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What Librarians Eat! V O L :

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I S S U E :

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A P R I L

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INSIDE THIS ISSUE:

Health Tip

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Eggs Benedict

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Tuna Macaroni Salad

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Waldorf Salad

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Chocolate & Peanut Butter Oatmeal

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Veggie wraps

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Malfouf Recipe

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Manaaeesh Flatbread

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Simple Chocolate Button Egg

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Ask Us Something! 12

This month we will be welcoming another important event in our yearly calendar Easter. For Roman Catholics, Easter is the celebration of Jesus' victory over death and mankind's hope for eternal life - the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ three days after his death by crucifixion. There is evidence that Christians originally celebrated the resurrection of Christ every Sunday, with observances such as Scripture readings, psalms, the Eucharist, and a prohibition against kneeling in prayer. At some point in the first two centuries, however, it became customary to celebrate the resurrection specially on one day each year. The origins of the word " Easter"are not certain, but probably derive from Estre, an Anglo-Saxon goddess of Spring. This brought with it the Easter Egg custom which symbolizes springtime fertility celebrations of European and Middle Eastern pagan religion. Rabbits and eggs, for example, are widely-used pagan symbols for fertility. Some Christians detach themselves entirely from Easter eggs because of their pagan connotations. Other Christians view Easter eggs, or other candies and treats, as symbols of joy and celebration (as they were forbidden during the fast of Lent) and as a " taste"of new life and resurrection that they have in Jesus Christ. A common custom is to hide brightly colored eggs for children to find. Special April Activities: Tuesday 15th April - Hot Dog lunch @ Library Staff Room (for more info see email about the event or contact Sarita or Jessica) Special Event on Campus for students and staff: Wednesday 30th April - 1st Annual On Campus Blood Donation Campaign. Organised in collaboration with MHSA, MMSA, ESN, MPSA, ASCS, KSU. This event will be organised yearly and this year it will be held at the ICT faculty. The aim is to encourage students and academics to donate blood on campus. (for more info check the email about the event or contact Ryan)


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Healthy Tip for April Laughter is the Best Medicine!! Humour is infectious. The sound of roaring laughter is far more contagious than any cough, sniffle, or sneeze. When laughter is shared, it binds people together and increases happiness and intimacy. Laughter also triggers healthy physical changes in the body. Humour and laughter strengthen your immune system, boost your energy, diminish pain, and protect you from the damaging effects of stress. Best of all, this priceless medicine is fun, free, and easy to use.

Did you know that?:  The average pre-schooler laughs or smiles 400 times a day? Or that the number drops to only 15 times a day by the time people reach age 35? 

People smile only 35 percent as much as they think they do?

 Laughter releases endorphins, a chemical 10 times more powerful than the pain-relieving drug morphine, into the body with the same exhilarating effect as doing strenuous exercise? 

Every time you have a good hearty laugh, you burn up 3 1/2 calories?

 Laughing increases oxygen intake, thereby replenishing and invigorating cells? It also increases the pain threshold, boosts immunity, and relieves stress Six Reasons that fun can improve work quality and mental health: 

Fun breaks up boredom and fatigue

Fun fulfills human social needs

Fun increases creativity and willingness to help

Fun fulfills the need for mastery and control

Fun improves communication

Fun breaks up conflict and tension

HAVE A GOOD LAUGH AND THINK POSITIVE!!!!! For more information on health issues please visit: (pressing Ctrl and clicking the link will take you to the link) https://ehealth.gov.mt/healthportal/healthyliving/healthier_you/nutrition/water.aspx


Eggs Benedict Ingredients 

4 pieces of bacon

2 tablespoons chopped parsley, for garnish

4 eggs

2 teaspoons white or rice vinegar

2 English muffins

Butter

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Eggs benedict is also great made with slices of smoked salmon in place of the bacon.

