Butternut Squash dressed in Ricotta

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This sad butternut squash needs a make-over. Dress her up in Ricotta.

“Who wants to eat an ugly thing like that?” asked Will, staring down a decidedly unpleasant-looking butternut squash.
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Spotted puddink, an old favorite of British school kids

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Vinny’s “skinny” Spotted Puddink

Get the kids together and make a “skinny” version of Spotted Dick, a traditional English steamed pudding. Cook up Harry Potter’s favorite dessert at Hogwarts just in time for the new school year and make some magic happen! More

Fuhrman’s 10 worst foods

Sugar makes these treats a no-no for best health

Added refined sugar makes these treats a no-no for best health

Last time, I introduced you to Dr. Joel Fuhrman and his list of 10 best foods for battling the effects of old age. Now I’m going to show you his list at the other end – Fuhrman’s 10 worst foods… foods that can lead you to an early grave. More

Miss Macadamia takes the crown! Fats demystified

Macadamia wears the crown

Macadamia is the sweetheart of Hawaii.

Verse 3

Whose dress is made of sweetgrass?
who wears a golden lei-a?
Who’s promised to be kind and true?
Ma-ca-da-m-i-a.

The queen of nuts…

Moving along to my third post honoring the wonderful nut, I admit, Okay… maybe this poetry thing is a little beyond my capabilities. But before I finish with my nutty soliloquy begun in my past two posts, I wanted to sing the praises of Macadamia. Difficulty with rhyming and pentameters isn’t going to hold me back. Because if I’m any judge, Macadamia wins the healthy nut contest hands down.  And it’s not just because of her pretty face and fine figure. More

Mood Foods

Christmas bread

Christmas bread smells like good times

Study Guide for Cook Up A Story

CHAPTER 6

This is the last in my series on study guides for the print version of Cook Up A Story. Chapter 6 is about how our moods affect our food choices. We’re wired that way. The part of the brain that stores memory and feelings detects smells, too.

Our last story, Melting Moments, shows how cheery memories are braided together with smells, sounds and tastes. That’s why when we’re blue, we crave foods that remind us of good times. When a small boy finds himself missing his grandmother at Christmas, he takes comfort in his family and its holiday traditions.

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Imagine… Tasty substitutions that work for good health!

Ice krispies

Ice krispy cakes are even healthier made from brown rice cereal, fortified with flaxmeal. The recipe is included in Vinny’s book.

Following on from last week’s account of a disaster averted while trying to alter a recipe, I’m sharing a wonderful post I found on-line this week. It’s all about how to make successful substitutions, mainly in baked goods, but in other ways, too. More

Avocado & Comice… a Great Pair of Pears

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The Avocado and the Pear

Story time

Short and squat, Miss Comice Pear rolled into his office. “I want you to defend me,” she exclaimed, blushing a rosy red.

A desk plaque proclaimed the man she was addressing to be the Honorable V. H. Avocado, LL.M. “What is the charge?” the lawyer asked.

“They say I’m harboring a load of sugar. They accuse me of doing great harm. But it’s not true!” Comice was distraught.

“Calm down,” replied Mr. Avocado. He adjusted his dark green jacket over his rather-rounded middle. “Perhaps if you began from the beginning?” More

Fish for omega-3s with BBQ salmon

Pee-yew!

Pee-yew!

Eat fish for omega-3s

If you hate smelling up your kitchen, don’t let that stop you from enjoying the deliciousness of  fresh or fresh-frozen fish. Just cook it on the barbecue, outside! It’s easy for every day and delicious enough for any special occasion.

Fish is full of those hard to come by but oh so important omega-3 fatty acids. They are important, first, because we can’t manufacture them in our bodies. More

Skinny Brownies with Three Kinds of Chocolate

Happy occasions demand chocolate!

A very chocolaty recipe jumped right onto my screen just after Halloween, from Chew Out Loud.

