Wednesday, December 24, 2008



Holidays are special and we are responsible for creating the mood and success of it all. Today many people find themselves with a different picture. There are homes where loved ones are in service, far away, there are homes with economic stress and many families endure illness, members who do not cope with life and situation that demand extra care and compassion.
Remember the first rule. Every holiday can be made simpler, convenient for the people involved and need a careful plan for it to be joyful and fun.
Firstly decide on what the focal point will be. Is it in the home, garden, destination place or a mountain hike or beach scene? This will enable you to plan the meal, when to give the gifts, who should take the photos, how to plan sleep overs and baby nap corners and a bed for older folks to rest. Now plan the meal.
I usually go backwards here. I feel we have more people to cope with and a longer time of entertaining. So I plan the desserts, cakes, coffee and teas . First I bake the cakes and cookies.Cookies and cakes last longer and dessert puddings can be frozen.Nuts, dried fruits, marzipan, nougat, halva, and fun nash and energy bars
can be placed in appropriate plates unopened and on the day empty them onto the plates. I make a table ready with self service cool drinks, cups, straws, ice cream cones and serviettes. Then another corner close to an electric point with coffee, teas, hot water and the milk, sugar and serviettes . It is there all day as a self service corner..
Some guests walk in and ask for a drink. A young mother who spent three hours with the kids in the car, a husband who drove with all that noise, might need a cup of coffee.
Then I plan the table and décor. I make a menu that has some items related to the festival and a great main dish. Have the right vegetables for kids and older folks. Not everyone likes cooked carrots. Go for the popular items. Make heaps of roast potatoes and yams. Have large bowls of rice and vegetables. Nothing goes to waste as it can be eaten the next day or converted into something else. Make bowls of tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce and other salad ingredients separately and only combine them when you need them. The salad dressing can be made ahead and kept in the fridge.
Decide on the soup item. Make it a basic vegetable or minestrone. If your family like tomato, pumpkin or exotic soups, you can make those ahead too.

Wrap a little chocolate for each guest with a bow and leave it with the serviette. It screams Welcome and everyone feels special.

Buy practical gifts as the situation needs sober thinking. Cutting back, means more thinking, careful shopping and less money spent. IT CAN BE DONE WITH EASE,
I love writing paper, small notebooks, a CD, DVD, a few magazines, a novel or a box of chocolate. You can give your grand children a subscription for National Geographic. It is inexpensive and they receive a magazine that features the best photography and articles for the whole family. A gift voucher for your parents to eat out once a week is fun, a voucher to a sports club, or massage, or a video at home is a fun gift.
Candles, soaps, towels, face cloths and men's toiletries are great gifts. Gourmet cooks love new gadgets and these are easy to find, Wrap it in a dish cloth and tie it with a bunch of herbs.A basket of herbs , a garden fork and gloves is a welcome gift. Kids love card games, books on magic and new computer games. Mom might like a voucher for the coffee shop around the corner where she could meet her friends, or a bunch of flowers that ariives once a month. Dad might appreciate a new wine opener or a foot stool at the TV chair. A glass that is chilled in the freezer is great for his beer.
foot stool is a good idea and a beer glass that is chilled in the freezer.

You could ask grandpa to chat into a recorder every day and tell the family the story of his and grandmas life. This keeps him busy and gives you a precious record of people you love and times gone by.

People ask how we can help others. Take every new item out of your closet. Wrap it in see through paper and give it to a charity to share with others. Your helper in the home, the service people who pop in to your home, the guy at the garage who helps you, the lady at the dry cleaner, all like a card or packet of cookies given with a smile and thanks.

Thanks for reading my blog. I love the feed back I receive and I plan to give you many healthy, easy ideas in the coming year. I have a booklet ready on TOFU and one for PASSOVER. These can be posted to you.

Have a good Holiday. Let light fill our homes, love fill our hearts and let us care to be gentle to each other. The world around us needs compassion and respect for each other. Love the earth, appreciate what we have and find time to think about tomorrow.
Love and light from the faraway, nearby

Monday, December 22, 2008



Dates are a great fruit and food that has been around for years. There are different types, but they are all a great sugar substitute, have potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamins B1 and B2.
They originate from the Persian Gulf from the date palm and are shipped all over the world. They can be used fresh, cooked, baked and in food.

Ways to use them
Dates can be washed and dried and used as a sweetener in cookies, cakes and rice dishes.
I use them in curries and cut them into a stew or slow cooking dish.
I stuff them with cottage cheese and crushed walnuts for cocktails snacks.
I drop two cut up with garlic cloves into a salad dressing.
I fill cored apples with them, and I bake them.
I chop them up and mix them with pomegranate pips in a fresh spinach salad.
I use them in date loaves and muffins.
I add them to lentils with a variety of vegetables.
I use them in fritters with a batter and drop them in hot oil. Dust with sugar and cinnamon.
Dates are great chopped with a few pine kernels in a fruit salad.
I chop them with onions, carrots, red peppers and make a marinade with soya sauce, chopped parsley and a cup of miso broth. Let cubed tofu stand in this for a few hours and bake. Serve with rice .
You can stuff them with almond paste or marzipan. Just drizzle apple juice over them and bake for five minutes in a medium oven. Serve with drinks or on a bed of cous cous as a starter to a meal.

1 PACKET Marie Biscuits. 1 lb finely chopped dates.
1/2 lb butter 1/4 cup crushed nuts. Coconut.

Blend all the ingredients together, except the coconut.
Sprinkle some of the coconut on the bottom of a flat Pyrex dish and press the mixture evenly over this. Sprinkle the rest of the coconut over the mixture and place in the fridge.
Chill and then cut into fingers. This lasts well.

DATE LOAF. You can see this recipe in my article in TEA TIME on the 18th October.2008.

DATE BALLS. This is features in the article SCHOOL BOX of 18th August 2008..

DATE STEW WITH LENTILS. see the article of 1st September 2008. This is a great meal for a winter's night. You can make and freeze it. Just warm up in the oven and make a quick cous cous or rice. Serve with some side dishes of raisins, chutney, cut up bananas, a bowl of desiccated coconut and a great green salad with a dressing of lemon , olive oil and chopped dates, salt and pepper.

2 Cups whole wheat flour.
4 teaspoons baking powder.
1 cup chopped dates.
2 tablespoons butter.
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon wheat germ
1 egg and add water and milk to equal one cup.

Blend the dry ingredients. Rub in the butter, Add the egg and milk mixture. Mix lightly.
Pat and cut out with a glass, into rounds. Grease a baking dish and bake them in a medium oven for 10 to 15 minutes.
Serve with butter or cream. This is also good to serve with a salad lunch or in the kids school box.

DATES are the ideal gift for a visit to an elderly friend, a hospital visit, for any occasion. Keep one or two wrapped and ready. If you suddenly have guests, just arrange them on a plate with cut up fruit and they make a great natural accompaniment to tea or coffee.

ENJOY DATES, "DATES" AND REMEMBER THEY ARE THE BEST THING IN A PICNIC BOX OR ON A TREK UP THE MOUNTAINS. There is always some one who is thirsty, has a low sugar level, needs a nosh or some sugar……………..give a date.

Have a great Chanukah and place dates into the Doughnuts.
Have Happy Holidays and put dates with cut up fruit on the candy tray.

Love and light, warmth and sweetness to all of you. Rona

Saturday, December 13, 2008

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We all love light and candles, a flame with a flicker of all the colors of warmth, candles to light up the dark, the soft glow of a few candles, a memorial candle….and of course the joy of candles on a Birthday cake. Chanukah, the Festival of Dedication, is the time when we light candles nightly and celebrate with songs, stories and eating foods made in oil. The symbolic part of the Chanukah is the history of a people, the challenges they faced and the dedication they had . to overcome all obstacles and believe in themselves..

In Israel we eat Doughnuts for the week. There are of course rehearsals as the bakers make them ahead of time……it is amazing how many doughnuts they sell before the Chanukah week. And then when all the calories, sugar and jam has been devoured, we vow no more until next year. They are so yummy….


Working with hot oil can be dangerous, so be careful;.
Prepare all the mixtures before you heat the oil.
3. Fill the saucepan , only half way. Test heat of oil. Drop a square of bread into it. If it browns quickly, it is hot enough.
4. Lower the food SLOWLY into the pot.
5.Only do a few at a time . It makes turning easier.
6. Do not have kiddies near the stove.
7.In event of a fire, turn flame off. Cover with lid. Do not pour water on the flames. You can smother the flames with a damp towel. I do not like to be negative, but one needs to be careful.
8. Finally, focus on what you are making, not the phone and the doorbell. If you do have to turn away, switch off the heat and remove the pot to the back of the stove out of danger to kiddies.


These are so easy and take ten minutes to make.
350grams of Self raising flour.
2cups of yogurt.
2 dessertspoons of sugar. I use brown sugar.
1 teaspoon vanilla essence.
A dash of salt.
Mix all well . Use a deep saucepan and let the oil fill it half way. Deep enough for the doughnuts to be submerged. Use a spoon to drop them carefully into the hot oil. Deep fry and have a strainer lined with absorbent paper. The doughnuts can be spooned onto this carefully.. This gets rid of excess oil. Have a teaspoon of jam ready .to inject into the doughnut and roll them into a bowl of sugar powder. Drain again on paper. …You can drizzle chocolate or carob sauce on the doughnut.


These are a change from doughnuts.
Use 2eggs, 2 Tablespoons milk, and a cup of water. Beat all together
Add the following: 1 teaspoon Baking Powder, half a cup of brown sugar, 2 cups flour, pinch of salt and half a teaspoon of vanilla essence.

.Slice 3 peeled Granny Smith apples. Slice thinly and add raisins and pecan nuts. Mix well. Heat the oil and fry the fritter. Simply use a large soup size spoon and drop carefully into the oil. Drain. These take a few minutes. Serve with pureed cooked applesauce, honey and cinnamon sugar. Leave all in little bowls and people can choose their favorite. Some people like it with ice cream or custard.


4 Potatoes
1 tsp baking powder.
Half a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
2 chopped medium size onions.
Half a cup of flour
Pinch of ginger or nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste and oil for frying.

Peel and grate the potatoes. Sprinkle with the soda and squeeze out the excess liquid. To avoid discoloring you can add a teaspoon of vinegar. Mix with the other ingredients.
Drop the batter by spoonfuls into deep oil and fry until the pancakes are crisp on the outside. Drain on paper and serve hot with apple sauce . These can also be part of a main meal.


