4. BIG Savings Local and federal rebates, loans and incentives can help pay for a new HVAC system. But you have to know where to look. 5. DesignStar Find the best new heating or A/C system online for your home. Itâ€™s easy and fun! 6. Recipes Roving food trucks are popping up across the U.S. with great and fast food you can make. 10. Money Getting regular check-ups on your HVAC system can save you money now and in the future. Things you need to know about your next HVAC tune up. 12. Heating Whether you live in Florida or New York, a lot of factors come into play to get the right system. Where you live is vital to what you buy. 13. Decorating Faux paint can bring new life to old rooms. And best of all, if you make a mistake, just paint over it and start again!
Ruud Home Living PUBLISHER William Sabo DESIGNER Richard Johnson Right at Home STAFF WRITERS Jim Foster David King Beth Burcham ADVISORS Ruud Heating & Cooling Melissa Thomas Phyllis Abshere All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reprinted without the express permission of the publisher. Ruud Heating and Cooling 5600 Old Greenwood Road Fort Smith, Arkansas 72908 Published by: Private Label Media Partners 709 State Street New Orleans, LA 70118 877-618-6626
Copyright ÂŠ 2012
Energy Saving Tips
GO PROGRAMMABLE Save up to 15% with a Ruud programmable thermostat.
CEILING FANS Even in the winter a ceiling fan helps move warm air throughout your home. Just reverse the blade rotation.
HVAC MAINTENANCE Making sure a qualified Ruud contractor performs regular maintenance that will save on energy bills and extends the life of your system.
CLEAN FILTERS Check filters every month to make sure you’re not making your HVAC system work harder than it needs.
Save BIG with local incentives & Rebates
eating and cooling bills too high? You’re not alone. According to the ENERGY STAR® program, homeowners of a typical single home can expect to pay approximately $2,200 for their annual energy bill.
New, high-efficiency heating and cooling systems can help homeowners reduce their energy consumption while lowering their monthly energy bills. For example, the ENERGY STAR program notes that replacing a central air conditioning unit that is more than 12-years-old with an ENERGY STAR-qualified model could cut cooling costs by 30 percent. Rebate programs can help homeowners save on high-efficiency heating and cooling systems so they can enjoy all that these solutions have to offer—including greater home comfort, lower utility bills and a reduced carbon footprint. While there are minimal federal and local tax credits available for consumers today, utility companies have increased rebate programs for high-efficiency products. The U.S. and Canadian utility sectors spent about $9.1 billion in 2011 on efficiency programs, helping customers save $13.3 billion, according to the Consortium for Energy Efficiency’s 2011 Annual Report. Heading into the cooler months, homeowners should pay close attention to utility rebates offered for high-efficiency gas furnaces, which operate around 95 to 96 percent efficiency levels. Some electric utilities are even offering rebates for high-efficiency gas furnaces that feature electronically commutated motors (ECM). ECMs can operate with as little as 80 Watts of electricity in constant fan mode, thereby lowering energy consumption and reducing operating costs. The Ruud Ultra ™ Series Modulating 95 Percent A.F.U.E. Gas Furnace features an ECM and uses intuitive modulation technology so that the unit always operates in the most efficient operating mode. Minnesota Power, Pacific Power and Long Island Power Authority are examples of electric utilities that have rebate opportunities available through December 2012 for highefficiency gas furnaces with ECMs. Homeowners can learn about these and additional rebate programs by visiting the Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy ® (www.dsireusa.org).
Grilled Salmon and Cucumber Radish Relish Makes: 4 servings Prep Time: 10 minutes Cooking Time: 10 minutes Relish: 1/2 cup diced cucumber 1/4 cup julienne radish 2 tablespoons each lemon juice chopped scallion to taste,chopped dill or parsley to taste Salt and pepper to taste In medium bowl, combine cucumber, radish, lemon juice, scallion and dill. Season with salt and pepper.
