Travel and Food

Sambucas Cafe in Little Italyfff

Food is a part of my life too. I have been lucky enough to work with food, as a junior chef from time to time. While I am no nutrition advisor, there will be health/weight articles included in here, otherwise, what’s your incentive to be reading food-stuff in a drummer’s forum? What you’ll find here are healthy eating/diet articles, not too many recipes, and the occasional video. I like to adhere to some nutritional guidelines which are necessary. There’s some restaurant and travel stuff too. 

New Orleans : Follow your NOLA (New Orleans Louisiana)


homeTileFun1 “Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.” – Star Trek by Samuel Peeples,  including Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry and producers John D. F. Black and Bob Justman.

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Cultural Arts in January January 2013 As a New Year begins, the cultural season in New Orleans continues at the peak level of the previous year, with Broadway shows, classical music performances, live stage productions and other forms of lively entertainment heading the bill for January. New Jersey comes to New Orleans on the 8th when Broadway Across America brings its vintage 1960s production of Jersey Boys (the Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons story) to the stage of the Mahalia Jackson Theater. The music of Queen “will rock you” on the 4th and 5th when the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra interprets the greatest hits of this top group from the ’80s and ’90s. World-renowned dancer/choreographer Jessica Lang introduces her brand-new, innovative, namesake dance company to the Crescent City from the 18th to the 20th and local theatres present more lively Broadway-style fare as well as original works. All this and more is on tap for January here in “America’s First City of Culture.” And, speaking of “on tap,” New Orleans Opera has some of that coming up on January 19. And, for even more lively free entertainment, come hear Bon Operatit! sing some of their “favorite things” from Rodgers and Hammerstein on the 9th. For full details on these log on to:


Aroma Bakery & Cafe, 18047 Ventura Boulevard, Encino, CA 91316 and 7373 W. Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90046.

Il Cortile

Il Cortile “Little Italy New York”

The Garden Room (Top View)
The Garden Room (Top View)

“In the heart of Little Italy romantic, indoor garden dining…areas best Italian food” –Zagat’s “Award winning cuisine.” -James Beard Foundation “Easily the best restaurant in Little Italy.” –Fodor’s 125 Mulberry St New York, NY 10013. Fri-Sat 12:00pm- 1:00am. Sun-Thu 12:00pm-12:00am. Tel: (212) 226-6060. Fax: (212) 431-7283. Email:

Pinot Noir img_0058-1 img_0059-1
GUADELOUPE VACATIONS…and it ain’t in Texas!

Located in the West Indies, GuadelKONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAoupe is a French-speaking group of islands that is famed for its stunning beaches, clear waters and lively nightlife. 10 little known facts about Guadeloupe It’s a great place to learn French, particularly during the cold winter months, and although relatively undiscovered by mainstream tourists, has plenty to offer any visitor. Here are ten facts about Guadeloupe that you may not already know. 1.Guadeloupe is an archipelago of nine inhabited islands, including the butterfly shaped islands of Basse-Terre and Grande-Terre, Marie-Galante, La Desirade, Iles des Saintes (2), Saint-Barthelemy, Iles de la Petite Terre, and Saint-Martin (the French part of the island of Saint Martin). 2. The Amerindian inhabitants called Guadeloupe “Karukera” which means “Island of Beautiful Waters”. It is widely regarded as having some of the best dive sites in the world. 3. A narrow channel, the Riviere Salee, divides Guadeloupe proper into two islands: the larger, western Basse-Terre and the smaller, eastern Grande-Terre. 4. Christopher Columbus came across the islands in 1493, and named them after a Spanish monastery, but the Carib indians who lived there resisted Spanish attempts to settle the islands. French colonists arrived in the 17th century though, and it became a French colony in 1635. 5. There were several British occupations of Guadeloupe in the 18th and early 19th centuries, and a short period of Swedish rule, before it was restored to France. It became an official French department in 1946, and since the 1980s is a region of France. 6. The islands have lovely white sand beaches, a rainforest that is brimming with wildlife, and, if that weren’t enough, the highest waterfall in the Caribbean! 7. Basse-Terre has a rough volcanic terrain, whilst Grande-Terre has rolling hills and flat plains. Basse-Terre tends to be cooler and wetter than Grande-Terre, especially on La Soufrière, its highest point. 8. The famous dance of the island is called the biguine, which is still performed in colourful Creole dress. 9. There are regular flights to Guadeloupe from other Caribbean islands, and also from Miami, Montreal and Paris. There are also ferry services from nearby islands such as Martinique and St Lucia. 10.The best time to visit Guadeloupe is from December to May when the weather is warm and dry. The rest of the year is usually hot, humid and wet, especially between July and November. Find out more about French courses in Guadeloupe with Cactus.




All airports in Guadeloupe:


Guadeloupe National Parks Images: (click to enlarge)

Guadaloupe Beaches/Hotels/Spa and Food Images:

Tripadvisor Details

Photos of Hotel Amaudo, Saint Francois

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GREAT NEWS!!! Starting on April 6th American Airlines will provide a DIRECT FLIGHT TO GUADELOUPE ISLANDS FROM MIAMI ENABLING EASY BREEZY CONNECTIONS FROM ALL OVER THE US!! They will still provide daily flights to Guadeloupe Islands via San Juan until March 30th. Airport code for Guadeloupe Islands is PTP which stands for Pointe a Pitre the capital city. Book early! TOUR DE FRANCE 2013
Le Tour France Pictures/Gallery:


Roland Garros Tickets (Buy now!)
May 25 – Jun 8, 2014  |  Paris, France
Buy Tickets:
Grand Prix of Monaco 2014/05/22 – 2014/05/25
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Travelling in France:
Some Major Attractions: The French Grand Canyon “Immense, magnificent, beautiful, imposing, astonishing, fabulous, gigantic…Just a few adjectives to describe one of France’s natural wonders, the Gorges du Verdon (Grand Canyon of Verdon). It is about 25 kilometers long and up to 700 meters deep and shared by the departments of Var and the Alpes de Hautes Provence.
Photo Credit:
Gorges du Verdon, Saturday, 8 October 2011/ Donna Willis

The calcareous cliffs, formed over time by the steady force of the Verdon River, are a must see experience and you will not be alone in marveling at one of the greatest tourist attractions in Provence. Besides the imposing rocks and deep river canyon there is rich diversity of flora and fauna across a huge, unspoiled and undiscovered area of exquisite natural beauty. The scenery here is simply magnificent. In addition to the landscape are the old fashioned Provençal villages nestled along the route begging you to stop and gradually take in the gorgeous scenery and the charm of Provence! If you enjoy the outdoors this is the place for you. Sailing, fishing, water skiing, white water rafting, kayaking, bungee jumping, paragliding, rock climbing, hiking, horseback riding, VTT mountain biking, this is just a little of what is possible.”-

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“Three Cistercian abbeys called the Three Provençal Sisters of Provence were founded in the 12th century: Senanque Abbey, Thoronet Abbey and

Silvacane Abbey. Thoronet was the second of the Three Provençal Sisters.  The abbey was started by Cistercian monks who moved here from the Mazan Abbey in the Ardèche (after a stay in Florège River valley near Tourtour, about 20 km to the north) around 1140. The abbey buildings, church and cloisters were built in 1160-1190. In the 14th century, religious wars and politics resulted in the abbey being abandonded. It wasn’t until the eighteenth century that the abbey started to be used again, and then during the French Revolution it was sold off and abandoned again. In the 1850’s, the state bought the abbey and began rebuilding it. The rebuilding has continued, slowly, until the present day. There’s an entrance fee to visit, which allows you to roam freely inside or join a guided tour. The abbey is all stone, and includes a church, adjoining chapter house, dormitory and store room, and cloisters. The church is built of stone blocks, cut and assembled by hand, without the use of cement or mortar.”-

Palais des Papes (Palace of Popes)

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“Avignon offers a sweeping, magnificent urban landscape that takes in the Rocher des Doms, the Avignon Bridge, the Ramparts, the Petit Palais, the Doms Cathedral and the Palace of the Popes. This unique architectural heritage is part of UNESCO’s Heritage for all Humanity. The Palace of the Popes, part of UNESCO World Heritage, stands as the symbol of the church’s sway over the western Christian world in the 14th century. The Palace was built starting in 1335, and took less than 20 years to complete. The palace was primarily built by two of the Popes who lived here, Pope Benedict XII, and his successor, Pope Clement VI. The Palace of the Popes is the biggest Gothic palace in the world. There are 15,000 square meters of living space, which is the equivalent of 4 Gothic cathedrals. The visitor can see more than 20 rooms in the palace, including the Papal apartments with their pricess frescoes painted by the Italian artist Matteo Giovannetti. The Palace of the Popes offers cultural events throughout the entire year. Exhibitions, theme tours, concerts, educational and theme-based tours and exhibitions… During the summer season, a major art exhibit is displayed in the Great Chapel. During the Festival d’Avignon,created by Jean Vilar in 1947, performances are given in the Palace Honour Courtyard throughout the month of July. Every year, over 560,000 persons visit the Palace of the Popes. It is among the 10 most frequently-visited monuments in France. There is an audio-guided tour in 9 languages (FR, GB, D, JP, SP, NL, CH, IT, Russia).”-

TOURING EUROPE: a short/up-to-date travelogue

Desination Europe

-by Neabir J and Nealyoda

Updated by admin 8/25/13

I went to Europe this summer of 2013, and it was probably the best vacation I have ever been on.  We went to six cities and three countries.  We went to Rome, Florence, Pisa, Venice, Paris, and Geneva.  The first four cities are in Italy.  Paris is in France and Geneva is in Switzerland.  I am going to tell you all about my trip to Europe.

