Diva Tasting:Royal Veggie Burger …

Royal Veggie Burger 
4 Slices of 22 Grain or Gluten Free Bread
2 Avocados, Mashed
1 Small Tomato, Chopped
1 Small Sweet Onion, Chopped
4 Tablespoons Mayonnaise
4 Tablespoons Toasted Sesame Seeds
1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
Kosher Salt and Ground Black Pepper To Taste
2 Cup Shredded Colby Jack Cheese (1 Cup Reserved)
  1. Preheat oven to broil.
  2. Mix all ingredients together until well blended except the reserved cheese.
  3. Place each slice of bread open-faced on a cookie sheet. Spread each half with mashed avocado mixture; place halves close together. Distributing the mixture well over the bread. Top with remaining cheese.
  4. Place under broiler for about 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Diva Rambling: Desire to Win….

Desire: “Every person who wins in any undertaking must be willing to burn his ships and cut all sources of retreat. Only by doing so can one be sure of maintaining the state of mind known as a “burning desire to win”, essential to success.”

Napoleon Hill

So, I’ve been working out with a personal trainer since April.  Every bone and muscle on my person aches.  That’s what happens when you go “Jabba the Hut” for years!  Instead of giving up I’ve made a commitment to push through until I win or die.  So, that being said I felt the quote above inspiring for my day.  I hope it is for yours.  

Namaste, The Queen Cronista


Diva Tasting: Beef Tenderloin with Mushroom Pilaf…

Beef Tenderloin MENU 
  • 1 (3 Pound) Beef Tenderloin Roast
  • 3/4 Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/2 Cup Melted Butter
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Place roast into a shallow, glass baking dish. Pour Worcestershire sauce and melted butter over the tenderloin.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes, then turn the roast over, and continue cooking 35 to 40 minutes, basting occasionally until the internal temperature of the roast is at 140 degrees F (60 degrees C) for medium. Or, cook to your desired degree of doneness. Let meat rest for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.
  4. Serve with Garlic mashed potatoes, garden salad and rolls.
Mushrooms & Spinach Pilaf
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 (8 Ounce) Package Sliced Fresh Cremini Mushrooms
  • 1 (8 Ounce)Package Sliced Fresh Wild Mushrooms
  • 2 Cups Spinach Chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons Chopped Onion
  • 2 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 Cup White Rice
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  1. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat; cook and stir mushrooms, and onion until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in broth, rice, salt, garlic powder, and black pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, 20 minutes. Remove lid and add spinach and stir until wilted.

Diva Musing: Lifting the Spirit….

Lifting the Spirit
The planets are doing a 2 step on our spirits lately.  Astrologically the solar system is doing a number on us.  I’ve been in a funk for weeks and trying to find new ways to overcome it. Here are some easy tips to relieve stress and boost your spirits:
  1. Laughter, get in your favorite nibbles: whatever they may be. A cup of hot tea, ice tea or favorite beverage to relax with in hand. Laughter truly is the best medicine. Watch only comedy, movies or read books that lift your spirit and sing to your soul.
  2. Distancing from problems can bring vision and relaxation. Take off for some peace and quiet. Take a day or better still a weekend or a week. Take a journal, relax and gather your thoughts. When we’re under pressure or struggling to cope with a major situation or event in life, seeing solutions to our problems can be really difficult.
  3. Being near water, come to think of it, weather it be lake, ocean or just listening to a local creek babble. I can sit for hours at our local coffee shop near the babbling creek, under the mulberry tree and watch the butterflies dance. Try you local version of this or off to the beach if you have that luxury.
  4. Increase calmness and feel great by indulging in a spa day. If you can’t afford one try it at home. Create a relaxing atmosphere by softening the lights and have essential oils. Lavender oil is particularly relaxing. Better still take a get away day to a near by spa and make a day of it. They give you lockers, robes, slippers and even if you only get one treatment you have access to the spa, sauna, hot tub or other spaces for the day. You can even, in some places, order the masseuse to your house so no travel is required after the treatment.
  5. Take a relaxing bath. Add music, candles, calming oils and salts. Have a glass of your favorite drink: tea, hot chocolate, wine or even champagne. Close the door and forget about everything else for an hour or so. This helps to increase levels of calmness and the calmer we feel, the less likely we are to get stressed out or depressed.
  6. Spend a week without watching any television. Television can fill your mind with negativity, bombard you with image manipulation and give you a distorted view of reality by showing you everything that’s bad about the world. Famines, disasters, murders, violence, war – the list is endless – especially news programs and rude TV programs. All are full of such events. I personally am on a permanent news fast. I hear what I need to hear, like it or not in others conversations. I also only watch Netflix or other media that let me pick only those commercial free things I choose. So give your soul a break from this assault on your spirit. Your senses will thank you. All of them. If you abandon the television for a week do something more uplifting: Read a book, listen to music, workout, volunteer, go for a walk or try a new hobby.
But do try and avoid news and dark TV for one week, replace it with something more life lifting. These suggestions are very simple to do. However, they are also very effective in helping to relieve stress and tension. Give one or all a try and see the difference they can make. Create your own. Hugging you puppies all day with a good book and cup of tea…the list can go on and on.  Just writing this article for you made me feel better.
Namaste, The Queen Cronista

