Party Like a President

On my last birthday, my brother gave me a book about the US President’s drinking, gambling and carousing habits through the years. In it I found a recipe for syllabub, an olde English dessert, which was popular during James Monroe’s presidency.

Here’s the recipe: 2/3 c. white wine, 1/3 c. sherry, 2 T. grated lemon zest, ¼ c. lemon juice, 2/3 c. sugar, 2 c. heavy cream, fresh mint sprigs and berries. Mix the wine, sherry, lemon zest and lemon juice in a bowl. Stir in the sugar until dissolved.



In a separate bowl, whip the cream until the mixture forms into medium-size stiff peaks. Then, combine and stir with the wine mixture. Scoop the mixture into wineglasses. Cover the glasses and chill in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours. When ready to serve, top with the mint and berries.



Source: Party Like a President: True Tales of Inebriation, Lechery and Mischief from the Oval Office, By Brian Abrams. Workman Publishing. 2015


Intertribal Agriculture Council logoSix talented Native youth leaders from Dream of Wild Health created this salad using ingredients important to their Native American cultures as well as vegetables grown at their Hugo, Minnesota farm. The youth promoted this salad at Minnesota Twins baseball games as part of a healthy food initiative called Roots for the Home Team that encourages local youth groups with entrepreneurial projects.


Cherry tomatoes are delicious in this salad, but if you can find ground cherries at a farmers’ market or grow your own, they are amazing! Makes: 8 (1-cup) servings.

For the salad:

  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1½ cups whole wild rice
  • 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup cooked black beans (if using dried beans, 1/3 cup dried yields 1 cup cooked)
  • 2 bunches (about 8 cups) kale
  • 1 cup baby tomatoes or ground cherries, rinsed and halved
  • ½ cup grated pecorino Romano cheese or parmesan cheese

For the dressing:

  • Juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons juice)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated lemon zest
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt & freshly ground black pepper

black beansCook the black beans. Either soak beans overnight or use the quick-boil method. Then, add beans to a pot of fresh water, and boil until done, about 1-2 hours. Set aside to cool.



wild riceMeanwhile, cook the wild rice. Rinse the rice well in a bowl of cold water and drain. Add rice, vegetable broth, and thyme to a pot and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let the rice stand in the pot, covered, for 5 minutes. Remove the thyme stems and fluff the rice with a fork. Set aside to cool.

kaleWash the kale and remove the ribs. Thinly slice the kale into ribbons. Using a salad spinner, spin until most of the water is gone.



salad dressing- lemon juice and oilve oilIn a large serving bowl, add the kale, a drizzle of olive oil, and a little salt. Massage the kale until it starts to soften and wilt, about 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside while you make the dressing.

To make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, lemon zest, salt & pepper, and ¼ cup of olive oil.

To serve, add the wild rice, black beans, tomatoes or ground cherries, and sprinkle with cheese. Drizzle the dressing over top and toss to combine.

Buzz off bugs….

peace sign with flowersGreen Diva Kate Bartolotta from Be You Media Group offers us an excellent natural insect repellent to keep outdoor bugs off you without nasty toxins.

Buzz-off balm recipe:

Warm 1/3 – 1/4 cup of coconut oil and pour into a small, closeable container. (I love to repurpose containers I have from other products, like the tins from Bach Flower Remedy lozenges.)
Add 10 drops of each of the following essential oils: citronella, lavender and peppermint.
Mix slightly and allow to cool and solidify. In warmer weather, you may want to keep this in the fridge or a cool, dry place to keep it from liquifying.
Take a little of the balm and run between the palms of your hands and then over exposed skin before heading outside.

Note: sometimes essential oils (particularly citrus oils) can make the skin photosensitive or more likely to burn. Be sure to use a non-toxic sunblock in addition to this bug repellant.

Source cited:

Add some ZEST to your life…..word for the day

baskets of avocados and orangesWade (my husband) recently celebrated a birthday, and since he likes pie rather than cake, he requested a Key Lime Pie for dessert. This turned out to be easier said than done, as NONE of the pie shops or restaurants in town serves one.

I thought I would make him one and the recipe called for “zesting” a lime peel, thus our Word for Today was discovered!

“Zest is a food ingredient that is prepared by scraping or cutting from the outer, colorful skin of unwaxed citrus fruits such as lemon, orange, citron, and lime. Zest is used to add flavor (“zest”) to foods.

In terms of fruit anatomy, zest is obtained from the flavedo (exocarp, or the outermost layer of the fruit wall.). The flavedo and white pith (albedo) of a citrus fruit together makes up its peel.”

When you zest zesting a limea lime, you scrape the outer peeling off the lime with a special tool, here’s what it look likes…


Source cited:

Word for the day…if you’re hungry, eat like a Hungarian

Cabreras albondigas#2-examGoulash (Hungarian: gulyás) is a soup or stew of meat, noodles and vegetables (especially potato), seasoned with paprika and other spices. Originating in Hungary, goulash is also a popular meal in Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Latvia, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Russia, Scandinavia, Serbia, Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine and some regions of Italy.

Etymology: The name originates from the Hungarian gulyás, pronounced yuja. The word gulya means ‘herd of cattle’ in Hungarian, and gulyás means ‘herdsman’. The word gulyás originally meant only “herdsman,” but over time the dish became gulyáshús (goulash meat) – that is to say, a meat dish which was prepared by herdsmen.

To read the entire fascinating history of this stew/soup, go to:

My homemade cranberry sauce recipe for the holidays…….

cranberry sauceMy homemade cranberry sauce recipe for the holidays…….

I use three bags of fresh cranberries washed and rinsed, add fruit juice to about 1 inch below the top of the big pot I make it in, add a couple handfuls of nuts, sometimes a handful of raisins, shred some fresh orange rind in it, add a bunch of cinnamon and brown sugar and honey to it and then let it come to a low boil.

I then stir and boil it some more, making sure to squish or “pop” all the cranberries as it’s brewing. Keep adding sugar until it tastes semi-sweet (don’t want it to be too sweet), and then let it cool. Mine comes out kinda slushy, not in jellied form, like the canned cranberry sauce, but everyone in my family raves about it. Can be served with traditional turkey dinner, delish with ham and served over waffles and pancakes too!

Hugs, Diane T. and furfamily

Word for the day…celery and onions and carrots, OH MY!

There are lots of free newsletters out there, but this one is worth its weight in gold. Written by Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, author of 14 books on how to be healthier with a natural diet, she explains simple ways to prepare food, and how to help you recover your health by eating the right kinds of food.

Our word for the day comes from her most recent newsletter, it’s: mirepoix.

Mirepoix (pronounced “meer-pwah”) is a fancy-sounding French word that simply means chopped onions, celery, and carrots.  These are among the cheapest vegetables and they add lots of flavor to your meals.”

To sign up for her newsletter, go to: