Monday, October 22, 2018

Lapses and Plateaus

Dealing with lapses

A lapse occurs when you revert to your old behaviors temporarily. If several lapses have occurred in a short time, it's tempting to think your weight-loss plan is too challenging. Not to worry; a lapse is just a short-term bump in the road. Following these tips will help you regain ground:

Don't let negative thoughts take over. Mistakes happen, and each day is a chance to start anew.
Take another small step. Changing your life doesn't happen all at once. Keep in mind that changing behaviors in small ways can add up to a big difference in your life.
Ask for and accept support. Accepting support from other people isn't a sign of weakness, nor does it mean that you're failing. Get support from others when you have difficult days.
Plan your strategy. Clearly identify the problem, and then create a list of possible solutions. If one solution doesn't work, try another until you find one that does.
Work out your frustration with exercise. Keep it upbeat and even fun — don't use physical activity as a punishment.
Recommit to your goals.
Review them to make sure they're still realistic.

Although lapses can be disappointing, they can also teach you a lot. Perhaps your goals are unrealistic or certain strategies don't work. Most importantly, realize that all hope isn't lost when you lapse. Just recharge your motivation, recommit to your program and return to healthy behaviors.

Brown Rice with Stir Fry Cabbage + Beef

Over the weekend I made a pot of brown rice in my electric pressure cooker. I rinsed the rice and measured the water using my trick (water up to below the knuckles). I set it for 19 minutes and cooked it with a bloop of olive oil and dash of Adobo. I sauteed fresh garlic in olive oil and added chopped fresh cabbage from the BIG APPLE farm and sliced carrots. Then I pushed the vegetables aside and sauteed a pound of stir fry beef from Jamie Sullivan at SHAW'S MEATS. I added sriracha sauce and soy sauce. It was fabulous. I love the sweetness of cabbage.

Portions and Hockey Pucks


Thursday, October 18, 2018

Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms

After a few weeks of reading recipes I decided to dive in without one.

I preheated the oven to 350 and stemmed the crimini mushrooms.

I poured a generous amount of olive oil in my 12 inch cast iron skillet and heated it up. Meanwhile I chopped a bunch of fresh garlic cloves and a dash of red chili flakes. I added a pound bag of chopped frozen spinach and helped it defrost in the pan by breaking it up. I added the chopped mushroom stems. I crushed a sleeve of (generic Ritz) crackers and added them and then I added grated Romano cheese and Adobo and freshly ground black pepper. I added a bit of kosher salt.

I filled the mushrooms and baked them in a skillet for 20 minutes. I only had 9 mushrooms so I baked the leftover filling in another skillet at the same time to eat with rice.

I made brown rice in my electric pressure cooker and it was ready in 19 minutes.

A fabulous dinner with a glass of sauvignon blanc.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Spontaneous Spinach Alfredo

There was nothing in the house except egg noodles and frozen spinach, evaporated milk, fresh garlic, Adobo, grated Romano cheese and olive oil. Guess what? That's all I needed to make a terrific supper. I pressure cooked the egg noodles for 4 minutes using a little bit of salt and olive oil and just enough water to cover the noodles. At the same time I microwaved the frozen spinach in a glass covered casserole dish with one can of evaporated milk. Meanwhile I chopped 6 cloves of garlic. When the noodles were done I fast-cooled the pressure cooker in the sink under cold water and drained them in a colander. I added a generous amount of olive oil to a large pot (I used the bottom half of the pressure cooker), and sauteed the garlic. As soon as the garlic was golden I tossed in the warm spinach/evaporated milk mixture with a good amount of grated Romano cheese, sprinkles of Adobo and red chili flakes, black pepper and salt. I added the noodles and stirred. Done! Delicious! My husband had seconds. I think this would also be great with sauteed mushrooms...

Monday, October 8, 2018

Chef Michael Smith's Country Bread Recipe

Here it is!

New Habits

All of us approach the process of personal change a little differently. But anyone can take a cue from these key principles as you work to adopt new habits.

4 ways to make new habits stick

Now that you're making positive changes in eating and exercising, learn how to make them stick.

Build confidence.
Focus on strategies that play to your strengths and your skills. Consider how you have succeeded in the past, and build your plan from there. Past experiences — good or bad — are learning opportunities and should be seen as a useful tool in tackling new goals with optimism.

Create a routine. An eating or activity schedule can create a better sense of control. Make sure your schedule is one that truly works for your life and not one you can follow only for the short term. That’s why it’s important to set realistic goals — the more successful you are, the easier it will be to stay motivated.

Focus on what you're adding to your life.
Try not to fixate on what you’re giving up, whether it’s certain foods, habits or a little extra TV time. Focus on things like the delicious, healthy meals you are eating and how energized you feel after a workout. Celebrate success as you notice even the smallest positive changes in how you look and feel; it will give you the momentum you need to keep going.

Make your program your own. Take a day off from exercise, or enjoy one of your favorite foods once in a while. The more you make your program work for you, the less likely you are to rebel against it. Figure out what it takes — within reason — to make your healthy lifestyle pleasurable and sustainable.

By following these principles, you can enjoy a lifetime of healthier living — and a healthy weight!
-Mayo Clinic

Friday, October 5, 2018

Baked Beans

I adapted this recipe and used what I had on hand...olive oil in place of bacon BBQ sauce in place of sugar, syrup and ketchup. I added a can of tomato paste and more molasses.
They came out great!
1 pound dried great northern beans
1/2 pound thick-sliced bacon strips, chopped
2 large onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups ketchup
1-1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup molasses
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Corn Oil Pastry Crust
READY IN: 15mins SERVES: 6-8
YIELD: 2 crusts UNITS: US

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 dash salt
1⁄2 cup vegetable oil (corn is the tastiest)
5 tablespoons cold tap water (EXACTLY 5!)


