staph in meat | Bacteria-Infused Meat Found in Grocery Stores | Rodale News

This isn’t another push for you to buy organically grown meats, or is it?  You be the judge.  Just the one fact that chickens, pigs, cows, turkeys and other food source animals are injected on a regular basis with antibiotics and other drugs to make them healthy should make you join the parade.  Those are the same antibiotics we use, and when we eat them in our food we they become useless to us over time.  Read on – jughandle


Bacteria-Infused Meat Found in Grocery Stores

I’m sorry for this image, but I need to get your attention




  MRSA antibotic resistant staff infection



Handle with care: A study found that supermarket meat can house bacteria that could infect your skin.

RODALE NEWS, EMMAUS, PA—Previous studies have detected nasty, food-poisoning bacteria in supermarket meat, but a study published Friday in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases sends the queasiness factor to a whole new level: Half of the U.S. supermarket meat sampled contained staph infection bacteria, including the hard-to-kill and potentially lethal MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) infection.

The researchers ID the overuse of antibiotics in industrial agriculture as a factor in the rise of superbugs in our grocery store food.


Researchers tested 136 total samples (80 different brands) of ground beef, chicken breasts and thighs, ground pork and pork chops, and ground turkey and turkey cutlets purchased from 26 retail grocery stores in five U.S. cities: Chicago; Washington, DC; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Los Angeles; and Flagstaff, Arizona. Although previous studies have found a strong link between antibiotic-resistant germs and factory farms, this study traces the dangerous bacteria into the food chain. Nearly 80 percent of the turkey products sampled contained staph bacteria; 42 percent of the pork harbored staph, while 41 percent of the chicken and 37 percent of the beef suffered staph contamination. Nearly all of the contaminated meat harbored staph bacteria resistant to at least one human antibiotic.


At the end of 2010, the Food and Drug Administration released a first-of-its-kind agency report, finding that factory farms use a whopping 30 million pounds of antibiotics each year. But even before the release of that report, scientists and doctors had been waving red flags regarding the overuse of antibiotics in farming, and how that, in turn, is threatening human health. In 2009, Prevention magazine published a special report, “The Superbug in Your Supermarket,” which found similar problems with your standard supermarket-bought meat. While MRSA was previously linked to hospital-acquired infections, a new source emerged in 2008, and it was linked back to huge hog farms. The good news is that cooking meat kills MRSA. The bad news is just handling the raw meat can give you a serious skin infection, particularly if you have a cut on your hand. And nose pickers, take heed. Wash your hands well after handling meat because MRSA loves to hang in your nasal passages.

Find out more about how to protect yourself from superbugs in food.

• Steer clear of CAFO meats. CAFO stands for concentrated animal-feeding operation, a nicer word for factory farm. These industrial facilities often use antibiotics to speed growth and prevent disease in their crammed conditions, which is what scientists say accelerates the rise of superbugs. The Union of Concerned Scientists estimates that industrial farms account for 70 percent of the antibiotics used in this country. That heavy use is making vitally important antibiotics work less well on humans.

To find safer forms of meat, check out our Guide to Buying Grass-Fed Beef, or visit or to find organically raised, pastured meat. It’s likely more expensive, but it’s also more nutritious. If you’re strapped for cash, pastured eggs from hens that ate organic feed is a great option—way cheaper than buying four grass-fed Porterhouse steaks!

• Practice nontoxic, commonsense food safety. No matter where your food comes from, it’s always in your family’s best interest to practice good food-safety advice. However, don’t turn to toxic antibacterial soaps and sprays to disinfect. They’re also linked to the rise in superbugs. These stories contain safer alternatives:

via staph in meat | Bacteria-Infused Meat Found in Grocery Stores | Rodale News.

Organic Manifesto | Why We All Need an Organic Manifesto | Rodale News

Why We All Need an Organic Manifesto

In her book Organic Manifesto, Maria Rodale explains why demanding organic is a much-needed solution to protect our health and heal our planet. The following is another great article from

 Choosing Organic food protects not just us, but the environment


Choosing food grown with organic methods keeps toxic chemicals out of the soil, and out of your body.

RODALE NEWS, EMMAUS, PA—Organic matters, to all of us. Red state, blue state, churchgoer or atheist, soccer mom or single bachelor, what our society does to the soil (or allows to be done to it) directly affects our health. Sure, eating organic has long been a battle cry of environmentalists trying to protect the land, but as more and more science is telling us, we need to eat organic to save ourselves. As Maria Rodale, CEO of Rodale Inc. and author of the book Organic Manifesto, points out, “the planet will be fine without us.” We’re the ones in trouble if things don’t change.

Rodale, a third-generation advocate for organic farmers and farming practices, spent the last two years poring over peer-reviewed scientific research, traveling all over the country to meet with and learn about chemical and organic farmers, and interviewing the world’s leading environmental health experts. What she found is that we’re all living in a “great chemical experiment in which we are all guinea pigs.”

The warnings in Organic Manifesto apply to you if you are:

A parent.

Do you know of any mother who would purposefully feed her child a plateful of food contaminated with residue that could lead to early puberty, ADHD, and increased cancer risk? How about a glass of poison-spiked water, or meat and dairy products raised in a way that makes our medicines useless?

The levels of atrazine, a common farm crop weed killer, routinely spike in drinking water and are linked to learning disabilities in children, miscarriages, and fertility problems, along with the feminization of males. Other recent research has linked the chemical to the castration of male frogs that live in atrazine-polluted waters, raising questions about the chemical’s effects on human development. And there have been huge jumps in the number of cases of ADHD, autism, asthma, diabetes, and childhood obesity. “Scientists can’t explain why the number of children with food allergies has increased 18 percent in the last decade,” Rodale writes. “Is it a coincidence that the prevalence of these problems has increased as we have increased the use of chemicals to grow our food?”

A farmer.

Chemical farmers face all the health problems listed above, but also suffer in other ways. They are lied to by chemical companies like Monsanto, who convince them they need genetically engineered seeds and toxic sprays to increase yields, when this really isn’t the case at all. Pesticides kill all the beneficial life in the soil that help store carbon (a climate change solution), retain water (reducing runoff and flooding during storms and storing more water for times of drought), and keep plants healthy and more resilient against pests and diseases. United Nations studies have found that organic farming methods increase yields over expensive and intensive chemical methods, even in places like food-starved Africa. Organic farmers also earn more livable wages, according to a USDA survey.

As Rodale points out in Organic Manifesto, perhaps nowhere is the sad case of chemical farmers more evident than in India, where desperate farmers, nearly run out of business because of U.S. farming subsidies, turn to “magic” GM (genetically modified) seeds. “After the first year, they find out that it costs much more to maintain their crops due to the ever-increasing prices of seeds and chemicals,” Rodale writes. “Yet they are still plagued by insects and, like all promises of magic, the yields are disappointing at best. Before long, the money lenders are knocking on their doors and there is not enough revenue from the crops to pay the debts.”

“More than 160,000 Indian cotton farmers have killed themselves in the past decade,” she continues. “The favored method of suicide? Ingesting chemical pesticides.”

A grocery store owner—or shopper

Farmer’s markets are great places to find healthy, organic food, but not everyone has a farmer’s market or backyard organic garden available year-round. ( to find farm-direct organic food.) The more that consumers vote by purchasing organic food, the more stores will be inclined to carry it. If your grocery store’s organic section is scant, talk to the manager, lay out the health risks involved with chemical food, and tell him or her you’ll take your business elsewhere unless the situation improves.

A policy maker

Sales of organic food and products are growing, but they still represent just a sliver of the market. Complicating matters, the corporate domination of soy and corn seeds (ingredients in tons of food products) makes it impossible for all farmers to go organic tomorrow, even if they wanted to. There just aren’t enough non-GM seeds. Science has associated eating food grown from GM crops with an increase in food allergies and autoimmune disease, and even accelerated aging. And the GM crops are built to withstand very heavy sprayings of synthetic pesticides, chemicals that science has tied to everything from autism, ADHD, sexual development problems, some cancers, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, and obesity.

