M-J’s Still Life with Fruit Smoothie

M-J de Mesterton Still Life with Fruit Smoothie, Recipe Copyright 2008

Ginger, Chilean black grapes, plain yoghurt, bananas, apples, oranges, frozen blueberries, strawberries and a bit of honey are blended in an Osterizer for a health-enhancing morning drink.


The Sonya Apple, an Elegant Survival Favorite

Sonya, Elegant Survival's Ideal Apple (photo copyright M-J de Mesterton 2008)
The Sonya apple originated in New Zealand, and has been internationally available since 2002.  Its unique flavor is owed to its two parent-apples, the Red Delicious and the Gala.The Sonya apple is pleasantly sweet and crisp, with an intense, fresh apple-juice flavor. Sonya apples are perfect for snacks, and the ones available now are small and perfectly shaped for packing in lunches. In my recent experience with Fuji apples, Elegant Survival’s former favorite for pie-making as well as eating, they have become less crisp, juicy and flavorful. Though that anomaly may be only temporary, I intend to make pies with Sonya apples henceforth. M-J’s Fuji Salad will now be called “Sonya Salad”–stay tuned for the recipe.

~~Copyright M-J de Mesterton, March 2009

M-J’s Autumn Harvest Potato Salad

M-J’s Elegant Autumn Potato Salad

Like the potato salad that my Swedish grandmother used to make for me, this dish relies upon some bacon, vinegar, and an onion.
Peel, quarter and boil eight medium sized potatoes, or ten small ones. Salt the boiling water. Alternatively, add some Maggi or Knorr chicken bouillon powder.
Boil the potato chunks for fifteen minutes. Drain but do not rinse them.

In your cooking pot, sauté eight strips of bacon, finely chopped. Remove the bacon bits with a slotted spoon. and reserve in a small bowl or cup.
Empty out  half of the bacon fat from the pan. Add two tablespoons of vegetable oil (I use peanut oil) and two tablespoons of vinegar (I use malt vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or white vinegar). If you have it, a tablespoon of concentrated apple juice can be added to this dressing mixture. You will adjust the vinegar and oil to your taste after the initial mixing of all ingredients.
Add the potatoes, one finely diced small onion (red, white or yellow), and one diced, unpeeled apple. Grind some pepper into the mixture for taste, and check for salt. Mix gently. Serve lukewarm or at room temperature for  best flavor.

~~Recipe and Photo of Autumn Potato Salad Copyright M-J de Mesterton, 2008

M-J’s Elegant Apple Pie Recipe

Best Apple Pie Recipe, Apple Pie Recipe, Elegant Apple Pie
M-J’s Elegant Apple Pie



M-J’s Elegant Apple Pie Recipe

  • 4 cups of white flour
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 stick of salted butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • ¾ cup of chilled lard (“manteca”)
  • 7 Fuji or Sonya apples–cored, peeled, and thinly sliced (reserve peels and cores)
  • 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup light-brown sugar (or more, according to your taste)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup of cold water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 additional half stick of butter
  • An extra 2 tablespoons of sugar, either white or brown
  • One cup of water
  • 1. Make the dough: put one stick of cold butter into a large mixing bowl, together with the 3/4 cup of chilled lard and a teaspoon of salt. Add flour gradually, working it into the butter and lard. Add approximately 3/4 cup of cold water, then cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough forms small pea-shaped balls, and when formed into a large mound, it holds together. Sometimes less cold water is required–believe it or not, the amount needed to make a pie dough with this recipe depends upon the moon.’s current phase. Mix this by hand, since machine will create a tough pie crust. I use an old-fashioned wire potato masher and a wooden spoon. When the dough sticks together but doesn’t stick to your hands, shape it into 2 balls, wrap each in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  • 2. Put all of your apple peelings and cores into a saucepan on the stove with a cup of water and two tablespoons of sugar, and boil until the liquid becomes syrup. Strain liquid from solids and reserve it. The peelings can then be eaten or ground into applesauce–it’s important not to waste any edible part of your apples.
  • 3. Assemble the pie: heat your oven to 425°F. Roll out one ball of dough into a 12-inch round about 1/8-inch thick, on a lightly floured surface. Fit the dough into a 9 or10-inch pie pan. Place one layer of apple slices into the dough-lined pan. Cover them with two tablespoons of cornstarch and a quarter-cup of brown sugar. Repeat this process with apples, sugars and cinnamon. Distribute the half-stick of butter on top of the apples after slicing it into bits. Add your apple syrup over the top of the pie. Alternatively, I sometimes skip the step of creating syrup from my apple peelings, and just use some apple juice concentrate (found in grocery frozen juice section).
  • Roll out the second ball of dough for the top crust. Brush the edges of the bottom crust with water or milk, and lay the top crust down, pressing the edges together to form a tight seal. Use your imagination to pierce or slice a design into the top of the pie to allow steam to escape. Bake for ten minutes at 425*F, then lower your oven heat to 350* and bake for another hour. Let the apple pie cool for a minimum of two hours before serving.
  • Elegant Apple Pie Recipe Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2008

