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Update #1 No Bake Sales in American Schools Either

Seems like just yesterday I wrote a post about the Australian government making a regulation that any cake sold in Australia has to be produced in a “licensed kitchen.” 

Soon to a school near you.

New legislation was passed just this week that would limit bake sales in American schools. Evidently the language is so broad that, according to Sean P Aune.com, the law “actually gives a presidential administration the right to ban bake sales altogether, but there have been indications that won’t be happening (for now).” [Emphasis mine.] 

Sean P. Aune goes on to say, and I concur:

As a former “band kid” that was around when we had to buy several hundred new uniforms, I can tell you that if it wasn’t for bake sales, we would have been sunk.  The government is saying there are other means of raising funds out there, and it’s time to move away from the bake sale.  What exactly would that be?  Tell me another activity where a parent can donate their time to make something that is relatively cheap, donate it and then the people raising funds can sell it for what amounts to a silly amount of money.  I’ll be waiting for your answer, but I won’t be holding my breath.

I guess, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.,” is just too much to ask for these days. A free society must just be a quaint notion these days. Maybe it is dead forever.

Update #2 Potatoes

Remember the Twinkie diet I wrote about a short while back? This was the story about a Profesor of Human Nutrition at Kansas State University; Mark Haub who went on a Twinkie diet and lost 27 pounds.

Well, now someone in Washington state did the same thing but this time eating only potatoes. And he lost weight too.

As soon as someone reports news items like these some people, aka the food police,  get their knickers all bunched up and say things like: “That’s dumb,” “That’s not nutritious,” “I couldn’t recommend that diet,” and the like.

I don’t think the people  going on these diets are trying to recommend a diet of all twinkies or all potatoes. And I am not recommending anything. I report stories, often about food since this is a cooking blog, I find interesting and that I think you might too.

For instance, Mark Haub, the Twinkies guy, he had a guess that it is not what you eat nor the nutritional value of diet food, but how many calories, or how much you eat, that causes weight gain or weight loss. He devised a scientific inquiry and proved his hypothesis.

Now to tie the Twinkie story into the potato story, you may remember, a short while back I also did a story titled, Could Potatoes Save Your Life? In that post I shared a news item that said potatoes can easily be grown in a small area such as a backyard or even on a patio and could potentially be survival food for folks on a tight budget. This brings me to Chris Voigt and his potato diet. According to the BBC News Magazine:

Chris Voigt’s reason for eating potatoes, potatoes and nothing but potatoes is as plain and simple as his diet has been for the past two months.

As executive director of the Washington State Potato Commission, he’s trying to debunk perceptions that potatoes are unhealthy and instead are a good source of fibre, potassium and vitamin C.

And so to prove it, he went on a diet consisting only of 20 potatoes a day. He ate potatoes baked, boiled, fried, mashed, and every way you could fix a potato. Except, and it is a big except – no cheese or butter and milk for mashing.  For Thanksgiving he made himself a batch of mashed potatoes and shaped it like a turkey. Critics warned him he would gain weight and that he would not get all the nutrients he needed, and were especially worried about high blood sugar levels from carbs.

But just like with the Twinkies:

But in the course of his two-month diet, Mr. Voigt himself says he has lost 18 pounds. His previously borderline-high cholesterol has dropped – down 52 points at the half-way mark. And the family food bill is down as he can feed himself for $15 (£9.40) a week. [Emphasis mine.]

Fifteen dollars a week is less than a $1 per meal!!!!!!!!!

Voight also said:

Physically I feel great. Lots of energy, sleep good at night, no strange side-effects,” says Mr. Voigt from his office in Moses Lake, Washington state. “I’m not encouraging anyone to go on this crazy diet, nor would my doctor. This diet was just a bold statement to remind people that there is a lot of nutrition in a potato.” [Emphasis mine.]

Now once again, no one is saying you should go on a diet like this. I share this with you simply because it is interesting and because it lends weight to the previous article I shared with you, Could Potatoes Save Your Life?

Potatoes could be a great way to stretch your food budget is all I am saying.

In other words, if money is tight, if the American economy worsens, you could eat potatoes WITH as many other fresh fruits and vegetables, and some meat, whatever you can afford, to help sustain you and your family till better times come. That would be a good thing! And if you can grow some of your own potatoes that would save even more money.

