THE BEST OF LIFE WHERE YOU LIVE
Salad days Entertaining ease: Blueberry pancakes bake in a muffin pan
At your service: Get storage with style in a butlerâ€™s pantry
Sipping gardens: Growing flowers for beauty and tea
Tools for top salads
Core and more: One end of this multipurpose tool can hollow out a strawberry, making room for the cream cheese filling of grilled Honey Jalapeno Poppers (recipe on McCormick.com). Flip it to scoop perfectly round melon balls. Core & More can remove stems, seeds and cores from vegetables and fruits. When the garden delivers squash, use it to carve zucchini boats and then stuff them with savory fillings. $12 at PamperedChef.com
Edible arts: Specialty cutting tools can take salads to the next level. The Fruit & Cheese Cutter ($11.50 at PamperedChef.com) trims bite-size shapes for party trays or arrangements. The watermelon garden shown also can be made using cookie cutters. Instructions at watermelon.org Slaw saver: Cole slaw isn’t just for cabbage. The Julienne Peeler gives us yet another option for prolific zucchini: Add it to a colorful salad with a variety of julienned veggies. If you’ve ever tried to cut uniform julienne strips with a knife, you might want to try this tool. It cuts the perfect texture and consistency for salads or stir-fries. $11 at PamperedChef.com
Spiral and slice: This two-in-one tool slices and makes spiral cuts. No need to pull out the food processor for a few shavings of hard cheese. Place a chunk in the base, push on the plunger and twist out shavings. Making spirals takes practice; there’s a video to help make vegetable spirals (zucchini pasta!) at PamperedChef.com, where Spiral & Slice sells for $26. Crinkle cutter: We think salads with beautifully cut vegetables actually taste better. For garnishing plates, this invaluable tool can make attractive ridged cuts of vegetables or fruits. The cutter has an ergonomic handle for comfortable cutting. Use it for cheese, too. Comes with a protective blade cover for storage. $12 at PamperedChef.com
Sharp edges: The V-Shaped Cutter has stainless steel blades that help make uniform fluted cuts. Turn melons, pumpkins and other cucurbits into party-worthy serving bowls by cutting decorative edges with the tool. The cutter also can be used on bell peppers, tomatoes, citrus fruits and boiled eggs. It sells for $10.50 at PamperedChef.com.
Eating whole, fresh vegetables is what nature intended, but sometimes there just isn’t time to tear and chop ingredients for a healthful raw salad. Enter the T-fal Balanced Living Juice Extractor to offer salads in a glass, and with all the attending vitamins and minerals. Considering a juicing program to help get in summer shape? This juicer has a powerful 500-watt motor designed for maximum juice extraction from hard vegetables like carrots and apples. It has a “soft” setting to do the same with leafy greens and fleshier fruits. Juicing has been linked to increased energy levels and numerous health benefits. Beyond that, a taste of fresh-pressed apple juice will make you never want to drink bottled again. The T-fal Balanced Living Juice Extractor is easy to disassemble, and the parts are dishwasher safe for easy cleaning. The unit comes with a pitcher that separates the froth from the juice. Online prices range from $62 to $80. Win the juicer: For a chance to win the T-fal juicer, email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, address and phone number by June 15. Make “Balanced Living” the subject and tell us where you get At Home New Jersey. Congratulations to our March-April winners: Maureen Gottlick of Fanwood wins the Nordic Ware ebelskiver pan and the “150 Best Ebelskiver Recipes” cookbook; Ruby Carter of Winfield wins the T-fal OptiGrill.
Drink your vitamins
THE BEST OF LIFE WHERE YOU LIVE
Contents THIS N I W NCED BALA ING LIV R! JUICE
The beauty of salad Whether it’s made with vegetables, fruits or a combination of both, a salad can be a culinary work of art. The best salads are full of appetizing colors, textures and flavors that come together in the most satisfying ways. May is National Salad Month, and, accordingly, this issue is a celebration of all things salad. In addition to the salad tools and ideas on the opposite page, you’ll find fruit salads, vegetable salads, salads for entertaining and salads for sandwiches. There are numerous combinations to try. With Mother’s Day in May and Father’s Day in June, this issue has great gift ideas as well as important guidance for parents. The tragic death of a Passaic County 8th-grader in a dog attack earlier this year prompted us to talk with a dog handling expert about how to keep children safe by better understanding the natural tendencies and behaviors of the dogs that are our neighbors and pets. We are reminded to never leave small children unattended with any dog. And for those who are raising children in the face of ever busier lifestyles, a guest columnist shares the parenting lessons in a movie made for kids. As our gardens provide opportunities for relaxation and renewal, two new books have ideas to heighten the enjoyment of our time with the plants we choose to grow. For would-be gardeners, we have fun tips for growing salad vegetables from seeds or scraps. On a more personal note, we would like to wish continued good health to breast cancer survivor Dr. Barbara Rosenberg, whose recent checkup found her to be cancer-free. Also, happiest congratulations to our Ella Allure designer Daniela Palumbo on her recent wedding engagement. Here’s to living, growing and eating for health and happiness! Kimberly L. Jackson Editor@AtHomeNJ.com Are you a people person? We’re seeking commission advertising sales reps who can close deals. Make your own hours and earn extra cash introducing At Home New Jersey to area businesses and selling our competitive advertising program. Commission negotiable and based on experience. E-mail Brad@AtHomeNJ.com.
PETS Avoiding danger
FITNESS Loving weights
DESIGN Dramatic draperies
CRAFTS Wedding ideas
ENTERTAINING Party salads
MAINTENANCE Prepare the grill
GARDENS Healing landscapes
AT HOME NEW JERSEY Mail: P.O. Box 193 Fanwood, NJ 07023 Telephone: (908) 656-0385 E-mail: Editor@AtHomeNJ.com Web: AtHomeNJ.com
Prizes are the full responsibility of winners, who in accepting acknowledge that publisher cannot be held liable for defects or misuse. Every effort is made to ensure accuracy; the publisher cannot be held liable for omissions or errors of fact. Consult a competent professional before adopting any suggestion, health-related or otherwise. Articles and advertisements reflect opinions of the producer and not necessarily those of the publisher. © 2014 All rights reserved. On the cover: Mandarin orange turkey salad (see Page 16) courtesy National Turkey Federation.
Understanding the wild side of man’s best friend
By Lovette Moses
On Feb. 28, a Paterson 8th grader was found dead in an icy creek after being attacked by a 115-pound bull mastiff that jumped the fence of its yard. The boy and a friend had been walking home from school in a wooded area near the yard. While they apparantly ran in different directions, both were bitten. As his friend’s bite wounds were being treated at an area hospital, authorities and family members searched for Kenneth Santillan. The 13-year-old was found dead hours later, in an incident that still has numerous unanswered questions. Neighbors said the dog was kept outside even in freezing cold and that it was taunted by passing children. A lawyer for Kenneth Santillan’s family says the dog, Trigger, bit the boy numerous times. The dog was later euthanized. When tragedies like this occur, it underscores the need to improve public awareness of dog safety practices, says Melissa Berryman, author of “People Training for Good Dogs.” Berryman says human error of all sorts is usually behind dog bites. She believes part of the solution is to help people understand the nature of dogs as pack animals. “Dogs bite for purposeful reasons, and those reasons depend on the context,” she says. “The two contexts are, within their group, with people and animals they have relationships with, and outside the group, with those they have no relationships with.” Outside their group, dogs bite in fight-orflight situations, because something appears to be prey or appears to be a foe, she says. “Within the group, dogs bite over status and resource issues. If a dog is below someone in its group in status, it will defer. If it believes it is above that person/animal, not only won’t it defer, but it will punish the subordinate for any insubordination. Dogs only have their mouths to do this with.”
Why dogs attack Berryman cites a case where a dog with obedience titles attacked the 5-year-old son of its owner, resulting in the boy’s death. “The mother had recently gotten another male dog and the two dogs were not getting along. To cope, she put the dog in question out.” Doing so created disorder in the dog’s pack, which in the dog’s mind included the boy. “Any pack disorder leaves dogs unsettled and uneasy,” she says. “Now let out a 5-yearold to play in the yard with the dog who has been disposed of its place in the house, is uneasy and unsettled about the pack disorder, and don’t watch them.” There were no witnesses to interactions between the boy and the dog before the attack. The unsettled dog might have been annoyed by something as ordinarily innocuous as the sound of the boy’s swing. The boy was
She explains: “When a dog charges you, it is trying to decide if you are friend, foe or prey. Act like a friend and pretend you are not afraid. What we do in face of a charge is extremely important and counter-intuitive.”
Never run from a dog
Muzzles are sometimes used with dogs that have exhibited aggressive behavior. Children should be taught to never approach unfamiliar dogs. Not every dog is good with children.
strangled by the chain of his swing set during the melee. People can only speculate about the details surrounding the incident, as with that of Kenneth Santillan. “Many folks fail to see the point, sometimes feeling that in pointing out why something happened I’m in some way blaming a victim,” Berryman says. “It’s important to keep the focus on the shared objective of dog-bite injuries meaningfully decreasing, and for deaths to be totally prevented,” she says. “It’s impossible to do this if the dog continues to be the only thing blamed.” Berryman, a former animal control officer who holds an undergraduate degree in pre-veterinary medicine and a master’s in public administration has worked with more than 10,000 dogs. She coaches communities, rescue groups and bite victims on safe dog interaction in Massachusetts, where she lives. Berryman notes that people within a dog’s family, as well as those who approach unknown dogs, often make tragic mistakes that lead to dog bites and attacks. Even in cases where a person doesn’t die from a dog bite, dogs often pay with their lives for mistakes made by people,” Berryman says. “Prevention has to be the priority,” she says. “It’s cute to us when the baby hugs the dog, but dogs do not say ‘I love you’ with a hug. When one dog ‘hugs’ another, it’s an act of domination,” she explains. “It should be a given that people do not hug dogs, yet the message for children to hug dogs is prevalent in our culture and the facial bites continue.” More than 4 million Americans are bitten by dogs each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Half of them are children. Among children, bite injuries are
Dog safety for kids
■ Do not approach an unfamiliar dog. ■ Do not run from a dog or scream. ■ Remain motionless (e.g., “be still like
a tree”) when approached by an unfamiliar dog. ■ If knocked over by a dog, roll into a ball and be still. ■ Do not play with a dog unless supervised by an adult. ■ Immediately report stray dogs or dogs displaying unusual behavior to an adult. ■ Avoid direct eye contact with a dog. ■ Do not disturb a dog that is sleeping, eating, or caring for puppies. ■ If bitten, immediately report the bite to an adult. Source: CDC.gov highest among those 5 to 9 years old, according to the CDC. And often, it’s the family pet. To avoid potentially dangerous situations, supervise all interactions between children and dogs — even if your dog is gentle, both Berryman and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals advise. ASPCA.org and CDC.gov offer advice to keep children safe with dogs. The list above should be reviewed with children often. Berryman cautions that those who remain still in the presence of a threatening dog will need to do so until the dog goes away. “Who knows how long that would be? And when you do move, the dog can come back at you,” she says. “So, I prefer acting like a friend.”