The Elegant Survival Microfiber Kitchen Towel

Elegant Survival Trimmed Microfiber Towel
Elegant Survival Cotton-Trimmed Microfiber Towel
Bias-Tape for Elegant Survival Kitchen Towel
Bias-Tape for Elegant Survival Kitchen Towel

Trim your microfiber cloth with Wright’s Bias Tape as shown. Then, you can hang it wherever you need it in the kitchen. These micofiber cloths are easy to wash by hand in the sink and, wrung well they dry quickly.

A New, Versatile Product from Pillsbury

Believe it or not, some very elegant creations can be made with this new product from the Pillsbury Doughboy. It is a sheet of “crescent (croissant) roll” style dough, which can be cut into any shapes and dimensions you please.

Note from M-J: I really do not appreciate the following site copying my headlines. It is a cynical practice to garner him more hits. We are not affiliated. http://www.survival-food-kit.com/category/articles-survival

How to Make Elegant Canapes from Soda Crackers: New York Times 1913

OF INTEREST TO WOMEN: Uncommon Dainties that Can Be Made of Common Crackers When the Cake Box Is Empty.

August 10, 1913, Sunday

THE Summer hostess should know how to make the most of ordinary, inexpensive crackers. In case of an emergency, when the cake box is empty or the baker has failed to come, a knowledge of how to utilize plain crackers is by no means to be despised. 1913 Article in the New York Times

I really do not appreciate the following site copying my headlines. It is a cynical practice to garner him more hits. We are not affiliated. http://www.survival-food-kit.com/category/articles-survival

Oak Leaf Vineyards: Elegant Survival Wine at $2.97

Oak Leaf Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon
Oak Leaf Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon

The French drink their local wines for a couple of euros per bottle. Now, Californians can drink excellent wines by award-winning Oak Leaf Vineyards for $1.97 a bottle, and the rest of America is able to buy them for $2.97, providing they can shop at the right store.

At the prestigious Florida State International Wine Competition in the spring of 2008, a new brand, Oak Leaf Vineyards from California, won gold. With 84 wineries competing in the Chardonnay category, only four received gold medals, and among them Oak Leaf was the biggest bargain by far, at $1.97 suggested retail price in California and $2.97 in most other states.

“With the economy slowing and as we move into tax season where dollars are tighter, finding value in the wine aisle is ever more important,” said Mario Pulido, winemaker for Oak Leaf Vineyards. Oak Leaf Vineyards provides very high quality wine at extremely good prices. Available in five varietals — Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio/Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and White Zinfandel — Oak Leaf Vineyards wines have the qualities of wines costing three times the modest price. The traditional label highlights four seasonal oak trees.

“Our first awards — Gold and Bronze at the 2008 Florida State Fair International Wine Competition and Silver and Bronze at the 2008 San Francisco Wine Competition show our approach — ‘easy to drink with plenty of flavor’ — is a winning one. With the money you save on wine, your family can enjoy those little extra things in life,” continued Pulido.

Oak Leaf Vineyard wines are available nationally at Wal-Mart superstores that are licensed to sell wine.

Extreme Value Wines Mean what they Say

Never in the 6,000-year history of wine has there been the choice, the quality, and more than anything, the values, available to the American wine consumer. With 100,000 labels in the market, that consumer can now find what he (and more likely she) wants at prices less than $2.00 a bottle. Amid new concerns about the current economic climate, everyone wants their dollars to go farther. Oak Leaf Vineyards is part of the new set of extreme value wines that are easy to drink, flavorful and over-deliver for a modest price.

~~Elegant Survival Wine Recommendations

Article on Wal-Mart’s Oak Leaf Vineyards Wines, in the Dallas Morning News

An Apple a Day Just Might Keep the Doctor Away!

Apples, because of their pectin, polyphenols and bioflavonoids, have properties that really can, like the old adage says, keep the doctor away.

In 1996, a study was conducted in Finland to determine whether or not eating apples can lower cholesterol. The Finnish team determined that eating three apples a day for three months can help lower a person’s LDL, or low-density lipoprotein (bad cholesterol) level by twenty points. Apples contain quercetin, an antioxidant which also helps to reduce the amount of LDL in the bloodstream.

Another Finnish study’s results promote the theory that the polyphenols in apples can inhibit lung cancer.

Apples, having natural ACE-inhibitor  properties, can help to  relax arteries, lower blood pressure and improve the pumping ability of the heart. The apple is also a hemetic, an agent that builds up the blood.

