Mar 3, 2008

How to Host a Cinco de Mayo Party

by Natalie Mitts

Cinco de Mayo was named such because of the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. The Mexicans were able to hold off the French from taking over. Now Cinco de Mayo is a popular holiday in the United States to honor Mexican culture.

This year, celebrate Cinco de Mayo with friends or a Family Home Evening group (it's on a Monday). Make festive invitations and encourage everyone to dress Mexican-style (sombreros permitted).

Make some easy guacamole: combine 1 can of salsa (12 ounces), 4-5 medium avocados (mashed), 1 tablespoon lemon juice and a pinch of salt.

For queso, heat 1 block (16 ounces) pasteurized cheese and 1 can (10 ounces) diced tomatoes and chiles over low-medium heat. This can be heated in a microwave, slow cooker or on the stove. Stir frequently to prevent the cheese from sticking to the bottom. Add 1 pound ground beef (cooked) if desired.

Try out Chef John's Chiles Rellenos with Grilled Chicken and Cheese, found under Recipe of the Month on the contents page. Other menu ideas include chicken with mole sauce, enchiladas, nachos, quesadillas, rice, tacos, tamales or tostadas. Drink some horchata and finish off with a piece of Tres Leche Cake.

As for decorations, any kind of bright colors will work. To play up the Mexican theme, buy miniature Mexican flags at the BYU bookstore for $1.95 each. Use the flag colors of red, white and green throughout the room with crepe paper, cups, plates or even the food.

Mexican music is a must. Buy a Mexican CD, check out a local Spanish-speaking radio station or even go all out with a live mariachi band. Impress friends by watching instructional dancing videos beforehand and having fun imitating the Mexican dancing style.

End the night with a piñata. Find one at a grocery store or Mexican food store and fill with candy. Each person takes a swing at the piñata and all get to bring home candy.

Warning: Making a piñata bearing the face of a fellow student may necessitate a visit to the principal's office, as Pedro learned in "Napoleon Dynamite."

Breakfast Best Bets

by Natalie Mitts

We all know the best start to any healthy day is a good breakfast. Yet so many people go without. People often skip meals during the day and end up making up the calories in the evening. A recent study printed in "Metabolism" intended to find out what can happen as a result of skipping meals. The subjects, healthy 40-something men and women, ate three meals a day for two months. For the next two months they ate one meal a day. During the one-meal-a-day period, the subjects showed symptoms that could eventually lead to diabetes. So instead of risking long-term metabolic problems, make time for breakfast.

Here are some great locations that offer breakfast for BYU students on the go, no matter the size of the appetite.

Cannon Center: For an all-you-can-eat breakfast, the Cannon Center is the place. Load up on a variety of cereal or try a hot breakfast. The menu changes daily, but some common items include biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs, oatmeal, scones, hash browns, French toast or even breakfast burritos. Additional sides include muffins, doughnuts, bacon and fresh fruit. There are also machines available to make Belgian waffles.
            Fall-Winter Breakfast Hours: 6:30 to10 a.m. Mon-Fri, 7 to 10 a.m. Sat
            Spring/Summer Breakfast Hours:  6 to 9 a.m. Mon-Fri, Sat

Cosmo's Connection: This mini grocery store inside the Cannon Center has some great bagel sandwiches. It's also a quick stop for boxed cereal, granola bars, milk, yogurt, fruit, juice and bagels to go.
            Fall-Winter Breakfast Hours: 7 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Mon-Fri, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sat
           Spring/Summer Breakfast Hours: 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mon-Thu, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fri, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sat

Cougar Express: This store, located in the Cougareat, is a great stop after class in the Wilkinson Student Center. Available items include juice, fresh fruit, yogurt, bagels and bagel sandwiches.
            Fall-Winter Breakfast Hours: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mon-Sat
            Spring/Summer Breakfast Hours: 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Mon-Fri, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sat

Creamery on Ninth East: For those living in Heritage Halls, or the East side of campus, the Creamery is a great stop. It's a full-service grocery store with almost every kind of breakfast item imaginable. Pick up some fruit, cereal, juice, milk, bagels, granola bars, yogurt or frozen waffles for later.
            Fall-Winter Breakfast Hours: 7 a.m. to midnight. Mon-Sat
            Spring/Summer Breakfast Hours: 7 a.m. to midnight. Mon-Sat

