Saturday, April 25, 2009

Cheddar Cheese Stands Alone at Elegant Survival

Cheddar Cheese Stands Alone at Elegant Survival

2009 April 25, by M-J de Mesterton
Cheddar Cheese and Rock Painting by M- de Mesterton, Photo Copyright 2009

Cheddar with Rock Painting by M- de Mesterton Copyright 2009

California Cheddar by Albertson's, Photo Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2009

Cheddar by Albertson's, Copyright M-J de Mesterton

My three favourite cheeses are Cheddar (named after the town in England) and Parmesan (named after Parma, Italy). Of course, I am fond of other cheeses from around the world, such as Swedish Farmer’s Cheese, Danish Havarti, Kashkeval, feta, halloumi, mimolette and brie, but these two cheeses seem to have many more applications.

One of the nice things about Cheddar cheese is its versatility: it is always welcome at a cocktail or drinks party, and melts well for nachos and other American dishes.

The charming host of America’s Test Kitchen, Christopher Kimball, also of Cook’s Illustrated magazine, has written about Cheddar cheese in its latest number, and has also conducted a taste-and-quality test of various Cheddars offered in most American supermarkets. I have always depended upon the quality and taste of Tillamook (Oregon) and Cracker Barrel brands. The test results bore out my choices. Another great Cheddar from the U.S.A., available in several western states, is Albertson’s supermarket brand California Cheddar (pictured here), costing about four dollars per pound, a price which is commensurate with that of the two aforementioned selections.

Here is the article about Cheddar cheese from this month’s Cook’s magazine.

~~Copyright M-J de Mesterton, 2009

Elegant Survival News: the Auxiliary Page for

Elegant Survival: Stylish Living on a Shoestring

Cheddar Cheese Stands Alone at Elegant Survival



Cheddar Cheese and Rock Painting by M- de Mesterton, Photo Copyright 2009
California Cheddar by Albertson's, Photo Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2009
California Cheddar by Albertson's, Photo Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2009
My three favourite cheeses are Cheddar (named after the town in England) and Parmesan (named after Parma, Italy). Of course, I am fond of other cheeses from around the world, such as Swedish Farmer’s Cheese, Danish Havarti, Kashkeval, feta, halloumi and brie, but these two cheeses seem to have many more applications.
One of the nice things about Cheddar cheese is its versatility: it is always welcome at a cocktail or drinks party, and melts well for nachos and other American dishes.
The charming host of America’s Test Kitchen, Christopher Kimball, also of Cook’s Illustrated magazine, has written about Cheddar cheese in its latest number, and has also conducted a taste-and-quality test of various Cheddars offered in most American supermarkets. I have always depended upon the quality and taste of Tillamook (Oregon) and Cracker Barrel brands. The test results bore out my choices. Another great Cheddar from the U.S.A., available in several western states, is Albertson’s supermarket brand California Cheddar (pictured here), costing about four dollars per pound, a price which is commensurate with that of the two aforementioned selections.
Here is the article about Cheddar cheese from this month’s Cook’s magazine.
~~Copyright M-J de Mesterton, 2009

Cheddar Cheese Stands Alone at Elegant Survival



Cheddar Cheese and Rock Painting by M- de Mesterton, Photo Copyright 2009
California Cheddar by Albertson's, Photo Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2009
California Cheddar by Albertson's, Photo Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2009
My three favourite cheeses are Cheddar (named after the town in England) and Parmesan (named after Parma, Italy). Of course, I am fond of other cheeses from around the world, such as Swedish Farmer’s Cheese, Danish Havarti, Kashkeval, feta, halloumi and brie, but these two cheeses seem to have many more applications.
One of the nice things about Cheddar cheese is its versatility: it is always welcome at a cocktail or drinks party, and melts well for nachos and other American dishes.
The charming host of America’s Test Kitchen, Christopher Kimball, also of Cook’s Illustrated magazine, has written about Cheddar cheese in its latest number, and has also conducted a taste-and-quality test of various Cheddars offered in most American supermarkets. I have always depended upon the quality and taste of Tillamook (Oregon) and Cracker Barrel brands. The test results bore out my choices. Another great Cheddar from the U.S.A., available in several western states, is Albertson’s supermarket brand California Cheddar (pictured here), costing about four dollars per pound, a price which is commensurate with that of the two aforementioned selections.
Here is the article about Cheddar cheese from this month’s Cook’s magazine.
~~Copyright M-J de Mesterton, 2009

