Saturday, April 28, 2018

Kentucky Derby- May 5th

Dom and I love to watch horse races.  When we lived in Slidell, LA, we frequented an off-track betting parlor.

I and 3 co-workers at a local newspaper bought a racehorse without getting the "OK" from our husbands.  What fun!  "Capetown Caper".  We broke his maiden.  Oh, the fun times!

We'll be enjoying these libations from SPARKLING ICE:

Peachy Mint Julep


1.25 ounces Bourbon
2 ounces Sparkling Ice Peach Nectarine
6 Mint leaves
Half a Peach


Muddle mint and peach in highball glass.* Add crushed ice, bourbon and Sparkling Ice Peach Nectarine. Stir ingredients thoroughly
*(If possible, muddle mint and peach, add bourbon and leave overnight in fridge)

Triple Crown Lemonade


2 parts Anejo Tequila
4 muddled Basil leaves
Teaspoon Agave Syrup
2 parts Sparkling Ice Classic Lemonade

Shake and pour over ice into Highball glass. Top with Sparkling Ice Classic Lemonade. Garnish with Basil leaf

Friday, April 27, 2018

May is Celiac Awareness Month

Explore Cuisine is known for its protein-packed plant pastas that are high in fiber, naturally gluten free, simple to prepare, organic, and delicious.

Explore Cuisine is a leader in innovative cooking using organic ingredients of the highest quality. All Explore Cuisine products are vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO and jam packed with nutrients.

Organic Bean Power: One Ingredient.  ORGANIC BEANS – that's it.  In only seven minutes, your family can indulge in a delicious, healthy and satisfying meal, power-packed with high protein and high fiber. Varieties include Black Bean Spaghetti, Edamame and Mung Bean Fettuccini, Soybean Spaghetti and more.

Italian Signature Selection: Made from organic lentils and chickpeas, these pastas are high in protein and a great source of fiber and iron. Vegan, organic, and gluten free- it's a perfect dish for everyone at the table. In just minutes your family will be enjoying fresh pastas made in Italy. Varieties include Red Lentil Penne, Green Lentil Penne, Chickpea Fusilli, Green Lentil Lasagne, and more!

Celebrate Celiac Awareness Month with these nutritious recipes that everyone can enjoy!

Roasted Cauliflower Alfredo Spaghetti

4 cups of cauliflower florets
2 T olive oil
salt and pepper
8 oz vegan cream cheese
1 t smoked paprika
garlic cloves (optional, see info in post)
2 c vegetable broth
1 box of Explore Cuisine Organic Edamame Spaghetti
Fresh Parsley, for garnish
Order Ingredients


Toss cauliflower with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast in oven at 375 degrees F for 25 minutes.
In a blender combine roasted cauliflower, vegan cream cheese, smoked paprika, garlic (optional) and vegetable broth. Blend until smooth.
Warm sauce in sauce pan on stove.
Prepare spaghetti per directions on box.
Combine sauce and spaghetti. Gently toss to coat.
When ready to serve, place spaghetti onto plates, top with more smoked paprika and fresh parsley.

Pesto Spaghetti with Seared Tuna


8 oz. Explore Cuisine Organic Edamame Spaghetti

Seared Tuna:

1-pound center cut ahi tuna
1-teaspoon ground coriander
1-teaspoon mildly spicy red pepper (Aleppo or Marash or just black pepper)
Dash of vegetable oil
Kale-Walnut Pesto:
2 cups baby kale
½ cup basil
¼ cup walnuts
1 garlic clove, minced
1 lemon, juiced
½ cup olive oil
Pinch of mildly spicy red pepper (Aleppo or Marash or just black pepper)

½ large carrot, peeled
½ hot red pepper, thinly sliced
½ teaspoon lemon zest
10 tiny basil leaves
Flaky sea salt
Mildly spicy red pepper (Aleppo or Marash)
Olive oil


Make pesto: Place kale, basil, nuts and garlic into food processor. Sprinkle with salt and pepper liberally. Pour ¼ cup over the greens. Blend by pouring the rest of olive oil in a slow stream, until pesto is nice and chunky. Squeeze lemon on top, taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.

Sear tuna: Pat tuna dry with paper towels. Season tuna with salt, red pepper and coriander. Drizzle with olive oil on top and rub spices with oil into its flesh. Heat medium size stainless steel sauté pan until very hot. Pour just a dash of oil and place tuna in the pan. Cook on all sides for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, until it releases easy and all sides have a crust. Slice tuna against the grain into ¼ of an inch slices with a sharp knife.

Slice carrot into ribbons with vegetable peeler, and then make thin long strips with a sharp knife. Set aside. Cut hot red pepper into thin slices.
Cook Explore Cuisine Organic Edamame Spaghetti according to packaging instructions, transfer to large bowl. Add ribbons of carrot, hot pepper slices and 5-6 tablespoons of pesto to the pasta and toss to combine. Drizzle more olive oil if pasta looks too dry.