Salmon: 4 8-ounce salmon fillets 2 tablespoons lemon juice Salt and pepper 1 package (5.2 ounces) Boursin Shallot & Chive Preheat grill or broiler on high. Sprinkle salmon fillets with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Grill or broil about 8 minutes. Spoon about 3 tablespoons Boursin on top of each fillet; continue cooking for another 2 minutes, until salmon is cooked through and Boursin has softened. Serve with Cucumber Radish relish.
Ruud® Voted #1 in Reliability A leading independent consumer magazine recently conducted a study of 32,550 consumers who bought an HVAC system ranked Ruud #1 in reliability.
Answers to your home comfort needs with Designstar® Online tool allows homeowners to find their perfect HVAC system in the privacy of their home
esignStar takes the guess work out of what you need. This powerful online tool allows you to see the options for a new heating and cooling unit. And most important, the program provides options for YOUR home based on size, age and local utility rates. DesignStar is the industry’s first easy-to-use interactive tool that allows homeowners to understand their options in the privacy of their own homes. Homeowners can see which systems would work best, and evaluate options, such as better filtration systems, humidifiers, etc. DesignStar can calculate accurate information because all of your home’s information is pre-loaded into the web site from sources such as tax and building records. Just input your address with a few clicks, you get an aerial view of your home. Add a little more information and DesignStar will give you a choice of three systems that would be best for your home, along with the annual energy savings for each system. From there, you can send the report to a local Ruud contractor, who will look over your information and be able to create a report with everything you’ll need to make the right decision, based on home comfort, budget and even financing. Going to the Web site on the front of this magazine is a great way to look for a participating Ruud contractor or go to www.Ruud.com and type in your zip code for contractors near you.
A limited lifetime warranty on the heat exchangers (one of the main components to any furnace) is one of the best in the business. Ruud also uses heavy gauge metal and stainless steel components that increase durability and life span. As important as the system you purchase, installation is a key component to reliability. The correct size system, filtration system, duct work and many other factors are tied to the overall comfort inside your home. The contractor featured on the cover of this magazine has undergone rigorous training and certification. When considering a new HVAC system, make sure you look at more than just price. Quality Ruud systems that are installed by top-quality contractors will give you years of trouble-free comfort. For more information go to www.Ruud.com
DidYou Know High-qualit y can help sto HVAC filters p the spread of germs and b acteria
Raspberry Cream Cheese cupcakes ingredients...
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 2 cups granulated sugar 4 eggs 1 cup milk 3/4 cup canola oil 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 cups raspberries, fresh or frozen cream cheese frosting 2 packages of cream cheese (8 ounces) at room temperature 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350oF. Line muffin tin with 24 cupcake liners. In small bowl, combine flour and baking powder. In medium bowl, combine sugar and eggs. Using electric mixer, combine until mixture thickens, about 1 minute. Add milk, canola oil and vanilla. Continue to mix. Slowly add flour mixture until fully combined, scraping sides of bowl with spatula to get out all lumps. Remove bowl from mixer. Add 1 cup raspberries. Gently mix in raspberries by hand. Spoon mixture into muffin cups until about two-thirds full. Bake for 20 minutes or until cupcakes spring back to touch. Remove from oven and cool cupcakes completely. To prepare frosting: In medium bowl, mix cream cheese on medium speed until lump free. Slowly add powdered sugar and vanilla extract until fully combined. Spoon cream cheese frosting into pastry bag with medium round tip and pipe on top of cooled cupcakes. Top each cupcake with a raspberry. Serve right away or refrigerate until serving.
Food Trucks Recipes to N
o other trend has parked itself at the forefront of the culinary world quite like food trucks, but these aren’t the stale doughnut and questionable hotdog stands of yore. From coast to coast, a new generation of chefs has been putting unique cuisines on four wheels. But if you’re not in an urban setting, that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on these delectable dishes.
“The economic downturn has driven the street food trend in recent years along with Americans’ love of all things fast and convenient,” says Josh Henderson, owner of Skillet Street Food in Seattle, Wash. “There are all of these wonderful chefs looking for a way to bring their creations to the masses, and now with mobile kitchens, it’s easier than ever. This recipe collection provides yet another way of sharing our love of flavorful foods.”
