Diva Tasting: Let’s Picnic 1…MENU…

Let’s Picnic 1 Just keep scrolling…..
Savory Cheeseburgers
2 Lb Pounds Lean Ground Beef Chuck
1 Dash Hot Pepper Sauce, Or To Taste
2 Avocado – Peeled, Pitted And Sliced
6 Slices Monterey Jack Cheese, Cut Into 2 Inch Wide Strips
6 Foccacia Rolls, Split And Toasted
6 Teaspoons Dijon Mustard
  1. Divide the ground beef into three even portions. Season each one with some hot pepper sauce. I ball up the meat, and poke my finger into it, then fill the hole with hot sauce. Flatten into patties just a little larger than the English muffins.
  2. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Cover, and cook the beef patties for about 4 minutes per side, or until well done. Top each patty with two pieces of cheese in an criss cross pattern. Cover, and turn off the heat.
  3. Arrange the toasted English muffins on a serving plate. Spread the bottom half with a thin coating of Dijon mustard. Place a few slices of avocado over the mustard, and use a fork to mash into the nooks and crannies. Place the beef patties on top of the avocado, . Plop the other halves of the English muffins on top. Serve and enjoy!
Picnic Slaw
  • 1 (16 ounce) bag coleslaw mix
  • 2 tablespoons diced onion
  • 1 cup creamy salad dressing
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Pineapple Juice from Can
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • 1 Can Pineapple Chunks in Juice Drained 2 Tablespoons Reserved
  1. Combine the coleslaw mix and onion and pineapple in a large bowl.
  2. Whisk together the salad dressing, vegetable oil, sugar, vinegar, pineapple juice salt, and poppy seeds in a medium bowl; blend thoroughly. Pour dressing mixture over coleslaw mix and toss to coat. Chill at least 2 hours before serving.
Picnic Corn
1/2 Cup Butter
2 Tablespoons Prepared Mustard
1 Teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 Teaspoon Lemon Pepper
2 Teaspoons Prepared Horseradish (Optional)
8 Ears Fresh Corn
  1. Preheat grill for medium heat.
  2. In a small saucepan, melt butter or margarine. Stir in mustard, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, and lemon pepper seasoning.
  3. Place each ear of corn on a 13×12 inch piece of HEAVY DUTY aluminum foil. Drizzle with butter mixture. Wrap loosely, leaving space for the expansion of steam, and seal.
  4. Grill over medium coals for 15 to 20 minutes, or until corn is tender. Small ears will take less time, and larger ears may take more. Carefully unwrap foil, and serve. If roasting in oven bake at 400 degrees until golden.
Macaroni Salad Picnic
1 Cup Mayonnaise
1/4 Cup White Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
2 Teaspoons Kosher Salt, Or More To Taste
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
1/8 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1 Cup Finely Diced Celery
1/2 Cup Chopped Green Onions, White And Light Parts
1/8 Cup Diced Jalapeno Pepper
1 (16 Ounce) Package Uncooked Elbow Macaroni
1 Tablespoon Mayonnaise (optional)
1 Tablespoon Water (optional)
  1. Whisk 1 cup mayonnaise, vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper together in a bowl until well blended. Stir in celery, onions, and jalapeno. Refrigerate until macaroni is ready to dress.
  2. Bring a large pot of well salted water to a boil. Cook elbow macaroni in the boiling water, stirring occasionally until cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain but do not rinse. Allow macaroni to drain in a colander about 5 minutes, shaking out moisture from time to time.
  3. Pour macaroni into large bowl; toss to separate and cool to room temperature. Macaroni should be sticky.
  4. Pour dressing over macaroni and stir until dressing is evenly distributed. Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or, ideally, overnight to allow dressing to absorb into the macaroni.
  5. Stir salad before serving. Mix 1 tablespoon mayonnaise and 1 tablespoon water into salad for fresher look.

