The toughest part of shopping for apples in stores is deciding which apple is best for which recipe. Most are great for eating out of hand, but texture, flavor and size all contribute to whether the chosen variety is best for apple crisp or applesauce. Here is a guide for you.
Whether stuffed and baked whole for a dessert or chopped up and hidden under a layer of dough or crumble topping, these apples hold their shape during cooking:
Rome apples are very large with green-speckled red skin. This variety makes an impressive dessert when baked whole.
Extra tart with thick, “apple green” skin, Granny Smiths are a better choice than a sweeter baking apple, like Golden Delicious, for balanced pies and crisps.
Braeburn apples are very crisp, sweet and tangy making them great for baking or eating raw.
Golden Delicious are excellent all-purpose apples that are particularly good…
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Tags: Friday, Gardening, Hamilton Ohio, Home, Pumpkin, Saturday, Vegetable
Fri-Sat 11am-10pm & Sun 11am-5pm In Historic Downtown Hamilton, OH.
Festivalgoers of all ages are gearing up for Operation Pumpkin 2013, a pumpkin and art festival, which will be held in downtown Hamilton on October 4-6. This free, family-friendly event is expected to draw more than 40,000 attendees. Hours are next Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; next Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and next Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
According to organizer Jason Snyder, the second-year event has added more vendors, events and attractions for 2013. There are more than 140 vendors slated to participate, with a maximum capacity of about 165 vendors.
Events this year include:
Sanctioned Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off hosted by the SOGPG
Vintage Hamilton Wine Tasting hosted by the Ohio Wine Producers
Double Dam Regatta hosted by the Great Miami Rowing Center
Giant Pumpkin Regatta on the Great Miami River
Live Local Entertainment
Hamilton School’s Decorated Pumpkin Display
Tags: Breakfast, Canada, French toast, Home, Monica Reinagel, Omelette, Red River Cereal, United States
Breakfast is the first meal taken after rising from a night’s sleep, most often eaten in the early morning before undertaking the day’s work. Among English speakers, “breakfast” can be used to refer to this meal or to refer to a meal composed of traditional breakfast foods (such as eggs, oatmeal and sausage) served at any time of day. The word literally refers to breaking the fasting period of the prior night.
Breakfast foods vary widely from place to place, but often include a carbohydrate such as grains or cereals, fruit and/or vegetables, a protein food such as eggs, meat or fish, and a beverage such as tea, coffee, milk or fruit juice. Coffee, milk, tea, juice, breakfast cereals, pancakes, sausages, French toast, bacon, sweet breads, fresh fruit, vegetables, eggs, mushrooms, baked beans, muffins, crumpets and toast with butter or margarine and/or jam or marmalade are common examples of breakfast foods, though a large range of preparations and ingredients are associated with breakfast globally.
Nutritional experts have referred to breakfast as the most important meal of the day, citing studies that find that people who skip breakfast are disproportionately likely to have problems with concentration, metabolism, weight, and cardiac health. The nutritionist Monica Reinagel has argued the metabolic benefits have been exaggerated, noting the improvement in cognition has been found among children, but is much less significant among adults. Reinagel also explains that the link between skipping breakfast and increased weight is likely behavioral—compensating with snacks and/or eating more later—and therefore not inevitable.
Breakfast will often consist of either a cereal-based dish or an egg-based dish. Coffee is the most common breakfast beverage amongst adults, but is not popular with children. Tea is also widely consumed in Canada during breakfast. Orange juice and, to a lesser extent, pineapple or apple juice, are consumed by people of all ages. In the United States, 65% of coffee is drunk during breakfast hours.
The way in which breakfast eggs are prepared ranges from the simple, such as scrambled or fried, to the slightly more complex, such as eggs benedict. Breakfast omelettes are also very popular, especially the Western or Denver omelette, which contains ham, peppers, and onions. Steak is a popular accompaniment to eggs outside of the northeast, where it is relatively rare. Bacon, hash browns, toast, and sausage links are all very commonly served alongside eggs.
Grain-based dishes include waffles, pancakes, French toast, crepes in Canada, and cereal with milk. Porridge, such as Red River Cereal is quite popular in Canada, and may be consumed with maple syrup, nuts, dried fruit, or brown sugar.
In both Canada and the United States, the traditional full breakfast is popular, though is more commonly eaten on weekends and holidays. During the week, a smaller breakfast is commonly eaten, often immediately before or while commuting to work or school.
In Canada, and somewhat less commonly the United States, maple syrup may be served with most breakfast dishes including oatmeal, French toast, waffles, pancakes, and even ham.
