Call the Show:
888-302-DOUG (3684)
Email Doug:
doug@dougstephan.com
If you can't see our menu, you have your pop-up blocker enabled.
Blog
List Blog entries from
Spring Clean Your Freezer and Top Tips for Freezing Foods Properly
Spring Clean Your Freezer and Top Tips for Freezing Foods Properly
April 25, 2015

Freezing is one of the most convenient and least time-consuming methods of preserving food. The cold slows down the growth of microorganisms and chemical changes that affect quality or cause food to spoil. However, quality largely depends on being freezer savvy: how food was wrapped, how fast it froze, how long it is kept, the freezer's temperature, and whether the food should have been put on ice in the first place. Here are SupermarketGuru's top tips to make sure you are freezer savvy!

When freezing foods, packaging materials are important. They must be moisture- and vapor-resistant, durable, and leak proof to maintain the quality of food. When packing, for example soup, leave headspace of half to one-and-a-half inches to allow for expansion. Also it's crucial to label packages with the date that the food was frozen.

Containers that are appropriate to use include plastic freezer containers, plastic freezer-weight bags, aluminum foil, foil pans, coated freezer paper, heavy plastic wrap, and zip bags. You should not freeze in glass jars (which can break), cottage cheese or yogurt containers, bread wrappers, produce bags, or wax paper. These are generally not airtight or thick enough.

There are several factors that can compromise good food that was frozen badly. Here are some things to watch out for and how to prevent them:

Freezer Burn: To minimize the risk of freezer burn, caused by moisture loss, don't thaw and refreeze food numerous times. That causes food to dry out faster. If food does suffer from freezer burn, cut off the affected areas -- before or after cooking - and use the rest of the food.

Microorganisms: Growth is stopped when food is frozen, but microorganisms are not destroyed. When food is thawed, they become active again and multiply; food must be cooked through to be safe.

Ice Crystals: Formation of small ice crystals is better for food. Large ice crystals tend to rupture cells and may cause a texture change.

Temperature: The storage life of foods is shortened as temperature rises. A temperature of 0 degrees or lower should be maintained to keep foods at top quality. Fluctuating temperatures result in growth in the size of ice crystals, further damaging cells and creating a mushier product.

Air: Oxygen may cause flavor and color changes if the food is improperly packaged. Many foods change color when frozen due to lack of oxygen or especially long storage. For example, red meat can turn brown but it is still safe to eat.

Enzymes: Freezing slows enzyme activity, and most food keeps when put in the freezer.

Time Limits for Food Storage*
Soups and Stews, vegetable or meat: freezer: 2-3 months
Ham fully cooked whole: freezer: 1-2 months
Ham fully cooked sliced: freezer: 1-2 months
Fresh uncooked meat: freezer: 6-12 months
Leftover meat: freezer: 2-3 months
Gravy and meat broth: freezer: 2-3 months
Fresh raw poultry: freezer: 12 months
Cooked poultry: freezer: 3 months
Cooked poultry with broth/gravy: freezer: 3 months

*Source: United States Department of Agriculture

Visit Website

Posted by Ken at 12:00 AM - Link to this entry  |  Share this entry  |  Print

6 Things You Need to Know About Tofu and Tempeh
6 Things You Need to Know About Tofu and Tempeh
April 25, 2015

Thought you knew everything there is to know about soy foods, specifically tofu and tempeh? Here are six things about tofu and it's fermented counterpart tempeh that you should know before you shop.

Tempeh is a traditional fermented soy product originating in Indonesia that has been eaten for hundreds of years. The fermentation process gives it a higher content of protein, fiber, vitamins and antioxidants than non-fermented soy products and on top of that the nutrients are more easily digested.

The texture is similar to a very firm veggie burger. Many commercially prepared brands add other grains, such as barley, or rice as well as spices and extra flavors. Depending on the grain added, tempeh can be gluten free. Tempeh is commonly marinated and grilled and added to soups, casseroles, or chili.

Tempeh is high is protein as well as calcium and iron, fiber, B vitamins and magnesium. Other health benefits are derived from the peptides (smaller breakdown parts of proteins) in tempeh that have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and blood pressure-lowering properties. For example, some of the peptides found in tempeh inhibit angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) and are therefore classified as "ACE inhibitors." When this enzyme is inhibited, it is often easier for the cardiovascular system to regulate blood pressure. In addition antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties found in fermented soy foods can help protect the blood vessels from oxidative and inflammatory damage.

