Friday, October 30, 2009

Cucumbers -- Who knows?

And all we thought they were good for was eating! It is interesting. The Amazing Cucumber

This information was in The New York Times several weeks ago as part of their "Spotlight on the Home" series that highlighted creative and fanciful ways to solve common problems.

1. Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day, just one cucumber contains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc..

2. Feeling tired in the afternoon, put down the caffeinated soda and pick up a cucumber. Cucumbers are a good source of B Vitamins and Carbohydrates that can provide that quick pick-me-up that can last for hours.

3. Tired of your bathroom mirror fogging up after a shower? Try rubbing a cucumber slice along the mirror, it will eliminate the fog and provide a soothing, spa-like fragrance.

4. Are grubs and slugs ruining your planting beds? Place a few slices in a small pie tin and your garden will be free of pests all season long. The chemicals in the cucumber react with the aluminum to give off a scent undetectable to humans but drive garden pests crazy and make them flee the area.

5. Looking for a fast and easy way to remove cellulite before going out or to the pool? Try rubbing a slice or two of cucumbers along your problem area for a few minutes, the phytochemicals in the cucumber cause the collagen in your skin to tighten, firming up the outer layer and reducing the visibility of cellulite. Works great on wrinkles too!!!

6. Want to avoid a hangover or terrible headache? Eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed and wake up refreshed and headache free. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish essential nutrients the body lost, keeping everything in equilibrium, avoiding both a hangover and headache!!

7. Looking to fight off that afternoon or evening snacking binge? Cucumbers have been used for centuries and often used by European trappers, traders and explores for quick meals to thwart off starvation.

8. Have an important meeting or job interview and you realize that you don't have enough time to polish your shoes? Rub a freshly cut cucumber over the shoe, its chemicals will provide a quick and durable shine that not only looks great but also repels water.

9. Out of WD 40 and need to fix a squeaky hinge? Take a cucumber slice and rub it along the problematic hinge, and voila, the squeak is gone!

10. Stressed out and don't have time for massage, facial or visit to the spa? Cut up an entire cucumber and place it in a boiling pot of water, the chemicals and nutrients from the cucumber with react with the boiling water and be released in the steam, creating a soothing, relaxing aroma that has been shown the reduce stress in new mothers and college students during final exams.

11. Just finish a business lunch and realize you don't have gum or mints? Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds to eliminate bad breath, the phytochemcials will kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath.

12. Looking for a 'green' way to clean your faucets, sinks or stainless steel? Take a slice of cucumber and rub it on the surface you want to clean, not only will it remove years of tarnish and bring back the shine, but is won't leave streaks and won't harm you fingers or fingernails while you clean.
13. Using a pen and made a mistake? Take the outside of the cucumber and slowly use it to erase the pen writing, also works great on crayons and markers that the kids have used to decorate the walls!!

Pass this along to everybody you know who is looking for better and safer ways to solve life's everyday problems.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

ZIP Lock Bags, Believe It Or Don't ..........

 A friend of mine forwarded me this email, so I don't know the source.  I haven't tried it yet, but wanted keep this for the future.


This might be worth a try !!!!!!
ZIP Lock Bags, Believe It Or Don't ..........
A friend sent me this and I think I will give it a try. We don't have many flies, but one is one too many! We went with some out of town friends to Sweety Pies on Sunday for breakfast, and we sat in the enclosed patio section beside the house. We happened to notice a couple of zip lock baggies pinned to a post and a wall. The bags were half filled with water, each contained 4 pennies, and they were zipped shut. Naturally we were curious! Ms. Sweety told us that these baggies kept the flies away! So naturally we were even more curious! We actually watched some flies come in the open window, stand around on the window sill, and then fly out again. And there were no flies in the eating area! This morning I checked this out on Goggle... Below are comments on this fly control idea. I'm now a believer! More comments not included here were about pet dogs and fly problems. Zip-lock water bags.
Sue says:
Many people swear that a zip-lock bag filled half-way with water and attached over entry-ways will repel flies. No one yet knows how or why it works, but there is speculation that it has something to do with the way the moving water refracts light. If you have tried this please use the comments form at the bottom of the page to share your results with the rest of us.
Ann says:
October 5th, 2008 at 5:51 PM
I did tried the ziplock bag and pennies this weekend. I have a horse trailer with full LQ. The fly's were very bad this weekend while I was camping. I put the baggie with pennies above the door of the LQ. NOT ONE FLY came in the trailer. The horse trailer part had many. Not sure why it works but it does!!!!!!!
Danielle Martin says:September 20th, 2008 at 8:43 PM Fill a ziplock bag with water and 5 or 6 pennies and hang it in the problem area. In my case it was a particular window in my home. It had a slight but significant passage way for insects. Ever since I have done that, it has kept flies and wasps away. Some say, that wasps and flies mistake the bag for some sort of other insect nest and are threatened by this.
Maggie says: June 7th, 2009 at 11:40 am
I swear by the plastic bag of water trick I have them on side porch (our house entry) and all around the basement door. We saw these in Northeast Mo at an Amish grocery store & have used them since... They say it works because a fly sees a reflection & won't come around.
DJ says:
May 16th, 2009 at 7:25 PM Regarding the science behind zip log bags of water? My research found that each of the millions of molecules of water presents its own prism effect and given that flies have a lot of eyes, to them it's like a zillion disco balls reflecting light, colors and movement in a dizzying manner. When you figure that flies are basically prey for many other bugs, animals, birds, etc., they simply won't take the risk of being around that much perceived action. I moved to a rural area and I thought these "hillbillies" were just yanking my city boy chain but I tried it, worked immediately! We went from hundreds of flies to seeing the occasional one, but he doesn't hang around long.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Fruit and vegetables are good for your entire body