To build up a bank of non-GM seeds in the next few years, we have to take action now, Rodale told an audience at Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim last Friday. And that needs to start by ending broken farming policies that reward chemical farming methods that are poisoning us all and contributing to the healthcare crisis. Leading her list of “Five Solutions that Might Save Us,” Rodale demands a government ban of agricultural chemicals and GM seeds. “We need to demand that the government stop rewarding businesses that harm people and the planet by giving them subsidies and tax breaks and easing regulations,” she writes in Organic Manifesto.

Anyone else

Our existence—our children’s existence—depends on how we farm our food. Organic farming methods keep toxins out of our food and water, help mitigate global climate change, keep GM crops—which have barely even been tested for safety—out of the food supply, and can feed the world in a sustainable way. “We must restore the earth’s natural ability to absorb and store carbon,” writes Rodale. “Going organic will not only do that, it will also heal many other major ills as well: the poisoning of our children, our water, our wildlife, and our world.”

Visit to learn more about how buying and growing organic can improve your personal health and help heal the planet. You can also become a fan of Organic Manifesto on Facebook, and follow Rodale’s blog, Maria’s Farm Country Kitchen.

via Organic Manifesto | Why We All Need an Organic Manifesto | Rodale News.

RoundUp Weed Killer – What Biotech Pesticides Are Doing to Our Bodies

Just had this conversation with my family during a Easter get together.  Hope we can make some changes before there is no turning back. – jughandle

The following is a story from Rodale News “where health meets life”  They have some great articles and research that I will be passing on to you soon.


Roundup weed killer is now turning up in rain and the air. And that has potentially devastating impacts on our health.

Thanks to biotech firms, now even our storms are Roundup-ready.

RODALE NEWS, EMMAUS, PA—The scientific evidence piling up against Roundup, the best-selling weed killer for home and farm use, is starting to sound a bit sci-fi. The latest damaging evidence against this potent herbicide, once widely believed to be safe, comes from the United States Geological Survey (USGS), which is now detecting glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, in streams, the air, and even rain.

While the concentrations detected in rain and air are thousands of times less than what farmers dump onto field crops, emerging scientific evidence about what these chronic low-level exposures do to our bodies is cause for major concern, particularly among unborn babies and young children. These tiny amounts we’re breathing in daily could be altering our hormones and wreaking all sorts of havoc on our bodies, but the human health effects may not show up for years or decades. “We don’t fully know what our results mean,” says study author Paul Capel, PhD, environmental chemist at USGS. “If we go out to the streams or air, we see it. There’s a broader off-field exposure. The significance of that, I don’t think we really know.”

Pesticide-exposure expert Warren Porter, PhD, professor of environmental toxicity and zoology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, did the math. He took the air exposure numbers from the USGS study and found some reason for concern. His calculations showed that the levels found in the USGS survey could lead to accumulated levels that could alter endocrine mediated biochemical pathways, leading to obesity, heart problems, circulation problems, and diabetes. Low-level exposure to hormone disruptors like glyphosate (Roundup’s main ingredient) has also been linked to weakened immune function and learning disabilities. “This study is just looking at a single day of exposure,” he says. “If you consider that our body hormones work in the parts per trillion and you disrupt normal endocrine function, which tends to alter biochemical pathways, you may be flipping biological switches that have long-term impacts. No one has explored whether Roundup has epigenetic impacts which alter gene expression, possibly for a lifetime.”

So why the influx of Roundup in the air? Easy. The majority of corn, cotton, canola, and soy crops grown in the United States are genetically engineered to tolerate heavy dousings of Roundup. Interestingly, the same company, Monsanto, developed both the pesticide and the genetically engineered seed created to handle that pesticide—they’re sold together as a package. When we eat those crops (or when they’re turned into ingredients used in processed foods), we wind up eating the Roundup, too. Roundup is actually taken up inside of food that we eat, so not only are we breathing it in and getting soaked in it when it rains, but we’re also eating it at dinnertime.

Ready to Plant?

