Follow by Email

Monday, January 25, 2016

Snow Storm in Alexandria by Margot Justes

As the news reported, the East Coast was blanketed by snow this weekend. Our area had about 18 inches of the white fluffy stuff-at least that was reported at the Reagan Airport, and I'm in the area. No doubt it was a severe storm.

There were almost a 1000 reported accidents in VA. I wonder why people are on the road if they don't have to be. Or for that matter walk on the road because sidewalks are impassable, they risk being killed, or causing an accident and maiming or killing someone else. The DC Mayor kept telling people to stay off the roads, and many didn't listen. Why is that so difficult? 

The media spent most of the time on the storm, rehashing stuff over and over. As someone being interviewed put it  'watching the non-story'. I'm pretty sure other things were happening all over the world, but the focus was local. I can understand that, but much of it was a continuous repeat. I guess they call it-human interest-how people were spending their time during the storm.  

I thought about the coverage, the things that we pay attention to, and the things that we ignore, the things that the media thinks we want to hear. They're probably right, it's what sells, not necessarily good, solid reporting, but it sells, and that is where the revenue comes from. 

I took a stroll before the storm settled in comfortably. I rather enjoy a walk in the fresh falling snow, but know enough to get in before it becomes dangerous. Had my battery powered lamp, candles, and fully charged phone, and plenty of blankets ready in case power went out. Stopped in the store a couple of days before the storm hit, so there was no need to drive.

Our area was fortunate, people paid attention, and power was okay. At any rate, I have a few pictures of my little corner.

Margot  Justes
Blood Art
A Hotel in Paris
A Hotel in Bath
A Hotel in Venice
A Fire Within

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Holiday Foods by Margot Justes

Many of us have certain tradition for every holiday, and for me Christmas and the New Year are the most fun, and a few revolve around food. I've posted my favorite recipes, and here are a couple more that make it to the Christmas dinner.

This year we were lucky to see the National Tree in DC, that added to the festive mood of the season.

Below are 3 more excellent holiday foods.

Panettone, an Italian cake filled with dried fruit and citrus flavorings-I have developed a love affair with Italy, and this one is a must for breakfast with a delicious cup of coffee. It smells heavenly, tasted delicious and brings back many memories for me. The Panettone I buy in the grocery store, it is readily available, even Costco sells them

The other food is the spinach and ricotta pie-I've been making it for years, and it is always a favorite either for breakfast or a midday snack. The recipe is from an old cookbook I've had for decades-The Romagnolis' Table. They called it Torta Verde di Ricotta. Recipe is below, it is truly delicious.

Spinach Pie
I use a store bought pie filling-you will need only 1.
1 10 oz package of frozen chopped spinach-drained.
1 lb of ricotta
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
8 tablespoon grated Parmesan
1/2 cup of flour
1 teaspoon salt (I use less)
4 tablespoons of butter. I use 1 tablespoon.

Preheat oven to 350.

Put the ricotta in a medium bowl, add the spinach and mix well. Add the egg, the nutmeg and salt. Fold in 4 tablespoons of the Parmesan, (I've been known to add more Parmesan), and add the flour. Mix well.

Prepare the pie crust, and spread the filling in the unbaked pie crust. Sprinkle the top with the remaining Parmesan, and dot with butter. There is no need to use all 4 tablespoons-one will do nicely.

Bake at 350 for an hour.  It'll be very hot, allow to cool before cutting. It is truly delicious, and easy to make.

There are some wonderful recipes in that cookbook, it is well worn and highly treasured.

The other food is a relative new comer, but it is easy, delicious and requires no care-all the cooking is done in the slow cooker. During a busy day, that is indeed a good offering.

Beef Giardiniera

I buy cut up stew meat (Costco)-nothing new there I love that store.
I spray my slow cooker with Pam, and warm it up.

2 diced onions
4 sliced carrots
3 celery stocks cut
3 lbs of stew meat
5 bay leaves
2 jars of giardiniera-either in oil or vinegar-whatever is available- either way I drain the veggies well.
Salt and pepper to taste
1 can of low sodium chicken or beef broth
1 pouch of McCromick brwon gravy

Put the ingredients in the slow cooker, and mix well, add half the can of the broth, and allow to slow cook for 6 hours. If more broth is needed, add some more.

Mix the remainder of the broth and the brown gravy packet and add to stew-allow to cook until meat is tender. Serve with potatoes or brown rice, couscous, or even pasta. Easy delicious and flavorful.
This one is not just for the holiday, it is so easy can be done anytime.

Happy New Year!

Margot  Justes
Blood Art
A Fire Within
A Hotel in Paris
A Hotel in Bath
A Hotel in Venice