Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Mom's Thanksgiving Day Jello

These are the ingredients. I use low fat cream cheese. Of Course. I buy pecans at Costco.
You can make this without nuts if you desire.

After you set the first layer, which is strawberry, you pour on the second layer...which is the blended cream cheese and yellow jello (that has had the boiling water then cold water added to it as described on box.) Then the nuts. I chopped them first, then threw them in the blender for a few seconds after the other 2 ingredients were well mixed.

A square of the final product. I got 15 squares from the 9" by 13" pan. You could get 20 pieces if you cut them a bit smaller and that is still a good portion.

(Inspired by Bernice Hulihan Farley)
And as per requested by Megan and Amy....
I first had this jello at a Thanksgiving Day meal at John's Aunt Bernice and Uncle Lee's place in Manti, Utah back in 1979. It was so nice to see this colorful jello on everyone's plate (or was it on a separate dish?) that I decided I would make it every Thanksgiving...and I pretty much did.
1 6 oz. box strawberry jello
1 6 oz. box orange jello
1 3 oz. box lemon jello
1 small can mandarin oranges
1 10 oz. carton of frozen sliced strawberries (in syrup), thawed.
1 8 oz. block of cream cheese, softened at room temperature.
1 cup pecans, chopped (Optional but it adds a great texture to that middle layer!)
(I just realized that some years, I put a little crushed pineapple into the white layer.)
Get out your 9" by 13" cake pan.
First layer: The red layer. Make the jello, but when it is time to put the 2 cups of cold water in, use the container of strawberries as part of your cold liquid and add more water or ice to total about 2 cups of stuff. (I dump it allinto my 2 cup liquid measuring cup to make sure I have it right. Pour into pan and put in fridge.
When red layer is set, after a few hours, make the lemon jello up as directed on package. Then put this liquid mass into the blender with the softened cream cheese. Add chopped nuts after the first 2 ingredients are well blended. At this point, if you do not have nuts, it is OK . You can blend up some drained crushed pineapple into this if you want. (like 1/2 or 3/4 cup).
Pour this layer over the red layer and refridgerate until set.(few hours).
Make orange layer. Open can of manadarin oranges and drain water out into cup. Follow direction on package. Use the canned mandarin orange water for part of the water. After you have made the jello, add the drained mandarin oranges. Pour this over the cream cheese lemon jello layer and put back in fridge until set.
Makes 15-20 serving. Cool, sweet, colorful and refreshing.
As you can see..this should be made the day before Thanksgiving and get started early in the day.

Monday, November 9, 2009

My First "Baked Ziti"

I was going through my cupboard and found a (Safeway Brand)box of ziti. This is a tube pasta without the ridges (Penne has ridges, ziti is smooth.)
I decided to make Baked Ziti using the recipe on the box. The recipe, it stated on the box, was developed by cookbook author marlene Sorosky-Gray.

Here is the exact recipe, which is followed exactly, only I halved it and used a 9" x 9" glass baking dish. I used 8 oz. of ground turkey. I also sprinkled some shredded mozarella on the top along with the shredded Parmesan cheese before I baked it.
This was so good. John and I both enjoyed it quite well.
Here is the full recipe. Remember: I halved it.

Baked Ziti

1 16 oz. package Ziti
16 oz. lean ground beef.
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 jars (25 oz.) pasta sauce, any variety
(I used Classico Mushroom and Ripe Olives)
6 oz. Provolone cheese slices
6 oz. shredded mozarella
1 & 1/2 cups sour cream
2/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
non-stick cooking spray
(I just used olive oil from a bottle and slathered it onto the bottom of the baking dish.)

In a large skillet, brown the meat, onion, and garlic over medium heat until meat is browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Add pasta sauce and simmer for about
15 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook ziti according to package directions and drain. Grease a 9 x 12 inch baking dish. Layer half each of the ziti, hamburger mixture, provolone cheese, mozzarella and sour cream. Repeat the layers. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top. Cover and bake 20 minutes. Remove cover and bake 5 more minutes. Serves 8. (Note: I used up all the sour cream in the first set of layers.

I served this meal with salad, and corn and garlic bread. MMMMmmm. I will always love gooey hot cheese dishes like this!!!!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Revisiting Norwegian Pancakes

So John's first words as we woke up Monday morning (yesterday) was: "I dreamt of having a baggie of Norwegian pancakes." I recalled how I used to make "Norwegian Pancakes" all the time for breakfast for the kids and John and then if there were leftovers, I would cut them in half and put them in baggies for a snack. Sometimes Kelsy's school lunch would just be a baggie full of Norwegian pancake halves.

So, feeling ambitious, that morning (5 am) I whipped up a half batch of ...


In blender... put...
1 cup milk
2 eggs
3/4 cup unbleached white flour
dash salt
a squirt of honey
2 teaspoons melted butter

Blend well. Pour straight from blender into hot skillet that has been greased. ( These are like making crepes...pour enough to coat the bottom of the skillet as you tip the skillet around.) If you melted the butter in the skillet, you can use that, or use some canola oil.
THE TRICKY PART IS HAVING THE SKILLET HOT ENOUGH. I got 5 Norwegian pancakes from this recipe...just enough for 2 people. You serve lemon wedges on the side, and soft brown sugar. Sprinkle the pancake with the lemon juice, then brown can swish the brown sugar around with a spoon to cover the surface of the pancake. Roll up and eat...or cut in half and put in baggies for a snack later. Because they are may want to refrigerate them if you do not eat them up in 4 hours. ENJOY! Brings back memories, huh, kids???

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Healthy Snack!

I have been wanting to make these for a loooooong time and I finally did this week!

I melted a bunch of 63 % dark chocolate chips (Thanks to Molly, who bought them at Sam's club in St. Louis and brought them up to Stevens Point to give to me and then I packed them in my suitcase and brought them back to California on the airplane).

I melted the chocolate chips in a stainless steel bowl over simmering water, and then I stuffed each prune with a pecan and drenched it in the chocolate, lifting it out with a fork and letting the excess chcolate drip off back into the bowl. Then I set each one on wax paper covered tray and refrigerated them. After they hardenend, I put them in a tupperware. Now, John and I just grab one from the fridge when we want them. What a life.

Here is also a picture a Kalea, age 4, enjoying one.

The prune has been studied and found to contain the highest amount of antioxidants of any fruit. The pecan also has the highest amounts of anti-oxidants of any nut. Amd we all know dark chcolate is very good for you. So...I ask there any better treat you can have on this earth?????

