Saturday, December 30, 2017

National Spaghetti Day is Jan. 4th!

With delicious spaghettis made from chickpeas, lentils, black beans, edamame and more, EXPLORE CUISINE offers an easy way for everyone to celebrate this foodie holiday while sticking to those healthy New Years resolutions.

EXPLORE CUISINE helps take the guilt out of your favorite pasta meals.  All EXPLORE CUISINE products are vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO and jam-packed with nutrients-  the perfect alternative to other glutinous pastas.

The public relations firm that represents Explore Cuisine sent me samples of these products.

This is on my menu for January 4th. How attractive is this dish??? Cannot wait to make this!)

One Serving-


1/4  box Explore Cuisine Black Bean Spaghetti
1/2  zucchini spiralized into "noodles"
1/4  Red Bell Pepper
2 handfuls baby spinach
1/4  cucumber
1/4 cup corn (canned in water works great- just rinse them)
1/4  avocado mashed with fresh organic lemon juice
1 tbsp vegan cheese  (I'm using Leaf Cuisine Plain Cream Cheese) pumpkin seeds + dill for garnish


Start by boiling a big pot of water for your black bean spaghetti. Once boiled, add the spaghetti and let cook for 6 minutes.

Once done, remove from heat, rinse under cool water and set aside.

Prep your veggies! Finely dice your cucumber, bell pepper, mash your avocado, spiralize your zucchini.

Next, add a spicy adobo chipotle sauce to your noodles and zucchini noodles.

• Combine the ancho and guajillo chiles in a large bowl and add plenty of cold water to cover. Let them soak until soft, about 30 minutes.
• Place the soaked chiles in a blender along with the ginger, cumin, salt, and pepper.
• Blend until very smooth. Stop the motor a few times to scrape down the sides with a spatula and give things a stir, just to make sure everything’s getting puréed. Don’t be tempted to add liquid—you want the final sauce to be thick.
• Scrape the purée into a small bowl if you plan to use it soon, or into a jar with a tight fitting lid if you want to save it for later. It’ll keep in the fridge for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for 3 months.

Add a few handfuls of baby spinach to a big 'ol bowl. Add some noodles, guac, then add cucumber, red bell pepper, vegan cheese, pumpkin seeds, and freshly chopped dill!


(I'll post another recipe or two next week, but wanted to put this one out for National Spaghetti Day!)  I'm excited to try these products.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Cooking That Counts 1,200 - 1,500-Calorie Meal Plans to Lose Weight DELICIOUSLY

The Editors of COOKING LIGHT sent me this beauty.  It's a very large paperback, 288 pages loaded with glossy color photos.

As I tend to gain a few pounds over the holidays, I'll be enjoying this.

Lose weight and love it with 150+ amazingly tasty recipes and smart tips to stay on track.

Cooking that Counts delivers sustainable 1,200-1,500 calorie-controlled meal plans packed with tasty food in an easy-to-use format. Unlike other weight-loss plans that rely on processed meals and preportioned snacks, the Cooking Light solution emphasizes delicious meals prepared with whole, natural foods and teaches proper portion sizes to ensure you lose weight and keep it off, for life.

With more than 150 recipes, readers will enjoy menu variety (hopefully picking up some new favorite recipes along the way!) as well as some flexibility to enjoy desserts and alcohol while still losing weight. More than just a cookbook, the Cooking Light editors offer suggestions throughout to create full meals that meet daily calorie goals, as well as providing simple serving suggestions for sides to help readers stay on track without feeling deprived. Readers will find information about fresh, convenient options for when time is tight, including suggestions for healthy readymade foods, shopping guidance, and make-ahead tips.

About the Author

At more than 25 years, Cooking Light is the nation's leading epicurean brand with the largest audience, most epicurean editorial, and the most recipes. Cooking Light is the only epicurean brand positioned at the intersection of great-tasting food and healthfulness, serving an important and growing consumer need. The brand delivers innovative recipes, nutrition advice, and resources to live a healthful lifestyle via its magazine, website, and portfolio of cookbooks; across all tablets; through the highly-acclaimed Cooking Light Quick and Healthy Menu Maker app; and on social media platforms including, Facebook (, Twitter (@Cooking_Light) and Pinterest ( Cooking Light is published by the Time Inc. Lifestyle Group, a division of Time Inc., the largest magazine media company in the U.S.


Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Everyday VEGETARIAN- A Delicious Guide for Creating More Than 150 Meatless Dishes

The publisher sent me this cookbook the other day.  I LOVE it.  It's by the editors of "Cooking Light".

It's a beautifully photographed large paperback with 352 pages.  Very nice!

