SEARCH: Autism, Food For Thought

Autism, Food For Thought by Lillian Csernica.

Why people give advice:
They need emotional validation, which means helping someone feel heard and understood. On the positive end of this spectrum we find the people who really do just want to help. They feel anxious when they see our kids struggling. On the negative end dwell people determined to control everyone and everything around them. Susan Saint-Welch, LMFT, explains why these people need so much control. “Sometimes they just wear ‘good people’ down. They are not bad people usually. They have learned or believe that the only way to get what they want is to ‘corner’ someone and pressure them to do what they want. Sometimes they will adopt another tactic and become emotionally upset, there-by making you feel guilty and responsible for their upset feelings. However, no one is ever ‘responsible’ for how someone else feels. How we feel is our own response.” To read more, click on the Winter Issue here.

SEARCH: Reflecting and Replanning

Reflecting & Replanning by Suzanne Madron.

As the growing season comes to a close, it’s time to think of garden cleanup and prepping for next year. In my case, it means re-evaluating my garden layout and planting scheme.

Since I wasn’t quite sure where the plants from the old garden ended up after the garden overhaul, I was hesitant to pull anything that might be a resur-rection of something I had already established in the old plot. Add in delayed shipping times from plant sellers and it took a bit longer to get everything up and running. Once everything was planted and took hold, however, it all took off. The taller-than-me jimson weed is a perfect example of both why it’s good to pull weeds and why next year I won’t have a ‘let’s see what this is’ attitude. The volunteer plants, such as the flower-of-an-hour, garlic, mus-tard, and single corn stalk have overtaken some are-as while other areas are now bare at the end of the season…to read more, click on the Winter Issue here.

SEARCH: Nutrition and Fitness

Nutrition and Fitness by Heather Roulo.

Fitness doesn’t begin and end at the gym. Most of what composes our body really happens when we eat.

The Covid-quarantine forced people out of gyms and into their kitchens. Sit down restaurants be-came take-out, whether we wanted it to or not. Studies showed that without buses to catch and of-fice buildings to walk between in the course of daily life, people were walking roughly 1,000 steps less per day in March.

With our normal routines broken, we should consider this an opportunity to examine the nutri-tion and calories of the food making its way into our bodies. Without group parties, travel, and off-site events, we’re more in control than ever before…to read more, click on the Winter Issue here.


Hangi by Michele Roger.

A Hangi is a traditional, Maori way of cooking food from New Zealand. It’s also become a twenty-year tradi-tion at my house with up to 350 people from all over the world in attendance.

Typically, one only experiences a Hangi when in New Zealand. But my husband and his friends have been hosting one in Detroit, creating a “home away from home” for ex-pats and Kiwis abroad through-out the United States and Canada…to read more, click on the Winter Issue here.

SEARCH: Holiday Discomfort Foods

Holiday Discomfort Foods by Tim Reynolds.

Gather ye ’round and hear the tale of the Holiday Discomfort Foods. You ask what, pray tell, are discomfort foods? Well, they look much like the traditional holiday foods of a family with British and Scottish decent, but rather than comforting a soul over the holidays, they cause discomfort.

Let’s start with the very Canadian butter tarts. They’re wonderfully sweet, gooey, and chewy, but I like mine with…raisins. Yes, raisins, but there are people who are so discomfited by the mere idea of raisins in butter tarts that they get flustered and an-gry and refuse to be in the same room with me, which is fine because that leaves more tarts for me…to read more, click on the Winter Issue here.

SEARCH: Cooking with the Kids

Cooking with the Kids by Kay Tracy.

My stepchildren and I started cook-ing together when they were 3 and 5. Early lessons included cutting hot dogs with a safe butter knife, making Pylsur Pasta, stirring sauces, and bak-ing cookies.

Along the way, they learned to stir without a splash and how to crack eggs without adding shells.

There are many reasons to cook with your chil-dren. Most importantly, it allows you to bond in time spent together and provides them a sense of accomplishment from making something and being able to eat it. It’s an opportunity to teach hygiene, like washing hands properly and cleaning up after-ward. You can also sneak in math when they meas-ure, double, or halve a recipe.

