Thursday, March 31, 2016

Food for Thought : March is National Peanut Month

       Peanuts and peanut butter  are one  of America's favorite foods . Americans  consune  an average  of 1.5 billion pounds of peanut butter  and peanut products each year . That is more  than 6 pounds  of peanuts or peanut products  per person . Peanut butter , roasted peanuts  ground into a paste  are a great source  of many vitamins  and nutrients . They have niacin , folate , vitamin E and protein . However  , they do have  caloeirs and fat  , so watching your portion size  is essential . Here are a few tips  to enjoy  peanuts and peanut  butter in a healthy way :
      Look for reduced fat varieties  of your favorite spread , but read the label . They can have just as many  calories . The types  of peanut butter  , smooth , chunky  or  chunchy , do not differ  significantly in nutritional value .
      Spread  peanut butter  on top of your morning  waffles . Top fruits  such as apples  or pears  with peanut butter  for a little  extra protein  for a snack .
      Used  crushed nuts  to coat  chicken or other meats . Mix peanuts  with popcorn  and dried fruits  for a healthy snack  that is a little salty and sweet . 
                                                          Peanut Butter Lover’s Cake
A peanut butter lover’s delight! Everyone will love this one.
Servings: 16          Cook Time: 35 mins        
Main Ingredient: peanut butter 

1        can Baker's Joy® Original Non-Stick Baking Spray with Flour 
2       cups all purpose flour 
1/2    teaspoon salt 
1-3/4    cup creamy peanut butter (do not use natural) (divided) 
1          cup unsalted butter (softened) 
1-1/2    cups granulated sugar 
2           large eggs 
2          teaspoons vanilla (divided) 
1          cup whole milk 
1          cup peanut butter chips 
1          cup confectioner's sugar 
1/3       cup heavy cream 

1 .  Preheat oven to 350˚ F. Spray two 8 x 8- baking dishes or pans with Baker's Joy® spray. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. Beat 1/2 cup butter, 3/4 cup peanut butter and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed about 5 minutes or until creamy. 
2 .  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla. Reduce speed to low and alternately add flour mixture and milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in peanut butter chips. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake 35 to 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Remove and cool on wire rack for 10 minutes. 
3 .  Remove can from pans and cool completely. Beat remaining peanut butter and butter until creamy. Beat in confectioners’ sugar and remaining vanilla until smooth. Gradually add heavy cream and continue beating 3 to 5 minutes until frosting is light and fluffy. Place 1 cake layer on serving plate, spread 3/4 cup frosting over top of cake. Place remaining layer on top and frost top and sides of cake with remaining frosting. Refrigerate until ready to serve. 

A proud grand-poppa            G .

Monday, March 28, 2016

Slow cooker cabbage rolls...Mmmmm

Cabbage leaves stuffed with ground beef, onion and rice, covered in a sweet and tangy tomato sauce and cooked in a slow cooker. Delicious and ranks as one of my comfort dishes. My family is my barometer. If they say it's okay, it goes on my comfort list.

12 leaves cabbage
Optional... I add a bit of hot spice to the beef mix to jazz it up a bit ( I love mango chipotle)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Boil cabbage leaves 2 minutes; drain.
In large bowl, combine 1 cup cooked rice, egg, milk, onion, ground beef, salt, and pepper.
 Place about 1/4 cup of meat mixture in center of each cabbage leaf, and roll up, tucking in ends. Place rolls in slow cooker.
In a small bowl, mix together tomato sauce, brown sugar, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce. Pour over cabbage rolls.
Cover, and cook on Low 8 to 9 hours.

 Enjoy...The weather is warming up and I have comfort food for every season.


Sunday, March 27, 2016

Maxy sez : 9 Bad Habits to Kick When You Have Type 2 Diabetes

By Denise Mann Reviewed by Pat F. Bass, III, MD, MPH

Living a healthy lifestyle can make a big difference in diabetes control. Put a stop to these wellness saboteurs today.

Eat this, don’t stress about that — you probably know the drill when it comes to type 2 diabetes management. Healthy lifestyle habits can make managing the condition easier and go a long way toward preventing complications later on. Certain bad habits, however, can wreak havoc on your blood sugar levels and your health in general.

And while hardened habits can be difficult to break for just about anyone, having diabetes means the stakes are even higher. Here are nine unhealthy tendencies you should try to shed ASAP — and strategies to help you get there.

Skipping meals. “In our society, people skip breakfast and are too busy at work to eat lunch,” says Sethu Reddy, MD, MBA, chief of the Adult Diabetes Section at Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston. “They get home at 6 p.m. and are starving.” What happens next? An all-out feast that can spike blood sugar and also lead to weight gain.

