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 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 Tasting: Rosemary Chicken Kabobs…

Rosemary Chicken Kabobs
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
1/2 Cup Ranch Dressing
1 Teaspoon Garlic Minced
3 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tablespoon Minced Fresh Rosemary
2 Teaspoons Kosher Salt
1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice
1 Teaspoon White Rice Vinegar
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper, Or To Taste
1 Tablespoon White Sugar, Or To Taste (optional)
5 Skinless, Boneless Chicken Breast Halves – Cut Into 1 Inch Cubes
  1. In a medium bowl, stir together the olive oil, ranch dressing, Garlic, Worcestershire sauce, rosemary, salt, lemon juice, white vinegar, pepper, and sugar. Let stand for 5 minutes. Place chicken in the bowl, and stir to coat with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat the grill for medium-high heat. Thread chicken onto skewers and discard marinade.
  3. Lightly oil the grill grate. Grill skewers for 8 to 12 minutes, or until the chicken is no longer pink in the center, and the juices run clear.
  4. Serve with green beans, roasted cauliflower and summer salad.

Diva Tasting: Kielbasa Boats…

Kielbasa Boats
2 (16 ounce) package kielbasa
2 Cups Garlic Mashed Potatoes
2 cups sauerkraut
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add kielbasa and boil for 8 to 10 minutes to reduce the amount of fat; drain.
  2. Skillet saute sauerkraut until almost caramelized.
  3. Prepare mashed potatoes. Recipe below
  4. Cut kielbasa into 2 equal portions, then split each lengthwise so that they lay flat but are still attached. Layer each sausage with sauerkraut and mashed potatoes. Top with grated cheese.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until heated through and cheese is melted.
Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes
3 Cloves Garlic Minced,
Olive Oil
1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
6 Yukon Gold Potatoes, Cubed
1/2 Cup Sour Cream
1 (4 Ounce) Package Cream Cheese
1/2 Cup Butter
1/4 Cup Heavy Cream Or As Needed
Salt And Ground Black Pepper To Taste
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and stir in sea salt. Cook potatoes in the salted water until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain.
  2. Transfer potatoes to a large bowl and add sour cream, cream cheese, butter, salt, and black pepper to the bowl. Cover bowl with a lid or a piece of aluminum foil and let mixture stand for 5 minutes to soften butter and cream cheese, about 5 minutes.
  3. Mash potatoes until smooth, creamy, and thoroughly combined.

Diva Tasting: Grits N Eggs…

When I lived out west we would have place of origin parties.  We’d bring either a dish from the part of the country we came from or our ethnic heritage.  In my case Southern or Italian or both.  This version of my Grits Casserole was always requested.

Grits N Eggs


6 Cups Water

2 Cups Uncooked Grits

1 Cup Butter, Divided

6 Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese, Divide

1 Pound Ground Pork Sausage Brown and Crumbled

1 Teaspoon Minced Garlic

12 Eggs

1/2 Cup Half n Half or Heavy Cream

Salt And Pepper To Taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a large 9×13 baking dish.

  2. Salt water and Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan, and stir in grits. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer about 5 minutes, until liquid has been absorbed. Mix in 1/2 the butter and 3 cups cheese until melted.

  3. In a skillet over medium-high heat, cook the sausage until evenly browned toss in garlic and stir. Drain, and mix into the grits.

  4. Beat together the eggs and milk in a bowl, and pour into the skillet. Lightly scramble, then mix into the grits.

  5. Pour the grits mixture into the prepared baking dish. Dot with remaining butter, and top with remaining cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

  6. Bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until lightly browned.

  7. Serve with Garlic Herbed Biscuits and Good Butter

Diva Tasting: Beet And Goat Cheese Tart

One of my favorites is Beet and Goat or Feta Salad.  I’ve kicked it up a bit with this one.

Beet And Goat Cheese Tart


1 Packaged Pie Crust Rolled Out


8 Ounces Cold Creamy Fresh Goat Cheese

1 Jar of Pickled Beet Slices

4 Pinches Kosher Salt

4 Tiny Pinches Cayenne Pepper

4 Sprigs Fresh Lemon Thyme


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).

  2. Turn out prepared dough onto work surface, to form a 1/4-inch-thick bottom crust. Place crust on parchment lined baking sheet.

  3. Crumble 2 ounces goat cheese onto crust. Lay beet slices on top of goat cheese in a single layer. Season with a pinch of kosher salt, small pinch of cayenne pepper. Fold all the edges over to form a tart like pie.