These are fun and easy to serve as a cocktail snack.
3/4 cup corn. 1/4 cup cornmeal. 1/2 cup flour.
1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt.' 1/2 teaspoon curry powder.
1 beaten egg. 1/2 cup chopped onions.
1/2 cup milk. (soya milk for parave)
Mix all the ingredients well and drop by teaspoonfuls into a frying pan of hot oil. Turn once and drain. Serve with a cocktail stick, sliced cucumbers and olives.

If you make ready packaged latkes, drain them well and keep ready to reheat in the oven.
, I often use use the Gremslach mixture , that we use at Passover and serve these with a pineapple sauce or fried mushrooms and onions.

2 eggs.
2 cups water.
2 tablespoon of oil.
Salt to taste.
Matzo meal.
Meat the eggs, add oil and beat well.
Pour in the water and seasoning. Add the matzo meal slowly. It needs to be a loose mixture. Let it stand for two hours. Mix in three tablespoons of crushed walnuts or pecan
nuts. Make balls and press them flat. Fry in hot oil. Drain. Serve with a cocktail stick.

Finally, have a theme for the evening. Let the Menorah be the focus of the table. Use blue, silver and gold for serviettes and yellow flowers. Let the wrappings and cards reflect the theme of Chanukah, candles and lit flames. Kids love chocolates and chocolate sauce to add to the doughnuts. Have a choice of fun edibles for them to enjoy. The money coins made for the festival are a great decoration all over the table. Print the prayer and a few songs for each person. That way everyone feels good to participate. Take photos of each family next to the candles and you can use them next year for an email card. If you look at the photos over the years, they are a great memory of a joyous occasion.

Wishing you fun, light and meaningful togetherness.
Love and lots of light

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

meditation, well being and a healthy body


Last week I had the privilege of attending the Meditation Conference in Eilat. The joy of being with people who are on the same wave length, having similar vision and feel a sense of wellness, is a special pleasure.

I find that we all need time to think and put priorities into proportion.. We have a space within each of us that is unique. Daily lives, full of duties, expectations, time frames, deadlines to meet, burdens of juggling everything daily, is stressful to the body.
Where we live, what we do, the conditions at work, family, friends, the environment around us and what we eat a a vital part of how we feel. You cannot expect a body that has no rest, inadequate sleep and lacks exercise ,is fed on junk and devitalized foods, to function well.

You are responsible for your good health. You cannot blame your Mom, the wife, the café on the corner full of temptations, the latte and cream that spill over in the coffee or the bad shopping due to clever advertising. You are the one person that can change your life.

We are at the start of a New Year . Make resolutions that will be responsible, wise and give you health, smiles and joy each day.. The perfect balance is PHYSICAL, MENTAL and SPIRITUAL harmony. Decide you want, what is good for you and the idea is to prevent the useless and bad ways of life.

There are no short cuts. Operations that curb appetites, cut out parts of the stomach and all the rest………………… still remain as you are. You need to harness your will power, determination and learn to be aware that only you can do what is necessary. .
Look after your body, ensure that you will create a body that is comfortable and can give you years of good living.

Take time to make a list to see how you spend your week. Do you sleep adequately?
Find time to exercise, swim, walk and tone the body a few times a week.
Walk the dog, stroll with the grand children, sit in the shade and dream.
Find time to smile and laugh more. Laugh with people, not at them.
Feel compassion for people who are less lucky than you.
Volunteer to share the tools you have, a language, math skills and reading and writing.
Remember you could change another person's life…………..
Focus on the positive around you and share time with people who feel good about themselves.
Do make time for listening to music, seeing good films and enjoying theatre
Radio and TV have a lot to offer so be selective.
Garden, have fresh flowers and crystals in your home.
Feed the body with good, healthy food.
Eat what is in SEASON and LOCALLY GROWN.
Cut out excess salt, caffeine, condiments, smoked foods and tinned meals.
Go for basics. Eggs, Grains, Rice, Pastas, Cheeses, Good Breads and muffins, Dried fruits and nuts, Honey, Peanut Butter, olive oil, Wheat Germ, Bran, Granola and wholesome foods
Use milk products that are uncomplicated .Milk, Cottage cheese, cream cheese, Buttermilk, Butter and Yogurt. They do not really need a million colors, added delights, choc bits, spicy stuff……………you know what I mean. Just go for the product as it is.

Fruit and Vegetables that are in SEASON are the best. They will be fresh and suit your needs Here it is winter and we have VIT C in oranges, mandarins and grape fruits.
Skip sugary drinks, caffeine all day, condiments and ready sauces.
Stevia is the best replacement for sugar.
Drink adequate water for your individual needs..
Salt can be replaced with Herb ,vegetable salt and natural herbs.
Eat chocolate occasionally and enjoy treats in moderation.
Nobody needs alcohol to have a lift….just play with a child for half an hour and you will feel terrific. We live in world of temptation….grow up and understand what is good for you,
.You are responsible for your well being, health and joy every day.



Monday, December 8, 2008



Cucumbers in season are the most refreshing, tasty, versatile and amazing vegetable. Everyone likes them and you can eat them as they are, with all kinds of salads and create
Stir fry dishes, using them cooked, or pickled in all kinds of ways.

Cucumbers as cosmetics are wonderful cleaners, terrific as a tonic and soothing as pads over tired eyes. I always used grated cucumbers, skins and all, with a little cooled boiled water, in a blender as a face cleaner for teenagers. . It cleanses blocked pores and infected pimples and black heads. Keep it in a bottle in the fridge for a day. When you lie down for a nap, use a thick piece of cucumber skin over the eye area and rest for ten minutes. The eyes will feel cool, relaxed and refreshed. I use grated cucumber mixed with a teaspoon of yeast and a few drops of water, as a face mask. Great and the skin
feels fresh and cleansed.

CUCUMBER, CARROT, TOMATO, KOLRABI AND RED PEPPERS….FUN SALAD Take two of each and wash and cube all into tiny squares with that fancy chopper. You only have to peel the kohlrabi. I put this into a bowl and add two tablespoons of sunflower seeds and a generous dressing of olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon juice.
It is a filling and a fresh bowl of goodness. You can grate goat or feta cheese on it and crushed pecans and walnuts on the salad.


This is instant and easy. Take one yogurt per person. You need a cucumber, salt, pepper, mint leaves and chopped dill.. Place all in a blender and serve in a soup bowl with mint leaves on top and a few chopped bits of red pepper on it. Great with a slice of toast for a quick meal.


1 Wash and slice the cucumbers the thickness of a cracker. Use as a base for snacks. You can put a slice of boiled egg on it with a sprig of mint and peppers.
2. Cucumber with a slice of yellow cheese, chopped olives and sprinkle crushed walnuts on it.
3 Cucumber slices ,cut up asparagus and a bit of mustard on it with a sprig of dill as décor.
4. Cucumber slices and cottage cheese, crushed walnuts, and slices of pineapple or a sweet fruit like a strawberry or persimmon slices on it.

5 Cucumber slice with chutney, grated apple and coconut spread on top. Decorate with a raisin or date.

6 .Cucumber slices with a sliced melon on it, cheddar cheese and a little mint leaf as décor.

All these ideas are great for weight watchers.

Take cucumbers to work and to school to eat with yogurt and snack with a slice of apple and cheese. It packs easily and lasts well
For a picnic meal, use cucumbers, carrots, dill, parsley and oranges or mandarins. Pack into a dish and add two tablespoons of sunflower seeds when you eat it. You can even make it into a large salad by adding cooked chickpeas, sliced asparagus and some green beans. Use techina as a dressing.

Have a great week and from the" faraway, nearby," Love and light Rona,

Saturday, November 29, 2008


I have always been wary of sleeping pills. I believe there are natural ways of having a good nights sleep. Of course anxiety, worry, fears, discomfort and tension, reduce the chance of a good nights sleep, but I feel that people need to be more aware of what their individual needs are. It is no good to take the advice of one of the gals at the Lunch Club, or a fellow bridge or tennis friend. You need to know why you need a pill.. You must consult with your Doctor. The gal at the Pharmacy does not treat you and has no idea what medication you are swallowing. Each person has their own needs….find out what yours are

You, might need to supplement your eating program with multi vitamins, minerals and special tonics. Some times we have a need of iron, Vitamin C, magnesium and potassium. If you have been on a course of antibiotics, you might need a yogurt a day and some vitamins. Your protein levels and sodium might need correction. So be in touch with the Doctor and Nutritionist. Kids and older folks need special care and regular visits for check ups to the Doctor and Dentist.

Sleep needs special conditions. You must be tired. No good going to sleep if you have energy and are wide awake. Read, bake a cake, tidy a drawer, mend something, call a friend, or reorganize the fridge. Make a few notes of what you need to do, what you need to fetch and attend to. Leave all the bits and pieces on paper, and not floating in your head.

Have a hot bath. Rub two drops of lavender oil, , on your warm shoulders. Dry your feet well and massage a cream on them. Buff your nails and use a night cream.
Sit down and breathe deeply for five minutes. Just in and out, at a pace that is good for you.
Skip flicking the TV channels before bed. Do not play on the computer and do emails when you are ready to go to bed.
Read something relaxing, poetry, love-notes and fun things.
Make sure you have not eaten a snack or a meal a while ago. You need to stop eating a few hours before bedtime. Large, late night dinners, alcohol and heavy desserts can only add to sleepless nights.

Cut out all the caffeine drinks, soda pops and weird concoctions filled with junk. At night there are good drinks like Chamomile tea.

These are a few I suggest:

Honey and Lemon Tea. Boil the water and add a teaspoon of honey, and some mint leaves and a slice or two of lemon. Great in the morning too.

Cinnamon Treat. I boil the water and pour two thirds of water into a large cup, add a little cinnamon powder. You will adjust it to your taste. Then I add a little honey and milk to the top. This is a great TV tea, a warm drink for people who cannot have too much milk. It is good for the kids.

Cloves, mint and honey. When we had toothache, my Mom always gave us a special tea. Boiling water, tea in it and four to five cloves. Let it stand for ten minutes and drink this great tasting brew. This can be drunk cold and used as a compress on cotton wool for sore teeth and gums. You can rinse the mouth with it too.

Lemon and Herb Tea. We drink FORTUNE DELIGHT in one of the flavors according to the season. There is Natural, Lemon and Cinnamon. Have a glass of cold or warm water, add and mix Great for the digestive system. You can add natural sugar SUNNYDEW, the Stevia sweetener.

Chocolate Drink. This is great for the kids to prepare. Warm up some Soya, Rice, Almond or ordinary milk. Add a chocolate and stir. There is place for a cookie with a chocolate drink. Remember to brush the teeth after the treat.

