Welcome my blog of LOVE!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Cheesecake Fondue for all you Fondue Fanatics!

So, when I received an email from our small group hosts, asking for some folks to bring dessert goodies I thought I know just what to bring. Many in our group eat gluten free, no prob!

thought, fruit... gluten free marble cake....
and yes my amazing (i'm slightly predacious)
So here it is. ENJOY

Cheesecake Fondue...of LOVE!

1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 jar marshmallow cream
2 tbsp. milk
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp almond extract 
In a saucepan over medium-low heat combine cream cheese and marshmallow cream. Cook; whisking constantly until melted. Watch carefully to avoid scorching. Slowly add milk, 1 tbsp. at a time, stirring well to combine. Stir in lemon juice, mix well. Remove from heat and transfer immediately to dessert fondue pot over candle flame.

New to fondue? Here are some suggested “dippers” to serve with fondue: cherries, strawberries, kiwi slices, mango pieces, pineapple, fresh pears

 Zesty Cheddar Cheese Fondue

2 3/4 cups
(11 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup beer (light beer recommended)
4 teaspoons prepared horseradish
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
4 teaspoons dry mustard
2 tablespoons chopped cooked bacon
2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon chopped scallions

Toss the cheese with the flour in a bowl. Place a metal bowl over a saucepan filled with 2 inches of water. You may also use a conventional double boiler. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and pour the beer into the bowl. Press the liquid from the horseradish. Stir the horseradish, Worcestershire sauce and mustard into beer using a fork. Cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
Add half the cheese and cook until the cheese is melted, stirring constantly. Add the remaining cheese a small amount at a time, stirring constantly in a circular motion after each addition until the cheese is melted. Fold in the bacon and pepper. Pour into a warm fondue pot and keep warm over low heat. Garnish with the scallions. Serves four to six.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Taking the Mystery Out of Foods...you see at the farmers market or you local grocery store.

Hello Happy Diabetic's I found this on the Environmental Working Group‘s website.  
“cage-free” or “free-range” eggs and every thing in-between What does it all mean. 
I hope the following list helps clarify the various definitions for you.


The term refers to hens that are not raised in cages, but it does not necessarily mean they have access to the outdoors. There is no standard definition of “cage-free,” but it generally implies that the birds are free to perform natural behaviors. Many cage-free claims are not certified, though some cage-free eggs are certified by American Humane Certified label.

Certified Humane

Products carrying this label are certified to come from animals that were never confined in cages or crates, were not subjected to de-beaking (in the case of poultry) and were slaughtered according to specific requirements designed to minimize suffering. It does not permit the use of sub-therapeutic antibiotics or hormones. “Certified Humane Raised and Handled” and “Animal Welfare Approved” are the two leading humane certification systems, although the Food Alliance follows similar standards. “Certified Humane” does not mean animals had access to pasture, but “Animal Welfare Approved” does.

Farmed Fish

This refers to the rapidly growing industry that raises and feeds fish for human consumption in tanks or large wire pens anchored in coastal areas or other large bodies of water. Also called aquaculture, fish farming is expanding to offset the global decline in the wild fish catch. Fifty percent of seafood sold in the U.S. is now farmed. Ironically, feeding carnivorous farmed fish such as salmon requires harvesting millions of tons of smaller wild fish, such as anchovies and sardines, to produce fishmeal and fish oil. Catfish and other farmed fish are fed mostly soybeans and corn, while farmed tilapia eats a variety of algae, seaweeds and other aquatic plants. The use of open ponds and net pens or cages allows ocean water to flow freely through them. These enclosures pollute local waters with fish waste, excess feed and antibiotics and spread disease and parasites to sensitive wild marine species. The rapid growth of farmed shrimp ponds has led to deliberate destruction of thousands of coastal acres of mangrove forests that serve as fish nurseries, protect against storms and provide local economic livelihood.


