2 June, 2012 01:15

Multi tasking.


19 January, 2012 15:18


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Dear Moira,

I promised to report it, and I havent written in a while, so it’s time to fess up.

I was so full of piss and champagne vinegarette when I started my new eating plan; unfortunately, I been very undisciplined. I know the UltraMetabolism way of eating works. I did it two years ago, and I was quite successful. This time, instead of sticking with it, I’ve make excuses and cheated my way back to Tums for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with Rolaids for dessert.

So instead of beating myself up, I’ve started again.

You asked what I can’t eat, but I think it’s a lot easier to tell you what I can. This eating plan consists of lean protein, vegetables, fruit, rice, beans, and nuts. It’s actually pretty easy to follow, and I’m looking forward to throwing away the antacids.

So thank you for your continued support. More recipes on the way!

Screw acid reflux!

Love, Tina


8 January, 2012 07:24


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Dear Moira,

My mother’s birthday is today. She is 75 years old and getting crazier by the minute. She doesn’t want any presents – at this point, what does she really need? – so my sisters and I are having a pot luck dinner for her. We thought it would be fun for each of us to bring something special and then leave and/or freeze the rest, so she and my dad will be set with meals for a while.

As we chunked out the responsibilities via e-mail, we started writing and laughing about the things we used to eat when we were young. My mother made three meals for eight of us for at least 26 years. She was a less than enthusiastic cook, and we were (at times) a less than appreciative audience.

I remember her cutting a recipe out of Lady’s Home Journal – maybe it was 101Way to Use Hamburger – and this particular one was called Texas Hash. You know how tactful kids are (NOT) and after dinner we renamed Mum’s dinner Texas Trash. Sometimes we were a horrible and disrespectful brood. I guess you have to be old to see how hard your parents worked to take care of you.

Most of the things on our “favorites list” came out of a box, a can, or a pouch: Dinty Moore Beef Stew, Hawaiian Punch, deviled ham, Fruit Loops, bacon, grape juice and ginger ale, Dad’s stash of peanut M & M’s, chicken and rice soup with extra rice, and fried Spam sandwiches on toasted white bread.

Our “name your favorite Mum food or drink” stream peaked, and my stomach fell as I read the e-mail message that your father had passed away. My heart broke for you and your family.

I find my words to be inadequate in times like this; please know that my heart is with you and your family, and this recipe is for you and your dad.

All my love,



2 lbs. ground beef
2 sm. onions, chopped
2 green peppers, chopped
2 (16 oz.) cans tomatoes
1 c. rice
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 1/2 tsp. chili powder
2 1/2 tsp. salt


Brown ground beef in skillet, stirring until crumbly; drain. Place in crock pot. Add remaining ingredients; mix well. Cook, covered on low for 6 to 8 hours, adding water if necessary. Yield: 8 servings.


The Holidays


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Dear Moira,

Tonight is the last night of my work break, and I am depressed. Vacations are NEVER long enough.

You asked for a Christmas breakdown, so here is a taste of our Norman Rockwell – Toran style – Christmas party.

The holidays at our house started slowly. Apparently the Patriots were playing on December 24th, and in some households, the game supersedes a daughter’s holiday party. All family members were present and accounted for – except my parents. They are on the brink of very old, and have a combination of three functioning eyes and two ears between them , so when they are late, we worry. A search party was sent out, and Joe turned up with the two, happy, football fans, and everyone breathed a sigh of relief.

Favorite appetizer: Kimberly’s *Buffalo Chicken Casserole.

The party was getting raucous, just the way I like it, when six year old Tony turned to one of my sisters and said, “I don’t feel very go….”  The rest of his sentence was hindered by a start-stop-start stream of vomit erupting from his little body and covering the couch like frosting.

It only took a few minutes to toss the cushions into the front yard, scrub the frame, and settle the little guy into a warm bathtub.

Things did settle down.

After the excitement and dinner, presents were exchanged, children were playing, parents were holding hands: the house was filled with a hum of happiness.

And Moira, I have to tell you, my favorite part was watching my fabulous family sitting indoors on outdoor furniture, with plates of food balanced on their knees, taking turns rubbing the back of an empty, little boy.

