Diva Tasting: Creamy Coffee Cake …

Creamy Coffee Cake 
1 Cup White Sugar
1/2 Cup Butter
1 Egg
1 Cup Sour Cream
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
3 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1 Cup Chopped Pecans
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
2 (8 Ounce) Packages Cream Cheese, Softened
1/2 Cup White Sugar
1 Egg
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup butter
(Note: toss all pecans in a couple of tablespoons of flour to assure they don’t sink in the dish.)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.
  2. Beat 1 cup white sugar, 1/2 cup butter, and 1 egg in a bowl until smooth. Add sour cream and vanilla extract; mix well. Stir nuts into dry mixture of 3 cups flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Add to cream mixture until mixture comes together in a sticky dough. Spread half the dough evenly into prepared baking dish.
  3. Beat cream cheese, 1/2 cup white sugar, and 1 egg in another bowl until smooth. Spoon mixture into baking dish over dough. Drop remaining half of dough by spoonfuls over cream cheese mixture.
  4. Mix pecans, brown sugar, 1/3 cup flour, and 1/3 cup butter in a bowl until mixture resembles a coarse crumble; sprinkle over dough.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes.



Here are two of my favorite marinades for lamb and beef.  I even like it on chicken.   I use a good cut of beef or a boned out leg of lamb.  Marinade in the frig overnight  (takes any gamey-ness out of the lamb).  Grille on open flame or roast in the oven with a foil tent 20 minutes per pound.  15-20 minutes before its done, remove foil, and  place under a broiler to brown it out.    



  • 1 (8 Ounce) Container Whole Milk Greek Yogurt
  • 6 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 2 Teaspoons Finely Grated Ginger Root
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Garam Masala
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Turmeric
  • Kosher Salt To Taste
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil,
  • 2 Onions Chopped
  • 5 Cardamom Ground
  • 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 Teaspoon Cumin Powder

May be used for 3 Lb Leg of Lamb Boned & Butterflied, or your favorite cut of beef, or chicken.

Yogurt Marinade 2:

  • 1/2 (6 Pound) Leg Of Lamb
  • 1 (16 Ounce) Container Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 4 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary, Leaves Stripped
  • 1/2 Bunch Fresh Parsley, Stems Removed
  • 1 1/2 Lemons, Zested
  • 6 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 2 Teaspoons Finely Grated Ginger Root
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Garam Masala
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Turmeric
  • Kosher Salt To Taste
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil,
  • 2 Onions Chopped
  • 1 Teaspoon Cardamom Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 Teaspoon Cumin Powder

Diva Rambling: How can I overcome having a critical spirit….

How can I overcome having a critical spirit?
A critical spirit is not difficult to recognize. Critical spirits are no fun to be around. Its fruit is usually evident. Someone with a critical spirit is prone to complaining, they see the glass as half-empty, ruing the day for others. They deal only in unmet expectations, opining failure (for others more than in oneself), and above all being judgmental. They are usually malignant narcissists with controlling personalities. One does not have to be a therapist to recognize these traits in others.
These folks seek to pervert the good the Universe meant to be present in our lives. We live in a down-trodden world, we are often impatient. We want to enter into the glorious delights for which we were created. It is good, in my opinion, that we can see what’s missing in our world. Since the world is not as it should be, nor are humans as we should be, the dilemma is our to address. Recognizing the world’s inadequacies helps us to acknowledge our need of major improvements.
Obviously, critical spirits are destructive, tearing down both the recipient and the giver of the criticisms. Master teachers speaks against such critical judgment. By judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and Karma always serves you what you deserve. By all means we should be discerning. We are not to ignore the fallen nature of the world around us. I’m not saying that we must never, under any circumstance, criticize anyone else. In fact, the Universe tells us that we are to judge justly. However, we are never to criticize with malicious intent or out of self-righteousness. We must not assume that we are non-judgmental or that we can force our judgments on others.
Sadly, we humans, have naturally deceptive hearts. This fact allow for blind spots and biased comparisons. Only the Universe can judge with perfect accuracy. And our discernment is only valid when it is informed by pure intentions and love of all the Universe. Only when we are submitted to Truth and honest with ourselves will our judgment serve to uplift rather than destroy.
So how do we overcome this flaw of a critical spirit? The condition of our heart is crucial. The good person, out of the good treasure of his heart, produces good. The evil person out of his evil intentions produces evil. A critical spirit spring from a critical heart. And a critical heart generally comes from a general malcontent with the Universe—either due to pride or a simple lack of information about Karma. Only when we understand our malcontent and accept the perfection of the Universe’s grace will we be able to love the world as we should.
Those who struggle with a critical spirit know that they fail to receive the unconditional love of the Universe and its abundant gifts. These souls are constantly judging others and themselves and always coming up lacking favor in every way. The better we understand the Universe’s perfection, the more gracious we will be with others and ourselves. The more grateful we become the greater the gifts bestowed by the Universe. The giving of gratitude is the strongest antidote to a critical spirit. Be the best you can be today. Give thanks and love to your world and watch your world improve exponentially. Namaste, The Queen Cronista…

