Category Archives: Things That Make Us Happy!

Diva Tasting: Salad with Asian Dressing…

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Dinner Salad:

1 lg Bag spring greens

1 Pt Cherry Tomatoes

1/2 LB. Snow Peas

1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries

1 Small Purple Onion Diced

1 LG Mango Diced

Place all ingredients in a large salad bowl and toss with Asian Dressing just before serving.

ASIAN GINGER DRESSING

Ingredients:

  • 3 Cloves Garlic, Minced

  • 2 Tablespoons Minced Fresh Ginger Root

  • 3/4 Cup Olive Oil

  • 1/3 Cup Rice Vinegar

  • 1/2 Cup Soy Sauce

  • 3 Tablespoons Honey

  • 1/4 Cup Water

Directions:

  1. In a 1 pint glass jar or larger, combine the garlic, ginger, olive oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, honey, and water. Cover the jar with a tight fitting lid, and shake well. Remove lid, and heat jar in the microwave for 1 minute just to dissolve the honey. Let cool, and shake well before serving. Store covered in the refrigerator.

Diva Musing: Breakfast at the Watering Hole…..

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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 joyful 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? Are you good to yourself from dawn to dusk?  Do you take the time needed to “smell the roses”, hug the pups or kids, enjoy the simple settings around you no matter what? 

I encourage you to try it!  Your day just goes better and you get more out of it.  Find a good local near you and try it. If you are a stay at home Diva then get the morning…”must do’s” done… sit quietly in your meditation space and enjoy your cup of coffee there.  Drink in the silence of your own safe space.  Feel the flow of your calmly beating heart and enjoy what the Universe offers each new day.. We love you….   Namaste, The Queen Cronista

Diva Tasting: Orange Chicken and Southern Peach Cobbler….

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Orange Herb Roasted Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Chicken Broth
  • 1 (4 Pound) Whole Chicken, Rinsed And Patted Dry
  • 1/2 Cup Butter, Cut Into 1 Tablespoon Sized Pieces
  • 2 Navel Oranges, Halved
  • Salt And Pepper To Taste
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1/2 Cup Butter, Melted
  • 2 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary
  • 2 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
  • 2 Sprigs Fresh Sage
  • 2 Bunch Flat Leaf Parsley Chopped

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Pour the chicken broth into a small roasting pan, and set aside.
  2. Loosen the skin from the breasts and thighs of the chicken. Stuff the butter pieces evenly underneath the skin of the chicken, and place into the roasting pan. Squeeze the orange halves over the chicken, and stuff the orange halves into the chicken cavity. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper to taste, then rub in the minced garlic. Drizzle the melted butter all over the chicken, then half the herbs and stuff half in cavity and lay the rest of herb sprigs onto the breast and around the legs.
  3. Cover the dish with aluminum foil, and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Uncover and baste the chicken with the pan juices. Continue cooking until the chicken is no longer pink, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 165 degrees F, 1 to 2 hours. Baste the chicken every 10 to 15 minutes after you uncover it. Once cooked, allow the chicken to rest out of the oven for 10 minutes before slicing.
  4. Serve with cauliflower mash potatoes and Swiss chard. With Southern Peach Cobbler for dessert Below…..

Southern Peach Cobbler….

Ingredients

  • 8 Fresh Peaches – Peeled, Pitted And Sliced Into Thin Wedges
  • 1/4 Cup White Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
  • 1 Teaspoon Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 2 Teaspoons Cornstarch
  • ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  • 1 Cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 Cup White Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 6 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, Chilled And Cut Into Small Pieces
  • 1/4 Cup Boiling Water
  • Mix Together:
  • 3 Tablespoons White Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine peaches, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice, and cornstarch. Toss to coat evenly, and pour into a 2 quart baking dish. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine flour, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Blend in butter with your fingertips, or a pastry blender, until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in water until just combined.
  4. Remove peaches from oven, and drop spoonfuls of topping over them. Sprinkle entire cobbler with the sugar and cinnamon mixture. Bake until topping is golden, about 30 minutes.

 

Diva Musing: I found a good calorie counter….

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I was looking for an online calorie counter and found this great website below. I looked up the calories and fat in an apple fritter and almost stroked from seeing it!!!! I have got to do better. If you are on a …” I’ve Got To Do Better”….kick use this as a good tool to look up a few things that may lead to the dead butt like I’ve got now…..Namaste, The Queen Cronista….

