Recipes

Memorial Day BBQ – BBQ Tri-tip on the Grill

 

Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross

With Memorial Day around the corner I wanted everyone to know about tri-tip, as promised in an early post.

Tri-tip is the best cut of meat to BBQ on the grill. It’s the most popular cut in the Central Coast of California and Central Valley regions of California to BBQ.

Tri-tip is a cut of meat from the bottom sirloin. It’s a small triangle muscle and there are only one per side of beef. Weight can be 1.5 lbs to 2.5 lbs each.

It’s best not to over season a tri-tip. Salt, pepper, garlic salt and granulated garlic is all you need to season this flavorful cut of meat. BBQ correctly, indirectly over medium heat, on the grill and the flavor is amazing. I prefer to BBQ as a roast (also known as a triangle roast), but you can also cut into one inch thick steaks and BBQ on the grill. Always allow the meat to rest for at least 10 minutes before carving or serving.
 
 

 
 
Tri-tip roast (triangle roast) is a lean cut of meat and should not be overcooked. A tri-tip roast should be cooked to medium. A thermometer can be used to check for doneness. To some people this roast at medium may seem underdone. My advice would be to grill to medium, let rest and slice then grill slices to preferred doneness.

This cut of meat has become very popular for its full flavor, lower fat content, and comparatively lower cost. Some Costco’s and Sam Club’s around the country have started to carry it.

If you are unable to find it in any of your local stores ask a butcher for the cut. Make sure they are a member of the “North American Meat Processors Association” (NAMP).

Ask them for cut IMPS/NAMP 185C (with fat) or IMPS/NAMP 185D (without fat – This is the preferred cut).

All in all this is the best cut of meat for the grill. Find it, enjoy it and let me know what you thought.
 
 
 

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St. Patrick’s Day: Some Things You May Or May Not Know

 
happystpatricksday
As we prepare to honor the patron saint of Ireland by donning green and drinking too much, it feels only fitting to pull the curtain back a bit on March 17. So without further ado, here are some things you may or may not know about St. Patrick’s Day.
 
 
1. St. Patrick, the Apostle of Ireland, was born in the year 387 at Kilpatrick, near Dumbarton. Which is in Scotland. Making Ireland’s patron saint Scottish. At 16 years old, Irish raiders captured him in the midst of an attack on his family’s estate. The raiders then took him to Ireland and held him captive for six years. After escaping, he went back to England for religious training and was sent back to Ireland many years later as a missionary. St. Patrick was actually born Maewyn Succat, according to legend; he changed his name to Patricius, or Patrick, which derives from the Latin term for “father figure,” when he became a priest.

2. His birth name was actually Maewyn Succat. It wasn’t until he was in the Church that it was changed to Patricius, or Patrick.

3. Green may be the national color of Ireland, but the color most associated with St. Patrick is blue. The Order of St. Patrick was established in 1783 as the senior order of chivalry in the Kingdom of Ireland. The color associated with the honor needed to differentiate it from the Order of the Garter (dark blue) and the Order of the Thistle (green). So they went with a shade of sky blue.

4. According to legend, St. Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland in the 5th century. But, of course, there weren’t any slithering reptiles to drive off the island. The reference is thought to be metaphorical: St. Patrick — who converted pagans to Christianity — was the man who supposedly drove “evil” non-Christians from the land.

5. St. Patrick used a three-leafed shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity to pagan Irish, forever linking the shamrock with him and the Irish in the popular imagination. He would tie shamrocks to his robes, which is why we wear green today. (The shamrock was also important in Celtic mythology because of its three leaves — a sacred number to the Celts.)

6. The very first St. Patrick’s Day parade was held in the U.S. The Irish have been celebrating the feast of St. Patrick since the ninth century, but the first recorded parade anywhere was in Boston in 1737. The parade was not Catholic in nature because the majority of Irish immigrants to the colonies were Protestant. Ireland did not have a parade of its own until 1931, in Dublin. Even today, 18 out of the 20 largest St. Patrick’s Day parades are in the States — New York’s is the largest.
 
