Healthy Italian Comfort Food

February 29, 2016 at 10:35 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

This time of year the weather can be quite unpredictable. A few days of nice, warm, sunny weather and them the cold comes roaring back. Those are the days when you want some warming comfort food ag…

Source: Healthy Italian Comfort Food

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Tuscan Seasoned Pork Medallions w/ Cut Italian Beans, Whole Potatoes, and..

February 29, 2016 at 5:48 PM | Posted in beans, Pork, potatoes | 2 Comments
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Today’s Menu: Tuscan Seasoned Pork Medallions w/ Cut Italian Beans, Whole Potatoes, Baked Italian Loaf Bread

 

 

Tuscan Seasoned Pork Medallions w Cut Italian Beans, Whole Potat 003
Went out to get the morning papers early this morning and it was really windy out and a lot cooler than it’s been. For Breakfast I toasted a Healthy Life Whole Grain English Muffin that I topped with some Smucker’s Sugarless Blackberry Jam. I love the Smucker’s Sugarless Jams. There’s no difference in taste but fewer calories and carbs. I’ve even got Mom and Dad using them now. Did some cleaning around the house and took my Hoveround outside and gave it a good cleaning, it’s a dust magnet under the seat and around the batteries. For dinner tonight I prepared a Tuscan Seasoned Pork Medallions w/ Cut Italian Beans, Whole Potatoes, and Baked Italian Loaf Bread.

 

 

Tuscan Seasoned Pork Loin Medallions

While at Costco a while back I came across a package of Tuscan Seasoned Pork Loin Medallions. it was a good size package with 24 slices. I kept 4 slices out and froze the remaining 20 pieces. Prepared 4 of them and they were excellent and couldn’t wait to have them again! So I got a bag of 4 medallions out and let them thaw in the fridge oversight.

 

 

 

 

Tuscan Seasoned Pork Medallions w Cut Italian Beans, Whole Potat 002
I started by preheating the oven on 400 degrees. To prepare them I used a Cast Iron Skillet. Sprayed it with Pam Cooking Spray and 1 tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and heated it on medium heat. I then lightly Salted the Pork with Sea Salt and a sprinkle of McCormick Dried Parsley. Added the Pork to the skillet and cooked it for 2 minutes a side, just started to brown. Then from the stove to the oven, love Cast Iron Skillets! I then baked them to a medium rare, 145 degrees in the center of the medallions using a meat thermometer. Pork Tenderloin is one of my favorites. The Pork was so tender and flavorful. Seasoned just right and very moist. I’ll have to buy another package next visit to Costco!

 

Fried Walleye w Cut Roma Beans and Baked Roasted Fingerling Pota 003
Then for one side dish I heated a can of Allens Cut Italian Green Beans. To prepare them just empty the can into a small sauce pan and simmer until heated. I love the taste of these, just season with a bit of Sea Salt and it’s ready! I could have Beans every day and never get tired of having them.

 

 

 

 

Seasoned Haddock w Whole New Potatoes and Asparagus Cuts and Tip 002
Then for another side dish I heated up a can of Kroger Whole New Potatoes. Just heat and serve, seasoned with McCormick Grinder Sea Salt and Black Peppercorn Medley, Parsley, and I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter. I also baked a loaf of Pillsbury Italian Loaf Bread. For dessert later a Jello Sugar Free Double Chocolate Pudding topped with Cool Whip Free.

 

 

 

 

Allens Italian Cut Green Beans

Allens Italian Cut Green Beans contain fiber and are naturally free of cholesterol and saturated fats. Diets rich in vegetables such as Allens Italian Cut Green Beans may help lower the risk of heart disease, high cholesterol and some cancers.
Allens Italian Cut Green Beans:Allens Cut Italian Green Beans
* Heart healthy
* Heat and serve
* Cholesterol free
* Saturated fat-free
* Kosher

Ingredients:
Ingredients: Italian Green Beans, Water, Salt.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 119 G
Servings Per Container 3.5
Amount Per Serving
Calories 30
Calories From Fat 0
% Daily Value
Total Fat 0 G 0
Saturated Fat 0 G 0
Trans Fat 0 G
Cholesterol 0 Mg 0
Sodium 300 Mg 12
Total Carbohydrate 5 G 2
Dietary Fiber 2 G 7
Sugars 1 G
Protein 1 G