Yup, dead butt syndrome is a thing. Also known as gluteal amnesia, it happens when your gluteus medius — one of your three butt muscles — stops working properly.

 

Most of us spent a good part of our day sitting down.  It’s. Just. Not. Good. For. You.
In addition to increased risks in health problems from sitting too much, you can also get “dead butt” syndrome.
Yup.  It’s a thing.
Think you’re safe because you exercise?  You might not be.  Runners, for example, are susceptible to dead but syndrome.
This Week’s Challenge
Get up off of that chair and get your rear in gear! And?  Do at least one of the exercises in the “
Dead Butt Syndrome:  How to Wake Up Your Butt and Get it Moving Again.”
You got this!
Are you on Facebook?  Come join me!  Check out these daily Facebook motivators.
Eat better, move more and believe in yourself,
Suzanne-
ACE-certified Health Coach & Fitness Nutrition Specialist
FitWatch – Eat Better. Move More. Believe in Yourself.
https://www.fitwatch.com

Our mailing address is:  FitWatch Inc.1900 Seguin;  Brossard, Quebec J4X 1K8;   Canada    https://www.fitwatch.com

 

Diva Tasting: CHICKEN WITH BALSAMIC REDUCTION…

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CHICKEN WITH BALSAMIC REDUCTION

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard, Or More To Taste
  • 2 Clove Garlic, Or More To Taste, Minced
  • Salt And Freshly Ground Pepper To Taste
  • 4 Large Skinless, Boneless Chicken Breast Halves
  • 1 Pint Cherry Tomatoes, Halved
  • 1 Lemon, Zested And Juiced

Directions

  1. Mix balsamic vinegar, olive oil, mustard, and garlic together in an oven-safe baking dish; season with salt and pepper. Lie the chicken breasts in the vinegar mixture.
  2. Marinate chicken in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  4. Roast chicken in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes. Add tomatoes to the baking dish and continue cooking until the chicken is no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear, about 10 minutes more. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 165 degrees F.
  5. Sprinkle lemon zest and drizzle lemon juice over the chicken.
  6. Serve with Cauliflower Mash Potatoes and roasted asparagus.

Diva Tasting: Solstice Halibut and Summer Fruit….

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Keeping it fresh for the solstice…..

Grilled Halibut with Spinach and Tomatoes

Ingredients

  • 4 (4 ounce) halibut filets
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 garlic clove minced, or to taste
  • 2 cups roughly chopped spinach, or to taste
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 tablespoon chopped onion
  • 4 tablespoon olive oil, or to taste
  • 4 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, or to taste
  • 4 slices mozzarella cheese, cut into cubes

Directions

  1. Preheat grill for medium-high heat.
  2. Place fish on a piece of aluminum foil and season with salt, black pepper, and garlic powder. Top fish with spinach, tomato, and onion; season again with salt and black pepper. Drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar over cod and top with mozzarella cheese. Fold foil over cod creating a packet, crimping the edges together making a seal.
  3. Cook on the preheated grill until fish flakes easily with a fork, 7 to 10 minutes.
  4. Serve with rice pilaf and garlic bread.

Whipped Ricotta and Summer Fruit

Ingredients

  • 1 pound fresh ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 8oz Cream Cheese softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pint fresh peaches, halved
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, halved
  • 3 plums, pitted and sliced into eighths
  • 1/2 cup raw organic honey
  • freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • 3 sprigs fresh mint, or more to taste

Directions

  1. Beat ricotta cheese, cream, cream cheese, and vanilla extract together in a bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  2. Spread ricotta mixture onto a platter; top with fruit. Drizzle honey over the fruit and sprinkle black pepper over the top. Garnish with mint sprigs.

Diva Musing: Summer Solstice….

