Category Archives: Things That Contribute to Good Health

Diva Tasting: Slow Roasted Chicken and Veggies


Slow Roasted Chicken and Veggies


  • 1/4 Cup Unsalted Butter
  • 8 Bone-In Skin-On Chicken Thighs
  • 4 Potatoes, Peeled And Cut Into 1-Inch Cubes
  • 1 Small Bag of Baby Carrots
  • 2 Lbs Brussels Sprouts Halved
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Rosemary
  • 1 Teaspoon Fresh Lemon Thyme Leaves
  • 1 Teaspoon Tarragon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Seasoned Salt (such As Lawry’s(R))
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • Salt And Ground Black Pepper To Taste


  1. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Place chicken in the melted butter, skin-side down; cook chicken skin in hot butter until beginning to brown and crisped, about 5 minutes.
  2. Flip chicken. Arrange potatoes, Carrots, and Brussels Sprouts around the chicken.
  3. Chop rosemary, tarragon, lemon and thyme together; Mix all herbs and spices together in a small bowl and stir to combine. Sprinkle the mixture over the chicken and vegetables. Make Sure to Season everything; Sprinkle with more salt and pepper if needed.
  4. Place a lid on the skillet and cook until chicken is no longer pink at the bone and the juices run clear, 45 to 50 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted near the bone should read 165 degrees F.
  5. Transfer to Serving Platter and serve immediately with a side salad.

Diva Tasting: Greek Lemon Chicken And Potatoes…


Greek Lemon Chicken And Potatoes


  • 4 Pounds Skin-On, Bone-In Chicken Thighs
  • 1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Dried Oregano
  • 1 Teaspoon Dried Basil
  • 1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon Dried Rosemary
  • 1 Pinch Cayenne Pepper
  • 2/3 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 2/3 Cup Olive Oil
  • 3 Tablespoons Butter
  • 6 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 Bag of Yukon Fingerling Potatoes
  • 1 Cup Chicken Broth, Plus Splash To Deglaze Pan
  • Chopped Fresh Tarragon or Basil For Garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly oil a large roasting pan lined with foil.
  2. Place chicken pieces in large bowl. Season with salt, oregano, pepper, rosemary, basil, and cayenne pepper. Add fresh lemon juice, olive oil, and garlic. Place potatoes in bowl with the chicken; stir together until chicken and potatoes are evenly coated with marinade.
  3. Transfer chicken pieces, skin side up, to prepared roasting pan, reserving marinade. Distribute potato pieces among chicken thighs. Drizzle with 2/3 cup chicken broth. Spoon remainder of marinade over chicken and potatoes.
  4. Place in preheated oven. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Toss chicken and potatoes, keeping chicken skin side up; continue baking until chicken is browned and cooked through, about 25 minutes more. An instant-read thermometer inserted near the bone should read 165 degrees. Transfer chicken to serving platter and keep warm.
  5. Set oven to broil or highest heat setting. Toss potatoes once again in pan juices. Place pan under broiler and broil until potatoes are caramelized, about 3 minutes. Transfer potatoes to serving platter with chicken.
  6. Place roasting pan on stove over medium heat. Add a splash of broth and stir up browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Spoon juices over chicken and potatoes. Top with chopped oregano.
  7. Serve with Roasted Fennel and Croissant



