Sunday, July 29, 2012

A Quick Healthy Dinner

So the other night, I took the boys to Hardee's for dinner.  I didn't want to eat there, but I like to spoil them every once in a while with fast food - they love it.  Anyway, I was very hungry, and I wanted to make something healthy, quickly.

I came up with a "soup" that I created out of staples in my pantry.  I wanted a quick healthy dinner that was low in carbs, calories, and fat.  This is what I came up with.

Seafood Pasta "soup"
2 cups chicken stock
2 nests whole grain angel hair pasta nests
1 small can clams
1 small can crab meat
1-1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
Salt and freshly ground pepper
About 2 cups fresh spinach

Bring stock to boil; add pasta and cook till pasta is almost done.  Add seafood - not drained and warm through - this should only take a couple of minutes.  Add Italian seasoning and spinach.  When spinach is wilted, add salt and pepper to taste and serve.

The only carbs in this dish are from the pasta, and that is whole grain and full of fiber.  I chose angel hair as it cooks quickly, and the serving sizes are easy to figure out.  This dish is very flavorful - light, yet filing and really quite yummy. I have made it twice now, and am really impressed how easily this dinner comes together.  Try something like this next time you are hungry and wanting dinner very quickly!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Buffalo Chicken in the Slow Cooker

About two years ago a friend and I got together and swapped recipes.  She gave me this recipe - Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken.  I tried it soon after I got the recipe, but my slow cooker was anything but, and my chicken was so dry; very close to sawdust.

I haven't tried it again until now.  I have a new slow cooker that actually cooks slowly, so this recipe turned out really well.  The chicken was tender and a bit spicy, but not so much that one couldn't enjoy dinner.

My youngest saw what I was cooking and said, "Hey are we making Buffalo Chicken Pizza?"  I hadn't thought about that, but......sounded like a great idea to me.  We had some Boboli crusts; only problem with those is their high carb count.  Next time I will use a different type of crust.  We put the pizza directly on the grill and cooked them for about 10 minutes.  They were totally awesome.

My husband said that it was the best Buffalo Chicken Pizza he has ever eaten.  The boys scarfed them up, and there isn't anything left of them.  I love when food that is prepared in our house is eaten by everyone, and everyone loves it.  Below is the recipe.  I didn't use the hoagie rolls today, nor did I use the extra sauce.

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken - from the kitchen of one my cooking buddies.

4 frozen, skinless chicken breast halves
1 17.5 oz bottle buffalo wing sauce, divided
1/2 (1 oz) package dry ranch dressing mix
2 tbsp butter
6 hoagie rolls, split lengthwise

1.  Place frozen chicken into slow cooker and pour 3/4 bottle of the wing sauce and the ranch dressing mix.  Cover and cook on Low for 7 to 8 hours.

2.  Once the chicken has cooked, add the butter and shred the chicken finely with two forks.  Pile the meat onto the hoagie rolls and splash with the remaining wing sauce to serve.

I made one change to the recipe.  After I shredded the chicken, I put it back into the cooker with the sauce.

Either way, it is a great use of chicken.  For me and the way I eat, it was a winner.  The chicken and sauce is very low in carbs, and I can totally control how I serve it to make sure that I don't overdue the sugar.  For those watching salt, the buffalo sauce is somewhat high in sodium.

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

Buffalo chicken - see recipe above
Boboli pizza crust or crust of your choice
Cheese - I used cheddar

Place cheese on pizza crust.  On top of cheese, put some of the buffalo chicken.  If there isn't much sauce on the chicken, drizzle a little extra sauce over the chicken and cheese.  Top with cheese and chives.  Place on grill.  We had our grill low to medium for heat, about 400 or a little over.  Cook pizza for 10-12 minutes.  Remove from grill and enjoy!!  Don't forge the napkins!!

For another idea, I thought that a buffalo chicken salad might be tasty too......might have to work on that.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Peach and Blueberry Pinwheels

I bought peaches at Lakeside Orchard in Carlyle the other day - they were so sweet!  My oldest ate one before we even got home.  I decided to try and make a quick dessert with them today using ingredients that I had on hand.  This is what I came up with.

