Macadamia Nuts, Apple Cider, and Sausage Products Recalled

my sister's pantry

FSNBRaw macadamia nuts recalled for salmonella. Details here. Unpasteurized apple cider for E. Coli, sold in Canada,  additional details here. Okay, so I blitzed through those, because I just had to get to this last one. My title was a little abbreviated. The actual description from Food Safety News was “sausage-like product.” I’d hoped to not have to ask what on earth as “sausage-like product” is, really. While I didn’t particularly want a description, I figured I’d encounter one. Near as I can tell these babies have a lot of rice in them, which perhaps takes them to some meat to “other” percentage that prevents them from being able to say just “sausage;” I seriously don’t know. At any rate, these particular food product items were subject to “temperature abuse” and “may contain an emetic toxin produced by Bacillus cereus” according to the FDA. I don’t know what…

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Making Makan: Baechu kimchi

Must try this. Maybe sorta! Love this post.

Feasting in the Know

Korean market scene.  Kimchi stall.Korean giant clay jar Kimchi lecture

Kimchi is one of those foods that makes people either lick their chops, or shudder in revulsion. 

I belong firmly in the former camp.

Degree of difficulty:
HIGH.  Not dangerous or technically difficult.  Just laborious and time-consuming.

Will do again?
Definitely good to have done it at least once.  But the answer is no, especially if I can find a baechu kimchi at the supermarket with a seafoody, umami flavour.

What to do with kimchi
At the end of this article, you will find a list of ways to use kimchi.  (Apart from eating it straight out of the jar, that is.)

“Hello, Ajumma!”

Napa cabbage, the main ingredient in baechu kimchi.

That was how MOTH (Man of the House) greeted me teasingly, when he stepped in sporting a Helmet Head and saw me wringing the quartered napa cabbage like a face towel.

To put things in context…

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Homemade Doesn’t Mean Hard to Make!

The other day when I made my Three Cheese Eggplant Parmesan I had a small piece of Parmigiano-Reggiano and some ricotta cheese left over. I also had a little bit of spaghetti sauce left also. Since then I have been tossing around what to make with these ingredients. I have been trying hard not to waste food as it’s estimated that 36 BILLIONS tons of food waste is generated yearly.

Today I figured out what I wanted to do with those left over items – Fridge Cleanout Spaghetti Pie!! We must have a life time of pasta in the pantry. Okay, maybe at least a years worth. I got ground beef at the farmer’s market last week and put this in the refrigerator to thaw. I opened the freezer to see what bags of vegetables were accumulating there. Tossed in a pitiful small tomato that looked lonesome all by itself in a bowl. I threw all this together and presto – a lasagna look-alike dish.IMG_20140913_203123_694

Fridge Cleanout Spaghetti Pie

1 lb ground beef
1 chopped onion
3-4 cloves minced garlic
1 c frozen veggies of choice (I used spinach and corn)
1 can tomatoes – canned (or chopped fresh as in my case)
8 oz Ricotta
Favorite spaghetti sauce (I had Prego on hand)
Spaghetti noodles (or pasta of choice)

Preheat oven to 350. Start water for spaghetti. Saute onions and garlic. Add ground beef and cook thru. Add mushrooms, tomatoes, and spices. Drain spaghetti and put in a casserole. Top w/ ground beef mixture. Spoon ricotta over this and grate reggiano. Top with spaghetti sauce and grate additional reggiano over. Pop in oven for 30 minutes and enjoy!

There are so many variations of this idea I can’t wait to try again sometime. I hope you like it and let me know what you changed, added or did different!


Three Cheese Eggplant Parmesan

As I child I hated, absolutely hated, eggplant. Eventually I could tolerate a bite or two of fried eggplant, but as soon as I had a say inThe result! the matter I stayed as far away as I could from anything eggplant!! Skip forward four decades when I decided to adopt a mostly clean eating and buy local lifestyle, eggplant is everywhere. They are such a beautiful vegetable. The first few times I decide to try eggplant, they rotted before I did anything with them. A month ago or so, I stumbled upon Tosca Reno’s Strike Sugar Challenge. One of her recipes that I adapted included eggplant.

