Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Spicy-Sweet Ribs and Beans ---Slow cooker

Slow cookers don't brown food, so here we broil the ribs for extra flavor before adding them to the pot. Serve with cornbread and a simple green salad with creamy Italian or ranch dressing.
Makes 8 servings

2         (16-ounce) cans pinto beans, drained
4         pounds country-style pork ribs, trimmed
1         teaspoon garlic powder
1/2      teaspoon salt
1/2      teaspoon pepper
1         medium onion, chopped
1         (10.5-ounce) jar red jalapeño jelly
1         (18-ounce) bottle hickory-flavored barbecue sauce
1         teaspoon green hot sauce

1 .  Place beans in a 5-quart electric slow cooker; set aside.

2 .  Cut ribs apart; sprinkle with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Place ribs on a broiling pan.

3 .  Broil 5 1/2 inches from heat 18 to 20 minutes or until browned, turning once. Add ribs to slow cooker, and sprinkle with onion.

4 .  Combine jelly, barbecue sauce, and hot sauce in a saucepan; cook over low heat until jelly melts. Pour over ribs; stir gently.

5 .  Cover and cook at HIGH 5 to 6 hours or at LOW 9 to 10 hours. Remove ribs. Drain bean mixture, reserving sauce. Skim fat from sauce. Arrange ribs over bean mixture; serve with sauce.

TIP:  I  used Kraft Thick 'n Spicy Hickory Smoke Barbecue Sauce and Tabasco Green Pepper Sauce.
Heart healthy

Chicken Thighs With Carrots and Potatoes -------Slow Cooker

 All you need is 20 minutes to get this chicken thigh recipe in the slow cooker, then you have a hearty chicken and veggie supper waiting for you when you get home.

1      medium onion
4      medium-size new potatoes (about 1 pound)
2      cups baby carrots
1/4   cup chicken broth
1/4   cup dry white wine or chicken broth
1      teaspoon minced garlic
1/2   teaspoon dried thyme
1-1/4    teaspoons salt, divided
1/2    teaspoon pepper, divided
1      teaspoon paprika
6      skinned, bone-in chicken thighs

1.   Halve onion lengthwise, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Cut potatoes into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Place onion in a lightly greased 6-qt. slow cooker; top with potatoes and carrots.

2.   Combine broth, next 3 ingredients, 3/4 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Pour over vegetables.

3.   Combine paprika and remaining 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper; rub over chicken. Arrange chicken on top of vegetables.

4.   Cover and cook on LOW 6 hours or until chicken is done and vegetables are tender.
Heart Healthy

Monday, August 29, 2016

Sausage and Squash Lasagna Slow Cooker & Salad

I  were surprised and delighted by how well lasagna cooks up in the slow cooker. Be sure to use traditional noodles, and place them in the cooker uncooked. I  tried the recipe with specially formulated no-bake noodles, and they didn't work as well. 
I added a salad  for a balance meal (recipe below)
Serves 10 (serving size: about 1 cup)    Total time: 4-1/2 Hours

 9      ounces part-skim ricotta cheese
1       ounce Asiago cheese, grated and divided (about 1/4 cup)
2      tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, divided
2      tablespoons chopped fresh chives, divided
1/4   teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6      garlic cloves, divided
6     cups water
1/2   cup red wine vinegar
1      large yellow crookneck squash, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1     large zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
Cooking spray
12    ounces hot turkey Italian sausage links, casings removed
2      cups chopped onion
1      tablespoon olive oil
3     (3.5-ounce) packages shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
1     cup unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)
1/2    cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1     (25-ounce) jar lower-sodium marinara sauce (such as Dell'Amore)
12    uncooked lasagna noodles
4      ounces fontina cheese, shredded and divided (about 1 cup)

1.    Combine ricotta, 2 tablespoons Asiago cheese, 1 tablespoon parsley, 1 tablespoon chives, pepper, and 1 garlic clove, grated, in a bowl; set aside.
2.    Bring 6 cups water to a boil in a large skillet; stir in red wine vinegar. Add squash and zucchini; cook 2 minutes. Drain.
3.    Heat skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add sausage; cook 7 minutes, stirring to crumble. Stir in onion; cook 8 minutes or until onion is tender.
4.    Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms; cook 10 minutes or until mushroom liquid nearly evaporates. Mince 5 garlic cloves; stir into mushrooms. Stir in stock, basil, and marinara. Bring to a boil; remove from heat.
5.    To assemble lasagna, spoon 1 cup marinara mixture into the bottom of a 6-quart electric slow cooker. Top with 4 noodles, breaking noodles to fit cooker. Layer half of squash mixture, half of sausage mixture, and 1/4 cup fontina cheese over noodles; top with 1 cup marinara mixture. Arrange 4 noodles over marinara mixture; top with ricotta mixture. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup fontina; top with remaining half of sausage mixture and remaining half of squash mixture. Arrange remaining 4 noodles over squash mixture; top with remaining 1 1/2 cups sauce and 1/4 cup fontina. Cover and cook on  low for 4 hours.
6.    Preheat broiler.
7.    Uncover slow cooker; sprinkle lasagna with remaining 1/4 cup fontina and remaining 2 tablespoons Asiago. Broil on middle rack of oven for 2 minutes or until cheese browns slightly. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon parsley and remaining 1 tablespoon chives. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
TIP:
You can freeze Lasagna up yo  6 weeks. Defrost in refrigerator over night

