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Volume I
November 22, 2000

In this Issue:
  1. Message from the President: Thank you!!

  2. Kitchen Remedy: Dairy Preserving Tricks

  3. The Recipe Box: Try the Winning Recipe!

  4. Jest for Fun: Lactose Intolerant

  5. Family Fun-Times Idea: Graham Cracker Houses

  6. Recipe Contest: 1st and 2nd Runner-Ups

  7. Cookie Crumbs: Crock Pot Recipes

Thank You!

Thank you to all those who participated in our recipe contest. Your entries were delicious! You made it very difficult for us to choose a winner and two runner ups. Consequently, we selected a winner who will receive the Farberware Classic Series 13-piece Pot set and FOUR runner ups, each of whom will receive a free copy of Cook'n for Kids.

Thanks to the rest of you who have been such faithful subscribers. I enjoy your feedback and appreciate support.

Have a happy Thanksgiving!


Dan Oaks
DVO Enterprises

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Prevent Osteoporosis in Your Kids!
STOP THE SHRINKAGE: Preventing Osteoporosis in Your Kids--

By: Desiri Wightman, RD, CD

"I'm melting, I'm meellttinnng!" Remember those famous shrieks from the Wizard of Oz's wicked witch as she dissolves into a puddle of water? Sooner for some and later for others, many of us may feel like screaming out those same lines when our hemlines land a little lower on our calves or we stoop a little more than we used to. Unlike the wicked witch, our bones won't be shrinking because of water, but they may be shrinking because of milk (i.e., lack of calcium-rich foods).

I'm sure you recognize the term Osteoporosis-the bone disease that causes height loss, crippling bone fractures, and even death in the elder years. But did you know that YOU can prevent it? Maybe it is too late to do much for yourself, but I'm betting that there are children you come in contact with, either as a parent, teacher, relative, or mentor, on whom you can apply prevention strategies. Osteoporosis can be stopped, but someone who knows something about it has to influence those kids who don't.

The National Academy of Sciences recommends that children between the ages of 9-18 take in 1300 mg of calcium daily (the highest recommendation for any age group or category). During these adolescent years, bones increase in strength and density by adding bone mass rapidly. After age 18, though, the rate of adding bone mass starts to slow down until about the age of 30, when the adding of bone mass peaks. From then on out, the bones start to lose density faster than they can add it back in. The goal, then, is to make the bones as strong as possible before age 30. That way, when the strong bones start to "dedensify", the effects of fractures or "melting" will not be seen in a lifetime. The best time to achieve that goal is in the adolescent years, and that's where your influence is needed greatly.

Now are you asking, "But what could I do?" To find out, click here and continue reading this article where you'll find a list of calcium rich foods and a menu (using recipes from the Cook'n software) on how to use them in "real-life!"

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Dairy Preserving Tricks

Enjoy these dairy preserving hints from the cupboards of Kathy Oaks:

1. To slow the rate of oxidation (i.e. spoilage) in cottage cheese, store it upside down in the refrigerator.

2. If you're unable to use a gallon of milk by its expiration date, add a pinch of salt. It will slow the rate of bacterial growth, keeping it fresher longer.

3. Store your ice-cream carton in a plastic bag to keep ice crystals from forming when it is in the freezer.

* DVO welcomes your kitchen hints and cooking or nutrition questions! Email us and we'll post your hints and Q/A's in upcoming newsletters! *

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RECIPE CONTEST WINNER: Marinated Tri-Tip Roast

This recipe was shared with me by a man I met on a fishing trip this past July 3rd. The interesting thing about this gentleman is that he made a decision late in life to follow his dream of becoming a chef. So, after some years of working in construction he took his family to Oregon and attended cooking school for a year. Now, he is working for Sony Picture Studios in their catering division and working his way up the ladder.

Needless to say he is having the time of his life doing the thing for which he has a passion. This recipe is one of his personal favorites that he cooks at home for his friends and family.

Alan E. Weston

* Do you have any fabulous recipes to share with other Cook'n readers? Email your recipes to us. Include any preparation or serving hints and/or tell us about you and your family. *

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Lactose Intolerant

A father, who'd just discovered he was lactose intolerant (unable to digest milk sugar), tried to explain to his four-year old daughter what that meant. A couple months later, he took her out to breakfast at a very busy restaurant. The quality of the food and service were stressed under the customer load. When the waitress finally brought their omelets paired with dark toast, his daughter took one look and remarked loudly, "My Daddy can't eat that toast; he is black-toast intolerant." After a moment's silence, the whole restaurant shook with laughter.