"Instead of a binge at the end of the day, eat three meals throughout it to help keep your blood sugar levels in the normal range and maintain a healthy weight," says Dr. Reddy. Skipping breakfast, in particular, can negatively affect blood sugar levels for the rest of the day, according to a study in the July 2015 issue of Diabetes Care. Participants with diabetes who skipped breakfast had lunchtime blood sugar levels that were 37 percent higher than when they had eaten breakfast, and their blood sugar levels remained elevated at dinnertime.

Late-night snacking. Eating a heavy snack while watching TV late at night is a double whammy, Reddy says. “You are mindlessly eating, so you may not even realize how many calories you are consuming,” he says. Plus, snacking after your main evening meal, especially on high-carb foods like cookies and chips, can result in high blood sugar levels the next morning.

Not checking your blood sugar. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), keeping tabs on your blood sugar levels — and tracking your results — is your best tool for checking your type 2 diabetes management. Knowing your levels can help you keep your doctor informed so, together, you can assess your condition and make changes to your treatment plan if needed. Remember that there's no one-size-fits-all plan for checking your blood sugar levels. The right routine depends on what works for you, based on what you eat, how much you exercise, the medications you take, and how you feel. Your doctor can help you determine a testing schedule that’s right for you.

Binge drinking. Moderate consumption of alcohol — one drink a day for women and two for men — can be part of a healthy lifestyle for some people. But anything more than that can be risky, especially if you have diabetes, Reddy says. Too much alcohol can lead to weight gain and be toxic to the liver, which is a reservoir for the body’s blood sugar (glucose) stores. Alcohol can also cause low blood sugar for up to 24 hours after drinking. People with diabetes shouldn’t drink on an empty stomach or when their blood sugar is low. “Drinking alcohol with food is better because it is less likely to impair your judgment,” he says. If you’re drinking, he says, you might be less likely to realize your blood sugar is plummeting.

Smoking. Smoking is associated with all sorts of health risks, but it can be especially dangerous if you have diabetes. “People with diabetes are at increased risk for heart disease already; smoking increases this risk even further,” says Arti Bhan, MD, head of endocrinology at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. People with diabetes who smoke are more likely than nonsmokers to have trouble with insulin dosing and with controlling the condition, the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention reports. They're also at a higher risk for poor blood flow in the legs and feet, which can lead to infections, ulcers, and possible amputation, as well as blinding eye disease and nerve damage. 

Yo-yo dieting. Fad diets are just that — fads, Dr. Bhan says. And yo-yo dieting can cause you to repeatedly lose and regain weight. “This can be especially dangerous for people with diabetes, as it can affect your blood sugar levels,” Bhan explains. Aim for a healthy, well-balanced diet and discuss any weight-loss goals with a registered dietitian, who will help you meet your goals without sabotaging your health.

Skimping out on exercise. “People who have type 2 diabetes should aim for 150 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise per week to reduce insulin resistance (so their insulin works better), improve cardiovascular fitness, and help maintain a normal weight,” Bhan says. The ADA suggests activities such as jogging, brisk walking, biking, swimming, playing tennis, or stair climbing. And strength training matters, too; it makes your body more sensitive to insulin and can lower blood sugar levels. Aim for some type of strength training — such as lifting weights or doing pushups and squats — at least twice a week in addition to aerobic activity, says the ADA. 

Staying seated. We sit a lot — too much, in fact. And all of this downtime raises the risk of complications — even dying — from all types of diseases, including diabetes, according to research published in January 2015 in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Exercising once a day doesn’t mitigate this risk, the study showed, but standing and moving around during the day instead of just parking yourself at your desk or on your couch can make a difference.

Sweating the small stuff. When you’re overextended, stress can seem to make everything worse — and that includes your blood sugar. Bhan explains that stress hormones, which the body releases in response to high tension, can alter blood sugar levels directly. Plus, when you're stressed out, you're less likely to take good care of yourself with healthy lifestyle habits like eating a nutritious diet and exercising. Instead, some people try to cope by smoking, drinking alcohol, and eating high-fat comfort foods. Find positive ways to manage life’s ups and downs, whether that's practicing meditation, taking deep breaths, or listening to your favorite music, Bhan suggests.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Happy Easter Aunt Jeannie & Uncle Brian

