Helpful, Healing Herbs

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Herbal Remedies, Courtesy of “The Health Ranger” Mike Adams, Editor and Founder of Natural News

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M-J’s Home-Made Blue Cheese Dressing

Blue_Cheese_Dressing_Copyright_M-J_de_MestertonBottled blue cheese dressings usually contain corn syrup, sugar, and trans-fat oils, which makes them less than salubrious while ruining their flavour. They don’t taste anything like the dressings freshly-made by smart restaurant cooks. Here are my four simple ingredients for home-made blue cheese dressing: buttermilk, sour cream, crumbled blue cheese, and lemon-pepper (lemon juice and freshly-ground pepper are great in its place, though juice will thin the mixture). I do not use exact measurements when making this concoction. I simply put the ingredients into a bowl or jar and stir or shake them to mix well; this method leaves the blue cheese in appealing little chunks. ©M-J de Mesterton 2018Elegant_Bleu_Cheese_Dressing_by_M-J_de_Mesterton

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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

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M-J’s Potage Printanière aux Petits Pois

M-J’s Original Recipe for Cold and Creamy Pea Soup



Photo and Recipe Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2007

I devised this simple 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 serve four. 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

 

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Green Tea Fights Influenza

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

“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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Chopped fresh ginger in honey, green tea, cayenne pepper, olive leaf capsules, astragalus pills and oil of oregano gel-caps will help prevent and shorten spells of rhinovirus and influenza. To make it through a flu epidemic successfully, arm yourselves with these natural remedies. ~~M-J de Mesterton

 

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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

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The Greatest Broom on Earth

Not only does this broom, made with piassava bristles, work better and faster than others, it is beautiful to look at–a useful work of art.
David Niven, one of the most beloved actors of all time, kept a broom like this one at the door of his chalet in Switzerland.

Courtesy of THE GREATEST STUFF 

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Nostalgia: Remember Elegantly-Dressed Men?

In this stylish drawing of a man, you don’t see a skinny jacket that is bursting open to expose sad trousers that hang at the hip instead of at the waist, a bulging shirt and too-long tie. What we see here is a man who wears his trousers at the right length, ones that don’t pile-up like discarded potato sacks on top of his shoes, and which come up to the actual human waist, thereby visually lengthening his legs. And we see the gentleman’s traditional accessories: hat, gloves and walking-stick, all of which serve a purpose, including protection from the elements, enthusiastic pigeons, dirt, germs, roving animals, and whoever may dare to attack him or anyone else in his immediate vicinity; the gentleman is always well-prepared for a stroll down today’s mean streets. Alas, this picture is clipped from an advert by Burberrys that appears in one of my 1930s Sphere magazines. Today’s men, in general, look like short, dumpy cads in clothes that are designed to distort human proportions. (Add the slovenly yet popular three-day growth beard to complete a tragic modern image.) Never in history has so much sartorial splendour been readily accessible, and yet men have seldom looked worse. It doesn’t cost any more to dress correctly than it does to do it badly, especially since some of the ghastliest clothes are going for the highest prices. There are very few contemporary examples of elegant dressing in trendy venues and magazines. Help yourself by not following fashion, but instead by looking toward the best elements of the past for useful examples of tasteful masculine dress.

©M-J de Mesterton 2010

UPDATE: IT’S NOW 2017, and menswear has become steadily worse in the past seven years. Here’s a video that makes me nostalgic for the kooky clothing of 1966, when I was eleven–people then looked better than they do today–but, it also demonstrates that following fashion blindly is utter folly:

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Health-Enhancing Blueberries

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Blueberries contain vitamins A and C, zinc, potassium, iron, calcium and magnesium, are high in fiber and low in calories. The USDA Human Nutrition Center (HNRCA) has ranked blueberries at the very top of antioxidant activity within a range of forty-one fruits and vegetables.

Blueberries are rich in natural health-enhancers, including vitamin C,  vitamin A, zinc, potassium, iron, calcium and magnesium. They also have many antioxidant properties, and help in the prevention of:

Blueberries have recently acquired a reputation for enhancing one’s cardiovascular health, and their antioxidants naturally help in the prevention of cancer. Recent research has added to the blueberry’s list of powerful properties.

Metabolic syndrome, or pre-diabetes, is exhibited in those with a particular combination of health anomalies,  including larger-than-normal  amounts of abdominal fat, elevated blood-sugar, high blood pressure, and high triglycerides. Together, those conditions are likely to cause diabetes, cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, and strokes.

Laboratory-rats that for 90 days consumed blueberry-enriched powder as two percent of their diet had less abdominal fat, lower triglycerides, lower cholesterol, and improved fasting glucose and insulin sensitivity than the control-group, who had no blueberry component in their diets.

