9 months ago

April 2016 Final Web

April 2016

A retired educator and

A retired educator and veteran, Cooke has become an advocate for renewed patriotism, and a critic of poverty in our region. “If many politicians have become more the problem than the solution,” states Cooke, “then good people are encouraged to speak-up, step-up, and fix the mess.” THE PAIN OF HEALTH INSURANCE by C.L. Cooke The financial reality of the impact from the ACA (Affordable Care Act) aka “Obamacare” has begun to negatively affect Americans across the country. A survey by Freedom Partners found that insurance deductibles under the ACA increased in 41 of 50 states. Though the average increase for your deductible nationwide was 8.4%, and the average increase was $265, some states are experiencing increases over $1,000. North Carolina with a 20% average increase is among 17 states with double digit increases. These out-of-pocket increases means that you pay for your healthcare up front until you reach your deductible threshold. Some states already had deductibles of $3,000 or more, so the increases are financially stressing the family budgets in most states. Self-employed individuals make be benefactors of the health insurance requirement, where the poorest of individuals and families, who may now have health insurance, may in fact be no better off because out the out-of-pocket costs that must be satisfied by the high deductible requirement. The self-employed are able to write-off expenses that bring their taxable income to a level that qualifies them to choose one of the ACA plans. Citizens, who chose not to become insured through the ACA, or a plan available in their state through a private insurer, are subject to a penalty levied by the IRS. So, the uninsured are feeling the pain by penalty, the poor feel the pain from the high deductible, and the self-employed are hoping that any reduction in monthly premiums from a previous plan will not be nullified by the high deductible they must meet under their new Gold, Silver, or Platinum ACA health insurance. As cause for reminder that the greatest beneficiaries from government run programs typically seem to be the Big Business Interests that benefit the most, and the career politicians who have become the campaign contribution “lap dogs” of the big money…the public may still have the largest voice in the matter. The combination of some 20+ new tax increases buried deep in the ACA legislation, along with the burdensomely high deductibles found in 41 of 50 states, including North Carolina, may help the voting public become more informed, more active, and actually become more astute voters. The 2016 election year is in full swing…can you feel the pain? Comments? E-Mail to 24 Albemarle Tradewinds April 2016

The Age of Asparagus I love April in my garden. My roses are starting to come in, my bulbs are blooming, everything’s turning green, flowers are starting to bloom, and, most importantly, my asparagus crop is coming in. I love me some steamed asparagus with a simple lemon butter sauce or napped with a Hollandaise sauce, but today I’m venturing into new territories – two ways. I’m pairing roasted asparagus with a pistachio and mint pesto and making sautéed asparagus with an almond gremolata. By Rosie Hawthorne When most people think “pesto,” they think basil, pine nuts, and olive oil. I like to push the concept and utilize different herbs, nuts, and flavors. Asparagus with Pistachio and Mint Pesto For the pesto: ¼ cup pistachios, toasted 1 small garlic clove, minced Zest of 1 lemon Pinch kosher salt Freshly ground pepper, to taste ½ cup fresh mint leaves, packed ⅓ cup of your favorite extra virgin olive oil Rosie’s Note: I like to pack flavor into whatever I’m preparing, so for my olive oil, I’m using a Lemon-Infused Olive Oil from Outer Banks Olive Oil Company. For the asparagus: ½ pound asparagus, ends trimmed 1 TB Lemon-infused olive oil Pinch kosher salt Freshly ground pepper. Heat oven to 425°. In a dry skillet, toast the pistachios for about 2 minutes over medium heat – until fragrant. Set aside and let cool. In a processor, pulse the pistachios, garlic, zest, salt, pepper, and mint until you get a thick paste. With the processor running, slowly drizzle in the oil. Toss the asparagus on a baking sheet with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast asparagus at 425° for about 8 minutes, until crisp-tender. Toss with pesto and serve. Next, I’m sautéing asparagus and tossing it with gremolata, a chopped herb condiment typically made with parsley, garlic, and lemon zest and traditionally served with osso buco, a classic Italian veal dish. I love the herbalicious goodness of this. For more recipes and tours through Rosie’s Garden, visit me at Sautéed Asparagus with Almond Gremolata 2 TB almonds, toasted and chopped 1 garlic clove, minced ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped 1 TB fresh chives, chopped 1 tsp fresh oregano, chopped 1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped Zest of 1 lemon Juice of 1 lemon 1 TB extra virgin olive oil (ingredients contunued on right) Did you know the Albemarle Tradewinds is located in more than 200 locations in NENC and Chesapeake? (Ingredients continued) Pinch kosher salt Freshly ground pepper ½ pound asparagus, trimmed 2 TB unsalted butter. Combine first eleven ingredients in small bowl. Sauté asparagus in unsalted butter over medium high heat until crisp tender. Spoon gremolata over asparagus and enjoy. The Treasure Hunter “Don’t do it... without checking with me first” Milton Sawyer 252-722-6078 Cash Buyer Gold & Silver Jewelry & Coins Albemarle Tradewinds April 2016 25