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

Directions:

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!"

Ingredients

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."

Ingredients

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

1 cup rice vinegar
1/3 cup white sugar

Directions

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

Directions:

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

Article

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

http://www.budgetbytes.com/2012/11/choco-coconut-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.

Delicious.

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.
Prep
20 mins. to 50 mins.
Bake
25 mins. to 30 mins.
Total
2 hrs 35 mins. to 3 hrs 15 mins.

Yield
12 pretzels

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.

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

Instructions
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

source

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.

I LOVE OLIVES!!!

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!

Ingredients

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

Directions

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.

WOW!

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.
Ingredients:

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.

Refrigerate!

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.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Remembering the Rewards of Pressure Cooking

I finally replaced the rubber gaskets on our three PRESTO pressure cookers. I am back up and running with STEAM HEAT. Do you remember Doris Day singing that song?

Anyway I am sorry I didn't buy my gaskets 10 years ago. Nonetheless it's been a sweet reunion.

I forgot how amazing the leftover concentrated broth is after pressure cooking vegetables. This is liquid GOLD. I call it vegetable liqueur. Save it in a jar in the fridge and use it to make a quick broth or add it to a soup or a stir fry. It is full of flavor and vitamins.

Years ago when I taught a pressure cooker workshop I told people, Don't be scared. It's not any more dangerous than driving a car. There are many safety features built in to the modern cookers but just like with driving be alert when you are using this tool.

A friend of mine traveled to Tibet. When she came back home to Rhode Island she said, I thought of you because the first thing I saw on top of the mountain was a gigantic pressure cooker being used to cook barley and yak meat. I was honored.

I am always trying to convert people to the joys of pressure cooking.

If you have delicious food, give it to your guest.
If you have important things to say, say it at a wedding.
—Tibetan proverb

Eleven O'clock Tea

I love black tea with milk and honey but if I drink it after noon the caffeine gives me a fitful sleep. A friend sent me this tea called Eleven O'clock and it is just as good as black tea. Read more about it.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Scrambled Hearts of Art

Lately I have been buying the large wide mouth jars of marinated artichoke hearts at Price Rite. This morning I made two scrambled eggs with six quartered hearts and a few heaping tablespoons of Greek yogurt. It was delicious.

Monday, May 16, 2016

The Secret to My Best Granola

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 35 minutes and let sit for an hour or overnight to absorb residual heat.

Recipe:
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.

Directions:
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 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.

Pressure Cooking Pasta

I tried pressure cooking pasta today. It's a REVOLUTIONARY technique. It took only six minutes under pressure. This is going to be my new go-to method. All you do is cover the dry pasta with water or stock and add a bloop of oil to prevent foaming/ clogging vent pipe and cook under pressure for half the time normally needed. Use SHORT pasta; ziti or twisty pasta not spaghetti, fettuccine or linguini. Have fun!

Pressure Cooker Romance

I have rekindled my pressure cooker romance. Last night I made kale and potato chopped and steamed for 3 minutes in the pressure cooker then tossed in frying pan with olive oil fresh garlic, ginger root, rooster hot sauce and soy sauce. I call it 'Asian meets Southern' style greens.

Right now I am pressure cooking chick peas in my leftover kale stock. The pressure cooker stock is GOLD and must be saved for making soups rice or beans.

Next I must try pasta under pressure.
http://www.hippressurecooking.com/pressure-cooker-pasta-with-spinach-pesto-casarecce-ai-spinaci/

UPDATE: I tried pressure cooking wholegrain pasta and it was great. It took 6 minutes. This will be my new go to method.
https://www.cooksillustrated.com/recipes/7536-pressure-cooker-easy-ziti-with-sausage-and-peppers

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Irish Weather: Boiled Dinner

We're having Irish weather! Maybe this is why I thought of making a boiled dinner. I chopped a bunch of potatoes, carrots + cabbage, then I dug out my pressure cooker and put in the steamer tray and water and chopped vegetables. When the pressure came up to full steam (with the pressure regulator rocking), I timed three minutes and then fast cooled the cooker under the faucet for quick pressure release. We enjoyed the hot vegetables with olive oil and salt and pepper on top. It was delicious.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Napa Cabbage Delight

Chop up a huge Napa cabbage leaving out the core. Then core and chop 4-6 cloves of garlic. Peel and chop a knob of fresh ginger.