Running could encourage the dog to chase you as prey, and the chances of outrunning a larger dog are slim. “Instead, stand facing the dog with relaxed body language, tap your thigh with your hand (like a wagging tail) and use a high-pitched voice for a friendly greeting like ‘Good girl.’ Fake it if you are afraid,” Berryman says. Depending on the dog, this is the kind of courage that might be needed to save one’s life. Berryman says the dog will respond in one of three ways: Immediately wag its tail and relax (a low-ranking dog); stop short but still bark and be wary (a higher ranking dog); or run away (a flight-type dog). “It’s important to always keep the dog in view,” she says. “Turn and always face the dog if it tries to circle — all predators are hard-wired to bite where you’re vulnerable and can’t protect yourself.” Following these instructions should give anyone an opportunity to move to a safer place and avoid being hurt, she says. Berryman shares other commonly held myths about interacting with dogs: Myth: When greeting a new dog, you should extend your hand for it to sniff. Fact: Dogs don’t sniff each other’s paws when greeting and, like us, they prefer to be asked before being touched by a stranger. Instead of extending your hand, ask the owner and then also ask the dog by tapping your hand on your thigh simulating a wagging tail, and act friendly. The dog will either relax and nuzzle you, take some sniffs to get to know you better, or it will stay away. Myth: Breed dictates temperament. Fact: Dogs are, foremost, predatory canines that live in groups. What dictates temperament is a dog’s pack position and the role you, the human, play in the rank of group members. Just as children of the same parents can be very different, one cannot predict behavior or temperament by breed. Myth: Posting a “Beware of Dog” sign will protect you from liability if your dog injures someone on your property. Fact: Dogs can only read body language. These signs make people fear your dog, which is more likely to cause a dog to consider visitors prey and bite them. Use “No Trespassing” signs instead. “Any dog can bite,” Berryman says, “especially when it feels threatened, is exposed to prey behavior or thinks that someone lower in rank threatens its resources, such as food, toys, bedding or the attention of its owner.” Learn more about Melissa Berryman’s programs and her book at PTFGD.com
Weights: Beyond bulking up
By Nick Tardibuono
Lifting weights is more than hauling iron. It isn’t just about the biceps or sixpack abs, it’s about your whole body. Strength training requires effort, but — man or woman — you will love it once you get going and see the physical, mental and health-related results. Trust me. Here are 10 benefits of weight training — even when getting ripped is not your goal. 1. Physical performance. If you are just starting out, you will see tremendous physical changes with little effort in the first two months. Here’s why: During your first 8 weeks of training, muscle gains come thanks to your central nervous system. The output from your brain and nerve fibers gets ramped up. This will give you fast gains in strength and performance even with a mediocre diet and exercise program. Around 10-12 weeks, you will start building real muscle. This is where the game really begins. 2. Metabolic efficiency. Adding muscle mass with intense training will benefit you in many ways. You will get stronger, and you will burn more calories and fat. The food you eat won’t go straight to your butt or gut. Instead, more efficient muscle fibers will consume those fats and carbs — one of the best benefits of strength training. 3. Decreased risk of injury. Balanced strength in musculature around major joints helps your stability. Injuries happen when we overstep our capabilities; joints and connective tissue pay the price. When you train with weights, your ligaments and connective tissue grow stronger. These little strings and sheaths of cartilage and tendons hold your body together. This is why we are only as strong as our weakest link. 4. More energy. As the body adapts to the higher demands of weight training, the ordinary challenges of daily life will seem like a piece of cake. If in the past you were tired after a long day’s work, your energy level will improve with a few months of proper strength training and diet. 5. Stronger bones. Resistance training such as weight-lifting strengthens the bones and joints. That means older bodies can get up from a chair more easily. Our bodies will adapt to any stress, including weight training, by growing stronger for the task. So, not only will you look better physically, you can also become a bad-ass grandpa or grandma. 6. Lower resting blood pressure. Strength training is one of the best drugfree treatments for high blood pressure. It strengthens your heart, and a stronger heart pumps more blood with less effort. If your heart can work less, the force on your arteries decreases. 7. Decreased diabetes risk. Exercise makes your muscles better able to grab
sugars from your blood stream. This means you don’t get fat as fast. Today there’s a big increase in all kinds of diseases, but particularly Type 2 diabetes, which is an inability to clear excess sugar from the bloodstream. Just 30 minutes of medium intensity exercise daily makes your muscles super absorbent to nutrients. One to two hours after exercise is the perfect time to eat; the meal will go straight to good use. Without strength training and other exercise, your body struggles to clear what you eat. 8. Improved immunity. Your immune system becomes more effective with exercise. Expect to get fewer colds. Strength training will boost the production of macrophages, cells that attack pathogens. This means greater defense against infections and getting well more quickly. The benefit isn’t temporary; consistent exercise leads to substantial, long-term improvements in your immune system. Be aware, however, that over-training will do the opposite; it reduces immune response and makes you more susceptible to illness. 9. Better mood. Stress disrupts the way your body is supposed to function. When you lift weights, your body releases opiates, natural painkillers. These are the most powerful anti-stress messengers in your body. After a hard day’s work, there’s nothing like a lifting session to wipe it all away. 10. The mirror effect. Looking good might not be among scientifically proven benefits of strength training, but how much better will looking great make you feel? The confidence boost makes a huge difference. Still, don’t let all this convince you. Get off your behind, get to a gym and start experiencing the results for yourself. Nick Tardibuono is general manager of Robert Wood Johnson Rahway Fitness and Wellness Center in Scotch Plains. He has more than 20 years in the fitness and wellness industry and a B.S. in exercise physiology and nutrition education from Montclair State University. Contact him through rwjrahwayfitness.com or email NickT@ FitnessandWellness.org..
Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey is now accepted at RWJ Rahway, giving members access to outstanding care right in their community. With four consecutive ‘A’ grades in Patient Safety and Quality from the Leapfrog Group, RWJ Rahway represents excellence in a full-range of health and wellness services, in conjunction with the Robert Wood Johnson Health System. ■
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To learn more about RWJ Rahway’s comprehensive services, call 732.381.4200 or visit RWJRahwayInfo.com.
GET BETTER. STAY BETTER.
Real homes: Draperies for a Westfield Tudor
Design by Daniela Palumbo
Satin pillows add a feminine touch to oak-framed windows. A night shot dramatizes pleated cascades of striped silk on a pelmet designed to both soften and accent the room’s features.
High ceilings with exposed beams of heavy oak timber and windows surrounded by the same sturdy, dark wood are part of the enduring appeal of Tudor interiors. Intricately carved detail in the woodwork adds an elegance that makes many of us swoon over these American homes whose design nods to medieval English architecture. Behind the stone or brick of their half-timbered facades with steeply pitched gables, the strong wooden detailing of Tudor homes imbues a certain coziness. It also can make rooms feel dark, even with numerous windows. So how does one soften the masculinity of windows framed by an abundance of exquisite dark oak? The solution in the living room of one Westfield home was to bring in lighter, softer materials, creating balance with feminine contrast in satin and silk. “The owner is respectful of her traditional Tudor home while still mixing in contempo-
rary accessories,” explains Daniela Palumbo, owner and principal designer of Ella Allure Interior Design Center in Westfield. To enhance the home’s furnishings and decoration, the designer selected materials from Fabricut for the window treatments and throw pillows. A button-tufted round pillow and a gimp and ribbon-trimmed bolster were made in satin, matching the flat box valance. “We used lighter fabric colors to brighten up the dark woods,” Palumbo said. Texture is most pronounced on cotton upholstery with a raised geometric pattern that was selected to cover the window seat cushion. Palumbo created a custom design for the window treatments, draping the valance with cascades of striped silk, reverse pleated to add an element of controlled drama above each panel of solid oak molding. “The stripes also accentuate the room’s linearity,” she said. The goal of bringing more light into the room was accomplished by
playing up the home’s traditional architectural elements with a cooler more modern color scheme of glacier blues, a piercing of green, metallic golds and neutral browns. Mirrors also help intensify the room’s light, she said. “We were conscious of textures that we incorporated into all these treatments,” Palumbo said. “It’s always about texture in design.” Ella Allure Interior Design Center offers a range of services, from consultancy to singleroom schemes or complete refurbishment. Upholstery and window treatments are a specialty. The workroom can give new life to existing furnishings with custom re-upholstery services. All work is done by hand with new foam and frame adjustments as needed. Designer brands: Beacon Hill, CocoAllure, Duralee, Houlès, Hunter Douglas, Highland Court, Kravet, Lee Jofa, Nate Berkus, Robert Allen, Samuel & Sons, Scalamandre, Stark, Stroheim, Thibaut, Vervain and others.
A fine reflection
Beyond allowing us to check our appearance, mirrors are a design tool that can enhance and redirect a room’s lighting, resulting in brighter, more uplifting spaces. No matter what your decorating style, mirrors in various sizes, shapes and styles can offer this effect. Designers also use mirrors as focal points that can reflect and accentuate lovely views. In smaller homes, accurate placement of larger mirrors can create an illusion of spaciousness. Try this: If there’s a decorative mirror you really love, buy multiples to arrange like art. Three oblong mirrors hung like panels can make an attractive display.
Attention to the details
ELLA ALLURE interior design center
UPHOLSTERY l WINDOW TREATMENTS l WALL COVERINGS 220 E. BROAD STREET, WESTFIELD, NJ EllaAllure.com 908.654.3527
Designs by Heidi Piron/photography by Christian Garibaldi
Curved cabinetry encourages a visual glide through a white butler’s pantry with glass cabinet doors that help open up a small room designed for maximum storage. At left, glamorous sophistication in a convergence of daring black cabinetry, white countertops, a shimmering satin nickel sink and an antique mirrored backsplash.
Kitchen Insider: The butler’s pantry at your service The butler’s pantry is a luxury space from drawers make room for the large serving pieces, glassware, silverware and linens used a bygone era, conjuring visions of the genteel life portrayed on the PBS series “Downton for parties or holidays. The area also can function as a beverage station, and I’ll often Abbey.” include a refrigerator for juices But it is even more relevant and snacks that kids can grab in homes today, accommodatwithout getting in the way of ing our informal lifestyle without the help of “staff.” Historiparents cooking in the kitchen. As a bar area for entertaining, cally, the butler’s pantry was an key features include a bar sink, anteroom linking the kitchen an under-counter wine cooler, and dining room of a grand an ice maker and perhaps a home. Fine china and silver were stored there for orderly locking cabinet for hard liquor. If space permits, we’ll add plating of meals prepared for a larger wine refrigerator, a the dining room. Dining pieces dishwasher and a coffee system. also were washed there before I design a butler’s pantry to being returned to their places. HEIDI PIRON A modern butler’s pantry is reflect the client’s lifestyle, often with specialty hardware and stone or wood still used for storage, but it might now showsurfaces, which are more forgiving on wine case heirloom china with lighting placed glasses and fine china than stone. inside glass-front cabinets. And guests are Making room: A butler’s pantry becomes invited in, so I love to give these spaces a very different feel than the hard-working kitchen. more crucial in open-plan kitchens encompassing family and breakfast rooms because Deep cabinetry, pull outs and specialty
there’s less storage space. If barware and entertaining items are stored in a butler’s pantry, the kitchen can accommodate everyday items, with bulk goods stowed in a walk-in pantry. A closet or laundry room can sometimes be converted into a butler’s pantry. When there isn’t space elsewhere, I will usually carve out a beverage bar within the kitchen. The design of a butler’s pantry works with the kitchen or dining room, and I’ll use a similar color palette so it does not feel disconnected. In the butler’s pantry with black cabinetry shown above, I flipped the color scheme of the home’s white kitchen, which has black focal points, including a Viking range. This butler’s pantry gave us an opportunity to explore the glamor of black in a traditional house. Heidi Piron is an award-winning kitchen designer. See her work at HeidiPiron.com. Visit Heidi Piron Design & Cabinetry by appointment at 44 Maple St., 2nd Floor, Summit. (908) 598-0035.
