Mar 1, 2010

Sugar n' Spice

by Ellen Wilson

Sugar n' Spice has something for every moment of the day.

Home of BYU tradition, Sugar n' Spice produces the mint brownies and rice crispy bars that generations of BYU graduates salivate for while reminiscing over their college years. For those still on campus, Sugar n' Spice is the place to stop multiple times during the day, for multiple reasons. First, at breakfast, have a Danish, cinnamon roll or donut with hot chocolate, juice or milk. Café sandwiches are available at lunch.  Choose between turkey, ham or club sandwiches on either wheat or white bread.  If you just need a light lunch, get a mini loaf of bread with honey butter. Oh my. Fresh, warm bread is sometimes all you could ever want.  If you have a heartier appetite, have that bread with a cup of soup, a drink from their old-fashioned fountain, and a cookie.

Although I don't recommend it for breakfast, the ice cream is available all day.  Choose from twelve different BYU Creamery flavors and a wide variety of toppings.

Hours :
Monday - Friday 7:30am - 9pm
Saturday 8am - 9pm 

St. Patrick's Day Party

by Ellen Wilson

Host a party for the best holiday of the year.

Although not an official holiday, the St. Patrick season is nestled in March between Christmas and, well, Thanksgiving.  With our biggest holidays months away, a festive St. Patty's party is the cure for the mid-winter blues.

Since I feel quite serious about this holiday, I will first outline the basics of how you can, or should, celebrate and then suggest a few detailed, themed parties.

First on the list is green.  If you're just serving snacks and drinks, make sure to at least dye half of them green, if not all.  And although Dr. Seuss' birthday is on March 2nd, I'm sure he won't mind if you make green eggs and ham on the 17th as well.

While traditional décor calls for shamrocks, leprechauns, rainbows and green crepe paper, stay classy with a few floral arrangements.  You can either use naturally green plants or try our Kitchen Craft for Coloring Flowers to make green carnations, daisies or roses.
For a dinner party, your Irish menu should consist of some of the following:
  • Corned beef and cabbage
  • Irish stew
  • Irish soda bread
  • Colcannon (potatoes mashed with cabbage and leeks)
  • Shepherd's pie
There are other great Irish dishes, but those are the classics.  If you want an all green party, food coloring is the answer. Here are suggestions for snack food that is either naturally or artificially green:
  • Guacamole and chips
  • Green M&M's
  • Cupcakes, cake or cookies, either dyed green or with green icing
  • Jell-O squares or shamrocks
  • Green veggie dip with bell peppers, broccoli, and celery
Those are just a few options, but remember that almost any dessert or snack you can think of can probably either be made green or you can find a St. Patrick's Day green version.
St. Patrick's Day Theme Parties:

At the End of the Rainbow: This is the most labor-intensive party plan, but if you need to entertain children, this is a no-fail solution.  Using cheap metal or plastic buckets, use gold spray paint to make a pot'o'gold for each child.  Pack each bucket with lunch and chocolate coins for dessert. If it's a nice day, a nature walk is your activity.  Make sure to plant some evidence that some leprechauns have been in the area.  For rainy days, play "Pin the Hat on the Leprechaun," "Hot Potato," or make a St. Patrick's Day craft.

Kiss me, I'm Irish: For a laidback evening, give everyone 15 minutes to come up with their own original limerick (if you don't remember, a limerick has stanzas of five lines each.  The rhyme scheme is strict: AABBA). After everyone reads theirs outloud, award the winner with a prize of your choice.  Then relax and pop in an Irish film, such as Finian's Rainbow or Waking Ned Devine. 

Lucky you, lucky me: The premise is that everyone has to bring some article that brings him/her luck.  Items you're sure to see are shamrocks, horseshoes, dirty socks, and maybe a rabbit foot or too. Other than those, it should be interesting to see what item your neighbor always takes to the testing center. Award the winner with a wishbone or other lucky object.

Go Green: Be environmentally friendly.  Have recycle bins and don't use Styrofoam, paper plates, or plastic silverware.

Feel free to mix and match! Happy St. Patrick's Day!


Salad Toppings


by Ellen Wilson

Turn your side salad into a full meal.
As soon as the weather starts getting warmer, I look forward to crispy summer salads.  But, since we are in Utah, it's likely we have a few more flurries heading our way before we can relax on the green grass.  But just because the air is still frigid doesn't mean we can't have a hearty salad for lunch or dinner.  Turn your side salad into a meal by taking a look at your leftovers.

Proteins: Cook a little extra protein one day and add it to your salad the next.  Great choices are chicken, ground beef or turkey, crumbled soy burgers, tofu, or a hardboiled egg.  For items you don't have to prepare, try chopping up lunch meat or opening a can of tuna. Nuts also add protein with a bit of a crunch.  Traditional nuts are almonds, pecans, walnuts, or pine nuts.