Heat a large skillet or wok and add (olive) oil and the fresh garlic and ginger, rooster sauce and soy sauce. Then add cabbage sesame seeds peanuts almonds and cocoanut and leftover spaghetti. Squeeze fresh lime juice on top.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Simple Supper

Last night I steamed up a head of cauliflower and a few peeled and sliced carrots. When they were cooked I added olive oil and Adobo and Parmesan cheese. It was excellent.

Three Grain Bread with Pumpkin

The other night I mixed up my regular multigrain* sourdough and I added a few cups of leftover pumpkin puree. It made a fantastic bread with a tint of orange coloring.

(wheat, oats and corn)*

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Deviled Eggs

12 hard cooked eggs, peeled and halved lengthwise
1 avocado, diced or equivalent amount of mayonnaise
1/4 cup Mustard or Sirracha sauce
3 Tbsp. plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt or Adobo
1/2 cup diced red onions, divided

REMOVE egg yolks, reserving egg whites.
LIGHTLY mash egg yolks in small bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients except 1/4 cup red onions.
SPOON or pipe into egg whites. Garnish with additional remaining 1/4 cup red onions and chopped cilantro, if desired. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Progress + Efficiency are an Illusion

My microwave from 1990 doesn't shut off any more. But for years we used it with a kitchen timer. Recently our pal Steve gave us a microwave he salvaged from a kitchen job. This one does shut off but the beep sounds like a smoke alarm and scares our dog to death. So now when we want to heat up our coffee we have to take our dog into the backyard and run back inside and set up the coffee and then run outside and wait. Progress and efficiency are an illusion.

Casual Two Course Meal

My favorite two course meal is my home made coleslaw (it rocks) and a bucket of home made popcorn. This is living!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Lazy Pizza Toast

My homemade tomato sauce on top of homemade bread toasted is a quick pizza. My tomato sauce has lots of olives in it so it is a satisfying meal.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Do the Dough Thang

I set my bucket o' dough to rise in the foyer. It did! Now it's in the fridge cooling down for the night. I plan to bake it tomorrow.

Asparagus, Noodles and Peanuts IMPROV Dinner

I bought two bunches of asparagus today and decided to steam them with leftover multigrain spaghetti and peanuts. I added soy sauce olive oil and red chili jam. I used chick pea broth to steam everything. Fabulous!

Monday, March 28, 2016

Southeast Asian Canned Salmon & Rice Cakes with Sriracha Mayo

http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-southeast-asian-canned-salmon-rice-cakes-with-sriracha-mayo-recipes-from-the-kitchn-186433

Lately I've been looking to add more healthy seafood to my diet without breaking the bank, and while canned fish will never have the allure of a fresh filet, today's good-quality canned salmon is not the fishy, bone-studded mush you may be picturing. The boneless and skinless fish — once flaked and mixed with brown rice, cilantro, shallots and lime juice — cooks up into crisp-edged cakes that make an easy and satisfying weeknight meal, especially when topped with a dollop of Sriracha-spiked mayonnaise.

The fresh flavors of Southeast Asia season these cakes, making them a little different from the usual mustard- and celery-studded fish cakes. In addition to cilantro, lime juice, and minced shallot, a bit of fish sauce adds depth and savoriness to the mixture. But I think it's really the Sriracha mayonnaise that takes it over the top, whether dolloped over each cake or served on the side for dipping.

It's one of those condiments that tastes so much better than it ought to, given how simple it is to make. Mix bottled Sriracha sauce with mayonnaise. Done. Yet the subtly spicy sauce that results is so much better than plain old mayonnaise, it's difficult to not slather it onto everything. I have my friend Lydia of Apples & Onions to thank for this magic condiment; she made it for the bánh mì bridal shower she and some friends hosted for me a couple years ago, and I have found many excuses to make it since then.

And while these cakes don't take much time to mix together if you have cooked rice on hand, they hold together a little better if they are allowed to rest in the fridge. This makes them easy to assemble ahead of time — either in the morning or the night before cooking — for a quick, healthy main dish that feels fancy enough to forget it's actually budget-friendly.