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Berkshire Kicks, the Elegant Survival Stocking

Still Available as Berkshire Kicks

Elegant Survival’s Favorite Everyday Stockings

Originally submitted at Essential Apparel

Product Features: Silky Sheer Stockings; Sandalfoot, 80% nylon, 20% Lycra * SOLD IN QUANTITIES OF 3 *

Berkshire Kicks Silky Sheer Stockings - Sandalfoot

I Get a Kick out of Berkshire Kicks!

By M-J from The Rockies on 8/19/2008
5out of 5

Sizing: Feels true to size

Pros: Fit Well, Silky, Stay In Place, Comfortable

Best Uses: Everyday, Formal Occasions

Describe Yourself: High-end shopper, Practical, Conservative, Stylish

These are as close to classic nylons as possible, and are an improvement over those which were available in the 1960s and 1970s! Thanks, Essential Apparel, for Berkshire Kicks!

The Elegant Survival Stocking: Still Available as Berkshire Kicks

Berkshire Kicks, the Elegant Survival Stocking

Still Available as Berkshire Kicks

Elegant Survival’s Favorite Everyday Stockings

Originally submitted at Essential Apparel

Product Features: Silky Sheer Stockings; Sandalfoot, 80% nylon, 20% Lycra * SOLD IN QUANTITIES OF 3 *

Berkshire Kicks Silky Sheer Stockings - Sandalfoot

I Get a Kick out of Berkshire Kicks!

By M-J from The Rockies on 8/19/2008
5out of 5

Sizing: Feels true to size

Pros: Fit Well, Silky, Stay In Place, Comfortable

Best Uses: Everyday, Formal Occasions

Describe Yourself: High-end shopper, Practical, Conservative, Stylish

These are as close to classic nylons as possible, and are an improvement over those which were available in the 1960s and 1970s! Thanks, Essential Apparel, for Berkshire Kicks!

The Elegant Survival Stocking: Still Available as Berkshire Kicks

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Italian Easter Pie: Torta di Pasqua

8 04 2009

Happy Easter

Torta di Pasqua


Puff pastry or pie dough, enough to line and cover an 11-inch pie-plate

3 eggs, beaten

1 1/2 lbs. of ricotta cheese, well-strained to remove all liquid

1/2 lb. mild or hot Italian sausage, sliced and lightly fried in olive oil

8 to 10 slices of prosciutto ham, coarsely chopped

1/2 lb. of diced mozzarella cheese

2 tablespoons of chopped or dried parsley

Freshly ground pepper, and salt, to taste

Prepare your pastry. Beat the eggs into the ricotta cheese, and add the rest of the ingredients. Roll out the pastry or pie dough, and line the pie-pan with one-half of it. Pour filling into the dough-lined pan, and lay the rest of your dough on top of it, sealing, trimming, and crimping the edges. You may wish to brush the top with an egg-yolk mixed with a tablespoon of water. Make pretty slits in the top of the crust, and bake in a moderately hot 350* oven for forty-five minutes to an hour, until the top of Easter Pie is golden. Serve Torta di Pasqua either warm or at room temperature. This recipes serves 8 people.

