Random Thoughts About Steamers and Food

bamboo steamer and peas

Today while I was blog surfing it seemed like every blog I stopped at had pictures of food.  It seemed like today was  a good day to go along with the crowd.

What you are looking at are two great presents that I got last week while my parents were visiting.  My Dad brought fresh peas from his garden, and my Mom bought me the bamboo steamer that I have been wanting forever!

The steamer is fun because it cooks the peas quickly while retaining their good flavor and nutrition.  It came with two baskets so I can cook two different things at once.  Previously I steamed chicken and cabbage potstickers in one basket and some leftover pork roast in the other. A full meal was ready in no time , and the steaming helped keep the pork moist.

Tonight I steamed some red snapper and that also worked well.  If you are thinking of steaming fish, here is a tip I learned from the  Cook’s Magazine that my Mom bought to go with the steamer.  Take slices of lemon or lime and put them on the bottom of the steamer. Then set your fish on top of the slices. The lemon/lime slices keep the fish from sticking to the steamer, and the steam carries the flavor of the fruit into the fish.  I used lime slices tonight and it was very good!

Do you have a steamer?  Any good steamer recipes you would like to share?

Sleep

Lately I have been feeling the need for more sleep. I have been getting up at my normal time, but instead of being able to stay awake until midnight, or even 1am, I have been getting tired around 9 or 10pm. I have been going to bed earlier, but I am still feeling sleep deprived, so I thought I would do a little research on sleep before I turn in for the night.

I found that being sleep-deprived can cause all sorts of trouble. From the obvious impaired concentration and poor judgment, to the not so obvious increase in diabetes, depression, and heart disease.

It is not true that all adults need 8 hours of sleep per night. Some can get by with as little as 5 while others may need 9 hours of sleep to fully refresh. You know you are getting enough sleep if you can wake up in the morning without an alarm clock.

So while getting lots of sleep can feel like an indulgent luxury, actually it is important for both your physical and mental health. Thank goodness tomorrow is Saturday, I am going to do something healthy and sleep in!

Fast Food Burgers Revealed

Have you ever seen anything that just turned your world around? Just yesterday I enjoyed a small order of McDonald’s french fries. Now I don’t think I’ll be able to eat another one again. Please watch the following video before you feed your child another Happy Meal.

Now I know you can’t believe everything you see on the internet, so I checked out Snopes.com and I ran a Google search and it appears that this video is legitimate. Real food rots, so I am not sure what McDonald’s is serving. Anyone else giving up McDonalds?

Cooking Irish

I am pleased as punch today! On this lovely (and sunny) St. Patrick’s Day my favorite author, has agreed to guest post for me! If you enjoy this you will enjoy reading her mysterious blog. So now please enjoy Marilynne’s Cooking Irish.

I haven’t a drop of Irish blood in me, but today I decided to cook scones and corned beef and cabbage for dinner. It was good.

Our granddaughter was here with us. She’d been invited up to harvest some fresh peas for herself. She and her grandfather spent a good part of the afternoon picking peas. If you’re not a gardener, I will explain that peas are the same color as the vine and the leaves. Add to that that the vines are bushy and planted closely together and you’ll see it takes some determination and a good eye to be sure you’ve got all the peas that are ready to eat.

My hubbie planted both Chinese peas (edible pod) and the regular peas that you need to take from the pod. Shell enough peas to have for dinner and you’ll soon decide you like the Chinese peas better. We steam them or just eat them raw.

So, with the peas picked, I decided it was the right time to cook corned beef and cabbage. I’d already bought the corned beef and the cabbage, but I hadn’t found a recipe yet. Well, as any good cook can tell you, there appear to be as many ways to cook corned beef and cabbage as there are cooks to cook it.

So, I had the corned beef simmering on the stove for hours (1 hour for every pound of corned beef), and the vegetables prepared so there was nothing to do but wait and eat.

But wait a minute. How about some freshly baked scones to go with it. Out came the cookbook and I started in. Somehow I mismeasured the flour (too little), didn’t have heavy whipping cream (used 2% milk and a half cup of plain yogurt), and soon was heavy into making my first scones. By now my granddaughter was helping me and we were talking about how an experienced cook just substitutes when she doesn’t have the right ingredients. (She’s already that kind of a cook.)

We were probably doing too much talking and not enough paying attention, because when it was time to turn the dough onto the board and knead it – it looked pretty sticky. I didn’t want to take the time to figure out what my mistake was, so I just turned it out on the board. I couldn’t do much with the dough but coat my fingers 1/2 inch deep with dough. I kept washing my hands and adding flour. By then I realized that I had washed a good part of my batter down the sink. Resolutely I kept adding flour until my goodness! I had something that looked like bread under my hands. So I followed through and finished up, put them in the oven to bake and told everyone not to expect much.

The scones were delicious and just the right accompanyment with the corned beef and cabbage (cooked also with yellow potatoes and onions). It was a fine meal.

I was just lucky. (Luck of the Irish?) If it tastes good the method doesn’t matter – right?

Marilynne

Getting Back to Diet Basics

My weight has been creeping up on me again. A few years ago I managed to lose 30 pounds. I did it a simple way, by eliminating all sugar and refined carbohydrates from my diet, and by eating foods that were as close as possible to their natural state. I ate lots of vegetables, some fruit, and high quality protein. I felt and looked great!? But then I started having little slips in my diet. First it was pizza, and then honey, and slowly and surely I got back to the place where I am now. Eating too much sugar and way too many refined foods.

So of course, I start looking for the quick fix. I have read all sorts of top 10 lists on how to lose weight. I’ve actually been watching the commercials for those “fat burner” pills. I even briefly considered taking that new, FDA approved weight loss pill. Anything except the one thing that will work. Eating right and getting some exercise.

Why is that? Even though I know it doesn’t exist I am looking for the great, miracle weight loss secret. I am hoping to find the magic pill that will let me watch TV all day and eat junk food and still be slim and healthy. Why am I looking for a magic pill when I know what works? The secret to weight loss is simple. Eat less, exercise more! Eat healthy foods and it will be easier to eat less.

Today I have recommitted to my healthy eating plan. No more sugar, no more toast with honey. Plenty of quality protein, fresh vegies and fruit. I will drink lots of water and take a walk every day. I think I’ll start a 30 day healthy eating and exercise  challenge to go along with my 30 day blogging challenge. It will give me something to write about!