Click inside for the weekly food for thought with items on prepping food for a bridal party, “Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook” and more. Or check out these links:
You can serve delicious and healthy food at a bridal shower without hiring a professional chef or spending a week in the kitchen.
Here are some time-saving tips and recipes from the Simply Organic test kitchen, www.simplyorganicfoods.com., to help you get the food under control and host a simple yet sensational shower for the bride.
* Share the work. When guests ask if they can bring anything, say yes. Plus, don't be afraid to ask them to bring something if they don't contact you first because most guests are eager to help. Get others to prepare dishes that you don't enjoy making yourself or a dish with which you know they specialize.
You can even have each guest bring a dessert or appetizer and share the recipes with the new bride. Doing the food as a group is fun, and it helps build the joyful spirit of the occasion.
* Keep it healthy. There's a good chance a lot of your guests are trying to eat healthier. Why not make it delicious, too? You can provide great-tasting, nutritious snacks that are low on artificial additives like salt, fat and sugar. For guests with special diet restrictions, gluten-free baking mixes are now available for easy, worry-free baked treats.
* Take some shortcuts. For enticing, freshly made dips without fuss, use high quality organic dip mixes. Just add a creamy dill, French onion, guacamole or ranch dip mix to equal parts low-fat cottage cheese and non-fat plain yogurt and mix in a blender or food processor until smooth.
Serve dip with fresh veggies and you get a lot of healthy snacking with very little prep time. Or use pre-blended mulling spice to create flavorful cider, punch or other beverages without a lot of work.
* Remake everyday favorites. One way to combine simple and special is to take easy-to-prepare favorites and dress them up with special festive seasonings. Try distinctive seasoning blends like curry or Italian seasoning. A seasoned sugar combination like lemon sugar or cinnamon sugar will add a gourmet touch to your tea. Or add a touch of a spice like tarragon or chili powder blend to your usual deviled eggs, and you'll instantly have something out of the ordinary.
* Shop smart. Make your shopping list well in advance so you can pick up everything in one trip and eliminate any last-minute sprints to the grocery store. You can also order ingredients online to save time.
Easy recipe: Turkey and Cheese Meatballs
1 pound ground turkey
1 package Simply Organic Roasted Turkey Gravy Seasoning Mix
1/4 cup Simply Organic Pancake & Waffle Mix
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup shredded cheese
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a bowl, combine all ingredients until evenly distributed. Shape into 1-inch balls. Place in a single layer on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes.
Serve with a side of barbecue sauce or ranch dressing.
-- Simply Organic
Did You Know?
Herbal teas, such as chamomile, rose hips and mint, are not made from tea leaves but from herbs, flowers and spices.
What sliced lamb sandwich -- Chicago style -- is topped with tzatziki sauce?
A. French Dip
B. Cuban Sandwich
D. Welsh rarebit
Answer is at bottom of column
Wise to the Word: Hearts of palm
The edible, inner portion of the stem of the cabbage palm tree, which grows in many tropical climates and is Florida's official state tree. Hearts of palm are slender, ivory-colored, delicately flavored and expensive. They resemble white asparagus, sans tips. Their texture is firm and smooth, and the flavor is reminiscent of an artichoke. Canned hearts of palm are packed in water and should be transferred to a nonmetal container with an airtight cover once opened. Refrigerate in its own liquid for up to a week, and use in salads, main dishes or deep-fried.
Number to Know
110: One 12-ounce glass of Bud Light beer is 110 calories.
The Dish On …
“Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook” by Anthony Bourdain
Tracking his own strange and unexpected voyage from journeyman cook to globe-traveling professional eater and drinker, and even to fatherhood, Bourdain takes no prisoners as he dissects what he's seen –– pausing along the way for a series of confessions, rants, investigations and interrogations of some of the most controversial figures in food. And, always, he returns to the question, "Why cook?" Or the more difficult, "Why cook well?" This book is the deliciously funny and shockingly delectable journey to those answers, sure to delight philistines and gourmands alike.
-- HarperCollins Publishers
From the Beer Nut’s Blog: A world of breweries
If anyone reads my column or my blog, you know that I’m relatively American craft beer-centric. Sometimes it’s good to be reminded how good beers from other countries can really be.
Oppigard’s Well-Hopped Lager from Sweden comes in at 5 percent ABV and matches up with any lager brewed in the United States. I can think of one or two that are on the same level as it.
The Oak Smoked from Germany is unparalleled in the U.S. There aren’t enough smoked beers being brewed here as it is. I was in smoked-beer heaven with this beer.
So, my lesson: Sure, I’ll continue to enjoy everything American brewers brew. But I’ll make sure to keep some space on my drinking schedule for the less well-known foreign brewers that still make world-class beers.
To read more from the Beer Nut, visit http://blogs.townonline.com/beernut/
Food Quiz Answer
GateHouse News Service