Ava Gardner’s Pancakes

August 29, 2011 at 8:50 am | Posted in Breakfast | Leave a comment

Drop by Things your Grandmother Knew for an old-fashioned celebrity pancake recipe.


How to dice an onion

August 27, 2011 at 11:47 am | Posted in Techniques, Tools | Leave a comment

Here is an interesting tutorial video meant for restaurants, but still useful for the rest of us.

Taverna San Marco – How to Dice an Onion from Jensen Hande Studios on Vimeo.

Not Missing the Microwave

February 16, 2011 at 9:59 am | Posted in Tools | Leave a comment

Our microwave needs a new magnetron.  At least, that’s what the troubleshooting guide says it needs when it turns on, but nothing heats up.  Friends with broken microwave experience tell me it’s probably cheaper to just get a whole new appliance.

We haven’t gotten around to serious microwave shopping yet.

It’s not that we’re lazy. We’re just learning to live without it.  I have to admit that, at first, asking me to cook without a microwave was a bit like asking a teenager to do math without a calculator.  At the very least, I would use it to defrost something, even if the rest of my cooking was done with more conventional methods. It has completely changed my approach to leftovers.  I now prefer to make things that can be easily re-heated in the oven or the skillet. When that fails, I make things that work well cold. (Leftover chicken and steamed broccoli are especially good for that!).  Oh, and pretty much anything is good when placed on an open-faced sandwich under the broiler with cheese on top!

I also tend to cook things in smaller quantities, since slower re-heating methods means defrosting  leftovers is now quite impractical. This has freed up extra space in my freezer, which I may now start using to keep leftover bones, so I can make my own broth.  Yum!

Oven, broiler, and stovetop are not as quick as the microwave, of course, especially since my oven is pretty slow at pre-heating, but there are benefits that make the sacrifice worthwhile.  My husband says he has noticed a favorable difference in the taste of our food, now that my cooking is limited to more old-fashioned methods, and I have noticed that the increased inconvenience of getting hot food helps us to minimize unnecessary snacking (much the way my cat’s feeding toy helps him control his eating habits).

I also have to say that, given how much technology and fast-food make us feel the need to hurry all the time, there is something a little more spiritually satisfying about having to slow down a little every day in order to eat well.

Lent approaches. May I suggest giving up the microwave this year?


Hat Tip to “The Healthy Home Economist” for the broth link!

Fighting Cancer…with food?

October 13, 2010 at 10:36 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month!

The Cancer Cure Foundation has a list of cancer-fighting foods on their website:


I was happy to see avocados on the list. I love those.

Many of these foods are very tasty and come highly recommended as part of any healthy diet, anyway, so even if you are not concerned about cancer, they are worth eating.


Food and Fundraising

This week I also had a chance to try Panera Bread’s Pink Ribbon bagel. Being simply loaded with simple carbohydrates, it won’t win any prizes for health benefits (unless those dried cranberries count???), but it is very tasty.   If you are not a low-carb eater, or are willing to give yourself a treat for a good cause, it is worth a try.  I suggest getting it sliced and toasted with cream cheese on top, and some cold milk on the side. The Panera in my area is donating 25 cents for every one sold to a nearby cancer research center.

Keep an eye out for similar tasty fundraising efforts in your area, and remember your monthly self-exam!


Oh, Fudge!

September 8, 2010 at 10:28 am | Posted in Dessert, Non-Dairy | Leave a comment

Lactose-free fudge that is.

I was having fudge cravings this week, so I went for an old standby.

In my recipe card file I keep a copy of the fudge recipe that my mom uses nearly every Christmas. It’s simple and delicious. It also uses a full can of sweetened, condensed milk.

In spite of my lactose intolerance, I haven’t often had problems with this fudge.  Unfortunately, this time the sweetened condensed milk meant sweetened condensed digestive discomfort.


  1. Make my own Sweetened Condensed non-dairy milk. Here are a few recipes. Mostly involving soy, which lately isn’t the most digestible for me, either. I may try the rice milk idea, though.
  2. Use Cream of Coconut as a substitute.
  3. Revert to an old-fashioned diet of gruel and porridge in the style of many dyspeptic characters in 19th century British novels.
  4. Find a new fudge recipe.

Hmm. This calls for experimentation and fudge tasting!