A new take on french fries
Cheddar-Parmesan Poutine with Gravy Yield: 4 servings Serving size: 1 1/2 cups poutine 4 Russet potatoes, peeled and sliced into uniform sticks 5 cups canola oil 2 cups poutine gravy (see recipe) 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated 1 cup Parmesan or Grana Padano cheese, grated 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill 3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley 3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper Soak cut potatoes in cold water overnight. Before deep-frying, remove potatoes from water and pat dry. Using deep-fryer, heat canola oil to 375oF. Deep-fry for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove fries from deep-fryer and drain on paper towels. If necessary, in saucepan, reheat 2 cups poutine gravy and set aside.
Your Kitchen No longer the quick bite for cold sandwiches for construction workers, food trucks cater to eaters of all shapes and sizes, from road crews to Wall Street bankers. Food trucks have become a great way for chefs to get their food to the public at a fraction of the cost of opening a restaurant (usually less than $100,000) . Already a staple in cities throughout the U.S., innovative food trucks chefs are being featured on TV networks, such as The Food Network and CookingTV.
Return fries to deep-fryer and fry for additional 3 to 5 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from deepfryer to stainless steel bowl. Add gravy, cheese and herbs. Stir gently to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Serve.
Poutine Gravy Yield: 5 cups Serving size: 1/2 cup 3/4 cup diced yellow onion 2 tablespoons diced carrot 2 tablespoons diced celery 2/3 cup canola oil 1 tablespoon chopped sage 1/2 teaspoon tomato paste 1/3 cup all-purpose flour 4 cups beef stock 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 1 teaspoon chopped garlic 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon pepper In large saucepan, sweat onion, carrot and celery in canola oil over medium heat until slightly caramelized. Stir frequently. Add sage and tomato paste and sautĂŠ for 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle vegetable mixture with flour and combine to form roux. Heat for about 30 seconds. Add stock, Worcestershire sauce and garlic. Simmer for 35 minutes. Season with rosemary, salt and pepper. Simmer for additional 10 minutes. Using immersion blender, puree gravy. Leftover gravy can be frozen for future use.
Americans love all things fast and convenient 7
cy A new high-efficien g heating and coolin % system can save 40
* Using dimmers and layering with light gives you flexibility for different occasions. * For an elegant look, blend low levels of light sources throughout the room. * When installing light over the dining room table, be careful not to create shadows on the faces of your guests. Placing additional light sources elsewhere in the room helps to balance the light. * Use adjustable accent lamps with halogen bulbs to highlight plants, artwork, or special furniture pieces. These bulbs are fully dimmable and use between 22 and 33 percent less energy than standard incandescent bulbs.
* For general lighting, use fixtures with a dimmer. The light source is concealed, and with dimming capabilities you can change the lighting of the room for various activities from reading to movie watching. A good choice for these fixtures would be LED bulbs. They're the brightest replacement for the typical 60-watt incandescent bulbs, while using 80 percent less energy. They also last 25 times longer. * Wall sconces and floor lamps are good sources of task lighting for reading or playing games, while track fixtures can be used to highlight art work or unique wall treatments such as wall washing or glazing. * Place light sources at various heights within the room to add visual interest. * Use translucent shades on table lamps to contribute to the ambient light level.
Bring your rooms to light Changing your lighting is a great way to give new pop to an old room and accent new areas
ver wonder how designers make the rooms you see in magazines or on decorating shows look so good? It doesn't always depend on paint colors or fabric choices. From fresh and airy, to intimate and cozy - and everything in between - lighting sets the tone of a room and should be an integral part of its design and layout. And you can make dramatic changes by doing something as easy as switching out a light bulb. So if you want to give a room a makeover, or just freshen it up a bit, use these tips from the lighting pros to brighten things up.