My healthy tip for this dessert is raw or turbinado sugar, which to me is much sweeter than refined sugar, allowing for less sugar to be added.  While I didn't add any sugar to my pinwheels, had my peaches been less sweet, I would have.  Turbinado sugar is made from sugar cane extract.  It looks more like brown sugar than refined white sugar, but the crystals are much larger.

Peach Blueberry Pinwheels

2 thawed puff pastry
3 peaches
1/2 pint fresh blueberries
1 scant tsp cinnamon
sugar - only if needed
vanilla scant tsp
1 egg
1 tbsp water

Pre heat oven to 400 degrees.  Roll out dough to smooth out.  Cut peaches into small pieces - I left skin on.  Roughly chop blueberries.  In a bowl combine peaches and blueberries with cinnamon and vanilla.

Combine egg and water in a separate bowl.  Brush onto rolled out dough using a pastry brush.  Add mixture to dough and roll up like a jelly roll.  Cut into 1/2 inch sections, place on greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until dough is browned.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

For next time, I thought lemon or fresh mint might be a nice addition.  My oldest really liked the pinwheels, and I think they turned out pretty well for making this recipe up on the fly using only what I had on hand.

Friday, July 6, 2012

July 4th Seafood Feast

We go to North Carolina in the summer and hang out on the beach in the Outer Banks.  We also eat tons of seafood every night - fabulous!!  My boys have been after me for days to buy some seafood to eat at home, so in honor of July 4, I decided to take them and get some fresh seafood.
We bought clams and mussels along with a couple of other items.  The boys were introduced to clams in North Carolina and have been wanting to try mussels.  Needless to say, we have added yet another seafood item to their "love" list.

We ordered clams quite a bit in North Carolina, but I was a little disappointed in the lack of dipping liquid with the clams, so when I cooked our clams and mussels, I made sure to have a tasty steaming liquid for the fish.  My youngest wanted melted butter as that is how they are served on the Outer Banks, so I made sure to add butter to my sauce.

When using clams or mussels, be sure to cook only those clams and mussels that are closed tightly - this means that they are alive.  You should also use clams and mussels the day they are purchased.  After they are cooked, discard any that didn't' open during the cooking process.  Be sure to remove the beards of the mussels and clean both the clams and mussels using cold water.

Steamed Clams and Mussels
Clams - I bought 30
Mussels - I bought 2 1/2 pounds
5 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 tsp anchovy paste
1 tbsp olive oil
3/4 to 1 cup white wine
1 cup chicken stock
1 handful chopped parsley
1/2 stick butter with no salt
1 lemon
pinch salt, if desired

Heat olive oil in large skillet with a tight fitting lid.  Add garlic and heat for 1-2 minutes until softened.  Add anchovy paste; stir to dissolve.

Deglaze pan with white wine and stock.  When at a low boil, add clams and mussels, reduce heat to a simmer, cover pot.  Cook until shellfish have opened.  Add butter.  When butter is melted, transfer to a large bowl.  Garnish with lemon and parsley.  Serve with crusty bread.

We had some leftovers, so I decided to make a broth soup the next day.

Seafood Soup - with leftovers

Leftover seafood and broth
1 can clams in juice
2 nests of angel hair pasta

Heat up seafood, broth and clams in a pan over low heat.  While that is heating up, cook the pasta.  When almost al dente, add to broth mixture, combine and serve.

This light leftover soup made for a nice meal after a day at Raging Rivers Water Park.

For nutritional value, 20 clams have about 280 calories and 10 carbs.  They are fat free and full of protein.  Mussels have 48 calories per ounce, 2 carbs, and 7 grams of protein.  They are also low in fat with only 1 gram of fat per ounce. Overall a good seafood choice

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Jakey In June

For the past few years, our community has hosted a BBQ contest called Jakey in June.  At the contest BBQ teams come from all over to not only try to win the BBQ contest, they also sell their food to eager people ready to eat.

This year there were about 27 teams competing in several categories.  Friday night there was the Anything But competition.  This is where teams make anything they want except what will be judged on Sunday morning; chicken, pork, ribs, and brisket.  Judges are given a wide array of food choices - anything from pork tenderloin to fresh seafood.  Having judged this category before, it is a great time and an awesome opportunity to try new and different foods prepared on grills and smokers.

