Healthy Tips Blog2010DecemberNovemberOctoberSeptemberAugustJulyJuneMayAprilMarchFebruaryJanuary2009DecemberNovemberOctoberAugust Subscribe Subscribe to RSS

RESOLUTIONS  Thursday, December 30, 2010

Every year January 1st rolls around, leaving people making vows of sticking to a healthier lifestyle. The problem is life gets busy, and for many falling off a routine is the start of a domino effect. This year try setting more attainable mini-goals, ones you can do in stages that have an overall healthier impact.

Pure water is key to any healthy diet. It helps keep you alert, aids in proper digestion and body function, and is fat-free and calorie-free. Here are some simple ways to add more ounces to your daily routine.

A Good Start— You crave the caffeine jolt in the morning. While your coffee is brewing, use that time to fill up with a glass of ice-cold water. It’ll be refreshing, help wake you a bit and let you start the day ahead of the game.

On the Go— If you haven’t started toting a reusable thermos, now is the time. Not only will you save money, you’ll be able to quench your thirst at a moment’s notice and help the environment with less plastic bottles.

Skip flavored waters which are often loaded with unwanted sugars like sucralose. Instead, add slices of lemon, oranges or apples to your glass of water for a more natural, calorie-free way to help get your daily fill.


THE GREATEST GIFT OF ALL  Wednesday, December 15, 2010

This week while millions of people around the world wake to open presents with their families another story will play out. More than 800 million people will wake to face an ongoing crisis—no access to clean water. This year make one of the gifts you give a lasting one, and donate to help ensure someone else’s loved one lives to see a healthier New Year.

Water.org
Started by actor Matt Damon, this organization issues WaterCredit micro-loans that empower individuals and communities in developing countries to take control of their water needs. Once the money has been repaid, it goes back into a revolving account and is used to issue more loans to people in need. Get involved at Water.org.

World Water Relief
This organization focuses on building sustainable water purification systems in developing countries and also helps with disaster relief situations. For more information, visit their website.

American Red Cross
For years this relief agency has helped people around the globe. General donations go towards helping provide all types of relief, including food, shelter and basic daily needs. Contributions can also be earmarked for specific needs, such as emergency water containers. A mere $30 can help provide safe drinking water for six families.

Sources:
[Water.org]
[World Water Relief]
[American Red Cross]


ON THE ROAD AGAIN  Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The holidays add a whole other dimension to traveling. Roads and airports are more crowded than usual, making delays and long waits often unavoidable. Nutrition is usually an after thought, but adding it to the top of your “what to pack” list will result in a fresher, healthier feeling you when you arrive at your destination.

If traveling by car, be sure to fill reusable thermoses with water. Staying well-hydrated is a great pick me-up, and won’t leave you with a post-caffeine crash. Stash a few in the freezer for long trips and they serve a dual purpose—they act as ice packs for perishable foods too. Dried fruits and nuts are perfect portable snacks. When hitting the road with kids, try to schedule rest stops during mealtimes, and avoid sugary snacks or sweets if you’re hoping to get a nap going once they’re back in the car.

When taking to the skies, remember those reusable bottles won’t make it through security if filled. That doesn’t mean you should leave them home. Pack empty ones in your carry-on, and once through security, save money and seek out large bottles of water to refill your thermos. Heat-proof travel mugs also mean you can enjoy your favorite tea once in flight, so pack a few in your purse and you’ll be ready to get a jumpstart on the rest and relaxation portion of your journey.


THE PERFECT SETTING  Monday, November 15, 2010

Chances are you’ve spent countless hours planning the perfect holiday menu. The turkey was ordered weeks ago. You carefully selected wines to serve with each course. But, don’t forget the one thing every guest looks to drink: water.

Start with a pretty pitcher, or if you’re theme is more casual, old milk bottles add a nice touch to the table. You can even spruce up your water with slices of lemon, orange or limes. Frozen berries add a flair and help keep the water cold too. Let ice cubes act as an accessory and add some mint leaves to them before freezing. With such refreshing options to choose from, white or red won’t be the only tough beverage choices at your holiday table.