Diva Musing: What About Spirit…

I was asked to post this again so here it is.  Namaste…
Article # 3: What about Spirit
In the previous article, I indicated we would be looking into ‘the mind’ next. I decided this was perhaps not the best order of topics, so we will take a peek at “spirit”.
The word “spirit”, from the Latin spiritus, refers to “breath”, which was taken from the Greek “pneuma”.
Spirit may be thought of as Essential Energy — present everywhere, eternal, un-changeable. Let us think of Energy also as Light and also as Love, as in the Light of Love. Light is an attribute of Spirit. Love is an attribute of Spirit. This analogy may not be perfect but we may find it helpful and we need all the help we can get in order to talk about something that is not readily visible nor readily discernable by the senses of our bodies.
There is no good Energy or bad Energy, no negative and no positive Energy. There is only Energy. Negative Energy is a mistaken identification, simply a misunderstanding. What we used to think of as negative Energy turns out to be a temporary observation where a limited ‘time-space’ appears to have less Energy when compared to another ‘time-space’ that appears to have more Energy.
The intensity of Energy appears temporarily less here and temporarily more there. We have mistakenly described these observations as ‘this place has negative Energy while that other place has positive Energy. This is simply a misnomer, a mis-understanding, a mis-take.
Perception, that which the body’s eyes can see, is not Truth. Perception may show us that the magician has just sawed a lady in half, and then, somehow, managed to put her back together again. This is not Truth. The lady was never sawed in half, it only looked that way. It was only perceived that way. It never really happened at all.
Perception can be easily deceived. The old saying, “seeing is believing”, is inaccurate. “Believing is Seeing” is far more relevant.
Energy is simply Energy, Spirit is simply Spirit, it is as simple as that. Neither positive nor negative, it simply is. The ‘Law of Conservation of Energy’ implies that Energy cannot be created or destroyed. Energy is eternal and unchangeable, having always been, always will be. Its form may change, but the Energy remains the un-changed. By considering Energy as Light, it may be easier to see how Light, how Spirit, expresses Itself.
Giving and receiving are united, they only appear separate to separate minds who see everything as separate from themselves.
Giving is proof of having. We cannot give what we do not have. By giving the Light of Love, this Light returns to us, and lovingly witnesses to us that we have given It.
  • Spirit is Source. Spirit shares It’s Light because that is how It expresses Itself.
  • Spirit knows only Truth, being only Truth. It is from Truth that Mind receives It’s inspiration.
  • Spirit inspires. The Mind focuses this inspiration to manifest in the physical world.
Our next article will be about the ‘Mind-mind’ and how we use it for making mistakes or for correcting, forgiving, them. The choice is always open for us to decide.

Diva Musing: The Watering Hole…


After I meditate and leave for the day, I usually eat a light breakfast before work… as I often don’t get to stop, even for a comfort break, all day.  Recently I’ve started going to the Taco Bell near here.  I sit and send my morning motivational texts to friends and family, while listening to music from the 50-60’s which won’t mean much to you younger lot.  However,  I smile and enjoy some of the best coffee ever and ease slowly into my day; thanking the Universe for making such a great way for me to start my mornings.

How about you my “Divakind”? How do you you ease into your day?  Are you kind to your self?  Believe me it makes the day go better and you get more done.

Namaste The Queen Cronista…

Diva Musing: Dalai Lama…

As our world continues to rage out of control, I felt the ever encouraging words of the Dalai Lama would be food for the heart.  Nurture the heart and the rest will follow…
Namaste, The Queen Cronista
The Dalai Lama has some very insightful verses. I’ve gathered my favorite quotes from the Tibetan leader about a variety of topics such as love, compassion, peace, humanity, violence, and the environment. It’s a very interesting read. Enjoy  :
1- Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.
2- If you can, help others; if you cannot do that, at least do not harm them.
3- If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.
4- My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.
5- Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
6- The ultimate authority must always rest with the individual’s own reason and critical analysis.
7- We can live without religion and meditation, but we cannot survive without human affection.
8- We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.
9- Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.
10- If you have fear of some pain or suffering, you should examine whether there is anything you can do about it. If you can, there is no need to worry about it; if you cannot do anything, then there is also no need to worry.
11- If you don’t love yourself, you cannot love others. You will not be able to love others. If you have no compassion for yourself then you are not able of developing compassion for others.
12- Human potential is the same for all. Your feeling, “I am of no value”, is wrong. Absolutely wrong. You are deceiving yourself. We all have the power of thought – so what are you lacking? If you have willpower, then you can change anything. It is usually said that you are your own master.
13- We must recognize that the suffering of one person or one nation is the suffering of humanity. That the happiness of one person or nation is the happiness of humanity.
14- Through violence, you may ‘solve’ one problem, but you sow the seeds for another.
15- As people alive today, we must consider future generations: a clean environment is a human right like any other. It is therefore part of our responsibility toward others to ensure that the world we pass on is as healthy, if not healthier, than we found it.
16- To conquer oneself is a greater victory than to conquer thousands in a battle.
17- There is a saying in Tibetan, “Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength.”
No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that’s our real disaster.
18- The creatures that inhabit this earth-be they human beings or animals-are here to contribute, each in its own particular way, to the beauty and prosperity of the world.
19- A spoon cannot taste of the food it carries. Likewise, a foolish man cannot understand the wise man´s wisdom even if he associates with a sage.
20- In our struggle for freedom, truth is the only weapon we possess.