Makes about five 2-1/2-inch cakes (Serves 2)

2 6-ounce cans boneless skinless pink salmon
1 cup cooked short-grain brown rice
1 large egg
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon minced shallots
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon grapeseed or canola oil

For the mayonnaise:
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
3/4 teaspoon Sriracha chili sauce

Before cooking cakes, place a large cast iron or other oven-safe skillet in the oven. Preheat to 400°F.

Combine the salmon, rice, egg, cilantro, shallots, lime juice and fish sauce in a large mixing bowl and mix with a fork until thoroughly combined. Using your hands, shape and lightly squeeze the mixture into cakes about 2 1/2 inches in diameter and set aside on a plate. If you have time, cover and let rest in the refrigerator. (See note below.)

Remove the hot pan from the oven with oven mitts. Coat pan with oil and place cakes in pan. (Depending on the size of your pan, you may need to cook in batches.) Return to oven and cook 5-7 minutes, until lightly browned on one side. Flip and cook for another 5-7 minutes.

While the cakes are cooking, whisk together the mayonnaise and Sriracha in a small bowl. Dollop mayonnaise on top of cakes or serve on the side for dipping.
Additional Notes

Refrigerating the cakes for at least 15 minutes or up to one day before cooking will help them hold their shape better. Otherwise, just handle them more carefully as you cook them.
Short-grain brown rice has a sticky texture that helps hold the cakes together better than long-grain brown rice. (The cakes will still be delicious if made with long-grain brown rice, but they will fall apart a bit during cooking.)
You can also cook the cakes in a skillet on the stove over medium heat until browned on both sides.
Try cooking the cakes in coconut oil for another flavor variation.

Salmon Burgers

PACIFIC SALMON BURGERS
1 pt. jar salmon, drained and flaked
1 c. crumbs (bread or cracker)
1/2 tsp. dill weed
1/4 c. shredded Swiss cheese
1 egg
1/4 c. mayonnaise
2 drops hot pepper sauce
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. oil
Hamburger buns, toasted and dressed with sweet pickles (I like red onion)

Or use 1 (16 oz.) can red salmon, drained and flaked (or tuna, no bones or skin).

In bowl, combine the salmon, crumbs, dill weed and Swiss cheese. Beat the egg, mayonnaise, hot pepper sauce and Dijon. Add to salmon. Shape into 4 patties, 1/2 inch thick. Heat large fry pan and add butter and oil. Add patties and gently saute 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Serve on buns.
http://www.cooks.com/recipe/oj1ci6ab/pacific-salmon-burgers.html

Friday, March 25, 2016

Pub Dinner at Home

Home made bread toasted and sliced into strips dipped into homemade hummus, Greek yogurt and spicy homemade tomato sauce. Great with RAVENOUS brewery Woonsocket's finest beer.

Honey and Cashew Butter Yogurt Ice Pops

http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-honey-and-cashew-butter-yogurt-popsicles-228123

Makes 6 (1/2-cup) ice pops

2 cups plain Greek yogurt
2/3 cup milk
1/3 cup creamy cashew butter
1/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon fine salt

Place all the ingredients in a large bowl and whisk until completely smooth. Divide the mixture among ice pop molds, insert the sticks, and freeze until completely solid, at least 8 hours.

To serve, run the molds briefly under running hot water until the pops loosen from the molds.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Waffle Day March 25th

1⁄2 cup sourdough starter
1⁄2 cup whole wheat flour
1⁄2 cup any whole grain flour
1 cup 1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
2 tablespoons oil or 2 tablespoons butter
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda

In a large bowl, stir together the starter, flours and buttermilk. While you're waiting for the waffle iron or pancake pan to heat up, mix the egg, oil, and salt into the flour mixture. Just before cooking, stir in the baking soda.
Using a quarter or half cup measuring cup ladle the batter onto the hot pan. For waffles cook according to the waffle iron directions, usually around 5 minutes, for pancakes flip when the edges start to bubble and the surface loses it's gloss.
Notes- You can use your choice of whole grains. I like rice flour, available at Whole Foods or health food stores. It adds a light crunchy texture to waffles. I've also used quinoa, barley, spelt, and coconut flours with great success. (If you use half cornmeal it makes a most excellent supper when topped with chili or beans n cheese!).
This recipe doubles or triples beautifully if you're feeding a crowd.
This recipe doesn't call for sugar, as I've found that using sugar in waffles makes them stick to the waffle iron. Without sugar they never stick (no need to grease the iron) and with the sweet flavor of whole grains you truly won't miss it. For pancakes you can add a tablespoon or two of sugar if you must.
A teaspoon of vanilla in the batter makes them smell terrific as they bake but we don't notice much difference in the taste, so I save that for company.
http://www.food.com/recipe/healthy-sourdough-whole-grain-waffles-and-pancakes-226011

Six Sourdough Boules Rising

Lately I have been using loaf pans and letting my bread rise in the cold oven. When the desired poof has been reached I turn on the oven to 450 F and bake them starting from a cold oven.