Diva Musing: Mindfulness …

I struggle with this each day. I’m always searching for provocative tips on Mindfulness. I thought I should share this one school of thought. Props to the Purpose Fairy for helping us.
Namaste, The Queen Cronista
What Does Practicing Mindfulness Actually Mean?
Life is a dance. Mindfulness is witnessing that dance.”
We live in an era where it’s critical to be self-aware, empathetic, and tuned into the emotions of both ourselves and those around us. While this has always been an important part of life, the sheer quantity of distractions in the digital era can complicate the issue. 
The simple act of being aware, of practicing mindfulness has a host of different benefits and side effects that trickle down into our daily lives, enhancing our minds, physical bodies, emotions, and attitudes.
What Does Practicing Mindfulness Actually Mean?
The term “mindfulness” is often brought up in a variety of contexts that can make it difficult to pin down just what the word actually means. It’s key to managing anxiety, and the term can be defined as “ an awareness and acceptance of your thoughts, feelings, and environment.”
The truly mindful person isn’t interested in figuring out the “right way” to feel as much as simply understanding how they feel in the first place. Feelings are valid in and of themselves. The feeling of anger, for instance, is typically a secondary emotion that stems from a deeper concern like fear or anxiety. Bottling it up hardly makes it go away. Acting out on it isn’t healthy either. Trying to understand it, though, can provide a path to a healthy solution.
When you take a purposeful approach to mindfulness, you are attempting to experience and understand your thoughts, emotions, and environment rather than stuff or control them. This allows you to make a thoughtful decision about what to do next.
Needless to say, the side effects of this approach are nothing short of profound.
The Benefits of Practicing Mindfulness to Your Physical Health
There are many physical effects of mindfulness. For instance, being mentally aware can help you cope with chronic pain or improve your sleep. It has also been shown to reduce stress, depression, and anxiety levels — all of which can have a dramatic effect on physical health.
In addition, practicing mindfulness and meditation on a daily basis can increase your brain’s ability to learn. One study, for instance, showed that subjects who spent 27 minutes a day practicing mindful meditation had increased grey matter density in their hippocampus, which directly translates into an improved ability to learn and memorize information.
Improvements to Your Mental Well-Being
While the physical effects of mindfulness are impressive, the influence it can have on your cognitive abilities is arguably even greater. 
As educational consultant Gina Belli says, the simple act of finding time for meditating and practicing mindfulness is naturally beneficial “as allowing for mindfulness can help you achieve better focus and great purpose later on.” In other words, giving yourself time to mentally rest can increase your focus and drive. Doing so also helps reduce stress, anxiety, and depression levels, which can have a powerful impact on how you think and cope with the often incessant pressures of daily life. 
Practicing mindfulness also allows you to observe your thoughts rather than obsess with or straight-up avoid them as is too often the case.
Understanding how and why we think in certain ways is a powerful tool and one that has found tremendous success in areas like cognitive behavioral therapy. Taking the time to thoughtfully consider things like cognitive distortions can radically influence the way we perceive the world around us. 
Gaining Perspective
Finally, being mindful can simply help you gain a better overall perspective of life itself. Being aware of yourselves, others, and your environment can encourage you to turn off your screens, occasionally separate yourself from constant information overload, and simply find the time to just be.
In short, the act of being aware often leads to an overtly grateful attitude towards life and a desire to weed out unhealthy distractions. 
Practicing Mindfulness
As is so often the case, being aware of the benefits doesn’t automatically mean you can partake in them. Being mindful can take a great deal of focus and commitment. This isn’t because it’s difficult to actually be mindful, but because it’s difficult to break our own habitual thought processes. 
But you don’t need to sell everything you own and move to a monastery in Tibet in order to begin to feel the effects of a thoughtful life. If you find that you’re struggling to maintain a mindful attitude, consider ways to start implementing smaller baby steps towards that goal.
You can start, for instance, by simply looking for time in your daily routine to meditate and focus on your mindset, even if it’s just five minutes a day
However you choose to go about it, it’s important to remember that it’s worth the investment. It’s easy to lose sight of what truly matters in our busy modern lives.
However, a genuine effort to find mindfulness is an excellent first step on the road to a true appreciation of the act of living life itself.