One of America’s Favorites – Pretzels

February 29, 2016 at 6:06 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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An assortment of pretzels

An assortment of pretzels

A pretzel (German: Brezel or Breze) is a type of baked bread product made from dough most commonly shaped into a twisted knot. Pretzels originated in Europe, possibly among monasteries in the Early Middle Ages. The traditional pretzel shape is a distinctive symmetrical looped form, with the ends of a long strip of dough intertwined and then twisted back into itself in a certain way (“a pretzel loop”). Pretzels now come in different shapes. Salt is the most common seasoning for pretzels, complementing the washing soda or lye treatment that gives pretzels their traditional “skin” and flavor through the Maillard reaction; other seasonings include sugars, chocolate, glazes, seeds, and/or nuts.

 

 

Hard Pretzels

Hard Pretzels

In the late 18th century, southern German and Swiss German immigrants introduced the pretzel to North America. The immigrants became known as the Pennsylvania Dutch, and in time, many handmade pretzel bakeries populated the central Pennsylvania countryside, and the pretzel’s popularity spread.

In the 20th century, soft pretzels became popular in other regions of the United States. Cities like Philadelphia, Chicago, and New York became renowned for their soft pretzels. The key to success was the introduction of the new mass production methods of the industrialized age, which increased the availability and quantity, and the opening up of multiple points of distribution at schools, convenience and grocery stores, and entertainment venues such as movie theaters, arenas, concert halls, and sport stadiums. Prior to that, street vendors used to sell pretzels on street corners in wooden glass-enclosed cases.

In particular, the S-shaped soft pretzel, often served with brown mustard, became iconic in Philadelphia and was established as a part of Philadelphia’s cuisine for snacking at school, work, or home, and considered by most to be a quick meal. The average Philadelphian today consumes about twelve times as many pretzels as the national average.

Pennsylvania today is the center of American pretzel production for both the hard-crispy and the soft-bread types of pretzels. Southeastern Pennsylvania, with its large population of German background, is considered the birthplace of the American pretzel industry, and many pretzel bakers are still located in the area. Pennsylvania produces 80% of the nation’s pretzels.

The annual United States pretzel industry is worth over $550 million. The average American consumes about 1.5

Mini pretzel rods

Mini pretzel rods

pounds (0.7 kg) of pretzels per year.

The privately run “Pretzel Museum” opened in Philadelphia in 1993. In 2003, Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell declared April 26 “National Pretzel Day” to acknowledge the importance of the pretzel to the state’s history and economy. Philly Pretzel Factory stores offer a free pretzel to each customer on this day.

Hard pretzels originated in the United States, where, in 1850, the Sturgis bakery in Lititz, Pennsylvania, became the first commercial hard pretzel bakery. Snack food hard pretzels were shaped as sticks (around 3 millimetres (0.12 in) thick and 12 centimetres (4.7 in) long), loops, braids, letters or little pretzels; they have become a popular snack in many countries around the world. A thicker variety of sticks can be 1 centimetre (0.39 in) thick; in the U. S. these are called Bavarian pretzels. Unlike the soft pretzels, these were durable when kept in an airtight environment and marketable in a variety of convenience stores. Large-scale production began in the first half of the 1900s, more so during 1930 to 1950. A prime example was in 1949, when highly innovative American Machine and Foundry Co., of New York City, developed the “pretzel bender”: a new automatic crispy-styled baked pretzel-twisting machine that rolled and tied them at the rate of 50 a minute—more than twice as fast as skilled hand twisters could make them—and conveyed them through the baking and salting process. In Europe, snack-food pretzels are usually sprinkled with salt, but also with sesame seed, poppy-seed or cheese. In the U.S., they come in many varieties of flavors and coatings, such as yogurt, chocolate, strawberry, mustard, cheese and others, and chocolate-covered hard pretzels are popular around Christmas time and given as gifts. The variety of shapes and sizes became contest of imagination in the marketing of the pretzels taste. During the 1900s, people in Philadelphia would use the small slender pretzel stick as a common accompaniment to ice cream or would crumble pretzels as a topping. This combination of cold sweet and salty taste was very popular for many years. Eventually this led to the development of an ice cream cone tasting like a pretzel. More recently Mars, Incorporated manufactures M&M’s with a small spherical pretzel covered in milk chocolate and candy coated in all of the standard M&Ms colors, called “Pretzel M&M’s”.

Soft pretzels are frequently sold in shopping malls, with notable chains including Auntie Anne’s and Pretzelmaker/Pretzel Time.

 
Pennsylvania milestones

1800s

Philadelphia style soft pretzel

Philadelphia style soft pretzel

Southern German and Swiss German immigrants who became known as the Pennsylvania Dutch introduced soft pretzels and pretzel bakery businesses.
1861
Sturgis Pretzel House in Lititz, Pennsylvania becomes the first commercial hard pretzel bakery in the United States.
1889
The Anderson Pretzel Factory in Lancaster, Pennsylvania is founded. Today it calls itself the world’s largest, producing 65 tons of hard pretzels daily.
1935
The Reading Pretzel Machinery Company in Reading, Pennsylvania introduced the first automatic hard pretzel twisting machine.
1963
The largest soft pretzel of its time, weighing 40 pounds and measuring 5 feet across, is baked by Joseph Nacchio of the Federal Pretzel Baking Company for film It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.
1978
The first machine-produced stamped cut soft pretzel was innovated at Federal Pretzel Baking Company.
1993
The first Pretzel Museum of soft pretzels is opened in Philadelphia. A 7 minute film, demonstration of championship hand twisting at 57 per minute and tasting were highlights.
2003
Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell declares April 26 National Pretzel Day to acknowledge the importance of the pretzel to the state’s history and economy.

 
Freeport, Illinois, which sits about 100 miles outside of Chicago, is another city known for its rich pretzel history. In 1869, a German immigrant named John Billerbeck established the first Billerbeck Bakery which was known for selling German style pretzels to compliment the large number of breweries that existed in Freeport during this time. Prohibition eventually shut down the breweries which led to the decline of pretzel sales in Freeport, but the city never lost its pretzel pride. For more than 100 years Freeport has been known as “Pretzel City, USA.” Their high school athletic mascot is the Pretzel and the football stadium has been appropriately named “Pretzel Field.” In 2003, local citizens launched Freeport’s first Pretzel Festival which is a large community event where residents get together to celebrate the city’s pretzel history. Contestants are chosen to be crowned Pretzel Prince and Princess and a festival mascot by the name of “Pretzel Bill” (stemming from the Billerbeck Bakery name) dresses as a 6 foot tall walking talking pretzel who hands out pretzels from floats and takes photos with the local festival goers.

Although not as popular as among German speakers and Americans, the looped pretzel is known in other European countries and in other countries around the world. In the Czech Republic, the pretzel is known as preclík, in Finland as viipurinrinkeli, in Slovakia it is called praclík. The Spanish, French and Italians call it pretzel, bretzel or brezel, the Dutch favor sweet variants called krakeling, Norwegian and Danish call it a kringle, and the Swedish call it kringla. In Polish it is precel, in Hungarian and Croatian it is perec, and in Serbian it is pereca. In Romania the pretzel is known as a variety of covering and it is a very popular fast food in urban areas and also as a holiday gift.

 

“Meatless Monday” Recipe of the Week – Cheese-Filled Polish-Style Pierogi

February 29, 2016 at 6:03 AM | Posted in CooksRecipes, Meatless Monday | Leave a comment
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This week’s “Meatless Monday” Recipe of the Week is a Cheese-Filled Polish-Style Pierogi. Homemade Pierogies filled with Cottage Cheese! You can find this recipe along with a fantastic selection of recipes of all cuisines at the CooksRecipes website. http://www.cooksrecipes.com/index.html

 

 

Cheese-Filled Polish-Style Pierogi

Serve pierogi warm topped with sour cream and caramelized onions.Cooksrecipes 2

Recipe Ingredients:

Filling:
1 cup (8 ounces) cream style cottage cheese, drained
1 egg yolk, beaten
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

Dough:
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter, cut in pieces
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 egg yolk, at room temperature
1/2 cup reduced fat milk, at room temperature
2 tablespoons sour cream, at room temperature

 

Cooking Directions:

