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I was in the kitchen from the time I was 8 years old and had been cooking ever since, but as my son reached his latter teenage years and after we lost my mom, I just seemed to lose interest in cooking over time and, as with anything you lose interest in, I became out of practice with it. The past couple of years however, since I moved to Oregon, I have been cooking more and more. Now that I am on a very healthy eating regimen I have had to start cooking again in order to make balanced meals and I am not only bringing out the old, family recipes, but discovering so many amazing new ones in the process and loving every minute of it. I want to share them with you because if you are on a healthy plan, it can be tough to find really delicious recipes.  I hope you hwill love them as much as I do.


Wow, I can't believe how fast Thanksgiving rolled around this year...I swear it feels like it was just three months ago.  I'm having mixed emotions this year...sad because I used to always cook this amazing meal with my mother and I miss her so much, but happy that I get to cook for my boys and some very close friends.  Growing up we used to have the canned, gelatinous version of cranberry sauce, but this year a magnificent lady at the garden club gave us a bucket of fresh cranberries straight from the bog.  I am going to make this awesome recipe that I found which incorporates honey in place of the standard white sugar that most fresh cranberry recipes call for.

  • 1 12-oz. bag fresh cranberries (or 3 cups of fresh)
  • 3 large, fresh oranges
  • 1/2 cup raw honey
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated orange zest
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Stir occasionally, for about 15-20 minutes and watch as the sauce thickens.
  3. Refrigerate until cool, it will thicken more and more.
  4. If you prefer a sweeter sauce, add more honey to taste.


Fall is my very favorite time of year, especially here on the beautiful, Pacific coast.  In my constant search for delicious things that I can still eat and enjoy (I miss the Fall baking sessions I used to have), I recently discovered this amazing recipe by Chandice Probst at her website:  Not only is it scrumptious, but it is gluten-free and very healthy, using only whole ingredients.  I didn't have access to the Glutino brand cake or flour mix here locally, however Bob's Redmill Gluten-Free flour mix worked very nicely.  Enjoy!

Gluten-Free Apple Cider Cupcakes
  • 1 (15 oz) bag Glutino gluten-free yellow cake mix (OR 2 1/4 C all-purpose gluten-free flour-Glutino brand works fabulously, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. baking soda, 3 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. xanthan gum, 1 1/4 C sugar)
  • 1/4 C butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 C real apple cider (not from concentrate), divided
  • 1 T cinnamon
  • 4 oz. cream cheese
  • 2 T butter
  • 2 C powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare cupcake pan with baking cups.
  3. In a stand mixer, combine cake mix, eggs, butter, 1 T cinnamon and 2/3 C apple cider together and mix well.
  4. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full. Bake at 350° for 18-22 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  5. While the cupcakes are baking, prepare the frosting.
  6. Beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy.
  7. Mix in the apple cider and 2 tsp. cinnamon.
  8. Slowly add in the powdered sugar.
  9. *If it is too thick, add apple cider slowly.
  10. After the cupcakes have cooled, top with apple cider frosting and a sprinkling more of cinnamon.

I love brussel sprouts and am always trying to come up with new ways to incorporate them into meals.  Last night I came across this recipe on one of my favorite recipe sites: It combines flavors like a well-tuned many elements that work beautifully as one.
Recipe makes 4 serving


4tablespoon(s)olive oil
2tablespoon(s)lemon juice
1teaspoon(s)mustard, dijon
1tablespoon(s)poppy seeds
4cup(s)brussels sprouts, finely shredded
2mediumapple(s), cored and shredded or chopped
1/2cup(s)pecans, chopped and toasted
1/8teaspoon(s)sea salt, to taste
1/8teaspoon(s)black pepper, to taste


  1. In a large bowl, whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, mustard and poppy seeds with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  2. When well combined, add the remaining ingredients and toss well.
  3. Serve immediately.
  4. Note: If serving as 2 dishes just keep the dressing separate until ready to serve.


This is amazing.  I am on a very healthy eating regimen as of late, and I have to say, this is a very healthy recipe.  I love all things pumpkin, and therefore love pumpkin pie however, pie being one of those unfortunate fattening things, this pudding really does make an amazing and gratifying substitution.  I found this recipe on

Pumpkin Pie Pudding

YIELDMakes 4 to 6 servings


  • 1 15-oz. can pumpkin
  • 1 12-oz. can evaporated milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup biscuit baking mix
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Garnish: whipped cream

How to Make It

  1. In a bowl, mix together all ingredients except topping. Transfer to a slow cooker that has been sprayed with non-stick vegetable spray.
  2. Cover and cook on low setting for 3 1/2 to 4 hours. Pudding will start to pull away from sides of slow cooker; test for doneness with a toothpick inserted in center.