Blueberry ingestion was determined to have a positive affect on specific genes related to fat-burning and fat-storage.  Where muscle tissue is concerned,  alterations in genes related to glucose-uptake were discovered to have been caused by the intake of blueberries.

Research also indicated that “metabolic syndrome” is  caused not only by abdominal fat, as previously believed by the medical industry, but by insulin resistance in one’s skeletal muscle system, an anomaly which alters energy-storage and causes metabolic syndrome.

Eating blueberries can help to prevent insulin-resistance, lower the related belly-fat, reduce cholesterol levels, and its numerous antioxidants can help to stave-off age-related brain disorders.

Blueberries  contain an antioxidant compound called pterostilbene, a compound similar to resveratrol, which has been found to reduce cholesterol as well as dangerous prescription drugs.

Just as dried cherries do, blueberries, when added to ground beef before cooking, help reduce the formation of  cancer-causing heterocyclic amines (HCA).

In Europe, the bilberry has most of the same properties as the blueberry. One of the many things they have in common is anthocyanin, the substance that makes them blue, which is beneficial to the cardiovascular system and is believed to lower blood-pressure. Bilberries have been used to enhance eyesight since World War 11, when pilots who ate bilberry jam attributed their improved night-vision to the tiny fruit. Bilberries are also said to aid in relief of varicose veins and gum-disease as they promote healthy circulation. Caution must be taken with bilberries by those who are taking blood-thinnning drugs, as they are a natural blood-thinner.

Blueberries can be added to a morning smoothie that you make with yogurt in a blender, together with whatever other fruits you have in stock. Frozen blueberries can be much less expensive than fresh ones, easier to store, and retain most of their antioxidant properties. When used in a smoothie, frozen blueberries make it ice-cold (see my photograph). This preparation makes a health-promoting breakfast, and is delicious as well. Staying well is the best thing you can do in this ailing world.

©M-J de Mesterton

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M-J’s Blueberry Smoothie for Surviving Influenza Season
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Cooking with Ginger Helps Fight Cancer

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Raw, Sliced Ginger, Sautéed with Haricots Verts, or Thin Green Beans, Helps Fight Cancer


Microsoft, bless their collective heart, took the liberty of cramming my uploaded photos of today into a “video”. So, I’m testing their somewhat bizarre product at YouTube, where I’ve had an inactive channel for a couple of months, waiting for content. Might as well get started….

What’s with the photos I took yesterday? First, one of my flowering cacti was being buzzed by a hummingbird, and I lazily snap-shot it via zoom-lens through the patio door. Then, I made a Spanish tortilla (classic Iberian egg dish) for my husband Jacques, who suggested I photograph the thing. Then I read that cooked ginger develops a cancer-fighting property in the process, so I sautéed some raw ginger in coconut oil with green beans (alas, it’s not as quick & easy as my habit of throwing whole ginger-root into a smoothie). I decided to take some shots of that endeavour for my blog, Elegant Survival News, to spread the good word. The green beans and ginger made a tasty dish, especially after I added home-made chili-oil and ponzu sauce at table~~M-J de Mesterton

 

Deep-Fried Gyoza

M-J’s Health-Promoting Gyoza, Fried in Coconut Oil 
Gyoza skins are filled with health-promoting vegetables, roots and legumes: carrots, celery, red onion, raw ginger root, gobo or burdock root, raw turmeric bulb, and cooked mung beans; all of  these ingredients have been chopped together in a food processor. After being filled and crimped, gyoza are then deep-fried in coconut oil. A sauce made with tamari, sweet vinegar, red chile oil and white wine or sake is on the table as a seasoning. This is an attractive, tasty way to feed your family the vegetables, legumes, and medicinal roots that they ordinarily would not dream of eating..
COPYRIGHT M-J de Mesterton 2018
Pan-Fried Gyoza
Traditional Pan-Fried and Lightly Steamed Gyoza

 

Home-Grown Organic Turmeric

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Harvested in late autumn, cleaned and frozen, this home-grown  turmeric bulb is chopped and incorporated into a mixture of sautéed vegetables, or simply whirled raw into a blended smoothie~~©M-J de Mesterton.

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M-J’s Elegant Little Kitchen Island

Small Functional Kitchen-Copyright_M-J_de_Mesterton (1)A sturdy stainless steel cart with a custom-cut Melamine surface serves as a work-island in M-J’s tiny kitchen, and attached hooks hold her heavy French cast-iron pans. The smaller stainless steel cart has a butcher-block surface, together with two shelves that hold a basket of potatoes, a wooden Zeissen coffee-grinder, assorted porcelain platters and baking-dishes. ©M-J de Mesterton 2018

 

 

California Cuisine: Cooking with the Grape

 

Painting of Grapes by M-J de Mesterton Hangs at the Tiny Bar of Her California Kitchen

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Below: M-J’s Meat Sauce with Red and White California Wines Cooks Eight Hours in a Crock Pot, with Bottles Nearby for Adding More at Random Intervals Cooking_with_Wine_Copyright_M-J_de_Mesterton

For a casual supper at my beach house, I once made meat sauce with wine and sliced seedless grapes, then put it on home-made pizza for a visiting family of Armenians. They loved it!