Measure the flour carefully and put it in a medium-sized bowl. Add the dash of salt and stir it with a fork.
Pour the oil in and stir and "cut" it with a fork until you've got clumps varying between pea-sized and lima bean-sized.
Distribute the cold water over the mixture and stir and mash with the fork just until it all balls together.
Wipe your countertop with a damp cloth and spread a piece of wax paper on it. The paper should not slide -- if it does, dampen the counter a LITTLE more.
Form a little more than half of the dough into a disk and place it on the wax paper. Cover it with another piece of wax paper.
Roll the dough with a rolling pin from the center out in all directions, keeping it as circular as possible.
Periodically do the following:
peel off the top piece of wax paper, then lay it gently back on top of the crust.
using the bottom piece to lift it, turn the crust over, peel off that piece of wax paper, lay it back down again and continue rolling.
Continue the peel-replace-flip-peel-replace technique until your crust is about two inches bigger than your pie pan. IMPORTANT: Peel-replace-flip-peel -- then use the bottom piece of paper to lift the crust and place it over your pie pan. Gently peel off the wax paper.
Use the same technique to roll the top crust.
As you prefer, you can leave the top crust whole, cut it into strips for lattice, or whatever.
OPTIONAL: Brush the top crust with milk and/or sprinkle it with sugar.
Bake according to your pie directions.

review by holly_ann_hodges

This is a great recipe I've been using for years, but I want to say the 'exactness' of it doesn't matter for me. Maybe in the UK the flour I'm using is a bit different than others, but these proportions are far too wet. I usually leave out some oil and water (reserving maybe a fifth of the oil and a tbsp of water), mix and add more if needed. Alternatively you can just mix it and add more flour as needed, but using this exact recipe is far, far too wet, like paste. If you keep the oil/water proportions about the same but just use less liquid, it still works like a dream. I've even subbed some melted butter if I'm in the mood. Usually I'm a stickler for butter-rich baking recipes but this crust is fabulous in taste, texture and ease of use.

(from another review:)
I also chilled the oil, and chilled the pastry before rolling. Keeping everything cold keeps the gluten in the flour "short" which is necessary for tender pastry. Unlike bread where you want your gluten stretched out.

Sunday Night Apple Pie

A friend gave us a bag of apples that were very ripe so I had no problem deciding to peel them for making an apple pie. When my husband dug out the two plastic dough scrapers I realized why. They were the perfect tool for picking up the piecrust dough off of the wooden board. We followed the Joy of Cooking recipe and followed advice for temperature: 450 for ten minutes and then reducing the temps to 350 for 35 minutes. I used a crust guard on the rim. The pie came out great. We had pie for dinner with cheddar cheese and white wine!

Friday, September 28, 2018

Lyle's Golden Syrup in Tea!

I have admired the British tins of Lyle's Golden Syrup for years. I love it in my tea. Unfortunately I can't find any more at the bargain store!

Here's a blog demonstrating how to make your own.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Danish Rye: Rugbrod

Yogurt, Butter and Buttermilk-Making

Stay tuned for this workshop.

Cultured Butter

Add 1 tablespoon of mesophilic yogurt or cultured buttermilk per cup heavy cream. Mix well.
Culture 12-24 hours at 70º-77ºF

Pour butter into a small bowl.
Wash butter with filtered water, pressing out any remaining buttermilk with a spoon.
When the water runs clear, the butter should be free of buttermilk. Leaving buttermilk in the butter will cause the butter to spoil quickly.
Salt the butter and add herbs, if desired.
Wrap butter in wax paper and store in the refrigerator or freezer.

Waffles in the Garden

With an extension cord I can bake waffles at my picnic table in the backyard jungle. I am planning to churn the butter!

The Pastry Cutter is my Best Friend

Since I am nuts over making a weekly dozen hard boiled eggs in my pressure cooker, I am also nuts over chopping the eggs rapidly and easily using my pastry cutter. I add Italian red wine vinegar, Adobo, Generic Hellman's mayo, and Cholula hot sauce. I eat the eggs with baby spinach or toast or celery or pickles and red onions.

Bread Bread Bread

We just ordered 50 pounds of steel cut oats from JAR Baker's supply, Crow Point Road in Lincoln Rhode island. Check them out if you've never been there. Ask for Val Medeiros.

I have fallen in love with adding steel cut oats and coarse cornmeal to my sourdough bread. I love texture. Also when using a white bread flour (like I do in summer) these added whole grains contribute to the nutrition. The crusts are crunchy! I also added rye flour given to me as a gift. The rye is so smooth is reminds me of talcum powder.

Last week I used Price Rite white flour leftover from my bread workshop and I added 2 cups of Price Rite coarse cornmeal and 2 cups of Price Rite steel cut oats to the white flour along with 3cups of sourdough starter. It was the best bread I've made in a long time.

Toast sandwiches: red onion, thinly sliced pickles, and pepper jack slice of cheese, and fresh basil leaf, green olives.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Home Food in Summer

Home made molasses granola, pressure cooked German potato Salad, egg salad, pressure-cooked chick peas, broccoli. We love these fast cold summer foods.

Whole-wheat Sourdough Waffles

Start this recipe the night before for morning waffles or in the morning if you'll be having them for dinner. Made with white whole-wheat flour, the batter is thick and elastic producing scrumptious and full-flavored waffles.. This method is based on Nancy Silverton's in Breads from La Brea Bakery and adapted by me over the years. For best results, use a sourdough starter that you've fed within the past three days. (The longer in advance the more tang the waffles will have.)
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Prep Time 12 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 7 waffles
Calories 375 kcal
Author Lynne Curry

1 1/2 cups sourdough starter "fed" within the past 3 days
4 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups milk whole or skim
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 1/3 cups stone-ground white whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup uncooked 8-grain cereal
3 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda


Whisk together the starter, butter, oil, milk, maple syrup, white whole-wheat flour and 8-grain cereal in a large mixing bowl until well-blended. Cover securely with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 8 to 12 hours.

Uncover the batter, which will be thick and have bubbles broken all over the surface. Whisk in the eggs, salt and baking soda.

Heat an electric waffle maker to its highest setting. Ladle enough waffle batter onto the bottom plate to come within 1 inch of the edge. Close the top plate and cook the waffle until it stops steaming and the surface is nut-brown, 3-4 minutes.

Recipe Notes

This recipe makes 1 quart of batter. If there is extra batter, cook the waffles, cool and freeze them in a resealable plastic bag for up to 1 month. Reheat in a toaster or low oven until hot and crisp.

Bed of Baby Spinach

A bed of baby spinach with my homemade cold potato salad and artichoke hearts is to die for.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Eat Like a Horse

We love oats carrots and apples. We eat like horses!

One More

One more cabbage recipe

Sunday, June 24, 2018

My Own Baked Cabbage Rolls

I froze the cabbage head overnight and today I defrosted it peeling off the leaves. Reading about freezing rather than parboiling the cabbage is what inspired me to finally try making cabbage rolls.

I made a mixture of cooked leftover brown rice and kidney beans and two big chopped white onions. I used about a half of a cup of rice bean onion mixture in each cabbage leaf. After I rolled them I placed them in two greased Pyrex dishes.

Then I made an impromptu tomato sauce from 6 cloves of fresh garlic chopped and sauteed in generous amount of olive oil, crushed red pepper, oregano, basil, parsley, 1 can of Lindsay black olives (chopped), celery (4 ribs) chopped, teaspoon salt, teaspoon sugar, 1 large can of crushed tomatoes, 1 small can of tomato paste. I warmed it up to combine the ingredients (taste tested) and spooned it over the cabbage rolls.