Diva Tasting: Lamb Stew and Pear Salad with Pear Vinaigrette…

Lamb Stew
  • 4 Pounds Lamb Shanks
  • Sea Salt And Ground Black Pepper To Taste
  • 1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Onion, Chopped
  • 2 Tablespoon Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
  • 4 Cups Chicken Stock (or More As Needed)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Dried Rosemary
  • 2 Sm Bag Of Baby Carrots
  • 2 Fennel Bulbs Chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons Of Worcestershire
  • 1 Small Bag Of Fingerling Potatoes Halved
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Green Onions
  • Water If Needed
  1. Season lamb with salt and black pepper.
  2. Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over high heat. Working in batches, cook lamb until browned on both sides, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a stock pot.
  3. Cook and stir onion with a pinch of salt in the same skillet over medium heat until slightly softened and edges are browning, about 5 minutes. Stir butter into onion until melted; add flour and stir until onions are coated, about 1 minute.
  4. Pour stock into onion mixture; bring to a boil, add rosemary, and stir until mixture thickens, 5 to 10 minutes.
  5. Stir carrots and celery into pot with lamb and pour chicken stock mixture over the top. Add additional stock as needed to cover meat completely. Bring mixture to a simmer, reduce heat to low, cover the pot with a lid, and cook until meat is almost falling off the bone, about 2.5 hours.
  6. Transfer meat to a plate. Stir potatoes into stew and return meat to stew, placing on top of vegetables. Simmer, covered, until potatoes are tender and meat is falling off the bone, about 30 minutes.
  7. Transfer meat to a plate using a slotted spoon. Bring stew to a boil and cook, skimming off fat, until stew is reduced and thick, 10 to 12 minutes.
  8. Remove meat from bones; discard bones and any pieces of fat. Stir meat back into stew. Stir green onions into stew and season with salt and pepper to taste.
VARIATION: May use beef shanks if you prefer instead of Lamb
Pear Vinaigrette
  • 1 Ripe Pear – Peeled, Cored, And Chopped
  • 1/2 Cup White Wine
  • 2 Clove Garlic, Minced
  • 2 Teaspoons Dijon Mustard
  • 1/4 Cup White Rice Vinegar
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
  1. Blend the pear, white wine, garlic, Dijon mustard, white balsamic vinegar, black pepper, and sea salt in a blender until well combined; drizzle the olive oil into the mixture in a thin, steady stream while continuing to blend. Blend a few seconds longer until the salad dressing is thick and creamy.
Pear Salad
4 pears chopped
4 Cups Spring Greens Chopped
1 Cup Baby Spinach
1 Fennel Bulb Shaved
Chop and Toss all of the salad fixings with the Pear Vinaigrette

Diva Rambling: Elderberry…winter health helper….