When a butler’s pantry is designed for entertaining, details such as a mosaic sink or crystal cabinet knobs always play a role.
Crafty wedding book offers unexpected ideas Want to save some money on a wedding? Look to your kitchen. Friends might be called in to help turn out home-baked cakes and other reception treats. And your refrigerator could offer some fresh inspiration. Could foods become wedding décor? What might you do with eggs? Think of asparagus for attractive reception table displays. Borrow a page from childhood and cut potatoes into personalized stamps to decorate cloth napkins and other table linens. And don’t eat that savory cabbage! Its highly textured leaves can offer an unexpected jolt of green when tied around a vase filled with parsley. Such ideas are found in “Stylish Weddings” by Jenny Doh (Lark Crafts, $19.95). She taps the creativity of entrepreneurial “lifestyle” bloggers, magazine editors and photographers for weddings where crafting cuts costs. Outdoor weddings are popular in this volume, and anyone who dreams of country
life might like the carefree and casual “Farm Chicks Wedding.” A barn ceremony is followed by a breakfast-buffet on wooden tables in the surrounding meadow. Bridesmaids wear sundresses and sandals. Groomsmen don plaid shirts and khakis. The band plays from the flat bed of a farm truck. Money-saving ideas: Collect serving pieces from friends and family. Pluck backyard flowers for centerpieces, bouquets and boutonnieres. There are also lots of tips for traditionalists who might prefer antiques or family heirlooms, lots of ribbon, sparkling rhinestones and vintage fabrics. The flowers are from florists, but couples are encouraged to “incorporate as many handmade elements as possible.” In the “Rustic and Elegant” wedding, old doilies become table runners, outdoor lights and stencils for thank-you cards. Thrift shopping leads to an assortment of outdoor chandeliers, including one with faux candles in Mason jars hung from a section of iron gate.
A hanger pulled into heart shape is covered with small wildflowers and greenery held in place by thin wire.
Photos courtesy Lark Crafts
An inflated balloon is covered with vintage doilies and outfitted with a light kit to make outdoor globe lights for one of the most impressive projects in “Stylish Weddings.”
Wrapped asparagus centerpieces are among the book’s many ideas for decorating with vegetables and fruits.
Heavy wire is twisted into stands for vases made from carefully emptied eggs. Each holds water for tiny flower arrangements.
141A East Broad Street, Westfield, NJ 07090 Phone: (908) 654-6824 ■ stores.ebay.com/Golden-Bee-Antiques Hours: Wednesday-Friday 10:30-6, Thursday until 8; Saturday 10-5; Sunday 12-4 Closed Monday & Tuesday Across from Trader Joe’s
Fine Home Furnishings ■ Collectibles ■ Gifts ■ French Antiques ■ Estate Jewelry Buy ■ Sell ■ Consignment ■ Estate Sales
The Last Firefly has ... Beads and pottery: Artistowner Marla Russo’s one-ofa-kind jewelry, made from new and recycled elements, is displayed with Americanmade pottery. The shop specializes in hand-crafted items and locally made gifts. Below a life-size mermaid carved from aged wood.
The Radish Love tote is one of more than 20 library-inspired projects in “BiblioCraft” by Jessica Pigza. The stencils were inspired by the early 20th century design below.
Tap libraries for craft ideas To find the projects everyone else isn’t making, or to gain time-tested knowledge to improve your crafts, Jessica Pigza would suggest checking out a library. Pigza, assistant curator of New York Public Library’s rare book’s division, has written “BiblioCraft” (Abrams, $27.50), a guide to using your local library as well as accessing the holdings of research libraries at museums, universities, historical societies or other organizations. These special collections are sometimes open to the public and, increasingly, have materials offered online. Her own library has online resources (nypl.org), as do the Library of Congress (loc.gov) and international libraries such as the British Library (bl. uk). Pigza devotes an entire chapter to digital libraries. “They allow me to discover and browse collections that I might otherwise never be able to experience,” she writes. The point of accessing these collections — physical or digital — is to learn more about the history of a favorite craft, and to look for early examples. AntiquePatternLibrary.org, for example, is a work in progress that has scans of old patterns that might present new ideas for knitters, quilters, bead artists and others. The first part of BiblioCraft is a thorough guide to finding the right library for your project or interest and then planning an information-gathering visit. Pigza covers the basics to navigate libraries, detailing the benefits of doing so. She lists organizations that hold significant collections on specific areas of interest such
as costumes and fashion, art and design, maps and cartography. The book has more than 20 libraryinspired projects including the stenciled Radish Love tote shown above. It was inspired by the early 20th century design shown above right. Stencil-making tips: Photocopy your image, enlarging to desired size. Center image under clear acetate. Use a fine-tip permanent marker to trace the design. Place acetate on a cutting mat and cut out shapes with a craft knife. Her radish and leaves use separate stencils. Pigza works on a protected surface and tucks a doubled sheet of craft paper into the bag to prevent paint bleeding through. Stencils are attached with painter’s tape, and fabric paint is dabbed on with a stencil brush in two layers for better color saturation. It is unnecessary to allow drying time between coats, she advises. Let paint dry before removing the stencil, however. She advises following manufacturers instructions to heat “set” or “fix” the completed design.
Bangles: Expandable beaded charm bracelets that pair well with Alex and Ani designs are made in Scotch Plains by Charlene Siskoske.
Baby gifts: Sweater and blue crocheted shoes by Karen Barker with a card made by Donna O’Hara. Both live in Scotch Plains.
Collectibles: Is Dad a baseball fan or a Trekie? Check out the shop’s sports and Star Trek memorabilia, vintage figures, cameras, typewriters and other cool items of the past.
The Last Firefly
1906 Bartle Avenue Scotch Plains, NJ (908) 288-7508 Find us on Facebook
The Lone Ranger
Fruit salad: Looks good naked or well dressed Right around June, when markets become fragrant with the scent of cantaloupes, peaches and strawberries, it’s the start of peak fruit salad season. For an option that can rival cake, pair slices of ripe banana with chunks of equally ripe mango (look for firm fruit that gives a little when squeezed and that’s more red, yellow and orange than green). For the best salad mix, aim to get in as much color as possible. With the blended flavors of fruit that’s sweet and ripe, the eating can’t get much better.
Basic fruit salad (10 servings) In a 2-quart bowl, combine 5 cups of diced mixed fruit such as melons, grapes, kiwi, blueberries, mango, strawberries and papaya. If the fruit needs a little help, toss with one of the following dressings. Honey-orange: In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons each of honey and orange juice concentrate with 1 teaspoon fresh lemon or lime juice. Lemon-poppy seed: 3 tablespoons honey, 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 3/4 teaspoon McCormick Gourmet Collection organic poppy seed, 1/4 teaspoon McCormick Gourmet Collection organic Chinese ginger Ginger dressing: 3 tablespoons honey, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon McCormick ground ginger. For a little more kick, try using fresh grated ginger. Very vanilla glaze: 1/4 cup powdered sugar with 2 teaspoons McCormick vanilla extract
Grilled tropical fruit salad (8 servings) 1. Heat grill to medium heat. Blend 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar in small bowl. With paper towels, pat dry 2 thick fresh pineapple slices; 1 medium mango, peeled, pitted and sliced; 3 red or black plums, halved and pitted; and 2 peaches or nectarines, halved and pitted. Brush fruit lightly with olive oil mixture. Place brushed-side-down on grill; brush lightly with remaining mixture. Cover and grill over direct heat 2 to 3 minutes per side or until fruit is just softened. Remove from grill to a baking dish; let cool.
This 4-quart salad spinner and the expandable over-the-sink cutting board are from the Sandra by Sandra Lee line at Sears. The spinner also dries vegetables and fruits. Each sells for $19.99 at Sears.com.
Sweet and spicy: Watermelon with feta cheese makes a salad that plays with sweet-salty contrast. For another take, try a salad that adds spicy heat to the sweet-salty blend. With flavors of Mexico, this salad has summer melons and queso fresco, a salty, fresh Mexican cheese, in tequilalime dressing. The recipe from EatWisconsinCheese. com includes Wisconsin queso fresco, pineapple, honeydew, mango, red onion and finely diced jalepeno. You can omit the pepper, but remember that breaking a sweat actually helps you cool down.
2. In a large bowl, combine 1 cup of blackberries, blueberries or sliced strawberries with one peeled, sliced kiwi fruit; set aside. Cut grilled fruit into bitesize pieces; add to bowl. Dressing: In a small dish, blend 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1/4 cup freshsqueezed orange juice, 2 tablespoons brown sugar and a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar. Drizzle over fruit. Toss with 1 teaspoon grated lime peel. Garnish with mint, fresh basil or cilantro, if desired. Serve or cover and chill. Great plain, over cake, ice cream or yogurt.
Win this salad starter set There are so many kitchen tools you can live without. A salad spinner should not be one of them. How long does it take to drip-dry lettuce in a colander? And how many paper towels does it take to dab off every drop of water? A salad spinner can dry salad greens in seconds. That means no more diluted dressing or soggy sandwiches. Prices can range from less than $5 to more than $50, with price variation related mainly to design and the mechanism that spins the inner drying bowl. But you don’t have to spend a lot to get the benefits. Our test kitchen manager has used the same $5 salad spinner without fail for more than 20 years.
The model shown is only $19.99. Salad spinners truly justify their shelf space as a three-way kitchen tool when the spinner bowl doubles as a strainer and the outer bowl is used for serving. May is National Salad Month, and to encourage us all to eat more of these healthy meals, Sears has provided a salad spinner and cutting board from the Sandra by Sandra Lee cookware collection. For a chance to win the set, email email@example.com with your name, address and phone number by June 15. Make “Sandra” the subject and tell where you find At Home New Jersey.
Love is blue Ever have overnight guests arrive without warning? Keeping a big bag of blueberries in the freezer can save you. Pancakes are a luscious treat when topped with blueberry sauce that only needs the berries, powdered sugar and lemon extract. And making the cute puffed pancakes shown below is even easier. Whipped up in a blender, they’re baked in muffin cups from ingredients any cook will have on hand. These three favorite blueberry recipes are all easy and delicious. When blueberries are at peak, usually late June, use fresh ones to make the frozen cheesecake. Fresh berries are essential for the salad, where salty feta cheese enhances blueberries and roasted butternut squash in a lemony dressing with couscous — a light-textured, quick-cooking grainy pasta. Show your blueberry love by attending New Jersey’s blueberry festivals on June 28 at historic Whitesbog Village, where the first cultivated blueberry was developed, and on June 29 in Hammonton, where so much of the state’s official fruit is grown commercially. Festival details on AtHomeNJ.com.
Dutch Boy puffed pancakes (4 servings) Cooking oil spray 1 small banana 1/2 cup low-fat milk 3 eggs 2 teaspoons McCormick vanilla extract 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 1/4 cup whole wheat flour 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1 tablespoon sugar 1/8 teaspoon salt Blueberry-lemon sauce (recipe follows) 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. For the pancakes, coat a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking oil spray. Cut banana in 1/2-inch slices and place a slice in each muffin cup. Set aside. 2. Pour milk, eggs and vanilla extract into blender container. Add remaining dry ingredients. Cover and blend on medium speed until smooth and increased in volume. Pour batter into muffin cups, filling to cover banana slices. Bake 13 to 15 minutes or until pancake edges are golden brown. Cool 2 minutes on a wire rack. Blueberry-lemon sauce: Dissolve 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar in 2 tablespoons of water in a small saucepan. Add 1-1/2 cups frozen blueberries and 1/2 teaspoon McCormick lemon extract. Boil over medium heat, stirring constantly, about 3 minutes or until blueberries have thawed and sauce has thickened. To serve: Place pancakes on serving plates and spoon berry sauce into each center. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar, if desired. (Try serving them with Jimmy Dean turkey sausage links.) Nutrition information (per 3-pancake serving): 222 calories, 8g fat (2g saturated), 160mg cholesterol, 144mg sodium, 31g carbs, 3g fiber, 14g sugars, 8g protein – Adapted recipe, photo courtesy McCormick.com
Frozen blueberry-lime cheesecake squares (9 servings)
place in pan bottom, covering in a single layer.
