Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The best stuffed cabbage Hungarian vs Polish recipes

You undoubtedly know that I am the Stuffed Cabbage Queen! I've been talking about stuffed cabbage offline for too many years to report -- actually since I was a young child in Cleveland, Ohio in my grandma Julia Nagy's kitchen. My grandma was the master at preparing stuffed cabbage rolls with her authentic Hungarian recipe. I can remember quite well her telling me that not all stuffed cabbage was prepared correctly. Her recipe included what was the secret ingredient to making her rolls delicious.

Then, along came Martha Stewart who has done a marvelous job in promoting stuffed cabbage with her Polish recipe for golabki. She also has a twist on the stuffed cabbage recipe that includes of all things carrots and apricot preserves. I am part Polish and certainly like Polish food and Polish recipes, but I will save those apricot preserves for the butter horns!

hungarian stuffed cabbage rolls cooking on stovetopIt is incredible how popular stuffed cabbage rolls are today. Stuffed Cabbage has become a worldwide phenomenon. In fact, people are preparing them not only on the stove top, but also in the oven and crock pots!

Normally, I use my crock pot for my stuffed peppers and will sometimes put them in the oven. But, Hungarian or Polish stuffed cabbage really should be made on the stove top in a cast iron pot. Grandma didn't use bacon or put anything to sweeten her rolls. My mom also recently reminded me that grandma used plenty of pepper -- yes, black pepper along with Hungarian paprika.

Want to learn how to make Hungarian or Polish Stuffed Cabbage Rolls -- authentically? Check out my recipes. Get grandma's authentic Hungarian Stuffed Cabbage rolls recipe -- with that secret ingredient! You know, there is even a vegetarian recipe for Hungarian stuffed cabbage!

Want to learn how to cook the Hungarian or maybe Polish way? Check out these cookbooks that I recommend:
  • Cooking the Hungarian Way (Easy Menu Ethnic Cookbooks)
  • Helen's Hungarian Heritage Recipes
  • June Meyer's Authentic Hungarian Heirloom Recipes Third Edition
  • Hungarian Cookbook: Old World Recipes for New World Cooks, Expanded Edition
  • More Hungarian Cookbooks
  • Great Polish Cookbooks

Thursday, May 21, 2009

If you don't have something nice to say

Ah, the anonymity of the internet makes for some interactions that can make a person cringe. Who really knows the person on the other end of the user ID -- what their motives are or if they are having a bad day or if that is really who there are. On any given day, one can read about the unkindnesses people experience in forums throughout the internet. It makes me think of a fellow lensmaster of mine who reported such a case. This is SO sad!

In my generation, when I grew up, I was blessed by learning from my grandmother. When my parents were getting a divorce, all of us kids piled into our grandparent's home in Cleveland, Ohio. We spent one full school year there and for that I am so very thankful.

you talking to me - JulieAnnBrady
Yes, grandma was talking to me ... no grandma is not a black cat. LOL
Learning from my grandmother each day taught me to be a better person. She was a remarkable woman. "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything." She taught me to bite my tongue. She taught me to be polite. She taught me not to say unkind words to others. She taught me to be honest, forthright and authentic. Thank you Grandma.

if  you don't have something nice to say
I sat down to jot off this short blog post after encountering a complete stranger this morning who asked me if I was stupid in a public forum. I don't know this person -- or I don't think I know this person. There are politically correct methods for expressing that you disagree with a person's thoughts.

So, what is it they say that we all have the right to freedom of speech?

People do sometimes say the darndest things -- it's NOT always the kids! Say Something Nice!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I Love the Hayden-Harnett line of designer handbags!

I first discovered Hayden-Harnett over three years ago when I was active as a member of Stylehive. You can find Hayden-Harnett's site over at Stylehive and at their corporate website. Interestingly enough, I joined Stylehive on March 22, 2006 ONE day after joining Squidoo on March 21, 2006. That was one busy month for me. Yessiree Bob!

It was because Stylehive was sponsoring a contest to win a designer handbag that I had the opportunity to discover Hayden-Harnett and be the first stylist to bring that brand to Stylehive some 34 or so months ago!