I’m hot to start my organic garden but I can’t decide what to plant.  So many good vegetable and so little time and space.  The following are 10 easy vegetables and when to plant them

10 Easy Vegetables from Lowe’s Creative Ideas magizine

  1. Beans – so the seed directly in late spring once the ground has warmed to around 70 deg.  Provide support for the plants to grow up or just let them trail down from a raised bed or flower box.
  2. Beets:  Plant the seed in the spring or late summer while it is still cool.  Havest before the beets get thick and woody
  3. Carrots:  Sow the little bitty seeds in the spring or late summer like the beets.  Till or turn your soil deeply and amend with peat or spagnum moss and sand to allow for good drainage and a easy growing space for the carrots, which are of course just a big root.  A tip in planting is to mix a table spoon of sand into your carrot seeds to help space them when planting.  I hate to thin fresh little growths.  It seems like a waste.
  4. Leaf Lettuce:  Plant the seed or starts in the cool spring.  Harvet before the weather turns hot to have the most tender lettuce.  Protect from rabbits and chipmunks.
  5. Onions:  Plant onion starts just about any time.  Harvest when the foliage begins to yellow.  Dry them out for a week before storing.
  6. Peppers:  Plant after the last danger of frost.  Support the plants by staking or with cages as you do tomatoes.  Banana peppers are the earliest to pick.  Bell peppers are later.
  7. Radishes:  Some radishes are ready to pick in 20 days.  Sow the seeds directly in the spring or fall and thin tight groups.
  8. Spinach:  Plant in the spring or fall and harvest before the heat of summer or the first frost.
  9. Tomatoes: Plant as soon as the fear of frost has passed or plant starts when the ground has warmed to 70 degrees.  Stake or cage the plants to keep the fruit off the ground and water consistently to prevent cracked fruit.  Mulch to prevent soil-borne diseases from splash up on the foliage.
  10. Zucchini:  Sow seeds in late spring.  The plant needs lots of sun and room to grow.  Harvest while the skin is still shiny.

Post your Garden Ideas

I had a request from my friend Steve that I ask my readers to share their vegetable garden ideas and solutions to their individual problems.  I thought that was a great idea.

Send pictures to and I’ll post them as they arrive.


No better way to make sure your food is exactly how you’d want it to be than to grow your own, or rise your own livestock for that matter.  Gardens can be all shapes and sizes.  They can be planted in the ground, in containers, in raised beds, on roofs, flower boxes, old wheel borrows, concrete blocks etc, etc.  I know some of our readers even manage their own bee hives too.  This is GREAT stuff people.  I love this idea.

Brown thumb

I must admit that I have a brown thumb.  Try as I must, year after year, I always have some kind of problem that makes my crops less bountiful than I wish they were.  To be honest, I’m going to use your ideas to boost my crop yield.

Things I’d like to know

  • How important is the soil?
  • What kind of amendments should I add to my soil?
  • What kind of vegetables should I try to grow in the North Atlanta area?
  • How close should my tomatoes be?
  • What kind of support should I use for my vines?
  • How much sun should I have on tomatoes, beans, squash, broccoli?
  • Should I protect my garden from my free range chickens, local rabbits, chipmunks, etc, if so how?
  • When and with what should I fertilize?

No Dig Vegetable Garden

To start things off, I’ll offer a find on the net about a no dig garden and how to build it.


That should get the ball rolling.  Please help us all answer these and other lingering garden questions and God knows, please send pictures. – jughandle

Off Topic – The 3 point shot

I bet you didn’t know that basketball introduced the 3 point shot in 1961 in the American Basketball league.  That league only lasted 1 1/2 seasons before folding.  Then in 1967 the ABA started and added all kinds of interesting “stuff”, like the 3 point shot and dunk contests.  I’m still pissed off that while I played high school basketball and could dunk, the no-dunk rule was in effect.  Heck, if the 3 point shot had been in effect while I was in high school, Fritz and I would never had touched the ball.  C*******and N**** would have jacked the ball as they brought it across the line.  I can’t imagine Coach Moses with the 3 point shot.

Where is the line?

The NCAA once only had the line at 19 feet.  That is the reason I’m writing this blog, because I noticed while watching a game the other night that there was just one 3 point line on the court and it seemed further back than I remembered.

From what I understand, the NBA has a 22-foot 3-point line in the corners and a 23-foot, 9-inch line elsewhere. The WNBA and the international game plays with a 20-foot, 6-inch line. The NCAA men’s game has a 20-foot, 9-inch line (a move from 19 ft 9 inches in 2008) while the NCAA women and high schools have a 19-foot, 9-inch line.

