Farm Fresh

071213_farm_fresh1The Maryland foodie’s hallmarks of summer used to be a proliferation of snowball stands, then tomato stands, then stands for silver queen corn. In the past few years, the demand for healthy, organic and local food has popularized a new culinary staple of summer in our state: the farmers’ market.

It starts right now and continues until the end of August. Make the most of local Maryland bumper crops of fresh fruits and vegetables. You can visit a local farmers’ market almost every day of the week. It’s where you will find artisan breads, organic herbs and vegetable plants, along with a weekly array of home-grown items, fresh flowers, crafts and wines. Homemade baked goods (even gluten-free) are featured at many farmers’ markets and are usually from “made-from-scratch” recipes. Some markets feature farm-fresh eggs from chickens and ducks and heirloom tomatoes. I love the Tuesday afternoon hours of the Pikesville and Kenilworth farmers’ markets. Look for Calvert Gifts at Kenilworth for gorgeous, delicious heirloom tomatoes.

Photos by Justin Tsucalas

Photos by Justin Tsucalas

Having a party or Shabbat dinner? Plan your menu after visiting a market. July 20 is Tu B’Av, a.k.a. Jewish love day. Why not invite a bunch of singles to your Shabbat lunch? Ask each one to bring a three-minute Jewish food story for fun conversation.

Become a savvy farmers’ market shopper by following the tips below. For a list of all Baltimore City and County farmers’ markets go to mda.maryland.gov/maryland_products.

How to successfully navigate a farmers’ market:

  • Bring cash, preferably $1 bills in a fanny pack.
  • Take a walking inventory of the entire market to compare prices before making purchases.
  • Bring a sturdy tote bag, or better yet a canvas shopping cart with wheels (empty egg cartons work well to transport berries and figs); don’t forget a cooler for the drive home.
  • Don’t be shy; ask for a taste before buying, and ask the farmers’ favorite recipes for their produce.

SUMMER GREEN BEANS
(Pareve)
2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed
2 tablespoons fresh finely chopped shallots or red onion
1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
2 tablespoons sliced sun-dried tomatoes, softened
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts, optional
scant 1⁄4 cup balsamic vinegar
1⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Place cleaned string beans in a large saucepan. Fill with enough water to cover beans and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 10 minutes. Drain and let cool. In a bowl, stir together shallots, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and oil. Pour over green beans. Scatter pine nuts on top. Cover and refrigerate at least a few hours or overnight. Serve cold. 8 servings.

VEGETABLE PAELLA
(Pareve)
2 14-ounce cans quartered artichoke hearts, drained
lemon juice to taste
2 onions, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 15-ounce cans diced tomatoes, drained
3 leeks, white portion only, chopped
3 green or other colored peppers, cut into strips
6 asparagus spears, cut into pieces
1⁄2 cup frozen peas, defrosted
4 10-ounce cans of vegetable or Oriental broth
1 clove garlic, minced
2 sprigs fresh parsley, minced or 1 teaspoon dried
6-8 ounces thick sliced fresh mushrooms
salt & pepper to taste
3 5-ounce packages saffron-flavored yellow rice*

Sprinkle some lemon juice on the artichokes and set aside. Heat olive oil in a large skillet and saute onions until soft. Stir in tomatoes, leeks, artichokes, peppers, asparagus, peas and 1 can of broth. Bring to a boil. Simmer on low for 10 minutes. Stir in remaining cans of broth, garlic, parsley, mushrooms, salt and pepper. Add rice, stirring well. Simmer, covered, over low-medium heat for about 20-25 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid has been absorbed. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes, before serving. 6-8 servings.

*You can substitute 12⁄3 cups long-grain rice and 1⁄4 teaspoon turmeric for packaged yellow rice.

GINGERY CARROT SALAD
(Pareve)
1 pound carrots, peeled and very thinly sliced
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons Splenda
1 clove finely minced garlic
1⁄4 teaspoon ground cumin
1⁄4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
1⁄8 teaspoon salt
1⁄8 teaspoon cayenne pepper or powdered curry
1⁄2 cup raisins

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add carrots and continue to boil until just tender, about 3 minutes. Rinse with cold water, drain and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, olive oil, Splenda, and garlic. Add cumin, cinnamon, ginger, salt and cayenne pepper. Stir in carrots and raisins and toss all together with dressing. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight. 4-5 servings.

