Be Yourself

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away ~ Henry David Thoreau


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Be yourself, every body else is already taken! ~ unknown

Baba Ghanoij ~ Yummy!!!

Last week I mentioned a recipe for “Baba Ghanouj”. If you have never tried this middle eastern dip, it’s a must try!!! Amazing!!! You’d swear it was made with cheese, it’s so creamy & rich! Serve it with bread, flat bread, crackers, falafel or veggies.

“Baba Ghanouj”,
(pronounced: Ba Ba Ga Noosh)

1 medium eggplant
2 tbsp tahini (is sesame seed paste/butter)
1 tbsp minced garlic (i used 2 big fresh mashed cloves…perfection)
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp salt.
Cook eggplant in oven at 450 degrees about 1/2 hour or until tender. **(I heavily drizzled olive oil on it before cooking, about 4 Tbls & I removed skin first and then cut up into small pieces before cooking, I think it saved

Combine with remaining ingredients. (I made it like a chunky paste.)

Note!!!: I didn’t have corriander or paprika so I substituted curry instead, I just did it to taste with salt & pepper too… Yummy!!!

It’s January!!! You know what that means… Time to start thinking about & get ready to garden!!!

Today I sat down with my favorite catalog EVER… My Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Catalog! I mentioned this seed catalog last year when i had spring fever. But, my husband calls it my “dirty magazine” =) I can’t imagine why? I only grab it out of the mail box like it’s a slab of gold, run off to some place quiet & pour over it for hours, “oooing” & “ahhhing” over it’s beautiful centerfold pictures & colorful descriptions. Heaven, it’s my heaven.

What did I spy with my little eye? Ooo… A lot of beautiful edibles caught my eye, but here is what’s on my list of possible purchases:

Green Calaloo has my attention for sure. I am in love with “Calaloo soup” and would love to grow & make my own. I’m thinking these plants would thrive tucked in & around the flowers in front if my parents house – where other plants normally fry in the sun!

Celmson Spineless Okra! Cause you need okra to make Calaloo soup. (& I love fried okra!!!) not to mention I’ve never grown either veggie before!

Kabouli Black Garbanzo. Hello! I LOVE making homemade Hummus!!! The catalog says:

The purple color comes from a pigment called anthocyanine, which enables seeds to sprout in cool soil, making this variety perfect for short season areas.

I’m willing to give that a try!!!

Boothbay’s Blonde Cucumber. Only 60 days! & from Maine! Sounds like a great candidate to dress up the garden & my salads… Would go good with that hummus too ;)

• Eggplants. I am head over heels for “Baba Ghanouj”,
(pronounced: Ba Ba Ga Noosh), (I love making it and promise to post a recipe soon.) But I’m torn between which variety of eggplant to get. Can I get your opinion? Which one do you vote for? And why? The choices are: Applegreen, Little fingers, or Ping Tung?

Minnesota Midget Melon I LOVE melon for breakfast! What got my attention with this variety was the short growth period, only 70 days. And it’s description for having compact vines, only 3-4′ & good yields. Ding ding we have a winner & the breakfast of champions!!! I think they’d look lovely in my cottage garden too instead of the main garden.

Pink Beauty Radishes This is a new one for me. I have never cared for radishes in the past. But someone recently made me a salad that had them finely diced in & I fell in love! Hooray for more veggie variety!

Marina Di Chiggia Pumpkin I have ALWAYS wanted to grow pumpkins. So when ever I saw the photo in the catalog of a salty looking (Connecticut) guy holding up this beauty ~ my heart sang!!! I am envisioning this italian beauty not only filling my pie pans but also as the perfect addition to the fall decorations around my lovely Victorian summer cottage!

• Tomatoes. I was very pleased with the varieties I grew last year & want to plant more this year. But I wouldn’t mind adding one more to our garden & reviving an an old family tradition: Bonny Best.

That’s it as far as fruits & veggies go. I had a few other things picked out such as:

Caraway, I love cooking with it! I think it would be interesting to try growing & harvesting.

Chocolate Morning Glory. I’d love a small deck off the back door of my cottage, over looking the garden (hint hint, dad), to eat breakfast on & gaze at these lovely morning glories on my trellis! The color of them is stunning!

Dwarf Jewel Nasturtiums. They will make a fun & colorful addition to the garden! But the real reason I want to grow them is because I want to EAT them!!! I’m going through a lot of diet changes (another topic I will blog about soon), so I will be making A LOT of salads this summer & will add these blossoms for additional color & flavor!

So that’s what I like. I haven’t placed an order yet so I’d love to hear your opinion! What eggplant out of the ones that I listed do you think sounds better? And, What are you going to be planting???

Who do you find fascinating?

Who do you find fascinating? Or better yet, who would you want to chat with over a few drinks?