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I, myself, honor the miracle of creation and the changing of the seasons that is a part of this glorious Universe we live in. It is a spectacular event, if you think about it.  Today marks the summer solstice and I thought we’d wax ethereally down that road together…Namaste, The Queen Cronista….
sum·mer sol·stice
ˈsəmər ˈsälstəs,ˈsōlstəs/
noun:  the solstice that marks the onset of summer, at the time of the longest day, about June 21 in the northern hemisphere and December 22 in the southern hemisphere

The Spiritual Meaning of the Summer Solstice; By Grove Harris

The summer solstice is upon us: Things to know about the longest day of the year

Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year, the shortest night, and a tipping point: from here on out the days get shorter and the nights get longer. The solstice, sometimes called midsummer because by now farmers have long done their planting, is technically the first day of summer. It both ushers in the warmest season, and reminds that the season is short, slipping away day by day. For those who revere nature, summer solstice may be celebrated by a bonfire, and staying up to greet the dawn. Celebration may be a small private event, or a large communal event such as the Pagan Spirit Gathering held on beautiful rural land in Missouri, with ritual, prayers, altars and sacred space.

Celebration may be among a broader spectrum of people, such as the 35,000 who gathered at Stonehenge last year. BBC’s coverage of that event included an interview “with those who appreciate the solstice the most: ‘We believe it is very important for people to move with the cycles of nature, and actually feel them. If you get up early in the morning and you watch that special sunrise, you’ve been a part of it. The rest of the year is shaped by that. And we think it’s a really healthy thing to do, and a very spiritual thing to do.’” And clearly the large crowd shared at least some of this sentiment and journeyed to one of the world’s most renowned sacred spots to observe the sunrise. For those for whom this is a religious practice, there are variations on the rituals or traditions. Some will burn a Yule wreath in a bonfire; some will dance, drum, sing, and pray. The variations are endless — some rituals may be prescribed and ceremonial, while others will be more spontaneous: all are witnessing the turning of the wheel of the year. People attune themselves to the rhythms of the natural world and invite the seasons of waxing and waning, of birth, growth, death and renewal to reverberate more consciously in their lives.

Rituals for the day of longest light date back to ancient times, and Stonehenge is one of the most famous sites. Dating back to between 3000-1500 BCE, its main axis is aligned to the solstice sunrise. Many cultures and ethnicities have celebrated, from ancient Roman celebrations of Vesta to feast days in many cultures. In contemporary Goddess spirituality, the American writer Starhawk offers this litany for ritual:

…This is the time of the rose, blossom and thorn, fragrance and blood. Now on this longest day, light triumphs, and yet begins the decline into the dark. The Sun King grown embraces the Queen of Summer in the love that is death because it is so complete that all dissolves into the single song of ecstasy that moves the worlds. So the Lord of Light dies to Himself, and sets sail across the dark seas of time, searching for the isle of light that is rebirth. We turn the Wheel and share his fate, for we have planted the seeds of our own changes and to grow we must accept even the passing of the sun. (The Spiral Dance, HarperCollins, 1999, p. 205)…

While Pagans hold religious ritual on the solstice, there are many public celebrations that also acknowledge the turning of the wheel of the year. Summer is widely seen as a good reason to celebrate! In Detroit, the River Days festival culminates with fireworks on the solstice, meeting fire with fire. Such celebrations build community and focus on the pleasures of the warm season, but without a religious intention.

Honoring the solstice can remind us just how precious each day and season is, because the truth of its passing away is also acknowledged. Gifts need to be appreciated, not taken for granted. Some will use their religious ritual to raise energy for healing, for re-aligning and redressing environmental wrongs, or for strengthening the sense of being part of nature, not set apart and individual, but interconnected in a larger whole, including the past, present and future. Such is the power of participating in the turning of the wheel of the year.

Diva Tasting: Caprese Portobellos…

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CAPRESE STUFFED GARLIC BUTTER PORTOBELLOS 

Now… garlic butter smothered portobello mushrooms stuffed and grilled with fresh mozzarella cheese, grape tomato slices, and drizzled with a rich balsamic glaze!

Serves: 5­6

Ingredients

Garlic Butter

2 Tablespoons Butter

2 Cloves Garlic, Crushed

1 Tablespoon Freshly Chopped Parsley

Mushrooms: 5­6 Large Portobello Mushrooms, Stem Removed, Washed And Dried With A Paper Towel

5-­6 Fresh Mozzarella Cheese Balls, Sliced Thinly

1 Cup Grape (or Cherry) Tomatoes,

Sliced Thinly Fresh Basil, Shredded To Garnish

Balsamic Glaze:

(or You Can Use Store Bought, Or This Recipe)