Diva Tasting: Muffuletta Role Ups …

Muffuletta Role Ups 
1/3 Cup Finely Chopped Pimento-Stuffed Green Olives
1/3 Cup Finely Chopped Black Olives
1/2 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 (8 Ounce) Packages Cream Cheese, Softened
1 Pinch Dried Oregano
1 Pinch Garlic Powder
5 (10 Inch) Flour Tortillas
1/4 Pound Thinly Sliced Ham
1/4 Pound Thinly Sliced Provolone Cheese
1/4 Pound Thinly Sliced Salami
1/4 Pound Thinly Sliced Mozzarella Cheese
  1. Combine green olives, black olives, 1/2 teaspoon oregano, and oil in a small bowl. Set aside. Beat together cream cheese, pinch of oregano, and pinch of garlic salt. Spread the mixture onto tortillas. Sprinkle olive mixture over the top of each. Starting at the top of each tortilla and about 1/8 inch down place a slice of ham, provolone, salami, and mozzarella slightly overlapping each slice.
  2. Roll the tortillas up and wrap in foil. Chill for at least 2 hours.
  3. Remove the foil and slice on a 45 degree angle into 1-inch pieces.

Diva Musing: New Friends…

New Friends
New friends are new worlds waiting to be discovered.
Meeting new people and making new friends may seem like a scary thing to do, but you know what’s even scarier? Hanging out with the wrong friends.
In today’s post, I will share with you a list of 9 things that are meant to help you identify whether the people in your life make you better, or bitter and whether it’s time for you to meet new people and make some new friends, or not.
10 Signs You’re In Need of New Friends
1. You need new friends if there’s a lack of joy and peace in your life
There are people who are a joy to be around, and people who are a joy to be away from. If the interactions with the people in your life feel forced – lacking joy, goodness, ease, and flow, and if you being away from them makes you feel way better than being in their company, that is a clear sign you are in need of new friends.
2. You don’t feel safe and supported
If being yourselffollowing your dreams and being a lot more successful than the people in your life is perceived as a form of abandonment and betrayal, and if guilt and shame are used as a way to punish you for wanting to move beyond the pale and be “better” than your friends and family, then you are most definitely in need of some new friends. 
Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.
3. You feel tired around Them
If the interactions you have with the people in your life leave you feeling extremely tired, nauseous, fearful, anxious, exhausted and even depressed, that is a clear sign you are wasting your time and energy on the wrong people and that you’re in need of new friends. 
As a wise friend once said to me, when Light and Light come together, there is always more Light. But when Light is missing, the presence of dark and low-frequency emotions – fear, apathy, anger, lust, pride, envy, etc., will deplete you of life force and vitality, leaving you feeling extremely tired and confused. 
4. You need new friends if your interactions feel meaningless and empty
If your conversations are filled with empty and meaningless words that leave you feeling life much was talked about but nothing was actually said, this is yet another sign that you need to meet new people and make some new friends. 
5. You feel like you don’t matter
If the people in your life make you feel as though you’re invisible – not Seen, not Heard, not Important – even though you’re right in front of them, and if talking on their phone and updating their social media account is always more important than you yourself are, you are in need of new friends. 
6. You need new friends if you feel like you ‘owe’ Them something
If your current friends and the people in your life make you feel like you owe them something – your time, your money, your energy, your knowledge, etc., and if they act as though they are entitled to everything you have, then that is a clear sign you are hanging out with the wrong crowd and that you’re in need of new friends. 
7. You need new friends if you feel all alone
If the people in your life make you feel like you’re all alone, even though you aren’t, that is a clear sign you need new friends. Always remember, Quality is better than Quality.
8. You don’t feel valued and appreciated
If the people in your life know a lot more about judgingblaming and condemning you for not being as ‘perfect’ as they think you should be than they do about loving and appreciating you, then you need new friends. 
9. You’re tired of all the drama
If the people in your life are constantly pointing out the terrible things happening in the world – because they are ‘realistic’ and they want you to know everything about everything, and if drama, tragedy, and negativity are always on the menu, then you are in need of new friends. 
10. You need new friends if you feel lostand confused
If after each interaction you’re left feeling lost, aimless and confused, not knowing what happened to you and why is it so hard to find your way back to yourself, you are in need of new friends. 
Different people desire different things in life. If your intention is to be better and do better, and if you aspire to live a life of peace, meaning and fulfillment, seek those who desire these things as well.
Spend less time around people who tolerate you and more time around those who love, honor and appreciate you. In doing so, life will become a lot more harmonious and your relationships will no longer drain you but rather enliven you.
P.S. Making new friends is an incredible way to open our minds and hearts and discover more about ourselves and about our ability to love, to grow, to learn and to connect with the world around us in a more profound and meaningful way. So dare to open your heart to those whose hearts are open and dare to be a friend to those who know how to be a friend.
~Love, Luminita