Being on kind of a health-kick, I'll be going meatless a couple days per week.

Everyday Vegetarian is the ultimate resource for anyone—meat eaters included–who want to make satisfying vegetable-centric dishes using easy-to-find ingredients.

This all-new book by the editors of Cooking Light, isn’t just for vegetarians. It’s for anyone who wants to add more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to their meals and omit meat—without sacrificing flavor—even if it’s just once or twice a week.

Beyond the health benefits, you’ll find plenty of bold flavors and rich textures in these appealing dishes that include fresh salads (Fried Egg and Crunchy Breadcrumb Breakfast Salad, Roasted Asparagus and Tomato Penne Salad with Goat Cheese), sandwiches (Avocado, Sprout, and Cashew Spread Sandwich; Portobello Sandwiches with Red Pepper Sauce), soups (Smoky Farro and Chickpea Soup), and hearty one-dish meals, risottos, and bowls (Quick White Bean, Asparagus, and Mushroom Cassoulet; Risotto Primavera; Brown Rice Bowl with Miso, Poached Egg, and Kale-Radish Slaw).

Inside the book, you’ll find:

*Over 150 flavorful recipes, including a full-color photograph of every dish
*Complete nutritional information for every recipe
*Vegan recipes are identified
*A guide to building an everyday vegetarian kitchen, including details about versatile, flavor-building ingredients that are ideal to keep on hand
Techniques that visually explain a cooking method or procedure
*Tips that provide insight on ingredients and advice on using them
*A seasonal produce guide, metric equivalents, and much more

Find your place at the vegetarian table with this collection of crave-worthy meals and discover an immensely satisfying way to eat with Everyday Vegetarian.

A Great Preview of the Book HERE

A Great Update on Dom

He is pretty much out of his wheelchair!  We had this delivered yesterday:

It's very sturdy and he loves it!  He's ready to go shopping at Walmart with it.

His PT folks were stunned when he went rolling into the building.

We're so very proud of him!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Brooklyn Crafted brand- What a FUN and DELICIOUS "Mule" for the holidays!

WOW!  My new favorite MULE!

Hi Gang!  This is such a fun recipe!  We got turned onto "Moscow Mules" about a year ago.  When I drink hard liquor it's Vodka.

I thought that I'd give this a spin...

Guess that I'm a gin drinker on occasion!  

Brooklyn Crafted has come up with a TASTY lemon/lime Ginger Beer.  I'm in heaven!

Many thanks to the PR firm that sent me the goodies!

MERRY CHRISTMAS, All!  (I'm guessing that we'll be indulging in these year-round!)

Recipe Credit: Brooklyn Crafted


¾ C sugar
¾ C water
1 C fresh cranberries
1 lemon, cut into wedges
½ orange, cut into slices
1.5 C dry gin, such as Tanqueray
1 C chilled Brooklyn Crafted Ginger Beer mini in Lemon/Lime
4 mint sprigs


Bring sugar & water to a boil in a medium saucepan, stir until water is dissolved.
Remove from heat; pour off all but one cup of syrup, reserving any extra for another use.

Heat the syrup to a boil and then reduce heat to medium.

Add the cranberries and simmer for 2-3 min until they just begin to burst.

Remove from heat and let cool in syrup.

Place 2 T drained cranberries and 6 T cranberry syrup in a large pitcher; add the lemon wedges and orange slices.

Using a muddler or wooden spoon, vigorously mash the fruit.

Stir in gin and let steep for at least 5 minutes. Strain into a medium pitcher.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Carrington Farms Baking Bundle

Hi gang-

Hope this finds everyone well.  Dom and I are both sick... splitting headaches, nausea, sore throats, aches, and pains.  I have NO IDEA what this is, as we got our flu shots this Fall.

But-  on a happy note.... the public relations firm representing Carrington Farms and Sparkling ICE sent me a little care-package.

I made these over the weekend.




½ cup Carrington Farms Organic ghee
½ cup Cane Sugar
1 teaspoon Carrington Farms Milled Flax
2 Tablespoon Water
2 teaspoons Molasses
½ cup Carrington Farms Coconut Protein Powder
1¼ cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
¾ teaspoon Baking Soda
¼ teaspoon Salt
½ cup Chocolate Chips


Preheat oven to 370 degrees.
In large mixing bowl, cream together ghee and sugar until creamy, about 2 minutes.
In small bowl, mix together ground flax seeds and water. Let sit for 1-2 minutes. Add to butter sugar mixture and mix. Add molasses and stir.
Stir in protein powder, whole wheat pastry flour, baking soda, salt. Mix until just combined, avoid overmixing. Stir in chocolate chips.
Using parchment paper or silpat silicone baking sheets, cover baking sheet. Divide dough into balls. Press down on dough to flatten. Make sure that each cookie has enough room to spread.
Bake at 9-11 minutes or until golden brown on edges but still soft.
Let cool for 5-10 minutes before eating.

