Friday, August 21, 2009

Green Chili-Chicken Casserole

This weekend and next weekend are the Green Hatch Chili festivals in various cities around the Southwest. Being a devoted fan of all things green chili, I thought I'd share this delectable recipe I made this week from fresh green chilies (!). Folks, I assure you there is nothing better than a meal with green chilies in it. find something better - I dare you.

Oh, and as a bonus it's fairly low in calories too! Can this meal get any better? Me thinks not. One serving has only 335 calories. I double dare you to only eat one serving.

Green Chile-Chicken Casserole

If you assemble the casserole the day before, cover with cooking spray-coated foil. When ready to serve the make-ahead, chilled dish, bake 1 hour; then uncover and bake an additional 30 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and browning."

1/3 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 cup canned chopped green chiles, drained
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup fat-free sour cream
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 (10 1/2-ounce) cans condensed 98% fat-free cream of chicken soup, undiluted (such as Campbell's)
1 garlic clove, minced
Cooking spray
24 (6-inch) corn tortillas
4 cups shredded cooked chicken breast (about 1 pound)
2 cups (8 ounces) finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine the first 9 ingredients in a large saucepan, stirring with a whisk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

Spread 1 cup soup mixture in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 6 tortillas over the soup mixture, and top with 1 cup chicken and 1/2 cup cheese. Repeat layers, ending with the cheese. Spread remaining soup mixture over cheese. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until bubbly.

Yield: 12 servings (serving size: about 3/4 cup)

CALORIES 335 (29% from fat); FAT 10.8g (sat 5.9g,mono 2.7g,poly 1.2g); IRON 1.5mg; CHOLESTEROL 66mg; CALCIUM 270mg; CARBOHYDRATE 34.3g; SODIUM 693mg; PROTEIN 23.9g; FIBER 3.2g

Cooking Light, NOVEMBER 2003

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Snooze Silently or Be Scared

I am going to cut and paste this article in whole because I know a LOT, and I mean a LOT, of people that snore. This is really scary stuff people. If you or someone you love has a snoring or sleep apnea problem, please discuss this with your doctor.

Snoring is more than loud, it's a sign of a health risk
Interrupted breathing during sleep, depriving body of oxygen, increases chances for dying
By Stephanie Desmon
August 18, 2009

Severe nightly episodes of interrupted breathing during sleep - commonly known as sleep apnea - double the risk of death for middle-age men, according to a new study being called the largest ever conducted on the disorder.

Even men with moderate sleep apnea - anywhere from 15 to 30 instances of oxygen deprivation per hour - appear to be 45 percent more likely to die from any cause than those who have no nighttime breathing problems.

As many as one in four men is believed to suffer from sleep apnea, researchers said, and many with less severe apnea may not even know they have it, even though it can dangerously decrease the oxygen in their bloodstream. Sleep apnea - typically characterized by loud snoring - is believed to be a growing problem, since it is often linked to obesity, which has become an epidemic in the United States. Women also are affected by the disorder, but to a lesser degree.

"This is a bad disorder that not only affects your lifestyle in the short term, but your life span in the long term as well," said Dr. David Schulman, director of the sleep laboratory at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, who was not involved in the study. "People with sleep apnea today are more likely to die tomorrow."

The study, led by Johns Hopkins pulmonologist Dr. Naresh M. Punjabi, is being published online today in the Public Library of Science, Medicine. Small studies and anecdotal reports have long hinted at the connection between sleep problems and death, especially from heart disease, but this is the first large research study to make the link.

This study, part of the Sleep Heart Health Study, involved 6,441 men and women between the ages of 40 and 70. They have been followed for more than eight years. Some had sleep apnea; some did not. Many identified themselves as snorers - a major symptom of the disorder. More than 1,000 participants died since the study began.

Men with apnea were more likely to die regardless of age, gender, race, weight or whether they were a current or former smoker, or had other medical conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease or diabetes, the study found.

Punjabi said the study shows that the majority of deaths aren't the result of the daytime drowsiness that is a hallmark of sleep apnea, the result of night after night of interrupted sleep.

Losing oxygen
A major culprit appears to be repeated episodes of apnea and the resulting oxygen deprivation, during which blood oxygen levels drop below 90 percent. If the heart doesn't get enough oxygen, it doesn't pump very well. As few as 11 minutes a night spent essentially holding one's breath - 2 percent of an average night's sleep of seven hours - caused the risk of death to double, Punjabi found.

