Friday, September 15, 2006 

Ohio, Kentucky Report E. Coli Outbreaks Related to Spinach

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio and Kentucky were added to the list of states wtih E. coli breakouts related to tainted bags of fresh spinich, bringing the nation's total 10 states reporting illnesses. One fatality has been reported so far.

Seven people who ate bagged spinach have E. coli, Ohio health officials.

Testing found infections in six people in central Ohio and one person in a southwest county, and all of them said in interviews that they had eaten packaged spinach, said Bret Atkins, spokesman for the Ohio Department of Health.

Ohio is the ninth state to report cases of E. coli, linked by Food and Drug Administration officials to bagged spinach. One death occurred in Wisconsin.

No deaths have been reported in Ohio. One person infected in Franklin County, which includes Columbus, has developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, in which the red blood cells are destroyed and the kidneys fail, Atkins said.

It was unclear how many those infected had been hospitalized. Their ages range from 15 to 46.

Federal health officials have been advising consumers to throw away all fresh bagged spinach because it may be tainted.

"We need to strive to do even better so even one life is not lost," said Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach, FDA's acting commissioner.

The FDA warned people not to eat bagged spinach and said washing it wouldn't solve the problem because the bacteria is too tightly attached.

"If you wash it, it is not going to get rid of it," said Robert Brackett, director of the FDA's Center for Food Safety and Nutrition.

The original outbreak was reported Thursday in eight states. Ohio became the ninth Friday, with health officials reporting seven cases there.

Thursday, June 15, 2006 

Bananas Foster


4 ripe bananas, peeled, sliced lengthwise
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup brandy or dark rum
1/2 cup banana liqueur


In a large deep skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg, stirring constantly with a whisk or wooden spoon until sugar is melted. Add bananas and spoon the warm sugar mixture over them. Heat until bananas are warmed through and covered with syrup but not mushy.

Combine the banana liqueur with either the brandy or dark rum in a cup.

For safety,

Hold the skillet away from you and add the liquor mixture to the skillet. If the contents of the skillet, especially the butter, is hot enough it will being to flame. If not, start the flaming process with a long kitchen match or something similar. The flaming will continue until all the alcohol is gone. Best served over vanilla ice cream.

Saturday, April 29, 2006 

Cooking Tip #2: How to melt cheese

Bring cheese to room temperature before melting. Melt cheese over a low heat to help prevent toughening and separation of oils and liquid.

Friday, April 21, 2006 

Cooking Tip #1: Should I buy this piece of beef?

Make sure the package is cold and has no holes or tears. Excessive liquid in a package may indicate improper storage or beef that is past its optimum shelf life. Look for beef that is firm to the touch. Choose beef that has a nice cherry-red color, without any grayish or brown blotches. The exception is vacuum-packaged beef, which, due to a lack of oxygen, has a darker purplish-red color. When the beef is exposed to the air again, it will turn to a bright red.

Thursday, April 20, 2006 

Quick and Easy Goulash


1 bag of dry egg noodles
1 pound of ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped (optional)
1 can of corn half drained or 2 cups of fresh corn
1 can of kidney beans or 1 can of october beans
1 can of condensed tomato soup
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon of oregano
1 small garlic clover, chopped
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste


Cook egg noodles according to package directions. In a large skillet, brown ground beef over, garlic and onion over medium heat. Drain grease. Remove from heat and add tomato soup, ketchup, salt, pepper and oregano. Mix well. Drain egg noodles. Combine meat mixture and egg noodles along with the corn and beans. Fold mixture together.

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Wednesday, April 19, 2006 

Sloppy Joe Casserole


1 lb ground beef or hamburger
1 box of elbow macaroni (about 4 cups)
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup fresh mushrooms, chopped (or 1 can of mushrooms drained and chopped)
1 cup of barbecue sauce
1 cup of ketchup
1/4 cup of steak sauce
1 tablespoon of cumin
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Garlic to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees


Cook the macaroni in a large sauce pan according to package instructions. Drain can set aside. In a large skillet brown and drain the ground beef or hamburger. Add the peppers and mushrooms to the hamburger and cook over medium heat until the pepper begin to become tender. In a bowl, combine barbecue sauce, ketchup, steak sauce, salt, pepper, garlic and cumin. Mix well. Add mixture to skillet and continue cooking over medium low heat for about 5-8 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove the hamburger mixture from the heat and stir in the macaroni. Fold it all together. Lightly spray a casserole dish with non stick cooking spray. Pour the hamburger and macaroni mixture into the casserole dish. Top with shredded cheese. Cover the dish with foil but leave it loose. Place in a 400 degree over for about 20 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking until cheese is nice an brown, about 5 minutes.

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Thursday, April 13, 2006 

Emergency Cooking Substitutions

Dairy Products


Emergency Substitution

Buttermilk, 1 cup

1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon plus enough milk to make 1 cup.
Let mixture stand for 5 minutes before using.