What I love about the Hayden-Harnett brand that it is headquartered in Brooklyn, New York! They offer the coolest line of handbags, accessories, work and travel items, and even apparel! Through the years, I've heard from Toni and Ben at Hayden-Harnett -- these people haven't paid me to blog about their beautiful line! It is true love and appreciation for some of the finest designer products that I lust over.

hayden harnett tamasin tote in blueberry colorblockThis morning's lust is for the Tamasin Tote. Oh my goodness it is beautiful. If Stylehive was sponsoring another contest to win this handbag, I might just be back to compete! If you follow me on Squidoo, you know that I've done a lens on Color Block -- I think Color Block is such a hot fashion trend. Who knew it could be oh so trendy in a handbag -- The Tamasin Tote in Blueberry Color Block is ga-ga-ga-gorgeous! I want it!!! Get this -- because of the high demand for this item, it is on backorder!

hayden harnett tamasin tote in brandyIf you are not adventurous enough to want that color combination, why not consider the chocolatey Brandy color! This beautiful tote is a great size at 13-1/2" long x 14" high x 5-1/2" wide. It comes with a Hayden-Harnett luggage tag. I like the interior lining which is a pretty print. And the 9k gold Hayden-Harnett logo plated on the interior zipped pocket is a nice touch!

Oh, the Tamasin Tote also comes in Black. It sells for $495.00 which is competitive for designer handbags. I recently saw the Tamasin Tote for sale at Nordstrom!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Hard as nails - can do the laundry and yard work

Preface: This is a simple and light type of post today. It's Friday and would be a good day to get my nails done. I got my Squidoo paycheck and can afford the $20! ;)

Probably the only personal 'luxury' that I treat myself to is to have my nails done ever 2-3 weeks. I am not a high maintenance type of gal despite rumors to the contrary. I am a no-nonsense type of gal who actually does her own laundry and even cuts the grass! In case Google image search is looking to index this blog post, that is a picture of my manicured hand with Opi nail polish in a hot pink or fuchsia color. In my hand, you can see my very favorite Robert Held confetti heart-shaped paperweight.

julieannbrady i love acrylic nails and the Robert Held confetti heart paperweight
Julie Ann Brady - I love acrylic nails and the Robert Held confetti heart paperweight
YES, that is authentically my hand. Applause for originality - JulieAnnBrady
There was some buzz that 'artificial' or enhanced nails may not be the latest thing, but you couldn't tell that by the waiting room in all the nail salons in Northeastern Florida! I've sat sometimes waiting one hour for my nail technician. The nail technicians that I've had the pleasure to get to know over the past 10 years or so are some of the most talented artists. I never was able to do my own nails as well as they can.

These nails are quite durable and allow me to do the laundry and even yard work. But, most importantly, I seem to type better which is quite important when working on my Squidoo lenses.

Color Club Nail Polish

OK, let me come clean on nail polish! For years, I was a devoted follower of the whimsically named polishes of OPI. Then, one day I discovered a new brand of nail polish that had the most vivid neon and colors that pop -- poptastic they say! Revealing to my readers, my 2 picks of the best colors:

My #1 Pick:  Pucci-licious Color Club Nail Polish
My #2 Pick:  Mrs. Robinson Color Club Nail Polish

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Something unexpected with a Google image search

Julie -- When I was searching Google to find images for my latest lens with the terms "Sexy Grandma Necklace" the photo of you and your grandmother popped up. I sure didn't expect that!
Now, I thought that lensmaster must be pulling my leg. So, I did a Google image search to see if I could find this picture of me and my grandma! OK, this is getting pretty interesting! On the second page of the image search, there was this very picture. It references a blog archive post of mine from January 27, 2008, Butter Horns: A delightful treat as prepared by my grandmother! That referenced blog post is talking about a Hungarian pastry that my grandmother was famous for making. Those butter horns have nothing really to do with 'sexy!'

jaguarjulie and grandma julia nagyThis morning I received a comment in my Stuffed Cabbage article from a fellow lensmaster:

But, in her time, my grandma was probably considered sexy. Blush, sometimes what you can find in an image search can obviously be NOT what you expected. I know for me it wasn't expected! And, quite frankly I'm a little surprised -- but I appreciate any compliments being thrown my way if I fit the sexy part. Thank you!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I am temporarily unavailable as I am undergoing maintenance

Today, at 12pm Pacific time, 3pm my time on the East Coast, Twitter was undergoing maintenance expected to last one hour. When you tried to access your account, you were greeted with this adorably cute graphic image along with the note, "Twitter is currently down for maintenance. We expect to be back in about an hour. Thanks for your patience." Gosh, did you ever think what you did before Twitter came along? Nope, I can't imagine that.

I feel pretty much that way with Squidoo too! Although I probably love Squidoo a little more -- but heck, I am a Giant Squid 100 Club member after all who has authored over 430 lenses and had three lenses of the day. If you are a lensmaster, you know that I was the 2008 Giant Squid of the Year and that my Stuffed Cabbage lens earned the Best Cooking Lens and has recently earned a purple star and the #1 overall spot on Squidoo.

twitter maintenance With the one-hour of maintenance that Twitter scheduled today, it gave me time to write this blog post about that and to reflect on a Twitterstorm lens that I've authored about Twitter! How Often Should You Send a Twitter Update? I've checked in at TweetStats to get my average tweets per day which have climbed from about 8.2 to 11.2. But, because of the maintenance today, I'll probably drop in the number of tpd's!

squidoo maintenance ooops
Well occasionally Squidoo does a little maintenance, but I don't think it is usually scheduled in the middle of the afternoon. You see there are so many lensmasters who work throughout a regular day tweaking their lenses and authoring new lenses. Once in a while, something goes astray and there is that unscheduled or unexpected maintenance. That's when I recall seeing this Ooops -- taking me back to Square One! Oh, and also giving me the needed time off to blog!

Bottomline, we have our various online platforms which occupy our days. It really helps when we can see a sense of humor about it to help us lighten up in times that might make us a little testy! Know what I mean???


It is Monday, Memorial Day, here in Leesburg, Florida. I have been editing my Google blog posts for the past several days and finally made it to May 13, 2009. Holy Smokes, but ten years ago? What's crazy about my blog posts is that they contain a piece of my soul. Looking at my original and authentic content literally takes me back to the day that I wrote that content. And, thinking about the crazy and unscrupulous content scrapers on the internet really pains me.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day to all the Moms out there

Today is Mother's Day in the United States -- give your mother a hug and a kiss. Call your mother and tell her you love her! Take your mother out to lunch or dinner. Tell your mother to take the day off; take her day off. Did you give your mother a card? Buy her some candy? Buy her flowers? Do the chores around the house! I could go on and on about the many ways to show your mother she is special on her day.

Take a look at this pie chart of 'my life broken down into segments.' That is the pie chart that my mom sent me in one of her emails -- just one of her many momerisms!

momerism time management by mom

Celebrating my mom and those moms out there for all the sage advice they provide their families and friends. Celebrating moms for their momerisms -- their great humor and wisdom.

"On May 12, 1907, two years after her mother's death, Anna Jarvis held a memorial to her mother and thereafter embarked upon a campaign to make "Mother's Day" a recognized holiday."

Happy Mother's Day MOM from your #1 daughter, JaguarJulie! You know that Paul is always saying he is your #1 son! Ha ha ha -- Paul always did have a great sense of humor for a Clevelander. ;) Well, I hope you are enjoying the nut roll and the poppy seed roll that I sent you.

Love you! xoxoxo

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Have you tried Salba Smart Natural Products

Our family has been sampling the Salba Smart Natural Products that you see pictured here. We received a variety of chips, pretzels, salsa, and salba seed along with the press kit CD. At the writing of this blog post, we are conscientiously working our way through the samples we received in order to report an accurate taste test for our readers! Initially, I can tell you that we are quite pleased with the tastiness of the snacks.

I recently learned about Salba, a superfood, when I was introduced to the Salba Smart Natural Products. Salba is a "little known grain" which is revolutionizing America’s salsa! As May is National Salsa Month, it seemed very appropriate to be sampling this line of products during the month of May!

Salba Smart Natural Products We received three 12-ounce jars of Salba Smart’s Organic Salsas; one of each of the flavors of Mild, Medium and Hot. I have specific plans for the hot salsa and that is to use it in place of my normal hot salsa in my famous spicy potato salad recipe. Our household really prefers a more medium to hot type of salsa, so I probably will mix the mild and medium together for serving. I think that's a cool alternative if you like a little more kick to your salsa as we do!

