One of America’s Favorites – Lemonade

March 11, 2013 at 8:50 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | 9 Comments
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Lemonade is a lemon-flavored drink. In different parts of the world, the name has different meanings. In North America, lemonade is Lemonadeusually made from lemon juice, water, and sugar and is often home-made. In the United Kingdom and some other English-speaking countries, lemonade is a commercially-produced, lemon-flavored, carbonated, sweetened soft drink (known as lemon-lime in North America). Although lemonade is usually non-alcoholic, in recent years alcoholic versions of lemonade (called “hard lemonade”) have become popular in various countries.

In the USA and Canada, lemonade is an uncarbonated drink made from squeezed lemon juice, water, and sugar. Slices of lemon are sometimes added to a pitcher as a garnish and further source of flavoring.
It can be made fresh from fruit, reconstituted from frozen juice, dry powder, or liquid concentrate, and colored in a variety of shades. Artificially sweetened and artificially flavored versions are also popular.
Variations on this form of lemonade can be found in many countries. In India and Pakistan, where it is commonly known as limbu paani or nimbu paani, lemonade may also contain salt and/or ginger juice. Shikanjvi is a traditional lemonade from the India-Pakistan region and can also be flavored with saffron, garlic and cumin

Pink lemonade may be colored with the juices of raspberries, cherries, red grapefruit, grapes, cranberries, strawberries, grenadine, orPink lemonade artificial food dye. The pink-fleshed, ornamental Eureka lemon is commonly used as its juice is clear though it is sometimes thought to be too sour to drink.
The New York Times credited Henry E. “Sanchez” Allott as the inventor of pink lemonade in his obituary, saying he had dropped in red cinnamon candies by mistake. Another theory, recorded by historian Joe Nickell in his book Secrets of the Sideshows, is that Pete Conklin first invented the drink in 1857 when he used water dyed pink from a horse rider’s red tights to make his lemonade.

In the United Kingdom, lemonade most often refers to a clear, carbonated, sweetened, lemon-flavored soft drink. In North America, this is known as lemon-lime. The suffix ‘-ade’ in British English is used for several carbonated sweet soft drinks, such as limeade, orangeade or cherryade.
UK-style lemonade and beer are mixed to make a shandy. Lemonade is also an important ingredient in the Pimm’s Cup cocktail, and is a popular drink mixer.
In the UK and other places the American-style drink is often called “traditional lemonade” or “homemade lemonade”. Carbonated versions of this are also sold commercially as “cloudy” or “traditional” lemonade. There are also similar uncarbonated products, lemon squash and lemon barley water, both of which are usually sold as a syrup which is diluted to taste.
Lemonade in Ireland comes in three varieties, known as red, brown and white. Red lemonade is one of the most popular mixers used with spirits in Ireland, particularly in whiskey. Major brands of red lemonade include TK (formerly Taylor Keith), Country Spring, Finches and Nash’s. Other brands include Maine, Yacht and C&C (Cantrell & Cochrane). The most common brands of brown lemonade in Northern Ireland are Cantrell & Cochrane (C&C) and Maine. C&C label this as “Witches Brew” in the weeks around Hallowe’en.[citation needed] There was an urban myth that European Union authorities had banned red lemonade but the truth was simply that they had banned a cancer-causing dye.

In Australia and New Zealand, lemonade usually refers to the clear, carbonated soft drink that other countries identify as having a lemon flavor such as Sprite. This standard, clear lemonade can be referred to as ‘plain’ lemonade and other colored (and flavored) soft drinks are sometimes referred to by their color such as “red lemonade” or “green lemonade”.
In France, “citronade” is used to refer to American-style lemonade. “Limonade” refers to carbonated, lemon-flavoured, clear soft drinks. Sprite and 7 up are sometimes also called limonade. Pink lemonade made with limonade is called “diabolo”. Limonade and grenadine is called a “diabolo-grenadine” and limonade with peppermint syrup a “diabolo-menthe”. Limonade is also widely used to make beer cocktails such as “panaché” (half beer, half limonade) or “monaco” (panaché with added grenadine syrup).
Limonana, a type of lemonade made from freshly-squeezed lemon juice and mint leaves, is a widely popular summer drink in Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria. Limonana was created in the early 1990s in Israel after an advertising agency promoted the then-fictitious product to prove the efficacy of advertising on public buses. The campaign generated so much consumer demand that the drink began to be produced for real by restaurateurs and manufacturers, and became very popular.

Five fabulous new ways to cook your Thanksgiving turkey

November 19, 2012 at 12:39 PM | Posted in baking, cooking, turkey | Leave a comment
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This seemed like a good time to pass this along all about different Turkey cooking methods. I left the link at the bottom of the post so you can read the entire article, it’s a good one!

