Colony Loss 2013-2014 – Bee Informed Partnership

Colony Loss 2013-2014 | Bee Informed Partnership.

 

The Bee Informed Partnership (http://beeinformed.org), in collaboration with the Apiary Inspectors of America (AIA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), is releasing preliminary results for the eighth annual national survey of honey bee colony losses. For the 2013/2014 winter season, 7,183 beekeepers in the United States (U.S.) responded. Collectively, they managed 564,522 colonies in October 2013, 21.7%  of the country’s 2.6 million colonies.

For the winter of 2013/14, 23.2% of managed honey bee colonies in the U.S. died. Nearly two-thirds of the respondents (65.4%) experienced winter colony loss rates greater than the average self-reported acceptable winter mortality rate of 18.9%. The 2013/14 winter colony loss rate of 23.2% is 7.3 points (or 23.9%) lower than the previous years’ (2012/13) estimate of 30.5% loss. (Figure 1) and is notably lower than the 8-year average total loss of 29.6% .

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Rocky Top Coleslaw – Food Network

I love coleslaw but most of the prepared slaw  in the markets are just OK.  One day I decided to make my own coleslaw and found Bobby Flay’s recipe on the Food Network site.  It didn’t take long for me to make my usual adjustments and now the recipe is my own version of Rocky Top.  It’s coleslaw so you have to keep it simple.  Use a bag of pre-shredded coleslaw from the market.  The quantities for the dressing are all reduced from the original recipe.  I’ve substituted garlic powder for fresh garlic and celery salt for celery seed and salt.  Who has champagne vinegar laying around?  I use apple cider vinegar.  All dressing quantities are estimated.  Let your taste buds be your guides.

via Rocky Top Cole Slaw Recipe : Food Network.

Cole Slaw Dressing:
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
garlic powder (to taste)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 – 2 teaspoons celery salt
Pepper

Can you visualize a huge scoop of this coleslaw on top of a cold turkey meatloaf sandwich?  I thought so.

Turkey Meatloaf

By now you know the story: I never ate meatloaf growing up and rarely, if ever, made meatloaf when the kids were kids.  Funny things happen to you when you work from home.  I’ve learned how to take short mini-breaks of about five minutes to do prep work for dinner.  It helps to give yourself brain breaks during the workday and you also get a head start on dinner.  You reduce eye strain and the risk for carpal tunnel syndrome.  And did I mention you get a head start on dinner?  So the other week I found myself staring at a package of ground turkey that I found on sale, wondering what to make for dinner.

Meatloaf!  I went with a recipe that I sort of recalled from watching too many Food Network shows and stuff I had in the fridge.  Mirepoix (onions, carrots, and celery) formed the base of the flavor profile.  Thyme pairs well with turkey.  I was set to go.

Turkey Meatloaf

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 stalks celery diced

2 carrots diced
1 onion, diced
2 teaspoons (about 3 cloves) chopped garlic
1 1/4 pounds ground turkey
2 eggs
3/4 cup bread crumbs, Panko
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

1/4 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried parsley leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat and add the carrots, onions, celery, and garlic. Saute until just soft, remove to a large mixing bowl and cool.
  3. When the vegetables are cool, combine all of the remaining ingredients together.
  4. Form the meat mixture into a brain shaped loaf in an oiled oven tray or baking dish.
  5. Bake for approximately 60 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice and serve.

Tips –

If you have the loaf in the fridge for any amount of time prior to baking, take the meatloaf out of the fridge for at least 30 minutes before baking.  Bringing the meatloaf back to near room temperature reduces the possibility of under-cooking your dinner.  Do not use ground turkey breast.   There is not enough fat and your meatloaf will turn out dry.  Regular plain old ground turkey is a mixture of white and dark meat, skin, and fat.  Trust me, it tastes better.

Mashed potatoes is mandatory.  You can add a vegetable or salad and no one will care.  But mashed is mandatory.

This meatloaf makes great leftovers for sandwiches.