Lighting 101 Bedrooms
* General lighting can be provided by ceiling fixtures, chandeliers, fan lights, recessed downlights or wall sconces that use halogen or LED bulbs. * Use a floor-mounted directional fixture to project light through plants from the floor to soften a room with interesting shadows. Place the light behind a large plant or indoor tree and aim it through the leaves towards the ceiling. * Use a low wattage energy efficient bulb to brighten up the closet. These bulbs have a long life and offer energy-efficiency and quality color. * Provide light for reading by choosing swing-arm or flexible bedside lamps.
Not only does a good lighting plan make a room more inviting, it also makes it more functional. To create a good lighting plan, youâ€™ll need different kinds of light: * Ambient - Provides overall illumination and a comfortable level of brightness, allowing people to see and move around safely and easily. * Task - Helps you perform a specific activity, such as reading or playing games, by concentrating light in a particular place. * Accent - Sets the mood and highlights certain areas and objects, such as paintings, walls and collectibles. * Decorative - Fixtures become an element of the space themselves, such as chandeliers or pendants.
Do you need an HVAC maintenance agreement? Only if you want to save money
ou know your automobile requires routine maintenance to keep it running at peak performance and to ensure its longevity. You change your oil every 3,000 miles, rotate your tires, check your fluid levels and replace any worn down parts. For your efforts, your car rewards you with better gas mileage, performance and a longer life. What many do not realize is, like your automobile, your heating and cooling systems requires routine maintenance to keep it operating at its peak performance and efficiency. The fact is that while we love to think of our machines and appliances as fail-proof, any man made machine will inherently have flaws. Even the highest quality machines require regular preventative maintenance to continue to operate at their reliable high levels. During a preventative maintenance visit, a service technician will most likely perform factory
If you’re ignoring the preventative maintenance for your HVAC system to save a few buck, you’ll pay A LOT more in the long run.
recommended maintenance on your system: Inspect and clean filters Inspect (and clean and lubricate if necessary) moving parts, evaporator coil, electronics, compressor fan motor, blades, blower assembly and safety controls Adjust belts Check refrigerant level Drain pan Check lines and evaporator coil Preventative maintenance programs may vary slightly from one company to the next, but the general idea behind all programs is to ensure that all elements of the machine are working properly and that any inconsistencies are addressed. One of the most useful aspects of a preventative maintenance visit is the potential to catch problems before they develop into major issues requiring thousands of dollars in repairs. In addition to performing preventative maintenance procedures, Ruud service technicians undergo ongoing training to locate and identify potential issues with any system. By looking for potential problems, techs are able to diagnose
problems before they require extensive repairs or a complete system replacement. Most air conditioning companies will recommend preventative maintenance in the spring and fall before the extreme temperatures in the summer and winter put your system to the test. This way, any small malfunctions or inefficiencies in your system are spotted before the extreme temperatures arrive. For instance, if your refrigerant level is too low, you could be looking at an array of problems. Low levels of refrigerant could point to a leak and may lead to compressor failure and other issues. A preventative maintenance agreement would put a technician at your home to detect the low levels and repair the leak before catastrophe strikes. The structure of preventative maintenance agreements varies. Some extend multiple years, while others are offered for one year. Some include semi-annual visits in the spring and fall, while others offer annual services performed once per year. Any degree of preventative maintenance is helpful in maintaining your system’s performance and efficiency, but many experts recommend preventative maintenance be performed twice per year for optimal results.
When It’s Time To Replace Your HVAC System
If the unit is more than 10-15 years old, you should consider replacing your system with a Ruud energy-efficient unit. A new unit would greatly reduce your energy consumption, especially if the existing equipment is in poor condition. In today’s tough economic times, many might think about just patching their system to get through another season, but being penny wise will mean being dollar foolish down the road. New units that provide two-stage systems will not only lower your heating and cooling bills but will provide a much better comfort level in your home. Also, you can pretty much eliminate costly service calls for the next 5-10 years. Local rebates and incentives can really help offset the investment to a higher-efficiency system. Not only will you be more comfortable with a new system, it will likely reduce your heating and cooling costs 35% to 50%.
