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   Balogreene posted on Suggested Reading  I signed up for the Hillsdale College course on Ancient Lit. Their lecturers are fantastic. The book is excerpted as pdf's to read on you computer (the portions the professor is using to make his points ). And, I looked them up, there is a free version of each book on Kindle (I mean come on, they are VERY old books ). It is a great survey course if anyone is interested.
15 hours ago .

   9 people like this.

   Balogreene posted on Sports  I just wanted to say, Go Cubs! let's see if you can stay in last place ALL season. Why do I love that team so?
16 hours ago .

   2 people like this.

   Balogreene posted on Recipes  This is kind of a question, but first some background. I try to buy a head of lettuce, some Napa Cabbage, and maybe some Fennel (Anise ), and fresh veggies every week or 10 days. I cut the lettuce into wedges and put them in baggies with a paper towel. I chop my veggies, green peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes (I love grape tomatoes, but I want them cut in half ), red onion, green onion, celery, banana peppers, the cabbage and the fennel, and mushrooms or whatever else took my fancy. the cabbage and fennel get the baggie with paper towel routine too. I usually have hard boiled eggs to chop and put in there too, and whatever cheese I have on hand.
For work, I take a wedge of lettuce, and separate out the chopped stuff to containers (I found a kiddie set that fits my lunch bag ), put it all in the bag with some croutons, and some salad dressing. For lunch I chop the lettuce, and throw the rest of the stuff in, and have lunch.
The question, this week I had visitors at work. I didn't bring lunch, and the lettuce went bad. So, I salvaged what I could of the lettuce, put the rest of the ingredients in a bowl, threw dressing and feta cheese on it and called it a salad. Am I the only one, or does anyone else make a salad without the lettuce?
Yesterday at 17:55 EST .

   8 people like this.

   MeiDei  Often do a salad without lettuce but I use sliced veggies. The French call this version a Crudités platter. Crudités often include celery sticks, carrot sticks, bell pepper strips, broccoli, cauliflower, fennel, and asparagus spears; sometimes olives. Served with out w/out dressings. Sometimes I serve a wedge of lettuce without much else other than a good dollop of a homemade dressing. Love your garden salad, try adding some pea pods for a fresh crispy taste.
Yesterday at 21:20 EST .

  7 people like this.

   MeiDei  Balo you seem to be an adventurous cook, have you ever tried a Tabouli salad? I don't make it myself, but when our Greek grocery store has it on sale I buy a container & enjoy. There are many versions from the Med. to the ME & India.
16 hours ago .

  11 people like this.

   Balogreene  I haven't done Tabouli, but, I've done quinoa, and couscous, I think they are all the same idea, but different grains.

I love crudite platters. Growing up in nowhere IL we called them vegetable plates. I had to be in "fancier" company to learn "crudite". I like to do that for lunch at work, many times it's going to be easier to eat hand to mouth, than a salad.

And I'm not adventurous, my tastebuds are evolving. I find I don't like meats, so have to find other ways to get protein (hence mushrooms ), and have to make sure I get fruit and veg.
16 hours ago .

  11 people like this.

   MeiDei  Quinoa is often used in place of bulgar in tabouli, I remembered you mentioning it and that's what made me think of tabouli. BTW: it was a house guest that exclaimed with delight "crudite" when I served a vegetable platter - I tend to "dress" my plates - a fallback to getting little kids interested in new foods. I don't, however, decorate pancakes anymore : )
13 hours ago .

  11 people like this.

   BirdsNest  Balogreene, eating rice and beans together in the same meal is
a good way to get protein. Since you are diabetic, you may want to try eating 1 oz of good quality cheese(real cheese, not the pre sliced stuff ) prior to eating carbs to slow the absorption of the carbohydrates.
12 hours ago .

  11 people like this.

   Balogreene posted on Recipes  Marinated Cucumber Salad
This is wonderful, and I used splenda instead of sugar
¼ cup hot water
? cup sugar
1 (8-ounce ) bottle Italian dressing
3 cucumbers, cut into ?-inch slices
1 medium-sized onion, cut into ½-inch slices - I used red onions
In a medium bowl, combine hot water, sugar, and Italian dressing. Add cucumbers and onions.
Mix well then cover and chill at least 2 hours before serving.

   July 13 at 21:25 EST .

   3 people like this.

   Balogreene  I checked it before I hit share and it was right. It's 1/3 cup sugar, and cucumber cut into 1/8 inch slices. I used my spiralizer.
July 13 at 21:27 EST .

  3 people like this.

   Balogreene posted on Recipes  I got a spiralizer this week. This is my first recipe, I found it online, but, instead of buying new stuff, used what was in the house.
berries, maserated
ricotta with cinnamon and anise to taste
2 anjou pears spiraled (they recommend anjou or bartlett only )
layer, berries, ricotta, pears, berries.

   July 12 at 21:41 EST .

   6 people like this.

   Balogreene posted on Recipes  Cold Watermelon Soup
5 cups (1.5 pounds ) diced seedless watermelon, chilled
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon chervil leaves
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 grams xanthan gum ( ½ teaspoon )
Chervil or shredded shiso leaves, for garnish

In a blender, puree the diced watermelon with the fresh lime juice, chervil leaves and extra-virgin olive oil until the mixture is very smooth. Set a fine-mesh strainer over a large bowl and strain the watermelon puree, pressing very lightly on the solids to extract the watermelon juice without pushing the pulp through.