*NEW* Baking Bundle

Get a FREE farm-related cookie cutter PLUS save 13% by buying this bundle!
(A $8.84 savings!)

This BakingBundle contains...

3.5oz Matcha Tea Powder

* Finely milled green tea leaves
* Perfect in every culinary kitchen
* Can be used for sweet & savory dishes
* Energy Booster
* Bold & Rich Flavor
* No Fat and Low Calories

12oz Organic Ghee Clarified Butter

* Ghee is known from ancient Indian to have  Ayurvedic properties and contains Vitamin A, D and E
* Ghee is a clarified butter that contains Linoleic Acid to help balance cholesterol levels
* Known to reduce inflammation and increase energy
* Contains no casein, whey, or lactose
* Gluten Free

14oz Organic Milled Flax

* Carrington Farms unique proprietary Milling and Micro-Cleanse process assures only the finest Flax Seeds are thoroughly cleansed by natural means, and then surgically sliced, as opposed to pulverizedesulting in * Produces a delicious coarse flax seed grind that retains the maximum amount of healthy nutrients
* Contains essential fatty acids, Omega 3s, fiber, and lignans which all provide the building blocks to improved cellular health and one’s overall well-being

64oz Organic Coconut Flour

* Naturally Gluten Free
* Low in Carbohydrates
* High in Fiber
* Light and Fluffy

5oz Coconut Oil Cooking Spray

* A great alternative to traditional cooking sprays
* Perfect for medium to high heat cooking, sautéing, and baking and is non-hydrogenated and free of harmful saturated and trans-fatty acids
* Made from non-GMO coconuts
* All natural with NO soy lecithin
* A convenient, easy to use, nonstick, zero calorie spray which easily coats baking pans and keeps food from sticking to cookware, making cleanup quick and easy

16oz Unflavored Liquid Coconut Cooking Oil

* Liquid Coconut cooking oil is a great alternative to traditional oils such as vegetable, olive, canola, and corn oil
* Retains all the benefits of traditional coconut oil but does not have the flavor or odor of coconuts
* Naturally rich in Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT) which is efficiently utilized by the body for energy production and helps aid in calorie burning
* Has a higher heat point than traditional olive oils
* All natural, gluten free, hexane free, NON-GMO, free of hydrogenated and trans fats and comes in a BPA free bottle
* Perfect for cooking, sautéing, and baking

As I experiment with these products, I'll share recipes with you.  We're impressed with Carrington Farms!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Christine's Birthday at the Abita Brew Pub

We had a fun day yesterday.  We loaded up into Christine's rental car and went to the Abita Brew Pub for a late lunch.

I hadn't been there for probably a good 20 years.  It was pretty good!

For the THIRD time this week, Dom walked into the restaurant using a walker.  I'm SO PROUD of him!

We had a couple of beers.  I got a mushroom/swiss/bacon burger, Dom got a hot muffaleta.  Both were very tasty.

The birthday girl got the pecan/honey crusted catfish.  OMG!  DELICIOUS!  Huge chunk of catfish loaded with pecans.  I wasn't crazy about the sides...would have preferred fries, but that's me.  😊

Our server seemed friendly enough, but not very attentive.  😢

But, it was a pleasant afternoon, nice drive and a beautiful day.  (We had gotten 5" of snow on Friday!)

We're back to physical therapy tomorrow, then Christine is spending the night in Slidell.  Has an ungodly early flight home on Tuesday morning.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!

Woke up to this today: 

Local schools were closed, Dom's Physical Therapy was canceled, yet Christine braved the roads to spend the night in Slidell with a girlfriend.

It's Been a Great Week!

We're SO enjoying Christine's visit!

It's been non-stop fun.

On Wednesday, Christine and I had a couple of beers at Wendy and Bubby's house while Dom was in PT.  It was good to visit with them!

Yesterday, the 3 of us went to The Italian Grill in Picayune.  Once again, my Dominic walked into the restaurant.  😃

He had Veal Parmesan with pasta, while we girls indulged in an 18" Supreme pizza.  YUMMY!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

A big FIRST today!!!!!

With the OK of our physical therapist, Dom walked into a restaurant today!  (using a walker).

What a boost for his confidence!

We went to the Picayune location of one of our favorites-  FATTY'S.

Great food, and a wonderful server, Mia!

We started with a huge order of Abita Beer battered onion rings.