Eating apples can reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease. The well-known Women’s Health Study found that  females who regularly ate foods  high in flavonoids, such as apples and onions, had a 35% reduction in cardiovascular events. The Finnish study found a lower risk of thrombic stroke among those who eat apples often. The study concluded that “flavonoid intake was strongly correlated with a decreased mortality from heart disease in elderly men and also negatively correlated with myocardial infarction.”

The Finnish research team proved that the apple’s bioflavonoids have an effect on cerebrovascular health.  Apples provide antioxidants for the body. Oxidative damage on cells by free radicals contributes to age-related brain deterioration. Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia are examples. The apple is an anti-Alzheimer’s agent. A study conducted by the University of Massachusetts suggests that whether the brain-oxidation is caused by genetics,  metabolism, or dietary insufficiencies, apples can improve the condition.

The apple can help to prevent sugar alcohol, or sorbitol, from being trapped in nerve and eye cells. Apples contain a natural aldose-reductase inhibitor, which can help to prevent this devastating effect of diabetes.

Apples are a digestive aid, and help to prevent the absorption of fats.

The health-benefits of apples are numerous, and autumn is harvest time.

Copyright M-J de Mesterton, 2008

More Information on the Apple’s Health-Benefits, by George Mateljan, My Favorite Food and Health Writer

Unusual, Inexpensive Remedies

It’s Worth a Try…

Eliminate ear mites. All it takes is a few drops of Wesson Corn Oil in your cat’s or dog’s ear… massage it in, then clean with a cotton ball. Repeat daily for 3 days. The oil soothes the cat’s skin, smothers the mites, and accelerates healing.

Kills fleas instantly… Dawn Dishwashing Liquid does the trick. Add a few drops to your dog’s bath and shampoo the animal thoroughly. Rinse well to avoid skin irritations. Good-bye fleas.

Rainy day cure for dog odor: Next time your dog comes in from the rain, simply wipe down the animal with Bounce or any dryer sheet, instantly making your dog smell springtime fresh.

Did you know that drinking two glasses of Gatorade can relieve headache pain almost immediately-without the unpleasant side effects caused by traditional pain relievers?

Did you know that Colgate Toothpaste makes an excellent salve for burns?

Before you head to the drugstore for a high-priced inhaler filled with mysterious chemicals, try chewing on a peppermint Altoid.

Achy muscles from a bout of the flu? Mix 1 tablespoon horseradish in 1 cup of olive oil. Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes, then apply it as a massage oil for instant relief for aching muscles.

Sore throat? Just mix 1/4 cup of vinegar with 1/4 cup of honey and take 1 tablespoon six times a day. The vinegar kills the bacteria.

Cure urinary tract infections with Alka-Seltzer. Just dissolve two tablets in a glass of water and drink it at the onset of the symptoms. Alka-Seltzer begins eliminating urinary tract infections alm ost inst antly-even though the product was never been advertised for this use.

Honey remedy for skin blemishes… cover the blemish with a dab of honey and place a Band-Aid over it. Honey kills the bacteria, keeps the skin sterile, and speeds healing. Works overnight.

Listerine therapy for toenail fungus: Get rid of unsightly toenail fungus by soaking your toes in Listerine Mouthwash. The powerful antiseptic leaves your toenails looking healthy again.

Easy eyeglass protection… to prevent the screws in eyeglasses from loosening, apply a small drop of Maybelline Crystal Clear Nail Polish to the threads of the screws before tightening them.

Cleaning liquid that doubles as bug killer… if menacing bees, wasps, hornets, or yellow jackets get in your home and you can’t find the insecticide, try a spray of Formula 409. Insects drop to the ground instantly.

Smart splinter remover: Just pour a drop of Elmer’s Glue-All over the splinter, let dry, and peel the dried glue off t he skin. The splinter sticks to the dried glue.

Hunt’s Tomato Paste boil cure… cover the boil with Hunt’s Tomato Paste as a compress. The acids from the tomatoes soothe the pain and bring the boil to a head.

Balm for broken blisters… to disinfect a broken blister, dab on a few drops of Listerine, a powerful antiseptic.

Vinegar to heal bruises… soak a cotton ball in white vinegar and apply it to the bruise for 1 hour. The vinegar reduces the blueness and speeds up the healing process.

Quaker Oats for fast pain relief… it’s not for breakfast any more! Mix 2 cups of Quaker Oats and 1 cup of water in a bowl and warm in the microwave for 1 minute, cool slightly, and apply the mixture to your hands for soothing relief from arthritis pain.

~~Source Unknown. I received this in an e-mail.