This drink is not only healthy, but it has an amazingly light and airy taste to it.  What a great substitute for those sugary and processed drinks we tend to consume all day...they are SO unhealthy for us, especially the "diet" or "sugar free" processed drinks. 

Of course not all things green taste good, but this green drink is bursting with subtle sweet and tarts flavors that blend so well together.  Green drinks are an excellent way to provide much-needed antioxidants and nutrients to your day without having to take so many supplements.


6 - cups of water
1 - large kale leaf
1/2 - lemon
3 - 5 chunks of pineapple to taste
2 tbsp organic chia seeds

Take your knife and "peel" the pineapple...then cut around the core and cut the remaining pieces in to chunks.

Cut a medium-sized lemon in half, remove the seeds and the rind...I leave the part on since I found out it is really good for the small veins in our hands and feet.

Put all ingredients into a blender (don't forget the chia seeds you have pre-soaked and made into a gel-like substance) and blend on high until everything is mixed won't be able to get it completely smooth, but it sort of makes it more fun to drink, not to mention the fiber intake from the consistency.

Serve neat or on the rocks and enjoy...I LOVE this drink and drink it all day.

I love everything pumpkin...I found this amazing recipe at The flavor is beyond scrumptious...It makes an awesome dessert, especially for the holidays...

Granola-Pumpkin Parfait

Nutrition Info
  • Calories: 208.9
  • Fat: 1.7g
  • Carbohydrates: 40.8g
  • Protein: 8.4g


1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice
1 cup low-fat (or fat free) vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup low-fat granola


Combine the pumpkin pie spice and pumpkin in a small bowl.

Layer all ingredients in two parfait glasses.

Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful...I love that song and now that Winter is officially here and the chill has made its way to the marrow of my bones, it's time for more homemade soup.  I love soups...I think we are meant to crave them in the cold, Winter months.  Not only are they tasty and toasty, but they are also great for the frugal  This is such a simple soup but so delicious.  The recipe is for one, but of course you can double or triple the recipe and so on.  I found this one at wicked spatula

Paleo Egg Drop Soup For One
Serves 1
  • 1 cup broth (any kind)
  • 1 teaspoon coconut aminos
  • 1-2 mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
  • Pinch grated fresh ginger (about 1-8 teaspoon) or ground dried ginger
  • Pinch white pepper (about 1/4 teaspoon)
  • 1 egg
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 Bring all ingredients except for the egg to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and cook 1 minute until mushrooms are tender.
  • 2 Whisk the egg in a small cup and slowly pour into the soup while stirring to create ribbons of egg. Taste for salt and add extra if needed
I substituted the green onion for a leek and the white pepper for black pepper, but that just appealed to me a bit more.   ENJOY.

Growing up in a family that consisted of half German cuisine and half good old, down home, southern cuisine, my mother's recipe for halupsi (aka German cabbage rolls) was the bomb...She may haunt me for the rest of my life for sharing her recipe, but I just made a fresh batch and I had to share...they are beyond yummy.

HALUPSI (aka German cabbage rolls)

1 Large head of green cabbage

2 lbs lean ground beef
8 or 9 slices of raw bacon, sliced and diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup cooked rice
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vinegar
2 tbsp bacon grease

Cut the core out of the cabbage, leaving it whole, and steam in a large pot...don't actually cook the cabbage, just let it steam until the outer leaves fall off and are pliable. In a large bowl, add all ingredients together and squish with your hands until mixed well. Pull out a handful of the mixture and roll it up in a cabbage leaf...fold the ends to the middle and secure with toothpicks.  Add the rolls to a crock pot and drizzle the bacon grease and vinegar over the top.  Cook on medium heat for 3 hours or until done.   THESE ARE SO DELICIOUS

** Side note...I had leftover mix today and it made the best hamburger I have ever had...I now have a go-to hamburger recipe...