Grapefruit and Honey Drink.
We have organic grapefruit in the garden a Jeff always made this Grapefruit drink. It is an excellent way to reduce caffeine drinks. Just squeeze a grapefruit into a tall glass, and add some honey and fill up with boiled water. We always leave the spoon in the glass, as we were taught that the glass won't break with a spoon in it. I often make a large jug for guests on a wintry night and it is a good start to a meal. Apple cider is also a fun warm drink.

Finally, clear the mind, tidy all thoughts and allow the body to relax. Make sure the bed has ample warmth, that the cushions are aired and switch off all electrical buzz and unnecessary plugs around you. Place the cell phone and alarms, a distance away from your body. Have appropriate lights and if you need a night light, just have a small one.

I have always tuned in to the powers that be and meditated for peace, loving kindness and a better world. Thanks for the day, the things we have and the vision of a good nights sleep, are the way to nod off. Have a peaceful sleep and wake up refreshed and energized, healed and ready for the day.

Love and light RONA

Wednesday, November 19, 2008



"Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but also the parent of others."

Thank you is a word that should be with us daily and constantly. We are so fortunate to have what we need, a home, food, education and to be free to live our lives with dignity.
Remember that each person has their own way to give thanks and while some do it at prayer, when they bless the food they eat, when they reap a crop, it is an individual way of saying Thanks for what we have.

Education, Democracy, Justice and a Government that leads the people and creates an environment of Peace and Harmony, are a great deal to be grateful for.
So wishing you all a day of togetherness with those you love and time to reflect and feel wonderful for what we are blessed with.

Thanksgiving gifts, cards and little messages are a part of the day. Sit down now, while you have time and select the gifts, write love notes, wrap them carefully and they are ready to give with love. Post the gifts to the soldiers far away now and to love one that cannot be with you. (See the blog re SOLDIERS)

Plan the menu, tables and décor and buy it all now.
A large tray with all kind of candles on it, is lovely for the family to light. Let each person say their own thank you and light up the candles
Plan the food you can cook ahead and freeze. Make a selection of cookies and cakes now. Have spare plates and cutlery for extra meals during the day and have small containers for left over foods. It is easier to pack them into the fridge.

Prepare natural drinks and extra juices, beers and lollipops for the kids. You can never win. No matter what, the demand is great, because it is a long celebration.

A few ideas you might like.
This is quick and easy. Use ready pastry. I make this in the morning and bake it. Just roll the pastry on a floured board. I roll it fairly thin, If it is difficult to handle, roll three pieces and join them later.
Cook four sweet potatoes, four cubed potatoes. And two sups of diced pumpkin. When it is cooked, just cube it all and arrange it on the pastry.. Sprinkle cinnamon on it and drizzle a tablespoon of honey on the dough. I place the honey in a soup ladle over the steam of a kettle and it is then easy to drizzle. Grate mozzarella cheese and goats cheese over this and carefully roll it up. The dough will stick together if you wet the edges. The amount of cheese is up to you, a cup is enough. I spice with the cinnamon, honey and a little grated onions. Beat up an egg and brush this over the pastry roll. Sprinkle sesame seeds on it and bake in a hot oven for twenty minutes.

I do the pumpkin pie without a base. We have so much food that it is lighter to digest this way. Take a pie dish and moisten with olive oil Sprinkle crushed corn flakes over it. That is the base. Now cook pumpkin. You need two full cups when cooked. Mix the cooked pumpkin with half a cup of brown sugar, a teaspoon of cinnamon, half a teaspoon of ginger, four tablespoons of raisins and three eggs. Mix well and add one jar of yogurt and a grated apple. Mix and put this into the base and bake in a medium oven for twenty minutes. You can serve this with grated parmesan on the top and chopped chives. Looks great and is yummy.


I bake apples for everyone. If they are left over simply puree them. You can freeze them with the .following.. This is for twelve apples. Two tablespoons diced dried apricots, four cut up dates, and half a cup of raisins, a tablespoon of lemon juice or a squeezed fresh orange. A teaspoon of cinnamon and two teaspoons of honey. Fill the cored apple and place it in a baking dish that allows you to fill it with water half way. I place an apple tea bag in the water and bake it in a medium oven for thirty minutes. You need to baste it a few times. When it is ready and cool, you can freeze them or wrap individually to freeze for later use. You can serve this with custard, a soya caramel pudding, ice cream or simply maple syrup.

Have a great time and enjoy it all Love and light Rona

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


If your have a soldier far away on military service and you are wondering what to send them for a Thanksgiving treat, here are some ideas. I have given these a great deal of thought and know what kids like, what is NOURISHING and easy to digest. They are often tense, tired and missing home and the people they love. Send it with kisses and vibrations of love and warmth.
You can send chocolates, chocolate spread, carob spread, cinnamon powder, cocoa,
peanut butter, halva spread, honey and molasses, Marmite, Almond paste, Halva, tinned hummus, techina, sesame snacks, dates, dried fruits, raisins, figs, apricots, prunes and nuts. Almonds are good and sugared pecans, cashew nuts and some walnuts too. I suggest that these are packed in easy to "open and close" plastic containers. Check that the dates of the products are good for a few months. Send tinned food snacks, relishes and jams. Today you can buy easy-to-squeeze mustard, honey ketchup and even techina in a tube.
Find out if they need vitamins, some vitamin C or a general tonic.
There are great crackers, health cookies, individual soya and rice milks, cereals, and instant soups. I feel the guys and girls want the feel of home treats. In Israel every soldier likes soup almonds. These are divine to snack dry too.
Send a few packets of instant soups and healthy energy snack bars.
Take care to pack everything in a practical way. Skip large containers; just repack the cereal, crackers and foods that spoil, in air tight plastic containers.
Send a good deodorant, foot powder, body lotion, a shower cap for the girls, carefully chosen toothpaste and hair conditioner. Include dental floss, an extra tooth brush, a new hair brush and nail file. These little things just make life a bit sweeter.

Send a small board with a few laminated photos of the family and pets. It is a good feeling of home. A small note book and few pens are handy as well.

A new CD or music tape is fun and a magazine that they like, some news of contemporaries, cuttings of people they know and a letter or two. When you are far away the touch of the human hand on paper has a lot of meaning.

Finally, do it today. Do not think you will do it tomorrow. The idea is to get it there before Thanksgiving. So rush out and shop, pack and post the parcel.

Pray for the safety of every one and let them come home safely.

Make Thanksgiving a global feeling and enjoy who you are, where you are and what you have to cherish and be thankful for.
Love and light, Rona

Sunday, November 9, 2008



Hi to all of you! It is the start of a new year of studies, activities and living on a busy campus. You guys have to remember to eat and drink logically. This Sane and Sensible food plan will help you to create a small food corner.

You need nourishment: wholesome foods, fruit and vegetables in season, healthy drinks and supplements

There is very little time to cook so shop carefully for products that are quick to prepare. Oats is a quick and easy breakfast. Simply put a cup of oats and a little salt in a saucepan of two cups of water. Cook on a low flame for ten minutes. You can eat it with honey, raisins, cinnamon, granola and milk. It is a nourishing and satisfying meal.

These are the items you need to keep on hand: Yogurt, buttermilk, milk, cottage cheese, yellow cheese and olives. Have olive oil, grains, rice, pastas and some instant soups. Keep honey instead of sugar. Peanut butter and jams are good for sandwiches. There is a product called MARMITE and I recommend it for a spread on toast and as a hot drink. Just a teaspoon in boiling water is a broth you will enjoy
Soups are easy to make and you can literally throw in all vegetables and some lentils, barley, yellow lentils and chickpeas You need to eat grains, peas, hummus, techina, healthy grain whole-wheat breads, rye bread, rice crackers and whole-wheat pitot and crackers. Look at my former recipes and you will find soups, quinoa, rice and lentil dishes. They are simple to make and are nutritious.

Milk products are necessary and a glass of milk, cottage cheese, yogurts, yellow cheese and cream cheese are great. Do not forget eggs, boiled and make easy protein meals of omelets and pancakes.

Skip sugar pops, junk nibbles and commercial drinks. They do very little for you. Water is the best drink. You can have boiling water in the morning with a squeeze of lemon in it. This is good for the system and cleans the throat. Eliminate caffeine at night and make yourself a hot milk drink with cinnamon and honey in it. Grapefruit is a good winter drink. Squeeze a grapefruit into a tall glass and add a little honey, and boiling water.

Remember to keep your teeth and gums in good condition. Floss daily and rinse the mouth with salt water a few times a week.

Salty snacks, sugary cookies and commercial junk foods are of no value. Eat fresh apples, cucumbers, carrots, fruits in season for winter, like grapefruits, oranges and mandarins. Choose fruits and vegetables with beta carotene, red peppers, carrots, kohlrabi, loads of green herbs, onions and garlic too.

Get into the habit of eating breakfast and taking foods for the mid morning snacks.
Peeled carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, celery and apples, bananas are great with a chunk of cheese. Easy and fast to do.
You are in charge of your health. Smoking and coffee are trends and style, but not an investment to your health or well being. When you are young, you take your body for granted. Don’t! Eat simply and sanely. You are worth the trouble.
Study well, love what you are doing and put joy into each day.

Love and light, Rona

Saturday, November 1, 2008


When you plan winter meals, do the cooking in the afternoons and it will warm-up the kitchen and the aromas will float out the windows, welcoming the hungry family home. Nothing like home cooking, soups, a stew ,a quiche and casseroles, fresh bread and large platters of pasta.

Keep a supply of winter pastas, grains, lentils, oats, barley, wheat, rice, couscous, quinoa and burghul.
Soups can be made for a day or two at a time. Use family time to share the peeling of vegetables, cutting and creating pots of soup. When you teach a kid to make soup, they can use their skills when they go camping, hiking and simply for fun.
Use fresh herbs and delicate spices. Cool soups before you put them in the fridge. If you freeze them, label properly, names and date,. .

1 1/2 cup of lentils. I use mainly brown, and some orange thrown in too.
3 potatoes and 3 sweet potatoes.2 diced onions and 2 cloves garlic.
I cup of diced pumpkin and 1 whole peeled turnip that you remove at the end.
1 teaspoon of curry powder, salt and pepper. 1 Tablespoon of dried onions.

Rinse the lentils and drain.
Sautee the onions and garlic in 2 teaspoons olive oil on a low flame. Place everything in a large saucepan with all the vegetables that are peeled and diced. Bring to the boil on a medium flame and let it simmer for a minute or two and then turn the flame lower and let it cook for forty minutes. Cool and blend it all.
Serve it with a few tablespoons of chopped parsley or chives, a few peas or diced carrots sprinkled with a few sunflower seeds on the .top ,When you add the fresh vegetables at the end, they give the dish energy Try it and you will see it is delicious..


