Tag Archives: healthy

First Lady Michelle Obama Travels to Philadelphia: Making Healthy Food Accessible & Affordable

Posted by: Audiegrl

First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks on the "Let's Move" health initiative at Fairhill Elementary School in Philadelphia, Pa., Feb. 19, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks on the Let's Move health initiative at Fairhill Elementary School in Philadelphia, Pa., Feb. 19, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)


With Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack in tow, First Lady Michelle Obama traveled to Philadelphia yesterday as part of the Let’s Move! campaign, a nationwide effort to rally the country around one goal, ending the epidemic of childhood obesity.

During her remarks at Fairhill Elementary School, Mrs. Obama applauded the city of Philadelphia for their “stand” to end childhood obesity:

Six years ago, when this city had fewer supermarkets per person than almost anywhere in America, all right, that was six years ago, when many folks had no access to healthy foods; six years ago many neighborhoods had alarming rates of obesity-related conditions like heart disease and diabetes — the folks in this city, you all could have decided that you had an unsolvable problems on your hands, right? You could have done that. You could have decided that these problems were just too big and too complicated and too entrenched and thrown your hands up and walked away.

But instead you all took a stand, a really important, collaborative stand. You decided first that no family in this city should be spending a fortune on high-priced, low-quality foods because they have no other options. You decided that no child should be consigned to a life of poor health because of what neighborhood his or her family lives in. And you decided that you weren’t going to just talk about the problem or wring your hands about the problems, but you were going to act.

And that’s precisely the kind of determination, the kind of commitment that we need to address the epidemic of childhood obesity in this country. And this issue is an issue of great concern to me, and I’ve said this before, not because I’m First Lady — or not just because I’m First Lady of this country — but because I’m a mother, and I care about my kids and I care about all of our kids. And I know that this issue is a great concern to all of you, everyone around this country. We all care about our kids. That’s why last week we enthusiastically and proudly launched “Let’s Move.” (Applause.) “Let’s Move” is a nationwide campaign to rally this country around one single but ambitious goal, and that is to end the epidemic of childhood obesity in a generation so that the kids born today grow up with a healthy weight. Simple but ambitious.

Mrs. Obama also announced a new part of Let’s Move! — the Healthy Food Financing Initiative, a multi-million dollar public and private investment to eliminate food deserts in America within seven years:


“So with your success here in Pennsylvania, what you’ve shown us is that when we provide the right support and incentives, then business leaders like Pat Burns and Jeff Brown, they’re going to take the chance to invest in our communities. And when we bring fresh, healthy food to communities, what do we learn? People will buy it, right? People will buy it. These stores are turning a profit. And what’s going on is that they’re doing well by doing good. Isn’t that something? (Applause.)

So it’s because of this example that part of “Let’s Move” we created this Healthy Food Financing Initiative that’s modeled on what’s been going on here. And as Secretary Geithner said, with a modest initial investment of about $400 million a year, we’re going to use that money to leverage hundreds of millions more from private and non-profit sectors to bring grocery stores and other healthy food retailers to underserved communities all across this country. If you can do it here, we can do it around the country. (Applause.) And our goal is ambitious. It’s to eliminate food deserts in America completely in seven years. (Applause.)

Again, we know this is ambitious, but we also know that tackling the issue of accessibility and affordability is key to achieving the overall goal of solving childhood obesity in this generation.”

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To learn more about what you can do to help solve the childhood obesity epidemic – visit LetsMove.gov and become a fan of Let’s Move! on FaceBook.

Looking for more stories on the First Lady? Check out our brand new section: FLOTUS: All Things Michelle Obama

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President Obama and First Lady Michelle Announce 2010 Easter Egg Roll Theme Ready, Set, Go!

Posted by: Audiegrl

President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle, and their daughter Sasha welcome people to the annual White House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House April 13, 2009 in Washington, DC. The event dates back to 1878 and is named for races where children push colored eggs across the grass using wooden spoons. (Photo by Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images)

The President and First Lady have announced that this year’s White House Easter Egg Roll will be held on Monday, April 5, 2010 with the theme of “Ready, Set, Go!” promoting health and wellness. The event will feature live music, sports courts, cooking stations, storytelling and, of course, Easter egg rolling. All of the activities will encourage children to lead healthy and active lives and follow the First Lady’s ‘Let’s Move!’ initiative, a national campaign to combat childhood obesity.

Souvenir White House Eggs

The 2010 White House Easter Egg Roll souvenir eggs will be available for purchase online at the National Park Foundation website. Each wooden egg is expertly crafted, painted, and includes the signatures of the President and First Lady.

The White House will open its South Lawn for children aged 12 years and younger and their families. Full ticketing information is below. We hope to see you at the White House!

Ticketing Information

The First Lady with daughter's Sasha and Malia Easter 2009

The First Lady with daughter's Sasha and Malia Easter 2009

White House Easter Egg Roll tickets will be distributed through an online lottery system, allowing guests from across the United States to participate in a tradition that dates back to 1878.

Entries for the 2010 White House Easter Egg Roll Online Lottery will be accepted from Thursday, February 25 through Sunday, February 28. One entry per person may be submitted at anytime during the lottery period. All entries will have an equal chance of being selected.

The lottery will be run on March 1. Lottery results will be available starting Thursday, March 4, 2010. Please visit www.recreation.gov to apply for the online ticket lottery.

Here’s a video roundup of the 2009 White House Easter Egg Roll

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First Lady Michelle Obama: America’s Move to Raise a Healthier Generation of Kids

Let's Move

Click to visit Let's Move

Let’s Move is comprehensive, collaborative, and community-oriented and will include strategies to address the various factors that lead to childhood obesity. It will foster collaboration among the leaders in government, medicine and science, business, education, athletics, community organizations and more. And it will take into account how life is really lived in communities across the country – encouraging, supporting and pursuing solutions that are tailored to children and families facing a wide range of challenges and life circumstances.

President Barack Obama kicked off the launch by signing a Presidential Memorandum creating the first ever Task Force on Childhood Obesity which will include the DPC, Office of the First Lady, Interior, USDA, HHS, Education, NEC and other agencies. Within 90 days, the Task Force will conduct a review of every single program and policy relating to child nutrition and physical activity and develop a national action plan that maximizes federal resources and sets concrete benchmarks toward First Lady Michelle Obama’s national goal.

While the review is underway, Administration and public and private efforts are already moving to combat obesity and reach the First Lady’s national goal:

First Lady Michelle Obama walks with students from Bancroft Elementary School and Kimball Elementary School on the South Lawn of the White House on October 29, 2009 in Washington, DC. First lady Michelle Obama invited local school children to help with the fall vegetable harvest in the garden at the White House. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)


Helping Parents Make Healthy Family Choices

Parents play a key role in making healthy choices for their children and teaching their children to make healthy choices for themselves. But in today’s busy world, this isn’t always easy. So Let’s Move will offer parents the tools, support and information they need to make healthier choices for their families. The Administration, along with partners in the private sector and medical community, will:

Empower Consumers: By the end of this year, the Food and Drug Administration will begin working with retailers and manufacturers to adopt new nutritionally sound and consumer friendly frontof- package labeling. This will put us on a path towards 65 million parents in America having easy access to the information needed to make healthy choices for their children.

Already, the private sector is responding. Today, the American Beverage Association announced that its member companies will voluntarily put a clear, uniform, front-of-pack calorie label on all of their cans, bottles, vending and fountain machines within two years. The label will reflect total calories per container in containers up to 20 oz. in size. For containers greater than 20 oz., the label will reflect a 12 oz. serving size. While more work remains to be done, this marks an important first step in ensuring parents have the information they need to make healthier choices

Provide Parents with a Rx for Healthier Living: The American Academy of Pediatrics, in collaboration with the broader medical community, will educate doctors and nurses across the country about obesity, ensure they regularly monitor children’s BMI, provide counseling for healthy eating early on, and, for the first time ever, will even write a prescription for parents laying out the simple things they can do to increase healthy eating and active play.

Major New Public Information Campaign: Major media companies – including the Walt Disney Company, NBC, Universal and Viacom – have committed to join the First Lady’s effort and increase public awareness of the need to combat obesity through public service announcements (PSAs), special programming, and marketing. The Ad Council, Warner Brothers and Scholastic Media have also partnered with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to run PSAs featuring top professional athletes, Scholastic Media’s Maya & Miguel, and Warner Brothers’ legendary Looney Tunes characters.

Next Generation Food Pyramid: To help people make healthier food and physical activity choices, the U.S. Department of Agriculture will revamp the famous food pyramid. MyPyramid.gov is one of the most popular websites in the federal government, and a 2.0 version of the Web site will offer consumers a host of tools to help them put the Dietary Guidelines into practice.

Empower Change: USDA has created the firstever interactive database – the Food Environment Atlas – that maps healthy food environments at the local level across the country. It will help people identify the existence of food deserts, high incidences of diabetes, and other conditions in their communities. This information can be used by parents, educators, government and businesses to create change across the country.

LetsMove.gov: To help children parents, teachers, doctors, coaches, the nonprofit and business communities and others understand the epidemic of childhood obesity and take steps to combat it, the Administration has launched a new “one-stop” shopping website — LetsMove.gov — to provide helpful tips, step-by-step strategies for parents, and regular updates on how the federal government is working with partners to reach the national goal.

