November 29, 2019

Slow Roast Turkey: You'll Never Say No to Turkey Again!


Slow Roast Turkey


Slow Roast Turkey.  Turns out perfect every single time.  Easy and literally roasts itself in the oven with no intervention from you, the cook.

Try this recipe and you'll never make a failed, bone dry roast turkey again.  And you'll never say no to roast turkey, making it a year round menu item.

Slow Roast Turkey Recipe

1 14-18 lb turkey
1 stick butter, melted
Fresh sliced citrus, onion, celery
Herbs:  Fresh herbs of cook's choice plus whole allspice.  I recommend always including 1 bunch of coarsely chopped cilantro.  It imparts a delicious cardamon/cinnamon flavor while roasting.
Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, paprika
Vegetable broth or water to cover bottom of pan plus about 1/2 inch

Rinse turkey.  Season inside and out.  Use fruits, vegetable and herbs to "stuff" turkey cavities and to cover top of turkey.  Pour melted butter over top of turkey, pour vegetable broth or water into pan.  Cover with foil and bake at 300* F for about 30 minutes per pound until done.  Discard citrus/herbs/onion/celery, place in compost if you compost.  Plan on having it done about an hour before eating, in case it needs to roast a bit more, and for juices to set up.  No basting needed.  Best, most flavorful, and moistest turkey ever.  The au jus in the bottom of the pan makes for delicious gravy "as is".




Mary Rae Fouts

November 27, 2019

Governor Newsom: Sinks to a New Low by Shaming Blue Cheese. Shame on You, Gavin Newsom! Blue Cheese Rocks, You Idiot!


Governor Gavin Newsom

Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese

Bay Blue Cheese

Blue Cheese Shaming


Yep.  The Governor of California, Gavin Newsom, has stooped to a new low by shaming blue cheese on a Twitter post:  "Blue cheese is just moldy cheese and should never be consumed under any circumstances."

What an Idiot!



The above is a screenshot of a post from the Facebook page of one of my favorite cheese producers, Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese, located 40 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge.  (Visit their website here.)  I ways have their cheese in my fridge.  Right now I have both their Toma Cheese and their award winning Bay Blue Cheese.


I can't believe the Governor of California, Gavin Newsom, would post such an ignorant and crass statement on Twitter about Blue Cheese:  "Blue cheese is just moldy cheese and should never be consumed under any circumstances."  What an idiot, just shows you that being a restaurant and winery owner doesn't mean you know Jack Squat about food, including cheese.  Or perhaps Governor Newsom's brain has become moldy so that it no longer functions.

Regarding Cheese:  Go Blue or Go Home, Governor Newsom!  And SHAME ON YOU for shaming blue cheese.  

Concerned about Tax, Insurance, Annuity, or Related Financial Matters?
About Mary Rae Fouts, EA


Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides Tax Services, Insurance Consulting Services, Annuity Consulting Services, and Expert Witness Services to clients who typically have technical or complex concerns.  For more information visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Mary Rae Fouts

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

 A prior year Thanksgiving Turkey ready to go into the oven to slow roast.

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of year.  I love making roast turkey.  We eat roast turkey year round, not just at Thanksgiving.  Sometimes a whole turkey, other times a bone-in turkey breast.

This Thanksgiving I'm once again preparing a 14-16 pound turkey.  It will slow roast at 300℉ for about 30 minutes a pound; will be fall-off-the bone tender.  I plan on having it done an hour before we eat, just in case it needs a bit more time, and to allow for the juices to settle.

My turkey is an all natural Willie Bird Turkey raised locally in Sonoma County.  Stuffed with a potpourri of fresh herbs (with the exception of the fresh cilantro, all from my gardens), onion, celery, sliced citrus, melted butter, salt, pepper, and smoked paprika.   Vegetable broth to coat bottom of pan plus 1/4 inch or so; cover pan with foil.  The turkey's au jus will make wonderful gravy, no thickening or other adjustments needed.

Turkey Tips:

No bread stuffing in the turkey because of the low roasting temperature.  But no one in my family likes bread stuffing, anyway.

