The Produce Mom® | Produce Blog | Healthy Recipes
If you eat much produce, you have probably noticed the little PLU stickers that are a total nuisance when you want to wash & eat fruit.  I, too, hate peeling them off my peaches, nectarines or pears because the skin always comes off with the sticker!  Ugh! Those little stickers became very important in 2009 when the federal government began full implementation of the Country of Origin Labeling Law (COOL) which required our industry to identify at the retail level the country where each fruit or veggie in the produce department was grown.  We do it all through the PLU stickers.  The numbers are PLUs, which are a universal coding system that helps your store maintain inventory on their fresh produce and really helps the cashiers do their job as they ring up your bulk fruits & veggies.  If you actually look at the PLU sticker, you will notice that it ALWAYS lists a country.  Yes sir... The fruit was grown in that country!  And, if you are a Hispanic culture freak like me, you may have noticed that the country is often Mexico or another Central/South America gem. I will never forget the day I was asked to assist our mango buyer, Jim, with a call to a grower in Juatiapa, Guatamala.  Have you ever heard of Juatiapa?  They have never heard of Indianapolis, either.  And they have certainly never heard of Indianapolis Fruit Company.  I literally spent several minutes during this international phone call trying to enunciate "Indianapolis."  I spelled it in English & Spanish.  I even tried the "3 hours south of Chicago" line.  Nothing.  Finally - I said, "Indianapolis, la ciudad de Peyton Manning (Indianapolis, Peyton Manning's city)."  At that moment the light bulb clicked & the Spanish-speaking Guatemalan farmer said in understandable English, "Ah- Peyton Manning.  Indianapolis.  Go Colts!"  I was SPEECHLESS. Once I realized how effective the "ciudad de Peyton Manning" tactic was, I used it every time I called a farmer in one of these agriculture villages of Central or South America.  And guess what.... EVERY TIME, they replied with "Oh, Indianapolis."  And on to business & bargaining it was. No person will ever have more of an impact on the great city of Indianapolis.  Thank you to #18.  It goes well beyond winning football games, being a Super Bowl Champ & 4-time league MVP.    It's the Peyton Manning who built a world-class children's hospital on the northwest side of the city & the guy who created the Project 18 wellness curriculum for our area youth - that's the Peyton Manning who we all, both the Colts fans & foes, will miss. Peyton Manning has put people like me in a position to refer to this great city as "ciudad de Peyton Manning."  And I have a feeling that just like all us Colts Fans, the Hispanic farmers will forever identify Indy with this football great. Indianapolis.  You really could go as far to say that it is the city that Peyton built. xoxo Produce Mom [post_title] => PLU Stickers and Indianapolis Icon, Peyton Manning [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => peyton-manning-an-indianapolis-icon [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-03-07 14:01:43 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-03-07 14:01:43 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.theproducemom.com/?p=433 [menu_order] => 545 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 2 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 419 [post_author] => 2 [post_date] => 2012-03-04 09:30:01 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-03-04 14:30:01 [post_content] => I married a Taylor.  Beef is a must at all family functions. We love cheeseburgers & mini cheeseburger sliders have become somewhat of a trademark here in our home - I feel like we always serve them.  But everyone loves them & I will often offer different sauces to mix it up.   I'm not a big fan of over-seasoning or mixing in a bunch of random stuff into the meat.  Let the beef be the beef!  Those of you who know Chip can probably recognize this sentiment as his culinary influence on me. :-) Anyhow, the basics for sliders: 80/20 Ground Beef - if you insist on  mixing a different type of meat with the beef, we will occasionally use veal.  That's it.  No pork.  No lamb.  For heaven's sake - no turkey!  Turkey burgers are an oxymoron as far as the Taylors are concerned. Seasonings - again, we keep it simple.  Worcestershire sauce, Lawry's seasoned salt, and a small amount of garlic salt. Cheese - there's a reason the cheeseburger is considered iconic American cuisine.  Use American cheese.  There is a time & place for fancy toppings & cheeses on your burgers.  But don't allow yourself to be fooled- people love a classic burger topped with gooey American cheese. Bun - there are tons of slider style buns available now.  We always use the King's Hawaiian Rolls.  They have several flavors; the original Hawaiian sweet roll is our favorite.

