Sunday, December 21, 2014
I froze lots of Copper River Salmon this past summer and now we are enjoying it. To be honest, salmon is not my favorite fish, but my husband is allergic to iodine and has no problems eating it. I am very careful what fish I give him.
Since I have to be at the track these days, a self-imposed regiment before I get one officially, this is how I get it all done. I no longer do two things at once as I used to, those days are long gone. Anyone that tells me what I should be doing, unless they are in the medical profession are ignored because I most probably have already done it.
I respect those who are kind to me and wish to let them know it and am opening my mouth to those that could care less, that are less than honest with me. I have so much to be happy about, especially working for the goal of seeing my little red-headed niece who lives on the other side of the country. I pay more attention to everything including me. I am doing this because as the commercial says "I am worth it." I want to see my great-niece graduate from preschool to Kindergarten.
I have spent many years in medical settings and being a caregiver to family members.I want to share what I have learned along the way in regard to cooking foods as ultimately, if we do not eat, we do not heal. During these holidays, say "thanks" to those who truly care and for those that do not, "turning the other cheek" may work for awhile, but stress accumulates and sooner or later it will take its toll. We have vegan days, eat some fish and chicken. Our calcium source are green leafed veggies, brocoli and almond milk that I use for everything -- from heavenly mashed potatoes to pumpkin pie. I drink it like milk, use it on cereal, cook oatmeal in it and have used it to make puddings. Many of the recipes are searchable in this cooking blog which is also in Kindle format on amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Precious-Cooking/dp/B008NTAH30
My best advice is that none of us are immune to our heredity. We can do our best to be in the best shape we can, but genes are important. My mother was in continuous Atrial Fibrillation and my father had his first heart attack at age 65. I never would have guessed that I would have inherited either of these, but I can say had I not been walking 5 miles per day, I am not sure how I would be now. If I am tired, I stop pushing myself., this is a major change for me. I went on a trip to NYC at the end of September that was a big mistake. It involved agenda's that did not happen, late dinners, and all the things my husband and I have had to avoid to stay healthy. I knew better, but hoped going would be a chance to meet old friends, only none of them came, not a single one that I knew so many years ago. My husband wanted to leave 2 days early as soon as he realized the situation, but I did not listen, and refused to listen to him as could not believe someone would give me an agenda that was bogus. I think it was meant well, but things were cancelled for whatever reason and I had no clue. I paid a big price for this. The first time I felt an irregular heartbeat was on that trip. No one's fault but my own, yes my "heart was broken" and it now shows. It is permanent, blood thinners and 8 meds at the moment, for the rest of my life. Imagine if I had run down 19 flights of stairs, as I almost did, to help someone and it turns out I was the one that really needed the help. Wow, do I learn things the hard way! My friends said I never should have agreed to checking on anyone, they would not have done it, but I have a different nature and if I can maybe help, I will try. If you have company staying at an expensive hotel, do your friends a favor and check it out personally.
If you know something to help some one, and the person is not receptive, try once or twice and please give up. I am telling you it is not worth the stress. It will break our heart, like it broke mine, but that is life and again, it is "my reaction to the situation" as someone I believed in and wrote about, turned out not to be who I thought. It hurts like hxll, but that is life and I would not give this life up for anything. I should have realized the person was using me, not the first time, but for sure the very last, as I have to protect my heart. I am sad as there was much potential to do good, but I know my business and what I am doing and this is just not recognized. I even wrote it out in my blog, should there be any misunderstanding. I am also gullible, you tell me you can not afford $250.00 and I believe it until I see what one really spends -- and then I am shocked. The person is in my prayers, but a friend would never behave in such a manner. Years ago the person made me chose between an important speaker and going to Mobile to work on a project very important to me. Again, this is something that could have been handled another way. I should never have been forced into such a choice, but was so happy at the time -- one can see it in my face -- I will show it here --- happy that I had survived cancer!
I need to get back to this feeling, can't tell, but this was my red-headed stage of my hair on the way to becoming blond? I want to be as happy and get the smile back I had in this picture. Maybe writing it here will help.
