Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Kick Up The Heat With Grilling Marinades

(NAPSI)-One of the easiest ways to liven up your favorite grilling dishes is with the fresh tastes and aromas of simple, homemade marinades.

For example, Chipotle-Honey Marinade is a delicious alternative to a traditional barbecue sauce.

Perfect for pork, chicken and beef, this smoky and moderately spicy sauce is easily prepared by combining ketchup, honey and Tabasco chipotle pepper sauce. Together, these ingredients create a full-bodied sauce that is ideal for marinating your favorite cut of meat.

If you prefer fish or vegetables, try Citrus-Fennel Marinade at your next get-together. Lively ingredients such as fresh-squeezed orange juice, fresh lemon juice, orange zest, and fennel seeds combine together for a delicately sweet sauce that is balanced with the heat and spice from original Tabasco pepper sauce. This light and tangy marinade enhances the flavors of any grilled dish.

Chipotle-Honey Marinade

¼ cup ketchup

¼ cup honey

3 tablespoons Tabasco® brand chipotle pepper sauce

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

Combine ketchup, honey, Tabasco chipotle sauce, vinegar and salt in a medium bowl. Mix well.

Use as a marinade for pork or beef.

Makes 1 cup or 4 servings.

Citrus-Fennel Marinade

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed orange juice

1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice

1 tablespoon grated orange zest

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

1 teaspoon original Tabasco® brand pepper sauce

¼ cup fresh chopped parsley or dill

Combine olive oil, garlic, orange juice, lemon juice, orange zest, salt, fennel seeds, original Tabasco sauce, and parsley in a medium bowl. Mix well.

Use as a marinade for fish or vegetables.

Makes 1¼ cups or 4 servings.

The fresh tastes and aromas of marinades can take a dish from ordinary to extraordinary.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Healthy Cooking 101

CC Note: We've had the opportunity to sample some of this cooking. It's fantastic. We give it 4 chocolate covered strawberries, oops, we mean---- just go. You'll love it.

Please Join Dr. Kim & Nola Daniel CNC for Workshop on Health Cooking 101 July 26, 2008 2 PM to 5 PM. Cost is $ 50 per person.

Contact or call 678.814.1333 x 1. Space limited to 6 people.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Celebrate July 4th with Blueberry Cupcakes

CC Note: July 4th is just around the corner. Dig out those favorite patriotic style recipes, or just try this one. It's sure to be a hit with your family as you enjoy the Peachtree City Parade, the Newnan Parade, or the Fayetteville Bell Ringing Ceremony!

(ARA) – Top off your Independence Day celebration this year with Wave the Flag Cupcakes for everyone.

These cupcakes look adorable and will be a hit with your family and guests. With their patriotic colors, they’re perfect for a Fourth of July picnic, or anytime you feel like “waving the flag.” The secret in these sweet delights is that there are more blueberries baked inside -- and thanks to a quick trick or two, they’re lower in fat and calories than cupcakes made the traditional way.

Need another reason to celebrate? July is National Blueberry Month! Blueberries are most abundant and least expensive in mid-summer, making it an ideal time to get your fill of these little blue gems. Stock the fridge and freezer with blueberries to make meals, snacks and desserts that are easy on the cook. Blueberries never need to be peeled, pitted, stemmed or chopped -- just a quick rinse and they’re ready to eat or add to recipes.

Try these ideas for making quick, delicious desserts and snacks that are enjoyable any time:

* Layer fresh blueberries with yogurt and crushed cereal in tall glasses for tasty breakfast parfaits.
* Toss fresh blueberries, chopped pineapple, melon and mint in a bowl; drizzle with thawed apple juice concentrate to serve as a fruit salad or a light dessert.
* Whirl frozen blueberries, cranberry juice, yogurt and ice cubes in a blender; pour into cold glasses and serve for breakfast or snack.

