Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Salad --- Drink- Dessert- for Light Dinners

Celery - Butter Bean - Tuna  Salad
Total time: 30 Minutes   Serves: 4
Big, creamy butter beans give a tuna and celery salad terrific heartiness. The salad would also be delicious spooned over slices of warm grilled country bread.

2        tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2        teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4    cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4    cup snipped chives
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
4        3-1/2-ounce cans Italian tuna in olive oil, drained
3        celery stalks with leaves, thinly sliced on the bias
2       15-ounce cans butter beans, drained and rinsed
1-1/2   tablespoons drained capers

1 .  In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice with the mustard, then slowly whisk in the olive oil. Stir in the chives and season the lemon-mustard vinaigrette with salt and pepper.
2 .  In a large bowl, gently toss the drained tuna with the sliced celery, butter beans and capers. Add the lemon-mustard vinaigrette and toss to coat the salad. Season the salad with salt and pepper and serve at once.
Serve with Crusty bread.

Crisp, citrusy Sauvignon Blanc.

                                      Makes 1 drink
This cocktail's name is a play on both the Spanish word for watermelon, sand?a, and "incendiary," referring to the peppery tequila and the spicy ancho chile rim.

1      teaspoon ancho chile powder
1      teaspoon kosher salt
1      teaspoon sugar
1      lime wedge
2      ounces blanco tequila
2      ounces watermelon juice
1/2     ounce fresh lime juice
1/4    ounce Simple Syrup

MAKE THE COCKTAIL In a small bowl, mix the kosher salt, sugar and ancho chile powder.

 Moisten the outer rim of a highball glass with the lime wedge and coat lightly with chile salt. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add all of the remaining ingredients and shake well. Fill the highball glass with ice and strain the drink into the glass.
Berries with Lemon-Thyme Sorbet 
Prep: 20 Minutes    Total time : 3 Hours    Serves: 4
Endlessly versatile, flavored syrups can be churned with ingredients like pureed fruit, fruit juice or fresh herbs in an ice cream machine to make sorbet. 

Lemon-Thyme Syrup
6       ounces strawberries, halved, or sliced if large
6       ounces raspberries
6       ounces blueberries
6      ounces sweet cherries, halved
Thyme sprigs, for garnish

1 .  Pour the Lemon-Thyme Syrup into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. Transfer the lemon-thyme sorbet to a plastic container, cover and freeze.
2 .  Shortly before serving, in a bowl, toss the berries with the cherries. Scoop the sorbet into bowls. Spoon the berries on top, garnish with the thyme sprigs and serve.
The sorbet can be frozen for up to 3 days.
Heart healthy

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Bad Lip Reading of Star Wars

Hey! This isn't the Star Wars I remember! 

Maxy sez : Drinking and Type 2 Diabetes ---Have a safe Memorial Day

 By Marijke Vroomen-Durning, RN | Medically reviewed by Pat F. Bass III, MD, MPH

Alcohol doesn't have to be off-limits if your diabetes is controlled, you're otherwise healthy, and you know how to handle your blood sugar when it veers off path.
Popping a champagne bottle, clinking glasses for a toast, or sharing a beer with friends are time-honored rituals. If you have type 2 diabetes, does this mean those rituals can no longer be part of your life?

Type 2 Diabetes: Questions:

You should ask yourself these three questions before you consider drinking alcohol:

Is your diabetes under control?
Do you have any other illnesses that could be made worse by drinking alcohol?
Do you know how to manage your blood sugar if it dips too low or rises too high  ?
If your diabetes is not controlled; if other illnesses affect your liver, your heart, or your nerves; or if you don’t know what to do if your blood sugar fluctuates too much, alcohol may cause some significant side effects.

Finally, if you didn’t drink alcohol before you were diagnosed with diabetes, you probably shouldn’t start now.

Regular drinking can also interfere with good diabetes self-care. A large study of nearly 66,000 patients with diabetes found that the more patients drank, the less likely they were to adhere to important self-care behaviors like getting enough exercise, not smoking, eating a healthy diet, and taking their diabetes medications.

Type 2 Diabetes: Your Physician’s Input :

Kathy Honick, RN, CDE, a diabetes educator with Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, says people with type 2 diabetes should talk with their physician about how often — and how much — they drink.