Beans: Kidney beans are a must on salads.  Open, drain, and rinse a can to use for one big salad or multiple salads throughout the week.  Other good choices are cannelloni or other small white beans. Do you have a southwestern palate? Black beans should be your first choice, if so.

Grains: Toss your leftover orzo, penne, tortellini or other pasta into your salad. Rice or couscous is also another filling option that you may already have made.  If you don't have any croutons, cube a slice of thick, crusty bread and add as the final ingredient.

Fruit: Although I am not positive about bananas, almost every other fruit you can imagine is delicious as a salad topper. Slice apples, pears, strawberries, and mango or top your lettuce off with blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and orange segments. If you don't have any fresh fruit, canned or dried fruit can easily be kept on hand for a sweeter salad.  Try mandarin oranges and pineapple chunks or dried fruits, such as cherries, cranberries, or raisins.

Vegetables: I won't even attempt to give a full list of vegetables you can add to your salad but some of our favorites are cucumber, bell peppers, fresh spinach, peas, asparagus, radishes, artichoke hearts, carrots, corn, avocado, celery, tomatoes, mushrooms, water chestnuts, olives, pickled beets, broccoli, zucchini, and onions.  Sorry, I have a lot of favorites. Chop up fresh vegetables, or if you have time, grill a few for a warm salad.

Dairy: The only cheese that must be eliminated from this list is cream cheese. Other than that, shredded cheeses, like cheddar, Swiss, Colby,  or Monterey Jack, immediately make your salad more filling. If you're feeling fancy, crumble feta, bleu, or gorgonzola cheese over the top.

Breakfast On-The-Go

by Ellen Wilson

Studies have shown that breakfast is a critical meal for a healthy diet.  Not only have there been links between obesity and those who skip breakfast, but who wants to start the day out on an empty stomach? 

Since everyone's schedule is packed to the minute, MIX! wants to help out with a few quick, healthy and homemade breakfast ideas.  Ditch the sugary Pop-tarts and spend an hour or two in the kitchen on Saturday preparing week's worth of yummy breakfasts.

If you have 5 minutes in the morning to prepare something, see our suggestions for breakfast in a cup. Otherwise, keep your breakfast in-hand with items you can grab-‘n-go!

Stick It In A Cup:

A big cup can hold a wide variety of breakfasts.  Stick with the basics and fill it with instant oatmeal, yogurt and granola, or cereal and milk.

If you just can't start the day without a little sugar, mix one serving of Malt-o-Meal with a package of hot cocoa.  It's warm, filling, and feels like you just had dessert for breakfast.

Just Use Your Hands (and a napkin):
The trick to eating on the go is as simple as a napkin. Or maybe two or three napkins.  Either wrap your food in the napkin or use it for cleaning your hands later.
Traditional handheld options are muffins, bagels, scones, toast, granola bars, hardboiled eggs, apples, pears, peaches, and bananas.

Muffins are a healthy option to make ahead of time. Try zucchini, banana, or apple bran muffins for a heartier breakfast.  After you make a batch, let them cool to room temperature, wrap them each in plastic wrap and then collectively in either aluminum foil or a freezer bag.  They'll keep for several weeks and you can either stick them on the counter the night before or defrost them in the microwave in the morning.

Similar to muffins are another quick breakfast: egg muffins. Egg muffins are little omelets made in muffin tins.  Fill paper-lined muffin tins with whatever extras you'd like, such as bell peppers, onions, ham, cheese, etc. Mix 8-12 eggs (depending on how many muffins you're making) and pour into the muffin tin. Each section should be about 2/3 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. After removing them from the oven, let them come to room temperature before storing. They will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator.

Next time you make too many pancakes, freeze them! Once again, let them come to room temperature before packing them in the freezer in a big freezer bag.  Just pop them in the toaster in the morning and if you have time, sit down for a few minutes and enjoy them with syrup.  If you don't have time for that, you have two options.  You can either spread jam, honey, or Nutella on top and then roll them up or you can make a slit in the side (like a pita pocket) and fill that with your favorite fruit or syrup.

Already Out The Door:
If you are already two blocks away, the fastest breakfasts on campus can be found in the Wilkinson Student Center. Cosmo's Connection has great bagel sandwiches, cereal, granola bars, yogurt, bagels, juice, and other on-the-go items. Besides smoothies, Jamba Juice serves a heaping serving of steel-cut oatmeal with fruit toppings or a brown sugar crumble. For other breakfast suggestions, see our Breakfast Best Bets article.