Five fabulous new ways to cook your Thanksgiving turkey
10:36 am November 19, 2012, by John Kessler

All those fancy cooks at the New York Times are proposing exciting ways to cook your Thanksgiving turkey. Why shove your bird into the oven on a roasting pan, they ask, when you know that’s just a one-way ticket to the ho hums?

According to the New York Times, you should STEAM your turkey.

But if that’s too much work, then you should BRAISE the bird or — better yet — SPATCHCOCK the sucker.

We will not be outdone by those commonplace techniques here at the AJC. If you really want to impress guests far beyond any way they might be momentarily wowed by a New York Times turkey, may we propose one of these five exciting new preparation methods:….

http://blogs.ajc.com/food-and-more/2012/11/19/five-fabulous-new-ways-to-cook-your-thanksgiving-turkey/?cxntfid=blogs_food_and_more

Tea production in the United States

April 28, 2012 at 2:59 PM | Posted in green tea | 1 Comment
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Alittle about one of my favorite healthy drinks, Green Tea!

Although Camellia sinensis can be grown in warmer parts of the United States, currently the US mainland has only two commercial tea gardens: a relatively large, fully mechanized plantation in Charleston, South Carolina and a small operation in Burlington, Washington. Off the mainland, there is a collective of roughly 40 small growers in Hawaii.

As of 2010, Washington, South Carolina, and Hawaii Teas are available through mail order and online purchases.

Commercial tea cultivation in the United States has been attempted since 1744 when tea seeds were sent to the Trust Garden in Savannah. The first recorded successful cultivation of the tea plant in the United States is recorded as growing on Skidaway Island near Savannah in 1772. Junius Smith succeeded in growing tea commercially in Greenville, South Carolina, from 1848 until his death in 1853. Dr. Alexis Forster oversaw the next short-lived attempt in Georgetown, South Carolina, from 1874 until his death in 1879. In 1863, the New York Times reported the discovery of tea plants growing natively in Western Maryland and Pennsylvania.

The New York Times report of natively growing tea plants sparked an interest in cultivating the plants commercially. The US Government planted an experimental farm outside Summerville, South Carolina. They ran the program from 1884 until 1888. They concluded that South Carolina’s climate was too unstable to sustain the tea crop. The Department of Agriculture issued a report in 1897 that “estimates the minimum cost about eight times as much to pick one pound of tea in South Carolina as that paid for the same service in Asia.”

In 1888 Dr. Charles Shepard established the Pinehurst Tea Plantation close to the government’s farm. Dr. Shepard secured laborers for the fields by opening a school and making tea-picking part of its curriculum, essentially ensuring a force of child labor while providing them with an education they might not otherwise obtain. Pinehurst produced award winning teas until Dr. Shepard’s death in 1915. The garden closed after Shepard’s death and Pinehurst lay unattended until 1963.

In 1963, The Lipton Tea Company, worried about the instability of the third world countries that produce tea, paid to have the surviving tea plants at Pinehurst moved to a former potato farm on Wadmalaw Island. Lipton operated an experimental tea farm until it was sold in 1987 to Mack Fleming and Bill Hall, who converted the experimental farm into a working tea garden. The Charleston Tea Plantation utilized a converted tobacco harvester to mechanically harvest the tea. The Charleston Tea Plantation sold tea mail order known as American Classic Tea and also produced Sam’s Choice Instant Tea, sold through Sam’s Clubs. American Classic Tea has been the official tea of the White House since 1987. Losing money and nearly bankrupt, in 2003 it was sold to Bigelow Tea Company at a court auction for $1.28 million and was temporarily closed for renovation it in order to attract tourists and boost its revenues. The garden reopened in January 2006 and gives free tours to the public.

Like most plantations, each tea plant at the Charleston Tea Plantation comes from a clone rather than a seed to keep plant characteristics controlled. In this factory, black, oolong, and green tea is made; active harvesting takes place between May and October. The hybrid cotton picker/tobacco harvester modified by Fleming is used to harvest from the upper parts of the plants without injuring them, but cannot do so with the precision of hand-picking, necessary for the highest grades of tea. Inside the factory, leaves are placed on a withering bed for 12–18 hours. Natural air blows over the leaves to reduce the moisture from 80 percent to 68 percent. Then the leaves are chopped, sent to the oxidation bed for 55 minutes, then baked in an oven for about 28 minutes. (These times vary slightly depending on the moisture content of the leaves.) Then the sticks and fibers are sorted out and the remaining leaves are packaged.

