April, 2014 | Bettina Network's Blog

Archive for April, 2014

Another Great Breakfast!

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

copyright Bettina Network, inc. 2014

It gets to be a challenge to come up with fantastic ideas for breakfast 365 days of the year.

So far, sometimes, in the process of coming up with new, different and fantastic ways to start the day for our guests, we  manage to outdo ourselves and others.  This latest breakfast is one of those times.

MENU

Fruit  and, of course, Juice

Orange Juice

Ripe, Organic, Mangoes – sliced with organic strawberries and blackberries

 

Main Dish

Organic Grits

Mushrooms

Biscuits (Homemade)

 

Ending With

Beignets

Organic Coffee made in a French Press; organic Tea – try hibiscus or hawthorn berries or Tulsi; Warm Milk with Cinnamon; or Warm Lemon Juice in water with Organic Turbinado Sugar to taste – the guests choice.

 

PROCESS

1) Using organic frozen orange concentrate – put one container in a large pitcher and add three containers of filtered water.  Put the juice of one or two organic oranges with the frozen juice.  Let this sit in the refrigerator while you continue breakfast.  Don’t stir the mixture until you are ready to serve. and don’t take it out of the refrigerator to serve until guests are seated.  Nothing worse than juices in the morning on the way to becoming room temperature.

2) Start the organic yellow corn grits.  The amount you use depends upon the number of people you are feeding.    We use one cup grits to three cups water.  If you want something really different, put frozen whole organic corn into the grits as they cook.  Not everyone likes this, but we think it is fantastic.

Put your grits mixture in a glass Corning pot with a glass cover on top, bring to a boil and let it simmer for about one hour or until the grits is the right consistency – which means, not too watery and not too clumped together, but just right.  It can actually simmer until you are ready to serve it even if this is longer than an hour. Great grits cook for a very long time.  No quick cooking, processed grits should come near your breakfast table.  You are trying to nourish your guests in the morning – not fatten them and processed, quick cooking, etc. is meant to make the processing company rich by making their grits able to sit on the grocery shelf for years until it is sold – not to make you and your guests healthy.

Occasionally stir the grits with a wooden spoon to keep the consistency smooth and great.

3) Make the fruit for cups by slicing the mangoes – ignore the pit,  peel the mango with a small sharp knife, and slice it lengthwise all around the pit until you have reached the pit and can’t slice anymore.  Use as many as you need to make a nice fruit cup.  We’ve heard lots of complaints about slicing mangoes – don’t fight it.  Go with the mango – slice it lengthwise around the pit, don’t try to take the pit out and then slice the mano – it is not an avocado, it has its own way of being used.

Rinse the strawberries, take out the green top and slice into two pieces. Put the strawberries in the bowl with the Mangoes.

Rinse the black berries and put them in the bowl with the strawberries and mango slices.

You can use any fruit to make this fruit cup.  Think of the nutritional value of the fruit you are combining – the colors and how well they look together – and how the combination taste together.  Serve the fruit in a beautiful bowl – nicely mixed – so guests can put the fruit into their fruit cups in the amount they want to eat.

It is nice to serve  fruit cups by putting them filled with fruit at each place, but much nicer to give guests the freedom to help themselves with however much they would like.

4)  Once guests are served with their fruit cups, you can now pay attention to the star of this breakfast – the mushrooms.

Best made with organic portabello mushrooms because of their size and how nice they look sliced lengthwise.

Lightly rinse and take any dirt or other debris off the mushrooms

Slice them the longway so you have nice long and fairly thick slices

Put butter in an iron fry pot and when it melts, put the sliced mushrooms into the pot.

Add himalayan salt, a touch of cayenne pepper, and a barbecue sauce – either one you make or your favorite kind found wherever you buy such.  Trader Joe’s has an “All Natural” sauce which is very good.  We don’t like the fact that it is not organic and they try my last nerve by making this “All Natural” claim and expect that to pacify me, but until I can find a great organic barbecue sauce or learn to keep a large jar of such sauce that I make in the refrigerator for just such instances, well… what can I say.

Pour the sauce over the mushrooms and add an equal amount – at least –  of water.

Let the mushrooms saute for five minutes or so and take the top off the fry pan.

These mushrooms are best when the sauce has boiled off and they are left glazed with the sauce and seasonings.

Serve these in a very elegant flat bowl to go along with the grits.  Guests can put their mushrooms over their grits or they can put them on the side of the grits and eat them together – a little grits and mushrooms on the same fork because they do go together fantastically well.

You could serve the mushrooms before the sauce cooks out  if you are a person who likes a bit of gravy with your grits.

Either way they are awesome and a great breakfast which wakes up your metabolism and makes sure your food is used and turned into energy as the day progresses.

5)  Homemade biscuits are a great bread to go with this because if you keep the gravy with the grits you can sop up what remains with these biscuits.

To make these biscuits takes about ten minutes, if that long.

