This rustic smoked ham and bean soup is always a favorite when served before the cold front arrives Can serve up to eight people so invite the neighbors Heat a skillet over medium high heat and add 2 Tbsp of cold pressed olive oil to pan and swirl to coat the bottom Add 1 1/2 cups of chopped onion, 1 cup diced celery, 1 cup diced carrot and six chopped garlic cloves Cook for 10 minutes or until vegies are tender Scrape onion mixture into a six quart electric slow cooker and add about 26 oz of unsalted chicken stock and 1 lb of dried Great Northern beans Place 2 lbs of smoked ham hock on top Cover and cook on low for 8 hours (or overnight) After slow cook – uncover and remove the smoked ham hocks from the pan and cool slightly Remove the meat from the bone and discard the fat, skin and bones Chop the meat into bit size pieces and stir into the beans Cook another 10 minutes to allow the flavors to meld Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of minced fresh chives and 1 tsp ground black pepper about 260 calories per cup 5g of fat (saturated 1g, mono 2.5g, poly 1g) Protein 19g Carb 36 Fiber 11g Chol 8 mg Iron 3.6g Sodium 539g Calcium 136 mg Comfort Soup is best served with a warm smile
Have you been to a SUBWAY for lunch recently? Yesterday, I stopped in one for a late lunch and left very happily surprised Not quite sure what to order I asked the preparer what was a good low calorie lunch She suggested a chopped salad For those who have not had one yet, it is really worth a try They are mixed in a big round bowl and chopped up with a tool that looks like a dual bladed pizza cutter A regular chopped salad has a handful of spinach, a handful of lettuce, tomatos, green pepper, pickle, cucumber, onions, black olives, sweet peppers, probably some other vegies (according to the shop) and a small handful of cheese My choice for a dressing was Sweet Onion and it is very tasty Other dressing are available Once it is all mixed together, it get’s chopped into small pieces by the dual pizza cutter Here’s what makes this green salad special Pick up a small bag of Harvest multi grain cheddar chips Before you begin to enjoy the salad – crunch up the chedder chips inside the unopened bag Pour half the bag on top of the salad and mix the multi grain chips in for more flavor and added crunch Strap yourself in and discover something new for your tastebuds to experience
This is a wonderful recipe that is as easy to make as it is to savior First a basic potato leek recipe, followed by an additional twist to it Let’s start by boiling 1 lb of peeled and sliced potatoes and 4 leeks – well washed and sliced into 1 inch pieces Boil in 4 cups of water for about 15 minutes Remove from heat and let cool Blend the potatoes, leeks, cooking water, with 1 tsp finely chopped dill and 1 tsp finely chopped fresh mint, until it is smooth Place the puree back on a low heat Add 8 oz of chopped scallions (green onions) and cook for another 10 minutes Sprinkle with parsely and serve (should be good for 4 servings) Here’s the twist – instead of adding scallions to the heated puree – try adding an additional cup of finely sliced celery Simmer for 5 more minutes and serve A Tbsn of lemon juice and some finely grated zest of lemon are always welcome on top of the soup
Valintine’s Day is only two days away Here is a sweet dessert that can be served with chilled Champagne or coffee Preheat the oven to 350F and line a muffin tin with paper liners or grease the tin with butter; set aside Sift together 3/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder, 3/4 cup of cake flour, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda, with 1/4 tsp salt into a medium bowl and set aside Either with a mixer or 50 strokes with a mixing fork combine 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) of room temperature – unsalted butter with 1 cup of sugar in a medium bowl until light and fluffy Add 3 eggs, one at a time, beating well after each, then beat in 1 tsp almond extract and 2 tsp fresh orange zest With the mixer on slow speed add the flour mixture and 1/2 cup sour cream – beginning with flour and ending with flour Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin, filling each cup 2/3 full Bake until a wooden pick inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes Cool in pan 5 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before icing To make the orange cream cheese icing – beat together two 8 oz blocks of cream cheese at room temperature and 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter also at room temperature in a large bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy With mixer at low speed add 2 cups of powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, until icing is smooth and creamy Beat in 1 tsp almond extract and 2 tsp orange zest; beating icing on high speed until fluffy Spoon icing into a large piping bag fitted with a large round tip Pipe icing onto cooled cupcakes or do it by hand with a spatula and small knife If you would like to add a sweet bubbly drink – try a bottle of Nicolas Feuillatte Rose Doux
It is well known that too much sugar can cause health problems such as obesity and diabeties. However, a recent study by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention quantified how much is too much, in a first of it’s kind study. They found that people who get 25% or more of their daily calories from sugar in processed foods such as sodas, pastries, candy and ice cream are eating at high risk. They are double the risk of heart attack, stroke and other heart-related diseases compared to people who limited refined sugar to 7% of their caloric intake. These heart related diseases are the leading cause of death worldwide.