Getting back to dinner, our first course was canned Progressive Hearty Tomato Soup which tastes the most like that of my Mom's that I have found to date. My Mom made it fresh from her tomatoes (and mine) from the garden.
For the salmon, I took it from the freezer and placed in the refrigerator over night. It was defrosted and I took a paper towel to make sure it was completely dry. I put some Pam in the stainless steel frying pan, let it get hot and put the skin side down in the pan. This allows for a crispy crust. My husband likes everything well done and if he is presented with skin, it better be crispy or he will sit there picking it off and turn off whomever is eating dinner with us.
Before turning the fish, I put a teaspoon of real Maple Syrup on it, it can't hurt and a cap full of the volcanic lemon juice I keep in the house at all times. I used to put a little Burbon on it and a bit of brown sugar, but Maple Syrup is easier and I love COSTCO's Volcanic Lemon Juice that has no preservatives in it, unlike any you can find on the shelves of grocery stores. COSTCO's lemon juice is like a fine wine and it says so on the bottle from Italy, we love it whenever I need lemon.
When the fish looks almost done, I tell this from experience from looking at the sides of the fish as my husband wants it done, I prefer it a bit undercooked, but it is easier for me to make it his way than to present him with a bit of fish that is not over done. After 46 years of marriage, I realize there are some things I can not change. Men are a bit hard to convince, they have to come to the realization on their own or else they think I am "prodding" them, as a friend said to me lately.
If you think he likes his fish well done, you should see asparagus. He grew up eating canned vegetables and did not like fresh or frozen when we were married, it was a real task to get him to eat fresh veggies, having him help in growing a huge garden in Cincinnati helped much and before that he helped in my greenhouse at The Ohio State University, Yes, I will admit herein that I was not always associated with hospitals, but spent time at the bench, in government where believe it tor not I traveled the country and was introduced in 1973 to Mexican food, for example!
I turn it over and add as much fresh, dried baby spinach as I can fit into the pan and put a lid over it so it does not fall out. As much as I can get in will equal 2 servings although the fish itself is 3 as that is how I cut it in case we might have company. I will put the remaining piece on a plate and cover with plastic wrap when cool to accompany a salad tomorrow, or sometimes I love to eat COLD FISH -- which probably comes from my love of anything fish, being a Pisceas, born Feb 20 (on the cusp of Aquarius).
Sunday, December 14, 2014
Let the beans cool to lukewarm and drain into processor reserving liquid beans were cooked in, just in case. Add 2 cloves (cloves, not the entire head of garlic, only 2 cloves) of peeled garlic to the blender. Do not cut up the garlic as in my Ninja they will not mix if cut up, but I need to place them in whole. Add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and blend. Check consistency. Since we eat it on sandwiches I do not add more liquid, but if making for a party dip, add another tablespoon of the bean water in the pan.
Again, this is a salt-free recipe, make doubly sure the can says no salt. The lemon in the recipe takes care of the salt in other recipes.
Garbanzo beans are a good source of magnesium!
Sunday, December 7, 2014
Easy Flavored Angel Food Cake
It is a great idea to keep a few 8 ounce cans of crushed pineapple in the pantry for anytime one might want to bake a moist carrot cake or this flavorful angel food cake. I have substituted crushed strawberries in this recipe when my nephew requested a "strawberry" cake and I did not wish to use food coloring.
1 box angel food cake mix
1 8 ounce can crushed pineapple in its own juice
2 tablespoons lemon juice or water
1/4 cup water
Mix all ingredients, beat at medium speed for one minute, and place into angel food cake pan, do not over mix, use a timer.
Bake in preheated 350 F oven for 45 minutes, do not under bake. Turn cake upside down in pan until it cools. Using a knife, carefully cut around the cake so that it can be removed from the pan in one piece.
If you wish you can frost this cake when it has completely cooled. A fat-free frosting that we like on this cake is very hard to find, but one can order it from General Mills. It is called Betty Crocker Home Style Fluffy White Frosting Mix. The frosting has egg whites in it and the box says it may contain milk ingredients.
Here is the cake without frosting, kind of like cotton candy!
