Happy Saturday, Cheddar corn muffin

Cheddar

corn muffin

Cornmeal is a staple that has been used in cooking since first a colony here in the U. S. The best cornmeal to buy is stoneground , undegerminated cornmeal ( corn is not stripped of its nutritious germ). It is found in boxes in the supermarket. Enjoy your time in the grocery store, and read all the boxes/ packages that has been supplied. My usual method for purchase is to buy what is on sale, but first priority is to choose the most nutritious!!!
Store cornmeal in a cool, dry place and use within 1 to 2 months. In the summer months, keep refrigerated. Yellow cornmeal is more common than white have slightly more protein and vitamin A. There are other types, not mentioned here.

Cheddar corn muffins

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

3/4 corn meal

1/4 cup unbleached white flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

2 eggs beaten

2 tablespoons honey

1/4 cup margarine melted

1 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt

1 cup grated Cheddar cheese

1/2 cup corn kernels , optional

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine first six ingredients in a mixing bowl . In a smaller bowl, combine remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly . Add the wet ingredients to dry and stir to combine. Pour into oiled muffin cup/12 cup muffin pan.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes clean, to test for done ness.

Makes: 1 dozen.

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Saint Lucia Day is December 13, 2010

Saint Lucia day is December 13, 1010 and my dad’s cousin Lucy’s birthday is today!

Happy birthday, cousin Lucy!

Saint Lucia Coffee cake wreath:

Saint Lucia Wreath

A Saint Lucia coffeecake is the traditional offering on Dec. 13. The rich dough is colored and flavored with saffron. Either a large wreath or a plate of individual buns — formed in the shapes of wreaths, crowns and cats — is perfect for a holiday brunch or when guests come to call. This authentic recipe is from Beatrice Ojakangas’s “Scandinavian Feasts” (University of Minnesota Press). If yours is a small household, divide the dough in half and make two smaller wreaths.

1 package active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup (1 stick ) butter, melted
1 teaspoon saffron threads (a good pinch)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup currants
2 eggs, warmed
4 to 4 1/2 cups flour
1 large egg, beaten
Sugar sprinkles, optional

To make the dough: In a large bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water. Add a pinch of sugar. Heat the milk and add the melted butter to it; cool until the mixture is lukewarm.

Pulverize the saffron with 1 teaspoon of the sugar, using a mortar and pestle or with the back of a spoon in a small dish. Add 1 tablespoon of the warm milk-and-butter mixture and allow the saffron to steep for 5 minutes.

Add the saffron mixture, milk-and-butter mixture, sugar, salt, currants and eggs to the yeast. Using an electric blender on medium speed, beat until blended. Add 2 cups flour and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add 2 cups of the remaining flour and mix with a wooden spoon to make a medium-stiff dough. Let dough rest for 15 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board. Knead for 8 minutes or until the dough is smooth and satiny. Place the dough in a clean, lightly oiled bowl. Turn the dough over to lightly oil the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

To make a braided wreath: Punch the dough down and divide into 3 parts. With the palms of your hands, roll and shape each part into a rope-like strand about 36 inches long. Braid the strands by aligning them vertically and alternately crossing each outer strand over the center strand. Shape the braid into a circle and place on a greased or parchment-covered baking sheet. Pinch the ends together where they meet to seal the strands and to conceal the beginning and end of the braid.

Transfer to the baking sheet. Brush with the beaten egg. Sprinkle with sugar sprinkles if using. Let rise for about 45 minutes or just until puffy.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until lightly browned, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the dough comes out clean and dry. Cool on a rack. Makes 16 servings.

Note: To make two smaller wreaths: Divide the dough into 2 parts and braid as above. Place each wreath on a baking sheet, allow to rise and bake for about 20 minutes.

NOTES:
reposted from another blog, POST Gazette.com from Pittsburg.
As far as weather, my mother always says, “whatever Pittsburg, Pa gets, that we’re going to get”; for example SNOW is coming our way, since Pittsburgh has it.

Saint Lucia was Italian

Oddly, Saint Lucia was Italian, a Sicilian martyr. So how did an Italian girl-turned-saint come to be honored in Sweden?

There are several legends about the real Saint Lucia. One of the most common is that she was born of wealthy, noble parents about 283 AD in Syracuse, Sicily. Her father died when she was very young.

