M-J's Viennoiseries

Brioche au Sucre
Here's the European silicone pan in which I baked these brioche rolls:

Freshware brand of silicone baking pans is available at Amazon.

So Long, Stevia!


It may not be so for everyone who consumes the natural sweetener stevia, but every time I use the stuff, I awaken at night with killing leg-cramp. I had stopped using the organic preparation last year for that reason, but decided to try it again during my post-Christmas dieting, hoping that a different brand would yield better results. Bingo, the cramps were simultaneously occurring in both legs! I did a little research yesterday morning, as the troglodyte on TV suggested, and found that many people experience this symptom and several others while using stevia. My legs were still sore (calves AND thighs).



I recently turned 64 years of age, and am in great health. I bicycle, play tennis, and run up stairs many times daily, so there is no reason for the muscle-cramping. If I need to sweeten my coffee or tea now, I will use turbinado or muscovado sugar, and work-off the calories. Flirting with muscular malfunction is idiotic, so my latest bottle of stevia has been chucked onto the Ash-Heap of History.

Three extended family members, all of whom had recommended stevia to me and given me some books on the subject, passed away relatively young. The books are going into the dust-bin today. Some people may fare well on that substance, but for me, I would rather not wake up with crippling pain that makes it impossible to even get up and walk--that's what happens when muscle-cramp strikes the entirety of both legs, whereas if it hits just one of your pegs, getting up to walk or lunge it out is possible. Bye bye Stevia, Sweetie!~M-J de Mesterton ©2020

Devonshire Pasties

My Devonshire-style pasties consist of short-crust dough filled with finely chopped raw ingredients: beefsteak, potatoes, rutabagas (swedes or turnips), and onions; the filling is mixed with a small amount of soft butter, salt and pepper; dough is crimped at the top, then pasties are baked at medium-high oven-temp for about an hour.
@M-J de Mesterton 2019
Courtesy of M-J de Mesterton
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M-J's Elegant Pan-Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

Small potatoes (often called "fingerlings") are washed, put into a cast-iron pan with a little water and butter, covered, cooked until soft, then roasted uncovered until their skins are brown. 
©M-J de Mesterton 
If you have the time, pierce each potato so that it absorbs the salted cooking water. I like to add a little lemon juice to the pan, which imparts a pleasant flavour to the fingerling potatoes.
Fingerlings have been fully cooked and roasted in the butter that remains after the liquid has been absorbed and evaporated.
M-J's pan-roasted fingerling potatoes are perfect as an accompaniment to meat dishes or as an addition to salad.
Recipe Courtesy of M-J de Mesterton ©2019

Swedish Cinnamon Toast

Making Scandinavian Cinnamon Rusks at Home


In Scandinavia, "day-old bread" is sliced and moistened in milk and/or cream, then sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon before being slowly baked in a low-temperature oven. This is the simple formula; every Scandinavian who makes this traditional toast or “cinnamon rusks” has his or her own technique. Cinnamon toast is a popular accompaniment to coffee. Scandinavian coffee is typically brewed “strong” using light-to-medium roasted beans. My Swedish grandparents had this traditional combination of cinnamon toast (kanelskorpor) and coffee every morning, though they did not make it themselves as I do. I sometimes use home-made brioche loaf for this purpose, as it produces a very light cinnamon toast or kanelskorpor. Cinnamon is a health-promoting substance in many ways. Here is an article by Dr. Joseph Mercola on the health-benefits of CINNAMON.
©M-J de Mesterton


M-J's Chopped Power-Greens Salad with Boiled Eggs

Spinach, kale, watercress (rocket), purple onion, celery and chard were finely diced and dressed with classic vinaigrette. Two boiled eggs at a deep yellow stage of cooking (not quite hard-boiled) were cut into sections and distributed on top of the chopped vegetables, which had already been tossed with vinaigrette. For visually-appealing boiled eggs, I use the method favoured by chef Jacques Pepin: with a push-pin, poke a hole in the wider end of a raw egg in its shell before lowering it into a pot of water. I simmer the egg for eight minutes, then bathe it in ice-water. The pinhole in the egg will prevent the buildup of sulfur inside the egg and thus keep the yolk from turning green, and resting the boiled egg in cold water makes it much easier to peel. This chopped power-greens salad with two eggs is very nutritious; it can of course be made without the red onion, and naturally welcomes additional ingredients such as bacon bits or shredded cheese.
©M-J de Mesterton 2019

M-J's New Mexican Chile Almonds

M-J’s Roasted New Mexican Chile Almonds, © 2007

Soak one pound (16 ounces) of raw almonds in brine (I use health-promoting Himalayan salt) and red chile powder (New Mexican is the best), for at least an hour, preferably overnight. A teaspoon of sugar or honey added to the brine will ensure that the mixture adheres to the nuts. I like to use agave nectar when it is available. Drain the almonds and spread them out on a baking sheet. Reserve the chile/salt liquid. Roast in medium-hot oven for half an hour. Test for crunchiness only when completely cooled. If they are not tasty or crunchy enough for your taste, repeat the process by just dredging the almonds in the reserved liquid, then bake again for ten to twenty minutes, being careful not to burn the nuts. Almonds ought not to be eaten raw, as they contain a small amount of cyanide until they are roasted. These roasted nuts are an excellent party offering. Roasting the nuts this way is superior to coating them with oil, because your guests, even if they're not opposed to the stuff, won't welcome it all over their clothes.

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Be Inspired to Drink More Water with an Elegant Tumbler


Made in the U.S.A., these gorgeous, sturdy double-walled, insulated tumblers keep things  hot or cold, and ice-cubes intact for hours. Tervis products are called "tumblers" for good reason: they can be dropped on most surfaces without breaking. The lid, sometimes included with a tumbler, fits securely; its open-and-close aperture holds a straw in-place.
           
                               
People are absolutely wild about Tervis, and I hear they have a store in Vegas on the Boulevard. 

Tervis cups or tumblers are guaranteed for life. They don't get scratched like other double-walled glasses, and if you drop them on the floor, the layers and rims don't crack. Drinking from Tervis is a smooth, elegant experience, one that will guarantee you get your daily dose of H20.
~~M-J de M., 2017