Wednesday, August 31, 2016

A Healthier Smoothie - Part Two

Yesterday I explained why I'd changed the kind of protein powder I used and the frequency in which I used it.  For I found, that many brands of protein powder are hard on the kidneys and difficult to digest.

Having a smoothie daily or a few times a week is nice, but you want to make sure the bulk of your diet is WHOLE foods.  Even snacks with protein are easy:

Roasted chickpeas have a lot of protein.  There's pumpkin seeds, almost and sunflower seeds and nut butter. All are easy to make portable snacks. If you eat meat, the Tanka buffalo jerky bars are excellent and very low in fat but high in flavor.

But if you want a protein powder in your smoothie, avoid the pea protein as your sole veggie protein source, and avoid whey isolate, any hydrolyzed protein, aspartame and non organic beet powder (usually GMO). Those protein sources are harder for your body to break down than whole food protein sources.

In reading some scientific studies on that, it appears that hemp protein is the vegan protein that's the easiest  for both digestion and kidney function,   so I tried several  until I found my favorite.
Picture from their website - my camera battery needs charging.

It's a Canadian company and ordering online is quick and easy. There are several flavors but the blackberry my favorite and I think it is the best tasting brand of all that I have tried to date. The ingredients are simply 100% raw hemp protein powder, citric acid, natural flavor and stevia.  Each 2 Tablespoon serving has 110 calories, 3 grams fat (less than .4 percent saturated, 5 grams sodium, 5 grams fiber, 8 grams carbs, 15 grams of protein and half of your iron for the day.

Hemp seed is an outstanding vegan protein source and has all 20 known amino acids, including the 8 essential amino acids and 2 semi-essential amino acids our bodies can't make on their own. This makes for a complete protein, important to those that limit or have no animal product consumption.

Hemp protein, which thrives without the use of any pesticides, is made up of approximately 65% Edestin and 25% Albumin proteins. Edestin is considered the most digestible protein  in all of the food chain because of its closeness to the structure or protein found in human blood and it's also the backbone of cell DNA. This makes hemp easy on both the tummy and the kidneys. Albumin is most commonly known as the protein found in egg whites and is also easily digestible.  Hemp protein is free of sugars and the oliosaccharides, like those found in soy which cause embarrassing tummy issues (pardon me, I'll just be clearing this room.)

Hemp seed foods are also more allergen free than any other seed/nut food.

Other noted benefits of hemp consumption (I sometimes get the flavored seeds, not just the powder)

lowers cholesterol (my doc said I have the cholesterol levels, post menopause, of a 20 year old)
promotes brain development (though I think all the drinking in college may be a challenge for it)
improves dry skin and hair
helps with weight control
relieves constipation (I no longer have to have the carb laden bowl of fiber cereal in the morning)
completely cancels out the calories in pancakes (just kidding on that one)
but it also:
relives arthritis symptoms
reduces PMS (that ship has sailed but my niece said it's helped her)
boosts immunity
speeds muscle recovery after exercise.

What's not to love!  

One note with hemp protein, for those that eat little or no animals products.  Hemp is is naturally high in the amino acid arginine.  Too much arginine (as compared to lysine) may trigger cold sores for folks prone to those. IF you are prone to cold sores, shingles, or any of the herpes simplex viruses, and aren't getting  enough lysine which is abundant in meat, cheese, and dairy products, you may wish to increase the lysine in your hemp powder shake by mixing it with lysine rich milk or yogurt if you are not vegan, or add dark greens, lemon juice, cherries, pineapple or peaches to your smoothie, all more alkaline and/or higher in lysine than other fruits and veggies.

And on one final note - hemp and the cannibis plant from which "weed" is taken are genetically different and cultivated differently (which greatly impacts the THC found in them) so you could eat hemp heart protein or seeds all day long and have no danger of being mistaken for a hippie or having any other side effects other than "that was tasty and I'm full!"

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

A Healthier Smoothie - Your Body Loves Being Alkaline

Strawberry Geendrink Smoothie

I have a smoothie or "green" drink, once a day. Though many protein shakes are "meal replacements" encouraging you to replace two meals a day - this is why I do NOT do so.