In the United States, this term applies only to poultry and is regulated by the US Department of Agriculture. It indicates simply that the animals have been “allowed access to the outside.” The USDA does not specify the quality or size of the outside range nor the duration of time an animal must have access to the outside.
This term technically refers only to animals fed a diet of natural grass and other forage, not grain, but it often includes other healthier farm practices not associated with industrially produced meat, such as local butchering, more range time for livestock and less crowded conditions. The three leading “grass-fed” labels, certified by the Food Alliance, the American Grassfed Association or the USDA, require that animals eat a diet exclusively of forage. Some companies that market their meat as “naturally raised” or grass-fed actually feed their animals grain for significant periods. USDA’s grass-fed marketing standard requires only that animals “must have continuous access to pasture during the growing season.” It does not necessarily mean that the animals spent their entire lives in pastures or on rangeland. Some cattle marketed as USDA grass-fed actually spend part of their lives in confined pens or feedlots.

Hormone-free/No added hormones

This means that the animals were never given hormone treatments. To boost profits, some farmers give hormones to beef cattle and sheep to speed their growth and to dairy cows to increase milk production. The USDA does not allow hormones to be used on chicken or hogs. The European Union does not allow hormones in any meat. The extensive use of hormones (see rBHG-free below) in meat and dairy may increase the risk of cancer in humans and result in higher rates of infection in animals. Products labeled “organic” cannot come from rGBH-treated cows. There is no specific hormone-free certification, though organic and grass-fed labels do not allow hormone use.

Lean/Extra Lean

These are USDA-defined terms. To qualify as “lean,” 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of beef must have fewer than 10 grams of fat, 4.5 grams or less of saturated fat, and fewer than 95 milligrams of cholesterol. To be labeled “extra lean,” 100 grams of beef must have fewer than 5 grams of fat, fewer than 2 grams of saturated fat and fewer than 95 milligrams of cholesterol.


The USDA defines a natural product as one that contains “no artificial ingredient or added color and is only minimally processed.” Processing must not fundamentally alter the product. The label must include a specific explanation such as “no artificial ingredients; minimally processed.” All fresh meat qualifies as natural. This term does not include any requirements that animals be raised in sufficient open space or that it has no added hormones or antibiotic; it is not the same as organic. The term can mislead consumers to think that the product is healthier and more humane than it is.

No nitrites/nitrates

Processed meats such as ham, bacon and hot dogs often contain nitrates, which are added to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and to enhance color. Eating meat that has been treated with nitrates may increase the risk of cancer and other health problems. Vegetable-based nitrates (e.g., celery, salt) are a safer bet.


Food labeled organic must be third-party certified to meet USDA’s criteria. Organic foods cannot be irradiated, genetically modified or grown using synthetic fertilizers, chemicals or sewage sludge. Organic meat and poultry cannot be treated with hormones or antibiotics and must be fed only organically grown feed (with no animal byproducts). Organic meat animals must have access to the outdoors, and ruminants must have access to pasture. There are two ways to identify organic fruits and veggies: by the “100% organic” or “organic” label and by the unique Price Look-Up (PLU) code sticker.


Animals raised in a pasture can roam freely in their natural environment, where they are able to eat nutritious grasses and other plants that their bodies are adapted to digest. There is no specific pasture-raised certification, though certified organic meat must come from animals that have continuous access to pasture.

Processed meats

In addition to sodium, artificial coloring and flavor enhancers, processed meats often contain preservatives, such as nitrites, to reduce foodborne illness retard spoilage from microorganisms and rancidity from fat oxidation. Examples are: sausage, bacon, smoked ham, hot dogs, packaged lunchmeats, pepperoni and salami. Note: You won’t see the word “processed’ on the label! The American Cancer Society and the World Cancer Research Fund recommend limiting consumption of processed meats; research has linked them to colorectal, kidney and stomach cancer.


These products are from animals not treated with recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH), also known as recombinant bovine somatotropin (rBST). rGBH is a genetically engineered hormone approved by the FDA in 1993 that when injected into cows artificially increases milk production by 10 to 15 percent. There are health concerns for both cows and humans exposed to the drug. Buying organic dairy products is another way to avoid rGBH since its use does not meet the organic criteria.

Saturated Fat

This is one of the two main types of fats that appear in foods. Unlike unsaturated fat, it has no double bonds between carbon atoms in its chemical structure, so the fatty acids are saturated with hydrogen. Fat is a necessary part of a healthy diet, but excessive saturated fat has been associated with health problems. Fats in animal-based foods are predominantly saturated. The World Health Organization (WHO), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) urge people to limit intake of saturated fat.

