Monday, February 28, 2011

Boursin Polenta

Boursin Polenta
Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon butter
Salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup yellow corn meal
1-5 oz. pkg. Boursin cheese
(recommended Garlic and Herb)
***
Directions:
Place milk, broth, and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil, seasoning with salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in cornmeal. Slowly whisk in cornmeal. Lower heat and cook until thick and smooth and cornmeal is tender, 5 to 7 minutes, stirring often. When you can pull a spoon through the cooked polenta and it stays separated, the polenta is cooked to the correct doneness.  Remove from heat and stir in Boursin cheese which has been cut into small cubes.  Stir the polenta until the cheese is melted and mixed well.  Enjoy!
***
To Serve: Spoon Polenta onto center of plate and arrange roasted pork tenderloin slices overlaping each other and the polenta. Spoon sauce over and around the pork. Garnish each with rosemary sprigs.
Bloggers note: This is an excellent recipe and I don't believe anyone would be disappointed serving this to company.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Rosemary Rubbed Pork Tenderloin With Blackberry Wine Sauce

Rosemary Rubbed Pork Tenderloin
With
Blackberry Wine Sauce
***
Boursin Polenta (Monday)
***
I attended a fun cooking class with a great instructor. The title was "Wine Country Entertaining". I must say I enjoyed all of the recipes except the dessert. I am not a fan of commercial angel food cake. I will pass along the recipes from this class for you to enjoy.
Ingredients:
2 pork tenderloins
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
rosemary sprigs
***
Directions:
Trim pork of all fat and silverskin. Combine garlic, rosemary, and olive oil. Rub all over the pork and let stand for 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Can be marinated day before.
***
Wrap in plastic wrap or but use no salt in marinade as it will dehydrate meat. This marinade contains no acid to "cook" the meat.
***
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the pork. Cook only to brown on all sides 6 to 8 minutes total. The instructor said 2 minutes on each side rotating four sides. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet and roast 25 to 30 minutes or until the internal temp reaches 155 degrees. Let stand 8 minutes before slicing on the diagonal into 1/2 inch slices.
Note 155 degrees is ideal internal temp. 160 degrees is disaster zone. Always use a meat thermometer. Serves 4 to 5
***
Blackberry Wine Sauce
Ingredients:
2 cups fresh or frozen blackberries
2 cups Zinfandel wine
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter. cut into four pieces and chilled
***
Directions:
Place berries (still frozen if using), wine and sugar in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat and simmer until reduced by half. Strain sauce pressing on berries to extract as much juice as possible. Return to saucepan and bring to a boil. Whisk in butter, a piece at a time, until melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Once butter is added sauce should not boil again. Serves 4 to 5

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Time Saving Tip

Time Saving Tip
Do you like the flavors seedless grapes or grape tomatoes added to certain dishes but hate the time consuming job of cutting each individually? Well remember this tip. Use two lids like cool whip or even Tupperware. "Sandwich" the tomatoes or grapes in the lid top side down with the rim to hold them in place and place the second lid top side up over the bottom lid. There should be a space between the lids. Use a serrated knife and applying a little pressure to hold things in place, cut through the grapes or tomatoes. This tip could make fast work of a time consuming job!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Leek Soup With Dill Oil