Anyone out there have a cute name for this treat? "Chocolate covered prunes stuffed with pecan" is too long and unappealing. We need a cute name, and then I can package them and sell them...maybe???? Hmmm...after writing this, I want to go eat one...but it is Fast away from that thought! about....Proofles????(Cross between "truffles" and "prune")

Friday, September 18, 2009

Scenes from Notting Hill

HI everyone..if you scro1l down to the Notting Hill Brownie post, you wil1 see the famous scenes in the movie that are the actual history of the famous "Notting HIll Brownies". I used my lttle camera and had to break it up into 3 segments...hope you can view them OK.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Someday this chocolate

Someday when I am very rich and can afford to buy this great chocolate..the bombalinas, the Black Pearl bar, the bacon/chocolate bar...if you are with me, I will share. I have just pictured here the bombalina. I have copied the descriptions of the other 2 products I think I wold love. Click onlink on side...How To Eat Chocolate ...It will take you tto the site that sells these chocolates, as well as tell you HOW to enjoy chocolate.

Naga Mango Bombalina 62% dark chocolate enrobed mangoes + sweet curry

Black Pearl Bar
Inhale warming ginger as menthol-nuanced wasabi cools. Sense the evolution of flavors in the mouth. Commence with ginger, followed by earthy cacao notes, mellow wasabi reminiscent of coriander, finishing with black sesame seeds, rich in nutty texture.

Black Pearl: ginger + wasabi + black sesame seeds + dark chocolate, 55% cacao

Consume within 6 months

It was surely only a matter of time! Following the huge popularity of Mo's Bacon Bar in deep milk chocolate, we can present the newest member of the exotic candy bar family. With the same applewood smoked bacon and Alder wood smoked salt as its famous relative, the beautifully rich 62% dark chocolate encases these tantalizing flavors.

Mo's Dark Bacon Bar: applewood smoked bacon + Alder wood smoked salt + dark chocolate
62% cacao

consume within 6 months
"I began experimenting with bacon + chocolate at the tender age of 6, while eating chocolate chip pancakes drenched in Aunt Jemima® syrup, as children often do. Beside my chocolate-laden cakes laid three strips of sizzlin' bacon, just barely touching a sweet pool of maple syrup. And then, the magic—just a bite of the bacon was too salty and I yearned for the sweet kiss of chocolate and syrup, so I combined the two. In retrospect, perhaps this was a turning point; for on that plate something magical happened, the beginnings of a combination so ethereal and delicious that it would haunt my thoughts until I found the medium to express it—chocolate.

From there, it was just a matter of time…and what began as a love of salt and sweet quickly unraveled into an obsession. No sooner could I wait to unveil the royal coupling in solid bar form, a deep milk chocolate with bits and pieces of applewood smoked bacon and just a sprinkling of Alder salt. Really, what doesn't taste better with bacon?"
15 medium-sized Medjool dates
3 chorizo sausages, casing removed
1 Mo's Bacon Bar (8 squares)
8 pieces Nueskes Bacon
1 batch of Spicy Oaxacan Red Sauce
cilantro, for serving

Cut a date on one side lengthwise, remove pit. Stuff with chorizo and place ¼ of a bacon bar square in the center of the chorizo. Fold chorizo around chocolate.

Wrap in half a piece of smoked Nueskes bacon. Sear bacon-wrapped dates in pan until crispy. Set aside. Pour red sauce half-way up the sides of a baking sheet with 1-inch side walls and transfer dates to the baking sheet. Space dates 1 inch apart. Bake in sauce for 25 minutes at 350ºF. Serve in sauce, garnish with cilantro and bacon bar shavings.

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Notting Hill Brownies recipe

I am putting this recipe here on this blog so I won't lose it. Molly and I made these at her house once and Molly was so impressed, she immediately put some on a plate to take to her neighbors, sure that these brownies would impress them so much, they would want to come to church with her!

Notting Hill Brownies
2 cups butter (1 lb.) melted and cooled (1 and 1/2 cups work good, too)
2 cups granulated sugar (joan uses 1 1/2 cups)
1 1/2 cup brown sugar - (packed)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
6 large eggs lightly beaten
1 1/3 cup cocoa
2 cup unbleached flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups walnuts or pecans (optiona l)
Nonstick cooking spray (Joan uses oil or melted butter.)

Method : Blend melted butter with granulated sugar and brown sugar in bowl of large mixer. Add vanilla and eggs and blend well on slow speed until combined. Stir together cocoa, flour, baking soda and salt in separate bowl. Fold into batter and blend well, scraping bottom of mixing bowl to ensure ingredients are evenly combined, 2 to 3 minutes. Fold in nuts if using. Pour or spoon into 13- by 9-inch baking pan greased with cooking spray and lined with parchment paper. Place pan on baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees until brownies are set and slightly firm but not dried out, about 35 to 40 minutes. Cool, then freeze 1 hour before cutting. To cut, unmold from baking pan. Peel off parchment paper. Cut into large blocks (about 2 1/2 by 3 inches). Wrap each in wax paper and keep frozen or refrigerated. This recipe yields 15 large brownies.

Note: When I bake them for 40 minutes, and then put atoothpick in to test it, it is still quite bake it a little linger..try not to overbake. It is tricky.

Comments: These Notting Hill Brownies (from the comedy with the same name) are high and dense and make a dramatic statement. To serve these for a party, pile brownies on a platter and dust with powdered sugar. They're also great served with a scoop of ice cream on top and chocolate syrup or frost with Master Brownie Frosting (see recipe) for a rich, chocolate treat.


Brownies:Homemade or Mix

I recently made some very delicious homemade brownies. Then, out of curiosity, I bought a Betty Crocker brownie mix and made them up. The taste and texture were different from my homemade ones. The mix was too salty. The texture was too gummy (and I overbaked them a bit, so they were not partly raw). Now I have another project: revisit my Nottinghill recipe and see how I like them now. I will keep you posted.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Boudin Bakery's Brownies (Adapted)

Today, even though it was 89 degres outside and 86 degrees inside, I decided to make a new brownie recipe I saw in the LA Times. Yes, I fired up my oven to 350 degrees! The picture was so tantalizing, and well, I seemed to have needed some chocolate aroma therapy! So here is a picture from the newspaper (the last picture)along with the recipe.

Here are also my picture of mine (blue and white dish)and at the end of this post I will tell you what I did different in the recipe. Notice my 2 pictures: the plate of brownies on the bricks is taken with no flash (outdoors). The plate of brownies on the tablecloth was taken with a flash (indoors).