Sodium nitrate/nitrite-free

This chemical preservative and color fixative is typically added to processed meats to lengthen shelf life, make the color more appealing and add a smoky flavor. Processed meats made without these additives are safer; they are likely “cured” with naturally occurring vegetable-based nitrates that are less harmful to human health.

Wild-caught/Wild Fish

The “wild fish” label indicates that the fish was spawned in the wild, lived in the wild and was caught in the wild. “Wild-caught fish” may have been spawned or lived some part of their lives in a fish farm before being returned to the wild and eventually caught. For sustainable fish, consult the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s list of the most sustainable seafood choices, or look for the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) label.

Again, this list is provided by the Environmental Working Group.  For more information, feel free to visit their site at www.ewg.org.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Chad Cushman, known as "The Crepe Guy"

It was a typical Sunday except it is Father's Day 2014. I like to say "everyday is fathers day at my house".  Cindy and I were walking the bike path and ran into out good friends Bob and Kathy (check Kathy out at Dr. Kathy Kaminski Exercise & Nutrition Physical Fitness · Active Life · Personal Coaching)
We decided to meet up at Dunn Brothers Coffee in Bettendorf Iowa. Bob mentioned they have an amazing "crepe chef" there. So we meet up around 9:30. He's there from 9 to 1 every sunday.
WOW what a treat! Check Chad out on face book and on the web! https://www.facebook.com/cushmancrepes     and     http://www.thecrepeguy.com

The Crepe Guy's delicious and unique crepes have become a staple of both food lovers and the food shy throughout the Quad Cities area.  Chad Cushman, known as "The Crepe Guy," can be found Saturday's at the Freight House Farmers Market and Sundays at Dunn Brothers Coffee — serving a new selection of freshly made crepes to eager stomachs. 

Savory or Sweet...

Crepe-lover or not, a weekend visit to the Crepe Guy has become a must for both culinary adventurists, and the pickiest of eaters. The Crepe Guy's specialty crepes stretch far beyond the typical classic French crepe, taking inspiration from culinary traditions the world over.
Chad makes each crepe by hand on a traditional, cast-iron crepe pan using his own special crepe recipe. Each week he offers up two new unique culinary creations for fans,  a savory option and a sweet option — made with fresh ingredients.

Sample Menu

Braised pork shoulder + white cheddar + apple butter + pecan slaw + maple boejits vinaigrette

Fresh plum + sweet ricotta cream + candied almonds + lemon-thyme honey

BLT" Maple pepper bacon + artisan local greens + tomato jam + melba toast streusel + basil aioli

Fresh berries + sweet ricotta cream + cocoa pecan granola + rosemary syrup

The menu today was....



Taste for Life:
Recipes for eating and living better from “The Happy Diabetic”
We’re changing the way you eat one recipe at a time.

The Happy Diabetic Web Site  www.happydiabetic.com

Friday, June 13, 2014

Fresh Heirloom Tomato Salad Recipe

Fresh Heirloom Tomato Salad Recipe

So...just what is an heirloom?


An heirloom is generally considered to be a variety that has been passed down, through several generations of a family because of it's valued characteristics. Since 'heirloom' varieties have become popular in the past few years there have been liberties taken with the use of this term for commercial purposes. At TomatoFest Garden Seeds we chose to adopt the definition used by tomato experts, Craig LeHoullier and Carolyn Male, who have classified down heirlooms into four categories:
  1. Commercial Heirlooms: Open-pollinated varieties introduced before 1940, or tomato varieties more than 50 years in circulation.
  2. Family Heirlooms: Seeds that have been passed down for several generations through a family.
  3. Created Heirlooms: Crossing two known parents (either two heirlooms or an heirloom and a hybrid) and dehybridizing the resulting seeds for how ever many years/generations it takes to eliminate the undesirable characteristics and stabilize the desired characteristics, perhaps as many as 8 years or more.
  4. Mystery Heirlooms: Varieties that are a product of natural cross-pollination of other heirloom varieties.
ok all you happy diabetic's here it is.....                                                                                                 extra-virgin olive oil, a great vinegar, and black pepper and sea salt.  This salad mixture has few ingredients so the final flavor bright and tasty. Of course, the key element is ripe, beauteous tomatoes, so hunt some down at your local farmers market or grocery store.