If you’re healthy and your doctor doesn’t see any reason why you can’t drink alcohol, as always, moderation is the key. Robert Ruxin, MD, an endocrinologist in Ridgefield, Conn., says moderation means “limit to one alcoholic drink equivalent per woman and two per men, if they’re used to it,” each day. A "drink equivalent" is one beer, six ounces of wine, or 1½ ounces of hard liquor.

Type 2 Diabetes: Why the Fuss About Alcohol?

Your liver plays a role in balancing your blood sugar-to-insulin ratio when you’re not eating or drinking. Dr. Ruxin explains, “Alcohol slows down your liver’s ability to produce sugar during the fasting state or overnight, which is when our sugar levels drop to the lowest [level.]”

Honick adds that if you drink alcohol before you’ve eaten, your blood glucose level will start dropping, and that’s a problem. “The liver will be unable to release the necessary glucose into the bloodstream to correct it because it has to focus on clearing out the alcohol first.”

So, before having that drink, Honick suggests that you prepare for it. Have a balanced meal or a snack that has protein, carbohydrate, and fats in it beforehand. You need the food to provide sugar to your body, counteracting the alcohol’s effects.

Type 2 Diabetes: Precautions:

If you are going to have a drink or two, there are some precautions you should take to reduce the risk of low blood sugar, also called hypoglycemia. Aside from eating, as Honick suggests, they include:

Take your glucometer with you so you can monitor your blood sugar levels.
Be sure your companions know how to recognize the signs and symptoms of low blood sugar and what to do if they see them.
Because glucagon, an emergency shot some diabetics carry to inject if their sugar gets too low, doesn’t work if you have alcohol in your blood, make sure someone knows to call 911 if you become unconscious.
Wear a medical alert bracelet or some other type of identification that notifies emergency personnel of your diabetes.
Having diabetes doesn’t mean you have to give up those time-honored rituals. But it does mean you need to prepare and be careful.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Food for Thought : Memorial Day --- Remember Why !

                        Significance of Memorial Day 2016
Memorial Day 2016 formally known as Decoration Day, is a federal holiday observed yearly on the last Monday of May. Memorial Day 2016 is a day that commemorates all men and women who have died while serving in the military for the United States of America. 

                        History of Memorial Day:
The history of Memorial Day 2016 dates back to the American Civil War. It started as an event to honour soldiers who had died during the war. It is said to be inspired by the way people in the Southern states honoured the dead. The original national celebration of Decoration Day took place on 30 May 1868. There was over twenty four cities and towns across the United States that claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day. Waterloo (New York) was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966. In the late 19th century, the holiday (previously known as Decoration Day) became known as Memorial Day and was expanded to include the deceased veterans of all the wars fought by American forces. Originally, the holiday used to be celebrated on May 30, regardless of the day of the week that it fell on. In 1968, the Uniform Holidays Bill was passed and as a result the day changed. 

                    Traditions of Memorial Day:
Traditionally Memorial Day is viewed as a time of honour and remembrance. Throughout the United States it is common to visit cemeteries, particularly military ones, and decorate graves of the deceased with flowers, small flags and wreathes. Other common traditions of Memorial Day 2016 that are still practiced today include the raising the U.S. flag quickly to the tops of flagpoles, slowly lowered to half-mast, and then it is raised again to full height at noon. The lowering of the flag at half-mast is meant to honour the fallen soldiers who have died for their country over the years. While re-raising the flag is meant to symbolize the resolve of the living to carry on the fight for freedom so that the nation’s heroes will not have died in vain. On the United States Capitol Building’s West Lawn, a Memorial Day concert is held annually and is broad casted live around the country. Additionally, there are thousands of Memorial Day 2016 parades all across the country in cities small and large. Many will wear or put on a display of red poppies on this day as a symbol of fallen soldiers. This tradition grew out of the famous poem by Canadian John McCrae known as ‘In Flander’s Fields’, where Moina Michael conceived an idea to wear red poppies on Memorial day in honour of those who died serving the nation during war. 

                          When is Memorial Day 2016:
Slaw with Poppy-Seed Dressing
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1-1/2 teaspoons honey
1-1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1-1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup thinly sliced green cabbage
1 cup thinly sliced red cabbage
1/2 cup pre-cut matchstick carrots

Combine first 8 ingredients (through pepper) in a bowl. Add cabbage and carrots; toss to coat.
                                                          Strawberry-Lemon Mojitos
My son is the mixologist in the family  , this is a a smoothing  drink  for  relaxing  outside   . Strawberries sweeten these mojitos . "This is a great drink when you're in the mood for something fruity," says Simo. Use a molasses-based rum (like white Brugal) for a smoother drink, or a sugarcane-based rum (such as white Barbancourt) for a drier cocktail.
8 lemon wedges
24 mint leaves, plus 4 mint sprigs, for garnish (optional)
4 strawberries, plus 2 halved strawberries, for garnish
Ice cubes, plus crushed ice
8 ounces gold or aged rum
3 ounces fresh lemon juice
2 ounces prepared sugarcane syrup or agave nectar
In a cocktail shaker, muddle the lemon wedges with the whole strawberries and mint leaves. Add ice and the rum, lemon juice and sugarcane syrup; shake well. Strain into crushed ice–filled highball glasses. Garnish with the berry halves and mint sprigs.

Memorial Day 2016 is a federal holiday and falls on the last Monday of May. The date of the Holiday changes each year but always remains on a Monday .

A proud grand-poppa     G .
Stay safe  and  drink responsibly -- always  have a designated driver .

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Maxy sez : Who Should Make Up Your Diabetes-Management Team?

Your primary-care physician, endocrinologist, podiatrist, eye doctor, and dentist should be on your diabetes-management team. In addition, you should find a certified diabetes educator who can teach you about nutrition and care specific to diabetes.
Which specialists should be a part of your diabetes-management team?

Ping H. Wang, MD: Patients can manage their diabetes with a team that includes a physician, a diabetes educator, and a dietitian. The following specialists can also be part of a patient's management team: endocrinologist (hormone system), podiatrist (feet), optometrist/ophthalmologist (eyes), and dentist. Patients with long-term diabetes or complications may require the care of one or more of the following specialists: neurologist (diabetic neuropathy), nephrologist (kidneys), or other specialists. Controlling blood sugar, blood pressure, and lipid levels is proven to delay or thwart complications altogether.

Melissa Meredith, MD (with assistance from Barb Uselman, RN/CDE, and Carol Sargent, RD/CDE) : Diabetes is a chronic and potentially complicated disease that is best cared for by a team approach. The typical core members of the team are: the primary care provider and staff, certified diabetes educator (CDE), registered dietitian (RD), pharmacist and most importantly, the patient. Other members may be needed for some patients including: endocrinologist (for type 1 diabetes and complicated type 2 diabetes), ophthalmologist (for yearly eye exams), kidney specialist, cardiologist, neurologist, and/or mental health worker.
A diabetes doctor (endocrinologist) to assess and prescribe the best medicines for you

A certified diabetes educator to help you understand the best way to self-manage your condition (this includes a registered nurse, registered dietitian, licensed clinical social worker, pharmacist, or an exercise physiologist)

A primary-care physician for ongoing prevention and treatment of related conditions

An eye doctor (ophthalmologist or optometrist) for your yearly eye exams

A dentist for your twice-yearly cleaning

A foot doctor (podiatrist) to prevent or treat foot problems

Gretchen Scalpi, RD, CDE: Your team should consist of an endocrinologist or primary-care physician, certified diabetes educator (a registered dietitian or nurse), podiatrist, ophthalmologist, dentist, and any other specialist that a team member suggests for conditions related to your diabetes.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Salad --- Drink --- Dessert --- Add the meat from the Grill

                                           Italian Salad

Total time : 30 Minutes     Make    6 SERVINGS
Part green salad, part antipasto salad, this recipe combines lettuce, celery, onion, peperoncini, olives and cherry tomatoes--all tossed in a dressing made with olive oil, vinegar and a little mayonnaise. 

1   garlic clove, smashed
2   tablespoons mayonnaise
2   tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2   teaspoon dried oregano
1/4   cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
1   large romaine heart, chopped
1   small head of radicchio—halved, cored and coarsely chopped
1/4   head of iceberg lettuce, coarsely chopped
1   tender celery rib, thinly sliced
1/2   small red onion, thinly sliced
1/2   cup cherry tomatoes
1/4   cup pitted green olives, preferably Sicilian
8   peperoncini
2   ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shaved (1 cup)