Here is my opinion of these brownies: REALLY GOOD! MMMMmm G O O D !

Boudin Bakery's brownies
Though famous for its sourdough, the bakery also makes great, fudge-like brownies.
Noelle Carter

Dear SOS: Could you possibly get the recipe for the brownies at Boudin Bakery near South Coast Plaza? They are the most delicious brownies I have ever tasted!

Mindy Morse

Los Angeles

Dear Mindy: It may be most famous for its San Francisco sourdough, but Boudin Bakery puts out an equally mean brownie. Thick and almost fudge-like in consistency, it's richly flavored with a slightly sweet finish. Arm yourself with a big glass of milk before delving into one of these winners.

Boudin Bakery's brownies

Total time: About 1 hour

Servings: 24

Note: Adapted from Boudin Bakery.

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, plus extra for greasing the dish.

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate

5 eggs

3 cups sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups (6.38 ounces) flour

2 1/2 cups toasted, chopped pecans or walnuts

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish.

2. In a medium, heavy-bottom saucepan, melt the butter and chocolate over low heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside.

3. In a stand mixer using a paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat together the eggs, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy, 5 to 7 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, beat in the melted chocolate, then the salt and flour just until combined. Gently fold in the nuts.

4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake in the center of the oven until puffed and almost set, about 45 minutes. A toothpick inserted will be slightly moist. Remove and cool slightly before serving.

Each serving: 336 calories; 4 grams protein; 38 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 21 grams fat; 8 grams saturated fat; 64 mg. cholesterol; 113 mg. sodium.

Copyright © 2009, The Los Angeles Times, September 2, 2009

OK...WHAT I DID DIFFERENT> I used 1 1/4 cup oat flour and 1/4 cup unbleached flour.
I used 1/2 teaspoon salt instead of 1 teaspoon.
I used 2 1/2 cups sugar instead of 3.
I used my whisk and beat the egs and sugar and vanilla with it for 2 minutes, that's all.
I added 1 cup chocolate chips.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Bear Naked bar

Just discovered this product today at Stater Bros., where they were giving free samples and charging $1 for each bar...they were very very I looked them up...and here is some info and a review that I totally agree with. They have tapioca syrup in them..that must be the secret. I would love to figure out how make something just like this...!!!!!!!

Bear Naked Bar

Each bar is made with 15 to 17 grams of whole grains, with no hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, or preservatives. To find out what I thought of the Chocolaty Cherry flavor, keep reading.

The soft and chewy consistency of this bar reminded me of a homemade cookie, and that is a plus. As you can see from the photo, it's made mostly with whole oats, but you can also see bits of dried cherries, pecans, and almonds. The oats and ground flaxseeds add a fair amount of fiber, and the honey, maple syrup, and molasses add a subtle natural sweetness. The chocolaty flavor complements the cherry perfectly, so it tasted more like a dessert than a granola bar.

This bar is slightly high in the calorie department, but definitely kept my energy levels high throughout a tough cardio workout. If chocolate doesn't float your boat, Bear Naked makes these grain-ola bars in two other flavors, Fruit + Nut and Tropical Fruit. Each bar is less than $2, so they're affordable, tasty, and satisfying.

Joan looked up tapioca is what she found. You can buy it online. I called henry's, Clark's Nutrition Center, and Whole Foods..nonee of them carry this product. It is 5.99 from Barry Farms 13.OO S & H (yikes)

Tapioca Syrup
A food ingredient produced from the cassava tuber or yuca root as it is also known. The tuber provides the base to make Tapioca products, such as pellets (pearls), flour, flakes, or the Tapioca Syrup. High in starch, Tapioca Syrup is commonly used in the production of other foods or as a replacement for corn syrup in baked goods. Tapioca Syrup is used to add sweetness, binding or texture to beverages, baked goods, table syrups, frozen desserts, and candies. When used as a binding agent, Tapioca helps to keep foods such as meats from drying out after they are processed. Tapioca pellets are commonly used as a thickening agent in pie and tart fillings or in soups, sauces and gravies. When cooking with Tapioca products, do not overcook any items with Tapioca as they become starchy and overly stickly.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Learning some new lingo

A few blocks from our house is a shopping center that includes this place called Fruit Avenue. I never went in there, but lately have been curious. I took a picture of the sign outside..and you can see the words on the window, too. Then I went home and researched the names of these items for sale:

The first picture (after the picture of the store..or I guess you could call it a juice bar.) is of a chamango The word is a combination of champagne and mango. The drinks vary and can be non alcoholic. For can have pureed mango or pureed peach and mix it with something bubbly like 7-up or ginger ale or sprite.

The next picture is jugo. Juice. Fresh juice.

After that are 2 pictures of what is called fresas con crema

Pie Number 4

I'm sorry..I just had to make another blueberry pie..this one with tapioca instead of flour. It was like a science experiment...Oh, and I put lots more chopped pecans in the crumb topping and instead of white flour, I used ground up oatmeal. recipe will appear in this very post later in the patient....

The Very Best Granola Bar Ever !

I normall do not like granola bars that you buy in the store. But John introduced me to these this summer. From Kashi ...T L C...what is so good about these is the layer of choclate on top and the coconut sprinkled on that nice dark chocolate and the moisture content and texture of the oat-y bar itself. Whoever dreamed up this bar at the Kashi labs deserves a bonus!

Naughty Doggie!!!!!!!!!!

I was looking forward to having some Naan for lunch the other day...I was going to smear it with pesto and layer sliced tomatoes and mozarella on it. I could not find it anywhere!!! Hmmm...last time I lost bread, I thought to myself, I found out Cookie snatched it from the counter and ate it.

So I went looking for the wrapper. This was really special naan...bought at Trader Joe' was theriMultigrain Tandoori Naan (6 Naan) 18 oz. I paid 3.79 for it. Expensive. But so worth it.

Maybe I missplaced it...maybe I put it on the cupboard, or in the where to be found anywhere...but I was not ready top blame Cookie until I found the empty wrapper. She would not have eaten the wrapper, nor would she have put it in the trash, so it must be laying around the house or yard SOMEWHERE.

Sure enough..John found it in the yard while he was mowing the lawn. Naughty doggie!

Moral of the Story:
If you are at our house, do not leave bread close to the edge of the counter.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


Well, our local Winco sells Naan, the bread from simple...I did pay 1.98 for this package of 2. John and I split one for an accompaniment (I cut one in half, then buttered the 2 halves after I warmed them up, then folded them to put on the plate so they would keep warm and so they would fit on the plate)to our egg/soyrizo dish we had for supper last night. You warm the Naan up in a skillet with a few drops of water and then smear a little butter on it. I will next time get whole wheat Naan from Trader Joe's ..just tastes better and we do need the fiber.

