Tuesday, July 23, 2024

National Tequila Day

Tequila is a regional distilled beverage and type of alcoholic drink made from the blue agave plant, primarily in the area surrounding the city of Tequila. Tequila is commonly served neat in Mexico and as a shot with salt and lime across the rest of the world.


1 ounces tequila (optional)
3/4 cup orange juice
1/2 ounce grenadine syrup
Orange slice, for garnish
Maraschino cherry

1. Fill a glass with ice, and pour in the tequila (optional) and orange juice.
2. Slowly pour the grenadine into the glass over the back of a spoon or drizzle it down the side of the glass, allowing it to settle at the bottom.
3. Garnish with an orange slice and cherry.

Nutrition Profile
Yield: 1 serving
Calories (kcal)                  201
Protein (g)                        1
Carbohydrates (g)            26
Total Dietary Fiber (g)       1
Total Sugars (g)                20
Added Sugar (g)               6
Fat (g)                             0
Cholesterol (mg)               0
Vitamin C (mg)                 57
Potassium (mg)                303
Sodium (mg)                    4
Alcohol (g)                       14

Nutrition Profile (without Alcohol)
Yield: 1 serving
Calories (kcal)                   136
Protein (g)                        1
Carbohydrates (g)             26
Total Dietary Fiber (g)       1
Total Sugars (g)                20
Added Sugar (g)               6
Fat (g)                             0
Cholesterol (mg)               0
Vitamin C (mg)                 57
Potassium (mg)                303
Sodium (mg)                    4
Alcohol (g)                       4

The Eagles - Tequila Sunrise

National Vanilla Ice Cream Day

Vanilla Ice Cream with
Fresh Raspberries and Light Whipped Cream


1/2 cup Vanilla Ice Cream, light
1/2 cup Fresh Raspberries

1 Tbsp Light Whipped Cream

Nutrition Information

Berries, Light Vanilla Ice Cream,
Caramel Sauce and Whipped Cream
Nutrition Information. 212 Calories; 4 g Protein;
30 g Carbohydrates; 
1 g Dietary Fiber; 9 g Fat;
50 mg Cholesterol; 71 mg Sodium

It is also Ice Cream Cone Day

Scoop Size Matters

          Easy Homemade Ice Cream by Mya | PBS Parents

Monday, July 22, 2024

The Power of Black Pepper: Aroma and Culinary Magic

 The Power of Black Pepper: Aroma and Culinary Magic

 Aroma: Black pepper has a pungent, sharp, and spicy aroma that is instantly recognizable. The scent can be described as woody, piney, and slightly floral, with a hint of citrus.

Role in Cooking: Black pepper is a versatile spice used globally to enhance the flavor of various dishes. It adds depth and a mild heat to both savory and sweet dishes. It is often used in:

  • Seasoning meats, fish, and vegetables.
  • Flavoring soups, stews, and sauces.
  • Enhancing salad dressings and marinades.
  • Adding a spicy kick to baked goods and desserts.

Location of Growing: Black pepper is native to the Malabar Coast of India but is now widely cultivated in tropical regions around the world. Major producers include:

  • India
  • Vietnam (the largest producer and exporter)
  • Indonesia
  • Brazil
  • Sri Lanka

Health Benefits: Black pepper offers several health benefits:

  1. Digestive Health: Stimulates the secretion of digestive enzymes, promoting better digestion and reducing gas.
  2. Antioxidant Properties: Contains piperine, which has antioxidant properties that help neutralize harmful free radicals.
  3. Anti-inflammatory Effects: Piperine also has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce inflammation and pain.
  4. Enhanced Nutrient Absorption: Increases the bioavailability of certain nutrients, such as curcumin (found in turmeric), vitamins, and minerals.
  5. Weight Management: May help in weight loss by boosting metabolism.


  • Whole Peppercorns: Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place to maintain their flavor and potency for up to a year.
  • Ground Pepper: Also store in an airtight container, but it tends to lose its flavor faster than whole peppercorns, usually within a few months.

Nutrition: Black pepper is low in calories but rich in vitamins and minerals. A teaspoon of black pepper contains:

  • Calories: 6
  • Carbohydrates: 1.4 grams
  • Fiber: 0.6 grams
  • Protein: 0.2 grams
  • Small amounts of vitamins C, K, and E, as well as calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium.

Interesting Facts:

  1. Historical Value: Black pepper, often referred to as "black gold," was once used as a form of currency and was highly prized in ancient trade.
  2. Culinary Staple: Black pepper is the most traded spice in the world and is found on nearly every dining table, often paired with salt.
  3. Medicinal Use: In traditional medicine, black pepper has been used to treat a variety of ailments, including respiratory issues, infections, and digestive disorders.
  4. Piperine Content: The compound piperine, responsible for black pepper's spiciness, is also used in various health supplements to enhance nutrient absorption.


Black pepper (Piper nigrum) is a widely used spice known for its pungent aroma and versatile role in cooking. It is grown primarily in tropical regions like India, Vietnam, and Indonesia. With numerous health benefits, including aiding digestion and providing anti-inflammatory properties, black pepper is both a culinary and medicinal staple. Store it properly to retain its flavor, and enjoy the nutritional boost it offers in your daily diet.

From Our 2024 Mango Tree to the Table

Every year I look forward to our Mango tree harvest. Family and friends come together to help pick the mangoes.

After gathering the mangoes, I plan for new and old recipes.  My family's favorite is the mango oatmeal muffins.

Nutrition Profile

Mangoes are not only delicious but also contain essential nutrients. The nutritional value of mangoes can vary slightly depending on the variety and ripeness of the fruit, but in general, they are a rich source of Vitamin C, folate, and water.

8-ounce Mango equals 136 Calories, 1g Fat, 34g Carbohydrates, 30g Total Sugars, 2g Protein, 2 mg Sodium, 4g Dietary Fiber.

1/2 cup Mango pieces equals 50 Calories, 12g Carbohydrates, 11g Total Sugars, 1g Protein, 1 mg Sodium,  1g Dietary Fiber.


Stuffed Cucumber with Chicken Mango Salad
Mango Milkshake
Mango Berry Fruit Salad

Mango Chicken Broccoli with Ginger Dressing

More Ways to Use Mangoes.
1. Top 10 Ways to Use Frozen Mangos. Fruits and Veggies More Matters.
Juicy Mango Gelatin Recipe. Janice Bissex, MS, RDN, and Elizabeth Weiss, MS, RD. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Until Next Season

Thursday, July 18, 2024

National Daiquiri Day - Frozen Watermelon Strawberry Daiquiri

Frozen Watermelon Strawberry Daiquiri 

Yields: 4 servings
Serving Size: 8 ounces

3 cups frozen watermelon chunks
1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
1/2 cup rum (can be omitted or reduced to taste)
Juice of 1 lime
3 tablespoons agave syrup
Ice if needed
Watermelon wedges for decoration

1. Combine all ingredients in a blender, process until smooth. If you like your cocktails thick and slushy, add ice to get the right consistency. If you prefer your cocktail less slushy, skip the ice.

2. Garnish with watermelon wedges and enjoy!

Nutrition Profile:
Yields: 4 servings (with Rum)
Serving Size: 8 ounces
Calories (kcal) 162
Protein (g) 1
Carbohydrates (g) 24
Total Dietary Fiber (g) 1
Total Sugars (g) 20
Added Sugar (g) 11
Fat (g) 0
Saturated Fat (g) 0
Cholesterol (mg) 0
Potassium (mg) 196
Sodium (mg) 2

Nutrition Profile:
Yields: 4 servings (without Rum)
Serving Size: 8 ounces
Calories (kcal) 96
Protein (g) 1
Carbohydrates (g) 24
Total Dietary Fiber (g) 1
Total Sugars (g) 20
Added Sugar (g) 11
Fat (g) 0
Saturated Fat (g) 0
Cholesterol (mg) 0
Potassium (mg) 196
Sodium (mg) 2

Nutrient Analysis Services
Ensure accurate nutritional analysis for your recipes utilizing an extensive research database and over 30 years experience. A valuable service for the Recipe Blogger, Media, Cookbook Publishers, Writers, Chefs, and Recipe Websites. Your readers will benefit from the Nutrition information and a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. Contact: Dietitians-Online.com; Sandra Frank, Ed.D, RDN, LN, FAND  at recipenews@gmail.com

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

National Hot Dog Day
Toppings, Regulations, Safety and Nutrition

Favorite Toppings

National Hot Dog and Sausage Council

How It's Made - Hot Dogs
U.S. Laws Regulating Hot Dogs
Food Safety
Hot Dogs and Nutrition
Hot Dogs and Sodium Nitrate
Choking risk
Commercials Then and Now

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce designated July as National Hot Dog Month in 1957. The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council (http://www.hot-dog.org) is an organization created in 1994 by the American Meat Institute and is funded by contributions from hot dog and sausage manufacturers and suppliers of equipment, ingredients, and services. The Council conducts scientific research and informs consumers and media on quality, safety, nutrition, and preparation of hot dogs and sausages.

What's In A Hot Dog by Joy Bauer

How It's Made - Hot Dogs  

U.S. Laws Regulating Hot Dogs 
A hot dog, frankfurter, or wiener is a cooked sausage. It can be made from beef, pork, veal, turkey, chicken, or a combination of these, and the label must state the type of meat and other ingredients used.

Federal Standards of Identity.
1. Hot dogs may not contain more than 30% fat or no more than 10% water.
2. Beef or all-beef: Only beef with no soybean protein or dry milk solid fillers added.
3. Kosher: All beef, usually heavily seasoned.
4. Frankfurter may contain up to 3.5 percent fillers from a combination of meats.
5. Turkey or Chicken Franks can contain turkey or chicken and turkey or chicken skin and fat in proportion to a turkey or chicken carcass.
6. If a variety of meats, cereal, or soy fillers are used, the product name must be changed to "links," or the presence must be declared on the label. Hot dogs can contain 15% byproducts, such as heart, kidney, liver, or other organs. But they must be labeled.
7. Up to 3.5% non-meat binders and extenders (such as nonfat dry milk, cereal, or dried whole milk) or 2% isolated soy protein may be used but must be shown in the ingredients statement on the product's label by its common name.
8. The label must say so if a hot dog has a casing or a thin skin and it is different from the meat used in the hot dog. For example, if a chicken hot dog has a pork casing, the label must list the pork casing on the ingredients list. If the casing is artificially colored, the label must indicate this
9. The ingredients statement must list all ingredients in the product in order of predominance, from highest to lowest amounts.
10. To protect consumers against Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, mechanically separated beef is considered inedible and is prohibited for use as food. It is not permitted in hot dogs or any other processed product. (Mechanically separated meat is a process whereby meat is separated from the bone by scraping, shaving, or pressing the meat from the bone without crushing, breaking, or grinding the bone.)
11. Mechanically separated pork is permitted and must be labeled as "mechanically separated pork" in the ingredients statement. Hot dogs can contain no more than 20% mechanically separated pork.
12. Hot dogs can contain any mechanically separated chicken or turkey.
A vegetarian hot dog is a hot dog produced completely from non-meat products. Vegetarian hot dogs are usually made from soy protein, but some contain egg whites (not acceptable to vegans). There are also vegetarian hot dogs made from tofu.

Food Safety
1. Hot dogs should be reheated until steaming hot before eating due to the threat of listeriosis.
2. If there is no product date, hot dogs can be safely stored in the refrigerator in the unopened package for 2 weeks; once opened, only 1 week.
3. Frozen hot dogs maintain their quality for about 1 or 2 months.
4. Do not leave hot dogs at room temperature for more than 2 hours and no more than 1 hour when the temperature exceeds 90 °F.

Hot Dogs and Nutrition
The traditional hot dog is high in fat and salt and contains very little fiber. Yet Americans typically consume 7 billion hot dogs during Hot Dog Season, which runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Below is a list of hot dogs: beef, pork, turkey, low-fat, no-fat, and vegetarian. Moderation, individual needs, and preferences are key to planning your meals. If you eat hot dogs more than once a week, it might be wise to choose a lower-fat variety.

The analysis provided is based on 2 ounces cooked. It is important to read the label and check the portion size. Some of the hot dogs listed below were rounded up to 2 ounces in order to show a comparison of equal weight.

Hot Dogs and Sodium Nitrate/Nitrite
Many brands of hot dogs contain sodium nitrite and nitrate. Nitrite and nitrate are used as food preservatives and flavor enhancers, prevent spoilage, and help prevent botulism. They occur naturally in some vegetables, fruits, grains, spices, and water. In the 1970s, several studies linked nitrite consumption with cancer in laboratory rats.

As a result, the FDA and the USDA commissioned a comprehensive review of sodium nitrite's role as a food additive. The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) results stated that nitrite does not cause cancer, although exposure to high nitrate levels in certain populations may be associated with cancers. The NAS recommended reducing people's exposure to both nitrates and nitrites as much as possible without endangering the protection against botulism.

The meat industry has substantially changed in the past 20 years to address concerns about nitrite in cured meats. It reduced the use of nitrite in the processing of cured meats and now averages one-tenth of what the regulations allow.

A Consumer Report analysis found that the nitrates and nitrites in all the hot dogs tested were well below the maximum level for the additives established by the USDA. A hot dog labeled uncured cannot add nitrates or nitrites, but that does not necessarily mean the product is free of them. The three uncured hot dogs tested contained nitrites and nitrates because the compounds occur naturally in spices and other natural ingredients added during processing.

As I reviewed the literature, it was clear the controversy over nitrites causing cancer still exists today. The American Institute for Cancer Research report found that consuming one 50-gram serving of processed meat (about one hot dog) every day increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 20 percent. According to the AICR, the average risk of colorectal cancer is 5.8 percent, but 7 percent when a hot dog is consumed daily over years.

Choking Risk
Hot dogs present a significant choking risk, especially for children under 14 years of age. Seventeen percent of all food-related asphyxiations are caused by hot dogs. It is suggested the size, shape, and texture of hot dogs be modified to reduce the risk of choking. Pediatric emergency doctors note that a wedged hot dog is almost impossible to dislodge from a child's windpipe. To serve hot dogs safely for children, one should slice the hot dog into bite-size pieces. For adults, slicing hot dogs down the middle length is recommended.

Commercials Then and Now

Hebrew National Hotdog Commercial

1978 commercial for Oscar Mayer Hot Dog Wieners.
 Hot diggity


Monday, July 15, 2024

2024 Mango Season

The time has come to harvest our mango tree. This year, I was joined by my sister, great-nephew, and two dear friends, making the experience even more enjoyable. It's truly a special time of year for me as I revel in the joy of harvesting and delve into the excitement of exploring new recipes featuring these delicious fruits. 

Below, I feature a Mango Oatmeal Muffin. Whether enjoyed as a breakfast on the go, a delightful afternoon snack, or a sweet treat after dinner, the Mango Oatmeal Muffin will captivate your taste buds. Its amazing flavor and texture make it an irresistible choice for mango enthusiasts and muffin lovers alike.

Mango Oatmeal Muffins


1.5 cups mango or frozen mango, thawed
¼ cup brown sugar
2 eggs
½ cup canola oil
1.5 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup oats
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp salt


1. Preheat the oven to 375 F.

2. Whisk together two eggs, brown sugar, and oil in a medium bowl.

3. Next, add softened mango and mash with a fork to combine with wet ingredients.

4. In a separate bowl, stir all dry ingredients (flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt).

5. Then, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir to combine, forming a batter.

6. Fill non-stick muffin tins 2/3 full with batter.

7. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Use a toothpick to insert into the muffin to check doneness; if the toothpick comes out clean, they’re ready.

Nutrition Information.
Calories (kcal)           182
Protein (g)                  4
Carbohydrates (g)      19
Total Dietary Fiber (g) 3
Total Sugars (g)          6
Added Sugar (g)         3
Fat (g)                        11
Saturated Fat (g)         1
Cholesterol (mg)         31
Calcium (mg)              72
Magnesium (mg)         39
Phosphorus (mg)         71
Potassium (mg)          115
Sodium (mg)              165

Friday, July 12, 2024

Dive into the World of Horseradish

Horseradish is a perennial plant with mustard, wasabi, broccoli, and cabbage. It grows up to 4.9 feet (1.5 meters) tall and is cultivated primarily for its large, white, tapered root.