                                                   Meaning of Easter

The Meaning of Easter
Colored eggs and chocolate bunnies
A rainbow of jelly beans.
But how many people truly know
What Easter really means?
Easter is a time of promise
that God has given to man.
It’s the culmination
of His redemption plan.
This is a time of renewal
as it happens every spring.
The flowers now are blooming
The birds begin to sing.
Easter is a time of hope
and a day of rebirth.
It shows that winter’s over
And spring has come to earth.
Author  unknown :

Jonny  , Sha  , Jenny  , Man Carano

Chris  , Sheryl  , Bubba  Landrieau

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Love Aunt Jeannie

Food for Thought : Wishing Everyone a Happy Easter

      This weekend many of us  will celebrate  Easter . No matter  what you have plan to have  on your menu , one staple most likely  to be seen on your  table is eggs . They are reasonable price , versatile  and make  a great addition  to your  family's meal plans . Eggs are a natural source of high-quality protein  and many other nutrients . Containing only 70 calories , eggs can be a great way to help you meet a variety of nutrient needs. 
      One egg has about 30 milligrams  of heart-healthy omega 3 fatty acids . Also , nutrition research suggests  eggs can play a role in weight management  , muscle strength , healthy pregnancy  , brain function , eye health  and more . here are a few tips  to help you enjoy   eggs this week :
      The color of the shell is simply a color . The color of an egg  is determined  by the bred of hen  that laid the egg . Shell color is not an indicator  of health  , flavor  or  quality .
      Eggs are graded  according  to the United States  Department  of Agriculture  {USDA} guidelines . Grade AA and Grade A indicate  that the eggs  have a thick white , yolks  are free from defects  and eggs have clean shells . These are eggs  you will find  in grocery stores . Lower grade eggs  are usually reserved for industrial use .
      Make  sure you purchase  eggs before  the "sell-by" or "expiration" date on the carton . Once you  get the eggs  home , place them in the coldest part of the refrigerator , not the  door . For best quantity , use eggs  within three to five weeks  of  the date you purchase  them .
                                                                Devil Eggs with Bacon 
Prep/Total Time: 30 minutes          Makes : 24 servings

12     hard-cooked eggs
1/3    cup mayonnaise
3       bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
3       tablespoons finely chopped red onion
3       tablespoons sweet pickle relish
1/4    teaspoon smoked paprika

Cut eggs in half lengthwise. Remove yolks; set whites aside. In a small bowl, mash yolks. Add the mayonnaise, bacon, onion and relish; mix well. Stuff into egg whites. Refrigerate until serving. Sprinkle with paprika.

Happy Easter 

A proud grand-poppa             G .

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Peeps S'mores - 'Simple Easter Treats' for your little ones to help create

If you love Peeps, (and who doesn't love Peeps?) you'll really enjoy these S'mores made out of Marshmallow Peeps bunnies. The kids can help but they may eat more than they put on the plate.


1 (11 1/2 ounce) packageof hershey's milk chocolate chips
3 (16 count) packages marshmallow peeps
1 (14 1/2 ounce) packageof honey maid graham crackers
Small bag of caramels ( optional)


  1. Take apart all Peeps from packages and break all graham crackers into quarters.
  2. Place graham crackers pieces onto cookie sheets lined with wax paper.
  3. Place 3/4 pkg of chocolate chips into a bowl and melt according to instructions on package.
  4. Dip the bottom of each Peep bunny into the melted chocolate and place on a piece of graham cracker. Continue to do this until all of the Peeps are used.
  5. Put the cookie sheets of Peeps into the refridgerator for 15 minutes so the chocolate can cool and harden.
  6. Melt the rest of the chocolate chips and pour the melted chocolate into a plastic zipper bag.
  7. Cut a tiny piece off the corner to make the chocolate drizzle.
  8. Carefully squeeze the bag to drizzle melted chocolate onto each individual Peep S'more. If you decide to add caramel also, they look better if you put the caramel on first, followed by the chocolate.
  9. Melt caramels in bowl according to directions on package or chop them small and follow same directions as chocolate chips. Drizzle over S'mores with spoon
  10. Place them into the refrigerator again so the chocolate and/or caramel can harden.
  11. Peeps S'mores should be warmed up in the microwave for about 8 - 10 seconds. They also taste good at room temperature. And they look awesome. Great treat for the whole family. Enjoy!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Hot Tamale Pie

Hot Tamale Pie

Do you like your comfort food hot and spicy? Then we think you will like this casserole. It has a great south western flavor and is topped with corn muffin. A nice hot dish on a bone chilling day like today in Ontario. The grandkids liked it and it went well with a simple garden salad with lots of spring onions and shredded cheese topping.


