Elegant Basket of Tea Towels

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Christmas Present Idea: a Silver-Plated, Large Basket for the Kitchen Counter or Hanging on a Cook’s Cart~Perfect for Tea Towels, Fruit, or Casual Flower-Arrangements
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Elegant, Re-Purposed Olive Oil Bottles

Large address labels and felt pens were used by me to make the contents of these elegant olive oil bottles easily identifiable. The original labels (as on the new bottle at left) of two empty containers were soaked-off in a sink half-full of very hot water.  This trio of full bottles sits on the counter, ready for use on salads, cooking (a few drops of olive oil may be all you need to fry an egg) , drinking (add a teaspoon of cider vinegar to your water-glass in the morning and/or evening for enhanced health) and spot-cleaning (wipe-down windows, appliances and counters with a few drops of white vinegar). These particular vessels came with optional spouts, which make dispensing small amounts of liquid quick and easy.

A red pepper bottle from which the label has easily been soaked-off is pretty enough to leave on the table with your favourite salt-shaker. To me, the ubiquitous bar-code on labels is an awful thing to see, therefore, in spite of this particular spice bottle label being tasteful and attractive, the entire thing had to go.  ©M-J de Mesterton, November 2018

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As Mrs Bucket would say: “It’s Bouquet!” HAPPY HALLOWE’EN, or ALL SAINTS’ DAY

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Make a Miniature Salt Shaker

Making Mini Salt Shakers
Re-purposing another commercial container: a tiny jam jar was converted into a casual mini-salt shaker and filled with Himalayan salt. It’s handy for a TV tray, or to keep nearby when eating popcorn, should it be sorely lacking in sodium, and a walk to the kitchen would interrupt your movie-viewing. Here are the tools I used: a sharp-pointed pair of scissors and a meat mallet. I was too lazy to visit the garage for a nail. Instead, I covered the scissors’ nice old handles with a silicone pot-holder so the mallet wouldn’t damage them. This worked fine. There are three small holes–I started small and then tested them for proper flow-rate. ©M-J de Mesterton 2018

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On  the left is a larger home-made salt-shaker, strictly for use in cookery; after this photo it will live in the pantry. ©M-J de Mesterton 2018

 

Freestyle Eggs with Purple Onion and Serrano Peppers

 

I’m calling these two  eggs “freestyle” because they were lightly fried to so-called “over-easy” level, but very uncooperative when I attempted to flip them with my spatula. The eggs are accompanied on this plate by purple (“red”) onions sautéed  in butter with serrano chile peppers, and  a bit of labneh (strained yoghurt) which is sprinkled with cayenne pepper. Adding a freestyle shake of Himalayan salt, I consider it a low-carb, highly-nutritious breakfast. ©M-J de Mesterton

Highly Nutritive EGGS
Eggs are Rich in Nutrients

Purple Onions Fight Cancer
Red or Purple Onions are Beneficial to General Health

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Red or Purple Onions and Hot Chile Peppers are Good for the Heart

SERRANO PEPPERS

  • Vitamins: Serrano peppers are a good source of vitamin A. You can get almost 20 percent of your daily recommended vitamin A intake from a 100 g serving. The vitamin A that you get from serrano peppers helps with the synthesis of red blood cells along with helping to support your immune system. Vitamin C is also important for the function of your immune system and 100 g of serranos provides about 74 percent of your daily vitamin C requirement. Vitamin B6 is another important vitamin that helps your body to produce neurotransmitters as well as to ensure that it metabolizes fat and protein properly.

  • Minerals: A 100 g serving of serrano peppers provides 4 percent of your daily iron and 5 percent of your daily magnesium. Iron is important for making the red blood cells in your body that transport oxygen. Magnesium is important for neural function, muscle contraction and for the coagulation of blood among many other processes.
  • Dietary fiber: Serrano peppers contain 3.7 g of dietary fiber per 100 g serving. Dietary fiber has health benefits that include controlling both blood sugar and cholesterol. Fiber binds with low-density lipoprotein thus preventing its absorption by your body; similarly, it slows your body’s absorption of sugar and this helps with the control of blood sugar levels.