Wash and dice all the vegetables you have. Carrots, beans, pumpkin, potatoes, onions, garlic, leaves of parsley, fennel, a little cabbage, broccoli, spring onions and celery. Add three tablespoons barley, green split peas and rice. I put in some salt , pepper and a little paprika. There is a product made from vegetables, called MARMITE and this is a good flavor for soups. Use a teaspoon to a pot. I use dark miso and find it very tasty. When you use a stick of Kombu, remove it before the end. I like KOMBU, as it gives a balance to the soup.

Cook this with water on a medium flame until it boils. Lower and cook for 40 minutes. Cool and blend, leaving some vegetables whole in the plate of soup when you serve it. You can sprinkle a teaspoon of grated Parmesan cheese on the soup. A few chopped chives, sprigs of parsley and for parave meals, cut up squares of toast.

3 Cups of diced pumpkin, 4 diced potatoes, 2 onions, cut up into small pieces.
Sautee the onions in two teaspoon of olive oil. Place the onions, diced potatoes and pumpkin into 7 cups of water and bring to the boil.. Cook for 15 minutes and check that the vegetables are soft.. cool and blend them.
Add I cup yogurt, a pinch of curry powder and a teaspoon of grated ginger, or half a teaspoon of chives, parsley, some sunflower seeds and chunks of wholesome breads with herbed butters.

Winter meals are the best served with softer lights, colorful cloths, pretty serviettes and pots of herbs as centre. pieces of the table setting.

Serve the soups with little extras like gated cheese in a bowl, cut up squares of toast, herbed croutons and a few cut up boiled potatoes.
I make herbed croutons from left over breads. Just mix olive oil and oregano, basil and salt and pepper. Fry lightly in a pan and serve as a snack. Cooked chick peas, sprinkled with salt are another snack with soups.

Winter night are time to relax, just to sit a little longer, reflect, think and dream. Let the night be gentle, listen to music, read and take time to curl up and just be.

Love and light Rona

Saturday, October 25, 2008


Discover the greatest gardening…sprouts. Many people live in cities, work all day and do not have the pleasure and joy of eating produce from their garden.
By the time the fruit and vegetables reach the table, they have lost their vitamins and life force. They are often sprayed with harmful pesticides and may even be genetically grown and are totally devitalized. They are often shipped and from places that do not match the season we are in. Try to eat what grows in the area you live in and what is in season. That is why we have guavas, grape fruit, oranges and lemons, at the start of winter, when we need extra Vitamin C. Then in summer we have watermelon and juicy fruits.

Sprouts are exciting, fresh , vitamin and mineral packed foods that can re energize tired bodies, give us great enzymes and proteins. You need five minutes a day for the chore and the reward is in a day or two later. Involve the kids and give them their individual jars and seeds they like to eat.. They are crispy, crunchy and packed with goodness and health.

Do not eat dry seeds. They are indigestible and harmful to the digestion and body. Raw chickpeas, kidney beans, lentils and beans may cause stomach cramps, a bloated feeling and can even be poisonous. Never eat sprouts of tomatoes, potatoes and kidney beans. You have to buy sprouts from reliable sources. They must not be for farming, sprayed and chemically treated. So buy sprouts they are labeled for human consumption. I recommend you to buy at good health stores. or a source you can trust.
Nobody needs to eat handfuls of sprouts. The trend to give you a salad with a cup of sprouts on top, drowning in a mayonnaise laden dressing is not wise. You can break a tooth, get indigestion and simply do not need parrot food on your lettuce. Use sprouts that are delicate, a small amount and preferably cooked, steamed and sautéed, after they are soaked. I have been a vegetarian for over forty years and still eat my almonds soaked in fresh water. That way they are energized and healthy, digestible and easy to eat. Try it.


Sprouts include beans, seeds, grains and nuts.

BEANS. These include adzuki, chickpeas, called garbanzos. These are used for hummus. Lentils , Chinese mung, kidney, butter and soya beans.
Chickpeas are delicious in hummus, stews, soups, casseroles and salads. You need to wash, soak for 6-8 hours and then cook them. When they are soft, after a long cooking time, you can mash them, blend them , and use for many dishes. Be careful in the blender. They get thick, so add a few tablespoons of water. They are great cooked, served with salt and pepper as a snack. Soya beans are very popular, as they can be made into dry chips and used when they are re soaked and cooked as a meat substitute. They make good stews, meatless bolognaise and mince for a dish with rice or potatoes. I find that soya beans are good when cooked for a long time. Lentils are very versatile and they are great in soups and sprouted for use in salads, omelets and in sandwiches. I steam them to soften a little. In stir fry, use them near the end. . Butter beans that are used in soups and for exotic salads must be soaked for 8- 10 hours, rinsed and cooked well. I make an exotic Mexican dish with butter beans that is great for outdoor eating as a cold salad. Recipe will follow.

Sunflower is good to sprout, especially for smokers. A great alternative to chew seeds instead of another puff of a cigarette. They help older folks to sleep better as they have magnesium.
They can be added to breads, muffins and patties for meatless hamburgers. I soak them and roast them in the oven for a few minutes on a tray with olive oil and herbs,
and use them on salads for crunch and food value. Mustard seeds have a distinctive taste and need to be used fresh. They are good in stir fry. dishes. Broccoli must be bought from a reliable source and are good in salads and with vegetable dishes. Fenugreek has a mustardy taste and is good to soak and grow. They can be used for a drink if you have a bad cough. They reduce catarrh and help to ease swelling. Simply soak one teaspoon in a cup of boiling water for an hour. Then strain and use as a tea for sore throats or coughs. Sesame seeds are bitter when you sprout them, so skip them and eat as they are. I always use them in kiddies candies and as a base for cookies, in granola, for salads with sprouts and in muffins and banana breads. Pumpkin seeds have a leafy growth after four days of sprouting and are good in stir fry dishes and with cooked vegetables. Add at the end for a few minutes.
ALFALFA SEEDS, must not be eaten raw, unless you have bought them from a reliable source and they are untreated with chemicals. They must be fresh. .

These include barley, rye, wheat, buckwheat, millet .yellow corn, spelt, berries and many more. The ones we use for sprouts are mainly barley, rye and buckwheat.

The nuts I use are almonds and peanuts. Remember that many people and children are allergic to peanuts, so do not use them liberally. I use ten to twelve almonds for a day or two at a time. Simply place in half a glass of water overnight and rinse the next day, peel and use as a snack or add to salads and in food dishes or sandwiches. Peanuts must be very fresh or they are hard to digest.

I use a simple method. Take clean jars. Make holes in the lid or use a plastic lid with holes. I use muslin, cheese cloth and tie it on the jar with an elastic band. It is easy to open and wash out and the spouts can breathe. The way for kids is a cereal bowl with a kitchen towel. Simply place in the cupboard and they can rinse the seeds out in a strainer and replace them in the bowl and cover. Do not use cotton wool as the seeds get caught in it. You can use blotting paper, as long as you wash it twice a day. So it is easy and fun.
See the drawing at the end of the article.

The rule is eat a little, better steamed or cooked and in stir fry dishes, soups and in salads. If they have an odor or seem fermented, toss into the ground. If you have sprouted lentils in the fridge, you can roast them in a little olive oil and nuts and add anywhere. Like sandwiches, salads and eggs.Sprouted lentils are great in soups. Just add at the end. and heat through. Chinese mung beans are great fried and mixed with vegetables. They look great with a baked potato and terrific in a pita with hummus and techina.They also make a great sandwich with eggs and cheese fillings.

Wash one and a half cups of brown and half a cup of orange lentils,Letb them stand in water for an hour or two. Rinse, and cook them in clean water until they are fairly soft. Put aside. Dice three carrots, two potatoes, two onions, one sweet potato, chopped parsley, spring onions, ( a clove or two of garlic) and a teaspoon of curry, salt and pepper, a few sliced fresh mushrooms and a whole peeled turnip. Add the lentils and cook this all on a medium flame Remove the turnip The soup will be tasty and nourishing. When you serve, mix through sprouted lentils and serve with a few sprouted lentils on top for a fresh look.

Take one cup of quinoa and half a cup of wild rice. Wash, drain and cook with a little herb salt. Cook the rice first and put aside and then the quinoa, which cooks faster. Stir fry two cups of mung beans that you have previously sprouted. in a little olive oil, Mix them with diced red pepper, half a cup of parsley and a bit of oregano and two diced onions. When this is ready, mix with the quinoa and wild rice and serve with roasted sunflower seeds on top.

Soak three cups of butter beans for a few hours. Rinse and drain. Place in a pot of water to cover, with a teaspoon of salt and cook until soft. Drain. Make a sauce of one tablespoon curry powder, half a teaspoon of mustard and two chopped red peppers, three cloves of garlic, two teaspoons of honey and salt and pepper. Place this in a pot with two tablespoons of olive oil and one cup of tomato puree and two cups of crushed tomatoes and cook on a low flame for twenty minutes. Add the warm beans and cook for twenty minutes more. Serve with half a cup of sprouted lentils and a teaspoon of mustard seeds.
This salad can be eaten cold or hot.

I love fresh sprouts mixed with vegetables and dried fruits. This is an easy one. Wash two cups of fresh spinach and chop crudely. Mix in some mint leaves and spring onions. Make a dressing with the following. Two tablespoons of dried cranberries, two tablespoons of light raisins, and two dried cut up apricots and two cut up dates. Place in a small bowl with one tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and half a cup of orange juice, or mandarin juice. Let it stand for a few hours. Mix with the spinach and herbs and serve with fresh sprouts on the top. You can grate a few tablespoons of feta on the salad. Looks crispy and fresh. Enjoy with herbed bread and butter mixed with sunflower seeds. .


Saturday, October 18, 2008



We grew up with the lovely idea of tea at four. It was a British custom that families loved. It was a getting together of kids, friends, chats, swopping recipes and taking time to share a drink and lovely eats.

The idea is to take the trouble to make a decent cup of tea. Use good cups and saucers, a china teapot and loose leaves. We were taught to warm the teapot, warm the cups and serve tea that was strong and well brewed. Today the choice with tea bags, fruit teas, herb teas has changed habits. In a warm climate the iced teas are a hit, but no matter what, the cookies and cakes take special place.