HENNE RAPKIN’S EASY TOMATO PIE
(Dairy)
1 prepared 9- or 10-inch pie crust
1 small package of crumbled goat’s cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
3 large Vidalia onions, halved and sliced
3 medium-to-large Maryland, Jersey or heirloom tomatoes, sliced
grated Parmesan cheese

Bake pie crust according to directions to lightly brown. Cool. In a large
fry pan, heat olive oil and butter. Add sliced onions and caramelize them, stirring often. Sprinkle goat’s cheese on bottom of pie crust. Place onions on top. Layer tomato slices over onions. Sprinkle with some Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before serving. 8-10 servings.

Ilene Spector is a local freelance writer.

Simply Delicious

071213_simply_deliciousMove over hamburgers. Out of the way, hot dogs. There is something new to bite into — and it has nothing to do with meat.

Jennifer Polt, a stay-at-home mom who recently turned vegan, this summer debuted Sound Bites crackers and granola. Selling the product at the Towson farmers’ market on Allegheny Avenue from 10:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. each Thursday, she said Sound Bites is a healthy, naturally dehydrated food made from organic and locally grown ingredients.

Founder and chief producer, Polt started the company to “give people a healthier choice no matter what kind of diet they eat.”

On a recent visit to the market, Polt had a line of customers curious about her bites. Many took a taste of the crackers, which come in flavors ranging from onion to caraway to zucchini flax to walnut.

Polt’s new career really began over a decade ago, when she was in her 20s. She worked tirelessly in multiple cake, bread and cookie bakeries and said, “I would eat pretty much anything.”

However, a little over a year ago, Polt’s diet took a drastic shift, and she became a raw vegan. The diet forced her to “create interesting things” for her husband Rich and sons Sam and Ethan to eat. Her crackers “come out of my own personal journey.”

But even nonvegans seem to really like the product.

Customer Michele Miller called Sound Bites snacks “simply delicious. My body thrives on all of those vitamins and enzymes.”

Vicki Kordell, another customer, said she enjoys the “freshness and flavor. It’s a guilt-free snack.” Kordell has visited the market each week to buy more crackers.

Polt would like her company to be socially conscious, too. Days after its founding, she partnered with Apex Food Company’s Honey Bee Restoration Project, which seeks to combat the rapidly declining honeybee population in the Baltimore area. In addition, Polt purchases all of her products from a local farm company, Baltimorganic.

She said she also sees the company as a vehicle for sharing memories from her childhood through food.

“The crackers bring me back to Jewish holidays as a child,” Polt said, something her raw vegan lifestyle has generally prohibited her from savoring.

“Even though I’m now restricted on what I can and cannot eat, the crackers give this new diet a sense of warmth and help invoke a lot of the same feelings, emotions and memories,” Polt
explained. “Whether people are on similar eating paths as I am or not, my crackers have universal appeal.”

Do you want to try Sound Bites? Visit soundbitefoods.com or email jennifer@soundbitefoods.com.

Justin Hayet is a JT intern — jhayet1@binghamton.edu

Be Your Best Self

071213_be_your_best_selfFor many, summertime conjures up images of long days basking in the sun, swimming in the pool and unwinding from the rigors of a hectic school year. It’s a time to recharge one’s batteries, to get in shape.

But, said Amy Schwartz, fitness and wellness director at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Baltimore, although it may seem as if summer is a more relaxed time of year, people actually seem more programmed and have less time.

First of all, for families with young children, schedules change during the summer months — camp starts later than school, and older children have more sporadic schedules, where they may be home some weeks while attending different camps with different schedules. At the same time, because summer offers so much to do, parents often run around to keep their children occupied.

That means, Schwartz says, that many parents, accustomed to attending exercise classes at specific times, are often thrown off their schedules.

