Skip the navigation header

K-State Logo K-State Research and Extension logo
go to Research and Extension home page go to News go to Publications and Videos ask a question or make a comment search the Research and Extension site


News Logo Search News:   
News Home About Us Staff Links Contact Us

(To view a pictures of the Kids a Cookin' recipes, go to

Released: April 13, 2006

Briefly . . .

This week's news briefs . . .

1) Picnic Precautions Prevent Illness
2) Refrigerators Can Take Hot Foods
3) Garden Plant Killers Lurk Underground
4) Sharing a Place Before Marriage: Beneficial or Not?
5) Paint Filly to Be Auctioned at KARL Old West Fest
6) Kids a Cookin’ - Egg-Me-On Sunrise Sandwich
7) Kids a Cookin’ - Tool Kit




1) Picnic Precautions Prevent Illness

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Unseasonably warm weather is prompting a food-safety warning typically reserved for late spring and summer months.

The rule has long been to discard perishable foods that have remained at room temperature for two or more hours. Outdoors in hot weather, however, the two-hour rule shrinks to one hour, said Fadi Aramouni, Kansas State University Research and Extension food scientist.

This shorter time frame applies to such perishable foods as meat or poultry sandwiches and salad. It applies when foods are left in direct sunlight or are outside when the temperature is 90 degrees or above.

Aramouni, who is in K-State’s Food Science Institute, offered four more picnic food-safety basics:

* Keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot.

* Avoid cross contamination. Keep raw foods separate from cooked foods.

* Use a food thermometer to test doneness on grilled meats and poultry. Grill hamburgers to 160 degrees F and chicken to 165 F.

* Wash hands frequently with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, including before and after eating and after handling raw and cooked foods, after using the restroom, petting a dog or cat, etc. If water is unavailable, use a hand sanitizer product.

"Hand washing can prevent the spread of disease-causing bacteria," Aramouni said.

More information on food safety and health is available at county and district K-State Research and Extension offices and on Extension’s food safety Web site:



2) Refrigerators Can Take Hot Foods

MANHATTAN, Kan. – No matter what Mother taught, cooks shouldn’t be afraid to put hot foods in the refrigerator.

"Today’s refrigerators are made to cool foods quickly. Besides, refrigerator temperatures are safer than room temperatures for both cooling hot foods and defrosting frozen foods. The recommended 32 to 40 degrees F help refrigerators prevent bacteria growth," said Kathy Walsten, nutrition educator with Kansas State University Research and Extension.

Large dishes, such as casseroles, can go into smaller, shallow containers for faster cooling.

"Just don’t overload the shelves. There should be enough space between foods that air can freely circulate around them," Walsten said.


3) Garden Plant Killers Lurk Underground

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Getting soil ready for planting in spring can expose gardeners to a whole world of soil dwellers. The ones to watch for include wireworms, grubs and cutworms – as well as the strange-looking "earth pods" that contain cocoon-stage hornworms, said Bob Bauernfeind, entomologist with Kansas State University Research and Extension.

Skinny little wireworms and comma-shaped white grubs feed on and destroy planted seeds. They feed on and tunnel through root crops and tubers, where they may introduce soft rot disease, he said. The wireworms grow up to be click beetles (wireworm beetles). White grubs are the larvae of May/June beetles (masked chafers).

Cutworms – which typically curl up tightly when disturbed – hatch from various species of miller (noctuid) moths’ eggs in fall. They begin their larval development then, often feeding on weeds.

"By spring, they can be almost fully grown and capable of severing transplants and new seedlings. The first sign they’re around can be freshly cut plants, lying on the ground," Bauernfeind said.

In contrast, tomato and tobacco hornworms spend winter as pupae inside a 2- to 3-inch-long earthen cocoon. During the growing season, they produce two generations of large, green "worms" – probably best known for stripping tomato plants of their leaves, the entomologist said. These hornworms are the larvae of sphinx moths, commonly known as hawkmoths or hummingbird moths.

"Feel free to dispose of any of these soil dwellers when you find them," Bauernfeind said.

Other control methods include 1) maintaining weed-free planting beds, to reduce the larvae’s food supply; 2) placing aluminum foil collars around young plants, to prevent cutworm activity; and/or 3) incorporating an insecticide into the soil when preparing to plant.

"Your county Extension office can help you identify approved insecticide formulations. Read labels, too, though, to determine where to use each product and what it will control," Bauernfeind said.


4) Sharing a Place Before Marriage: Beneficial or Not?

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Compared to 20 or 30 years ago, more couples today are deciding to live together before marriage, said Charlotte Shoup Olsen, Kansas State University Research and Extension family studies specialist.

Some couples think that pre-marital cohabitation is a good way to see if their relationship has what it takes to survive in today’s world – before they make the commitment of marriage, Olsen said. In fact, with a 50 percent divorce rate in the United States, some couples think that pre-marital cohabitation is important because moving out is easier than getting a divorce.