ApplesProtects your heart
prevents constipation
Blocks diarrhea
Improves lung capacity
Cushions joints
ApricotsCombats cancer
Controls blood pressure
Saves your eyesight
Shields against Alzheimer's
Slows aging process
ArtichokesAids digestion
Lowers cholesterol
Protects your heart
Stabilizes blood sugar
Guards against liver disease
AvocadosBattles diabetes
Lowers cholesterol
Helps stops strokes
Controls blood pressure
Smoothes skin
BananasProtects your heart
Quiets a cough
Strengthens bones
Controls blood pressure
Blocks diarrhea
Beans
Prevents constipation
Helps hemorrhoids
Lowers cholesterol
Combats cancer
Stabilizes blood sugar
BeetsControls blood pressure
Combats cancer
Strengthens bones
Protects your heart
Aids weight loss
Blueberries
Combats cancer
Protects your heart
Stabilizes blood sugar
Boosts memory
Prevents constipation
BroccoliStrengthens bones
Saves eyesight
Combats cancer
Protects your heart
Controls blood pressure
CabbageCombats cancer
Prevents constipation
Promotes weight loss
Protects your heart
Helps hemorrhoids
Cantaloupe
Saves eyesight
Controls blood pressure
Lowers cholesterol
Combats cancer
Supports immune system
Carrots
Saves eyesight
Protects your heart
Prevents constipation
Combats cancer
Promotes weight loss
Cauliflower
Protects against Prostate Cancer
Combats Breast Cancer
Strengthens bones
Banishes bruises
Guards against heart disease
Cherries
Protects your heart
Combats Cancer
Ends insomnia
Slows aging process
Shields against Alzheimer's
Chestnuts
Promotes weight loss
Protects your heart
Lowers cholesterol
Combats Cancer
Controls blood pressure
Chili peppersAids digestion
Soothes sore throat
Clears sinuses
Combats Cancer
Boosts immune system
Figs
Promotes weight loss
Helps stops strokes
Lowers cholesterol
Combats Cancer
Controls blood pressure
Flax
Aids digestion
Battles diabetes
Protects your heart
Improves mental health
Boosts immune system
GrapefruitProtects against heart attacks
Promotes Weight loss
Helps stops strokes
Combats Prostate Cancer
Lowers cholesterol
Grapessaves eyesight
Conquers kidney stones
Combats cancer
Enhances blood flow
Protects your heart
Green tea
Combats cancer
Protects your heart
Helps stops strokes
Promotes Weight loss
Kills bacteria
Honey
Heals wounds
Aids digestion
Guards against ulcers
Increases energy
Fights allergies
Lemons
Combats cancer
Protects your heart
Controls blood pressure
Smoothes skin
Stops scurvy
LimesCombats cancer
Protects your heart
Controls blood pressure
Smoothes skin
Stops scurvy
MangoesCombats cancer
Boosts memory
Regulates thyroid
aids digestion
Shields against Alzheimer's
Mushrooms
Controls blood pressure
Lowers cholesterol
Kills bacteria
Combats cancer
Strengthens bones
Oats
Lowers cholesterol
Combats cancer
Battles diabetes
prevents constipation
Smoothes skin
Olive oil
Protects your heart
Promotes Weight loss
Combats cancer
Battles diabetes
Smoothes skin
OnionsReduce risk of heart attack
Combats cancer
Kills bacteria
Lowers cholesterol
Fights fungus
OrangesSupports immune systems
Combats cancer
Protects your heart
Straightens respiration
Peaches
prevents constipation
Combats cancer
Helps stops strokes
aids digestion
Helps hemorrhoids
Peanuts
Protects against heart disease
Promotes Weight loss
Combats Prostate Cancer
Lowers cholesterol
Aggravates
Diverticulitis
PineappleStrengthens bones
Relieves colds
Aids digestion
Dissolves warts
Blocks diarrhea
PrunesSlows aging process
prevents constipation
boosts memory
Lowers cholesterol
Protects against heart disease
Rice
Protects your heart
Battles diabetes
Conquers kidney stones
Combats cancer
Helps stops strokes
Strawberries
Combats cancer
Protects your heart
boosts memory
Calms stress
Sweet potatoes
Saves your eyesight
Lifts mood
Combats cancer
Strengthens bones
Tomatoes
Protects prostate
Combats cancer
Lowers cholesterol
Protects your heart
WalnutsLowers cholesterol
Combats cancer
boosts memory
Lifts mood
Protects against heart disease
WaterPromotes Weight loss
Combats cancer
Conquers kidney stones
Smoothes skin
Watermelon
Protects prostate
Promotes Weight loss
Lowers cholesterol
Helps stops strokes
Controls blood pressure
Wheat germ
Combats Colon Cancer
prevents constipation
Lowers cholesterol
Helps stops strokes
improves digestion
Wheat bran
Combats Colon Cancer
prevents constipation
Lowers cholesterol
Helps stops strokes
improves digestion
Yogurt
Guards against ulcers
Strengthens bones
Lowers cholesterol
Supports immune systems
Aids digestion


