Pepper Board

Pepper Board

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

A Better Way to Cook Pasta!

Its all about sharing information!
What is a better way to cook pasta than the traditional way which is to boil it in a stock pot? Boil it in a skillet. Best advice ~ Don't use a Teflon or Calphlon coated skillet. Use copper bottom stainless steel for better results. So, the next time you make pasta, instead of waiting for a huge pot of water to boil, get out your skillet. Add cold water to a large frying pan, add pasta. It will cook perfectly, quickly, and with just enough pasta water left in the pan for a sauce to go with your meal. Another good trick to tastier pasta in the skillet is not to use cold water but cold soup stock.

*note ~ when boiling your pasta in either a skillet or pot, lay a wooden spoon across the top and it won't boil over. 

Friday, December 11, 2015

Breaking Vegan and Eating What Your Body Likes

It’s not the first time Nigella Lawson has brought up the topic. In October 2015, she told the BBC journalists that the notion of “clean eating” implies “that any other form of eating is dirty or shameful.” Food shouldn’t be used as punishment for oneself, she explained, and one should enjoy food for being good instead of being “virtuous.”
Jordan Younger, author of "Breaking Vegan", revealed that her obsession with a strict vegan diet led her to develop orthorexia, an eating disorder disguised as an obsession with eating only “healthy” food. “During my recovery process, I learned that the ‘superhuman willpower’ I’d exercised for so long is a typical eating-disorder warning sign.”

This blog has been about eating clean promoting clean food as in fresh foods. It is brainy to do that. It is also brainy to fuel your body with what it needs and likes.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Whether a traditionalist or not, there is nothing more wonderful than family and friends gathered around the table. For a twist on veggies with dip and two kinds in a combo you can mix as in present them together... just don't stir.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Eating Clean and Unclean Foods!

All too often we hear debates about what foods are good for us and which are not. There are even harsh discussions between people about eating meat or not and eating vegetables or not. In times of such difficult discussion, we should be reminded what Jesus had to say about such eating things.

Romans 14: 13-23 "Let us stop passing judgement on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way. as one who is in the Lord Jesus, I am fully convinced that no food is unclean in itself. But, if anyone regards something as unclean, then for him it is unclean. If your brother is distress because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy your brother for whom Christ died. Do not allow what you consider good to be spoken of as evil. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men. Do not destroy the word of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a man to eat anything that causes some else to stumble. It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall. So, whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God for Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves. But, the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats because his eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin".

Does that mean people who like to eat meat should stop? No! If they did, that would mean they doubt what the Lord has said "All food is clean". The doubt comes in when someone points a finger at them and tells us we are wrong to eat it, causing them to stumble in their faith. It is living in doubt of what the Lord says is the sin. The same applies for those who do not eat meat. Those who eat meat should not point to those who don't as it would cause them to stumble.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Buckwheat Groats ~ Good For You!

You have probably noticed that as of late, I have been using buckwheat groats inside of rice or even mixed in with rice. I was first introduced to buckwheat on the steppes of Eastern Europe where it is often cultivated. The fields are like a bride's bouquet when in bloom and afire when its the harvest.

Buckwheat is energizing and nutritious, buckwheat is available throughout the year and can be served as an alternative to rice or made into porridge. While many people think that buckwheat is a cereal grain, it is actually a fruit seed that is related to rhubarb and sorrel making it a suitable substitute for grains for people who are sensitive to wheat or other grains that contain protein gluten. Buckwheat flowers are very fragrant and are attractive to bees that use them to produce a special, strongly flavored, dark honey.

Diets that contain buckwheat have been linked to lowered risk of developing high cholesterol and high blood pressure. The Yi people of China consume a diet high in buckwheat (100 grams per day, about 3.5 ounces). When researchers tested blood lipids of 805 Yi Chinese, they found that buckwheat intake was associated with lower total serum cholesterol, lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL, the form linked to cardiovascular disease), and a high ratio of HDL (health-promoting cholesterol) to total cholesterol.

Buckwheat's beneficial effects are due in part to its rich supply of flavonoids, particularly rutin. Flavonoids are phytonutrients that protect against disease by extending the action of vitamin C and acting as antioxidants.

Buckwheat's lipid-lowering activity is largely due to rutin and other flavonoid compounds. These compounds help maintain blood flow, keep platelets from clotting excessively (platelets are compounds in blood that, when triggered, clump together, thus preventing excessive blood loss, and protect LDL from free radical oxidation into potentially harmful cholesterol oxides. All these actions help to protect against heart disease.

~ Source -

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Gazpacho Anyone?

Gazpacho is simple. Just think salsa with zing and veggies. In fact, I recommend you start with your basic salsa blender recipe and then add some coarsely chopped veggies to top it off. What a great summer's end soup celebration or even drink.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Fresh Grated Zucchini

At this time of year, we should bring in and use, as urban brainy gourmets, the bounty from the backyard vegetable garden. Few cooks know that you can eat zucchini raw. One of the best dishes, I love to make and eat, is angel hair pasta topped with fresh grated 'raw' zucchini and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. What a wonderful taste experience. You can prepare fish as a side to this or as a base. And, the best part, in no time, you have a frugally lovely dinner!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Plums on Homemade Pizza

Plums on pizza???

Pizza from scratch is no doubt the best, but a good pizza can be easily made from frozen dough. Or, you can buy a simple cheese pizza and top with prosciutto, sun dried tomatoes and even dried plums.

Homemade pizza dough:

3 1/2 cups lukewarm water – about 100 degrees is perfect
1 tbsp. granulated yeast
1 to 1 1/2 tbsp. kosher salt
7 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour

(this amount will provide about 3-4 medium pizzas)

In a six quart bowl, mix the warm water with the yeast and salt. Using warm water allows the dough to rise quickly and to the right height.

Next, measure and mix in the flour.  Use the “scoop and sweep” method.  This is done by reaching into the flour container with a cup and scooping up a full measure all at once sweeping the top of the cup level with a knife. Mix in the flour with a wooden spoon. Do not knead the dough!

Allow the Dough to Rise. Cover the dough with a light weight dish towel or piece of wax paper. Allow the dough to rise at room temperature until it begins to flatten on the top (approximately 2 hours, depending on the room’s temperature). Do not punch down the dough, do not play with it.  With this method, you are trying to retain as much gas in the dough as possible and punching it down knocks out gas. The gas allows bubbles to remain which create a light and crispy crust.

Refrigerate. After the dough has risen, refrigerate it overnight or at least 3 hours and use it over the next several days or have a pizza marathon all in one day/weekend.  Remember, fully refrigerated dough is less sticky and is easier to work with than dough at room temperature.

Preheat a Baking Stone. 30 minutes before you’re ready to bake, place your baking stone in the bottom third of the oven and preheat it to the oven’s highest temperature. If you do not have baking stone, you can use a perforated pizza pan or even a cast iron skillet.

Shape a Ball.  If you don’t have a stone, prepare a pizza pan or skillet with flour, cornmeal or use a sheet of baking paper to prevent your pizza from sticking to the pan or skillet (not necessary if you use a stone). Take what you need from the refrigerated dough; for one medium pizza ...about a grapefruit size amount which you can obtain by pulling and or cutting the dough using a serrated knife. Add a little more flour to the dough to shape into a ball and thus, it won’t stick to your hands. Gently stretch the dough pushing it around to conform to the pan or skillet.

The same can be done if using a stone, it won’t be perfectly round but that is not the point. The point is to retain dough quality in order to achieve a nearly perfect crust. Keep in mind, the less you handle the dough, the better taste and texture.

Add the Toppings...even plums!
Bake at 425F until bubbling and brown on top.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Green Pepper Ginger and Lime Chicken

You will need to buy a package of skinless, boneless chicken breasts.  If you don't have on hand, linguine pasta, onion, green pepper, fresh lime and garlic and ginger. You having things on hand in your pantry for fridge that will keep is a blessing for the frugal gourmet. Italian cooking as all about being frugal. I know from stories told by my mother who spent hours with my Nonna cooking all afternoon while she (my mom) was pregnant with me. My parents lived upstairs, and in Italian households with a second floor, this was often a good situation for newlyweds in the family. Why? Because, if the new wife was not so skilled in cooking, she was by the time they moved out. 