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Graham Cracker Houses

Thank you, Nancy Menn, for something to do besides watching football games during the holidays! (DAN'S NOTE: I don't know if the editor, Desi, and I see eye to eye on this one :)

Each year during the Thanksgiving weekend my six children (ages 9 - 18) gather 'round the kitchen table to create "graham cracker houses" for holiday decorations (and to eat as much candy as they can). We gather a variety of candies such as snowmen & angel Sweet-tarts, small candy canes, green & red M&M's, gumdrops, and whatever else appeals to us for the project. I mix up a large batch of stiff icing made from powdered sugar and water for an edible "glue" to hold the crackers together in the shape of houses, to stick on the candy, and for the "snow" on the roof top and yards. Then I get the camera out and snap photos of the creative mess and each finished house with the child who created it.

This is one activity that my children have enjoyed as a group from preschool through their teen years. Sometimes their friends have joined in. Inevitably someone's house collapses at least once and sometimes several times before they get it standing the way they want it. This caused tears when they were younger. Now it brings laughter, helpful suggestions from the others, and perseverance 'till the house stands. The final results range from silly to wonderful and all are displayed around the house through Christmas. Some nibbling on the finished products does occur during that time.

Here are more detailed directions for how it is done:

Things you need:
1 dinner size plate for each child (we use the plastic ones)
1 box graham crackers
Several bags of assorted candies of your choice such as small candy canes, santas, snowmen and angels, red & green M & M's, red & green gumdrops
3-4 bags of powdered sugar (less if you aren't doing 6 houses)
1 spoon and 1 knife per child (I use plastic)
1 bowl per child
Bowls for the candy

Wrap each plate with foil (this makes it easier to work with, to clean up, and makes a nice background if they do not cover it all with icing). Put the candies in bowls so they can be reached easily. Mix 1 bag of powdered sugar with enough water to make a stiff icing. (Make more icing as needed.) Put some icing in each child's bowl. Spread a sticky base of icing on the plate to make a foundation for the graham cracker house. (Or, cover the whole plate for a snow-filled yard.) Divide the graham crackers in half to make squares. Using icing, "glue" the squares together to make four walls, and then put in place on sticky foundation. Glue the edges of 2 squares together to make a peaked roof and then attach to the walls. Make windows, roof shingles, walkways, sleighs, etc. using the candy and more icing. Let the house dry until it stands firm. (Hint: After making the walls, before roofing the house, and again after putting the roof on, wait for the icing to dry. Patience keeps the houses from collapsing so much. However, it does interfere with the flow and fun of the project, so we usually just work through collapses!) Take pictures of your children holding their creations, and prominently display the houses for family and friends to see and admire. Enjoy!

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1st and 2nd Runner Ups

Sloppy Mexican Lasagna

My name is Shannon Tarvin. My BEST friend is Tracey Kopp. We have been friends for 17 years. We have lived, laughed and cried together. We have helped each other through some really rough times. We have both been through divorces, remarriages and medical emergencies. For the last few years we have been living a ways apart, we don't always keep in touch, but we always know we are there for each other. The recipe she gave me. We made together when we were living together and we were both trying to impress the same guy.

The Stupid Chicken Dish

The famous Sue Haddock is a friend of recent vintage. She is the mother of a large family which is the reason for the recipe. When you read the recipe, you'll get a flavor of her personality and see why she is such a neat person.

Her recipe is "The Stupid Chicken Dish" (no you don't have to find a stupid chicken to cook). It makes chicken and vegetables with gravy, only takes about 20 minutes to prepare, and cooks while you are at church. The name originated because when she was feeding 12 every Sunday, she would ask what they wanted for dinner. They would ALWAYS ASK FOR THIS! And, I would say.. "Not that stupid chicken dish again??!!" Now they all make it for their own families. This is a no brainer...even her daughter Heather made it for the entire family when she was about 6 years old.

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Crock Pot Recipes

Tight budgets and tighter schedules--it seems we all have them! Getting a well-balanced dinner on the table after a busy day is a constant challenge. Cook'n Fix & Forget helps you prepare meals the old-fashioned way: slow cooking.

One way to cope is by using a crockpot once or twice a week. This modern appliance uses an old-fashioned method: long, slow cooking at a controlled temperature setting.

Our great-grandmothers used this technique when setting a soup or stew to simmer at the back of the stove for most of the day. It's a good way to utilize less expensive cuts of meat and still produce a tender, timely, flavorful dish.

Crock pots relieve us of the last-minute fuss before a meal. Quickly prepare ingredients the night before or early in the day and then put the crockpot to work. Then look forward to a delicious, no-fuss home-cooked meal several hours later.

The Cook'n Fix & Forget CD provides 369 time-saving recipes that will surely become household favorites. With very little advance preparation, you'll find that dinnertime can become a relaxed and enjoyable experience again.

* To order Cook'n Fix & Forget before November 27 and save 20%, click here:

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Copyright 2007 DVO Enterprises, Inc.