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Meritage Wines Say American like No Other

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Posted by Janie Franz
Categories: Trends, Wine,

Dubbed eighteen years ago in a naming contest sponsored by three Napa Valley wine makers, these wines combined the best qualities of the French varietals Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon (the “merit”) grown here in the US with the blending tradition of Old World Bordeaux (the “heritage”). The result was a line of red and white table wines that was uniquely American. The White Meritage, in particular, is hearty enough to satisfy the hardened Chardonnay enthusiast but …

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Demystifying Growth Labels

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Posted by Janie Franz
Categories: Lists, Shopping, Trends, Food Trivia, Organic,

Here’s a quick guide to all of those food labels you find in your supermarket: Certified Organic: Produce grown without pesticides or chemical fertilizers.  Fair Trade: Foods grown and harvested by companies that offer a living wage and acceptable working and living conditions. Free-range: Chickens allowed to graze in a large open lot and not housed in cages. Some beef and bison are free-range and may be given some grain during the last few weeks to …

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Organic Cookies?

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Posted by Janie Franz
Categories: Snacks, Kosher Cooking,

Yes-sir, you can get organic in the cookie aisle. Once the boon of people with food allergies, organic cookies and other snacks are becoming more readily available outside of health food stores and in your regular supermarket. One manufacturer, Country Choice Organic, has a line of cookies that would be the envy of Grandma and stand tall along side of other cookie choices in your grocery store. They have six different flavors of sandwich cookies, including …

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Book Review: Edible Salad Garden

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Posted by Janie Franz
Categories: Books, Recipes, Salad,

Rosalind Creasy’s Edible Salad Garden was the first in the Edible Garden Series that began in 1999. In a little over 100 pages, Creasy lays out everything you need to know about putting in a salad garden by your kitchen door. It’s a handy little book, divided into three sections: The Edible Art of Salad Gardens, The Encyclopedia of Salad Greens, and Favorite Salad Recipes. She also includes two appendices: Planting & Maintenance and Pests & …

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Types of Ground Pepper

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Posted by Janie Franz
Categories: Food Trivia, Condiments,

Add some extra zing in your recipes by adding a different kind of pepper to your favorite dishes. There are four different pepper varieties, though they are really from the same plant. Green peppercorns are treated with sulphur dioxide to preserve their green color. They are not usually dried, but preserved in salt, brine, or vinegar.  They can also be frozen, dehydrated, and freeze-dried. They have a mild flavor and can be eaten whole, without grinding. …

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Types of Salt

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Posted by Janie Franz
Categories: Food Trivia, Condiments,

So, you thought salt was salt, right? Well, all salt is still sodium chloride, but salt comes from different sources in the world and have different textures and subtleties of flavor. There are three main types of salt: table salt, pickling salt, and rock salt. A cheap non-food grade salt, rock salt comes in bigger crystals and is used to melt ice quickly when making ice cream or for clearing your sidewalk. Pickling salt is used …

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History of Salt

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Posted by Janie Franz
Categories: History, Condiments,

Salt has been with us for thousands of years. The Egyptians used salt to preserve mummies 3,500 years ago, and the Chinese were using salt some 5,000 years ago for medicinal purposes.  Salt was used in pottery making, preserving meat and fish, dying cloth, and cleaning a variety of objects. Our grandparents knew that their livestock needed salt and provided large blocks of salt, called salt licks, for their cattle. Today, it has 14,000 known uses, …

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History of the Salt Shaker and Salt Cellar

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Posted by Janie Franz
Categories: Utensils, History, Spices,

Salt shakers were invented in 1858 by John Mason, the guy who invented the screw-top Mason jar.  He made little screw-top jars to keep salt in at the table and keep it from caking from the humidity.  But these were short-lived. Just over a decade later, salt was more finely milled and ceramic containers with perforations in their tops were invented.  In between these two salt containers, C. P. Crossman patented an agitator in his shalt …

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Banning Salt and Taxing Sugar

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Posted by Janie Franz
Categories: News, Science, Trends,

No, that’s not some obscure reference to the Revolutionary War. It’s a real proposal by the AMA. If this organization of doctors had its way, salt and the products that are made with it will come with a warning label, and sugary products will have an added tax. At the national convention this past June, the American Medical Association announced a manifesto against salt and sugar, two products that physicians have said contribute to high blood …

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Preserving Your Knives

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Posted by Janie Franz
Categories: Utensils,

Wash your knives immediately after use to avoid food build up on the knife edge. Don’t put them in the dishwasher since the blade may become damaged. Handwash and dry on a soft towel. Do not store you knives in a drawer (unless it’s a knife drawer with a built in wooden block). Store your knives in a wooden block. An angled knife block makes retrieving the proper knife easier. Avoid cutting food on hard surfaces …

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