 
 

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World Salt Awareness Week

 

This week is “World Salt Awareness Week”


 
World Salt Awareness Week“World Salt Awareness Week” is held from Monday March 11th to Sunday 17th March. This year’s theme is Less Salt Please, showing how you can reduce the salt in your diet without compromising taste and flavour. For more information visit World Action on Salt website.

When it comes to awareness about salt (sodium) consumption, most of us know that consuming too much salt can hurt our health. “Too much sodium raises blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke,” says CDC Director Dr. Thomas R. Frieden

But for many people, the awareness stops there; they don’t realize where most of the salt they take in is coming from. Is it the salt shaker on the table or by the stove? Is it the salt that naturally occurs in foods? These are indeed the source of some of the salt Americans consume, but the greatest amount—about 65 percent–comes from packaged foods and restaurant items.

According to the CDC, 10 types of foods are responsible for more than 40 percent of people’s sodium intake: luncheon meats such as deli ham or turkey; pizza; poultry; soups; cheeseburgers and other sandwiches; pasta dishes; meat dishes such as meat loaf; and snack foods such as potato chips, pretzels and popcorn; and breads and rolls, which in themselves are not too high in sodium until you consider the amount that we typically eat of these products.[1]

You can lower your sodium intake by eating fresh, unprocessed foods, and reading product labels to select those lower in sodium. Talk to your healthcare provider about your sodium consumption. To learn more, visit cdc.gov/salt [2]
 
 
 
 
 
Source:

[1] March 11- 17 is World Salt Awareness Week 2013 rosecrest.org Copyright © IlluminAge AgeWise, 2013
[2] Salt Awareness Week 2013 heinzsight.com.au
 
 
 

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The FastDiet

 

the fast diet cover
 
 
The “fast diet”, does it work? Is it possible to eat normally for five days a week then fast, not in the traditional sense, for two days and become slimmer and healthier as a result? Will this diet really reduce the risk of diabetes, heart disease and cancer?
 
 
 
 
Well if you believe the studies than the simple answer is Yes. Just by limiting your calorie intake for two nonconsecutive days each week, 500 calories for women and 600 for men, you’ll lose weight quickly and effortlessly with the FastDiet.
 
the fast diet cust reviews

Scientific trials of intermittent fasters have shown that it will not only help the pounds fly off, but also reduce your risk of a range of diseases from diabetes to cardiovascular disease and even cancer. “The scientific evidence is strong that intermittent fasting can improve health,” says Dr. Mark Mattson, Chief of the Laboratory of Neurosciences, National Institute on Aging, and Professor of Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins University.

This book brings together the results of new, groundbreaking research to create a dietary program that can be incorporated into your busy daily life, featuring:

• Forty 500 and 600 calorie meals that are quick and easy to make

• 8 pages of photos that show you what a typical “fasting meal” looks like

• The cutting-edge science behind the program

• A calorie counter that makes dieting easy

• And much more.

Far from being just another fad, the FastDiet is a radical new way of thinking about food, a lifestyle choice that could transform your health. This is your indispensable guide to simple and effective weight loss, without fuss or the need to endlessly deprive yourself.


 
the fast diet  1
 
 
 
The FastDiet: Lose Weight, Stay Healthy, and Live Longer with the Simple Secret of Intermittent Fasting [Hardcover]

by: Michael Mosley (Author), Mimi Spencer (Author)

Amazon Price: $13.20
Kindle Edition: $10.99


 
 
 
 

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February 23 – National Banana Bread Day

 

Banana Bread Day, Sweet!!!


 
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Go bananas over this sweet, sweet bread because today is National Banana Bread Day! There’s no better way to celebrate “National Banana Bread Day” than by baking a quick loaf. Celebrate with others around the nation with this delicious baked good.

Banana bread is a sweet, cakelike bread which contains mashed bananas. Banana bread is a quick bread which typically uses baking soda as the leavening agent instead of yeast. Rather than dough, the bread is baked from a thick batter, which does not require kneading.

Banana bread first became a standard feature of American cookbooks with the popularization of baking soda and baking powder in the 1930s (and appears in Pillsbury’s 1933 Balanced Recipes cookbook). The first banana bread recipe was thought to have been created by William Swanson. The home baking revival of the 1960s and the simplicity of its recipe led to an explosion in banana bread’s popularity. The cookbooks of the 1960s added to its popularity because they commonly listed multiple variations of bread that added fruits and nuts.

