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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
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August 22, 2012     Feather River Bulletin
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August 22, 2012
 

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14B Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012 Bulletin, Record, Progressive, Reporter Heather Hunsaker Chef foodonthetable.com It's that time of year again: time tol sharpen pencils, pur- chase textbooks and move in- to that college dorm or apart- ment. This August, thou- sands of young adults leave the comfort of home and head off to live on their own, many for the first time. While most college stu- dents rely on fast food or the school cafeteria, those easy meal options can be expen- sive and unhealthy. Instead of depending on these conve- nience foods, try cooking on YOur own. Below are several simple cooking tips for first- time cooks living away from home. : --Essential tools: .Before moving into :that dorm, check with the housing coor- dinator or reference the school's website to see what appliances are allowed in the dorms, Some campuses offer small kitchens in the dorms while others do not. Even with a small kitchen, re- sources and space may be limited. Choose to bring tools and appliances you know how to use and that will help prepare meals. Besides the basics, such as plates, cups and silverware, simple cook- ing also requires mixing bowls, knives, pots and pans, and a can opener. A slow cooker, microwave, coffee maker and toaster oven are all cooking appliances even a novice cook can use. --Make a meal plan: Most college students are on a strict budget and have limit- ed funds to Spend on food. Making a weekly meal plan and shopping with a pre- pared list will help avoid un- necessary expenses. Consid- er using recipes written to serve one to two people to avoid excessive leftovers. A recipe app or website usually offers tools to adjust recipes to desired number of serv- ings which can be helpful when cooking for one. --Communicate with roommates: When living with roommates, it is essen- tial to communicate and dis- cuss living arrangements, es- : pecially when it comes to the kitchen. Some roommates prefer to grocery shop and prepare meals together, while others like to keep food separate by designating spe- cific cabinet and refrigerator space for each person. With busy schedules and limited funds, sharing cooking re- sponsibilities and costs can help alleviate some of the stress associated with living away from home. Consider shopping and cooking togeth: er one day a week, preparing several meals that can then be heated and enjoyed later When cooking for the first time, choose recipes that are easy to prepare. These Tex- Mex Potatoes use basic cook- ing skills and are prepared in the microwave, making them perfect for college cook- ing, Tex-Mex Potatoes Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 20 minutes Serves: 2 Ingredients: 2 large baking potatoes Directions: In a large microwave safe 1 tablespoon butter or mar- Scrub potatoes and prick in bowl, combine butter, onions gaHne several places with toothpick and bell pepper. Microwave 1 small onion, chopped or sharp knife. Place potatoes on high for one minute, then 1 large green bell pepper, on a paper towel in mi- stir. Microwave again for one chopped crowave and cook at high minute or until onions and 1 (16-ounce) can chili beans in power for 8 minutes. Turn peppers begin to soften. , spicy sauce, undrained and rotate potatoes and cook Add beans and Worcester- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire for another 8 to 10 minutes shire sauce to onion mixture ' sauce or until tender. Carefully re- and stir. Return to the mi- 112 cup shredded Monterey move potatoes from mi: crowave and microwave on Jack or cheddar cheese crowave and set aside, high for 2 - 3 minutes or until heated through. Split potatoes and top with prepared bean mixture. Sprinkle with cheese and serve. Chef Hunsaker graduated from~ Le Cordon Bleu College of Culi- nary Arts. She currently serves as a freelance writer and recipe developer for meal planning site foodonthetable.com. Is mad cow in California? Mayb Mad cow disease, which hu- mans can get by eating beef from infected cattle, may still be hanging around. According to one source, it has killed 171 people and been responsible for the deaths of more than 4 million cattle, slaughtered in an attempt to eradicate the disease. Officially known as variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob dis- ease, the infection is caused by specific proteins that cause the brain to start breaking down. The recent discove 'y of an infected cow in the Central Valley was found during rou- tine Agriculture Department surveillance that tests about 40,000 cows a year for the dis- ease. The test samples from the cow were immediately sent to the food safety lab for further testing, which re- vealed markers indicating the cow could have bovine spongi- form encephalopathy (BSE), otherwise known as mad cow disease. But, wait that same day federal agriculture officials announced the animal actual- ly had atypical BSE,: which HERE'S TO YOUR HEALTH AURA WHITTAKER means the cow didn't get the disease from eating infected cattle feed. The infection was written off as just a random mutation that can happen in an animal every once in a great while. While random mutations do go on in nature all the time, some people are skeptical. Could the government be try- ing to brush this under the carpet to keep people from freaking out? The U.S. Department of Agriculture saYs Americans are not at risk from this latest positive BSE test since the cow was not bound for the na- tion's food supply -- it was a dairy cow. They are confident the systems and safeguards in place to protect animal and t human health worked as planned to identify this case quickly, and will ensure it presents no risk to the food supply or to human health. According to reports, this cow in particular was not showing outward symptoms of mad cow disease before it died, which for cattle include unsteadiness, lack of coordi- nation, a drastic change in be- havior and/or low milk pro- duction. But, can we count on the USDA inspection to be truth: ful? The federal laboratory in Ames, Iowa, that conducts all ofthenatlon's tests for mad cow disease is said to have a history of producing ambigu- ous and conflicting results. And, the USDA has been sus- pected in the past