Recipe for “Wave the Flag” Cupcakes

1 package (18- to 19-ounces) yellow cake mix
1/3 cup applesauce
3 egg whites
3 cups fresh blueberries, divided
1 package (8 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 red fruit-roll snack (from a 4.5 ounce box)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, beat cake mix with applesauce, egg whites and 1 1/4 cups water for 30 seconds on low speed, then 2 minutes on medium speed. Spoon batter into 24 (2 ½-inch) aluminum or paper lined muffin cups. Evenly divide 1 cup of blueberries onto tops of batter; do not stir. Bake cupcakes following package directions; remove to a wire rack and cool completely. In a small bowl, beat cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until smooth. Spoon onto cooled cupcakes; spread to the edges. Unroll fruit snack and, with a sharp knife, cut into strips 1/8-inch wide by 2-inches long. On half of each cupcake, arrange strips, trimming each to fit. Arrange remaining 2 cups blueberries on the frosting on other halves of the cupcakes, about 10 blueberries per cupcake.

Makes 24 cupcakes

Per cupcake, including frosting and toppings: 135 calories; 3 g protein; 24 g carbohydrate; 3 g total fat (1.8 g saturated fat).

Blueberries are not only convenient, they provide nutrients our bodies need every day. You can find more blueberry recipes and information at

Courtesy of ARAcontent

Thursday, June 12, 2008

New Roast Beef In Town

There's a new roast beef sandwich in town. And it can be found at Taco Mac. With plenty of meat piled high, and a super soft sandwich bun, it hits the spot. Add some honey mustard on the side, and it's heaven in a sandwich.

I've been an on and off again customer of Taco Mac for more years than I care to remember. Way back in the day, a group of us would frequent the locations around the Atlanta area when we were in need of having some great nachos.

Over the years, I stopped going. There wasn't any particular reason. I guess the food menu had gotten stale.

Then, I found their roast beef sandwich. Yep, I'll be back. You see, I have to go back. Once my spouse took a bite of MY roast beef sandwich, my sandwich disappeared. I'd like to say it was into thin air, but I bet you can guess what its fate was.

Yep, I'll be back. And next time, my spouse gets to order their own roast beef sandwich.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Do Not Microwave Spinach?

Cooked some frozen spinach last night. Usually I just toss it in a bowl, slide it into the microwave and nuke it. For some reason, this time I checked the bag to see how long the directions said to cook the healthy green stuff. I was surprised to see that the only cooking directions on the bag said to do it the old fashioned way --- put it in a pot and boil it on the stove.

I thought maybe they stuck the microwave directions somewhere else, so I looked over the entire bag. Guess what? On the side, amidst a bunch of other bulleted info, it said "Do not microwave". They didn't say it wasn't recommended, it flat out says "do not microwave". Hmmm...

I've read in recent days that they (can't remember who "they" happened to be) are saying not to microwave meat. Meat cooked in the microwave, per the "they", doesn't reach the needed high temperatures in the middle needed to kill the bad stuff that lurks in meats unless you're willing to cook it long enough to ruin the outside.

I know there have been some spinach scares over the past few years, so I thought possibly the reason for the directive had to do with food safety. Possibly, just like meat, the spinach doesn't reach the temperatures needed to kill the nasties that may linger on the leaves.

I went on an Internet search to see if I could find the answer. Putting in "spinach" and "microwave" brought up tons of recipes and suggestions on how to cook and how long to cook. No warnings. So, I added the word "warning".

Nothing caught my attention other than the article I've posted below. Then I tried "do not microwave" and "spinach". Still nothing.

I'm going to go pull the bag out of the freezer and find a contact address so I can ask the company why they say not to microwave. I dutifully pulled out a pot and cooked it on the stove top rather than take a chance. I'll let you know if the company responds! More than likely it'll just be that it cooks up better on the stove.

HEALTH WARNING: Is your Microwave Safe?
December 7, 2006 at 8:14 pm
Recent Cancer News from Johns Hopkins University, of Maryland, focuses on dioxins, chemicals found in plastics frequently used in freezing and microwave cooking. Read on to determine if you are putting yourself and your family at risk with your cooking and freezing methods...

Monday, June 9, 2008

A Fayette Treasure to go away? Village Cafe closing?

