Food Notes (February 2012)



February 2012

Volume 12, Issue #1

~  Newsletter Archives  ~



Topics in this issue of Food Notes


Food Fare News Ticker


Recipes-on-a-Budget Cookbook released

Our new cookbook features more than 150 recipes for inexpensive meals, including breakfast, lunch, dinner, side dishes, beverages and snacks.


New web site for Food Fare Culinary Collection

New web site launched for Culinary Collection.


Olive Oil and Cupid's Kitchen released

"Olive Oil" & "Cupid's Kitchen" added to Food Fare Culinary Collection.


Cooking with Pine Nuts

Read all about Pine Nuts in Food Fare's newest food article.





The weather is ripe for a good cup of hot chocolate. Rather than buy the packaged variety, try making your own. It will cost less in the long run and likely last through the winter months.



10 C dry milk powder

4 C confectioners' sugar, sifted

1 3/4 C unsweetened cocoa powder

1 3/4 C powdered non-dairy creamer (Coffee-Mate brand is best)


In a large bowl, combine dry milk powder, confectioner's sugar, cocoa powder and non-dairy creamer. Stir until thoroughly combined. Store cocoa mixture in an airtight container. Recipe makes 15 cups of cocoa mix, or enough for about 45 servings.


To make an individual cup of hot cocoa, place 1/3 C mix in a mug. Add about 3/4 C boiling water, and stir to dissolve. Top with whipped cream or marshmallows if desired.

Food Fare: Beverage Recipes


More Beverages >



Food Fare Readers Mail


Food Fare often receives e-mail from reader's who have something to say about our web site, recipes, cookbooks, food articles and e-books in the Culinary Collection.


Reader's Mail >



Share your favorite recipes at Food Fare!


Do you want to become a recipe contributor to Food Fare? If so, you can have your own free pop-up page at Food Fare with a photo and links to your web site and blog.


Join the fun >



Food Games


Are you an epicurean who fancies food-related computer diversions? Check our links to time management games that can be downloaded and played at home, some of which include printable recipes.


Food Games >



Food Fare: Contests & Drawings





Food Fare: Japanese Recipes


Food Fare: Mushroom Recipes


Food Fare: Recipes Using Olive Oil


Food Fare: Russian Recipes



Food Fare: Vegetarian Recipes



Greetings from Food Fare


It is proven fact that the aromas of cooking can trigger powerful memories in people. Baking bread or savory sizzles can bring back comforting recalls from the past, mostly pleasant but sometimes bittersweet.


While assembling the Recipes-on-a-Budget Cookbook earlier this year, part of my work led me into the dusty archives of both Food Fare and my food blog Appetizing Muse. The offline archives reach back more than a decade. In my attempt to find originally appealing yet inexpensive dishes for the new cookbook, I managed to resurface many happy memories from my own past. A few of them were also quite humorous.


Let's set the scene. I was living in Washington in March 2004 with my late husband and former Food Fare recipe contributor, Wilbert Alviso. At the time, Wilbert worked the night shift at a local hospital (in the brain trauma unit, no less). While I've always done my fair share of cooking, I've never been enthralled with the daily slog of trying to decide what to prepare for any given meal. However, I decided to be the "good wife" for once and prepare Wilbert a meal before he awakened from a well-deserved sleep.


My description of the effort went as follows:

This was not a day to place myself in the kitchen. I decided to be kind to Wilbert and prepare dinner, but from the get-go trouble brewed instead. When I opened the freezer door to get a bag of vegetables, a frozen-solid package of hot dogs flew out and hit the floor, narrowly missing my foot. Let me first clarify that our freezer is the top half of our refrigerator, therefore the freezer door is half-sized as well. After bending over to pick up the cursed package of hot dogs, I stood back up and hit my head smack on the open freezer door, jolting the door off its hinges and crashing it to the floor while a loose screw went flying across the kitchen to the entrance of the pantry.


I was slightly dazed for a few minutes, rubbing the top of my noggin and swearing a blue streak. I developed a goose egg, of course, but trudged ahead and made dinner anyway. When Wilbert woke up from his sleep, he fixed the freezer door and kept looking at me in amazement. "You must have one tough skull," he said. "Either that or your Irish stubbornness has seeped into every fiber of your being."


Once in awhile Wilbert comes up with a zinger or a nicely turned phrase. Today was one of those occasions when the opportunity presented itself and he grabbed it running – at my expense. I can't begrudge his small and all-too-rare victory, so I let the comment slide…

The memory is made all the more poignant because Wilbert passed away last September. He was one of my best friends, so reading about our life together is rather bittersweet.


In yet another "archives" foray, I found a long-forgotten recipe dubbed Turkey-Moo Lasagna. Apparently, I developed the dish on-the-fly in April 2005. Inspired by a desire for healthier meals (Wilbert was diabetic) and the need for food economizing, I created the recipe using ground turkey with just a small amount of ground beef thrown in. Known to be wary of healthier food variations despite his diabetes, my concoction of Turkey-Moo Lasagna passed Wilbert's taste-meter nonetheless.


Turkey-Moo Lasagna


The dish is one of more than 150 included in the newly-released Recipes-on-a-Budget Cookbook. The e-cookbook features recipes for inexpensive meals, including breakfast, lunch, dinner, sides, beverages and snacks. For a complete list of recipes, click here (PDF). Recipes are also freely available on the Food Fare web site.