cooking spray
2 pounds ground beef
2 cups diced poblano peppers
1 teaspoon salt
1 (16 ounce) jar salsa
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground dried chipotle pepper
2 (8.5 ounce) boxes dry corn muffin mix (such as Jiffy®)
2 eggs
2/3 cup milk, divided
4 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
4 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
8 ounces frozen corn, thawed

Directions :

Prep20 m
Cook1 h 10 m

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Spray a 9x13-inch casserole dish with cooking spray.
Cook and stir ground beef in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until meat starts to brown and release juices, about 5 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium and stir in poblano peppers, salt, salsa, oregano, and chipotle powder; cook and stir until seasoned beef is crumbly and no longer pink, about 10 minutes.
Mix one package of corn muffin mix in a large bowl with 1 egg and 1/3 cup of milk. Whisk to combine. In a separate large bowl, mix the second package of corn muffin mix with 1 egg, 1/3 cup of milk and half the Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses.
Spread the prepared corn muffin mixture without cheese into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle corn over the muffin mix, followed by remaining half of the cheeses, then the beef mixture.
Spoon the corn muffin mix with cheese on top of the beef and carefully spread over the top with a fork, leaving about half an inch from the edges of the pan.
Bake in the preheated oven for 50-60 minutes, until golden brown.

Looks good and tastes great. I added it to my list of Canadian winter 'comfort foods'.
Have a wonderful day. If you can' t make that happen...'what the hell'.....sit down, put your feet up, have a cup of coffee and watch 'Family Feud'. It's on every damn channel, 7 days a week.

You can substitute red or green bell peppers for the poblano peppers if desired.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Pizza Pinwheels...Hey Cubs, these are so easy to make and taste great.

Hi cubs, this is a recipe I will give to my grandsons for movie night with their friends. It is versatile, you can change them up a bit. You can mix different kinds of grated cheese together for an interesting taste or add a different kind of meat like chopped bacon, [cooked first] ( my choice), maybe a few chopped up onions or mushrooms. Just don't overload  the rectangles or they won't roll up too easily. They sure are fun and tasty


1 (8 ounce) can refrigerated crescent roll dough
24 slices pepperoni

Prep:Cook: ...                   
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. On a large baking sheet, pinch the 8 crescent roll dough triangles into 4 rectangles. Layer each rectangle with 6 slices of pepperoni and even amounts of mozzarella cheese. Roll tightly lengthwise and slice each into 4 or more pieces.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, about 12 minutes. Serve with hot pizza sauce for dipping.
Eat, eat, eat, eat! Love you guys, Aunt J.

Maxy sez : 7 Tips for Diabetes Weight Loss

By Diana Rodriguez Reviewed by Farrokh Sohrabi, MD

Small Changes Add Up to Big Results :
Excess weight isn't just a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes — those extra pounds also make controlling diabetes more difficult once it develops. "Weight management affects diabetes management in many ways," says Vandana Sheth, RDN, CDE, a diabetes educator, registered dietitian nutritionist, and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. "The additional weight adds to the insulin resistance, making it hard for your body's natural insulin to do its job." On the other hand, losing even a few pounds offers big benefits. For instance, A1C is an important indicator of blood sugar control, and weight loss helps keep A1C levels below 7 — a common target number, according to a study published in the July 2014 issue of the Journal of Managed Care & Specialty Pharmacy. Making the following changes in the way you eat and move can get you to your diabetes weight-loss goal.

Downsize Your Dinnerware:
According to research published in the Journal of Consumer Research in August 2012, study participants who ate from larger plates often perceived portion sizes as being smaller than they really were, while a smaller plate that was filled up could make people think they were actually eating more than they were. For diabetes weight loss, opt for smaller plates and bowls to help you eat less and feel more satisfied, Sheth says. If you haven't already, it's also good to speak with a diabetes educator or nutritionist who can teach you about portion sizes — a healthy amount of food to eat may be a smaller portion than you realize.

Drink Up Before You Eat Up:
Before you pick up your fork, pick up your water glass. Drinking water before a meal can help with diabetes weight loss by keeping you from overeating. The water will help you feel full more quickly, plus you're hydrating. "This is an easy strategy," Sheth says, "and it also makes you more mindful." Want to feel even more satiated on only a few calories? Start lunch or dinner with a nutritious salad or a bowl of low-sodium, low-fat soup.

Keep a Food Journal :
Writing down what you eat makes it easier to track and control what you're putting into your body. Keeping a food log is especially good for assessing the amount of carbohydrates you're eating, says Jessica Crandall, RDN, CDE, director of Denver Wellness & Nutrition and a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. While carbohydrate goals vary from person to person, Crandall says most women should aim for 30 to 45 grams of carbs per meal. For men, it's 45 to 60 grams of carbs. Snacks should have about 15 grams. A nutritionist or diabetes educator can help you understand the number of carbs in different types of food you eat.

Stand Up for Your Health :
You know you need to exercise to lose weight, but keep in mind that finding small ways to be active throughout the day helps burn calories too. Start by simply standing up. A 150-pound person who stands to do one hour of light office work instead of sitting can burn 240 calories, according to the University of Maryland Medical System calorie calculator. "Having a timer set to go off every 30 minutes provides a simple reminder to get up and move," Sheth says. Walk around, do some stretches or crunches, or lift some free weights — every 30 minutes, give your body an activity break.

Skip the TV Dinners :
Grabbing a bite in front of the TV or at your computer may be thwarting your diabetes weight-loss efforts. Eating in front of the tube or with other distractions makes people eat more, while those who eat without distractions eat less later in the day, according to a study published in the April 2013 issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The study also found that attentive eating may be a good way to attain a healthy weight without the need for strict calorie counting. Eat every meal at a table, and focus on eating. "This allows you to savor the food in front of you," Sheth says.
Walk Off Your Meals :
It's all too easy to let the day get away from you without finding time to exercise, so try tacking a little activity on to the end of each meal. "Add a 10-minute walk after a meal — or all meals — to help incorporate exercise, which is very important for blood sugar control as well as weight loss," Crandall suggests. A study published in the October 2013 issue of Diabetes Care found that people at risk for high blood sugar who walked for 15 minutes after each meal saw greater blood sugar control — more than those who took a 45-minute morning or afternoon stroll.

Don't Deprive Yourself :
The road to diabetes weight loss is not paved with starvation. Sure, you need to watch your calories, but you also shouldn't deprive or starve yourself; that will only make you overeat later on, Crandall says. Strive to eat regular, balanced meals and snacks. "It is important to have carbs, protein, and fats in your diet," Sheth says. "Avoiding a complete food group can cause an imbalance and be counterproductive." Eating too few calories is also problematic. Again, a nutritionist or diabetes educator can help you understand what a good balance of fats, carbs, and proteins in your diet looks like.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Pizza Casserole

Rich and gooey, this deep-dish pizza-flavor casserole puffs up as it bakes. It's as much fun to make as it is to eat a surefire bet for kids.

PREP TIME : 30 minutes                       SERVINGS 8
 1-1/2        pounds ground beef
1               onion, chopped (1 cup)
1               green sweet pepper, chopped (1 cup)
1               garlic, minced
11-1/2      ounce package spaghetti sauce mix
1/2           teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1              15 ounce can tomato sauce
1/2           cup water
1              cup milk or  chicken broth
2              eggs
1              tablespoon vegetable oil
1              cup all-purpose flour
1/2           teaspoon salt
1              cup shredded mozzarella cheese (4 ounces)
1/4           cup grated Parmesan cheese
Pepperoni slices (optional)

1 .  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In an extra-large skillet, cook ground beef over medium heat until brown; drain off fat. Stir onion, sweet pepper, garlic, dry spaghetti sauce mix, and oregano into meat. Add tomato sauce and the water. Cook and stir until boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

2 .  Meanwhile, in a medium mixing bowl, beat milk, eggs, and oil with an electric mixer on medium speed for 1 minute. Add flour and salt; beat for 2 minutes more.

3.  Transfer hot beef mixture to an ungreased 3-quart rectangular baking dish. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Pour egg mixture evenly over top. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese; top with pepperoni slices (if desired).

Bake, uncovered, for 25 to 30 minutes or until puffed and golden. Serve immediately.
Heart healthy

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Food for Thought : National Artichoke Hearts Day

      Artichoke HeartsMarch 16th is National Artichoke Hearts Day.  According to the California Artichoke Advisory Board, artichokes are a good source of antioxidants, vitamin C, folate and magnesium.  The antioxidants in artichokes are very good for your liver and help promote healthy skin.  Artichokes are also high in fiber, calcium and protein while low in calories.  For all of these reasons, along with being fat free and cholesterol free, artichokes are truly a healthy and delicious food to celebrate!
      The total antioxidant capacity of an artichoke flower head is one of the highest reported for vegetables.
The fleshy base of the artichoke is perhaps the most enjoyably edible part of this oddly-shaped vegetable. 
       You can find artichoke hearts that are packed in vinegar, oil or marinade and canned.
      They make for a great low sodium snack and lend themselves well to other snacks like artichoke dip, as well as a pizza topping.
Toss them in the skillet for a savory sauté.
They might just turn into a healthy addiction!
California is known as the artichoke capital of the world.  They supply nearly 100% of North American fresh artichokes.
                                       Chicken and Artichokes in Wine Sauce
Serves 4
2       cups artichoke hearts, frozen and thawed, or canned and drained
2       boneless skinless chicken breasts, about 1 pound
1-1/2    cups flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2       tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2       tablespoons olive oil, divided
2      cups dry yet mellow white wine, such as Chardonnay
1/2    lemon
Flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, to garnish (optional)

1 . Cut the artichoke hearts in half lengthwise. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces, about 1 inch to a side. In a medium bowl, mix the flour with about 1 teaspoon salt and a generous quantity of black pepper. Toss the chicken pieces in the flour.

2 .Set a large skillet (at least 12 inches wide) over medium-high heat. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the artichokes. Cook for about 5 minutes or until lightly browned on each side. Remove the artichokes from the skillet and transfer to a plate. Set aside.

3 .Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter in the skillet along with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Lift the chicken pieces out of the flour and arrange in the skillet. Sauté the chicken pieces for 5 to 7 minutes or until well-browned on both sides. (For best flavor, look for a golden crust to develop, and make sure both sides are browned.) Add the browned artichokes back to the pan.

4 .Pour in the white wine and and stir and scrape up any bits on the bottom of the pan. Bring to a simmer and let it simmer for 8 to 10 minutes over medium heat. The sauce will thicken. Stir well to coat everything with the wine sauce. Stir in a few squeezes of fresh lemon juice.

5 .Serve with pasta or couscous. Garnish, if desired, with finely chopped parsley.

A proud grand-poppa                  G.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016


Brown Butter Apple Cider Donuts

If your family are donut lovers like mine but one or two are on special diets...also like mine...this recipe is okay. I use Becel instead of butter and you could probably use a sugar substitute as well, although I have never tried that. They are also baked instead of fried, but you will be surprised at the lovely apple cinnamon taste and fragrance. I have a donut tin but if you do not, you could use a muffin tin and have donuts without holes or come up with your own imaginative idea. How about using ramekins with a tightly rolled piece of tinfoil in the middle? Anyhow, they are an awesome treat. The recipe is adapted  from :
 Joy the Baker The Little Epicurean


1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, browned and slightly cooled
1 large egg
1/4 cup apple cider
1/4 cup whole milk
1/2 cup peeled and shredded apples
Apple Cider Glaze:
2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp whole milk
2 Tbsp apple cider 


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat donut pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar.
In a small saucepot, melt butter over medium heat. Continue to cook until butter until butter smells nutty and fragrant. The milk solids in the butter will turn rich brown in color. Remove from heat and allow to cool in small bowl.
In another bowl, whisk together egg, apple cider, and milk. Add wet mixture to dry flour mixture. Pour in cooled butter. Follow with grated apples. Stir to combine but until there are no more dry streaks of flour. Do not overmix.
Spoon batter into prepared donut pan. Fill molds almost to the top with batter. Bake for 8-10 minutes until donuts have puffed. Remove from oven and allow to cool in donut pan for 3 minutes before inverting and unmolding. Allow donuts to cool to room temperature on wire rack.
To make cider glaze: whisk together confectioners' sugar, ground cinnamon, milk, and apple cider until smooth. Allow to sit for 3-5 minutes to thicken. Stir before using. Dip cooled donuts into glaze. Place glazed donuts on wire rack to allow glaze to set.

Enjoy the praise...You are a 'Kitchen Goddess'

Monday, March 14, 2016

Chicken Thighs with Pasta

This stovetop-to-oven method yields crisp, dark-golden skin and juicy, tender meat.

 Makes 6 servings

4       pounds skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs ( you can use leg quarters)
2      teaspoons kosher salt
1      teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2   teaspoon paprika
2      teaspoons vegetable oil
8      ounces cellentani pasta  [ or the type of pasta  you prefer ]
1      cup chicken broth 
Arugula Pesto {optional }

1.    Preheat oven to 400°. Sprinkle chicken with salt, pepper, and paprika.

2.    Heat oil in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over high heat until oil just begins to smoke.

3.    Place chicken in skillet, skin sides down; reduce heat to medium-high, and cook 15 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate; discard drippings.

4.    Prepare pasta according to package directions. Toss with chicken broth and 3 Tbsp. Arugula Pesto. Add pasta mixture to skillet. Place chicken, skin sides up, on pasta.