First Lady Michelle Obama and students from Bancroft Elementary School and Kimball Elementary School examine their vegetables

Serving Healthier Food in Schools

Many children consume as many as half of their daily calories at school. As families work to ensure that kids eat right and have active play at home, we also need to ensure our kids have access to healthy meals in their schools. With more than 31 million children participating in the National School Lunch Program and more than 11 million participating in the National School Breakfast Program, good nutrition at school is more important than ever. Together with the private sector and the non-profi t community, we will take the following steps to get healthier food in our nation’s schools:

Reauthorize the Child Nutrition Act: The Administration is requesting an historic investment of an additional $10 billion over ten years starting in 2011 to improve the quality of the National School Lunch and Breakfast program, increase the number of kids participating, and ensure schools have the resources they need to make program changes, including training for school food service workers, upgraded kitchen equipment, and additional funding for meal reimbursements. With this investment, additional fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products will be served in our school cafeterias and an additional one million students will be served in the next five years.

Double the number of schools participating in the Healthier US School Challenge: The Healthier US School Challenge establishes rigorous standards for schools’ food quality, participation in meal programs, physical activity, and nutrition education – the key components that make for healthy and active kids – and provides recognition for schools that meet these standards. Over the next school year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, working with partners in schools and the private sector, will double the number of schools that meet the Healthier US School Challenge and add 1,000 schools per year for two years after that.

We are bringing to the table key stakeholder groups that have committed to work together to improve the nutritional quality of school meals across the country.

New Commitments from Major School Food Suppliers: School food suppliers are taking important first steps to help meet the Healthier US School Challenge goal. Major school food suppliers including Sodexho, Chartwells School Dining Services, and Aramark have voluntarily committed to meet the Institute of Medicine’s recommendations within five years to decrease the amount of sugar, fat and salt in school meals; increase whole grains; and double the amount of produce they serve within 10 years. By the end of the 2010-2011 school year, they have committed to quadruple the number of the schools they serve that meet the Healthier US School Challenge.

School Nutrition Association: The School Nutrition Association (SNA), which represents food service workers in more than 75% of the nation’s schools, has joined the Let’s Move campaign. Working with other education partners, SNA has committed to increasing education and awareness of the dangers of obesity among their members and the students they serve, and ensuring that the nutrition programs in 10,000 schools meet the Healthier US School Challenge standards over the next five years.

School Leadership: Working with school food service providers and SNA, the National School Board Association, the Council of Great City Schools and the American Association of School Administrators Council have all embraced, and committed to meeting, the national Let’s Move goal. The Council of Great City Schools has also has set a goal of having every urban school meet the Healthier US Schools gold standard within five years. The American Association of School Administrators has committed to ensuring that an additional 2,000 schools meet the challenge over the next two years. These combined efforts will touch 50 million students and their families in every school district in America.

First Lady Michelle Obama thanks students from Bancroft Elementary School and Kimball Elementary School for helping harvest vegetables on the South Lawn of the White House on October 29, 2009 in Washington, DC.

Accessing Healthy, Affordable Food

More than 23 million Americans, including 6.5 million children, live in low-income urban and rural neighborhoods that are more than a mile from a supermarket. These communities, where access to affordable, quality, and nutritious foods is limited, are known as food deserts. Lack of access is one reason why many children are not eating recommended levels of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. And food insecurity and hunger among children is widespread. A recent USDA report showed that in 2008, an estimated 49.1 million people, including 16.7 million children, lived in households that experienced hunger multiple times throughout the year. The Administration, through new federal investments and the creation of public private partnerships, will:

Eliminate Food Deserts: As part of the President’s proposed FY 2011 budget, the Administration announced the new Healthy Food Financing Initiative – a partnership between the U.S. Departments of Treasury, Agriculture and Health and Human Services that will invest $400 million a year to help bring grocery stores to under-served areas and help places such as convenience stores and bodegas carry healthier food options. Through these initiatives and private sector engagement, the Administration will work to eliminate food deserts across the country within seven years.

Increase Farmers Markets: The President’s 2011 Budget proposes an additional $5 million investment in the Farmers Market Promotion Program at the U.S. Department of Agriculture which provides grants to establish, and improve access to, farmers markets.

First Lady Michelle Obama and students from Bancroft Elementary School and Kimball Elementary School pose for a photograph with freshly harvested vegetables on the South Lawn of the White House on October 29, 2009 in Washington, DC.