Protein powders are highly processed and often heated to the point that the protein is denatured, making it very hard for the body to recognize and use.  Also, since they are not considered "supplements" they are not regulated by the FDA, and some of the cheaper, non organic brands are filled with artificial sweeteners, allergens like whey protein and soy, and preservatives. Consumer reports even tested some a few years back and found heavy metals in them. Yikes

Protein powders are NOT whole foods.  A lot of people think protein powders are just regular whole foods dried and ground up into powder form, and it's a lot more complicated than that.  To get a high protein count, you have to extract the proteins OUT OF the food, leaving the rest behind.

One popular veggie protein powder is pea protein, made in a lab and it's got a high glutamate concentration so if may affect you the same way MSG does. It's extracted even if it's organic and I found I got headaches if eating more than a small dose a few times a week as both my husband and I are very sensitive to MSG.

In some brands you can find GMO ingredients and Whey Protein Isolate, another high glutamate/extracted ingredient which is non-vegan and is usually not organic (which means it may contain antibiotics and pesticides too)

My favorite alkaline "green" drink go to

Your body processing all of this protein can be hard on the kidneys and you can end up with excess acid and uric acid build up as your body tries to digest and break down those proteins. You want a highly alkaline smoothie, NOT a highly acidic one unless you want to tempt a kidney stone down the road.
So next time you think of picking up that sugary "nutritional shake" or $6 for a gallon protein powder at big box mart, think again.  Here is one of my two "go two" drinks, this one being a "green drink. Tomorrow I'll share my protein one, which is made from hemp.

SuperGreenFood is a 30 calorie per serving grass green blend, with no sugar fiber and a fruit based antioxidant blend as well as probiodics (for those that can't eat dairy yogurt).  It's been improved to be more finely ground, so think sort of clean salad taste in a smooth liquid, NOT glass clippings. They do have some flavored with orange or pineapple which are surprisingly good, but usually I just blend with a cup of fruit for a really refreshing low calorie smoothie This is NOT a protein boost, containing only 2 grams but it is very good for you, and has a soothing alkaline effect on the body.

I was diagnosed with high uric acid levels post menopause, when I had a gout attack.  You do NOT want to go there. One day you're fine, then you wake up in the morning and your toe or wrist or other joint is the size of Delaware and the pain is so bad you can't even touch the skin.

That was a week of "get this baby out of me NOW" kind of pain I had not expected. It took the docs a few days to figure it out.  I had none of the triggers for gout, - in my late 40's, normal weight, extremely light drinker, female, but the doctor said a highly acid diet of two cheap nutritional drinks a day and a diet high in protein and light in calories while trying to drop five pounds fast, plus menopause likely triggered it. That's a lesson I don't have to learn twice.  So I ditched the sugary drug store diet drinks and all of the meat and added one of these green drinks every day, drank lots of water, added a few more calories in the form of alkaline fruits and veggies and I haven't had as much as a flare up since the initial one.

So think about what you are putting in your smoothie - just because it's in the "health food" section of the grocery does NOT mean it's healthy.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Sunday Eats - Slimmed Down Orange Chicken

Most of us have likely had the orange chicken at our favorite Chinese or Thai restaurant or from the fast food Panda place.  It is really tasty - but it is also LOADED with fat and sodium and sugar.

How about a pared down version, with that same great orange taste but a lot healthier? Like 16 grams LESS of fat per serving and 400 mg LESS of salt per serving.

Crock Pot Orange Chicken

In a bowl mix:

3/4 cup low sugar orange marmalade
3/4 cup Barbecue sauce (I used Sweet Baby Rays, my favorite of the "cheap" barbecue sauce brands)
2 Tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
4 shakes crushed red pepper

Pour over 4-6 pieces bone in chicken pieces and cook on low 6-8 hours (my crock pot on low is surprisingly warmer than most crock pots so for me it was 3 and 1/2 hours - you're looking for internal temp of 160 F.).

Serve with rice (and the sauce is amazing over the rice) and veggies.