WATER, AN INALIENABLE RIGHT?  Saturday, October 30, 2010

Health and hygiene is a focus of many physical education programs in public schools across the country. While teachers do their best to educate the next generation about better eating habits, many schools sadly fall short in supplying one of the most essential needs for a healthy diet: water. Sending a home-packed lunch with a refillable water bottle is one easy answer for elementary school kids, but brown-bagging it isn’t as cool with tweens and teens.

Senator Mark Leno is trying to change things in his home state of California. Last month he introduced a bill requiring schools to have access to free drinking water in cafeterias, so kids have an alternative to the sugary drinks sold in schools. With funding always an issue, many schools depend on vending machine sales to raise meet those budget gaps. State officials are now combing through contracts to make sure they can legally offer free water without violating their current agreements.

Source:
[NPR]


A HEALTHIER YOU  Friday, October 15, 2010

Along with shorter days and colder nights, comes cold and flu season. While germs are unavoidable, there are some things you can do to protect yourself from catching and spreading them.

First defense— hand washing. Stop the spread of germs before they start by washing your hands before preparing food, after using the restroom, and when you notice they are dirty. This is especially important for young children who tend to put them in their mouth. And remember there are two sides to every story, so work up a soapy lather on the tops and palms. Lastly, don’t use a tissue to catch coughs and sneezes.

Drink plenty of fluids. Water is always the best choice, as it helps “flush” your system and keep you hydrated. Avoid sugary or caffeinated beverages which tend to deplete your body of water, and may interrupt your sleep cycle.

Proper rest. Try tucking in early when you feel the onset of a cold to give your body time to heal itself. Make sure you have a glass of water at your nightstand for middle of the night dry throat and add an extra pillow to elevate your head if you’re congested.

Source:
[Gather]
[Web MD]


THE VERY BEST BABY FOOD  Thursday, September 30, 2010

Making homemade baby food is pretty easy, especially for stage one and two foods that are baby’s introduction into the world of solids. Steaming or baking, and mashing a sweet potato requires little labor. First foods need to be extremely tender, though, in order to create a smooth puree. When time isn’t on your side, the stovetop is a quicker alternative. This method requires water, so better to use only the purest source available. Unlike making pasta, you don’t need to fill a pot— 1/4 cup does the trick to ensure tender fruits and veggies. This recipe for our pure pear puree is a good starting point to introduce baby to all the fall harvest has to offer.


BABY STEPS: INTRODUCING WATER  Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Summertime reminds us all that drinking water is important for proper hydration. After all, it’s easy to monitor just how much our body is losing as we wipe the sweat from our forehead. But what about baby? Is she getting all the water she needs to stay well-hydrated?

In general, the answer is yes for babies six months and under, provided they are getting the proper amount of breast milk or formula according to their body weight. Breast milk is composed of nearly 90% water, the other 10% being a combination of vital nutrients. Formula fed babies should consume 2 to 2 ½ ounces per pound per day, according to Dr. Sears.

The other important element to remember about proper hydration is that it isn’t only about water. Your body is filled with electrolytes, which enable other cells to function properly. Sweating, aggressive activities and vomiting not only release water from your body, it creates an electrolyte imbalance, hence that sluggish feeling.

Babies’ bodies are smaller than adults, though, so this means their nutrition and hydration needs are also different. Many pediatricians recommend avoiding giving water to babies under six months for fear of throwing that electrolyte balance out of order, a condition called “water intoxication”.

As baby gets older, water can become a healthy part of her diet as long as it does not fill her up too much. A good rule of thumb is to offer milk at meals to quench her thirst, and water in between.

Sources:
[Baby Center]
[CNN Health]
[Baby Zone]
[University of Michigan Health]
[About.com - Breastfeeding]
[Ask Dr. Sears - Bottle Feeding]


A BERRY GOOD IDEA  Monday, August 30, 2010

Berries and peaches abound during the summer, but sometimes the bounty you bring home doesn’t live up to your tastebuds’ expectations. All it takes is a quick steep with a sweetener, sugar or honey, and water to elevate them to an easy, elegant dessert topped with crème fraiche or frozen yogurt. Always start out with just a small amount of sugar or honey to ensure you don’t end up with a cloyingly sweet mixture—you can always add more and taste as you go. The goal here is to help coax out extra flavor and the fruit’s natural sweetness, while balancing out any tartness. Just a splash of cold, filtered water helps create a thin syrup to drizzle on top, and any extra can be stored in a container in the refrigerator or mixed with sparkling water for a homemade flavored seltzer.


