Saturday, March 18, 2017

Damned if I do and damned if I don't!

Over the past year or more, I have been inundated with requests from some great followers of mine, as well as marketing personel, to start an instagram page, or at the very least use my smartphone in order to video my life in the culinary world. "Take real time videos of your cooking, places you've been or are going to, people you meet and all of your book signings so everyone can see what is going on with you culinarily." "This will significantly increase your base and ultimately your book sales." they add. I have steadfastly refused, and let me tell you why.


I learned long ago, as everyone should know, that stress kills. Pure and simple! The #1 cause of death I might add is stress, and everything associated with stress. I tout, in my REFRESHED cookbook, ways of improving your life through stress reduction. This includes anything from getting off that couch, eating just a tad healthier, taking a walk outside and so on. I give evidence of this killer and the toll it has on our body and mind, sprinkled with uplifting and inspirational information and adages from famous people throughout my book.


Although we are in an age that the internet inundates our lives and always will, it should be our "friend" rather than our enemy. This is simply not the case.


I remember, for one example, my Dad always used to say "This, too, shall pass." whenever I was troubled by something.....anything! So when my blood pressure spiked by an event or happenstance, regardless of its veracity, it took just a little more time off of my life. Say that a family member texted me that someone was saying something ill of me or my family, or that someone else did something that was truly disturbing. It would be at the exact moment of the text that stress would set in.

Now if that person who sent the text had waited a little bit, calmed down and put things in perspective, then the text would not have been so important or disturbingly written in the first place, thereby side-stepping stress.

There is a reason our parents and beyond told us that things will seem, look and feel better in the morning. The same holds true here.


Remember me?

The same holds true with social media. There are so many trolls and people who live by being negative. They can live their lives in the darkness and die prematurely if that is their decision. But I decide how to live my life. If I can eliminate platforms and chances for those who create negativity, then that is exactly what I am going to do, even if it means NOT becoming wealthy. What good does it do to die sooner with your pockets lined?


The same holds true for tablets or any hand-held devise that creates instant communication. Although I have a cell and tablet, I use them very sparingly, say 2-3 times a month...HONESTLY!!!! I will not create a negative environment in my home or head, period.


I look around and see people walking down the street glued to their phones, sitting on a date in a restaurant...glued to their phones, sitting at home with their children...glued to their phones, out on the town...glued to their phone and it goes on and on. My children benefit from me NOT glued to my phone when we are together. If someone wants me bad enough they can leave a message on FB and I will get it when I get it. Those with an emergency can call my home. There is NOTHING so important as the happiness of my children. There is NOTHING so important as the interaction with my children. There is NOTHING so important as living my life as long as I can FOR my children.


If you don't have children, there should be NOTHING so important as your quality and quantity of life, and I am not being rhetorical. Cut the stress out.

 Ponder these questions and thoughts:

Do you truly believe it when someone posts on FB "I am here for you."? If they were, they would call.


Do you truly feel better when you see a post from a dear friend that is mean spirited and controversial toward your political leanings, or do you write back something equally rude?


Do you enjoy pictures of torture, mutilation, violent acts or death in your feed?


Does it make you feel better when you reply to a dear friend or family member that you will get together soon...over and over and over again, without actually living up to your promise?


Does it make you feel better sharing a post of something while you are sitting on the couch at home with your children are actively seeking your attention?


Do negative comments on any of your posts bring joy to you more-so than enjoying the great outdoors?


Would you rather enjoy immediate and disturbing brief gratification from something that was written or shared rather than prolonged enjoyment?


In other words, by circumventing that which shortens your life(and again, this is not rhetorical, but frightingly obvious)and strolling through that which gives you joy, over and over again, is beneficial in every single way.

And I haven't even touched the minute by minute news stories that everyone and their mother posts. Most of them are enough to get anyone's bp up.

My goodness people, you need to dictate your own priorities or at the very least, meet somewhere in the middle. Although I may be missing out on boat-loads of money but not inundating the web with my online presence,  my physical presence matters most.....and I don't really need to tell you what those are, do I?


                   #Putitdown #callsomeone #youstressyourself #mylife #happylives


                                                           It's Just That Simple!™

Friday, March 10, 2017

Time To Exhale!

It never fails, every winter, I add a few pounds. It doesn't matter if I think I am eating less, healthier of watching every that goes into my mouth. The bottom line, I am not nearly as active in the cold months as I am when it warms up.
Sooooo, that means I either avoid the clothes I wear in the summer or I take a deep breath and hold it until the person I know in the supermarket, school or corner store walks out of range. Then I can exhale.
And it is at this point every year, I truly start eating more fruits and vegetables and try to go to sleep at night as quickly as possible before I get that never-ending sweet tooth, which happens every single night. Then I wake up in the morning and feel grotesquely disgusted with myself all day long.
Here are a couple desserts that not only satiate that sweet tooth, but offers far less in the way of fat and calories than that wrapped up dish of leftover chocolate pudding or those tempting chocolate doughnuts you have been nibbling on one at a time.

Blueberry Lemon 'Custard' Pudding

     Just enough for two people, yet if I were you, I would double it because one serving just ain't gonna cut it!

3/4 cup frozen blueberries, thawed
2 eggs
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 egg white
1 tablespoon sugar

Place blueberries, with all accumulating juice from thawing(which should be about 3 tablespoons), egg, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice and zest in a blender or food processor. Puree until as smooth as possible. Strain through a wire sieve into a medium saucepan. Place pan over medium heat and bring to scalding while whisking frequently. You will notice it thickening quite a bit.
Remove and pour into 2 oven safe, individual serving dishes. Cover and refrigerate until completely cooled.
When ready, preheat broiler, making sure the rack is on its lowest shelf.
Beat the egg white until soft peaks form with an electric mixer. Add sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Either dollop, spoon or pipe equal amounts of meringue on top of each pudding cup.
Place under broiler for just a couple minutes, until as browned as desired. Carefully remove and serve immediately.


Strawberry Kiwi 'Custard' Pudding

Tangy kiwi, sweet strawberries and a smile!

1/2 cup chopped fresh strawberries
2 kiwis, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup strawberry-kiwi juice *
2 eggs
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch

Puree all ingredients until as smooth as possible. Strain through a wire sieve into a medium saucepan. Place mixture over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. This will only take a few minute.
Immediately pour into individual serving dishes or 1 large bowl. Cover and refrigerate until set and completely chilled. Enjoy as is or with whipped topping of your choice.

* There are various brands of 100% strawberry-kiwi juice on the market today. If you can't find it, then use any type of pure strawberry juice blend.