7 don'ts after a meal

* Don't smoke-Experiment from experts proves that smoking a cigarette after meal is comparable to smoking 10 cigarettes (chances of cancer is higher).
* Don't eat fruits immediately - Immediately eating fruits after meals will cause stomach to be bloated with air. Therefore take fruit 1-2 hr after meal or 1 hr before meal.
* Don't drink tea - Because tea leaves contain a high content of acid. This substance will cause the Protein content in the food we consume to be hardened thus difficult to digest.
* Don't loosen your belt - Loosening the belt after a meal will easily cause the intestine to be twisted &blocked.
* Don't bathe - Bathing will cause the increase of blood flow to the hands, legs & body thus the amount of blood around the stomach will therefore decrease. This will weaken the digestive system in our stomach.
* Don't walk about - People always say that after a meal walk a hundred steps and you will live till 99. In actual fact this is not true. Walking will cause the digestive system to be unable to absorb the nutrition from the food we intake.
* Don't sleep immediately - The food we intake will not be able to digest properly. Thus will lead to gastric & infection in our intestine.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Summer Rolls

Makes 4 servings

For stir fried noodles:
Two bunches of clear noodles or bean threads

2 carrots, shreaded
2 celery stalks, sliced
a bunch of asparagus
1 table spoon canola oil
1 tea spoon salt
1 table spoons sugar
a few dashes of black pepper

For wrapping:
Rice papers

a bunch of mint leaves
a bunch of cilantro
a bunch of basils
romain lettuce
1 cucumber, sliced length wise about 3 inch-long

To make stir fried clear noodles or bean threads:
1. Boil bean threads for about 5 minutes, drain well.
2. Turn the stove to high, heat up a wok until hot, add oil until hot, add carrot saute for 1 minute, add celery, saute for 1 minute, add asparagus, saute for 1 minute, add salt, sugar and black pepper.
3. Stir in noodles, mix well, remove from heat.

To wrap:
1. Soak 1 piece of rice paper with warm water, place it in plate A.
2. Soak another one place it in plate B.

3. Use the rice paper in plate A to wrap by adding 1 piece of lettuce, 1 slice of cucumber, a few mint leaves, basils, and cilantro:
4. Put the stir fried noodles on top:

5. Fold the two sides:


6. Roll tightly away from you, near the end place 1 asparagus:

7. Continue to roll until the end:

8. Transfer it to plate C, cover with a wet tower.
9. Soak another piece of rice paper, put it on plate A.
10. Use the rice paper on plate B to wrap another roll.
11. Served with sweet and sour soy sauce. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Seitan stew (bò kho chay)

I finally learned how to make seitan to have the right taste and texture. I have tried many ways: steam, bake, boil; they turned out to be okay, but the best way is to cook it in the crock pot overnight. This is from a very famous Vietnamese dish, beef stew, that I used seitan to substitue for the beef.

