Diva Tasting: One Skillet Chicken n’ Veggies…

Here in the South we love our cast iron skillets.  Here is a one skillet dish I hope you enjoy.  You can use chicken breasts if you don’t like dark meat.

Cast Iron Chicken & Vegetables 



8 Large Chicken Thighs With Skin
2 Tablespoons Ground Black Pepper, Divided
1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
1 Tablespoon Paprika
1 Tablespoon Ground Cumin
2 Teaspoons Sea Salt, Divided
6 Tablespoons Peanut Oil
8 Tablespoons Butter
1/3 Cup Honey
2 Tablespoons Sriracha Sauce
2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
4 Teaspoons Lime Juice
1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
6 Potatoes, Chopped
4 Carrots, Chopped
2 Large Yellow Onions, Chopped
1 Head Garlic, Peeled
4 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
2 Cups Water


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

  2. Pat chicken dry. Combine 1 tablespoon black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, cumin, and 1 teaspoon salt in a bowl. Rub the mixture on the chicken.

  3. Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat. Add peanut oil to the hot skillet and watch it carefully; when oil smokes, add chicken, skin-side down. Cook until browned, about 4 minutes each side. Transfer chicken to a plate; reserve drippings in the skillet.

  4. Melt butter in a small saucepan. Add honey, sriracha sauce, soy sauce, and lime juice and balsamic vinegar. Add remaining black pepper and salt. Bring sauce to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes.

  5. Return skillet with drippings to medium-high heat. Add potatoes, carrots, onion, and garlic. Cook and stir until browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat. Add chicken on top of the vegetables, skin-side up. Coat with about a third of the sauce.

  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Add Balsamic Vinegar and water to the skillet and coat chicken with another third of the sauce. Cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the meat near the bone reads 165 degrees F (74 degrees C) and vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Coat chicken with remaining sauce before serving.


The Table: No Bake Boston Cream ….

No Bake Boston Cream 


For The Crust:

  • 2 And ½ Cup Graham Cracker Crumbs

  • 2 Tbsp Granulated Sugar

  • 10 Tbsp Unsalted Butter Melted

Ingredients For The Filling:

  • 2 Packages 8 Oz. Each Cream Cheese Softened

  • 8 Oz Tub Whipped Topping

  • ½ Cup Powdered Sugar

  • 1 Package 3.4 Oz. Instant Vanilla Pudding

  • 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract

Ingredients For The Ganache:

  • 6 Ounces Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chunks Or Chips

  • 1/4 C+ 2 Tbsp Cup Heavy Cream Or Half And Half

  • 1 ½ Tbsp Granulated Sugar

  • 1 ½ Tbsp Corn Syrup


How to make the crust:

  1. Line a 13″x 9″ pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

  2. Place graham crackers in the food processor. Add sugar and process until combined.

  3. Slowly drizzle in the melted butter and process until the crust comes together.

  4. Place the crust into prepared pan and press down firmly.

  5. Bake the crust for 7 to 8 minutes.

  6. Set aside to cool completely. (Baking the crust will prevent it’s crumbling when slicing the dessert.)

Ingredients to make the filling:

  1. Place cream cheese in the food processor. Process until creamy, 10 to 15 seconds.

  2. Add vanilla extract, pudding mix and sugar. Process until well combined.

  3. Add the whipped topping in two additions, process just until combined. Do not over mix.

  4. Scoop the filling onto the ready crust. Spread evenly. Smooth the top out with an offset spatula.

  5. Place the pan in a fridge to chill until set (2 hours to overnight).

Ingredients to make the ganache:

  1. Place the chocolate in a medium mixing bowl.

  2. Place the cream, sugar and corn syrup in a medium saucepan and heat to just boiling. Remove from heat.

  3. Pour the cream over the chocolate. Do not mix! Let stand 5 minutes.

  4. Whisk the ganache until smooth. Let cool to room temperature.

  5. Pour the ganache over the filling or top each slice just before serving.

Diva Ranting: Manners…

Is it just me! Manners…

Last week it was pouring rain and a nice man came over to the car and held his umbrella so I wouldn’t get wet. He walked me into the store where we were headed and I complemented him and his mother for raising such a gentleman. He said he made her proud most days and he was 40-ish. I lament all the time these days how men in the South have become so rude. I just don’t see that kind of gentleman as often. I know the libbers have halted some of it but they didn’t make them have to be rude and crude with it. I salute those men who still remember what mamma and daddy taught them about good manners. It’s a dying art.