I tried making Nan once but it did not turn out...I think it was abad that is one of my quests. I think they chatrge too much for this bread, so I will learn to make my own.

Pie Again

I'm sorry...I have just been a glutton for blueberry pie. I made another one. Blueberries continue to be 99 cents a pint this for 2.50 worth of berries (this pie called for 5 cups), and 50 cents worth of butter and maybe 20 cents worth of sugar , flour, cinnamon and lemons juice..and my labor of love, I got this pie! It is best, John and I think, cold from the fridge the next day. Of course, it is good warm from the oven, too....we have it both ways.

It has been a very very very good year for blueberries.

By the way, John likes the crumble top pie better (I had used a graham cracker crust for that one, too...) I will add recipes to those other blog posts soon.


This was my "Welcome home afer a long day out at Fort Irwin" fruit salad for John and me last night.

Each plate had...
2 sliced kiwis
1/2 container of Yoplait pina colado yogurt
5-6 chopped pecans
2 Tablespoons blue berries.

I read somehwere that kiwi repairs damagd DNA. So I try to give Us kiwi several times a week.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

John's Hibiscus

Mile High Blueberry Pie

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Blueberry Buckle

I baked a blueberry buckle this morning. How fun! The recipe called for 4 cups of blueberries, put I put in 5 ! I got 2 1/2 cups berries from each 11 oz. carton (99 cents a carton at Albertson's this week.)Other than that I followed the recipe exactly...except I just used a wooden spoon, not a mixer with a flat paddle. John and I agreed the results were great! Yummy! As of 4:01 pm today, it is half eaten...just by the 2 of us!
This recipe is from Cook's Illustrated current issue and also online. Here is the recipe.

Blueberry Buckle
Makes one 9-inch cake, serving 8 to 10. Originally Published July 1, 2005.

A blueberry buckle is a blueberry coffeecake with a streusel topping. The batter will be extremely thick and heavy, and some effort will be required to spread it into the prepared cake pan. This buckle is best made with fresh blueberries, not frozen ones, which are too moist. If you'd like to serve the buckle as dessert, consider a vanilla ice cream or whipped cream accompaniment (see related recipe for Cream Cheese Whipped Cream). Leftovers can be wrapped in plastic and stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.

1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (2 1/2 ounces)
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch table salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick), cut into 8 pieces, softened but still cool
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour ( 7 1/2 ounces)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
10 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/4 stick), softened but still cool
2/3 cup granulated sugar (about 4 3/4 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs , room temperature
4 cups fresh blueberries (about 20 ounces), picked over

1. For the streusel: In standing mixer fitted with flat beater, combine flour, sugars, cinnamon, and salt on low speed until well combined and no large brown sugar lumps remain, about 45 seconds. Add butter and mix on low until mixture resembles wet sand and no large butter pieces remain, about 2 1/2 minutes. Transfer streusel to small bowl and set aside.

2. For the cake: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9-inch round cake pan with 2-inch sides with nonstick cooking spray, line bottom with parchment or waxed paper round, and spray round; dust pan with flour and knock out excess.

3. Whisk flour and baking powder in small bowl to combine; set aside. In standing mixer fitted with flat beater, cream butter, sugar, salt, and lemon zest at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes; using rubber spatula, scrape down bowl. Beat in vanilla until combined, about 30 seconds. With mixer running at medium speed, add eggs one at a time; beat until partially incorporated, then scrape down bowl and continue to beat until fully incorporated (mixture will appear broken). With mixer running on low speed, gradually add flour mixture; beat until flour is almost fully incorporated, about 20 seconds. Disengage bowl from mixer; stir batter with rubber spatula, scraping bottom and sides of bowl, until no flour pockets remain and batter is homogenous; batter will be very heavy and thick. Using rubber spatula, gently fold in blueberries until evenly distributed.

4. Transfer batter to prepared pan; with rubber spatula, using a pushing motion, spread batter evenly to pan edges and smooth surface. Squeeze handful of streusel in hand to form large cohesive clump; break up clump with fingers and sprinkle streusel evenly over batter. Repeat with remaining streusel. Bake until deep golden brown and toothpick or wooden skewer inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Cool on wire rack 15 to 20 minutes (cake will fall slightly as it cools).

5. Run paring knife around sides of cake to loosen. Place upside-down plate (do not use plate or platter on which you plan to serve the cake) on top of cake pan; invert cake to remove from pan, lift off cake pan, then peel off and discard parchment. Re-invert cake onto serving platter. Cool until just warm or to room temperature, at least 1 hour. Cut into wedges and serve

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Sugar Sleuthing

Photo courtesy of article at

Sugar Sleuthing

Avoiding sugar may seem like a simple task. Eliminating chocolate, ice cream, candy, and other desserts would get rid of most of your dietary sugar, right? You might think so, but the sugar count has risen in many of our everyday foods. In fact, two-thirds of our sugar comes from manufactured foods - granola bars, fruited yogurt, and even pizza. Decreasing dietary sugar is very hard to do when you don't know what you are looking for. With that conundrum in mind, here's some background information for all the Sherlocks out there who want to detect this sneaky sweet.

Not so Sweet
Dietary sugar has been accused of causing lots of problems. The most obvious are dental problems and obesity; but sugar is also suspected of increased risk for heart disease, breast cancer, diabetes, and pancreatic cancer. Yet is sugar guilty as charged?

To uncover the truth, we must look at the way our bodies process food. Most of what we eat is converted into sugar because our bodies only burn calories when food is in sugar form. Insulin is necessary to move this sugar into "storage" parts of the body such as muscle tissue and the liver, where the sugar is converted to glycogen, a fuel for the body.

However, the body only has storage for 2500 calories of glycogen. When these areas become full, insulin transports sugar into other areas, known as fat storage. Because your body is already converting most of the food you eat into sugar, adding lots of additional sugar can cause an overload and an increase in your body's fat stores. Additionally, diets high in calories and increased fat stores contribute to Type II diabetes.

Too Much of a Good Thing
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends that the average adult not exceed 10 teaspoons of sugar per day, but the typical American eats 30 or more teaspoons daily. This means that almost everyone in the country is eating around 120 pounds of sugar per year - 70 pounds more than the recommended amount. The typical consumer isn't the only person responsible for this, though. Food processing companies know that many Americans have become more health conscious, so they use tactics to hide the amount of sugar. Unless you know what you're looking for, it's hard to know exactly what you're eating.

