Sunday, March 10, 2013

Guest blogging today!

Today our feckless author is guest-blogging on Judy Hogan's site! I don't know how honest she'll be with those answers, but take a look anyway. It's bound to be interesting, in a long-winded sort of way. Hee!

And a final piece of advice for our readers:

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Chantal's Banana Bread

This bread is not particularly diabetes-friendly, although of course most diabetics can eat a small amount of just about anything, provided they compensate and count those carb and fat exchanges. Still, Chantal doesn't make it to take to Jacquidon's get-togethers any more unless there'll be a lot of other people. It's simply too tempting to overindulge!

Chantal’s Q&S (Quick and Simple) Banana Bread

(You can reduce the chips and nuts to half a cup or even leave them out, but you'll notice the difference.)

Combine in one glass bowl:

3 overripe bananas, mashed
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
½ c. white sugar
½ c. brown sugar
½ c. yogurt

Combine in another mixing bowl:

1 ½ c flour
½ t. salt
1 t. baking soda
½ t. baking powder
(Yes, both.)

Fold dry ingredients (flour mixture) into banana glop and add:

¾ c. mini chocolate chips
¾ c. chopped pecans

Divide among four mini loaf pans (5.75 x 3.25--I use the disposable foil ones that come in so many festive styles).

Bake at 350F for 45 minutes.

Alternatively, use two regular loaf pans (8 x 3.75) and bake for 55 to 60 minutes.

You don't have to butter the slices . . . but you SHOULD!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Chantal's Costumes

As the second Jacquidon and Chantal Carroll "Snoop/Sleuth Sisters" mystery opens, we find Our Intrepid Heroines being dropped off on the corner of Madison and 45th at the venerable Roosevelt Hotel. Jacquidon is a finalist in the national Tree-Trimming contest, and the finals are to be held at Rockefeller Center right before Christmas. The sisters haven't been to New York, let alone at Christmas, so they're fairly psyched--and gobsmacked. When the dead body falls on Jacquidon, things get even worse. . . . Chantal (as was established in the first book in the series, NICE WORK (IF YOU CAN GET IT) is an avid costumer and costume-player, ex-SCA and current convention-goer. She's in full Vintage MOD SIXTIES mode as this journey begins, and (to Jacks' chagrin) has brought no less than two suitcases stuffed full of mostly vintage or vintage-look A-line shifts, Twiggy Mondrian dresses, cat's eye sunglasses, Pucci scarves (and suitable reproductions), and so forth. "Didn't you bring anything NORMAL?" she agonizes as her sister unpacks. But the costumes do come in very handy later, when they don't want to be recognized. I love vintage and vintage-look MOD stuff myself. Confession: maybe I wore some of it when I was around five and six years old. The 1965-66 school year (first grade for old people) saw an entering class dressed in white vinyl go-go boots ("These Boots are Made for Walkin'") and swingin' shifts that barely covered the essential "I See France" area. We couldn't bend over to pick up a pencil. I developed a strategic "hold on to the hem of the dress and squat kind of sideways" method so all the boys didn't yell, "She's wearing THURSDAY and this is FRIDAY!" However . . . the look is back, and I'm old enough to wear it again. . . . yay? These are the kinds of dresses I've scored on eBay and from estate sales. They remind me of things my mother, grandmother, cousins, and aunts wore Back In The Day. My grandmother sewed many of my dresses back then, and I had a green dress almost exactly like this one, but in a size 6X, of course. I wore it with my GO-GO BOOTS and my Enid Collins wood purse! (That was a Texas thing, I think. Wish I still had mine.)
Bell sleeves! (Those were really big through the 1970s, my teen years!)
My grandmother could do anything you wanted to wear, with or without a pattern.
Enid Collins "Owl and Pussycat" purse
The interior.
My only problem is . . . how do you get the stink out of the old fabric? I've washed and dry cleaned and STILL have a remaining odor of Kools/Camels/Luckies plus some stinky perfume. Febreze only added the smell of Febreze under it all. Anyone have any ideas? (Other than "throw it out or take it to a dressmaker to be copied" and "why don't you shop at Macy's like everyone else?!")

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Pumpkin Muffins and Puzzlers

Welcome to the world of Jacquidon and Chantal Carroll, the Snoop Sisters, as they sleuth their way through life in the new Jacquidon Carroll mystery series by Denise Weeks. Here, we'll take a peek into the lives of the sisters and get excerpts from the upcoming books in the series. Occasionally we'll explore some of the puzzles that Jacquidon encounters as she bumbles along and some of the brain-teasers that come up. Expect some fun blog contests, coming up soon!

Today's offering is a diabetes-friendly recipe from Jacquidon's kitchen. Since she was diagnosed with diabetes right before being laid off from her job as an administrative assistant, she has been trying to make peace with her blood sugar. But that doesn't mean never eating another carbohydrate or shunning all baked goods!

makes 1 dozen
serving size: 1
prep time: 25 minutes/cooking time: 30 minutes
exchanges: 1 starch
calories: 86
carbohydrate: 15 g

1 1/2 cups flour
2 Tsp. baking powder
2 Tsp. cinnamon
1/2 Tsp. nutmeg
1 cup pumpkin puree (canned or fresh)
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup lowfat buttermilk
1/2 cup nonfat sour cream
1/2 Tsp. almond extract (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350F. Coat a 12-cup muffin pan or mold with cooking spray or line the cups with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Combine the remaining ingredients in another bowl. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the pumpkin mixture. Mix well but do not over-beat or muffins will be tough. Divide the batter among the muffin cups. Bake for about 30 minutes until a tester comes out clean. Remove the muffins from the pan and cool completely.

Other pertinent stats:
calories from fat: 22
total fat: 2 g
saturated fat: 0 g
cholesterol: 24 mg
sodium: 119 mg
dietary fiber: 2 g
sugars: 4 g
protein: 3 g

Hope you enjoy, if you try them! More recipes to come.