Don't try this technique with lobster like my Brighton Beach Brooklyn grandmother did. She put two lobsters in a vat of cold water and turned on the gas burner to high. They crawled out! She stood on a kitchen chair screaming for my grandfather.

Don't say it. I know what you're thinking: that apples don't fall far from the tree. True. When we first moved in I woke up my husband one Sunday morning to see the scariest bug alive. He came downstairs and picked it up. It was made of plastic.

Waffle Day

Tomorrow is waffle day. I'm going to join in the fun with mixed grain sourdough waffles, for breakfast.

Delightful Spaghetti Sauce

We enjoy living on this.

It's very simple to make.

Simmer all day in slow cooker:

fresh garlic sauteed in extra virgin olive oil

3 large cans of crushed tomatoes

2 cans of chopped black olives

1 small can of tomato paste

3-6 stalks chopped celery

3-6 chopped carrots

2 bay leaves

basil

oregano

parsley

red chili pepper

optional: A splash of robust red wine if you have it.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Hummus to live for

The secret to great hummus is soaking and cooking your own 1 pound bag of chick peas and then drain the excess liquid and SAVE IT for soups or breads. Add freshly squeezed lemon juice, (three lemons worth) and fresh garlic cloves, some powdered cumin, kosher salt and sesame tahini. BLEND. Use a potato masher or blender or food processor to merge the ingredients. Enjoy with pita bread or carrots. You can freeze the extra for another day.

Woonsocket: Cupcake City

Brainstorming with librarians about decorating cupcakes for April vacation. It would be great to get the public officials involved. The Mayor's Cupcake, the Fire Chief's Cupcake, the Building Inspector's cupcake, the Chief of Police's cupcake. You get the idea. I've volunteered to photograph them.

Triggers and Cravings

“Triggers are the same for everyone,” says Martinez. “These are stress, boredom and anxiety.” You may be binging to soothe yourself, but you’ll suffer after you finish. Identify your triggers and make a plan to deal with each of them. For instance, if you eat when you’re bored, structure your time more by deciding what you’ll do next before you start the task at hand. For stress and anxiety, try using coping mechanisms like meditation, walking, talking with a friend or reading a book.
article

Delish Fast Lunch

Tuna and small white beans and robust red wine vinegar. Delish and fast.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Peanut Brittle


1 cup Agave nectar
1/3 cup coconut oil
1 1/2 cup roasted peanuts
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda

Measure agave and coconut oil into a small to medium sized pot. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the peanuts. Stir continually for 20-30 minutes until you’ve reached hard crack temperature (300F). Remove from heat and stir in salt and baking soda. It will be very frothy so be careful that it doesn’t bubble over. Pour onto a Silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheet. Put into freezer for two hours to cool. Once cool, break into pieces. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

Enjoy!


http://cooklisacook.blogspot.com/2012/02/healthier-peanut-brittle.html

Starts and Ends

I have discovered I like Nutella on toast or a digestive biscuit for breakfast with coffee.
I also like a small jam jar of home made India Pale Ale before supper.
I know what you're thinking.
It's all downhill from here.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Dawn Lerman's Love in a Bowl of Soup

Article
http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1017934-mushroom-barley-soup

Hazelnut Joy Churros

I finally bought NUTELLA yesterday at Job Lot and spread it on my toast at 4AM this morning. My friend Andi told me about it. It was excellent with coffee. It was like Spanish churros.
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/churros-and-hot-chocolate-recipe.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Churro
http://theprisma.co.uk/2011/07/17/churros-a-secret-history/

BORSCHT: Black Beans and Beets

We're still eating the crazy borscht I made from bok choy and beets and carrots. I added it to the back beans and rice and turnips. Yum!

Snow Day: Second Breakfast

Smashed twice-baked olive oil and vinegar potatoes with fried eggs hatched on our street and BARRY'S Irish Breakfast tea.

