Healthfully Ever After

Healthier & Happier: Before & Beyond "I do"

5 Things To Do With a Mortar And Pestle

Healthy HostessCarlene ThomasComment

A well loved, passed down piece of kitchen equipment is probably one of the most thoughtful and meaningful gifts if you're a girl who loves to cook. And if you're south of the Mason Dixon, a passed down cast iron skillet is basically the equivalent of the highest 'you're doin' things right in life' you can get from a relative. In fact, I've already waxed poetic about those cast iron skillets (OH MY GOD if you do not have a seasoned skillet, it's a game changer. Don't have a passed down one? Try this skillet.), so today with this Recipe Redux challenge to share a meaningful piece of your kitchen, I'm sharing a mortar and pestle.

I know. It seems ridiculous. It's one of those things people buy from a store and have on their counter to collect dust. But this marble beauty is not only the perfect tiny size, but it was given to me recently by my grandparents. My grandpa used it in his vineyard to crush grapes off the vines for sugar testing. And to me, a mortar and pestle can't get more beautiful than that.

If you have a mortar and pestle and don't know what to do with it....I've got you covered! Here are 5 brilliant basic uses for your mortar and pestle: 

5 Things To Do With a Mortar And Pestle 
  1. Ground Flaxseed: It really ruffles my feathers when I see whole flax added to bread or smoothies etc to jack up the price. You know why? You CAN'T digest whole flax like that, so congrats on being suckered into paying to have it pass through you. Instead, grab a bag of flaxseed and grind it at home in this baby! Sprinkle in salads or on oatmeal.
  2. Make Tahini Paste: I'm a recent tahini and sesame seed convert. Make your own paste by picking up bulk sesame seeds from an Asian Market and grind it up.
  3. Crush Nuts: Skip the Cuisinart clean out. Do it manually.
  4. Seasoned Salt: You don't need to buy salt blends. Just add sea salt and spices and dried herbs and grind away. The husband made a green tea version that smells earthy and awesome.
  5. Quick Oats Done Right: I know it's tempting to buy instant oatmeal, but it just doesn't have the same nutrition content as the stone/steel cut ones that take longer. To make the good stuff faster, pulverize the oats in this! It's the same concept: smaller/thinner= faster cooking.

Healthier Weddings: Spring Cherry Cider Cocktail

Healthy Hostess, Weddings & EventsCarlene ThomasComment

I hope you all had a great Easter weekend! I totally turned off work (I won't lie. I struggled) for the weekend and enjoyed Spring starting with a delicious dinner at The Wine Kitchen. Saturday morning the husband and I walked to the farmer's market and grabbed coffee at our favorite stop en route. Sunday we went to my parent's property for our annual crazy hunt. This year it was golf tees in the grass and dried ziti pasta in the woods. Advanced level. Now back to the office!

I have to share my latest cocktail for Swooned. It's a little dark but surprisingly springy! It's a blend of fresh cherry syrup and a spring hard cider from Woodchuck that smells like maple. Cheers to the week!

 

Healthier Weddings: Spring Cherry Cider Cocktail

Deviled Eggs 3 Ways: Herbal, BBQ and Pickled

Healthy HostessCarlene ThomasComment

Deviled eggs are one of my favorite party appetizer foods, but it’s something I never make for myself. And perhaps that’s what makes them seem so special to me. Since eggs are the epitome of spring foods, we could all use a fresh look at a favorite recipe..... and it's a way to use all of those hard boiled eggs from Easter!

Here are three recipes to inspire a fresh look at deviled eggs: sour, herbal and spicy.

///Originally posted for Food & Nutrition Magazine: Stone Soup/// 

 

Deviled Eggs 3 Ways: Herbal, BBQ and Pickled 

To make a basic deviled egg (makes 6 halves):

Add 3 eggs to a pot and cover with cool water. Cover pot with a lid and heat on the stove until boiling. Allow to boil for 1 minute and turn off heat. Let sit for 12 minutes, drain water and add to a bowl of ice water. After 5 minutes. gently crack eggs and peel. Slice in half lengthwise and scoop the yolk, using a spoon, into a separate bowl. Once the filling is mixed, spoon back into the egg half. 

Sour: Deviled Eggs with Picked Red Onions and Thyme

Deviled eggs 3 ways: with pickled red onions and thyme 

Follow directions to make basic deviled eggs. To the bowl with the yolk add 2 tablespoons 0% greek yogurt, 1 tablespoon mayonnaise and 1 teaspoon dijon mustard. Add a dash of salt and pepper. Mash all with a fork until combined. Top with pickled red onions and a sprig of thyme. 


Herbal: Deviled Eggs with Avocado, Lemon, Herbs and Roasted Chickpeas

deviled eggs 3 ways: herbal with avocado, lemon and herbs 

Follow directions to make basic deviled eggs. To the bowl with the yolk add 1/8th of an avocado, 1 tablespoon Greek yogurt, 1/2 tablespoon mayonnaise and 1 teaspoon dijon mustard and a squeeze of fresh lemon. Add a dash of salt and pepper. Mash all with a fork until combined. Top with chopped basil, parsley and chopped roasted chickpeas. 


Spicy: Deviled Eggs with Paprika and Parsley Infused BBQ Sauce

bbq deviled eggs

Follow directions to make basic deviled eggs. To the bowl with the yolk add 1 1/2 tablespoons 0% greek yogurt, 1/2 tablespoon mayonnaise and 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard. To the bowl add 1/2 tablespoon of your favorite BBQ sauce, a dash of salt and pepper and paprika. Mash all with a fork until combined. Top with parsley. 

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