                                             Seven Layer Salad
This  layered  salad is always popular at covered dish and potluck suppers with its colorful layers of lettuce, bacon, tomato, olives, green peas, carrot and hard-boiled eggs.
Make        6 Servings

6         large eggs
12      strips lean bacon
2        beefsteak tomatoes, diced (about 2 pounds)
1       (10 ounces) box frozen peas, thawed and drained
8        ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, shredded or diced (2 cups)
1/3     cup pitted black olives
2       (5 ounces.) bags mixed greens
1/2    cup ranch dressing or vinaigrette

1 .  Place eggs in a medium saucepan with cold water to cover. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat, cover pan and let stand for 10 minutes. Drain eggs and cool in ice water. Peel and set aside.
2 .  Cook bacon in batches in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 10 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Tear bacon into pieces.
3 .  Arrange tomatoes, peas, Cheddar, olives, greens and bacon in layers in a large (5-quart), clear bowl with straight sides.
4 .  Just before serving, quarter eggs and place on top. Serve with dressing on side or toss.
Heart Healthy

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Bread and Butter Pickles

Make about 4 cups of pickles          prep time: 3 hours                cook time: 5 minutes total time: 3 hours
A wonderful, simple recipe for homemade refrigerator Bread and Butter Pickles. No canning equipment required! Just prepare and pop in the fridge!

5½         cups (about 1½ pounds) thinly sliced (about ¼-inch) pickling cucumbers
1½        tablespoons kosher salt
1           cup thinly sliced sweet onion
1          cup  granulated sugar
1          cup  white vinegar
½         cup  apple cider vinegar
¼         cup  light brown sugar
1½       teaspoons mustard seeds
½         teaspoon celery seeds
1/8       teaspoon ground turmeric

1.      Combine cucumbers and salt in a large, shallow bowl; cover and chill 1½ hours. Move cucumbers into a colander and rinse thoroughly under cold water. Drain well, and return cucumbers to bowl. Add onion to the bowl and toss with the cucumbers.

2.      Combine the granulated sugar, white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, mustard seeds, celery seeds and ground turmeric in a medium saucepan; bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Pour the hot vinegar mixture over cucumber mixture; let stand at room temperature 1 hour. Cover and refrigerate 24 hours. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.

TIP : The jars pictured in the post above are Bormioli jars - love them! I bought my jars at the local  Walmart store .
Heart healthy

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Awesome Lasagna Casserole



I think if you try this lasagna casserole,  it will become your favorite.  It is delicious. I have had many compliments on it. Easy to make for a newbie cook. Only three pans to clean up. Enjoy the oohs! and ahs!

INGREDIENTS
Servings 12                                     

1 1⁄2 lbs lean ground beef
1⁄2 lb Italian sausage
1 large onion, chopped
2 -3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1⁄2-2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)
1 teaspoon fresh coarse ground black pepper (or to taste)
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried basil
2 (14 1/2 ounce) cans whole tomatoes, undrained and chopped (or canned chopped tomatoes)
2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
24 ounces cottage cheese or 24 ounces ricotta cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1⁄2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons parsley
1⁄2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 lb mozzarella cheese, divided
12 -15 lasagna noodles



DIRECTIONS

~ Brown ground beef, Italian sausage, onion and garlic.
~ Add salt, pepper, parsley, oregano, basil, chopped tomatoes with juice, and tomato paste; stirring until well mixed.
~ Cover and simmer 1 hour (or longer, but watch for getting too dry).
~ Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions; drain and set aside.
~ Spray a 13 x 9" baking pan with cooking spray.
~ Combine cottage cheese, eggs, pepper, 2 tablespoons parsley, Parmesan cheese and 1/2 1lb of mozzarella cheese; In a lasagna pan, layer noodles, meat sauce, and cheese mixture; repeat.
~ Top off with layer of noodles; sprinkle evenly with remaining mozzarella cheese; make sure to cover noodles completely.
~ Bake at 375F for 40-60 minutes, or until cheese mixture is thoroughly melted. (I cover w/ foil for about 40 minutes, then uncover for 15-20 minutes.
~ Let sit for 15-20 minutes before cutting and serving.


All the glory belongs to you. If you have any great casseroles or slow cooker recipes to contribute, please put them in the comments. We will post them and you could win the WB DELISH award.

