Sunlight’s Health Benefits

I think we all realize that too much exposure to the sun can damage our skin which could lead to skin cancer although a moderate amount of sunlight has health benefits. Here are some of those benefits.

  • 30 minutes of sun while wearing a bathing suit causes our skin to produce a significant amount of vitamin D, which is important for healthy bones and a healthy immune system. If you’re not into sunbathing, 15 minutes of sun on your hands, arms and face two or three days per week provides some vitamin D benefits.
  • Sunlight also gives a boost to our levels of serotonin, a mood- and energy- enhancing hormone produced in our brain.
  • Exposure to sunlight supports your body’s production of nitric oxide, a substance that helps lower blood pressure as well as chronic inflammation, which may have a role in the development of heart disease and certain forms of cancer.
  • Remember, ‘moderation’ is the word when it comes to sun exposure, especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the sun’s ultraviolet rays are at their peak. If you are out in the sun for 15 minutes or longer, wear a sunscreen with a (SPF) sun protection factor, of at least 15.

Keep your fork

BBQ Grill Breakfast Scrambler

Since when is the grill to be used solely for dinner (lunch) or supper (dinner)? Need a recipe for breakfast on a hunting/fishing trip or family camping vacation? Here’s a breakfast scrambler that will please the boys or family members.

6 c Hashbrowns
2 c Diced ham
6 Whole eggs
1/4 c Milk
2 c Shredded cheddar cheese
1 c Diced green onions
1/2 c Diced tomato
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the grill to 375 degrees. Spray a grill safe pan with cooking spray. Add in the hashbrowns and ham. Add the eggs to the milk in a large bowl and whisk until combined. Stir in the cheese, green onions and tomatoes and pour over the hashbrowns and ham. Season to taste with the salt and pepper. Cover with foil and cook for 30 minutes. Uncover the pan and cook for an additional 15 to 35 minutes until the edges are crispy.

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Sunscreen Reminders

After spending 3 hours out in the hot sun mowing the lawn, I decided that I need a reminder on the proper use of sunscreen. Then I thought, “What the heck, maybe others need the same reminder.” Here are 7 thoughts on sunscreen.

  • Apply sunscreen regularly – Recommendations are that you apply sunscreen 30 minutes before being exposed to the sun. Reapply every two hours, every hour and a half if you are swimming or sweating.
  • Be generous – Use at least 1 ounce (a palm or shot glass full) to cover your arms, legs, neck and face.
  • Use a broad spectrum sunscreen – Look for the words “Broad Spectrum” on the label. A broad spectrum sunscreen will protect against both UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays penetrates deep into skin and causes wrinkles and aging. UVB rays plays a big role in skin cancer development.
  • Use a minimum of SPF 30 – SPF 30 will block out 97% of UV rays.
  • Use a water-resistant sunscreen – if you are swimming, playing sports or working hard.
  • Remember – to apply to your ears, hands, feet and underarms.
  • Look at the expiration date – As sunscreen expires, make sure it has not expired before you use it.

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Both hot and cold smoking traditionally has been limited to proteins. Recently, innovative chefs, bartenders and regular Joes have been experimenting with smoking techniques in various ways. A bartender in Portland  hot-smokes ice, then re-freezes it to use in his cocktails. A chef cold-smokes yogurt to use with a salad to give it a smoky taste. The possibilities are endless. Here are some random, rambling thoughts on cold-smoking, with some hot-smoking thoughts thrown in.

  • Cold-smoking ingredients impact a smoky flavor to food that doesn’t need to be cooked (e.g. butter, cheeses, salt, nuts) or that you plan on cooking later.
  • Hot-smoking ingredients imparts a smoky flavor to foods while cooking them (e.g. meats,fish).
  • The four things you need for cold-smoking include: A way of producing smoke; A method of cooling the smoke before it gets to the smoke chamber; A smoke chamber to hold the food/ingredient being smoked; Methods to regulate the amount of heat and smoke.
  • The internal temperature of the smoke chamber for cold-smoking should be below 85 degrees.
  • For hot-smoking, the internal temperature of the smoke chamber should be between 120 to 180 degrees depending on what’s being smoked.
  • If the internal temperature of the smoke chamber is greater than 180 degrees, you are cooking rather than smoking.
  • The conditions for cold-smoking are also ideal for bacterial growth. Therefore, cold-smoking is usually done in the colder months or in colder regions of the world.
  • Since cold-smoking does not fully preserve the food being smoked, the finished product should be kept in the refrigerator until it is used.
  • In addition to cold and hot smoking, meats can also be cured through brining, salting, wind drying or combinations of these methods.
  • Since cold-smoking doesn’t cure meats, salting or brining before cold-smoking is suggested.
  • Various types of equipment is available for purchase, or you can make your own. Being fancy is NOT necessary!

Here are a couple of pictures of my cold-smoker.

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Southern Broiled Trout

Southerners have various ways of fixing most dishes. Here is a good recipe for broiled trout with a southern twist to it.

4 large fresh speckled trout
Salt and pepper
1/2 c melted butter
1/3 c lemon juice
5 Tbsp chopped parsley
1/2 c grated onion
1/2 tsp paprika
5 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Few grains cayenne pepper

Salt and pepper the fish and place on foil. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over the fish. Broil in 450 degree oven until done.

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Believe It or Not

My good friend Catfish was walking home from the river carrying two fish in a bucket. A game warden approached him and asked to see his fishing license. Knowing that he did not need a license if he was fishing on his own land, he decided to have a little fun with the ‘carp, skunk and crow’ officer. Catfish said, “I did not catch these fish. They are my pets. Every day I come down to the river and whistle, and these fish jump out. I put them in this pail and take them around to see the sights. At the end of the day I return them to the river.”

The warden, not believing a word of it, reminded Catfish that it’s illegal to fish without a license.

Knowing that the warden is new to the area and probably doesn’t know the land owners, he decides to continue with his ‘jocularity’ and said to the warden, “If you don’t believe me, then just watch.” With that, he tossed the fish into the river.

The new warden said, “Now whistle to your fish and show me that they will come out of the water.”

“What fish?” asked Catfish.

You have to get up pretty early in the morning to get one over on ole Catfish!

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Grilled Walleye Wings

Nothings fills so great as catching your limit of walleye. If you’ve been saving just the fillets for a great meal, try saving and grilling these bite sized ‘wings’ for appetizers prior to the main feast.

To harvest the wings, fillet your walleye by making your first cut on the right side of the pectoral fin. Do the other side of the fish the same way. Next, make a “V” cut from the outside of the fins toward the throat of the fish. Leaving the fins on, take off  as much skin as possible. You will be left with a bite sized piece of fish that you could prepare anyway you would normally prepare the fillet. Use these ‘wings’ right away as they don’t freeze well.

1 limit of walleye wings
olive or other cooking oil
salt and pepper

Thoroughly coat the wings in the oil to prevent them from sticking on the grate. After placing the wings on the grill, leave the door open to quench any flare-up. Grill a few minutes on both sides and remove from the grill when the fins start to burn. Treat the fins like a toothpick and bite down just above them to remove the flaky meat.

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