Diva Tasting: Baked Omelet…

Baked Omelet
8 eggs
1 Cup Half N’ Half®
1 Teaspoon Herbed Salt Alternative
3 Ounces Cooked Ham, Diced
1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/2 Cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1/2 Cup French Feta Cheese
1 Cup Chopped Spinach
3 Tablespoons Melted Butter
4 Tablespoons Green Onions Diced
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease one 9×9 inch casserole dish and set aside.
  2. Beat together the eggs and milk. Add seasonings and melted butter
  3. Fold in ham, Cheeses and onion and spinach. Pour into prepared casserole dish.
  4. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 40 to 45 minutes.
Note: Mom and Dad were having trouble getting my great nephew to eat his protein. I taught him how to do the 2 egg version of this with eggs and cheese. Bake about 15-20 minutes. Now he gets up and makes it himself and gets them to put it in the oven. Problem solved.


I read this one with interest. I agree and disagree but it is beautifully written. I’ve always been a warrior princess from the beginning. My Italian, Catholic, Southern father always said I was found in a cabbage patch because I wasn’t like other girls! I always asked…”What’s your point?” He’d walk away shaking his head and laughing. I once had a CEO I was reporting to at a fortune 500 company tell me that I got away with more in corporate America than anyone he’d ever known. Followed with …”but I say that in a good way!” So my comfort from an early age recognizes this article from a different perspective. It is definitely share-worthy. Namaste, The Queen Cronista….
When the heroine says no to the next heroic task, there is extreme discomfort…When a woman stops doing, she must learn how to simply be. Being is not a luxury, it is a discipline. The heroine must listen carefully to her true inner voice. That means silencing the other voices anxious to tell her what to do. She must be willing to hold the tension until the new form emerges…
In mythology and fairy tales, the hero’s journey is the template that involves a hero who goes on an adventure,  wins a victory, and then returns transformed.
This is the general Rite of Passage structure – separation, facing and overcoming a challenge, and returning to the community transformed and recognized as different. For example, the child is now recognized as an adult, the boy is now recognized as a man.
This is the framework I learned when I trained in Rites of Passage facilitation because I learned from men about this male version of the story.
But guess what – it’s different for women and more complex. 
Your Heroine’s Journey
In our mythological stories and narratives, the woman is often simply waiting for her man to come home from his quest. In The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo, there is an example of this. Or she’s waiting for her man to come and save her, as in Sleeping Beauty.
And we’re supposed to be satisfied with this. Plus there’s the narrative that men will protect us from having to go on our own quest, our own journey. Yes, it’s changing, but it’s slow. My mother’s story and my grandmother’s story have unfolded in the last 85 years – and their story is mine also.
Maureen Murdock in 1990, was the first to offer an alternative for women to Joseph Campbell’s famous “Hero’s Journey” narrative. So here’s the outline of the Heroine’s Journey as introduced by the wonderful Ms. Murdock. 
Embarking on Your Own Heroine’s Journey
First, there’s the rejection of the feminine. Even in the era of the housewife, the nurturing mother was not necessarily present. Women were often unfulfilled and resentful and were definitely not celebrated. Nurturing affectionate love towards children was often withheld.
So the daughter rejects the mother and idealizes the father – the hero. She vies for male attention and approval.
She struggles with self-doubt, the voice of the inner critic, and works to overcome her internalization of the myth of female inferiority.
She then undertakes the male version of the hero’s journey. She faces challenges and achieves success in the form of grades, recognition, power, money, status, etc. In this competitive and individualized patriarchal world,, we live in – she ultimately wants male approval.
At some point, she realizes she’s not satisfied. She can’t shake this underlying feeling that she’s not enough. She never gets the approval or recognition she seeks, or it never satisfies. So she continues to strive for perfection and achievement, and her inner male aspect drives her forward towards more competition and more success. Until at some point she resists.
When does the heroine’s journey begin?
The heroine’s journey truly begins when she learns to say NO to this madness when she learns at some point that money and success and external achievement will never fill her. She becomes truly strong as a woman when she realizes she is enough as a woman and has nothing to prove. She withdraws from the world into herself.
She’s seen as depressed and mad for saying no to what society tells her she’s supposed to want. She isolates herself and learns to connect with herself, her body, her intuition, her cycles, her sexuality, and her true nature.
She learns to value the feminine – the being-ness, the descent, the darkness. She discovers her worth so she now has nothing to prove. She learns to truly know her way with the guidance of her body’s intuition.
She grieves the prior loss of connection to her own body, to her sisters, her mother, to all of the women who came before her, and to the true mother of us all, the Earth herself.
She works to reconnect with all of these women. She heals the wounds that stemmed from her early rejection of women and from others’ rejection of her.
She learns to embrace and accept that other female figure in our mythology, that of the evil step-mother, the hag, the madwoman. This is the archetypal woman we see in stories such as Cinderella and Hansel and Gretel.
But the feminine needs the masculine. She does want to be purposeful and satisfied with her work. She still wants to strive and achieve and challenge herself, so she nurtures this masculine aspect rather than reject it completely. She invites and welcomes balance.
Women need to be in healthy relationships with men for our society to be healthy. And although there are the men who reject her and abuse her, who don’t see her worth, who are disconnected from women in general and from the feminine in themselves.
These are not the men she needs. So she finds the men who can relate to her in her power and in her truth, who can themselves be powerful but not overpowering.
She finds the Man With Heart within herself and she finds those men around her because they do exist!