If you are slow roasting a turkey 14-16 pound turkey  allow about 30 minutes per pound, and 1/2 cup melted butter drizzled on turkey.  As mentioned above, plan on having the turkey done an hour before you plan to eat, just in case it needs a bit more time, and to let the juices settle.

Happy Thanksgiving to all and enjoy your day!

Concerned about Tax, Insurance, Annuity, or Related Financial Matters?
About Mary Rae Fouts, EA


Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides Tax Services, Insurance Consulting Services, Annuity Consulting Services, and Expert Witness Services to clients who typically have technical or complex concerns.  For more information visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Mary Rae Fouts

November 25, 2019

Fascinating Story: Missing WWII U.S. Navy Submarine U.S.S. Greyback Located After Missing for 75 Years. The Key? One Incorrectly Translated Digit.

U.S.S. Greyback


The U.S.S. Greyback is a United States submarine sunk off the coast of Japan in World War II, with 80 seamen aboard.  The New York Times fittingly published a fascinating article on Veteran's Day about the recent discovery of the Greyback. Lost for 75 years, she was discovered due to a collaborative effort between an amateur Japanese WWII researcher and the privately-funded Lost 52 Project, whose mission is to find as many of the still-missing U.S. submarines as possible using technology only available in the last 10 to 15 years.

When the Lost 52 Project started, 52 submarines from World War II remained missing.   At that time, researchers thought that 47 had the possibility of being found.  The remaining 5 submarines were thought to have been either run aground or otherwise completely destroyed.

And as for the collaborative effort from the amateur WWII Japanese researcher Yutaka Iwasaki?   Well, upon reviewing Japanese war records from WW I and comparing them to United States war records, Mr. Iwasaki found that the U.S. Navy's 1949 records about the lost sub had one significant error.   The Navy had relied on a faulty translation of Japanese information, in which one digit ... one digit ... of the latitude and longitude of the sub's supposed sinking location was translated wrong. With Mr. Iwasaki's correct translation, the Lost 52 Project was able to find the U.S.S. Greyback.


I cannot begin to imagine the emotions brought onto the families and loved ones of the  seamen who perished in the Greyback upon learning that the lost submarine had been found.  Hopefully among the emotions are a sense of relief and closure.  Heartwarming to know that our fallen, lost heros are not forgotten.

And to all those who have served our country in the military, thank you for your service.

Concerned about Tax, Insurance, Annuity, or Related Financial Matters?
About Mary Rae Fouts, EA


Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides Tax Services, Insurance Consulting Services, Annuity Consulting Services, and Expert Witness Services to clients who typically have technical or complex concerns.  For more information visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Mary Rae Fouts

November 22, 2019

Sid: Just the Right Amount of Sun for a Morning Nap!

Sid the Dog


A Husky-Malamute mix, former stray,  and a Faithful Canine Companion.  About 8 years young.  Bonded fur brother to his fur sister Lexi.

Sid recently found just the Right Amount of Sun to enjoy a morning nap following our morning walk.  Good Boy Sid!


Unconditional love is a close as your nearest animal shelter.  Please adopt, don't shop.

Concerned about Tax, Insurance, Annuity, or Related Financial Matters?
About Mary Rae Fouts, EA


Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides Tax Services, Insurance Consulting Services, Annuity Consulting Services, and Expert Witness Services to clients who typically have technical or complex concerns.  For more information visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Mary Rae Fouts

November 19, 2019

Life Insurance Litigation: Are you Looking for a Life Insurance Expert Witness? Meet Mary Rae Fouts, EA

Life Insurance Litigation.
Life Insurance Arbitration.
Elder Financial Abuse
Life Insurance Expert Witness.


Are you looking for a Life Insurance Expert Witness to address Life Insurance Litigation or Arbitration Matters, or related Elder Financial Abuse Matters?

Mary Rae Fouts, EA has 31 years of experience addressing insurance concerns for clients throughout the United States.  She provides Life Insurance Consulting Services, in addition to Expert Witness Services for Life Insurance Litigation and Arbitration Matters, including Elder Financial Abuse Matters.

