Monthly Archives: December 2017

Cookbook (giveaway closed): Designed for One! (Diabetes-friendly)


Giveaway closed: winner announced–commenter #2–congratulations Tammy!


All images and recipes in this post: ©2017 by the American Diabetes Association. Designed for One is available at, in bookstores nationwide, or by calling 1-800-232-6733. Food Photography: Mittera

Hiya hello, all y’all. I recently agreed to take a look at a newly-released cookbook called Designed for One! – 120 Diabetes-Friendly Dishes Just for You.

You may be asking, now why in the heck would you be interested in cooking for one? Last I recall you were popping babbies out right and left?

(that’s right–babbies)

Well. See, every now and then, on the rare occasion when I’m alone, cooking can be zen. Therapeutic-ky. Especially when it involves simple salads (which my kids are not capable of eating and/or will not eat) or avocado toast (does that count as cooking?). Anyway, I like the idea of being indulgent in that way–towards myself. Cooking a meal just to please me? Wow. Yes. (Now I just have to arrange to be alone for a night. Hmm. Maybe next decade.)

You also may be thinking, but you don’t have diabetes!

Maybe not. However, it’s clear that you don’t have to have diabetes to like the sound of Sweet Hot Chicken Thighs. Or the Chunky Mango Gelato from the healthier desserts section. Or the Knife-and-Fork Turkey-Corn Tortillas (just click for the printable recipe).


Here’s the deal (i.e. my unfettered opinion) on the cookbook:

+ There are mushrooms on the cover. Okay, I’ll admit this was a huge part of the initial draw for me. I LOVE MUSHROOMS. They’re a fungus, so yay! I know, that sentence makes no sense. But that sentence does segue us into one of the coolest things I learned from this cookbook, which is why my mushrooms get slimy. Apparently I shouldn’t store them in plastic! Huh. The writer recommends paper bags. Noted! (And thank you. I hate slimy mushrooms. They’re a real downer.)

+ Each recipe includes complete nutritional information (calories, calories from fat, cholesterol, sodium, etc.). Like, I’ve never seen so much nutritional information together on one recipe. So way to go, author Nancy Hughes, for doing a hella-lotta math. (Like that? ‘Hella-lotta’? Yeah, me too.)

– There aren’t a lot of pictures in the cookbook itself, so if you’re a super visual person, this may not be for you. But the pictures it does include are lovely!

– / + There aren’t long stories to go with each recipe. For someone like my husband who views recipes as a functional part of his life, this is perfect. For someone like me (used to reading the personal musings of Nigella Lawson who accompanies every recipe with a lavish paragraph or three), well, I could’ve used some more musings from the author about why they named their third dog Willison and why the game Parcheesi is called Parcheesi.

+ / – The recipes themselves are quite simple. I’m imagining that would make this book good for a novice cook or someone who simply doesn’t like to cook so much but feels they need to do it for budgetary or health reasons. This would not be the right book for your accomplished chef friend who trained in Italy and interned at El Bulli.

In conclusion: I would describe this cookbook as functional, not lavish.

I am personally drawn to this recipe for Slow-Cooker Chuck and Veggies (click for the printable recipe).


Very drawn.

Very, very drawn.

Probably because of the mushrooms. Again.

Anyway, if you think you might like this cookbook or you have a friend you might want to gift it to, guess what? I’m giving one away! WHOOOPDEEDOOOO! Do you know how long it’s been since I’ve done a giveaway on this blog?

(don’t answer that question)

So! Leave a comment below. On Thursday December 21st, after 9am Central, I’ll use the random number generator to pick a comment, and whoever left it gets the cookbook shipped to them for free, badabing badaboom.

Please feel free to share this post with any friend you think might need this cookbook in their lives. And of course, you can always purchase it for yourselves or said friend on the Provider-Of-All-Things Online Emporium that is

Good luck and I’ll announce the winner on Thursday!

I need a drink


I just read this fantastic blog post by Sarah Hosseini about the culture of Mom-drinking and its dangers. We’ve all seen the memes on Facebook and can probably testify to the popularity of jokes and catchy phrases about how Moms can’t get through a day of mothering without a drink.


I wanted to chime in on the subject. Once upon a time, I was in Stevens Point Wisconsin, spending my birthday weekend at my parent’s house. My family was with me (husband + 2 kiddos aged 3 and 1), and my sister and her family were there too (husband + 3 kiddos aged 2 and under).

Any day that includes five children aged 3 and under, however fun, is going to be hard work. It just is. But finally, around 7pm, all the kids were in bed and the adults had gone outside to the patio. Yippee! Time to have fun! Time to share stories, jokes, and remember what it feels like to just be ourselves! We stretched out. Mom started a fire and brought out supplies for S’mores.

BUT. Just as the relaxation was beginning, one of the children (who shall remain nameless) decided to scream. And not just for a few minutes–but for hour after hour.

Cue that disappointed frustration that is most intense when the challenging situation occurs outside of what are supposed to be your ‘normal mommy/daddy working hours’–and even worse–on a vacation during which you have limited hours to enjoy (as an adult) your adult loved ones!

My sister had to go in about a million times to deal with the situation, since the sheer volume of the screaming threatened to wake up all the other children. In fact, the screams were of such a high pitch that my dad (a seasoned sound technician, among other things) actually measured the frequency with an app on his phone. We all laughed. My sister tried to laugh.

In between my sister’s attempts to defuse the situation, and seeing the deep discouragement on her face, I said in sympathetic tones,

“You need some wine.”


The child in question eventually went to sleep (hallelujah), but what a battle it was.

Later, my mom pulled me and my sister aside.

“I don’t like it when you girls say you need alcohol,” she said.

I was shocked. Defensive. I mean, lighten up, Mom! We’re not alcoholics! It’s just a way of talking! Relax! Can’t you see what a hard evening it’s been?

I tried to attribute her apparently extreme sensitivity about this comment to our generational differences, which also compel her to wear things like pantyhose which (thank heavens) a whole generation has now rejected. (Horrid, clingy things.)

But however much I wanted to brush away her comment, it stuck with me.

I don’t like it when you say you need alcohol.

Fast forward to present, about two and a half years later. Guess what? I have no idea what we talked about during that weekend in Stevens Point. Who said what, when, what riveting subjects were debated, joked about, pontificated on. Except for her remark. That’s right–I’ve never forgotten what she said. Because, though I didn’t want to see it during that particularly fraught moment on that particularly fraught evening, she was right.

So. I’ve stopped saying that I need alcohol. Or that anyone else does. If I slip up, red alarms immediately start beeping in my head and I correct myself to “I’d like” or “I want.”

Needing alcohol is not something to banter about. It’s serious. And haven’t so many of us felt that temptation, especially after a stressful or miserable day? To need a drink in order to move on emotionally from whatever happened during the day? I know I have.


Mom, thanks for the wisdom of your comment. It took me some time to stop being defensive and realize how important that statement was.

So here’s to not needing alcohol–and not talking like we need it either.