Take five for quick cooking; tailgate time
I had to stop reading a cookbook on page 62, because I had already gotten so many ideas I had to catch up with myself. I love experimenting, saving time and being economical, so the new Quail Ridge Press “More Fast & Fabulous Five-Star 5-Ingredient (or less!) Recipes” book from Gwen McKee and Barbara Moseley is good reading for me.
I had thought about cooking strips of bacon into all the crackers I had acquired, imagining they’d come out crispy and addictive. These women already did it, and called them bacon bows. They make a bread with nothing but flour and ice cream. There’s a beer omelet. Sigh. Good stuff. I’m sharing another one I never would have thought of, before savoring the rest of the book. It’s actually one of the more elaborate ones:
Sweet Tomato Jelly
5 pounds ripe tomatoes
8 cups sugar
2 lemons, thinly sliced
Scald tomatoes so peelings can be easily removed. Peel and chop tomatoes and place in a large bowl. Cover with sugar and let stand overnight.
Next day, drain juice into a large stockpot. Bring to a boil and boil until threads form. Add tomatoes and lemons. Allow to cool When thick and clear, pack in hot sterilized jars and seal.
A Big, Easy tailgate
How about those Lamar Cards? If you are on tailgate duty, consider a dirty jambalaya bar. I couldn’t dream this up: Zatarains sent me the tip:
* Set up a Dirty Jambalaya bar with different add-ins, like chicken, beef or sausage; and vegetables, like peppers, mushrooms and onions, for fans to customize their own perfect party plate.
* Seafood lovers can mix in shrimp or crawfish along with the meats and veggies for the ultimate flavor experience.
* Tailgating at the stadium? Prepare Dirty Jambalaya in advance and take it with you to the game. It’s easily eaten off paper plates, so no extra equipment is needed and clean-up is a breeze. All you need is a fork to enjoy!
Visit www.Facebook.com/Zatarains for more exclusive tailgating tips and recipes, as well as a chance to win a trip to the 2012 Allstate® BCS National Championship in New Orleans. Follow Zatarain’s on Twitter: (@MyZatarains).
Goin’ Green with purple
Fill ‘er up with Copco’s colorful Stir ‘n Sip Cups in crazy colors that keep you from filling up the landfill. I like a banana shake breakfast on the way to work and this cup, available at Bed Bath and Beyond stores for $7.99, is a winner with a paddle-bottom straw to keep the drink mixed. Mine’s purple, so I think I know a whole school district who could go for that. You’ve got a clear cup and lid with a colorful “coaster” band and the serviceable straw. Upcoming Halloween versions come in Crossbones, Midnight Branches and Damask.
And something for your Stir n’ Sip
Healthy food advocates talk about “ingredients you can’t pronounce” that make junk food. Our tongues and palates should be getting used to words like organic yerba mate and matcha green tea, which are in the powders of Amazing Grass which “has been sprouting some of the most vibrant ‘nutrition convenience’ ideas for years.” They’ve come out with Lemon Lime Green Energy Drink Powder, with the antioxidant equivalent of 7 servings of fruits and vegetables, giving “ a convenient and energizing means to achieve the recommended 5 to 9 daily servings of fruits and vegetables.”
I’ve tried the Green Superfood blend a few times and still find the organic wheat grass, barley grass, alfalfa, spirulina, spinach, chlorella and broccoli with other ancient superfoods including açaí and maca give me a feeling of mowed grass, but add-ins like banana blend a smoothie that transports me into a healthy mode. Makers say the blend “includes an enhanced digestive enzyme and active probiotic blend to improve nutrient absorption.” That’s got to be better than a plastic bag of what many Americans gulp down on the way to work.