September 14, 2011
Today, Dr. Oz’s show focused on the amount of arsenic in Apple juice. Yes, the poison ~Arsenic~ in the juice that we give to our little ones!
The results are astounding! Most of the juices are made from apple juice concentrate. And the majority of them use concentrate from CHINA, which has no controls over the amount of arsenic allowed in products. The concentrate is shipped to the US in big barrels and the US companies are mixing it up with water. After it is boxed up it is sold in our grocery stores and served to our children. It is not tested by the FDA to my knowledge.
Arsenic is a toxic poison. Extreme amounts can cause death. Smaller amounts can damage individual DNA, cause cancer, brain problems, and other things. Not what we want for our children!
Usually apple juice that is made from concentrat from the United States is safe. Be sure to do your homework regarding this issue…
10 parts of arsenic per billion parts is what is allowed by the USDA. Dr. Oz had several products tested from grocery stores all over the US. I know that you have had at least one of these and most probably so has your child!
Minute Maid 2 – 3 parts
Apple & Evie 3-11 parts
Motts 4-16 parts
Juicy Juice 2 – 22 parts
Gerber 6 – 36 parts
For more info go to: www.doctoroz.com
November 21, 2010
Here is a wonderful recipe for a reputation – making Thanksgiving dessert! Enjoy from Portland Firefly!!!
Pumpkin Pie Cobbler:
Mix the following 6 ingredients together and put into a 9X13 pan sprayed with pam.
1 20 oz can of pumpkin
1 C. of sugar
1 13oz can of evaporated milk
1/2 t. salt
2 t. pumpkin pie spice
Put this into the pan and sprinkle 1 box of dry yellow cake mix over the top. Pat this into the batter a little. Sprinkle 1 cup of nuts over the top. Pour 1 and a 1/2 sticks of melted butter over the entire mixture. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes. Serve with whip cream.
Portland Firefly uses brown sugar and adds additional cinnamom and spices because she likes her dessert tasty!
Enjoy!!!! From Portland Firefly…..
August 12, 2010
How big are wine bottles?
“Wine is Bottled Poetry” – Robert Louis Stevenson
The capacity of a wine bottle in Liters is followed by the number of standard size bottles contained:
Standard Wine Bottle holds .75 litres of wine. One bottle of wine.
A Magnum Wine Bottle holds 1.5 litres of wine. Two bottles of wine.
A Jeroboam Wine Bottle holds 3 litres of wine. Four bottles of wine.
A Rehoboam Wine Bottle holds 4.5 litres of wine. Six bottles of wine.
A Methuselah Wine Bottle holds 6 litres of wine. Eight bottles of wine.
A Salmanazar Wine Bottle holds 9 litres of wine. Twelve bottles of wine.
A Balthazar Wine Bottle holds 12 litres of wine. Sixteen bottles of wine.
A Nebuchadnezzar Wine Bottle holds 15 litres of wine. Twenty bottles of wine.
“Wine comes in at the mouth
And love comes in at the eye;
That’s all we shall know for truth
Before we grow old and die.
I lift the glass to my mouth,
I look at you, and I sigh.”
July 19, 2010
Here is a little household hint for keeping food fresh. These household hints use a damp (not wet) paper towel. You can also use a damp (not wet) very clean cloth towel.
You can make your dinner salad earlier in the day . Before you refrigerate it, simply lay a damp paper towel over the top of the salad. This will keep your salad from drying out and will save you valuable time during dinner preparations.
This damp towel can also be used to cover a pre-prepared cheese tray, or keep half of a sandwich fresh for a few hours. I actually prefer this to putting it in a plastic baggie and I’m sure you can think of other uses.
April 14, 2010
On April 15, bring in a reusable mug and get a free brewed coffee.
Join the movement. On April 15th, bring a reusable travel mug into your local Starbucks and get a free brewed coffee.
One person can save trees, together we can save forests.
For the good of the planet, Starbucks is encouraging everyone to switch from paper cups to reusable travel mugs. One day in March thousands of New Yorkers made the switch. Join them now by taking a pledge to do the same.
This global movement is taking place in locations around the world including East China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Australia, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Netherlands, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, UK, Ireland, Argentina, Bahamas, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico.
Offer varies by country, ask your barista for details.
March 31, 2010
Since Easter is just a few days away, I thought I’d repeat my post on How to Hard Boil Eggs.