DIRECTIONS: SUPER EASY SLIDERS

Step 1: Season Ground Beef & Press into a glass baking dish.  Prick the meat all over with the tines of a fork. Step 2: Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes.  Remove from oven & drain grease Step 3: Top with cheese & return to oven for 3 minutes or until cheese is melted. Step 4: Using a pizza cutter, slice beef into slider-sized squares ENJOY! Super Easy Sliders I served these yesterday at Mac's birthday party & Chip's brother told me they were the best burgers I've ever made.  I almost cried.  A meat compliment from Chip or his brother, Uncle Worm (aka Ryan), means more than your average man's praise. [recipe] xoxo The Produce Mom  [wpurp-searchable-recipe]Super Easy Sliders - - ground beef (80/20), Worcestershire sauce, American cheese, hamburger bun (try King's Hawaiian Rolls!), Season Ground Beef & press into a glass baking dish. Prick the meat all over with the tines of a fork.; Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven & drain grease.; Top with cheese & return to oven for 3 minutes or until cheese is melted.; Using a pizza cutter, slice beef into slider-sized squares. Place on buns and enjoy! ; - [/wpurp-searchable-recipe] [post_title] => Super Easy Cheeseburger Sliders [post_excerpt] => The easiest, most delicious homemade cheeseburger sliders appetizer recipe! [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => super-easy-sliders [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-10-10 18:35:34 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-10-10 18:35:34 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.theproducemom.com/?p=419 [menu_order] => 526 [post_type] => recipe [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 13 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 380 [post_author] => 3 [post_date] => 2012-03-03 10:03:13 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-03-03 10:03:13 [post_content] =>

I've been cooking & cleaning all morning to get ready  for Mac's 2nd birthday party today.  And of course I'm getting sentimental.  I'm a huge sap.  Everything makes me cry!  But as I was going over the mental checklist for party supplies & menu needs, I just realized.... The kitchen table is the setting for SO MANY beautiful moments in life.  You all know how I feel about food being a rich source of personal & family culture, but that really doesn't compare to all the moments that occur at the kitchen table.  It's just profound.

I recently had someone ask me where I got my table, it was fun to recount the day I picked it out.  In 2005 my parents took me to Dinette Land in Greenwood, Indiana to buy me a kitchen table for my new apartment.  I was getting ready to start my 1st job as a high school Spanish teacher & that table was mom & dad's gift to me for turning the page in my life & starting a new chapter.  I think it was a $400 table, which included the chairs.  So it's certainly not fancy or high-end.  But it means the world to me.  I still vividly remember loading it into my mom's van & having my dad help me carry it into my apartment.  The first people that I sat with at my kitchen table were my mom & dad in the kitchen area of my 1st apartment.  And so the memories began....

The chairs broke in 2007 & we called the manufacturer about getting them replaced.  Since the model had been discontinued, they encouraged us to get them repaired by their contractor in our area.  The contractor came out; he fixed the broken chair & added some additional supports to the other 3 chairs so he wouldn't have to come back anytime soon.  We paid him $80 for the job, and he not only fixed the chairs... but he changed my life.  The man had no legs.  He had 2 prosthetic legs - yet he drove himself to our house.  He walked inside.  He removed one leg to sit down on the kitchen floor & work on the chairs.  He did his work with no assistant.  He reattached his leg, got himself up, walked down steps & out the door.  He was confident enough to strike up good conversation with strangers - we talked about beer can chickens on the grill & football... the Indianapolis Colts, of course!  I think about that man often.  I sometimes wonder what he's doing & when I'm having a frustrating moment in life - I will refer back to this kitchen table memory.  And sometimes when I think I've had a hard day at work - I will think about this man.

