Elegant Survival

Stylish Living on a Shoestring
Since 2006

M-J's Miscellany

Elegant Macrobiotic Salad

Posted on March 2, 2014 at 9:35 AM

Sesame dressing tops an elegant salad of thinly-sliced Romaine lettuce, brown rice and diced Fuji apples. ©M-J de Mesterton

For more of M-J's elegant macrobiotic dishes, please visit the Elegant Cook.

M-J's Angels on Horseback

Posted on August 4, 2011 at 8:40 AM

M-J's Elegant Cocktail Buffet, with Her Teriyaki Angels on Horseback in the ForegroundPhoto and Recipe Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2006[/caption] M-J's Teriyaki Angels on Horseback Whole water chestnuts Streaky American-style bacon Teriyaki sauce and soy sauce Aluminium or aluminum foil Barbecue grill, gas or charcoal-powered Cookie-sheets Toothpicks, preferably the round variety

Marinate the (drained) water chestnuts in a combination of teriyaki sauce and soy sauce for several hours (three hours minimum for best results).

Chop bacon into thirds, making a series of short strips, each about two inches long.

Wrap a strip of bacon around each water chestnut, secure it with a toothpick, then set them on a cookie-sheet, inside of which lies a sturdy platform of foil--you can construct it with two sheets layered, with the sides folded up an inch around the perimeter. You will lift the foil out and onto the barbecue grill when your assembled angels on horseback are ready to cook. Pierce a few fine holes into the foil so that the smoke reaches them from the bottom. When the bacon is browned to your satisfaction, gently lift the foil assembly back onto your cookie-sheet. Remove angels on horseback to a serving platter. If you cannot use an outdoor barbecue, an oven broiler will work just fine, but you can skip the foil and just cook the angels on horseback in the grill-pan, turning them once. Tip: you can make your own teriyaki sauce.

Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2001

Elegant Egg Nog

Posted on December 24, 2010 at 1:29 AM

Christmas Egg Nog


Equipment: a blender, a medium-size mixing bowl, a rotary mixer, and a freezer-safe jug




Four eggs, separated


One cup of heavy cream, whipped until stiff


One half-cup of powdered sugar


One cup of milk


One half-teaspoon of nutmeg


Two tablespoons of rum extract


One teaspoon of vanilla


Two jiggers of brandy


Whip the egg-whites until stiff, incorporating the powdered sugar into them as you beat.


Pour the milk into the blender, together with the four egg-yolks and mix them.


With a spatula, slip the beaten egg-whites into the blender. Do the same with the cream.


Add the nutmeg and blend for a minute.


Pour this mixture into a freezer-safe jug and store in your freezer until very cold.


Serve the egg nog in festive glasses. Distribute the foam on top of each, and sprinkle with nutmeg. Adding additional whipped cream on top, or stiffening the drink with more liquor, is optional.


Makes 1.25 litres.


Copyright M-J de Mesterton, 2007

M-J's Walnut Shortbread

Posted on January 16, 2010 at 11:44 AM

M-J's Diuretic Smoothie

Posted on November 28, 2009 at 11:18 AM

One half-cup of water, one fourth-cup of lemon juice, one jalapeño pepper (roasted, pickled or fresh), two stalks of celery, one-half of a cucumber, one tablespoon of thick yoghurt, and one tablespoon of parsley, all whirled in a blender till smooth. Add water if necessary for processing.

Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2009

Home-Made Tortilla Chips

Posted on November 27, 2009 at 12:16 PM


You don't have to throw out your tortillas if they are past their prime. Make them into tortilla chips, which will be very popular with your family and guests, as they are pleasingly different from those bought in the store.Take a stack of tortillas and dust between the layers with salt, pressing it into them. Then, with a large knife, cut them into quarters. Lower a handful at a time into bubbling hot oil. For this light and crispy batch, I used a combination of soy oil, which is now sold as "vegetable oil", and lard. Peanut or corn oil are also good for deep-frying tortillas. When the chips themselves have developed bubbles and are slightly brown, it's time to remove them from the pot with a runcible or slotted spoon. Drain them on paper towels, and dust with more salt if desired. The cooking oil may be strained, refrigerated and re-used for French fries, yams or potato chips.




