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Chicken Rotini Salad with Rosemary

August 26th, 2010 by Jenny Ross

Straight from the American Heart Association’s web site, here’s a yummy recipe for the cholesterol-conscious!

Chicken Rotini Salad with Rosemary
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  • 4 ounces dried multigrain rotini
  • 1½ cups cubed cooked skinless chicken breasts, cooked without salt
  • (about 7½ ounces cooked)
  • 1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained, and coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved (about 5 ounces)
  • 1 cup fresh baby spinach (about 1 ounce)
  • ⅓ cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 2.25-ounce can sliced black olives, drained
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil (extra-virgin preferred)
  • ½ teaspoon organic dried rosemary, crushed
  • ¼ cup crumbled low-fat blue cheese

  1. In a stockpot or large saucepan, prepare the pasta using the package directions, omitting the salt and oil. Drain in a colander. Run under cold water to stop the cooking process and cool the pasta quickly.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, stir together the remaining ingredients except the blue cheese.
  3. Stir in the pasta. Gently fold in the blue cheese.


Make your own Vanilla Yogurt!

August 10th, 2010 by admin

About 6 months ago, my niece Megan turned me on to Greek style yogurt. Loaded with acidophilus and other “good bugs” and high in protein (10-15 grams per serving), it’s a great way to start the day. Except for the cost and the waste. Every morning, I hated looking at that little yogurt container and thinking if I toss one of these out per day (2 if you count John’s), how much trash do I generate in a week, in a month, in a year? How can I run around selling organic spices while piling pointless plastic in a landfill?

On top of that, Greek style yogurt is goofy expensive. Depending upon where you purchase it, an 8 oz container can run $2.00.  It’s almost as bad a Starbucks coffee!

Back in my 20′s, I had a roommate who used to make her own yogurt.  After some quick Internet research, I found a highly rated yogurt maker for $36 by EuroCuisine. It is easy to use, and compact for storage. I made my first batch of yogurt yesterday and met with rave reviews this morning for breakfast. I think I may have even made a convert out of John (he is a dyed and true yoplait man). To appeal to his sweeter taste, I added agave syrup … feel free to leave it out if you are a purist.

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  • 42 oz 1% organic milk
  • 6 Tablespoons nonfat dried milk
  • 6 oz Greek style yogurt
  • 3 Tablespoons agave nectar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Heat milk and dried milk powder in a saucepan with high sides, stirring constantly. Once milk boils remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
  2. Whisk 1 cup of milk with Greek style yogurt until smooth. Return yogurt mixture back to sauce pan with remaining milk and mix well. Stir in agave syrup and vanilla.
  3. Pour milk mixture in to glass jars and place jars (without lids) in yogurt maker. Put the lid on the yogurt maker and set timer for 1o hours (for firm Greek style yogurt).
  4. Here’s the skinny on the nutrition content. Each 6 oz serving has approx 100 calories, 2 grams of fat, and 10 grams of protein. For a little variety, add some
  5. tasty granola
  6. Pretty good way to start the day!

Mmm mmm Carrot Cake

July 18th, 2010 by Jenny Ross

My favorite (birthday) cake!

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  • 2 cups unsifted all purpose flour
  • 2-1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp organic ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1-3/4 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 can (8 oz) crushed pineapple in juice
  • 2 cups grated carrots
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
  • ½ cup chopped nuts (optional)
  • Coconut cream frosting:
  • 2 pkgs (8 oz each) cream cheese
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 2-1/2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 Tbsp milk
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup coconut flakes, toasted (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Mix flour, baking soda cinnamon and salt.
  3. Beat oil, sugar and eggs thoroughly.
  4. Add flour mixture and beat until smooth.
  5. Add pineapples, carrots, coconuts (and nuts).
  6. Pour into greased 13″x9″ pan. Bake for 50 – 60 minutes. Cool 10 minutes and remove from pan.
  7. Cream the butter and cream cheese.
  8. Alternately add confectioners’ sugar, milk and vanilla.
  9. Beat until smooth.
  10. Add ½ of the coconut.
  11. Frost cake.
  12. Sprinkle top with rest of coconut.


My Favorite Cookbooks

June 22nd, 2010 by Jean Gleason

We are into week 7 of our condo remodel and have been eating dust for the past 4 weeks.  No stove, no oven, no dishwasher, no countertops, no sink, and thus no cooking.  And the outlook is grim … 2 more weeks of drywall dust, then 3 days to finish the floors, then finally …. Finally … the kitchen gets installed.  As a result, I have little to say on the recipe front, and probably won’t cook up anything new for another month.  To entertain myself, I’ve be reading through my three favorite cookbooks, pulling out old recipe favorites, planning on what I will cook once I have a kitchen.

My three favorite cookbooks are

  1. How to Cook Everything, by Mark Bittman – appropriately named, this cookbook covers everything from boiling an egg to preparing coq au vin.  It is more like an encyclopedia than a cookbook, and offers clear concise directions on how to cook, well … almost everything.
  2. The Soup Bible, by Debra Mayhew – Even though its 88 degrees out, I still crave soup, and The Soup Bible has a great collection of over 200 soups that use spices and herbs abundantly.  The Thai Chicken and Noodle Soup is easy to make, and packed with flavor.  I usually add vegetables to this recipe and make it a one dish meal.  Double the recipe and freeze the leftovers for an easy to prepare weekday dinner.
  3. Finally, my most recent add my favorite cookbook list – The Cancer Fighting Kitchen, by Rebecca Katz.  This cookbook is filled with nutrient dense recipes perfected by Rebecca who aside from being an amazing chef, has an MS in health and nutrition education and has spent many years working with cancer survivors.  This cookbook is a great gift for anyone you know undergoing chemotherapy, or anyone who wants to eat more healthfully.  Rebecca’s recipes rely heavily on spices and herbs for their healing powers and to season creative recipes.  Try the Mediterranean Lentil Salad, or the Healing Tea.  Both are exceptionally good.  Thanks to the healing tea, I have cut my wine and coffee consumption dramatically.  Now, I just reach for a cup of tea instead of a glass of wine.

Any of these cookbooks, married with our appropriately named “Wedding Box” makes a great wedding  or  housewarming gift.  And Rebecca’s cookbook, The Cancer Fighting Kitchen, is a great gift for anyone you know undergoing treatment for cancer.

Double Chip Cranberry Cookies

June 11th, 2010 by admin

My long lost friend Karen sent me this recipe. Last 4th of July, Karen’s daughter, Dana Hinchliffe, won a blue ribbon in the Northern Maine Fair with this recipe. I wish Karen lived closer so we could sit down and enjoy some of Dana’s cookies with a cup of coffee. Thanks for sharing Dana!

Double Chip Cranberry Cookies
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Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 36

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 sticks softened butter
  • ⅓ cup white sugar
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2¼ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ⅔ cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • ⅔ cup white chocolate chips
  • ⅔ cup dried cranberries

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Blend together eggs, butter, white sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract.
  3. Slowly add flour, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Stir in semisweet chocolate, white chocolate chips and cranberries.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes on an ungreased cookie sheet.