There are scones, muffins, cookies, yeast cakes, date loaf and apple and cheese cake, biscuits and fruit cake and of course decadent chocolate cake. The following are a few of
my best and easy to make and even freeze..

1 heaped cup of dates.
1/4 lb butter.
1 cup brown sugar.
1 rounded teaspoon Bicarbonate of soda.
1 1/2 cups boiling water.
Put all of this in a saucepan on a medium flame, stir and bring to the boil. Leave to stand until cool.
Add three cups of flour. If you uses brown flour , uses less. I add half a teaspoon ginger, half a teaspoon cinnamon and three to four Tablespoons of crushed walnuts and raisins.
Mix carefully and bake in loaf tins that are buttered and floured. Bake at 300 for fifty minutes.
I serve Date Loaf with butter and honey. It is excellent after a day or two. Cool well, before storing.


Mix one egg, one cup flour, 1 heaped teaspoon baking powder, I dessertspoon honey, 2 teaspoons sugar, a pinch of salt and 3/4 cup of milk. Mix well and roll on a floured board. Pat 1/4 inch thickness and cut with a floured glass. Bake in medium oven floured board. Takes fifteen minutes.
I serve scones in a basket, with butter rolls, jams, honeys and cheese slices. They are excellent freshly baked. And can be part of a quick supper with fluffy omelets.


2cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder, and a pinch of salt.
6Tablespoons butter.
One beaten egg.
One cup yogurt or milk.

Sift the dry ingredients. With your fingers you can work the butter in.
Stir in the egg and yogurt mixture. I use a buttered cookie pan and drop a heaped teaspoon of the mixture into each spot. Bake at 400 for ten to twelve minutes.
To serve place them in a basket with a linen serviette and have butter, jam, marmalade and honey on the side.

If you like a variation to this scone, add two teaspoons grated parmesan cheese and half a teaspoon dried parsley.

For a sweet version, grate the peel of an orange and add half a cup of soaked raisins, or two dried apricots and two dates and a dash of cinnamon to the mixture.

175ml yogurt
3 cups self raising flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup oil
2 eggs
3 heaped teaspoon baking powder
Add 2 tablespoons crushed walnuts or pecans and a mashed cooked apple.
Mix all and place in muffin tins.
Bake 180. Twenty minutes. Enjoy.

Tea time can be the new style, mint tea, iced teas, fruit teas and a mix of snacks. It is popular to serve granola on top of yogurt with a tablespoon of honey. People like tea time to be food rather than cakes. You can make open sandwiches with cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, boiled eggs mashed with parsley and techina, cottage cheese mixed with herbs and chopped olives and even cottage mixed with dried fruits cut up and served with a few slices of melon and cut up pears. In the heat of summer, people like
Cold watermelon, melon slices served with bulghari cheese.

Make time to relax, so stop and listen to a friend, to share a cuppa and a story. '
Tea time is a ritual, but also a memory maker. The setting, the ambience, reflects the time, trouble and effort you put in to make it special.

Have a good week and love each day.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


I have personally loved carrots all my life and feel the benefit has been great eyesight and loads of energy. The carrots have a high concentration of carotenoids , are rich in Vitamin A , C and K and potassium, beta-carotene antioxidants and fiber.
As children we were encouraged to eat raw carrots because it was believed they kept worms away. Do not overeat carrots, as they can cause carotene, yellowing of skin and eyes. Ask your Doctor about this.
Carrots are easy to enjoy raw. The idea is not to overdo eating them, all day. You need a carrot or two a day. Carrot juice is a "food" and you drink it slowly. The benefit of vegetable juices cannot be underestimated. When people need to boost energy levels and the immune system, vegetable juices are great. During chemotherapy and radiation treatments, the patients often feel awful. Their appetite and will to eat is affected. A small glass of fresh juice is beneficial and easily absorbed by the body in stress

Take one carrot, one beetroot, juice of an orange, two or three sticks of celery. Add half a glass of water or apple juice and blend. Drink this slowly.
If you go out with friends for a coffee date, try to skip caffeine and order a carrot juice instead. Drink it slowly and you will relax and enjoy a healthy drink.

Take two carrots, two beetroot, one kohlrabi, one apple, one pear and a half glass of orange juice Grate all and mix with the juice, add two teaspoons of sunflower seeds and enjoy as a salad. I add some cottage cheese, grated parmesan cheese and olive oil .I have this with a slice of grain bread and it is a satisfying meal.


There are unique ways to eat steamed carrots with a meal or as an accompaniment to the main course I will give you quick and easy ideas, as carrots need very little dressing up.. Minted carrots. Wash, slice at an angle, steam, drain and place the carrots in a dish. Add half a cup of chopped mint that has been mixed with one tablespoon melted butter. Mix all. Heat through and serve.

Herbed carrots. Cut up four carrots in match stick style and lightly fry in olive oil and some fresh thyme and one tablespoon sunflower seeds . As I serve this I add a few chopped almonds. This is great as a vegetable, or served on a bowl of cous cous or rice. The contrast of color that carrot gives , is important with vegetables meals .

Carrots and garlic, leeks and brussel sprouts.

Take six carrots, wash, peel and slice them Cook and drain. Place them in an oven dish that has been oiled with olive oil. Arrange in circles with cut up garlic cloves in between and Brussels sprouts. Mix half a cup of grated cheese and two teaspoons of honey with olive oil and pour over . Bake in a medium oven for fifteen minutes. This looks different and goes well with a pasta.

Indian style Carrot dish.
Use six carrots. Wash and slice thinly. Steam until softened. I steam many vegetables, as it cuts the preparation time and loss of all the nutrients. I lightly fry the carrot slices in one tablespoon olive oil, one teaspoon cumin seeds, half a teaspoon mustard seeds and a dash of honey. When the seeds pop, you can add one teaspoon of freshly grated ginger { or prepared ginger} 1/4 teaspoon turmeric and two tablespoons of chopped onions. Lightly fry for five minutes. To serve I sprinkle with roasted sesame seeds and a few
raisins. Great over rice and even as a filling in a squash or hollowed zucchini.

Carrot Puree.
Sometimes you make a dish and feel you need a "gravy". Use this idea. Peel six carrots, cut into pieces and cook them for fifteen minutes. Add salt to the water. Strain and blend the purée. Add 1 teaspoon of butter. Reheat and serve over vegetables, spinach loaf or a quiche.

Cheese and Carrot Pie.
Eight carrots.. Peel and slice them and cook in lightly salted water.. Drain and place in an oven dish. Boil two cups of milk and remove from heat. Add 1 cup of grated cheese, a little salt and pepper and half a cup of crushed. Cornflakes. Stir this well and add 2 beaten eggs. Pour this over the carrots in the oven dish. Bake in a medium oven for twenty minutes.. To serve grate a little orange rind on this with finely cut up chives.

Carrot Cake.
This is the original Carrot Cake from the 50's. It was feature in the International Cook Book and we all ate it for years, as a cake or with a meal as a vegetable pie.

4-6 eggs. 3/4 lb (400grms} sugar. Grated lemon rind. 3/4 lb ground almonds. 1/2 lb {225grms} raw grated carrots.
2 teaspoons baking powder.
2 ozs flour.
Beat the egg yolks , sugar and lemon rind well and add the almonds and carrots.
Mix baking powder with the flour and add slowly. Fold the stiffly beaten egg whites lightly into the mixture and pour into a deep baking dish with a loose bottom. Bake in a low oven for one hour. You can decorate with lemon icing or brown sugar with a little cinnamon in. It. is better after a day or two..

Carrot salad with rainbowcolors

Wash and peel eight carrots. Slice into strips and boil in lightly salted water. Drain. Place these in alternate layers with two red and yellow peppers and two onions, cut into thin rings.
In a saucepan, bring the following to a boil. 250ml of water, 150ml white vinegar, 125ml.oil, 1 cup brown sugar, 2 teaspoons Worcester sauce. If you need the K stamp, use soya sauce or substitute with honey and a little molasses. . A teaspoon of mustard, a little salt and pepper. To this add two small packets of tomato soup. Boil this all to the boil for four minutes on a medium flame and pour it over hot ,on the carrot and vegetable mix. Let it stand to cool and then refrigerate. I sprinkle mint leaves on when I serve it
You can make this a day or two ahead of time.

Carrot Candies, called IMBERLACH.
My Mom used to make these for the Passover holidays. Many years ago there were very few cakes and cookies on the shelves for this holiday and I was always amazed by what our Moms produced.
Cook and mash about 11/2 pounds of carrots, that is about 750 grams. Add the following: 14ozs of brown sugar {400 grms}, one and a half teaspoons of ginger, {fresh if possible and use a little less} 5 ozs[145 grams} chopped blanched almonds. Cook all this for fifteen minutes until it is thick. Cook on a low flame and stir all the time. Add juice of two lemons. Mix well.. Sprinkle a board with sugar and pour the carrot mixture over it. Sprinkle sugar on top or some coconut. When the candy begins to harden, cut into
square or diamond shapes.

Enjoy carrot ideas and have a happy week. Let the kids have carrots sliced and ready for TV time, sports activities and even for the outing to a cinema and bus trips. It is so much better than spicy , salty highly treated snacks, loaded with additives, coloring and preservatives.

Today we have vegetables in hair shampoos, conditioners, body soaps and lotions. The newest cosmetics with carrots in them have creams that are delicate for the eye area, sun ta.n lotions, lip balms and face creams to moisturize, refresh and to treat the skin.

Go green, eat fresh carrots, enjoy yellow vegetables and choose the best of the season. Have a fresh and energy filled week
Love and light Rona

Saturday, October 4, 2008


Grains are packed with energy, easy to prepare and suit all eating programs. They come from come from seeds and a fruit of cereal grasses and the value is according to the husk, but if they are stripped of the bran and germ, the outer husks, they are less nutritious. The variety is vast and includes Amaranth, Barley, Buckwheat, Bulgur, Couscous, Millet, Oats, Quinoa, Rye, Spelt, and corn.
Every culture group has a different way of preparing their grains and we are lucky that in this day and age we learn so much from each other.

Grains have good protein value and we are recommended to eat a few servings a day.
We will start with BULGUR.

This is an easy and delightful starter to any meal. Good with humus, boiled eggs, salads and cheese platters.

1 cup bulgur.
1 cup chopped parsley leaves.
!/2 a cup chopped mint leaves.
2 chopped onions, 2 chopped tomatoes, 2 chopped cucumbers and one chopped red and
Yellow peppers. ( I do not use green peppers)
Half a cup of olive oil and half a cup of lemon juice, half a teaspoon salt and one crushed clove of garlic.
Mix the cup of bulgur with two cups of boiling water and the salt. Let it stand for thirty minutes. Drain and squeeze the liquid, Mix with the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic., Allow to marinate for an hour. Add the rest before serving. Mix lightly and serve.