Vegetarian?  For a sauce to dunk or drizzle  your veggie "chicken" pieces, mix

1/4 cup marmalade
1/4 cup barbecue sauce
2 teaspoons of soy sauce
tiny pinch of red pepper

and nuke or simmer until bubbly.  Serves-2-4

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Italian Night - Best Bolognese

Made with healthy olive oil replacing some of the butter, a lower sugar white wine, and lots of veggies this is an incredibly delicious sauce, that is worth the few extra minutes it takes to assemble and the extra time cooking..  Lacking the artificial ingredients and preservatives of many jarred sauces - you'll make this again and again.  Serve with pasta or zuchinni "zoodles" if you are cutting carbs or gluten.

B.'s Best Bolognese

1/4 cup Olive Oil
3 Tablespoons salted butter
1-1/2 cup carrots, cut into small pieces with food processor
1 stalk celery cut into pieces
1 Walla Walla sweet onion, chopped
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
2 pounds Ground Beef
1 cup dry white wine
2 teaspoons fresh thyme eaves, minced
2 teaspoons fresh oregano, minced
several grinds of fresh cracked pepper
dash or two of salt
1/4 teaspoon  mild hot sauce:  I use
Cowboy Crooner flavor (or substitute dash of  crushed red pepper)
1 can (6 Ounce) Tomato Paste
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 cans (28 Ounce) Whole Tomatoes
1 cup whole Milk (NOT cream)


Heat oil and butter until butter is melted..  Add carrots, celery onion and garlic and saute for 5 minutes, stirring often.  Remove and set aside.

Set heat to high and add the ground meat a quarter at a time, stirring and breaking up lumps with a spoon between each addition.  This allows it's liquid to evaporate which is key if you want nicely browned, not boiled meat. For the best flavor you want your meat to caramelize, with a few crispy bits (for me this was about 8 minutes)  Watch carefully so it does not burn.  When you see the meat start to crisp up and caramelize, lower the heat to medium and cook an additional 7-8 minutes. It's OK if there's still a tiny bit of pink and this will simmer a long time. Drain off any excessive liquid but do not remove meat and clean up the pan, you want a few teaspoons of juice and the cooked-on bits to deglaze the pan with the wine.

Add dry white wine, and using a wooden spoon scrape up all the brown bits stuck to the pan, pushing the meat around to incorporate it.  When you are done (about two minutes) the wine wine will evaporate (you want flavor, not liquid).

Add  the sauted veggies and remaining ingredients and bring to the barest of boils, then lower the heat to the lowest setting and let it simmer slowly, half covered for 3-4 hours.  Add an additional half cup milk, beef broth or water, it it starts to dry out too much.  The final sauce, should be thick, more meat than tomatoes.

Serve with grated cheese and a nice glass of wine.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Let Them Eat Cake

Sometimes even the healthiest of diets deserve a little treat.  But instead of eating something from the store, full of chemicals, preservatives, and salt (really high in pre-made bakery products) why don't you make something from scratch.

This recipe is the cake my Mom made for birthdays and Easter from the Betty Crocker Cookbook as it was the favorite of my brother and I.  It's easy to make and if you show up at work with it (if your family leaves any) people will be surprised at the light, sweet, clean taste that not full of things you can't pronounce. Pick a frosting with a deep, rich taste, and simply cut it in half or at least don't use the whole amount.  You won't miss all the extra fat and calories and you'll still have a delicious dessert.

Classic Yellow Cake


1/2 cup butter (not margarine) softened
1 and 1/2 cups sugar
2 and 1/4 cups cake flour (or use all purpose)
3 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/4 cups milk
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs.

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Grease a 13 x 9 pan or two 9 and 1/2 inch rounds and lightly dust with flour.

Cream butter and sugar (whip until light and fluffy), then add remaining ingredients, beating with a hand mixer or stand mixer for 30 seconds, scraping the bowl constantly.

Beat on high 3 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally and pour into prepared pans.

Bake 35 to 40 minutes for a 13 x 9 pan and 25-30 minutes for the 9 inch rounds, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean or cake springs back when lightly touched in center.  Do not overcook, as this will dry out your cake.

Cool on wire rack for 10  minutes, remove cake if in round pans, cool completely and frost with your favorite icing.  The King Arthur Flour website has some excellent frosting recipes.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

This is Going to be FUN!

