Category Archives: Self-Health Survival Guides

Put Pen to Paper This Month

It’s hard to remember the last time you got a piece of personal mail delivered to you, isn’t it? If you’re like me, the route back from the mailbox always includes a brief stop at the recycling bin or the shredding pile, and rarely does anything make it any further than that. When a handwritten […]

Sauce Garibaldi:
The Tricolored Sauce of Italy’s Unification

I could have just as easily titled this blog post “Why No One Turns Down a Dinner Invitation in Italy.” That’s right—no matter the hour, no one in their right mind would turn down a dinner invitation in Italy. In fact, my son Billy tells me that it would an insult to do so. During […]

Creamy Colorado Green Chile-Turkey Enchiladas:
Thanksgiving Leftovers, Southwestern Style

It’s that time of year again: my annual tribute to Thanksgiving leftovers that don’t taste like leftovers! If you’ve been reading my posts for a few years, you might already know that I’m big on finding tasty, imaginative ways to repurpose that Thanksgiving bird beyond the traditional reheated dinner or turkey sandwich with cranberry sauce […]

Can Gratitude Save You?

Here in the United States, Thanksgiving is just a couple days away. While the origins of the holiday aren’t without controversy, President George Washington’s first Thanksgiving proclamation was about giving thanks to God. I was raised to celebrate this day as a time to give thanks for the good things in my life. And, I […]

Leftover Solutions:
White Meat Turkey

Ask Chef Phyllis This is the time of year I start thinking about turkey. I roast a large bird for our family (about 22–25 pounds), because they enjoy seeing a whole bird on the table, like a picture postcard. However, they don’t really enjoy the drumsticks and other dark meat, which we sometimes save for […]

Deep Dish Blue Hubbard Pie with Date-Pecan Salted Caramel Cream:
Traditional Thanksgiving Treats with a Twist

In keeping with the theme of holiday fare, this week we’re delving into one of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving: The Pie. It’s not often I’ll say no to pie. In fact, I love pie so much that I’ve been known to do “birthday pie” instead of cake for my annual celebration. Fruit pies, chocolatey […]

Self-Health Habit #11:
Make Self-Care a Priority

Quick! Grab your to-do list and tell me what’s on it. If you’re like most adult humans on the planet, you’ll rattle off rather mundane tasks: Balance the checkbook. Pick up dog food. Return library books. But have you jotted down any joyfully rejuvenating activities to take care of yourself? No? Let’s change that immediately. […]

Chickpeas and Their Uses

Ask Check Phyllis It’s been a long time since I’ve done anything with chickpeas. But last week at a party, the hostess served not only hummus as the appetizer but also a chickpea soup. She said was an old seafood recipe from Tuscany. Can you shed some info on this delicious soup? It was a […]

Savory Cheese-Herb Biscuits:
A Grain-Free and Ketogenic Holiday Side Dish

The holidays are fast approaching, which means it’s time to start thinking about all the delicious ways to celebrate the season’s bounty. Though this is usually a time of celebration and extravagance, pleasure and revelry, it can also present some challenges for those with special food needs or aspirations. I want to enjoy the season […]

Celebrate the Caregivers

November is National Family Caregivers Month, which couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time in my life. You see, we just lost our dear friend, Andy, to pancreatic cancer, and I was truly amazed by the number of people who stepped up to make sure he wasn’t alone as he battled through the stages […]

Harissa-Spiced Halibut with Meyer Lemon-Fennel Relish:
Weeknight Ease, Dinner-Party Class

When it comes to seafood, halibut is almost unanimously appreciated. With its gentle flavor, firm texture, and mild flesh, it takes well to a variety of pairings and manners of cooking. And because this tender, white, sweet-flavored beast of a fish is available year-round as frozen filets, it’s easy to serve any time. However, I […]

Italian Sausage-Escarole Soup:
Simple and Satisfying Comfort Food

Though I have a hard time saying goodbye to the warmth and waning slivers of light at fall’s end, when the air turns crisp I’m never disappointed at the prospect of the hearty, comforting foods that accompany this time of year. My cravings for crunchy, crisp salads and juicy fruit are all but gone, replaced […]

The Lowdown on Tree Nuts and an Exceptional Pesto from Genoa

Ask Chef Phyllis I was gifted a tin with all kinds of nuts in it. I left it on a shelf in my pantry and forgot about it for many months. When I finally opened the tin, the nuts looked okay but most tasted nasty. The almonds were okay, but the pecans and pine nuts […]

Peppered Plum, Bleu Cheese, and Thyme Crostada:
Perfecting the Autumn Cheese Board

Ever since I moved to Colorado from British Columbia, I’ve made a point of celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving with my fellow ex-pats each year. Approximately 13 years running, the tradition has taken on a whole new meaning for us—in addition to getting together, it helps us feel a connection to our families who all live so […]

Top 3 Things Endangering Our Children’s Health

Earlier this month, I mentioned Child Health Day in a post I wrote about the importance of starting healthy habits from a young age. Well, I’m just not sure that one day alone gives our children’s health the attention it truly deserves. This generation of kids is going to be responsible for taking care of […]

Homemade Gummy Worms:
Sugar-Free Halloween Treats with Real Food Ingredients

Halloween was always one of my favorite holidays growing up. From an early age, my mum, a trained artist, would make us unique and creative costumes, and this tradition stayed with me over the years. In my teens and twenties, I created my own distinctive outfits for Halloween, and these days I love channeling my […]

Self-Health Habit #10:
Eliminate Refined Sugar and Artificial Sweeteners

It’s impossible to talk about healthy habits without talking about the destructive nature of refined sugar. And if you think you’re off the hook because you switched to artificial sweeteners, think again. Zero- and low-calorie sweeteners, such as aspartame or saccharin, cause a whole other set of problems. It’s not that sweet foods, in and […]

Gluten-Free Pate a Choux for Cream Puffs

Ask Chef Phyllis No sooner had I finished my post on gluten-free pastry cream than I received a phone call about gluten-free dough…for cream puffs and eclairs. As you know, you can make both with the same dough (called pate a choux, or choux pastry). And since it has no sugar, you can make a […]

Mediterranean Spaghetti Squash
with Blistered Tomato, Olives, and Feta:
A Fiber-Rich, Seasonal Vegetable to Satisfy Your Pasta Craving

One of my favorite things about autumn is the lovely array of squash that start making their appearance on the store shelves and market stalls. I love that they come in all shapes and colors, each with its own distinct flavor and texture. After the last of the summer harvest, the first of the winter […]

When Is the Best Time to Start Healthy Habits?

How many times have you thought to yourself: It would be so much easier to ditch this unhealthy habit if only I’d never started it in the first place. Because, let’s face it, changing our habits isn’t always easy to do. So, when is the best time to start up a healthy habit? The answer […]