Leeks Being Prepared To Be Cleaned Leeks Chopped in Food Processor
Leek Soup With Dill Oil
I follow several blogs with great interest. A favorite is 101 Cookbooks which Heidi Swanson creates. Heidi is the author of several cookbooks and lives in the San Francisco area. As you might guess, much of her blog is devoted to vegetarian cooking but also so very nutritious. Recently a recipe made my taste buds perk up. My husband complimented me as he enjoyed the flavor.
Ingredients:
1 small bunch of fresh dill~1/2 oz.
9 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 1/2 pounds leeks
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
fine grain sea salt
2 large thin skinned potatoes, thinly sliced
3 medium garlic cloves
6 1/2 cups good tasting vegetable broth
*
Toasted almonds for garnish
Grated Gruyere cheese for topping
***
Directions:
Use a food processor or blender to process the dill and olive oil into a creamy green emulsion. Set aside.
*
Cut the dark tough green leaves from the leeks, trim off the roots, and wash/rinse well. You can slice the leeks lengthwise too get in-between the layers, or make a few rough chops and give them a quick soak or whatever method you prefer. Use a food processor to chop the leeks in two batches. You can also chop them by hand if you wish.
In a large soup pot, heat the butter and 5 tablespoons of the dill oil over medium-high heat. When the butter has melted and is bubbling, stir in the leeks and a couple big pinches of salt. Stir well, then cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the leeks soften up and collapse, 6 to 8 minutes. Now stir in the potatoes and garlic and cook uncovered, stirring regularly, for another 15 to 20 minutes or until the potatoes are very, very soft. If the leeks at the bottom of the pot are getting too much color, reduce the heat and be sure to scrape the bottom of the pan when you are stirring. At this point you can mash everything with a potato masher or large fork. If you prefer a smoother soup use a hand blender, but this soup is great a little on the chunky side. Stir in the hot broth, adjusting the amount based on whether you want a thin or thick soup. Bring back to a simmer, serve topped with almonds, grated cheese, and a generous drizzle of the remaining dill oil. Serves 8 to 10

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Yeast Dinner Rolls

Yeast Dinner Rolls
From the days of my youth and early years of marriage, Gold Medal Flour had a Home Economist who tested and provided recipes for promoting the sale of flour. Betty Crocker was a very respected name and her recipes were trusted as being very reliable. It was always fun to open the new bag of flour to see what recipes were included and hoping it was not a strip of recipes you already had received. This was one of her recipes which was printed in the Food section of our newspaper last Wednesday. For everyone over 45 this memory might be one from your youth recalling the aroma of freshly baked bread filling the house and then eating these dinner rolls.
***
Ingredients:
1 package yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 cup warm water
(not hotter than 100 degrees)
1/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup half and half
1/2 cup milk
1 egg at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 to 4 cups flour
Additional 1/2 cup flour for board
***
Directions:
Mix sugar and yeast carefully and add warm water to dissolve. In a small saucepan add shortening and half and half and heat over medium heat, stirring shortening and scald milk. Remove from heat as soon as shortening has melted. Cool slightly.
In a large bowl mix egg, salt, and sugar. Gradually mix in yeast and scalded milk (make sure it has cooled or it will kill the yeast). Begin mixing in the flour. If using a stand mixer, mix thoroughly with a dough hook. Place dough in a greased bowl and cover with a warm, wet dish towel. Let rise in a warm spot until doubled (1 to 2 hours). Punch down the doough and knead on floured board, shaping into rolls. This dough will make enough to fill a 13 x 9 inch baking pan. Cover the rolls in the baking pan with wet towel again and let them rise again in a warm place (usually about an hour). Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Meatloaf

Meatloaf
This is another recipe from the San Diego Union Tribune Food section of the Wednesday newspaper. The publication was recognizing recipes that families had handed down. Known today as "comfort foods", several recipes reminded me of the dishes my mother used to prepare and serve. This recipe was printed on the side of the cylinder shaped box of Mothers Oats and I do remember this tasty dish from my youth.
Ingredients:
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
3/4 cup oatmeal, uncooked
1/4 cup chopped onions, (raw)
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup tomato juice or tomato paste
1 beaten egg
*
Directions:
Mix all ingredients thoroughly. Pack firmly into an ungreased loaf pan. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 1 1/2 hours. Let stand a few minutes before slicing.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Soda Cracker Torte