5.    Bake at 400° for 25 to 30 minutes. Dollop with additional Arugula Pesto.
Olives & Caperberries: Omit pasta, broth, and pesto. Prepare as directed through Step 3. Cut 1 lemon into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Stir together 1 cup pitted large Spanish olives, 1 cup large caperberries with stems, 1/4 cup coarsely chopped almonds, and 1/4 cup dry white wine in skillet; add lemon slices. Place chicken, skin sides up, in skillet. Bake as directed. Sprinkle with parsley.

Poblanos & Onions: Omit pasta, chicken broth, and pesto. Prepare recipe as directed through Step 3. Place 3 large poblano peppers, seeded and chopped, and 1/2 large white onion, chopped, in skillet. Place chicken, skin sides up, in skillet. Bake as directed. Remove from oven, and top with 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro and 1/4 cup crumbled queso blanco.

Potatoes & Rosemary: Omit pasta, chicken broth, and pesto. Prepare recipe as directed through Step 3. Place 2 lb. small fingerling potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch-thick pieces, in a single layer in skillet, and sprinkle with 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary and 1/4 tsp. salt. Place chicken, skin sides up, in skillet, and sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary. Bake as directed.
TIP :Add ingredients  to this dish and make it your own this recipe  your own.
Heart healthy

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Pork Chop One Dish Dinner

I serve it with salad, soup and bread. The apple juice gives the pork a wonderful flavor, and the cabbage taste isn't too strong. 

Prep: 20 min. Bake: 1-1/2 hours MAKES: 8 servings

1/3       cup all-purpose flour, divided
Salt and pepper to taste
8         boneless pork loin chops (1/2-inch thick and 4 ounces each)
1/4     cup butter, cubed
2        cups apple juice
2        pounds small red potatoes
1        pound or 1 jar (16 ounces) small whole onions, drained
1        pound carrots, cut into 3-inch pieces
6        cups shredded cabbage

1 .  In a large resealable plastic bag, place 1/4 cup flour, salt and pepper; add pork chops. Seal bag; toss to coat. In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, brown chops in butter on both sides. 
2 .  Remove pork chops; set aside and keep warm.
3 .  Stir remaining flour into pan drippings until blended. 
4 .  Gradually whisk in apple juice. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
5 .  Return chops to pan; add the potatoes, onions and carrots. Cover and bake at 350° for 30 minutes.
6 .  Top with cabbage; cover and bake for 50-60 minutes longer or until a meat thermometer reads 160° and vegetables are tender, basting occasionally with juices. 

TIP : You can half the recipe for smaller families .
Heart healthy

Maxy sez : Have Diabetes? Protect Your Heart

By Om P. Ganda, MD, Special to Everyday Health

If you have diabetes, heart disease can be a serious concern. The good news is there are steps you can take to reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease. Here are seven tips I share with my patients.

1. Control Your Weight
Being overweight or obese increases your risk for heart disease, and if you have diabetes, then you are at an even higher risk for cardiovascular complications. One of the most important things you can do to prevent these complications is to maintain a healthy weight. If you are overweight, talk to a registered dietitian about healthy ways to lose weight.

2. Get Regular Physical Activity
The American Heart Association (AHA ) and the American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommend a minimum of 30 minutes of daily exercise, such as going for a walk, at least five days per week. To begin incorporating physical activity into your routine, build a plan that works well for you and meets your needs. If you don’t have 30 continuous minutes for exercise, try integrating 10 to 15 minute intervals of physical activity into your schedule, which research shows is just as effective.

3. Don’t Smoke
If you already smoke, then make plans to begin a smoking cessation program. Nicotine narrows and restricts blood vessels; diabetes will do the same thing, effectively doubling the negative effects to your vascular system. Remember — while you can’t change having diabetes, you can stop damage caused by nicotine.

4. Maintain Good Glucose Control
Good control of your blood glucose levels can prevent many complications from diabetes, including the damage high blood glucose can do to your blood vessels. To protect your heart, try aiming for an A1C reading of less than 7 percent, or as advised by your healthcare provider. At Joslin, we recommend eating fiber-rich foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to help you achieve this goal.

5. Lower Your LDL ‘Bad’ Cholesterol
The ADA recommends an LDL cholesterol goal of less than 100 mg/dl, and your LDL levels should be even lower if you have heart disease, or are at high risk for heart disease. In addition to a healthy diet plan, most people with diabetes need to take a statin pill to further reduce their risk for heart disease. If you have high triglycerides, it can be beneficial to incorporate fish into your diet. Be sure to ask your health care provider about omega-3 fish oil supplements.

