Monday, January 24, 2011


CSN is offering a $40 gift card to one lucky reader! 

If you follow my blog you already know how much I love CSN.  What can I say... it's a great store. 

They have over 200 online stores where you can buy anything! There are stores for cookware, shoes, dining sets and exercise equipment. There are luggage stores, stores for tools and even stores for your pooch!  You name it, they have it! 

At CSN, there are SO many things to choose from you're certain to find something you can’t live without. The selection is extensive and the prices are great. I think you'll be impressed. How about this? 

Or this?

So here's the deal...
The contest will be open for one week. On Tuesday, February 1st, the contest will close. I will pick a winner using and post the winner's name on Wednesday.

Here's what you need to do:
1. Go to the CSN website (using the link, luggage stores) and tell me what one item you would love to have in your home. It can be anything, it doesn't have to be luggage! So spend some time looking around the website.
2. Be a blogspot follower of my blog
3. And get the word out! Post about this giveaway on your blog, Facebook, Twitter, whatever!

Good luck everyone!

BTW, This is open to US and Canadian residents only. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Mango Nut Mix

This recipe is from my sister. After I tried it, I begged her for the recipe. The picture isn't great, but the mix is!  Thank you Susan!

If you've never tasted dried organic mangoes, you should do it now! They are amazing. During the holidays I needed a lot of quick (yet special) & yummy (yet healthy) gifts. This mix was perfect!

2 cups raw organic pecan halves
1 1/2 cups dried organic sweet cherries
1/2 cup dried organic manoges, cut or torn into bite sized pieces
1 cup organic dark chocolate (70%), broken into bite sized pieces - I like Green & Black's or Dagoba

Simply toss the ingredients together in a bowl. Adjust the ratio to taste, but try not to eat it all yourself!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Avocado Veggie Dip

I use to make a mean vegetable dip. Everyone loved it, but it's base was in mayonnaise and sour cream. Since I no longer consume either one I've been dreaming about a veggie dip that will get the same response from family and friends. I'm not sure this is it, but the dip and vegetables disappeared quickly!!

Avocado Veggie Dip

1 large avocado, peeled and mashed
2 T fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, finely minced
3 T red onion, finely chopped
1/2 C Vegenaise
10 dashes of Tabasco Sauce - or to taste
1/4 t. kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a bowl, mash the avocado with a fork. Add the lemon juice, garlic clove, red onion and Vegenaise. Mix to combine. Add the Tabasco, salt and pepper. Serve with cut vegetables.

Note: Once again, the photo isn't mine. My camera just couldn't get a good pic.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Potato Kale Cakes

I came home from work with little energy or imagination. Add to that a pantry with little in it and that's how this recipe came about. Potatoes and kale go together beautifully. This is an easy recipe with few ingredients, and it feeds a family. Even my meat eating husband liked it!

Serves 4

Potatoes and Kale:
3 T olive oil
2 T Earth Balance
1/2 C onion, chopped
1 small bunch of kale, stems cut out and chopped (3 cups packed)
2 large potatoes, cut in half, boiled and chopped (4 cups)

Fill a large pot with cold water and add the halved potatoes and some salt. Bring them to a boil and cook until soft (approximately 25 minutes). Drain and cool slightly. Meanwhile, in a large saute pan melt 2 T. olive oil and the Earth Balance. Saute the onion over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add the kale, sprinkle with a little salt and cook until the kale is softened and wilted down by half.  Remove the onion and kale to a large bowl.

When the potatoes are ready, drain and place on a cutting board. Cut into pieces resembling a large dice. Add the potatoes to the bowl of onion and kale. Add one tablespoon of olive oil and salt to taste (I used 1 teaspoon sea salt). Mix well.

In the saute pan heat enough olive oil to saute the potato and kale cakes. Form the cakes using either a 1/4 or 1/3 cup measuring cup. Lay the cakes into the saute pan over medium heat and cook until lightly browned (approximately 3-5 minutes on each side). Serve on a plate with the serving sauce either on the side or drizzled over the top.

Serving sauce:
2 T Vegenaise
1 T stone ground mustard (I used Boetje's, I think it has more vinegar than most)
1 T ketchup

Mix the ingredients together.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Pasta, Pesto, and Peas

This recipe is from Ina Garten and I "veganized" it. The changes are few, but I warn you, taste as you go! I played a little with the amount of oil on both the pasta and in the pesto. 

And if you have a vegan pesto that you're crazy about, please post it. I would love to try it! It's so nice to taste something this fresh in the dead of winter, and what's better than a good pesto!

Prep: 20 min
Cook: 12 min
Total: 32 min


  • 3/4 pound whole wheat fusilli pasta
  • 3/4 pound whole wheat bow tie pasta
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups pesto
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup Vegenaise
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas, defrosted
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Cook the fusilli and bow ties separately in a large pot of boiling salted water for 10 to 12 minutes until each pasta is al dente. Drain and toss into a bowl with the olive oil. Cool to room temperature.
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, puree the pesto, spinach, and lemon juice. Add the vegannaise and puree. Add the pesto mixture to the cooled pasta and then add the peas, pignoli, salt, and pepper. Mix well, season to taste, and serve at room temperature.


  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 3 tablespoons chopped garlic (9 cloves)
  • 5 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 - 1 1/2 cups good olive oil
Place the walnuts, pine nuts, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process for 15 seconds. Add the basil leaves, salt, and pepper. With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube and process until the pesto is thoroughly pureed. Use right away or store the pesto in the refrigerator or freezer with a thin film of olive oil on top.

Notes: Air is the enemy of pesto. For freezing, pack it in containers with a film of oil or plastic wrap directly on top with the air pressed out.

Once again, the pic isn't mine. My camera just couldn't get a good picture.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


My Uncle Gene sent this to me. When I asked him how he found it, he replied, "One of my very bright "students" sent it on...."by your students you are taught...."