Category Archives: Self-Health Survival Guides

For the Busy Family: Slow Cooker Chicken in Milk (Actually, I Use Cream!)

Ask Chef Phyllis: I’m not in the habit of using just chicken breasts or parts and need to find a good recipe for whole chicken. I know how to cut it up, if need be. I’ve heard of a chicken in milk recipe from a neighbor and had something like it in Spain, but the…

Shakshuka with Oil-Cured Olives, Feta, and Herbs: A Spicy Tomato and Egg Dish with North African Flair

I’m one of those folks who loves breakfast for dinner. And lately I’ve been loving dinner for breakfast, so much so that I’ve been implementing this practice with increasing frequency for some time now. I suppose what I mean is that I no longer attach the “breakfast” or “dinner” label to foods that traditionally fit…

5 Things You Need to Know About Being a Self-Healther

You’ve arrived at the conclusion that it’s time to stop taking your health for granted. You’re ready to start paying attention to how to maintain your health, or even improve it. You’re bright. You’re resourceful. And you’ve saved all sorts of articles and tidbits from social media and other great online resources like Selene River…

Briana’s Magic Hippie Tea: An Old Family Recipe for Colds and Flu

With the change of seasons comes drizzly spring days, budding new blossoms, sprouting green grasses, and and the whisper of fresh pollens through the air. This is also the time of year when many of us start dealing with stuffy noses, sore throats, and puffy eyes. In preparation for the bustling spring and summer ahead,…

The Dos and Don’ts of Your Liver

Whether you know it or not, your liver is kicking ass and taking names each and every day on your behalf. Being your largest internal organ (about the size of a football), the liver sits to the right of your stomach, just under your diaphragm, and is protected by your right rib cage. In the…

Six-Cheese White Pizza with Slow-Roasted Tomatoes: Harness the Flavors of Summer in the Off-Season

I can think of few things I enjoy more than the pure, vibrant flavor of sun-ripened tomatoes in peak harvest season. Those of you who’ve been following me may recall a time or two when I’ve gushed over what I consider the most quintessential summer food of all. For me, nothing beats a sweet, juicy…

Portuguese Sweet Bread for Easter

Ask Chef Phyllis:  Back in the day, before the supermarket took over every mom-and-pop shop, our town, Assonet (just a few miles from Fall River) had a real bake shop. They sold filozes on Sunday morning and cookies at Christmastime, but what I remember most of all was the Portuguese sweet bread I could get…

Creamy Lemon Cheesecake with Fresh Berries: Sugar and Gluten Free!

In my former life as a pastry chef at the bakery where I honed my craft, Easter weekend was one of our busiest times of the year. We carefully mapped out our prep work for the week to maximize production and minimize a nervous breakdown come Good Friday. We started our “day” around midnight, pumping…

Why Are Our Teenagers More Anxious These Days?

As I was chatting on the phone with a dear friend the other day, I could hear her anxiety-ridden teenager in the background. I hadn’t realized this was a concern in my friend’s home, but it sounds like her family has been dealing with it for quite some time. After we hung up, it struck…

Herbed Lamb and Barley Stew: A Hearty Meal to Celebrate the Start of Spring

I spent my childhood on a tiny British Columbian island in the Pacific Northwest called Salt Spring. The region is famous for its incredibly tender and mild-flavored lamb. Sometimes it seemed as if there were more sheep than people, and the locals revered them with an almost cult-like status. The sheep also make abundant souvenir…

Quick Weeknight Dinners: Pork Tenderloins

I’ve been trying to make dinners that are quick and tasty. With two teenage boys always having to go somewhere in a hurry after school or after dinner, I need nutritious, quick meals. (By the way, these guys are always famished, and they love Mexican food.) In the past I’ve made chicken cutlets, chicken tenders,…

Chilled Thai Peanut Noodle Salad

Lately, we’ve had an influx of beautiful, sunny, and warm weather around these parts—and I’m not complaining! I see hints of green grass peeking through the dry, yellowing blades that linger from our fairly arid winter. The seed pollens of my wild arugula wafted from my veggie garden many years ago, and ever since they’ve…

What If We Started Where We Want to End Up?

I read an intriguing article the other day that made my head spin. It was about inversion thinking, or focusing on the opposite of what you want. Rather than fixating on success, for example, you concentrate on avoiding failure. Huh. Being an optimist, I hadn’t ever considered this idea. But it got me thinking about…

Breads of the World: Limpa Bread for Lovers of Dark Rye and Pumpernickel

Ask Chef Phyllis: What do you know about Swedish breads? Limpa, pumpernickel, and other really dark ryes are my favorites. But they are, in my opinion, the most difficult breads to make. My mom, who left Stockholm when she was only eight, said dark rye bread has to have orange peel and lots of rye…

Potage d’Hiver: A Classic French Winter Staple

Well, here we are, the beginning of March. I can just feel spring around the corner! Many of you who frequent my blog know that even though I appreciate the downtime of winter, by the start of the year I’m eagerly awaiting the burst of freshness, life, and motion of my all-time favorite season. There…

When Dehydration Becomes More Than Needing a Drink of Water

The other day my hubby told me of an odd thing that happened to him at work. He had a slight headache as he was driving in, and by the time he sat down to his dual monitors he wasn’t able to focus on them. He said everything had a kaleidoscope look to it. As…

Strawberry-Peach Custard Tart: Sugar-Free but Oh-So-Sweet

It’s been years since I made a commitment to take back my health and alight from the sugar train. I’ll be honest: eliminating all added sweeteners from my diet has never been the easy for me, and it still isn’t to this day. But the enormous benefits I’ve reaped as a result have made it…

Still Not Convinced You Should Change the Way You Clean?

If you’ve been waiting on a particular study to come out that would finally get you to move away from mass-produced cleaning products, a group of scientists at University of Bergen in Norway have just done you a huge favor. As reported in Newsweek, the researchers of the study offered the startling comparison that the…

No-Salt Bread (Pane Toscano)

Bread of Tuscany, Umbria, and Marche, Regions of Proud Traditions Ask Chef Phyllis: Is it possible to find a good tasting, really crusty bread like the Pane Toscano that we had in Italy? I understand the reason for a no-salt bread in the past was about money. Flour and water are cheap, but salt was…