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January 4, 2012     Feather River Bulletin
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January 4, 2012
 

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3ulletin, Record, Progressive, Reporter Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012 11B Ten tips to help with 2012 meal planning Sheri Alzeerah foodonthetable.com Resolutions, shmesolutions is the general feeling toward that obligatory list of start-of- the-year self-improvements. Whether kicking an old habit or starting a new one, New Year's resolutions just tend to have a bad rap. But don't resolve to not re- solve just yet. Meal planning in the new year is a promise that'll be hard not to keep. It's simple to do, saves time in the kitchen, saves money in, the store and benefits your family's health. What's to lose? Only the nasty stigma attached to New Year's resolutions. Count down to a brand new start with these 10 tips to kick your meal planning year off with a fireworks-worthy bang. 10. Keep up with savings. Clipping newspaper coupons, scanning ads for sweet deals and hunting online for store savings are only a few of the boundless ways to make the most of your money at the grocery store. Between print ads and online coupons, more and more companies are basically handing customers money to buy their products. The small amount of time it takes to find these deals is a tiny price to pay to keep your grocery bill in check. 9. Check your inventory. No need to restart your pantry when it comes to starting a meal plan. Pantries are riddled with hidden useful ingredients that are largely non-perishable. Be- fore hitting up the grocery store, venture into the abyss of your pantry to distinguish between your potential wants and needs. You'll be sur- prised by what you can whip up using goods you've got right under your nose, saving yourself a trip to the grocery store and saving your credit card an unnecessary charge. 8. Discover new recipes. Once you know your pantry, check online, in Cook- books and magazines or ask friends for new recipes. As a starting-off point, think of your family's favorite dishes already and work off those ingredients. For example, if your grilled steaks are a hit with your family, try out a steak and mozzarella pizza.. Variety is key to pleasing the palette. 'Avoid home-cooked monotony, and don't be afraid to try something new for the new year. 7. Think nutritious thoughts. Meal planning doesn't just mean mapping out a meal -- it means developing a schedule to keep your family's health in check. Knowing what meals are approaching gives the head chef of the family more time to work out proteins, carbs, good fats and fiber. Don't cut all guilty pleasures com- pletely though. When paired with well-balanced meals for the majority of the week, it's OK to treat the family to a decadent dessert every once in a while. 6. Make a shopping list --. and stick to it. Take on the beast that is the grocery store by coming equipped with a roadmap, aka the shopping list. Before biting off more foods than your family can chewl make a tangible grocery list. Having this with you at the store, can see it. The kitchen fridge, for instance, is a great place for a physical menu, remind- ing you what to cook and telling the kids what's com- ing up. Dry-erase boards are a clean, clear and affordable meal-planning tool. 4. Take family schedules into account. Plan meals around after- school and work schedules. For example, if you know Work will run after hours one night, it'd make more sense whether on paper or on your to whip up something quick phone, wili be an excellent and easy for dinner. Busy deterrent to overspending on impulsive treats. Don't fnrot to check your pantry before you go to avoid having double items, which trans- lates to double expenses. 5. Post the weekly menu in the house. Now that your pantry is prepared and your recipes are bookmarked, allot a meal to a day and post the week's menu somewhere everyone being the No. 1 fan at your daughter's soccer game? Have her favorite dish prepared for that night as a post-game reward. 3. Plan for leftovers. Not even Suzy Homemaker could cook every day of every week. Be reasonable, and allot no-cook nights for left- over dinners. Pastas, pizzas and rice dishes keep well, but try to steer clear of serving leafy greens and re-reheated meats long after they're prepared. 2. Match the meal to the season. Make the most of Mother Nature's bounty by taking advantage of seasonal pro- duce and weather-appropriate meals. Now's a perfect time for hearty soups, warm stews and winter veggies like broc- coli and cabbage. Save the cold and refreshing treats for warmer months of the year. It's easy for meal planning to get boring -- keep meals fresh by remembering the season. 1. Stay flexible. Though "planning" is crucial to meal planning, it's vital to keep an open mind for last-minute changes. That menu might be a victim of the eraser every so often, but don't let that make you give up on meal Planning. Try your hardest to stick to the plan, and it'll only get easier. Food on the Table: Cauliflower Heather Hunsaker Chef foodonthetable.com Mashed, topped with butter, or plain, cauliflower is a favorite vegetable for many. This nutty tasting vegetable is common year-round, but is most fresh and plentiful from October through April, making it the perfect veggie for meal planning in the winter months. Cauliflower is a'member of the Brassicaceae family, which also includes broccoli, cabbage and Brussels sprouts. It differs from other veggies in that it lacks green chloro- phyll because the leaves of white form, cauliflower is considered a powerful "super food." Providiqg vitamins C and K, as well as manganese and beta carotene, cauli- flower provides cardiovascu- lar support, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory benefits, supports a healthy digestive system, and is a helpful detox food. When purchasing cauli- flower, look for a clean compact curd with tight bud clusters that are creamy white in color. Cauliflower heads that are surrounded by thick green leaves will be fresher ani better quality. Raw cauliflower should be stored in a plastic bag, stem be eaten raw or cooked. While the florets are