Increasing Physical Activity

Children need 60 minutes of active play each day. Yet, the average American child spends more than 7.5 hours a day watching TV and movies, using cell phones and computers, and playing video games, and only a third of high school students get the recommended levels of physical activity. Through public-private partnerships, and reforms of existing federal programs, the Administration will address this imbalance by:

Expanding and Modernizing the President’s Physical Fitness Challenge: In the coming weeks, the President will be naming new members to the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, housed at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The council will be charged with increasing participation in the President’s Challenge and with modernizing and expanding it, so that it is consistent with the latest research and science.

For more information, please visit www.letsmove.gov.

Looking for more stories on the First Lady? Check out our brand new section: FLOTUS: All Things Michelle Obama

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President Obama: New Year Is a Hopeful Time

President Barack Obama has wished all Americans a happy and healthy New Year. President Obama says he hopes that brighter days will be ahead in 2010.

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First Lady Michelle Obama Graces Season Premiere of Iron Chef America; Executive Chef Cristeta Comerford Will Compete

Posted by Audiegrl

Another first from the Obama White House Kitchen…First Lady reveals “secret ingredient

First Lady Michelle Obama, Comerford, Brown, Batali and Lagasse

First Lady Michelle Obama, Flay, Comerford, Brown, Batali and Lagasse

Obama Foodorama—First Lady Michelle Obama will make a special appearance on the season premiere of the popular Food Network show Iron Chef America in January, in a savvy move to extend her healthy food messaging to a new audience. Executive Chef Cristeta Comerford will compete on the show in a special two hour “super chef battle.” Comerford’s teammate is grill master Bobby Flay, who guest-cheffed at the White House for the Father’s Day event in June, when he cooked up some lovely steaks with President Obama. Spoiler alert: Mrs. Obama will be revealing the “secret ingredient” that the chefs will use in their televised cook-off, which is a hallmark of the Iron Chef America series. The “secret ingredient” in this case is anything that grows in the White House Kitchen Garden, which leaves things wiiiide open, because the Kitchen Garden has produced a stunning variety of crops this year. Comerford and Flay are competing against the highly competitive team of celeb chefs Emeril Lagasse, who specializes in Southern/New Orleans cooking, and Mario Batali, an Italian cooking superstar.

Comerford in the Kitchen Garden during the Iron Chef America filming, harvesting with teammate Flay

Comerford in the Kitchen Garden during the Iron Chef America filming, harvesting with teammate Flay

Scenes for the show were already shot at the White House, with Comerford and the three other chefs harvesting crops from the Kitchen Garden, and Mrs. Obama having face-time with the guest chefs and discussing the importance of getting kids to eat their veggies. In her onscreen cameo, Mrs. Obama will discuss her campaign to reduce childhood obesity through better school lunches, community gardens, farmers’ markets and exercise, which is now known as the Healthy Kids Initiative around the White House. The show’s January air-date is timed perfectly to be right before Congress comes back into session, when legislators will ostensibly be addressing the re-authorization of the Child Nutrition Act, which provides federal funding for school feeding programs. Better school lunches are one of Mrs. Obama’s priorities, and President Obama’s too; Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack frequently notes in his public remarks that this was the very first subject President Obama discussed with him during their “job interview.”

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More @ Obama Foodorama, where you can find White House Food Initiatives…And Other Bipartisan Bytes of Food Politics

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44 Diaries wishes everyone a…


Welcome to 44-D’s Annual Thanksgiving-Palooza 2009. Whether you’re looking for turkey recipes, stuffing, side dishes, pies or other desserts, we’ve got you covered. Find great advice and Thanksgiving recipes to plan your Thanksgiving dinner menu. Also, please feel free to add your own special family recipes in the comments section!


Click here to read: Thanksgiving Letter From First Lady Michelle Obama

Giving Thanks to Our Heroes This Holiday

Posted by Dr. Jill Biden

There is nothing like the warmth of home during the holidays. In this spirit, the Vice President and I hosted an early Thanksgiving Dinner last night for servicemembers and their families at our home, the U.S. Naval Observatory. It was the Biden family’s small way of saying thank you to these heroes, and we could not have been more honored to share a table with this group. As my husband said, “Never before has this place been accorded such an honor as tonight. No individual group has walked through that door that has lent more dignity than you.”

read more: The White House Blog

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10 Easy Preparation Tips for Thanksgiving

Make desserts the day before Thanksgiving. This really makes sense. It’s so hard to bake everything at the same time because everything seems to bake at different temperatures. Even if you aren’t baking this easy preparation tip comes in handy. Having your pies, candy, etc already made will give you more time to work on preparing the turkey, vegetables, etc.

Peel potatoes the day before Thanksgiving. This easy preparation tip may not seem to save a lot of time, but it really does. The day before Thanksgiving I peel the potatoes, place them in a bowl of water, and then put them in the refrigerator. This way, they won’t oxidize and turn brown. When you are ready to cook your potatoes, simply drain off the water and cook them like normal.