Sour Cream, 1 cup

1 cup plain yogurt

Half-and-Half, 1 cup

7/8 cup milk plus 3 tablespoons butter

Yogurt (plain), 1 cup

1 cup sour cream or buttermilk

Eggs, 2 large

3 small eggs

Whole Milk, 1 cup

1/2 cup evaporated milk plus 1/2 cup water


Parmesan cheese


Cottage cheese

Light Cream, 1 cup

2 tablespoons butter, plus 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons milk

Cottage cheese - pureed, 1 cup

1 cup Sour Cream

Mayonnaise (for salad dressings), 1 cup

1/2 cup plain yogurt and 1/2 cup mayonnaise -OR- 1 cup sour cream -OR- 1 cup cottage cheese, pureed

Baking Products


Emergency Substitution

Active Dry Yeast, 1 package

2 1/2 teaspoons dry or 1/3 cake yeast, crumbled

Baking powder, 1 teaspoon

1/4 teaspoon baking soda plus 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

Cake flour, 1 cup

1 cup minus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Cornstarch, 1 tablespoon

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour - Simmer about 3 minutes AFTER it has thickened

Flour, 1 tablespoon (for thickening)

1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch

Honey, 1 cup

1 1/4 cups sugar plus 1/4 cup liquid

Self Rising Flour (1 cup)

1 cup all-purpose flour plus 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
plus 1/2 teaspoons salt

Semisweet Chocolate, 1 ounce

1 ounce unsweetened chocolate plus 1 tablespoon sugar

Semisweet Chocolate chips, 1/2 cup

3 ounces semisweet chocolate

Unsweetened Chocolate, 1 ounce

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa plus 1 tablespoon margarine

Powdered Sugar, 1 cup

1 cup sugar plus 1 tablespoon cornstarch processed in food processor

Tapioca, 1 tablespoon

1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Cream of Tartar, 1 teaspoon

3 teaspoons of lemon juice -OR- 3 teaspoons of vinegar

Gelatin, 1 sheet

one 1/4 ounce envelope unflavored powdered gelatin

Maple Syrup, 1 tablespoon

2 teaspoons of maple sugar -AND- 1 teaspoon of water

Baking Soda

There is NO substitute for baking soda

Butter, 1 cup

1 cup margarine -OR- 1 cup vegetable shortening (for baking only)

Flour - Cake, 1 cup

1 cup minus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour - sifted

Shortening, 1 cup

1 cup softened butter OR 1 cup margarine minus 1/2 teaspoon salt from the recipe.

Marshmallows, Mini, 1 cup

8 to 10 regular marshmallows

Seasoning Products


Emergency Substitution

Lemon Peel (Zest), 1 teaspoon

1/2 teaspoon lemon extract

Mustard, dry, 1 teaspoon

1 tablespoon prepared mustard

Fresh Herbs, 1 tablespoon

1 teaspoon dried herbs

Garlic, 1 clove

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder or minced dried garlic

Fresh Gingerroot, 1 tablespoon

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

Vanilla Bean, 1 inch

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Allspice, 1 teaspoon ground

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon plus 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

Apple Pie Spice, 1 teaspoon

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon plus 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
plus 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom

Pumpkin Pie Spice

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon plus 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
plus 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice plus 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Fish sauce

Worcestershire sauce or light soy sauce with salt

Saffron , 1/8 teaspoon

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

Asian Basil

equal amount any fresh basil variety

Tomato Sauce, 2 cups

3/4 cup tomato paste plus 1 cup water

Tomato Juice, 1 cup

1/2 cup tomato sauce plus 1/2 cup water

Onion, 1 small

1 teaspoon onion powder
or 1 tablespoon minced dried onion, rehydrated

Chili Sauce, 1 cup

1 cup tomato sauce, 1/8 cup brown sugar, 2 tablespoons vinegar (White or Apple),
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, dash of allspice and a dash of fresh ground cloves

Worcestershire Sauce

Bottled Steak Sauce

Spearmint, Dried, 1 tablespoon

1/4 cup fresh chopped mint



Emergency Substitution

Lemon, 1 medium (fresh juice)

2 to 3 tablespoons bottled lemon juice

Orange, 1 medium (fresh juice)

1/4 to 1/3 cup orange juice

Amaretto, 2 tablespoons

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Sherry, 2 tablespoons

1 to 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Marsala, 1/4 cup

1/4 cup dry wine plus 1 teaspoon brandy

White Wine

Bottled White Grape Juice or Apple Juice

Red wine, 1/4 cup

1 tablespoon balsamic or red wine vinegar

Tomato Juice, 1 cup

1/2 cup tomato sauce plus 1/2 cup water

Maple Syrup, 1 tablespoon

2 teaspoons of maple sugar -AND- 1 teaspoon of water

Red Wine - Sweet

Bottled Grape Juice or Cranberry Juice

Worcestershire Sauce, 1 tablespoon

1 tablespoon bottled steak sauc

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