In a large bowl, mash the garlic to a paste with a generous pinch of salt. Whisk in the mayonnaise, vinegar and oregano, then whisk in the olive oil. Season with pepper. Add all of the remaining ingredients and toss well. Serve right away.
Strawberries sweeten these mojitos . "A  great drink when you're in the mood for something fruity."  Use a molasses-based rum (like white Brugal) for a smoother drink, or a sugarcane-based rum (such as white Barbancourt) for a drier cocktail.
Kids around , omit the liquor , it makes them feel so grown up .  
Lemon - Strawberry- Mojitos 
8     lemon wedges
24    mint leaves, plus 4 mint sprigs, for garnish (optional)
4    strawberries, plus 2 halved strawberries, for garnish
Ice cubes, plus crushed ice
8    ounces gold or aged rum
3    ounces fresh lemon juice
2    ounces prepared sugarcane syrup or agave nectar

In a cocktail shaker, muddle the lemon wedges with the whole strawberries and mint leaves. Add ice and the rum, lemon juice and sugarcane syrup; shake well. Strain into crushed ice–filled highball glasses. Garnish with the berry halves and mint sprigs.

Passion Fruit Ice Cream Pie with a Ginger Crust
Prep : 30 Minutes    Total tome : 3 Hours       serves   8 TO 10
This isn't the kind of ice cream pie you'd make for a kiddie birthday party. Instead of a plain cookie crust,  a crispy, chewy one with crumbled gingersnaps, dried pineapple and candied ginger. And instead of the usual caramel or chocolate sauce on top, prepare a delectable mix of dulce de leche and passion fruit nectar from the supermarket.

1     8-ounce box gingersnaps, lightly crushed
1    dried sweetened pineapple ring (1 1/2 ounces), coarsely chopped
2    tablespoons coarsely chopped candied ginger
4    tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1-1/4    cups dulce de leche (16-ounce jar)
1/2       cup passion fruit nectar (see TIP)
3         pints vanilla ice cream, slightly softened
1/4      cup salted roasted pistachios, coarsely chopped
2         tablespoons shredded sweetened coconut

1 .  In a food processor, combine the crushed gingersnaps with the pineapple, candied ginger and butter and process until fine crumbs form. Press the crumbs evenly over the bottom and 1 inch up the side of a 9-inch springform pan. Freeze until firm, about 10 minutes.
2 .  In a blender, blend the dulce de leche and passion fruit nectar until smooth.
3 .  Spread 1 pint of ice cream in the chilled crust. Using a very small ice cream scoop (2 tablespoons), scoop the remaining 2 pints of ice cream into the crust, leaving some nooks and crannies. 4 .  Drizzle 3/4 cup of the dulce de leche sauce over the ice cream, allowing it to pool in spots. Sprinkle with the pistachios and coconut and freeze until firm, at least 2 1/2 hours.
5 .  Remove the ring and cut the pie into wedges. Serve the extra dulce de leche sauce at the table.
Make ahead :
The pie can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
Look for passion fruit nectar at supermarkets, preferably the Looza brand.

School will be out  soon  , the summer will be  very busy , your family can still have healthy meals .Family loves eating outside in the garden , not much clean up  , fresh vegetables are plentiful . Come back  , we will post more  light  dinners for you .
Heart Healthy

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Maxy sez : Diabetes and Heart Disease Risks You Shouldn’t Ignore

By Athena Philis-Tsimikas, M.D.
Let’s have a heart-to-heart talk about diabetes and cardiovascular health. If you have diabetes, you have an increased risk of serious problems such as heart disease, heart failure or stroke — at least twice the risk of someone without diabetes. Moreover, you are also more likely to develop these problems at a younger than average age, and have more serious heart attacks.

According to the American Diabetes Association, two out of three people with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke.

Here’s one reason why: 
Diabetes is characterized by chronically high blood glucose levels. Over time, these elevated levels can cause fatty deposits called plaque to build up along the walls of your blood vessels, a condition known as coronary heart disease. As the plaque becomes thicker, the blood vessels become harder and narrower, making it difficult for blood to flow freely to the heart and damaging the heart muscle.

Diabetes can also raise the risk of blood clots, which can cause stroke. Stroke happens when the flow of blood to the brain is blocked, depriving brain cells of the oxygen they need to survive.

Diabetes also makes people more vulnerable to heart failure, which impedes the heart’s ability to pump blood efficiently to the rest of the body and can cause shortness of breath and an irregular heartbeat.

