Wednesday, November 29, 2023

November 30, Joy of Cooking Anniversary

The Joy of Cooking is one of the United States most popular cookbook. It is a collection of over 4500 recipes, in addition, provides cooking and kitchen lessons and references.

In 1931, Irma S. Rombauer, a homemaker, recent widow, and single mom, privately published the “Joy of Cooking.” Since then, the book has undergone numerous revisions and sold over 18 million copies. The Joy of Cooking is a staple in many homes and is commonly found in commercial kitchens. 

Joy of Cooking: Fun Facts

Changes in the Joy of Cooking
through the Years


1. Learn more about the history of the American kitchen and cuisine through the Joy of Cooking
2. Wikipedia, The Joy of Cooking 
3. Joy of Cooking History

Purple Basil

It’s a vibrant purple color with larger-than-normal leaves. It’s not as sweet as other basil varieties, and it has a strong clove flavor. Not recommended in cooking as it turns a black color when heated. Perfect for use in salads, pesto, or any of your other favorite ways to use fresh basil.

There are a few varieties of purple basil, but all are cultivars of the same basil plant, which is a true annual. Purple basil grows from seed and dies again all in one season, and does not return year after year. They may, however, self-seed if the flowers are left on until the seeds grow to maturity and fall from the plant. A healthy patch of self-seeding basil may return year after year almost as though it were the same plant.

Grow this basil along with tomato plants, as it encourages growth and repels pests of the tomato. Grow it in containers on the deck or near outdoor seating areas to help keep mosquitoes and stinging insects at bay. 

Store leaves, fresh or dried, for use during the time your plants no longer grow. Freeze them whole or preserve in layers of sea salt. You may also chop basil and combine with other herbs and oil to freeze in ice cube trays and save in freezer bags once frozen. This attractive purple color stands out in many dishes.

Purple Basil and Tomatoes with Mozzarella Cheese

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

National Peanut Butter Lovers Month

The American Peanut Council proclaims peanut butter one of America’s favorite foods. Peanut butter is a good source of protein, niacin, and folate. It is enjoyed by many of all ages.

Below are a few ways to enjoy peanut butter - be creative and enjoy.

The National Peanut Board has a fun website filled with recipes, classroom activities and fun facts. Did you know...

*It takes about 540 peanuts to make a 12-ounce jar of peanut butter.

*There are enough peanuts in one acre to make 30,000 peanut butter sandwiches.

*By law, any product labeled "peanut butter" in the United States must be at least 90 percent peanuts.

*Peanut butter has been banned in some schools due to peanut butter allergies. Make sure to read the ingredient label.

A Journey through the Years
with Peanut Butter

Peter Pan Peanut Butter, 1957

1960's Skippy Peanut Butter

Kraft Peanut Butter, 1987

Giving Tuesday
Gifts that Make a Difference

You can purchase gifts to support causes, educate and foster awareness, and show you care about a loved one's health. These gifts make a difference in a person's life. The gifts listed below are just samples of what is available. Please check the websites to view the entire catalog.

Donate to a Food Bank

A Guide to Practical and/or Healthy Food Staples to your Local Food Bank.

Breakfast Foods to Donate
Whole Grain Cereal
Rolled Oats
Pancake Mix
Baby Cereal

Lunch and Dinner Foods to Donate
Tuna Fish
Canned Chicken
Peanut Butter
No-Nut Butter
Whole grain pasta
Brown Rice
Canned Beans
Dry Beans
Canned Vegetables (low sodium/no salt)
Canned Fruit (light syrup/in own juices)
Pasta Sauce
Dry Goods – Sugar, Flour, Salt, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Spices
Baby Food

Snack Foods to Donate
Dry Fruit
Granola Bars
Whole Grain Crackers
Trail Mix

Fresh Foods (Not All Food Banks Offer)
Fresh Vegetables
Fresh Fruit
Frozen Vegetables

What not to donate to a food bank

The number one rule to remember is this: if your donation is perishable, i.e., it’s something with a limited shelf life if not refrigerated, food banks won’t accept it. But there are other categories of food that you can’t donate.

Items needing refrigeration:
Food like produce, dairy, and meat can spoil quickly, and your local food bank may require the refrigerator or freezer space needed to keep these items fresh. 
Many food banks work directly with farmers, retailers, restaurants, and other companies to source these perishable foods for donation. 