Put 2 cups flour (organic whole wheat flour) – in a food processor with one teaspoon himalayan salt, a touch of cayenne pepper, a teaspoon baking powder.

Let this whirl around the processor for a minute or so.

Add one stick butter and let this whirl until you have what looks like little peas – That should take another minute or two.

Then add 2/3 cup organic milk – or organic heavy cream, and not the ultra-pasteurized kind .  It is bad enough you have to use that awful pasteurized milk, Puleeze don’t ruin these biscuits with the ultra-pasteurized milks.  The only thing ultra-pasteurized does – and not for you – is to make their shelf life extend into eternity.  Ultra-pasteurized has less of everything – less nutrition, less taste, less texture – more convenience for the processing company and more time it can stay on the shelf.

Take a wad of biscuit dough from the processor, roll it around in your hand very gently and put it on a buttered baking dish.  Being careful you don’t squash the biscuit.  Lightness is the code word as you make biscuits. Take other wads of dough all about the same size so they cook and are done together – until you have used all of your dough.

Bake at about 425 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes.

6)  After the main meal, serve all of this with Beignets – old fashioned beignets, not the kind you get today in New Orleans where they are now served under a box of powdered sugar.  Meant to make sure you think they are fantastic because you won’t be able to taste the beignets only the sugar – and we know sugar doesn’t taste, it only gives us a sweet sensation and lots of health problems.

The recipe for the beignets – another time.  I am not ready to give up all my secrets in one blog.

7)  Breakfast drinks.

We have found to add a cup of warm milk with a teaspoon of organic Ceylon Cinnamon is a nice alternative to coffee or tea.  With Organic Ceylon Cinnamons’ reputation for helping to control diabetes, that is a nice way for some of your guests to start the day.

Another drink you can offer is a lemon – squeezed – with enough hot water added to fill a cup and organic turbinado sugar to taste or organic honey or organic maple syrup.  Bettina’s Breakfast drinks.

The lemon and water helps to give your body an alkaline environment in spite of the acid in the lemon.  It changes in the body to produce that alkaline environment which helps ward off disease, colds, etc.  What a nice way to start the day.

And there you have a great Bettina Breakfast.

If you find this served in other non-Bettina Homes, you know they read Bettina Network’s Blog.

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Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

This is a curated blog so you cannot write your responses at the end of each entry. TO RESPOND TO THIS BLOG email bettina-network@comcast.net or info@bettina-network.com

TO LEARN MORE about Bettina Network, inc. try www.bettina-network.com

IF YOU ENJOY OUR BLOG, USE OUR SERVICES TO BOOK ACCOMODATIONS WHEN YOU TRAVEL!

1-800-347-9166 inside the U. S. or 617 497 9166 outside or inside the U. S.

 

An Intensely Religious Week

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

copyright Bettina Network, inc. 2014

Intensely Religious – how do we turn that into – gloriously  Spiritual!  I hope it is not the intensely religious who have brought about so much bigotry in the world and the gloriously Spiritual who have given us so much freedom!  Maybe my values are a bit screwed.

It is one of those years when the religious celebrations around Spring are shared in close date proximity by several Religious faiths.  That doesn’t always happen.  After the winter we had and after the destructive forces hitting at the economy and the terrorists hitting at all of us it is no surprise that this Spring season finds some of our religions practically intertwined date-wise.

Within all of this hectic ceremonial time – and there is now a lot of ceremony going on all over the place – with its requirement of watching our diets; scheduling around many religious services – there came that still small voice in the form of guests in one of the Bettina Homes.  It was such a reprieve and a taking back to what we are all about and what is really important that we found ourselves being really grateful for the reminder.

A family came from England to America to witness to the life of a friend, and isn’t that what it is all about.  To take time from very busy lives; to spend money traveling to another country for just a few days to say  by your physical presence that this person mattered. He was important to us and our lives and we want to just stand with a group of his friends to give witness to his life.  In that small act – which today isn’t so small when you consider that most of us would be worried that our lives would fall apart if we took time out to do such a thing and we could better spend the money on something for our family – these guests and friends, by their presence and the reason for their visit,  gave me reassurances about the goodness of humans who can still sometimes come through with what is most important in life in still, small ways.

I am now ready for these Spring Religious Holidays.  I can get through all of the trappings because I know there are people who still care and get it right.  I am human and sometimes frail and one day I won’t be here anymore.  Will anyone witness to my life?  Did I reach out and live so that someone will stop and in the silence give thanks that I lived?

We are fast becoming a society where we don’t and won’t take that time away from the hectic busyness in which we constantly involve ourselves to keep from becoming conscious of the fact that we are slowly and sometimes at a faster pace marching to our own deaths.  We go to great lengths to cover-up that fact so we are not conscious of our limits as humans.  We walk across and away from those who have no home; those who are not so successful; those who are not interested in getting caught up in that busy, busy cycle of life.  We can’t after all be around those who would remind us of our own humanness.