In addition to these special moments, I have countless of the more obvious kitchen table memories -- birthday cakes, artwork, food prep, family dinners & more.  Here are some of my favorite pictures at the kitchen table.  I'm really looking forward to adding some more pictures & moments to my "Kitchen Table Memories" this weekend.  We will be having dinner tonight at our home to celebrate Mac's 2nd birthday.... and the kitchen table will again be the setting for a beautiful moment in my life.  I look forward to sharing it with you all in my next blog.

xoxo Produce Mom

[caption id="attachment_386" align="alignleft" width="224"] Mac's 1st birthday[/caption] [caption id="attachment_395" align="alignleft" width="300"] Artwork with Daddy 2009[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_394" align="alignleft" width="224"] Anniversary Flowers from Chip[/caption] [caption id="attachment_397" align="alignleft" width="224"] Ebay Headquarters[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_399" align="alignleft" width="300"] Chip's Birthday 2011 - his first to celebrate with Mac[/caption] [caption id="attachment_404" align="alignleft" width="300"] Joe makes Eggplant Parm for the 1st time[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_388" align="alignleft" width="300"] My birthday 2011 - my first to celebrate with Mac[/caption] [caption id="attachment_401" align="alignleft" width="300"] Brothers[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_384" align="alignleft" width="300"] Joe's 3rd birthday - fun with the cousins![/caption]

[caption id="attachment_387" align="alignleft" width="300"] Mickey Mouse Pancakes - a Saturday morning favorite![/caption]