Sneaky Sugars
You may think that finding the sugar content in a food is pretty easy - after all, ingredients in a food must be listed from most to least on the package. Finding where sugar falls on the list should be pretty simple, but companies get around this rule by using several different types of sugar in small amounts. This way, sugar doesn't appear to be one of the main ingredients.

These food con artists use many disguises to hide sugar content. The following are just some of the aliases for sugar: corn sweetener, maltose, rice syrup, invert sugar, corn syrup, glucose, malt syrup, sucrose, crystalline fructose, high-fructose corn syrup, fruit juice concentrates, molasses, brown and raw sugar, dextrose, honey, and maltodextrin syrup. Anything that ends in "ose" can generally be considered a sugar.

Now that you know your sugars, you are in good shape. By purchasing very few foods that have any of sugar's aliases in the top three ingredients, or several of them throughout the list, you are making wise nutrition decisions.

Natural vs. Refined: What's the difference?
Don't fall into the trap of thinking that all sugars are "bad guys." Many healthy foods naturally include sugar, for example, milk contains lactose. These natural sugars are less likely to do harm because the body breaks them down differently - it's generally the refined or processed sugar that you need to look out for. Added sugars have a high glycemic index, which means that the sugar is quickly introduced into the bloodstream - the cause of a "sugar high" (and afterward, a "sugar crash"). Natural sugars are helpful substitutes for their counterparts because of their lower glycemic indexes and unlikely contact with chemicals - plus, they are usually packaged with other nutrients, like calcium and vitamins.

Here are some of the "good guys" for replacing added sugar:
Stevia: Naturally 300 to 1,000 times sweeter than refined sugar, this herb alternative is the only option that doesn't affect blood sugar levels. It can be found in powder or liquid form.
Maple sugar flakes: These can be used instead of both white and brown sugar in baking. The flakes are made by drying pure maple syrup and crushing it.
Agave nectar: Made from the Mexican agave plant, it is usually found as a liquid sugar. This option does contain calories, but because it is sweeter than refined sugar, you shouldn't have to add much to please your sweet tooth. It also has a low glycemic index.

Mystery Solved
Right now, you might be thinking, "Okay, now I can't eat anything without feeling guilty," but you don't have to remove sugars completely from your life. By being aware of these sneaky sugars, you can start to pull yourself away from the average 100 pounds of sugar eaten you probably eat annually.
LDS Living, Inc., July/August 2009. Photo by Benis Arapovic

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Raw Cake Recipe...or buy the mix

This is kind of like raw fudge...but this has a frosting recipe with it! Molly and Kelsy will like this

Think that chocolate cake you’ve been eyeing will blow your diet for the week? Think again. Eco Chef Ani Phyo’s desserts are actually good for you. But before we get to the cake, let’s talk about the chocolate.

All chocolate comes from the same place, a berry called a cacao pod, which contains 30 to 40 beans. But there the similarity ends: Low antioxidant conventional cocoa powder is processed with salt to help it dissolve more easily in liquid, while real cacao powder, which is basically ground, raw beans with the fat removed, is a virtual superfood! Real cacao chocolate is full of powerful antioxidants that help neutralize free radicals and supply nutrients like potassium, zinc, magnesium and iron for radiant skin, healthy hair and strong nails. A 2003 study found that a quarter-ounce of cacao each day actually lowers blood pressure, while the caffeine increases alertness and tryptophan makes us feel happier.

No wonder you still want that cake.

So have a piece! Ani only uses cacao in creating the chocolate desserts that are part of her amazing new book, Ani’s Raw Food Desserts: 85 Easy, Delectable Sweets and Treats. And she believes the stuff not only makes us happier, but healthier. “The desserts in my book are more than treats: They provide healthy, whole food nutrition that you can include in any diet as a meal, snack or dessert,” Ani explains. “Eating more of my desserts will help you become healthier. A traditional slice of cake includes flour, sugar, eggs, butter and trans fats. Mine is made from delicious, vitamin- and antioxidant-rich nuts and fruit. Plus, in the hot summer months, who wants to cook?”

Not us. So we begged Ani to give us the recipe for the super-yummy Raspberry Ganache Fudge Cake pictured above. (Then we realized it’s also in the book. Duh.)


three cups of walnuts*,
two-thirds of a cup of unsweetened cacao powder or carob powder
and one-fourth of a teaspoon of sea salt in a food processor and pulse until coarsely mixed (avoid over processing).
Add one cup pitted Medjool dates and pulse until well mixed. Shape into two stackable cakes of desired shape and set aside.

To make the frosting, combine one-third cup semi-soft pitted Medjool dates with one-fourth cup agave syrup in the food processor until smooth. Add one-half cup ripe avocado flesh and process until smooth.

To serve, frost the top of one of the cakes with half of the frosting and top with one-half cup raspberries. Stack the second cake on top and frost the top and side. Serve immediately, or put in the fridge for a few hours to firm up, where it can keep for up to three days.

P.S. Lazy like us? Skip the recipe and grab a box of Ani’s Raspberry Ganache Raw Chocolate Cake Mix (it’s the world’s first raw food cake mix, natch). Mix up the frosting, add raspberries, and you’re done!

Just in time to savor that second piece.

*Ani uses organic, preferably farmer’s market ingredients.

Rachel Lincoln Sarnoff is the founder and editor of EcoStiletto. You can find more info about Rachel on our About Us page.

Want a smaller carbon footprint? is giving away a free pair of eco-friendly shoes worth $500 or more every month! Get the lowdown on shrinking your carbon footprint from an Ugg boot to a Manolo with daily green fashion, beauty, lifestyle, parenting, celebrity and eco-events nationwide and change the world, one small step at a time. Stiletto-size me

Delicias !

I discovered this incredible product: See if you can find it in the ice cream section of your grocery store. Six 3 oz. bars...not like a frozen juice pop, but more like a fudgsicle in texture. Bits of coconut to chew on, too. Absolutely the best treat I have had in a long time!

Here is what it says in back of the box.

Made especially for Latinos craving the flavors of home,
NESTLE Delicias brand brings authentic "paletas" to your freeser.
Lusciously creamy and coolly refreshing varieties with intense flavors and real fruit will delight your taste buds. Enjoy each unique NESTLE Delicias flavor.

130 calories per paleta (bar).

