Sunday, May 2, 2010


Morning gang! How are ya today? I’m just trucking along like always. I told ya I wouldn’t get to slow down yesterday LOL! I went up to the hospital, stayed with mom, left there and went to JoAnn’s. From there I went home, picked up Madison, DH and DS14. Dropped Madison off at the Quinceañera and went to Kroger. Then I went to Wal-Mart for some bulk purchases. Came home and roasted chickens and blanched vegetables. DS18 came home around 10:30pm while I went to pick up Madison. Got home and DH had deboned the chickens for me (ain’t he sweet). So I put everything away and finally laid down about midnight only to get up at 5:30am this morning when DS14 decided it was time to start the day. LOL so I plan on going back to the hospital today to be with mom. After that, it is off to Food Town to nab a few sales items, home to cook, etc. We also saw some blackberries that are ready on one of my “staked out” berry patches and the gang wants to go pick’em! So we will see what the day holds!

Ok all this food talk makes me hungry and I found this information that I wanted to share with you. I think its valuable information and it will help you learn when you can be frugal with your produce. Check this out!

The new Dirty Dozen: 12 foods to eat organic and avoid pesticide residue
By Dan Shapley

Fruits and veggies are an essential part of a healthy diet, but many conventional varieties contain pesticide residues. And not all the pesticides used to kill bugs, grubs, or fungus on the farm washes off under the tap at home. Government tests show which fruits and vegetables, prepared typically at home, still have a pesticide residue.You can reduce your exposure to pesticides by as much as 80% if you avoiding the most contaminated foods in the grocery store. To do so, you need the latest info from the why the Environmental Working Group's "Dirty Dozen" list of foods most likely to have high pesticide residues. Since 1995, the organization has taken the government data and identified which type of produce has the most chemicals.

This year, celery takes the number one spot and both blueberries and spinach make an appearance (displacing lettuce and pears). The best way to avoid pesticide residue on foods is to buy organic produce -- USDA rules prohibit the use of pesticides on any crop with the certified organic label.

Here's a closer look at the 2010 Dirty Dozen:

1. Celery
Celery has no protective skin, which makes it almost impossible to wash off the chemicals (64 of them!) that are used on crops. Buy organic celery, or choose alternatives like broccoli, radishes, and onions.

2. Peaches
Multiple pesticides (as many as 62 of them) are regularly applied to these delicately skinned fruits in conventional orchards. Can't find organic? Safer alternatives include watermelon, tangerines, oranges, and grapefruit.

3. Strawberries
If you buy strawberries, especially out of season, they're most likely imported from countries that have less-stringent regulations for pesticide use. 59 pesticides have been detected in residue on strawberries. Can't find organic? Safer alternatives include kiwi and pineapples.

4. Apples
Like peaches, apples are typically grown with poisons to kill a variety of pests, from fungi to insects. Tests have found 42 different pesticides as residue on apples. Scrubbing and peeling doesn't eliminate chemical residue completely, so it's best to buy organic when it comes to apples. Peeling a fruit or vegetable also strips away many of their beneficial nutrients. Can't find organic? Safer alternatives include watermelon, bananas, and tangerines.

5. Blueberries
New on the Dirty Dozen list in 2010, blueberries are treated with as many as 52 pesticides, making them one of the dirtiest berries on the market.

6. Nectarines
With 33 different types of pesticides found on nectarines, they rank up there with apples and peaches among the dirtiest tree fruit. Can't find organic? Safer alternatives include, watermelon, papaya, and mango.

7. Bell peppers
Peppers have thin skins that don't offer much of a barrier to pesticides. They're often heavily sprayed with insecticides. (Tests have found 49 different pesticides on sweet bell peppers.) Can't find organic? Safer alternatives include green peas, broccoli, and cabbage.

8. Spinach
New on the list for 2010, spinach can be laced with as many as 48 different pesticides, making it one of the most contaminated green leafy vegetable.

9. Kale
Traditionally, kale is known as a hardier vegetable that rarely suffers from pests and disease, but it was found to have high amounts of pesticide residue when tested this year. Can't find organic? Safer alternatives include cabbage, asparagus, and broccoli.

10. Cherries
Even locally grown cherries are not necessarily safe. In fact, in one survey in recent years, cherries grown in the U.S. were found to have three times more pesticide residue then imported cherries. Government testing has found 42 different pesticides on cherries. Can't find organic? Safer alternatives include raspberries and cranberries.

11. Potatoes
America's popular spud reappears on the 2010 Dirty Dozen list, after a year hiatus. America's favorite vegetable can be laced with as many as 37 different pesticides. Can't find organic? Safer alternatives include eggplant, cabbage, and earthy mushrooms.