Ok, you have the eggs that you want to boil. Now get a small pan, not one that is too big for the amount of eggs you want to boil. Put enough water in the pan to just cover the room-temperature eggs completely. You can then put the lid on the pan and put it on the stove and bring to a boil. Just a SLOW boil for 10 minutes. Here is a picture of eggs in a slow boil. A full rolling boil is not what you want. A full rolling boil looks just like it sounds — lots of turbulence in the water and splashes.
Boiling Eggs by PDXFirefly
After slow boiling the eggs ten minutes, turn off the heat and put a lid on the pan and let them sit ( or is it set) for 5 minutes. Then you remove the lid and pour the water off and run cold water over the eggs in the pan. Repeat the running of cold water over the eggs. This is to hasten the cooling down process. Then you can put them in a bowl in the fridge to cool longer until you are ready to shell them.
You can also slow boil the eggs for 5 minutes and then let them set ( or is it sit) in a covered pan for 10 minutes.
When you go to peel them, they will be perfect! My recipe for Curried Deviled Eggs can be found by typing ‘curried’ in the search box. Yum!!
December 19, 2009
In France there is a tradition that revolves around beggars purses. This appetizer is named after the beggars purses because they look like little purses. Another Portland Firefly Recipe.
For 8, you will need :
8 cheeses (I like the baby goudas) or chunks
8 squares of filo dough or wonton wrappers
8 12″ pieces of non-plastic ribbon or string
Put the unwrapped cheese on the dough. Put a dollop of mustard on top of the cheese. Bring the corners up together and tie with your ribbon. Bake in 325 degree oven for 10 -18 minutes (watching so they don’t burn). These charming appetizers can be made ahead an hour or two if needed. Every time I serve them, they are a hit with both men and women.
November 22, 2009
For many years, green tea has been a drink that I enjoy, especially in the mornings.
But over the years the recycler in me became unsettled over throwing out all of those tea leaves. I figured that there has to be a use for them. Then I remembered something that my parents used to have me do as a child.
Living in the near perfect climate of Southern California, we had a beautifully landscaped yard consisting of my Father’s favorite plants and flowers. I came to love those same flowers and to learn their names. One day, my Mother told me to take the tea bags and to put them in the garden around a specific plant. My Dad instructed me to gently incorporate the tea leaves into the top of the soil for these acid loving plants. It is something that I have always remembered because it was so unusual.
This came back into my consciousness while I was pondering my used tea bags. Then I remembered that green tea is now a popular ingredient in some cosmetics. Hum-m-m-m, I thought. I now have three uses for these tea bags. And that sounded like a bargain to me!
So after I make my green tea, I remove the bag. I then like to ‘wash’ my face with it as a toner. Then I let the tea bag dry. When the tea bag is dried out, I put the tea leaves into a little container and then I sprinkle them around my beautiful roses. I had the most fantastic long-stemmed roses this summer —they were over four feet tall!!!
And the recycler in me was satisfied that I was actually helping something in the environment instead of adding to the landfill problem.
September 24, 2009
Here is an original Portland Firefly Recipe for delicious Italian Risotto, but made in a rice cooker so you have a little more time away from the stove. I hope you enjoy it!!!
RICE COOKER RISOTTO
1 ½ C Arborio Rice
1 C White Wine
2 C Chicken Broth
1 C Water
3 TBS Unsalted Butter (cut up) (European Style is best)
½ to 1C Grated Parmesan Cheese
½ to 1 C additional Broth
Put 1 C chicken Broth and 1 C Water in Rice Cooker. Turn on rice cooker.
Take 1 ½ C of Arborio rice and heat it up in a large dry skillet. Do not brown the rice; just keep stirring to heat it up for a few minutes.
Heat up the White Wine in a cup in the microwave (do not boil).
Heat up 1 Cup Chicken Broth in microwave.
As soon as the rice gets warm in the skillet, slowly add the hot wine to the rice, stirring constantly over medium heat. After the rice soaks up the wine, slowly add the 1 cup of hot Chicken Broth stirring until the rice absorbs the liquid. I heat the broth in the microwave while I am stirring in the wine.
Then (after it has absorbed all the liquid) transfer the rice to the rice cooker where the remaining broth and water should be hot. Close the rice cooker lid and let it cook until the rice is done. This gives you time to do something else for 20 or 30 minutes.
