Category Archives: Uncategorized

How to Eat Better

 You can eat better.

Healthy Burger with Onion Rings
You can eat better burgers…

Nutty Crunchy Veggie Burger recipe here


Thin Pizza with Arugula

and better pizzas …

 Pizza with Arugula, Cherry Tomatoes, and Prosciutto recipe here


Strawberry Smoothie

and better smoothies …

Strawberry Coconut Smoothie recipe here


Pineapple Icebox Dessert

and better desserts.

Pineapple Ice Box Dessert recipe here

Here are some ideas of how to get started making changes.

1. Decide it's important to you and start thinking about what eating better looks like.  Most people know at least a few things that they are indulging in that is unhealthy for them.  

Although there are many fad diets, here are some healthy-food ideas that are commonly agreed upon by many reputable sources:

* whole grain products are more healthful than processed white flour products 

* fruits are good for you – raw is more healthful than cooking or adding sweetener, cream, etc.

* vegetables are good for you and are best cooked with little or no added sweetener, oil, salt, gravy, etc. –  flavor can be added by using spices

* natural foods are more healthful than processed foods

* oatmeal is one of the most healthful foods to eat for breakfast

* dried fruits and nuts are more healthful snacks than chips, cookies, 

* eating less meat and dairy than the typical American diet is a good idea (Read Eating Animals by  Jonathan Safran Foer)

* getting more of your protein and calcium from plant-based foods is becoming more widely accepted to be  more healthful (Read The China Study by T. Colin Campbell and Thomas M. Campbell II)

* you should eat as little sugar as possible (look up the episode called Sugar on 60 Minutes which aired  twice in 2012).  Also, sugar is sugar is sugar – that means honey, agave nectar, maple syrup, high fructose  corn syrup – it's all processed sugar and can lead to chronic illness and disease (look at this WebMD article on sugar)

* restaurant meals oftentimes has an astoundingly crazy amount of fat, salt and sugar compared to the same foods you would make at home (read Cook This, Not That by David Zinczenko)

2. After reading and thinking about your particular situation and your family's, decide on a strategy.  For example, if you feel that drastically changing your diet is too much, and the above reading has your head spinning, make your healthful changes in small steps. Start with the easiest changes.  Remember, everything is relative. 

3. Psyche yourself out. If you really know you need to eat better, but you are just in a vicious cycle, look at it from a different perspective.  From the Pride perspective:  How do Americans look to other cultures who are poorer than us, but eat healthier, because they have kept the same eating habits of their ancient ancestors who eat healthy, plant-based foods?  From the Anger perspective: How many large corporations are getting rich off our laziness and lack of knowledge about food? They try to trick us, through marketing and packaging, hiding facts about their products that we wouldn't buy if we understood the truth.

4. Stop trying to fool yourself. Is carrot cake good for you because it has carrots and raisins in it?  Are all yogurt products good for you no matter how much added sugar they have? Is a cheesy, chicken, potato chip casserole good for you because it has chicken in it?  Be honest with yourself.

5. Freeze stuff. Find out what healthier foods you want to make, and if you dont' have time to cook from scratch everyday, figure out what meals (or partial meals) you can make ahead and freeze.  Just thaw the night before and cook.  You can freeze homemade soups, healthy sauces for rice or noodles, nutrient-packed smoothies, veggies, pesto, herbs … an endless list.

6. Be prepared. Once you are eating better, the times you are most likely to eat poorly is when you are not prepared.  You're hungry at work at 3:20pm and you don't have heatlhy snacks.  You grab a bag of chips or  eat your co-worker's leftover birthday cake. 

7. And last but not least, give it time. Depending on your commitment, your personality, and personal situation, it could take you anywhere from 6 months to 6 years to meet your goals.  But if it saves you from chronic disease, then it's worth it.  Right?

Cute Dog Pictures

I'm cheating by posting cute dog pictures instead of a recipe.  But if you want a dog biscuit recipe, here.

Lessons from Gracie …

One Eye Open

Always sleep with one eye open.

Dog with Treat on Nose
Keep your treats handy at all times.
A hair of the dog does not help a hangover.  Just chill.
Even if you're really sweet, try to act serious and menacing.  See, I'm practicing. It's hard.
Dog Playing with Bubbles
Practice your bubble play every day for years.  Eventually you will be able to balance a bubble on your nose and the tip of your ear at the same time. It's worth it.

Mother’s Day 2012

 Happy Mother's Day!

It rained cats and dogs today.
No Appalachian Festival for us.
Sorry, Mom.

Mother's Day Riding to Grandma's

Dear Gracie

Relax.  We're not going to the vet.  We're going to Grandma and Grandpa's in Indiana.

410 Water Street

Yes, we're going to Grandma's house, but this is not Grandma's house.  Not anymore.

This is a 2012 photo of a house I lived in when I was in the 3rd grade.  In 1970.

I wrote a short story about it and read it at a public reading on May 2, 2012 at Women Writing for a Change.  The story was aptly called "The House on Water Street."  Alyssa and Jill attended which made it special.  Gracie, you should have been there.  Lots of talented ladies.