Makes 4 servings

3 lemon grass stalks, use the handle of a knife or something heavy to crust each stalk, cut into inch-long
6 bay leaves
6 anise stars
2 cloves
10 pepper corns
1 4-inch long cinnamon stick

1 m table spoon canola oil

4 carrot, cut in half length wise then cut into 2-inch long
4 celery stalks, cut into 2-inch long
1 red bell pepper, cut into 2x2 inch pieces

1 gallon water
5 table spoons sugar or equivalent sweetener
2 1/2 table spoon salt
3 oz tomato paste

1 box of 10 oz vital wheat gluten (can be bought in whole foods in flour section)

1. Toast all the spices on medium in the toaster oven.
2. In a 6 quart pot, add oil, then add spices, stir until fragrant.
3. Add carrots, saute 1 minute.
4. Add celery, saute 1 minute.
5. Add pepper, saute 1 minute.
6. Add salt, sugar, stir well for about 2 minutes.
7. Add water, bring to a boil, transfer to a crock pot cook on high.
8. Take about 2 1/2 cups of the broth above, cool to touch to make seitan.
9. In a big bowl, add gluten flour, pour the broth to the bowl, mix well. Make into a roll, let it rest for 30 minutes.
10. From one end of the seitan roll, pull out a very thin piece, roll it to size of a thumb, cut it off from the seitan roll, add to the crock pot. Continue to do so for the rest of the seitan. Stir frequently.
11. Add tomato paste, cook on low over night or 8 hours.
12. Served with toasted French bread or with flat rice noodles, bean sprouts and basil leaves.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Wrap-it-yourself brown rice

I made fried brown rice for work and at the spur of the moment, decided to bring in some roasted seaweed sheets for us to make wraps. It turned out to be a surprisingly delicious treat!

Makes 4 servings

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon minced ginger
2 carrots, peeled, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 green summer squash, diced
1/2 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup frozen green peas
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons soy sauce
freshly ground black pepper
5 roasted seaweed sheets, cut into 2 to 4 pieces

1. On high heat, add oil to a pan or wok, add ginger, stir until brown.
2. Add carrots, saute 1 minute.
3. Do the same for squash, corn, peas.
4. Add salt, soy sauce and black pepper.
5. Turn off the stove, mix in pre-cooked brown rice.
6. Wrap 1/4 of seaweed sheet with 2 tablespoons of rice, tie with a string of cilantro.

7. Serve with soy sauce.
8. Enjoy!


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Vegetable soup with brown rice and kidney beans


I made this soup up as I went along, with whatever I had available. It was served with toasted French bread. Everyone seemed to enjoyed it!

Makes 6 quarts

  • 4 quarts vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 2 red peppers, sliced
  • 1 summer squash, sliced
  • 1/2 pound sweet peas
  • 2 heads bok choy, cut in 2-inch length
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup or equivalent sweetener
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 can 6-oz tomato paste
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 2 cups cooked kidney beans

1. Pour the broth in a 6 quart-pot bring to a boil.
2. In a pan or wok, add oil, oregano, add carrot, saute for 1 minute. Add peppers and saute for 1 minute, repeate for squash, sweet peas and bok choy.
3. Add salt, sweetener and spices.
4. Add the sauteed mixture to the broth pot.
5. Stir in tomato paste.
6. Add rice and beans.
7. Cover and simmer for 1 hour or transfer to a slow cooker, cook on low for 4 hours.
8. It even tasted better the next day.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Colorful fried rice

I often make this rice for my niece and nephew when they come over. They really like it. You can use brown rice instead of white rice, it is healthier.

Makes 2 servings

  • 1 tablespoons oil
  • 1 carrot, peeled, diced
  • 1 summer squash, diced
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 1/2 cup green peas
  • 1/2 cup firm tofu, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or equivalent sweetener
  • 2 cups cold rice (it can be plumed together, so use for hand to separate)
  • a few dashes of pepper
In a pan with medium high heat, add oil, saute carrot 1 minute, saute squash 1 minute, saute corn 1 minute, saute peas 1 minute, add soy sauce, sweetner, salt, add tofu, add rice, stir quickly until the rice gets hot, add pepper, remove from heat. Serve hot.