Expired food: When considering what to donate, think about what you’d be comfortable serving your family. Chances are, you don’t eat food past its “use-by” or “sell-by” date, so avoid donating anything past those dates to food banks as it could be unsafe to eat.

Leftovers: While sharing the bountiful food from big meals like Thanksgiving may be tempting, keeping leftovers for the family is best. To ensure the people they serve are safe, food banks can’t accept leftovers or anything made in personal kitchens because they aren’t individually sealed. The food bank can’t verify the ingredients or preparation process.

Food with packaging concerns: This includes food with damaged packaging, such as dented or bloated cans, packaging that is already open, or even items in glass containers, which can shatter and cause food safety concerns for any other food they’re stored near. A good rule of thumb is if you wouldn't consider buying it new, don't donate it.

Baked goods: Like leftovers, food banks can’t confirm how your baked goods were made or their ingredients, so they can’t be donated. However, food banks often have relationships with local restaurants or bakeries that donate extra food appropriately labeled and handled to nearby pantries, soup kitchens, or shelters.

Just a note: You can ‘clean out your cabinets’ and donate, and some food banks can use the food after it is expired, but think of the Golden Rule. Would you want someone to give YOU their expired food? It’s better than wasting it, but be gracious and loving.

Finding a Charity, You Can Trust
Charity Navigator
and more...

Gifts to Support a Cause

The Humane Society is the nation's largest animal protection organization. They work to reduce suffering and improve the lives of all animals by advocating for better laws, investigating animal cruelty, encouraging corporations to adopt animal-friendly policies, conducting disaster relief and animal rescue, and providing direct care for thousands of animals at our sanctuaries, emergency shelters, wildlife rehabilitation centers, and mobile veterinary clinics.

Gifts to Educate and Foster Awareness
Books by Dietitians
 Dietitians-Online Books by RDNs 

National Nutrition Month®  at the
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
 Check out the National Nutrition Month® catalog for exciting products featuring the Eat Right Campaign.
 Perfect for colleagues and clients alike!

Monday, November 27, 2023

National French Toast Day


Nutritional Analysis Services. Ensure accurate and cost-effective nutritional analysis and food nutrition facts labels for your recipes and menus utilizing an extensive research database. A great service for the Media, Cookbook Publishers, Restaurants, Writers, Chefs, Recipe Websites, and Blogs. Your readers will enjoy and benefit from the Nutrition information.

For more information, visit Dietitians-Online Nutritional Analysis Services

Sandra Frank, Ed.D, RDN, FAND

Sweet Potato Awareness Month: From Our Garden to Table

Sweet Potatoes are one of my favorite superfoods! From their fascinating history to tips on growing, storing, cooking, and their incredible nutritional benefits, I've got you covered. So, prepare to fall head over heels for these delicious tubers that will take your taste buds on a sweet journey!

Did you know that sweet potatoes have been cultivated for thousands of years? Originating in Central America, they quickly spread across the globe, becoming a staple in many cuisines. These versatile gems have stood the test of time and carved out a special place on our plates.

Growing Sweet Potatoes.

Whether you have a green thumb or are a newbie in the gardening world, growing your sweet potatoes is a rewarding experience. These plants thrive in warm climates and require well-drained soil. Planting them in late spring or early summer will allow you to enjoy a bountiful harvest come autumn. So, roll up your sleeves, grab your gardening tools, and let's get digging!


Once you've harvested your sweet potatoes, the next step is storing them properly. Store them in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated place to keep their flavors intact. Avoid refrigerating them, as it could result in a loss of flavor and texture. Trust me, you want those sweet, creamy characteristics to shine through when you cook them into delicious meals!


The culinary possibilities with sweet potatoes are truly endless. Roasted, mashed, fried, or baked into pies, these tuberous wonders add flavor and a healthy twist to any dish. Get creative and experiment with sweet potato fries, wedges, soups, and even desserts. The sky's the limit in the kitchen, so let your imagination run wild!

 Nutritional Facts

Sweet Potatoes are a powerhouse of nutrients rich in fiber, vitamins A and C, and essential minerals. Not only do they boost your immune system, but they also promote healthy digestion and contribute to overall well-being. 

So, sweet potatoes have covered you whether you want to add a colorful twist to your meals, boost your health, or just indulge in some scrumptious goodness. These fabulous tubers have captured hearts and palates worldwide, from ancient civilizations to modern-day food enthusiasts.