The link to the frosted cake with details as what one can do with the frosting is at http://preciouscooking.blogspot.com/2014/04/pineapple-lemon-raspberry-surprise-cake.html
For the chocolate lovers out there, the angel food cake box should have some directions for making this into a chocolate angle food cake.
Friday, December 5, 2014
What is really coming back in our area along with the hottest vegetable in our town, kale, are sardines! I loved them as a child growing up as I could manage one little sardine. The ones I had as a child were not skinless and boneless, but my husband is used to skinless and boneless.Long gone are the days when I would strain the mushrooms out of the cream of mushroom soup and have no patience to hear about bones in sardines. Thus,I buy a natural wild caught sustainably harvested imported sardine in a can with no BPA in the lining. IT is called "Season Brand," is kosher with the "U"P on it. I buy it in pure olive oil and can rinse it off, the sardines in salt water seem to be tougher. If you have been following this blog, you know I broke a tooth down to the bone and am cautious about anything I eat.
If you are sensitive to salt, like me, one can rinse off the sardines. I have been known to run to the beach with a can. At COSTCO they are serving them with crackers and rumor has it that many that bring their lunch from home are bringing sardines.
Because the can opens easily, does not need a can opener, it is a good emergency food to have around should we get snowed in this winter, when food trucks sometimes can not make it into the city. I can say that sell fast at COSTCO, whether one is sampling or buying them.
If you get tired of salmon (my favorite fish is ocean perch), you might want to try sardines if you do feel like cooking or are snowed in.
Next time I open a can I will show you the insides, the cover is below:
Thursday, December 4, 2014
When a friend of a cousin visited from Germany, she asked to spend some time with the Amish who live in Middlefield, Ohio, about 45 minutes from our house. I suggested we go to the Middlefield McDonalds as it is a great place to meet and talk to the locals, but hearing the word McDonalds, my friend freaked. I told her we could have lunch at an Amish restaurant, but the Amish hostess and servers will be very busy preparing meals and most probably have no time for conversation. My friend decided on going to the Amish restaurant.
When we got to the Amish restaurant she only wanted "salad" bar, which surprised me. I introduced my German friend to the Amish hostess and asked if she might say a few words in her native tongue (a 14th century German -- or so I have read), and she kindly agreed.
My friend and I had no problems understanding the native Amish language (German was my first language). After we both ordered salad bar as I did not want my friend to be alone, the hostess suggested we at least share a typical Amish recipe.
I said great! When it came to our table, my German friend pushed it away and said this is typical German food and that my mother must have made it too! My mother never made anything like it. I not only gobbled it up, but went home and told my husband. As soon as our company left, we drove to Middlefield, ordered a full order each, and now make several variations at home.
The products I use for the quick recipe are pictured below, I only added the can of lima beans as wanted a few more veggies and frozen lima beans, even baby ones, are not tender enough.
The recipe is great for anyone having dental work, but since I recently broke the back of a premolar down to the bone, I put almost everything into the blender until my new crown is ready -- dread this temporary to fall out and expose the bone of my upper jaw!
Directions are as follows: Use only almond milk (I suggest Almond Breeze) to make the mashed potatoes (no butter necessary). To make 2 servings of mashed potatoes (my husband eats two as pictured in the bowel), heat one cup of almond milk to boiling. Take the pot off the heat and stir in 2/3rds cup mashed potato flakes. You can add a bit more of cold milk or potato if too thick or too thin for your taste. Pour the finished mashed potatoes into a serving bowl.
I took about 1/4 of of the can of soup and some lima beans (drained) and placed them in the blender to blend smooth (for me), and left it in the blender until I finished my husband's meal.
After putting his potatoes in the bowl, emptying the pot that still had potato in it, but not washing it, I poured in the soup from the can and the drained lima beans and mixed with any potato remaining in the pot to thicken the soup. One can add more flakes of potato to this soup to make it thicker (it is the secret to thickening anything, add a few potato flakes).
I poured his soup over his potatoes and put the rest in a bowl.
