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!