Easy and Impressive Creme Brule Recipe

Do you order Creme Brule only in Restaurants?

Think Creme Brule is a super impressive dessert?  Way to fancy to be able to make at home?  Would you believe me if I told you it was dead simple and that the recipe I have been using for years is so good that I don’t bother ordering it at restaurants now because mine is better?

Wanna impress a dinner party?

I’m a gonna give you my recipe because I’m nice like that…

You do need a few “hardware” kitchen gadgets before you start…

Here they are

6 Ramekins (the cute little white dishes they serve creme brule in)

kitchen torch and butane (don’t be scared its just a lighter on steroids – you can get this at any kitchen store)

large pyrex baking tray for a lasagne for example (9×11 will do)

 

Got it?

 

ok, lets go

 

Ingredients

Here are the food items you will need for creme brule

heavy cream (35% whipping cream) 2 cups

white sugar 1/2 cup

a whole vanilla bean (scrape out inside or use good quality vanilla paste)

5 egg yolks

 

Instructions

So while this is neither hard nor involved, making creme brule does involve some chemistry… please follow these directions exactly…

Preheat oven to 325 F

  • Temper cream and vanilla – this means just put it in microwave for 2 minutes stirring at one minute and make sure it doesn’t burn or boil.
  • mix sugar and egg yolks in a separate bowl
  • slowly add cream and vanilla to yolk mixture while stirring or whisking constantly.

Thats it. Really.  Now just pour into ramekins and put in pyrex dish and use the dish as a water bath and carefully fill the pyrex surrounding the ramekins with water so they are bathed up to about 2/3 of their height.

Bake 30 minutes or until the creme brule jiggles like jello when you take it out.

Green Tomato Sauce

What exactly does one do with green tomatoes?

I tried making fried green tomatoes – I liked them and so did my husband (the 8 year old kid not so much) but really how many can you eat?  Once I tried making pickled tomatoes – this one was a big fail – maybe I didn’t get the brine right… this year I was asked by my husband “are you going to use the green tomatoes you froze last year?”? Quite possibly he wanted them out of the freezer…  so this year I tried making green tomato sauce – folks we have a winner.

I have this problem throwing out food – I really hate doing it.

I grow tomatoes every year.  Last year and the year before the frost hit before I pulled out the tomato plants and flash froze the tomatoes right on the vine. I guess I was leaving them there in hopes they would ripen.  No such luck.

So I threw the tomatoes in the freezer last fall and there they sat.

For almost a year… taking up space.

Right – so I wondered if I could make tomato sauce out of it – and gave it a shot – It was good!!!! so I made it and canned 4.5 or so jars and plan to do the same with whatever is left on the vine this year too… If we don’t eat it or we have too much I plan on giving it away as teacher gifts along with the jams I usually make in the fall.

Ingredients

Here is what you need for green tomato sauce

  • 5-10 lbs of fresh or frozen tomatoes
  • water
  • dried basil (1-2 tablespoons to taste)
  • dried garlic powder (1-2 tablespoons to taste)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Really that’s it.

Super simple directions

Throw all tomatoes that will fit into the pot and add some water (1-2 cups will do).  Boil the hell out of them until they are a soft mush. You can take out the seeds if you wish but I left them in and didn’t even cut up the tomatoes before I threw them in.  I put mine in frozen….  unfortunately I left the green tops on mine before I froze them and had to pick them out after the boiling process- I suggest if you make this green tomato sauce that you take the green tops from the vine off before you toss the tomatoes in the pot.

Once soft and mush use immersion blender to smooth out or place in food processor or blender.  Add spices and stir.

At this point I started sterilizing my jars for canning (please look up how to do this properly so you don’t make yourself ill- it’s super easy just do it properly please).  At the same time I allowed the green tomato sauce to boil with the spices to combine the flavours.  When canning I added a bit of lemon juice to the top of my jars before sealing and re-boiling.

 

That’s it – green tomatoes out of my freezer and I have a start on the canning season (I’m a bit of a nerd and throw back to a prior century and like these things…)

 

Self Care : Thirteen Moons 2018 – part deux

Self care is so important

So last year my very first blog post ever was at around this time of year – and it was about this women’s wellness retreat and the lessons I learned in self care there- Thirteen Moons Wellness in Norwood Ontario.

