Large Print Cookbooks - Easy Recipes for Everyone

Who Me?? Cook From Scratch?? – The Ease of Cooking Real Food

Who me cook from scratch__ (1) from SherryLee39

 

Yumm! (Savoring every bite.) How often can you sit down to a meal and experience this knowing you are eating something good for your body?

As convenience foods have become the main source of our nutrition over the last 4 or 5 decades, obesity, diabetes, food allergies, and digestive problems have begun to run rampant through all of our societies.

A restaurant meal, or fast food, or processed meals are okay on occasion but our main source of nutrition is best if it comes from real food cooked from scratch.

If the idea of cooking from scratch makes you feel as if you’re in an scratch cookinguphill battle, let’s see if we can help you win each round to win the bou.

First is recognizing the benefits of cooking with real food.ten dollar bill

  • Real food is less expensive
    • A lot of the expense of prepared foods is the packaging that ends up in the trash. The more packaging, the more cash you throw away.  Would it feel better putting some of that cash back in your pocket?
  • Your health and how good you feel
    • When our meals consist mostly of real foods we feel good and function with ecookingnergy and enthusiasm. Our minds and bodies respond well to the quality nutrients we are consuming. Eating real food, cooked from scratch, we don’t suffer the pangs of guilt we feel after giving into our cravings for those empty calorie snacks that only make us want more.
  • Convenience foods are packed with chemical additives
    • Most of the ready to eat foods are packed with a variety of chemical additives. Chemicals that make the foods look good, extenreal food scratch cookunfd their shelf life, and make them irresistible. The manufacturers of these foods are competing for your dollars. They need to make us want their products over their competitors so they make them addictive. They are packaged to appeal to our emotional desires so that beyond your control, you want to buy them over and over. “A Food Addiction!” Refer to my blog article titled “Quick Johnny Spit it Out”
  • Cooking from scratch is fun and easier than you think
    • You can take control of your kitchen. Scratch cooking equals healthy eating. You may think “it’s too much change, I can’t do that”. Yes you can. Do it a little at a time. Start with small, quick meals. Think of it as your own 12-step program to healthy eating.
  • Real foods just plain tastes better
    • Real food cooked from scratch tastes so much better that you can be satisfied eating scratch cookingwith smaller portions. Eating nutritious meals, our bodies don’t crave as much so that we can even enjoy our desserts guilt free. We can still have our cake and eat it too. Just remember “All things in moderation”.

To get started on your own path to real food cooking from scratch, choose a couple of easy fast dishes and plan your steps. You can keep it simple or make it elaborate. The important thing to remember is to plan your moves. For ideas, join me at www.bigeyedcooks.com for a free recipe download. While there, register for my recipe of the month club.

Cooking from scratch is a small part of what we can do to help ourselves improve our health. It’s not as hard as you may think. If you follow me on Facebook you will find many helpful cooking hints.

Look for stories and cooking tips and more in my cookbook

 Easy See Easy Cook ~ Recipe Favorites in Large Print.

You can find this cookbook for sale online when you visit www.bigeyedcooks.com

Sherry Pope, Author of Easy See Easy Cook, a specialty cookbook designed for people with vision difficulties. For information about the cookbook and the author please visit www.bigeyedcooks.com

 

 

 

Share

Quick, Johnny spit it Out – If You Can’t Pronounce it, Don’t Put it in Your Mouth

mouth 2It’s hard to remember when the taste of our food was so satisfying that we didn’t need to overeat.

As a ten year old child, I lived in the San Fernando Valley in Southern California.  Back then there were a lot of small farms in this community near the Hansen Dam. When it was harvest time for the strawberries, all the children in the area were allowed to helColorStrawberryp pick the strawberries. We had permission to eat as many as we could while picking but we were careful to gather the biggest and best for the baskets. I don’t remember all the details, but I do remember the wonderful, sweet delicious taste of those juicy, sun ripened strawberries. Those strawberries were full of real flavor that needed no additives.

Another time that I can remember real flavor was when my late husband and I were tomatolong haul truck drivers. We often traveled through Ohio. There was a truck stop across the street from a market.  When we stopped for fuel we would go to the market to replenish our supplies. It was there that I first tasted a real beefsteak tomato. It was big! The taste was sweet and tart, and when i took a bite it was a firm and juicy bite. It also looked good without any help.