Rinse out the blender and return the strained watermelon juice to it. With the blender on, add the xanthan gum and blend until slightly thickened, about 15 seconds. Transfer the watermelon soup to a pitcher and season with Tabasco and salt. Refrigerate until the soup is well-chilled, about 20 minutes. Serve the soup in bowls, garnished with chervil or shredded shiso leaves.

And a disclaimer, I don't do xanthan gum. Probably could have added pectin, but what is wrong with a soupy soup?
I also only blended it once, there are a few chunks of watermelon (I probably could have blended longer ), but, who cares?
Next, I can't get chervil in my grocery stores. I looked up equivalents, you can use tarragon, french parsley, or herbs de provence. I chose the tarragon, because it was available.

It is a good soup, I really liked it.

   July 6 at 18:47 EST .

   5 people like this.

   Balogreene posted on Recipes  Hayfever juice.
I don't know if it works, but it is good! I only have one question, in the beginning of the recipe they say blend, at the end they say juice. I did it in my Ninja (Sis's Ninja, but I like it. )

1 thumb size piece of ginger
½ unwaxed lemon, including its zest and skin
A 4cm wedge of pineapple
1 apple

Juice all the ingredients and pour over ice.
   July 6 at 18:39 EST .

   3 people like this.

   Balogreene  OK so you blend, then you juice to get the roughage out. I refuse to use two sets of machinery to make one drink. I just added ginger ale to the blended stuff, and didn't juice it. Of course, I have a SodaStream to make the Ginger Ale.
July 15 at 22:44 EST .

  3 people like this.

   Balogreene posted on Recipes  Barbara is cooking again!

My sis bought a NuWave oven a few months ago (I forget if it was Gerty or Gram who asked about it, and when they did, I'd never heard of it. ) I like the contraption. It's infra-red, so it doesn't heat up the kitchen, you can do just about anything in it. Tonight I did hard boiled eggs. They recommend 9-11 minutes. It was so easy, so fast, and no heat whatsoever in the kitchen.

I think I might try drying some tarragon I had to get for a recipe, and hardly used any at all.
July 6 at 18:35 EST .

   3 people like this.

   MeiDei  Would love to hear the pros & cons of the NuWave - sorely tempted to get one.
July 7 at 09:05 EST .

  5 people like this.

   Balogreene  It cooks faster than a regular oven, does corn on the cob in like 10 minutes on it's shelf. My hard-boiled eggs didn't cook long enough for me, but close. It's easy to set the timer, It doesn't heat up the room, in fact, the plastic hood, and grill get hot, but on top of the hood, is the control lid, and it stays cool. When you take the lid and hood off, there is a place to prop it, so you don't put it down on any kitchen surface. It is easy to clean. Anything that works in the oven (except plastic handles ) will work in the NuWave.

Most things need to be turned over (except corn and eggs ). To make a pizza you have to buy a special silicone piece, you put over the face of the pizza, then put it in the oven, crust side up, until the crust is cooked. Then you flip it over (the piece comes with a flipper too ), and take the silicone lid off, and cook it a few minutes more until the toppings are done. I don't eat meat, but mom and sis say it does a really good job and even leaves grill marks. The fat drips into the bottom, but sis says that is easy to clean, as is the grill piece. Again, you cook it x time, flip it and cook x again.

What I like is if something cooks 10 minutes a side, you set the timer for 10 minutes, when it goes off, you simply lift the lid, flip the item, and the timer resets itself, so you press start, and it cooks the last 10 minutes.

Ours came with a cookbook, and a quick reference card, laminated. Sis got ours from QVC, so it came with several silicone pieces, like cupcake cups, gotta try that! I'm on my way to the website now, to see what else is available.

We have a crockpot, a pressure cooker, a microwave, the NuWave, and a real nice GE gas oven/stove. This summer, we are doing everything possible to not use the real oven.
July 7 at 17:10 EST .

  3 people like this.

   Balogreene posted on Pet Peeves  At the end of this fourth of July weekend, I will not mention the pet peeve of the neighbor who shot fireworks off until one in the morning, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

I will talk about our National Anthem. It is not a dirge, it is a song of celebration. Our flag was still waving after a vicious assault. And, when it was set to music, it was set to an English drinking song. I had the privilege of hearing a small band in a tavern, in Williamsburg VA. They sang the drinking song, then the Star Spangled Banner, all the verses. It was very moving. But, it sounded like a drinking song, it was lively and celebratory. Our flag is still waving, probably as tattered as the one in the Smithsonian, Francis Scott Key saw from the prison ship. But, it is still waving. We should be celebrating that fact, not singing a funeral dirge.

Off my soap box.
July 6 at 18:26 EST .

   5 people like this.

   Safetydude  A standin' O for that comment !
July 7 at 19:40 EST .

 1 person like this.

   Gerty  Ditto on that, Mr.Dude!
July 7 at 21:15 EST .

  4 people like this.

   MeiDei  I think it's sung slower in stadiums because of the echo/bounce back makes for tv/audio confusion. Prefer the vocalizations (yodeling ) be eliminated.
July 7 at 22:24 EST .

  3 people like this.

   Balogreene posted on Recipes  I ate my rhubarb pickles plain, and they are both sour and liquoricey. A good pickle, but really pucker. Tonight, I ate an inch long pickle wrapped in fontina cheese. It really helps kill the sour! I of course need more fat than carbs, so this is good for me. It is also just good tasting.
July 4 at 19:02 EST .

   3 people like this.

   Balogreene  And, next time I make the pickles, I will use Splenda or something instead of real sugar.
July 6 at 18:32 EST .

  2 people like this.

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