Saturday, August 30, 2008

Good Luck to our Beloved Buckeyes

Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Jim Tressel said he and his players recite a motivational poem before each game. Here it is:

By Edward Hale
"I am only one. But I am one. I can't do everything but I can do something and that I can do, I ought to do. And what I ought to do, by the grace of God I shall do."

Check out the Video at the bottom of the page. In case you don't know the Battle Cry words, here they are. Memorize them and sing along with us this football season.

Buckeye Battle Cry
In old Ohio there's a team
That's known thru-out the land;
Eleven warriors, brave and bold,
Whose fame will ever stand.
And when the ball goes over,
Our cheers will reach the sky,
Ohio field will hear again
The Buckeye Battle Cry-Drive!
Drive on down the field,
Men of the scarlet and gray;
Don't let them thru that line,
We have to win this game today,
Come on, Ohio!
Smash through to victory.
We cheer you as you go:
Our honor defend
So we'll fight to the end for O-hi-o.

Cheese and Crackers - The Beauty of Display

Cheese Platter
Copyright, 1999,
The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, All Rights Reserved

Assembling a stunning fruit and cheese platter requires no cooking. I follow a few key principles to be sure it looks festive and is easy for guests to help themselves.

First, I choose an interesting assortment of cheeses—hard sharp cheeses, soft creamy ones, and pungent blue cheeses. I look for an interesting mix of flavors, textures, and colors. For example: French Camembert, Le Chevrot (a sharp goat cheese), Rondin with herbs (a creamy goat cheese), and Montagnolo (a creamy blue cheese). Go to the best cheese shop in town and ask the person at the counter which cheeses are ready to serve. Taste everything; they expect you to. We all know that the Brie may look terrific, but it can be underripe and tough or overripe and ammoniated. You want only the freshest cheeses that are perfectly ripened. Take them home, refrigerate them, and then bring them to room temperature a few hours before serving.

Second, be sure to have a platter or wooden board that is flat and large enough to hold the cheeses without crowding them. Arrange the cheeses with the cut sides facing out, and with several small cheese knives, maybe one for each type of cheese.

Third, to finish the platter, add sliced breads or crackers, and green leaves. I use either lemon or galax leaves, which you can get from your florist. If you have a garden, any large flat leaf like hydrangea looks beautiful, but be sure they aren't poisonous and are pesticide-free! Overall, the simpler the design, the better the platter looks. Group each kind of cheese together and add one large bunch of green or red grapes in the center to create a visual focal point. Fill in the spaces with lots of crackers or small slices of bread.

Episode#: IG1C14 Copyright © 2006 Television Food Network, G.P., All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Summer appetizers are the Winner!!

Our recent poll asked what you serve at your summer parties. Appetizers were the winner. Below is one of my favorite appetizers, and just in time for all those tomatoes that are now ripe.

Marinated Tomatoes
Recipe courtesy Paula Deen
Paula's Home Cooking
Summer Entertaining: Beach Party

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic salt
1 1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 to 3 green onions, chopped
4 to 6 large tomatoes, each cut into 6 wedges

Combine all ingredients, except tomatoes, in a large measuring cup or mixing bowl. Whisk well. Place tomatoes in a resealable plastic bag and pour marinade over. Marinate at room temperature for up to 2 hours, turning the bag occasionally.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Healthy Eating Series - Snacking

Snacking is the downfall of many dieters. Calories in common snacks can total an entire meal or more and can be consumed in a very short period of time leaving you feeling hungry, sluggish, and discouraged. A change to healthy eating must include healthy snacking. Below are a list of healthy snacks that have approximately 120-150 calories each. Pick two (no more than four) for a 2-week period of time. After 2 weeks, you can switch for two more. Try using these snacks for 2 weeks at a time. It makes planning and having something on hand quickly much easier.

15 baby carrots + 7-8 almonds or walnuts

Medium apple with 1 tablespoon of peanut or almond butter

1/2 cup blueberries with 1/2 cup of cottage cheese or 1 ounce of other cheese

2 whole grain crackers (AkMak or Wasa) with 1 ounce of cheese

2 whole grain crackers with 1 tablespoon peanut/nut butter

8 almonds + 1 mini box of raisins or other dried fruit such as cranberries, blueberries

15 baby carrots with 1/4 cup of hummus

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Healthy Eating Series - Lunch

Lunch is a good midday celebration. At work when the weather is nice, I eat out in the courtyard. It is a pleasant, relaxing experience. Lunch can also be a time of mega calorie consumption if you aren't careful. It can be a meal of snacking instead of healthy eating. Discipline at lunchtime will play a key role in maintaining or losing weight. Soup and salad will be my superfoods choice for the next two weeks. Below is the daily salad I feel will give me the best nutrition for the least amount of calories:

1 cup spinach torn into bite-sized pieces
1 cup chopped romaine
1/4 cup shredded red cabbage
1/2 cup sliced red bell pepper
1/2 tomato, chopped
1/4 cup chickpeas
1/2 cup grated carrot
1/4 avocado, cubed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

I will also use soup as a filler as it is a low-calorie, high nutritional addition to my diet. I have found the soups below to be the most nutritious:

Best: No added salt varieties OR less than 350 mg of sodium per cup, 8 ounces. Do not use if more than 480 mg of sodium per cup.

Progresso 50% Less Sodium Garden Vegetable, Chicken Noodle
Healthy Choice Chicken Tortilla Soup, Garden Vegetable
Campbell's Select Healthy Request Savory Chicken and Long Grain Rice, Mexican Style Chicken Tortilla
Campbell's Chunky Healthy Request Vegetable
Healthy Choice Old Fashioned Chicken Noodle, Chicken with Rice, Country Vegetable

Friday, August 8, 2008

Healthy Eating Series - Breakfast

For many years, I was a no-breakfast person. There were several reasons.......I didn't have time, I wasn't hungry, I could save calories, etc. Unfortunately, skipping breakfast hasn't gotten me a whole lot. I would be so hungry by lunchtime that I overate for lunch, which nullified my "no-calorie" idea from breakfast. I have been reading that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. In order to maintain your metabolism, your blood sugar must be at a constant level. Otherwise, you experience hunger, cravings, etc. Eating breakfast first thing in the morning regulates your blood sugar and gives you a good send-off for the day. I have chosen three breakfasts that I will be using for the next two weeks. They will be listed below. God provided breakfast for the Israelites while they were in the wilderness. Numbers 11:9, "And when the dew fell on the camp in the night, the manna fell on it." God wanted the Israelites to rise first thing in the morning and gather their breakfast.

Here are the three breakfasts I will be choosing from for the next 2 weeks:
Oatmeal with blueberries and almonds (no milk)

1 ounce dry (1 packet or 1/3 cup) oats (make with water)
3/4 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1 tablespoon slivered almonds
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons honey

Pumpkin Walnut Muffin and Yogurt or Cottage Cheese Click on link for recipe for Pumpkin Walnut Muffins. I will email you the recipe.

Cheddar Cheese, Avocado, and Tomato Toast

1 slice whole grain bread (3g of fiber), lightly toasted (80-100 calories/slice)

Layer and toast:

2 tablespoons avocado (1/4 of an avocado), mashed

2 tablespoons grated cheddar cheese (=1/2 ounce)

1 medium tomato sliced

Enjoy with an apple, orange, or 3/4 cup berries

Have a great morning!!!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Healthy Eating Series - SuperFoods

Over the years, I have been on many kinds of diets. Some of them work when you stick with them, some of them work for awhile, and some of them don't work at all. For the past year, I have been researching healthy eating and what exactly is a healthy lifestyle. I guess when you get to midlife, you start thinking about the quality of life you will have in the last half. I have more recently come across some books on Super Foods. As I have read these books, I have begun to try some of what they advocate. I have also been reading several scriptures in the Old Testament to see what God had to say about healthy eating and how it measures up to what they say about Super Foods. Over the next several months, I will post updates for you and tell you how things are working out for me. This serves a twofold purpose......#1 - It makes me accountable to someone and gives me an incentive to continue on and.......#2 - You will discover firsthand if the Super Foods craze actually works. we go.......tomorrow I will post the first step in healthy eating.