BEST PUMPKIN SOUP EVER!!! - 10-09-2016

Today I was longing for the taste of pumpkin...I love all things pumpkin...the pumkin-ier, the better...okay that's not a word, but it should be...LOL.  I went for the most beautiful walk in this amazing weather we are having today and because I now live downtown, I decided to explore all the shops on all of the side streets.  I stumbled across a man and wife selling local produce out of their truck and it turns out they have a farm in Allegany, which is where I often trek to visit the waterfalls.  I bought apples that were crossed with pears (an amazing flavor), young turnips, fresh lettuce, kale, green beans and small pumpkins.  When I finally wandered home I cooked up a mess of green beans with bacon and onion that my Virginian grandmother would have been proud of, along with the best pumpkin soup I have ever made.  I found this recipe online at OH SNAP LET'S EAT 

Paleo cream of pumpkin soup
Paleo Pumpkin Soup
Paleo Pumpkin Soup
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can of pumpkin puree (or 15 oz of homemade pumpkin puree)
  • 1 can of coconut milk (13.5 oz)
  • 4 tbsp butter (or coconut oil for no dairy)
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Salt and pepper, as desired by the way, you don’t have to use canned pumpkin puree for this recipe (I was just trying to keep things simple and had an organic can of pumpkin puree at the time), you can make your own pumpkin puree if you would like!  
  • Here’s how to make your own.
  • Instructions.  Heat up a large saucepan and start melting your butter (or coconut oil if you opted for 100% dairy free version).
Paleo cream of pumpkin soup
2.  Once it’s all melted and sizzling, add your chopped onion and garlic.  Cook until the onion is transparent.
Paleo Cream of Pumpkin Soup3.  Add chicken broth, salt, and pepper.   Stir well.
4.  Once the soup is boiling, lower the heat (to low) and add the pumpkin puree, coconut milk, and the spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice).  Stir well. 
5.  Cook for another 5 minutes and you should be set!
6.  For an extra touch of prettiness, after you transfer the soup in to individual bowls, I poured some coconut milk on a spoon and drizzled it over the soup along with some more ground pepper!
I love fall and all of its glorious, ever-changing colors and smells as it morphs from Summer's heat to Winter's cool.  The fresh, cool breeze wafting into my window at night makes my heart yearn for the cozy, comfortable feeling of a cup of smooth, sweet, homemade, hot chocolate and this recipe was absolutely amazing. I came across it at The Ultimate Paleo think the thing that makes it amazing is the blend of fall spices added to the coconut milk, honey and water base.  The subtle taste of star anise gives it such a unique flavor, but it's sooo good.  I hope you will try it and if you try it I hope you love it as much as I do.  This one is a definite keep for me and the start of a new Fall tradition.

  • CuisinePaleo
ServingsPrep Time
4 20 minutes
  • 1/4 cup Cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup Honey
  • 14 oz Coconut milk
  • 2 cup Water
  • 1 Cinnamon stick
  • 1 Anise pod
  • pinch Nutmeg

  1. Put the cocoa powder and honey in a saucepan over medium low heat. Whisk until smooth and add the coconut milk and water. Bring to a simmer, stirring the entire time. Add the cinnamon stick, anise pod, and nutmeg, and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Remove spices and serve.

I was SO craving some fresh green beans today and I happened upon this ingenious recipe courtesy of The picture above is of the dish I made just before I dove into it, and I have to say that it was absolutely amazing!!!  My son and his partner and I moved out of our house this past weekend and into our own respective apartments...I don't think I have worked that hard physically in a long time...I worked up such an appetite... and I hope you will love this dish as much as I do...This one is going into my box of favorite recipes...

Green beans and bacon go together like apples and pie.  The addition of the cashews, onion and garlic just make it even better.

1 lb. Fresh Green Beans – Cleaned and Trimmed
6 Slices Thick Cut Bacon – Cooked Crisp and Crumbled
½ Cup Onion – Diced (About 2 oz.)
½ Cup Raw Cashews
2 Large Cloves Garlic
2 Tbs. Bacon Fat
Salt and Pepper – To taste
(2 Tbs. Peace and Love)


In a large pot of salted water, boil green beans on high heat until crisp-tender.  About 5 minutes.  Drain and set aside.

In a large skillet, over low-medium heat, add bacon fat, onion, cashews and garlic.  Sauté until onion and garlic are fragrant and cashews are toasted.
Add green beans and bacon to pan.  Season with salt and pepper – to taste.  Toss to coat the green beans and sauté 5 additional minutes.

