Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Galette

What is a galette?

I tried this unlikely recipe from a new cookbook I received for my birthday from Fortnum and Mason. It is a gorgeous-looking book an inch and a half thick, with creamy pages, a hand-sewn hard cover in brilliant blue, and color illustrations.

For those who don’t know, Fortnum and Mason is an 18th-century department store known for its gourmet groceries. They are still at 181 Piccadilly, in London England, just as they have been for over 300 years. They claim to take extraordinary care over the origins of everything they sell.

So I opened the book with great interest to the first page… only to find Porridge! Just three ingredients – water, salt and oats. Thankfully there were suggestions for toppings to add flavor to what was a painful childhood memory for me.

Many of the other recipes were for British standard fare – grilled kippers, toasted crumpets, sausages, ham, scotch eggs, and various puddings. But one recipe in particular caught my imagination and I gave it a try. I took it to my art group’s potluck closing lunch. People liked it, so I’m posting it here. I, too, thought it was flavorful and “oh so pretty” in my new serving bowl.

More

Kyiv cake, a Ukrainian classic

Slava Ukraini!

Feeling gutted about the butchery going on in the Ukraine these days, I wanted to do something to honor the people there under siege by the Russians. Googling Ukrainian desserts, I came across a delicious-looking cake that is a favorite in Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv.

More

Jeweled Chocolate Cake

My book club, fancifully named “The Alta Vista Friends Reading Salon,” recently discussed Ruth Reichl’s memoir Save Me the Plums, about her time as editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine. The book appealed to me not only because of the inside stories Ruth reveals about the world of food… but also because of her fascinating experiences working as a writer, editor and publisher, a field in which I spent my own career, although in much less lofty positions.

Her relaxed, straight-forward writing style is a pleasure to read and very entertaining. But this is far from a cook book. Ruth regales us more with the quirky personalities of the people she encountered during her time there than with the 1000s of recipes her team developed.

I can’t resist, though, giving you here my favorite Gourmet recipe from Ruth’s book, exactly as it was printed. How could I ever have hoped to improve on something Goumet had tested in its kitchens so many times?

More

Battling Alzheimer’s disease – Part 4: Beets are a good bet

Fend off those “senior moments”

Vinny’s grandparents have told him that living with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia is one of the scarier prospects of growing older. So he has done a series of posts about some lifestyle choices that could make a positive difference to our mental health in later years. He’s all for starting these habits early, for a longer and more active life. Read on for his forth and final installment.

Super beets: Beets are the ideal brain food. These ones are large enough to use as weights in your exercise class. But for best effect, we suggest you eat them.

Part 4 – Beets are a good bet

Beets may be our best defence against Alzheimer’s disease

You might be surprised to know that beets are one of the healthiest vegetables you can eat. Their bright red color signals a wealth of antioxidants, which are potent fighters of inflammation in the body and, specifically, in the brain.

But beets offer the brain even more useful benefits. Betanin, the compound that accounts for the red hue of beets, disables a protein that contributes to Alzheimer’s disease. It is so effective that researchers are looking into betanin as a possible drug component for sufferers of this serious brain disorder.

Beets help keep the brain healthy in other ways, too. The rich red root contains nitrite, which when converted to nitric oxide, increases blood flow. More blood flowing into the brain means more oxygen, which increases the brain’s efficiency.

More

%d bloggers like this: