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What’s Cooking

  • Whoopie Pies

    Posted on Saturday, January 30, 2016

    I went to a luncheon this week to meet the latest new editor at a magazine I contribute too.  It was so much fun to put faces/voices/personalities to people I’ve been in contact with for over 3 years.  

    They handed out the latest issue and there it was-red velvet whoopee pies in the food column written by the owner of the local and popular Luci’s Healthy Marketplace and CafĂ©!

    Steve saw it and asked me to whip up a batch.  That was Tuesday.  Knowing how much Aidan enjoys cooking and baking, I waited until the next day and had him help put the whole thing together.

    Of course-Luci’s recipe was dairy based so I had to make some dietary/allergan changes, the results were still very tasty and rich!  Plus, I have enough leftover cream cheese filling to last me a lifetime.

    Here’s the revised recipe:

    3/4 C butter-flavored shortening
    1 C sugar
    2 lg eggs
    1/2 C non-dairy sour cream
    1 tbsp. red food coloring
    1-1/2 tsps. white vinegar
    1 tsp real vanilla
    2-1/4 C AP
    1/4 C cocoa
    2 tsp. powder
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp soda
    2 oz melted, cooled semi-sweet chocolate

    8 oz cream cheese substitute
    1/2 C butter flavored shortening
    2-1/2 C conf. sugar
    2 tsps. vanilla

    Preheat oven 375.  Prepare 2-3 sheet pans with parchment paper and grease well.

    In a large bowl, cream shortening/sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, sour cream, coloring, vinegar and vanilla.  In a separate bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together so that it has a uniform color.  Stir into beaten mixture and then stir in the cooled chocolate.

    Drop dough onto prepared sheets using a 2 tbsp. scoop, 2” apart and smoosh down a bit. Bake 8-10 minutes until edges are set.  Cool on pans 2 minutes and then remove and cool on wire racks.

    For filling-cream cheese, shortening until fluffy.  Beat in sugar and vanilla.  

    When cookies are cool, spread filling on one and top with another.  I made 18 whoopee pies.  Feel free to decorate with chocolate drizzles.  These are VERY rich.  Hubby thought he could eat two and found that one with a cup of coffee did him in.  You’ve been warned.

    3 Replies
  • Love The Remnants

    Posted on Saturday, January 23, 2016

    Well, I made it through the family visit with only one mistake foodwise-yeah!  Our niece, who has celiac’s, needed gluten free bread for my pulled pork night.  I thought I grabbed one loaf out of the freezer and then when she went to grab it, low and behold-first ingredient was whole wheat!  I had grabbed the loaf next to it.  frown

    Otherwise the meal times went quite smooth.  Aidan helped me by making the cole slaw the second night and got the table set.  Yeah for help!  Steve manned the grill.  

    Despite my usual defiance on the use of disposables-I did myself a huge favor by using them for the plates, plastic ware and only serving water bottles.

    Since I usually make way too much food, Steve and I have been using the leftovers for dinners and lunches (and even a breakfast!) since then.

    If you don’t count the veggies that I pre-cut last Saturday for snacks and sides, tonight will be the first “new” meal!

    Last night I used the last of the rice, leftover pulled pork and the chopped veggies in a fried rice version.  It was very quick to pull together, had enough for Steve’s lunch today and it was quite delish.

    The trick to serving leftovers is obviously the way you reinvent them:  soup, stews, fried rice, tacos, pasta sauce and even shepherd’s pie.  All these are terrific ways to serve all those containers in tastier ways that just zapping them in the microwave.

    Frittatas also work when you have a myriad of veggies-raw or cooked.  

    The best part for me?  By the time Thursday night rolled around I was exhausted from the chopping, stirring, cooking and cleaning, so being able to “throw” something tasty together just a few minutes before Steve walked in the door for the rest of the week has been such a boon!

    It even made it possible to take a nap!  Do I hear a woot, woot?

    2 Replies
  • Managing Dinner While Meeting Special Needs

    Posted on Saturday, January 16, 2016

    Family is on their way to spend a few days meeting our newest member-Bryce!

    It’s very hard to serve a good meal when I have SO MANY health restrictions to deal with!  Here are just a few:

    Dairy allergies, gluten allergies, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diverticulitis and kidney failure.

    Here’s one of my meals:

    Pulled Asian Pork-I bought a pork shoulder and marinated it in diet ginger ale, minced garlic and a little bit of liquid smoke.  I was planning on putting it into my slow cooker, but it seems I bought a roast that was too big for anything other than my stock pot!

    It’s okay-I have two ovens.  I’ll put it in tomorrow morning and then about an hour before everyone’s due for dinner I “pull” the meat and put it into the crock to keep warm.  Serving it on rolls-of which I bought some that were gluten free, hard and even some that are whole grain.  I also bought a couple of different types of BBQ sauce and even some GF cranberry sauce for those who want to jazz up what may be some bland tasting meat.

    Serving it with a slaw (with some pre-approved dressing) and plain iceberg lettuce salad with the “goodies” on the side.

    I’ve also pre-cut a bin of cruditĂ© of (again) pre-ordained veggies.  Hummus and dressings to dip on the side.

