Pimento Cheese, Not Your Grandma's Spread

Pimento cheese is one of those foods that has been so corrupted by the food industry that it has become synonymous with other crappy foods like Spam.  I'm not even certain what store bought pimento cheese might contain, nor do I want to find out.  It's a shame because pimento cheese can be a delightful treat, even if it does Read the full post…

Plum Good BBQ Sandwiches

In a few days it will officially be fall but the temperatures are still warm enough for me to continue swimming for a few more days.  The breeze was a little cool but that didn't stop me from swimming several laps this morning and I felt great afterwards!  Have you exercised lately?  With fall's cooler temperatures and fewer insects, you Read the full post…

Shingles Vacine and Treatment

A friend of mine was recently diagnosed with shingles so I felt I should discuss this nasty virus once again.  If you ever had chicken pox, you are at risk for getting shingles and believe me, you don't want it.  Shingles is a painful rash with blisters that scab over and may take 4 weeks or more to heal.  The Read the full post…

Vegetarian Tacos are muy delicioso!

There are times when I think I could easily become a vegetarian, especially when I try a new dish that is as good as the vegetarian tacos I had at Local Lime restaurant in Little Rock and the tofu fried rice at Sai Tai here in Jonesboro.  My husband and I celebrated our 23rd anniversary this past weekend by spending Read the full post…

Midyear Health Check

Summer is winding down , the year is more than half way over and our January resolutions are long forgotten.  It's time for a health reality check.  First of all, how is your health lately?  If you have enjoyed good health, are you thankful?  Take some time to appreciate how wonderful it feels to be healthy, for your family to Read the full post…

Vacation Lessons For A Healthier Life

  I'm back from a lovely beach vacation and I wish I was still there with all my heart.  Wouldn't it be nice if our every day life was as nice as a vacation?  If we could relax, eat well, sleep and exercise just enough without having to worry about bills, work, illnesses and school, our lives would be perfect.  But Read the full post…

Yesterday I woke up to the fact that NEXT week is Thanksgiving. Sometimes I think an upcoming event is still weeks away because I’ve been thinking about it so long and our life is so busy. This week I will post some of our favorite holiday recipes and most of them do not qualify as low calorie or low fat. Remember to eat super healthy meals leading up to a holiday and exercise regularly. Then try to limit the indulgences to one day and not go overboard.

I bought a turkey yesterday and plan to brine it the night before in a mixture of equal parts brown sugar and salt (Oh my!)in water with fresh orange halves and rosemary sprigs. I’ll roast it stuffed with onion, celery and carrots for extra flavor. I tried brining last year and found it not too difficult. I bought a large bucket just for this purpose and put the whole thing in an ice chest in the garage overnight. It stayed plenty cold in the ice chest but it was also pretty cold outside that year. Google brining for further recipes or tips.

Sometimes we have a more traditional sweet potato casserole but often we have this healthier version. It is surprisingly good and has less fat and sugar plus uses an often neglected vegetable. Give it a try if you are tired of the same old thing.

Mashed Sweets and Turnips
3 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
2 1/2 lbs. turnips, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
3 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. salt
2 tart red cooking apples such as Rome or Jonathan, cored and coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
In a large Dutch oven combine sweet potatoes and turnips with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes until tender. Drain and return to Dutch oven. Add the butter and salt. Mash with a potato masher until smooth. (You can do this part the day before and reheat before serving.)
For the topping, melt the 2 Tbsp. butter in a medium skillet and add the apples, dates and brown sugar. Cook and stir until the sugar is dissolved and the apples tender. Stir in the lemon juice.
Top hot potato/turnip mixture with the apple relish and serve.

My family wouldn’t consider it Thanksgiving without one of our two favorite cranberry salads. My mother made this recipe at holiday time for years so it’s a sentimental favorite as well. It has lots of fruit and nuts but does contain quite a bit of sugar as well. This can also be made a day or two in advance.


Cranberry Jello Salad
1 small box strawberry jello
1 small box cherry jello
1 small can crushed pineapple, drained
2 cups chopped red apples
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 package cranberries, washed and chopped
1 cup pecans, chopped
Make jello using 3 1/2 cups water instead of usual 4. Put in refrigerator to jell. Add sugar to cranberries, stirring well. Add pineapple, apples and nuts. Add to jello when it has just started to set, mixing well. This looks pretty in a clear glass bowl.

Check back for more recipes this week!

Upadated on November 17, 2009

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