7 graham cracker squares 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries 4 ounces fat-free cream cheese, softened 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk 1/2 cup lime juice 2 teaspoons lime zest Blueberry-pineapple salsa (recipe below)
2. In a blender, puree blueberries, cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk until smooth; add lime juice and zest; blend well. Spread blueberry mixture evenly over crackers. Cover and freeze until solid, about 2 hours.
Blueberry-pineapple salsa: In a bowl, toss 1-1/2 cups fresh blueberries, 1 cup chopped fresh pineapple, 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, 2 tablespoons lime juice and 1 tablespoon brown sugar. Cover and chill until serving time. 1. Lightly coat a 9-inch square pan with butter. Break graham crackers along the half lines and
To serve: Let sit at room temperature until edges soften, about 10 minutes. Serve with the salsa. (Wrap unused squares and keep frozen.) Nutrition information (per serving): 227 calories, 5g fat (3g saturated), 16mg cholesterol, 117mg sodium, 42g carbs, 2g fiber, 35g sugars, 6g protein – Adapted recipe, photo courtesy U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council
Blueberry-butternut squash couscous salad (6 servings) 1 cup diced butternut squash 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided 1-1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth 1-1/4 cup raw couscous 1/4 cup lemon juice 1/4 teaspoon pepper 3 scallions, thinly sliced 1-1/2 cups fresh blueberries 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese 3 cups baby arugula 1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a large bowl, toss squash with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet; bake until tender, about 22 minutes; let cool.
4. In a large bowl combine the cooled squash, cooled couscous, scallions, blueberries and feta. 5. Spread arugula on a platter. Drizzle with a tablespoon of dressing. Stir remaining dressing into couscous salad. Spoon over arugula.
2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, bring broth to a boil. Stir in couscous, remove from heat, cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
Nutrition information (per serving): 331 calories, 16g fat (4g saturated), 17mg cholesterol, 357mg sodium, 40g carbs, 3g fiber, 6g sugars, 9g protein
3. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, the remaining olive oil and pepper; set aside.
– Adapted recipe, photo courtesy U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council
Meet & eat
Introduce variety to your salad with less-familiar combinations Butter bean salad with sweet chili dressing
(4 servings) Sweet chili dressing: In a large bowl, whisk together 1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper, 2 teaspoons maple syrup, 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil, 2 teaspoons tamari.
Umami is a Japanese word for savory flavors, like those of shiitake mushrooms. At Asian markets, find smooth and crackled-top varieties.
Three-mushroom salad with mustard gouda (4 servings) Sherry dressing: In a medium bowl, whisk together 5 tablespoons olive oil, 3 tablespoons sherry (or 2 tablespoons cider vinegar), 2 tablespoons fresh thyme (or 2 teaspoons dried), 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon honey 1. Slice 7 ounces of Beemster Mustard Seed cheese in narrow strips or grate. Toss a 2-cup mixture of sliced cremini, oyster and shiitake mushrooms (about 3 of each type) in dressing. Remove to another bowl to marinate for at least 1 hour. Drain and blend juices into the dressing. 2. Tear a small head of red leaf lettuce into
bite-size pieces and toss by hand with remaining dressing to coat evenly. Divide lettuce among four plates. Spoon marinated mushrooms equally over lettuce. Divide a thinly sliced small red onion among the plates. Add the cheese and freshly ground black pepper as desired. Note: Beemster Mustard Seed cheese can be difficult to find, but it’s a cheese worth the effort to order online. Any Beemster cheese can be usd in this recipe. Available at Wegmans. — Adapted recipe, photo courtesy of Beemster Premium Dutch Cheese; recipes at Beemster.us
1. Drain two 15-ounce cans of butter beans and rinse. Mix drained beans, two thinly sliced scallions and 3 - 4 tablespoons coarsely chopped celery leaves into dressing. Add 1/3 cup crushed peanuts and freshly ground black pepper just before serving. — Recipe, photo from “The Best of Rose Elliot: The Ultimate Vegetarian Collection” (Octopus Publishing Group, $29.99)
Large white butter beans are lima beans, of which there are several varieties.
Boiled red-skin and purple potatoes can add color, texture and flavor. IdahoPotato.com has recipes for Nicoise salads and traditional potato salads.
Nicoise salad with lobster and red Idaho potatoes (4 servings) Basil vinaigrette: Make basil-infused olive oil by immersing 6 stems of fresh basil overnight in 2 cups of olive oil. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 tablespoon salt, 1 ounce sherry vinegar, 4 ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1/2 tablespoon finely chopped fresh garlic, 1 teaspoon dry mustard and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Strain the basil oil (save basil for cooked sauce) and add slowly to other ingredients, whisking in. Add 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil. 1. Marinate 16 ounces fresh picked lobster meat with 1/3 cup of the basil vinaigrette in a plastic bag for 30 minutes. 2. Wash and dry 1-1/2 pounds small Idaho red potatoes. Boil until cooked
but still firm, 10-15 minutes. Cut in quarters while warm. Place in a plastic bag with 1 cup of basil vinaigrette and let sit while assembling the rest of the salad. 3. Clean and steam 3/4 pound fresh green beans in 1/2 inch water until al dente. Immerse in an ice water bath to stop cooking. 4. Toss 1-1/2 pounds salad greens in 1/2 cup basil vinaigrette and divide equally among four plates. Top greens with equal portions of lobster. Around the lobster on each plate, arrange divided Idaho red potatoes and green beans. Divide between salad plates 32 cherry tomatoes, 32 halved pitted Nicoise olives, 2 tablespoons capers and 4 boiled eggs, quartered. — Adapted recipe, photo courtesy of Idaho Potato Commission; recipes at IdahoPotato.com
Start with a plate of greens and you can create an appetizingly beautiful salad. Purple from cabbage or onions, red tomatoes and radishes, pale green avocados or olives, orange carrots or bell peppers, yellow squash or corn, beige artichoke hearts, and many colors of beans. A salad also is a safe way to experiment with what may be less familiar flavors — the umami of shiitaki mushrooms, the satisfying texture of large white butter beans, the lightly sweet and refreshingly crisp flesh of gnarly-skinned jicama. Even a sprinkle of cooked grains such as quinoa or farrow can turn a green salad into a heartier meal. And how about incorporating boiled red or purple potatoes and lobster for a new spin on Salade Niçoise? There are so many foods to work into a salad that you could eat one every day of the year and never grow bored. Here are a few ideas to start.
Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is a light, mildly flavored complete protein source with many culinary uses. It is a seed that comes in several colors. Rinse before cooking to eliminate bitterness.
Salmon and quinoa salad (6-8 servings) Dressing: In large bowl, whisk together 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel, 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice and 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill. 1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line small baking sheet with foil; coat lightly with olive oil spray. 2. Bring 2 cups water to boil in medium saucepan. Stir in 1 cup quinoa; return to boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 10 to 15 minutes or until tender and liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes. 3. Place 1 pound salmon fillet skin-side-down on foil. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons olive
oil, sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper, and top with about 5 sprigs of dill. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until fish flakes easily in thickest part. Remove from oven; cool slightly.
Jicama (pronounced hee-cah-mah) is a tuberous root vegetable of Mexico. Cut in spears, it is a delicious crudite for dips, and can be coarsely grated for slaws. Find it at produce stores and the ethnic section of most supermarkets.
Chopped salad with cornbread croutons (4 servings)
5. Divide 1 bag prewashed spinach leaves (or leaf lettuce) among serving plates. Top with quinoa mixture. Break salmon into large chunks and arrange over spinach and quinoa.
1. Cornbread croutons: Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Spread 4 cups of cubed cornbread (or corn muffins or corn cakes) on a baking sheet with sides. In a small bowl, whisk 2 tablespoons olive oil with 1/2 teaspoon cumin and 1⁄2 teaspoon ancho chile powder. Drizzle over the cornbread and mix gently by hand. Bake until golden brown and a bit crisp, 12 to 15 minutes.
— Adapted recipe, photo courtesy of International Olive Council, more recipes at AddSomeLife.com
2. Cilantro-lime dressing: Add one garlic clove to the bowl of a food processor, and process until finely
4. Assemble salad: Add 1/2 cup sliced ripe olives, 1/4 cup sliced green olives and 3 tablespoons sliced green onion to cooled quinoa. Stir mixture into dressing.
chopped, about 8 seconds. Add 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 1/2 cup cilantro, 1/4 cup (packed) coarsely chopped chives, 1 teaspoon lime zest, 3 tablespoons lime juice, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, 1 tablespoon honey, 3/4 teaspoon seeded coarsely chopped jalapeño, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 5 grinds black pepper. Process until smooth, about 20 seconds. 2. Salad: Using the photo above as a guide, arrange on a white platter 4 cups coarsely chopped romaine lettuce, 8 ounces cubed sharp Cheddar (or Monterey
Jack), 1 cup corn, 1 cup halved grape tomatoes, 2 ripe avocados, pitted and sliced; and 1 cup matchstick slices peeled jìcama. Sprinkle salad lightly with salt, if desired, and drizzle the avocado and jicama with lime juice. Serve with dressing and cornbread croutons. Notes: Zest the lime before you juice it. Prepare dressing right before serving for vivid color. Chill and dry lettuce for maximum crispness. — Adapted recipe from “Meatless All Day” by Dina Cheney (The Taunton Press, $19.95)
Sandwich salads with uncommon flavors “Meaty doesn’t have to mean meat-based,” Dina Cheney writes at the start of the dinner chapter in her new vegetarian cookbook “Meatless All Day.” She makes Beet Wellington in a flaky crust with mushrooms, goat cheese, and a velvety Pinot Noir sauce. Spaghetti comes with white bean balls, and burgers involve lentils, brown rice, chickpeas. This is a cookbook where ingredients lists often need two pages. Not only because there are many, but because Cheney is exceptionally precise — as in “10 grinds of black pepper” precise. Nearly every one of the cookbook’s 85 vegetarian recipes is beautifully photographed and enticing. You’ll just need to set aside plenty of time to make them.
Gale Gand wears lots of hats: wife, mom, chef, restaurateur, television personality. But she’s not too busy to show others how easy it can be to make lunch. “There’s no reason why that meal can’t be wonderful, good for you and varied from day to day,” she writes in her new cookbook, “Gale Gand’s Lunch!” It includes 150 recipes from everyday to elegant: soups, grain and pasta dishes, salads and, of course, sandwiches. “Instead of plain old chicken salad, how about chicken salad punctuated by the sweetness of dried cranberries and the crisp subtle flavor of fennel?” The featured recipe is one of four for chicken salad, which Gand says should always include something crunchy.
Fennel might just be the new “it” flavor. Chefs are shaving it into salads and onto pizzas. Gale Gand tops panko-and-Parmesan-crusted tilapia with a relish of fennel, cucumbers, tomatoes, scallions, orange and basil. Raw, the bulb has a licoriceanise seed flavor. Cooking brings out a lemony quality. Try it in salads, soups or roasted as a side dish. Snip the leaves for garnish. Fennel bulb is a good source of dietary fiber and vitamin C. Fennel seeds are a familiar seasoning in sausages.
