Wednesday’s Breakfast and a Book

I have two awesome recipes to share with you today along with two great books I’m reading this week. First, let’s get started on the breakfast!

It’s strawberry season and one of the reasons I love June so much! This will be a two part process because I’m showing you how I make my fresh homemade strawberry jam. Here’s my recipe:

Ingredients:

9 cups of whole strawberries – Remove tops and rinse – Here’s my video of my favorite tool for topping strawberries! Watch how fast it works…

7 cups of sugar

2 packages fruit pectin ( I use two packages, but you can try one for a thinner jam)

4-5 pint size jars with lids and caps

Equipment: Canner with lid, jar lifter, cooling rack, canning funnel

 

Continue reading “Wednesday’s Breakfast and a Book”

Wednesday’s Breakfast and a Book

I hope everyone is having a wonderful week. I’m excited to share Wednesday’s breakfast and reads with you all!

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This morning was a bit chilly and I really had a taste for oatmeal. I know, it sounds boring, but you might actually like this recipe! It’s quite good and a healthy start to your day.

I have to admit that the way I used to make this recipe isn’t the way I make it anymore. I’ve added the original ingredients below in parentheses.

Ingredients: Serves 3-4

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 3 1/2 cups almond milk (cow’s milk preferred in original recipe)
  • Dash of salt
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • TB of Brown Sugar
  • Original recipe calls for 1 TB of butter (omitted in my version)
  • Extra milk for serving

Directions:

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Add oats and milk to a pan with a dash of salt.

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Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 5 minutes. The oats will start to thicken, so at this point add the raisins and simmer for a few more minutes. Stir a few times.

After simmering, I like to shut off the heat and let it sit for about 10 minutes. The raisins will get nice and plump and the oats will be very creamy.

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Add your brown sugar to the bowl and butter if you’re using it.

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Stir it all up in your bowl and add more milk if desired. Sprinkle on your cinnamon and your good to go. It’s a fairly easy and healthy recipe! It does taste better with butter and cows milk, but without the dairy, it’s still delicious.

 


This week’s reads:

I finished Luke Narlee’s book The Appointment which I’ll review later today. I started two new books and so far I like them both. 

First, let’s start with Tuesday’s Promise. I reviewed two other books about Tuesday and Luis Carlos Montalván last week. I couldn’t wait to get Tuesday’s promise and I also picked up Tuesday Takes Me There which I’ll review later this week as well. Their story has really touched me and I’m so glad to have learned about these two. You can see my original post on those books HERE. Here’s the blurb on this one…

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Blurb: Luis and Tuesday are winning hearts again. With his captivating New York Times bestseller Until Tuesday, Iraq War veteran Luis Carlos Montalván furthered America’s conversation about the need to care for first responders suffering from the effects of PTSD, especially highlighting the near-miraculous benefit of service dog companionship.

Now, in this spectacular follow-up, Luis and Tuesday rescue a forgotten Tuskegee airman, battle obstinate VA bureaucrats and bring solace for troubled war heroes coast-to-coast. All this, while Luis’ personal battle intensifies; while Tuesday has helped him make immense mental strides, the chronic pain of his injuries threaten to leave him wheelchair-bound. In a grave decision, Luis opts to amputate his leg, and learn how to live with a prosthetic.

As Luis regains his athleticism, 10-year-old Tuesday enters new phase in life; due to his growing age he will soon need to retire. Together, these two friends begin the tender process of welcoming a new puppy into their pack. SINCE TUESDAY is an inspiring story with an unforgettable message about love, service, and teamwork.

I had no clue what was in store in this follow-up to Until Tuesday. I’m learning a lot more about both Tuesday and Luis and the book is even more heartbreaking than the first. I’ll review later this week. 

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Continue reading “Wednesday’s Breakfast and a Book”

The Immune System Recovery Plan by Susan Blum, M.D., M.P.H. & Saturday’s Special -Stew-

A few years ago I started doing a ton of research on how I could stop my immune system from killing me. I wound up purchasing a myriad of books ranging from cookbooks to self-help books and even books by authors telling their own stories on how they cured themselves. I was on a mission and came across some really great books that helped me get my mind in order. I will have a post in the future which outlines everything that I’ve done to keep myself healthy. For now, you can read about one of my favorite books that I keep on my kitchen shelf.