Start by sauteing chopped onion, garlic and green pepper in a skillet with 4 tbs of coconut oil and 2 tbs of olive oil. Once the edges are browned, lay in your chicken breasts. Generously sprinkle in sea salt, red pepper flakes, and fresh dried or even fresh herbs from the garden if you have; rosemary and mint are used for this dish. Cover and let this cook for 6-8 min on med. heat. When the breasts have browned on both sides, add 4 tbs of organic honey, as much fresh grated ginger and or dried ground ginger if you have. To that, stir in 2 tbs of balsamic vinegar and 2 tsp of lime juice. Let this caramelize on high heat and then reduce to low and cover for 4-5 min.

Prepare a rolling boil of salted water for your linguine. Once tender, drain and pour out onto a low lipped serving dish. Place your chicken breasts on top of the pasta and cover with the luscious sauce. Garnish!

Tutti a Tavola!

Place fresh halved limes out for dinner guests to squeeze for extra zing. 

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Nettare di Albicocca ~ Marmellata di Albicocche

Guest Blogger ~ My Mom

I really enjoy this time of year. Why? Because, I see the fruits of my efforts come to fruition.
No, I am not fruity but I love fresh fruit. Italians love to pick from the garden or orchard and go straight into the kitchen. So, I want to share with you my adventure making apricot nectar and marmalade. I have my own trees and this year it was a robust harvest. With the grand kids over, we were able to get quite a bit. Here are the recipes I followed.

Nectar ~ Nettare di Albicocca
  • 1 quart apricots 
  • 1/2 cup sugar 
  • 1 quart water
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
Wash and pit fresh fruit. Boil fruit and water 5 minutes. Strain. Add sugar and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Makes 1 1/2 quarts.I canned my apricot nectar in a hot water bath. In caner, bring water to boil, enough to cover jars by 1-inch of water. Put jars with hot nectar in caner and bring back to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes and remove.

Butter ~ Marmellata di Albicocche

  • 24 Medium Apricots
  • 3 Cups Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice or Orange Juice
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon each ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon (optional)
Wash and remove stems from apricots, cut in halves and remove pits. Cook apricots with skin on until soft, adding just enough water to prevent apricots from sticking (about ½ cup). Push through a sieve or food mill or place in blender. This should produce about 1-1/2 quarts apricot pulp. To prepare butter, combine apricot pulp with sugar. Cook until desired consistency, stirring frequently to keep fruit from sticking. Add lemon or orange juice and flavorings if desired. Butter can then be stored following proper canning process Follow the above process used for the nectar. Listen for the lids to pop. Then you know you have a seal.

*pictured here is my first batch, which tastes as good as it looks!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Grilled Asparagus

Grilled Asparagus takes not time at all to prepare... and this is the season for it. Right now, you can get all the tender tip asparagus you can eat. It is good for you as it is a natural diuretic. This side can be eaten hot or cold. I like to have it cold with a drizzle of olive oil. You just grill as you would any food on your outdoor grill adding your favorite spices as the green spears are licked by the flames. If you wish to eat cold, grill the spears first and set aside or in the fridge, serve them when you finish cooking/grilling. If you wish to eat them hot, then do them last.  As a topping, you can crumble some crisped bacon and a few shavings of Asiago.

Tutti a Tavola!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

20 Diuretic Foods/Beverages

Diuretic foods can be helpful if you’re looking to lower your blood pressure, or if you’re retaining water. Some dieters also use it to help them lose weight, and purging the body of excess fluid is good for your overall health and well being. One option is to take water pills in order to get your body to release extra water and salt, but before going that route it may be a better idea to make a few dietary changes and see if that helps. Here are some of the best diuretic foods/beverages available to keep things natural.

4-Brussel Sprouts
7-AppleCider Vinegar
9-Cranberry Juice

Beef Teriyaki Stir Fry

There is nothing like Lean Angus beef steak strips for a stir fry with onion, green pepper, and yellow squash.  As for a base, I like to use linguine noodles; but, you can use rice noodles. To spice up this recipe, try fresh chopped garlic, grated ginger, a squeeze of lime  tossed in on the end.
First, start a pot of water on the cook top to boil your noodles. Then, do as you would for any stir fry. Chop your onion, green pepper and slice your squash. In a large skillet, melt in 3 tbs of olive oil and the same of coconut oil. Throw in the fresh veggies and stir fry. In a few minutes, add about 1/4 cup of teriyaki sauce. If the water if boiling, add your pasta. When the vegetables are just tender, move aside or take out from the skillet so that you can quick stir fry your beef strips. It takes no more than 3-4 min. to cook the beef.

Check your noodles which should have been in a rolling boil now for about 8 min.  You want your pasta to be firm but not chewy. I always take out a piece to test. If they are ready, drain and quickly rinse. Pour out your pasta onto a low lipped serving plate and then pour over the top your stir fry and garnish with fresh parsley. If you want to zest it up, toss in some fresh crushed garlic and grated ginger with a squeeze of lively lime. I also keep a bottle of soy sauce in the table... since some in my family like the additional taste.

Tutti a Tavola!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Romantic Tomato Soup

Maybe its the color red, but tomato soup is definitely romantic... and simple to fix at home.

Start with a chicken stock, add either canned tomato paste or a few peeled and crushed Italian Roma 'large plum size' tomatoes.

Add your favorite fresh herbs and simmer for about 350-40 min. You can add cooked rice or pasta if you like or just have your soup with croutons and a sprinkle of grated parmesan; you can also put a dab of sour cream with a sprig of parsley.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Trout for Mother's Day Dinner

Let this Mother's Day Dinner be extra special. Trout is a delicious fish and so simple to prepare. Melt a little butter and olive oil in the skillet along with your favorite seasoning, then add the fillets or whole trout and 'Voila' an amazing indulgence!

~ Blessings to all Moms!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Eat Local

Eating local means eating only those foods which are available in your locality. It means eating foods that are grown locally and sold locally. It means eating in seasonal fruits and vegetables. It means that you can't always get or have what you want when you want it. You see, we can talk about carbon emissions and how people should cut back on driving but the bigger problem concerning driving that we should be talking about is the trucking in, shipping in, flying in of fruits and vegetables that are at every supermarket and local grocer that are not in season nor ever grown locally.

Being brainy is being frugal about local eating and that can mean sacrifice. We can't always expect to have what we want; we can expect to have good food though. Good food comes in many forms and from many different sources. Good food practices are what the brainy gourmet is about. Check out the website

Point being, if you can grow, do it. If you can buy local, do it.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Urban Food Culture

Shopping for authentic foods is largely the past time for members of the urban food culture. It stems from the desire to rediscover the basics as in food source. Suburbanites have been surrounded by shopping malls and Walmart. They long to know the true source of their food.

And, sometimes when they do discover it, they are more than surprised. They did not know that cheese comes from milk and milk comes from cows. Cheese actually has mold growing on it in order to arrive at a certain flavor.

They did not know that good bread has a real crusty crust and does not come out of the oven sliced.

They did not know that meat comes from an animal and you have to cook it not just order it.

They did not know that chicken noodle soup starts from chicken stock which requires boiling chicken.

And, they did not know that they could grow their own veggies, just by getting their hands dirty.
But now, with eyes wide open, they live, laugh and love and eat well.

Friday, April 24, 2015

California 'Sunshine' Chicken

You will need to buy a package of boneless, skinless chicken thighs. If you don't have on hand, onion, raisins and rice noodles, then pick some up. As always, keep a well stocked but simple pantry. To begin, brown chopped onion in 3 tbs of olive oil and coconut oil. Once they have caramelized, lay in your chicken thighs. Season with a good shake of sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder and along with dried rosemary and mint.
Cover and let simmer for 12 min. Then add 2 tbs of chicken stock and a generous handful of tender golden California raisins along with 1 tbs of organic honey.