The current economic climate has forced many to trim their food budgets. Families either do without, or find ways to stretch ingredients in multiple dishes with inexpensive fillers. Ironically, as many also go without health insurance, they are forced to buy "cheap" foods that are often unhealthy in order to feed their families. It doesn't have to be that way. With a little pre-planning, such as coupon-clipping and opting to buy generic brands, healthy food can be prepared without exceeding the weekly budget.


I know what it's like to live on ramen noodles for weeks and months on end because of dire financial straits, which in part inspired me to assemble the Recipes-on-a-Budget Cookbook. I'm quite familiar with the dread and semi-panic of digging for change just to buy a few packages of ramen and frozen vegetables in order to feed myself for the week. Thankfully, those days are over but I will never forget them.


Eggs have suffered a bad reputation over the years, but they are actually full of protein and fairly inexpensive. Frozen vegetables, pastas and beans are also economical, especially when generic brands are substituted. The notion that generic brands equal inferior quality is a misnomer. More often than not, the same product being presented in brand-name packaging is the same in generic foods. Some people have psychological fixations that preclude buying generic for fear of being labeled. However, if it comes to feeding your family or going without, the choice is obvious.


Not all dishes in the Recipes-on-a-Budget Cookbook are health-strict, but they are nutritious for the most part and affordable.


Now on with more of the latest "foody" news...





The two newest additions to our Culinary Collection include Olive Oil and Cupid's Kitchen, both available in Kindle and Nook editions.


Food Fare Culinary Collection: Olive Oil      Food Fare Culinary Collection: Cupid's Kitchen


Olive Oil contains information about the olive tree, planting, harvesting and pressing olives, different grades of olive oil, terminology, infusions, health benefits, recipes and links for further study. More >


Cupid's Kitchen contains histories of St. Valentine as well as Cupid, trivia and tradition for St. Valentine's Day, along with dessert recipes suitable for any romantic occasion. Read more >


Food Fare has launched a special web site for the Culinary Collection. The site includes individual pages for each book, a "search" feature and links to online recipe pages. Check it out!


Food Fare Culinary Collection >




Food Fare will launch a drawing for the Recipes-on-a-Budget Cookbook in March 2012.


Food Fare will accept e-mail entries from March 1st to April 30th, with the winner being announced on May 1st. The prize will be a free Adobe digital edition of the Recipes-on-a-Budget Cookbook.


Keep your eyes peeled for the official announcement!


For more, visit Food Fare's Contests & Drawings >





The new Search feature at Food Fare allows readers to look for specific recipes, articles and books available on our site. Give it a whirl >


With the release of the Recipes-on-a-Budget Cookbook, more than 150 new recipes have been added to our online collection. Recipes >


We've re-designed the Spice Rack pages, which continue to provide our readers with information, guides, ideas and suggested substitutions for a variety of herbs and spices. The Spice Rack >


To keep up on the latest, join our Mailing List >





Look for more new titles in the Culinary Collection before summertime, as well as additions to our roster of online Food Articles. We're also planning more free giveaways and drawings. Check for updates on our News page, or visit us at Appetizing Muse, Facebook and Twitter.


Happy Cooking from Food Fare,

Shenanchie @ Food Fare



Shenanchie O'Toole

Shenanchie O'Toole

Chief Editor, Food Notes


Connect with Shenanchie:

Appetizing Muse (blog)

Food Fare @ Facebook

Food Fare @ Twitter



The newest releases from Food Fare


Recipes-on-a-Budget Cookbook


Food Fare Culinary Collection: Cupid's Kitchen


Food Fare Culinary Collection: Olive Oil



Food Fare: Valentine's Day Recipes



In honor of Valentine's Day, why not prepare this tried-and-true luscious dessert for your loved one?



3 egg yolks

1/4 C white sugar

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 1/8 C mascarpone cheese

24 ladyfingers

1 1/2 C brewed coffee

1 TBS unsweetened cocoa powder


Beat yolks with sugar and vanilla until smooth and light yellow. Fold mascarpone into yolk mixture. Set aside. Dip ladyfingers in coffee and arrange in the bottom of an 8x8" baking dish. Spread half the mascarpone mixture over ladyfingers; repeat with remaining cookies and mascarpone. Cover and chill one hour. Sprinkle with cocoa just before serving.


Food Fare: Valentine's Day Recipes



Food Fare: Irish Recipes




St. Patrick's Day is just around the corner. Who says you have to settle for corned beef and cabbage when celebrating Ireland's patron saint?


Browse Food Fare's collection of Irish Recipes, or learn about the history of St. Patrick and other Irish legends.


Food Fare Culinary Collection: The Emerald Isle


For more about Ireland, get a copy of The Emerald Isle by Food Fare.


Food Fare: Irish Recipes





Appetizing Muse (Shenanchie's Food Blog)


Food Fare (Shenanchie) @ Facebook


Food Fare Cookbooks


Food Fare Culinary Collection


Search Food Fare


Food Fare (Shenanchie) @ Twitter





Food Fare: Artichoke Recipes


Food Fare: Avocado Recipes


Food Fare: Feline Recipes


Food Fare: Canine Recipes


Food Fare: Garlic Recipes


FOOD NOTES (C) 2012 Food Fare | Design: Webs Divine

Food Fare Food Notes, Volume 12, Issue #1, February 2012


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