Christine had corn/crab bisque and a small salad.  I had my usual Club sandwich.  Dom ordered the "FATTY MELT".  OMG!  Ham, roast beef & turkey sautéed with onions, mushrooms & jalapeños smothered with American and swiss cheese.  Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy!  (That's what I'm getting next time...with a steak knife!)

So.... today was a real milestone in his progression!

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Another Visit With our Christine! FUN, FUN, FUN!

Christine flew into town for a couple of weeks on Tuesday afternoon.  We rented her a car.  It's a pleasant change to have a "driver".

On Wednesday, we dropped off Dom at Physical Therapy and headed over to Yo Yo's for a couple of beers, bean dip, chips, and salsa.

Picked up a gallon of eggnog daiquiris on the way home.

We had a great time on Thursday.  The three of us went to The Chimes in Covington.   It's a fun and scenic joint...sitting on the Bogue Falaya River.  Plenty of outdoor seating, as well as a beautiful walkway down to the river.

We "wheeled" Dom into the bar area.  The manager was going to bring a low table for us.  I told him that Dom could manage the high-top.  Sure enough...he got out of that transport chair (THANKS, Rondi!!!!) and hopped up onto the tall chair!

This is a great place with great food and a huge beer selection.  I'm a boring Miller Lite gal, but Christine indulged in some local beer.

Lunch was great!  MENU 

Dom had the "Chimes Club".  LOVED IT

Christine had a salad and a bowl of Tomato/Basil/Crabmeat soup.  LOVED IT

I got my usual... a Jalapeno Bacon Burger.  LOVED IT.

This is a "Must Stop" every time we're in Covington.

When we left there, we headed across the street to Rouse's.  (A local chain).  We picked up crab legs, lobster tails and champagne for our 29th wedding anniversary on Dec. 2nd.  (today!!!)

It was a fun, fun day!

Friday, December 1, 2017

A Very Mellow Thanksgiving- Just the 2 of us.

Hello, gang-

Dom is doing very well.  He's getting stronger by the day.  Still going to Physical Therapy three days per week.

He's becoming very comfortable using his walker, driving his truck and walking outside in our yard (which has dips and holes) with the walker.

We finally see light at the end of the tunnel!


Thanksgiving was quite the change for us.  Other years, we'd have a houseful of friends on Thanksgiving day with the "party" lasting long into the weekend.

With things as they are here, I just wasn't comfortable cooking and entertaining.  So, all of the usual suspects did their own thing.  Cooking for themselves, eating at family homes, etc.

Kind of a bummer not to be included.

HOWEVER, we had a lovely day.  😊

We picked up a couple of lovely filets, baking potatoes, and some baby bella mushrooms.

Had a delightful dinner-  just the two of us.

Hoping that everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Want to be the HOST WITH THE MOST? Try these Easy Thanksgiving Recipes!

I just received these recipes from the firm that represents Sparkling Ice, Brooklyn Crafted, HUROM, Carrington Farms, Terra's Kitchen and Santa Margherita.

I wanted to share them with you guys!

Here are some fun and festive ideas for Thanksgiving-


Sparkle and Spice

Recipe Credit: Sparkling Ice

750ml bottle aged rum
1/2 cinnamon stick
1 clove
1 cardamom pod
1 star anise pod
1 vanilla bean
3 allspice berries
Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
Sparkling Ice Lemon Lime

Combine rum, cinnamon stick, clove, cardamom, star anise, vanilla bean, allspice berries, and nutmeg in an airtight jar.
Split vanilla bean and scrape seeds into jar along with the bean pod. Close jar and allow infusion to sit in a dark place for at least 3 days.
Strain rum into an airtight jar with a fine-mesh strainer, discarding spices.
Over ice, pour 2 ounces of rum infusion.
Top with Sparkling Ice Lemon Lime and garnish with blackberries.

Ginger Whiskey Cider

Recipe Credit: Brooklyn Crafted

2 oz. Hard Cider
1 oz. Whiskey
Brooklyn Crafted Ginger Beer Mini in Traditional, to fill
Crushed Ice

In a 12-16 oz. high ball glass, combine the hard cider and whiskey.
Fill the glass with crushed ice and top with Brooklyn Crafted.