Soda Cracker Torte
My husband always make a point to save the Food section of our newspaper for me. This week was a series of "remembered recipes". They also could be known as comfort foods. One recipe struck my attention called "Soda Cracker Pie". I read the list of ingredients and knew the recipe I had was a very similar recipe from years ago but tweaked with flavor adding ingredients. I also had made another change to the original recipe. The recipe I used was considered too sweet for my taste. Instead of the 1 cup of sugar in the original recipe, I changed it to 1/2 cup confectioners sugar. I am sharing the recipe I had made many times forty some plus years ago.
This is an easy to make desert and quite satisfying.
Ingredients:
3/4 cup soda crackers, crushed fine
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
3/4 cup chopped nuts
Topping:
1/2 pint whipping cream
2 tablespoons confectioners sugar
or 8 oz. tub Cool Whip
Grated nuts
***
Directions:
Beat egg whites until stiff. Add vanilla and salt. Add sugar beating constantly. Combine soda cracker crumbs and baking powder; add to egg whites. Stir in the nuts. Spread in a buttered 9 inch pie pan. Bake in 350 degrees oven for 25 minutes. Let cool.
*
Prepare topping. Whip cream and add sugar. Spread on top of cooled torte. If using Cool Whip, spread over top of torte. Sprinkle with chopped nuts. Tent with foil and let stand 8 hours or overnight.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Apple Slices Baked With Calvados In Cream

Apple Slices Baked With Calvados In Cream
This is the final recipe from the cooking class my friend Karen and I attended. We both thought the recipes of the "Traditional French Feast" were recipes we would try again. Any of these recipes are easy to prepare and use common ingredients.
***
Ingredients:
3 lbs. Golden apples
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 tablespoon melted butter
4 tablespoons of calvados, brandy, or apple jack
*
Creme au Calvados recipe follows
***
Directions:
Peel, quarter and core the apples. Cut quarters in half, lengthwise, then cut in slices.
Transfer the slices into a large bowl; add sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice, and butter. Toss the slices to coat well.
*
Preheat oven to 375. Place oven rack in middle position. Lightly butter a deep baking dish, about 7-8 inches in diameter and 2 inches deep. Pour apple slices into dish, sprinkle Calvados over apples, and bake until slices are tender but still holding their shapes, about 1 hour, basting several times with their juices.
*
Prepare Creme au Calvados (Cream with Calvados)
Increase oven temp to 400 F
*
Pour the cream over the apples, making sure cream is well blender with the apples. Transfer dish to oven and bake 10 minutes, until cream is set and apples begin to color. Let cool to room temperature or serve warm.
Creme Au Calvados
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
2 ounces Calvados Brandy
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
*
In a bowl beat egg yolks adding sugar gradually; beat until lightly thickened; beat in brandy and the cream and the vanilla.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Zucchini Pancakes

Zucchini Pancake served with Trout With 
Shrimp and a Tarragon Butter Sauce
Spreading the pancake batter flat The Zucchini batter gets liquified as it sets.
Zucchini has a high water content. Mix and Use
Do not make ahead.
Zucchini pancakes
Zucchini Pancakes
This is the third of four recipes from a recent cooking class titled, "Traditional French Feast". If you have ever grown a zucchini plant and wondered how a blossom can grow to a ball bat size squash in an afternoon, you know how closely you watch your yield! This recipe is very tasty and a great use for the squash. Our instructor used squash about 1 1/2 inch in diameter. (No larger or the seeds are too large.)
***
Ingredients:
5-6 medium zucchini (about 2 pounds)
1 cup grated onion
1 cup red bell pepper, finely julienned
2 cloves garlic, minced finely
2 extra large eggs
8 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
Unsalted butter and vegetable oil
*
Directions:
Preheat the oven to 300 degree.
*
Wash adn trim the ends of the zucchini. Grate the zucchini into a bowl using the laarge grating side of a box grater. *Our instructor used the disc of a food processor. Toss with salt in a colander. Let steep for 10 minutes. Press out excess liquid using a linen towel and transfer into a large bowl. (Place a workable amount in a towel, bring the ends together and twist the towel to wring the excess liquid.)
*
Immediately stir in the onion, garlic, julienned, red pepper, and eggs. Stir in the flour. the baking powder, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. (If the batter is too thin add a little more flour.)
*
Heat a large 10 to 12 inch saute pan over medium heat and melt 1/2 tablespoon butter and 1/2 tablespoon oil together in the pan. When the biutter is hot but not smoking, lower the heat to medium-low and drop heaping soupspoons of batter into the pan. Spread the batter and flatten if needed. Cook the pancakes about 2 m inutes on each side, until browned. Place the finished pancakes on a sheet-pan and keep warm in the oven. Wipe out the pan with a dry paper towel, add more butter and oil to the pan, and continue to fry the pancakes untill all of the batter is used. The pancakes can stay warm in the oven for up to 30 minutes. Serve hot>