Now i get to search for other flavors.
Believe me, in this heat, we need treats like these. Forecast for the week: It will probably hit 113 degrees!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Another reason to avoid MSG

The Surprising Ingredient Causing Weight Gain By Margaret Furtado, M.S., R.D. - Posted Mon, Jul 27, 2009, 12:23 am PDT
75% of users found this article helpful.

Here is the article from yahoo today..this article will disappear and I won't know where to find it, so I am putting it here....and sharing it with my blog readers...
To your health!

Say it isn't so! A recent study out of the University of Carolina at Chapel Hill cites what animal studies have hinted at for years: MSG (aka monosodium glutamate) could be a factor in weight gain.

The study focused on 750 Chinese men and women, ages 40-59, living in 3 rural villages in north and south China. Most of the study subjects prepared their meals at home without commercially processed foods and roughly 82 percent used MSG. Those participants who used the highest amounts of MSG had nearly 3 times the incidence of overweight as those who did not use MSG, even when physical activity, total caloric intake, and other possible explanations for body mass differences were accounted for. The positive correlation between MSG and higher weight confirmed what animal studies have been suggesting for years.

Maybe you're wondering what monosodium glutamate is exactly, and what you can do to avoid it in your diet. MSG is a flavor enhancer in foods—some believe it may even provide a fifth basic taste sensation (in addition to sweet, sour, salt, and bitter), what the Japanese call "umami" (roughly translated as "tastiness"). MSG is considered an "excitotoxin," since its action in the body is to excite neurotransmitters (important brain chemicals), causing nerve cells to discharge and also exciting nerves related to taste. Perhaps this ability to excite these nerves is a factor in an association between increased MSG usage and weight gain.

How prevalent is MSG in the U.S. diet? Americans consumed about 1 million pounds of MSG in 1950, and today that number has increased by a factor of 300!

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) describes MSG as "naturally occurring," and has it on the GRAS ("generally regarded as safe") list. However, not only could MSG be causing us to gain weight, but some studies also reveal that as many as 25 to 30 percent of Americans have adverse reactions to it (e.g., palpitations and migraine headaches), and as many as 30 percent are extra sensitive to it if they consume more than 5 grams at one sitting.

OK, if you're an MSG user who could stand to lose a little weight (or know someone who is), what should you do?

Unfortunately, eliminating MSG from the diet is much easier said than done, since—given the fact that food processors often change recipes—there's no list of "safe" foods that never contain MSG. A good start is to avoid anything with MSG anywhere in the ingredient list, but there will still be many foods that have MSG hidden inside other ingredients. Likewise, even products labeled "no MSG added" can still contain these hidden sources.

Best bets for avoiding MSG
Buy organic produce whenever possible.

Make things from scratch, avoiding processed ingredients as much as possible.
Limit making stews or soups in a crock pot, since slow-cooking tends to cause small amounts of glutamic acid to be released from the protein sources (e.g., meat, chicken) in the recipe.

© 2007 Johns Hopkins University. All Rights Reserved. This article from Johns Hopkins University is provided as a service by Yahoo. All materials are produced independently by Johns Hopkins University, which is solely responsible for its content.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Another Not So Good Eat. Read your Labels!

I am cutting and pasting the entire article here....I shared this information with Amy and she told me MSG can be added to foods but under the natural flavoring entire ends with stuff about aspartame.

MSG - Slowly
Poisoning America

Author Unknown

I wondered if there could be an actual chemical causing the massive obesity epidemic, so did a friend of mine, John Erb. He was a research assistant at the University of Waterloo, and spent years working for the government.

He made an amazing discovery while going through scientific journals for a book he was writing called The Slow Poisoning of America. In hundreds of studies around the world, scientists were creating obese mice and rats to use in diet or diabetes test studies.

No strain of rat or mice is naturally obese, so the scientists have to create them. They make these morbidly obese creatures by injecting them with a chemical when they are first born. The MSG triples the amount of insulin the pancreas creates, causing rats (and humans?) to become obese They even have a title for the race of fat rodents they create: "MSG-Treated Rats" .


I was shocked too. I went to my kitchen, checking the cupboards and the fridge.

MSG was in everything! The Campbell's soups, the Hostess Doritos, the Lays flavored potato chips, Top Ramen, Betty Crocker Hamburger Helper, Heinz canned gravy, Swanson frozen prepared meals, Kraft salad dressings, especially the 'healthy low fat' ones. The items that didn't have MSG had something called Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, which is just another name for Monosodium Glutamate. It was shocking to see just how many of the foods we feed our children everyday are filled with this stuff. They hide MSG under many different names in order to fool those who catch on.

But it didn't stop there. When our family went out to eat, we started asking at the restaurants what menu items had MSG. Many employees, even the managers, swore they didn't use MSG. But when we ask for the ingredient list, which they grudgingly provided, sure enough MSG and Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein were everywhere. Burger King, McDonalds, Wendy's, Taco Bell, every restaurant, even the sit down ones like TGIF, Chilis', Applebees and Denny's use MSG in abundance. Kentucky Fried Chicken seemed to be the WORST offender: MSG was in every chicken dish, salad dressing and gravy. No wonder I loved to eat that coating on the skin, their secret spice was MSG!

So why is MSG in so may of the foods we eat? Is it a preservative or a vitamin?

Not according to my friend John. In the book he wrote, an expose of the food additive industry called The Slow Poisoning of America, ( ), he said that MSG is added to food for the addictive effect it has on the human body.

Even the propaganda website sponsored by the food manufacturers lobby group supporting MSG at explains that the reason they add it to food is to make people eat more. A study of elderly people showed that people eat more of the foods that it is added to. The Glutamate Association lobby group says eating more benefits the elderly, but what does it do to the rest of us?

'Betcha can't eat just one', takes on a whole new meaning where MSG is concerned!

And we wonder why the nation is overweight? The MSG manufacturers themselves admit that it addicts people to their products. It makes people choose their product over others, and makes people eat more of it than they would if MSG wasn't added.

Not only is MSG scientifically proven to cause obesity, it is an addictive substance: NICOTINE for FOOD!

Since its introduction into the American food supply fifty years ago, MSG has been added in larger and larger doses to the prepackaged meals, soups, snacks and fast foods we are tempted to eat everyday.

The FDA has set no limits on how much of it can be added to food. They claim it's safe to eat in any amount.

How can they claim it is safe when there are hundreds of scientific studies with titles like these?