Diva Tasting: Beef Stroganoff Classic Fare…

Beef Stroganoff Classic Fare
1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
2 Pounds Beef Chuck Roast, Cut Into 1 Inch Cubes
Salt And Pepper To Taste
1 Tablespoon Butter
1/2 Medium Onion, Sliced Or Diced
8 Ounces Sliced Mushrooms
2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
2 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
1/2 Cup White Wine
2 Cups Beef Broth, Divided
3/4 Cup Creme Fraiche
1 Tablespoon Fresh Chopped Chives
Salt And Pepper To Taste
  1. Season beef generously with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat until nearly smoking. Stir in beef; cook, stirring constantly, for 6-7 minutes, until liquid evaporates and meat browns. Remove meat from the pan and set aside.
  3. Stir butter, mushrooms and onions into the pan; cook and stir over medium heat until the vegetables are lightly browned. Add garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Stir in flour; cook for 1-2 minutes until incorporated.
  4. Stir in wine and 1 cup of stock, scraping the bottom of the pan to release any browned bits. Bring to a simmer, cook for 3-4 minutes, until the sauce thickens.
  5. Return beef to the pan. Stir in remaining cup of stock; bring to a simmer and cook on low heat for about 1 hour with the lid on, until the beef is tender and the sauce is thick. Stir every 20 minutes.
  6. Stir in creme fraiche. Stir in chives. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Serve with Spinach Salad with lemon vinaigrette and focaccia rolls.

Diva Tasting: Baked Spaghetti …

Baked Spaghetti 
1 (16 Ounce) Package Spaghetti
1 Pound Ground Beef
1 Pound Mild Sausage
1 Onion, Chopped
1 (32 Ounce) Jar Meatless Spaghetti Sauce
1 Teaspoon Seasoned Salt
2 Eggs
1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
5 Tablespoons Butter, Melted
2 16 Oz. Container Of Ricotta Cheese
4 Cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese, ( 1 Cup Reserved)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.
  2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook spaghetti in boiling water, stirring occasionally until cooked through but firm to the bite, about 12 minutes. Drain.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat; cook and stir beef, sausage and onion until meat is browned and onions are soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Drain. Stir in spaghetti sauce and seasoned salt.
  4. Whisk eggs, Parmesan cheese, and butter in a large bowl. Mix in spaghetti noodles to egg mixture and toss to coat. Place the spaghetti mixture into a large mixing bowl, fold in the ricotta cheese, mozzarella, and meat sauce. Mix well until combined. Pour all into the prepared 9×13-inch baking dish. Top with remaining Mozzarella. Cover with aluminum foil sprayed with oil.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake until the cheese is melted and lightly browned, 20 to 25 minutes longer.
  6. Serve with Mediterranean salad with lemon vinaigrette and garlic toast.

Diva Tasting:Braised Lamb Shanks with Pilaf…

Braised Lamb Shanks 
4 Lamb Shanks
1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt, Divided, Or To Taste
Freshly Ground Black Pepper To Taste
3 Tablespoon Olive Oil
2 Medium Onions, Chopped
1 Small Bag Baby Carrots
1 Large Stalk Celery, Cut Into 1-Inch Pieces
3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
4 Teaspoons Tomato Paste
1 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
2 Sprigs Rosemary
1 Pinch Cayenne Pepper
  1. Season lamb shanks with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat olive oil in a deep-sided pan or pot over medium-high heat. Add lamb and cook, turning as needed, until browned, about 5 minutes. Remove from pan and reduce heat to medium.
  3. Place chopped onion, carrot, celery, and garlic in the pan. Season with a large pinch of salt. Cook and stir until vegetable juices start to come out, about 2 minutes. Add tomato paste and stir to coat, about 1 minute. Pour in Balsamic and stir in rosemary. Raise heat to high and bring sauce mixture to a simmer.
  4. Toss lamb shanks in with the sauce mixture. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer until lamb is nearly fork-tender, flipping lamb after 1 hour, about 2 hours. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature, at least 30 minutes. Refrigerate, 8 hours to overnight.
  5. Skim the fat off the top of the sauce, if desired. Cover and bring lamb to a simmer over low heat. Flip and continue simmering until meat is fork-tender and nearly falling off the bone, about 45 minutes. Place lamb shanks in a bowl to keep warm.
  6. Bring sauce to a boil over high heat. Boil until reduced by half but not too thick, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and cayenne pepper. Plate the lamb shanks and spoon sauce on top.
Feta Rice Pilaf With Orzo
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1/2 Cup Orzo Pasta
  • 1/2 Cup Diced Onion
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1/2 Cup White Rice
  • 2 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 Cup Chopped Spinach
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Bulgarian Feta Cheese
  1. Melt butter in a skillet over medium-low heat; cook and stir orzo in the melted butter until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir onion into orzo and cook until translucent, 5 to 10 minutes. Cook and stir garlic into orzo-onion mixture until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  2. Mix rice and chicken broth into orzo-onion mixture; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover skillet, and simmer until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in spinach and feta. Cover and let stand until spinach is wilted and feta is melted, about 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.