SNOW DAY HURRAY!!!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Impatient Almond Joy

Toasted almonds, sweetened cocoanut, and semi sweet chocolate morsels.

Spaghetti and Home Made Red Sauce

Home made tomato sauce on top of old fashioned white pasta was so delicious we ate it for dinner two nights in a row.

Borscht and Humus!

A colorful lunch.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Leave the CLOCKS ALONE!

I prefer daylight wasting time.
http://www.standardtime.com/

This is how it goes:

Woke at 3:00 because alarm goes off at 4 Lily comes in to wake us. After making Bill's breakfast and lunch I walked Lily. I came home and boiled soaked black beans and then dumped all the leftover rice and spinach and roasted veggies in with olive oil and it became a soup. Then I boiled the soaked chick peas and took them away from the liquid for making humus (later). I boiled 4 pounds of beets in the chick peas broth. SMELLS LIKE DIRT!! I baked six pounds of potatoes to SMASH and add salt and olive oil and pepper and malt vinegar (a knish without fussy pastry!) Baked four fennel herbed flat bread to crisp-crackers. Hazards of work at home. I hope to BICYCLE to grocery store for lemons.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Ravenous Runners Saturdays at Noon

Woonsocket Rhode Island

Shepherd's Pie on Saturn!

Tonight I took all of my leftovers and layers them into a shepherd's pie. The bottom layer was leftover cooked rice and wheat berries, the next layer was roasted root vegetables, and the top layer was spinach roasted garlic sun dried tomatoes and white beans goop. A shepherd's pie on Saturn!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Picnic Freak

I am a picnic freak. I don't go far, just into my backyard but eating and writing outdoors is my "retreat".

Gordon Ramsey's Scrambled Eggs are a Hit

I use Greek yogurt in place of creme fraiche.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUP7U5vTMM0
We've made them three times since learning last week.

Tuna Melts in the Oven

Tuna Melt Burger

This recipe comes to us from The Texas A&M University System’s Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program.
Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Drain tuna and break the meat apart with a fork.
Wash and chop the celery and dice the cheese.
Mix tuna, celery, cheese, light mayonnaise, dried onion, salt and pepper into a medium mixing bowl with a wooden spoon.
Spread tuna mixture on 6 of the pieces of whole wheat bread and place a single slice of bread on top of each (making a total of 6 sandwiches).
Put each sandwich on a square of aluminum foil, then wrap the foil around sandwiches, folding edges securely.
Bake about 20 minutes or until hot in the middle. Cool slightly before serving.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Reviving the Flaming Tea Ceremony by Miriam Leberstein

Article by Miriam Leberstein

Chef Michael Smith's Slow-Baked Salmon with Honey Mustard Glaze

Recipe
http://chefmichaelsmith.com/recipe/slow-baked-salmon-honey-mustard-glaze/

Flatbread Friday

Lately every time I set up my dough in loaf pans I also set up pizza dough in pie pans. We LIVE ON BREAD and I blend flours

Flatbreads: Scrumptious Sustenance From Around the World
May 22, 2012

Cooking with Master ChefsIn COOKING WITH MASTER CHEFS, Julia Child visits sixteen nationally acclaimed master chefs in their own kitchens. Each chef demonstrates distinct techniques, regional recipes, and culinary tips which guide home cooks through their favorite recipes. Expertly preparing each dish and teaching with passion along the way, the master chefs offer the viewer a unique and inspirational learning experience.

While some think of “flatbreads” as exotic, hard-to-make crackers from foreign lands, many bread-loving culinarians realize that there are plenty of quick and delicious snacks from within all the varieties that are becoming rapidly available in U.S. markets and bakeries. The truth is, flatbreads have been popular for centuries all over the world simply because they are easy to produce and even more delicious to eat. From ubiquitous Italian pizzas to lesser-known Indian chapatti, the one food that connects almost all culinary cultures is the simple but flavorful flatbread.