1 – For Filling: Combine all ingredients and refrigerate until ready to assemble pierogi.
2 – For Dough: Combine flour, salt and butter in food processor fitted with a plastic blade.
3 – In a separate bowl, blend together egg, egg yolk, milk and sour cream. Add to flour mixture and process until dough cleans sides of bowl and sticks together (it will be slightly sticky). Remove, shape into a ball, wrap in plastic and chill 3 hours or overnight.
4 – Cut dough into thirds; roll each section out on floured surface into 12 inch round. Cut each round into eight 3 inch dough circles. Moisten outer edges of each dough circle with water; place 2 teaspoons filling on each and fold dough over. Seal edges by pressing gently with the back of a fork.
5 – In large pot, bring 12 cups salted water to boil. Add 12 pierogi at a time, reducing heat to a gentle boil; cook 5 minutes, or until pierogi float to the surface. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towel and transfer to serving dish. Repeat with remaining pierogi.
6 – Serve warm topped with sour cream and onions sautéed in butter until golden brown.
Makes 4 servings.

http://www.cooksrecipes.com/mless/cheese-filled_polish-style_pierogi_recipe.html

Kitchen Hint of the Day!

February 29, 2016 at 6:02 AM | Posted in Kitchen Hints | Leave a comment
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It’s a good idea to line the crisper bins of your refrigerator with a few paper towels or sheets of newspaper to absorb excess moisture. Mold spores love moisture, but the towels will keep it away.

February 29 is Leap Day calls for a celebration! National Frog Legs Day

February 29, 2016 at 6:01 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Five Food Finds about Frog Trivia & Frog Legs 1. In 1930 there were only 24 frog farms in the U.S. Now there are hundreds of commercial growers. 2. The world’s largest Frog Leg festival, …

Source: February 29 is Leap Day calls for a celebration! National Frog Legs Day

Slow Cooker Pot Roast

February 28, 2016 at 5:51 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I have to believe that one of the most beloved dishes ever made is Pot Roast. I’ve never come across anyone who didn’t adore this one pot meal until now. That’s right until now! S…

Source: Slow Cooker Pot Roast

Leftovers: Salmon Patties w/ Velveeta Whole Grain Rotini and Cheese

February 28, 2016 at 5:49 PM | Posted in salmon, seafood, Velveeta/Kraft Dinners | Leave a comment
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Today’s Menu: Leftovers – Salmon Patties w/ Velveeta Whole Grain Rotini and Cheese

 
It was a full day of leftovers for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner! For Breakfast I reheated some Pioneer Peppered White Gravy, reheated 2 Jennie – O Turkey Breakfast Sausage Links, and toasted a couple of slices of Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread. Mom and Dad went on to Church this morning so I gave the house a good cleaning today. Ran the vacuum, dusted, and did a couple of loads of laundry for Mom. Outside, what a beautiful day! Sunny and in the 60’s! But they say cooler weather and possible light snow moving back in by mid-week. Went outside and cleaned and swept the deck and driveway. Even got the 4 wheel cart out for a spin this afternoon. Beautiful day out. For Lunch I reheated a Ball Park Turkey Frank and served on a Flax Seed Pita Bread. Then for dinner it was leftover Salmon Patties w/ Velveeta Whole Grain Rotini and Cheese.

 

Salmon Patties w Velveeta Whole Grain Rotini and Cheese 005
I reheated the leftover Salmon Patties w/ Velveeta Whole Grain Rotini and Cheese that I had prepared the day before. Reheated both items in the microwave. I also had a slice of Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread topped with I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter. Also had a Diet Dr. Pepper to drink with dinner. For dessert later a Skinny Cow Chocolate Truffle Ice Cream Bar. The original post for the Salmon and Pasta is below.

 

 

 

 

Golden Brown

Golden Brown

I’m using a can of Kroger Brand Pink Salmon, Egg Beater’s (1/4 cup), a couple of shakes of Frank’s Hot Sauce, Dried Parsley, and Kroger Low Fat Saltine Crackers. To make the Salmon Patties I used Kroger Low Fat Saltine Crackers, 10 Crackers. By using these Crackers instead of a regular Saltine Cracker, such as Zesta Saltine Crackers, I saved a total of 20 calories and 2 full grams of fat. Make cuts where you can, it all adds up! In a large bowl I mixed all the ingredients until it well mixed and thickened up. Made the mixture into patties and pan fried them in Extra Virgin Olive Oil on medium heat. Fried until cooked through and golden brown on both sides. I’m starting to have to have these more often, they came out golden brown and delicious!