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Fillet of Brook Trout With Shrimps, Tarragon-Butter Sauce

Applying Shrimp Filling With Pastry Bag. Baked Trout Trout Served Atop Zucchini Pancake
*
Fillet of Brook Trout With Shrimps,
Tarragon-Butter Sauce
*
Ingredients:
3 (1 lb.) brook trout, boned, skinned
1 lb raw shrimp, peeled and divined, very cold
8 ounces heavy cream, very cold
1 large egg
Salt, ground white pepper
Pinch cayenne pepper
Chopped chives

*

Sauce:
8 ounces dry white wine
8 ounces chicken broth or clam juice
2 tablespoons shallots, finely chopped
12 ounces unsalted butter, cut in small pieces, very cold
2 tablespoons tarragon, chopped
***
Directions:
Season trout fillets with salt and pepper and reserve in refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap.
*
In bowl of food processor, combine shrimp, salt, pepper, cayenne, and egg. Process pulsating until forming a very fine paste, about 30 seconds.
*
Place processor bowl in refrigerator for 30 minutes. It is important that the shrimp mixture remains very cold.
*
Return bowl to processor; while the motor is running, in a small stream add cream. Stop motor, add chives and clean sides of bowl. Replace lid and process another 10 seconds.
*
Make a test to check for consistency and seasoning, by immersing a teaspoon full of shrimp mixture into simmering water. Cook on low heat for 5 to 6 minutes. Drain on a paper towel and taste. Mixture should hold together while light and airy. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
*
Place trout fillets on paper towel and pat dry. Roll fillets around a couple fingers and place fillet in buttered baking dish. Place shrimp mixture in pastry bag and fill center of trout fillets, about 1 to 2 tablespoons mixture.
*
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
*
Butter a glass or ceramic baking dish. Sprinkle chopped shallots over bottom and place rolled fillets on shallots, next to each other. Add wine, broth, top with a buttered piece of foil to cover the whole dish, crimping edges under the dish.
*
Transfer the dish to oven and bake at 400 for 15 minutes.
*
Remove from oven, drain off the juices into a small sauce pan. Keep fish warm, well covered with foil.
*
Reduce juices to 1/2 cup; add lemon juice, gradually whisk in butter, piece by piece until sauce is creamed.
*
Add tarragon and adjust seasoning if needed. Do NOT boil sauce at this point or the sauce will separate. Serve with trout fillets. Serves 6

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Traditional French Feast

Our instructor Jean-Paul Weber Veal, Chicken, and Pork Strudel 
With A Currant-Mustard Sauce 
Traditional French Feast

My friend Karen and I joined several other women in a cooking class titled "Traditional French Feast". It was instructed by an Alsatian. He was very knowledgeable and what I especially enjoyed, he projected with the attitude there are other substitutions. His recipes were not rigid. Also we did not need to purchase equipment to achieve a pleasing result. Quality ingredients were stressed which I subscribe. I will publish one of the four class recipes for my next four postings.