Many of my senior friends love eating cereal for breakfast and this is so healthy.
1 cup bulgur
4 cups water.
Boil the water and stir in the bulgur.
Cook slowly on a low flame and when it is thickened, you can cover it. We eat it with cinnamon and honey, milk, soya or rice milk and recommend adding a few raisins and walnuts.


Basic recipe. 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups water. Rinse and drain the quinoa. Place in a saucepan and bring to the boil. . Lower flame to a simmer and cover and cook until the liquid is absorbed. This will take 10 – 15 minutes. When done the grains look transparent.
Now you can dress it up and have fun. Most people like the quinoa with dressing, but I like it with honey and nuts. Here are a few ideas to go from basic to delightful.

Quinoa and curried vegetables.
Cook two cups of quinoa with 4 cups of water. Squeeze out the liquid.
In a sauce pan, use two tablespoons of olive oil to fry two onions, one red pepper, half a cup of green spring onions, two crushed cloves of garlic, the rind of an orange, two tablespoon dark raisin, a little salt and pepper. Mix in two teaspoons of curry powder. I add two cut up dried apricots or a few
Mango slices. When this is sautéed, you can add it to the cooked quinoa. Mix well and on a low flame cook it slowly. I add a little water if necessary. Serve this with little bowls of chutney, coconut, and crushed cashew nuts and cut up bananas, with squeezed orange juice to prevent discoloring.
The idea of dressing up the quinoa is to get the family slowly weaned with the idea of new grains. Later on they will eat them in a simple way.
When my kids were young six or seven, I once served an oat hamburger and my son looked up and said. "Mom, I can't eat this, I think I saw it move," They were introduced to better foods, with more value very slowly and without pressure. You have to be creative, patient and present an alternative food, with some things they already enjoy.

QUINOA salad.
This is a lovely cold salad. Take one cup of quinoa and two cups of boiling water and cook in the basic way. Rinse and drain. Now mix half a cup of pomegranate pips, two tablespoons light and dark raisins, six crushed walnuts, two teaspoons pine kernels, half a cup of chopped chives or chopped parsley and spring onions. Pour over one cup of vinaigrette salad dressing. Mix well and place in a colorful bowl with mint leaves and orange slices and serve.

Quinoa. Used as a base for quiche.
I cook the quinoa and lightly fry it in one tablespoon of olive oil. Then I press it into a pie dish and press it with my fingers and let it stand in the fridge for an hour. I make a filling for it. Mushrooms Filling. I fry two onions, one crushed garlic, two teaspoons pine kernels, two thinly sliced apples and two cups of cut up mushrooms, salt and black pepper. When this is lightly fried, I add one beaten egg. Fill the pie dish and bake it in
medium oven for 15 minutes. Serve with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese,

Quinoa with a tang.
I love using the cooked quinoa for an exotic dish. Try this. Lightly fry two crushed clove of garlic, one teaspoons grated ginger, 1 tablespoon light soya sauce, cut up green onions, one grated carrot, one red pepper sliced thinly and very tiny cubes of kohlrabi. Add salt, pepper, fresh parsley, salt and pepper. I add a cup of cut up
Pineapple (optional) and serve this on the quinoa.

Have fun with the new and innovative, but please remember that you cannot change the family habits in a week. If you are trying to use alternative and healthier eating, just do it slowly. Nobody likes to be told how we can change them, make them feel healthier and improve their digestion in a day. When I was in the pharmacy, we sold hundreds of laxatives to many young people. Perhaps it was the cigarettes, sugar they consumed, unavailability of restrooms when they needed them, bad eating habits or simply constipation. But I was shocked and began to ask them what they ate in the morning and how much liquid they drank in the morning hours. It seemed that the general intake was caffeine and sugar. Today thirty years later there is awareness; re harm of excessive caffeine, sugar and bad habits. Please be gentle with change and the new……………have the favorites there too and slowly they will try and then choose the better option. Have a sweet year and lots of fun dreaming up all your resolutions.

I enjoy your comments and welcome questions of anything you specifically want to read about. Love and light Rona

Monday, September 29, 2008

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Saturday, September 27, 2008


Gifts and tokens that express our feelings are part of our lives. There are many reasons to give a gift. It can be thank you, congratulations for an event or graduation, promotion, winning a game, academic success and more…………..the gesture of giving, sharing and taking time to create the gift, is special for the giver and the person who receives it. It has the power to say, I care and I thought about you and I wish you good tidings.

The value is not what you spent, it is the effort and thought.
Today there are so many solutions that you do not always have to spend time selecting, wrapping and delivering the gift. There are wish cards, vouchers, subscriptions for theatre, magazines, DVDs and home delivery of foods and flowers. Imagine receiving a voucher that allows you to order your flowers when you need them, pizza for a rushed dinner and a coffee coupon that just deducts the coffee from the card. So convenient. The one thing you have to do is remember the dates and events.

Let us start at the beginning. Buy a perpetual Birthday book. This will be a personal record of all the birthdays and anniversaries you need to remember. I use a yearly calendar for the festivals, graduations. Wedding and forthcoming events.

Have a drawer that has cards, colored pens, string, bows, cellophane paper, tissue and gift wrap. Brown paper is useful, few stickers and silk flowers. Buy plain cards and envelopes and the children can create their own cards,

There are standard gifts that work for all occasion. Chocolate is a favorite. It says I love you, sorry, thanks; this is something you like .You know it will not go into the exchange basket. I would not like to live on a planet that does not have chocolate.
Buy brands you know and check the ingredients and date of expiry. Read the ingredients and look for real cocoa and oils, not foreign substitutes and weird sounding preservatives, coloring matter and odd additives.

Being Sane and sensible, I like books, practical stationery, office equipment, music recordings, DVDs and subscriptions to good magazines. The National Geographic is a timeless and great gift. The standard of photography and informative articles fascinate all age groups. I personally love candles, natural fragrances and crystals. These elements give the home a relaxed and warm atmosphere.

Age is a determining factor. Young children like noisy toys, action and games their friends have.
Later you can give them good, long lasting wooden toys, Teenagers like music and the trendy things they see on friends. Designer labels and high fashion items. There is a need to go through this stage,. They would love a voucher at a good coffee house, or a record at a music store.

Our parents and grand parents always say they need nothing, they have everything.
Surprise them with a voucher for a florist that delivers flowers every two weeks or when they call, a gift voucher for a good restaurant, a subscription for a movie house in the area, , a massage , a week end at a spa or boutique hotel and last and not least The Opera House, the theatre with a box of chocolate and a driver to take them there. For people who need a hobby, a few bonsai trees or a small herb garden could provide hours of pleasure. An orchid might be the gift they never bought for themselves.

People, who led busy lives earning a living and bringing up families, might not have time to share their stories with you. Give them an easy tape recorder that they can chat into and it will be a treasure for the family for ever.

I hope you are spoilt this holiday, with love, hugs and gifts. Remember that many people never receive a gift. So if the guy who collects the garbage, the gardener, the lady at the post office, the clerk at the bank , or the street sweeper has made your life easier, a small gift , a pop in with a plate of home made cookies, will give them pleasure.
Have a week of good days, fun re unions, time to relax , smile and give thanks for where you are, who you are and what we have that makes life easier and more enjoyable.

Love and light Rona

P.S.If you would like to support projects that help others, when you purchase there, call me or email me .

Friday, September 26, 2008


We all have occasions when we cook too much and there are left overs. Nobody wants to throw it out, but there is a problem. If you carelessly toss it into the fridge, it sits for two days and then looks at you. Most men will not eat left overs. Perhaps I am wrong, but tell me if you have ever seen a guy take out those little dishes from all the corners in the fridge and eat them?

I feel if it is worth re cycling, do it properly. First cool the food and cover it. Then place it in the fridge with a see through dish. Keep it covered. Pyrex is the best. Little covered up parcels are just there in transit to the bin. If I have a great deal of rice over, I freeze it. If it is vegetables, I turn it into a soup. If it is salad, with dressing, use it as a snack, because it does not last for the next day. If you prepare the salad without dressings and you do not add tomatoes, it is easier to keep.
When you throw out breads, crackers, crumbs and dry foods, pass them to the birds and animals outside. There are many ways to re cycle food and salad greens.

Keep the foods in the fridge in appropriate containers. Cheese wrapped and in a dish, vegetables and herbs in paper and dairy products on a shelf where you can read the date of expiry. Store cottage and cream cheese, humus salads. techina and dips in well closed containers.

A bit of ground coffee in a glass or little dish will absorb odors. Some bicarbonate of soda in water is a good cleaner and the glass can be wiped with vinegar. It gives the fridge a sparkling look. Keep the fridge well lit. Makes everything look more appetizing. Endeavour to teach everyone that sauces, jams and condiments, all need a clean spoon. With some effort, the products will not spoil. Nothing like opening the humus and seeing a dab of salad in it. Keep bottles well closed. Have good containers for olives and cucumbers. Do not leave a thing in a tin that has been opened.. Transfer the food to a covered dish

Try to cook the correct amount of staples. Check pastas for amounts. .When you make soups, stews, quiches and pies, you can freeze the extra, when cooled properly. Label everything in the freezer. Do not hoard heaps of frozen vegetables. Rather buy fresh, what is in season and locally grown.
Many people keep coffee, chocolates, halvah, flour, coconut, dried fruit and relishes, sauces and fruit in the fridge during hot days.
Remember to recycle the ice trays regularly. You can toss the ice on the plants or let it melt and use as water for flowers. It is fun to freeze ice cubes with mint leaves and add it to a jug of water. Looks lovely and tastes good. Toss a few slices of cut lemon and it looks terrific. Always use glass to store water in the fridge. I use empty wine bottles with lids. Much better than plastic.

Lastly remember to have a shopping list that enables you to buy carefully and wisely. Do not fall for the three for the price of one. Generally you do not need three……….. check the date of expiry and then decide. My grand son was with me once and I bought chocolate on the special and as I was checking the date, he piped up," Grand ma do not worry about the date, the three of us will eat them immediately. "

Rotate the dairy in the fridge. So this is about left overs and now I wish you to sit down and make a cup of tea and relax. Make a careful shopping list and remember to add cleaners for the kettle (vinegar) silver cleaners ,the kitchen counters, the ends of taps and drain holders, and cleaners for the kitchen bin.