More Risk Factors: High Cholesterol, High Blood Pressure, Obesity :
In addition to diabetes itself, people with diabetes are more likely to have other health problems that raise the risk of cardiovascular problems, such as obesity, high blood pressure, or unhealthy cholesterol levels. Obesity and high blood pressure force your heart to work harder than normal to pump blood through your body, which increases your chances of having a heart attack or stroke.

Often, people with diabetes have too much “bad” LDL cholesterol and not enough “good” HDL cholesterol, as well as high levels of blood fats called triglycerides. In people with diabetes, this combination is known as diabetic dyslipidemia and can contribute to coronary heart disease and stroke.

Estrogen helps protect women from heart disease, so women who have not gone through menopause have a lower risk of heart disease than men of the same age. However, diabetes removes this protection — women who have diabetes have an increased risk regardless of age.

You don’t necessarily need to have full-blown diabetes to have a higher risk of cardiovascular problems. Even having prediabetes — blood glucose levels that are higher than normal, but not yet high enough to qualify as diabetes — can raise your risk.

Take These Steps Today to Protect Your Heart :
Having diabetes doesn’t mean a heart attack or stroke is inevitable. You can reduce your risk by taking the same preventive actions recommended for anyone who wants to keep their heart healthy. Eat a heart-smart diet that is high in soluble fiber and low in saturated fat and trans fats. Get at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise most days of the week, and maintain a healthy weight. In addition to benefiting your heart, losing weight can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes, and may even reverse it.

Talk to your physician or diabetes educator about specific actions you can take to help protect your heart and reduce your risk.

Athena Philis-Tsimikas, M.D., is an endocrinologist and the Corporate Vice President for the Scripps Whittier Diabetes Institute at Scripps Health in San Diego.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Sweet Potato Skillet Cornbread

  Buttered and hot, this is a delicious snack or meal   accompaniment. Try it. It works. A very satisfying comfort food. My family is all about comfort foods.

2 cups cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 cup mashed sweet potatoes
4 eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup honey
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice.

In a separate, medium bowl, whisk together the mashed sweet potatoes, eggs, buttermilk, honey and butter. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and stir until just combined.

Pour the batter into a cast-iron skillet; use a spatula to smooth to an even layer if needed. Place in the oven and bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Serve the cornbread in the skillet. It stays hot and moist that way and looks good. Enjoy

Food for Thought : Herbs bring out the flavor

Looking to add a little flavor without a lot of calories or sodium? Add some fresh herbs and spices. Herbs can boost the flavor to your favorite dishes without adding salt and many herbs contain disease-fighting antioxidants.Here are some tips:

   Basil is one of the most popular culinary herbs. Sweet basil is used in salads, sandwiches and soups. Try a simple summer salad made with sliced tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, basil and olive oil, or add basil to tomato soup for a light meal.
   Mint is a very versatile herb and can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. It is often used in fruit and vegetable salads. You can also try adding mint to ice cream, tea, peas, carrots or meats.
   Rosemary is one of the most aromatic herbs you can find. It has a very distinct lemon-pine flavor and pairs well with many foods. Try rosemary with summer vegetables such as zucchini and squash, as an addition to tomato sauce or pizza, and in marinades for chicken and beef.
   Cilantro is an herb that is typically used in Mexican, Latin America, Asian and Indian cuisines. It is best served fresh by adding to a dish just before serving. It makes a great addition to your favorite salsa. It also works very well with other dishes such as summer salads, fruit salads and sweet potatoes.
Herb Garden Salad :
Fresh herbs make this salad an ideal light meal or side.
6 cups sliced thin romaine
1 cup sliced thin radicchio
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
2/3 cup fresh basil, sliced thin
1/2 cup matchstick carrots
1/2 cup diced english cucumber
2/3 cup grape tomatoes, quartered
1 (15 ounce) can artichoke heart quarters
1 small diced avocado
1/2 cup pearl sized mozzarella balls
salt and pepper, to taste
garlic vinaigrette salad dressing  [recipe below]

Toss together the romaine lettuce, radicchio, basil, carrots, and cucumber. Place on a serving platter or salad bowl.
Top the salad with tomatoes, artichoke heart quarters, avocado, and mozzarella balls. Season, if desired, with salt and pepper. Serve with a white balsamic salad dressing, or if unavailable use your favorite homemade vinaigrette.

