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Wednesday
Aug272014

Our lighter take: Steven Raichlen's baked chiles rellenos

Steven Raichlen's chiles rellenos are baked, but we found they could be made even lighter and not lose on taste. Classic Mexican chiles rellenos typically involves large, cheese-filled peppers battered and fried. Steven Raichlen's cumin-infused stuffed peppers from his new cookbook “Man Made Meals: The Essential Cookbook for Guys” have raisins and pine nuts, adding Moroccan flair.

We were exceptionally impressed with the flavor and novelty of this baked version of the dish. We decided to try lightening it a bit more and the result was also delicious. And since Raichlen is a barbecue master, it would also be great to try cooking these peppers on the grill.

 

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Wednesday
Aug272014

Punkin' Treat Pouch template from "Felt-o-Ween"

HOW TO USE PUMPKIN TEMPLATE

 

1. Make a digital copy of the template below (Right click on the image and select "Save Image As..." from the pull-down menu).

2. Using saved file, make a paper copy of the template at your desired size. You can print it at 100 percent, or enlarge as desired for larger pouches.

3. Cut out pumpkins, decorate and stitch according to project instructions.

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Thursday
Aug212014

'Real Housewives of New Jersey' star Teresa Giudice promotes Fabellini, meets fans in Westfield at Gallery U Boutique 

Teresa Giudice with Gallery U Boutique owner Lisa Lasso and Robert Grecco, direcor of programming for Universal Institute (Photo by Kimberly L. Jackson)“Real Housewives of New Jersey” star Teresa Giudice was in Westfield yesterday evening, chatting and posing for photos with about 100 fans who lined up at Gallery U Boutique awaiting the appearance of the table-turning TV mom from Montville.

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Saturday
Jun212014

Find farmers markets in New Jersey and nationwide with USDA  directory

Scotch Plains Farmers Market, open 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays in the town parking lot at 430 Park Ave., has produce, flowers, cheese, prepared food and more.

Farmers markets can offer the freshest of both familiar and less familiar types of seasonal produce.

If you love your fruits and veggies as much as we do, check out the USDA's farm-market finder,  the Farmers Market Directory.

At farmersmarkets.usda.gov, there are lots of statistics and farmer-centeric details like the total number of registered farm markets and the states with the highest number. But most of us will just want to find farm markets -- say, one that will have Jersey Fresh tomatoes, peaches and local honey. The nationwide database lets you search for markets by ZIP code within a specified radius.

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Friday
May162014

Whip this up: Evaporated milk makes a fluffy dessert topping

Whipped evaporated milk on fruit cups. From Meals.comEvaporated milk can be whipped into a stand-up topping for fruit salad, pie, cake and other desserts. Apparently grandmothers have been doing it since the Depression days.

We like to think of it as a lighter option that can always be conveniently on hand in cans or powdered form. Meals.com gives the following instructions to make about 3 cups of this whipped cream alternative. The recipe should be halved if needed, so all the topping will be used the same day.

1. Pour a cup of NESTLÉ® CARNATION® evaporated milk into a small mixing bowl. Place mixer blades or a whisk in bowl. Freeze for about 30 minutes, or until ice crystals form.

2. Meanwhile, plate up each serving of your chosen dessert. Fruit can go into pretty crystal or glass dessert bowls, as shown. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

3. Using a mixer (or a whisk twisted rapidly between both palms), whip the chilled evaporated milk on high speed for one minute or until it's very frothy. Add 1/4 cup of sugar and 1/4 cup of lime juice, beating for two minutes or until the mixture is stiff. Immediately spoon topping onto fruit or other cold dessert. Sprinkle with chopped nuts, if desired. 

Note: You can also whip vigorously with a chilled whisk. Play around as we did, adding drops of food color and even cocoa powder to extend the options for this lighter-than-cream whipped topping.

Vanilla whip: Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup powdered sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla extract (or another flavor) instead of the lime juice.

Cocoa whip: Sift the powdered sugar with two tablespoons of cocoa powder for a chocolatey twist.

If you need the topping to hold up longer, gelatin powder can help it stay in shape for about 30 minutes. Instructions at Meals.com. The topping can be made with ice water, nonfat dry milk powder, gelatin powder and sugar.

And, it can be blended into puréed fruit. Try the mango mousse recipe, which can be easily adapted to use blueberries, strawberries and other juicy seasonal fruits.