Kay's Cooking Corner

April 17-23, 2017

Food news and new foods


By Kay Bona


This week I thought I would share some food news with you. Maybe something you haven’t heard yet. Maybe. With the WorldWideWeb, “The” Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat all running twenty-four/seven, it’s hard to find things people haven’t already heard. But, here goes…


Firstly, I have a product review for you.


Not long ago while watching television, a commercial came on about the RoboTwist, a new little gadget that easily opens hard-to-open jars.


If I had called the number they were advertising on TV, I could have gotten two for the price of one, free shipping and a few jars of food to open. But I skipped that glamorous offer and went to Smile.Amazon.com and had it in my hands within two days.


For a few days it sat on my kitchen table waiting to have batteries installed. After I got tired of looking at it there I moved it to a spot in my pantry where I keep most of my jarred items. Still without batteries.


So the other day, I grabbed it from the pantry and put in two AA batteries. I found a jar of pickles in the fridge and tightened it as hard as I could, then popped the RoboTwist on the lid and pushed the go button.


Well – it worked exactly like it showed on the TV. Exactly. It was even kind of fun to watch, so I fiddled with the jar of pickles a few more times. I have to say, that this is a great little gadget. If you have to occasionally resort to throwing a jar down on the floor and smashing it to smithereens to get the silly thing open, I highly recommend getting the RoboTwist.


Next up is a food recall in Florida on April 10th of this year. I realize this is old news, but I still thought it was amazing.


According to The Guardian, two Floridians discovered a dead bat inside a bag of pre-packaged salad they bought at a local Walmart, but only after they’d already eaten some of the salad. They immediately contacted authorities after discovering the dead bat, prompting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to launch an investigation.


The salad mix is the “Organic Marketside Spring Mix” by Fresh Express. The company has since issued a recall for lot G089B19 with a “best by” date of April 14, and has specified that this batch was shipped to Walmart stores in the southeastern United States. At this time, the couple is in good health, and no one else has reported finding bat remains in their bagged salads.


Always check and wash fruit and bagged vegetables before eating. Not long ago my daughter emptied her bag of grapes into a colander to wash and found a Black Widow Spider. Come to find out, that’s not so uncommon. Once again, the World Wide Web has many reports of Black Widow spiders hanging out in bags of grapes.


Next is a bit of good news from People’s Pharmacy. Some research has shown that taking cinnamon with a meal can reduce the rise in blood sugar and insulin that occurs after the meal.


One meta-analysis of ten studies found that cinnamon lowers blood sugar, cholesterol and triglyceride levels. A placebo-controlled study conducted in China with more than 100 volunteers demonstrated that consuming cinnamon extract daily for two months lowered fasting glucose and insulin, total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. The extract used was CinSulin, a water extract of cassia cinnamon, and the dose was 250 mg twice daily.  But always ask your doctor first.


One more newsy item before the recipe: Arlington, Massachusetts is currently home to the world’s only “Burnt Food Museum”. The museum’s art pieces range from a ten-year-old burnt apple cake to permanently preserved burned shrimp kabobs. Although the museum normally pulls in over 25,000 visitors every year, it is currently closed due to fire damage.


Sorry, but if you planned on this museum being a point-of-interest on your vacation this year, you need to resort plan B.


Ok. Now for a few of my favorite grilling recipes, which I promise are nothing but good!


Crack Corn


6 ears corn, husked

3 tbsp. brown sugar

1 tsp. cayenne pepper

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup melted butter

Lime wedges

Heat grill to high. Oil grates and add corn. Grill, turning, 5 minutes.


Baste, while grilling, until totally slathered in crack sauce and grill until charred and tender, 5 minutes more. Squeeze with lime and serve.


Grilled Caesar Asparagus


1 lb. asparagus, stalks trimmed

3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1/4 baguette, cut into cubes

3/4 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp. honey mustard

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

Juice of 1/2 lemon


Heat grill to high. On large baking sheet, toss asparagus with 2 tablespoons olive oil; season with salt and pepper.


Grill asparagus until charred, turning occasionally, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate.


Make croutons: Reduce grill to low heat. In large skillet, toss bread with remaining tablespoon olive oil and season with salt. Place skillet over the grill and cook until toasted, 3 minutes.


Make creamy Caesar dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together mayo, Parmesan, garlic, honey mustard, Worcestershire and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.


Transfer asparagus to a plate and drizzle with dressing. Top with croutons and more Parmesan.


Kay Bona is a staff writer for the Daily Record and an award-winning columnist and photographer. Contact her at kay@dailydata.com.