~~Copyright M-J de Mesterton

Italian Easter Pie: Torta di Pasqua

8 04 2009

Happy Easter

Torta di Pasqua


Puff pastry or pie dough, enough to line and cover an 11-inch pie-plate

3 eggs, beaten

1 1/2 lbs. of ricotta cheese, well-strained to remove all liquid

1/2 lb. mild or hot Italian sausage, sliced and lightly fried in olive oil

8 to 10 slices of prosciutto ham, coarsely chopped

1/2 lb. of diced mozzarella cheese

2 tablespoons of chopped or dried parsley

Freshly ground pepper, and salt, to taste

Prepare your pastry. Beat the eggs into the ricotta cheese, and add the rest of the ingredients. Roll out the pastry or pie dough, and line the pie-pan with one-half of it. Pour filling into the dough-lined pan, and lay the rest of your dough on top of it, sealing, trimming, and crimping the edges. You may wish to brush the top with an egg-yolk mixed with a tablespoon of water. Make pretty slits in the top of the crust, and bake in a moderately hot 350* oven for forty-five minutes to an hour, until the top of Easter Pie is golden. Serve Torta di Pasqua either warm or at room temperature. This recipes serves 8 people.

~~Copyright M-J de Mesterton

Elegant Interior Design in Finland

Zoom Design

Yhteystiedot

Sisustusmyymälä avataan kevään 2009 aikana

Zoom Design
Asikkalantie 2
17200 Vääksy

Natalia Mesterton
040 531 2536
natalia.mesterton@zoomdesign.fi

Tomi Kulmala
040 584 9764
tomi.kulmala@zoomdesign.fi

y-tunnus: 1906126-8

Elegant Interior Design in Finland

Zoom Design

Yhteystiedot

Sisustusmyymälä avataan kevään 2009 aikana

Zoom Design
Asikkalantie 2
17200 Vääksy

Natalia Mesterton
040 531 2536
natalia.mesterton@zoomdesign.fi

Tomi Kulmala
040 584 9764
tomi.kulmala@zoomdesign.fi

y-tunnus: 1906126-8

Italian Easter Pie: Torta di Pasqua

Torta di Pasqua


Puff pastry or pie dough, enough to line and cover an 11-inch pie-plate

3 eggs, beaten

1 1/2 lbs. of ricotta cheese, well-strained to remove all liquid

1/2 lb. mild or hot Italian sausage, sliced and lightly fried in olive oil

8 to 10 slices of prosciutto ham, coarsely chopped

1/2 lb. of diced mozzarella cheese

2 tablespoons of chopped or dried parsley

Freshly ground pepper, and salt, to taste

Prepare your pastry. Beat the eggs into the ricotta cheese, and add the rest of the ingredients. Roll out the pastry or pie dough, and line the pie-pan with one-half of it. Pour filling into the dough-lined pan, and lay the rest of your dough on top of it, sealing, trimming, and crimping the edges. You may wish to brush the top with an egg-yolk mixed with a tablespoon of water. Make pretty slits in the top of the crust, and bake in a moderately hot 350* oven for forty-five minutes to an hour, until the top of Easter Pie is golden. Serve Torta di Pasqua either warm or at room temperature. This recipes serves 8 people.

~~Copyright M-J de Mesterton

Italian Easter Pie: Torta di Pasqua

Torta di Pasqua


Puff pastry or pie dough, enough to line and cover an 11-inch pie-plate

3 eggs, beaten

1 1/2 lbs. of ricotta cheese, well-strained to remove all liquid

1/2 lb. mild or hot Italian sausage, sliced and lightly fried in olive oil

8 to 10 slices of prosciutto ham, coarsely chopped

1/2 lb. of diced mozzarella cheese

2 tablespoons of chopped or dried parsley

Freshly ground pepper, and salt, to taste

Prepare your pastry. Beat the eggs into the ricotta cheese, and add the rest of the ingredients. Roll out the pastry or pie dough, and line the pie-pan with one-half of it. Pour filling into the dough-lined pan, and lay the rest of your dough on top of it, sealing, trimming, and crimping the edges. You may wish to brush the top with an egg-yolk mixed with a tablespoon of water. Make pretty slits in the top of the crust, and bake in a moderately hot 350* oven for forty-five minutes to an hour, until the top of Easter Pie is golden. Serve Torta di Pasqua either warm or at room temperature. This recipes serves 8 people.