In the Southeastern United States, grits are popularly eaten at breakfast.
Foods typically considered to be breakfast foods are often available all day at diners, leading to them being consumed at novel times, which is likely responsible for the term “breakfast for dinner” or “brinner.”
Tags: British Columbia, Canada, Cranberry, Massachusetts, New Jersey, United States, Vaccinium, Wisconsin
Cranberries, native to North America, and are harvested in New England and the Upper Midwest in the fall.
Cranberries are a group of evergreen dwarf shrubs or trailing vines in the subgenus Oxycoccus of the genus Vaccinium. In some methods of classification, Oxycoccus is regarded as a genus in its own right. They can be found in acidic bogs throughout the cooler regions of the northern hemisphere.
Cranberries are low, creeping shrubs or vines up to 2 metres (7 ft) long and 5 to 20 centimetres (2 to 8 in) in height; they have slender, wiry stems that are not thickly woody and have small evergreen leaves. The flowers are dark pink, with very distinct reflexed petals, leaving the style and stamens fully exposed and pointing forward. They are pollinated by bees. The fruit is a berry that is larger than the leaves of the plant; it is initially white, but turns a deep red when fully ripe. It is edible, with an acidic taste that can overwhelm its sweetness.
Cranberries are a major commercial crop in certain American states and Canadian provinces (see cultivation and uses below). Most cranberries are processed into products such as juice, sauce, jam, and sweetened dried cranberries, with the remainder sold fresh to consumers. Cranberry sauce is regarded as an indispensable part of traditional American and Canadian Thanksgiving menus and some European winter festivals.
Since the early 21st century within the global functional food industry, raw cranberries have been marketed as a “superfruit” due to their nutrient content and antioxidant qualities.
There are three to four species of cranberry, classified in two sections:
Subgenus Oxycoccus, sect. Oxycoccus
8 Vaccinium oxycoccos or Oxycoccus palustris (Common Cranberry or Northern Cranberry) is widespread throughout the cool temperate northern hemisphere, including northern Europe, northern Asia and northern North America. It has small 5–10 mm leaves. The flowers are dark pink, with a purple central spike, produced on finely hairy stems. The fruit is a small pale pink berry, with a refreshing sharp acidic flavour.
* Vaccinium microcarpum or Oxycoccus microcarpus (Small Cranberry) occurs in northern North America, northern Europe and northern Asia, and differs from V. oxycoccos in the leaves being more triangular, and the flower stems hairless. Some botanists include it within V. oxycoccos.
* Vaccinium macrocarpon or Oxycoccus macrocarpus (Large cranberry, American Cranberry, Bearberry) native to northern North America across Canada, and eastern United States, south to North Carolina at high altitudes). It differs from V. oxycoccos in the leaves being larger, 10–20 mm long, and in its slightly apple-like taste.
Subgenus Oxycoccus, sect. Oxycoccoides
* Vaccinium erythrocarpum or Oxycoccus erythrocarpus (Southern Mountain Cranberry) native to southeastern North America at high altitudes in the southern Appalachian Mountains, and also in eastern Asia.
Cranberries are related to bilberries, blueberries, and huckleberries, all in Vaccinium subgenus Vaccinium. These differ in having stouter, woodier stems forming taller shrubs, and in the bell-shaped flowers, the petals not being reflexed.
Some plants of the completely unrelated genus Viburnum are sometimes inaccurately called “highbush cranberries” (Viburnum trilobum).
Cranberries are susceptible to false blossom, a harmful but controllable phytoplasma disease common in the eastern production areas of Massachusetts and New Jersey.
Cranberries are a major commercial crop in the U.S. states of Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington, and Wisconsin, as well as in the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, New Brunswick, Ontario, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Quebec. 20% of the world’s cranberries are produced in British Columbia’s lower mainland region. In the United States, Wisconsin is the leading producer of cranberries, with over half of U.S. production. Massachusetts is the second largest U.S. producer. A very small production is found in southern Argentina and Chile, the Netherlands, and Eastern Europe.
Historically, cranberry beds were constructed in wetlands. Today cranberry beds are constructed in upland areas with a shallow water table. The topsoil is scraped off to form dykes around the bed perimeter. Clean sand is hauled into a depth of four to eight inches. The surface is laser leveled flat to provide even drainage. Beds are frequently drained with socked tile in addition to the perimeter ditch. In addition to making it possible to hold water, the dykes allow equipment to service the beds without driving on the vines. Irrigation equipment is installed in the bed to provide irrigation for vine growth and for spring and autumn frost protection.