“Some may miss their normal 9:30 a.m. class because of camp schedules,” said Schwartz. “I tell them it’s better to come late to a class than not at all. Forty-five minutes instead of 60 minutes is still great. You don’t have to do all your exercise in one sitting. If you can’t make it to a class, walk more.”

But exercise is critical year-round. Even in summer, it’s important to do a combination of strength training, cardiovascular training and flexibility training to keep bodies fit and healthy.

What’s New?
This summer, the JCC has added a few new exercise options to its programs. SMRT is a “smart rolling” foam roller called a grid that one rolls over muscles before a class. “We do it before and after classes like cycling or Zumba, and we roll over those muscles specific to the muscles we are using in the exercise. It’s like a massage. SMRT makes you stand taller and feel better,” said Schwartz.

In addition, the JCC has added small group personal training to address specific needs. For example, a personal trainer may work with a small group of individuals who have bad knees to strengthen their leg muscles.

Eating Healthy
There’s nothing like biting into a ripe, red tomato picked minutes before eating and summer is the ideal time to enjoy some of the freshest fruits and vegetables. Farmers’ markets and CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) Center provide ways for individuals to get seasonal vegetables picked at the height of ripeness.

Families who participate in Pearlstone’s CSA pay a seasonal fee to receive a weekly share of fresh pesticide- and chemical-free produce. It provides participants a chance to learn about seasonal eating — in the heat of the summer months, members enjoy freshly picked tomatoes, cucumber, eggplants, peppers, onions and zucchini, for example.

“I am passionate about fresh vegetables. I come home every day from work and see what I can create with what I picked at the farm,” said Josh Rosenstein, farm director at Pearlstone Center. Rosenstein adds that Pearlstone, although not certified organic, engages in organic-farming methods. The farm doesn’t use herbicides or pesticides on crops, practices cover cropping and crop rotation for healthy soil development and grows mostly heirloom varieties.

To encourage seasonal eating, Pearlstone is blogging and offering recipes that feature vegetables the farm is currently harvesting. Here are some additional suggestions:

• Marinate veggies like eggplant, peppers, squash and zucchini in balsamic vinegar, olive oil, sea salt, cracked black pepper and fresh herbs. Grill!

• Slice zucchini or other summer squash very thin into spaghetti-shaped pieces. Steam, and use instead of pasta.

• Cut a banana in half; stick a popsicle stick in it. Dip it in dark chocolate and freeze.

Potato, Squash and Goat Cheese Gratin
serves six

2 medium yellow squash, about a half pound
4 small to medium red
potatoes, about 1 pound
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 ounces goat cheese
Salt and freshly ground
black pepper
1⁄4 cup milk
1⁄3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon thinly sliced basil or thyme leaves

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a 11⁄2- to 2-quart casserole dish with a drizzle of olive oil.

Use a mandolin or chef’s knife to slice the squash and potatoes into very thin slices, an eighth of an inch or less. Toss vegetables with olive oil in large bowl. Place a third of the squash and potato slices in the bottom of the dish — no need to layer them squash-potato-squash; just spread evenly — then season with salt and pepper. Top with half of the goat cheese, scattered evenly in large chunks. Repeat with another a third of the vegetables, seasoning again with salt and pepper and topping with remaining goat cheese. Finish by layering on the final a third of the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper. Pour milk over the entire dish. Top with parmesan cheese. Bake covered for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake 15 more minutes, until top browns. Scatter on the fresh basil, if using.

Rochelle Eisenberg is PR manager at The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore and an area freelance writer.

OU Kosher Presents: Top Consumer Questions Received For The Summer

OU Kosher presents frequently asked questions to-date on the OU Kosher Hotline (212-613-8241) by consumers received for the summer. Questions may also be submitted to kosherq@ou.org.

These questions are answered by Rabbi Benjamin Geiger, the voice of OU Kosher’s Consumer Hotline; the OU’s Webbe Rebbe; and Rabbi Eli Eleff, rabbinic coordinator and consumer relations administrator. Rabbi Moshe Zywica, OU Kosher executive rabbinic coordinator, supervises the OU Consumer Relations Department. The responses were reviewed by Rabbi Yaakov Luban, OU Kosher executive rabbinic coordinator; and Rabbi Eli Gersten, rabbinic coordinator and halachic recorder.