I’m trying to get us all thinking wellness for winter.  Elderberry elixir and cough drops (I order online) were very helpful to me the last couple of winters.  When all the Teachers & Student were home with the flu I was not.  I think the elder helped make that possible.  I’ve always had a great immune system until I move here 5 years ago.  I’m guessing serious trauma and head injury messed it up somewhat.  So I do wellness care to keep things on track.  Here is one you may want to consider for your tool box as well.  Wishing wellness to all of our divas.  Namaste, The Queen Cronista….
Elderberry Benefits: Elder Blossoms as Herbal Medicine
Elderflowers have many uses, but they particularly shine in two areas: for fevers and to promote healthy skin. While that may seem an odd pairing, it’s not uncommon that herbs acting as relaxing diaphoretics also support the physiological functions of skin health
In my northern climate, elderberry distinctly marks each season. By late winter and early spring, the elderberry bush begins to leaf out, greening the landscape with its plentiful leaves. As summer approaches, it briefly breaks into a profusion of white blooms. During this season you can easily distinguish the shrubs from other green growths. Take note of where they are! By late summer and early fall, the shrubs will be dripping in heavy bunches of berries. While I love elderflower for medicine, the berries remain one of my favorite herbal medicines of all. 
People have been using the elder herb for thousands of years for food, medicine, and tools. It has a rich folklore and has long been associated with the faery worlds, death, and rebirth. It is still highly revered today as one of our most powerful herbs for preventing and treating colds and influenza. 
Herbalists are not the only ones who are recognizing the amazing benefits of elderberry. Numerous clinical trials have been done with the berries and in 2013 the first international conference on elder was held in Columbia, Missouri. The goal of the conference was to “raise elderberry to the scientific level it deserves.”
John Evelyn, writing in praise of the Elder, says: ‘If the medicinal properties of its leaves, bark and berries were fully known, I cannot tell what our countryman could ail for which he might not fetch a remedy from every hedge, either for sickness, or wounds.’
– Maude Grieve, 
A Modern Herbal
Elderberry Benefits: History and Folklore of Elderberry Uses
There is a long history of elderberry uses in Europe. Archaeological excavations show large numbers of seeds at prehistoric sites, indicating elders were consumed during the Magdalenian era, which was 17,000 to 12,000 BP. It’s been hypothesized that the wood was probably used as well for making tools.1 
Excavations have revealed ceremonial flint spearheads that were modeled after elder leaves, giving us the insight that the elder was probably revered then as it is now. 
Elderberry shrubs were an important plant for the Celtic people. Celtic druids made flutes from elder to communicate with the souls of dead people. Celtic myth says that the spirits of the forest dwell in the hollow wood of the elder tree and that the white blooms in the spring symbolize the reincarnation of the dead. 
During the spring in Austria and in the north of England, people would leave elder cuttings on graves. If the branches flowered then that meant the soul of the dead had joined paradise. Luckily, elder grows really well from cuttings! 
Historically, almost every part of the elder bush was used for medicine, including the flowers, berries, leaves, and bark. This article will specifically look at using elder blossoms and elder berries.
Elderberry Benefits: Elder flowers as a Relaxing Diaphoretic
While mainstream culture often reaches for a pill for fevers, herbalists recognize many types of fevers and use a variety of herbs based on the kind of fever a person has. 
Elderflowers excel for fevers when the person feels hot, is agitated or tense, and isn’t sweating. Drinking the warm tea encourages the capillaries to open up, thus helping to dispel excess heat from the body. A traditional tea remedy for fever that is still common today includes a blend of elderflowers, peppermint, and yarrow
While elderflowers are ideal for this particular type of fever, I wouldn’t hesitate to use them in other feverish cold and influenza situations. The tea blend mentioned above is many people’s favorite tea to take at the onset of a cold or flu to help them shorten the duration of the sickness. 
An almost infallible cure for an attack of influenza in its first stage is a strong infusion of dried Elder Blossoms and Peppermint. Put a handful of each in a jug, pour over them a pint and a half of boiling water, allow to steep, on the stove, for half an hour then strain and sweeten and drink in bed as hot as possible. Heavy perspiration and refreshing sleep will follow, and the patient will wake up well on the way to recovery and the cold or influenza will probably be banished within thirty-six hours. Yarrow may also be added.
– Maude Grieve, 
A Modern Herbal
Like most diaphoretics, when taken as a cool tea rather than a hot one, the diuretic effect is more pronounced, encouraging the healthy flow of urine. 

