Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Cookbook is now available!

Sorry I have been rather absent lately!  We are working on another charity play and I have been putting the finishing touches on the cookbook Lavetta Beshears and I have written. I am happy to say that as of today you can buy our new cookbook - Crack ed Pots in the Kitchen - direct from our publisher at .  In a week or so our book will also be available on We hope you enjoy this cookbook as much as we enjoyed putting it together.

I am currently working on my first solo authoring adventure. I am hoping my next book will be out this winter!

Thank you for all of your continued support! Promise to be around a bit more!!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Healthy GREEN Breakfast Shake

Okay, so I was on Pinterest looking up different healthy shake and smoothie ideas when I came across several recipes (all different) for a Green Monster Smoothie. It seems as though these smoothies in all of their incarnations are somewhat of an internet sensation. I looked at the variety of ingredients and frankly I was terrified. I mean they all sound good until you got to the baby spinach. Why oh why would you put spinach in an otherwise delicious shake?  But then I said to myself, you are always preaching 'no fear' and seriously what is so horrible? I mean I like baby spinach right? SO I decided to make a version of this shake. It is not exactly the same but it is very similar. I just tweeked it to my own tastes. I put everything in the blender and hit puree. was literally NEON green. I was scared....really scared. I took a sip....................................and it was delicious! No foolin', it really was. I even made the kids and hubby try it. I got the raised eyebrow sceptical face from all of them. However, they had to agree that it was not bad...a few claimed it was very good even!
Besides; spinach is fat free, cholesterol free, low in calories, and very low in sodium and spinach is an excellent source of vitamin A, C, K, iron, fiber, folate, and lutein.

So, if you are feeling a little brave. Give my version of this shake a try. All you really taste is  the peanut butter and banana, nothing else really stands out. There are optional add ins but are not at all necessary for a healthy delicious shake.

Healthy GREEN Breakfast Shake

prep: peel and slice a banana, put it in a ziploc and freeze.


1/2 a frozen banana
2 tbl peanut butter (or your fav nut butter)
1/2 cup plain (or vanilla) Greek yogurt
2/3 cup milk (whole, low fat or skim - you can even use soy or almond milk)
1/2 vanilla
3 cups fresh baby spinach

completely optional add ins:
2 scoops of 'It Works' Greens (nutrional suppliment)
1/2 scoop vanilla whey protien
1 tbl flax or chai seed

Throw it all in a blender and blend on high until smooth. Add milk if needed to achieve the 'thickness' you prefer in your shakes.

Like it? Why not try other frozen fruits (pineapple chunks, strawberries etc to change it up a bit)?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Tomato Sauce…or is it Tomato Gravy????

Let’s face it; as much as we would all love to stroll out into the back yard and pick beautiful vine-ripened tomatoes and fresh basil from our garden to concoct a big old pot of saucy love, we are not all able to do this.  Maybe where you live you can’t have a garden, maybe it’s the dead of winter and the tomatoes in the grocery store are just plain sad, maybe, like me….you have a black thumb instead of a green one. Whatever the reason, I am here to tell you that you can make homemade, delicious tomato sauce. You CAN have that big old pot of love simmering away on the stove!  The quality of canned tomatoes in your local grocery store is excellent and you can really produce a lovely, bubbling pot of sauce if you want to. Try to look for San Marzano tomatoes (many brands use San Marzano tomatoes –it is a specific region in Italy)…otherwise opt for Progresso or Cento brand.
My grandmother made sauce, my mother made sauce, all of my aunts made sauce (of course they are all Italian and they call it GRAVY).  The recipe that follows is a compilation of their recipes, my own experiments and is a mish mash of goodness that I want to share.
These are not really exact measurement just estimates…this is not an exact science…remember be FEARLESS!

You will need:
Olive oil
2 large cans of tomatoes Puree w/ basil
1 large can tomatoes whole, w/ basil -crushed with your hands
1 can fire-roasted tomatoes
10 cloves of garlic -smacked and minced
12 -15 small homemade meatballs
1 lb good Italian sweet sausage- cut bite size
1 lb good Italian hot sausage -cut bite size
Sugar (optional - start with a few tablespoons)
Fresh basil
In a very large pot, coat bottom with a few glugs of olive oil. Sauté garlic until fragrant (do NOT brown it). Add to the garlic and olive oil the pureed tomatoes.  Then add the crushed whole tomatoes and the fire-roasted tomatoes. Simmer on low.  In a large skillet, add a few glugs of olive oil and brown the sausage- then remove from pan and put into the tomato mixture. Now fry meatballs in the same pan(do not wipe out or rinse the pan. When the meat balls are brown, put them and all of the flavorful crusty bits and any oil left in the pan right into the sauce.  Simmer at least 2 hours, but you could simmer it all day…add water(or more tomato puree) if it gets to thick (or even a splash of red wine) Taste and season…if it seems very acidy add the sugar.  Just before serving chop or julienne the basil and throw it into the pot and stir through.