This is going to be a mish mash of stuff….lots and lots of very random stuff all put together. Get on board and let me take you on a trip through/down random alley….

Today in Cincinnati, we had wind gusts that started at 23 mph and were heading to 50 mph. I took the dog for a long walk before the wind speed doubled. As we walked across the crunchy leaves I knew winter was around the corner. I saw on the evening news last night that the heartland of the country was hit with snow. I’m not ready for snow. I remembered last year looking at the temperature and seeing this (below) and thinking, Why don’t I live in San Diego?

2 degrees in Cincinnati

I came across the five items you need to keep on hand for entertaining.

  1. Rosemary
  2. White Flowers
  3. Cured Meats
  4. Sparkling Water
  5. Vanilla Ice Cream

I’m going to revamp that with my list.

  1. Cheese
  2. Crackers
  3. Wine
  4. Fruit/Pickles/Olives (one of these)
  5. Elements to create a dip (spinach dip, artichoke dip, sun-dried tomato dip, etc.,)

I revamp it because I never ever white flowers randomly around my condo. And I rarely have ice cream for if I did I would eat it. For that matter, the same goes with the cured meats. I do not tend to have a charcuterie in my refrigerator on the off chance you may pop over for a visit. I do have cheese and crackers. I do have elements to create some type of a dip. I always have at least one bottle of wine. I always have fruit, olives and cornichons, and I can serve one or all of them.

I came across the ten cookbooks that everyone should own. I have the Joy of Cooking, Julia Child’s, and probably would buy MOMOFUKU and Rick Bayless’s books next because I love their cooking, but I have a feeling a lot of their foods go against my WHOLE 30 diet.

See what you have or need to get….

10 Cookbooks Every Cook Should Own

I’m thrilled to brag that out of New York’s top 100 restaurants, I have been privileged enough to have eaten at 19 of them over the years. See how many you have eaten in…there is never enough time to try them all, but wouldn’t it be fun to try?


I did my thesis on Roald Dahl. He is the one who wrote: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Witches, James and The Giant Peach and Matilda to name a few. He also did a cookbook of creative creatures to create out of food. I saw this cucumber alligator and immediately thought of the imagination of Roald Dahl.

alligator cucu

For a book lover and a cupcake lover all rolled into one….how adorable is this!!! So clever!!!

book cupcakes

Gyan Mudra is a trick to staying calm in a stressful situation. I had heard this before and I have tried it…I just forget about it. Maybe it can help you. Especially if ever trapped on a crowded subway….in Japan….or China….

calming affect

I worked in an Italian restaurant the summer I lived in Rhode Island many, many years ago. The owners made a meal for us to eat together at the table before our shift began. It was the first time I had ever eaten eggplant parmesan. It was amazing. I never ever found eggplant parm as good until I moved to New York and ate it at: Peppe Rosso To Go @ 147 Sullivan Street. I have tried to make it over the years and have never succeeded till I found this recipe…now I think I have it! It was so yummy I made it twice in a week.

Instead of flour, I just used eggs and panko, but I first roasted the sliced eggplant for 10 minutes each side at 400 degrees. THEN, I dipped in egg and panko and fried in a pan and then I layered it. Can you say yum?

Recipe and pics below:

IMG_1871 IMG_1873

eggplant parm

My friend Darlene went to Westerbeke Ranch out West and she told me I would love it and I needed to try it. Check it out. Looks good to me!!!

Westerbeke Ranch

My mom has called me Ladybug since I was 5 years old. Look at this Ladybug caprese salad. It also has a Roald Dahl feel to it.

Ladybug caprese salad

My friend Shirley (aka Trouble) and I went to try out a new coffeehouse here in Cincinnati called Gambino’s. They had yummy coffee drinks and we sat outside. They have a gift shop inside in addition to the coffee shop!

GAMBINO'S COffeehouse

Are you all getting ready for the Harvard-Yale game on November 21 @ 2pm? I’m curious to see how they are playing these days because when I was there and went to the game…I was pretty sure I could play better football. No offense, but it was true…GO HARVARD!!!

I have my beat YALE pin ALL ready….

Harvard-Yale Game Nov. 21

Okay, so I have this friend named Mindy who lives out in California. She has this ADORABLE daughter Haven and she is doing a cooking show for kids and it is BEYOND cute…because the stars of the show…like Haven…are KIDS!!! You and your kids can subscribe to the show. I may subscribe because it is Haven and I love her mom Mindy..and it is clever….check it out!

Here is a note from Mindy. What you do is, you go to U-Tube (I’m going to go ahead and give you the link below.) and search: Lalaloopsy Kitchen, Super Silly Cake, Strawberry Scones, Cinnamon Apples, Corndog bread.   I think Super Silly cake is the best so far.  Her name on the show is Katarina!


This is why fall is my favorite season.

HN trees in fall

Hey, check out this t-shirt….is this a hoot or what???

HOLZMAN t-shirt

I think I told you about Open Table for making reservations on line easily…it has changed the way I will eat out. SO EASY!!!! Plus, it has perks!


I saw somewhere that a gentleman is creating a cookbook and using his friends’ favorite recipes to do it. I love that idea! Hmmmmmm…….