My family enjoyed it and after some mental challenges related to childhood eggplant issues; I had to admit it was good. So the next recipe I wanted to try was eggplant parmesan. After asking my friends and researching on the internet, I found Simple Recipes’ version of eggplant parmesan. It sounded delicious and easy. Here is my adaptation. (Which 2 out of 3 of us think is delicious! My DD does not care for it. She thinks it’s weird! Go figure!)

4 medium size eggplants
8 cloves garlic (minced)
2 small white onions (chopped small)
1 15 oz can tomatoes (I only had diced on hand)
1 jar Prego sauce (I used mushroom)
16oz fresh mozzarella (sliced)
Small block Parmigiano Reggiano
Ricotta Cheese
~ ¼ – ½ t. Oregano, Thyme & Basil (I used dried because of a family member’s food allergy)
Panko bread crumbs
Almond Flour
4 eggs

Cut eggplant into ¼” slices. I salted them and let them sit maybe 30 minutes (I really don’t like to wait 2 hours and probably wouldn’t have done it at all, but it was too early to start the dish!)

Saute onionsWhile waiting on the eggplant slices, sauté onions in olive oil. Season to taste w/ oregano, thyme, basil, salt and pepper. Once the onions are almost translucent, add the garlic. Continue cooking for 2-3 minutes. Add tomatoes and adjust seasoning. Simmer for 15-20 minutes. Turn off.

Preheat oven to 450°. When the eggplant is ready, wipe off with a paper towel. Spray a cookie tray w/ olive oil. Put the almond flour in a shallow bowl. Crack 4 eggs in another shallow bowl and whisk w/ a fork. In a third bowl, add panko and mix in freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano. (I used ~1.5-2 cups panko and 1-2 T of grated Parmigiano.) Take one slice of eggplant at a time and dredge in the flour, dip in the egg and then toss in the panko mix. Lay on the cookie sheet. Place in oven and bake 20-25 minutes until brown.

Hot from the oven

When finished remove from oven. Turn oven down to 350°. Spray glass casserole with EVOO. Place a small amount of tomato mixture on bottom of casserole. Place one layer eggplant slices on top of tomato mix. Place slices of mozzarella on top of eggplant and spoon in ricotta. Dust with grated Parmigiano. Cover this layer with half of remaining tomato mixture. Then repeat. (I had 2 layers). Pour the Prego over the dish and top with remaining panko mixture from earlier step and grated Parmigiano.

Bake for 35-40 minutes until bubbly and nicely brown.Ready for the oven

Notes: I did not peel the eggplant. Next time I will peel it for ease of breading and cutting when eating.

School Sensory Modulation Strategies

FAB Strategies®

Sensory modulation strategies, a component of sensory integration intervention, help improve behavior and reduce the need for harsh discipline in schools. Sensory modulation strategies teach students to be aware of and regulate their arousal levels for appropriate behavior and learning.  Sensory modulation strategies are particularly useful for students with behavioral, mental health, trauma history, developmental, and/or sensory processing challenges.

Sensory modulation strategies help students adjust their arousal level for improved self-control. They learn to notice whether their arousal level is low (they feel numb), medium (just right for learning) or high (too hyper to pay attention) and use coping strategies to adjust their energy level.


Most students learn best when they’re in a quiet alert state rather than overly relaxed or excited.


Maintaining appropriate arousal levels also involves social skills, as different levels of arousal are expected during class and at recess.  Occupational and mental health therapists can team…

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Sugar in Cereals – New Information from EWG

Just starting to teach some of my clients about nutrition. The first thing I teach is about sugar. Here is some more info!

my sister's pantry

Well friends, Environmental Working Group, the same folks who bring us the annual sunscreen report, have done an analysis of boxed cereals, and as we’ve suggested in the past, the news is not good. The worst of the bunch are 12 cereals that are more than 50 % sugar. Let me say that again, cereals that are more than 50% sugar.

Take a moment and picture a bowl of say, Rice Krispies or Cheerios. Now picture that bowl with a line down the middle, cereal to the left and sugar to the right, in equal measure. That is what a bowl full of Froot Loops with Marshmallows or Honey Smacks is. All of these cereals that EWG places in the “Hall of Shame” are marketed with animated characters, bright colors, and some even make nutrition claims about high fiber and other benefits that are drowned in…

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