*

We thought the recipes and the tastings were wonderful and wished our husbands could have been present knowing they too would have agreed.
*
Ingredients:
1 pound ground pork shoulder
1/4 pound lean veal cut in very small cubes
1/4 pound chicken breast
3 slices day old bread, cubed
1/2 cup cream
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons shallots, finely minced
1 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
2 large eggs
2 garlic cloves, minced
Pinch powdered clove
1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon thyme
Salt, ground pepper
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
4 oz. dry white (sauvignon blanc)
1 package frozen puff pastry, defrosted
1 egg + 1 tablespoon water for egg wash
*
Currant Mustard Sauce
1 cup currant jelly (Smuckers was used)
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
***
Directions:
Soak bread in cream in a small bowl. Squeeze out excess liquid and reserve bread.
*
Heat a small saute pan over medium heat and melt butter; add shallots, onions, and garlic. Saute over medium heat until tender, about 3 minutes. Let cool and blend with meats in a large bowl. Add bread, eggs, clove, nutmeg, thyme, salt, pepper, parsley, and white wine. Mix well with your hands.
*
Refrigerate overnight, covered with plastic wrap.
*
Unfold puff pastry sheets on flat work surface dusted with a little flour.
*
Form meat mixture into a 2 inch thick loaf shape and place on pastry, about 1 inch from border of pastry . Place at about the 3/4 area of the pastry. (You will pull the other half of the pastry up over the meat to seal the loaf.) With a pastry brush, paint the edges of the pastry. Bring the pastry up over the meat. With a fork, seal the edges of the pastry. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicon mat. Paint exterior of pastry with egg wash and make decorative marks using the tines of a fork. Chill 20 minutes in refrigerator.
*
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes. Let rest 15 minutes before slicing.
*
Sauce Directions:
Dilute mustard with orange and lemon juices; mix in ginger and cayenne pepper. In a small saucepan over low heat, liquefy currant jelly, stirring often. When jelly is completely liquefied, add mustard mixture, stirring well to blend. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Serve with Veal, Chicken and Pork Strudel.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Birthday Veronica

Happy Birthday Veronica
Veronica celebrated number 15 on Monday. A bonus for us is that we live near our daughter, son-in-law, and three granddaughters. We are able to enjoy the milestones and activities which make them so special. Monday was one of those days!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Common Easy Remedies



This was an interesting posting I found on Yahoo. I thought it was worth passing along to my readers. Easy remedies for common ailments.
Common Easy Remedies
Natural remedies for the 15 most common aches, pains, and health complaints

Is the economy beating you up? It’s time to get creative. Next time you have an ache or pain, forget about a costly trip to the drugstore and test-drive some of your grandmother’s remedies instead. It’ll save money and be gentler on your body and the environment. Recessionistas (and gents), welcome to the DIY medicine cabinet.

1. Stop Bleeding

You’d think it would burn, but a sprinkle of cayenne pepper on a cut will quickly stop the bleeding and actually relieve the pain.

2. Toothache

There’s nothing so bad as the shooting pain of a toothache. You don’t want to ignore a tooth problem, because an infection that close to your brain can be extremely dangerous if it spreads. But in order to reduce swelling and pain while you wait for a dentist appointment, try putting a few drops of clove oil on your tooth and gums, and bite down on a smashed piece of garlic (which has excellent antibacterial properties). This has always worked for me.

3. Rashes and Allergies

Prescription and OTC antihistamines can cause some serious side effects. Before you head for the strong stuff, try green tea, which contains compounds with antihistamine properties. You’ll need to drink 2-3 cups a day to get the full effect.

4. Athlete’s Foot

It’s a foot fungus, and it stinks. Air those piggies, then soak them in salty water, wash them with garlic juice, or soak them with diluted white or apple cider vinegar. All of these things will help kill the fungus.

But you have to be persistent, consistent, and diligent: No matter what treatment you use, do it a few times a day and stick with it until at least a week after you think the symptoms are gone! Fungus excels at hiding out and coming back when you least expect it.

5. Acne and Sensitive Skin

First, you really have to look at your lifestyle, because imbalances in your health can show up in your skin. But in the meantime, wash your face with oatmeal. It’s a gentle exfoliant and draws out oil and impurities.

6. Ear Infections

Ear infections can become quite serious and cause permanent damage, so please see a doctor if your ear ache has become severe.

But if you feel like your infection is mild and at the beginning stages, put a few drops of garlic oil or white vinegar into your ear canal and lay down on the opposite side to let those drops do their work. Garlic and vinegar create an environment that won’t support the bacteria causing the infection. Repeat a few times a day until the symptoms disappear. (If your symptoms last longer than a few days, you should definitely see a doctor!)

