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Archive for January, 2009

In the January issue of “Organic & Natural”, a free publication from Hannaford Markets, there was a chart indicating a variety of herbs and their uses in healing.  I thought it was interesting but couldn’t find an online reference. So here is my best attempt at copying the information.  I have only included the more familiar herbs.

Herb                      Use                                                                                                                                       

Chamomile           Soothes digestive problems. Calming effects. Relieves aches and pains of cold/flu.  Avoid if you are allergic to ragweed.

Dandelion              Gentle laxative. Detoxifying.  Used to make wine and also, use the roots for a caffeine free coffee substitute.

Echinacea               Boosts immune system. May prevent/shorten duration of colds/flu.

Ginger                    For motion/morning sickness. Improves digestion.  Makes aromatic tea.

Ginkgo                    Improves brain function. Enhances memory, vitality, circulation.  May be useful for age-related cognitive decline.

Lavender               Mild antidepressant. Relieves stress and insomnia. Also for headaches.  A tea of lavender is made to apply to insect stings.

Licorice                  Relieves adrenal exhaustion, anti inflammatory for respiratory ailments.

Mint                       Relieves cramps, indigestion, nausea, and heartburn. Popular for after dinner.

Rose Hips               Antioxidant and disease fighter rich in flavonoids. Improves body’s assimilation of vitamin C.  A memory aid.

Valerian                 Use for stress, insomnia, anxiety, restlessness.  Limit  of 1 to 2 cups a day.

 Events of Saturday…. one day before take off!   10583

Shane and I hopped in the jeep and went to Peter’s Cornucopia, the local and ONLY health food store in our area. But it’s a great place and very easy to get anything you want because Peter (the owner) is always available for one on one questions.  My purpose was to deliver 2 samples of the Zukay salsa and relish so he could try it and see if it was something he might want to carry in the store. After all, the salsas are Gluten free, wheat free…all natural..etc.  I gave him the Horseradish Relish and the Hot Salsa to try. If all goes well, I’ll be able to purchase them locally from here on in.  🙂

Following our delivery, we went to New Hartford Town Park for a walk along the ski trails.  I was amazed that no one was around. It was beautiful. The sun was shining.  We had the trails to our selves.

A Lonely Day at New Hartford Town Park

A Lonely Day at New Hartford Town Park

We stopped to get some herbs I had run out of: Bay leaves, Cilantro.  Then home to pack.  That was our afternoon.

A Crabby Dinner

We had crab cakes tonight and used the Zukay horseradish relish as our main flavoring ingredient:

  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 TBS Hummus (I do not like mayo. so I try to find substitutes)
  • 3/4 cup Black Eyed Peas, pureed to a paste.
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 TBS ZUKAY Horseradish Dill Relish
  • 1 tsp ZUKAY Hot Salsa Viva
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 16 oz can Premium Crab Meat
  • 1/4 cup grated, Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 large Plum Tomatoes – slice ends off and square then slice into 3 vertically.
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  • 1 lemon, sliced.
  • dried Basil (optional)
  • Sea salt (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 F.  Heat a saute pan on high with 1 TBS (or enough to barely cover bottom of pan).  Form 4 LARGE (I mean… MEGA) crab cakes and add to hot pan, about 2 – 3 minutes per side. Be careful flipping. They are big and delicate.  Meanwhile, drizzle EVOO on baking sheet and lay 4 tomato slices on pan. Cut 2 of the slices in 1/2 and lay the 1/2 up against the ones you just put on the baking sheet.  Sprinkle with basil and sea salt. Drizzle with oil.

Carefully remove the crab cakes from the hot saute pan and put on top of the tomatoes.  Squeeze 2 of of the lemon slices over the 4 cakes, then top the cakes with 1/2 a slice each. Bake 30 minutes at 425 F.  When done, remove and let sit  5 minutes before removing from bake sheet or serving.  Use any left over lemon slices for plate garnish.

Crab cakes and roasted veggies

Crab cakes and roasted veggies

 

Did you happen to notice I didn’t use bread crumbs in my crab cakes?  I don’t like using bread crumbs.  These cakes came out tasty and light. A really good, healthy meal

Lots of crab and not much else

Lots of crab and not much else

For the rest of this wonderful Saturday night, we may watch a DVD that Ted picked up today or, by the way I’m feeling right now, simply crash on the couch. 

I might be posting “in transit” tomorrow. Any which way – I’ll be posting on the way to warmer weather. Yahooo!

Take care.

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My body is saying “time to take a vacation”.  I woke up and thought…”I could stay here all morning”.  But, since its Saturday AND we are leaving for 4 days, I wanted to get out and take Shane for a long run. 

