Food · Recipes

It’s tea time! Everything you need to know about hosting a casual tea party.

I read somewhere that tea parties are comprised of choosing your best tea set, selecting the perfect flowers, setting a beautiful table, performing the ritual of steeping a lovely blend and spending hours dedicated to this elegant ceremony. It would, it seems, make one slow down and cherish each and every moment of the activity.

Guess what? I LOVE a tea party, but I don’t spend hours dedicated to it. OK, maybe I do, but in a really fun, creative cooking and decorating way. So, here is the run down on what is sure to make your tea party a success.

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Food · Recipes

Faked Ziti Keto-Style

I LOVE just about any tomato dish with pasta in it. This ziti has no pasta in it, so it was a surprise to me that it is just as delicious with only meat, cheese and veggies. And it is, like any ziti, easy to whip up, perfect for a Keto meal.

My mom used to make lasagna with cottage cheese rather than ricotta. I still like that down-home taste of Mama’s cooking so that is what my recipe calls for. If you like ricotta better, use that instead.

Ziti with cauliflower, zucchini and Italian sausage
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Food · Recipes

Keto Krazy Zucchini “Pizza”

It’s lunch time and I have very little groceries in the house. My car has been in the shop all week so the pantry is paltry and the refrigerator is fairing little better. Taking stock, I see that there is one kind of sad, small zucchini. Better cook that today or else. I also have a bit of marinara sauce that I need to use before it goes bad. Let’s see…no mozzarella, but I do have a small block of Havarti cheese. The meat drawer yields a couple slices of deli sandwich ham. Throw in a couple cherry tomatoes, some diced black olives and I say that will make a great zucchini pizza! OK, pizza with no crust, but still…

Top view of Keto zucchini pizza
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Food · Recipes

Kick-ass Keto Bagels

Keto bagels – cheesy jalapeno

Bagels on Keto? YES! One of the reasons that I presumed that Keto may not be for me was that I LOVE chips, crackers and bread. Well, it turns out that after three weeks on the diet, I actually do not miss carbs like I thought that I would. There are plenty of recipes in books, magazines and the bazillions of internet blogs on the subject that would keep anyone satisfied for a long time without even any repeats of dishes.

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Easy Keto Friendly Mock Potato Salad

Can you have a picnic with no potato salad? NO! But what if you are trying really hard to stick to a Keto diet? Enter cauliflower (which in no way replaces potatoes, BTW. People keep saying that and it’s like, ummm… NO!). Luckily, it turns out that if you make this salad the way that you make your regular potato salad, but with cauliflower, it is a very good addition to your lunch. After about an hour of refrigeration, the flavors meld and this dish is quite satisfying and yummy.

First, a quick back story- I am no longer the skinny girl that is the picture on my Facebook page or here on my “about” page. After several years in trying to work extra hours to meet the financial burden as well as trying to meet the demands of my sister in the co-care of my bed-ridden mother, something snapped and I started eating everything in sight. My coping foods (and they ARE a drug) became carbs and sugar. Ice cream, chips, dips, cheese and crackers have been my mainstay for quite a while now. Throw in a few pizzas and a lot of Mexican food and you have the complete run down on my diet. That was up until I went for a medical check up recently. The most shocking result of my crappy diet was the extremely high number on my cholesterol chart. One year of gorging destroyed a lifetime of cholesterol readings that were always right in the middle of normal. My Doctor was practically apoplectic relaying the information to me. In lieu of meds, I had to promise, written in blood, that I would make vegetables over 70 percent of my diet until the by-products of my childish eating were ERASED. I’ve got 6 months to do it -Doctor’s orders (and she is MEAN when she lectures).

Time for changes. Lots of them! As it happens, I have been on this Keto diet for three days and have not even been tempted by the tortillas and crackers that are ALWAYS in our pantry. You laugh at three days, but, believe me, I have dumped diets after just one day in the past. I get hungry and it’s all over. Surprisingly, I have not been hungry at all eating this way. So, about this salad…


Keto Friendly Cauliflower Salad

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

I make this salad in the same manner and with the same ingredients as I make my potato salad. My preference is a country style mustard-egg dish that is kind of spicy and tangy.


