Nesco Honey Baked Cola Ham

Nesco Honey Baked Cola HamRecipes in this Post

Merry Christmas to all! I make a ham on Christmas so I can have Hoppin’ John on New Years day. I also like to make quiche and I found a recipe for soup that I will be posting in a few days.

No one can stand a ham that is all dried out. Thank goodness for the Nesco which keeps your ham nice and moist. I had heard that Coke-a-cola made for a really moist ham, so I decided to try it. Who doesn’t like Honey Baked ham glaze? I wanted to make a glaze with similar properties, and I was able to do that with the help of a little coffee. Yes, coffee!

Nesco Honey Baked Cola Ham YouTube Video


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Just Say No to GMO Box Tops for Education

Say Hell No to Box Top$ for Education  GMO

Say “Hell No” to GMO Box Tops for Education

I don’t know about you, but it’s that time of year again. I got an email from my son’s school about a Box Tops for Education. I’m all for supporting my child’s school, but I’m not going to help grow these companies coffers at the expense of my, or any other, child’s expense.

Why Say No?

General Mills started Box Tops for Education in 1996. General Mills has contributed 525 million dollars to eduction. That’s about 29 million a year for 18 years. But, they also contributed $1,135,300.00 in November 2012 to help defeat California Prop 37 (Genetically Modified Food Labeling Initiative). In 2013, there were bills in 27 states to start labeling of GMO Foods. Of those 27, 6 were already defeated, 21 are still in process.

  • Colorado HB1192 was voted down
  • Maryland HB903 was withdrawn
  • Missouri HB246 was withdrawn and SB155 died
  • New Hampshire HB660 failed in 2014
  • New Mexico SB18 was voted down
  • Washington I-522 was defeated

Do the Math

If General Mills spent 1 million dollars in one state, California, they probably spent or are still spending 1 million for these other states as well. So, that’s about 27 million a year for those 27 states. There are 50 states in our Union, and I’m sure they are actively spending money in those states as well. There are 4 states, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, and Vermont that passed bills requiring labeling of GMO foods. That’s 46 states where General Mills is probably spending money to stop labeling, and at 1 million a year, per state, that’s 46 million a year, 17 million more than is going out for education. In my humble opinion, that stinks! Of course, I could be wrong, but I don’t think so.

What to Avoid

  • Betty Crocker
  • Gold Medal Flour
  • Yoplait
  • Bisquick
  • Pillsbury
  • Land 0 Lakes
  • Ocean Spray
  • Green Giant
  • Totino’s
  • Mott’s

You will notice that most of the foods listed here are prepared packaged foods that The Good Plate does not use, and I try to give you safe, homemade alternatives. If you look on labels, read ingredients, you can usually tell if it’s something to keep out of your kitchen. My motto is: “If I can’t pronounce it, I won’t buy it!”

Plastics, Too?

In July of 2013, the city that I live in banned plastic shopping bags in all major supermarkets and retailers. In January, 2014, the smaller shops had to comply as well. Why? Because plastic shopping bags don’t decompose and we have an island of trash in the Pacific Ocean, mostly composed to plastic bags. Guess what? Plastic bags are not indigenous to the Pacific Ocean.

Hefty garbage bags are eligible for Box Top$, too. Do they degrade? No, they just add to the existing garbage patch. Some estimates say the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is as large as the Continental United States. What can you do? Here’s what we’re doing in our house.

  • We’re using foil which can be wash and reused or recycled.
  • We’re using wax paper, which because it is paper, degrades
  • We’re reusing our plastic by washing it
  • We’re using paper bags from the supermarket for trash
  • We’re using glass for storage.
  • We’re using plastic food containers for food storage after thoroughly washing them.

Want to know more about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch? Check National Geographic and WikiPedia for more information.

What’s Safe?

If your children are driving you crazy because they want you to buy Box Top$ products, there are two things that you can buy, Cascadian Farms Cereal and Horizon Organic.

Conclusion

I hope that I have given you some food for thought. Please shop responsibly.

Thousand Island Dressing with Balsamic Toasts

Recipes in this PostThousand Island Dressing with Balsamic Toasts

Why would anyone want to write about Thousand Island Dressing? It’s yucky! It’s that reddish stuff that sits on the salad bar and congeals because no one wants it, and rightly so. It’s the “secret” sauce on the Big Mac, and has become so common that you probably don’t even notice it on your sandwich anymore. That’s a pity, because this is a grand dame of salad dressings with an interesting and honorable history.

