Jan 132012
 

Friday13 Happy Friday 13th

Friday the 13th is one of my favorite days.  In 2012 there will be three Friday the 13ths (January, April and July) – which is the most that can happen in one year. I know a lot of folks consider Friday the 13th to be bad luck but I don’t subscribe to that notion.  Instead, I chose to celebrate Friday the 13th as a day to have fun and invoke the number 13 as a good luck number.  I personally love the number 13 and there are many reasons to not fear it. There are often thirteen full moons in a year (I love the full moon!).   A baker’s dozen is 13, which means a free treat.  America began with 13 colonies, and we turned out ok.  Friday the 13th happens on a Friday, my most favorite day of the week.

Looking at the numerological symbology of the numbers 1 and 3, thirteen is a positive number:

  • One is the number of self, being an individual, doing your own thing, confidence.  It is also the number of spirituality and unity.
  • Three is a number of creativity, passion, spontaneity. It is also the number of completeness, balance, body-mind-soul, and the three aspects of the Goddess.
  • Four (Combination of 1 and 3) is the number for planning, building, foundation, and stability. It is also the number strength, wisdom, and the four seasons and the four elements (air-fire-water-earth).

So rather then succumb to paraskavedekatriaphobia (fear of Friday the 13th), I urge every one to celebrate and focus on making your own good fortune today and every day.  Superstitions are based on fear of the unknown or fear of not knowing what’s coming, but that fear can be turned around with knowledge and a positive attitude and fun.  (The fear of Friday is skeviphobia, the fear of the number 13 is triskaidekaphobia, and the fear of Friday the 13th is paraskevidekatriaphobia – also know as friggatriskaidekaphobia, Frigga being the name of the Norse goddess for whom “Friday” is named.)

One way to celebrate Friday the 13th is by making up a big batch of this 13 bean good luck soup:

  • 2 cups mixed dried beans (13 different kinds, including black-eyed peas – which are associated with good luck)
  • Water with 2 tablespoons salt (to soak beans)
  • 2 qts Water or Chicken or Vegetable Broth
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 1 can (28 ounces) tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste, add other herbs and seaonsings that you like
  • Optional: 1-1/2 cups bite-size pieces lean baked ham (about 1/2 pound) or 1-pound meaty ham bone or ham hock (leave out if vegetarian)

Wash the beans, cover water and add 2 tablespoons salt, and then soak overnight.  Drain the beans and combine with 2 quarts fresh water (or chicken or veggie broth) in a large pot. Add the ham and boil for 1-1/2 to 3 hours, or until the beans are tender and cooked thoroughly. Toss in the onions, celery, tomatoes, red pepper, and salt and pepper (and other seasonings) to taste. Simmer for another 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are cooked.

Set the table with 13 bowls, a plate of 39 fresh baked dinner rolls (3×13), invite 12 friends over and enjoy!  (Optional:  add a 13 ingredient salad as a side dish.)

For more interesting information about Friday the 13th, check out these articles: Symbology of 13 and Freemansonry (our founding fathers) and 13 Intriguing Friday the 13th Factoids.

Wishing everyone good luck and blessings today and always, Lady Rose

(Note:  Angelgirl, my daughter, is taking German in high school, so she will get a kick out of the calendar photo being in German.)

Dec 302011
 

eggnog1 Blissfully Delicious Eggnog

This is our favorite Blissfully Declicious Eggnog Recipe and often have one each on New Year’s Eve. This recipe makes 2 drinks:

1 oz Amaretto almond liqueur, 1 oz Kahlua® coffee liqueur, 1 oz vodka, 10 oz eggnog, served with big dallops of whipped cream and shaved dark chocolate on top.  (Optional: a very light sprinkle of nutmeg on top).  For my tastes I sometimes make the drink with a little added milk or light cream (about 2/3 eggnog to 1/3 cream).

A bit of Eggnog History:  Eggnog, or egg flip, was brought to the US from Britain in the 18th century. It may have had an ancestor in the medieval posset, which is hot milk mixed with spiced wine or ale.In 1827 British writer Richard Cook published Oxford Night Caps, in which he lists all kinds of possets and eggnogs. The posset which he calls Rum Booze can also be called Egg Flip.

Kahlua Cinnamon Spice is the classic Kahlua coffee base with added cinnamon, cloves and brown sugar. It sounds lovely, and definitely something I’d like try in our eggnog recipe.

Here is an eggnog recipe that uses it for a large batch (makes 8 4-oz portions, easily doubled or tripled for a holiday punch bowl):  Kahlua Cinnamon Spice Holiday Eggnog

Ingredients:

  • 4 large eggs
  • 6 oz  granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp freshly-grated nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • 1/8 tsp clove
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 oz Martell VSOP cognac
  • 2 oz Kahlua Cinnamon Spice liqueur
  • 4 oz Jameson Irish whiskey
  • 12 oz whole milk
  • 8 oz heavy cream

Preparation:  Blender (or mixer fitted with a whip attachment) – blend the eggs for 1 minute; add sugar and spices and blend together (about 30 seconds); slowly add the cognac, Kahlua and Jameson, blend another 30 seconds; add the milk and cream and blend 1 minute more. Cover and refrigerate.  Can be made a day ahead of time to allow the flavors to combine.  Serving size 4 oz; optional: grate fresh nutmeg or cinnamon over the top.