[caption id="attachment_406" align="alignleft" width="300"] Father's Day 2010- Chip's first with Joe AND Mac[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_402" align="alignleft" width="300"] Miserably pregnant with Mac... but helping Joe make shamrock cookies- March 2010[/caption] [caption id="attachment_393" align="alignleft" width="300"] Packing Joe's lunchbox[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_391" align="alignleft" width="224"] Sunday morning fun[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_400" align="alignleft" width="224"] My best friend from IU - Jimmy John's with Muffy! Just like our late nights on Kirkwood.... sorta.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_408" align="alignleft" width="300"] Chip's 1st birthday as a Daddy - Joe is 5 months old here[/caption] [caption id="attachment_405" align="alignleft" width="300"] King Cake with cousin Nora - Fat Tuesday 2009[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_403" align="alignleft" width="300"] Papa always helps Joe dye Easter Eggs - the night before Easter 2010[/caption] [caption id="attachment_382" align="alignleft" width="300"] Joe's 2nd birthday[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_407" align="alignleft" width="224"] Celebrating a successful day of potty training & playing Joe's favorite game![/caption] [caption id="attachment_409" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Gingerbread Haunted Houses with Cousin RJ[/caption] [post_title] => Kitchen Table Memories [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => kitchen-table-memories [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-03-03 10:03:13 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-03-03 10:03:13 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.theproducemom.com/?p=380 [menu_order] => 546 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 2 [filter] => raw ) [4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 376 [post_author] => 3 [post_date] => 2012-02-28 14:04:50 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-02-28 14:04:50 [post_content] => Some of you are probably thinking - this is so obvious!  Wash your hands after you handle raw chicken, sanitize your utensils between uses, wipe down the counter after dinner prep, run the dishwasher, etc. The truth is.... Food Safety is no joke.  Remember the uproar over the Spinach in 2011, or maybe you remember the Cantaloupe fiasco from just a few months ago?  Food borne illness is the real deal.  We're talking weeks of sickness, often hospitalization & in extreme cases - death.  It's an involved topic, so we will break it up into Chapters.  Today's blog will be reminiscent of "Syllabus Day" in college.  Do they still have those?  It's the 1st day of the semester when all the Prof does is pass out the syllabus & foreshadow how bad the class is going to suck while mapping out the deadlines and expectations.  Hopefully this will be more entertaining than Syllabus Day.  I never want my blog to suck!  But at least you have a general idea of how this Food Safety 101 series is going to work.  Here's the 411 on course FS101: My friend Chelsea Mascari is our Food Safety Manager at Indy Fruit (Yes!  My fellow Britney Spears fan!  We also saw Katy Perry together! Woot-Woot!)  Chelsea is helping me A LOT with this series, so feel free to post questions on these blogs & either Chelsea or I will reply to you.  And that being said - can I just say I think it's FANTASTIC that my work place has a dedicated staff to Food Safety?!  Chelsea is also our SQF Practitioner (Safe Quality Food).  SQF is the mother of all Food Safety Certifications.  We are actively striving to be certified under SQF at Indianapolis Fruit. The Federal Government and most food industry organizations offer websites & resource tools for the consumer that focus on Food Safety.  Here are a few of my & Chelsea's favorites: http://www.foodsafety.gov/ This is probably my #1 of all the websites- easy to navigate, great resource for recalls & alerts and the food safety tips are categorized by food variety: meat, dairy, produce, etc. When browsing it today the following tip was most interesting: Meat in the Refrigerator: How Long Does it Last
  • 1-2 days = raw ground meats, all poultry, all seafood, all variety meats (ostrich anyone?)
  • 3-4 days = cooked meat, poultry & seafood
  • 3-5 days = raw roasts, steaks & chops
http://homefoodsafety.org/ Home Food Safety is copyrighted to the American Dietetic Association.  It's a lot of the same stuff you will find on the previous website, but I really like all their interactive quizzes & tips.  Here is a link to one that should interest all of us "How Safe is Your Kitchen?" http://www.fightbac.org/ Partnership for Food Safety Education is another consumer-focused food safety website & organization that is partnered with most major industry agencies - for example, the USDA represents the produce industry as a partner of Food Safety Education.  This website offers some incredible resources for educators & parents.  Check out their Education & Outreach section! Next week we will get into Chapter 2 where we will discuss Selecting & Handling Produce: The Grocery to Home Kitchen.  In staying true to my "Syllabus Day" analogy - your homework is to browse these 3 websites.  Let us know what you think!!!  And leave a comment if you have a question or suggestion for Chelsea & I as we continue working on this series of information. Now if I could just go back to the "Syllabus Day" stage of my life in Bloomington, Indiana....  Since I cannot, let's just close with a "Go Hoosiers!" & "Sink the Biz!" xoxo Produce Mom [post_title] => Food Safety 101 [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => food-safety-101-chapter-1 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-02-28 14:04:50 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-02-28 14:04:50 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.theproducemom.com/?p=376 [menu_order] => 547 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 2 [filter] => raw ) [5] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 345 [post_author] => 2 [post_date] => 2012-02-23 11:26:39 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-02-23 11:26:39 [post_content] => Your family tree has deep roots in Sicily, Italy.  Your childhood memories include working with your uncles at the Indianapolis Produce Terminal.  You fall in love with a man named Chris Mascari, who is also from a Sicilian family.  Who also grew up loading trucks at the Indianapolis Produce Terminal.  Who now owns the best produce distribution company in the United States.  And even as an owner... he still buys the tomatoes for Indianapolis Fruit Company. As one of Chris' employees, I think this stubborn affinity to tomatoes is simply due to his passion and knowledge.  He does it right.  My boss knows tomatoes!  Why would anyone else buy this product for Indianapolis Fruit to sell to our customers?  All produce, but especially tomatoes, are part of Chris Mascari's culture. Now how does the wife of Chris Mascari prepare tomatoes for dinner?  How could she possibly cook something that would impress this tomato god?  Or meet his particular standards?  That's easy.  Augie makes them the way her mama did.  That's the cool thing about food.  To some people, this recipe is just Sauteed Green Tomatoes.  But to Augie, Chris & their daughter, Chelsea.... this is Grandma Sansone's Green Tomatoes.  And to me, that represents greater culture than anything you will find on ancestry.com or a family tree. I don't have a swanky Italian heritage to pass down to my boys.  I'm an American mutt.  Furthermore, Chip & I share minimal parallels when it comes to the definable cultures: ancestry, religion, language (yo hablo español) & more.  But just like this recipe from Grandma Sansone... Mac & Joe will learn recipes that I learned from my mom or grandma.  That is culture.  And it's a very powerful culture.  Now I'm guessing your family is like mine & you have specific foods that you serve for birthdays, holidays or anniversaries.  Or maybe you have that 1 special dish which will always be remembered as the last meal you cooked with your mom.  Or the first meal you cooked with your daughter.  That is culture, my friends.  And arguably, it is the most meaningful culture.  Food... so many reasons to love it! First, aren't Chris & Augie ADORABLE: We always have a Boss' Day Survey here at Indy Fruit & in 2009 this duo was voted "most likely to be seen making out in the back seat of a cab" by all the employees.  