Recipes Blog • Sudbury, MA

Bacon & Leek Pasta (courtesy of Food Network)

Bacon Leek Pasta from the Food Network
Bacon Leek Pasta from the Food Network

“I made this tonight, and even the kids ate it!  Great colors, so appetizing… the leeks added great flavor and texture, and who doesn’t love bacon!” – Jenn L.

Ingredients

12 oz. mezzi rigatoni (or other short pasta)

5 slices (or more!) thick bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1 bunch leeks – white and light green parts only; halved lengthwise, thinly sliced, rinsed very well

3/4 cup heavy cream

1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping

Chopped fresh parsley for topping

Salt and pepper

Directions

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil (I add a drizzle of EVOO to the water so the pasta doesn’t stick together).  Add the pasta and cook according to the label.  Reserve 1 cup of cooking water; drain pasta.

Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 8 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels; pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the drippings from the skillet.

Add the leeks to the drippings in the skillet. Season with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the heavy cream and cook until it begins to thicken, about 2 minutes.  Then add the grated parmesan and stir.

Add the pasta to the skillet along with half of the bacon and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; toss to coat, adding enough of the reserved pasta cooking water to loosen. To serve, top with the remaining bacon, more parmesan and parsley.  Enjoy!

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Local Recipe of the Week From Twisted Frozen Yogurt, Sudbury

Chicken Scarapiello recipesChicken Scarapiello

It feels like a game of chicken (and sausage) lately – so let’s try the Chicken Scarpariello – This is the classic Chicken and Sausage dish.  There are many ways to make this – so it is about being creative….remember – as long as you have the basics down – you can make it your own by improvising seasonings etc.  Try this one – it is easy and very good. For this you need:

Chicken pieces on the bone!  Legs and thighs are always best – the dark meat is tender, juicy and moist.  Sweet Italian Sausage (you can use hot sausage if you prefer), sweet cherry peppers (you can substitute hot if you  like), potatoes,  garlic, olive oil,  s&p, Italian Herb seasoning, red wine vinegar, white wine, Chicken stock and cut Italian Parsley.

Preheat the Grill

Preheat oven to 475 degrees  – In a roasting pan – add in the potatoes (you can slice them, qtr them, cube them – your call)  – season with s&p and some of the Italian herb seasoning,  drizzle some olive oil and a bit of chicken stock – toss and roast for 25/35 mins….stirring occasionally ..remove.

Wash the chicken and dry with a paper towel.  Season with s&p and the Italian herb seasoning.

On Med – hi  – Heat some olive oil in a large frying pan.  When hot – add the chicken pieces  skin side down – do not crowd…Cook the chicken until golden brown – careful not to keep turning the pieces – the trick is to let them brown nicely before turning….You should be thinking maybe 4/5 mins before turning….(but watch – as you do not want it to burn). When browned – remove the chicken and place in the roasting pan with the potatoes arranging nicely.  –

Next place the sausages on the grill – the trick is to just get the grilled flavor….stay close so that they do not burn….turning as they cook.  When done – remove and slice into bite size pieces.  Add to the roasting pan.

Now – add the chopped garlic to the frying pan and sauté until golden – do not burn. Next add in the sweet cherry peppers – you can cut these in half and remove the seeds.   Sauté.  Now add in about ¼ cup of the red wine vinegar – allow it to come to a boil – scrape the sides of the pan to release any of the browned bits.  When the vinegar is reduced by half – add in the dry white wine – not chardonnay – maybe like ½ cup or so….bring to a boil and then reduce by half.  (no longer than 4 mins max).  (if you want a thick sauce – then feel free to add some flour to thicken it up – I do not think you need it – but that is the beauty of cooking – you choose).

Now the chicken stock – about 1 full cup – once it comes to a boil – remove from the heat and pour the whole thing into the roasting pan with the chicken, sausages and potatoes.   – Place back in the oven and roast – as it is roasting the sauce and all of the parts will blend nicely.  You should only need to keep it in the oven for 15/20 mins…..  Remove from the oven – toss in the chopped parsley and serve.

This makes a great dish for a summer cookout.  Easy to make a lot of it and  present it family style on a nice platter – accompany with a large mixed salad and you are good to go.