I deliberately made the sauce intensely rich and flavorful since the cabbage, rice and beans were bland.

I placed the cabbage rolls in a preheated 350 degree oven to bake for 30 minutes.

We'll see how they come out. After they are baked I might sprinkle on Romano cheese.

Cabbage Burritos!


Cabbage Burritos
By Lena Abraham

Cabbage Burritos Are The Perfect Low-Carb Lunch
by Delish US

Prefer a smaller burrito? Use one leaf instead of two! (You'll get 8 smaller burritos instead of 4 big ones!)
Yields: 4 servings
Prep Time: 0 hours 10 mins
Total Time: 0 hours 35 mins
8 large green cabbage leaves (from 1 head)
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 lb. ground beef
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. taco seasoning mix
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 (15-oz.) can black beans
1 1/2 c. chopped cherry tomatoes
1 c. corn, canned and drained or frozen
1 c. shredded Monterey Jack
1/2 c. shredded cheddar

Preheat oven to 350º and line a small baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large pot of boiling water, use tongs to dip cabbage leaves in water for 30 seconds to blanch. Place on a paper towel-lined plate to dry.
In a large skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes, then stir in ground beef and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until beef is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Drain excess fat, then season with taco seasoning mix, salt, and pepper. Stir in black beans, cherry tomatoes, and corn.
Lay 2 cabbage leaves side by side, overlapping slightly. Place a heaping spoon of ground beef mixer, then top with cheese. Fold short sides of cabbage leaves in first, then roll into a cylinder — like a burrito! Repeat with remaining beef mixture.
Place on baking sheet and bake until cheese is melted, about 10 minutes.

Ruhbarb Apple Raspberry Compote

A neighbor gave me rhubarb and a bag of her frozen raspberries. I simmered them with some beat up apples I had kicking around. I added a little bit of sugar and it was a fabulous dessert with plain yogurt. It was just like pie but without the crust.

Meatless Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

These meatless cabbage rolls, made in the slow cooker, feature beans and brown rice instead of the typical ground beef filling.
Better Homes and Gardens

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Makes: 4 servings
Prep: 25 mins
Cook: 6 hrs Low or High 3 hours

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

1/2 cup instant brown rice
1 large head green cabbage (about 2 pounds)
1 15 ounce can black beans or red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup chopped onion (1 medium)
1 26 ounce jar chunky tomato pasta sauce or meatless spaghetti sauce
Shredded cheddar cheese (optional)


In a small saucepan bring 1/2 cup water to boiling. Stir in uncooked rice. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat; set aside.
Meanwhile, remove 8 large outer leaves from the cabbage. In a 4-quart Dutch oven cook cabbage leaves, covered, in boiling water for 4 to 5 minutes or just until leaves are limp. Drain cabbage leaves. Trim the thick rib in the center of each leaf. Set leaves aside. Shred 4 cups of the remaining cabbage; place shredded cabbage in a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker. (Wrap and chill remaining cabbage for another use.)
In a medium bowl combine beans, cooked rice, onion, and 1/2 cup of the pasta sauce. Evenly divide the bean mixture among the 8 cabbage leaves, using about 1/3 cup per leaf. Fold sides of leaf over filling and roll up. Pour about half of the remaining pasta sauce over shredded cabbage in cooker. Stir to mix. Place cabbage rolls on the shredded cabbage. Top with remaining pasta sauce.
Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 6 to 7 hours or on high-heat setting for 3 to 3-1/2 hours. Carefully remove the cooked cabbage rolls and serve with the shredded cabbage mixture. If desired, sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Makes 4 servings.


Thursday, June 21, 2018

Bikini Brownies

A recipe for fat free Brownies!

1 cup sugar
3⁄4 cup flour
1⁄2 cup cocoa
2 egg whites (this is for cake like brownies and is optional)
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1⁄4 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
2⁄3 cup non-fat vanilla yogurt (a 6 oz. container, Dannon works best)
nonstick cooking spray


Preheat oven to 350°F.
Mix all dry ingredients.
Add yogurt and mix well.
Batter will be very thick.
Spray an 8x8 pan with nonstick cooking spray.
Spread batter evenly.
Bake for 30-35 minutes.
Remove and cool.
Dip a knife in warm water and cut into 16 squares.

Iced Fudgicle Beverage

Cocoa Milk Summer Swim Workout Recovery Beverage
1⁄4 cup water
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
3/4 tablespoon of raw sugar
pinch of kosher salt
2 cups of 1% percent milk

Place 1/4 cup of water, Tbs cocoa and 3/4 tablespoon of sugar and pinch of kosher salt in the microwave to heat up. Then stir well to dissolve. Add iced cubes and lots of 1 percent milk. Stir and enjoy immediately. Vary the amounts of cocoa sugar and milk to your satisfaction.

Impromptu Rice Salad

This morning I noticed we have very little food in the house so I pressure cooked 2 cups of brown rice. When it was cooked (17 minutes) I cooled it in the fridge. Then spontaneously I added my leftover homemade buttermilk dressing from my coleslaw that I was saving for some unknown reason. It was fabulous!

The Coleslaw and Rice Salad Dressing:
Hellman's mayo
lowfat buttermilk
Guiden's mustard
red wine vinegar
pickle juice
Cholula hot sauce

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Pressure Cooker Class

I copied everything down as I remember it.
Have fun!

Hard-boiled Egg(s)

Place eggs in the PC add an inch of water.
Add sprinkle of salt.

Pressure cook for 7 minutes quick release. Place eggs in cold water to cool. Drain and then refrigerate. So easy to peel!


1C rinsed rice and 1 1/4 C water
or 1 cup dry rice and 1 and 1/2 C water
brown rice (+ salt) 17 minutes
white rice (+ salt) 6 minutes natural release

Presto German Potato Salad Adapted to Emily's Potato Salad

rinse and cube potatoes (red or yellow) 4 medium-large potatoes
water 1/4 to 1/2 cup
I make it with an equal measure of olive oil and red wine vinegar (1/4 cup each)
Guilden's mustard 2 teaspoons or 1 Tablespoon
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1-2 teaspoons sugar
Cholula Hot Sauce

Mix up the dressing with a fork and taste it. Adjust seasonings if necessary. Pour over the potatoes. Seal the cooker and pressure cook for 5 minutes. Use quick release and then refrigerate the potatoes with the liquid. The taste will develop as it cools. Liquid has a lot of flavor!