1. Q: Can one eat in an ice cream or yogurt store product that has been scooped from a container that bears OU certification?

A: In some instances, the OU certifies an entire store. In such cases, the OU letter of certification will state that a particular store located in a specific location is under OU supervision. Obviously, one can eat everything in a certified store. However, it is often the case that the OU certifies a brand name ice cream or yogurt, but the OU does not certify the store that sells the product, even though the store has the same brand name as the product. In this latter instance, the OU only certifies sealed containers bearing the OU symbol. Once the container is opened, the OU no longer vouches for the kosher integrity of the item, as the scoop may have been previously used for non-certified flavors.

2. Q: Can I drink coffee at a non-certified restaurant?

A: There is a halachic concern about coffee prepared in non-kosher restaurants because the equipment used to prepare the coffee may be washed in a dish washer with non-kosher items. It is possible that even so, the coffee equipment may remain kosher. There are a number of variables which could impact the kosher status, such as, the introduction of soap, the temperature of the water, the method of washing (kli rishon versus kli shaini), etc. Nonetheless, due to the uncertainty and ambiguity of each situation, as a general rule, the OU does not recommend the consumption of coffee prepared in a non-kosher restaurant.

3. Q: Is coffee from convenience stores, rest stops, and kiosks acceptable to purchase without certification?

A: In contrast to the response given regarding coffee prepared in a non-certified restaurant, it is permissible to purchase a cup of unflavored coffee from a convenience store, rest stop or kiosk. This is because these types of establishments generally do not prepare non-kosher food, or, even if they do, dishes and utensils are washed by hand in a sink and not in a dishwasher.

4. Q: Can one purchase slurpees at a 7-Eleven?

A: The OU certifies a number of Coca-Cola syrups that are used in slurpees. To purchase slurpees, it is necessary to verify two things: Is the syrup made by Coca-Cola, and is the specific syrup OU certified? Irrespective of store claims, one can only be certain that a Coca-Cola syrup is used by checking the label on the syrup box. However, the Coca-Cola labels on syrup boxes do not bear an OU symbol, and one must also determine that the specific syrup is OU certified. If uncertain about a particular Coca-Cola syrup, one can verify its certification status by calling the OU Kosher office at 212-613-8241 or by checking special tags that are sometimes displayed on the slurpee machine that display the Coca-Cola logo and an OU.

5. Q: There is a new self-serve soda fountain appearing in public venues called Coca-Cola Freestyle (also called 100 Flavors of Coke in Canada) which allows consumers to create their own mix of flavors. Are all of the flavors certified and can the machines be considered kosher?

A: The Coca-Cola Freestyle machines (also called 100 Flavors of Coke in Canada) are OU certified in the United States and Canada.

6. Q: Must one wait six hours to eat meat (for those who wait six hours after meat to eat dairy) after eating aged cheese?

A: One must wait six hours to eat meat after eating cheese that is aged for six months or longer. The following are a few of the more popular aged cheeses that are aged for six months: Dry Monterey Jack, Cheddar (Medium, Sharp and Aged), Marble Cheese, Parmesan, and Picante Provolone.

For the complete list, please see OUKosher.org’s Aged Cheese List.

7. Q: Can a BBQ be used for both meat and fish?

A: The Gemara (Pesachim 76b) teaches that it is a sakana (danger) to eat fish and meat together. As it is extremely difficult to clean a grill, the same grill rack should not be used for meat and fish. Either the fish should be double wrapped in aluminum foil or separate grill racks should be used.

8. Q: Is it possible to cook on a BBQ that was previously used for non-kosher food such as BBQ’s at parks and campsites? Also, can an outdoor gas or charcoal grill be kashered?

A: Since food is roasted directly on the grill, the grate must be heated until it glows (libun gomur) to be properly kashered. This can be done either with a blowtorch (which should only be used by qualified and experienced individuals) or by sandwiching the grates between charcoal briquettes and setting them on fire. In addition, if the grill has a hood, the empty gas grill cavity must be kashered by cleaning, closing the hood and setting it to the highest setting for one hour (libun kal). Alternatively, one may replace the grates and kasher only the grill cavity as explained above.