Salba Smart Organic Tortilla ChipsWhen I packed my hubby's lunch the other day, I snuck in a 0.7 oz. package of Salba Smart 100 Calorie Organic Tortilla Chips just like the package pictured to the right. I didn't make a point of telling hubby that these were organic and good for him. I wanted his honest opinion of the taste. That night when he came home I asked him how he liked the tortilla chips. His response, "they were quite good!" That's a mouthful as he is definitely NOT Mikey who will eat anything.
A nutrient-packed grain grown only in Peru, Salba is the richest whole food source of Omega-3 fatty acids and fiber found in nature – and has been clinically proven to assist in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease and in the reduction of blood pressure, inflammation and coagulation factors.

Ounce for ounce, Salba grain provides:
  • three times more iron than spinach
  • 15 times more magnesium than broccoli
  • six times more calcium than whole milk

Salba Smart Nutrition Facts
What I like about the line of products is that there is more than just salsa! Salba Smart makes the organic tortilla chips, which contain 0 grams of trans fats and are gluten free, to go with that salsa. I've tried the pretzels, which aren't gluten free, but I like a pretzel that is a bit thicker in size.

Oh, those gluten-free tortilla chips that hubby ate? That's the nutrition facts which states that each serving also contains Omega-3 Fatty Acids (ALA) 210mg. Checking the package, you'll see it bears the seal "USDA ORGANIC."

Get the facts for yourself on the research behind the Salba Smart line.

Ah, the aroma of jasmine rice in Thai style chicken red curry

Mahatma Jasmine Rice packageI have a killer recipe for Thai style chicken red curry which my hubby is always asking me to make. In the past, I've always used the Uncle Ben's Boil-in-Bag Jasmine Rice to serve with my red curry. Jasmine rice is the only kind of rice that I serve with my Thai style chicken red curry recipe -- I couldn't imagine using any other kind of rice. The aroma and flavor of jasmine is such a wonderful complement to the red curry. I had always chosen the Uncle Ben's brand because I liked the convenience of the Boil-in-Bag.

Mahatma Jasmine Rice ready to serveWell, let me tell you about a new brand of jasmine rice I've just had the pleasure of trying! It is the Mahatma Jasmine Rice -- Enriched Thai Fragrant Long Grain Rice. That's the very package of the Mahatma Jasmine Rice that I received from BzzAgent to try. BzzAgent sent me a number of coupons for free packages of rice which I've given out to my friends to try ... I hope to be able to report that they liked it too!

It's really cool being a BzzAgent as you get to try so many different cool things that you can buzz about and then do your own word-of-mouth campaign. I've been a BzzAgent for many, many years; well before I became a Squidoo lensmaster. I must tell you, that learning the ropes as a BzzAgent certainly helped prepare me for being a better Squidoo lensmaster. I think BzzAgent and Squidoo go pretty much hand-in-hand. Oh, oh ... I've gone off on a tangent ... back to the business at hand!

OK ... so I cracked open that pretty purple bag [I so love the color purple you know!] of Mahatma Jasmine Rice and followed the instructions to make 4 servings. You take 1 cup of rice and add it to 1-1/2 cups of boiling water. Turning your pot to simmer, it takes about 15 minutes for the rice to cook. I add salt, pepper, and a little butter for flavoring. The rice seemed much plumper than the Uncle Ben's and hubby really liked the consistency. The Mahatma Jasmine Rice was a nice complement to my Thai style chicken red curry. Oh, and if you want to make this rice in your microwave, there are microwave instructions!

The Mahatma website says, "grown in the mountain highlands of Thailand for centuries, jasmine rice was first cultivated for the royalty of the kingdom of Siam."

Mahatma Basmati Rice packageMy next package of rice to try is the Mahatma Basmati Rice. This is a new type of rice for me in that I've never cooked with it before. According to one of my favorite online resources, Wikipedia, "its name means 'the fragrant one' in Sanskrit." Gosh, I can't imagine another rice as fragrant as the Jasmine Rice I just tried; but I am game!

"Our premium quality Basmati rice is grown in the foothills of the Himalayas where it is washed by the snow-capped mountains. It it perfect for dishes like Pulau or Biryani." --Mahatma website. Boy if that doesn't sound yummy, you must seriously not like rice! Well, I'm deciding which recipe I will be trying to complement the Mahatma Basmati Rice. Check back to see what I whip up!

