So, I’ve been sick for two weeks now. What started out as a standard cold turned into a sinus infection and the next thing I know, I’m spending a night checked into the fabulous five-star hotel called the “Emergency Room.” The day I had started taking my prescription antibiotics was the night I took a trip in the ambulance. I had been prescribed them the day before when I visited my primary physician. I never had a sinus infection that caused a fever before and I was shaking so bad that I could barely dial the phone and had trouble breathing. Thankfully, I was not having a reaction to the medication.
I had the Lap-Band surgery about four and a half years ago, so taking medication in its pill form can be difficult for me at times. This is especially the case when they are horse pills like the antibiotics I am currently on. For those of you who are not familiar with the term, “horse pills” are medication in the form of tablets or capsules that are very large in size. The large size of horse pills can make them exceptionally difficult to swallow.
It helps me to drink a smoothie while taking medication. So today I made what I am calling a “Berry Happy Smoothie.” This smoothie made me feel good while I was drinking it that I just had to post the recipe for my (and your) future reference!
The key to making this smoothie is the cottage cheese. I know what you’re thinking, “Cottage cheese? What!” My mom questioned it too when I suggested she add cottage cheese to the one she made yesterday. Cottage cheese is a thickener to a smoothie recipe. If you don’t like the cottage-cheesy taste, you can add flavor extracts to it, such as vanilla. You can also thicken your smoothie with xanthan gum. You might find that in the gluten-free isle.
Bring a smile to your mood with a Berry Happy Smoothie!
On February 10th, last year, I entered a contest on justapinch.com and asked my followers to cast their vote for it. The problem, of course, was that I didn’t have a proper picture of my recipe being made or completed.
Tonight, I made this fabulous eggplant dip to have as an appetizer before a dairy Shabbat dinner.
The story as it was written last year:
“My Grandma was notorious for her home cooked family favorites. There was never a visit without a hot, homemade pie.
Another recipe was for this eggplant dip. My Poppy adored this dip!
She had given me the recipe, but I lost it. Poppy has since passed on and Grandma has dementia, and so for the last couple of years, I tried searching the internet without luck.
Luck changed a few months ago when Grandma and I were looking at a recipe for ratatouille, when suddenly, it all came back to her!”
This recipe calls for one eggplant. We used two and came out with this one small bowl. You may decide to double or triple your recipe, depending on how many people you intend to serve it to.
More than one website recommends the use of wooden utensils for making eggplant dips in order to avoid oxidation in your food. Poppy of Poppy Planet warns that if you use stainless steel, inox or iron, it will leave the dish with a bitter taste.
*This recipe may be Eastern European in origin, but I’m not sure. I will update this post when I find out.
1 tsp oil (I suggest olive oil, it’s healthiest. Start with 1 teaspoon. Another recipe we found says 4-5 tablespoons. You may not need all of that.)
1 medium onion (finely grated, or finely chopped)
1-3 large garlic cloves, mashed (the amount you use is to your preference)
salt and pepper to taste
Utensils: wooden knife or wooden spatula
Microwave the eggplant until it is soft.
I don’t recall the exact microwave time, but I recommend starting with five minutes and then another five. Keep at this until it will slightly ‘sink’ in it’s appearance. DO NOT OVER COOK!
After cooking, cut the green tips off. Peel the skin, cut in half and scoop out the seeds. I remember my grandmother using a grapefruit spoon for this, but I used a fork since I don’t have any.
Mash the meat in a bowl. Use a little olive oil. Start with 1 teaspoon. Mash this with a wooden knife or other mashing utensil.
Add salt, pepper, onion, and garlic (optional).
Cover, chill and serve with bread, crackers or matzoh. This makes an excellent accompaniment alongside your vegetable trays and is also a great vegan alternative to your classic baba ganoush.
Steamed Thai Vegetable Gyoza from Trader Joe's, cooking in the Joie Veggie Steamer.
Steamed Thai Vegetable Gyoza from Trader Joe’s
This is my absolute favorite thing to make from the frozen isle, but I never had a steamer to make it with before!
It includes pre-use instructions. It is dishwasher safe, but if you don’t have one, like me, it tells you how to boil the steamer two times before its first use.
To steam your own, it is best to use a recipe. I followed the instructions for setting up the steamer for cooking on it’s packaging and then the stove top directions for the dumplings on the back of the Gyoza package.
For steaming vegetables, dumplings and other foods, I recommend the Joie Veggie Steamer.