Oven Roasted Potatoes – Easy to Make, All in Pictures

Oven Roasted PotatoesOven roasted potatoes are a great, less fatty but fully flavorful alternative to French fries and are darn easy to make. All it takes is a quick clean, cut, season, roast – and have at ‘em!

Just a quick word about whether to peel or not to peel the potato skins. I recommend not peeling the skins from the potatoes. Not only is peeling an extra step, but more importantly, removing the skin significantly decreases the nutrient and fiber content found mostly in both the potato skin and right below the skin.

FAO/USDA potato nutrition facts - click for link

FAO/USDA potato nutrition facts – click for link

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Easy and Safe Soft or Hard Boiled Eggs – In Pictures and Video

All right! Adios, snow – bring on spring! The weather’s getting better – yah! We’ve got a big holiday weekend ahead. Boiled eggs – either plain white or brightly colored – are gonna’ be centerpieces of kids’ dreams Saturday night and breakfast tables Sunday morning – and, yes, it takes a real man – or woman – to eat those eggs out of the cups you see above – all in fun.

For the easiest and safest way I know to make soft or hard boiled eggs, just click any picture on this page for a free, newly revised much more colorful Gotta’ Eat, Can’t Cook step-by-step picture book recipe, and/or check out this short step-by-step video.


How to Make Almond Butter – Easy and All in Pictures

Last time, while writing about one of my favorite toppings: nut butter, yogurt, fresh fruit and dried fruit that goes great on pancakes, French toast and waffles, I mentioned that I’d post next about how to make fresh almond butter at home. Here’s what you need.

The hardest part about making almond butter is having the patience to let the food processor do the work (yah, you need a food processor) and then cleaning that processor when all the work is done. Not hard at all. And everything you need to show you what to do is included in the step-by-step picture book directions you can get by clicking any picture on this page.

Nut Butter, Yogurt, Fresh Fruit and Dried Fruit Topping – All in Pictures

Last time, I showed how to make almond, quinoa and flaxseed pancakes, shown below, that are a great energy-sustaining alternative to sugar “spike and crash” traditional flapjack pancakes.

Here are the ingredients to make a 
nut butter, yogurt, fresh fruit and dried fruit topping that goes great on those pancakes – or any pancakes, French toast, or waffles – that’s both terrifically flavorful and provides sustained energy. As mentioned in the recipe, though I’m using almond butter (which I’ll show how to make fresh next), any nut butter will work. The same goes for the fresh fruit, dried fruit, and yogurt. It’s all about taste and imagination – and imagining that what you’re going to make is gonna’ taste great! 

Click the top picture or bottom two pictures on this page for a complete step-by-step nut butter, yogurt, fresh fruit and dried fruit topping picture book recipe and/or the second picture from the top for the almond, quinoa and flaxseed pancake picture book recipe. 



Almond, Quinoa and Flaxseed Pancake – Picture Book Recipe

Do traditional flapjack pancakes, especially when they’re soaked or slathered with your favorite sweetener, tend to give you – or your kids – an eye-bugging, “take-on-the-world” energy spike followed not long after by a nose-diving, “UGH!” full body crash?  You bet I know the feeling,..and it’s all caused by sugar.

But why give up pancakes just because of sugar? Here’s an energy sustaining, easy-to-make alternative made with ground almonds, cooked quinoa and ground flaxseed that cuts the sugar, boosts the protein – and IMPROVES both flavor and texture. You can see what they look like fresh out of the pan in the photo above. Here’s one of my favorite ways to have them with full-on flavor: topped with non-fat Greek yogurt, fruit, dried fruit and a good shot of fresh whipped cream.

I’ll put that topping recipe together this weekend and post it soon. In the meantime, here’s what you need to make almond, quinoa and flaxseed pancakes. Yah, I know: some of the ingredients might look or sound new to you, but give ‘em a shot. That’s half the fun of it all. As always,…

…just click any picture on this page for a complete, easy-to-follow step-by-step picture book recipe.