Mary has provided Expert Witness Services in federal courts, state courts, and arbitration venues throughout the United States.  She welcomes your call at (510) 421-5457 or email to Mary@FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Concerned About Tax, Insurance, Annuity, or Related Financial Matters?
About Mary Rae Fouts, EA


Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides Tax Services, Insurance Consulting Services, Annuity Consulting Services, and Expert Witness Services to clients who typically have technical or complex concerns.  For more information visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Mary Rae Fouts

November 16, 2019

Access to Your Medical Records: You are Entitled to Receive a Copy of Your Medical Records. It’s the Law.

Patient Access to Medical Records
HIPPA


Access to your medical records:  Know your rights!

So this autumn, I’ve had a mind numbing, time wasting, stressful, and beyond frustrating experience dealing with a new specialist doctor.  A doctor who, as I learned after immediately experiencing insurance billing and many other problems with the doctor’s practice, is not a member of John Muir Medical Group.  John Muir otherwise provides all of our primary, other specialty, urgent, emergency, and hospitalization care.

I’ll just say one thing:  If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, don’t ever … ever … EVER … get care from any physician or facility associated with Hills Physicians Medical Group in San Ramon, California.  Which brings me to the topic of this blog post, one of likely several I’ll have from my dealings with this organization:  A Patient’s Access to His or Her Medical Records.

The doctor we were referred to, a Gastroenterologist located in Pleasant Hill, CA, and Brentwood, CA, has an office with procedures that do not comply with HIPPA.  The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPPA, is a federal health care law originally signed into law on August 21, 1996 and revised a number of times since then.  It is a positive and much needed law for the health care consumer.  Among other things, HIPPA strengthened privacy laws related to patient health records, and provided that a patient has a legal right to his or her medical records.

Anyhoo, dealing with this new physician, we were able to quickly get an appointment for an initial consultation, followed by one of two tests/procedures that were required.  The initial consultation went fine.  And then, well, everything else went downhill faster than an Alpine skier on an icy course.  Or maybe a turd rolling downhill.

Shortly after the initial consultation, a test was performed in the physician’s office.  We waited for a few days to get a phone call with the test results.  Nothing.  I checked our very handy and thorough electronic chart on the John Muir Health Care website.  Nothing.  That’s when I learned that the physician was not affiliated with John Muir, but rather Hills Physicians Medical Group.  A Medical Group so outdated in technology that it does not have a website enabling patients to create an account and have access to all medical records, test results,  appointment notes/information, appointment reminders, as well as a secure email-like system for communication with any doctors and their staff.  John Muir has all of this, and it works great!

So, after a couple of weeks went by, growing ever anxious, we contacted the new physician’s office, and requested a copy of the test results.  We also requested the results via email.  What were we told?  Well, we were told that we had to make an appointment with the doctor so that he could go over the test results, that otherwise nothing would be released to us.  In other words, just another appointment so the doctor can bill.  When we informed the staff person that patient records were required by law to be released to the patient, the staff person told us “it is not our policy” to do that.

When we informed the staff person that their “policy” was in violation of HIPPA rules, her response was that she would send a message to the doctor.  The doctor did call us back and informed us that the test results were negative.  But we’ve never received the written copy of the test results we requested multiple times.  And for a medical test completed and paid for.

So here’s the deal:  Patients, and a patient’ authorized representative, are entitled by law to receive a copy of their medical records.  (With one exception to the health care records:  a mental health care professional may withhold his or her notes if the professional feels providing the notes to the patient or the patient’s designated representative,  would be harmful to the patient.)  As previously mentioned, this federal law has been on the books since HIPPA was signed into law back in 1996, some 23 years ago.  The law further states that the physician cannot charge a ‘handling’ or ‘processing’ fee for providing the records, only ‘reasonable’ copy charges.  A patient also has a right to review his/her original medical file.  This review is usually done at the location the records are stored, such as the doctor’s office.

Simply put, it is beyond sad that a board certified physician's office is out of compliance with a 23 year old law.

Timeframe?  The physician must release a copy of medical records, or permit review of original medical records, within 30 days.  If longer than 30 days is needed, the physician must provide the patient with the reason for the delay, and the records must be released/review permitted within 60 days.

Any consequences for refusal to release patient medical records?  You betchya.  And the minimum fine for willful violations of HIPPA rules is $50,000.