In a stock pot, boil water with a pinch of salt. This is to cook your rice noodles. Once they are tender, drain and pour onto a large serving platter. Top with your chicken and golden raisin sauce.

As Delicious as Sunshine!


Eating Raw is Not Urban Brainy

Eating raw is not always best. A message I have blogged and now the message appears to be recognized. I have to smile as it amazes me that good old mom's advice (Brainy Gourmet advice) is not taken seriously until a food expert as in nutritionist from some institution says so. Institutions are formalized information groups of people who have come up through certain ranks and declared experts. I myself have such accreditation. I am an expert myself having a PhD in Sociology and Social Psychology. I smile about the hierarchy that exists in my faculty as hierarchies exist in all social groups. I mean if you haven't been educated at the right schools and wrote your dissertation on what the top profs are saying, you might as well give up.

I am smiling though and keep on. Especially since a landmark study published in 2002 in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry first showed that a powerful antioxidant called lycopene is released from tomatoes when they’re cooked agrees with what I already knew just listening to my nonna - Italian for grandmother.

The study found that heating tomatoes at 190.4 degrees for 30 minutes boosted levels of absorbable lycopene by 35 percent. Lycopene has been shown to help reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease and macular degeneration, a degenerative eye disease. In addition, a study published in The British Journal of Nutrition found that folks following a long-term raw-food diet had low levels of lycopene.

Let's consider that 2002 was more than twelve years ago. Interesting is that the rage is eating raw veggies on our plates and in our smoothies. Didn't anybody read that 2002 study? I have blogged a number of times that eating raw is not always the best. People are surprised. How do you know?  Being brainy about food sometimes means listening to your mom and or grandmother who have been cooking and serving food long than some newbie experts.

In my own experiences eating, I cannot digest many raw veggies. In fact, they are like poison to my body. I blogged not long ago about Dr. Kellogg who started the Battle Creek Michigan Sanitarium back in the 1870s who invented "Granola". He also came up with Corn Flakes cereal. Why? Because, he was an advocate that man is not a rabbit and should eat pre-digested foods, cooked/baked foods and not raw.

Now that information was given to us over a century ago. How did doctors and the nutritionists of today miss that? My own battles with food have been from inability to digest certain vegetables and especially in their raw state. It took a long time to realize that I cannot eat them; after all, everyone around me was saying that raw was better. Even I did not pay attention to Dr. Kellogg... enough. I have always been a fan of granola and grape nut cereal; which was developed because of Dr. Kellogg by C.W. Post.

So, let us return to the advice of good old fashioned experts ~ like the Brainy Gourmet!
Cook before you eat!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Food as Status

We make choices in life and those choices represent us, who and where we are and who and where we would like to be. Food choices work in the same way. Of course, we choose to eat food because our body needs it as fuel. However, nowadays, food is more than just fueling your body. It reflects your status as in social status.

People make food choices. Many of us are on a health kick and try to eat what is healthy, some eat what is tastes good and some eat only what they can afford to eat. It is all about choice and such choices reflect a person's status. Mostly, it is the amount of money that we spend on food that directs our choice. But, that applies to all choices.

As it is with food, it is with clothes, a car, a house. What we consume, represent us. It tells other people who we are and where we are socially or who want want to be. It is about informing others of our social status, our position us in society, or at least our wanna be position in society. That is why so many food blogs are not like the 'urban' Brainy Gourmet which is about being frugal. Most blogs are not about frugality. They are about the 'image' what is appealing as in beauty, or what is exotic, or expensive or exclusive.

Why? Because, we as social creatures want to show ourselves to others, we socially set ourselves apart from someone else through choice as a means of conveying social status. In fact, socially setting yourself apart even through food choices and their consumption is a form of discrimination toward people who cannot afford to make a better/healthier/or exotic, exclusive choices.

