A dainty brunch

October 15, 2012 in breakfast, cooking

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Recently I watched the entire series of “Upstairs Downstairs” as well as “Brideshead Revisted“.

I also indulged in this truly fantastic series of videos on what it was like to be the cook staff in a Victorian kitchen.

I guess I was trying to fill in for my craving for the next season of “Downton Abbey“.

This excessive exposure to rich victorian British ways and means has left me with a slight obsession on tea services and victorian cuisine. I am sure it will pass in due course but in the mean time I decided to appease the odd yearning with just a bit of dainty food.

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This is extremely modest but I offer some spinach parmesan coddle eggs, buttery crunchy soldiers (toast sticks) and coffee in a dainty tea cup.

You may or may not know about egg coddlers but I adore them. Mine are new but if you search online you will find many lovely antique ceramic coddlers as well as very fancy silver Victorian egg coddler get ups that would look good on any lace covered sideboard, ready for the Lordship and Ladyship to belly up to at breakfast time.

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With these ceramic coddlers you simply butter the interior, add an egg or two, ham or other delicious meat, herbs, salt, cream, what have you, cover the top, lower into boiling water so that the water just reaches the bottom of the metal cover and cook until done to your liking. Remove from the pot, keep warm, serve with toast sticks to dip into the soft boiled egg goodness inside!

I promise to share a recipe for the most dreamy and crazy easy cream scones in the next week – hold onto your tea towels!

iPhonography and blogging

October 14, 2012 in Food Porn, Meta Talk

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In the past year i have shot so much food and thought of many posts but they have not been posted due to problems with my laptop. I have been meaning to change the theme of my site so that posting from my iPhone is effortless but have not found that theme yet.

I am going to go ahead and post for a while even though the photos will not display correctly in thumbnails – I apologize ahead of time!

Green smoothies helped us beat diabetes

May 9, 2012 in diabetes, Food Porn

I do NOT want to sound like a cheezy televangelist or some hawker on late night infomercials or some vapid chick selling makeup at 2 am on channel 19,000

BUT I can attest that, using green smoothies like the one on one of my other blogs here (no sprouts tho, no bananas either) – NOT juicing but Vita-mixing (this way you get all the awesome fiber you NEED)

My DH has:

– Lost all blood and urine chemistry markers for diabetes
– Gone off ALL diabetes meds (wasnt on insulin yet)
– Gone off high blood pressure meds
– Gone off some other med he was on for cholesterol
– Lost something like 50 pounds
– Lowered all his bad fats and cholesterol in his blood to BELOW the lower end of normal scales – ALL OF THE USUAL TRIGLYCERIDE PANEL – whooosh from bad to awesomeness!!!!

IN 4 MONTHS

We have proven that you can, single handedly, monkey-wrench the pharmaceutical companies AND make your life SO MUCH BETTER just but making these green smoothies. You can add a simple leafy green salad with a low sugar low fat HOMEMADE vinaigrette if you need to chomp on things.

Drink these every day and stick to it and you WILL see massive gains against diabetes ad all the nasty side effects of diabetes and metabolic syndrome – I watched it happen.

This is NOT a diet, its food therapy. You are recharging your nutrient (not calorie) starved body with critically important vitamins, minerals, cofactors science hasnt learned about yet, rebuilding your neglected gut ecology, and enjoying fresh juicy goodness that will make you feel more energetic and juicy yourself!

Our green smoothie recipe is the following – yours can be different just watch the sugar, starch, dairy products, fats

ALL ORGANIC (crap in, crap out – this is an investment in YOU so you dont have to wake up feeling like a freight train ran you over every 3 minutes all night long)

This is for one day, its thick, like a shake and you can sip it with a straw to make it easier or dilute as you like with filtered water (I have been using water filtered with our nifty Brita pitcher)

This is in the order that i add to the blender

small amount of filtered water to lubricate
3 carrots
1 medium apple
1 peeled cucumber
1 peeled orange
2 stalks celery
slice of ginger
1/8 lemon with peel
handful baby spinach
splash triple distilled cod liver oil
1/4 cup hemp protein powder
1/4 cup raw maca root powder
2 cups dinosaur kale (any kind you like)
cup cilantro or flat leaf parsley or both
1/2 small head of lettuce (red, romaine, oak leaf, up to you)
more cool filtered water to bring whirling smoothie to near top of the blender

Store in a 1/2 gallon container in the fridge – dont store longer than for that day’s use. Rinse the container once done so nothing begins to stick to container – best not to let it dry onto surface.

We sometimes add beets or freshly cut pineapple… blueberries or other berries would be awesome – just be sure its all organic – berries can be seriously chemically treated if not organic.

Here is what it may look like!

Raw+Simple: Spicy Kale Sprout Fruit green smoothie

Making comfort food just that much easier

February 1, 2012 in Food Porn, review

[PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED]

Some of the best and most delicious busy week-night comfort food you can put together for your family may not be the fanciest or prettiest, but it certainly delivers satisfaction.