Tea was introduced in Hawaii in 1887 and was commercially grown until 1892. While it is not clear why the tea was eventually discontinued, historians believe higher wages compared to other prime tea growing areas in Asia and Africa were among the deciding factors. Lower production costs of tea’s main rival, coffee, also helped prevent it from establishing a foothold.

In the 1960s Lipton and A&B formed a joint venture to investigate the possibility of growing tea commercially in Hawaii. Both companies decided not to open gardens on the Island, but rather to open gardens in Latin and South America.

In 2000 horticulturist Francis Zee found a strain of Camellia sinensis, the tea plant, that can flourish in the tropical climate and volcanic soil of Hawaii. A joint study of commercially growing tea in Hawaii was started by University of Hawaii at Manoa College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources and University of Hawaii at Hilo College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

With the decline of the Hawaii’s sugar industry, tea cultivation is seen as a possible replacement crop. In 2003 Hawaii had an estimated 5 acres of land producing tea but by 2005 that number jumped to roughly 80 acres. Tea production in Hawaii is expected to triple by 2008.

In 2004, the Hawaii Tea Society was formed from about 40 members, many of whom had started backyard tea farms to promote tea grown in Hawaii.

Cheese of the Week – American Cheese

March 13, 2012 at 2:58 PM | Posted in cheese, Food | Leave a comment
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American Cheese is smooth, with light, yellow or orange color. The cheese is usually cut into square slices and it does not separate when melted. It has a mild taste.

Country: United States

Texture: semi-soft

American cheese is a processed cheese. It is orange, yellow, or white in color and mild in flavor, with a medium-firm consistency, and melts easily. American cheese was originally only white, but is usually now modified to yellow. In the past it was made from a blend of cheeses, most

American processed cheese (wrapped slices)

often Colby and Cheddar. Today’s American cheese is generally no longer made from blended cheeses, but instead is manufactured from a set of ingredients such as milk, whey, milkfat, milk protein concentrate, whey protein concentrate, and salt. In the United States it may not be legally sold as “cheese”, and must be labeled as “processed cheese”, “cheese product”, or similar–e.g., “cheese food”. At times even the word “cheese” is missing in the name on the label, e.g. “American slices” or “American singles“. In Canada, the exact same product, often by the same manufacturer with the same label design, used to be sold as “Canadian cheese” or “Canadian slices”. Today most such cheese in Canada is vaguely labelled just “slices” or “singles”. In the United Kingdom, packs are labelled as “singles”, although it is commonly called “plastic cheese”.

The marketing label “American cheese” for processed cheese combined with the prevalence of processed cheese in the U.S. compared to the rest of the world has led to the term American cheese being used in the U.S. synonymously in place of processed cheese. The term “American cheese” has a legal definition as a type of pasteurized processed cheese under the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations.

American cheese is used in American cuisine, for example on cheeseburgers, in grilled cheese sandwiches, and in macaroni and cheese.

British colonists made cheddar as soon as they arrived in America. By 1790, American cheddars were being exported back to England. The British referred to American cheddar as “American cheese”, or “Yankee cheese”, and post-Revolution Americans promoted this usage to distinguish their product from European cheese. For example, an 1878 newspaper article in The New York Times lists the total export of American cheese at 355 million pounds per year, with an expected growth to 1,420 million pounds.

Originally, the English considered American cheese inferior in quality; still, it was cheap, so it sold. This connotation of the term American cheese became entrenched in Europe. “American cheese” continued to refer to American cheddar until the advent of processed cheese. Americans referred to their cheddar as “yellow cheese” or “store cheese”, because of its popularity and availability. By the 1890s, once cheese factories had sprung up across the nation, American cheddar was also referred to as “factory cheese”. And in the 1920s another slang term arose for the still popular cheese: “rattrap cheese”, or “rat cheese”.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines American cheese as a “cheese of cheddar type, made in the U.S.” and lists 1804 as the first known usage of “American cheese”, occurring in the Frankfort, Kentucky newspaper Guardian of Freedom. The next usage given is in 1860 by Charles Dickens in his series The Uncommercial Traveller.

Even though the term “American cheese” has a legal definition in the United States as a type of pasteurized processed cheese, products called “American cheese” are by no means identical. Depending on the additives and the amounts of milk fat and water added to the cheese during emulsification, the taste and texture of American cheese varies, with some varieties (e.g. “American cheese” and “American processed cheese”) being very similar to non-processed cheese and other varieties (e.g. “American cheese food” and “American cheese product”) being more like Velveeta or Cheez Whiz. The interested consumer should pay close attention to the wording used on the label of each product and to the ingredient list. (Refer to the definitions in the Sale and labeling section of the article on Processed cheese.)