The dessert competition was on Saturday night.  These judges are totally full at the end of their judging stint - full, but happy.  There were many wonderful desserts that I would have loved to try.  I did get to try a few, and wasn't disappointed at all.  The effort that the teams put into their food is amazing, and it impresses me every year.

Sunday morning was judging for chicken, pork, brisket, and ribs.  This event was one I judged.  Each year, I learn more and more about how BBQ judging works, and about how to smoke.  Judging is something I look forward to each year.

My boys entered the burger contest which was on Saturday afternoon.  This is judged as well, and both my boys have fun each year coming up with a recipe that reflects their taste and what they like.  This year the boxes and how they were decorated were judged as well so the boys decorated their burger boxes - that was quite fun for them.

My oldest made a Mexican burger, so we served them as tacos - it wasn't easy to find a taco shell that would still allow the box to close.  My youngest made an American burger, hence the flags as decorations.  The Mexican burger took third place, but all the burgers looked awesome.  We are already thinking up recipes for next years contest.

Mexican Burger

1 lb. ground meat
1 packet taco seasoning mix
1 tsp cumin
1 egg
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
salt and pepper
garlic butter*

Combine meat, taco seasoning, cumin, egg, and cheese.  Make 3-4 burgers.  Salt and pepper each side of burger - don't skimp on this step as it helps make a crust on the outside of the burger.  Put burgers on grill; cook for 4-5 minutes on first side, flip and brush garlic butter on cooked side.  Cook for 3-4 minutes on other side.  If done to your liking, flip and brush other side with garlic butter.

Remove from grill, cut in half and place in taco shell with your choice of condiments.  We used lettuce, tomato, cheese, and sour cream that was seasoned with lime and cilantro.

American Burger - based partially on recipe by James Beard

1 lb. ground meat
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp tabasco
1 minced garlic clove
1 egg
garlic butter*
American cheese

Combine meat, cheddar cheese, Worcestershire sauce, tabasco, garlic, and egg.  Make 3-4 burgers.  Salt and pepper each side of burger - don't skimp on this step as it helps make a crust on the outside of the burger.  Put burgers on grill; cook for 4-5 minutes on first side, flip and brush with garlic butter on cooked side.  Cook for 3-4 minutes on the other side.  If done to your liking, flip and brush other side with garlic butter.  Remove from grill, add American cheese, and serve!

*For garlic butter, I combined granulated garlic with melted unsalted butter.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Pulled Pork Omelette

I am still trying to use up the rest of my pulled pork.  I am also trying new things with it too.  It is easy to just make pulled pork sandwiches; my family loves them, but I want sometimes to just try something a little different for them.  This morning I decided to make my husband a pulled pork omelette.

Looking in my fridge, I found mushrooms, pepper jack cheese, and chives.  Making the omelette is pretty easy.  I mixed up three eggs and put them in a greased skillet set on about medium to medium high heat.  As the eggs cooked, I used a spatula to move the cooked part towards the center, which allowed the uncooked part to hit the skillet.  After the eggs were about 60-70 percent cooked, I added my other ingredients,

Pulled Pork Omelet

3 eggs
1/2 3/4 cup chopped pulled pork
1 large mushroom, chopped
1 tbsp diced chives
salt and pepper to taste

Beat eggs with fork or whisk until fluffy
Add egg to a warmed pan with Pam and add salt and pepper .   As eggs cook bring edges of eggs towards center of pan so that the uncooked portion has a chance to cook.  When eggs are close to getting done, add meat, cheese and veggies.  Flip one half of egg over the other half and finish cooking.  Transfer to plate, top with scallions, season with salt and pepper, and enjoy!!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Pulled Pork Leftovers

Last week we smoked two pork butts and had some friends over for a swimming party.  I am always trying to think of different ways to use the leftover pulled pork - or any other meats that I cook.  I made BBQ spaghetti; see previous post, and sandwiches are always good, but I wanted to try something else today, so I made pulled pork quesadillas for lunch.  They were super easy, tasty, and the boys loved them.

