Food

I've started adding avocados to my shopping list every week, buying them when they're still firm, then letting them ripen in my kitchen windowsill. Getting two or three each week lets me have them ripe and ready for several meals. When I have too many ripe ones, I make guacamole. They're just so good for you, with lots of heart-healthy fats and vitamins.

Well, wouldn’t you know. Right when things get easy, we find out they’re bad for us. I’m talking about packaged salad mixes. It’s so simple to grab a bag at the store, come home, open and pour it into a bowl. Now, according to this month’s Consumer Reports, tests show that bacteria, including, fecal contamination, was found in packaged leafy greens. Well yuck. But never fear. The FDA is requesting the U.S. Senate act immediately to “pass pending FDA food safety reform legislation that requires the agency to set performance standards as well as develop safety standards for the growing or processing of fresh produce,” according to a news release.

Here’s a delicious alternative to cake or pie from Nestles. Paired with a smooth chocolate sauce, these crisp but delicate sponge cakes offer an elegant end to your meal.

Most people in America eat seven dinners per week. And while a few of those may be in restaurants, at least a couple are at home. But trying to come up with creative meals every week can be a chore. Many times its the same old thing. Whatever’s easiest.

Lasagna is one of my favorite dishes to fix when my family comes into town or another large gathering. But, my recipe is also one of the most calorie-laden in my file of recipes. So I was really happy to get this recipe via e-mail revealing the winner of CorningWare’s Simply Lite Bakeware Contest calling for original, light, low-fat recipes. The winner, Richard Swanson of Waterford, Conn., said he tested this recipe out on his co-workers, only telling them that it was reduced-fat lasagna. When it was cooled for 10 minutes, it cut into perfect portions.

After scolding such well-known cooks and cookbook authors as Julia Child and Paula Deen for contributing to the bad health of America, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine turned around and hailed five others in its Five Worst/Best Cookbooks of the Decade report. (See January 27th’s blog if you missed the worst.)

When all other fruit is tasteless, winter brings us the best citrus fruit around. I’ve been amazed at the grapefruit I’ve been getting. The best I’ve had is from Walmart — $3 a bag containing six really big grapefruit. And I plan to save one for making this dish. It sounds excellent.

I’ve been searching for good, store-bought croutons for the past 20 or so years with no luck.

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