In their infinite variations of shape and form, flatbreads share more than just the delicious aroma of sweet baked grain. Varying in thickness, but typically less than 2 inches high, flatbreads range from fluffy leavened breads to translucent crisp wafers. A substantial part of daily nourishment in many cultures, flatbreads are rustic, irregularly shaped slabs cooked in mass, rather than individually polished loaves reserved for the sophisticated elite. Flatbreads are cooked with a variety of different methods, and each type has its own unique flavor, from the clay-baked, smoky naan to the yeasty, oil-laden focaccia prepared in a conventional oven. While all are flavor-packed and filling on their own–some crisp and crunchy, and others soft and spongy–the unique shape of flatbreads makes them perfect hosts for flavorful dips, spreads, and toppings. A complete flatbread experience gives food lovers a taste of faraway lands without ever boarding a plane.

Developed during some of the earliest ages of mankind, flatbreads reflect the modest resources available around the globe at the time. Heat sources, grains, and techniques differ in neighboring countries. Where the sun is extremely strong in Algeria and Tunisia, flatbreads are sometimes baked in slabs buried beneath the dessert sand. Other cultures prefer open flames, cast-iron skillets, or more conventional ovens. Unlike most breads which rely solely on wheat flour, flatbreads are commonly made from a variety of grains, including corn, rye, oats, millet, rice, and buckwheat. In areas with harsh winters and poor harvests, such as Finland, rye flourishes where other grains would not grow and lends itself well to the bakers’ ovens. Adaptable to any environment, flatbreads remain a reliable source of sustenance for even the most rugged regions.

Flatbreads may seem intricate and exotic, but most of their recipes are quick, simple, and easily translated to succeed in modern home kitchens. Like conventional breads, flatbreads are prepared by combining a few common household ingredients, including flour (of varying types), liquid (in most cases water), salt, and sometimes yeast to create a malleable dough. When the dough is yeasted, it’s likely that it will go through the typical proofing and resting periods of most breads. Doughs without yeast–like traditional Israeli matzoh or Mexican tortillas–never proof, skipping directly to the shaping process before entering ovens or skillets. When it comes to baking, traditionalists may prefer indigenous stone or clay ovens for preparing authentic flatbreads, but standard ovens can easily suffice. Baking naan without a Tandoori clay oven? Home chefs can insert quarry tiles into their everyday ovens to reach the desired smoking-hot temperature necessary for this scrumptious snack. Even easier, Indian chapatti or Mexican tortillas cook easily in a cast-iron skillet or non-stick pan. Originally created as an economical food source in a world with an ever-present fuel shortage, thin savory flatbreads cook quickly, making them wonderful, wholesome snacking solutions for our modern, time-starved culture.

The staff of life in many foreign lands, flatbreads are cropping up in American households. The recipes have survived hundreds of years of baking heritage not only because they’re economical, but also mostly because they’re versatile and great to eat. Fast, easy, and nutritious, there are few snack foods that match flatbreads in convenience, flavor, and historical significance. Pick up a pita, nibble on some naan, or munch on some matzoh–remember, the whole world is with you on this one!

http://www.pbs.org/food/features/flatbreads-scrumptious-sustenance-from-around-the-world/

Twice-Baked is the Secret to Life!

Twice baked foods are my favorite:
toast is technically twice baked--( biscotti)
potatoes, (Chef Michael Smith's smashed potatoes)http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2016/01/spaghetti-pie-with-pecorino-and-black-pepper/
spaghetti (spaghetti pie)http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2016/01/spaghetti-pie-with-pecorino-and-black-pepper/

Friday Baking Day

Happiness abounds. I just made my multi-grain sourdough and herbed flatbread dough. Will bake them all later. I can't wait to make Chef Michael's smashed and twice baked potatoes again. It's my addiction I could LIVE ON THEM Especially today when it is 30 degrees out and raw and cloudy. Snowing on Martha's Vineyard. Those lucky ducks. I feel snow deprived.

People always remark at my love of food versus desserts when I am at a party or a banquet. I love real food over desserts any day. Eggplant, Spinach pie, Hummus, Guacamole, Salsa, bring it on.

Fast Pizza

Toast terrific bread preferably homemade sourdough, lather slices with Greek yogurt (as cheese) on top, chopped red onions, olives, freshly ground pepper, cholula, salt.

Sexy Scrambled Eggs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUP7U5vTMM0

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Fast Winter Day Salad

Tuna, white beans, kidney beans, celery, red onion, Adobo, olives, roasted red peppers sliced small for color, honey mustard vinagrette, frozen corn. Sometimes I add sundried tomatoes.
Delicious, fast, healthy. COLORFUL!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Chef Michael Smith Lemon Fennel Slaw

I tell everyone to watch Chef Michael on PBS and get his books. He is AMAZING. My favorite Chef.