It was 17 degrees. What happened?!  I was somehow under the impression it should be warmer today.  Got dressed to tackle that kind of weather.  It was snowing. Oh joy!  We set out and my…..hands…..were…..cold!  The roads weren’t bad, just beginning to get snow covered.  We had gone about 2.7 miles and…nature called for me. So we high tailed it home, only managing 3.58 miles.  I felt bad for Shane, so I played a little frisbee with him outside.  I tried to punch out a few more miles on the T/M. Nope. 1 mile was my limit today.  The bod. just wants rest! Major burn out. 

I cooked up a good breakfast even though it wasn’t deserving due to my lack of stamina this morning.  EggBeater omelet with asparagus and green bell pepper.  Topped with Zukayand feta.  That Zukay is something!  I opened it, and in spite of the warnings indicating it was very bubbly, really didn’t expect what happened next….

Zukay LIVES!

Zukay LIVES!

  Seriously… when the say it’s alive, they REALLY mean it. 

I topped my  omelet with the salsa and it was fantastic!  The Zukay is SO light but bursting with taste. You HAVE to try it!

This was one good omelet!

 

 

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Last night recap….Dinner at Fianchetto’s

We walked in and had the place to ourselves…that didn’t last long.  As usual, we were greeted with such friendliness, it was as if we were family. That’s why we go, right?

We began with a recommended Chardonnay and Cabernet:

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This Terlato from the Russian River Valley, CA was outstanding. It had the smoothest finish.  Definitely recommended!

 

I then had my favorite salad:  Salade de Chevre Tiede…Spinach topped with warmed rolled herb goat cheese on a toast crust.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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For dinner, my selection was Tuna Steak Romesco..yellow fin tuna seared and served with a Romesco and Wasabi soy sauce on the side.

Out of this world delicious!

 

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I requested a picture with our host and, tonight also our chef, since he was so concerned about our dinner selections, he prepared them himself.  You see, we asked a whole lot of questions regarding the sauces since we like the sauce “just so”. 

Joanne and Chef Pierre

Joanne and Chef Pierre

He’s just too funny…what a terrific guy.

 

…..and a little after dinner treat….

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If you ever visit Utica,  Fianchetto’s is the place to eat!

 

I’ll be back tonight with a dinner that includes ZUKAY!   See you later and have a great day!

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Making a list

While sitting at my desk today, eating my lunch, I began making my list of clothing to take to Key West.  I’m getting a little punchy…and who wouldn’t? It has been a long, cold, snowy, blustery winter in New York.    

I’m planning to keep the blog posts up while away. Ted usually falls asleep first at night so that gives me posting time to journal our vacation. It should be fun. I’ve always purchased an album of some sort representative of the area we have vacationed. I would then note our daily activities and include pics. So this blog-journal is a first for me.  I’d love it if you check in with me daily to see what we’re up to. I’m going to play “make- believe” and be “Rachel Ray” offering a critique of KW food.   We don’t leave until Sunday AM so I still have more planning to do.  If you are wondering about Shane, he has a dog sitter come to the house 4 times a day.  He and She are best buds.  10630 Note:  You probably didn’t realize it was “having fun with Smileys night” did you? 🙂

Tonight we will be going to dinner – our Friday evening eating frenzy.   We’ll begin with happy hour- YIPPEE!  

Gabbiano 2007 Chianti

Gabbiano 2007 Chianti

I think we will wine and dine further at Franchetta’s.  I’ve posted about our meals there before.  It’s nice, small, very friendly with a “funny” flare.  I’m not going to explain that, just take my word.   A full synopsis will follow tomorrow.

I did get my “Mailbox News” today which I really enjoy looking through. The things people can do with cake and sugar! Amazing. 

Ouch! I just shifted in my seat and a pain got me!  I’ve had a “stitch” in my side ALL DAY…it’s REALLY bugging me now.  It is right at the top of my right leg and goes upwards on my right side. I’m ready for it to go away now….please!? 9601  Wasn’t I complaining about my hamstring earlier this week?  You know you can’t have two pains at once so I’m going to have to make a decision real soon!
mailbox news - cake decorating

mailbox news - cake decorating

You all have a super night and check back with me tomorrow. I’ve got to come up with some good eats for Sat. where we don’t have non-freezable leftovers and something that allows me to incorporate the Zukay salsa or relish.  If anyone has a super recipe…please pass it along.

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Blueberry Hill

It was a pretty descent morning for a longer walk outside.  It was 25 degrees, no wind, no snow.  The roads were slick in some areas but for the most part, clear.  We explored a couple of different neighborhoods and took advantage of some short hills.  Our mileage for today, 4.3 miles.  We walked and just jogged along a little.