Sweet Potato Tartlet

This year, I was so excited about our sweet potato crops. I decided to make Sweet Potato Tartlets as an appetizer.

1 medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 package (1.9 ounces) frozen miniature phyllo tart shells
15 miniature marshmallows
15 walnuts



1. Place sweet potato in a small saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until tender. Drain.

2. Mash sweet potato with butter, syrup, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small bowl.

3. Place 1 tablespoon of potato mixture in each tart shell. Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Top with marshmallows. Bake at 350° for 8-12 minutes or until marshmallows are lightly browned. Yield about 15 tartlets.


November, Sweet Potato Awareness Month: Stuffed Sweet Potato with Cranberry-Walnut Relish

Recipe: Stuffed Sweet Potato with Cranberry-Walnut Relish,
 serves 2
1 medium Sweet Potato
1 tablespoon Brown Sugar 
2 teaspoons Unsalted Margarine or Butter, room temperature 
1/8 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon 
Dash Ground Nutmeg 

1/4 cup Cranberry-Walnut Relish
2, 1 oz slice Raisin Bread
2 teaspoon Honey

Preheat oven to 400° F. Pierce the sweet potato several times with a fork.   Place sweet potato on baking sheet lined with foil. Bake for about 45 minutes or until soft. 

Cut the sweet potato in half lengthwise. Scoop out potato and place in a small bowl. Leave the potato skin intact. Add unsalted butter or margarine and the spices to the sweet potato and mash. 

Divide the mashed sweet potato in two and add back to the potato skins. Place on baking sheet and heat for about 10 minutes or until browned. 
Top each stuffed sweet potato half with 1 to 2 tablespoons of cranberry-walnut relish.

Nutrition Information
Sweet Potatoes are high in vitamin A, high in vitamin C, good source of dietary fiber and potassium. They are naturally fat-free; saturated fat free; low sodium; and cholesterol free.

2. EatingWell, Healthy Sweet Potato Recipes

Sunday, November 26, 2023

World Olive Tree Day

The history of olive trees is deeply rooted in ancient civilizations, tracing back thousands of years. Originating in the Mediterranean region, mainly present-day Greece and Syria, the olive tree symbolized peace, wisdom, and prosperity.

There are numerous varieties of olives worldwide, each with a unique flavor profile, size, and color. The exact number can be challenging to determine due to regional variations, local cultivars, and ongoing developments in olive cultivation. However, here are some popular olive varieties:

Arbequina: Small and brown, these olives are known for their mild, fruity flavor. They are commonly used to produce high-quality olive oil.

Kalamata: Large, dark purple to black olives with a distinctive almond shape. Hailing from Greece, they are often brine-cured and used in salads and Mediterranean dishes.

Manzanilla: Originating from Spain, these small, green olives taste slightly nutty and briny. They are frequently found in tapenades and as table olives.

Picual: A common variety in Spain, these olives are known for their high oil content and peppery flavor. They are often used to produce extra virgin olive oil.

Picholine: Originating from France, these green olives are elongated and have a mild, slightly sweet taste. They are often used as table olives or in cocktails.

Gordal: Hailing from Spain, these large, green olives are often stuffed with ingredients like pimento or garlic. They have a meaty texture and mild taste.

Nyon: Small, black olives from France, often used to produce high-quality olive oil. They have a rich, fruity flavor.

Hojiblanca: Another Spanish variety, these olives are medium-sized and round. They are often used to produce oil and table olives, known for their fruity taste.

Cerignola: In Italian, these large, bright green olives have a mild, sweet taste. They are often served as a snack or appetizer.

Mission: These black olives are famous in the United States, often found in cans or jars. They have a mild, slightly sweet flavor.

These are just a few examples, and many more local and regional varieties exist, each contributing to the rich tapestry of flavors in the world of olives.

Friday, November 24, 2023

National Pomegranate Month: All About Pomegranates

How To Select
Select pomegranates that are plump, round, and heavy for their size.

How to Store
Whole pomegranates can be stored in a cool, dry area in the refrigerator for about 1 month or up to 2 months.