¼ Cup Balsamic Vinegar

1 Teaspoons Brown Sugar (OPTIONAL)

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to grill/broil settings on high heat. Arrange oven shelf to the middle of your oven. 2. Combine all of the Garlic Butter ingredients together in a small saucepan (or microwave safe bowl), and melt until garlic is fragrant. Brush the bottoms of each mushroom and place them, buttered side down, on a baking tray. 3. Flip and brush any remaining garlic over the insides of each cap. Fill each mushroom with the mozzarella slices and tomatoes, and grill/broil until cheese has melted and golden in color (about 8 minutes). 4. To serve, top with the basil, drizzle with the balsamic glaze and sprinkle with salt to taste. For the Balsamic Glaze: 1. (If making from scratch, prepare while mushrooms are in the oven.) Combine sugar (if using) and vinegar in a small saucepan over high heat and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low; allow to simmer for 5­8 minutes or until mixture has thickened and reduced to a glaze. (If not using sugar, allow to reduce for 12­-15

Diva Musing: Bacon!!!!!!!

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The joy of every Southern Cook is bacon in a recipe.  This is the cleaner way I like to do mine….Namaste, The Queen Cronista

Oven Bacon is Best Thank you Allrecipe.com

Why Cook Bacon in the Oven?

So much win, we have to count the ways:

  1. Cook a whole pound of bacon at one time in just minutes
  2. Baked bacon cooks flat and doesn’t curl up
  3. No need to turn the bacon
  4. No grease burns on your skin
  5. No grease stains on your clothes
  6. No grease splatters all over your stove
  7. Free up space on your stovetop for other foods
  8. Super-easy cleanup
  9. Baking makes it possible to make candied bacon
  10. Bacon is it’s own best reason to cook bacon

How to Cook Bacon in the Oven

Adapted from The Easiest Way to Cook Bacon
Ingredients
1 pound thick-cut bacon

Equipment
Large rimmed baking sheet
Aluminum foil
Baking rack (Optional: Cooking the bacon on a rack makes the bacon crisper, and lets the grease drip off the bacon as it cooks.)

Directions
1. Preheat your oven to 400° F. You won’t be broiling the bacon, so put your oven rack in the middle of your oven to distribute the heat evenly.
1. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil. Make sure the foil extends up the sides of the pan so it captures all the bacon grease and clean-up is easier.
2. Arrange bacon strips directly on the foil. It’s okay if the bacon overlaps slightly, because it will shrink slightly as it bakes. OR place the bacon on a rack. Place the baking pan in the oven.
3. Cook bacon for 10 to 20 minutes, depending on how chewy or crispy you like your bacon.
4. Transfer cooked bacon to a paper towel-lined platter. The extra grease will be absorbed by the paper towels, and the bacon will crisp up a bit as it cools. You can then transfer it to a clean plate to serve.

Notes From Home Cooks

  • No baking rack? No problem. Line the baking sheet, then crumple up some more foil and lay the bacon on that to hold it up out of the grease.
  • Your baking time may differ. No two ovens bake at exactly the same temperature. You’ll probably need to do this a few times to find the right time/temperature that works for you.
  • Prevent oven splatters. This from Cindy Capps Lepp: Lay a layer of foil over the bacon; this will keep grease from spitting all over the oven. Remove the foil for the last few minutes of cooking for “final crisping.”
  • Clean up is a snap. Just let the bacon grease cool in the pan (save it if you want), then roll up the aluminum foil and toss it.

Diva Tasting: Breakfast/Dessert Fritter Cobbler….

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Fritter Delight Cobbler

Ingredients

  • 12 Apple Fritters
  • 1 (14 Ounce) Can Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 4 Eggs, Beaten
  • 1 (29 Ounce) Can Sliced Peaches, Not Drained
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 Pinch Salt
  • ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  • 1/2 Cup Butter, Melted
  • 1 (16 Ounce) Package Confectioners’ Sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract

Directions

  1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish, and set aside.
  2. Tear the fritters into bite-size pieces, and place them in a large bowl. Pour in the sweetened condensed milk, eggs, peaches with juice, cinnamon, and salt, and mix. Spoon the mixture into the greased baking dish.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
  4. While the cobbler is baking, make a glaze by combining the melted butter, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla extract in a bowl. Stir until smooth. Drizzle the glaze over the baked cobbler. (glaze optional)