Diva Rambling: 5 things you learn from not being loved ….

The secret to being loved is to let yourself be loved.” ~ Marty Rubin
Love – the seemingly elusive word, in both its absence and presence, has taught me everything I know about the way the world works.
Why people hurt.
Why they prefer to remain stagnant instead of growing.
Why they would rather close the door on it and live in the shadows of pain.
Things You Learn from Not Being Loved the Way You Needed To
Love is not pain – I refuse to believe that. And through its seeming absence, I have taken the following lessons from it.
Here are 5 things you learn from not being loved the way you need to:
1. Not everyone is going to love you the way you want to be loved
Not everyone has the same definition of love. For some, love is scary, it’s risky and unkind.
Some spill it out of their hearts because they know it is our birthright.
Some people won’t love us fully or in the way we need it, and making peace with that is the fastest way to happiness.
It is up to us to give ourselves what we need before making it someone else’s priority.
In fact, we should love ourselves so much that it fills up our whole being.
In acknowledging this we can take ownership that it’s up to us to fill those spaces ourselves because our happiness lies with us first and foremost.
2. You need to be a friend to yourself
Your first relationship starts with you and it is the foundation of all others to follow. During hard times, I could either reject or alienate myself as they did or start to pay attention to what the little girl in me was trying to communicate back to me.
By acknowledging our inner child’s needs, we realize that there is still a love that needs to be extended to our deepest parts.
This little girl is the reason why it’s so crucial to learn to give yourself the nurture, love and care you would expect from the world. In this way, her primary needs are met and when others are around they don’t fill a void but add to a flowing cup.
3. Love comes from different places
Love comes in various forms and often through the least expected avenues. It can express itself through a friend, a stranger, an act of kindness.
It can come in the form of a beautiful sunset or as someone’s time gifted to us.
When we start to see the different forms of love it gives life a sweeter tune.
Let us start to pay attention to what is showing up for us.
4. When you learn what love isn’t, you can teach what love is
Love will always love you the way you need to be loved. It will sit with you in those empty moments and warm your wounded spirit.
Because I grew up where love was transactional, I decided to love with no conditions. By craving to be nurtured, I learned how to be a nurturer to myself and, in turn, to others.
We get to choose the characteristics we want to adopt and be those things we most needed.
When we learn what love isn’t, we can teach what love is.
5. They were your greatest teachers
I have learned silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet, strange, I am ungrateful to those teachers.” ~ Khalil Gibran
Your biggest challenges are often your biggest teachers, even if you don’t see it in the moment.
You would not be the person you are today if you didn’t have those lessons to reveal your strengths and gifts to you. Our experiences shape us and it’s up to us to decide how that shape continues to take form.
Our lessons are here to unlock our potential and help us be more of who we are. And we are so much more than we think.
We are love. And we are loved.