7 Layer Salad

I have a favorite salad recipe I serve for Thanksgiving. I also fix it in the summer months when I want to eat something light but filling. It is a simple salad to make and all it requires is a glass dish.You want to see how pretty it looks with the entire layers stacked on top of each other.

The wonderful thing about this salad is it makes a great side dish for fried chicken. The salad I’m referring to is a 7 layer salad. My mother taught me how to make it. I want to share it with you and you can pass it along to somebody. Here is my recipe for 7 layer salad.

Ingredients

1 head iceberg lettuce

1 can peas

1 onion

6 hard-boiled eggs

1 package bacon

1 to 2 cups miracle whip

1 package sharp shredded cheddar cheese

I listed the ingredients in the order they should go in the salad starting with lettuce first then peas etc. The secret to this salad is the bacon. With that being said you can make this recipe using that imitation store-bought bacon in a jar but it’s not the same. You must use real bacon and lots of it. Get a pot to boil 6 eggs. Salt the water for the eggs because this helps peel the eggs easily. First get a glass casserole dish. I like using a square dish so all the ingredients are laying flat. Cut up a small head of lettuce or enough to cover the bottom of the casserole dish. A half a head of lettuce will do if you are making a small version. Next drain the canned peas and layer on top of the lettuce covering the lettuce all over. Slice up a large onion and layer on top of the peas. Cool the hard-boiled eggs with cold water and remove the shells. Slice the eggs and layer on top of the onion. Cook up a whole pack of bacon until crispy. Crumble the crispy bacon on top of the eggs. Spoon out 1 to 2 cups miracle whip on the bacon and spread it across the bacon with a spreading knife like icing. All the ingredients should completely cover the last ingredient underneath it. The last step is to sprinkle the cheese on top of the salad dressing covering it completely. Press the cheese down into the dressing so it doesn’t fall off. You will thank me later for this recipe.

10 Best Chocolates You Have To Taste in NYC

Here in NYC, we have sampled some of the best chocolates. They are:

1: Hot Chocolate from City Bakery

City Bakery has provides eight ounces of non-watered chocolate that has been melted. This is provided in their cafeteria-style caf� with a large homemade marshmallow placed on tip. Though it is not healthy, it offers a good experience.

2: Holiday Chocolates from L.A Burdick

This is said to be the best shop in NY. Stop in for a cup of hot chocolate with some of your friends on a chilly morning or a hot afternoon and walk out with a box full of delightful chocolate penguins as a gift to a friend.

3: MarieBelle Chocolates

This is a mix of the best and original chocolate that is combined with eclectic ingredients that makes it taste wonderful. All these combined with the best artisanal design which resembles precious jewels makes it perfect.

4: Olivia Kita Fine Chocolates

Olivia Kita’s chocolatiers are probably the best chocolatiers who offer vegan organic chocolates. These beautiful creations mixed with beautiful flavors from herbs, flowers, exotic fruits, berries, nuts and other spices offer the best taste.

5: Jacques Torres Chocolate

These chocolates are probably some of the best you have ever tasted. They are made of fresh beans and can be combined with other delicacies which will overwhelm your taste buds indefinitely.

6: Martine’s Chocolates

They are made of fresh cream chocolates as well as truffles. The delicacies are handmade and are prepared in front of the clients. They include Belgian Callebautcouverture, French butter and fresh American cream. Presented in a pink box that makes the client even salivate before eating.

7: Kee’s Chocolates

This place creates handmade confectionaries. They have an international flavor since their ingredients are imported: yuzu from Japan, French sea salt and Spanish saffron. This is an ideal stop for individuals who prefer a small SoHo shop.

8: Vosges Haut-Chocolat

This is perhaps one of the best places to buy truffles. It provides an international flavor with the exotic flavors collected from all over the world. It is made with curry, Thai pandan leaves and wasabi. You can order this unique candy online for dessert.

9: Hampton Chocolates

The Hampton Chocolate factory employs some of the best chocolatiers from around the world to provide some of the most unique creations. They are all natural, preservation free and have been said to have the best taste.

10: Gnosis chocolates

The gnosis chocolates are all natural and created to enhance the health of the client. Only the best organic ingredients are used to deliver an attractive flavor and nourishment from some of the best herbs from China and Native America. Appropriate for dessert.

