The Monday Mag – June 29, 2015

In This Edition Of Our Weekly Magazine:

– Trans Fat – Puttin’ OFF the Ritz
– Snack Attack – Shoot For 100
– Banana Gone Bananas

Our Favorite Quote Of The Week – “This is the real secret of life — to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.” – Alan W. Watts.

158 - trans fat

Trans Fat – Puttin’ OFF the Ritz – The message is clear. Eat healthy. Drop the Twinkies. But that’s only one side of the story and as with everything else, even a good story changes and balances itself out over time. We now know that indulging in non-organic, white flour and white sugar laden snack once in a while is more likely to bring pleasure than any harm. Meanwhile, a ruling by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires food companies to eliminate trans fat from their products by 2018. Three years from now, you’ll come home from work and fearlessly snack on your all time favorite Ritz and cheese, or grab a Devil Dog or a small stack of Chips Ahoy to dunk in a tall glass of milk with zero trans fats, thank you very much. The list goes on to include microwave popcorn, Coffee Mate, cereal bars, Bisquick and even Crisco.

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Snack Attack – Shoot For 100 – A good home is about location, location, location. A good snack is a matter of portion, portion, portion… and innovation. Take the snack of all snacks, for example: S’mores. If you’re watching your waistline, you may also be watching the kids enjoy large, messy bites of the gooey treat while mentally convincing yourself, “I will not give in, I will not give in.” Ah, but do give in once in a while. Be playful and carefree. It’s a matter of variation. Simply have a Skinny S’more: 2 Graham crackers with 1 roasted marshmallow and 1 small square of chocolate… 100 calories. Yup. Just two zeroes. Here are many, many more indulgent and refreshing snacks that won’t break the calorie count bank. — 88 Unexpected Snacks Under 100 Calories.

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Banana Gone Bananas – There are the 101 ways to use vinegar and salt around the house. There are the 101 ways to recycle coffee grounds and coffee filters. Now, it’s time to talk about bananas. We overheard a bartender in a radio interview saying that the talk of the town these days is the practice of rubbing the inside of fruity cocktail glasses with the fleshy side of a banana peel to add just the right touch of bitterness. Pure genius. If you’re not into consuming cocktails, consider treating your hair to a sweet banana purée and say hello to a naturally shiny and manageable mane. Or you could relieve cuts, bruises and even mosquito bites by rubbing the inside of the peel on the wound. Make a banana mask; say goodbye to wrinkles. Don’t take our word for it, but it sure sounds refreshing and worth the try. Press banana peel on a splinter to ease its extraction. We have a neighbor who actually confirmed this one, once. And for the grand finale on this paragraph, mix banana purée and coffee ground for an ocean-friendly facial rub.

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The Monday Mag – June 22, 2015

In This Edition Of Our Weekly Magazine:

– Dad, In The Kitchen, With Julia
– Like Margarita From A Watermelon
– And A Peach-Watermelon Slush In The Sun

Our Favorite Quote Of The Week – “If a June night could talk, it would probably boast it invented romance.” – Bern Williams

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Dad, In The Kitchen, With Julia – We love The Kitchn. We could easily share every single article and Facebook post from this website. Last year, in preparation for a Father’s Day article, they asked their readers to share what they had learned from their dads in the kitchen. This was a unique and loving way of acknowledging fathers. We stumbled upon this entry over the weekend and thought you’d enjoy it too. Here are a few excerpts, but do click over to the full version. “My dad didn’t start cooking until his retirement… he checked out Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking from the library and spent an entire afternoon making her beef bourguignon… It was an epic undertaking.” – “My dad’s cooking taught me that sometimes simplicity is the key to a truly great meal. I didn’t appreciate this until I was older… He made he kind of meals that were satisfying, comforting and left you going back for seconds.” Read on

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Like Margarita From A Watermelon – Just a week or so ago we suggested you chop those watermelon rinds and add them to roasted vegetable dishes. Well, you might want to get an extra watermelon for your next get-together, because you’ll need one of them to make a keg. Incidentally, you can do this with any type of melon. Picture this, lined up on the edge of a table garnished with appetizing finger foods: Fruit punch in a cantaloupe keg for the kids. Honeydew melon serving Margarita and a refreshing chilled rose in the watermelon. Click over to full instructions.

