Simple, Nutritious Tostadas

Lightly fried in safflower oil, these corn tortillas are topped with fat-free refried beans that have been seasoned with New Mexico chile-powder. A refreshing garnish for these tostadas is made with lemon juice, olive oil, cilantro, romaine lettuce, grated carrots, roasted jalapeños and finely-diced red onion (optional).
Courtesy of M-J de Mesterton ©2013

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Granola Balls

Compact and therefore neat to eat, these granola balls contain oats, oat bran, walnuts, ground almonds, a little buckwheat flour, one egg, coconut oil, cold tea, barley malt, sea-salt and spices. It doesn’t matter very much what you put in these, as long as they are oat-based and moist enough to hold together (a purely vegan version would omit the egg). Additions include dried pineapple bits, currants, coconut shreds, diced dates, muscovado sugar, sesame seeds and other nuts. I baked these granola balls at 350° F. The mixed ingredients are shaped with a cookie baller/Swedish meatballer.©M-J de Mesterton 2013Click Here to Read M-J’s Main Website, Elegant Survival

Angel-Food Cake with Strawberries and Cream

A slice of angel food cake is adorned with fresh strawberries and whipped cream applied with a pastry bag, for an easy-to-prepare, elegant dessert. This angel food cake was store-bought, as it is challenging to produce at home. Serve strawberries-and-cream on any sort of vanilla or white cake to create a brilliant ending to luncheon or dinner.
Courtesy of Melody-Jeanne “M-J” de Mesterton ©2013

Elegant Dining: Tablecloth Size-Chart

 Choosing the Proper TABLECLOTH SIZES Fabric or Linen, Total Sizes
70″ Round 90″ Round 108″ Round 120″ Round 132″ Round
Table Size, with a
Standard
30″ Height
30″ Round 20″ Drop To the Floor Too Large Too Large Too Large
36″ Round 17″ Drop 27″ Drop Too Large Too Large Too Large
42″  Round 14″ Drop 24″ Drop Too Large Too Large Too Large
48″ Round 11″ Drop 21″ Drop To the Floor Too Large Too Large
54″ Round 8″ Drop 18″ Drop 27″ Drop Too Large Too Large
60″ Round 15″ Drop 24″ Drop 30″ Drop Too Large
66″ Round 12″ Drop 21″ Drop 27″ Drop Too Large
72″ Round 18″ Drop 24″ Drop 30″ Drop

The typical size for 10-person table is 72″ round.
A white tablecloth is formal, while a coloured or black one is less-formal, and a patterned cloth is casual. White-on-white weaves  such as brocade, jacquard or white embroidered on white cloth make very elegant formal tablecloths.
©M-J de Mesterton 2013

Dumplings and Dipping Sauce

Yesterday’s dumplings or gyoza were filled with mung beans, water chestnuts, celery, red onion and ginger, all processed in a mini-prep Cuisinart. For a dipping-sauce, I combined hand-squeezed orange juice, organic shoyu sauce, and home-made red-chile sesame oil. I also offered Edmond Fallot authentic moutarde de Dijon.

Courtesy of M-Jeanne de Mesterton, The Elegant Cook



Amazon.com Widgets

Won Ton Skins are dipped in water and laid on a cutting board for a few minutes to soften before filling, which makes them easier to crimp. Then, filling is applied to the centre of each skin using a teaspoon or Swedish “meatballer” before the dumplings are folded over and sealed. As you see here, the dumplings/gyoza do not necessarily all look alike when finished. My gyoza are sautéed on each side in safflower and/or sesame oil until golden brown. These dumplings may be steamed after frying by adding a half-cup of water or green tea to the pan and covering with heat for three minutes, or just be dipped or drenched with sauce. A sprinkling of gomasio or toasted, salted sesame seeds is a welcome garnish for these simple dumplings. Dumplings are a great vehicle for leftover meats, beans and vegetables. “Necessity is the Mother of Invention”, and with your chosen leftovers or ingredients combined into a dumpling, you may just invent a family-favourite.
Courtesy of M-Jeanne de Mesterton, The Elegant Cook

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