Popsicle Mold


By Ellen Wilson

Popsicle Mold

In the summer heat, nothing beats sitting on the front steps with a popsicle, watching bikers and walkers go by. Save money and calories by making your own homemade frozen treats. Start experimenting with flavors by throwing your favorite fruit, ice cream and juice in some popsicle molds.

You can use your popsicle mold for more than just popsicles; freeze homemade chicken or vegetable stock and store it in freezer bags for quick-made soups.  Freeze individual-sized portions of orange juice to put in a glass when you wake up. You'll always have a fresh, cool drink the morning and you'll have more room in the fridge by eliminating the pitcher.

There are many different popsicle molds available at kitchen retail stores. Look for molds that are BPA-free. Our popsicle molds have straws for sipping if your popsicle starts melting; that way, your shirt is always protected from drips and spills.

Avocado Slicer



Avocado Slicer

Avocados are often avoided in the kitchen simply because they are messy. The soft, buttery texture makes for easy guacamole but sloppy slicing. This makes avocado a perfect addition to Mexican dishes but not much else. Not to fear, your salads can be topped with healthy, green goodness too! To the rescue is an avocado slicer.

You are now fully equipped for beautiful slices of avocado for your burgers, salads, tacos and soups. The slicer makes the avocado a garnish rather than just a sloppy topping.

There are varied models of this gadget, some have one side with threads or teeth to help pull the fruit from the skin, dividing it into perfect slices. One scoop and you are done. Other versions have two sides; one to remove the pit first, then the other to scoop and slice.

Turkey Avocado Sandwich

Lunch of the MonthWhere: The Blue Line Deli & Market
What: Turkey Avocado Sandwich
Price: Whole - $4.99, Half - $2.99, Combo - $4.99
Includes:
Combo includes a half sandwich and small soup. Sandwich includes bread, turkey, avocado, Fontina cheese, lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise and a pickle.
The Blue Line Deli offers the feel of New York City with its quick and on-the-go atmosphere.  Featuring something different everyday of the week, there are always fresh choices. On Thursdays you can sink your teeth into this delicious turkey avocado sandwich. Made on honey whole wheat bread and, just the way you want it, this sandwich is the perfect fix for that lunchtime hunger pain. In classic New York style, your lunch can be eaten on the go if you are in a rush or enjoyed with friends in the Blue Line's relaxing seating area.
32 oz fountain drinks are available to go with your meal for just $1.59. The Blue Line Deli also offers a variety of fruits, chips, and other snacks to make your lunch just what you want it.

*PRICES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE

Easter Egg Candles


Supplies:
  • Eggs
  • Candle Wax
  • Wax Dye
  • Wire Wicks
  • Holders
  • Egg Dye

Directions:
  1. Peirce top of egg with needle and widen the hole to the desired opening. Pour out yolks and clean the shells. Let dry.
  2. Although we used brown eggs, another option is to use white eggs and dye them Easter colors. Follow dye instructions and be sure to let the eggs dry before adding wax.
  3. Melt wax in double boiler, adding color last (according to packet instructions). If you do not have a double boiler, you can use an aluminum can in a pot of water.
  4. Cut wire wicks into 4-inch pieces. Fold one end and seal to bottom of egg with a few drops of melted wax. Then, fill the egg to brim with the melted, colored wax. When the wax hardens, it will sink in the middle. Refill this dip with more wax later.
  5. Once the wax has hardened, trim wicks and light!

Nutrition Labels

By Ellen Wilson
Nutrition Labels



  1. The serving size is always labeled in a familiar unit, such as cups, pieces, or tablespoons. Remember that the serving size isn't always the entire package. If there are two servings and you're going to eat the whole package, remember to multiply the calories and daily value percentages by two.
  2. The number of calories listed is the amount of energy you will get from a serving of that food. Right next to the total calories is the amount of calories from fat. This is a good number to check. As a general guide, 40-100 calories is low, 100-400 calories is moderate, and 400 or more calories is high in fat.
  3. This first section contains the nutrients that we typically eat enough or too much of.  To avoid health risks, such as heart disease or high blood pressure, avoid eating too many foods with high percentages of fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol or sodium.
  4. The second section of nutrients contains the nutrients that most of us don't get enough of: dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and iron. Eating enough of these nutrients is good for your health and may also reduce the risk of heart disease.
  5. This footnote section has the recommended amount of Daily Values (DV) for both a 2,000 and 2,500 diet and should be the same on every label.  Compare the DV percentages of the product with the daily recommended amount. 
See fda.gov for more detailed information.

Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread

4 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup sour cream



Mix buttermilk, sour cream and eggs in mixing bowl until combine. Add in sifted, dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated. Bake in a 12-inch cast iron skillet at 350 degrees and check doneness with a toothpick.