Diva Tasting: Cauliflower/Veggie Melt…

Cauliflower/Veggie Melt


1 Small Head Cauliflower, Cut Into Florets

1/2 cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

2 Eggs

1/4 teaspoon Onion Powder

1/4 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper

1/2 cup Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese

1 Tablespoon Butter, Divided


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and coat with cooking spray.
  2. In a food processor, place the cauliflower and pulse just until finely chopped. Place in a medium microwaveable bowl and microwave 8 to 9 minutes, or until soft. Place cauliflower in a strainer and press down hard with a paper towel to squeeze out water.
  3. Place cauliflower in a large bowl. Add mozzarella cheese, egg , onion powder, salt, and pepper; mix well. Spread mixture on baking sheet and shape into four 4-inch squares.
  4. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden. Let cool 10 minutes, then gently remove from parchment paper to a flat surface. Evenly sprinkle Cheddar cheese on 2 cauliflower squares and top with remaining squares.
  5. In a large skillet over medium-low heat, melt 1 teaspoon margarine. Place cauliflower sandwiches in skillet and spread remaining margarine on top side. Cook 2 to 4 minutes, or until golden brown; gently flip over and cook another 2 to 4 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Diva Tasting: Dessert; Peanut Butter Bars…



  • 1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter, Melted
  • 1¼ Cup Graham Cracker Or Saltine Crumbs
  • 1 Cup Peanut Butter, Smooth Or Chunky
  • 1 Cup Confectioner’s Sugar
  • 1 Cup Dark Chocolate Morsels
  • 2 Tbs Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 1 Tsp Vegetable Shortening
  • 3/4 Cups Crisp Rice Cereal


  1. Line the bottom of an 8×8-inch square pan with parchment or aluminum foil.
  2. Mix the melted butter with the cracker crumbs, the one cup peanut butter and confectioner’s sugar. Turn into prepared pan and spread evenly in pan. Chill for about 1 hour.
  3. Place chocolate morsels, 2 tbs peanut butter and shortening in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH for 1 minute. Stir until mixture is smooth. You may have to return the bowl to the microwave for another 15-20 seconds if morsels are not completely melted.
  4. Add the rice cereal to the chocolate mixture, stirring to coat well.
  5. Spread on top of chilled peanut butter mixture and return to refrigerator to chill until firm, about 3 hours.
  6. When well chilled, cut into 9 bars.
  7. Serves 9

Diva Tasting: Another Good BBQ Chicken…

BBQ Chicken 


  • 1 Lg Chicken, Cut Into 8-10 Pieces
  • Salt And Pepper
  • Olive Oil Or Vegetable Oil For Frying
  • 2 Cups Ketchup
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire Sauce
  • ¼ cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Tabasco Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Molasses
  • 1 Teaspoon Chili Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 1 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • ½ teaspoon Black Pepper
  • ½ cup Water
  • ¼ cup Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Onion, Chopped
  • 1 Clove Garlic, Chopped


  1. Heat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper then fry the chicken pieces in the oil in batches until browned.
  3. Place the cooked chicken in the baking dish.
  4. In a saucepan mix together the ketchup, Worcestershire, brown sugar, Tabasco, molasses, seasonings, water, vinegar, onion and garlic. Whisk together and heat until mixture starts to bubble and is thick.
  5. Pour the sauce over the chicken, covering each piece.
  6. Cover with foil and bake for 60 to 75 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked.

Diva Tasting: Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Cream Sauce …

Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Cream Sauce 


  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 small pkg cremini mushrooms sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup aged balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream


  1. Dissolve 1 tablespoon of salt in enough water to cover the Brussels sprouts in a bowl, and soak the sprouts in the salty water for 1 hour. Drain off the water, and toss the sprouts in olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper to coat thoroughly.
  2. Preheat oven to 475 degrees F (245 degrees C).
  3. Place the bacon in a large, deep skillet, and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until just beginning to brown at the edges, 5 to 8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium; stir in the shallot and mushrooms, then cook until the shallots turn translucent, about 5 more minutes. Sprinkle in the garlic, and cook 1 minute, then stir in the balsamic and cream until well combined. Bring the mixture to a boil, and stir until reduced by half. The thickened sauce should coat the back of a spoon.
  4. While the sauce is cooking, lay the Brussels sprouts, cut sides down, onto a baking sheet, and bake in the preheated oven until the sprouts are browned, about 20 minutes. Transfer the browned sprouts to the sauce, toss to coat, and season to taste with salt and black pepper.