To plate, divide pasta between bowls by twisting it with a folk. Drizzle lightly with good quality olive oil, sprinkle with salt and red pepper. Top with 3-4 tuna slices, sprinkle with salt and red pepper again. Scatter some lemon zest and tiny basil leaves over each bowl. Serve at room temperature.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Dust Off Your Sombrero!

Here are some fun ideas for Cinco de Mayo-


Whether throwing a themed fiesta with the amigos or looking for some tasty ideas for a Mexican-style dinner, the Slim and Trim Skinny Margarita is the perfect complement to your Cinco de Mayo menu.

2-3 parts Skinny Margarita Mix (15 Calories)
1 part Tequila
Salt and Lime Wedge Garnish

In a cocktail shaker, combine Margarita Mix and tequila with plenty of ice. Cover and shake vigorously. Pour into a salted glass and garnish with a wedge of lime.

Mix is lightly and naturally sweetened with a blend of real sugar, Stevia and erythritol.
1 liter/33.8 fl oz
15 Calories. 5g Carbs. 3g Sugar.
No Artificial Flavors. No Artificial Sweeteners.
Gluten Free and Kosher.
Made in the USA
 For more information or to purchase Jordan's Skinny Margarita Mix, visit

I know that the new rage is owning a wood-burning oven.  Here are a couple of fun recipes:

Here’s an easy recipe we’ve all done before, but perhaps not in a wood fired over. Grab these ingredients and celebrate Cinco de Mayo with a hot bowl of tasty oven nachos.


Bag of your favorite nachos
Jar of salsa
Jar of jalapenos
1 chili, finely chopped
Grated cheese


1. First, put your nachos on a baking tray that will fit into the Uuni or whatever wood-fired pizza oven you're using.

2. Cover with salsa, cheese, chili, and jalapeños.

3. Put in the Uuni, cook for 1 minute.

4. Enjoy with your favorite Mexican-inspired cold refreshment.


Spice up your traditional Cinco-de-Mayo themed menu with this Tex-Mex Wood Fired Pizza recipe from Uuni. 


Classic Dough 
Classic Sauce
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
Handful of grated cheddar, or shredded mozzarella
1/2 of a small red onion, sliced into rings
1/4 tin of mixed beans, or refried beans
1 small avocado, sliced
1 small gem lettuce, finely chopped


1. First, light up your Uuni or whatever wood-fired pizza oven you own.

2. Next, flour your pizza peel and spread the classic dough over the top into a pizza base shape.
3. Spread a couple of spoons of classic pizza sauce over the base and (if you’re feeling daring) sprinkle the chili powder and cumin over the top.
4. Now you can add your cheese of choice, followed by the chopped onion and beans.
5. Using the peel, slide the pizza into the Uuni and allow to cook for 2-3 minutes.
6. Remove from the heat and cover the center of the pizza with a bed of chopped lettuce and some avocado slices.
7. Season to taste.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The Cancer Fighting Cook

The publisher just sent me this beauty, knowing that you guys would find this of particular interest.  Personally, I'll be using this.  A LOT! 

The Cancer-Fighting Cook cookbook features a variety of recipes and heartwarming stories from chefs around the world. Each flavorful recipe includes a specific cancer-fighting ingredient to help provide patients with the necessary nutrition they need before, during, and after treatment.

As a cancer survivor himself, Richard Lombardi has created this cookbook to help patients and caregivers prepare nutrient-rich recipes that combat the symptoms caused by treatment and enhance the recovery process.

Each delicious recipe includes a specific cancer-fighting ingredient and provides nutritional information. We've also included helpful hints, kitchen basics, and a removable list of beneficial ingredients for quick reference.

All recipes included in this cookbook come from Richard's own collection and professional chefs from around the world. They have shared these recipes and stories in hopes of providing savory meals that truly help the healing process and to encourage patients throughout their cancer journey.

The spiral bound, lay-flat book is packed with:

-Helpful shortcuts

-Kitchen basics

-A removable quick-reference list

-A 75-page pad of printed cancer-fighter grocery lists

-10 kid-friendly recipes that the whole family can enjoy

-Recipes from professional chefs and celebrities that have joined the fight against cancer including Jay Leno and Mark DeCarlo.

Helping families be happy

 About the Publisher: Familius is a family and parenting media publisher devoted to creating content that helps build strong values and happy families. As a digitally savvy, multi-media publisher, we share our family-driven content in multiple formats, including print, e-books, videos, articles and apps.

Through, we also provide an online community where parents can seek out and share advice and access a wealth of contemporary parenting content, tools, and resources rooted in traditional family values. Let’s Talk Family.

Get it HERE

Thursday, April 19, 2018

2018 Gardens

We're all planted!  We have 4 raised beds.  This is my 2nd year of hay-bale gardening.  Dom's first.

In my two bales, I have 3 Sweet Million cherry tomatoes, 6 Sweet 100 cherry tomatoes, Greek oregano, and lemon thyme.  I have these surrounded by 3 different types of bush beans.

Dom planted a lot of peppers in the soil.  Hot banana, sweet banana, jalapenos and something new for us this salsa peppers.