When her mother fell ill and her death appeared imminent, the desperate Lucia took her on a pilgrimage to the tomb of Saint Agatha, where miraculous healings were rumored to take place. The mother was healed and both women embraced Christianity. Together they pledged to use their wealth to help the sick and the poor.

At the time, Sicily was under the rule of an emperor, and Christianity was forbidden in favor of pagan gods. But the devout young Sicilian virgin held to her faith and distributed food to the homeless and starving.

Many of those poor families sought refuge in caves, and Lucia would make her way through the passageways with armfuls of bread. She wore a crown of candles on her head to light the way, leaving her hands free to distribute the food.

Now the plot thickens. Lucia vowed to remain a virgin. But before her father died, he had arranged her marriage into a pagan family, a deal that Lucia had no intention of honoring. Her betrothed, however, demanded her hand as his bride. Lucia flat-out refused. In a rage, the suitor took his revenge and reported Lucia’s Christian faith to the Roman officials, setting up a worst-case scenario.

On Dec. 13, 304 AD, Lucia was led before a court where she was sentenced. But she was one tough cookie. When the guards tried to drag her away, she was immovable. They tried to poke out her eyes, but she could still see. In desperation, the court ordered that she be burned. Bundles of wood were piled up around her and the fire ignited. But she was not consumed by the flames. Lucia was finally killed by the sword of one of the soldiers.

Later she was venerated as a martyr and saint, and the day of her death, Dec. 13, was named Saint Lucia’s Day.

Bringing light to Sweden

Time passed, and the day had no real significance for centuries. As Christianity spread through Europe and into Scandinavia, though, the pagan celebration of Winter Solstice had to be replaced with a Christian celebration. In keeping with “timing is everything,” winter solstice happened to fall on Dec. 13, so Saint Lucia was the natural choice.

The legend of the celebration was cemented when a terrible famine came to the Province of Varmland in Sweden during the middle ages. The poor village was starving to death. But on Dec. 13 of that year a large white ship was seen coming through the night across Lake Vanern, with a beautiful young woman standing on the bow. She was wearing a brilliant white gown, and a ring of light encircled her head.

The country people boarded the ship to find that its cargo was food, clothing and supplies. They quickly unloaded it, and as they carried the last baskets away the people looked back to see that the ship was no longer there.

Probably, it had been a much-needed supply ship from another province. But many felt in their hearts that it was a gift from Saint Lucia, and as the story spread, celebrations of Saint Lucia’s Day began. Even after the calendar was reformed and winter solstice fell on a later day, the 13th of December remained the celebration of Saint Lucia.

Visiting Lucy and family in Vermont, 2008

Ovarian Cancer Awareness month and recipe

September is Ovarian Cancer awareness month and for the second year in a row, Sara of Ms Adventures in Italy and Michelle of Bleeding Espresso are hosting the O foods contest to raise awareness of this important health issue.

  One:                                                                                                        

   Post a recipe to  your blog that starts or ends with  the letter O (e.g. oatmeal, orange, okra, olive, potato, tomato, onion) .  Include this entire text box in the post and send your post url along with a photo 100 x 100 to o foods [at]gmail [dot] com by 1159 pm Italy time on Monday, September 28th, 2009.

Two: Or if not into recipes , post this entire text box into your blog to help spread the word and send your post url to O foods [at] gmail[dot] com. ,same deadline as above.

 La Vita E Bella’s Recipe entry for O foods:

Recipe:            OLIVE FOCACCIA

Prep: 30 minutes        Rise: 1 1/2 hours

Bake:  20 minutes        Cool : 20 minutes

Ingredients:

1 1/3 cups warm water (105 degrees to 115 defrees F. )

       1 pkg active dry yeast

        4 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

        1 tsp. sugar

    4 1/4 to 4 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

   1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary or 1 tsp dried rosemary, crushed

1 tsp dried oregano, crushed

2 tsp. coarse sea salt or Kosher salt

1 cup pitted Kalamata olives, sliced

1 recipe Fresh Grape Chutney ( recipe)

Directions:

 

1.  In a small bowl combine warm water, yeast, 3 Tablespoons of the olive oil, and the sugar.  Let stand about 5 minutes until bubbly.  In a large bowl combine 4 cups of the flour, the rosemary, oregano, and 1 teaspoon of the salt.   Add olives and yeast mixture to the flour mixture.  Stir until a dough forms.  Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough (5 to 8 minutes total).  Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turning once.  Cover, let rise in a warm place until double ( 1 to 1 1/2 hours ).