Southern Living A heat pumps may be the way to increase energy efficiency in warmer climates
Are Some Heat Pumps Better Than Others? Naturally, energy efficiency is important. But when making your selection, remember low operating costs are little comfort if service and repair bills are high. Don’t be sold on energy efficiency alone. Ruud is the only manufacturer to install the Compliant Scroll® Compressor, the industry best, in its entire residential heat pump line. What Should I Know About SEER and HSPF? The Department of Energy requires all air-conditioning and heating equipment manufacturers to evaluate and rate the efficiency of their equipment on a seasonal basis. These ratings are known as the SEER or, Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating, for air conditioners, and the HSPF or, Heating Seasonal Performance Factor, for heating equipment. Heat pumps use both numbers. The higher the SEER or HSPF rating, the more efficient the heat pump. High-efficiency units cost more. But since operating costs are lower, the payback period may be shorter than you realize. A high SEER/HSPF heat pump also can add value to your home which is important to today’s energy-conscious home buyers.
Time for a new furnace?
Older systems are inefficient and can use 30% to 50% more energy
hen a furnace loses or wastes heat, it requires more energy to keep your home warm. Some furnaces lose heat through the walls of the furnace cabinet. Energy-efficient furnaces like Ruud’s full line of state-of-the-art models significantly reduce this loss with a blanket of insulation that lines the inside of the cabinet walls. Heating is the largest energy expense in most homes, accounting for 35-50 percent of annual energy bills in colder parts of the country, according to the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy. When a gas furnace is not in operation, most send a steady, wasteful draft of warm household air traveling up the venting system and out the roof. The Ruud Achiever™ Series and High Achiever™ Lines – with AFUE ratings of 78% and better – feature an induced-draft blower that works in conjunction with a hot surface ignition system to pull hot gases through the heat exchanger at a constant and controlled rate of flow. As the burner cycles off, the draft blower stops, keeping the heating air in the system. Pilot lights also can be wasteful. The electric ignition in many of Ruud’s furnaces eliminates the need for a constantly burning pilot. Newer furnaces with electronic ignition systems have an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) of 94 percent or higher and can run up to 15 percent more efficiently than
standard models. The Ruud induced-draft blower maintains a constant draft through the heat exchanger, which assures proper venting of the furnace combustion chamber. Ruud also features a pressure switch, which continuously monitors venting; and in the event it senses a vent flow restriction, it will automatically shut down your heating system for your safety. The most efficient furnaces tap the energy of the hot vent gases – which can reach temperatures of 500 degrees Fahrenheit, and more. The Ruud Achiever™ Series 2-Stage 90 Plus gas furnace does this by routing the hot gases through a secondary heat exchanger. This step captures the otherwise wasted heat—using it to preheat the household air—and delivers AFUE ratings up to 95% A high-efficiency furnace generally wears a higher price tag, but it can make up the difference by reducing operating costs over the long run. And with today’s consumer interest in efficiency, such equipment enhances the bottom line of your home. If every gas furnace sold in the U.S. meets the new ENERGY STAR® requirements, consumers would save about $171 million per year in energy costs and annual greenhouse gas emissions would be reduced by the equivalent of emissions from about 177,000 cars, according to the government’s ENERGY STAR program.
Home Updates Made Easy
Putting the fun into
Different painting techniques can add new life to any room. Give it a try. If you hate it, one coat will give you a blank canvas to start again
aint can do more than change the color of a room - it can add texture, pattern and visual interest. Today’s decorative painting techniques are simple and sophisticated alternatives to wallpaper, and a far cry from the dated sponge painting from years past. Whether you’re a painting pro or a DIY beginner, here’s how you can transform a room with a few simple strokes. Whether you consider yourself shabby chic, prefer sleek modern looks or adhere to a more traditional style, decorative painting is a simple way to add flair to any space. With just a few supplies and a free weekend, you can transform any room into a space you adore.
