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Monday
Nov212016

Loving the Leftovers: Five Key Tips

By Sandy Hu
The latest from Inside Special Fork

This Thursday, we’ll be feasting on turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and all the trimmings. And on Friday, we’ll have a fridge crammed with leftovers.

If you decorated your table as I did mine, link to last week’ story with a bounty of produce, you’ll have those fruits and vegetables to deal with as well. How to manage it all and avoid waste?

Here are Five tips to get you organized.

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Monday
Nov142016

Setting the Thanksgiving Table

By Sandy Hu
The latest from Inside Special Fork

I’m teaching my three-year-old granddaughter to set the table. We have a family dinner every Friday night and she lays out the dinner plates, glasses, napkins and flatware. This feat is accomplished on tip toes, since her head barely clears the tabletop.

Thanksgiving and other special occasions are grandma’s turn to set the table. These days I no longer use my good china, silver and crystal. I feel it’s an imposition on the family because everyone pitches in to clean up, and I know they’re secretly happiest when we use everyday china that can be loaded in the dishwasher after dinner.

That doesn’t mean my table has to be ordinary. For Thanksgiving, I like an edible centerpiece as a celebration of the harvest. An extra benefit is that nothing goes to waste afterwards, since all the table decorations can be consumed later. Various kinds of squash, persimmons and pomegranates, interspersed with votive candles and bunches of grapes, make a beautiful table “runner” on my glass table. If I have time, I bake sugar cookies cut in turkey shapes to use as place cards.

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Monday
Nov072016

Potatoes in a Pinch for Busy Day Meals

By Sandy Hu
The latest from Inside Special Fork

We’re getting to that time of year when there’s more to do in the kitchen—baking cookies, making potluck dishes for parties, and hosting or contributing to family celebrations.

So I’d like to propose a simple meal idea when you’re too busy to cook: micro-baking potatoes to use as the basis for quick family meals. Once cooked, you can split the potato and top with leftover chili or spaghetti sauce and a sprinkling of shredded cheese. Serve with a green salad and you’re good to go!

If you have a little more time, make these Spicy Curry Potato Boats. They’re fairly quick to fix and you’ll love the Indian-inspired flavors. The recipe may look complicated, but really, all you do is microwave potatoes, scoop out the insides, make a simple stuffing, stuff the potatoes and bake to heat through.

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Monday
Oct312016

About Whole Grains and Healthy Eating

By Sandy Hu
The latest from Inside Special Fork

You can lead a horse to water…but you can’t make it drink! I’m reminded of that old idiom when trying to encourage more people to eat more healthfully.

We all know that what we eat impacts our health. And we can all agree that eating more whole grains is part of the solution. But people eat what they’re accustomed to, and it’s hard to convince them that nutty, chewy and sometimes bitter qualities of whole grains can not only be palatable, but downright delicious!

Enter Everyday Whole Grains, New Recipes from Amaranth to Wild Rice by Ann Taylor Pittman, published by Oxmoor House, ©2016 Time Inc. Books.

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Monday
Oct242016

Some Spooky Treats for Halloween

By Sandy Hu
The latest from Inside Special Fork

I was toying with an idea for a simple, fairly healthy, after-school Halloween snack. So I made a jack-o-lantern from an apple, stuffed it with granola and microwaved it until it was cooked through.

Truth be told, my three-year-old granddaughter, a rather picky eater, was charmed with the appearance but not keen on the taste. While she loves fresh apple slices, she’d never had a baked apple and the taste and texture were unfamiliar. If your little ones like baked apples or if you’re looking for an adult snack, I hope you’ll give this recipe a try. (I ate the whole thing!)

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