Nutrition Benefits
It is low in fat, saturated fat-free, cholesterol-free, and sodium-free and is an excellent source of fiber, vitamins C and K, and a good source of potassium, folate, and copper.

by POM Wonderful
Visit POM for the Recipe

Pomegranate Breakfast Parfait
by @Jar_Of_Lemons  

How to Grow Pomegranate

Resources and References
1. POM Wonderful: Website
2. POM Wonderful: Twitter
3. Wikipedia: Pomegranate
4. Healthy Pomegranate Recipes, EatingWell


November 25, National Parfait Day

Parfait is a French term used to describe a dessert prepared by freezing a dish which is usually ice cream or cream-based dessert. The French meaning of parfait is “perfect.” Parfaits are prepared with a variety of dessert ingredients, such as fruits, ice cream, yogurt, gelatin, and nuts. The combination of ingredients is large as your imagination and is not limited to desserts. Popular in America is a breakfast parfait of yogurt, fruit, and cereal.

The American version of the parfait is prepared in a parfait glass. The ingredients are placed in layers one after the other and chilled before serving. The number of layers will vary based on the recipe. The parfait is an attractive dish and one can create wonderful combinations.


Sample of Ingredients.


Pumpkin Pie Parfait with Cranberry-Walnut Relish,
Vanilla Pudding Topped with Ginger Snap Crumbs
Great Recipe for Leftovers

Strawberry Parfait with Granola

Mango Parfait

Strawberry Shortcake Parfait

Red, White and Blue Parfait

Taste Spotting, Parfaits

Thursday, November 23, 2023

National Leftover Day
Do you have Thanksgiving leftovers?

Recipe: Thanksgiving Turkey Leftover Sandwich 

3 ounces Roasted Turkey, sliced
3 Tablespoons Cranberry Sauce
3 Tablespoons Homemade Stuffing
2 slices Whole Grain Bread

Refrigerate or freeze leftovers within two hours. Keep your freezer at 0°F and the fridge below 40°F. Foods held at temperatures above 40 °F for more than 2 hours should not be consumed. Use an appliance thermometer to monitor temperatures.

Use the chart below as a guide.

To learn more about food safety, visit

For the Refrigerator Door

Food Safety Musical - Don't Be a Gambler

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

National Cashew Day: Nutrition, Serving Ideas, and Recipes

Cashews are a good source of protein, copper, magnesium, phytonutrients, antioxidants, and heart-friendly unsaturated fats.

Nutrition Information

Recipes and Serving Suggestions

1. Eating Well, Healthy Cashew Recipes
2. Snack: eat alone; mix with other nuts and/or dried fruits
3. Add cashews to sauteed vegetables or salad greens
4. Sauté cashews with shrimp, beef or chicken
5. Add to hot cereals
6. Roast cashews
7. Use cashew butter to make a sauce for fish, vegetables, tofu, or rice.

Nutritional Analysis Services

Ensure accurate and cost effective nutritional analysis for your recipes utilizing an extensive research database and 25 years experience. A great service for the Recipe Bloggers, Media, Cookbook Publishers, Writers, Chefs, and Recipe Websites. Your readers will enjoy and benefit from the Nutrition information.

For more information, visit Dietitians-Online Nutritional Analysis Services

Sandra Frank, Ed.D, RDN, FAND

Native American Heritage Month - Cranberries

When the European colonists arrived in North America, they discovered that Native American tribes enjoyed a tart, bright red berry growing wild in sandy bogs around New England. In fact, tribes across the continent's north harvested cranberries and ate them in combination with fats, meats, corn, and other berries, in addition to using them for medicine and dye. 

Cranberries are naturally fat and cholesterol-free. They provide vitamin C, fiber, and manganese.  Cranberries contain proanthocyanidins, a type of antioxidant that may reduce urinary tract infections.

Cranberries are a major commercial crop in certain American states and Canadian provinces. Most cranberries are processed into products such as juice, sauce, jam, and sweetened dried cranberries, with the remainder, sold fresh to consumers. Cranberry sauce is a traditional accompaniment to turkey at Christmas dinner in the United Kingdom and at Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners in the United States and Canada.

Nutrition Information.

Nutritional Analysis Services

Ensure accurate and cost-effective nutritional analysis for your recipes utilizing an extensive research database and over 30 years of experience. A great service for Recipe Bloggers, Media, Cookbook Publishers, Writers, Chefs, and Recipe Websites. Your readers will enjoy and benefit from the Nutrition information.

For more information, visit Dietitians-Online Nutritional Analysis Services

Sandra Frank, Ed.D, RDN, FAND

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Salmonella and Food

Salmonella and Food

You may know that Salmonella can contaminate poultry and eggs, but it also sneaks its way into many other foods. Learn what you can do to make your food safer to eat.