Lemon Fennel Slaw
Chef Michael Smith By Chef Michael Smith
http://chefmichaelsmith.com/recipe/lemon-fennel-slaw/?platform=hootsuite


This salad really shows off why fennel is one of my favourite vegetables. It’s loaded with crisp sweetness and subtle licorice flavours. Try it. Its simplicity will blow you away! It’ll soon be one of your favourites too.

Yield: Serves 2 - 4
Ingredients

1 bulb fennel
1/2 lemon, zest and juice
1 tablespoon honey
a few splashes olive oil
a sprinkle or two sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Procedure

Remove the stalks from the top of the fennel bulb. Cut the head in half through the core. Carefully trim out the woody core and then slice the remaining bulb as thinly as possible. Alternatively, shred it through the large holes of a box grater.

Whisk the lemon zest and juice, honey, olive oil and salt and pepper together in a nice salad bowl. Toss with the fennel and then grab some forks!

Specialty kitchen stores sell a fancy French slicing tool known as a mandolin which the pros use to slice fennel, onions and potatoes paper thin. It’s nice to have one, but if you don’t 'no worries' the salad still tastes awesome.

Variation

For lots of fresh herb flavour, toss a handful of cool mint leaves, sharply sliced chives or aromatic basil leaves into the salad. You can also toss in the feathery fronds from the top of the fennel. This salad may be made well in advance and tossed again at the last second. Its texture will soften a bit but it will still be bright and vibrant.
This recipe:
Side Dishes Vegetarian Veggies

Recipe by
Chef Michael Smith
I’m a FoodTV host, cookbook author and official food ambassador for Prince Edward Island, more importantly I’m a Dad and passionate home cook!

Monday, February 29, 2016

Black & White Rice

Tonight I made a pot of white rice but while it was cooking I decided to throw in the toasted wheat berries I had in a jar on my kitchen counter. This cooked up fast and was excellent with the stir fried sesame seeds and red chili garlic ginger broccoli I made.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Sunflower Seeds: Tryptophan, Serotonin, Selenium

Top Three Reasons to Eat Raw Sunflower Seeds Now

by Hicham Chraibi

Some think raw sunflower seeds are for the birds, and it’s true that feathered friends love these little treats. But it’s surprising just how much these power-packed little kernels can bring to the table for humans, including improved moods, nutrition, and taste. There are plenty of great reasons to consider adding them to your diet today – while saving some for the birds, of course.

Sunflower seeds are nutritious
Whether roasted or raw, they provide ample amounts of protein-building amino acids, along with magnesium, potassium, zinc and Vitamin E. In fact, a quarter-cup serving provides 90 percent of daily Vitamin E requirements, which helps prevent asthma, arthritis, colon cancer and cardiovascular disease. Magnesium promotes a healthy immune system and strong bones, potassium improves kidney functioning, and zinc supports healthy overall growth. Even when roasted, these kernels lose only a minimal amount of vitamins and minerals, and still pack a powerful health punch.

Sunflower seeds taste great
Even those who don’t like raw sunflower seeds might enjoy them roasted or covered in chocolate. They are a tasty, easily portable snack for healthy eaters on the go, yet versatile enough for use in gourmet dishes. Whether used as a topping or baked right into the dish, they are a great addition to salads, breads, fish, pasta and vegetables. Salted sunflower seeds provide extra flavor, but can also increase cholesterol significantly. For that reason, unsalted sunflower seeds provide the maximum health benefit and can still add texture to many recipes.

Sunflower seeds make you happy
These kernels contain tryptophan, an amino acid that helps create the neurotransmitter serotonin. In turn, serotonin eases tension, relaxes nerves and prevents depression. There is also a plentiful supply of selenium, a nutrient believed to lighten a mood almost instantaneously. That’s a powerful perk for such an easy-to-use snack. They are versatile, healthy and tasty, not to mention budget-friendly, so your wallet will be happy too. Health, flavor and happiness – what more could you want? Try a pack and you’ll know this tasty snack is not just for the birds!
Hicham Chraibi is a Food Scientist at Superior Nut Company, a successful nut, candy & chocolate manufacturer based in Massachusetts since 1929. http://www.superiornut.com/