Rosemary

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Rosemary is an aromatic in the mint family that grows on an evergreen bush. It is most often used in cooking but has a wonderful woodsy scent and is also great in air fresheners and aromatherapy mixes.

Concentrated extracts like Rosemary Oil should be used externally, though thedried herb can be taken internally when used in cooking. It is an especially great herb to add to meats (and pairs well with lamb). Some research suggests that it has anti-cancer properties.

Uses:

  • Rosemary can be infused into an oil and used externally for skin irritations like eczema and joint problems like arthritis
  • It has also been reported to speed healing of wounds and bruises when used externally
  • Internally, it is best added to foods as a cooking spice, though a mild tea ofRosemary Leaf can help fight illness when sipped
  • A strong infusion of Rosemary and Nettle leaf is an excellent herbal rinse for hair and can help get rid of dandruff and speed hair growth when used after each washing
  • Rosemary infused oil is an intensive treatment for bad dandruff of hair loss and can be rubbed on hair, left for at least an hour and washed out- this really improves scalp condition!
  • Rosemary Oil can be used externally in times of illness to speed recovery by rubbing on the feet or any areas that are sore
  • My favorite natural air-freshener is to put a small handful of Rosemary Leaf, 1 sliced lemon or orange, and a splash of vanilla into a sauce pot and simmer on low all day (watch the water levels)- It smells amazing and freshens the house for days
  • Though I haven’t tried it, Rosemary supposedly deters small pests like mice. Several people have recommended tucking small sprigs of dried Rosemary into the backs of cabinets to ward of mice and rats during the winter.
  • Rosemary is also helpful in warding off smaller pests like mosquitos and is an ingredient in my Homemade Bug-Off Bars
  • Rosemary Antioxidant Extract is a very effective natural preservative that can extend the shelf life of homemade lotions, cosmetics or other homemade body products
  • Used externally, Rosemary Oil can help sooth the stomach and relieve pain from indigestion, menstrual cramps or other difficulties
  • Pregnant women should not use Rosemary in large amounts (cooking is fine) and should avoid the essential oils.
  • See more at :http://wellnessmama.com/5193/herb-profile-rosemary/
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Cinnamon

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Cinnamon is best known as a spice, sprinkled on toast and lattes. But extracts from the bark of the cinnamon tree have also been used traditionally as medicine throughout the world.

Why do people take cinnamon?

Some research has found that a particular type of cinnamon, cassia cinnamon, may lower blood sugar in people with diabetes. However, other studies have not found a benefit. Studies of cinnamon for lowering cholesterol and treating yeast infections in people with HIV have been inconclusive.

Lab studies have found that cinnamon may reduce inflammation, have antioxidant effects, and fight bacteria. But it’s unclear what the implications are for people.

For now, studies have been mixed, and it’s unclear what role cinnamon may play in improving health.

How much cinnamon should you take?

Because cinnamon is an unproven treatment, there is no established dose. Some recommend 1/2 to 1 teaspoon (2-4 grams) of powder a day. Some studies have used between 1 gram and 6 grams of cinnamon. Very high doses may be toxic.

Can you get cinnamon naturally from foods?

Cinnamon is an additive to countless foods. When purchased in the store, common spice cinnamon could be one of two types or a mixture of both. It is either “true” or Ceylon cinnamon, which is easier to grind but thought to be less effective for diabetes. Or, and more likely, it could be the darker-colored cassia cinnamon.

What are the risks of taking cinnamon?

  • Side effects. Cinnamon usually causes no side effects. Heavy use of cinnamon may irritate the mouth and lips, causing sores. In some people, it can cause an allergic reaction. Applied to the skin, it might cause redness and irritation.
  • Risks. Very high quantities of cassia cinnamon may be toxic, particularly in people with liver problems. Because cinnamon may lower blood sugar, people with diabetes may need to adjust their treatment if they use cinnamon supplements. People who have cancer that’s affected by hormone levels, like breast cancer, should not take cinnamon. An ingredient in some cinnamon products, coumarin, may cause liver problems. Given the lack of evidence about its safety, cinnamon — as a treatment — is not recommended for children or for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Interactions. If you take any medicines regularly, talk to your doctor before you start using cinnamon supplements. They could interact with antibiotics, diabetes drugs, blood thinners, heart medicines, and others.

Zeresh Polo Ba Morgh (Barberry Rice with Chicken)

Zereshk Polo Ba Morgh

Living in Grenoble and having access to delicious French food has been a wonderful experience. However, the lack of ethnic food options has been what I miss most about home. Being from New York has really spoiled me since you have 24 hour access to foods from all over the globe. After a year and a half in France, I went home for Christmas in December and filled my suitcase with Foie Gras, Confit de Canard, homemade Conficture de Figue, and cheese. On the way back, my suitcase was filled with Mexican hot sauce, chipotle peppers in adobe sauce, and a lot of Persian groceries that would help me satisfy my cravings for Persian food.

One of the simplest and most delicious Persian foods is called Zereshk Polo Ba Morgh (Barberry rice with Chicken). The hardest item to find for this recipe is the Zereshk (Barberries). Lucky for me, there is a very large population of Iranians in New York so hard-to-find ingredients are easy to find! I came back to Grenoble with a bag of Zereshk (Barberries) and a package of Saffron. I was well-equipped to make one of my favorite foods- Zereshk Polo Ba Morgh (Barberry Rice with Chicken)!