2.  Turn dough onto a lightly oiled  15 x 10 x 1 -inch  baking pan.  Press dough to fit pan.  Brush dough with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Sprinkle with remaining sea salt.  Cover and let rise 30 minutes. lo

3.  Meanwhile, prepare Fresh Grape Chutney.

4.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden.

Remove to wire rack; cool at least 20 minutes.  Cut into squares.

Serve with Fresh Grape Chutney if desired.  Makes 24 servings.

Each Serving:

105 Calories, 3 gram  Fat, (0 g. sat. fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 197 mg sodium, 16 gram carbo, 1 gram fiber, 2 g protein, Daily Values: 6 % Iron.

Fresh Grape Chutney

Start to Finish: 10 minutes

4 cups red seedless grapes ( about 1 1/4 lb.)

1 Tbsp butter

1/2 cup chopped red onion

1 tsp snipped fresh rosemary or 1/4 tsp dried rosemary, crushed

1/4 tsp dried oregano, crushed

2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

1.  Place grapes in food processor bowl; process with 3 or 4 on-off turns until coarsely chopped; set aside. In  a large skillet melt butter; add onion and cook until  just tender.  Add rosemary and oregano .  Cook for one minute.  Add chopped grapes and vinegar;  cook 1 to 2 minutes more until heated through.  Transfer to serving bowl.  Serve using slotted spoon.  Makes 24 ( 2 tablespoon ) servings.  Each serving: 24 cal, 1 g fat  (o g sat fat), 1 mg chol, 4 mg sodium, 5 g carbo, 0 g fiber, 0 g protein.   In

 Both recipes from: Better Homes and Gardens November 2005 issue

I love the taste of Focaccia Bread and I saved a copy of this  recipe into one of my recipe folders  before I started using a computer.  There are many in my collection according to category I set-up, Dinners, Desserts, Holidays.

A word on Ovarian Cancer:

 

While on a mini vacation in the Lancaster are in August, we stayed at a B& B.  While eating breakfast, you have a chance to meet other travelers.    One woman  and her husband shared this.  She had just completed her rounds of chemotherapy for Ovarian ccancer.  Her story, whas that it was not diagnosed the first time that she went to the E.R.  S he first noticed gaining weight even though she was eating any more food than usual; she had retired as a teacher in June 2008, this  syptoms started in January 2009.  She noticed that she didn’t feel quite right and had some abd pain.  The E.R. , I recall did not find anything.  She went to her Gastro intestinal Dr., and he ordered diagnostic tests.  The G I Dr. is the one that found the cancer.  I said,” it in a way makes sense for him to find it”, because your ovaries and Female organs are in the same area as your intestines.   A word of advice that we all may have heard before.  Get a second opinion, if your syptoms do not go away and/ or you know that something is not feeeling right with your body. 

This lady said that all of the ovarian cancer cells and intestinal cells were gone after several rounds of chemotherapy.  She had lost all of her hair and was wearing a cute beige cap because she said she wasn’t comfortable with her look.  She said she appreciates each new day,even the everday

* Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynecologic cancers in the United States and is the fifth leading cause of cancer death among U.S. women; a woman’s lifetime risk of ovarian cancer is 1 in 67.
* The symptoms of ovarian cancer are often vague and subtle, making it difficult to diagnose, but include bloating, pelvic and/or abdominal pain, difficulty eating or feeling full quickly; and urinary symptoms (urgency or frequency).
* There is no effective screening test for ovarian cancer but there are tests which can detect ovarian cancer when patients are at high risk or have early symptoms.
* In spite of this, patients are usually diagnosed in advanced stages and only 45% survive longer than five years. Only 19% of cases are caught before the cancer has spread beyond the ovary to the pelvic region.
* When ovarian cancer is detected and treated early on, the five-year survival rate is greater than 92%.

And remember, you can also always donate to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund at our page through FirstGiving!
Please help spread the word about ovarian cancer.
Together we can make enough noise to kill this silent killer.

 

The photo below is not mine……sorry Iva of Lucullian Delight , I don’t know how to delete it under the edit section.

Oatmeal Cake With Pears and Pinenuts

 

 

 

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