The 'urban' Brainy Gourmet has always been about showing all people that the best choice is a frugal choice. The 'urban' Brainy Gourmet informs people on how they can have a brainy gourmet meal on very little money that is satisfying and nutritious.

Choose to be Brainy!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Ginger Lime Pork Stir Fry

Let's get cookin. Take out your covered skillet and melt in 3 tbs of coconut oil and the same of olive oil. Have washed and sliced your red pepper and zucchini. Once the oils blend and spit, add your veggies. Cover and let them sizzle on high. Now, thickly slice your pork, they should appear as nice oval medallions.
Quickly stir the veggies tossing them around in the skillet; after they have browned on the edges to a golden caramel, remove and set aside. To that same skillet, add another 3 tbs of coconut oil and lay in the medallions. Sizzle on both sides til browned. Now squeeze in your lime juice and grated ginger. I like to add some organic honey to get the medallions caramelized.Cover and simmer on low for 10 min.

In a small pot, boil water with a pinch of salt. Once it has a rolling boil, add your pasta. I like to break my linguine in half. Stir occasionally. When tender, remove from heat and drain. Pour out onto a large low lipped serving platter and lay over the top your stir fry, first the medallions and then the veggies.

Extraordinary dinner!

You can choose to put on the table, a bottle of soy sauce.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Fresh Ground 'Angus' Beef ~ Ah...Stroganoff

Ground beef is so simple to use and makes any dish easy to prepare. For this recipe, take ground beef and using your favorite meatball recipe you can create a quick and delicious stroganoff.  When it comes to my favorite meatball recipe, I like to use bread crumbs combined with a small amount of heavy cream along with dried herbs.

In a covered skillet, melt in 3 tbs of olive oil and coconut oil. Slice mushrooms and chop onions to add the skillet. Cook until the edges are browned. Now, pour in 1/2 cup of beef or even chicken stock. Drop in your meatballs and simmer until meatballs are completely cooked. Add 1/3 cup of heavy cream and sprinkle in dried herbs: rosemary, mint and oregano. Turn heat to low or warm.

Boil wide egg noodles or you can use fettuccine noodles if you have. Once they are tender, remove and drain. Lay the cooked noodles out in a large serving platter and pour out our meatball sauce. Garnish with fresh green parsley.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Urban Chicken Picata

Start this dish by chopping your onion and garlic. Then take your best covered skillet melt in 3 tbs of olive oil and coconut oil.  Add the chopped onion and garlic. Turn the heat to med- high. Once the edges brown lay in your boneless chicken breasts cut into wide strips. Dash in your seasonings, salt (according to your dietary allowances and or on brand of olives you will be using) and pepper flakes. Sizzle both sides of the strips on high heat; add 1/4 cup of chicken stock and cover. Allow this to cook on med. for 5min. Uncover for a moment, turn up the heat to high to let the juices intensify. Then add 1/3 cup heavy cream and as  many diced green olives as you like. However, if they are a salty brand go easy; do a taste test. Cover and simmer on low for 8-10 min.

In the meantime, start a pot of water boiling (with a pinch of salt). This will be to cook a side of brown rice mixed with buckwheat groats. I like to use the boil in the bag method and nowadays you can even get this type in the organic section of your food mart. Once tender, remove and drain.

Take a large serving platter down for the Chicken Picata and arrange. Set the table and call in the guests.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Deviled Eggs

Easter brings out the egg in us!

According to Apicius, a collection of Roman recipes believed to have been compiled sometime between the fourth and fifth century A.D., boiled eggs were traditionally seasoned with oil, wine or broth and served with pepper and laser (which was also known as silphium, a plant driven to extinction by the first century A.D.). Another recipe called for poached eggs to be dressed with soaked pine nuts, lovage (an herb of the parsley family with an anise, celery flavor), pepper, honey, vinegar and broth.

