Pimento Cheese, Not Your Grandma's Spread

Pimento cheese is one of those foods that has been so corrupted by the food industry that it has become synonymous with other crappy foods like Spam.  I'm not even certain what store bought pimento cheese might contain, nor do I want to find out.  It's a shame because pimento cheese can be a delightful treat, even if it does Read the full post…

Plum Good BBQ Sandwiches

In a few days it will officially be fall but the temperatures are still warm enough for me to continue swimming for a few more days.  The breeze was a little cool but that didn't stop me from swimming several laps this morning and I felt great afterwards!  Have you exercised lately?  With fall's cooler temperatures and fewer insects, you Read the full post…

Shingles Vacine and Treatment

A friend of mine was recently diagnosed with shingles so I felt I should discuss this nasty virus once again.  If you ever had chicken pox, you are at risk for getting shingles and believe me, you don't want it.  Shingles is a painful rash with blisters that scab over and may take 4 weeks or more to heal.  The Read the full post…

Vegetarian Tacos are muy delicioso!

There are times when I think I could easily become a vegetarian, especially when I try a new dish that is as good as the vegetarian tacos I had at Local Lime restaurant in Little Rock and the tofu fried rice at Sai Tai here in Jonesboro.  My husband and I celebrated our 23rd anniversary this past weekend by spending Read the full post…

Midyear Health Check

Summer is winding down , the year is more than half way over and our January resolutions are long forgotten.  It's time for a health reality check.  First of all, how is your health lately?  If you have enjoyed good health, are you thankful?  Take some time to appreciate how wonderful it feels to be healthy, for your family to Read the full post…

Vacation Lessons For A Healthier Life

  I'm back from a lovely beach vacation and I wish I was still there with all my heart.  Wouldn't it be nice if our every day life was as nice as a vacation?  If we could relax, eat well, sleep and exercise just enough without having to worry about bills, work, illnesses and school, our lives would be perfect.  But Read the full post…

Fast Sides – Spicy Fries, and Other Quick Vegetables

[ Post by Lisa Tedder ][ Post on January 19, 2012 ][ In Vegetables and Fruits ]

We all want to get a fabulous dinner on the table quickly but some nights are more rushed than others.  My family is no different in that we are all going in several directions many nights.  However, we still manage to sit down together for a family dinner most of the time.  It takes planning and the help and cooperation of everyone to pull it off.  I have always said that one person doesn’t have to be responsible for meals all the time.  Young children can set the table or help with simple tasks.  Older kids can cook or clean up after dinner.  Both spouses should be able to prepare a decent meal that doesn’t involve takeout.

If you have been solely responsible for the cooking in your family, it’s time for a change.  Have a family talk and get everyone’s input but don’t allow anyone to say “I”m too busy” or “I can’t cook”.  Assign jobs or nights for everyone to pitch in or take over the cooking job entirely.  After all, your children will be on their own someday and who will feed them then?  In the mean time, here are a few ideas of fast sides that anyone older than 9 should be able to do.

Salads:  Anyone can open a bag of salad greens, dump them in a bowl and pick over them for wilted pieces.  It is easy to add some craisins, nuts, grated cheese, chopped boiled egg, grated carrot, cut up apples or pears to make the salad more nutritious and tasty.  Use your imagination for different toppings.  Anyone can make a fruit salad by opening a can of mandarin oranges, another of pineapple, draining them well and then adding some sliced banana.  Once again, use your imagination for different combinations.

Spicy fries:  I had my son prepare spicy fries the other night and these couldn’t be easier.  Simply bake a bag of steak fries according to package directions.  Meanwhile, mix up 1 tsp. of chili powder, 1/2 tsp. cumin, 1/2 tsp. garlic powder, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 or more of cayenne pepper in a small bowl.  When the fries are done, place them in a paper bag, add the spices, close the bag and shake.  They were very yummy with the sloppy joes we had.

Steamed squash:  Wash and trim ends from yellow squash.  Slice in 1/4 inch rounds into a microwave safe bowl and add 1 tbsp. of water.  Cover tightly and microwave for 5 or 6 minutes or until just tender.  This depends on how many you cook.  Drain well, salt and pepper to taste with a small scoop of Brummel and Brown or other butter substitute.

Steamed asparagus:  Wash and trim tough ends.  Place in a pan and add about 1 inch of water.  Bring to a boil and cook 3 to 5 minutes until asparagus is fork tender.  Season with salt, pepper and a small scoop of butter substitute.

Anyone can prepare these sides while a meatloaf or some chicken breasts bake in the oven and Mom picks up little Johnny from basketball practice.  It really is that easy, it just takes some planning.  Don’t forget to brag on the efforts of those who help out in the kitchen.  They will be more likely to help next time.

Upadated on January 19, 2012

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