Simple Cake with Swiss Icing

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You don’t have to be a perfectionist or a cake-decorating pro to make a layer cake look nice. Just get creative with some fluffy icing and add something charming as casual décor. Here, I’ve added some French dragées (candy resembling Jordan almonds) to a couple of white cake-layers filled and frosted with Swiss icing.

~~M-J de Mesterton, ©2017

M-J’s POTAGE PRINTANIÈRE aux Petits Pois

M-J’s Original Recipe: POTAGE PRINTANIÈRE aux Petits Pois



Photo and Recipe Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2007

I devised this spring pea soup for an elegant luncheon.


Potage Printanière aux Petits Pois

 
One 16-ounce bag of frozen petits pois, or tiny green peas (be sure to use the frozen variety for their intense colour)

Three cups of hot water

Herbs: savoury or herbes de Provence

1/3 Cup of sour cream or crême fraîche

Salt to taste

In a blender, mix together the hot water and frozen small peas until they are like soup. Pour the
mixture into a pot and heat it to simmering. Add a half-teaspoon of savoury or herbes de Provence, and a third-cup of crème fraîche or sour cream. Stir with a wire-whisk until the bits of cream are fully incorporated into the green soup. Heat again till just boiling, and serve. This recipe will make four bowls of Potage Printanier aux Petits Pois. Double the recipe by repeating the first step and adding the results to the pot, while repeating  the other ingredients as well. Add salt to your own preference. I use 
Himalayan salt. This soup may be served either hot or chilled. A small spoonful of sour cream or crême fraîche in the center of each bowlful will act as a garnish.
 


~~Copyright M-J de Mesterton, March 2008

My Favourite Measuring Spoons

Best_Measuring-Spoons_Elegant_Cook_M-J_de_MestertonI like to keep my measuring spoons separate instead of on a ring, for ease of use. Aedilys_Measuring_Spoon_Set_Elegant_Cook_M-J

They’ve finally designed a set of measuring spoons that are engraved with both U.S. and metric capacities, shaped to fit into small containers, have four-inch handles, and are made of 18/8 stainless steel. Please visit M-J’s Traditional Household.

Making Pound Cake

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M-J’s Pound Cake Recipe

2 Sticks of Room-Temperature Butter, OR One Stick of Butter and 1/2 Cup of Coconut Oil

2 Cups of Sugar

3 Cups of White or Unbleached White Flour

1/2 Teaspoon of Baking Powder

1/2 Teaspoon of Baking Soda

1 Teaspoon of Salt

1 Tablespoon of Vanilla, OR Two Teaspoons of Vanilla and One Teaspoon of Almond Extract

4 Eggs

3/4 Cup of Buttermilk, OR Milk plus One Tablespoon of Lemon Juice

Preheat oven to 350°. Cream the butter and sugar, add vanilla and almond extracts, then beat until fluffy.  Blend in half of the eggs. Gradually add flour and other dry ingredients (I usually combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large measuring cup, & mix it with a fork so it’s ready to be incorporated into the batter); add the other two eggs, beating, then gradually add the milk. Beat for three minutes. Pour into a 13″ Pullman loaf pan, or two regular meatloaf-pans, and bake for 1.5 hours OR until a thin knife or skewer inserted into the cake’s center comes out clean.

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Visit M-J’s Traditional Household for More Information

CORRECTION: I use a 13″ Pullman pan for this recipe, not 16″. Sorry for the misprint.  

M-J’s Traditional Household

The Tiny and Highly Functional Kitchen

 

4a835-traditional_household_small_functional_kitchenOne doesn’t need lots of space to have an elegant, organized kitchen like the one pictured here. Things just need to co-exist in coherent fashion. Large, white appliances combined with lemon yellow, orange and lime green  cookware can give a unified appearance;  I call the effect “harmonious clutter”. All the many tools in this kitchen are used frequently, so there really is no wasted space.

@M-J de Mesterton, May 2017

Please Visit M-J’s Traditional Household  for tips on kitchen essentials.

Green Tea Fights Influenza

Article by the Nutrition Reporter, Jack Challam: Green Tea Reduces Children’s Risk of Contracting Flu

Excerpt:

“Green tea is known to contain antiviral components that prevent influenza infection,” wrote Hiroshi Yamada, MD, PhD, of the University of Shizuoka, Japan.

Yamada and his colleagues analyzed questionnaires from 2,050 students, ages six to 13 years, in elementary schools in Kikugawa City. The questionnaires included information about their consumption of green tea.

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M-J’s Elegant Southwestern Salad

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M-J’s low-carb southwestern-style salad starts with warm sautéed ground beef, onion and celery that has been flavored with chile powder or taco seasoning, which is topped with shredded cheddar cheese, finely-chopped romaine lettuce, tomato-chunks, dots of sour cream and green salsa. The ingredients in this individual salad are arranged elegantly and are only mixed together by the person to whom it is served. Bowls of additional sour cream and salsa can be available at your table, as well as strips or chunks of avocado doused with lemon or lime to prevent turning brown. Eating hot salsa can raise one’s resistance to colds and flu, which are no longer just seasonal. Hot peppers such as cayenne, jalapeño and serrano also enhance one’s metabolism. Ground beef can be substituted with grilled chicken, and for the chile-pepper enthusiast, strips of broiled serranos can be artfully placed on the lettuce. This hearty salad is a good source of protein and health-promoting produce any time of year.

©M-J de Mesterton 2017

Elegant Walnut Salad

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Simple and satisfying, a salad made with Romaine lettuce and crushed walnuts may be enhanced with Cheddar cheese to make a nutritious luncheon dish.  The best dressing for M-J’s Walnut-Romaine salad recipe is a honey-laced vinaigrette.  For an elegant salad-design, toss the lettuce in dressing before arranging the crushed walnuts around the edges of your bowl. ©M-J de MestertonRomaine__Elegant_Salad_Copyright_M-J_de_Mesterton

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Home-Made Pizza

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I made my own pizza-dough as usual, and fitted it into a copper pan, decorated with sauce, cheese, parsley and pepperoni, then popped it into a 400-degree oven. This is the gorgeous pie that slipped right out of my pan onto a trivet.

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Here is another home-made pizza, fashioned with dough from my versatile pain de mie recipe. The soft stuff was stretched onto a 14″ round Granite-Wear pizza pan that gives the bottom of the light dough a crispy finish.Home-Made_Pizza_Elegant_Cook_M-J_de_Mesterton

©M-J de Mesterton, March 2017

 

M-J’s Old Classic Sweater by Red and Blue of Milan

 

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M-J’s 15-year-Old Classic Sweater by Red and Blue of Milan, Bought at an Italian Tailor Shop: Sir Roger Moore Wore the “Same” Sweater Several Times in His 1970s Series, “The Persuaders”, with Tony Curtis

 

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This elegant, double-breasted classic sweater by Red and Blue of Milan looks superb on all sides! It has brass buttons on its cuffs and front. The sweater is versatile charcoal grey and rib-knitted, just like Sir Roger’s. It even has double vents in the back.

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Take good care of your clothes,

and they will serve you well for decades!

©M-J de Mesterton

Wear Gloves for Health

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M-J de Mesterton Wearing Tweed Clothing Made in England, and Year-Round Leather Gloves

Sound Advice on Surviving 2017 Scourges, and a Nasty Blast from the Recent Past

Elegant Survival News

Posted on April 10, 2014 at 12:05 PM  

Since 2006, I have been writing about the benefits of wearing gloves. Now, there is more justification than ever for my admonitions and recommendations on the topic. Currently plaguing Americans and the rest of the world are norovirus and MRSA; the deadly ebola virus is rampant in Africa, and other antibiotic-resistant diseases are proliferating. Most of these viruses are spread by surface-contact. Wearing gloves while out in public, especially while shopping, and disinfecting them when you get home can save your life. And hospital-acquired diseases are now common, so do your best to avoid hospitals and other heath-clinics. 

HOSPITAL-ACQUIRED INFECTIONS

Hospital-acquired infections can be caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi or parasites; they are spread by touching contaminated surfaces, clothing and implements, or skin-contact with infected people. Viruses may be contracted from surgical procedures, catheters, or by inhaling airborne…

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Scandinavian Cinnamon Rusks

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Day-old bread is sliced and moistened in milk and/or cream, then sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon before being slowly baked in a low-temperature oven. This is the simple formula; every Scandinavian who makes this traditional toast or “cinnamon rusks” has his or her own technique. Cinnamon toast is a popular accompaniment to coffee. Scandinavian coffee is typically brewed “strong” using light-to-medium roasted beans. My Swedish grandparents had this traditional combination of cinnamon toast (kanelskorpor) and coffee every morning, though they did not make it themselves as I do. I sometimes use home-made brioche loaf for this purpose, as it produces a very light cinnamon toast or kanelskorpor.

©M-J de Mesterton

White Shoulders, a Scent from the 1940s

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M-J de Mesterton, Wearing White Shoulders Perfume Since 1960, Alternating in the 1970s and Beyond, with Givenchy III, Quartz by Molyneux, and Occasionally Youth Dew 

One of my favourite perfumes, White Shoulders was created in the 1943 by Hartnell, which by 1945 had become Evyan.  I had an acquaintance in Manhattan long ago, who often sang at the famous Michael’s Pub, and only wore White Shoulders. I cannot remember her name, but the ambrosial floral perfume is unforgettable. My two other favourite scents are Givenchy III, which is no longer available, and Quartz by Molyneux, a fresh but evanescent perfume, perfect for morning and daytime, which I discovered at Bergdorf Goodman in Manhattan circa 1985 when they were out of Givenchy III. Look at the following advert for White Shoulders. The featured drawing is of a glamorous woman who resembles actress Loretta Young.

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When I was five, my generous, chic uncle gave me a little grey fur stole, a string of pearls, and a  bottle of White Shoulders by Evyan Perfume.  Its sweet, classic scent always reminds me of Christmas, 1960.

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  1. White Shoulders Top Notes (The Following Material is from Basenotes.net)
  2. White Shoulders Heart Notes
  3. Base Notes of White Shoulders