TEA TIME IN THE SUMMER TIME  Sunday, August 15, 2010

There’s something soothing about sipping a hot cup of tea— unless you’re facing near 100ºF temperatures during a hot, city summer. When the mercury starts to rise, it’s time to rethink your morning routine. In fact, it means starting your tea the night before. Forget waiting for a boiling cup to cool off, or risk a watered down drink with too much ice. The answer is easily found in a method touted mainly for coffee drinkers: cold-brewed.

Using a glass measuring cup or pitcher, add one teabag per four ounces of cold water. Double it, triple it, use flavored teas—you name it. Let the mixture steep for 8 to 10 hours, and when you wake up, just pour over some ice and you’re ready to greet the day. And if you wake up to a suddenly cool break from the heat and humidity, no worries. This is double strength, so just add an equal amount of hot water instead of ice cubes.


INSTANT BREAKFAST  Friday, July 30, 2010

Sure you know breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but what about those times when you’re lucky enough to make it out the door with matching socks? A quick, nutritious answer is at your fingertips with instant oatmeal. When time isn’t on your side, pull out a packet for a filling and energizing meal. The hot water dispenser on the CleanWater Countertop Filtration System eliminates the need to boil water, making it even easier to fit in a few minutes to fuel up before a busy workday.

Wondering how the instant stuff stacks up compared to quick or regular-cooking oats? Nutritionally speaking, they’re pretty much the same. Read those labels before choosing flavored varieties, though, which can be high in sugars or additives. Better to stick with a plain one and boost the flavor with all-natural add-ins like fresh chopped fruit, berries, milk or a dash of cinnamon.

[CNN]


COOL AS A CUCUMBER… AND THEN SOME  Thursday, July 15, 2010

Need a cure for that midday slump? Try swapping caffeine for water during your afternoon coffee break. Come the summer months, it’s especially important to stay well-hydrated since you need to compensate for what your body sweats out. The headache that hits post-lunch may not be a caffeine call after all.

We know sipping cup after cup of plain water gets old quick, and that’s when we break out some frozen cucumber slices, Not only do they help keep your water nice and cool—they have a soothing, refreshing effect. Cucumbers not your thing? Don’t let that stop you from getting your fill. Citrus slices—take your pick from lemon, lime and even orange, may help get you to that finish line too, so you can be alert and ready for all the fun that lies ahead come 5:00pm.


WATER WORLD  Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Summer signals pool parties and breaking out icy beverages, but before you get the party started put Mother Earth first and use these tips to help conserve water use year-round.

Plants & Gardens
Watering in the wee hours of the morning is best for both the health of your plants and efficient water usage. Since those early hours are cooler, there is less loss from rapid evaporation. This also allows the water to soak into the soil’s surface, and better penetrate the roots.

Alternative Water Sources
Put the water used to fill those kiddie pools to good use after a day of play. Have the kids fill their pails and let them pour the water around the roots of your plants and veggies. Not only are you recycling it, the kids are also helping out with chores while having fun at the same time.

Rain barrels are a great way to recycle rainwater. Simply place them underneath your gutters and you’ll have a natural source to nourish your plants, as well as save money on your water bill.

No More Leaks
Bad valves and pinholes add up to big bucks and a lot of wasted water. Replace faulty valves if that’s the source of your leak, and if the hose itself is the culprit, check out these repair tips from Garden Guides before running to the hardware store for a new one. If all else fails, put that leaky hose to good use and refashion it into a soaker hose to tend to the lawn—a more efficient way to keep grass healthy and beautiful.