A Birthday Gift from my husband (as well as a collection of soaps and lotions from Simply Birgit).

Once he finishes building the new back steps, he'll hang it in the basement from one of the support beams.

I'm kicking my cardio up a notch!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

What to Do when you're Crabby

Fish and chips packs a wallop of a calorie and fat count. Crab cakes are a nice substitute, but they often have a lot of unhealthy "fillers".  How about some healthier crab cakes served burger style with oven baked shoestring fries? Serve topped with a bit of Vegan mayo mixed with a teaspoon of chopped pickle and a bit of the leftover chives and parsley or herb of your choice, it's a nice "seafood" dinner that won't have you bloated the next day from fat and salt.

Crab Burgers

1 Tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 and 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
1 Tablespoon vegan mayo (lower in fat than regular mayo)
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
1 and 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
several shakes of Old Bay Seasoning
pinch of Jane's Krazy mixed up salt
1 dash of crushed red pepper
1 small egg (if using large or jumbo, whisk and save about a tablespoon)
2 Tablespoons panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
1/2 pound lump crab meat, drained and shell pieces removed

1 Tablespoon olive oil

Combine first nine ingredients.  Add panko crumbs and crab, mixing gently to combine. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes covered.   Using a 1/3 cup measure for small cakes place crab mixture on a clean plate and pat into a 3/4 inch patty.  This will make 4 small or 3 larger cakes.

While shoestring fries heat in the oven per package directions and are about 12 minutes from being done, heat oil in skillet over medium high. Cook crab cakes 4 minutes or until the bottoms are golden brown. Carefully turn and cook another 4-5 minutes, until bottoms are golden brown and crab is cooked through.  Served with buns and herbed tarter sauce.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

What Six Month of Intense Workouts Feels Like

Fitness isn't a thing, it's a way of thinking.

Six months of intense workouts (as in "do you think I'm a Navy Seal?") once a week with a professional female trainer with strength training equipment, repeating the base exercises at home using my chairs, ball and my free weights 2-3 days more a week, and 60 minutes of cardio daily (holding small weights and wearing a sports bra that makes me look like I'm expecting an assassination attempt) on non strength training days. Friday is no workout -  just a long, brisk walk on my lunch break at a couple of flights of stairs thown in, then home for pizza and several glasses of wine.

I turn 58 this week and I'm stronger than I was at 30 and the 10 or so pounds I gained after I got married is gone.  And I am very proudly wearing short sleeves again.

My husband is great about spotting me, running the timer, and handing me the heavier weights when I'm on the exercise ball.  He's 25 years younger than me so he doesn't understand how hard this was as he's really fit, but he loves me for trying. It helps having the support.

Still hate the kettle ball though. (maybe if it is given the "die evil kettle ball" look it will disappear).

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

It's All About Presentation.

Serve your dinner on a salad plate.  Use a small bowl for your dessert.  Set your soup bowl on a bigger plate and dust with herbs.  Your mind will have the sensation of having a bigger meal, and if you eat slowly, you will be satisfied with less

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Getting Drunk on Noodles at the International Grocers

There it was, the largest International Store in Indianapolis and I had an outing on a day off with a friend a while back. We'd talked about doing an expedition here on one of the weekend "Girls Day Out" (as my gal friend T. said today-- "They have Lebanese TV dinners!"), before I moved but I just didn't get around to it.  Time to go rectify that.

Saraga International Market. It's in an old K Mart, to give you an idea how BIG it was.  I don't have pictures as it's not in the best part of town, and I didn't want to be strolling through the parking lot with $4000 worth of camera dangling off of me. It's not an area I'd be afraid to go in the daytime but I didn't want to be obvious about expensive toy.  The cars in the lot in the early morning were all new, late models, while the local foodies and some snappily dressed retirees from all over town, came in to get the best values while the rest of the world was still sleeping in or heading off to work.  There are also two other locations in the area, but this one was the original off of 38th and Lafayette.