Blender Hollandaise 

10 Tbsp unsalted butter

3 egg yolks

1 Tbsp lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

Dash of cayenne or Tabasco

Heat a large skillet on medium low heat. Add the strips of bacon. Slowly fry, turning occasionally, until the bacon is browned on both sides. Use tongs or a fork to remove the bacon from the pan, set on a paper towel to absorb the excess fat. While the bacon is cooking, bring a large saucepan two-thirds-filled with water to a boil, then add the vinegar. Bring the water to a boil again, then lower the heat to a bare simmer. To make blender hollandaise, melt 10 Tbsp unsalted butter. Put 3 egg yolks, a tablespoon of lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt in a blender, blend on medium to medium high speed for 20-30 seconds, until eggs lighten in colour. Turn blender down to lowest setting, slowly dribble in the hot melted butter, while continuing to blend. Taste for salt and acidity and add more salt or lemon juice to taste. Transfer it to a container you can use for pouring and set it on a warm – but not hot – place on or near the stovetop. Here is an easy method for poaching eggs. Essentially, working one egg at a time you crack an egg into a small bowl and slip it into the barely simmering water. Once it begins to solidify, you can slip in another egg, until you have all four cooking. Turn off the heat, cover the pan, and let sit for 4 minutes. (Remember which egg went in first, you'll want to take it out first.) When it comes time to remove the eggs, gently lift out with a slotted spoon. As soon as all the eggs are in the poaching water, begin toasting your English muffins. If you can’t get all the muffins toasted by the time the eggs are ready, gently remove the eggs from the poaching water and set in a bowl. To assemble the eggs Benedict, butter one side of an English muffin. Top with two slices of bacon. Put a poached egg on top of the bacon, then pour some hollandaise over. Sprinkle some parsley over it all and serve at once.

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Tuna Macaroni Salad Almost every other Friday growing up my mother would serve the family this tuna macaroni salad. With six kids she loved this standard; it was easy to make, filling, relatively inexpensive, and best, we all gobbled it up.

Ingredients

In a saucepan, add 1 cup of elbow macaroni to 1 quart of boiling water with an added teaspoon of

1 cup uncooked elbow macaroni

salt. Simmer either covered or uncovered for

1 teaspoon salt

about 10 minutes until the macaroni is just a little

1 quart water

more cooked than al dente. When ready, remove

1/2 cup chopped green onion

from heat, drain and rinse with cold water.

1 cup chopped red, orange, and or yellow bell peppers, seeded and destemmed

While the macaroni is cooking, assemble the

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, packed

2 cans of tuna, packed in olive oil

2 stalks of celery, chopped

Juice of 1/2 lemon, freshly squeezed

1/4-1/3 a head of lettuce (preferably iceberg lettuce), sliced first and roughly chopped into 2 inch long strips

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 teaspoon paprika

Fresh ground pepper

other ingredients. In a large bowl mix the green onion, bell peppers, parsley, tuna, celery and lemon. Add the cooked and drained macaroni. Fold in the iceberg lettuce and mayonnaise until well mixed. Add the paprika. Add fresh ground pepper to taste. Eat up. This salad does not make good leftovers as the lettuce will eventually get soggy.


Lunch Ideas

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Waldorf Salad According to the American Century Cookbook, the first Waldorf Salad was created in New York City in 1893, by Oscar Tschirky, the maître d’hôtel of the Waldorf Astoria. The original recipe consisted only of diced red-skinned apples, celery, and mayonnaise. Chopped walnuts were added later to this now American classic. Some prefer their Waldorf salad made with yogurt, instead of mayo. Having had this salad both ways, I fall firmly in the mayonnaise camp. But feel free to substitute yogurt for the mayo if that’s your druthers. Ingredients 

1/2 cup chopped, slightly toasted walnuts

1/2 cup celery, thinly sliced

1/2 cup red seedless grapes, sliced (or a 1/4 cup of raisins)

1 sweet apple, cored and chopped

3 Tbsp mayonnaise

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Salt

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise (or yogurt)

Pepper

and the lemon juice.

Lettuce

Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of fresh ground pepper. Mix in the apple, celery, grapes, and walnuts. Serve on a bed of fresh lettuce.

Chocolate & Peanut Butter Oatmeal Not the most appetitising dish to look at but it sure is tasty and also healthy. This breakfast or snack time recipe can be prepared in small portions and have it ready in no time.

Ingredients 

1 3/4 cups water

pinch of salt

1 cup quick cooking oats

2 Tbsps. peanut butter

2 Tbsps. chocolate chips

dash of allspice

¼ cup almonds

Bring water and salt to a boil in a saucepan. Stir in oats, reduce to medium heat and cook 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Cover, remove from heat, and let set 2-3 minutes. Stir in peanut butter, chocolate, and allspice. Pour into bowl and top with almonds.

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Veggie wraps with avocado honey dressing

Ingredients

These fresh veggie wraps are bursting with healthy ingredients. The crispy veggies are topped with a slightly sweet avocado dressing then rolled up in whole wheat tortillas, making the perfect grab-and-go lunch.

4 whole wheat tortillas

1 sweet red pepper, sliced into strips

1/2 of 1 cucumber, thinly sliced

1 large carrot, peeled and shredded

Sliced tomato

Sliced red onion

2-3 cups of chopped greens such as romaine, kale or baby spinach

Alfalfa sprouts (optional)

1/4 cup softened cream cheese

Spread each tortilla with a thin layer of the

1/2 of 1 avocado, chopped

softened cream cheese.

Juice of one lemon

Begin layering all of the vegetables in the centre of

2 teaspoons fresh garlic, minced

the tortilla. Top with alfalfa sprouts and add a

2 tablespoons orange blossom honey

drizzle with the avocado honey dressing.

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

Gently roll up the tortilla and serve.

Pinch of salt

In a blender add the avocado, lemon juice, garlic, honey and mayonnaise and blend until smooth and creamy. Set aside. Slightly warm the tortilla for a few seconds to make it easier to roll.


Food From Around The World

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Lebanese Food Lebanese cuisine includes an abundance of starches, whole grain, fruits, vegetables, fresh fish and seafood; animal fats are consumed sparingly. Poultry is eaten more often than red meat. When red meat is eaten it is usually lamb on the coast, and goat meat in the mountain regions. It also includes copious amounts of garlic and olive oil, often seasoned by lemon juice; olive oil, herbs, garlic and lemon are typical flavours found in the Lebanese diet. Most often foods are either grilled, baked or sautĂŠed in olive oil; butter or cream is rarely used other than in a few desserts. Vegetables are often eaten raw or pickled as well as cooked. Herbs and spices are used and the freshness of ingredients is important. Like most Mediterranean countries, much of what the Lebanese eat is dictated by the seasons. In Lebanon, very rarely are drinks served without being accompanied by food. Similar to the tapas of Spain, mezeluri of Romania, and antipasto of Italy, mezze is an array of small dishes placed before the guests creating an array of colours, flavours, textures and aromas. This style of serving food is less a part of family life than it is of entertaining and cafes. Mezze may be as simple as pickled vegetables or raw vegetables, hummus, baba ghanouj and bread, or it may become an entire meal consisting of grilled marinated seafood, skewered meats, a variety of cooked and raw salads and an arrangement of desserts. Although simple fresh fruits are often served towards the end of a Lebanese meal, there is also dessert, such as baklava and coffee. Although baklava is the most internationally known dessert, Lebanese sweets have got a lot more to offer. A typical mezze will consist of an elaborate variety of thirty hot and cold dishes and may include: Salads such as the tabbouleh and fattoush, together with dips such as hummus, baba ghanoush or moutabal, and kebbeh. Family cuisine offers also a range of dishes, such as stews or yakhnehs, which can be cooked in many forms, depending on the ingredients used and are usually served with meat and rice vermicelli. The Lebanese flat bread is a staple to every Lebanese meal and can be used to replace the usage of the fork. Arak, an anise-flavoured liqueur, is the Lebanese national alcoholic drink and is usually served with the traditional convivial Lebanese meals. Another drink is Lebanese wine.

