Cranberry Crepes

“I think careful cooking is love, don’t you?
The loveliest thing you can cook for
someone who’s close to you is about
as nice a valentine as you can give.”
Julia Child

Cranberry Crepes

One of my favorite food items is a crepe. They’re light and delicate and you can have them as an appetizer, entrée or a dessert.

When I was in Davis a few weeks ago, once again I ate  at Crepeville in old town Davis. They serve every crepe you could image. I’ve tried quite a few of Crepevilles’ crepes and every one has been delicious.

For the longest time, I’ve been looking for the right crepe pan. I happen to find the right one at a lovely culinary store in Davis. Never having made crepes, I was a little nervous with my first try. But, thanks to this perfect pan, the crepes came out flawless.

Keeping with the Thanksgiving leftover tradition, we have turkey for a few days after Thanksgiving. By Saturday we are pretty sick of turkey, so I decided to give this years leftovers a French touch. I took some of the leftover fresh oranges, apples, fresh cranberry jelly and whip cream and made Cranberry Crepes.

Shine On

Kill Our Negative Cravings

“Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether
the narcotic be alcohol or morphine or idealism.”
Carl Jung

Kill Our Negative Craving

Addiction can come in many forms. It not only encompasses drugs and alcohol but also addiction can include food as well as sex.

All forms of addiction floods the brain with the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine. This dopamine effects the regions of the brain that control pleasure and self-control. Over time, the function and structure of the brain change and dopamine receptors are reduced, making drugs, food and other substances less enjoyable but still desperately desired.

Recently, the American Society of Addiction Medicine has made an important breakthrough on the effect all of these substances and behaviors have on the brain. By accident, researchers in Australia and the United Kingdom found that playing the game Tetris for at least three minutes can take up all the mental capability of the brain to the point that is has no more room for imagining other things. This results in having less cravings for food, drugs, sleep and sex

Apparently, Tetris can reduce cravings by simply forgetting about the cravings while engaged in the game. Tetris could potentially be used as a support tool to help people manage cravings throughout their daily lives.

This finding is the first demonstration that cognitive interference can be used outside the lab to reduce cravings for substances and activities. There’s more research to be done, but it’s an interesting beginning to help people with addiction.

Who would ever thought that such a simple thing as playing a game to kill time, could actually be used to kill our negative cravings.

Shine On

Speedy Recovery

“A Jewish woman had two chickens.
One got sick, so the woman made chicken soup
out of the other one to help the sick one get well.”
Henny Youngman

Speedy Recovery

This evening I wanted to roast a whole chicken, but I didn’t want to use the oven. So, I decided to try roasting the chicken on the gas grill.

I rubbed the inside and outside of the bird with a lemon garlic chicken marinade from Bristol Farms.

Then I took one orange, quartered it and squeezed the juice over the chicken. I then took the four orange slices, four sprigs of rosemary and placed them in the cavity of the chicken. Our grill has a temperature setting which I set at 350 degrees and placed the chicken on the grill for one hour. So the bird would roast evenly, I rotated it several times until it was a golden brown.

For side dishes, I made my famous mascarpone mashed potatoes, as well as my sautéd spinach with roasted garlic infused olive oil.

From now on, all my whole chickens will be roasted on the grill. The chicken was juicy, flavorful and you could taste the rosemary with every bite.

My husband loved the dinner and appreciated all the pampering. I love that my husband is feeling so much better. All this pampering with his favorite food is helping him to a speedy recovery.

Shine On

Comfort Food

“Food is a lot of people’s therapy
– when we say comfort food,
we really mean that. It’s releasing
dopamine and serotonin in your brain
that makes you feel good.”
Brett Hoebel

Comfort Food

The past few days my husband was in the hospital with an infection. He must have dropped ten pounds in those few days. He just couldn’t eat the food they presented to him at the hospital. Why is hospital food so awful?

When I picked him up at the hospital, the first thing he told me is that he hadn’t eaten a good meal in days. He also told me he missed me and would I please cook his favorite Italian dinner.

It just so happened that I had all the ingredients to cook up an Italian gravy made with fresh Italian sausage, onions, tomatoes, Anaheim and Jalapeño peppers simmered slowly. The house smelled like one of our favorite Italian bistros.

Nothing warms one’s heart and makes you feel better than good old-fashioned comfort food.

Shine On

Giving Back

“Goodness is about character –
integrity, honesty, kindness,
generosity, moral courage, and the like.
More than anything else,
it is about how we treat other people.”
Dennis Prager

Giving Back

Lucas Hobbs Giving Back.

How would you react if someone gave you one wish for anything you wanted? What would you wish for?

Well, there’s a young 12-year-old cancer survivor from Minnesota who was granted such a wish. The interesting thing is, he didn’t use the wish on himself.

When the Make a Wish Foundation contacted Lucas Hobbs to grant him a wish, Lucas decided to thank all the people who helped him during his battle with cancer. With the help of Make A Wish, he commandeered a fleet of food trucks to feed as many doctors, nurses, patients and staff as he could to thank the hospital he credits with saving his life.

Lucas has always aspired to become a chef and he is known for being a foodie. With his love of food he cooked up all his favorite dishes and even named some of his favorite dishes he was serving, like The Perkins Dog, after his oncologist, Dr. Joanna Perkins.

It appears Lucas found the perfect recipe for a smile. He also found a great way of saying thank you while giving back.

Shine On