Desination Europe


We were eight of us in all. Two families meant to meet up from two far corners of the United States, and make the journey. Had to get everything organized ahead of time, because, once we were on the way there wouldn’t be much to do about life at home, and school. My favorite city in Europe was Paris.  Paris has a mini statue of liberty.  It looks exactly like the one in America, but it is smaller.  We didn’t get a good look at it.  We passed it on a fast train and saw it from the top of the Eiffel Tower.  The best part was going to the top of the Eiffel Tower.  I really wanted to climb the steps, but not everyone we were traveling with could do it so we took the elevator (we went with my cousin and his family, my cousin’s grandpa, and my cousin’s aunt).  The view was amazing.  I felt like I could see every action in Paris.  As soon as we got down from the top, at 10:00PM, the lights turned on.  At 11:00 pm the Eiffel tower sparkled.  It went on for five minutes, and then stopped.  I had my second best crepe at that time.  It was a nutella crepe.  My brother took a chicken and cheese crepe which was also very good.  The Eiffel tower looms over Paris like a human to an ant.  The Louvre was amazing.  It houses some of the best pieces of art in the world.  The best part was seeing the Mona Lisa.  On my trip to Europe, I saw probably the greatest painting and sculpture of all time: the Mona Lisa and David vs. Goliath.  They were both almost perfect.  Every little detail was in there.  In the Louvre there were many signs that said “Beware of the pick-pockets.”  My cousin’s aunt got pick-pocketed.  We took a masterpiece tour in the Louvre.  The three masterpieces are the Venus de Milo, the Winged Victory of Samothrace, and the Mona Lisa.  The Louvre is huge.  It is the longest building in Europe, and to see every piece of art in the Louvre, it would take an enormous amount of time.  The Louvre is a little longer than three Eiffel Towers laid end to end.  The Louvre and the Eiffel tower were my two favorite parts of Paris.  We also went to the Arch de Triomph.  It was made by Napoleon to celebrate the French military.  We climbed to the top.  It was only 284 steps.  We climbed much higher buildings on our trip to Europe.  From the top, you have a beautiful view of the Eiffel tower and of Paris.  It is also a very nice piece of architecture.


The food in Paris was really good, too.  We had crepes or croissants every day for breakfast. fggpasta

The crepes were the best crepes I have ever tasted.  France is known for their crepes.  I was scared I could never eat American crepes again.  My best crepe was a nutella crepe with ice cream.  My four-year old cousin had margherita pizza every time that it was on the menu.  I tried lots of different foods.  Most of them were really good.  Our last big thing in Paris was the Notre Dame.  It is one of the most famous cathedrals in the world.  We all wanted to climb to the top of the bell tower, but the line was too long.  We went inside though.  I went inside of a lot of churches in Europe, but none of them were like the Notre Dame.  It had paintings, sculptures, stained glass, models of itself, and many more unique things (it was lit by candlelight).

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There was a donation box that had currencies from everywhere around the world.  We just walked around Paris for the rest of the day.  We went to the Palace of Versailles, the next day.  I did not like it that much because all we so were bedrooms and living rooms.  There was really not that much to see.  It was kind of cool the first time we saw each thing, but then after we saw like twenty bedrooms, ten living rooms, and eight art galleries (that contained lots of replicas of things in the Louvre which we had already seen) it got kind of boring. Our last day in Paris was Bastilles Day.  In the morning we went to see the parade, but we went too late.  All we saw were the people coming back.  At night we saw fireworks.  It went on for 35 minutes!  It wasn’t that great.  The fireworks at the 4th of July are way better. My second favorite city was Rome.  The best part was seeing the Coliseum.  It is gigantic.  Inside it was like a maze.  The gladiators fought inside the maze.  The Coliseum’s capacity was 70,000 standing people.  The gladiators would sometimes fight animals such as tigers and lions.  You cannot see your opponent if you are in two different parts of the maze.  Most of the gladiators were prisoners or people who were already sentenced to death.  Very few people chose this as their profession.  The Coliseum has a throne where the emperor sat.  We went to the Coliseum on our first day in Rome (which was our first day in Europe).  It is magnificent from the outside and from the inside.  From our apartment we could see the Coliseum.  We also went to the Pantheon.  The Pantheon is a church.  It contains many tombs and paintings.  We took an audio tour.  There were lots of different stations inside and outside the audio guide told us about.  The Pantheon is a beautiful structure, and has great designs.  At the top there is a huge hole that let in a lot of sunlight.  After the Pantheon we went to the Trevi Fountain.  My cousins, my brother, and I all threw a coin into the fountain.  Legend says that if you throw a coin in the fountain, you are destined to come back to Rome.  It is not true, but it was still fun to throw the coin in.  Then we went to the Spanish Steps.  We climbed all the way to the top.  There was a church at the top.  We went inside.  There were monks praying inside.  At night we went to the Roman Forum.  This is where they used to have gatherings, business, and many more important things.  We didn’t get a good look at it though because it was closed when we got there.  Our last day in Rome was devoted to Vatican City.  Vatican City is the smallest country in the world at only 0.2 square miles.  It is the home of the Pope though.  We went on a tour of the Vatican museum.  I didn’t really like it.  The only good part was the “Sistine Chapel.”  Inside the Sistine Chapel was Michelangelo’s best painting.  It took him four hard-working years to complete it.  We saw the St. Peter’s Basilica.  We also saw the tombs of the past Popes.  The last Pope made history when he dropped out.  Every Pope until him had served until death. Florence was fun, too other than the fact that there were so many mosquitoes.  On our first day we climbed to the top of Duomo.  It had 487 steps.  We had a splendid view of Florence.  We walked by the river at night.  In Florence there are tons of mosquitoes.  Next to the river, at night, in Florence, we got eaten alive by mosquitoes.  On our second day we took three walking tours.  I enjoyed the first one, but I couldn’t pay attention to the second and third ones for various reasons.  In the first one, we saw the most perfect sculpture I have ever seen: David.  Michelangelo put in very specific details that happen to your body when you are tense.  David is tense because he is about to fight the giant: Goliath.  There were details that not many sculptors could put in.  On David’s throat you could see the bone showing through the skin just like in real life.  Also, David was pressing down on the grounds so hard that he had some skin that looked like a sixth toe.  There were also other sculptures of Michelangelo in the museum, but David is the main piece of art in the whole museum.  On our last day in Florence, I got stomach flu.  I threw up many times, and because of me nobody got to see the Galileo Museum.  I was still sick, and our plans were to go to Pisa that day.  I really wanted to go, and I luckily did.  Even if I didn’t go, everyone else would have.  The main attraction in Pisa is with no doubt, the Leaning Tower of Pisa.  There was a square where you could see everything there was to see in Pisa, such as the Leaning Tower, a cathedral, a baptistery, and lots of other things.  It was really hot and I was sick, so I didn’t get to enjoy it as much as I should have.  The two things that I really wanted to do in Europe that I couldn’t do were, use the stairs to get to the top of the Eiffel Tower and climb the Leaning Tower of Pisa (there is no elevator in the Leaning Tower and it would be fun since it is leaning).  We went on a tourist bus to get us to Pisa and back to Florence. I enjoyed Geneva, too.  On the first day we saw a huge man-made geyser.  It was awesome.  I wanted to go to the geyser and sit on top of it, so I could fly up.  We went to the old town and went souvenir shopping there.  I bought a Swiss Army Knife.  I also checked out some of the watches, but I didn’t get any because I got the knife.  One of the most famous things in Geneva is the huge flower clock.  It is clock literally made out of flowers.  It has three hands just like a normal clock would, but it is on grass.  It is very colorful, and an astonishing idea.  We didn’t do much on our first day there.  On our second day, we went to the Alps.  We went on another tourist bus to go and get back.  The Alps were really high, so the oxygen level was low.  The tour guide said, “If you feel bad, it is a good thing.  If you feel good, be careful.”  You can faint if you feel good.  Luckily, we all felt bad.  It had an amazing view of the mountains even though we were on a mountain.  We got up and down by cable car.  We saw some people climbing the mountain.  There was lots of snow up there in the summer time.  There were also some waterfalls because of melted snow.  It was a real adventure even though we didn’t hike up the mountain.  My dad’s friend went up there before, and he got stuck for ten hours because it was snowing.  My ears were also popping.  If you can put aside the sickness feelings the Alps is a great place to go to if you visit Geneva (the Alps that we went to were in France).  We saw the United Nations building in Geneva.  It is the second biggest United Nations building after the one in New York. Venice was okay.  It wasn’t that great because there were not many things to see.  It is only a tourist filled city because it is all water.  The only thing that I liked was that there were no cars, because I really dislike cars.  I always get sick in them, and I can’t eat in them.  Also, I go in a car every day.  We rarely went in a car in the whole Europe trip.  It was all train, but when we got to Venice, it was all boat.  We went to a place called Murano Island.  To get there we went on a private water taxi.  It was really fun.  It was like a speedboat.  The boat was tilted.  Inside there were couches, but the kids sat outside in the splash zone.  It had lots of glass factories.  We went inside the place where they make the glass.  It was fantastic.  The way they made the glass seemed like magic.  It was extremely hot in there.  There were fires going which didn’t help.  I don’t know how the people who work there are able to stay there for a whole day, without burning.  I bought a couple of souvenirs.  One was a mini glass pink panther.  The other was a clock.  The clock is helpful because I only have one clock in my room and it has no numbers. The best part of Europe aside from the sightseeing was the food.  The food was different everywhere we went, and it was great each time.  The best food was in Italy.  The pizza and pasta were the best.  Any type of pizza or pasta I ordered, I had a great meal.  Almost every day in Europe we had a croissant for breakfast.  In France we had crepes for breakfast a couple of times.  They were the best crepes I had ever tasted.  I liked every type that I tasted except the banana crepes.  There was even a chicken and cheese crepe.  It was almost like a sandwich, but I liked it a lot.  The pastries were delicious.  There were so many different kinds.  My favorite one was in Paris.  It was one of the many jelly pastries in Paris.  My best dinner was in Paris.  It was spicy beef with mashed potatoes.  It was a delightful meal.  The sauce was the best part.  The worse part of our whole trip was the overnight train.  Our compartment had no air conditioning, so we were roasting.  My cousin’s compartment had air conditioning, but they had no lights.  We only had one working light.  The food the next morning was not that bad.  We just had a chocolate croissant and juice.  Despite the food the overnight train was not the best experience.  Everywhere we went was very different from the place before.  Italy was the most cultural place.  Even in the places with the most tourists, all the food was Italian.  In Paris there were so many things to see.  There is the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Arch de Triomph, the Notre Dame, and while we were there, it was Bastilles Day.  This is the day to celebrate the French independence (like our 4th of July).