So, here I come ranting again about the rudeness of today’s men. I was out running chores for the office and a man ‘on my left’ at a 4 way stop came us a couple of seconds after me. As I pulled forward with the right of way he intentionally ran the stop tried to hit me. He began cursing, and flipping me off as he made his left turn. I stopped and smiled and that outraged him more. His eyes were pale vampire red in the iris and his hair and beard made him look even more maniacal. These social pariah are everywhere these days. Not just in Appalachia. The answer is simple. Be nicer to each other. So simple, yet unattainable in our current chaos infested world of incensed souls.

I trust our readers are putting out enough love and good vibrations to help restore the balance at least a little bit. We so need a revival of manners and kindness in our world. I hope at least some of you can remember the good ole’ days when that happened. Namaste, The Queen Cronista

Diva Rambling: Power of Words…

Power of Words…

I recently read a quote: “Words cast spells. That’s why it’s called “SPELLING”. Words are energy, choose them wisely.

Whoever said sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me…was, in my opinion, totally out of touch with human emotion. Some of us are more tough skinned than others and words from idiots don’t bother us. But some of us are sensitive beings whose confidence is easily shattered by a harsh or bullying discourse from peers. While I am blessed not to be one of them I certainly understand how words impact those glorious, sensitive, souls who struggle with balancing the sensory overload caused by human input.

If we could only edit our thoughts to be kinder, we would do so much less damage to those around us. In our current world many don’t give a rats assets to care. They leave soul destruction in the wake of their journey through the world each day. I cannot say I’m an angel, because I’ll use whatever words I feel meet the need of the moment, when I see or hear a bully taking on an innocent anywhere, anytime. I am not a crone you want to tangle with for any reason. However, while I try to remember the power of my “word spells”, usually don’t let go unless I believe I’m seeing evil incarnate spewing on the innocent.

My point is, always realize that words do have power over others in different ways. Choose your words wisely as they are conversations with the Universe and it will send Karma your way for the choices you’ve made…good or bad!

Found a good light heart-ed poem for emphasis on the power of words….

A fairy sung a song
beauty of those words
rivers start to flow
flowers start to grow
universe slowed
Just to hear that melody


Namaste, The Queen Cronista

Diva Ranting: Disposable Family/Siblings

Disposable Siblings

It’s a universal law that we can pick on our siblings ceaselessly. And years later we still put guilt trips on them about the injustices they inflicted on us in our formative years. For some of us it takes years of therapy to overcome these injustices. Usually we all grow up and laugh at it all later. However, for those of who have a sadistic, social climbing wanna be, or a mean spirited snob for a relative they likely never leave it behind. They are embarrassed of their families and rarely if ever communicate with them. I have grown friends in their fifties and sixties who still lament these so called relatives in their lives. They still feel the hurt of the vicious behavior that has never stopped.

The Universe did not intend for us to carry the baggage of that kind of behavior from anyone in our lives. Learn to let go. Being related by blood does not mean you have to have anything to do with anyone who does not respect you for the wonderful person you’ve become. Thinking about them only intrudes on a life that is meant to be enjoyed. Don’t keep pouring salt on the wound. Ignoring bad people works and hurts no one. Some siblings in particular are evil incarnate. They are more worried about labels and social climbing than they are family or even people in general. Do not feel bad about shutting them out of your life. You need to make room to enjoy the wonder the Universe has put all around us.

I believe the best revenge is done by having a life fulfilled in spite of anyone who would have us do differently. Blocking the bad from your life lets you heal and allows you to focus on the things and people who truly matter.                          Namaste, The Queen Cronista  

Diva Ranting: The Land of the Invisible…

The Land of the Invisible… Really?