What makes these something I can eat is that first, I can control how much meat I put on the quesadilla as well as the cheese.  The tortillas that I use are high fiber - whole grain tortillas, making them a good carb that won't raise my blood sugar, because the carbs are processed slowly.  Carbs that don't come from whole grains, or simple carbs, go through the system much more quickly and often cause blood sugar to go up.  The tortillas I used have 12 grams of fiber per tortilla - almost a half the fiber that is recommended for a day.

Pulled Pork Quesadillas

Pulled pork leftovers - or any meat that you might want to use
Chicken stock
Leftover rub
Cheese - I used sliced mozzarella and Colby Jack; it is what I had on hand
Olive oil

Heat up flat top or skillet with olive oil to medium high heat.  Meanwhile warm up pork in skillet, using chicken stock to moisten the meat. Add a little rub to enhance flavor of pork.

When pork and flat top are heated through, place a tortilla on the flat top.  Put cheese on tortilla, top with pork and another tortilla.  When tortilla is crisp on one side, and cheese is melted, flip over and heat on other side.  Remove from flat top, cut and serve - yummy!!!

There are many other additions that could be made to this recipe.  For quickness I used meat and cheese only.  It also made for an easy no fuss lunch for the boys, but I thought about adding tomatoes, peppers, onions, or anything else that would go with pork.  Just use your imagination!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Grilled Corn

We had people over for a pool party this past Sunday.  I smoked two pork butts - that was exiting.  Our smoker is on the front porch, and the pork butts were still cooking at 11:00 at night.  I went out on the porch to pull them out of the smoker, and low and behold--------a skunk was checking out my smoker!!  I guess he thought it smelled good.  Luckily he went back into the wood across the street without stinking up the the place.

To go with the pork, I also roasted corn - it was wonderful.  I used the same Big Time BBQ Rub that I used for the pork, combined with butter.  I have used Emeril's Essence in the past, so whatever your choice is will work.

Roasted Corn

1 dozen ears bi-color corn
rub - your choice
butter 1 stick

Clean corn leaving husks peeled back to use as a handle.  Soak corn for 30 minutes in water.  After corn has been soaked brush liberally with butter that has been mixed with rub.  Place on grill so that the husks aren't on the grill.  Grill on high heat, turning often until corn is done - about 20 minutes.  Add more buttered rub as needed during cooking process.  Serve immediately.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Smoked Chicken Drumsticks

So yesterday, I smoked chicken legs, and they were great!!!  They were well flavored - I used the rub from my previous post, and added some homemade BBQ sauce.  They were spicy, tender, smoky, and just plain wonderful.  I love smoking; it is a lot of fun, and the end product is so worth it!!!!  All receipts come from Ray Lampe's cookbook.

12 chicken drumsticks
Big Time BBQ rub
Big Time BBQ sauce - see recipe below

Prepare the cooker for indirect cooking at 275 degrees F, using cherry wood for flavor - I didn't have cherry wood; I used apple.

A half hour before cooking, peel the skin back on the drumsticks and season lightly underneath with the rub.  Pull the skin bak up and season liberally all over.  Leave the drumsticks out at room temperature.  Put them in the cooker after 30 minutes, being sure to pull the skin up and lay them down neatly.  Cook to an internal temperature of 180 degrees F - this should take about 2 hours.  Glaze with the BBQ sauce and cook for another 15 minutes.

Remove from the cooker and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Big Time BBQ Sauce

1 1/4 cup commercial chili sauce
3 cups ketchup
1 cup prepared yellow mustard
1/4 cup worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp salt
1/2 tbsp dried thyme
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cayenne powder
1/2 tsp liquid smoke
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 cup honey
1 cup brown sugar

Combine all the ingredients except the honey and brown sugar in a saucepan and very slowly bring to a simmer.  Remove from heat and add in the last two ingredients.  MIx well and mix occasionally as it cools. Store in a covered glass or plastic container in the refrigerator for up to one month.

If you want to smoke and are hesitant about it, Lampe's cookbooks are great.  They are detailed, yet to the point.  I have had much success using his recipes.  As I get better at smoking, I can start to develop my own rubs and sauces using flavors that my family likes.