Photo Gallery, Italy and France:

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In Switzerland they don’t have their own language.  In Geneva most people speak French.  The best part about Switzerland is the souvenirs, the chocolate, and the cheese.  Europe was the best vacation I have ever been on.  I hope I am able to go there again someday.  My recommendations for anyone planning to go to Europe, is go to Paris.  Thanks for reading.
Private Jet Charter French Riviera
Cote D’Azur, or as it’s known in English the French Riviera:
is the Mediterranean coastline of the southeast corner or France, which is inclusive of the country of Monaco. It includes the towns of Nice, Cannes, St Tropez and many others. One of the first resort locations in the world, the French Riviera remains one of the top tourist destinations and convention sites.As a tourist center it benefits from 300 days of sunshine per year, 70 miles of coastline and beaches, 18 championship golf courses, 14 ski resorts and 3,000 restaurants. The region hosts 14 million tourists per year, with more than half of them coming from outside of France. The Mediterranean climate is near perfect in spring and early autumn, the best times to visit, and in addition to beautiful beaches the area features great local cuisine, high end shopping and spas, fantastic day trips to quaint towns and small island getaways, and so much more. Special events abound; Cannes hosts a film festival every year that is world famous, Monaco has a well known Formula One Grand Prix car race that takes place every May.Its largest city is Nice, which has a population of 347,060. When you travel via private jet to Nice you will utilize the Nice Côte d’Azur Airport (FMN), France’s third-busiest. The nearby Mandelieu airport is the primary facility for business aviation and private aircraft. The French Riviera is a major yachting and cruising area with several marinas along its coast. According to French sources, the Riviera hosts a whopping 50% of the world’s superyacht fleet, with 90% of all superyachts visiting the coast at least once.

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1 cup/250 ml bread crumbs
2 ounces/75 g spicy salami, cubed
2 ounces/75 g smoky scamorza cheese, cubed
1 cup/250 ml freshly grated Parmigiano cheese
1 whole egg
Large bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked and chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup/50 ml extra-virgin olive oil
3 cups/750 ml white wine
6 medium squid, cleaned
2 cloves garlic
1 chile pepper, thinly sliced
1 pound/500 g cooked linguine, optional
Special equipment: toothpicks

For the stuffing:
Add the bread crumbs, salami, scamorza cheese, Parmigiano cheese, an egg, 1/2 the parsley, salt, and black pepper to a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil and 1/2 cup white wine. With your hands, thoroughly mix all the ingredients.

Gently stuff each squid with the mixture. Seal the opening with a toothpick. Continue until all the mixture is consumed.

In a large frying pan, heat the extra-virgin olive oil and add the garlic and the remaining parsley. Cook for about 1 minute on medium-high heat. Add the stuffed squid and cook until the meat starts changing color and becomes slightly golden. Add the wine, salt, and chile pepper. Lower the heat, cover the pan and allow the wine to reduce and thicken up. Allow to cook for 10 minutes.

Serve the squid with the sauce over a bed of linguine, if desired.

Food to Glow

Roasted Pumpkin Hummus with Cauliflower and Walnut Crumble {gf/df}

About Kellie

Health educationist and nutrition adviser with the estimable Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres. The 15 centres are charitably run havens of exquisite architectural beauty that provide information, psychological support and practical help to patients and their families. All are sited alongside major cancer treatment centres. Kellie Anderson is a Floridian living in Edinburgh, Scotland for many years now.

winter-squash-pumpkin-imageBotanically identical to tender-skinned summer squashes, winter squashes are my unsung hero of autumn-winter eating. Not only do they keep well – you can forget about them for over a month and they will still love you – they are just about the most useful and delicious of the cold weather crops. Butternut squash, acorn, Delicata, kabocha, Hubbard, sugar pie, red kuri, spaghetti, Hokkaido – and loads more – their tough unyielding armour holds rich, sweet, nutritious flesh.

pumpkin-hummus-imageWinter squashes are lovely just diced and sauteed with your favourite over-wintering herbs such as thyme, sage or rosemary. Their texture also makes terrific naturally creamy-tasting soups and comforting slow-baked gratins. One of our favourite, no-brainer ways with any squash is just plainly roasted, with maybe some garlic on the tray, and added to a risotto. I will post my three-grain pumpkin and chard risotto soon. I have found that winter squashes partner well with most any protein – with perhaps the exception of white fish – and are a great foil for bitter greens, tangy cheeses, earthy root vegetables and cooked beans. In other words, a vegetarian’s dream.

Although most squashes are harvested in the autumn they are available from now until early spring, giving much needed colour to winter meals. During this time of year I am never knowingly without some kind of winter squash waiting patiently in a cool cupboard (or the garage!). They are such a winter staple food here at food to glow that as soon as I use one I feel compelled to stock up on more. I feel similarly about kale, olive oil and lemons. Yeah, I’m a bit weird.