Jamba Juice: Visit the original BYU location in the WSC or check out the new location in the Student Athlete Building, near Legends Grille. The smoothies are delicious and they are now offering breakfast smoothies topped with granola. Add a boost for extra energy throughout the day. Jamba also offers some energy-packed breads.
            Fall-Winter Breakfast Hours: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mon-Fri, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sat
            Spring/Summer Breakfast Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mon-Fri, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sat

L & T: Everyone's favorite soup and salad place is now offering breakfast sandwiches, breakfast pockets, breakfast wraps and hot cereal.
            Fall-Winter Breakfast Hours: 8 to 10:30 a.m. Mon-Fri

Legends Grille: For the more serious breakfast eater, Legends Grille has filling food to start the day. Enjoy an omelet (pictured here) or breakfast pizza. For sides, try out some hash browns, bacon, sausage, eggs or fruit.
            Fall-Winter Breakfast Hours: 7 to 10:45 a.m. Mon-Fri
            Spring/Summer Breakfast Hours: 8 to 10:45 a.m. Mon-Fri

Scoreboard Grill: Stop by the Cougareat for some hot breakfast from Scoreboard Grill, featuring pancakes, waffles, French toast, English muffins, eggs, bacon and toast.
            Fall-Winter Breakfast Hours: 7 to 10:30 a.m. Mon-Fri
            Spring/Summer Breakfast Hours: 8 to 10:30 a.m. Mon-Fri

Sugar and Spice: This bakery, located in the Cougareat, sells freshly baked bread, cinnamon rolls, doughnuts, hot chocolate and assorted pastries.
            Fall-Winter Breakfast Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mon-Fri, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday
            Spring/Summer Breakfast Hours: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mon-Fri

Taco Bell Express: This Mexican original has some great twists on traditional breakfast. Try out the breakfast quesadilla with egg, cheese and sauce or the egg and cheese burrito with steak and green sauce. They even have a breakfast chalupa with eggs, potatoes, sour cream and cheese.
           Fall/Winter Breakfast Hours: 8 to 10 a.m. Mon-Fri

Tomassito's: Try out some breakfast calzones, biscuits and gravy, breakfast burritos, muffins, breakfast sandwiches, eggs or hash browns at this stop in the Cougareat.
            Fall-Winter Breakfast Hours: 8 to 10:30 a.m. Mon-Fri

Twilight Zone: Located inside the BYU Bookstore, the Twilight Zone is right on the path to class for many students. Pick up a hot bagel sandwich with eggs and grab some juice or milk from the cooler. There are a variety of other quick snacks available, including bagels.
            Fall-Winter Breakfast Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mon & Fri, 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Tue-Thu, 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sat
            Spring/Summer Breakfast Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mon & Fri, 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tue-Thu, 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sat           
Vending: With locations all over campus, BYU Vending provides a great selection of breakfast options - bagels with cream cheese, muffins, pastries, yogurt (spoon included), fresh fruit (apples, bananas, oranges), milk, juice and fruit cups. Visit the Testing Center, Carl F. Eyring Science Center, John A. Widtsoe Building or Spencer W. Kimball Tower for some of the largest collections of vending machines.
            Fall-Winter Breakfast Hours: Whenever buildings are open
            Spring/Summer Breakfast Hours: Whenever buildings are open

Orville & Wilbur's

by Natalie Mitts

One of BYU's lesser-known restaurants is Orville and Wilbur's. Located in the basement of the Wilkinson Student Center, inside the Games Center, Orville and Wilbur's offers buffalo wings, chicken sandwiches, hamburgers, hot dogs, nachos and fries, although items are not listed under those names.

Students can fill up on Landing Strips (chicken tenders) and Kitty Hawk Sandwiches with a tall glass of Fuel (fountain drink).

The restaurant is named after flying inventors Orville and Wilbur Wright who lived in Kitty Hawk, N.C.

While you're there, bowl a few games or enjoy the arcade. There are the traditional games like pinball and Skeeball or modern games like Pump It Up dance and Virtua Tennis.

Orville and Wilbur's is open Monday - Friday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturdays from noon to 11:30 p.m. The restaurant is closed on Sundays. Orville and Wilbur's accepts Dining Plus, cash, credit cards or signature card. Visit for more information.