The 1/2 banana with about 1 TBS peanut butter was my pre-walk kick in the behind.  For breakfast, I was feeling berry-ish.  I made a Smooth Banana Protein Shake with 1/2 cup frozen blueberriesand 1/2 cup FUZE.  My hot cereal was 1 packet of Quacker Instant Oatmeal with lots of add-ins:  1 TBS Buckwheat Groats + 1/4 Cup Soy Milk + 1 TBS Peanut Butter + 1 small piece of a Quaker Honey Roasted Cashew Mixed Berry Granola Bar.   The result…not bad – too much soy milk.

dscn0030Can’t spend too much time with you this morning because Sue has the day off, I have to get my lunch ready, help Ted with the crossword for 5 minutes and get out the door and on the road.  So until tonight, friends, ta – ta and  TGIF- WaHOOO!

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Let me start by expressing my excitement because I got a real unique product to introduce to you all:

Zukay Live Salsa

Zukay Live Salsa

I came home to a package that contained 6 jars of these beauties.  The product is a salsa and/or relish that contains live cultures. It is a probiotic condiment containing Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium…sound familiar?!  Find out more at ZUKAY.com.  And check back in as I use these tasty add ins in various ways.

 

 

THE DINNER REVIEW:

Every free opportunity I had today, I was sneaking peaks at postings where the blogger made this delightful dish and offered up some suggestions in regards to the recipe … to change.. not to change.  It seems we have some pretty creative cooks out there!  Here’s to ya!  It’s suggested you go to CEimB and check out the Blogroll.

My version, of course, must come two ways… Pork and Pork-less. 

Pork:    When it comes to meat, my husband eats it and therefore makes the cut selection at the store.  For this recipe, I told him what was suggested: Bone In Pork Chop, 3/4″ thick.  He opted for about 1/2″ thick Boneless Pork Sirloin Steak.  Does this present a challenge to the cook?  Well, yeah!  It’s thinner, it’s a different cut (probably not the cut for the cooking method in the recipe…we shall see). 

Pork-less:  Guess it’s gonna be TOFU!  Sage rubbed Tofu. Lets be open minded here.

Here are the ingredients…

 dscn0021With the exception of the vegetable broth because I substituted white wine.

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Step one was done this morning with the Tofu. I removed it from it’s carton, drained it and pressed it in between papertowl until lunch time. However… I dropped it (in the sink NOT on the floor) …so wasn’t able to slice it into nice even blocks.

Step two was done to both menu options.  I mixed up the rub (double batched it) at lunch time and put it on both Pork and Tofu, to let sit in the fridge until ready for cooking tonight.

 Step three .. follow the recipe in 2 separate pans.   Lets take pause.. now I can’t show pictures as I go along because my kitchen looks more dangerous than a war zone when I’m working two meals. Things are flying – there may be a little screaming now and then – a definite “yelp”, “yip”, “ouch”, “oh no”…. Ted and Shane try to sneak out in fear of their lives but…well that might prove life threatening as well, especially if obvious help is needed.  Ok, on with the show….  Ted was right in the middle of it tonight cooking the pork which made it a lot easier.

The only changes I made to the instructions were: reduced the cooking time for the onion, apple, and sage to 2 minutes before adding the cabbage, carrots, etc. I reduced the cider vinegar to 1 TBS each ( 1 to the pork and 1 to the tofu).  Lastly, I added wine instead of broth.

The results:

Sage-Rubbed Pork with Warm Apple Slaw

Sage-Rubbed Pork with Warm Apple Slaw

 

 

close up of pork and slaw

close up of pork and slaw

 

 

 

Curious about the Tofu?…

 

 

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Both of us really enjoyed this meal! Thanks Jen B for a great pick!
Oh… did you notice our guest?
He’s like the travelling Gnome..
Have a great night!

The happy Apple
The happy Apple

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This was a great tip from Ideal Bite

 What words won’t break your bones?

The Bite
Calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamin D. Eat tasty foods, such as yogurt, that contain these nutrients to keep your bones strong enough to withstand even the nastiest trash talk – no supplements (and no meat, for you vegetarians) necessary.

The Benefits
Less hurt. Deficiencies in calcium or vitamin D, for example, can cause debilitating health problems such as osteoporosis (aka holes in your bones).

  • Inviting some complimentary words. Good bone health makes it easier to have good posture – and a good-lookin’ frame.
  • We’re talkin’ veg-friendly. There are great foods that help you get your calcium without resorting to meat or even dairy.

Personally Speaking
Jenifer happily traded her artificially flavored calcium “caramel” chews for full-fat, cream-at-the-top Brown Cow yogurt to fill her quota.

