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Archive for January, 2011

Article originally appeared at Examiner.com in December of 2010.

Brookville, IN – Historic Brookville has been around since the early 1800s.  Placards stand on either side of the downtown courthouse entrance in commemoration of  the small but determined city’s existence.  One briefly notes the history of the courthouse and the other highlights Brookville as “…an important entry point to interior lands opened to settlement…”

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Excerpt from article that originally appeared in February 2008 issue of Home Cooking magazine.

Wishes of, “Have a happy and healthy New Year,” are in the air as 2008 begins to unfold.  Resolutions are as common as after-Christmas sales, holiday gatherings, and lots of delectable desserts.  Unfortunately, this is also the time when cold and flu season is in full swing.  And the common cold can’t be prevented in the same way as the flu.  The good news is that we can do more than just get a flu shot to keep ourselves up and running. 

There are certain foods and spices that are natural immune system boosters,  and they can be easily incorporated into many typical family meals.  Some dinner helps that I like to use include oregano, onions and garlic.  Dessert helps that I often choose are things like cinnamon, ginger and natural peanut butter.  And the natural element is key because the well-known name brands tend to add ingredients that weaken peanut butter’s  overall effectiveness in combating colds and flu.  Another reason peanut butter is effective is because it’s high in protein, and protein also gives the body that extra advantage over season-related ailments.  Other great high protein dinner items that can be used are soy and Salmon.          

While the above isn’t a complete list of immune system boosters, when we use them consistently, they are very effective items for building up our system.  That being said, here some ideas that will make that healthy New Year a little more than just a wish.

Quick Chicken Dinner
(A fast and filling feast!)

1 can cream mushroom soup (8 oz)
1 cup milk
2 Tablespoons butter
1 can chicken breast (9.75 oz)
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon minced garlic
½ teaspoon thyme
¼ parsley
1 Tablespoon corn starch 

Combine all except cornstarch in medium saucepan and heat on medium heat.  Cornstarch must be slowly added.  Heat about 10-15 minutes.  Once thickens, pour over 16 oz package of rotini or spaghetti.  Serves about 4.Press into 4 patties and fry in skillet coated with oil on medium heat for about 5-7 minutes on each side.  Should have a golden-brown appearance when cooked thoroughly.  Makes 4 patties

Spice Cookies
(A little spice on a cold winter’s night.)

½ cup milk
1 egg
1 Tablespoon butter softened
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 teaspoons honey
3 teaspoons vanilla
¾ cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 ½ teaspoons nutmeg
1 teaspoon ginger
1 cup self rising white flour

Beat together milk, egg, butter, oil, honey, vanilla and sugar for 2-3 minutes.  Stir in flour.  Consistency will be somewhat stringy.  Drop by teaspoon on greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 7-10 minutes.  Makes about 12 cookies.

Peanut Butter Cookies
(A peanut butter lover’s dream!)

½ cup milk
½ cup water
2 eggs
½ cup natural peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 Tablespoons Blackstrap Molasses
1 cup sugar
1 ½ cup self-rising flour

Beat together milk, water, eggs, peanut butter, vanilla, molasses and sugar for about 2-3 minutes.  Stir in flour.  Drop by teaspoon full on greased cookie sheets.  Bake at 350 for 7-10 minutes.  Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Salmon Patties
(A nice Friday night option.)

1 can pink salmon (14.75 oz) drained
4 eggs
1 small onion, diced
¼ teaspoon hickory salt
½ teaspoon Real Lemon juice
¼ teaspoon Real Lime juice
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon oregano
2 tablespoons water
4 slices bread cubed

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