When the rice is done, add the unsalted butter and most of the parmesan cheese a little at a time. Then you may have to add up to 1 C of additional Chicken Broth to the Risotto to make it creamier but not soupy. Be sure to add the butter, cheese and extra broth while the rice is still hot. I like to put a tiny pat of butter and sprinkle a little parmesan cheese on each portion when serving. I like a lot of parmesan cheese so I use a full cup when mixing, but add to your family’s taste.
I actually prefer my Risotto at room temperature after it sets for about 30 minutes. I think it gives the flavors time to ripen together.
This is still a little bit involved but you will have an excellent Risotto result without stirring and standing over a steaming hot stove for 30 minutes or more and without making a mess on your stove.
An Original Portland Firefly Recipe
September 23, 2009
I hope you enjoy this delicious recipe for salmon filet. It is quick and easy and uses fresh garden herbs. When the weather is hot, you can prepare it in the cool morning, refrigerate it, and eat it chilled for dinner with a nice salad.
SAVORY SALMON by Portland Firefly
Olive Oil — Extra Virgin
Wash and pat dry the salmon. Put it skin side down in an oiled pan (so it doesn’t stick). Pour a little Olive Oil over it. Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon on it (no seeds!). Sprinkle a little garlic on to taste. Cover with fresh Dill . Lay a lot of Basil leaves inbetween the Dill. Sprinkle a little Oregano over the whole thing.
Bake for 15 – 20 minutes at 400 degrees. You can tell when it is done because the fish will flake easily with a fork.
An Original Portland Firefly Recipe
July 27, 2009
When I was in the third grade, our family moved to another city. This Christmas time move to “the new house” meant that I would be starting the new year at a new school. Before the school year ended, I had a new best friend named Mary.
Her father was an architect in Los Angeles; in fact he was one of THE premier architechts that shaped the Los Angeles skyline that you see today. The reason I mention this fact is because of their house. It was a forward thinking home, as was the one I was living in. Her father had designed her home and my Father has designed my home, too. Both homes were beautifully designed and we were two lucky little girls. We were lucky because we had found a best friend.
I particularly remember one visit to Mary’s home. We arrived after school one day and like all children, we needed a snack. There was nothing ordinary about Mary and that is probably one reason why I liked her so much — she probably still has that exciting, adventuresome, inquisitive, spirit that complements mine. In retrospect, perhaps that is the reason we became so close.
Anyway….back to two hungry little girls. Well, Mary takes me into this state of the art kitchen to prepare us a sandwich. She takes out the can of chopped black olives, opens them and drains them. She then mixes in a little mayonaise and spreads it on the whole wheat bread. She cuts it my favorite way…into triangles. In a few minutes, we are devouring our black olive sandwich and I have a new favorite snack to go along with my best friend.
In fact, black olive sandwiches are more than a snack. I really enjoy them on a regular basis for lunch. They taste really good with a healthy chip. I always think of Mary as I am mixing the mayonaise into the chopped olives and wonder how she is. Like so many of my friends from my youth, we have lost touch over the years. Maybe she will read this and email Portland Firefly.
Readers, do you want another “black olive sandwich” story? Read on….
Many years later while living in New York, I was craving an olive sandwich. I had been taking care of a house- bound friend for several weeks and mentioned my craving for an olive sandwich by saying that I wanted to go to the store and get everything needed to make us sandwiches. He gave me the “typical New York” answer, “The grocery store is 8 blocks away, the deli is just around the corner. Just go to the deli and get our sandwiches.” What a novel idea, I thought.
I left the apartment and found the deli easily. That was the easy part. Since I had grown up eating these delicious sandwiches, I figured that everyone (especially a New York Deli) knew how to make them. Wrong! Well, I walk into the deli, which wasn’t busy, thank goodness! I ordered a chopped olive sandwich. No chopped olives , but “I have sliced olives. Will that do?” “Sure”, I answer,” you can just put the mayonnaise on the bread and put the olives on it.” “I only have cream cheese.” “OK,” I respond, “cream cheese and sliced black olives, two sandwiches, please.” “You want black olives? I’ve never heard of that; usually I make olive sandwiches with green olives” came the reply from the white coated man behind the tall meat cooler.