Sources:
[The Daily Green]
[Clean Air Gardening]
[Rain Barrel Guide]


COFFEE BREAK  Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tired of watered down coffee drinks? Join the club. This summer save those big bucks you’d normally spend on iced coffee and grab a cup to go from home. The secret to ensure a sip of unadulterated pleasure is to make your own coffee ice cubes. It’s a perfect way to use up any leftover coffee at the end of the day, and this way you know quality is assured from start to finish. All you need to do is start with the best drinking water available and brew a pot of coffee. For an extra tasty money-saving idea, give these coffee-house inspired drinks a try. Before you know it, you’ll have enough dough saved to plan next year’s summer vacation.

Coffee Frappe
Serves 2

Whether you're trying to beat the heat or craving a dessert drink, this recipe will save you time waiting in line at the local coffee chain. Feel free to adjust the amount of sugar to your liking, and for a more mellow drink, substitute plain ice cubes for the coffee ones.

½ cup triple-strength coffee
¼ cup milk
1 to 2 tablespoons sugar, depending on taste
1 ½ cups coffee ice cubes

Add all ingredients to your Cuisinart blender bowl. Blend well, until frothy and ice is crushed into very fine bits, about 90 seconds. Serve immediately.

Mocha Frappe
Serves 2

½ cup triple-strength coffee
¼ cup milk
1 to 2 tablespoons sugar, depending on taste
1 tablespoon chocolate syrup
1 ½ cups coffee ice cubes

Add all ingredients to your Cuisinart blender bowl. Blend well, until frothy and ice is crushed into very fine bits, about 90 seconds. Serve immediately.


A COOL TREAT  Friday, May 28, 2010

Lemonade is the quintessential summer refresher. An icy glass is the perfect way to quench your thirst. After the first few sips, though, it becomes all watered down. Guzzling down the glass is one strategy, but that’ll just leave you feeling bloated. A much better remedy is to make fun, fruit-filled ice cubes. Use whatever berries are in season, like blueberries, blackberries and raspberries, and add a few to each ice cube compartment before filling it with water. You can also cut up bigger ones, like strawberries, into smaller bits before adding to the tray. Then drop a few fruity cubes into your glass and soon you’ll be sipping your way to a tasty treat at the end of your drink.

Summer Citrusade
Makes 8 cups

2 cups freshly squeezed mix of orange, lemon and lime juice
6 cups cold filtered water
simple syrup, to taste

  1. Prepare the freshly squeezed juice using the citrus juicer attachment on your Cuisinart Stand Mixer.
  2. Combine juice and water in a large pitcher. Add simple syrup, to taste, and stir well. Chill until ready to serve.

Simple Syrup
This recipe is as easy as it sounds—just equal parts water and sugar, so you can make or less if you remember your fractions from elementary school.
Makes about 1 1/2 cups

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water

Combine ingredients in a microwave-safe measuring cup. Cook on HIGH for 4 minutes*, or until sugar is completely dissolved. Stir, then let cool completely before using. Store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator for up to two months.

*based on a 1000-watt microwave


AN ALL-NATURAL SODA POP  Monday, May 17, 2010

Countertop seltzer makers are quite popular these days, and that’s good news for a family budget and the environment. You can get your fizzy-fix for practically pennies and use refillable bottles. The downside are all the sugary syrups sold to make your own soda pop. We’ve got a better idea for a healthier sparkling pick-me-up: all-natural sodas made with homemade fruit purees.

It’s a fast, easy and a delicious way to add some extra fresh fruit to your diet. Simply add cut up chunks of your favorite in-season fruits to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. You can pour fresh pureed strawberries and raspberries through a fine sieve to strain the seeds, but, don’t stop at just berries. Imagine watermelon and peach-flavored drinks made in your very own kitchen. For a sweeter sip, add some simple syrup, as much or little as you like, for a quick homemade soda, with an ingredient list you can feel good about.


THE DAYS AFTER EARTH DAY  Friday, April 30, 2010

Official Earth Day celebrations may be over, but preserving the planet is a year-round job. It's easy to make small changes that benefit the greater good on a daily basis.

RECYCLING
Every little piece of paper counts, so don't forget to toss tags from new clothing and paper gift and shopping bags into the recycling bin. Even the cardboard roll from toilet paper and paper towels is recyclable. Bonus points for removing the paper label from tin cans too!

