Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Eat Your Books & Evernote Food

I've been exploring a couple of sites that help store recipes and even cookbooks. I'd like to eliminate some of the papers and magazines I have around my house. I won't admit how many...just know that I have an addiction to food and health magazines.

Eat Your Books will log your cookbooks and magazines. Then you can search to find the volume and/or page number of any recipe you're looking for. It appears that you can search online for new recipes and store them there as well.

Evernote Food keeps all your recipes in notebooks with a comprehensive list of tags (provided by you) with which to find any recipe you need. There is an app for your mobile phone as well. With the app you can also jot down restaurants you enjoyed or save photographs from a special meal or dessert. 

 Both of these are free to begin. Eat Your Books has a small annual fee if you decide to increase the capacity you use. In order to be effective for me, I'd need to pay the fee, but if it organizes and minimizes my clutter, it would certainly be worth the cost!

If you've ever used either of these, please share your experiences here to help me and other readers decide.
Feel free to share any other resources that have helped you as well. I look forward to hearing from you.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Healthy, French and Gluten-Free

What could be more perfect than healthy, French and gluten-free? Well, the recipes are mostly gluten-free, which is how I eat exactly. So, La Tartine Gourmande, the new cookbook I received for Mother's Day this year is perfect. Her book and blog by the same name are full of beautiful pictures and recipes.

Author/Photographer, Béatrice Peltre grew up in France with a family that enjoyed gardens and food. She has travelled and added to her love for food from other cultures and traditions. She seems to stick close to real food, which is always more healthy.

I absolutely love the recipes I've tried so far and wanted to share this one. My son, who's about to graduate from high school, stayed home long enough to eat breakfast this morning. I tried Peltre's Buttermilk, Lemon, Poppy Seed and Quinoa Pancakes with yummy results.

Makes ten to twelve 4-inch pancakes

1/3 cup white rice flour or sweet rice flour (I just poured some brown rice into my grinder)
1/3 cup quinoa flour
1/3 cup quinoa flakes
1 tablespoons blond cane sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 pinches of sea salt
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
Finely grated zest of 1 organic lemon
2 large eggs, spa rated
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon canola oil, plus more to cook the pancakes

In a bowl, combine the flours, quinoa flakes, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, a pinch of sea salt, poppy seeds, and the lemon zest.

In another bowl, beat the egg yolks (*I confess I didn't read well here and mixed in the whole egg) with the buttermilk. Beat in the lemon extract, if using, and the oil. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and stir to combine.

In a third bowl, beat the egg whites with a pinch of sea salt until soft peaks form. Fold the whites into the batter.

In a frying pan, heat one tablespoon of the oil over medium heat. Pour 1/4 cup of batter in the pan and repeat for as many pancakes as the pan can hold. Cook until bubbles form on the surface, then flip the pancakes and continue to cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until golden.

Serve the pancakes with warm maple syrup or honey.

*Our pancakes were delicious, but probably would have been lighter if I'd separated the eggs and folded in the whipped whites later as Béatrice suggests.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Jamaica, Sweet Potato Pudding & 25 Years!

My husband and I will be married 25 years tomorrow.

Our church and friends in the community blessed us with a trip to Jamaica a few weeks ago. What an unexpected, wonderful trip. It was relaxing and warm. Snowing in Minneapolis when we left, the comfortable 80 degree weather was more than welcome.

One evening we had dinner at the Jamaican restaurant on the resort. This was our dessert:

I asked our waiter how to make it. He gave me general directions, but no specific recipe. It's very simple and turned out well when I made it at home. 

  • Bake sweet potatoes until soft.
  • When cooled, grate the sweet potatoes into a bowl.
  • Add vanilla, sugar, cinnamon, raisins (optional) and egg (optional).
  • Blend the mixture and spread in a 8 X 8 dish (or 9 X 11 if using more ingredients. You can also pour it into individual dishes)
  • Bake at 350 degrees. It should be stiff, not like a soft pudding.
  • Serve topped with fresh or canned, warmed coconut milk and toasted coconut shavings. (I used canned, organic coconut milk)
The resort was beautiful and the food was delicious. Dan and I relaxed and enjoyed each other along with some Blue Mountain coffee. Our friends got married that weekend at the resort and we celebrated their beginning together along with our many years together. 

Here's a picture of our resort in Montego Bay, Jamaica

Monday, May 6, 2013

Little Foxes and Big Frogs

"It's the little foxes that spoil the vine."

Ever heard this phrase? It refers to the things we might ignore because they're seemingly insignificant but they become destructive left to themselves. 

There are so many applications for this little illustration. I think of the employee that cuts corners on the details to accomplish more of the visible or "important" jobs, then is later dismissed due to carelessness. Or the student who rarely studies and does't bother to turn in small assignments so she can work harder on the large projects, but in the end all those little assignments, averaged against the big one, cost her a scholarship. Or the novelist who didn't take the time to do the research and remains unpublished due to laziness. 


We can make it more personal, more eternal. Think of the things we skip every day like reading the Bible because we slept late and only had time for one verse before rushing out the door. Soon more days pass, until we don't even remember we were going to spend time with God. Or the little lie we told at work to keep ourself in the good graces of our boss. The next time we may be willing to overlook a sin that is just a tiny bit bigger. Over time we become hardened to the conviction of the Holy Spirit and no longer hear His wooing. Like Sampson, we don't even realize we've lost our relationship with God and our eternal position. Or the times we felt the need to pray for someone and shot up a quick, "Lord bless them." Later we discover some terrible sin or tragedy that occurred in their lives and we wonder what might've been the outcome if we had prayed as we'd been prompted. 

Another Lesson:

"If you have to eat a frog, don't look at it too long.
If you have to eat a bunch of frogs, eat the big ones first."


Here's another illustration. I can't even find who said it, but it teaches us to do first the things we'd rather not do at all. And if there are a lot of things we loathe doing, we should do the worst ones first and get them out of the way. 

The longer we look at a task we don't want to do, the harder it will seem and the longer it will take of our precious time. We lose so much by leaving things we hate hanging over our heads. They rob the things we love because we can't focus on them, knowing the dreaded task still awaits our attention. 

Jesus said, "The Truth will set you free." Obviously He's referring to Himself, but also to any given truth. The truth is, if we do the things we have to do, do them completely and do them quickly, then we'll have time to enjoy the things we love without worry or dread. 

Both of these phrases teach us discipline. This discipline is for our own good. It will free us and prosper us. It will pad our reputation with integrity and prepare us to hear our Savior say, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant. Enter into your rest."