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May 10th, 2016

I will be honest here and tell you that I would be incredibly sad if I was told that gluten had to be eliminated from my diet. While we don’t consume much of it in our house, the fact that we can is comforting to me…as I am completely in love with bread and pasta. I sound like Oprah in her Weight Watchers commercial where she says, “I love bread.” I’m with her.

I feel for people who can’t enjoy it, although their lives are the better for it in the case of celiac disease.

Going gluten-free has become a bit of a “thing” in our culture. Michael Pollan refers to it as a sort of...

May 6th, 2016

The modern American holiday of Mother's Day was first celebrated in 1908, when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother at St Andrew's Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia. In 1908, Congress refused to make Mother's Day an official holiday, joking that they would have to proclaim also a "Mother-in-law's Day". Yikes! Talk about out of touch. Who wouldn’t want to celebrate mothers? But in 1914, Woodrow Wilson designated Mother's Day a national holiday to honor moms.

Not that we needed the government to tell us that we should honor our mothers on their own special day. Mothers...

May 1st, 2016

What a gorgeous idea had by the UK several years ago when they dedicated this month to dental health.  And while the health of our choppers is paramount to our wellness, I think we should also dedicate this month to the act of…smiling!

We see the bumper stickers all the time: Practice random acts of kindness. What if this month, we made an extra effort to smile? What if not one stranger passed us on the street that didn’t receive one our radiant grins?

Think about it. You’re hurrying down a city street or a hallway at work and suddenly, someone passes and…smiles. You feel a...

April 25th, 2016

As April showers are replaced with May flowers, many of us rejoice at the thought of spring being fully sprung.

And then there are the more than 50 million Americans who dread the blossoms on the trees, the pollen in the air because for them, spring doesn’t bring flights of fancy, but rather boxes of tissues for their runny eyes and noses.

Seasonal allergies are no joke. According to The Asthma and Allergy Foundation, allergies cost more than $14 billion each year. That’s a lot of sneezing!

Is there any relief that doesn’t involve you feeling like the walking dead?

April 23rd, 2016

Just when you think there isn’t one more thing you can love about spring, along come the first tender stalks of asparagus, the surest sign of the season after tulips.  After a long winter hiatus, the first limbs of this wonderful vegetable are as welcome as the first warm rays of sun on winter-weary skin. 

“Asparagus,” the name for this savory member of the lily family comes from the Greek for “sprout” or “shoot.”  Cultivation of asparagus began more than 2000 years ago in the eastern regions of the Mediterranean.  Prized among the Greeks and Romans for its succulent texture, earthy...

April 19th, 2016

In Chinese medicine, lemons are a key ingredient in remedies used to aid the liver in its functions of ridding our bodies of toxins, as well as regulating the metabolism of proteins, fats and carbohydrates.  The delicately sour flavor and astringent character of lemon juice has made it an important ingredient in home remedies for centuries. When the liver is functioning at its best, our bodies are metabolizing properly and circulation is unimpeded by toxins.  The result is we stay cooler and fresher in hot weather…and warmer and more comfortable in cold weather.

That’s a lot of...

April 15th, 2016

Growing up in an Italian family (yes, I am half Irish, but we were all about the Italian food…), artichokes were a staple of our diet. As a kid, I was so perplexed by people who joined us for a Sunday feast and were unsure of how to approach this gorgeous veggie. We dove into them, dragging the leaves across our teeth, enjoying the buttery flesh at the base of each leaf. My grandfather, who adored artichokes (the only vegetable I can remember him eating…), used to play the same trick on us kids week after week. We fell for it every time. He would finish his ‘choke and have the tender,...

April 13th, 2016

Truly warm days of summer seem a distant dream at the moment, but there is a shift in the energy around us. You can feel it if you really pay attention. The sun feels warmer; the buds more visible on tree branches; the nights seems a little less frigid. 

It is that time of year when we begin to transition ourselves from the more dormant energy of winter into the more active energy that we know as spring. In the philosophy that is the foundation of Traditional Chinese Medicine, the energy of spring is strongly ascending, yet rooted in the Earth. Seen as inspirational in many ways,...

April 5th, 2016

I know what you’re thinking.  She’s become desperate…she has no idea what to write about anymore, so she is writing about garnishes.  Well, nothing could be further from the truth.  Chives are so much more than the graceful slivers dressing your dinner plate.

An aromatic plant native to Asia, the chive belongs to the same family as...

April 4th, 2016

The Joy of Cooking…Redux!

When I was a kid, we “ate out”…in a real restaurant once a year…on my mother’s birthday. It was her day not to cook. We ate at the same Polynesian restaurant each time as she loved what she considered their exotic food.


Otherwise, she cooked. Or I cooked. Or my Nonna cooked. Or an aunt, uncle or cousin cooked. Regardless, we cooked and ate at home.


Pizza night? They made the dough and the pizzas.


Onion rings or French fries? They made them from scratch.


Cookies? Baked in our kitchen....