Eggnog Kahlua Shake -here is another eggnog recipe that uses Kahlua and Eggnog to make a milkshake like drink (yummy). Serves 1 to 2

Ingredients: 1 1/2 oz) Kahlua, 2 oz half-and-half (or combination of milk and cream or just milk), 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1/2 teapoon simple syrup*, 1 fresh egg  or (use equivalent amount of Egg Beaters), 3 heaping tablespoons crushed ice.  Blend together until ice is crushed to small chips.  Optional: dallop of whipped cream on top.

(*You can use bar syrup but making your own simple syrup tastes better and is fairly easy – use a 1:1 sugar-water ratio (e.g., 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water) in a saucepan, heat up the water and dissolve the sugar in it; cook untill it’s a little syrupy; store covered in the refrigerator.)

What is your favorite holiday drink?

Wishing everyone a joyous, healthy New Year filled with blessings, Lady Rose

 

Dec 122011
 
 mixedfruit 300x184 Delightful Fruit and Barley Salad
This recipes makes a tasty sweet side dish, quick lunch or even have it for breakfast. It is pretty and tasty enough to bring with you to a holiday buffet (served at room temperature), and can be easily doubled to serve more guests.
Fruit and Barley Salad (serves 6)
Combine the following ingredients:
1 cup barley (cooked 30-40 min until tender), (substitute: 1 cup cooked Ancient Harvest Organic Quinoa)
1 can mandarin oranges (substitute 2 or 3 clementines, peel, separate wedges and cut each wedge in half)
1 bunch scallion (diced finely)
1 cup dried cranberries (substituted your favorite dried fruit such as 1 cup dried pineapple or mango, or a combination of fruits)
Optional – add handful finely chopped walnuts or almond slivers, handful of shredded cocunut
Whisk together 1 cup orange marmalade, 1/3 apple cider vinegar, 1 cup olive oil.
Pour over barley and fruit and mix thoroughly.
Nov 282011
 

salmondinner1 200x300 Blissfully Simple Delicious Salmon Recipe

The Thanksgiving Feast is over, and the Yule holidays will be here soon and lots of good food has been consumed and more will be in the weeks ahead. I try to eat healthy even during the holidays, and one of my favorite go to items is salmon.

I first made this recipe for my best friend Mama Kelly’s birthday in June 2006.  I was treating her to a weekend at my house and wanted to create a spa-like quality for our meals and wanted dishes that were both healthy and elegant. For our dinner I decided to make salmon. I had only had canned salmon before many years ago, and didn’t really like it. But since salmon is healthy, and elegant, I decided to give it a try but of course I would be using fresh salmon. I wasn’t too sure of how it was going to come out and a little nervous about making it for the first time, so I had a back up roasted chicken in the refrigerator in case the salmon didn’t turn out.

I was delighted that it turned out wonderful, and was so easy to cook. My husband tried it and loved it too, which just made me jump for joy because now I have a recipe that he and I both like, that is good for us, and elegant enough to serve for a holiday or celebration meal.

3 oz of salmon is about 155 calories, 17 grams of protein, 9.2 fat (but the healthy kind of fat that helps your heart).
It takes about 15 to 20 minutes to bake (the salmon should flake easily) at 450 degress F.

The way I prepared it was to use a piece of cooking parchment paper on a cookie sheet, sprayed it lightly with 0 calorie butter flavored spray (you can also use a little extra virgin olive oil). I placed the salmon skin-side down, for each piece I seasoned it with a pinch of salt and ground pepper, a splash of lemon juice, topped with two mashed cloves of roasted garlic, and a little chopped herb (thyme and dill). Baked it for 10 minutes, turned it over and baked it for another 10 minutes. For a sauce on the side, I used a couple of spoonfuls of 10 calorie Smart Beat mayo, with just a touch of dijon mustard and a pinch or two of the same herbs I used to season the salmon with (finely chopped). I served it with some steamed aspargus and a sprig of dill for garnish (adding a little fancy touch to the dish since it was a birthday dinner).  To complete the meal I made a packet of Uncle Ben’s Wild Rice. It was a nice compliment to this meal and only takes 90 seconds to make in the mircowave. I skipped the rice, but every one else enjoyed it with the salmon. A nice baked potato or sweet potato would go nicely as well.

Nov 192011
 

tricolorpasta 200x300 Colorful Sesame Noodles

The holidays are on the way, and I thought I’d share one of my go to dishes that I like to make. It is colorful, festive, and no one has to know it is healthy for you. This is a lovely dish to take to a buffet, it is tasty at room temperature and can easily be doubled or tripled.

Sesame Noodles (serves 6)
Spaghetti – 1 pound – cook according to package directions (try it with a healthier pasta such as Ancient Harvest Quinoa Pasta, Spaghetti Style, Supergrain, 8-Ounce Box Colorful Sesame Noodles, a highly nutritious pasta that is gluten free and packed with protein).  You could also use a tri-color pasta, RiceSelect Orzo Tri-Color Pasta (low fat, very good source of protein, 100% all-natural semolina with real spinach and tomato flavoring) Colorful Sesame Noodles
Cherry tomatoes – 1 pint (cut in half)
Broccoli – 1 pound (lightly steamed), chopped into small bite size pieces
1 green and 1 red pepper – diced into small pieces
Scallion – 1 bunch, finely chopped
Sesame seeds – 1 Tbl
Toss all the ingredients together.

Whisk together: ½ cup soy sauce (reduced sodium), ¼ cup rice wine vinegar, and ¼ c sesame oil toasted – mix throughly with the pasta and veggies.

pixel Colorful Sesame Noodles