Flu Prevention Diet

Six medium or four large beets. Cut stems and greens from beets and save.

Place in pot and cover with water and bring to a boil. Continue on a slow boil until knife pierces beet easily. Half hour or so for small/medium and sometimes an hour for big ones. When done, reserve 1 cup of beet water. Set aside to cool.

In a small saucepan, combine beet water, a small yellow onion finely diced, one cup white wine vinegar, quarter cup sugar, four cloves, teaspoon of salt, half a teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer for around five minutes.

Meanwhile, trim ends off beets, pull skin off, slice or dice beets however you want. Combine beets and sauce in covered container and refridgerate overnight. Pull out a few hours before eating to let them warm up a bit.

Serve with hot tea and an orange.

Copyright © 2018 MRStrauss • All rights reserved

Pooh’s Chair

Looking for ways to display childhood memories. I think Pooh looks comfortable here. This stuffed animal has a long story. We stopped at Disney World with my father who was moving to Florida. Another long story. I wanted this Pooh bear so much but my mom said no because it was too expensive. After we got to our hotel in Fort Myers, my dad went out. My mom was really angry because he was gone so long. He came back with this Pooh bear. I was so happy. I have no idea where he got it, he may have even driven back to Disney World for all I know. All these years later, I still have Pooh.

Copyright © 2018 MRStrauss • All rights reserved

Holiday Beef and Peppers

…because it’s red and green. This is a quick one pan and one pot or oven/toaster oven recipe that would work well in a tiny house or micro apartment or anywhere. I wish I had thought of this in my first apartment.

Make rice. I used short grain brown rice. Get the oven going at 375º. Bring 2 1/3 cups of water to a boil. I use a measuring cup in the microwave. In a covered baking dish or use foil, combine 1 1/2 cups rice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and the boiling water. Stir. Cover. Bake for 50 minutes.

Make sauce. In a measuring cup add a tablespoon of cornstarch. Mix in 1/3 cup soy sauce slowly. Add 1 tablespoon grated ginger, 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped or put through the press, 1 teaspoon curry powder. I use plain old McCormick.

Brown around one pound ground beef. I freeze ground beef for dishes like this. I use 90% lean grass-fed. In a large frying pan, add frozen ground beef. On medium high heat, turn and break up with spatula. Meanwhile, back at the cutting board, slice one yellow onion into strips. Add onion when beef is browned. While onion is browning cut red and green pepper into strips. Add peppers to the pan and about a half cup of water. Cover and steam until peppers are how you like them. Work in the sauce for a minute or so, adding water if wanted.


I’m thinking about trying this with a butter, worcestershire sauce, and curry over mashed potatoes.

Copyright © 2017 MRStrauss • All rights reserved

A Christmas Table

Years of after holiday sales and a little hot glue make for a festive table! Plaid table cloth, 12 Days of Christmas napkins, and napkin rings from Williams Sonoma. Leaf plate from Martha Stewart for Macy’s. Votive candle holders from Pottery Barn. Wine glasses from Waterford Crystal. Candle shades from Harrod’s London. Centerpiece by Debbie Van Lunen. Pine cones from around the neighborhood.

Copyright © 2017 MRStrauss • All rights reserved

Salmon and Vegetables Bentosh

The same dish they have for takeaway at Whole Foods with better salmon and less sweet teriyaki.

Sushi rice (in the rice cooker or heat rice with 1 teaspoon canola oil and a teaspoon of salt and then for every  1 cup of rice  add 1 1/2 cup water).

Carrots, red pepper, and broccoli steamed (start carrots first, then red pepper, then broccoli).

Pan sear salmon however done you like (remove pin bones if needed). I have been using Silver Coho Salmon I found at Trader Joe’s and it has been very tender and delicious.

Mix teriyaki sauce: in a measuring cup add a heaping spoon of cornstarch, then stir in soy sauce until you have a smooth slurry. Then equal parts soy sauce, mirin rice wine or sake, brown sugar. Add a teaspoon of grated ginger and fresh ground pepper to taste. Microwave a minute at a time until thickened or bring to a boil on stove.

Garnish with toasted sesame seeds. Maybe some thinly sliced scallions too.


Copyright © 2017 MRStrauss • All rights reserved


The first time I had this was in a Persian restaurant in Washington DC. What an incredible idea: a salad of parsley. It’s a bit of a pain to make, especially since I don’t like parsley stems, but foolproof.