Buon Appetito.

Sports Equipment Trading • Sudbury, MA

Let’s PLAY WITH IT AGAIN

Play WITH it again1Meet-Up at T-wisted in Sudbury to Exchange your Used Sporting Equipment, post it below…

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Jen • Non-Toxic Mama • Sudbury, MA

Jen Ava Anderson Products Sudbury MAHey guys I’m Jen a Sudbury mom to three beautiful kiddos who are being raised as organic and non-toxic as possible.  I’ll explain the details some other time but long story short…one of the kids got really sick and once toxins were eliminated from our lives that child got really well.  We eliminated toxins from our food (Organic), water (purified), air (filtered – inside the house…can’t do much about outside) and eliminated toxins from the mac-daddy of all toxic exposure – our personal care products.

Did you know that your personal care products are a large source of toxic exposure?   Honestly I had no clue and never questioned my products until my kid was sick.  These are not just ingredients that may cause a little rash…these are really dangerous chemicals that have been scientifically linked to Cancer, diabetes, Autism, ADD, ADHD, infertility and endocrine disruption (think thyroid, adrenal and hormonal issues).   Bad stuff man!

At the bottom of this page is the “top 18” list of chemicals to avoid in your products (i.e. shampoo, conditioner, moisturizer, sunscreen, makeup, deodorant etc.).  I bet that if you went through your products and threw out anything that contained one of these chemicals you wouldn’t be left with much (unless you were aware of this issue already).

After years of making my own products using mostly organic coconut oil, baking soda, vinegar, lemon, and pure castile soap…I finally found a full-line of pure organic products (you could eat this stuff…and I have).  It’s called Ava Anderson Non-Toxic and you can learn more and buy these amazing and safe products by going to www.avaandersonnontoxic.com/jenbarsamian.

Also if you want to check out the safety and toxicity of your current products go to www.ewg.org/skindeep.  This is a database of over 74,000 personal care products, run by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and their purpose is to allow consumers to make informed decisions on the products they buy.

EWG says “When you know what’s in the products you bring into your home and how those chemicals may affect your health and the environment, you can make informed purchasing decisions — and help transform the marketplace.”

So without further ado…Ava Anderson Non-Toxic’s top 15 chemicals to avoid!!

1. FRAGRANCE – chemical concoctions that are not required to be listed on the label, because manufacturers can legally hide hundreds of ingredients in “fragrance” or “parfum” – it is called a “trade secret” in the industry. More than 75% of the time if you have fragrance, you have legally hidden phthalates (THAL ates) which are a known endocrine disruptors, and are linked with birth defects, breast cancer, infertility, liver, cancer, diabetes, obesity, and now with autism and ADHD in first and third trimesters of pregnancy by Dr. Philip Landrigan, Mt Sinai, Children’s Environmental Health Center.

2. PARABENS – known endocrine disruptors. Preservative has caused many allergic reactions and skin rashes. Methylparaben combines benzoic acid with the methyl group of chemicals, and is highly toxic. Studies have linked these endocrine disruptors, which mimic estrogen, with breast cancer. While more conclusive studies need to be done, we recommend avoiding all parabens. A study by physicians at Pacific in Cat university of Chicago (Sept, 2011) linked BPA and methylplaraben with breast cancer, and also showed that the combination rendered tamoxifin ineffective.

3. TRICLOSAN – is the active ingredient in “anti bacterial” products, is registered with the government as a pesticide, and is a known endocrine disruptor. Triclosan (and its chemical cousin triclocarbon) is believed to disrupt thyroid function and contribute to liver and inhalation toxicity.

4. OXYBENZONE and OCTINOXATE – (and other chemical sunscreen “active ingredients”) are UV ray filters that are also known endocrine disruptors.

5. PETROLATUM & PETROLEUM INGREDIENTS – endocrine disruptors and carcinogens.

**Important note – ALL SIX OF THE ABOVE ARE “ENDOCRINE DISRUPTORS?” Many products that you use daily have one or more endocrine disruptors, and some will have multiples! They are important to avoid, because the endocrine system regulates ALL biological processes in the body – development of the brain and nervous system, growth and function of the reproduction system, metabolism and blood sugar levels, ovaries, testes, pituitary, thyroid and the adrenal glands. (Natural News)

The World Health Organization and the UN recently released a report that called endocrine disruptors a “Global Threat.” Small amounts of endocrine disruptors matter, especially to the developing fetus.