of hiding ev- idence of mad cow disease. Opponents claim there is no BSE test available to perform on a live animal, and h com- plete test on a dead animal takes more than a week and involves analysis of the brain. Others say it can take months or years before the animal shows any symptoms. It has been suggested that Don't taste food to see if it is whole cuts of meat without still edible. Even a small the bone, such as steaks and amount of spoiled food can roast are safer, but processed cause serious illness. Instead, products such as sausages, keep track of dates and do a burgers and pat s carry the visual and smell inspection. highest potential risk of trans- When in doubt, throw it out. mission. Cooking the meat is Don't thaw food on the not thought to kill the bacte- counter. Harmful germs can ria. Milk and milk products multiply rapidly at room tern- from cows are not believed to perature, making your food pose any public risk. unsafe to eat. To thaw food Moreover, other concerned safely, let it defrost in the re- groups say when it comes to frigerator or in cold water, or food safety fears in the U.S pop it in the microwave and mad cow disease isn't exactly use the defrost setting. high on the list. Consider that Don't let food cool before just in the past few months, putting it in the fridge Illness- contaminated sprouts, raw causing bacteria can grow in milk and sushi have sickened perishable foods within two Americans. Sources say 30 hours unless you refrigerate people died last year from bac- them, or within one hour if teria-tainted cantaloupe. And the temperature is over 90 de- when it comes to hamburger, grees. a dangerous strain of E. coli Marinating meat or seafood that can lurk in ground beef on the counter is a no-no. sickens thousands of people Leaving it out in room tem- every year. perature can cause germs to The Center for Science in multiply rapidly. Always mar- the Public Interest (CSPI) inate meat or seafood in the points to other issues it Con- refrigerator. siders more relevant for pub- Avoid using raw meat mari- lic health, such as stemming nade on cooked food. If you the food poisoning the govern- reuse marinade, germs from ment estimates sickens 50 mil- the raw meat spread to lion people each year. the cooked food. Instead, boil While Americans can't al- it for at least five minutes to ways know the food they eat is kill the germs. free of dangerous bacteria, Eating raw cookie dough (or there are some precautions other foods with uncooked that could help stave off food eggs) can cause illness. Farm poisoning, fresh eggs may be less likely to make you sick, but there is always a risk they may con- tain salmonella or other harmful bacteria. Never put cooked meat back on a plate that previously held raw meat. After you're done cooking meat, make sure to put it on a different plate so germs don't spread to other cooked food. Washing raw meat or poul- try may seem like the best way to make sure it's clean, but doing so spreads bacteria to your sink, countertops and other surfaces. There is no need to wa .h it .j st cook it. Not all meat-cooking tem- peratures are the same. Use the safe minimum cooking temperatures on a food ther- mometer to make sure the meat is germ-free. Washing your hands is com- mon knowledge, yet often ne- glected. Even if your meat is safe, your hands might not be, and that can cause serious ill- ness. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and running water anytime you deal with food. Aura Whittaker has a Bachelor of Science degree in kinesiology and more than 15years experience in nutritional consulting and person- al training. Contact her at awhit- taker@lassennews.com or Lassen County Times, 100 Grand Ave SusanvUle, CA 96130. Sarah Bovagnet prepackaged goodies, crackers, yogurt, cans of fruit foodonthetable.com Whether you put together and pudding, too. something as simple as bite- With back-to-school excite- sized veggies and peanut but- Use the reusable ment come back-to-school ex: ter, or you take the time to Though brown baggi.ng it penses. Between fresh school bake an entire loaf of zucchini makes for easier cleanup, it supplies and new outfits, the bread, these lunch extras will means throwing money away start of another school year go a long way. You'll have every day. A one-time invest- can be a costly time for many more control over the flavor ment in a lunchbox ends up parents. To add to these ex- and nutrition, all while spend- saving you in the long run. In- penses are school lunches, ingless money for more food. stead of plastic sandwich With rising prices around the bags, use plastic containers. country, there's never been a Avoid individual packaging Forget water bottles and juice better time to have your kids When buying packaged boxes that can't be used more ditch the cafeteria lines in fa- foods, go for the bulk. Keep than once and go for reusable vor of a homemade lunch. Use various sizes of plastiC con- drink containers. By avoiding these tips to kick off the tainers in your kitchen to paper and plastic that will on- school year with frugal lunch turn inexpensive bulk food in- ly end up in'the trash, you end savings, to kid-size lunches. Large bags up helping your wallet and of chips are cheaper than indi- the environment. :':::! Make your own goodies vidual lunch-sized bags and Making homemade snacks can last for weeks by being Sarah Bovagnetis a 'writer for and desserts is healthier and repackaged into small meal planning service foodon- less expensive than buying containers. That goes forthetable.com. Deadline Friday for ballot contest Plumas County election of- and creativity is encouraged. 95971 no later than 5 p.m. Fri- ficials are currently looking The artwork submitted must day, Aug. 24. for a patriotic art piece to put be no larger than an 8-1/2-by- The chosen artwork will be on the cover of the November 11 piece of paper. The artist printed on.the cover of the lo- 2012 presidential election must include his or her cal voter information guide, voter information guide name, address, telephone which will be distributed to booklet, number, age and school onall registered voters in Requirements: The artist the back side of the artwork. Plumas County for the No- must be between 12 and 17 Submit artwork to: Plumasvember 2012 general election. years of age and a resident of County Elections Sample For more information Call Plumas County. The artwork Ballot Art Contest, 520 Main Plumas County EIections at must be patriotic in nature St Room 102, Quincy, CA283-6129. ~4