Green salads don't have to be boring. 
My daughter like to add fresh chopped herbs to the lettuce to add extra flavor and dimension to the dish like in this recipe for Herbed Garden Salad. Adding lots of vegetables and colors makes the salad more appealing too.
Not only are colorful salads more interesting and flavorful, they are healthier as well. It has been recommended that we eat a "rainbow of fruits and vegetables" each day and this salad definitely helps meet those requirements: red tomatoes, orange carrots, green lettuce, herbs and avocado, and purple radicchio. If you want to squeeze yellow in there too, divide the tomatoes up and use some yellow pear tomatoes as well. Those are great!
                                                                        Garlic Vinaigrette :
1 tablespoon chopped serrano chile
3/4 teaspoon salt
6 garlic cloves, crushed
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons anchovy paste
Combine first 3 ingredients in a mortar; mash to a paste with a pestle. Combine garlic paste mixture, vinegar, and remaining ingredients in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.

TIP: Store vinaigrette in refrigerator for up to 1 week.

A proud grand-poppa               G .

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Chicken Cacciatore -----------slow cooker --busy / working cooks

Prep :20 minutes       Total  Time:  3-1/2 hours    Serves 6

3      pounds skinless chicken thighs and/or legs (bone-in; if using boneless, 8 or 9 thighs)
1      teaspoon olive oil
1      cup chopped onion
1      medium green bell pepper, chopped
8      ounces brown crimini or portobello mushrooms, roughly chopped
4      cloves garlic
1     14-ounce can chopped tomatoes
2/3   cup dry wine (white or red)
1       tablespoon Italian seasoning mixture, or 1 teaspoon each oregano, basil, and thyme
Salt and pepper
1/3    cup tomato paste
1       inch of Parmesan cheese rind (optional)

1. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Put in crock pot set to high, and cover. Alternatively, you can brown the chicken in a skillet and then transfer to the crockpot. You can use the same skillet for cooking the vegetables.

2. Heat olive oil over high heat in a large skillet. Cook the onion and green pepper for 2 to 3 minutes, then add the mushrooms. Two minutes later, add the garlic. Cook for another minute.

3. Add the tomatoes, wine, herbs, and more salt and pepper. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, until liquid is almost completely boiled away. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary. If it tastes harsh or acidic, add just a touch of sweetener (one drop of Sweetzfree can do the trick).

4. Add the tomato paste and Parmesan cheese rind, and stir to combine. Spoon ingredients onto the top of the chicken, and cook for 3 hours on high or 6 to 8 hours on low. About half an hour before you are ready to eat, check and adjust seasonings one more time.
Heart hearty

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Comfort food divine - One pot creamy tomato basil pasta bake

One Pot 30 Minute Creamy Tomato Basil Pasta Bake | halfbakedharvest.com

One Pot 30 Minute Creamy Tomato Basil Pasta Bake | halfbakedharvest.com

This is one of those great comfort meals that everyone can love and everyone can make
Every family should have a couple of meatless days a week


  • 1 pound fettuccine
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup chunky basil pesto (store bought is fine)
  • 1-2 (8 ounce) jars of your favorite pasta sauce
  • 1/3 cup enchilada sauce
  • 1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, oil drained
  • 8 ounces sheep's milk feta cheese, crumbled (regular feta is fine, but the sheep's milk is creamier)
  • 6 ounces fontina cheese, finely diced or shredded
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • salt + pepper
  • 6 ounces (or more) fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • fresh basil, for serving
  • grape/cherry tomatoes, halved for serving
  Prep time: 5 minutes
  Cook time: 20 minutes
  Total time: 25 minute
  Serving Size: 4-6

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bring a large pot ( oven safe pot if you have it) of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta to al dente. Drain the pasta and add it right back to the hot pot. To the pot add the butter, chunky basil pesto, pasta sauce, enchilada sauce, sun-dried tomatoes, sheep's milk feta cheese, fontina cheese, cream cheese and heavy cream. Season with pepper and a tiny pinch of salt. Using a large wooden spoon toss everything together until a creamy sauce has formed, about 3-5 minutes. If pot is not oven safe, transfer the pasta to a 9x13 inch baking dish. Place the mozzarella slices (or shredded mozz) on top of the pasta
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, then turn the broiler on and broil for 1 to 2 minutes or until cheese is golden and bubbly.
Remove from the oven and top with fresh basil ribbons. Allow to sit five minutes and then serve with fresh cherry tomatoes.