Always have kitchen wipes handy for spills, absorbent towels for liquid mess, clean sponges to wash dishes, handy brushes for cleaning plates and gloves And for your precious hands. a hand cream is the final accessory for you. ……Housework is a chore and needs to be done. Do not see it as a bother, rather as a privilege that you can create a happy, clean and pleasant environment in your home for the family you love.

Feel happy that you can do all of this and sit down and smile.
Nothing in the world is as good as knowing that each day you are doing your best with an attitude that is happy and needs no reward. It is called unconditional loving and caring.
I think the greatest tribute is a kid coming home ,runs in and yells "Ma are you home?"
He knows where the cold water is , the popcorn and the lunch, you being there just makes it so much better.

Love who you are, know what you are worth and above all, appreciate the moment of now.

Have a great week………………………………………………………love and light Rona

P.S. Thanks for your interest. Coming soon, articles on carrots, cabbages, cucumbers, quinoa, grains and corn.

Monday, September 22, 2008


.HAPPY NEW YEAR ROSH HASHANAH Festivals and celebrations that bring us all together are the best time of the Year.
I always feel there are some people who cannot wait to create the invitations, the gifts and meals, the décor and the extra little thousand details that make it all special and unforgettable. If you find all the planning too much, do not despair, just modify it all, let it be easier with the same love thrown into it, but scaled down to the size that you can cope with.

I like a color scheme and choose the tablecloth and serviettes, plates and glasses to have a connection to the New Year. I place little surprises at each child's place and they love the colorful cards and wrapped up gifts

Welcome the New Year with apples and honey When people walk in serve a slice of apple and honey. I arrange it on a tray with raisins, a bowl of pomegranate pips, nuts, apple jam and fresh dates.

If you have many children, place little dishes on the table with fun things in them. Tiny candies, chocolates and pecans and walnuts. Some kids nibble rather than eat…

Make the meal simple with the favorites of everyone. Not easy , but try, Kids like what they recognize and old folks like easy to eat foods. Do not experiment with way out nouvelle cuisine; just make tasty dishes that go with the holiday. I will give you a list of ideas.
The dessert should be ready and the dishes can be prepared on a tray that has serviettes, spoons and scrumptious goodies on it. Then you can sit down as everyone does a serve yourself tea, coffee and cake dessert.

Drinks. Water, juices, iced tea. Chilled grape juice and wines to celebrate the New Year.
Starters. In homes where people eat meat and fish, herring, liver, fish balls are served. We replace them with boiled eggs, asparagus, artichoke hearts, cut up vegetables, cherry tomatoes, fresh and pickled cucumbers and olives. You can have a fresh green salad and a good dressing. Sprinkle pecans and walnuts on this. Cheeses can be prepared as slices, cubes and even grilled haloumi, cheeses marinated in olive oils, spreads and dips make a great start.

Have a few assorted challah s and rice crackers (for gluten free diets) whole wheat bread and some rye crackers.

Soup. I find this fills everyone up, but a vegetable soup is the best.

Main course. I will refrain from telling you what to make, as everyone has their favorites. Here are a few ideas.

Lentil loaf, Stir fry vegetables, Broccoli and Mushroom quiche, Onion Pie and tzimmes
We always include beets, red cabbage, roast potatoes, carrots, rice, quinoa and beans.

Rice. Cook plain brown or white rice. I make two sauces and let people choose. You place them on the large platter with the rice. One is sweet. Lightly fry two onions, 2 teaspoons pine kernels, two thinly sliced apricots and two teaspoons sliced almonds
And chopped walnuts.and a little turmeric. The other one is a savory one .Lightly fry two cloves, of garlic, chopped onion, cut up spring onions, one grated carrot and ten to twelve mushrooms. Add salt ,pepper and parsley. You will find people choose what the want and the left over rice is ready for the next day. You can turn it into a pudding by adding honey, cinnamon, cream or butter, or two yogurts and bake it in the oven. Serve with ice cream or chocolate sauce.
Use left over rice to make stuffed peppers with nuts and herbs.

Roast potatoes. I bake or boil washed potatoes the day before. I cut them up and roast them with the peels, with olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper. Kids love these. The others can
. be made into a quick potato salad. I make a salad dressing of two tablespoons olive oil, herb salt, black pepper, chopped fresh parsley, a teaspoon of prepared mustard, a teaspoon of honey and two tablespoons of sunflower seeds. This dressing is healthy and delicious.
Cabbage. Cut red cabbage thinly and lightly fry in a pan with 2 diced onions. until the cabbage wilts. Add two peeled and diced apples, half a cup of raisins, half a cup of brown vinegar, 2 teaspoons salt and two tablespoons sugar. Add a little water or orange juice. Cover and simmer on a low flame for twenty minutes. When the cabbage is tender, add 1/4 cup of red wine and heat through. Excellent with any main dish.

Baked cherry tomatoes and onions. I use three cups of cherry tomatoes, one cup of baby onions cut in thin slices, ten cloves of garlic. Arrange in an oven dish and sprinkle two tablespoons olive oil, a little coarse salt and black pepper. Bake for ten minutes. Fabulous with any dish. I prick the tomatoes before I bake them If you have any left over, blend and use as a spread on toast or with a baked potato.

Green beans. This is another vegetable that is traditional to serve with a Rosh Hashanah meal. I use fresh beans and cut them in half and steam them until they wilt. I add a dressing of two teaspoons olive oil, two teaspoons roasted sesame seeds, chopped clove of garlic
thinly sliced yellow pepper. I add this to the beans and warm through.

The idea of this meal is to combine foods with the traditional symbols of the New Year

Vegetable platter. I steam washed pieces of broccoli, cauliflower and sweet potatoes. I do these separately. It is a lot of work, but do this the day before. Cool and store.
Slice zucchini into shapes of a cigar and steam lightly. Use a dressing of olive oil,
Chutney and balsamic vinegar
Arrange all the vegetables on an oven dish and bake for ten minutes. Sprinkle olive oil on everything The idea is to prepare ahead and assemble with no effort. You can sprinkle finely cut up chives on this and serve on a large tray.

Dessert. Traditionally we have honey cake, compote of prunes, raisins, cinnamon ,nut cookies, apple and cinnamon kugel, a never ending of delights. Being sane and sensible , I know there. Is ,hardly place for more after a large meal. I like a bowl of assorted ices, tofu ice creams, chocolate and carob sauces, pureed apple sauce and chocolates for the kids. I prepare a fresh fruit salad of fruits in season. I use steamed peeled and cut up apples. They are made a day or two before and you can add them to the compote or fresh fruit salad. They do not spoil and make life easier. Left over apples can be made into pudding or apple pie. With the tea tray ready, sit down and relax.

I wish you all the joy of renewal, dreams to start a New Year, Re unions that are full of love and caring and most of all Health and Happy days. Love and light Rona

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


I love this versatile vegetable. It is healthy , has great color and makes a good salad. The iron from beets is good for us. It can be eaten raw, steamed , pickled, baked and cooked.

You can cook it ahead to use within 2-3 days. I do not let it lie in the fridge for longer than that, unless it has been turned into a pickle or cooked dish.


Take 4 raw beets.
4 celery stalks
2 Tablespoons of chopped parsley.
2 grated carrots.
1/4 small cabbage.
Olive oil.
Salad dressing.
Wash and grate the beets. Cut the celery; grate the carrots, cut cabbage fine. Marinate it all in a salad dressing. Make a quick French one. Use olive oil, a little balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper and cut up a few mint leaves. Wash and arrange the lettuce on a large plate, place the salad on it and decorate with the nuts and salad dressing.

. This is a quick meal , filling and full of good health It has iron that is good for us too..
Grate two beetroots, two carrots, two apples, one peeled kohlrabi, one pear(if you have one. Add 1/4 cup of orange juice.
Mix this with three tablespoons of sunflower seeds, salt , pepper, 1 tablespoon olive oil, five chopped mint leaves and five or six chopped walnuts. Place the salad in a pretty dish
Serve with cottage cheese on the side and with toasted bread.

If you are going to work, you can make this beetroot salad, without the orange juice. .
Instead add two teaspoons techina. Take a few cubes of cheese with you and some healthy crackers. This is a satisfying and filling meal


I make this so often and it lasts for a week in the fridge. When you want an extra for a quick meal, this works.
Six to seven medium beetroots.]
2 thinly sliced onions.
1 teaspoon salt.
1 cup vinegar.
4 tablespoons brown sugar.
Some peppercorns and two bay leaves.
2 Tablespoons prepared chrain (pickled horseradish)
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds.
1/2 teaspoon parsley.
Cook the beetroot in their skins. The skins will come off easily.
Slice the beetroots.
Place the onions, salt, vinegar, peppercorns, bay leaves and horseradish in a pot and bring to the boil on a medium flame
Then add the mustard seeds and parsley .
Pour this over the beetroots. Place in the fridge when cool.
I place this in two or three bottles, cool and close well.


This is terrific in a cold glass on a hot day or as a cold soup to start the meal.
8 beetroot
2 Tablepoons brown sugar, or half honey and sugar.
250ml sour cream.
3 litres water.
2 teaspoons salt.
1/2 cup lemon juice.

Wash and cook the beets in water, until soft. Peel the beets and strain the water. Liquidize the beets with some of the water. Add sugar and lemon juice. The consistency should be thick. Serve cold. Add a spoon of sour cream to each plate and a sprig of fennel or cut up chives. A few boiled baby potatoes are great to serve with the soup.


Wash and cook six beets in water. Rinse and remove skins. Cut into large wedges. Place in an oven dish. Pour over olive oil, pepper, salt and sesame seeds. Bake for twenty minutes in medium oven. This is ideal with rice, pasta, with mushrooms, vegetables, or cut into hot potato salad.

For a quick healthy salad, boil four beets, Skin , dice into cubes. Place in a bowl and add

Vinaigrette dressing, sprinkle sunflower seeds and a few chopped walnuts. Enjoy

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Mushrooms are one of my favorite treats. They are a culinary delight and have good food value. They are so easy to prepare and look fabulous cooked or raw. You can use them in stews, grill, steam, bake and fry them Mushrooms add flavor to soups, vegetable quiches, vegetable dishes and are terrific pickled and marinated.

Buy mushrooms from reliable sources. Wash carefully. Do not stand in water. This spoils the flavor. Just rinse and wipe with a wet cloth. If you do not use them immediately, sprinkle them with a little lemon juice. If the stalks are stringy and tough, just remove them and use the stalks for a soup base.
Today we are able to buy all kinds of mushrooms and you will have fun choosing a portabella for a grill, button mushrooms to marinate or bake, exotic mushrooms for delicate cooking and raw ones that are safe to eat.

