Archive for the ‘This & That’ Category


There are few spice blends that I use more than Pumpkin Pie. It’s so good in everything – from my Pumpkin Protein Shake, to Greek-style yogurt, cheesecake, quick breads, spice cookies, sprinkled on oatmeal…the list goes on and on.

The one that you can buy is good in a pinch…but nothing beats the hand-picked cinnamon, freshly grated nutmeg, high-quality ginger and all the LOVE that goes into making your own!

I know there are higher-end places you can buy spices, but I love Penzey’s. They are super fresh and affordable, and have a big variety.

Making your own blend means you can choose the flavors you love to dominate, add just a touch of this or that and go heavy on something else. This recipe is the ratios that I love – add, subtract…use a stronger or milder cinnamon – whatever makes you happy in your heart!
For the standard, Libby’s-everybody-loves-it pumpkin pie recipe (two pie-big can) I use 3 1/2 teaspoons of the mix.
12 teaspoons China Cassia cinnamon (this is my fave, but any will work)
6 teaspoons ground ginger
3 teaspoons cloves
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 rounded teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg  (makes a huge difference!)
Combine all and store in an airtight container.  Keeps at least six months.






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Perfect timing!

This is one of my very favorite summer recipes…and right now, where I live, the berries are big, sweet, and fabulous!

No Strawberries?  No worries.

Use any berry (raz, black, blue), fresh nectarines or peaches.  But Make This Pie!

Click for recipe:


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I’m really not that overcome with the need to watch the game, but I don’t mind making snacks for those who do.  If you’re short on ideas here’s a few that would be a good addition to the table.

Even those who don’t necessarily want to eat “healthy” won’t know the dif.  It’s just good food!

ROASTED TOMATO BRUSCHETTAtoast a baguette and pile it around a bowl of this…so, so good.

AVOCADO DEVILED EGGS – Easy, easy and fun!  Make lots…they’re also addictive.

ARTICHOKE-SPINACH DIP-STUFFED MUSHROOMS – This is one of my ALL time favorite things to eat – and I don’t really care for mushrooms.  Leftover dip can be baked and served with whole grain tortilla chips.

BAKED SANTE FE BEAN DIPA friend’s boys call this “crack” dip…it’s always good and one of the first things to disappear.  A big bowl of  Frito’s Scoops for the carb-lovers, and on a plate with a pile of avocados and sour cream stirred in for us.  WOW.

LAYERED GELATIN DESSERTYUM!  Do it in your team colors – maybe…

MOCHA CAKENumber One, hands-down favorite cake that I make.  (You can halve the recipe very easy, if needed.)  Serve simply with whipped cream – nothing else needed, at all.

BANANA-CHIP BARSEveryone loves these.

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New Year’s Soup…

Whether it’s your  tradition to eat Black Eyed Peas on New Year’s or not…this soup will be a welcome weapon against the cold and blustery winter!

This would be great with a pan of cornbread for your family and you can eat on the leftovers (which are always better IMHO!) all week.  (Click below for the recipe.)

May this new year of life be filled with joy and happiness, prosperity and health!



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