Cranberry chicken salad with fennel (4-6 servings) 4 cups chopped roasted chicken 1/4 cup dried cranberries 1/4 cup diced fennel bulb 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted 1/2 cup mayonnaise 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 teaspoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper Place the chicken, cranberries, fennel, almonds, mayonnaise, lemon juice, parsley and pepper in a medium bowl.
Stir with a fork until well combined. Use in a sandwich or on some mixed greens for a nice lunch salad. Store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Note: Try cherries or chopped dried apricots instead of the cranberries. Nutrition information (per serving): 558 calories, 38g fat (8g saturated), 142mg cholesterol, 255mg sodium, 10g carbs, 2g fiber, 7g sugars, 44g protein — From “Gale Gand’s Lunch” © Gale Gand. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.
Like the peppery flavor of arugula? Try watercress, a petite green often associated with tea and finger sandwiches. Don’t let its dainty looks fool you. Watercress packs the same sulfurous punch as mustard greens and horesradish. A great source of calcium, vitamin C and iron, it has been studied as a cancer fighter; see watercress.com. At ShopRite and Kings.
Egg salad tartines with watercress (6-8 servings)
while in the cold water.
12 large eggs 1/2 cup mayonnaise 1/4 cup minced chives 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 1 teaspoon lemon zest 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt 10 grinds black pepper 1 cup watercress leaves Sliced pumpernickel or rye bread 32 basil leaves 4 radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced
2. Transfer eggs to a bowl, mash with a potato masher. Add in mayonnaise, chives, shallots, mustard, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Mix well.
1. Cover eggs with cold water in a large saucepan. Cover pan and bring to a boil over high heat. When the water comes to full boil, remove from heat and let sit, covered, for 12 minutes. Strain and plunge in cold water. Peel
3. Place watercress sprigs on bread slices. Add egg salad to each slice, top with basil leaves, radish slices and a few grinds black pepper. Note: Vary herbs by substituting fresh tarragon, dill or chervil for the chives. Nutrition information (per serving): 223 calories, 19g fat (4g saturated), 323mg cholesterol, 340mg sodium, 2g carbs, 0g fiber, 1g sugars, 10g protein — Adapted recipe from “Meatless All Day” by Dina Cheney (The Taunton Press, $19.95)
Salad wraps: Look, Ma, no bread
Beauty and healthy food It’s an easy starting point: First thing every morning, drink a glass of filtered water into which the juice of half a lemon has been squeezed. That’s one of Canadian nutritionist Joy McCarthy’s prescription’s for “Joyous Health” (Penguin, $29), the title of her new book. Lemon water, McCarthy says, helps cleanse the body by increasing the liver’s detoxifying enzymes and stimulating bile, which ushers out toxins. Lemon water has a laxative effect and is said to create an alkaline (rather than acidic) environment in the body, which devotees believe helps fight disease. But drink it from a glass straw, rinse your mouth and drink lots of water all day to protect teeth. The quality of one’s skin reflects liver and digestive health, and McCarthy says skin, energy level and more will improve with a few weeks of morning lemon water. She also advises eating mostly vegetables, making green ones at least half of one meal per day. Keeping a journal to record all food and drink will help learn their effect on mood and energy level, she says. McCarthy’s is a youthful, modern take on age-old natural living advice from the likes of Jethro Kloss (“Back to Eden”) and the prolific nutritionist-chiropractor Bernard Jensen, whom she credits. She makes healthy foods look beautiful and delicious; it’s easier to forgo the bun when plump turkey burgers on a heap of spinach are topped with avocado, yellow tomatoes and red onion (See Page 16). McCarthy’s creative recipes, many adapted from her JoyousHealth.ca website, are marked detox, dairy-free, vegan, gluten-free or “Joyous comfort,” which includes a dip of pureed beets, garlic and soft goat cheese. Beet and garlic fans would agree.
Low-carb eating programs and gluten-free lifestyles have more and more people shunning bread. But even if, as we do, you believe whole-grain breads have their place in a balanced diet, you might still enjoy what we like to think of as portable salads. The “Raw Sunshine” veggie wraps from Joy McCarthy are gorgeous little vegan treats that would be amazing for a work-day lunch. Try using different greens to wrap things up, and vary the ingredients to keep them exciting and enjoy a variety of nutrients. Follow the National Pork Board’s lead, and you can create a more indulgent wrapped salad with whatever ingredients you can manage to roll into a good slice of ham or turkey. Either way you go, it’s a wrap.
Cobb salad roll-ups (4 servings) 1/4 cup mayonnaise 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped 1/2 small avocado, chopped 1 Roma tomato, seeded and chopped 2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled 2 bacon slices, crisp-cooked, crumbled 8 slices lean deli ham Romaine or leaf lettuce 1. Combine mayonnaise and mustard in a medium bowl. Fold in eggs, avocado, tomato, blue cheese and bacon until combined. Set aside. 2. Layer each ham slice with lettuce. Place a heaping tablespoon of the egg mixture at one end of each slice. Starting at the filling end, roll up each ham slice. Secure with a wooden pick. Note: Thinly sliced deli turkey or chicken may be used along with or instead of the ham slices.
© Nicholas Collister
Nutrition information (per wrap): 308 calories,26g fat (7g saturated), 167mg cholesterol, 1,621mg sodium, 5g carbs, 2g fiber, 1g sugars, 15g protein
‘Raw Sunshine’ veggie wraps
— Recipe, image courtesy National Pork Board, PorkBeInspired.com
4 large collard or kale leaves 1/2 cup thinly sliced red cabbage 1 carrot, cut in matchsticks 2 green onions, cut in matchsticks 6 snow peas or green beans, thinly sliced lengthwise 1 cucumber, cut in matchsticks Almond sauce (recipe below) 1 avocado, peeled and sliced Optional: pea shoots
(Makes 4 wraps)
1. Almond sauce: To a food processor or blender, add 1/2 ripe peeled avocado, 1 clove minced garlic, the juice of 1/2 lemon, a tablespoon of almond butter, 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger, 1 teaspoon wheat-free tamari sauce and 1/3 cup filtered water. Process until smooth and set aside. 2. Wraps: With a knife, score the
center rib of each collard or kale leaf to make it easier to fold. In a bowl, toss together cabbage, carrot, green onions, snow peas and cucumber. Spread a dollop of almond sauce on the inside of each kale leaf. Place a small handful of vegetable mixture in the center of each green. Top with a slice or two of avocado and some pea shoots, if using. Roll up leaves like wraps. Insert a toothpick to secure, if needed. Refrigerate any leftover almond sauce to use as a dip. Nutrition information (per 4-wrap serving): 475 calories, 32g fat (4g saturated), 0mg cholesterol, 460mg sodium, 45g carbs, 18g fiber, 10g sugars, 13g protein — From “Joyous Health: Eat and Live Well Without Dieting,” © Joy McCarthy, 2014 (Pintail, $29)
Vinegars brighten salad dressings and more If you want to understand the way various vinegars can accentuate flavors, chef and television personality Nathan Lyon would suggest starting with a simple salad of strawberries, cantaloupe and mint leaves. His cookbook “Great Food Starts Fresh” includes such a salad with the option to use either balsamic or white wine vinegar. If you want the berry flavor to shine, use a good quality aged balsamic, he says. “If you’d like that clarity of the cantaloupe to come through, use the white wine vinegar.” “When I look at the dishes I am going to pair with a vinegar, I look at how those ingredients taste by themselves,” he says. It’s understanding how ingredients will stand up to your chosen vinegar, much like pairings with wine, from which some vinegars are made. For lighter flavors (think fresh peach chutney), he uses white wine vinegar. “It is the lightest. It has elegance that is going to accentuate very delicate flavors.” For barbecue, where vinegar’s acidity helps tenderize meat by breaking down connective tissue, he might use apple cider vinegar. Vinegars help meat take in the flavor of herbs and other seasonings, says Jen Tracy, a spokeswoman for Mizkan, which produces Holland House and Nakano brand vinegars. She likes milder rice vinegars in marinades for chicken. “If you are using vinegar in a marinade, higher acidity means the flavor is going penetrate the meat more easily.” Acidity also makes vinegar a natural preservative, found in nearly every condiment. It’s in mustard, mayonnaise and ketchup; barbecue sauce, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce; salad dressings and relishes. In these preparations, vinegar enhances flavor while inhibiting bacterial growth. For those who would experiment, Tracy suggests simply changing the vinegar used
in a given recipe. The featured Mandarin orange and turkey salad could be made with champagne vinegar, sherry vinegar, rice vinegar or white balsamic. Each take would have a unique flavor. Between its two vinegar brands, Mizkan produces nearly every type, including wine vinegars, rice vinegar and malt vinegar. Mizkan.com allows users to search its recipes by vinegar, making it easier to try new types. Vinegar can be made from fruits, grains or anything else containing sugars, Tracy notes. “There are probably too many types to count, made in countries throughout the world.” Finished vinegars also can be infused with the flavors of fruits and herbs. Like wine and spirits, vinegars are made through fermentation. In most cases, an alcohol is fermented into acetic acid, producing alcohol-free vinegar that is mixed with filtered water to proper acidity. Traditional Italian balsamic vinegars are aged. White balsamic has a somewhat lighter flavor without the deep color that comes from caramelization in the original. Lyon suggests mixing vinegars. “Go half balsamic, half red wine vinegar. The result will have balance and clarity — an earthy, slightly sweet mustiness. And it won’t overpower your salad.” He favors vinegars from Lucini, with whom he’s shared recipes. His apple and fennel salad uses the brand’s Pinot Grigio vinegar. “I’m willing to spend $10 for a good bottle of vinegar, if not more” he says. “You only need a splash, and it’s going to last you months, if not longer. I want things to help my foods taste better, and a very smooth, balanced vinegar will do that.” Taste vinegars before using them, Lyon advises. “If you don’t like the way it tastes on its own, I don’t know how it is going to make your food taste better.
Apple fennel salad (4 servings) 1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. On a medium sheet pan toast 1/3 cup of walnut pieces for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally for even cooking. Break one walnut in half and check for color: they should be crispy and slightly golden brown. Transfer the hot walnuts into a medium bowl, and toss with 1 teaspoon Lucini Premium Select Extra Virgin Olive Oil, a few grinds of freshly ground pepper, and a good sized pinch of Kosher salt. 2. In a medium bowl, combine 1 cup crisp apple, cut with the large julienne attachment of a mandolin; 2 cups fennel bulb, very thinly sliced on the mandolin; 1-1/2 tablespoons finely diced shallot; 2 tablespoons black currants; 1 tablespoon Lucini Pinot Grigio vinegar; 1/4 cup Italian flat-leaf parsley leaves and the
toasted walnuts. Drizzle in 1 tablespoon Lucini Premium Select extra virgin olive oil. Gently fold to combine. Season with about 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt and a few grinds of black pepper, or to taste. Divide among four large plates, and serve with a light drizzle of Lucini Premium Select Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Using a vegetable peeler, top each serving with long shavings of Parmigiano Reggiano. — Chef Nathan Lyon, Lucini.com
Mandarin turkey salad (4 servings) Dressing: In small bowl, combine 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice, 1-1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 1-1/2 teaspoons poppy seeds, 1-1/2 teaspoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard and 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. In large bowl, toss together 5 cups torn red leaf lettuce, 2 cups baby spinach, 1/2 pound thickly sliced low-sodium deli turkey breast, cut into 1/2-inch strips. Toss salad with dressing, add a 10-1/2-ounce can of drained Mandarin oranges. Garnish with a teaspoon of finely grated orange zest and serve. — Courtesy National Turkey Federation
Turkey burgers with guacamole salsa (4 to 6 burgers) 1 large egg 2 tablespoons tamari sauce 1 pound ground organic turkey 1 sweet onion, chopped 1 clove garlic, chopped 8 sun-dried tomatoes, sliced in slivers 5 to 7 cremini mushrooms, chopped 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley 1 tablespoon hot chili flakes Guac salsa (recipe follows) 1. For salsa: In a small bowl, combine
2 peeled and cubed ripe avocados, 1 chopped yellow tomato, 2 finely chopped small red onions, and a clove of minced garlic. Add the juice of 1 or 2 limes and a pinch of sea. Set aside.