The dried mushrooms are a boon and you will enjoy having them at home for unexpected meals. We have a company here Tekoa Mushroom Farm, that has amazing mushrooms and it is a pleasure to go into a supermarket and see the variety we can choose from daily.


4 oz button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced.
1/2 oz walnuts .pulverized in the blender.
Half a teaspoon of chopped red pepper.
One small chopped onion.
Fry onion until brown in one tablespoon olive oil
Add mushrooms, walnuts, red pepper, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1 tsp sherry.
Fry gently for 7 minutes Remove to wooden board.
Chop until creamed. Add chili powder. Chill and serve on toast.

1 LB Mushrooms
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic
Half a cup olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped parsley and half a teaspoon mixed herbs.

Place the washed and drained mushrooms in a deep bowl.
Heat the oil gradually and add all the ingredients. Mix well. Pour over the mushrooms and cover.
Refrigerate. When I have mixed it all gently, I place it in a jar and close it carefully. This is a good addition to a meal and excellent to use as a base for a salad.


1 lb Mushrooms. Wash and slice. Boil for three minutes in a little salted water.
Strain and cool. Take 4 Tablespoons of olive oil, 3 Tablespoons of lemon juice, 4 crushed garlic, half a teaspoon black pepper, quarter teaspoon salt, and mix all well. Add to mushrooms. Marinate 48 hours. Serve on buttered rye bread. This will keep fresh for 8 days in the fridge.


I like to bake mushrooms in the oven. Take two cups of washed and sliced mushrooms. Place them is a dish suitable for baking in the ovenץ
ןTake two chopped onions, three cloves of crushed garlic, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper and two teaspoons of lemon juice and pour over the mushrooms. Add one cup of boiling water. Put the lid on and bake in a medium oven for twenty minutes, remove the lid and grill for five minutes.. The liquid will keep the mushrooms moist. To serve, chop chives and sprinkle over the mushroom with two teaspoons of pine nuts.
This dish can be served on rice, a baked potato or on quinoa. This is an excellent filling for omelets and with a tofu dish.


1 lb mushrooms
1/4 cup of butter or olive oil.
3/4 cup of bread crumbs. Here I use crushed corn flakes.
1 tablespoon grated onion.
1/2 cup cream or 1 cup of thick yogurt.
Salt and pepper

Wash, drain and slice the mushrooms. Sauté in butter or olive oil until soft. Add crumbs and and seasoning. Simmer until browned. Place in buttered shallow dish and pour the cream or yogurt on top. Sprinkle a sprig of thyme. Pour a little milk on top and bake at 350 f for 20 minutes. Serve this over a pasta or cooked mashed pumpkin. Enjoy.


This is a spicy dish and a great one to serve with chutney, cut up banana sprinkled with lemon juice, raisins and coconut of the side.

3 cups of fresh washed and drained mushrooms. If large, slice them.
2 medium size onions.
3 medium size tomatoes.
1 yellow pepper.
6 small potatoes. 2 sweet potatoes.
1 tablespoon lemon juice.
1 dessertspoon curry powder.
Salt to taste.
1 teaspoon of grated ginger. If you do not have fresh ginger, soak the crystallized type in a little water and chop into little pieces
1 small chili. This is optional.

Wash, drain and cut up the mushrooms. Wash and peel the potatoes and sweet potatoes into cubes. Heat olive oil in a saucepan and fry the onions, ginger and yellow pepper that is chopped up. Allow to sizzle for a minute and then add the mushrooms, potatoes and chopped tomatoes. Mix well. Let it all cook on medium heat for twenty minutes. Check if potatoes' are soft. Add curry powder and lemon juice and simmer for 10 minutes more. Pour in half a cup of peas or cut up green onions. Stir through…and serve piping hot with rice.

Have a great time being creative in the world of food delights. Do not worry if there are mushrooms left over,. Just chop or place in blender and use as a spread.
Let all good things mushroom in your life.
Love and light. RONA

Saturday, September 6, 2008


Planning meals needs thought, enthusiasm and consideration.
It is useless to invite three generations and expect them to eat the same food. Older folks prefer food they know and recognize. Kids like the food you always make. They need the assurance that the roast chicken, roast potatoes and rice will always be the same. They want avocado and tomato as they imagine it. Carrots cannot be disguised and, chips or French fries must always be accompanied by ketch up. So what if you want to cater gourmet, nouvelle cuisine, macrobiotic and Italian foods? You need to plan and create foods to suite everyone at the table. In many homes, the festivals have traditional foods. While grandma was brought up on those and made them for you, your kids of this global era won't want them. Few kids want chopped herring and gefilte fish………they do not want suet puddings. Steamed tapioca and sago either. So do what you have to do. Plan the meal for the people at the table.

Holidays demand a larger meal and luscious desserts. The idea is to linger longer and enjoy the togetherness and chatting, while you eat slowly.

I find that the planning of table, chairs, cushions for little ones, back cushions for grand pa, ample serviettes, lots of glasses and cool water, ice and fruit juices, need to be on .hand. The table cannot be overcrowded, because passing up and down is a chore. So have a drinks table on the side. Have all the main courses near the stove. You can create a buffet space and have the plates there too. Have cutlery and condiments on the table. Match serviettes, candles and cloths. Harmony begins when you look down.

The dessert plates, spoons, forks and small serviettes should be on a separate tray. Coffee. Teas, kid's beverages and cups, saucers, cake plates and ice cream bowls, can be arranged in another corner, or on a tray wagon. As the hostess you will find that planning is smart, comfortable for everyone and gives you a sense of confidence that the evening or lunch is organized for maximum enjoyment.

Do not experiment with a whole new menu that you throw together before they came. Forget about serving hot soup in plastic melt down dishes. Decide if you like throw away or china. I recommend china for the main course. This way you need to have small plates to start and the dessert can be on paper goods. Have kitchen cloths and paper towels for spills and unexpected dramas.
Always keep ice cream cones and cookies for kids, who did not eat enough. Keep rice crackers and cheese handy, in case a guest is allergic or needs sugar free food. Do not load the food with garlic, sesame seeds and peanut butters. Allergic people cannot tolerate these.
Remember to ask people you do not know well, if there are foods they cannot partake of. You will be surprised what people cannot eat. So when you make a list and find eleven of your friends are allergic and three others like weird foods, you then switch the plans and go out? Kids who sleep over need to tell you what their preference is for cereals and breakfast…….they usually have breakfasts an hour before lunch.

They find it difficult that I made all the food from scratch……………. What do they think; we have a team of elves who come in at night?

Throw away guilt. You married for better and worse and no one said anything about three meals a day. When my friend retired, he was shocked to find out how much time his wife spent shopping, cooking and baking, serving and clearing up after meals. He had never given this task any thought. He figured out by reducing three meals to two and then to one, she was a different person. Relaxed and there was time to go out and have fun. Living each day with a little leisure time is essential. So I plan to help you find leisure time that comes from organizing your thinking re shopping and meals.


Plan the main meal with a protein as the centre of it. But also create two vegetables that are half the meal Carbohydrates, pasta, rice and grains can be the main part of the meal with vegetables as the other half.

Choose vegetables in season, and steam them. Skip heavy sauces. Just use techina or humus. This is easy to mix with olive oil. Lemon juice and herbs. Keep the dressing in the fridge. For extra taste sprinkle oregano, basil, dried onions and zatar, that is hyssop, on vegetables


Prepare a fresh salad and the dressing. Use vegetables that are not in the cooked part of the meal. You can do a salad of baby leaves, thinly sliced cucumbers and a very finely chopped red onion, two fresh pears sliced thin. To make sure they do not discolor sprinkle lemon juice over them. Soak 2 tablespoons raisins and 2 tablespoons walnuts in orange juice or with the pears in lemon juice. Before serving combine all on an individual plate for each guest and grate feta over the salad. Use an olive oil and balsamic dressing, herb salt and pepper in it. Serve with whole wheat grissini sticks or toast that is cut into strips. Place a herbed butter on the table for the toast. Butter blended with pesto, dried tomatoes or basil and parsley is a good mixture.


Choose a large pot and a packet of good pasta. Make extra and you can be sure it works the day after too. Cook as instructed.
Slice two to three cloves of garlic, two large onions, two zucchini, two grated carrots, one red pepper and a yellow one, one cup of sliced green onions. Lightly fry the garlic and onions in a saucepan, in olive oil on a low flame. Add the carrots, then zucchini, peppers and sauté until done. Add herb salt and pepper, half a teaspoon of oregano and basil. Lastly stir in the green onions and put aside. Mix in two cups of yogurt while it is warm. Some people prefer one yogurt and one cream. Mix through well. Drain the pasta and put into a large serving dish. Pour the lovely sauce over it all and sprinkle two tablespoons of Parmesan cheese over this. Sprinkle cut up fresh parsley as you serve and some roasted sesame seeds. They give a festive look. If you are making it for serving later, only add the parsley and sesame seeds before serving.
Consider the guests. For the kids they prefer grated yellow cheese and do not like too much sprinkled over it.
Serve the pasta with some peas or edamame beans on the side and steamed cut up pumpkin.

This is optional and depends on the number of guests.


I know that a wicked dessert goes well with pasta. But in order to remain Sane and Sensible, buy Golden Delicious apples. Wash and core them, fill the centre with cut up dried apricots, raisins, some figs and dates. For eight apples you only need eight pieces of fruit. Wash and cut up tiny. Fill the apple and add a little orange juice and a dash of

Cinnamon on each. Place in an oven dish with water that goes half way and bake covered in a medium oven for thirty minutes. Baste once or twice. You can use red wine or fruit juice in the dish too. I serve the baked apple on a medium size plate with hot custard, or vanilla ice cream. Soya caramel or vanilla ready puddings work as well. For an extra bit of style, buy frozen or fresh berries and warm up a saucepan with blended fruit in season. Add a bit of liquor or grated ginger. Pour on the side and place some flower petals there. Finish the presentation with a sprinkling of cake icing sugar through a strainer.

Enjoy. To top of the meal have the tea tray ready. People like to choose, but a pot of mint tea is great. Simply boil the water, add fresh mint leaves, a dash of honey or sugar and let it stand. Pour into colorful glasses and serve with a chocolate. Have a great week and find time to put your feet up and relax. Find time to chat to those you love. The beginning of September is a busy time. New school situations, holidays coming up, seasons are changing……..lots to do. Make a list and feel good about your ability to do what you have to do.

I wish you love and light and gentle vibrations to make your week sweet.