Wednesday, November 24, 2010


As a foodie, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays.  It's somewhat problematic though as so many of the traditional foods are high in carbohydrates.  Carbohydrates are certainly necessary for our health... just not in the extremes of the American diet.  For example,
*  Mashed potatoes... carbs
*  Carrots... carbs
*  Sweet Potatoes... carbs
*  Dressing/Stuffing... carbs
*  Bread/Rolls... carbs
*  Fruit Salad... carbs
*  Gravy... carbs
*  Cranberry Sauce... carbs
*  Pie... carbs
What do we have left?  Turkey... no carbs.

I am always looking for ways to reduce carbs since that, for me, is the most efficient and effective way to maintain my weight.  So, as you plan your Thanksgiving meal, consider ways to have the foods you want, but with fewer carbs.  For example, many in my family love sweet potatoes with butter, brown sugar, and marshmallows on top.  I read recently that of all foods, sweet potatoes have the greatest nutritional value.  With that in mind, consider this easy and tasty alternative sweet potato dish for your Thanksgiving.

*  3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and quartered
*  6 tablespoons of butter (less, to taste)
*  1 teaspoon of finely chopped fresh rosemary
Put potatoes in a pot with water to cover.  Cover pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook until tender, about 20-25 minutes.  Drain and mash with the butter and rosemary.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


It is time to revamp my site somewhat.  Having a recipe archive doesn't work as well as simply posting the recipes on a regular basis.  Since I am now eliminating the archive, below are the recipes that had been in that tab.  See my new tabs above.  Click on the tabs to enter the new pages.

AFTERNOON PICK-ME-UP TEA. Serves 1. When your energy is low this is an easy "tea".  
Mix together a teaspoon each of grated fresh ginger, honey, and turmeric powder, then stir the mixture into a cup of hot water. Both ginger and turmeric are anti-inflammatory.

CHICKEN a' l'ORANGE. Serves 4. A simple weeknight dish. I served this with couscous into which I added chopped red pepper, onion and garlic. Would be good with wild rice.
* 2 oranges, peeled and sliced into 1/2" rounds
* 2 tablespoons orange-flavored liqueur
* 2 whole chicken breasts, skinned, halved and boned
* 1-1/2 teaspoons curry powder
* Salt & white pepper to taste
* Grated peel of 1/2 orange (1 to 2 tablespoons)
* Juice of 1 orange (1/3 to 1/2 cup)
* 1 tablespoon honey
* 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Heat oven to 350º. Sprinkle orange slices with liqueur; let sit at room temperature while chicken cooks. Rub chicken on all sides with curry powder, salt & pepper. Arrange chicken in baking pan. Combine orange peel, juice, honey and mustard. Pour over chicken. Cover and bake about 20 minutes. Uncover and bake 15 minutes longer. Top chicken with orange slices and cook 2 minutes longer.

Cut a baguette into 1/4" slices; brush with olive oil. Arrange on baking sheet and bake in 400ºF oven until crisp. Cut the pecorino into thin slices and arrange on the toasts. Drizzle a small amount of honey over the cheese, and top with fresh orange zest and a sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper.

PINK PEPPERCORN THYME SODA. Makes 8.  Served at Green Zebra Restaurant in Chicago.
* 8 whole star anise
* 2 tablespoons whole pink peppercorns plus additional for garnish
* 1 tablespoon whole cloves
* 3 cups water
* 1 cup sugar
* 1/2 cup fresh thyme sprigs plus 8 additional sprigs for garnish
* Ice cubes
* 4 cups chilled club soda
     Toast anise, 2 tablespoons peppercorns, and cloves in small skillet over medium-high heat until aromatic, stirring often, about 2 minutes. Wrap spices in triple layer of cheesecloth; tie shut. Pound with rolling pin to crush spices lightly. Bring 3 cups water and sugar to boil in medium saucepan. Add spices in cheesecloth. Remove from heat; cover and steep 15 minutes. Add 1/2 cup thyme sprigs; cover and steep 10 minutes longer. Strain syrup into medium bowl. Chill until cold. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 week ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.
     Fill 8 tall glasses with ice. Divide syrup among glasses. Add 1/2 cup or more to taste soda to each glass. Garnish with thyme sprigs and peppercorns.

ZUCCHINI, CORN AND TOMATO SIDE DISH.   Serves 8.  No work, a lot of flavor, and healthy.
* 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
* 1 small onion, chopped
* 1 teaspoon dried oregano
* 2 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch slices
* 1 can corn, drained
* 1 14-oz can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano (or Mexican style if preferred)
* salt & pepper to taste
Heat oil in pan, add onion and saute until translucent but not browned. Add oregano and zucchini and continue to saute until zucchini begins to brown. Stir in remaining ingredients; heat to boiling; lower heat, then simmer about 15+ minutes until zucchini is tender. Serve.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


I have my work cut out for me today:  Using up all of our remaining apples.  That means APPLESAUCE!   A great way to use up a lot of apples!

This isn't really a recipe as much as it is a procedure.

Peel, core and cut out all blemishes from apples. Dice into pieces of about 1" and put in your cooking pot. As you work, sprinkle lemon juice over the apples from time to time, and mix. When the pot is full of apples, add enough water (or apple cider) to the pot to just cover the bottom. Cover pot and cook at medium heat until the apples are completely softened. Add to the pot per your own preferences: butter, brown sugar, sugar, maple syrup, artificial sweetener, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, garam masala, lemon peel, brandy, calvados, and any other thing you have on hand that you personally want to try. Start by adding small amounts. Blend with a stick blender; then add additional ingredients to please your taste buds.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


Tom McNulty is a long-ago friend from my days in Madison, Wisconsin.  A few years ago Tom authored a book entitled Clean Like a Man.  He also posts to:  - a site filled with interesting, helpful, and FUNNY tips on a wide range of topics.  I subscribe to his periodic ezine which you may also enjoy.  Seriously, check out his "relationships" tab.  Very funny!

Monday, November 1, 2010


All is not dead in the garden... yet!  I needed a floral arrangement for a dinner party on Saturday night so, before making a trip to the store to buy flowers, I decided to see what I could find in my garden.  Here is what I found:

Not a great shot so I'll explain.  There are four plant materials in the vase - Sedum flower heads (Blackjack),  Weigela leaves (Wine and Roses),  Variegated Pagoda Dogwood stems (Argentea), and Miscanthus sinensis Flame Grass (Purpurascens).   Since this was put together two days ago some of the leaves are starting to curl but on Saturday night it looked very pretty.   I should have thought to take a picture with the table all set since my burgundy/tan dishes matched the floral arrangement.    So, the message is:  Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.  I saved car expense, and repurposed my own flowers.