Next up, tofu: Tofu is a soybean curd product made from soymilk that has been curdled and pressed into thick rectangles. It is an excellent low-fat non-animal protein source. Tofu is relatively tasteless and easily absorbs the flavors of other ingredients with which it is cooked, making it a versatile addition to many dishes.

Tofu comes in various densities from extra firm to silky or dried and therefore has many food and beverage applications. Firm tofu is dense and can be cubed and served in soups, stir fried, or grilled; it's higher in protein, fat and calcium than other forms of tofu. Soft tofu is good for recipes that call for blended tofu. Silken tofu is a creamy product and can be used as a replacement for sour cream, ricotta cheese and more in dip recipes.

Tofu is rich in high-quality protein, calcium for bone health, selenium a powerful antioxidant, the anti-inflammatory omega-3s, iron to combat anemia, magnesium for relaxation, zinc for immunity and growth, and B-vitamins to boost energy and nourish the nervous system.

Visit Website

Posted by Ken at 12:00 AM - Link to this entry  |  Share this entry  |  Print

When is
When is "Fast Enough"?
April 25, 2015

I'm wondering if in our desire to deliver groceries within one hour, or twenty minutes or even within ten minutes will be enough to satisfy the logistics folks at Amazon, Uber, Google Express...or our local supermarket.

In our industry's race for speed is it possible that we are destroying the enjoyment and satisfaction of the actual foods we deliver? Studies have shown that the more people photograph their food, then post on social networks like Pinterest, the less they actually enjoy eating the food.

One could argue, much as was argued about the cost of NASA's space program, that proving we can deliver foods practically instantaneously will open the door to other innovations that we may not even realize could exist along the supply chain. Certainly using drones to deliver seems much more like a reality today then when Amazon's Jeff Bezos unveiled his plan on 60 Minutes on December 1, 2013. But is it necessary?

My fear is that as we make instant decisions about what foods to purchase and have delivered, that the celebration, excitement of selection and enjoyment are all overshadowed by the WOW of getting it NOW. The Slow Food Movement was founded in 1989 on the premise that "we are enslaved by speed," and that goes on to hope that "suitable doses of guaranteed sensual pleasure (from foods) and slow, long-lasting enjoyment preserve us from the contagion of the multitude who mistake frenzy for efficiency."

The question is how do we balance this delivery system with how we actually consume our foods. One thing is to get our foods quickly; the other is to select, appreciate and consume them thoughtfully.

Visit Website

Posted by Ken at 12:00 AM - Link to this entry  |  Share this entry  |  Print

Sardines are Rich in Vitamin D and 6 More Things You Need to Know
Sardines are Rich in Vitamin D and 6 More Things You Need to Know
April 25, 2015

What is small, sustainable, swims in the sea, and is one of the few natural sources of vitamin D, and not to mention, readily available in almost any supermarket? Sardines of course! Sardines have been consumed as food for far longer than written records can vouch; but what we do know is that sardines were first made popular by Napoleon Bonaparte who initiated the canning of these little fish. Lately, sardines have become increasingly popular, as more and more consumers realize their incredible nutrient density, overall sustainability and healthfulness.

Here are seven things you need to know:

Sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, an essential fat needed for optimal brain health, helps reduce inflammation, and also known to reduce the occurrence of cardiovascular disease. Recent studies have also suggested that regular consumption of omega-3 fatty acids reduces the likelihood of developing Alzheimer's disease. As compared with other omega-3 rich foods like salmon, and scallops, sardines contain more of these essential fatty acids per three ounce serving.

Sardines are a great source of dietary calcium; and this is especially true for sardines packed and consumed with their skin and bones. They are the most naturally rich source of vitamin D. Vitamin D's main and most well known role in the body is to aid in the absorption and regulation of calcium. Calcium helps maintain healthy strong bones and supports proper functioning of nerves. Research also suggests vitamin D may aid in the reduction and protection from hypertension, cancer, and several autoimmune diseases. Vitamin D also helps control the cell life cycle, keeping good cells and getting rid of cells that are no longer necessary.