Breakfast in a Bowl

February 24, 2010 at 11:11 pm | Posted in Breakfast, Dessert | Leave a comment

If you need something other than the usual cereal and milk, consider this (also works as a light dessert):

Christina’s Sweet West Coast Sunrise
Serves 1

1/2 c. whole grain flaky breakfast cereal of your choice
2 T dried cranberries (or 1T cranberries+1 T goji berries)
1 T walnut or pecan pieces
1 T white chocolate chips
1/8-1/4 c. plain Kefir

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Mix. Eat with a spoon. Smile!

Probiotics and white chocolate all in one place. Excellent!

If you want to know what the on earth Kefir is, check this out.

Peachy Protein

August 30, 2009 at 6:19 pm | Posted in Baked Goods, Breakfast, Dessert, Gluten-Free, Low-Carb, Non-Dairy | Leave a comment
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I love the “Fresh Peach Crumble” recipe in  The New Family Cookbook for People with Diabetes.

The trouble is, my hubby and I are trying to keep the carbs down in our home, and even this diabetic-friendly recipe has more sugar than we really want.


I had to do some playing around with their recipe,  testing the results on my spouse and even some of our friends.  There were several versions.

The end result is below, with gluten-free modifications at the bottom:
Makes 8 servings.

Peach “Filling”
6 medium ripe peaches (about 2 pounds total), peeled and sliced.  (Frozen works too!)
1 tsp Almond Extract
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 tsp. Orange Blossom Water
1/2 tsp. Rosewater
6 tsp cinnamon
Ground nutmeg to taste
2 T Wheat Gluten (optional–to thicken filling)
Clear Stevia drops (or other sugar-free sweetener) to taste. (optional)

3/4 c. each:
Flaxseed meal
*Almond Meal
*Whole Wheat Flour
1/4 c. packed brown sugar
2 tsp. granulated sweetener. (I used white stevia powder.)
3 Tbsp. Smart Balance Light (or shortening or butter)

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly spray an 8-inch square baking dish with canola oil.
  2. Place peach slices in large bowl, add remaining filling ingredients and stir until evenly coated.
  3. In medium bowl, mix Flaxseed meal, Almond Meal, flour, brown sugar, and granulated sweetener.  Cut in margarine until mixture becomes crumbly.
  4. If you want a crust at the bottom, press half of the crumb mixture into the bottom of the baking dish.  Spoon peach mixture on top. Sprinkle remaining crumb mixture on top.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes, or until peaches are heated through, and topping is golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Works well for dessert or breakfast, and is an excellent quick dish for potlucks!  If you want to be really decadent (and are not lactose-intolerant), serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

*To lower fat content, reduce almond meal and increase whole wheat flour.

Almonds are a good source of protein and magnesium. Flaxseed provides fiber, lignans and omega-3’s.

For all of you Gluten-Free eaters out there, in the filling, substitute Tapioca starch for the wheat gluten. In the Crust/Crumbles mixture use buckwheat flour, instead of whole wheat.

Whole Wheat Pita Bread

August 21, 2009 at 5:40 am | Posted in Baked Goods, Dinner, Lunch, Mediterranean Style | Leave a comment
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Absolutely LOVE this recipe!:


Make sure you give yourself the afternoon for this one. It took about three hours for me, including time for dough to rise, but it’s well worth it. The results are tasty and soft.  They freeze very well.

You can use parchment paper to line your baking sheets if you do not have cornmeal or semolina flour handy.

These work really well with any kind of Greek or Mediterranean-style filling, such as the “Broiled Falafel Patties” and “Fried Spiced Tofu” in Frances Moore Lappé’s Diet for a Small Planet.

Experiments in Low-Carb Muffins

August 21, 2009 at 5:09 am | Posted in Baked Goods, Breakfast, Low-Carb, Sugar-Free | Leave a comment
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Low-Carb Muffins

Low-Carb Muffins

I began with this recipe from About.com, doubled the baking powder, and added the following:

1/3 c. Whole Wheat Flour

3 T wheat gluten

24 drops Clear Stevia

1 T Vanilla Extract

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp rosewater

1 tsp orange blossom water.

The result was a muffin vaguely reminiscent of a nutty snickerdoodle.  Yum!  I made a full dozen of them this afternoon, thinking they would be a great breakfast food. What you see in the picture is what is left as of this posting. Looks like I’d better make bigger batches.

If you are making these for people who are used to muffins that taste like cupcakes (like those deadly chocolate things from the grocery store bakery), you may wish to add even more sweetener.

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