9. Q: Can in-room hotel ovens or microwaves be used without kashering?

A: It is possible to use a non-kosher microwave or oven by double wrapping the food item. If using a microwave, one may poke a small hole in each cover so that the steam can escape and the package will not explode.

10. Q: Is it possible to obtain hot, kosher meals on a cruise ship?

A: The only practical option for hot meals on a non-kosher cruise ship is to eat certified pre-packaged meals that are double wrapped, such as those found on airplanes. These may be heated in any oven as long as the seals are intact and the package remains closed. (There are other halachic concerns that arise on a cruise ship pertaining to Shabbat that have not been addressed here. Please ask your rabbi for guidance.)

11. Q: Is it permissible to take antihistamines without certification?

A: First, please remember, that anyone with a life-threatening condition should take whatever medicines are necessary without hesitation. In general, tablets are preferable to liquid medications which may contain problematic ingredients. If no tablet alternative is available, the liquid should be diluted in water, juice or any liquid by a ratio of one to six, which is one ounce of liquid to one teaspoon of medication. This ratio should be done only in consultation with your doctor.

 

 

 

The Power To Heal

Herschel Lazaroff says that removing energy blocks is the key to healing.

Herschel Lazaroff says that removing energy blocks is the key to healing.

Twenty years ago, Herschel Lazaroff was a businessman with a background in physics and psychology. He was healthy, but not overly.

Then, in 1994, Lazaroff attended an energy workshop and was turned on to the field. He said at the workshop there was a woman who took pictures of people’s auras. She told him, “Your entire being is healing energy, and you have very powerful thoughts.”

So Lazaroff learned more, and a few years ago he took his part-time gig — which already had resulted in many healing successes — and made his energy-healing practice full time.

Lazaroff is an Orthodox Chabad Lubavitch individual. He said his energy work is based on the Torah and comes from a Jewish place. In ancient times, he explained, when a person was sick, he or she would visit the navi (prophet) and ask for spiritual guidance in order to heal. The navi would have the person do teshuva (repentance) and offer a sacrifice to God. Lazaroff is not a prophet, but he works with that same philosophy in mind.

Lazaroff explained that there are four types of souls, and each heals in a different way: the conventional soul (this soul responds to Western medicine, drugs), the natural soul (needs treatment with wheat grass, coffee enemas, etc.), the integrated soul (the best of all worlds — a combination of natural and traditional healing methods) and the spiritual soul. Healing of the spiritual soul is the deepest level of healing, and it affects all the higher levels.

Lazaroff explained that his healing works because he is removing energy blocks. When a person is being tested by God, challenged in some way, he or she can become stuck — and this can result in physical and emotional pain or the inability to move to a next phase in life.

“There is a block in the energy flow. … I facilitate the person removing the blocks,” he said, noting you need to understand who you are.

Lazaroff has helped people become open to marriage (women who have come to him unable to find a match are known to do so within a year), has assisted women in getting pregnant (40 out of 48 of the women who have worked with him have become pregnant within a year) and solved basic health concerns such as sore knees and back pain. He charges $350 per session. It’s a lot, he said, but it is effective and he’s not a revolving door. People come once, maybe twice, and then move on.

Rivka Malka Perlman is one of Lazaroff’s biggest fans. She said her husband was experiencing neck pain. She sent him to Lazaroff, who after one session — mostly spent talking — relieved the pain. Also, her husband was diagnosed with meningitis and hospitalized.

“Herschel came, and he was out of the hospital the next day,” said Perlman. “It’s physical healing through the spiritual realm. … Herschel opens doors.”

There are countless similar stories. Go online to YouTube and the Kosher Healing channel, and dozens of others tell their stories, too. Lazaroff is also there, explaining his healing secrets.

Said Lazaroff: “People come to me primarily to change their lives.”

Learn more about Lazaroff at creativeideal.com/happyherschel.