The Immune System Recovery Plan by Susan Blum, M.D.,M.P.H. is the one I’ll be covering today. You can see my review below as well as my favorite recipe from the book which I make all the time.

The Immune System Recovery Plan by Susan Blum is one of a myriad of books I purchased after I was diagnosed with not one, but two serious autoimmune disorders. I was on a mission to cure myself and this book was just one of my tools.

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The book is a doctor’s 4-step plan to overcome autoimmune disease. The author, Susan Blume, was suffering from an autoimmune disease and shares with readers what she believes are the answers to living a healthy life after autoimmune disease.

The four step plan includes: 

  • Using food as medicine – I believe this is a proven method in my own case. The author offers self assessments for foods that can trigger issues with our bodies and helps create a plan for discovering these food sensitivities. She also covers the “good stuff” and highlights a healthy diet by telling readers what they should eat with recipes included.
  • Understanding the stress connection – It’s no surprise that in our world, people are stressed. It’s known to cause scads of issues including some less serious symptoms like fatigue to more serious diseases like autoimmune disease and cancers. The key is removing the inflammation from our bodies by destressing our lives, something many people could benefit from. How stressed are you? Take the self assessment to find out your stress number. This section includes some recipes to help counteract stress as well.
  • Healing your gut – This section covers the importance of intestinal bacteria and what happens when your flora is out of order. She covers leaky gut and how we can heal our digestive tracts. There are more self assessments and a treatment program included with recipes.
  • Supporting your liver – In this section you will learn all about toxins and how our livers simply can’t keep up with the amount of toxins we ingest everyday from our skin, breathing, eating and drinking. The author covers some of the most problematic toxins and discusses how to remove them from our bodies. Another self-assessment is offered which will help you discover if you’re dealing with toxic overload.

This book, in my opinion, would be good for anyone suffering disease in general. The steps that she outlines including healing the gut and supporting the liver can make anyone feel better and will also help to ward off disease before it strikes. I love most of the recipes in the book and use them on a regular basis. My rating on this one is:

stars


Now for my favorite recipe in the book…

Continue reading “The Immune System Recovery Plan by Susan Blum, M.D., M.P.H. & Saturday’s Special -Stew-“

Wednesday’s Breakfast and a Book

I’m back on track this week and have an awesome smoothie recipe for you! This is one that I’ve been making for years and comes from one of my favorite raw food advocates, Paul Nison. You can find him on Goodreads by clicking HERE. He’s written a handful of books. The one I’ve read is:

The Raw Life: Becoming Natural in an Unnatural World

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-Click the cover to add to Goodreads-

Blurb: This Book will help you learn about health and to achieve your goals. It will simply teach you the way to get the results you desire with the raw food diet. It’s an easy book to understand why and how to eat with simple recipes to help you on your path. Many people who start out on a raw food diet have started with this book. Others who have been eating a raw diet for many years love the interviews in this book with long term raw fooders.


Bahini Smoothie – This is how I make it…

Ingredients:

  • 5-6 Bananas peeled – Frozen Bananas are best!
  • 1/4 cup Tahini
  • 1-2 TB Coconut butter or manna – (flaked coconut works too)
  • 1-2 TB Raw Honey
  • Dash of salt – Himalayan or a salt with minerals preferred
  • Dash of Bee Pollen (optional)
  • 1 TB Barleymax Powder (optional – You can use any ‘green’ powder or fresh greens) I used a tsp of Moringa
  • 1 cup of ice or more depending on how much you want. If you use frozen bananas, you barely need any ice at all.
  • Paul uses a good amount of water, I only use about a half cup or so. I like my smoothies thicker, if you want it thinner, just add more water.

You can watch Paul make the smoothie in this video, or scroll down to see mine…

This will make roughly 40 ounces or so. 