P.S. Well, what are YOU waiting for? I suggest heading out to your local supermarket and picking up a package of Mahatma Jasmine Rice to try for yourself.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Happy 60th Birthday ChefKeem our Chef Meister

chefkeemA number of Squidoo lensmasters have gotten together to wish our dear ChefKeem Happy 60th Birthday today, May 7, 2009. We all share a deep affection for this very special person who has given of himself to make our place a better place to be!

A birthday tribute lens was put together, to celebrate ChefKeem's birthday, by lensmaster aj2008 inspired by lensmaster squidster. In this special lens, you will find a number of lensmasters sweet dedications to the chef. Heck, even Seth Godin himself stopped by to say hello! That doesn't happen to just ANY lensmaster. Hey, ChefKeem is da man.

Squidster has published a very cool newspaper style tribute to the chef, Rent the News! It's quite a remarkable edition.

My personal thank was featured on my What is Love lens -- people listen up! This is a very very special person.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Adam Lambert Channeling Led Zeppelin Whole Lotta Love

Love Adam Lambert's performance on American Idol in which he literally channeled Led Zeppelin in his masterful rendition of Whole Lotta Love. And that is precisely what I was feeling for Adam -- a whole lotta love!

May 7, 2009 Update: I have removed the 2 videos that were included in this blog because they were no longer available for embedding.

Check out Adam Lambert's performance on YouTube.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

This bear can really dance - Look out ChefKeem

When you have been on Squidoo for as long as I have, you get the opportunity to meet some of the absolute most amazing people! One of those dear, dear people is Achim aka ChefKeem. He is Squidoo's resident Chef Meister. It is absolutely impossible to put into words all that this wonderful man has contributed ... except to say "priceless" yes, simply "priceless!"

This morning, another dear lensmaster Tony aka poddys shared his blog post tribute to ChefKeem for his 60th birthday on Thursday, May 7th. Tony's blog post has the cutest bear video that you must check out. That is my inspiration for this short little bear video. For those of us who know ChefKeem through the years, we know of his encounters with bears. We all know about what bears do in the woods ... but did you know that bears CAN dance?

Sunday, May 03, 2009

I am nuts about nut rolls AND poppy seed rolls

nut roll and poppy seed roll from Bubba's HomeBakedMy favorite Hungarian pastries are poppy seed rolls and nut rolls - like my grandma Julia Nagy used to make. For years and years, I looked around to find the Hungarian pastries that were as good as hers. Finally, I found them! Bubba's HomeBaked were making them from grandma's recipes!

A couple of weeks ago, we ordered a 2 roll bundle which included a nut roll and a poppy seed roll from Bubba's HomeBaked. That's a picture of the 2 rolls before we tore open the package to begin devouring these delicious rolls. If you can't make up your mind which type of roll that you'd like to sample, you may want to order the 2 roll bundle from Bubba's HomeBaked. You'll get one poppy seed roll and one nut roll. Yumm!

nut roll and poppy seed rollHere is a picture of a couple of slices of poppy seed roll AND nut roll that we had. We had it at room temperature the first time we ate them. And the rolls were probably 1/2" slices. However, after sampling these rolls a number of times, we found our favorite manner of preparation.

Suggested Preparation:
Cut about a one inch slice of the nut roll and/or poppy seed roll and placed it in a microwaveable dish. Liberally spread on the top of each slice your favorite butter. Cover the dish with a paper towel. Microwave until the butter has melted and the rolls are warm. Time will vary from approximately 30 seconds to a little longer if more than one dish is used. Let me tell you that this was a wonderful experience once the fillings were warm and juicy!

The nut roll and poppy seed roll have a long history with families of Eastern European descent. My grandmother Julia Nagy made these rolls usually for the holidays. Her heritage was Hungarian and Slovakian; so we became accustomed to her special recipe. She didn't spare any of the special ingredients to make her rolls the best. I'm happy to say that having sampled Bubba's HomeBaked nut roll and poppy seed roll that these definitely remind me of grandma's!

Want more information about these traditional Hungarian pastries? You may be interested in checking out the more in depth articles I've authored on the nut roll and the poppy seed roll. Check them out today. Who knows, you just may learn something new.