When first beginning to manipulate our foods, the scientific community, with the best of intentions started to genetically alter them in order to feed a hungry world. They tried to produce more, make them look prettier and grow faster and cost less to produce. All these endeavors were successful but you can’t fool with Mother Nature. She gave all that was asked, but in return we lost nutrients and taste. One thing that is a real puzzle is that customers will still buy the prettier produce knowing it is tasteless. Why?

Trying to compensate for the lack of nutrition, chemical fertilizers are ushungared but these chemicals are not quite complete. Trying to compensate for the lack of taste, ingredients are added for flavor. The result is these ingredients may trigger cravings and may become addictive.

For years we were told that margarine was better for us than the saturated fat of butter. In reality, to make margarine, a nutritious vegetable oil is whipped until there is no life nor nutrients left leaving us with a product consisting mostly of trans fats. This process gives the product a very long shelf life. There are many products manufactured to have a very long shelf life. Imagine what chemicals we consume when we eat a product that is still edible after a few years that normally is bad after a few months.

Our foods have been whipped and beaten. They are pulled apart then glued together with a kind of food glue. They have been stripped and processed so they can’t be recognized. Then they are shaped, scented and colored to resemble something we might find appetizing. All of this has successfully polluted our food supply.

It has been discovered and reported over and over that some of these processes are harmful and shorten our lives. Just look at the rise in diabetes and obesity. Unfortunately this path taken by the growers and the manufacturers and big moneymoney conglomerates is so lucrative that they can’t turn back. The knowledge that our present food system is bad for us, even harmful, doesn’t change anything. We as consumers are caught between a rock and a hard place because we can’t pay the price for food that has not been doctored. But we do pay a very dear price by suffering a multitude of ailments caused by improper nutrition. I am only relating what I have seen and heard many times on our TV evening news broadcasts.

A small part of what we can do to help ourselves is called cooking from scratch. It’s not as hard as you may think. If you follow me on face book you will find many helpful cooking hints.

Look for stories and cooking tips and more in my cookbook Easy See Easy Cook ~ Recipe Favorites in Large Print.

You can find this cookbook for sale at the following locations in Tucson, Arizona:

CardSmart ~ 9431 E 22nd St. and 3130 E. Ft. Lowell

Mostly Books ~ 6208 E. Speedway Blvd in Tucson, Arizona

In Boise Idaho

Look for Jerry’s business, “Treasure Valley Sew & Vac” at The Boise Flea Mart. You will find many treasures for sale there including my cookbook.

Or on line when you visit bigeyedcooks.com

Sherry Pope, Author of Easy See Easy Cook, a specialty cookbook designed for people with vision difficulties. For information about the cookbook and the author please visit bigeyedcooks.com

Share

Childhood Big Money Memory

ten dollar bill

I stole a ten dollar bill!

“What was the most prominent big money memory
from your childhood?”

I read this question in a magazine a few years ago and thought back to my criminal act as a nine year old child. Now, in my 70s this memory makes me think of how often this incident influenced my behavior throughout the years.

I was familiar with money before the age of nine but its’ value was a bit vague.  I knew what a penny was and that it took one hundred to make a dollar. I knew that I could exchange it for something I wanted. Other than that, the real value was not quite clear.

As a child in foster care I didn’t have much and what I did have was a bit shabby. Anything of value I didn’t expect to keep it very long. This is no excuse, but it gives one an idea of why, when tempted I succumbed.

purseThere was a family holiday gathering of the foster family I was living with at the time. We were visiting a house with lots of people. The ladies all put their coats and purses in a bedroom. For some reason I found myself alone in that room. I saw one of the purses open and money was visible so I took a bill. I didn’t see how much it was. I couldn’t look at it. I just quickly tucked it into my clothes until later.

This was the beginning of a horrendous time of emotional upheaval. First was the anticipation of what I had (a ten dollar bill), followed closely by the anguish of what I had done. I couldn’t put it back. I didn’t even know whose purse it was. I just couldn’t fix it.