One of the Thousand Islands only supports one tree and two bushesThousand Island Dressing is named for the archipelago of 1,864 islands that straddles the Canada-U.S. border in the Saint Lawrence River. Some of the islands are very small indeed. The one pictured above supports a single tree and two bushes. The dressing was popularized by May Irwin, a Canadian vaudeville star in the 1890’s. She had a home in Grindstone Island, one of the Thousand Islands. She said that the dressing reminded her of the Thousand Islands, and enjoyed the dressing so much that she requested the recipe from Sophia LaLonde, a fishing guide’s wife who frequently made the dressing for her husband. Miss Irwin then gave the recipe to George Boldt, the proprietor of the famous Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, who instructed his the hotel’s maître d’hôtel, Oscar Tschirky, to put the dressing on the menu. In 1950 the dressing became a standard, and started its decline into the gloppy mess we have today.

One of the things we do at The Good Plate is to reconstruct packaged foods, so they taste better, and don’t have the preservatives common in packaged foods. I knew that venerable Thousand Island Dressing deserved a better place, and making it from scratch would make it one of my favorites, especially for sea food salads.

I made a crab salad for the dressing, and some Balsamic Toasts to go with them. This was in the midst of Spane and his friend making Play Dough on the stove. There are little bits of homemade Play Dough all over the place. Time to clean!

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Jambalaya in the Nesco

Recipes in this PostJambalaya

In the midst of the last move, I forgot to close out the old gas bill. When I called to turn on the gas in the new place, no one mentioned it, and I still didn’t think about it. Then, I get this nasty letter from the gas company saying that they are going to turn off my gas in the new place if I don’t immediately pay the old bill, and that I have to call a certain phone number when I make the payment. To make sure that the payment is properly recorded, I went to the local gas company on July 2, 2013 and paid the bill in person. Then I called the special number at about 3:30pm and got a recorded message that the gas company was open from 8:00am to 5:15pm. I figured all the lines were busy, so I waited a few minutes and called again, and still got the same recording. I figured that in the information age, the payment would be recorded and all would be well.

I was wrong. When I got home yesterday, Monday, July 8, 2013, Spane and I were hungry, so I started dinner early, at 4:30. I chopped the vegetables, cut the meat, put butter in the pan, turned the knob – and ……. nothing. No gas. I called the gas company, the special number and again was told that the office was open from 8:00am to 5:15pm, a full 45 minutes before the office was supposed to close. When calling the regular number, I got a nice woman who I kept on apologizing to because I was so mad, and she said the gas would be turned back on tomorrow, Wednesday, July 10, 2013 between 8:00am and 5:00pm, and to make sure that all pets were secure and gates open. I chuckled and said, “Humph, you didn’t seem to have any problems turning it off, did you?”

That meant that today, I don’t have gas. I have been on the phone with them, and have asked for a supervisor. I’m still waiting for a call back, but I’m not waiting anymore to make dinner. I have a small Nesco, and I’m going to make my Jambalaya in it. This is one of the reasons I have this wonderful roaster oven, so I can cook no matter what.

My recipe for Jambalaya follows, I have more recipes for foods perfect for the Nesco.

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Chicken and Rice Paprika Inspired By Hieronymus Bosch

Recipes in this PostChicken and Rice Paprika

Lately I have been reading a lot of books by Michael Connelly, and I just got through reading Trunk Music, one of the Los Angeles detective Hieronymus “Harry” Bosch series of books. I really liked this one, and there was even a part where Harry cooked dinner for this friend, Eleanor Wish.

It’s getting a little colder, even though we just had the Summer Solstice, but that’s LA for you. What Harry and Eleanor has for dinner sounded really good, and I had most of the same ingredients.

This will remind you a lot of jambalaya, and Spane thought it was at first. I just said it was chicken and rice and what ever we had in the pantry. It was good, we had seconds.

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California – YES on 37 – GMO Labeling of Genetically Engineered Foods

Bee Collecting Pollen - Bees are being killed - We need GMO labelingUsually, since this is mostly a recipe blog, I don’t talk about politics. But, I feel this is a very important subject, and since it is about food, I feel it is appropriate. Normally, I make a “read more” link in my posts, but not this one. I want you to read the whole thing, right now.

If you live in California, and you are a registered voter, please remember to vote Yes on 37, the GMO Food labeling initiative. If you wish, you may read Prop 37’s text.