Then in the same pot, I heated my blender-processed soup and put it over about 2 tablespoons of potatoes that I had reserved in a bowl for me.
It is freezing outside today and this is a comforting meal. The Amish add more (homemade) noodles to the soup. I add noodles too sometimes. The very best is when I make noodles from scratch, but that is another blog post and not necessary for this recipe.
I remember having to make great homemade noodles for my Mom when I was 19 as she said, "You can only get married IF you can make good noodles."
Interesting, my Mom used the old German traditions with me, but I do not remember if either of my two younger sisters had to ace that one? Now, if I could only make all of my mother and grandmother's authentic German Christmas cookies!
Wednesday, December 3, 2014
I was never crazy about hot oatmeal, but love it now per the way I make it. My husband loves it now too. He used to be a cold cereal eater -- those boxes are standing around, while I buy huge boxes of oatmeal and my blood work has never been better.
I cut a small banana, a fresh apple into thin small slices, dried cranberries, or whatever fruit is in the house and add it to my "Old Fashioned" Quaker Oats in a saucepan. I cover it with about 50/50 water and Blue Diamond Almond Milk as we need the calcium (twice the calcium in cow's milk). You can make it with all water or all milk of any kind too. The dried cranberries will become soft.
I let it sit for awhile together, covered in liquid, and will then cook it slowly. Sometimes I stop as tend to burn meals when I blog. Here is what it looks like so far. You can see the oatmeal underneath and banana, apple, and dried cranberries. Sometimes I only use banana, other times only apple or dried cranberries, but am doing all today and it will be delicious!
Here, I am covering it with 50/50 Almond Milk (the one with 30 calories in a glass) and water, or one can use any combination, just cover it -- does not matter if a little more liquid as it will get cooked into the oatmeal shortly.
Now I will cook it and come back to finish the blog!
It smells heavenly when the banana cooks in the oatmeal, the fresh apple is soft and the cranberries plump-up -- can you see?
Oatmeal finished -- soft enough for me but it could be cooked longer -- the apple is very soft and the the banana gives it the most heavenly aroma. Sometimes I put ground flax seed on top -- as it is very reasonable at COSTCO. The only way my husband will eat ground flax is on top of his oatmeal. I sneak it in lots of things when he is not looking! We lean to vegetarian so have to get plant sources for our Omega-3. Do not buy un-ground flax seed as humans can not digest the tiny seeds. If you come up with a recipe, please post, or you can sign up with your email to get the blog each time I update. If you prefer Kindle format, it is available at http://amzn.to/1zFZ4kr for 99 cents per month (Amazon set the price).
It holds up well in the refrigerator if you can not eat it all and my husband will microwave it when he is in the mood --- "Oatmeal is not just for breakfast anymore, as it is a great snack."
And as my great-niece would sing to the tune of 3 blind mice:
"Hot Oatmeal, hot oatmeal, yummy, yummy, in my tummy, hot oatmeal."
Tuesday, December 2, 2014
4 tablespoons sifted cake flour (all purpose works great too)
2/3 cup granulated sugar put through coffee grinder to turn to powder
1/4 teaspoon salt (optional, I always omit the salt)
4 large egg whites (close to room temperature)
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups sweetened shredded coconut (I use the entire 14 ounce package)
I process the sugar and the flour (for this recipe I prefer unbleached, all purpose as it has less gluten and results in a lighter, more tender macaroon). I have also used Bolts Red Mill one to one gluten free flour.
In my coffee grinder, I grind the flour and then the sugar for a few seconds for the
fluffiest macaroons ever. This step is not necessary and I know some leave out the flour completely if following a gluten-free diet, but I like the macaroons with the flour and sugar.
Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry, add vanilla and beat for a second. Take a strainer and sift the fluffy flour with fluffy sugar through a strainer into the beaten egg whites, a bit at a time and very gently fold in, continue this until the sugar/flour mixture is folded into the beaten eggs whites. Then add the coconut a bit at a time and continue to very carefully fold it into the egg white/flour/sugar mixture. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto a parchment paper covered baking sheet (baking sheet preparationexplained below) allowing space for spreading.