I give thanks today for the family that took just a couple days to acknowledge the importance of the life of another human being.

Ed Note:  Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people.  Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

________________________________________________________________

Learn More About How We Use Your Donation!

[give_form id=”3763″]

______________________________________________________________

Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

This is a curated blog so you cannot write your responses at the end of each entry. TO RESPOND TO THIS BLOG email bettina-network@comcast.net or info@bettina-network.com

TO LEARN MORE about Bettina Network, inc. try www.bettina-network.com

IF YOU ENJOY OUR BLOG, USE OUR SERVICES TO BOOK ACCOMODATIONS WHEN YOU TRAVEL!

1-800-347-9166 inside the U. S. or 617 497 9166 outside or inside the U. S.

Class in America

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

copyright 2014 Bettina Network, inc.

We run into this ‘issue’ so often in a covert way we thought we would make it overt and write under the title of “Class” to try to help all of us distinguish between quirks, ways of being, personality…..and class.  This will be a serial because we think too much of ‘class’ information can give us indigestion – a little at a time is better.

First let’s make a difference between ‘class’ and ‘elegance’.  Elegance is an aesthetic and way of living that crosses all classes, races, ethnicities, financial standing, whether we are male or female, etc.

Class is a definite way of being because of our family, finances, history, country of origin and more AND has a very long history in this world.

Don’t take any of this personally.  It is being laid out generally so we and our children can either read it and weep; read it and have a hilarious good time in the process; or take it seriously and self-evaluate – how do we make decisions about the concrete world around us and our way of being in it –  spending money, making vocation choices, clothes choices, what we eat, where we go….based on choices other than class.  It is no accident that there are crowded spots in the world where we all try to move in and exquisite spots that no one even thinks about visiting or living.

Bettina Network, inc. puts an emphasis on ‘elegance’ – class be damned!  But we have had a few questions,  comments and great breakfast conversations around this issue, so lets clarify all of this:

Estate Sales are a great place to observe and understand class.  They are phenomenal  educational tool.  Want to understand class better?  Go to as many estate sales as you can.  Look around the houses.  See how the family lives.  Understand their taste in furnishings, etc.  That tells all – as far as Class goes.  You can look around a fairly poverty stricken home and understand quickly that poverty is first generation or long standing.  Either the generation prior to the one that has fallen on hard times was from an upper class or the current generation is one of the fallen warriors.

Particularly, it becomes clear if the family is of substantial means.  Class screams at you when you enter the front door.  For starters lets look at what we will call Third Class English-style class.  The house is full of new – expensive – and generally bad taste furnishings.  Very little is ‘real’ – wood-like items are not really wood, glass-like is not really glass and on and on.  All of the things that the current marketing and advertising people have been selling as “upper class” are present and shows  a Wannabe Family or one that is what we used to call Nouveau – very Nouveau.

Many things will be missing – particularly items from the previous generation.  This Nouveau/Wannabe generation has sold all of the furnishings, clothes, trappings from their family – as those family members died – and they generally looked down their noses at the items left to them by a generation or more of family.  Just about everything in the house will be NEW – VERY EXPENSIVE – in fact, outrageously so – and any antiques will be reproductions, probably from Korea or China.

You won’t find pictures of past generations of family – those were thrown out.  You won’t find files of papers with information about past generations, which cultural and other historians would love to get their hands on – those have also been tossed as worthless.  The value in this house is on the artifacts and preferably from the top stores in pristine condition.

That is generally, a group of people who came from a lower class family and have lots of shame about their beginnings.  Wipe the slate clean and maybe no one will notice or even talk or ask about their family, their childhood, their upbringing, their values. – all of which are copied and adopted from the marketing/advertising media as great style/design that you need to be that person in the pictures.

This group is trying hard to climb that ladder – or several ladders at the same time.  Consequently, they have no time or patience for those on the bottom – who might, actually,  in many cases be above them class-wise.

Those homes are generally filthy.  They look pristine upon entering, but they are mostly the ones which support the huge industrial complex of products which make you sick over a long period of time because of the off-gases from the cleaning products used, and the chemical ingredients in the other products used.

We should add, that what we are describing is the English class system, not the French.  That is a whole other story for another article.  Let’s call this Third Class English as our discussion progresses on Class.  And lets expand this class discussion from America to American plus the rest of the world.

Chime in with an e-mail, if you dare.

________________________________________________________________

Learn More About How We Use Your Donation!

[give_form id=”3763″]

______________________________________________________________

Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

This is a curated blog so you cannot write your responses at the end of each entry. TO RESPOND TO THIS BLOG email bettina-network@comcast.net or info@bettina-network.com

TO LEARN MORE about Bettina Network, inc. try www.bettina-network.com

IF YOU ENJOY OUR BLOG, USE OUR SERVICES TO BOOK ACCOMODATIONS WHEN YOU TRAVEL!

1-800-347-9166 inside the U. S. or 617 497 9166 outside or inside the U. S.


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