Big Time BBQ Rub

In one of my previous posts, I talked about how I smoked pork.  Following in the recipe for the Big Time Rub from Ray Lampe's Big Time BBQ Cookbook.

1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup turbinado sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon granulated onion
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons ground nutmeg

Combine all ingredients, mix well, and store in air tight container.  He recommends that granulated garlic and onion be used - they are a coarser grind, but the powdered may be substituted.


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Father's Day Appetizer

We went to my brother and sister in law's house for Father's day.  They grilled and asked us to bring an appetizer.  Trying to find something new, easy and healthy, I chose a Mexican dip recipe  called Layered Mexican dip that I found at  I know that it is high in carbs, but that is due to the beans which I consider a good carb in that they have fiber and aren't processed.  Now, I know that some will want to use low fat sour cream or low fat mayonnaise, but I would argue that your body actually needs to process the fat that is in those items.  The other thing to take into consideration is that this is an appetizer - don't eat too much!!!  It is had to do though, because it is so good and the mozzarella cheese adds just enough of a difference to the average layered Mexican dip.


Grilling Healthy

We love to grill in the summer, and I found a way to get my kids - or at least one of them to eat veggies.  I make Kabobs!  Kabobs are easy to make - just use the veggies you have on hand.  I had peppers and onions.  What took them to the next level was the marinade I used.  It was an easy recipe using spices that most of us have on hand.

Mediterranean Marinade from Weber's Way to grill

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp granulated garlic
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Mix dry ingredients together, combine with oil.

I used about one pound of kabob meat and all the rub.  It worked very well in a large zip lock bag.  Be sure to marinate for at least an hour.  The smaller cuts of beef don't have to be marinated over night to get maximum flavor out of the marinade.

The marinade was a hit for the family.  The cumin added a smoky flavor, but no heat so the boys really liked it.  The coriander, with its lemony flavor added a brightness to the kabob's flavor.  What I like best about this meal is that it is tasty, easy to make and no carbs, so I don't feel guilty about eating tater tots with it! (ok, just one serving - yummy!!!)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Birthday Cake Key Lime Cake III

I know that I said this would be a healthy blog, but sometimes......

It was my son's birthday, and with his help, we found a recipe for his birthday cake.  He originally wanted a lemon cake, but when we happened across this recipe....need I say more, he had to have it.  I like to refer to it as the Shrek cake, but the real recipe name is Key Lime Cake III that we found on  I don't know what the III really means, but oh well.

Anyway, my other son doesn't like cake, but he really likes Key Lime Pie so he tried it.  He at three pieces; he thought it was that good.  The cake had to be one of the moistest cakes I have ever had, and making it was a blast.  The jello added a great flavor and wonderful color.  Not only was the flavor great and fresh - I love lime, making it was a snap, and it looked great when finished.  Making three layers allowed for a faster cooling time, so making it in the afternoon was no problem.

My son's little get together with family was a success.  I had to give out copies of this recipe to my mother in law and his godmother.  If you want something different, yet very tasty, try this cake.  I know the health quotient isn't there, but once in a while that is ok.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Sometimes it doesn't

I am trying to make different vegetables for my family.  This time I tried a new recipe with brussels sprouts - a vegetable that my husband really doesn't like.  I looked up several recipes and combined two that I thought my family might enjoy. They didn't enjoy the sprouts, but they liked the marinade and said that I should try the marinade on other veggies that they actually like.  I am sharing this recipe because they really liked what was on the sprouts; they just really don't like sprouts.

Brussels sprouts recipe

1 1 1/2 pounds fresh brussels sprouts
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp soy sauce
Parmesan cheese, grated
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients except cheese and place on a sheet pan.  Roast a 350 for 15 minutes.  turn oven up to 400 degrees and roast for another 25-35 minutes.  In the last five minutes, add cheese.  Season with salt and pepper to your taste.  Serve immediately.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sometimes it Works!!!!!

Yesterday we smoked a pork butt - for the first time, it turned out really good.  I followed the recipe from Ray Lampe's cookbook.  I am excited to try again.  Whatever recipe you use, it has been recommended that notes be taken during the smoking process.  While I followed the recipe, I also took notes on the temperature that day, how much wood I used, what time I checked the temperature of the meat, and how it turned out.