ive any room an extra bit of “oomph” with textured techniques. Easy to do and requiring few supplies, they’re an excellent option for new DIYers. One simple technique is simulating the texture of fabric on walls - it makes any space feel warm and homey. To add a more masculine feel to a bachelor pad or study, use paint to create the appearance of leather on walls - apply a mix of glaze and brown paint to walls using a scrunched-up plastic bag to give the right texture. Once it is dry, use a roller to add a layer of brown glaze over it. You can also use textured techniques to easily create the look of linen for a light and airy feel, or to transform your walls to seem like wood or stone for an outdoorsy atmosphere. ,A technique called combing is also great for those new to decorative painting - it’s simple to do and mistakes are easy to fix. To “comb” your walls, paint your base coat of color and let it dry completely, use a paint roller to apply a thin layer of clear glaze, and “comb” through the glaze with a special paint comb. If you don’t like your first attempt, simply apply another coat of glaze with your paint roller and start over.
imple but stylish, stripes are an easy way to update your space. Vertical stripes create the feeling of high ceilings, making rooms feel spacious, while horizontal stripes add a modern, funky touch. For a subtle look, paint twotoned stripes in neutral hues - such as cream and taupe - or use the same color in two different sheens (i.e. glossy and flat). For a more dramatic redo, choose two contrasting colors, create multicolored stripes or
paint stripes in a variety of widths to add extra interest. When painting stripes, measure carefully and use a laser level to apply tape to ensure the lines are straight. Always remember to paint your base coat with the lightest color first since it will eventually become one of the stripes, and it is much easier to paint your darker colors over the lighter base. Then add the darker colored stripes, in order from lightest to darkest. To create stripes
with the sharp, crisp lines you’re looking for, choose FrogTape brand painter’s tape. Treated with patented PaintBlock Technology, FrogTape reacts with the water in latex paint to create a barrier that prevents paint bleed and helps ensure clean lines. For stripes, FrogTape is available in a Delicate Surface technology - it is great for decorative painting because it can be applied to fresh paint after only 24 hours.
Make ahead meal saves time
Make this great chicken casserole ahead of a busy week and just pop in the oven for a great weekday dinner.
EASY CREPES Just add extra milk to your favorite pancake recipe and spread it thinly on the griddle.
GREAT CARROTS Save dill pickle and sweet pickle juices after the jar is empty. Marinate carrot sticks in the liquid. Delicious!
BROWN SUGAR Add a slice of soft bread to a package of rock-hard brown sugar. Close the bag tightly, and in a few hours the sugar will be soft again.
he refrigerator and freezer are wonderful kitchen tools if you use them to your advantage. Goto dishes have never been easier, thanks to the classic preservation methods of refrigeration and freezing. With one stop at the grocery store you can have all the ingredients you need to create a variety of wholesome meals in a snap. Know the storage basics. Heavy-duty freezer bags are perfect for keeping sauces, marinades and soups for up to one month, whereas glass containers can provide simple portion control for already assembled dishes. Well-wrapped, double-sealed meals will be less likely to get freezer burn and can be stored for up to two to three months. Make sure to clearly label and date your freezer meals for easy reference. Thaw with care. There are several ways to thaw out your freezer meals, but only a couple of safe ones. You can place smaller containers in the refrigerator in the morning, and then pop them in the oven in the evening. If you are in a hurry, do a quick thaw by immersing the container in cold water or defrosting it on a low setting in the microwave.
Fiesta Chicken, Rice and Bean Casserole (Makes 6 to 8 servings)
WINE CORK Wrap wax paper around a cork before replacing it in a bottle. Allow a little of the cork to extend at the top. The cork will be easy to remove.
BREAD CRUMBS For seasoned bread
crumbs, whirl packaged bread stuffing in blender and use to bread chops or chicken.
