Showing posts with label health. Show all posts
Showing posts with label health. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Battling My Senior Moments with Berries by Cleo Coyle

My Senior Moment

(A Play in One Act)

Cleo Coyle author of...(?)
Cleo walks into room. Stops. Stares.

Cleo: "Why did I come in here?"

Husband: (Glances up from computer screen.) "You're asking me?"

Cleo: "I can't remember."

Husband: "Animal, vegetable, or mineral?"

Cleo: "I think I wanted to tell you something?"

Husband: "Are you asking me or telling me?"

Cleo: "I wanted to tell you something. I can't remember."

Husband: "Time to eat some berries."

Cleo: "That's what it was! My idea for today's post!" 

And here it is: Late last week, the Annals of Neurology published the results of a major medical study that suggested blueberries and strawberries might protect brain function in woman, including memory. 

The story was very big health news. Investigators found that women who had the highest intake of blueberries (more than 1/2 cup a week) and strawberries (more than 1 cup a week), delayed mental aging by as much as 2.5 years.

To quote Dr. Robert Graham, an internist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York: "I would advise all my patients, at any age, to eat more berries. Berries are an easy, nutritious and delicious way preserve brain function."

To read more about
this study, click here.

Of course, fresh berries can be expensive out of season, but frozen berries can be eaten year round, and they carry the same benefits. You can also freeze fresh berries yourself. The process is very easy...

HOW TO FREEZE BERRIES: Wash them, dry them, place them on a baking sheet and slide the pan in the freezer for three hours or so. Once the berries are frozen, take the pan out and pour the berries into a freezer-safe plastic bag. (I like to double bag for extra insurance against freezer burn.) Then return them to the freezer.

Cleo: "Marc, what was this post about again?"

Husband: "You're kidding, right? Look at the photo!"

Cleo: "Woops. Time to eat another bowl of..."

A few more tips...

HOW TO SHOP FOR STRAWBERRIES: When shopping for strawberries, choose berries that are bright red in color. Look for firm berries with fresh, green tops. Pass by any containers that have berries that are molding or mottled with dark patches. If the berries are staining the container, they are past their prime.

HOW TO STORE STRAWBERRIES: Strawberries will not keep long, so try to purchase them a day or two before you intend to eat or cook with them. Because strawberries retain water, do not wash them until you are ready to use them. To keep the berries fresh for as long as possible, I store them in the refrigerator in a single layer on a paper towel within a moisture-proof container. They keep well for several days this way.

And so...

My post this week is not so much a recipe as a simple reminder that a breakfast, dessert, or snack can be as easy and delicious as a bowl of berries...

Eat with joy!

~ Cleo Coyle, author of

To get more of my recipes, enter to win
free coffee, or learn about my books, including
my bestselling 
Haunted Bookshop series, visit my online coffeehouse:

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are national bestselling
culinary mysteries set in a landmark Greenwich Village 
coffeehouse, and each of the ten titles includes the 
added bonus of recipes. 

The Ghost and
Mrs. McClure

Book #1 of 

The Haunted Bookshop
, which Cleo writes
under the name Alice Kimberly
To learn more, click here.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Mini Taco Cups or What to do with 1/2 cup of Leftover Taco Filling by Cleo Coyle

For almost ten years now, my husband and I have been full-time professional fiction writers; and, believe me, any New York City household that makes its entire income on building castles in the air had better be pinching pennies on the ground. :) 

My husband, Marc, in our little Queens (NY) kitchen.
Who says tough guys don't do dishes?
 Marc and I don’t have a car. We don't have a dishwasher - at least, not the electric kind.

We schlep our groceries (like any determined Italian nonna) with a hand-push cart. Sure, it's a pain when it rains, but even Michelangelo would covet my husband’s calf muscles.

We bring coupons to the register. We cook at home almost every day; and, of course, when it comes to using leftovers, we’ve got game.

Tacos make quick, easy meals for us, as I’m sure they do for many of you. So...

What do we do with the
leftover filling from these?

We make six of these...

The technique is very basic, which means you can adapt it to any kind of mini quiche. For instance…

Replace the taco filling with crumbled bacon and shredded Swiss and you have a mini quiche Lorraine. Or go vegetarian with sauteed mushrooms and onions and a bit of Gruyere. Try shredded chicken and sharp cheddar; chunks of ham and green pepper with Monterey Jack…

The only limit is your imagination...and the leftovers in your fridge. :)

Cleo Coyle, leftover lover
and author of the long-running
(10 books as of August!)

Coffeehouse Mysteries

Cleo Coyle's
Mini Taco Cups

Makes 6 Mini Taco Cups
or Muffin Pan Quiches


To download a free PDF of this recipe that you can print, save or share, click here. Or use the printer friendly button at the end of this post...

You will need:
1 six-cup muffin pan
6 paper cupcake liners

2 soft flour tortillas, about 8-inches in diameter (e.g. Mission brand “medium taco” size)
2 eggs
1/3 cup low fat milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch of ground pepper (I use white pepper)
1/2 cup filling (taco filling or see more veggie and meat filling ideas at the end of this recipe)
1/2 cup shredded cheese (cheddar or see ideas at end)
Additional garnishes/toppings (salsa, guacamole, sour cream, etc.)

Step 1: Prep oven and tortilla crusts - Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut each tortilla into quarters. Place paper cupcake liners into each of the 6 muffin cups. Tuck each tortilla quarter into each cup.

Step 2: Fill cups - Divide your taco filling (or the meat or veggie filling of your choice) into each of the six muffin cups. On top of each cup, place a bit of shredded cheese.

Step 3: Finish with egg-milk mixture - Whisk together eggs, milk, salt, pepper. Divide this liquid evenly among the muffin cups. (During baking this mixture will rise and inflate like a popover so the liquid should fill only about half of each cup.)

Step 4 - Bake in your preheated oven for about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove and garnish with your favorite toppings, such as sour cream, salsa, guacamole.

Alternate filling Ideas:

Meat: Traditional taco fillings (ground meat, chicken, or shredded pork); crumbled bacon; chopped sausage; cubed ham; pepperoni; shredded smoked salmon.

Veggie: Sauteed onions and mushrooms; sauteed spinach and garlic; chopped steamed broccoli; sweet bell peppers and onions sauteed in olive oil

Cheese ideas: Swiss; cheddar; Monterey Jack; Colby; queso blanco; Gruyere; Asiago, mozzarella; provolone (or a combo of 2 or more)

Additional Suggestions:

Mini Quiche Lorraine cup
(crumbled bacon and shredded Swiss)

Mini Spinach Quiche cup
Mini Broccoli and cheddar cup

Mini Cheeseburger Cup

Mini Pepper and Onion Cup

Eat (your leftovers)
with joy!

Cleo Coyle, author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

To get more of my recipes,
sign up to win free coffee,
or learn more about the 2 national
bestselling series that I write with
my husband, visit my *virtual*

Click the covers above to learn more
about Cleo's long-running, national bestselling
Coffeehouse Mystery series...


Murder by Mocha

Book #10 of
the Coffeehouse series!

Releasing in hardcover
August 2nd

Includes chocolate recipes!

"...a tasty espresso-dark tale of
multigenerational crime and
punishment lightened by the Blend's
frothy cast of lovable eccentrics."
~ Publishers Weekly

To pre-order from Amazon, click here 

To pre-order from Barnes & Noble click here for the book; for the Nook click here.

Roast Mortem

Includes firehouse recipes!

A Reviewer’s Pick 
"Favorite Book
of the Year"
~ 2010
Coming to paperback
August 2nd

To pre-order
from Amazon click here.

To pre-order
from Barnes and Noble,
click here.