It’s almost official. The Village Café is slated to close its doors the end of this month. Owner Tom Shaver is currently out of town so I was unable to talk with him. However, restaurant management and staff have confirmed that the 18 plus year institution and much-loved restaurant is closing unless a buyer saves the day. I’m hoping against hope that someone will step forward and save this important part of Fayette County’s past and present.

The restaurant is a favorite for many and is one of the few independent restaurants to have survived in this age of chains and franchises. The Village Café offers fine dining in a quiet setting. They are known for their friendly, personalized service and outstanding selections. In all the years I’ve been frequenting the Village Café I have yet to have had a bad experience with the food or the staff.

I once drove in the rain to get two bowls of their fantastic Cajun Corn and Crab chowder. My husband, Greg loves the Tuscan Meatloaf. At one point in the restaurant’s past they took it off the menu and only served it as a special. Greg made a comment that he wished it could be on the menu all the time. They made it a point to call him to let him know when it was going to be on the menu. Ultimately they put it back on the regular menu.

Last night my husband and I decided we’d go over for dinner after a long day of campaigning (he’s running for County Commission). Walking into the café was like walking into another world. You forget that you’re in the middle of a shopping.

The economy is sure to have had an affect on business. Yet, if what I am hearing from friends and the staff is correct, Tom is simply ready to retire and no one is stepping up to the plate to buy this wonderful restaurant. The lease is up, so someone could somewhat easily snap up the staff, the menu and the clientele and move to another part of the county.

***I hear tell that the Old Mill is going for somewhere in the neighborhood of four million. Wowzer. That would be a perfect place for the Village Café, but that is a very pricey tag which helps me to understand why, if the cost is accurate, it has been on the market for so long. Johnny Carinos in Fayetteville is also empty. I’m not sure that’s a good fit, but it is an empty restaurant in need of a tenant. Just outside Peachtree City the now-closed Buckhead Brewery & Grill building is available. I’m sure with a bit of thought I could find a few more spots a new owner would find workable.

The Village Café is a place where you always run into someone you know. It’s a place where everyone goes the extra mile to make sure you’re happy. When the Village Café goes away, another important part of Fayette County will go away. We will be losing one more thing that helps to set this county apart from the rest. We will be losing just a little bit of our uniqueness. I’m sorry to see them go and I’m hoping for a miracle.

*** We were quickly set straight on the price for the Old Mill. The asking price is $1.7 million! It sits on 4.25 acres, which may be where the price mix-up came from. We'd love to see someone snatch up the Old Mill, keep it intact! We'd love to see the Village Cafe in the building! If you haven't seen the Old Mill, drive down Hwy. 54 between Fayetteville and Peachtree City. It's the gorgeous place with the lake behind it, a water fall easily visible from the porch and glassed windows. It used to be one of our favorite places to eat. We did our part to keep the fish happy and fat after we ate and were a bit happier (although hopefully not fatter ;-)

Friday, June 6, 2008

Georgia Peaches: Sweet, Succulent & Satisfying

CC Note: Georgia peaches-- yummy. Nothing better on a hot summer day than biting into a fresh juicy peach from the Peach State. We highly recommend this peach salsa recipe.

NAPSI-For a snack, dessert topping or succulent ingredient in a favorite recipe, a popular fuzzy fruit is always a peachy idea. And when you pick a peach from Georgia, you’ve got something extra-sweet in your hand.

Home to about 1.6 million peach trees, Georgia’s central region produces 100 million pounds of peaches annually. And these round beauties are not only delicious, but also incredibly nutritious. Packed with natural goodness, Georgia peaches contain several major nutrients, including vitamins A (beta-carotene), C and potassium. They’re also an excellent source of fiber, good for blood sugar and keeping cholesterol low.

But it is their distinctive, sweet taste that sets Georgia peaches apart from others in the orchard. This makes them an excellent choice for snacking, salsa and raw sauces and toppings.