This hummus (of sorts) is a new direction for me. Although I have a smoked paprika butternut squash and almond dip that we love, this is the first time I have more or less used a squash with hummus intent. This is incredibly light on first eating but firms up after an overnight spell in the refrigerator, so loosen it if you like with a little stock or good olive oil. In fact I loosened it enough to make a little bowl of soup for myself, topping it with a tiny swirl of walnut oil. Instant soup :D

Food To Glow is going on holiday for a wee bit. I may get a chance to post something while I’m away but if I don’t manage it, I’ll be back soon with more healthy cold weather recipes. Until then, happy cooking – and eating xxx

What autumn-winter food can you not do without?

pumpkin-hummus-imageRoasted Pumpkin Hummus with Cauliflower and Walnut Crumble

Last year: Kale and Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Pistachio Dukkah

Two years ago: Crispy and Sticky Black Pepper Tofu

Miss R’s track of the week:I Sat By The Ocean” by Queens of the Stone Age – because that’s what we will be doing for 2 weeks!

Of course, like my beetroot and cashew hummus, this pumpkin version isn’t really hummus. Although Middle Eastern spicing influences both dips, this one probably comes closer: at least it has tahini in it. But still no chickpeas. If you desire a super creamy traditional one, try My Perfect Hummus. This easy recipe is dedicated to the significant minority who cannot easily digest legumes – this has all the taste but is lighter, and without ‘consequences.’

Roasted Pumpkin Hummus and the Cauliflower and Walnut Crumble topping is not only easily put together but independently useful. In addition to the ‘normal’ uses I have tried the hummus on its own as a rich, silky stir-through sauce for pasta (with a dousing of olive oil), stuffed into cherry tomatoes (delish but fiddly with my poor fine-motor skills) and thinned down with stock and slurped as soup. And the crumble topping can grace gratins (probably it’s natural home), be used to anoint fish and chicken for grilling, and just as a topping for pasta and hot or cold salads – vegetable or grain. You will think of other uses, I’m sure.

This hummus sounds unusual but if you get a flavourful pumpkin you may just fall in love. We have.

1 small pumpkin (about 500g/1 lb), deseeded OR other winter squash

2 tbsp olive oil

5 garlic clove

Juice of half a lemon (about 3 tbsp)

1 tsp salt

1 tsp ground cumin

2 tbsp light tahini

1 tbsp za’atar (optional, see below)

Pumpkin seeds, toasted in a hot pan until a few pop (optional, to serve)

Extra good olive oil (optional, to serve)

150g cauliflower, blitzed in a food processor to form crumbs (some will still be chunky- that’s good for texture)

75g walnuts, coarsely tumbled in a food processor

2 tsp za’atar (bought or see below) OR other Middle Eastern seasoning blend

good pinch salt (I use smoked Maldon salt, but use any kind you like)

Za’atar: 2 tbsp dried thyme, 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds, 1 tbsp ground sumac (Bart’s and Steenberg’s in the UK), 1 tbsp each dried oregano and marjoram, 1 tsp sea salt (I use smoked). Whiz these briefly in a spice mill/coffee grinder and store in a tightly lidded small jar. I use this stuff all the time.

1. First of all, the pumpkin. If it is awkwardly ridged, and not at all conducive to peeling without cursing, slice into wedges and rub all over with the oil. If you want to peel it, go ahead, chopping the flesh and rubbing with oil.

2. Take three of the garlic cloves, smash lightly and rub these with oil too. Lay all on a tray and roast for about 30 minutes, turning the pumpkin and garlic half way through cooking. When cool enough to handle, peel the garlic and – using a spoon – scoop the pumpkin from its frazzled skin. Pop the pumpkin flesh and peeled, roasted garlic in a food processor.

3. Using a pestle and mortar smash the two remaining garlic cloves (peel first) with the salt, then add in the lemon. Make a cohesive paste and add to the food processor bowl, along with the cumin, tahini and za’atar. You can skip this step but these are harder for food processors to mix well compared to the soft, yielding pumpkin. Doing this tiny step keeps from having to blitz the whole thing to the consistency of baby food.

4. While the pumpkin and garlic are doing thing in the oven, toss together the crumbed walnuts, cauliflower, za’atar and salt. Lay this thinly on another baking tray and bake in the oven for the last half of the pumpkin cooking time, turning halfway with a spatula. You can mix through a little oil but I don’t think it is necessary as the oil in the walnuts seems to do a good enough job.

To serve, spread the pumpkin hummus in a serving bowl and either let everyone help themselves to hummus and crumble as they wish, or sprinkle over a generous amount of crumble with extra on the side. Goes wherever chickpea humus goes – with flatbreads, with cut vegetables, with other meze dishes.

There will be leftover crumble. This can be revived in a hot pan (with maybe a touch of oil) and used on any remaining hummus. We had leftovers with grilled lettuce, fried capers, chopped salad things and thinly sliced and toasted sourdough bread. It is great in hot pasta too.

Serves up to 6 as an appetizer, or with a light lunch/mezze. Refrigerate leftovers separately and eat within five days.

I’m entering this deeply autumnal recipe to a few bloghops this week. Firstly to Nazima at Franglais Kitchen and Laura at How To Cook Good Food for their joint One Ingredient roundup, this month starring Walnuts. Check. And over to Heather at Sweet Mission for her Sweet Wednesday Link Up Party for a variety of interesting and not always sweet entries.


Friday, October 11, 2013

purple plum torte

marion burros' famed plum torte

This may look like an ordinary piece of plum cake, but it is not. It is a famous plum cake, so renowned that I suspect half of you out there have already made it, and the rest of you will soon commit it to memory, because this cake is like that — it is worthwhile enough to become your late September/early October staple. First published in the New York Times by Marian Burros in 1983, the recipe had been given to her by Lois Levine, her co-author on the excellent Elegant but Easy), the recipe was published every year during plum season between then and 1995, when the editor of the food section told readers they were cutting them off, and it was time to cut it out, laminate it and put it on the refrigerator door because they were on their own if they lost it. As if anyone would dare.

plums, found, icebox, etc. dark italian plums

Amanda Hesser, who compiled and tested 1,400 recipes dating back to the 1850s, when the New York Times began covering food, the James Beard award-winning 2010 Essential New York Times Cookbook, said that when she asked readers for recipe suggestions to include the in book, she received no less than 247 for this one, and suspects that is because it’s a nearly perfect recipe. There are only eight ingredients, seven of which you probably have around and, if you took my hint earlier this week that “buttery plums” were coming later this week, you might even have the eighth. There are only four brief, simple steps, and the batter seems so simple (“like pancake batter,” says Hesser) that you might have understandable doubts about the greatness of this cake.

the plums had been neglected in the fridge

the batter is buttery the batter is thick plums pebbling the torte

They shouldn’t last. Two magical things happen when a massive heap of purple Italian plums are added and the cake is thickly coated with cinnamon and sugar, the first is that the cake rises up around them and buckles them in, leaving the cake riddled with deep pockets of jammy plum puddles that impart a sweet-sour complexity to an otherwise simple butter cake base. The second magical thing that will happen, if you take my advice, is to always start eating this cake on the second day. Although it will be hard to resist (deep pockets of plum puddles and all that, believe me, I know), what’s true of most cakes with fresh fruit — that in the oven, the fruit softens and bakes, but upon resting, the sweet juices seep out and become one with the cake around it, making it so incredibly moist, decadent and almost custard-like around the fruit pebbles that you won’t regret waiting — is triply true here, when there’s just so much fruit for so little cake.

plums pebbling the torte famed plum torte, day two plum torte, day two

One year ago: Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls Two years ago: Pear, Cranberry and Gingersnap Crumble Three years ago: Mushroom Lasagna Four years ago: Quiche Lorraine Five years ago: Bread Without A Timetable, Black and White Cookies, Balsamic Glazed Sweet and Sour Cippoline Six years ago: Spaghetti with Chorizo and Almonds and Couscous and Feta-Stuffed Peppers Seven years ago: Summer Squash Soup, Giardinera and Orange Chocolate Chunk Cake

Marian Burros’ Famous Purple Plum Torte From Elegant but Easy and The Essential New York Times Cookbook,

This cake has been around for so long, it’s seen its fair share of variations as readers demands for tortes for all seasons and food trends far exceeded the reach of the original recipe. There are versions where the sugar has been cut back to 3/4 cup (feel free to, although I didn’t find the 1 cup too sweet at all), plus versions with other fruit (blueberries, apples or cranberries too) and even a low-fat version with mashed bananas and applesauce. (The version I had clipped didn’t even include the lemon juice, but I think it would have been excellent here, so I’m including it.) But I think that the original cake was perfect as printed, and deserves a chance to end up laminated and framed, er, bookmarked/pinned for your permanent early fall bliss.