CONSERVATION
No need to light an empty room, so get in the habit of flicking the switch off as you exit a room. It's also never too early to teach the kids this cost-saving lesson. Your budget and the earth will thank you.

Leaving the water running while you brush your teeth wastes more than one gallon of water, so fill a cup for rinsing and turn the tap off. Same goes for hand washing. Wet your hands to get started, then shut the water off while you work up a sudsy lather. Rinse and repeat to save about 1 liter of water with each wash.

Everyone loves a cold glass of water. Rather than run the faucet to get it nice and icy, save our natural resource and enjoy a clean, pure cup from your Cuisinart CleanWater Countertop Filtration System. And to quench those on-the-go thirsts, skip the plastic bottle and fill up a reusable BPA-free bottle.


A NATURAL BODY BOOSTER  Thursday, April 15, 2010

Ever notice how drinking a glass of cold water can suddenly perk you up? Fatigue, headaches, and muscle weakness can all be early signs of mild dehydration. In fact, extreme thirst is usually the last sign of severe dehydration. Your body uses water to regulate its temperature, lubricate joints, deliver nutrients and oxygen to cells and protect organs and tissues. And that’s just the short list of how it keeps a healthy body operating.

Average adults can lose up to 10 cups of water a day through normal body functions such as sweating, breathing and going to the bathroom. Dehydration occurs when your body’s water and salt content is thrown out of balance. While it is possible to get your daily water requirement through every day foods such as milk, juice, fruits and vegetables, drinking water is the best choice because it contains zero calories and sugar.

A good rule of thumb to stay well-hydrated all day long is to drink a glass of water with each meal and between meals. Always be sure to maintain your fluid intake before, during and after any exercise regime. And remember caffeine and alcoholic beverages deplete your body’s water supply, so limit how much you consume them.

While you can generally treat mild dehydration by simply increasing your fluid intake, signs of severe dehydration require medical treatment immediately.

Sources:
[Mayo Clinic]
[CNN]
[Mayo Clinic]


FOOD REVOLUTION REVOLUTION  Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Within minutes of the premiere episode of Jaime Oliver’s new series Food Revolution we saw many causes for concern with the country’s school lunch program. The one that perhaps struck a deep nerve was watching one kid digging into a bowl of sugary cereal drowning in a bowl of chocolate milk. Breakfast, considered the most important meal of the day by many nutritionists, is supposed to fuel our children for a day of learning. I imagine that kid’s attention span is shot before they even get from the cafeteria to the classroom.

Many parents argue their kids will not drink milk or they want variety, so why not offer nature’s natural alternative: water? Sadly, many cafeterias are not equipped with ample drinkable water sources. In a school serving 700 kids, there may be in some cases only be 2 water fountains for them to share. Public fountains also pose a germ concern, especially with young children who may still be prone to touching the mouthpiece with their tongue or lips. The best way to make sure your kids get a healthy drink to wash down their meal is to send them off with a reusable BPA-free bottle of clean, filtered water from home.


THE SECRET TO GREAT TASTING RICE  Monday, March 15, 2010

Rice. It sounds pretty easy to make reading the package directions. After all, it’s just rice, water and a pinch of salt, right? Well, that all depends on what kind of water you use. Even if you’re local water supply is safe for drinking from the tap, chances are it still has additives in it that can affect the actual taste. Take New York City, for example. It’s often touted as some of the cleanest and safest drinking water—and it is according to the Department of Environmental Protection.

If you live here, though, you’ve undoubtedly noticed times when the water has a chlorinated aroma and flavor. That’s because the water supply is treated with chlorine to protect against contaminants. The Cuisinart CleanWater System filters out 97.5% of chlorine, leaving you with a fresher tasting product. When it comes to dishes that really absorb the flavor of their cooking liquid, like rice, it also means you get the best tasting quality to serve your family.