7. Sore Muscles and Bruises

After a hard afternoon of rowing with a friend, I resigned myself to a few days of burning muscles and soreness. But my friend saved the day with a tube of arnica cream. He rubbed it on my shoulders and voila, instant relief and absolutely no aches the next day. The humble arnica flower makes an incredible cream that no medicine cabinet should be without. Use it immediately to speed up the healing of bruises, sprains, sore muscles, and other general aches.

8. Flatulence

Some foods, like beans and raw veggies, are more likely to cause gas, but if you find flatulence to be too common of an occurrence, try taking a digestive enzyme with your meals. You can find these at any health food store.

In the meantime, make use of digestive spices such as ginger, anise, peppermint, coriander, and dill. You can make tea with these ingredients or incorporate them into your food.

9. Dandruff

Have you looked at the ingredients in dandruff shampoo? It seems like they contain almost everything in theToxic Ingredients You Must Avoid list. Better to try something natural first before resorting to chemicals. Many people swear by rubbing aloe vera gel onto the scalp (leave it on for 20 minutes than rinse it out). This will certainly help with dry, itchy scalp.

Another remedy is a rinse with apple cider vinegar. Try these remedies a few times before deciding if they work for you. Even dandruff shampoo requires regular use to see results, so give the natural stuff a chance!

10. Headache and Migraine

Try rubbing peppermint or lavender oil on your temples and the base of your neck; sniffing these oils may also help.

Rub a fresh cut lemon or lime on your forehead. Feverfew is a good herbal remedy for headaches.

Have a little caffeine by way of green tea, and don’t forget to use an ice pack for 20 minutes to dull the throbbing.

11. Indigestion and Heartburn

It almost goes without saying – but consider why you’re getting heartburn in the first place. Did you overeat? Too much grease or spicy food? Eating late at night? Scout out the cause and try to stop this before it happens. Then, put down the antacids.

The belching, bloat, and heartburn caused by indigestion come about because you don’t have enough stomach acid to do the job right. A spoonful or two of apple cider vinegar will help break down the excess food that is causing you trouble and bring your stomach back to balance.

12. Constipation

First, drink more water and eat more fruit and salads. You’re backed up for a reason and taking lots of laxatives is not the answer. Meanwhile, drinking a few teaspoons of olive oil mixed with a bit of orange or (diluted) lemon juice can help things get moving.

Another surefire remedy is 1/4 teaspoon of epsom salts drunk in 1/2 a glass of water. Sometimes calorie restriction or avoidance of healthy fats (such as the good fats found in fish, nuts, and avocados) can worsen constipation.

And though it’s counterintuitive, some people relieve their constipation by actually cutting back on grain consumption! True, grains contain fiber, but some people don’t digest grains very well. Other causes of constipation include stress, depression, inactivity, and nutritional deficiencies. If your constipation is chronic, it may be a sign of a more serious problem, so please seek medical advice and adjust your lifestyle.

13. Sore Throat

Sore, scratchy throats are usually a sign of a cold or flu coming on, so you don’t want to ignore this symptom, but you can relieve the pain by gargling with warm salt water a few times a day and then drinking a soothing honey-lemon tea.

14. Burns

So you bumped up against the stove again? Ouch. Rinse first with cold water, but then immediately applyaloe vera gel to the burn.

For those of us who don’t have aloe in the house, slice a potato and rub its cool, soothing juices all over the burn.

And honey, with its antibacterial properties, is also good topical ointment. If you can catch the burn immediately, mustard is also reportedly a great salve.

15. Nausea

The classic cure for nausea or carsickness is ginger tea or candied ginger. You can chew on the stuff raw, if you like, but it’s so spicy and strong it might just make you feel worse.