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Brown rice with roasted sesame, a power food

I often eat a bowl for breakfast. It gives me a lot of energy, and I don't crave anything sweet for the whole day!

Makes 4 servings


Rice:
2 cups brown rice

4 cups water


Salted sesame:
4 handfuls raw sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1. I use a rice cooker to cook the rice. It takes about 1/2 hour to cook, but let it sit for 1/2 hour more.
2. Rinse the sesame seeds using a strainer, drain well. Set the toaster oven to dark brown, spread sesame seeds on the pan, toast until brown and fragrant. Transfer to a bowl, cover with a lid to cool.
3. Grind the seeds using a coffee grinder.
4. Mix well with salt.
5. For every bowl of rice top with 1 to 2 teaspoons of salted sesame seeds. Chew really well for rice allowing rice to turn into liquid before swallowing. The combination of brown rice and sesame seeds is believed to cure a lot of diseases.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Cutting a cantaloupe

I buy it 2 days ahead of time and let it sit on the kitchen counter to let it ripen. Pick one that has a yellow skin and a lot of fragrance.

Cut the cantaloupe in half.
Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds.

Place the cut side down to the cutting board.
Cut into 8 sections.

Peel the skin for each section.

Put 4 sections together and slice.

Save the rind and seeds to make broth, it makes a very flavorful soup.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Cutting a pineapple

Pick a pineapple that has a yellow skin and firm to the touch. Buy it 2 days ahead of time, place it on the kitchen counter top to let it ripen. Use a big bowl to save the skin and core, it makes a very flavorful broth.

Cut it in half.
Cut each half in 8 sections, leave the bottom in tact.

Cut the bottom.
Core, and peel each section.

Place 4 sections together and slice.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Fruit salad, don't under estimate its natural sweetness

Making fruit salad is my specialty, everyone keeps requesting it for every occasion. To make the best fruit salad, it has to start with selecting the best fruits. You need a sharp knife, to handle the fruits very gently and after all a lot patience. It takes about 2 hours to put together a beautiful, delicious fruit salad like this.

Makes 20 servings

  • 1 pineapple, pick one with a yellow skin but not soft to the touch, I bought it 2 days ahead of time to let it ripen on the kitchen counter top.
  • 1 honey dew or melon from Brazil, pick one that is firm, with a lot of fragrance, buy it 2 days ahead of time and let it ripen on the kitchen counter top.
  • 1 cantaloupe, find one with a yellow skin, a lot fragrance, buy it 2 days ahead of time and let it ripen on the kitchen counter top.
  • 1 small water melon or you can buy 1 quarter of a big one.
  • 2 Asian pears.
  • 5 clementines.
  • 1 pound red grapes, make sure they are firm to the touch. Red grapes are healthier than green ones.
  • 1 pound cherries, choose the deep dark ones, firm to the touch.
  • 1 pound strawberries.

Steps:

I wash everything 3 times and put them in the colander, strainer, basket to let them dry.
Slice the pineapple, set aside.
Slice half of the cantaloupe, set aside.
Slice half of the honey dew, set aside.
Slice half of the water melon, set aside.
Cube the Asian pears, set aside.
Peel and section the clementines, set aside.

In a big bowl, gently fill a little bit of different pieces of fruits up to about 7/8 of the bowl.


Stem and cut the strawberries in half, arrange them to side of the bowl.

Use the melon baller to make honey dew balls and arrange them next to the strawberries.

Make the cantaloupe balls and arrange them next to the honey dew.
Make the water melon balls and arrange them next to the cantaloupe.
Fill the middle with cherries.
Here you have it, a very healthy, attractive and wonderful fruit salad.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Toasted portabella mushrooms (edited)

This is a very quick and easy way to cook your mushrooms. I have made them so many times, they can be served with rice, bread, salad...

Makes 3 servings

Ingredients:
  • 3 portabella mushrooms, washed and dried.
Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup or equivalent sweetener
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano (or five-spice powder)
  • 1/2 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
Steps:

1. Mix the sauce together. Whisk together the ingredients for the sauce.

2. Apply the sauce to the mushrooms. Brush sauce on the top and bottom of each mushroom.

3. Set the toaster oven to dark toast.

4. Lay the mushrooms on a baking pan, stem side up.

5. Toast 4 times.


Can be served with broken rice, pickled carrots, tomato, cucumber and lettuce.


Or as mushroom burger
Or as mushroom sandwich (banh mi chay)