About Me

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My friends call me the "grammar goddess." Really. ;-) I own a freelance writing, editing and tutoring business. Previously, I served three years as food editor for The Morning Sun in Mt. Pleasant, which kindled my interest in food writing. My other areas of expertise in writing include features, community news, architecture/construction and engraving/personalization. I have a frightening number of cookbooks and watch too many DIY, HGTV, Food Network, Cooking Channel and Antiques Roadshow (BBC and PBS versions) shows. And I tweak nearly every recipe I make.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Food Blogs I Recommend

I read a lot of food blogs before starting to write one myself. Some of my favorites are listed here by category.

Vegan/vegetarian/other special diets

Kitchen La Boheme
I love the artistic photos that go along with the food Alyssa Yeager writes about. It's fun and sassy. Takes quite a while to load up on dialup, though. (I know, I know. I must get into the 21st century soon.)

Vegetarian Times (self-advertised as the world's largest collection of vegetarian recipes).

Vote for up and coming chef finalists in a VT contest or enter the reader contest here. I have liked this magazine for years; the online version is equally good, featuring numerous resources.

General Healthy Food

Clean Eating. If I could have only one healthy food magazine, this would be it. The website gives a good sampling of what's available in each magazine. Also, see my prior review here.  


About.com features all kinds of dessert/baking recipes, including healthy ones. You simply click on the appropriate category or do a search. My friends from work and I found a bunch of recipes here for the cookie exchange we had last December. (I really wish I could recall which no-bake recipe I used, so I could give you the direct link. It wasn't the most healthy recipe, as it had a fair amount of sugar and butter, but it did have whole-grain rolled oats in it, at least.)


Medieval Cooking. Jennifer Strobel has some thought-provoking entries. Currently, she's in the throes of planning an authentic medieval-style feast. Updates fairly regularly, but apparently not more than once, maybe twice a week.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Product Review: Zevia

I've now tried pretty much every kind of Zevia cola, an all-natural zero calorie soda. It is sweetened with stevia, rather than aspartame or sucralose. None of them is overly sweet, as I find with most diet colas, and I feel the stevia is better for me. I've narrowed it down to my top five.

5. Orange doesn't quite match the flavor of Stewart's (regular or diet), but it doesn't have harmful sweeteners in it, either.

4. Ginger Root Beer tastes like an old-fashioned, bottled root beer.

3. Lemon-Lime has a fairly unique lemon-lime flavor; I like it as well as any diet lemon-lime flavor out there.

2. Ginger Ale is similar in taste to diet Canada Dry, to the best of my recollection. I haven't really used aspartame to speak of for about 10 years.

1. Black Cherry. This tastes nearly as good as Diet Rite Pure Zero Cherry Cola, but doesn't have Splenda® in it.

The only downside is the cost. (Regularly priced, it's about $1 per can for a six-pack.) The lowest price I've been able to find a six-pack in stores is $4 each when it was on sale at either Whole Foods Market or The Better Health Store. When I buy only one at the local health food store, I don't pay much more than I'd pay for a can of pop at the gas station.

Tailgating: What to Bring

Your friends want to tailgate before a rock concert at DTE this weekend. You want to eat healthy.

Unless you bring your own healthy food, you're at the mercy of whoever's cooking. Need some ideas? Here are a few suggestions:
  • Make your own shrimp cocktail with thawed, large peeled and deveined shrimp. Use a small relish and dip dish that will fit in your cooler so you can keep it on ice. Use bottled cocktail sauce if you want to, but I prefer a mixture of organic ketchup (or at least ketchup without corn syrup in it) and horseradish sauce. (Make it to your taste. I usually start with 1 cup of ketchup and a teaspoon of horseradish and add a little more at a time if it's not hot enough. (Don't overdo the horseradish, or you will feel as though you are breathing fire out your nose.)

  • Combine brown rice or whole wheat pasta, cooked, with vegetables and your choice of an oil and vinegar or oil and lime/lemon juice dressing. Light mayo, Miracle Whip Light, or soy mayo also works, but you may need to doctor the latter with seasonings and either lemon or lime juice. (Soy mayo tends to be somewhat bland.) 

  • Hard boil and peel eggs; bring in plastic wrap or plastic bags on ice as well as salt and pepper.