Written by Skip Lombardi

I owe my history teachers an apology. You tried your best to ignite even a glimmer of emotion in me for your subject, but I stymied you at every turn. Well into adulthood now, I'm reduced to making muttered comments that history is not my strong suit, when in fact, I made certain it was preordained.

Now, at this advanced age in my life, I'm looking into some ancient Italian recipes, and my research is taking me to some fascinating places I probably should have known about all along. For example, I've known-seemingly forever-that it was Caterina de' Medici who taughtrepparttar French to eat with a fork. But I recently stumbled onto some information about her other culinary contributions that I've found to be enlightening.

For readers who may also have been inrepparttar 113123 back ofrepparttar 113124 classroom reading "Mad" magazine duringrepparttar 113125 Renaissance, Caterina de' Medici was one of those Medicis. You know;repparttar 113126 ones from Florence. The same Medicis who had a second story built ontorepparttar 113127 Ponte Vecchio so they could crossrepparttar 113128 Arno river without mingling withrepparttar 113129 hoi-paloi, even if they had to climb a set of stairs at each end.

Sometime around 1533, Caterina's uncle, Pope Clement VII, arranged for her to marry one of King Francis' kids, Henri, a.k.a. Henri of Orleans; later, Henri II, King of France. She was fourteen atrepparttar 113130 time.

It must have been tough going for a young lady who was, by-and-large ignored byrepparttar 113131 Royal Court. But it left Ms. de' Medici with some time on her hands, and she seemed to use it productively. (Of course there was that tawdry business aboutrepparttar 113132 St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre, but that was later in life). When she wasn't engaged in eating, say, a "ragoût of cockscombs, kidneys, and artichoke hearts," she apparently spent a lot of time thinking about food. It goes without saying, that this qualifies her as my kind of Regent.

Calling All Singles - Cooking for Busy Lives

Written by Marybeth Gregg

“If you haverepparttar lifestyle where you eat out or order take-out every night, you can really get tired of it and it’s so expensive”, says cooking expert Marybeth Gregg, “so why not learn to cook with ease, and actually enjoy it?” “There is more to life than pizza and popcorn. Be a little adventurous. With just a few simple secrets, you can create a great meal for yourself and others.”, say this active business owner who offers tips to making cooking easy for a single person or smaller household. Many people with active lives think that cooking for one, or two, is just not worthrepparttar 113122 time, or they simply don’t know how. Be a little different - your skills may make you stand out inrepparttar 113123 crowd!

Marybeth, owner of Cook-with-Confidence Cooking School, has found out that there are major benefits to cooking – you eat healthier, it costs less and you get to actually create something on your own. Many people with hectic lives usually snack, skip meals or grab a quick fast food or other take-out meal. Skipping meals or eating high-fat foods deprives your body of energy and can make you feel tired. And a lot of people are in jobs that offer little creativity so cooking is a wonderful way to jump out ofrepparttar 113124 box and be inspired and use their imaginations for a change!

So what's a body to do? Marybeth offers some tips and techniques for making eating alone an easier, more enjoyable experience by learning to shop and cook quick, delicious meals for one or two people.

There are a few strategies are essential for smaller quantities. 1.Plan ahead - using a written or mental menu. You don’t have to cook everyday! Just start with one or two times a week – select an easy menu, organize your ingredients and shop onrepparttar 113125 weekend when you have a few extra minutes. Organize your list by stores (grocery, specialty Italian, etc.)

2. Food Shopping - Make a list and stick to it. It may be difficult to resistrepparttar 113126 temptation to buy more food than you need or frozen ready-made dinners. But keep to your plan. Askrepparttar 113127 produce manager to halve heads of lettuce, or other produce to meet your needs. Just but one leek, not a big bunch of three. Buy smaller cuts of meat or askrepparttar 113128 butcher to cut beef or chicken into pieces big enough for one meal.

Look for foods that can be portioned with ease into smaller serving sizes such as rice, pasta, or fresh vegetables like a broccoli crown or pre-cut carrot and celery sticks. Buy fruits and vegetables byrepparttar 113129 piece, not byrepparttar 113130 package.

3. Time to Cook –Cooking need not be a dirty word and cooking for one has many solutions. Cutting Recipes or Freeze It - Many recipes serve 4-8 as a rule. So you can either reducerepparttar 113131 quantities, if they lend them selves to division, or makerepparttar 113132 whole recipe and freeze it. I recently invested in one of those vacuum- sealer appliances, and find it really useful. I put in a smaller quantity, seal it, mark it and freeze. You can also use those zip-lock bags which work just as well. This way you can also have a great meal you can thaw out inrepparttar 113133 microwave – make sure to removerepparttar 113134 food fromrepparttar 113135 bag when you do nuke it- and then just sit down and eat a fine meal after a tough day at work.

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