How to Grate or Chop Fresh Ginger – Picture Book Directions

Fresh ginger. A staple of eastern cooking. Fantastically flavorful – I use it almost as much as I use fresh garlic…and almost always with fresh garlic. It’s the thick root of the tropically grown ginger plant with a great reputation for easing stomach discomfort, improving digestion and stimulating blood circulation.

 The only problem: how to get it from this…

…to this as fast and easily as possible.

Fresh GingerNo problem. Just click any picture on this page for newly revised, easy to follow step-by-step how to grate or chop fresh ginger picture book directions.



Inviting Businesses to 16th Annual Westborough Earth Day Cleanup

It’s human nature. A clean town attracts business.

Over the past few years, more businesses (H&S Environmental, Ted’s Montana Grill, Energy Federation Inc. and Green Park Mortgage) have participated in The Westborough Community Land Trust’s annual Earth Day cleanup.

Here’s what Rt. 30 at Rt. 9 looked like before and after last year’s cleanup.

This year we’re again asking for business support for an event that only takes a few hours to complete but makes a night and day difference that lasts a full year. Please consider lending a hand on Saturday, April 26th.

We’ll have two start times: 6:30 a.m. to clean Bellows Rd. and Westmeadow Plaza, and 9:30 a.m. to clean identified sites throughout town. For more information or to report a site in Westborough in need of cleaning – or to schedule a date to participate other than April 26th that suits your needs, please contact me, Bruce Tretter, (508) 446-7790 or earthday@westboroughlandtrust.org.

Together, let’s make Westborough shine!

How to Make a Warmly Comforting Vegetable Tian – All in Pictures

They say spring is on the way, but, wow, it’s been biting cold both in the morning and evening here in the Northeast. And, though there’s not a lot we can do about the temperature outside, we sure can do something in the kitchen to warm us from the inside out – all very easily.

As I mention in the TIPS section at the beginning of the step-by-step picture book recipe you can get by clicking this link or either picture on this page, the word “tian” that you see in the title above is Greek for “frying pan” and is both a shallow earthenware cooking pot and a fantastically flavorful dish made with the layered, thinly sliced vegetables, herbs, oil, and garlic you see in the ingredients picture below and then baked in that same tian pot. Long sentence? You bet. Great stuff? Try it!

How to Cook Rice – All in Pictures

Rice is terrific stuff that goes with just about anything. It’s easy to make. It’s nutritional. It keeps well in the refrigerator. I always make enough to have plenty of leftovers that then allow me to make very much immediate meals. The only down side is that, depending on the type of rice and how much it’s been processed, rice requires about 25 minutes to an hour to absorb water as it cooks on the stove.

Now, how ’bout the difference between brown rice and white rice? Easy. Although the cooking method is identical, brown rice is not milled, which means its bran, or fiber-rich outer coating, and germ, or nutrient-rich embryo of the rice grain, haven’t been removed. White rice is milled, meaning its bran and germ have been removed. Brown rice is therefore more chewy, has a more nutty flavor and has more nutrient and fiber content. The reason bran and germ are removed is to increase rice shelf life. That’s it.

Here’s what you need to cook rice on the stove. As always, click any picture on this page for a complete, easy to follow step-by-step picture book recipe.

Lighter Pasta Alfredo – All in Pictures

Last post showed how to cook pasta to perfection – very easily. Right here you can click any picture on this page for a newly revised step-by-step picture book recipe showing how to make a lighter version of pasta with Alfredo sauce, which substitutes heavy cream with evaporated milk. As you can see below, ounce for ounce (1 ounce = 2 tablespoons), evaporated milk has less than half the calories and 1/5th the fat as heavy cream, though I find the cooking properties and flavor qualities to be just about the same.

Heavy Cream vs. Evaporated MilkHere are the ingredients you’ll need – all straightforward and easy to find.




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