12. Grapes
Imported grapes run a much greater risk of contamination than those grown domestically. Only imported grapes make the 2010 Dirty Dozen list. Vineyards can be sprayed with different pesticides during different growth periods of the grape, and no amount of washing or peeling will eliminate contamination because of the grape's thin skin. Remember, wine is made from grapes, which testing shows can harbor as many as 34 different pesticides. Can't find organic? Safer alternatives include kiwi and raspberries.

Now we need to take a look at the produce that are deemed “The Clean 15”. These are low-pesticide foods that you don’t have to worry about buying organic… you can go cheaper- and we LIKE cheaper around here, right? YEP!

Here is a list of the ''Clean 15'' fruits and vegetables that are least likely to contain pesticide residue:

1. Onion
Onions don't see as many pest threats, which means less pesticide spraying. Look for onions that are firm, have a distinctive "oniony" smell that's not overpowering, and show no visible signs of damage or soft spots. Store in a cool, dry place or in the refrigerator.

2. Avocado
Avocados have thick skins that protect the fruit from pesticide build-up.Look for avocados that are still somewhat unripe and firm to the squeeze; they'll ripen nicely on your kitchen counter in a couple of days. Store at room temperature. Although you'll be using only the meat of the avocado, it's always a good idea to rinse them before you slice them open.

3. Sweet Corn
Sweet corn may take a lot of fertilizer to grow, but you're unlikely to end up with any pesticides on the kernels. There is nothing -- we mean nothing like fresh corn on the cob from a local farm stand in late summer. Buy it fresh and local, and boil it that day for the best results.

4. Pineapple
You won't be eating the tough pineapple skin, which protects the fruit from pesticide residue. As with all your produce, you should rinse the pineapple before cutting. Although tempting, this is one fruit that you won't want to choose if it has a strong, sweet smell. This usually means that the pineapple is overripe and has even begun to ferment. Like all other fruits, avoid any that have soft spots, and in the case of pineapples, damage to the rind. Store in the refrigerator crisper.

5. Mango
Sweet mango flesh is protected by its thick skin from pesticides. Still, you'll want to rinse under water before cutting open. Depending on the variety of mango, look for those that are bright in color such as red, yellow, or orange. It should have a distinctive "fruity" smell. If there's no ripe-fruit aroma, steer clear. Mangoes should be slightly firm but yield to your touch somewhat -- the softer the mango, usually the sweeter it is. If the mango is too soft, there's a good chance that it will be rotten inside. Store in the refrigerator crisper.

6. Asparagus
Asparagus face fewer threats from pests such as insects or disease, so fewer pesticides need to be used. Look for firm spears with bright green or purplish compact tips. Plan on a 1/2 pound per person, and for more uniform cooking, select spears of a similar thickness. Store in the refrigerator vegetable crisper and give them a good rinse before using (even if you're going to boil them).

7. Sweet Peas
Sweet peas are among the least likely vegetables to have pesticide residue, according to the Environmental Working Group's latest survey of government data. If you're not growing sweet peas in your garden, then look for full, green pea pods at your local farmers market, farm stand or grocery store.

8. Kiwi
Kiwi peel provides a barrier from pesticides. Give them a rinse before cutting. Here's where your nose plays an important part when choosing fresh fruit. Sniff out kiwis that smell good. They should be plump and yield to a squeeze like that of a ripe pear. Steer clear from those with moist areas on their surface or any skin bruising. If unripe kiwi are all that are available, simply take them home and place them in a paper bag at room temperature with other fruits that need more time, such as bananas or pears. Store in the refrigerator crisper.

9. Cabbage
Cabbage doesn't hold on to so many pesticides because a ton of spraying isn't required to grow it. What it does hold onto is beta carotene: It's a superfood! Look for cabbage heads whose leaves are tight and be sure the head is heavy for its type, and firm. For most cabbage varieties, you'll want to make sure the outer leaves are shiny and crisp. Savoy is the exception to this rule, as it forms a looser head and the leaves grow crinkly naturally. You'll want to avoid any with leaves that show signs of yellowing. Bok choy should have deep green leaves with their stems a crisp-looking white. Discard the outer leaves of a cabbage before using. You can wash and spin most cabbage leaves just like you do salad greens. Store in the refrigerator crisper.

10. Eggplant
Maybe it's the thick skin, but eggplants are among the least likely to be contaminated by pesticides, according to the Environmental Working Group. Look for firm and glossy eggplants to know they're ripe and undamaged. Because they grow to various sizes, choose one proportionate to the dish you're preparing.

11. Papaya
Pesticide residue stays on papaya skin, but be sure to give them a wash before slicing open. Papaya colors usually range between yellow and green. Look for those that are slightly soft and show no signs of bruising or appear shriveled. If they're not fully ripened, you can toss them in the brown bag along with your unripened kiwi fruit, peaches, and pears. Once they're ripened, store in the refrigerator crisper.