Food for Thought : Health Benefits of Cherries

Chock full of vitamins and minerals, cherries are one of the healthiest fruits you can snack on all year long. You can enjoy cherries as a snack, in pie filling, or in a glass of cherry juice. In addition to being a low-calorie healthy snack, there are many health benefits of cherries that you can enjoy by grabbing a handful of this delicious fruit.
Minimizes Arthritis Pain :
If you have arthritis, you may experience lingering pain that hangs around even with the help of painkillers. Cherries are naturally able to minimize and even eradicate arthritis pain. This is because cherries can significantly reduce the presence of uric acid in the body, leading to less inflammation and pain. This effect is strongest when you enjoy Bing cherries.
Lowers Blood Sugar Levels :
People that suffer from diabetes should enjoy cherries on a regular basis. This powerful fruit is full of anthocyanin, an antioxidant that has many health benefits. Cherries can naturally increase insulin production in the body, helping diabetics to more naturally maintain healthy blood sugar levels. If you are diabetic, it is better to eat fresh cherries than canned cherries. Canned cherries often have added sugar and less anthocyanin.
Minimizes Risk of Heart  Disease :
When you enjoy this tart treat, you are doing your heart a favor. In fact, cherries can be as effective as some prescribed heart medications without the side effects. They are good at regulating fat and glucose in people with metabolic conditions. If you are on medications to prevent stroke or heart disease, cherries can improve the efficacy of these drugs if you eat them at the same time as taking your medication.
Gets Rid of Belly Fat :
If you are carrying a few extra pounds or a spare tire around your middle, cherries may be the answer you’re looking for. Since belly fat is a huge problem in the United States, this is one of the most popular health benefits of cherries. Even if you don’t change your diet, eating cherries can help your body build up less fat and gain less weight.
Reduces Chances of Gout : 
Gout attacks can be Reduces Mu painful, so wouldn’t you do anything you could to prevent them? Adding a handful of tart cherries to your daily diet can keep gout away. People have noticed a reduction in gout attacks after just two days of regularly eating cherries. In order to enjoy this health benefit, you just have to eat 1/2 cup of cherries every day.
 Reduce Muscle Soreness :       
Many runners and hardcore exercisers are starting to realize the power of cherries. Instead of reaching for a sport drink or glass of water after a workout, many fitness buffs are reaching for a large handful of cherries or a glass of cherry juice. Cherries can reduce muscle inflammation, leading to less soreness and quicker healing. If you decide to drink cherry juice, be sure that you are drinking tart, unsweetened cherry juice.
Slows Down Aging :
If you are looking for an anti-aging potion, look no further than cherries. There are numerous anti-aging health benefits of cherries. This is because cherries are full of isoqueritirin and queritrin, antioxidants that reduce oxidative stress in the body. By keeping your body free of free radicals, cherries can slow down the aging process and keep you feeling youthful for decades.
Fights Cancer :
When you enjoy the bright red color of cherries, you are noticing that which makes cherries good at fighting cancer. Flavonoids in cherries give them their color and fight free radicals in the body. This can halt the growth of cancer cells and keep them within normal levels. While all cherries are full of antioxidants, the darker the cherry, the more benefits it has.
Improve Sleep :
Our bodies rely on melatonin, a chemical that regulates sleep cycles, to help us sleep well at night. Tart cherries are a natural source of melatonin. Reach for a glass of cherry juice at night to help you sleep better.
Boosts Memory :
Cherries are an excellent source of anthocyanin, a chemical that can improve your memory. By regularly adding cherries to your diet, you can notice an improvement in your recall skills. This chemical can also improve your motor skills. For those with a faltering memory, this may be one of the best health benefits of cherries.
                                                            Cherry Pie 
 Total time : 3 hours  25 minutes       8 servings

Pastry:
2    cups all-purpose flour
1    teaspoon salt
2/3   cup plus 2 tablespoons shortening
 6    tablespoons cold water 
Filling:
1-1/3   cups sugar
1/2    cup all-purpose flour
6       cups sour cherries, pitted
2       tablespoons butter or margarine, if desired
1 .  Heat oven to 425°F. In medium bowl, mix 2 cups flour and the salt. Cut in shortening, using pastry blender (or pulling 2 table knives through ingredients in opposite directions), until particles are size of small peas. Sprinkle with cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with fork until all flour is moistened and pastry almost leaves side of bowl (1 to 2 teaspoons more water can be added if necessary).
2 .  Gather pastry into a ball. Divide pastry in half; shape into 2 rounds. Wrap flattened rounds of pastry in plastic wrap; refrigerate about 45 minutes or until dough is firm and cold, yet pliable.
3 .  Roll pastry on lightly floured surface, using floured rolling pin, into circle 2 inches larger than upside-down 9-inch glass pie plate. Fold pastry into fourths and place in pie plate; or roll pastry loosely around rolling pin and transfer to pie plate. Unfold or unroll pastry and ease into plate, pressing firmly against bottom and side and being careful not to stretch pastry, which will cause it to shrink when baked.
4 .  In large bowl, mix sugar and 1/2 cup flour. Stir in cherries. Spoon into pastry-lined pie plate. Cut butter into small pieces; sprinkle over cherries. Cover with top pastry that has slits cut in it; seal and flute. Cover edge with 2- to 3-inch strip of foil to prevent excessive browning; remove foil during last 15 minutes of baking.
5 .  Bake 35 to 45 minutes or until crust is golden brown and juice begins to bubble through slits in crust. Cool on cooling rack at least 2 hours before serving.
Expert Tips :
There are two types of cherries—sweet and sour. Sour cherries, also called pie cherries, tart cherries or tart red cherries make wonderful pies. Sweet cherries are great for eating fresh, but not for pies.
Substitute 6 cups frozen unsweetened pitted red tart cherries, thawed and drained, or 3 cans (14.5 oz each) pitted red tart cherries, drained, for the fresh cherries.