Salmonella is a bacteria that commonly causes foodborne illness, sometimes called “food poisoning.” CDC estimates Salmonella causes 1 million foodborne illnesses every year in the United States. During the past few years, outbreaks of Salmonella illness have been linked to contaminated cucumbers, chicken, eggs, pistachios, raw tuna, sprouts, and many other foods.

Five Facts That May Surprise You

Don’t let Salmonella make you or your loved ones sick. Learn these five facts – and tips for lowering your chance of getting a Salmonella infection.

Do I have a Salmonella infection?

Contact your doctor or healthcare provider if you have:
Diarrhea and a fever over 101.5°F.
Diarrhea for more than 3 days that is not improving.
Bloody stools.
Prolonged vomiting that prevents you from keeping liquids down.
Signs of dehydration, such as:
Making very little urine.
Dry mouth and throat.
Dizziness when standing up.

You can get a Salmonella infection from 
a variety of foods. Salmonella can be found in many foods including beef, poultry, eggs, fruits, pork, sprouts, vegetables, and even processed foods, such as nuts, frozen pot pies, chicken nuggets, and stuffed chicken entrees. When you eat food that is contaminated with Salmonella, it can make you sick. Contaminated foods usually look and smell normal, which is why it is important to know how to prevent Salmonella infection.

Salmonella illness is more common in the summer. Warmer weather and unrefrigerated foods create ideal conditions for Salmonella to grow. Be sure to refrigerate or freeze perishables (foods likely to spoil or go bad quickly), prepared foods, and leftovers within 2 hours. Chill them within 1 hour if the temperature is 90°F or hotter.

Salmonella illness can be serious and is more dangerous for certain people. Symptoms of infection usually appear 6–48 hours after eating a contaminated food
but can take much longer. These symptoms include diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps. In most cases, the illness lasts 4–7 days without antibiotic treatment. Some people may have severe diarrhea and need to be hospitalized. Anyone can get a Salmonella infection, but some groups are more likely to develop a serious illness: older adults, children younger than 5, and people with immune systems weakened from medical conditions, such as diabetes, liver or kidney disease, and cancer or their treatment.

Salmonella causes far more illnesses than you might suspect. For every one case of Salmonella illness confirmed by laboratory tests, there are about 30 more cases of Salmonella illnesses that are not Most people who get food poisoning usually do not go to the doctor or submit a sample to a laboratory, so we never learn what germ made them sick.

To avoid Salmonella, you should not eat raw eggs or eggs that have runny whites or yolks. Salmonella can contaminate eggs, even perfectly normal-looking ones. But these eggs can make you sick, especially if they are raw or lightly cooked. Eggs are safe when you cook and handle them properly.   Check Your Steps

Remember to follow the Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill guidelines to help keep you and your family safe from food poisoning. Be especially careful to follow the guidelines when preparing food for young children, pregnant women, people with weakened immune systems, and older adults.

Wash hands with warm, soapy water for 20 seconds before and after handling uncooked eggs, or raw meat, poultry, and seafood and their juices.

Wash utensils, cutting boards, dishes, and countertops with hot, soapy water after preparing each food item and before you go on to prepare the next item.

Don’t wash raw poultry, meat, and eggs before cooking. Germs can spread to other foods, utensils, and surfaces.

Sanitize food contact surfaces with a freshly made solution of one tablespoon of unscented, liquid chlorine bleach in one gallon of water.

Keep raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs separate from other foods in your grocery cart and in your refrigerator.

Keep eggs in the original carton and store them in the main part of the refrigerator, not in the door.

Keep raw meat, poultry, and seafood separate from ready-to-eat foods, such as salads and deli meat.

Use separate cutting boards and plates for produce and for raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs.

Never place cooked food on a plate that previously held raw meat, poultry, seafood, or eggs.

Use a food thermometer to ensure that foods are cooked to a safe internal temperature:
145°F for beef, veal, lamb, and fish (let the meat rest for 3 minutes before carving or eating)
145°F for pork and ham (let the meat rest for 3 minutes before carving or eating)
160°F for ground beef, ground pork, ground veal, and ground lamb
160°F for egg dishes
165°F for poultry (chicken, turkey, duck), including ground chicken and ground turkey
165°F for casseroles
Microwave food to 165°F or above.

Keep your refrigerator at 40°F or colder.
Refrigerate or freeze perishables, prepared foods, and leftovers within 2 hours (or 1 hour if the temperature is 90°F or hotter).

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