Here is a link to my original post:

http://drkarenhudes.ca/index.php/2017/10/18/thirteen-moons/

   

I wont repeat myself here – Thirteen Moons is just as restful, relaxing and restorative. Louise, the proprietor, is just as magical in the kitchen.  The food is just as good if not better than I remember it. Trust me – there will be new recipes posted here because Louise  is amazing and she gave me permission with the epithet “sharing is caring”

Self care – we all say it but do we really do it?  If we don’t do it for ourselves no one will do it for us!  Most women give and give and nurture constantly…. but you can’t pour from an empty cup right? So refill yours and do something for yourself – yes book a weekend, that’s great.  But if that is out of your reach (time, money etc..) then there are lots of things you can do: meditate, take a walk in the woods (and take your shoes off), breathe deeply, rest.  Schedule it. Make the time.

As with last year I came home  feeling nurtured, and feeling like I have had help refilling my cup so I could give back to others.   Obviously the friends I went with last year and this year decided that we enjoyed it (and each other’s company) so much we have to do it yearly.

So we booked this year last year and we booked next year this year…. if that make sense…

Let me tell you a little story

Last year when I went to Thirteen Moons and started this little blog I was an entirely different person.  I wasn’t feeling at all like myself – I was shaking internally, not eating much at all, not sleeping at all – I had a bout of pretty major anxiety.  This is not an exhaustive list of my symptoms but suffice it to say I tried to cancel the weekend but my friends wouldn’t let me.

I have had a few bouts of anxiety and depression in my life and I fully expect it to come and go in waves – I am not a mental health expert but I have a sense for myself that this is how it will be. And that is ok.  I am not writing this post about mental health but I think is important that it plays a role in so many people’s lives.  I try to talk about it when I can.  Because we all should – it affects so many people.

This year, I am not sure Louise and her sister quite recognized me.  But eventhough I am doing better on the anxiety front doesn’t mean I don’t need to take time to refill my cup …

So what did we do there?

This year we had a few activities planned – a drumming circle, group yoga and I had a massage.  We also had some activities we didn’t plan: wine drinking, laughing until we cried, walking in the forest (forest bathing), and yes I went barefoot in the moss for a while – felt amazing.

  

The food was nourishing, the environment relaxing and wholly accepting and my cup again runneth over.

What have you done lately to refill your cup?

Interested in this amazing retreat? More info here: http://www.thirteenmoons.ca

My favorite Essential Oils

I fell in love with essential oils

Sometime last fall (it was October) I was introduced to the world of essential oils.  A little late to the party maybe but I have made up for it with enthusiasm.  Since then my collection and understanding of these beautiful oils has grown and I have incorporated their use in my practice in several ways.  I like to diffuse different oils almost daily, I use some specific oils for sore achey muscles of my patients, and other oils for protection against the spread of cough/cold and flu.

I will talk in this quick blog post about some of my faves so you get a taste – a very small one) of what is out there in the world of oils…

A word on purity

So as it was explained to me when I started using and learning about essential oils, our laws here in Canada that govern them is …. odd.  Because they are classed as a beauty product you really need to be careful what and where you choose the brand of oil you use.

Bottom line – do your research.

Just because a bottle says it is 100% pure doesn’t mean that it is what you think it is.  By law, in order to say that on the bottle, apparently only 5% of the contents of that bottle must actually be 100% pure.  Weird and aggravating right?

So, do your research and find some companies that are actually putting 100% pure oil in the whole bottle, not just 5%.  Otherwise you may have reactions and or allergies to the oil, and who want to breath in more chemicals or put them on your skin?

I use Young Living which but there are some other brands out there that are good as well (I just feel YL is the best in my opinion).

Favourites

Ok with that out of the way, here are some of my faves:

Theives:  A mixture that smells like Christmas – I diffuse this all winter to help ward off cold/flu transmission in the clinic – and amazingly I didn’t get sick at all last winter.

Lemon: A high frequency oil that never ceases to make me feel happy – its a lovely light scent and who doesn’t like some citrus?

Deep Relief: great for sore muscles – I use this on patients sometimes when I need to get deep into their muscles.  Patients love this one – it feels cool and tingly and smells peppermint-y and lovely at the same time.

Lavender – great for relaxation and to induce a sense of peace and calm.  Try placing a couple drops in a spray bottle full of water.  Spray your pillow before bed and it will help you relax into sleep and sleep better.