Corn Soup

Recipe Credit: HUROM

2 cups of Corn
1 cup of Milk
1/8 cup of Onion
Pinch of salt
Boil raw corns until corn kernels are easily crushed by hand, and separate each from the bunch.
Close the juice cap and the lever, and fill the chamber with milk.
Extract corns and onions alternately.
When putting the last ingredients in, place the lever in half-opened position to release the compressed pulp.
Pour juiced corn milk into the pot and boil it over the medium heat by stirring not to be burned.
TIP: If you want to use canned corn, it is better to use after drying on a sieve. You can reduce sweet and salty taste after rinsing in mineral water.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Recipe Credit: Carrington Farms

2 large Sweet Potatoes
1 Tbsp Carrington Farms Coconut Oil
Pinch of Salt and Pepper
1 ½ teaspoon Light Brown Sugar
¼ teaspoon Nutmeg

Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into ½ inch chunks.
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a skillet, melt the coconut oil over low heat.
When coconut oil is melted transfer it to a large bowl with the sweet potatoes and other ingredients to toss together.
Spread the sweet potatoes evenly on a large baking sheet.
Roast, tossing occasionally until soft and caramelized for about 1 hour.

Pumpkin Coconut Mousse

Recipe Credit: Terra's Kitchen

Serves 2
1 cup organic canned pumpkin
½ cup plus 2 teaspoons *coconut cream, divided
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon agave syrup, divided
1 teaspoon plus a pinch of ground cinnamon, divided
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon unsweetened coconut flakes, toasted
Make The Mousse:
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, ½ cup coconut cream, 2 tablespoons agave syrup, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and pinch of salt.
Divide mousse between two jars, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate a minimum of 2 hours or overnight.
Make The Cream Topping: Just before serving, stir together the remaining coconut cream, remaining agave syrup and remaining cinnamon.
To Serve: Place a small dollop of the topping on each jar of mousse and garnish with toasted coconut.

 Cinnamon Bread Pudding

Recipe Credit: Santa Margherita

Pairs with Prosecco Superiore DOCG


6 cups cubed French bread (about 8 oz)
2 large eggs, separate whites from yolks
1 cup brown sugar, packed
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
2 large eggs, whole
2 ½ cups fat-free half & half
1 tsp vanilla extract
⅔ cups powdered sugar
2-3 tbsp milk
½ tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325o F.
Grease a cast iron skillet. Place half of the bread cubes in the pan.
For the filling, stir together egg whites from the large eggs (set yolks aside to use in milk mixture), sugars, and cinnamon in a medium bowl until well combined.
Pour filling evenly over bread cubes and top filling with other half bread cubes.
For the egg mixture, whisk together 2 egg yolks, 2 whole eggs, half & half, and vanilla extract in the same bowl you used for the filling. Pour egg mixture over bread cubes, and gently press bread cubes into mixture. Bake casserole for about 40-45 minutes, or until lightly browned.
To make the icing, whisk together powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla, adding milk/half & half as necessary to make desired consistency. Drizzle icing over bread pudding before serving.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Sunday Suppers-Simple, Delicious Menus for Family Gatherings

The publisher sent me this cookbook last week.  It's a very nice hardback with color photos.  288 pages of some GREAT recipes.

I made these 2 over the weekend.  They blew us away!

Cornbread with Lemon-Thyme Butter

Fresh Apple Cake

Southern Living will help you revitalize the tradition of Sunday supper in this new book by award-winning author Cynthia Graubart.

Sunday supper doesn't have a set time. It can be formal, or it can be casual. It can take place after a lazy Sunday afternoon spent at the lake, it can be the delicious conclusion to your day after church, or after a game of touch football in the back yard. The key to supper is that it brings family and friends together over food that has been prepared with care and many times from cherished family recipes.

Organized in five distinct chapters, Sunday Suppers is designed to help you create delicious meals without too much muss and fuss. More than 50 easy-to-make main dishes are perfectly paired with appetizers or salads, sides, drinks, and desserts. Some of the delicious meals you'll find inside include Braised Short Ribs, served with Hot Bacon Potato Salad with Green Beans and finished with Mississippi Mud Cupcakes, or Fall Chicken Casserole with Fresh Herb Spoon Rolls, and Tart Cherry Crisp for dessert. You might want to try your hand at Tomato & Feta Shrimp, served alongside Herbs and Greens Salad, with Peach Melba Shortbread Bars for dessert.

With easy menu-planning ideas, cooking tricks, tips for stocking the pantry, and around-the-table inspiration for everything from decorating the table, you'll have all of the tools you need to host a proper Sunday supper.

Cynthia Graubart is a James Beard Award-winning cookbook author. She also wrote the Sunday Suppers column in Southern Living magazine. She travels the South inspiring cooks through her appearances on radio and television and her popular cooking classes. She lives in Atlanta.

I'm going to give these a shot next weekend....

BLT Benedict with Avocado-Tomato Relish

Lemon-Poppy Seed Belgian Waffles

I just LOVE this cookbook and will be using it often!  Pick up your copy here:

Sunday Suppers