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Archive for October, 2009

Have you ever wondered how we fill your orders after you place them online?  Check this out and you’ll see!

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AM-139-0121The Jack-O-Lanterns are carved.  The Halloween decorations are up.  The treats have been bought.  We’re all set!  Or are we?

Every year, I stress about whether or not I’ve purchased enough candy.  I don’t want to buy too much (inevitably I end up eating the leftovers) but I would also be disappointed if we ran out before the night’s end.

So what do you do if you run out of treats on October 31? (more…)

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Have you been to the apple orchard this fall?  Are you tired of applesauce, apple crisp and apple pie as you try to use all those apples up?  Or have you been tempted by the bags of luscious ripe red apples that are perfectly in season but are daunted by the task of cooking with them?

My college-age niece was having friends over for a fun fall party with a clever theme — a “Caramel Apple Bar” – and I found the idea just too tempting to resist.

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DSC_3861 (more…)

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I have a confession to make: I have mediocre skin.  I’ll admit, it’s not horrible – but it’s not as beautiful and glowing as I’d like it to be.  It’s frustrating — I’m nearly 24 years old; shouldn’t this have stopped troubling me around high school?  I’ve gone through the gamut of medications – some worked, some didn’t — but recently decided to try a more natural approach to helping my skin shine.  On my way home from a trip to Greece in September, I leafed through a copy of Women’s Health the woman next to me had already finished reading, and came across an article about the best foods for great skin.  I’m a pretty picky eater (most who know me would probably say that picky is an understatement), so I selected the foods that worked best for me and tried to eat them consistently over the last several weeks.  Here’s what worked: (more…)

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pumpkinseeds1960831471_f6634781661Over the long MEA weekend my friend and I were at our cabin with the kids and the subject of roasting pumpkin seeds came up.  I am a virtual failure at this task, and have repeatedly thrown in the “cookie sheet” rather than spend the time and energy to separate, wash and roast all those seeds only to discover in the end they are inedible and chewy!

My friend, however, proclaimed expert status, so I convinced her to share her keys to success.

Key #1: Rinse and Soak

After separating out the seeds, rinse and soak in salt water for at least ½ hr and up to 2 hrs.  Then drain well in colander. (more…)

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8748Have you ever noticed that your stomach knows when the seasons change?  I always know it’s fall when I start craving warm bowls of chili, pot roast, homemade spaghetti sauce and red wine.  These culinary favorites warm me from the inside out.  They are my comfort foods in the fall.  Two years ago I acquired a “new” fall comfort food that surprised the socks off my cold toes: butternut squash.  Maybe that one was already on your comfort food list, but the reason it surprised me was that it had always been on the “other” food list.  There are always two lists in the world of food – a LIKE list and a DON’T LIKE list.  Usually the DON’T LIKE list is written in childhood when we learn all the food choices.  I learned that I didn’t like butternut squash one fateful fall evening when I was required to sit at the dinner table until I finished it.  I finally choked it down with a warm glass of milk, motivated by not wanting to miss the beginning of The Love Boat. From then on, butternut squash was written in permanent marker on my DON’T LIKE list. (more…)

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Ok, so maybe you’re like me and you can hardly wait for cool weather to come so you have an excuse to break out the comfort foods.  Or perhaps you don’t want to wish the warm weather away too soon in the name of cozy eats that make you want to put your jammies on and stay indoors.  But like it or not, after our recent snowfall and below freezing temps, the cold weather has arrived!

IMG_1681So don’t fret — just take it in stride, light the fire (or flip the switch) and cook up some of those tried and true comforts like Mom used to make.  Of the many dishes that just plain make me feel good inside, double-cheese meatloaf and mashed potatoes, the quintessential open-faced turkey sandwich with gravy and mashed potatoes slathered all over it or a pot of my homemade chicken noodle soup (or soup of any kind for that matter) are my favorites. (more…)

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