The taste and texture of different varieties of American cheese vary considerably, and mostly depend on the percentage of cheese versus additives used during emulsification. Varieties with lower percentages of additives tend to taste more like unprocessed cheese. Depending on the food manufacturer, the color of the cheese (orange, yellow, or white) may indicate different ingredients or processes. Some manufacturers reserve the white and yellow colors for their less processed[citation needed] (i.e. fewer additives) American cheese varieties. In other cases[citation needed], the ingredients for white and orange colors are the same, except for the coloring. However, this does not necessarily mean that even these white and orange cheeses have exactly the same flavor and texture because the spice annatto, which has a subtle but noticeable taste, is often used for coloring American Cheese.

The processed variety of American cheese is sold in three basic packaging varieties: individually wrapped cheese slices, small pre-sliced blocks of 8 to 36 slices, and large blocks meant for deli counters. The individually wrapped cheese slices are typically the least like unprocessed cheese. Small (e.g., 8- to 36-slice) blocks of pre-sliced, but not individually wrapped American cheese are also marketed, often with the branding “deluxe” or “old-fashioned”. This variety of American cheese is similar in ingredients and texture to that of modern block American cheese. Before the advent of the individually wrapped variety, this was the typical variety that Americans purchased. Hence, some people refer to this as “classic” or “traditional” American cheese. American cheese in block form sold at deli counters is typically a less processed cheese than its individually wrapped cousin. Nonetheless, most block American cheese is still a processed cheese.

National Dish of the Week – Spain

September 21, 2011 at 4:57 PM | Posted in baking, Food | 2 Comments
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Spanish cuisine consists of a variety of dishes, which stem from differences in geography, culture and climate. It is heavily influenced by seafood available from the waters that surround the country, and reflects the country’s deep maritime roots. Spain‘s

A large Valencian paella

extensive history with many cultural influences has led to an array of unique cuisines with literally thousands of recipes and flavors. It is also renowned for its health benefits and fresh ingredients, as Mediterranean diet.

The first introduction of a product to ancient Iberia was that of wheat. Wheat was thought to be brought by Iberians from the south of the peninsula. It was perhaps brought from Aquitaine in the north of the peninsula, due to the difficulty of transporting from the south. In time, the wheat of Iberia came to be considered to be the best in the Roman Empire, and became one of the main commodities of foreign trade. The Romans’ early approval of the wheat led to the spread of wheat from Spain to Greece and Egypt and easterly parts of Russia.

There were two major kinds of diet in the peninsula. One was found in the northwest part of the peninsula, with more animal fats that correspond to the husbandry of the north. The other could be considered the precursor of the Mediterranean diet and was found in the southerly parts of the peninsula.

As early as Roman times, with the exception of products later imported from the Americas, many modern foods were consumed, although mostly by the aristocracy, not the middle class. Cooking references from that era discuss the eating habits in Rome, where foods from all of the Empire’s provinces were brought. Thousands of amphorae of olive oil were sent to Rome from Spain.[citation needed] Nonetheless, and especially in the Celtic areas, consumption of animal products (from lamb, beef, etc.) was more common than consumption of vegetables.

Already in that era, cabbage was well known and appreciated, and considered a panacea for various aliments. Other popular vegetables of that time were thistles (such as artichokes) and onions.

In Roman Spain the hams of Pomeipolis (Pamplona) had great prestige. The export of pork products became the basis of a strong local economy.

It is almost certain that lentils were already consumed in Roman Spain, because they formed a staple food for the army and because they are easy to preserve and transport. Fava beans were known from antiquity and were considered sacred by the Romans. In the Saturnalia, the later December festival in honor of Saturn, fava beans were used to choose the king of the festival. This custom is believed to be the source of the present day custom of hiding an object in the roscón de reyes (similar to the sixpence traditional in a Christmas pudding); until quite recently, that object was a fava bean. Garbanzoswere also popular, primarily among the poorer

classes.

Mushrooms were common and popular in the northern part of the country.

They mastered the science of grafting. According to Pliny, Tibur saw a tree that produced a distinct fruit on each of its branches: nuts, apples, pomegranates, cherries, pears, but he added that they dried out quickly.

Viticulture already was known and practiced by the Romans, but it seemed as well the fact that it was the Greeks who extended the vine across the Mediterranean region. This includes those wines that were most popular in the Empire.