A proud Grand-poppa            G.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Beer-Braised Pot Roast ------ Slow cooker

This is no ordinary pot roast. First, it's rubbed with coffee. Then it simmers in dark stout beer and beef stock, yielding a deeply delicious gravy. Small carrots with tops and pearl onions elevate it further. Just be sure to pile the veggies on top of the beef after all other ingredients are in your cooker, so they'll cook perfectly and keep a vibrant color.
Makes: 6 to 8 servings         Total time:  6 to  8 Hours

1        pound small carrots with tops, peeled
1       (3- to 4-lb.) boneless chuck roast, trimmed
2       teaspoons kosher salt
1       teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2       tablespoons instant dark roast coffee
2       tablespoons olive oil
3       tablespoons tomato paste
4      garlic cloves, chopped
2      (12-oz.) bottles stout beer
2      tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
2      (1-oz.) containers home-style concentrated beef stock (from a 4.66-oz. package)
2      pounds pearl onions
1      tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2      tablespoons cornstarch
Hot cooked grits
Garnish: fresh thyme sprigs

1.    Cut tops from carrots, leaving 1 inch of greenery on each. Sprinkle roast with salt and pepper. Rub coffee over roast, and let stand at room temperature 10 minutes. Cook roast in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 3 to 5 minutes on each side or until browned, reserving drippings in skillet. Place roast in a 6-qt. slow cooker.

2.    Add tomato paste and garlic to hot drippings, and sauté 1 minute. Slowly add beer, whisking constantly. Stir in thyme and concentrated beef stock; bring to a boil. Boil, stirring occasionally, 8 minutes or until mixture reduces to about 3 cups.

3.    Pour beer mixture over roast. Top roast with onions and carrots. Cover and cook on LOW 8 to 10 hours or until roast is fork-tender. Transfer roast to a serving platter, and shred into large chunks, discarding any large pieces of fat. Spoon vegetables onto platter around roast.

4.    Skim fat from cooking liquid; transfer cooking liquid to a large saucepan. Whisk in vinegar. Whisk together cornstarch and 2 Tbsp. water in a small bowl until smooth; add to mixture in pan, stirring until blended. Bring mixture to a boil, and boil, whisking often, 1 minute or until sauce reaches desired thickness. Serve sauce with roast, vegetables, and hot cooked grits.
Heart healthy

Monday, August 22, 2016

Summer squash veggie casserole

<p>Zucchini, Squash, and Corn Casserole</p>

A very good veggie casserole. You can spice it up a little more if you want to give it some heat but it is very tasty as is.  We love our casseroles.
Soft, white breadcrumbs double as a light binder and golden crumb topping. To make them, pulse torn slices of day-old sandwich bread in the food processor.


Ingredients
  
1 1/2 pounds yellow squash, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 1/2 pounds zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1/4 cup butter, divided
2 cups diced sweet onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups fresh corn kernels
1 1/2 cups (6 oz.) freshly shredded white Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon table salt
1 1/2 cups soft, fresh breadcrumbs, divided
1 cup freshly grated Asiago cheese, divided


Directions


1. Preheat oven to 350°. Bring first 2 ingredients and water to cover to a boil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, and boil 5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain; gently press between paper towels.
2. Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a skillet over medium-high heat; add onion, and sauté 10 minutes or until tender. Add garlic, and sauté 2 minutes.
3. Stir together squash, onion mixture, corn, next 6 ingredients, and 1/2 cup each breadcrumbs and Asiago cheese just until blended. Spoon mixture into a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish.
4. Melt remaining 2 Tbsp. butter. Stir in remaining 1 cup breadcrumbs and 1/2 cup Asiago cheese. Sprinkle over casserole.
5. Bake at 350° for 45 to 50 minutes or until golden brown and set. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.
It's very good with your choice of meat -  pork chop, ham steak or lamb chop.

Mocha Icebox Cake

It's hard to believe you only need 6 ingredients to make this scrumptious Mocha Icebox Cake. Jazz up the chocolate sauce with coffee liqueur if desired!
 Makes  8 Servings

2              cups heavy cream, chilled
2-1/2       cups mini marshmallows
1              tablespoon instant espresso powder
3-1/2       ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
26           Nabisco Famous chocolate wafer cookies
12           ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1-1/2      tablespoons Kahlua or other coffee liqueur, optional

1 .  Make cake: Line a 9-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap; tuck it into corners and leave a 1-inch overhang. Mix 1/2 cup cream, marshmallows and espresso powder in a saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring, until marshmallows melt and espresso dissolves. Remove from heat; whisk in chocolate until melted. Scrape into a bowl; let cool to room temperature, whisking occasionally, 20 to 25 minutes.