Vinny, however, found this recipe a tad high on sugar (2 1/2 cups). So we experimented with stevia in place of sugar. More

Yackity’s Yaks

Let me tell you the strange tale of how a Sherpa girl called Yackity ended up on a ranch far from home and got to the meat of the matter. More

Loverly coconut oil and some kale chips

Click on the coconut to hear Grampa’s song

My Great-Great-Ever-So-Great Grampa used to sing about coconuts at the top of his lungs. But he wasn’t much into eating them. Although he loved fine dining, his choices rarely included stuff that was good for him. Broccoli? Yuck! Brown bread? No way! Bring on the butter and the whipped cream! More

Antioxidants, nature’s anti-rust agents

A scoop o’ colorful puréed veggie soup helps the antioxidants go down.

Antioxidants unmasked

Among scientists she goes by the name of  antioxidant. But Vinny’s friends know her as Auntie Oxidant. By either name, she is a kid’s best friend. She is a powerful protector from degenerative disease. This fighter disarms invaders called free radicals, bent on destroying our cells. More

Escargots and chocolate milk

Bon Appétit !

Escargot, if you don’t already know this, boys and girls, is French for snail. Many of the best restaurants offer escargots on their menus. They’re delicious!

I know one little girl who ordered escargots whenever she had a chance, which was most often when we were traveling in Quebec or France. She liked her snails with lots of garlic butter, washed down with chocolate milk. Servers shook their heads in wonder when she placed her order. More

Trail mix for cowboys and cowgirls – but without the acorns

Ke-mo-sah-bee! “Trusted friend”

The power of nuts

In a recent blog we talked about the goodness of hazelnuts. We even used hazelnuts to make some healthier homemade Nutella!

Acorns are nuts, too. But are they a food? Sure! Hazelnut and Acorn are friends. More

Bertie Bott Pops some Corn

Every-flavored popcorn

Rain pounds against our skylight. We can hardly hear the movie above the noise, as Harry Potter and his friend Ron swap their Bertie Bott Every Flavor Beans. Toast, sardine, grass, and dirty-socks are all up for grabs. More

Little lambs eat ivy! But kids’ll eat goat cheese strata

What little lambs eat may not be so good for kids of the human variety. But one kind of ivy is a plant people have been eating for nearly ever. More

Hazel tames the giant Nutella: Easy home-made spread

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Our elf Hazel is deeply wise.
Love her and she’ll quench your thirst for knowledge.
Then, she’ll bless you with a silver tongue,
for teaching others what you’ve learned.

So it’s said. But is there any truth behind the power of Elf Hazel?

What we know for sure: Hazel harnesses the strength of her namesake, the hazelnut. Like some other nuts and seeds, hazelnuts  feed the brain. More

Spotted Puddink—Steamed hot or steamed cold…

Spotted Puddink in English tea cups, with stirred vanilla custard

Flour of England, fruit of Spain,
Met together in a shower of rain;
Put in a bag tied round with a string;
If you’ll tell me this riddle,
I’ll give you a ring.

You may have already guessed the answer to this little riddle: steamed pudding!

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Quinoa Goes to a Party

Quinoa is the star of this dish, packed with the power of a whole crowd of superfoods… rock on!

We’re going to a party, and I offered to bring along something for the table. The request: a quinoa salad. “Quin-wha?” I asked. More

Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater

Butternut squash salad… ready, set, GO!

Hey, kids, have you ever dreamed about flying on a carpet to far-away lands, where you find yourself gorging on colorful fruits and veggies you’ve never tasted before? Well… you can do more than dream. More

Custard fight! Stirred… or baked?

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Custard fight – “Baked” dukes it out with “Stirred”

James Bond may have taken his martinis stirred. But in a recent egg custard duel, Stirred came in a far second-best behind Baked!

See for yourself. More

Fry up a little love this Christmas

Love on toast!

Here’s a twist on a favorite recipe that has love written all over it… a heart-y breakfast to get the family into a peaceful mood for Christmas. It’s made with eggs, Vinny’s theme in recent posts.

Eggs often get a bad rap in the press. But they have lots going for them, More

Want to earn a “Well Done” for your food savvy?

Vinny loves creamy smarty-pants avocados

Vinny just passed a nutrition quiz with flying colors. Want to try it yourself? More

First they say to do and then, “no, don’t!”

Eat fish for healthy omega-3 fats. Here’s one that didn’t get away… A Dorade Royale from the Mediterranean.

The papers are talking today about a new study on omega-6 fats. Seems scientists had been telling people with heart problems to eat lots of omega-6 fats. But this new study suggests maybe they were wrong. More

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