After the storm…

After unwelcome visitors Harvey and Irma, I’d thought I’d remind you of a few kitchen/food safety rules published by the FDA.

Discard any food  in containers that have been damaged by flood water if:

  • they are packed in plastic, paper, cardboard, cloth
  • foods/beverages have screw cap lids, snap lids, crimped caps, twist caps, flip tops
  • foods were home canned

Discard these specific items if they have come in contact with flood water because they cannot be adequately sanitized:

  • wooden cutting boards
  • wooden dishes and utensils
  • plastic utensils
  • baby bottle nipples
  • pacifiers

Undamaged, commercially packaged foods in all metal cans can be saved if you remove the labels, thoroughly wash the cans, rinse them, then disinfect them with a sanitizing solution of 1 TBSP bleach per gallon of potable water.

Discard refrigerated food if you lost power longer than 4 hours. Discard frozen food is electricity was out 48 hours or if your freezer is only half full, 24 hours is the maximum time suggested.


Wishing all those affected, an uneventful recovery. Be safe to be well,


9/11 we will never forget

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Key pieces for fall

Even if you don’t read fashion magazines or blogs, the headlines are everywhere: key pieces we need for fall! Let me guess – women need a crisp white blouse and a little black dress while men could use a navy blazer.

Those are staples. The basics. The starting point.

Let’s think of meal prep in the same way. What are the MUST HAVES? What are our key foods? What are the staples, the basics?

It might be time to check out the pantry (or cupboards in my case) and the freezer. Do we have items that, in a pinch, will make a great meal? Not just a good meal.

A great meal leaves you feeling satisfied. An OK meal leaves you raiding the cabinets for snacks an hour later!

You want a meal you and your family look forward to. Do we have alternatives other than cold cereal at home?

A meal, we nutritionists think, should consist of at least three of the basic five My Plate food groups (which you remember as protein, grains, fruits, vegetables and dairy). While we’re not huge animal protein eaters at our house, I think protein is where most people start. Do you have chicken in the freezer? Hamburger or steaks small enough to thaw easily? Our “go to” is shrimp. It’s frozen, we love it; it’s versatile. Ditto eggs. Canned black beans are another option for us.

Our grain cupboard is easy. Do you have one? Risotto takes a half hour but some of our Asian noodles take only 4 minutes to cook and the rest of our grains are somewhere in between. We have dried pasta, rice, orzo, couscous, oats, barley and quinoa which are plain and at the ready.

Fruits and veggies we have readily because I have the time to grocery/market shop. But frozen options are a great idea for those who are time pressed. A jarred tomato sauce might be helpful too.

Besides milk, cheese fits into the dairy group, stores well and can be called upon for a gourmet grilled cheese, cheese omelet…well you get the picture.

Think through your quickest meals and have the ingredients on hand. These are your key pieces, staples, basics – your starting point. They’ll get you through the season well fed.

Make your own fast food meal at home to be well.


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