Cedarwood:  This one is good for people with trouble sleeping.  Diffuse this as you are trying to fall asleep.  Has a musky scent that men may prefer over the flowery lavender scent.

 

Some more things about oils

There are even some oils that are specifically classed here in Canada that can be used in food and baking – they undergo different standards for this process.  Young living has several in this class including peppermint and lavender – Lavender brownies anyone?

 

Mom’s Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp for Fall

So last weekend my family went apple picking.  It was 30 degrees Celcius out and not feeling crisp and fall-like but it was still super fun and we got a giant bag of apples out of it, got outside and had some fresh air and family time…

  Typical Family Portrait

Apple picking is one of my favourite fall activities and I tend to pick too many apples every time we go.  This usually means I make a ton of apple inspired recipes – this year the first of which was my Moms apple crisp.

I actually adapted a recipe found online because I couldn’t find Moms actual recipe but my sister had some and said it was just like my Moms.

A funny Apple Crisp Story

This story is one of family Legend…. I share it here because it makes me smile and think of my Mom, who was a wonderful Mom and person – you would all have loved her.

Mom loved to make Apple Crisp in the fall.  She made it for Thanksgiving every year and in giant quantities for the 23-26 family peeps who came over to our house every year for Thanksgiving.  People loved it. People looked forward to it.  It was a recipe that she could probably make from memory.

This particular time she was really just making it for my immediate family I think: my Dad, my sister and me.

Cut to the evil villain in the story:  Salt

More particularly Salt and Sugar in very similar containers…

you can see where this is going right?   The recipe calls for about 1 cup of white sugar along with cinnamon and flour to be mixed together then coat the apple slices…. this is approximately what our white sugar container looked like:

Image result for 1970 glass sugar, flour container with cork top

(actually it is exactly this – I can’t believe I found it on the Google!)

Guess what the salt one looked like:

you bet:

Image result for 1970 glass sugar, flour container with cork top

(only a bit smaller)

 

So Mom proceeded to make the whole apple crisp and guess what…. yup – salt instead of sugar and a whole batch in the garbage.

Yesterday I told my sister I was making apple crisp (but not with salt) via text and she smiled fondly, laughed and texted back that she was coming over for a taste… sometimes an annoying mistake can be remembered very fondly even 20-30 years later and is better than a perfect batch anyways.

Ingredients

ok here are the apple crisp ingredients

  • 12-14 small to medium apples (I used Cortland which are good for baking)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp flour
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon (or more to taste)
  • 1 cup or so of water

 

for the topping

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar firmly packed
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 2/3 or 1 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 tsp each of baking powder and baking soda

 

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Peel, core and slice apples and place in 9×13 glass baking dish.  In a separate bowl combine sugar, cinnamon and flour and mix well.  Pour on top of apples and mix well so apples are well coated.  flatten out apples so they are mostly even in dish then pour water over top evenly over all apples.  In yet a separate bowl mix topping ingredients well then sprinkle over all of the apples.  Bake approximately 45 minutes until bubbling and topping is golden brown.  Serve with whipped cream if desired (and who doesn’t desire whipped cream?)

My Watermelon Birthday Cake

Amazing but healthy cake

So here I am trying to be healthy and eat well and along comes my birthday.   So what does one do?  Make a healthy Watermelon Birthday Cake!

This recipe is super easy…. and so very tasty – way better tasting that I even imagined it would be – I actually felt this would be a sacrifice but it really really wasn’t – I would totally make it again.

On top of that, it looks beautiful too!

 

Ingredients

Here is all you will need for this Watermelon Birthday Cake

(Ok you can make it anytime really not just birthdays!)

1 watermelon – seedless

heavy cream or whip cream

fresh strawberries

frozen blueberries

frozen pomegranate seeds

 

Directions

This Watermelon Birthday cake is so easy and of course no bake.  BUT it looks totally like Martha Stewart made it.  I even impressed myself… Here are the simple directions:

All you really need to do is cut the watermelon in half and take the ends off so that you have two rounds. Take the rinds off like this because it is easier – and then shaped them so they were a bit more round for staking on top of each other like layers in a cake (see picture). Then pat them dry so that the whipped cream wouldn’t slide off and placed the first layer on a pretty cake tray (the one pictured is my mother in law’s tray – super pretty).