Back then, this house looked nothing like it does now.  Picture old paint, no landscaping, and a small, old outbuilding that we used as a clubhouse. We lived in the top floor.  My brothers, Rusty and Mike, and I all slept in the living room.  Both of them have passed away since, the former from an accident and the latter from health problems related to Down Syndrome.

You would have loved both of them, Gracie.  Mike was so sweet and friendly, and Rusty was very energetic and mischevious.

Interesting factoids about the house: 
    There were 5 kids and 2 parents and no bathtub or shower.  We washed up at the kitchen sink. 

    The house was built in 1870, which made it exactly 100 years old the year I moved in.  I had no idea     at the time.

This is an edited version of the photo above, made to look old.

410 Water Street
And it's Grandpa's birthday tomorrow.  He'll be Eighty-One.  Yowza!

Dad's 81st Birthday
So we celebrated today of course.

Here are some photos from around their house today.

Dad's Chess Set


Peanut Butter and Jelly French Toast Sandwich

Peanut Butter and Jelly French Toast

When I was about 17, I decided to marry my two favorite things: Peanut Butter & Jelly and French Toast

I made it the other day for the first time in many, many years.  So I will now share my recipe with you…


Peanut Butter & Jelly French Toast Sandwich

by JennaDish

Make French Toast
Make a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich out of it
Pour syrup over it, and maybe even powdered sugar
Eat it

Congratulations Alyssa



Yay Alyssa!  Great job.  You will be going to Colorado soon for 10 months.  You get to help in disaster areas, build homes with Habitat for Humanity, clear trails, tutor kids, and the like. 

You had just changed your major to Anthropology and was looking forward to finishing college up soon, but that will have to wait.

Dad and Jill and I are happy for you (and sad too).

Chunky Monkey Pops

Chunky Monkey Pops

Nuts, peanut butter, banana, and milk.  A wholesome snack on a stick. 

Chunky Monkey Pops
Compliments of JennaDish

You can use Dixie cups and popsicle sticks.  Place plastic wrap on top of the pop to protect it.

MAKES 8 4-oz pops

1/2 cup ground nuts (walnuts,pecans,almonds,cashews or any combination)
1/4 cup natural peanut butter (or less if you don't want us much of a peanut butter taste)
1 banana plus extra for lining the molds, cut in rounds
1 cup milk (I used almond milk)

Blend ingredients in a blender and divide among popsicle molds.  Push a few banana rounds down into the sides of the cup if desired. Freeze until solid.


Creamy Coleslaw

Creamy Coleslaw
Cole Slaw.  It's not exciting.  But you gotta have it.  Goes with Sloppy Joes.  And barbecue.  And fried chicken.

I don't make coleslaw on a regular basis.  So I actually had to look up a recipe for it.  I tried Martha Stewart's Creamy Coleslaw but I wanted it to be a bit more creamy and sweet.  So I found a Bobby Flay recipe and threw in sour cream and a little bit more sugar. 

Next time I'll cut the veggies much smaller, to be more like KFC's. 

Creamy Coleslaw
Compliments of JennaDish

Adapted from Martha Stewart and Bobbly Flay

1/2 head green cabbage, cut thinly in shreds or chopped finely
2 small carrots or a handful of baby carrots, shredded or chopped in a food processor
2 scallions or 1 to 2 Tblsp onion, chopped or minced (optional)
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
2 Tblsp sour cream
3 Tblsp cider vinegar (or white vinegar)
2-4 teaspoons sugar
pinch of salt and ground pepper to taste (I used 1/2 t salt and it was too salty, so start with a pinch)
1/4 tsp celery seed or to taste (again, start small)

In a medium bowl, whisk all ingredients except cabbage and carrots and scallions.   Mix in vegetables and toss well. Let stand at least 15 minutes at room temperature to soften cabbage, or cover and refrigerate up to one day.  Taste and adjust.



Cream Sherry Pumpkin Bread

Not another Pumpkin Bread recipe!?  I keep trying different recipes looking for something spectacular.

If you have some Cream Sherry and walnut oil laying around you can try this.  However, I wouldn't go out and purchase it for this recipe.  It tastes very good but it's no better than a more traditional version.

I'm just documenting at this point.  As a matter of fact, I don't even want to type out the recipe so I just uploaded a scan of the cookbook pages.

Download Cream Sherry Pumpkin Bread

Yum 2010




Pizza Pie at Ignazio's by Brooklyn Bridge




Ny trip 108

Ny trip 113

Giant Cookie and Chocolate and Pear Tart

Ny trip 051
at Think Coffee Shop across from NYU

Ny trip 117Ny trip 127

Main Store – Soho

Ny 032 Ny 036Ny 041

Italian Restaurant in Hell's Kitchen 

Ny 098

China Town …

Ny trip 173Ny trip 180


Hoboken, NJ …


Carlo's Bakery from "The Cake Boss" on TLC


Milford …





Columbus, Indiana …




Nashville, Indiana …




At Home …














Chocolate Eclair Dessert