M-J's Chocolate Truffle Tarte

Posted on November 26, 2009 at 10:40 AM

M-J’s Chocolate Truffle Tarte

One cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips

One tablespoon of butter

One can of evaporated milk

Four tablespoons of cocoa powder

One tablespoon of vanilla

One cup of powdered sugar

1 and a half tablespoons of cornstarch

One half-cup of heavy whipping cream

One egg

Crumb-crust as described below

In a stainless steel pot, heat the chocolate chips, butter and cocoa powder, stirring with a wooden spoon until they are mixed together. Add one can of evaporated milk gradually, incorporating it into the chocolate mass with the help of a wire whisk. Dump the cup of powdered sugar into this, again using the wire whisk to mix it into the other ingredients. In a large measuring cup or small mixing bowl, mix the cornstarch with a little of the cream, then add all cream to the mixture, together with one raw egg, and beat all of this together before adding it to the pot. Once you have poured this mixture into the pot of now-lukewarm milk and chocolate, whisk continuously and cook for twenty minutes over low heat until thick. Cool this pudding slightly and pour it into a 9-inch spring-form or cake pan that has been prepared with a cookie-or-graham cracker crust. Refrigerate for about two hours.


One and a half cups of ground cookies or graham cracker crumbs, which can be made in a food-processor or blender. The cookies should not contain chocolate pieces, though almonds and other nuts are good additives. The flavour of your tarte's crust will depend upon that of your crumbs.

One third-cup of cream

Three tablespoons of butter

One half-teaspoon of baking powder

One tablespoon of flour

Mix these ingredients together in a bowl until they form a dough-like ball. Coat the entire  inside of a spring-form or cake pan with this dough, using your hands and some waxed paper for pressing it in evenly. Bake the crust for twenty minutes at 350* Fahrenheit.


 Below: M-J's Crumb-Crust, Baked and Ready for Filling


Top this chocolate truffle tarte with whipped cream when serving it. Alternatively, cover it with meringue and bake in a hot oven for a few minutes until the meringue peaks are light brown.

Pictured below is my finished product. I used my own almond cookies ground up for the crumb-crust. A couple of hours after filling and cooling it, I inverted my baked   and cooled tarte onto a piece of waxed paper, and then inverted it again onto a platter. A spring-form pan, which I didn't use, will allow you to make M-J's Chocolate Truffle Tarte without those steps, and it will look much more attractive. This recipe was created and developed on Thanksgiving Day 2009; copyright M-J de Mesterton


Recipe and Photos Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2009

M-J's Apple Tart

Posted on November 21, 2009 at 2:16 PM

Huevos Rancheros

Posted on November 9, 2009 at 7:10 PM

Huevos Rancheros--fried eggs and grated cheese on tortillas with red or green chile gravy on top--are a health-promoting breakfast or brunch dish for winter and fall. Placing refritos, or refried beans, under the eggs is optional. Use either flour or corn tortillas, with Monterey Jack or Cheddar cheese. I like to sauté the tortillas in butter, grate cheese onto them, then fry the eggs, assemble the lot and pour on the chile gravy, finishing the top with more grated cheese.



M-J's Flax Bread

Posted on October 24, 2009 at 4:10 PM

Swedish Flax/Rye Bread

This is my own recipe. You won’t find this bread outside of Sweden, unless you are on an SAS flight.

Four cups of hot water, to which a half-cup of buttermilk has been added

Two tablespoons of yeast

One third-cup of molasses (substitute: dark corn syrup)

Two tablespoons of salt

Two cups of rye flour

Half cup of ground flaxseed

White flour–amounts vary, but it will be about  six cups (the amount of flour needed depends upon the climate, the altitude, and the phase of the moon)

Dissolve the yeast in warm water/buttermilk mixture. Add the molasses and some of the two flours–enough to make a sponge. After it has bubbled up, add salt and the rest of the flour except for one cup. Let the dough rest forfifteen minutes. Keep adding more white flour as needed until the dough no longer sticks to the surface. Knead dough for eight minutes. Form into a ball, set into a buttered bowl, cover lightly with waxed paper or a tea-towel, and let rise until it is double the size. Punch down the bulk, kneading it again for a minute or two.  Shape dough into loaves, dust pans with cornmeal or flaxseed, let rise until nearly double in size, then bake for one hour at 350* (moderately hot oven). Optional: brush the loaves with beaten egg-white for a shiny, crispy crust. This recipe will yield two slicing loaves and two baguettes.  — Copyright M-J de Mesterton, 25th August 2007

M-J's Autumn Potato Salad: See Elegant Cuisine Page for Recipe

Posted on September 26, 2009 at 2:34 PM