the most popu- lar part of the cauliflower to be consumed, the stem and leaves are also edible and make great additions to soups and stocks. To cut cauliflower, remove the outer leaves and then slice the florets at the base where they meet the stalk. You can then chop the florets into more uniform bite size pieces. Because of cauliflower's natural nutty flavor it pairs well with cheese, broccoli, carrot, mustard, cream, coriander and cumin. Steamed cauliflower can be pureed into a nice fluffy mix- ture that adds extra texture and flavor to everything from Serves: 6 Ingredients: 7 cups chicken or vegetable broth 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 small onion, diced 3 garlic cloves, minced 2 cups arborio rice 1 cup dry white wine 1 (16-ounce) package frozen cauliflower or 1 head fresh cauliflower (cored and cut into florets) 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme 1/2 teaspoon each salt and ground pepper Parmesan cheese, for serving Directions: as needed (add more broth for a thinner consistency, if desired). Set aside. in a medium saucepan, bring broth to a simmer; reduce heat and keep warm. Meanwhile, in a large ' heavy-bottomed skillet or pot, heat oil over medium-high. Add onion; reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring often, until onions are translu- cent, 5 - 8 minutes. Add rice and garlic. Stir to combine. Increase heat to medium- high and add wine. Cook, stirring, until liquid is almost evaporated, 2- 3 minutes. Add 112 cup broth to skillet. Cook, stirring constantly, until broth is almost absorbed. Re- peat, gradually adding broth 1/2 cup at a time and stirring constantly, until rice is tender but still al dente and sauce is creamy (you may not need all the broth), 20 to 25 minutes. Add cauliflower puree and thyme and stir to combine. Remove from heat and season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with Parmesan and serve immediately. Chef Hunsaker graduated from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts. She currently serves as a writer and recipe developer for meal planning site foodonthetable.com. the plant shield the florets side down,, in the refrigera- mashed potatoes to risotto. Place cauliflower in large from the sun. tor. If properly stored, cauli- Try the recipe below for a bowl. Add 1/2 cup broth. Many people believe that flower will keep for up to a nice creamy Cauliflower Microwave on high for 3 only vegetables with a deep week in the refrigerator or Risotto, /: : .......... , minutes, or unti! softened. green or bright red color can be blanched and then ., ......... Letcobkedc01iflowerc001 provide vital vitamins and frozen for up to a year. Cauliflower Risotto and place in blender or nutrients. Cauliflower can be enjoyed Prep time: 20 minutes food processor. Process until However, even in its pure in a variety of ways and can Cooktime: 25 minutes smooth, scraping down side Go 'Greek' for the halibut This Roasted Halibut with Black Olives, Cherry Toma- toes and Mint dish, which has Greek origins, matches delicate fish with a sharply flavored, uncooked olive "relish" (I use it on seafood and chicken as well). It's a cinch to make and is always a crowd pleaser. For an easy appetizer, substitute finely chopped, oil-cured, sun-dried tomatoes for the cherry tomatoes, and serve the olive relish on toasted pita or flatbread with feta cheese. Ingredients: 1 cup pitted kalamata olives, finely diced 1 small clove of garlic, peeled and minced 1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, plus 4 additional sprigs for garnish 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided 4 6-ounce halibut fillets 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon black pepper" 1 lemon, cut into wedges Directions: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In a medium bowl, combine the olives, garlic, tomatoes, mint and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Mix until combined and set aside (the relish can be made up to 2 hours in advance and kept at room temperature; do not refrigerate it). Rub the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over the halibut and place on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper and roast for 12 to 15 minutes until opaque and slightly firm. Remove from the oven and place on plates; spoon olive relish on top. Garnish with additional mint and lemon wedges. PLUMAS RURAL SERVICES Serving People, Strengthening Families, Building Communities Nurturing Parenting Classes 7 Week Series Includes: Ages & Stages of Growth and Development Communicating with Respect , Building Self-Worth/Understanding Feelings Drugs. Alcohol& Domestic Violence Issues Developing Family Morals. Values. and Rules Praising Behaviors--Alternatives to Spanking Positive Ways to Deal with Stress & Anger QUINCYclassbegins Wednesday, January 11th Space is limited. Please call before January 9th to register! 530-283-3611 extension "818 TOWN HALL THEATRE Presents HUGO Fri., Jan. 6 - Mon., Jan. 9 Rated PG 126 min. --Adventure/Drama Hugo is an orphan who lives in a Paris railway station, tending to the station clocks during his uncle's mysterious absence. He scrounges food from the vendors and steals mechanical parts from the owner of a toy shop, George Mclies. In fact, Hugo s father was a watchmaker, and he has inherited his father s talents for all things mechanical. Years before, Hugo s father found an intricate mechanical man, but they could never figure out how it worked. Hugo befriends Melies' ward, Isabellc, and together they have an adventure, one that centers around Melics himself. THE ADVENTURES OF TIHTIH Fri., Jan. 13 - Mon., Jan. 16 Rated PC; 1 hr., 41 min. * Animation/Adventure Having bought a model ship, the Unicorn, for a pound off a market stall, Tintin is initially puzzled that the sinister Mr. Sakharine should be so eager to buy it from him, resort- ing to murder and kidnapping Tintin - accompanied by his marvelous dog Snowy - to join him and his gang as they sail to Morocco on an old cargo ship. Sakharine has bribed the crew to revolt against the ship's master, drunken Captain Haddock, but Tintin, Snowy and Haddock escape, arriving in Morocco at the court of a sheikh, who also has a model of the Unicorn. Ili TOUiH SiLL THEliTRE