Banana bread is very popular at bake sales and has become one of the most common items for sale for breakfast in cafés in Australia but the loaf is often less dense than in North America.
 
 
 

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February 9 – Pizza Pie Day

 

Today is Pizza Pie Day


 
Mamma's Brick Oven Pizza - Pepperoni PizzaIt’s Pizza Pie Day and the obvious way to celebrate would be to order a pizza or bake one of your favorites.

I had a taste of three different kinds homemade pizza on Super Bowl Sunday and they were all fabulous. So today I think everyone should celebrate by making their own pizza. It’s not hard just time consuming, but so worth it. You can get pizza dough at Trader Joe’s or try your regular grocery store.

I’ve found some recipes for you. From a Pepperoni Pizza to a Mu Shu Pork Pizza, click through to find a pizza that will tickle your taste buds.

Make it a family night! Have fun.
 
 
 

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February 9 – National Bagels & Lox Day

 

Today is National Bagels & Lox Day!


 
Smoked Salmon @ UrthLox are thin slices of cured salmon which are usually paired with a bagel, cream cheese and capers and is an iconic Jewish-American dish.

Originating in Poland in the 17th century, Jewish families ate bagels at the end of the Sabbath on Saturday evenings. Bagels symbolize the circle of life with Lox symbolizing the saltiness of tears.

The Mid-1800’s the transcontinental railroad shipped salted salmon to the East coast and saw Lox become a popular sandwich filling.

Celebrate this day by partaking in a great Jewish-American tradition. Enjoy a tasty bagel topped with cream cheese, lox, red onion, and capers with maybe a tomato or two!
 
 
 

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January 22 – National Blonde Brownie Day

 

National Blonde Brownie Day


 
 
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If you’re looking for something to do today take a walk on the wild side and munch on some blonde brownies.
 
So since blonde brownies aren’t the “normal” brownie we all know and love, they get their own holiday and that’s today!
 
 
This light-colored treat was actually invented in Upper Sandusky, Ohio and there’s a reason why they’re so light. Normally cocoa is added to give a brownie it’s dark brown color and familiar taste, but there is no cocoa in blonde brownies. They contain a good amount of alternate sweetness instead, brown sugar! So these brownies should still satisfy your sweet tooth.
 
 

Blonde Brownie recipe

-Author Unknown

 
 
These brownies also contain baking powder, baking soda, brown sugar, salt, butter, flour, eggs, vanilla and whatever else you’d like to add. Most people like to add white chocolate or chocolate chips to their blonde brownies as well as nuts, toffee and coconut. You can get really creative with these brownies.
 
 
 

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January 21 – New England Clam Chowder Day

 

New England Clam Chowder Day


 
new-england-clam-chowder-3-550Clam chowder is any of several chowders containing clams and broth. Along with the clams, diced potato is common, as are onions, which are occasionally sauteed in the drippings from salt pork or bacon. Celery is frequently used. Other vegetables are uncommon, but small carrot strips might occasionally be added, primarily for color. A garnish of parsley serves the same purpose. Bay leaves are also sometimes used as a garnish and flavoring. It is believed that clams were added to chowder because of their relative ease to collect.

Clam chowder is often served in restaurants on Fridays in order to provide a seafood option for those who abstain from meat every Friday, which used to be a requirement for Catholics before liturgical changes in Vatican II. Though the period of strict abstinence from meat on Fridays was reduced to Lent, the year-round tradition of serving clam chowder on Fridays remains.
 
 
New England clam chowder

Traditional New England clam chowder is thickened with oyster crackers, instead of flour.

New England clam chowder is a milk or cream-based chowder, commonly made with potatoes, onion, and clams. Including tomatoes is shunned; a 1939 bill making tomatoes in clam chowder illegal was introduced in the Maine legislature. It is occasionally referred to as Boston Clam Chowder in the Midwest.

New England clam chowder is usually accompanied with oyster crackers. Crown Pilot Crackers were a popular brand of cracker to accompany chowder, until the product was discontinued in 2008. Crackers may be crushed and mixed into the soup for thickener, or used as a garnish.