For this version you’ll need:
• 1 1/2 cups bulgur wheat (medium or course)
• 2 big bunches of parsley
• 1 red onion
• 2 large tomatoes
• 1 cup lemon juice (4-5 lemons)
• 1/2 cup olive oil (I use Nunez)
• 2 tablespoons fresh or dried mint
• Salt and pepper to taste (I use Maldon sea salt and freshly ground Tellicherry pepper)

Equipment I used:
Large mixing bowl
2 cup measuring cup
Mesh strainer
• 2 quart sauce pan
• Lemon squeezer
• Cutting board
• 8 inch chefs knife

Start proofing the Bulgur wheat. There are many ways to do this. I’ve settled on putting it into a mesh strainer fitted into a saucepan—shown above—and running hot water over it to wet the grains until the water reaches the top. I sit it by the sink and about 45 minutes later it’s all puffed up and you can just pick the strainer up and let the water run out.

While this is going on, get out a large bowl, the biggest one you have. Finely dice the tomatoes and put them in your bowl and sprinkle with the Maldon sea salt. Set aside.

In a 2 cup measuring cup, add a half cup of olive oil and stir in the mint; finely minced if using fresh. Squeeze the lemons and add to the olive oil.

Now finely dice the red onion and add it to the olive oil and lemon juice mixture.

Now the parsley. I don’t like stems so I painstakingly pluck the leaves and then coarsely chop them. But you can do this however you want.

Once the bulgur is drained and ready, add everything to the bowl with the tomatoes. Add freshly ground pepper to taste or not.

Watch it disappear in less time than it took to make.

Copyright © 2017 MRStrauss • All rights reserved

Japanese Loo

I have been eyeing the basket weave tiles I was seeing everywhere, but it didn’t seem like they would work for a large bathroom— I thought they would be too busy. I have wanted to update this ‘builders special’ half bathroom for ages and I knew the tile would work well and it wouldn’t really be at risk for stains from hair dye, nail polish, and whatever else my kids get into, because they never use this bathroom. It wasn’t until I got these reproduction woodblock prints in Tokyo that I had that magic flash of inspiration and it all came together!

Copyright © 2017 MRStrauss • All rights reserved

Oh, Christmas Tree

When I was little, I thought our Christmas tree was the most beautiful thing I ever saw. I would just gaze at the shimmer and light. It had garlands of silver and gold tinsel, lights that looked like icicles, metal flowers, snowflakes, little churches, musical instruments… and a lighted tinsel star on the top. I never thought about it being fake; it was way too exciting. When my Nana got a tree made entirely of silver tinsel, I thought it looked so pretty at night with its blinking multi-colored lights. It was so futuristic looking.

When I got older, we stopped putting it up and I didn’t bother until I had kids. I don’t know if they were as besotted as I was, our tree wasn’t quite as over the top as the one I had as a kid. I had more of a woodland theme. But we had a train to go around ours, an O gauge version of the Polar Express.

That’s when the thinking started. The supposed reason for never having a real tree had been my allergies. A lot of inconvenient things got pinned on that. But every year I would look at it and my inner voice would always say, “why do you have that plastic thing that looks like a tree with stuff stuck all over it in your living room?” Sometimes I would imagine explaining the whole thing to a visiting alien and realizing none of it made sense. “Yeah, well, it represents a tree.” The solution, I was sure, was a real tree. To be really real you would have to chop it down on Christmas Eve and decorate it with real candles, but that seemed like a fire hazard even I wasn’t willing to go for. And we don’t live in a forest. So there it was, the real tree. It took a few days for my inner voice to gather its wits. “Why did you allow a perfectly happy tree, living its perfectly happy tree life in the forest where it belongs, to be cut down, put up in your living room and covered in all this ridiculous ornamentation so that it can slowly die before being tossed to the curb.” What? The voice worked this point until the whole thing was over. Fine, I’ll get a potted pine and then plant it after Christmas where it can grow and be admired for years to come. It took the Voice a little longer this time. I thought Ha! Never mock the Voice. “So you’ve brought this dear tree into your home and hung ornaments all over it? Yes, it’s true you are feeding it and using spring water, but how would you feel if I put you outside for a month and stuck stuff all over you? Hmmm? You no more belong outside than this poor tree belongs inside.” Do you have nothing positive to say? She hasn’t said anything about the snow globes or the nutcrackers yet. Maybe they’re safe. A German feather tree maybe? A fallen branch?

Copyright © 2016 MRStrauss • All rights reserved