Other Tips

Tips on Making Food Appealing, Food Safety and BPA (again)

salmon patty with sour creamThe first two Q/As below are about good food but not in the sense of nutrition; they're about good food meaning the person eating it does so with pleasure and enthusiasm. The third and fourth Q/As are about developing a protective sense as to what stores offer that might be a health risk--food possibly contaminated by temperature abuse or store receipts that might get BPA on your hands.


How to Reheat Leftover Steak-- Advice from Experts

SteakIn an upscale restaurant, my husband ordered a prime steak that was about the size of a full-grown cow.  Of course, he couldn't eat it all in one sitting, so he brought it home and labeled it "leftovers." He was looking forward to having 2 great meals for the price of one.  The next evening, he challenged me to warm up the remaining steak, duplicating the delicious flavor and texture of the restaurant version.

Hot Dogs: What You Should Know about Them

hot dogDoug Sohn owned a Chicago restaurant named Hot Doug's, a popular spot celebrated for its sausage sandwiches. (Unfortunately, it closed permanently a few years ago.) When a Chicago Tribune reporter asked Doug to defend sausage as the perfect food, he had no trouble doing so: "It's salt, fat, and meat in one very easy-to-eat, hard-to-screw-up vessel.  It tastes good, it's happy, it's the food of the masses and it's available everywhere."  And don't forget that hot dogs are inexpensive, quick and easy to prepare, tolerant of whatever toppings the diner wants to throw on them, and beloved by all age groups from post-infancy to pre-demise. 


On the other hand, nutritionists point out that hot dogs are far from nutritious. Yet, says the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, Americans purchase some 9 billion hot dogs a year in grocery stores and many more from street and ballpark vendors. Altogether, Americans consume about 20 billion wieners annually or 70 per person. 


The Chicago Tribune also tells us that 25% of Americans eat hot dogs only in the summer.  Among those who eat hot dogs or other sausages, 88% grill them.  The Chicago-style hot dog (a celebrity in a city known for its superior wieners) is steamed.  Whatever way you prepare them (perhaps even broiled, fried, or baked in a casserole), chances are they were consumed as part of your Labor Day festivities.  They're also generally on the menu at tailgating parties on college campuses during the football season. Therefore, this seems a good time to find out what's actually in a hot dog, whether they contain ingredients you should be concerned about, what health tips experts have to offer, and what shelf life advice you should follow.

Kids and Cooking: A Good Combo

kids and cookingIs cooking fun? Maybe you think it's work, but kids see things differently. A 3-5 year old can get a big kick out of peeling or cracking eggs, scraping carrots, smearing butter on toast, decorating a pizza with toppings, stirring cheese into macaroni, or building a sandwich.  Supervised chopping and cutting is also an enjoyable challenge for a young youngster. And as the years advance, hopefully the child who has had pleasant experiences with cooking will move on to making one dish independently and then, in the teen years, preparing a whole meal for the family.  How can you get kids interested in cooking?  Why should you?  This article answers both questions.

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