Father’s day with kosher options

The media makes us believe that our only food option for Father’s Day is to grill, grill, grill! Not necessarily.

The key to a successful Father’s Day meal is to remember that every dad is unique. Decide what he loves most. Maybe Dad has a definite sweet tooth or savory appetite around which to work a menu.

Homemade doesn’t mean complicated. Take the leftover Shabbat brisket and “pull” it for pulled meat sandwiches with a barbecue sauce. Or gather favorite ingredients the night before and on Sunday have a taco bar, baked potato bar or waffle bar. Marinated shish kabobs are easy to prepare one day in advance on a tray, refrigerating until grilling or roasting.

By the way, the winning word on the recent Scripps National Spelling Bee was knaidel. As a scholarly salute — since there may be some grads as well as dads — serve some chicken soup with small knaidels as an appetizer in coffee cups.

My beer dip with pretzels will please all guests as a starter for lunch or dinner, and it’s easy to make in advance. Everyone wants this recipe.

Ask guests to come prepared with a three-minute story/toast (funny or nostalgic) about Dad (or grad). End with a warm fresh fruit cobbler and some of Dad’s favorite ice cream. Or how about a cool key lime pie finale?

Tips & Tricks

> Mix equal parts of ketchup and Italian salad dressing for a great marinade on poultry, meat or veggies — on or off the grill.

> You can create a kosher cheeseburger by using a veggie burger and regular cheese. Some veggie burgers taste just like beef once you layer the lettuce, tomato, onions, sauce, pickles, etc.

> Line taco shells with lettuce before adding the remaining ingredients.

> Place hard avocados in a brown bag with a banana to ripen in only 24 hours.

061413_fathersdaykosher1

Easy Beer Dip
(Photos by David Stuck)

Easy Beer Dip (Dairy)
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened (one regular and one low-fat is OK)
1⁄3 cup beer or nonalcoholic beer
1 1-ounce package dry ranch salad-dressing mix
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, preferably finely grated
1⁄4 cup sour cream and one chopped green onion, optional pretzels of choice to dip

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, beer and dressing mix until smooth. Stir in the grated cheese. Add some sour cream, if desired, and finely chopped green onion. Chill for a few hours or up to a few days in refrigerator. I like to add all the ingredients, except pretzels, in a food processor for a smoother dip. If mixture is too thick, add more beer or sour cream or simply turn the thicker mixture into a cheese ball rolled in crushed pretzels. Yields about 31⁄2 cups.

Easy Breakfast/Brunch Burrito (Photos by David Stuck)

Easy Breakfast/Brunch Burrito
(Photos by David Stuck)

Easy Breakfast/Brunch Burrito (Dairy)
6 eggs (or equal amount of egg substitute)
1⁄3 cup milk
1⁄4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
salt to taste
2 avocados, peeled, pitted and finely chopped
4 10-inch flour tortillas, warmed
2⁄3 cup preferably dry (large) curd cottage cheese
ketchup for garnish, if desired

In a bowl, beat together the eggs, milk and cheese. Season with some salt. Pour into a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir until scrambled.

Season the chopped avocados with a little salt. Place the tortillas one at a time in a separate nonstick skillet over medium heat and cook until just warm. Spread equal amounts of the avocado mixture on one side of each warmed tortilla. Layer with equal amounts of cottage cheese and scrambled eggs. Roll up into burritos and serve with a ketchup dip. This is a very “forgiving” recipe. You can use regular cottage cheese or crumbled goat’s cheese and another flavor of shredded cheese. Add chopped scallions or other favorites, but let the avocados be the star. 4 servings.

Key Lime and Pretzel Crust Pie (Dairy)
1⁄3 cup butter
3 tablespoons white sugar
11⁄4 cups finely crushed (like bread crumbs) pretzels
1⁄4 cup key lime juice
1 teaspoon grated fresh lime rind
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
11⁄3 cups frozen whipped topping, thawed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a smaller 9-inch pie plate with nonstick spray. In a saucepan, melt butter and stir in the sugar. Remove from stove and stir in the crushed pretzels until well mixed. Press into the pie plate. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes. Cool before filling. In a medium bowl, combine the lime juice, grated rind, 1⁄3 cup whipped topping and condensed milk. Mix well and pour into the crust. Chill in refrigerator overnight. When ready to serve, spoon the remaining whipped topping into a pastry bag and pipe it decoratively around the outer edge of the pie. When using a larger 10-inch pie dish, you may want to double the filling. You can also use a store-bought graham cracker crust, but the salty pretzel crust is unique and tasty with the key lime filling. 8 servings.