This is ideal with purple Italian prune plums, but if you can’t find them, other plums will do.

1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking powder (the aluminum-free kind, if you can find it) Large pinch of salt 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar plus 1 to 2 tablespoon (depending on sweetness of plums) 1/2 cup (115 grams or 8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened 2 large eggs 12 smallish purple Italian purple plums, halved and pitted 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Heat over to 350°F. Sift or whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. In a larger bowl, cream butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until fluffy and light in color. Add the eggs, one at a time and scraping down the bowl, then the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.

Spoon batter into an ungreased 9-inch springform pan (but if you’re worried, you can always lightly coat it first with butter or a nonstick spray) and smooth the top. Arrange the plums, skin side up, all over the batter, covering it. Sprinkle the top with lemon juice, then cinnamon, then remaining sugar.

Bake until cake is golden and a toothpick inserted into a center part of the cake comes out free of batter (but of course not plum juice), about 45 to 50 minutes. Cool on rack.

Once cool, if you can stand it, and I highly recommend trying, leave it covered at room temperature overnight as this cake is even better on the second day, when those plum juices further release into the the cake around it, becoming not just “cake with plum,” but cakeplumughyum (official terminology, there).

Source:, Copyright belongs to Deborah the Writer, Cook and Photographer of

The secrets to reducing painful inflammation

Last Updated October 7, 2013

Growing awareness about the causes and effects of inflammation has raised the dietary consciousness of many.  It’s been implicated as the culprit behind everything from acne to swollen joints, and even cancer and  heart disease. You can’t develop immunity to inflammation; there’s no vaccine. But there are ways to protect yourself.

Recommended diet and lifestyle changes to control inflammation include foods that are high in anti-oxidants:

  • fresh fruits and vegetables
  • fatty fish — rich in essential fatty acids; and
  • whole grains, like rice and oatmeal that are unprocessed, low in refined carbohydrates and without sugar.

Exercise is high on the list of life-style improvements that ease inflammation. The ideal amount? Not too much (which raises inflammation), but not too little. Target five days a week of steady exercise (brisk walking, swimming, biking) for 30 to 45 minutes.

A good night’s sleep is another important factor. Research shows that not enough sleep (less than six hours), or too much (more than eight hours) results in more inflammation. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine reports that most adults need between seven and eight hours of quality sleep a night. Although symptoms can appear quickly, inflammatory conditions develop over time.  In addition to upgrading your diet and exercise habits – adding  recommended supplements can speed recovery and help protect against further damage.

One such supplement currently available is Nopalea, an all-natural formula derived from the Nopal cactus, or prickly pear, which has been used since ancient times for food and medicinal purposes.

Recent scientific research shows that the Nopal cactus is suggested to have potent anti-inflammatory properties, thanks to rare and powerful nutrients called betalains.  There are 24 known betalains in nature; some are found in beets and rainbow swiss chard, but Nopal cactus fruit is thought to contain the most concentrated amounts.

Now available for a free trial, Nopalea is a delicious, sugar and preservative-free anti-inflammatory wellness drink rich in betalains sourced from the Nopal.  It’s reported to have a variety of health benefits: Everything from reduced aches and pains to improvement in breathing and skin conditions.

Don’t miss this opportunity to see what Nopalea can do for you.  For a limited time, Try Nopalea FREE.

Germany beckons young adult visitors seeking fun and excitement

Last Updated October 7, 2013

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Germany has much to offer for the youthful spirit in all its visitors. However, the country is also filled with hot attractions that young adults will revel in.

Whether young vacationers to Germany are seeking a sizzling time touring the area’s nightclubs; shopping; dining and drinking in Germany’s abundant bars and cafes; taking part in festivals and big events; or seeing all the amazing sights, Germany is guaranteed to provide a busy and invigorating itinerary.

Must-see destinations for energetic vacationers include Bremen’s OstertorViertel, a unique and exciting area where you can aimlessly wander around and marvel at numerous buildings painted in stunning murals, and colorful homes lined with equally colorful decorations.The cafe and bar scene includes the legendary coffee at Coffee Corner and the cluster of bars in the area known affectionately as the “Bermuda Triangle.”

Still in the north, Hamburg’s scenic harbor is best appreciated by taking the ferry from Landungsbrücken up and down the river. It will afford travelers a front-row view of Germany’s largest port.The nightlife in Hamburg is a must for young adults seeking action and excitement. Options include the Strand Pauli Beach Bar, Park Fiction, the Frau Hedi Party Boat, and many, many more hot bars. A visit to Düsseldorf’s Medienhafen, or Media Harbor, will give you a look at ships cruising along the Rhine, as well as access to plenty of great restaurants, hotels, clubs, bars and cafes. Looking for shopping? Head to the “KO,” one of the most famous shopping boulevards in all of Germany.Or if you love music, crave concerts and happen to be in western Germany, the Rock am Ring Music Festival takes place on the Nürburgring Race Track, and has boasted an impressive lineup of performers like Imagine Dragons and Limp Bizkit.

Berlin’s Mauerpark Flea Market is the place to find just about anything. South of Berlin you’ll find the cities of Leipzig and Dresden. In Leipzig,theBarfußgässchenis filled with cafes, bars and shops. Höfe on Brühl is a major shopping mall nearby the Hauptbanhof, or main train terminal, which is not only a sight for the eyes, but also a shopping and culinary destination. Dresden is home to the Centrum Galerie and Elbepark shopping centers. The quarter, Neustadt, is home to artists, galleries, cafes, cool bars, independent movie theaters and offers a more alternative feel than the old-town of Dresden.

Southern Germany’s offerings shouldn’t be ignored. Stuttgart’sKönigsstraße is a shopaholic’s dream and its downtown location provides easy access to the city’s after-hour’s scene. Munich’s old-town center and Kaufingerstraße offer the best of name, boutique and designer labels; while, the legendary P1 Club makes sure your evening is thoroughly enjoyed until the wee-hours. Of course, the many beer halls and bars will do just the same.

Germany has an amazing diversity of attractions for college-aged travelers and young adults. See a comprehensive list of Youth Hot Spots in Germany and book your own thrilling trip to Germany to see it all for yourself.

How to lose weight

Last Updated October 7, 2013

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More than one-third of adults in the United States are obese. In fact, the furor over obesity, which some have termed an “epidemic,” has reached such proportions that one big-city mayor has gone about banning large-sized, sugary soft drinks and the First Lady has been on a crusade to control the dietary offerings in public schools. Even many adults who do not fit the clinic definition of obese are still overweight, and a large percentage are looking for the best ways to lose weight.

Shedding pounds largely comes down to the two-pronged factors of diet and exercise. Not modifying the first one enough, and not getting enough of the second one, ends up giving the individual a recipe for being overweight. Conditions related to obesity include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Counseling someone to eat less and exercise more might be the simplest advice possible, but it’s also, partially, an oversimplification. When it comes to diet, no one needs to starve themselves in order to lose weight. It has more to do with the types of food you eat than how much you eat.

Reduce the amount of red meat in your diet. If you don’t want to eliminate red meat altogether, choose cuts of meat with less fat content. Limit your intake of salt and starches. If you’ve got to have potato chips alongside your sandwich at lunch, opt for the baked potato chips that are less greasy and contain less fat than the deep-fried chips. You might find you’re really not sacrificing that much in terms of taste.

A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, egg whites, skinless poultry, fish and nonfat dairy products will certainly aid in the mission of losing weight. Drink more water and less sugary drinks. If you have to have a soda, a diet soda is a better option, but seltzer is an even better choice than that.

In terms of exercise, it’s important—if not always easy—to make sure you get at least some physical activity each and every day. Cardio and strength training burn lots of calories. If your feet or your stamina level won’t allow for a regular jogging regimen, then make sure you take lots of walks. Next time you need to mail a letter, walk to the mailbox instead of driving. Try to work in a daily walk in your neighborhood. And if you intend on more rigorous, formal exercising at the gym or fitness center, be sure to pace yourself and don’t build up to an overly ambitious workout agenda too quickly.

There are thousands of diet fads among us.  However, sometimes the best advice is common sense.  Work towards a healthy diet and integrate regular exercise.  You would be surprised at the results small changes can make.

