Seven ways an immersion blender can help you eat healthier and lose weight

1. Pureeing soups. Instead of using fattening, cholesterol-laden ingredients such as cream and butter as thickening agents, now you can bulk up soups and stews with nutritious veggies and beans. I’ve used my immersion blender to boost the texture of minestrone and veggie chili and to make a hearty “cream of” cauliflower soup. With a handy hand blender,   asparagus soup,  watermelon gazpacho and cold cucumber soup could easily appear on your  summer recipe to-do list.
Immersion blenders have been around for years. But I came late to the party. I bought an immersion blender about a month ago and already I’m in love! True, it looks like a cross between a piece of exercise equipment and well, yes, a vibrator, but so what!? The immersion blender, also known as a... Read more »

Pizza Muffins: The flavors you love in a pizza, only in tender, flaky muffins

Pizza Muffins:  The flavors you love in a pizza, only in tender, flaky muffins
Want to jazz up an ordinary dinner? Or add depth to an already fancy schmancy one? These Pizza Muffins will do the trick. Yep, these savory, scrumptious muffins have flavors reminiscent of pizza pie. I love that they’re so quick and easy to make. And I love that they’re so versatile. Last week, I served them... Read more »

A decadent, delicious Valentine's Day treat: Double Chocolate Bread Pudding

A decadent, delicious Valentine's Day treat: Double Chocolate Bread Pudding
Want to say  ”I love you” or even “I like you” to someone special? Present your beloved with a piece of luscious Double Chocolate Bread Pudding. With or without a dollop of whipped cream, you’re sure to score brownie (or should I say bread pudding?) points. Double Chocolate Bread Pudding is both impressive and easy... Read more »
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Local woman tells what it was like to eat at the White House

Mary at the White House gate.
You’re looking at Mary Mazzeffi in the midst of decorating the White House for the holiday season. Mary, a display artist at Toms-Price Home Furnishings in Wheaton, was one of 89 volunteers from 35 states chosen to help deck out the halls and rooms of the historic building. Thousands of people applied for the coveted... Read more »

Holiday Cookie Recipe #2: Pistachio Cookies

Holiday Cookie Recipe #2: Pistachio Cookies
There is so much nutty goodness in these Pistachio Cookies! Plus, they have so much going for them this time of year. These luscious cookies are different from other holiday cookies. And they have a lovely greenish hue (actually, they’re a pretty light green color if you use all-purpose flour. I used whole wheat.). If you... Read more »

Holiday Cookie Recipe #1: Divine Seven Layer Cookies (not bars)

Holiday Cookie Recipe #1: Divine Seven Layer Cookies (not bars)
If you enjoy making cookies for the holidays, you’ll want to add these luscious Seven Layer Cookies to your repertoire. Before you tell me that I can’t count, I know, I know. These Seven Layer Bars actually have more than eight layers, or technically, ingredients. The cookies basically mirror the ingredients in the classic Seven Layer... Read more »
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Apple Pie Quesadillas: a quick, healthy, delicious alternative to apple pie

Apple Pie Quesadillas: a quick, healthy, delicious alternative to apple pie
Apple Pie Quesadillas. They’re the perfect post-Thanksgiving treat to eat after the guilt sets in. You know, because just like always on Turkey Day, you gobbled up far more turkey-gravy-dressing-green-bean-casserole-cranberry-sauce-pumpkin-pie-apple-pie than you intended. This recipe for Apple Pie Quesadillas makes for a sweet, satisfying treat reminiscence of apple pie but without the junk food status.... Read more »

Why you should be massaging your kale

Why you should be massaging your kale
Everyone loves a good massage. Why shouldn’t your kale? I know. I know. Putting kale and massage in the same sentence seems a bit odd. Like Einstein and Kim Kardashian. But there are good reasons why you should be massaging your kale. The main one being that it tastes terrible if you don’t. I used to... Read more »

10 tips for making a great pie crust from the owner of Hoosier Mama Pie Company

10 tips for making a great pie crust from the owner of Hoosier Mama Pie Company
When I read that Paula Haney, owner of the celebrated artisanal bakery/restaurant Hoosier Mama Pie Company, was going to be at the Morton Grove Library to speak about making a great pie crust, I had to be there. Haney is also the author of the darling, retro-looking, extremely helpful and complete The Hoosier Mama Book of... Read more »
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French Toast Roll-ups: Luscious Stuffed French Toast made with a lot healthier stuff

There’s no question French toast stuffed with a cream cheese-base filling tastes divine. But to make this dish great when it’s not oozing with cream cheese, sour cream, whipped cream or other forms of artery-clogging sludge–well, that takes a little more thought. So think about it I did (Hey, that’s what keeps me up late at... Read more »