Another reason sardines are so important to include in your diet is because they are the second most concentrated source of vitamin B12 (next to calf's liver). Vitamin B12 supports the production of red blood cells, which aids in the prevention of anemia, allows nerve cells to develop properly, and helps your cells metabolize and use protein, carbohydrate, and fat. B12 deficiency can lead to depression, memory problems, nervousness, and various other symptoms.

According to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch, sardines, specifically the US Pacific wild caught variety, are considered a 'best choice' when it comes to sustainability (abundant, well-managed and caught or farmed in environmentally friendly ways). In addition, all sardines are extremely low in contaminants such as mercury because they are so small and low on the food chain. Atlantic sardines and those from the Mediterranean, on the other hand, are on the avoid list because populations have declined due to overfishing. Conservation group Oceana believes pacific sardines are on the same trajectory.

Sardine is known as iwashi when prepared for sushi.

If it's your first time trying sardines, a great place to start is with a boneless, skinless variety, packed in water or olive oil. For those concerned with their fat intake, sardines packed water may be a better choice. Although they may have a strong smell, their flavor is mild, and can be used in recipes in place of canned tuna.

Sardines serve as a fabulous spread - on a cracker or piece of toast - they also come smoked and packed in sauces like mustard and tomato, which can serve as a great snack, hors d'oeuvre, or even light lunch spread on toast, served on a cucumber, or even in a mini lettuce cup.

Visit Website

Posted by Ken at 12:00 AM - Link to this entry  |  Share this entry  |  Print

Good Day Goodies!
Good Day Goodies!
April 24, 2015

Click the link below to find all kinds of Good Day Goodies!

Visit Website

Posted by Ken at 4:50 AM - Link to this entry  |  Share this entry  |  Print

U.S. drone strike accidentally killed 2 hostages
U.S. drone strike accidentally killed 2 hostages
April 24, 2015

President Barack Obama announced Thursday that a U.S. counterterrorism operation targeting an al Qaeda compound in January accidentally killed two innocent hostages, including one American.

Multiple U.S. officials told CNN the hostages, Warren Weinstein, an American, and Italian national Giovanni Lo Porto, were killed by a U.S. military drone that targeted the al Qaeda compound.

"As president and as commander in chief, I take full responsibility for all our counterterrorism operations including the one that inadvertently took the lives of Warren and Giovanni," Obama said Thursday morning in the White House briefing room, where he apologized on behalf of the U.S. government.

The White House also disclosed Thursday that two Americans, both al Qaeda operatives, were also killed in U.S. counterterrorism operations in the same region.

Al Qaeda leader Ahmed Farouq, who was an American citizen and deputy emir of al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent, was also killed in the operation that killed the two innocent hostages.

Adam Gadahn, another American in the senior ranks of al Qaeda, was also killed by U.S. forces in the region, "likely in a separate" counterterrorism operation, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said in a statement Thursday.

Earnest said at a press briefing Thursday that Obama did not specifically approve the operations that killed the Americans, but that the strikes were within the bounds of policy guidance.

Earnest said Thursday that the families of the hostages will be financially compensated by the U.S. government. He would not disclose the details of that compensation.

Click the link below for the rest of the article!

Visit Website

Posted by Ken at 1:43 AM - Link to this entry  |  Share this entry  |  Print

Teen Suspended For Fake Bomb 'Promposal'
Teen Suspended For Fake Bomb 'Promposal'
April 24, 2015

A Washington teen who strapped fake explosives to his body in a stunt to ask a date to prom has been suspended from school.

The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver reports that the five-day suspension will prevent Ibrahim Ahmad from attending La Center High's dance Saturday.

The 18-year-old senior says he was trying to go all out with his proposal, wearing a vest filled with paper-tube props made to look like explosives. At lunchtime, Ahmad stood on the cafeteria stage and held a sign that said he was "the bomb" and inviting his would-be date to prom.

Superintendent Mark Mansell says Ahmad's actions were inexcusable and that he deserved punishment for disrupting the learning environment.

Ahmad says the girl accepted, so they will likely go to dinner on prom night.

Click the link below for the rest of the article!