“Georgia peaches hold a real place of honor on the Southern table,” says chef and popular cookbook author, Virginia Willis, whose newest book is “Bon Appetit, Y’all: Recipes and Stories From Three Generations of Southern Cooking” (Ten Speed Press). “Like the wonderful generations of families who grow them, these delicious beauties are very special. They have a sweetness all their own and really make a statement on the plate,” Willis adds.

One way to enjoy Georgia peaches is with this sweet-and-tangy salsa recipe. Stir up a batch and you’ll be on your way to better health by getting at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. To learn more, including recipes, health information, pointers on picking and storage tips, visit


Yield: About 31/2 cups

2 cups peeled and chopped Georgia peaches

¾ cup chopped red bell pepper

¼ cup seeded, chopped cucumber

¼ cup sliced green onion

1 to 2 tablespoons seeded, finely minced jalapeño pepper

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro

Combine all ingredients. Cover and chill for several hours, stirring occasionally.

Uniquely versatile Georgia peaches have a deliciously juicy, sweet flavor.

Fayette Front Page
Community News You Can Use
Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Beyond Barbecue: The Summer Tapas Trend

(ARA) – Summer is synonymous with outdoor picnics, barbeques and entertaining family and friends. This year, instead of grilling up the same barbeque staples, experiment with tapas-style recipes that are light and sensible and embrace the flavors of the season. Your guests will sure be satisfied by these, small, tasty and distinctive food choices.

Tapas, which originated in Spain, is the name for a variety of appetizers or small plates of food, such as olives and cheese, seafood such as squid, empanadas, fried potatoes and omelets. Since arriving in the United States, the tapas trend has evolved into an entire cuisine. In fact, now there are a variety of ethnic small plate servings beyond tapas, which include meze, from the Mediterranean, and dim sum and sushi from Asia.

Preparing meals tapas-style is ideal when entertaining because you can offer your guests a variety of small plates that are portion-controlled yet deliciously light and sensible for the summer. Try these mouth-watering alternatives at your next gathering.

Traditional: Hamburgers and Hotdogs
Tapas-style: Mini Turkey Meatballs

Turkey meatballs are a great choice for small plates and let guests have a protein option that is more sensible than fatty hamburgers and hotdogs. Cook some in your favorite lightly-flavored sauce and place between three and five on a plate. Bon appetit!

Traditional: Fruit Bowl Salad
Tapas-style: Individual Grilled Fruit Skewers

During summer, grocery stores and farmer’s markets are bursting with nature’s bounty of sweet fruit. Go tapas-style and separate your favorite fruit selections on individual fruit skewers. For a unique taste, set fruit kabobs on the grill for several minutes and let the heat bring out the sweet flavor.

Traditional: Pizza
Tapas-style: Mini Pizza

Good tapas embrace light portions and variety. Everyone loves pizza so go tapas-style and make a batch of mini pizzas for your guests. These can be made on Weight Watchers Whole Wheat Pita Bread with tomato sauce, sprinkled with low fat Mozzarella cheese and topped with a variety of vegetables including mushrooms, broccoli and onion.

Traditional: Sandwiches
Tapas-style: Tea Sandwiches

Tea sandwiches are prepared sandwiches that are small enough to be eaten in two or three bites. Most are made from traditional white or wheat bread and are filled with a variety of savory cheese and meats. Start by making full sandwiches and removing the crusts. Cut each into four triangle pieces. For a fun summer theme, use flower or animal shaped cookie cutters to cut out tea sandwich shapes.

Traditional: Chocolate Cake
Tapas-style: Yogurts or Chocolate Candies

Individually packaged yogurts or chocolate candies are a perfect dessert option for a tapas party instead of a high fat chocolate cake. Weight Watchers yogurts, for example, come in a variety of indulgent flavors including amaretto cheesecake, Boston cream pie and cherry cheesecake, so guests can choose their favorite for a cool summer treat. Another option is to serve is Weight Watchers chocolate candies including the new Peanut Butter Cups or Chocolate Mousse candies, unwrapped and displayed on a beautiful glass platter.