What an honor!  Seriously.  I totally want Chip & I to be that blissfully married couple - or at least that's how I want people to perceive us. ;-) And here is a picture of Chelsea, their daughter, and I at the Britney Spears concert.  Chelsea & I are BFFs here at Indy Fruit and we only enjoy the finest of live music (obviously).  And, yes, I'm wearing the Britney Spears Fan Club Tshirt. Now - on to the recipe.  Most people think you can only fry green tomatoes.  If you haven't learned this yet, just keep following my blog & you will soon share my sentiment.... most people are wrong.  About everything.  Preparing green tomatoes is no exception.  Let me show you how to saute them. [recipe] Green Tomatoes xoxo Produce Mom[wpurp-searchable-recipe]Grandma Sansone's Green Tomatoes - - green tomato, onion, Truvia (obviously Nona used sugar, but Augie is way too fashionable for that!), olive oil (or coconut oil), garlic (minced), salt and pepper (to taste), Remove stems from tomatoes.; Dice tomatoes and onions. ; Heat oil in skillet, add tomatoes, onions & Truvia.; Stir occasionally, cook mixture on medium-low heat for about an hour. Add garlic, salt & pepper to taste during last few minutes of cooking.; Enjoy — Thank you Grandma Sansone! ; - [/wpurp-searchable-recipe] [post_title] => Food is Culture: Grandma Sansone's Green Tomatoes [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => food-is-culture-grandma-sansones-green-tomatoes [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-02-23 11:26:39 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-02-23 11:26:39 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.theproducemom.com/?p=345 [menu_order] => 527 [post_type] => recipe [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 2 [filter] => raw ) [6] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 314 [post_author] => 3 [post_date] => 2012-02-19 07:57:58 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-02-19 07:57:58 [post_content] => I am 1 of 3 children.  I'm the oldest, then my sister Kelly & then my brother Joe. Kelly is crazy!  She is a real firecracker & always the life of the party.  She loves her Bloodhound, she loves to run & dance, she works with my dad & loves her job, too.  Kelly is really into fun facts & trivia.... so here's a fun fact about Kelly--she's obsessed with Rik Smits, former Indiana Pacer.  She follows him to all his local celebrity appearances.  Here's a picture of them together at Marsh: Rik Smits Kelly and Matt met a few years ago & he popped the question over the summer.  Luckily for Rik Smits, Kelly has been pretty busy planning the wedding & hasn't been chasing him around town at all his "local celeb" gigs.  We love Matt, so just like Rik, we are lucky that Kelly is getting married.  When it started to feel "odd" to not have the Mooster (aka Matt) at family functions, that's when I knew he was the guy that I wanted as my sister's husband & my brother-in-law. Kelly I love throwing parties & I believe that sentimental details are what make the difference between good parties & great parties.  It's not the menu or the decor.  It truly is the thought that counts.  Keep that in mind when you start stressing out about your next party.  Your guests would rather have a simple food that represents something sentimental than some sort of elaborate dish they have never heard of that costs you a ton of money & takes forever to prepare.  And if they don't feel this way - you are entertaining the wrong people. We had a wonderful time yesterday - enjoy some of the pictures: [caption id="attachment_321" align="aligncenter" width="224"]The Family Mom, Kelly & I - this picture represents a lot of love & faithful friendship.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_330" align="aligncenter" width="224"]Gifts Party favors - I'm a huge fan of giving a party favor that people will actually use & also one that can double as part of the decor... because I hate decorating. Kelly & Matt: The Perfect Blend[/caption] [caption id="attachment_322" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Kelly & some of her wonderful friends![/caption] [caption id="attachment_318" align="aligncenter" width="224"]Pears Each guest was able to take home a small tote of Forelle Pears as a favor.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_317" align="aligncenter" width="224"]Kelly Kelly wants to win the February Contest - she brought The Produce Mom to the shower!  And yes, that's Produce Mom on a sock.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_319" align="aligncenter" width="224"]Kelly's Bridal Shower Kelly's Bridal Shower Soundtrack - a collection of songs chosen by the Bridesmaids. Each guest got a copy & we listened to it during the shower, too![/caption] [caption id="attachment_323" align="aligncenter" width="224"]Andretti Winery Cabernet Kelly & I with the autographed bottle of Andretti Winery Cabernet[/caption] [caption id="attachment_327" align="aligncenter" width="224"]soon there will be a wedding celebration" "He popped the question & soon there will be a wedding celebration"[/caption] [caption id="attachment_326" align="aligncenter" width="224"]Snacks Guacamole, BBQ, Southwest & Beer flavored Patti's Popcorn, Kelly's Popcorn Vendor[/caption] [caption id="attachment_324" align="aligncenter" width="224"]More snacks! Dessert & Popcorn Buffet - a smaller version of what Kelly is offering at her wedding reception[/caption] [caption id="attachment_329" align="aligncenter" width="224"]Wine buffet The wine buffet - which I decorated with some fresh grapes[/caption] [caption id="attachment_332" align="aligncenter" width="224"]Sea salt caramels Sea Salt Caramels from The Best Chocolate in Town.... One of my favorite local eats & a sophisticated and delicious addition to the beverage bar[/caption] [post_title] => My Sister's Bridal Shower [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => my-sisters-bridal-shower [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-02-19 07:57:58 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-02-19 07:57:58 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.theproducemom.com/?p=314 [menu_order] => 548 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 3 [filter] => raw ) [7] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 299 [post_author] => 2 [post_date] => 2012-02-17 21:39:30 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-02-17 21:39:30 [post_content] => I love my job for so many reasons... the biggest reason, though, is my customers!  I have been privileged to work with the entire gamut of grocery stores: from the high-end Sunset Foods in Chicago's North Shore, to some of the Mexican bodegas that are tucked away in neighborhoods on the west side of Indianapolis.  Today I will share a recipe from Sunset Foods' Executive Chef, Ken Chaffin.  Next week I'll do a recipe from my local bodegas. Here's all that you need to make this yummy salad! [recipe][wpurp-searchable-recipe]Grilled Caesar Salad - - romaine lettuce heart, caesar dressing, asiago cheese (shredded), parmesan cheese (shredded), panko bread crumbs, Slice romaine Heart in half, lengthwise. ; Using a pastry brush, spread dressing liberally over the open-faced side of the romaine heart. ; Mix together panko bread crumbs & cheese – spread evenly on top of dressing.; Lay romaine heart face-down on a preheated grill pan or flat top. Allow it to cook for approximately 3 minutes, until the cheese is brown.; Enjoy! ; - [/wpurp-searchable-recipe] [post_title] => Grilled Caesar Salad [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => grilled-caesar-salad-made-famous-by-sunset-foods [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-02-17 21:39:30 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-02-17 21:39:30 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.theproducemom.com/?p=299 [menu_order] => 528 [post_type] => recipe [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [8] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 241 [post_author] => 3 [post_date] => 2012-02-13 12:03:13 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-02-13 17:03:13 [post_content] => It's time for a personal blog... who needs a therapist or an anti-depressant when you are a blogger?  Just type those thoughts out, click publish & feel better about your twisted mind & imperfect life when you realize everyone else is exactly the same as you. What annoys you?  I'm going to pick just a few to highlight... because believe me, annoyances prevail in my dysfunctional life. Let's talk about PEOPLE...