6. Control Your Blood Pressure
People with diabetes should aim for a blood pressure reading of less than 140/90, according to recently revised guidelines by the Eighth Joint National Committee (JNC 8). These new guidelines have also been adopted by the ADA. At Joslin, we suggest an even lower blood pressure reading of 130/80 in younger people, or if you have any indication of kidney disease. Reducing your salt intake and starting a healthy diet program should be part of your treatment program, as well as taking any medications as advised by your healthcare provider.

7. Consider Taking a Daily Aspirin
The ADA recommends a low dose (81-162 mg) aspirin daily for everyone with heart disease. Also, most men age 50 and women age 60 or older may need a low-dose aspirin daily.

While the risk of developing heart disease as a diabetes-related complication can be frightening, following these seven tips will significantly decrease your risk for developing cardiovascular disease in addition to improving your overall health.

Om P. Ganda, MD, has been engaged in clinical diabetes research for more than three decades. He directs the Lipid Center at Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, where he treats patients with complex issues related to elevated cholesterol and triglycerides. He is also studying why patients with type 2 diabetes have increased susceptibility to elevated cholesterol and heart disease. He serves as a co-investigator on several ongoing clinical trials to identify better ways to treat people who have difficulty with exercise and diet control. Dr. Ganda is also an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Care for Something a Little Hot and Spicy ? Jerk Chicken With Corn Muffins

Okay, It's not quite that hot



2 bunches scallions, trimmed
2tablespoons paprika
1 1/2tablespoons garlic powder
1 1/2teaspoons ground allspice
1teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4teaspoon cayenne pepper
1teaspoon kosher salt
1/4teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2tablespoons olive oil
juice of 1/2 lime
2tablespoons molasses
1 4-pound chicken, cut into pieces
1 8.5-ounce box corn muffin mix
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
lime wedges (optional)


  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Thinly slice the dark green tips of 4 scallions; set aside. Place the remaining scallions in a roasting pan. 
  2. In a small bowl, combine the paprika, garlic powder, allspice, nutmeg, cayenne, salt, black pepper, oil, lime juice, and molasses. Spread the spice mixture over and under the chicken skin. Place the chicken on top of the scallions. Roast until the chicken is cooked through, about 45 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the corn muffin mix according to the package directions. Stir in the jalapeño and reserved sliced scallions and scrape the batter into a greased 8-inch-square pan. Place in oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve the chicken with the roasted scallions, corn bread, and lime wedges, if desired.
Some of my family do not like highly spiced foods, But they thought this was pretty good. I accept that accolade and may try a few more hot and spicy recipes on them. At least it will clear their sinuses

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Food for Thought : March is National Kidney Month

      March is National Kidney Month and the National Kidney Foundation  is urging all Americans  to get a kidney checkup. According  to the foundation's website , approximately  26 million people  in this country suffer  from chronic  kidney disease . And unfortunately , many people  do not know  they have kidney  because  often there  are no symptoms  until the disease  has progressed . Kidneys are  small bean-shaped  organs , about the size  of your  fist . They're responsible  for filtering your  blood  and ridding your  body of waste . They also regulate  many vitamins , minerals and electrolytes  such as calcium  and potassium . Although  kidney disease  is on the rise  , we don't hear as much about it  in the media . Some of the  risk factors for kidney disease  include : high blood pressure  , heart disease  , obesity , family history  and over the counter  pain medications . Celebrate  National Kidney Month  with the following  tips  to help keep your kidneys  healthy .

      Stay hydrated  by drinking  plenty of  fluids  . Watch your intake of salt .

      Know the signs  and symptoms  of  kidney disease  and report them to your  doctor . Fatigue  , weakness , difficult or painful urination  , increased thirst , swollen face , hands , abdomen or feet , pink or  dark urine  and increased thirst  are all signs  and symptoms .

      Monitor your  blood pressure  , cholesterol  and  glucose  {blood sugar}.

      If  you have  a family history  or  are at risk  for kidney  disease  , get a check-up by your  doctor .
                                          Chicken ‘n Orange Salad Sandwich
Lunch, Low Phosphorus, Low Potassium, High Protein, Low Sodium                            Makes  6 servings 

1       cup Chopped cooked chicken 
1/4    cup Onion (finely sliced) 
1/2    cup Celery (diced) 
1       cup Mandarin oranges 
1/2    cup Green pepper (chopped) 
1/3    cup Mayonnaise

1. Toss chicken, celery, green pepper, and onion to mix.
2. Add mandarin oranges and mayonnaise.
3. Mix gently.
4. Serve on bread.

A proud grand-poppa         G.