Vegetarian Lentil Chili

1 cup dried lentils
3 cups water
1 can crushed tomatoes (28 oz can)
3 ribs celery chopped
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt (less if regular salt)
1 teaspoon cumin
1-2 teaspoons oregano
1-2 teaspoons parsley
1-2 teaspoons basil
Cholula hot sauce

Pressure cook for 15 minutes natural release or 17 minutes quick release. Serve over rice!

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Eggs and Pasta

I pressure cooked a dozen eggs for pickling

and a pound of penne whole wheat pasta.

My own fast food. I am crabby late in the day, when hungry. Cook now, microwave later.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Fast Tuna

I opened two small cans of tuna and added southwestern stop and shop brand hot salsa. Very good! Enjoy with whole wheat crackers.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Old Apples Salad

I had leftover homemade coleslaw mayo mustard buttermilk dressing and I poured it over old apples and it was so good that I will do it on purpose next time.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Comfort Food

I made coleslaw and pinto beans and roasted cauliflower. They are fantastic especially as leftovers eaten with saltines and peanut butter. The crackers make me feel I like I am 6 years old.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Fabulous Soup

This morning I hit the ground running, in the kitchen. I made granola and while that was baking I pressure-cooked a tomato sauce. While that was simmering I took leftover chicken stock and leftover vegetable steaming water and leftover boiled dinner veggies and made a soup. I added more water and 2 bullion cubes and a pound of kale chopped with scissors. I added garlic and ginger red chili and olive oil and Adobo and salt. I simmered it for 2 hours. When I came home from swimming I was ready for lunch. The soup was fantastic.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Best Recipe for Hard Pretzels


Chicken Stock

I just pressure cooked the chicken carcass from my roasted chicken. I cooked it in 2 quarts of water in my pressure cooker for 45 minutes. I strained the liquid through mesh into another pot. When it cools in the fridge I'll skim the fat and use the broth for stock.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

New Sandwich

Peanut butter on toast with granola stuck on it.
Open face, open mouth!

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Saturday, January 13, 2018

The Secret to My Best Granola

I am baking granola today. I bake a batch nearly every week.
I have to make something a million times before I devise the simplest and best-tasting method.

The secret to my best granola is not toasting it but drying it out in the oven. This way the flavor of the vanilla and molasses are not overshadowed. Bake in a preheated oven 250 degrees for 45 minutes and let sit for an hour or overnight to absorb residual heat.

One cup of corn oil, Grandma's Molasses, teaspoon of real vanilla extract, one heaping teaspoon of kosher salt (half this amount if using fine grain salt). Maybe I should just admit it, two teaspoons of kosher salt.

Heat the oil, molasses, salt, and vanilla, in a large spaghetti pot and stir until bubbly then turn off the heat. Then add one (42 oz, or 2 lb 10 oz) large cylindrical container of old fashioned rolled oats and stir like mad. It's like tossing a salad of oats with molasses and oil dressing. When the oats are evenly coated pour them onto two baking trays or into two large cast iron frying pans and bake for 35-45 minutes at 250 F. Then after it has baked for 35-45 minutes turn the oven off and keep the oven door closed. Just let the granola dry out by itself. This is the important secret discovery. Come back a few hours later or the next day when it has dried and cooled and break it up (with a metal skewer) and store the granola in an airtight container.

This is my favorite travel and snack food. I often carry a little bit with me just in case I get peckish when I am out on a long walk. Sometimes I add raisins.

Kale + Chick Peas + Pasta + Sauce

Last night I steamed the chopped kale in the leftover chick peas broth in my 12" skillet. Then I added fresh garlic red chilies and olive oil. I decided to add the leftover chick peas and leftover cavatappi (hollow spiral) pasta and homemade tomato sauce. It was so good that I will do this on purpose next time. We grated fresh Parmesan Reggiano on top.

This is so good we made it again!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Fast Potato Breakfast

This morning I grated two potatoes and fried them in my skillet. When browned I topped them with two eggs briefly covering the pan. I added a few marinated artichoke hearts and my leftover tomato sauce and grated parmesan. Delicious.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Simmering Homade Tomato Sauce

I have been dreaming of Italian food for a few days so today I set up a tomato sauce using our last locally smoked Polish sausage, a head of chopped celery, 3 big carrots diced, 3 cans of crushed tomatoes, 2 cans of black olives chopped, a few cloves of garlic diced, a splash of cheap port wine and olive oil. I have not added any more herbs or spices because today the smoked sausage is my spice. Simmering the sauce over time will complete the magic.
Update: I decided to add basil, oregano, bay leaves parsley and tomato paste. The sauce was magnificent and the tiny bits of chopped sausage absorbed the Italian flavors. We ate it with a pressure-cooked pound of cavatappi pasta ( ready in 3 minutes) and pressure-cooked chick peas (as tiny meatballs) and parmesan reggiano grated fresh, on top.

Soul food in a Storm

I made scalloped potatoes with lots of potato and onion and I made a roux using whole wheat flour and olive oil and low-fat 2% milk and Adobo. It came out so good I will do it again. I baked it in a deep casserole dish out of convenience. Next time I will bake it in a shallow for more surface area and delicious crust.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Quiche IMPROV without a Crust

3 onions
two large white potatoes grated
one pound of frozen spinach
olive oil
cheap port
vegetable stock
14 large eggs beaten
4 sandwich-slices or equivalent of pepper jack cheese
6-inch smoked polish garlic sausage chopped in small chunks

I sauteed the onions and grated potato in olive oil and Adobo and added vegetable stock. When it cooked down I added the spinach, cheese, sausage, a splash of cheap port.
I beat 14 eggs and added them to the mixture and baked it in my 12 " cast iron skillet in a preheated 350 F oven for 30 minutes.

It was fabulous!

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Pumpkin Pie

I am always adapting and tinkering with my favorite recipes. Here's the latest version of an old favorite. You can really taste the pumpkin because it is not overly sweet. We like to eat it for dinner.

Pumpkin Pie

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/8 cup of dark molasses
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt (half if using regular salt)
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (or 1 teaspoon finely grated ginger root)
2 large eggs
1 small can of pure pumpkin (15 oz.)
1 can of evaporated milk (12 fl. oz.)
1 home made nine inch unbaked whole wheat pie shell (4-cup volume)

Directions for making the pie:
Read below, prepare crust first!
Mix sugar, dark molasses, cinnamon, salt, ginger and eggs in large bowl. Whisk in pumpkin puree and evaporated milk. Pour into the (prebaked 5 minutes) crust.
Bake pie in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for 40 to 50 more minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.