Bennigan’s CaliforniaTurkey Sandwich

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Know Which Are The Best Vegetables

So you’re eating healthy foods, but do you know which are really the best for you? Sort out all this veggie madness

Published: January 30, 2008  |  By Matthew Kadey, R.D.  , Photography By Gregg Segal

Know Which Are The Best Vegetables
So you’re eating healthy foods, but do you know which are really the best for you? Sort out all this veggie madness.

There’s a battle going on right here—between big-name contenders from broccoli to turnips. The goal: to determine which vegetable is No. 1 in nutrition, and which should take first place when you’re eating your food. Of course, all veggies are winners when it comes to warding off excess weight and preventing disease; but with all the peeling and chopping you have to do to get them to the table, they’re not the easiest foods around (no wonder most women fail to score five servings a day). So it’s important to pick the right stuff and eat vegetables that pack the most vitamins and minerals. That’s what this tourney is all about. After the champions emerge, head to the WH Recipe Pages for the fastest, best-tasting ways to serve them up. To see some of this paparazzi-worthy produce in action, check out WH‘s “Best Fitness Foods for Women.”

Veggie Vs. Veggie The Game is on!
To form our four starting divisions, we sorted vegetables by color (red, green, yellow/orange, and white). Then we chose the top 16 based on their levels of vitamin C, the water-soluble antioxidant whose list of health benefits is longer than Shaq’s inseam. (To name just a few: C boosts immunity, protects skin from sun damage, aids in healing wounds, and helps the body absorb iron.) Next, we pitted veggies against each other within their divisions to find out which ranked highest in the four nutrients women need most. For the all essential vitamins women need, see WH‘s “The Best Vitamins for Women.”

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Round One Folate
Red division Red Bell Pepper vs. Red Cabbage – 42 mcg vs. 13 mcg Tomato vs. Turnip – 27 mcg vs. 20 mcg
Green Division Brussels Sprouts vs. Green Bell Pepper – 54 mcg vs. 16 mcg Broccoli vs. Kale – 55 mcg vs. 19 mcg
Yellow/orange division Butternut Squash vs. Yellow Bell Pepper – 38 mcg vs. 24 mcg Acorn Squash vs. Yellow Beans – 24 mcg vs. 41 mcg
White Division Cauliflower vs. Jicama – 57 mcg vs. 16 mcg Potato vs. Rutabaga – 24 mcg vs. 29 mcg
You’ve heard of folic acid thanks to its success in making healthy babies. In 1998 the U.S. government mandated that folic acid be added to grains, and by 2003 birth defects had dropped by a third. But the perks of getting the RDA (400 micrograms) of this mighty B vitamin don’t stop there. Folate lowers CRP and homocysteine, two blood compounds that trigger artery inflammation, says Kathy McManus, R.D., director of the department of nutrition at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Studies find that a higher CRP rate raises sudden heart attack risk, and other data link high homocysteine levels with stroke and vascular disease. Another large-scale study found that women who got the most folate had the lowest incidence of breast cancer.

Southerners really do eat fried green tomatoes; and they eat fried red tomatoes too.  If you haven’t tried them, you’re in for a treat!

Native to Mexico and Central America, it’s not clear how tomatoes came to the United States.  Thomas Jefferson grew them in the 1780s and credited one of his neighbors with the introduction, but Harriott Pinckney Horry recorded a recipe “To Keep Tomatoes For Winter Use” in 1770.  There is a folk legend that they were introduced by African slaves who came to North America by way of the Caribbean, and some historians believe that the Portugese introduced tomatoes to the West Coast of Africa.

There are plenty of ways to coat and fry your tomatoes; use bread crumbs, cracker crumbs, cornmeal, or flour.  Some people dip them in beaten eggs before dredging, while some just dredge then fry.  Salt and pepper them first, and use a little bacon grease for flavor if you have it.

Choosing and Storing Ripe Tomatoes

Home-grown tomatoes are usually the best, but if you have to buy them, look for firm ones and pay attention to the fragrance.  White specks mean they have been forced to ripen with gas.  If you have an abundance of good fresh tomatoes, freeze them whole.  Just wash, dry, and put them in freezer bags.  They’ll retain their flavor, and once thawed the peel will slip off easily.  Use them in any recipes calling for fresh tomatoes except salads.


United Nations Claims One-Third of Food Wasted Annually

A new report finds that 1.3 billion tons of food is wasted a year

According to a new report, food waste costs the economy some $750 billion.
September 13, 2013             

Jessica Chou's picturetdm-35-icon.png

By Jessica Chou Editor

A new United Nations report has found that the world wastes some 1.3 billion tons of food a year, roughly one-third of the world’s food supply.

Food Wastage and Foodprint: Impacts on Natural Resources” might not be the first report to calculate how much food is tossed away, but it is the first to look at how global food waste effects the environment, from climate to water and land use to biodiversity.

The results? Not only does 1.3 billion tons of food down the trash cost the world some $750 billion, but it also adds 3.3 billion tons of greenhouse gases, uses up 28 percent of agricultural land, and wastes enough water that it’s the “equivalent to the annual flow of Russia’s Volga River.” It doesn’t help that “870 million people go hungry every day,” director-general of the Food and Agriculture Organization José Graziano da Silva said.

“Food wastage reduction would not only avoid pressure on scarce natural resources but also decrease the need to raise food production” as the world’s population rises, the report says. And while plenty of the food waste does happen during the agricultural process, the UN does urge individual consumers to stop buying vegetables and leaving them to rot in the crisper.                 

4 Healthy Herbs to Grow Indoors This Winter

                    Written by The Healthline Editorial Team | Published onOctober 14, 2013


Fresh herbs can not only spice up your meals—they may also help you maintain good health all year long.

Herbs to Grow Indoors

During dreary winter months, fresh herbs can add vibrant flavor to your cooking. Even better, many herbs have health benefits. So why not bring your herb garden indoors?

Many plants fare well on a sunny windowsill or kitchen counter, even as the snow and ice pile up outside. According to gardening expert Kim Pezza of the blog New Century Homesteader, there’s still time for many of us to take cuttings from our gardens. “And of course,” she adds, “there are always plant-swapping parties.”

If you don’t have access to plants or if it’s too late to take cuttings, visit a garden store for new seedlings or seeds. Choose perennial herbs, and you can even move your plants outdoors when springtime comes.

Read More: Which Herbs Lower High Blood Pressure?

Herbs for Health

Gardening expert Angela Price of Eden Condensed says you should grow the herbs you like and will use. “Basil, thyme, rosemary, and mint are popular and easy-to-grow choices,” she says.


Basil is common in world cuisines—from Italy (it’s the primary ingredient in pesto sauce) to Thailand—and it can add a kick to many salads.

Basil is rich in rich in vitamin K, vitamin A, potassium, and calcium. A recent study suggests that varieties of basil commonly used in Ayurvedic healing reduce inflammation and may potentially be effective in treating arthritis.

Because of its concentration of carotenoid pigments, such as beta-carotene—a powerful antioxidant—basil may contribute to cardiovascular health, and basil essential oil has been shown to inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria.

Get the Facts: 9 Herbs to Fight Arthritis Pain


Thyme has long been prized in cooking (it’s used to flavor poultry and pork, as well as tomato sauces) and as a medicinal herb.

A generous source of antioxidant compounds, thyme has long been taken for sore throats, for upset stomachs, as a diuretic, and even as a germ killer in mouthwash.

Some evidence suggests that thyme’s essential oils provide relief from the inflammation and airway constriction caused by COPD. Researchers recently showed that it helps to clear mucus from the airways of animals. It may also help airways relax, which can improve airflow into the lungs.

Learn More: Foods That Help Your Body Heal


A fragrant, flowering, perennial herb, rosemary is used to flavor roasted meats and stuffings, and it’s become a staple herb in many kitchens, turning up in everything from bread to ice cream.

In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Ophelia says, “There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance”—and recent studies show that Shakespeare might have been onto something: in a series of tests, researchers found that smelling rosemary oil increased the chances of people remembering to do things by between 60 and 75 percent. A similar study found that the scent of rosemary oil improved mood. In addition, rosemary has long been a popular home remedy for migraines, digestive problems, and other ailments.

Explore Herbs and Supplements for Depression


Mint has a distinctive taste but is incredibly versatile; it adds character to both savory dishes and sweet ones.