6. PEG’s – (polyethylene glycol) – are petroleum byproducts. During manufacturing process carcinogenic contamination is created – 1,4 dioxane – which is a known human carcinogen, with liver and kidney effects.

7. SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) are detergents that create suds or foam. Both are considered carcinogens and SLES is sometimes contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which is considered carcinogenic by the FDA. You will never see 1,4 dioxane on your label, as companies are also not required to list contaminants.

8. INGREDIENTS THAT END IN “-eth” like ceteareth, triceteareth, etc. Also carry the contamination concern for 1,4 dioxane.

**Important NOTE – all THREE of the above ingredients carry carcinogenic contaminant concerns created during manufacturing for 1,4 DIOXANE. The government allows 10 ppm (parts per million) in any one product, but no one is testing. 1,4 dioxane can be stripped for pennies, and must be done for any product exported to EU – don’t we deserve the same in US?

9. RETINYL PALMITATE – the FDA released a report that states in studies, retinyl palmitate, in the presence of sunlight, enhances skin cancer lesions by 21%.

10. NANOPARTICLES – it is important to note that most manufacturers of mineral sunscreens are using nanoparticles of zinc and titanium. Nanoparticles can cross the cell barrier and drive into organs, including the brain in humans. There is no way of knowing what size particle they are using unless they tell you. In EU manufacturers must list nanoparticles on the label, not in US.

11. ALUMINUM and metals – these are bio-accumulative, meaning they store in your fat cells and accumulate, and are very hard to get rid of. Many deodorants contain aluminum as an active ingredient.

12. DIETHANOLOMINE (DEA) and COCAMIDE DEA, LAURAMIDE DEA – DEA reacts with other ingredients to become the extremely carcinogenic nitrosodiethanolamine. Beware of other ethanolamines like triethanolamine (TEA) and monoethamolamine (MEA).

13. FORMALDEHYDE RELEASERS – DIAZOLIDINYL UREA, DMDM, HYDANTOIN, QUATERNIUM – found in most personal care products, formaldehyde can cause allergic reactions, dermatitis, joint pains and headaches, cancer and immune dysfunction.

14. SYNTHETIC COLOR/DYES – made from coal tar, which is a mixture of many chemicals, derived from petroleum. Coal tar is recognized as a human carcinogen. As well, these colors may be contaminated with low levels of heavy metals and some are combined with aluminum substrate. Aluminum compounds and many heavy metals are toxic to the brain. ie. FD&C Blue 1, Green 3, Yellow 5 & 6, Red 33.

15. GLYCOL – (propylene, butylenes, etc) a synthetic petrochemical mix that has been known to cause allergic and toxic reactions, and has been linked to cancer, developmental/reproductive issues, neurotoxicity and endocrine disruption.

16. MINERAL OIL – a petroleum ingredient that coats the skin like plastic wrap, disrupting the natural immune barrier, inhibiting its ability to breathe and absorb natural moisture and nutrition, and its abilityto release toxins, which can promote acne and other disorders. The process slows down skin function and normal cell development causing premature aging.

17. TALC – belonging to the same family as asbestos, talc is dangerous to inhale and has been linked to ovarian cancer.

18. SILOXANES – cyclomethicone and ingredients ending in “siloxane” (e.g., cyclopentasiloxane) are toxic, persistent, and have the potential to bioaccumulate. The EU classifies some as endocrine disruptors and possible reproductive toxicant that may impair fertility. Research shows some to cause uterine tumors and harm to the reproductive and immune systems. Some siloxanes can also influence neurotransmitters in the nervous system. Cyclomethicone is a mixture of three siloxanes.

Jen photo

You can email me at…

sudburyscrapper@yahoo.com

Go to www.avaandersonnontoxic.com/jenbarsamian for more information or to buy clean, safe, non-toxic products.