Honestly it is so good. And it is almost too easy. Enjoy the praise. Dig in!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Hey cubs try these tongue twisters

Say... Peggy Babcock, Peggy Babcock,
 Peggy Babcock, Peggy Babcock,
Peggy Babcock...as fast as you can.
Can't do it huh??

If you stick a stock of liquor in your locker it is slick to stick a lock upon your liquor stock or some joker who is slicker will trick you out of liquor if you fail to lock your liquor with a liquor stock locker lock.

The shortest and hardest tongue twister is saying this five times:
toy boat, toy boat, toy boat, toy boat
toy boat.

Purple paper people.. purple paper people.. purple paper people

She sells sea shells by the sea shore.
The shells she sells are surly sea shells.
So if she sells shells on the sea shore,
I'm sure she sells sea shore shells

If Stu chews shoes, should Stu choose the shoes he chews?

Betty Botter bought some butter;
“But,” she said, “this butter’s bitter!
If I put it in my batter
It will make my batter bitter
But a bit of better butter
Will but make my batter better.”
so she bought a bit of butter
Better than her bitter butter,
Made her bitter batter better.
So ’twas better Betty Botter
Bought a bit of better butter.

Do this one fast

 Red leather, Yellow leather, Red leather, Yellow leather, Red leather, Yellow leather

Three Swedish witches switched Swiss watches. Watch the witches watch the Swiss watch switches.

Shy Sally says she shall sew sheets . Sadly shy Sally sewed sheets shoddily.

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Maxy sez :5 Signs You May Need More Type 2 Diabetes Support

By Athena Philis-Tsimikas, M.D.
For some people living with type 2 diabetes, working with a primary care physician may be all they need to keep their blood sugars under control and prevent complications. But for others, successfully managing diabetes may require more help than a primary care doctor can provide. In such cases, we often refer patients to specialists who can address the specific challenges they’re facing, and help them develop a care plan tailored to their individual needs.

There are a number of reasons we might refer a patient to a specialist. Here are some of the most common:

1. You Need Help Understanding How to Monitor Your Blood Sugar
If you’re just learning how to manage your diabetes, or you need help with questions such as when and how to test your blood sugar — and what the results mean — a certified diabetes educator (CDE) can help. CDEs are specially trained in diabetes care and management, and can teach you how to best care for yourself day to day. Many CDEs are registered nurses and dietitians, and all pass a national test to become certified.

2. You Need Help Losing Weight or Eating Better
Being overweight and having diabetes often go hand in hand. Excess weight can increase your risk for cardiovascular disease, but research has shown that even moderate weight loss can help lower that risk. Whether you need to lose weight, or just want to learn how to make more diabetes-friendly food choices, a referral to a registered dietitian (RD) can be a good first step. Your RD can advise you on your daily dietary needs, how to read food labels and make food substitutions, how to plan for restaurant meals and special events, and more. Your RD can also help with dietary questions if you have cardiovascular disease or other diabetes complications. If losing or maintaining your weight is the goal, we may also refer patients to an exercise physiologist. In addition to helping with weight loss and maintenance, exercise can lower blood sugar, improve the way your body uses insulin, and help manage stress. An exercise physiologist can develop a safe, effective exercise program customized to your needs and interests.

3. You Need Help With Insulin Management
Again, this is where a CDE can provide a wealth of information and guidance. When we have patients who are new to insulin use, are transitioning from injections to a pump, or have other questions, a CDE is our first referral. Many offer classes or one-to-one training.

4. You Want to Talk to Others Who Have Type 2 Diabetes
While your physician is your best source for medical information, talking with other people who have diabetes can provide practical ideas and perspectives that help make living with diabetes easier. This is where support groups come in. Sharing experiences and information can provide encouragement and motivation while reducing stress. Check with your local American Diabetes Association chapter for support groups in your area.

5. Diabetes is Affecting your Work or Personal Life
Diabetes is a physical disease, but it can affect you emotionally as well. It can also impact your work, school, or personal life — especially if you have sick days. When this happens, we refer patients to social workers or counselors who are trained to help you learn to cope with stressful times, and can connect you to other resources for support and assistance.

Most likely, your doctor has a network of diabetes care specialists available, and can put you in touch with the right person to help. Or, check with your local American Diabetes Association chapter for contacts in your area.

Athena Philis-Tsimikas, MD, is an endocrinologist and the corporate vice president for the Scripps Whittier Diabetes Institute at Scripps Health in San Diego.