Make cornbread for homemade dressing the day before Thanksgiving. I can’t believe I went so many Thanksgivings without doing this. I used to bake my cornbread while my turkey was baking and hope I could get my dressing mixed and baked before the turkey was done. Now, I always bake my cornbread the day before and then all I have to do is mix up the ingredients and bake the dressing.

Cut up vegetables the day before Thanksgiving: This also saves a lot of time. Whether you need vegetables for homemade dressing or you’re putting out a vegetable platter, this is an easy preparation tip that will make your Thanksgiving more enjoyable.

Thaw turkey well ahead of time. Nothing is worse than going to fix your turkey on Thanksgiving and it’s still partially frozen. By following this easy preparation tip, this Thanksgiving, you will be able to get everything finished on time rather than having to wait longer because you turkey still isn’t done.

Purchase rolls rather than making them from scratch. You may be completely against this easy preparation tip, but believe me you can buy rolls that will be just as good as homemade. There are rolls in the freezer section that you thaw and then let rise. There’s also wonderful crescent rolls found in the dairy section next to the biscuits. If you honestly cannot do this, prepare you dough in advance and freeze it before it rises. Then remove it from the freezer and allow it to thaw and rise before baking.

Buy desserts from a local bakery. If you think making desserts from scratch will drive you over the edge this Thanksgiving, use this easy preparation tip. Go to a local bakery and choose desserts that you can pass off as homemade.

Have someone else do the little things. Whether it’s buying precut vegetables from the produce section or buying pre-made mashed potatoes, this is an easy preparation tip that just makes sense. Why should you waste your time this Thanksgiving cutting vegetables or baking rolls?

Share the responsibility. This Thanksgiving ask your friends and family to bring different dishes and then all you have to do is cook the turkey. This is an easy preparation tip that will truly allow you to have an enjoyable Thanksgiving.

Order a Thanksgiving dinner from the store. In this day and time you can get wonderful Thanksgiving dinners from your local grocery store. If you aren’t comfortable with having the whole dinner catered, only buy the items you dread making the most.

I hope these easy preparation tips will help you easily get through Thanksgiving this year and many years to come.

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Food Network Star’s Thanksgiving Menus

Alton Brown’s Thanksgiving Menu
Alton Brown’s flair in the kitchen developed early with guidance from his mother and grandmother, a budding culinary talent he skillfully used later as a way to get dates in college. On Feasting On Asphalt, Alton had only his motorcycle, a few buddies and the clothes on his back during a nostalgic trip across the country to rediscover the disappearing people, places and stories of great American road food.

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Alton Brown shares the best techniques for carving the perfect Thanksgiving turkey.

Paula Deen’s Thanksgiving Menu
Who would think that a housewife from Albany, Ga., with no formal training in food, would become one of the country’s most beloved celebrity chefs? Paula Deen is a self-made success story who learned the secrets of Southern cooking from her Grandmother some 30 years ago. She had no idea at the time that the love for Southern cooking her grandmother instilled in her would lead to a life-long career.

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Download Paula’s free Holiday Hosting Guide

Paula Deen bakes a terrific sausage stuffing for a Thanksgiving feast.

Good Old Country Stuffing Recipe

Ina Garten’s Thanksgiving Menu
In 1978, Ina Garten went from working on nuclear energy policy to running a small specialty food store in the Hamptons. Ina has been a columnist for Martha Stewart Living magazine and O, the Oprah magazine. Since March, 2006 she has been a columnist for House Beautiful. She shares her cooking expertise in a series of cookbooks and on her show, Barefoot Contessa.

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Ina remembers her favorite Thanksgiving memory, favorite dessert (Pumpkin Banana Mousse Tart), favorite place to be at Thanksgiving, favorite Thanksgiving meal highlight, favorite Thanksgiving short cut, and her Thanksgiving confession.

Giada De Laurentiis’s Thanksgiving Menu
Born in Rome, Giada grew up in a large Italian family where the culture of food was a staple in and of itself. As the granddaughter of film producer Dino De Laurentiis, Giada consistently found herself in the family’s kitchen. Giada is a master at transforming simple, everyday ingredients into dishes that are quick, healthy and satisfying.

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Try her recipe for Turkey with Herbes de Provence and Citrus.

Rachael Ray’s Thanksgiving Menu
According to Rachael Ray, she grew up in food. “My first vivid memory is watching my mom in a restaurant kitchen. She was flipping something with a spatula. I tried to copy her and ended up grilling my right thumb! I was 3 or 4,” says Rachael, who insists that cooking is a way of life she was simply born into. Rachael has parlayed that birthright into a wildly successful career as an iconic Food Network television personality, bestselling cookbook author and editor–in-chief of her own lifestyle magazine.

