Recipe Review – Snow Peas With Lettuce & Chives From Date Night Dinners by Sloane Taylor

Date Night Dinners

Amazon

snow peas with lettuce & chives
Snow Peas With Lettuce & Chives. Date Night Dinners by Sloane Taylor. Photo Credit: Gina Briganti

The third recipe I tried from Date Night Dinners by Sloane Taylor is Snow Peas With Lettuce & Chives. It was so good I had to remind myself to chew and swallow each heaping forkful. My plate was empty in a flash. I suppose this portion is meant for two but I will have to triple the recipe if I’m going to share it.

What attracted me to the recipe was the idea of those green flavors together. I eat them often but not in the same dish. They blend beautifully. It’s invigorating to look at and to eat.

I made two tiny modifications to suit my diet and palate – I didn’t include the pinch of sugar because I’ve been low or no sugar for years, and I used non-dairy “butter” because I don’t tolerate dairy well. If you have food intolerance you know that it’s a gamble as to whether you will pay for that bit of ________ if your body reacts.

The recipes in this book took my substitutions perfectly. Check out my other reviews of Date Night Dinner recipes here: braised pork Loin and spaetzle.

The reasons I purchased Date Night Dinners are: the array of recipes which range from the familiar to the unique; the stories and informative introduction to each recipe which make me feel like I’m having a chat with the author; the conversion charts in the back which are worth the purchase price of the book by themselves, the cooking tips you can only learn from another experienced cook, the author’s obvious passion for food, and because the portions are perfect for my household of three.

There are a few versions of this book available. I have the paperback Black & White Date Night Edition. I bought the paperback because I want to hold the book in my hands as I’m cooking. I rarely buy Kindle versions of cookbooks. When I do it’s because they are discounted.

Do you think this would make a great meal? Braised pork loin, spaetzle, and snow peas with lettuce & chives?

8afc5-sloane2btaylor2bhead2bshotAbout Sloane Taylor

Award-Winning author Sloane Taylor is a sensual woman who believes humor and good food are healthy aspects of our everyday lives and carries that philosophy into her books. She writes spicy romance. Being a true romantic, all her stories have a happy ever after. Taylor is also an avid cook whose recipes are featured in Divine Magazine.

Sloane was born and raised on the Southside of Chicago. She and her husband now live in a small home in Northwest Indiana and enjoy the change from city life.

Taylor currently has seven romance books, a Couples Coobook, and two free compiled cookbooks released by Toque & Dagger Publishing. Excerpts from her books can be found on her website, blog, and all popular vendors.

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As always, thanks for reading with me!
Gina 
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5-Star Review: Viva Labs Advanced Bioactive Probiotics

I was given a bottle of Viva Labs Advanced Probiotics in exchange for a fair and honest review.

When I received the request I had just purchased a mega-sized bottle of my favorite probiotic.  Ah, well, I thought, what can one more bottle of probiotics hurt?  I accepted the request.

Then I was prescribed a course of antibiotics.

Then these arrived.  Viva

I thought it would be a great test run to see how quickly I returned to my normal self following the antiobiotics by taking the Viva probiotics instead of my usual.

I was impressed!  Viva Labs has a new customer, and joy of joys, they are reasonably priced.  My internal balance felt restored almost immediately.

If you aren’t taking probiotics, and aren’t sure what they do or who should take them, read on.

Probiotics are good bacteria that help you digest food, and keep the bad bacteria in check, including fungi such as candida. Probiotics help with allergies, skin conditions, upset stomach, and overall intestinal health.

I bet you’ve heard of the most common probiotic, L. Acidophilus, right?  It’s only one of the strains included in Viva Labs Advanced Probiotic formula.  They have included five more strains.

Probiotics are one of those gentle supplements that should be safe for anyone to try.  Of course, it’s a good idea to have a complete nutrition analysis, like the one I use in my standard nutrition package, to gauge exactly what is happening with your needs.

Contact me if you’d like more information about a nutrition package to support your health goals.

It’s exciting to me that I can help with nutrition no matter where you live.  It’s distance friendly!

I will be teaching a nutrition workshop in January where we will analyze some of the most important needs the body has.  Watch for my new class schedule and sign up right away if you’re interested.  This is a popular workshop and seating is limited!

I hope you will join us.  If my classes in Joshua Tree are too far away for you, talk to me about hosting a workshop in your home.

As always, thank you for the time you spend with me!

Gina

Sign-up for my newsletter today!  Why today?  Because if you sign up today, I will enter your name into a drawing for a free mini nutrition analysis!

 

5-Star Review: Crown of Crystal Flame by C.L. Wilson

Crown

5-Star Book Reviews Poster Though I finished this book at the beginning of 2013, (where did the time go!!!)  I realized that I never crowed about it as it deserves to be crowed about.  If you’re looking for a fantastic fantasy series, check out Tairen Soul by C.L. Wilson.  The large cat-like creature on the book cover is a tairen, and they can fly.

Crown of Crystal Flame is the final book in what I consider to be an epic series, filled with vivid characters, and twisting plot lines that enchanted me for five books.  The author left us hanging in the balance, with all on the line, at the end of the fourth book.  It looked bad for our fairies and elves, and good for the bad guy evil sorcerer.

I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been for C.L. to let go of these characters.  I know she must have been in love with them to write them the way she did.

If you’re new to the series, I do recommend starting with the first book.

LordAs you can imagine in a satisfying five book series, you will get much more out of the last book if you read them all.  I read all five books in two months.  That’s heroically fast for me.