I cheated and used a spray can of real whipped cream and then just put one watermelon round down and sprayed the top fully of whipped cream. Then sprinkle a mix of blueberries and pomegranate seeds on top that I had mixed together and allowed to thaw a bit before I started on the watermelon project.  I added fresh strawberries here and then layered on the second round of watermelon.  I then did the same with the whipped cream and berries artfully (also because I’m messy) dropping berries along the side of the cake.

That’s it.

I suggest you do all of the layering just before serving but you can cut the watermelon into shape prior to this… it worked great and tasted amazing!

 

I hope you try it!

Why go to a Chiropractor? Do I need a Chiropractor?

Do I need a Chiropractor?

Why go to a chiropractor? Do I need a chiropractor? People usually go to see a chiropractor when they are in pain.

We have mostly all heard of chiropractors in relation to back pain right?

That is a good thing -we are great at helping with back pain!  But it is only really part of the story. Here is a link to some of the other conditions I treat if you are curious: http://drkarenhudes.ca/index.php/conditions-we-treat/

Here is a fantastic link from the Ontario Chiropractic Association about what chiropractic is https://www.chiropractic.on.ca/public/what-is-chiropractic-2/

Without going and rewriting the whole thing basically I will quote one part:

“Chiropractors practice primarily using their hands, providing diagnosis, treatment and preventive care for disorders related to the spine, pelvis, nervous system and joints”

So if you have joint pain/injuries – there is heaps and mounds of evidence and studies that chiropractic care helps in all kinds of pain situations.  We provide safe, effective hands on care, exercises, advice etc to get you out of pain.  So if you are in pain the why go to a chiropractor is answered as – to get out of pain.

Q: I’m in pain, do I need a chiropractor?

A: Yep.

Ok but I don’t have pain…

I see lots of adults who aren’t in pain – usually once every few weeks or monthly.  Most of the time these people start because they are in pain.  They continue with care for several reason: they don’t want the pain to come back – but here is the biggie:  they often feel so much better during their care that they want to continue to feel this way.

Here is how it goes – you don’t notice how stiff or sore you are, or maybe you feel creaky and achy in the morning, or maybe you chalk up most of your aches and pains to “age”.  Read this carefully:  ACHES AND PAINS ARE NOT NORMAL – and guess what – you don’t have to live with them and YES they CAN go away.  So not only do I get rid of the pain that the patient feels that brought them to me in the first place – often they feel so good and no longer sore, achy or creaky that they want to come in monthly!

I don’t know about you but I want to live well and have mobility well into my old age – guess what – chiropractic can help with that!

So –

Q: I don’t have pain. Do I need a chiropractor?

A: Yep. You do.

 

What about my kids do they need a chiropractor?

Yep they do.

Listen the areas that don’t move in our spines… they accumulate over time.  The best way to prevent pain later in your kids is to get them checked periodically.  I see lots of kids and babies, treat my son and recommend coming in to get your kids spines checked at least periodically…. see the next section and my video too – maybe it will help explain why

Q: (in a little kid voice) Do I need a chiropractor?

A: yep.

 

One last thing –

Here is a quick little video that I made to help something a chiropractor treats – part of the chiropractic world calls it a subluxation.  Lets just call it an area of the spine that just isn’t moving through its normal range of motion for some reason.

 

 

 

 

Peach, Avocado and Tomato salad

Um… what now?

You read the title to this recipe and then said to your self… um… what? right? I am betting you did because really who thinks of peach, avocado and tomato salad?

As my friend Taryn, who gave me this recipe said – who thinks of putting those things together?  Sounds like it would be gross but trust me…. it so isn’t.

Taryn (aka T, Aunt T, or the fun police – she is a vice principal and I swear I have to get a t-shirt made for her) is a friend of mine from the cottage. She gave me this recipe on the beach on Saturday afternoon of the labour day long weekend and I literally had all of the ingredients and made this for lunch the next day.

It was so good that we were fighting over it.  Just got home after the long weekend and went grocery shopping and bought all of the ingredients again so I could make it this week… cant wait.   And Sooooo easy!

Look how gorgeous that is!

Ingredients

what you will need for the peach, avocado and tomato salad:

-3-5 peaches sliced and pit removed

1-2 avocados peeled and sliced wtih pit removed

a cup or two of cherry tomatoes halved

5-10 fresh basil leaves chopped

balsamic vinegar ( I used white balsamic for appearance)

Instructions

throw all bits together in a big bowl and toss – it is really that easy!

