Category Archives: Devalicious

Applesauce In My Oatmeal ~ killing belly fat is murder


It’s 38 degrees in Jacksonville this morning, but they say the ‘real feel’ is 28. So, Sophie and I decided to huddle under the covers and sleep in a bit. We got a late start to our walk, but postponing didn’t make it any warmer.

When we got inside, both of us were hungry. I fed Sophie and decided to make hot oatmeal for myself. I often add raisins to the oatmeal, but this time thought I’d seen an oatmeal cookie recipe that had applesauce as an ingredient, so I threw in 2 heaping tablespoons of unsweetened applesauce to my cereal. It was quite good too and healthy.

Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. [NASB]

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Turkey Sausage Toscana Soup ~ Killing Belly Fat Is Murder

IMG_20151011_130937The last time I went to see my doctor for a regular check up, I’d lost another 4 pounds. That’s 44 pound gone in all (yippee). However, my doctor detected that my triglycerides were going up. That is a huge clue that means I’d been eating carbs. Yes, I had to confess; it was true.

Oh dear, found out and nothing to do but explain to my doctor. Yes, I’d been eating on the run lately. Eating prepared foods. High in carbs, sugar, salt. Not good. So, I vowed to get back in the saddle and fight the urge to eat bad carbs.

Here’s a tasty recipe, while not carb free, the carbs are all healthy veggie carbs.

Turkey Sausage Toscana Soup

  1. Spray the bottom of a 1 pt pot. Coarsely chop 1/4 – 1/2 C sweet onion, 1/8 – 1/4 C green pepper (mine came off the vine in my garden) and saute until translucent. If you need more spray, add 1 – 2 Tbsp water instead and continue to saute.
  2. Add 4 C chicken broth (low sodium if you’re watching salt), 1/2 package frozen spinach and bring to a soft  boil. (If you’re not counting carbs you can add a 1/2 can of rinsed and drained white beans here. I didn’t add the beans to mine.)
  3. Remove the casing off of 2 Turkey Italian Sausage links (I used Shady Brook Farms). Cut into bite-size pieces and drop into the boiling liquid. Season to taste with any or all of these (salt, pepper, celery seed, garlic powder, paprika, basil, oregano).
  4. Add 1/4 C – 1/3 C halved cherry tomatoes. (I used red and yellow cherry tomatoes from my garden.)
  5. Not to thicken, but simply to give body, add 1 level tsp of corn starch to several Tbsp cold water and shake until smooth. Add to the soup. Simmer about 3 minutes stirring occasionally. If you don’t want the carbs in corn starch, leave this out.
  6. Can serve with grated Parmesan cheese, or eat as is.

Serves 3 for lunch, 2 for dinner.

Deadly Designs 1400

In my new release, DEADLY DESIGNS, sharp-shooting, feisty and sassy female private detective Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels has embarked on a new, healthy way of eating. Even though she’s been injured by the villain, she insists upon cooking a meal with organic chicken for the hero. In the previous book in the series, HARMFUL INTENT, she went undercover at an organic cooking class and it changed her way of eating and viewing food.HI Price Reduction $1.99 PP


The Family Meal Has Been Hijacked

Mac 'n Cheese with tomato slices before it goes into the oven. Trust me it beats Kraft.

Mac ‘n Cheese with tomato slices before it goes into the oven. Trust me it beats Kraft…oh,there’s bacon on top too.





Cooking is fun. It must be. Millions watch cooking shows with regularity. In fact more watch cooking shows than actually cook.




Christmas Eve in my family has traditionally meant a meatless meal.

Christmas Eve in my family has traditionally meant a meatless meal.



One of the things I loved about my childhood was sitting down at the dinner table which we did every night. I particularly loved the holiday table at my grandmother’s house. It was so comfy, Uncle John told the funniest stories, and the food was great. There’s really nothing quite as good as the aromas coming out of a kitchen when a home cooked meal is being prepared. When you’ve eaten a good home cook’s Sunday friend chicken with homemade mashed potatoes and gravy, Kentucky Fried Chicken just doesn’t cut it.


I recently read that in 1900 the average American family ate only 2% of meals out of the home. By 2010 Americans ate 50% of their meals out of the home. When they were home eating “together” it was quite usual for each family member to microwave their own frozen meal. If they actually sat down at the table together with their individual nuked food, it would be for less than 20 minutes.