15 Different Frosting Recipes

Tired of the same old same old? Need something more than sticky on your buns?  Try one of these from

1. Meringue Buttercream


  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 5 large egg whites
  • Pinch cream of tartar
  • 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring sugar and water to a boil. Clip a candy thermometer onto the saucepan. Boil the syrup, brushing down the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in water to prevent crystallization, until the syrup registers 240 degrees (soft-ball stage).
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites on low speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar, and beat on medium high until stiff but not dry peaks form.
  3. With the mixer running, pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl (to prevent splattering) into the egg whites in a steady stream, and beat on high speed until the steam is no longer visible, about 3 minutes. Beat in butter, piece by piece. Add vanilla; beat until smooth and spreadable, 3 to 5 minutes. If it looks curdled at any point during the beating process, continue beating until smooth.

2. Whipped Frosting


  • 3 large egg whites
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. In a heatproof bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of simmering water, combine egg whites, sugar, salt, and water. Cook over medium, stirring constantly, until sugar has dissolved (or mixture registers 150 degrees on an instant-read thermometer), 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat on medium-high until glossy, stiff peaks form (do not overbeat), about 3 minutes; reduce speed to low, add vanilla extract, and beat just until combined. Use immediately.

3. Basic Buttercream


  • 12 ounces (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 pound confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Beat butter with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes.
  2. Reduce speed to medium. Add sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating after each addition, about 5 minutes. (After every 2 additions, increase speed to high, and beat for 10 seconds, then reduce speed to medium-high). Add vanilla, and beat until buttercream is smooth. Use immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. (Bring to room temperature, and beat on low speed until smooth before using.)

4. 7 minute frosting


  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 3 large egg whites, room temperature


  1. In a small, heavy saucepan, combine 3/4 cup sugar, corn syrup, and 2 tablespoons water. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar has dissolved. Rub a bit between your fingers to make sure there is no graininess. Raise heat to bring to a boil. Do not stir anymore. Boil, washing down sides of pan with a pastry brush dipped in cold water from time to time to prevent the sugar from crystallizing, until a candy thermometer registers 230 degrees about 5 minutes. (Depending on the humidity, this can take anywhere from 4 to 10 minutes.)
  2. Meanwhile, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form, about 2 1/2 minutes. Gradually add remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Remove the syrup from the heat when the temperature reaches 230 degrees (it will keep rising as pan is removed from heat). Pour the syrup in a steady stream down the side of the bowl (to avoid splattering) containing the egg-white mixture, with the mixer on medium-low speed.
  3. Beat frosting on medium speed until cool, 5 to 10 minutes. The frosting should be thick and shiny. Use immediately.

5. Dark Chocolate Ganache


  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped


  1. In a large saucepan, bring 2 cups heavy cream, 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, and 1/8 teaspoon salt to a boil. Remove from heat; add 1 pound bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped, and let stand, without stirring, for 1 minute. Whisk just until combined. Refrigerate, stirring occasionally, until spreadable, about 1 hour.

6. Cream Cheese frosting


  • 1 pound (16 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
  • 2 pounds confectioners’ sugar, sifted


  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and vanilla until light and creamy, about 2 minutes. With mixer on medium speed, gradually add butter, beating until incorporated.
  2. Reduce mixer speed to low. Gradually add sugar, beating until incorporated.

7.  Brown Sugar Butter cream


  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into tablespoons


  1. In a heatproof bowl set over (not in) a pan of simmering water, whisk together egg whites, sugar, and salt. Cook, whisking constantly, until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is warm to the touch.
  2. Transfer to the clean bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium speed until fluffy and cooled, about 15 minutes.
  3. Raise speed to high; beat until stiff peaks form. Reduce speed to medium-low; add butter, 2 to 3 tablespoons at a time, until fully incorporated.

8.  Caramel frosting


  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 package (16 ounces) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, plus more if needed
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt


  1. In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat until nut-brown in color, about 8 minutes. Remove pan from heat and pour butter into a bowl, leaving any burned sediment behind; let cool.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, salt, and butter. With the mixer on low, slowly add cream; beat until smooth. If frosting seems too thick, stir another tablespoon cream into the mixture.