"We all know that breathing's very important to our health, but because we're asleep and there's no pain, the difficulty in breathing while we sleep is not something [doctors] observe ... in a routine office visit," said Michael Twery, director of the National Institutes of Health's National Center on Sleep Disorders Research. "It's one of those hidden conditions."

Sleep apnea occurs when the upper airway is intermittently narrowed during sleep, causing breathing to be difficult or completely blocked.

The health risks appear to accumulate over many years. "It's a chronic exposure," he said. "One night's exposure in itself is not a health risk. ... It happens hundreds of times a night and it goes on for decades."

Along with so many men, about one in 10 women are believed to have sleep apnea. There were too few women in the study to draw any conclusions about apnea and death, but Twery said women also appear to be at risk. He said more needs to be known about women and apnea. There are questions, for example, about snoring during pregnancy and whether it affects the health of the mother and the developing fetus.

"It's underdiagnosed," Punjabi said. "Many physicians are unaware of this disorder. ... Patients have to know what they're suffering from."

Own snoring wakes him up
Jim Cappuccino, a 49-year-old retired police officer who develops and sells medical equipment, has been snoring for more than a decade. Loudly. The Baltimore resident - who at 5 feet 10 weighs 256 pounds - recently learned he has sleep apnea, though he wasn't all that surprised. His own snoring often woke him up."

Some nights I felt I was actually not asleep," he said. "You wake up and you're as bone-tired as when you went to bed."

Of his six siblings, four are doctors, who have long pushed him to take better care of himself and to get control over his roller-coaster weight. "It's time I face facts," Cappuccino said. "I'd like to see my [college junior] daughter graduate from college and law school."

Now, as part of a different Hopkins study, he is using a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine, a mask worn at night that pushes air through the airway passage at a pressure high enough to keep it open during sleep. After two months, he already feels better.

Schulman said the public began to pay attention to the breathing disorder after Hall of Fame football player Reggie White's death five years ago was attributed to undiagnosed sleep apnea. The message started getting out, he said: "If you snore, go see your doctor."

Apnea in the air
When it makes headlines, the stories about sleep apnea are rarely good. This month, National Transportation Safety Board officials said the reason a plane in 2008 overflew a Hawaii airport was because the pilots fell asleep and the captain suffered from undiagnosed sleep apnea. The NTSB is calling for pilots to be screened for sleep apnea.

Schulman said treating apnea - through CPAP machines or by losing weight - might prevent deaths, though more research needs to be done.

Sleep apnea is diagnosed through a visit to a sleep clinic, something not everyone is willing or able to do.

"When we get people in the clinic, they're usually here because they're sleepy," Schulman said. "Often, folks will take treatments because they like the way it makes them feel."

But not everyone with apnea feels poorly. Some with more moderate, but still potentially dangerous, night breathing problems don't know there is anything wrong.

"There are some people with apnea who don't feel bad," he said.With that group, when the doctor suggests the bulky CPAP machine, "that's a much harder sell," Schulman said.

By the numbers
•Middle-age people with severe apnea were:
46 percent more likely to die of any cause
•Middle-age people with moderate apnea were 17 percent more likely to die of any cause
•About 1 in 4 men and 1 in 10 women suffer from sleep apnea
•Breathing problems for as little as 11 minutes a night cause the risk of death to double

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Buffalo Chips

Yummy yummy buffalo chips!

1 cup margarine
1 cup solid shortening
2 cups packed brown sugar
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs 2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups quick oats (uncooked)
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup coconut
1 cup chopped pecans
2 cups Rice Krispies
6 ounces chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, cream margarine and shortening. Add sugars, eggs and vanilla. Mix well. Stir in oats, flour, baking soda and baking powder. When well blended, stir in coconut, pecans, Rice Krispies and chocolate chips. When batter is thoroughly mixed, measure 1/4 cup batter for each cookie on a large ungreased baking sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until edges are golden. For a crispier cookie, bake 12 to 15 minutes. Allow cookies to cool slightly on baking sheet before removing. This recipe makes about 4 dozen large cookies.

Tips From Our Test Kitchen: Substitute peanut butter or butterscotch chips if you prefer.

Monday, August 03, 2009


Whew, this heat stroke of a summer is really starting to get to me! It was already 86 degrees at 8 a.m. this morning. By 3 p.m. they expect the heat index to be 105 degrees. Seriously people, this is cruel and unusual punishment.

To keep cool during the summer I've been checking out one of my absolutely fave foodie Web sites, If you like to cook and you like to eat, this social networking site is for you. Plus, if you're going on vacation to a city you've never been to, you can check out dining recommendations from the people that live there. It is fabulous!