In this era the wealthy typically ate while lying on a couch (a custom acquired from the Greeks) and using their hands, because forks were not used for eating. Tablecloths were introduced in the 1st century. They came to use two plates, one flat (platina or patella) and the other deep (catinus), which they held with the left hand. That hand could not be used for many other things while eating, given that they ate with their left arms while reclining in bed, so that only the right hand was free. They used spoons, which, like today, had different sizes, depending on what they were used for. The first spoons were made from clam shells (hence, the name cuchara), with silver handles.

The mode of flavoring and cooking was quite distinct from what is found in modern times.

"Bellota Oro", was elected as "Best ham in the world"

Among the multitude of recipes that make up the varied cuisines of Spain, a few can be considered common to all or almost all of Spain’s regions, even though some of them have an origin known and associated with specific places. Examples include most importantly potato omelette (“tortilla de patata”, “tortilla española” or just “tortilla”), paella, various stews, migas, sausages (such as embutidos, chorizo, and morcilla), jamón serrano, and cheeses.

There are also many dishes based on beans (chickpeas, lentils, green beans); soups, with many regional variations; and bread, that has numerous forms, with distinct varieties in each region. The regional variations are less pronounced in Spanish desserts and cakes: flan, custard, rice pudding (arroz con leche), torrijas, churros, and madeleines are some of the most representative examples.

The most famous regional dish is Fabada Asturiana, a rich stew made with large white beans (fabes), pork shoulder (lacón), morcilla, chorizo, and saffron (azafrán).

Apple groves foster the production of the traditional alcoholic drink, a natural cider (sidra). It is a very dry cider, and unlike French or English natural ciders, uses predominantly acidic apples, rather than sweet or bittersweet. The proportions are: acidic 40%, sub-acidic 30-25%, sweet 10-15%, bittersweet 15-20%, bitter 5%.[1]

Sidra is traditionally poured in by an expert server (or escanciador): the bottle is raised high above his or her head to oxygenate the brew as it moves into the glass below. A small amount (~120ml) is poured at a time (called a culín), as it must be drunk immediately before the sidra loses its carbonation. Any sidra left in the glass is poured onto a woodchip-strewn floor or a trough along the bottom of the bar.

Asturian cheeses, especially Cabrales, are also famous throughout Spain and beyond; Cabrales is known for its pungent odour and

Gastronomía manchega

strong flavour. Asturias is often called “the land of cheeses” (el pais de los quesos) due to the product’s diversity and quality in this region.Other major dishes include faba beans with clams, Asturian stew, frixuelos, and rice pudding.

Today, Spanish cooking is “in fashion”, especially thanks in part to Ferran Adrià, who in the summer of 2003 attained international renown thanks to praise in the Sunday supplement of The New York Times. His restaurant El Bulli is located in the province of Girona, near Roses. In a long article, the New York Times declared him the best chef in the world, and postulated the supremacy of Spanish cooking over French cuisine.

Velveeta Cheesy Skillet Nacho Supreme w/…

August 24, 2011 at 5:31 PM | Posted in diabetes, diabetes friendly, Food, ground turkey | Leave a comment
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Velveeta Cheesy Skillet Nacho Supreme w/…

Today’s Menu: Velveeta Cheesy Skillet Nacho Supreme w/ Tostio’s Scoops

Tried another of the Kraft/Velveeta Cheesy Skillets Dinner Kits. They have different kinds and I tried the Nacho Supreme this time. This dinner kit includes: Pasta, Velveeta Cheese Sauce, Salsa and Seasoning Pack. All I had to do was add the water and 1lb. of Ground Turkey. It’s ready in about 20 minutes. I’ll leave the instructions at the end of the post. It’s 360 calories and 31 carbs but that’s your complete meal. I had a side of Tostio’s Whole Grain Scoops. When you get the chance try the new Velveeta Cheesy Skillet Dinners, the Nacho Supreme is as good as the Ultimate Cheeseburger, both are delicious. Both call for using Hamburger but I substituted the Hamburger with Lean Ground Turkey for both dinner kits.

Ingredients:
* 1 LB. Ground Beef or Ground Turkey
* Cups Water
* Nacho Chips (Optional)
* 1 Velveeta Cheesy Skillets Dinner Kit/Nacho Supreme

Instructions:
* Brown 1 LB. Ground Turkey in large skillet. Drain
* Add 2 cups water, seasoning and pasta. Bring to a boil. Reduce Heat.
* Cover, Simmer and stir often until most of water is gone about 9-11 minutes. Remove from heat.
* Add Cheese from Velveeta Cheese Pouch and Salsa Pouch. Stir in Cheese Sauce and serve!
* You can add Nacho Chips as a side or crumble some chips and add them to the mixture

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