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August 2014

Tasha Tudor tea


    Happy belated Tasha Tudor day! Yesterday was our Saturday and a bit busy, so we had an impromptu tea of biscuits and fruit. (One of the many great reasons to keep un-baked biscuits in the freezer, ready to go). Hubby was busy with 6 cords of wood, so he popped in all dusty and dirty but I told him Tasha would not mind. She liked a hard working man ;-) As always Tasha seems to be a part of our day to day!






Moroccan Burger Mix

  Moroccan burger

    In my attempt to eat low carb (trying to keep my blood glucose down) I am eating basically a paleo diet. Not that I chose a paleo diet, it just mostly suits my needs. I do eat a lot of raw and vegetarian (although vegetarian can be carby, all those beans and rice) but I can only go a few days without meat. Since we buy a whole animal, cows and pigs, we get a lot of ground meat. Which is fine. I like it, it is versatile. Burgers, meat patties and meatballs are served often in my house. I am always looking for a way to change it up a bit and these Moroccan burgers are a big hit. It seems like a lot of spice for only a pound of beef but that is the point. You want these really flavorful, so go heavy handed with the spices. Also play with what you like and what you have on-hand. Honestly, I do not even measure when I make this. I tried to give amounts reflective of how I measure in my mind. A good smoked paprika is a must. I use lots of turmeric and garlic because it is so healthy. My hands are so orange when I make these but it is worth it and a cheap way to bling up cheap food. Enjoy!!

Moroccan Burger Mix

1 pound ground meat

1 TBL smoked paprika

1 TBL ground turmeric

2 tsp dried, powdered ginger

2 tsp dried, granulated garlic (or 2 finely chopped fresh garlic)

1 tsp cayenne or red pepper powder

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp ground, dried cumin

1 TBL salt

1 tsp ground pepper

Add all ingredients to a bowl and gently mix together. If you want to check the taste, take a small bit, fry in a pan and taste. Besides burgers, which we loved grilled, this makes great baked meatballs. Add one or two eggs, roll meatballs about the size of a walnut and bake 20-30 minutes at 350◦F

    *Note, you will noticed there is no bread crumbs in the burger or meatballs. That is because it is not carb friendly but feel free to add it if you like. Yes, they are a bit firmer without the bread crumbs but for me, they are fine and a small sacrifice to pay for my health. If you want them moister and do not want to use bread crumbs, try 1/2 cup of grated zucchini. If you peel off the skin, you family will not even know it is there!!

 Also I probably use more, like a generous TBL or tsp. because I do not measure. So really feel free to add a lot and see how you like it.

Encouraging Thoughts


    I confess even though I am 52, have had years of therapy and have moved on in a lot of ways from my childhood, negative thoughts and comments said to me as a child still plague me. It is fun, I find they creep up on me when I least expect it. Like I am having a great day, then ... boom, the smallest thing has me thinking, "you are so dumb"  "you do not even try, if you would only apply yourself"  "you are not going to amount to much". I get in a spiral of negative thoughts and I (or ask my hubby) have to talk myself out of them. I love the idea that my brain has rent and only good renters will reside there!!

1.girl  2.roses  3.umbrella

Facts About Julia Child


  Happy (102, if you were still with us!!) Birthday Julia! You were one of the most influential people in my life when it came to cooking. I will always remember Saturday afternoons, cooking with you and my mother. Happy memories!!

Julia image

Julia fact

Facts about Julia


A children's book I am wanting to read!!


French Kitchen Corner


    We are still working on the kitchen and probably will be for another couple of years (we work slow and David has very little free time). The floor still needs to be pulled up, there is hard word under that gross linoleum. I would like to put in a farm sink and there is work to be done in the pantry but still all is looking good. I am happy. I think now when you come into the kitchen you get a real feel for what I am trying to convey. A victorian French kitchen!!