I cook. I love to stand in front of the stove and stir what I’ve got simmering in a pot. I love to open the oven to check on my baked chicken and revel in the garlic and onion aromas wafting over my kitchen and into the rest of the house. That’s wonderful and pleasurable to me. Sitting down at a set table and eating a well prepared, home cooked meal is pretty close to heavenly. It warms the cockles of my heart hearing: “I’ll have another helping of sweet potatoes” or “Wow, these carrots are good, can I have more?” or “pass the grated cheese.”


I could tell you studies show that kids who regularly sit down to a meal with their families are more well-adjusted than kids who don’t. I could point to research suggesting children who eat at home with their families have better grades and get into less trouble. I could ask you if you knew eating meals at home protects girls from anorexia and bulimia. But what I really want to tell you is how much fun it is to eat together. How great it is to cook together in the kitchen, and carry the platters out to the table.


Watching cooking on TV is fun. I do it all the time. But cooking at your own stove is more fun. Trust me. Shopping at the supermarket should be a wonderful sensory experience. There are red, round, ripe tomatoes waiting to be sliced and added to a sandwich. Yum. Anyone can do that. There’s a package of chop meat that would make a few hamburgers to share with family and friends and they won’t taste like the cardboard burgers you get at a fast food place. Put it on a good roll you got in the bakery section and plop one of those fresh cut tomato slices on it. Then eat! Eat! Enjoy the people at the table eating with you. After all, community starts at the dinner table.

A Night of Local Talent in Brooklyn Slayed Me

Joe Ardigo

Joe Ardigo

Marie, a really terrific BFF, called me and asked if I wanted to hear a friend of hers sing at Knapp Street Pizza (pronounced “napp” ~ the “k” is silent). She said, “He’s really good.”

That’s all I needed to hear because the food at Knapp Street Pizza is really good. For many years it’s been the premier spot for pizza in Marine Park and Gerritsen Beach, Brooklyn…and the way Brooklynites feel about their pizza is well known.

Knapp Street Pizza and Restaurnat

Knapp Street Pizza and Restaurnat


But that’s not the kicker. They expanded. Took over the store next door and added a restaurant. What’s not to love?

There were six of us around our table, all friends, or friends of friends of Joe’s and we all went for the eggplant parm dinner. Everyone agree it was delish.



As Marie promised, Joe Ardigo was really good. He sang pop, blues, standards, R&B, soul, and rock. The room went crazy for Joe’s rendition of Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark.”

Our table stayed to the very end of the last set. You can tell our little group was…ahem, shall we say…seasoned citizens. Well, whatever, but you might’ve been able to tell that because we chose to join Joe and sang a rousing rendition of “Mustang Sally” ~ complete with hand clapping and swaying from side-to-side.




Who’s A Recipient of the Sweetest Award? ~ Moi, Ain’t That A Kick In The Head?

I’ve been called a lot of things, but not often “sweet.” Perhaps…intense, stubborn, opinionated, but I digress.

Of course the one who deemed this blog to be the recipient of the Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award is indeed a sweet lady herself. And she’s prone to baking awesome strawberry shortcake. That’s Barbara Robinson, writing as BJ Robinson. Author of SOUTHERN SUPERSTITIONS and LAST RESORT. Check out her blog, Christian Inspirational Fiction, also nominated for the Sweetest Award.

The rules for the Irresistible Sweet Blog Award are that nominees thank the person who nominated them,  nominate at least ten other blogs and contact them to let them know, share seven random things about yourself/your blog.  Here goes…

My Ten Nominees for the Sweetest Award…

1. FAY LAMB ~  On The Ledge, an interesting, topical blog surveying the writer’s world, with tons of humor

2. LORILYN ROBERTS ~ An inspirational blog about homeschooling, animals, biblical topics, parenting, politics, and of course writing

3. STACI STALLINGS  ~ Books From The Heart, reader reviews, Bible study, fiction/non-fiction, and more.

4. LINDA WOOD RONDEAU  ~ This Daily Grind, author interviews, inspirational topical articles

5. JANALYN VOIGHT ~ Live Write Breathe, creating worlds of beauty and danger, living a writer’s dream

6. TRACY KRAUSS ~ Expression Express,  author interviews, the arts and inspiration

7. VIRGINIA TENERY ~ Agatha Remembered, showcases the best in faith-based fiction

8. WENDY L. YOUNG ~ reviews, interview, guest posts, author resources

9. ELLEN C. MAZE ~ Curiously spiritual vampire tales-the blog, geared to the discerning reader, reviews, author interviews

10. TERIC DARKEN ~ Dark Domain, a really sweet guy blogging about faith found in the darkest of places.

Here iare seven random things about me and/or the Crime Fictionista blog…

1. I have a passion, go absolutely bazonkers for a suspenseful, page turner of a crime fiction novel. And I go round the bend for detective novels.