They’ll learn even if they don’t know it. Drop-ping pasta into the boiling water from too high is not a good idea but wearing an apron and long sleeves is. Tool use, from cutting fruit or vegetables to frosting a cake, helps with hand-eye coordina-tion. Decorating cookies at Christmas is a fun way to engage the children, even if they lick frosting off their fingers….to read more, click on the Winter Issue here.

SEARCH: Sweet and Savory Holiday Sides

Sweet and Savory Holiday Sides by Brian and Patricia Dake.

It isn’t often we have the opportuni-ty to feature our favorite side dishes. The recipes we share focus mainly on entrees, and for holiday dinners, the emphasis is often on turkey, ham, or roast beef.

For most people, Thanksgiving doesn’t feel like Thanksgiving without a turkey, but let’s be honest. A holiday feast is more than the meat. What makes those meals special is family, friends, and a variety of foods for everyone to enjoy. Today, we are going to share with you three of our family’s favorite holi-day sides.

Garlic-Rosemary Mashed Parsnips

Consider a tasty alternative to the usual mashed potatoes. Parsnips are a member of the Apiaceae family, closely related to carrots and parsley, but unlike carrots or parsley, you can’t eat the greens. Parsnips, eaten solely as a cooked root vegetable, are often added to soups and stews for extra flavor. It’s how we first discovered them. Because we enjoy how much they enhance other dishes, we’ve created…to read more, click on the Winter Issue here.

SEARCH: Holiday Dessert, English Trifle

English Trifle by Emerian Rich.

We’ve traced our Rich family herit-age all the way back to English royalty and beyond. The other side of the fam-ily got the castle, but we poor Ameri-cans have managed to keep the tradi-tional family desert recipe going.

Supposedly handed down from those living at Warwick Castle—and cousins to King Richard the Lionhearted—this recipe has been passed through the early American days as Quakers, to the Colora-do Rockies where my grandmother and grandfather finally settled, to our house in California. Although I am sure the recipe has changed over the years—each generation substituting what was easier or available—when we make this dish, we always feel closer to our roots.

If you read my article in the Fall 2020 issue about creating a “Dumb Supper” to honor your ancestors, you might be wondering what we serve to honor our ancestors. I’m happy to share the recipe…to read more, click on the Winter Issue here.


SEARCH: #HolidayFood Dutch Oven Citrus Chicken with Potatoes

Dutch Oven Citrus Chicken with Potatoes
by Brian and Patricia Dake.

We looked at Dutch ovens for years before we bought one. They’d been rec-ommended highly by friends and fami-ly. With the prospect of learning a new cooking technique, we did our research and learned that Dutch ovens originat-ed some three hundred years ago.

With the idea of making cookware more cost ef-fective, and since cast iron cost less than brass, Abraham Darby planned to sell more cookware by making it from cast iron. In 1707, he obtained a pa-tent for the process of casting iron in sand, derived from the Dutch process of casting brass in sand. Thus, the name Dutch oven was given to the lidded cookware he produced. That name has stayed with the product.

The American Dutch oven changed over time to include a shallower pot, legs to hold the oven above the coals, and a lid flange to keep the coals on the lid.

The Dutch oven has further transformed into the modern ridge-less, leg-less enameled variety we find in modern kitchens…to read more, click on the Winter Issue here.

SEARCH: The Ultimate Holiday Playlist

The Ultimate Holiday Playlist by Michele Roger.

According to my chef daughter, Eliz-abeth, a playlist makes all the differ-ence as she motivates her kitchen to complete the day’s orders and rushes.

I’m just an average home cook, but music defi-nitely is a source of inspiration. When I’m not writ-ing, I’m a harpist.

From cookie platters to videos teaching me to braise to baking with my friends via Skype, the holi-days seem to have become “cooking season” for my family. After a summer of quarantine, I’ve learned that anything that can inspire a dance party in the kitch-en is worth nurturing. Here is my ultimate playlist.

“I am the Grinch” by Tyler, the Creator and Fletcher Jones.

Kicking off the list with lyrics about our favorite holiday character is a good place to start. No matter if you’re celebrating Christmas, Winter Solstice, or Hanukah, I guarantee “Twenty-five, twenty-five, twenty-five days” is your new earworm…to read more, click on the Winter Issue here.