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Columns

Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Marta's marvelous meatloaf

My search for the perfect meatloaf continues, and this one is a definite contender.

This recipe comes from Marta Gouger, Times News Editor in Chief, and I have to tell you, my kitchen smelled good before I even got this in the oven!

Although it seems like a lot of ingredients, the recipe went together quickly. It makes two loaves, so a small family could eat one now, and freeze one for later.

This is a recipe I'll be making again. Enjoy!

Marta's Meatloaf

2-and-a-half to 3 pounds ground beef

One-half cup onion, finely chopped

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Q. How dangerous is secondhand smoke? My son smokes in the house and it is annoying.

Secondhand smoke also called environmental tobacco smoke is made up of the "sidestream" smoke from the end of a cigarette, pipe, or cigar, and the "mainstream" smoke that is exhaled.

Nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke absorb the same 4,000 chemical compounds that smokers do. More than 60 of these compounds are known or suspected to cause cancer.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014
KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS Chicken a la George's

When my husband turned 40 I surprised him with a trip to Bar Harbor, Maine, and a coupon for all the lobster he could eat.

While Jim seemed to be attempting to break some kind of lobster-eating record (and it wouldn't surprise me if he did), I don't eat seafood, so we needed to find restaurants with a wider variety.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Q. Are vitamins worth taking?

It's very important to talk with your doctor before you take any vitamin and mineral pills, especially if you take prescription medicines, have any health problems or are elderly. Taking too much of a vitamin or mineral can cause problems with some medical tests or interfere with drugs you're taking.

Vitamins and minerals are "micronutrients" your body needs in small but steady amounts. Your body can't make most micronutrients, so you must get them elsewhere.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014
KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS Weeknight Stroganoff

Just about everyone I know who has school-age children is running themselves ragged about now.

If it's not football or hockey practice, it's dance lessons, Scouts, religion classes, youth groups, not to mention homework.

Summer's carefree days are over!

With all the running around, it's hard to find the time to sit down and eat a meal, let alone cook one. Here's an easy weeknight dinner that takes almost no time to prepare and is ready in just a little more than a half-hour (and most of that is the time it needs to simmer).

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Q. Is it dangerous to take a beta blocker for high blood pressure?

There was one study that found that beta blockers may increase the risk of having a heart attack or stroke if you are using them to treat high blood pressure alone. If you are taking a beta blocker, discuss it with your doctor. Warning: Don't stop taking the drug on your own.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014
KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS Veggie Chili

This week I'm sharing the spotlight with Marlene Urban, who works in our Tamaqua office.

Marlene is sharing her recipe for a delicious chili that includes lots of beans, meat, spices and wait for it cocoa powder! She also shares some fun tips for taming the beast (aka the rabid fan): Good food and plenty of it!

I also have a recipe for chili this week. It's also hearty and flavorful, but unlike Marlene's, this one is vegetarian style.

If you think being a vegetarian means eating nothing but rabbit food, think again.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Q. Do you get more heartburn when you are older?

More than 60 million Americans experience heartburn at least once a month, and more than 15 million Americans experience heartburn daily. Heartburn is more common among the elderly.

Heartburn two or more times weekly may be caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. See a doctor if you have heartburn too often. The doctor can test for GERD.

In the upper GI series, you swallow a liquid barium mixture.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014
KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS Blue Cheese Dressing

As promised last week, in this week's column I'm sharing a recipe for homemade Blue Cheese Dressing.

Rich and tangy, this salad dressing is super simple to make. Drizzle it over some crisp fresh greens and add a few healthy twists from the pepper mill, and you have yourself a winner.

Want to amp up the flavor a bit? Toss on a few extra crumbs of blue cheese.

Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing

6 ounces blue cheese, crumbled

1 pint mayo

1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

3 tablespoons chopped chives

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Q. Is it possible to donate your own blood to yourself?

Yes you can. This is called "autologous" blood donation. It's done in the weeks before nonemergency surgery. The blood is stored until the operation. Autologous donation is most often employed in surgery on bones, blood vessels, the urinary tract, and the heart, when the likelihood of transfusion is high. This form of blood donation is good for the patient, but it's beneficial to society, too.