Green olives on cream cheese is not what I was craving. I also wonder if this is the sandwich that my “patient” is wanting. I wanted black olives with mayo. Since this event happened prior to cell phones, I had no choice but to ask if I could use the deli phone to “phone a friend” to see what kind of olive sandwich he was expecting. Only because they were not busy was the reason I was allowed to use the phone to clarify the situation. The order was given, made up, and taken home. The two sandwiches were unwrapped — both on whole wheat, both with cream cheese; one had sliced green olives, the other one had sliced black olives. We were both happy!
April 10, 2009
I have two previous posts related to hard boiled eggs. The one posted on 10/18/08 tells you how to hard boil eggs. The recipe for curried deviled eggs was posted on 1/31/09. You may want to use this recipe to make deviled eggs after the kids find all those hard boiled eggs you colored.
The easiest way to access these recipes is to just click on “recipes” on the right side of my blog under “categories”. Or you can type the date into my search box and the post will come up for you. You can also type eggs into my search box and then click on the title to access the posts. Have an eggstravaganza day!
January 31, 2009
This is a recipe that I promised to post. Thank you Melissa for reminding me!
Hard boil eggs – as many as you want. You can see my previous post on “How to Boil Eggs” for directions on hard boiling eggs. Let them cool. They may be stored in the refrigerator (in a baggie or covered container) for a day or two before ”deviling” them. You can even peel them and store them peeled for convenience, which is what I usually do.
I also make this mixture the day before my party and store it overnight in the refrigerator and fill the eggs prior to serving.
Wash hands thoroughly.
For about 6 eggs (12 halves), I take about 2 Tablespoons of Mayonnaise (low/non-fat is OK), and 1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard and about 1tsp-1tbs curry powder (depends on your taste), some ground pepper, a little salt, and a dash of nutmeg (my secret ingredient) and mix together. Set aside ( in the refrigerator) while you prepare the eggs. This allows the spices to break open their flavors in the mayo. Don’t worry, you will be adding a lot more mayo to suit your taste.
Make sure your hands are clean. Get out a sharp knife and cut eggs in half lengthwise (long way). You may want to rinse knife off several times during this process.
Put yokes into a bowl. Set the whites on a plate or on a paper towel inside of a plastic container. If you have an egg white half that doesn’t look too pretty, or one that rips, or has a hole in it, put that one into the bowl, too. You will need some egg whites, mixed in with the yokes.
Chop up the yokes and a few whites. I like to use a pastry blender for this process.
Add the prepared mayonnaise mixture to the chopped yokes. Add more mayonnaise as needed to moisten the mixture so it is not too creamy and not too dry. Adjust ingredients to suit your taste.
Fill the egg white halves with your mixture. I have a really cool tube press that fills them beautifully, but you can just put the mixture in with a spoon. You can also put the mixture into a plastic baggie and cut off the corner of the baggie and push the mixture out through the hole. Put on an “egg plate” for serving if you have one. Look for plastic ones at the dollar store around Easter time.
You can garnish eggs with a little parsley, cilanto leaf, or sprinkel curry or paprika over the top of eggs.
Portland Firefly Tip: The eggs get slippery, and I have had success in transporting them by putting a paper towel in the bottom of a plastic container to keep them secure. Enjoy!
January 6, 2009
One of my readers asked if I knew where she could purchase some more of the Perugina Dark Hot Chocolate that I discovered at Tuesday Morning.
When I was exploring another Tuesday Morning store, I discovered that they had BOXES and BOXES available. So, I would suggest that you call the different Tuesday Mornings to see if they have the Perugina you want. Some stores will be closed for inventory until Thursday, Jan 8, 2009, so try calling then. Good Luck! And sweet hot coco!!! M-m-m-m it is so-o-o-o good.
December 24, 2008
This is another favorite homemade holiday cranberry relish. Easy and quick.
Take one package of cranberries (washed, culled, and drained), and place into a medium saucepan.
Add one or two washed and chopped up apples. I like to leave the skins on.
Add about 1/2 cup water & 1 cinnamon stick.
1 Tbs. Lemon juice
Barely bring to a boil and reduce heat and simmer for about 10-15 minutes until the cranberries and apples are softened and the mixture starts to “gel” together. Don’t worry, you’ll be able to tell. The fun thing about this recipe is that you will hear the cranberrries “pop” open as they start to cook. You can also add some chopped pecans if you like. I like.
Add the zest of one lemon and one orange.
Allow to cool and store in refrigerator. Can also be frozen for several months. I like to garnish the top with zest when I serve this; it makes it more festive!
