Health Dunn Right Schedule

With summer approaching, we thought it would be a good idea to catch everyone up on the Action Team monthly schedules! That way you can begin participating this summer!

Housing Action Team (HAT): Meets every month on the first Thursday of every other month falling on the even months (February, April, June) from 11:30 to 1:00

Healthy Environment Action Team (HEAT): Meets the second Wednesday of the month from 11:00 to 1:00. Oftentimes the time from 12:00 to 1:00 is filled with a presentation related to the environment in Dunn County.

Chronic Disease Prevention Action Team (CDP): Meets the second Thursday of every month from 2:30 to 3:30.

Mental Health & Wellness Action Team (MH): Meets the second Tuesday of every month from 12:00 to 1:00.

Alcohol, Nicotine, and Drug Action Team (AND): Meets the fourth Wednesday of every other month, with the meetings falling on the odd months (January, March, May), from 10:30 to 12:00.

All the meetings are hybrid so anyone can join in the meetings so contact us if you have any questions on joining a meeting!

Tasty Recipes

Have you been looking for a new recipe to add to your rotation? Then check out these nine different recipes; I’m sure you’re bound to like one of them! Click this link to be taken to our Google Drive folder that stores the recipes!

Keep an eye out for more recipes to come as well 🙂

Health Dunn Right Grant Reports

Do you want to stay up to date with what Health Dunn Right has been doing the past year? Then check out these grant reports! They’ll be able to explain what happens better than this blog post ever will!

5 Year Operational Grant Report: Click here!

Community Foundations Year 1 Grant Report: Click here!

Comment down below if you have any questions for us!

Marinating Foods

Marinating adds flavor and moisture to food and is an easy technique to incorporate into your cooking skill set. It is the process of soaking meats or vegetables in a seasoned liquid before cooking. Marinades often use an acid (like vinegar or citrus) to enhance flavors. You can buy store-bought marinades, but making your own marinades lets you control the ingredients. The basic ingredients in a marinade are: fat, salt, acid, seasonings, herbs, and sweeteners.

Essentials for Marinating 
Food Safety: Make sure to marinate food in the refrigerator. If the marinade is to be used as a sauce, save fresh marinade that has not touched raw meat in a separate container. If you forget to keep some marinade separate, you can also boil the sauce used to marinate raw meat, which will kill harmful bacteria that could cause illness.
Time: Read the recipe and follow the recommendations for marinade times. Marinating some food too long can result in tough, dry or poor texture. Meat can be marinated for anything from 15 minutes to 24 hours. For example, don’t prepare marinated shrimp or chicken and wait several days to cook it.
Acid: It is important to find the right balance of marinade ingredients. Adding too much acid to a marinade can dry out and toughen meats and seafood. 
Sweeteners: Marinades that contain sweeteners like sugar or honey will burn quicker, so keep an eye on the food while cooking. 

Honey Citrus Chicken Drumsticks

Spicy Vegetable Tacos

Honey Balsamic Glazed Salmon

Reducing Food Waste

At one point or another, we have all debated eating or throwing away a food product after the date on its label passed. But do we need to throw away food as soon as the date on the label arrives? Oftentimes you will see the phrases “Best if used by,” “Sell by” and “Use by,” among others. It can be confusing but these dates refer to product quality and flavor and are not expiration dates. Next time you notice a food product whose label date has passed, check for signs of spoilage like color, consistency or texture before deciding to consume or throw away. This is another small step you can take to reduce food waste at home!

For more information, watch “What Do Food Expiration Dates Really Mean?” created by our colleagues at NC State’s Homegrown or this video from the FDA. For more tips on reducing food waste, refer to last Friday’s daily tip: Reducing Food Waste 101

Have you ever wondered if it is safe to eat those roasted vegetables you left on the counter overnight or if you can store butter at room temperature? For all of your food safety related questions, look to the Risky or Not? podcast!