3. Grill burgers, with the lid closed, turning once, for 10 to 12 minutes or until cooked completely. Or bake 7 to 9 minutes, flip them and bake for another 7 to 9 minutes. Serve with the salsa.
2. Preheat grill to medium or oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together egg and tamari. Add turkey, onion, garlic, tomatoes, mushrooms, parsley and chili flakes; mix well with your hands (you might want to wear gloves). Form into 4 to 6 patties.
Nutrition information (per burger): 166 calories, 7g fat (2g saturated), 95mg cholesterol, 490mg sodium, 8g carbs, 2g fiber, 5g sugars, 17g protein – Adapted from “Joyous Health: Eat and Live Well Without Dieting,” © Joy McCarthy, 2014 (Pintail, $29)
How to make party salads irresistible Serve in cheese bowls: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with oil; cover with parchment paper. In a plastic bag, shake together 5 ounces finely grated Sartori BellaVitano cheese (any flavor) and 1-1/2 teaspoons flour. Onto prepared pan, spoon teaspoons of cheese blend in circular mounds. Bake, checking frequently, 8-10 minutes until barely browned. Remove from oven and use a knife to carefully lift disks from pan, immediately shaping over inverted spoons or the back of a mini muffin pan. Let cool at least 10 minutes before using. Makes about 36 mini bowls. A big bowl of green salad is usually not the most popular food in the buffet lineup at a party — even when guests say they’d prefer healthy options. Watch the salad sit mostly untouched as most diners plate up the meatier and cheesier options. It doesn’t have to be that way. Help your party guests help themselves by turning salads into colorful appetizers. A bean salad is suddenly more appealing when it’s presented
in miniature bowls made of phyllo pastry. AthensFoods.com has numerous salad ideas among recipes for Mini Fillo Shells. Feeling more ambitious? Make crispy little Parmesan cheese bowls to showcase microgreens. Spear olives and other marinated veggies on cocktail picks to garnish a Bloody Mary. Grill vegetable slices for mini roll-ups. And when you serve the platter of cheese and deli meat slices, roll up healthy surprises inside.
Zucchini roll-ups (8 servings)
Skewer it: Martini olives, grape tomatoes, scallions, fresh mozzarella and artichoke hearts are just the starting point for antipasti on a stick. The website AddSomeLife.org has a partyperfect recipe in which they’re marinated in vodka and olive oil with seasonings. Build on the recipe for Olive Martini Antipasti and make your own marinated mix. Roll it up: For an easy party starter, head to the deli counter of your favorite supermarket and buy a good mix of thinly sliced turkey and ham with a variety of cheeses. Then buy asparagus, zucchini, celery, cucumbers and other vegetables that can be cut into spears. Wrap the veggies in the meats and cheeses and you’ll be good to go. Spread the meat or cheese slices with cream cheese to seal the ends. Also try wrapping fruit and veggies in prosciutto and an Italian cheese such as Montasio.
5 medium zucchinis (about 8 ounces each), cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices 1 orange or yellow bell pepper, cut in half and seeded 1/2 medium red bell pepper, roasted and peeled, or use jarred 2 tablespoons canola oil 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste 2 cups baby arugula leaves, lightly packed 1/3 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves toothpicks 1. Preheat grill or grill pan over medium heat. Reserve outermost zucchini slices for another use. Brush inner slices of zucchini and the bell pepper halves with canola oil on both sides. Grill until just tender, about 3 minutes per side. Remove from grill to cool. Slice pepper halves into thin strips. Zucchini and
pepper may be made a day ahead and stored in airtight container in refrigerator. 2. In food processor bowl, place roasted red pepper, feta cheese and lemon juice. Process until mixture reaches spreadable consistency. It will not become completely smooth. Stir in black pepper. 3. Spread about 3/4 teaspoon of feta mixture onto each zucchini slice. Place a few slices of bell pepper about 1/2 inch from end of each zucchini slice, along with a few arugula leaves and one small basil leaf. Roll up and insert toothpick to secure. Repeat with remaining zucchini slices. Serve immediately or store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to one day. Allow to come to room temperature before serving. Nutrition information (per 3 roll-ups): 70 calories, 5g fat (1.5g saturated), 5mg cholesterol, 135mg sodium, 4g carbs, 2g fiber, 4g sugars, 3g protein — Recipe by Ellie Krieger, image courtesy CanolaInfo.org
Enjoy edible calendula in the garden and in the cup as one of several floral teas from “Homegrown Tea.” Below, mildly flavored violet iced tea has petals in the ice cubes. Crush fennel seeds, bottom, for a stomachsoothing drink that might supress appetite and lower blood pressure.
Ever buy fresh herbs only to use a bit and find the rest spoiled? To avoid that, chef Diane Weeks suggests chopping some up to toss into salads. Fresh basil, dill, cilantro, parsley, chives and tarragon would all be delicious, she says. In some cases, you can add as much as a cupful. “The bottom line is you can use any herb for a salad,” says Weeks. “You can make the same salad every night and, depending on the herb you use, you can take it any direction.” Weeks regularly demonstrates healthy cooking at RWJ Rahway Fitness and Wellness Center at 2120 Lamberts Mill Road, Scotch Plains. Upcoming 7 p.m. topics: immuneboosting foods (May 13), plant-based dinners (May 27) and cancer-fighting foods (June 17). Call (732) 499-6193 to reserve a seat. See the full schedule of free events at rwjuhr.com.
Sipping garden: Flowers for tea Cassie Liversidge calls “Homegrown Tea” a gardening book for tea lovers. She is optimistic that we can turn our own little plot of land, a container on balcony or even a pot on a windowsill into places to grow leaves for brewing teas and tisanes. All forms of true tea — white, green, black or oolong — come from the same plant, camellia sinensis. The primary difference, she notes, is in how the leaves are grown, harvested and processed. Herbal teas and teas made from other plants should be called infusions or tisanes. Tea is native to the Yunnan province of China. “Camilla sinensis loves to grow at high altitudes, where misty mornings and evenings allow the plant to absorb a lot of moisture,” she writes. Does that sound like New Jersey? Not! Liversidge says tea can be grown in other areas, but seeds take about a month to start, the plants are pricey and here you’d have to coddle a plant that prefers mountain mists and rainwater for a full three or four years before you could harvest a single tea leaf. It’s probably a better idea to just read through the tea chapter, learn more about how teas are made and then grow something that likes the
conditions you can offer. The bulk of the book is about just such plants. There’s even an entry for New Jersey tea, which colonists in these parts made from the leaves of a red-rooted plant when they needed an alternative to heavily taxed imported tea. Ceanothus Americanus is a native North American plant with oval serrated leaves. Commonly known as red root, it was called Indian tea before the American Revolution. Its creamy white summer flowers are very attractive to bees, hummingbirds and butterflies. Tea from the plant has a pale yellow color. Leaves can be used fresh from the plant or dried for a stronger flavor that Liversidge compares to a very weak black tea. “Homegrown Tea” (St. Martin’s Griffin, $23.99) covers tisanes that can be made from leaves, flowers, berries, roots or seeds. Each plant entry lists the plant’s medicinal benefits and offers tips to grow, harvest and make fresh or dried teas. There are a significant number of floral teas, including calendula, chamomile, honeysuckle, jasmine, lavender, rose, saffron and violet. Tisanes made from blueberries, strawberries, lemon and other fruit also are covered.
“The Best of Rose Elliot” (Octopus, $29.99) is compiled from Elliot’s cookbooks “Vegetarian Supercook” and “Veggie Chic.” Illustrated with lush photography of global gourmet recipes, it just might make carnivores believe they can go meat-free without regrets. Vegetarians often suffer at celebratory meals, so the cookbook includes chapters of “Dinners to Impress” and options for “Parties and “Celebrations.” A few tips from Elliot: ■ Shave tough fibers off the outer bracts of fennel with a potato peeler. ■ Blend a tablespoon each of olive oil and honey with 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and a pinch of salt. Serve on a salad of butter lettuce, watercress, figs and Stilton cheese. ■ Thickly slice a fresh cauliflower, brush with olive oil. Oven-roast on a baking sheet at 375 degrees. Turn after 15 minutes. Roast 10 more minutes until tender and browned. ■ Puree the flesh of a very ripe mango and stir into fruit salad.
Grow garden variety to eat well and be well Growing a garden can offer many benefits beyond delicious fruits and vegetables. Whether you are thinking of starting your very first garden, or you’re an experienced gardener looking for exciting new plants to start from seeds, getting a little sun on your skin will allow your body to make vitamin D. Gardening also can be a good way to get some fresh air and release a little stress at the end of a long work day. And there’s certainly a mood lift in watching the growth of an orderly garden filled with healthy and beautiful plants you have nurtured. Add to that the taste and nutritional value of vegetables plucked right from the plant, and you have yet another good reason to plant some seeds this year. The Home Garden Seed Association offers the following suggestions for 10 highly nutritious veggies that are easy to grow from seed. And don’t worry if you don’t have a lot of land for planting. Each of these options can be grown in a container. Just remember to water often and fertilize periodically.
Try a kitchen garden We’re not talking about a French potager, here, but what could be a fun series of experiments to see what plants you can grow from produce that’s likely to be in your kitchen. The ends of green onions, celery, and certain types of lettuce can be placed in water to start new roots for plants that can eventually be transplanted into the garden. Sprouted garlic, cuts of ginger, onions and chunks of potatoes that have grown eyes all can be planted directly into the ground. While they are more challenging to grow, new mushrooms also can be started from stems. Each plant requires specific handling, and may need to be planted at different times of the year (garlic is planted in fall), so a little research is good idea. In their book “Don’t Throw It, Grow It,” Deborah Peterson and Millicent Selsam detail 68 houseplants that can be grown from produce scraps. This goes way beyond the toothpick-studded avocado seed sprouted from a water-filled jar on the windowsill. Photo credits: Beets: M. Bastien; kale: Home Garden Seed Association; spinach: Aswini Kumar; bok choy © David Monniaux; peas: Bev Loyd Roberts; scallions: J. Gabriel; green beans: Bonnie Plants; tomato: Bonnie Plants
Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, providing about twice the recommended daily allowance of this antioxidant that the body converts to vitamin A. Grow a rainbow: Red carrots contain lycopene, which helps prevent heart disease and some cancers; yellow carrots have xanthophylls, which supports vision and lowers lung cancer risk; purple carrots contain anthocyanins, antioxidant pigments that neutralize harmful free radicals.
Bok Choy is less familiar outside Asian cuisines. But one cup contains well more than a day’s worth of vitamin A, most of your daily requirement of vitamins C and K, and a respectable dose of B vitamins and calcium. The calcium in bok choy is also more readily absorbed by the body. And it’s an easy cool-weather vegetable to grow. Baby bok choy varieties mature in just 30 days with leaves that are tender enough to eat raw in salad.