Some bakers use sweetened condensed milk so I tried it but I discovered that it is cloyingly sweet and drowns out the pumpkin taste compared to a pie made with evaporated milk and 3/4 cup sugar. The evaporated milk pumpkin pie is much more like Indian Pudding and tastes like a food!

Pie Crust
(I pre-bake my crust at 350 for 5 minutes.)
1 cup of whole wheat flour
1/2 cup corn oil (add a tablespoon of cold water if needed).
3 tablespoons brown sugar (the sugar is the glue, holding the crust together)
1-2 teaspoons Kosher salt (less if using regular salt or white flour)
(if white sugar is what I have I add molasses to make brown sugar)

Mix flour and oil with fingers so it is pebbly then add a little bit more so it becomes like Play-Doh consistency. Press into pie pan with fingers. Prick dough with fork and make pressed fork pattern on edge. It is very sticky and hard to handle but hang in there, it will be delicious.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Michael Rushlow's Potato Salad

Pressure Cooker German Potato Salad
Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: German
Author: Michael Rushlow
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Total time: 35 mins
Serves: 4
A speedy pressure cooker preparation of the classic warm German Potato Salad


6 slices thick-cut bacon (about ½ lb.)
2 lb. red potatoes, cut in ½"-3/4" chunks
1 onion, finely chopped
½ cup chicken broth
½ cup apple cider vinegar
1 splash worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon prepared mustard (grainy or Dijon both work fine)
½ teaspoon celery seed
1 tablespoon sugar
salt and pepper
3 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf (italian) parsley


Put pressure cooker pot over medium high heat
Roughly chop the raw bacon (you can leave it whole if you have a large pot, but I do it this way because it fits better)
Put bacon in pot and fry until crisp (around 15 min. total)
Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate
In the bacon fat, saute onions until translucent (do not brown)
Chop the crisp bacon fine and add back to the pot
Add potatoes to the pot
Add in vinegar, broth, worcestershire sauce, mustard, celery seed, sugar and a little salt and pepper
Turn heat to high, cover pressure cooker and bring to high pressure
When high pressure is reached, lower heat to maintain high pressure and set timer for 5 minutes
When timer sounds, remove from heat and let sit for two minutes then do a cold water release
Adjust salt and pepper to taste
Stir in the parsley, then let it cool (it can be served warm, or put in the refrigerator to be served later (I served it cold).

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Everybody Eats

Years ago I went to the Columbus Day festival on federal hill and a man hawking sausage and peppers was shouting "Everybody eats!" I laughed and he changed his phrase to "get your sausage and peppers here."

The Urban Mermaid

I have been LAZY about posting here. I've been posting all of my food related posts on my other blog,

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Potato Salad and Coleslaw and a Chicken Stir Fry

I just took my five pounds of potatoes and made German Potato salad in my Presto pressure cooker and then I mixed up a bucket of coleslaw. I hope to make a lemon peanut soy sauce and hot sauce dressing for cubed chicken, to be eaten with these other foods. When I am insatiably hungry I need to cook a lot, in advance of mealtime. This way I know there will be food ready and that it will last for a few days.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Sunday Morning Granola

I bake my granola at 250 for 45 minutes and then I let it hang out in the pans for hours in the residual heat after I've turned off the oven.

Savory Cornucopia Waffles

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp. baking powder
pinch of baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 cups lowfat buttermilk
1/3 cup corn oil
4 oz. nonfat Greek yogurt and chopped kalamata olives
4 cups frozen defrosted drained chopped spinach
pinch of dill weed,
splash of hot sauce
chopped garlic
we had leftover yams, beets and eggplant we chopped and threw in, holding back on the spinach.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Monday, August 8, 2016

Marinated and Grilled

Saturday I marinated 4 chicken breasts in a vinegar molasses hot sauce garlic and ginger mixture. Sunday afternoon we grilled them over hardwood and they were spectacular. I had made cauliflower kale stir fry the night before and we warmed them to room temps to enjoy with the chicken. Best meal ever, out on the picnic table.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Nuts over Peanuts

Tuesday, Jul 05th 2011
5 Reasons You Can Lose Weight With Peanuts

authored by Sheryl Kraft

Among the benefits of eating peanuts is one that resonates with nearly everybody (and makes everyone happy, if they love—and previously eschewed—peanuts): peanuts can help with weight loss.

No, I'm not going to present yet another crazy fad diet, like eat unlimited amounts of peanuts and peanut butter and you're guaranteed to drop 10 pounds in one week.

Eating peanuts while you're trying to lose weight seems like an oxymoron, right?

When I told my friend Isabelle about the connection, she eyed me skeptically. So I told her to make sure to read this post for some solid information. And, besides that, there's a chance for her—and any of you—to win some yummy peanut products, including red-skin peanuts, boiled peanuts, peanut flour and a gourmet peanut spread. (I feel like Forest Gump when I write this. Only with him, it was shrimp...pan-fried, deep-fried, stir-fried…pineapple shrimp, shrimp salad, coconut shrimp…I think he left out shrimp with peanuts).

But before I tell you how to enter the contest, let me tell you how peanuts can help weight loss.

Since peanuts and peanut butter are packed with fiber and protein, they keep you satisfied and full for a long time, helping to manage your hunger.
Because of their protein and fiber, peanuts and peanut butter will stick with you for about 2 1/2 hours vs. the half hour you'll get from high-carbohydrate foods, according to one study.
Peanuts can increase your metabolic rate. When researchers studied resting energy expenditure on peanut and peanut butter eaters, they found that it was 11 percent greater after regular peanut consumption for 19 weeks compared to the baseline.
The fat in peanuts (the "good fat") provides satiety and taste satisfaction, so you don't feel deprived.
Since peanuts stabilize your blood sugar with their low glycemic index (meaning they are digested more slowly and release sugar gradually into the bloodstream), they provide long-lasting energy and decrease cravings.

And now for the fun part. To win, please post your most inventive recipe or use for peanuts by 5 p.m. EST, July 6. It could be an unlikely or unexpected combination or something fairly common but with a twist. We'll choose the most original and announce the winner. As always, make sure to include your e-mail address so you can be notified. Once notified, you must respond within 48 hours or another winner will be selected. Sorry, contest is open to U.S. residents only. Good luck!

For more information on peanuts, click here and for more information on weight management, click here.

Subscribe to Midlife Matters by Email

Roasted New Red Potatoes

3 pounds small red new potatoes, halved
1/4 cup olive oil


Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Toss potatoes with oil, salt and pepper.
Roast until tender and golden brown, about 30 minutes (check after 20 minutes). Transfer to a serving dish.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Recipe by: JAQATAC
"This recipe is from my mother. It may sound strange, but these are really good and very easy to make. The Brussels sprouts should be brown with a bit of black on the outside when done. Any leftovers can be reheated or even just eaten cold from the fridge. I don't know how, but they taste sweet and salty at the same time!"