Diva Tasting: Southern Stew with Attitude and Cinnamon Apple Pie Cups…

Southern Stew With Attitude
  • 6 Quarts Beef or Vegetable Broth
  • 3/4 Cup Bay Seasoning (Allow 2 tablespoons of seasoning per quart of liquid.)
  • 2 Pounds Fingerling Potatoes
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic Minced
  • 1 Lg Bag Baby Carrots
  • 3 Pounds Smoked Kielbasa Links, Cut Into 2 Inch Pieces
  • 1 Head Cabbage Rough Chopped (core removed)
  • 12 Ears Corn – Husked, Cleaned And Quartered
  • 4 Pounds Large Fresh Shrimp, Unpeeled
  1. Bring broth, Bay Seasoning to boil in a large stockpot. Add garlic and stir.
  2. Add potatoes, cabbage and carrots cook for 15 minutes. Add sausage and cook for 5 minutes more. Add corn and cook for another 15 minutes. Stir in the shrimp and cook until shrimp are pink, about 5 minutes. Serve with cornbread and potato salad.
Apple Pie Cups
1 Can (13 Oz) Refrigerated Flaky Cinnamon Rolls With Butter Cream Icing
2 Cups Fruit Apple Pie Filling (from 21-Oz Can), Coarsely Chopped
1/2 Cup Light Brown Sugar
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
Pinch Nutmeg
1 Heat oven to 375°F. Spray 8 regular-size muffin cups with cooking spray. Set icing aside. Separate dough into 8 rolls. Press into and up sides of muffin cups. Combine chopped pie filling, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium bowl and mix until blended.
2 Spoon 2 generous tablespoons pie filling into each dough-lined cup.
3 Bake 14 to 18 minutes or until golden brown; cool in pan 5 minutes.
4 Transfer icing to small microwavable bowl. Microwave uncovered on Low (10%) 8 to 10 seconds or until thin enough to drizzle. Place rolls on serving plate; spoon icing over rolls. Serve warm.

Diva Rambling: Good Health…


I found a couple of things that lend to healthy budget meal planning.  I just thought I’d pass them along…. Namaste, The Queen Cronista


There are as many meal plans as there are people in the world.  No two people are going to like the exact same foods or be following the same diet (or way of eating, if you prefer).  I’m going to show you a few ways to adapt your own eating habits, going from simple things to do all the way up to more complicated.

It all depends on how much effort you can put into it.  Some people just don’t like dealing with numbers, so calorie counting is not for them.  That’s fine!  You need to find what works for you.

You can even combine some of the methods/tips to create something unique for you that will help you lose the fat!
The goal here is to end up with several meals and snacks that you can pick and choose from.  Or if you really get into the groove, a full 7 day plan of what you’re going to eat.
What you want to avoid is the indecision you get when you’re hungry:  you don’t know what to eat and end up having something unhealthy because it’s quick and easy.
That will kill any fat loss goals you have and leave you open to cravings!

Modify What You’re Eating Now If you’re pretty consistent with what you eat, what you might want to do is go through your meals/snacks and see where you can get rid of the junk food, eat the fruit instead of drinking the juice, or eat the lower fat version of certain foods (like milk, cheese).

If you feel part of the problem is that you overeat (you eat till you’re more than full), try reducing the portions that you serve yourself at mealtime and add more vegetables instead.  A good rule of thumb is that half your plate should be vegetables.

Use Someone Else’s Meal Plans and Modify It
If you’re following a particular diet (either online or from a book), see if they provide meal plans.  Most usually do.  I find the problem with a diet’s meal plan is that it includes foods I don’t like or sometimes way too many new recipes I’d have to cook up.  Take some time to go through your diet’s meal plan and switch out the meals or snacks you don’t like for foods you do like.

Find a Balance between Repeats and Variety
In talking with successful “dieters”, one thing I noticed is that we eat a lot of things over and over again.  Sure, it’s always good to have a variety of foods in your diet because you want to make sure you’re getting enough protein, carbs and healthy fats, plus the necessary vitamins and minerals.  But it’s not like you have to have a gazillion different meals and snacks a week.