Sources: [Columbia] [NYC]


COFFEE HOUSE QUALITY AT HOME  Sunday, February 28, 2010

Wouldn’t it be great to enjoy your favorite coffee-house drinks at a portion of the price? Well, it’s easier than you think and you can elevate them by using the best quality ingredients. Let’s talk lattes—I mean tea lattes. They’re the new rage and quite easy to make at home, especially when fresh filtered hot water is ready to use at the press of a button from the CleanWater Countertop Filtration System. Start out by brewing a cup of earl grey tea. Steam some milk using your Cuisinart espresso maker or using a hand held frother. Add to your brewed tea and you’re ready to start sipping. And on days when you really want to treat yourself, add a teaspoon of homemade chocolate ganache for an exotic hot chocolate that doesn’t require a plane ride or stop at the ATM.


A BETTER BEVERAGE  Monday, February 15, 2010

Childhood nutrition is a hot topic these days, with more and more parents looking for ways to teach their kids healthier eating habits. Well, what they drink is just as important. Sugary drinks and sodas are a source of empty calories, and in some cases contribute to dehydration. Don’t be fooled by 100% fruit juices either. It’s better for kids to get their daily servings from a fresh bite of fruit.

Get kids started early with good drinking habits and keep water readily available to encourage making a better beverage choice. Convenient countertop dispensers like the CleanWater System make it easy enough for older ones to quench their thirst at the press of a button. Save money on juice boxes and pack a reusable bottle with water in their lunchboxes, and don’t forget to keep an extra bottle handy for after school activities to keep them well-hydrated all day long. And remember, the best way to teach is to lead by example, so raise a glass together and say cheers to a happy and healthy family.

[University of Maryland]


THE DAILY DRINK  Saturday, January 30, 2010

Remember mom saying to drink your eight cups a day? Well, we don’t want to say we told you so, but she was on to something. It may seem common sense that the human body loses water through sweating, but did you know even the simple act of breathing depletes our bodies of this very necessary resource? That’s why it’s important to replenish yourself with water throughout the day, not just at certain times.

The amount of water you need to drink to maintain a healthy body depends on the individual. Considerations like age, how active your lifestyle is, and your overall general health are the real determining factors. Breastfeeding mothers take note, it’s especially important to pay attention to your daily intake—for both proper milk production and your own well-being. Now, go fill up that reusable BPA-free bottle to keep yourself refreshed from the inside out.

[Mayo Clinic]


RESOLUTIONS  Friday, January 15, 2010

Many people use the New Year as a time to start doing things differently. For some, that means taking on a healthier lifestyle and adding more glasses of H20 to their diet. The great thing about that resolution is it can also have a big impact on the environment. Last summer, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report on the side effects of consuming bottled water. In addition to safety concerns on the actual water sources, purification methods and possible leaching of chemicals from the plastic bottles, the GAO determined that 75% of those bottles ended up in landfills rather than recycling bins.

This year change you can believe is easier than you think. Start by filling up a reusable BPA-free bottle before leaving the house to benefit your body and the planet.

[Source: GAO]


THE GIFT OF WATER  Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A few years back, I took a different approach while holiday shopping for my family. I decided to make donations on their behalf to help those less fortunate. I had trees planted in honor of my aunt who is now disabled and hasn’t been able to garden in some years. For another aunt whose worn glasses most of her life, I donated an amount to cover the cost of an eye exam for a woman in Guatemala. My mom was the tough one to find the right fit and then, as I flipped through the gift catalog it hit me. My mom is my source of life, so it seemed fitting to make a donation that would cover the cost of a simple, yet vital gift: clean drinking water jugs.

I come back to that gift often. While it’s not as dire as the need in developing countries, I’m struck by how many places in our own country do not have safe drinking water. When I visit North Truro in Cape Cod every year, we are surrounded by the ocean and bay, yet the water from the kitchen faucet in our rental house is not suitable for drinking. My aunt down in Florida faces the same problem in her house, so this year I’m thinking the gift of clean, safe drinking water may need to be answered closer to home.