Beets are delicious plucked fresh from the garden. Roast them or grate them raw into salads for their sweet flavor. Beets supply minerals such as iron, manganese, potassium and magnesium. They’re a source of B-complex vitamins, especially folate, which helps the body produce new cells. The greens can add color and flavor to salads and contain vitamins C and A as well as cancer-fighting antioxidant pigments.
Peas are a very well rounded source of nutrients, containing healthy amounts of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as the B complex vitamins, and an impressive mineral content to boot. Just ten snap pea pods supply about one third of the recommended daily value of vitamin C. A good reason to eat your peas. In addition to regular green peas, try growing snow peas (shown). Their edible pods are good in a stir fry or raw in salad.
Parsley is both vegetable and herb. It contains as much vitamin C as raw kale, with twice the vitamin K, and four times the iron. Grow it, cut it repeatedly, and use it in green juices, grilling marinades such as chermoula, or a taboulleh recipe. There are two primary types of parsley from which to choose: flat leaf or Italian parsley (shown) and the curly-leaf variety that is favored for use as a garnish. Grow both and pick a flavor favorite.
Scallions, also known as spring onions or green onions, are an excellent source of vitamins A, C, K and folate, as well as calcium, iron,and a host of other minerals. Use the mildly flavored white stalks in salads. Chop the green tops finely and use them like chives or as a garnish for soups and other dishes. The sharp, pungent smell of onions comes from a sulfur compound whose health benefits include helping to lower blood sugar.
Kale has become a symbol for healthy eating. It contains almost seven times the recommended daily allowance of vitamin K (best known for its role in helping blood to clot, but also helpful in preventing osteoporosis), it contains a full day’s supply of vitamin C, and a good supply of vitamin A, B vitamins, calcium, potassium, minerals, and cancer-fighting antioxidants. Grow it for maximum flavor and nutritional value.
Green beans are among the easiest plants to grow from seed. Gardeners who start later in the growing season can begin with seedling plants purchased from supermarkets. Green beans are a good source of vitamins C and K, minerals, and fiber — whether eaten raw or cooked. For nutritious hors d’oeuvres, blanch them and include with other vegetables on a crudité platter with hummus, or a yogurt- or bean-based dip.
Spinach is one of those dark green vegetables packed with the same nutrients that make kale such a health champion, but in lesser amounts. The more tender leaves are perfect for salads, which retain all of the water-soluble B vitamins that can be lost with cooking. Add a few leaves to a green smoothie or to your plate as a bed for hot foods. This is a perfect idea for pasta where the heat will gently wilt the leaves for a tasty, healthy addition.
Tomatoes must be started from seed indoors in this area or grown from young plants. They are the most popular plant in the vegetable garden, providing good amounts of vitamins A and C. They’re most renowned in health circles for their lycopene content, responsible for the fruits’ deep red color. Lycopene’s powerful antioxidant actions maintain the strength of cell membranes, and are vital in the prevention of many diseases.
May-June 2014 September-October 2013
Autumnal feast: Easy dish showcases fall flavors It’s time to clean up your grill
After a season of summer salads and grilling, fall is a time to ease back into the kitchen with Getting your grill ready for barbecue season requires meals worth celebrating. more than just pulling it out of the garage and firing it up. For safety and to ensure you get the most out of this esApple season is on the horizon, and a dish sential outdoor appliance, Napoleon Gourmet Grills offers that uses apple cider to make a lovely balsamic the following tips to prepare it for a spring and summer of mushroom sauce for chicken is a wonderful fire-kissed outdoor fare. choice. But a mushroom is star here — the hearty porcini. It’s an elusive and therefore costly Clean it up. You wouldn’t cook in a dirty kitchen, so fungi, even in the cultivated and dried form that why put food on a dirty grill? To sanitize and deep-clean extends its appearance beyond its season, from your grill, you will need the following products: a brass wire late July through the end of fall. brush, a small pail to hold hot water, dish soap, a venturi cleaning brush, a 1/16-inch drill bit, replacement grease If spending about $12 on dried porcinis seems cups, spatula, stainless steel cleaner and fine sandpaper. excessive (we found them in Garwood at both Kings and ShopRite), you can still get the exotic Start with the burners. It is easier to detach the Jim Clark flavor of wild mushrooms by using half the burners and take them out of the grill for a very thorough It takes aand fewreplacing years to get likeshiitake this at home. porcinis the blueberries rest with fresh cleaning. Pass a venturi brush through the burners to snag mushrooms. out any blockages, then brush the tops of the burners using The “paillards” in the National Chicken Couna brass wire brush. Once the burners are cleaned, check all of the burner cil’s recipe below are simply boneless, skinnless ports to ensure that they are chicken breast halves. They are flattened to cook Raw blueberries are among the highest sources of anopened. If some are closed with more quickly. (Paillard describes the result of tioxidants, which makes them food particles, poke in a 1/16this technique, which also can worth be usedthe foreffort otherit takes to grow home. veal, beef or pork. The word is inch drill bit to open them. meatsatincluding Blueberries require acidicfrom soil to believed to have originated theabsorb namewater of a and nutriScrub the plates. Sear ents. If your garden doesn’t have soil the in the 4.0 and 4.8 pH Parisian restaurateur who employed techplates and cooking grills range, nique.)consider container growing, as it’s too late to adjust should be washed with hot, theInsoil to grow them in theare ground, according to Rutsoapy water. Simply rub the top ourpH recipe, dried porcinis reconstituted gers experts. “Usually, powdered sulfurshallots, must be added to side of your cooking grills with a in water to make the cider sauce with lower the vinegar pH to a and levelfresh within the acceptable range,” states little oil to re-season them. balsamic thyme. Serve the dish the Extension fact sheet on blueberHot, soapy water works wonders CourtesyCourtesy of National Chick Board overRutgers rice or Cooperative couscous so you don’t waste a drop Napoleon Grills theprice cast — base and grill ries in home gardens. It takes two to six months to lower Meaty porcini mushrooms are worthon the and thesides timeofitthe takes to findAthem — when used in this quick-cooking chicken meal. of its luxurious flavor. venturi cleaning brush, shown left and above, is an and to remove grease splatters on the the pH to the desired range. “Thus, the latest that sulfur essential tool for getting your grill ready to sizzle. The flexoutside of the grill. For porcelain lids, can be added is the fall before spring planting.” ible brush is thin enough to snake into straight or curved a thorough washing should suffice; for burners to remove dried fats and other particles. A soil test through the Union County extension office stainless steel lids, use a stainless steel cleancan determine soil pH with recommended amendments. er to remove any discoloring. Brushing the Do a leak test. A complete leak test should be perCall (908) 654-9852 for details. over rice or couscous. cook 1 oil to 2will minutes. heat to (4 servings) 1. Place the flour in a shallow bowl; cast aluminum with aand little olive help Turn formed any time your grill has been in storage for a Fall Creek & Nursery, which produces numerous variethigh and add the balsamic vinegar, season with salt and pepper. Dredge restore the luster and prevent oxidation. prolonged length of time or when you of arewater changing Variation: Using 1 cup to any 3 tablespoons flour stock in Oregon, has varieties such ies of blueberry nursery apple cider and porcini liquid. Stir to each chicken breast in flour, shaking your grill. Visit NapoleonGrills.com reduce amount of dried to view 1/2 teaspoonthat salt can be grown in containers. Scrape off grease. Use a spatula to scrape the components onreconstitute, as BrazelBerries incorporate any browned bits in pan. off excess. Strain the reconstituted thethe leak test video. porcini mushrooms to 1 ounce. Add 1/4blueberries teaspoon freshly pepper inside of the base all the way down towards the All need atground least sixblack hours of daily sun. “It’smushrooms, saving liquid. Bring to a boil. Chop 2 ouncesparts. of sliced fresh shiitake 4 chicken breast halves, boneless and skinless, drip pan. Remove the drip pan and give it a good the sun that makes berries sweet and juicy,” says Amelie mushrooms and set aside. Check all ignition Now that your grill is clean mushrooms (6-8 mushrooms) with the pounded thin washing and be sure to replace the aluminum 4. Once boiling, stir mushrooms and Brazelton Aust, a second-generation owner. and safe, it is time to check out how it lights. For battery 2 ounces dried mushrooms, reconstituted grease catching pan. thyme leaves into sauce. Reduce to a it is ashallots. 2. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of ignitions, good idea to replace the batteries with new Containers makeporcini it easier to create the right conditions. 1 cup boiling water simmer Allow to allNutrition Add chicken Check electrodeinformation leads and ensure the tips of315 the Useinpotting soil blends for azaleas and rhododendrons inoil over medium-high heat. (per serving): Inspect the hoses. Onceover yourmedium-low cleaning heat.ones. 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided electrodes and10g havefatno(2g grease or rust 68mg buildup on simmer until sauce has about 5are clean and cook until golden brown, about to 5 idea calories, saturated), a large container, at least 16 inches in diameter. is done, it is 4a good to visually inspect allreduced, 1 shallot, minced them. If they do, use sandpaper to sodium, clean them. to aand dish. cholesterol, 375mg 26g carbs, hoses feed tubes minutes. on your grill. Look for “Blueberries in pots are even easier to protect from minutes per side. Transfer 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar Following these simple steps will helpprotein prolong the life of 2g fiber, 3g sugars, 30g any crimps, scratching and/or punctures. If winter weather, ” Aust says. “Just move the pots into an 5. Return chicken to skillet. Spoon 3. Add remaining teaspoon of oil to the 1/4 cup apple cider your sauce grill and enhance your cooking experience. you detect any of these, it is time to replace unheated garage or against a building and cover with thick — National Chicken Board over each breast. Serve immediately pan over medium heat, add shallots 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, minced For more information, visit NapoleonGrills.com. the hoses. mulch, burlap or a blanket.”
Chicken paillards with porcini mushrooms and apple cider sauce
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Window style defines both form and function By Kathy Ziprik
Double hung, casement, bay and bow are all names that describe types of windows. And if you’re thinking about replacing windows in your home — or building a new home, now is the time to think about what you want from your windows. When most people refer to a “style” of window, the terms used to categorize that window are generally a description of how the window unit operates. To gain a better understanding of what windows “do” and the benefits they can offer, here’s a quick primer on window styles from the experts at Simonton Windows. Double-hung: Both top and bottom, known as sash, operate independently on a double-hung window. This allows the bottom sash to remain closed while the top sash opens for ventilation. This is a great choice for homes with small children or pets because opening the top sash lets fresh air in while the bottom sash stays closed for safety. Single-hung: Only the bottom sash opens upwards on this window; the top sash remains in place and can’t be opened. Casement: The sash are hinged on the side, and the window cranks open a full 90 degrees for maximum ventilation. A good option for those who want an alternative to the “push and pull” action of double-hung windows. Slider: Multiple window panels can slide open on a track with a slider window unit. There’s also the option of having a “fixed stationary” panel that doesn’t open, combined with a window panel that slides open.
Photos courtesy Simonton
Geometic windows help fill a home with light. Garden windows, below left, are lovely for potted plants. Right, airy casement windows.
Picture: A picture window does not open. It’s a fixed unit usually installed to maximize views. Bay: Bay windows are created by mulling together three windows at either 35 or 45 degree angles. The windows can be a combination of fixed and operable units, or they can all be operable or all be fixed. These focal point windows are often found in key areas of the home including living rooms, kitchens and master bedrooms. Bow: Bow windows are more “rounded” in appearance than a bay window. They are generally created by placing windows at 10 degree angles. Where the bay window has three units, the bow window can have three, five, seven or nine separate windows mulled together as desired. Awning: With a crank-out awning window, the sash are hinged at the top, and the window opens out and upwards. Hopper: Also known as basement windows, hopper windows are similar to an awning window, except with the sash hinged at the bottom. The window opens from the top out for ventilation.