And it’s not just for fresh breath. Mint is rich in vitamin C and iron. Teas brewed from peppermint or spearmint leaves can ease digestive problems, including irritable bowel syndrome, thanks to mint’s antibacterial and antifungal properties. These properties also help reduce asthma and allergy symptoms.

Many people believe that mint is a mental stimulant, as well as a digestive one. Mint has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory powers.

Discover Superfoods with Healing Powers

Starting Your Herb Garden

Price offers the following tips for growing an indoor herb garden:

  • Pick the appropriate containers: Pots should be at least four inches
 deep and have drainage holes. Place a tray underneath to catch the water runoff.
  • Give them sun: “A sunny window is key,” Price says.
  • Water them only when the soil is dry: If you are not sure, stick a finger in
to the dirt. Too much water may “drown” the plant and attract
 gnats or mildew.
  • Trim herbs regularly to encourage new growth.

And she has one final word of advice: “Don’t forget to experiment and have fun!”

Image courtesy of

Leafy Greens — Ranked and Rated

WebMD Feature

By Cari Nierenberg

Reviewed By Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD

“Greens are the No. 1 food you can eat regularly to help improve your health,” says Jill Nussinow, MS, RD, a culinary educator in Northern California and the author of The Veggie Queen. That’s because leafy vegetables are brimming with fiber along with vitamins, minerals, and plant-based substances that may help protect you from heart disease, diabetes, and perhaps even cancer. Even so, Americans are not eating as many vegetables each day as dietary experts recommend.

To encourage you to put more leafy vegetables on your plate, WebMD asked Nussinow to rank the country’s most widely-eaten greens from most nutritious to least. Here’s our top 10 list:

  1. Kale: This nutrition powerhouse “offers everything you want in a leafy green,” says Nussinow, who gave it her first-place ranking. It’s an excellent source of vitamins A C, and K, has a good amount of calcium for a vegetable, and also supplies folate and potassium. Kale’s ruffle-edged leaves may range in color from cream to purple to black depending on the variety.
    Before cooking with kale, collards, turnips, and chard, Nussinow recommends swishing the greens in a water-filled sink, draining the sink, then repeating this rinse until the leaves are dirt-free. Her favorite cooking method for these four greens is to rub the leaves in olive oil or tahini (sesame paste) and cook them for five minutes with garlic, olive oil, and broth.
  2. Collards: Used in Southern-style cooking, collard greens are similar in nutrition to kale. But they have a heartier and chewier texture and a stronger cabbage-like taste. “Collards are an under-appreciated vegetable and most people don’t know about them,” suggests Nussinow. She says they’re also popular with the raw food movement because the wide leaves are used as a wrapper instead of tortillas or bread. Down South, collards are typically slow cooked with either a ham hock or smoked turkey leg. A half cup has 25 calories.
  3. Turnip greens: “If you buy turnips with the tops on, you get two vegetables in one,” Nussinow tells WebMD. Turnip leaves are another Southern favorite traditionally made with pork. More tender than other greens and needing less cooking, this sharp-flavored leaf is low in calories yet loaded with vitamins A,C, and K as well as calcium.
  4. Swiss chard: With red stems, stalks, and veins on its leaves, Swiss chard has a beet-like taste and soft texture that’s perfect for sauteeing. Both Swiss chard and spinach contain oxalates, which are slightly reduced by cooking and can bind to calcium, a concern for people prone to kidney stones. Chard contains 15 calories in one-half cup and is a good source of vitamins A and C. Nussinow likes to make a sweet-and-sour chard by adding raisins and vinegar to the cooked greens.
  5. Spinach: Popeye’s favorite vegetable has 20 calories per serving, plus it’s packed with vitamins A and C, as well as folate. And because heat reduces the green’s oxalate content, freeing up its dietary calcium, “cooked spinach gives you more nutrition than raw,” says Nussinow. Spinach leaves can be cooked quickly in the water that remains on them after rinsing, or they can be eaten raw in salads. Bags of frozen chopped spinach are more convenient to use than block kinds, and this mild-flavored vegetable can be added to soups, pasta dishes, and casseroles.
  6. Mustard greens: Another Southern green with a similar nutrition profile to turnip leaves and collards, mustard greens have scalloped edges and come in red and green varieties. They have a peppery taste and give off a mustardy smell during cooking. Their spiciness can be toned down by adding an acid, such as vinegar or lemon juice, toward the end of cooking, suggests Nussinow. Cooked mustard greens have 10 calories in one-half cup.
  7. Broccoli: With 25 calories a serving, broccoli is rich in vitamin C and is also a good source of vitamin A, potassium, and folate. Americans eat about 6 pounds of it a year. Its stalks and florets add both crunch and color to stir-fries. While some kids may call this veggie “trees,” they often like it best raw or steamed with a yogurt-based dip. Nussinow mixes fresh broccoli into her pasta during the last three minutes of cooking so both are ready at the same time.
  8. Red and Green Leaf and Romaine Lettuce: A familiar sight in salad bowls, these lettuces are high in vitamin A and offer some folate. Leaf lettuces have a softer texture than romaine, a crunchy variety used in Caesar salads. Fans of Iceberg lettuce may go for romaine, a crispy green that’s better for you. Nussinow points out “the darker the lettuce leaf, the more nutrition it has,” making red leaf slightly healthier than green. If you don’t drown lettuce in a creamy dressing, one cup contains 10 calories.
  9. Cabbage: Although paler in color than other leafy greens, this cruciferous vegetable is a great source of cancer-fighting compounds and vitamin C. Nussinow considers this versatile green “the workhorse of the kitchen.” Available in red and green varieties, cabbage can be cooked, added raw to salads or stir fries, shredded into a slaw, or made into sauerkraut. It’s also a staple of St. Patrick’s Day boiled suppers and can give off a strong smell when cooking. One-half cup cooked has 15 calories.
  10. Iceberg Lettuce: This bland-tasting head lettuce is mostly water. But it’s the country’s most popular leafy green and each of us eats about 17 pounds of iceberg a year. While tops in consumption, it’s last on our list for its health benefits. “It’s not devoid of all nutrition, but it’s pretty close,” Nussinow tells WebMD. Although we’re eating less iceberg than we did two decades ago, it’s still a common ingredient on hamburgers and in taco salads. “It can be a starter green,” says Nussinow, to draw people into a broader array of salad greens.


August 29, 2012

There are some brilliant culinary terms & a personal fav of mine is ‘Mutton dressed as lamb’. It’s such a brilliant description. I always thought it referred to women, but I suppose it doesn’t have to, especially in these days of gender bending (or so they tell me?)

Here are some others great ones that made us chuckle:

Having your cake & eating it

Bit crusty

Stirrrr it up!!

Flavour of the month

Meat & two veg

Pizza face, fish face

She’s a bit spicy

Bit meaty, bit fruity

Melons, Lemons, Jugs, Nice buns

As much use as a chocolate fire guard


Being a gooseberry

Couch potato (don’t look at me)

Chicken fillet (bra padding)

Packed like sardines

Best thing since sliced bread, earn one’s bread

Don’t put all yer eggs in one basket

Salt of the earth

Two peas in a pod

Big cheese

Only fish in the sea

Bringing home the bacon

Trout pout

Cheap as chips

Chicken legs

Cut the mustard, Keen as mustard

If you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen

Get stuffed


Fish wife

Full of beans

Chop, chop (big influence on Chinese noodle bars in the UK)

Gone pear shaped

Sour grapes

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree

Walking on egg shells

Spit roast

Like a lemon

Taking some one’s cherry

Can’t make an omelette without breaking an egg

He’s a good egg, Egg on one’s face, Go to work on an egg

Bit of crumpet

Half baked

Burnt to a crisp, burnt around the edges

Sickly sweet

Glass half full

Pint sized

Pretty please with a cherry on top

Icing on the cake, Let them eat cake, Shut your cake hole

Sugar coated

Buttered up, Butter wouldn’t melt in your mouth, Like a hot knife through butter

Sell like hot cakes

Greased up (ohh doctor)

In a pickle

Wet lettuce

Like a dry lunch

Cool as a cucumber

Don’t cry over spilt milk

Sweet as a nut/ peach / pretty as a peach

Cheesy feet

It’s my bread & butter, the bread winner

Scaredy custard

Jammy dodger

Slice of pie

Chalk & cheese

No matter how you slice it

Proof is in the pudding, don’t over over egg the pudding

There ‘s plenty more fish in the sea

On the sauce again

What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander

Don’t kill the goose that laid the golden egg

Can’t say boo to a goose

Can’t do anything for toffee, toffee nosed

Beef something up, Meat head

Where’s the beef?