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Rachael Ray whips up the best and creamiest butternut squash soup.

Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

Bobby Flay’s Thanksgiving Menu
Bobby Flay’s versatility is evident in the multiple talents he brings to the field as a chef, restaurateur, cookbook author, and media personality. He is also the Resident Chef and Lifestyle Correspondent for The Early Show on CBS and CBS Sunday Morning, where he regularly informs a national audience about seasonal dishes and ingredients. Bobby works tirelessly to challenge the way Americans view and taste food – making it bold, zesty and always fun.

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Bobby Flay helps viewer Elizabeth prepare Thanksgiving appetizers for the love of her life.

Pat and Gina Neely’s Thanksgiving Menu
As co-owners of Neely’s Bar-B-Que, Pat and Gina Neely have turned their family restaurant into one of the most successful barbecue restaurants in the South. Now they share the secrets behind their favorite dishes and their passion for food, family, and fun on Food Network’s Down Home with the Neelys. The Neelys launched a second Food Network show in July 2008, Road Tasted with the Neelys, a cross-country search for specialty stores and family-run businesses that make hand-crafted, one-of-a-kind edibles. In May 2009, the Neelys released their first cookbook entitled Down Home with the Neelys, which quickly earned a place on The New York Times‘ best-seller list.

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On Road Tasted with the Neeley’s Thanksgiving Special David and Barbara Barber’s Three Square Grill and Picklopolis are featured. This is a great way to ease the amount of work you have to do for Thanksgiving, order it from a professional.

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Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes from the 44-D Family

Audiegrl’s Broccoli Cornbread

Ingredients:

  • 2 (8.5-ounce) boxes corn muffin mix
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 (8-ounce) container cottage cheese
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Cheddar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter or margarine
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped broccoli, thawed but not drained

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Mix together all ingredients except 2 tablespoons Cheddar to create a batter in a bowl.

In a 10-inch cast iron skillet melt butter. Saute onions and broccoli until soft. Pour batter over the vegetable mixture and sprinkle top evenly with remaining cheese. You can also place the ingredients in an 11 by 17-inch baking dish.

Bake in oven until golden, 30 minutes. Note: this tastes better in a cast iron skillet, but if you don’t have one, you can use another pan.

Creamy Cornbread CasseroleBluedog89’s Creamy Cornbread Casserole

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 (8.5 ounce) package dry corn bread mix
  • 1 cup whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 (14.75 ounce) can creamed corn
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 Tbls sugar (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C), and lightly grease a 9×9 inch baking dish.

2. In a medium bowl, combine butter, eggs, corn bread mix, whole and creamed corn, sour cream and sugar . Spoon mixture into prepared dish.

3. Bake for 45 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the top is golden brown.

Buellboy’s Cavatappi-n-Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 3 pinches kosher salt, for pasta water
  • 1 pound Cavatappi pasta, cooked al dente
  • 6 tablespoons butter (for roux)
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour (for roux)
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • 1 tsp salt (to taste)
  • 1 pound 8oz Velveeta cheese
  • 12 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • 1/3 cup sugar (to taste)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

In large pot filled with water add 3 pinches of salt and the macaroni and place over high heat. Bring to a boil and let cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain. Set aside.

In a large saucepan, melt butter. Sprinkle flour over butter and cook 2 to 3 minutes on medium heat, whisking until a roux or paste forms. Add cold milk and whisk vigorously until dissolved. Cook sauce on medium-low heat until thick and bubbly. Add heavy cream, Velveeta and 1 cup Monterey Jack cheeses. Add sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Cook until cheeses are fully melted, stirring occasionally.

Pour half the pasta and then half the melted cheese sauce in a greased 13 by 9 baking dish. Repeat with the remaining pasta and cheese sauce. Top with remaining 4 oz of Monterey Jack cheese. Place in the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown.

Note: If your family does not like Monterey Jack cheese, please feel free to substitute with Sharp/Mild Cheddar, Asiago, Romano, or White Cheddar cheeses.

Cardinals19’s Cowboy Beans

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) pork and beans
  • 1 can (16 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) lima or butter beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 lb ground beef, browned and drained
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 green pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 lb thick bacon strips, cooked and crumbled

Directions:

In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, bacon, beans, onion, green pepper, brown sugar and ketchup. Transfer to a greased 2-1/2-qt. baking dish. Cover and bake at 350° for 1 hour. Uncover, bake 30 minutes longer.