1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and yellow leaves removed
3 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C).
Place trimmed Brussels sprouts, olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper in a large resealable plastic bag. Seal tightly, and shake to coat. Pour onto a baking sheet, and place on center oven rack.
Roast in the preheated oven for 30 to 45 minutes, shaking pan every 5 to 7 minutes for even browning. Reduce heat when necessary to prevent burning. Brussels sprouts should be darkest brown, almost black, when done. Adjust seasoning with kosher salt, if necessary. Serve immediately.

Homemade Pickled Ginger

Recipe by: Phoena
"Pickled ginger is called gari or amazu shoga in Japanese. It's served with sushi or sashimi and eaten between different kinds of sushi. It helps to clean your taste buds and enhance the flavors. It's also great with Century Eggs - a Chinese delicacy. You can find prepared pickled ginger in pink or white at most Asian markets but I preferred to make my own and share with family and friends."


8 ounces fresh young ginger root, peeled
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt

1 cup rice vinegar
1/3 cup white sugar


Cut the ginger into chunks and place them into a bowl. Sprinkle with sea salt, stir to coat and let stand for about 30 minutes. Transfer the ginger to a clean jar.
In a saucepan, stir together the rice vinegar and sugar until sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil, then pour the boiling liquid over the ginger root pieces in the jar.
Allow the mixture to cool, then put the lid on the jar and store in the refrigerator for at least one week. You will see that the liquid will change to slightly pinkish in few minutes. Don't be alarmed because it's the reaction of rice vinegar that causes the change. Only quality rice vinegar can do that! Some commercial pickled ginger has red coloring added. Cut pieces of ginger into paper thin slices for serving.

For safety when canning and preserving foods, contact your local extension for guidelines in your area that will be specific to your altitude. Click here to read more about canning and preserving.

Crisp Pickled Green Beans

Recipe by: Janis Whitsett
"This recipe is from my Grandmother's cookbook she made to pass to all her grandchildren. They come out very, very crisp with a wonderful dill flavor. The red pepper flakes give them a nice punch. They are much better than the recipes that call for cooking the beans first."

2 1/2 pounds fresh green beans
2 1/2 cups distilled white vinegar
2 cups water
1/4 cup salt

1 clove garlic, peeled
1 bunch fresh dill weed
3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
Add all ingredients to list


Sterilize 6 (1/2 pint) jars with rings and lids and keep hot. Trim green beans to 1/4 inch shorter than your jars.
In a large saucepan, stir together the vinegar, water and salt. Add garlic and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. In each jar, place 1 sprig of dill and 1/8 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Pack green beans into the jars so they are standing on their ends.
Ladle the boiling brine into the jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of the tops. Discard garlic. Seal jars with lids and rings. Place in a hot water bath so they are covered by 1 inch of water. Simmer but do not boil for 10 minutes to process. Cool to room temperature. Test jars for a good seal by pressing on the center of the lid. It should not move. Refrigerate any jars that do not seal properly. Let pickles ferment for 2 to 3 weeks before eating.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Burrito in the Toaster

This makes a great quick chip type bread.

Whole Grains


Sunday, July 31, 2016

Eggs+Tortilla Bake

I greased a cast iron skillet and beat 6 eggs adding adobo and cajun spice. Then I found pepper jack cheese and grated it into the egg. I used seven old corn tortillas that needed a new life. I chopped them up and sprinkled them onto the egg. I added cooked chick peas and mixed it all up and baked it at 350 for 15 minutes. Delish!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Coco Granola

Granola Extras

We added extras into our granola today: dried coconut flakes, cranberries, raw sunflower seeds, raisins, semisweet chocolate chips. This is good energy food.

Five Minute Rice and Veggies

We store our 3 pound bag of rice in a huge glass jar we were given as a gift for Christmas. The rubber seal on the lid of the jar smells like fresh tobacco a flavor I can detect in the cooked rice.

I pressure-cooked rice in a bowl with water and salt on the steamer tray over a small amount of water for 5 minutes. I made napa cabbage stir fry with almonds ginger garlic, olive oil, and rooster sauce. I tossed in rice and my chickpea soup so it wouldn't stick to the pan.


Sunday, July 24, 2016

Sourdough Pretzels from King Arthur

There's nothing better than soft, chewy, warm pretzels from a street vendor — except possibly making them yourself, using this easy recipe. You can make these pretzels on a moment's notice, too: the recipe calls for sourdough starter straight from the refrigerator, no need to feed it first.
20 mins. to 50 mins.
25 mins. to 30 mins.
2 hrs 35 mins. to 3 hrs 15 mins.

12 pretzels

3/4 cup lukewarm water*
1 cup unfed sourdough starter, straight from the refrigerator
3 cups King Arthur Sir Lancelot Unbleached Hi-Gluten Flour* or King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/4 cup Baker's Special Dry Milk or nonfat dry milk
2 tablespoons (1/2 ounce) non-diastatic malt powder or 1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon butter or vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons instant yeast
*Add an additional 2 tablespoons water if using high-gluten Lancelot flour.

1 tablespoon non-diastatic malt powder or sugar
2 tablespoons water
pretzel salt
2 tablespoons melted butter, optional

Mix and knead the dough ingredients — by hand, mixer, or bread machine — to make a cohesive, fairly smooth dough. It should be slightly sticky; if it seems dry, knead in an additional tablespoon or two of water.
Cover the dough and let it rest for 45 minutes. It will rise minimally. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly greased work surface, fold it over a few times to gently deflate it, then divide it into 12 pieces, each weighing about 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 ounces.
Roll each piece of dough into an 18" rope. Shape each rope into a pretzel.
Dissolve the malt in the water. Brush the pretzels with the solution, and sprinkle lightly with coarse pretzel salt.
Bake the pretzels for 25 to 30 minutes, until they're a light golden brown. Note: This is correct; there's no need to let the shaped pretzels rise before baking.
Remove the pretzels from the oven, and brush with melted butter, if desired.
Yield: 12 pretzels.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Hot Food in Fridge


Is it OK to Put Hot Food Directly Into the Fridge?

Question: Can I put hot food in the refrigerator?

Answer: It’s fine to place hot food directly in the refrigerator.

Don’t worry about overheating the fridge — as the U.S. Department of Agriculture points out, the refrigerator’s thermostat will keep it running to maintain a safe temperature of 40° F or below.