~~Copyright M-J de Mesterton

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Elegant Survival's New Favorite Iron

I was looking for a new model of a Panasonic iron that I recommended on Elegant Survival three years ago. I wasn't able to find it. Instead, I found this, with which I am very happy:

First Impressions by Black & Decker

The Black & Decker First Impressions Iron

The Black & Decker First Impressions Iron

M-J de Mesterton, 26 10 2008

Elegant Survival's New Favorite Iron

I was looking for a new model of a Panasonic iron that I recommended on Elegant Survival three years ago. I wasn't able to find it. Instead, I found this, with which I am very happy:

First Impressions by Black & Decker

The Black & Decker First Impressions Iron

The Black & Decker First Impressions Iron

M-J de Mesterton, 26 10 2008

Happy Easter

Happy Easter

The Latest Elegant Survival Posts

Potage Printanier aux Petits Pois: M-J’s Spring Pea Soup
28 03 2009
Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2008
One 16-ounce bag of frozen petits pois, or tiny green peas (be sure to use the frozen variety for their intense colour)
Three cups of hot water
Herbs: savoury or herbes de Provence
1/3 Cup of sour cream or crême fraîche
Salt to taste
In a blender, mix together the hot water and frozen small peas until they are like soup. Pour the
mixture into a pot and heat it to simmering. Add a half-teaspoon of savoury or herbes de Provence, and a third-cup of crème fraîche or sour cream. Stir with a wire-whisk until the bits of cream are fully incorporated into the green soup. Heat again till just boiling, and serve. This recipe will make four bowls ofPotage Printanier aux Petits Pois. Double the recipe by repeating the first step and adding the results to the pot, while repeating the other ingredients as well. Add salt to your own preference. I use Himalayan salt. This soup may be served either hot or chilled. A small spoonful of sour cream or crême fraîche in the center of each bowlful will act as a garnish.



M-J’s Still Life with Fruit Smoothie
27 03 2009
M-J de Mesterton Still Life with Fruit Smoothie, Copyright 2009
M-J de Mesterton Still Life with Fruit Smoothie, Copyright 2009
Ginger, Chilean black grapes, plain yoghurt, bananas, apples, oranges, frozen blueberries, strawberries and a bit of honey are blended in an Osterizer for a health-enhancing morning drink.
~~M-J

Elegant but Rustic Decorating
27 03 2009
Bright Colors Enhance a White Room
Colors in the general space reflect those in the artwork.
Photo Copyright M-J de Mesterton
The Poster, Produced by the Aberbach Gallery in 1979, Commemorates
Photo Copyright M-J de Mesterton
Photos Copyright M-J de Mesterton