Basic Knife Skills

The chef’s knife is the workhorse of your kitchen. Knowing how to properly use a chef’s knife will make your experience in the kitchen easier, faster, and dare we say, enjoyable.
Watch How to Cut With a Chef’s Knife to learn the proper grip forms for your knife hand and the hand you’ll use to hold the food. Then practice your knife skills by watching How to Cut Onions Without Crying or How to Properly Dice Fruits and Vegetables. The more you practice good knife skills the better you will become, but the first knife skill you need to master is safety. 

  • Never catch a falling knife. Step back and put your hands up.
  • Use a sturdy, non-slip cutting board. 
  • Set the knife down on the cutting board with the sharp edge facing away from the hand you will pick it up with.

 Essential Knife Set
You don’t need the latest kitchen gadgets to be able to cook great meals, but the quality and type of tools that are used in the kitchen can make all the difference in terms of your cooking experience. This basic set will provide you with everything you need to improve your cooking skills. 

  • Chef’s knife – as mentioned previously, this is the workhorse of your kitchen and one of the most important knives you should have in your kitchen. The blade length should be around 8 inches long.
  • Serrated knife – perfect for cutting bread, soft-skinned vegetables or fruit.
  • Paring knife – the smallest of the set, it allows for more precision and dexterity when cutting.
  • Kitchen shears – the culinary, sharper relative of the scissors will come in handy in more ways than you can imagine. From cutting chicken to opening packages, this is a must-have tool in your set.
  • Speed peeler – although fruits and vegetables can be peeled with a paring knife, this tool will make the job ten times easier and safer.

Cranberries the Super Food

When I think of Cranberries, I think of cranberry juice but did you know there’s so many other uses for them! They were first used by Native Americans for food, medicine, and a symbol of peace. Commonly, the berries were pounded into a paste and mixed with dried meats.  

• Cranberries are thought to be part of the first Thanksgiving celebration in 1621. They were commonly used for red dye by the Indians and early American settlers.  

• Did you know that Wisconsin is Cranberry Capital of the World!  Wisconsin produces 60% of the 700 million pounds of cranberries grown in the United States. 

When choosing what kind of cranberries you want, keep these things in mind! Fresh cranberries are usually only found in the fall and winter and come bagged.  

• Look for cranberries that are bright red, plump, hard, and shiny.  

• Pick out any berries that are shriveled, soft, spongy, or brown. • Cranberries are at their peak in November, just in time for Thanksgiving!  

• When cranberries are not in season, they can be enjoyed canned, frozen, dried, or as juice. 

How should you use your cranberries? Cranberries can be used in juice, sprinkled on salads, paired with other fruits and vegetables to enhance flavor; made into a sauce to compliment poultry and other meats; incorporated into breads, muffins, pancakes and scones; sprinkled on yogurt or cereal; jellied, canned, frozen, or dried.  

• Cranberries can be used as the main ingredient but they are more often used as an accent flavoring to other foods.  

• Cranberries can be substituted for dried cherries, currants, or raisins. 

Make sure your produce stays fresh while it’s stored in your home!

• Fresh cranberries can be refrigerated for up to two months if stored in a sealed plastic bag.  

• Cranberries require very little preparation. They need only a quick wash and rinse, and they are ready to go!  

• The natural tartness in cranberries repels bugs so they are not usually sprayed with pesticides.  

• Cranberries are sold in 12 oz. bags which is equal to 3 cups or 2 ½ cups chopped. • As cranberries cook, the skins burst open making a popping sound.  

• Fresh cranberries can be enjoyed all year round if they are frozen. They can be stored in the freezer for up to a year.  

• Most recipes use only a small amount of cranberries. One freezer tip is to first chop the cranberries with a food processor or knife, then individually bag one-cup portions. It will be a cinch to add extra flavor and nutrients to recipes when you can just grab a bag from the freezer and dump it in your favorite recipe!  

• Like other frozen fruits, cranberries should be added to recipes still frozen to prevent the juices from flowing out of the fruit.  