COgene’s Thanksgiving Poundcake with Pomegranate Glaze

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups granulated sugar (use special “baking sugar” found in baking isle in grocery store – cake comes out smoother)
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted before measuring
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter. With mixer on medium speed, gradually beat in the sugar. Beat in cream cheese. Add flour, alternating with the eggs. Stir in the vanilla. Pour batter into a greased and floured Bundt cake pan. Bake at 325° for about 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 25 minutes, until a wooden pick comes out clean when inserted in the center. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove to a rack to cool completely.

Glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup POM 100% Pomegranate Juice

Gradually stir the juice into the cup of powdered sugar. Mix until smooth. Drizzle over warm cake.

GeoT’s ‘How to Brine a Turkey

The purpose of brining is to tenderize the meat while adding flavor. A solution of salt is dissolved in water and meat is then submerged for a set amount of time, changing the cell structure and making it more moist and, often, more flavorful. The basic formula for a brine is 1/2 cup to 1 1/2 cups kosher salt for every gallon of liquid (whether water, juice, stock or beer). You can also add sugar and any other seasonings to taste; try herbs, garlic or peppercorns. Brining saturates the meat with the flavor of these seasonings. Unlike marinating, which flavors the outside, brining gives you deeper flavor and increased moisture.

The larger the meat, the longer it should brine; while shrimp only need about half an hour, a whole turkey takes 6 to 8 hours or so. Add ice to the brine to keep it under 40 degrees Fahrenheit in case you don’t have room in the refrigerator.

Once you’re done brining, remove the meat from the brine, pat it dry and cook it the same way you would otherwise.

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GiaT’s Holiday Cranberry Punch

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 gallon cranberry juice cocktail
  • 1 large can pineapple juice
  • 1 6 ounce can frozen limeade concentrate
  • 1-2 bottles club soda (to taste)

Mix together cranberry juice, pineapple juice, and frozen limeade.
Chill for one hour, then add club soda and serve.

Perfect with:

Supplies:

  • 1 large freezer-safe Bundt® pan or ring mold
  • 1 12-oz. bag of Fresh Cranberries
  • Fresh mint leaves, if desired
  • Water *

Directions:

Rinse cranberries in cold water. Drain.

Fill pan 1/2 inch to 1 inch deep with water. Place on even surface in freezer and freeze until solid. Remove pan from freezer. Add an additional 1/4 inch water over the ice surface. Arrange cranberries and mint leaves in desired pattern then return pan to freezer. Once set, add an additional 1/2 inch to 1 inch of water and freeze until solid.

Note: Cranberries float, so if you add all the water at once, the cranberries will float to the surface. When you unmold the frozen ring, the decoration will be on the bottom of the ring.

To unmold, run briefly under warm water to loosen.

* Note: Ice ring can also be made with White Cranberry Juice Drink instead of water.

HerselWellingtonIV’s Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons red food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1 pound cream cheese, softened
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • Chopped pecans and fresh raspberries or strawberries, for garnish

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 (12-cup) muffin pans with cupcake papers.

In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. In a large bowl gently beat together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla with a handheld electric mixer. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined.

Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins about 2/3 filled. Bake in oven for about 20 to 22 minutes, turning the pans once, half way through. Test the cupcakes with a toothpick for doneness. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth. Add the sugar and on low speed, beat until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy. Garnish with chopped pecans and/or a fresh raspberry or strawberry.

LibbyShaw’s Texas Pecan Pie

If you live in Texas and have a pecan tree, gather up enough pecans for at least 2 cups of pecans. 🙂

Make your favorite pie crust. If in a time crunch I recommend the prepared Pillsbury crusts in the refrigerated section of the grocery store.

Glaze pie crust with egg yoke.
Place in 350 degree oven until warm.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of pecans
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½-1 C light corn syrup
  • ½-1 C of sugar
  • (I use only ½ of each b/c pecan pie tends to be too sweet for my family’s taste)

  • 5T unsalted butter
  • 1t of vanilla extract or 1 T dark rum. (I use the rum.)
  • ½ t salt

Directions:

Toast the pecans at 350 for about 6-10 minutes.

After removing the pecans turn oven up to 450.

Combine all ingredients above except for the pecans.

After they are toasted, add the pecans.

Bake at 450 for 10 minutes, then lower the heat to 350 and bake for 35-45 minutes.

Let cool for 1 ½ hours before eating.

Some recipes call for brown sugar instead of white. I use white for a lighter texture and taste.

Bon appetite and Happy Thanksgiving!