When I was a young person struggling in the world of fashion design, I use to visit the hippie head shops of Atlanta to get my designs on display and do window display for what we called the “head shops and boutiques”. I met some of the most fascinating older women. Beautiful silver haired divas with flowing garments and lilting voices. They were so strong and confident. I use to think…”I want to be an old hippie like them.” They offered so much wisdom on my quests at that time.

We all need to find mentors who are leaps and bounds ahead of us in the wisdom department. They are all around, but often missed because we so often do not recognize antiques as treasures. Life is much less domineering if we don’t have to find our path alone. If we are making our own maps through the Universe, it can be both a rocky and exciting trip, but help is better.

Older women get more confident but often become invisible at age 40 in our Western culture. So many of us see it as a relief, actually. No more pressure to look like something we are not. We become non-existent and in that is some form of freedom. However, I’ve always said I’d like to be a grandmother like Tina Turner in the song “Proud Mary” ….”I never do anything nice and easy!” The Proud Mary keeps on turning…” I welcomed my wrinkles as a badge of courage and fortitude. I honor aging gracefully and invisibility is not always a bad thing. You get to see more when you are invisible. Don’t get me wrong. The old hippie in me can still take over a room and have a party or anarchy going in ten minutes, if I choose.

However, with age should come wisdom and I honor my life’s journey and where it has brought me. I have forty-two years of corporate savvy under my belt and fourteen years of fashion design and retailing. Years of free coaching skills to offer and only the most astute students and young entrepreneurs ask for my help. I have one former student that wants me to open his law office when he graduates from Law School and run his campaign for governor when I’m eighty. I asked him if he realized how mean I’d likely be by then. He said… “I know that’s why I need you.” I will not go gently into obscurity. I plan to dance like no one is watching until I cannot dance anymore.

I say all that to tell you this. I can think of a number of other wise women who are also carrying on, on their own ground. I, you, we need to find them, and feel inspired by them. It is the wisdom of the grandmothers in our society that made our cultures strong and upstanding; as much as any warrior or leader. Homo-Sapient evolved to have older formidable women. Ever ask why we have women who survive long after their fertile years? An experienced kick-ass, older woman can improve the genetic odds for her kinship by quite a margin. We will not be invisible.

Let’s find the grandmothers and divas who spark our society behind the scenes. Let’s use their wisdom to our advantage. We, the grandmothers, do not give a rat’s ass about social convention. We live on our own terms and are willing to share with others our wisdom of the ages. Think us invisible at your own peril.                  Namaste, The Queen Cronista.

Diva Ranting: CRAP

Toxic Family 2…






I’ve been on a bit of a rant lately because so many of my friends, young and old, are dealing with family who do not serve the greatest good of anyone in their lives. I don’t know if its because the wannabe’s of the world are getting worse or I’m just hearing and noticing it more.

A child who hasn’t spoken to family for 30 years because they are embarrassed of them and where they come from, or a family member who only associates with family that has a decent Dunn and Bradstreet rating, all equally at fault in narcissistic, passive aggressive behavior patterns. Friend or Family is not a title one just has, it has to be earned.

I’m a big fan of keeping “crap” out of my auric field. If we continue to let these people in there is little hope for our happiness. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a firm believer in forgiveness. However, that does not come along with allowing the toxic people back into your life to continually pollute our happiness. Toxic is still toxic no matter how much of the air freshener of forgiveness we spray on it. We have to drain the pond and refill, only with fresh water. Also, we don’t let the family members who drink the cool aid of guilt, try to convince us otherwise. Let them swim in the cesspool of toxicity all they want. We also limit contact with them as much as possible, so we don’t have to relive the hurt through others continued pain and suffering.

Believe me, it’s OK to live a guilt free and joyful life without the “crap”. Being beaten down by pedantic, self centered people is Not what the Universe wants us to do. This article is about “Crap”. So in the time we took to read it we most probably let some memories of crap resurface in our hard drive. It’s like a virus. However, we can get rid of a virus. Do it now! and don’t let it reinfect your system. Its all about choices …and we we get to choose. Here is to a clean hard drive and no viruses, Divas. Namaste, The Queen Cronista