    Another meal with probably be grilled chicken breasts-totally plain.  Sides?  With the amount of salads and veggies I cut up I’ll simply put those out and then add some jasmine rice made with either low sodium chicken broth or plain water and then have a lazy Susan by the stove with various salts, peppers and hot sauces.

    I’m simply not going to worry about desserts.  I have no idea what I’ll be doing for the third night.

    Just hoping I’ve done a good job on keeping things delicious and not hurting anyone’s health along the way!

    0 Replies
  • Yuck

    Posted on Thursday, January 14, 2016

    There was an epiphany in my head this week.  Despite various websites on low-carb cooking telling me they believe low-carb doesn’t have to be dull and less than satisfying-I have found them to be just that.

     I know, you‘re all thinking:  What? What on earth has caused this rather un-expected event?

     Steve, my husband-that’s who/what.

     As you may know if you’ve gone to “the other side” and checked out my cooking blog on, Steve has been told numerous times to cut back on carbs, salt and red meat.  All of which he is not doing and when he does-I swear I’m seeing dig marks all over this horrible bamboo flooring from his running from even trying to “cut back” on the said items.

     My epiphany?  I found several websites and the Mayo Clinic, all of whom are boasting about their delicious dishes that are low-carb.  I beg to differ.

     My proof?

     Bread made with coconut flour, psyillium husks, coconut oil and egg whites.  

     Buffalo chicken “meat” loaf with loads of hot wing sauce and blue cheese.

     Peanut butter chocolate chip “muffins” made of peanut flour, egg whites, Truvia and some kind of sugarless “chocolate” chips.

     Those are just the top three I thought I might be able to get by Steve with a little of my own personal cooking magic thrown in.

     Here were the results:

     The bread-GROSS.  I take 2 tbsp. of psyillium husks in some crystal lite every single morning.  it is disgusting.  Putting it through the processor with the coconut flour and mixing it with coconut oil and egg whites looked liked throw up (sorry for the description, but trust me-it’s a theme in these recipes).  I baked it and it was NOT edible.  Plus, the ingredients were expensive and I found there was absolutely no way for me to doctor it up or re-purpose it to make it palatable for either of us to eat.

     The Buffalo loaf.  I thought for sure this one would be okay-I can’t eat blue cheese, but I figured some Daiya mozzarella would do.  Sorry-even with all that spice-this loaf looked like the stuff Lucky and Pepper “shared” with me in bed the other night (a whole other story-suffice to say that both got sick at the same time causing me to change pjs while Steve did the sheets and then we comforted the two of them).  Steve wouldn’t touch it.  Told me to toss it and wanted an egg white omelet instead.

     And last, the PB muffins.  Expensive to make, ugly to look at and did NOT have the texture of any muffin I wanted to eat.  

     The last one that might be something that would pass is a “Mock” apple crisp made with zucchini.  It has the zucchini obviously taking the place of the apples. The topping is walnuts, cinnamon and coconut flour.  It doesn’t look too good in the picture-but I’m thinking that might not be too bad.

     I really love to cook/bake for Steve and the family.  I really want to make things that are healthy.  But my epiphany is that this low-carb, low salt thing is going to really be quite the trial and error event.

     That said-Steve took advantage of my need for a muscle relaxant last night and took out baby back ribs for dinner.  Sigh.

    0 Replies
  • Actually Doing Some Cooking

    Posted on Saturday, January 9, 2016

    These last few months are thankfully over-lots of food, too much food and the constant “trial” of trying to get dh to take a re-boot of his diet is wearing a might thin.

    It’s very hard to get a man of 59 to stop eating all the foods he loves when he has no weight to lose and looks perfectly healthy ON THE OUTSIDE to change.

    What I hate the most is his push to have me “go online and do what the Mayo Clinic says and remember I have to lower my salt, sugar and carbs” and then he holds up dinner for 20-30 minutes so he can stop at CVS or Wal-Mart for the distinct and only purpose of buying items with all of that topping the ingredient list.

    His reasoning?  “I don’t eat it all at once.”


    Case in point:  I roasted a butternut squash with chili powder, turmeric, garlic and pepper.  I tossed it with spaghetti squash, evoo and toasted walnuts.  A la “meatless Monday“.

    Next morning I found the following “evidence” in the trash (meaning he ate this after 10 p.m. and I was asleep):

    8 oz swiss cheese (high in salt and cheese)
    1 bag popcorn (high in salt, fat and carbs)
    1 4 oz pepperoni (salt, fat, red meat and preservatives)
    1 very large apple (sugar, carb)

    I guess he thought the apple would counter-balance all of the rest and felt proud that he also didn’t demolish the 10 oz bag of potato chips I found hiding in the laundry room!

    Do any of you have a “child” spouse like this?  It’s very difficult to even get through to him.  After all, if 3 general practitioners can’t make him understand that meds for high blood pressure, cholesterol and thyroid can’t do any good without some help-how can I?

    This week-asking for some commiseration.  Share your stories and hints on how to get a known “junk food junkie” to take his health seriously.

    0 Replies