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.

Monday, September 1, 2008


Lentils are a versatile protein, easily digested and simple to use. It freezes well and it can be used in many ways. You can make it into a spread, a stew, a vegetarian hamburger, a vegetarian loaf, salad, sprouts and great soups. There are brown, light colored and orange lentils. They need to be washed well and put into a strainer to get rid of the water. Then spread them on a towel and check carefully for stones or chips. You can store cooked lentils in small containers in the freezer. Do not freeze anything that is warm. Leave it out to cool properly.

Lentils need spices and herbs, condiments and different vegetables to give it structure in certain dishes. I add nuts and raisins to many dishes and as a spread, condiments are
Used according to your taste. These include mustard, pickles, tomato sauces, techina and curries.

This is something for the kids. Soak and wash lentils well. Check for stones. Place the lentils in a porridge bowl and cover with a towel. Place in a dark cupboard. After a day, rinse with water and place in the cupboard again. After the third day, rinse well and they will have grown a lot, so place in the fridge in a covered dish. These can be used in fresh salads, on sandwiches, as an addition to stir fry, in soups and stews. They are great when you have an omelets or a tofu scrambled egg, stirred in for a minute on the flame. …Sprouts can be kept in the fridge for a few days.


Wash 500 grams of lentils. (About 17 ozs. Or 1.10 lbs). Wash and check that there are no stones and cook in a pot with half a teaspoon of salt. Cook until soft and drain. Take 3 cups of cooked lentils and three cups of cooked rice. Mix well.
The lentils and rice, or mashed potatoes, are the base. Now we add the tastes.
Dice two medium sized onions and three garlic cloves (optional). Fry these in olive oil. Add salt and pepper, two medium size peeled and cubed tomatoes, one diced red pepper, one grated carrot and two small grated apples.
Mix the lentils, rice and onion mixture in a large bowl.
Add half a cup of crushed almonds, half a cup of chopped walnuts, two tablespoons chopped parsley, and half a teaspoon dried marjoram and celery. Add half a teaspoon paprika or curry. I find that kids love the curry taste. Salt and pepper are a must to throw in and now you can decide. I use three eggs to bind the dish. If you prefer not to use eggs, you can add one tablespoon of olive oil.
Mix well and let this chill in the fridge for an hour.
Use a baking dish with a lid, or a bread loaf dish. I find that by baking the mixture well it is great to serve as slices Looks good and tastes great. You can of course, roll into hamburger shapes and fry in oil. All you have to do it coat it with crumbs; I use crushed cornflakes or a mixture of sesame seeds and rice cereal. I crush it and use as a coating. Please understand that these ideas are mine that have been used time and time again. It works and it is tasty and practical. I believe that the less we mess with products that lie on shelves for months, the easier it is to digest what you cook.

I bake the lentils in a medium oven for thirty minutes. It will be brown when ready. The one without eggs, can be baked for a few minutes more. When slightly cool, it is easier to serve.
To serve hot. Serve with steamed green and yellow vegetables. I love the mix of ying yang and colors with cooked foods. Make a little dish of chutney, tomato spread or techina as an addition. I mix two tablespoons of raisins and coconut in a bowl. It is great with chutney. You can make this dish a day ahead and serve it hot.
To serve lentils cold.
You can slice the loaf and serve it in a bun, on a baked potato and with a fresh salad.. Be innovative with salad. Use radish cut up small, kohlrabi, spinach leaves, baby leaves, grated carrot and fresh parsley, spring onions and red or yellow peppers. I love salads that sparkle. They are of products in season, not tired and frozen.
When you make a sandwich with a slice of lentils for work, add some mustard and lettuce leaves. It is filling and great as a meal.

Freezing. I freeze the loaf when it is cold. I also slice and freeze each slice wrapped individually. Then you can use one at a time. Take a slice or two and place on an oven dish that is oiled with olive oil. Reheat.
Enjoy this protein and serve it to the kids with home made fries. These are potatoes cut up and steamed. Then put them in an oiled dish and bake in the oven. Better than chips in oil and taste fresh.

The rest of the lentils that were cooked can be added to soup or made into a paste to spread on toast.

Two cups of cooked lentils. Mash well.
Fry one large onion, half a teaspoon curry powder, salt and pepper, two tablespoons of tomato paste, one tablespoon of lemon juice, one tablespoon of honey, two crushed dates, dash of cinnamon and mix all. Cool and stir in one tablespoon of sesame seeds. Keep in the fridge for toast, crackers or on a baked potato. For a salad dressing, mix well with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Enjoy creative ways of eating. Puts a smile on your dial.
This is Noel's lentil soup . It is terrific,
2 Tablespoons Olive oil.
2 onions
I cup brown lentils
4 tomatoes peeled and cut up. (Remove peels by dropping in boiled water for a few minutes)
1 tablespoon parsley, fresh and chopped up.
1 cup soft soaked chickpeas.
1 cup noodles, the thin type. 4 celery stalks, cut up small.
1 teaspoon ground ginger.
Pinch of turmeric.

Heat the oil and brown the onions. Add the celery and whole chickpeas. Add six and a half cups of boiling water. Cover and cook for 45 minutes. Then add parsley, tomatoes, turmeric, ginger and lentils and cook another fifty minutes. Finally add pepper and salt and noodles and cook

For five minutes more. Serve with a chunky slice of whole-wheat bread with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese on top Enjoy……..

This is my daughter's recipe. Sel makes it and serves it with style and charm. ]
We love it and no matter how much Sel makes, we do it justice……………..

500 grams lentils (1.10lbs)
3 Tablespoons Honey
2 Tablespoons date spread.
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon dried soup powder, or crushed dried onions mixed with parsley and oregano flakes.
2 teaspoons curry powder
Half teaspoon oregano flakes. Half a teaspoon sweet paprika.
Soak the washed lentils overnight. Drain, Cook until softened. Drain.
Put the lentils in a pot and add all the ingredients and cover with water. Cook on medium flame for thirty minutes.
Serve with brown rice, mashed potatoes, couscous, quinoa and some green steamed vegetables.
This can be made ahead of time.

Have a great week and take time to think of how fortunate we are. Send healing to people who are not in the comfort of their homes, to the earth that is troubled and needs balance. Cherish our families and what we have.