Mar 1, 2008

Utensil Pot Clip

It's about time that someone came up with an invention to solve a common cooking dilemma: what to do with a sticky spoon? If you leave it in the pot, it may melt or interfere with cooking. If you place it on a plate or countertop, you've got to clean up that spot later on. And if you rest the spoon on a pasta box, the cardboard gets soggy and may stick to the spoon. The answer is simple: buy a utensil pot clip made by Trudeau™. These nifty gadgets clip on the side of a pot. Insert a spoon through the hole and it will hang above the pot, free from melting or dirtying an area. The silicone feet and handles on these clips prevent melting or overheating. Any excess liquid drips right back in to the pot. Best of all, you never forget where you put that spoon. These helpful tools can be found in a variety of colors: pink, red, yellow, blue, green or black. Check them out at Sur La Table at the Gateway in Salt Lake City, or look online. They run for about $7, but will definitely be worth it in the long run.

Honey Barbecued Chicken

Honey Barbecued Chicken
4 Servings

8 chicken drumsticks
1 onion, minced
8 tablespoons tomato ketchup
4 tablespoons clear honey
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 garlic clo
ve, crushed         

Combine onion, ketchup, honey, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and garlic clove together and reserve for basting chicken while cooking. Heat your grill up to a medium-low heat and begin by grilling chicken and basting the chicken periodically with the honey barbeque sauce.  When juices run clear, baste with sauce and remove from grill for service.

Savory Turkey Sandwich

Where: Marketplace Café

What: Savory Turkey Sandwich

Price: $3.99

Smoked turkey, onion chive cream cheese, cucumbers, tomatoes and alfalfa sprouts on a bagel of your choice

This tasty sandwich comes on a bagel of your choice (we suggest the Asiago cheese variety). The turkey and cream cheese are smooth while the sprouts and cucumbers provide just the right amount of crunch. It's packed with vegetables so you won't feel guilty for indulging, but it's still filling and delicious. With such a low price, take advantage of this awesome deal.

Storing Leftovers

It's important to store leftovers in the proper manner. First of all, make sure you have sturdy airtight containers and do not leave anything in an opened tin can, even with foil or plastic wrap on top. Bacteria can still enter cans because they are not completely sealed. Using airtight containers will keep you from unnecessary spills in the fridge and will help food to taste good days later. Next, the USDA and FDA recommend storing food within two hours. There is no need to wait until hot food cools since that can allow bacteria to grow. The "Danger Zone" for bacteria growth is between 40°F and 140°F. However, is a good idea to separate large amounts of food into smaller, shallow containers to help food cool more rapidly in the fridge. If you have the space, avoid stacking containers or placing them too close together because this can also slow down the cooling process. Make sure that the thermometer in your fridge is set at 40°F and the freezer is at 0°F. Use an additional thermometer if you are not sure the one inside the fridge or freezer is accurate. Date all leftovers and do not use them after four days. Liquids should not be used after two days. If food smells funny or is discolored, throw it out. When reheating, cook food to an internal temperature of 165°F, or at least two minutes in the microwave. Never let food thaw at room temperature; always use the fridge, microwave or cold water to cool down food.

Braised Beef Short Ribs

Braised Beef Short Ribs
6 Servings
5 pounds beef short ribs, cut into 1-rib pieces if necessary
1 cup all-purpose flour seasoned with salt and pepper for dredging
1/4 cup rendered bacon fat
4 garlic cloves, chopped
6 small onions (about 1 pound total), unpeeled but chopped
6 carrots, sliced
1 sprig fresh rosemary
3 cans beef broth           
Preheat o
ven to 350° F. Dredge ribs in flour, knocking off excess. Heat bacon fat in a 6-quart heavy ovenproof pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and brown short ribs in batches (in a single layer without crowding). Transfer short ribs as browned with tongs to a large plate. Pour off all but about 2 tablespoons bacon fat remaining in kettle and in it cook garlic, onions, carrots and rosemary with salt and pepper to taste over moderate heat, stirring, until browned lightly. Add broth to vegetable mixture and bring to a boil, stirring. Return ribs to kettle, squeezing them to fit in a single layer, if possible, and cover pan with a lid. Braise ribs in oven until tender, about 2 hours. Transfer ribs with tongs to a platter and keep warm. Pour cooking liquid through a fine China Cap set (mesh strainer) over a saucepan, discarding solids, and skim fat. If necessary, boil liquid to thicken it slightly, and spoon sauce over ribs.