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What was your worst kitchen disaster of 2017? Mine was a hot dog chili casserole

Turmeric powder.
Turmeric powder. TNS

What were the best and worse foods you ate in 2017? These could be from your own kitchen or at a restaurant.

My kitchen disaster was a hot dog chili casserole that I thought my family might eat. It was made with biscuits, wieners, chili and cheese. Well, the biscuits while mixed into the casserole got doughy and didn’t get crisp and the flavor was not what was expected. We all tossed this into the trash.

One of the best was a shrimp pad Thai with crystal noodles in Baytown, Texas. The flavor of lime and cilantro with peanut butter — yum.

Please share your thoughts with me. E-mail me your best and worst foods.

Turmeric?

Turmeric is one of the most powerful herbs for preventing and treating different ailments. It also is a good spice for curries or other foods.

Some natural health experts tout turmeric for its antioxidant properties.

Antioxidants, as readers know, help fight free radicals in the body that accelerate aging and cause some diseases. Turmeric gradually adds these antioxidants to the body, according to www.healhfacty.com.

Some experts say it helps control diabetes or help moderate insulin levels and helps lower bad cholesterol.

Carol Andrade asked her fellow readers what to do with turmeric. A friend gifted her with fresh turmeric and Andrade didn’t know how to use or store it.

“People use turmeric all in sorts of dishes,” says Dee Turner of Lucedale. Its great anti-inflammatory properties make it a healthy favorite. I flavor veggies with it.”

One of the main spices in curry is turmeric. Curry is a mixture of spices, some hot and not so hot, but all flavorful. Asian, Indian and Mediterranean cuisines all use turmeric.

“Any recipe or cuisine that calls for saffron could use turmeric as a substitute,” Turner says. “Saffron is three times as expensive as turmeric.”

Turner says that fresh turmeric can be stored in the refrigerator in plastic bags or even frozen.

“It can be frozen for much later use, but when it thaws it looks like mush. Freezing does not hurt the flavor.”

The root of the turmeric plant is ground into the spice powder. I use turmeric in breakfast smoothies.

As Turner says, turmeric is best stored in the refrigerator. Experts at www.food52.com recommend wrapping fresh turmeric, which reminds one of ginger root, only more orange in color, in a paper towel and then placed in a plastic bag just like Turner says.

Turmeric will keep for a week or two. If mold is spotted, cut it off and replace the paper towel.

Fresh turmeric works well in salads, egg dishes, soups, lentils, rice and marinades.

In a quick search, I found more than 70 turmeric cookbooks on www.amazon.com/ I will share three recipes that I think will work in any home kitchen.

TAKING STOCK

“I asked a knowledgeable friend this question and this is the answer I was given: Stock is made from boiling and simmering down bones in the water.

“Broth also can include bones, but primary comes from fleshy parts,” says Turner. “Yes, they’re interchangeable.”

“I’ve been making ‘bone broth’ ever since I was a young mother with a child with food allergies and someone introduced me to Adele Davis’ cookbooks,” says Mary Beth Greenleaf of Bradenton, Flordia. “Besides the allergies, I had a very tiny household budget to work with since my husband was working on his Ph.D. and we were living on the GI bill. There was never much left to the chicken (or turkey) carcass when I got finished with it.

“My stock pot didn’t have the luxury of fresh parsley, fresh thyme or fresh dill. And, if I had parsnips, I wouldn’t waste them making a pot of stock and then throw them away! So, I’d like to offer an alternative recipe - one for ‘the rest of us,’” Greenleaf says.

BONE BROTH (OR, if you prefer: Poultry Stock)

Take whatever is left after you have eaten all the meat from the roasted/fried/or store rotisserie chicken or turkey, and tear it apart as much as you can. Use every bit of skin and bones. If you can break any bones, do so. Put all of it into a large pot. Add a chopped large onion, a chopped carrot if you have one, a few stalks of celery, chopped, and 1 1/2 tablespoons of white vinegar. Then, measuring in the palm of your hand, add a tablespoon or so of dried parsley, a half tablespoon or so of dried thyme, about a half teaspoon of salt, half a dozen whole peppercorns, and a bay leaf or two. (Bruise the bay leaf with your thumb nails.) Cover all with cold water and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to medium low, cover the pot, and let it simmer for a couple of hours. Turn it off, and let it cool in the pot, then strain it into a clean pot through a wire strainer or colander. Refrigerate it overnight, then remove and discard the fat layer on the top. Use it right away or freeze it for later. (Note: the vinegar leaches calcium out of the bones and makes your cold stock gel. You won’t taste the vinegar at all.)

“So, you see Andrea, no pre-roasting, no stirring every 20 minutes, and a delicious, healthy result,” Greenleaf says.

STUFFED BUTTERNUT SQUASH, PLEASE

Brenda Roberts of Ocean Springs wants a recipe for stuffed butternut squash.

“I know someone has a recipe,” she said. “But does it have to be peeled to stuff?”

The stuffed squash recipe must be a healthy one because Roberts has several health problems that require low fat or low sugar recipes.

Andrea Yeager can be reached at ayeager51@cableone.net and Cooks Exchange, P.O. Box 4567, Biloxi, MS 39535-4567.

TURMERIC MARINADE FOR CHICKEN

1 cup natural yogurt

1/4 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon grated turmeric root

1 teaspoon grated ginger root

Juice of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 small clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon salt

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Add the chicken and massage marinade into the poultry until evenly coated. Seal the bowl with a tight-fitting lid and place it in the refrigerator. Let the chicken marinate at least 2 hours. Bake or grill as desired. Test for doneness.

From www.healwithfood.org/

ROASTED CAULIFLOWER WITH TURMERIC AND GINGER

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 tablespoon black mustard seeds

1 jalapeno, finely diced

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets

Salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Whisk together the oil, mustard seeds, jalapeno, ginger, and turmeric in a small bowl.

Place cauliflower in a medium baking dish and toss with the flavored oil and season with salt. Roast until lightly golden brown and just tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve hot.

From Bobby Flay, Food Network

ANDREA’S BREAKFAST SMOOTHIE

1 cup almond milk

2 to 3 tablespoons natural peanut butter

2 tablespoons cocoa powder, preferably organic

1 cup berries or 1/2 banana

2 teaspoons chia seeds

1 teaspoon grapeseed extract

1/2 to 1 teaspoon turmeric, depending on taste

3-4 tablespoons honey

Ice

Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.

Note: This is a filling smoothie. After drinking it, I am not hungry until a late lunch. Even my daughter likes this one. I purchase organic cocoa powder and grapeseed extract at a health food store.

CINDY’S YELLOW RICE

2 cups water

1 cup white rice

1/4 cup dried minced onion

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon salt

Bring to boil in saucepan. Add rice, minced onion, olive oil, turmeric garlic powder, black pepper and salt. Cover and reduce heat to low and simmer until water is absorbed and rice is cooked, about 20 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork.

Recipe by Cindy Richelle, www.allrecipes.com

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