If you don’t live in California, then please take this matter up with your own representatives. Speak up on Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In, tell your friends, your neighbors, your co-workers, people on the street. If you know someone who does live in California, please call them and urge them to vote on 37. What happens in California often cascades into other states, so we cannot afford to lose this one.

Update: November 7, 2012 – Prop 37 did not win, Monsanto did. However, you can still shop smart and not eat GMO foods by finding what crops have been affected. The GMO Database is not American, so I feel it may be a little more truthful.

What is GMO?

What is the big deal about GMO? GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism. This does not mean something that would occur naturally, like two different plants making a new plant. This is about scientists taking DNA from one organism and putting it into another, so that host will acquire traits of the organism. Soybeans have been developed that express a crystalline insecticidal protein from Bacillus thuringiensis – got it? The soybean got a bacteria’s DNA – this would never happen in nature.

Is GMO Safe?

Which brings up the question, is this safe? What about allergens? What if you happen to be allergic to that bacteria? What happens when we consume a lot of it? Huh? The FDA considers GMO safe, but they thought Fen-Phen was safe, too, and a host of others we hear class action lawyer commercials about late at night. Sometimes, it takes a long time for side effects to appear. I don’t want my child to be a science experiment, do you want yours?

In Europe, GMO foods are labeled. As a matter of fact, some countries have even destroyed their Monsanto corn because it was invading non-GMO corn, and actually killing bees.

GMO Corn Kills Bees

Bees? Sure, bees make honey, but they are also responsible to most pollination of the plants on this planet. Without bees, there’s no pollination; without pollination, there’s no plants. We die. Read the Reuters article Mystery of Disappearing Bees. What is killing the bees? It’s GMO corn crops, made by who? Monsanto, of course.

Facebook Conspiracy

Today, November 1, 2012, I noticed that there was a No on 37 Like status on my Facebook news feed. It appeared as a new status. Researching it, I discovered that it was from October 22, 2012 – a full 10 days ago, but only 5 days before the election November 6, 2012. I did not notice any Yes on 37’s as “new” status on my news feed. Makes you wonder, huh?

Dr. Oz Censored

Dr. Mehmet Oz had a show about GMO foods on October 18, 2012. The show was censored in some parts of the country. These are actual posts on Facebook reporting it – I omitted names for privacy reasons.

  • Fox5 in San Diego pre-emptied the segment on GMOs with an old re-run of News Radio. Instead of important information vital to voters in California, we got to watch an actor (who is not longer alive, by the way) puffing away obsessively on a cigarette.
  • You should know that the Fox affiliate in San Diego that broadcasts your show broadcast a rerun of “News Radio” for the first half hour of your show. I’m assuming this is the part of the show that covered Gmo’s. The broadcast resumed to show your segments of 3 issues women should know about, BUT your usual wrap up at the end was replaced with blackness for about 1 minute. No sound. No picture. Did you say something else about GMO’S at the end? In light of Prop 37 on the ballot in California in November, it is pretty obvious you were censored by Fox.

Who is Behind No on 37?

Who is behind No on 37? The biggest contributor is Monsanto, who with $7,100,000.00 in contributions, brought us such horrors as DDT and Agent Orange. Monsanto said they were safe – obviously, they’re not. Who else is on the No bandwagon?

Largest Opponents to Prop 37
Contributor Amount
MONSANTO $7,100,000.00
E.I. DUPONT DE NEMOURS & CO. $4,900,000.00
PEPSICO, INC. $2,145,400.00
BASF PLANT SCIENCE $2,000,000.00
BAYER CROPSCIENCE $2,000,000.00
DOW AGROSCIENCES LLC $2,000,000.00
SYNGENTA CORPORATION $2,000,000.00
KRAFT FOODS GLOBAL, INC. $1,646,000.00
COCA-COLA NORTH AMERICA $1,455,500.00
NESTLE USA, INC. $1,315,600.00
CONAGRA FOODS $1,176,700.00
GENERAL MILLS, INC. $1,135,300.00
KELLOGG COMPANY $790,700.00
SMITHFIELD FOODS, INC. $683,900.00
DEL MONTE FOODS COMPANY $674,100.00

Conclusion

I hope what I have written here is enough to get you to go to the polls on November 6, 2012 and vote YES on Prop 37. Even if you don’t vote for anything else, vote for this. Our children and our children’s children depend on you.

Did you just click on the link that said conclusion without reading the article? Well, here’s a second chance, with links to the various parts. Please be informed.