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Food From Around The World: Lebanon

Malfouf Recipe (Stuffed Cabbage Rolls With Meat and Rice) If you are a fan of stuffed grape leaves or Dolma, you ought try this stuffed cabbage rolls recipe. In Arabic it’s called “Malfouf” which has a dual meaning of “cabbage” as well as “rolled.” It’s also called “Mih-sheh Malfouf” which means stuffed cabbage. Malfouf is a traditional Lebanese dish which involves rolling cabbage leaves with a stuffing of ground meat, rice, 7-spices (of course), then stacking them in a cooking pot in layers with garlic in between, and then simmering them on low heat in a sauce made with lemon juice, fried minced garlic, water and salt. Ingredients 

1 Cabbage head (4 lbs)

¾th lb of lean ground beef (~ 350 grams)

1 cup of rice, rinsed, dried

3 heads of garlic, freshly peeled

4 lemons, freshly squeezed

1-2 teaspoons of 7 spices

3 table spoons of olive oil

Salt to taste

Peel and discard the outer leaves of the cabbage. Pit out the large stem from the bottom of the cabbage. This will help the leaves get separated easier. To separate the leaves, simmer the entire cabbage head in a large pot of boiling water for 5-10 minutes while carefully turning it over to ensure exposure to all of its sides. As the leaves loosen, pin down the cabbage inside the pot with one fork, and with another fork slowly peel away the leaves one after the other. Do this slowly and carefully so you don’t hurt yourself with boiling water, and to also ensure that leaves are whole and not torn. Place the cabbage leaves in a colander as you peel them. Please note that if you try to peel leaves of a raw cabbage they’ll very likely break and tear. Once you’ve separated all leaves, try to roll one or two of them to see if they are soft enough. If not, and if they tear or break, put them back in the boiling water pot and cook them for another 5 minutes. Mix the ground beef with the rice, 1 to 2 teaspoons of Lebanese 7-spices (or Allspice) to taste as well as ½ teaspoon of salt to taste. Mix them well and set aside. Lay each cabbage leaf separately on a cutting board, cut out the stem if it’s too thick. Spread 1 to 2 table spoons of meat stuffing along the edge of the leaf , then roll it slowly and tightly over the meat all the way. Line up the stuffed rolls carefully in a wide/deep cooking pot one by the other in a compact manner until you’ve completed a layer which you will garnish with a few chopped cloves of garlic. Place the rolls with the greenest leaves on the bottom of the pot since they need more heat/longer to cook.


Food From Around The World: Lebanon

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Roll all the leaves and place them in the pot in this manner while placing garlic cloves in between the layers. You may end up with 2 to 4 layers of rolls, depending on how wide the cooking pot is. In a frying pan, sauté 10-15 cloves of freshly minced or crushed garlic (one head) with 3 table spoons of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice until they start to turn light brown then dump the entire content on top of the cooking pot. Squeeze 4 lemons, mix them with 4 cups of water, and ½ to 1 teaspoon of salt (to taste), then add them to the cooking pot. The sauce should cover the rolls and if not, add more water until it does. Carefully shake/tilt the cooking pot sideways a few times to ensure the sauce seeps through everywhere and that the fried garlic also mixes well with the sauce (or you can mix them in advance). Place a heavy plate inside the pot, on top of the rolls, cover the pot, and turn on the stove on high heat for about 5-10 minutes until they boil, at which time you turn heat to very low and let them simmer slowly for 1 to 1.5 hours (until the cabbage is fully cooked and is no longer crunchy – time may vary, however you should be left with a bit of sauce on the bottom don’t let it dry up). Serve hot with an optional side of plain Greek yogurt and an optional squeeze of lemon juice.