Wanna Try?
Calcium – keeps your bones strong and dense. Get it in dairy products (especially yogurt), nuts, seaweeds, and seeds. (Try this calculator to find out how much you need.)

  • Vitamin D – helps your body absorb calcium. Get it in fortified dairy and grain products (cereal is often fortified with vitamin D), and a little sun exposure each day. (Calculator here.)
  • Magnesium – also strengthens your bones. Get it in breads and cereals, hummus, legumes, nuts, seaweeds, and spinach. (Calculator here.)
  • Phosphorous – another bone density helper. Get it in dairy products, nuts, seeds, seaweeds; many calcium-rich foods contain phosphorus. (No calculator, but the Feds recommend adults get 700 milligrams per day.)
  • Lower your sodium intake when you can – it can deplete these needed nutrients.

 

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Today started out the usual way, except that my hamstring was still bothering me so I had to do strictly the ET this morning for 30 minutes.  I stuck to just a walk with Shane because when I started to jog a little, the hamstring would go tight.  I did a pretty good shoulder workout. I never seem really thrilled with my workout unless I have pumped out miles on the treadmill or down the road.  Running seems to stimulate me more so than any other exercise.

 

Breakfast was a good VPX shake with FUZE.  The cereal was 1/3 cup Bobs Red Mill 5 Grain Cereal with 1 tsp Naturally More Peanut Butter and a little piece of Quaker’s Dark Chocolate Raspberry Almond Granola Bar.    The fruit today was the last 1/2 of the grapefruit from yesterday.

 

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The peanut butter and granola was mixed in while the cereal was nice and hot.  Even though you might opt for cereal every morning, it doesn’t have to be boring. You can mix up the add -ins to get quite a creative bowl of goodness.

 

Last night, I was feeling so picky so I actually opened that Quaker granola bar last night. It was by far the best yet. Real good – recommended!

 

 

 

 

peanut butter and granola close up

peanut butter and granola close up

 

 

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We felt so bad for this little bird. He looked so cold and the feeder was piled up with snow.  At least he had some good eats.

 

a cold bird

a cold bird

 

 

That’s all for today. Come back tonight for a CEimB night.  We are doing a pork dish and …. I’ll do the same recipe for me but “pork-less”.  See ya later!

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This is what our day looked like here in New York…

Jan 28 Snow Storm

Jan 28 Snow Storm

Pretty much just me and that other car on the main road. People get smart as the weather gets worse.  Ok – before you get too depressed by that bleak looking picture, I have something to cheer you up… A CONTEST! 

Go to Diet Dessert N Dogs, leave a comment and your in!  There are six yum-a-licious prizes.

WAIT!… I have another one for you. How does Mini Carrot Cake sound?  Check it out at Baking Delights.  I would be absolutely THRILLED if you would let me know you entered the contest via a comment below.

Dinners on….

What did I decide to do with my shrimp and scallops?  Well, I was feeling a little zesty and mixed up the following:

Shrimp and Scallop Zing

  • 1/4 cup Smart Balance
  • 4 TBS lemon juice
  • 2 TBS Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp Old Bay Seafood Seasoning

Mix all the above and microwave for about .5 seconds.  Just enough to melt the Smart Balance into the mix but don’t get it too hot because you don’t want to cook the shrimp and scallops yet. 

For the shell fish, I used about 1/2 lb Sea Scallops (rinsed and dried), and 1/2 lb raw shrimp (deveined and tails/shell removed).

Add the marinade to the shell fish in a bag and let sit about an hour. I let it sit about 20 minutes and it wasn’t long enough to incorporate the flavors into the fish.

Preheat broiler. Spread the shell fish on safe broiler plate and broil about 4″ from element for about 2 minutes per side.

Served with Jazzed Up Green Beans:  Put a microwaveable bag of beans in microwave for 2 minutes.  Pour 1/2 TBS EVOO into saute pan on med. high, when heated, add beans, pinch (or more) red pepper flakes, a splash of Worcestershire, and 1 TBS sliced Calamata olives. Saute about 4 minutes.

dscn0015The result…. it was a tasty dish but lacked the “zing” and the “jazz”.  Maybe a little more red pepper flakes into the beans and maybe even into the shellfish marinade.

The agenda tonight is wide open. We watched “Mamma Mia” last night and really enjoyed it. We can’t exchange the movie because the weather is just prohibitive.  I do have to make a call to our B&B in Key West to see if we should make reservations some place for Sun. evening.   Speaking of which, if a day like today doesn’t make us over anxious to get out of the cold and get to the sun, nothing could.  So look out Key West, FL and get ready for 2 snow birds!

Have a great night all. 9679

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