Sniffing real peppermint or lavender oil can also help.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Daughter's Birthday

A Red Letter Day
Birthdays are special with our family. Everyone celebrates that special day either near or far. Barbara our youngest child is lifting a glass to her day and we did likewise. As birthdays grow in number it makes a parent realize how quickly children grew and left home to become an independent responsible adult. Barbara we are very proud of the person you have become and wish you many years of health and happiness.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Better Banana Bread

Better Banana Bread
This is a recipe from our daughter, Barbara. I liked the more substantial bread of this recipe rather than the sweet almost dessert texture many fruit breads have. I would rate this recipe as one of the best I have eaten.
*
Ingredients:
3/4 cup whole wheat or spelt flour
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup ground flax seed meal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
3 ripe bananas
1/3 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup maple syrup
2 eggs
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
***
Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 to 10 inch loaf pan with coconut oil.
*
In a large bowl, whisk together flours, flax meal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cardamom.
*
In the bowl of a stand mixer,, combine coconut oil, mashed bananas, and maple syrup until well combined (coconut oil should be broken into small chunks). Add the eggs, one at a time, until the mixture is consistent.
*
Add the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients using a spatula, and stir until just combined (make sure all pockets of flour are incorporated).
*
Pour mixture into the bread pan, and bake for 45-50 minutes, until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool on a rack. Store wrapped in parchment for up to five days.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Happy Birthday

Our Granddaughter Anna Turns 12 Would Have Been 100 Years Today
This weekend was a special weekend for our family. We celebrated two birthdays. Our granddaughter Anna turned 12 and our daughter Barbara will mark another year on Friday(more about Barbara on Friday). We celebrated skyping Anna who lives in Italy and enjoyed dinner with Barbara in Monterey while visiting in the Bay area.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Meet Meli and Sophia

Meet Meli and Sophia

Today Sophia is celebrating her 4Th month and what a cutie. Sophia and her mother are visiting at the home of our son and daughter-in-law from Munich, Germany. We have enjoyed their visit and must admit it is such a pleasure to have a little visitor who is so well behaved and entertaining.
*
Meli was an Au pere for the family thirteen years ago and today she is married and a mother. You might notice a comment posted by Meli on the blog. Meli is faithful follower of the blog with postings.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Hazelnut Thyme Matchsticks


Hazelnut Thyme Matchsticks
This recipe is from the book, "Chocolate and Zucchini" by Clotilde Dudoulier. I follow her blog but have not viewed her cookbooks until this visit with our daughter. Clotilde has some great ideas with tasty recipes. This may be my next purchase. In the meantime I want to blog a couple of recipes from her book.
Ingredients:
1 cup all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter
6 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup hazelnuts very finely chopped,
   with shells on for a prettier effect
2 teaspoons dried thyme or 4 teaspoons fresh thyme
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 large egg
1 large yolk for glazing
*
Directions:
In a large mixing bowl, rub the butter and flour together until the mixture forms coarse crumbs. Add the cheese, hazelnuts, thyme, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Blend well. Add the egg and blend it in with a fork. Once the egg is absorbed, knead the dough lightly until it comes together and forms a ball. It should be smooth enough to be rolled out: if it is too dry add water, teaspoon by teaspoon until it reaches the desired consistency.
*
Divide the dough into two ball and wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour or up to one day. If you refrigerate for more than 2 hours, remove from the refrigerator at least 15 minutes prior to working with it or it will be too hard to work with.
*
Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
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Remove the ball of dough from the refrigerator. Roll it out thinly on a well floured surface to form a rectangle approximately 6" x 8" and 1/6" thick. Beat the egg yolk with one tablespoon fresh water in a small bowl. Brush this mixture lightly over the surface of the rectangle of dough and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
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Turn the dough so the longest side of the rectangle faces you. Use a sharp knife to divide it into vertical strips 1/4 inch wide. Cut the rectangle in half horizontally so each strip is 3" long. Transfer the strips to the prepared baking sheet, leaving 1/2" space between strips. Repeat with 2nd ball of dough.
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Bake 13 to 16 minutes, until golden. Transfer too a rack to cool completely. They will keep for a week in an airtight container at room temp.
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For a faster preparation, shape the dough into two logs, about 1 inch in diameter. Place in the freezer for 15 minutes, and slice thinly to form round crackers. Yield: About 80 crackers.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Inspired

Inspired
Today I went to the Apple Store with my birthday gift to begin my journey on a new format with my new computer. I knew I was in kids land when I looked around and saw the high school and college age students. Lo and Behold, I caught a glimpse of a senior techie. I was inspired to see another senior trying to keep abreast of the latest technology.