The 1-upper

We all have a 1-upper in our life & we all feel the same way about this person.  Get over yourself & allow me to enjoy 5 seconds of glory before you interject & talk about how great you are or how much you are looking forward to your "holiday" in Europe this summer after I just announced that I was taking the boys to Kings Island, maybe the Great Wolf Lodge if I can get a 2nd job.  OK, hun, enjoy the South of France.  We'll throw down a snow cone in your honor at the theme park.

The Sideline Coach

Little Joe plays in a rec league for soccer.  Mind you, he's 4.  And this rec league is sponsored by a local church.  Exactly who do these parents that hound their children from the sidelines think they are?  Not only are you annoying.... you're embarrassing.  Let the kids play.  If you want to coach, then volunteer.  And again- we're talking about 4-year-olds playing soccer in the side yard of a community church.  Not 25-year-olds competing for an Olympic gold medal in Athens.  Shut up & let everyone else enjoy the game and get some home videos without you barking in the background.

The PTA Volunteer

No offense against the PTA.  My offense lies solely with the parents (usually the moms) who are all up in my business & asking me why I haven't volunteered in the lunch room or recess duty.  Really?  Isn't lunch at 11am?  I'm at work.... like the rest of the people I know.  I'm sorry you have a problem or concern with this.  Here's a package of stickers for you to use at the next class party.  Oh, those stickers don't meet your standards or Jimmy's mom already donated stickers?  Of course. PLACES.