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-Add all the ingredients in the order listed to the blender-

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-Start blending slow and then increase to high speed-

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-Blend until smooth-

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-I added in some chia seeds as well-

-Just be sure to stir the chia seeds in and they’ll become gelatinous-  Continue reading “Wednesday’s Breakfast and a Book”

Wednesday’s Breakfast and a Book

Today for breakfast I made chocolate chunk banana nut bread. It’s not a healthy version or anything, but so delicious. It’s nice to have a treat once in a while. Here’s the recipe below if you’re interested in trying it. It turned out perfect!

I started by using a basic recipe that I love in my trusty All Recipes cookbook called “Banana Banana Bread.”

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The recipe above is delicious the way it is, but I modified the recipe today. Here’s what I did. The ingredients are all the same except for:

  • Instead of butter I substituted coconut oil
  • Added a Tablespoon of Raw Honey (optional)
  • 1 tsp of added vanilla extract
  • Added an extra 1/4 cup of flour
  • Added in roughly 3/4 cup nuts (walnuts & almonds)
  • Added in some Hershey’s chocolate chunks. Roughly 1 1/2 full size candy bars chopped up

It turned out very well. Here’s how I put it together:

Mash up the banana. I used my KitchenAid, but you can easily mash them with a fork or other utensil.

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Add in the vanilla, eggs, brown sugar, 1 TB Raw honey (optional), and coconut oil. Mix until combined. Then, add in dry ingredients and mix until just combined.

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Chop up the chocolate into chunks. Chop the nuts as well by using a processor or by hand. Here’s a tip from Martha Stewart- use two knives and it helps to keep the nuts stable, plus gets the job done faster. Thanks, Martha!

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Add in the nuts and chocolate chunks. Continue reading “Wednesday’s Breakfast and a Book”

Juicing for Health!

It’s no secret that eating fruits and vegetables can help us maintain a healthy body, but would you believe me if I told you that they can save your life? It happened to me…

As a teen I remember my grandfather buying me one of Jack Lalanne’s first juicers called the Juice Tiger.

juice-tiger-delux-jack-lalanne-made-in-france-7ba3dd7f5a7b6660925b4ca4e14ce0f9.jpgFrom a young age I had an interest in health and staying fit, but my issue was always having an addiction to all the wrong foods. Even though I was trying to eat right I would sometimes fall back into old habits.

As life moved on and I started working full time jobs it was common to eat out and grab whatever I could get my hands on. One of my first jobs was right next to a Greek restaurant which was a huge curse. I was able to order fried chicken, lemon rice soup and had an endless supply of all the rice pudding with whipped cream that I wanted.

I felt healthy and happy for the most part, but started experiencing horrible fatigue. It didn’t matter how much I slept. I would walk around feeling like I had a thousand pounds on my shoulders all day long.

Years went by and I was finally diagnosed with my first autoimmune disease. I didn’t have a clue what was going on and my doctor didn’t explain to me that my disease was most likely caused by the combination of poor diet, the environment, and my family genetics.

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So, I chose to try and help myself by changing my diet. I began juicing again, eating more fruits and vegetables and making smoothies. I started feeling better, started jogging again and went on for years battling my disease which had declined in severity to a more mild form. Continue reading “Juicing for Health!”

Sandwiches!: More Than You’ve Ever Wanted to Know about Making and Eating America’s Favorite Food by Alison Deering & Bob Lentz

Sandwiches!: More Than You’ve Ever Wanted to Know about Making and Eating America’s Favorite Food is a sandwich making cookbook for middle grade kids.

The book contains recipes for over 50 different sandwiches including wraps, subs, and bagels. It covers what is a sandwich, tools used, and use of equipment including the oven and panini press. The book even explains the differences in knives.

One of my favorite elements in the book is the use of history, trivia, and facts pertaining to each sandwich. There’s so much to learn here and in an entertaining way. The instructions for each sandwich are easy to follow and include side options for each. I especially appreciated the substitutions that are included for different dressings, cheeses, and condiments. Substitutions are even given for people who have allergies.