2 .  Pour remaining 1 1/2 cups cream into a bowl; whip with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Fold a cup of whipped cream into chocolate mixture. Gently fold chocolate mixture into remaining whipped cream, taking care not to deflate cream. Arrange 3 cookies in a single layer on bottom of pan. Scrape 1 cup of mousse over cookies and smooth with an offset spatula. Stand one cookie up on each short end of pan.

3 .  Arrange 3 cookies on top of mousse. Spread quarter of remaining mousse evenly over cookies. Repeat with remaining ingredients, forming 5 layers of mousse and ending with cookies. Cover pan with plastic; freeze for at least 6 hours.

4 .   Make sauce: Melt chocolate and 8 Tbsp. water in a bowl set over pan of simmering water. Stir in liqueur, if desired. Serve cake with sauce.
Heart Healthy

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Maxy sez :Maxy Sez : A Glossary of Key Diabetes Terms

By Lynn Yoffee | Medically reviewed by Pat F. Bass III, MD, MPh 

Confused by words like glucagon and diabetic retinopathy? Cut through the medical jargon with these easily understandable definitions of diabetes-related terms.

Learning that you have diabetes can be overwhelming — with lifestyle changes, new medications, and the variety of tests needed to stay healthy. One stumbling block for anybody managing a chronic condition can be the vocabulary of medical terms. Here's a glossary of some of the most common diabetes terms you need to know.

A1C: ......a test that reveals exactly how well your blood sugar (glucose) has been controlled over the previous three months.

Beta cells:.....cells found in the pancreas that make insulin.

Blood glucose:..... also known as blood sugar, glucose comes from food and is then carried through the blood to deliver energy to cells.

Blood glucose meter: ....a small medical device used to check blood glucose levels.

Blood glucose monitoring:..... the simple blood test used to check the amount of glucose in the blood; a tiny drop of blood, taken by pricking a finger, is placed on a test strip and inserted in the meter for reading.

Diabetes: ....the shortened name for diabetes mellitus, the condition in which the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin or your body is unable to use insulin to move glucose into cells of the body.

Diabetic retinopathy:.... the eye disease that occurs in someone with diabetes when the small blood vessels of the retina become swollen and leak liquid into the retina, blurring vision; it can sometimes lead to blindness.

Gestational diabetes: .....the diabetes some women develop during pregnancy; it typically subsides after the baby is delivered, but many women who have had gestational diabetes may develop type 2 diabetes later in life.

Glucagon: .....the hormone that is injected into a person with diabetes to raise their blood glucose level when it's very low (hypoglycemia).

Glucose: .....blood sugar that gives energy to cells.

Hyperglycemia: .....also known as high blood glucose, this condition occurs when your blood glucose level is too high; weight loss, thirstiness, and frequent urination are typical symptoms.

Hyperosmolar hyperglycemic nonketotic syndrome: ......a condition usually caused by an infection or illness that results in blood sugar levels rising to dangerously high levels; HHNS can lead to seizures, coma, and death.

Hypoglycemia: .....also known as low blood sugar, severe hypoglycemia can cause a variety of symptoms ranging from dizziness to seizures.

Insulin: .....a hormone made by the pancreas that assists in the use of glucose for energy; people with diabetes who don't make enough insulin will inject it.

Ketoacidosis: .....a condition often caused by an infection or other illness like dehydration, or from taking too little insulin; when the body begins to break down muscle and fat for needed energy, ketones are released into the urine and blood, leading to diabetic ketoacidosis.

Ketones:..... the chemical substance made by your body when there isn't enough insulin in your blood; a build-up of ketones can lead to serious illness or coma.

Nephropathy: .....a diabetic kidney disease in which protein is spilled into the urine; it can progress over time and result in significant kidney damage.

Neuropathy:.....diabetes-caused nerve damage, typically in the feet and hands; major organs can also be affected.
Pancreas: the organ that makes insulin, needed to convert glucose to energy.

Type 1 diabetes: ....insulin-dependent diabetes that requires life-long insulin treatment; type 1 occurs when the pancreas doesn't make enough insulin, preventing your body from properly using blood glucose as energy.

Type 2 diabetes: .....non-insulin-dependent diabetes, a condition in which your body either doesn't make enough insulin or doesn't use it properly and can't properly use blood glucose as energy; type 2 may be treated with oral medication, but could eventually require insulin.
Maxy sez : Always remember  you are in control .

Friday, August 19, 2016

PICs bringing you Slow-Cooker Suppers and more

These satisfying suppers are perfect for your busy schedule. Just toss in the ingredients and let your slow cooker do all the work.


Remember when Crock Pot recipes were all soups and stews? Our slow cookers also came in handy for prepping and serving those little cocktail wieners doused with grape jelly, a staple of the Southern party menu back in the day. (And let’s admit it—we still love ’em.) Crock Pots are so much more versatile now. You can slow-cook everything from classic comfort food (think meatloaf and macaroni and cheese) to regional specialties: Turkey Breast and Herb-Cornbread Stuffing, Brisket Tacos with Summer Salsa, Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo, Spicy-Sweet Ribs and Beans, and King Ranch Chicken, to name a few. There’s nothing better than easily prepped, fix-it-and-forget-it Crock Pot recipes to make weeknight suppers—and even weekend entertaining—a snap. Whether you’re cooking for a crowd or just making dinner, check out our extensive collection of delicious recipes. Your Crock Pot menu can be virtually limitless—and effortless. 

Creole Chicken with Field Pea Succotash
Complete the meal by trying this easy side: Drizzle sliced fresh tomatoes with oil-and-vinegar dressing; season with salt and pepper to taste.
Easy Side: Drizzle sliced fresh tomatoes with oil-and-vinegar dressing; season with salt and pepper to taste.
Makes 6 servings      Total time: 5 Hours, 10 Minutes

1          (16-oz.) package frozen field peas with snaps, thawed
1         (10-oz.) package frozen vegetable gumbo mix, thawed
1         (16-oz.) package baby gold and white whole kernel corn, thawed
2         teaspoons chicken bouillon granules
4         teaspoons Creole seasoning, divided
1-1/2    teaspoons paprika
6        skinned, bone-in chicken thighs (about 2 1/2 lb.)

1. Stir together first 4 ingredients and 2 tsp. Creole seasoning in a lightly greased 6-qt. oval-shaped slow cooker.

2. Combine paprika and remaining 2 tsp. Creole seasoning; rub over chicken. Arrange chicken on top of vegetable mixture. Cover and cook on LOW 5 to 6 hours or until chicken is done.
Heart Healthy

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Lemon-Oregano Chicken Breast

Get perfectly tender, juicy grilled chicken breasts by marinating the chicken in a simple mixture of olive oil, fresh lemon juice, and herbs and grilling over direct medium heat.
Serves: 6

MARINADE:
1/4          cup extra-virgin olive oil
Finely grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
1             tablespoon dried oregano
1             tablespoon minced garlic
2             teaspoons paprika
1-1/2      teaspoons kosher salt
1/2          teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

CHICKEN:
6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, about 6 ounces each

1. In a medium bowl whisk the marinade ingredients.

2. Place the breasts on a large, rimmed plate. Spoon or brush the marinade over the breasts, turning to coat them evenly. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.

3. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium heat.

4. Brush the cooking grates clean. Grill the chicken, smooth side down, over direct medium heat, with the lid closed as much as possible, until the meat is firm to the touch and opaque all the way to the center, 8 to 12 minutes, turning once or twice. 
Serve warm.
Heart Healthy

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Ham n' Tater casserole


Ham, Potato and Broccoli Casserole

I had some left over ham last week and my family was tired of hambone and white bean soup and other tired old recipes, so I tried a very simple casserole and found it to be very tasty, healthy and a nice change. It is one of those one pan, easy, comfort  meals that I love.  You can add some macaroni pasta or try seasoning the potatoes before you bake. Put this dish in the freezer and bake whenever you're too lazy to cook! Can also be made with leftover cooked chicken.  I hope you enjoy it also.

Ingredients:
Servings Per Recipe: 5

1 (16 ounce) package frozen French fries ( chopped up) or package of hash browns
1 (16 ounce) package frozen chopped broccoli ( I used fresh)
1 1/2 cups cooked, cubed ham

Monday, August 15, 2016

New take on a Swirl Pound cake


Total time : 2 hours  + Cooling       make 1  -  9x5-inch loaf pan

1-1/2      cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
4            large eggs, at room temperature
2            teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4        teaspoon baking powder
1/4        teaspoon salt
2           sticks unsalted butter, softened
1-1/4    cups sugar
2          13-ounce jars  Nutella

1 .  Preheat the oven to 325°. Lightly grease and flour a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan, tapping out any excess flour. In a glass measuring cup, lightly beat the eggs with the vanilla. In a medium bowl, whisk the 1 1/2 cups of flour with the baking powder and salt.

2 .  In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer, beat the butter with the sugar at medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. With the mixer at medium-low speed, gradually beat in the egg mixture until fully incorporated. Add the flour mixture in 3 batches, beating at low speed between additions until just incorporated. Continue to beat for 30 seconds longer.

3 .  Spread one-third of the batter in the prepared pan, then spread half of the Nutella on top. Repeat with another third of the batter and the remaining Nutella. Top with the remaining batter. Lightly swirl the Nutella into the batter with a butter knife. Do not over mix.

4 .  Bake the cake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Invert the cake onto a wire rack, turn it right side up and let cool completely, about 2 hours. Cut the cake into slices and serve.
Heart Healthy

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Maxy sez : How to Treat Low Blood Sugar Effecttively

By Margaret O'Malley            Reviewed by Kelly Kennedy, RD

It’s important for those with type 2 diabetes to watch for signs of hypoglycemia, or insulin shock, and to know what to do if they occur.

Learn more about the program >>
Hypoglycemic symptoms are important clues that you have low blood glucose.

An episode of hypoglycemia, or low blood glucose, comes on very suddenly. It can happen during or after strenuous exercise, or when you delay a meal. Most people with type 2 diabetes learn to recognize their hypoglycemic symptoms. 