Random questions I know…

So this all started when Barbara Walters posted her list of 10 most fascinating people of 2011 . Then “The Bloggess” went & cracked me up by posting her own, funny most fascinating list because she was somewhat disturbed by Barbaras poorly done list. As she should have been and I was too.

So! After reading the bloggess post, I was chuckling to myself & wondering who I’d like to chat with over drinks, and cracking up at what others posted in the comments. So after posting my own comment, I turned to my husband and asked him who’d he invite? Well to my surprise he rattled off like 3 great people that I didn’t think of (& should have cause they rock) (like Oprah! Yes my husband rocks) and that discussion lead to today’s blog post.

So here is the beginning of the ultimate guest list, to what would prove to be a truly fascinating party:

Your invited! And so is:

Richard Branson
Tim Ferriss
Lady Gaga (I really just want to see what she’ll wear)
Hugh Hefner & escorts
Ellen DeGeneres
Donald Trump
Anthony Bourdain
Diana Gabaldon
Anthony Robbins
Bill Murray (in character as “Bob Wiley”).
And for musical entertainment:
Norah Jones

Now it’s your turn (because I know I missed some great names). What fascinating person would you bring to the party?

(and please don’t say any one of the Kardashians)…

I’ve recently had a friend ask me for tips on what I do to stabilize my blood sugars (I’m hypoglycemic & diabetes runs in my family). So while I was typing my extensive reply back to her I was thinking… Why not I blog this?!. I’m guessing that we’re not the only two people who suffer from this!!!

So here is my reply to her. But please keep in mind, this is just my personal experiences, I am not a doctor or a nutritionist! Please consult your doctor about any conditions you may have and what you should eat… Thanks…

So here we go!…

Exercise has been shown to be one of the most important factors in regulating blood sugar, I’ve noticed it really helps me! Avocados & Bananas are known as blood sugar stabilizers, so I incorporate those as much as possible for meals & snacks. I also rely on nuts, beans & legumes.

That being said here are some snacks I turn to:

Homemade Humus: served with cukes or carrot slices, also LOVE using lettuce pieces like a cracker – oh yum!!! the Recipe: I start with a drained & rinsed can of Garbanzo beans (chick peas), start with 2-3 Tbls each of Olive oil and of Tahini, (add more as needed a Spoonful at a time, tasting as you go), Juice of a whole lemon, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper & 2-4 cloves of fresh garlic!!! puree in your food processor till desired creamy-ness & texture.

Raw Chocolate Avocado pudding:  My Recipe: One avocado peeled & pitted, 2 heaping spoonfuls of Raw chocolate (cacao powder), a few drops of stevia or a spoonful of honey or agave to sweeten, a sprinkle of cayenne & cinnamon. Mash up with a fork until creamy & desired texture is reached.

Raw Chocolate Banana Pudding: My Recipe is a lot like the avocado one except I don’t add any sweetener because the banana is sweet enough! Some thing I do differently is I may add unsweetened coconut flakes as garnish…yum!

Brown Rice & Beans!!! Beans & rice – rice & beans!!! Spice it up!

Homemade Veggie burgers: yesterday I used chick peas (I’m out of black beans), ground flax seeds (I’d say equal parts), 1/3C finely chopped onion, fresh garlic, garlic powder, Onion powder, parsley, pepper, real salt, 1/2 tsp ground red pepper flakes (it adds flavor but not a lot of spice). Purée in food processor & shape into patties. Cooked on low-med heat in skillet in olive or coconut oil till firm & dark brown! Yummy!!! Serve over salad, or brown rice or bread.

I always try to keep a bowl of nuts handy! I find a small handful (7-12) of almonds before bed helps me sleep better. & if I wake up in the middle of the night & feel awake or jittery I’ll have another small handful to help me back to sleep.

A Banana Boat: A banana slathered with nut butter & sprinkled with unsweetened coconut shavings… Hello yummy!!! This is one of my favorite pre-bedtime treats!

I was just reading that cinnamon helps stabilize blood sugar (can’t remember where I read that, but if I find that article I will post it for you to read as well), I found a cinnamon tea that is yummy & I put ground cinnamon in as much of my food as possible… as you can tell already it pairs great with chocolate!

Chia seed pudding! You’ll love this, it’s a lot like tapioca or rice pudding… Here’s a link to a recipe: Click Here I like to add chopped apple or dried fruit to mine sometimes!

Eggs for breakfast is my staple! I find it starts my blood sugars day off right. I try to have my juice first tho, and wait at least a half hour after before having my eggs.

Spirulina tablets or powder help me (the pills are easier to take). Any dark green or algae helps actually!