So know your rights when it comes to your medical records and HIPPA.  Don’t be denied what is legally yours simply because of a doctor’s office illegal “policy”.

Health Insurance Concerns?
Concerned about Tax, Insurance, Annuity, or Related Financial Matters?
About Mary Rae Fouts, EA


Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides Tax Services, Insurance Consulting Services, Annuity Consulting Services, and Expert Witness Services to clients who typically have technical or complex concerns.  For more information visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Mary Rae Fouts

November 13, 2019

Healthier Eating and Living: Add Dark Leafy Greens to Your Diet for a Low Calorie, Yummy, and Very Nutritious Food!

Dark Leafy Greens


Adding delicious - and low calorie - nutrition to your diet is easy by incorporating dark leafy greens into your diet.  Yes, I still enjoy iceberg lettuce and butter lettuce, but include dark leafy greens in my diet each day.  And remember:  the darker the green, the more nutritious it is.

Dark leafy greens can be eaten raw, sauteed/stir fried, or incorporated into cooked and baked dishes including soups, pasta sauces, and pizzas.  An excellent source of dark leafy greens in many varieties is organicgirl triple washed greens that come in recyclable  clamshells.  Oh, and organicgirl also has more traditional lettuce mixes, including butter lettuce.  Check out the organicgirl website here.  Their website also includes great recipes.

I always have 2 different varieties of organicgirl dark leafy greens in my refrigerator.  Right now, it's organicgirl Baby Arugula and their Protein Greens.  Take a look at the Nutrition  Info for Protein Greens ... wow!

Credit: iloveorganicgirl.com

Credit:  iloveorganicgirl.com
I will be posting some easy cooking and baking times for adding dark leafy greens to your diet.  In the meantime, try some today.  And remember:  simply adding some dark leafy greens to your usual lettuce salad will add delicious flavor and nutrition.  Easy healthier eating and living!

Concerned about Tax, Insurance, Annuity, or Related Financial Matters?
About Mary Rae Fouts, EA


Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides Tax Services, Insurance Consulting Services, Annuity Consulting Services, and Expert Witness Services to clients who typically have technical or complex concerns.  For more information visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Mary Rae Fouts

November 10, 2019

Happy 7th Birthday Lexi!

💖  Lexi  💖

Lexi the Dog


A belated Happy Birthday to my Faithful Canine Princess and Loyal Companion, Lexi, who turned a wonderful 7 years old last month.

Lexi is nothing of the very skinny, thin furred, and terrified of everything dog we adopted from the Antioch Animal Shelter in October 2014.  Lexi transformed into a healthy, confident, furball of a dog.  A Forever Faithful and Loyal Canine Companion.

Thank you for adding so much to our lives, Lexi.  Love you bunches, my Chow Chow-Pomeranian mix Canine Princess!

Concerned about Tax, Insurance, Annuity, or Related Financial Matters?
About Mary Rae Fouts, EA


Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides Tax Services, Insurance Consulting Services, Annuity Consulting Services, and Expert Witness Services to clients who typically have technical or complex concerns.  For more information visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Mary Rae Fouts

November 7, 2019

Fire Safety: Smoke Detectors Save Lives. Make Sure You Have Them, And That They Work.

Smoke Detectors


Last year, I wrote about a horrific fire in Chicago in which 10 children were killed.

The fire started in an enclosed porch at the rear of the building.  It has been called the deadliest Chicago fire in more than a decade.

And working smoke detectors?  None found.

According to Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives spokesperson Larry Langford, the deaths and injuries could have been avoided if working smoke detectors had been in use:
"It was not hard to get out. The fire started in the rear, and the entryway to the front was wide open," Langford said. "Had they been awake or if someone had woken them, they would have gotten out."
In other words, the children would not have died in the fire had there been working smoke detectors in the home.

During a fire, a person can become unconscious and die from smoke inhalation in as little as 2 minutes.  2 minutes!  This is one life saving issue I counsel clients on when I review residential and business fire insurance.  Make sure your home and business has working smoke detectors.  If battery powered, change the batteries every 6 months.  Replace smoke detector units every 10 years, or sooner if they malfunction.