These are literally fairy tales about magical lands, with their own intrigues (political and personal), and the two main characters, Elysetta and Rain.

It is also a love story, and a satisfying one at that.

I don’t give spoilers, so I’ll wrap up my review by telling you that I laughed, cried, and hung on to the edge of my seat through all of these books.  I was sad to see the series end, but happy to see how it all tied together.

Books like this, and series like this, are the reason I love to read.

If you read any of the Tairen Soul books, I’d love to hear your thoughts about them.

As always, thanks for reading,

Gina

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What Lucy Thinks About The Natural Sisters Cafe in Joshua Tree, CA

What Lucy Thinks AboutBy Lucy Shannon*

The first time I tried the food that would become The Natural Sisters Cafe, they were vending at the Joshua Tree Events Center.  A fully-functioning restaurant was still a dream at the time.  I was impressed then, and I’m even more impressed now.

If you tell me that your offerings are natural, I’m automatically expecting you to know what that means, and to live up to it.  The Natural Sisters know natural foods.  They know how to prepare it, and how to present it.  If you’re into health food, you know that getting it right takes skill.  Lots of skill.

Natural Sisters Wheat Grass Wheat Grass Shot & Joshua Tree Coffee Co. Coffee

Natural Sisters Breakfast 1

Veggie and Hummus Wrap

Desert Sunrise Smoothie

Natural Sisters

My hands-down favorite meal at The Natural Sisters Cafe is their biscuits and gravy.  They are made from scratch, feature vegetarian sausage, and are covered in their luscious gravy.  It’s too much food for one, but now that I indulge in breakfast with my handsome cowboy, I can order it and a muffin or a smoothie and share all of it.

Did I mention that all of their offerings are vegetarian or vegan?  You’re right.  I didn’t.  Stan and Joe don’t miss the meat when they eat there, which is testament to the fact that you probably won’t focus on that, either.

The Natural Sisters Cafe is one of those restaurants where you can order anything on the menu.  Their smoothies, egg bagels, create your own sandwich, salads, soup of the day, and fresh juices happen to be my favorites.  I wonder what your favorites will be!

The Natural Sisters Cafe

61695 8 29 Palms Hwy

Joshua Tree, CA 92252

(760) 366-3600

Almost forgot the stars!  The Natural Sisters Cafe is a solid five out of five stars!

*Lucy Shannon is a character in the Natural Gifts series of uplifting paranormal romances by Gina Briganti.  You can read the story of how Lucy Shannon fell in love with her cowboy in shining spurs in Desert Sunrise, book 2 of the series.  The Natural Sisters Cafe, and this review of The Natural Sisters Cafe, are real.

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5-Star Review: ONE ORGANIC Culinary Matcha Green Tea Powder

The lovely people behind ONE ORGANIC Culinary Matcha Green Tea Powder asked me to try their green tea powder and share my opinion.  I had to think about the offer before I accepted, because I had an unpleasant experience reviewing another green tea powder recently.

It turns out that I had nothing to worry about.  ONE ORGANIC’s matcha has a wonderfully rich, smooth flavor, and aroma.  The best part?  The best part is that the powder dissolves in hot water, like it’s supposed to.      ONE front

ONE back

Honestly, who wants to find half an inch of green glue at the bottom of their tea cup?

This matcha held up especially well, considering that I added cold milk to my hot tea to make a latte.

If you’re used to buying matcha powder, then you know that a little should go a long way.  ONE ORGANIC’s matcha lives up to that expectation.

Some powders are mysterious about where they originate, but this one clearly states that it is from China.  Why the mystery with other brands?  If you know, please, share.

So, if you’re looking to try matcha for its proven health benefits-

Proven?  Yes, there are many studies proving the capabilities of antioxidant-rich green tea.  Some of the benefits recorded are: improving blood flow, lowering cholesterol,  preventing high blood pressure, preventing congestive heart failure, and stabilizing blood sugar for diabetics.

You may have heard that green tea helps with weight loss, which isn’t proven by its merits alone, but it does stand to reason that if you’re drinking green tea instead of a drink with more fat and/or sugar in it, then it will help with weight loss.

Is green tea right for everyone?  It does contain between 24-45 mg. of caffeine for an 8 oz. cup, on average, which can be a problem for: hypoglycemics, those with ulcers, those who are dehydrated, those who have trouble sleeping, or with mood swings, to name a few.  Whether or not green tea is a fit for you is a great question to address with a nutrition professional who evaluates your health and can give you a qualified, individualized answer.  Like me!

Do you like matcha?  What’s your favorite way to prepare it?

As always, thank you for reading,

Gina

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5-Star Book Review: Animals In My Hair by Mili Fay

Mili Fay has debuted with a wonderfully illustrated children’s book, Animals in my Hair.  814JTeIHVBL._SL1500_

The story is charming, with engagingly illustrated characters, and a clever eBook format.  Mili was kind enough to create videos to help readers get the complete experience her book has to offer.  Watching the videos before I read the book added a lot to the story.

I read Animals In My Hair from the perspective of a parent who has read a lot of books to her children when they were in their younger years, and as an expectant grandmother who is looking forward to reading this story to my grandchild.

I knew right away that this book is a treasure that will be spoken of long after it is read.

 

Mili Fay, a Toronto-based artist, classical animator, illustrator, writer, and singer is an award winning graduate of Sheridan College and Art Instruction Schools. In November of 2011 she created Mili Fay Art to support the world one artwork at a time. “Animals In My Hair” is her debut picture book and her latest work of art.

As always, thank you for reading,

 

Gina