Flax crackers! I made those the other day from my left over carrot pulp, yummE!!! Here’s what I did: I eyeballed the measurements & taste tested: Carrot pulp left over from juicing, fresh ground flax seeds… I’d say equal parts on those two about a cup of each, about 2 tsp xanthan gum, olive oil (2-3Tbls?), cayenne pepper, white pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, parsley, and real salt… Taste test! Press 1 inch balls as flat as you can get them, Bake on stone ware at 350 deg till dark brown (about 15 mins), or i bet they would also be good dehydrated!… I’m guessing you could substitute another pulp of veggies instead of carrot. It’s worth experimenting… Kale for sure would work!!!

Chocolate Nut Butter: Hello Heaven!!! I recently discovered that smearing this on a plain brown rice cake (with or without a banana smeared on) is sheer heaven!!! I make my own starting with a nut or seed butter, raw chocolate powder & a little vanilla creme stevia… Mmm… Yes sir!!!

Some things I don’t eat or try to avoid:

Wheat & Gluten (I try to avoid as much as possible), NO alcohol at all (it’s sad but true), Sugars (except for fresh fruit & the occasional dried fruit), and obviously NO white flour, white sugar, white rice… and I try to keep potatoes & corn to a dull roar – maybe only a couple of times a week (homemade popcorn maybe 3 times). “Food Rules” by Michael Pollan is a great book by the way!!! I gleaned a lot of tips on how to eat that has helped from that book!!! Here’s the link to the book on Amazon:

<iframe src=”http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?lt1=_blank&bc1=FFFFFF&IS2=1&bg1=FFFFFF&fc1=000000&lc1=0000FF&t=naturartse-20&o=1&p=8&l=as4&m=amazon&f=ifr&ref=ss_til&asins=014311638X” style=”width:120px;height:240px;” scrolling=”no” marginwidth=”0″ marginheight=”0″ frameborder=”0″></iframe>

Those are all the things I can think of off-hand, and it’s what I told her. Another thing I said to her is this: “I am always searching, so if you have any recipes or tips that work for you I’d love to hear em!”

That goes for you too dear reader! Do you struggle with blood sugar issues? What are some things you do to help? What do you like to eat to feel better? Please share, I’d love to try what works for you… click on “Post a comment” and do share!!!

Dreaming… Of yarn

I can dream right? Every single week there are multiple knitting bloggers that post yarn giveaways in between posting about what’s new on their needles. And every single week I comment on their posts in hopes to win. And every single week goes by with me not a winner. I can dream right?

I have been drooling, and ooooing over Tanis Fiber Arts’ yarn now for a bit, dreaming of the day that I can order even just one skein of their yarn… It’s so lovely!

And. Right now… They have a giveaway!!! A contest!… I can dream right? I can hope & pray? Not only is it a stunning golden yarn but her new pattern too!!!!!!! A beautiful lacy shawl…


So I know I have some knitting readers. If you want to compete against me and comment too in hopes to win check out the blog post here. In the mean time, I’m going to keep dreaming… Of beautiful golden yarn.


This has got to be the best Smoothie recipe I have ever made. Hands down. Not only is it a “Green” Smoothie but it’s also a CHOCOLATE Smoothie!!!

It is nutritionally packed, loaded with antioxidants, keeps my blood sugar on an even keel & sustains ME for hours!!! (for those of you who know me, know that I usually eat my weight in food, and I playfully refer to being hungry as “time to feed the worm”). Yes, I am usually insatiable & THIS Smoothie actually sustains me =)

So here it is, my own recipe & favorite meal:

Toss in your blender:
A BIG handful of Mint (3/4Cup? I like chocolate mint the best)
1 Banana
1/2 C Frozen Blueberries (or strawberries)
1-2 Tbls Chia Seeds
2 tsp Maca (optional but so nutritious)
1 Tbls Ground Flax seed
3 heaping Tbls raw Chocolate powder (aka: cacao powder)
2 heaping Tbls organic, (sugar-free) Sunflower seed butter (Sunbutter
is the BEST deal I found)… or substitute any kind of nut butter of your choice.
5-7 drops of vanilla creme stevia
7-10 ice cubes

Then I fill it to the 2 or 3 cup line (depends on if I’m sharing or not) with sugar-free Almond (or hazelnut) Milk and blend away till it’s smooth.

Another option is adding an Avocado for even more creaminess & nutrition, (fabulous for your skin!!!)

Newbie Tip: if your new to this Smoothie thang, and your still trying to free your body, mind & taste buds from the grips of mass amounts of refined sugar; then I definitely recommend trying this recipe, BUT try it first and if it tastes too “healthy” for you and it’s not sweet enough then try adding a ripe, peeled, pitted mango to the mix. That will sweeten it up and make it more palatable for you until your taste buds adjust and come off of their sugar high.


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