    Nerina (my gas range) is a free standing stove, so there is blank space on both sides. I have a little storage table David build me on the other side of the range but David is going to make me a narrow rack to hold platters on this side. Since you walk in and see this bare stove, I wanted something to help dress up the space. This is my french corner for the summer. I change it out with whims. I do not have much display space in my kitchen, so I am enjoying this little table!!




Encouraging Thoughts


    Almost 6 months into this lifestyle change, there are certain things I still struggle with (like not wanting to exercise). I can feel overwhelmed, like I have no power, no self-control. It is like I keep bumping against the same wall over and over but I have to remind myself I do have the power. I just have to pick myself up, click my heels and use that power!!

1.door 2.strawberries 3.Dorthy

Bloom, chocolate


    Well if you do not like chocolate, than this post will probably do nothing for you. But since I cannot imagine anyone not liking chocolate, I will continue on :-) Granted you may not be a chocoholic like me. Red wine and chocolate have their own food group in my life. Since wine raises my blood sugar, I have had to imbibe lightly (which is probably a good thing) but dark chocolate has been my life raft on this journey.


  As I posted before, the first 6 weeks of my diet I did not eat sugar but I ate dark, very dark 80-90% chocolate. I would have a square, which I would take tinyyyyy nibbles off when I thought I was going to break down like a small child (which I felt like a lot, especially those first 2 weeks coming off carbs and sugar). Luckily I already liked really dark chocolate. Which has very little sugar and is good for me, so as long as I do not eat the whole bar in one day.


   My appreciation of chocolate is beyond a candy bars. Really started in my teens when my mother and I went on a day-long chocolate excursion. Can you imaging a whole day learning, tasting and cooking with chocolate? It was heaven and opened up a whole new world for me. The tasting showed me there is so much more to chocolate besides just sweetness. In the morning, we visited two chocolate makers in San Fransisco. Then had a lunch prepared with all dishes, savory and sweet, using chocolate. In the afternoon was a chocolate tasting. Starting with white ending with unsweetened. We tasted at lest 20 chocolates.   Have you ever done a chocolate tasting? If not I encourage you to. It will open up your world, like it did mine. Chocolate, like wine, has many different characteristics. It can be fruity, peppery, coffee, herby, acidic or sweet. It is not until you start tasting them side by side can you really see the difference. Once you see the difference, you start to slow down and really enjoy that piece of chocolate. You notice the texture, how it melts and of course the different nuances of flavor. After all of you are going to eat chocolate you should really stop and savor it. Eat the best you can get your hands on. Look beyond those grocery store candy bars. Chocolate is sooo much more. Have a tasting party. It is fun and you will find how you and your friends all like different things. Here is a chocolate tasting sheet you can download.


image from

    I believe in the power of chocolate. Cocoa is good for your health. They have flavanoids, are full of  antioxidant and high levels if magnesium. Cocoa beans contain phenylethylamine (PEA), an antidepressant that stimulates the body's adrenaline and dopamine levels for a dose of happy feelings. If you are eating modest amounts of dark chocolate, it should not raise your blood sugar. As I said in the beginning of the post chocolate has been my life raft on this low carb/sugar lifestyle change. And that is a life raft I can live with!!

PS, my all time fav chocolate for eating is Madacasse 80%. It is pricey and hard to come by but soo good. Dark cherries, slightly acidity and long finish. Amazing!!


Cocoa beans contain phenylethylamine (PEA), an antidepressant that stimulates the body's adrenaline and dopamine levels for a dose of happy feelings.

Read more :
Cocoa beans contain phenylethylamine (PEA), an antidepressant that stimulates the body's adrenaline and dopamine levels for a dose of happy feelings.

Read more :
Cocoa beans contain phenylethylamine (PEA), an antidepressant that stimulates the body's adrenaline and dopamine levels for a dose of happy feelings.

Read more : you are eating a dark chocolate, it can be a friend and not raise your blood sugar