Keeping Your Salads Safe From Bacteria That Cause Food Borne-Illness

During the warmer months, food can spoil quickly therefore it’s very important to handle all foods, including fresh produce like fruit and vegetable salads, safely to prevent possible food-borne illness. Since many meals happen outdoors in the spring and summer (think Memorial Day and July 4th barbecues) there is often a greater chance for food contamination, especially in places away from home (for example-the local park), where there is minimal access to refrigeration and washing facilities.

The following are helpful tips from the Food and Drug Administration to reduce the risk of food-borne illness from fresh produce.

� At the store, purchase produce that is not bruised or damaged. If buying fresh cut produce, be sure it is refrigerated or surrounded by ice.

� At home, chill and refrigerate food immediately. After purchase, put produce that needs refrigeration away promptly. Fresh whole produce such as bananas and potatoes do not need refrigeration. Fresh produce should be refrigerated within two hours of peeling or cutting. Leftover cut produce should be discarded if left at room temperature for more than two hours.

� Wash hands often with hot soapy water before and after handling fresh produce or raw meat, poultry or seafood.

� Wash all fresh fruits and vegetables with cool tap water immediately before eating. Don’t use soap or detergents. Scrub firm produce, such as melons and cucumbers, with a clean produce brush. Cut away any bruised or damaged areas before eating.

� Wash surfaces often. Cutting boards, dishes, utensils and counter tops should be washed with hot soapy water and sanitized after coming in contact with raw meat, poultry or seafood. Sanitize after use with a solution of 1 teaspoon of chlorine bleach in 1 quart of water.

� Don’t cross contaminate. Use clean cutting boards and utensils when handling fresh produce. Use one clean cutting board for fresh produce and a separate one for raw meat, poultry and seafood. During food preparation, wash cutting boards, utensils or dishes that have come into contact with raw meat, poultry or seafood. Do not consume ice that has come in contact with raw products.

� Use a cooler with ice or ice packs when transporting or storing perishable food outdoors, including fresh fruits and vegetables.

� Wash pre-packaged salads before use. Don’t assume that because food is prepackaged it is ready to eat!

� Even if you don’t eat the peel of a fruit or vegetable, such as melons, it is still important to wash them. Bacteria from the outer surface can be transferred to the inside of the fruit or vegetable when you cut into them. Discard the outer leaves of leafy vegetables before washing them.

Make sure to take the proper steps in caring for your food to prevent the risk of food-borne illness. Hope you enjoy a safe and fun spring and summer.

Bonnie R. Giller offers tailored nutrition and health solutions for the most challenging medical issues such as weight loss, diabetes management and gastrointestinal conditions. She helps chronic dieters get off the diet roller coaster and finally get the body they love.

Bonnie is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Dietitian-Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Educator. She is also a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor with extensive training in intuitive eating.

How to Make Super Easy Orzo Pasta Salad

This quick and easy recipe for orzo pasta salad makes an elegant and enticing garden-fresh salad that is loaded with bright, summery color and flavor – making it the perfect summer side dish.

A sophisticated pasta salad that looks and tastes like one of those fancy gourmet deli salads, this one is miles ahead of that rubbery tri-color pasta salad we’ve all seen again and again.

This no-mayo pasta salad is also safe for picnics, beach trips, boat rides and relaxing backyard BBQs with friends and family. Kid friendly too!

You can even make this one ahead as it holds up well once assembled.

Try this orzo pasta salad for your next summer fete and see if you don’t get rave reviews!

This orzo pasta salad is one of my go-to recipes when I need to bring a summer salad or side dish to an outdoor event. Easy to make and beautiful to serve, this one is always a hit.

The recipe calls for orzo pasta, a small rice-like pasta that holds up exceptionally well in cold salad and absorbs the flavors of the dressing and the other ingredients without getting mushy or chewy. Ripe but firm cherry tomatoes bring a sweet summery taste. Use plenty of fresh basil and parsley for color, subtle flavor and brightness. Small bits of crumbled feta cheese add a welcome saltiness that perfectly suits the al dente pasta. A light toss with a good quality Greek vinaigrette dressing is all your need to bring the flavors together and keep the dish moist and delicious. Enjoy!