Smoke detectors.  Inexpensive and life saving.

Protect yourself and your loved ones by having working smoke detectors and adequate Fire Insurance Coverage. 

Concerned about Tax, Insurance, Annuity, or Related Financial Matters?
About Mary Rae Fouts, EA


Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides Tax Services, Insurance Consulting Services, Annuity Consulting Services, and Expert Witness Services to clients who typically have technical or complex concerns.  For more information visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Mary Rae Fouts

November 4, 2019

Fire Insurance: Do You Have Adequate Fire Insurance Coverage?

Fire Insurance


Wildfires are once again present, large and small, in both Northern and Southern California.  Anyone can be affected by these devastating events, and people simply must plan accordingly.  The Kincaid Fire in Sonoma County, California necessitated the mandatory evacuation of nearly 200,000 people.

And all this while at the same time PG&E, California's largest utility provider, shutoff electricity to many millions of people in Northern and Central California in 4 different mass "safety" power outages during October.  Some people - homes and businesses - were or have been without electricity for nearly an entire week.  Also, natural gas was shut off to many areas in Sonoma County given the Kincaid Fire.

In other words, misery upon misery.

Which all brings me to the topic of this post:  Do you have adequate Fire Insurance for your home, business, or rental property?

When is the last time you reviewed your Fire Insurance Coverage to ascertain you have adequate coverage in the event of a fire?

Fire Insurance Coverage should be periodically reviewed to ascertain you have adequate coverage in the event of losses in a fire.  The ideal time for reviewing coverage is when you receive your annual insurance policy renewal information.  Also, coverage should be reviewed if you make substantial changes to your property, including construction such as remodel and addition work.

Mary Rae Fouts, EA has 31 years of insurance industry experience.  Through her Insurance Consulting Services, Mary provides risk analysis and insurance coverage recommendations, including for Fire Insurance Coverage for homes, businesses, and rental properties.  To learn more about these services visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Concerned about Tax, Insurance, Annuity, or Related Financial Matters?
About Mary Rae Fouts, EA


Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides Tax Services, Insurance Consulting Services, Annuity Consulting Services, and Expert Witness Services to clients who typically have technical or complex concerns.  For more information visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Mary Rae Fouts

November 1, 2019

Roast Turkey: Thanksgiving is Coming up. Here is How to Make Easy and Beyond Delicious Slow Roast Turkey.

Slow Roast Turkey

Easy to Make
Fall-Off-the-Bone Tender
Delicious and Flavorful
Economical
Plenty of Leftovers ("Reruns") for Future Meals
Good All Year Round - Not Just at Thanksgiving!

17-pound Diestel turkey ready to go in the oven!


All done after slow roasting for about 9 1/2 hours!


Recipe?  Check out my Thanksgiving 2019 blog post about roast turkey for the easy, no fail recipe.  For fruits, veggies, and herbs, this roast chicken had plenty of onion, celery, orange, lime, and fresh garden herbs including sage, bay leaf, flat leaf parsley, marjoram, and rosemary.

Make a roast turkey soon and look forward to easy, comfort food meals with the leftovers:  club sandwiches on sourdough bread, hearty "stoups" using the roast turkey au jus, BBQ turkey sandwiches on buns, turkey tacos or turkey and bean enchiladas, and chef dinner salads.  Delicious and nutritious comfort food and its finest.

Plus, your kitchen area will smell absolutely divine with the wonderful buttery aroma as the turkey slowly roasts.  The above photos are from our last Christmas turkey, but we eat turkey all year round:  whole roast turkey, roast bone-in turkey breast, boneless turkey cutlets, ground turkey burgers, and freshly-sliced turkey/smoked turkey from the my grocer Lunardi's deli.

Roast turkey:  it's not just for Thanksgiving anymore.  Perfect anytime of the year.

Concerned about Tax, Insurance, Annuity, or Related Financial Matters?
About Mary Rae Fouts, EA


Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides Tax Services, Insurance Consulting Services, Annuity Consulting Services, and Expert Witness Services to clients who typically have technical or complex concerns.  For more information visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Mary Rae Fouts