2 cups water 2 teaspoons chicken bouillon 3/4 cup long-grain white rice 2 tablespoons butter 1 cup finely chopped onion 1 bell pepper, any color, chopped 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped 1 to 2 teaspoons ground cumin 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped 1 can (12 fluid ounces) evaporated milk 2 large eggs, lightly beaten 3 cups cooked, chopped or shredded chicken breast meat (about 3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves) 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese with
Go Fifty-Fifty. Serve half to your family now, half later. This Fiesta Chicken, Rice and Bean Casserole made with the classic Mexican flavors of jalapeno, cumin, corn and black beans can be enjoyed more than once. The addition of instant chicken bouillon granules and evaporated milk give it an especially savory and creamy flavor.
jalapenos 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed well and drained 1 1/2 cups frozen, thawed corn, drained 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (optional) Preheat oven to 350oF. Lightly grease 13 x 9-inch or 3-quart casserole dish. Bring water and bouillon to a boil in medium saucepan. Add rice; cover. Reduce heat to low; cook for 15 to 18 minutes or until rice is almost tender and most of liquid is absorbed (the rice will continue to cook in the casserole). Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper, jalapeno and cumin. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes or until tender. Stir in garlic; cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
Whisk together evaporated milk and eggs; stir into saucepan along with prepared rice, chicken, cheese, beans and corn. Spoon into prepared dish. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until bubbly and edges are golden. Sprinkle with cilantro before serving. For freeze ahead: Prepare as above using two 2-quart casserole dishes; do not bake or sprinkle with cilantro. Allow casserole to cool to room temperature. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, then with aluminum foil; freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in refrigerator. Uncover. Preheat oven to 350oF. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.
Chef Mary Ann Esposito, host of the PBS television show “Ciao Italia,” knows all about the joys and benefits of cooking with olive oil. Olive oil is 100 percent natural, contains no cholesterol, trans fats, sodium or sugar. It adds a delicious splash of flavor to any recipe. As a rule of thumb, she says, substitute an equal amount of olive oil for other cooking oils. Serves 4 1 3 1/2 to 4-pound free-range, organic chicken, butterflied 1/4 cup Extra Light Olive Oil Fine sea salt Freshly ground black pepper Cayenne pepper or dried hot red pepper flakes 1 cup dry white wine Lemon wedges
The Ultimate Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies
To butterfly chicken, place it on a plastic cutting board, breast side down. With kitchen shears or a boning knife, cut along both sides of backbone and remove and discard the bone or save for stock. Turn chicken over skin side up and flatten it by pressing down with hands or a meat pounder. Coat chicken completely with olive oil, then season with salt, pepper and cayenne to taste. Transfer chicken to a dish, cover, and marinate for several hours. This step can be done the day before. Preheat grill. When coals are white or a gas grill temperature reaches 500oF, place chicken on grill, breast side down. Cook, turning frequently, and keeping the fire under control so as not to burn the chicken. About 10 minutes into grilling, begin basting chicken with wine. Continue basting every 10 minutes. The chicken is cooked when a meat thermometer inserted into the thighbone registers between 175oF and 180oF. Transfer chicken to a cutting board, and cut into serving pieces. Serve hot with lemon wedges and a squirt of lemon juice. Use your fingers, not a fork, to eat.
Bake your own chocolate chip cookies. America’s favorite cookie comes in all shapes and textures. For soft and cakey cookies, use 3/4 cup butter and reduce brown sugar to 1/2 cup. For thinner, crispy cookies, increase butter to 1 1/4 cups and sugar to 1 1/4 cups. For a richer taste, try substituting dark chocolate chips made with 53% Cacao real dark chocolate for the traditional semi-sweet morsels. And for extra-chocolatey cookies, add the following recipe to your collection: Ingredients: 4 cups (two 12-oz. pkgs.) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels, divided 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon salt 1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened 1 cup packed brown sugar 1/2 cup granulated sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 3 large eggs Directions: PREHEAT oven to 37oF. (Makes 48 cookies)
MELT 2 cups morsels in small, heavy-duty saucepan over low heat; stir until smooth. Remove from heat. COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Beat butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in melted chocolate. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in remaining 2 cups morsels. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets. BAKE for 8 to 9 minutes or until cookies are puffed. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.