Visit Website

Posted by Ken at 1:43 AM - Link to this entry  |  Share this entry  |  Print

Mass. police getting calls from Australian town with same name
Mass. police getting calls from Australian town with same name
April 24, 2015

Police dispatchers in Northbridge, Mass., said they have been receiving a mysterious flood of calls for police in an Australian town with the same name.

Detective Sgt. John Ouillette said the first call from Down Under came in March 9 and the accented caller reported a fight in Russell Square, which is not the name of a location in the Massachusetts town.

"We were trying to determine if it was in town and then determined it was Northbridge, Australia," Ouillette told WBZ-TV.

Dispatcher Lisa Gaylord said the wrong-number calls, which come in on the department's business line, become quickly apparent.

"They just start talking like I'm in Australia," Gaylord told the Worcester Telegram. "As soon as they start talking I say, 'This is Northbridge, Massachusetts, in the United States. Do you have the right number?'"

Another dispatcher, Jordan Tredeau, said the callers "usually sound kind of embarrassed."
Gaylord said some are a little more than embarrassed.

"Oh [expletive], this phone call is going to cost me a fortune," she quoted one caller as saying.

"My guess is people just do Northbridge Police on Google and automatically hit that number [on their smartphone]. They don't even know what they're dialing," Gaylord said.

The department said it has contacted police in Northbridge, Australia, in the hopes of informing that town's residents of the correct number to dial, but the calls do not appear to have slowed.

Click the link below for the rest of the article!

Visit Website

Posted by Ken at 1:43 AM - Link to this entry  |  Share this entry  |  Print

Freddie Gray Was Handcuffed And Without Seat Belt During Arrest Transit: Lawyer
Freddie Gray Was Handcuffed And Without Seat Belt During Arrest Transit: Lawyer
April 24, 2015

No video captured what happened to Freddie Gray inside the police van where officers heaved him into a metal compartment after pinning him to a sidewalk. The cause of his fatal spine injury has not been revealed.

But a troubling detail emerged as hundreds of protesters converged on City Hall again Thursday: He was not only handcuffed and put in leg irons, but left without a seat belt during his trip to the station.

Unbelted detainees have been paralyzed and even killed by rough rides in police vans." It even has a name: "nickel rides," referring to cheap amusement park thrills.

Police brutality against prisoners being transported was addressed just six months ago in a plan released by Baltimore officials to reduce this misconduct. Department rules updated nine days before Gray's arrest clearly state that all detainees shall be strapped in by seat belts or "other authorized restraining devices" for their own safety after being arrested.

Click the link below for the rest of the article!

Visit Website

Posted by Ken at 1:43 AM - Link to this entry  |  Share this entry  |  Print

Pete Rose allowed to participate in All-Star game
Pete Rose allowed to participate in All-Star game
April 24, 2015

We knew that Pete Rose would likely be a part of the MLB All-Star game this July in Cincinnati. Reds owner Bob Castellini said so in January. But on Thursday, we heard that come directly from the mouth of MLB commissioner Rob Manfred.

And, as you can imagine, Pete Rose getting an endorsement from the sitting MLB commissioner is a big deal. Manfred, speaking at a meeting with the Associated Press Sports Editors, told reporters:

"I've agreed with Mr. Castellini that we're going to have a conversation about what specific kind of participation the Reds are interested in, and we have not had that conversation yet," Manfred said. "You can rest assured that he will about allowed to participate in some of the activities."

MLB is running a Franchise Four vote that will honor four icons of each ball club at the All-Star game. Some people figured that would be a loophole to get Rose involved in the Cincy celebrations without MLB officially "allowing" him in. Sure enough, Rose is the leading vote-getter for the Reds.

But it doesn't sound like, based on Manfred's comments Thursday, that Rose's participation is contingent on the Franchise Four vote, so that's an encouraging sign for anybody hoping for smoother relations between baseball's all-time hit leader and the commissioner's office.

Click the link below for the rest of the article!

Visit Website

Posted by Ken at 1:43 AM - Link to this entry  |  Share this entry  |  Print

Neogenis
Cedarcide
Eastleigh Farm
Follow me on Pinterest
 
Copyright 2002-2015 DougStephan.com. All rights reserved.  Terms & Conditions | Privacy Policy | Acknowledgments
This site is Created and Managed by Nox Solutions LLC.