Cranberry vines are propagated by moving vines from an established bed. The vines are spread on the surface of the sand of the new bed and pushed into the sand with a blunt disk. The vines are watered frequently during the first few weeks until roots form and new shoots grow. Beds are given frequent light application of nitrogen fertilizer during the first year. The cost of establishment for new cranberry beds is estimated to be about US$70,000 per hectare (approx. $28,300 per acre).
A common misconception about cranberry production is that the beds remain flooded throughout the year. During the growing season cranberry beds are not flooded, but are irrigated regularly to maintain soil moisture. Beds are flooded in the autumn to facilitate harvest and again during the winter to protect against low temperatures. In cold climates like Wisconsin, Maine, and eastern Canada, the winter flood typically freezes into ice, while in warmer climates the water remains liquid. When ice forms on the beds, trucks can be driven onto the ice to spread a thin layer of sand that helps to control pests and rejuvenate the vines. Sanding is done every three to five years.
Cranberries are harvested in the fall when the fruit takes on its distinctive deep red color. This is usually in September through the first part of November. To harvest cranberries, the beds are flooded with six to eight inches of water above the vines. A harvester is driven through the beds to remove the fruit from the vines. For the past 50 years, water reel type harvesters have been used. Harvested cranberries float in the water and can be corralled into a corner of the bed and conveyed or pumped from the bed. From the farm, cranberries are taken to receiving stations where they are cleaned, sorted, and stored prior to packaging or processing.
Although most cranberries are wet-picked as described above, 5–10% of the US crop is still dry-picked. This entails higher labor costs and lower yield, but dry-picked berries are less bruised and can be sold as fresh fruit instead of having to be immediately frozen or processed. Originally performed with two-handed comb scoops, dry picking is today accomplished by motorized, walk-behind harvesters which must be small enough to traverse beds without damaging the vines.
White cranberry juice is made from regular cranberries that have been harvested after the fruits are mature, but before they have attained their characteristic dark red color. Yields are lower on beds harvested early and the early flooding tends to damage vines, but not severely.
Cranberries for fresh market are stored in shallow bins or boxes with perforated or slatted bottoms, which deter decay by allowing air to circulate. Because harvest occurs in late autumn, cranberries for fresh market are frequently stored in thick walled barns without mechanical refrigeration. Temperatures are regulated by opening and closing vents in the barn as needed. Cranberries destined for processing are usually frozen in bulk containers shortly after arriving at a receiving station.
About 95% of cranberries are processed into products such as juice drinks, sauce, and sweetened dried cranberries. The remaining are sold fresh to consumers.
Cranberries are normally considered too sharp to be eaten plain and raw, as they are not only sour but bitter as well.
Cranberry juice is a major use of cranberries; it is usually either sweetened to make “cranberry juice cocktail” or blended with other fruit juices to reduce its natural severe tartness. Many cocktails, including the Cosmopolitan, are made with cranberry juice. At one teaspoon of sugar per ounce, cranberry juice cocktail is more highly sweetened than even soda drinks that have been linked to obesity.
Usually cranberries as fruit are cooked into a compote or jelly, known as cranberry sauce. Such preparations are traditionally served with roast turkey, as a staple of English Christmas dinners, and the Canadian and US holiday Thanksgiving. The berry is also used in baking (muffins, scones, cakes and breads). In baking it is often combined with orange or orange zest. Less commonly, innovative cooks use cranberries to add tartness to savory dishes such as soups and stews.
Fresh cranberries can be frozen at home, and will keep up to nine months; they can be used directly in recipes without thawing.
Cranberry wine is made in some of the cranberry-growing regions of the United States and Canada from either whole cranberries, cranberry juice or cranberry juice concentrate.
Tags: Boil, Canning, cook, Fruit, Home canning, Mason jar, United States Department of Agriculture, USDA
A wonderful and – dare we say it? – fun way to make your fruits and veggies last longer is to try home canning. You may think canning is just for country folk, but it’s becoming more and more popular as a way to save money and make sure you’re eating foods with the least amount of preservatives possible. Buy foods when they are in season, or better yet, grow your own and can to save later. The biggest trick in canning is to make sure that no air (which contains bacteria) gets into your jars; this is achieved with a pressure canner or boiling – water canner. Find out what these contraptions are and how safely fruit, vegetables, pickles, meat, poultry, seafood, salsas, pie filling, jams, and more from the USDA‘s extensive free Guide to Home Canning, available at: http://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/publications_usda.html.