I get about 25 2 inch macaroons from the recipe.
Bake in preheated 350 F oven about 18 minutes or until golden brown on the edges and dry on the surface, be careful not to over bake. My husband grew up liking everything over-baked and he likes them at 20 minutes when the entire macaroon is a uniform golden color -- Most prefer just some golden on the outer most coconut, around the edges and on the bottom.
Preparing baking sheet, spray metal pan with cooking spray, put parchment paper over the sprayed pan, the idea being that the macaroons do not get parchment paper stuck in them as the parchment paper sticks to the pan. The macaroon batter is sticky -- so let them cool before gently removing them from the parchment paper. If you move them before they cool, a bit of the cookie will be stuck to the parchment paper!
Monday, December 1, 2014
The recipe for 2 full glasses includes:
2 medium ripe bananas (my husband likes 3 ripe bananas for a really sweet smoothie)
2 cups of almond milk
1/2 cup of kale (mine was Italian Heirloom kale from my garden having been quickly blanched and frozen, fresh kale is great too and you can add more kale to your mixture.
Cherry concentrate -- about 1/4 cup -- but his is optional, and fruit may be added, or leave it as a kale shake with just the kale, almond milk, and banana
I blend the above in my Oster blender which will crush ice. I do not add ice in the winter, but in the summer I might add frozen bananas and ice. The blender is a cheap one, maybe $25.00, but it had to have the ice crushing setting as I do not want to notice a single plant cell in my smoothie, I want it smooth as a smoothie should be. I do not want to chew my smoothie!
Berries or almost any other fruit (berries, peaches, etc) can be added, but if you are sensitive about colors, be cautious about combinations as you might end up with a gray color -- delicious to drink but not to look at.
By the time I finished drinking my smoothie, I had read the concise Ebook, Mentoring Power, once again -- it is only FREE for Cyber Monday, a few more hours.
If you or someone you know needs a mentor, is interested in how to mentor, or in U.S. and/or foreign mentoring programs, do not miss the chance of downloading this FREE ebook, which was Hot listed on Amazon's list of ebooks on vocational guidance, the first day it was published!
Thursday, November 27, 2014
I think for a regular recipe, the crust would be incredibly flaky. for me reduced-fat as low as one can go and still have an edible crust, the Vodka helped much to reduce the gluten in this pie. Cooking the apples on a very slow heat, about 140F, to remove some of the liquid and concentrate the apple flavor was a terrific idea. This is the heaviest apple pie I have every made. Heating the apple slices on the stove in a Dutch Oven worked great!
Please note their are no sweeteners or thickeners among the apples in this pie,nothing but apples and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon as we love it! I cooked a mixture of apples including Melrose, Mcowen, Wiesap, etc. together. Some apples turned to a lumpy sauce, while other were tender and held a bit of the apple slice shape.
In this pie I used King Arthur's Flour, white whole wheat flour,which has a bit of a higher gluten content than most flours. I recently switched to white whole wheat as am trying to get away from the standard unbleached flours.
I prefer glass pie pans as no problems with acids and I like to see what is going on in the baking of the bottom crust. I baked this apple pie on a heated cookie sheet.
I started at 425F and after maybe 15 minutes, reduced the heat to 375F and baked it until it looked just right, some light brown on the bottom crust and the same light brown color all over the pie crust.
The top photo is my dinner plate for today. I have a temporary crown in a premolar as the back of the tooth broke down to the bone. I planned on making only soft foods today for Thanksgiving. I did not make my usual fresh cranberry-orange relish, fresh cranberries remain in the freezer. The stuffing is not our usual crispy crust type, but as soft and flavorful as possible. The turkey tenders are just that, very tender turkey, no need to cut with a fork.
Our appetizer today was tomato soup. My Mom made the best-in-the-world tomato soup from tomatoes from her garden and mine. I can not reproduce her soup, although I saw her work on removing the skin and seeds from the tomatoes with a piece of equipment I inherited. It does not look like fun to me. She would carefully place each bit of tomato puree in a plastic bag and freeze it very flat, so that she could fit many into her freezer space in her refrigerator. Thanksgiving was my Mom's favorite, the holiday we would also spend with cousins and I miss that very much.