STOCK INVESTMENTS  Friday, November 20, 2009

Soup season has arrived here in the North East (and our Midwest friends were probably putting up a pot in September when they had their first snowfall). It’s easy to add this comforting course to your weeknight menu by making stock in advance and storing in your freezer. Come dinnertime, just defrost it in the microwave, and you’re ready to saute and simmer some vegetables or leftover chicken. Paired with a salad, it’s a healthy, quick and easy way to balance all those holiday treats you’ll be eating from now until the New Year. I’m sure you’ve heard chefs say never cook with any wine you wouldn’t drink. Well, the same goes for water, so use only the best and purest when putting up your next pot.

Easy Everyday Vegetable Stock
Feel free to add whatever vegetable scraps you have around too, including mushroom stems, corn cobs, etc., adding more water if necessary.
makes about 4 cups

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 ribs celery, sliced
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 medium onion, cut into quarters
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 dried bay leaf
8 to 10 whole black peppercorns
1 tablespoon salt
6 cup cold water
  1. Heat a deep stock pot over medium flame. Add oil, then toss in celery, carrots, onion, garlic and other vegetables you're using. Saute for 5 to 7 minutes, until the carrots begin to caramelize and the mixture becomes very fragrant.
  2. Add the bay leaf, peppercorns and salt. Stir to mix well, then slowly pour in the water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until vegetables are extremely tender (read: they've released all their flavor). Pour through a metal sieve or strainer, discarding cooked vegetables (I always hate this step, and always intend to puree them to thicken sauces and soups, but...). You're ready to use for soup, as a consomme, or store in the refrigerator (up to one week) or the freezer (up to two months).
Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
adapted from Jenny Linford's From My Mother's Kitchen

For stock:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 pounds chicken legs & thighs
1 medium onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 garlic clove, smashed
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 leek, bottom white part only
a few sprigs of flat-leaf parsley
1 dried bay leaf

For soup:
1 medium onion, chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced 1/2-inch thick
2 celery stalks sliced 1-inch thick
3 ounces fine eggs noodles or spaghetti, broken into pieces
¼ cup fresh chopped flat-leaf parsley
Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large stockpot. Season chicken with salt and pepper and brown in small batches, being careful not to overcrowd pan. When done, return chicken back to pot. Add onion, carrots, celery, and garlic and cook over low heat for 15 minutes. Pour in 6 cups of cold water, add leek, parsley and bay leaf and simmer, covered, over medium-low heat for one hour.
  2. Skim fat from surface of stock. Using tongs or a large slotted spoon, remove chicken from the pot and set aside. Pour stock through a fine strainer, and discard vegetables and herbs. Let chicken cool, then remove meat from bones and roughly chop; set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, heat remaining oil over medium-low heat in stockpot. Add onion, carrots and celery, season with salt and pepper. Saute for 5 minutes, then pour stock over vegetables. Bring to a boil, then add noodles and cook until desired tenderness, about 8 minutes for al dente. Add chopped chicken, stir in chopped parsley and cook until chicken is heated through. Ladle into bowls and serve immediately.

  4. THE SECRET TO GREAT TASTING ICE  Tuesday, November 3, 2009

    Sure summer is the season for lounging with friends and frothy margaritas, but fall is one of my favorite cocktail times. Starting with Halloween, it seems to be a revolving door of parties, and what better reason to expand your mixology know-how?

    The best drinks, whether non-alcoholic or spiked, start with clean, pure water. Aside from the taste minerals and metals impart in water, they also create a cloudy cube. For clean tasting, clear ice cubes you just need to remember two things: use hot, filtered water. Why hot water? In tech talk, it’s all about molecules and freezing time. Basically, you want to slow down the freezing process, so using hot water ensures a delayed cooling time. Luckily, there’s no need to start boiling water since the Cuisinart CleanWater Countertop Filtration System delivers filtered, hot water, right to your ice cube trays, with just a press of a button. Clean, fresh tasting ice helps bring out the full taste of your favorite drinks.

    Need some cocktail ideas? Check out the recipes for our classic gimlets and sidecars.

    Vodka Gimlets
    Makes two 3-ounce drinks
    The classic version of this drink uses gin and Rose’s Lime Juice. Sometimes change is good—I certainly think so in this case.

    2 ounces vodka
    2 ounces fresh squeezed lime juice
    2 ounces simple syrup

    1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add vodka, lime juice and simple syrup. Stir vigorously until beads of sweat form on the outside of shaker. Strain into prepared glass. Serve immediately.