The intact horseradish root has hardly any scent. When cut or grated, enzymes break down sinigrin (a glucosinolate) to produce allyl isothiocyanate (mustard oil), irritating the sinuses' mucous membranes and eyes. Grated horseradish should be used immediately or preserved in vinegar for the best flavor. Once exposed to air or heat, it will lose its pungency, darken in color, and become unpleasantly bitter-tasting.

Growing Horseradish

Nutrition: The fresh plant contains an average 79 mg of vitamin C per 100 g of raw horseradish.

Culinary Use
Cooks use the terms "horseradish" or "prepared horseradish" to refer to the grated root of the horseradish plant mixed with vinegar. Prepared horseradish is white to creamy beige in color. It will keep refrigerated for months but eventually darken, indicating it is losing flavor and should be replaced. The leaves of the plant, while edible, are not commonly eaten, and are referred to as "horseradish greens", which have a flavor of the root.

Horseradish sauce made from grated horseradish root and vinegar is a popular condiment; used with roast beef and other dishes, including sandwiches or salads. In the USA, the term "horseradish sauce" refers to grated horseradish combined with mayonnaise or salad dressing. Prepared horseradish is a common ingredient in Bloody Mary cocktails and in cocktail sauce and is used as a sauce or sandwich spread.

Baked Salmon with Horseradish Sauce

Number of Servings: 2

2, 5 oz Salmon filets
2 Tbs. Lemon Juice
1 Tbs. Worchester Sauce
1 Tbs. Mayonnaise, light
1 Tsp. Horseradish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 
Rinse filets and pat dry. In baking dish, combine lemon juice and Worchester sauce. Add salmon and coat both sides with the mixture. Combine mayonnaise and horseradish, mix well, and spread over top of salmon filets. Sprinkle paprika over filets. Cover the dish with foil. Bake in 400 degrees F oven for eight minutes. Uncover and continue baking for 3 more minutes.

Nutrition Analysis

Additional Recipes
1. About.com, Home Cooking, Horseradish Recipes
2. Horseradish Information Council, Recipes 
3. Huffpost Taste, Horseradish Recipes  

More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of horseradish for the following medical uses: Urinary tract problems, Fluid retention (edema), Cough, Bronchitis, Achy joints and muscles, Gout, Gallbladder disorders,  Sciatic nerve pain, Colic, and Intestinal worms in children.

Side Effects, Precautions and Warnings
Mustard oil is extremely irritating to the lining of the mouth, throat, nose, digestive system, and urinary tract. Horseradish can cause side effects including stomach upset, bloody vomiting, and diarrhea. It may also slow down the activity of the thyroid gland.

When used on the skin, horseradish is possibly safe, but in large quantities may cause skin irritation and allergic reactions.

Horseradish is unsafe in children less than 4 years old. In young children, it may cause digestive tract problems.

Horseradish in large amounts is unsafe when pregnant and breastfeeding. The mustard oil in Horseradish can be toxic and irritating. Horseradish tincture should not be used regularly or in large amounts because it might cause a miscarriage.

Horseradish is not recommended for any of the following conditions: stomach or intestinal ulcers, inflammatory bowel disease, infections, or other digestive tract conditions.

Horseradish may worsen hypothyroidism. 

There is a concern horseradish might increase urine flow. This could be a problem for people with kidney disorders. 

References and Resources
1. Wikipedia, Horseradish 

Thursday, July 11, 2024

July 13, National French Fry Day

Nutrition Information was obtained from the following resources.

Baked Oven Parsley Fries
Yield 4 servings

3 russet potatoes, sliced into 1/4 inch strips
cooking spray
1 teaspoon dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F° (200° degrees C). Use a non-stick baking sheet or spray lightly with cooking spray.
Arrange potato strips in a single layer on the baking sheet, skin sides down. Spray with cooking spray and sprinkle with thyme and salt and pepper to taste.

Bake 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown.

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