What you do need to worry about is whether the hot food will cool off quickly enough to reach a safe temperature once it’s in the refrigerator. So never put deep containers of hot food in the refrigerator — instead, place the hot food in shallow containers so it will chill quickly.

A large pot of soup or stew, for instance, should be divided into smaller portions and placed in smaller containers before being refrigerated. A large cut of meat or whole poultry should be divided into smaller pieces and wrapped separately or placed in shallow containers before refrigerating.

If you prefer, you can also quick-chill the food in an ice water bath before refrigerating it.

Either way, be sure you refrigerate the food within 2 hours of cooking it.


Especially in the summer!

Bok Choy and Napa Cabbage

I love all of the cabbages. Chop these up and enjoy with coleslaw, hot sauce and chick peas.

Hummus with Chilli Lime Peanuts

Make your hummus using peanut butter and lime instead of tahini and lemon. Use garlic and hot sauce. Make the beans by soaking and pressure cooking the next day for 15 minutes with a dollop of olive oil to prevent foaming and clogging the vent pipe.

Six Overripe Bananas

I will bake a whole wheat banana bred with cocoa powder in it too. Stay tuned. Yes, I bake in heat waves!

Cocoa Banana Bread

Cocoa Banana Bread

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tablespoons raw sunflower seeds
6 tablespoons buttermilk

1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup oil
2 cups mashed bananas (4 large bananas)

Yields 1 loaf

Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. Set aside. Mix wet ingredients.

Combine dry ingredients with wet ingredients.

Pour batter into prepared loaf tin. Bake at 350 F for about 45 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Let cool in the tin for 10 minutes. Then take out and let cool completely on rack.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Free Lunch for Kids at Social Park

Woonsocket Rhode Island. Social Park has been renovated and there's now 4 basketball courts, a kids gym and water-park, picnic tables and restrooms. It's better than it ever was when the state owned it. Woonsocket is giving it constant care with a kind and friendly team of staff.
There's a free lunch program for kids on weekdays at noonish.

Spicy-Hot Peanuts!


2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 cups unsalted peanuts
2 teaspoons chili powder
1⁄4 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
1⁄2 teaspoon garlic salt, use more if you like


In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Stir in the peanuts, chili powder, and red pepper.
Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until peanuts are warm. Drain well on paper towels.
Sprinkle garlic salt over peanuts and toss to combine. Cool completely.
May be stored in a tightly covered container at room temperature.

Breakfast: Beets, Red Onions, Red Potatoes, Green Olives and Chick Peas

Crazy good.

Lime Chili and Late Night Swims

My brain switched into transmit and my tongue did too. I made peanut butter toast with Cholula and a bowl of nuts with rooster sauce. I started up my wagon after 6 months of not driving. I got every cruciferous vegetable that would fit in my car, and limechili peanuts all at PriceRite. Twice while shopping I nearly crashed my shopping cart into stack of glass vinegar bottles. Because I PULL my cart rather than PUSH it.

GOOD NEWS: park is yenta heaven. I go thru on my walks no matter where I am supposed to be headed. CENTRAL PARK of Woon. I LOVE IT.

Last night I swam in the pool at ten PM. Ann Marie was there it was our own private pool. She loves Woonsocket too.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Craving: Peanuts, Sunflower Seeds and Almonds

With rooster sauce on top!

Also peanut butter on toast with Cholula Hot Sauce.

Spicy broccoli with ginger and garlic and corn.

Some like it hot!

Summer: Ice, Seltzer and Sewing Dresses

When my mood lifts and if it is summer I start making lot of ice cubes, at least three plastic trays twice a day. I love filling up my steel super-insulated Thermos mug with ice cubes and then drinking a liter of cold seltzer through them using a colorful fat straw. The ice doesn't melt. The cold at the bottom cools off your throat fast.

I also think about sewing dresses but I never do it because I am writing, reading, swimming, walking my dog, baking, laundering, and vacuuming. Maybe someday I will sew dresses and blouses again. I have a cupboard full of fun fabric that I have collected over the years like unborn children each with it's own fantasy of what they could become. In the summer it's too hot and in the winter its too cold to use the sewing machine. Perhaps I should move my sewing machine to a better location. The Moon.

Sewing and pie crusts are the two pleasures I have not incorporated into my repertoire recently.

I know I am in 'transmit' because I keep saying WOW!
I wake up very early ready to write.
The computer seems very slow.
I am distracted and seduced by everything.
All subjects could become poems.
I love everybody and everything.


I try to stay inside and keep my routine.
Writing is my grounding wire.

This is why I am not sewing.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Hazardous Waste

Someone has begun pouring automotive oil next to my garage. Not only is it hazardous waste but it is also a fire hazard. I am trying to catchup with whoever is doing this. I have a hunch it is the guys rebuilding cars back here. The new landlords are completely absentee and sadly full of promises yet not acting on the tenants complaints. Thankfully we have a great City in spite of the slumlords.

Save the World with a Trash Grabber and a Bucket

I went out and did the beachcomber thing across the trash-filled asphalt parking lot. I picked up the bottles cans broken glass, crushed fast food containers, tissues, a gray plastic sword with fake blood on it, freeze pop plastic, a pink plastic fire engine, and a condom using my trash pickers & grabbers.

I threw out the office chair that a man used to climb the fire escape yesterday.

The Cash Cow is a Trash Cow

Sadly the new landlord and manager of our shared parking lot doesn't believe in providing clean up, security or lights. The neighbors some of whom have lived there for 20 years complained to me about the garbage, dirty hallways, trashed parking lot, abandoned cars, broken windows, drug-dealing and more. I have tried to convey to the new owners that they need to have a watchful presence. I have caught kids smashing windows, climbing fire escapes, drug dealing, etc. They're just interested in the rent, they tell me. Sadly the CASH COW is a TRASH COW. Just another greedy slumlord.

Heavy-Duty Super insulated Thermos Mug

I have a stainless steel Thermos mug that I bought in 1995 and it still is one of my prize possessions. In summer I fill it with 8-10 cubes of ice and add my cold coffee and the ice doesn't melt, so the coffee is super delicious. I even drink beer the same way, with 8-12 ice cubes. The ice doesn't melt so the beer is truly ice-cold. The next morning the ice cubes STILL haven't melted. In the winter my house is freezing cold and I use the mug for hot coffee and it stays piping hot.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Summer Sauerkraut Sandwich

Wheat bread toasted then mustard added, sauerkraut and raw red onions, sliced green olives and spicy hot pepper Monterey Jack cheese, melted. Enjoy with a few potato chips and pickles.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Ghosts of my Ancestors

This morning I ate homemade borscht for breakfast with a dollop of Greek yogurt on top and iced coffee on the side. The ghosts of my ancestors were communing with me.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Summer Means . . .