• Fresh cranberries require the addition of a sweetener of some kind to offset the tartness. Some sweeteners can be sugar, honey, apple juice, orange juice, or the natural sweetness of other fruits. 

 • Dried cranberries, or craisins, are sweetened during processing and will not need any other sweeteners. 

USDA recipes

Food Safety Tips for your Holiday Meal

When you think “Thanksgiving”, what comes to mind?   Turkey!  According the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), more than 46 million turkeys are cooked and eaten in the United States at Thanksgiving. That number represents one-sixth of all the turkeys sold in the U.S. each year.  There are a few tips that will ensure that your holiday meal is safe and delicious.

“Thawing and cooking are the two challenges any holiday cook will face,” according to Barbara Ingham, Extension food safety specialist with the University of Wisconsin, Division of Extension.   When thawing the turkey in the refrigerator, the USDA recommends allowing 24 hours for every four to five pounds of meat. For example, a 16 to 20-pound turkey would need at least three or four days to thaw. Some newer, more efficient refrigerators can add a day or two to that time. Turkeys can also be thawed in the microwave, or in a sink filled with cold water—just change the water every 30 minutes.  It’s also possible to cook a turkey directly from the frozen state, adds Ingham.

In addition to the challenge of thawing a turkey, consumers struggle with other questions such as knowing when a turkey is sufficiently cooked, and how to handle leftovers, says Sandy Tarter, FoodWIse Nutrition Coordinator, Division of Extension. 

Tarter recommends cooking your Thanksgiving turkey to an internal temperature of 165°F, as measured with a food thermometer. Check the temperature several places, the thickest part of the breast, the inner thigh, and the wing. Check the temperature of stuffing too.  All turkey meat, including any that remains pink, is safe as soon as all parts reach 165°F, notes Tarter. 

Once thoroughly cooked, proper cooling and handling of leftover is a key food safety step.  “Refrigerate leftovers within two hours,” notes Ingham. Cut turkey into smaller pieces and place in shallow containers for quick cooling in the refrigerator. Place leftover sauces, dressing, and any side dishes in the refrigerator within two hours as well. Use leftovers within four days or freeze for longer storage.  

Ingham likes to joke that she often refers to leftovers as “planned overs,” with family and guests sometimes preferring meal items reheated or eaten cold the next day.   

Dessert is a part of many holiday meals and pumpkin pie, custard pie and cheesecake must also be handled safely. Bake these festive desserts to a safe minimum internal temperature of 160°F. Once cool, refrigerate until the big meal. Tarter notes that pumpkin or cream pie that you purchase from the market or grocery are also safest stored in the refrigerator once you bring them home. 

Contact your local Division of Extension office to help answer your holiday meal preparation questions. For last minute questions, refer to these holiday hotlines.

USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline1-888-674-68549 am – 5 pm weekdays (Central)7 am – 1 pm Thanksgiving DayEmail: mphotline.fsis@usda.govChat Ask USDA! (English/Spanish)  
Live chat during hotline hours
Butterball Turkey Talk-LineOnline, via phone, even help from Alexa-enabled devices800-288-8372Text 844-877-3456
Jennie-O Turkey HotlineLive chat, via phone, text or social media800-887-5397Text the word Turkey to 73876 

Sandy Tarter is the FoodWIse Nutrition Coordinator for Chippewa, Dunn, and Eau Claire Counties, UW Madison-Division of Extension. She can be reached at 715-232-1636,

Diabetes Prevention Program

The National Diabetes Prevention Program—or National DPP—was created in 2010 to address the increasing burden of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes in the United States. This national effort created partnerships between public and private organizations to offer evidence-based, cost-effective interventions that help prevent type 2 diabetes in communities across the United States.

One key feature of the National DPP is the CDC-recognized lifestyle change program, a research-based program focusing on healthy eating and physical activity which showed that people with prediabetes who take part in a structured lifestyle change program can cut their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58% (71% for people over 60 years old).

Send an email to to join an informational webinar to learn more!