 Sometime in the 13th century, stuffed eggs began to appear in Andalusia, in what is now Spain. An anonymous cookbook from this time period instructs the reader to pound boiled egg yolks with cilantro, onion juice, pepper and coriander and then beat them with murri (a sauce made of fermented barley or fish), oil and salt. After stuffing the mixture into the hollowed egg whites, the two halves were then fastened together with a small stick and peppered.

By the 15th century, stuffed eggs had made their way across much of Europe. Medieval cookbooks contain recipes for boiled eggs that were often filled with raisins, cheese and herbs such as marjoram, parsley and mint and then fried in oil and either topped with a sauce of cinnamon, ginger, cloves and raisins with verjuice (a tart juice made from unripe fruits) or powdered with sugar and served hot. In the United States, stuffed eggs began making an appearance in cookbooks by the mid-19th century.

The first known printed mention of ‘devil’ as a culinary term appeared in Great Britain in 1786, in reference to dishes including hot ingredients or those that were highly seasoned and broiled or fried. By 1800, deviling became a verb to describe the process of making food spicy. But in some parts of the world, the popular egg hors d’oeuvres are referred to as “mimosa eggs,” “stuffed eggs,” “dressed eggs” or “salad eggs”—especially when served at church functions—in order to avoid an association with Satan.

Eggs even find there way into soups - Lenten  Zurek for Easter.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Easter Egg

Easter is a religious holiday, but some of its customs, such as Easter eggs, are likely linked to pagan traditions. The egg, an ancient symbol of new life, has been associated with pagan festivals celebrating spring. From a Christian perspective, Easter eggs are said to represent Jesus’ emergence from the tomb and resurrection. Decorating eggs for Easter is a tradition that dates back to at least the 13th century, according to some sources. One explanation for this custom is that eggs were formerly a forbidden food during the Lenten season, so people would paint and decorate them to mark the end of the period of penance and fasting, then eat them on Easter as a celebration.

*source ~

Friday, March 27, 2015

WonderBag Cooking!

It's clean, smart and fun. The best thing that you can do with a WonderBag is to let it do some of the cooking for you. As you can or have already read about it, just start on the stove a pot of stew or chili, then remove from heat and insert the whole pot in the WonderBag. Now, you can go outside for a walk, and later invite friends over to play a board game, and by the time the game is over, you can share a delicious meal.

While this product is a cleaner means of cooking as in having low environment impact, the WonderBag should not be used as a substitute for stove or range top cooking. It needs to be understood that food must be thoroughly pre-cooked before using the WonderBag; and therefore, always make sure that your food especially meat is cooked properly. The WonderBag is in my opinion more of a warmer and certainly good for traveling food from your house to someone else's; i.e. attending a pot luck supper.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Chef Cut Lean Pork in Creamy Mustard Sauce

I can always count on a nice lean cut of pork from the local butcher. This dish requires very little time and money. You will need besides the pork loin some heavy cream and your favorite Dijon mustard.  Tonight's side, roasted potatoes and mushrooms if you like.

Take your covered skillet out and melt in 3 tbs of olive oil and the same of coconut oil.  As you have already noticed, I always start every dish of meat with those basic. Why reinvent the wheel. However, if you want a new and exciting taste, you can always reduce your savory to simple salt and pepper with a fresh squeeze of citrus or fresh herbs; i.e. mint or thyme. The loin can be 'chef' cut into thick wedges. They take no time at all to sear up. Simmer then for 8 min. At the end, add 1/4 cup of heavy cream and a large dollop of Dijon.

As for a side ~  potatoes, simple... cut halves into a glass dish, coat with olive oil and parmesan along with dried herbs and bake for 30 min and or until tender. You can do them quicker in the microwave for 10 min. and then in the broiler for 3 on high.

Chef cut lean pork with creamy mustard sauce.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Kitchen Art ~ Splash Out and Treat Yourself

Personally, I am not into kitchen gadgets but some people are. And, that's ok. Just know that all you need to prepare and cook any good meal is a knife, a board and a pot.

Sometimes, though, there is nothing like a new kitchen gadget to inspire the cook in you.