The monosodium glutamate (MSG) obese rat as a model for the study of exercise in obesity. Gobatto CA, Mello MA, Souza CT, Ribeiro IA. Res Commun Mol Pathol Pharmacol. 2002

Adrenalectomy abolishes the food-induced hypothalamic serotonin release in both normal and monosodium glutamate-obese rats. Guimaraes RB, Telles MM, Coelho VB, Mori RC, Nascimento CM, Ribeiro Brain Res Bull. 2002 Aug

Obesity induced by neonatal monosodium glutamate treatment in spontaneously hypertensive rats: an animal model of multiple risk factors. Iwase M, Yamamoto M, Iino K, Ichikawa K, Shinohara N, Yoshinari Fujishima

Hypertens Res. 1998 Mar

Hypothalamic lesion induced by injection of monosodium glutamate in suckling period and subsequent development of obesity. Tanaka K, Shimada M, Nakao K, Kusunoki Exp Neurol. 1978 Oct

Yes, that last study was not a typo, it WAS written in 1978. Both the medical research community and food "manufaturers" have known MSG's side effects for decades!

Many more studies mentioned in John Erb's book link MSG to Diabetes,

Migraines and headaches, Autism, ADHD and even Alzheimer's.

But what can we do to stop the food manufactures from dumping fattening and addictive MSG into our food supply and causing the obesity epidemic we now see?

Even as you read this, George W. Bush and his corporate supporters are pushing a Bill through Congress. Called the "Personal Responsibility in Food Consumption Act" also known as the "Cheeseburger Bill", this sweeping law bans anyone from suing food manufacturers, sellers and distributors. Even if it comes out that they purposely added an addictive chemical to their foods. Read about it for yourself at: tmpl=story&u=/ap/20040311/ap_on_go_co/obesity_lawsuits_4

The Bill has already been rushed through the House of Representatives, and is due for the same rubber stamp at Senate level. It is important that Bush and his corporate supporters get it through before the media lets everyone know about MSG, the intentional Nicotine for food.

Several months ago, John Erb took his book and his concerns to one of the highest government health officials in Canada. While sitting in the Government office, the official told him "Sure I know how bad MSG is, I wouldn't touch the stuff!" But this top level government official refused to tell the public what he knew.

The big media doesn't want to tell the public either, fearing legal issues with their advertisers. It seems that the fallout on the fast food industry may hurt their profit margin.

So what do we do?

The food producers and restaurants have been addicting us to their products for years, and now we are paying the price for it.

Our children should not be cursed with obesity caused by an addictive food additive.

But what can I do about it? I'm just one voice, what can I do to stop the poisoning of our children, while guys like Bush are insuring financial protection for the industry that is poisoning us.

I for one am doing something about it.

I am sending this email out to everyone I know in an attempt to show you the truth that the corporate owned politicians and media won't tell you.

The best way you can help save yourself and your children from this drug-induced epidemic, is to forward this email to everyone. With any luck, it will circle the globe before Bush can pass the Bill protecting those who poisoned us.

The food industry learned a lot from the tobacco industry. Imagine if big tobacco had a bill like this in place before someone blew the whistle on Nicotine?

Blow the whistle on MSG.

If you are one of the few who can still believe that MSG is good for us, and you don't believe what John Erb has to say, see for yourself. Go to the National Library of Medicine, at . Type in the words "MSG Obese", and read a few of the 115 medical studies that appear.

We do not want to be rats in one giant experiment, and we do not approve of food that makes us into a nation of obese, lethargic, addicted sheep, waiting for the slaughter.

With your help we can put an end to this, and stop the Slow Poisoning of America. Let's save our children

Hidden Sources Of MSG In Foods
From the book 'Excitotoxins - The Taste That Kills'
By Dr. Russell Blaylock, MD

What if someone were to tell you that a chemical (MSG) added to food could cause brain damage in your children, and that this chemical could effect how your children's nervous systems formed during development so that in later years they may have learning or emotional difficulties?

What if there was scientific evidence that these chemicals could permanently damage a critical part of the brain known to control hormones so that later in life your child might have endocrine problems? How would you feel?

Suppose evidence was presented to you strongly suggesting that the artificial sweetener in your diet soft drink may cause brain tumors to develop, and that the number of brain tumors reported since the introduction of this widespread introduction of this artificial sweetener has risen dramatically? Would that affect your decision to drink these products and especially to allow your children to drink them? What if you could be shown overwhelming evidence that one of the main ingredients in this sweetener (aspartate) could cause the same brain lesions as MSG? Would that affect your buying decisions?

And finally, what if it could be demonstrated that all of these types of chemicals, called excitotoxins, could possibly aggravate or even precipitate many of today's epidemic neurodegenerative brain diseases such as Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, ALS, and Alzheimer's disease? Would you be concerned if you knew that these excitotoxin food additives are a particular risk if you have diabetes, or have ever had a stroke, brain injury, brain tumor, seizure, or have suffered from hypertension, meningitis, or viral encephalitis?

Would you also be upset to learn that many of the brain lesions caused by these products in your children are irreversible and can result from a SINGLE exposure of these products in sufficient concentration?

How would you feel when you learn the food industry hides and disguises these excitotoxin additives (MSG and Aspartate) so they can't be recognized? Incredulous? Enraged? The fact is many foods are labeled as having "No MSG" but in fact not only contain MSG but also are laced with other excitotoxins of equal potency and danger.

All of the above are true. And all of these well known brain toxins are poured into our food and drink by the thousands of tons to boost sales. These additives have NO OTHER purpose other than to enhance to TASTE of food and the SWEETNESS of various diet products.

Hidden Sources Of MSG
As discussed previously, the glutamate (MSG) manufacturers and the processed food industries are always on a quest to disguise the MSG added to food. Below is a partial list of the most common names for disguised MSG. Remember also that the powerful excitotoxins, aspartate and L-cystine, are frequently added to foods and according to FDA rules require NO LABELING AT ALL.
* Food Additives that ALWAYS contain MSG *

Monosodium Glutamate
Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein
Hydrolyzed Protein
Hydrolyzed Plant Protein
Plant Protein Extract
Sodium Caseinate
Calcium Caseinate
Yeast Extract
Textured Protein (Including TVP)
Autolyzed Yeast
Hydrolyzed Oat Flour
Corn Oil

* Food Additives That FREQUENTLY Contain MSG *

Malt Extract
Malt Flavoring
Natural Flavors/Flavoring
Natural Beef Or Chicken Flavoring

* Food Additives That MAY Contain MSG Or Excitotoxins *

Soy Protein Concentrate
Soy Protein Isolate
Whey Protein Concentrate
Also: Protease Enzymes of various sources can release excitotoxin amino acids from food proteins.