But it was a pretty neat store, with food from ALL over the world, and very good prices.  There was every kind of frozen and fresh fish in the world, some of which were the stuff of my particular nightmares (seriously, people eat that?) and all kinds of exotic" meat produce". Duck, Goose, lamb, international hooves of mystery and eels for my hovercraft!
I went mostly just see what they had. And I was seriously  happy to find that they had black rice, a wonderfully filling and nutty treat higher in antioxidants than blueberries for 1/3 of the price of online (plus, it's hard to find). I also got several sizes of rice noodles, big packages, $1.69 a piece.  (OK and the Maltesers and some Cadbury from the UK fell into the basket)

There was a lot of things I had  never heard of, and I still am chuckling at the jar of Shito - which apparently is some sort of spicy sauce from Guana. (juvenile - yes, but I still laughed). And I don't want to know what Golden King "Grass Jelly Drink, Banana Flavor" tastes like (as I doubt it's banana.)  But there were a lot of things I just had to get!

Do you buy in bulk to have food on hand for emergencies?  There was more bulk beans and rice, of all KINDS and countries of origin, than I've ever seen. Fresh and dried spices as well and seriously cheaper than Costco and such places.

European food was somewhat limited, outside of teas and candy, though I did get a nice collection of English style biscuits which I like with my tea  and they had some packaged German breads and condiments. But If you want exotic fruits, they have them.  If you want the rarest variety of oriental noodles, they have a whole aisle of them (including some with some seriously creepy Japanese mascots).  Want to make authentic Vietnamese or Thai Food?  Everything you need is here. Have a hankering for Russian tea or some French coffee? There's ingredients to cook Middle Eastern, Indiana, Asian, Jamaican, Mexican, or South American or African, all under one roof and the cost for those items was 50-75% less than the "international" section at most supermarkets.

In Europe, I laugh at some "high end gourmet" sections of their stores where the food from the US is displayed--Kellogg's Corn Flakes, Old El Paso taco seasoning, Newman's Own Salad Dressing and B & M Baked Beans. Finland thinks we live on Pop Tarts, Jello, and Reeses Puffs cereal, and in just about every language, Fluff, apparently, is America's Favorite food. Fluff? Conversely, I can imagine someone from some exotic corner of the world, wandering the aisle here and saying "seriously, they think we eat nothing but cephalopod-flavored potato chips?"

The food is lined up mostly by country or area of origin, so you might find rice in 6 different aisles, which can be confusing, but it was fun to look and they even had a little bakery up front where you could get some freshly made flan to go. That's almost as good as my Mom's recipe for Rosettes.  (Insert Homer Simpson voice here saying  Flannnnnnn....).
The only detractor, is you have to sort of hunt for things, and the floor looked like it needed a fresh mopping.  However the ladies rest room was spotlessly and recently clean, which is a good sign  It's probably hard to keep the rest of it up, with all the pallets and boxes constantly on the move as they buy in bulk. While we wandered we saw a lot of such activity, as the employees worked hard to keep everything well stocked.

In line at the check stand, was a very nice young couple from Nigeria, buying a huge bag of Nigerian Rice, a BUNCH of red peppers and tomatoes, shanks of meat of some sort, dried beans and some beautiful looking melon. The wife was going to prepare a tomato stew with the peppers, and then combine and cook that with the rice and beans with a bit of thyme, curry, bay leaf and a bullion cube and serve it with the meat  braised with spices and melon for dessert. I thought that sounded wonderful.

Foodies   - we know no cultural lines 

Now looking in my cupboard at some of the remaining items I think about what I can make for supper.

Drunken Noodles -

Make your own - it's not hard

1/2 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce (Red Boat is the best, avoid "Squid" brand fish sauce, which tastes as enticing as the name even if you could buy a case of it here for next to nothing).
1 1/2 teaspoons roasted red chile paste (or a dash of Sriracha)
3/4 teaspoon soy sauce sweetened with 1/4 teaspoon molasses
1/2 teaspoon honey
a pinch or two of crushed red pepper or even better, 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of
(I use Rockin Red for a spicy Thai or Cowboy Crooner for mild.

1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced into slivers
3/4 cup assorted veggies (mine had thinly sliced carrots, some green beans and a few water chestnuts,  nuked until softened so they didn't take too long in the pan)
1/2 large jalapeño, seeded (depending on how spicy you like it) and  finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 eggs whisked
1/3 pound thinly sliced beef, chicken, pork, or tofu
1/2 of an onion thinly sliced
4 cups thick sliced rice noodles, soaked in warm water for about 10 minutes to soften.
1 cup fresh Thai basil, loosely chopped (use regular fresh basil if that's all you have)

In a bowl, mix stock, oyster sauce, fish sauce, chili paste, soy sauce, and honey, set aside.