So Much Christmas Love,


*Buffalo Chicken Casserole

I doubled this and baked in my lasagna pan – I made healthier choices but it is still a splurge.


                  1 (8 ounce) carton fat free sour cream

                  1/4 teaspoon onion powder

                  1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

                  1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed

                  1/2 teaspoon dried parsley

                  1 (8 ounce) package light cream cheese, softened

                  1 cup light shredded Cheddar cheese

                  3 tablespoons hot pepper sauce [I will double this next time for sure]

                  1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth [I will use a bit more broth too]

                  1 cup uncooked white rice [I used brown basmati rice]

                  2 cups cubed, cooked chicken [I used more chicken]


·       Preheat oven to 375 degrees

  • ·       Mix the sour cream, onion powder, garlic powder, dill, and parsley in a large bowl until combined; stir in the cream cheese, Cheddar cheese, and hot pepper sauce. Mix in the chicken broth, a little at a time, and gently stir in the rice and cooked chicken. Scrape into a 2-quart casserole dish.
  • ·       Bake in the preheated oven until the casserole is browned and the rice is tender, about 1 hour. [I browned mine a little more under the broiler]

Skinny Jeans

Dear Moira,

My skinny jeans are feeling a bit snug, a sure sign that I’ve been enjoying this holiday season! Not yeast infection snug, but tight enough to be a warning. So I’ll cut back a little. It’s all good. Or so I thought.

Coming down the stairs in my girls-night-out outfit, I was feeling ok. No major muffin top or pimples, hair in place and makeup applied. Ready for a night of martinis and fun, female friends.

My husband looked up from his guitar playing and said, “you look like that guy on that show that we watch,” then he went back to strumming.  It took me less than a minute to figure out what and who he was talking about.

Men say they don’t understand us – they don’t get what makes us tick. Well, let me make this easy and clear: Never tell your wife that she looks like Howard Wolowitz. Ever. Even if you’re kidding.


Recipe – Hot & Dirty Martini

How to make it

Start with a chilled 6 oz. martini glass. In a shaker with ice mix:

2 oz Absolut Peppar
1 oz pepperoncini juice
1 oz green olive juice

Shake.Garnish with a skewered pepperoncini and a green olive.

19 December, 2011 00:50


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...a creature was stirring…

Dear Moira,

Last night I  was feeling a little blue, so I ate a row of Thin Mints while I watched The Wizard of Oz. No, it didn’t make me feel better and no, I can’t tell you why I did it. I just did. (I’m really good at supporting others in their quest to follow a healthy lifestyle, but not so good at taking my own advice. That’s where you come in.)

As I was sadly munching, I heard an uninvited guest scritching and scurrying in the walls. Apparently he or she was looking for warmth and sustenance but he or she was not brave enough to approach me for a cookie. I threw a shoe at the offending wall, and went to bed.

Sunday morning. Tea and newspaper, shower and vitamins: Multi, Fish Oil, C, Magnesium with Zinc, and what?  A pile of saw-dust like yellow – a trail to an open bottle. Open. And in the open bottle, atop the chewed b-100, was a tiny, oblong, brown, defiant, mouse turd.

Tis the season! Everyone and everything needs to eat. This week an able handed little rodent, next week eight tiny reindeer.

Bring on the fat man!

Recipe: High Potency B “100”

Other ingredients: Stearic acid (vegetable source), Microcrystalline Cellulose, Magnesium Stearate (vegetable source), Aqueous film coating. Contains soy.


13 December, 2011 21:40

Dear Maura,

I have a totally new appreciation for how hard it is to photograph food. I wanted to include the recipe to this picture because it is so good, but I think it would be more fun to see if anyone can identify this side dish. Any guesses?

Also, whatever you do, do not buy socks, even if they are Ellen Tracy socks, at Job Lot.

I thought all Ellen Tracy stuff was cool, so I picked up a pack of Ellen Tracy trouser socks (I know – trouser socks!). Now I know why Ellen’s socks were in Job Lot (at $4.99/package) in the first place. The feet themselves are HUGE and the sock openings are very, very tight. I lost all feeling from my calves to my toes 2 hours ago. Hopefully, I can still press the gas and break pedals to get home.

Limping out of here.