This is a great book for kids to gain confidence in making meals for themselves. All the recipes are easy with only a few possibly needing adult supervision. This would be a nice addition to a cookbook collection. I’m certainly adding it! Continue reading “Sandwiches!: More Than You’ve Ever Wanted to Know about Making and Eating America’s Favorite Food by Alison Deering & Bob Lentz”

A New World of Israeli Baking–Flatbreads, Stuffed Breads, Challahs, Cookies, and the Legendary Chocolate Babka

 

A New World of Israeli Baking–Flatbreads, Stuffed Breads, Challahs, Cookies, and the Legendary Chocolate Babka 

Breaking Breads: A New World of Israeli Baking by Uri Scheft has become one of my absolute favorite bread baking books! Homemade bread is a staple in my family and this book contains copious amounts of recipes worth keeping.

I was very interested to check this book out because my Syrian ancestry introduced me to bread at an early age and flat and fancy breads were quite common growing up. I can still remember walking into Jid’s (Grandfather’s) house and smelling the fresh baked Syrian bread. So, when I saw this, I had to grab it!

The book starts out with challahs and a handful of different challah recipes. The very first basic challah dough recipe is wonderful and easy. Step by step photos are included which makes them so easy! The photography is wonderful and the breads are so impressive and professional looking. There are rolls, stuffed breads, crescents, and cookies to name a few.

This is a book that I’ll be purchasing to keep and enjoy in my kitchen. I’m so glad to have come across it!

Thanks to Netgalley for sharing a copy with me.

stars


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Chef Uri Scheft

“My first love was bread. Or more specifically, the smell of bread. The smell of bread baking in the oven, the promise of its warmth, its sweetness, its supple crumb that contrasts to the browned, sometimes shiny-tender, sometimes rough and sharp-edged crust. My mother baked often – not every day, but enough for me to connect the smell of baking bread with a feeling of pure happiness. The idea of this beautiful and nourishing loaf made by hand and bringing people together around a table or even gathered around at a kitchen counter to rip off a piece and eat it with such great enjoyment – to me, this is true love. And so it has become my life’s work to re-create this feeling of anticipation and pleasure with every loaf and pastry I bake and sell in my bakeries – and this is the essence of Breaking Breads.”

Continue reading “A New World of Israeli Baking–Flatbreads, Stuffed Breads, Challahs, Cookies, and the Legendary Chocolate Babka”

A Really Big Lunch: Meditations on Food and Life from the Roving Gourmand

My Review:

A Really Big Lunch is different from any book I’ve read. Even though Harrison writes well and I found myself turning the pages rather than taking a break, the menu was most unusual and even seemed disgusting at times. I’m not into eating snake, but I still enjoyed reading about his food adventures.

Harrison’s belief is simple. Quality of life is more important that quantity and food is the ultimate pleasure.

Life’s short, so better start eating now!

Oh, and don’t forget the wine!

4-stars

Thanks to Netgalley for this copy in exchange for an honest review.


From Goodreads:  New York Times bestselling author Jim Harrison was one of this country’s most beloved writers, a muscular, brilliantly economic stylist with a salty wisdom. He also wrote some of the best essays on food around, earning praise as “the poet laureate of appetite” (Dallas Morning News). A Really Big Lunch, to be published on the one-year anniversary of Harrison’s death, collects many of his food pieces for the first time—and taps into his larger-than-life appetite with wit and verve.

Jim Harrison’s legendary gourmandise is on full display in A Really Big Lunch. From the titular New Yorker piece about a French lunch that went to thirty-seven courses, to pieces from Brick, Playboy, Kermit Lynch Newsletter, and more on the relationship between hunter and prey, or the obscure language of wine reviews, A Really Big Lunch is shot through with Harrison’s pointed aperçus and keen delight in the pleasures of the senses. And between the lines the pieces give glimpses of Harrison’s life over the last three decades. A Really Big Lunch is a literary delight that will satisfy every appetite. Continue reading “A Really Big Lunch: Meditations on Food and Life from the Roving Gourmand”