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Ballyshannon Cheese from Ireland

Elergant Irish Cheddar Cheese by Kerrygold
Ballyshannon by Kerrygold of Ireland is the best Cheddar-style cheese I have ever tasted. It is available at Sam's Club. Ballyshannon Cheddar Cheese from Ireland comes in an elegant wrapper.
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1960s Christmas Party Canapés

Pineapple and Cream Cheese Dip on Ritz Crackers: the Ideal 196os Christmas Canapés

This elegant dip straight out of the 1960s has two ingredients: pineapple and cream cheese. Drain and chop the pineapple–I prefer the canned type without added sugar–and blend with sightly-softened cream cheese. The crackers you serve with this cream-cheese-pineapple dip ought to be the original, plain Ritz brand. Acceptable substitutes are Townhouse or Waverly crackers.

©M-J de Mesterton 2011

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Remember Rational Standard Dress-Sizes?

Remember normal-sized clothing for women, before the American fashion industry started distorting sizing in order to flatter the anorexia cult? Standard sizing no longer exists–a dress with a 36-inch bust is now labelled as anything between size 4 and size 14, depending upon whom the maker is targeting. And today’s size 12 is now sometimes distorted by being labelled “plus” for the purpose of  charging more for it.  Some of the styles offered by New York City’s Bergdorf Goodman in 1948 started at size 12, and went up to size 20. Originally, “plus sizes” were anything above size twenty. In 1948, this black silk dress was offered at Bergdorf Goodman in sizes 10–16. If a woman wanted something smaller, she had to shop in the children’s section.
©M-J de Mesterton 2011

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Elegant Home-Made Tortilla Chips

MAKE YOUR OWN ELEGANT TORTILLA CHIPS

Frying Tortilla Chips for an Elegant Home-Made Southwest Appetizer

Posted at 12:16 PM on November 27, 2009
MAKE YOUR OWN ELEGANT TORTILLA CHIPS

You don’t have to throw out your tortillas if they are past their prime. Make them into tortilla chips, which will be very popular with your family and guests, as they are pleasingly different from those bought in the store.Take a stack of tortillas and dust between the layers with salt, pressing it into them. Then, pushing down hard with a large knife twice at different angles, cut the stack into quarters. Lower a handful at-a-time of uncooked chips into bubbling hot oil. For this light and crispy batch, I used a combination of soy oil, which is now sold as “vegetable oil”, and lard. Peanut or corn oil are also good for deep-frying tortillas. When the chips themselves have developed bubbles and are slightly brown, it’s time to remove them from the pot with a runsible or slotted spoon. Drain them on paper towels, and dust with more salt if desired. The cooking oil may be strained, refrigerated and re-used for French fries, yams or potato chips. My recipe for Elegant Guacamole goes very well with these tortilla chips. So do sour cream or crème fraîche, and a mixture of sliced jalapeños with melted Cheddar cheese, baked on top of the chips for a few minutes in a hot oven.

©M-J de Mesterton 2009

Home-Made Tortilla Chips: an Elegant American Appetizer

M-J de Mesterton’s Elegant Guacamole Recipe is Available on ElegantCook.net

For green chile powder, which is a good substitute for chopped canned or frozen New Mexico green chiles, go North of the Border.

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Elegant Tahini Sauce

M-J’s Simple Recipe for Elegant Tahini Sauce
Sesame paste mixed with lemon juice, water, salt and the merest hint of garlic powder makes an elegant tahini dip or sauce for mezedes, or pre-prandial appetisers.

Use this elegant and simple tahini sauce as a dip for flat-breads, steamed cauliflower, celery, other fresh vegetables, and fried potatoes. Optionally, you may drizzle olive oil over the tahini.
People find tahini sauce very pleasing in the summer months, and it is economical to make, since the sesame paste expands greatly when mixed with water and lemon juice.
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Cauliflower and Its Health-Benefits

Cancer-Inhibiting Compounds Abound in Cruciferous Vegetables, Including Cauliflower

11 Jun

Article about Cauliflower in George Mateljan’s World’s Healthiest Foods

Serve steamed cauliflower with tahini sauce for a delicious, health-promoting snack or vegetable dish.~~M-J

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Cheddar Cheese Stands Alone at Elegant Survival

Cheddar Cheese and Rock Painting by M- de Mesterton, Photo Copyright 2009
Cheddar Cheese and Rock Painting by M-J de Mesterton, Photo Copyright 2009
California Cheddar by Albertson's, Photo Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2009
California Cheddar by Albertson's, Photo Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2009
My two favourite cheeses are Cheddar (named after the town in England) and Parmesan (named after Parma, Italy). Of course, I am fond of other cheeses from around the world, such as Swedish Farmer’s Cheese, Danish Havarti, Kashkeval, feta, halloumi and brie, but these two cheeses seem to have many more applications.

One of the nice things about Cheddar cheese is its versatility: it is always welcome at a cocktail or drinks party, and melts well for nachos and other American dishes.

The charming host of America’s Test Kitchen, Christopher Kimball, also of Cook’s Illustrated magazine, has written about Cheddar cheese in its latest number, and has also conducted a taste-and-quality test of various Cheddars offered in most American supermarkets. I have always depended upon the quality and taste of Tillamook (Oregon) and Cracker Barrel brands. The test results bore out my choices. Another great Cheddar from the U.S.A., available in several western states, is Albertson’s supermarket brand California Cheddar (pictured here), costing about four dollars per pound, a price which is commensurate with that of the two aforementioned selections.

Here is the article about Cheddar cheese from this month’s Cook’s magazine.

~~Copyright M-J de Mesterton, 2009

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M-J’s Elegant Egg Nog Recipe

  M-J's Elegant Egg Nog in Anchor Hocking Mug from Wal-Mart, Noritake Ming China, 1950
M-J's Elegant Egg Nog in Anchor Hocking Mug from Wal-Mart
Here is my  recipe:

Christmas Egg Nog

Equipment: a blender, a medium-size mixing bowl, a rotary mixer, and a freezer-safe jug

Ingredients

Four eggs, separated

One cup of heavy cream, whipped until stiff

One half-cup of powdered sugar

One cup of milk

One half-teaspoon of nutmeg

Two tablespoons of rum extract

One teaspoon of vanilla

Two jiggers of brandy

Whip the egg-whites until stiff, incorporating the powdered sugar into them as you beat.

Pour the milk into the blender, together with the four egg-yolks and mix them.

With a spatula, slip the beaten egg-whites into the blender. Do the same with the cream.

Add the nutmeg and blend for a minute.

Pour this mixture into a freezer-safe jug and store in your freezer until very cold.

Serve the egg nog in festive glasses. Distribute the foam on top of each, and sprinkle with nutmeg. Adding additional whipped cream on top, or stiffening the drink with more liquor, is optional.

Makes 1.25 litres.

Copyright M-J de Mesterton, 2007