12. Watermelon
With that rind, watermelon has a natural defense against the onslaught of any chemical. Look for a firm whole melon without any soft spots.

13. Broccoli
Conventional broccoli doesn't retain so many pesticides because the crop faces fewer pest threats, which means less spraying. Look for tightly bunched flower buds on the broccoli stalks that are immature. In other words, try not to buy them if their little yellow flowers have opened. Color-wise, the broccoli should be deep green and the stalks should be firm and not rubbery. Before use, wash in a cool water bath and change the water a couple of times in the process. Store in the refrigerator crisper.
Look for broccoli at the fall farmers' market, and if you're pinched for cash, don't fret about choosing a non-organic variety; broccoli generally doesn't end up with pesticide residue.

14. Tomato
Tomatoes were on the 2008 Dirty Dozen list of foods with the most pesticide residue, but the latest update finds them cleaner than most. Why? The Environmental Working Group isn't sure. If you aren't growing your own, look for fresh in-season tomatoes at local farmers markets and farm stands. Look for glossy, firm skin -- and don't hesitate to try a delicious heirloom variety that might not look like a typical tomato!

15. Sweet Potato
Not only are sweet potatoes unlikely to be contaminated with pesticides, they're also a superfood, packed with Vitamin A and beta carotene. It's hard to go wrong choosing a hardy sweet potato. Just make sure it isn't beaten up or rotting, and choose a size that matches the meal you're preparing.

Speaking of cheap veggies, You should have seen all the bags of fruits and vegetables that Kroger had on clearance from 29 cents to $1.29, most being around 79 cents! I got over 30 bags of broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, snow peas, trays of veggies, apple & cheese trays, apple cups, prepackaged apple slices, mango pico, fajita veggies, you name it! I nailed some clearance meats too for around $1.09 to $4.00! I came home last night and separated all the veggies. Then I blanched and boiled them while I roasted a couple of chickens. I made up freezer bags of blanched stir-fry veggies and single veggies and froze them. I see some great meals. And there is nothing like fresh veggies whenever you want them! I kept a couple in the fridge for snacking and salads too! And there are tons of fruit single servings too, so we are set.

OK so, you are feeling crafty? Well me too… I will probably be making scrubs if I get a chance today. But, here is another one of those projects that are awaiting my return to the crafting corner of my home LOL! I think these would be very useful for craft items or office items, and even kitchen utensils.

Craft Idea of the Day: Craft Carry-All

You Need:

Empty Six-Pack Holder
Spray Paint (Optional)
Contact Paper, Labels, Self-Adhesive Vinyl


Cover six pack holder with a coat of paint or vinyl. (This vinyl is from a local sign shop. They use brightly colored vinyl with adhesive backing to make signs. Your local shop probably has pieces too small for their use. These pieces make a great craft supply!) If covering in vinyl or contact paper, cut 2" irregular pieces and lay overlapping pieces until six pack holder is completely covered.

Decorate with stickers or cut out your own shapes to stick on.

Isn’t that just too cute? I thought so too! OK, lets move on to something very delish… FOOD! Ah the tastes… the textures… the spices… the oh-so-good feelings that properly prepared food gives you. It can be quite a spiritual experience LMAO! So today I am sharing this yummy recipe with you. I plan to utilize that mango pico salsa I got clearanced yesterday with this dish.

Spicy Jalapeno Chicken Sausage with Mango, Pineapple Salsa


1 (12 ounce) package al fresco® Spicy Jalapeno chicken sausage, fully cooked, slice on the diagonal 1/4 inch thick
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons dry sherry
1 cup fresh mango, 1 inch chunks
1 cup fresh pineapple, 1 inch chunks
1 1/2 cups fresh salsa
1/2 cup prepared fresh/frozen edamame (soybeans)
1/2 cup canned black, unsalted soybeans, rinsed
3 cups cooked jasmine rice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro


Heat a 12 inch skillet with olive oil over high heat. Quickly saute the jalapeno sausage for 2 minutes, add the dry sherry and cook 2 more minutes. Toss in the mango and pineapple and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add the fresh salsa, edamame and black beans, continue to cook 2-3 minutes just to heat through.

Mix the chopped cilantro with the rice. Spoon the sausage and mango and pineapple salsa over the rice and serve immediately.

Well that’s it kids. I hope you have found today’s entry informative and fun at the same time! I’m going to get dressed and head out the door to help my mom. DH has daddy duty LOL! I’ll see you tomorrow for more idle chit chat! HUGS!

No comments:

Post a Comment