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January 2003 Issue
by Ronda L. Halpin
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    "Too much of a good thing can be wonderful."

    -Mae West

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2003 and the January issue of Seasoned Cooking. Isn't it funny how the New Year brings us many mixed goals and desires? We're often inspired to make changes and get active ... and yet, many of us find snow and ice at our doors that are less than inspiring to say the least! We're looking to bring healthy foods to the table after a couple of months of rich, fatty party foods. But, let's face it; a salad just isn't going to cut in when Old Man Winter's spending so much time with us. So, how do you get your comfort food without having to spend too much time at the gym? Maybe we can help out with some recipes that taste of comfort and warmth ... and take advantage of some healthy substitutions and the like.

We begin with one of my favorite pared-down recipes. When you think of comfort food, it's probably not too long before ribs come to mind. But, ribs are, frankly, stick-to-your-ribs (and waistline) food. How can you still enjoy them? I opt for leaner boneless cuts from the loin that are trimmed carefully. Of course, that can result in a dry, tasteless meal ... unless you choose a cooking method that maintains moisture and a seasoning method that emphasizes flavor. Enter your crockpot and a simple glaze featuring cranberries! For more on that, check out the Rush Hour column.

If you're looking for something a little less meaty, take a gander at Phil's International Flair. He's sharing a meatless pasta dish that comes straight from Grandma's kitchen. The photos alone in this column should be enough to have you trying his authentic recipe for Fideo. And, if that's not enough for you, visit Victoria's Vegetarian Victuals for a collection of eight truly satisfying soups, stews and chowders. Perfect for lunch or dinner, most of these recipes only require the addition of some crusty bread to make a meal.

Of course, your sweet tooth might also be calling to you this month. Never fear, we've got you covered. If it's a morning inspiration, try one of the tasty muffin recipes in the Rise 'n Shine column. Featuring the super combination of cranberries and citrus, they're bound to become regulars at your home -- which is fine because they're good for you too! While perhaps not quite as good for you, the Grasshopper Parfaits featured in the Happy Endings column are made with low and no fat ingredients and, because they pack an intense flavor, a little goes a long way! Enjoy them and here's to a month that can bring good health and the best of comfort foods.

That's just a hint of what we're bringing you in this month's issue. May the New Year bring you many wonderful adventures in the kitchen and beyond. Enjoy and here's to a seasoned lifestyle.

    Ronda L. Halpin

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