Sunday, April 24, 2016

All about Italy and patio style

Potatoes give more strength when they’re cooked with the peel.
 This is an Italian proverb I picked up in a book that makes me feel like I’m a family friend of Amy Riolo.
The deal is, “The Italian Diabetes Cookbook” is a great read, and hope for the newly-diagnosed that food can still be an adventure.
How can this be? Take Pumpkin Risotto. Olive oil and yogurt replace butter and cream to keep with dietary guidelines.
Chickpea Soup with Rosemary-Infused Shrimp is another pleasure for your table.
 Fascinating tidbits labeled Italian Living Tradition include that how one pronounced the word for chickpeas was an indicator if that person was a foreigner, thus a test for espionage.
More like that: In Roman times salt was heavily taxed, so people imported salted fish that was used as flavoring. Cheese rinds are used to simmer in soups and stews.
I’m loving every page of this book and want to put it in the hands of a diabetic I know, she will cook me everything in this book. Let’s start with Pan-Fried Fennel with Parmesan. I know several Southeast Texas Italians have this “finocchi” growing in their gardens.

Sounds Good This Sounds Good is about feeling good. I don’t know what you’ve heard about Vionic, but I’m finding it to be true. The sandals I can’t wait to get into every evening have “orthotic technology designed to help relieve heel, knee and back pain. My friend has something like seven pairs. The arch support is something you’ll crave. This combo of alignment, “addictive” support, stability and balance is an investment in yourself, that comes with a money-back guarantee for 30 days. By then, you will be addicted. All that entertaining you plan to do by the patio and pool this summer. . . Vionic has your back.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Cake or bread?


Cake or bread?
I ate some cornbread so rich and sweet that people at the table debated if it was cornbread or pound cake. It came from Anna’s Mexican Bakery, where you walk in and grab a tray and tongs and pick your fill of colorful breads, cookies and other sugary delights.
It is at 2570 Calder Avenue in Beaumont.
I went back the next day and snapped a photo to prove that beautiful bread was cornbread. When I say beautiful, I mean that literally. Some breads are decorated with floral designs.

Sweet Poison
Beat sweet poison one meal at a time
Juice Lady advises you to go cold turkey and cut out the sweets. After some detox time, she say’s you’ll feel better and get all kinds of more healthy. Don’t worry. You can still have fruity desserts that satisfy, and she includes recipes.
The book is “The Juice Lady’s Sugar Knockout: Detox to Lose Weight, Kill Cravings, and Prevent Disease.”
I like her style, even though she presents some hard challenges for most of us. But you know author Cherie Calbom is right. Can you do it? I don’t even have a juicer, but I’d be up for something  with a name like this:
You are Loved Cocktail
From the Juice Lady’s Anti-Inflammation Diet
3 carrots, scrubbed well, tops removed, ends trimmed
2 ribs of celery with leaves
1 apple
1 cucumber, peeled if not organic
1 handful of spinach
1 lemon, peeled if not organic
1 half beet, scrubbed well, with stems an leaves
Cut produce to fit your juicer’s feed tube. Juice all ingredients and stir. Pour into a glass and drink as soon as possible. Serves 1-2. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Grow something and pass the onion wine

Pineapple sage was one of my favorite finds at the Jefferson County Master Gardeners plant sale at the airport. My friend picked me up and we went as a trio with her daughter. They went nuts with the hanging baskets while I headed toward the herbs.
They were first timers and then we hit the test gardens at the airpor.
Then we had some more fun at the Beaumont Botanical Gardens, where I again, headed for the herbs. As usual, the grounds were full of photographers and fresh-faced graduates.
Those with green thumbs are out there spreading their seeds of knowledge and anyone willing to learn will be beside them, digging in the dirt.

Onion wine
I got a little misty listing to the Pantano red onion cooking wine pitch. It’s for cooking, not drinking, and there’s no salt, a woman in the family of this Sulphur, La.-based company told me.
There’s a bayou scene on the label. That’ got me, too.
Then I saw a painting in their booth at a merchant show. The bayou sene, painted by a relative, had a pirouge boat with a tiny scripture verse painted on it. This story was like they where fishers of men, or fishers of cooking fans, like me. I took the bottle home and am using it with a variety of meats. Get their story at