Turning into jelly

Use your loaf

Flat as a pancake

Sugar Daddy

Silly sausage

Put a cork in it

Licking your lips

Alright treacle

Giving it to someone on a plate

Apple of my eye

Making a meal of it

Old tart

Beer belly

Bit tasty


Mouth watering

Sweetened up

Big old rump


In a stew, in a pickle, stew pot

Pie chucker

Carrot top

Sausage jockey

Mutton chops

Damn good roasting

Cauliflower thighs

Sour puss

Cream crackered

Telling porkies (pork pies – lies)

Upper crust

Who ate all the pies?

(two boys & a girl died laughing in the writing of this blog!)

All future blogs will be written at the Oktoberfest, Germany….(for an indefinite period/ or until we get chucked out, lovely juggily)

No pantry is complete without:

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Heart-Healthy Canned Tuna

No pantry is complete without a few cans or pouches of water-packed tuna. Tuna can help add healthy omega-3 fats and protein to a variety of dishes, including salads, casseroles, omelets, enchiladas, or vegetable dips. Eat no more than 12 ounces of lower mercury seafood a week. Because white (albacore) tuna is higher in mercury, pregnant and breastfeeding women should not eat more than 6 ounces a week.

Surprising Uses for Pasta Sauce

Whipping up quick meals is a cinch when you have your favorite prepared marinara sauce on hand. Spuds, vegetables, and chicken breasts are transformed when topped with sauce and a sprinkle of cheese. Make English muffin or bagel pizzas or add the sauce to meatloaf. Read nutrition labels to find out the amount of calories, fat, and sodium in your sauce. You can jazz up your sauces with extra herbs and vegetables.

Spectacular Spuds

Super-healthy potatoes are a pantry must. They are low in calories and high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Sprinkle crunchy baked sweet potatoes like these with cinnamon. Baked white or sweet potato french fries are superior to their deep-fried cousins. Make mealtime magic by topping a baked potato with vegetables, cheese, beans, salsa, chili, or whatever you have on hand.

Beans, a Protein Source

Make sure your pantry is stocked with a variety of beans. Whether dried or canned, beans are an inexpensive alternative to animal protein. They’re also an excellent source of fiber. Serve them as a side dish or add them to soups, omelets, tacos, casseroles, or salads. Thoroughly rinsing canned beans can slash sodium content by 40%.

Peanut Butter: Sandwiches and More

A perennial favorite of kids and adults, peanut butter is a comfort food that’s found in almost every pantry. It’s a great source of filling protein and healthy fats. Beyond sandwiches, spread it on apples, bananas, celery — even waffles! You can add it to smoothies or use it in dips. Mix it with hot water and a splash of soy sauce for a flavorful Asian-inspired pasta sauce or salad dressing.

Most Versatile Staple: Dried Pasta

A family favorite, pasta goes with virtually all meats and vegetables. It comes in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors to help make meals more interesting. Get more fiber by choosing whole-grain or whole-grain blend pasta. Add dried pasta to soups and casseroles. Clean out the vegetable bin and make a nutritious pasta primavera or stir-fry. Or top pasta with meat sauce, pesto, or plain olive oil.

Healthy Fats: Olive and Canola Oils

You’ll want to taste the fruity, peppery flavor of extra-virgin olive oil. Use it to dress salads, and grains. Drizzle it on pasta dishes or on crusty bread and diced tomatoes to make bruschetta. Canola oil performs best in frying pans and woks. Both of these heart-healthy oils lower certain disease risks and are preferable to solid fats like butter. Use either oil to sauté vegetables and meat.

Go for Whole-Grain Goodness

Brown rice is a healthy, high-fiber whole grain. Couscous, bulgur, and farro are available in whole-grain versions, too. These versatile grains complement any meat, fish, poultry, or vegetable as a centerpiece or side dish. Couscous, bulgur, and the seeds of the grain-like plant quinoa can be cooked quickly. For richer flavor, cook grains in broth or stock. Combine them with colorful vegetables, nuts, and seeds.

Can’t Live Without Canned Tomatoes

Having canned tomatoes on hand can make life a lot easier when you’re creating quick and healthy meals. Tomatoes are rich in lycopene and vitamins A and C. They work in a variety of dishes, like soups and casseroles. And of course, they’re delicious. Spike them with basil and other herbs to use as a quick sauce for pizza, meats, pasta, or whole grains. Choose tomatoes with no added salt.

Add Some Crunch With Nuts

Don’t think of nuts as just a party food. They’re an excellent source of protein, fiber, good fats, and other healthy nutrients. If you regularly eat nuts as part of a healthy diet, you may reduce your risk of heart disease. Nuts pair well with sweet and savory foods. Use unsalted nuts in hot or cold cereals or as a meat alternative in pasta, grains, salads, or vegetables. Eat them with fruit or yogurt, in desserts, or as a nutritious snack.

Stock for Richer Flavors

In a perfect world, you’d have time to make your own stock from fresh meat or vegetables. (Homemade stock allows you to control the salt in your cooking.) If you don’t have enough time, buy low-sodium or unsalted chicken, beef, or vegetable stock to add depth of flavor to your dishes. Use it as the base for a quick soup or sauce. Rice and whole grains may taste richer when cooked in stock instead of water.

Fruit for All Meals

Rich in nutrients, loaded with antioxidants and fiber, and low in calories, fruit belongs at every meal. Canned fruit (which is just as nutritious as fresh or frozen if canned without sugar or syrups) makes a delicious snack or dessert alone or over yogurt, ice cream, or waffles. Dried fruit adds pizzazz to salads, cereals, and fish, and goes well with nuts for the perfect healthy snack.


September 25, 2012

Pre match kebabs are an essential part of the footy day at Spurs, but with the match won, 606 on the radio & a drive through Turkish, African, Greek, & Russian areas you’ll arrive in Kingsland Road, Shoreditch which is full of Vietnamese restaurants, with Song Que being our favourite & deserving of its place in the Time Out restaurant guide top 50.

After a bowl of Pho (beef shank broth), the juices are beginning to flow & there are some great options to begin the quick meal experience. Soft shell crab is a must, but a close rival is the fantastic peppered crispy squid.

What is so brilliant about Viet food is the freshness of the ingredients & wonderful fresh herbs –  mint, Thai basil, especially with a squeeze of lime to zazz up the flavours.

Along with the crispy pancake stuffed with prawns, chicken & bean sprouts are bowls full of noodles topped with stir fried chicken with lemon grass, crispy bettle leaves & seared pork chops.

The restaurant is always full, seats about 120 & is very clean, but quite canteeny. The service is so quick that every table has new diners within the hour & the evening service is from 6.00 – 11.30. This means that every evening they turn over more than 660 seats, which is incredible, especially as lunch is full too. I can’t think of a busier small ‘cheek by jowl’ restaurant.

Along with the ever reliable ‘king of the tikkas’, the Lahore Kebab House, Umberston St, Whitechapel, a brilliant Pakistani restaurant, always full with city boys combined with the boys from the mosque, our post match haunts are a must – let’s face it, as a Spurs fan you need something to cheer up the cockles.

caprese salad


Ingredients Edit and SaveOriginal recipe makes 5 servingsChange Servings
1 3/4 pounds beef sirloin steak
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
8 cups romaine lettuce – rinsed, dried, and torn into bite-size pieces
2 tomatoes, sliced
1 small green bell pepper, sliced
1 carrot, sliced
1/2 cup sliced red onion
1/4 cup sliced pimento-stuffed green olives
Check All Add to Shopping List
DirectionsPreheat grill for high heat.
Lightly oil grate. Place steak on grill and cook for 3 to 5 minutes per side or until desired doneness is reached. Remove from heat and let sit until cool enough to handle. Slice steak into bite size pieces.
In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Mix in the cheese. Cover and place dressing in refrigerator.
Onto chilled plates arrange the lettuce, tomato, pepper, onion and olives. Top with steak and drizzle with dressing. Serve with crusty grilled French bread. Enjoy!

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Sources: websites for reference:


CDC: “Fruits & Veggies Matter: Fruit & Vegetable of the Month.”

Leafy Greens Council: “Know Your Greens.”

Jill Nussinow, MD, RD, culinary educator; author,The Veggie Queen — Veggies Get the Royal Treatment.

Reviewed by Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD on  March 01, 2011



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