Inexpensive Hair-Care, a Reprint from Elegant Survival Summer 2008

22 03 2009
Elegant Survival Hair-Care
Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2008
It’s been many years since I visited a beauty salon to get my hair done, or for any other purpose. There are several reasons for this, foremost among them is that the hair stylists I had, no matter how much money I paid, paid no attention to what they were doing. They were more interested in operating an inquisition into my private life than in the usual beauty operator’s line–cutting my hair in a straight line. Going to Bergdorf Goodman’s salon didn’t make a whit of difference in the quality of my final result. Hair dressers blow-dry and style cut hair with a curling brush in order to conceal the bad job they’ve done. Once you wash the hair, the signs of neglect and poor craftsmanship appear.
My husband enjoys cutting my hair. He uses some very good scissors from France. And he doesn’t spend his energy asking about my private life–he is my private life! Train your husband, wife, or trusted friend to cut your hair, and return the favor. Remember, the higher the quality of your scissors or shears, the better the haircut.
There are many brands of hair color on the market. Target and Wal-Mart carry Revlon Colorsilk, usually for three dollars a box. It is just as good as the more expensive brands. If your hair has already started to turn gray or, as in my case, white, choose lighter colors. I remember bumping into Tony Bennett back in 1980s Manhattan. He was dying his hair black then to look younger, but the effect was reminiscent of a wax museum replica. Now that he has let his hair go naturally white, he looks so much more healthy and attractive. The same is true for ladies. If you are fortunate enough to go white instead of gray, it gives a platinum blond look. White hair is usually much more delicate than gray, and thus is easier to color. Hair that hasn’t yet turned, but is mixed in with white hair, will also dye or lighten more easily. If you have naturally black hair, lightening will be difficult. In your case, blending gray and dark hair with a shade just a bit lighter than your original one will be better than going to the lightest shade, because attempting to bleach black hair usually produces an orange result. What you ought not to do is try to dye your hair as black as it was when you were young. Nothing is more difficult to keep up than dark hair with white or gray roots. Black hair that is graying can sometimes be successfully enhanced with a natural dark henna. Slightly lighter colors of hair dye will blend with the new growth of hair and give you an evenly pigmented coiffure. At three dollars a box, it is wise to stock up on your shade, because at times they are sold-out, and you don’t want to be caught dead with the wrong color on your head!
Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2008


Classic, Elegant Shoes with the English Gentleman in Mind at Pediwear

18 03 2009
Beautifully Made English Shoes at an Accessible Price
Beautifully Made English Shoes at an Accessible Price

English Shoes for Men, Available On-Line at Pediwear

The Sonya Apple, an Elegant Survival Favorite

7 03 2009
Sonya, Elegant Survival's Ideal Apple (photo copyright M-J de Mesterton 2008)
Sonya, Elegant Survival's Ideal Apple (photo copyright M-J de Mesterton 2008)
The Sonya apple originated in New Zealand, and has been internationally available since 2002. Its unique flavor is owed to its two parent-apples, the Red Delicious and the Gala.
The Sonya apple is pleasantly sweet and crisp, with an intense, fresh apple-juice flavor. Sonya apples are perfect for snacks, and the ones available now are small and perfectly shaped for packing in lunches. In my recent experience with Fuji apples, Elegant Survival’s former favorite for pie-making as well as eating, they have become less crisp, juicy and flavorful. Though that anomaly may be only temporary, I intend to make pies with Sonya apples henceforth. M-J’s Fuji Salad will now be called “Sonya Salad”–stay tuned for the recipe.
~~Copyright M-J de Mesterton, March 2009

The Latest Elegant Survival Posts

Potage Printanier aux Petits Pois: M-J’s Spring Pea Soup
28 03 2009
Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2008
One 16-ounce bag of frozen petits pois, or tiny green peas (be sure to use the frozen variety for their intense colour)
Three cups of hot water
Herbs: savoury or herbes de Provence
1/3 Cup of sour cream or crême fraîche
Salt to taste
In a blender, mix together the hot water and frozen small peas until they are like soup. Pour the
mixture into a pot and heat it to simmering. Add a half-teaspoon of savoury or herbes de Provence, and a third-cup of crème fraîche or sour cream. Stir with a wire-whisk until the bits of cream are fully incorporated into the green soup. Heat again till just boiling, and serve. This recipe will make four bowls ofPotage Printanier aux Petits Pois. Double the recipe by repeating the first step and adding the results to the pot, while repeating the other ingredients as well. Add salt to your own preference. I use Himalayan salt. This soup may be served either hot or chilled. A small spoonful of sour cream or crême fraîche in the center of each bowlful will act as a garnish.