While my apples are sweating, keeping them around 140F or below in a Dutch oven, softening them up before placing in a new, homemade pie crust. The pie crust I am trying today, replaces 1/2 of the water with 80 proof Vodka, to see if I can stop the gluten from forming. If I ever needed soft everything, this is the year. Should it be good, the recipe will end up in one of my upcoming cookbooks, but no fear, if really good, I will post to this blog.
I am not using expensive Vodka in the pie crust like Grey Goose, but Smirnoff, which was less than half the price. I hope the Vodka does not leave a flavor in the pie crust? Guess it is bye until the pie is finished as they say . . .
"Time to bake the donuts."
Since my Mom died 3 years ago, we go to the Cleveland Zoo for Thanksgiving, but I think it is a bit too cold and snowy for us to go today.
I am still testing recipes for my cookbook on desserts and am trying a low-fat pie crust today subsituting 1/2 of the water in the crust with Vodka to try to get a flakier crust to stop the gluten from forming?
Pictures coming later as I just put the turkey tenders and stuffing in the oven. Since I am in the middle of dental work, everything has to be soft this year. I put white, whole wheat flour on the tenders as thick it might thicken up a bit as my husband is a "gravy lover." He will eat almost anything as long as I can come up with a really great gravy!
Monday, November 17, 2014
My husband was helping me test recipes for my upcoming cookbooks. The coconut bar recipe is more of what my sister calls "assembly" as one need not bake the cake used, but can buy a pound cake.
The recipe is simple and includes Hershey's Chocolate Syrup and coconut that is flakes thin in a coffee
grinder. For those that prefer larger pieces of coconut, this works fine too. We prefer unsweetened
coconut as the chocolate syrup is sweet enough for our tastes.
Hope you enjoy the coconut bars, if you want a more detailed recipe or have any comments, email
me per the side bar email signup. The important part of the recipe is to keep things separate, keep the
chocolate utensils separate from the ones that spread the coconut on the chocolate-covered cake.
Also, if the cake if frozen, it will be easier to handle and will not fall apart, while it is covered in
chocolate syrup and coconut. Coconut bars freeze well!
Saturday, August 16, 2014
We have had much rain and my kale is growing tall in huge bunches. I packed a kale shake for both of us and we drove to the falls pictured below. I made the kale shake with Almond Milk, bananas, and about 4 long leaves of the wonderful Heirloom Kale growing in my garden! The Heirloom Kale does not have the many white flies my red-leaved kale has. I poured dish washing liquid on my red-leaved kale as it was loaded with white flies, but luckily, they did not attack my Heirloom Kale growing immediately next to the red-leaved kale!
On the way home we stopped at Patterson's Fruit Farm and purchased an entire half gallon of the tart cherry syrup (80 calories in 2 tablespoons) and I am mixing mine with sparkling water. My husband does not like sparkling anything, so I mix his with plain water. We love the tart cherry juice and it is reported in the literature to be a natural source of melatonin. Having the highest level of antioxidants, I figure it can not hurt. Since I am doing heavy physical labor these days per all the yard work, I will try anything that is reported to help with joint pain.
The sparkling water plus tart cherry juice reminds me of a drink I liked when we were first married. We only ate out maybe once per year, but on our first and second wedding anniversaries in Columbus, Ohio, we ate dinner at the Jai Lai Restaurant -- their Slow Gin Fizz was my favorite. Our third wedding anniversary was spent potting tomato plants in The Ohio State University greenhouse. When I think back to my husband traveling all week and coming home to help me work in the greenhouse, I am truly amazed!
My youngest sister, age 12-13 years at the time, also helped me water the hundreds of plants in that old greenhouse! She is the third author in the article I submitted for publication this morning.
The title of the article is "Mentoring Power: Key to Sustainable Economic Growth and Innovation,"
to hopefully be published in JOTMI, the Journal of Technology, Management & Innovation.
Authors are William Sharp, Rosa Raskin, and Maria Shine Stewart!