a "been-there" mom of six offers encouragement
to wives, young mothers, and those not so young,
and simple common-sense approaches to
the "ings" of life:
child-rearing (hints and helps), homemaking (all areas),
cooking (simple, cheap, and do-it-yourself)
making (toys and gifts), preparing (for the unexpected),
maintaining (sanity and peace in this increasingly crazy world) and more---
all aspects of making the most of making do on little---
and having fun in the process.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Secret Life of Chicken Nuggets!

Gail, many long years ago
When I was a little girl my parents used to sing a song about a horse.
The old gray mare ain't what she used to be, 
ain't what she used to be, 
ain't what she used to be. . . 
many long years ago.

What has this to do with Chicken Nuggets or even            chicken you ask?

Unfortunately, I'm about to tell you.

Back then, chickens were simply chickens, from start to finish.

But Not Now!

"According to McDonald's, their chicken nuggets are "made with white meat, wrapped up in a crisp tempura batter." But as the article...shows, these chicken nuggets are a far cry from what you might expect, based on that description.

"Do you put dimethylpolysiloxane, an anti-foaming agent made of silicone, in your chicken dishes? . . . a type of silicone with anti-foaming properties used in cosmetics and a variety of other goods like Silly Putty
"How about tertiary butylhydroquinone(TBHQ), a chemical preservative so deadly that just five grams can kill you? 
  • a petroleum-based product with antioxidant properties
TBHQ, is typically listed as an "antioxidant," but it's important to realize it is a SYNTHETIC chemical with antioxidant properties – NOT a natural antioxidant.
"The chemical prevents oxidation of fats and oils, thereby extending shelf life of processed foods. It's a commonly used ingredient in processed foods of all kinds, but you can also find it in varnishes, lacquers, pesticide products, as well as cosmetics and perfumes to reduce the evaporation rate and improve stability.
These are just two of the ingredients in a McDonald's Chicken McNugget. Only 50 percent of a McNugget is actually chicken. "
For the rest of the story PLEASE go to 

and read at least as far as REAL Food "Lives" and "Dies"

Dr. Mercola "commented on the curious ability of McDonald's food to remain impervious to degradation. It's as if the food has been embalmed to stay "fresh" forever! After sitting on a shelf for 14 years, the hamburger bun has yet to develop a single trace of mold. It's barely even begun to shrivel...
"Folks, these buns bear absolutely no resemblance to real bread, and when you read the list of ingredients, this mysterious mummification feature becomes less of a mystery.
"Here are just a few of the ingredients in a McDonald's hamburger bun:
"Always remember that wholesome, health-promoting food is "live" food, and the hallmark of live food is the fact that it will decompose.
The fact that these burgers, buns, and fries do not decompose, even after a decade or two, is a clear sign that it's just not real food, and should not be part of your diet."

Unfortunately, McDonald's is not the only deceiver . . . and the deception is growing and growing.

The Good News is
YOU CAN  MAKE THEM YOURSELF....Simply and Quickly!
There are many recipes on the internet.  I like the site http://allrecipes.com/  I chose one from there to share with you. And am listing four reviewers' comments first.   

  • This was a quick easy and tasty meal. I like the idea of making my own nuggets, that way I know what I'm getting :) I followed the recipe to a T. These had real good flavor and were moist and tender. Thanks for a good basic easy recipe.
  • These are easy, delicious, and a hit with my picky kids! We used melted "Smart Balance" instead of butter, but other than that we changed nothing! This recipe is my four year olds' favorite meal!
  • Thank you for this wonderful yet simple recipe. A healthier alternative to KFC/McDonald's nuggets which my son is overly fond of.
  • The best baked chicken nuggets i have had in a while. I marinated them in buttermilk for a few hours first and then followed the recipe exactly. I made these as an appetizer for my daughters 4th birthday party and the adults and kids loved them!! Thanks-you for the recipe.


By: Cathryn White 
"'With a crisp golden coating, these moist and tender bite-size pieces of chicken are greeted with enthusiasm whenever I serve them as a hearty snack or party appetizer,' says Cathryn White of Newark, Delaware."                                   

Chicken Nuggets
Prep Time: 15 MinutesReady In: 30 Minutes
Submitted By: Cathryn WhiteCook Time: 15 MinutesServings: 8

"'With a crisp golden coating, these moist and tender bite-size pieces of chicken are greeted with enthusiasm whenever I serve them as a hearty snack or party appetizer,' says Cathryn White of Newark, Delaware."
1 cup dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
3/4 cup butter, melted
2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless
chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch
1.In a shallow bowl, combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and seasonings. Place butter in another shallow bowl. Dip chicken in butter, then roll in bread crumb mixture.
2.Place in a greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until juices run clear.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2012 Allrecipes.com
Printed from Allrecipes.com 5/29/2012
Note: If you serve chicken nuggets often, and want to make the process even quicker, you can assemble individual packets of the dry ingredients to have at the ready!

'til we eat again,
      Simply, Gail

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Scary News About the Fake Foods We Eat

Not only are Dave and I growing food, I have been doing a lot of reading about the commercial foods we eat ---- and let me tell you,


Michael Pollan, in his simple little book Food Rules...,  states that commercial foods are really edible food-like substances.   This book is a great "putting your toe in to test the water" before you dive into the bigger, uglier pond.

We don't eat at McDonald's anymore and never will --- even the items that may sound "safe."  As a matter of fact we are, with very few exceptions, through with fast food places.

I have just finished reading Fast Food Nation (The Dark Side of the All-American Meal) by Eric Schlosser.

It is not a light, simple read --- it is 288 pages of well-researched gut-retching facts about the fast foods we consume on a regular basis.  Again, trust me on this ----

It is scary!

Better yet, don't trust me, read it yourself!

Let's start with the simple Burger King Strawberry Milk Shake

"When you get a strawberry milkshake, you would expect there to be strawberries and milk in the milkshake, right?  Well, here are the ingredients in a

Burger King Strawberry Milkshake:

Amyl acetate, amyl butyrate, amyl valerate, anethol, anisyl formate, benzyl acetate, benzyl isobutyrate, butyric acid, cinnamyl isobutyrate, cinnamyl valerate, cognac essential oil, diacetyl, dipropyl ketone,  ethyl acetate, ethyl amylketone, ethyl butyrate, ethyl cinnamate, ethyl heptanoate, ethyl heptylate, ethyl lactate, ethyl methylphenylglycidate, ethyl nitrate, ethyl propionate ethyl valerate, heliotropin, hydroxyphrenyl-2-butanone (10% solution in alcohol), ionone, isobuyly anthranilate, isobutyl butyrate, lemon essential oil, maltol, 4-methylacetophenone, methyl anthranilate, methyl benzoate, methyl cinnamate, methyl heptine carbonate, methyl naphthyl ketone, methyl salicylate, mint essential oil, neroli essential oil, nerolin, neryl isobutyrate, orris butter, phenothyl alcohol, rose, rum ether, undecalactone, vanillin, and solvent.


Can you believe this? There is zero food in this, it’s all fake. Back in the day, a strawberry milk shake had 4 main ingredients: milk, ice cream, strawberries, and sugar. Today it is full of chemicals that your body doesn’t even recognize as food. It’s a highly toxic blend that is sure to send you to your grave early."


Simply Gail's Real Strawberry Milkshake                                    

In a blender:
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup milk powder*
2 T. sugar or to taste
About 4 large ripe strawberries, cut into chunks
about 2 cups ice**
Blend until smooth and creamy

Serve immediately.  Makes 3 cups.

*I use non-fat regular milk powder---not the instant type so I cannot tell you how instant would work.
** I don't measure but use an ice cube tray full and that is about 16 regular (not giant ice-maker) cubes, so adjust accordingly.

What it is not: It is not bright pink, it's not strongly flavored, and it does not contain chemicals.

What it is: Refreshing, healthy and REAL. It gives the taste buds a chance to experience and distinguish the wonders and subtleties of natural flavors and foods.

And, aside from all the health benefits, it is as quick to make as standing in a line or at a drive-up window and it is really cheap!

'til we eat again,
     I am Simply, Gail . . .the creative cheapskate

P.S. "tune in" Friday for a look into a kid's fast-food favorite.