    Sidecar
    Makes two 3-ounce drinks
    Modern twists on this drink use whiskey instead of brandy. On Mad Men Sunday nights though, I’m sticking with this classic recipe.

    2 ounces brandy
    2 ounces triple sec
    2 ounces fresh-squeezed lemon juice
    1 orange

    Two cocktail or martini glasses
    Superfine sugar, to rim glasses

    1. Add sugar to a small plate. Make two twists from orange rind, by cutting strips with a paring knife or vegetable peeler (try not to get any of the bitter white pith). Cut a wedge from remaining orange and wipe it around the rim of each glass. Dip rims in sugar and add one piece of rind to each glass.
    2. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add brandy, triple sec and lemon juice. Stir vigorously until beads of sweat form on the outside of shaker. Strain into prepared glass. Serve immediately.
    For more recipes like this, follow us on and .


    SOURCE OF LIFE  Thursday, October 8, 2009

    We all know how important water is, but how often do we stop to take a moment and really think about it. Well, I did just that recently. There’s a fun and informative Test Your Water IQ quiz on this site. I gave it a go, figuring I’d blow it out of the ballpark. Well, guess who scored 56%? It just proves that for as much as we know there’s always more to learn. So if you think you know the answer to whether a tomato or pineapple has more water, or how many gallons of water are really used in a 5 minute shower(a lot is all I’ll say), try the quiz for yourself.

    See conservation and appreciation of this natural resource goes beyond packing a reusable bottle, although that’s a great and noteworthy start. Start thinking about your relationship with water and how you consume it. Whether it’s for drinking, cooking or washing, it is a reminder that water is a vital part of our everyday life. Being Italian, I cook a lot of pasta and was quite curious if it’s possible to use less water than the norm for cooking it. Harold McGee wrote an article on this very question earlier this year for the New York Times. Most people only raise a glass with wine to say cheers—next time I’ll do it with pure, clean water and be thankful to have access to it every day.


    A MATTER OF TASTE  Thursday, August 20, 2009

    Water. It’s a simple, nourishing beverage that we use everyday for drinking on its own. Years ago, my husband had a furniture-size water tank. I quickly ruled it out after we had children for fear of constantly mopping up spills—those buttons are way too tempting for little fingers. The problem is regular filtered water pitchers had to jockey for space in the very full fridge of a professional cook. The CleanWater Countertop Filtration system solved my dilemma. It ensures clean, fresh tasting water and freed up much needed space in the refrigerator.

    I’ve also learned the type of water I use in recipes really does affect the final product. For boiling large pots of water to make pasta or mashed potatoes the stuff from the faucet is fine here in NYC. When it comes to making fresh lemonade and ice cubes—it’s a different story. Filtered water provides a cleaner flavor, and makes nice, clear ice cubes that won’t alter the taste of my cocktails and drinks as they melt. Oh, and there’s no need to chill water-based drinks before serving—the countertop system has a cold water dispenser. Since summer drink season is getting into full swing, here’s a recipe for something every well-stocked bar needs: simple syrup. Use it to sweeten lemonades, iced tea or coffee and even make your own lime sour mix for margaritas.

    Simple Syrup
    As easy as it sounds, this recipe is just equal parts water and sugar, so you can make or less if you remember your fractions from elementary school.
    Makes about 1 1/2 cups

    1 cup granulated sugar
    1 cup water

    Combine ingredients in a microwave-safe measuring cup. Cook on HIGH for 4 minutes*, or until sugar is completely dissolved. Stir, then let cool completely before using. Store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator for up to two months.

    *based on a 1000-watt microwave


    Summer Citrusade
    Makes 8 cups

    2 cups freshly squeezed mix of orange, lemon and lime juice
    6 cups cold filtered water
    simple syrup, to taste

    1. Prepare the freshly squeezed juice using the citrus juicer attachment on your Cuisinart Stand Mixer.
    2. Combine juice and water in a large pitcher. Add simple syrup, to taste, and stir well. Chill until ready to serve.