A brilliant plan came to me when Daddy picked up my brothers and me from our foster homes. We went out to visit with cousins, aunts and uncles at Grandma-mom’s and Grandpa-pop’s. Grandpa-pop had built a large sand box for all the children to play in. While playing in the sand, being careful not to be seen by the other children, I took the sandboxbill out of my clothes and buried it in the sand. Then with great excitement I “discovered” it and went running to the adults, yelling, “Look what I found in the sand box”.

Just as I was nearing the adults, Grandpa-pop snatched the bill out of my hand saying, “That’s mine. I lost it the other day when I was cleaning the sand box”. What could I say? He knew it wasn’t his and I knew it wasn’t his, but he knew I couldn’t say anything.

There were several lessons learned that day, but at first, I was just very angry at Grandpa-pop and I questioned his honor. I was never punished for what I had done but I didn’t profit either and that was the biggest lesson.

It was many years later that I realized that Grandpa-pop probably knew what I had been up to and it was his way of seeing that I didn’t get away with it. Even before I recognized the lesson, that incident made me rethink my actions any time I was faced with temptation.

Look for stories and cooking tips and more in my cookbook Easy See Easy Cook ~ Recipe Favorites in Large Print.

You can find this cookbook for sale at the following locations in Tucson, Arizona:

CardSmart ~ 9431 E 22nd St. and 3130 E. Ft. Lowell

Mostly Books ~ 6208 E. Speedway Blvd in Tucson, Arizona

In Boise Idaho

Look for Jerry’s business, “Treasure Valley Sew & Vac” at The Boise Flea Mart.You will find many treasures for sale there including my cookbook.

Or on line when you visit bigeyedcooks.com

Sherry Pope, Author of Easy See Easy Cook, a specialty cookbook designed for people with vision difficulties. For information about the cookbook and the author please visit bigeyedcooks.com.

 

Share

When is it Enough? (or Too Much)

wounded taste buds

If a little is good, then a lot is better. Right? How often have we heard this phrase?

 Is it true?

Do you believe it?

Is it ever true?

It must be what my son was thinking one day while I was at work. He wanted to surprise me and cook dinner for us. He chose a family favorite recipe, Chili Relleno grated-cheeseCasserole. Generally this recipe is delicious and light with a delicate flavor. Everything was fine until he added the cheese. Thinking that more was better, he added a lot of extra cheese causing the casserole to become heavy and only just edible. Even though the dish was not up to par, it was a nice surprise to come home to.

wounded taste buds

Wounded taste buds

We can attribute this line of thinking to a lot of mishaps in many areas of our lives. I’m sure you can think of a few. There are some who will take a correct amount of a medication and become impatient when it isn’t working fast enough, then up the dosage. This can have a very serious outcome. I’ve seen people do this and I would definitely advise against it. But with cooking the only real disaster would be wounded taste buds.

A pinch

A pinch

Not long ago, I started a new regime of low salt cooking. The theory is that by adding the right flavors in balanced proportions, less salt is not noticeable. Learning to cook like so many other talented cooks, I used a pinch of this, a dash of that, a sprinkle here and there and the result, most always, was a wonderful blend of flavors. As my eyesight started to show the effects of macular degeneration, I discovered two very prominent issues with this method.

  • Issue #1; my son deserves a medal of valor for his bravery while I learned to control my over abundent seasoning. Because I couldn’t see the seasoning coming out of the shaker, I used more and more. We sure didn’t want bland food. To be honest, I can’t blame all the over seasoning on my eyes. I just got a little heavy handed.
  • Issue #1 and #2, the stuffing story; this was all the eyes!!. While preparing the stuffing for our holiday turkey, I did everything the way I did for many other holidays. The stuffing felt good, looked right, and smelled okay. But, what a surprise! Facial expressions speak volumes. Fortunately it tasted pretty good, but nobody expected a spicy stuffing with a kick. What I had done was to pick up the bottle of white pepper by mistake. It was the sane color so I couldn’t see it shaking into the stuffing so I kept shaking it. A LOT! This prompted a very important tip.