With my smoked pork, I made BBQ pasta.  The first time I had ever tried BBQ spaghetti, I was in Memphis with my husband.  I fell in love with it and recreated it at home.  What I made at home though, was very fattening.  This time I tried to be more health conscience.  It turned out very well, and the whole family really liked it.  Instead of BBQ sauce, which has quite a few carbs, I used beef broth as my base.  I ended up with a very light and flavorful pasta dish that really showed off the flavors of the pork.  I used a penne pasta as that was what I had on hand, but I think spaghetti would have been a better choice.

BBQ Pasta

1 lb. whole grain pasta - your choice
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 tbsp tomato paste
1 1/2 tbsp rub from pulled pork
1 quart beef stock
Pulled pork - your choice on how much
Splash half and half
Grated cheddar cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Saute garlic in olive oil for 2-3 minutes.  Add tomato paste and combine.  Add beef stock and bring to a boil.  When stock is boiling add pork and rub and lower temperature to a simmer.  Once meat is heated through, add splash of half and half and combine.  Add cooked pasta and serve immediately with grated cheese on top.

The only change I would make for next time is too add some flour to the oil, paste and garlic.  This would make the sauce a bit thicker.  The whole grain pasta is now a staple in our house - the kids don't even notice a difference.

Till next time!!

Monday, May 28, 2012


I love chicken!!!  I roasted a lot of breasts and thighs the other day.  Some of it I used for chicken salad, some I used in salads for my dinners, and today, I used the rest for chicken sandwiches for my family.  For the boys, I used whole grain buns, but my husband and I decided to forgo the buns and eat some healthy chips with our chicken instead.

With the only carbs coming from the chips, this meal is a no brainer.  The chicken is only about 130 calories, but it does contain some fat - but that is the only fat in the entire meal.  Overall, a great choice for a meal if you are watching what you eat.

Roasted Chicken 
Boneless chicken breasts and thighs
Olive oil
Granulated Garlic
Steak Seasoning

Preheat oven to 425.  Place cleaned chicken on a sheet pan.  Lightly sprinkle with olive oil.  Season with salt, pepper, garlic, and steak seasoning on both sides.  Cook on middle rack in oven for 7-8 minutes on one side; turn chicken over and cook until juices run clear.  Cool and store or serve as an entree.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Lunch by the Pool

For a quick lunch by the pool, I made roasted chicken wings. The recipe is from Emeril's show, Fast Food, Fresh.  The wings themselves are 100 calories a piece, but they were good.  I ate three wings and had a large salad ( the entire wing, less the tip).  This meal was good for me as there were very few carbs - means I can eat some popcorn tonight - and pretty healthy.

I know there was fat in the wings, but our bodies actually need fat, and our bodies need to process fat, so I don't feel bad about eating fattier foods every once in a while.  The only changes to the recipe I would make.  First, I added some Frank's Red Hot Sauce, and second, I will cook them for 20 minutes at 300 and then finish them on the grill next time.  They were good - messy to eat though.

With the wings, I made a salad with spinach, spring mix, olives, tomatoes, bacon, cheese, and Italian dressing.  It was a nice refreshing dressing on a hot day.

Italian Dressing

1/4 cup water
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup sugar - I usually use about 1/3 cup or less
1 packet Italian dressing mix

Combine all ingredients - keeps for about two weeks in the fridge.

What makes this meal work for me is the lack of carbs.  Carbs turn into sugar and cause my blood sugar to rise - they were also the main culprit with respect to my weight.  I didn't know until I started watching my carb intake, that not all calories were equal.  I have learned that eating carbs, especially the simple carbs not only caused my sugar to rise, they also didn't allow me to lose weight.

My New Blog

I have decided to start a new blog that is focused on healthy eating.  About two years ago, my blood sugar levels were high.  Rather than go on medication, I decided to try and change my diet.  It worked.  Not only did I lower my blood sugar to acceptable levels, I also lost 50 pounds.  I feel great, and I eat. I don't starve, and most importantly - especially since I love to cook - I eat very good food.  So join me as I share my recipes with you and the tips I have learned along the way about eating and diet.

More to come soon!!!!