2. I’m a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology (NYC) and worked in the bridal industry. In the world of fashion I used to hear the term “fashionista” bandied about. So, I thought, why not a Crime Fictionista? And the idea for the blog was created as well as a neat moniker for moi.

3. I love the quality of contemporary inspirational crime fiction (mysteries, romantic suspense, thrillers, detective novels) and can’t wait to showcase these new novels when they come out. I love finding a new author I’d not been to familiar with before.

4. I enjoy immersing myself in research in the post WWII era in American history. My Sanctuary Point series showcases that period in this country’s history in my breakout novel BURNING HEARTS (arson/murder and romance) and GOODBYE NOEL (Christmas/New Year’s/winter themed).

5. I’m fiercely loyal to other authors. When I really like a book or author I’ll promote that author with vigor.

6. I’ve been an animal rescuer for about 28 years. In this time I’ve found homes for about 40 cats and dogs. I have a house full of the less adoptable one, the quirky ones, more antisocial and reclusive one. I’ve also rescued and released baby squirrels who fell out of the nest.

7. I’m very proud of my social worker husband who’s assistant director in the substance abuse program of one of the craziest public hospitals in New York City. If I need an off the wall druggie character, I simply ask my DH for a profile for a particular drug and its effects on a person. I’m equally proud of my teenage daughter who has auditioned for three of NYC’s public art high school and also applied to one oceanography high school, as weather and oceans is her other passion.

Ain’t That A Kick In The Head by Dean Martin

My New Profile Pix Is Up ~ True Redhead

This is the real me!!!!!

I was soooo bored without my spikes, so teenage daughter Alyssa took this of me with my spikes. Now it feels like me.

Hubby took this at my Birthday breakfast at one of our fav diners…guess what…I’m 39 again!!!

Pix #2 at same breakfast.

Ye olde birthday candle blow out!!!

If You Could Be A Character, Who Would You Be?


If You Could Be A Character In Any Novel/Video/TV Show, Who Would You Be?

In Christian romantic suspense I’d go with Susan May Warren’s bush pilot Andee McLeod (also called Emma, the Scottish vernacular for “lady”) in Expect the Sunrise. She’s smart, beautiful, has the gorgeous and rugged FBI agent Sterling “Mac” McRae falling for her. She leads an exciting life…what’s not to like?

Second runner up would be Hannah Alexander’s E.R. doctor Cheyenne Allison in Hideaway. She truly inspired my respect.

In secular crime fiction, well, can I be Joe Pike? In the Robert Crais series of Elvis Cole novels, Joe’s the enigmatic, silent partner in the Elvis Cole Detective Agency, also a gun shop owner and the hinted at owner of various real estate properties all over Los Angeles. Yeah, he’s a guy, but what a guy. He’s tough, honest, honorable, loyal to his friends, and perhaps the most dangerous man I’ve come across in crime fiction. I just don’t want to look like him, not with those tattoos of his.

In movies I’d want to be any heroine Kim Novak played. I love Kim Novak, what a lady. There’s also Nora Charles, wife of Nick in the Thin Man books and movies (played beautifully by Myrna Loy). No mere sidekick, Nora is the moral and intellectual equal of her PI husband, quite often his moral superior. I’d be OK with being her.

On TV, there’s Honey West (1965-66, played by Anne Francis). Of the pre-feminist era, Honey’s inherited her dad’s swanky PI firm, and with her pet ocelot Bruce in hand, assisted by the rugged Sam Bolt, goes off to fight crime. I think I’d only want to be Honey West for a day, though.

Would I want to be high fashion model Maddie Hayes (played by Cybil Sheppherd)? Probably not, or at least not for more than a day. But I thought I’d mention her.


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