Capsaicin

Capsaicin is the compound responsible for the heat in hot peppers. It has numerous health benefits despite having no nutrients. While serranos are far from being the hottest peppers, they still offer an abundance of heat. The Scoville rating for these peppers is in the range between 10,000 and 23,000, which makes them up to 10 times hotter than a jalapeño (comparing the mildest jalapeño to the hottest serrano). The higher the Scoville rating, the hotter the pepper and the greater the concentration of capsaicin.

You can use serrano peppers to treat and prevent health conditions like:

  • Heart disease: Capsaicin’s cholesterol-lowering benefits allow serrano peppers to be beneficial for heart health. Chile peppers also prevent the contraction of arteries, which restricts the flow of blood to the heart.
  • Intestinal issues: Research has shown that capsaicin can help with the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease. There is also evidence that it can help to kill the H. pylori bacteria that is a factor in stomach ulcers.
  • Cancer: It’s believed capsaicin has the ability to treat cancer. Studies have shown that it is effective for fighting prostate and breast cancers in that it stops the spread of cancer and induces apoptosis in cancer cells, which means that it causes them to self-destruct.
  • CAYENNE PEPPER IS HIGH IN CAPSAICIN
  • Hot Peppers for Health
    Cayenne and other Dried Chile Peppers Help Prevent Colds and Flu, Build Tissue, and Prevent Heart Attacks

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    Capsaicin-Rich Cayenne Peppers are a Heart-Tonic and Anti-Inflammatory Fruit

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    M-J’s Cayenne Pepper Plant with Red, Ripe Fruit

Nutritious, Versatile Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin Seeds are great freshly-ground and used as a salad-topper. Here is a salad topped with both ground raw pumpkin seeds, Cheddar cheese and walnuts.

 “Pepitas”, as they are called in Spanish, are delicious when toasted in a pan with a teaspoon of coconut oil and about a half-teaspoon of salt per cup. Stirred frequently with a wooden spoon, my pumpkin seeds were ready after ten minutes in a medium-hot cast-iron pan. Another method is soaking the seeds overnight in water, lemon juice and salt, draining and toasting them in a moderate oven.
Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of zinc, iron, magnesium, omega-3s, are low in carbs, and three tablespoons of them contain eight grams of protein. Pumpkin seeds have properties that are used in an efficacious treatment for parasites. Storing ground pumpkin seeds in the refrigerator in a jar will preserve their freshness.
From George Mateljan’s venerable website, “World’s Healthiest Foods”, here is the first paragraph of, and a link tohis article about Pumpkin Seeds:

Antioxidant Support

While antioxidant nutrients are found in most WHFoods, it’s the diversity of antioxidants in pumpkin seeds that makes them unique in their antioxidant support. Pumpkin seeds contain conventional antioxidant vitamins like vitamin E. However, not only do they contain vitamin E, but they contain it in a wide variety of forms. Alpha-tocopherol, gamma-tocopherol, delta-tocopherol, alpha-tocomonoenol and gamma-tocomonoenol are all forms of vitamin E found in pumpkin seeds. These last two forms have only recently been discovered, and they are a topic of special interest in vitamin E research, since their bioavailability might be greater than some of the other vitamin E forms. Pumpkin seeds also contain conventional mineral antioxidants like zinc and manganese. Phenolic antioxidants are found in pumpkin seeds in a wide variety of forms, including the phenolic acids hydroxybenzoic, caffeic, coumaric, ferulic, sinapic, protocatechuic, vanillic, and syringic acid. Antioxidant phytonutrients like lignans are also found in pumpkin seeds, including the lignans pinoresinol, medioresinol, and lariciresinol.
Interestingly, this diverse mixture of antioxidants in pumpkin seeds may provide them with antioxidant-related properties that are not widely found in food. For example, the pro-oxidant enzyme lipoxygenase (LOX) is known to be inhibited by pumpkin seed extracts, but not due to the presence of any single family of antioxidant nutrients (for example, the phenolic acids described earlier). Instead, the unique diversity of antioxidants in pumpkin seeds is most likely responsible for this effect.

Povitica, Slovenian Walnut Roll, Croatian Walnut Roll, Tervis Mug, Pavatica, Potica, Walnut Roll, Central European Walnut Roll
A Delightfully Aromatic Breakfast: Central European Walnut Roll (potica or povitica in Slovenia and Croatia) and Columbian Coffee

Walnuts are Nutrient-Rich
The Nutritional Benefits of Walnuts