Monday, February 20, 2012

Holidays and Notable Events: Presidents Day


This U.S. holiday is designated as "Washington's Birthday" in section 6103(a) of title 5 of the United States Code, which is the law that specifies holidays for Federal employees.  It specifically honors George Washington, the first President of the United States.

The holiday was celebrated on Washington's actual birthday, February 22, from 1796 to 1970.

On January 1, 1971, the federal holiday was shifted to the third Monday in February by the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, placing it between February 15 and 21 and never on Washington's actual birthday.

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George Washington Portrait



Sunday, February 19, 2012

Tips from the Farm Kitchen: Reheating Frozen Foods


It is not necessary to thaw foods before reheating, though you may safely do so (in the refrigerator, not at room temperature) if you wish. If you do thaw foods, decrease the reheating time accordingly.

Here are some reheating guidelines:

  • 325°-350° is a good oven heat for reheating 
  • a covered pot on a medium-low burner is a good rule for stovetop reheating
  • 70% power is a good setting for microwave reheating 

Continued at... Reheating Frozen Foods

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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Recipe File: Cajun Guacamole


Now being prepared in the Farm Kitchen:
Cajun Guacamole

1 cup finely diced red bell pepper
4 ripe, fresh California Avocados
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 cup small cherry tomatoes (cut in halves or quarters, if large)
½ cup thinly sliced green onion
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp. chopped, fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 of that amount of dried thyme
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper

Set aside a small amount of the diced red peppers for garnish.

Coarsely mash (do not puree) avocados; stir in lemon juice.

Fold in remaining ingredients.

Top with reserved tomatoes and serve.

Place in a bowl in the center of a serving plate and surround with celery stalks and cooked shrimp for dipping.

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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Home Grown: Organic Production Guides


Free organic production guides are now available for farmers.

The guides provide information on how to produce certified organic apples, blueberries, grapes, lettuce, potatoes, spinach, strawberries and cole crops, including cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. There is also a guide on management of dairy cattle  pests using organic integrated pest management (IPM) methods.

The guides offer clear, research-based information to help farmers interested in transitioning from conventional to organic production.

Continued at... Organic Production Guides




Sunday, February 5, 2012

Tips from the Farm Kitchen: Cupcakes


Buy an oven thermometer and check to see if your oven is baking at the correct temperature.

Place the oven rack in the center position.

Preheat the oven for 10 to 15 minutes before baking.

Read the recipe before beginning. Make sure you have the right pan size. Regular cupcakes and muffins go in 2½- to 2¾-inch cups.

Continued at... Cupcake Tips

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Cupcakes From the Cake Mix Doctor