About Me

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My friends call me the "grammar goddess." Really. ;-) I own a freelance writing, editing and tutoring business. Previously, I served three years as food editor for The Morning Sun in Mt. Pleasant, which kindled my interest in food writing. My other areas of expertise in writing include features, community news, architecture/construction and engraving/personalization. I have a frightening number of cookbooks and watch too many DIY, HGTV, Food Network, Cooking Channel and Antiques Roadshow (BBC and PBS versions) shows. And I tweak nearly every recipe I make.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Community, food-related events take place this weekend

A few timely food-related events that are happening this weekend caught my attention.
This Saturday, Sept. 25, the Greening of Detroit 20th anniversary celebration takes place at Eastern Market. According to this week's 10 Things to Do in Detroit This Weekend in Crain's Detroit Business, it's intended "to celebrate local food and music in Detroit! Love Food." Cost is $35 at the door. For more information, visit the event's website.

Harvest Moon Celebration outdoors at the Sundquist Pavilion in Farmington's Riley Park gives autumn a jump start this weekend with beer and wine tasting, farmers market, pig roast, and more. I'm not sure much of it's healthy food, but it's all in what you pick. Cost is $8 at the door.

The 33rd annual Rochester Area Heritage Festival takes place at Rochester College, 800 W. Avon Road in Rochester, Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and includes food, music, family friendly fun and games as well as a chance to explore Rochester's history.

A New Rachael Ray Show starts Saturday

Wow; twice today, I've found timely food news. This is much better news than my last post about the Granola Thins recall.

Rachael Ray has a new show debuting on The Cooking Channel (which, by the way, is Channel 232 on my Direct TV satellite system).  I saw the ad the other day, but happened to be looking for the day and time of the show, which I couldn't recall. It's Saturday (tomorrow!) at 3 p.m. I'll be watching it.

I found an article on a blog called Everything Rachael Ray, which I think may become my new favorite blog to follow (thanks for the tip, Madeline!). The new show, called Week in a Day, uses the concept of cooking ahead for the week and simply reheating your meals when you want them. It's not a new idea by any means (I have a couple of 1990s cookbooks based on the same principles).

I like the idea that Rachael will be test-driving the recipes first; although I often make substitutions and (less frequently) errors in making her recipes, it's usually turned out well. (We won't, however, discuss the results of putting in too much minced garlic as a substitution for chopped garlic cloves!) Another "mistake" I made I'd do again on purpose. I turned a vegetable side dish into stoup by putting in an entire can, rather than just a cup, of chicken stock.

Recall Notice: Nature Valley Dark Chocolate Granola Thins

Don't open that box of Nature Valley Dark Chocolate Granola Thins if you are allergic to  peanuts! 

This is sort of a weird recall, because a simple (presumably mechanical) error could cause serious illness or even death.

According to a WalletPop article, some Nature Valley Dark Chocolate Granola Thins boxes were instead filled with its Peanut Butter Flavor Granola Thins. "The only item subject to this recall are 10-count boxes of Nature Valley Dark Chocolate Flavor Granola Thins with this date code: 05JUN2011 YO 12," stated the article.
As peanuts are not among the ingredients listed on the Dark Chocolate boxes, someone with a peanut allergy could eat them ... and peanut allergies can be fatal. So far, according to the Food & Drug Administration, "no reactions or illnesses have been linked to the recall." I pray that remains true.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Island Chicken with Pineapple and Roasted Sweet Potatoes

I'm winging it again in the kitchen. (Yes, that was a bad pun, but it could be worse. Trust me.) 

The chicken features tastes of the Orient (soy and sesame) with a hint of Hawaiian pineapple and a southern barbecue favorite, roasted sweet potatoes. Everything's cooked in the oven.
Island Chicken with Pineapple and Roasted Sweet Potatoes

While getting this ready, scrub, and put two skinny sweet potatoes (about 6 oz. each) in a preheated 370-degree oven for 20 minutes. (Make sure you stab them a couple of times with a steak knife so they won't explode and place in a small pan with a small baking rack in it to let them drip without messing up the oven, but don't cover them.)

Marinate 1 1/2 pounds of thinly sliced chicken (the kind I usually pan fry): in the following marinade for 5-10 minutes.

1/2 a medium-sized lime, juiced
Grated lime zest, if desired (I didn't do that this time)
a few drops of sesame seed oil
3 TBSP olive oil
about two TBSP. pineapple juice from a freshly-cut pineapple. (You can buy it cored and ready to slice.)
5 sprays of Bragg Liquid Aminos (if you don't have this, you may substitute 1/2-1 tsp. of light soy sauce). Just don't include any salt in the next step.

Put the following spices on both sides of the meat: a pinch of salt, ground pepper to taste (preferably freshly-ground mixed peppercorns) and a dash of McCormick's Perfect Pinch Roasted Garlic and Red Pepper.

Mix marinade ingredients thoroughly in a 9" by 12" glass oven-safe dish; place chicken in marinade for 2 to 5 minutes; turn and marinate for 3 to 5 minutes more. It's cooked in the marinade to create a light sauce.

Cover dish with foil and place in a preheated 325-degree oven for 35 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink in the center (check it by cutting the thickest piece in the center). 
Spoon a couple of teaspoons of sauce over chicken; serve it with the pineapple and baked sweet potato.

Next time I make this recipe, I plan to brown the chicken slightly by taking the foil off for the last three to four minutes.