Scrapbook Stores

Really?  First... who has time to scrapbook?  I barely have time to get the camera out, much less actually print the pictures & decorate them.  Did you know they have lock-in style parties at these places & the attendees have filing cabinets on wheels that are full of construction paper & flair?  Yes, a bunch of women wheel in their supplies on the weekend and just sit around at these "parties" to cut & paste.  Sorry.  My idea of a Girls Night Out is closing down the local wine bar with my best friends, not arts & crafts night with the PTA Moms at the Scrapbook Store.

Coffee Shops

The pseudo-zen atmosphere & pretentious menus drive me crazy.  And can someone please get me a dictionary or translator so I know what the heck I'm ordering?  What happened to a good ole' fashioned "Large Coffee?"  No - we're expected to say the size in Italian, the type of coffee in French, and we're left with some sort of yuppie-coffee-drinker lingo.  I love coffee.  I drink about 8 cups a day.  I'm just not the type who is going to sit at the coffee shop with my PC (gasp!) using the Wi-Fi or reading the newspapers.   And don't forget the tip jar.  I hate a tip jar.  Attempted zen atmosphere = ruined.

Craft Fairs & Holiday Bazaars

Do you realize that women set their alarms for 5am to rush to the local high school for the annual holiday bazaar?  Yes.  They must have Earlybird specials or something?  Surely people aren't getting up that early just because they enjoy the craft fair...  I've been once, and it's a bunch of over-priced crap with a few decent finds.  You fight all these crazy people to get from booth to booth & everything looks the same.  Americana style knick-knacks.  And what's worse... the "artist" is right there working the booth, so you can't even make fun of the ugly angels & their twine hair without hurting feelings.  Craft Bazaars.  A true "1 & done." THINGS.

Tomato Soup du Jour

Have you ever heard the saying if the shoe fits, wear it?   Of course you have!  Note to all chefs - the shoe fits when it comes to Tomato Soup.  I'm talking about Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup.  Don't mess with it.  It's what everyone wants when they order a cup of tomato soup to go with their grilled cheese.  No one is interested in your Tomato Basil Soup du Jour.... marinara sauce with a spoon, anyone?  Gross.  You want to impress me???  I get it... Instead of water, try mixing the can of condensed soup with a can of milk.

The Customer Service Automated Voice

Your TV went out & you need to call customer service... Simple enough, right?  No.  Enter the Automated Voice Attendant.  I say "tech support" but the broad can't understand me because my kids are having a sword fight in the living room.  Communicating with the Automated Voice Attendant is like a circus.  I always feel sorry for the real human being who finally picks up the line.  It's nothing shy of a miracle when you get a live voice.  To call it customer service is beyond a stretch & it's a true annoyance.