Ingredients

1 lb. ( a box) of orzo pasta
6-8 oz. of organic feta cheese (avoid the processed crumbles for best flavor)
A very large handful (2 cups) of gently torn fresh basil leaves, (don’t cut it or it will bruise and turn dark)
A large handful (1 cup) of fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley, rough chopped.
A pint of cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 cup of a good quality Greek vinaigrette, home made or bottled, with extra as needed.
Plenty of fresh-cracked black pepper
1 heaping tablespoon of salt for the pasta water

Directions

Rinse the herbs and the tomatoes and set on paper towels or linen to dry completely.

Put a large pot of water (4 quarts) on to boil. Place a small-holed collander in the sink.

While the water is heating… tear the basil by stacking the leaves, same side up, and gently tearing off thumb-size pieces from the stack. If the leaves are small, use them whole. Set aside.

Rough chop the parley leaves and set aside. Discard the stems.

Slice the tomatoes in half and set aside.

When the pasta water is at a rolling boil, add a generous tablespoon of salt and drop in the orzo. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Cook according to the package directions until just al dente (still firm).

Drain the orzo in a collander and immediately rinse with plenty of cold running water to stop the cooking process and rinse off any starch from the pasta. Drain well.

Place the drained pasta in a large bowl and gently toss with 1/2 cup of the Greek dressing until thoroughly mixed. The flavors in the dressing will be absorbed by the still-warm pasta as it cools. The oil in the dressing also keeps the pasta from sticking together.

Cover with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap down over the pasta in the bowl. Allow to cool completely in the fridge.

When the pasta is cold, add the tomatoes, the basil, and the parsley.

Cut the feta into 1/4 inch slices and then use your fingers to crumble the feta into pea size bits. It’s a messy process but worth it to use the non-processed feta! Add plenty of fresh-cracked black pepper and toss well until everything is nicely incorporated. Adjust the amounts of the ingredients to your taste. You shouldn’t need to add any salt as the feta is very salty and the pasta has been flavored during cooking.

Add the remaining 1/2 cup of dressing and toss well. If it is too dry, add more dressing, a splash at a time and stir it in well. Greek dressing is quite strong and it should just compliment the subtle flavors of the salad, not overwhelm it. Don’t drench the salad in dressing. It should be moist but not soggy.

Transfer to your serving bowl or plastic container and cover with a lid or plastic wrap. Keeps well in the fridge up to a week.

Frozen Yogurt Shops Switching From Cups to Cones

For years, frozen yogurt has been served in paper cups. The convenience of this for store owners was unmatched. Now, however, the tides are changing and more shops are seeing the need to introduce waffle cones into their business.

There are several reasons for this change.

WHY?

Easy to consume on the go. More and more Moms are choosing yogurt as a healthy alternative to ice cream. They love the convenience of a cone which allows them to eat while they transport the kids to afternoon activities.
Ice cream cones are edible. This means no garbage left over after snack time. Ice cream cones are the greener alternative.
They weigh more. Quality made waffle cones, weigh just as much if not more than a paper cup. While many shops argue the cost of a cone is higher, they must understand they can recoup the cost with the weight of the cone.
Kids love cones. Sure the Moms may love the convenience of eating on the go but for kids, cones are preferred over cups. Not only that. Many shops are actually dressing them up with chocolate and sprinkles to make them even more desirable and profitable.

HOW?

Changing a yogurt shop over, isn’t near as difficult as some shop owners think. With just a few simple steps, making the switch can be a simple transition.

Start sampling. There are many cone companies out there. Be sure to try a few different cones to find the company that offer the best quality cones.
Use the internet. Go online to restaurant supply and shopping websites and find cone holders. They come in a variety of styles and materials. Plastic or metal ones work best. They do make cone holder attachments for the scale; however, just using an acrylic cone holder can be just as effective. Just be sure to tare your scale to include the weight of the cone holder.
Posters/displays. Using posters and strategic placement of displays can really help to draw attention to your newly added waffle cones. Be sure to have stands available for your customers to stand their cones while they fill them with all the amazing toppings you offer.

Yogurt shops are changing with the times. If you haven’t incorporated them yet, you should think about it. Offering a variety of flavored waffle cones can also help to stimulate new business. In these changing times, shop owners need to be willing to change with the growing demand of their customers. And customers want waffle cones.