Shall I Shallot?

What are they and how do we use them? Let’s check them out.

A shallot is a type of onion but is smaller, more elongated and milder flavored. The flavor has a slight garlic taste as well. The skins can be copper, reddish, or gray skinned. When cut into, rather than rings like an onion, it will have cloves like garlic. Usually there are 2-3 cloves but can have up to 6. They will be flat on one side and rounded on the other. A recipe may call for number of shallots or number of shallot cloves.

Shallots can be substituted for onion. Generally you can use three small shallots for every small onion called for. They cannot be substituted if it is supposed to be raw. Also take into consideration the slight taste of garlic when substituting and maybe cut back on amount of garlic.

Yard Work Can Be Your Workout

According to new research homeowners may have a new reason to get out and mow the lawn or pull those weeds. The new research shows that homeowners burn a substantial number of calories every year just by doing yard work and other home projects. Amid the pandemic, this might be a good way for some to work off weight put on during shelter-at-home mandates.

According to one report from Southwest News Service, on average, homeowners burn some eighty thousand calories—that’s right 80,000—every year by doing DIY projects and gardening.

A new study states that while many people don’t see lawn care as exercise a year’s worth of exercise could offset the caloric intake of eating over 300 Big Macs.

The study was conducted for Draper Tools by OnePoll and surveyed 2,000 homeowners. They spent 165 hours a year maintain or fixing up their homes.

As long as these activities are consistent, they can help people burn lots of extra calories in a year.

Mowing the lawn, 4,100 calories
Serious gardening (harvesting, weeding, spreading compost), 3,100 calories
Weeding, 6, 300 calories.

So put on those gardening gloves and that sun hat and get to work!

Debunking Iceberg Lettuce’s Bad Reputation

So what’s the beef with eating iceberg lettuce? Iceberg lettuce is very low in calories and high in Vitamin K. A few decades ago, it was just about the only lettuce people were eating. 3.2 ounces is about 12.5 calories. At this rate you can eat the whole head!

Many of us grew up with this being the lettuce to put on tacos. It’s just not the same with spinach leaves or other lettuces. If you ask for a burger without a bun in a lettuce wrap it would probably be iceberg lettuce. There’s also a wedge salad but you need to be aware of the extra calories the toppings are. They can range from 200-800 calories or even more depending on what you add to them.

Iceberg got it name from the way it was transported – on ice. It traveled very well this way.

Yes there is more nutrition in other lettuces but why not mix it up with this iceberg lettuce for a little change up to your salads. With it’s mild flavor it can adapt to many dressings without overpowering other ingredients.

What Are “Added Sugars”?

So what is the difference between sugar and added sugar? I’ve noticed food labels giving total sugar and added sugar listings lately and wondered what was up with that. According to the government site,, manufacturers had until January 1, 2020 to switch to the new label outlining sugars and added sugars. Smaller manufacturers have until January 1, 2021 to comply so you may not see it on all labels.

You will see a listing now of “Total Sugars” with a gram count and under it will say “includes [number]g Added Sugars” under it. In addition to these changes, the calories are in larger type and serving sizes are updated. This has been in the works since May 2016.

The old label was over 20 years old. Products such as honey and syrup will most likely not have “added sugars” per se, but you will see an added percentage of a daily total one serving is. Vitamin D will be added to the label but Vitamins A and C are not required to be on the labels any longer. Servings sizes may look different as well. For instance, if ice cream serving was previously 1/2 cup, it may show 1 cup now but the calories will reflect that change as well per serving.

Green Tomatoes

We are nearing the last harvest for summer fruits and vegetables. Tomato vines are loaded with green tomatoes that may not ripen. It’s time to enjoy tomatoes green!

Quick Fried Green Tomatoes

2 green tomatoes, sliced 1/2 to 1/3 inch thick

Prepare egg wash with one egg and 2 tablespoons of water

Mix panko bread crumbs with seasonings of choice.

Heat oil in skillet at medium-high heat.

Dip slices in egg wash then breading, then the skillet.

Cook about 2 minutes per side. Turn when edges begin to brown.

Remove slices and place on paper towel-lined plate.

Season with salt and pepper.

Serve with ranch dressing.

Fried Green Tomatoes

1 pound green tomatoes, sliced 1/2 inch thick

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup plain dry breadcrumbs

1/3 cup cornmeal

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Salt and black pepper

Generous sprinkling of white pepper

2 large eggs, beaten

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

In medium bowl, season flour with salt and black and white pepper. Mix well with fork. In a second bowl, place eggs and beat well. In third bowl, mix bread crumbs, cornmeal, and Parmesan cheese. Dredge tomato slices in seasoned flour. Dip them in egg, letting excess drip back into bowl. Press slices in the breadcrumb/cornmeal/Parmesan mixture. In large nonstick skillet, heat olive oil until it shimmers. Add tomato slices (single layer) and cook over medium-high heat, turning once, until golden and crisp (2 1/2 to 3 minutes per side). Transfer to paper towel-lined plate. Drizzle with favorite salad dressing.

Grilled Green Tomatoes

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

4 medium-size green tomatoes, cut into 1/4 inch slices

1 16-oz package fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced

Salt and pepper to taste

1/3 cup fresh basil, sliced thin

Combine first 5 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic freezer bag. Add tomatoes, seal, and shake gently to coat. Chill for one hour. Preheat grill to 350-400 degrees. Remove tomatoes from marinade, reserving marinade. Grill tomatoes, grill lid down, 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until tender and grill marks appear. Arrange alternating slices of tomato and mozzarella on a large shallow platter. Drizzle with reserved marinade. Salt and pepper to taste ans sprinkle with basil.