Playdates

I schedule a lot of things, but I'm not going to schedule my kids' playtime or have a designated group of weirdo strangers that Joe & Mac get to hang with at the mall playground every-other Tuesday at 10am.  When I am at the mall, I can always spot the playdate.  It's the shy kids who scream when another kid wants to go through the tunnel or down the slide.   The moms are easy to spot, too... all fake laughing amongst each other, and taking lots of pictures for their playdate scrapbooks. I know you get it.  And I'm so glad you are reading my blog! xoxo Produce Mom [post_title] => Annoyances: People, Places & Things. [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => annoyances-people-places-things [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-02-13 12:03:13 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-02-13 17:03:13 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.theproducemom.com/?p=241 [menu_order] => 549 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 20 [filter] => raw ) [9] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 210 [post_author] => 2 [post_date] => 2012-02-07 17:40:02 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-02-07 22:40:02 [post_content] => Who doesn't love a fry?  Next time you are craving a french fry, try these zucchini fries.  They are a favorite in my house & while the boys typically turn their noses up at Zucchini Squash, they welcome the veggie when I prepare it like this! And while staying true to my extraordinary self -- these make a divine appetizer when paired with a dipping sauce.  Chef Concetta's Gorgonzola Dip, Sriracha Mayo, Chipotle Ranch, Hoisin, Parmesean Asiago.... the options for the dipping sauce are endless.  And it's little touches like a great dipping sauce that will separate you from all the other home cooks you know.  Anyone can get online & regurgitate a recipe that has 5000+ reviews.  Don't be that cook.  Sure, read those recipes - I read them myself.  But only because I want to be inspired.  When I read a recipe, I think "how can I make this better?  what is missing?"  I challenge you to do the same.  Even with my recipes. [recipe] xoxo Produce Mom[wpurp-searchable-recipe]Zucchini Fries - - zucchini (cut into fry wedges), egg, milk, cornmeal, garlic salt, Italian seasoning, pepper (to taste), Cut the zucchini into fries.; Beat together milk & egg. Dip fries & coat well with egg mixture.; Mix dry ingredients. Dip fries & coat well with corn meal mixture.; Align fries on a foil wrapped & sprayed cookie sheet or pan. ; Zucchini Fries will be golden brown when finished. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese & serve warm.; - If you do not have corn meal, you can use crushed corn flakes, bread crumbs, crushed saltines, or panko bread crumbs.  We like the corn meal because it is gluten free & offers a natural crunchy texture.  But like I said – read recipes to be inspired.  Feel free to change this up to make it your own![/wpurp-searchable-recipe] [post_title] => Zucchini Fries [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => zucchini-fries [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-02-07 17:40:02 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-02-07 22:40:02 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.theproducemom.com/?p=210 [menu_order] => 529 [post_type] => recipe [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 7 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 10 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 479 [post_author] => 2 [post_date] => 2012-03-10 08:00:02 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-03-10 08:00:02 [post_content] => If you haven't figured it out yet - I love the simple joys.  I love seeing a kid walk to school holding hands with a parent.  I love looking out my kitchen window & seeing frost on my boys' swingset.  I love when I unexpectedly run into a best friend at the grocery store or the mall.  And I love oven-roasted grapefruit. A simple halved grapefruit is your grandma's breakfast.  Be a breakfast diva.  And don't isolate this to just breakfast food, either.  An oven-roasted grapefruit tastes great at 11pm when you really have no business eating, but must eat something. 4 INGREDIENTS... I told ya it was a simple joy! [recipe] Oven Roasted Grapefruit Serve it to the 1-upper in your life! The Produce Mom Fan - 1. Annoying Woman - 0. xoxo Produce Mom[wpurp-searchable-recipe]Oven Roasted Grapefruit - - grapefruit (I used pink grapefruit, but you can use any color!), agave nectar (or sweetener of your choice), cinnamon, pecans, Halve & de-seed grapefruits. Drizzle agave nectar (or your sweetener of choice) over grapefruit halves. ; Top grapefruit with nuts & cinnamon. ; Bake for 15 minutes at 375 degrees. ; - I used Agave Nectar, but you can substitute honey, sugar, brown sugar, stevia, etc. You can also substitute walnuts for pecans.[/wpurp-searchable-recipe] [post_title] => Oven Roasted Grapefruit [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => oven-roasted-grapefruit [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-03-10 08:00:02 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-03-10 08:00:02 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.theproducemom.com/?p=479 [menu_order] => 525 [post_type] => recipe [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 2 [filter] => raw ) [comment_count] => 0 [current_comment] => -1 [found_posts] => 1040 [max_num_pages] => 104 [max_num_comment_pages] => 0 [is_single] => [is_preview] => [is_page] => [is_archive] => [is_date] => [is_year] => [is_month] => [is_day] => [is_time] => [is_author] => [is_category] => [is_tag] => [is_tax] => [is_search] => [is_feed] => [is_comment_feed] => [is_trackback] => [is_home] => 1 [is_privacy_policy] => [is_404] => [is_embed] => [is_paged] => [is_admin] => [is_attachment] => [is_singular] => [is_robots] => [is_posts_page] => [is_post_type_archive] => [query_vars_hash:WP_Query:private] => 5c6fc56c2ca2901331d0a94dcb7d1e79 [query_vars_changed:WP_Query:private] => 1 [thumbnails_cached] => [stopwords:WP_Query:private] => [compat_fields:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => query_vars_hash [1] => query_vars_changed ) [compat_methods:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => init_query_flags [1] => parse_tax_query ) ) -->
Food Safety 101
Grilled Caesar Salad
Annoyances: People, Places & Things.
Zucchini Fries