Prevent Moldy Berries

fresh-berriesPrevent moldy berries by combining 1-cup vinegar (white or cider) and 2-cups cool water. Place vinegar mixture in a spray bottle and spray onto berries or allow berries to soak in the solution. Leave berries in the vinegar mixture for 2 minutes. Gently rinse with cool water, dry on paper towels and refrigerate.

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Ask Cynthia a Question – April 23, 2014

Cindy BriggsAlyce asked: I heard rhubarb leaves are poisonous. True or false?

My answer: True, rhubarb leaves contain oxalic acid, which is toxic. Never eat fresh or cooked rhubarb leaves and don’t feed them to animals/pets. It’s rare for rhubarb leaves to kill a human but it could cause of myriad of serious health problems involving the digestive tract, kidneys, etc.

rhubarb-plantThere is the old story of the farmer who fed the rhubarb leaves to his pigs, and the pigs died. I’m not sure if the story is true but when we raised pigs on our farm, we often fed them fruits and vegetables from our garden. Giving the pigs rhubarb plants would have only seemed logical but fortunately we’d been warned about the toxic leaves so we were able to avoid mishaps. Thank you for you question, Alyce.

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34 Lemon Tips

Couldn’t chose just one “lemon” tip so here’s a list of 34 Lemon Tips from Reader’s Digest.

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Chicken Breasts with Lemon and Capers

One of my favorite dishes is Chicken Breasts with Lemon and Capers. This guilt-free recipe is low-calorie and low fat. It’s perfect served for an everyday meal and elegant for a special occasion. Served with asparagus, green beans or broccoli, a side of angel hair pasta, and a glass of chilled white wine, we’re talking divine. Enjoy!

Chicken Breasts with Lemon and Capers

Chicken, Lemon and Capers2Cooking spray
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1-cup chicken broth
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons capers
1 14 ounce can artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained and sliced, optional
Lemon slices for garnish, if desired

Coat a nonstick skillet with cooking spray; set over medium-high heat.

In a small bowl, combine flour with pepper; sprinkle over chicken. Brown chicken in one layer in prepared skillet for about 7 minutes. Flip breasts and brown on second side, about 5 minutes. Add small amounts of olive oil to the chicken as it’s cooking, if needed. Remove chicken from skillet; set aside.

Pour broth into skillet and scrape up any browned bits. Return chicken to skillet, cover and reduce heat to low; simmer until heated through, about 3 minutes. Stir in lemon juice, capers and artichoke hearts; heat for about 1 minute. Garnish with additional lemon slices. Yield: 4 servings

Cook’s Note: Mushrooms and artichokes are a nice addition to this dish. Serve with steamed green beans, asparagus or broccoli and angel hair pasta on the side, if desired.

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Ask Cynthia a Question – March 25, 2014

Cindy BriggsGinny asked: We have a lime tree in our yard. The limes turn yellow if they’re overlooked and left on the tree after the picking season. They look like giant lemons. Do we have a large yellow lime or limes that have turned into lemons?

My answer: What you have is a large, over-ripe yellow lime. It can be eaten or used in cooking the same way you’d use lime or lemon juice and zest. I use less lime juice when I’m replacing it for lemon juice because lime seems stronger to me than lemon juice, but that’s just my personal taste. Most chefs will say they are interchangeable.

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