These recipes often also leave you with baking pans that have a crust of baked-on food that can leave the cook with a, let’s try to say this nicely, lessened enthusiasm for making that recipe again. There isn’t a much†more dispiriting thing in the kitchen than a baking pan that has a death grip on baked-on cheese and pasta.

Be honest – how often do you consider a recipe, think it sounds delicious, but then a vision of the baking pan you will have to clean later puts you off the whole enterprise? I don’t like using throw-away foil pans, so that’s not a short-cut I consider for feeding the family on a daily basis.

I tend to use olive oil to coat my baking pans or, if I run out of that, I use a discount oil spray (because that’s what I have on hand a lot). Whether it’s high quality and tasty olive oil or butter or cheapy spray, food still sticks on the pan.

If I am the one loading the dishwasher I scrub the pan with the steel scrubber I use for my stainless steel pans – sometimes with a lot of elbow grease – and then put it into the dishwasher. If someone ELSE loads the dishwasher, they don’t pre-scrub, and I go to unload the washer to find a pan with very well-washed, baked-on food on the pan. I then have to scrub the pan with the scrubber and put it through AGAIN. Yeah – tell me I am not the only one with this issue?

BlogHer – working with the makers of PAM® – reached out to some blog reviewers to use their new spray formulation. You can learn more about the new PAM at this link and also ìlikeî their Facebook page.

I am going to share my experience with this new product, a recipe, and also a chance to win a $100 Cooking.com gift card giveaway plus coupons for the new and improved PAM Cooking Spray and Hunt’s Tomatoes (details at the bottom of this page)

So you could see from the photos above that I made a baked cheesy sausage rigatoni. I hope you try the recipe. Its not a major innovation in recipe development and won’t win any Nobel Prizes, BUT I think your family will find it irresistibly delicious both on the day you make it fresh and as leftovers at school and work the next day.

I have video farther down of the dish burbling away in the oven-you should have smelled it-knock out. Watching the video is the next best thing, and maybe it will entice you to try it.

In terms of stick-factor, this recipe definitely offered a challenge to the new PAM spray formulation.

And how did that turn out, you may ask? I can tell you that the stuck-on food came off with just my bare fingers-amazing huh? I then poured some hot, soapy water in the pan and grabbed my iPhone and shot the video below-showing you how the food was just barely clinging. After the video I rinsed the pan, ran a soapy sponge across it to remove oils and then rinsed it again, et voila – done with the clean up.

Please dont forget to enter the giveaway at the bottom of this page!

Herb Kissed Sausage Whole Wheat Rigatoni Bake

Ingredients

  • 1 lb box whole wheat rigatoni
  • 1-2 pounds raw sweet Italian sausage, cooked, diced
  • 4-6 cups pasta sauce (not white cheese sauce type)
  • 32 ounces whole milk ricotta
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 8-10 ounces freshly shredded mozzarella
  • one large ball of fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • bunch of fresh basil, rough chop
  • bunch of fresh oregano, rough chop
  • 1/2 Spanish onion, diced finely
  • 1-2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons good olive oil
  • salt as needed

Directions

Boil whole wheat rigatoni about 3/4 of recommended time, drain, set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Saute sausages on medium heat until 3/4 cooked and nicely browned on the outside.

Remove sausage and cut into small pieces.

In the sausage pan, saute onions in leftover oil, sprinkle with a bit of salt.

Once lightly browned, add garlic and turn off the heat and set aside.

Mix ricotta, eggs, basil, oregano, 1 teaspoon salt, until fluffy.

Fold in sautÈed onions and 3/4 of the shredded mozzarella.

Spray your baking pan(s) with PAM lightly. Add boiled pasta. I had to split this recipe across two baking pans. Add 1/2 pasta sauce to each pan, add 1/2 ricotta mix, add 1/2 sausage, mix evenly. Sprinkle tops with last 1/4 of shredded cheese and also add slices of fresh mozzarella. If you like, add a slight glug of olive oil across the fresh mozzarella. Spray some foil with PAM, and then cover the pans.

Bake them about 30 minutes.

Remove the foil and put the pans back in the oven with it on the broil setting to crisp up the surface cheese. Allow to cool 15 – 20 minutes. Serve and enjoy! Leftovers only get better :-)

SWEEPSTAKES/GIVEAWAY RULES

Prize: $100 Cooking.com gift card giveaway plus coupons for the new and improved PAM Cooking Spray and Hunt’s Tomatoes, courtesy of BlogHer and PAM.

To be entered for a chance to win, let me know your favorite recipe that uses PAM.

No duplicate comments.You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

  • Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
  • Tweet about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
  • Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
  • For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This sweepstakes runs from 2/1 – 3/31.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e- mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected. The Official Rules are available here.†

Be sure to visit the PAM round-up page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggersí reviews and find more chances to win!