If you think tapas might be a good idea for your next gathering, try this recipe for delicious veggie sandwiches:

Grilled Veggie Pocket with Fresh Herb Pesto
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Makes one sandwich, which can be cut in half for tapas-style plates.

1 tablespoon pesto
1 cup red onion, thinly sliced
1 small zucchini, cut into thin strips
Pinch salt
Pinch pepper
1/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 garlic clove
1 tablespoon reduced-fat grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons plain low-fat yogurt
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons pignoli nuts
1 Weight Watchers 100-percent Whole Wheat Pita Pocket, toasted

1) Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly coat a baking sheet with nonstick spray. Arrange red onion and zucchini in a single layer across baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Roast until vegetables soften, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat promptly and set aside to cool slightly.

2) Meanwhile, to make the pesto, combine basil leaves, garlic, cheese and yogurt in a food processor and pulse on medium-high speed until smooth and well blended. Transfer mixture to medium bowl and stir in lemon juice and pignoli nuts. Add vegetables and toss to coat. Spoon vegetable-pesto mixture into pita pocket. You can serve this sandwich whole, or cut into small pieces perfect for a tapas party.

Per serving (1 sandwich): 260 Cal, 7 g Fat, 0.5 g Sat Fat, 0 g Trans Fat, 10 mg Chol, 550 mg Sod, 46 g Carb, 13 g Fib, 13 g Prot, 20 percent Calc. POINTS value: 5.

For more healthy meal ideas, visit

Courtesy of ARAcontent

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Quick And Nutritious Breakfast Tips For Warm-Weather Mornings

NAPSI-Summertime tends to conjure up images of lazy days spent relaxing on the beach. In reality, the warmer months can be just as busy and hectic as the school year. Whether it’s rushing to get the kids ready for camp or making sure they’re not late for swimming lessons, hectic morning schedules have a tendency to take over the household.

“No matter how crazy the mornings become, starting the day off right with a nutritious breakfast is one habit that shouldn’t be compromised. It’s a must for everyone in the family,” said Registered Dietitian Cathy Clark-Reyes. “This is especially important to remember during the warmer months when days are more active and you’re using up extra energy.”

Keeping tight schedules in mind, Clark-Reyes offers some simple tips to ensure that everyone in the family fits in a healthy breakfast before running out the door.

• Dress Up an Easy Favorite: Breakfast can be quick and easy, but it doesn’t have to be boring. Fill small bowls with seasonal fruits like berries, sliced peaches and bananas, as well as nuts and brown sugar. Have each family member customize his or her bowl of hot or cold cereal with these delicious toppings for a wholesome and flavorful breakfast.

• Do Some Summer Homework That’s Fun: If your mornings tend to be hectic, make breakfast the night before. Try a quick muffin recipe or prepare a muesli mix before heading to bed. Once you wake up, these tasty and nutritious options will be easy to grab during a busy morning.

• Pack it Up: If sitting down for a healthy bowl of oatmeal or cold cereal is not an option, look for a convenient alternative that delivers the same nutritional benefits. Quaker Oatmeal to Go bars are a great choice and can be eaten right out of the package while you’re in transit. They provide all the nutrition and whole grain goodness of instant oatmeal in a handheld form.

“Breakfast is important for both adults and kids, so experiment with convenient products and time-saving methods to find out what works best for you and your family,” said Clark-Reyes.

Here’s a delicious, healthy summer breakfast idea that you can prepare the night before:

Fruitful Morning Muesli

2 cups QUAKER® Oats (quick or old-fashioned, uncooked)

2 cups apple juice or apricot nectar

11/2 cups sliced fresh fruit (any combination of bananas, peaches, nectarines or strawberries)

1 8-ounce carton vanilla low-fat yogurt

2 tablespoons chopped nuts (optional)

Combine all ingredients except nuts; mix well. Cover; refrigerate 8 hours or overnight. Serve cold; sprinkle with nuts, if desired. Refrigerate in airtight container for up to 4 days.

For more great-tasting recipe ideas and nutritious eating tips, visit