Geometrics: These fashionable windows are usually fixed units. They come in geometric shapes, such as an octagon, half-round or rectangle, and are often “paired” on top of operable units to add more light and style to the home. They’re also used to bring in light to secluded areas of the home, such as hallways and foyers, and to offer light with privacy in bathrooms.
Garden: The unique garden window is an accent style that extends the window outwards. Ideal for the area above a kitchen sink area, this window features functional casement sides and a fixed window panel in the center. Garden windows come in a variety of sizes, shapes and styles. Shelves allow room for placing plants, making a perfect area for a kitchen herb garden.
Shopping for new windows: The National Fenestration Rating Council, a nonprofit organization that provides uniform information about the energy performance of windows, doors, and skylights, has information for consumers who plan to replace windows. Their shopping guide at nfrc.org includes guidance to help compare products. More at Simonton.com or 800-746-6686.
What parents can learn from Mr. Peabody By Nathaniel A. Turner
The other afternoon, my son and I went to see “Mr. Peabody & Sherman.” I’m fairly certain that seeing an animated movie with his old man was not high on my 18-year-old son’s to do list. He indulged me nonetheless. Not only is Naeem keenly aware of my affinity for animated movies, he understands how important it is to me that we take advantage of every second we have together. So, with a bucket of unhealthy overpriced popcorn and an environmentally threatening, extortionately priced bottle of water, he was persuaded to join me. As with most animated movies, there was the usual assortment of jokes that small children will not get; there was the simple dialogue (it is a children’s movie, after all); and there was the predictable conclusion (boy messes up and the parent comes to the rescue). However, there were a few notable themes of which I think all parents should take note. 1. Children reduce extraordinary, talented and accomplished people to mediocre parents. Mr. Peabody was not only a talking dog, he was one of the most intelligent life forms on the planet. Yet even the talented Mr. Peabody was ill-equipped to be a parent. Being a world-renowned attorney, athlete, doctor, entrepreneur or scientist does not make you a great parent. Too often, professional accomplishment and material accumulation is confused with parental success. Parenting requires the same time, effort and energy commitment as our chosen vocations. Parenting is a profession. Children — before we corrupt them, that is — don’t care about our degrees, titles or possessions. Children simply want our time and attention. Children just want to be loved. 2. Share experiences, not things. Mr. Peabody was highly accomplished. He was a Nobel Prize-winning scientist, a worldrenowned explorer, and an Olympic gold medalist. However, the smartest thing Mr. Peabody ever did was invent the WABAC machine. The WABAC (pronounced “way back”) machine wasn’t great because it transported Mr. Peabody and Sherman back in time to visit important historical events — although being able to go back and
see history firsthand as it unfolded would be exceptionally cool. The WABAC machine was great because it was the catalyst for Mr. Peabody and Sherman to do what parents and children need more than anything — to spend uninterrupted distraction-free time experiencing life together. They used the WABAC machine to spend quality and quantity time developing and deepening their dog and a boy relationship. 3. Give your child a dog whistle. On the ride to school, Mr. Peabody gave Sherman a series of instructions. The routine parenting dos and don’ts. However, before Sherman could run into the school, Mr. Peabody handed him a dog whistle. Sherman looked quizzically at the whistle and then blew it a couple of times. Un-
The author, shown with his son, says even a child’s film can have lessons about relationships.
“Mr. Peabody & Sherman” © 20th Century Fox
Shopping to help kids with cancer
Emmanuel Cancer Foundation will have its third annual Spring Vendor Market from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 17 at Fanwood Train Station. Vendors will be selling antiques, new and vintage jewelry, handcrafted items and more at the event, which is a major fundraiser for the foundation. Admission is free. Rain date is May 18. Emmanuel Cancer Foundation provides free support services to the families of children with cancer and accepts monetary donations year round. For information about the Spring Vendor Market, contact Barbara Kopel at (908) 322-4323, ext. 17. The foundation is at 1833 Front St., Scotch Plains.
able to hear the whistle, Sherman assumed that the whistle did not work. Holding his ears and frowning from the pain of the dog whistle’s frequency, Mr. Peabody’s actions and facial expressions assured Sherman that the dog whistle was in good working order. Attempting to explain the value of the dog whistle before Sherman ran into the building, Mr. Peabody was only able to say “No matter how far away I might seem …” Although Sherman did not stick around to hear Mr. Peabody’s full explanation of the dog whistle, I understood the incomplete reference. The dog whistle is symbolic of a parent’s willingness to be present and accounted for at all times. The dog whistle is emblematic of the parent’s responsibility to stop what he
or she is doing — no matter where, no matter when, no matter how — to come to the immediate aid of our children. There are a few other wonderful takeaways, but I wouldn’t want to spoil the movie for you. “Mr. Peabody & Sherman” is only 92 minutes, and I recommend that you make time to see it with your child regardless of his or her age. And I don’t want to hear about you being so busy. What’s 92 minutes especially when it’s spent with someone you hold, in the words of Mr. Peabody, in “fond regard?” Even if you aren’t fond of the movie, your child or children will love you for turning off your phone and making time for them. Nathaniel A. Turner is author of “Raising Supaman,” a book of letters he wrote to guide his son as “a man in training.” This article first appeared on RaisingSupaman.com.
Mixed messages Unscramble the words at right to reveal a quote about fatherhood. Solution on AtHomeNJ.com
a terfah si a nma owh stecxpe shi ons ot be sa ogod a anm sa eh tanem ot eb — Frank Clark, newspaper writer
ASK DR. BARB
Lessons in my year of living with cancer Dear Readers: I am delighted to report that having had two surgeries, 32 rounds of radiation therapy and countless examinations, I am feeling very happy and healthy exactly one year since receiving a breast cancer diagnosis. Even better, my first regular annual mammogram showed no sign of cancer. However, looking back from the very beginning, it was not easy hearing the word “cancer,” and it was not always easy, even with my training as a psychologist, to manage my fears and confusion. Waiting for test results, I kept thinking, ‘How could this be happening to me? I have no family history of breast cancer, I exercise, I eat right ...’ Eventually, to calm myself and begin to think clearly, I used the same approach I use with my patients: confronting and reframing self-defeating, unrealistic and catastrophic thoughts. Although cancer often is associated with death, cancer itself — especially breast cancer — is not a death sentence. And, I needed to accept the reality of the cancer and let go of the belief that I can have total control over my body. I am just another human being, as vulnerable as anyone else to serious illness, but I decided I was not going to cope with the cancer alone. Consulting with doctors and other cancer survivors helped me to look at the illness in a more reasonable and positive way. Gradually, I began to realize that I had some good treatment options and that my prognosis for survival was extremely optimistic. The next phase of dealing with the
diagnosis was taking in an outpouring of information that was all new to me. At times, consulting with doctors felt confusing and overwhelming. Therefore, I always had another pair of ears and eyes at my side. Bringing along a caring family member or a friend really helped in two important ways: in recalling necessary information and in having emotional support. It also was beneficial to take as much time as I needed when making my treatment decisions. I found myself day by day changing my mind about whether to undergo a lumpectomy, partial mastectomy or full mastectomy. After listening to professionals and other survivors, reading up on the latest research, and having quiet conversations with myself, I was able to balance “my heart and my head” and reach a peaceful decision. Once my decision was made to undergo surgical lumpectomy and radiation treatments rather than mastectomy, I felt like a new phase of dealing with my illness had begun. Again, using a positive mental and behavioral approach, I tried to think optimistically and thankfully. My surgery and treatments were time-limited, life saving and had been performed routinely and expertly with good results for thousands of other individuals. From a behavioral perspective, in order to keep going on with my life and be in good spirits, I focused a lot on taking care of myself and doing what I enjoyed the most. Although treatments were daily, I continued the ongoing work that I have always loved. When not working with my patients, I
made relaxation a priority. I spent time with friends and family when I wanted to. When I needed more time to be alone, I gave myself permission to do nothing special at all. Luxuriously enjoying the ability to be assertive with others, I made my own choices, one of the perks of coping with a serious illness. Needless to say, everyone was totally understanding and supportive; they stood by me in my selfishness. In this year following my diagnosis and complete recovery from breast cancer, I have learned a lot. It is important to balance your work with pleasure and fun. Physical and emotional self-care has become more important to me than ever, and I do not feel I need cancer as an excuse for that. I have also become more acutely aware of how wonderful it is to be living and healthy. Even the typical day-to-day annoyances seem to bother me less, and I am less critical towards myself and others. My ability to accept the ups and downs of life now goes hand in hand with my acceptance of a wide range of unpleasant feelings, whether it is sadness about what cannot be changed, fear about what cannot be controlled or anger about the injustice of doing the right thing and having bad things happen. I can feel compassion, not only for myself, but for all others who had or will have to cope with a serious illness. I often remind myself that, in addition to the happy moments in life, annoyances and disappointments are par for the course. How fortunate I am to be alive and experiencing them.
Barbara L. Rosenberg, Ph.D, is a licensed psychologist and chair of educational and social programs for the Essex-Union County Association of Psychologists. Her Summit practice serves individuals of all ages, as well as couples and families. E-mail your questions to AskDrBarb@AtHomeNJ.com, or contact Dr. Barb through BarbaraRosenberg.com.
Landscaping to make gardens a healing sanctuary
A Wishing Tree tag at Berkshire Botanical Garden in Massachusetts. Buddhist tradition holds that words on such tags are blown in the air, helping them come true.
Have you ever experienced a moment when the pleasant trilling of birds was louder than the chatter in your head, or when the wafting fragrance of flowers captured your attention and lifted you away? These are the first two questions landscape designer Jan Johnsen asks in her new book “Heaven is a Garden” (St. Lynn’s Press, $17.95). She calls these moments “stop time,” the result of our connection to “holy wells and enchanted groves that fortify the soul with their natural mysteries,” quoting “The Re-enchantment of Everyday Life” by Thomas Moore. Johnsen shares a belief that such places can heal and renew, and shares her garden insights as well as those of various gardencentered cultures. The book itself brings a sense of calm, demonstrating the skill of a woman who grew up loving plants despite her “concrete environment of New York City apartments.” In addition to the Westchester County landscape design firm she owns with
her husband, Johnsen is an award-winning instructor at New York Botanical Garden and at Columbia University. She writes for Garden Design magazine, and her designs, some of which illustrate the book, have appeared in numerous national publications. In her third book, Johnsen teaches us to create “music for the eyes” in a garden sanctuary that can soften the noise of the world. With economy of form and line, gardens also should delight, she writes. “Delight prompts you to savor your surroundings.” Chapters also cover the use of color, trees, stone and water features. Break-out boxes highlight important guidance and historical information, including a discussion of
Beatrix Farrand, who designed the grounds of Princeton, Yale and many estate gardens as America’s first female landscape architect. In the “Power of Place” chapter, Johnsen discusses how to use the qualities of the “Four Winds.” In ages past, North was believed to be the direction of wisdom and contemplation; East supported food gardens as the direction of growth and rejuvenation. South was the vibrant natural place for flower gardens; and West, the direction of expression and sharing, is best for gathering places and water features. Johnsen also discusses seven ways to enhance a garden’s most interesting area as a “power spot,” among them is naming the place and placing a bench there. “The opportunity to sit on a bench always draws people,” she writes.
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