The Gift Of Health

with Father’s Day just around the corner, children usually think about the things that they can buy for their dads: golf balls, a set of grill utensils or maybe a striped tie.

However, the best gift you can give to your dad is the gift of health.

Because June is Men’s Health Month, it’s the perfect time, not only for kids, but also for spouses and significant others, to insist that the men in their lives think about their own well-being. Combining preventive medical tests, fitness routines and strong minds are all important.

A good place to start is with a yearly physical exam. That’s when a primary physician takes a complete medical history and gets a broad overview of who your loved one is. Lifestyle choices, such as weight, smoking and alcohol consumption, can also affect your guy’s health, so he needs to be honest with his doctor.

An internist also maps out what tests should be done at what ages. Screenings for the following diseases and conditions are be recommended throughout a man’s lifetime: colon cancer, testicular cancer, HIV, hearing loss, vision loss and skin cancer. Regular dental exams are a must.

You may already be aware that PSA tests monitor for prostate cancer. What may surprise you, however, is the information surrounding them. The latest studies show that screening men without symptoms for prostate cancer does not work as well as screening for, say, colon cancer. So last year the recommendations about prostate cancer screenings changed. Now it is not recommended that men without symptoms over the age of 50 get an annual screening. Everyone is different, though, so talking to your own doctor about your particular
situation is the best thing to do.

In addition, it’s important for men to know their numbers, which inc-lude: blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar and body mass index (BMI). These numbers can be red flags for problems that may not be apparent yet.

Additionally, it’s important to keep vaccinations updated and to have a yearly flu shot unless you are allergic.

When it comes to fitness, there’s nothing that men haven’t heard before. Eating healthy foods  (fruits and vegetables) and keeping an eye on the sugars, starches and fatty foods are important. Keeping a food diary may helpful because few people remember everything they eat during the day. That handful of candy from a co-worker’s desk is too easy to forget.

Staying active is also key, but working out at a gym is not the only way to exercise. Walking, playing sports and gardening are other ways to keep moving. Even parking your car farther from the entrance to a mall can be a good idea for a quick stroll.

Finally, helping the people you love reduce their stress can be life-saving. It is vital to assist them in cutting back on the drama. One way to do this is by using meditation techniques that can include breathing exercises. These can be done any place without disrupting other people.

If your guy is still skittish, even though he knows the risks of ignoring his health, remind him that you want him to be with you as long as possible because you love him.

Happy Father’s Day!

Restaurant Offers Gluten-Free Fusion Fare

Combine classic American fare with a little South-Asian fusion. Toss in some Caribbean spice. Then, make sure that whatever is served — bun and all — is completely gluten-free.

Welcome to Meet 27 Bistro, a new restaurant in Baltimore’s Remington neighborhood. The creation of Paul Goldberg and his business partner Richard D’Souza, it boasts an extensive menu of burgers, entrees and desserts.
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A ‘Honey’ Of A Day

What says Rosh Hashanah better than apples and honey? Did you know that there are more than 300 types of honey available in the United States, each originating from a different floral source. Avocado honey, anyone?

To learn more about the history of honey (and to taste-test some local varieties) join the Jewish Museum of Maryland for “The Bee’s Knees: All About Honey,” on Sept. 1 at 6 p.m. as part of its Brews and Schmooze series. Go tohttp://www.jewishmuseum.org for more information.

Why Should You Volunteer?

According to dictionary.com, “volunteers” are people who donate their time and energy to benefit the community as a social responsibility rather than for a financial reward.

In health-care settings, volunteers are particularly important because they can help enhance the entire patient experience.
[Read more…]