These include:
Sweating
Weakness
Anxiety
Trembling
Fast heartbeat
Inability to think straight
Irritability
Grouchiness
Hunger
Headache
Sleepiness
Hypoglycemic episodes can also happen while you are asleep. Symptoms include:

Crying out or having nightmares
Waking up to find your pajamas or sheets are damp from perspiration
Feeling tired, irritable, or confused after you wake up
What to Do if Your Blood Sugar Is Low

If you think your blood glucose may be too low, check your level using your testing equipment. If your blood glucose is less than 70 mg/dL, then you are probably having a hypoglycemic reaction.


Hypoglycemia is usually mild and can be treated quickly and easily by eating or drinking a small amount of glucose-rich food. Always carry something to eat in case a hypoglycemic episode happens, such as sugar or glucose tablets, fruit juice, or hard candy. Ask your doctor or certified diabetes educator (CDE) for   suggestions about the best form of emergency glucose to have on hand for your particular situation.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Louisiana Red Beans

Serves 4 (serving size: about 3/4 cup)

Straight from Louisiana, this Cajun classic is a perfect compliment to serve over top a bowl of white rice.

1              ounce diced andouille sausage
1/2           cup sliced celery
1/4           cup diced onion
1/4           cup diced bell pepper
1              teaspoon salt-free Creole seasoning
1              bay leaf
1              thyme sprig
2              garlic cloves, minced
2              (15-ounce) cans unsalted drained red kidney beans
1              cup unsalted chicken stock
1              tablespoon chopped parsley

Sauté sausage in a skillet over medium heat 2 minutes. Add celery, onion, bell pepper, Creole seasoning, bay leaf, thyme sprig, and minced garlic; sauté 5 minutes. Add beans and chicken stock. Bring to a boil; simmer 5 minutes. Stir in parsley.
Heart healthy

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Breakfast --- Lunch --- or maybe Dinner

The To Go For Sandwich
1-1/2       cups rice vinegar
1/2          cup granulated sugar
1-1/2      tablespoons Sriracha
1/2          teaspoon kosher salt
1            cup carrot ribbons (shaved with a peeler from 1 medium carrot)
1           cup daikon ribbons (shaved with a peeler from 1 small peeled daikon)
8           thick-cut slices of bacon (about 1 pound )
1/4       cup light brown sugar
2          tablespoons soy sauce
2          tablespoons Shaoxing rice wine
1-1/2    teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder
1/2      teaspoon garlic powder
1/4      teaspoon pepper
5         ounces liver pâté, preferably duck
4         8-inch soft baguette rolls, split and toasted
8         thin cucumber spears
2          jalapeños, seeded and julienned
8        cilantro sprigs
1/4     cup mayonnaise
1        tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
4        large eggs

1 .  In a medium saucepan, stir the vinegar, granulated sugar, Sriracha and salt over high heat until the sugar is dissolved. Add the carrot and daikon ribbons and let cool to room temperature. 

2 .  Preheat the oven to 400°. On a rack set over a rimmed baking sheet, sprinkle the bacon slices with the brown sugar. In a small saucepan, cook the soy sauce, rice wine, 1 teaspoon of the five-spice powder, 1/4 teaspoon of the garlic powder and the pepper over high heat, stirring, for 1 minute. Drizzle the mixture over the bacon. Bake just until cooked through, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle the bacon with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of five-spice powder and 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder and bake until browned and crisp, about 5 minutes. 

3.  Spread the pâté on the bottom halves 
of the toasted rolls and top with the bacon, cucumber, carrot and daikon pickles, jalapeños and cilantro. Spread some of the mayonnaise on each roll top.Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet. Crack the eggs into the skillet and cook sunny side up until the whites are set and the yolks are runny, 2 to 3 minutes. Place a fried egg on each sandwich and serve.
Heart Healthy

Monday, August 8, 2016

Steak Fajitas with Charred-Tomato Hot Sauce

Skillet-charred tomatoes, garlic, onion and jalapeno are blended with smoky dried chiles to create a spicy, vibrant sauce for steak fajitas or maybe   steak with a salad . Either way , it's deliciously good .

2    tablespoons canola oil
1    pound flank steak
2    teaspoons smoked paprika
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2    poblano chiles
2    small onions, cut into wedges
2    dried guajillo or New Mexico chiles, stemmed and chopped
1    tomato, halved
2    garlic cloves
1    small jalapeño
1    tablespoon fresh lime juice
Warm flour tortillas, cilantro sprigs, avocado wedges and lime wedges, for serving

1 .  Preheat the broiler and position the rack 6 inches from the heat. Set a rack over a baking sheet.

2 .  In a large cast-iron skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the canola oil. Rub the steak all over with the smoked paprika and season with salt and pepper. Cook the steak over moderately high heat until browned on both sides, about 2 minutes. Transfer the steak to one side of the rack on the baking sheet.

3 .  In a medium bowl, combine the poblanos with three-fourths of the onion wedges and the remaining 1 tablespoon of canola oil, season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Arrange the vegetables next to the steak. Broil the steak and vegetables for 12 to 15 minutes, until the steak is medium-rare and the vegetables are golden and softened. Transfer the steak to a work surface and let rest for 5 minutes. Peel, stem and seed the poblanos, then thinly slice them.