To give the chicken a nice color, I soaked Saffron threads in hot water for two hours and rubbed it all over the chicken.

I used the saffron to also season a portion of the rice, for decorative purposes, and added the saffron threads and water to the Zereshk (Barberries) when I was cooking them.

I spent some time with my Aunt Akram, in Sydney, and she taught me how to cook a delicious and moist chicken on the stove. It has always been a hit with my dinner guests. I pour a tablespoon or two of olive oil into a pot, layer the pot with sliced onions and tomatoes, add a few bay leaves, salt (pepper, if you like), two tablespoons of water, add the chicken and cover the pot. Keep it on a medium low flame to prevent the onions from burning. You can really cook it as long as you want. The longer you keep it on the stove, the easier the meat will fall off the bone. I have cooked whole chicken like this before and it comes out like a roasted chicken. Except you don’t end up with a nicely roasted layer of skin. You can also fill the sides of the pot with fingerling potatoes and carrots. Whatever you like.

I have always loved cooking Zereshk. Whenever my mother would cook this meal, I would volunteer to make this. You take a saucepan, put it on a low flame, add two teaspoons of butter and then add the washed Zereshk. When the little Zereshk berries start to puff, you need to add a little bit of hot water to it. Next, you add the saffron threads that have you soaking in water. Zereshk is very sour (and is high in vitamin C!) so you need to add a bit of sugar to counterbalance the acidity. You end up with a deliciously sweet and sour sauce that goes great with rice and chicken!

See more at http://grubtrotting.com/2012/05/13/zeresk-polo-ba-morgh-barberry-rice-with-chicken/

Saffron

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Saffron, the world’s most expensive spice, is derived from the dried stigma of the flower of the saffron crocus. The use of saffron comes down to us from antiquity; the spice was used by ancient Greeks, Indians, and Egyptian in both cooking and medicine. Traditional uses of saffron extend far beyond the kitchen. Saffron has been used to reduce fever, to regulate the menstrual cycle, to combat epilepsy and convulsions and to treat digestive disorders. The bitter glucoside picrocrocin is responsible for saffron’s flavour.

Saffron extracts have a new modern appeal when used in weight loss supplements. Saffron is reported to decrease hunger cravings, especially for carbohydrates. Unlike many of the herbs and extracts touted for weight loss, saffron is exceptionally safe and healthy to use, so you may want to try it. 1

Saffron yields a deep, rich yellow that has given its mark to the robes of Tibetan monks, and just a single thread can flavor a whole meal, Saffron contains more than 150 volatile and aroma-yielding compounds.

Fesenjan: Persian Pomegranate Walnut Chicken Stew

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4 large bone-in chicken breasts, skinned
1/2 lb (approximately 2 cups) of raw walnut halves
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped (Rubella doesn’t add onions, but I like it that way.)
3/4 cup of pomegranate molasses
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons of salt

persian chicken stew recipe

  • In a food processor, grind the walnuts into fine meal, taking care not to over-process lest you end up with walnut butter.
  • In a large saucepan, sauté the ground walnuts over medium heat along with the chopped onion until the walnuts start to release some oil and become darker in color. By that time, the onion will have become soft and translucent as well.
  • Arrange the chicken breasts in the pan in a single layer, bone side down.
  • Drizzle pomegranate molasses and sprinkle the salt all over the chicken.
  • Add one cup of water to the pan and bring it all to a gentle boil; cover, lower the heat slightly, and let the stew simmer gently for 20 minutes.
  • Flip the chicken pieces and scrape the walnut sauce off the bottom of the pan to prevent scorching; continue to simmer gently for another 20 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat and transfer the chicken to a separate bowl; allow the meat to cool.
  • Once the chicken pieces are cool enough to handle, remove the bones and shred the meat into bite-sized pieces.
  • Return the shredded chicken to the pan and stir to allow the chicken to be fully covered with the sauce; heat through.
  • Correct seasoning with more salt, if necessary. If the stew is too acidic for your taste, a pinch of sugar will help balance it out somewhat.
  • Serve warm over saffron rice pilaf.
  • by  on March 11, 2010 in She BraisesShe DeglutenizesShe Simmers

Why did I create Maryam’s kitchen?

Last year I started my Master of International Business in Hult, Shanghai Campus. The student body in Hult was so diverse and the students were from all over the world. Meanwhile, students were very eager to know about each other’s culture, country, and background. Almost all the students were living in the same accommodation, therefore, facilitating the communication. We decided to gather every time in one of the floors and the person who was living there make some traditional food, pastries, or even talk about them. So, we get to know each other better. I and my sister, who is also a student in Hult shanghai, decided to invite our classmates over to our floor and make some Iranian food and pastries. We talked about the foods and their origin within the country. We hosted similar events in our floor for a couple of times. However, we noticed that we basically make Iranian food from our own city, and we are not very effectively introducing other provinces of Iran. Also, many of my classmates wanted to know about the recipe, and the ingredients of the foods and pastries. Therefore, we either told them verbally or write it down for them. All of us at Hult found that this is very effective as part of getting to know each other and even make the living environment in the accommodation very friendly. Therefore, If I were to make a blog, I would use it to bring people closer to each other, help them understand different cultures, improve knowledge about different countries in the world.