  • 1 quarter head of cauliflower cut into bite sized pieces.
  • 2 hard boiled eggs cut into bite sized pieces.
  • 4 or 5 sliced black olives.
  • 1/2 small onion – finely diced
  • 1 stalk celery – finely diced
  • 1/2 small onion – finely diced
  • medium sized dill pickle – finely diced
  • as much mayonnaise and mustard as you like. For me, it’s mayo just to coat plus a quick squirt of mustard.
  • Add whatever spices that you like: I use minced garlic, salt, pepper, paprika, finely chopped parsley,

    Add cauliflower bites to a medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook until fork tender.

    Drain and let cool. Add cauliflower and all of your ingredients to a mixing bowl. Toss to mix. Refrigerate for at least an hour to give the flavors time to meld.


    DIY · Free Printables · Recipes

    Awesome Fall Cheese platter

    My lovely, sweet guests have gone home after a whirlwind Thanksgiving holiday weekend. After being surrounded by people that I love, the house seems a little too quiet. During the holiday, the weather cooperated by being cool, sunny and clear. The days were full of bright autumn color. Perfect. Now that all the hub-bub has settled, this morning is grey, overcast and we are expecting a dusting of snow. I’m left to reflect in our now still home and to peruse our photos taken over the company stay.giant flowers

    The big event went very well, but I barely got our cheese platter together before friends and family started arriving. Whew! And then The Big Dinner! How do people keep it all cooked and hot at the same time? It’s a talent that I have yet to perfect. It did turn out as it inevitably does. But only in part, due to Les’ help and calming effect and in part, due to my lovely company.

    This was the first time that I actually made a cheese platter. It was so easy and pretty that I want to share it with you. It all started with a Kirkland cheese sampler from Costco. I have to say that the little blocks of cheese were delicious. One of them was a cheese made with white truffles which I never thought that I would try. I figured that I don’t like anything-mushroom so truffles just sound like they would taste like dirt – the same as mushrooms. Really though, the cheese was OK. I don’t need to eat anything with truffles ever again (unless chocolate) but everyone else liked it. It disappeared, so that must be the proof. 😅😅😅little cheese labels

    I also used my computer to print out free chalkboard labels. A white chalk pen was used to print the different kinds of cheese information. I cut the labels apart and stuck them onto toothpicks for cheese identification. Kind of cute, huh?

    To assemble the display, I cut a few slices from some of the cheese wedges and I cubed others for variety. I placed them around the edges of the cutting board. In the center I put two little ceramic bowels for extra color. One was filled with spicy cocktail mix of roasted red peppers, green olives, little pickles and onions. The other was filled with cranberry chutney.20181122_140321cheese platter

    Last came the fruit. I used purple, seedless Thomcord grapes from California- they were deliciously sweet and flavorful. The board was rounded out with dried apricots and mixed, candied nuts. I would have gone for figs and other fruits, but I was trying to keep the cost down. And there you have it, the easiest cheese board ever.

    Good holiday spirit to you,



    Food · Recipes

    Making a Healthier Cranberry Chutney

    Another reason for me to fall for autumn is…..(drum roll please)…. cranberries! Little packets of them are in the markets now! Get them while you can because, I don’t know about your neck of the woods, but they disappear around here FAST after they hit the market shelves. Every autumn I stock up on a couple of bags of the berries. Both the raw berries and the cooked chutney freeze well so you can have this delicious topping all year round.cranberries

    When people ask me if I use apricots, apple or raisins in my cranberry chutney, my answer is always “Yes!!” Yes to all off it. I like a huge burst of flavor in my chutney.

    Forget the yucky can of gelatinous goo that is commonly known as cranberry sauce. It is so easy and fast to make your own sauce. Once you do that, I guarantee that you will never go back to the substandard stuff. Ooooh… (wince)… “guarantee” is such a strong word, but, yep. I guarantee it! Simple sauces can be found all over the internet, so go for it. You won’t be sorry. If you want a recipe for a fabulous chutney, read on.vinegar and spices

    Cranberry chutney is a taste bonanza of sweet, tangy and spicy. It generally contains fruit such as apples, apricots and /or raisins plus vinegar. I did quite a few experiments to come up with my own favorite recipe. I like it so much that I double the recipe so that I can have chutney in many other dishes as well as a condiment at Thanksgiving.

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