  

Yogurt Pancakes

In the cookbook collection sits several old paperbacks.  As is the case with many cookbooks, they sit on the shelf quietly waiting for the right time to be opened once again, it’s owner searching for then finding that one recipe, the sole reason why that book sits on the shelf for many years.  This book is a paperback, the pages yellowed from age, its spine cracked held together by a piece of aged tape.  Not surprisingly when taken off the shelf the book opens almost by itself to the desired page.  It is the only page in the book that gets read because it holds the only recipe in the book we use.

Before there were whole wheat pancakes, there were yogurt pancakes.  The yogurt adds a hint of sweetness and makes a truly tender, delicious pancake.  The weekend before #1 and his wife moved to Rhode Island our wonderful daughter-in-law asked,

“Can you make yogurt pancakes for breakfast?”

The answer of course, was yes.  But the book was part of my wife’s collection when she was single, copyright 1978, Yogurt Cookery by Sophie Kay.  How did wonderful daughter-in-law even know about this recipe?

As with most recipes that manage to hang around for a long time, changes were made, and our recipe is an adaptation of Kay’s Fluffy Pancakes.  So I can honestly say these pancakes are a family recipe.  Make a lot when you make these pancakes.  Yeah, they’re that good.

How did she even know about this recipe?

 

Yogurt Pancakes

1 cup all-purpose white flour

3/4 cup vanilla yogurt
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg beaten
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup low-fat milk

In a medium mixing bowl stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking
soda, and salt. Make a well in the center. In a small mixing bowl combine egg, yogurt, and oil. Add
egg mixture to flour mixture all at once. Stir batter just till blended.

For each pancake, pour about 1/4 cup of the batter onto a lightly greased preheated griddle or heavy
skillet. Cook several pancakes at a time over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, or till the tops are evenly
bubbled and the edges are dry, then turn and cook until golden brown on the second side. Repeat with
remaining batter.

Tips

The milk amount is estimated.  You want enough milk to make a batter that’s not too thick or too thin.  Too thick = glob.  Too thin = crepe batter.  But you do want a consistency more towards the crepe batter.  Real maple syrup.  No substitutes.  You can serve with fake butter but real maple syrup is mandatory.  We served these pancakes with a choice of real maple syrup or maple cream.  Add  eggs any style and some breakfast meat.  Yum.

The BBQ Chronicles: Franklin in Austin, TX

Bucket List destination?

JIM CARTER

Franklin Barbecue in Austin, Texas Franklin Barbecue in Austin, Texas

How does a pit master go from restaurant employee to roadside business owner to best barbeque in the world in just a few years? Okra’s Barbeque Chronicles decided to investigate.

We’re talking about Austin’s Franklin Barbeque. It has been named the top barbeque restaurant in Texas (to Texans that is synonymous with the world) by Texas Monthly and the top barbeque restaurant in the Country by Bon Appetit.

When Melinda and I were in Austin, we heard one should be at Frankin by 10 AM to get near the front of the line. We got there at 9:45 AM but the information must have been outdated. There was already a very long line. There was a carnival-like atmosphere. Employees of the restaurant peddled beer, water and soft drinks.

Another employee asked each group what they were ordering to assess who would be…

View original post 580 more words

Portabello Mushroom and Spinach Frittata

Portabello Mushroom and Spinach Frittata

Yum!

We were in Texas this past weekend.  While in Fort Worth, my sister-in-law kept threatening to make a frittata for breakfast.  We all told her, no.  We’re having a huge lunch.  We ate a lot today already.  Please don’t make a frittata.

The frittata was never made but I’ve had frittata on the brain since.  So I made one tonight.  I found a basic recipe and then went off in the direction of whatever was in the fridge.  Yesterday I bought some baby portobello mushrooms and fresh spinach.  Why not?  I’ll post the recipe if it tastes good.  That’s right, we haven’t eaten yet.

But if this frittata doesn’t hit the mark, that’s right, no recipe.

UPDATE 04.02.14

The filler was killer.  I’m posting the recipe.