  4. Bake until cheese is bubbling and figs are glazed, about 25 minutes. Garnish with sprigs of lemon thyme.

Diva Musing: Babies: Massage These Stress Points…

If you have been with us for awhile you know we are always trying to pass along non-traditional information and techniques to help with the journey.  I’ve used these on my own children and grandchildren.  With a new grandchild on the way I thought moms and grandmas alike might enjoy this one…..Namaste, The Queen Cronista

Massage These Stress Points to Quickly Relax a Fussy or Crying Baby


Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is an ancient health practice dating back thousands of years… to around 2300 B.C. to be exact! One specific TCM technique still being used overseas is called “reflexology.” However, it has recently experienced a surge in popularity in the Western world as a legitimate medical practice that can treat a variety of physical ailme
nts. According to Hands on Feet, UK reflexologist Rosanna Bickerton’s website:
Chinese Reflexology is the ancient art of working pressure points on the feet, hands and ears that correspond to different parts of the body… [It’s] believed to stimulate elimination, improve circulation and support the immune system. The Chinese believe it restores the body’s equilibrium of yin and yang, encourages healing and strengthens the body.”
Reflexology principles are arguably the most natural, non-invasive treatment available. What many people don’t realize, however, is that this makes it a perfect alternative tool for helping calm down babies. They experience stress, anxiety, discomfort, joy, and everything in between much like adults do.
But since they lack the ability to convey what’s troubling them, babies will often respond to physical pain simply by crying. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, ancient and modern practitioners of reflexology believe this healing method can effectively determine what your baby is experiencing and how you can remedy it.
Baby Reflexology Foot Guide, According to Traditional Chinese Medicine
Babies are said to be much more responsive to reflexology than full-grown adults. This is mainly because they are generally more receptive and sensitive to physical touch in general. When a baby or child is in distress, it is our natural response to physically comfort them by holding them, rubbing their backs, and other similar acts… sometimes to no avail. However, having knowledge of these reflexology principles could ease a baby’s pain much more effectively and directly than anything else.
In Chinese foot reflexology, you must apply pressure – gently since you’re helping more fragile little humans – to certain points on the feet. Depending where on their feet you press, you can help treat a variety of health problems associated with the corresponding body parts. The color-coated guide above shows these body parts, and which area of the baby’s feet can affect them and hopefully lead to relief.
Parents & Caregivers: It’s extremely important to realize that foot reflexology will likely not treat your baby’s problem- it is a traditional method for soothing.  Although an underlyin condition may be associated with one of the ailments listed in the image above, it may not be. So when your inherent parental instincts start warning you something’s wrong, trust them and take your newborn to a doctor to be safe. During all of this, you can use the following Chinese reflexology principles to help provide them with as much soothing relief as possible.
Head & Teeth
To treat problems involving the head and teeth, reflexology principles call for you to rub the tips of their toes. This is great for treating many health issues that occur above the neck such as ear infections, which are very common among babies. You will likely notice your child or grandchild experiencing pain in this area when they are teething, so make sure you remember to gently massage their toes to help soothe their pain.
According to traditional Chinese reflexology, you can address sinus pain by visiting the toes again. But this time, you’re going to want to focus on an even smaller point – the centers of the tips of their toes (as pictured above). Applying pressure to the center of a child’s toes can help reduce the severity of a variety of sinus problems; this could range from a runny nose to the common cold or other respiratory problems. Although this is by no means a cure for any illness, reflexologists believe doing this can reduce their symptoms and make them more bearable for the baby.
The part associated with the chest is the top of the foot, right over top of the arch. Performing reflexology on this area provides similar effects to the sinus area, in that it can help congestion. However, this area may help relieve congestion in the chest rather than the sinuses, making it effective for soothing symptoms associated with chronic coughs or colds that cause phlegm build-ups.
Solar Plexus
The solar plexus is a complex collection of nerves located between the stomach and the lungs. It is hard to narrow down the cause of solar plexus pain due to its location and variety of nerve endings. However, reflexology principles maintain that it can be soothed by applying gently pressure near the upper area of the foot’s arch (i.e., the ‘orange dot’ area right before the arch ends and the foot meets the ground).
Upper & Lower Abdomen
The area of the foot that corresponds with the abdomen is the entire arch of the foot. The upper abdomen correlates with the upper half of the arch. Performing reflexology on this area of the baby’s foot can help with digestive issues such as bowel obstruction and heartburn.
The lower abdomen correlates with the lower half of the arch. Performing reflexology on this area can help with post-digestive issues such as constipation and bloating, which may be factors behind your baby’s discomfort.
The heels of a baby’s foot correspond with their pelvic area. Issues that commonly affect the pelvic area of a baby include muscle tightness and postural problems. Using reflexology principles, TCM practitioners have helped relieve that type of pain by applying pressure to the heel area of the foot.
In conclusion, remember that reflexology…
Is only effective at reducing pain caused by certain conditions and other specific symptoms. It is by no means a “cure-all” for certain diseases and should not replace proper medical attention that your baby would require if suffering from a critical condition. It is simply meant to increase their comfort, as well as yours, during periods of pain and stress.