4 .   Meanwhile, in the cast-iron skillet, toast the dried chiles over moderate heat until fragrant and softened, about 2 minutes; scrape the chiles and seeds into a blender. Add the tomato, garlic, jalapeño and the remaining onion wedges to the skillet and cook over moderate heat, turning occasionally, until the vegetables are nicely charred all over, about 10 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to the blender, add the lime juice and puree until smooth. Season the hot sauce with salt and pepper.
Thinly slice the steak and serve with the salsa, onion wedges, poblanos, tortillas, cilantro, avocado and lime.

TIP:

The hot sauce can be refrigerated for 3 days.
Heart healthy

Friday, August 5, 2016

Grilled Fish and "Chips"

This is a nod to the nostalgia of our childhood TV dinner. But the difference here is fresh fish and our special tartar sauce, easily created from ingredients you likely have in the fridge.
 Serves 4

1-1/2           pounds fingerling potatoes, sliced lengthwise
1                teaspoon fresh lemon juiceAbout 2      tablespoons olive oil, divided
2                tablespoons capers, chopped
1                teaspoon finely shredded lemon zest
1/3            cup mayonnaise
4               striped bass fillets with skin (about 2 lbs. total), halved and skin scored
1              teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1              tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
Lemon wedges

1. Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for medium heat (350° to 450°; you can hold your hand 5 in. above cooking grate only 5 to 7 seconds). Set a cooling rack over half of cooking grate. In a small bowl, mix potatoes and 1 tbsp. oil. Spread potatoes on rack and grill until browned, turning occasionally, about 10 minutes.

2. While potatoes cook, make sauce and cook fish. For sauce, in a small bowl, mix capers, lemon juice, zest, and mayonnaise. Set aside.

3. Rub fish on both sides with remaining 1 tbsp. oil and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. salt. Using a wad of oiled paper towels and tongs, oil clear portion of cooking grate. Lay fish on grate and cook, turning once, until grill marks appear and fish is opaque, about 5 minutes total.

4. Transfer potatoes and fish to a platter. Sprinkle potatoes with remaining 1/2 tsp. salt and the parsley. Serve with caper mayonnaise and lemon wedges for fish.
Heart Healthy 

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Fish Tacos with Tomatillo-Jalapeño Salsa

SALSA :
4              medium tomatillos—husked, rinsed and quartered
1/2           cup lightly packed cilantro
2              small jalapeños, chopped
1-1/2       tablespoons fresh lime juice
1             teaspoon vegetable oil
Kosher salt

TACOS:
2            tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1            tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1            tablespoon minced cilantro
1            small garlic clove, minced
1           pound skinless halibut fillet, about 3/4 inch thick
Kosher salt
Warm corn tortillas, chopped avocado and sliced red onion and cucumber, for serving

MAKE THE SALSA :
 In a blender, combine all of the ingredients except the salt and puree until nearly smooth. Season with salt and transfer to a small bowl.
MAKE THE TACOS :
Heat a grill pan. In a large baking dish, whisk the lemon juice with the olive oil, cilantro and garlic. Add the fish and turn to coat. Season the fish all over with salt and grill over moderately high heat, turning once, until white throughout, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the fish to a platter and flake into large pieces with a fork. Serve in warm corn tortillas with the salsa, avocado, red onion and cucumber.
TIP:
The salsa can be refrigerated for 3 days.
SUGGESTED PAIRING
Pair with a crisp, hoppy American pale ale.
Heart Healthy

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Quick & Easy Chicken and Potato Packs


60 minutes  prep time     60 minutes   total time      6  ingredients     4  servings

1         bag (20 ounce) refrigerated cooked new potato wedges
6        boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 20 ounce), cut in half
1-1/4      cups low-fat or regular ranch dressing
4         slices precooked bacon, chopped 
1/4     cup chopped green onions (4 medium)
1/2      teaspoon coarse ground black pepper

1.     Heat gas or charcoal grill. Cut four 18x12-inch sheets of Reynolds Wrap® Heavy Duty Foil; spray foil with cooking spray.

2.     For each packet, place about 1 cup potato wedges and 3 thigh halves onto center of foil sheet. Drizzle with scant 1/3 cup dressing. Wrap each packet securely using double-fold seals, allowing room for heat expansion.

3.     When grill is heated, place foil packets, seam side up, on gas grill over medium heat or on charcoal grill over medium coals; cover grill. Cook 45 to 50 minutes or until juice of chicken is clear when center of thickest part is cut (180°F) and potatoes are tender.

4.      Open packets carefully to allow steam to escape. Sprinkle each with bacon, onions and pepper.

TIPS :
Look for precooked bacon in the meat or deli department of the supermarket.
Using reduced-fat ranch dressing in place of the regular ranch dressing will reduce the fat per serving by about 13 grams and the calories by about 115.
To bake packets, place on large cookie sheet; bake at 400°F using times above as a guide.

Heart Healthy