  • Tip #2: When I begin to cook, I pull out all the spices that I will be using and
    put the rest away. I use my magnifiers if I need them to be sure everything is what
    I think it is. I organize everything so that I know where everything is and
    that I have all I need.Attitude_NEW (106x150)
  •  Tip #1: The solution for over seasoning evolved as I learned. First, I tried shaking the seasoning into my palm or a white saucer or napkin. This worked, but the best solution is a great tip for all cooks. The way I season now is easy. I use a small bowl (a custard cup or other small container). Next I gather together all the seasonings that I will use in my recipe.  Some of the stronger spices, I start with ¼ teaspoon. Salt and Pepper, I use ½ teaspoon. Things like chili powder, I use a tablespoon. Mix them all together and smell it. If the aroma smells good enough to eat, I then sprinkle the mix into the recipe. If your recipe calls for liquids, mix the spices into the liquids then add the mixture to the dish. I found this to be the best method to evenly season what you are cooking.

Look for these tips and more in my cookbook Easy See Easy Cook ~ Recipe Favorites in Large Print. It can be purchased at:

CardSmart ~ 9431 E 22nd St.and 3130 E. Ft. Lowell in Tucson, Arizona

Mostly Books ~ 6208 E. Speedway Blvd in Tucson, Arizona

In Boise Idaho

Look for Jerry’s business, “Treasure Valley Sew & Vac” at The Boise Flea Mart

Or on line when you visit bigeyedcooks.com

Sherry Pope, Author of Easy See Easy Cook, a specialty cookbook designed for people with vision difficulties. For information about the cookbook and the author please visit bigeyedcooks.com.

 

 

Share

You Don’t Look a Day Over Old Enough! – When old is too old (food that is)

It may be a personal quirk, but I get a little testy when I‘ve spent my energy and produced a flop.The age of an ingredient can play an important part in the success or failure of an otherwise great recipe. A little bit of prep work and you can be sure that your efforts are well rewarded.

That said let’s see what we can do. It’s easy to see when fresh foods are past their prime, but other products take a little more work and know-how.

Baking powder and baking soda: Fizzy_small-size1

It’s best to fluff them a little each time you use them. When they are too old your recipe will not rise. To test put a small amount of powder or soda into a little white vinegar. If it doesn’t fizz, it’s too old.

Boxed, wrapped, and canned foods:

It’s difficuquestionlt to determine if they have out lasted their freshness. Mostly, it’s best to use them before their “use by” date. Some products might be okay past their “use by” dates. If they look good, smell good, and taste good they may be okay to eat, but they probably will not work as well in a recipe. When in doubt, throw it out. Think about what is in these package foods that makes  them last in the cupboard so long

Frozen fruits and vegetables:

freezerbags (100x100)It’s easy to tell if frozen foods are no good. They just look bad. BLOG GROUP_NEWRough handling while stocking the stores causes the food packages to get tiny holes. Air gets in and ages the foods prematurely. With long storage fruits and vegetables can develop freezer burn and they begin to loose their nutrients. A little extra care at home can prolong the life of these foods. I put the packages in Ziploc® freezer bags reusing the bags until they are no longer air tight. A habit like this is easy to develope and after awhile, you don’t give it a second thought.

Dried foods:

Things like flour and nuts will smell and taste stale when old or the obvious, they get bugs. I once made some peanut clusters with a sealed can of peanuts that was in my cupboard for a long time. They were okay but the peanuts were a little hard to chew. Nuts can be kept for a long time if you keep them in the freezer. Beans get hard but they are still good. They just require a longer cooking time.

Look for more on ingredients with age related identity issues!

Easy See Easy Cook ~ Recipe Favorites in Large Print can be purchased at:

CardSmart ~ 9431 E 22nd St.and 3130 E. Ft. Lowell in Tucson, Arizona

Mostly Books ~ 6208 E. Speedway Blvd in Tucson, Arizona

In Boise Idaho

Look for Jerry’s business, ”Treasure Valley Sew & Vac” at The Boise Flea Mart

Or on line when you visit bigeyedcooks.com

Sherry Pope, Author of Easy See Easy Cook, a specialty cookbook designed for people with vision difficulties. For information about the cookbook and the author please visit bigeyedcooks.com.

 

 

Share
Visit Us On FacebookVisit Us On Google Plus