body. Two thousand years ago a Greek physician taught his students to think of food as medicine for the body.  If this is true, what can you do to ensure you are getting the right kinds and quantity of food?

Here are 5 foods often found on most lists of nutritious foods. But first, keep in mind that some foods can interfere with medications so always see your doctor for special needs. Continue reading

Cooking 101; 5 Do’s To Remember

by donR  July 26, any year

Think Positive. Have a kitchen 'To Do' list posted in your kitchen.

Think Positive. Have a kitchen ‘To Do’ list posted in your kitchen.

It’s easier to remember items on a ‘To DO’ list when cooking rather than things on a ‘Do not Do’ list. I guess it has to do with something I learned early on as I challenged anyone who said “Don’t  _____ .) Or was it from my teacher education classes or parenting magazine articles? Frankly, what does matter is the next five articles I’m sharing with cooking newbies titled: ‘5 Do’s when________.’ 0r ‘5 do’s for __________.’ Be sure to watch this unfold over the next 5 days. Here is my first ‘To Do list.’

5 Things To Do In Your Kitchen To Prevent Food-Borne Illness:

#1. Thoroughly wash hands, counter top, sink, utensils and produce before beginning the cooking process.

#2 Have two clean cutting boards readily available, one red for cutting meat and one green for veggies.

#3 Use a digital meat thermometer to measure temperatures of meat, poultry or leafy greens to be sure food is cooked to the recommended safe temperature, and held above 135 degrees or stored below 41 degrees.

#4 Place meat on the bottom shelf of your refrigerator when storing it or letting it thaw out over night.

#5 Visit and/or bookmark the USDA website for food preservation, storage and safe handling information. But do come back for 5 more ‘Do’s about cooking.’

Dining Out Do’s and Don’ts

by donR  July 21, 2015

Cooking Light suggests choosing grilles, baked or streamed menu items when dining out.

Cooking Light suggests choosing grilled, baked or streamed menu items when dining out.

It’s summertime and everyone is on-the-go; county fairs, vacations or just going to the park. If you plan on dining out or getting take-out food from a deli, here are some do’s and don’t s  to think about such as Cooking Light’s ratings of popular fast food restaurants. Continue reading

It’s Berry Season: Fill Your Freezer The EZ Way

You can buy berries or pick your own directly from Boxx Berry Farm.

You can buy berries or pick your own directly from Boxx Berry Farm.

Isn’t it amazing how fast strawberry season passed us by? But don’t fret because new varieties of strawberries seem to last all year. Not so with the other berries found in the Pacific Northwest. Just a year ago we gave you a primer on preserving blackberries and now is a good time to talk about those super healthy raspberries and blueberries. Continue reading

Cooking 101; 5 Helpful Tips

By donR  July 8, 2015

You are never too young or old to begin cooking.

You are never too young or old to begin cooking.

Seventy five years ago it may have been easier to compile  a list of  Affordable Basic  Cooking tips. I remember my mother and neighbors using local produce, with beef, pork and poultry. The limited variety of food was simply boiled, roasted or fried. In comparison, today’s supermarkets are filled with foods of all kinds and cook books with recipes for every occasion and ethnicity. With all those choices, people learning to cook find it difficult to keep it simple and easy. So now you know my first tip for a beginning cook. Continue reading

Buy Locally Grown Food And Lower Your Meal Cost?

by donR  July 7, 2015

Lisa and McKenzie, registered nutritionists  share light and tasty recipes on their website.

Lisa and McKenzie, registered nutritionists share light and tasty recipes on their website.

I repeatedly hear that “It’s more expensive to cook with local produce and meats.” But Lisa Samuel, a highly regarded nutritionist, shares ideas about assembling budget-friendly meals that utilize locally grown foods. “Making Local Foods Affordable” is a topic in the latest newsletter. Visit Lisa and McKenzie’s website nourish RDs to get the whole story. Continue reading

Hot and Sassy Salsa: From An Old family “Recipe.”

There is no need to follow a recipe. Make salsa to fit your taste.

There is no need to follow a recipe. Make salsa to fit your taste.

by donR  July 4th 2015

I watched in awe as Lili  made real “salsa” with my daughter Rebecca during a gathering of her friends on Independence day. We’ve always said “If you make a mess, make a big one” And as you can see by the pictures, they made lots of salsa; for 9 families.

Two things struck me the most. Lili used no recipe, and never has. Then, as she added ingredients, she shared some Tips N Tricks which I’m passing on to you.


Continue reading

5 Reasons Why We Hoard Leftovers, For A While.

tortilla wrap

Planned-overs were used to create this lunch using Re-fried corn bread, summer chicken salad wrapped in tortilla and cottage cheese.

When my daughter, a macro-biotic cooking instructor, visits I’m always curious about the left-overs she has in her brown paper bag. I pretend not to notice but know she has  containers of food-stuffs with which she can create nutritious, simple meals to share with us. She now has me hoarding planned-overs to use in dinners, for snacks or simple lunches, and comfort food. I like having these ingredients readily available.

Should we all be hoarding those bits of food to use while still safe to eat? Here are 5 reasons, guess the one most important to me then pick one important to you and your family. Continue reading

Quotes From Seniors: “Don’t Throw Food Away, Store It The Easy Way!”

Left-over food can become planned-overs, stored or composted.

Left-over food can become planned-overs, stored or composted.

Someone said “Waste Not, Want Not.” Our nutrition classmates at the Ferndale Senior Center did not say it but shared how they save little dabs of food rather than tossing it out. Here are  some of their “tips and tricks”


  • “I don’t waste anything. It’s so easy to toss food into a labeled glass jar and freeze or refrigerate it.” She went on to say that scrap veggies are saved for soup stock, meat for stock or sauce.
  • food preserve” Now that I have a waffle-maker, I can cook up a bunch of whole wheat waffles, pack them in sealed baggies using a straw to suck out the air. Label and freeze. Pop into a toaster to reheat then lather with apple butter.”
  • “I have Tupperware® Parties to show all the different types of storage containers available.”
    Authors note: I clearly recollect how many times my mother used her 1950’s Tupperware® with tight-fitting  tops over and over for years.
  •  ” We love the day-old rye and wheat bread donated each week. Two loaves is plenty for us. To freeze it, we slice it thick but leave a small corner connected to keep it together. Next, place a piece of parchment paper between each slice then squeeze it together while placing the loaf in a plastic bag (…label…seal …) and freeze.”
  • “I have cube-shaped tubs with tight-fitting lids. They stack up nicely in the refrigerator or freezer after being labeled and dated.”

If you prefer an organized kitchen, it helps to collect containers of 2 or 3 sizes that stack together. Discard  the rest to spare you the frustration of hunting to find the right lids.  Just a thought.

by donR June 28 2015