Ogenec’s Vodka-Marinated Rib Roast

Ingredients:

  • One 11- to 12-pound prime rib roast (5 ribs), chine bone removed
  • 12 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup vodka
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper

Directions:

Set the roast in a large roasting pan, fat side up. Using a sharp knife, make 12 shallow slits in the fat and insert the bay leaves. Rub the vodka, salt and pepper all over the roast and let stand at room temperature for 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 425°. Roast the meat in the lower third of the oven for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 325° and continue to roast for about 1 3/4 hours longer, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 120° for rare to medium-rare meat. Transfer the roast to a carving board, cover loosely with foil and let rest for 30 minutes.

Set the roast on its side and run a long, sharp knife between the bones and the meat; remove the bones. Turn the roast right side up. Carve the roast into thick slices and transfer to plates. Pour any carving juices over the meat and serve at once.

Notes:

Although rib roast is carried at many butcher shops and supermarkets, you may have to order this cut in advance, so plan ahead. Because the meat is so simply prepared, buy the best beef you can, preferably USDA Prime. Lobel’s Prime Meats in New York City is a great mail order source (lobels.com).

Removing the bones after cooking as described in this recipe makes carving quite easy, but don’t discard them. The meat nearest to the bone is tastiest, so pile the bones on a platter next to the carved meat for people to eat them like spareribs.

Shanti2’s Spinach and Green Apple Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 5 ounces baby spinach leaves (about 5 cups lightly packed)
  • 1 Granny Smith apple

Directions:

1/3 cup walnut pieces, toasted in a dry skillet over a medium-high flame until fragrant, about 2 minutes

In a small bowl whisk together the oil, vinegar and mustard. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Toss the spinach with the dressing until evenly coated then divide the spinach among 4 serving plates.

Core the apple and slice it into matchsticks. Sprinkle a quarter of the apple pieces on top of each salad. Follow with the walnut pieces. Serve immediately.

SouthernGirl2’s Mustard Greens

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup sliced onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped bell peppers
  • 1/4 salt or to taste
  • 1/4 pepper
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 slices of chopped bacon
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 lb Mustards washed thoroughly & torn into pieces

Directions:

Cook until Mustard Greens are done and wilted.

TheLCster’s Pumpkin Crunch

Ingredients:

  • 1 tspn Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tspn Salt
  • 1 cup Butter (2 sticks)
  • Whipped Topping
  • 1 package (box) Yellow Cake Mix
  • 1 can (15 oz) Solid Pack Pumpkin
  • 1 can (12 oz) Evaporated Milk
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Pecans (halves)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease bottom of a 9×13 inch pan. Combine pumpkin evaporated milk, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Pour into a 9×13 inch pan. Sprinkle dry cake mix evenly over pumpkin mixture. Top with pecans. Drizzle melted butter over pecans. Bake at 350 degrees F for 50-55 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool…serve chilled. Top with whipped topping when served.

President Obama Pardons White House Turkey

The President grants the traditional Thanksgiving pardon to Courage, this year’s Official White House Turkey in a ceremony on the North Portico of the White House. November 25, 2009.

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First Lady Michelle Obama Hosts a Healthy Kids Fair at the White House

Posted by Audiegrl

healthy_kids_1michelle obamaWhiteHouse.gov—Yesterday, the First Lady held the first ever Healthy Kids Fair on the White House South Lawn—a fun event created to teach parents and children the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

All afternoon, the kids took turns jump roping, hula hooping, and learning to concoct nutritious snacks and lunches. As the First Lady explained, the recipes — such as Sweet and Zesty Popcorn and Baked Sliced Apples — are easy to make and developed with today’s busy family in mind:

    “We want our children to eat right, not just because it’s the right thing to do but because quite frankly healthy good food tastes good and we want them to experience that. We don’t just want our kids to exercise because we tell them to. We want them to exercise because it’s fun and they enjoy it. And we want them to learn now how to lead good, healthy lifestyles so that they’re not struggling to figure out how to do that when they’re older.

    But as a parent, and I know all of you here today, we know that sometimes doing all that is easier said than done, because we all care but it is becoming so increasingly difficult to provide all that for our kids. And you all know that better than anyone here, as parents. We’re all pulled in a million different directions, working hard, working long hours, trying to do everything, be perfect parents. We love you guys so much we just want everything for you.”

healthy_kids_2michelle obamaAs the First Lady reminded her guests, one of every three children in the United States is overweight or obese—but if we take responsibility for our health, this preventable problem will be a thing of the past.

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One of the things I loved about the First Ladies speech was when she said, “my mother was also very clear in our household that you ate what she fixed“. You guys don’t know how many times I went to bed without dinner when my Mom fixed cabbage or liver. But the main enemy was ‘peas‘, they were just too squishy for my tastes. One fateful night I decided that if I just scraped the peas off my plate, and placed the plate on top of them, my Mom would think that I ate the peas. Well, I’m sure you can guess how well that turned out. 😉

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