Elegant Survival News

Stock up on Candles

Hobby Lobby is having a sale: 50% off on seasonal candles. The best deal are the pillar candles–ten inch tall ones for 2.00 each. They’re offered in deep red and ivory, and there are 6″ ones in forest green, all are made in the U.S.A.
Keen on Quinoa: a Nutritious Survival Food

Read about Quinoa, a high-protein seed that is cooked and served like a grain.It sounds like one of those vegetarian counter-culture foodstuffs. I remember, before I had cable television about twenty years ago, watching T.V. cook and dietician Marion Fisher prepare it, and she was no hippie. I’ve just discovered a source of it, Vitamin Cottage/Natural Grocers, and am going to experiment with quinoa (keen-wah, accent on the first syllable). Any source of protein that is dry and has a long shelf-life without refrigeration ought to be of interest to us at Elegant Survival.
Quinoa from Colorado

Posted on Saturday, Sep 27, 2008, 09:52 AM (UTC -4)

Prepare to Defend Yourself

Things in America are about to go into Hell’s basement. Before people start panicking and running amok, it’s wise to set yourself and your family up with the right tools. See our Survival Tools section for The Right Stuff.

Posted on Friday, Sep 26, 2008, 06:38 PM (UTC -4)

Huevos Rancheros Recipes

I’ve been really busy this past week, but I have a very comprehensive pictorial recipe for one of my favourite breakfast dishes, huevos rancheros, or eggs ranch-style. It is a very nutritious dish:

This recipe is less traditional and more complicated. I suggest substituting the green chile stew with two small cans of chopped green chiles. Make a roux, adding water, seasoning salt and green chiles. Mix together with a metal potato masher or whisk. Substitute this green chile gravy for the cup of stew.

Casa de las Chimeneas

Taos, New Mexico

Huevos Rancheros
with Homemade Green Chile Stew

4 blue or yellow corn tortillas
4 eggs, poached
1 cup green chile stew, warmed (below)
3/4 cup grated Monterey Jack or mild cheddar
4 strips well-done bacon, crumbled
1-1/3 cups cooked pinto beans, warmed
Sour cream for garnish
Homemade Green Chile Stew
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 pound ground pork
Four 13-ounce containers frozen mild chopped green chile or 2 pounds freshly roasted, peeled, and chopped mild green chile, or an equivalent quantity of canned chopped green chile
6 Tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons cumin

Lightly cook tortilla in skillet with melted butter to soften. Assemble in equal quantities on 4 warmed plates: tortillas on the bottom, beans spread on tortilla, poached egg, grated cheese, green chile, and crumbled bacon. Top with a dollop of sour cream.

Homemade Green Chile Stew: Brown ground pork. Drain fat into large pot. Saute garlic in fat. Add flour and stir until brown. Add green chile, pork, cumin, and salt to taste. Add water to cover. Cook for at least 30 minutes until hot and bubbling. Makes 6 to 7 cups. Can be frozen and used later.

Serves: 4

Posted on Friday, Sep 26, 2008, 05:13 PM (UTC -4)

Foods with the Right Stuff for Weight-Loss


Eggs don’t cause heart disease, as the medical industry previously believed. A research team at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge determined that women on a weight-loss regimen who ate an egg with toast and jelly each morning lost twice as many pounds as those who had a bagel breakfast with the same number of calories without the accompanying egg.


Quinoa is a better food-choice than rice, couscous or wheat.  It contains both fiber (2.6 grams per 1/2 cup) and protein. My Recipe for Quinoa Casserole


The protein in steak helps you retain muscle mass during weight loss . Beef is rich in B-vitamins and amino acids.

Goji Berries

These high-protein fruits contain 18 amino acids, and only thirty-five calories per tablespoon.
Goji berries resemble pomegranate seeds in size and color. They contain some health-enhancing compounds:

  • tetraterpenoids
  • zeaxanthine
  • physalein
  • sesquiterpenoids
  • cyperone
  • solavetivone

Those elements provide anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and anti-aging effects.

The best feature of the Goji berry seems to be the polysaccharides that are produced by it. They pump up one’s immune system.

Buckwheat Pasta

Buckwheat pasta and cereal is high in fiber, and, unlike most carbohydrate products, they are high in protein.

Pomegranates and Their Juice

High in folate and antioxidants, the pomegranate is low in calories and high in fiber. Its seeds make a good snack, and pomegranate juice is the latest health-promoting tonic.

Almond Butter

Using it on sandwiches lowers bread’s glycemic index (an indicator of a food’s effect on blood sugar). A research team at the University of Toronto found that people who ate almonds with white bread didn’t experience the same blood sugar surges as those who ate bread alone. High blood sugar leads to abdominal fat.

Kale and Spinach

These leafy vegetables are high in fiber and vitamins and, surprisingly, contain protein. Kale can be successfully stir-fried; wilting washed and dried spinach with a hot bacon vinaigrette makes a delicious salad.

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