I have worked in the Financial District in San Francisco for a total of 10 years, during the mid-80’s and again recently. Some things have changed, but much has stayed the same. One thing that has not changed is the presence of homeless people living on the streets. This is a recipe and food blog so you may wonder where I am going with this.
I typically do not give money to homeless people. It is not because I am a heartless person who doesn’t care, but where would I stop? Give money to one but not another?
However, this morning I had a different experience and what happened even surprised me! I was walking to my office from the Ferry Building and a young man who was walking beside me looked at me and smiled at me. I smiled back, and he said “Thank you so much for the smile!” I responded by thanking him for the smile as well. We engaged in light conversation and he said “You’re from Texas aren’t you” – maybe the accent gave it away, but he made a pretty good guess since I am in fact from Texas. We got close to a wonderful local bakery called Specialties, and he said “I have to ask you something, not for love, not for money, but I’m hungry. Would you mind buying me a pastry for breakfast?” I responded quickly and said, “Of course. What would you like?” He chose a cinnamon roll – and believe me, I lust after those every time I walk by Specialties, but have yet to indulge. I pulled out a $5 and asked the girl at the counter to please give this young man a cinnamon roll, and asked her to give him the change. He thanked me, and as I turned to go on my merry way, I heard him say to a lady in a business suite who was standing in line behind him “May I buy you something”…now how cool is that! He could have just taken the change that was left from the cinnamon roll and spent it on something else, or stuffed it in his pocket, but he offered to do something for someone else.
So see, this is a food story. Maybe my next post will be a cinnamon roll recipe!!! If you have a wonderful cinnamon roll recipe that you would like for me to share, please send it my way and I’ll post it and of course, give you full credit.
Summer’s almost over, but it isn’t too late to whip up some yummy homemade ice cream! This is my Granny Vykukal’s recipe and was one of my Daddy’s favorites. It is not a slimming recipe by any means, but you could skinny it down by using fat free Eagle Brand Milk and fat free half & half. I have not tried that so don’t know that it would work or be the same consistency as the full fat version. Here is the recipe:
This is YUMMY!!!
1 can Eagle brand milk
1 can water
3 eggs, beaten
1 pint whipping cream
2.5 tsp. vanilla
ice cream salt & ice (you may not need these if you have a more modern ice cream machine)
Heat the milk & water until warm. Gradually add in the egg mixture and cook, stirring the mixture slowly, until it starts to thicken (5-10 minutes). Let the mixture cool and then add the cream and vanilla.
Pour the ice cream mixture into your ice cream machine and follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer of your ice cream machine.
Kale has certainly been all of the nutritional rage for some time, and with good reason. To quote The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods by Michael Murray, ND, kale is among the most highly nutritious vegetables. It is a excellent source of carotenes, vitamins C, B1, B2, B6, E, and manganese. It is a very good source of dietary fiber and include the minerals copper, iron, and calcium. And it’s a bargain at only 20 calories per cup! I took this delicious salad to a picnic today and was a huge hit. As you can see by the photo, a picnic in the San Francisco Bay Area requires dressing in layers, and in my case including a blanket wrap! Here’s the recipe:
- Start with Rainbow Kale or any kale salad that is already chopped and washed. The rainbow variety includes carrots, which are always good in a salad.
- Dress with your favorite vinaigrette dressing. For something quick and easy, I love the Paul Newman’s Vinegar and Olive Oil. And if I make my own, I go with 1 part Meyer lemon juice, 1 part extra virgin olive oil, and 1 part grapeseed oil with salt & pepper, and a small dash of cumin.
- Add cherry tomatoes – you can go heavy if you love tomatoes, or lighter for just a touch of color.
- Now for the not so healthy part – add crisp bacon. If you want to go with a more healthful bacon, use turkey bacon.
- Top with diced avocado.
- Add fresh Rainbow blend pepper, or your favorite pepper, then toss lightly.
Deviled Eggs are a Summer favorite and are perfect for a picnic. These are topped off with a sliver of smoked salmon and a few capers. You can get creative and top them off with other favorites too.
For 12 deviled eggs, hard boil 6 eggs. One of the most difficult things about a boiled egg is peeling them without taking half of the egg white off with the shell. There are several things you can do to ensure that the egg shell will peel easily:
Boil enough water to cover the eggs completely, then add the eggs to the boiling water and cover. 8-10 minutes should be long enough to cook through the yolk. Remove the eggs, pour out the hot water and immediately add cold water and some ice cubes. Once the eggs are cooled refrigerate them.
To make the deviled eggs:
Peel each egg and cut them in half at the longest part of the egg and scoop out the egg yolk
Add 1-2 tablespoons of mayo
Add a teaspoon of dijon mustard
Add a tablespoon of finely chopped onion
Add a tablespoon of pickle relish (not sweet pickle)
Mix all of these ingredients and add 1/2 tsp
Scoop the mix into the cavity of the egg whites and top with a small amount of smoked salmon and a few capers. Top this off with a couple of turns of ground pepper – the Rainbow Blend of black, red, pink, green, and white is especially tasty and colorful.
Ginger Cookies 5 Ways
This cookie has been a family tradition every Christmas for over 50 years. The original version used Crisco, but I modified it to a more healthy version and use unsalted butter in the recipe now. The Traditional version of this recipe includes butter, sugar, and wheat but there are modifications that can be made to reduce the fat and sugar, and to remove the gluten and lactose. Thus, the name Ginger Cookies 5 Ways!
Mix wet ingredients:
Cream ¾ cup unsalted butter and 1 cup sugar
Add 1 egg and ¼ cup dark molasses
Mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. cinnamon
Add dry ingredients in to wet ingredients and mix thoroughly. Refrigerate for 2 hours. Roll in to walnut sized balls and dip in sugar. Press your index finger gently in to the top of the ball to make a small indention. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees and bake for 8 minutes. Cool, ENJOY!!! These cookies are very good especially during the Fall and Winter months.
Reduced Fat Version – Reduce the amount of unsalted butter to ½ cup.
Reduced Sugar Version – Substitute the sugar for Sucanat. When using Sucanat, it is best to grind it in a clean coffee grinder or something like a Magic Bullet before measuring. Another way to reduce the sugar is to use ½ cup sugar and ½ cup Baking Stevia. If you use the Stevia version, reduce backing soda by 1 tsp. and add an egg white.
Gluten-free Version – Substitute the wheat flour with 1 cup almond flour and 1 cup rice flour.
Lactose-free Version – Substitute the butter with vegetable shortening. You can also use ½ cup of the vegetable shortening to reduce the fat.
This was originally called “Bob Armstrong’s Dip” and credits go to Matt’s El Rancho in Austin Texas. My version is named after my Daddy who LOVED Tex Mex and “Bob Armstrong’s Dip”. This would be great for your Super Bowl party! Warning: this is addictive, and there’s nothing healthy about it, but it’s worth it!
1 lb. extra lean ground beef
1 packet of Lawry’s taco seasoning
16 oz. package of Velveeta cheese
1 can Rotel tomatoes
2-3 ripe avocados
Pace’s Picante Sauce
Taco meat – pour the taco seasoning over the ground beef and cook until done, but not dry
Chili Con Queso - melt the Velveeta (microwave or on top of the stove) and add the can of Rotel tomatoes, including the liquid. Cook until blended and warm, but don’t burn the bottom of the pan or you’ll have a mess to clean up
Guacomole - cut the avocados in half and use a spoon to easily remove them from the skin. Take the seed out of the avocado and discard. Mash the avocados until smooth and add picante sauce (I “eyeball” this so don’t know the exact measurement – but add enough to taste, but not overtake the avocados)
Next, layer the dip starting with the Chili Con Queso, then the Taco Meat, and top off with the Guacomole!
Serve with your favorite tortilla chips and enjoy!
This may be the best cornbread in the world, and it comes from the wife of a West Texas lawyer who ranches on the side. The original recipe calls for white flour, but I substituted almond flour and it was delish! The original recipe credits go to The Helen Corbitt Cookbook, published in 1957. Bob’s Red Mill brand cornmeal and almond meal flour work very well for this recipe.
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup almond meal flour
1 tsp sea salt (regular salt will work too, but I prefer using sea salt)
1 cup buttermilk (if you don’t have buttermilk, 1 cup milk with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar will work)
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 450 degrees
Combine the first three ingredients and mix thoroughly
Add the remaining ingredients, then mix thoroughly
Grease a pie pan, or muffin tins and heat in the oven for a couple of minutes. Pour the mixture into the hot pan and bake for 20 minutes or until brown.
You can also use miniature muffin tins and make bite-sized cornbread.
Green Gazpacho is the perfect remedy for when you feel sluggish during the dog days of Summer. This recipe is taken from the May/June 2008 issue of Pilates Style, and has a lot of nutritional pluses. The glutathione in the asparagus, spinach (arugula can be used too) and avocado helps remove fat-soluble toxins. The onions enhance sulfating to make toxins easier to remove, and the fresh ginger promotes bile secretion to assist in toxin removal. If all of that is TMI, don’t let it stop you from trying this delicious cool soup. It’s wonderful as an appetizer or on it’s own and this recipe serves 4.
1 cup thin asparagus, ends trimmed,, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup baby spinach or arugula
1 ripe avocado, pitted peeled and chopped
1/4 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded an chopped – the English cucumbers are great because you don’t have to peel & seed them
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, such as mint, cilantro, or basil – hint: mint is very cooling and my favorite choice, and I have tried all three
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced – hint: peel ginger by scraping the skin with a spoon
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, or grapeseed oil (lighter than olive oil)
Sea salt to taste
1. Puree asparagus with 1/2 cup vegetable broth in a food processor
2. Add spinach (or arugula), avocado, cucumber, onions, flat-leafed parsley (mint, cilantro, or basil or a combo of all 3), ginger, and the remainder of the broth. Process for about 20 seconds – until smooth but not pureed. Add water until you reach the desired consistency. Pulse in lemon juice and oil and season with salt to taste.
3. Serve immediately or chill then serve. Garnish with some flat-leafed parsley.
This was my Grandmother’s recipe, and my Mom’s. When Mom made this cake people begged for more! It is spectacular, but simple. Here’s the recipe:
6 eggs, well beaten
3 cups (or a little less – 1/8th cup less) sugar
1.5 cups (or slightly less) canola oil
1.5 cups milk
1.5 tsp vanilla
3 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Grease & flour 2 – 9 inch cake pans or one 13X9X2 inch pan
Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl
In a separate bowl, beat eggs and add sugar, then whisk in oil, milk, and vanilla
Blend wet ingredients into dry ingredients and pour into cake pan(s)
Bake for an hour or when done (stick a wooden toothpick in the middle and if wet ingredients stick to the toothpick, the cake needs to bake longer)
Allow to cool, then prepare the frosting – the best part!
Frosting Ingredients & Instructions
1 – 8 oz package of cream cheese
1/2 stick butter, softened
1 box powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbs. milk if needed
Blend all of the ingredients and frost the cake, and enjoy!!!