In a wok or tall, high sided skillet, heat a couple tablespoons of oil over medium high heat.  Add the red pepper, jalapeño, and garlic and stir fry until fragrant, about 2 minute, then push it up along the edge where it's cooler. Add the egg mixture and scramble, breaking it up into small bits, pushing it up to the edge while it's still a little "wet".   In pan, cook meat and onion until the onion is softened and meat is partially cooked (1-2 minutes) adding the red pepper or hot sauce.  Add the noodles and veggies and stir-fry until  it and the meat is cooked through (4-5 minutes) adding a couple tablespoons of water if the noodles are crisping up too much, Add the sauce and stir until incorporated, folding in the basil and stirring until wilted.  Served with salad with honey mustard salad dressing (OK, not oriental, but Finland thinks we like it) and an egg roll with some sweet and sour sauce from a jar.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

KD Please

Why yes, I DO like Kraft Dinner.

My fellow Americans are probably looking at this and scratching their head.  As one of my friends mentioned earlier when I posted a homemade mac and cheese dinner, in Canada the Kraft Blue Box is called Kraft Dinner as opposed to Kraft Macaroni and Cheese in the states. Known affectionately as KD, it's so popular Kraft Canada recently changed the packaging to reflect the name.

I was born and raised in the US but in college there was many a weekend we drove north and met other students in Vancouver, B.C., sharing food and fun. Being broke college students we often ate Kraft Dinner. There is also a couple of Canadians in my extended family and when I lived in the Northeast I dated a couple of Canadians over the years (both defense/military). I'm so glad my journey took me to my  Illinois born husband, but I cherish the introduction to Kraft dinner (and Montreal bagels, donairs, beaver tails and poutine!)
US Kraft Macaroni and Cheese (current version).
Canadian KD (with that neon orange we remember).

There's a reason Canadians purchase 1.7 million of the 7 million boxes sold globally each week, eating 55% more than Americans.  It's just part of the food culture and I won't be alone when I say "it tastes better than the US Version."

I'm not sure why, the box weighs 225 grams compared to the 206 grams for the US Version  It looks to be about the same amount of pasta but the cheese package for the KD is definitely plumper. The wheat is also from Canada.
Ingredients are also a little different.  On the American mac and cheese "cheese culture" is listed as the LAST ingredient, and cheddar cheese is the SECOND ingredient in the Canadian version. The US version also has Calcium Phosphate which the Canadian dinner does not.  The Canadian version also has 200 milligrams LESS sodium per serving. The American version is now colored with natural ingredients, the Canadian version is colored with "colour" (the "u" in "colour" must stand for "unknown", but we don't eat Kraft dinner for our health, it's for the smiles)

The American directions call for 1/4 cup cheese and 4 tablespoons of butter.  The Canadian calls for 1/3 cup milk and only 1 Tablespoon of butter. Much better for you and honestly, it made for a creamy, more moist mac and cheese.
The macaroni is also a different size the Canadian one being a little curved and smaller.

When my husband came home, and I had just finished making it to go with the barbecued chicken, he sort of turned up his nose at it asking "is that the stuff that smells like the air around the factory in Champagne/Urbana?", not being a Kraft mac and cheese fan.  I let him sniff, he smiled and said "mmm!" and took a big spoonful.

"That's GOOD and it's richer!,"he said and asked for more.  (The richer taste surprising since it's 1/4 of the fat of the US Version).

If you don't have a Canadian friend to send you a care package with some, you can order it from

I get my Dare cookies and marmalade from them and they are great to order from and they do carry KD.

When I can get my hands on the KD it's still my guilty comfort food a couple of times a month. Yes, I try and cook food with real ingredients from scratch a lot more often now.  But sometimes you just have to have a meal that's fun or simply a memory and this is it for me.

We won't mention the little maple sandwich cookies I'm going to eat afterwards.