I used some heirlooms, grape, cherry and a mixture of multi colored tomatoes.

So lets put it together!
combine about 2 pounds of ripe heirloom tomatoes (choose a variety of colors and sizes, as well as the most perfect tomatoes you can find at the height of the season). Cut them into various sizes: wedges, thick slices, in half, or, if you have some tiny cherry tomatoes, leave them whole.Toss them with fresh arugula greens. the bitterness will complement the flavors.  Sprinkle with sea salt  and freshly ground black pepper.
Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and your favorite vinegar (balsamic, red wine, or sherry would be good).  I like to use 3 to 1 part oil to vinegar.                                                                                      
Enjoy...can you feel the love??

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Grilled Fresh Corn...of LOVE!

Grilling Them Naked
That's the corn, not you, of course. Ok, this my favorite  (GO TO) way to grill corn. After it cooked it's charred, Caramelized, browned, nutty bits that really make it taste, well, amazing. It's all about the love, right?

What to do: Shuck and clean corn. Don't worry about getting every last stray piece of silk—they'll burn away on the grill anyway. Coat the corn with a little extra virgin olive oil. 

Place the corn directly over a very hot fire and grill, turning occasionally, until charred and cooked through, about 10 minutes total. Serve immediately with flavored or plain butter and salt and fresh cracked pepper. You can even give them a squeeze fresh lime

Taste for Life:
Recipes for eating and living better from “The Happy Diabetic”
We’re changing the way you eat one recipe at a time.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

In search of New Orleans' most beloved sandwich in the Big Easy

The Crescent City's Greatest Po'boys

So just what is a Po'boy?
  1. Po boy sandwiches are typically either seafood or roast beef (although I had a roast duck po boy near Grand Isle, Louisiana recently), and the best ones use remoulade, a Cajun version of the classic French mayo-mustard sauce. But the bread is the real star in a po boy.
po' boy (also po-boypo boy, or poor boy) is a traditional sandwich. It almost always consists of meat, usually roast beef, or fried seafood The meat is served on roll-like New Orleans French bread, known for its crisp crust and fluffy center.

My search took me to Johnny's in the French Quarter...

Crabby Jack's
When locals get "character" overload, they drive to an industrial section of Jefferson Parish to this yum-fest run by kitchen dervish Jacques Leonardi (above). It's all about the cochon (pig), rabbit and duck he brings with gusto to the po'boy plate. "Over-stuffed" is an understatement. The slow-roasted duck po'boy with gravy and jalapeños is love-me tender, sophisticatedly rich. A classic born. 428 Jefferson Highway, crabby-jacks.com

Patrick Singley

Owner Gautreaux's restaurant
Fried Shrimp-and-Oyster Po'boy at Domilise's Po-Boys
Get the half-and-half, large, dressed with lettuce, catsup, mayonnaise and hot sauce. It's so amazingly good. They have Leidenheimer bakery deliver the bread twice a day, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., so it assures freshness. They change their grease regularly, and don't take short cuts. Everything is made to order. Sit at the counter with the lovely owner, Dot Domilise.  
The Shining Pearl
Casamento's Restaurant
Unconventional hours haven't kept this 89-year-old oyster mecca from drawing lines outside its tiled quarters. Accolades and food shows have followed, mainly for its blissful po'boy hybrid: the fried oyster loaf. Made with thick-cut white Bunny Bread, it is packed four inches high with lightly corn-floured oysters simmered in lard in cast iron pots. 4330 Magazine St., casamentosrestaurant.com

Pierre Touzet

Co-owner, Patois and Ste. Marie restaurants
Fried Shrimp Po'boy at Parkway Bakery & Tavern
They use a light batter on the shrimp, which are decent-sized and fresh. If they didn't serve po'boys, it would still be a cool place to drink. I sit in the original storefront, and belly up to the bar.