So now that I have talked up potatoes again, I am going to share a mushroom recipe with you. Makes sense? Right? It makes just as much sense as starting off the topic on potatoes by mentioning Twinkies. I am crazy fun like that.

Featured Recipe        Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms

Stuffed mushrooms are so delicious. They take a bit of time. Nothing hard, mind you. But there are a few steps. But, Oh, they are so worth it. They make a lovely holiday or party appetizer.

The Ohhhhs and Ahhhhhhhhhhs and compliments are sooooo worth the work though.

This is my absolute favorite stuffed mushroom recipe. I am not positive of the specific title of the cook book it came from. It may have been Entertaining Made Easy. But I do not know for sure. Plus it is out of print now antwat. But I am positive of the publisher. It was HP Publishing. HP  is out of business now. It was bought up by one of the bigger publishers.

I think what makes this a spectacular recipe is the cream cheese. Oh, be still my heart!!!!

You will notice I have a lot of NOTES: in this recipe. These are just variations of mine or what I have discovered works or doesn’t work for me when making this recipe. You may have a different experience. Play around. Have fun!!!!

This is what you will need: 

About 50 small mushrooms (1 pound)*

4 slices bacon diced

1 medium onion diced

2 tablespoons green pepper minced

Salt & pepper to taste

1 3 ounce package cream cheese

½ cup buttered breadcrumbs*

¼ cup hot water

Parsley for garnish – optional

*NOTES: I have never ever gotten 50 mushrooms from the filling. I get about 30. And that is what I had today, too, 33 to be exact.

You will also need to add the breadcrumbs to some melted butter as well. I included that in the ingredient list.

Preheat oven to 375.

Butter a 13x9x2 baking dish. About 1 teaspoon of the softened butter will suffice. Just use your fingers to spread it around the baking dish.

NOTE: I used a smaller baking dish and will just bake the mushrooms in two batches. One today and one for tomorrow.

Melt the rest of the butter in a small pan. Add the bread crumbs and mix till crumbly. Set crumbs aside for now.

Clean mushrooms, remove stems, and make a nice well in the mushroom cap………….

…………….chop the stems and save for mushroom stuffing.

Dice your bacon, onion, and green peppers ………………..

Sauté bacon, onion, green pepper, and mushroom stems until cooked through but not browned is what the recipe calls for.

NOTE: I actually sauté the bacon first and get it a little browned. I like it that way. Just a little crisp. Not too crisp, as they will cook further in the oven.

I set up the chopping board next to the stove and chop things in the order listed. When I finish chopping I add it to the skillet.

Then I add in the onions,and the green peppers andcontinue sautéing……….

……………..and finally add the mushrooms stems. Add the salt and pepper if using.

Combine cream cheese with bacon mixture.

NOTE: I cut the cream cheese into small pieces and add to the skillet. It melts faster and it is easier to blend in those small pieces than when it is one big chunk.

Melting………..melting………..melting.

Yummy…………..Yummier………………..Yummiest!!!!!

When the cream cheese has totally melted and is well mixed in with the veggies……………………..

………….it is time to stuff our little darlings. Using a teaspoon press  filling firmly into mushroom caps mounding slightly. Or mounding a lot as you like it.

Place mushrooms in the buttered dish. Top with buttered breadcrumbs.

NOTE:  I go lightly here. Not too many bread crumbs. Just a light dusting. You may prefer more.

Add the water.

NOTE: I go easy on the water too. Too much and the mushrooms become soggy. So I just use about 1/8 cup and then just check once or twice while baking and add water if the bottom of the pan looks too dry.

Bake 15-20 minutes

Garnish with parsley if so desired. I seldom do, but if you like it, go for it!

Hungry yet? You want a bite, don’t you? Delish!!!!!

Bon Appetit!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cost

About 50 mushrooms                        $2.99 (sale)                                       

4 slices bacon diced                          $1.32

1 medium onion diced                       $0.70

2 tblsps green pepper                       $0.34

1 3 ounces cream cheese                  $0.81

½ cup buttered breadcrumbs            $0.28

3tablespoons butter                          $0.45

Parsley for garnish – optional            $0.05

Salt & pepper to taste

¼ cup hot water

Total Cost = $6.94
Cost per mushroom (33) = $0.21

Quote of the Day

In matters of style swim with the current; In matters of principle, stand like a rock.

Thomas Jefferson

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