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January-February 2017

Share a pot of Stone Soup The old folk story “Stone Soup” is a delightful account of a hungry traveler who tricks townspeople into sharing various ingredients to enhance what he tells them is soup made from a stone. At the end, everyone enjoys a delicious meal together and marvels at soup made from a stone. The story makes a fun theme for a winter potluck, where each guest brings an ingredient — vegetables, grain or meat — for a communal soup. The fun comes in making it together and tasting what results from an unexpected mix of ingredients. The anticipation of a Stone Soup party is also a good way to get children to try new vegetables by letting them pick an ingredient to contribute. To avoid the risk of everyone bringing carrots, use group e-mail, social media or an online planner like so there’s a central place to see what everyone

is bringing. Those who want to ensure a controlled outcome, might offer a suggested ingredients list for a particular flavor profile. The host, of course, supplies the pot and, if desired, stock to start the soup. Check out online recipes for “Everything Soup” to get guidance to make a tasty soup with many ingredients. Such recipes also can guide suggested ingredients lists. This approach can avoid disappointment from a soup that doesn’t taste great after such a big buildup. For best flavor, don’t just put everything in a pot to boil. Chop aromatic vegetables (carrots, onions, celery, bell peppers) and saute them in a little fat to caramelize their sugars. Browning meats beforehand will similarly enhance their flavor. Stir in leafy vegetables like spinach at the end of cooking time to preserve some of their texture.

Courtesy Valspar

Try yellow for a winter lift

Steve Buissinne

For a Stone Soup party, everyone brings a tasty ingredient to help fill the simmering pot.

Mi xe d me s s age s Unscramble a quote about facing adversity from a 1964 Nobel Peace Prize winner. Find the solution on “sknadres noacnt vdrie tou nekdsars; nyol gitlh nac od ttha. teah nocant vired tuo ehta; lyno evlo acn od tath.” – rantmi ruhtle gkni

Yellow is color that brings in the feel of sunshine to inject energy into a room. The Paint Quality Institute, an industry organization that frequently taps into color psychology for its color selection advice, suggests yellow to brighten up kitchens, breakfast areas, dark halls and entryways. “Yellow can make an interior more cheerful, which means you can enjoy the good vibe even on a cloudy day, or when stuck inside this winter,” according to the institute’s website, Yellow can lift the spirit and brighten

one’s outlook. Combining yellow with orange, as shown above, enhances the energizing effect. The walls are painted in Valspar’s “Dear Melissa,” an airy, luminous yellow. “This color can fill a room with light and awaken all five senses,” says Sue Kim, Valspar’s color strategist. The color is among Valspar’s 12 Colors of the Year for 2017. Repainting walls, ceilings and woodwork in a light color such as yellow can make rooms appear larger. However, since yellow is such a stimulating color, it’s not likely the best choice to relax with in a bedroom.

Kids inspiring kids with healthy cooking “The White House Kids’ ‘State Dinner’ Cookbook” features 273 winning recipes from kid chefs in First Lady Michelle Obama’s Healthy Lunchtime Challenge. The 574-page cookbook, published by the White House Historical Association, includes winning recipes from five years of the challenge. One winner was selected from each state and territory and invited to attend that year’s Kids’ “State Dinner” each year from 2012 through 2016. In the challenge, 8- to 12-year-olds were invited to create a healthy, affordable, original and delicious lunch recipe. Entrants were encouraged to consult to ensure their recipes met the USDA’s recom-

mended nutrition guidance by representing each of the food groups. “Over the years, we received 6,000 recipe submissions and were blown away by the energy, imagination, diversity, and culinary skills reflected in each and every one,” Michelle Obama writes in the cookbook’s foreword. The recipes, which were prepared, tasted and rated by a panel of judges, were previously included in an online cookbook as part of her “Let’s Move!” initiative. Each full-page recipe in the cookbook has its creator’s photo and comments. Also included are photos of White House Kids’ “State Dinners” and the White House Kitchen Garden. The cookbook is $39.95 at

At Home New Jersey  

Jan - Feb 2017 issue

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