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.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Product Review: Blue Diamond Nut Thins®

Blue Diamond Nut Thins® are awesome crackers. You have eight flavors to choose from (I've tried three of them). The cheddar and almond are pretty decent, but my favorite is the pecan flavor. How can you go wrong with pecans as the primary ingredient?
They satisfy the need to crunch and have a delightfully toasted nut flavor that only improves the taste of smoky cheese (like Provolone) or sharp cheese (such as cheddar). Low in sodium with no cholesterol, these hearty crackers, which are 130 calories per 17-cracker serving, are a great choice for cracker hors d'oeuvres.

Some of my favorite things to pair with this cracker include:

-light cream cheese or cream cheese substitute (such as Toffuti's Better Than Cream Cheese) topped with homemade or deli-bought low-sodium salsa.

-low-sodium roast beef and low-sodium Swiss cheese (I prefer Boar's Head brand of both) with a light spreading of horseradish cream (mix lowfat sour cream with bottled fresh horseradish to taste)

Fundraiser for Gleaners & Other Food Events

Ghoulies, ghosties and other things that bump in the night are all part of the fun in coming to the aid of Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan this month. Here's your chance to get involved and have a good time at family-friendly events that feed our hungry neighbors:

The Haunt for Hunger in Melvindale runs through Oct. 31. It's described as an animatronics yard haunt.

Fight Hunger Community Hayride takes place Oct. 16 at Whispering Pines Golf Club in Pinckney.

Gleaners' calendar page also has links to other events, which may be found here. These were just the two that I found most interesting.

German cuisine, hayrides, cider and pumpkins also are part of the fun in southeastern and central Michigan in the next two weeks.

If you're willing to take a drive, go to Oktoberfest in Lansing's Old Town today and tomorrow (Oct. 1-2). German beer and food abound; this event's described as "Mid-Michigan's only authentic German festival."  
Another nice drive with the opportunity to see fall colors is Zeeland Pumpkinfest, which started yesterday and goes through Oct. 2; closer to home, the South Lyon Area Pumpkinfest is in its 26th year of celebrating this yummy and versatile vegetable. Davison's PumpkinFest is next weekend, as is is the Tuscola County Pumpkin Festival.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Healthier Fried Egg Sandwich (Thanks, Mrs. Dash)

I try to minimize sodium and less healthy fats where I can. In general, I find Mrs. Dash salt-free seasoning to be a good way to add flavor and lessen salt in nearly all of my meals. I thought the original flavor was pretty good, but a year or so ago, Mrs. Dash Seasoning Blend, Tomato, Basil, Garlic flavor caught my eye. I've put it in many things since that time: English muffin pizzas, pasta sauce and, indeed, anything vaguely Italian. My favorite place to put it, though, is on my fried egg sandwiches.

Fried eggs in a blog about healthy eating? What kind of heresy is this? Start by spraying the pan with nonstick canola oil or olive oil spray and add just a few drops of sesame seed oil for a richer flavor. Heat up the pan slightly before cracking the egg into it (I set the electric stove burner between 4 and 5). Spritz a serving (five sprays) Olivio butter-flavored spray on the egg after cracking it in the pan and sprinkle with Mrs. Dash, Tomato, Basil, Garlic or your choice of salt-free seasoning.

Cook the egg the way you like it. (I happen to flip mine because I detest runny yolks, but to each his own. Usually, it takes between three and four minutes until it's the way I like it.) If you enjoy the taste of bacon but don't want the fat or salt, sprinkle about 1/2 tsp. of Bacos on the top of the egg as it cooks (if it sets sufficiently, it sticks to the top of the egg). Then use a healthy margarine (meaning non-hydrogenated with good fats in it)  to lightly "butter" whole-wheat toast. It's vegetarian and tastes good without a boatload of salt. You may melt cheese or soy cheese over the top of the egg after flipping it over to cook the yolk solid; however, I think it would be rather messy to melt it over a runny fried egg.