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And A Peach-Watermelon Slush In The Sun – Summer is for cold, sweet beverages that cool you to the core. For kids, who use up a ton of energy playing outside (hopefully), half the fun is running back home for a satisfying cold drink. Here’s a healthy concoction they can help you prepare. It calls for sugar, but we’ve made it without and it was absolutely heavenly. Place 1 cup cubed peach, 4 cups cubed watermelon (seedless), 1/4 cup sugar (optional) and 3 cups of ice in the blender. Puree. Add 1 cup club soda. Blend. Pour into wide glasses. Garnish with fruit.

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The Monday Mag – June 15, 2015

In This Edition Of Our Weekly Magazine:

– Say “Cheese” But Don’t Make A Face
– Give A Kid A Pizza Box
– And A Side Of History: The Shrimp Cocktail

Our Favorite Quote Of The Week –  “A straight path never leads anywhere except to the objective.” – Andre Gide

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Say “Cheese” But Don’t Make A Face – Capturing the moment is not just about getting the funniest shot anymore; it’s about capturing the essence of a person. In the early days of photography, it would have been unimaginable to make a goofy face on a photograph. In fact, subjects were propped against chairs and had to stay perfectly still. Today, we no longer call them stills, we call the snapshots and everything goes. A shared meal is a unique occasion to capture the essence of friends and family as they interact with each other, relaxed. The best way to accomplish this is to wait for the main course to be served. The initial banter has subsided by then and conversations have taken root. Your subject does not need to be looking at the camera. Capture snapshots between dinner guests engaged in conversation and you’ll capture their emotions and engagement in the moment. These photos make powerful memories because they allow something deep to shine forth.

Give A Kid A Pizza Box – A cardboard box is a treasure for a creative mind at any age, and an opportunity for thinking outside the box when it’s time to entertain the kids and encourage artistic expression. A friend of ours drew roadways inside a pizza box and added cardboard buildings to make a cityscape for toy cars. Everything folds up and is self-contained for storage. There could be a cityscape pizza box, a countryside box, a beach resort box… Here are a few more ways to turn a fun meal into lasting fun times. The hopscotch one is our favorite.

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And A Side Of History: The Shrimp Cocktail – Believe it or not, oysters made their way into the long-stemmed glasses with hot sauce long before the shrimp. A survey of American cookbooks reveals that shrimp were specific to Cajun cooking before becoming popular across America. These shellfish appetizers were served on regular dishes or in bowls. The name “cocktail” enters popular use in the 1920’s, during prohibition. At that time, restaurateurs cleverly decided to use their long-stemmed glassware to make a stylish presentation for the shrimp delicacy while the sale of alcoholic beverages was restricted. It is said that the cocktail sauce was sometimes drizzled with a drop or two of some forbidden elixir.

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The Monday Mag – June 8, 2015

In This Edition Of Our Weekly Magazine:

– Russian Dressing Is From New Hampshire
– Edible Sun Protection
– And Then Put It On Your Skin

Our Favorite Quote Of The Week – You Can’t Make An Omelette Without Breaking Eggs.” – François De Charette

Russian Dressing Is From New Hampshire… And Other Food Origins – We love Mental Floss. Since you’re going to spend a few minutes watching clips from your Facebook feed at some point today (like, as soon as you get to the office), might as well learn a thing or two about the origin of food. It makes for good filler conversation at the dinner table.

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Edible Sun Protection – You’ve heard of cucumber slices or teabags under the eyes to ease puffiness, but skin health goes beyond skin deep and diet does have an impact on skin’s resilience. Take your vitamins, and the best way to do so is in real foods. Bite into fresh guava with abandon to take advantage of its rich content in vitamin C, a natural skin-healing antioxidant. That is 5 times more C than in an orange. You’ve also been told to cut down on starchy foods, but studies point to the starchy potato as a proper prescription to reduce the sting of a sunburn from the inside out. Not surprisingly, anti-oxidant rich tomato sauce has been shown to offer brilliant protection from the sun. In a study, subjects who consumed 5 tablespoons of tomato paste daily for several months increased their skins resistance to the sun by 25%.

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And Then Put It On Your Skin – Speaking of fruit, got strawberries? Shoulder and neck sunburns are common during the first few weeks of summer and strawberries are quite conveniently in season too. Make a paste with corn starch, crushed strawberries and a bit of water. Apply to sunburn for cool relief. By the way, you can make a paste with potatoes too. We recommend soaking in a warm oatmeal bath while you’re at it. Then again, there’s always lettuce. Boil it. Strain the liquid in a glass jar. Refrigerate for several hours. Soak a gentle cloth in the liquid and gently dab skin for surprisingly effective pain relief. Finally, we hear more and more that whole fat milk is better for you, but fat-free is good for that burning skin. Simply apply as a compress for about 20 minutes. Enjoy the sun!

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