Sloppy Christmas

When I was a little girl, our Christmas was a bit different than what most families experience. My mother would save having the big dinner for the weekend after Christmas. She was a generous woman;…


The 10 Minute Cleanup

My husband invented one of the best kitchen innovations of all time. It’s called The 10 Minute Cleanup. I’m going to tell you all about it. This works magically at the end of any dinner party. Any…


The Menu

Traditionally, my menu for Thanksgiving gets set this week. Here’s a little bit of the history of Thanksgiving in my family. I always tell people it was my mom who taught me not to be intimidated by…


The Art of the Antipasti Tray

The definition of Antipasti:  An appetizer usually consisting of an assortment of foods, such as smoked meats, cheese, fish, and vegetables. Sounds like a low-carb platter of perfection, doesn’t it?…


Store These In the Fridge

From the Fine Folks at Southern Living Magazine a feature on things you should refrigerate (but probably aren’t) popped into my inbox. I found it very interesting. Even as a food writer I was failing…


Halloween Treats

My husband and I have always enjoyed Halloween. Years ago I declared it my favorite holiday. I like Halloween more than Christmas. Early in our relationship my husband and I decided to celebrate the…


Sugar Rule #1: 15 Grams or Less

Snacking has become a mindless activity. No wonder we have an obesity crisis. I never once saw my dad snacking on a bag of chips. My mom, either. They ate their meals at the prescribed time and that…


The Legend of "Stingy Jack"

Many of you already know I am Irish. My “23 and Me Report” says I’m 92.6% Irish. Now, THAT is a LOT of Irish. As an adult my favorite holiday became Halloween. My husband and I used to have huge…


Someone’s in the Kitchen with Zola

Guest Contributor Chris is married to Zola. They are celebrating their 37th wedding anniversary this month.  "No one is born a great cook," said Julia Child. "One learns by doing." One of the…


Crunch!

While developing Plan Z, I never really thought much about what I now call the Crunch Factor. I was never the kid in our family that face-planted in the bag of potato chips. I left that to my…


Beware of the Fuzzy Ones!

My move to the south has opened up a whole new world to me. Things big and small that I never saw or experienced in the North pop up all time. My lesson today is about bugs. The first bug I was…


I Scream, You Scream

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! Remember that jingle? When the cravings get tough, I think some people DO scream! The good news is there is a way to have your ice cream, eat it…


How do you shop?

My mother used to carry a big purse with her in the car. She had all that stuff in that bag that moms with small children do. The interesting thing was when she went into a store she usually just…


Why We Go On A Diet

We survey Plan Z dieters on occasion and ask them all kinds of questions. In a recent survey, we asked them the biggest reason they decided to go on a diet and chose Plan Z. You know what the most…


How to Successfully Make Low Fat Burgers

One of the tricks to making good burgers when you’re in ZReduction on Plan Z is to find a way to keep them as moist and juicy as possible. Usually, the secret to a good burger is the fat content. The…


Eat Your Veggies

There are so many vegetable options offered up by Mother Nature that I thought I could go my whole life skipping the ones I didn’t like. It started when I was a kid. My family believed in the “Clean…


Whole Unprocessed Foods

You’ve probably noticed that I regularly try to convince you to eat whole, unprocessed foods. Every recipe I write uses what I consider unprocessed foods (with minor exceptions). To keep it simple,…


What I Did On My Summer Vacation

When you were in grade school did you have to write a paper each year about your summer vacation? I always dreaded the “What I Did on My Summer Vacation” report. It was not that I hated to write. I…


Cooking with Cast Iron

For years I had a love-hate relationship with cast iron cookware. Now that I have more cooking experience, I adore cast iron. I have to tell you my cast iron story. Not long after I moved into my…


Stimulus Strategies

Since the second set of stimulus checks went out, I have been trying to be observant of how that money is being spent. Sure seems like a whole lot of people have decided they need to get away.…