In Dom's hay bales he planted 6 tomatoes.  3 Goliath and 3 Better Boy.  Next to them, I planted a first for me...  Multiplier Onions

The fourth garden contains 50 Italian Heirloom garlic plants.  100's of years old.  These were given to us years ago by a dear friend, Lor, in Ohio.  We replant 50 cloves every Fall.

So Far- so good!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Look, See the Farm!

The publisher was kind enough to send me this book.  As soon as I received it, I gave it to my best friend.  She read it to her 5-year-old granddaughter.  The child was absolutely MESMERIZED.  Wendy tells me that this book is "PRECIOUS".

It's adorably illustrated, hardback and well written.

Look, See the Farm!

Look, See the Farm! is the heartwarming story of two sisters visiting their grandparents’ organic farm during each of the four seasons, discovering the many interesting creatures that make the farm their home. Young readers will gain a look at farm life and the animals living on the farm, as well as discovering the wild birds that thrive there.

Look, See the Farm! teaches children about connecting with nature, as they join Kelsey and Avery in learning about local birds and their habits. Beautifully illustrated, with a universal message and an enduring appeal, let this exciting journey be the start of a newfound appreciation for nature’s beauty!

Thursday, April 5, 2018

The Homesteader’s Herbal Companion: The Ultimate Guide to Growing, Preserving, and Using Herbs

The Homesteader’s Herbal Companion: The Ultimate Guide to Growing, Preserving, and Using Herbs   (Lyons Press, April 2018, 978-1-4930-3415-4, $24.95, 288 pages, 7 x 9, 120 Color Photos, Paperback/softback) takes readers through the basics of herbalism, including the different types of herbs and their uses. It also breaks down how herbs are used in tinctures, salves, essential oils, and infused oils. You’ll learn how to efficiently incorporate herbs into your lifestyle, creating your own herbal remedy cabinet for yourself and for your livestock as well. And through encouragement and evidence-based information, you’ll be confident using herbs, cooking with herbs, and sharing your herbal products with your friends and family.

The publisher recently sent me this book.  And just in time for our growing season!  With an array of beautiful photos and easy to read terminology, just about any homesteader, new or seasoned, can learn from The Homesteader’s Herbal Companion, and finally feel comfortable incorporating the many wonderful qualities of herbs around their homes and homesteads.

This book takes readers through the basics of herbalism, including the different types of herbs and their uses. It also breaks down how herbs are used in tinctures, salves, essential oils, and infused oils. You’ll learn how to efficiently incorporate herbs into your lifestyle, creating your own herbal remedy cabinet for yourself and for your livestock as well. And through encouragement and evidence-based information, you’ll be confident using herbs, cooking with herbs, and sharing your herbal products with your friends and family. 

A Note From the Author:
As an herbal homesteader, you should be in a constant state of learning. I don’t know all there is to know about herbs…I’m not sure any herbalist does. It’s like Christmas when I discover a new herb (well, new to me!) and all its uses.

But I equally enjoy expanding my knowledge on herbs that I think I know well. With the driving force of technology and science, we live in an age where we can learn even more about the medicinal properties of herbs. Even more than our ancestors knew. Knowledge expands as the human race grows, it’s not only logical but biblical as well. We are in a constant state of “growth”.

Did you know that the World Health Organization (WHO) is no longer creating new strains of antibiotics? Our bodies have become so antibiotic resistant that even WHO can see that if we don’t start switching to an alternative medicine, we’ll die from modern medicine.

Now is the time to start growing your knowledge. Now is the time to start diving into medicine that you can grow right in your own backyard.

You don’t need ALL the herbs. You don’t need to grow 200 herbs in your backyard. A good 20-30 will do, and only in small batches. Because if you’re already living a healthy lifestyle, typically you aren’t going to need herbs very often. Baby steps….

Herbalism doesn’t have to be ridiculously hard or complicated. Take your time, ease into it. Choose 5 herbs and study the heck out of them until you know them like the back of your hand. Then move on to 5 more herbs.

But here’s the most important part—don’t be held back by just the “basics”, like peppermint, thyme, rosemary, oregano, and basil. There is an amazing world of herbs out there just waiting for you to dive into them. You’ll often see many herbalists using the same herbs over and over again, and for good reason. But don’t limit yourself! You may just find the herb that changes the lives of your, your family, your livestock, or someone you know.

I can help you on that journey, in fact, I’d really love to. Because I was that homesteader who had NO idea where to begin….and now I do!

Monday, April 2, 2018

A Very Pleasant Easter

We invited Cousin Joe for dinner yesterday.

I cooked a 7# Semi-Boneless Leg of Lamb (Makes a great gravy), a Noodle Ring, Spinach Souffle and something new this year...  A Cheddar Sweet Corn Pie.    Also added some mixed frozen veggies to it.  Very good.  RECIPE HERE

Joe stopped in Alabama on the way here and loaded up with Fireworks.  What a great show he put on!

Watched Biblical Movies all day on Friday, Sat. and Sun.  I really enjoyed Jesus Christ Superstar last night.  I grew up hearing that soundtrack. 

We had to be out on the road for 8:30 for Dom's CHEMO in Slidell.  It's going very well.