Chowders originated in fishing villages on the coast of France in the 16th century. Back then any kind of fish chowder was considered a poor man’s dish. Most recipes called for salt pork and biscuits, which were both part of a standard sailor’s ration. Today, we’ve substituted the biscuits (also known as hardtack) for salty crackers!

There are many different varieties of clam chowder including New England, Manhattan, Rhode Island, Down East, and Outer Banks. New England clam chowder is made with milk or cream, and the use of tomatoes is frowned upon. In fact, in 1939 the state of Maine made it illegal to put tomatoes in clam chowder!

Celebrate this great culinary tradition and enjoy a bowl of delicious chowder in honor of New England Clam Chowder Day!
 
 
 
 

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January 20 – National Cheese Lover’s Day

 

Today is National Cheese Lover’s Day!


 
Happy National Cheese Lover’s Day! How will you pay homage to the fromage?

Think of all the things you like to do with cheese: Macaroni and cheese. Grilled cheese. Cheesy potatoes. Cheesecake. With over 900 varieties and seemingly endless possibilities, there’s no wonder it rates its own special day.

A day of celebration for those who “Hanker fer a Hunk o’ Cheese. This brought back memories so I just had to post it.

The Origin of Cheese

Cheese is believed to be one of the oldest processed foods. There is evidence that it has been around nearly as long as humans have been domesticating milk-producing animals like cows and goats. Some of the earliest records of cheese originated with the Sumerians, who recorded cheese making and consuming around the time they invented written language, around 3,500 B.C. The secret is to separate the protein called casein from the milk, transform it into the solid form called curd, and separate it from the liquids, called whey. In fact, Little Miss Muffet’s favorite dish is a basic form of cottage cheese that still has some whey in it.

The Romans believed that cheese making could also be an art form and experimented with the process by adding herbs, spices and vegetable extracts. Later on, monasteries took on most of the cheese-making duties and many of today’s popular cheeses were developed by monks. The cheese-making process migrated to the United States, where the first recorded dedicated cheese making factory was opened in the mid-19th century.

Since we can’t have the day off, we’ll have to find other means to celebrate.

A small handful of suggestions…
 
Baked Fontina
 
A beer and gruyere skillet fondue

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds Italian Fontina Val d’Aosta cheese, rind removed and 1-inch-diced
1/4 cup good olive oil
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 crusty French baguette
 
 
 
 
Directions

Preheat the broiler and position the oven rack 5 inches from the heat.

Distribute the cubes of Fontina evenly in a 12-inch cast-iron pan. Drizzle on the olive oil. Combine the garlic, thyme, and rosemary and sprinkle it over the cheese and olive oil. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper and place the pan under the broiler for 6 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbling and starts to brown.

Serve the baked Fontina family-style-right out of the oven in the cast-iron pan with crusty chunks of bread for everyone to dip.

 
Healthy Grilled Cheese
 
grown up grilled cheese

Ingredients
 
2 pieces of a hearty whole wheat bread
1/2 small avocado, sliced
7 small peppadews (tomatos can be substituted)
3 tbsp of crumbled goat cheese
2 to 3 oz. of low sodium oven roasted turkey breast (thinly sliced)
Cooking oil spray
 
 

Directions
 
Sprinkle half the goat cheese onto each slice of bread.

On one piece of bread pack on your avocado and on the other put the turkey. You’ll want to press the avocado and turkey into the goat cheese so it sticks together.

You don’t put the pieces of bread together! Instead you spray your skillet with some cooking oil and turn the heat up to medium high.

After it’s heated, put both halves into the pan and rub them around in the cooking spray so it coats the bread evenly.

After about 3 minutes the bread should look toasty and golden. At this point you’ll want to take the halves off the stove and break apart the peppadews and lay them on top of the avocado. If you’ve never had a peppadew, you’re in for a treat.

Now you’ll have all your ingredients on the bread, pick up the side with the turkey and turn over on the avocado/peppadew side. The turkey will stick to the goat cheese so it won’t fall off!
 
 
And last but not least, have some friends over to celebrate “National Cheese Lovers Day”
 
a wine chocolate and cheese party

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