I eat a lot of the same things each week. I have two to three different breakfasts, lunch and snacks that I eat.  Since I don’t have to worry about those meals too much, I can take the time to try out different meals at suppertime, if I want.  A fair amount of time, I’ll just stick to a protein plus veggie, but the option is always there to try something new.

More Effort But It Pays Off

What I do is I write out all my favorite (healthy) foods and meals; I break them down into groups like:

Protein Veggies Fruits Legumes Breads and Alternatives Fats Meal Combinations Snack Combinations

From there, I throw things into different slots depending on what program I’m following.  So, if I’m doing a 3 meals and 2 snacks kind of program, I’ll create a list of breakfasts, lunches, suppers and snacks.  (I tend to do this in my head, but I really should write it out!)

Then I track everything with my fitness tracker.  I’ll get an idea of how many calories my meal should be from my calories per meal calculator.  After that, I adjust as I go along.  I watch out for calories and for the amount of carbs, protein and fat I’m eating in a day and make sure that I’m sticking to my goals.

A Few Tips and Tricks

  • To save time, get things ready on Sundays and Wednesdays.  I’ll do things like chop veggies, grate cheese, cook some rice, etc.—whatever I can prepare ahead of time to make things easier on me during the week.

  • Get out the measuring cups and spoons, and a food scale if you’ve got one.  Start meausring your food, so you have an idea of serving sizes.  Read food labels, too, and measure out a serving size.  You don’t have to measure things forever; you just want to have an idea of how much you’re eating.

  • Eat the fruit instead of drinking the fruit juice.  You’ll feel more full after eating the fruit, plus you’ll get more fiber into your diet.

  • Keep junk food out of the house.  Go through the fridge and food cupboard and toss anything that doesn’t fit in with your new way of eating.  Out of sight/out of mind.

  • Track your progress a variety of ways.  A scale is not totally reliable.  Take measurements, body fat percentage; look at how your clothes are fitting on you.  Most importantly, how are you feeling?  Are you feeling energized and full of life?  Or are you feeling tired and sluggish?  A good healthy diet with enough calories and nutrition (along with exercise) will make you feel strong and full of energy!

I tried to keep things general since there are so many ways to create a meal plan.  Hopefully, this is enough to get you started!

Diva Musing: Schisandra

Yesterday I listed a few of the supplements I take to stay healthy.  Today I’m giving you a little tip on Schisandra from one of the medical resources online. This is one of the new ones I started last winter to keep me up and at them all winter.  It is a natural resource for a healthy lifestyle.  As always I remind you to use your own discernment and consult a doctor if you are in need.  (Note: Most traditional doctors pooh, pooh, supplements except vitamins).  This Cronista is healthier than many half her age….I’m just sayin’

Namaste, The Queen Cronista


Schisandra is a plant. The fruit is used as food and also to make medicine.

Schisandra is used as an “adaptogen” for increasing resistance to disease and stress, increasing energy, and increasing physical performance and endurance.

Schisandra is also used for preventing early aging and increasing lifespan; normalizing blood sugar and blood pressure; and stimulating the immune system and speeding recovery after surgery.

It is also used for treating liver disease (hepatitis) and protecting the liver from poisons. The Chinese have developed a liver-protecting drug called DBD that is made from schisandrin, one of the chemicals in schisandra.

Other uses for schisandra include treatment of high cholesterolcoughsasthmasleepproblems (insomnia), nerve painpremenstrual syndrome (PMS), chronic diarrhea, dysentery, night sweats, spontaneous sweating, involuntary discharge of semen, thirst, erectile dysfunction (ED), physical exhaustion, excessive urination, depression, irritability, and memory loss.

Some people use schisandra for improving vision, protecting against radiation, preventing motion sickness, preventing infection, boosting energy at the cellular level, counteracting the effects of sugar, and improving the health of the adrenal glands.

How does it work?

The chemicals in schisandra improve liver function by stimulating enzymes (proteins that speed up biochemical reactions) in the liver and promoting liver cell growth.