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Food From Around The World: Lebanon

Manaaeesh Flatbread This flatbread with its sultry flavor makes for a unique appetizer or can be served in wedges to compliment a main course. After attending summer BBQs and pot luck get-togethers where I first tasted this unique bread, I finally persuaded my Middle Eastern friend to ask her mother for this recipe. While not at all spicy, Za'atar, common in Lebanese kitchens, is a blend of many spices that will make your taste buds sing. I often cut this flatbread into bite-size pieces and serve it with small individual bowls of a good quality extra-virgin olive oil for dipping. Double dipping allowed this way! Ingredients: 

1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast

3/4 cup warm water - 110 degrees F (43 degrees C)

1/4 cup olive oil

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 cup olive oil, divided

1/4 cup za'atar

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt Mix yeast with warm water in a large mixing bowl and allow to stand until a creamy layer of foam appears, about 10 minutes. Whisk in 1/4 cup olive oil, then gradually stir in flour and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Transfer dough to a floured surface and knead until smooth and just a little bit sticky, 10 to 12 minutes. Place dough into an oiled bowl and turn dough around in bowl to coat surface with oil; cover bowl and refrigerate dough overnight. (Dough should double in size.) Coat a 9x13-inch baking sheet generously with 2 tablespoons olive oil; place dough in the center of the baking sheet and flatten into a thick disk. Cover dough with plastic wrap and let it double in size, about 1 1/2 hours. Use your palms and fingers to gently press and stretch dough to the edges of the oiled baking sheet, making the flatbread as even in thickness as you can. With fingertips, make small indentations in the dough. Brush dough with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Stir za'atar and 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt together in a small bowl and sprinkle evenly over the flatbread. Let dough rest for 30 minutes uncovered. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Bake flatbread in the preheated oven until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.


Simple Chocolate Button Egg Ingredients: For the egg 

200g good-quality dark chocolate, plus a little extra for decorating (we used Green & Black’s 82%)

To decorate 

25g bag chocolate buttons

25g bag white chocolate buttons, with speckles

ribbon, approx 50 cm long

Special equipment 

2 chocolate egg moulds, clean flat pastry brush or small paintbrush

Break the chocolate into pieces and gently melt in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Stir until smooth, then take off the heat and leave until cool, but still runny. Spoon a quarter of the chocolate into one of the egg moulds and spread thickly over the inside with a flat pastry brush or paintbrush. Be sure to cover the sides well, as this makes it easier to join the edges. Check that the chocolate is even by holding the mould up to the light. Repeat with the other mould. Leave in a cool place to set, then chill for 5 mins. TIP: Putting the egg halves in the fridge once the chocolate has set makes it easier to add another layer of warm chocolate. Don’t be tempted to leave the moulds in the fridge any longer than necessary as condensation could cause the chocolate to discolour. Re-warm the remaining chocolate and repeat the process for each side of the mould, saving about 1 tbsp of chocolate for later. Use a knife to scrape away any excess around the rim of the mould to give a clean, straight edge. Turn out each half onto a sheet of greaseproof paper, carefully pulling away the mould until it releases itself. Place one half of the egg on its back (you can create a nest of scrunched greaseproof paper to stop it from rolling about). Warm the reserved chocolate and brush around the edge of the egg. Place the other half on top and press together. You can seal the join further by brushing with a little more chocolate and filling in any jagged edges or holes. Leave in a cool place to set firm. To decorate, use the paintbrush to dab a little chocolate on the backs of the chocolate buttons. Gently press them onto the egg. For the finishing touch, tie the ribbon around the middle to hide the join.

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“Ask Us Something!” You have tasted the Ravioli from Gozo with goat’s cheese but you have never had the sweet version. This time from Matty Cremona’s book, “The way we ate: memories of Maltese meals” we have the Honey Dressed Sweet Ravioli!

What Librarians Eat! Vol: 2 Issue: 4 April 2014  

A newsletter, or Food-letter, about what Librarians from the University of Malta eat and what they like to cook.

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