I keep going to my mom to have her send me this Beau Monde spice combo that is different from the one I buy in a jar and I LOVE IT!!! You two can be privy to it. It is yummy! The place it comes from is called Mother’s Cupboard and the owner is named Suzanne M. Andrews and if you ever get to Venice, Florida you will find it. But in the meantime, you can get it shipped to you. I highly recommend it.


I sometimes crave shrimp and the reality is I can buy it for $10/lb. and get at least 3 meals out of it, so it isn’t so pricey! I tend to make a shrimp scampi, but I decided to try Shrimp with Pesto.


Shrimp with Pesto

½ lb. shrimp

1 garlic glove

2-3 T. chopped onions

Healthy splash of olive oil

1 T. butter


1-2 garlic gloves

2 healthy handfuls of basil leaves

A squeeze of lemon juice

VERY Healthy splash of olive oil

Salt & pepper to your liking

Make the pesto first. Throw all the ingredients in a blender or Cusinart and combine. Set aside.

In a skillet, put in olive oil and butter, add onions and cook till onions are translucent. Add garlic. (If you add them all together, garlic burns FAST! I don’t mind the taste, but many do.) Add shrimp. Cook roughly 3 minutes on each side OR until they curl AND turn pink. Plate the shrimp and drizzle the pesto on top.

We had a Navy ship come dock here in Cincy for roughly a week. Viv & Trouble and I went to see it. Pretty cool.

IMG_1865 IMG_1864

Then they wanted to see the kid’s park. You are never told old to play in a kid’s park as is evidence below.


Then we all went on the swings that face the Ohio river.


When I was in Italy, one night we went to dinner and I had this wonderful, yet, light dessert that was a Mascarpone Mousse. It wasn’t too sweet. As Goldilocks would say, “It was just right!” So, I wanted to come home and replicate it. I think I got it. By George, I think I got it.


Mascarpone Mousse & Fruit

2 T. Mascarpone

1 pint of Heavy Whipping Cream

1t. honey (optional)

Fruit of choice (restaurant used raspberries, here I used nectarines).

Whip the cream in a bowl till it is the consistency of whipped cream. Add the Mascarpone. If it is not sweet enough for you, add honey. Cover the fruit or place the fruit on top. You know me as is evidence by the pic above…I stirred it all together because I wanted every bite of fruit to be covered in it.

I go through these phases where I love a good fruit smoothie, but I HATE the ones that are overpowered with the taste of banana. I like bananas, but I hate a raspberry, strawberry, blueberry shake that is strong-armed by banana. So, I do not put bananas in my smoothies. I have been relying on figs, dates and raisins to sweeten my smoothies. And I keep trying to make them less caloric, but I like them to be thick. A real challenge. Sweet and thick.


Fruit & Yogurt Smoothie

1 c. full-fat plain yogurt

1/3 of a bag of frozen fruit (mix it, be a purist, your choice)

½ t. cinnamon

½ t. vanilla

2-3 figs or dates or a handful of raisins

¼ c. coconut flakes

splash of milk


I have a sweet tooth. There is no denying it. If I cut out sugar 100% from my diet, I do not crave it. If I add it in at all in ANY form other than fruit. I’m back on it. Most powerful drug there is.

Well, after time in Italy with that killer gelato over there. I needed some BADLY. I took my friends Lynn and Carolyn to Buona Terra over in Mt. Lookout Square. It is delicious and HALF the calories.


Afterward, I scared the dickens out of them. I took them to Ault Park’s parking lot and I got out of the car with a bag and a hammer. They both have had some rough stuff lately and my mom sent me some damaged bright colored fiesta cookware for me to turn into mosaic pieces. I handed the ladies the hammer and placed the cookware in many bags on the ground and told them to have at it. Great stress reliever. They LOVED it. And it helped me too! Here’s the result.


These are the sunsets I see out my living room and dining room sliding glass doors. Beautiful!!!


My cousin Lynnie, on my mom’s side, the cousin that lives in the Florida Keys and isn’t stuck in the cold tundra with the rest of us came to town for a high school reunion and then came to stay with me for a few days.

She was friends with the Smales down in the Keys, so it made sense for her to want to see their park up here in Cincinnati.


Lynnie taught me how to make KILLER cappuccino foam using my French Press. Just put milk in it and pump it to get to the consistency you like. It was AMAZING!!!


Her husband races cars so we went to see one of his racing friends in Indian Hill. He keeps a helicopter in the garage and 3-4 electric cars to tool around his neighborhood. And the racetrack in the basement. He is a kid trapped in a man’s body. But a really nice guy!!!

IMG_1924 IMG_1926 IMG_1925

My cousin Lynnie has never had Vietnamese food so I introduced her to my law school buddy, David’s restaurant at Findlay Market called Pho Lang Thang. We got Pho soup and salad and shared. As always, it was yummy!!! Plus, sitting outside at Findlay Market isn’t bad either!

IMG_1928 IMG_1929

That night we went to Jean Robert’s TABLE for dinner. We both got hamburgers and they were divine. It was too dark to photograph. It was a great end to a nice visit.

By the way, I have new book covers coming to me so I need to get rid of my supply of books with the old covers. I’m selling all the below books for $10 each, plus shipping cost of $4. Email me and I will send you a mailing address and as soon as I get the check, I will mail out the book! Great stocking stuffers!!!

books for sale

Until we meet again…

Enjoy! Eat, travel, laugh…often….


One thought on “MISH MASH

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