This is a very easy homemade recipe for a taste-acquiring cranberry- orange relish.
Take 1 package of fresh cranberries and wash, cull (that means toss out the bad ones), and drain. Take two nice juicy naval oranges and wash well and dry. Cut the oranges into quarters and then eighths. Be sure to leave the peel on the oranges as this adds a lot of flavor and vitamins.
Get out your little food chopper or your big food processor. Chop the cranberries and the orange eighths together until they are about the size of rice.
Remove the mixture of chopped cranberies and chopped oranges to a bowl and add sugar to taste. Probably about 1 Cup, but add it slowly and taste it as you add the sugar so you don’t make it tooo sweet.
Store for at least 24 hours before serving. The mixture will darken to a rich “cranberry red” as the sugar settles in. This can also be frozen for several months for later use.
December 19, 2008
I received a comment from Wanda who took Portland Firefly’s advice and purchased some Perugina Hot Chocolate from Tuesday Morning. Well, she wasn’t the only one who bought it and they are all gone. She asked if I knew where she could purchase some more.
I do not. But, I have another suggestion. Trader Joes’s has wonderful goodies, especially at this time of the year. I would suggest that you look for a dark cocoa – sweetened or unsweetened; the higher the cocoa content, the richer it will be. You should be able to make your own hot chocolate much like I did as a child.
I would use the dark cocoa and add an equal amount of sugar (this may vary depending on the type of cocoa). Then stir in just enough milk to help dissolve the cocoa and sugar into a thin paste. Do not skip this step as the cocoa is difficult to dissolve completely in a lot of liquid. Then slowly stir in either hot or cold milk being careful to not add too much milk. I would add a dash of cinnamon and cloves just because…. and add marshmallows as desired! This would also be delicious if you wanted to add mostly coffee and a small amount of milk. Coffee-coco!
December 12, 2008
Winter is the time for colds and sniffles and just being chilly. Sometimes the only way to get a good nights sleep when you are suffering from one of these maladies is a nice warm hot toddy!
First of all –get your face washed, your teeth brushed and put on your nice warm jammies. Then turn down the bed covers and turn on your electric blanket (if you have one). Take care of all pets that require nighttime rituals.
Second — Make sure your house is locked up for the night.
Third — Make your Hot Toddy
Disclaimer – Once you drink your Hot Toddy you will understand the reason for doing steps 1 and 2 prior to making your Toddy (step Three). The reason??? Hah…one drink and you are so “relaxed” that you cannot do anything except put yourself into bed for a “long winter’s nap”. But I guarantee you that you will feel better when you wake up the next morning.
Here is my recipe for a Hot Toddy. Enjoy!!
6 oz of very hot water - almost, but not quite boiling
1-2 oz of desired alcohol * See note below.
Add Sugar or Honey and sweeten to taste if needed * See note below
Garnish with cinnamon stick, cloves, and/or lemon peel. I usually put these into my mug first, then pour the hot water over them, then add the alcohol last.
* Note: The alcohol you use is very important. I prefer something smooth and tasty like Amaretto, or a fine Brandy such as Courvasier. If you use a slightly sweet liquor, then you can omit the honey/sugar/ lemon. If you use a whiskey, then you will need to sweeten your beverage. It is only a matter of personal preferences.
You can also make a Non-alcoholic version for children. The non-alcoholic version contains Hot water, Honey or Sugar, Lemon, and Cinnamon and Cloves.
Enjoy and Sleep Well!!
December 5, 2008
Your guests are about to arrive and you forgot to chill the wine, beer, or soda. Or perhaps you have limited refrigerator space and can’t fit all the beverages into the refrigerator. How do you solve this problem?
First of all you need a container of some sort. An insulated container such as an ice chest or the little cooler you keep in the trunk of the car for your trips to the wholesale house would work just fine; so would a big plastic bag inside of a CLEAN 5 gal bucket.
Put your items to be chlled inside the container and add lots of ice and enough water to almost cover the items. The water is the secret ingredient in this “recipe”. If you are in a hurry to chill your wine or bottle of beer or champagne, you can gently “twirl” the bottle in the slushy for a few minutes and it will chill faster…in fact it will chill in a matter of minutes.
A word of caution when you go to open your can of beer or soda…. Do what experienced Flight Attendants do when they open a can in-flight… and that is… gently tap the top of the can with your fingernail before pulling the pop top.
Cheers! A Salud!