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Columns

Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Family favorites for Thanksgiving

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I'm sharing several recipes this week. One is my own, for Caramelized Sweet Potatoes, a simple recipe, but with a hint of maple syrup to just give it a little something extra.

The recipe for Hot Bacon Dressing and Mem's Pumpkin Pie are both from new TIMES NEWS editor Marta Gouger, and they are both delicious! Marta gave me the recipes last week and I made both of them.

And if you don't believe me, I brought the pumpkin pies to the office and we had rave reviews all the way around, from the crust to the filling.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Q. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was in the news a while ago for getting obesity surgery. What exactly did he have done and does it work?

Gov. Christie had Adjustable Gastric Band (AGB) surgery which limits food intake with a band around the top of the stomach.

The size of the restriction can be adjusted with a circular balloon inside the band. AGB works mainly by decreasing food intake. The snugger the band, the less hungry people feel.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013
KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS Chicken Marsala

Here is a somewhat simple dish that's a longtime family favorite as well as a perfect dish for company.

I often make Chicken Marsala for birthdays and for years it was my go-to dinner party dish. It was also a dish my mother would make.

The only difference between hers and mine is that she detested butter, and I say "Butter? What's not to love?"

This recipe incorporates a combination of butter and oil, plus a little kiss of butter at the very end, that adds to the generous richness of the final flavors.

Try it! I think you'll like it.

Chicken Marsala

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Q. Is napping in the afternoon a good idea?

No doubts about this one. Napping is a very good idea.

In a study published in The Archives of Internal Medicine researchers found that people who napped regularly had a 37 percent lower coronary death rate than those who never napped. The study was done on more than 23,000 Greek men and women ages 20 to 86.

The curiosity of the study's authors was piqued by low rates of heart disease in European and Latin American countries where siestas are an integral part of their lifestyles.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013
KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS Butternut Squash Soup

Remember Pavlov's dog? The dog hears a bell and starts to drool, thinking food will soon appear.

I'm just like that dog in that I feel a nip in the air, and I start to let's just say my mouth waters thinking of soup.

Today's recipe is adapted from one I received from my colleague Chris Parker, who is not only an excellent reporter, she's an excellent cook.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Q. I'm 78 and I'm forgetting things more often now. Should I be worried?

For starters, worrying is a waste of time. If you think your forgetfulness is the sign of the onset of Alzheimer's, get to a doctor for a check-up.

The scary truth is that Alzheimer's begins with difficulty remembering the familiar people, things, events. Or, you start having trouble doing simple arithmetic in your head. These annoyances are common to seniors with healthy brains, so most of us don't get too worked up over them.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013
KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS Sautéed Mushrooms served over grilled London broil.

I can't take one ounce of credit for this recipe; it is all my husband's. What I can do, is attest to how delicious it is.

While I don't remember all the details of how he came up with this recipe or why, I do recall that he used Tawny Port wine when he created it. We had two bottles, which my uncle had given us over the past two Christmases.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Q. Are there vaccinations for older people? Which ones should I get?

To get the appropriate vaccinations for you, discuss the subject with your physician.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers these general recommendations for seniors:

Ÿ Influenza vaccine to protect against seasonal flu.

Ÿ Tdap vaccine for tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. Tetanus, sometimes called lockjaw, affects the nervous system. Diphtheria is a respiratory disease. Pertussis is commonly known as whooping cough.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013
@$:KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS Homemade Apple Sauce

When life gives you apples way too many apples what can you do? You make applesauce of course!

In last week's Comfort & Joy column I shared that I had gotten carried away with all the wonderful apples available after a recent stop at a local orchard. In the past few weeks, I've made several apple pies, apple crisp, cheddar and apple soup, sauteéd apples, you name it. The other day we even stuffed a whole chicken with two heads of garlic, a couple sliced onions and a handful of quartered apples; it was delicious.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Q. If a very sick patient in a hospital is put on palliative care, does that mean they aren't going to make it?

No. Recent evidence indicates that palliative care alongside standard care extends lives.

Palliative care is not the same as hospice care. Palliative care is designed to improve the quality of life of patients and their families. Hospice is for the end of life.

In fact, hospice requires that a patient be certified as being six months from death, and it requires stopping most curative treatments.