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M-J’s Low-Carb Luncheon Salad

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M-J’S LOW-CARB, HIGH PROTEIN LUNCHEON SALAD

Bacon bits, 1/3 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese, an avocado cut into pieces, Romaine lettuce and almond-coated white-meat chicken combine to make an elegant, high-protein luncheon dish.

I top this low-carb salad with home-made ranch dressing, which I create from mayonnaise, buttermilk, and/or sour cream, mixed with onion and garlic powders and dried parsley. When I don’t have the powdered onion and garlic, I will dice bits of fresh ones very fine and sauté them before mixing with the other ingredients. Add salt and green or white pepper to taste, then blend with a wire whisk.

©M-J de Mesterton, April 2010

Elegant Frittata

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©M-J de Mesterton, Elegant Cook

This simple three-egg frittata was cooked then baked in a non-stick copper pan with plum tomato and bits of cream cheese. The tomato was sliced and sautéed in a teaspoon of coconut oil before three beaten eggs were added to the pan. The bottom of the frittata was cooked on the stove-top for a minute, dotted with bits of cream cheese, then placed under the oven-broiler in the same pan for about another minute. ~~M-J

 

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Please Visit the Elegant Cook, by M-J de Mesterton

 

Holiday Health: Stay Svelte with Celery Soup

In a hot Dutch oven or stock-pot that contains two tablespoons of olive or coconut oil, sauté a head of sliced celery that has been thoroughly cleaned and an onion that has been chopped. Stir these vegetables often, cooking them until they are slightly brown at the edges. Add two tablespoons of flour and coat the vegetables with it. Gradually add five cups of water, a teaspoon of  salt, pepper to-taste, and two tablespoons of sour cream. Cook this mixture until it thickens. If you prefer creamed celery soup, pour it into a blender and process to the desired consistency. ©M-J de Mesterton, November 2017

Here is my 2006 version of celery soup:

 
My Original Recipe: Low-Carbohydrate Celery Soup
Potage de Céleri
Wash a whole head of celery, by cutting the bottom off and bathing the stalks in a sink-full of water. With French chef’s knife, chop finely. Include the celery leaves, which are packed with flavour. In a large pot, melt two tablespoons of butter. Put the chopped celery in, and add a teaspoon of salt, one half-teaspoon of cumin, and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Sauté until bright green and almost soft. Stir in a tablespoon of cornstarch (cornflour), which has seven grams of carbs. Saute for two more minutes, and then add one cup of cream and two cups of water. Simmer for ten minutes. Serves six. This soup is a good accompaniment to croques monsieurs for luncheon.
~~Copyright M-J de Mesterton, February 2007
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M-J’s Easy-to-Make Thin-Crust, Yeast-Free Pizza

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Yeast-Free Pizza, Ready to Broil

Place a flour tortilla in an oven-proof or copper pan in which olive oil or coconut oil has been heated. On your stove-top cooker, brown the tortilla in the oil, and flip it to brown the other side as well. Remove the tortilla to a plate, and with an offset spatula or other flat implement, spread a layer of pure tomato paste over it, to the edges. Sprinkle this surface with a little bit of finely-crumbled, dry oregano. Grate your choice of cheese (mozzarella or my fave, Cabot white cheddar–this semi-soft cheese must be cold to grate it properly) and place evenly onto the pizza. Salt is not necessary, but you may wish to add red pepper flakes to-taste, or serve them in a condiment bowl at table. Add finely-sliced pepperoni if desired (I keep a pack of this in the freezer, which doesn’t require defrosting to use this way). Slide this raw pizza back into its oven-proof pan and place under the broiler in your oven, watching it closely as it cooks to your desired degree.  Remove pan from oven, and if the crust is a bit too soft, just set it back onto the burner for a minute or so on medium-high heat. Slide finished pizza onto a cooling-rack for a few minutes. Cooling it a bit will firm up the crust to a crispy stage, and stabilize the pizza’s toppings. Cut your thin-crust, yeast-free pizza into wedges with a pair of kitchen-shears.

Recipe & Photos Copyright ©M-J de Mesterton November 2017Home-Made_Thin-Crust_Pizza_Elegant_Cook_M-J_de_Mesterton

Above: Finished Thin-Crust Pizza, Top & Bottom

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