Summer means we get to bathe in the tub.
Summer means I'm making lots of trays of ice cubes and storing them in a huge plastic bowl in the freezer.
Summer means iced coffee and fruit smoothies for breakfast.
Summer means washing the clothes before bed and hanging them on the line at 5 AM.
Summer means 10:AM is already very hot.
Summer means wearing dresses and having exposed toes.
Summer means having a cold supper.
Summer means dunking my head under the hose every 20 minutes until my clothes get mildewy.
Summer means walking around wearing a wide-brimmed straw hat.
Summer means German potato salad, coleslaw, and pasta salad and cold beets.
Summer means red onion sandwiches.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Favorite Summer Foods

Wholegrain pasta salad is a snap when you can pressure cook a pound of wholegrain ziti in 5 minutes. Lately I've been saving the leftover 3 cups of liquid from my German Potato salad and I pressure cook my pasta in that. Summer is also the season for making home made coleslaw. My secret to coleslaw is Marion Cunningham's recipe from the SUPPER BOOK and adding buttermilk and apples.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Five Minute Vegetables: Pressure-Cooked, Delicious, + Colorful

I made this for supper last night and it was so good I ate some of the cold leftovers for breakfast. The beets add their magnificent magenta color to the potatoes and carrots. It was like wearing rose-colored glasses to the table.

One large beet peeled and thinly sliced and quartered,
2 super large carrots or equivalent, chopped into coins
4 ribs of celery chopped
6 average-sized red potatoes cubed (keep skins on but cut out any blemishes)
1 small bunch of kale, rinsed and chopped into one-inch lengths

Place steamer tray in pressure cooker.
Add water to cover the bottom of the cooker (up to the tray).
Add the chopped vegetables.

Mix up a dressing to pour over the veggies before they cook:

Equal parts generic red wine vinegar and olive oil (quarter of a cup each)
Tablespoon of Guilden's prepared mustard
Tablespoon Kosher salt
Tablespoon of sugar

Mix the dressing with a fork or shake in a jar and pour over the vegetables. Steam in the pressure cooker for five minutes (start your timer as soon as it comes up to pressure). Immediately cool under cold water to release pressure. Enjoy the veggies. Their flavor gets cooked-in and is terrific hot or chilled.
Save the liquid to drink or use in soup.

Raymond Chandler

I went out the kitchen to make coffee - yards of coffee. Rich, strong, bitter, boiling hot, ruthless, depraved. The life blood of tired men.
― Raymond Chandler, The Long Goodbye

Americans will eat anything if it is toasted and held together with a couple of toothpicks and has lettuce sticking out of the sides, preferably a little wilted.
― Raymond Chandler, The Long Goodbye

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Variations on a Theme

Last night I added fresh kale rinsed and washed to my Presto German Potato Salad recipe and cooked it all together in my pressure cooker. It came out great and was a delicious variation.

Presto German Potato Salad

This recipe came with my first Presto Pressure cooker and I have made it for over 35 years.

6 bacon strips, diced or in place of bacon I use 1/2 cup olive oil
5 pounds unpeeled medium red potatoes, cubed
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup cider or red wine vinegar
1/2 cup water
2-3 teaspoons sugar
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley, divided (optional)
2-3 teaspoons Kosher salt
1-2 teaspoon prepared mustard (Guilden's)
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Adobo seasoning (optional)

In a pressure cooker, cook bacon (or olive oil) over medium heat until crisp; drain. Add potatoes and onions. In a bowl, combine the vinegar, water, sugar, 2 tablespoons of parsley, salt, mustard and pepper; pour over potatoes.
Close cover securely; place pressure regulator on vent pipe. Bring cooker to full pressure over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes. (Pressure regulator should maintain a slow steady rocking motion or release of steam; adjust heat if needed.) Remove from the heat.
Immediately cool according to manufacturer's directions until pressure is completely reduced. Just before serving, sprinkle with remaining parsley.


Thursday, June 30, 2016

Salt and Vinegar Tuna Salad

Last night we made a simple tuna salad for supper that was notably refreshing. We used two cans of drained tuna, a small can of red kidney beans drained, sliced dill pickles, chopped red onions and chopped celery. We added a mild wine vinegar and salt. It was delicious!

Hot Day? Drink Slush

I don't like hot weather. Today in a heat panic I put 12 ice cubes and orange juice in the blender until it was slush. I added plain yogurt and banana too. It cooled me off so well I had to put on my sweatshirt.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Whole Wheat Rigatoni

I just pressure cooked whole wheat rigatoni in my Presto pressure cooker. It was ready in 5 minutes. Amazing. Pasta is no longer a project. Be sure to add a tablespoon or two of olive oil to prevent foaming which could clog the vent pipe.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

A New Twist on Kale

I am an unfussy cook so I generally like simple methods. I decided to rinse a head of kale after I trimmed the ends off and not chop it into one-inch pieces like I usually do. I left the leaves intact. I filled the pressure cooker with water up to the steamer tray and curled the leaves in. Then I pressure-cooked the kale for 3 minutes. Afterwards I made a sauce of olive oil, wine vinegar, salt, sugar, and mustard and poured it over the bowl of greens. Leaving the leaves whole was a fun discovery and the stems were perfectly tender. It was like eating asparagus. I saved the kale steaming liquid for soup or steaming pasta, or drinking as a cold broth. It was delicious.

Colorful Coleslaw with Apples and Raisins

I filled a huge bucket with two heads of cabbage chopped fine one red and one green then I added chopped carrots celery and onions. I made a sauce with a quart of low fat buttermilk, ample Hellman's mayonnaise, regular mustard, wine vinegar, salt, sugar, black pepper and rooster hot sauce. Then I added apples and raisins and raw sunflower seeds. My original inspiration for coleslaw was from Marion Cunningham's Supper Book. I have made her recipe a million times. Later I learned about the magic of buttermilk and I have never stopped using it in my coleslaw.

Grilling Broccoli

We just experimented with grilling broccoli over a hot hardwood charcoal fire. We cut the broccoli into large 'trees' and dipped the florets into various sauces. We found that a mixture of olive oil and soy sauce and a bit of rooster hot sauce was a perfect dipping mixture for grilling the broccoli. Broccoli isn't naturally sweet, so charring wasn't necessary. We dipped the broccoli into the mixture and placed the heads over the coals with the tails pointing out for about a minute or two. Olive oil is flammable - be prepared! There was no need to turn them over. We discovered all this after a few trials and many errors.