Did I mention so yummy too?

We try not to make things complicated around here…

 

I do recommend that you eat this the same day as it doesn’t keep too well because of the peaches and avocados – you won’t have trouble finding people to eat it anyways… that is if you decide to share!

If you liked this recipe I have other salad recipes on my blog – check out the blog page here and use the search function to search ‘salad’: http://drkarenhudes.ca/index.php/blog/

 

Wrist Pain – Ulnar side

Some causes of wrist pain on the Ulnar side of the wrist

I was asked by someone do do a post on wrist pain for their specific problem – Ulnar sided wrist pain Ok, wait a second? what is the ulnar side?  That means the pinky finger side of the wrist…

Ok so there are some diffrent things that can happen here:

ulnar tunnel syndrome (carpal tunnel’s lesser know cousin)

TFCC injuries (triangular fibrocartilige complex)

arthritic changes

and ligament problems… to name a few.

 

After speaking to this person a bit over messanger it seems that she probably has a TFCC injury.

Here is where this is on the wrist: (thumb side on the right of this picture)

Image result for wrist bones tfcc

Case study

So lets go through this person’s wrist pain like a bit of a case study- stories make things a bit more interesting…

Ok, so she fell on an outstretched hand a couple years ago but a few years before that it had been bothering her – she isnt sure why.  Here is what it looked like when she fell:

 

Now, she has no numbness or tingling (asked this for the ulnar tunnel thing) and it hurts like hell with shaking hands, increased use and is better with rest and use of a splint.

So here I really thing she did something to this TFCC the cartilige at this part of the wrist when she fell…. so what can she do about it?

What’s next?

She has had this wrist pain for two years and had an ultrasound already… Well, she has been told she needs an MRI (which I also confirmed and recommended she do) – she may well be in for surgery but we won’t know this until the MRI results come back.  In the meantime splinting and rest are recommended in the literature.

Here are a few more things that I would try while waiting for an MRI if she were able to come to my clinic (she lives out of province… and unfortunately cant)

Treatment

For this type of wrist pain I would try Instrument Assisted Fascial massage – it may help to break up some scar tissue.

Following this I would use kinesiotape like this pic:

Image result for kinesio tape for tfcc tear

Carpal joint adjustments (a chiropractic thing)

and ice.

Here are some exercises I fould that also may help:

Image result for exercises for tfcc injury

 

So although this post is a bit specific for a TFCC  wrist injury – hopefully you find it interesting or helpful .  Also remember you can always ask me to post something specific for you and I will!

“Crack” Chicken for the Instant pot

Addictive as crack?

Ok maybe not but this recipe comes from a site that claims it is so addictive that it is like crack cocaine… whatever.  Let’s not test that theroy ok?  Anyways this chicken recipe is for the instant pot, super good and easy and even keto frendly… Since we all know that Im currently searching fro new recipes this works for me!

Credit where credit is due

I got this recipe from here:  https://theketoqueens.com/keto-crack-chicken-recipe/

it is not mine I borrowed !

Also important – you can do this with frozen chicken as well as thawed or fresh!!! Did I say I love this instant pot thing?

Close Up of Keto Instant Pot Crack Chicken with Bacon and Scallion on Top

Ingredients

Here are the ingredients listed for crack chicken…. just reading them makes my mouth water!  I can’t wait to try this one out next week!

Ingredients
So originally I had posted the ingredientes and directions here… I thought that by giving credit to the website originators and posting their link they would be happy to share… Apparently not.
I just received this email prior to this being shared on my social media

“Hi Dr. Karen Hudes,
 
My name is *****    and I am one of the owners of the website TheKetoQueens.com. We appreciate that you liked our recipe enough to share it, but we are asking that you take down our recipe. Sharing our image and full recipe without our permission is copyright infringement.
 
We have no issue if you would like to share the image and a link back to our site for the recipe and ingredients, but we are asking that you immediately remove our ingredients and directions from your website.
 
We hope you understand.”
I guess they would like you to need to scroll through all of their advertising etc to get the recipe.  The recipe does look really yummy containing things like cream cheese, bacon and scallions and I definately will try it but I am not entirely sure I would have been infinging copyright here since I gave credit to them and posted a link to their site to drive traffic to them… I took it down anyways because they did ask.  Please click the link for the full recipe.