 

 

Velveeta Whole Grain Rotini and Cheese (2)
For the Pasta I used Velveeta Whole Grain Rotini and Cheese. I don’t use a lot of Mac and Cheese due to the calories and carbs but the Velveeta Whole Grain Rotini and Cheese isn’t too bad, plus every now and then doesn’t hurt. To prepare it; Boil 6 cups water. Stir in shell pasta. Cook 8-10 min., Stirring occasionally. Drain pasta, don’t rinse. Return it to pan. Add cheese sauce; stir. And you have some creamy and cheesy Mac and Cheese! It’s just a flat out Pasta and Cheese Comfort Food Heaven! Excellent tasting Rotini Pasta and with the Cheese, perfect.

 

 

 
Velveeta Whole Grain Rotini and Cheese

Velveeta Shells and Cheese
* It’s the creamiest
* Whole grain rotini pasta
* Great source of calcium
* A side dish your family will loveVelveeta Whole Grain Rotini and Cheese
It’s the creamiest, creamy cheese sauce and shell pasta. Only Velveeta Whole Grain Rotini & Cheese Dinner has the rich, creamy cheese sauce that makes your everyday meals special. This product can be part of a wholesome meal and it is an excellent source of calcium and protein, and a good source of iron. Serve up the best side of dinner your family will love in Velveeta Whole Grain Rotini and Cheese Dinner. Made with the smooth, creamy Velveeta cheese sauce and 50% whole grain pasta, it’s the perfect match for any meal.
Directions
Make it tonight! Boil 6 cups water. Stir in shell pasta. Cook 8-10 min., Stirring occasionally. Note: don’t overcook pasta. Drain pasta, don’t rinse. Return it to pan. Add cheese sauce; stir. Makes about 3 servings.
Ingredients
Enriched Pasta Product (Whole Durum Wheat Flour, Durum Wheat Semolina Flour, Niacin, Ferrous Sulfate [Iron], Thiamin Mononitrate [Vitamin B1], Riboflavin [Vitamin B2], Folic Acid); Cheese Sauce (Milk, Whey, Water, Canola Oil, Milk Protein Concentrate, Sodium Phosphate, Salt, Contains Less Than 2% of Sodium Alginate, Lactic Acid, Oleoresin Paprika [Color], Natural Flavor, Cheese Culture, Enzymes, Annatto [Color], Sorbic Acid As A Preservative). Contains: Wheat, Milk.

February 28 is National Chocolate Souffle Day

February 28, 2016 at 12:29 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Here are today’s five thing to know about Chocolate Souffle: Supposedly, the first recipe for soufflé appeared in Vincent La Chapelle’s Le Cuisinier Moderne (1742). The word soufflé fir…

Source: February 28 is National Chocolate Souffle Day

The Sunday Pizza – Benny’s Chicago-Style Pan Pizza

February 28, 2016 at 6:09 AM | Posted in Sunday Pizza | Leave a comment
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This week’s Sunday Pizza is Benny’s Chicago-Style Pan Pizza. This recipe was emailed to me from Benny to pass along, so I’m calling it Benny’s Chicago-Style Pan Pizza! He said this recipe was passed along to him by a neighbor and he’s been preparing it regular ever since. So thank you to Benny, and enjoy!

 

 

Benny’s Chicago-Style Pan Pizza

Ingredients
1 (1 pound) loaf frozen bread dough, thawed
1 pound bulk Italian sausage or turkey Italian sausage
2 cups shredded reduced fat mozzarella cheese
8 ounces sliced fresh mushrooms
1 small onion, chopped
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon fennel seed
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup freshly grated Kraft Reduced Fat Parmesan Cheese

 
Directions
1 – Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of a greased 9×13 inch baking dish.
2 – Crumble the sausage into a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir until evenly browned. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon, and sprinkle over the dough crust. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese evenly over the sausage.
3 – Add mushrooms and onion to the skillet; cook and stir until the onion is tender. Stir in the tomatoes, oregano, salt, fennel seed and garlic powder. Spoon over the mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the top.
4 – Bake for 25 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, or until crust is golden brown.

 

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