1 (8 oz) cream cheese, room temp softened
1/2 C butter, room temp soft
1 C sugar
1/2 C pumpkin
1 egg room temp
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 C flour
1 C cake flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 C of white baking chips
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spiceInstructions
Preheat oven to 350.
In a large bowl beat cream cheese and butter together until smooth and creamy. Blend in sugar, pumpkin, vanilla extract and egg until smooth.
In a different bowl, combine flours, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin spice.
Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients.Fold in white baking chips. Put the dough in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
On a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper place large scoops of dough. You can use an ice cream scooper.
Bake for 10-12 minutes. Let cool for 2-3 minutes before transferring to a…
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We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Providing vital nutrients to kick start our metabolisms and get us ready for everything that the day has in store.
However, all too often we forgo this vital feed in favour of a few extra minutes in bed. So if you want to have all of the benefits of breakfast without having to give it any extra time, here are five quick ideas for people on the go.
1. Home made muesli bars
If you’ve got a little bit of time on a Sunday, making a batch of home made muesli bars is the perfect way to prepare yourself for the week ahead. As simple as making flapjacks, the great thing about making your own muesli bars is that it gives you the freedom to put whatever you want into the mix so try out a few…
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National Mulled Cider Day
Five Food Finds about Cider
- The cider industry uses 45% of all apples grown in the UK.
- The UK cider industry grew nearly 200,000 tonnes of cider apples in 2010; Bulmers alone has 10,000 acres of cider apple orchards under its control.
- There are more than 300 varieties of cider apple grown in the UK – all with the sole purpose of making cider.
- Varieties include Foxwhelp, Brown Snout, Ball’s Bittersweet, Kingston Black, Merrylegs and Slack-ma-Girdle.
- Cider apples are different from dessert apples in that they contain tannin, which is also found in coffee and red wine. It gives the cider a full-bodied flavour and drying of the mouth (astringency).
Today’s Food History
on this day in…
1861 William Wrigley, Jr. was born. William Wrigley Jr. started out as a traveling salesman at the age of 13, selling soap for his father’s company. He had a…
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Tags: Black Bean, Extra Lean Jennie - O Ground Turkey, Ground Turkey, Lettuce, Monounsaturated fat, Old El Paso, Polyunsaturated fat, Saturated fat, Sea salt, Sliced Black Olives, Trans fat
Today’s Menu: Black Bean and Turkey Tacos
Rainy day around here today. We needed some rain though it was getting a little dry around here. Not much going on, just bummed around doing odds and ends till football started up in the afternoon. For dinner I prepared Black Bean and Turkey Tacos.
I used Jennie – O Extra Lean Ground Turkey Breast, I had this leftover from the other night when I made Stuffed Peppers. I fried it in Canola Oil and seasoned it with Sea Salt, Ground Roasted Cumin, Cilantro Flakes, and 1 package of Old El Paso Low Sodium Taco Seasoning. As I added the Taco Seasoning Mix I also added 1 can of Bush’s Low Sodium Black Beans, I drained and rinsed them before I added them. Black Beans with Ground Turkey is a perfect pairing for Tacos. Mixed well until everything was coated and then simmered another 5 minutes until heated through.
For my other toppings I used 1 small can of Mario Sliced Black Olives, 1 small diced Tomato, Sargento 4 Cheese Mexican Shredded Reduced Fat Cheese, Dole Shredded Lettuce, Old El Paso Taco Sauce, and all in a Ortega Whole Grain Corn Taco Shells. I love these Tacos! The crunch of the shells and all the different flavors and spices make a perfect Taco. For dessert later a Jello Sugarless Double Chocolate Pudding.
Excellent Source of Fiber and 16 grams of Whole Grains per serving. Each package contains 10 Taco Shells, total net weight of 4.9 oz.
Ortega Whole Grain Taco Shells are rich with flavor and texture and offer the fiber and complex carbohydrates your body needs. Our unique recipe combines whole kernel corn with whole grains for a delicious way to nourish and satisfy your body and the entire family. Plus, only Ortega Taco Shells are carefully placed in a proprietary freshness pack to cushion and protect them from breaking. Each freshness pack is then vacuum sealed to keep the shells fresh and crisp. Taste the Difference!
Whole Yellow Kernal Corn, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Maltodextrin, Corn Bran, Water, Salt, Hydrated Lime.
Serving Size 2 shells
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 50Calories 110
% Daily Values*
Total Fat 6g 9%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Polyunsaturated Fat 2.5g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 160mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 17g 6%
Dietary Fiber 5g 20%