M-J’s Still Life with Fruit Smoothie
27 03 2009
M-J de Mesterton Still Life with Fruit Smoothie, Copyright 2009
M-J de Mesterton Still Life with Fruit Smoothie, Copyright 2009
Ginger, Chilean black grapes, plain yoghurt, bananas, apples, oranges, frozen blueberries, strawberries and a bit of honey are blended in an Osterizer for a health-enhancing morning drink.
~~M-J

Elegant but Rustic Decorating
27 03 2009
Bright Colors Enhance a White Room
Colors in the general space reflect those in the artwork.
Photo Copyright M-J de Mesterton
The Poster, Produced by the Aberbach Gallery in 1979, Commemorates
Photo Copyright M-J de Mesterton
Photos Copyright M-J de Mesterton

Inexpensive Hair-Care, a Reprint from Elegant Survival Summer 2008

22 03 2009
Elegant Survival Hair-Care
Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2008
It’s been many years since I visited a beauty salon to get my hair done, or for any other purpose. There are several reasons for this, foremost among them is that the hair stylists I had, no matter how much money I paid, paid no attention to what they were doing. They were more interested in operating an inquisition into my private life than in the usual beauty operator’s line–cutting my hair in a straight line. Going to Bergdorf Goodman’s salon didn’t make a whit of difference in the quality of my final result. Hair dressers blow-dry and style cut hair with a curling brush in order to conceal the bad job they’ve done. Once you wash the hair, the signs of neglect and poor craftsmanship appear.
My husband enjoys cutting my hair. He uses some very good scissors from France. And he doesn’t spend his energy asking about my private life–he is my private life! Train your husband, wife, or trusted friend to cut your hair, and return the favor. Remember, the higher the quality of your scissors or shears, the better the haircut.
There are many brands of hair color on the market. Target and Wal-Mart carry Revlon Colorsilk, usually for three dollars a box. It is just as good as the more expensive brands. If your hair has already started to turn gray or, as in my case, white, choose lighter colors. I remember bumping into Tony Bennett back in 1980s Manhattan. He was dying his hair black then to look younger, but the effect was reminiscent of a wax museum replica. Now that he has let his hair go naturally white, he looks so much more healthy and attractive. The same is true for ladies. If you are fortunate enough to go white instead of gray, it gives a platinum blond look. White hair is usually much more delicate than gray, and thus is easier to color. Hair that hasn’t yet turned, but is mixed in with white hair, will also dye or lighten more easily. If you have naturally black hair, lightening will be difficult. In your case, blending gray and dark hair with a shade just a bit lighter than your original one will be better than going to the lightest shade, because attempting to bleach black hair usually produces an orange result. What you ought not to do is try to dye your hair as black as it was when you were young. Nothing is more difficult to keep up than dark hair with white or gray roots. Black hair that is graying can sometimes be successfully enhanced with a natural dark henna. Slightly lighter colors of hair dye will blend with the new growth of hair and give you an evenly pigmented coiffure. At three dollars a box, it is wise to stock up on your shade, because at times they are sold-out, and you don’t want to be caught dead with the wrong color on your head!
Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2008


Classic, Elegant Shoes with the English Gentleman in Mind at Pediwear

18 03 2009
Beautifully Made English Shoes at an Accessible Price
Beautifully Made English Shoes at an Accessible Price

English Shoes for Men, Available On-Line at Pediwear

The Sonya Apple, an Elegant Survival Favorite

7 03 2009
Sonya, Elegant Survival's Ideal Apple (photo copyright M-J de Mesterton 2008)
Sonya, Elegant Survival's Ideal Apple (photo copyright M-J de Mesterton 2008)
The Sonya apple originated in New Zealand, and has been internationally available since 2002. Its unique flavor is owed to its two parent-apples, the Red Delicious and the Gala.
The Sonya apple is pleasantly sweet and crisp, with an intense, fresh apple-juice flavor. Sonya apples are perfect for snacks, and the ones available now are small and perfectly shaped for packing in lunches. In my recent experience with Fuji apples, Elegant Survival’s former favorite for pie-making as well as eating, they have become less crisp, juicy and flavorful. Though that anomaly may be only temporary, I intend to make pies with Sonya apples henceforth. M-J’s Fuji Salad will now be called “Sonya Salad”–stay tuned for the recipe.
~~Copyright M-J de Mesterton, March 2009

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