Prep Time – 10 Minutes
Cook Time – 15 Minutes

Servings: 6

Per Serving:
Calories – 131
Protein – 5 g
Carbs – 6 net g
Fat – 7.5 g

***Please note that nutritional information listed on this page is an estimation based on the products I used.  Ingredients and nutritional information can vary greatly between brands.  Always be sure to read labels***


No, you didn't read that wrong...there is a site called Paleo Porn and it has amazingly delicious recipes.  I LOVE brisket but I had never tried to cook one (it is a very expensive cut of meat).  Today, however, I came across Marla Saris' recipe on Paleo Porn and decided it was time.  The secret is all in the dry rub and making sure the meat is slow-cooked and sliced against the grain.  Wow...was I amazed by the spicy goodness of this brisket (I am not a fan of cooked carrots so I left those out):


  • 1 tablespoon ground coffee
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 3-4 lb grassfed beef brisket
  • 8-10 whole carrots, peeled
  • 1 cup organic beef broth


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  2. Combine ground coffee, sea salt, paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin and black pepper in a small bowl. Stir to combine.
  3. Spread half the mixture into the bottom of a 9x13 glass baking dish. Lay the beef brisket on the mixture and press down so the meat is pressed into the spices. Pour the rest of the dry rub over the top of the brisket and using your hands push down and rub thoroughly.
  4. Lay the peeled carrots down under the brisket. Add beef broth to the dish.
  5. Roast the brisket and carrots for 3 hour, covered with foil.
  6. Remove the foil and roast an additional hour uncovered to brown the top. Remove from the oven and let rest.
  7. Slice the meat thin, against the grain, to serve for slices or use two forks to pull and serve shredded. Serve topped with pan juices and roasted carrots.
  8. Enjoy! :)

(Photo property of


A couple of months ago I visited my Dr., whom I love dearly as she is an amazing lady, but she and I were both unhappy with my weight and the effects it was beginning to have on my blood sugar and cholesterol.  I took action by first eliminating sugar (in all forms) from my life, which was tough at first because I love sweets and wine, and also eliminated dairy and grains because I'm so tired of the bloating I get from other digestive issues I have and I want my pants to finally fit.  This then, made it almost impossible to find things to eat.  After researching everything I could get my hands on, I discovered that I liked the Paleo plan.  I now eat only certified organic fruits and veggies and make sure any and all meat is free-range, antibiotic free and GMO free.  I also began to read all labels on foods and drinks and then I looked up the ingredients if I didn't know what they were...they weren't kidding when they said that processed foods were bad for you...especially "diet" foods and drinks.  I am 6 pounds lighter and still going strong.  I already feel SO much better and know that when I go back to the dr. in October, we are going to see markedly improved results. 

This salad is SOOOOO good and so simple.  I found it on  I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do.


  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 1 ripe avocado, halved
  • ¼ sweet onion, chopped
  • juice of half a lime
  • 2 tablespoon cilantro
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 scallions
  • 1 stalk celery
  • cayenne to taste (optional)

  1. Mix all ingredients but the avocado together, scoop into each half of the avocado and enjoy.


I have only recently discovered granita, but it is my new favorite dessert. This recipe is best when using fresh lemons and whole, fresh basil.

What is granita? That was what I wanted to know so I looked it up on Wikipedia who defined it as such, "Granita (pronounced [ɡraˈniːta]; in Italian also granita siciliana[1] [ɡraˈniːta sitʃiˈljaːna]) is a semi-frozen dessert made from sugar, water and various flavorings. Originally from Sicily, it is available all over Italy in somewhat different forms. It is related to sorbet and Italian ice; however, in most of Sicily, it has a coarser, more crystalline texture..."

I found this recipe on and you can click here to take you there:

Only 3 ingredients needed for this company-friendly after-dinner treat. Fresh lemon zest and juice offer a tart flavor that pairs well with the sugar and fresh mint. This summery make-ahead dessert offers a healthy dose of antioxidants from the lemons and basil. Notes: Lemon basil makes a nice alternative to regular basil in this granita. You can make the granita (through step 3) up to 1 week ahead; freeze airtight.
  • Yield: Makes about 3 cups; 6 servings
  • 4 to 5 lemons (1 1/3 lb. total), rinsed
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh basil leaves (see notes)


1. Grate 1 tablespoon peel (yellow part only) from about three 
lemons. Ream juice from enough lemons to make 3/4 cup. 
In an 8- or 9-inch square baking pan, mix peel, juice, and 1 1/2 
cups water.

2. In a food processor or blender, whirl sugar until very fine. Add 
basil and whirl until very finely minced. Stir sugar mixture into 
lemon mixture until sugar is dissolved.

3. Cover and freeze mixture until firm, about 6 hours.
4. Scrape the tines of a fork quickly across frozen mixture to break 
into fluffy granules. Scoop granita into chilled bowls or wine or 
sherbet glasses and serve immediately.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories 96
  • Calories from fat 0.0 %
  • Protein 0.2 g
  • Fat 0.0 g
  • Sat fat 0.0 g
  • Carbohydrate 25 g
  • Fiber 0.4 g
  • Sodium 0.8 mg
  • Cholesterol 0.0 mg


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