9. Mrs. Milman’s chocolate frosting


  • 24 ounces Nestle semisweet chocolate morsels
  • 4 cups whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon light corn syrup


  1. Place chocolate morsels and cream in a heavy saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, until combined and thickened, between 20 and 25 minutes. Increase the heat to medium low; cook, stirring, 3 minutes more. Remove pan from heat.
  2. Stir in corn syrup. Transfer frosting to a large metal bowl. Chill until cool enough to spread, about 2 hours, checking and stirring every 15 to 20 minutes. Use immediately.

10. Coconut-Pecan frosting


  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
  • 1 1/4 cups packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and brought to room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 2/3 cups (7 ounces) sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped


  1. Combine egg yolks, evaporated milk, and brown sugar in a saucepan. Add butter, and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thick, about 10 minutes. Pour through a fine sieve into a bowl.
  2. Stir in vanilla, salt, coconut, and pecans. Let cool completely. Frosting can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 day; bring to room temperature before using.

11. Maple Buttercream frosting


  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 2 cups pure maple syrup, preferably grade A dark amber
  • 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces


  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg yolks on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, pour maple syrup into a medium saucepan. Place pan over medium-high heat; bring syrup to a boil. Cook syrup until a candy thermometer registers 240 degrees (just above soft-ball stage), about 15 minutes.
  3. Remove the saucepan from the heat. While the electric mixer is running, pour the syrup in a slow, steady stream down the side of the mixing bowl into the egg-yolk mixture (it is essential that the syrup touches the side of the bowl as you pour it in so the sugar will be very evenly incorporated and not splatter onto the sides of the bowl) until the syrup has been completely incorporated, about 1 1/2 minutes. Beat until the bowl is just slightly warm to the touch, 5 to 6 minutes.
  4. Add butter, one piece at a time, until all of it has been completely incorporated and the frosting is fluffy, about 4 minutes more. Use immediately.

12. Italian Meringue buttercream


  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 5 large egg whites
  • Pinch of cream of tartar
  • 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring sugar and 2/3 cup water to a boil. Continue boiling until syrup reaches 238 degrees on a candy thermometer (soft-ball stage).
  2. Meanwhile, place egg whites in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat on low speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar, and beat on medium-high speed until stiff but not dry; do not overbeat.
  3. With mixer running, add syrup to whites in a stream, beating on high speed until no longer steaming, about 3 minutes. Add butter bit by bit, beating until spreadable, 3 to 5 minutes; beat in vanilla. If icing curdles, keep beating until smooth.

13. Coconut meringue buttercream


  • 10 large egg whites
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups (8 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup cream of coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure coconut extract


  1. Whisk egg whites, sugar, and salt in the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer set over a pan of simmering water until sugar has dissolved and mixture registers 160 degrees, about 3 minutes.
  2. Attach bowl to mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until cooled, about 10 minutes. Reduce speed to medium. Add butter; beat until pale and fluffy. Mix in cream of coconut and extract. Buttercream can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 3 days; beat before using.


When Martha used this buttercream to frost the Coconut Column Cake, she used 2 1/2 cups sugar.

14. Brown Sugar Swiss meringue buttercream


  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1 2/3 cups packed dark-brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 sticks (2 cups) unsalted butter, room temperature


  1. Put egg whites, sugar, and salt into a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk until mixture registers 160 degrees, about 4 minutes.
  2. Beat on high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 6 minutes. Reduce speed to medium-low. Add butter, 2 tablespoons at a time, beating after each addition (meringue will deflate slightly as butter is added). Beat until frosting is smooth and glossy, 3 to 5 minutes. Buttercream can be refrigerated airtight for up to 3 days; bring to room temperature, and beat before using.

15. Chocolate whipped cream frosting


  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 4 ounces finely chopped semisweet chocolate


  1. In a small saucepan, combine heavy cream and chocolate, and heat over medium heat until chocolate has melted. Remove from heat and refrigerate until well chilled.
  2. Place heavy cream mixture in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment; beat until thick and spreadable. Use immediately