Sunday, June 28, 2015

Corn or flour? I used to say flour until my calculations show corn as being slightly in my weight loss favor.
My husband still picks flour tortillas.
I would have thought that H-E-B Mixta would work in our favor. They’re fluffy and have speckles of corn and look old world and taste great. He still picks flour, so more Mixta for me.
One of the treats I made up is lightly frying the tortilla in oil, try coconut oil, and adding a measured spoonful of raspberry jam. It’s a breakfast or a dessert delight. 

Frozen Asparagus
If you haven’t tried asparagus since the mushy canned varieties from your youth, check out the frozen foods section. I found different thicknesses that were not too-pricey and firm to the bite. Just add a little olive oil and heat to serve with eggs, or thaw for a summer vegetable plate.

Wiener skewers
Really don’t remember how those wieners got in the fridge. I’m not a fan. But they are a summer kind of thing. So I threaded some on fancy skewers with cherry tomato, purple onion and mushrooms. I broiled them in the oven until they were crispy and served with a homemade honey-mustard dipping sauce.
I enjoyed it, but won’t need to eat another wiener for at least a year.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Mediterranean Diet: What a way to live

Living it up Mediterranean style
            If honey-fig jam, steamed mussels and avocado in my deviled eggs is the healthy way to go, count me in.
“Living the Mediterranean Diet: Proven Principles & Modern Recipes for Staying Healthy” offers tips on how to enjoy these great flavors with friends and family. Did you need any help to thing seared scallops over spinach would work?
            Recipes are easy, because your just dealing with real food and real flavors. Remember to eat real food, make plants the star and slow down to enjoy your meal and visit. It’s easy stuff and Nick Nigro, Bay Ewald and Rea Frey will walk you through it. I hope the walk ends with these chocolates:

Dark Chocolate Tangerine Slices
Author’s note:  We find a simple, juicy tangerine to be one of the great pleasures of life. They are the perfect endto a meal, especially topped with a little dark chocolate and a sprinkle of se salt.
8 tangerines (clementines are best)
3 an one half to 4 ounces dark chocolate (with at least 70 percent cocoa)
Sea salt
How we create
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Peel the tangerines. Using a double broiler, melt the dark chocolate. Dip each tangerine slice halfway into the melted chocolate and place on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and repeat with all the slices. Refrigerate for 10 to15 minutes, or until the chocolate has hardened.

Boiled Peanuts?
         Maybe you’ve heard of  boiled peanut stands or seen them in cans of brine. What is that? I met a woman with Georgia ties who was thrilled to find a bag at a Vietnamese market in the area, so I tried some, too. Not bad at all. So you remove the wet shell and get to the wet nut, which you can pinch flat with your finger.  It’s got a savory, seasoned taste. There’s a little juice inside. Kind of like peeling crawfish.
         That just doesn’t sound right to someone used to the aroma of a flat pan of nuts roasting in the kitchen oven.  Then you take your toasted goodness outside and get all dusty peeling to get to the crunchy nuts.
         But go ahead and get into the boil. The nuts came from the market featuring Saigon Sandwich, 1020 Ninth Avenue in Port Arthur.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

BBQ purists welcome to play

Purists can experiment
         A Southern Living cookbook is going to give you some good background, technique and style. Think you know how to barbecue? I don’t care how long you’ve been at it, I’ll bet their new “Ulitimate Book of BBQ: The Complete Year-Round Guide to Grilling & Smoking,” will give you some ideas. Pitmaster Christopher Prieto helped put this book full of recipes, photos and inspiration together.
         So barbecue brings out the purists. I’m all into that. But hey, does one have to have the same beans, same one-color glob of slaw every time one fires up the pit?
         If your brood fears experimentation, go slow. They probably would not object to potato salad. Soon you can add a colorful grilled peach and avocado salad. Then anything goes when they start appearing with somoky pimento cheese deviled eggs. The combinations are limitless. And if one of these side dishes for some reason doesn’t get rave reviews, there are pages and pages of more ideas. Here are a couple of very easy variations to begin your summer over the fire:

Drizzles for grilled chicken wings:
Cider Vinegar-Brown Butter Honey Drizzle
One half cup butter
One half cup honey
1 tablespoon cider vinegar.
1.Cook  butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until brown and fragrant. Transfer to a small bowl and cook 5 minutes.
2. cook honey and vinegar in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Horseradish-Honey Mustard Drizzle
One half cup honey
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
2 tablespoons coarse-grained mustard
Cook honey, horseradish and mustard ina small saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Cracked Pepper-Rosemary Honey Drizzle
One half  cup honey
1 tablespoon cracked blaked pepper
1 three-inch fresh rosemary sprig
Cook honey, two tablespoons water, pepper and rosemary sprig in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Discard rosemary.

Chili-Lemon Honey Drizzle
One half cup honey
One half cup bottled chili sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Cook honey, chili sauce and lemon juice over medium heat, stirring often, 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

It’s not even January
Now that it’s summer you’ll want to stock your freezer with…
Did you say soup? Tabatchnick hopes you did, because they’ve come out with very low-calories frozen soups to shape you up for beach season. Microwave a pouch of cream of mushroom for 100 calories and stay in that range for flavors like barley & Mushroom to Wilderness wild Rice.  They were created to offer flavor and make you feel satisfied, especially when paired with leafy green salads. These frozen offerings also tend toward lower sodium canned options, makers say. It’s an easy work lunch.
            Barley & Mushroom Soup reminded me how filling a handful of barley can be in your meal. They cooked up just right.
       New York Style Chicken Broth with Noodles & Vegetables – They do it a little differently in New York, with wider noodles, I learn. I have to respect.

Prince of Peace
Tea can fill you up and fortify you and it doesn’t have to be full of sugar, or even honey for that matter. Someone has shared with me a few bags of Prince of Peace 100 percent oolong tea and one bag makes a pretty strong pitcher. I’m calling it full-on tea. It’s full of flavor and keeps the energy up.