Aspartame - An Intense Source Of Excitotoxins

Aspartame is a sweetener made from two amino acids, phenylalanine and the excitotoxin aspartate. It should be avoided at all costs. Aspartame complaints accounts for approximately 70% of ALL complaints to the FDA. It is implicated in everything from blindness to headaches to convulsions. Sold under dozens of brand names such as NutraSweet and Equal, aspartame breaks down within 20 minutes at room temperature into several primary toxic and dangerous ingredients:
1. DKP (diketopiperazine) (When ingested, converts to a near duplicate of
a powerful brain tumor causing agent)
2. Formic Acid (ant venom)
3. Formaldehyde (embalming fluid)
4. Methanol (causes blindness...extremely dangerous substance)
Common Examples:
Diet soft drinks, sugar free gums, sugar free Kool Aid, Crystal Light, childrens' medications, and thousands of other products claiming to be 'low calorie', 'diet', or 'sugar free'.
A Final Note...
Dr. Blaylock recounted a meeting with a senior executive in the food additive industry who told him point blank that these excitotoxins are going to be in our food no matter how many name changes are necessary...


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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Cone or Cup?

True or False? Licking ice cream is more satisfying than eating it with a spoon.
True, according to Kay McMath, a food technologist for New Zealand's Massey University. "Flavor in ice cream is released when the fat-which carries the flavor-is warmed to at least body temperature," says McMath. When you lick ice cream it coats the tongue and fully warms the frozen treat. A spoon, on the other hand, insulates the ice cream. And then there's the psychological aspect of savoring the treat more slowly: you just cannot lick ice cream as fast as you can spoon it.
Now I know why my dad loves to eat his ice cream in a cone! For those of us who want to cut calories a bit, cone eating is get maximum taste and enjoyment with less actual ice cream...sometimes when I eat ice cream in a bowl or cup, I want a second (or even third) bowl. Not good. Too greedy. Puts on weight.
So choice is...cone!

Friday, July 24, 2009


I am craving a nice hot dish of bulghur..or as they call it at "The Pita Stop" (A Mid East restaurant here in the high desert),burghul. Pronounced "BURR gul".


2 tablesppons butter or oil
1 cup bulgur or burghul
2 cups water or broth

Saute until golden the burghul in the butter or oil. Add the 2 cups broth or water. Bring to a gentle boil, stir, cover and cook over low heat 20 minutes (like you do withr ice) or unitl bulghut is fluffy and liquid is absorbed. Makes 2 cups. Serve as side dish like you would rice.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Hot Dogs Are NOT a "Good Eat"

This just in...(Yet, reseacrh showed this 30 years ago which is why we never gave our kids hot dogs....)I believe it is the nitrates in processed meat that causes the cancer. I also have believed that Vit. C can be a good antidote to the nitrates.
We do eat vegetarian hot dogs...they taste the same!

Do hot dogs need warning labels?

NEWARK, N.J. - Hot dogs may be as American as baseball and apple pie, but an anti-meat advocacy group says they're hazardous to your health and should carry warning labels.
The group, called the Cancer Project, wants to force hot dog makers to use warning labels. An offshoot of a pro-vegetarian organization, the Cancer Project filed a lawsuit Wednesday in Superior Court in Newark on behalf of three New Jersey residents. The defendants are Kraft Foods Inc., manufacturer of the Oscar Mayer brand; Sara Lee Corp.; Nathan's Famous; and the makers of the Hebrew National and Sabrett brands.
The lawsuit cites a report by the American Institute for Cancer Research that concluded regular consumption of processed meat can increase the risk of colorectal and other forms of cancer

The 9 Inch Plate Diet

Fitness Special: The Nine-Inch Plate Diet
An author has figured out why Americans are so fat. And he's on a mission to change our eating habits—one (small) plate at a time.
By Kirsten Matthew

Photos: Courtesy The 9 Inch Diet

Alex Bogusky doesn't think bigger is better. He believes we should think small—especially if we want to stay trim. The idea that if you eat less, you weigh less is hardly a new concept, but it's one that Alex has packaged into a tidy little eating plan and book, The 9-Inch Diet, that hits stores this week.

His "eureka" moment came after buying a 1940s lake house. The co-chairman of Crispin Porter + Bogusky, an ad agency, discovered the old kitchen cabinets wouldn't fit his dinner plates. So he did some research and found out that in the past 30 years, plates have gone from 8.5 inches in diameter to 12 inches.

Those plates get piled high with food in homes across the country and that, Alex says, is the reason why so many of us are packing on the pounds. His remedy is simple: It doesn't matter what you eat, just eat 9 inches of it—not 12. And when it comes to snacks, Alex says, stick to healthy ones and don't eat too many. The same goes for booze: "Nothing more than a glass of wine with dinner," he advises.
The 45-year-old admits that eating out is the biggest challenge to his plan. "Of all the things restaurants have to provide—staff, furniture, ambience—food is the cheapest," he says. "That dynamic has forced them to give us too much. And we've followed with our portions at home."

Next to Japan, we eat at restaurants more than any other nation in the world—4.2 times a week to be exact. And folks in the Big Apple dine out even more often: According to the Department of Health, New Yorkers get at least a third of their calorie intake away from home.

The obesity rate in Italy and France is almost 70 percent lower than in the U.S. That's because "their standard plate size is still 10 inches," says Alex, compared with our 12.

To fix that, Alex, who lives in Boulder, Colo., but is a regular visitor to NYC (his dad grew up in the Bronx), suggests we throw out our crockery and start over. Within a week of eating on smaller plates, he claims, our stomachs and brains will be sated by smaller servings.

But what about those of us who eat out for every meal? "No diet is going to work if you do that," Alex explains. But if you do, you should start thinking creatively about how to avoid overeating. Order off the kids' menu, for example. "It's a great tip!" the author exclaims. "Don't be embarrassed about it." Or order a regular meal, then eat only the part that fits on a salad plate. "If the server won't bring you one, spread out your hand. That's the area your food should fit into," says Alex, who has lost 15 pounds by following his own plan for the past four years.

His favorite tip? Stuff a paper plate in your bag (typically they are 9 inches in diameter) so you always have a guide. "If you're dedicated, it's not that weird," says Alex.
"I like the idea of carrying something around with you," he says of his paper plate tip. "It's just strange enough to catch on. Someone needs to come up with a line of plates that travel," he adds. "Maybe I'll do a collaboration with Kate Spade."