Research shows, however, that couples who live together before marriage don’t necessarily make better partners during marriage or have a greater chance of staying together.

"Ultimately it comes down to the couple’s decision about cohabitation and to whether or not they feel comfortable living together," Olsen said. "For example, if they’re not ready to tell Mom and Dad about it, then they’re probably not ready to live together."



5) Paint Filly to Be Auctioned at KARL Old West Fest

MANHATTAN, Kan. – The auction of a registered paint filly will be part of a fundraiser at the Kansas Agriculture and Rural Leadership program’s 2006 Old West Fest June 3 in Dodge City.

Bids for the yearling filly, which is registered with the American Paint Horse Association, can be made from now until June 3, as well as at the event, said KARL president Jack Lindquist.

The filly is a donation from Iron Sand Farm, LLC, of Westmoreland, Kan. Pam Davis, co-owner of the farm, is an alumna of KARL Class VII.

More information on the filly or the bidding process is available by contacting Davis at 785-457-2863 or

KARL’s Old West Fest is a social and fundraising event that is open to the public, as well as KARL supporters and participants. The event will be at the Santa Fe Depot and includes a silent auction, a casino with costumed performers, and dinner.

KARL is an intensive two-year study and training program for emerging leaders of the agriculture industry and rural communities of Kansas. Class members’ training includes 10 in-state seminars, a national study tour to Washington, D.C., and a 12-day international study tour.

Information about the 2006 Old West Fest or the KARL program is available by contacting the KARL office on the campus of Kansas State University at 785-532- 6300 or by visiting the program’s Web site at


6) Kids a Cookin’ -
Egg-Me-On Sunrise Sandwich

This baked sandwich can cook while you are getting dressed for the day. It will give kids the boost they need to do their best, because each serving is packed with protein, carbohydrates, calcium and iron. If made to order, the sandwich is also just the way kids like ‘em – and quicker than the drive-through.

The recipe is from Kansas State University Research and Extension’s Family Nutrition Program. It makes four half-muffin servings.


  • 2 whole wheat or white English muffins
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper


To obtain a higher resolution photo of this recipe go to:




1. Wash your hands.

2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

3. Line a baking sheet with foil and coat lightly with cooking spray.

4. Open English muffins and place "inside-up" on baking sheet.

5. In a glass measuring cup, beat eggs, cheese, salt and pepper with fork until well blended.

6. Slowly pour egg mixture onto each muffin half, keeping as much as possible on the muffins.

7. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until egg mixture is no longer runny and cheese is melted.

8. Serve open-face or combine two muffin halves to make a sandwich.

Helpful Hints:

If you have a block of cheese, let kids use a potato peeler to "shred" the required cheese safely.

Sunrise sandwiches are easy to individualize for family members by adding thyme, dill, cumin, diced onion or green pepper to the egg mixture. They’re also good with cooked sausage, ham or bacon on top.

If you need more servings, school-age children can help with the math. For each sandwich you need 1 English muffin, 1 egg, 2 tablespoons of cheese and a little seasoning.

The glass measuring cup provides a "pouring spout," so you can slowly pour the egg mixture over the English muffins and let it soak in before adding more. If some of the mixture runs over the edges, it will still taste great.

Safety Tips:

If salmonella is in the egg, it can easily spread to your hands, other foods, counters and clean dishes. That’s why frequent hand washing with hot, soapy water is a must when preparing egg dishes.

In this case, wash your hands after breaking the eggs into the cup. Wash again if you get any egg on your hands while topping the English muffins.

For safety’s sake, also bake the egg until the white and yolk are completely set.

Remember the sandwiches will be HOT when removed from the pan.

And, remind children about the importance of turning off the oven.


Per serving: 130 calories, 6 grams fat (2.5 grams saturated), 115 mg cholesterol, 8 grams protein, 14 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams dietary fiber, 360 milligrams sodium.


Kids a Cookin' is an educational program produced by Kansas State University Research and Extension's Family Nutrition Program and funded by USDA's Food Stamp Program through a contract with Social and Rehabilitation Services (SRS). More information, more recipes and cooking tips, and a link to a Spanish version are available on the Kids a Cookin' Web site:

Source: Kathy Walsten, Family Nutrition Program, K-State Research and Extension


7) Kids a Cookin’ - Tool Kit

  • Baking pan
  • Foil
  • Cooking spray
  • Small bowl
  • Grater or peeler
  • Glass measuring cup
  • Measuring spoons
  • Fork
  • Spatula


K-State Research and Extension is a short name for the Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, a program designed to generate and distribute useful knowledge for the well-being of Kansans. Supported by county, state, federal and private funds, the program has county Extension offices, experiment fields, area Extension offices and research centers statewide. Its headquarters is on the K-State campus in Manhattan.

For more information:
K-State Research and Extension - News
Mary Lou Peter-Blecha, News Coordinator

Contributing writers: 
Mary Lou Peter-Blecha, Nancy Peterson,
Kathleen Ward and Leah Bond

K-State Research and Extension