  • 8 large eggs
  • Salt And Black Pepper
  • 1/4 cup Grated Parmesan
  • 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion,  sliced thin
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 2 handfuls fresh baby spinach
  • 2-3 large baby Portobello mushrooms, sliced medium thickness
  • 1 roma tomato, sliced, deseeded

Preparation Instructions

Preheat the broiler.

  • Beat together the eggs with the salt and pepper.  Stir in the Parmesan and set aside.
  • In a medium oven-proof non-stick skillet, heat 1 T olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for several minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft and golden brown. Add mushrooms and saute until the shrooms start to release their liquid.  Add spinach and garlic, and stir to cook with the shroom/onion for a couple of minutes.
  • Lower heat to low and continue to saute until the vegetables have stopped releasing their liquids.  This will take 5-10 minutes.  Set aside and cool.
  • In the same skillet, heat remaining olive oil on high until just smoking hot.
  • Pour in the egg mixture and occasionally tilt the pan to allow some egg to drip to the bottom of the skillet. Lower heat to low.
  • When the egg mixture begins to set, add the vegetables and distribute evenly.  Add the tomatoes on top.
  • Simmer on the stove top until almost fully set.  This will take 10 – 15 minutes.
  • Pop the skillet under the broiler until the eggs are set and  remove once you achieve a nice browned top.
  • Allow to cool in the skillet for 10 – 15 minutes.  When cool, transfer to a serving plate.  Slice.  Eat.

 

Jack’s Tuna Fish

2 six ounce cans tuna fish packed in water
1/3 C mayonnaise
1/2 apple unpeeled, small dice
1-2 T sweet or red onion, small dice
1-2 T dill pickle juice
2 small dill pickles, small dice

2 eggs
Salt and pepper

  1. Place the eggs in a small sauce pot with enough water to cover.  Bring to a boil.  When the water starts boiling, turn the heat off and cover.  Allow to sit for 10-11 minutes.
  2. After 10-11 minutes drain the eggs and immediately immerse into an ice water bath for several minutes.  Peel, dice and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl add the onion, pickles, apple and pickle juice.  Mix well.
  4. Drain the tuna thoroughly, then flake into the bowl of vegetables/fruit.  Mix well.
  5. Add the egg, mayonnaise and salt/pepper to taste.

 

This post is the second tuna fish posting of the day.  I lost the first one.  Honest.  So in a fit of anger I went to the kitchen to make tuna fish.  I screwed it up.  The eggs didn’t cook completely.  It was only then that I realized I had written wrong directions on how to fix the eggs in my first post.  Divine intervention I guess.

I never ate tuna fish with apples in it before I got married.  Now I can’t eat tuna fish without apples in it.  If I’m out of apples, I don’t make tuna fish.  I never understood that a good tuna salad had more tuna than mayonnaise.  During my college years The Truck would show up on College Avenue around 11 pm.  I loved their tuna subs at 2 or 3 in the morning.  The Truck’s tuna salad was always the cheaper light chunk tuna in oil with a lot of mayonnaise.  The ratio was probably 2 parts mayo to 1 part tuna.  On a 12 inch white french loaf.  It was like eating a tuna flavored mayonnaise sandwich.  No wonder I topped the scales at 370 pounds, but I digress.

So I’m making two more eggs and I ask my lovely wife of too many years,

“Is this your recipe?”

“No, it was my Dad’s recipe.”

“But your Dad couldn’t cook.  He couldn’t even make coffee!”

“He could make tuna salad.”

Thanks Jack.  Great tuna salad recipe.

Tips:

Mayonnaise should be to taste.  Use only as much as you like.  Or for a low calorie version, substitute plain low fat yogurt (at your own risk).  I’ve used yogurt in the past and I prefer mayo.  Do not use Miracle Whip.  I hate Miracle Whip.  Add parsley if you’re inclined to do so.  Garlic powder adds a nice touch.  Also try curry powder or chili powder for a nice change of pace.

But don’t use Miracle Whip.